This article is written by and features Thomas Hogate, President of Veteran’s Outreach Ministries

I was born in Wilmington, DE in the summer of 1942 and have lived in Delaware my entire life. That makes me a ‘Native Delawarean’ of which there are many of whom that can say that. I’ve lived in many locations in Delaware throughout the years from New Castle to Newport to Newark, and now Bear as my final destination. I went to H. C. Conrad Highschool in Woodcrest, DE and graduated in 1960.

My military experience began when I joined the Navy Reserves at the Navy and Marine Reserve Center on Kirkwood Highway after graduation from highschool. They sent me to the Great Lakes Naval Station for my basic training and introduction to military service. After basic training I went back to the Reserve Center waiting to be sent to my duty station. In early 1961 I went to the Navy Yard in Philadelphia, PA to find where my first duty station was going to be.

My first duty station was on Kodiak Island, AK with MCB-10, Mobile Construction Battalion 10. I was located in the Electrical Engineering department. Other duty stations were Camp Kinzer Okinawa where I was assigned to the Fire Department and the Phillipines where I changed to Builder Construction. We were stationed at Port Huaneme, Oxnard, CA after each duty station where we received one (1) month of school, one (1) month of leave, and one (1) month of military training at Camp Pendelton, CA. I never missed a Christmas at home. My discharge from active duty was at Treasure Island, CA in the spring of 1963 with the rest of the time spent at the Navy and Marine Reserve Center until my final honorable discharge from the Navy in June of 1966.

I wanted to enjoy life before I got married, living at home and loving it after discharge from the service. I married in 1966 at 24 years old. After one divorce with two children (a daughter and a son) I married again in January of 1983 with my wife having two divorces with four children (two daughters and two sons) before marrying me. We have a blended family. We have lived in the Bear, DE area for 40 years and have been married 39 years at the time of this article. I am retired, which allows me time for VOM duties and responsibilities.

I was one of the original veterans that started Veteran’s Outreach Ministries at Oasis Church, formerly Friendship Baptist Church, in 2015. Since 2020 I have been the President of VOM.

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