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.
Built by New York Navy. Laid down 1 July 1955, launched 6 June 1958, commissioned 10 Jan 1959. Redesignated as a multimission carrier (CV 62) 28 February 1973. after being modified to operate ASW aircraft. SLEP at Philadelphia Navy Yard 4/1985 to mid-1988.
Replaced Midwayas forward-deployed carrier in Japan, 1991. Island was extensively enlarged during SLEP and other modernizations. Replaced by Kitty Hawk in July 1998 and decommissioned to reserve on 30 September 1998. Struck from the Navy list on 8 March 2004.
Status:Stricken, to be disposed of (Maintenance Category X).
Planned disposition:In April 2004 Navy officials identified ex-Independence as one of 24 decommissioned ships available to be sunk as artificial reefs. As of February 2008, however, she was scheduled to be dismantled in the next five years.
Best Moment Getting to spend a week off the ship while acting as a guest helicopter crewman for the Canadian DDH HMCS ATHABASKAN (DDH-282). These guys knew how to go to sea! I was sorry I had to go back to INDY.
Worst Moment Burning my hand on an exposed hot water pipe, OUCH!!
Chain of Command Captain Thomas Watson was CO when I was aboard.
Other Memories We had a real GQ for a serious fire while in GITMO. I was never really "at home" on INDY. I had four different racks in six months. I finally settled in and was welcomed in the squadrons First Class berthing. Not enough racks in the regular coop. They called me a "lifer" anyway, it was no issue.
I took a few days leave when we pulled into Fort Lauderdale FL in mid March 79. I stayed with some realatives. I saw several Spring Training baseball games at the Rangers and Yankees complexes. This was living for a baseball fan like me!
I took the realatives out to the ship to view the Marines do the "Sunset Parade", very impressive! Seeing my elderly realatives, the Beachguard Officer let me take them in the more comfortable Officers launch. Once on the hanger deck I got the old folks seated then took a spot behind the guests. We started smelling smoke. Much to my chagrin, it was my guests who decided to light up while watching the parade. They were highly offended that most of the ship was off limits for a smoke.
I was able to see a near flyby by a RUSSCOMM TU-95 Bear, escorted by F-4's from Indy! I also spent a day underway aboard USS Tattnall DDG-19, training the ships deck crew in proper helicopter transfer Ops.