A special congratulations to the Alamo Scouts Association on its annual reunion which was held in Seal Beach, California from 16-20 June. Only three Alamo Scouts were in attendance, but over 70 people attended the Reunion Banquet making it one of the largest turnouts in years.
Alamo Scout Terry Santos
Alamo Scout Wilbur Littlefield, Christine McGowen, and Marilyn Plutae
Alamo Scout Bob Buschur and wife Rita
Ching, Col. Mark Rosengard, Lance, Ariel, and George Eaton at reunion dinner. To view the photos of the reunion banquet, click on the link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/chingphoto
See you next year in Charleston, South Carolina!
(Photo: Garvin Chadwell working on my car in Isom, KY June 1992)
My heart is heavy today, as I just learned of the passing of a dear friend, Garvin Chadwell. In every life there are those people who make an indelible mark. For me, Garvin was one of them. He was a slow-talkin', fast-thinkin', proud-to-be-a-hillbilly, good ole' boy from Isom, Kentucky. Garvin possessed a razor-sharp mind and a keen sense of humor, and with a twinkle in his eye, delighted in using his exaggerated southern drawl to prove to everyone (especially us Yankees) how dumb he was. But we knew better. I met Garvin in the Army at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1990, where we served in the Imagery Exploitation Section of C Company, 319th MI Bn, 525 MI Bde (ABN). He was among the finest intelligence analysts I ever worked with, and an even better friend. After we left the military we visited each other's homes and stayed in regular contact, but as people often do, we lost touch. It had been seven years since we last spoke, but out of the blue I "Googled" him and learned that he had suffered a stroke and had passed away on May 14, 2009. After returning from Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Garvin experienced a lot of health issues. He suffered from rashes, nervousness, trembling, and other maladies, all of which stayed with him until the end. In my mind, that war caused another casualty, albeit 18 years later. So today, on the birthday of the U.S. Army, thank a veteran for their service.
One of my favorite sites is the national PT Boats Association at http://www.ptboats.org/. PT boats were constructed of wood and powered by three 1500hp Packard engines. The PTs played an important role in the defeat of Japan in the Pacific during WWII, and for the past few years I have interviewed many of their crewmembers to document their role in the operations of the Alamo Scouts. Above is a rare color photo of PT-132, which supported the Alamo Scouts on a number of missions. Please visit their website and learn more about these unsung heroes of WWII.
For the past couple weeks I've been rooting around for words of wisdom to present to the graduates of Kiefer Academy. On June 2, I delivered the graduation address entitled, "IF--the middle word in life." I guess even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while.