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Old Friends Still Serving

MSgt Beau Sabagala, Maj Love Williamson, CMSgt Richard Costa

This photograph was taken at TSgt Peni Sabagala‘s retirement ceremony on July 7, 2018.

Beau and Peni will celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary later this year. They met when Peni started a temp hire position at the Military Personnel Flight (MPF) in 2002. They were married the following year. Two great individuals and a super couple.

Love Williamson enlisted in the Hawaii Air National Guard in 1997 as a member of the 154th Security Forces Squadron. She was later commissioned in the early 2000s. She served in the MPF and later at HQ, Hawaii Air National Guard. She recently transferred to the Air Force Reserve and is on a tour at United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM).

Chief Costa enlisted in 1986. In the HIANG, he served in the maintenance complex and later became a member of the MPF. He is currently assigned to HQ, Hawaii Air National Guard.

Retirement complications: Beware of hidden taxes when the career ends

From the USA Today website

Your taxes in retirement may be a lot more complicated than taxes while you’re working.

Social Security checks may or may not be taxed, depending on your income. You’ll pay federal income taxes on most retirement plan withdrawals, but additional state taxes depend on where you live. Tax rates on investments can vary as well.

Here’s what to expect when you hit retirement age:

15 Habits You Never Knew Were Aging Your Brain

From the Reader’s Digest website

From the walk you skipped this morning to the snacks you’ll have before bedtime, your daily choices may have a big impact on your risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Here are the top ways you’re speeding the decline of your mind.

Taps: Johanna Kehaulani Thoene

Johanna Kehaulani Thoene, 62, of Keaau died June 3 at Hawaii Care Choices Pohai Malama Care Center. Born in Honolulu, she was a housekeeper for Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, member of Malia Puka O Kalani Catholic Church and U.S. Air Force and Hawaii Air National Guard veteran.

Celebration of life at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 21 at Kaiona Beach Park in Waimanalo, Oahu. Lunch to follow.

Hilo celebration of life 10 a.m. Saturday, July 28, at Moku Ola (Coconut Island). Lunch to follow. Casual attire.

Survived by husband, Henry Thoene Sr. of Keaau; sons, Henry (Kahaunani) Thoene Jr. of Waimanalo, Matthew (Tatiana) Thoene of Pahoa and John (Lina) Thoene of Molokai; brother, John (Annette) Chang Jr. of Kaneohe, Oahu; sisters, Pearl (Paul Cagle) Chang of Tennessee and Johnnie (Dennis Kaubisch) Dano of Texas; six grandchildren; nieces and nephews.

Arrangements by Dodo Mortuary.

Retiree News extends heartfelt sympathy to her family and friends.

Special thanks to Harvey Motomura for sending this “complete” obituary which appeared in the Hawaii Tribune Herald.

Buildings 301 & 304 Demolished

Over the years, many Hawaii Army National Guard members performed duty in the Diamond Head Crater complex. With the HIARNG’s move to Kalaeloa, Building 303 (the old Property and Fiscal Office – PFO) is now part of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency facilities. Others like Buildings 301 and 304 were demolished, and the land will be restored to it’s natural state.

click on photographs to enlarge

There is a lot of history and memories in those buildings.

Watch these Oregon Guard‬ members making a daring rescue

From The Drive website

click on photograph to enlarge

Mount Hood, just an hour’s drive from Portland, is one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. That beauty and easy access draws a lot of climbers and adventure seekers, a handful of which will require rescue. When alpine rescue teams can’t get the job done, Oregon’s National Guard choppers are brought in to execute what are often daring operations. This happened yesterday when an Oregon Army National Guard CH-47 was called in to extract a suicidal climber and a rescue team off of the mountain.

Continue reading – great videos

Webmaster Comments 18. 07.16

That High School Thing. As we comment in our series on local high schools, “In Hawaii, what high school you graduated from is often among the questions asked when you first meet someone.”

Retiree News recently had a post about the new 154th Wing Vice Commander, Col James Shigekane. Colonel Shigekane is a 1992 Air Force Academy graduate who spend all of his career in the active Air Force until his recent transfer to the Hawaii Air National Guard.

Read his military biography here.

After that post, we received a lot – a lot – of emails asked if he is originally from Hawaii and if so, what high school did he attend.

The colonel is local and graduated from James B. Castle High School in 1988. Go Knights!

Old Photographs. Retiree News has received great feedback about the increased number of old photographs. We always joke about Guard members in those old photographs – “was skinny”, “had hair”. Besides individuals, old photographs show old facilities, uniforms and aircraft.

We would like to post more old photographs but need your help. If you have any old photographs of Guardmembers, could you scan them to JPEGs and email them to me – Special thanks to those who did send in old photographs it is appreciated.

