David Flaker

After graduation from MPHS, I attended Montclair State College and graduated in June 1963. I taught English at Ramsey High School, until June 1965, when the US Army called and I answered.

I spent the next 24 years in the Army. Initially, I trained as a light weapons infantryman and then spent a year studying the Vietnamese language. I served a tour in Vietnam as an infantryman out in the jungles and rice paddies where I definitely used my infantry training but had little chance to use the language.

After that tour in Vietnam, I “wised” up and volunteered for training as an Intelligence Specialist. I completed that training and went right back to Vietnam, as an advisor to the Vietnamese National Police in the Central Highlands.

After this tour, I served at the Military Office at the White House, in Washington, DC, where in 1970, I met and married Anne, who was from a small town in upstate New York and who worked as a researcher in the White House Science Advisor’s Office.

In 1971 we moved to Bangkok, Thailand, where our sons, Robert and Philip, were born in 1971 and 1974 respectively. We loved living in Thailand and enjoyed the opportunity to travel throughout Asia, visiting Malaysia, Singapore, China, Burma, India, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, and Hong Kong. The boys used chop sticks before they used knives and forks and spoke Thai before English.

We returned from Bangkok in 1975 and spent two years at Fort Meade, Maryland. While there and between temporary duty trips throughout the United States, I earned a Masters Degree.

In 1978, I took a one year course in Russian at the Defense Language Institute in Monterrey, California. The family enjoyed life on the California coast and the chance to visit Disneyland.

In 1979 we moved to Frankfurt, Germany, where I worked with the US/Russian liaison mission. We travelled widely in Germany and visited France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, England, Wales, Ireland, Spain, and Italy. The boys really loved Lego-land in Denmark because everything was made of super large sized Lego blocks.

In 1981 we returned from Germany, and I worked with the US Mission to the United Nations in New York. We lived in Brooklyn, New York, and became expert subway riders, learned to like pizza, went to the theater on Broadway, and watched Yankee baseball.

In 1984 I went on an unaccompanied tour in Korea, leaving the family in New York. On my return, I attended the Sergeant’s Major Academy, at Fort Bliss, Texas, completed the course, accepted promotion, and became the senior enlisted man at the US Army unit supporting the National Security Agency at Fort Meade. I served three and a half years there and retired from the Army in 1989.

After retirement, I returned to teaching, accepting a position at Meade High School, in Maryland.

In July 1996, Anne died after a battle with a cancerous brain tumor.

My son Robert is on active duty with US Army Special Forces at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He is married to Yvonne, a school teacher, and they have two children, a boy 14 and a girl 11.

My son Philip graduated from the Baltimore Culinary Institute in 1993 and works for a catering company as a pastry chef. He is married to Christine, a certified public accountant, and they have a son 3 and a daughter 8 months.

I taught at Meade High School until June 2003 when I retired. Now I keep busy as a volunteer teaching adult literacy classes, growing lots of vegetables during the summers, reading all the books for which I never found the time while working, and trying to keep up with my grandchildren.

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