(also see Videos/Photos for some past events)
Class of 1969
Visiting West Point
2020 May Elbe River Cruise (Berlin to Prague) Mini-Reunion -- Contact Dave Wallestad
Denis Gulakowski on Sunday nights (8-10pm ET) www.k-radio.net
Anytime: Mike Healy:
Anytime: Pete Grimm: South African Tour
21 February 2019
Dear Classmates and Class Family,
Our Affiliates in the Class of 2019 are now two-digit midgets on the countdown to graduation – 93 and a butt days to go until May 25th. While 100th Night for the Class of 2019 officially fell on Valentine’s Day it was celebrated on Saturday Feb 16th with a banquet in Washington Hall and a production of their 100th Night Show, titled “So Graduation Will Reign”, a take-off on their Class motto “So Freedom will Reign.” As is traditional, the show spoofed their cadet experience lampooning the Supe, Comm, Dean, the TD , the P’s,the Hell Cats and all the construction dust they’ve endured. Timeless 100th Night show themes depicted were summer training and DPE, captured in the skits “Gee, how I love Camp Buckner, “ and the penultimate number “The Curse of DPE.” Some aspects of the show the TD was not amused by, particularly the reprise of their Christmas Banquet food fight, reminiscent of Tom Rienzi’s FB rally turned frenzy. With bracing now long forgotten and suppers optional except on Thursdays, the plebes no longer turn the tables on the Firsties on the Sunday evening following 100th night. Nonetheless it remains a cherished celebration in the life of a West Point Class.
Ten days prior to the 100th Night Banquet, on the evening of February 6th, our Affiliates took a giant step in their transition to commissioned status by picking their first assignments on what’s known colloquially as Post Night. Accomplished in the same manner we chose ours, the class gathers by branch and selects their assignments according to Order of Merit, with the top cadet getting first choice and so on down to the last one standing. Eleven BOTL stalwarts (Chuck Anderson, K.C. Brown, Mike Colacicco, Jim Foss, Rob Goff, Jim Johnson, Fritz Lash, Jim McDonough, Mike McGovern, Mike Speltz and Doug Williams), attended Post Night as observers at the Infantry, Armor, ADA, Engineer and FA drawings. The weather was positively dismal withb a heavy downpour all evening, accompanied by mist and fog. After parking across from the Old Hospital , the Infantry and Armor files got drenched walking from there across the bridge to South Aud (no umbrellas in front of cadets for the BOTL).
Early in the evening we joined several of 2019’s class officer and the Brigade Staff at the newly renovated Firstie Club for a quick snack before heading off to the various section rooms and auditoria in Thayer, Mahan and Washington Halls where the First Class formed by branch in general order of merit to select their initial assignments. Those 254 Firsties going Infantry assembled in South Aud; the 109 branching Armor were in Arnold Auditorium of Mahan Hall, (festooned with flags and patches of the WWII numbered Air Forces) the 115 future Engineers were in Rm 114 Thayer Hall, while the 56 ADA and 164 FA files chose their posts of assignment on the 5th and 6th floors of Washington Hall respectively.
Although assignment selection was accomplished by order of merit within each branch just as ours was, there were several differences of note. First, choices were not simply to Divisions, but to specific Brigade level organizations (1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Div or 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division). Secondly a number of choice assignments within each branch in Italy, Germany, Alaska, Hawaii Korea and highly desired CONUS posts were specifically reserved for those cadets willing to extend their active duty service obligation for an additional three years thereby incurring an 8 year obligation on graduation rather than the usual five. Any cadet whose standing within the branch wasn’t high enough to guarantee the assignment of her or his dreams could opt for what’s known Post of Choice for an Additional Service Obligation) or PADSO. We met one proud Infantryman who had already incurred an additional three year obligation in order to get the branch of his dreams and on Post Night he did so yet again to ensure an assignment to the 82nd. Upon graduation this young man now has an eleven year service obligation to fulfill.
At the start of the sessions, the senior DMI branch rap introduced the BOTL contingent to much cheering and applause and then launched into the selection process calling each cadet forward by name in general order of merit. Buoyed by much shouted encouragement and applause each individual from the first to the last went up and plucked off the board an 8x11 sheet of paper bearing the branch , the unit patch and the name of the organization to which they’d be assigned. Knowing just how many slots there were, we witnessed many gyrations and calculations taking place as those in the middle and the end switched gears midstream as their desired posts went out. As Jessica Maddox, the no-nonsense2nd Regimental Commander and top female cadet going Infantry stated “it’s pretty cool that you come here, prove yourself over four years and your hard work determines your branch cvhoice and where you’ll go.” As each cadet completed the selections the Comm or Senior DMI instructor, and in many cases their Tacs rushed down to congratulate them and there was much backslapping from friends and company-mates. In the case of the branches we observed, Italy (173d Abn Bde) went out first followed by Germany (2ACR), then Alaska, Ft Bragg, Ft Campbell, Korea, Hawaii, Forts Hood, Bliss and Ft Riley. Irwin, Drum, and Polk went out last. That Drum didn’t even begin to go out until well into the bottom third surprised us, but as several cadets explained most of them wanted out of New York with its severe winters. The accompanying DIVADS photo shows Jim Foss and Chuck Anderson with the Fire Power files from ADA. Thoise going Aviation all go to Rucker for flight training and then draw their assignments based on the aircraft they’re assigned. The 13 going to Med School are commissioned MSC and head off to either the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences at Bethesda or a civilian med school.
