In January 2007 I will retire from the U.S. Air Force after serving over 37 years of active and reserve military service. Michiko and I will soon move to Fairfax, VA where we intend to remain active in public education in Northern Virginia.
After graduation from SAHS, I enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the First Calvary Division in Vietnam. The Army was good as it sent me to Japan where I met Michiko Kimura of Sapporo, Japan, who has been my wonderful partner since 1967. Using the GI Bill, I was able to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Civil Engineering in 1971. For the next four years, we stayed on in the Pittsburgh area after graduation where I was a consulting civil engineer. Our children, Justin and Jessica, were born in Pittsburgh. Justin graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Old English Literature. He now works as a computer systems person in San Francisco, CA. In September 2007, Justin and his wife Shawna introduced to the world our first grandchild, Forrest Ray Sprester.
Jessica graduated from University of California-Riverside with a degree in Linguistics (Spanish, French, Japanese, and Italian). She worked in France, Holland, Hawaii, California, and now Texas.
The Air Force commissioned me in 1975 then sent me to serve in the U.S. Southwest for four years as a bioenvironmental engineer. While there, I completed a M.S. in Civil Engineering at New Mexico State University in 1979. I took a job as a senior environmental engineer with El Paso Natural Gas, El Paso, TX. I remained in the Air Force Reserves for the next nine years and continued to work toward a Ph. D. in Civil Engineering at NMSU and the University of Texas. Michiko completed her degree in Microbiology at the University of Texas at El Paso, TX in 1984. In 1985, I took a job as El Paso City-County Public Health Engineer in 1985, which was most interesting. The highlight was to help the border communities obtain safe drinking water for which I received the Distinguished Service Award.
I re-entered the Air Force in 1988. We lived at many stations, separated by military assignments, and now we have survived Washington, DC. Over the past ten years I was the Command Bioenvironmental Engineer for Pacific Air Forces. During this assignment I led teams to the Russia Far East to support the U.S. Department of State. I then became the Chief of the Air Force Bioenvironmental Engineers, Chief of Staff for the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Health, and today I am Chief, Homeland Defense Division for the Department of Defense Inspector General. Michiko completed a M.S. in Family Ecology at Michigan State University in 1996.
My most memorable moments here in Washington, DC were during and immediately following 9/11. I witnessed the aircraft hitting the Pentagon, sent troops to help in New York City and the Pentagon, sent troops to clean up Anthrax at the Capitol Building, organized training and equipping troops to deploy for Afghanistan and Iraq, and conducted an evaluation of the Defense Department's critical infrastructure for long term protection from terrorist activities.
Michiko has been teaching for the past 15 years in private and public schools in Japan, Hawaii, and Fairfax County, VA. She plans on retirement but has not told me when. I will join her to become a public school teacher next year. I am near completing a M.S. in Education at Old Dominion University and plan on teaching math and physics.
We may be reached at Sprester@verizon.net.
See the rest of the Class of 1963