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Each year on November 11, we celebrate Veterans Day. This day became part of our American calendar in 1919 following the end of World War I to honor the service and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. Then known as Armistice Day, the name officially changed to Veterans Day on June 1, 1954.
Publisher Laura Baxter editor/designer Rebecca Hastings Creative direCtor Tricia Lieurance PhotograPher Harry Gerwien Published by Military newsPaPers of virginia 150 W. Brambleton Ave., Norfolk, VA 23510 Phone: (757) 222-3990 Fax: (757) 853-1634 editorial (757) 222-3970 advertising (757) 222-3990 Classifieds (757) 222-3990 firstname.lastname@example.org The contents of this special section are not necessarily the official views of or endorsed by the U.S. Government, DOD, the DOT or the U.S. Coast Guard. Opinions of the contributing writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Military Newspapers of Virginia or The Flagship®. The availability of these newspapers and the appearance of advertising in these publications, including any inserts or supplements, do not constitute endorsement by the federal government, the DOD, the DOT, the U.S. Coast Guard or Military Newspapers of Virginia of products or services advertised.
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Congratulations! to all the nominees of the still serving 2013 veterans awards! Roberto Aguilar Fred Archer Pamela Barnaby James W. Beckwith, Jr. David Boisselle Emanuel Chestnut Francis Cubillo Ralph Fisher Sue Fitzgerald Glenn Gately Barbara Geraghty James B. Hart Dale W. Harrington William Hayden Robert Herbin Leon Hill Mike Hoffpauir Donald Macari John Olson Les Page Don Phillips Jason Redman Thomas L. Van Petten Gary Wilks, Sr. David Williams Clarence Willis
Our veteran and retired military have served our country but they continue to serve out of uniform. They make significant contributions to our community through their work, philanthropic and volunteer efforts. They do not ask for recognition but contribute every day out of their sense of service and commitment. They understand and live by their principles of leadership, initiative and selflessness. It is part of their mission to make our country a better place to live in, and we are lucky that so many have chosen to make Hampton Roads their permanent home. This December marks the third anniversary of Still Serving –The Military Retiree and Veterans Awards. Founded by The Flagship and Military Newspapers of Virginia, Still Serving is a recognition program that celebrates the service and achievements of these dedicated individuals. This year we received an impressive group of nominations. While all of these individuals have made significant impacts in our community, we have chosen 10 as our 2013 honorees, highlighted in this section. Our committee selected these individuals based on their volunteer accomplishments and for going above and beyond in regards to working with the military and/or civilian communities. We thank them for taking time out of their busy schedules to help select this year’s honorees. Our committee members included: Eugene Crabtree – retired Master Chief Hospital Corpsman, U.S. Navy/ Director, Retired Affairs, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic; Steve Ludwig - retired Command Master Chief, U.S. Navy/ Regional Military Representative, GEICO; Kathy Nelson – retired Capt., U.S. Navy/Director, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society Norfolk; Adair Wells, Sales Development Manager, The Flagship and Military Newspapers of Virginia and founder of Still Serving. Most importantly, we would like to thank the following businesses for sponsoring the 2013 Still Serving Awards: United Concordia, our presenting sponsor, Navy Mutual, GEICO, USAA, Tidewater Community College, and the USO Hampton Roads/Central Virginia. These businesses know the value of our retired and veteran military and their generous support helped to make this event possible.
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NAVY LIEUTENANT SERVED 1992-2013
“In Jason’s spare time, he speaks across the country spreading his message of life, inspiration, and sheds light on the sacriﬁces that enable the freedoms of our country. I work with many military organizations inVirginia and North Carolina. I am never more uplifted and inspired than I am at a Wounded Wear event.The sacriﬁces given to our country – those who beneﬁt from this charity – are obvious. Even more obvious is the sense of inclusion and empowerment they get from participating with Jason and Wounded Wear. I’m very proud to be able to call Jason Redman a friend.” — Steven Ludwig, friend
Why did you decide to stay in Hampton Roads after your service? My naval career brought me to Hampton Roads. I have lived all across the country growing up, but actually spent my entire career here in Hampton Roads. My kids were born here and go to school here. We have grown roots here.
Describe some military highlights. Graduating SEAL Training and Ranger School. The military was an amazing journey – I joined as a boy and left as a mature man and leader. I had the opportunity to travel all over the world, from Central and South America, to Europe to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
READ ABOUT WOUNDED WEAR’S “JUMPING FOR A PURPOSE” EVENT ON PAGE 15.
