In Memory

David Michael Peters

David Michael Peters

David M. Peters 1970 1970 Class Crest Cullum No. 29388 • Jul 15, 1996 • Died in Killeen, TX Interred in Ft. Sam Houston Cemetery, Sam Antonio, TX View Memorial Gift Donors David Michael Peters was born in Salt Lake City, UT, to David and Marie Peters. David Michael was the oldest child, followed by Kenneth, Eileen, Janet, and James. While David was still young, his father took a job with the Army as a civilian personnel officer, which took the family to places far from Salt Lake. The family traveled to Okinawa, Japan, for a five-year tour and then lived at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Lexington, KY. In Lexington, David attended Lafayette High School, where he achieved All-State awards in football, baseball, and drama. Having accomplished so much in high school, David was appointed to West Point with the Class of ’70. Dave was a serious cadet, one who wanted to do his very best. Friends remember long, philosophic discussions with him about the fourth-class system, academics, and athletics. He had hoped to play Corps squad football, and he did play well on the plebe team, but a knee injury and other medical problems prevented him from continuing at the varsity level. Dave accepted that disappointment well and directed his athletic prowess to company intramural teams, where he was renowned as a keen competitor. Dave was a handsome, big-boned, muscular cadet. He had blond hair and blue, penetrating eyes. Although he could appear tough on the outside, he was more like a teddy bear on the inside. He had a heart of gold, and he was kind and considerate to all. Dave never forgot his Kentucky manners, and his southern charm proved an attraction to the opposite sex. At the end of his Yearling year, David met and fell head-over-heels in love with Joanne Arnold, a charming beauty from Long Island. Joanne became the light of Dave’s life from that moment on. Joanne kept his spirits high and Dave worked harder than ever. Without question, Joanne had a very positive influence on Dave’s cadet career. During First Class year, David would invite his classmates to join him for weekend visits with Joanne and her wonderful family on Long Island. Joanne’s parents, Theresa and Wilbur, along with her brother, George and sister, Denise, made visiting cadets feel like family. His classmates, who were fortunate enough to join David on those trips, still have fond memories of those times. When the class chose branches in the spring of 1970, the nation was in turmoil over the Viet Nam War. The country was divided but David elected to take his commission in the Infantry David and Joanne married at the Catholic Chapel in June 1970 and after two months’ leave, together they traveled to Ft. Benning. There, David attended the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course, Airborne, and Jumpmaster Schools. David’s first tour was in Bad Nauheim, Germany, with the l-36th Infantry, 3rd Armored Division. Overseas assignments were trying times for young lieutenants, but David accepted his job with enthusiasm. On 21 Sep 1972, Joanne gave birth to twins: Christine Michelle and David Christopher. In June 1973, the Peters family returned to Ft. Benning, where David completed the Infantry Officer Advanced Course. During 1974-76, David served as an ROTC Instructor at Weber State College-Ogden, UT, and then earned a master’s in business administration from Utah State University-Logan. In 1977, David was a battalion S—3 in the 2d Infantry Division, Camp Casey, in Korea. He was seriously injured during a rainy-night maneuver after falling about 30 feet off a bunker and was medically evacuated to Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center. He stayed in the hospital for roughly five weeks. After recuperative leave with the family, he was reassigned to Mannheim, Germany, as Comptroller for the 7th Signal Brigade. Before leaving Germany, Dave spent a year at USAREUR Headquarters and a fourth year with the 3rd Armored Division at Kirchgoins. In January 1983, David underwent major back surgery at Landstuhl and was placed in a full-body cast until April. The Peters family departed Germany in June 1983 and Dave went to Ft. Benjamin Harrison to attend Army Comptroller School. He then reported to Ft. Hood with the Comptroller’s Office for the 13th Support Command, followed by an assignment as Comptroller with the 2d Armored Division. Soon, Dave was experiencing more back pain, and although it seemed different from his injury, a very dedicated physician’s assistant directed testing that detected bladder cancer. Surgery was immediate and, fortunately, successful. Although the cancer was detected in time, David never was able to fully recover from the back injury sustained in Korea. By 1986, he was experiencing substantial back pain, all of which affected his physical abilities. In September 1987, after further medical evaluations, David was placed on the temporary disabled retired list. Roughly two years later, DA ordered him back to active duty, a difficult readjustment after TDRL. The back pain was still intense and he was unable to perform as physically expected. After two more difficult years of active duty, on Christmas Eve 1991, he received word from DA that he would be medically retired. David was fortunate to secure a position with Central Texas College as an instructor with the primary leadership development course for new noncommissioned officers. He loved that job because he was working with young, motivated soldiers and it kept him busy. That period also brought stability to the rest of the family. Joanne had secured a position as an administrator for the Killeen School District. Young David graduated from Texas Christian University in 1994, double majoring in political science and history, while Christine graduated from Southern Methodist University, majoring in marketing and business. Both were cum laude graduates. In early June 1996, David’s younger brother, James, died and David traveled to Utah to assist his mother with the funeral. Just after David returned home to Texas, he commented to Joanne that he felt ill, perhaps with the flu. On 15 Jul 1996, he slept most of the day, complaining still of flu-like symptoms. Just before midnight, David died peacefully in his sleep. Such a sudden, unexpected passing was a shock to his entire family, as well as to his classmates. David was a wonderful husband, father, and friend, and we will all miss him.


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03/12/16 11:25 PM #1    

William Franklin (Will) Buck

I hope this short vignette honors Dave's memory.  For a time while Dave was on his first assignment to Germany I was assigned to 4 Star General Michael Davison - Commander in Chief, US Army Europe.  A special two day mission came up and when I walked in I discovered that I would be paired with Dave.  I had not seen him since Lafayette.  Primarily because of Dave a complicated mission involving European civilians and American soldiers and civilians was completed successfully and with precision.  Dave had laser like focus during the day but at night over a beer and wurst he spoke of how much he liked his days at Lafayette and asked about many of our classmates.  I admired the Soldier's Soldier he had become.  A good man....

03/13/16 08:31 AM #2    

Melanie Dale Rhorer (McCloud)

What a nice boy David was in homeroom.  Of course, I had a crush on him like all the girls at Lafayette.  I have wondered for years what happened to him.  I am so glad he had such a rewarding life, although so short, and glad he found the girl of his dreams.  I'm sure his children have wonderful memories of him. RIP David.

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