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Interview with Charles Sunder, June 11, 2001 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with Charles Sunder, June 11, 2001
June 11, 2001
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Interviewee: Sunder, Charles Interviewer: Zarbock, Paul Date of Interview: 6/11/2001 Series: Southeast North Carolina (SENC)

Zarbock: June 11, 2001. We’re interviewing Colonel Charles Sunder, a colonel retired, U.S. Army, at his home at 207 River Road, Southport, North Carolina.

Colonel Sunder, thank you for taking the time. Can you tell us a little bit, how did you get into the military and what were some of the stations you were located at?

Sunder: Well thank you. I’m glad to have this opportunity to say a few words about it. I was born and raised in a little town in western Pennsylvania called Jeannette, Pennsylvania, went to school there. Went to high school at St. Vincent’s which is in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, a few miles away. It was during the World War II era and I got interested in the military.

We saw an opportunity to get an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy and we pursued that. I did get one from the local congressman, entered the academy in July of 1944, graduated in 1948, June 1948, as a second lieutenant of armor in the United States Army. I guess a couple of highlights about my time at the academy I was there when football was supreme and the Blanchard and Davis era so to speak. Didn't know them well, but I did meet them of course.

The other thing that I thought was significant about my stay at the military academy was that many of the great heroes of World War II would come back to the academy to receive honors, a parade. Some came back and taught there. Many came back and spoke to the assembly of cadets. So I felt very fortunate to be there at that time and see firsthand some of these great heroes.

I went to the armor school, but after that I went over to Germany, was assigned to the U.S. Constabulary in Germany, the 15th Constabulary Squadron which was located at Widen, Germany, a few miles from Nuremberg. Our mission was to present a presence of U.S. forces in that area, to patrol the inner zonal and borders of Czechoslovakia which at that time had already gone Communist.

After serving there for about a year and a half, I then transferred to the Transportation Corps. Stayed in Germany as a truck officer for some time and then came back to the States and I have served at Fort Eustus in the States. Overseas I have been to Okinawa, to Korea and to Vietnam. All of those were in one type of transportation assignment or another. In Vietnam, I was very fortunate to have commanded the 159th Transportation Battalion and it was probably the highlight of my career in a way.

Later on, I was stationed in the Pentagon twice, both on the Army staff and on a joint staff in J4 as an action officer for Asia.

Zarbock: I’m sorry, let me interrupt and ask would you define J4?

Sunder: J4 is the joint staff at the Pentagon, 4 is logistics, so it was Director of Logistics in the Joint Staff in Washington.

Zarbock: And what was your assignment there, colonel?

Sunder: I had two different assignments. I was the assistant exec for a while working for an admiral, three star admiral, but most of my time was spent as an action officer in one of the divisions, in the Far East division of J4 and worked on several projects. One was Agent Orange. Another one was trying to equip the Cambodians. This was when the, there was a war, there was some kind of an uprising in Cambodia and we were trying to get some arms to them.

Zarbock: What year was that, sir?

Sunder: That was 1970, in the 1970’s. I left the J4 in 1972. I was assigned down to North Carolina, here in Southport, to Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point. Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point has the mission of shipping ammunition overseas to our forces or to our allies whenever the Department of Defense so desires to do that. I got here at the, sort of the tail end so to speak of the Vietnam War. We were still shipping a lot of ammunition, especially Air Force type ammunition.

Many, many ships were loaded out of Sunny Point for Vietnam in the period from 1965 I guess on up until, even after I left, but I left in 1974. One of the other things I remember about that period of time was that there was an Israeli uprising, war, I think it was the fall of ’73, but I’m not positive of that date, but we did ship a lot of ammunition over to the Israelis who were in, what did they call it, I think it was the Yom Kippur War or whatever. Anyway they had several wars over there about that time and that was one of them.

I think there’s three things that highlight my two year assignment at Sunny Point. One was that during this time, the method of shipping ammunition started to change. Up until then all ammunition was loaded in what they call break bulk form meaning the munitions were palletized and they were put into the hull of the ship one pallet at a time and stacked around.

About this time, containerization became a major issue of all kinds of cargo, but in our case, it was quite a challenge to move from the conventional way of handling ammunition on a ship to the containerization of ammunition. It was during my tour there that this was started. We actually loaded several ships with containers. We had no shore-side equipment, meaning shore-side cranes, to handle these big boxes of ammunition so we had to rely on self-sustaining ships.

