Subject: WP-ORG: WP-ORG FD38 : No Ordinary people
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2015 19:16:22 -0700
From: Dian Welle <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The WP-ORG fund drive has just begun. I would like to thank everyone who has
I have been involved with WP-ORG for over 16 years. C.S. Lewis said "There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal...". Having worked with the people that I have, has proven Lewis' words to be accurate. For me, the value in WP-ORG comes from the rich friendships and business relationships I have been fortunate to have made throughout the years. I know what each person who has worked with us has put into this organization. I would like to tell you a little bit about those people, who have been key to WP-ORG. I will not be able to name them all, but here are a select few:
I recall sitting in one of my first business meetings for WP-ORG. There was 'ditus Bolanos, class of '90, and founder of WP-ORG. He had the attention span of a gnat, because he simply could not keep up with the ever-growing ideas in his magnificent mind. If ever there was a man of vision and giving, it was he. He started WP-ORG with his extraordinary talent in computer programming. His vision was to provide graduates with whatever they requested, as long as it could be produced in an online setting. We still live up to that vision.
Another meeting participant was COL(Ret.) Bob Magruder '64. He was the energizer bunny who knew just whom to call when something needed to get done. He led the Advisors for a long time, but most important though its infancy. He remains in the background for us to lean on if and when we need him.
Across from Bob was his classmate, Jack Price '64. Before you ever see Jack,
you hear his wonderful laugh. Jack's sense of humor, but dead-serious love for
the American Soldier, and for West Point itself, makes him funny one moment, and
solemn the next. I always think of Jack as our historian, and the man who can
lighten a mood in a heartbeat with his never-ending stories about how he could
have been booted from the Academy, were it not for his quick wit and fast
thinking. There is nobody in this world who cares more for fighting soldiers
than Jack, and when he speaks of them, his voice lowers, and his vivacious laugh
is gone. Jack is a true American hero. If you ever question that, take a look at
the scars on his arm. He has that arm only by the Grace of God, and through the
skill of a surgeon. He nearly left it in Viet Nam. One day, when Jack writes
another fund drive message, perhaps he will tell you exactly what transpired.
It's a good story, and it will likely make you feel just a little humble for
being in the presence of one who did the things he did, the way he did. He will
always be a hero in my book.
Jack remains as our CFO to this day.
Jack's young, beautiful, and former pig-farming daughter was at that meeting as well. She soaked up computer knowledge like a sponge. Today she is our SysOp, and still works for WP-ORG, often very late into the night, to keep WP-ORG going when the servers need someone to stroke and whisper to them. Servers are temperamental creatures! As a fellow employee, I work closely with Megan nearly every day. I have had many working relationships in my day, but never one with the ever-professional, cheery, 'get-it-done' attitude of Megan Klein. No matter how early or late I call her to discuss a work-related issue, the conversation is always pleasant, and she works very hard to clear the issue rapidly. You will find few employees who work every single day, taking no holiday completely away from the job, but never complaining.
Unless you have had the privilege of sitting in on a discussion surrounded by computer "geeks", you can't imagine the energy that Warren Hearnes,'89, (our CIO), Mike Lyman, '87, (Advisor) and Dempsey Darrow,'75 (former CEO) added to the room. Each of them highly skilled in their area of programming, which has contributed greatly to WP-ORG. Warren and Mike are still all-in with WP-ORG, and WP-ORG is better for it. In my earliest days, I was in awe of these men, who could work magic with the stroke of a keyboard. I must admit I still am.
Bill Welter,'55, was also at those first meetings. He was committed from the onset to the workings of WP-ORG. We miss Bill. When he passed away, and took a little piece of WP-ORG with him.
I had the privilege of gaining a deep friendship with Dick Breakiron â€™55 ("The Shadow"), who knew absolutely nothing about programming, but everything to do with directing people and finding his resources. His class members called him "Beadeye". The nickname fit. He had a beady-eye on every detail. We miss Dick. He lived longer than his cancer should have allowed, but then, Dick never let adversity mandate his response.
Some that I work with today are Doug Dribben ‘83, who gives us down-to-earth
advice, especially those things that fit into legal questions. He is the sort of
man who doesn't speak often, but when he does, you had best listen. Megan
Hostler, who learned how to run the Parent lists, and with her USMA wife skills
and USMA mother concern, single handedly took over the parent lists, which are
still thriving today. Her biggest goal is to be sure the parents don't just get
information in a timely manner, but in an accurate manner, which is far more
important that beating the clock to release information. If she puts it out, you
can trust it's accurate. Bill MacLean, Father of my own daughter's classmate (Hooah,
2002!) is our Moderator-Mentor. He teaches all of our new moderators how to run
their lists. Kristen Lewis, '01, has a few downrange stories that would curl
Kristen is our reminder that what is good for our old Grads may not be for our young grads. While raising her two sons, she takes time to weigh in on important discussions about moving the organization forward.
Since those first meetings, we have invited many to join our Board of
Advisors, and each is owed a debt of thanks for the ideas and work they put into
WP-ORG. You may read about them here:
That leaves you with me. I am the one who answers your emails, Facebook messages, texts and your calls. I am the real person who answers you, and if I can’t do what you request, I find the person who can. Like Megan, I work 7days/week, early in the morning, and late at night. I wouldn't have it any different. I am privileged to know so many of you. I have widows who call or write me from time-to-time to just chat I think, because our conversations always involve finding out how our families are doing. I receive calls from graduates who insist that I call them by their first names. As I later take a peek at their Bios, I find out that the stars on their collars warrant far more than my calling them "Bob" or "Jim". Their past title of Secretary of the Army, General, or some other honorable position warrants more respect than just a "hey, Bob, how you doin’?", before we get down to the business of me assisting them with what they need, yet there I am, a simple mother of a 2002 graduate, small-talking about the weather or family while doing business with great men and women. I am honored. I have discussed before, that my hardest, yet most beloved job is to speak to the families of soldiers killed in action, in order to create the best eulogy page I can possibly create for them. These pages provide a source of great comfort to and for so many, and I often revise or refresh the pages as time goes by, at the request of the families involved. I can speak with joy when I say I have had very few of these to do in a while. I would like to never do another.
C.S. Lewis was correct. I have never talked to a mere mortal. I believe I have demonstrated that WP-ORG is a labor of love, created to serve the communication needs of graduates of West Point, and expanded to include the communication needs of parents of cadets, midshipmen and graduates; surviving children of POWs and much more. We exist almost entirely on the support of volunteers and donors. Our fund drives are needed to keep our basic infrastructure going, and to pay the salary of the 2.5 employees. We thank those people who have already contributed, and in doing so, affirmed the value of WP-ORG. Please consider joining those who have donated. With your help, we can continue to provide our services for the next six months. No donation amount is too small.
We are sincerely glad you are all here. Each of you is a part of the WP-ORG story whether you know it or not. We thank you.
Donations can be mailed to WP-ORG at 3800 Buffalo Mountain Road, Willis, VA 24380.
Why Donate? http://www.west-point.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=66&Itemid=73
FD37 Donation Report: https://secure.west-point.org/donate/report/