Off Track: Paia / (Old) Maui High School

In Hawaii, what high school you graduated from is often among the questions asked when you first meet someone. Public versus private, old versus new, town versus county, island versus island – some high school rivalries continue well into graduates’ old age.

The Images of Old Hawaii website periodically publishes articles about various high schools around the state. We will post links about these Hawaii high schools on their website periodically.

Maui’s first co-educational high school opened in 1913 in a small frame building at Hāmākuapoko, close to bustling Pāʻia town and near the large plantation camps of East Maui. (OMHS) (It was known as Pāʻia High School, Maui High & Grammar School and, more commonly, Maui High School – now, Old Maui High School.)

Continue reading

Can you name some Hawaii National Guard graduates?

President Theodore Roosevelt High School
President William McKinley High School
Hilo High School
Kamehameha Schools
Iolani School
St. Andrew’s Priory School
Henry Perrine Baldwin High School
St. Louis School
Waialua High School
James B. Castle High School
Mid-Pacific Institute
Punahou School
Sacred Hearts Academy

HING conducts first-ever multinational search and rescue exercise

Off the Hawaii Adjutant General’s Facebook page

A first for Hawaii, but not the last! Great job to the participants of CTF 501, our Urban Search & Rescue exercise, that concluded today out at Kalaeloa! Mahalo to Soldiers from the Philippines and Indonesia who learned and worked alongside Hawaii.

Watch the KHON2 video news report

Pentagon Slashes GI Bill Transfer Eligibility Window

From the website

Troops with 16 or more years of service will no longer be permitted to transfer their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to a spouse or child starting next year, Defense Department officials announced Thursday.

Currently, troops who serve a minimum of six years and commit to serving an additional four years are eligible to transfer the education benefit to their dependents. Some who agree to the four years but are barred from completing it, such as troops who are injured and medically discharged, are permitted to keep the transfer. Others who start the process after getting injured can request a waiver so the transfer can go through.

But starting July 12 of next year, troops will need to start the GI Bill benefit transfer process between six and 16 years of service, the policy update states.

Continue reading

Thanks for Gordon Lau and two other Retiree News readers for sending in this article. Guardmembers who earned GI Bill benefits during deployments should insure they understand these changes.

Off Track: Transit Oriented Development (TOD)

From the Historic Hawaii Foundation

Planned Kakaako development. -click on the photograph to enlarge

The City describes Transit Oriented Development (TOD) as “a pattern of different uses-housing, jobs and services–surrounding a transit station that takes advantage of the convenience and affordability of transit.”

How will historic resources be affected?

ANG NCO Academy – 50 years ago

click on photograph to enlarge

Maj. Gen. I.G. Brown asked Air Defense staff and four Air Guard instructors to provide two trial NCO academy classes, 67-1 and 67-2, for 200 students on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Tennessee.

Classes began in the base’s aircraft hangar. Sometime later, the base gym converted into eight classrooms and a small library.

In the late 60s and early 70s, many Hawaii Air National Guard members attended the NCO Academy. Younger HIANG airmen started attending the ANG Leadership School when it started in 1970.

The Professional Military Education Center was later renamed the I.G. Brown Air National Guard Professional Military Education Center.

Learn more about the history of the I.G. Brown Air National Guard Professional Military Education Center.

Bring Your TRICARE Benefit Questions to July 26 Webinar

From the TRICARE website

Have questions about your TRICARE benefit? Here’s your chance to get some answers. Join TRICARE on Thursday, July 26, from 1 to 2 p.m. ET (7 to 8 a.m in Hawaii) for the “Ask TRICARE” webinar. The Q&A webinar will include a panel of subject matter experts to answer your questions about TRICARE health care, pharmacy, and dental programs.

Our panelists include representatives from major TRICARE offices and programs, including:

TRICARE Policy and Benefits


TRICARE Reserve Select

TRICARE Retired Reserve

TRICARE Overseas Program

TRICARE Pharmacy Program

TRICARE Dental Plans

The July 26 webinar is one of many TRICARE resources to help you get answers to your questions about your TRICARE benefits. Visit TRICARE Publications for a look at more resources, from handbooks and brochures to fact sheets and newsletters.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to ask questions directly to TRICARE experts. Bring your questions and register to join us on July 26. Registration is limited.

You must be registered and in the webinar platform to submit a question electronically. If you call in by phone, you’ll only be able to listen to the webinar.

Blue Star Museums

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and museums across America. Each summer since 2010, Blue Star Museums have offered free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. See the map below or select from the list of states for museums that are participating in the Blue Star Museums 2018 summer season.

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