Donald Richard Judd
West Point, 1966
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Mike Trollinger on July 8, 2000:
Don was my Squad Leader during Beast Barracks in the summer of 1964. We were in 7th New Cadet Company, third platoon, second squad (to be best of my recollection after all these years). Our squad was housed on the third floor of the east wing of Old South Barracks.
Of course, that summer was (and still is) a complete blur of non-stop activity. Despite that fact, I still remember a few things about Don. The first thing that comes to mind about Don is that he tried to shape into what we needed to be to survive and succeed as a plebe. He did so quietly and surely, not in a screaming and yelling way that was so fashionable among some upperclassmen of the time. Now that I can reflect on it, I don't think Don liked all of the harassment, but understood the purpose for it and accepted it as something he could not change.
Of course, he made us do the things that other new cadets had to do. We opened "goodie" packages in his room, as required, and had them confiscated, only after he gave us a cookie or two for good measure. He encouraged us to write home, albeit under our blankets after Taps because that was the only time to do it. He set the example for us and supported us through all of our trials. To the best of my knowledge, he protected us from the vicious attacks from other upperclassmen.
Don, I made it through Beast because you led me through. I made it through West Point because you helped shape me and gave the strength to survive.
I am sorry that you are gone. Of course, I was still at the Academy when you died in Vietnam, so I know all of the details of your passing, at least those that I can remember. You had a lot to give and were killed before you had a chance to fulfill your mission. But I leave you with this . . . you helped shaped me into what I am today. For that, I thank you.
Class of 1968
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