The one that I remember very well was the American Ranger which made several trips to Sunny Point to load ammunition this way. We had to work very, very closely with the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard in Wilmington is the safety officer corps, the port of Wilmington including Sunny Point and so therefore we had to be very, very careful of how we handled it, made double sure that everything was right up to perfect condition.

We also started to do something that has been continued to this day really and that is to load the containers. Now the common term used for that is stuffing containers and this we started at that time. It was very closely monitored and very strictly handled. Today I had been out to Sunny Point some time recently and they’re still doing it, but it’s a much more sophisticated way and obviously a lot more efficient.

Zarbock: But that concept was started during your watch.

Sunder: Exactly, exactly. It was started when I was there, that’s correct.

Zarbock: And what year was that?

Sunder: That was 1972 to ’74 were the times that I was… July ’72 to July ’74, I was at Sunny Point.

Zarbock: And the activity was called stuffing.

Sunder: The stuffing of the container, that’s the loading of ammunition in a container and blocking and bracing to see that it’s securely packed inside that container so there’s no danger of it moving around and of course damage to it and possible explosion and all this kind of stuff.

Zarbock: With the munitions that you shipped out, would that include small arms ammunition?

Sunder: Well it did, but small arms can be shipped out other places than an ocean terminal like Sunny Point which is more designed to ship higher explosive type things, bombs, 500 pound bombs, 105 mm shells, 155 mm shells and all the conventional types of ammunition, large caliber type thing.

Zarbock: Was the base that you commanded therefore unique on the east coast?

Sunder: Well yes it is. It’s the only one; it’s the only large one on the east coast. There’s one other place up in the New Jersey area that can handle some ammunition, very small amounts. There’s another one on the west coast that handles ammunition on the west coast which is run by the Navy, but this one here at Sunny Point is run by the Army. It serves both the Army and the Air Force. Now the Navy, of course, handles their own ammunition mostly. They have their own places to handle their own ammunition. In other words, load ammunition on a battleship or any other kind of a fighting ship, but they have their own places to do that.

We load all the ammunition, when I say we, Sunny Point loads all the ammunition for the Army and the Air Force that’s used overseas. So anyhow, that was one thing. It was new. While I was there, we also designed and ordered the cranes that would allow for the lifting of the boxes, the containers so that we didn't have to depend on a self-sustaining ship. Shortly after I left, the first one was put in place. Now they have two.

One thing that was put in place while I was there and I had a part to play in writing up and getting the operational procedures for handling it, was called a transfer crane. This crane is to transfer the containers of ammunition from a flat car, rail flat car, to a chassis, a chassis meaning a truck that can deliver it to the dock, okay.

And this transfer crane was put in place while I was there and we did operate it and we did work out the procedures for operating it. Basically, you pull up a whole string of flat cars with containers containing ammunition and this thing would go down a set of tracks, large tracks and lift these containers off of each railcar and place them on, what we call the rubber truck chassis.

The other thing that I think, one of the other things, was where we supported the Israeli war at that time. One more thing that stands out in my mind is in 1973, in the spring of ’73, I think the exact date was about the 15th of April, as you know, there was a lot of anti-war demonstrations throughout the United States. There was a group that was formed up in the High Point area of North Carolina. I think they called themselves the Friends of the Service or something like that.

They did have some Mormon religious backing and they marched down through the whole state of North Carolina to Sunny Point and organized a demonstration. It started out at the corner of 133 and 87 and they carried signs and, you know, would talk to anybody that would stop and listen to them. On Sunday, they wanted an interview with our people and the sheriff who was Sheriff Willets, I’ll never forget him, he was on top of it all the time. He make arrangements, he negotiated with us and make arrangements and I sent my security man out, Captain Walker, to meet with him.

They wanted to deliver clothing and other goods for us to ship to Vietnam in lieu of ammunition. We were very polite with them and we simply told them that this was not authorized by our government and that we had only authorization to ship D.O.D. sponsored cargo. They were very nice about it and left for the time being.

The next day, Monday morning, they, quite early, they marched out to our gate which was about a mile from the intersection of 87 and 133 and again wanted to talk to us. We did talk to them again. Then when we refused to accept their food and clothing, they sat down in the middle of the road and at this point in time were disrupting traffic because there were several trucks and civilian vehicles that were trying to get into Sunny Point.

