By Bob Barkalow, Jr., Master Sgt. (retired)
/ Published July 25, 2016
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- We really had a great July Luncheon, along with a good raffle. It appeared we had around 55 attending. We had a fellow come talk to us and he is one of the Survivor Outreach Services Coordinators for the National Guard. He told us some horror stories about spouses who knew nothing about their member's benefits. He later sent some documentation to help us package up all our documents to help both the spouse and family members deal with a military member's passing. I promptly forwarded to all in our Address Book, so there should be no excuse for anyone not to be prepared for our final flight. If anyone is not on our Address Book and they would like more information about all this, they can get in touch with me or Michael Jenkins at 803 299-1565 in time of need or if you just have questions.
Later during the Luncheon we had our McEntire featured speaker, Lt. Col. Allen Stewart, and he briefed us, as much as he could, about the crash in Georgia. He spoke briefly about the deployment, and later we got to hear some really good stories about past deployments that we all relish and understand. We had a couple of first-timers, there was Jim Kirk from Lancaster, and another person, that I cannot identify, he did not present himself, so I can't tell you who he was?
Doris Luellen won the raffle, and overall we helped out the retirees' account by the sum of $153.00, a big help. We now have $526.00 in our account, and $50.00 in our speaker fund/petty cash.
I want to commend Bill Burbage for the origination of our name tags, to date we have around 85 of them with requests for more. Like any government program, it expands, therefore I am looking for several volunteers to hand out and collect the name tags as people leave, it is becoming too much for me to try to manage this now. Also, someone asked me the question about the raffle, and why not collect an extra dollar when paying for our lunch instead of a raffle. I don't know if the NCO Club would want to do this, plus we are paying even money right now, $10.00 for our Luncheon. The breakdown of this is $9.00 for food and $1.00 for the wait staff tip. This was negotiated a while back when they had to go up on us food-wise. Right now, let's just stick with the raffle.
McEntire History: I am not seeing any major deployments for the month of August, however, let's chalk up the one in progress right now, the deployment to Osan Air Base, South Korea, which really begins in July. Here is some old history of things that happened at Congaree/McEntire during the month of August, first annual field training at Congaree on August 31, 1947, first visit by a Governor (Hollings) in 1958 to an annual field training, not sure where?, on August 24, 1963, the first SCANG member to retire, Master Sgt. Alton G. Cox on August 24, 1963 with Jack Moak right behind him, first black member to join SCANG, John C. Watson in August 1964. A lot of rich history there.
We will continue on with honoring the Korean Conflict call-up folks, this month we are honoring those that were assigned to the 157th Squadron, Utility Flight; Sergeants Joe Addison, William P. Harrison, Jr., Charles M. Turner, and Samuel R. Young, Corporals William C. Bateman, Jr., Ernest B. Caughman, Jr., Nicholas Kalfas, William E. Page, Albert D. Raines, Olza J. Roberts, Archie S. Thorpe, Jr., Rynn, H. Youginer, Jr., and William F. Zeigler. Private 1st Class Jefferson D. Hunt, and Private Stephen D. Palmer. I recognize several of the names.
Next month, the Luncheon will take place August 2nd, at our usual place, the Fort Jackson NCO Club. Now we have more name tags then people coming, so my challenge to you, if you have a name tag, come, if you don't, come anyway, we will get you one. OK, I understand there are times you just can't make it, but do come if you can. If anyone needs to get in touch with me, you can find me at email@example.com, or call me on my home phone 803 936-0680. If I don't answer just leave a message, I go to the golf course a lot, not doing well, but still go. Work in the yard some, although minimize that with this confounded heat?