Today’s program was an idea by Lee Russell to recognize veterans in our club from who have served in the military. Club members (and two guests) were asked to give a brief overview of their service.
First up was Alice Williamson, a guest of Lee’s who served in the Women Marines during WWII as a personnel clerk. She said that she selected the Marine Corps because she liked their uniform best. She was proud to sign up, because basically, her work during the war “freed up a man to fight.” Following the war, she married a career marine officer and they were married for 59 years. Alice is currently a very spry 98 years old.
Next up was Knox Williams who served in the post WWII Naval Reserve, and had several deployments on an Aircraft Carrier and Destroyer Escort ships. Lee Russell entered the armed services toward the end of the Korean War. When he was drafted, he was given a 30-day deferment to complete his current semester in college. While in basic training the fighting stopped and he was deployed to Germany, where he served as a clerk at the 7th Army Headquarters. Scott Cadwallader was in the Army from 1970-1973. He was trained as a radar repairman, and spent 18 months in Okinawa and 6 months in Key West serving in the Army Air Defense Command at Nike missile batteries.
Rick Graham graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1970 and attended flight school. He flew helicopters off the Southern California coast for five years before a seizure ended a promising naval career.
Dave Jones was an Army Physician who served in Vietnam from 1964-1965. This was the period just prior to an escalation of hostilities. Much of his time was spent going out into the villages and providing primary care services to the local Vietnamese community. Joe Sarnecky was a naval aviator, first as a Radar Intercept Officer (or RIO) in the back seat of the F-4 fighter during the Vietnam War. He then qualified for the “front seat” and earned his pilot’s wings in 1971. He was later in the Naval Reserves and retired as a Commander. During his years flying, he engaged in 200 combat missions and had 525 carrier landings.
Our second guest (thanks to Josh) was Todd Fowler who served in the US Marine Corps from 2004-2012. He was an infantryman first and then switched his military specialty to air control. He had several deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Our thanks to Lee for a great program idea, and a special thanks to all of our veterans for their service.