Life Before USAF

Born and raised in Amsterdam N.Y. High school graduate 1953. Attended Clarkson College of Technology for two years on a Basketball athletic scholarship (Mechanical Engineering).

Enlisted Experience

Enlisted in 1955. Schooled in aircraft maintenance. Tour in Thule, Greenland (repaired diesel engines).Then assigned to Tinker AFB, OK. Performed F-84F and F-100 maintenance. Married Phyllis Jane Monkres, Shawnee, Oklahoma in 1957. Assigned as Acft maint NCO to 12AF Hqts, Waco, Texas. Two daughters were born there in 1959/1961.

Memories of OCS Experience

63B had some great people. I was probably the skinniest cadet on record (123 lbs now 174 lbs). I could hide behind posts. I took the program too seriously at times. This was a very challenging time for my wife, caring for two babies while getting clothes cleaned and starched for two lost sheep. Best people memories were John McGinty and Dave Hathaway. I needed some levity and John provided it. One day, two upper classmen came to our room on a routine visit. After putting us on the wall in a brace to discuss how screwed up we were, they inched close to our faces. John puckered his lips and made a kissing sound. They broke up laughing and left – fortunately for a long time. I remember Dave on our obstacle course, swimming in the mud as he missed the jump off point. What a life!!

First Assignment

After Comptroller technical school at Sheppard AFB, Texas, I was assigned to the 17th Bomb Wing (SAC) at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio as the management/budget officer. My boss Major Whitehead was a gem. He rapidly crammed the real world of finance in me. Three months later he left and I was in charge. I didn’t stay long as I was transferred to the 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing (PACAF) Naha AB, Okinawa in April 1964.

The Rest of the Story

The tour at Okinawa was another learning experience. I spent the first year and a half in civil engineering, the last half in combat support group in management analysis. Made regular officer status in 1965.

In 1967, returned to WPAFB, Ohio working as a cost analysis/ systems project officer at the Aeronautical Systems Division (AFSC).

Assigned to the Armament Development and Test Center (AFSC), Eglin AFB Florida in 1970.I functioned as Chief mission requirements, programs/budget for the Comptroller and Headquarters briefer. (Finished first degree)

In 1973 I was assigned to the 3TFW (PACAF), Philippines as the Clark AB Budget officer.

In 1975 I attended Air Command & Staff College, Maxwell AFB Alabama. For the next four years I functioned for the Director of Air Force Budget in the Pentagon primarily as the Chief Strategic/Logistic budget in the O&M Appropriation. (Finished my Masters degree)

June 1980 to Jun 1982 I was the Comptroller 56TFW(TAC), Macdill AFB, Florida. During this tour I also was the comptroller rep on an AF IG review of  the AFRES and the AFANG.

Jul 1982 returned to the Pentagon as the military executive to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Comptroller). Worked for two political appointees and learned more about congressional staffs /media than I ever wanted to know. (Made 06).

Assigned as Deputy Comptroller, Headquarters USAFE, Ramstein, Germany in 1984.

From July 1986 to June 1989 I was the Comptroller USSPACE/AFSPACE Command, Colorado Springs Colorado and retired there.

Moved to Miami, Florida after retirement and worked for six months before returning to our own home in Apollo Beach Florida, near Tampa. When our daughters both moved to Fort Myers and Naples, we decided to move to Fort Myers in 1993. Both families live 20-30 minutes away from our home. Life is Great!

Current Status

Both Jane and I are active in church (St Cecilia’s Catholic Community) and Civic functions. She teaches Tennis to Special Olympians; is a Hugger/Cuddler at Health Park Hospital. I’ve completed a degree in Pastoral Theology and teach Salesian Spirituality in Southwest Florida. Most of our time is devoted to our six grandchildren.

The Future

It’s Now! Good memories of the past but try to stay in the present moment. Hope to stay healthy and do some traveling and be the best grandparents possible.

 

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