Winner Of The Losers

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Archive for October, 2012

Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse is popular in the USA, most notably by The Ohio State University Marching Band during its signature Script Ohio formation and at West Point graduations.  It is also often used for marches of the Belgian military schools in Brussels (KMS) and Sint-Truiden (KSOO) because of the historic link of this song with Belgium.

Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse (lit. “Sambre-et-Meuse regiment”) is a song and military march by Robert Planquette and Paul Cezano.  The original poem was written in 1870 by Paul Cezano, in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War and the first days of the French Third Republic. The next year, music was composed by Robert Planquette. In 1879, it was arranged as a military march by Joseph François Rauski.  Sambre-et-Meuse was the name of an département of the First French Empire in present Belgium. It was named after the rivers Sambre and Meuse. Its capital was Namur.


Le Règiment de Sambre et Meuse

(The Regiment of Sambre and Meuse)


All these proud children of Gaule

Went without truce and rest,

With their rifles on the shoulder.

Courage in the heart and back bag,

Glory was their food.

They were without bread, without shoes

There, they slept on the hard one

With their bags like pillows.


The regiment of Sambre and Meuse

Always went to the cry of “Freedom”,

Seeking the glorious road

Who led to immortality.

To beat us, they were a hundred and thousand;

At their head, they had kings.

The General, weak old man,

Weakens for the first time.

Indicator certain the defeat,

It brings together all its soldiers.

Then it made beat the retirement

But they did not listen to it.

Repeat Chorus

The shock was similar to the lightning.

It was a combat of giant.

Drunk of glory, drunk of powder,

To die they tightened the rows.

The regiment by the grapeshot

Was attacked of everywhere.

However alive wall,

Impassive, remained upright.

Repeat Chorus

The number was right of courage.

A soldier remained, the last.

It was defended with rage,

But soon prisoner was made.

By seeing this savage hero,

The enemy cried over his fate.

The hero took a cartridge,

The Jura, then gave itself death.


The regiment of Sambre and Meuse,

Receipt death with the cry of “Freedom”,

But its glorious history

He give right to immortality.

Translated from the original French lyrics.


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Non-Band Members have Dotted the “i”

Several prominent individuals and couples have been honored by being allowed to dot the “i”. This is considered the greatest honor the band can give to any non-band person, and is an extremely special (and rare) event.  Script Ohio is scribed by 225 band members, but only one person can claim the honor of dotting the “i” in Ohio.  Now, it should be noted, the fourth or fifth year Sousaphone player selected to dot the “i” for that specific game must give up their spot in order for an honorary member to dot the “i”.

Honorary “i”-dotters with the OSU Marching Band:

OSU President (1956-72) Novice Fawcett and his wife, 1971 (which game unknown , if you know, email me)

Comedian Bob Hope, 21 Oct 1978, Ohio State vs Iowa, Won 31-7 (Bob grew up in Cleveland, Ohio)

Coach Woody Hayes,  29 Oct 1983, Ohio State vs Wisconsin, Won 45-27

Retired OSU Ticket Director Robert Ries, 14 Sep 1985, Ohio State vs Pittsburg, Won 10-7

World Heavyweight Champion James “Buster” Douglas, 29 Sep 1990, Loss Ohio State vs USC 26-35 (born and raised in Columbus, earlier in 1990, he knocked out Mike Tyson in Toyko, Japan)

OSU President Gordon Gee, his wife Constance, 16 Sep 1995, OSU vs Washington, Won 30-20

NOTE: Dotted the “i” with the OSU Alumni Band during quadruple Script Ohio


All thirteen seniors of the 2002-2003 National Championship Football team

NOTE: Dotted the “i” at the National Championship celebration on 19 Jan 2002 in Ohio Stadium

Golfer Jack Nicklaus, 28 Oct 2006, OSU vs Minnesota, Won 44-0 (widely considered the greatest golfer, Jack was born and raised in Columbus and is an OSU Alumni)

Senator John Glenn and his wife Annie, 5 Sep 2009, OSU vs Navy, Won 31-27 (retired USMC Colonel and astronaut who became the first American to orbit the Earth, born and raised in Ohio)

CEO of The Limited Brands Leslie Wexner, 3 Sep 2011, OSU vs Akron, Won 42-0 (born in Dayton, Ohio and OSU Alumni)

OSU Band Director (1973-2011) , Dr. Jon Woods, 19 Nov 2011, OSU vs Penn State, Loss 14-20

Ann Droste, wife of retired director and former OSUMB member Dr. Paul Droste OSU Retired band director (1970-83), year maybe 1982 (which game unknown, if you know, email me)

NOTE:  Some accounts say OSU Retired band directors (1970-83) Dr. Paul Droste and Jack Evans, their wives 1982 (anyone with definitive information, please share)

Composer for OSU Marching Band Richard “Dick” Heine (date unknown).  Mr. Heine arranged most of the Ohio State school songs (Buckeye Battle Cry, Fight The Team Across The Field, I Want To Go Back To Ohio State, Chimes & Carmen Ohio, Beautiful Ohio, Le Regiment, and others) and those arrangements are still in use by the band today.  Four decades with the OSU Marching Band, he started as a talented clarinetist.  But it is his association with the OSU Marching Band, culminating in the 1978 album “Hats Off To Heine”

Notable moments of Script Ohio

• 15 Oct 1932: The Michigan band forms the first known script “Ohio” during the Wolverines’ game at Ohio Stadium — a stationary “block” formation.

