Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,
I’m pleased to report that all of the feedback that I have received thus far regarding the new all electronic format has been positive. While I ask for and am pleased to receive your comments regarding my efforts here, it is far more important that you share with me your stories and pictures. We all enjoy reminiscing with you or hearing your stories of recent adventures especially with pictures. This edition will be somewhat shorter than the first because I have not received as much input as I did last summer. Please remember to share the story (with photos) whenever you do something that would be of interest to the Class. Now that many more of us are retired, opportunities will abound. Just remember to bring your camera and share the story.
Once again, I solicit your comments as I try something just a little different. It’s always sad to remind you that we have recently lost one or more of our dear friends. At the end of these notes you will see that I have included an excerpt from our ’65 Howitzer to help us remember Bob Gates as he was back in the day. Please let me know how you feel about my doing this in the future.
Can you believe that it has been 50 years since we had our “R–Day” activities? This summer we had a large contingent of our Classmates show up to help kickoff the formal start of our affiliation with the Class of 2015. We had more than 20 of our Classmates show up with their wives to represent us and to spend a lot of time with the families of the new Cadets to assure them that their sons and daughters would be in good hands. Here, in the words of Pat Kenny (who has been extremely helpful to me in putting this report together) is a description of what it was like to participate, “it was the most connecting and rewarding West Point experience that I have had in a long time. It is hard to express the feelings to be at the beginning of the new cadets West Point lives and those of their family and friends. But, there we were 50 years later from our own R–Day welcoming the class of 2015 and their families. It was fun, it was emotional, and it was uplifting.” In attendance were Tom & Tosh Barron, Russ & Maryann Campbell, Bob & Kay Cato, Emery & Eleanora Chase, Dave & Cheryl DeMoulpied, Bob & Mary Frank, Doug Gibson, Bob & Jodie Guy, Lee & Donna Hewitt, Cal & Pat Kahara, John & Cheryl Longhouser, Jack Lyons, Howie & Betsy Reed, Paul & Sabine Schultz, Swick & Carol Tomaswick, Ray Woodruff & Grace Anne Crank, and Ken & Isumi Yoshitani. Photo: Dave DeMoulpied explaining to some parents of a 2015 New Cadet how well their son will be taken care of
Marching proudly behind our special Banner, which declares our affiliation with the Class of 2015, 26 of our stalwart Classmates made it from the ski slope to the Supe’s quarters (many even made the entire 12 mile hike which started at o-dark-thirty at Camp Buckner). Photo: Classmates proudly carring the Banner.
If these aren’t happy Campers, I don’t know what they are. Photo: Happy Campers on the March
Relaxing after the big march. Photo: Sonny Ray, Denny Coll, Colby Home (Denny’s grandson), Robert Wells, David Hurley, Jack Jannarone, Fred Smith, Steve Harman, John Pickler, Bill Lehman, Tom Barron, Dan Christman, Steve Ammon, Rick Charles, Clair Gill, Gene Manghi, Pat Kenny, Steve Kempf, Roger Frydrychowski, John Smoak, & Paul Schultz – Marchers not in the photo: David DeMoulpied, Dan Donaghy, Ron Floto, John McMillan, Julian Pylant, & Jim Tomaswick.
My dear friend JL Johnsen is quite the writer of limericks. I shared many of them some time ago, but this just seemed like a good place to again share one of them:
The “Hell Cats”
our mornings marauded,
Though their efforts were largely unlauded.
In spite of their skill,
We would have them be still,
And not one of us ever applauded.
