My Uncle Connie has received his orders to his final duty station. We're here to wish him goodbye.
He joined the army sometime after the desegregation of the military. He was a black officer for a country where there were signs at restaurants and hotels and schools that read, "Whites Only".
He accepted the tremendous responsibility knowing that he was under the microscope. He not only had to be the best black officer, but the best Officer. He was representing Americans at a time before Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks.
He was outstanding.
I heard a story today that when he was in OCS, there was this guy who dogged his every step. Did everything to goad him, get him into a fight or screw up, to get him booted. Anything he could do to get him to fail. On graduation day the man walked off. Not a word.
My Uncle toured in Korea and Germany. While he was in Germany, his wife had to leave their 1 year old baby girl in Jamaica with her grandmother so she could get a job. Times were much tougher back then for the military.
He eventually made rank and became the commanding officer of Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn New York where he eventually retired and moved up here to Albany.
Whenever he saw me he would squeak, "Frodo!"
I'll have to dig up a picture of him. I'll ask Denyce for the one of him as a 1st lieutenant. He looked like a movie star!
Tomorrow we will see him off. And then I'm sure there will be something to eat.
So, this is where you can screw up a compliment.
Don't exclaim, "Wow! This rice and peas is to die for!" at a funeral.