Class Poop

Send your input to Class Scribe - LTC Richard (Rick) D. Bunn (Retired) at
Visit the 1965 Class Notes Photo Album to see all the photos below full-size!

Class Notes First Quarter 2013

Surprise! Surprise!

Let me begin with a wish that you are all having a very joyous Easter with your friends and family. That being said, I will now ask for your forgiveness and tolerance as I share a pretty personal story. Tuesday, April 2nd is my 70th birthday (my mother shared with me on several occasions what a long and difficult night she had way back when, trying to make sure she didn't have an April Fools Baby - thanks Mom).

I must admit I was feeling a little down as my wife, Donna, and I moved to Arizona 6 years ago leaving the family behind in the Seattle area. This meant I couldn't be with them for this milestone birthday. Yesterday, I was sitting in my chair trying to think of ways I could make Tuesday a special day without my wonderful family around when I heard Donna and our house guest return from shopping. I then grumbled at the fact that my phone rang as I was about to get up to help carry things - timing sometimes sucks with phone calls. It was my son explaining that he was coming down and would arrive on my birthday. Thrilled with this news and while talking to him I looked up to see him standing next to me with my daughter and my niece. What a surprise!

After the excitement died down, my wife explained that she had worked out a reservation for dinner at a great new restaurant in the area for that evening. That afternoon we all enjoyed catching up while swimming in the pool. When it came time for dinner I was told that because it was a special dinner and a new restaurant they wanted to drive me there blindfolded. I assumed they were just playing with me and that maybe a few friends would be joining us (I'm pretty gullible). Anyway, as we traveled I did my best super sleuth thing counting stops, turns, etc. I even thanked my daughter for "accidentally" identifying a few landmarks we were driving by (I mentioned I'm pretty gullible). When we arrived I was escorted into the restaurant through a large (so I thought) parking lot past people who were being surprisingly quiet for a restaurant, out to the patio seating area where my blindfold was finally removed to find that I was in the back yard of my wife's cousin's house and I was facing 34 of my closest friends. I was only about 25 miles from where I thought I was (so much for a second career as a sleuth).

Among my friends were a few Classmates and spouses whose very presence made the event even more special for me.

It is clear that I am truly blessed with many great friends. Thank you all for being there for me.

Once again I wish you all a very joyous Easter.


February PMEE Report

Paul Schultz continues to do an outstanding job for us as the coordinator of our efforts to support the PMEE Program. Here is his report for the February session:

Class of 1965 Report on the February 21st PMEE Leadership Exercise

Mission First Soldiers Always

This session continued the Class of 1965 PMEE participation in the Leader Challenge Programs. Fourteen (Yes, 14 Volunteers) made this single class participation the largest in PMEE history! As the group picture shows, we had more than twice the number as both other classes combined.

We joined the Classes of 1964 and 1963 to participate as "Platoon Mentors" with an assigned Cadet Company in the exercise called "Mission First Soldiers Always". Included is a PDF outlining this particular Leader Challenge. More detail is available if you want to see it.

Our class had the largest turnout of the three classes, which is a real tribute to the class volunteers and the "Strength and Drive" Spirit. You don't have to commit for more than one day's session, but the experience will make you want to return for the others.

Thanks to our classmates for their participation. Our class Mentors for the February session were:

Tom Abraham Doug Gibson Paul Schultz
Russell Campbell Leland Hewitt Richard Smoak
Emery Chase Bill Lehman Roland Stichweh
Dan Donaghy Chuck McCloskey Jim Wood
David Gabel Robert Selkis

The morning session was held in the Haig Room to accommodate the larger group, and it was another of the best "Prep" sessions. The Group picture was taken at the start of the session and includes all the

Classes of 1963, 1964, and 1965 participants.

Our next PMEE Leader Challenge session is March 28th. If you want to volunteer for this session, it's not too late to email Paul Schultz at , or call at 203-205-0763(office) or 203-778-9164 (home). You also get to stay at the Five Star Inn and to attend the "Rally Point" Breakfast at the famous Park Restaurant in Highland Falls with all your classmate volunteers the morning of the session!

