GROVE CITY —
CDR Raymond Batz, MC, USN, wing surgeon, Second Marine Aircraft Wing (2d MAW) and 1988 graduate of Grove City Area High School and 1992 graduate of Grove City College, was surprised to find two other GCHS graduates -- Lt. Col. Bill 'Kelvin' Sauerland and Lt. Ian Uber -- among the officers of 2d MAW on the same base near Havelock, N.C., often at the same meeting.
Batz was on the same track team as Sauerland, USMC (1990) and played on the same football team that Uber, MC, USN (1999) played on more than 10 years later.
While in high school, Batz liked science courses, and realized a common chemistry/#advanced physical science teacher (Rich Samsa) with other alums.
Furthermore, all three lived within five blocks of the N. Broad St. intersection featuring Schall's Tire and Service Station.
They now all ensure 2d MAW is ready to be first to the fight and "second to none." 2d MAW has units operating around the world and the highest medical readiness throughout the Marine Corps.
Of three garrison concentration areas, MCAS Cherry Point is the largest and is home to both the largest Marine Aircraft Group in the Marine Corps (MAG-14) and likely the finest Harrier squadron on the planet, VMA-542.
Š Lt. Col. Bill Sauerland, USMC, executive officer, Marine Aircraft Group 14. Lt. Col. Sauerland is a 1990 GCHS and a 1994 Penn State graduate. Bill is an AV-8B Harrier pilot who most recently served as the commanding officer of Marine Attack Squadron 223 - "The Great American Bulldogs" and will be attending the National War College in Washington, D.C.
Š After high school, Ian Uber performed a two-year mission in the picturesque islands of Fiji. He then attended the Naval Academy and graduated in 2006; after which he married Angela and they now have three wonderful children.
He was selected to the Medical Corps and attended medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
After graduating, he went to San Diego to complete his internship. He moved his family back to Pensacola, Fla. to receive training as a naval flight surgeon.
After graduating with top honors, Ian was stationed at Cherry Point, N.C. with Marine Attack Squadron 542 (VMA-542).
He has traveled with them all over the world for deployments and various training exercises.
All three smile wide when they realize the common points they share, and that they would not be the leaders they are today without the teachers and coaches they had as 'Fighting Eagles' at GCHS. Semper fidelis and go Navy!
Published March 8, 2014, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.