August Retiree's Corner
By Robert (Bob) W. Barkalow Jr., Master Sgt. (Retired)
/ Published July 31, 2014
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- During our July Luncheon, we had our normal 50-55 folks show up. They were glad they came because the new wing commander, Col. David 'Oscar' Meyer, gave us a great state of McEntire. He must have spoken for a good 20 minutes, and then followed up with question and answer time.
We also had our periodic raffle which primarily supports paying for our speaker/guests. Right now we have a little over $800 in our account, along with ample petty cash or speaker fund for now. Occasionally we use this money to support deserved projects, such as our monument at McEntire, etc.
The NCO Club has done a good job providing us with a variety of food as of late, and a nice setting. So, if you haven't come by to see us in a while, check us out again.
McEntire History: Here is our second batch of 2009 Retirees, which includes the following folks: Chief Master Sgts. Terry Wingard and Kevin Ridenour; Senior Master Sgt. Ronald Joye; Master Sgts. Dwight Mixon, Rush Ulmer, David Harrison and Robert Watkins; Tech. Sgts. Roy Hancock, Mark Lefever, Steve Gore and Joseph Lee; Staff Sgt. Tracy Rash. A good group of folks.
Throughout our history, I could not find any major deployments beginning during August. I did find several mini deployments beginning in the month of August by the 240th as part of the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF). The first being in 1982. The exercise was called Crested Cap I 82 and it was held at Leck Air Base, in Germany. The exercise ran for two months or so and a total of 56 personnel rotated coming and going.
There was a second exercise in 1985 held in Karup, Denmark, called Oksboel 85. A total of 40 participants were involved with this exercise. In August of 1997, the 240th participated in an exercise called Operation Global Apache, located at Volk Field, Wisconsin. A total of 58 personnel participated. There are many other deployments by the 169th, as I have said before, but at this time I do not know the dates of them...Panama, Hawaii, and Norway.
Both the Civil Engineers and the Security Forces have had quite a few of their own deployments, such as Belize, etc. I can only mention the ones I have documented and report them as such. I will either have to research more on my own, or I could use some assistance from people in these units to help me with the dates for these mini deployments.
Our next Luncheon will be Tuesday, August 5th, beginning at noon. Please mark your calendar for this event. We have been at the NCO Club for a number of years, and for the most part it is satisfactory to people. Personally, my wife and I like it due to using the Fort's different facilities that save us time and money, like with the Commissary. And Moncrief Army Community Hospital for health related issues such as medicine and appointments, as well as the Post Exchange, ID cards, and recreational facilities such as the bowling alley, tennis courts, gyms, golf course, swimming pools, as well as the Fort Jackson National Cemetery.
Fort Jackson is here to serve us Retirees, no matter what branch of service you were in. The bottom line is if we don't use their services, then we may end up losing them. This is based on what I hear through the Fort's Retiree Council, since Sequestration is still in effect. There is still the possibility that severe budget cuts may be forthcoming.
I understand, and this may be fairly new, the VA can pay for a non-service connected death, in the amount of $300 for burial benefits. Don't forget about the Social Security's death benefit of $255 when one of us Retirees dies. We don't like to talk about or deal with this at times, but we must know these things and have our family understand what to do instead of having a chaotic moment when we pass away. Also, don't forget to have your DD-214 or NGB-22 accessible to your family.