Got a number of great updates from folks all around the world for this addition of class notes. Make sure you are keeping us posted on any retirements - especially the party dates - and I particularly like hearing from our (too many) BRs deployed around the world.
Chris Watson checked in and he has had a busy year. Chris recently retired from the Army and resides in DC working with the FAA in the Emergency Operations Division. Chris works with Kurt Owermohle '81 at the FAA, who as a TAC officer during our years at the "I" may have boned one or two of us...Before retiring from the Army, Chris whet on a White House tour with Barry Maxon and his daughter Annette and Bill Madison and his wife Colleen where they ran into Ken Kovac guarding the Oval Office.
Mike Manning recently left command in Helmand Province Afghanistan, followed by a brief tour at the 2nd Marine Regiment and 2nd Maine Division. He is now a student at the NATO Defense College where he will graduate in February and then head to Quantico to work in Marine Corps Systems Command. Mike reports that Jeff Kaster is doing well and while in Afghanistan and Camp Lejuene, Mike ran into Chris Dixon, Todd Eckloff, Tom West, Dave Furness '87. Mike is looking forward to catching some football games and returning to the "I" when he makes it to Quantico.
We continue to have a number of our BRs deployed oversees and we continue to pray for them and their safety. Raynor Garey is deployed with the 332 Expeditionary Communications Squadron on a 120-day tour at an undisclosed location. He service as the communications lead for the base.
Gordy Byrne remains in Iraq and will hopefully be home at the time of this publication. Gordy is the S2/3 for a Medical Task Force working to close out operations as part of the drawdown.
Ricky Kimmel is currently deployed to Afghanistan as a Senior Logistics Combat Advisor. He is working extensively to mentor the Afghan National Army Corps G4 on how to address logistics issues. Ricky passed along some of the sobering statistics for killed and wounded in his unit, and we pray for him and his unit's safety.
Brett Turner recently moved to Korea, where he is the lead exercise planner to one of the two major Korean joint exercises each year. Prior to Korea, Brett and his family were stationed at Ft. Hood. He deployed to Iraq with the III Corps in 2010. If you happen to be in Seoul, check in with Brett.
Mark Hennigan wrote from Charleston, WV, where he is the Deputy G1 (Personnel) for the West Virginia Army National Guard. Mark oversees about 4,200 soldiers who routinely mobilize in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Mark heard recently from Brian Albro who retired from the Navy a few months ago.
Our Class' Richmond contingent continues to send grat updates and Sam Stocks reports that Chuck Smith hosted a great pool party this past summer that included many of our BRs. Chuck and his wife Wendy live in Fredericksburg now that he has retired from the Nave. Jeff and Julia Crist, Tim McLaughlin, and various members of their families were able to be there. Tim recently retired from the Marine Corps and is living with his family in Fredericksburg. Sam also reported through various contacts and sightings that Monty Loving, Dave Stanley, and Kevin Hanford are all living in Virginia and doing well. As for Sam and his family, they are doing well in Richmond and recently made it back to the Institute for a long weekend as he begins the recruiting process for this three kids - Mason (8), Bo (6) and Kate (4).
Jeff Crist reported in from Colorado where he and Brian Burchette were about to embark on an Elk Hunt in Pagosa Springs. No word on the outcome of the hunt at this writing, but expect some pictures in the next issue.
Daren Payne is in Indiana in Battalion Command and enjoying life NOT being deployed. Though not currently deployed, Daren is focused on training as he helps prepare soldiers for tours in Egypt and in countering IEDs. He recently made it back to the VMI-Akron football game where he tailgated with Steve Chiles '89, Lowell Wilson '89, and John Osborne '89. He also had the opportunity to run into Charles Plageman. Daren also reports that Rich Mehl recently retired from the Air Force and is settling in Wilmington, NC.
Randy Jackson checked in with a great update from the upper Northwest. Randy is a deputy prosecuting attorney for the state of Washington near Vancouver, WA. He also serves as the special assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington. In short, he's keeping the bad guys off the streets. Randy reports that he focuses mainly on gang and drug felony prosecutions and is in the process of prosecuting a series of arrests from a major federal and state agency operation that netted an estimated $30 million in drug monies. A number of his colleagues are former Marines like Randy, and it sounds like the bad guys have no chance up there.
Brian Haslam is in Asheville, NC, where he and his bride Susan live on a 30-acre farm (complete with a few horses). Brian is proud to live next to his dad and his nephew Wynn Haslam. Brian is hoping Wynn will consider VMI, which would make him the 4th generation Haslam ('25, '61, '90) to walk through the Arch. Brian is also proud to report that by the time of this publication, he will graduate with a master's of science in nursing as a nurse anesthetist.
Pete Tunnard reports that he ran into Bill Arnold in Ft. Worth, TX recently. Bill has been teaching high school since he left the Marines. Pete was also pleased to pass along that his son, Adam, recently participated in and completed Doug Bartlett's VMI Lacrosse Camp as he prepares (maybe?) to join the Class of 2020...let's hope so! Pete also passed along that in the last year he has been able to connect with all of his VMI roommates - Mike Inteso, Rich Duke and Chris Pratt - who are all doing well.
Tom Tolley checked in from Buchanan, VA, where he runs a small business - Abacus Exterior Services. If you're looking for a guy that knows roofs, chimneys, patios, decks - you know know where to go. Tom's nephew Tyler Tolley '14 is playing football for the Keydets this year. Tom and I had a good laugh reflecting on that wonderful morning at formation when the entire corps saluted the Texas flag to the tune of The Yellow Rose of Texas.
Taylor Farmer dropped me a line from Oklahoma where he and Dave Yockel were planning on attending the VMI Alumni Chapter dinner later this fall. Things seem to be going well in Oklahoma for Taylor.
Jim Cox relayed that the and his wife are doing well in Franklin, VA, with their four kids. Jim's company Cox and Moncure operates a chain of bedding stores in VA and NC and he recently joined a partnership in a commercial insurance business in Franklin.
Myra and Rob Oviatt passed along that they added to their family with the birth of their new boy Cecil Jay on September 28th. He joins his big sister Geneva (3). Rob is working for a non-profit in Atlanta called MedShare, where he serves as the director of operations and is working on his Six Sigma Training/Certification.
It was great to hear from Cal Lloyd who check in from Chattanooga, TN, where he and his wife, Laura, are enjoying raising their 10-year-old daughter, Anna, and 6-year-old son, Connor. Cal is at Graybar Electric, where he has been for the past three years.
Keep the cards, emails, and letters coming folks! It's great to hear from each and every one of you.
Until next time,
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Last Updated: April 02, 2012
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