So the sheriff arrested them and took them away, very peaceful the whole time. They were brought before a judge and served. He let them go on the basis that they wouldn't do it anymore and they did not. So it was an interesting little episode in our otherwise somewhat monotonous (laughter) tour at Sunny Point. That isn’t a true statement. Believe me, it wasn’t monotonous in any way.

Zarbock: Colonel, let me understand this. This group started in the western part of the state and as pedestrians walked all the way to ….

Sunder: That’s my understanding, that they started in High Point which is in more or less the center part of the state and came down here and I suppose some of them walked the whole way. I’m sure there were other ones that joined them after they got down here.

Zarbock: But Sunny Point was their destination, not Camp LeJeune, none of the other military establishments? This was it?

Sunder: No, no, Sunny Point was it. They called it the Matsu Project, that was their term for this whole thing was and how they advertised it and how they gathered people to participate. I would say that at the max, they had 25 or 30 people in their demonstrating party.

Zarbock: Well did you see any of things they wanted you to transport over, food, clothing, did you see any trucks of materials or were they simply talking about we would like you to do this?

Sunder: No, no, they delivered boxes. They carried boxes. I don’t remember how many there were. I would say half a dozen or something like that. It was not truckloads by any stretch. They did deposit at our gate several boxes that they asked. What was in the boxes, I don’t know. We didn't open them, but they said it was food and clothing.

Zarbock: I can’t let you dangle there, Colonel. What happened to the boxes?

Sunder: As far as I know, they took them away. We did not accept them and that’s all I can tell you about it.

Zarbock: It was a symbolic act on their part.

Sunder: Exactly, exactly.

Zarbock: Get some publicity.

Sunder: Right, so anyway that was an interesting thing. I’d like to tell you a little bit about two other things. I can tell you a lot about how Sunny Point operates and how the concept of it got started, but let me tell you little things that happened while I was there on my watch so to speak. One, we had derailment, no not a derailment, a fire that started in a boxcar full of 105 ammunition shells out in the Boiling Springs area everything miles before it got to Sunny Point.

When my firemen arrived on the scene, there was actually a fire in the floor of the boxcar where these 105 shells were stored or packaged. It was a serious situation, no question about it, but they were able to get the fire out and fortunately no explosion. One of the things you always fear about ammunition is that fire, heat, will, can explode it. Except these were rounds that were not fused in anyway. So when they’re not like that, it’s very difficult to set them off other than with heat or fire.

So it was sort of a close situation. Another thing that happened was that I thought was sort of unique. Included in the boxcars that bring the ammunition to Sunny Point, now I’m talking about the break bulk type stuff, the palletized, not the containerized stuff. They use a lot of wood to block and brace. They call it dunnage. Now this dunnage collects in huge amounts. And one of the questions was well how do we get rid of it.

Well we try to sell it in a number of ways, but there’s always a lot of residue left over. It isn’t worth anything especially during the Vietnam War days when a lot of it was collected, I mean a tremendous amount. Before I got there, they burned it. They would have huge, set it on fire and it would be a big fire. Of course it was very closely controlled so it wouldn’t spread. They felt this as a bad way of doing it so the previous commander, the one before me, set up and got a machine that would grind it all up into wood chips.

Well I ended up inheriting this and they call it Charlie Chipper. Well it was a great idea and this thing would do, no question about it and it produced a lot of wood chips, but the problem was we couldn’t get rid of the wood chips either. There was no market for wood chips of that kind of wood chips. We searched all over, could not get it sold. So Charlie Chipper became a complete failure (laughter). So I thought that that was interesting.

A little bit I guess about Sunny Point, the whole concept of Sunny Point is to receive ammunition from the various arsenals that manufacture in such a way as to be there the shortest amount of time, never move it from the original conveyance that it came in, in other words if it’s a railcar or truck trailer until it’s called for at the dock to be loaded on a ship. The ideal situation is to load it once from that one original conveyance into the hull of the ship. This takes a heck of a lot of coordination on the part of a lot of people, both Sunny Point and otherwise.

Also sometimes you have to keep it at Sunny Point for several weeks, maybe even more than several weeks, while waiting for the ship to come, that that particular cargo is going on. Therefore Sunny Point becomes a temporary storage area for a lot of ammunition. It consists, the acreage at Sunny Point consists of a lot of real branches that branch off into rebedded areas where these string of boxcars with ammunition on them can be diverted and is rebedded order to limit any kind of damage that might occur if something happened in one of those boxcar would explode.

