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Mike Cullison

I was born on a spring day in April of 1949 in the Army Hospital at Camp Gordon in Augusta, GA.  Augusta is home to the Masters Golf Tournament, but I arrived a little late to attend that year. 
At the age of 6 months we moved back to my Mother’s hometown of Amery, WI. Amery is a town with a population of about 2,000 people, located 70 miles East of Minneapolis, MN. 
Growing up was simple. In the Summer I spent most days at the local Public Beach. That was at the lake, not at the pool. Fishing was always fun. There was a river and 3 lakes within the city limits so it was never a problem finding a place to drop my line in. In the Winter my friends and I would either ski, go sledding, tobogganing or ice skating.
As I grew older I decided to branch out. I worked on my Cousin’s dairy farm for 2 summers. The work was about as hard as I knew it would be, and the pay wasn’t real great either. It was a great learning experience. I learned that dairy farming wasn’t for me.
In 1963 the Neighborhood Youth Corps was established. The work revolved around conservation and was all outdoors work. The parks and other projects that we completed are still in existence. It was a   great way to spend my summer, and get paid as well.
I graduated from High School in 1967. I was scheduled to attend a Technical school in Eau Claire, WI in September to study automotive repair.  I wasn’t sure if that was what I really wanted to do with my life. Around that same time one of my best friends asked me if I would be interested in joining the Navy.  I had always enjoyed seeing other places, loved new adventures and wanted to see what Uncle Sam had to offer so I enlisted.
I arrived at Naval Training Station, Great Lakes (Chicago, IL) the night of December 19, 1967. I graduated from Recruit Training March 14, 1968 and was given orders to report for Naval Aviation Electronics School in Memphis, TN April 1st.
Over the next 12 years I was stationed in California, Illinois and Washington. I had the opportunity to see the Mediterranean from the flight deck of the carrier, and places in the Far East such as Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan during my time in the South China Sea providing air support for the war in Vietnam.
But by 1979 life in the military wasn’t the same. We hadn’t seen a pay raise in 2 years, promotions were frozen and transfers were taking a toll on my family so in 1979 when my enlistment was up I opted to leave and go to work for IBM as a Large Systems Technician. During the next 25 years I spent about half of it in Minneapolis in various positions. Then in 1991 I transferred to Charlotte, NC, and ultimately to Raleigh for the last 4 years. 
Since 2004 I have worked for several companies, such as Banctec, Fidelity Investments, Pfizer and the NC Department of Public Safety, performing technical support and computer related work.
In September of 2003 I met the love of my life, Morgan. We just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. Morgan is from Lima, Peru and has been a US citizen since 2006. Between us we have 4 children and 10 Grandchildren ranging in age from 10 to 25 years of age.

Contact Mike at mike@phillips-ppg.com or 919-376-6643



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