For some who have served in the military, being reunited with fellow soldiers and friends after years of separation is an emotional, sometimes ecstatic experience. Such an experience occurred recently with Gregory Regole, who served for over 12 years. However, this reunion was somewhat unique, because Regole’s reunion was not with a former soldier or friend, but with a piece of heavy equipment.
Regole was a “64 Charlie” – a ‘truck driver’ in civilian language. He operated a 40,000 pound, 36 foot long, 22.5 ton M911 transporter lowboy tractor, used to haul and transport disabled vehicles. After his release from military service in 1995, Regole retired to civilian life in German Valley, where he and his wife, Tracy, operate Bunker Hill Dog Training, Grooming and Specialty Store.
After work one day, Regole took a new route home, where he spotted several military vehicles parked by Allen’s Towing on Route 20. Somewhat surprised, Regole stopped and asked the owner if he could look at the equipment, explaining that he used to operate similar types of equipment. Looking around, he spotted a familiar number-the number of his former unit-on the bumper of a vehicle, and soon discovered his name still painted on the bottom of the driver’s side windshield. Regole knew this was the exact vehicle he operated during his service in the military.
The equipment owner’s daughter, Jane Tegtman, was extremely interested in the discovery and its irony, and reveled in listening to stories of where Regole and the truck traveled in their nine years of service together. Her father Jack Allen, the truck’s current owner, passed away last fall and left everything to his daughter. Tegtman, knowing the sentimental value of the vehicle to Regole, decided to give it to him as a gift. Now Regole plans to restore the heavy machine and put it on display in the German Valley Memorial Park. Before he does, though, Regole plans to be on the move as he spends some time operating his long lost partner.