The same with the trucks. There’s specific truck parking areas where these trailers can be dropped and left and to some extent protected until they are needed down at the dockside. Anyhow that’s basically Sunny Point. It’s a lot of acreage that contains a lot of rail that contains a lot of rebedded storage areas for both the rail boxcars and truck trailers that bring the ammunition to Sunny Point.

I don’t know what else to say. I think I have pretty much told you about not only my career in the military, how I got started and my two year tour at Sunny Point.

Zarbock: Well let me ask you to reflect a little bit. Who loads the ships, military personnel?

Sunder: No, the ships are loaded by longshoremen who are part of the local, ILA locals here in Southport and Wilmington. They draw the number of gangs. Longshoremen are organized into gangs. There’s a gang for each hatch that you’re going to work on any ship on any day. Each morning the longshoremen report to their ILA hall, local hall, and the number of longshoremen that you need depending on the number of gangs that you need or the number, like in the case of stuffing cargo or transferring cargo, you also need some extra people besides the gangs that are going to work the ship, and so these are the people that actually do the loading. They’re under the supervision of a stevedore company which is under contract to the United States Army.

Zarbock: But all of whom are civilians?

Sunder: All of whom are civilians. We always have some military down there overseeing it, watching it, seeing that the safety rules are being maintained and seeing that the right cargo is going into the right place in the ship and these type of things.

Zarbock: What was the response of the union members when you went to containerization? You’re doing it like this, you know, and all of a sudden you’re doing it in a different way. That probably called for some sort of renegotiation for the contract. Was there any ruffled feathers there?

Sunder: To be frank with you, I don’t recall any kind of specific problem that we had along this line. Now you’ve got to understand, ammunition containerization was new. Containerization as far as the handling of cargo, of all kinds of cargo, was not new. It has grown and grown so that now you see almost, constantly you see this container ships going up and down that contain all kinds of cargo. But containerization of ammunition, we call it, I can’t think of the term, but anyhow, that was new.

Zarbock: In the highly unlikely event that there was disagreement between the military and the union personnel, who did the negotiations? Was that your responsibility or other staff members?

Sunder: It depends on what kind of problem you’re trying to resolve. The problems such as negotiating for wages and those kinds of things, that’s way over Sunny Point. But if you had some kind of an accident or you had some kind of a situation where something local was a problem, a problem with an individual as I did one time, then the negotiations are between you and the union at the local level unless it gets completely out of hand and there’s a strike involved or the threat of a strike or something like that. Then it could go much higher.

Zarbock: But as commanding officer, you represented the attitudes of the military in a discussion with union members should there….

Sunder: With the local unions, that is correct.

Zarbock: Okay, you mentioned something else sir, the U.S. Coast Guard safety officer in Wilmington had certain authority over Sunny Point. What was the authority of the U.S. Coast Guard safety officer in Wilmington? Where did the boundaries stop?

Sunder: They had absolute authority as far as safety, vessel safety, and that included ammunition. Now for the normal loading of ammunition, they had delegated that to the commanding officer at Sunny Point. But when it came to the containerization, this is new, we worked very closely together. He wasn’t going to take for granted that we were going to do everything that was exactly required in that case. We had to start from scratch, the two of us and work it out together.

Zarbock: And this was generally a pleasant experience for both or were there moments of tenseness?

Sunder: I can’t say. We had some difficulties obviously, but we worked them out. There was nothing major about it. Certainly we lost time and time is money in the shipping business. We lost some time because we had to comply with some of the things that they wanted us to do, testing the gear every time it came in there. By that I mean, the loading gear and all the other equipment that went with loading. They wanted us to test it every time we did it.

Sometimes we thought we were doing it correctly and they would see something that they would add to it or something like that, so we did lose some time. Instead of getting started right in the morning at 8:00, we might not really load our first ton of cargo until maybe 9:30 or something.

Zarbock: Meanwhile you’ve got stevedores standing around, is that correct?

Sunder: Standing around from the standpoint of actually loading cargo, yes.

Zarbock: But the Coast Guard insists on the gold standard of safety.

