has a private law practice, has been recognized by the Young Lawyer Division of the 18th Judicial District Bar for 14 years ofservice as mayor pro tem and member of the Greensboro City Council.
Robert Daniel Ford (' 74 PhD), 63, of N ot-
tinghan"l, Md.; May 7,2006. He retired from
Science Application Inc. as a senior research
scientist. His specialty area was antitoxins for
chemical warfare, and he published many arti-
cles and lectured on the topic. He taught at
Michigan State University and the University
of Maryland Dental School. He served in the
Army. • Claude Wilson Miller Jr. (' 74 AB),
58, of New Bern; May 16,2006. Miller was
the owner of an insurance agency in New
Bern. • Mary Elizabeth Nickolaus (' 74
MPH), 72, of Loveland, Colo.; May 27,2006.
Nickolaus retired as a professor of nursing. She
taught at several universities, including the
University of Texas School of Public Health
and the University of Northern Colorado. At
one time, she was the soloist for a jazz band. •
Dr. Harry Lee Rickenbacker (' 74 DDS),
63, of Shallotte; June 9,2006. Rickenbacker
practiced dentistry in several North Carolina
towns, including Shallotte and Bladenboro. He
served on the Brunswick County Board of
Education, Bladen County Board of Health
and was a director for the Health Sciences
Foundation of the Medical University of
South Carolina. For 20 years, he served on the
Selective Service Board of Appeals for the
Eastern District of N orth Carolina. H e also
was active in the real estate business. ,75William Pickell Cleaver (' 75
In Iraq, Balance Is Easier Without Checks
Three winters ago, Alissa Alan Stribling ' 81 and Maj. Charles Stribling ' 75 touched
hands through a chain-link fence in Louisiana
and said goodbye for 13 months.
A U.S. Army Reservist living in Virginia
Beach at the time, Maj. Stribling was deployed
to Kuwait throughout 2004 with the 336th
Finance Command out of Lake Charles, La.
Alissa Stribling returned home to continue her
MBA program at Old Dominion University in
Norfolk, Va. Husband and wife both felt the
unease of separation: She of sleeping In a
lonely house and not knowing whether her
husband was safe; he of traveling through hostile parts of Iraq or riding cargo planes al
ong-side the bodies of dead soldiers.
"I didn't know If I'd have my husband back
alive,' she said. "I really didn't have a lot of
sleep for the year."
Stribling's deployment was a time of i
nse-curity for both of them, and he did his small
part to protect the lives of his fellow soldiers:
He kept them off the road by creating an electronic check-cashing system.
An Army Reserve finance auditor with a
bachelor's degree in business administration
from Kenan-Flagler and an MBA from Old
Dominion, Stribling and two fellow Army
Reserve officers developed a laptop-based
check-cashing system that eliminated the
need to transport soldiers' depOSited checks
from Iraq to Kuwait for processing. This
enabled the Army to clear checks in a couple
of days through a satellite feed to the Federal
Reserve Bank of Cleveland, instead of waiting
as long as a month under the manual system.
This meant no more surprises for soldiers who
had other things on their minds besides bal-
ancing their checkbooks.
"It was an enormous responsibility,' said
Capt. Lionel Walton, a theater funding and
clearing officer whose team had to process
thousands of checks every week before the
Military Paperless Check Conversion system
went online. "He made it happen."
As they set up these MPCC systems
throughout Iraq, Stribling's team had to dodge
mortar rounds and roadside bombs. Twice he
rode through "Sniper's Alley" into central
Baghdad with a Kevlar helmet and bulletproof
vest and his rifle pointed out a window. As he
took off from Masul after another MPCC set-
"When we landed, we
stood at attention and
saluted as the coffins were "~II~1Ii
carried off the airplane,'
he said. "Sobering, of course, and made one
count one's blessings."
Stribling's diligence and attention to detail
earned him the nickname "The Professor,' a
Bronze Star for heroic or meritorious achievement and a civil service post as a payroll divi-
sion chief for the Navy Military Sealift Command and more recently as a supervisory
auditor overseeing Army finance auditors in
He said Alissa Stribling deserves the credit
for managing their household without him. The
couple met at a GAA function in Raleigh in
December 1989 and married in February 1993.
She had been studying for a microeconomics
exam when she took a call from the Army say-
ing her husband was on a list for deployment.
That was Dec. 6, 2003. Less than a month
later, he reported for duty in Louisiana.
He and Walton were among a few individual reservists plucked from the 80th Division
for Institutional Training out of Richmond, Va.,
because of their particular expertise in
finance. At the end of January, they shipped
off for Kuwait. The Striblings spent the last
day together, but when it came time for him
to board the plane, the civilians were sepa-
rated from the soldiers by a fence topped with
barbed wire. Touching hands was all they
could do to say goodbye.
"The unsung heroes are the folks you leave
behind," said Stribling, who retired from the
Reserves last October. "If I get the Bronze
Star, she deserves the Silver Star."
- Jesse James DeConto,
with reporting by Emily Steele '06
In Kuwait, Maj. Charles Stribling ' 75, along with two fellow
Army Reserve officers, developed an electronic check-cashlng
system that made It faster and easier for soldiers to get paid.
up mission, a mortar round hit the runway just
behind his C- 23 Sherpa transport plane. When
a plane he was riding in would fire flares to
decoy insurgents' heat-seeking missiles, he
knew he was in danger. Sometimes, he would
ride along with the flag-draped caskets of sol-
diers killed in action.
September/Octob e r 2006