Tag Archives: Vietnam

Short history of Pa. Military College, Widener University ROTC, and 2nd Lieutenant, John lance Geoghegan

For my paper, I will be discussing the history of Widener University from its founding days to the present. I will also be focusing on Vietnam soldier, John Geoghegan, KIA.
The Vietnam war and Vietnam Veterans have received much attention over the decades since the ending of that war. But not much is known about the men who fought the good fight to save South Vietnam from Communism. Whether the US involvement was right or wrong is up to debate but one thing that can not be debated is the courageousness of young Americans fighting a very difficult war to the best of their ability despite negative press at home.
These young Americans were men of integrity and honor. Like their predecessors, many put themselves in harm’s way to save or offer comfort to their fellow soldiers as was the case with John Geoghegan.
It was The Pennsylvania Military college that John Geoghegan attended. Today it is known to us as Widener University. While this University enjoys a great academic reputation, it also has a great military school legacy. Over its long history, the University had quite a few name changes.
In 1821, John Bullock established the Bullock School for Boys, to prepare young men
for “entry to college” (widener university/vision & history, http://www.widener . edu/about/vision_history/
In 1846, Samuel Alsop became headmaster and the school’s name was changed to Alsop School for Boys. And, then In 1853, the school’s name was changed once again to Hyatt’s Select School for Boys. Theodore Hyatt ran the school. It was Hyatt who introduced military style discipline so that the boys could “develop the muscles, expand the chest , and impart an erect gentlemanly carriage..” (http://www. oldchesterpa.com/schools-pmc-museum.htm.)
The school was incorporated under the charter of the Wilmington Literary Institute as the Delaware Military Academy (DMA).
Later, the school moved to West Chester, Pa and the name changed again to the Pennsylvania Military Academy (PMA). It was in 1868, that the academy made its last and final move to Chester, Pennsylvania.
General Charles Hyatt, son of Theodore Hyatt, applied for collegiate status which was granted . It was that year that the academy became known as The Pennsylvania Military College (PMC). Modeled after West point, the all male school thought of PMC as the “West Point of Pennsylvania.” (http://www. oldchesterpa.com/schools-pmc-museum.htm.)
Anti war propaganda and demonstrations took its toll on military schools throughout the US. PMC was no exception. To boast enrollment, women and civilians where enrolled at he Penn Morton College which was a counterpart of PMC. The two institutions later combined and became the Penn Morton College and the Pennsylvania Military College.
In 1972, the Pennsylvania Military College became Widener College, after the famous Widener family of Philadelphia. In 1979, it was granted university status. Today, Widener University has campuses in Harrisburg and Exton. It has schools of law and nursing. It has extensive civil, electrical, chemical, biochemical and mechanical disciplines that have their roots extending all the way back to Colonel George Patten, who was the first to establish an engineering program when the Pennsylvania Military Academy was in existence.
Although, Widener continues to expand academically, it has not forgotten its illustrious heritage. On its main campus, the Pennsylvania Military College museum is dedicated to the history and traditions of the men who were trained and educated at PMC.
Widener hosts Army ROTC activities at the Abington and Brandywine campuses of the Pennsylvania State University, Neumann University, Villanova University, and West Chester University, Widener’s Army ROTC program is open to male and females. Its Military Science department offers programs in leadership development through study and practicums, to be taken in conjunction with student’s selected academic major. (http:// www.widener.edu/about/vision-history/)
When the ROTC requirements are fulfilled for a baccalaureate degree, the student may receive a commission as a second lieutenant and can receive an assignment with the Active or Reserve forces of the US Army. (http:// www.widener.edu/about/vision-history/)
There are three ways to participate in the Army ROTC. One way is s a participating student. A student can enroll for Military Science class only. They are not cadets. They do not participate in activities outside the classroom. Another way to participate is to enroll as a cadet. This is the most common mode of participation. As cadets, they fully participate in the ROTC. They take military classes, physical fitness training, leadership labs, and field training. They wear the Army uniform to all ROTC functions and adhere to military customs and standards. Another way of participation is to be a contracted cadet. These cadets are full participants in the ROTC and are obligated to future military service.
Widener University also offers a two year ROTC program for students transferring from junior colleges. Before being accepted into the two year ROTC program, the student must receive credit for the basic ROTC course or attend a four week Army ROTC leader’s training course (LTC), prior to starting junior year. Widener also has an Army ROTC scholarship program available to high school students.
(http://www.widener.edu/about/vision-history/)
Widener’s Dauntless Battalion is made up of students from Widener University, (headquarters an A company), Villanova University (B company), Penn State University – Abington (C company), West Chester University (D Company), Cheyney University, Penn State University (Brandywine), Neumann University, immaculate University. Students at the above universities take Military Science classes at their institutions and train with Dauntless Battalion. Dauntless Battalion traces its roots back to the Pennsylvania Military College and the Freedom and Pioneer Battalions. You can follow the Dauntless Battalion on Facebook.
