November Retiree Corner
By Bob Barkalow Jr., aster Sgt. (Retired)
/ Published October 30, 2012
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, South Carolina -- We have been running around 45-50 folks the past several Breakfasts, not exactly sure why the lower attendance other than maybe the Officers Club syndrome? However, we must persevere for at least another six-eight months. Then we will have a newly refurbished NCO Club facility. The Fort Jackson MWR folks are doing their best to keep us happy. They keep telling me we are their best group? I take their word since they appear to be sincere about wanting our business and keeping us happy. We had no first timers this time, and one guest, Mrs. Susan Colby. We had no McEntire Liaison this time due to conflicting schedules, but we did have one of our 'famed' raffles, which turned out to be our most lucrative raffle ever, $124.00, and guess who won, none other than Doris Luellen, who normally collects the raffle money. She was gracious and gave to our fund a generous portion of her winnings. We also raffled off one of Whitey Hewitt's bowls that he traditionally offers to our raffle. Chuck Bland won that. I immediately re-filled our Petty Cash monies, and deposited the rest into the Retirees Account. Currently we have almost $1100.00 in our account to use as we see fit.
McEntire History: 22 years ago, November 1990, Desert Storm call up, altogether 727 of us went over to Saudi Arabia, many of us, and some are still active members serving with the Air Guard. There were a variety of units from the Base that went. Some stayed as little as three months while others may have stayed as much as seven months. I had 183 days under my belt, enough to earn the Short Tour Ribbon, and still cleaning out sand from my clothes, OK not really. We are honoring the last of the 2002 Retirees, and they are: Maj. George Ronan. Chief Master Sgt. Richard Piucci. Senior Master Sgt. Alex Cooper. Master Sgts. Steven Braswell, Carol Jacobs, Charles Shaw, Donald Morris, Irvin Holmes, Robert Oliver, Bernard Montgomery, and Fred Woodard. Tech. Sgts. Robert Windhorn, and Joseph Riddle.
Since we are in the middle of football season, back in the late 40's and early 50's there were 'morale' trips to some away football games and the Goony Birds provided the transportation to them, usually political dignitaries. Ah those were the days, at that time members of the Congaree Air Base provided transportation to both USC and Clemson games periodically. Recently our Governor had to pay for the use of South Carolina owned planes, so you can see what the difference of about six decades has done to us?
Now comes the hard part! I don't know if many of you noticed, but the Base is not going to be sending out printed copies of SCANG News any longer. So how do we get to see the monthly newsletter, which really won't be monthly to some degree anymore.It will be more instantaneous as time progresses and there is better sophistication of the process, and that is electronically.
This is going to be hard for the folks who have no computer, or access to one. But for those of us who do, we have to adapt and get our SCANG information electronically now. I am not sure how I will adapt myself, and how I can help those who will be having difficulty dealing with this. I don't know if I will download the SCANG News monthly and send it out to the folks who are on our email address now or what? Since these folks can do it themselves. So we will be in a transition period until we can get into a routine flow. Bear in mind this will be a savings for the Base, but an imposition on many of our retirees who have no means of capturing the SCANG News. The website for receiving updates about the SCANG is, www.169fw.ang.af.mil and then go to the "News" tab. (The 12-page newsletter we have all been accustomed to to receiving will not be produced). Actually the Air Force has been frowning on the use of printed material, so one thing led to another. Most of us will work through this, it may take some adaptation, but we will do it, so standby?
Next month our Breakfast will be on Election Day, this has happened before, since we have chosen the First Tuesday for our Breakfast/Luncheons for the most part. Here is my suggestion, come to Breakfast and then go vote, the lines will not be as long. Some folks may have voted early, but the vast majority usually wait until Election Day. Our November 6th Breakfast will be at the Fort Jackson Officers Club, starting at 0830. I hope to see you then.