We graduated from SAHS in 1978 and within 3 weeks of graduation I was off to boot camp in the US Navy. I spent the first two years in Great Lakes, IL attending Navy schools in the Advanced Electronics Field. In 1980 I reported to my first ship, USS Brewton FF-1086 in Pearl Harbor, HI where I spent the next 4 years and made two Western Pacific (WestPac) cruises. In 1980 I spent my first Christmas away from home in a port visit in Hong Kong. While stationed in Hawaii, I returned home to Smethport for Christmas in 1982 and 14 days later got married to my high school sweetheart, Darlene Jo Elliott, from Eldred. We've now been married for over 25 years and have two young children, Mark Andrew, who will be 12 in October and Jessica Leigh, who turned 10 in July.
After leaving Pearl Harbor, I went to Orlando, FL for the next 3 years where I served as a Recruit Company Commander (Navy Drill Instructor). After that tour of duty, I reported aboard the USS Aylwin FF-1081 for the next 4 years. This ship started out in Charleston, SC but changed homeports twice in the next year, first to Norfolk, VA and then on to Newport, RI. Talk about a drastic change in climate! After the tour on Aylwin, I stayed in Newport for 3 more years while performing a tour as an instructor at the Surface Warfare Officer's School and I also attended the Navy's Senior Enlisted Academy. After Newport, I reported aboard the Pre-Commissioning Unit Mitscher (later named USS Mitscher DDG-57 upon commissioning) and the ship became homeported in Norfolk, VA. After commissioning, I spent another 4 years on that ship and completed my Navy career at Afloat Training Group (teaching cruise missile tactics) at 22 years and 7 months.
We now live in Douglasville, GA approximately 12 miles west of Atlanta. I work for Emerson Network Power, Liebert Services, installing and maintaining large industrial size Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) and battery systems. We are all doing fine and I really enjoy what I do. We are members of the First Baptist Church of Douglasville where we are very active in Upward Sports Ministry (I actually coach soccer) and I sing in the Celebration Choir.
I also wanted to say that I'm so glad I made it home for our 30th reunion! I really had a great time and seeing our classmates (at least the ones that made it) was totally awesome! The only disappointment was that more of our classmates couldn't be there!
My work email address is M.Lewis@Emerson.com and my home email is email@example.com for anyone who might be interested in getting in touch with me. I’d like to hear from you ALL!!
See the rest of the Class of 1978