Widener University has a distinguished list of men who served their country. On such man was Henry C. Robinett, a graduate of the then Delaware Military Academy led a Union artillery battery. He and his men defended a strategic position at the Battle of Corinth, Mississippi. The Widener ROTC, “Battery Robinett” is named in Robinett’s honor. Lieutenant William John Wolfgram died in WW ll. He earned a Bronze star. Widener’s Wolfgam Memorial library is named in his honor. (http:// www.widener.edu/about/vision-history/)
Tens of thousands of Americans sacrificed all for this country. They answered the call of duty while others cowered. One of those men was John Lance Geoghegan.
John, born November 10, 1941 in Pelham, NY, was the only son of John J. and Camille D. Geoghegan, He attended the Pennsylvania Military College and graduated as a U.S. Army second Lieutenant. He then obtained a two year deferment from the Army to attend the University of Pennsylvania where he received a Masters degree in International Relations.
On June 13, 1964, he married Barbara Weathers. Afterwards, he took part in a relief program in Tanganyika, Africa. It was there that he headed a school lunch program that fed over 120, 000 children a day. Jack and his wife, Barbara traveled throughout the country making sure supplies from the United States were getting to their destination. After his two-year commitment was over, the Geoghegans headed back home. Afterwards, Jack was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry after completing the Infantry Officers Basic Course.
The Battle of la Drang, Vietnam was fought November 14-18, 1965. It was the American Army’s first major battle with the Viet Cong and one of its bloodiest. When the 1st squadron, 7th cavalry landed into a clearing in the la Drang Valley, they were quickly surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. The Vietnamese wanted to engage the Americans because they were desperate to learn how to deal with American firepower from Helicopters, which were being used for the first time.
During the commissioning ceremony at Widener University, May 14, 2009, the guest speaker, Brig. Gen. Frederick Hodges, Deputy Chief of the legislative liaison for the office of the secretary of the Army in Washington DC reminded the cadets of the importance of completing the mission and leading their soldiers. Brig. General Hodges personally knew Second Lieutenant, John Lance Geoghegan whom was affectionately known as “Jack.” “My friend, Jack was the top cadet and President of our class. He was a man of integrity and character, one of the most distinguished military students in the entire nation in 1963.” (http://broomstickstobattlefield.blogspot.com/2009/05/commissioning-ceremony-widener.)
According to the Brig. General Hodges, former President and five star General, Dwight D. Eisenhower, reviewed the Pennsylvania Military College Corps before John “Jack” Geoghegan’s commissioning ceremony. In return, “Jack” who was the Brigade Commander presented a ceremonial sabre to the former President “ and we, the Cadet Corps, were saluted and blessed by the Supreme Allied Commander of WWll, and President of the United States. (“http://broomstickstobattlefield.blogspot.com/2009/05/commissioning-ceremony-widener.)
The Brig. General praised John Lance Geoghegan as virtuous and noble man.
John lance Geoghegan who is portrayed in Mel Gibson’s “We were soldiers” was awarded posthumously the Bronze star with “V” and in 1997, through the efforts of General Moore, the Silver star. Jack was buried at St. Mary’s cemetery in Bethel, Connecticut on December 2, 1965. At his funeral, the honor guard from Pennsylvania Military College along with the college president came to pay tribute. (http:// www. Virtualwall.org/dg/GeogheganJLO1a.htm.)
John Geoghegan died when he was only 24 years old. He left behind a wife and a baby girl who was born just 2 months before he died. He was a husband and father but he was also a soldier who believed as most soldiers believed that what he was doing was for the good of his country. And, like so many other soldiers, he took an oath that he meant to keep, “To support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same… and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter.”
The story of the Vietnam War is both tragic and heart wrenching, but for those who know its history know that American boys fought courageously in a foreign land against an ardent foe that was not afraid to die. Many American soldiers, most of whom were in their late teens to early 20’s ) suffered from dehydration, hunger, torture by the constant onslaught of insects, M-16’s that did not work properly and puny 5.56 mm cartridges that couldn’t stop a squirrel much less an enemy soldier. (Moore, H., & Galloway, J. L. We were Soldiers once…and young. Random House, 1992.)
Researching about young soldiers like John Geoghegan left me with a sense of pride and awe;.young men who in the gore of battle overcame terrible fear to assist or offer comfort to follow soldiers. It was during an attempt to help a wounded fellow soldier, Willie Godboldt, that John Geoghegan was killed. Willie Godboldt also was killed. (www. Virtualwall.org/dg/GeogheganJLO1a.htm)
At the Washington DC Vietnam War memorial are the names of all 305 soldiers killed at la Drang including John Geoghergan. They can be found on the third panel to the right of the apex, Panel-3 East, of the memorial. Jack’s name is at the Panel 3E, line 56. Godboldt is next to Jack’s. (www. Virtualwall.org/dg/GeogheganJLO1a.htm)
In September 1998, Randall Wallace, a screenwriter for WE WERE SOLDIERS ONCE…AND YOUNG wrote a touching letter to Jack’s widow, Barbara. In it, Randall Wallace writes, …Jack Geoghegan’s story is one that I find to be especially important, in that it seems to me to be representative of the finest and best spirit among the young Americans who went to Vietnam- either physically, as the soldier did or spiritually as families back home. Trying to capture that spirit is an almost mystical endeavor. (Wallace, R. letter to Barbara Geoghegan johns. www.Virtualwall.org/dg/GeogheganJLO1a.htm)
As the title of the best selling book by Retired Lt. General Hal Moore and Joe Galloway states, “We were Soldiers once …and young.” John Geoghegan was one of those soldiers who did not come home. He was young… and forever he will remain.

