As I’m writing these notes the summer is coming to a close, and soon the Rats will make their first barracks appearance. Like many of our BR’s I turned 40 this summer, and it’s hard to believe how long ago we made that fateful walk from dropping off our luggage in Old Barracks down to Cameron Hall for matriculation.
I had the pleasure of joining a couple of our classmates for 40th birthday celebrations this summer. Rob Hays’s family had a surprise birthday party for him, bringing folks in from both sides of the country for a celebration at Rob’s place near King George, VA. John Hahn and his family were there as well, having recently made the move from the Carolinas back up to New York with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Chip Chenery’s wife Mary planned a “nothing but guy things” day for Chip’s 40th, where the order of the day was meat, beer, and power tools at their home in Front Royal. Along with a cast of Chip’s “normal” friends from his non-VMI life, Kelly Musick made the drive up from Chesapeake and Trey Wetsel came in from Alexandria. Chip took advantage of the workforce to make a few upgrades to his trebuchet. With a little more work he should be throwing pumpkins at Halloween again this year.
At the beginning of the summer Paul Hartigan touched base from Colorado where he’s busy at the fire department, running their volunteer recruitment and working on the training staff. His new recruiting process is in full swing, and he’s slated to bring in 15 new volunteers next month (just in time for wildfire season). He let me know that his wife Lois is busy with work and his kids are growing like weeds. Bryan (6) is so tall that Paul has to watch his head when opening the freezer door on their refrigerator. Kelly (4) is already working her charms, and Paul said that he knows he’s going to be in trouble when she becomes a teenager. Paul was planning to take a trip to Virginia over the summer and was hoping to compare notes with Dave Bender at his firehouse here in the D.C. area.
Sean Hoover sent me a note letting me know he’d returned from Afghanistan at the end of February, where he had spent 13 months flying Apache Longbows for the Arizona National Guard. As seems to happen frequently, Sean ran into VMI folks over in Afghanistan. He was sitting in the chow hall when he looked up and LtCol Chris Dixon was standing in front of him. Chris was in country briefly doing some training on protecting against IEDs. Sean said that Chris’s work is really having an impact and saving people's lives.
Elson Hin let me know that he and Weedon “Kevin” Gallagher had gotten reconnected through LinkedIn (a social networking site for professionals), and chatted for a while about the similarities of their companies. He let me know that Weedon was getting ready to head off to Afghanistan with the National Guard for a one year tour.
Keeping with the Middle East theme, Rich Mehl dropped me a note from over there where he’s on his my 7th deployment flying the U-2 over Iraq and Afghanistan. He said that while the flying in the desert is often the same day after day, that he was planning for some upcoming life changes. Rich just got engaged to Eva, a wonderful woman from Spain. Eva is finishing her second PhD at UC Davis just outside of Sacramento, where Rich has his home base. They’re getting married in San Francisco this summer, and Rich is looking forward to retirement from the USAF in just 2 years. I think he’s looking for career planning ideas if anyone knows what to do with a former spy-plane pilot.
Greg Sandway’s wife Janet and I had a good chat, and she let me know that not too long after getting back from Afghanistan, Greg got called up to spend some time in Iraq (they just can’t get enough of him over there!). Greg emailed to let me know that he’s really proud of his USMC guys out there, and how pleased he is to be part of an organization that is so committed to making a difference. Greg hasn’t run into any VMI folks out here, but he said that the other Marines always mention to him that the VMI officers they meet are great guys.
Back on the home front, a few folks were emailing about a potential VMI football weekend, and Chris “Evil” Callahan forwarded a picture of himself at the Pennsylvania 500 NASCAR race with John Hopkins '95. Chris hired John when he graduated from the “I” and they have been friends ever since. John lives in Mastic Beach, Long Island with his wife Claire and daughter Caitlin, working for Forrest Labs. Chris lives in Sound Beach with wife Jenny and kids Amelia (5) and Christopher (2). After relocating company operations and working himself out of his supply chain management job, Mr. Callahan started his own executive placement firm focused upon the supply chain industry. He said it’s going well in no small part because he really knows his customer’s business. When he’s not working or chasing the kids around, Chris is getting out on the Long Island Sound for some striped bass fishing.
And last but not least, proud father and Coach, Carlos Fernandez dropped me a note and a picture of the Purcellville Vikings, a soccer team that included his son Carlos II. The Vikings were the Loudoun Soccer U11 Boys House Tournament Champions.
Gents, as always -- thanks for your submissions. Please keep the mail coming!
Back to Class Notes
Back to the Main Page
Last Updated: October 22, 2009
Site Created by: Richard L. Neff II, '90 - Network Technologies Group