Jennifer Holey entered the Army Nurse Corps after graduating from Texas Christian University, where she was a member of ROTC. Her eight-year career in the Army included six months in Haiti as an ER nurse at a United Nations facility in Port-au-Prince. She described her experiences there in her self-published memoir, “Cinderella, The Church and a Crazy Lady”.
In 1997, U.S. Army Chaplain Corp member, Joseph J. Gallick Jr., stepped down from active duty, when he became the priest at the Albanian Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Natick, MA. During this time, he also was attached to units in Londonderry, NH and Hanscom Air Force Base. Prior to his time in Natick, Gallick had stints in Fort Carson, Colorado, and Hanau, Germany, where he spent three years in 1990-1993. He also spent time in the Persian Gulf, arriving just as the first war was starting. While his unit was never deployed, he helped prepare other units for deployment, and recalled, he would often be the last person to say good-bye, wishing the men and women a safe return. He was with the 655th ASG in Fort Drum, NY, when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. He spent a month in Afghanistan (January-February 2005), as the military needed an Orthodox Priest to conduct services for the units. He retired in 2009 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
U.S. Navy 1980–1986
Upon graduating Natick High School in 1980, Jerry Eldredge, Jr. decided to enter the military because college was not affordable. At boot camp in San Diego he had to quickly get into shape to pass the physical requirements. Assigned to the USS Coronado, he was sent to Bahrain to stand ready for any acceleration in conflict in Beirut. Shortly after that he was transferred to the USS Tarawa, an immense helicopter carrier. Jerry spent two years on the Tarawa as a flight deck aviation refueler and a damage control petty officer and me mentions the numerous ports the ship visited. To his and the crew’s credit, their careful attention to their jobs proved successful in that they were not involved in any mishaps on the ship.
U.S. Army 1977–1979
John Bower grew up in Natick, Mass. and after college, enlisted in the all-volunteer Army and joined the 7th MP Company, 7th Infantry Division. From basic training at Fort Jackson and Fort Ord, he was sent to Livorno, Italy. John talks honestly about getting used to the military culture which was very different for a New Englander and the difficulties of the post-Vietnam War era. Marriage to another MP, the rampant drugs and the chaos in Italy after the kidnapping and murder of the President of France, contributed to the stresses in his life. After years of refusing help from the Veterans Administration, John, with guidance from the veterans’ liaison in the unemployment office, sought and received medical benefits. To this day he continues his therapy, stating that the VA saved him, and he encourages others to utilize their services.
As a young child in Italy near Naples, Mr. Caso witnessed a lot of warfare-Axis and Allied-during World War II. Later he immigrated to the United States and served with the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Vicenza, Italy.