Moore, H., & Galloway, J. L. We were Soldiers once…and young. Random House, 1992.
http:// www. Virtualwall.org/dg/GeogheganJLO1a.htm.
http://www. oldchesterpa.com/schools-pmc-museum.htm.
http://broomstickstobattlefield.blogspot.com/2009/05/commissioning-ceremony-widener.

Left is proud, brother Islam has won.

It was the American “New” left who empowered the Viet Cong and later the Khumer Rouge. They pulled on the ears of Congress and stopped further American intervention in a war that was being won. They weren’t so much interested in stopping the war as in making sure that the US & South Vietnam didn’t prevail. They wanted the Viet Cong to win, and supported them to the hilt. The likes of Noam Chomsky, Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda did whatever they could to humiliate & embarrass not only our troops but our nation. Taking up the Make love not war banner, the left screamed and raged. They rioted and demonstrated, always playing the part of the good guys. They vilified the flag while enticing children to do drugs by making getting high the cool thing to do. They bullied and threatened those who didn’t support their agenda.

They were relentless in their push to end the war until America gave in. A peace with honor treaty was signed and America left South Vietnam to its fate. When US troops moved out, the Viet Cong moved in and helpless peasants, the very people the left claimed to love so much, were subjected to a terror reminiscent of Soviet Russia during the 1930’s.

