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Posts Tagged ‘United States Army General Dwight David Eisenhower

“Happy Birthday, Gilbert – My Aide-de-camp !”

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Happy Birthday, Gilbert –  My Aide-de-Camp !

Gilbert Roa, my nephew, an education major at Leyte Normal University. In the background is a swinging bridge in a nearby barangay. Gilbert is the type person, you want by your side when you cross those swinging bridges of Life.
June 12, 2012, Republic of the Philippines Independence Day is also Gilbert Roa’s 18th Birthday. My nephew, Gilbert, exhibits the qualities a person usually finds in a military aide-de-camp assigned to a general or admiral. Canon EOS 40 D Photo by Samuel E, Warren Jr.

By Samuel E. Warren Jr.

World history from the Roman General Julius Caesar to United States Army General Herbert Norman”Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf , who, served as Commander of the Coalition Forces in the Gulf War of 1991 and Commander of U.S. Central Command, always records the battles, honors, achievements of the great military leaders, who have made a definite difference in global civilizations and history.

While history is quick to record the names and deeds of the great generals and admirals, who changed the world, sometimes one of the people closest to the great men or women go completely unnoticed by history.

Sometimes a diligent search of military history might reveal the name of the person, but more likely, you will have to find someone on active duty or a veteran, who served at headquarters to learn the name of the individual.

In the prehistoric global civilization of humankind, before the Internet and cell phones, general officers and navy flag officers had a special individual assigned to them: The Aide-de-Camp.

The United States Armed Forces like many nations armed forces base their traditions, ceremonies and

Gilbert Roa, at this point, in his life, plans to become a teacher. He is a student at Leyte Normal University in Tacloban City. Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

rituals on the lessons of history, so while the French, Russian or British military may not use the same words for the position – there is a very good chance that their generals and admiral still rely on a certain individual to accomplish some task on their behalf

The unsung “Aide-de-camp” to, my knowledge, has never had books written about them, Hollywood movies made of their life stories or even an exhibit in a museum, but, the aide-de-camp was an indispensable person to a general or admiral because while the senior military officer was engaged in official duties like planning how to use thousands of men and resources from combat boots to tanks to win a battle or the overall strategy to win a war; it was the aide-de-camp, who handled mundane tasks for the general.

While United States Army General Dwight David Eisenhower is meeting with Allied generals and admirals to plan the D-Day Invasion, you can bet the general’s aide-de-camp was the one worrying about the date to pay the general’s utility bills and phone bills back home in the States and worrying about if the protocol officer at the next base, the general is scheduled to visit has made all the arrangements for the general to present medals to the men and women to be honored.

No doubt, United States Army General William Childs Westmoreland, in command of United States military operations in the Vietnam War, was dedicated to trying to convince President Lyndon Baines Johnson to send military forces into Cambodia and Laos to close the Vietnamese supply line of the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

In the course of official duties, communication with the President of the United States of America was an absolute necessity. General Westmoreland had to have daily communications with army commanders in the field, air force commanders on the bases, naval and marine corps commanders afloat or on a base. And, then, of course, in a democracy, a general and admiral have to be ready to answers questions from senators, congressmen, and the international news media. If there are any hours left at the end of the day, that time is called: sleep.

Thus, an aide-de-camp for General Westmoreland would have had to take care of the mundane tasks of life like making sure the general’s uniforms gets to and from the cleaners. And, if the general is to meet with the president, senator, congressman or another commander, then, the collar brass, insignias, name tag, stars on the uniform, and “the fruit salad”, i.e. the ribbons have to be in arranged in order on the dress uniform. If the uniform of the day is “fatigues,” then, the aide-de-camp would be the one to make sure that all the crest patches are current and not showing any signs of age or wear.

The military aide-de-camp in the United States Armed Forces was usually a junior officer from 1st lieutenant to major.

In a nutshell, the aide-de-camp’s mission was simple – “take care of the boss”- which meant the general or admiral’s day would not be wasted.

In the civilian world, businessmen, politicians, and some leaders have the secretary to rely on, but the aide-de-camp didn’t clock out at 4 p.m., and go home. In recent years the civilian world leaders have adopted the aide-de-camp position to positions like “personal assistants.”

But, there is one area between an “aide-de-camp” and a “personal assistant” that will probably always be different and that is esprit de corps and loyalty. Military people understand the value and the integrity of those concepts as a way of life. In the civilian world, the idea of “loyalty” usually translates to some boss getting a lawyer and having an employee sign a “nondisclosure agreement.”

Of course, as a sergeant on active duty, I would work with various senior officers’ aide-de-camps, but I would never have one of my own.

The nice thing about retirement is sometimes Life allows you to enjoy your fantasies in the Real World.

The Birthday Cake was baked by the Twilight Bakery in Tanauan. Nikon D 100 Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Upon returning to the Republic of the Philippines, I needed an individual that I could trust to help me in day to day matters – my own “aide-de-camp.”

My nephew, Gilbert Roa, a student at Leyte Normal University is my aide-de-camp. Whenever I need the answer to a question or want to understand the proper way of doing something the way it is done in the Philippines, my nephew – “Gilbert is The Man With The Plan.”

Today, June 12, 2012 is Independence Day in the Republic of the Philippines and also the birthday of my nephew, Gilbert.

Happy Birthday, Gilbert !

Tito Sam

“The Forgotten White House” monument of “The American Family” — Editorial

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“The

Forgotten

White

House”


monument

of

“The

American

Family”

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – The White House. Number 10 Downing Street – is usually known to Americans, as the Official Residence of the British Prime Minister.

