1900 Cool Spring Drive
Alexandria, VA 22308
It's hard to believe that the Rats matriculated yesterday, and that folks are starting to talk about the end of the summer. Things always quiet down a bit during the summer, but I touched base with a few folks along the way.
I was in Lexington for a meeting at the end of the school year and ran into Stephen Yarbrough, who was taking a break from a road-trip with the family. Stephen's wife Ann was cracking up that they had parked on the parade ground and less than 5 seconds later we bumped into each other. I got to meet their daughters Julia and Caroline (twin 7 year olds) and CeCe (3), who were all being perfect angels even after being in the car for hours. Stephen said that he was looking forward to what has become an annual Atlanta VMI '90 golf round with Quill Healey, Tony Zang and Paul Holland (the current Atlanta Alumni Chapter President). He mentioned that he had gone to a chapter meeting a few weeks prior where the Head Basketball Coach spoke. They ended up having about 50 Alumni show up - it sounds like Paul's doing a great job getting folks to come out for events!
I came across a post-it I'd written to myself some time ago, and I can't recall if I had actually included the info in my last set of class notes. Hunter Webb was in touch not too long ago. I think there were 4 of us "Hunters" in our class (Shirey, Lyons, Webb, and yours truly). Mr. Webb did not come back to VMI after our Rat year, and he said that he's felt that draw to reconnect with VMI folks over the years. It's amazing how VMI really does get under your skin. Anyway, he asked for contact information for a couple of BRs, and so of course I quizzed him for class notes fodder. Hunter ended up finishing his college career at VCU, then went on to get a Masters of Art at San Diego State. He's married and has 2 daughters, and started his own business building custom wood furnishings (shelving, cabinets, mantels, display cases, furniture). I looked at his website and it's amazing stuff that's he's creating in his workshop near Goochland, VA.
Kevin Miller checked in with me from Iraq. He let me know that Kelly Musick had been shipped out a few weeks prior, and that Kevin was counting down his last 30 days before heading home. He said that things had been quite interesting over there on many fronts. He did include a picture of him & Kelly toasting on our class's 20th birthday, and said he never would have thought it would be in Baghdad.
Also checking in from Iraq, I had a good email exchange with Mike Manning. He included a few pictures with other VMI folks he's been working with including LtCol. Kelly Alexander '88 and LtCol. Chip Bierman '87 and Geoff Fuller '92. Mike has about another 6 months left before his year is up, and is looking forward to heading home.
After a little game of cat and mouse, I was able to catch Bill Donahue. He and his wife Lynne had twins last September - a boy, Liam, and a girl, Catie (both 1). When he wrote me he was on a leave of absence from doing tax consulting for Earnst & Young in DC. Bill had been in Afghanistan for several months with his National Guard unit, but had injured his knee (playing basketball) and returned to the States to rehab it. When we chatted he was preparing to head back to theatre if his unit directed him there. Bill said that he had run into Tom Tally who was heading to Iraq to advise the Iraqi National Police, and that he kept in regular touch with Joe Burns and Lenny Stellitano. Between rehab sessions Bill and Joe got a chance to visit with Len, his wife Mimi, and their daughters Isabella and Julianna at the beach.
Sean Carty e-mailed me an update from PA. His mom had tipped him off that Jim Hynes and I had surprised his parents when we ran into them in Old Town Alexandria one evening. Sean was in the midst of planning a trip to Maine for a week-long vacation with the family (with lobster on his mind). During one of their cross-country moves he and his family started camping, and he was looking forward to hooking up their travel trailer and heading into the woods again. He also was happy to report that he found a Five-Guys Hamburgers in Philly - I introduced him to their monster burgers and fries the last time he was in town.
I had a quick chat the other day with Pete Tunnard. He's living in Fairfax doing M&A work for ExxonMobil and in his spare time doing triathlons, sometimes with his brother Andrew Tunnard '89. Pete's kids Madeline (10) and Adam (7) are keeping his wife Anna busy with summer activities, but when they are in school she's also working for the county as the school librarian. We had a good chat about personal/professional growth and how far we are from where we thought we'd be.
Dan Caine and I managed to get together for lunch the other day, in between his meetings in the West Wing. He's working at the White House on the Homeland Security Council, helping to drive the terrorist risk assessments that you hear about on the news many evenings. It seems like a grueling schedule, but Dan seems to be enjoying doing his part for our country. He still flies F-16 for the National Guard during his "free time".
And with a last-minute entry, Brett Turner checked in from Germany, where he said that everything's going well in his new post. He's enjoying having a job that's almost a 9 to 5 gig. He and the family are traveling a little, but with the exchange rate being less than ideal they're being a little picky. He was looking forward to a visit with his parents later this summer so they could have some time with the grandkids.
Well that's it for this round of notes folks. Thanks for keeping the submissions coming in - I hope to hear from you soon!
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Last Updated: October 22, 2009
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