Here are George C. Willick’s comments about visiting the grave of Paul M. A. Linebarger at Arlington National Cemetery, in 2002. These appeared originally in the ezine I ran for a while back then, and were on a long ezine page of the old website.
Went ‘back east’ a couple weeks ago, primarily on a military mission to see old friends, find lost buddies, and visit known graves.
While at Arlington cemetery, fighting the bureaucracy of fear and entrenchment, I wore a blister on the sole of my foot, walking (no vehicles allowed) Mrs. Lee’s garden…and that took some doing as I walk every day. Climbed two chain links fences, however, which is something I don’t do every day.
Anyway, I made it out to your dad’s grave. I was particularly surprised by its location…a very pleasant spot where the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier echoes across the small valley. Very nice. I didn’t stay long as I had many graves to find and had just come down from Section 3, the most difficult section in the cemetery, and was staggering about, so I sat and visited a while. Doing this at 65 is not as easy as it was when I was stationed at Andrews AFB.
Anyone going to Arlington should be warned that finding grave locations will be a problem. If you come from Alaska and have five names to find, they will only locate three graves…of my three, two were wrong…so best to know the locations before you go…as I did Paul Linebarger’s. And DC in general is a driving nightmare (it always was, but worse now) with barricades, NO TURN signs, security(?) guards, and other irritants. However, if you want to go anywhere you please, just wear an orange traffic vest, wear a baseball cap backwards, and carry a weed-eater…no one will even look at you twice.