Petty Officer 2nd Class/ABE2
Served on catapult crew of the USS Hancock CVA-19 V-2 Division from 1970 to 1973 in support of Vietnam War. The Hancock made three deployments to the Gulf of Tonkin and the South China Sea, and launched dozens of fighter and attack aircraft every day while "on the line" at Yankee and Zulu Station.
Memory: "During the first deployment, we launched airstrikes that supported the first attempt to free POWs held in North Vietnam. The Russians kept an eye on what we were doing through overflights by their 'Big Bear' reconnaissance aircraft, which we always greeted with a couple of F-8 fighter 'escorts.' The third deployment witnessed the end of the Vietnam War, and we were ordered back to home port in Alameda, Calif., but another crisis was looming.
"Sailing between the Philippines and Hawaii, we were ordered to make a 180-degree turn in the middle of the night, rearm all of our aircraft and proceed to the Persian Gulf as a show of strength and commitment to Israel at the start of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. We conducted flight operations every day in the Persian Gulf for three months.
"During the time I was in the Navy, I lived in Brooklyn, N.Y., my hometown. I was transferred to Omaha with some trepidation when I became an FBI agent in 1984. After three years, I was ordered back to New York City. After a five-year period in the New York office, I transferred back to Omaha in 1992, this time willingly because we all really missed life in Nebraska!
"In 2007, after retirement from the FBI, I went back into the combat zone, this time to eastern Afghanistan for 15 months as an embedded civilian adviser to 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division. We helped to integrate civilians into the law enforcement functions in the combat environment."