In Memoriam

Mando Castro

Armando Ponce Castro

We remember sitting in Mitchell Hall more than 20 years ago listening to a static-filled recording of General MacArthur's address on ''Duty, Honor, Country." We remember how utterly quiet it was except for the sound of his voice inspiring us to seek a higher calling in service to our country and maintaining allegiance to those who shared our common bond as graduates of the Academy. This higher calling was answered by many of our comrades in Vietnam and has once again exacted the ultimate sacrifice half a world away in the Republic of the Philippines. Lt. Col. Armando P. Castro was tragically killed at the Philippine Military Academy in March when bombs exploded on the roof of the grandstand where he was supervising a graduation rehearsal. In the years since our graduation, our classmates have been to virtually every corner of the earth. Arman, our only foreign classmate, returned to his country and dedicated himself to building the military officer corps as an instructor, staff officer, and finally one of the first permanent professors at the Philippine Military Academy. As we watched a peoples' democracy being born in the Philippines from the safety of our armchairs and televisions sets, Arman was in the midst of the action and courageously supported the cause of freedom. In his Christmas letter to a classmate he wrote, ''we're still intact as a nation. We're hoping and praying that it would remain that way. I have high hopes and belief in the sincerity of our President-Cory. I voted for her last time.'' The qualities embodied in these few lines: hope for the very existence of one's country, courage to take difficult steps necessary to realize that hope, and willingness to place duty before self-these are the qualities that Arman displayed as a cadet, officer, and patriot. We grieve with his wife Cecille and children Charmagne, Cathy, Joel, Ferdinand Joseph, and Cheryl Ann in the loss of a husband and father. We mourn with his fellow countrymen in the sacrifice of a teacher, leader, and patriot. We muster our ranks to honor our classmate and friend, Good-bye, Arman, and Godspeed; we will miss you.   (Jim Reese and Tim Davidson, Class of 1968)

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