I hope everything is well with you and yours. I’ve had the opportunity to spend a little time in Lexington recently, and the construction is progressing at an impressive pace. A lot of my time has been spent in the Mallory Hall (where we Computer Science geeks hung out with the Math and Physics majors), and it’s unrecognizable on the inside after the remodeling. When you walk in the familiar heavy oak doors everything else is different, starting with a small exhibit of science tools used for teaching at VMI over the last hundred years. It is a little scary that it includes some of the computers that we used almost 20 years ago.
Ley and Jen Havird dropped me a note to let me know that Carolyn Reese was born in January, and that she’s been a great addition to the family. They have been living in Little Rock AFB, AR, where Ley has been the 314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander, and is destined for Travis AFB, CA where he will become the Deputy Group Commander of Maintenance for the 60th. They have been looking forward to the move, but understandably are also a little nervous about moving a dog, an infant, and their daughter Avery (2) half-way across the country. Jen seems pretty organized, and I’m sure she’ll be able to keep Ley and the rest of the family straight for the move.
LTC Chris Whittaker sent me an update and some photos of his change of command ceremony. Is it just me, or does it seem amazing sometimes to think that our classmates are getting to the point where they’re senior officers? In April Chris took command of the 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Ft Hood, TX. His logistics organization provides direct support food, fuel, ammunition, medical, general supply and transportation to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, and is scheduled to deploy to Iraq in January 2009. Chris included pictures of him receiving the battalion colors and of the mounted Cavalry. Our BR Bill Madison and his family were able to make the ceremony too.
Steve Fitton and I had a quick chat about his most recent adventures. He’s been playing the never-ending role of stay at home dad for the last year to help take care of his daughter Charlotte Louise. Steve said that she’s a handful but mostly well behaved. He had touched base to get contact information for a couple of our classmates.
In case I haven’t plugged it for a while, the Alumni Association has continued to expand the functionality of www.vmialumni.org and is making it easier for us to keep in touch with each other. If you haven’t registered for an account, it’s pretty painless. Once you log in click “My VMI” on the menu to see things specific to our class. And let’s not forget also that Rick Neff is continuing his great job of keeping up the content on www.vmi90.org.
Ramil Ibanez touched base to let me know that he had attended Legacy Day at VMI where he ran into Matt Schwarzmann and Terrence Kerner. Legacy Day is an event put on by the Alumni Association for Alumni’s children to spend some time at VMI and get to see what it’s all about. Matt and Ramil had the distinction of having the youngest legacies in attendance. Ramil has been working with Wachovia Securities - AG Edwards in Richmond, and is likely going to be relocating to St. Louis either this summer or next. He’s the current president of the VMI Richmond Chapter, but still says it’s hard to find time to get together with our BR’s. (I completely understand what he means!)
I managed to chase down Chris Pratt after finding an old email from him in my work account. He’s in VA Beach with his much better half Michelle (his words) and daughters Emily (12), Elizabeth (10), and Sarah (8). He’s just hit 18 years of service – it’s a long way since the days of hanging out in Pensacola right after we graduated. Chris is on the CNO staff under the Chief of Navy Reserve as a Deputy CIO, but in Norfolk versus DC. He caught up with Pete Mantz who is also back in the Tidewater area earlier in the year, and planned to attend Pete’s Change-of-Command ceremony where he takes over as the Commanding Officer of HCS-28. Apparently the Navy doesn’t know the real story about Mantz . . . . I wonder if those pictures I have are worth anything. Chris also said that Jim Dufford had just returned from cruise and was in the area.
The last update I received for this set of notes was from Las Vegas, where Victor Sabino is now an instructor at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Academy (please feel free to insert your own sarcastic joke here). Now that he’s behind a desk Vic is being forced to learn how to use a computer, and he’s also a proud papa. He and his wife Ellen, a school teacher, have Evan (3) and Isabella (2 months old as of this writing). In honor of his service to the city, Vic recently received the LVMPD’s Medal of Valor, however with his computer skills still under development the picture he cited as evidence of the award was not attached to the email message. I’m hoping Evan can help him send that along later.
Vic has kept in close touch with Matt Hemenez, who is now working for Surefire. Matt was recently in Las Vegas for a convention and he and Vic were able to spend some quality time together. Apparently there’s also a rumor going around that Mike Mullori, Chris Schinstock, Chip Chenery, and John Lanzillotta are trying to get Vic and Matt to come to D.C. to run the Marine Corps Marathon. Guys, please let me know so I can come cheer you on.
That’s it for this round of notes folks. Please keep the emails and phone calls coming in, and let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.
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Last Updated: October 22, 2009
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