Tag Archives: McCampbell

Thank You For Happy Birthday Wishes

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thank-you-for-happy-birthday-wishes-colorful-graphicI wish to extend a “thank you” to each and everyone who remembered my birthday this year and extended their good wishes to me and my family.    I was the recipient of numerous face book posts, instant messages, emails and phone calls of those who were wishing me the best.

I enjoyed a delightful dinner with my wife and family including my mother in law  last night.  I am also looking forward to a fun dinner with friends this evening  to round out my weekend of celebrating.

I cannot let go unnoticed in this “thank you” though,  some personal sadness that began this week and ended this week.

First, I was shocked to learn of the sudden death of Lt. Herbert L. Milnes of the Northlake Fire Department  on September 20th,  whom many of us have known since each of us were children and grew to adult with together as we raised our children.   His father, who was a Lieutenant. on the Schiller Park Fire Department, passed away a number of years ago, and was a very good friend of mine.   I was happy to have shared the celebration of Lee’s life this week with his family and his extended family in the fire service.  Lee touched so many lives, including his family,  in such a positive way.

Secondly, I attended the wake yesterday, of Eileen O’Grady, who got to know when she and I served on the St. Beatrice School Board in the early 1980’s.    She and her husband, Frank, have raised a wonderful family who are a credit to themselves and community.   Eileen endured serious health problems during much of her adulthood, but she never let it diminish her contribution to community, the raising of her children and grand children,  and her pursuit of her professional career.   She leaves a mountain of achievements, that will long be remembered and appreciated.    A strong testimonial was by the presence of hundreds of those who attended her wake, many whom waited in line for over an hour.

Both of these wonderful people may be gone, but not forgotten.   Their “monuments” are their family and the communities that they contributed in building during their life time.


Truly, this birthday week of mine was a time of reflection.


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Schiller Park School District 81′s Washington School Students Perform in the Disney Musical, “The Little Mermaid”

Disney's "The Little Mermaid"
Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”

The Schiller Park School District 81, Washington School students,  are putting on the school’s musical production of Disney’s  “The Little Mermaid” tonight, February 15, 2013, at 6:30 PM at the Lincoln Middle School’s Little Theatre.  Everyone is invited to see our talented students in action.  The energy and efforts of the school staff and students in putting together these productions is awesome.  Anyone attending will have a truly amazing time.   It is hard to believe that the performers are 4th and 5th grade students when you witness the professionalism in the production and the performance.   Last year’s performance of the Disney “Beauty and the Beast” was quite memorable.   Anyone attending will find it a great way to start a weekend.

Fifth Annual World Autism Day—Monday, April 2, 2012/April is Autism Awareness Month

The fifth annual World Autism Awareness Day is just 20 days away on Monday, April 2, 2012! Please tell us how you are going to celebrate by posting to our wall. We look forward to celebrating the day and Autism Awareness Month with you all!

Konica Minolta and Jo Ride Bicycles Held a Special Holiday Gathering on Sunday, December 11, 2011 at the Keshet International Center to Promote Friendship and Good Will, Which my Children, RJ and Brody attended.

RJ and Brody McCampbell with mom and dad at the recent brunch where Konica Minolta and JoRide Bicycles recently distributed JoRide Bicycles to families to make a more colorful tomorrow to special children this Holiday Season

My children, RJ and Brody were recently invited with my wife, Mary Jane and I, by the Illinois Autism Society to the Konica Minolta and Jo Ride Bicycles Special Holiday Gathering  to promote Friendship and Good Will.   The brunch was held at the Keshet International Center in Northbrook on Sunday, December 11, 2011.   The Konica Minolta Colorful Tomorrow Foundation distributed 60 JoRide Bicycles to families and organizations in the Chicago Market.   Their efforts are greatly appreciated in their quest in delivering a more colorful tomorrow to special children this Holiday Season. 

These are special bikes for children that have problems riding conventional two wheel bicycles.  These bikes will be useful in the children’s occupational therapy and physical therapy programs.  

A special thanks to Steve Cohen of Aaron Equipment Company, who with his son devised the design of the bicycles and now manufactures them, and to the Illinois Autism Society  http://www.autismillinois.org/, and Mary Kay Betz, Executive Director of the Illinois Autism Society.

