Dear Golden Eagles,

I have been receiving a medical report from RADM Jay Campbell, West Flight Leader, about once a month. This Binnacle List is one of the best reports, indicating that all patients are improving. I thought it was well written and has been distributed to all West Flight member, so I am forwarding it to The Golden Eagles from Northeast, Southeast and Central Flights to keep you informed.

Don Boecker-Pilot

Subject: GE West Binnacle List Update

99 Golden Eagles, West,

We still have several squadron mates below deck in Hangar Bay 3 who are in maintenance status, all of whom continue to appreciate your support, best wishes and prayers as they progress toward "full mission capability." I have had the chance to visit and/or speak with them, and include below a snap shot debrief:

Paul Gillcrist:
Last Friday (4/3) after the Bubba Breakfast, I made a quick call to Peter Gillcrist, Gator's son, (Ph 858 880-5436) to ask if it would be a good time to visit ADM Gillcrist. He said it would be a good time for it, that Grandson Paul would be there to greet us, so I gathered up Worm and Turtle as wingmen and drove out to El Cajon to the Somerset Rehab Facility, 151 Claydelle Ave.

When we arrived we were informed that Gator wanted to make sure he was presentable, and was getting dressed in prep for his physical therapy, so we had a nice visit with Paul (the younger) in the reception area for about 10 minutes or so. We then found the Admiral in his gym gear, big smile on his face and very pleased to have a few J.O. visitors drop by. He was sitting up in a chair, actively conversing and his color was great. It seems he has lost most of the mobility of his right arm, and it was a bit of a struggle for him to conduct a long dialogue, as he continues to build strength in his voice after having the Tracheal tube in for so long. He is getting PT once or twice daily, and according to his Grandson, he made a major break through by getting to the "throne" on his own power the day before.

With a "heads up" by filing a flight plan with Peter or Jim, I know he would love to see others as he works to gain more strength with the PT. Turtle just happened to have a Crusader Coin with him, which he presented to Gator and it made his eyes light up in great appreciation. When we asked if there was anything he wanted that we might bring him, Gator somewhat jokingly said, "well, maybe a beer!"....maybe just a sip, but I don't think that's on the preferred diet list.

It was a great visit for us, just seeing him doing so well after such a close call and lengthy stay in the hospital. He is fighting hard, as always, to make the progress needed to get discharged and transition back to a home environment with his family. Oh, and he wanted us to pass on to all how very much he appreciates all the support, kind thoughts and prayers he has received throughout this ordeal.

From Don Selton's daughter, Donna, on Wed. 4/8.
Update on Dad - He has been in rehab since 4/1. We are taking baby steps at this point. He has good days and not so good, but overall he is doing very well - he just doesn't think so!

He has a lot of swelling in his legs (ankles) which has caused several painful days/nights and prompted no walking or Physical Therapy - just propping up his legs to help the swelling go down. To be safe, an xray was ordered for today to make sure nothing else is going on.

On the bright side, he is on IV antibiotics only for 2 more days and we can only hope the infection is completely gone. He was in pretty good spirits yesterday as he had seen the doctor and was encouraged by their conversation. Still no ETA on his release though.

All in All - he is doing well and wants to get the hell out of dodge and get home. Please feel free to share this email with others as again, I don't have everyone's email address.

My reply,

Hi Donna,
Thank you for keeping us all so well informed and for all you and Deb are doing for your Dad and Mom.

I was able to stop by and visit yesterday afternoon and confirm that after seeing the Dr and being reassured the swelling would go down, Don was in a more positive state of mind. Peggy came in while I was still there and that helped cheer him as well. A good sign that he is feeling better was his usual waxing eloquently about fellow Naval Aviators.

I will pass your note around my network, as everyone is as impatient as he is to get him back up to speed and back home., V/R, Rabbit

Bob Arnold:

Bob continues to regain strength while battling pulmonary fibrosis at the Escondido Rehab Facility, Redwood Terrace, 710 West 13th Ave, Room 507, phone (760) 291-2792, and has a regimen of 2 PT periods each day.

Jim Holbrook:

I spoke with Barbara, and Jim has been discharged from the Scripps Encinitas Hospital, now in Skilled Nursing at their La Costa Glen residential complex. Although not yet up for a full test flight, Jim is regaining strength after what was determined to be pneumonia, with fluid in his lungs, which had caused his severe shortness of breath and lack of energy. Now that he is moved from Hangar Bay 3 to the Flight Deck elevator, he continues to appreciate all the prayers and kind thoughts he has received as he works toward the final check to be back up on the flight schedule.

J.K. Davis:

I spoke with J.K. and am very happy to report that he is back up on the flight deck, has passed his post maintenance check flight and recovered from his bout of pancreatitis. He is back home, sounds great and was talking about getting out for golf with his pals in San Clemente.

Best wishes to all,
Rabbit Campbell
GE West Flight Leader • The Golden Eagles