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From: Doug Ward
Date: 13 Jul 1999
It sure doesn't seem like it has been 20 years.
After graduating from high school I became a guest of "Uncle Sam's Canoe Club," for 6 long years. My bedroom was about the size of two average bedrooms and held 18 roommates. The ship was 563 feet long, 55 feet wide and displaced 8000 tons.. We frequently traveled to an exciting place about 800 miles off the East Coast of the United States, spending months cruising in slow circles in the area generally known as the Bermuda Triangle (there must be something to all those Bermuda Triangle legends because my hair disappeared while we were out there). When we finally went to a more exciting locale it was exotic Grenada during a skirmish over an airstrip, and then on to Beirut for a civil war. While I poke fun at the Navy now that I have been out for 14 years, I only have fond memories. I was stationed on a fascinating new Spruance class destroyer after attending two years of electronics schools. My primary duties were repairing the computer, radars and closed circuit TV systems that directed the 5" guns.
After leaving the Navy I attended college at BSU where I eventually met my future wife in a statistics class. My interest in computers grew thanks in large to some influential friends and mentors, Tim Wolf and Joe Brown. I went to work for the U.S. Courts in 1986 while still attending college full time. In 1990 I married my college sweetheart Laura Thummel and received a degree in Finance.
I am employed by the U.S. District & Bankruptcy Court in the position of Systems Manager. I work with a very talented team of people that generally keep me out of trouble and help manage over two hundred PC workstations and servers across a statewide network. Fortunately Tim Wolf has never worked for the Judicial branch of the federal government so we are still in business (See Tim's comments).
I look forward to renewing some old friendships at the reunion but unfortunately I can only join the reunion for the barbeque on Friday evening. I am off for Kodiak Alaska early Saturday morning. I only hope these past 20 years have treated everyone as well as they have me. These have been good years and perhaps now we will finally have to grow up. As Tim Wolf recently commented, we have to grow old but we don't necessarily have to grow up. Here's to staying young at heart.