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John Michael Gipson

Job Title -  Retired
Current Location - Northern Alabama
Telephone -

comtact

6/24/2014 - Update from Mike Gipson.  We have been retired for seven years now and live in a small town in north Alabama just south of Huntsville. I have managed to stay active with gardening, landscape work, fishing in Lake Guntersville for bass and on occasional trips to the coast for redfish. We are both active in our church, singing in the choir, teaching and have each participated in mission trips to Guatemala. I am part of a bluegrass-gospel band - "The Gospel Grands." The name says what we sing and who we are…grandfathers all! Our members play banjo, mandolin, guitar and bass and we have sung at several events around the area. I had the privilege of organizing a benefit concert this past spring to raise money for a medical mission in Guatemala. It was a great success and we had a ball putting on the show. Hallie and I just returned from our longest vacation trip since retirement, really the longest ever…over 7600 miles by car, train, plane, and bus. We drove to Vancouver and along the way we stopped at "Devil's Tower" Wyoming and Glacier National Park. We took "The Rocky Mountaineer" across the mountains from Vancouver to Calgary. Beautiful seems so inadequate to describe all the scenery, but the views of the Canadian Rockies from the train were spectacular (The food was great too!). We flew back to Vancouver, retrieved our vehicle and drove down through Washington for a quick glimpse of Mt. Rainier and Mt. St.Helens. We then spent all too brief a time enjoying the beauty of the Oregon coast before beginning our return journey. The 18 day trip was somewhat tiring and we were ready to be home, but we have great memories of this thoroughly enjoyable journey of a lifetime. I have not missed the USAF, Federal Civilian work and the demanding travel of my last job, and I am certainly glad not to be dealing with all the changes of recent years. Our two boys and their families are well. There are four grandchildren ages 16, 13, 9 and 7 years, and three "step-grands." Looking forward to catching up on all your news at the upcoming reunion. See you in Las Vegas! MikeI left Honolulu the day after we graduated aboard the SS Lurline on my way to Craig AFB, Alabama via most of the USA. The cultural shock was enormous. I went to four years at Auburn and in the process saw the Selma to Montgomery march from behind the fence at Craig AFB. I went to the memorial service at Cramptom Bowl in Montgomery when MLK was killed. I was commissioned a 2Lt in June 68, went to Intelligence School at Lowry AFB in Denver, got married in March 69 to my college sweetheart (Hallie Ingle of Demopolis, Ala.), went to the Philippines for two and a half years followed by a year in Vietnam. I did three tours in Washington DC, four years in a Titan ICBM Silo at Little Rock, two tours at SAC HQ, and year tours on Guam and in Korea. The next to the last assignment was 1988-90 at Hickam where I had quarters on Travis Ave, not far from where some of you lived as Radford Rams. When I retired from the Air Force at the end of Desert Storm and the Cold War, I found employment at the newly established Unified Command - STRATCOM - at Offutt AFB, Nebraska...never dreamed of settling down in Nebraska but the boys thrived in the schools and doors kept opening for me. I have been married 33 years and my oldest son and his wife - stationed at Hill AFB Utah - have given us a grandson called Joshua, age 4 and a granddaughter named Danielle - aged 10 months. Our youngest - Tim - just graduated from college and in two weeks will get married to his college sweetheart down in Nashville. We are busy and lead exciting and enjoyable lives. I hope the 40th reunion will happen and that I can be there because I look forward to seeing those of you who can make it. It has been great looking at all the pictures on the web pages. Write if the spirit moves you. I would love to re-establish long dormant friendships. Much love to all! Mike!

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