Summer is upon us and this year my family is taking vacations just like you, I hope. As a result of poor planning, I will miss the meetings in August and September. Vince van den Brink, our XO, will be running the show in my stead. I will be thinking of you all while I am away. Why? You ask. Well, in August I will be taking two grandsons and a granddaughter aboard the USS Hornet (CV-12) up in Alameda. My father was with Air Group 11 on board the Hornet in WWII. They have a special display (separate space) for CAG-11 and there are photos of my dad within the display. Of course the grandchildren never met my father, their great grandfather, so this will give me the opportunity to give them some family history. As a bonus, one of the docents is a fraternity brother who flew the WV-2 and I am hoping to get a great tour of the ship with the grandkids.
On to an old subject… we need to get new members and we need you to keep coming to our luncheons. One of our members was telling me about meeting the son of a WWII Navy pilot. Our member told him all about Gramps, the colorful people who attend the meetings and the interesting speakers who we get to brief us on all kinds of subjects related to aviation. The fellow was very interested but we don’t have his contact information. He got away without giving us any way to contact him and follow up. Poor Fran Pieri, our Membership Officer, loves to contact potential new members and to get them signed up with ANA. Although we do not get anything back from the membership fees, we keep ANA national going and with it, that wonderful magazine, Wings of Gold.
What helps most is getting our members to show up for luncheon meetings! Hate to harp on this issue but it sure is awesome when our luncheon speaker looks out on an audience of 100 rather than 60. Also, remember, for each paid lunch we net about $2 that goes into our SOQ awards fund. It adds up over time and it is all based upon luncheon participation. Please try to make our meetings. If you cannot make it, send a friend or money!
Thanks are again extended to Bob Cashman for taking over the duties of Dick Fields. Bob submitted the write-up on the briefing by Col. Bob Ettinger, USAF (Ret), on the RQ-4 Global Hawk and the Navy variant, MQ-4C,. His brief was very well received but Colonel Ettinger had to stick around for about 30 minutes after the end of his briefing just to answer questions and sign autographs. I, personally, did not realize the breadth of Bob’s career in the military. Apparently he bailed out of an F- 102 and an F-104 during his flying days! He flew combat missions in Vietnam in F-102’s and F-4’s. We might have to have him come back again to tell us about his experiences flying in combat and test.
We also missed Carol Fields at our last meeting. She was not feeling well enough to attend and she needed the nursing skills of her husband, Dick, at home. As we expected, Dolores Hardy handled everything well despite Carol’s absence, with some “assistance” from Ray LeCompte, our Treasurer. Thanks again to all who attended our last meeting and I hope to see you again at our meeting on 14 July. Please keep trying to recruit new members!