It is not everyday I get a letter from Mary Jean Eisenhower, granddaughter of Former Dwight D. Eisenhower. Concerned that too many young people and current veterans are unaware of his contributions, she asked me to support her effort to create a special foundation to honor the memory of the President who also led our troops during WWII and the Korean War. In fact, I wondered how they got my name. There can’t be too many people my age still around. Yet I was the daughter of a veteran of WWI, who years later was named Commandant of the Iowa Soldiers Home in Iowa soon after I had started college. As a matter of fact, like my parents, I voted for Ike. It was the first time I ever voted for President and thanks to her, I now have an “I Like Ike” pin she sent me. Even more memorable was the 2019 National WWII Museum Calendar she sent me which has evoked many memories of my childhood growing up during WWII. I’ve delighted showing it to a millennial friend or two.
I have many memories of my father’s lifelong involvement with the American Legion, especially his ‘all woman drum and bugle corps’ he organized with women veterans at his local legion club. Since Dad was born on the 4th of July and was named George White, also the name of a New York producer, Dad drove them to perform at all state funerals honoring dead veterans. They became known to some in our community as another George White Production.
I acquired my folks patriotism, volunteerism and frugality but Ike was the only Republican I voted for. My folks often wondered what happened to the ‘decent’ young Republican girl they sent to ‘the University’ — that ‘ruined her’.
However, over the years I have never stopped sending contributions to The American Legion, the USO, Wounded Warriors, Marine Corps Scholarships, Doctors without Borders — and now even to the Eisenhower Foundation. I am proud of his granddaughter’s efforts to raise money to support the Eisenhower Foundation and shall continue to support her. I do, after all, like Ike!