Sunder: Absolutely. They were, they are the ones that have that ultimate responsibility for the port of Wilmington and to include Sunny Point and therefore you or I, I wish I could remember the captain’s name who was in charge of the Coast Guard. We got along fine. I had nothing but the highest respect for the man. I just don’t remember his name anymore and he was the captain of the port as well as the safety officer.

Of course he had a staff too. He didn't do all these things himself, but in this case, he was down there quite often, the same way as I was seeing that these things were carried out just to the tee.

Zarbock: So he was on site?

Sunder: Oh yes, many times. Not every minute.

Zarbock: No, no, but it was not unusual for him to be on site?

Sunder: No it was not, not when we were loading a containerized ship.

Zarbock: Colonel when you mentioned the fire that took place near Boiling Spring on a box car and your firefighters went out and put it out, if that isn’t a reasonably good illustration of bravery, I don’t know what is.

Sunder: Well I thought it was too and I put in for, put in to my higher headquarters a request for a special award for those people. It went on for several months back and forth, but basically they came back and said this is their normal duty, that’s what they’re hired and paid for and therefore, as I recall it, they turned my request down. I was able to give them something, some kind of a special citation, something like that, but I never was able to get a …incidentally they were all civilians so therefore I was trying to get some sort of a special civilian award for bravery, but I wasn’t able to do it. It went the whole way to my commanding general, two star general in Washington and was ultimately turned down.

Zarbock: But headquarters invoked the letter of the law, not necessarily the spirit of the law.

Sunder: I guess you could say that, yeah.

Zarbock: You know I think I’d think twice about running out and putting water onto a flaming boxcar.

Sunder: I gave those people a lot of credit, to go out there, see flames in that boxcar and then go inside with their hoses and put out the fire. We could have been within an instant of a major explosion. We don’t know. It could have been an hour. On the other hand, in my estimation, it was within minutes.

Zarbock: And yet I can make an argument the other way that would say, as I am sure you would too, that was their duty assignment.

Sunder: Oh absolutely.

Zarbock: And they knew that was their duty assignment.

Sunder: Absolutely.

Zarbock: And what they did was to rise to their duty, but again to be congratulated for it.

Sunder: Yeah, absolutely and they know being firemen out at Sunny Point that hey, they’re going to be involved in fires and it could end up being involved in fires where ammunition is involved.

Zarbock: And this is not putting out fire in a chicken coop.

Sunder: No.

Zarbock: By any stretch of the imagination. I’m going to shift a little bit Colonel, I’m going to take the camera up here and get a picture of four young ladies behind you. Would you tell me who those young ladies are?

Sunder: Well they’re my four daughters. The oldest one is Charlene, next one is Gail, next one is Susan and the next one is Judith. This picture was put together with photographs that they sent me when I was in Korea and I had an artist put them all together. When I was in Korea, these young ladies, two of them were in high school and the other were in grade school.

Zarbock: Did your family, daughters and wife, join you on any overseas appointment?

Sunder: Yes they did. They were with me in Germany when I was with the constabulary and in the other assignments I had in Germany. They also were with me for three years on Okinawa where I had a very specialized assignment with a civilian organization of the government. I was on detached service with them as the transportation officer. They were with me during that whole tour and it was a wonderful, wonderful tour. They had quarters right on the installation that we were located on in a camp in Okinawa.

Zarbock: And what was the civilian activity at that camp?

Sunder: Well it was in the intelligence field.

Zarbock: Alright. Have the daughters married military men, are they married?

Sunder: They all are or have been and only one married a military person. He was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam; however, she is not married to him now.

Zarbock: But none of the daughters have followed your family tradition.

Sunder: Not in my case anyhow (laughter).

Zarbock: Can you reflect, I’ve heard pros, I’ve heard cons. I’d be interested in your experience and definition. What did it mean for your daughters to be raised multi-culturally and occasionally with dad gone for awhile.

Sunder: Well I think especially the three oldest, older ones, they really got a lot out of being in the military and going around to various places especially Okinawa. One thing I didn't say too much about, I did spend two years at West Point on the staff as the assistant transportation officer and they were in their early teens in those days and they had a great time. There was something I wanted to say about that… anyhow they really got a lot, I think they enjoyed being Army brats and traveling all over the world with us as they did in several cases.

I didn't say too much about my tour in Korea either. I was in Korea for a year. The war had already been over and I was the deputy commander of the port of Inchon which was an unusual and very exciting tour also.

