Post/Command: Post 158 Old Dominion of Tidewater (effectively Southeast Virginia)
Current Residence: Norfolk, VA
Military Service dates: 1999-2019 (from 1995-1999 I was enlisted in the reserves while attending college)
Member since year: Oh, around about 2006’ish tried to work with the post in Jacksonville Florida, but nothing ever came of it.
- When and why did you serve in the military?
– Enlisted in the reserves in 1995 and commissioned in 1999. It is our duty as Americans to serve our country in one form or another. For me, it seemed like a good fit to do this through naval service vice some other civil service. But, if you ask my good Jewish mother (sorry to keep referencing her but she is prolific in my life) I did it just to upset her. I’ve never disputed that claim.
- How did you get introduced to JWV?
– I do not remember, just heard about it one day while stationed in San Diego, I was on sea duty with 1, 2, 3, 5 small children so did not follow up with it till much later.
- What is a program that JWV offers, in which you would like to be more involved with, and why?
– The main mission, Veterans Affairs.
- What is an American tradition that makes you the proudest?
– Being an American, there is a lot to be proud of.
- What is the best military Jewish holiday story you have?
– There I was in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba it was the 5th night of Hanukkah 2008 and my ship had bulled in for a brief refueling and resupplying. There was a cool breeze blowing off of the Caribbean through the old battle field that was the Cuzco Well, and shaking the windows of the O’Kelly’s Irish Pub where my local detachment of American Jews had lit the menorah for the fifth night. Through the flicker of these holy lights USMC Sargent C. Fox commenced to debrief the story of Hanukkah as only a Jewish Marine from West Virginia could… I have tried to tell his story over again cleaning out the language and “civilian-izing” it, but it does not have the same comical punch to it! This kid got so into telling the story about Judah Maccabi set up irregular gorilla operations against the Syrians through physical gestures (theatrics) of mock up squad tactics (he got fellow Sailors and Marines to participate) and close order combat. He really got into it. We laughed so hard, I don’t think I had ever heard or seen anything so funny in my entire life! Give me some time and I will try to recreate it…. It was funny.
- What is your favorite movie about the military and does it relate with your experience in the military?
– First off, any movie with John Wayne is top! “In Harm’s Way,” “They Were Expendable,” “Operation Pacific,” et cetera! But if you want a movie my wife says represents me it would be “The Last Detail.” She says they managed to break my personality down into the three main characters. Truth is my career has been more of a “Down Periscope” than anything else.
- Do you prefer Latkes or donuts on Hanukkah?
– Bourbon, was that a choice?