John Mogan (BJ) still needs our support. In September, after some coaxing on my part, John agreed to have me share his story with you all. Since then he has been undergoing continuous Chemo Therapy and has been doing very well. However, the need to continue the efforts and the toll that the therapy takes along with the knowledge of what they are dealing with can be pretty tough. The support that he has received from some of you has been very helpful but more is in order. As we approach the Holidays, please drop him a line or give him a quick phone call. He’s always happy to hear from his Classmates. Photo: BJ and his beautiful wife, Dyanne, in Alaska
In the words of Joe DeFrancisco, who was kind enough to share this story, “On 21 September Ric Shinseki was guest speaker at the West Point Society of DC Fall Luncheon. An attentive audience of over 250, the largest Society luncheon gathering in recent memory, heard Ric deliver another superb address. He explained in some detail the scope and depth of the VA charter interspersing his remarks with references to West Point and his time in uniform. Although the vast majority of the audience were veterans, most had little idea of the diversity and magnitude of services provided by the VA. I’ve heard Ric speak many times as Army Chief of Staff and on other occasions but he was never in better form. He was also gracious enough to come in time for the pre-lunch reception and remain after his remarks to answer questions and meet individually with many grateful admirers. It was a great day for West Point, the Class of ’65 and the VA.” Photo: Clair Gill, Walt Kulbacki, Joe DeFrancisco, Ric Shinsecki, Lance Hewitt, Frank Koleszar, Frank Skidmore, Bob Harter, and Larry Bennett. Tony Gamboa, Sandy Hallenbeck, Roy Garms, Randy Guenther, Bill Birdseye, and Steve Ammon were also in attendance but unable to get in the picture
Some time ago I shared some thoughts through the forum regarding my good buddy Ron (Chops) Walter when he was a Company Commander in Viet Nam. It seems he had an opportunity to welcome Miss Chris Noel, when she came to entertain the troops. It was fun telling the story, as I envisioned it, of Chops attempting to maintain his dignity while pinning a 173d Abn Bgd pin on her blouse in extreme close proximity to her beautiful right (or was it left – who cares?) breast. The attached photo, while it doesn’t depict the precise moment of pinning, does, at least, make the delicacy of the operation very obvious. Well done my friend.Photo: Chops with Chris Noel in Nam
This just seemed like an appropriate place to share another one of the Limericks I borrowed from a dear friend of mine from the Class of 56, JL Johnsen:
Young women at
West Point’s not new,
And, to some things, the place has stayed true.
The b-plate’s the same,
With its apropos name,
But shouldn’t the women wear two?
Skip O’Donnell was kind enough to share the attached picture and brief story. It reminds me a little of “Saving Pvt. Ryan” with a much happier ending. Skip shares: “My nephew Brian’s son Hudson was asked to bring in a photo of any family military veterans to class last week. Hudson brought [in this] photo. The photo was taken April 1968 at Vung Tau showing my father Charles F. Jr, my brother Tom and me for the Pacific Stars and Stripes. Tom had just arrived by ship with an Ohio National Guard artillery 155mm towed battalion. At that time my father was assistant G-4, USARV, Tom was an FDC chief with one of the artillery batteries and I was Service battery commander and S-4 for the 5/22 FA at Ahn Khe. After the photo was taken, my Dad took over the 593d General Support Command located in Qui Nhon. He had over 5,000 troops to move materials and troops throughout central Vietnam. I took over command of C Battery, 5/22 FA (a 175mm gun and 8 inch howitzer battery) in Polei Kleng west of Kontum with a general support-reinforcing mission with the 4th Division. My Mom insisted on the three of us going to RVN close to each other’s tour. She did not want to worry for three long years for her guys. I went first and my father and brother had to sign waivers to be in RVN at the same time as me.” Photo: Tom O’Donnell, Charles F. O’Donnell, and our own Skip O’Donnell
At the suggestion of Rollie Stichweh, I asked Maria Talbot to share this great story about our classmateJim Talbot. It’s been a long and difficult road for these newlyweds, but they (and we) have a lot to be thankful for as a result. Here is what she wrote, “Jim and I were married in the company of several wonderful classmates June 2009, after an eleven year relationship and nineteen year friendship. A year to the day later, Jim was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. This past summer we decided it was time to see if we would qualify for the transplant list. After a few disappointing false alarms, the good news came October 4, midweek, midday, and Jim was doing what he loves most, his greatest passion, serving his patients. Ironically, Jim was with what was to be his last patient of the day......Rollie Stichweh.....how prophetic!!!! The call came and this time there were no