On Friday, November 10, Pathstones by Phoebe members Eugene “Gene” Derenick, Third Class Petty Officer in the US Navy, 1965-1968 and Master Sergeant E-7 in the US Air Force Reserves, 1980-1997, and George Campbell, Captain in the US Navy, 1960-1964 and Captain in the US Navy, 1964-1986 joined Thomas Delmer “Artimus” Pyle, former drummer for Lynyrd Skynyrd and Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps between 1968-1971, as they reflected on their Vietnam War Era experience at the Fowler Blast Furnace Room, ArtsQuest Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
In honor of Veterans Day, the annual panel discussion “The Vietnam War: Reflections from Before, During, and After” was hosted in front of a live audience by Frank Gunter, Ph.D., a retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel, professor of economics at Lehigh University and head of Lehigh University’s Veterans Association, Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and a Director at the Eastern Economic Association.
Eugene “Gene” Derenick, of Center Valley, Pennsylvania, enlisted in the US Navy in 1965 at 17. He served three years in Dam Neck, Virginia, and Key West, Florida, where he ended his tour as a Third Class Petty Officer. 1980, he reenlisted in the US Air Force Reserves and served at Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, until 1997. During his reserve tour, Derenick worked on chemical warfare, rapid runway, and operation readiness initiatives. He retired as a Master Sergeant E-7.
During his service in the US Air Force Reserves, Derenick was a Pennsylvania State Trooper for 30 years, working in Bucks and Lehigh Counties. He and his wife, Vicky, are active members of Pathstones by Phoebe, a continuing care at home program.
George Campbell, of Center Valley, Pennsylvania, enlisted in the US Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, after graduating from Pennsylvania State University in 1960. He served on the USS Providence in Yokosuka, Japan.
He resigned as a Lieutenant Junior Grade and then continued in the US Navy Reserves where he served primarily in Little Creek, Virginia, until 1986 when he retired as a Captain. Campbell spent more than ten years working with the Navy Seals, and Special Warfare.
During his service in the US Navy Reserves, Campbell worked in finance and accounting at Bethlehem Steel, W.R. Grace, and The Rouse Company. He retired in 2004 from American Resource Consultants as the Chief Financial Operator.
He and his wife, Gretchen, are active members of Pathstones by Phoebe, a continuing care at home program.
Thomas Delmer “Artimus” Pyle of Asheville, North Carolina, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1968. He was named platoon and series honorman and promoted to Private First Class after completing boot camp in San Diego. Pursuing a career in civil aviation, Pyle worked as an avionics mechanic at various military bases, including Millington, Tennessee, and Beaufort, South Carolina, ultimately rising to Sergeant. He was honorably discharged in 1971.
Pyle, who started playing the drums at 12, was the drummer for the well-known southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1974 to 1977 and 1987 to 1991. He and his bandmates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.
Pyle, who plays in several bands, is currently on tour with The Artimus Pyle Band-A Tribute To Lynyrd Skynyrd.