November Retiree's Corner
By Robert (Bob) W. Barkalow, Jr., Master Sgt. (Retired)
/ Published October 28, 2015
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- This is odd; there is no Luncheon to talk about? Everyone knows why, the deluge, flooding and rainstorms that decimated the state and Midlands area. To this day, I have 'heard' of only one of our retirees having major house damage and that was Vince Hood. If there are others out there, again, I have not heard. We even had someone from the National Noncommissioned Officer Academy Graduate Association Board asking if they could help us, a really nice gesture. If you recall, I did send out a survey to see if the majority wanted a belated October Luncheon, and overwhelmingly it was voted to postpone to the November Luncheon. The main reason was the NCO Club was shut down for a couple of weeks or on a limited basis. In fact the fort as a whole at the time of this writing is still not good with the drinking water situation. The main reason was their huge reservoir tank had to be cleaned out, as well as draining and cleaning out of all pipelines, drinking fountains, ice containers, etc. It will probably be about November 1st before they are fully restored.
McEntire History: We are honoring the last group of 2014 Retirees, and also my last group of retirees for a while. They are: Lt. Col. Mark Hall. Chief Master Sgts. David Alderman, Donna Gore and Scott Robinson. Senior Master Sgts. Denise Martin and Dexter Johnson. Master Sgts. Tina Moore, Cynthia Rucker, Paul Amos III, William Simmons, Kenyatta Washington and Michael Weatherspoon. Tech. Sgts. Harrison Durant Jr. and Terrance McGill.
Past call-ups during the month of November: back in 1951, the newly formed 110th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was called-up because of Korea and initially sent to Donaldson Air Force Base, Greenville, S.C. and later to Germany. The 208 men were blended into units all over Germany and some to France. The main base, or where the most people were stationed, was Bitburg, Germany. The unit was disbanded once they were able to return home, the 169th absorbed many of them when returning. Buck Buchanan would be proud of me for mentioning this.
The other was a major deployment of 727 folks for Operation Desert Shield/Storm, over half the base was called-up. It was close to 'turkey' time when units and people were getting their marching orders. Chief Richard Piucci called me at my new transfer job with the state to tell me the 'good' news and when I needed to report. I went out to McEntire and helped Ron Gregory and other technicians pack for our deployment. It took us a C-5 and four C-141's to put all our equipment in transport to 'Al's Garage' (Al Kharj) in Saudi Arabia. The cooks and air traffic controllers left about a week or so before we did as advanced parties. My chalk landed December 17th. The flying unit got there right after Christmas, and by then we had around 5,000 folks from many different units all over the country and active forces. Would you believe it will be 25 years since that call-up?
Everyone put November 3rd on their calendar, this is our next Luncheon, and I expect a larger crowd due to everyone being pent up from not having an October Luncheon, at least that is my 'expectation'! As always we will be at the Fort Jackson NCO Club beginning Tuesday November 3rd at noon. I believe we will have the 157th Commander as our McEntire Liaison. So come on, and try to bring a reluctant retiree or even your spouse if you can?