Air Force Academy Affirmation Ceremony

The Affirmation Ceremony at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO was conducted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 at the Falcon Athletic Center Recption area.  At the ceremone the Class of '65 presented each cadet in our affiliation class with a Class of '65 Challenge Coin.  Bill and Nancy Hecker organized the ceremony for the Class.  Rick Bunn provided the following report on the ceremony and the activities held in conjunction with the ceremony.

Wow, what a magnificent trip I just enjoyed when I traveled to Colorado Springs from Seattle where I am on an extended visit with my motor home. I went to visit with Bill and Nancy Hecker and participate in the Affirmation Ceremony at the Air Force Academy for seven members of our Affiliation Class (2015) from West Point who are participating in the academy exchange program for the fall semester. I was afforded the honor of being the first guest to stay in the Hecker's brand new home (they only moved in two weeks ago) and to say they are the perfect host and hostess would be an understatement. Not quite a riddle but talk about living large, they downsized by almost as many square feet as my entire home to end up in a beautiful new home that is still double the size of mine. I arrived around dinner time (I?m no dummy) and enjoyed a wonderful steak dinner as we spent the rest of the evening reminiscing about our service together in Redstone Arsenal, Alabama in the 70?s and caught up on the comings and goings since then. In this first picture we see Nancy, Bill, and Mac (named, of course, for one of our favorite graduates, General Douglas MacArthur). Note in the background a portrait of their son Bill who was tragically killed in Iraq in 2006.

On Thursday, August 15, Bill arranged for all our Classmates who would be participating in the ceremony (with the exception of Gordy Long who couldn't join us until the evening) to enjoy lunch together at the country club in the Hecker's new neighborhood. Here we see, at one end of the table, (l to r) Bobbie Simmons, Tim Simmons, Miriam Shambach, Regan Urquhart (Les and Marilyn Hagie's granddaughter, Marilyn Hagie, Les Hagie, Steve Shambach (Class of '74 and President of the local West Point Society), Bill Tredennick, and Susan Tredennick.

At the other end of the table, again (l to r) are Bill Tredennick, Susan Tredennick, Bill Hecker, Nancy Hecker, Bobbie Simmons, Tim Simmons, and Miriam Shambach.

In the next picture we see Bill Hecker in the process of teaching us how we can all pass our commemorative coins to our selected cadets by palming the coin and passing it while shaking hands in congratulations.

Here, just to give you an idea of the setting, we see the seven Cadets in the front row with some of the dignitaries, our Classmates in the second row and guests and representatives from nearby Fort Carson in the rear.

In this photo we see LTG (Army Retired) John E. (Jack) Sterling, our guest speaker and member of the USMA Class of '76, administering the Oath of Affirmation to the Cadets.

Next we see the contingent of our Classmates congratulating the Cadets and presenting them with their commemorative coins. Unfortunately some big dude (all right, it's me) got in the way so you can't see all that is going on but at least you get the idea.

In this last shot we were able to catch all the Cadets from our Affiliation Class and all our Classmates in attendance as well as share a little bit of our surrounding with the Air Force Academy barracks in the background and the famous chapel behind that. Note that we were joined by Cadet Will Goodwin who is the President of the Class of 2015 and who was traveling in the area and took time to join us for the ceremony. Next to Will and left to right from there we see Cadet St. Amour, Gordy Long, Cadet Corbett, Bill Hecker, Cadet Bean, Moi, Cadet Chapman, Tim Simmons, Cadet Brown, Les Hagie, Cadet Boyd, Bill Tredennick, and Cadet Warner.

Thank you, Rick, for an excellent report and great pictures.