As some of you know I was a Marine for 20 years and along the way I met some great people, who one way or another touched my life.
Pat Mangan, from NYC, of Irish extraction, great athlete, Pat was a mentor of mine in the Loadmaster field, as well in life. He was funny, gregarious, He could charm anyone. Pat should have been the Mayor of a town, everyone who met him liked him. We spent time around the world together, in times of war and in peace, we had fun and we were friends. Pat was one of a kind, bold and forthright, smart and funny. Pat was the kind of guy who could find friends in anyplace in the world, between he and I we became friends with owner of a hotel in Crete during our time there in the late 90's and he gave us free reign with the kitchen, and one morning we were making omelets and made to order eggs for the guests staying in the hotel, people from all over, French, German, English, and one guy with his family who was attached to the US embassy in Athens. Needless to say we were a hit with the people staying there. I miss Pat for his love of Life and his friendship.
Pat rests now in Arlington Cemetery. Fair winds and following seas. " The longest road out is the shortest road home" Semper Fidelis
Steven Bryson "Peabo"
Peabo, a great guy, a courtly gentlemen who enriched every life he touched. Funny, smart, kind man, who knew the intricate systems of the KC-130 Hercules like no others. The last time I saw Peabo was 1999 and it was a difficult time for me, I was on detachment to Crete, and I got a Red Cross message notifying me that my Grandfather has passed away, so I was hopping military planes back to the states to go to the furneral, when I got stranded in Rota Spain, I had to wait for 24 hours for the next plane to the states, and of course there were no rooms at billeting so i was faced with 24 hours at the terminal sleeping on the concrete floor, when I decided to go to the PX and get a few things to help pass the time, there I ran into Peabo and his crew who were there on a training mission and would be there for a few days. They asked me what I was doing there and I explained to them, (we were in different squadrons at the time, the Marine KC-130 community is so small, that we all know each other) and Peabo offered me the use of the spare bed in his room and spent the night talking with me to keep my mind off of my recent tragedy. A few years later, Peabo and several other Marines, some I knew and some i did not died in a crash in Afghanistan. Peabo and the others rest in Arlington Cemetery, not to far away from Pat. Semper Fidelis! Fair Winds and following seas!
Mike Hoffman "Hoffdaddy"
Mike, reminds me so much of myself when i was younger, but he was smarter, and not a pain in the A$$ like I was. Mike was a strong self-starter and a dynamic person. He was the guy you wanted on your side in any situation. He loved the Tampa Bay Buccaneers! For awhile it seemed like Mike was following me around, If I was at a duty station, before long Mike was there too. First the C-9's, then 252, then 152, finally after I retired , Mike was at 452, my last duty station, and unfortunatley his. Mike was talented artist, I carry a piece of his art with me everyday, Mike drew the shark that I have tattooed on my right calf. It is a constant reminder of my friend. Mike was a devoted husband and father to his two lovely little girls. Mike is missed by many people, for his laughter, his friendship and that smile, the one with the chaw of tobacco usually lurking somewhere. Mike rests in a military cemetary now too. Fair winds and following seas! Semper Fidelis