Claude Darius Alexander
West Point, 1969
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Eugene B. Mechling, Jr on October 29, 2007:
I met him at Walter Reed three years ago in the Physical Therapy area at Walter Reed AMC. He was a regular volunteer working there for the rehabilitation of the war's amputees - a guy who had been there and done that! Built like a rock - square jawed and rugged, even in his late fifties or early sixties, he was any man's Ranger! A quiet, friendly, dedicated man, he walked with a slight limp - which you might never suspect was due to the loss of a leg from combat in Viet Nam - unless you knew him.
His name is Claude Alexander. He was a '69 Grad of West Point, and for which, I am justly proud to proclaim. Claude was an exceptional person! So, I was shocked to hear of his sudden death, until I heard how and why it happened. He died from a sports parachuting accident in Richmond. I don't know the circumstances, but I can only say - that's Claude - what a man showing his sons and others how to vanquish life's blows!
I had the privilege of working with and briefly knowing Claude through our frequent trips to Navy football games, over the years, which were organized by Mike Healy and Claude with other '69 Classmates, to entertain Walter Reed wounded and their families. Claude was always the Transport Provider/Driver plus cell phone Directeur to and fro from the Mologne House through the endless Stadium traffic snarls. He was also seen, during the games, insuring that our, and the Navy's guests, were early in line for the gratis beer and vittles! The Naval Academy, always very generously, supplied food, drink and special seating for these special Army and Marine Corps combat patients.
This is a sad day, for us who knew Claude, as we will miss our friend, his spirit and drive tremendously, on future trips! But the real loss is, not only to his family and friends, but to the amputees at Walter Reed still recovering plus the many who have moved on inspired by his example. We must salute him for the man he was and for the unconquerable drive and leadership he has provided to so many in need.
With Claude's family we truly grieve! But to his children, I can only say - what a star to shoot for! Remember, your Dad was doing what he wanted - while he was able - and primarily while helping his fellow man! What better way to live your life and what better memory for us all!
God's speed Claude, from this member of the Long Grey Line. We are very proud to have known you. You have established a hard act to follow!
Colonel Gene Mechling USAF (Retire) CLass of 1949
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.