My father was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force so we travelled throughout the U.S. We lived in Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Massachusetts, California and Arizona. We lived on bases most of the time I was child. I was always interested in the different aircraft since I would see and hear them daily. Even today I am often able to discern by sound different types of military aircraft. While living in Massachusetts, we lived in big home near a lake where I learned to ice skate, and in Arizona I once rode my bike with a friend through the Saguaro National Monument. I went to numerous schools as a child and even went to 3 different high schools in my sophomore year. I was in Junior ROTC during high school and really enjoyed being a member of the Drill Team that took first place in my junior year. We went to see the U.S. Marine Corp Silent Drill Team at MCRD one year and they were amazing.
Upon graduating from high school I could not immediately go to college. Of course I had always wanted to be a pilot in the U.S.A.F. but when I was in high school I found I needed glasses. So I decided to join the U.S. Army and did my Basic Training and Advanced Infantry Training (AIT) at Ft. Polk, LA. According to our Drill Sergeant Ft. Polk has the distinction of having every snake indigenous to North America located there. In truth my fondest memory of Ft. Polk is when I was leaving it at the end of training. Watching it disappear as I rode in the back of taxi to the airport was absolutely wonderful. While flying from Dallas back home to San Diego I was bumped to 1st Class. That is the only time I have ever flown 1st Class.
I was assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment (Wolfhounds), 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Light) at Schofield Barracks, HI. I was an infantry soldier initially assigned to the weapons squad of my platoon. I was a M67 90mm Recoilless Rifle assistant gunner and gunner initially. Later I was a M60 Machine Gun assistant gunner and gunner. After about a year in the weapons squad I was I was assigned as a rifleman to a squad in my platoon. One day the Company First Sergeant asked if anyone could type. Since I had not yet learned the lesson about never volunteering I told him I could type and was assigned as the Training Clerk for the Company assisting the Training NCO (SGT. Michael Shimpack).
The Battalion was deployed to Guam to assist with the refugees coming from Vietnam. We were garbage men for the refugee camp at Orote Point. We lived in tents for most of the 2 months we were there. It was hot and we worked 12 hours a day every day for the first 2 weeks and 6 days week after that. I became a fairly good bowler since the bowling alley was one of the few air-conditioned places we could go.
I was later assigned to HHC Company as an S3 Operations Clerk working in the S3 Operations Office. I worked primarily with the other Operations Clerks and SSG Zan Kushmaul. Most of the work was routine type office work but when we went to the field we handled the radio traffic at the Tactical Operations Center (TOC). My final assignment was as the Training NCO for HHC Company coordinating training for HHC Company with the Company First Sergeant (MSG. Raymond Temple) and Company Commander (CAPT. William Colvin).
I was flown to Oakland to be discharged. I had enough leave accumulated to get out early a couple of months early. Surprisingly only about 15 of the large group being processed that day were eligible to re-enlist immediately. I gathered from that and talking to the other guys there that most of the people were being let out with other than honorable discharges. I was honorably discharged as an E-5 Sergeant after 4 years of service. I earned the Expert Infantryman Badge and was awarded an Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM) at the end of my enlistment. As the U.S. was withdrawing from Vietnam when I joined I was fortunate not to have seen combat. I have great respect for those soldiers who have been in combat; they are truly heroes. But I know from having talked and worked with soldiers who have seen combat that it is something that you hope never to ever see.
I am registered at www.military.com so stop by if you have additional interest in the military and the people who serve.
After leaving the U.S. Army I decided to go back to school. I applied to several schools and was accepted to the University of Hawaii and Iowa State University. I elected to go to UH since I got married shortly after I left the service. I decided to major in business and mapped out my classes accordingly. During my 2nd semester I took my first computer course and was absolutely hooked on computers. I graduated with a BBA in Management Information Sciences in 3 and 1/2 years. During school my relationship with my wife deteriorated and we ultimately divorced.
