Michael Moran
Michael Moran

Michael Moran

The military life of AFRH-G resident Michael Moran

By Dan Ellis | AFRH-G Resident

Michael Moran was born on July 22, 1954 to Thomas J. and Margaret M. Moran at Albany, New York where he attended St. James Catholic Elementary and Christian Brothers Academy. Following the death of his father, his mom moved to Burlington, Vermont where Mike graduated in 1972 from Burlington High School.

After his high school graduation Mike enlisted in the Army and completed his basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey and matriculated through advanced individual training specializing in heavy equipment operation and maintenance (62F) with a concentration on 25-ton cable cranes.

He was transferred to Hanau, Germany with the 122nd Maintenance Battalion, and then stationed at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, where he performed refueling of helicopters.

Mike was then asked to join the USA Honor Guard at Fort Eustis, Virginia, where he performed precision drill and burial duties until his discharge in 1975.

Upon his first discharge, he joined and served two years in the U.S. Navy Seabee Reserves.  His civilian employment included working as a turbine operator at a major electric generating station in New England.  In seeking employment advancement, Mike took welding and management courses made available through the GI Bill.

In November 1979, he reenlisted in the U.S. Army, and by regulation he once more processed though basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. 

He matriculated through advanced individual training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where he was trained as a veterinary food inspection specialist (91R) and spent the next twenty years performing duties as a health inspector, and plus assignments supporting four of the five branches of military service.

For nearly nine years, Mike's duty assignments in San Antonio, Texas was as an instructor of food inspection and sanitation, instructor/writer and duties as staff operations NCO.

While stationed at West Point, New York for three years he was in charge of the cadet mess sanitation and quality control. At West Berlin, Germany he postured three years as NCO in charge of the 168th Medical Detachment for Veterinary Service.

While at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan for three years he was NCO in charge of Veterinary Service for U.S. Military interests in Southern Japan.

During his final tour, Mike served three years at RAF Bentwaters, Felixstowe, England as the USDA procurement quality assurance NCO for beef and pork while overseeing slaughterhouse details, including procurement and grading of shelled eggs.

While performing his duties in the Army, Mike was a single parent to his son Michael Joseph.  Mike's son is currently a lawyer.

Following Mike’s military retirement with the rank of E-7 in 1999, the U.S. Navy hired him as a relocation assistance program manager at the fleet and family support center in Sigonella, Sicily.  His primary duties were to assist active-duty service members, DoD civilians and their families with information and services associated with moving to or leaving Sigonella.

He was later employed at Conagra Foods in Quincy, Michigan as a quality assurance inspector.  This engagement was followed by a stint with homeland security as a security screener.  His duties were to screen all passengers and carry-on luggage plus he was responsible for passenger safety and detection of potential trouble at security checkpoints.

While Mike was making his decision to move to AFRH-Gulfport, he had first made two exploratory trips from his place in New York.  The first was in 2018.  He even stayed overnight in guest rooms on both occasions and visited with staff members, as well as residents.

He then submitted his application and received his admittance confirmation and he put his home up for sale, which immediately sold in late June 2020. 

After Mike gave his farewells to New York, AFRH-G paused his admission due to Covid-19’s effect on the Home. This was a time of uncertainty and unknown criticality, since some of the residents had tested positive.  However, Mike was on the road and had arrived in Gulfport on July 13 where he found it necessary to stay at a motel. There was no going back to New York. Later, he rented a room in a private house to reduce his expense outlay, which, at the end of this time frame was nearly $5,000.00.

Upon notification of his arrival, AFRH set admissions guidelines dictated by the prevalence of Covid within the Home. The AFRH administration alerted the resident services staff and the wellness center. On August 26, Mike received a call from the admissions office confirming his enrollment, providing his entry would take place within 24 hours due to the criticality of the virus. The call took place while he was in his automobile and stopped at a traffic light, then Bang!!! He was rear-ended. With no time to have his car repaired, he arrived at the Home the following day, August 27, 2020.

Having finally arrived, Mike brought with him his longtime avocation of designing, printing and making pin buttons and magnets.  This activity started as a hobby while printing ID buttons for his rock & roll band buddies as a youngster.  Mike has continued printing buttons freely for residents, which primarily offer informative or motivational messages.  Joining with the resident "Doodles" parading group, he printed an abundant variety of Mardi Gras themed buttons.