BIO Index

Dennis Lough


After graduation, I had a couple weeks of freedom before taking the oath of office in Annapolis; then boxed up and returned my civvies to proud parents. In June of 1965, with a B.S. in Naval Engineering from the Naval Academy, I was commissioned a Navy Ensign and headed off to Pensacola for flight training, spending over 25 years on active duty, before retiring in 1990.

During those years I saw the world in fine naval tradition, often deployed a long way from home. I married early; son Jim and daughter Debbie were the fruit of that union. I never intended to serve such a long time when I signed up. My Dad had encouraged me to leave after completing obligated service, but I pressed on for 19 more years. We moved often, a custom for military families. We lived mostly on the East Coast, but moved across country to California twice and on to Oahu after a second tour of duty in Monterey, CA. When we divorced in 1986, we had done ten household moves in a 15-year span.

In 1966, I received my wings in Pensacola and aviation maintenance officer training in Memphis. After two tours (4 years) flying in shore-based maritime patrol aircraft, a peace treaty-shortened tour with US Naval Forces, Vietnam, a two-year ship's company assignment on an aircraft carrier, and two years of graduate studies, I was awarded a Master of Science in Computer Science in 1977. Various duty assignments ultimately took me to Europe (Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Spain and Italy), Puerto Rico (3 times) and the Pacific (Japan and Korea). My last operational flying assignment (1977-1980) in Hawaii took me to Midway Island several times, Guam, the Philippines, Singapore and the Indian Ocean (Bangkok, Pakistan and Diego Garcia). My family was never able to share any of those experiences with me and the frequent separations probably contributed to a mutually agreeable, but permanent separation.

After the divorce, I withdrew my retirement letter and accepted an assignment to the staff of the Commander of Naval Forces in Europe, headquartered on London's Grosvenor Square. My second wife Patsy, a Richmond, VA native, and I lived in the West End for 4 years before my naval retirement in 1990. We then relocated to Naples, Italy, where as a government contractor I worked 6 years on a new military construction project for Navy and NATO shore commands in Southern Europe. We were fortunate to travel together to St. Petersburg, Prague, Budapest, Romania, Frankfurt, and all over the Italian peninsula, including Venice, Rome and Florence.

While we were abroad, we returned to the states frequently - twice to attend Jim and Debbie's weddings. They have each given me two grandchildren, so I'm four times a granddaddy!

After moving back to the states in 1997, Patsy and I settled into our first single-family home together in Northern Virginia where we've lived nearly 14 years - it's a relief not having to pack up and move every couple years! I hope we've moved for the last time (but nobody knows when the move to assisted living might be necessary). I've worked at the Pentagon since 1999, first as a contractor for the Pentagon Renovation and for the last 9 years as a government employee in engineering and information technology, most recently providing enterprise data storage services and off-site replication for all military departments.

I regret not coming to a single previous reunion, but look forward to getting re-acquainted with old friends while still in possession of most of my faculties! My sister Sue, who lives in Bradenton, will be my date. She went to a SHS reunion not long ago and said she had more fun with my class than her own! I know it will be fun.

Dennis Lough