We shook the hands of each cadet and congratulated them on receiving their initial assignments. In the FA draw, one flummoxed individual approached Doug Williams to ask if left with a choice between Ft Irwin or Ft Still where he ought to go. Doug told him the choice had to be his but he could never go wrong as a Red Leg serving at Fort Sill. That Firstie chose Sill. In no case was a PADSO slot left on the board. Several cadets had pre-arranged tandem assignments with fiancés. As opposed to Branch Night where the excitement died down within 15 minutes, the celebrating and congratulating went on from start to finish – a full 90 minutes for the Infantry files. It was a decidedly uplifting and exhilarating evening to share in this exciting evening in the lives of our Affiliates. The contagious and enthusiastic spirit of the night is aptly captured in the Flicker show below.
On conclusion we joined a crowd of excited Firsties in the Benny Havens Lounge of the West Point Club for a time and then repaired to the Park Restaurant for a late dinner. The following morning after an impromptu breakfast at Andy’s in Highland Falls, we wistfully departed our Rockbound Highland Home and went our separate ways.
This has been an exciting six months for the Class of 2019: they received their rings in August, their branch notification in November and now with their first assignments decided, they approach their graduation with confident anticipation. We can each take considerable pride in our Affiliates and their accomplishments, certain that they are well prepared for commissioning and to take their places on the leadership team of the United States Army . For those 20 who will be cross-commissioning, they’ll b doing so in the Air Force , Marine Corps or Navy as well.
16 January 2019
Dear Classmates, Our Ladies and Class Family,
2019 will prove to be another momentous year for the Best of the Line with the spotlight on our 50th Reunion May 17th-22nd. The list below provides advance notification of class events that will take place between now and the end of the year. While separate e-mails will go out for each activity, these dates are provided early for scheduling and planning purposes. Please print out these pages, share them with your spouse or significant other and post these dates to your calendar.
Note in particular our fast-approaching Gloom Period Happy Hour to take place Thursday, 21 February in McLean, Virginia, followed close order by the Ring Melt at West Point on February 25th at which two classmates’ rings will be presented.
If you’re headed to West Point for an event this Spring, bear in mind that our Affiliates in the USMA Class of 2019 have an Affiliation LnO in every cadet company. Contact that individual and invite a couple of cadets out for dinner or a snack in Grant Hall. If you need a current list, let me know.
We look forward to seeing as many as can make it at all of these events. Best wishes to all for a happy and healthy New Year, KC
2019 Class Calendar of Events
18 Jan (Friday) and Monthly Thereafter in Northern Virginia: BOTL Food and Friends Get Together. Sponsored by Pete Bazzel and Tammy Peterson, these informal no-host evenings are held monthly at various locations in Northern Virginia. All who can make it are welcome. Contact Pete (email@example.com) to get on the e-vite list. This month’s gathering will take place at 1730 on Thursday the 18th at Brion’s Grille, University Mall, 10621 Braddock Rd, Fairfax, VA 22032.
21 February -- Gloom Period Happy Hour, Washington D.C. Our annual Gloom Period Happy Hour, a tradition in the Washington D.C. area for 28 years, will take place on Thursday 21 February, at Mylo's Grill in the Chesterbrook Shopping Center, 6238 Old Dominion Dr in McLean, VA. All resident and transient classmates, class widows, spouses, and guests are cordially invited to at this no-host event which will run from 1730 until the last classmate departs. Many extend the conviviality by staying on for dinner. A notice pertaining to this event will be forthcoming coming mid-month.
25 February (Monday) – Ring Melt, West Point. The Ring Melt is now held at West Point having outgrown the Pease & Curran Foundry in Warwick, RI. With the additional space Eisenhower Hall provides, all West Point graduates are invited to attend. Continuing a 20-year tradition, donated rings from earlier graduates are melted down and added to the gold from which the class rings for the Class of 2020 and future classes will be formed. This year fifty-five rings have been donated including those of Doug Fitzgerald and Bruce Helmich, lovingly donated by Julie and Joan. Julie will present Doug’s ring and Bruce’s will be presented by Mike Colacicco. The ceremony will take place at 1000 on Monday 25 February..
17 April (Thursday) -- Class Spring Luncheon, Washington D.C. On Thursday, 24 April we will hold our Class Spring Luncheon at 1130 at Mylo's Grill in McLean, VA. A flyer will be distributed in late March.
17-22 May – 50th Reunion of the BOTL, Tarrytown and West Point, NY. Ed Quinn and his team have done a superb job pulling together what will be our best reunion yet, with 850 attendees expected to date. Our reunion headquarters is the Westchester Marriott at 670 White Plains Rd, Tarrytown, NY. Many company, golfing and sightseeing activities will start as early as Friday, 17 May. Check the reunion schedule at https://www.westpointaog.org/1969Reunion for details and latest hotel information. Experience from earlier classes tells us that those who skip this reunion truly regret doing so, so please make your hotel reservations today and plan on joining us. Expect the on-line Registration and event sign-up to be posted on or about 1 March. A reunion update from Ed will alert classmates in advance of that date.
25 May (Saturday). Graduation for the Class of 2019. Our Affiliation Class graduates on Saturday, 25 May and dons the Army Blue with the sincere congratulations and best wishes of the BOTL. Scott Wallace, Bob St Onge, Rob Goff and K.C. Brown will present commemorative Lieutenant’s bars and congratulate each of our Affiliates upon their graduation and commissioning. Those who participated in the 50 Year Affiliation program will attest that we got back much more from these exceptional young men and women than we were asked to give. We will continue our association with them well into the future.
