John P. Wheeler III

Did you forget about this guy?  If there is one this I dont understand about the news, its this. Why did the news only cover this man's death for a day?  This man was a patriot, and had numerous accomplishments. I dont understand, why the news wanted me to simply think he was killed because he went crazy. If you remember he was video taped with his shoe off, and was later found inside a dumpster.  If anything, the news should still be covering this story, and demanding an investigation for someone who did so much for our country.  The fact of the matter is this man did not simply just disappear.
This story reminds me of two un-related comments made by two political figures Sarah Palin & Michael Savage at different times.  Sarah Palin's comment was regarding "Gangster Government", and a speech by Michael Savage when he constantly repeated "Beware the Government Media Complex".

I believe that sometimes "its what you dont do" that can show your true color.  The fact I've heard nothing from our media about this for so long makes you wonder....whats really going on?


This is John P. Wheeler's story from :::
John Parsons Wheeler III
Born December 14, 1944
Laredo, Texas
Died c. December 30, 2010 (aged 66)
Cause of death Homicide (from "assault" and "blunt force trauma")[1]
Body discovered Cherry Island Landfill, Wilmington, Delaware
Nationality American
Other names "Jack"
Citizenship American
Alma mater West Point
Harvard Business School
Yale Law School
Employer Mitre Corp.
Spouse Katherine Klyce
Children John Wheeler, Katie Wheeler, Byrd Schas, Meriwether Schas
John "Jack" Parsons Wheeler III (December 14, 1944 – c. December 30, 2010) was a chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, senior planner for Amtrak (1971–1972), held various positions at the Securities and Exchange Commission (1978–1986), chief executive and CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, consultant to the Mitre Corporation (2009–death), member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a presidential aide to the Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush administrations, and also held numerous other positions in the US military, the US government, and with US corporations.[2][3]



Early life

John Parsons Wheeler III descended from a family of military professionals which included Joseph Wheeler, who had served as a general both in the Confederate Army, and later with the United States Army. Wheeler III was born in Laredo, Texas, where his mother was staying with her mother while his father was in Europe. Five days after the delivery, the family received a telegram that his father was missing in action in the Battle of the Bulge. His father was later found to be alive.[4]

Military career

Wheeler was a member of the United States Military Academy class of 1966 which lost 30 of its members in the Vietnam War.[4]
After graduating from West Point, he was a fire control platoon leader at a MIM-14 Nike-Hercules base at Franklin Lakes, New Jersey from 1966 to 1967. From 1967 to 1969 he was a graduate student at Harvard Business School spending the summer of 1968 as a systems analyst for Office of Secretary of Defense in Washington, DC. From 1969 to 1970 he served in a non-combat position at Long Binh in Vietnam. From 1970 to 1971 he served on the General Staff at The Pentagon[2]
Wheeler's West Point and later years are featured prominently in Rick Atkinson's book, "The Long Gray Line: The American Journey of West Point's Class of 1966."

Law career

After leaving the military he was a senior planner for Amtrak in 1971 and 1972. From 1972 to 1975 he attended law school at Yale University becoming a clerk for George E. MacKinnon in 1975–76 and an associate for Shea & Gardner in 1976–78. From 1978 to 1986 he was Assistant General Counsel, Special Counsel to Chairman, and Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission.[2]

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

From 1979 to 1989 he was chairman of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial which opened in 1982. He had supported the controversial Maya Lin design and ran afoul of Ross Perot and Jim Webb who tried to oust him after they disagreed with the stark design. Wheeler worked to address their issues by adding The Three Soldiers sculpture by Frederick Hart to the memorial.
In 1983, Carlton Sherwood ran a four part series on WDMV-TV (now WUSA) "Vietnam Memorial: A Broken Promise?" which focused on Wheeler's handling of the Memorial Fund saying that most of the $9 million raised for the memorial was not accounted for. In the piece, Sherwood cast aspersions on Wheeler's career questioning his decision not go directly to Vietnam out of West Point and noting he had been disciplined shortly after arriving in Vietnam in 1969 for "misappropriation" of government property. A General Accounting Office audit spurred by the television report cleared Wheeler. WMDV made an on-air apology and donated $50,000 to the memorial.[4]

Other service

In 1988–89, Wheeler worked with George H.W. Bush to establish the Earth Conservation Corps. From 1997 to 2001, he was President and CEO, Deafness Research Foundation. He was consultant to acting Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics from 2001 to 2005, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force from 2005 to 2008. From 2008 to 2009, he was Special Assistant to the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Logistics and Energy. From 1983 to 1987, he was Chairman and CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and from 1993 until his death, he was the founding CEO of Vietnam Children's Fund.[2]