Zarbock: What year was that, years was that sir?

Sunder: ’62, ’63, I believe it was because I came home and that’s when I went to the Army staff, after I got back. Or was it ’63, ’64, one of them anyhow, I don’t know if anybody has ever been to Inchon, but Inchon is a very unusual port. Of course you know about the invasion, the high tiders, the tide in Inchon is the second highest in the world. It’s over 30 feet. That means it falls and comes back up twice a day 30 feet.

We lived on a little island off Inchon and the port was in the town of Inchon and all cargo had to be littered from the ships that were anchored way off shore in the _____ River and brought in by barges and tugs through a lock which brought them up to what we called a loading basin and here the cargo was then moved from the barges into the warehouses, then onto the trucks and so forth. Very interesting operation. I’ve not been back to Inchon since then and so I can’t tell you, but I’ve been told that this has been…you still have the lock operation, but it has been vastly improved since those days.

Zarbock: I don’t mean in any way sir to diminish that activity, but somehow in my mind I see this heroic picture of George Washington going across the Delaware (laughter) with all the terrible things that happened. Was your family with you at that time?

Sunder: Not in Korea, no they were not.

Zarbock: What year was that, sir?

Sunder: Well as I recall it was ’63, ’64 I believe. It was right in the early 60’s.

Zarbock: What was your rank at that time?

Sunder: Major, I was a major, I was very fortunate to be picked over several other majors of senior rank than me to be the deputy commander. There was a full colonel who commanded the port Inchon, second transportation terminal command and I was deputy commander. We also had the responsibility for the port of Pusan. We did have another officer down there who ran that port. I often went down and met with him to resolve problems and this type of thing. So I had an opportunity to see the port of Pusan.

Now Pusan was piers. The ships came right to piers in a rather normal type of discharge arrangement as opposed to Inchon which was all litterage.

Zarbock: Colonel, I’m going to reserve two more questions for you, but before we get to my questions, is there anything else you’d like to add to the video tape, experimental, informational, whatever you want.

Sunder: I don’t think so. It just so happened that here recently I been asked, I have found out that the operation I conducted in Vietnam which was called a …well at the shore in northern Icor in 1968 which was set up to relieve the Marines up at Casong. So they had to have the…they had to open an over the shore operation and my battalion was selected to do this and we went up there on a desolate beach with nothing on it, set up what came to be termed Wonder Beach.

Was a really major supply operation. Not only did we offload the vessels that were sent up there, LSTs, LCU’s, LCM’s, and other cargo ships, Navy, AK’s and so forth and brought it ashore and supplied the first cavalry division which was the Army division that was set up there to relieve Casong and they did and we’re getting a lot of recognition on it. I was just up in Fort Eustus here recently on it, so that was an interesting part of my career too.

Zarbock: Okay, kind of an elfish question, in your military career, what was the most enjoyable post, which was the post that you really didn't enjoy very much. I’m trying to be diplomatic in my language.

Sunder: That’s a very difficult one to answer. In many ways, Okinawa was certainly one of the finest tours because my family was there. I had an interesting job, it was very unusual, working with a civilian organization as opposed to military, but I have to say from a professional standpoint, the highlight of my career was my tour in Vietnam and certainly right behind that Sunny Point.

I don’t know what would be the ones I dislike most. There were some things about the joint staff that I didn't care too much about. I’m not a good staff person; however, there were some things about it that I did enjoy. I worked very hard on the agent orange problem with retrograding it back to the states and getting it out of Vietnam, but that’s not the best and most enjoyable type of duty as far as I’m concerned.

Zarbock: Colonel, counting your time at West Point as a cadet, how many years of active service do you have including the four years it was four years, at the point?


Zarbock: Okay now I’m going to ask you the question that I’ve asked everybody else who I’ve interviewed. Take a look right in that lens cause you’re now talking to the future and would you please tell me in the 30 years of military experience, what did you really learn about life and living.

Sunder: Very interesting question. There isn’t much that you don’t learn in one way or another about life and people and how to react with people, how to get them to carry out what you need to get done. I don’t want to go much beyond that. I think it’s a fantastic experience. I enjoyed almost every minute of it and when I first retired, I missed it very much and to some extent still do.

Zarbock: Would you do it again, sir?

Sunder: No doubt, no question.

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