Marine Corps Merit Award winning newspaper
Vol. 11 No. 33 Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. September 4, 2009
Marines vs. mother nature
Plan ahead to stay safe, have fun in sun
Cpl. Aubry L. Buzek
C OMBAT C ORRESPONDENT
Many service members may look to the local area for their enter-
tainment during Labor Day weekend. It provides many opportunities
for exploration, camping, hiking and kayaking. However, all activi-
ties come with risks.
Outdoor safety comes down to planning ahead and using the prop-
er equipment, according to John Amador, a recreation assistant at the
air stationʼs Outdoor Adventure Center.
Some equipment can save a life in an emergency.
When camping, hiking and biking in the local area, one of the
main threats is rattlesnakes, added Amador. Service members can buy
a snake anti-venom kit at an outdoors store.
Tips to stay safe during road trips Keeping a cell phone handy is the biggest help in case of an emer-
gency. If the plan is to go into the back country for a few days where
there is no cell phone reception, be sure to talk to a park ranger be-
Cpl. Aubry L. Buzek clined, have someone else check over the car, com- forehand to let him know the camping and hiking area.
C OMBAT C ORRESPONDENT mented McMullen. Ideally, get the vehicle checked Local beaches are also popular among service members, and most
at least two weeks prior to a road trip by a qualiﬁed have lifeguard stations just in case of an emergency. If a beachgoer
Picturesque scenery, hair blowing in the wind, kids mechanic. ﬁnds themselves with questions about the water conditions, or a prob-
laughing and the roar of a carʼs engine sounds like an Long term servicing is important, but itʼs also lem such as a jellyﬁsh sting, the lifeguards are there to help. The sta-
ideal family road trip -- until the engine stops roaring vital to make sure the vehicle is in working order tions have ﬁrst aid kits for minor injuries, and if a beachgoer is faced
and the family now sits stranded on the roadside. the day of departure, explained McMullen. with a serious emergency, the lifeguards at the stations can be the
“Any accident or problem can generally be pre- Double check the air pressure in all four tires, quickest and easiest way to get help.
vented, and the key is planning and servicing,” said check for body damage and make sure the lights A common water condition beachgoers might encounter is rip cur-
Matthew McMullen, the trafﬁc safety training in- are intact before leaving, said McMullen. Once itʼs rents, added Amador. Be familiar with rip currents before going out
structor aboard the air station.
If service members arenʼt mechanically in- GO TO ROAD , PAGE 3 GO TO OUTDOORS , PAGE 3
Service members to be awarded for safety contributions in community
Lance Cpl. Alexandra M. Harris One subject many Marines take interest Packages should include basic informa- recognize military members by acknowl-
C OMBAT C ORRESPONDENT in WITHIN their communities is safety. tion about the Marine, such as grade and edging them at a special awards ceremony
GEICO Company will present a safety organization, accomplishments and contri- honoring their contributions to the military,
Marines often go above and beyond the award to ﬁve enlisted active-duty service butions between Oct. 1, 2008, and Sept. 30, and to their community.
call of duty, whether on the battleﬁeld or members and one reserve enlisted member 2009, a color photo in service uniform, and “There is no reason why service mem-
in the community. However, they do not in Washington, D.C., spring 2010. Appli- an ofﬁcial letter of endorsement from their bers should not get recognized for what they
always ﬁnd themselves individually recog- cants for the award must turn in a nomina- commanding ofﬁcer.
nized for their hard work and dedication. tion package to their commands by Oct. 16. The purpose of the safety award is to GO TO AWARD , PAGE 3
MIRAMAR FIREFIGHTERS REACH US
WHATʼS FOR DINNER?
MCAS Miramar RECOGNIZED
Web site Miramar ﬁre department earn Combat cooks make sure Marines
top honors from Department have more to eat than MREs. See
www.miramar.usmc.mil of Defense. See page 3 for full pages 9 for full story. EDITORIAL
‘Space A’ a cheap alternative to commercial airlines
Lance Cpl. Zachary L. Majors Category one includes service members space available ﬂights,” said Woods. “The
C OMBAT C ORRESPONDENT or dependents on emergency leave, and is the main difference between Space A ﬂights
highest priority. and commercial ﬂights is that Space A ﬂight
With the average cost of airline tickets on a “The most common passengers we get schedules frequently change.”
constant rise, the military offers service mem- are category two and three,” said Hess. “This Miramar and NAS North Island both offer
bers a money-saving option to avoid paying consists of active-duty service members, their Space A ﬂights.
the high prices of commercial airlines. families and military personnel on temporary Miramarʼs ﬂights leave about three times
Space available ﬂights, also know as “Space additional duty orders.” each week and typically travel to Travis Air
A” ﬂights, depart from every American mili- Category four generally consists of unac- Force Base, March Air Force Base and Eglin
tary air strip around the world. These ﬂights companied family members with a command- Air Force Base, Fla., explained Hess. Once
are free to active-duty service members, retir- sponsored letter. Category ﬁve passengers are service members reach an Air Force base they
ees, activated reservists and military depen- students whose military sponsor is based in ei- may board another ﬂight to just about any-
dants. Passengers may incur a small fee if the ther Hawaii or Alaska. The program reserves where in the world.
ﬂight lands on a civilian airstrip. category six for retired military members or North Islandʼs ﬂights depart daily and
“Space A ﬂights are great because they can medically discharged service members. travel to various destinations. For information
Maj. Gen. take our service members nearly anywhere in the “Rank is not considered when booking on their ﬂights, passengers may call the North
Thomas L. Conant world for free,” said Harlan Woods, a transporta- space for a ﬂight,” said Woods. “The category Island passenger terminal at 619-545-9567.