When crisis strikes citizens of the world, turn to the official world famous addresses for guidance.

International news network satellite trucks rush to the scene. Television reporters and radio reporters fall out and scramble to get as close as possible for an official statement or reaction. Newspaper and magazines send their reporters and photographers to wade into the ranks and find a spot to get the official words into the print media.

Crisis always turns these buildings into the most important structures on the planet. No one ever rushes to the U.S. Capitol Building – the offices of Congress. No one ever rushes to Buckingham Palace – the impressive symbol of the British monarchy.

People in times of crisis, expect leadership. Thus, citizens turn to the structure, where a leader emerges and provides the common sense and intelligence to assure citizens that the action is being taken and there is a plan to end the crisis.

In peacetime, the world famous addresses, perform their functions and citizens take out their cameras and smile at the noble tourist attractions.

Camp David

Sometimes, other locations appear in the global news media headlines like Camp David in the United States – the official country retreat of the President of the United States of America and his guests, but Camp David is not open to the general public.

United States Army General Dwight David Eisenhower, named the location, “Camp David” to honor his father and grandson, both named “David.” Of course, the general had been elected president. Camp David is one of those locations in the world that sometimes rises to global prominence.

In September 1978, President James Earl Carter Jr., “Jimmy Carter” hosted the Camp David Accords, at the retreat, between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat.

The Forgotten White House”

The Forgotten White House” at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts is one of those global beacons of democracy whose light would erupt through the crisis of confusion and darkness. It served as an international beacon of confidence and conviction in the midst of chaos and confusion.

A “Summer White House” of the Kennedy Administration, Hyannis Port would appear in international media headlines and the “Kennedy Compound” became the “Camelot” that would not pass into history.

Unlike “Official United States Government buildings, sites, locations and real estate – the Kennedy Compound was a summer home of the Kennedy family that always captured the imaginations of Americans on the street.

The Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port represented the “American Family” at a time when the concept of “family in America” was only a reality in Hollywood movies and Laura Ingalls Wilder, “Little House On The Prairie” books.

At the end of World War II, people knew the concept of family had changed in America and began using the term “Nuclear Family.” But, the detonation came with the Vietnam War, divorces escalated and the deaths in Vietnam made “single parent families,” the rule, rather than the exception. The concept of “family” was gone in America.

Grandfathers, grandmothers, aunts and uncles and “The Extended Family Concept” of America was left to historians to arrange a possible exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution – probably, somewhere near the dinosaurs.

An American way of life had vanished. However, the concept of “family in America” still reigned at the Kennedy Compound. Times of great celebration and tragedy sent members of the Kennedy family to the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port.

America’s Noble Family”

I have heard Brits smile and call the Kennedy family, “America’s Royal Family.” With all due respect to Her Majesty’s “subjects,” these British citizens missed the point completely. America is a nation of tourist attractions – we don’t need a royal family to capture market share of the tourism industry.

The Kennedy family was always “America’s Noble Family,” no matter what celebration, crisis or tragedy struck that family or the nation, the family members would return to the compound and in a few days would emerge to once again serve as living symbols of strength, conviction and commitment to family.

The Kennedy Compound at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts served as the eternal symbol “Family Can Survive And Thrive.”

Joseph Patrick “Joe” Kennedy Senior and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy owned the real estate that was a summer home to their sons: President of the United States of America John Fitzgerald Kennedy, United States Attorney General and Democrat Presidential Party Nominee Robert Kennedy and United States Senator Edward Kennedy.

For decades, Americans could watch the Kennedy family – fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, sons, daughters, cousins, nieces, nephews and relatives – in times of tragedy or triumph make the pilgrimage to Hyannis Port.

The Kennedy Compound’s importance – to this American – is that the Kennedy Compound at Hyannis Port seemed a “Jerusalem” and that “Holy Land” always seemed to allow a Kennedy family member to rise up to any challenge.

A Kennedy family member would emerge with the knowledge that their family stood shoulder-to-shoulder with them. “An attack on one Kennedy seemed an attack on all” to include in-laws. Alexander Dumas,’ “Three Musketeers” – “One For All, And All For One” was an American reality and the family name was, “Kennedy.”

No matter what the world threw at a Kennedy, the family stood beside, never behind, to withstand the slings and arrows of controversy and criticism. Like the Washington Monument and The Statue of Liberty, the Kennedy Compound was “A National Symbol of Strength and Perseverance”

The United States has many buildings that are listed as the birthplace of a president. But, the United States Government does not have any buildings that serve as a symbol of “The American Family.”

The Kennedy Compound at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts is that symbol of “The American Family”

With the death of Senator Edward Kennedy it was announced that the Kennedy Compound would be donated to charity.

The American Jerusalem” finally succumbs to the sands of history.

The Holy Land of Family” becomes an eroding pyramid in the searing sunlight of the reality of American real estate.

It is sad that the United States Government would not attempt to purchase a truly national monument.

Now, future generations of Americans will hear the stories of immigrant families that came to America and the families of the farms and in the villages that transformed a vast real estate wilderness into a great nation and shrug off what sounds like historical fiction.

Americans, in time, will think of families as mythical creations of units of people, who simply shared common beliefs and economic interests.

Future American generations may not realize that the reality of the American family dissolved into the reality of lone individuals adrift in the “Oceans of Life,” without love, guidance, a rudder or a beacon of a distant lighthouse to shine through the daily chaos of humanity.

Sam

Written by samwarren55

June 1, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Posted in Bloggers, Blogs, Editorial, Family

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