Tuesday, October 15, 2019
This story is a wonderful example of how life can turn out well, even when we think otherwise.
This was shared to me by a friend of mine.
Mike was getting ready to graduate from West Point in 1964, one week to go and the administration decided to give one last dose of inspiration. After supper they were required to attend an evening lecture given by a senior general, the theme being lessons that would help as we marched into the future.
One evening, a four-star general from the Material Command told this story. “It was 1939. I was stationed in Scofield Barracks in Hawaii. It was my wedding anniversary. I wanted to surprise my wife, I arranged with the Officer’s Club to have private use of the rooftop terrace so I could surprise my wife with a romantic and private candlelight dinner. It was a very nice evening. Then, about half-way through our meal, the terrace doors burst open, a drunk staggered in. It was an awkward moment for us as the drunk was our best friend.
He pretty much ruined our evening. He sat down at our table and proceeded to pour out his miseries. He was very unhappy. He was 49 years-old and was a failure. He had started out his military career in a very successful manner, but his career had gone flat. He had not been promoted in 13 years. He was getting ready to retire into oblivion, a very unfulfilled man.”
The four-star General paused, then quietly said, “By the way, my drunk friend’ name was Dwight Eisenhower.”
History shows that shortly after the time of this story, General George Marshall was looking for a military leader who could deal with the complicated personalities of British and French leaders who had to be dealt with in our European military campaign. General Marshall remembered a staff officer who had been very successful as the Chief of Staff for General Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur was known as a vain and difficult boss and Marshall realized that anyone who could successfully handle MacArthur could also successfully deal with the British and French military leaders. Thus it was he reached over the heads of hundreds of available Generals and selected an obscure Lt. Colonel named Dwight Eisenhower to lead our forces in Europe. Within a year, Eisenhower was a five star General. The rest is history!
Ike was a success in 1939, he just hadn’t waited long enough for events to play out.