We Support Our Military

Ellen (Lutter) Petersen, Executive Editor
Last update: July 19, 2009
This page is for our alumni and readers to share stories and updates about their loved ones who are currently serving or have served in the Military. Please contact Ellen.

   "Maxine's comments On Our Troops"

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From Herb Bradley, Class of '59 THS:

My son, Robert, is stationed at an Airbase about 160 miles north of Baghdad. The nearest town is Tikret - Saddam's hometown. Rob is involved in some type of Information analysis and that's all I know. He has a wife back in Kansas near his home base Ft. Riley. He expects to make Sergeant early next year (2008).

Update from Herb Bradley on 7/6/08

My son Robert will be returning to the States from Iraq in December to where is stationed at Ft. Riley, Kansas.  Before returning he will have made Sergeant which is scheduled to happen this month of July.

Update from Herb Bradley on 8/7/08

On August 6, 2008 Herbert wrote to say, "My son Rob sent this message and pictures upon being promoted to Sergeant in Iraq."

Part of Rob's message to his dad added, "On August 1st I was promoted to Sergeant after saying I was going to, for a while.

I have attached a few pictures of the promotion ceremony...

I have roughly 92-123 days or so left [so]  it won't be much longer until I am back home."

Update from Herb Bradley on 11/20/2008

This is my son Robert and his wife Jenn upon his returning from a 15 month tour of duty in Iraq. His home base is in Kansas but in late March he is being assigned to the Pentagon working for the Intelligence Defense Agency.

When A Soldier Comes Home

Ellen Lutter Petersen '60, the Executive Editor of this We Support Our Military article would like you to please take a look at this.

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The Final Flight

The true story of the Final Flight of a fallen hero, contributed by the Deveaux & Cornish families.

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If I Die Before You Wake

A Tribute to our troops overseas, contributed by SSGT Jessica J Girard.

We Will Never Forget.

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Hi Folks,

My name is Chris Lally Haag, Class of '65. Ed Ogilvie and myself were co-chairman of our 40 th reunion . My brother Brent Lally graduated from T.H.S.  in 1960, and my late brother Alfred "Oss" Lally graduated from Tottenville in 1954. I have been married to my husband Mark "Chip" Haag 1963 for 40 years.

It is my pleasure to forward this information on to you about my brother-in-law Matt Haag. Matt graduated THS in 1978. We are so proud of his accomplishments.

Have a great weekend!

Chris Lally Haag'65


From Paul Piper, THS '65:

This is my son, SRA Paul Quinston (named after his great grandfather) Piper, (United States Air Force) and my aunt Jenny Truley.

We just call him "Q." Paul is due to ship out to Qatar shortly.

Paul Quinston Piper is a Staff Sgt...to be final in April '06.

Paul '65 states the following:  "I still tease my son,  Paul Quinston, calling him "Buck Private". LOL 

Even though he is same rank as Jessica, I mess with him by telling him that Jessica was made senior before him."

Update from Paul '65 about 'Q" dated 7/5/2008

Finally my son, 'Q' will be promoted from Sgt to Tech Sgt.  He has been stationed in the Pentagon since February.  He'll be able to sew his new stripes on next year at about this time.  I thought once he got his promotion he'd be upgraded the same year, but I guess this is the way the military does things.





Meanwhile (see below)


SRA Jessica Girard (United States Air Force), Q's girlfriend, stationed in Iraq right now:


"Me, drinking fake beer at work.

See, I can find it anywhere!!"


Jessica Girard is now a Staff Seargent in the US Air Force!



"This is my crew. The guy in the uniform is James and the guy in the civies is Josh, the other girl is Misty. These are the people I work with and hang out with. Notice the Hooters girls on the TV (I just noticed them myself). We have good times and we are all hanging in there."


A recent email Jessica sent home (unedited):

Well I am here and it's not so bad! The showers are shitty and getting food is a problem once in a while, but besides that, things are not what you would expect. We have not had any attacks although the people who have been here for a while say we are due. I am not worried. My job here is really interesting; I am again talking to aircraft and we are right in front of the flight line. We can see all the choppers doing their little operations and the planes landing, so it's quite interesting. I will take loads of pictures. The toilets are in tents and we have to walk up stairs to get to them and instead of a door it is a piece of canvas so that when you sit down your knees hit it! It's kind of funny if that wasn't what you were using for ninety days! Oh well it's good fun and an experience I will not forget! The people I work with seem OK; we will see with time, I guess. Umm, what else? I want to hear from you - write a lot and if you want to send letters that would be great. My address is:

An email from Jessica, dated 4/4/04 to Paul: "Well, just know I am OK and tell Quin too if you can.  We were just hit really bad and really close."


