Ron and Ruth Violette married 34 years!
I left Bristol in July 1961 and went to Nuc school in Ft Belvoir. After graduation I was assigned to the SM-1 plant there. I started out there as an general handyman. After complaining to the the operations supervisor he asked me why I was in so early because I was on the midnight shift as a Training Equipment Operator. (A morbid sense of humor there was common.) Thirty days later I finished training and had my "walk through" and Board. I spent my time there as an Equipment Operator (EO) and went to Training Control Room Operator and was certified. Also I worked in the shop as an electrician.
In 1964 I volunteered to go to Antartica with the Navy. The Sgt Major said I couldn't go but I completed Packet training and left near the end of 1964 arriving on the ICE at McMurdo on Ross Island in October.
During thirteen months there I qualified as EO and CRO. I made E6 the month after the Sgt Major retired. Then I returned to Ft Belvoir and was assigned to Engineering where I wasn't content after a TDY to Alaska for a spent fuel shipment. When I returned to Ft Belvoir I managed to return to the SM-1 plant again.
In 1967 I volunteered again to return to the ICE. The Sgt Major said "no way" and refused to forward my name to the Colonel. At the time I was training the future Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the plant and informed him of my problem. I was then selected to go. I had been certified as a shift supervisor prior to this.
I married Ruth in May of 1968 and made SFC in June. In August we bought our first house in Alexandria, VA. In October of 1968 I returned to the ICE for another thirteen months.
Normally when one returned to Ft Belvoir the Sgt Major invites you into his office for a cup of coffee and a little chat. I thought I had nine choices of duty after being on the ICE but he met me in the hall and told me to report to the Training Division then turned and walked away. I reported to a LT Lavender who told me he knew I didnít want to be there but if I taught the next math class he would see that I go to the SM-1 plant. He kept his word. I then trained for plant superintendent, passed and was certified.
Next I went to Aberdeen, MD. We sold our home in Virginia and bought one five miles off post. While there Ruth started college for nursing. I made E8 in June 1977 and received orders to Panama to the MH-1A barge mounted nuclear power plant. I shipped my car and dog to Panama, sold the house and headed to Long Beach, CA for the rest of the trip. I got as far as Salt Lake in Utah and my orders were cancelled. Returned to Ft Belvoir and and moved into base quarters and Ruth re-enrolled in nursing.
Orders then came for me to go to Hawaii so Ruth dropped out of nursing again. All nuclear plants had been shut down and the MH-1A power plant was to be towed to Ft Belvoir. They cancelled my orders again and I said enough is enough and put in for retirement. Effective date of retirement was August 1,1978 after 20 years and 17 days. I took 30 days termination leave and moved to Reno, NV. Ruth finished nursing school and started working here at a local hospital.
Ruth and I have one daughter, one son-in-law and one grandson.
As a side note, my brother Paul retired after 30 years as a Colonel in February 2003.
Have a good one and all the best to you and yours. Ron and Ruth
pictures of Ron while he was at
McMurdo Station, Ross Island, Antartica on the next page.
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