Today's Featured Biography
This is a little longer bio since at this time, I will not be able to attend the reunion because of a conflict with my son, Austin’s senior and final college year of baseball at the Conference tournament. Thanks to everyone who is making the reunion possible.
As Austin has transitioned from high school to graduating from College this year and confronted all of the normal challenges of becoming an adult; I am constantly reminded of the fond memories I have of Lafayette High and USL and how they prepared me for what lied ahead. With 50 years of experiences since graduating, I wanted to share the road I travelled and reflect on the journey.
After attending LHS, I graduated from USL with a degree in Business. I, with the help of the military draft, decided to join the Air Force. I was initially assigned to Langley AFB in Virginia for three years as a Logistics Officer. After a volunteer tour in Vietnam, I spent four years in our European Headquarters in Wiesbaden and later Ramstein, Germany. Then, on to San Antonio Texas for six years where my first job was to assign Logistics Officers throughout the Air Force and second job to support our programs in Saudi Arabia. Texas was followed by the best job I ever had, as a Squadron Commander, in Georgia. Two years later, I was in the Pentagon for four years working on programs that supported our effort in the Middle East. The highlight of that tour was that I met my current wife, Brenda, -- more later. Next, was a one year tour in Korea as the U. S. Logistics liaison in the Korean Air Force Headquarters, which was followed by a tour at our Air Force Headquarters in Honolulu, Hawaii. After two years in paradise, I reluctantly decided to retire and move back to Washington D. C.
After completing my 23 year military career as a Lt. Colonel, I worked for the next 17 years for three companies involved in supporting the Navy and Air Force Headquarters within the Department of Defense primarily in the area of budget and financial systems. I am totally retired now and enjoying it.
As mentioned, I met my wife (Brenda) in the Pentagon. In April, we will have been married 24 years. We are a military family since she is the Director of Civilian Personnel and sits in the Commander (four stars) of the National Guard’s office in the Pentagon. She really enjoys her job and has no immediate plans of retiring. With her travels, I try to accompany her where possible.
We have a 22 year old son, Austin, who is scheduled to graduate from Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Va, this year. He is 6’5” and a pitcher on the school’s baseball team. I hate it that I have to look up to him and after five years I’m still not used to it. After graduation, he will either go into the Air Force or some type of marketing or sales job.
By my first marriage, I have a daughter, Brandy, 32, and she lives in Chesapeake, Virginia. Her husband, Ryan, works for Target and is in their management trainee program. They have given us three wonderful grandsons, Canyon, 8, Mason, 3, and Ashton, 1. They are a bundle of energy and fortunately the family is close-by so we get to see them often.
My sister, Beckie, still lives in Seattle and owns a shop called “Merry Tails” in Pike Place Market. My youngest sister, Sherry, moved from Houston into Mom and Dad’s house there in Lafayette.
Travel has always been an integral part of my life since my first trip outside the United States to Vietnam in 1969. Between the military and personal travel, l have been to all 50 States, visited 49 counties and seen all of the continents, except Antarctica. We have become addicted to at least one cruise a year. Our next trip, to celebrate our 25 wedding anniversary, is a cruise from New York to England, spend a couple days in London, then take the Chunnel train to Paris for a week and fly home.
We stay active in sports and recreation. I ride a Harley Fat Boy and Austin and Brenda share a Yamaha R6. Four years ago, we took a 4 day, 400 mile dirt bike ride through the desert in Baja, Mexico. That was an interesting ride where on the final day, I took a wrong turn and ended up in a fight with a six foot cactus plant. Brenda has pictures that the cactus won. Last year, we took the bikes and went to Sturgis, S. Dakota for the motorcycle rally with 700,000 of our closest biker buddies. We have enjoyed many hours of fun on our jet skis which Austin still scares me with his wave jumping in the Atlantic Ocean at Ocean City, MD.
Brenda and I have been SCUBA diving in Hawaii and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Austin has been SCUBA diving in many locations in the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Other adventures are: jet boat rides in New Zealand and Acapulco, zip lines through the trees in St. Thomas and Puerto Vallarta, cave tubing in Belize, tours inside a salt mine in Austria, and 4 wheel ATV riding in Aruba and Cabo San Lucas. Sky diving might be next.
I have followed the tradition of boyz and their toyz and have a 50th anniversary Corvette and a pickup truck. However, my most prized possessions have always been and will always be the relationships with friends and family.
Some of my other memorable experiences: I flew in an F-100 fighter aircraft in Vietnam. My first six times snow skiing were in six different countries: U.S., Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy. While in the Philippines, I experienced an earthquake during a round of golf. The next shot, I missed the hole and the green but kept it on the golf course. I decided the golf course is a good place to be if you have to be in an earthquake.
It’s been a great and adventurous ride so far. Enjoy the reunion. Wish I were there.
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