April 2008 Alumnae/i Notes

From Afghanistan came word in mid-Feb. from Jason Kruger '94: "I was able to get together with Keith Pritchard '01 a few days ago at the Bagram Airfield.  We were able to enjoy a cup of coffee and talk about work, family and SJU.  It is funny, I hadn't seen Keith since he graduated and even when we were at SJU I didn't know him well.  That didn't stop us from having a wonderful conversation and I attribute a large part of that to our shared experience at SJU.   It is always good to run into a Johnnie somewhere, especially half-way across the world in a war zone."  [email protected]

"I am currently in Bogota, Colombia," writes Jeremy Mitchell '00, "working as Assistant Operations Officer for the MILGP Colombia Task force.  Though the Army is not my 'full-time' job, I am actually a Senior Border Patrol Agent, out of McAllen, TX, in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley, the heart of narcotics trafficking in to the USA; hence I was selected for this mission to Colombia.  I mobilized for the mission to Colombia, almost three years to the day that I mobilized for my tour to Afghanistan. I spent 2005 in Afghanistan working with the Afghan National Army; I spent half of 2006 working for the US State Dept to advise the Afghan Border Police.  I can't believe that it's been over 7 years since I left SJU and MN. When I get back to the US, I am looking at going for my master's at Clemson Univ, SC." Jeremy Mitchell/ CPT, IN, USAR/ MILGP Assistant Operations Officer/ USMILGP, Colombia.

Dan Wood '93 writes about baby girl Rose, born on Jan. 11 to Jim '93 and Sandy Wenner, at 23 weeks and weighing only 8 ounces.  The CaringBridge site over the last two months indicates continually that she is progressing, growing, improving in every way, now up to 3 lbs. The Wenners live in Richmond where Jim is in the family mortuary business. Dan and Marie Wood have three children: Danielle, one year; and, Anne, seven years; and Margo, five years. "My wife and I are blessed and busy. Great to read my old roommate, Dr. Jeff Vos '93, is going to teach in the medical profession.  What a machine he was in college (as he probably is today)!   And to see my ROTC mentors, Bill Kundinger '90 and Tom Habstritt '90, becoming LTCs!! Wow, time really does fly. I stay in touch with Tom Klecker '93.  He is a partner in a law firm in Alexandria. I hope to see Dave Minke '91 and his family soon as they are moving back to MN from CO." [email protected]

Afghanistan: LTC John P. Zeitler, LG Commander (aka, LTC Z) writes: "If you are in contact with any Johnnies or Bennies who need assistance, I am in a position to help.  Please let them know they can contact me here at Bagram." Col. Zeitler has been on the staff of the CSB/SJU ROTC department. His contact information:  NIPR: [email protected]

Joe Schotzko '97 wrote (and don't ask me what ILE is): "I have orders for ILE this summer.  I will report in Jul. to Ft Leavenworth, KS. WI has been a wonderful time for us as it was close to home but I miss being in an MTOE unit.  I am almost done with my online masters program. [email protected]

Bill Johnson '95  was "outprocessing" at Fort Carson, CO (after returning from Iraq) and expecting to be back with his family in MN permanently very soon. -- John '05 and Kelly '05 DeWein report through John: "I never thought I'd say it, but I miss the culture in MN. Clarksville, TN doesn't quite have the same scene as Minneapolis. Kelly and I have to drive to Nashville for any real cultural events. Kelly deployed out of Fort Campbell, KY back in Oct. to the hospital in Baghdad, Iraq."  She stayed for 3 months before tests discovered that she was in fact 4 1/2 months pregnant and she returned to the US. We will hear more about that! John is finishing his last year of college, will graduate in Dec. (Dean's list every semester!) and be commissioned. [email protected]

On Jan. 21, 2008 Finley Thomas was born to Jeffrey '97 and April '98 Reibestein. Congratulations!  Jeff is working on a degree and they live at: 1751 Huntington Dr/West Fargo, ND 58078 [email protected] [email protected]

Michelle Campbell '05 writes (from Germany) that they are hoping Casey '05 will be home from Iraq for R. & R. in late June. In the meantime, some appropriate words: "I want to thank all of you who have been praying for Casey and me and our deployed soldiers.  I cannot tell you how much your prayers mean to us.  I ask that you continue to do so.  1st Squadron (not Casey's squadron, but the same regiment) lost 3 guys last week, and had about 20 non-serious injuries...please keep these families and soldiers in your prayers.  The evil and danger they face daily is incomprehensible to us at home, so please, please lift them up in prayer." Casey's new address: 1LT Casey Campbell/H Co. 2nd PL 3-2 SCR/Unit #43464, FOB Normandy/APO AE 09324

This is a bit more complex: "Greeting from Tikrit, Iraq," says Jim Pfaff '78 (Col), writing in mid-Mar.: "I'm almost half way through the deployment and the weather is starting to warm up.  I've actually put the uniform back on until May as a "retiree recall" and am not over here as a civilian.  Once I get back to San Antonio I will take it off and be retired again.  I did this because the reserve units are having difficulty finding emergency medicine physicians.  In fact, in this unit there is only one other ER physician (out of 5) staffing the EMT.  The other physicians have little training in trauma. We are seeing a mix of American casualties as well as Iraqi Police, the military, some detainees and some local nationals.   We've seen a broad range of injuries and a broad range of ages.  My oldest daughter thinks that I came here because I had a "calling".  She may be right.  I've been thinking about doing this for a couple of years. The family is doing fine......but we can't wait until the re-union in May."  [email protected]