Saturday, January 19, 2008

Thank You

I just want to throw a word of thanks out to everyone who sent their condolences and words of encouragement and support these last few weeks. It was heartening to see how many friends my father had and we send our love and our gratitude. Our father will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on March 7th. It's a soulful and moving experience that lays foundation upon the rock that is our nation’s heritage and pays honor to those who gave their all to America. It’s also, due to the large numbers of daily WW2, Korean, and Vietnam veteran’s burials at Arlington, a necessarily short and concise ceremony that will start and finish within a prescribed 15 minute time period. I’ve been to several of the full military honors burials in the last few years and they are beyond descriptive narrative to easily explain. At every military burial I’ve been I’ve always felt pride and a feeling that although we are but a drop of water in the wide expanse of sea, we all matter and our lives have purpose and this ceremony best holds those feelings in front of us to see and touch and understand.

We’ll provide details and direction in later posts and emails to include the time, local hotels people can use, and any post-gathering information. My townhouse is some 20-miles west…it’s small but everyone is welcome if you need a place to stay either before or after the ceremony.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

My father has passed away

Retired Army Colonel Wesley B. Shull, 77, a career military officer for more than 25 years, beloved father of 5 children and 13 grandchildren, passed away December 29 at home. He now breaths easier after a long and honorable fight against Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Born in 1930 to Dr. & Mrs. Elliott Cogswell Shull of Camden, New Jersey, Col. Shull, known to contemporaries as “Barry”, lettered in golf at Merchantville High School and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology from Pennsylvania Military College in 1952. After basic officers training, he served our country in Korea seeing action with the 2nd Infantry Division. He earned the Bronze Star with Valor and two Oak Leaf Clusters. Upon his return, he served at the infantry school in Fort Benning,
Georgia holding various positions of increasing responsibility. In 1960, he was accepted into the Masters program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Foreign Area Specialist Program. Upon graduation he served as a Foreign Service Officer in Pakistan. He was then assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1964 and saw extensive ground combat action in Vietnam with the 82d Airborne as a task force advisor to the South Vietnamese Army Airborne Infantry. From the mid 1960’s until his retirement in 1976, he held various senior level intelligence positions including heading up a special unit in the Defense Intelligence Agency responsible to investigate the capture of the U.S.S. Pueblo. Col Shull also served overseas in Korea at Camp Casey defending the border between North and South Korea as a Battalion Commander within the 7th Infantry Division. Throughout this time Col Shull and his family lived in Annandale Virginia.

After leaving the military, Col Shull and family moved to Jamestown N.Y. and served as Vice President and President of Brokenstraw Oil Corp, a 100-well “mom-and-pop” oil company in northwestern Pennsylvania. He held that position for a number of years. After his second retirement, he moved back to his childhood vacation home at Rainbow Lake, New Jersey. For many years he was actively involved in local politics, and was appointed to the local zoning board. In his later years he and his wife Barbara relocated to Clayton N.C. to be close to his family. He was an active member of the Grace Episcopal Mission Church.

He most recently co-administered a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) web site where his knowledge, advice, & words of encouragement helped many people suffering from this disease.

Survivors include his loving wife of 52 years, Barbara Peterson Shull of Clayton, NC, his brother Dr. Elliott C. Shull, Jr. of Cherry Hill, NJ, his sister Elizabeth Shull Bradley of Pennsauken, NJ, his children Wesley B. Shull, Jr. and wife Patti of Ashburn, VA, Eric A. Shull and wife Elizabeth of Oak Ridge, NC, Karin Shull Benson and husband Craig of Clayton, NC, Retired Master Sgt. Alexander Shull, and wife Lisa, of Valdosta, GA, Andrew Shull of Carboro, NC and his 13 grandchildren.

Services will be held at 6pm Thursday, January 3rd, 2008 at Grace Episcopal Mission Church 10151 US Hwy 70 Clayton, N.C., 27520. Internment will be at Arlington National Cemetery on March 7th, 2009.

List of Medals, Badges, and other Military awards
Bronze Star Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal
Army Commendation Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Joint Commendation Service Medal
Korean Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster)
Republic Of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Badge
Republic Of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation (1 Oak Leaf Cluster)
United Nations Service Medal
Combat Infantry Badge (2d Award)
Senior Parachutists Badge
Four Overseas Bars