Sunday, November 4, 2012

Call Signs


When he was a nugget, his first squadron tagged him with the call sign “Magua.” He earned this name not through prowess or by any resemblance to a warrior from The Last of the Mohicans, but rather to the tale of his being cornered drunk by MPs outside a strip club in San Diego and his inability to pronounce his own name: Mark White.


Thirty years later, combat ribbons and the silver star of a Marine brigadier general sit framed in a small shadow box on his desk in the Oval Office.   A different tag now, his detail calls him “Tecumseh.” Shawnee for “panther crossing the sky,” the code name suits a former Hornet driver and sitting war-time president.