Dear Proud to Be ’83,
Thank you for your positive feedback on the Quarterly Newsletter.
We now have about 775 classmates up on email out of 930 alumni that participate in our activities – 120 missing address and about 35 bad email addresses. If you know of someone not receiving the letter, please forward and tell them to send me an email update. This will be our primary means of communication of class events until the first mailings for the 30th reunion somewhere around the June 2012 (if Spring 2013) or Jan 2013 (if fall 2013). We will send out a ballot to determine the date.
I would also like to encourage you all to subscribe to Assembly. Mark and Cheryl Connors write the best column by far of any class. Here is the link to subscribe – https://www.westpointaog.org/NetCommunity/SSLPage.aspx?pid=2553
Stars are Falling on Proud to Be’83
Four new nominations for promotion to the rank of Brigadier General were announced this summer from Proud to Be ’83 – Colonels Billy Don Farris II, Mark S. Martins, John J. McGuiness, and John G. Rossi. Billy Don is currently Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C. Mark is currently serving special assistant to The Judge Advocate General, U.S. Army, Arlington, Va. and further detailed to deputy commander, Detainee Operations, Joint Task Force – 435, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan. Mark spent the past seven months co-chairing President Obama's task force on the future of detention policy. John McGuiness is currently serving as Assistant Deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), Washington, D.C. John Rossi currently serving as Effects Coordinator, III Corps, Fort Hood, Texas. They join previously announced Brigadier General’s Ernest C. Audino, ANG, Maria (Corsini) Britt, GAANG, Scott Miller, USA, Jeff Snow, USA, Sonny Uberti, USA, Ken Tovo, USA and COL (Promotable) Brain Balfe, NYARNG and BG Reynold Hoover, ALARNG. Please let me know if there are any GO promotions in the Active, Guard and Reserve that I am not aware of. Congratulations to our new GOs!
Class Gift (2013)
The construction plan for our 30th Reunion gift, the West Point Leadership Center (WPLC) is starting to take shape. We are getting in on the ground floor of this terrific leadership development venue. The location for the building will be at the Golf Course and plans are for cadets, staff and faculty, as well as civilian firms to partake in the Leadership Programs it develops and runs. The Purpose of the center is to “Establish a universally respected leadership center at our academy—the West Point Leadership Center.” The Vision for the center is “Operating at the nexus of the military, the private sector, government, technology, and society, a Leadership Center at West Point prepares leaders – ranging from cadets to statesmen – to tackle, and resolve the world's most formidable challenges.” This is going to be a great gift to the Academy.
It might be easy to say “so what” and be a continuing, no dues paying member of the Zero Club (no donation to the center or class)? However, if you think about how your donation will contribute to the development of cadets during their 47 month experience. If you think about how these cadets have volunteered to serve during a Very Difficult time in our world and country. If you think about the 70+ Graduates and 5000+ soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting our freedoms – including our very own Ted Westhusing and now class son, SGT Andrew McConnell. And, if you think about how easy it is to do without $50 – 100 dollars a month until the reunion, this monitory sacrifice pales in comparison to what our soldiers and their families are enduring. We will also be setting the standard for our 50 year affiliation class, the class of 2033 (who won’t be born until 2011). Join with me and let’s get everyone donating something – Every Dollar Counts.
Progress Update: We continue to make steady progress toward our 30th Reunion gift of $1.5 Million to the West Point Leadership Center (WPLC) – since Jan 2008 (reunion year) we have received pledges and donations to the value of $337,635 (11% participation); this coupled with past donations since the 20 year gift which are credited to each person's contribution level, gives us roughly $573,625; We still have a long journey ahead. With the economy turning (hopefully it is sustainable) and yearend tax planning on the calendar, now is a good time to consider a pledge and donation (http://www.westpointaog.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=1503 ) to the class. We have a number of classmates that have answered the call and are commited to $50K and $25K giving levels! However, we cannot achieve the gift goal without the entire class support. We understand the ever increasing demand for donations to all organizations in this environment, we would only ask that the class be one of your priorities. Make your pledge today! We are looking to post to the class website more detail of the WPLC soon; significant progress has been made to take it from a concept to reality. I would like to think our class was the catalyst!! Thank You and thanks to Harry for your continued effort with this campaign.
Class Offspring R-Day (29 June 2009)
The Class had at least four Cadets enter USMA on 29 June and make it through Beast – Donna Brazil and Tim Trainor’s daughter Kori Trainor; Ron and Barbara Costella’s son Brian (See Attached Photo, Third New Cadet Back); Cliff and Irene Crofford’s son Daniel; and, Eileen (Mulholland) and Jim Trainor’s son Brian. I also found out that Mike and Barbara Tomaszewski’s had a son graduate in 2005 – Cameron Keogh. Acceptances to Class of 2014 are starting to come in – Jasmine Morgan, a sophomore at LSU and daughter of Tommy Morgan. If I have missed anyone, let me know immediately. Good luck as they begin the Academic Term. Beat the Dean.
Rocketman Update – COL Doug Wheelock
COL Doug Wheelock is currently training at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Star City, Russia as a back-up ISS Expedition 22 crew member. Doug is scheduled to launch on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in the Spring of 2010, and serve for 6 months in space as the Commander of the International Space Station, and its 6-person international crew, during ISS Expedition 25. That will be a long air trip. Good luck Doug!
USMAPS at West Point Groundbreaking
Many of you know that USMAPS is moving from Fort Monmouth, NJ to West Point. Recently, our very own COL Tyge Rugenstein, Commandant/Dean, participated in the groundbreaking for the new school (See Attached). It will be located near Washington Gate in place of the Transportation Motor Pool.
Tune in to West Point Radio to Hear our Very Own Mike Lyons
West Point Radio – host Mike Lyons '83
Tune in live on the first Wednesday of each month at 5:00 pm (Eastern), or You can listen later via the archives. Shows are also available as podcasts if you prefer listening on-the-go! Visit Archives. I know this photo is from 10 years ago.
That is all for now. Go Army.
Pete aka Fizzer