What are your achievements or fond memories outside the military? Creating Wounded Wear, Jumping for a Purpose, climbing Mt. Rainier as part of a Wounded Warrior Climbing Team, writing my personal memoir, “The Trident.”
Why did you decide to establish Wounded Wear? Wounded Wear was established out of my own experiences as a Wounded Warrior. I wanted clothing that made me proud to be out in public, that people could see why I looked the way I did – from battlefield injuries versus some accident. From the beginning and my continued experience as a Wounded Warrior, we have grown into an organization that helps warriors rediscover the hero within. We do this through three different areas. Pride – Power – and Purpose.
We help reinstill pride in the warriors through our clothing and modifications. From there, we try to get them to one or of our events designed to empower them to live greatly, such as our Jumping for a Purpose event (see page 15), that takes warriors and families of the fallen skydiving, and last we are beginning to help them to find their new purpose, and connect them to organizations that can help them achieve it. The last part of Wounded Wear is continuing to raise the national awareness of the sacrifice our warriors, their families and families of the fallen have made for our great country.
What advice do you have for those separating from the military wishing to continue serving their community? The military is about service. There are a lot of different ways to serve. Giving back to your fellow veterans and the community is incredibly rewarding.
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Navy CaptaiN Served 1980-2007
“Many know of the needs and concerns in their communities, but few make it their life’s work to address those needs and concerns. Barb Geraghty has chosen not to accept offers to work in her technical field in commercial enterprises, but instead gives her time and attention freely as a volunteer. Barb’s model for service and leadership inspires others and makes Hampton Roads a better place to live and work.” — Kathy Nelson, former coworker
Why did you decide to stay in Hampton Roads after your service? Of all of my duty assignments, I’ve enjoyed the Commonwealth of Virginia best. Hampton Roads and its milder climate, proximity to history and the water, wide range of arts and entertainment and educational institutions appealed to me. There are a lot of opportunities for creating a satisfying lifestyle.
Describe some military highlights. I was a member of the first class to graduate with women from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1980. I lived in Iceland, Japan and Italy, serving as the executive officer of Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Iceland (Keflavík, Iceland), commanding officer of Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Far East (Yokosuka, Japan) and commanding officer of Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Europe Central (Naples, Italy). I am a plankowner in the Navy’s Information Professional Community, an officer specialty established in 2001.
What are your achievements or fond memories outside the military? I love to travel and experience new cultures. I’ve had the chance to live in Iceland, Japan and Italy, and have traveled to 27 countries. Some of the highlights of my travels include snowmobiling at the top of a glacier in Iceland, climbing Mt. Fuji in Japan, visiting the Great Wall in China and seeing the land of my ancestors in Ireland and Germany.
Why did you decide to volunteer with the local Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliate? My mother and I are both breast cancer survivors (16 and 15 years respectively). I got involved with Komen because of my interest in breast cancer and the fact that 75 percent of the funds raised in Tidewater remain in this area, providing mammograms and breast screenings for underserved women. I’m currently the Board
Secretary and have co-chaired the 2011 Komen Tidewater Race for the Cure. I am also active in the Tidewater Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and am chairing our inaugural PurpleStride 5K event on April 5, 2014. I volunteer with this organization because I lost my dad to this deadly disease in 2010.
What advice do you have for those separating from the military wishing to continue serving their community? One of the things that many of us who retire or separate from the military miss the most is the sense of camaraderie and service to others. Volunteering in the community is a way to find a group with similar interests and harness your passion to continue to serve. The military gives us many skills that non-profits value: leadership, management, strategic planning, logistical planning – the list is endless. Volunteering not only feeds the soul, but can also add to a resume, before and after leaving the military. Check the local newspaper or Volunteer Hampton Roads for lists of organizations looking for volunteers and pick one or two that spark an interest, then give them a try.