Commanding General tion clerk at Naval Air Station North Island. of the passenger establishes priority. After Those interested in departing from
3rd Marine Aircraft Wing When scheduling a Space A ﬂight, service that, it is ﬁrst come, ﬁrst serve.” Miramar may contact the passenger terminal
members should know which of the six cat- These ﬂights could save money for those at 858-577-4283.
egories they fall under, explained Staff Sgt. able to take them. However, Space A ﬂights Whether ﬂying to Germany or Los Angeles,
Ian Hess, the staff noncommissioned ofﬁcer may require more time and effort to plan. Space A ﬂights will save some hard earned cash
in charge of Miramarʼs visiting aircraft line. “Travelers must be ﬂexible when using for service members and their dependents.
Marine Corps Air Station Mi-
rarmar emergency personnel will
conduct a series of Disaster Re-
Col. Frank A. Richie in order to meet annual training
Commanding Ofﬁcer requirements Sept. 9 through 11.
MCAS Miramar During the exercises the Tele-
phone Alerting System and “Gi-
Maj. Jay Delarosa ant Voice” will be used for mass
Public Affairs Director notiﬁcation to all air station per-
sonnel and residents.
Master Sgt. Robert Knoll
Public Affairs Chief
Staff Sgt. Bobbie Bryant Religious Services SemperToons: Created by GySgt C. F. Wolf (USMC Ret.)
Internal Information Chief
The Chaplainʼs Ofﬁce, located in building 5632 on Bauer Road, coordinates
regularly scheduled services. For the location and meeting schedules of religious activi-
Sgt. Zachary Dyer
ties, contact the Chaplainʼs Ofﬁce at 858-577-1333, or visit www.miramar.usmc.mil.
9 a.m. Protestant Worship Service
Cpl. Deanne Hurla 9:30 a.m. Protestant Childrenʼs Worship
Layout and Design Specialist 11 a.m. Roman Catholic Eucharist
The Flight Jacket is published every Friday. 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. Catholic CCD Children K-12
This newspaper is an authorized publication for
the military services, contents of the Flight Jacket are
10 a.m. Protestant Adult Bible Study
not necessarily the ofﬁcial views of, or endorsed by, Wednesday 6 – 7 p.m. Baptist Service
the U.S. government, the Department of Defense, De- Weekday Worship Service:
partment of the Navy or U.S. Marine Corps. It is for
informational purposes only and in no way should be Monday – Friday 11:30 a.m. Catholic Mass
considered directive in nature. Monday 6:30 p.m. Contemporary Praise and Worship Service
The editorial content is edited, prepared and pro-
vided by the Public Affairs Ofﬁce. Comments or ques-
Wednesday 7 p.m. Baptist Service
tions should be directed to 858-577-6000. Study Groups:
Monday Night Bible Study 7 p.m. Classroom in the Chapel area
Tuesday morning Prayer Service and study group 6 a.m.
Islamic Worship Service:
Fridays at noon.
Located in the Chapel or visit www.icsd.org
Jewish Outreach at 858-571-3444
www.miramar.usmc.mil September 4, 2009 Flight Jacket Page 2
Road, also aware of other drivers on the Award, safety and prevention and trafﬁc safety and ac-
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 road. At a quick glance through the CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 cident prevention.
windshield or mirrors, a motorcycle Service members can nominate themselves, or
time to go, there are some items it is a lot easier to miss than a car, said are doing in the community,” said Patrick Mc- their chain of command can nominate them.
would be wise to take in case of an McMullen. For motorcycle riders, Namara, a safety specialist. “The way a person Other qualiﬁcations for the award include
emergency, including road ﬂares, a “reoccurring training is important to gets recognized is by recognizing that something meeting physical readiness and body fat compo-
screwdriver, two gallons of water keep our level of performance at its needs to be done to make things safer in their or- sition standards and having one year of obligated
and road markers. Duct tape and peak. Get trained, be safe and enjoy ganization.” service remaining.
safety wire are also important, and your bike.” Award winners will each receive a plaque “Itʼs important for service members not only
that these tools are “not for a perma- An important consideration to and a cash award of $2,500 from the GEICO to be seen as people in the military, but as the Ea-
nent ﬁx, but they might be enough keep in mind when driving long Philanthropic Foundation. The winners and their gle Scout or whatever they are in the community,”
to get you to the next town.” distances, especially on a holiday spouses will also receive lodging and round-trip said McNamara.
During the trip, vehicle main- weekend, is to plan the route ahead transportation to Washington, D.C. For more information on the Geico safety
tenance is also important for vis- of time to avoid driving in a con- GEICO uses three categories to choose award award, visit Geicoʼs Web site at www.geico.com, or
ibility. One thing to remember gested area from midnight to 3 a.m. recipients: drug and alcohol abuse prevention, ﬁre contact the station safety ofﬁce at 858-577-1356.
when stopping for gas is to clean If another driver on the road is driv-
the windshield for bug and other ing recklessly, “for safety reasons,
residue. A major spot on the vehicle itʼs best to stay behind them,” said Outdoors, a kayak into the water. heading off on an adventure.
most people tend to forget is the McMullen. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 “Not only is a kayak a haz- “One good rule of thumb
headlights, added McMullen. Fifty Although plenty can go wrong ard to swimmers in the water, is to anticipate the worst-case
percent of light reduction is caused on a long trip, “Most incidents take into the water, and if someone it can be a hazard to you if scenario, and plan from there,”
by dirty headlights. place from poor planning more than does get caught, donʼt ﬁght it. something goes wrong,” said said Amador. “Bring enough
“I highly recommend not driv- anything else,” said McMullen. “If “The easiest way to get out Amador. water to last for a few days, and
ing while you are tired,” said Mc- you stay up on maintenance, repairs is to swim diagonally,” said Some considerations when sunscreen to prevent burns.”
