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Old 04-16-2008, 02:54 PM   #1
Darren Zega
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A moment of rememberance

The media often misses the important stories these days, so I wanted to take some time to share something with you all today.

One year ago today, during the shootings at Virginia Tech, a cadet I had the privilege of commanding was killed. His name was Matthew J. LaPorte, an Air Force ROTC cadet and a member of the Special Operations Preparation Team (AFSOPT). While not a crossfitter, enough of his fellow AFSOPT cadets were that the predominate philosophy of the unit's PT was functional fitness across broad time and modal domains. Moring PT would often put him on an obstacle course, doing a rucksack run, at the bottom of a pool with a weighted belt, or in a variety of other fringe-condition training events. During his sophomore year, also due to his exceptional academic performance, he was one of the top ten Air Force ROTC sophomores in the nation.

The morning of 4/16/2007, he was in class when the gunman entered his room. When he open fired on a girl Matt's class, he threw her to the ground using his own body as a shield to protect her. He then charged and tackled the gunman as his fellow students jumped out of windows and ran to safety. He died of 8 point blank gunshots to the torso. The only reason we know this is because another one of our cadets was a first responder that day and found his friend's body in Norris hall. Last night just before dark, in Matt's honor, I did one of his most common workouts, timed runs on our obstacle course.

Sadly, you probably didn't hear about this. Instead you likely only heard the story of 32 scum-bag protestors using the tragedy to push their agenda. I hope by sharing this story it will remind some of you, despite what you hear in the media, that there are still genuinely good people among us. While it may seem that our heroes are lost, Matt LaPorte will always remind me that this is not the case.
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:01 PM   #2
Jake Di Vita
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Re: A moment of rememberance

Good man.

I'll remember the name.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:57 PM   #3
Chantal Brien
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Re: A moment of rememberance

I haven't seen anything about this hero in the news, thank-you for sharing his story with us.
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:39 PM   #4
Nick Cummings
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Re: A moment of rememberance

Good to hear there are still heros out there.
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:57 PM   #5
Joshua Murphy
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Re: A moment of rememberance

Thank you for sharing his amazing story. Truly a sad day.
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Old 04-16-2008, 06:21 PM   #6
Camille Lore
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Re: A moment of rememberance

That is indeed true heroism.
Thank you for letting us know his story.
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Old 04-16-2008, 06:39 PM   #7
Kevin Mack
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Re: A moment of rememberance

Here's a toast.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:47 AM   #8
Frank DiMeo
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Re: A moment of rememberance

One of my favorite quotes:
"No greater love has a man, than to lay down his life for his friends."
--Jesus
Matt's courage and sacrifice should long be remembered!
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:59 AM   #9
Amy Crawford
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Re: A moment of rememberance

Darren, I'm in Blacksburg too. While it was a terrible thing that happened to our town last year, it was heartening to hear of the many heroic stories. While I'm a Wahoo (married to a Hokie), I love the Tech moto ... Ut Prosim ... that I may serve.
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Old 04-17-2008, 04:15 PM   #10
Barry Cooper
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Re: A moment of rememberance

Darren,

That's a great story. He should be remembered as a hero, and as an example of what we should all strive for.

I wish we had heard that story when the shooting happened. Did you tell reporters? Did they know? If so, I have to wonder if they kept the story in their pocket to discourage "macho" heroics, since presumably dying hiding under your desk is the civilized thing to do.

You may want to email Mark Steyn. He wrote an article essentially bemoaning the fact that nobody did exactly what your cadet did. The column is here:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q...RmM2EyMTQ0NjY=

Link is work safe, possibly not family safe due to descriptions of another mass murder.
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