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Marine Corps Colonel served 1972-2009
“Thanks to the efforts of Col. Cubillo, on any givenThursday throughout the school year, a group of Sailors or Marines can be found along with Cubillo leading calisthenics with ﬁfth grade PE classes. Col. Cubillo works alongside Physical Education teacher Jerry Killmeyer to promote physical activity and heart-healthy habits. In fact, each April, he and members of the Navy and Marine Corps IntelligenceTraining Center join students for the Jump Rope for Heart Fundraiser at the school. Since the event began in 1989, the partnership has raised more than $150,000 for the American Heart Association.” —Laura J. Smart,Virginia Beach City Public Schools
Why did you decide to stay What are your in Hampton Roads after achievements or fond your service? memories outside the I consider myself very fortunate, as a Marine, to military? have been stationed here in Hampton Roads twice in my career. First time (1995-99) at Dam Neck and then I returned in 2002 to serve in a Joint assignment in Norfolk/Suffolk. After that Joint tour I was asked to remain on active duty (I was at the time retirement eligible with over 30 years of service) and stand up a new command back at Dam Neck ... someone was trying to tell me something!
Describe some military highlights. I’ve been blessed to have experienced a truly storied and unique career in the Marine Corps. I rose through the “ranks” from enlisted (private to staff sergeant) to warrant officer, limited duty officer, and unrestricted officer from captain to colonel having been promoted 13 times in a career that spanned just two years shy of four decades. I was also blessed to have several wonderful overseas assignments that many Marines rarely get, including two tours in Japan, and tours in Scotland, Spain, Cuba and Hawaii.
Outside the military I am active in my church choir where I sing as a tenor and cantor. I am a proud member of a 5-person vocal group called “Fond Memories” where we sing and perform songs that bring back “fond memories” to the many assisted -living and senior living center residents here in Hampton Roads. I am also a solo singer/entertainer here in Hampton Roads as “Frank Sings Frank,” a hobby that quickly turned into a small business.
Why did you decide to volunteer with Princess Anne Elementary School and NMITC? PAES and NMITC (Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center, at Dam Neck) have enjoyed a long-standing, award-recognized partnership in education program for 22 years. When I first arrived at NMITC in 1995 I was asked
if I would be interested in volunteering at PAES in a traditional “adopt-a-school” format whereby the service member would go to the school, read, mentor or tutor students in need. I happened to ask the senior Physical Education (PE) teacher if anyone ever volunteered to help with PE. It was a perfect marriage – elementary school kids in a playground/ gym setting and Marines and Sailors!
What advice do you have for those separating from the military wishing to continue serving their community? Embrace volunteering in the community! There are plenty of areas that you can get involved in. In addition to schools, where retired military personnel can offer so much, there’s senior and assisted living centers all over Hampton Roads who would welcome volunteers especially from the military services. I would also encourage those who play musical instruments, sing/ entertain, read or write poetry or are interested in acting/performing arts to join up with Tidewater Arts Outreach (TAO), set up to link talented volunteers with the many senior/ assisted living centers in Hampton Roads.
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Marine Corps Captain served 1971 - 1992
“After retirement, Leon’s volunteer efforts were at Okinawa, where his wife was stationed and where he was a key volunteer in the Young Marines program. After returning to Hampton Roads, he continued his superb volunteer activities in earnest. It’s hard to compete with a volunteer like Capt. Hill – always willing and able to assist those in need and participate in community activities. His strong work ethics, innovative ideas, persistence and abilities to work with others have been invaluable in his volunteer efforts. He is a true patriot and outstanding leader.“ —Doyle Quisenberry, coworker
Why did you decide to live in Hampton Roads?
Describe some achieveWhy did you volunteer ments outside the military. with the Boy Scouts?
I was shipped here after returning from Southeast Asia in December of 1972. It snowed that year and the beauty and history that I learned of Virginia provide a new perspective for me. The Tidewater area of Virginia was my first choice to live after retirement. Then came my wife returning from Kuwait, a U. S. Navy Nurse. She was from Chesapeake. My desire to live here was finalized.
Assisting in the birth of my youngest son. Having the honor of working with Virginia Juvenile Judge Ann Holton on establishing a Foster Child, Adoptive and Kinship Care support organization for the youths in need. The honor of serving on the Board of Directors of the Armed Services YMCA, Virginia Beach for three years.
Describe some military highlights. Being stationed in the Far East – Okinawa and Iwakuni, Japan. Duty as a U.S. Marine Corps recruiter in Detroit, Mich. – Recruiter of the Years for three years and promoted meritoriously to gunnery sergeant and subsequent promotion to warrant officer. Deployments to Norway – meetings and training with the Norwegians and Brits, teaching English to the Norwegian officers. Developing friendship with Norwegian officers and families, as well as long lasting friendship with many Japanese nationals. Participating in Joint Staff Planning Meetings with other Armed Forces and assisting with developing the training plans.
