FaceBook  Twitter

Charles Kuhar '71 reflects on his military serviceCharles A. Kuhar ’71
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I joined the Air Force in 1971 and spent 21 years as an aviator (pilot) in fixed-wing fighter aircrafts like the F-111, F-15E Strike Eagle. I spent my first tour in Southeast Asia during 1972 flying combat missions in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. What a hoot!

As a 23 year old I saw some pretty amazing things. Who would have guessed that the art history course I took my senior year would prove so useful – the golden Buddha, the reclining Buddha, the royal palace –  all at my fingertips.

When I came back to the states, I served as a platform, simulator and flight instructor. I was a Top Gun Instructor, a UN peacekeeper in Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, as well as a Space Shuttle Project Officer for the STS-3 landing and recover at White Sands, New Mexico. I lived all over the world and saw sights that I still have trouble believing.

When I was going through initial flight training, I met my wife, Patti. She followed me on every assignment, and together we compiled some fantastic sagas. We have no children we're willing to claim, but if I feel the need for child-rearing, I can visit my three sisters who would be more than willing to loan me their kids for the day.

After retiring from the Air Force, I worked as a high school math teacher for three years under Project Teach, a California initiative to generate more math and science professionals. I also worked for the Post Office as a supervisor and District manager. I ended up in a medical retirement situation because of liver failure, and endured eight years of pain and suffering, followed by two, back to back liver transplants. I survived and eventually flourished, going from a robust 225 pounds to a skeletal 136 pounds. A great Halloween look, maybe even appropriate for the ‘Grave Digger's Ball,” but not so much for everyday life.

Lawrence E. Marynak '72
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kathy and I met in the Blue Band and married in 1973. We are still married after 41 years and living in Raleigh. We have two daughters. Amy is a stay at home mom here in Raleigh with our only grandchild, Paul.

Kristy works with the CDC in Atlanta on the policy side and just returned from a tour in West Africa working on Ebola infection information issues. We plan to move to Atlanta soon as she and her husband are ready to start a family.

After our undergrad years, Kathy and I married, served two years active as members of the USAF Academy Band, then moved to Kathy's home town, Troy, Pa., where I served as HS Band Director and in the 553rd AFNG Band in Harrisburg. We starved as teachers in the late 70’s and went back to PSU in the early 80’s. I earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering and Kath earned a Masters in Music Ed, both on the WW2 GI Bill.

I took a power plant engineering job in North Carolina in 1982 and Kath became a music teacher and an assistant principal and spent her last 15 years as an elementary school principal. After 15 years with the power company and a painful downsizing layoff, I worked my last 15 years as a project manager with the same Wake County school system in technology and construction. We both retired from these jobs on Jan. 1, 2014.

After a 15 year break in service, I reenlisted in an Army Guard Band in Raleigh and retired after 20 years total. The sergeant's retirement pay is low, but the Tricare benefits are substantial.

I have kept up with my music over the years and still perform locally as a jazz semi-pro on sax, clarinet and vocals. This is my main interest after family and travel with Kath.

George J. Washko '77
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I have just moved to San Diego after living in Switzerland for the last three years. It’s great to be back in the United States.

Stephen A. Chilcote ’80
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I just became a grandfather in January, and am trying to re-invent my consulting business to keep it alive. I am looking forward to new challenges