Our Heritage

Scott Hente

 

My father, Donald B. Hente, enlisted in the Marine Corps shortly after his high school graduation in 1946 and fell in love with its regimentation, devotion to duty, and esprit-de-corps. He loved the Corps so much that he aspired to be a Marine Officer. After considerable efforts on his part as well as getting the support of his superiors, he was accepted into the US Naval Academy’s Prep School in 1948 and then was further accepted, in the summer of 1949, into the US Naval Academy’s class of 1953.

During his time at USNA, his eyesight deteriorated considerably and he had significant worries about leading young Marines through mud, dust, and other harsh elements while burdened with bad eyesight and thick glasses. During that time frame, because there was a US Air Force but not a US Air Force Academy, it was somewhat common for about 25% of both Annapolis and West Point Graduates to cross-commission into the Air Force.  Also during that time, my Dad met a woman who would become his wife and my mother and he didn’t really relish the idea of being away from her for long stretches of time while he was at sea, so he joined many of his classmates and entered the Air Force.

My Dad’s eyesight prevented him from being considered for the rated force and he spent the bulk of his Air Force career involved with various aspects of nuclear engineering, weapons, and safety. He retired after 28 years of Air Force service and spent some time in the defense contracting world before his “2nd” retirement.

A lesson that I learned, at an early age, from my father was the importance of his Naval Academy classmates and the lifelong friendships and camaraderie that is formed through four years of attending a service academy together. That lesson has served me well as I cherish the many friendships and life-long close associations I have with my fellow members of the Class of 1975.

 
 

My father-in-law, Arthur “Art” J. Reiter (1923-1997), originally from Stetsonville, Wisconsin, served his Country under wartime conditions. A veteran of both the Pacific and European Theaters during World War II, he served with distinction in several campaigns, most notably in the push back of the German forces during the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944 and early 1945. He left military service after his return to the States at the completion of the war, but was again called up for active duty during the Korean conflict. After this second round of service, Art served the City of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin for several decades as a police officer and then as its lead Building Official and Inspector.