The 17th annual Delaware Air National Guard Retirees Breakfast will occur this Friday, October 19, 2012, in Headquarters, Delaware ANG, 2600 Spruance Drive, New Castle, Del. All retired members of the unit, founded in 1946, have been invited.
About 150 guests will gather with presiding official Brig. Gen. Carol Timmons, Assistant Adjutant General for Air, Delaware National Guard, and master of ceremonies Senior Master Sgt. Michael Davis, Delaware ANG.
The event starts at 8:30 a.m. with attendees provided a year-in-review briefing on the 166th Airlift Wing's activities, and a breakfast in the base aerospace dining facility.
In addition, each year a former member of the unit is named as that year's Delaware ANG Honoree.
The new 2013 Delaware ANG Honoree is Retired Senior Master Sgt. Ralph F. McGrath, a resident of Newark, Delaware with 42 years' service to the unit, who will be recognized with his name placed on the honoree sign on base and also stenciled on a C-130 transport aircraft along with the Caesar Rodney emblem. For a full year one of the unit's eight C-130s will bear the name of the honoree as it operates at home or around the globe.
Retired Senior Master Sgt. Ralph F. McGrath's biography follows
Senior Master Sergeant Ralph F. McGrath joined the Delaware Air National Guard January 19, 1957. He attended basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, graduating in August 1957 and initially began his military career in aircraft and missile hydraulics. His career path would later include positions in inventory management and as a small arms specialist, and would conclude as the non-commissioned officer-in-charge of disaster preparedness.
Sergeant McGrath played a key and vital role in defining the Delaware ANG's mission both at the state and federal level contributing to its many successes and proud history. As a young airman during the cold war post Korean War era, Sgt. McGrath's tireless efforts and commitment to excellence was instrumental in the mission readiness of the Delaware ANG F-86 fighter jets. His maintenance career would usher in the arrival of the C-97G aircraft that began regular scheduled cargo flights into Vietnam in late 1965. With the transition to the C-130A aircraft, Sgt. McGrath accepted a new position in Logistics as the Delaware ANG transitioned from a strategic role to a tactical mission. In his final assignment as the non-commissioned officer-in-charge of disaster preparedness, Sgt. McGrath was responsible for the training of personnel in chemical warfare defense procedures. His efforts proved invaluable when the Delaware ANG was called into action in August 1990 in support of the Iraq invasion of Kuwait and later mobilized in support of Operation Desert Storm with no injuries or loss of life. Equally important is Sgt. McGrath's efforts in support of the state mission. Having served with the Delaware National Guard during the civil unrest and riots in the late 1960s, Sgt. McGrath's knowledge and experience were sought out in the development of a training program. Sgt. McGrath had direct responsibility and oversight of this program to ensure that personnel were equipped and trained in the event of future disturbances.
During his military career Sgt. McGrath exemplified the spirit of volunteerism, commitment of the citizen solider in the local community, and served as an example to his fellow airman. A recognized community leader, Sgt. McGrath was actively involved in the volunteer fire service, emergency medical service, area Boy Scouts, and a variety of other community activities.
After over 42 years of honorable and faithful service to the Delaware ANG and his country, Sgt. McGrath retired on July 31, 1999. Sgt. McGrath continues his commitment to the men and women in uniform. As a member and officer of the American Legion, his efforts have been instrumental and benefited all Delaware armed forces members to include active duty, guard, and reserves. Sgt. McGrath and his fellow post members have supported deployed members with phone cards, care packages, and being present for returning members from deployment through the "Welcome Home Hero Hellos" program.
Sergeant McGrath resides with his wife Evva in Newark, Delaware.
This release is in the public domain, and any part may be used as written.
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