Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 27 May 2011 00:00
Farmingdale resident Gary E. Dolan, who for decades has operated his own law firm in Massapequa, will be inducted into the U.S. Rangers Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony will take place Wednesday, July 27 at Fort Benning in Columbus, GA. Dolan will receive a medal and be enshrined with a plaque in the Hall of Fame’s permanent legacy hall.
For Dolan, a Vietnam veteran, the honor is the capstone of a decades-long involvement with the Rangers, both in service and as an advocate for their causes.
“It’s an incredible honor,” Nolan told The Massapequan Observer. “I’m amazed and shocked and thrilled to death.” Nolan also noted that the ceremony would also serve as a reunion with fellow veterans. Nolan currently operates a firm on Merrick Road in Massapequa. Before then, he had offices on Broadway.
Willie W. Snow, president of the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame’s Executive Board, recently touted Dolan’s many achievements and acts of heroism. In a letter written earlier this year to the Hall of Fame’s president and board of directors, Snow said Nolan’s nomination is “based upon his exemplary leadership and consistent courage during combat service and dedication to the betterment of mankind as a civilian, and his unique book about LRPs in Vietnam, Of Their Own Accord.”
In the letter, Snow listed Dolan’s career accomplishments. A Vietnam veteran, Dolan was commissioned infantry through USMA in 1969, earned a Juris Doctorate at New York University Law School in 1977, is a practicing New York State attorney, an accountant, and a trade broker. Snow also described Dolan’s heroics on the battlefield.
“In 1970, as a leader in Co. C (Ranger), 75th Infantry, then-1LT Dolan was in a helicopter inserting, extracting, and monitoring LRP teams working in triple canopy jungle,” Snow related. “After a furious firefight, a Team Leader reported a KIA team member. Due to heavy enemy fire the Team was unable to recover the body. Lt. Dolan immediately directed the pilot to the area of the embattled team where he caught glimpses of smoke through the trees. Realizing there was no LZ in that vicinity, Ranger Dolan ordered the pilot to descend close to a specific tree and hover to allow him to drop into it. He leaped, unarmed, from the helicopter and landed in the limbs. He quickly descended the tree, retrieved the body of the fallen Ranger, joined the team while carrying the body, and then led them, with the casualty on his back, to a suitable landing site. He guided the pilot in and the entire team was safely extracted. Due to the CO’s policy that no commissioned officers in that company shall be recommended for awards of valor, none were accepted, even after several attempts by platoon members.
“Once a month as the Plt Leader Ranger Dolan joined a different LRP Team in combat missions on the ground,” Snow continued. “Charlie Company Rangers serving with Dolan, then-Plt Sgt. CSM James Voyles, then-Sgt. Team Leader Gary L. O’Neal, and LRP Team Leader Tony Foster, attest to Dolan’s exceptional leadership and courage. On one extraction Foster snap-linked himself to the bottom of a ladder, after the rest of team had climbed into the helicopter, for quick extraction while under heavy fire; 1LT Dolan never wavered while directing devastating artillery and gunship fire. ‘Doc’ Gove, the platoon medic, and others have repeatedly made known the exceptional leadership and courage of their admired and highly respected LRP Plt Leader, Gary Dolan. He often made recon flights, directed air strikes and indirect fire, and was the C&C while in the backseat of an 0-1 Birddog. On one occasion, the pilot was severely wounded and unable to fly the airplane. Dolan, for the first time in his life, safely landed the airplane at a deserted base. The aviation unit forwarded a recommendation for awarding Dolan the DFC. The CO summarily destroyed the paperwork as his policy of no officers, except himself, would be recommended for awards for valor. Gary’s combat peers claim that he is the epitome, in every respect, of a U.S. Army Ranger. They confirm that he was an exceptionally effective combat leader. Through his selfless dedication, technical knowledge, and exemplary courage, Gary saved many lives, of some several times over, in Charlie Rangers while decimating enemy units.”
Since leaving active duty, Dolan has consistently continued to lead his LRPs and to serve his nation, Snow added. “He took on a seven-year mission of having his unit KIAs enshrined at the Ranger Memorial, Ft Benning; at SOCOM Hqs; and at the 1/75th Memorial,” Snow wrote. “He began the effort which raised money for all era USMA Ranger KIAs being listed on pavers at the NRM.”
“The list of accomplishments, as a civilian, of Ranger Dolan is extensive and most impressive,” Snow continued. “He helped found and serves as VP of the Board of Army Ranger Mojo Inc., a non-profit that serves Rangers worldwide and runs the website, armyranger.com, where Dolan started and moderates a Ranger PTSD forum. As an attorney he has helped countless Rangers without ever accepting any payment. He also served as president of the board of Starfish Adoption Services, Inc., a Florida non-profit organization. In 1996, Gary Dolan served as CEO of eBarter and founded BigVine, Inc, the world’s first online, interactive barter exchange. BigVine was funded with $60 million by the world’s leading investors, including American Express, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the partners of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., NBC and Sanford Robertson (founder of Robertson Stephens & Co., LLC.).”
Finally, Snow made his case for Dolan by listing more accomplishments from his life after Vietnam.
“Prior to starting eBarter, Dolan owned a law and an accounting practice and taught courses throughout New York on how to start and run a profitable small business,” Snow noted. “From 1978 to 1990, Dolan practiced general law as managing partner of Alonge & Dolan. In addition, Dolan served as consultant to the USSBA Small Business Development Center at SUNY-Farmingdale, where he served 14 years as an adjunct professor, teaching business law and accounting. Dolan currently works as an attorney in his own practice serving select clientele and conducts seminars on elite Ranger style leadership in the U.S. and abroad to corporate executives. In 2004, Dolan was selected as keynote speaker to address senior managers at BP Petroleum’s Global Convention at Manchester, England. The topic was US Army Ranger Leadership applied to business. As a direct result of that presentation, Dolan was invited to extend his stay and address elements of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s cabinet in London. Thereafter, in November, 2004 and May, 2006, Dolan conducted seminars on Ranger style leadership for the managers of Coca-Cola, AIG, Orange and numerous banks in Bucharest, Romania. For eight years he was a high school baseball umpire in New York. He still finds time to compassionately care for his wife of 40 years who had brain surgery in 1999 and is stricken with progressive multiple sclerosis.”
Dolan, Snow concluded, earned the ABN badge, Jungle Warfare Expert patch, the CIB, and the coveted Ranger Tab. He was awarded, among other honors, 10 Combat Air Medals. He is also the author of a well-received novel about Vietnam, Of Their Own Accord.