• 24 Oct 1936: Under the direction of Eugene Weigel, the Ohio State University marching band first performs Script Ohio at halftime of the Ohio State versus University of Indiana football game.  John Brungart, a trumpet player, dots the “i.”

• 23 Oct 1937: Script features a sousaphone “i” dotter for the first time — a tradition that remains.

• 24 Sep 1966: The first double Script is performed.

• 11 Sep 1971: The first triple Script is performed.

• 10 Sep 1977: The first quadruple Script is performed.

• 8 Sep 1979: Six years after women were admitted to the band, Jan Duga becomes the first woman to dot the “i.”

• 29 Oct 1983: Former OSU football coach Woody Hayes dots the “i.”

• 20 Sep 1986: Brungart, 70, returns to dot the “i” for Script’s 50th anniversary.

• 3 Sep 2011: The band performs its largest Script — a quad Script featuring 768 marchers (three-fourths of whom are band alumni).

• 29 Oct 2011: At halftime of the OSU game against Wisconsin, four members of the 1936 band — plus Weigel’s daughter — were honored as part of Script Ohio’s 75th Anniversary.


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The greatest tradition of Ohio State University is script Ohio, usually performed by the marching band during the football pre-game.  Script Ohio was selected as the #1 College Football Tradition.


Script Ohio was first performed by The Ohio State Marching Band on October 24, 1936 at the Ohio State versus University of Indiana football game (see photo of the actual formation). The Script Ohio is the most identifiable trademark associated with Ohio State Football and The Ohio State University Marching Band.  It was devised by band director Eugene J. Weigel, who based the looped “Ohio” script design on the marquee sign of the Loew’s Ohio Theatre in downtown Columbus.

At its first performance, the Script Ohio’s “i” was dotted by a trumpet player, with no special attention or honor being given to the movement. When the trumpet player, John Brungart (1933-36), dotted the first Script Ohio “i” October 24, 1936, the march from the top of the “o” to the top of the “i” was just another movement to complete a formation.  During a field rehearsal in the fall of 1937, Weigel had a spur-of-the-moment idea, and shouted to Glen R. Johnson, a sousaphone player, “Hey, you! Switch places with the trumpet player in the dot.” After several run-throughs with the exchanged positions, the script was ready to be performed.  At the game on October 23, 1937, the marching band, led by drum major Wesley Leas, performed with Script Ohio with Johnson dotting the “i”.  Johnson was in the band from 1937-40, and during all of those years he dotted the “i”.  From that time forward, the i-dot became the province of the big horns.

The script is an integrated series of evolutions and formations. The band first forms a triple Block O formation, then slowly unwinds to form the famous letters while playing Robert Planquette’s Le régiment de Sambre et Meuse.  The drum major leads the outside O into a peel-off movement around the curves of the script, every musician in continual motion. Slowly the three blocks unfold into a long singular line which loops around, creating the OSUMB’s trademark “Ohio”.

The familiar kick, turn, and bow by the sousaphone player at the top of the “i” was an innovation introduced by Johnson at a game in 1938. “(The turn) was an impulse reaction when drum major Myron McKelvey arrived three or four measures too soon at the top of the “i”,” Johnson explained, “so I did a big kick, a turn, and a deep bow to use up the music before Buckeye Battle Cry.  The crowd roared when this happened, and it became part of the show thereafter.”

Today, toward the end of the formation, drum major and the “i”-dotter high-five each other.  Then with 16 measures to go in the song, they strut to the top of the “i”.  When they arrive, the drum major points to the spot, and the “i”-dotter turns and bows deeply to both sides of the stadium.

Each time the formation drill is performed, a different fourth or fifth-year sousaphone player has the privilege of standing as the dot in the “i” of “Ohio.”  The first sousaphone player to have the honor of dotting the “i” was a fourth year student from Delaware, OH, William Coulter.  The dotting of the “i” was ranked the greatest college football tradition by Athlon Sports.  Since then, a sousaphone player has dotted the “i” over 800 times.

