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Cadet Thomas Surdyke Foundation Raffle
The following is from the Father of Thomas Surdyke (2019) who died in 2016, in an accident explained below. He is also the President of the Cadet Thomas Surdyke Foundation. The foundation is concluding a very special raffle on Sept 1, so it is time for a last push, and he asked WP-ORG for some assistance. We're happy to help. 

The Board of Advisors, WP-ORG, Inc.


Dear esteemed members and friends of the Long Gray Line,

On June 24, 2016, my son, Thomas Surdyke, member of USMA Class of 2019,made a conscious choice which ended in the ultimate sacrifice. Instead of swimming to safety when caught in a rip current on a Southampton beach, he stayed and fought to keep afloat a non-swimmer.

Tom's Soldier's Medal citation, presented posthumously by LTG Robert Caslen states, "Before becoming overcome by exhaustion, Cadet Surdyke managed to push the civilian up, enabling a bystander on a paddle board to pull him out of the water, thereby saving the civilian's life."

Tom, in one year as a plebe, fully internalized the code of "Duty, Honor, and Country". He tried to live by this code not just in his final act, but in every aspect of his life and conduct.

The mission of the Cadet Thomas Surdyke Memorial Foundation is to inspire and support young leaders of character. The Foundation is providing a character and leadership curriculum to local high schools, supporting Boys and Girls State, funding military development, providing scholarships and is gifting a significant percentage of fundraising to the United States Military Academy.

As a fundraising event, the Foundation is raffling off a very special Harley-Davidson donated by my business, Gold Star Harley-Davidson. The motorcycle was customized as a personal patriotic tribute. It became a memorial to Tom, as well as several other cadets and recent grads who died during the summer of 2016. I was honored to bring the Harley to West Point for LTG Caslen to ride onto the football field and kick off the Parents Weekend game. It was an amazing moment. For videos and pictures of this epic event, go to

The Foundation hopes to raise $150,000 and will donate half of the net proceeds back to USMA through various channels. My goal is to see 1000+ members of the Long Gray Line each purchase at least $100 in tickets. If a West Pointer were to win the raffle, I would also encourage him or her to donate the motorcycle back to West Point, as a permanent memorial to Tom and the other cadets.

Raffle donations can be made at . The drawing for this motorcycle is will take place on 1 September at an event called VetFestLive 2019. For more info on this event go to:
We have a long way to reach our fundraising goal by this date, so your help is vital and appreciated.

Also, I invite each of you to visit the website and learn more about Tom. Most importantly, I ask that each West Point Society support our mission by distributing this fundraiser information to each of your members. It is my hope that all 50,000 members of the Long Gray Line are given the opportunity to support the Cadet Thomas Surdyke Foundation in this project.


Tim Surdyke
President, Cadet Thomas Surdyke Foundation

Sam Gladney
President, West Point Society of St. Louis
Class of 2007

Mark Stephenson
President of DELMARVA West Point Society
Class of 1980

Frank Janoski
Former Board Member, WPAOG
Class of 1974
New cadets march back to West Point
The new cadets at West Point have ended six weeks of intense training at Buckner, with a 12-mile ruck march. More than 1,100 new cadets marched Monday morning (8/13/18). 

Members of West Point’s Class of 2022 will be officially accepted into the corps on Aug. 18.
Final Heroic Moments of John Chapman - VIDEO

The U.S. Air Force has released video highlights from an overhead intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft taken on March 4, 2002 that shows the final heroic moments of Tech Sgt. John Chapman, who will receive the Medal of Honor for his bravery later this month.

 Chapman charged multiple machine-gun nests and engaged in hand-to-hand combat on the 10,000-foot peak known as Takur Ghar in Afghanistan during Operation Anaconda.

Chapman, an Air Force combat controller, and six members of Navy SEAL Team 6 -- callsign Mako 30 -- were tasked with helicopter-inserting high above the valley so they could direct air strikes and provide intelligence for conventional troops below, who were attempting to flush out an estimated 200 to 300 lightly-armed Al Qaeda fighters, just five months after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.


Soldiers Are Deploying To Help Fight Wildfires
About 200 soldiers from the Army’s 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division are being mobilized this week to help fight historical wildfires currently ravaging America’s northwest, officials said Tuesday.

The soldiers hail from across the brigade and will be working with civilian firefighters and the National Interagency Fire Center to prepare for the mission, which could begin within a week, according to an Army release.

As the Mendocino Complex fire continues to ravage northern California with an historic inferno, Army officials said it was not clear whether the soldiers would be sent there or if they were needed to battle fires elsewhere.

