My Journey to the White House Communications Agency and the 1600 Club

Presidential helo landing on south lawn, 1970's. 

Up from the grave he arose... is the best way I can describe it and here is why!

Entrance to former WHCA compound where it all began for me in 1977-1985

1977 through 1983, I was selected to serve with the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), Washington, D.C. After joining the Army, this was my first assignment, my first job, my first boss and how exciting for a 20 year old young man, from a very small town. There, I had the opportunity to serve with some of the most elite soldiers, carrying out some of the most sensitive missions in the United States Armed Forces, as we served the President of the United States.

40 years ago, Art working at WHCA

montage of WHCA trip with then President ReagaN.

After my stay with WHCA, I went on to serve the next 10 years in the United States Army. Since this time, I have always wondered what my old buddies were doing, how I could get back, not necessarily to serve, but just for a visit to my old unit and old friends. Because of security measures, this was virtually impossible and a bit risky, if I went about it the wrong way, so I had all but given up.

Larry Wells, WHCA and my very first supervisor/boss.

40 years later, April 2016, I finally ran into my first boss, who was a very fine fellow and inspired me early on. His name was Larry G. Wells and most recently I visited him at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, still doing well and still married to his beautiful wife of 52 years, talking about some “sticking together”. I am still very much honored to have served under his leadership. 

Then, Larry put me in touch with my second ever boss at WHCA, Sergeant Major James Bradford, 2nd row middle, another “top notch” leader with whom I had the honor to serve. I was able to reconnect with him on my way to the 1600 club event. Between these two seniors, early on in my life, I learned what would take me through the rest of my life. So, I was very determined to hunt them down and thank them for what they did, before it was too late for me.

After making contact with Sgm (Ret.) Bradford, he told me about the WHCA 1600 Club and described it as a great way to reconnect to those who served in WHCA and stay connected. With what I know about clubs and groups, reluctantly, I contacted Danny Young. Unlike most of my groupie experiences, it was a pleasure talking with this gentlemen. Danny made the impossible possible. I could not believe, after all these years, there was already a way to reconnect. I also could not believe there was still someone, who was just as energetic and positive to help former members reunite. Danny made what I was trying to do, over the past five years happen in just a few weeks. Yes, in just a few weeks after meeting Danny Young and joining the WHCA 1600 club, 18 June 2016, I was on my way back to Washington, DC. to reconnect with some of the people with whom I enjoyed serving, in this very sensitive organization, 40 years later.

Only had I known earlier and my first two bosses were already members. It just goes to show, even after being separated all these years, what was created then is still the basis for us reuniting today.

Now, for whoever created the 1600 Club  

Art Thomas

(((your inner

Presidential Service Badge

YOUR inner voice

Right here, Right now.


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The best info is the info we share!

New! Comments

The best info is the info we share!