New resident William (Bill) Mickle came to Falcons Landing from Dana Point, California. He was born in St. Augustine, FL, but has lived in many places, both in this country and abroad. His father was with United Airlines, and Bill spent his growing-up years in Florida, Colorado, Alabama, Utah, California and Washington State. After high school, he was selected for the Naval Academy and graduated in 1957.
As a newly commissioned ensign, Bill’s first assignment was duty on the USS Southerland based in San Diego, and he had two Western Pacific deployments. During that time he met his future wife, Irena, a Navy nurse who was stationed at Balboa Naval Hospital. In 1959 they were married in the hospital chapel. A few weeks later, Bill left for the Naval Submarine School in New London, CT – a six-month course that was followed by orders to Charleston, SC.
The young couple loved Charleston. Their three-year tour of duty was highlighted first by the birth of a son, Billy, and then, in close order, a daughter, Kathryn. After that came a year of postgraduate work at the American University School of International Studies and a two-year tour at the Office of Naval Intelligence. Throughout these years, Irena remained active in her field, working part-time as an emergency room nurse as well as devoting time to her favorite hobbies: gardening and music.
Next came the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, followed by another tour in Charleston, this time as an executive officer of the USS Amberjack, after which he was assigned command of the USS Tiru, a diesel attack submarine. Bill and Irena’s third child, Richard, was born in Charleston. Irena, Navy wife, part-time emergency room nurse and round-the-clock mother of three, had her hands full.
After the Tiru, Bill was assigned to the staff of Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, for three years, then back to the Office of Naval Intelligence at the Pentagon for another tour of duty. A variety of enviable duty stations continued to come Bill’s way: Naples, Italy, as an intelligence officer, then Hawaii and Santiago, Chile, all tours that included family.
Then, having served his country for 30 years, Bill retired. But wait – that’s not the end of the story. Bill had two more careers before he finally took off his pack. The first was 10 years at TRW, Inc., in the D.C. area as a program manager; then last, but not least, SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation) where he also served as a program manager.
When Irena died last year, Bill began looking at retirement communities. His son, Richard, who lives in Reston, recommended Falcons Landing. So Bill is now here, unpacking boxes and hanging pictures. I asked him the usual question: “Why did you pick Falcons Landing?”
“The most important reasons,” he replied, pointing, “are Mimi and Nigel.” Mimi, a hospitable gray and black border collie, dozed at my feet while Nigel, a sleekly handsome black cat with a take-charge personality prowled suspiciously among the packing boxes.
“I think of them as family,” Bill said, “and Falcons Landing is very pet friendly. I knew we’d all be happy here.” Yes, you will. So welcome, Bill – and Mimi and Nigel – to Falcons Landing!