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All Stories
FD 41: Oh, the places I have gone! PDF Print E-mail

I have stood in the area between the barracks of West Point and in the sallyports.  I have heard the rumblings of cadets going to and fro as the sun rises over the Hudson, just as they have for over 200 years. I am not a graduate of West Point, but I have seen into the heart of the Academy through their eyes and their words. I have touched the bricks in the attic of the 1st Division and read a thousand names and class years on those bricks. I have searched for crawlspaces in closet panels, used for spirit missions.  I've held a map to the steam tunnels in my hand that has been used by cadets on a mission (called moles), and I have read the words and poems of old graduates, and graduates long dead. I have gone through boxes of photos, poems, and letters in the library archives.  I thumbed through a textbook that Patton wrote notes in. I have slept in homes on Professor's row, and in other homes on post. I have had coffee in the kitchen of the Superintendent, and attended a meeting with every Professor who could attend, in the Commandant's office. I have had the honor of speaking with Generals and diplomats. I had the great honor of being a guest at the 50th reunion of the class of '51.  I have known many of the people whose names are now etched in stone in the cemetery.  I visit them sometimes.  Yes, I have experienced the handshake that comes from the shadows as I explored secret places within West Point.  All of this, because of WP-ORG.

WP-ORG is near the completion of its fund drive. The first person to donate to the WP-ORG fund drive following this message will receive a complimentary signed copy of the book "Memories and Traditions, The Real West Point Story", written and published by the late LTC Richard C. Breakiron, USMA 1951 and me.

Published in 2002, this book is no longer in print, and while there are a few for sale online, there are only 25 new books in existence. It is a hardbound book with an embossed image of the cadet chapel on the cover. The work we did on the book is a memory I will always have to cherish.  The stories that appeared in the book came from graduates, and came about because of a website hosted by WP-ORG. They are the stories of cadet life through the years.  Pranks, memories, tributes, and history.

WP-ORG ( hosts lists and forums you are subscribed to.  We host class lists, parent lists (USMA and USNA), lists for societies, reunions, ring recovery, military related job contacts, academy sports, politics, finances, special interests, health, class widows, and many more.  While you may not realize it, WP-ORG is working in the background to provide you with information and services.  We provide email addresses to graduates at no charge. We host websites for graduates, societies, and parent clubs at no charge. Quietly in the background, our servers are busy working for you.  Twice each year we have a fund drive to pay for the servers and employees that keep WP-ORG working.

What Academy related organization answers your calls personally early in the day and late at night, week days and weekends, and doesn't hang a "closed" sign? What Academy related organization does everything possible to provide you with so many services at no charge?  Only one that I know of: WP-ORG.

To cadet and midshipmen parents who are reading this:  I am, and was, nothing more than a parent such as yourself. In the days before Facebook, WP-ORG gave parents a place to ask questions and share the experience of having a cadet at USMA.  Those WP-ORG lists exist today, which is most likely how you are receiving this note. They are quieter now, but I was very glad when my child was serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, that our names and any association with West Point was safely on private servers, and not on an open social media page for anyone to see.  Information on the WP-ORG parent lists are always timely, accurate and secure. I hope you find value in that. As the parent of a graduate, I was blessed more than I could ever express, because of WP-ORG. It was through WP-ORG that circumstances led to a book. A book that took years to compile, and changed my life in ways I can't express. Why I was given that gift, I will never know, but I will be forever grateful.

As I said in the beginning, to the first person to donate after this email is sent, I will send a copy of the book (I will contact you via your email address), and in memory of LTC Richard C. Breakiron, I will also send a second book to the person whose donation brings this fund drive to a close.  We are at _____% as of this writing. We end the fund drive at 100% of our goal. Please donate today, so that we may get down to the business of just serving you.

Donation page for all payment methods (credit card, check or PayPal):

If donating by check, please indicate class year and affiliation:
3800 Buffalo Mountain Road SW
Willis, VA 24380-5082

FD41 Donation Report, sorted by WP-ORG member group, etc.:
WP-ORG Budget April 1, 2017 - September 31, 2017:
What is WP-ORG?:

With affection,
Dian Welle
WP-ORG, Inc. 

------------------ UPDATE ------------------
The recipient of the first book was J.D. Leamon, USMA '96


Twenty Years Service to the West Point Community PDF Print E-mail
If you are receiving this message you are a beneficiary of one of the earliest networking groups on the Internet, going back 1995.  Over 20 years ago.  Long before Facebook, Skype, and other social networking gateways.

Reflecting on preparing this message, I was mulling over the unbelievable good fortune that opened life's opportunities when I qualified to walk through Thayer Gate back in 1960.  I was an Army brat and had been baptized in Army green, had admired older grads, and wanted the toughest challenges life could bring.  I went from being a big fish in a small pond to just the opposite.  Now, pick whatever standard, and there was someone out there who could stomp me.  And, we were told, a third of us would be gone by graduation. (True)  

But, the biggest shock was the loss of family and friend networking.  I had entered another World. The Army Navy game got us off post, but Christmas (before it became Winter Holiday) did not.  Everyone went home except the plebes.  Letters were cheap, but phone calls were horrendously expensive.  

