A Soldier's Soldier

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Col. David Hackworth, a frequent contributor to FOX News, died last week at the age of 74.

“Hack,” as friends called him, was one hell of a soldier. He faked his way into the military when he was 15 by paying a stranger to sign off as his father. He was the youngest Army captain in Korea (search), the youngest colonel in Vietnam (search). But Hack was an officer who hated officers, like he hated most authority. For all the medals and commendations that he won, the only pin I ever saw him wear was the one that made him most proud — his combat infantryman badge.

His Soldiers For the Truth organization and web site always stood up for the soldier in the field. Too often he would shoot from the hip. But when he was right, he was spot on. I first worked with Hack in exposing a phony report on CNN that falsely accused Americans of using poison gas in Vietnam. CNN finally retracted that story, in large part due to information Hack dug up from his old special forces buddies.

In the last couple of years, the late night and weekend calls from Hack tapered off, partly due to disagreements we had. But our disagreements never affected my respect for his service to the country.

He was a soldier’s soldier, and one of the most extraordinary men I’ve ever met. He’ll be missed.

And that’s the Observer.

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