I can’t think of many native Wichitans with a career record to compare with Robert Gates. Last week the 1961 East High graduate left his job as Secretary of Defense, a position he had held for four-and-a-half years, in the Cabinets of two presidents. And it was during a time when the United States was involved in two huge military missions.
Gates piled up four decades of service to eight presidents, and took some time out to serve as president of Texas A-and-M University.
At his retirement ceremony last week, President Obama presented Gates with the Medal of Freedom.
At an East High commencement a couple of years ago, Gates said, “I will always consider myself first and foremost just a kid from Kansas who got lucky”.
This city ought to honor this outstanding public servant. How about a street name … or a statue? And that should be just the start. Robert Gates makes us proud to share his hometown.
Our thought for today is from Jack Nicklaus:
“Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one’s levels of aspiration and expectation.”