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My 31 1/2 years of Naval Service comes to an end

By Hersch Pahl

In the spring of 1973 I began to hear rumors that it would be soon time to retire from he Navy and that some important things were about to happen. As a reminder, my ROTC staff at the University of Nebraska had an informal going away Barbeque party for Bonnie and myself.

In addition to a good dinner it was a fun time for all as they did a "This is Your Life" event in our honor where old friends had contributed bits of information about the fun times of our lives together. Each one was a surprise and a lot of fun for all as they reminded us in an honorable way of good things that had happened for us during our time in the Navy.

Last but not least was the presentation of a sign made of red wood, which we could take with us to our retirement farm home in the Ozarks of Missouri. It was designed to be displayed on poles at the entrance of our place where we expected to become tree farmers, produce lumber, raise cattle, grass and grand children...

My "Farewell" Gift Carving
(Also featured on the Trophy Carvings Page)

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This photo was taken following the commencement ceremony at the University of Nebraska where I had participated in honoring the graduates from our Navy programs, which is how I happened to be wearing my dress white uniform.

Hersch giving a speech at the 1973 Navy Ball at the University of Nebraska.

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The Navy Ball was the Midshipman's annual formal dinner/dance party to which I was invited to be their after dinner speaker.

After serving 5 years as the Professor of Naval Science on the faculty at the University of Nebraska, it finally came time for me to retire from the U.S. Navy, thus ending 31 ½ years of active duty, which began on 29 January 1942.

During these 5 years, my staff and I had taught and managed all the Navy programs and also taught in other departments of the University.

I personally lectured in the History department and served the last two years as the elected President of the University Faculty Club.

For that reason it was natural to choose the university Faculty Club as the setting for my retirement, where there was plenty seating room for my family, guests from the University and students.

A part of the ceremony was the presentation of an award...

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Representing the Secretary of the Navy, Commander Don Florence is awarding the Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding Meritorious Service from August 1968 to July 1973 to Capt. Herschel Pahl at his retirement on June 30, 1973, while his wife, Mrs. Bonnie Pahl and ROTC staff members look on...

Last by not least, Captain Pahl was presented the Certificate of Retirement from the Chief of Naval Personnel. After the ceremony, Retired Capt Pahl and his wife Bonnie proudly display the Certificate in the University Faculty Club...

Proudly showing his Retirement Certificate with wife Bonnie at the University Faculty Club.

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The camera man wanted to show off the long dress which Bonnie had made for this important occasion...

Bonnie and Herschel pose for the camera to show off the long dress which she made for this occasion.

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Before going to lunch at the University Faculty Club, my family guests who celebrated this occasion with us, gathered for the photo below...

Members of the Pahl family pose for a photo.

L-R: Glenda C. (Pahl) Schultz, sister; Camella C. (Pahl) Orvis, sister; Bonnie B. (Lawrence) Pahl, wife; Herschel A. Pahl Capt. U.S.Navy, (retired); Dale E. Pahl, son; Melva C. (Pahl) Rucker, sister; and Neel T. Pahl, son.

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After the Retirement ceremony and the photo OP that followed, the family (above) and one student, Nancy Emerson, from Ava, Missouri celebrated the occasion at a luncheon in the University Faculty Club. Nancy Emerson is the daughter of Dwight and Mary Alice Emerson, who were involved in the raising of both cattle and rainbow trout near our "U-7" farm home east of Ava, Missouri.

The next day after retiring, we started preparing to move, and then departed Lincoln, Nebraska on the Fourth of July 1973. After a short stop to visit Bonnie's sister's family, the Gensler's and Cobb's, we arrived a day or so later at the "U-7" (U Bar Seven).

Some time after we become established as farmers, I was observed in my new farm uniform doing one of the things that I was then involved in such as working with my cattle...

Some time after retiring, Hersch was photographed leading his brood cows from one pasture to another on their "U-7" farm.

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This is our faithful stock dog, Tippy, posing for our son Neel, the photographer. Tippy is a full blooded Border Collie...

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Bonnie is conducting choir practice with Tippy and myself hitting a high note with the old barn of the U-7 farm in the background in 1976...

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In addition to my cattle operation, I also became involved in gardening which included raising a high quality hybrid Popcorn. Here I am showing off our crop of popcorn ready for harvest in the garden located just below our home on the U-7 farm...

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Tippy, our faithful helper in all things, sets patiently watching as I am preparing freshly harvested Popcorn for drying in wire baskets...

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Here you can see a photo of our U-7 Farm and the garden with the Popcorn showing in the left front of the picture...

The U-7 Farm with Popcorn (left) amid a pristine setting of flowers, trees and shrubs tended by both Bonnie and Hersch.

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Sadly, in 1984, Bonnie suffered a serious stroke which has left her without words (aphasic) and with other physical problems but didn't stop her from enjoying our U-7 Farm, nor her love of birds and nature. Behind her, you see a Hummingbird feeder on the deck.

Bonnie on their Deck

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Bonnie has been undaunted in her desire to overcome this stoke, and her indomitable will to do so has encouraged me to write my first book, "Stroke Survivors! Living a Joyful Life After a Stroke".

The book was written for any one involved with strokes, i.e., those who have had a stroke and those who might have a stroke some day and for all care takers and any one dealing with people who have had a stroke.

One of the important parts of the book teaches them that a joyful life is possible in spite of the struggles involved in recovery. It also teaches them how to cope with the changes that come from such a debilitating health condition.

The book is available on this Website

- Hersch Pahl

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October 1, 2007