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W&L Mini-Reunion in Afghanistan

Dave Shugart and Paul Schlimm first met when both were freshmen at Washington and Lee in 1983. Both were members of W&L’s ROTC program.

Four years later, when they graduated as members of the Class of 1987, David and Paul were commissioned together.

Over the next quarter century as both of them rose to their current rank of colonel, David and Paul found themselves reunited on a couple of occasions. In the mid-1990s, they served together at Fort Bragg, N.C. A decade or so later, in 2011, they were both assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division Artillery Headquarters, Republic of Korea.

Then, just last year, they were together again, this time with the NATO Training Mission at Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan.

In May, Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina, a 1969 W&L alumnus, paid a visit to Camp Eggers. The chief of staff for the NATO Training Mission noticed on the congressman’s bio that he had attended W&L. So he asked Rep. Wilson if he’d like to meet some fellow W&L alumni. That led to the photograph above of the three together in Kabul. Rep. Wilson retired as a colonel in the South Carolina National Guard.

Since that photo was taken, Dave and Paul have both returned stateside. Paul is now assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; Dave is at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.

In an email, David wrote: “Considering the number of Army active units and the 20-plus or so fellow W&L cadets commissioned in 1987, plus the fact Paul and I are in two different basic branches — Paul a logistician and me a field artilleryman — to be assigned to the same unit after 25 years after we graduated and were commissioned is pretty amazing.”

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