Many of you know all of the trials and tribulations Rebecca has been going through regarding her Medical Evaluation Board process. Well, the last couple of weeks have proved that every cloud has a silver lining. I wanted to update all of you.
Today was an extremely special and humbling day for her.
She was informed that she was to show up for final formation. All kinds of thoughts were rushing through her head. "Am I in trouble?" "What's wrong?" "Are they taking away my permanent party status?" Her mind was racing.
She got there and was surprised to see none other than her former CO, Cap't Simeti, from her old base.
You could have knocked her over with a feather when she found out he was there to present her with the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
I'm not sure if he realizes what he did for her with this simple gesture. Rebecca can be somewhat introverted and occasionally lacks self assurance. It's just who she is. In this world of "Type A" personalities, she is simply more contemplative by nature. She's not one to seek attention or grandstand...So this literally rocked her world. It gave her a level of self-confidence that I've never heard in her voice before.
There are good C.O.s and there are bad C.O.s. But every once in a while, you run across an exceptional C.O. Captain Simeti fits that bill. I'm sure we caused him a number of headaches with our fights against the MEB process borne of Rebecca's desire to remain in the Army and fulfill her obligation to this country. As C.O., he was caught in the middle of fielding all of the drama.
A bad C.O. would have been glad to see her leave for her new base. A good C.O. would have given her a "hooah", told her to keep her military bearing and wish her luck.
But an exceptional C.O.? An exceptional C.O. would recommend her for a medal and then drive several hundred miles from TX to MO to present it to her.
Captain Simeti...if you're out there and get the chance to read this, Rebecca has been truly honored. You've touched this young soldier in a way no one else in the Army ever has. You are a true leader and have honed the rare ability to lead with diplomacy, sacrifice, grace and compassion for your troops. You are a leader among leaders.
As for the picture above: The middle medal below the certificate is Spec-4 Rebecca Nicklaus's new, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal awarded for over 400 hours of volunteer service in the Wichita Falls community and on the base. The middle coin if the bottom row was presented to Rebecca by Captain Simeti before her departure from her old base and the other two coins were presented to her by the Chaplains.