Rick was a man's man, a dichotomy of sorts. Few in life have the presence of character to 'Run with the Wolves' and then, without the loss of a moment put two little girls to sleep with a bedtime story. He was a sweet romancer and midnight dancer with an intellect profound and self-assured. He had an endearing, childlike demeanor. But one knew that when it came to push and shove he would take command. Rick was an expert in everything he did. His sense of competency gave assurance to those in his shadow.
I loved him for many reasons. But as I sit and struggle with thoughts amid the steamy aroma of a Chai latte, I am drawn to the memory of how he loved my children, Sabine and Simone. I will forever see him in that light.
Rick Crocker was the classic warrior, straight from the pages of Kipling. I thought him akin to Achilles. He had fought in Panama, Somalia, Desert Storm and was on his second tour of Iraqi Freedom when his life was extinguished as though someone blew on a candle. One moment he was rallying the Marines and the next moment he wasn't. Achilles never entered the gates of Troy.
Remember those Girl Scout cookies you brought to the Valley Sun last year? Many of the cookies that you contributed I sent to Rick. He wanted as many as I could send. The mission did not die with Rick. You and I must carry on; so now, I'm enlisting your help.
In a letter, Rick explained that when on patrol he and his Marines would greet the local Iraqi children with Girl Scout cookies. In addition, the Marines would also distribute toys and school supplies sent by the children of McKinley Elementary in Fairfield, Conn. Gail Marton, a teacher at McKinley, adopted Rick and his Marines, sending countless boxes of goodies. Gail got the word out about what Rick and the Marines were doing for the children and other schools followed suit.