October 2007 Alumnae/i Notes

Jeff ‘97 and April ‘98 Reibestein were here 22 Sept as Jeff chose to have a short promotion to Major outside overlooking the Sagatagan.  His sister Becca ‘00 and other members of his family and April’s (from Roseau) were in attendance. Jeff is doing graduate work in Fargo. Congratulations!

As of early Sept Casey Campbell ‘05 wrote that he was at FOB Stryker (Bagdad) along with Jeff Bess '05 who is flying Chinooks  and they were able to meet up for dinner. Steve Scott '05 is a 15 minute drive away at FOB Liberty and they hope to meet.

From the office of Col James Fischer: “Army ROTC Alumni/ae, on 8 Dec ‘07 your fellow Fighting Saints past and present will gather to reminisce before and during the SJU/SCSU basketball game.  Beginning at 4:30 PM, we will meet at the Kelly Inn, Downtown St. Cloud.  At 7:15, a bus will take us to Hallenbeck Hall to watch the game which begins at 8:00.  Call Joey Errington at 320-363-2342 for more information.  We hope to see you there.” 

Chad Edlund ’00 writes from Iraq:  “First, Erin ‘03 had our third child on 15 Aug, a girl, Brooklynn Paige. Siblings Josh (4) and Lauren (2) were very excited about that. Erin also got promoted to CPT in Sept, and still works as an Army nurse - Labor & Delivery at Ft. Riley, KS. As for myself, I'm in Iraq again, in Southern Baghdad out of FOB Falcon. I'm now the Engineer Co commander for 4-1ID, with the mission of conducting route clearance. Basically, we're the ones that drive extremely slow and look for the road-side bombs that others try to avoid. Our area of Baghdad is the most volatile in Iraq, we've taken many blasts on our vehicles, but my soldiers are dedicated, and have a great attitude which makes my time here go fast. Based on my mission I get to see the Iraqi roads and people often, and it's the small changes that show that there's hope for change. Locals cleaning up the roads which are usually littered with trash, now populated markets that were vacant only a few months ago, locals feeling safe enough to talk to the soldiers on patrol without fear of retribution or death, I even saw a guy mowing his lawn. I've ran into a few Johnnies and it's always great talking about SJU and Collegeville. Other officers who went to large public schools just don't understand. I worked a little with MAJ Tom Weiss ’94; he was classmates with John Reynolds ‘94). CPT Bill Johnson ‘95 is on the same FOB as me working at the Brigade headquarters.  Recently I talked to CPT Mike Votca ‘99 on the phone, he's moving to Taji in Northern Baghdad.  MAJ Dan Greene (ROTC Cadre 99-03') also stopped in a few times from Tiqrit to say hello also prior to returning to the US.” 

Jake Froehle ’97 sent a report from Afghanistan in mid-Oct and says the weather is cooling off to 80 in the daytime and cool at nights but, unlike MN, no rain.  His work is on the ground (unlike his two tours in Iraq where he was flying) and he misses the flying. He sends a picture capturing the rocky and rough terrain where he is.

Curtis ‘87 and Linda Carson update us on their status. “We moved to Ft.Campbell in June. The 20 year mark wasn't quite enough for us -- when Uncle Sam can deploy you on a 15 month all expense paid getaway to Iraq at the same time your eldest daughter is going through puberty!

Tommy ‘04  and Julie ‘04 O’Keefe (married last summer) are heading to Heidelberg, Germany 17 Oct to begin a 3 year tour over there. They do have a phone number: “It is a Vonage phone (uses the internet connection for phone service); the number is 952.486.7996. A Twin Cities area code, so even though we are in Germany, it will be like making a call as if we were in MN.”  Tommy has abandoned his website; too much maintenance!  There is a photo web gallery.  http://gallery.mac.com/thomas.okeefe#gallery