Mullen. “If you are using caffeine to will be minimal. But if you wait, Amador. kayaking are practicing getting The great outdoors can be
stay awake, you need some sleep.” typically what happens is that a bro- Swimming isnʼt the only in and out of the kayak in case an exciting place for recre-
If someone normally drinks caf- ken part will take another one with aquatic activity that can pose it tips over and making sure ation and relaxation, but by
feine or uses nicotine to stay awake, it. Itʼs not going to be just one [part] risks. Another potentially dan- there are enough life jackets on keeping safety in mind and
they should not exceed their nor- that fails.” gerous water activity is kayak- board for every passenger. following necessary precau-
mal amount or stop completely, he Planning ahead, maintaining the ing. Itʼs a good idea to be with Any outdoor activity can tions can keep outdoor ad-
added. vehicle, ensuring the physical readi- someone whoʼs familiar with have risks, so be sure to pack the ventures from turning into
If the trip is made on a motorcy- ness of the driver and checking on being on a boat before taking proper safety equipment before outdoor nightmares.
cle make sure to be self-aware and a vehicle throughout a road trip can
MCAS Miramar’s ﬁreﬁghters recognized as best in DoD
Cpl. Ryan A. Rholes across the county, and even responded to
C OMBAT C ORRESPONDENT massive wildﬁres in Northern California
during 2008, and the wildﬁres in Southern
Although widely recognized as heroes, California at the end of 2007.
the ﬁreﬁghters who protect Americaʼs mili- “Some people may think of ﬁre ﬁghters
tary instillations and service members have as the guys in the ﬁre house sleeping and
a chance each year to receive formal recog- just passing time,” said James Magill, the
nition for their hard work and excellence. ﬁre chief here. “But they forget that these
Miramarʼs ﬁre department won the 2008 are the guys responding to accidents, ﬁght-
Department of Defense Fire Department of ing ﬁres, cleaning the station and ﬁxing the
the Year award for the small-station catego- engines. People also forget that these are the
ry, and received the award Aug. 28, at the guys working 24-hour shifts over Christmas
DoD Awards Banquet in Dallas. and Thanksgiving to make sure everyone
The small station category award is for else is safe.”
ﬁre departments with three or less staffed Although this is the ﬁrst time in recent
companies, and submissions include each memory that the ﬁre department has won this
stationʼs accomplishments in: customer award, they have placed as runner-up several
service, department level awards, accredita- times in the past few years, added Magill.
tions and certiﬁcations, innovativeness and The ﬁre department here responds to Cpl. Ryan A. Rholes
quality of life. about 1, 500 calls every year, and those calls Fire ﬁghters with the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Fire Department will receive recog-
nition as the Department of Defense’s Fire Department of the Year, small station category
Col. Christopher OʼConnor (Ret.), the run the gamut from people needing medical
award. The small category award went to the best ﬁre station that had three or less ﬁre
former commanding ofﬁcer of MCAS assistance and vehicle accidents, to struc-
engines. Members of the department will receive the award during a ceremony in Dallas.
Miramar, endorsed the ﬁre departmentʼs tural and land ﬁres. During the 2008 ﬁres in
submission package. Northern California, the stationʼs ﬁre ﬁght- all have the same mission and we all work to ﬁre, and its ﬁre education, prevention and
“The MCAS Miramar Fire Depart- ers served two-week rotations for six weeks, hard, but these guys also have initiative. They awareness programs.
ment has continuously and professionally helping state and local agencies contain and are always like ʻHey chief, what do you think The caring and hard work of the ﬁre
demonstrated remarkable achievements to- extinguish the infernos. about this equipment, or this idea?ʼ They are ﬁghters here is a proven cornerstone to the
wards their vision of being the best,” said “We donʼt have the same depth as other always looking to improve.” safe working environment MCAS Miramar
OʼConnor in his submission package. stations, we have about 60 guys for Battal- That initiative has translated into several presents to Marines and civilians alike, and
Miramarʼs ﬁre department does not just ions 61 and 62,” said Magill, who assumed innovative concepts, such as the stationʼs this award is hopefully the ﬁrst of many
cover the air station, they respond to calls responsibilities as ﬁre chief in late 2008. “We zero-tolerance policy for property loss due more to come.
Page 3 Flight Jacket September 4, 2009 www.miramar.usmc.mil
Marines visit ‘young heroes’ during Operation Purple
Cpl. Aubry L. Buzek “Iʼm kind of surprised there are other people in the world
C OMBAT C ORRESPONDENT who know how I feel,” said Danielle Gonzalez, whose father
is in the United States Army. “Itʼs really fun here; itʼs the best
About an hour northeast of San Diego, a small youth camp camp ever!”
lies in the thick forest that covers the mountains of Julian. Military appreciation day is a day for kids to learn about
Camp Marston is no different from any other summer equipment and uniforms from the different services, and itʼs
camp; brown buildings litter the landscape, arts-and-crafts also an opportunity for service members to come out and help
projects decorate the walls, and laughter echoes through the the children of their brothers and sisters in arms.
trees as children canoe, hike and sing songs around camp- “By helping their children deal with deployments, itʼs a way
ﬁres. This week though, the children are not average summer to help the deployed service members have one less thing to
campers: these brave warriors are dealing with the deploy- worry about,” said Cpl. Austin Goacher, a combat correspon-
ment of a parent. dent at the air stationʼs Consolidated Public Affairs Ofﬁce.
