Monday, May 28, 2012

From Cook to Colonel

Is this any way to treat a West Point graduate? After all, he was trained to lead troops into battle. His troops appear to be a dog and cat. I don't think he was cut out to be a Mess Officer

I'm not sure where his own wishes were at the time. He and his wife and very little boy had been assigned to Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. The picture was probably taken in 1929 or so. Somehow he ended up in Cooks and Bakers School. I suspect it was not by choice. He was a bit of a maverick in some ways, not particularly content with how the Army of the late 1920's was functioning. Could some unhappy commanding general have felt it was only justice that the second lieutenant be relegated to a job that was a step above the infamous Kitchen Patrol duties? I remember that kind of duty well from a time many years ago when one day I was assigned to KP and the next day to Ash and Trash and kept that routine up for several days in a row.

 Later in life Cooks and Bakers School paid off - he ended up with a real gift of cooking, especially his secret recipe for waffles. He produced the best waffles I've ever had and he went through a performance worthy of the greatest gourmet chef in the world.

He didn't stay on active duty too long, resigning from the Army in the early thirties and worked in banking and real estate for about  decade.

Then came World War Two. Some might think the Army had grown desperate for manpower when he was recalled to active duty. Instead, the powers that be were realized that he had unique gifts that would be important to the war effort. Not only did he serve through World War Two but he continued faithfully serving in the Army for many years - even into the 1960's, when he officially retired from active duty.

Even in retirement years he continued to exhibit qualities and abilities that were valuable to society.He lived a life steeped in West Point's focus of duty......honor....and country. And he continued to make the best waffles in the world. I'm proud of the cook who became a colonel. He was my dad. Gone but not forgotten.

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