27 June (Thursday)-- Class Summer Luncheon, Washington D.C. Welcome in summer at our June Luncheon, Thursday, 27 June at 1130 at Mylo's Grill in McLean, VA. A flyer will be distributed in late-May..
26 September -- Class Autumn Luncheon, Washington D.C. Join us for our Autumn Luncheon at 1130 on Thursday, 26 September at Mylo's Grill in McLean, VA. A flyer for this event will be distributed in mid-August.
12-13 October. Class Memorial Service at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. As we do every 5 years we will gather at the Vietnam Memorial the weekend of 11-12 October to honor our classmates who fell in Vietnam or died as a result of wounds incurred there. Organized by Dan Cox, Geoff Prosch and Bill Foster, the weekend will begin with a golf outing on Friday, 11 October at the Army Navy Country Club in Fairfax, VA and a class-wide cocktail-buffet that evening. The ceremony at the Wall will take place at 1000 on Saturday, 13 October. All classmates and class family are invited to attend. Lewis “Bob” Sorley, USMA ’56, renowned author and former English P of ours will be the guest speaker with Class Son Fr Mark Ivany offering the invocation and benediction. Please see Dan Cox’s earlier message to the class regarding this event. More information will be forthcoming prior to Labor Day. The class owes a debt of gratitude to Bob Seitz for organizing these solemn events for the past 25 years.
29 Novermber – 3 December (T). Post-Thanksgiving Hawaii Mini-reunion. Army plays Hawaii in Aloha Stadium on 30 November 2019. Given sufficient interest in attending we will pull together some class events 29 Nov-3 Dec beyond the WP Society of Hawaii activities surrounding the game. Prospective schedule includes an island tour, visits to Pearl Harbor (Ford Island, the Arizona Memorial, USS Missouri), the Punchbowl, the Polynesian Center, luaus and class dinners. Why Hawaii in a reunion year? Because Army won’t play there again until 2024. Let me know if you have any interest in participating (firstname.lastname@example.org). Stay tuned.
12 December -- Annual Beat Navy Luncheon, Washington, D.C. To be held at Mylo's in McLean, Virginia on Thursday 12 December, two days before the game, which will be played in Philadelphia again this year. The gathering will begin at 1130 with a social hour followed by an ala carte lunch. All resident and transient classmates, spouses and guests are welcome to attend. A flyer for the Beat Navy Luncheon will come out in early November.
Looking Ahead to 2020. Based on the success of the 2018 Duoro Cruise, Dave Wallestad has arranged an Elbe River cruise from 25 May - 3 June 2020. The journey begins in Berlin and ends in Prague, cruising the Elbe from Magdeburg to Decin at the confluence of the Elbe and the Moldau. Visits include Potsdam, Wittenberg, Torgau, Meissen and Dresden. K.C. Brown and Bruce McBane will offer tours of the Battle of Berlin and the U.S. military presence in Berlin from 1945-1994. Our aim is to fill the 49 cabins on this Viking Longship with classmates. To join in, please contact our cruise coordinator Andres Ploompuu, ’81 at email@example.com or Dave Wallestad at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another prospective mini-reunion is a South East Asia trip (Hong Kong, Vietnam, Laos Cambodia and Thailand). I'd welcome input and recommendations from any and all on suggestions and recommendations regarding locale or specific sites, in addition to willingness to take part in these and future event planning.
I hope you will give careful consideration to joining us for as many class events as you can make. Happy New Year to the entire BOTL family!
Past Events of Note
Click on above for report. See earlier
Ray Dupere's Trip Report (9/29/2018): Fallen Heroes
2018 -- "Ah, yes, I remember it well...!"
7 Jan 2018
Dear Classmates, Class Widows and Class Family,
2018 will prove to be another momentous year for the Best of the Line with the majority of the Class turning Seventy-One and taking required minimum distributions from their IRAs, 401k’s or 403b’s; a July mini-reunion on the Iberian peninsula’s Douro River and three highly significant February, August and October events with our Affiliates from USMA 2019. The attached list provides advance notification of class events that will take place between now and the end of the year. While separate e-mails will go out for each activity, these dates are provided early for scheduling and planning purposes. Please print out this email, share it with your spouse or significant other and post these dates to your calendar.
Kindly note in particular our fast-approaching Gloom Period Happy Hour to take place Thursday, 22 February in McLean, Virginia, followed close order by the Ring Melt for the Class of 2019 on February 26th. Please note and save the dates in the attachment and watch for specifics on each in subsequent e-mails. We look forward to seeing as many as can make it at all of these events.
Here’s a tremendous Affiliation initiative from Doc Dillon and Bob Behnke. Impressed by the cadets they met from D-1 at the Affirmation Ceremony, they asked permission of the First Regimental Tactical Officer to invite some our Affiliates to their company mini-reunion in Williamsburg this April. The RTO gave his enthusiastic approval so the Tac and several cadets from D-1 are joining our D-1 classmates there. Great idea for other companies holding reunions this Spring.
Remember, our Affiliates have an Affiliation LnO in every cadet company. If you’re headed to West Point, contact that individual and invite a couple of cadets out for dinner or a snack in Grant Hall. If you need a current list, let me know.
Best wishes to all for a happy and healthy New Year, KC
2018 Class Calendar of Events
12 Jan and Monthly thereafter in Occoquan, VA: BOTL Food and Friends Get Together. Sponsored by Pete Bazzel and Tammy Peterson, these informal no-host evenings are held on the second Friday evening of every month at various locations in Occoquan, VA. All who can make it are welcome. Pete simply needs a heads up that you’re coming for the head count (email@example.com). January gathering is at The Bottle Stop Wine Bar, 311 Mill St, Occoquan, VA.