questions....we were getting a liver, and a new outlook on a better quality of life! The surgery went beautifully, what the surgeons referred to as text book transplant! Jim came home after only seven days at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, NY. He has been recovering at home and is feeling healthier and stronger every day. Because of his immunosuppressed state he is unable to return to work for at least 3 months. He is taking anti-rejection and anti- infection meds. Jim is hopeful he'll be able to return to his patients in January, assuming his Doctors give him the "ok!" In the meantime we are awaiting the pathology report since there was no conclusive diagnosis and they ruled it non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver or NASH. Nevertheless, it's been a long and exhausting journey. It’s nice being home for the holidays together and cherishing the joy of Life. We are blessed and thankful for our donor, and for their gift of life we are forever grateful and eternally thankful. Donate Life, it's precious!” Photo: Jim Talbot and his beautiful wife, Maria
Dick Williams shared this story. While he regrets having given up golf (how do you do that – I thought it was a part of life or even more important?), he has followed it up by spending a huge amount of time and effort skydiving. He shared this picture which clearly shows that the time and effort have paid off. This DEAD CENTER was accomplished at a parachute meet in Lodi, California last April. Way to go my friend. Photo: Dick Williams right on the mark
On October 14th Paul Bucha, Russ Campbell, andPaul Schultz participated in the first class of this four year Class Affiliation Project. They met with cadet participants and escorts and then took part in the discussion of that day’s subject, Digital Decorum. The first part of the discussion was presented by a Firstie and a Cow and the second part was presented by a Class of 1965 facilitator. There were close to 500 members of the Class of 2015 involved in the program in numerous classrooms. As you can see our three representatives were spread pretty thin. For this reason, Paul Shultz has asked me to once again put out the plea for more of us to get involved. There are still four more sessions scheduled during 2012 while our Affiliation Class is still in their Plebe year. If you can participate, please contact Paul Shultz and he will be happy to help you get involved. Photo: Paul Bucha, Russ Campbell, and Paul Schultz with members of the Class of 2015 and officers supporting the program
Dick Boerckel was kind enough to share this cartoon which sure hit home with me as I think back to our 45th Reunion and my High School Class’s 50th Reunion which I recently attended. Thanks Dick.
A great story was shared by Ron Walter who tells of his Graduation Leave trip with a good friend (also a grad). It seems they had the opportunity to borrow a tiny pop-up tent trailer; they had a brand new convertible, and plenty of time to play so they decided to drive through Mexico. The trip takes them through deserts, mountains, cities, and jungles as they make their way south to the beautiful resort city of Acapulco. They are able to camp right on the beach next to the Ritz Hotel and enjoy most of the amenities with almost none of the cost. They swam in the beautiful Pacific, met many amazing people, and even went hunting for the rare and hard to find iguana (well, maybe not so rare or hard to find if you have a Paso to give one of the local kids who keep them on a string for tourists). After about a month of playing below the boarder, they were more than ready to return to the States for a real hamburger and a glass of milk. Thanks Ron for a great story. Yes, his good buddy on the trip was yours truly. While I hesitate to use this forum for personal stories this does provide an opportunity to show they type of story I’m hoping to receive from more of you. Please help me by sharing what is happening or has happened in your life that I can share with the Class. Photo: Chops – the Great White Hunter
As always, the toughest part of this job is reporting on our fallen Classmates. However, I have been very pleased to see how quickly our Classmates step up to assist when asked to serve as POC (Point of Contact) to assist the families of our fallen brothers.
On 30 Oct 11 we lost Bob Gates. John Olson was quick to step up and represent us as the POC. Bob was laid to rest at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon on November 16, 2011.
His Howitzer entry
Bob and his ever-present humor descended upon West Point from Seattle, Washington. It was his natural love for a joke or a few more hours in the bag that have forever endeared him to both the Academic and Tactical Departments. But even though our century man has made the T.D.honor roll, his casual air has allowed him to miss Stars – both kinds – although he admits to still owing the English Department two tenths.
Golf 4,3; Debate Council and Forum 4,3; Spanish Language Club 4; POINTER 2,1; Sky Diving 4,3,2; Bowling 4,3,2; Outdoor Sportsmen Club 2,1; Skeet and Trap Club 2,1; Radio Club 4,3,2,1.