Paul Schultz
Class of 65 POC
PMEE Program

Note on Classmate ID (L to R) in picture (Stichweh is MIA in this picture), with some faces partially obscured (Sorry):

Front Row Donaghy, Chase, Abraham, Wood, Campbell, Hewitt.
Rear rows Smoak, Lehman, Selkis, Gibson, McCloskey, Gabel, Schultz

As Paul put it, "The older farts are class of 63, obviously and the young and fit guys are 65.

Thank you Paul for your continuing excellent work and to all our Classmates who took the time to participate in this most worthwhile project.

Anyone Want to Kiss the Blarney Stone?

John Wattendorf and his wife Adrienne, just received the attached information and the following message from the West Point Society of DC. They are seriously interested in taking the trip but would naturally like to have a few of our Classmates join them. Here is the message from the Executive Director of the DC Society followed by the message from Mike Healy '69 who is coordinating the tour. Also, click here to view the brochure with much of the necessary information. If you respond to Mike as requested please copy John Wattendorf at Years ago I spent a week touring Ireland privately and I highly recommend it.

Dear Society members and alumni. Mike Healy '69 has graciously offered to coordinate a tour of Ireland for our graduates. Please respond directly to him at with your interest. See attached and below.

Best Regards,

Richard S. Huh '94
Executive Director
West Point Society of DC and the National Capital Region
(703) 237-7958


The purpose of this message is to survey West Point Society of DC (WPSDC) members and other West Point graduates on their interest in a WPSDC group trip to Ireland for the week starting Sunday, 8 September
2013. This exclusive travel opportunity is a six nights, seven days, all-inclusive land package priced at under $1,200 per person. The tour package is offered exclusively to USMA alumni, classes, and societies and is open to grads and their family members and guests.

For the one low price of under $1,200, the tour package includes six nights accommodation in a five star resort hotel, The Dunloe (, four different day escorted coach tours, welcome reception with buffet meal, a gala banquet, Irish history talk, entertainment, and two different group Irish whiskey tastings. Airfare is not included.

The West Point Class of 1969 did this same trip in June 2012 with 155 classmates and their spouses and guests attending. WPSDC member, Mike Healy, Class of 1969, is your tour coordinator accompanying the tour
group in Ireland. The tour trip capacity is limited to sixty couples and we need a minimum of fifty couples to make the trip happen. Additional details on the land trip tour package, including testimonials from Class of 1969 members, can be found at and in the attachment.

Please reply to Mike Healy '69 ( by Monday, 1 April 2013 with your interest in this Ireland trip opportunity. Only those grads who are seriously interested need reply. Thank you for your cooperation in this survey.

I realize it is very short notice, but now that many of us are retired, quick scheduling changes are a little easier make. I how some of you can join John and Adrienne.

The Dedication

It was a beautiful day in the north end of the Valley of the Sun as five Classmates and their families gathered with a group of over a hundred for the dedication of the statue of the St. Michael the Archangel in loving memory of our dear friend John (BJ) Mogan and a tribute to all members, past and present, of the of the armed forces, police and fire fighters and others who step in harm's way to serve us all. Dyanne Mogan and her family did an amazing job pulling together the support of numerous agencies and donating a lot of their own time and money to make this tribute possible.

Donna and I had the pleasure of a 45 minute drive with Frank and Cam Hennessee who recently moved into the neighborhood, on the west side of the Valley, where my wife and I have lived for over six years. I always enjoy what we used to call "windshield time" during my many years in sales. Hank Mickells (Trina was unable to join him) made the three hour drive up from Tucson. Fred and Maralee Laughlin, who live right there in Anthem, were able to join us also. And I was thrilled to see my good buddy, Ron Walter with his lovely wife Janice also able to attend. Ron is still a little shaky following his recent, very serious, health issues but he is very clearly well on his way to a full recovery.

During the service, John's daughter Tara shared some comments (see below) which brought tears to many eyes. Note in the photo, the honor guard in the background which provided a rifle salute and a beautiful rendition of "taps" with a live bugler. On a lighter note, Tara pointed out that when the statue arrived in Anthem the moving team placed it on a rolling cart to transport it to its permanent site. If you look at the young warrior's body position (the wings not withstanding), you can see why she said that it looked a little like a kid riding a skate board. Given that image, I couldn't help imagining the words he might have used as he stood there with his foot on the head of Lucifer, "Cowabunga Dude!"

