Washington -- The nation, including the Tampa Bay community where he lived in retirement, reacted to the announcement of retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf's passing Thursday night at the age of 78.
While the nation remembers "Stormin' Norman" as a war hero, ot the Bay area, he was a hero for local charities.
The retired Desert Storm commander lived in Tampa and was involved in causes ranging from sick and orphaned children to prostate cancer awareness. Friends said he frequently attended fundraisers as a celebrity guest, which allowed charities to raise much needed funds.
Schwarzkopf and late actor Paul Newman co-founded Camp Boggy Creek in central Florida, a summer campground for kids with life-threatening illnesses.
Schwarzkopf and his wife also owned a home in Telluride, Colo., where he was on the board of directors for the Telluride Foundation, a group that raises money for local charities.
Public figures had this to say about the general...
Former President George H.W. Bush:
"Barbara and I mourn the loss of a true American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation. A distinguished member of that 'Long Gray Line' hailing from West Point, Gen. Norm Schwarzkopf, to me, epitomized the 'duty, service, country' creed that has defended our freedom and seen this great nation through our most trying international crises. More than that, he was a good and decent man - and a dear friend. Barbara and I send our condolences to his wife, Brenda, and his wonderful family."
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell:
"With the passing of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, America lost a great patriot and a great soldier. Norm served his country with courage and distinction for over 35 years. The highlight of his career was the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm. 'Stormin' Norman' led the coalition forces to victory, ejecting the Iraqi Army from Kuwait and restoring the rightful government. His leadership not only inspired his troops, but also inspired the nation. He was a good friend of mine, a close buddy. I will miss him. My wife, Alma, joins me in extending our deepest condolences to his wife, Brenda, and to her family."
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn:
"An adopted son of Tampa, General Schwarzkopf made his country proud and Tampa even prouder still. He put the United States Central Command on the map, and ushered in a new era at MacDill Air Force Base. His commitment to his fellow man carried through his retirement, supporting cancer research and children through many organizations like the Ronald McDonald House.
"We were proud to call him a Tampanian and honored to have him as a representative of the men and women he was proud to lead."
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta:
"The men and women of the Department of Defense join me in mourning the loss of Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, whose 35 years of service in uniform left an indelible imprint on the United States military and on the country. The son of a decorated Army officer, Gen. Schwarzkopf followed his father's legacy of service by enrolling in West Point in the 1950s. His bravery during two tours in Vietnam earned him three Silver Stars, and set him on the path lead our troops into battle in Grenada, and then to take charge of the overall allied effort in the first Gulf War as commander of United States Central Command. Gen. Schwarzkopf's skilled leadership of that campaign liberated the Kuwaiti people and produced a decisive victory for the allied coalition. In the aftermath of that war, Gen. Schwarzkopf was justly recognized as a brilliant strategist and inspiring leader. Today, we recall that enduring legacy and remember him as one of the great military giants of the 20th century. My thoughts and prayers are with the Schwarzkopf family in this time of sadness and grief."
Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
"I was saddened to learn today of the passing of Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, a fellow West Point graduate, former CENTCOM commander and one of the 20th century's finest soldiers and leaders. I join the civilian and military leaders of our country, and servicemen and women, past and present, in mourning his death. Gen. Schwarzkopf embodied the warrior spirit, serving with distinction in three conflicts over his 35 years of dedicated service. The hallmark of his remarkable career was the swift and decisive victory over Saddam Hussein's forces after they invaded Kuwait. The thoughts and prayers of the Joint Chiefs and the Joint Force are with Gen. Schwarzkopf's family and friends."
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