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August Retiree's Corner

  • Published
  • By Robert (Bob) W. Barkalow Jr.
  • Master Sgt. (Retired)
Both the Fort Jackson NCO Club staff and I were caught by surprise for our July Luncheon. The NCO Club set up for about 50 people, which is what we usually average, and lo and behold, we had more people come through the door. The NCO Club had to set up three more tables to accommodate the masses that came. They kept glaring at me like I should have told them? I did tell them I had expected perhaps a few more folks, but not to this degree (in my best conciliatory manner). We must have had about 72 folks altogether. Now why did this happen? The only logical answer I can come up with is the Concealed Weapons Class, even though many of our regulars stayed for the class afterward. But we did have at least four to six first-timers, and guess who didn't write their names down? Shame on me. I remember Chuck deVlaming because he was one of us taking the CWP course as well as George Patrick. The others are 'escaping' me, sorry.  Speaking of first-timers, we had Lt. Col. Chris Gamble, the 169th Maintenance Squadron commander, as our McEntire liaison come by and talk to us for the first time ever. In fact, he came appropriately dressed; he was off that week from work.
After the Luncheon we took a short break and 23 of us were instructed about South Carolina's CWP laws. The crazy thing is that in many cases each state can be a bit different or vastly different. Julie P. Jernigan was our instructor, many of you remember her, and it was good to have her partner "Jet" Jernigan assist her. So all in all it was a very good Luncheon along with the extracurricular activity. We should have a follow up, probably in September for more CWP Certifications. We will put out more information about this at a later date.

McEntire History:  We will honor the third and last group of the 2013 Retirees, and they are as follows:  Brig. Gen. Aaron Booker Jr.; Col. Eugene Brislin Jr.; Lt. Col. Allen Mattox; Chief Master Sgt. Joseph Brunson; Senior Master Sgt. James R. Long; Master Sgts. Larry Hostetler, Bruce Wiles, Michael Zahm, Patrick Blackman, Mark Garman, Archie Larrimore, George Poole, Billy Bean Jr. and Willie J. Boyd; and Tech. Sgt. William Rives.

As I have said before, I am catching up with current times and will have to switch to some other interesting topics. 

I could not find any major deployments that began during the month of August historically. I feel confident there were many mini-deployments and summer camps that can be celebrated or forgotten. There were a couple of 'firsts' in August and I may have put this information out years ago? August 31, 1947 was the first annual field training held at Congaree Air Base. In August of 1958, the first visit by the S.C. Governor to Air National Guard units at Field Training was Fritz Hollings. August 24, 1963, Master Sgt. Alton G. Cox became our first member to retire. August 28, 1964, Sgt. John C. Watson became our first black member. August 1978, the SCANG was the first ANG unit to be deployed to England...well there you go, a deployment! Another first in the same timeframe, we were the first unit to receive orientation flights led by Harrier Aircraft.  There is a lot of history going on during the month of August for the SCANG.

We will have our next Luncheon August 4th, at the Fort Jackson NCO Club, beginning at 12:00. This time we may have our quarterly 50-50 raffle as well. I sure would like to see a nice number of folks as well. The NCO Club is very cool and tastefully decorated, so get out of the summer heat, please come and see us.