The Long Gray Line

Mr. Wheeler is featured prominently in Rick Atkinson's book, "The Long Gray Line: The American Journey of West Point's Class of 1966." This seminal Vietnam book detailed Mr. Wheeler's time at West Point as well as later years.
Growing Up
Jacks father was a Colonel by the time he went off to college. His family had moved around from Army base to Army base his entire childhood. The army felt like home to Jack.
High School
Mr. Wheeler attended Hampton High School. “He had been editor of the yearbook and president of the Spanish Club.” p11 “His classmates had voted him most likely to succeed.” They described him as “warm, erudite and serious.” p11
Choosing College
He debated between attending Yale or West Point. p11 His mother encouraged him to attend Yale, while his father pushed for his alma mater West Point.
Jack Wheeler was 17 when he enrolled in West Point. He was just under 5’10”, not a gifted athlete, but he kept himself in shape. p11
Army doctors initially disqualified jack from attending west point, because of a punctured Eardrum. His father helped him get a second opinion from a “Air Force doctor who was accustomed to seeing shattered ears in his pilots.” The air force doctor cleared Jack.
Jack nearly quit West Point at one point, but after speaking with one of the schools chaplains, Jim Ford, he reconsidered. p40 Jim Ford was the spiritual leader of West Point and later the chaplain of House of Representatives for two decades. [1]
Jack was a “diligent and studies student” often “remaining at his desk” while his classmates enjoyed a weekend leave. This excessive studying took its toll after a while and sometimes wondered if he had forgotten how to have fun. p122
Jack decided early on that he did not want to be a infantryman. And when it was time to pick his branch, he chose artillery.
He chose to take his first assignment at Nike Hercules missile base near New York to be close to Ginny.This would allow him to be close to Ginny in New York. He graduated 16th in his class. p136
Jack met his first wife Ginny Stuart in New York She was a ballerina.
Jack was trained in Fort Bliss, Texas, as a Nike Hercules fire control platoon leader. The work was stressful but Jack enjoyed it. “Technical know-how and quick wits were his strong suits”. p197

Heading to Vietnam
In the spring of 1969, as Jack was finishing up his final year of business school at Harvard, he received news that he would be headed to Long Binh, Vietnam, that summer. Long Binh at that time was roughly 25 square miles, and had the population of a “modest city”. p288
“Jack applied for a transfer from the artillery to the adjutant generals office.” Moving out of a combat position was not looked upon kindly by many officers, but Jack new that combat was not the place for him. His request was approved. p289
Jack and his girlfriend Jinny drifted apart over time. They both were focused on their respect careers, and living in different cities didn't help matters. p290
Working in Vietnam
Art Mosley, one of Jacks former Harvard classmates, who was already Vietnam, had been on the lookout for a job that would utilize jacks talent, while keeping him “out of harm’s way”. He found Jack a position in the Management Information and Data Systems office in Long Binh. His background with computers along with Mr. Mosleys recommendation, had already landed him the job before he even set foot in Vietnam. Jack was relived, that he would not have to serve on the front lines, but it did not come without a sense of guilt. He knew how fortunate he was. p291
Jack worked hard, just as he had done at West Point “ten hour days, six days a week”. p292
“He Believed [that] the job...matched his talents perfectly.” p292
“One of his proudest accomplishments was a program he’d written that enabled one master computer to keep track of all the Univacs in South Vietnam.” p292
Jack along with several fellow officers, stole one of the army’s jeeps. They had been forbidden to buy or rent a jeep, and transportation was a big problem in Vietnam. They shared the jeep, and used it primarily for army business. When the army found out “each of them was reprimanded, fined $300, and given a [sic article]section 15...”for conduct totally unbecoming an officer.”” This was essential a slap on the wrist, but Jack took it hard. Particularly the words “conduct totally unbecoming an officer”. He was humiliated and the reprimand would stick with him. p295
“As a matter of principle, [Jack] believed the people of South Vietnam should have the freedom to choose the kind of government they wanted.” p298
Jack was asked to sign a petition declaring support for a Vietnam moratorium. He sought out the advice of his Colonel. The Colonel advised him that “’s outrageous and despicable and the act of a coward and a traitor to sign it.” Jack declined to sign the petition.
“They died because they were stupid! “ “They died because there was some goddamn bureaucratic order that said they should go out there without proper training.” These were Mr Wheelers words upon hearing the army give its usual condolences and talk of “valiant deaths in a noble cause” following an ill advised operation. p302
On Returning Home
Mr Wheeler thoughts about how he felt the effort in Vietnam was going can be summed up in a speech he gave to the Rockville Optimist Club in Maryland, shortly after returning home “The management of the war is wrong. The effort is wrong. The overall policy may be right. I don’t know. Its not for me to say. But the execution is just abominable.” p303
Others Views and Opinions on Jack
Bruns Grayson, a fellow officer, described Jack as “an open book, utterly incapable of hiding his sentiments.” p299
A commanding officer once sent him a handwritten note that read:”Try to go easier in life.” He wanted, but was unsure of the path to take.
Answering the question, “How do we learn?” posed by one of his professors, Jack responded: “We learn, through pain.” p296
The Vietnam War Memorial
Jack was determined to finish the memorial in a timely manner. He did not want the building of this memorial to drag on for decades as so many others had. p453
Misc Information
Jack worked tirelessly under the employment of A.D. Fraser, a Atlanta banker, in January of 1976 to assist in the preparations for Jimmy Carters inauguration. p451