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Over the years, I have been involved in the planning and execution of over 100 large Boy Scout functions.  Nearly every event has a patch.  One of the big annual events was the Section Conclave for the Order of the Arrow (nearly 50 weekend conclaves a year across the country) .  As an adult, I twice was assigned to Section SR-3 (Blytheville AFB in Arkansas and Tinker AFB in Oklahoma).  This is a very large geographical section for the Order of the Arrow.  The annual event could bring 700 to 1,000 people together and it would be held at a Boy Scout Camp.

The Area 3 Director, a professional scouter at the time was Richard “Dick” Austin.  A seasoned professional who was responsible for the appointment of the Section Adviser and Section Staff Adviser (professional scouter) to advise the Section Chief (an elected youth).  In an unusual move, Dick chose to hold the Section Staff Adviser himself.  As a youth he was a Lodge Chief and Vigil Honor.


During one of the conclave planning meetings, the youth selected the patch design and theme for the conclave.  Dick was new to the section, as was I having just moved to Oklahoma.  Ironically, 10 years earlier, I was in the same section but living in Arkansas.  Dick consulted the current Section Adviser, Jim Rhoades and me on how many patches to order.


Jim stated with authority and we thought inside knowledge, “We need to order at least 2,000 patches, because we run out every year.”  Dick looked at me and responded, “OK” and I could only concur with a “sounds good”.   Well we ordered those 2,000 patches and ended up with approximately 900 patches UNSOLD! 





Trust but verify.

Be careful, some individuals will speak with such authority and then we follow “blindly” without attempting to verify the answer.  Trust but verify.


Since Dick and I were new to the Section, we relied on Jim’s judgement.  We assumed wrongly that he was speaking from direct knowledge of past orders and sales.  Now Dick and I have had many great laughs about that order of patches over the years.  I even framed one of those patches and gave it to Dick before I went to Europe.

——————————- —————————————————————————————————


Make the experts attend the same meeting.

When you have two or more experts (Engineer, Doctor, Accountant, Attorney, etc), you need to get them in the same room at the same time to review the facts and course of actions.  Then make a decision.


My Dad suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease for nearly eight years.  Two years after my Dad became sick, my parents used two attorneys to do estate planning and the attorneys recommendation my parents sell all of their stocks and bonds and put them into Certificates of Deposit and Trust.  My parents invited all three kids to attend the meeting with the attorneys, but the accountant was not available on Saturday.  Then I went back to Washington DC.  Later that week my Dad had gone to his accountant, who with good intentions recommended NOT to sell ALL because of the pending tax ramifications for that year.


The attorneys were correct.  The accountant was correct.  However, 6 years later, the real implication of that split decision would be seen.  The accountant saved $10 to $20,000 in taxes.  However, a minimum of $130,000 was lost to the estate based on a look back period and NOT following the advice of the attorneys.


Countless times when I was in the military, I would make sure the right people and the right information were together in the same room.  When this cannot be done, then cross-check information between them.


It is OK if the experts do NOT agree, you need to see the short-term and long-term impacts, risk and make a decision. 



Dick and I become extremely close friends during my time as Section Adviser and continued after I moved with the USAF.  We have been to each other homes many times.  We traveled to many Scouting events in Iowa, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.  He came to my promotion to Lt Col.  Dick and his wife Judy even come to visit us in Belgium when I was serving my last assignment with NATO.

Dick will go down for me as being the Greatest Professional Scouter I ever met.  He had the most amazing talent to be able to interact with the local parent of scout leader of modest means or a multi-millionaire.  One is his nicknames I gave him on the side was “Smiling Dick” because he could tell you bad news and his delivery would be so pleasant and with a big smile that it could not be so bad.  While in his 60’s he always slept in his own tent.  Even if there was a cabin or other facilities made available, Dick would pitch his one-man tent and sleep on the ground away from the activities.  He and his wife throughout the years would backpack together in the Pecos Mountains and Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.  Dick was just an amazing person and he was one of my true friends I could rely on to either just listen or give me sound advice.


Dick died 21 Oct 2012 at age 70.  Farewell my friend!




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Coshocton, Ohio – Jun 1983.  Throughout the night, I have been the guide for my close friend Greg.  We were at the Muskingum Valley Scout Reservation, deep in an obscure area of our council’s Boy Scout camp near Coshocton, Ohio.  We loved this camp and most of us have spent over a hundred days and nights here.  Greg has just finished his Vigil to become designed “Vigil Honor” in the Order of the Arrow.  It is early dawn at the final ceremony.  In the dew covered meadow under a 50 foot cliff, an Indian Chief emerges and meets Greg.  Circled waiting for Greg are about 12 Vigil Honor members to welcome him to a select few, honored for their unselfish service to others.  At the end of the ceremony, the Native Indian (Delaware) name selected for Greg is revealed to him for the first time.  From this time forward you should be known as “Mamchachwelendan”, meaning “He Who Endures Pain”.  This was the 25th of June, 1983.