Next email, 4/7/04:


"I do not know how good everyone is on their geography but I suck at it so here is a little help for all of us:




Once you have the (above) page open, rest your mouse cursor on the map and wait a moment or two - you should see a zoom control pad appear (depending upon what browser you're using - works fine in IE). Click in the middle of the control pad to enlarge the map.


Not all people deployed are in Iraq and now you can see how forces are spread to support both Afghanistan and Iraq. Show this to your kids and make sure they understand.


When the news refers to Baghdad, I am not directly in the city; I am about 5 miles out and there are other towns that you can see.


Also, Al Udied in Qatar is where Quin is and Tommy is also in Qatar but he is in Doha. This may help, I do not know."


Next update about "Q" from Paul Piper, '65 is dated July 19, 2009


On June 30, 2009 there was a ceremony at the Pentagon for my son "Q" on the occasion of his being promoted to TSgt.  The promotion went into effect on July 1, 2009.


The day of the ceremony, Paul took some pictures, three of which follow.


'Q's sister, 'Q', & their father Paul


Paul's son 'Q' in uniform


Paul and his son, 'Q'


From Brian R. Cunningham, THS '74:




An update from Brian Cunningham, THS '74 in Jan. 2006 included this information:





My son is U.S. Army Sgt. Patrick Brian Cunningham of the 1st Armored Division. He was in Kuwait and then went to Baghdad where they encountered heavy fighting en-route to the city. Patrick had even slept in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces.  He was nominated for the Bronze Star, and is now safely "stateside" and with his wife Cindy, and their two year old son, Lucas. These are two photos of him in his desert gear.


















These four pictures are of my 2nd son, Daniel.  Daniel is in the U.S. Army and also served in Iraq.


This last update from Brian Cunningham, THS '74 from February 2007 included this information.  Pictures may follow:

Both my sons, Daniel and Patrick left the U.S. ARMY last summer (2006).  My son Patrick has moved with his wife Cyndi and their son Lucas to Huntsville, Alabana.  My youngest son Daniel has moved to Newport News, Virginia and is engaged to a very nice girl, Chrissy.  They plan to get married in March 2008!

Update from Brian Cunningham '74, dated 7/5/2008

My son Daniel got married to Chrissy Tomba of Dumfries VA this past March (2008).  Daniel & Chrissy now reside in Chesapeake, VA


From Steve Jakubowski, THS '62 and his wife Linda (Ost) Jakubowski, THS '62:   Updated on July 7, 2008  at end of this 1st entry.


Our oldest son Jason, on his wedding day with Robyn.  Jason was a Navy F/A-18 fighter pilot who was lost returning from a mission over Iraq in 1997. He was a 1993 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. Jason's wife was Robyn Robinson, daughter of Robbie Robinson, THS '60.

Robbie and I are still very close friends after some 45 years. Jason was just 26 years old and he is missed every single day.

Our second son is Eric, a 1995 graduate of the Naval Academy and a Marine Corps Major (select).  He too is an F/A-18 fighter pilot and returned last May from flying many combat missions over Iraq during the war. Eric is pictured in uniform, and also flying over Iraq in his F/A-18.  He and his wife Shelly have a 6 month old (and our only grandchild) named Madison.


Our third son Ryan was Class of '99 at the Naval Academy and has since left the navy. He works now as a civilian contractor for the Navy at Pax River Naval Air Station in southern Maryland.

His work is top secret but what he does will help catch Usama bin Laden.

Ryan is still a single guy.


Our fourth son is Jared, a 2003 graduate of the Naval Academy and, like his two older brothers, hopes to be flying F/A-18's off aircraft carriers as well.  He's currently in Texas going through naval flight officer school. This picture was his graduation day last May, with Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld on the far left.

Jared also a single guy.



And finally I thought I'd throw in a picture of Linda and I in the cockpit of a Boeing-777 so our friends can see how Father Time has taken his toll. This was my retirement and last flight after 37 years at United Airlines.

A big hello to all the THS alumni. So sorry we missed the '62 fashionably late reunion last year.  I had a good excuse. Compound fracture of both bones and ankle in the left leg.  A great way to kick off retirement, wouldn't you say?

July 7, 2000 Update

You asked if I would update our son's experiences for the last few years since placing them on the military page of the Trumpet so here you go.

