Respecting Others: Ranger Bob

By | July 19, 2022

[July 19, 2022]  Ranger Bob had been in the business all his life.  When I met him, he was older than dirt, pleasant in person, but rugged looking from working all his life outdoors.  He was all about running his garbage collection business and providing for his family.  He was to help me re-learn an old lesson from my childhood; remember to respect others.

The modern name for his job is sanitation worker, but to Bob, what he did was pick up garbage.  He’d take anything, and I mean anything (there might have been some marginally legal trash picked up).  Those days are gone, and so is Bob.  His grandson owns the company now; it’s different.

Ranger Bob (I have no idea where “Ranger” came from, and I didn’t ask) got things done.  Bob kept his distance like he was not as good as the rest of us.  He acted like we (his customers) were somehow better than him.  Okay, his call.

His son, that worked with him, let slip one day that it was Bob’s birthday.  I went out to a small store just off the military post where I worked and purchased one of those new insulated steel mugs that keep your coffee hot, wrapped it in a brown paper bag, and got it ready to give to him later that day when he would be coming by my office on Ft. Campbell.  It was no big deal, a small gift to say thanks; I used to do that frequently for those I knew.

I was shocked when Bob came into my office with tears in his eyes and with his adult son in tow.  No one, other than his family, had ever recognized his birthday.  We talked for a few minutes, and he left.  Bob passed away a few weeks later from undiagnosed cancer.  I attended his funeral (as we should all do) and met his large, energetic family.  They had organized a big party in Ranger Bob’s memory.

Nothing was spared for Bob’s shindig, and I was an honored guest.  Why?  Because I did something small (but big) for Bob.  I showed him respect.  You just never know.

I can still picture Bob in my mind and that he was such a hardworking man who also put a lot of effort into raising his family.  This is the kind of person I like to be around.  No non-sense, easygoing, helpful, and someone that would do anything for you.  These are rare men.  These are the unsung heroes of my generation.  Learn to respect them.


Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

21 thoughts on “Respecting Others: Ranger Bob

  1. Emma Archambeau

    Yes, Gen. Satterfield was fortunate to run into such a wonderful man, this Ranger Bob (interesting name). How does Gen. S do it? I mean that he is always in the presence of folks who have the greatest stories.

  2. Nick Lighthouse

    Another excellent article from Gen. S. Let’s keep the ball rolling, Gen. Satterfield. We all are huge fans of your website.

    1. JT Patterson

      I sure am a fan and have been on his leadership blog longer than most.

      1. MrJohn22

        Aren’t we all great fans. If you want to really get an understanding of “leadership” as it is being applied in the real world (not the fake, made up world of our young Millenails) then read Gen. Satterfield’s book, ‘Our Longest Year in Iraq.’ It’s great. Get your copy. I’m not selling his book but selling his ideas. Go get a copy and leave a review on Amazon. Here is the link:

  3. Adolf Menschner

    Ranger Bob, he is what we all want with folks that are around us.

  4. Idiot Savant

    Gen. Satterfield, we do respect men like this. Hard men, men of the world, and men who have their family. “This is the kind of person I like to be around. No non-sense, easygoing, helpful, and someone that would do anything for you. These are rare men. These are the unsung heroes of my generation. Learn to respect them.”

  5. Plato

    “Athenian men, I respect and love you, but I shall obey the god rather than you…” ― Plato, quote from Apology

    1. Eye Cat

      👍 Right, Plato … you need respect in order to coexist with others without conflict.

  6. Fred Weber

    It is always good to read a story from Gen. Satterfield’s past and for him to link it to something important for leadership. This is one of those times. Say, happy with the new direction of your blog.

  7. Max Foster

    Hey guys, NY Post opinion article on pres. Joe Biden, “Empty words: In themselves, Biden’s words are meaningless. Of that, there is no better testament than the soles of his advisers’ shoes, worn away by the speed and regularity with which those words are walked back. ” I nearly chucked my coffee with this one. We don’t have a leader as president of the good ole USA, we have a flake or flak or, well, just a dumbass. No one respects Joe Biden anymore and Kamala Harris is WORSE. Can you believe America has no longer an ability to pick a real leader. “Camels are on the horizon.”

    1. Dead Pool Guy

      Psst! Ouch! Got that right Max. Once again, you do not disappoint. Yep, zero respect for Biden. None, nadda, zip.

    2. Shawn C. Stolarz

      You had to give respect to the position of presidency if nothing else. But now most Americans no longer even respect the position because Joe Biden has turned it into a SH$$ house of nutjobs, hangers on, and liberal wackos that can’t get a job anywhere else.

      1. mainer

        Jimmy Carter is happy that he is no longer the worst president in American history. 😊

  8. Frank Graham

    Respect is a much more powerful act than we can possibly imagine.

    1. Bryan Z. Lee

      HEY, Joey, you da man! Great to see you back on the leadership site of Gen. Satterfield. Where have you been, man?

    2. Greg Heyman

      Welcome back, Joey, you will always be part of the Satterfield leadership team. Stay with us brother. 👍

  9. José Luis Rodriguez

    I think it’s safe to say we’ve all known a “ranger bob” and have appreciated him for his honesty and clarity of thought. Too many today consider his just another cog in the machine. But I don’t and will never.

    1. Joe Omerrod

      Like my brother who was a sanitation worker. Good family man.


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