October 19, 2007

Former Joint Chiefs Chair Crowe dies

I have a William Crowe story that is really kind of embarrassing--to me. He taught at OU for a while and I rode the elevator with him one time. I was a little nervous and said, "You are Admiral Crowe, right?" He nodded. I said "I loved you on Cheers." Referencing, of course, his one appearance on the show. He was very gracious to someone who said such a stupid thing and made some kind of comment about how that one appearance overshadowed his career.

It was a funny moment, though I have always regretted the trivial comment. Like I said, I was nervous. But I genuinely admired the man and it was rather thrilling to be in the elevator with someone of his experience.
Talking Points Memo | Former Joint Chiefs Chair Crowe dies: "In the early 1960s, Crowe turned down a chance for assignment to nuclear submarines to study for a doctorate in politics and international affairs at Princeton. Angered by Crowe's decision, Adm. Hyman Rickover, the autocratic head of the nuclear Navy, turned against him.

For his part, Crowe said the studies transformed him. 'As I studied political science at Princeton, I began to learn that things aren't black and white, they're usually gray,' he said later.

Back in uniform, he angered a Pentagon superior by suggesting a policy change. 'He called me in and said, `We didn't send you to graduate school to come back here with a lot of ideas on how to run the Navy. What we sent you to graduate school for is to come back here and help us perfect and articulate what we want better. But we're not interested in your original thinking.''"
He later endorsed Bill Clinton for President and was angered by Republican attacks on Clinton's lack of service in Vn. I can only imagine what he thought of the Swift Boat ads and the attacks on Max Cleland. This man served Reagan and Bush as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and served his country with distinction. In the modern political world, Rush Limbaugh would call him names, but he is the stuff that makes me proud to be an American. He will be missed.


Tony said...

Kind of hard to believe you were ever at a loss for words.


May God give us more original thinkers like Crowe.

Streak said...