Cousin James in the News . . .
Uncle Cran can once more take pride in his youngest son -- and does so, forwarding the details to Cousin Bill and and me. Our Cousin James is again in the news. Journalist Tara Nurin, in "Profile: Top Brass at New Jersey's Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst" (NJ Spotlight, September 18, 2013), reports:
Col. James C. Hodges leads the Department of Defense's only tri-service joint base, which is, by some measures, the biggest in the country.I actually knew that already -- and blogged on it -- but I'm always pleased to hear more. By "tri-service," incidentally, Nurin means Army, Navy, and Air Force. To carry out that complex sort of job, Cousin James has to be an educated, but practical man, and he seems well prepared:
Raised in rural Arkansas, Hodges graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a degree in civil engineering and immediately applied his training to a career in the military. While serving in the Air Force, he earned a master's degree in engineering and policy from Washington University in St. Louis and another in organizational management from George Washington University. He held a variety of engineering-related and leadership posts for the air force and NATO until 2011, when he took over as Commander of the 6th Mission Support Group at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.See? Very practical, very educated, as I've been finding out over the past decade or so. Although we both grew up in the same part of Arkansas, I was twelve years older and gone by the time he was making his mark in sports and academics, so he was just a little cousin when I was still in the Ozarks. Now, however, he's risen far above my station in life, so I reckon I'm the little cousin! But even though he's gone far, he's still a country boy at heart:
What he likes about New Jersey: "I'm from a small town in Arkansas," he said. "I thought coming to New Jersey, I'd be surrounded by the urban pace of New York and Philadelphia. But I was quite pleasantly surprised at the quantity and beauty of the farms and fields right around here. It's quite nice to get out and see that while having all the expected conveniences here, too."I wouldn't have expected that either about New Jersey. Anyway, I'm glad to hear that Cousin James is doing well. I really only got to know him when he was stationed in Korea, back in 2000, but we've kept in touch, and I occasionally forward him historical and poli-sci articles relevant to the military and foreign policy, and I'm impressed that he always finds the time to read and comment on them.
Meanwhile, Cousin Bill replies to Uncle Cran's missive:
An informative interview, appreciate you forwarding same. Now, if . . . [you, U]ncle Cran will, on future visits to Ft Dix, refrain from submitting to an interview, expect Cousin James to someday be wearing a star on the epaulette.In other words, if Uncle Cran doesn't get quoted saying something embarrassing, Colonel James might very well rise again in rank, i.e., to a one-star general . . . and possibly higher.