"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Saluting Lt. Daniel Riordan

June 28th, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

To the editor:

Lt. Daniel Riordan was a friend of mine. He died in Iraq a few days ago. He was an Air Force ROTC cadet for four years at Southeast Missouri State University. He was an outstanding, polite cadet who would help people out if it was needed. He was a tough young man who enjoyed physical activities. Maybe this is the reason he decided to go into the Army instead of the Air Force after he received his commission as a military officer — a second lieutenant.

I was there when he got his gold bars as a second lieutenant on Sept. 24, 2005.

It was me that gave him his first “official” salute. It’s an honored tradition — a brand new lieutenant proudly hands over a shiny silver dollar to the first enlisted soldier who salutes him. The coin represents more than a dollar in currency. It’s acknowledgment from one professional soldier to another that says, Welcome to our service and to the profession of arms. It was actually an honor for me to give the salute to Lt. Riordan. Daniel was well liked and known throughout the campus at Southeast. He will be greatly missed. Our prayers go out to his family.

VANCE PAWIELSKI, U.S. Air Force (Retired)

Air Force ROTC, Southeast Missouri State University

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Tags: Iraq War

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