Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rest your oars Shipmate

Captain William David Henry passed away suddenly on 17 Oct 2008 in San Francisco with the love of his life Deborah close by. Someone told me his last words were -"Deborah, I love you." I don't doubt it. Captain Henry was a young Lieutenant in Misawa, Japan when I was working my way up from Petty Officer Third Class to Second. He was there with guys like Mike Sare, Marty Greene, Ken Kuehne, RADM Ike Cole, Mark Pistochini, and Bill Gravell. I think that LT Gravell and LT Ferguson were my DIVOFFs on the follow-on trip that then LT Dave Henry completed in 1978 on USS POLLACK (SSN603).

Today, Captain Henry (who expressed - unashamedly - his belief in God) was sent to his final resting place by his family, friends, business associates from SCITOR and his many Navy Shipmates. He had full military honors at Arlington Cemetery after a service in the OLD POST CHAPEL on Ft Myer, Virginia. Some in attendance that I recognized included: RADM Don McDowell, RADM Tom Stevens, RADM Ned Deets, RDML Bill Leigher, RDML Alex Miller, Captains Mike Ketron, Hal Hardaway, Dick O'Neill, Greg Blackburn, Bill Gravell, Rocco Caldarella, Darrell Campbell, Nick Harris, Gary Burnette, Tom Daly, Bob Zellmann, Gene Arbogast and Rich Wilhelm, Commanders Jack Dempsey, Dave Bondura, Mark Pistochini and Mike Makfinsky. The chapel was standing room only. Captain Paul Jaeger from the OPNAV staff had the great honor to serve as escort for Captain Henry's remains.


Sean Heritage (reposted from his Blog) said...

My first Commanding Officer was Captain Dave Henry, who unfortunately passed away a year ago this week. I had no idea how lucky I was at the time, but every CT that checked in clearly did. These top notch Sailors were flocking to come work for a great leader. Their pride in being a part of the team he was leading did not wane, as I clearly remember his departure just over a year after I arrived. As he drove his trademark "Beater" jeep towards the air terminal where he would board the plane that would take him away from us, the street was lined with almost every Sailor not on watch. We were proudly saluting him as a means of expressing our gratitude. Needless to say, there were many "leaky" eyes.

Even then, I clearly understood that if I wanted to be great, I should surround myself with greatness. Though it was Captain Henry who personally demonstrated to me that if one was great, greatness would follow him (her). His example is one of many I continually attempt to emulate.

Steve Schindler said...

I just stumbled across this posting after doing a search for Dave on Facebook and the like. Dave Henry was, I can say, my best friend in high school. We both attended Athens High School running the best ROTC Drill Team they ever had, graduated in 1966 and went our separate ways. Me, to my Dad's next duty station (he was the CO of the Dental Dept at the Naval Supply Corp School in Athens)and Dave to Ga Tech. I eventually joned the Navy as did Dave and we met several times, both CONUS and OCONUS. 30+ years later, after my retiring from the Fed Gov, I started looking him up and even re-visited Athens during a TDY. Not the same place.
I wish I had stayed in touch more closely and knowm him throughout his career. I have lost a great friend but still have those memories of our youth. My condolances to his wife and family.

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