Many of you have inquired as to the whereabouts of our Omaha-based farm broadcaster Pete Shinn. First Lieutenant Pete Shinn is on military leave, stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi. We heard from him just this morning:
. . .We're no into our third week of training for the Manpower Personnell Officer Course, and the curriculum definitely took a turn for the tougher last week, when we began learning about the statistics and processes behind development of Air Force manpower standards and requirements. . . .And so the training continues, though it's not all in the classroom. We do have ongoing physical training requirements, and I've been running about 6 miles a day in the Gulf Coast heat. They also have three nicely-equipped gyms here on base, so keepingi n some kind of shape has been no problem!
Biloxi itself, where Keesler AFB is located, is clearly still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. Two years later, there are now several brand-new casinos right outside the base gate, including a new Hard Rock Cafe that had been on the verge of opening right before Katrina hit. But there are still many, many buildings that remain nearly, completely or are totally destroyed. And the beaches in the area, while they look good from a distance, still have lots of debris embedded in them just below the surface. Locals here estimate total clean-up could take another decade - if another hurricane doesn't hit in the meantime!
Pete closed his missive by thanking us all for letting him serve. We thank him, too.