Frank Anthony Lapenta
West Point, 1969
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Phil Weaver on April 7, 2007:
I composed part of these notes years ago (1990) when I first heard of Frank?s death several months before. I had intended to send them in a letter to his parents, but personal matters in my family intervened and I never got it sent. Here goes.
Frank and I were classmates and assigned to the same company at West Point all the way from Beast Barracks (8th New Cadet Company) in 1965 to graduation (E-4) in 1969. I was shocked and saddened by his death in December of 1989, but I did not know that he was ill or that he had passed away until I read of his death in the March, 1990, issue of Assembly. I had not seen Frank since shortly after we graduated from the Academy. Although Frank was not a big person physically, he had the fortitude to meet the challenges we all faced there; he conquered them all. Perhaps the one incident that I best remember about him stems from an E-4 intramural football practice on the plain on a fall afternoon in 1965 when we were both plebes. Frank was at half back and had gone out for a pass. Frank and the ball got to the same place at the same time, and he put out his arms to catch it. Unfortunately, it had been thrown by a rather husky upperclassman, a member of the class of 1967, with a lot more force than was necessary.
The ball hit Frank squarely in the chest and the impact knocked him over. The ball went one way and he went the other, falling heavily to the ground. Frank wasn't hurt, but he took a heck of a fall. Anyway, he got up and continued with the practice. I remember being impressed by this scrawny little guy who jumped right back in there without complaint, ready for whatever was next.
I regret that I lost contact with Frank and other classmates over the years. He was my friend and my classmate. Rest in peace, Frank.
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