Written by James W Casey: Leadership

Post written by: jameswcasey

 Hard working, Dependable, Loyal – A true Leader!

Dad served proudly as an officer in the US Army for more than 20 years and then 15 more years serving as a civilian consultant to the military. Dad was very proud of his service! I was looking through my grandfather’s (Pop Pop or Old Man Casey as he now likes to be called, at 95 you get to pick your names!) memory box and found a 1979 flight school graduation. There were 50 or so students in the class, 3 graduated with honors of course dad was one of them. Dad was a Blackhawk Helicopter pilot for most of his career. He served as the XO of the 201st Aviation Company in Korea, he was very proud to have served his country overseas. Dad late in his career served as the XO of the 160th (SOAR) Special Operations Aviation Regiment also known as the Night Stalkers. When I was in my freshman year of college an incident that many of you probably remember involved the 160th SOAR. They had a mission to capture a few Somalia militia leaders and one of the Black Hawks was shot down. This was the basis for the movie Blackhawk down. The flag of the captured US embassy in Mogadishu was hanging in my dad’s office building upon Michael Durant’s return to the US. Dad always rose to leadership positions throughout his career but never really spoke about his accomplishments he just worked hard!

Education is an important part of leadership and dad lived what he believed and set a great example. He entered the Army after getting his undergraduate degree, completed Officer Candidate School to become a Lieutenant. He became a paratrooper after finishing jump school, got a masters degree in military science while working full time with 2 young kids. Dad never spent much time talking about his education he just kept trying to better himself. His last position he took in the Army was to become the Battalion Commander of the ROTC at the University of Georgia. Dad did this as he had 2 college aged sons at the time and this is what largely enabled us to go to college. He never lectured us or pushed us, just lead by example, our education was so important to him he left the 160th to enable us a better education!

Dad showed leadership in many aspects of his life but none more so than with his family! When Valerie and I first moved to Charlotte and bought our first house due to a delay we found ourselves with no help unloading a moving van. Dad heard and left Wildwood on a few hours notice drove to Charlotte and spent all day Saturday just the three of us unloading a truck for a 4 bedroom house. Dad got up at 4:00 AM the next morning to head back to Wildwood so he could finish his visit with Old Man Casey.

This is who Dad was, you could not get him to talk much about what he did in life, because he was too busy leading by example!

We will all miss you, but your legacy will live on!

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