As dusk settles in, purple-clad camp counselors herd the After an hour of playing with the combat equipment and
kids up a steep, green hill to meet some special visitors. When putting on their “war faces,” the children gathered for dinner.
the kids reach the top, they eye an old, brown picnic table As soon as the Marines entered the mess hall with the kids,
that has now been turned into an arsenal of Marine combat one of the major decorations that stood out was the pictures on
gear. Behind the table are two Marines standing tall in their the wall. The children had decorated pictures of their deployed
“Semper Fi” T-shirts. Apprehension quickly turns to joy and parents to place on the “Wall of Honor.” Some of the children
laughter as the Marines smile and place Kevlar helmets on talked to the Marines about these pictures and opened up about
their heads, wrap ﬂak jackets around them and paint their the pain they have endured through multiple deployments.
faces with camouﬂage paint. “I have to stay with my mom because my dad is gone all
The Marines took a few hours off from their duties on the the time, itʼs hard,” said Damien Ventura, a camper whoʼs
air station to visit the children on military appreciation day father is in the United States Navy.
at “Operation Purple,” a summer camp dedicated solely to Communication is important to help children deal with
children of deployed service members. the frustration and pain from a parentʼs deployment, ex-
The focus of Operation Purple is to give kids ages 7 to 17 plained Julie Riggs, the youth initiatives deputy director at
the tools they can use to cope when their parents are in a stage the National Military Family Association.
of pre-deployment, deployment or post-deployment. Activi- “I see the result of our work every time I go to one of the
ties help kids communicate, learn to deal with stress and meet camps,” said Riggs. “I see them open up and communicate.
friends who are coping with similar feelings. Itʼs so important to show them how proud we are of them to
“Coming up here is the ﬁrst time a lot of them have had be our younger heroes, they serve too.”
interaction with other military kids,” said Noah Jones, the After a messy meal of pulled pork sandwiches, french fries
Operation Purple camp director and coordinator. “We say and sʼmores, the children and Marines laughed and shared
Cpl. Aubry L. Buzek
ʻleave the war behind, and come up here to have fun.ʼ” stories. Once they left the mess hall, the children gathered
Operation Purple operates in 37 different states, and serves around the Marines and showered them with hugs, good-byes
Sgt. Zachary Dyer, the platoon sergeant at the air station’s
more than 10,000 children during the summer. This is the ﬁrst and smiles that radiated across the camp. Although nothing
Consolidated Public Affairs Ofﬁce, applies camouﬂage face
paint to a camper during military appreciation day at Op- Operation Purple to utilize Camp Marston though, and one of can replace a parent, Operation Purple is helping children get
eration Purple. Operation Purple is a camp for children of the most common sentiments from the children is that this is the through a deployment with a week of friendship, activities
deployed service members from all services. ﬁrst time theyʼve met other kids dealing with a deployment. and just being a kid.
Labor Day celebrates “working man”
Cpl. Fredrick J. Coleman ment a “working manʼs holiday.” Brotherhood Carpenters and co-
C OMBAT C ORRESPONDENT In 1885, many industrial centers founder of the American Federation
throughout the country took time to of Labor was the first to propose
Traditionally celebrated on the celebrate Labor Day. the holiday. However, recent dis-
ﬁrst Monday in September, La- The ﬁrst government recognition coveries support the idea that Mat-
bor Day is a time to pay tribute to came through municipal ordinances thew Maguire, former secretary of
the endless contributions made by passed in 1885 and 1886. However, Local 344 of the International As-
workers to strengthen the well-be- Oregon became the ﬁrst to make it sociation of Mechanists in Pater-
ing of our country. a law on Feb. 21, 1887. Later that son, N.J., proposed the holiday in
The Central Labor Union held the year, Colorado, Massachusetts, New 1882 while he served as secretary
ﬁrst two celebrations of the holiday Jersey and New York created legis- of the CLU in 1882.
Sept. 5, 1882 and 1883 in New York lation establishing Labor Day as a What can be said is that the CLU
City. It wasnʼt until 1884 when the holiday. adopted a proposal for the holiday
suggested time to celebrate the hol- More than 100 years after the and appointed a committee to plan a
iday was the ﬁrst Monday of Sep- first observance, doubt still lingers demonstration and picnic.
tember. The CLU proposed many as to who proposed the holiday Editors Note: Information taken Courtsey Photo
Peter J. McGuire, the general secretary of
organizations similarly follow their first. Records show that Peter J. from the Department of Labor Web
the Brotherhood Carpenters and cofounder
example in New York and imple- McGuire, general secretary of the site at www.dol.gov. of the American Federation of Labor.
www.miramar.usmc.mil September 4, 2009 Flight Jacket Page 4
Story and Photos by meals served in the dining facility air station. “People think that we on the job, combat cooks also par-
Lance Cpl. Zachary L. Majors -- most from scratch. Working have bags of food that we cut open ticipate in quarterly competitions.
