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View a eulogy for Richard Allen Chilcoat, USMA '64, who passed away on March 16, 2010.

Richard Allen Chilcoat

West Point, 1964

Be Thou At Peace

Posted by George Bush on April 9, 2010:

Remarks By President George Bush
Dean Chilcoat Eulogy
College Station, Texas
April 6, 2010

I am, of course, quite pleased to add a few words of heartfelt respect and affection for Dick to those you have already heard.

As our other speakers have so eloquently noted, Dick excelled at just about everything he did in life.

For starters, he was clearly a great Dad. Just look at his kids.

By his 42 years of service in uniform, Dick was also a genuine patriot and warrior in the cause of freedom. Duty, Honor, Country was his creed.

And certainly, Dick was a great Dean at our Bush School.

In that sense, there is a constant theme that runs through Dick's life -- that being the theme of leadership.

Dick was a natural leader. In many ways he was fearless, and always principled. But the thing I recall now is Dick's unbridled enthusiasm for life itself. He was contagiously enthusiastic and optimistic.

In fact, Dick often reminded me of the kid who was taken into a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure to see how he would react. Instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, however, the boy yelped with delight. Then he clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands. "What do you think you're doing?" the doctor asked. "With all this manure," the little boy replied, "there must be a pony in here somewhere!"

I am sure there were times during Dick's treatment where he must of felt he had been led to a similar room; but even when his fight against cancer got tough, Dick Chilcoat never lost heart -- he never stopped smiling, and pushing forward.

Of course, over the course of the past Holy Week, we have been reminded that suffering draws us nearer to God; and today we, too, can share in Dick's enthusiasm -- secure in the knowledge that his fight is won, his battle is over.

Dick Chilcoat was a great leader, a great soldier, a great general, and a great Dean. He was one of the finest public servants I ever knew.

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