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by Ida Hansen Eschenbaum

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                             John Melvin Eschenbaum  

I suppose this is my "brag" sheet.  I am what you would call the webmaster, aka author, aka designer of this website of the Hansen family.  This has been quite a project that I fell into. Never did I think that a project like this would fall into my hands.  I had been writing Barbara Speck, who married Emil Speck.  ( He is the baby on the front page of this website in the 4 generation photograph.)  Barbara suggested that I take over the website being a descendant of Christ and Ingeborg.  If you haven't figured it out yet, my grandmother is Ida Christina (Hansen) Eschenbaum.  Her first born, Melvin Herman is my father.  Of note, in my research, I found out that the original name for Oslo, Norway was Christiania.  I wonder if that had any bearing on Ida's middle name by her parents.  What do you think? 

I started growing up on a farm close to Faulkton, South Dakota.  When I was about 4 years old my parents moved into the town of about 900 people.  I graduated from high school with darn near all of my cousins around me.  There were 4 cousins that were in the same class when we graduated. 

After graduating from Faulkton High School, I went to Presentation School of Nursing in Aberdeen, South Dakota in the fall of 1965.  My classes of theory was at Presentation College and clinical at St. Luke's Hospital.   The nursing school, diploma program no longer exists.  Now, the college offers a Assoc. Degree in Nursing.  I had wanted to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and nursing was the first step.  Graduating from Presentation in 1968 I joined the United States Navy.

          That is me, taking the oath by LCDR Kay Wilhelmy, my recruiter in June of 1968.  That took place in the lobby of the Faulkton Memorial Hospital.  It was sort of a big event with the mayor there, the staff, photographer for the Faulkton Record.  This photo made the front page! 

I spent my active duty in Pensacola Naval Hospital, Pensacola, Florida as a member of the Navy Nurse Corps.  I am so far the only person I know who volunteered to go to Viet Nam and did not go!  The older nurses wanted to go and it was very political for "male nurses."  No doubt still remains that way. 

I left active duty, but remained in the Naval Reserves for a total of 28 years retiring as a Commander in the United States Navy.  I had the privilege of traveling the globe.  I was stationed in Rota, Spain; Yokusa, Japan on the aircraft carrier USS Midway, Subic Bay, Philippines and darn near every naval hospital in the continental United States.  I was assigned with the US Marines on occasion and got to taste what their hoops can be. 



                1982 Baguio, Philippines                Baguio, Philippines in civvies  ( Click for youtube tour )

                              I should look so good now!!!

 A great video I found of a flight from Manila to Baguio is here.  It is a 9:48 minute clip showing the landscape of the Philippines.  Of interest, when the subtitles come on screen saying " What, is that our airstrip?"  The answer is YES.  It is on top of a mountain with a 1000 foot drop.  Only certain sized planes can land and the smallest of carrier jets. 

I had the best of both worlds, that of the military and that of being a civilian.  Because of my skills as an anesthetist, the Navy was willing to send me almost anywhere whenever I wanted to do "TEMAC"  (temporary active duty)

The rest of the time I lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota working at the local hospitals. Presently, I went to semi-retirement status in 1997.  I work for 6 months and off for 6 months.  I lived in Acapulco, Mexico during the winters for 9 years.  Now, I winter in Thailand for about 18 weeks.  Again, I am doing the best of both worlds, working and retirement.  By the time I am ready to change, I am off on either the working part or the retirement part of my life. 

Doing this website has certainly been informative, energizing, reminiscent, and enjoyable on learning about my family.  I had done similar on my mother, Mary G. Bauhs's family.  I am also working on the Eschenbaum portion of my family and that should as equally interesting.  From what I have learned so far, it promises to be that. 

So, hope you enjoy this website.  If you have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know.  Otherwise it will not be yours and it will not grow.  After all, for those in the Hansen family this is about you, us and our family history.  Being internet, I suspect it will be online long after we have joined Christ, Ingeborg and the rest of the Hansen's.