March 07, 2012
Last night the news slowly came together that Captain Carroll "Lex" LeFon, known to so very many through his incredible blog Neptunus Lex, had been the pilot of a plane that had crashed in Nevada. Even before the story went pubic, many in the milblog world were reeling with the news. I was told that background emails were exploding among the main core of military bloggers.
No, there had been no authoritative word, but silence is telling and Lex's blog remained silent. My dear friend Bou emailed to let me know what was going on. Like everyone else I started searching for a definite yes or no. It soon became clear, even without the authorities telling us, the worst had happened. It was indeed Lex at the controls of the plane and he did not survive.
This morning I read Bou's post and I knew I wanted to say something from my own perspective.
...Reading about his drag chute malfunction, I put that I was glad I worked in a cube. In a response to one of his other commenters, I went the next step and said I didn't know how Lex did what he did.I now think back to when I met Lex several years ago at a Milblog Conference. I didn't know too much more about him than what he put on his blog. So I knew he was a Navy Officer and he was a TOPGUN pilot. After a few minutes of talking to him I realized... this... this is the personality Tom Cruise tried to pull off in the movie Top Gun. Tried and failed. Completely and utterly.
And I stopped short, I actually erased the sentence I had next which was "And I don't know how his wife does what she does, knowing these things happen..."
There was something, that little something, impossible for someone else to reproduce unless they happen to have that trait in their own personality. Lex had it. He was brilliant, a fantastic story teller, an incredibly talented pilot, and it was all pulled together by his personality. His blog conveyed much of this to the world. The fact that he could land a jet on a bobbing little platform in the middle of the ocean at night... that tells you all you need to know. He knew what he wanted to do and was completely confident he could accomplish it.
Without that something, Lex would not have been the person he was. I'm quite sure his wife married him for exactly these qualities and then made her peace with the fact that these same qualities would always put his life in danger. To try and change him, no matter how much his job scared her, would have been to change the man and would have made him less than he was. It would never work.
Lex was 51. Far too young to be taken from us. My deepest condolences to his wife and family. Tonight his friends will be lifting a Guiness in his honor. There will be "...a helluva Irish wake in the milblog world today".
May he rest in peace. He will not be forgotten.
McQ has posted his thoughts at Blackfive.
Instapinch has posted his thoughts too.
HomefrontSix has her thoughts here.
CalTechGirl has her own memories.
Posted by: Homefront at March 07, 2012 11:33 AM (h8h3e)
Posted by: caltechgirl at March 07, 2012 11:36 AM (0/at1)
CTG - Yes you are so right.
Posted by: Teresa at March 07, 2012 11:46 AM (qZOzE)
Posted by: Richmond at March 07, 2012 11:50 AM (6E1sM)
Posted by: Teresa at March 07, 2012 11:59 AM (qZOzE)
Posted by: Bou at March 07, 2012 11:36 PM (DkNsp)
Posted by: Da Goddess at March 08, 2012 06:58 AM (YpZJM)
Posted by: Tammi at March 08, 2012 12:29 PM (q803t)
Joanie - I haven't seen anything, but I'm not in that loop. If I do see anything I'll let you know.
Tammi - thanks.
Posted by: Teresa at March 08, 2012 01:43 PM (qZOzE)
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