Coyote Heritage ~ July 2009

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Bill Gilliland
  • 190th ARW Historian

Last month's trip to Alpena, Michigan for the Operational Readiness Inspection is not the first time that the 190th has been to this most exotic spot on the map. The men (no women were part of the unit at that time) of the 117th made their first trip to Alpena in the summer of 1959 as part of their summer camp.

Almost the entire unit made the trip and most of them traveled by train. At that time it was a three day trip from Hutchinson to Alpena. Since there was no way for the train to turn around at Alpena, the last 100 miles was made backwards.

Master Sgt. Simpson, the 117th's First Sergeant, commented that all he got done was shuttle members to the dining car. As there were no shower facilities on the train, military bearing and personal hygiene was somewhat problematic. However once there, military order was the name of the game. There was even a formal military parade as part of the activities. Some of the more lucky ones got to take some of the unit's trucks with necessary equipment and a few even got to take their own vehicles. But for the most part, it was a pretty boring trip.

According to a long ago 117th historian, poker was the main way to pass the time, and nothing helps more to get to know the character of your fellow Airmen than to watch them take your last dime in a poker game.