Colonel George (Dick) Hamer, US Army, Retired, passed away on July 4, 2018. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 67 years, Bonnie, who died in 2015, and his son, Steve, who died earlier this year. He is survived by his daughter Linda Henderson of Clifton, VA,, his brother Roy (Ruth) Hamer of Fargo, ND, his daughter-in-law Melissa Mackey of Peoria, AZ, and his 3 grandchildren, Andy (Melinda) Henderson of Greenville, SC, Robben (Champ) Thornton of Newark, DE, and Chris Henderson of Atlanta, GA. He was also blessed with six great-grandchildren, Drew, Austin, and Alyssa Henderson, and Micah, Mackenzie and Jackson Thornton who all loved him very much.
He entered military service in 1942 and as a newly-commissioned lieutenant accompanied the 164th Army Infantry to Guadalcanal in support of the US First Marine Division on October 13, 1942. He continued as a company commander in 1943 and through successive campaigns in Bougainville and in the Philippine Islands. He was a member of the amphibious planning staff for the invasion of Japan when the war ended.
After attending Chaffee College in California and graduation from the University of North Dakota, he returned to active duty with the US Army in 1950. His ensuing service included assignment to The Infantry School, Department of Army General Staff, as senior aide to the director, National Security Agency and as deputy chief of staff of the Army Security Agency. During the course of his career he commanded Agency forces in Alaska, Japan, Austria, Germany, Africa and in 1971-2 commanded the 509th security group in Vietnam and served as the security advisor to the Vietnamese Joint General Staff.
His numerous awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit Award with five clusters, the Bronze Star medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Medal with clusters, the US Navy Presidential Unit Citation, the Army Distinguished Unit Award, the Combat Infantry Badge and the South Vietnamese Distinguished Service Order.
Following retirement in 1974 he was a teacher in Arlington and Fairfax County VA high schools, and worked in the history department of the Smithsonian Institute where he was a faculty member for their workshop programs.
He and Bonnie moved to Suntree in 1980 where they continued to live and enjoy a full life of community service, lots of golf, bridge, travel and family visits. He will be sorely missed as a father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend and golf partner.
The family will hold a private celebration of his life. No local services are being planned. Internment with military honors will be held at Arlington National on a date yet to be determined where he will be laid to rest alongside his beloved wife, Bonnie.