Senior Connections Senior Connections Jan 2019 - Page 3

an Air Force, a Marine, and I’m particularly proud of that part.” Holmes, an Army Reservist who joined the Waverly Post after moving here from Virginia, said, “I was particularly impressed with the way the Post operates here, and particularly with the ceremonial function we serve here. To give you an idea, Judd mentioned the funerals . . . that would be our primary role.” Holmes brought out a photo of graveside military honors the Post conducted during the spring blizzard last April. In a document he prepared for a publication honoring the centennial of the American Legion, Holmes wrote, “The most unique attribute of Waverly Post 305 is that we are proudly unconventional in our dress. We wear our original service uniforms with our last rank insignia and decorations for all parades and funeral services. “This must not be considered as an affront to the Legion or Legion decorum; rather, it is a tribute to our veterans from each of the fi ve services who have served before us. We honor not only the men and women who have served, but also the individual services that have played a large role in who we are today. We believe that we are all the better for our time in service – even if that service was sometimes terrifying, or painful, or nonsensical. We learned from it, Sergeant Ken Borrell (right) stands on the left wing of a KC135, prepar- and we believe that we had a part in protecting ing for a weather evacuation from Okinawa in 1968. this great nation. All of that said, we respect all veterans who may not share these views. “We have no fi rm proof of exactly why our Post chose to wear original service uniforms, but when WWI was fi nished, our Legion members chose to proudly display their military uniforms in all military last rites, holidays, or other events where an honor guard was requested or needed. This tradition was upheld after WWII, and again after Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf wars.” Each of the four veterans went on to share recollections of his individual military service. in electronics at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS, eventually serving in Japan and Okinawa, “taking care of B52s and the KC135 tankers.” Borrell “would go on weather evacs when the typhoons would come into Okinawa. We would have to get on a plane and take all our maintenance equipment to Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand.” One particularly memorable weather evac required Borrell to complete an emergency, in- fl ight repair of a radar unit. He explained, “The crew chief wanted to know where the radar guy was, and that was me. They had me go up front. The radar had gone out, so they could no longer see the clouds ahead of them. They were basically fl ying blind through this thunderstorm. It was a pretty wild ride.” Discussions with the navigator determined that it was likely a module had gone out. Repairs required Borrell to take the replacement module and “crawl down over the wheel-well and back up in front of the nose wheel. He described the adventure, “I’ve got headphones on . . . and I’m right below the pilot and co-pilot. It was so loud, even with the earphones on, the rain hitting the fuselage, it was deafening. I took the top of the thing off and took the module out and replaced it. When I was down there, sometimes I’d be holding on to the [module] thing, I’d be bouncing back and forth a foot each way, just because the plane was skidding and bouncing.” While stationed in Okinawa, Borrell witnessed the use of some unusual, secret aircraft, such as the SR71, which “is Strategic Reconnaissance. It goes Mach 3.2. It could actually outrun SAM (surface-to-air) missiles.” Dave Holmes Dave Holmes joined the Army Reserves in 1957, spending most of his nine years of service stateside with Army Intelligence. He began his service training in light infantry, and later moved to “heavy weapons – infantry.” In college, Holmes was with the division artillery unit headquarters battery, where he was the intelligence sergeant, later joining the strategic intelligence unit at the university. Dave Remer was drafted in September 1968, completing basic training at Ft. Campbell, KY, and advanced infantry training at Ft. Lewis, WA. He was then sent to Ft. Benning, GA for three months of NCO (non-commissioned offi cer) training with the Rangers, where he became, in his words, “a shake-and-bake: an instant sergeant,” and subsequently spent one year as a sergeant in the infantry in Vietnam. Judd Meyer Ken Borrell In 1964, Ken Borrell joined the Air Force at age 18 and trained at Lackland Sergeant David Remer displays an AK47 rifl e captured from a North Vietnamese Air Force Base. He went to tech school captain early in 1970. Senior Connections HJ.COM Dave Remer Senior Judd Meyer, an Iraq War veteran, enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1988, and completed his AIT (advanced individual training) at Ft. Benning, GA. Continuing service in the Guard, More LEGION on Pg 7 Connections January 2019 3