Sunday, February 11, 2007

Outstanding Sir!

The following was submitted to us by Carlos Pinedo, 2Lt, USAF who was a fellow ROTC cadet at MIT during Jamin's years in college:

J.B. was an "outstanding" person. Now when I say "outstanding," I don't just mean because of all the excellent things he did, but also because he said "outstanding" a lot.

At MIT, ROTC class always started around 6am on Monday mornings. Now out in the real world that's pretty early, but for college students that is an ungodly hour! To begin, the commanding officers would have us stand at attention for morning inspection. While passing down the line they would usually ask you how you were doing. The expected response "outstanding" was usually delivered more as a grumble than exclamation by most of the cadets. But no one, especially myself, felt outstanding that early on a Monday morning. However to our dismay, envy, etc., whenever the inspector got to J.B. you always knew because out of no where you would hear "OUTSTANDING! SIR!" I bring this up not showcase how lazy and unmotivated I or the rest of the squadron was in ROTC, as most of my friends can attest, but rather to show the dedication and joy that J.B. had for ROTC, the military, and anything else that challenged him in the least. He loved getting dirty, dropping and doing push ups, and was always getting yelled at for having a that smile of his spread across his face.

here was also another thing that J.B. did that I always admired. Even though I went to MIT and he Harvard, we would still run into each other all the time during ROTC, after class, or on weekends. When we did meet, J.B. never gave a simple hello, what's up, or the proverbial head nod. He would not only stop to greet you but would say your name, "Carlos, hey man, how's it going" Just that small thing of saying one's name, of acknowledging who they are, was so amazing. He did it because he genuinely cared about how things were going and genuinely cared for people.

All this comes back to two things. While in college I was expanding upon my own spirituality and learning what it means to be a Christian. From the gospels I learned two important things from the life of Jesus Christ. One was his great love for all, the other his willingness to serve. That's what J.B. did all the time. He loved everyone, and was always willing to help you out, or cheer you up. He never stopped showing that he cared. His also always carried with him a willingness to serve; his friends, family, or this country.

I have tried and failed many times to live up to Christ's example. But J.B. got closer to Christ's character than any other person I have known, closer than any of us could aspire to. We're gonna miss you J.B.!

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