April Retiree Corner
By Bob Barkalow, Master Sgt. (Retired)
/ Published March 27, 2013
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, South Carolina -- We had an estimated 50-55 folks show up, and no first timers this time so we need to shake the bushes for more 'newbies'. We had some lively discussions about the pending Sequester issues, and about the new State bills concerning the Appointment of the Adjutant General instead of the election process. There were good points both ways and we left it at that.
Master Sgt. Robert McNeal from the Security Forces Squadron (SFS) represented his Commander, Lt. Col. Paul Laymon, and he represented him well. He primarily explained how SFS went from a 44-person team, to an 83-person team, and now is down to a 73-person team. Also, 26 of them are now deployed, and they need to get their numbers up to fill all their slots. So, for us retirees who attend the monthly Breakfasts and Luncheons, we get the big picture on what goes on at the base now, and we appreciate it.
I have to compliment some folks who drive longer distances to attend almost every Breakfast. That is the Webb's coming from the Florence area and Randy Collins trekking his way down from Lancaster. This is a feat in itself, along with dedication to be with their fellow retirees, hint hint.
McEntire History: Bobby Petty mentioned to me the other day about how Dothan Jeffers came up with the Swamp Fox emblem while being called up during the Berlin Crisis. What I don't know, and this is why I am broaching this subject, is how and why he did this, or was directed to do this? So I am appealing for some insight and history on this subject. I am sure some of our old timers will educate us on this. Something related to this, my wife has been doing genealogy on her family, and up to this point, she had traced back relatives on her father's side who assisted Francis Marion by feeding both his troops and animals, who was then paid for after the Revolutionary War. We can't determine if her Great, Great, Grandfather actually fought with Francis Marion at this time. If we can find this out, this would make our son, an active member, a 'true' Swamp Fox. As you can tell we love the history stuff!
We are moving on to honoring the first group of 2004 retirees. There were 'only' 54 retirees this year. The first 18 are as follows: Chief Master Sgts. Leona Allen, Tommy Temple, William Mustard, Karen Heaton, and Wallace Reece. Senior Master Sgts. John Grimes, Rebecca Daniels, Delores Labrew, Ellen Chestnut, and Donald D. Hawkins. Master Sgts. Karen Landreth-Weaver, Johnny Campbell, Robert Masterson, Jr., Robert D. Butler, John G. Heller, Lillian M. Hill, Michael Curlee, and Tech. Sgt. John Jackson.
I have gotten the 'word' that we may be going back to the refurbished NCO Club come our May Breakfast, we'll see? But for our April Breakfast, we will still be at the Fort Jackson Officers Club, so please mark your calendar to be there April 2nd, beginning at 8:30a.m. Don't be bashful to call someone to come with you to the next Breakfast, or you would like to see, if you will try, then so will I. I hope to see some new faces next month, as well as our corps group.