Fire center officials did not immediately respond to questions about where the soldiers are headed.
Domestic Violence Will Be a Crime Under Military Law
omestic violence will officially become a separate crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice when President Donald Trump signs the annual defense authorization act into law next week.

Military officials have prosecuted such crimes in the past, but under more general justice categories such as assault. They carry severe penalties including jail time and dismissal from the armed forces. But analysts say that doesn’t always convey the seriousness of the offense.

The change was included in the massive military policy measure after outside advocates noted the lack of domestic violence as a specific crime under military law has ramifications for how outside law enforcement can keep track of those troops after they leave the ranks.

Those types of convictions in the civilian world can trigger restrictions on future firearms purchases and ease the path to protection from abuse orders. But since military officials don’t separate domestic abuse crimes separately from other assaults in their record keeping, reporting those crimes to outside agencies is often incomplete.
U.S. Military Academy Among Best Colleges
The U.S. Military Academy is one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, and is ranked No. 1 for Most Accessible Professors according to The Princeton Review. The education services company features West Point in the new 2019 edition of its college guide, “The Best 384 Colleges.”
West Point also is on the following ranking lists in “The Best 384 Colleges:” No. 2 for Best Classroom Experience, No. 2 for Don’t Inhale, No. 3 for Lots of Race/Class Interaction, No. 3 for Best Health Services, No. 3 in Best College Library. No. 6 for Best Science Lab Facilities, No. 8 for Everyone Plays Intramural Sports, No. 8 for Students Most Engaged in Community Service and No. 10 for Is That a Dorm.
“The U.S. Military Academy is dedicated to educating, training, and inspiring the Corps of Cadets, and the Princeton Review rankings reflect our institution's commitment to developing leaders of character,” said Brig. Gen. Cindy Jebb, Dean of the Academic board. “Our faculty and staff are world-class teachers, mentors, scholars, and most importantly, role models who work tirelessly to support our cadets in all of their endeavors whether they be in the classroom, on the athletic fields, on field exercises, in the library, and in our laboratories.”

New Cadets Provided With Running Pods For Study
Keller Army Community Hospital physical therapy fellowship and PT clinic staff collaborated on a study called START: Simple Technology Assessing Running Technique, for new cadets at the U.S. Military Academy July 5. The study aims to identify traits in Soldiers’ gait that may be indicative of future lower extremity injuries.
Information-recording pods were provided by the KACH physical therapy research team from a grant—from the Military Operational Medicine Research Program—with no labor requirements or cost from U.S. Military Academy.
Cadets in the Class of 2022 will wear the pods for six weeks during summer training. The pods detect step rate (steps per minute), step length, distance run, foot strike pattern and rate of impact loading.
After the six weeks are complete, the pods will be returned to the research team for data syncing, then be returned to the cadets. Cadets will then be able to use these pods to monitor their physical activities via an app.
The intent of the study is to improve readiness by identifying parameters which promote healthy running and reduce injury, contributing to a reduction in the number of running-related injuries in cadets and Soldiers.
Bradshaw officially completes Army football career
Army will officially have a new starting quarterback under center this fall.

Ahmad Bradshaw, who set a service-academy record with 1,746 rushing yards last season, will graduate from West Point Friday, coach Jeff Monken said.

Bradshaw, a three-year starter who helped Army to 18 wins, two bowl victories and the return of the Commander in Chief’s trophy in December over the past two seasons, was working to complete his requirements this summer. If Bradshaw’s graduation was pushed to December, Army could have petitioned the NCAA for another season this fall.
How Freeze-Dried Plasma Saves Soldiers’ Lives

The U.S. Army has received the go-ahead from the FDA to move forward with plans to develop a new type of plasma that will be easier to use on the battlefield.

A dependable, portable emergency blood supply is key to ensuring the military’s ability to treat battlefield injuries immediately.

With that in mind, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has broadened military access to freeze-dried plasma (FDP).

Last month, the FDA granted an emergency use authorization to the Department of Defense (DoD) while the agency works toward approval for the new type of plasma.

Currently, the Army uses a substance officially known as Pathogen-Reduced Leukocyte-Depleted Freeze-Dried Plasma. It’s manufactured in France by the Centre de Transfusion Sanguine des Armées (Blood Transfusion Center of the Armies).


VA Secretary Pledges Cleanup Of Scandal-Plagued DC Hospital By Richard Sisk
In his second week on the job, new VA Secretary Robert Wilkie pledged a cleanup of the scandal-plagued Washington, D.C., Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center where inspectors found doctors using rusty surgical tools and identified a sense of "complacency" in the facility's leadership.

Wilkie went to VAMC Monday, where he was told that plans were in place for "assuring reliable availability and sterilization of instruments for surgical procedures," the VA said in a release.
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