Just A Nineties Sort Of Guy! This afternoon I picked up a last few messages off the INTERNET, paid the Credit Union VISA bill on the way home, sang “Happy Birthday” to my wife, cleaned up the kitchen after dinner, said hellogoodbye to my teenage daughter as she did a “touch and go” on the house, and am now sitting down to write a “letter” to 302 of my closest friends (the 39 percent of my classmates who belong to the AOG). Life is certainly not boring! (Loved the retort I heard someone give recently when they were admonished for trying to do too much: “Hey, I figure I’m going to be dead a long time!”)
On The Other Hand, I’m Smarter Than Before. For the second time in my life I’ve struggled and/or persevered and/or BS’s my way through a litany of academic ass-whippings; this time earning a master’s degree in project management (can’t use that excuse for getting article to the editor after the deadline anymore). So one might think I’ve gained in intellect/worldly maturity.
Yeah – right! As the picture shows I bought into my daughter’s dual birthday challenge (we’re nine days apart) and did the 13,000-foot tandem skydive last month. In a word, “bitchin” – we both loved it!
News From The Far East – SouthWest. Mike Anderson sent e-mail from Misawa AB in April but by the time you read this he will be settled in at Cannon AFB, NM where he’ll pick up the reins as 27th Log Group commander. Mike reacquired the skiing bug while in Japan (three years); says they regret that that will be somewhat less convenient but are anxious to see commercials on TV they can understand. Mike let us know that he got picked up for O-6 but that, at the current rate, he doesn’t expect to pin on till after the turn of the century. By a real fluke I happened across the Air Force Times issue with this year’s Command Screening board listings; in addition to Mike there are at least 16 others on their way to where the buck stops. If you missed it: Collin Flynn – AWACS Group at Offutt; Wil Percival – Bomb Group at Whiteman; Mark Beesley – Fighter Group at Tyndall; Jim Corrigan – Fighter Group at Misawa; Andy Dichter – Fighter Group at Ramstein; Doug Fraser – Fighter Group at Dhahran; Buck Rogers – Fighter Group at Shaw; Carl VanPelt – Fighter Group at Keflavik; Jim Heald – Test Group at Eglin; Phil Martin – Log Group at Offutt; Bob Shappell – Log Group at Moody; Dave Defoliart – Support Group at Travis; John Sherer – Support Group at McClellan; and Dave Tillotson – Support Group at Osan. Congratulations and best wishes to all!
More Words About Those Commander Sorts Of Things. One of the last things Ed Kasl did as deputy Ops group commander at Kunsan was to zap me an e-mail. He, Jan and the three kids will take up station at Camp Smith, HI in July where Ed will start work in J-31 and enjoy getting back to the beaches and golf course. Ed will leave the mud flats at the same time his boss, Butch Byrd does, but they’ll be going in opposite directions – Butch and Mary are off to EUCOM Headquarters where he’ll be chief of the Joint contact Division. Responsibility for ‘75ers presence at Kunsan will be handed to Dan Falvey who is inbound to be deputy Logistics group commander.
Cause…Effect. As soon as the folks at National War College found out that Kent Traylor had actually managed to orchestrate a ‘75er-subset class picture, he was a shoo-in for Distinguished Grad. We especially appreciate the photo and quick updates as they were fired off while movers were knocking on the front door. Here’s what lies in store for this crew (left to right in the photo): Colonel Mark Beesley, as we mentioned before, to Fighter Ops Group CC at Tyndall; LtCol Mike Dehart to JCS, J-6 at the Pentagon; LtCol Kent Traylor to US Embassy, Canberra, Australia; Colonel Bran McAllister (NWC staff to retirement with LSA (?) Valparaiso, FL; Colonel Mark Masters to JCS, J-8 at the Pentagon; and LtCol Barry Abbott to AFPC at Randolph. We’re counting on a visit from Kent, Carole and Megan on their way West so stay tuned.
Is There A Doctor On The Net? Apparently, yes. Dr. Bill Caskey sent an e-mail from sunny Florida to let us know that he’s still passing gas (chief of cardiac anesthesia) at JFK Medical Center just south of Palm Beach. Until I hear otherwise, I’ll assume Bill has the distinction of being the last guy in out class to sire a child – #2 son, Daniel, born last September (reunion plans dashed). Bill said it’s a bit frightening to think that when his first son graduates from USAFA he’ll start collecting USAFR retirement pay (60) and really scary to think that when Daniel tosses his hat in the air he’ll be ready for Social Security. Bill may be a little late on the “fathering front” but he’s definitely out in front on the USAFR O-6 list – made it at latest board. Just reread Tom Barbera’s e-mail and have to wonder what it is about the world of medicine! Tom is also on the fast-track, short-nights routine (pinned on O-6 last June and has two small children). Tom’s the chief of Medical Staff at RAF Lakenheath and married (obviously) to a German physician. Another similarity: both doctors extended open invitations for classmate visits!
Snail Mail. Yeah, that guy still drives around in the little white truck to dispatch letters written on paper – by hand! This was how we came to know that Mark Schoning is now the chief of Base Safety at Vandenberg AFB. Arrived there from Camp Smith, HI where (trust me) he lived the bachelor-in-paradise life (trips to the Far East and Australia, visits from the international “lovely ladies,” etc.). Life in Lompoc might not have the natural scenic wonders of the islands, but I’m guessing by now Mark’s found a way to survive the sunny central California coast.
Also got a letter from the wife of the future mayor of Montgomery, AL, Chuck Holland. Turns out that once again the locals got to know them as students (Air War college this time) and insisted that they remain neighbors during a tour on staff.
The Muses Must Be At Their Summer Home In The Mountains. Went to bed last night hoping there would be dreamland inspirations for a clever closing. Nope. Nothing but morning mouth and a sore lower back – clinical proof that it’s later than we think. Keep those pens and electrons moving!