C OMBAT C ORRESPONDENT from recipe cards and ﬁne tuning and cook, but thatʼs not the case.” The air stationʼs top cooks go up
by taste, these cooks diligently Before serving food, these Ma- against cooks from other Marine
A Marine leaves the physi- carry out their job with no ex- rines must ﬁrst learn about sanita- Corps installations in the area and
cal training ﬁeld, tired and sore. pectations of gratitude, explained tion procedures and proper food compete for the title of Chef of the
He makes his way to his room, Pfc. Letty Vazquez, a cook and handling, explained Vazquez. An Quarter.
changes over and heads to the pastry chef for the dining facility entire battalion can easily become The competition is a much de-
dining facility. When he walks in, here. ill because of food poisoning. served chance to obtain individual
he ﬁnds the spacious building dark “While everyone is getting off This takes place during the recognition for the countless hours
and empty. There is no array of for the holidays or going to the ﬁrst two weeks of a three-month spent in the kitchen cooking for
food, clean dishes or beverages. Marine Corps Ball, we are here course at Fort Lee, Va., which fellow Marines and perfecting
This scenario would be a reality feeding Marines,” said Vazquez. teaches potential combat cooks their craft.
if not for the dedication and hard The cooks prepare food for about cooking for individuals and A cook is in the kitchen prepar-
work of what may be one of the events such as mess nights, the groups. ing food for breakfast and lunch
Marine Corpsʼ most valuable as- Marine Corps Ball and other re- The course concludes with a long before the sun rises. After
sets, the food services specialists. quested special events, in addition one-month ﬁeld exercise where dinner, when many Marines return
Few Marines know about the to their daily duties. the cooks must perform their job to their barracks, cooks remain to
long hours cooks put into prepar- “A lot of people donʼt know or in the ﬁeld, using all that they clean the kitchen and prepare for
ing meals for breakfast, lunch and understand all that we do,” said learned. the next day, all for the morale and
dinner. Sgt. Daniel Allende, the chief cook Using the skills learned at their nutrition of the tired and hungry
These Marines prepare all for the dining facility aboard the military occupational school and Marine.
Sgt. Shannon Winslow, a cook at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar dining
facility, prepares a large batch of lo mein for the specialty bar.
(Left) Pfc. Marla Nel-
son, a cook in the
Marine Corps Air
Station Miramar din-
ing facility, prepares
hard-boiled eggs be-
fore lunch is served.
Lance Cpl. Derrick Murray, a cook for the Marine Corps Air Station
Miramar dining facility, wraps chicken breasts sandwiches.
Page 5 Flight Jacket September 4, 2009 www.miramar.usmc.mil
‘Wolfpack’ tool-room Marine repairs American muscle
Cpl. Christopher A. O’Quin went to high school with my recruiter and
C OMBAT C ORRESPONDENT he inﬂuenced me. I wanted a career option
that would be easy for me to transition
After a day spent managing and repair- into so I decided to become a helicopter
ing the tools that mechanics use to ﬁx mechanic.”
CH-53E “Super Stallions,” one 3rd Marine He has renovated nearly a dozen auto-
Aircraft Wing Marine turns to his own mobiles since enlisting as a Super Stallion
tools to restore classic automobiles. mechanic. Siegrist uses his wisdom gained
Sgt. Matthew A. Siegrist, a tool room from countless hours spent under the car
chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter hood and applies it to being a Marine.
Squadron 466, has repaired more than 30 “Sometimes you have that car that
automobiles in 21 years. His ﬁrst car was everybody thinks canʼt be ﬁxed, just like
a Chevrolet 1970 Monte Carlo SS, and one those Marines who people think canʼt be
of his latest projects, a Chevrolet 1968 Ch- ﬁxed,” said Siegrist. “I donʼt give up and I
evelle, are just some of his masterpieces. restore that car like I do with those Ma-
“Working on and restoring cars gives rines. Then you surprise everyone with the
you such a satisfaction when you can repair improvements. I donʼt believe thereʼs such
something that someone gave up on,” said a thing as too far gone.”
Siegrist, a Willow Springs, Mo., native. The 35-year-old mechanic spends his Cpl. Christopher A. O’Quin
Sgt. Matthew A. Siegrist, the tool room chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron
“After a day of working at the hangar, itʼs workday keeping track of thousands of
466, installs parts for his 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle inside his hobby shop, August 15.
a great release to take your parts and tools tools, from wrenches, to pliers to engine
Siegrist, a native of Willow Springs, Mo., has repaired more than 30 automobiles in the
and breathe new life into something old.” testing equipment. Siegristʼs experience as past two decades.
Siegrist, who serves with the squadron a CH-53E mechanic enables him to work
known as the “Wolfpack,” learned his in the tool room and other sections of his ley that he uses to repair the myriad of cars also has drivers race his cars at Barona
skills as a child from a local mechanic, Ben squadron. He holds a qualiﬁcation as a col- he has acquired. He frequents salvage yards Speedway.
Grundon, who taught Siegrist the tricks lateral-duty inspector, has a forklift license and swap meets to ﬁnd the needed parts “Thereʼs something about that natural
of engine building that he uses to this day. and often assists Marines with auto-related to transform old car frames into renewed aspiration of the engine that I love,” said
After completing high school, he took tech- issues. classics. He currently owns a 1988 Ford Siegrist. “I love working on muscle cars
nical classes at a local community college, “Weʼve worked on cars together since he Mustang and a 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle. because back in the 60ʼs, automakers made
adding to his hands on experience in auto was ﬁrst in the Corps,” said Gunnery Sgt. “My dream job would be to renovate a cars the way they wanted to. They didnʼt
repair shops. Shannon F. Malone, the substance abuse 1963 split window Corvette,” said Siegrest. worry about emissions or miles-per-gallon.”
