John James Woodrum
West Point, 1969
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Paul O'Connell on January 2, 2011:
I didn't know Woody during our years at West Point, but I met him almost forty years later in the words he penned in our Howitzer Year Book. I was looking for some way to articulate my philosophy of offensive counterespionage (double agent) operations, a field that occupied the majority of my military career after transferring from Infantry Branch. I was humbled by the courage and sacrifice exhibited by those actively involved in these operations, much like I had been humbled by the personal courage and humanity of the soldiers I was priviliged to lead in RVN. Infused with the warrior ethos, as cadets we were challenged by our leadership with the mantra that "The sign of the true professional is to march to the sound of the guns." On pages 28 and 29 of the Howitzer, Woody summed up our cadet experience in a unique and perceptive way. He wrote about the nature of our shared experiences, and what the "realization" of all of this meant. Wise and perceptive beyond his years, he concluded with these words "And the unexpected realization that there is more to war than the sound of guns." I have been asked for a copy of these words by students on a number of occasions, and, with the help of classmates, just today found out who wrote them. Woody - I will give you full honor in the future when we end our training with your words. RIP Brother.
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