22 February -- Gloom Period Happy Hour, Washington D.C. Our annual Gloom Period Happy Hour, a tradition in the Washington D.C. area for 27 years now, will take place on Thursday 22 February, at Mylo's Grill, 6238 Old Dominion Dr in McLean, VA. All resident and transient classmates, class widows, spouses, and guests are cordially invited to at this no-host event which will run from 1730 until the last classmate departs. Many extend the conviviality by staying on for dinner. A notice pertaining to this event will be forthcoming coming mid-month.
26 April -- Class Spring Luncheon, Washington D.C. On Thursday, 24 April we will hold our Class Spring Luncheon at 1130 at Mylo's Grill in McLean, VA. A flyer will be distributed in late March.
28 June-- Class Summer Luncheon, Washington D.C. Welcome the summer solstice at our June Luncheon, Thursday, 22 June at 1130 at Mylo's Grill in McLean, VA. A flyer will be distributed in late-May..
10-19 July Douro River Cruise Mini-reunion. Some 27 class couples and two class widows will gather in Lisbon on 10 July and the next day head north to Porto for a 9 day cruise along the wine country of the Douro across northern Portugal dipping into Spain. aboard the Viking Longship Tif. If interested in joining them, please contact Dave Wallestad our cruise planner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
27 September -- Class Autumn Luncheon, Washington D.C. Join us for our Autumn Luncheon at 1130 on Thursday, 14 September at Mylo's Grill in McLean, VA. A flyer for this event will be distributed in mid-August..
6 December -- Annual Beat Navy Luncheon, Washington, D.C. To be held at Mylo's in McLean, Virginia on Thursday 7 December, two days before the game, which will be played again this year at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The gathering will begin at 1130 with a social hour followed by an ala carte lunch. All resident and transient classmates, spouses and guests are welcome to attend. A flyer for the Beat Navy Luncheon will come out in early November.
50 Year Affiliation Highlights and Events:
a. 13 January – 500th Night for the Class of 2019.
b. 26 February – Ring Melt for the Class of 2019, Pease and Curren Foundry, Warwick, RI. Continuing a 19-year tradition, donated rings from earlier graduates will be melted down and added to the
gold from which the class rings for our Affiliation Class of 2019 will be formed. This will occur at the Pease and Curren Foundry in Warwick, RI on Monday, 26 February. Some 63 rings have been
donated for this year’s ceremony, the largest in the program’s history. Eight of these are from deceased and living members of our class: Norm Brown, George Fogle, Paul Ireland, and Jim Moeller,
as well as George Albrecht, Jerry Mailey and Denny Tighe. More information regarding class participation in this event will follow in early February.
c. 6 March - Leader Challenge. Join other classmates at West Point for this ethics training session for the three upper classes. Mike Colacicco is our coordinator for these events at which members of
the 50 Year Affiliation Classes (1968, 1969, 1970 and 1971) join a cadet platoon to discuss an ethical situation experienced by a recent grad, as told by that junior officer. We gather for a no-host
class dinner the evening prior in Highland Falls with a group of our affiliate cadets, meet the next morning for a prep session and then join our cadet escorts for lunch in the Mess Hall before
accompanying them to the section room. Those who have participated previously find it extremely worthwhile and the cadets are eager to hear our impressions. Participation requires getting to West
Point on your own and involves an overnight stay for those coming from outside the area. There is no TDY or reimbursement from the Academy or AOG for these expenses. While short, our personal
experiences with the cadets were extremely rewarding and afforded us an inside view of the current state of the Corps. Great opportunity to experience first-hand cadet life today and to interact with
these exceptional young men and women. If interested, please let Mike know at email@example.com by 1 February.
d. 3 May Inspiration to Serve Cemetery Tour Given the paucity of battle deaths from the classes of the ‘Seventies, we and ’68 have been asked to make presentations at this year’s Inspiration to
Service Cemetery tour for the Class of 2020 involving two or three classmates as was done so well last year for our Affiliation Class. As those who participated last May know well, at this ceremony
a classmate shares with the Third Class personal of courage, patriotism and service explaining how each graduate showed forth in his short life the ideals and values of West Point and exemplified th
the worth of the military ideal. This experience is both uplifting and at the same time extremely emotional for those briefing and the cadets themselves. If you are interested in participating as an esc
escort, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mike Colacicco (email@example.com) with your name and the cadet company you wish to accompany.
e. 24-25 August – Ring Weekend. Although it seems only yesterday that we were marching back with them from the Plebe Hike, in a scant five months our Affiliates in the Class of 2019 will be Firsties. In a formal ceremony at Trophy Point on 24 August they will formally receive their class rings physically linking them to the Long Gray Line. Ring Weekend today is very much a family affair with parents and siblings present for the entire weekend. Our class’ formal participation is minimal, however. Nonetheless this is a great occasion on which we can use to send personal messages of congratulations to members of our Affiliation class we have come to know over the past three years.
f. 14 November – Branch Night for the Class of 2019. Some of us had a proper branch drawing. Today the outcome has already been determined by the time the First Class assembles in Ike Hall Auditorium to receive their branches. Nonetheless the anticipation and excitement is just as palpable. Just as we did at their Affirmation Ceremony in August the 50th Year Affiliation Class will represent the Long Gray Line at this ceremony and by our participation further strengthens the ties between our two classes. Tom Garrett will serve as the keynote speaker for the ceremony after which the Tacs pass out the envelopes containing branch assignments and an initial set of brass, provided by us. Once the envelopes have been distributed the cadets tear them open at the command of the First Captain and pandemonium ensues. In general 80% of the men and 75% of the women end up with their first choices.
