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View a eulogy for Lawrence Melvin Herdegen, USMA '64, who passed away on August 25, 1994.

Lawrence Melvin Herdegen

West Point, 1964

Be Thou At Peace

Posted by Ramon M. Ong '63 on June 15, 2002:

Larry was one year behind me at West Point. I knew him well because of our close association as members of the Army Swim Team. He was the best backstroke swimmer of his time and he set many individual and team records. I know, because as Team Manager, it was my responsibility to update and post the new records at the Swimming Pool display boards each time they occurred. Larry was often responsible for this extra work but I did not mind. It was also my proud task to prepare a short announcement to be read at the Mess Hall by the Brigade Adjutant, informing the Corps of Cadets about a new swimming record and the record holder's name.
Larry had a fondness for dry towels and he always used up more than his share. I complained to him once that my Junior Managers and I had a hard time scrounging up dry towels from all over the gym including "borrowing" the stocks meant for the other Corps Squad Teams. I suggested that perhaps my life would be easier if he learned to use a towel more than once. He replied, "Ray, the only reason why I swim so fast is that I'm in a hurry to get out of the pool and grab one of your nice, warm, dry towels!"
After my graduation, I returned to my country to serve in the Philippine Army and I never saw or heard of Larry again. I did not know of his death until now. Be thou at peace, Larry...here is my final salute!

Brigadier General Ramon M Ong (Ret)
Armed Forces of the Philippines

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