Regarding Rod Bechtel’s comments (on page 5 of the April 2010 GMHGA newsletter) about Gen. Mac congratulating a guard at the Dai Ichi Building, I would relate this story:
Dec 24, 1947 (Christmas Eve) I stood the post on the General’s office door for the first time. The General arrived as usual about 5 PM and I came to Present Arms. As the General past he stopped and said, “You are new here aren’t you, son?” Surprised, I answered, “Yes Sir.” He asked my name, where I was from and how long I’d been in Japan. He then said, “You are a long way from home on Christmas Eve, aren’t you. Carry on.” and then he disappeared into his office.
A couple of months later I’d made Sergeant. When the General left the Dai Ichi, my post was in the lobby opposite the elevator. As soon as the General came out of the elevator and saw me saluting him, he came up to me and said, “Sedlacek, congratulations on making Sergeant.”
Since I had not spoken with the General in the intervening two months I thought that was quite remarkable and speaks to the great memory he had. There may have been other members of the Guard who have a similar story to tell but the time frame fits with Rod’s report.
Thanks for keeping the newsletter going.
Robert A. Sedlacek (1946-1947)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa