By Navy Office of Community Outreach Rockford, Michigan native and 1982 Rockford High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy Reserve as it celebrates its 100th year protecting America. Petty Officer 1st Class Duncan MacLachlan is part of a unique group of Americans who serve their country in uniform part-time while also working full-time jobs outside of the military. Created in 1915, the Navy Reserve has played a major role in nearly every conflict the U.S. has been involved with during the past decade. “I joined the reserves to serve my country with honor and pride,” said MacLachlan. MacLachlan ’s current assignment is with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 27, based in Gulfport. Sailors attached to NMCB 27 and other similar units, nicknamed “Seabees,” specialize in building roads, bridges, airfields and other structures for the U.S. military in areas of conflict around the world. “What I most enjoy about my job is the satisfaction of completing daily command tasks. Also, the great camaraderie I share with the sailors,” said MacLachlan. MacLachlan and the rest of NMCB 27 are part of the Navy’s construction force that has been around for more than 70 years. Seabees have built entire bases and bridges and bulldozed and paved thousands of miles of roadway and airstrips for the U.S. military all over the world, playing a vital role in every major conflict the U.S. has been involved with since World War II. With nearly 600 personnel assigned to the battalion, jobs are highly varied and every job plays an important role in keeping the battalion ready to deploy around the world to defend America whenever and wherever they are needed. MacLachlan plays an essential role in the battalion as the lead utilitiesman, responsible for working on various plumbing equipment for the command. As a reservist, MacLachlan is continually balancing both the expectations of working as a Sailor and as a civilian. MacLachlan said that he gained unique skills and experience on both sides and that he’s become a better-rounded person because of it. “Being in the reserves has made me appreciate the smaller things in life and has given me tremendous respect for veterans of the armed forces who have served this great nation,” said MacLachlan. MacLachlan ’s commanding officer, […]
A resident of the area of big Myers Lake had a fright the night of Sunday, June 7, and in retrospect says her visitor was quite cute. At 11:40 p.m. the woman, who didn’t want to be named, said she heard a sound outside her back door. “Usually I turn on the light and look through the glass of the door,” she said. For some reason, this time she stepped to steps outside the door before flipping on the light and found herself just feet away from a fully grown black bear. The bear, startled by her sudden appearance, paused in mid-step as it was about to step up onto her deck to continue sampling from her bird feeders. He had already pulled down a shepherd’s hook to gain better access to the food. She said the shock made her gasp, and the bear, similarly surprised, left her yard moving west toward the Myers Lake park. “Her home is located near Myers Lake Avenue and Hessler They have a route the follow and go along it and get food,” she said. She had called 9-1-1 who put her in touch with a DNR staffer who said the bear has been spotted in Cedar Springs on 16 Mile Road, and likely travels through these areas snacking on bird feeders and other food sources. “When I look back on it, he was kind of cute,” the woman said. She described him as fully-grown, with some grey on his face, very lean and with a head bigger than a basketball. She hopes people will keep their eyes open and know a bear is in the area. Steve Chadwick, the Department of Natural Resources Southwest Region Wildlife Supervisor, said he isn’t surprised to hear of a bear sighting in Rockford. “We don’t track those sightings in Cedar Springs, Sparta, Rockford areas because we know they are there,” he said. “There are a lot of them, we don’t know what they are doing, if they are setting up shop here yet. It’s been quite the year.” He said populations in this area have been rising in Kent, Montcalm, Ionia and nearby counties and the bears typically do not venture south of I-96. “If they end up in Grand Rapids they […]
by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL As you read this article, you will, in part, be celebrating lifelong Rockford resident Mary Carpenter’s 106th birthday. Mary Dunn Carpenter, born in 1904, will be an amazing 106 years old on Thursday, March 25. Now residing at Bishop Hills Elder Care Community, Mary has vivid memories of her life experiences in the greater Rockford community. At the same time, she would like everyone to know that she is still very much a woman of the present. Aside from family and friends, Mary is regularly visited by the Care Ministry Team from her church family, the Rockford United Methodist Church. Team member Charlene Terranova said that Mary is an avid reader. “She daily reads the Grand Rapids Press from front to back, keeping abreast of national and state news,” said Terranova. “Currently, Mary, a farm girl at heart, is trying to understand the concept of ‘wind farms’ and battery-powered automobiles.” Mary’s favorite section of the Press, however, is the sports pages, where she follows her beloved Detroit Tigers baseball team. She is still grieving over the trading of Curtis Granderson to the infamous N.Y. Yankees. Now Mary might well be the oldest living person in Michigan, but most certainly she is the oldest living female fan of the Detroit Tigers in the entire country! Mary spends much of her time during the baseball season watching every televised Tiger game, and is looking forward to Opening Day 2010. Terranova, a Tiger fan herself, often joins Mary in watching the games. Terranova said, while watching a game that was tied in the ninth inning and about to go into extra innings, a Bishop Hills aide entered Mary’s room to announce that dinner was being served in the dining room. Mary emphatically replied, “I won’t leave my team until this game is over.” Now that’s a fan! To say Mary loves to read is probably an understatement. She reads everything she lays her hands on, but maybe her favorite publication is The Rockford Squire newspaper, where she keeps abreast of the times and happenings of her beloved Rockford. Newspapers bring knowledge. When one stops reading, one stops learning. Ironically, the Squire, currently in its 139th year of publication, makes Mary somewhat of a […]
Travis gives four years to Navy, 12.5 inches to Locks of Love While many high school graduates prepare to leave for college in the next few weeks, one Rockford resident is taking a different direction. Jayme Travis, a 2009 graduate of Rockford High School, departed August 18 for the Navy. She will attend boot camp in Great Lakes, Ill., for eight weeks, followed by five weeks of specialized training in Pensacola, Fla. After her 13 weeks of intense training, “All I know is I will be stationed on an aircraft carrier,” said Travis. “The ‘where’ and ‘for how long’ is unknown.” The Navy requires all enlisted females at all times to have off-the-shoulder-length hair or shorter. Travis donated 12.5 inches of shiny, strawberry-blonde hair to Locks of Love.