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July Retiree Corner

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael Bilberry, a crew chief with the 169th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, marshals an F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 157th Fighter Squadron, that landed at Joint Base Balad (JBB), Iraq, May 16, 2010.  Staff Sgt. Kenneth Monroe (left), Airman 1st Class Lyla Rayer and Staff Sgt. Leonard Gajewsky (center) with the 169th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, work to quickly de-arm the aircraft.  Personnel from McEntire are deployed to JBB on an Air Expeditionary Force rotation to take over the Air Tasking Order for the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing.
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael Bilberry, a crew chief with the 169th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, marshals an F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 157th Fighter Squadron, that landed at Joint Base Balad (JBB), Iraq, May 16, 2010. Staff Sgt. Kenneth Monroe (left), Airman 1st Class Lyla Rayer and Staff Sgt. Leonard Gajewsky (center) with the 169th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, work to quickly de-arm the aircraft. Personnel from McEntire are deployed to JBB on an Air Expeditionary Force rotation to take over the Air Tasking Order for the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, South Carolina -- Frankly I was a bit disappointed we had only 40 folks show for our June Breakfast. We had a wonderful meeting, and a wonderful speaker from McEntire, Col. Mike Metzler, who I have accused of being a Magna Cum Laude Toastmaster Speaker. The guy is good. He filled us in on the many happenings at McEntire, good and not so good. We educated some folks on the Pardo's Push, which was a masterful job of innovative flying and about helping his buddy get out of Vietnam back during that war period. Several of us hung around afterwards to discuss many things, so there is ample time to hear old and new stories that abound about Congaree/McEntire.

If anyone served during the Korean War timeframe (1950-1953) in any capacity, please be advised about the Korean War Commemoration, sponsored by the Honor Flight folks, being held July 15th at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. I will put out more information about this as a reminder at a later date.

No more meeting at the Officers Club, at least this is the latest word, the NCO Club staff are slated to move back June 15th, so keep your fingers crossed. Our next outing, which will be one of our semiannual luncheons next month, should be at the newly renovated NCO Club.

McEntire History: We had 43 retirees in 2005, which I will break up in a three-month increment period. I have wondered if ever you thought, 'Why is he doing this?', since this could be construed as being repetitive? Since all the names I have gotten have been from the SCANG News printed copies from that time period, there are several reasons; I want to be sure I capture all the folks that retire, no matter what year, and I could be getting a little etched in the head from writing so many of these articles? Probably the main reason is I am required to write something.

Anyway, the first group of 2005 retirees based on chronological order are: Lt. Col. John "Jay" Johnson. Chief Master Sgt. Richard Gilbert Jr. Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Atwood. Master Sgts. Guy C. Corbett, Roberta Starks, Ray Massengale, Maurice Plant, Lee Inabinet, Brian Phillips, Melinda Russell, Harrison Murray, Michael DeShong, and Carolyn Rice. Tech. Sgts. Van Anderson and Albert Carter. It appears the 240th cleaned house during this timeframe?

I also have been remiss about noting the many deployments, especially the many mini deployments (not as many people), particularly in the past decade or more. That would be the deployment to Iraq beginning in June 2010 and lasting 120-days. Actually, this was the drawdown period for Iraq at that time. This was around a 300-person package, summer vacation, for those folks in sunny Iraq. I believe most never got out of the wire to go or visit anywhere in Iraq, even at that timeframe.

Alright, I would like to see a passel of people to show up for our Luncheon and the re-opening of our old quarters, the NCO Club, so please make a concerted effort to be there with me. According to my commander (my wife), she states the food is much better during the luncheons than breakfast? Come see and judge for yourself. The Luncheon will be July 9th, this is the only deviation from first Tuesday due to the Fourth of July, and we will start at high noon (12:00). The buffet price probably will be around $10.00. They have gone up on us a bit. I just looked at a pending Navy Reunion I can go to and they wanted $39.00 for a buffet, wow? I hope to see you at our Luncheon.