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View a eulogy for Donald Eugene Appler, USMA '65, who passed away on April 12, 2018.

Donald Eugene Appler

West Point, 1965

Be Thou At Peace

Posted by Skip O'Donnell on May 6, 2018:

I met Don Appler at the United States Military Academy Prep School at Fort Belvoir,Va the summer of 1960. We were in the 4th platoon and had our bunks right next to each other. So we had a lot of classes and formations together where I got to enjoy his southern accent.On our weekends we would take the bus into the Washington, DC bus terminal,get our bag of hamburgers at the White Castle and head for the Ratskeller and the Hayloft. When we got our appointments to USMA, I asked Don and several other USMAPS buddies to stay at my folks' house in Highland Falls before our R-Day. Throughout our plebe year we would meet and relax at my folks house. After our plebe year Don invited me to visit him in Huntsville, AL which would be my first venture into the deep south. So I took a Greyhound bus sitting in the back as usual from Highland Falls to NYC, Washington, DC through the Great Smoky Mountains to Chattanooga and then Huntsville. During the Great Smoky Mountain bus stop, I followed all the men into the mens' bathroom. When I came out, two large Tennessee state troopers grabbed me and threw me against the wall. They were calling me a Freedom Rider because I used the black's mens room. I showed them my cadet ID card and said I had no idea what that was. So I rode in the front of the bus from there and met Don and his parents in Huntsville. Don looked at me and my ripped up shirt and asked what happened. Anyhow, I had a great visit with his family and some of his high school friends. We were in separate regiments at USMA but kept in touch during those years. Many years later Marilyn and I met Don and Carol at Fort Knox for my son's Armor basic officer course graduation. Don was a great friend, husband and father. I will miss him.

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