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HCA Alumni News

It is with a solemn heart that we let you know of the following sad alumni news:

One of our fellow HCA Alums – Wayne McGary sadly lost his father, Vernon Wayne McGary a few weeks back. Mr. McGary enlisted in the Navy after graduating college where he attended flight school in Pensacola, FL. It is with utmost respect we thank Mr. McGary for his Naval Aviation service to our nation and offer our condolences to Wayne and his family for their loss.

Additionally, our hearts go out to Captain Jim Minta, USN Retired, and the Pratt family. CAPT Minta lost two of his NJROTC cadets from Lassiter, on April 24th, in a car accident that resulted in James and Joseph Pratt losing their lives. Please keep CAPT Minta, the Pratt family, and the Lassiter Community in your thoughts and prayers.

December 2016 - Annapolis Trip
Written by Lee Davis: From December 8 - 11, 2016 the Honorary Commanders Alumni Association invaded Annapolis, Maryland to tour the historic town, and of course its most famous residents: The Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy. After spending Thursday taking in the local flavor of Annapolis and trying to deplete the town's supply of crab cakes, Friday was spent on a thorough tour of the Academy and the beautiful structures that make up its rich history.

The pinnacle of the trip was attendance at the Army-Navy football game in Baltimore on December 10. The Honorary Commanders met the Navy Alumni Association at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, and boarded a fleet of charter buses carrying the Navy alumni to the game. First stop in Baltimore was the official Navy Alumni Association tailgate party before heading to the stadium. The game was a momentous (if chilly) occasion in which Army broke its 14-year losing streak, defeating Navy 21 to 17. It was a truly unforgettable trip for everyone involved.

December 16 - USO Day at the Airport
From Cheryl Draa: USO day with HCAA has always been one of my favorite days. For the last 4 years, I've been spending one of the last days in Dec at Hartsfield Airport working at the USO booth, along with my fellow HCAA. We are on the lookout for those kids coming into town that have been on leave for the holidays and are now reporting back to duty. Throughout that day we watch for the uniform coming up the escalator from the arrival gates to make sure that these kids know we have an awesome USO place for them to hang out. There is a place for the family/kids to play, lots of free food, and comfortable seating to spend those last few minutes with their family, or just catch up in a safe, comfortable place.

This year, was a little different, because they aren't wearing the uniform at the airport...so they aren't a target. We could still tell that fresh looking face, and cut hair. We snagged everyone we could that looked like they may be a soldier. Some who were "under cover" just came right up and asked. We escorted them to the USO and encouraged them to eat and take snacks with them.

Some of the HCAA choose to work in the kitchen, keeping the sandwiches and donuts stocked up and chatting with the kids inside. They have a fun time there, also. Along the way, we also help those tourists who have no idea how to get to the taxis... where their bags, etc are. We have a LOT of fun doing that, too. Participating at the USO in Atlanta is truly something to brighten your day.

From Pam Younker:  Volunteering to help at the USO at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport is an experience that is never the same twice.  Blessings abound when you volunteer to help!  We have the opportunity to welcome our military members home, see some of our military men and women off on deployments, help give people directions, feed Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen and their families, plus assorted other tasks that need to be performed.

This last volunteer opportunity was once again something I will always remember.  The picture I am attaching is of a Marine who had come home to see his grandmother who was very ill.  In the crowd of people waiting for friends or family at the airport was a Marine who had served in Viet Nam.  We all know what a bond there is when service members meet each other.  Well, this time was no exception.  These Marines included us in their time together.  It was very special!

If the Honorary Commanders Alumni should volunteer again, be sure to sign up.  You will not be sorry!  You will provide a blessing, and, I promise, you will be blessed!

February 2017 Kick-Off Social
The 2017 year was kicked-off with a lively social at Andretti Indoor Karting and Games. There were various years of HCAA represented at the social, by both civilians and military counterparts. A fun and competitive time was had by all! If you could not make it to this one, we hope you will consider joining us for the upcoming social on May 23rd where the alumni will get to meet members of the 2017 HCA class.

April 2017 Easter Dinner
The 94th Airlift Wing Security Forces Airmen were treated to an early Easter Dinner on April 13th. HCAA hosted the dinner to show gratitude for the service of the officers and Special Forces at Dobbins ARB.

May 2017 HCA/HCA Alumni Joint Social
The May 2017 Joint Social with the HCA class of 2017 and military counterparts at the new Braves Stadium was a great experience. The evening started with a tailgate party at the Sport and Social located inside the Battery which created an opportunity for the Alumni and class to mingle over food and drinks. This was also a great opportunity for the class and Alumni to learn a little bit about each other. During the tailgate party we also had fun with a raffle to win some Braves jersey's that were donated by the Braves front office. To top off a fun-filled evening we got the chance to see our very own Atlanta Braves bring home the win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. If you were not able to make it to the Joint Social don't fret, we look forward to you joining us for the Summer Social on August 16th (more details to follow).

Congratulations to all of the following Alumni!

Cheryl Draa ('13) - on being Awarded Best of Houzz for 2017! Read the full story here.

Captain (ret) Jim Minta's (USN) on his new job at the Senior Navy Science Instructor at Lassiter HS!

Kati Hyland ('10) and her husband Kevin on their new beautiful daughter – Anna Claire!

Brett McClung ('94) who will be serving as the Leadership Cobb 2018 Co-Chair!

Greg Teague ('10) who is serving as the Leadership Cobb Alumni Executive Board Chair for 2017!

Travis Ellis ('09) on the incredible honor of being one of six people in the United States to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation's 2017 Citizen Honors Award. Citizen Honor awardees are chosen by Congressional Medal of Honor recipients for their acts of courage and selfless service which epitomize the American spirit. Travis and his Shepherd's Men raise awareness and funds for Shepherd Center's SHARE Military Initiative, a donor-funded program which provides treatment for service men and women who have sustained a mild to moderate traumatic brain injury, along with co-occurring PTSD or other mental health concerns, from service in post-9/11 conflicts.