A Reflection by Robert Chertkof, Israel Affairs Committee

Memorial Day 2024 brought to mind special memories to me. On the morning shows today they had several uplifting interviews and stories of military men and women who served. It made me think about my own 2 years of service especially the 6 months that I was stationed in Indonesia on a “MAAG” assignment, military advisory assistance group.

What came to mind was that on the 4th of July 1964 I was called from where I was in the jungle in Bogor 40 miles from Djakarta, to come to the US Embassy in Djakarta and bring my dress uniform with me. I had no idea why. When I changed there and entered the ballroom there was a party going on to celebrate the 4th of July — which in the military and outside the US is treated as a big deal. A group of officers called me over and before I knew what it was all about, they removed my gold bar 2nd Lt. and replaced it with a silver bar 1st Lt. 

The officer on the left in the photo was a bird Colonel Harvey (one level below a general) and on the right is his wife. So, this coming 4th of July is the 60th anniversary of that event and I was 23 then. The 2nd photo was equally unexpected.  

Copyright 2024 Beth El Congregation