My name is Bill Siegert. I, like Colonel Ed Ramsey, am a retired Army Colonel. And, while I’ve spent time in the Cavalry, I’ve never ridden a horse like Brynn Awryn, nor ever participated in, much less led, a cavalry charge—in combat!
Ed is a hero to me. He is a hero, not just for his brilliance, grit and wile in the jungles and plains around Morong, in Bataan and Luzon—where a time not so long ago he was constantly confounding the enemy. No, he’s also a hero to me because he was a remarkable leader who lived life fully, strong in the belief of liberty for all, maybe a little lucky at times along the way—as in the jungles , but always committed and with a strong sense of moral courage that spilled over to others.
We often romanticize our military experiences, who we were and what we did as leaders, but Ed lived it. I met Ed just last fall in Beverly Hills at a reception for the PenFed Foundation Military Heroes program, where he went out of his way to meet and take pictures with every single active duty service member present-- many of whom had just returned from combat deployments. He was kind and encouraging to all, praising them for their service and recent experiences. What most caught my attention--what was so inspiring--was how our guests—both military and civilian—wanted to meet Ed and have their picture taken with him—more than they wanted it taken with one of the movie stars or directors or producers who were also present. That speaks so powerfully to the greatness and high value his military experiences were and are.
And, to the wonderful reputation he won from post-military activities and engagement.
To me, Colonel Ed Ramsey was a leader. Even today he serves as a continuing example, as I lead the PenFed Foundation and our Defenders Lodge capital project. How we serve our retired veterans is crucial to the survival of our country and the willingness of future Americans to serve in her defense. We serve, I serve today, to respect the memory and service of Ed Ramsey, all that came before him and all that will come after him. I think you are here joining me because you too are inspired by him. “Our strength is in loyalty” Toujours Prêt!
Lt. Col. Edwin P. Ramsey
Celebration of Life Memorial and Reception
Remarks by Col. Bill Siegert (ret.)