Touched With Fire

In 1984, Mr. Wheeler published the memoir Touched With Fire: The Future of the Vietnam Generation. This book covers much of the same ground as The Long Gray Line but from Mr. Wheelers personal perspective.
On Why He Wrote Touched With Fire
Wheeler said that he wanted to convey the point “...that if we understand how our past shapes us, we can govern how it shapes us”.
Growing Up
His father was John wheeler, also a West Point grad. His mother was Janet Conly, who he calls “a west Texas ranch girl”. He had a younger brother named Bob.
Being an army family, Jack was constantly on the move, “12 schools in 12 years”. In spite of this, he said that he had a strong home growing up. p17
Pre College up to Going to Vietnam
Jack Graduated from Hampton High school in Virginia in 1962. Immediately following graduation he entered West Point. Then an army guided missile unit. Then the pentagon. Then Harvard business school. In 1969 he boarded a airplane for Vietnam from Travis Air Force Base in California.
On Choosing West Point
He visited Harvard at the age of 17, but declined to apply, as his impression was that the place “seemed disorganized”. p17 He received an acceptance letter to Yale. He was also accepted West Point, along with a National Merit scholarship and presidential and congressional appointments. He accepted West point, believing education there to be more “practical”.
West Point
Wheeler joined West Point on July 2, 1962. He was 17.
Mr Wheeler said that he “learned at west point...that the most important part of war is building the peace. The better you build the peace, the less imminent is the next war”. p8
In remarking about West Point, Mr wheeler said that: “The system counted on promises made and promises kept, and on knowing that a promise made was a promise kept.” p20. This would be a theme in his life going forward, and it no doubt influenced his later view that America did not keep its promise to its solders.
After West Point
Mr wheeler chose to join a Nike air defense system in New York City for the first year after graduating from west point. The main attracting was being near his girlfriend Virgina Stuart. p22
Mr wheeler was a christian. p192
Time in Vietnam
Mr. Wheeler was assigned to for USARV HQ shortly after arriving in Vietnam. USARV computers handled all of the army's resources in Vietnam.
The army chose him for this position because he had taken computer courses at Harvard. p49
Wheelers hands on experience with the way computers were utilized in Vietnam gave him insight into how computers would eventual transform the way business was done. Later, he would write a paper about this while in law school that in turn “led to a surprise offer to join the SEC as an assistant general counsel to work on computer applications to securities regulation.” p51
Wheeler took issue with the accusation by some that the “American commanders were not effective.” p61 His opinion was that “the American Vietnam commanders delivered the specified, secured military objective within stringent constraints on freedom of American operation and at the end of a maximally long logistics train”. p61
Wheelers keen incite into the war is on display when he writes that “the whole war took on aspects of a video game.” One must remember that he wrote this in 1984, long before video games were anything but two dimension black and white pixels. Training solders through the use of video games would become a valuable tool for the military decades later. p95
On Returning Home
“The shock for a lot of us coming home was the gradual realization over the first few hours, then days, that there was a social taboo against our experience.” p95
“My real problem was my past.” p111
“Peer acceptance of me as a young solder was never to be. It had been a surprising hurt, and I was unprepared for it.” p111 Mr Wheeler talks at length about this.

