My dad is an Army Veteran. He volunteered for the draft and started his basic training in Missouri. He then went to the school of cryptology in Fort Gordon, GA. There were 10 in his graduating class. He was assigned to none other than Washington, D.C. For 2 years his assignment was to communicate highly classified information from DC to other communication centers. He received messages from high level politicians and military personal from all over the world to where he was working at the Pentagon. i asked him, “Who’s the coolest person you ever got a message from?” He couldn’t tell me, or he’d have to kill me, and he’d miss me…and I’m the mother of his grandchildren. It would get super messy. So we agreed to the “my lips are sealed” military policy.
He shared that he would have to transpose electronically encrypted information onto paper that would be couriered to the White House or Department of Defense. No email back then…
I asked my dad for some of his favorite memories/stories.
- In basic training for the Special Security Detachment (SSD) the company commander said to him, “You got a really good deal. But it’s so high security I can’t tell you what it is.” Dave Moore, my dad, grew up in very small town; Maquoketa, IA population 6000. The army started doing secure background checks on my dad throughout his hometown. They communicated to him with some levity that the most common response was, “Dave Moore? Oh, he’s a heck of good guy.” Gotta love small towns. Keep it simple.
- He applied for a job at the CIA. They asked him to “set up” a piece of equipment. In his training he was taught to trust no one. He responded that he first had to call the Pentagon (while he was sitting in the CIA office) to make sure it was okay. When his commanding officer told him it was okay, he was still skeptical. He shared that at that point he wasn’t really sure if that WAS his commanding officer. This of course made for an awkward pause.
- The CIA did in fact offer him a job. He turned it down and committed to a life in the private sector. At this point he was engaged to my mom and they decided the clandestine life of the CIA was not what they wanted for their future. My mom is a HUGE story teller and what a burden for all the best stuff be committed to secrecy. She wouldn’t be able to survive.
Finally, I asked him how he felt now about his service.
His response, “I feel very proud. I hold the United States military in high regard and recognize it’s importance.”
I’m a proud daughter of this Veteran on Veteran’s Day and every day. Love you Dad.