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 Tom Hayes, Joe Brill, Greg Nash, Barry Sarchett, Larry Bryant, Donnie Lepper, Sam Davis, Charlie Russell, Ken Muller. All good guys! Still in contact with most of these guys.
Best Moment It became a real adventure for me. Going to sea the first time on USS America. Seeing the MED, crossing the equator. Also qualifiing as a "First Crewman".
Worst Moment 1. Having to fly home from Palma, Mallorca SP, when my newborn daughter was ill.
2. A near mid-air collison with a P-3 Orion from NAS Pax River MD. Our two bird flight had launched from AMERICA to MEDEVAC a shipmate to NRMC Portsmouth. After we dropped the casualty, we refueled at NAS Oceana for the trip back to the ship. About five miles from the ship the pilots of both helos had to take sudden evasive action as the P-3 came out of a low cloud bank. It was as close a call as I ever had in 14 years of flight time. The incident made "Grampaw Pettibones" column in Navair News.
Chain of Command Some good ones! AWC Ken Muller and AWC Larry Bryant as AW shop Chiefs. LT Mike Murray (Later CO of HS-5) and LT Joe Sheehan as Div officers. LCDR Pete Blackwood and LCDR Dave Hallenbeck as Safety Officers. The OPs Officer LCDR George Wilson was later the CO of HS-9. CO's were CDRs Dale Brown, Giles Thompson, and Andrew Grannuzzo (Later RADM) as COs. My last XO was CDR Bob Hanke = THE BEST!
Other Memories Fond memories of my first sea unit! Oh to be young again and live it all over. I'd appreciate it more.
HS-15 won the Captain Arnold J.Isbelle Trophy in 1977 for ASW Excellence.