Tom Brewer

I started with the class of 61 and graduated with 62. In the fall of 1957 we were playing football at the academy and were getting beat. At half time some staff cars stopped at the field, a four star General got out and opened the back door and immediately stood at attention as a gentleman exited the vehicle. We were all called to attention. This gentleman then proceeded to tell us about the fields of friendly strife etc – now get out there and kick their ass!

Yes Sir! We replied and with some extra effort, sweat and blood, we won the game.

The gentleman then asked for all the plebes that played to line up. He then went slowly down the line, stopping in front of each of us, extending his right hand he said in a firm voice: “my name is Doug MacArthur” His look directly in your eyes made the words: Duty, Honor, and Country seem to flow from him directly to your heart.

I extended my right hand and with humble words I said: “My name is Tom Brewer”.

The other Generals there were a little amazed, I believe.

Later in the mess hall as I was performing my plebe duties, the long awaited question was asked:

“Dumb smack, who was here today?”

With all the gusto I could muster: “Sir, Doug MacArthur was here today!”

What did you say? Then with all my strength and a voice that filled the mess hall, I again said:

“Sir, Doug MacArthur was here today!”

Dumb smack, he is a general, get on the floor and do push ups!

There was pandemonium as upper classmen were rushing to my location. I then said: “Sir, may I make a statement?” It had better be a good one!

“Sir, he recognized me today!”

Shock, silence, and time seemed to stand still as the words I uttered started to soak in their minds. During this period Dough was on the poop deck with the first captain, laughing at all the commotion on the floor. He told the first captain to call the corps to attention before they kill that plebe and announce that all the plebes he recognized today could be at ease for a month.

There have been occasions in my military career that I had the honor to tell this true story. I tell them with a hand shake, a hand that was gripped by Dough, to keep passing it on: Duty, Honor, and Country. I have done my duty to God and Country. I am grateful for all my classmates and the memories.
Tom Brewer, LTC(Ret)
Better know as:
Bear ’62
Woo Poo U

Mistaken Identity — Two Plays During the fall of 1958 a left guard on defense was injured and after football trials I was selected by the line coach to play at the next game I believe was Villanova Univ. On the kick off I was extremely hyper and ran down the field, first through one blocker and 15 yards later through a second blocker and end up making a tackle on the ball carrier. I looked back and saw the two blockers being carried off the field. I grinded a little then but today I hope they were not seriously injured. During subsequent defensive plays I found myself quickly through the line and making tackles on the quarterback. Howard Cosell was the radio announcer and numerous times said: “That boy really wants to play football but his number and name is not on the roster” Everything was going great until the third quarter. When I came up to the defensive line my left leg developed a Charlie Horse causing me to fall to the ground. Since we were next to our side line the trainer, Ed Pillings, saw what had happened and immediately said: “Brewer roll off! (Blank) roll on” (There was a picture in the N.Y. paper showing Ed working on my leg. He also the following weekend took a picture with a young lady and me, which became a full page in Sports Illustrated). Shortly I went back close to the side line and at that time I heard Col Blaik talking to the line coach about a problem on defense. I then ran back in and shortly we regained our dominance on the field. After the game I was going to get on the bus when the line coach ran up to me and said: “Brewer, you played a fantastic game except for two plays! Why? My mouth wanted to say: “It wasn’t me!” but my plebe training kicked in: “No excuse Sir!” He responded with words that sounded a little like Dumb Smack etc but ended with: “you are back on B squad!” Shocked I climbed on the bus and sat next to my 2 play substitute, who was also in shock. He had heard what was said. We rode back in silence. I felt in my heart that once they reviewed the football films the truth would come out but this did not happen. My substitute had played his heart out but he did not have the signals when to slant left or right. He was also a victim of circumstances. He later played outstandingly in many Army games. However, next year on the first day of spring practice the line coach had all of us report to the film room to watch the film of this historical game. Numerous players said: “Who is that person who is moving through the line so quickly etc?” I looked at the line coach and with no words but with a smile on our faces we made peace with each other. The future in football looked bright but as luck would have it I separated my right shoulder in tackling practice on Bob Miller, Tackle and later four star general. Spring practice was over for me. I continued on in football later that year. It was a great honor to play that day and be a small part of a team with real heroes: five All-Americans. Since that time of “friendly strife” many of our classmates have performed heroic service to our county. Some have been duly recognized to include recipients of the Medal of Honor. But many acts are not seen nor reported. Most see it as just doing their duty. On a soldier’s tomb stone it says: “I have done my Duty” May we all do the same.

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