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COLLEGE DEGREE

Story ID:10325
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Washington D.C. USA
Year:2015
Person:Dr. Dean
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COLLEGE DEGREE
By Fred Wickert


In the 1950’s I was stationed in Japan. For a time we had an operations officer that was a CWO or Chief Warrant Officer. For those who don’t know, a CWO is just above NCO but below the rank of second lieutenant. I don’t know if the Air Force has any of them remaining or not. They were trying to phase them out and they created some higher ranks in the enlisted grades. At that time the highest enlisted rank was Master Sgt. Now there is Senior M/Sgt and Chief M/Sgt above that.

The Korean War had just ended at the time, and during the Korean War a large number of the helicopter pilots were Chief Warrant Officers. Our Operations Officer was not a chopper pilot. He had just been around for a long time. I guess for lack of somewhere else to put him, they gave him to the Air Police.

Everyone in the squadron tried to avoid him. People made jokes about him all the time behind his back. CWO’s were addressed formally as Mr. This one’s name was Bowie, pronounced Boowee. Mr. Bowie carried two loose leaf notebooks with him everywhere he went. He had taken a large number of courses and he wanted everyone to know it. He was very proud of his accomplishment.

Every chance he got he backed two or three men in to a corner and lectured them on the importance of a good education. Then he opened his note books to show them his completion certificates of all the different courses he had completed successfully. He had carefully placed them inside a clear plastic document protector and then placed the document protector in his notebook. They were three ring note books. It did not matter if you told him you had seen them before. If he trapped you in a corner you were going to see them again whether you wanted to or not.

The main squadron was located at Fuchu Air Base, but I was in a detachment at Washington Heights in down town Tokyo. Our boss was a M/Sgt Johnson who had about 23 years of service at the time. Most of the time Mr. Bowie spent at Fuchu Air base but from time to time he made an inspection visit to Washington Heights. Every time he came somebody was bound to be shown those two note books and given his spiel on the importance of an education. Those of us who had been through it before went to extremes to avoid it.

On one occasion I reported for duty for the swing shift. Mr. Bowie had the man I was relieving in the corner giving him the lecture and showing him the note books. When he finished he realized what time it was and that he had nearly a one hour trip back to Fuchu, so he soon departed. He had not been out the door very far before M.Sgt Johnson sighed and said, “Yep. Just what this Air Force needs. More educated idiots.” Everyone laughed at that. From then on, every time Mr. Bowie called to talk to Sgt Johnson, as soon as he hung up the phone he sighed and said again, “Yep. Just what this Air Force needs. More educated idiots.”

One day at Fuchu there was some kind of special ceremony and a lot of dignitaries were going to be there. For some reason the conclusion of the ceremonies was going to be what we in the military referred to as, “Retreat.” Retreat is when at the end of the day taps is played and the flag is lowered gradually and timed to reach the bottom of the flag pole at the precise moment Taps is finished playing. The flag reaches the bottom at the same time the last note ends. At every Air Force base the Air Police are responsible for raising and lowering the flag, folding it and securing it safely for the night.

On this special occasion, after the ceremony was over, the flag detail brought the flag to the Air Police office as usual. Right behind them as they came in the door, was Mr. Bowie. Mr. Bowie proceeded to reprimand them up one side and down the other, even threatening them with punishment for the screwed up sloppy job they had done on the flag detail.

Just then the door opened and in walked the one star General who was the Base Commander. He saw the men standing there, still holding the folded flag. When the General entered the office all had come to the position of attention. The General gave the order, at ease. They all relaxed a little. The General turned to Mr. Bowie and he said, “Chief Warrant Officer, I just wanted to stop by and thank these men for doing such an outstanding job. The way they handled lowering that flag tonight was absolutely beautiful and I wanted to tell them so and thank them personally.”

Mr. Bowie said, “Yes Sir. I was just telling them sir, what an outstanding job they had done, sir.” The General shook hands with each of the four men who had been the flag detail, told them congratulations, gave the order “At Ease,” so they would not come to Attention again, and left the building. Mr. Bowie never looked at the men. He just mentioned he had better be going and went out the door.

I was reminded of Mr. Bowie by a controversy on the news the last two days. A famous Democrat, a doctor who once ran for President of the United States, proved himself to be an idiot and failed to get the nomination, and then became Chairman of the Democrat National Party, has been on the talk shows saying one of the Republican Governors who is looking very good as a possible candidate for President in 2016 is not qualified because he never finished college. He quit in his senior year to take a job. Mr. Dean is saying he doesn’t have sufficient knowledge about things in general because he didn’t finish college.

I want to remind you Mr. Dean, of a man not long ago, who also didn’t finish college. He got an idea together with a friend. He quit college to work on the idea in his family garage. In a few short years he built up one of the greatest companies ever in the history of mankind. It is called Microsoft.

Another Republican was self-taught and never went to college. He became president of the United States Mr. Dean. He went down in history as one of the greatest presidents this county ever had. They even built a monument or Memorial to him in the nation’s capital and his birth day was once a national holiday. His name was Abraham Lincoln.

Far more recently, a Democrat became President of the United States, who also never graduated from college Mr. Dean. His name was Harry S. Truman. Unlike the current bunch of Democrats, Nr. Dean, he had a sign on his desk in the oval office that said, “The Buck Stops Here.” He was the President Mr. Dean, who ordered the Atomic bomb to be dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, which ended World War II.

It seems to me that you and a lot of others running your mouths these days, college degrees and all, are a lot like Mr. Bowie. You are a bunch of educated idiots. You proved you were an idiot and did not win the nomination when you tried it. Now you are running your mouth about other people being unqualified because they don’t have a college degree. It seems to me history has taught us that some of our greatest achievers are people who did not get a degree, they just saw what needed to be done and then went and did it. Unlike you, they didn’t tell everybody how good they were. They showed them how good they were.

The Scot Walker you are putting down with your hot air Mr. Dean, or Doctor Dean if you prefer, it seems to me has accomplished far more already than you ever have with all your degrees. Unlike you Mr. Dean, I have not heard anyone suggest Scot Walker is an educated idiot!

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