A period of transitions and more Life Lessons.
Getting serious about college was a seminal event in my life. Having a daughter to raise on my own gave me an overwhelming sense of responsibility to her that I simply had to act on.
Major Floyd V. Rogers--"Buzz"--took me under his wing while I was a Staff Sergeant and got me to test for college credits through some Air Force programs. I passed most of them and soon found myself with the equivalent of Junior status in
college, having obtained my A.A.S. in Data Automation from the Community
College of the Air Force. I was 34 and had only a year and a half to finish my degree, so as to qualify for consideration for
Officer Candidate School. I had to attend two college campuses at the same time to manage
it (the U of H and Hawaii
Pacific College), but I finished my degree in time to be turned down for OCS once, and be selected for it the second go round. I graduated from Hawaii Pacific College (now
Hawaii Pacific University) Summa Cum Laude
with a 3.89 grade point average. Degree in hand I made plans to attend OCS and become an Air Force Officer.
About the same time I met Pamela Maurer and fell in love with her almost immediately. After about a year of living together and being separated for 6 months we married in a beach ceremony at dusk, on
Hanauma Bay near Diamond Head. Three months later I was headed for Texas again to attend 3 months of Officer Candidate School, and Pamela was pregnant with our daughter, Valerie. Upon graduating and gaining my Second Lieutenant's gold bars, I was assigned to attend Missile Officer Training at
Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, CA. After passing my final qualification ride as a Deputy Combat Missile Crew Commander, I
was assigned to the
341st Missile Wing,
490th Missile Squadron
(I designed their Squadron Patch while assigned there), near Great Falls,
Montana. We waited for Valerie to arrive, and she did, on the 18th of
October, 1983. We lived in Montana for the next 5 years, and our son Philip was born there in 1985. Nancy attended High School there at
Charles Russell Memorial High School and stayed on to finish her Senior year while the rest of us packed up to move to
Louisiana and a job as a Base Contracting Officer with the 2nd Bomb Wing there, near
Bossier City, Louisiana.
Great Falls had been an incredibly beautiful place to live and the stark contrast between Montana and
Louisiana was dramatic to say the least. But we had a great life there for the next 4 years while we prepared and planned to settle down in a location that we'd feel comfortable retiring to and raising our family. Nancy returned to live with us after graduating from High School, and a year later left for Texas to live with her boyfriend. She's remained in Texas ever since. We decided to attempt to settle down in New England, and eventually it all worked out,
with an assignment to Hanscom Air Force base near Boston, MA, and the purchase of a new house here in New Hampshire. I retired from the Air Force 3 years later, in
The Journey Evolves
Having a daughter to raise on my own gave me an overwhelming sense of responsibility to her that I simply had to act on
Life: There Is No Spoon . . .