Our own Sid Shafner in the news for heading to Israel at 94.
JWV MEMBERS ORAL HISTORY
Bernie Rogoff is a friend and former Commander of the Jewish War Veterans Poss #344 in Denver, Colorado. Originally from Lakewood, NJ, and a Korean war Air Force veteran who was initially part of the Army Air Corps. He served his time and returned to the family garment business that sold clothing throughout the US. A staunch patriot who has lived a full life and continues to help the Veteran and Jewish community.
To say the least, Don Price is an interesting guy, and I had a great time getting to know him as a fellow veteran. Don is originally from Savannah, Georgia, and made his way to the Naval Academy in the 1970s with a direct assignment to be a Submariner officer at the height of the Cold War in the 1980s. His early childhood growing up and helping the family business in the South was particularly interesting as he grew up during the civil rights movement. After his military service, he worked throughout various nuclear government agencies before heading back to pursue his graduate degree at Warton. Don met a fellow Navy veteran, and they started a company together, which lasted for the rest of his career. Don’s story gets super interesting when he watched the Superbowl at around 50 years old and sees a commercial from Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas, who was promoting adoption. He raced up the steps to his wife and told her that moment he wanted to adopt a child, and the story goes on. Don and his wife adopted two children from Russia, and their story seems like a movie. Be sure to listen and tell us what you think of the story.
Hal is a Korean war veteran from the Navy who had an interesting life in and out of the service. He is originally from the Pittsburgh area and was born in 1932. He played high school football and broke his knee as the starting quarterback but was still able to receive an ROTC scholarship at the University of Rochester. He then came into the Navy as an Ensign and was assigned to the USS Franklin Roosevelt after receiving his mechanical engineering degree. His ship required repair, and he toured the Americas while bringing the ship from Virginia Beach, VA, all the way to Bremerton, Washington. I always love talking with people like Hal to get perspective, and I cherish every moment with this group of people. Don’t let time pass you by without listening to folks like this.
Ben Stein was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and moved to Westport, Connecticut as a teenager with his family. He found out he didn’t do so well on a boat at the Naval Academy and opted to try out for the Marine Corp and went through Officer Candidate School (OCS). While serving on active duty, he was assigned to Okinawa, Japan, and was an Air Controller and also Maintenance Officer. After the service, he went to UT Austin for a graduate degree and opted to give the Reserves a try since they paid for tuition. After grad school, Ben moved to Denver to assist with a family business but opted to continue the Reserves simultaneously. A stint in Denver had Ben looking for other options, and he ended up in Chicago and assigned to Great Lakes. Eventually, he finished his multiple assignments at Great Lakes and moved back to Denver, CO with his wife, and began working with Mike Coffman, the former Congressman for the Aurora area. Ben has since retired from his military service but is consulting and spending time with his family.
Bob is an underachiever if I ever met one. Originally from North Chicago, Bob was accepted to MIT for electrical engineering but, after a few years, opted to switch his career field to medicine and moved back to Chicago to attend Northwestern since MIT at the time didn’t have the field of medicine to study. After finishing his medical degree, Bob was drafted into the US Air Force and became a flight surgeon. Meanwhile, he was on active duty and applied for flight school, and was actually accepted. He graduated with honors and was off to Vietnam to work at a military hospital. Bob walks into the hospital, and there is no slot for him, so he walks down to the base’s aviation wing and asks if they need an extra pilot. He actually flew two types of planes in Vietnam and was also able to practice medicine when he was not flying.
After his service, he became an anesthesiologist and worked as such from 1972 to 1988. Bob began to volunteer over in Israel quite a bit, helped the government’s geological survey department, and assisted in installing the system that monitors earthquakes. He contemplated moving to Israel, but his family was starting to grow with grandchildren. He wanted to be around for that part of his life and opted to stay in the US. Bob is still an avid flyer even in his 80s and still involved in the veteran and Jewish communities in the Denver metro area.