Twenty-two years in the U.S. Army made John well acquainted with the upside of male camaraderie, John notes. So after years of helping at Holy Spirit’s 5:30 Saturday Mass, and Andy Goza and Pete Perta “convincing” him of the merits of KC membership, he went willingly. He took his first degree four years ago this month, adding his major degrees in April 17. John left the service as a Sergeant First Class, having been stationed at Fort Campbell, Fort Polk, Fort Leavenworth and Fort Knox, seeing service in Korea, Germany and Vietnam. He’s from Chicago and came along with wife Marge to north Texas in 2006 for a position with Dallas County. He worked for the county for 10 years, retiring two years ago. Marge is also retired, having worked for AAFES. The Balasas, married 42 years, live in DeSoto. In recent months, you’ve seen him at the fall blood drive, the VA cookout and the Breakfast with St. Nick and our Cedar Hill concession stands (John admits that watching the kids play reminds him of his own little-league days). His volunteer work extends beyond our council. Every Saturday, he helps at the food pantry in DeSoto. His other recurring “appointment” is bowling every Tuesday and Thursday night. He claims an average of 140, and we’ll take his word for that.