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September Retiree's Corner

U.S. Air Force retired Master Sgt. Bob Barkalow, writer of the Retiree’s Corner article for the SCANG eNewsletter, and Jean Barkalow, his wife, at the monthly retiree luncheon at the NCO Club on Fort Jackson March 1, 2016. The luncheon is held on the first Tuesday of every month and allows retirees to hear about what’s happening at McEntire from active commanders. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Megan Floyd)

U.S. Air Force retired Master Sgt. Bob Barkalow, writer of the Retiree’s Corner article for the SCANG eNewsletter, and Jean Barkalow, his wife, at the monthly retiree luncheon at the NCO Club on Fort Jackson March 1, 2016. The luncheon is held on the first Tuesday of every month and allows retirees to hear about what’s happening at McEntire from active commanders. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Megan Floyd)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- Wow did we have a double-barrel Luncheon in August.  We had the StarBase people headed up by John Motley, Jr., Brig. Gen. retired, and Lt. Col. Paul Laymon heading up the Security Forces as our featured speakers. We also had some representatives from the National Guard Retirees visit with us, so consequentially we had, I believe, our largest crowd this year, 67 of us reported for Luncheon Duty!  I know it was exactly 67, since we had a total of 68 chairs and tables, and there was only one empty seat left. 

We had Sue (Who) Joyner as a first-timer, also I recruited a guy from the Connecticut Air Guard, he retired from there and moved to Rock Hill. I happened to meet him in the commissary a while ago, and he said he would be interested in joining us, and he did. This is my new 'outreach' program, now if I can get more of our local McEntire retirees to participate then I would feel much better about this.

General "Coach" Motley gave us an update on the StarBase folks and what all they do to assist and help motivate primarily school children in the 5th grade.  We have some of our McEntire Retirees assisting him, Jim Hiott Lola Banks, Buddy McDaniels, and Steve Seabrook, they all have 'call signs'.   I might mention the food was as good as it has ever been.   If you missed our August Luncheon, you can 'redeem' yourself and come next month, we would love to see you.

McEntire History:  Had some September deployments that us old-timers can remember, first deployment to Orland Air Station, Norway, Operation Coronet Aim, 1980. We had the A-7's back then. I do not have any data as to how many went on this deployment, but many told me they ate a lot fish at the chow hall. For the 240th, we went to Murted Air Base, Turkey, close to Ankara also in 1980. Turkey was under martial law at that time. There were 34 of us that participated in Operation Display Determination. There were a lot of stories that came out of there, and a good tour. In 1981, the 240th, as part of the Rapid Deployment Force, went to Andravida, Greece. There were 54 of us deployed there. I remember several things about this deployment. There were no street lights, and I never knew there were so many stars in heaven. We had cold showers for a while until our power pro folks figured out how to fix it. And don't drink Retsina wine. Also, while there and we were almost ready to go home, President Sadat of Egypt was killed and we thought we might have to stay longer, but we didn't. 

We have been honoring the Korean War Call Up folks from that era, this month we are honoring the Airmen attached to Detachment B, 216th Air Service Group. Starting with Major Robert H. Morrell, Captain's Porter H. Adams, and Herbert R. Rogers, Jr. 1st Lts Edward R. Armstrong, Richard L. Davison, Harry D. Milford, George R. Pike, and James V. Wood. 2nd Lt. William W. Gunter.  MSgt's Harvey L. Anderson, Jr., and Gerald G. Manning. TSgts William W. Horton, and Stanley M. Klimaszewski. SSgts Clarence E. Aldret, Frederick D. Gray, Thomas E. Harbort, Ferrell D. Horton, and Alfred C. Kawohl. Many of these folks finished their service at Congaree/McEntire and became 'retirees'.

Our next Luncheon, the day after Labor Day, September 6 at our favorite location, the NCO Club at Fort Jackson, beginning at 1200. Let's see if we can beat the bushes for another great attendance.