View Full Version : General Andrew Gatsis remembered as a 'True Defender of Freedom', RIP

03-27-2010, 04:43 PM

U.S. Army Brigadier General Andrew Gatsis remembered as a 'true defender of freedom' (http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/news/gatsis-remembered-true-defender-freedom-17965)

Rocky Mount Telegram
March 26, 2010

As family and friends paid tribute this week to one of the nation’s more decorated armed servicemen, supporters of the conservative causes he championed later in his life hailed the Rocky Mount man as a “true defender of freedom.”

Sometimes controversial, Gatsis wrote and spoke prominently over the years against placing women in combat, against allowing gays to serve in the military and, most recently, against waging war in Iraq without congressional approval.

When Gatsis announced his support for the re-election of U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., in the 1980s and 90s, his endorsements were revered enough to garner front page news stories throughout North Carolina.

Gatsis served many years on the National Council of The John Birch Society (http://www.jbs.org/), a national advocacy group best known for its unwavering opposition to communism and its support of individual rights and constitutional values.

“The man was a man of character,” said Arthur R. Thompson, the CEO of The John Birch Society, based in Wisconsin. “He took his oath to the country seriously, and so he meant it when he raised his hand and swore to defend the constitution and protect it from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.”

His membership with the John Birch Society was his way of fulfilling the latter part of that pledge, Thompson said.

Mike Armstrong, a former candidate for Rocky Mount City Council, said he knew Gatsis for more than 45 years, first on a personal basis and then during their work with the John Birch movement.

“General Gatsis was a humble man who did great things when called on to serve his country, but he never stood in line for accolades,” Armstrong said. “He was the kind of person you had to admire if you knew him.”