Boxwell Greats: Pat Deugaw
Pat Deugaw is one of the most unique of Boxwell staff members. A retired enlisted man, Pat joined the Boxwell staff at Camp Craig in 1987 as the Field Sports Director. In addition to running Field Sports, which at the time included the shooting sports as well as the “athletic” merit badges now found in the Activity Yard, Pat also ran the Rifle Range.
In these first years, Pat made a name for himself for two things. First, during Staff Week, Pat drove his yellow pick up truck, complete with camper top over the bed, all around the loops carrying Kool-Aid (or “bug juice”) to work crews. He became known as “The Kool-Aid Man” and the sight of his truck meant relief and a welcome break! Second, he was known for was Friday night packets. Back when virtually all troops stayed through the campfire because packets were not available until afterward, Pat made sure all the troop packets were in order. He was a taskmaster!
As time went on, Pat eventually gave up the Director’s position and focused solely on the rifle range. By the early 2000s, Pat had established an NRA Light Rifle program that ran out Parnell’s Rifle Range. As Parnell’s last year as a full running camp was 1998, Pat jokingly referred to himself as “Parnell’s Program Director.” By this point, others now knew him as “Old Soldier.”
Pat served on the camp staff from 1987 until 2009, with only one year off in 1996. Indeed, so great was Pat’s influence that Craig held a “Patrick Deugaw Day” on July 6, 2009 and the whole reservation flew flags at half-mast upon news of his death in June 2011.
Shown here is Pat’s Staff ID photo from 2008. Photo by “Big John” Kasper.