A frined of a friend-Mike Clawson-Mike Bentley-May 19

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for May 19, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

I never served in the military. On February 2, 1972 I marched down to Joyner Library at East Carolina University with my roommate Mike Orrell to see what number our birthdays had been assigned in US Selective Service Draft.

This draft determined the order in which men born in 1953 were called to report for induction into the military. Mike was born on February 18 and drew number #11 and I was born on February 22 and drew #20. We both walked back to Jones Hall with the song “You are in the Army now” humming in the back of our heads.

We were freshmen in the second quarter of college and thought by the start of the spring quarter in March we would be reporting for basic training. We both went for our physicals in late February in Raleigh, NC and got deferments Mike for his knee and me for being 3 pounds under the desired weight for a guy 6’4”. I was told I would be called back but it never happened. President Nixon ended the draft in January 1973 during our sophomore year and Mike and I both went on to graduate in four years as civilians.

Even though I didn’t have a military career I have friend that did. That friend and former player is Mike Bentley. Mike played basketball for me at UNC Pembroke and graduated in 1991 and went into the US Army thru the university’s ROTC program. He left the Army as a Lt. Colonel. One of his assignments he had during his career was at the Pentagon where he was in the same office space as a former military assistant for tactical land warfare systems in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. That position was held by Mike Clawson who works at UNC Pembroke and serves coordinator of Military and Veterans Services at UNC Pembroke.

Mike Bentley was from Hope Mills, NC and had a great work ethic. He came to practice every day ready to compete and was a great teammate. I believe that work ethic carried over to his military career.

Mike spent a good part of his military career deployed overseas. His tours of duties which involved being a helicopter pilot included Tirkit, Iraq and Germany to name a few. He was very proud of each crew or men he got the opportunity to lead in the Army.

Mike helicopter team

Mike has a beautiful wife named Patti and two great kids. His son Patrick is an excellent athlete and most likely will be playing college football after graduating from high school. He also has a talented daughter named Michaela.

Mike Family

Mike Bentley and Mike Clawson are both connected in a lot of ways.


Mike Bentley

The Friend of the Friend-MIKE CLAWSON


Mike and Mike

In December 2012-UNC Pembroke hired a retired Lt Colonel from the US Army to become its first full-time coordinator of Military and Veterans Services.

The similarities between Mike Bentley and Mike Clawson are pretty broad. Mike Bentley graduated from UNC Pembroke (then Pembroke State) and Mike Clawson works at UNC Pembroke. Mike Bentley and Mike Clawson were both helicopter pilots in the US Army.

Mike Helicopter Pilot

Mike and Mike are both went to high school in North Carolina. Mike and Mike both worked in the same office at the Pentagon. Mike and Mike both obtained the rank of Lt. Colonel and both retired with 20 plus years of service to their country.

Mike Clawson earned two master’s degrees, one from the National Defense University in national security strategy and one from Webster University in human resources development. He qualified to fly the Apache, Black Hawk, Cobra, Huey and Kiowa helicopters.

Mike Bentley earned two master’s degrees, one from United States Army Senior Service College and one from Troy University in human resources development. He is qualified to fly helicopters also.

Sometimes life is funny on how people are connected without every really knowing it. For Mike and Mike that is the case.


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