Posted by William Reilly on Aug 20, 2023
On August 17, 2023, Eric Daniels spoke at a Lynn Rotary meeting about a book he and his daughter Jessica wrote about his longtime friend and mentor, Two Star General Bernard Loeffke (Ret.)  The book, published in 2018, is: Our General Our Friend, Lessons in Leadership, Friendship, and Service from a Master: Major General Bernard Loeffke (ret). In addition to being an author, Eric became a Funeral Director upon leaving the military.

Eric spoke about the General’s military record and how they met.  A 1957 graduate of West Point, he fought in and was wounded during the Vietnam War.  The General later served as the commanding general of U.S. Army South.  The General retired in 1992. During his career he was awarded four Silver Star Medals, the Distinguished Flying Cross, five Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart and four Air Medals

Eric met the General, or Burn as he likes to be called, in the mid 1980’s in Panama.  Dictator Manuel Noriega was in charge. Eric was a staff sergeant in a Battalion.  Burn was the Commanding General.  Burn would do things many other general officers would never do, such as participating in early morning PT, joining in morale building exercises, such as wrestling in the Bear Pit -- last one standing wins!
Eric spoke of Burn’s career, starting in West Point, becoming a warrior, an officer and a gentleman.  In addition to Vietnam, he also participated in the Secret War in Laos.  It was during the Eisenhower administration when advisers were sent to Laos to conduct the secret war, which was classified as top secret for decades.

After 35 distinguished years in the military, Burn retired in 1992 as a Major General.  During his 35 years he had many assignments, including embassies and the White House. At retirement he decided to switch from a Warrior to a Healer. He went to medical school and became a Physician’s Assistant.  After that, he went to numerous war-torn countries to help save the wounded.  Burn was famous for saying, “It is a good day if no one is shooting at you”.