The dedication was followed by a reception at the St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Catholic Church which is the site of the monument. Several of us then followed Dyanne to her lovely home for a second reception with John's friends and family. Dyanne asked me to share her appreciation:

Please extend my deep gratitude to the class of 65. Again, this amazing group of men and women came together to support a classmate's family. The love and friendship shown to our family by John's friends overwhelmed me making a memorable day even more moving.

Again, we are very grateful. Thank you all for helping to bring St. Michael the archangel to our parish St. Rose Philippine Duchesne.



Ross Wollen shared the below article with me by forwarding the reply he sent to his friend John Connorton who had just share it with him. I found it to be one of the best and most succinct explanations of the issue of Ric's disagreement with Donald Rumsfeld over the troop requirements in post war Iraq.

John's comments to his friend:

Thank you John,

I had not seen this yet. Mills, who works out of Columbia, has called me a dozen times over two years and is using as a principal reference my (West Point) ASSEMBLY article on the '64 Army-Navy Game and the Telegram Ike sent to the Army Team and Class of 1965 on the Eve of the Game (where Rollie Stichweh and our guys beat Navy and Roger Staubach after 5 A-N losses). We discussed Ric and our "RIC WAS RIGHT" caps at lunch, I believe, but I did not know he was doing a separate piece on Classmate-Companymate Ric.


Punished for telling truth about Iraq war

By Nicolaus Mills, Special to CNN

updated 7:53 AM EDT, Wed March 20, 2013

Photo:  Eric Shinseki, who clashed with the Bush administration over Iraq, is now secretary of the Veterans Administration.


  • Nicolaus Mills: An American general took issue with Bush administration views on Iraq
  • Eric Shinseki argued that the U.S. needed a much larger force to bring stability to Iraq
  • Others who objected to his estimate were proved wrong, Mills says
  • Mills: Shinseki, now VA chief, was penalized for showing loyalty to troops

Editor's note: Nicolaus Mills is professor of American Studies at Sarah Lawrence College and author of "Winning the Peace: The Marshall Plan and America's Coming of Age as a Superpower." He is currently at work on a book about the West Point football team of 1964 and its experience in Vietnam.

(CNN) -- This week, we mark the tenth anniversary of the day the U.S. launched the Iraq War. But when we think of how differently that war might have been fought, the most important date to remember is February 25, 2003.

That's when Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki told the Senate Armed Services Committee that "several hundred thousand soldiers" would be needed in Iraq when post-hostilities control was taken into consideration.

Shinseki's estimate was more than double that of the George W. Bush administration, which in March 2003 sent a ground invasion force of 145,000 troops into Iraq.

Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Department wasted no time in answering Shinseki. Two days after Shinseki's Senate testimony, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz used his appearance before the House Budget Committee to present an entirely different view of America's prospects in Iraq.

"Some of the higher-end predictions that we have been hearing recently, such as the notion that it will take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to provide stability in post-Saddam (Hussein) Iraq, are wildly off the mark," Wolfowitz declared. "It is hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in a post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself."

The Department of Defense's anger with Shinseki was understandable. His troop estimate made it seem as if the Bush administration was lowballing Congress and the American public. But there was nothing out of the ordinary in Shinseki's thinking.

In Bosnia, where Shinseki had served with the United States peacekeeping mission after the ethnic warfare there was stopped, the Pentagon had used a formula of one soldier for every 50 Bosnians. In Iraq that calculation added up to 300,000 troops.

 Photo Left:  Nicolaus Mills

The Defense Department countered Shinseki by saying that Iraq was very different from Bosnia when it came to troop needs. "There has been none of the record in Iraq of ethnic militias fighting one another that produced so much bloodshed and permanent scars in Bosnia, along with a continuing requirement for large peacekeeping forces to separate those militias," Wolfowitz insisted.

By April 2003, one month after the Iraq invasion began, it became clear that Shinseki's troop estimate was correct. When mobs began looting government buildings and hospitals, there were not enough American soldiers to stop them. "Stuff happens!" was Rumsfeld's explanation of the chaos.

A more publicity conscious Army chief of staff than Shinseki might have used the looting to make his case before the media. Long before their disagreement over Iraq, he and Rumsfeld had clashed over Rumsfeld's belief that high-tech warfare gave the Pentagon leeway to reduce overall American troop strength.