We hope see at least 36 classmates participate in this event in order to have a class rep paired with each cadet company and if possible to field a rep from each branch to congratulate the cadets on their assignments. We should be able to muster at least one from every branch except Cyber. Those participating will be invited to a pre-ceremony reception at the Comm’s quarters. Following the 1900 ceremony we will join the cadets for beer and pizza in the Ike Hall ballroom where DMI branch reps will have tables set up bearing branch memorabilia and we can pose with them for branch photos. Thereafter we will repair to Patton’s Tavern at the Thayer to toast the continued success of the Class of 2019. If interested, please contact me or Mike Colacicco (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your branch and preference of cadet company.
g. Late November TBD – Fall Leader Challenge...
Looking Ahead to 2019 and our 50th. Our 50th Reunion ably organized by Ed Quinn will take place from 17-22 May 2019. Our room block at the Westchester Marriott will open up in late October. Our Affiliation Class graduates on Saturday, 25 May and dons the Army Blue with the sincere congratulations best wishes of the BOTL. Contact Dave Wallestad (email@example.com) if interested. Another prospective mini-reunion is a South East Asia trip (Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand). I'd welcome input and recommendations from any and all on suggestions and recommendations regarding locale or specific sites, in addition to willingness to take part in these and future event planning.
I hope you will give careful consideration to joining us for as many class events as you can make as well as for one or more of these exciting Affiliation events. Those who have participated to date will confirm that it is as uplifting as it is enlightening and that we get back much more from the contact with these exceptional young men and women than we are asked to give.
Happy New Year to all of the BOTL family!
2017 -- "Ah, yes, I remember
Dear Classmates, Class Widows and Class Family,
2017 is already proving to be a momentous year in the saga of the Best of the Line with a group of classmates headed to the Galapagos this weekend, a majority of the Class turning Seventy, two highly significant May and August events with our Affiliates from USMA 2019 and a September mini-reunion in San Diego. The list below provides advance notification of class events that will take place between now and the end of the year. While separate e-mailings will go out for each activity, these dates are provided early for scheduling and planning purposes.
Please note in particular, our fast-approaching Gloom Period Happy Hour to take place Thursday, 23 February in McLean, Virginia, the Inspiration to Serve Cemetery Tour for our Affiliation Class on 4 May at West Point during which we will brief the dedication and commitment to service of eight classmates who fell in Vietnam, the Affirmation Ceremonies to be held at West Point on 20 Aug initially , with subsequent events in Colorado Springs, Annapolis and New London at which our Affiliate classmates will reaffirm their commitment to the profession of arms and the San Diego mini-reunion planned for 21-24 September Please note and save the dates below and watch for specifics on each in subsequent e-mails. We look forward to seeing as many as can make it at all of these events.
Best wishes to all for a happy and healthy New Year, KC
2017 Class Calendar of Events
23 February -- Gloom Period Happy Hour, Washington D.C. Our annual Gloom Period Happy Hour, a tradition in the Washington D.C. area for 26 years now, will take place on Thursday 20 February, at Mylo's Grill, 6238 Old Dominion Dr in McLean, VA. All resident and transient classmates, class widows, spouses, and guests at this no-host event which will run from 1730 until the last classmate departs. A notice pertaining to this event will be coming mid-month.
24 April -- Class Spring Luncheon, Washington D.C. On Thursday, 24 April we will hold our Class Spring Luncheon at 1130 at Mylo's Grill in McLean, VA. A flyer will be distributed in late March.
22 June-- Class Summer Luncheon, Washington D.C. Welcome the summer solstice at our June Luncheon, Thursday, , 22 June, at 1130 at Mylo's Grill in McLean, VA. A flyer will be distributed in mid-May..
14 September -- Class Autumn Luncheon, Washington D.C. Join us for our Autumn Lunchon at 1130 on Thursday, 14 Sepember, at Mylo's Grill in McLean, VA. A flyer for this event will be distributed in mid-August..
21-24 Sept – San Deigo Mini-reunion. . As announced this week by Bob Yaap, planning is progressing nicely for our 2017 mini-reunion in San Diego. Made up of Bob, Dutch Harmeling, Gary Marshall , Scott Nix and Dick Simmons, the committee has selected a major beachfront hotel and is arranging an exciting array of activities for us including a private tour of the San Diego Zoo, golfing opportunities, and a sunset dinner cruise on this dynamic city’s famous harbor. For the moment, the committee seeks from us an indication of interest so they can book a block of hotel rooms and estimate a headcount for the dinner cruise. If you haven’t already done so, please email your interest to Yapper, at firstname.lastname@example.org, by 19 January.
7 December -- Annual Beat Navy Luncheon, Washington, D.C. To be held at Mylo's in McLean, Virginia on Thursday 7 December, two days before the game, which will be played this year at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The gathering will begin at 1130 with a social hour followed by an ala carte lunch. All resident and transient classmates, spouses and guests are welcome to attend. A flyer for the Beat Navy Luncheon will come out in early November.
