Keeping Faith, General-ly Speaking

November 5, 2005

My last post was about basketball, generations, and fathers. Reading it again reminded me of two former Hoya athletes whose lives and careers were decidedly shaped by their own fathers as well as by the education in the classroom and locker room that they received at Georgetown. Separated by four years, varsity hoop letterman Jim Jones F'66 and varsity football defensive back George Casey F'70 never crossed college paths. However, their career paths have plainly intersected. Four-star generals Jones and Casey may currently be the two highest-ranking military commanders living and working on foreign soil.

Former Marine Corps Commandant General James L. Jones is now the Supreme Allied Commander of the combined NATO forces in Europe. And U.S. Army General George W. Casey, Jr. is the commander of the multi-national forces in Iraq. Both grew up in military families with fathers who had served their country with honor, charter members of Brokaw's "Greatest Generation." Two months after graduating from the Hilltop with an ROTC commission, George Jr. was preparing for a two-year Army stint and then law school, when he learned his father had been killed in Vietnam.

Today, both Casey's and Jones' military service seems to have been pre-destined. If "the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton," as Wellington once wrote, perhaps Georgetown's aspirations to forge leaders for the global stage has taken root. In point of fact, the premise underlying this ambition has always been part of Georgetown's Jesuit ethos: that a life lived well is lived generously in selfless service to others.

Certainly, the line of Blue and Gray graduates serving their country, their communities, and their fellow citizens is a very long one. While increasing numbers of Americans today are turned off by the notion of serving, these two Hoya generals, through their example, are ready to lead us in the opposite direction.

Hoya, Hoya Saxa! Hoya, Hoya Georgetown! Hoya Jones! Hoya Casey!


Gen. George W. Casey, Jr.










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