In 2002 Rumsfeld, irritated by Shinseki's insistence that American troops were stretched too thin around the world, had made Shinseki a lame-duck Army chief of staff by announcing his successor while Shinseki had more than a year left to serve.

In the spring of 2003 Shinseki chose, however, not to engage in a protracted war of words with Rumsfeld. Instead, he stuck to his position on what was needed in Iraq and waited until his Pentagon retirement ceremony in June 2003 to make his case that in the wake of 9/11, America needed more boots on the ground to meet its global responsibilities.

"Beware the 12-division strategy for a 10-division Army," Shinseki told his Pentagon audience and then went on to compare America's war in Iraq with the war he knew as a junior officer in Vietnam. "The lessons I learned in Vietnam are always with me," Shinseki stressed, "lessons about loyalty, about taking care of the people who sacrifice the most."

Both President Bush and Rumsfeld made a point of not attending Shinseki's retirement ceremony, and the New York Times buried its account of Shinseki's retirement speech on page 32 of the news section.

By contrast, those who came to Shinseki's retirement ceremony did so as an act of support, and they included not only Army brass who appreciated the stance he had taken on Iraq but a contingent of his West Point classmates, who, like Shinseki, had served in Vietnam during the 1960s.

In the eyes of many of his classmates, Shinseki, who lost nearly half his right foot after stepping on a Vietnam land mine, was doing for the troops in Iraq what President Lyndon Johnson and his secretary of defense, Robert McNamara, had failed to do for America's troops in Vietnam: he was looking out for them regardless of the political consequences.

To these classmates Shinseki's candor about Iraq made him as much a hero as his Vietnam combat record, and today, as we look back on Iraq and try to decide who the best and brightest generals of that war were, Shinseki's 2003 judgment shines through. Small wonder that, like another admired Army chief of staff, World War II hero Omar Bradley, Shinseki has had a second career as the head of the Veterans Administration.

As I sit here putting this message together, I am wearing my "RIC WAS RIGHT" hat.

Hennessee/Bunn Reunion

Thanks to Frank Hennessee and his lovely wife Cam who recently moved into the neighborhood where Donna and I have been hanging our hats for several years, we were able to get together and share a lunch today. It was great to get to know the Hennessees and we look forward to seeing them from time to time.

Here are Cam and Frank on the left and Donna and Moi on the right. I intentionally waited until after lunch to avoid the inevitable comments about our menu choices (and yes, those are diet cokes and iced tea glasses).

Saturday we will enjoy their company again as we drive to Anthem for the dedication of the St. Michael's statue in memory of our dear friend John Mogan. I hope to see many Classmates there.

An Opportunity to Prove We Are Not Done Yet

My good friend Denny Coll has asked me to share with you all an opportunity to get together for a special bike trip as the majority of us approach or pass the Big Seven Oh (70). Here is what he has offered to share:

I would like to get the word out that I am looking for a few 70 year old "volunteers" to join me on all/part of a Big Seven Oh bike trip in August from Georgetown (DC) to Pittsburgh via the C&O Canal Path + GAP (Great Allegheny Passage).

General details:
* 50-70 miles a day; easy pace (@10-12 mph); I am NOT a serious biker (no tight black shorts with colored jerseys nor cute cap)
* Pre-arranged overnight stays along the way (motels, B&B's, one converted Lock House, etc.)
* Elevation grade is that of a train (Rails to Trails)
* Up to Cumberland Gap, down to Pittsburgh
* Steep section (20-25 miles) near Cumberland - we take a scenic train ride to Frostburg
* Essentially downhill from there to Pittsburgh
* Riders can bale out along the way
* Depart on a Monday (8/19), arrive Pittsburgh Saturday (8/24)
* Amtrak from Pittsburgh to DC? Chicago? Points East and West

Dennis R. Coll
TAB - The Alternative Board - Chicago
The Business Owner's Strategic Advantage.
3 Sun Valley Court
Lake in the Hills, IL 60156-4473
(847) 404-1767

What a terrific idea! I hope he gets a good turn out and a great time is had by all. And if I don't get a bunch of photos and a few good stories to share, I will be very disappointed. If you have any interest, please use the contact information above to link up with Denny and set your plans in motion. Unlike Lance, I would suggest that you use anything that will help you make it happen.