I did not work during the 1st semester of school but found that I wanted to work and the money was a welcome addition to the budget. I worked for RCUH as a student programmer for the Oceanography Department. Later I worked as a student intern at IBM for a year. I then went back to RCUH working for the Meteorology Department until I graduated.
The following is a list of the jobs I have had since high school:
After college I was hired by Bank of Hawaii. I worked as programmer on various IBM mainframe applications. I had the opportunity to move into system administration and worked primarily on the Tandem (Now HP NonStop) along with the Periphonics Voice Response system and the IBM System 36. I got my first taste Unix and C at this time and enjoyed it a great deal. My primary area of expertise was the Tandem system which was one of the first fault-tolerant systems commercially available.
To gain some additional experience I went to back the mainland U.S. and worked for GESCO (Guarantee Savings Company), a service bureau, programming and maintaining the Base24 ATM/POS application. GESCO was acquired by Fiserv and became Fiserv Fresno.
Hawaii had grown to be a part of me over the years. I missed the friends I had made and decided I wanted to return. Bank of Hawaii rehired me as a system administrator on the Tandem, DEC VAX and Sun systems. I continued working at BOH until they decided to replace the Tandem system and eliminate my position.
Leaving Bank of Hawaii gave me some time to relax and consider what I wanted to do next. I ultimately interviewed and was employed at Aloha Airlines doing programming for various applications on the IBM Mainframe. I also had the opportunity to install the Oracle Business Intelligence application and work with the database administrator and project manager on the Business Intelligence project. I really enjoyed working at Aloha Airlines since I could continue working in the IT area and be a part of the commercial aviation industry, something that dovetailed very nicely with my interest in aviation. I was quite disappointed when they went out of business. The employees with families were the ones hurt most by this but everyone in Hawaii was adversely affected by this.
The State of Hawaii offered me a position shortly after Aloha Airlines went out of business. I am grateful that I was offered a position so soon after leaving Aloha Airlines. I worked as an Information Technology Specialist working on the Child Protective Services System (CPSS) application. I always enjoy learning things and I had the opportunity to learn NATURAL and ADABAS. Unfortunately I was bumped out of my position due to the reduction in force by the State of Hawaii due to budget problems. Unfortunately since the employess are part of a union the new people were all the people to be let go.
One of the managers who was also a recent hire at the State of Hawaii worked in the same department as I did. He was bumped out of his position at the State of Hawaii as well. He recently got a job at Hawaii USA FCU. He got in contact with me and asked me to apply for a position that was open there. I was recently offered that position with Hawaii USA FCU. I am very grateful that I have been given so many wonderful opportunities. I feel that keeping a positive attitude and a keen interest in learning new things was a key factor in my being hired. I look forward to updating this webpage with more information about my job in the future.
As I mentioned previously, I always wanted to be a pilot. While at Schofield Barracks I decided to take the steps needed to become a private pilot. I started by taking the ground school offered by the flight school at Wheeler Field. I was fortunate in that we had a Captain working in the S3 Office who was a pilot and he encouraged me greatly as did everyone in the S3 Office. In fact during one field exercise our unit was on they made arrangements for me to return to Wheeler Field so that I could take one of my ground school exams. I went into the classroom in full gear, including M16, took my exam and left. Since it was a military base nobody gave me a second look. I was even able to arrange an afternoon off to do my initial cross-country flight. I passed my FAA written exam and got chewed out by the Captain, in a good natured way, for not getting a better score. I completed my training at Honolulu Air Academy flying out of Honolulu International Airport. I soloed at Ford Island and passed my PPL check ride after around 50 hours. I flew a number of times between Oahu, Maui and Hawaii. I have a bit over 100 hours of time but have not flown in a very long time. I have time accumulated time in the Cessna 150, 172, 152, the Piper Warrior II (PA-140), and the Gruman T-Cat (AA-1). I hope to get back into the cockpit sometime in the future. Until then I fly in the virtual world with VATSIM.