Why did you decide to volunteer with ESGR? During Desert Shield/Desert Storm, my command was required to augment command with Marine Reserves. My directorate, Supply Logistics was assigned a platoon of Marines from MA. Once the short tour was done, I wrote performance reports and awards, made presentations and provided them orders to home city. As an active duty officer, I had no idea of the challenges that the service members were to face upon return to their home. One day a retired Navy captain stopped by my business in Portsmouth and asked “Who owns the vehicle outside with the blue military decal?” I answered I am the owner. He then said, “Do I have a deal for you.” After a brief introduction and the mission of ESGR, I was sold.
A friend of mine who was the Scoutmaster of the Troop approached me with getting my boys involved in Scouting when they became of age. Once my boys entered grade school, I withdrew from several of the other volunteer organizations to spend time with them as a parent in Scouting. That support led to me becoming an Assistant Cubmaster after the first month and a camp-out. I am enjoying providing the training and support to our young men in Scouting.
What advice do you have for those separating from the military wishing to continue serving their community? For each country we visit in the military, we serve in the communities, either repairing schools and painting, teaching English to the local children and supporting orphanages. When separating from the military, continue to volunteer and serve in your cities and communities. They need our support and we are equipped with the training and talent to deliver.
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Navy CommaNder Served 1979-1999
“If there is a need, Fred Archer is there to jump in.The last few years at The Dwelling Place have been a struggle because government grants have been cut, funds have been hit by the recession and individual donors have struggled with their own lives. Fred has lead the charge to sustain the mission of the organization – to provide a safe and secure emergency shelter for families in crisis and to help move them into sustainability. He has never lost sight of the needs of our community.” — Ilona Webb Bruner, The Dwelling Place executive director
Why did you decide to stay in Hampton Roads after your service? You know that old saying “Everybody’s got to be somewhere?” It was a matter of being close to family and neither my wife nor I had family where we were from. We liked Hampton Roads. We were fortunate to be fond of the whole area. And it was very convenient being near one set of kids and grand kids.
Describe some military highlights. Supporting an orphanage in Japan along with Marines who had been involved with that orphanage for many years. Also working to raise money and provide basic medical supplies to refugee women during the crisis in Bosnia Herzegovina; providing religious services to service men and women in diverse and lonely settings ... I may not stop if I continue with old memories!
What are your achievements or fond memories outside the military? Travelling with my grandchildren to their sporting events. I’ve also traveled to Ireland, and have played golf almost every week with a group of very compatible friends. The nonmilitary parts of life, in Maine, California, Florida and New Jersey. In each place we had the opportunity for wonderful community experiences adding to our family lore.
Why did you decide to volunteer with The Dwelling Place? When I first came here I had never heard of The Dwelling Place, but they had a bluegrass concert as a fundraiser, and the performers were people that I knew – a nationally known bluegrass band. I went and because of that I saw what the The Dwelling Place was all about.
I’ve always been struck with homeless problems. As a kid, across the country I met people who were stranded. I also worked with the company that worked with migrants that were also kind of stranded. I had a concern in my heart for homeless people. And when I realized how many children were affected, I was definitely in. The Dwelling Place place is a resident situation for families, single mothers and children. The average age of the homeless is 9. The majority of homeless people are kids and the dwelling place focuses on them and their families.
What advice do you have for those separating from the military wishing to continue serving their community? Find a project or organization that you like and can support fully, sign up and stick to it. Service organizations need stability in staff and also in volunteers.
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Learn more about our ﬁnalists’ organizations! Virginia Scholastic Chess Association
of our students are connected to the military.
TCC IS BEHIND THEM 100%. Whether on base, on our campuses, or worldwide you can trust TCC’s Center for Military & Veterans Education (CMVE) team to help you take command of your education and career. TCC offers many certiﬁcates that ladder to associate and bachelor’s degree programs while fast-tracking you to employability. TCC’s CMVE provides one-stop access to degree planning, certiﬁcations, job skills training, and employment opportunities. Enroll today at tcc.edu. FROM HERE, GO ANYWHERE.
