Frank Anthony Rybicki
West Point, 1966
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Matt Harrison on May 8, 2013:
During the early 1960's, my father was stationed in the Canal Zone so I met Frank before coming to West Point and he and I spent a lot of time together when we were able to get home. My parents got to know Frank; his smile and charm absolutely captivated them. To the end of her life, my mother would weep whenever she was reminded of Frank. My parents weren't the only ones smitten by Frank. I understand that the governor of the Canal Zone (Major General Fleming?), a gruff old Engineer officer, so admired Frank that he presented Frank with the 2d lieutenant bars that he (General Fleming) had worn when he was commissioned.
After Beast Barracks, the luck of the draw had me going to I-1 and Frank to the 2d Regiment (K-2?). Shortly after the academic year started, Frank and I arranged to get toether on Saturday night in my room. It was so obviously a bad idea that I wonder now why we didn't realize it at the time. On Saturday night I waited in my room for a couple of hours with no sign of Frank. I remember noticing a racket coming from down the hall as a pack of I-1 yearlings cornered some prey, but that was pretty much business as usual in I-1. When I saw Frank next, he explained that he had tried to come to see me but had been prevented from doing so by serial hazing in the I-1 barracks--apparently the I-1 upperclassmen didn't think that K-2 plebes really got to experience plebe year so they decided to give Frank a demonstration of what he was missing. From then on, Frank and I got together in K-2.
As Rich Tarpley has noted, Frank was a very special guy. His smile and charisma could light up a room and he was so obviously a genuinely nice person that I doubt that there was anyone in our class who didn't like him. His loss was a tragedy, but he left many wonderful memories with his friends and classmates.
West-Point.Org (WP-ORG), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides an online communications infrastructure that enable graduates, parents, and friends of the military academy to maintain and strengthen the associations that bind us together. We will provide this community any requested support, consistent with this purpose, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
WP-ORG is funded by the generosity of member contributions.
Our communication services are provided in cooperation with the AOG (independent of USMA) and are operated by volunteers serving the Long Gray Line.
For questions or comments, please email us at email@example.com.