The past met the present at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency when a World War II veteran, who retired from NGA’s legacy organizations, visited NGA’s Springfield, Virginia, headquarters June 28.
Robert Caho, who served in the Navy during World War II, worked for the Army Map Service and the Defense Mapping Agency for 39 years before retiring in 1981.
He visited NGA to reminisce about the missions he was a part of and to “see what his generation’s legacy has grown into,” said his son Alan Caho, who helped organize the trip.
“His memory of ‘the old days’ as a Cold War warrior is still strong,” said Alan Caho. “He remembers being recalled to work at the beginning of the Korean War and during the Cuban Missile Crisis.”
He is proud of his life and work, said Robert.
“I had a good life at the map service,” said Robert. “I started in the map library, and then I went to the reproduction material library, and then I took over the map, book and document library. I was in charge of all of that when I left.”
Robert supported U.S efforts during major events, including the Vietnam War and the Cuban Missile Crisis, said his son.
During his career, he delivered maps from the library wherever they were needed. He even assisted in the construction of the White House Situation room, which was created in 1961.
Working was a family affair for Robert and his late wife, Alma Caho, who also worked at Army Map Service and Defense Mapping Agency.
Robert helped her get a job at AMS as a nurse, he said. They retired on the same day from DMA.
NGA employees briefed Robert and his son and grandson, Steven Caho, on NGA’s mission and the Maritime Safety Office. They concluded their visit with a tour of the NGA museum led by NGA Historian Gary Weir.
“Mr.Caho’s generation invigorated both the art and science of cartography and the importance of image analysis in their effort to defend the nation,” said Weir.
The day was an extra special one for Robert, because it was also his 92nd birthday, he said. The occasion allowed him to offer some simple advice about living a long and healthy life.
“Just try to live together peacefully,” he said.