Jason has been gone now for almost eleven years. He was flying a low level mission during "OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH" on the 14 of September 1997. He was in a narrow canyon known to navy pilots as "Star Wars Canyon" for it's resemblance to the flying scenes at the start of the movie. Although I have the full report of the incident, we'll never know what really happened as he was alone. We are forever grateful to the navy seal teams that did recover his remains and brought him home to us. He is interned at The Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD which is less that thirty minutes from our home. It is there he devoted his life to service to his country. It was there he was married and it was there that he is buried. We cannot adequately express the loss to our family. His wife of two years, Robyn (daughter of Robbie Robinson THS '60) has since remarried and has two children. We stay very close.

Eric is now a Major in the Marine Corps and is also an F-18 fighter pilot. He recently completed his third tour of Iraq flying off the aircraft carrier "USS Nimitz". If you happened to see the PBS special called "Carrier" that aired in April & May of 2008, then you saw Eric in many of scenes as the film crew followed him and others around for the entire six months they were gone. While in the Persian Gulf his wife Shelly went into premature labor and gave birth to twins Justin & Joshua three months early. It took forty hours to get him home to San Diego but tragically Joshua did not survive. In less that a month he was back in the war. I think only military families really understand the sacrifices that this country requires of them. Happily, Justin seems to be coming along and they have relocated to his new duty station in Hawaii where they'll spend the next three years. I should mention that three years ago, a little guy name Drew also came along for them as well.




                                 I'll try to include a picture of Eric and his daughter Maddy at her father/daughter dance and maybe a picture of his entire family. 

Ryan (no picture here) has left the navy and has been working as an independent contractor in the building trades and remains in the Annapolis area. Although his degrees are in Systems & Electrical engineering, he wasn't happy working mostly indoors with computers. He's a happy camper now and we're happy to have him close by. He's still single.


                                                                                                                   Jared & Katie

Jared did earn his wings as a naval aviator but unfortunately for him there were no jet slots available for his class so he didn't get to follow his brothers and fly the F-18 as he hoped. He has been flying the P-3 for the last three years based in Jacksonville, FL with a tour of duty in Iraq as well. He just returned from his second deployment, this time to Central America and Italy, which let his Mom & Dad sleep a lot better. He's a full Lieutenant in the navy now and looks like he'll be staying in Jacksonville and instructing other pilots learning to fly the P-3, which looks like a four engine airliner. He's still single but I'll send along a picture of him in his "dress whites" and his long time girlfriend Katie.

Hope this is what you wanted. Give our best to all of you who do the work.

Steve & Linda (Ost) Jakubowski (THS '62)


From Terry DeVeaux (cousins of Ellen '60).  They also are Trumpet readers:

Our son Chris (center) is training to be a Loadmaster with the new C-130J.  After all of his training, he will be traveling all over.  The C130 is used for transport of troops, supplies, equipment and also humanitarian supply drops for civilians.


Lou DeVeaux pinning Chris' wings on.  He is one of a small percentage of air crew that earn their wings, so this is special for that reason and also for the privilege of having his Dad pinning him. 


Update from Terry DeVeaux about her husband Lou, dated 7/5/2008

Lou remains on active duty, but stateside and no current overseas plans.  He is a Master Sgt now with the Maryland Air National Guard, public Affairs.


Letter from Staff Sgt. Chris DeVeaux: after 6/6/05 ...


Deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom

By Staff Sgt. Chris DeVeaux

Loadmaster 135th Airlift Squadron


   Deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on 6 June 2005 was not unique for me.  I have deployed on missions several times before.

   What made this deployment different was the fact that this was the first time I would be flying real-world combat missions.

   Leaving home is not easy, leaving behind loved ones is always hard but my family and friends were all very supportive. 

   I think all of us leaving that day felt that our families knew we were playing a part in helping to change the world into a better place.

   Flying in our own plane, the C-130J, was special to all of us. 

   More important was flying as a “hard crew”.   This meant the aircrew that left Martins State Airport that day flew together for the entire deployment.  

   Our aircrew consisted of Lt. Col. Joseph Llewellyn, aircraft commander, Major Gordon Kinney, copilot, Senior Master Sgt. Mark Gupton, loadmaster superintendent and myself.

   Being able to fly with them, all having combat experience, gave me the advantage of many years of knowledge to build upon.

   Our staging base was Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, home to the United States Central Command Air Force Headquarters.

