June Retiree's Corner
By Robert (Bob) W. Barkalow Jr., Master Sgt. (Retired)
/ Published May 29, 2015
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- We had about 50 folks show for the May Luncheon. Lt. Col. Wade Rivers, the 169th Communications Flight commander, highlighted some of his points on how to be a successful Airman and participate in your role or job in the military and at McEntire. We had one of our least participative raffles last month, so we were not able to bring any money into our coffers, only to our Speaker Fund. We will keep trying.
There were so many activities going on during the month of May. Something for everyone, including Armed Forces Day, Retiree Appreciation Days, and Memorial Day. Not mentioning the Vietnam Wall exhibit, Honor Flights, Patriots Ball, and a Reunion of the 240th Squadron. May is really a military celebration month.
McEntire History: We our celebrating the 2013 Retirees, which has by my count 46 Retirees, beginning with Col. Dana Rawl. Lt. Cols. Lester Carroll Jr. and David Sturgeon. Maj. Mark Foster. Chief Master Sgt. Deborah Marshall. Senior Master Sgts. Linda Coleman and Tony Heidenreich. Master Sgts. Edwin Gwaltney, Todd Lavelle, Michael Askins, Thomas Lucius, Pelham Myers Jr., Paul Caldwell, and Clinton Gunter. Tech. Sgts. Michael Lutz and Wendell Rollins.
What else happened significantly during the month of June throughout Congaree/McEntire's history? Well for one, the 120 day deployment to Balad Air Base, Iraq in 2010. About 300 people went, everyone was 'inside the wire' at the base, except the pilots, but even they didn't get much participation since Operation Iraqi Freedom was winding down. If I am not mistaken there was no ordnance dropped or a round fired from our planes during the deployment. However, conversely, the folks located at the base had to persevere some occasional mortar attacks, or Rocket Propelled Grenade firings, which enlivened their deployment. All this took place during the heat of the Iraqi summer. Bottom line, it was hot and frustrating. Another job well done.
Please mark your calendar for June 2, our next Luncheon. We have been stagnating around 50 folks the past several luncheons. Naturally, I like to see more folks come by and visit with us. I hope we are not getting stale with the Luncheons because they are designed to let you see many of your McEntire buddies, and keep you informed as to what is going on in our Retiree world, plus a monthly update of what is happening at McEntire. It's a worthwhile opportunity to keep some contact with both your friends and gain information...and gets you out of the house.