LZ Lakehawk: Local Vets Share Their Adventures – Daily Commercial | Gmx Pharm

Good Sunday morning Lakehawkers!

Your humble ink-slinger thought he knew about all the “good deals” available to young Americans who serve a tenure — or longer — in our nation’s garb.

More LZ Lakehawk:Packwood is gifting Combat Café original Dickson art

Greeting:Hippler now hunts hurricanes, flies heavy transporters after his USAF career

But give credit to the quota-driven professionals who practice “talent management” for those who raise their right paws to do duty in the warrior trade.

In case you missed the July 10th article on Eustis’ true “Hippler squadron,” Colonel Chuck and Miss Rose-Marie’s eldest son make quite an appearance – while he was enrolled at UF:

Kent Hippler was sworn in as a Corporal 1st Class (just one rank below “Chief”, y’all) and received full pay and allowances on the active duty rate while studying nuclear engineering.

The Navy also threw in a cash bonus; and two short years later Ensign Kent Hippler sailed the Seven Seas and completed an additional year (graduate level) training at the Nuclear Power School.

Family friend and Air Force brat Shak Robinson, a Navy captain and a high-ranking “streaker” when he attended the Naval Academy, was recently selected to be an Olmstead Scholar – another competitive opportunity in our military.

That means he has been in the mufti (civilian clothes) for three years, studies in a foreign language and is doing his doctorate – in Mexico City.

Oh, we taxpayers get it back.

You might someday see “Colonel Robinson” or maybe “Brigadier General Robinson” on TV tapes giving advice to, for example, the Secretary of State or maybe the President’s National Security Advisor.

Eustis' Lt. Col. Aaron Parks, who currently commands an infantry battalion at Fort Carson, Colorado, already has a Ph.D.  thanks to his selection for a prestigious army program.

At the very least, that’s similar to the career of a battle-hardened naval artillery officer named Lt. Col. Bud McFarlane, an Olmstead graduate who later became Ronald Reagan’s NSA after serving as Henry Kissinger’s military aide while on active duty.

Or Army General John Abizaid, the first Olmstead scholar to study Arabic (at the University of Jordan), years before his four-star assignment as head of US Central Command in Tampa.

You might rightly surmise that a commissioned officer’s experience is a helpful asset to such programs (which also include fellowships with respected organizations like the Foreign Affairs Counsel, internships with major corporations, and hand-picked foreign warfare college enrollments with our allies). France, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands and many others).

Navy Capt. Shak Robinson (centre), Olmstead Scholar.  He enjoyed a previous international sabbatical in Central and South America.

Each of our armed forces offers a way to earn those gold bars as a second lieutenant or ensign – often with a college degree, including possible enrollment in America’s service academies.

A very recent connection to the life of a mustang (military slang for a former warrior promoted to the officer ranks) is Altoona’s Ens. Loanna Torrance, US Coast Guard Reserve.

For Loanna, it’s in her bloodlines: Her father is LZ LAKEHAWK’s own chaplain Bob Haines, a retired Navy Lieutenant Commander who served on the enlisted side in Vietnam, was drafted into the Army during his college and seminary years and – shortly before his Twilight Career – deployed with a Marine Corps light armored infantry battalion for Operation Desert Storm.

The late Eustis naval pilot David Walker achieved national fame as a NASA astronaut.

BRAVO ZULU, Ensign Torrance!

Well, it’s easy to see that we’ll soon have to return to the “good deals” — or as Hawk’s Director of Flight Ops would put it, “cool deals” — theme of military service.

Lake and Sumter are replete with examples of these lofty opportunities being achieved and taken down, including an astronaut’s quarters (the late Captain David Walker, USN); a spot on a flight demonstration team (Mount Dora’s resident Blue Angel pilot, Wayne Molnar); and Eustis Panther star scholar and athlete Lt. Col. Aaron Parks, who now has an Army-funded PhD under his belt (not to mention multiple combat deployments and current battalion command at Fort Carson, Colorado.

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