As much as West Point has changed, the connectivity has changed more.  WP-ORG was a big part of this.  When AOG deferred going onto the internet in '95, a group of graduates and cadet parents started what became WP-ORG.  The protocol was to have a volunteer moderator for each list.  We currently have 221 moderators who have accepted the challenge. Those groups have received immense benefits over the years.  My own class has innumerable social events that have held the class together and continue to bind us to West Point.  My only regret is for those groups who never stood up moderators.

Today, our domain includes cadet families, West Point classes, eulogy pages, parent clubs, discussion forums, and credit card sites in support of all those.  Additionally, we also support Navy parents, war orphans from WWII, and families of Japanese POWs.

Our primary user groups are Army/Navy parents and USMA graduates. I hope you know how special you are.  The parents for producing such marvelous kids, the cadets for having risen to the top, and the graduates for having served their Nation so well, in peace and war.  Many people go through life, never being challenged nor realizing their potential.  However you may have answered the question "What is the purpose of life?", those of us in this group have been blessed with ample tools to pursue that purpose.

To the extent that WP-ORG has helped to expand your horizons, bonding you with other members of our community, and helped you help others, please donate to support WP-ORG operations through September 30:  Checks: WP-ORG INC 3800 Buffalo Mountain RD SW, Willis VA 24380

"Beeman Buffalo Jack" Price '64 CFO WP-ORG INC on Buffalo Mountain

FD41 Donation Report, sorted by WP-ORG member group:

WP-ORG Budget April 1, 2017 - September 30, 2017:
Finishing Strong PDF Print E-mail

Donation link to contribute to FD41:

Earlier this week, a video flashed across my Twitter feed of CDT Evan Collier '18 setting a new Indoor Obstacle Course Test (IOCT) record with a time of 1:57! Check out this link to see this young man fly through all of those obstacles -- Amazing effort and work!

For those of us who have experienced the IOCT, it needs no introduction -- and I'm sure that there are many who would like to forget it. But for the parents and friends of West Point who use WP-ORG's services and are getting this fund drive message, a little background is in order. The IOCT has been run in that same West Point gym since 1944 [], and the test has changed very little since 1948. It consists of 11 events, testing each cadet's fitness, agility, and balance. When I would run it back in the '80s, I remember coming off of the ladder rungs (event #9) and starting up the rope climb (#10) feeling both relief that the last event was coming up -- the exhausting 3 sprinted laps around the upper track -- but also some apprehension because this is where you could make or break your final grade. As they say, it's not how you start, it's how you finish.

How does this tie into my fund-raising message for WP-ORG? This week, we're at 2/3's of our fund-raising goal to provide services to grads, parents, and friends of West Point for the next six months. In IOCT terms, we're climbing that rope and getting ready to find out what we have left in the tank for those final three laps. Let's see what we can do to finish out strong! 

If you've found value in our services -- from hosting class/parent/society web sites to providing email discussion forums to helping collect money for reunions, society events, class pistols, or bus tickets to get your cadets to the airport or home on leave, etc. -- please consider a tax-deductible donation to our 501(c)(3) organization. Please see the block below my signature for ways to do so.

Warren Hearnes '89

Donate to FD41

Donation page linking to all payment methods (credit card, check or PayPal):

3800 Buffalo Mountain Road SW
Willis, VA 24380-5082

After entering Donation Amount, login to PayPal account. On next screen, please click on "Add special instructions to the seller"; enter class year and affiliation, and comment if you wish.

Other links:

Can Do! PDF Print E-mail
As you are no doubt aware, WP-ORG is in the middle of its 41st fund drive:   

We typically use our fund drive messages to tell you who we are, inform you about our services, and introduce you to new projects.  We are always working on ideas for something new to benefit the greater West Point community.  It came to our attention that there is no organization which has the cadet photos of every deceased class member online.  We have been working with a few of our older classes to place a photo on the WP-ORG eulogy page and personal home page of every deceased member of the class. I'm very excited about this. The class of '51 and '55 are complete. I already have a number of classes preparing to send us photos of their entire class so that we may get that work done for them. It is daunting work, but it's a true labor of love. 

Did you know that WP-ORG will never charge you or your family to add photographs to the web pages of deceased graduates?  Classmates and/or family may send us any image(s) they wish to have included on the home page.  We are more than happy to do this as a service to our graduates. 

