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Wayne Downing

Wayne Downing

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April 27, 2015
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April 27, 2015
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March 03, 2014
Reminiscing--I Googled "past SOCOM commanders, trying to find the name of the commander when I was stationed at MacDill AFB, FL from 91-94. It was General Downing. Before I even knew who he was, I was so impressed with his kindness and humanity toward others. My daughter and I used to rollerblade right past his and Kathy's house on Bayshore Blvd and that's how we got to know him. He lived just a block down the street from us on base.
November 27, 2013
As a mother of a soldier and sailor, I would like to express how proud I am to know that my son and daughter are following the paths of a great "warrior". I love reading and hearing every story that I can of this great, honorable and mighty general. He was an outstanding example of what leadership should represent and words could never express how much we all love and miss him. Many blessings to his entire family.
November 26, 2013
The United States Lost one of its greatest. When i was a private serving in the 1st 75th I respected him then,and will always. He now stands in front with those who gave all.
November 25, 2013
There will be an empty chair at the holiday table this year, but it will be filled with loving memories.
November 23, 2013
The 2Bn 3rd SFG(A) Operational SFOD-A Detachment I was on '92ish timeframe participated in an annual Operation Eugenie training thing over in France with thier parachutists troopers. Prior to commencing the training GEN Downing felt compelled to appear on-site like a " Proud Papa " promoting C/2/3 capabilities. To me it was like Elvis showed up considering the respect adoration confidence in and love I maintained for GEN Downing. Real Article folks
May 19, 2013
Gen Downing was a born leader, words cannot express the respect and admiration I have for him. It was one letter from then MG Downing that started my officer career. I owe so much to him and I will forever be thankful for making me a stronger and better person. He did no see race, he saw leaders and he stood up for me and helped me to maintain this strength, forever. His legacy lives on and his name will be a part of mines forever. God, grant him his mansion.
November 25, 2011
General Downing served as my friend and mentor as a young Lieutenant serving in Bamberg Germany. He was like a father to me and I miss him dearly. General Downing God has a special place in heaven reserved for you. I love you always.

Jeremiah Mitchell Jr.
Ft. Bragg, NC
June 22, 2011
We served together in the first ranger battalion. He was a Major and i a private. I had great respect for him, and will always.
May 05, 2011
"The greater the cause for which a man lives, the greater the man." Annon

Leadership by example was epitomized by GEN Downing and his efforts that re-shaped the professional military and SOF community to what it is today. He fulfilled a destiny and left a legacy that continues to live in each of us.

The closure of OBL is a credit to this great Warrior. He is still sorely missed.

Pat Stevens
COL, SF
May 02, 2011
I've come to despise our IT age. Life and death seem to pass us by without a backward glance... regretably and sadly GEN Downing's passing was not brought to my attention until tonight.

During the President's announcement tonight that Osama bin Laden had been killed by JSOC SOF, NBC's Brian Williams mentioned that GEN Downing "would have been proud to know his JSOC forces wielded the rod of justice." He spoke of the General in past tense, which led me here.
I got to know GEN Downing as a defense contractor working in Colorado Springs in the mid 90's. I'm not prior military and (regretably) cannot relate to the "band of brothers" bond forged in the furnaces of Viet Nam, Panama, Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, or Iraqi Freedom. What I can share is how this man changed me with his professionalism, humility, steadfast focus and dedication to cause, and love of country. I, unknowingly and uninvited, happened to be in his office one morning editing a concept of operations when this distinguished looking gentlemen entered and took his seat. I immediately apologized for my intrusion, and proceeded to gather up the document and leave when he mentioned "son, what are you doing, don't leave, you're doing real work." Somewhat embarrassed, I continued my work when the phone rang. He motioned for me to remain. Given the proximity, it was hard not to eavesdrop on the conversation. A few phrases caught my attention like: "yes Bill, I believe Khobar Towers was a preventable tragedy"... and "I appreciate your confidence in me Mr. Perry..." Connecting the dots, I quickly realized this unassuming gentlemen was on the phone with Mr. Bill Perry, President Clinton's Secretary of Defense, who was requesting the General lead a blue ribbon investigatory panel on the Khobar Towers bombing. I quickly "made myself small", packed up and left the office. Not knowing who I had intruded upon, when exiting I noticed a business card taped next to the door: GEN (R) Wayne Downing (SOCOM). He caught me in the hallway later that week and inquired way I left. I responded given his urgent business with the SECDEF, "how could I stay?" He advised his office was never too big for the business of national defense, and I was welcomed to it whenever I outgrew mine. He solicited my thoughts on Khobar Towers, requested that I proof his report and, in perhaps the greatest act of kindness extended to me in my 32 years as a DoD contractor, sent me a draft copy of his report "to see if he properly captured my inputs." I had the privilege of "sitting at this man's feet" over the next year to understand the 'Rangers Creed', modern and assymetric warfare, and all things SOF. Imagine, a man of his stature and importance, constantly in demand by network TV for his expert counsel and commentary would extend his hand, time, and genuine concern to one of such lesser station. As I surveyed the 25 pages of condolences within this guest book, I pray that you who served under and fought along side this man would not think it small or inappropriate for one outside your ranks to say with all sincerity... my heart too breaks now knowing the Lord called this soldier, this example of compassion and humility, this great American home. I will never forget him.
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