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, Steve Murdock, Jim Belles, Bob Ross, Bob Park, Chuck Pierce, Bob Church, Scott Markham, Ray Barren, Chuck Goeble, Jerry Lach, Tom Valdez, Joe Markulietz. Many more, too numerous to count!
Best Moment Many! Qualling as SS-3 Blue card Holder for the squadron! With a lousy civillian job I really was a "somebody" at VP-93. I drilled as often as I could! I was a "Sailor of the Quarter" in 1992. Two trips to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii in 86 and 87 also rank as great memories.
Worst Moment Not making Chief, several times! Having the squadron decommissioned. Very Sad!
Chain of Command Some of the Best! My personal favorites of the bunch: Capt George Fusko, Capt Paul Wilhelm, Capt Howard Rundell, Capt Pat Peterson, Cdr Steve Ihrig, Capt Rod Carlone and Capt Chris Cluster. The last XO CDR G. Don Steele, was my CO in VP-64 after 93 was decommed, and later promoted to Captain. I had two great PPC's CDR Rod Carlone on Crew 6, and CDR Roger Bentlage on Crew 10. Both later made Captain. Carlone was also CO of VP-93. Bentlage was CO of VP-64 after I retired.
Other Memories Pleasant Summer nights watching baseball games at Tiger Stadium after drills. DETing twice to NAS Barbers Point Hawaii, and twice to NAS Whidbey Island WA. Numerous DETs to operate out of NAS Bermuda, NAS Jax, and NAS Roosevelt Roads PR. Also did numerous DETs to NAS Key West FL, and NAS Brunswick ME, and NAS Rota Spain. One airlift home to Buffalo Airport after a drill weekend was memorable. As we landed hard there was a loud "BANG". The breaking seemed normal, but a taxiing airliner told the tower we were dragging a shredded tire. The mainmount tire had blown on landing. Needing to kill some time I figured feeding my shipmates would work. My mother was always willing to assist. She arrived with her big old nine passenger Chevy station wagon. I asked her to drive us to Ottos Resturaunt near the airport. The crew loaded up on wings and beers awaiting a relief plane to get them home to NAF Detroit. My mother said she enjoyed the chance to dine out with a large group of Navy men. The squadron had to make arrangements to tow two C-130 jacks from Niagara Falls AFB, to help accomplish the tire change at the Prior Aviation FBO. Priors jacks were not large enough for a P-3. On CAC-10s DET trip To NAS Sigonella in June 93, we flew carrying live weapons, a first in my flying career. This was in anticipation of a Serb controlled sub going seaward toward the CVN-71 BG. We were locked up by Serb missile control radars on close coastal passes. It was some intense flying. I would have drilled in this unit untill I was forced to retire. I loved this Squadron, it was like a family for allmost 10 years. Still is! Our last aircraft LH-02 is the focal point of our VP-93 Alumni Association at the Selfridge Air Museum.