I HERE APOLOGIZE TO THE ARMSTRONG AND SANDIDGE FAMILIES; AFTER RE-READING THE HEART FELT WORDS OF JACK S. SANDIDGE, MY INTERPRETATION OF THEM ORIGINALLY WAS IN ERROR. JACK IS CLEAR WITH HIS WORDS, THERE WERE TWO FAMILIES AT THE TIME OF THE MARY AND FRANK MARRIAGE [SANDIDGE/ARMSTRONG]. IT IS ADMIRABLE THAT THE CHILDREN, WHETHER BROUGHT INTO THE MARRIAGE OR BORN INTO THE MARRIAGE ARE LOVING AND CARING ENOUGH TO SEEK EACH OTHER OUT AS ADULTS. THE INFORMATION ABOUT THESE DETAILS OF THE INNER ARMSTRONG FAMILY WERE OF COURSE NOT THE BUSINESS OR CONCERN OF ANYONE BUT THE ARMSTRONG FAMILY. MY MISREAD OF JACK'S WORDS ARE PROBABLY THE PRODUCT MY ADVANCED AGE 82, I NOW NEED TO STUDY THE WRITTEN WORDS SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE ACCEPTING AN UNDERSTANDING OF THEM. JACK, IF YOU HAVE NOT RESEARCHED YOUR SANDRIDGE FAMILY TREE, YOU MAY ENJOY DOING SO. IN OUR OWN FAMILY, AFTER DOING A FAMILY TREE RESEARCH, WE GAINED SO MUCH UNDERSTANDING OF OUR OWN INDIVIDUALITY. WE ALSO WERE ABLE TO LET GO OF A LOT OF THE ANGER WE SIBLINGS HAD CARRIED FOR YEARS. OUR HUMAN LOVE NOW GOES OUT TO ALL MEMBERS OF THESE OUTSTANDING FAMILIES.
We in the inner circle of the Alaska, Armstrong Family had no knowledge of the Sandidge children.We only knew of little Lloyd and that because of her mother's death the grandparents took her as their responsibility because her father was on active duty and "unable" to care for her. This must have been one of those well kept family secrets that, to this day, plays out around the world every day! It is one of millions of sad story in life; makes me wonder what if the Armstrong's had taken all of the children to care for [as a casual observer] it would have been possible.The General's life was a very busy one, his major obligation to the USAF in Alaska was commanding all of the military forces in Alaska as "top cover" for America. The cold war was very real and the General was very respected for his efforts to conduct a viable defense strategy involving the Alaska/Aleutian Islands/Bering Sea Theater. A major sub-contingent also under his command was the Alaskan Air Command. We had on-going SAC Reflex Forces in and out on six month TDY's from all SAC bases. That also demanded the General's time, not to mention the typical PR and Social demands that came with the job. General Armstrong serve his nation proudly, he was admired and respected by all that served under him with few exceptions! My heart goes out to those "forgotten" Sandidge children! Knowing "Fluffy" as I did, I am sure that she paid an emotional price for whatever caused her to not take in all of the grandchildren that were unknown to most of us in her wide circle! My hindsight tells me yes, they all could have had a good life in Alaska with the General and his wife had that decision been made; why it was not is beyond my comprehension. I for one am very sorry! To the Sandidge children in this piece, please know that you carry the DNA of one Great American, General Frank A. Armstrong. He risked his life for his country so many times most of we Americans cannot even begin to fathom! We owe he and his entire family a debt of gratitude. Though we do not know you, please know we love you and are very saddened by your plight. Richard K. Roedel, USAF 1954-1963. All of the photos I took of the family were designated "Official USAF Photograph" and not within the capacity for me to keep or even duplicate....I'm Sorry.
What a happy looking family the Armstrong are, however, not one mention of Lloyds mother, my mother or the three half siblings that they abandoned, My mothers name was Mary Louis Stacey Sandidge, before she married Frank A. "Dutch" Armstrong lll. Lloyd had two brother and one sister by the same mother. After her death in Oct. 14, 1959 the Armstrong took Lloyd to Alaska to stay with Gen. Frank A Armstrong Jr. and his wife Vernell Lloyd "Fluffy" Armstrong and left Lloyd brothers and sister with unknown people in Arizona where Franks Armstrong lll wife my mother die. Our name are Earl C. Sandidge, Becky louis Sandidge, my name is Jack S. Sandidge We never saw our sister again until I was grown and searched for years until I found my sister Lloyd, It took 30 years. but I found her.
ANOTHER OF THE SEVERAL PHOTOS I TOOK OF THE GENERAL AND FAMILY DURING A VISIT BY THEIR SON, FATHER OF LITTLE GRANDDAUGHTER LLOYD, HELD BY GRANDMOTHER VERNELL, ELMENDORF AFB, 1960.