You can use this link for the JoRide Bicycle website :   http://www.joride.com/index.html

Triton College Foundation is Honoring Key Supporters at the President’s Reception on November 2

The Triton College Foundation will honor Geoffrey Obrzut, president and CEO of the Illinois Community College Board; Thomas Olson, executive director of marketing of Triton College; and Dr. Kathryn Robbins, superintendent of Leyden High School District 212, at the 19th Annual President’s Reception set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, in the Student Center (B) Building on the west side of Triton’s main campus, 2000 Fifth Ave., River Grove.

Mr. Geoffrey Obrzut, a West Leyden High School and 1972 Triton College graduate, who received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois—Springfield, held administrative roles with the Department of Human Services and the United Cerebral Palsy of Will County, before being elected to the Illinois General Assembly as a state representative for the 52nd District. He also served as an aide to Illinois Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan, as well as Illinois Gov. Dan Walker. Today, Obrzut is in a rewarding career as president and CEO of the Illinois Community College Board, holding his position since 2004.

Obrzut has won numerous awards, exemplifying his commitment to contributing to student success. Awards include the Meritorious Service Award from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) in 2007, the Outstanding Service Award from the Illinois Student Association in 1992 and the ICCTA’s Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1986.

He also has served on the Triton College Board of Trustees, the ICCTA and chaired the National Council of State Directors of Community College in 2009 and 2010.

Mr. Thomas Olson holds the position of executive director of marketing at Triton College, where he has been employed since 1983, previously serving as a graphic designer and director of creative services.

In 1998, Olson was recognized as Communicator of the Year by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations, a highly-recognized national collegiate organization, for his graphic design and marketing skills and is a member of Triton College President Dr. Patricia Granados’ 2009 President’s Leadership Academy. In November 2010, he received the president’s Excellence in Service Award – an award given to individuals who repeatedly go above and beyond the call of duty for Triton College.

A lifelong Melrose Park native, Olson is a 1974 graduate of Proviso East (Maywood), a 1977 graduate of Triton College and parishioner of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. He is an active supporter of many youth and civic organizations throughout the area. In 2003, he was elected Veterans Park District commissioner and was re-elected in 2009. In 2007, Olson was honored as the 114th Annual Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Man of the Year and in 2009 as the 48th Annual Melrose Park Flowers of Italy Club Man of the Year. At each event, he set up and pledged student scholarships via the Triton Foundation to support the mission of each organization and benefit the students of Triton College.

Dr. Kathryn J. Robbins has an accomplished career in education, beginning as a high school teacher at Manteno and Proviso East High Schools years. As superintendent of Leyden High School District 212, a position she’s held since 1999, Dr. Robbins is responsible for all school district operations for 3,500 students and 550 staff members. During her tenure, she has worked with the Board of Education, her administrative team and staff to establish professional learning communities and to restructure the school day, currently leading the effort to bring 21st Century learning and technology skills to all Leyden students.

Dr. Robbins has served in a variety of capacities on boards and with professional organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors for the Illinois High School District Organization, the West Cook Region of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Superintendents Round Table of Northern Illinois and the Leyden Area Superintendents Organization. She was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Association of School Administrators in 2005 and will serve as president of the state organization next year. She received her Bachelor of Science in business education from Northern Illinois University, her Master of Science in education from National Louis University and a doctorate in educational administration from Loyola University.

Tickets for the President’s Reception are $60 and include food, refreshments and entertainment, all produced by Triton College students or donated by area restaurants. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of the college, to be used toward student scholarships and other programs at Triton College and are tax deductible as allowed by law.

A commemorative program book is being produced as part of the festivities. Ads for the book can be purchased for as little as $25 for a patron listing (name only), and up. If assistance is needed in designing an ad, the Foundation can help at no additional cost.

The Foundation also is looking for silent auction items. These items can be gift certificates, tickets to events or merchandise, including autographed sportswear, artwork, ceramics, sporting equipment, and food items arranged in gift baskets.

To purchase a ticket, place an ad in the program book or to donate an item for the silent auction, call the Foundation at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3758, or send an e-mail to skerr@triton.edu.

The History of the USS McCampbell Commissioned in 2002—-I am proud to be related for whom this ship has been named

DDG 85


Construction of DDG 85 took place at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, starting with the ship’s keel being laid on July 16, 1999. The McCampbell was launched in July 2000, ran her first sea trials in January 2002, and was delivered to the Navy in March 2002.

