Sunday, May 29, 2011

General Gary E. Luck (ret)

I think LTC Gary E. Luck was more impressed with me than I with him.  Don't get me wrong, I knew he was going to move up fast through the ranks, we just didn't have a lot of time to get to know each other.

From what I knew about him, he had spent a lot of time up at the Pentigon. He worked on the design of the combat uniform including the helmet the US Army soldiers are wearing today.  He also worked on the MRE rations the soldiers use today.

The most unique feature of the man, aside from talking with the troops like Alexander Haig, was his nose. When he looks at you straight on, his nose appears to providing you with a rather snotty attitude.

But once you come to know him a while, that look is assumed normal and you don't take insult to it.

I remember seeing him sitting down beside Secretary Of The Army Howard Hollis "Bo" Callaway once when we were conducting an Air Assualt In Action demonstration so he was probably Callaway's Aid De Camp.

So, with that said, to appreciate what was about to come next, you also have to understand the people who knew me well. I had taken a very serious image of General Sidney Berry, my wife worked for the 101st Avaition Group. The names below either knew me by first name or knew of my photographic reputation or worked for the 101st Aviation Group. They also became Commanding Officers of the 101st Airborne Division:

  • MG John N. Brandenburg March-78 – June-80

  • MG Jack V. Mackmull June-80 – August-81

  • MG Charles W. Bagnal August-81 – August-83

  • MG Teddy G. Allen May-87 – August-89


  • These men served in name, brought their units back and were responsible for preparing the 101st Airbone Division Air Assualt for Reforger 76.  Except for John N. Brandenburg, the rest were either Lieutenant Colonels or Colonels.

    Here's the story:

    I'm over on the tarmac over at Fort Campbell Army Airfield. A C-5A had just landed and I was there to take images of it. I did my usual 360 around the aircraft. Once I was done and had all the images I wanted, I had to wait on LTC Gary E. Luck to get a ride back to the 2/17th Cavalry -- it was five miles on the other side of range road.  I could have caught another military cab and left him there.

    But what I was seeing was to comical to not want to stay and watch.  Apparently, the rest of the 101st Avaition Group thought the same thing.

    Here's my boss inspecting the C-5A like he had never seen one before.  He was all over it.  In the wheel well, looking at tires, walking through the C-5A, going up to the top portion of it and peering out from up top where the chief flight technician would peer out of as the plane taxied along.

    About that time,  I think it was  Colonel Charles W. Bagnal walked up behind me.

    "Sergeant Edwards, isn't that your boss," he asked in a voice of disbelief.

    "Can I plead on the 5th, Sir?

    We both got a good chuckle out of that one.

    As it turns out, I would meet LTC Gary E. Luck, in person and up close and personal in just about 1 year.

    Along with BG Charles W. Bagnal and the rest of my cast of characters I fondly knew as the 101st Airborne Division Air Assault. The entire division was about to return to Germany during Reforger 76.

    Just another Rendezvous With Destiny I'm proud to be part of.

    3 comments:

    1. I worked for Gary Luck as gun team leader 67-68 with C/3/17 Air Cav. He was a pit bull commanding other pit bulls.

      We all loved him.

      Many years after the army, I needed his help and found him. I jumped in.

      My thoughts are that if we every needed someone to save us all, it would be him.

      I will always remember him as "Sir:.

      Ross Ivey.

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      Replies
      1. Hi Ross!

        When a voice in the middle of a field in Germany says "Dick Edwards get over here!" --and that voice was Gary E. Luck's -- you kind of pay attention to those kinds of details.

        Gary, at the time, was a LTC -- and btw, I seem to be gifted with having a six sense with respect to fast movers(Officers who were moving up the ranks with blinding speed).

        Anyway, he asked me what I was doing out there - since I was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division -- and after I explained it to him, he seemed happy enough.

        I suppose telling him where I was developing my film wasn't a bad thing.

        Do you know that a Full Bird came over to my photo lab to pick up images for him? True story.

        I do miss not talking to him.

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    2. I worked with the general during Desert Storm. Very smart and down to earth.

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