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Posted: 1/4/2006 6:01:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2006 6:26:05 AM EDT by thompsondd]
I posted a thread the other day about a janitor at the United States Air Force Academy who forever impacted my life. That lowly janitor, who forever kept to himself, and went about his days cleaning toliets and empting trash cans of those who thought themselves so much more important than he, was Mr. Bill Crawford, a retired Army vet who won the Medal of Honor in WWII. I was sadden to learn the other day that Mr. Crawford left us back in 2000 and wanted to pass along some of his lessons to others here at ARFcom so that they may know him and the power of his character.

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=423116&page=1

I just learned of the passing of another very great, yet humble, man who taught me some of lifes more subtile yet most important of lifes lessons. That man, Mr. George Mendez, was one of the more famous waiters from USAFA. He was better known to some of the cadet wing at USAFA as "Tremendous" Mendez. George "Tremendous" Mendez passed away on December 6, 2005.

www.usafatoday.com/?story=221

Who was "Tremendous" Mendez?

Well, that depends.

He may have only been a servant and a lowly waiter in Mitchell Hall if you never took the time to talk to him. If you continued to the think that if the world revolved around you, the future of the AF, the best and brightest, an up and coming officer candidate, "Tremendous" Mendez was nothing more than some second rate citizen that worked a government job dishing out meals to the more worthy of society.

However, Mr. Mendez was, indeed, "Tremendous". Why? Read this:


www.usafatoday.com/Folklore/modules/news/article.php?storyid=450



George Mendez is a great dude. He was a waiter during my 4 years of internment (84-88) and really helped the time go by. The Talon (or whatever the geek cadet magazine was called) had a story about George during my time there. Everyone called him Tremendous Mendez and I think most folks knew he had been in the special forces in Vietnam, etc. My roomie always tried to have T-5 off so he could mill about Mitch's devouring anything in sight for much of the period after lunch (he'd do this on open M-5s, as well)--ah metabolism. Anyway, one day we started talking with George and he told us a couple of amazing Vietnam stories. George wore his jump wings with star/wreath and little bronze star attachment for combat jumps. I asked him how many combat jumps he had and it was quite a few. He said that most of the missions he had done he still couldn't talk about. From what I remember, George had a couple of Silver Stars and numerous other decorations from his time in the Army. One of my instructors knew George pretty well and told me that he (George) and been nominated for the Medal of Honor at one point but that it was downgraded to a Silver Star since George wasn't the CMOH poster-boy type that they could send on a speaking rotation--although I think he'd have been great. The Talon article had a picture of Tremendous as a young special forces bad-ass and he looked like he could kick anyone's ass. George was and is a great dude. I'd love to have a beer with him someday and encourage any of you around the Zoo to get to know the guy better. (e-mail, 6-8-1999)


I wish I knew more about Mr. Mendez's specific actions in Vietnam. Perhaps someone here may have known him, or known of him, and can help me.


RIP Mr. Mendez. Thank you for your service. And thank you for making that hell hole a little less like hell and a little more like life.

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