For Tulsa banker Daniel Keating, the war in the Persian
Gulf jumped from the back of his mind to his hand Tuesday
night, in the form of a mailgram from the Marine Corps.
Keating, a lieutenant colonel in the corps' reserves, is
a logistics specialist, a professional organizer for the
military behind-the-scenes. Keating, who is not attached
to a unit, will be responsible for all the supplies and
motor transportation for the 5th Marine Regiment.
Saturday, Keating leaves for Oklahoma City, to be packed
off to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. From there, Keating
said he could be sent anywhere the military thinks he's
needed. It may be to replace another logistics person at
another base, or it may be to go to Saudi Arabia, he said.
But Keating is also president and chief operating officer
of Valley National Bank in south Tulsa.
"It's a novel situation when you have a president of a
bank that is called to active military service several thousand
miles from the bank for a time period that is unknown,"
said Robert Biolchini, chairman of Valley. "It comes as
a surprise that he could be lifted from the Valley Bank
building to the Persian Gulf."
Keating, a commercial loan officer, is sending a letter
to his customers to explain his absence. Another commercial
loan officer, who has worked closely with Keating, has been
assigned those customer accounts. Biolchini and Keating
are hopeful that Keating will be back in Tulsa and at the
bank within 120 days.
Keating's case is unusual, according to Deak Debuck, spokesman
for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
"This has not happened before. There is no policy that
we have to deal with senior management being called up to
active duty," Debuck said.
In the past few days, as Keating has organized his affairs,
he said he has received supporting calls from other bankers,
customers and friends.
"Support is a nice thing. In the Vietnam war, Kathy didn't
get that," Keating said of his wife's experiences in Tulsa
while he was serving in Da Nang. "There were no yellow
Americans' support of this war seems stronger, he said,
at least partially because of the country's sensitivity
to the trauma suffered in Vietnam.
The situation in the gulf is such that if it is left unresolved,
in another five years it has the potential to be much worse.
"I'll do mine so that, hopefully, my son won't go through
that," Keating said.
Keating, 46, was 23 when he shipped out to Vietnam as a
logistics specialist at the combat base for the 5th regiment
outside Da Nang.
He had graduated from college the year before, and as he
puts it, the choices were be drafted, go into the reserves
or go on active duty. He chose to enter the officers corps.
In 1970, after his stint in Vietnam was over, Keating used
the G.I. bill to go back to college and get a master's degree
in business administration.
After working at another Tulsa bank, Keating joined Valley
six years ago, and is responsible for shifting the bank
from losses to a profit of $300,000 for 1990, Biolchini
said. The bank chairman cites Keating for growing the bank
from $25 million in assets when Keating joined to slightly
less than $50 million at the end of last year.