NOT ALL OLD SOLDIERS “JUST FADE AWAY”

By Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY Mar 15, 2006
Forwarded by YNCS Don Harribine, USN (Ret)

Lt. Col. Joe Repya is on the leading edge of the baby boom. He will turn 60 tomorrow, and he is pushing himself to keep up with soldiers one-third his age in the Army's 101st Airborne Division.

“I discovered very quickly that I can't run 4 miles as fast as some of these kids,” says Repya, who was in Iraq last year and is at Fort Campbell, Ky., awaiting his return to Iraq. “As long as I can see them on the horizon as they're finishing, I'm doing pretty good. It's a tremendously good feeling to help motivate these young soldiers.”

Repya, of Eagan, Minn., isn't the only soldier showing more than a bit of gray. Of the 157,000 troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 1,700 are older than 55, according to Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke.

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