He was on duty when Mount St. Helens blew



In 1965 my wife, Mar,i and I moved to Stevenson, WA. I was a Fish and Wildlife Officer stationed in Skamania County. I also a US Army Reserve Admin Specialist and I was assigned to the 104th Div Tng. I finished my service contract in 1967 and took a Honorable Discharge. In 1975 I reinlisted as a Specialist 5 E-5 at the 6229 USAR School which was housed in the large two story building along the fence bordering I-5. I was there until the mid-1980s and worked my way to SFC – E-7 and served at the Admin NCOIC. I was there on duty Sunday morning when Mt. St Helens blew its top. The USAR School was part of the 124th Army Reserve Command (ARCOM) headquartered at Ft Lawton, Seattle. During the mid-1908s the 124th underwent budget cuts when Department of Defense cut funds from the reserve component. During this budge cut, I was the junior E-7 in the school and I got rifted with many junior enlisted and officer positions.

I was sent to the USAR Control Group – no meetings, just two week summer training. I spent two years with the USAR Site Support Team in Reno, NV that supported all the USAR Schools that used the University of Nevada, Reno, campus to train military reserve officers so they would meet their training requirements for rank and promotion. The 6229 USAR School was one of the participating schools.

It was during one of these summer training periods that I learned about US Army Criminal Investigation Command(CID) and the Special Agent position. I applied at Ft Lewis and was accepted due to my background and training in law enforcement with the Dept of Fish and Wildlife. I was a reserve CID Special Agent stationed at Ft Lewis and did my training with the active duty Special Agents. During my reserve career as a Special Agent I spent time with the US Army CID Special Agents at the federal building here in Vancouver and several time, I investigated issues/incidents at Vancouver Barracks for the Agents at Ft Lewis, to save them a trip to Vancouver.

I retired from the CID at the mandatory retirement age of 60 and my last assignment was the reserve component Command Sergeant Major (CSM) at 3rd MP Group (CID), Ft Gillem, GA, 19 Apr. 2001. I have visited Vancouver Barracks many times since for the PX, barber shop and the vehicle registration/military ID office. For several years as the Captain of Region Five Enforcement Program, Vancouver, I made arrangements for using the barracks faciliites for defense tactics training for Fish and Wildlife Officers quarterly training. I retired from this position in 1998.

Bob Zak lives in Clark County.