A Day Late But Not Short on Respect and Admiration

Yesterday, as you may have heard on the news, was the 40th anniversary of the release from imprisonment of over a hundred POW's by the North Vietnamese. Among that group was one of our own, Bob Jones. I spoke with Bob yesterday and while he was OK with discussing his ordeal, my emotions almost overwhelmed me. Just to imagine what he went through for 62 months is enough to tear me up inside. Here in his own words is his reaction to yesterday's milestone:

March 14, 1973 was a pretty special day for me and about 125 other Vietnam POW's. We were finally coming home from prison in North Vietnam. For me it had been 62 months, but many of my compatriots had been there much longer, some almost 8 years. I will forever be thankful for the thoughts, prayers, and support I received during my time in prison and after repatriation, especially from our class. Many times during the darkest days of captivity I thought about West Point, the many graduates whom had and still served with honor and courage, and especially the unity and brotherhood of the class of 1965. This gave me the strength and fortitude to endure and believe that someday I would come home. It's very fitting that our class motto is "Strength and Drive".

Now it's hard for me to believe that 40 years has gone by since that wonderful day. I'm sure all of us are amazed at how fast the years seem to come and go. One thing for sure though, we are and will always be united and bound together as a "Band of Brothers". Thank you all for giving me the inner strength, perseverance, and conviction to never give up and to once again live in the best country on earth.

Bob Jones

And here is a picture of Bob with his wife Freya and their 15 year old son Alec who is in the 10th grade at Hawaii Preparatory Academy.

If you would like to share a word with Bob, he can be reached at:

Thank you Reg Dryzga for bringing this story to my attention.

Closing with the "very fitting" Strength and Drive,


Above and Beyond in Industry

While not brought to me as part of my effort to identify those of us who have clearly gone "Above and Beyond", the story of the soon to be awarded National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)'s 2013 Lifetime Achievement in Industry Award to our own Joe Anderson, definitely qualifies. Joe will receive the award at a gala ceremony at the Indianapolis Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana on Saturday, March 30th, during NSBE's 39th Annual Convention. Launched more than a decade ago, the Golden Torch Awards are NSBE's highest honors. The awards honor outstanding professional achievement and community service and are part of NSBE's effort to bring more recognition to the hundreds of thousands of black professionals and students in engineering, science and information technology in the U.S. and around the world.

Joseph B. Anderson Jr.
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman

Joe is currently the majority owner, Chairman & CEO of TAG Holdings, LLC which owns several manufacturing, service and technology based entities based in North America. These entities serve a variety of industries including automotive, heavy equipment, aerospace, defense, and recreational vehicles.

Congratulations Joe, I wish I could be there to celebrate with you. You have clearly provided us with another source of pride associated with the achievements of our great Class. While he has obviously done very well in the civilian world, the military portion of his career is also filled with many sources of pride. If you would like to read more about Joe's amazing career, click here for his comprehensive biography.

An Interesting Observation

Here's and interesting point that Step Tyner discovered while reviewing the 1965 Class/Officer Register discussed earlier. He found that the three guys who were final detail platoon leaders in Company A-1 (Ric Shinseki, Dave Benton, and Joe Defrancisco) wound up sharing ten stars among them when they retired from the Army. Coincidence? Good recruiting by A-1? Maybe excellent leadership from the CO Jamie Bryan? Or, maybe, as Step suggests, something in the water in East Barracks. Whatever it was, it has sure contributed to the immeasurable pride we all share in this great Class.

Thanks Step.

Another Walk Down Memory Lane

Joe Barkley found the recent sharing of old documents from the library particularly interesting. It brought out some anecdotes from his past which I found interesting. For example, Joe's father was assigned to the to the AG's office at West Point during our First Class Year. I, for one, can't imagine having my father right there to look over my shoulder for any one of our four years. However, Joe went on to point out that his "parent's house was the scene of frequent dinners for him and his roommates during the week and it served as a drag house most weekends too. After the Ring Hop and several other social events a large number of cadets and their dates crowded into the tiny quarters". Apparently his parents loved it all as did Joe and his friends. I must admit, this puts a better light on having the folks around.

While at the AG's office, Joe's dad helped to compile the Class Register for 1965 (thus the reminder from the old documents). Before Joe even knew his final class standing and grade his dad called to ask why he "only" had a 2.370 for Firstie Year. This turned out to be a surprise to Joe because he thought it was going to be lower as a result of the CE project with the frozen missile emplacement in the snow.