In 2003, Siegrist felt compelled to join counselor for the Wolfpack. “Heʼs helped “There were only 10,000 of those made Siegrist is always looking for a new
the Marine Corps while working at an auto- me repair my 1966 Chevrolet truck and my and they cost about $30,000 just to buy one project and new challenges in auto repair.
mobile repair shop in Kansas City, Mo. 1976 Corvette. Heʼs the kind of person who borderline unrepairable. I would give it a He intends to continue with his renovation
“I was 28 years old, and I decided I isnʼt afraid to lend a helping hand. I wish black on black color scheme, lake pipes on work, putting cars back on the road while
wanted to do something different with my more sergeants were like him.” the side and some other tweaks.” assisting the squadron as they put Super
life,” said Siegrist. “It just so happens I Siegrist has a repair shop in Spring Val- In addition to selling his creations, he Stallions in the air.
Little So Cal sluggers claim world title; college football kicks off
The Park View Little League Club season gets stronger. get, Jordan Shipley. However, Soonersʼ
from Chula Vista, Calif., claimed Little Letʼs start with the preseason polls. quarterback and Heisman winner, Sam
League baseballʼs “Holy Grail” when With no surprise, Urban Meyer and his Bradford, will return for his junior year
they defeated Chinese Taipei 6-3 Aug. Florida Gators are on top of the As- to lead a quick hitting Oklahoma team
30. sociated Pressʼ and ESPN.comʼs power that came up short in the 2009 BCS
The 12 and 13-year-olds became the rankings, for good reason. National Championship.
first team from San Diego County to The heart and soul of the Gators in One game to check out this week-
win the title since 1961. Tim Tebow will return to play his senior end will take place on the “Smurf
“Chula Vista broke records, showed year. Despite not having their now pro- Turf” when the 14th ranked Boise State
remarkable sportsmanship and perse- fessional go-to receiver, Percy Harvin, Broncos take on the 16th ranked Oregon
vered throughout the series and I am the Gators return a powerful team that Ducks Sept. 3. The Broncos have done
proud to say they are from California,” looks to claim the Southeastern Con- a great job of making their presence
commented California governor Arnold ference and make a run for their third known in the Bowl Championship series
Schwarzenegger about the 19 home national championship in four years. since their 43-42 victory over Oklahoma
runs posted by the team throughout the Right behind the Gators in both polls in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, completing
tournament. are the Big-12 powerhouses the Texas their undefeated season. The Broncos
Cpl. Fredrick J. Coleman The sluggers from Southern Califor- Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners. I look to continue to stay in the light of
C OMBAT C ORRESPONDENT nia earned their ticket to the big show only have three words for these two the BCS and work their way back into
after dominating the McAllister Park teams—Red River Rivalry. The two another top-10 finish.
Edtorʼs note: Cpl. Coleman is an avid American Club from San Antonio, 12-2, teams will meet in Dallas, Oct. 17. Other teams in action this weekend
sports fan. The following refects his views in the U.S. championship game. Heisman Trophy finalist, Colt include USC, Penn State, Ohio State,
of the current sports world. As September rolls closer, the an- McCoy, will lead an explosive Texas Alabama and Virginia Tech.
ticipation of the 2009 college football offense with the help of his favorite tar-
www.miramar.usmc.mil September 4, 2009 Flight Jacket Page 6
Military Homeowner Assistance Program aids Marines to sell houses
Americans have watched home values the time the servicemember sold it at a it was used to “buy, build, or substantial- filling out the application, which can be
nose-dive over the last eighteen months loss, or ly improve” her primary residence by re- found at http://hap.usace.army.mil/. It
to depths many would have thought un- 2. buy the home for up to 90% of porting the forgiven debt on a Form 982 is important to understand that as of the
imaginable just a few years ago, when the prior fair market value. and attaching it to the tax return. The Act time of publication of this article, the full
a heady real estate market made home To better understand how this works, applies to indebtedness forgiven between application is not yet available. Word
purchases as much about investment as consider the following situation: In Janu- 2007 and 2012, where the amount of debt about HAP began circulating months
habitation. Many citizens are now find- ary of 2006, Staff Sergeant Chaos and forgiven does not exceed $2 million (or ago, but the details about the mechan-
ing themselves “upside-down” on their his wife took out a mortgage on a small $1 million for people “married filing ics of the program have been slower to
mortgages, meaning that the value of the two-bedroom house in Stafford, Vir- separately”). Thus, if a servicememberʼs follow. The reason for this is that the
houses they are living in has dropped be- ginia, for $100,000. In March of 2008, lender agrees to a short-sale, this may implementing regulations, which provide
low – and often, way below – the value he was PSCed to Camp Pendleton. He make more sense, as it could potentially for how the new law will be applied, are
of the mortgages they are paying off. was unable to sell the home in Stafford, save the homeowner tens of thousands of still being drafted. Visitors to the above
For active duty servicemembers, the and he could not afford to keep up with dollars in tax liability. website will see a message in red stat-
problem can be even worse. As any Ma- payments on it while also renting in Cali- Short sales are not without their own ing that “DoD policy guidance cannot
rine knows, the old aphorism that “noth- fornia, so the home was foreclosed upon. risk. For example, in states without anti- be displayed until after the interim draft
ing is certain but death and taxes” is only SSgt Chaosʼs lender is only able to sell deficiency statutes, a lender can come rule is published in the Federal Register.”
