I did not get a chance to reflect the lighter side of Sgt. First Class Barett McNabb in my story from yesterday’s memorial to him and two other Stryker soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Instead, I wrote about the mentorship he provided to his platoon in the 562nd Engineer Company.
That’s not quite the full picture his friends shared at the memorial. They looked up to McNabb and they revealed their affection by teasing him about his well-trimmed mustache.
“Sgt. McNabb, that mustache of yours could scare a man to crying,” wrote one friend who called McNabb “my mentor, my teacher and a fellow student.”
Lt. Simrattal Singh similarly called McNabb and invaluable part of their platoon because of his experience and creative thinking on the battlefield. Singh, too, teased McNabb for that mustache.
Singh noted that nearly every vehicle McNabb used seemed to experience some sort of mechanical problem.
“We used to joke it was his awesome ‘stache that caused all his problems,” Singh wrote. “He’d reply that we all needed to grow ‘staches because his alone couldn’t carry the burden for all of us.”
McNabb’s buddies are missing much more than the NCO’s mustache, but their stories about his facial hair tell us a little about the spark he gave to his platoon.