New Page


November 28, 1999

I guess it's time I let the rest of you know what happened to us after that glorious day when we threw those "used" hats in the air. I still had that gold bar pinned to my T-shirt that day!

Our first assignment was to Lackland as a Training Officer. That enlisted Good Conduct Medal with a couple of loops really helped when I needed the cooperation of the NCO's. Had a good time but at the end of the one-year we were sent to Keesler to that 43 week nightmare called Comm School. I still haven't used any of that math they tried to teach us; I mean where/when are you going to need triple equations with three unknowns? There was one funny incident though. Remember how Ed Callicotte's voice could be too loud and deep? We walked into the cafeteria one morning on coffee break and Ed yelled at one of the chaps in line "I hear you were sick" The response was No, I haven't been sick" whereupon in his own style said, "Yeah I heard you had ROTC" That almost started a riot.

After the Keesler adventure we were sent to 2130th Comm Sq at RAF Croughton, England where I was OIC of the Receiver Site which included "Croughton Airways". Liked it so we were extended for a year. That was a mistake. About three months into the extension the family started grumbling "If you hadn't extended we'd be home by now. I told them to look at it this way, in eight months we'll be out of here. That pacified everyone. Then came the next assignment "God I hope we don't go back to Keesler"

Well guess what?

Back to Keesler to the Comm Staff School. Great time! They took us to Hurlburt, Dallas and various other places to see how the rest of the world operated.

From Keesler to Scott AFB in January 1965 where I was assigned to the MAC Communications Staff and put in charge of the Communications Budget. Hell, I couldn't (and still can't) balance the family checkbook. It was interesting though and eventually they got me into plans and programs.

In June 1968 we went to Hickam AFB which was supposed to be a three-year tour but due to budget constraints we were held over for a fourth year. Pat raised the kids for the four years because I was TDY just about 10 days out of every month. Since I was the last MAC Communicator in the Pacific they wanted to insure that there were adequate communications every place a MAC airplane landed. Got to see a lot of SEA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea etc from the front jump seat of a C-141 or a "Klong Hopper" C-130.

Then toward the end of our fourth year in May 1972 the Career Advisor from personnel called and offered me a choice of where I could go. The Pentagon or Saigon!!!

Oh boy what a thrill. I told him I thought I'd like to go back to Scott AFB. He said there are no vacancies at Scott. I disagreed telling him there were for retirees. So at the ripe age of 39 we parted company, still friends. It was a great career.

Went to work as a Customer Support Analyst for a company called Action Data Services which provided on-line real time computer service to finance companies. What a culture shock. Only two individuals in the company had every seen time in the service, one was a retired Chief Master Sergeant and the other was an ex paratrooper who had seen time in Nam. The rest were real civilians with long hair who were instantly jealous of a retiree because they all new I was getting a check. Of course they thought I'd just sent in box tops for that! Anyway, after 24 years with them I turned 62 and finally retired.

Our home is in the Midwest close to Scott. We travel a bit, I volunteer two days a week at a clinic at the base and we're having a great time. Other than being married to Pat I consider our time together in 58-B THE high point in my life. What a bunch!!!!

John Chamberland