“Cold War Bunkers & Presidential Communications” is the title of the Waupaca Area Public Library’s next Lunch & Learn program.
Tom Roemer will present the program from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 11.
The program is free, open to the public and appropriate for all ages. A light lunch will be catered by a local restaurant.
People may make reservations online at www.waupacalibrary.org or by calling the library’s front desk at 715-258-4414.
Born and raised in Appleton, Roemer served in the U.S. Army from August 1965 to August 1969, attaining the rank of staff sargent.
While in Basic Training, he was recruited by the White House Communications Agency.
A subsequent microwave radio electronics school prepared him to provide communications support for the U.S. Secret Service and presidents Johnson and Nixon and former president Eisenhower.
His primary duty station was at a communications site attached to Camp David and supporting the Cold War Site R underground bunker near Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania, designed as an emergency relocation site for the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Additional duties included traveling with advance teams to locations being visited by the president and vice president for the purpose of setting up and operating the two-way base stations and radio networks supporting USSS and White House staff.
Roemer said he will “talk about the number of Cold War bunkers on the East Coast that people had no knowledge of.”
They began to be built in the 1950s.
“Everybody thought they were water towers,” he said.
The progression to satellites resulted in the bunkers being closed down in the early 1970s, Roemer said.
One theme he wants to get across to those who attend the Nov. 11 program is that “I never thought I’d be part of the White House communications.”
Roemer said his U.S. Army technical experience got him into the White House.
After his years of service in the Army, Roemer joined the Secret Service and spent nine years as a technical security specialist at the White House.
Sometime next year, he plans to do a presentation about those nine years.
Roemer and his wife moved to Waupaca a few years ago. He has been a technical security consultant for more than 35 years and continues to do some security consulting.
With next week’s program taking place on Veterans Day, Roemer will give recognition to all the veterans in attendance.