A man described as a “true hero” by friends and family was inducted posthumously into the U.S. Army Operational Test Command’s Hall of Fame at the command’s headquarters Thursday morning.
Retired Maj. Gen. Stewart C. Meyer led the command under two of its former names from August 1974 to November 1977 after serving in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
He died on New Year’s Eve 2012.
“We throw the word ‘hero’ around a lot,” said Ed Mullen, a close friend of the two-star general. “Stew was an American hero.”
Despite seeing the worst war has to offer, he remained gentle and considerate, Mullen said.
Meyer’s widow, Mari Meyer, and other family members attended the ceremony.
“It was the men and women who stood by him to help him accomplish those things he wanted to accomplish. To honor him, honors all of them,” Mari Meyer said. “He never wanted to take all the credit.”
Working with the test command was special to her husband because he stayed there for so long, she said.
He also oversaw the command’s transfer of authority from Forces Command to the Training and Doctrine Command.
“He got to make very good, close friends, and also got to see projects through to fruition,” she said. “On behalf of the whole family, we thank this institution for honoring this great man in such a kind way.”
Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin was a captain serving in the test command under the late general in the 1970s. “His style of leadership was so effective, you had to try to pattern yourself after him,” he said.
After he retired from the Army in 1979, Meyer remained in Central Texas and was elected Harker Heights mayor in 1993.
“He started the revitalization of Harker Heights. He was my mentor,” said Mullen, also a former mayor of Heights who served with Meyer on the City Council.
“He had a great sense of humor and it was joyous to work with him,” said Ted Smith, who also served on the council with Stewart Meyer. “He made everybody feel good ... and made the citizens feel like their problems were important.”
Meyer was the 34th inductee into the hall of fame. His portrait will hang alongside other local inductees, including retired Gen. Robert Shoemaker, Don Melton, Robert W. Hall, Wayland D. Smith and Dr. Virgil A. Henson Jr.