What are you doing now: RETIRED FROM USCBP on 29 April, 2017, after 20 Years and 2 Days with US CUSTOMS/ USCBP. I DONT MISS IT! With my time at the VA, and the ative Navy years I bought back I retired with 36 years of credited Civil service.
I am now now a certified Baseball and Softball Umpire, graduating on 4-18-2017. I'm a Member of the Western New York Umpires Association.
Still married since 1976 to wife number one, and we're living in the Buffalo suburb of Kenmore, New York. We have three grown children, and three grandkids.
I worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Buffalo from 93-97. I was hired by the US Customs Service, at the Port of Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York as an Inspector in 1997. The agency merged into the new Department Of Homeland Security, as the Bureau of Customs & Border Protection (C&BP) in 2004. My last assignment was at our Buffalo International Airport office, located at the Prior Aviation Services (FBO) facility. In September of 2011 I completed a two week course at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia for "Honor Guard" Training. I was proud to be part of the local CBP Honor Guard Team, available for funerals, parades and Color Guard presentaions. I always looked forward to those proud assignments.
I'm the current President of the Buffalo Postcard Club. My collection of US Navy ship,military aircraft and baseball park postcards is huge. Im also an avid baseball fan, following the Cleveland Indians and my hometown Buffalo Bisons.
I am a longtime Outdoor Sportsman, enjoying hunting and fishing. I am an active member of the 3F Club ( Fin, Feather, Fur Conservastion Society) in Lewiston, New York. The group is dedicated to all phases of outdoor preservation, conservation and safe & ethical hunting and fishing activity.
I've been an avid Photographer since I was a kid, with a special interest in taking photos of historic sights and natural scenic beauty, airshows, baseball games and wildlife. Rarely do my photos include people, unless they are part of the "action" in a particular event or scene.
Other Comments: I was an ice hockey official for the local USA Hockey chapter from 1984 to 1998. I really enjoyed reffing, and it helped me stay in great shape for many years. The socializing with fellow officials after games, Refs Softball team, and group events were also fun. The new job with US Customs, and some long term nagging injuries finally forced me to give up reffing. Sometimes I really miss it.
And in October of 2007 I finally followed up on my one of my lifelong ambitions by earning my NAUI certification as a SCUBA diver. It's something I've always wanted to do, and should have done many years ago. Now I'm trying to make up for lost time with as many dives as I can get in. Hoping to add another "skydive" or two to my list of accomplisments as well. Don't ever give up on your dreams, and dont stop having fun!
I lost a pal in my Dad on 4-27-2012 at 0800. Cpl Frank Mottern USAAF (1943-1946) peacefully feathered his engines and "went west' He is loved and missed. He was given an nice sendoff with the Honor Guard from Niagara Falls Air Force Base, rendering "Military Honors'.
I have built an AF-TWS profile for him and became a "Family Member" at that side as well. Please look in on my Dads profile, if you are able as a "guest". its a work in progress as I try to dig up long buried info on Dads USAAF service.
I have recently assumed the "Administrator" role for the USS COD Unit Page here at NTWS. I have a long associoation history of visiting this decorated sub at Cleveland, Ohio. I hope to be able to update an decorate the page with photos. Please visit the CODS page as well as the other profiles Ive built for some special buddies and some Major League Baseball players.
Best Friends I went with the guys from my HS-1 SAR Class, Mike Kurtz, Steve Baugh, and Jeff Winters and some HS-1 student pilots.
Best Moment First was the end formation in the POW phase, when the US Flag unfurled from the "goon tower", and the Star Spangled Banner began to play. There was not a dry eye in the crowd.
Second, after the long bus ride to return to the base, the galley was kept open for our class. We were filthy dirty but they let us eat untill we could get no more in. Sliced roast beef never tasted so good.
Worst Moment After "capture" I was on the bottom of the heap as they stacked us like chordwood, and transported us over rough roads in a "deuce and a half". On top of me was a huge HS-1 student pilot Ens. Dane Pranke, who had played football at the Academy. I was winded when we got to the camp compound, couldnt breath under the weight of all those guys laying on top of me.
Chain of Command CDR Walter Coffman, OINC, FASOTRAGRULANT, DET NAS Brunswick, ME
Other Memories It was mid June, still cold in upper Maine. The water in the springs was like melting snow. We had to get into "the peoples pond" and do jumping jacks and pushups ect while the "goons" in uniforms similar to RUSSCOMMS taunted us. We all started to go into hypothermia before we left the pond.
One of the "goon" interogators held me against a wall and "shotgunned" me with a long stemmed pipe that contained the worlds foulest tobacco. I swear he was smoking shredded burlap or old socks infected with foot fungus. Aggghhhhhhhhh. .
After that great meal at the galley, I peeled those POW cloths off, then stood in a hot shower for I dont know how long. The clothing felt like it was full of dark beach sand, and smelled like that foul tobbacco smoke.
During a break from our class debrief, a USAF F-111 made a stop at Brunswick. This was the only time I ever saw one of these impressive aircraft flying.