I asked Joe to send me a photo to include with the story and he came through big time. Here we have a picture of Joe's dad when he was an Ordnance Corp First Lieutenant in Paris in 1944 with two of his brothers on either side. Note that the brother on his left has a CIB and jump wings - at the time he was in the 101st AB Division. I also like the Ike Jackets.

Joe's grandfather had five sons in WWII. These three were in Europe, another in the Pacific, and another in the Caribbean on a Navy ship. All five returned safely from the war, although the paratrooper in the picture was allegedly shot in his bottom in the jump at Eindhoven (family lore).

Joe's dad had gone to Ordnance OCS in 1942, finished out WWII and then was recalled during the Korean Conflict and stayed in the Army until he retired in 1966. Joe recalled that frequently his dad and some friends in BS sessions would use the expression, "The principle purpose of West Point is to make sure that there are more horses A___ in the Army than Horses". Once Joe got his appointment, his dad stopped using that expression. Funny, isn't it, how quickly contempt can be turned to pride?

Thank you Joe for sharing some great anecdotes about a clearly patriotic family which would make anyone proud.

Some More Historical Rummaging

I recently shared a connection to some old records which brought back many memories of our Class and the officers who worked with us way back when. Ed Winstead was kind enough to share that connection with us. Now Ed Simpson has taken it one step farther and has shared two great links to the USMA Library which give us access to many records going back well into the 1800's. Here you will find such things as Assembly's from 1942 to 1993. In the second link I found many terrific maps and photographs of what life was like way before we got there.

Now that most of us are retired and some of us have a little time to play, this is a fascinating way to look into the history of our Rock Bound Highland Home.

Try these links and then just enjoy wondering:

Thanks to both Ed's for this information.

Just for the Fun of Bringing Back Some Memories

Ed Winstead recently found this "Official Register of the Officers and Cadets at the United States Military Academy - West Point, New York for the Academic Year Ending 9 June, 1965" while "playing on the web". Just paging through it brings back many memories. While I'm sure there are better copies available someplace, this one looks like it might have been typed on my old portable typewriter. Now that I think of it, that typewriter gave me much better service when I used the case to carry a blanket down to flirty, but that's a story(s) for another time and place.

Check it out:

Thanks Ed for the trip down memory lane.

Save the Date - May 21 - Distinguished Graduate Award

As previously reported, our own LTG Joe DeFrancisco will be receiving the Distinguished Graduate Award this spring. The date has been set for May 21. Clair Gill, who will be attending, and the entire Leadership Team strongly encourage everyone to attend.

The schedule for that very special day will include:

1020 Hrs Alumni March on Diagonal Walk to Thayer Statue (this is optional so, if you're not up to a bit of a walk, you're free to skip it)

1100 Hrs Parade (bleacher seats will be available)

1215 Hrs Lunch in the Mess Hall (there will be a charge for those wishing to dine in the Mess Hall but there should be no other charges for attendees beyond travel and lodging)

1300 Hrs Class Reception in Haig Room of Jefferson Library (this reception is graciously being hosted by Joe and Lynne De Francisco)

If you are going to be anywhere near the Point at that time, please plan to attend. We want to give Joe the support he so richly deserves. If you are sure you can make it, please send me an e-mail ( and I will maintain a list for planning purposes and to pass on to a Class Coordinator to be named later.

Again, congratulations Joe, I wish I could join you on this special day.

Newly Revised Funeral SOP

This message is just to keep you informed of some of the efforts undertaken by your Leadership Team. At our last telecom meeting, on the 18th of January, we had Terry Ryan join us as he had a great idea to help with the issue of getting our Class Flag out to wherever it is needed to become a part of the celebration of life at funerals for our fallen Classmates. Basically, he suggested purchasing a second flag which he will maintain (our original flag is maintained by the AOG at West Point) and ship to the individual I designate as Point of Contact (POC) for the family of the deceased. He offered to arrange for the purchase of the second flag as well as becoming the Flag Coordinator (FC) for our Class. Terry's idea was approved and extended to include his writing an additional section of our Funeral SOP. This is a sizable undertaking by Terry and his efforts and willingness to do this for us is greatly appreciated.

