Defense Mapping School
DMS Alumni News
7 May 2019
Greetings T3 Folks
Happy Anniversary! Yep its been 101 years this coming week sine DMS got its start at Camp Humphreys a.k.a Camp Belvoir a.k.a. Fort Belvoir. Perhaps you were thinking Cinco de Mayo from yesterday or perhaps a year since our big gala last May? Regardless Happy Anniversary! On a personal note May 6th, 1982 was the date of my most serious traffic accident. Not to put you through the painful total description I was around mile marker 138 or so south bound 95 around 1700 hours when an 18 wheeler bumped me twice at 55 MPH when he was changing lanes. It put me into a skid causing him to broad side me and spin me around before hitting me a fourth time and putting me airborne over a guard rail and cork screwing down an embankment into a tree. Ruined my day and my car pool passenger MSgt (??) Reece from the press department’s day as well. I was in TSD at the time. We both were fortunate to walk away. Totally totaled my Volvo sedan. Happy Anniversary Jack!
Slow again I am - Lunch at the China King is this coming Monday around 1130 hours. The China King is just off of Opitz Blvd in Woodbridge. We’ve been going there now for several years. I’m going to have to ask them how old their business is. I’m guessing we have been patronizing them for six or seven years perhaps longer. For those of you that do frequent our get togethers you will remember Gene Tatum who is 93 years young. Gene never was part of DMS in any way. I met him at Walter Reed in 2009 and he sort of let us adopt him into the DMS family. Gene wrote a small book entitled “I am the luckiest S.O.B. in the World” based on his experience having bullets fly towards him during Vietnam, Korea and World War II and never gotten hit. This May 26th Gene will be the guest speaker at the “Ride of the Patriots” better known as “Rolling Thunder”. If you are a biker and it fits your schedule it could produce some great memories. My thanks to SGM(R) Bruce Mersereau for asking Gene if he would be the guest speaker. Hopefully my June blabber email will have some info to report on it. This year’s Rolling Thunder, by the way, as of now is slated to be the last one.
For what I believe was the 21st funeral I have seen at Quantico it was the first one I have witnessed that had a glitch. A friend’s dad, an Air Force veteran, was laid to rest last Friday. During the folding of the colors a young Airman First Class had problems getting the flag folded properly. I lost count but I believe she folded and unfolded it a good eight times. From my old NCO experience of being on “Burial Detail” when stationed at Fort Bragg years ago I could see the second fold was sort of wrapping the wrong way. From the time I took the first picture as the flag ceremony started until the time the flag was presented to the next of kin it was forty minutes. I felt so sorry for the two lady team but they kept their professionalism and still maintained their composure. After they left the funeral director was apologizing to the family and they were saying l it was ok. I spoke up and commended the team for staying professional and being committed to having it done right. I told the director that “I salute them”. The funeral director ,who was showing emotion, said she would pass that on and I hope she did. A military funeral is a beautiful thing and Quantico National Cemetery is a beautiful place. I told my wife that I would be honored to be buried among the heroes there but “please don’t rush me”.
I’m still having problems with my address book. I heard from two DMSrs the past month or so saying they haven’t been getting my emails. (thanks Jim Harnden and Dana Reeves). Although it is flattering to hear that they were missed its frustrating knowing that there are probably others not getting them and possibly not caring. So if you are not getting this let me know. (another dumb statement from Jack Batt) . As I type this I have a gentleman roller painting the wall in my “office”. This room was the last room in my house to get paint and floor renovation during the past several years. A good friend was installing laminate flooring throughout my house and was doing it for merchandise from my flea market display - coins, cards, stamps, etc. Not long after I gave him stuff to compensate for his upcoming labor to finish the last room he sadly passed away. It’s been right at a year ago since he died. In fact today was his 55th birthday. So the room sat in limbo perhaps 20% completed until three days ago when work began again. My property disposal purchased desk with my computer on it is in the middle of the floor being powered via extension cord. About three quarters of it is under a drop cloth. To make things super confusing my left monitor is on the right and the right monitor is on the left. (I just sensed several of you saying that I didn’t know my right from my left anyway - the truth hurts) The keyboard is on an angle sitting in the top desk drawer with the monitor about a yard in front of me. If I would change the font size to 72 that would combat that problem. I have to make corrections every sentence or two as spell check has not been able to keep up with me. My eyesight has not been cooperative. So once again I have an excuse for anything I write that doesn’t make sense. Add in the fact that I am breathing in paint fumes and what doesn’t make sense actually makes sense. (huh?) The fact that the room is in total disarray with not only the desk but a shelf unit , two storage cabinets, and various storage configurations all slammed into the middle of the room with the cats thinking I have built them a cool monster maze makes doing anything in here for now a challenge. (damn, what a sentence)
Hope if you are in traveling distance and have time that you can join us for the aforementioned lunch get together. Last month’s was fairly well attended. Thanks for the patience and the friendship - Batt out!! (but subject to coming right back in without any notice!!)