partly true for want of lifeʼs third inevi- the home for $80,000. To make matters after the homeowner for the balance of Applicants should check the website fre-
tability: Permanent Change of Station worse, Virginia does not have an anti- the money owed that isnʼt recouped in quently for updates after sending in the
(PCS) orders. And whereas in the past, deficiency statute. Anti-deficiency stat- the short-sale. And even in states such initial application.
a Marine “PCSing” to a new duty station utes protect homebuyers who are being as California that do have anti-deficiency Nevertheless, there is no reason not to
would likely have just sold his home, to- foreclosed upon by limiting the property statutes, homeowners who think that a begin applying now. Even if you decide
day, potential homebuyers are retreating the lenders can go after to the homes short-sale will get them off the hook may later that you are not interested in the
to rental units, choosing to lease property themselves. So, not only has SSgt Chaos be sued later down the road, if they move HAP money, you incur no obligation to
over owning it. Thus, PCSed Marines lost his home, but he is also still on the into a state without anti-deficiency pro- accept the money by simply applying for
now must often choose between two un- hook for the remaining $20,000 after the tection. Finally, some banks, including it. And as the queue of servicemembers
welcome options: allow the short-sale or foreclosure. Under HAP, the government a few with a heavy volume of service- seeking assistance grows, those who put
foreclosure of their old homes, or pay for would pay up to $15,000 to the service- members as clientele, will agree to allow off applying will find themselves waiting
two homes at once. member ($95,000 - $80,000) to relieve the short-sale, but will beat the system months before they see any assistance.
the financial pressure. by getting servicemembers to sign pa- The applications will be prioritized as
HAP Eligibility Alternatively, assume that SSgt Chaos perwork that turns the unpaid balance follows: The first to receive aid will be
Fortunately, the 2009 Economic Stim- was not able to sell the home. HAP allows into an unsecured personal loan. This is servicemembers with the earliest PCS or-
ulus Package, signed into law in Febru- the government to buy the house back at essentially a legal end-run around anti- ders, since they are individuals that have
ary, has brought relief for some active 90% of the prior fair market value. In deficiency statutes, made possibly by been struggling to maintain two homes
duty servicemembers finding themselves this case, the government could pay SSgt paperwork so confusing that even some for the longest time. After that, appli-
in this situation. This relief comes in the Chaos $90,000 to buy the property. lawyers have unwittingly signed away cants will be prioritized in the order in
form of the Military Homeowners Assis- their protections. which they applied.
tance Program (HAP). This legislation Whatʼs the catch? A key to avoid these pitfalls in a short- There are 3 HAP field offices, and
is an expansion of an assistance program HAP is not without its faults. The sale is to not agree to do one unless the in order to avoid an unnecessary delay
that used to only be available for service- HAP money paid from the program is lender signs a written agreement waiv- in the processing of an application, ap-
members who were being re-located due taxable income. This is the case no mat- ing its rights to later pursue the balance plicants should apply to the right office.
to a base foreclosure. HAP now provides ter if the money is paid to compensate a owed, in all states. Additionally, service- The following website has a map indicat-
assistance to servicemembers who meet servicemember who sold his home at a members agreeing to a short-sale should ing which office an application should be
the following criteria: loss or if itʼs paid to buy the home di- require the lender to agree that the short- sent to: http://hap.usace.army.mil/Con-
1. servicemember has been re-as- rectly from the servicemember. Thus, sale will not be reported to any credit tact.html. The application should be sent
signed to a duty station over 50 miles people in SSgt Chaosʼs situation would bureau as anything but “account paid in to the field office district in which the
from the one from which he/she has been see their tax liability for the year go up full” or “paid as agreed.” Using other property is located, NOT to the district to
or will be transferred from; several thousand dollars. language, such as account “settled” or which the servicemember was PCSed.
2. the PCS orders are dated be- This being the case, in certain situa- “compromised” may be treated as a fore- This article is just meant to introduce
tween 1 February 2006 though 30 Sep- tions, it might make more sense for ser- closure by the credit bureaus, which can HAP to personnel aboard Marine Corps
tember 2012; vicemembers to pursue a short-sale of do over 200 points of damage to oneʼs Air Station Miramar. Servicemembers
3. the home at issue is the service- their home. A short sale is a real estate credit report. interested in HAP are encouraged to stop
memberʼs primary residence; and transaction in which a homeowner sells To the jaded American consumer, it by the Legal Assistance Office during
4. the home must have been pur- his/her property for less than the balance may seem unrealistic that lenders would walk-in hours (Mondays and Wednes-
chased no later than July 1, 2006. owed on the loan that the property secures. agree to releases of liability and flattering days, 0730 – 1030) for further guidance
The homeowner then turns the proceeds assessments of you as a creditor. After if they are interested in applying for HAP
HAP Benefits of the sale over to the lender. Short sales all, whatʼs in it for them? Actually, you assistance.
