Greetings. from the Land of l0,000 Lakes, where I’m trying to spend my time skiing on all of them! Hope your summer has been going well and glad to pass on the following updates from our Brother Rats.
As we enter our 22nd year from graduation, I’m pleased to relay that a number of our Brother Rats are being promoted to senior ranks in our military. It’s not surprising for VMI men to rise to these ranks, but ifs definitely great to see our BRs extending the legacy and leading our country’s military!
Mike Manning checked in to say he has returned from the NATO
Defense College and is now at Quantico, VA, working at Marine Corps Systems
Command as the product manager for Infantry Combat Equipment. Mike ran into Andy
Tate there and saw Chris Dixon prior to leaving Camp Lejeune. Mike's son
graduates from high school this year and will be headed to Old Dominion
University. Mike was selected for colonel this year and expects to pin on next
spring. In the interim, he will be finishing his master’s degree from Florida
Institute in Technology.
Congratulations arc also in order for Pete Mantz. Pete’s wife, JoAnne, passed along that he was recently promoted to captain in the Navy and was selected for major command. Pete’s next assignment will be as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Essex in San Diego. The U.S.S. Essex is an amphibious assault ship.
On March 30, 2012, Ley Havird pinned on the rank of colonel at the Naval War College at Naval Station Newport, Rl. The emcee for the event was Donnie Holloway '93, who was Ley’s Rat and who also happens to be attending the War College at Naval Station Newport, RI. Paul Maini '66, Ley and Donnie’s baseball coach at the “I,” was on hand to issue the oath of office and conduct the pinning ceremony. Donnie will pin-on colonel later this summer. as well, so Ley’s happy to out-rank him for at least a little while (Looks like Donnie still has his chin in on some of the photos I saw so, at least he hasn't forgotten the real pecking order.) After graduation in June, Ley heads off to the UAE for a year-long assignment as commander of a maintenance group in the country – an exciting assignment that Ley is really looking forward to. Ley’s wife and girls will remain in Newport and so would welcome any visitors to the area to check in. Thanks to Jenn Havird for passing on this great news on Ley and the photo nearby!
Sal Bora is on the move again. After a year of living in Italy and running Jabil’s Western Europe Operations, Sal took a promotion to senior director of Global Solar Operations and is moving back to the U.S. this fall to St. Petersburg, Fl. Sal also recently retired from the Arizona Army National Guard as a lieutenant colonel. If you’re in the Tampa area this fall, give Sal a call.
Brett Turner is beginning his second year in Korea as the deputy for Training and Exercises for United States Forces Korea. Brett and his wife, Cyndi, celebrated 20 years this July with two lovely daughters (l5 and 16). They seem to be enjoying Korea and had the opportunity meet up with Sean Carty recently, who was in Seoul on business. Brett also recently ran into Bob Cunningham who was in Seoul via Fort Bragg for an exercise planning conference.
Bill “Gator” Ator checked in from Belgium where he, Susie, and their family are still in the Air Force. The Ator‘s will have been in Belgium more than one year this summer, where Bill is working for NATO on the staff at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). Bill leads a team of officers from six NATO nations charged with developing the NATO Ballistic Missile Defense Program. Bill indicates that while work is extremely hectic – it’s one of NATO’s top two programs – his team is making great progress. The Ators have been exploring many European locations, and Bill is coaching the SHAPE American high school football team. According to Bill. “The great part is that I am able to coach my sons again. My oldest, Taylor, a high school sophomore, earned all-conference and team MVP honors this past season. Not bad for the 6-foot, 240-pound lo-year-old. His goal is to play for the mighty Keydets in a couple of years.” Awesome -- can he play next year? We obviously need him! Bill passed along that Tom Bailey is also assigned to SHAPE and that Mark Cheadle appears to be heading to Belgium this summer, as well. Perhaps a class of '90 reunion in Europe is in order?
Taylor Farmer checked in from Oklahoma where he is leading the Oklahoma VMIAA chapter, the group recently conducted their annual New Market Day event in Oklahoma City. Classes from 1976 to 2011 were represented, and Taylor passed on that they are doing a great job of turning young men and Women onto VMI.
Hunter Trumbo passed on a great update on what he’s been up to and his frequent run-ins with other BRs. Hunter has been spending the past two years completing his MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He graduates this summer. Stacy Trumbo has been holding down the fort for the family while Hunter’s been buried in the books. Hunter passed on that his boys – Jacob (10) and Jackson (6) – are happy that the “daddy has homework to do” excuse is over, and the Trumbo clan is looking forward to a busy summer of baseball, campouts and trips to the beach. Hunter recently connected with John Hahn, who’s still in the Coast Guard and working half a block from Hunter’s office. John’s family is living in Smith Mountain Lake. VA, while he spends four days at week in Arlington, VA. Jim Hynes and Sean Carty are in town frequently on business, and they have teamed up to grab a beer (or two…). Hunter also sees Garrett Peck on occasion, who, as we reported in our last notes, recently published a book on the Potomac River.
One quick correction note: In our last class notes, I mistakenly indicated that Andy Kvasnicka is in northern Virginia and patrolling part time for the Prince George’s County, Maryland, police department. Andy is actually with Virginia Power and lives in Prince George’s County, Virginia, near Petersburg. My age is showing and sorry for the mix up!
Speaking of feeling old, Ramil Ibanez recently attended the 18th Annual Legacy Day at VMI with his family. While touring Barracks, his first class cadet tour guide let him know that he was BORN in 1990. More importantly, Ramil’s two boys are 8 and 10 and “can't wait to go to VMI!” Ramil remains in King William. VA, and works for Edelman Financial in Richmond.
And one final awesome note from Terence Kerner…Terence was pleased to pass along that his son, Murphy, will matriculate this fall at VMI. We believe Murphy may be the first of our sons and daughters to matriculate at the Institute. (Let me know if there are others!) It’s great to see this come full circle and the legacy continue for our class! We wish Murphy all the best as he takes on the challenge and the reward that comes with being a VMI graduate! Interestingly, Murphy is one of 12 graduates of Benedictine High School in Richmond who will attend VMI in the fall. Terence has also connected with a number of our BRs over the past several months. He played golf with Sam Stocks recently. Terence’s construction company does work with Sam’s company. He also sees Tony Baker fairly often. Tony is working for Philip Morris in Richmond, and Terence’s construction company does a lot of work for Philip Morris. Terence talked to Mark Cunningham recently. Mark is doing well Working for Dominion VA Power and raising his two daughters. Buddy Garbett and Todd Washington are also seen regularly, as their kids go to elementary school together. Terence also recently heard from Tony Zang, who sent an e-mail announcing he has accepted a new position at HBE Corporation as the VP of Sales for the Southeast Region.
Have a great summer and fall, folks, and keep the cards, e-mails and letters coming!
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Last Updated: April 16, 2013
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