Wednesday, November 29, 2017

RIP Hermann Alder, Distinguished Member of the Regiment

Major (Ret) Hermann Adler, 88, of Wilmington, answered the Lord’s final roll call on November, 14, 2017 surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Liebenstein, Germany (now Liba, Czech Republic) on March 15, 1929 to the late Niklas and Helene Adler.

Major Adler was a legendary soldier, enlisting in the U.S. Army at the age of 28. He was at the forefront of the training and development of elite units in the Special Forces through Project Delta and was an original member of the Army’s elite counter terrorism unit: Delta Force. During his 24 years of active duty service and 3 tours in Vietnam, he served his country and his fellow soldiers with distinction.

Following an event in combat in which he displayed extraordinary bravery and leadership, Gen. William Westmoreland, Commander of the U.S. Forces in Vietnam, ordered his direct battlefield commission to the rank of Captain and he was awarded the Bronze Star for valor. Following his retirement from active duty service, Major (Ret) Adler served another 14 years as a civilian director with the Defense Intelligence Agency, ensuring our national security. He was widely-known and greatly respected. In 2014, LTG Charles T. Cleveland, Commanding General, US Army Special Operations, traveled to Wilmington to award Major (Ret) Adler as a Distinguished Member of the Special Forces Regiment.

Major Adler was both a man of great strength and great kindness. He was a man of principle and was fiercely loyal. He was strong of body and mind. He had a keen intellect, a quick wit and an easy, warm laugh. People were drawn to him and he made everyone feel valued. He loved his friends; he loved his soldiers; and above all, he loved his wife, his daughters, his sons-in-law, and his grandchildren more than life itself. They felt it every day of their lives - in his strong embrace, his encouraging words, his warm smile, and his twinkling crystal blue eyes. To them he was a loving husband, wonderful Dad, and the best Papa.

He was a master story-teller and a great adventurer. He was happiest trekking through the woods with his children and grandchildren, telling tales along the way, and eagerly anticipating what lay beyond the next turn. He loved a good book, a good beer, and his own, home-made, warm German bread with butter. He was a force in this world and he left an impact on everyone who knew him. He will never be forgotten and his legacy will live on in the journeys and the character of his children and grandchildren, and those he mentored.

He is survived by his beloved wife and soulmate of 60 years, Gudrun Maria-Theresa Eschenbach Adler; three daughters, Gabriele Barnard (John) of Apex, NC, Francesca Adler-Baeder (Patrick) of Auburn, AL, Jennifer Adler (Robert) of Wilmington, NC; and six grandchildren, Marc Loeffke, Kristina Adler, Rob Johnson, Jessica Baeder, Nicholas Johnson, and Juliana Baeder.

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