At 103, this Maryland veteran is the oldest living graduate of West Point

Saturday, 11 November 2017, 08:23:39 AM. Colonel Kermit Dyke extols the virtues of discipline, drinks and “the most honorable profession.”
At 103, Col. Kermit Dyke is the oldest living West Point graduate. Here, he holds his West Point class picture. (Mary F. Calvert/For The Washington Post) Kermit Dyke graduated from high school in 1932, at the peak of the Great Depression. A block from his house near downtown Los Angeles, scores of men lined up each day, looking for work and finding none. He didn’t want to end up like them. So Dyke, tall, blond and handsome, joined the National Guard. It drilled just once a month, but it gave him three things: a little spending money; a bit part in a Hollywood silent film (“They needed someone to stand there in a uniform with a rifle; I got five dollars”); and an entry into what he describes as “probably the most honorable profession there is.” In 1936, he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and today, at 103, he is its oldest living graduate. Sitting in the home he shares with his wife, Bobbe, in Solomons, Md., the retired colonel cradled an old album stuffed with black-and-white photos of young men posing in jodhpurs and Shako hats, sitting on horseback, or just goofing around in T-shirts and shorts. “That’s me, throwing a paper bag full of water on an upperclassman,” he said, pointing at one. “And here’s my graduation class.” Of the three dozen young men in the photo — the class total was 450 — few are still alive. Dyke served in World War II as an Air Force officer in Africa, Italy and France. (Mary F. Calvert/For The Washington Post) Dyke’s family history...Read more
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