USS McCampbell was commissioned on August 17, 2002, in San Francisco at Pier 30. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright served as ship’s sponsor while Buffy McCampbell, wife of the ship’s namesake, served as matron of honor. The Aegis destroyer honors Capt. David S. McCampbell, the Navy’s all-time leading ace with 34 aerial victories during World War II.

May 12, 2003 In the predawn hours, off the coast of Central America, ship’s force and members of a U.S Coast Guard law enforcement detachment conducted a discrete boarding of the “Sin Rumbo,” a Canadian flagged sailing vessel. Inside the vessel, the boarding team from USS McCampbell discovered 1.36 metric tons of cocaine packaged for shipment and valued at more than $20 million.

June 24, USS McCampbell returned to homeport from its first deployment. She has been conducting counter-narcotics operations under the operational command of Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) West and South in the eastern Pacific Transit Zone since it left San Diego April 19. The McCampbell completed eight boardings, 34 Right Of Approaches, and 108 sightings and identifications of various vessels. The crew enjoyed several port visits to the cities of Mazaltan and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and Balboa, Panama.

May 5, 2004 USS McCampbell departed San Diego for its first six-month deployment in the western Pacific. The ship and its crew are headed to Southeast Asia in support of a Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) cruise. CARAT is a series of bilateral exercises held annually throughout Southeast Asia that began in 1995, by combining a number of existing exercises to be conducted sequentially by a single U.S. Navy task group. The guided-missile destroyer will be conducting joint naval exercises with the countries of Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines.

August 5, The 2004 edition of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series ended Aug. 4 with the closing ceremony of the Philippines phase. CARAT Singapore was conducted from May 31-June 11 while CARAT Brunei took place from June 21-26. The 10-day CARAT Thailand phase ended July 9. CARAT Malaysia was performed from July 12-22. The CARAT Task Group ships arrived in the Philippines July 27 for the final phase of the CARAT series. DDG 85 returned to homeport in September.

January 4, 2006 USS McCampbell departed Naval Base San Diego, as part of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Carrier Strike Group, for a scheduled deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism, as well as national and theater cooperative security commitments in the western Pacific.

February 17, DDG 85 recently departed Republic of Maldives after a goodwill port visit.

March 25, USS McCampbell and The Kiribati-flagged merchant vessel M/V Rokya 1 collided at 11:09 p.m., local time, approximately 30 miles southeast of the Iraqi coastline in the North Persian Gulf. Two U.S. Sailors received minor injuries as a result of the collision. Two crew members from Rokya 1 also received minor injuries and were treated on-scene by McCampbell’s independent duty corpsman. Both ships received damage on the bow and are deemed seaworthy. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

April 29, USS McCambell, commanded by Cmdr. Vincent McBeth, and USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168), along with Bahrain Coast Guard emergency management teams, participated in a proof-of-concept demonstration off the port of Mina Salman. Two U.S. Navy ships executed the proof of concept, which entailed simulating an oil spill and conducting the subsequent containment and recovery.

June 3, DDG 85 pulled to Singapore for a scheduled port call. The ship is en route to its homeport in San Diego after five months on station in the Gulf.

June 13, The guided-misile destroyer departed Hong Kong after a three-day port visit.

June 16, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, along with other ships and military personnel from around the U.S. Pacific Fleet, is making preparations for Valiant Shield 2006, one of the largest joint military exercises in this region in more than a decade. Two ships from DESRON 7, the McCampbell and Decatur (DDG 73), will be operating off the coast of Guam June 19-23. The exercise will involve more than 20,000 Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.

July 6, DDG 85 returned to San Diego after a six-month underway period in the Persian Gulf and western Pacific Ocean.

June 21, 2007 USS McCampbell departed San Diego for its new homeport in Japan.

July 9, USS McCampbell, commanded by Cmdr. William Triplett, arrived in Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) to take the place of USS Gary (FFG 51), which is scheduled to leave FAY and return to San Diego.

August 13, DDG 85 is currently participating in Exercise Valiant Shield 2007, as part of USS Kitty Hawk CSG, off the coast of Guam.

November 16, USS McCampbell completed its participation in ANNUALEX 19G, the maritime component of the U.S.-Japan exercise Keen Sword 08.

