Military Alumni

Military Alumni

Honoring Our Heroes

This area is dedicated to our alumni that have served or are serving in our armed forces!

Lost Class Rings

Have you lost your New Smyrna Beach High School class ring? Have you found someone's class ring? Visit our Barracudas lost class ring page to search for your class ring or post information about a found ring.

Honored Military Alumni

Angelina Slayton
Angelina Slayton Class of 1994
Army, 6 Years
US Army.... Watercraft Operator...served from '97-'03
Brennon Hales-Eldridge
Brennon Hales-Eldridge Class of 2007
Coast Guard, 2 Years
Is currently enlisted in the United States Coast Guard Reserves and is stationed at Ponce Inlet. He is attending Daytona State College in efforts to obtain his degree in the medical field
Joe 'Ragman' Tarnovsky
Joe 'Ragman' Tarnovsky Class of 1967
Army, 3 Years
Started out in Basic Training, January 1968, Fort Knox, Kentucky and when that was completed, I went to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for 8 weeks of Combat Engineer Training. I went from there to Fort Benning, Georgia and completed Jump School and earned my paratrooper wings. I thought I would end up working in demolitions but soon learned that the combat engineer unit I was going to was building roads and culverts. I ended up being a "jack of all trades" from taking care of the mail and orderly room duties, because I could type, and also driving the company commander around. One of my duties was to call in the resupply and mail choppers and that is where I fell in love with the Huey Helicopter, the workhorse of Vietnam. After ten months in Company A, 27th Combat Engineer Battalion, 18th Engineer Brigade, I was assigned to the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, 222nd Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade. I was a doorgunner on the Slicks, the choppers that airlifted the troops into battle, Blue Flight of the Greyhounds. My grandfather that raised me, James Rooney, died in NSB in 1969, and I flew home on emergency leave. When I returned to Vietnam after his funeral, I was assigned to the Gunship Platoon of the 240th AHC, Mad Dogs, and flew the next 14 months in the guns. Our job was to escort the Slicks into the landing zones and stay on station above the ground troops to provide aerial rocket artillery and machine gun fire. We would circle approximately 50 to 150 feet altitude, 60 knots speed and try to get the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong to shoot at us so we could engage them in battle. The combat fatigue hit me in Vietnam, didn't know what it was at the time being 20 years old and naive, but dealt with it and returned home thankful to be alive. From 1970 to 1978 I drove a tractor trailer but the stress returned and that was the end of my career driving. I went on to Cleveland State University and received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and was going for a Masters Degree to be a school psychologist but I quit school and just retired. I spoke with students from grade schools to colleges for the next 25 years about war, stress and how NOT to treat returning Veterans that America sends off to war. I am certainly proud to be a Vietnam Combat Veteran, one of approximately 2.7 million men and women that answered America's call to fight communism, and to be one of the "Patriots Of The Baby Boomer Generation", a phrase I coined to reflect those of us that didn't run to Canada, hide out in college or hide behind the many draft deferments that were available at the time. I lost all my hate and bitterness against those that treated Vietnam Veterans with disdain, hostility and disrespect, they didn't know any better, and proud and glad I was able to return home alive and retire at 32 years of age and enjoy life. We now have another generation at war and because of Vietnam Veterans speaking out, these young men and women will get the proper treatment for their PTSD if they have it and will be welcomed home with respect and admiration. I am so happy that we, Vietnam Veterans, have taught this country to separate the "War from the Warrior!" I have been married to the same woman for 37 years, Ms. Cecelia Tarnovsky from Lexington, Kentucky and I am a very lucky man to have such a loving and loyal spouse that has stood by me all these years! (I had to revise my Military Alumni Post so please review it and post it when you can.)
Joe 'Ragman' Tarnovsky
Joe 'Ragman' Tarnovsky Class of 1967
Army, 3 Years
Started out in Basic Training, January 1968, Fort Knox, Kentucky and when that was completed, I went to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for 8 weeks of Combat Engineer Training. I went from there to Fort Benning, Georgia and completed Jump School and earned my paratrooper wings. I thought I would end up working in demolitions but soon learned that the combat engineer unit I was going to was building roads and culverts. I ended up being a "jack of all trades" from taking care of the mail and ordeal room duties, because I could type, and also driving the company commander around. When of my duties was to call in the resupply and mail choppers and that is where I fell in love with the Huey Helicopter, the workhorse of Vietnam. After ten months in Company A, 27th Combat Engineer Battalion, 18th Engineer Brigade, I was assigned to the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, 222nd Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade. I was a doorgunner on the Slicks, the choppers that airlifted the troops into battle, Blue Flight of the Greyhounds. My grandfather that raised me, James Rooney, died in NSB in 1969, and I flew home on emergency leave. When I returned to Vietnam after his funeral, I was assigned to the Gunship Platoon of the 240th AHC, Mad Dogs, and flew the next 14 months in the guns. The PTSD hit me in Vietnam, didn't know what it was at the time being 20 years old and naive, but dealt with it and returned home thankful to be alive. From 1970 to 1978 I drove a tractor trailer but the stress returned and that was the end of my career driving. I went on to Cleveland State University at received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and was going for a Masters Degree but I quit school and just retired. I spoke with students from grade schools to colleges for the next 25 years about war, stress and how NOT to treat returning Veterans that America sends off to war. I am certainly proud to be a Vietnam Combat Veteran, one of approximately 2.7 million men and women that answered America's call to fight communism, and to be one of the "Patriots Of The Baby Boomer Generation", a phrased I coined to reflect those of us that didn't run to Canada, hide out in college or hide behind the many draft deferments that were available at the time. I lost all my hate and bitterness against those that treated Vietnam Veterans with disdain, hostility and disrespect, they knew no better, and proud and glad I was able to return home alive and retire at 32 years of age and enjoy life. We know have another generation at war and because of Vietnam Veterans speaking out, these young men and women will get the proper treatment for their PTSD if they have it and will be welcomed home with respect and admiration. I am so happy that we, Vietnam Veterans, have taught this country to separate the "War from the Warrior!"
Justin Harless
Justin Harless Class of 2002
Army, 4 Years
MultiChannel Radio systems operator and maintainer.
Nicole Avila (Barcomb)
Nicole Avila (Barcomb) Class of 2004
Army, 4 Years
Served 4 years so far in the Army and still going. Been Stationed in South Korea, Fort Drum, Ny and currently in Diwaniyah, Iraq.
Robert A Strickland
Robert A Strickland Class of 1969
Army, 6 Years
In 1970, I served with the 1st Aviation (Air Calvary) Brigade-129th Assult Helicpter Company in Vietnam. Though I was wounded and no longer able to fly, I remained with my unit, rather than being med-evac to Japan and then back to the States. Upon completion of my enlistment, I received commendations from the President of the United States and from General Westmorland. Through this experience, I have found that circumstances in this life can make us bitter or better, we each have to chose one or the other; I chose to have it make me a better person.

Classmates Spotlight

New Smyrna Beach High School Classmates

Suzanne Niebel
Class of '85

Alumni Stories

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School News

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