Richard E. Whitley
Richard E. Whitley, was in the Army from July 1, 1946 to July 31, 1949. He took his basic training at Ft. Belvoir, Va, and was chosen to be sent to Ft. Myer, Va when he completed his basic training, where he spent the rest of his time in Ceremonial Co., 3rd Inf., Arlington Cemetery, he was 18 years old.
He did many different jobs there during those 3 years. He spent some time as a Tomb Guard, guarding the Unknown Soldiers Tomb, some time caring for and training horses, some time on burial detail, especially with the “mass burials” following WWII, some time as guard to the high ranking military personnel and their families who lived on that base, one of which was General & Mrs. Eisenhower, sometimes marching in parades at funerals. He guarded the casket of General “Black Jack” Pershing as it lay in state in the rotunda of the Capital and then marched in his parade and buried him. He was at the Inauguration Ceremony for President Truman and Ball where he guarded an entertainer, singer Jane Powell and her mother. He flew to Texas as an Old Guard for one day to raise a flag on an anniversary of the War with Mexico in 1848. He use to laugh sometimes about the fact that he joined the Army to see the world and never left the State of Virginia except for one day to raise a flag. He was born & raised in Norfolk Virginia.
He met his wife Carol at a USO dance at the YWCA in D.C. on 16th & O Streets. She was working for the government in D.C. at the time. He was discharged in 1949 and they were married in May 1950. He became a carpenter and Construction Superintendent and moved back to Northern Va. where he built many schools, churches, & office buildings. They had four children, two boys (both having served in the military — one in the Navy and the other in the Air Force) & two girls. His wife Carol writes that they “had a good life together but he left us to be with his Lord in Oct., 1985.” They now have ten grandchildren & seven great-grandchildren. He is buried at Quantico National Cemetery in Quantico, Va.