   Our typical workday lasted roughly 15 hours depending upon the actual mission.

   While the work hours may have seemed repetitious the missions most certainly weren’t.  

   My first combat mission was into Iraq flying troops and medical supplies into Balad Air Base, Iraq.  From there we bounced around the country picking up and moving “opportune” cargo.  Before heading back to Al Udeid, we landed at Baghdad International for fuel.

   For me, it seemed a little weird because just a few days earlier I was sitting at home in my apartment watching the news coverage of Baghdad and now, I was here.  I thought to myself, while most of my friends are in college, I am here helping to support our troops in the most direct way possible.

   Moving troops into and out of theatre of operations was one of the more uplifting parts of the job. 

   These guys were doing the real fighting and it never seemed to matter how tired they were, they always had a smile on their face knowing the “hercs” were coming to get them. 

   Although being a loadmaster is challenging and every time I would think about how tough the job could be, I would remember that my job was not nearly as tough as the soldiers on the ground. 

   With that in mind our aircrew would do whatever it took to help them.

   Roughly half way through our deployment we were tasked with taking 40 Armenian National Army soldiers home to Armenia. 

   This was the first time for their troops to be deployed to Iraq and it was the first time for a C-130J to fly into their country.  

   It was quite an experience.  I spent a little over four hours of flight time trying to communicate with our passengers.  It was quite comical.

   All kidding aside, the looks on their faces as they returned home broke through all lines of communication. 

   Our landing in Armenia was met by a full contingent of high-ranking officers and state officials.  The Armenians treated us like long lost cousins.

   Refueling did add a little adventure to the trip.  The driver spoke no English and the fuel truck looked like a vintage 1940s vehicle.

   Through the entire tour, heat was a major factor.  Temperatures during the day would average somewhere between 110 and 135 degrees.  Mixed with haze, humidity and the occasional dust storm, working conditions could go from bad to worse. 

   On the plus side, the aircrews bonded, learning to depend on each other.

   Our missions were not limited to OIF; on occasion we supported Operation Enduring Freedom.

   Most of the OEF missions were unique because we were landing on dirt airstrips at forward deployed Army locations.  

   Making the landings interesting was we were landing on a very unfamiliar flat cleared strip of ground, just long enough for the C-130J to land and take off.

   Because we were so busy, each day passed quickly making the calendar irrelevant.  Before we knew it, it was time to rotate home.

   As good as it felt to be contributing, going home was the best feeling in the world.

   According to my parents, Master Sgt. Lou DeVeaux and my mother Terry, the return fly-over at Martins State Airport by Lt. Col. Cory Lunt was spectacular.  They said everyone on the ground felt it was an extraordinary sight.

   No matter how many times I deploy, seeing the flags flying, yellow ribbons everywhere and the families eagerly waiting for hugs, gives me a level of pride that is impossible to explain. 

   All in all, this was a great experience, one that I will never forget.

From Terry DeVeaux: on 8/22/05...

"Chris just returned from Quatar.  He will probably return overseas later in the Fall, but is home for some additional training.  Here are two photos.  He looks great and continues to tell me how much our presence is appreciated when he meets the local people."



From Terry DeVeaux: Dec. or Jan. 2006 ...


"Chris came home safely on Dec. 10th and is busy starting classes back at Towson.  He will be continuing training missions for the Air Guard while attending his classes.  His goal is to become a pilot.  We are very proud of him."


Update from Terry DeVeaux dated 7/5/2008

Chris is discharged out of the military after serving his six years and several overseas tours.  He is back with us now but doing well.

FROM;  Connie Scozzare (Cook) '67 THS  Updated: Jan. 2006

My husband, Matthew, is on active duty in the Air Force, currently stationed at Offutt AFB in Bellevue, Nebraska.  We have just recently been transferred to Offutt (Nov. '05).  This unexpected relocation was due to Hurricane Katrina. 

Matthew was stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS.  He is a Technical Sgt. and was working as an Instruction Supervisor.  The base hospital and medical center [at Keesler] were flooded. We have four adopted special needs children so we were moved to a facility with adequate medical care for them. So here we are!!

Matt's been in the Air Force for 14 years.  He started his AF career in Colorado Springs, Co. He was then sent to Hickam AFB in Hawaii for 8 years (where he and I met). Praise God he has not had to go overseas.


Update from Connie dated 7/5/08

My husband (Mathew Cook) found out this past Thursday that he made rank and will promoted to Master Sgt. in January!!!  This is a HUGE blessing for our family.