No longer on Guard: ANG pilot, former Marine retired, but hardly tired

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Christopher Botzum
  • 111th Attack Wing

Lounging has hardly been the way of life for now- retired Lt. Col. Scott Hreso since hanging up his flight suit for the last time one year ago this month at the 111th Attack Wing here.

For the former Marine, turned A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot and wing safety officer here, his new call to duty is fitness; volunteering to help fellow veterans; travel, and most importantly, family.

"It's great that I now have the time to go and visit my kids as opposed to them having to come see me," Hreso said about his first year of retirement. "I'm so looking forward to, someday, spending time with my grandchildren," he said proud smile.

January 2015, Hreso unplugged; sluffed off the confines of unending meetings; schedules and yes, shaving, and jetted of to the U.S. Virgin Islands for an extended vacation - a lifelong dream.

"I've been wanting that for a long time," said Hreso of the now -yearly excursion. "Beach bumming and networking is the name of the game when I'm there. I look forward to the trip now every year."

But upon returning to Pennsylvania soil, Hreso reengages a high-throttle life with momentum likened to his military days. And selfless service still plays a crucial role in this retires life.

Hreso has been working as a mentor and counselor with the Bucks County Veterans Treatment Program in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He provides guidance to troubled former service members undergoing processing through the court system labyrinth.

"No matter how many years ago they were in or how many years they served, the kinship of a veteran always comes back," he said. "Many are immediately resentful of the judicial process, but once we start to talk, the common military trained core values start to kick in - we click."

Hreso also volunteers at his old stomping grounds as a key volunteer in the revitalization process of the Retiree's Activities Office here.

"The program had been strictly information based. Very general information, much of it common knowledge," Hreso said. "I hope to assist developing two additional aspects to the program, spiritual and physical.

"Although the program office will in the 111th [ATKW] building, the events, information and activities will be able to benefit veterans from all service branches."

The program here, formally known locally as the Air Force Retirees Actives Office, will be undergoing substantial changes in the near future and will have a presences on the 111th ATKW's public web site, said retired Chief Master Sgt. Jenny Pappas, the new director of the office. She also said she's excited to have a new office and energized volunteers.

Hreso is one such volunteer in this giant conversion, but not one to just sit behind a desk all day.

Maintaining physical health is of utmost importance to the Wing retiree. Whether it's biking 20 miles, hiking for a full day, rowing with the 111th Argonauts, the Wing's dragon boat team, or taking a brisk jog, he remains active daily.

"I have 10 footballs at the house and I'll go out, throw them at a target across the yard then run to pick them, up only to toss them back again," he said with a chuckle. "It's so important to keep the mind, body and spirit in top shape."

Like many military retirees, Hreso has words of wisdom cultivated from his many years in uniform.

"The most important advice I can offer servicemen and women about the military is to always remember and cherish the relationships they have and will form over their careers, he said. "It's a common bond that can never be broken."

If you're interested in learning more, volunteering with or contributing to the Retirees Actives Office here, contact a representative at 215-323-7135 or visit them in their new office in building 203 room 168. Volunteers will be available Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. until noon.