TIDEWATER COMMUNITY COLLEGE CENTER FOR MILITARY & VETERANS EDUCATION
Contact us today www.tcc.edu/military • Local: 757-822-7777 • Toll Free: 866-921-6280 International: 855-399-7480 • Email: CMVESupport@tcc.edu
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Visit their websites: Wounded Wear: www.woundedwear.org ESGR: www.esgr.mil STARBASE Victory: www.starbasevictory.org The Dwelling Place: www.thedwellingplaceva.org Wave City Care: www.wavecitycare.com The American Red Cross: www.redcross.org Susan G. Komen: www.komentidewater.org Virginia Scholastic Chess Association: www.vschess.org NMITC: netc.navy.mil/centers/ceninfodom/nmitc
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ARMY Colonel SeRved 1979-2005
“After 27 years of service, Mike allows himself very little free time or ‘me time.’ Instead, he spends all of his free time outside of his work at Fort Eustis planning, organizing and executing scholastic chess tournaments from Hampton Roads to Richmond. He almost single-handedly planned, organized and executed the 2013 State Scholastic and Collegiate Chess Championships in Farmville at Longwood University, serving several hundred players from across the state of Virginia. He has done this for many years.” —Christina M. Schweiss, friend and board member
Why did you decide to stay What are your in Hampton Roads after achievements or fond your service? memories outside the In the mid-90s I attended the Joint Forces Staff military? College in Norfolk. I fell in love with the area, informing many of my Army colleagues that “Norfolk is one of the best kept secrets and least known places in the Army to serve.” That’s why in 2003, after completing my tour in Europe, I decided to come to Norfolk – I wanted to “experience the secret” again.
Describe some military highlights. I deployed to the Balkans (Bosnia, Albania and Kosovo) three times between 1998 and 2003, with my final position being the Deputy Commander of U.S. Forces in Kosovo, a very rewarding position I held for one year. My second most favorite assignment was the three years my family and I spent in Hawaii.
Achieving the “title” of National Tournament Director, which is the chess equivalent of being a referee in the National Football League. It took 13 years of hard work to make it to this level, and my fondest memories are of the coaching and mentoring I received along the way.
Why did you decide to work with the Virginia Scholastic Chess Association? My youngest son had an interest in chess when he was about 3 or 4 years old, so I taught him to play. In 2000, we found ourselves stationed in the Boston area. One evening I attended a meeting of the Massachusetts Chess Association (MACA). They said that their Scholastic Chess Coordinator had recently moved on and they needed someone to do the work. I volunteered.
The seed that sprouted from my work in MACA easily translated into what I do today as the President of the Virginia Scholastic Chess Association (VSCA). The VSCA’s mission is to spread chess among children living in the Norfolk-Richmond-Charlottesville corridor. We do this by helping schools start chess clubs, providing them with resources (chess sets), sending instructor-qualified volunteers to help teach chess, and hosting local chess tournaments. Today the VSCA has more than 400 members. Our membership is free, it costs nothing to join the VSCA – something of which we are very proud.
What advice do you have for those separating from the military wishing to continue serving their community? Just look around and jump in. Don’t think too much about it – to borrow the Nike phrase, “Just Do It.” There’s lots to do. The key is networking before you get out through participation in various activities that you and/or your family like to do.
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army Colonel Served 1958 -1988
“Don and his spouse are deeply involved with programs that service children.They have established programs and worked in programs. He is dedicated to helping the less fortunate children who have difﬁculty applying themselves to rigors of school. Children who get in trouble with the authorities, single parent children and so on. He does everything possible to equip them to face a difﬁcult and challenging world and to take responsibility. He does not hesitate to take initiative to help when needed and is a true asset to the community in the growth development for today and generations to come.” —Julie Dudley, friend and executive director
Why did you decide to stay Why did you decide to in Hampton Roads area volunteer with Red Cross? after your service? I was asked to become a Red Cross volunteer. We have lived in Virginia/Maryland since 1976. When I retired in 1988, I remained in this area because three of our children lived in this area. I was assigned to the Army Staff in 1976 for four years. My next four assignments were in Washington, D.C. After retirement I worked eight years as a DA civilian.
Describe some military highlights. I served on active duty as a Regular Army Commissioned Officer from August 1958 to September 1988. I was stationed in West Germany and West Berlin for 7 years, Vietnam for 2 years, and have also been stationed in California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Kansas, Virginia and Maryland. I was selected as an Army Fellow and attended the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute. In 1982, I was selected as the Army Fellow to attend the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Institute. That same year, I received award from the Secretary of Defense.
