Cubs 7th inning stretch: Admiral Timothy J Keating

September 11, 2009

Cubfans were graced with the presence of ADMIRAL TIMOTHY J KEATING today to remember and honor those injured, fallen and forever changed on September 11, 2001 by (15) Saudi, (2) United Arab Emirates, (1) Egyptian and (1) Lebanese murderers.

Adm Keating, 59, was in the Pentagon when it was hit on 9-11. He lost 24 men and women and said the Army lost more. He lived in Bahrain and participated in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom and now lives in Hawaii with his wife.

His AWARDS include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Distinguished Service Medal with Gold Star, Legion of Merit with three Gold Stars, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, three Air Medals, Navy Commendation Medal with two Gold Stars and Combat “V” and various unit and campaign awards.

Total of 28 medals, including the Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal.

And, by the way, he’s the current Commander of the Pacific Command.

Only the President of the United States, who is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and the Secretary of Defense advised by the Joint Chiefs of Staff have greater authority.

Working out of barry’s alleged hometown – Honolulu, Adm Keating directs all US Military Operations in the Asia-Pacific region which comprises half the earth’s surface from the western coast of the US to the western edge of India – North to South pole.

Imagine what the good Adm knows about world affairs. As the saying goes, he probably has forgotten more than barry will ever know and he must know the truth about barry. I truly wonder what real patriots like Adm Keating think and feel inside their heart.

I’m always amazed by the bravest of the brave’s humility.

ADM KEATING:

325,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guard and it’s a great privilege to be here representing them all today.

Best job in the world and I get to work with a whole lot of real good men and women.

Over 5000 flight hours. Interesting phrasing.

Nobody’s had more fun than I have in the 42 years I’ve been able to wear the cloth of our nation.

There have been a  couple of days like eleven of September 2001 that were tougher than others, but it’s been a great thrill.

The Adm threw out the first pitch – a perfect strike with some speed on it. No stiffness at all in the shoulders – good motion. I still wish I could have seen Gen Dunwoody’s first pitch.

Adm Keating chatted with Pat & Ron and said the Cubs are his second favorite team – the opposing team Cincinnati Reds, his favorite. He grew up in Dayton Ohio. He remarked how nervous he was about singing – mentioning he knew the words – Pat & Ron said if he forgets just let the crowd sing. The Adm then made a point of thanking Ronnie especially mentioning what a pleasure it was meeting him and that he also played 3rd. Explains the pitch.

ADM:

I’ve got 1200 arrested landings on carriers, and those can be a little bit invigorating, but this was real pressure.

Invigorating? Pressure? He is an exceptional man. Thank you, Adm Keating.

How’d he do singing?

Awesome. Crowd loved him and he actually sings very well. Said “Cubbies” not “Reds” and then tossed his cap to the crowd when he was finished. The Irish Adm used the microphone like a priest would blessing the casket. Will see if I can find the video.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Then he spent the 7th & 8th innings with Len & Bob. He chuckled when he saw a replay of himself throwing out the first pitch.

ADM:

This is a pretty good view from up here.

Len asked if he was retiring soon.

ADM:

I’m on the waiver wire. (They all laughed) I’m looking for work and I’ve got a lot of eligibility left. If you saw that first pitch you’d know that throwing the ball is not where I’m headed. We’ll be done in October with time and service.

Does that mean forced retirement? Certainly they can’t let someone with the Adm’s knowledge and experience just go away. He didn’t sound like he was all that enthused to be retiring and clearly still loves his job.

He also loves baseball…with the technology they can get games in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Bob, whose dad was in the Navy, asked if baseball is still part of the down time?

ADM:

It’s a big deal – essential element for rest and recreating for our kids – and the old guys too.

Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field – what a thrill.

Len asked him if there was anyone who helped him get started in his career that he’d like to thank.

ADM:

They’re not with us anymore. But mom and dad. I was first of five kids…I had absolutely the best upbringing that a young woman or man could have and to be sitting here with you guys today is a direct reflection of the upbringing I had.

LEN: Thank you for everything you’ve done for this country.

ADM: Thanks. It’s a great privilege.

BOB: We get a lot of guests up here, but I don’t think they get any bigger than Admiral Keating.

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