719 S. Alfred Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Howdy Brother Rats,
I hope this set of notes finds all of you & your families in good health.
Just after submitting our last set of notes I was in Northern California for business and got to spend some time with a few of our classmates. Rob Hays was kind enough to put me up for a night at his place in Davis, CA, and we had a good time reminiscing. He’s flying KC-135’s for the Air Force Reserve, and spends most of his time on the road as a result. If any of you watch “Second Chance” on The Learning Channel (TLC), you might have seen his ex-girlfriend trying to recapture his heart. I always knew Rob was something special. My wife Stacy & I then spent a weekend with Rob Clark and his wife Laura in San Francisco. We hooked up with S.F. locals Fritz Schrichte and his wife Sara, who were happy to guide us on a tour of the area’s finest clubs and pubs.
Weedon (Kevin) Gallagher was in touch from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, where he’s been since summer. The Reserves keeps his Engineer Battalion busy 6 ½ days a week, and he’s enjoying the challenges of working with local nationals who speak no English to help build things. His group is clearing hundreds of mines a day, but realizes that it’s barely a dent considering the millions that are deployed. From his description of the blowing sand & heat (125F during the day), I can only imagine the logistical challenges they’re facing.
I got an email from Brad Steverson, who is working for a rubber insulation plant in Sweetwater, TN. He’s been down there for 7 years, and doesn’t see himself moving anytime soon. He joined the National Guard in 1999 and is a Battery Commander for Howitzer Battery 1/278th ACR. He invites anyone coming through the area to make a stop in Knoxville for a visit.
Jim Hubbard shot me a note on the day of his son’s birth. A blond 7 pound, 10 ounce James Walker Hubbard was born on 26 August, and Jim could not have been happier with his wife Pam and their new baby. By now I’m sure they’re in the full swing of parenthood, and they have realized that parenthood is like the ratline in that no matter how much you know – it’s just not enough to really be ready. Congrats to the Hubbards!
Matt Hemenez sent details about all of the folks he’s kept up with in the recent past. The biggest news was Vic Sabino getting married to Ellen. The news was big enough that I had an email from Tom Pugh’s wife Cindy about the wedding, with pictures! Matt commented how it was interesting that he, Tom, and Mike Mullori “were all married within 12 months of graduation and it’s taken Vic 13 years to catch up.”
Here’s an excerpt from Matt’s email:
“Here's the scoop on Room S-54:
Vic is a police officer for the Las Vegas Metro police department. He loves everything about it and is doing fantastic there. Vegas, as you know, is a wild place. And just as wild are Vic's stories of his trying to keep the peace one day at a time. He's living in Hendersen, NV with his new bride and their retriever.
“Mike is on the other side of the law. Not a criminal, an attorney for a small firm in northern Virginia. He's been at it for several years now and is getting along well. He had his first child, girl-Lydia, a few years ago. He's living in Woodbridge--not too far from where he went to high school.
“Tom is operations officer for 35th Signal Brigade in Fort Bragg, NC. He received an accelerated promotion to Major (awhile ago) and as they used to say in M*A*S*H, he's all Army. I also met up with him when I was on business in Charlotte, NC. He, wife Cindy and sons Alex and Zachary met me for pizza at some small town between Charlotte and Fayetteville. Tom gets the "Looking Like He Hasn't Changed in 13 Years" Award.
“I've also caught up with several BRs that were not affiliated with Vic's nuptials. Here's what's up with them:
“Todd Eckloff is stationed at Camp Pendleton. That's only about 20 minutes from me so we've managed to get together for a few barbecues. He's XO of 1st Recon Battallion. He got back from Iraq a few months ago. No doubt he and his Marines lived up to the standards set by the Corps. Lots of valor in a pretty short period of time. It was great catching up with him, his bride Mary, and their three “youngins” Everett, Paige, and Mitchell.
“I also spoke with Dave West. Dave works for Cisco Systems out of northern Virginia. He just had his 5th child and I think there may be more where that came from. He's mainly just basking in life as a daddy and working a job that he enjoys.
“I've talked to Rich Treanor a few times as well. He is in Charlotte, NC. He started a company awhile ago that specializes in video-equipment and applications. He's definitely putting in the hours and is gradually realizing the fruits of his labors. He's married with an 11-month old boy, Richard.
“Daren Payne and I have talked on the phone quite a bit. He's stationed in Alexandria, VA as a evaluation officer for small arms--machine guns, pistols, etc. So he's traveling the world over being wined and dined by weapons manufacturers. As is typical of Daren, he is always in a good mood when I talk to him. Moreover, he's a great source on recent happenings at the alma mater.
“I'm still in southern California (Lake Forest, to be exact. Right between Los Angeles and San Diego) working as a Product Manager for ADC Telecommunications. The same company I joined out of the Corps. Just had our second baby, boy-Cole, in March. For the most part it's been work, family, and getting out to enjoy the outdoors as time allows. I can't seem to shake the Marine roots that require me to sleep out under the stars whenever I can. Though our next trip will be to visit the Shenandoah Valley and thence VMI sometime this fall.”
Hunter here again - thanks for all that info Matt – good to hear about everyone.
Mike Manning checked in from Quantico where he’s in a position much like Daren’s. He’s in touch with Weedon Gallagher, Mike Swanson, and periodically hears from Larry Farrell and Dave Kaulfers.
Gray Riddick let me know that he’s currently on his joint staff tour at Special Operations Command in Europe. He’s an MH-53 pilot and had several tours flying Air Force Special Ops before his current assignment. Gray lives in Stuttgart, Germany with his wife April and daughters Sarah and Sydney, and they are loving their time in Europe.
Jeff Kaster sent me a picture of him with Brett Turner at Camp Henry, Daegu, South Korea where they ran into each other during an exercise. Jeff finished law school in May 2001, and he has been working for a firm in Culpepper, VA. He and his wife Alison live in Brandy Station, VA with their daughter Virginia Leigh who was born in June 2002. So far as the Marine Corp goes, Jeff completed Command and Staff College in March 2002 and joined the 4th Civil Affairs Group in Anacostia in November, 2002, where he served a few months with BR Pete Finan (who is also a new father). When things heated up in the Middle East, Jeff was mobilized and sent to the Marine Forces Reserve Command Center in New Orleans. Now he’s working with the G-7 Inspectors' office analyzing the Reserves’ performance during those deployments and compiling lessons-learned.
I made it to a couple of VMI games in 2003, and saw a few of our BR’s briefly. I ran into John Cabell who was tailgating with his two young sons, who I think live in Montpelier, VA. At another game I sat with Chris Schinstock and his family, and I chatted with Doug Harper with his kids on the way back to the parade ground. It turns out that Doug is living about 10 minutes from me these days.
Gentlemen, thanks again for keeping me up-to-date with your lives through your phone calls and e-mails. If you haven’t been in the Notes in a while, please drop me a line and fill me in on what’s going on. In the bonds – Hunter Trumbo . . . . 90! 90! 90!
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Last Updated: October 22, 2009
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