This is a tough one for me because Duncan was not just another career military guy that we lost far too soon. He was married to Julie Walker, Diane’s cousin, therefore, my cousin. He was Family.
My personal interaction with Duncan was strictly social when we had the rare opportunity to visit with him, Julie, and Jake. Oh, we talked about military “stuff” because that’s what military folks do. We were curious about each other’s military ‘adventures’ because we represented both ends of the current spectrum from Viet Nam, through the Gulf Wars, to the present. That’s a lot of ground to cover and we didn’t have nearly enough time to share it all. There should have been years ahead of us to get that done. But, alas, cancer squashed that opportunity.
Chief Duncan was a stellar Guy. Someone I would have cheerfully served with had circumstances been different for us. That’s my personal perception of Duncan, but virtually every article and comment I can find about him reveals that it was a universal feeling for anyone who interacted with him.
He was supposed to retire late last year but his illness delayed that to the point where his retirement party, and memorial were celebrated at the same time. I think Duncan probably smiled down on everyone at that solemn event, appreciating the irony of the dual purpose.
I lament that we didn’t have more time to visit and learn about each other, and I was honored to know him.