Vietnam wasn’t the only land to be shattered. Cambodia suffered, too. It suffered so much, nearly ¼ of its population was wiped out. The left barely noticed. They got what they wanted. Their brothers prevailed and nothing could have made them feel better. Time when by and the genocides of Vietnam and Cambodia were forgotten. It was as if they never existed because the left made it so. Their plights were of no use so they were caste aside like old furniture.
For a long time, the left was quiet but they were very busy- undermining American exceptionalism, the church and the traditional family. Generation after generation, children were softened and sissified, their parents unwilling to speak out against the left’s anti Christian/American propaganda for fear of being called a racist, sexist or bigot.

In 2000, something unexpected happened, the American people voted for the lesser of two evils. They choose Bush over Gore and the left went nuts. They were like rabid animals foaming at the mouth-screaming foul over Gore’s loss. Then 9-ll came and the Iraq war, followed soon after, and the left was back in business- fueling anti war fervor. For over a decade, they worked overtime to end the war in Iraq. They wanted the troops out. They demonstrated. They screamed and yelled. They got in people’s faces. Finally after 2 agonizing terms of George W, they elected one of their own into the presidency. Once again, the left got what they wanted. The one thing that the left knows how to do is play people and most especially the American people. Leftists could care less about war or about people dying. They could care less about young American soldiers. Their only concern today is for their brother, Islam. They shamelessly promoted that brother as “the religion of Peace”.

Through media, entertainment, and schools the left forced its propaganda on an already gutless society, pretending to want peace. BHO gave them what they wanted. So the troops were removed from Iraq even though Iraq was not ready and probably never would be. The left knew it, too but they weren’t interested in ending the war. Once more, they wanted their brothers to win. Starving people, terrified babies, little girls forced to marry grown men, churches destroyed, society broken and an ancient people on the run has no effect on the left. They are proud just like they were when Vietnam fell and the killing fields of Cambodia stank;  their brother, Muslims have won.

Killing fields on our horizon

I only remember a few tidbits of the SE Asian war and its aftermath – the hippies, the protests, the burning of the flag, the peace signs and then, the killing fields of Cambodia. Back then, the truth was muddled with leftist propaganda- the US dropped Napalm on helpless civilians. The US started the war. The US lost the war. US soldiers were baby killers. Unfortunately, I was young and impressionable, and I believed most of what I was told. I didn’t realize that the protests against the war were nothing but a ruse until much later in my life. The so called anti war radicals could have cared less about peace. They were more interested in humiliating the US and giving victory to a tyrannical state that sought to impose its will on another.
Those anti war radicals were in reality Marxists and they played their parts well. By the early 70’s, they had transformed the mindset of a nation. They won through lies and deceit and managed to humiliate the US. They made the war “over there” an embarrassment to everyday Americans. It was better to sweep the war under the rug and forget it. Back then I didn’t understand how easily led people were. Now, decades later, I know better. The power of Leftist propaganda is immense. It caused great harm to millions in Asia, and to young US soldiers, and we the people fed right into it without question. Today, those who follow the same ideology as the anti Vietnam war radicals are up to the same tricks. Only this time, they are after a much greater prize than SE Asia.
As America’s light grows ever dimmer, the specter of the Cambodian dead rises as a reminder to the everyday American to take heed. History doesn’t repeat itself exactly but it can expand in the same direction. And thats what is happening today in the USA. Our gov’t has been infiltrated by Marxists. They view the US as an impediment against their quest for world domination- under the guise of social justice and equality. The US as it was formed by by our founding fathers must be destroyed and reinvented. Thats means millions must die. I know that sounds far fetched but it isn’t. Marxist do not view humans as divine as Christianity does. Humans are on the same level as animals, and to be more precise – herd animals. I’m not making that up- Lenin said it. So to annihilate tens of millions is of no consequence to the Marxists because humans are expendable.

