Claude Darius Alexander
West Point, 1969
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Ted and Nancy Harwood on October 28, 2007:
Nancy and I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Claude over the last 8 months in our efforts with the wounded vets from Walter Reed. He had been our link to these kids and their families for trips to southern Maryland for fishing and "get away time" from the grind behind the gates. He screened us to ensure we had the best interests of these kids in mind before he passed our offer on to those who enjoyed fishing and then encouraged them to participate. Our latest endeavor was the Navy – Air Force football game, where we had over 25 vets and their families participate in a tailgate and general relaxation. This was the first time Nancy and I had met Claude in person, all prior correspondence having been by phone and e-mail. Claude, as most everyone knows, is a details oriented man. He carried a folder over 2 inches thick with data for every contingency. It took me over an hour to get him to put it down and relax.
We’ve heard several stories from the vets about Claude, all of them in awe of the man who came to be at their bedside in their most trying and painful times. As a peer visitor, he had a lot to pass on to these kids, that life does not stop because of loss of a limb, that recovery will not be a cake-walk, and that the pain will eventually subside – Claude did not mince words with the troops, he told them what to expect. He was credible because he had been there himself, except his was during Viet Nam.
We will continue to reach out to these wounded soldiers, sailors, and marines because, as the West Point Motto which so suitably fits Claude’s attitude, it’s “duty”, it’s “honor”, and our “country” is a better place because of people like Claude.
Ted Harwood (Captain USNR-Ret)
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