Thursday, September 20, 2012

Celebrating America’s Heroes!


Our recent RV outing took us to Wichita Falls, Texas, to celebrate the NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) Induction Ceremony of Susan’s daughter, Senior Airman, Katherine Campbell.  It wasn’t that long ago that Katherine, or “K,” as I prefer to call her, was zooming around the campus of OCU on her rollerblades.  The Air Force has not yet let “K” zoom around the country in a T-38, but at the rate she’s advancing, it may not be long.

Katherine serves in the “82nd Medical Group,” but the base also is the home of “80th Flying Training Wing,” which flies both the T-6A Texan II (lower left) and the T-38C Talon (lower right). . . .

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Sheppard currently trains 350 student pilots and 150 instructor pilots. 

Katherine’s service to our country makes her family very proud, and we congratulate her has she sews on her 4th stripe identifying her as a “Staff Sergeant” in the U.S.A.F.  



Above, Katherine walks through the traditional crossed swords during induction ceremonies. 


Katherine receives her “Certificate of Achievement” from Brig. General Michael Fantini, 82nd Training Wing Commander.




Below, One Proud Mom!


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The night before we departed for Wichita Falls, Oklahoma City’s “Honor Flight” was scheduled to return to Will Rogers World Airport.  At 9:15 p.m., 104 WWII veterans returned from the 9th trip out of Oklahoma City to visit the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.  They also visited other war memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, and The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

Susan’s D.A.R. sisters assisted in the mass turnout of soldiers, friends, family, and supporters as our veterans departed the aircraft and entered the terminal . . . .


I had been to Sulphur for most of the day and exhausted after the 200-mile round trip, and I was first reluctant when Susan asked me to accompany her to the return of the Flight.  But once we arrived at the airport and entered the terminal, not only was I ashamed for my earlier reluctance, I was honored to be in the presence of men and women who helped make it possible for me to be a free American!   


While standing at the end of the line and greeting the veterans as they turned to enter the elevator, I noticed a well-postured man wearing aviator sunglasses.  I regret I didn’t get his name, or have more time to visit with him, but during our brief conversation I discovered he was a navel pilot during WWII and fought in the Pacific Theater.  Below, his daughter stands proudly beside her father while she holds a picture of him during his time of service.  


Of the 16-million Americans who served in WWII, about 3-million survive, and 60,000 reside in Oklahoma.  Thirty-seven states are affiliated with National Honor Flights, including Oklahoma, who raises about $100,000 for each flight.  When I consider the sacrifice these men and women gave for our country, it’s very little to ask of me, and you, to greet and celebrate our returning American Heroes, whenever the opportunity arises! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Texoma Adventure with Southern Oklahoma Sams


Susan and I spent the end of last week with our dear friends, the Southern Oklahoma Sams (SOS), at Ben’s Campground on Lake Texoma.  This was the first time I’ve visited the lake since the tornado of 1979, when I witnessed the boat dock at Catfish Bay Marina capsize and lose several boats.  The new marina is simply beautiful and the campground is a new destination find for Susan and me. 



A great place for a girl to walk her dog . . . .




We came into the park on Tuesday afternoon following Labor Day, and we were surprised to find so many vacant sites.  Several of the SOS group had already arrived and set up camp.


According to the park host, the original lodge was torn down several years ago and the new owner, Pointe Vista, has plans to build a new lodge in the area. 


The following picture is of Roosevelt Memorial Bridge.  During the stripper fishing frenzy of the late 1970’s, a much younger Jerry caught his fair share of 17-21 pound strippers under that bridge. 


SOS Treasurer, Arlena Cagle, lives nearby and offered us the use of her home to host a Mexican dinner for the group.  Arlena’s hospitality was most appreciated as I was concerned about serving food in the 105 degree temperatures.

Susan and co-host, Marlys Johnson, cutting up on the way to Arlena’s . . . .


After a fine dinner, the SOS group did what most RV chapters do . . . they played games!




Below, is a “clay pot man” situated in Arlena’s front yard . . . .


Susan and I wish to thank the SOS group for allowing us to be a part of their monthly campout, and we also want to thank Arlena for her warm hospitality in extending to us the use of her beautiful home.  We always enjoy visiting with this group and hope to do it again real soon! 

Metro Friendship Campout – 2012

The 2012 Metro Friendship Campout was held August 2-5 at The Citizen Potawatomi Campground in Shawnee, Oklahoma.


Hosted by the Oklahoma Assistant State Director of Good Sams for the Metro Area, Roy and Susan Scholl, “a good time was had by all!” 


A “Friendship Campout” is a rally wherein all Good Sam chapters from a specific region of the state come together for food, fun, games, and fellowship.  This year’s theme was “Mardigras,” and Roy and Susan went all out to decorate the facility for the event.




Roy even went so far as to decorate “himself.”


Not just once, but three times!



Sue Gelm was not about to let Roy show her up . . . .


Metro Area Sams began coming in early on Thursday . . . ,


and with the help of “The Modern Wagoneers,” Roy got registration under way . . . .


Susan Scholl produced and projected a fantastic review of last year’s event on the wall. 


Games are always a highlight of the event!



Lucky winners of Bean Bag Baseball and Bean Bag Toss were awarded prizes!



My Susan won the 50/50 drawing . . . YEA!


The women look forward to Susan Scholl’s annual line-dance class . . . .



Craft-making was also on this year’s agenda . . . .




The RV park is in close proximity to Fire Lake Grand Casino!  But,  we had better luck at the Friendship Campout games. 



We were proud to recognize Jim McGavock of Boomer Sams for being awarded the Good Sam “Spirit Award,” for his role as a “Good Samaritan” by helping others in need.    


Susan and I wish to thank Roy and Susan Scholl for the great time and all their efforts.  They sure know how to throw a party!