December 12, Sailors aboard the USS McCampbell successfully completed the Ship Anti-submarine Warfare Readiness and Evaluation Measurement (SHAREM) 155 exercise, a bilateral exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), which took place Nov. 30 to Dec. 4. McCampbell served as the command ship and was joined by USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USS Topeka (SSN 752), two JMSDF surface ships, and U.S. and Japanese aircraft during the exercise.

June 23, 2008 The guided-missile destroyer recently arrived in Singapore for the third phase of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2008 Exercise.

August 12, USS McCampbell departed homeport to participate in a multilateral exercise FRUKUS 2008 in the Sea of Japan Aug. 15-23.

August 13, The United States has cancelled a joint naval exercise with Russia after U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Moscow that it’s attacks on Georgia have jeopardised its integration into international institutions. The exercises were to involve warships from Russia, France, Britain and the U.S. in the Sea of Japan as well as an onshore component in the Russian port of Vladivostok.

October 2, DDG 85 departed Yokosuka to conduct training and to participate in exercises with regional naval partners, for the first time as part of USS George Washington (CVN 73) CSG.

March 4, 2009 The McCampbell is currently participating in Multi-Sail ’09 exercise in the western Pacific.

May 17, USS McCampbell departed Shimoda, Japan, after a two-day port visit in support of the 70th Shimoda Black Ship Festival.

July 14, The guided-missile destroyer is currently off the coast of Australia supporting bilateral training exercise Talisman Sabre 2009 with the Washington Carrier Strike Group.

August 6, DDG 85 pulled to Darwin, Australia, for a scheduled port visit.

August 15, The McCampbell, commanded by Cmdr. Charles Johnson, arrived in Bitung to participate in the Indonesia International Fleet Review (IFR).

September 3, USS McCampbell returned to Yokosuka after a summer underway period.

October 3, The guided-missile destroyer departed Hong Kong after a two-day port call.

October 9, USS McCampbell joined USS Denver (LPD 9) off the coast of Padang, Indonesia, to assist in humanitarian efforts in West Sumatra following two earthquakes.

April 13, 2010 DDG 85 is currently participating in Multi-Sail 2010 exercise off the coast of Okinawa.

May 13, USS McCampbell, along with USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), arrived in Hong Kong for a scheduled port visit.

May 26, The McCampbell is currently conducting Combat System Ship Qualification Trials (CSSQT) with the GW CSG.

July 25, The guided-missile destroyer departed Busan, Republic of Korea, after a four-day port visit to participate in “Invincible Spirit,” a combined alliance maritime and air readiness exercise involving the Republic of Korea and the United States in the East Sea, July 25-28.

August 11, USS McCampbell pulled into Changi Naval Base for a scheduled port visit to Singapore.

September 4, DDG 85 arrived in Manila, Republic of the Philippines, for a four-day port call.

October 2, The McCampbell pulled into Laem Chabang, Thailand, for a scheduled port visit.

March 12, 2011 USS McCampbell is currently at sea east of the Boso Peninsula preparing to move into position off Miyagi Prefecture to assist Japanese authorities with providing at-sea search and rescue and recovery operations, in the wake of a catastrophic magnitude 9.0 earthquake that left thousands dead on Friday.

April 18, USS McCampbell conducted a passing exercise (PASSEX) with the Republic of Korea Ulsan-class frigate ROKS Seoul (FF 952).

May 16, The guided-missile destroyer pulled into Changi Naval Base at Singapore for a five-day port visit to participate in International Maritime Defense Exhibition (IMDEX) Asia 2011.

June 12, USS McCampbell intercepted a Belizean-flagged North Korean cargo ship M/V Light May 26, south of Shanghai, suspected of carrying missile technology to Myanmar and, after a standoff at sea and several days of diplomatic pressure from Washington and Asia nations, forced the vessel to return home.

July 4, DDG 85 arrived in Sydney, Australia, for a port visit before participating in a biennial joint exercise Talisman Sabre.

August 22, USS McCampbell returned to Fleet Activities Yokosuka after four-and-a-half month patrol.

August 30, The McCampbell departed Yokosuka to avoid Tropical Storm Talas in anticipation of the typhoon’s projected arrival on early Friday morning.

October 13, USS McCampbell, along with USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), departed Apra Harbor, Guam, to participate in a joint anti-terorism exercise Pacific Eagle 2011 with the Russian Federation Navy (RFN) forces, including Pacific Fleet flagship Slava-class guided missile cruiser RFS Varyag (011), off Mariana Islands, Oct. 13-15