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Commentary Search

December Retiree's Corner

  • Published
  • By Robert Barkalow, Jr.
  • Master Sgt. (retired)

We had a record set for our November Breakfast, not in total attendance, but in the number of first-timers. We had Mark Jordan, Mike Matthews, Joe Jefferson, Dan Shelley (the first time as a Retiree), and Robert “Rock” Hudson, who has since transferred to the NCANG. In addition to that, we had several people show up that have not been for a while, like Bill McCarty, and Thad Myers, who also came to talk to us about the new goals for the National Guard Foundation, which appears to be for a worthy cause. We had for the fourth time, Col. Akshai “Abu” Gandhi, who gave us the low down on what has happened and what may happen at McEntire in the future. Always good to have the vice commander show up. By my count, we had around 60 folks show up, and a good time was had by all.

McEntire History: We will continue to honor our fellow Retirees who have passed on before us and are currently on our Monument. This month we honor Charles V. Huffstetler (1994), Frances L. Christmus (1995), Eugene A. Cobia (1995), Howard P. Jernigan (1995), Dola G. Cordoni (1995), U. Burris (Ulysses-1995), J.A. Taylor (James-1995), W. O. Clary (William-1996), George E. Wagstaff (1996), George W. Reeves (1996), G. M. Machado (George-1996), Homer E. Rose (1996), Edward E. Tiller (1996), C. M. Carroll (Clyde-1996), B. H. Wallington (Bobby-1997), Nicholas Petrovich (1998), Robert W. Merck (1998), Ralph P. Tharpe (1998). They are all on the lower portion of the west-side of the Obelisk. I have found several of these folks that evidently are part of the “missing link” crew. There is no record of them retiring, I don’t know when they retired from the period of 1987 to 1993. Some served in Desert Storm, therefore they retired from the period of 1991-93.

I am not seeing any major deployments in the month of December. Although during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, most of the units ended up deploying during the month of December 1990 to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the King is called The Custodian of Two Holy Mosques. I did find a small deployment of 34 folks from the 240th in 1996 to a base in Tazar, Hungary. There are so many deployments I have not scratched upon that I need to get a better recall on them, such as the 169th going to Panama, Hawaii, England, and Norway during the height of the Cold War. In 1985, 40 folks from the 240th went to Karup, Denmark, for Operation Oksboel 85, while the Air Traffic Control guys went back to Alpena, Phelps Collins Combat Training Center.

The holiday season is upon us! Some dates that we need to recall is our next Retiree’s Luncheon, which is December 5 at our usual location, the Fort Jackson NCO Club beginning at noon. The Technicians Christmas Party from 3:00-5:00 December 8, and December 9 is the 71st Anniversary of the SCANG. Everyone, please have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year, and we will start all over again in 2018.