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President's Corner - December 2013

Howdy FTVA Members,

It's an honor and privilege to be elected as the FTVA President. I really appreciate the confidence that the selection committee had in me. I have been lucky enough to serve as the Vice President for the past four years under the out-going President, Lee Anthony. I have big shoes to fill. Lee has led the Association to unprecedented levels in membership, participation, involvement and support to the AF ISR Agency. He has encouraged the Board to strive to new heights; adding new Chapters, greater visibility with AFISRA Headquarters and our units in the field, plus the best finances in the history of the FTVA. Thanks Lee!

Our annual Reunion in September was another tremendous success, thanks to the great teamwork of the Agency's planning team led by Major Keith Rogers and our Board member sponsors. Under Joe Hurst's careful oversight, the golf outing was another success...nice weather, beautiful course, good food, and great camaraderie.

The Remembrance Ceremony was moving as always, added this year with the poignant tribute to our recent fallen heroes who died in a MC-12 crash in Afghanistan. Special recognition went to SSgt Richie Dickson, a member of our SOF unit at Beale AFB, whose family was present at the ceremony. The picnic followed with food, beverages, and the telling of a few...okay lots of war stories.

Saturday morning started on another high note when we added five new members to the Hall of Honor from the Decade of the 1990's including: MGen (Ret) Paul Dettmer, Mr Dennis Alvey, Ms Betsy Witt, CMSgt (Ret) Jesse Coultrap, and MSgt (Ret) John Armintrout. MGen Shanahan followed with an engaging and informative briefing on the status of the Agency. The Reunion festivities culminated that evening at the banquet. Gen Shanahan was the guest speaker and again gave a powerful speech discussing the five Hall of Honor inductees. All-in-all a great three-day event.

I want to encourage our membership to get involved, either here in San Antonio or in our Chapters spread across the country. A special shout out to our newest Chapter in Colorado. Barnie Gavin has done a super job gathering an energetic team of FTVA members that have already made an impact in the community. Jim Kaus and his ever-expanding membership in Florida has taken on the special task of supporting our SOF unit at Hurlburt. Our Chapter in California continues the special support of our units at Beale AFB. The Heritage Chapter in San Angelo has preached the word with a continuous flow of intel trainees at Goodfellow AFB since 1993. Our Chapter in paradise, a.k.a. Hawaii meets and supports our units there at Hickam and Kunia. And last, but not least, our Chapter in the DC area has plans to become more invigorated with the help of Paul Dettmer, Al Dowling and others. As Lee eloquently said four years ago: "We need each of you to remain proactive, encourage new membership, document our rich heritage, and most importantly...REMAIN IN TOUCH!"

Cheers, Ron

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File last updated: November 20, 2013 7:10:53 PM CST