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View a eulogy for Earl Robert Kelton, USMA '64, who passed away on April 5, 2006.

Earl Robert Kelton

West Point, 1964

Be Thou At Peace

Posted by LTC Robert Phelan on January 12, 2012:

LTC Kelton admitted me to the ROTC Program at Hofstra university in 1982. At that time I was a long-haired, mustachioed college kid just five years out of the air force. He had me write an essay on why I should be admitted to the program. I got in and am now a month retired, after 33 years of total military service.

The irony of the colonel's date of death being 5 April is that I entered air force basic training on 5 April, 1973. He died 33 years to the day after I began my military service, service that was 33 years in length. How I wish I could tell him I made good on the chance he gave me.

He broke his ankle while on a rappelling exercise at West Point. I drove him to the hospital. His sense of humor was undiminished as several cadets carried him, in pain, to my van; He said "Everybody gets an A."

I wish I'd known the colonel better and for longer. I especially wish I could have told him in this life how he made a better life and an army career possible for someone.

I made good, Sir. Thank you LTC Kelton.

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