Just as the Jihadis are permanently at war with the West so too are the Marxists. And like the Jihadis, the Marxists never give up. They believe that only they can give direction to humanity and create a utopia where all men can live without borders.

Their utopia is an illusion. It is unattainable but that doesn’t deter the Marxist.
So the US lost the war. But how the war was lost? The war was lost NOT because of poor military strategy but because of leftist interference- from the universities to the halls of Congress. It was those Marxist influences that caused the US to back down and then back out of a war it was dominating. When the Viet Cong invaded and Saigon fell, it was leftist radicals who forced the US government to stay away despite desperate pleas from South Vietnam. Sadly, the US gov’t yielded.
So, the cries of PEACE were just an illusion of betrayal directed a people who fell for it- hook, line and sinker. The left didnt want peace because that would have meant that South Vietnam would have prevailed and that could not have been allowed. The truth is the left wanted the US to have “peace with honor” to provide the Viet Cong with an opportunity to invade and conquer the South. This was not to regions fighting a civil war. This was Marxist conquest and the American left were the cheer leaders.
Cambodia was next. Vietnam fell and Pol Pot saw an opportunity. Teachers, and doctors and other professionals were executed as enemies of the state. A government was installed based on Pol Pot’s knowledge of Marxism that he learned from his university days in France. Marxists don’t believe in private property so people were forced out of their homes and leave behind their valuables. Those deemed strong enough to survive were marched off into the jungles to work in ‘reeducation camps” later known as the “killing fields.” Most historians agree that at least 2 million were slaughtered. Millions who escaped suffered irreparable psychological damage. Yet, there was hardly a peep of protest from the left. They knew what was happening but they would never consider protesting against a brother. The Left wants communism to prevail. They want a NWO. They want all of humanity to be equal in poverty (except them, of course) If millions had to be sacrificed in places like the Killing fields of Cambodia then so be it.
Everyday, our government grows stronger which puts each and every American in jeopardy. When a government becomes stronger, it becomes corrupt. When the power leaves the people and local government, the federal government becomes more centralized and more removed from the people. The more removed the government becomes the more paranoid it becomes and therefore more intrusive. The more intrusive a government becomes, the more dictatorial it becomes. When a government becomes dictatorial it dictates to you what to do, how to think and how to behave or else. This is the rule of Marxism. You no longer have an individual identity. You belong to the state and if you go against the state you will be disposed off like the people in Cambodia were not so long ago. It may sound far fetched but its not. To the Marxist, killing a human is like killing a horse or a dog, without remorse or regret.
The killing fields may be on our horizon. Our borders are wide open. The Middle class is struggling under the burdens of heavy taxes. Our core faith is being demonized. Free speech is being constrained. Racism applies only to a certain race. More dumbing down in our public schools as Common core is forced down our throats. Children are in more danger than they ever were despite all the rules and regulations and gun free zones. Our economy is headed for collapse due to the increasing pressures of entitlements. Islam is growing in leaps and bounds thanks to government leaders who view the US as the source of all that is wrong in the world.
The only thing that stops the Marxists in power from doing what they want to do is America’s constitution and our core faith. Both must be removed because Marxism can’t reign supreme if the constitution and Christianity hold sway over the people.
Marxists like Muslims are very patient. They have all the time in the world to wait for the right moment to pounce, and that moment is very near at hand. Unfortunately for the Marxists, they don’t have enough power yet. They just cant out and out destroy the constitution, but they can slowly eat away at it while they use propaganda to mock and ridicule it as a piece of paper that is racist and insignificant. For now, they have to relie on deception as they continue to increase their control in government from the local to the fed eral levels; their strength being derived in part from citizen inaction and ignorance. As the state becomes more powerful, it makes no effort to hide its disdain for those who oppose its agenda. Endless rules and regulations are being used to erode our constitutional rights. We have a president who has contempt for our civil rights and rule of law. The DHS has a power over American citizens that would have been tolerated 40 years ago. FEMA camps are being created. They may one day be our re education camps and if history teaches us anything, they could turn out to be our Killing fields.