I served as a Board Member, Vice-President, President and Chairman for the Armed Forces Emergency Services (AFES). AFES is the link between a deployed service member and their family. In case of death or serious illness, family members telephone AFES, who then verifies the condition and contacts ARC HQ. The HQ rep contacts the service member’s organization to inform and or request the approval for the service member to contact the requester and or come home. Also, I supported members of the community after weather emergencies.
Other community service: According to Julie Dudley, friend and executive director of the River Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross, Don also served as the: Vice President of The Link Organization; created by association of churches as a onestop agency covering two counties to help less affluent individuals/families in need. Primary contact to distribute “Coats for Kids.” He screened the recipients to assure coats went to the needy and arranged for distribution at elementary and middle schools. Community Planning Management Team (CPMT) member, providing services for foster children who are in need.
What advice do you have Describe your work with the for those separating from Community Service Board. the military wishing to I served on the Middle Peninsula, Northern Neck Community Service Board, MP NN CSB, continue serving their for 9 years. The board serves 10 counties and provides services to individuals and famalies community? with special needs. “[Leon] helps individuals with needs such as enrolling in drug rehab, kids with emotional issues, single parents with new babies, etc.,” said Julie Dudley, the Executive Director for the American Red Cross, River Counties Chapter.
Community service is part of Army culture. I think those who retire will continue to serve wherever they are. I think we need work hard to recruit non-military to perform community service.
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Navy CommaNder Served 1979-2000
“Cmdr. Fitzgerald is one of those exceptional individuals who seeks to ﬁnd ways to improve the lives of others and she knows ‘how to rally the troops,’ to ensure every endeavor is a huge success. One of the most gratifying experiences for the more than 300 volunteers was participating in the WAVE Holiday Extravaganza held at Lynnhaven Middle School last December.This two-day event was the brainchild of Comdr. Fitzgerald to help 136 families in need and their 500 children to have an enjoyable holiday.” — Laura J. Smart, Partnership Coordinator for Virginia Beach City Public Schools
Why did you decide to stay in Hampton Roads after your service? I stayed in Hampton Roads because that was my last duty station and where I was plugged in with my church and my friends. My initial plan was to move back to the West Coast where I spent a large part of my career, but in the end, I decided that Hampton Roads was home!
Describe some military highlights. The people are my fondest memory. Specific adventures included diving throughout the world with multi-national forces, blowing up a 100 foot communications tower in Adak, Alaska or recovering Trident rocket motors in mid-ocean recovery. But it was all fun and exciting due to the amazing people I worked alongside. One of my early jobs with EOD Mobile Unit Two out of Fort Story was a Trident Rocket Motor Recovery. Myself and a detachment of three other people were flown down to Mayport, Fla. to work with another team. When the Trident missile was launched, we were flown out to mid-ocean via
helicopter, jumped out with a package of slings and buoys, and attached it to the rocket motor that dropped off mid flight before it could sink. Then we waited for a boat to come recover us and the rocket motor. The helicopter stood off as our emergency rescue while we waited. Just us and the sharks out there for 45 minutes to an hour! Our EODGRU Two Detachment Sigonella Sicily (myself and eight enlisted EOD Technicians) were the dive team deployed to the Red Sea in 1983 for the demining of the Suez Canal. We worked hand-in-hand with the Egyptians. I remember being flown in via helicopter each morning to go have tea with the port captain and discuss whether we would have a boat for dive operations that day. My greatest military achievement would have to be all my firsts that I was able to accomplish as a woman in the Navy. I was the first woman to become a Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician, the first to become commanding officer of an EOD Mobile Unit and many other firsts along the way! I got to participate in numerous U.S. Secret Service operations with many of the U.S. presidents, VP’s and other dignitaries. A few highlights were being with President Reagan in Barbados on one trip and another providing to support to President George H.W. Bush at his home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Why did you decide to volunteer with Wave City Care? I began volunteering with Wave City Care in 1999 with the after-school program in a low income neighborhood. I love children and spent a few years before the Navy as an elementary school teacher, so it was a perfect role for me! From there I plugged into new roles and eventually came on staff as a grant writer. Today I run the organization as the Vice President of Wave City Care.
What advice do you have for those separating from the military wishing to continue serving their community? Take all your skills, interests and the passion you poured into your career in the military and use it to make Hampton Roads a better place. There are so many opportunities out there where you can help and you are so equipped to do it! It will change your life!