Tom Durbin, Greg Miller, Ed LaBenne, and Pat Durbin the night Greg’s was presented his Eagle Scout on 26 Apr 1985.


Columbus, Ohio – 1982.  Just the year before, I was in the waiting room of Riverside Hospital in Columbus.  Tom Durbin and I were in the waiting room with Greg’s Mom and older brother.  Greg was in the recovery room after surgery for cancer and the removal of a large brain tumor.  The first person to go visit him in the recovery room was his Mom.  I was actually surprised, when she came out, she asked Tom and me to go in next.  It was the first time I saw such a thing.  After he recovered, he spent months going through radiation treatments and lost all of his hair.  I remember being at his house and there was long strands of hair in the waste cans his rooms upstairs, 6 to 7 inches long, falling out from the roots.  The cancer finally went into submission.  Every six months Greg would go through tests to see if the cancer returned.  It was always a relief after negative results came back.  Nearly eight years went by and then the cancer came back with a vengeance.


Blytheville, Arkansas – Apr 1991.  It was a Sunday night and my Mom called me:  “They are praying for Greg at Mass.  He is very sick again.”  I called Greg, and asked him what is going on.  He confirmed he has cancer again and it did not look good.  I told him I wanted to come home to visit him, but I was scheduled to deploy to Diego Garcia and could not take leave.  Greg joked, that he would wait for me to come home and that he was a hard to kill.  We laugh and prayed on the phone.  I told him to wait for me as I was going to come see him when I returned home.



Diego Garcia, BIOT – 21 Apr- 7 Nov 1991.  During my deployment, I would attend Mass several times a week and on Friday night after Mass, we had a very nice prayer group of about 20 people.  Every Friday I would pray for Greg and I would pray specifically for him to live long enough for me to see him again.  After four months of praying for his life, I prayed for the first time that Greg would die.  For on this Friday night I had a feeling that Greg had suffered so much and his pain so great, that the Lord should take him home.  So out loud in front of the entire group, I prayed for God to take home Greg and end his suffering.


The next morning, I had a phone call.  It was extremely difficult to call in those days and Diego Garcia was so isolated.  To this day, I do not know how I got the call from my family.  It was notification that Greg had just died.  I was devastated and I cried like a baby.  I was full of guilt for just having prayed for him to die only a few hours earlier.  I wanted a few hours so that I could call Greg’s Mom.  I would have to use “Cable and Wireless”, which we called “Cable and Heartless” as it cost $4 per minute to call the United States.  I finally reached Mrs. Miller and we talked.  I started crying and I told her I am so sorry.  I told her I prayed for Greg to die last night.  She quickly took charge of the conversation and told me:  “It is OK Ed.  Greg was in such great pain.  He was under heavy medication and he was having so much difficulty, I prayed for him to die too. It is OK, you did the right thing.” 


I wrote several times to Greg during my deployment.  Mrs. Miller explained to me she asked Greg to write me back many times, but he was unable to write.   She told him she would transcribe the letter for him, he only needed to tell her.  Ironically, without her knowledge, Greg did in fact send me a letter (the letter is attached below).  Greg had typed the letter and mail it to my deployed location 30 days before he died.  I was happy to tell her, that Greg did send me a letter!



Mount Vernon, Ohio – Dec 1991.   When I finally returned to my home town.  I went to visit Mrs. Miller and talk to her.  Together we went to visit Greg grave site and then went back to her house.





She thanked me for my help with Greg, including to push him to finish his Eagle Scout and being a very good friend to him.  Greg and I had both been in Troop 332 and very involved in our Catholic youth group, both sponsored by St Vincent de Paul Parish in Mount Vernon, Ohio.  See had two boxes of all of Greg’s Boy Scout belongings and offered them to me.  She told me, Greg wanted you to have these.  Well, I thought about it and then offered to select a few items that were SPECIAL to Greg and I would frame them.  I gave his Mom the patches and frame to her.


At the time, I was a Scoutmaster for Troop 97, in Blytheville, Arkansas.  When one scout, Richard Nace was presented his Eagle Scout, he also would be given the Eagle Scout medal of his great Uncle.  Any Eagle Scout from the 1920’s.  I told Mrs Miller, that we should frame Greg’s Eagle and one day maybe it could be passed down within the family to one of his nephews or cousins.  She agreed.



I never remember Greg ever complaining or feeling sorry for himself during all the years I knew him.  Two times he fought cancer, but in the end, he would find eternal peace.  I often think about Greg and I am thankful he was my friend.


Farewell my friend, “He Who Endured Pain”.


Gregory Dion Miller

Vigil on 25 June 1983

Indian Name:  Mamchachwelendan

Translation:  He Who Endures Pain

Born 23 Oct 1966

Died 30 Aug 1991


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