IN?MEMORY… Remembering area war veterans

Editor’s note: This is part two of two parts. The first part was published May 19.

After his schooling, Arthur Crowell completed training in field artillery and went through airborne training. In May 1963, he reported to Fort Riley, Kan., from which point he was sent to Germany for seven months of “Operation Long Thrust.” After he returned to Fort Riley, he attained the rank of first lieutenant. He was put in charge of guarding Hoover’s grave in Iowa – a five-day assignment that turned into a month.

Next for Crowell came orders to report immediately for duty. Although his orders weren’t specific, Crowell knew they might as well have been stamped “Vietnam.”

He was right. He was given his “West Pac” (Vietnam) orders and assigned as a military advisor to the 15th ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam). But unlike so many other soldiers his age, Crowell made it back home after the war.

He returned to the U.S. and went to Fort Sill in Oklahoma. There, he attended advanced artillery school where he was trained in the Army’s 8-inch self-propelled and long-range 175mm artillery. The latter would prove effective for firing over high mountain ranges.

After that, he was sent by the Army to RPI in New York City to receive his master’s degree in mathematics. This education was crucial; artillery calculations must be done with precision and confidence. This led to Crowell becoming an assistant professor in mathematics at West Point, a position he held from 1969 to 1971. Then it was to Levenworth, Kan.; national security school; and finally, another overseas assignment. Crowell was sent to Korea to join the 2nd Infantry Division.

Again, Crowell returned to the U.S. This time, he was sent to Washington’s Hoffman Building. He was appointed comptroller for the Army’s PSC budget.

In 1980 he was given command of the 193rd Combat Support Battalion in the Republic of Panama. He held that position until 1983.

Crowell was sent back to Washington. His new orders sent him to the deputy chief of staff, research and development and acquisition, located in the Pentagon. Crowell had come a long way from his Forestville farm. His next position was also at the Pentagon; this assignment was to the office of the assistant secretary of the Army’s Financial Management Team. He worked from 1985 to 1988 at the budget office of the deputy chief of staff Intelligence Headquarters. He retired from this prestigious military career in 1988.

However, Crowell wasn’t done with math. After his retirement, he became a consultant. He also made sure he had plenty of time for his family. In February of 1963 he married Judith Ann Marsh from Walton Beach, Fla., at the Elgin Air Force Base chapel. The couple had three boys, Steven, Andrew and Timothy. He coached his boys’ sports teams and even played the role of umpire.

Arthur Norris Crowell, West Point graduate and Forestville farm boy who loved reading and learning, worked his way from the snowy hills of Forestville to prestigious positions in the Pentagon.

Along the way, he and his family moved to Florida. From his military resume, one can see how much influence Crowell had on our military and the way certain aspects of it have been run. He was ordered back to the Pentagon again and again, and proved an invaluable asset to our military’s leaders and decision makers. He is a wonderful example of how a person can determine his or her own destiny, and that where you start isn’t where you have to end up.

Crowell always made time for his family, even with all of the high-pressure demands of working at the Pentagon.

Although he spent much of his working life traveling and staying in Mount Vernon, Va., he made time for soccer and organized youth wrestling matches. He supported his family and they were proud of him.

Crowell’s story is familiar in that it is one of a man dedicated to his country and family. He is another one of our area’s veterans who spent the majority of his life making sure our country’s military ran to the best of its ability. It’s important to remember that men and women in positions like Crowell had do not spend the money or start the wars.

All of this fire starting is done by temporary men and women we elect into office. We are blessed to have people like Crowell, veterans who put our country first, men and women who I believe are the very best of the best. Soldiers like Arthur Crowell will be missed.

I want to thank his family for the service their father and husband gave us. I also want to thank the Crowell family for their brother’s service. We lost this hero in 2001. This week we remember this hero, and honor the memory of Arthur N. Crowell.