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Navy ReaR admiRal SeRved 1967 - 1997
“STEM education is extremely important to society.There are more STEM jobs than this country’s educational system currently produces. Bill has chosen an extremely effective way to reach kids. What is exceptional about STARBASEVictory is that it reaches every student in the Portsmouth School system. Most STEM programs only reach those relative few that sign up or are encouraged to sign up by a parent. Even though Portsmouth is one of the poorest school systems in Hampton Roads, thanks to Bill’s efforts, they have one of the best STEM programs anywhere.” —Douglas Bitterman, professional acquaintance
Why did you decide to stay in Hampton Roads after your service? I moved our family to Hampton Roads in 1977 for two primary reasons: (1) My wife and I wanted to be closer to our respective parents, who both lived in the Washington, D.C. area. (2) Having spent the first 10 years of my career on the West Coast, deploying to the Pacific theater, I wanted to spend some time in the East Coast environment and experience Mediterranean Sea deployments.
Describe some military highlights. My flying career was targeted toward becoming an astronaut. I gained significant flight experience by instructing in the Training Command, flying in combat during the Vietnam War and going to the Air Force Test Pilot School. I was a finalist for the first space shuttle class, but was disappointed to not be selected. However, aviation command, the Navy Nuclear Propulsion program and eventual command of the USS Abraham Lincoln (I was the commissioning CO) proved every bit as exciting and challenging as
flying the shuttle. In my final job in the Navy, I was the Chief of Naval Air Training and had the extraordinary opportunity to work extensively with my Air Force counterparts to introduce Joint Aviation Training into both services.
Describe some achievements outside the military. After retiring, I taught for 10 years in the NAS Oceana flight simulators. Concurrently, I had a consulting job with a private, nonprofit foundation where I was hired to set up scholarships for electric power engineering students. I remain in that job today because it allows me to attend annual symposium, where I can meet young engineers and listen to “cutting edge” advancements across a broad spectrum of engineering fields.
Why did you establish STARBASE Victory? I am an engineer by education and Navy training. Both of our sons are practicing engineers. I have long believed that the public school system(s) fail to provide students with the opportunity to “enjoy the thrill of discovery.” STEM subjects (Science,
Technology, Engineering and Math) are usually taught using equations, theories and complex experiments, which makes them seem more difficult. Young children should be introduced to math and science as an integral part of their everyday lives. Elementary age students are interested in literally everything, so this is the time to expose them to STEM.
What advice do you have for those separating from the military wishing to continue serving their community? The skills that you are taught and the leadership opportunities that you experience in the military are valuable in the “outside world,” and because we are “on-duty” around the clock in the military, we develop a natural penchant for staying focused on the mission and rationing our time, often splitting it between job and family. Those skills are, frankly, under-appreciated in the civilian world, but they will make you successful at just about anything you do. Then, as you get older and “retire,” don’t settle into a rocking chair – the world of volunteerism is waiting for your skills and willingness to work.
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Marine Corps Corporal served 1964-1968
“Les will travel wherever needed, to present a Quilt of Valor to a veteran or retiree. I’ve personally been present at one of these presentations and I can say, his heart is so full and the recipient felt so comforted. Les’ purpose is to ﬁnd a way to be of beneﬁt to as many veterans and retirees as possible. By following his purpose, he is still serving, which provides true meaning in his life and that of his wife Elaine, whom is also very dedicated to quilting the Quilts of Valor and ensuring the quilts are pressed, clean and ready for Les to present.” — Diane Beavers, friend
Why did you decide to stay What are your in Hampton Roads after achievements or fond your service? memories outside the military? My son is a career Marine and was transferred from California to Norfolk. He took my granddaughter!
Describe some military highlights. I am a Vietnam veteran – it is the attitude of our society that provided the fuel for me to make sure that neglect and abuse does not fall upon those that serve this country, long before it was popular.
“Les personally addresses each veteran, from his heart, with words of comfort, encouragement and thanks for their service to America.” — Diane Beavers, friend
My career. I am a retired California Highway Patrolman. A good portion of that was spent riding as a Motor Officer – it doesn’t get any better than that. I still ride. Now I ride with the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association and Patriot Guard Riders.
