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Check Six: Koko Head AFS – 52 years ago

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Everyone in Hawaii has hiked the Koko Head Crater trail at least once. It is a steep trek that separates the fit and unfit.

But what are the tracks going up the side of the crater?

The Hawaii Air National Guard operated a radar station on the top of the crater. It was part of Hawaii’s air defense system that still provides 24/7 coverage. Personnel and supplies were transported up the side of the crater on a tram run on those tracks. The 169th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron (now the 169th Air Defense Squadron) relocated to the then Wheeler Air Force Base on July 1, 1965.

Despite promises, VA Secretary can’t shake privatization concerns

From the Military Times website

Nearly half a year into his job, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is still trying to convince critics that his efforts to improve the department won’t lead to privatizing care and support programs for veterans.

In an editorial in USA Today Monday morning, Shulkin — the only holdover of former President Barack Obama’s administration to President Donald Trump’s Cabinet — called lingering fears of VA privatization “unfounded” and stated again that “we will not allow VA to be privatized on our watch.”

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The Best Workout for Weight Loss, Heart Health

From the everyday Health website

Exercise is clearly a key to fitness. But what hasn’t been clear is whether the intensity of your workouts mattered.

Researchers now think they have the answer: Exercising vigorously makes a positive difference.

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The 9 Most Haunted Places on O‘ahu

From the Honolulu Magazine website

The Waialae Drive-In Theatre building where a woman encountered a faceless girl in the restroom

For generations, spooky stories about creepy public bathrooms or hitchhiking spirits have been swapped around hibachis and water coolers. Some are rooted in Hawaiian history; others are urban legends. And still others are so deeply personal, it’s almost impossible to dismiss them.

Here’s a list of haunted haunts, some known and others not, that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

Off Track: 5 Haunted Downtown Honolulu Hotspots

The Ethics of Adjusting Your Assets to Qualify for Medicaid

From The New York Times website

At any given moment, there is a large group of citizens who want nothing more than to make absolutely certain that they are impoverished enough to qualify for Medicaid sooner rather than later. Someday, you might be one of them.

Welcome to the (perfectly legal) world of Medicaid planning, the plain-vanilla term for the mini-industry of lawyers and others who help people arrange their financial lives so they don’t spend every last dime on a nursing home. Once properly impoverished under the law, then Medicaid, which gets funding both from your state and the federal government, picks up the tab.

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Common Food Nutrient Tied to Risky Blood Clotting

From the everyday Health website

A nutrient in meat and eggs may conspire with gut bacteria to make the blood more prone to clotting, a small study suggests.

The nutrient is called choline. Researchers found that when they gave 18 healthy volunteers choline supplements, it boosted their production of a chemical called TMAO.

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Check Six: HIARNG Nike-Hercules Program

Live Fire at Kahuku

Live Fire at Kahuku – Artist: Jim Dietz, 1966

With the onset of the Cold War and the threat of long-range Soviet nuclear bombers, the Guard wrote a new page in its long history of homeland defense. Beginning in 1954, thousands of Army Guardsmen manned antiaircraft artillery positions across the country, adopting for the first time a Federal mission while in a State status. In the late 1950s, the Guard began transitioning from guns to the longer-ranged and more lethal missiles.

For exactly sixteen years, from September 14, 1958 to September 14, 1974, the Army National Guard manned Nike-Ajax and Nike-Hercules missile batteries in an operational status. At the height of the program in 1969, seventeen states (California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin) provided more than 7,000 soldiers to man 54 missile batteries around sixteen key metropolitan areas.

The Hawaii National Guard’s 298th Artillery Group was the first National Guard unit to adopt the Nike-Hercules missile, becoming operational on-site in early 1960. Hawaii was also the only state to man all of its firing batteries with Guardsmen; in the continental United States the Guard manned about a third of all Nike sites. While the rest of the Nike force conducted its annual practices at McGregor Guided Missile Range in New Mexico, the Hawaii Guard was unique in that it conducted its annual live-fire certifications from mobile launchers firing off the north shore of the island of Oahu. It was during just such a live-fire that Battery B, 1st Missile Battalion, 298th Artillery Group recorded the longest successful Nike-Hercules missile intercept of a target.

The advent of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles led to major cutbacks in the Nike program in 1971 and its termination in 1974. Though no missile was ever fired in anger, the duty encompassed a 24 hour watch, 365 days a year, and thousands of alerts. Guardsmen had demonstrated their ability to conduct real-world missions while in a part-time, state-controlled status, in the process proudly adopting for themselves the title “Missile-Age Minutemen.”

Read more in the article: HIARNG Guard Nike Hercules Mission

John D. Bennett is the author of the attached article. He is a retired Honolulu Police Officer. He served in the Air Force from 1957 to 1961 as a radar operator in Washington State and British Columbia, Canada. Bennett has been a member of the Coast Defense Study Group for over 15 years, He has authored over 40 articles published in the quarterly journal, mainly reporting on Hawaii’s coast artillery history, World War II garrisons of U.S. Pacific Island possessions, including airfields.

