Frame John Bowers
West Point, 1969
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Bill Bahr, USMA '69 on March 3, 2011:
From the USMA '69 classmate Forum postings (in chronological order):
It was great to refresh memories with John through the forum-one of the advantages of this way of communication-learning that he had ALS and enjoying his thoughts these past several years has made his passing more personal-I enjoyed his comments- he was one of us and will be missed. -- BN
I have to wholeheartedly agree with - and echo - BN's comments below [above]. There was a period when John was extremely active on the forum and I, too, really enjoyed his contributions. I was devastated when he informed us that he had ALS; not only because he was a long ago friend and fellow Third Regiment classmate, but also because my very close cousin had recently lost his five year battle with this insidious disease and I knew what was ahead for him.
I contacted John following his announcement and we shared some heartfelt thoughts, experiences and perspectives. I was struck by how bravely he dealt with his disease and how openly and matter-of-factly he discussed what he was going through. When we first spoke, John immediately tried to provide information to me that might help my cousin's widow obtain assistance following his death -- just as he tried to provide information to each of us via our Forum about what he had learned with respect to available support via the VA (which now recognizes ALS as service connected disability). He was more interested in providing whatever help he could to others than he was about dwelling on his own difficulties.
And when our work is done,
Our course on earth is run,
May it be said, 'Well Done;
Be Thou At Peace.'
Well Done, John. Be Thou at Peace. -- TP
John was a great guy. He was my beast roommate and is probably a major reason that I survived. Having been through the grind originally as part of the Class of '68 he knew the ropes and was more than willing to help. He'll be missed. -- EQ
I got to know John just a few years ago. He came to visit me in London a few times when he was passing through on GE Aviation business. I enjoyed his sage comments and provocative questions both in and outside the forum. We exchanged emails just before Christmas and he expressed contentment with his life, about the care he was receiving, and with all the cool gadgets he had recently acquired to help him cope. Definitely one of the good guys. -- JR
I did not know John at school but made contact with him when BK told me that John, like me, had ALS. John had been diagnosed a few years ahead of me and was a wonderful resource for helping me maneuver through the bureaucratic maze of the VA. He was extremely positive and gave me all his tips on how to beat/prolong the disease and how to network into the ALS world for even more resources. I was truly saddened learning of his death both for the loss of a new friend and for the reminder that my journey will most likely have a similar ending. I am encouraged by John's spirit and advice to not sit and wait but to engage in life with family and friends. He was a good person and I will miss him dearly. -- JR
John, I appreciate the many interesting, off-line email conversations we had. I note you were active on the Forum until just five days before your passing. Well done! Sleep well, my friend, sleep well. -- Bill Bahr
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