Why did you decide to volunteer with the Tidewater Quilters Guild? What is “Quilt of Valor?” Quilts of Valor Foundation (QOVF) is a national organization formed in 2003 by a Blue Star mother Catherine Roberts (qovf.org). The mission of QOVF is to cover all combat service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. I am the Virginia State Coordinator for the Foundation and organize and coordinate the piecing, collecting,
organizing, distributing, making the award presentations or assisting others within the volunteer network here in Virginia of making and presenting Quilts of Valor. I am also a longarm quilter. I operate a “power tool” that puts in the stitching to complete the quilt before it goes to a quilter to sew on the binding. I became a member of the TQG in an effort to be more in touch with the processes involved in quilting, the social networking with others of like interests and to share in a craft my wife enjoys very much.
What advice do you have for those separating from the military wishing to continue serving their community? You just need to pay attention in your daily life. Opportunities to help, pay it forward, give back and be a contributing source to and for others are everywhere, if you’re paying attention.
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EVENT SPONSORED BY WOUNDED WEAR AND THE 2013 STILL SERVING VETERAN OF THE YEAR JASON REDMAN
Annual ‘Jumping for a Purpose’ gives Wounded Warriors chance to fly high Photo and story courtesy of The Flagship SUFFOLK — How would it feel to leave your worries at the door and clear your mind from 14,000 feet in the air? Several Wounded Warriors had the chance to do just that when they did a tandem jump from an airplane as they participated in the 3rd annual “Jumping for a Purpose” skydiving event in Suffolk, May 18, sponsored by Wounded Wear. Jumping for a Purpose was established in 2010 when Jason Redman, founder and executive director of Wounded Wear; Matt Thompson, CEO of Troopswap; and Larry Pennington, owner of Skydive Suffolk collaborated together to organize an event that would give back to Wounded Warriors who had already given so much of themselves to defend our country. “This event is about empowering Wounded Warriors, providing them the opportunity to recognize that their lives did not end with their injuries,” said Redman during the opening ceremony. “It actually just began.” Retired Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Jeremiah Harold was one of the first Wounded Warriors of the day to take the plunge from in the air. Although he is not as active as he used to be due to being wounded in Afghanistan in 2009 when he was knocked from the second story of a building that was hit with 107 mm rocket, breaking both of his legs and giving him a concussion. He didn’t let that stop him from leaping from the airplane. “As soon as I exited the plane, it was awesome. I knew I was right where I
Retired Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Jeremiah Harold lands in the drop zone at Skydive Suffolk during the 3rd annual Jumping for a Purpose Skydiving event.
was supposed to be,” he said. “These events help me get better mentally and physically.” Suffolk Mayor Linda T. Johnson attended the event for the first time and was amazed of the Wounded Warriors bravery and all the supporters who came out for the event. “I am just filled with awe ... to the Wounded Warriors I say to you, ‘what an inspiration.’ This event can teach all of us that no matter what happens in life, you just don’t give up.” Wounded Wear volunteer Michelle Snyder, an Army veteran injured during a job-related jump in 2002 while on active duty, had the opportunity to participate during last year’s event. “I enjoyed jumping out of planes in the Army, but the average jump in the Army is 1,000 feet,” he said. “So jumping at 13,000 feet was a huge adrenaline rush and I felt no pain.” Snyder became a regular Wounded Wear volunteer in January of 2012 after participating in a Wounded Warrior clothing kit building volunteer event, in which a Wounded Warrior unit from North Carolina traveled to Hampton Roads to build kits for other wounded vets. “I decided that night, if a squad of Wounded Warriors drove all the way from North Carolina and Portsmouth to make kits for their buddies, then this was an organization I wanted to continue to be a part of.” According to Erica Redman, wife of Jason, although the jump was a
success with around 40 Wounded Warriors slated to jump, she says they would like to improve the event’s impact. “Ideally we would like to have a national reach, to expand our mission
to help and empower our veterans across the country.” For more on Wounded Wear and how you can support their mission, visit www.facebook.com/woundedwear, or at www.woundedwear.org.
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United Concordia Dental, an industry leader in group and individual dental insurance, is proud to support our nation’s military service members, veterans and retirees. We salute your courage and honor.
www.unitedconcordia.com Dental plans are administered by United Concordia Companies, Inc. and underwritten by United Concordia Life and Health Insurance Company, United Concordia Dental Corporation of Alabama, United Concordia Insurance Company of New York and United Concordia Insurance Company. For more information, please visit the “Disclaimers” link at www.unitedconcordia.com.