Viewpoint On The 60’s And 70’s
Wheeler viewed the 60’s and 70’s as a time when “...making and keeping a promise to a real beating.” He cited the escalating divorce rate during that 20 year period as an example. p14
Wheeler makes the assertion that the solders who served in Vietnam. kept their promise to America. Went where they were told, and did what they were told, but America did not Keep its promise to them. p16 Jack felt VERY strongly about how he thought Vietnam veterans were treated upon returning home. Mr. Wheeler goes as far as to call the Vietnam Veteran “...the nigger of the 1970’s”. p16
“...The onus of the policy decisions on Vietnam should not touch Americans who made no policy, but served there.” p29
Mr Wheeler says that America broke its “emotional commitment” to its solders during the Vietnam war. He referred to it as a “divorce”. p43
Leaving The Army
Jack left the army in august of 1971. p9 He said that the army had been his home for 26 years. His entire life up to that point. p10 jack consider joining a episcopal seminar for a year to recover and plan his future, after leaving the army. p10
After leaving the army, Mr. Wheeler split time between working for Amtrack and studying at the seminary. An old B-School friend Dick Cavanagh helped him get the job. p107
Yale Years
“I was not called to be a priest.” Jack left Virginia seminary, and decided to go to Yale law school in 1972. p107 Mr. Wheeler sought out guidance from Myres Smith McDougal a professor at Yale. He was unsure if he should continue on at Yale, and Professor McDougal “took me through law school backwards because it worked for m,e, and I needed his help.” “...he enabled me to find “new fields for action and thought” in financial law and world hunger” P110
IN 1974, the Episcopal Church paid for Mr. Wheeler to attend the World Food conference in Rome and then “a subsequent fact-finding trip to European capitals.” p110 Mr. Wheeler was “brought in as a special council in the White House to help set up the Presidents Commission on world Hunger.” p111
Mr Wheeler an article on securities while at Yale that eventually led to a job with the Securities and exchange commission. p 111
Misc Information
Founded the monthly report “The Century Generation” which covered how Vietnam era events continued to shape America. Wrote op-ed pieces for many major newspapers including: New York Times, The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, USA Today. Was director of the Presidents Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program Organized the construction of the southeast Asia memorial at West Point. This turned out to be be a precursor to his involvement with the Vietnam Veterans memorial Fund. p4 He helped form the Presidential Commission on World Hunger.
Misc Work Experience
Mr. Wheeler cited The securities and exchange commission where he would later work ,as a “counterpart to the Marine Corps” “an example of balanced partnership between women and men”. p22
Wheeler worked on analysis for the Secretary of defense regarded biological warfare. The results led to Richard Nixon’s announcement in 1969 , that the US would no longer use biological weapons. p30
Mr. wheeler spent the summer of 1968 working as a financial planner for the Wall Street investment bank of Kidder, Peabody & Company. p32
Mr Wheeler set up the Vietnam Veterans Leadership program VVLP, for President Reagan in 1981. p46 After working for the Pentagon for a year, Jack knew he was not cut our for a career as a soldier. p107


Wheeler was allegedly seen on December 28, 2010, exiting an Amtrak train,[5] and later, on the afternoon of December 30, 2010, at 10th and Orange streets in Wilmington.[6] On December 31, his body was seen by a landfill worker falling onto a trash heap in the Cherry Island Landfill.[7] Police ruled his death a homicide and claimed that "all the stops made Friday (December 31) by the garbage truck before it arrived at the landfill involved large commercial disposal bins in Newark (Delaware), several miles from Wheeler's home."[5]
Wheeler's neighbor of seven months, Ron Roark, said that he had met Wheeler only once and rarely saw him. Roark claimed that, in the days prior to Wheeler's death, he (Roark) and his family heard, from outside the Wheeler residence, a loud television within the home that was constantly on, though no one appeared to be home.[8]
According to the Washington Post, Wheeler was sighted on December 29 at the New Castle County courthouse parking garage, disoriented and wearing only one shoe, as the other was ripped. Wheeler, attempting to gain access to the parking garage on foot, claimed that he wanted to warm up before paying a parking fee. (Police later determined that his car was not actually in the parking garage, but rather at a train station.) Wheeler explained to the parking garage attendant that his briefcase had been stolen and repeatedly denied being intoxicated. It is also claimed that, on December 29, Wheeler asked a pharmacist for a ride to Wilmington and "looked upset." The pharmacist offered to call a cab for Wheeler, at which point Wheeler left the store.[9]
On December 30, Wheeler was sighted wandering various office buildings, including Mitre and DuPont locations, where he refused offers of assistance from several individuals.[9] On January 28, 2011, the Delaware state medical examiner's office reported Wheeler's cause of death as assault and "blunt force trauma" without elaboration.[1]
His death made headlines across America and continued to do so months after his death. On February 22, 2011, nearly two months after his death, the USA Today ran a front page story asking: “Who killed Jack Wheeler?” USA Today February 22,2011 Peter Eisler "Who Killed Jack Wheeler?"
Wheeler's body will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors in April 2011.[10]

A few words from those that knew Mr. Wheeler upon his passing

“Jack Wheeler was the epitome of the words "magnanimous, patriotic, tireless, and dedicated", and he was just as much so in December of 2010 as he was in June of 1962 when we first met him.”
“Almost exactly two years ago, when my 28 year old son had been diagnosed with MS, and I posted a question if anyone knew something about that incurable disease, Jack was not only one of the people who responded with valuable information, but he personally called me from Washington, DC on his way home on the train to give me the name of the foremost authority on the disease in San Francisco. What an incredibly nice thing for him to do.”




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