I was born September 7, 1942 in Norristown, PA. At that time my father drove a bread truck for Stroehmann Bread. He worked his way up in the company, and in 1950 he earned a marketing position at company headquarters in Williamsport, PA. As a result, we moved to a home in R.D.#2, Montoursville, PA. It was there I worked my way through a wonderful Montoursville High School, graduating in 1959.
I then attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, majoring in Political Science and Economics. There I was offered the opportunity to join the ROTC, which I did, graduating in 1963, with a BA degree and as a Second Lieutenant, Engineers, U.S. Army.
I then attended the Engineer Officers Basic Training Course, Ft. Belvoir, VA, graduating in November 1963. I was then assigned to the 16th Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Division, Ft. Hood, Texas, where I served as a Platoon Leader in E Company (Float Bridge).
In early 1965 I decided to become a Regular Army Officer and make a career with my service. I was reassigned to the 319th Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion at Ft. Shafter, Hawaii with a group of Engineers, who were assigned to assist the MI in identifying targets in Vietnam. I also requested that the regular commission be in Military Intelligence. However, before the regular commission was approved I received an assignment as an engineer to Vietnam, but it was not clear where that position would be.
Several days after arriving at the assignment unit outside Saigon I was informed that I was being assigned to the 4th Infantry Division in Pleiku, and off I went. Upon arrival at the 4th ID I was sent to the 4th Engineers, and told because of my previous assignment with float bridges I was being assigned as the CO, E Co, 4th Engineers. Within a couple weeks working with the troops, we were sent to put a bridge in west of Kontum City. The bridge was built rapidly, the troops who needed the bridge crossed over it, we removed the bridge and returned to base camp Dragon Hill. (What a way to start a company command!) The next day all “H” broke out and the Tet Offensive was initiated. Almost immediately the 4th Engineers were sent to Pleiku to fight as infantry. After about a week we were returned to base camp. Shortly thereafter I was reassigned as CO, A Co, 4th Engineers at Dak To. I was there until July 1968, working with 1st Brigade, 4th ID and several Special Forces camps. (Again, wonderfully fortunate to have received the command.)
I was then informed that my Regular Army Commission had arrived as a Military Intelligence Captain. I was sent to Division HQ and became a Tactical Intelligence Officer working on the MI staff in the Tactical Operations Center of the division until I returned to the US in December 1968.
I then requested to become an international intelligence officer, and was approved to become the Army’s first Korean Foreign Affairs Officer (FAO), which I worked for the next 20 years of my career. This included receiving a Masters Degree from the University of South Carolina, and attending two Korean Language school courses and the Command and General Staff College. It also included some 9 years in Korea, including being the only foreign officer assigned inside the Korean Ministry of National Defense and a tour as the Assistant Army Attache at the U.S. Embassy, Seoul. In the U.S. I had a tour in the State Department, and ended my military career leading the Asia Division of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
After retiring I went to work for defense contractors with emphasis on business in East Asia and the Middle East. I started with Olin Ordnance in Washington, and then went to BMY in York. BMY teamed with FMC which became United Defense, Inc. We then became part of BAE Systems (British Aerospace). They sent Ann and me back to Seoul to run the Asia business for some 3 years. Finally, we came back to the Washington, D.C. where we retired.
We FINALLY hooked up with Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund where we concentrated on gathering photos of all the men and women whose names are on the Wall. It has been a wonderful retirement life for the last 10 years or so!
Before ending I would like to express my appreciation for a relationship with then Major Robert (Bob) W. Bauchspies, and later as Col. Bauchpies. I believe he remembered my time as a bridge engineer years ago and played a role in having me considered for the E Co, 4th Engineer position. No matter, when I was with both E or A Companies, as Assistant Division Engineer he helped all company commanders run their units as well as possible. He was a wonderful engineer. Thanks Major Bob from all of us!