North Georgia Veterans luncheon speaker Doug Hanley, left, with Bennett Whipple.
Commander Hanley introduces ‘sixth uniform service’ to North Georgia Veterans
Commander George D. (Doug) Hanley, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, spoke at the March 8 North Georgia Veterans luncheon on the subject of "The Sixth Uniform Service: U.S. Public Health Service.”
Hanley, a Vietnam veteran, shared some of his experiences at observation post 6, blocking the entrance to Da Nang, South Vietnam. There were 13 men assigned to the post, known as the “thirteen bastards.”
His videos showed the make-shift living conditions and weaponry at the observation post. His outfit, the 7th Engineers, also built highways, bridges and runways in support of U.S. combat missions using “M51A2C fuel-injected turbo-charged dump trucks,” sporting M-16s.
After Vietnam, Hanley served two more years. After getting his GED, he went to college where he “fell in love with medicine.” After his Army stint he continued his work in medicine and 20 years later got a commission in the U.S. Public Health Service.
“There were seven uniformed services total,” Hanley said. “There were, of course, the five famous ones: Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard. Then comes the U.S. Public Health Service.
“We have 6,000 officers, no enlisted. We are part of the Health and Human Services. We wear Navy uniforms.”
After assignments at the Winslow Indian Health Center in Arizona and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Hanley was assigned to ATSDR, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry where he was Emergency Response coordinator.
In his first month at ATSDR, he was transferred to Atlanta and assigned as part of the team that did food service inspections for the 1996 U.S. Olympics Games in Atlanta.
“We were given the City of Atlanta and [told] go and inspect it,” Hanley said. “People [food service vendors] did not have a clue about what they were doing and nobody enforced any of the rules.”
According to Hanley, 706 permits were issued by Fulton County, from downtown Atlanta to Roswell. The county suspended 104 of them. Hanley showed photos of the many downtown venues that his group inspected and their many violations as well as Roswell venues where “things were done right.”
“We had one swat team and I was on the swat team,” Hanley said. We were the guys who had to close people down and sometimes we had to get the police to help us out.”
World War II veterans Ray Roth, Marie Stepp and Bennett Whipple, honored at the
World War II Veterans honored
Three World War II veterans were honored at the March meeting, one who was celebrating his 91st birthday. Lou Chester, Marie Stepp and Bennett Whipple were seated at the head table at the March NGV luncheon. Chester celebrated his 91st birthday.
The North Georgia Veterans organization is open to all veterans, anyone who has served in any branch of Service, in any capacity, for any period of time. All that is required is an honorable discharge. Luncheon meetings are held the first Wednesday of the month. Registration is required. Please visit the website www.ngvets.org to register. Plans for the April meeting include a visit to the National Cemetery in Canton.