50 Year Affiliation Events: We hope one or more of these will pique your interest.
a. 30 March – Leader Challenge. Join other classmates at West Point for this ethics training session for the three upper classes. Mike Colacicco is our coordinator for these events at which members of the Affiliation Classes (‘67, ‘68 and ‘69) join a cadet platoon to discuss an ethical situation experienced by a recent grad, as told by that junior officer. We gather the evening prior, meet forthe next morning for the prep session and then join your cadet escorts for lunch in the Mess Hall before accompanying them to the section room. Those who have participated find it extremely worthwhile and the cadets eager to hear our impressions. Participation does require providing your own transportation to West Point and involves an overnight stay for those coming from outside the area. There is no TDY or reimbursement from the Academy or AOG for any of these expenses. Our personal experiences with the cadets, while short, were extremely rewarding and afforded us a inside view of the current state of the Corps. Great opportunity to experience first hand life in the Corps today, and interact with these exceptional young men and women, all of whom are eager to learn more about about what West Point was in the Sixties. If interested, please let Mike know at email@example.com by 1 February .
b. 4 May Inspiration to Serve Cemetery Tour At this event we will brief to our Affiliates the lives and service of eight classmates interred in the West Point Cemetery who fell in Vietnam:
1LT Joe Silva KIA 26 Sept 70
1LT Jon Shine, KIA 15 Oct 70
1LT Pick King KIA 7 Feb 71
CPT Paul Sawtelle KIA 16 Apr 71
CPT John Woodrum KIA 9 May 71
CPT Harry Thain, KIA 24 May 72
CPT Chip Oliver KIA 3 Sept 72
MAJ Ken Yonan MIA 24 Apr 72 (remains returned Apr 88)
Separately we will be seeking relatives, roommates, company mates or others who served with these classmates to tell their stories to the Class of 2019. For now, we would like 36 classmates to volunteer to serve as escorts for the cadet companies on the tour. The lives of eight other fallen graduates will also be briefed, primarily members of recent classes who fell in Iraq and Afghanistan. The purpose of the tour is to give the Third Class the opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of fallen USMA graduates and to insure the cadets understand what it means to commit to the profession of arms before taking the affirmation oath in August. Cadet companies tour the cemetery starting at 1300 along four routes. At each gravesite a relative or classmate of that graduate takes 15 minutes to share personal stories of courage, patriotism and service and explains how each graduate showed forth in their lives the ideals and values of West Point and exemplified the worth of the military ideal. This experience is both uplifting and at the same time extremely emotional for those briefing, the escorts and the cadets themselves. If you are interested in participating as an escort, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mike Colacicco (email@example.com) with your name and the cadet company you wish to accompany.
c. 13-14 August - 2017 Marchback, The Marchback for the Class of 2021 for which our Affiliates will be serving as Beast squad leaders will take place on Monday, 14 August 2017. Mandatory registration will be held on Sunday, 13 August. Those wishing to repeat the Marchback experience with our Affiliates are encouraged to do so. Participation in the full 12 mile marchback is on a first come-first served basis with priority given to grads with offspring in the plebe class and to USMA ‘71, their 50 Year Affiliation Class. Given sufficient participation we will organize a class function on Saturday, 12 August. To sign up for an email alert regarding the opening of signups, click this link: https://www.westpointaog.org/GMBNotification.
d. 20 August - Affirmation Ceremony for the Class of 2019. Unlike in our day when merely showing up for class the first day of Second Class academics signified commitment, today’s cadets participate in a solemn Affirmation Oath ceremony the night prior to the start of the Academic Year. The ceremony’s significance is to impress upon them the responsibility they are undertaking by becoming full fledged members of the profession of arms, committing themselves to complete the course of instruction and if so tendered, to accept a commission. The role of the 50 Year Affiliation Class is to represent the Long Gray Line and by our participation to further cement the bonds that exist between our two classes. Scott Wallace will be the keynote speaker for the ceremony, at the conclusion of which we will personally present each cadet a two-sided coin, bearing their class crest on one side and ours on the other. We would like to see at least 36 classmates there that evening in order to have a class rep paired with each cadet company to congratulate the cadets on their decision and present the coins. Since the ceremony takes place at 1900, we will gather for an early dinner at the Thayer and repair back there after the ceremony to toast the future success of the Class of 2019. The distaff side are most welcome to attend the ceremony as well. If interested, please contact Denny Helsel at firstname.lastname@example.org letting him know which cadet company you’d like to participate with.
We will also take part in similar ceremonies at USAFA, USNA and USCGA presenting coins to our Affiliates participating in the Service Academy exchange at those sister institutions. Our POCs for each are Jack Gloriod in Colorado Springs, Ron Lucas in Annapolis and Frank Tabela in New London. Classmates interested in assisting or joining them for these ceremonies should contact Jack at email@example.com; Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org or Frank at email@example.com.
Looking Ahead to 2018: We are planning another European river cruise on ghe Duoro River in Portugal for July 2018. Please contact Dave Wallestad (firstname.lastname@example.org) if interested. Another prospective mini-reunion is a South East Asia trip (Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand). I'd welcome input and recommendations from any and all on suggestions and recommendations regarding locale or specific sites, in addition to willingness to take part in these and future event planning.
I hope you will give careful consideration to joining us for as many class events as you can make as well as forone or more of these exciting Affiliation events. Those who have participated to date will confirm that it is as uplifting as it is enlightening and that we get back much more from the contact with these exceptional young men and women than we are asked to give.
Happy New Year to all of the BOTL family!
20-22 Sep 2017 San Diego
See events photo on Photo page
6 Dec 2015 Florida 4um Soiree
12 Dec 2015
Report on 6 December Florida Mini-Reunion Dinner follows.
Many thanks to my photo contributors (Paul Salazar, Bill Bahr, Kathy Starks) and co-authors/editors (all CCs).
