Lance Galvin – Epic Curmudgeon, Fierce Friend

Editor’s Note: Lance Galvin died March 21, 2024 at age 76. He was a member of the Dog Soldiers division in Atlanta for over 25 years. His men loved him. Thank you Tim Goodnow and Thomas Thurmond for gathering some sentiments from some of his men.


Galvin had a huge caring masculine heart. With tears in his eyes and huge hug, he gave me his cherished pocket knife as a gift right before I moved back to CA. His knife is in my toolbox. I think of him every time I open that drawer and I smile. So glad to have known him.

Zenner, Phil

Galvin was a man who was passionate about his daughter and his hobbies, and who frequently posted a gruff exterior to stand guard over a big heart. The more you talked to him, the more you came to fully appreciate the deeply caring man inside.

Zenner, Dave

I was on a team with Galvin for several years. During that time he was a loyal and valued friend and, as an experienced architect, he was one of the best mentors I ever had for my professional career. I respected him tremendously.


A reliable and trustworthy man who was full of creativity, intestinal fortitude, a balance of intensity and fun, and love for those in his life.


Galvin was a spiritual and generous man. He was quick to give you his time, wisdom and willingness to share biblical studies and his deep spiritual beliefs.


I remember him as a man with a great sense of humor – who enjoyed laughing – even if it was at himself. I never saw him quit – no matter how hard stuff got. I also saw him as a man that deserved much better – having walked alone much of his life.


Galvin was always there. He was ever-present and willing to help with whatever needed to be done.


The biggest thing? He was the single best living example of “mature masculine” I have ever known. Quiet, not ego-driven. He cared deeply and dug deep to find ways to express that to those he cared about. Generous, honest, open. The best definition of a “man’s man” I’ve ever had the pleasure to have known.


Lance Galvin was a man of his word. If he said he was going to do something, he did. He was a generous, talented man, who gave both his wisdom, and the products of his talents freely, to anyone.


Epic curmudgeon and fierce friend.


Galvin was like radar O’Reilly of the MASH TV series – the standard for the S1 role. He was a powerful force of support who was thoroughly organized in his life and in the work of men’s circles.


When he was captain of his first team, we couldn’t agree on a day and time to meet. His solution was his apartment at 3:30 am! It only took two meetings… A man asked Galvin what guns he had. His response was “What do you mean? The man then asked “You know, what calibers do you have?” His answer (paraphrased) was: “Be more specific, I have them all!”


A tried and true Renaissance man and example of a Dog Soldier, staked out in his life to surmount his most difficult obstacles. He trusted his men.


Lance was an amazing artist and drew the Dog Soldier for our banner. Galvin told me the warrior was a complete man, ready to go. He had his bow and arrows, his lance with honors (feathers representing brave deeds), and his shield. I think of Galvin as a complete man, ready to go.

A Short Story by Nathan Bracewell

For the 2021 deer hunting season, Tara and I were honored to host Galvin for a weekend to hunt our property. He headed down from Marietta. It had been a few years since I had last seen him. I was surprised to see how much function Galvin had lost in his body, especially his legs. That disease he had was a bitch the way it slowly strangled him. But, dang if he shot a nice doe. He would have had a young buck also if he had remembered to clean the storage oil from his old muzzle loader so it would have ignited properly. He was so excited to be successful considering how much effort he had to make. The man could barely walk. He had to pack and load everything himself and drive three hours one way. He was extremely determined!

The next year McDonough drove him down and he had declined considerably from the stiff walk from the year before, to full concentration required to make his leg swing forward. But, he wanted so badly to harvest another deer. So, we helped him to the stand. After dark, I came to get him. But, he just could not negotiate the staircase to come down from the blind. I grabbed him with one arm and holding on to the rail with my other got him down the stairs and on the golf cart. It must have been a profound moment for him. He was crying and very upset. He did not seem mad with me. Grabbing him was really the only option I could think of to get him safely down.

The realization his hunting days were over and the fact he wasn’t getting any better may have hit home. He was so courageous and determined to be independent. Getting old ain’t for sissies and Galvin was no sissy.

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