While the Funeral SOP was being revised, Chuck Nichols saw another need and submitted a new section regarding funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery.

If you have any interest in the newly revised document Chuck Nichols has also made it available by this direct link:, or it can also be accessed from the Class home page ( by clicking on "Funeral SOP" in the left menu.

Thank you Terry and Chuck for your generous support of our efforts to make these difficult times very special for the families and friends of our fallen Classmates.

Founder's Day in Utah

Preston Motes was kind enough to send this report on the recent Founder's Day Celebration in Park City, Utah.

The Intermountain West Point Society generally covers Eastern Nevada, Southern Idaho, Western Colorado and all of Utah. Attendees usually just come from the greater Salt Lake City area. This year's Founders Day Celebration was held at the Jeremy Ranch Country Club in Park City, Utah on 1 March 2013. There were approximately 55 graduates with spouses from classes of the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and 00's. The Oldest Grad: BG (Ret) James Lee, '52 and Youngest Grad: Landon Brock,'07 spoke to the group and Col (Ret) Al Walker, '74 (MALO) briefed us on admissions and new cadets from Utah. Peter and Heidi Lounsbury drove 3 hours from Roosevelt, Utah to join us. Other '65 classmates in Utah are Larry Isakson and Preston Hughes who both live in the St George, Utah area, about 300 miles away. Dom Desantis may be in Kaysville, UT a little North of here but I have never heard anything from him.

Shown here at the dinner are Preston and Sandy Motes (standing) and Pete and Heidi Lounsbury (seated)

Our society is a very low key group with no dues, no income and no expenses. It is pay as you go. We usually get together for Army/ Air Force and Army/Navy Football games, and Founders Day. A small group from all academies meets once a month for breakfast in Salt Lake City. Al Walker and several other grads help with school visits and helping interested applicants in the application process. We also have some loose association with the West Point Parents club.

Thanks Preston, it's good to hear from you.

Good News from My Little Buddy

It was about six weeks ago that I enjoyed sharing a very encouraging update regarding my good friend (Chops) Ron Walter. Now it is my even greater joy to share another update which he just sent me. He clearly recognizes the benefits that derive from asking support when needed and allowing our incredible Class to hold him up in thought and prayer. The ties that bind us are much stronger than many realize. Here are his words:

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): Thank you ALL for your many prayers and well-wishes; I am on the road to recovery and looking forward to fulfilling the purpose in life my God has revealed to me over the course of this ordeal. I truly believe that this brush with reality has served to strengthen my spiritual life, and that God has used this time to make more clear the work that He intends me to pursue with the healing of mind and body He has provided.

As of last Tuesday, I have been taken off chemotherapy, with two consecutive monthly tests showing my light chain cell production (and thus the production of amyloid proteins) to be within normal range; i.e., I am
IN REMISSION. This means that I can now focus on strengthening and/or improving the parts of my body that have been affected by the settling of amyloid proteins therein (my skin, my kidneys, my heart and my gastrointestinal areas). While my skin will likely stay discolored for some time, there is some hope, based on preliminary lab results that leakage of proteins through the kidneys may continue to improve. With adjustments in medications, there also appears to be some potential improvement in water retention associated with the congestive heart failure I picked up from the amyloidosis, and I believe I can strengthen my heart once I get over the atrophy encountered by not working out throughout most of this ordeal. (I am starting a log today as I begin the slow process of regaining strength through a combination of physical therapy, walking and -- eventually - my return to daily gym activity.)

Most encouraging of all, we have finally put a name (or two) to the gastrointestinal issues that originally set all this diagnosis/treatment in motion: gastro paresis and/or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. We have implemented a treatment plan based primarily on nutritional changes (lots of pureed food) and a significant reduction in prescribed medicines and will continue to monitor progress over the near- and long-term. It is my firm intent to take Janice on that long-promised visit to England's Lake Country this summer as I continue to seek the Lord's guidance in doing the work He has set out for me to do with the rest of my life.

Thank you again to ALL who have been there for me; now it's my turn to be there for you!


Ron Walter
12925 N. 145th Way
Scottsdale, AZ 85259
(480) 767-7758 (Home)
(520) 234-2433 (Cell)
(970) 259-5037 (Cabin)

As before I enjoy sharing a picture with my message, so here is another of my favorites which was taken at one of our earliest Arizona Gatherings.