After nearly five months of discussion and planning, the first USMA 1969 Florida Mini-Reunion took place on a cool (mid 60s) and breezy night on the outdoor veranda at the Historic Taproom at Dubsdread Golf Club, in Orlando, FL on 6 December 2015 (scene photo 1). A party of thirty-one BOTL 1969 Classmates (Seventeen - Captioned Photo 2) and Guests (fourteen) attended and are listed below. The guests also included the current president of West Point Parents Club of Central Florida who is pictured with the local Orlando Fifty Year Affiliation team (Captioned photo 3). An Orange Balloon (symbolic Signal Corps) release was also conducted in memory of LTG Tom Rienzi (captioned picture 4; www.bahrnoproducts.com/Rienzi.htm). Discussion is already underway as to when/where the next Florida event will occur.
Event Attendees were:
Anderson, Chuck Betty
Bahr, Bill Mary
Friese, Bill Valerie
Gaylord, Cary Ann
Gelineau, Joe Susan
Haake, Arnie Laura
Holden, Phil Doris
Morris, John Connie
Quinn, Ed Sherri
Salazar, Paul Brenda
Sanders, JT Elaine
Singer, Tony Sue
Starks, Mike* Kathy
* President, West Point Parents Club of Central Florida (WPPCCF)
See event photos on Photos page.
: 8 (Wednesday) -12 (Sunday) Oct 2014 Contact: Doug Fitzgerald
Registered Attendee List
AOG Gift Shop – (845) 446-1670
Cadet Chapel - (845) 938-2308
Cadet Store – (845) 938-2121
Central Guard Room - (845) 938-2555/3030
Courtyard by Marriott - (201) 391-7700
Doug Fitzgerald (cell) (617) 794-4738
Eisenhower Hall - (845) 938-7733
Joan Emmer (cell) (845) 913-6307
Keller Army Hospital Emergency – 911 or (845) 938-4004/4005
Park Ridge Marriott – (201) 307-0800
WP Golf Course 845-938-2435
USMA Bookstore – (845) 938-5193
WP Traffic Patterns – (845) 938-7000
USMA Provost Marshal – (845) 938-3333
WP Museum- (845) 938-3671/ 446-0566
Tom Ramos' Ride
Photos from the trip: https://www.facebook.com/tom.ramos.564/photos
Here's a newspaper clip about "Thomas and
Friends" and their
charitable effort as they roll from California to West Point:
Here's more: http://gatetopoint.tumblr.com
https://www.facebook.com/tom.ramos.564?fref=ts (Follow) http://www.cause-usa.org/main/home.cfm?PageID=163
Updated Schedule (as of 9/3/14)
3 Sep arrive at Carbondale, IL 4 Sep Eddyville, IL 5 Sep Marion, KY 6 Sep Utica, KY 7 Sep Falls of Rough, KY 8 Sep Hodgeville, KY 9 Sep Bardstown, KY - partying 10 Sep rest over Bardstown, KY - touring the home of bourbon and partying 11 Sep arrive at Harrodsville, KY
12 Sep Berea, KY 13 Sep Buckhorn, KY 14 Sep Topmost, KY 15 Sep Grundy, VA 16 Sep Tazewell, VA 17 Sep Radford, VA 18 Sep Hollins, VA 19 Sep Lexington, VA 20 Sep rest over Lexingtion, VA - touring VMI and other sites 21 Sep arrive at Waynesboro, VA
22 Sep Stanardsville, VA 23 Sep Charlottesvile tour 24 Sep Montpelier tour 25 Sep rest over Informal reception (party) at Phil Clark’s home 26 Sep depart towards Gettysburg Battlefield, arrive on Sunday 28 Sep (route TBD) 29 Sep Tour of Gettysburg Battlefield (automobile tour with Larry Swesey)
The rest of this is TBD, with arrival at West Point on Sunday afternoon, 5 Oct
HERE’S THE RIDE (as of 4/1/14):
Monday, 7/21/2014 Folsom Lake State Rec Area Sacramento Tuesday, 7/22/2014 Nevada City, CA Wednesday, 7/23/2014 Ramos/McBeth at Truckee, CA Thursday, 7/24/2014 RENDEZVOUS Day Friday, 7/25/2014 Dayton, Nevada Saturday, 7/26/2014 Fallon, NV
Sunday, 7/27/2014 Cold Springs Station, NV Monday, 7/28/2014 Austin, NV Tuesday, 7/29/2014 Eureka, NV Wednesday, 7/30/2014 Ely, NV Thursday, 7/31/2014 Baker, NV Friday, 8/1/2014 Milford, UT Saturday, 8/2/2014 Cedar Canyon or Panguitch,, UT
Sunday, 8/3/2014 Red Canyon, Bryce Canyon CG Monday, 8/4/2014 Rest Day Tuesday, 8/5/2014 Grand Staircase Escalante Nat Mon Wednesday, 8/6/2014 Capitol Reef Nat Park Thursday, 8/7/2014 Hanksville, UT Friday, 8/8/2014 Glen Canyon Nat Rec Area
Saturday, 8/9/2014 Natural Bridges Nat Mon Sunday, 8/10/2014 Monticello, UT Monday, 8/11/2014 Delores, CO Tuesday, 8/12/2014 Rest Day Wednesday, 8/13/2014 Telluride, CO Thursday, 8/14/2014 Montrose, CO Friday, 8/15/2014 Gunnison, CO
Saturday, 8/16/2014 Sargents, CO Sunday, 8/17/2014 Cotopaxi, CO Monday, 8/18/2014 Johnny Peters at Pueblo, CO Tuesday, 8/19/2014 RENDEZVOUS Day Wednesday, 8/20/2014 Haswell, CO
Thursday, 8/21/2014 Tribune, KS Friday, 8/22/2014 Dighton, KS Saturday, 8/23/2014 Larned, KS
Sunday, 8/24/2014 Sterling, KS Monday, 8/25/2014 Newton City, KS Tuesday, 8/26/2014 Eureka, KS Wednesday, 8/27/2014 Chanute, KS Thursday, 8/28/2014 Pittsburg, KS Friday, 8/29/2014 Ash Grove, MO Saturday, 8/30/2014 Marshfield, MO
Sunday, 8/31/2014 Houston, MO Monday, 9/1/2014 Ellington, MO Tuesday, 9/2/2014 Lesterville, MO Wednesday, 9/3/2014 Farminton, MO
