Hugh Daughtry '83
The life blood of a political action committee is the financial contributions of its supporters. The Spirit of VMI Political Action Committee (SoVP) is fortunate to have a dedicated following within the VMI community, but often we do not realize how vast that community is. We think of the alumni and their families, but the VMI Family is much broader than that.
Recently the SoVP received a contribution from Lt Col. Stuart Crockett, Texas Air National Guard, Retired. Stu, as he’s known to friends, is a resident of Houston, Texas, and attended Texas A&M University, graduating in 1971. He retired after a career in industrial sales and served in the U.S. Air Force and Texas Air National Guard as a Weapons Systems Officer, or “Wizzo.” He had seen the debilitating effects of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion movement at his alma mater and wanted to assist the PAC in its fight at VMI. Stu though, had a very real tie to VMI. His Great Great Grandfather was Cadet Private Henry Stuart Crockett ‘867, a member of D Company at the Battle of New Market. Cadet Private Charles Gay Crockett ‘867, also a member of D Company was Henry’s first cousin. Cadet Charles Crockett died on the Field of Honor on May 15, 1864. He was killed by an artillery shell during the movement to the Bushong Farm and is buried beneath Virginia Mourning Her Dead on the VMI Post. So, to say that Stu is invested in our fight to preserve the goodness of VMI is an understatement.
The Sentinel was able to chat briefly with Stu in preparation for this edition. He shared his family history and told how for decades they lived in Wythe County, Virginia, and this is where Henry and Charles matriculated from. Henry eventually became a physician settling in Kentucky and then Americus, Georgia where he died in 1908. As with many, researching his family’s genealogy is a passion and he has studied closely the VMI connection. A highlight of that was a visit to the Post for the 150th anniversary of the battle for the New Market Day ceremony. Stu, his brother and four cousins had been invited by the Archivist at VMI. “Unfortunately it was pouring rain that day, much like the day of the battle, so the ceremony was held indoors. I’ve always thought that Aggie Day was impressive, but this was Aggie Day on steroids,” Stu said. Hearing his ancestors name called and the playing of Taps was very poignant. He has ancestors on both sides of that conflict, but the VMI connection is special.
The SoVP thanks all its supporters whether in the extended VMI family or not. Without you we would not be able to carry the message that VMI is Good to the politicians in the Commonwealth. Occasionally though, a story like this makes that fight even more meaningful.