“Mick” Trainor – dead at 89


I was lucky enough to have some wonderful friends in the military; enlisted men too numerous to list, Colonel Robert Sawyer, Colonel David Hackworth and Lt. General  Bernard Trainor, USMC come to mind immediately. 

Mick was a product of Jesuit education at Holy Cross.  He was an absolutely no BS marine.  No swagger sticks, no Sam Browne belt, none of that kind of swagger appealed to him.  He was a grunt's grunt.  This is high praise from me.   In character he was "a good and faithful tiger."  He was very sharp in the mind and vigorous in the body until late in his term of life.  He was wryly, humorously resigned to man's fate. I remember sitting across the table from him on St. Patrick's Day watching him eat corned beef and cabbage.  To accompany that he buttered up crackers and then salted them.  He said to me that he often visited his mother in the old people's home she lived in.  "Pat, you should see the people there with her.  Husks of humans, mere husks, you don't want to live that long."  And then he reached for another cracker.

He was Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in USMC headquarters when the catastrophic Beirut barracks bombing occurred.  It was understood that but for that he would have been the next Commandant of the United States Marine Corps.

In retirement he was the military correspondent of the New York Times and wrote (with Michael Gordon) several excellent books.

He was a wonderful friend.  pl


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