Thursday, 9/4/2014 Chester, IL Friday, 9/5/2014 Carbondale, IL Saturday, 9/6/2014 Eddyville, IL Sunday, 9/7/2014 Marion, KY Monday, 9/8/2014 Owensboro, KY Tuesday, 9/9/2014 Falls of Rough, KY Wednesday, 9/10/2014 Hodgenville, KY
Thursday, 9/11/2014 Bardstown, KY Friday, 9/12/2014 Rest Day Saturday, 9/13/2014 Harrodsburg, KY Sunday, 9/14/2014 Beria, KY Monday, 9/15/2014 Buckhorn, KY Tuesday, 9/16/2014 Hindman, KY Wednesday, 9/17/2014 Breaks Interstate Park, VA
Thursday, 9/18/2014 Rosedale, VA Friday, 9/19/2014 Damascus, VA Saturday, 9/20/2014 CenterWytheville, VA Sunday, 9/21/2014 Christanburg, VA Monday, 9/22/2014 East of Troutville, VA Tuesday, 9/23/2014 Vesuvius, VA
Wednesday, 9/24/2014 Shenandoah, VA Thursday, 9/25/2014 Mathews Arm CG, Shanendoah, VA N38 45 55.2 W78 17 45.7 Friday, 9/26/2014 Mike Nardotti's, Aldie, VA Saturday, 9/27/2014 RENDEZVOUS Day Sunday, 9/28/2014 Antietam, MD
Monday, 9/29/2014 Gettysburg, PA Tuesday, 9/30/2014 Lititz, PA Valley Forge Nat Historic Park, King of Prussia, PA Wednesday, 10/01/2014 Spring Mill Park, Conshohocken, PA Thursday, 10/02/2014 Stockton, NJ Friday, 10/03/2014 Columbia, NJ
Saturday, 10/04/2014 Montague, NJ Sunday, 10/05/2014 Round Pond, West Point, NY [& Trophy Point]
The "well-done!" end to Tom and Rose's Excellent Adventure
"Kudos from Kansas" Newspaper Article!
2014 Class Memorial Weekend
email from KC Brown, 6/15/2014
Mini-Micro Reunion Spirits
MC: Ladies & Gentlemen, please remain standing for our traditional toasts. Please take a moment to ensure your wine glasses are appropriately charged.
Name: Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose a toast to the Commander-in-Chief, The President of the United States." "To the President."
Name: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose a toast to the United States Army." "To the Army"
Name: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose a toast to the United States Military Academy." "To the Academy."
Youngest Grad "Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose a toast to the Corps of Cadets." "To the Corps."
Name: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose a toast to our fallen comrades." "To our Fallen Comrades."
MC: Gentlemen, please seat your ladies.
[pause] "Gentlemen, I propose a toast… to the ladies."
"To the Ladies." Gentlemen, please be seated.
Follow-on Irish-flavored toasts
"Gentlemen: Please charge your glasses and be upstanding!"
Oh, all the comrades e'er I had,
They're sorry for my going away,
And all the sweethearts e'er I had,
They'd wish me one more day to stay,
But since it falls unto my lot,
That I should go and you should not,
I gently rise and softly call,
Good night and joy be with you all.
Music & other lyrics
Founders Day Placemat (Download & Expand)
Beast Barracks Favorite Dessert -- Strawberries Bavarian Creme -- 3.0, In-there, White-trou, Buckets-out Recipe
Your last view of West Point (in the rearview
mirror)? Feel the
grip of its far off hold?
General MacArthur came back -- why don't you?
Come back to where they taught you "everything from the pavement to the stars."
It's not [pitch] black, grey, and cold; it's pitched as Black, Gray, and Gold!! : )
Rockbound Highland Home: Welcoming Grads Home to West Point
Grad Insider Tours
Visiting West Point
West Point  watercolor by L'Enfant. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
West Point is the "Key of America." -- George Washington, "Sentiments on a Peace Establishment," 2 May 1783.
"Glory follows virtue as if it were its shadow." -- Cicero, "Tusculanarum Disputationum," I. 45, ~ 45 BC
“Where the Hudson takes a hard right, West Point
teaches the Harder Right.” W. Bahr, USMA '69 © 2014 --
"West Point -- The Hard & Harder Right" Tribute
BTW, did you know that Washington,
DC, was originally to be a 10 mile by 10 mile square or 100 square miles.
Then in 1846, 31 square miles was returned to Virginia, leaving approximately
69 square miles on the original Maryland side of the
Potomac remaining in the District of Columbia.
BTW, just a reminder that French Charleville .69 caliber muskets were first presented to George Washington by Lafayette. One estimate of Lafayette's deliveries is 25,000 Charlevilles. The US later commissioned the 1795 Springfield musket based upon the Charleville design. The Springfields are the crossed muskets which have become the US Infantry insignia. If you see your friendly webmaster (wp28260) at a class event and would like a .69 caliber musket ball as a reminder of the BOTL, just ask. With some luck, he may have one for you. One per classmate, please!