Off Track: How Color Affects Taste: A Lesson in Gastrophysics

From the Food Republic website

The mind is a strange and funny place. Our brains can trick us into thinking that eating from a smaller plate will fill us up faster or that the color blue makes foods taste saltier. Experimental psychologist Charles Spence dedicates his work to discovering how all our senses affect our sense of taste.

His latest book, Gastrophysics, delves into his findings. In this excerpted section, Spence explores why blue wine may not be a good idea, why orange mouthwash doesn’t seem as effective and what the color red tastes like.

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New Registered Readers 17.07.24

You can register to receive an email every time there is a new post. In the Follow Retiree News via Emailsection and press Follow”. On the next screen, enter your email address and press ENTER. Shortly, you will receive a confirmation email to your address from You acknowledge the email and you are a registered reader.

After you compete this short registration process, you get a notification email every time there is a new posting. The email has a quick teaser of the posting, along with tags that indicate how the posting relates to special topics/areas. There is a direct link to the website (Read more of this post)

Retiree New post sample   click on graphic to enlarge

Thanks to these Retiree News readers who registered to “Follow Retiree News via Email”: paresal002, edleeanno, nikon, averm, Cyrus Goto

Off Track: What to Order at The Steakhouses of Las Vegas

Las Vegas hosts some of the best places to eat a steak, and not every single one of those establishments is located on Las Vegas Boulevard, though most of them are.

Here, a look at 25 of the best places to eat a steak in Las Vegas, along with what to order at each

What We Now Know About Poor Sleep in Older Adults

From the nextavenue website

The more experts have learned in recent years about older adults and sleep, the more they realized how little they actually knew.

Recent research in the field has shown that nursing-home practices have been misguided for decades, that it soon will be possible to diagnose and alter sleep patterns to help treat or prevent dementia — and that, yes, we should be getting a good night’s sleep at all ages.

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Off Track: If only 100 people lived on Earth


Taps: Constantine Ying Ngai Lum

Constantine Ying Ngai Lum, January 03, 1942 – July 10, 2017 Beloved husband, father, and grandfather passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at the age of 75. He enjoyed spending time with his family, teaching his grandchildren chess, working on home improvements, and collecting recipes. Constantine served as a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard and retired from Safeway Stores and Tamura’s Market in Wahiawa.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Judy K.Y. (Goo) Lum; children: Randall M.G. Lum (Bernadine), Lynette S.Y. Lum (Michael Vest), Shane M.D. Lum (Stephanie), James M.S. Lum, Allan M.L. Lum (Helen); 12 grandchildren: Christian A. Lum, Tyler A. Lum, William L. Vest, Katherine A. Vest, Darran A.M.O. Lum, Dillan C.M.S. Lum, Justin C.D. Lum, Branden C.D. Lum, Ashlyn C.D. Lum, Aidan J. Lum, Logan T. Lum, Ethan M. Lum; sister-in-law: Jean Liang (Jedy); brothers: Franklin Lum (Darilyn), Darwin Linn (Akiko); sisters: Victoria Christiansen (Chris), Nancy Rosenberg, Susan Linn; and many loving extended family members. He is preceded by his brother Nathaniel Lum (deceased).

Funeral services will be held on Monday, Aug. 7th, 2017 at the Maunakea Chapel of Borthwick Mortuary (1330 Maunakea St, Honolulu). Visitation at 10 am, services commencing at 11 am, followed by burial at 2 pm at Diamond Head Memorial Park.

Webmaster Comments: 17.07.22

2017 Hawaii National Guard Birthday Ball: This year’s ball is scheduled for December 15, 2017. The ball will be at the Kalakaua Ballroom (4th Floor), Hawaii Convention Center.

The event committee is planning another superb evening of dining and entertainment. To offset the increasing costs of the ball, the committee is planning some fund raising events.

+ The first is the bowling tournament. The flyer with more information posted yesterday.

+ In September and November, there will be car wash fund raisers. The flyers for the car washes will post as the exact dates approach. Additionally, there will be a bake sale at each car wash.

Request for Old Photographs:  Thanks to the Retiree News readers who submitted their old photographs – We appreciate your support. Special Thanks to Steve Lum who continues to submit old photographs from the Department’s and his photograph collection.

Retiree News receives a lot of great feedback when we feature old photographs of Guardmembers and Guard activities. It’s great to look back to see how things were in the 50s, 60s and the following years. It is always a conversation start to see retirees when they were lieutenants or airmen/privates.

If you have any old photographs from “the old days”, please scan them as JPEGs and email them to This request also goes to younger Guardmembers whose older family members served in the Hawaii Army and Air National Guard.