Honored officer

In September, UNT lost a distinguished military alumnus on a drop-zone in North Carolina ("Friends We'll Miss," winter 2013). Army Col. Darren Lee Wright ('91) passed away during a training parachute jump at Fort Bragg, where he was the 18th Airborne Corps assistant chief of staff. He had served for 26 years in the U.S. Army.

I met him back in 1990 on campus and he encouraged me to look into ROTC, which I did, and I was sincerely grateful for his advice.

Twenty years later, I made contact with him again in regard to his combat experience in the Sunni Triangle during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. I used examples of his leadership and contributions in a leadership case study I wrote for the Command and General Staff College. We immediately made that "Go Mean Green" connection, and I wanted to share with alumni and students how proud he was of UNT.

At his memorial service in Mesquite, volunteers lined the road to pay tribute, waving American flags to the drivers, and West Mesquite High School honored him with a moment of silence before the Homecoming game. He was a magnificent officer who served with distinction and honor throughout his career, receiving the Bronze Star with Valor.

He published his personal memoirs and a realistic narrative of three combat tours in Iraq -- Iraq Full Circle: From Shock and Awe to the Last Combat Patrol in Baghdad and Beyond -- in October 2012.

Lt. Col. Paul Berg ('93,
'95 M.B.A.)
Fort Leavenworth, Kan.