I admit that I had not paid close attention to who was killed in the Metro crash on Monday, but was stunned today when a colleague called to inform me that the victims included Gen. David Wherley, the former head of the D.C. National Guard who had also served on the board of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission.
I got to know Gen. Wherley from attending the sports commission’s monthly board meetings. He was a extremely nice man, soft-spoken and with a very sharp and dry sense of humor. He was well-respected by staff of the sports commission, who worked with him in ensuring the D.C. Armory drill floor could be used for various events. In working on several stories about the Armory, Gen. Wherley was always very helpful, and offered a wealth of information about the history and mission of the old building.
Last year, the D.C. Council honored him with a special resolution upon his retirement.
“He was very dedicated, and very passionate about the sports and entertainment commission, especially with things having to do with the community and community-based events and kids,” DCSEC chairman Matthew Cutts said. “He was very deliberate in his thought-process and he was an absolute pleasure to deal with.”
“He was very much invested in the part of the sports commission that dealt with improving the quality of life for the community,” Cutts said. “Yes, he was a sports fan, but because it was providing quality of life enhancements for the community where he lived.”
Prior to serving as head of the D.C. National Guard, Gen. Wherley was a commander at Andrews Air Force Base. During the attacks of September 11 he ordered jets to fly over the District to take out any planes headed for the White House or Capitol.
From a statement released by Errol Schwartz, the current commanding general of the D.C. National Guard:
“We are all deeply saddened by this sudden and tragic loss of General Wherley and his wife, Ann. I am personally grieved by this unbelievable tragedy. David Wherley and Ann were two of the best people you could ever want to know. This community will grieve, as will the entire National Guard throughout the country who knew and loved them both.”