For those that qualify, HAP offers generally occur after the lender and the may be in a better bargaining position
several options, depending on the situ- homeowner agree that itʼs in their mutual than you think. Short-sales are generally Editorʼs Note: The Good Legal Gouge
ation military homeowners find them- best interest to sell the property at a loss much cheaper for banks than foreclosure, column appears recurrently and is pre-
selves in. For those that have already to a new buyer rather than go through the so if offering to do a short-sale, you are pared by the staff of the Joint Law Cen-
sold their home at a loss, the government process of foreclosure. giving yourself some leverage to request ter. It provides basic legal information
will either: While most debt forgiven by a lender some favors in return. for military members, dependents and
1. pay the difference between up must be included on oneʼs tax return as retirees. Specific legal questions should
to 95% of the prior fair market value taxable income, The Mortgage Debt Re- The Application Process be referred to the JLC. Call 577-6260 for
(meaning the value prior to July 1, 2006) lief Act of 2007 allows a citizen to ex- Servicemembers interested in ap- command legal issues. Call 577-1656 for
minus the appraised value of the home at clude debt from her taxable income where plying for HAP assistance should begin individual legal assistance help
Page 7 Flight Jacket September 4, 2009 www.miramar.usmc.mil
friday saturday sunday monday tuesday wednesday thursday
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
• 8 Ball Pool Tournament • Open Cockpit Event • Open Cockpit Event • Alcoholics Anonymous • Free QOL Golf • Free Golf Clinic for • Intramural Fall Soccer
*see below *see below *see below and Al-Anon Meetings Two hours after twilight Active Duty League Starts
6:30 p.m. for Miramar Active Duty 11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m. Tues. and Thurs.
• 9 Ball Pool Tournament Counseling Center 858-577-4155 Golf Course 11:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.
*see below 858-577-6585 858-577-4155 Counseling Center
• S.E.A.M.S. Meeting 858-577-1202
12 - 1 p.m. • Domestic Violence
The Hub Awareness • Post 9/11 G.I. Bill
858-577-6491 1 - 3 p.m., Counseling Center Information Session
858-577-6585 to register 11:30 a.m.
Shop at the MCX Bldg 8630 Auditorium
More Fun Sale! • Life Skills Class
“Money and the Move”
MCCS free prize giveaways... *see below
Aug. 26 - Sept. 7
Entertainment Ticket Ofﬁce: • Anger Management II
Old Town Trolley Gift Pack 1 - 3 p.m.
Stop in and ﬁll out an entry form today! 858-577-6585 to register
Winners will be drawn on Sept. 30.
• Sports Complex Marine Teen training Tues. & Sat. 858-577-4128/4129
• Deployment support for preschoolers, elementary and teenagers Mon.
through Wed. 858-577-4588
Eight and Nine Ball Pool Tournaments
Marines can visit The Great Escape and sign up for the free Eight-Ball Pool Tournament every Friday at 7:30 p.m., or the free
Nine-Ball Tournament on Saturday. Sign up begins at 6 p.m. the night of each tournament. Prizes are awarded to the top two
players. Call 858-577-6171 or stop by The Great Escape front desk to sign up.
Final Open Cockpit Events at The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum
The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum will host its ﬁnal Open Cockpit Event Sept. 5 and 6. Patrons can experience sitting in
the F-5 Tiger cockpit, the F/A-18 Hornet cockpit, the CH-46 “Sea Knight” cabin section and the T-34 cockpit. The events will be
held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday. Call 858-577-1723 for more information.
Life Skills Class - Money and the Move
Relocating due to a permanent change of station can be both an exciting but expensive time. Even though the government
provides relocation allowances, many families ﬁnd a move puts a deﬁnite strain on their budget. This 60-minute session tar-
gets active duty military and their spouses who are relocating due to a reassignment or transition. Personal or group brieﬁngs
are available. The “Money and the Move” brief will be held on Thursday, Sept. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This class
will be held in the L.I.N.K.S. House and will include lunch. Call 858-577-4473 to register.
Fri. Sept. 4:
The Ugly Truth (R) 6:30 p.m.
Classiﬁed Ads child care services. This program information contact Rose Ingersoll Orphan (R) 9 p.m.
The Flight Jacket offers free classi- can save service members hundreds at 760-763-7385.
ﬁed advertisement space for active- of dollars. People can contact 1-800- Sat. Sept. 5:
Swap Meet 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
duty service members. Advertise- 424-2246 for more informaion. L.A. County Fair - A Day for Heroes Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (PG) 1 p.m.
ment information should include The L.A. County Fair will host “A G-Force (Not in 3-D) (PG) 6:30 p.m.
contact information and a brief de- Science and Leadership 4-H Camp Day For Heroes” on Sept. 11. All Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (PG) 9 p.m.
scription of the item. Submit adver- The San Diego Science Opportuni- active duty and retired U.S. military
tisements to the Flight Jacket editor ties and Leadership Activitiess Re- and emergency personnel, with ID, Sun. Sept. 6:
G-Force (Not in 3-D) (PG-13) 1 p.m.
at email@example.com. treat is open to all military youth and one guest pay a $1 admission *Away We Go (R) 6:30 p.m.
ages 13 through 19. At the retreat per person. All admissions will be
Get help paying for child care teens will complete science experi- donated to USA Cares, whichs pro- Wed. Sept. 9:
Visit the National Asociation of ments and build leadership skills. vides housing assistance and qual- Funny People (R) 6:30 p.m.
Child Care Resource and Referral The retreat will be hosted by Camp ity of life programs for military
Thurs. Sept. 10:
Agencies Web site at www.naccrra. Oliver from Sept. 18 - 20. There personnel. For more information Aliens in the Attic (PG) 2 p.m.
org to see information on elligabil- are no registration fees, but trans- visit the fairʼs Web site at www. The Ugly Truth (PG) 6:30 p.m.
ity for assistance to pay for and ﬁnd portation is not included. For more lacountyfair.com. *Indicates Last Showing
www.miramar.usmc.mil September 4, 2009 Flight Jacket Page 8