The Lyle Gordon Memorial Scholarship Fund was initiated in the spring of 2005 after the tragic loss of Aggie rugby player, Corps of Cadets member and American hero Capt. Lyle Gordon. Capt. Gordon passed while serving his country in Iraq. Throughout his rugby career at Texas A&M, Lyle “Smiles” Gordon ’97 was an outgoing, funny and very powerful asset to the team. We are certain he would have fully supported this opportunity for a deserving young rugby player at Texas A&M University.
Captain Lyle L. Gordon September 11, 1974 – January 26, 2005 Captain Gordon was from Midlothian, Texas. He graduated from Midlothian High School in 1993. After high school, Captain Gordon attended Texas A&M University where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and the Texas A&M Rugby Club. While in college, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and went to MCRD San Diego in 1995. He graduated from Texas A&M in 1998 with a degree in Animal Science. Captain Gordon went to Officer Candidate School in 2000. Ever since Marine Capt. Lyle Gordon was a kid growing up in the small North Texas town of Midlothian, he had dreams of flying high and fast. As a thrill-seeking youngster, he must have watched the 1980s fighter pilot movie “Top Gun” hundreds of times, his mother, Mary Gordon, recalls. “I’m gonna fly, I’m gonna fly,” she said. “That’s all he ever wanted.” The 30-year-old Gordon had visions of one day blending his loves of flying and animals by owning a horse ranch. There, his piloting skills would come in handy, as he could fly high above his sprawling dream ranch while getting a bird’s-eye view of his herd. Gordon’s family said Friday they take comfort in knowing he was fulfilling his dream of serving as a pilot in the military. Finding the good in any situation is a lesson they learned from him. “He was always happy no matter what,” Mary Gordon said. “He could find something to laugh about in almost any situation.” Gordon graduated from Midlothian High School in 1993 and earned a Bachelor Degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M in December 1998. He had always wanted to attend the university and was proud to be a member of Corps of Cadets Company E-2, the outfit in charge of caring for A&M’s canine mascot, Reveille. “He said, If I’m not in E-2, then I’m not in the Corps,” his mother said. “That’s the kind of person he was. He had a direction. He knew exactly what he wanted. He didn’t care if anyone followed him. He was going to do it.” Gordon’s determination to become an Aggie started at an early age. When he was 13, after his family made a trip to A&M to watch a football game and see Bonfire burn, Gordon told his mother that it was the school for him. “He told me that he wanted to go to A&M,” she said. “But I told him that you don’t just decide you want to go to A&M. I told him it was quite a big deal to make that decision. But he worked hard and made it. He was the only student from this area that was accepted.” While at A&M, Gordon played rugby for the school’s club team, not a surprising choice for a young man who loved to play rough. “He loved anything rough and rowdy, his mother said. “He was in the Corps, and he loved everything like that.” Gordon also was in the Marine Reserve while in college. After graduation, he worked briefly as a manager at Sanderson Farms in Bryan until a short while later; he decided to enter into the Marine Corps on a full time basis. Before going to Officer Candidates School, Gordon made one last trip to the Bryan-College Station area to say goodbye to old college buddies. It was then that he met his wife-to-be, Kaci Yates, Class of ’00. The two corresponded through letters before getting married three years ago. After spending time in Japan and Korea, Gordon went to Iraq last September. While in Iraq at Christmas time, Gordon helped deliver more than 100 packages to soldiers. People in his hometown had gathered to make care packages, which then were sent to Gordon. He, in return, dispersed them to soldiers who lacked much correspondence from home “He was always getting some package from us, but he also knew there were a lot of boys over there that never heard from anyone,” Mary Gordon said. “He just wanted to bring some joy to them.” Gordon’s time overseas was nearing an end. He was due to return home in March 2005, his mother said. “But instead he went to his final home,” she said.