Ted S Westhusing

Ted S Westhusing

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U.S. Army
BAGHDAD, IRAQ 06/05/2005

Like a magnet is to iron filings or a lamp at night is to moths, Ted attracted all who surrounded him with his personality and light. He possessed those quiet qualities of leadership that simply drew others to him. He was a full professor in the English department at West Point, who volunteered to serve in Iraq to be able to better teach his students. He was one of the Army’s leading scholars of military ethics, and a man who stood up for what is right and lived according to traditional military values such as duty, honor and country. Theodore Scott Westhusing was no ordinary officer. He had doctorates in Russian, philosophy and military strategy. He possessed an extraordinary intellect and had mastered ancient Greek and Italian. He was a loving father to Sarah, Aaron, and Anthony and husband to Michelle, and a devout Catholic. There was little he would not sacrifice to achieve the highest of standards or to do the right thing. He loved soldiers-especially teaching and leading them.

Ted was born in Dallas, Texas and grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was a standout player on his high school basketball team. He was a National Merit Scholarship finalist and an officer in Fellowship of Christian athletes. Whatever he did, he did well. He was the cream of the crop. As a senior at West Point in 1982-1983, he was bestowed the distinct honor of serving as honor captain for the entire academy. He was strict but sympathetic to cadets’ problems. Students remembered him as introspective. After graduation, he became an infantry platoon leader, then received special forces training, served in Italy, South Korea and Honduras, and eventually became division operations officer for the 82nd Airborne, based at Ft. Bragg, N.C. In Iraq, he helped train the Iraqi army and served with the Multi-national Security Transition Command-Iraq. He arrived in Iraq optimistic to be of honorable service to the operation. Ted won praise from a senior officer for his progress in training Iraqi police, saying he had exceeded “lofty expectations.” This officer also said he was “an extremely bright, highly competent, completely professional and exceedingly hard-working officer.” Ted thought he could and would do much better. He was a very giving man, a soldier who gave all and his most precious gift, his life, for something he believed in.

Ted was tough. He had grit. He had the drive to excel and put in the effort required to do so. He was always cheerful and helpful, quick to make time for any cadet, sharp and honed in both mind and body. Students and professors at Emory University recalled him jogging up steep hills in combat boots and camouflage, his rucksack full, to stay in shape as he studied to earn a Ph.D. Ted taught all who knew him what it took to be a man-and he did it not by trying to be “macho”; rather, just the opposite-by humility, kindness, compassion for his fellow man, and by endless acts of charity. He was a great friend with a wonderful family and many accomplishments in his lifetime. America can be proud that he served and we will forever be indebted to his selflessness. Colonel Theodore Scott Westhusing always motivated us to take the higher road, ask the deeper question, and do the harder right vs. the easier wrong. By his words, deeds and actions, he inspired others to reach for that higher standard. Your memory will continue to inspire. Thank you.

Theodore’s portrait is also located on Poster 6


2 Responses to “Ted S Westhusing”
  1. Hang Vu says:

    Colonel Ted Westhusing,

    I never even meet you. Out of all the people on this Earth, I know of you because your name is listed in the Wikipedia entry of Jenks, Oklahoma as Notable Person who lived in Jenks, OK. I currently live in Jenks and my kids go to the school district.

    On this day, Wednesday, November 21, 2018, four days past what would have been your 58th birthday and the day before Thanksgiving 2018, I am very saddened your untimely death. I also grieve over the fact that your death left a bereaved wife and three young children who likely have missed you every Thanksgiving since.

    As I celebrate this Thanksgiving with my family, I am very thankful for your service. I am extremely thankful for the person you were, the honorable life you led, the example you have set, the light that your life shone, the impact that your life and death has on the living.

    May you rest in peace.

  2. Jonathan Peacock says:

    I served under Col. Westhusing when he was a Captain in the 82nd ABN DIV. He was my company commander (Delta Co. 1 Battalion 325th Airborne Regiment) I served as his driver and RTO. He was a very good man and he always led by example. He would always challenge his people to be better soldiers and better people. He loved his family and often spoke of them when we were in the field. I am thankful for the time I got to spend with him and for the lessons that he taught me. It was an honor to serve under his command.

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