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This past month brought me great sadness with the loss of two very dear friends. CMSgt (RET) H.L. Williams and MSgt (RET) Bruce Moats.

Chief Williams was my Chief at Ramstein AB GE in 1980-81 time-frame. Chief came into my life again in the 80's when I was at a TAC base and he was at HQ TAC. And again in the mid 80's when I was at HQ USAFE and he was at Sembach AB GE. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend his retirement in 1986 at Sembach AB GE, after 33 years and 9 months of dedicated military service (the longest career of any 603/2T1).

Chief went on to another career at Ft Stewart, GA and retired (again) to his beloved Alabama just a few years ago. We remained in touch throughout the years and I chatted with him through AOL Instant Messenger (IM) just days before his passing. I was on a cruise in the Caribbean and (thank goodness) happened to catch him online. He told me he had been having a rough time but was feeling better. Chief Williams was one of my very early mentors and I owe much of my successful career to the things he taught me. You may recognize his name from the Ops-Talk message board. He never missed an issue and supported the troops with every fiber of his being.

Bruce, who was in Vehicle Maintenance, and I met when I PCS'd to Offutt AFB NE in 1995. He was the Squadron Budget and Quality Manager and we quickly became friends. We also rode motorcycles together as members of the local Gold Wing Touring Association (GWTA). Bruce retired in 1997 (during my Korea mid-tour, so once again luck allowed me to attend), and in 1998 he came to Texas and spent 3 weeks with us remodeling my kitchen. He also stayed with us for one week every Mar/Apr along with two of his friends from Omaha to ride the Texas hill country and to Mexico. We looked forward every year to our visit from the 3 Bearded Amigos from Omaha.

Both of these gentlemen touched my life in very positive ways and I will remember them fondly with respect.


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