When I came to WP-ORG as a plebe mother in 1998, I knew nothing of West Point and only a spattering about those who were educated there. To say my life has become richer is an understatement. As one of the 2.5 employees, my day often starts at or before 7 AM. I have no regular office hours, therefore, I can often be found writing or speaking to someone late in the evening or early morning with a call from a graduate trying to establish an on-line connection with family and friends through email accounts, email lists, blogs, or web sites. Working from home allows for, and requires, a great deal of flexibility, but the benefit, is that I am always available, or, in the rare event I am not, I can quickly respond, no matter the day of the week.  I establish the eulogy page for every West Point graduate who dies. It is my honor to do so. You can find them here:

What is my function at WP-ORG? The best way to sum it up, is that we try to provide you with what you need from an online communications organization.  Our mission is to have a "can-do" attitude to what you ask of us. I have met many of you through our email exchanges and phone calls. I enjoy working with and speaking with a community that has the focus of "Duty, Honor, Country." I answer the emails and I answer the phones for WP-ORG. There is no telephone tree to go through and no operator. When you call or write to WP-ORG, you get me. We have a variety of ways you may contact us, but one thing we promise, is that a real person will respond. Typically that person is me, and I will put you in contact with another person in the event I am unable to assist you.     

The best way to contact us is via email @ This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  
If you need to speak to us (Pacific time, please): 
208-263-8063 (office) 
661-917-2441 (Dian's cell)

Donations keep WP-ORG doing what it does, so twice a year we reach out through a fund drive to ask you for donations to keep us going. To donate via credit card or PayPal, learn more about the budget and see the donation report:

To donate via check:
3800 Buffalo Mountain Road SW
Willis, VA 24380

Thank you for your coninued support, and for being a part of WP-ORG.

With affection and respect,
Dian Welle
IT Manager, WP-ORG, Inc.
Real Customer Service and Privacy PDF Print E-mail
Bottom Line Up Front:  It's that time of year again - the twice annual justification for the existence of WP-ORG through your continued support. Donation Link:

WP-ORG was created when the internet was in its infancy.  It was, for many years, the only internet based resource connecting grads, and subsequently parents.  There are obviously many internet modes of communication now - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Message Boards ... and the list goes on and on.

How does WP-ORG continue to exist and what does it provide that other avenues do not?  Simply put - real people. WP-ORG is unique in that the majority of "work" is done by scores of wonderful volunteer moderators, who manage their various listserves.  Our volunteers are backed up by other "real people" - real people who provide customer service and ensure that your privacy is maintained while using the services of WP-ORG.  
Real people - dedicated people who are immediately responsive to requests, who are innovative problem solvers, who are do-ers.

WP-ORG operates its daily business with only 2.5 paid employees - two IT gurus and our financial officer.  There have been many times - admittedly, all too many times, that I have contacted Megan Klein, asking for assistance on something I needed - yesterday.  My phone calls and pleas for assistance do not roll to an answering machine - they are responded to by a live, caring, professional.  All too many nights, Megan toils far in to the night, working on projects for Classes, Societies and Parent Clubs.  Similarly, Dian Welle is there to answer the call when the request is in her area of expertise. Jack Price, our very under paid "half time" employee spends countless hours doing all things financial - including handling all the Federal Firearms License (FFL) issues attendant to getting the Class pistols to the many customers of the USMA Pistol Team - cadets, parents and grads alike.

Another facet of WP-ORG that distinguishes it from other internet based enterprises is emphasis on ensuring your privacy. WP-ORG is run by grads and parents and a West Point community who believe in the importance of privacy. Our servers are under the complete control of graduates. WP-ORG does not mine data or email stored on our servers. WP-ORG does not sell information to anyone. Data collected on our registration sites is passed directly to the parent or graduate organization represented for a clearly identified purpose. WP-ORG lists are run by graduates or parents who tightly control the membership on their lists - parent lists have cadet parents as members and class lists have classmates.  

YOUR reason for being a member of West-Point.Org is the value you see in the various forums you participate in.  Your seamless access to safe, secure communication is insured by these same real people - customer service at its best with an eye toward ensuring your privacy and internet security.

To donate via credit card or PayPal, learn more about the budget and see the donation report:

To donate via check:
3800 Buffalo Mountain Road SW
Willis, VA 24380

Thank you for helping us continue to serve you.

Megan Hostler
West-Point.Org Advisor
Parent Forum CoModerator
Plebe Net CoModerator
Prospective-Net CoModerator
USMAPS-Net CoModerator

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West-Point.Org (WP-ORG), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization not affiliated officially with the United States Military Academy, provides an online communications infrastructure that enables graduates, parents, and friends of the military academy to maintain and strengthen the associations that bind us together. We will provide this community any requested support, consistent with this purpose, as quickly and efficiently as possible. WP-ORG is funded by the generosity of member contributions. Our communication services are provided in cooperation with the AOG (independent of USMA) and are operated by volunteers serving the Long Gray Line. Contents of and comments on this web site do not reflect the official position of the United States Military Academy or the Department of the Army.  For questions or comments, please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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