Classmates Gathering in Florida

Bob Frank sent me this great photo and report on a good time had by several Classmates in Sarasota Bay, Florida.

Dave and Patti Jones hosted a gathering at their Bradenton FL home this week. Several rounds of golf, a polo match and a performance of Chorus Line at the Sarasota Performing Arts center were the highlights of the four days. Pictured are (from l to r) Ray Hawkins, Linda Hawkins, Patti Jones, Dave Jones, Kay Dermody, Mary Frank and Bob Frank sitting on the deck of Marina Jack's enjoying libations, sunset over Sarasota Bay and dinner. The weather was perfect except for one 30 minute period on the golf course on Tuesday, when all had to seek refuge back at the clubhouse. We may not have gotten the snow that hit Tucson a week ago, but the downpour was a much-needed gift to the Florida area. A good time was had by all!

Bob, I must admit that my eyes may be getting older than I feel because at first glance I wasn't sure if you and Mary were wearing matching skirts, kilts or what. With a closer look, of course, I could see that you all had green napkins on your laps, but you had me worried momentarily. I also noticed that there is a definite lack of food but an abundance of great looking drinks - no wonder a good time was had by all!

It looks like a good time, I wish I could have joined you.

VETStravaganza - The Rest of the Story

Terry Ryan shared the rest of the story to go with the message I shared back on the 19th regarding the VETStravaganza. The picture included gives a pretty good idea of just how spectacular the show was. Boy, I wish I could have been there! While he indicates that he was in the picture, he actually was unable to get to the stage in time for the photo as he was busy with many of the administrative activities involved when you are given the task of "herding the cats" to get something like this to appear seamless to those who are privileged to see the production.

Thanks Terry for this and all you do for our Class.

Classmates, Chuck Nichols shared a nice pic of the dinner we all had as part of VETStravaganza. Our class figured heavily in the entire weekend of activities surrounding "A Musical VETStravaganza" the concert portion of the weekend. Attached is a picture of the assembled performers, nearly 150, during the finale of the concert. If you look closely, you should find Jim Ferguson, Pete Linn, Terry Ryan and John Pickler (all the way from Nashville).  (Click here for a larger view of the photo.)

The Cadet Glee Club joined the Alumni Glee Club augmented by 15 Reunion Glee Clubbers for the weekend. The cadets were hosted in homes throughout Washington DC for three nights. Saturday we provided a two hour concert at Walter Reed Warrior Center, right before the dinner gathering in the previous email thread. Sunday we rehearsed for several hours and then conducted the three plus hour Musical VETStravaganza.

Sunday night we all joined together for a Performers Banquet with over 220 parents, etc. Finally on Monday morning, John Pickler and many others conducted a fantastic Leadership Retreat for the cadets prior to sending them back to West Point. It was a superb weekend, not soon forgotten for those who participated. We also had a chance to interact with some of our affiliate cadets from 2015 who have had the good judgment to participate in the Cadet Glee Club.

Why does this matter? We are kicking off an effort to make employers aware of employment value and opportunities that lie with our veterans. If you have any interest in this mission, we urge you to check out the Code of Support Foundation ( Anyone interested in bringing VETStravaganza to your area? We are looking for road trips!

Terrance C. Ryan PhD PE
Executive Director
Engineers and Surveyors Institute
(703) 263-2232

A Gathering for VETStravaganza

Chuck Nichols sent me a great report regarding the VETStravaganza held at George Washington University recently. Unfortunately, the only picture available was taken with a cell phone (I think it was taken while the photographer was sneezing) and was too fuzzy to share. However, the evening before Terry Ryan put together a dinner with some of our Classmates at what appears to have been a great restaurant. The photo taken there turned out fine as you can see. Here is Chuck's report:

On Sunday, 17 February, The Code of Support presented a musical VETStravaganza at the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium. It was a 3-1/2 hour performance by The West Point Cadet Glee Club, The West Point Alumni Glee Club, 4 TROOPS Veterans Quartet, Homefire Military Wives' Choir and country and western singers David Kroll and Mark Wills. The combined Glee Clubs sang the National Anthem during the Presentation of the Colors and started the program with the Armed Forces Medley. Needless to say the entire program was spectacular.

The evening before Terry Ryan organized a get together of some of our classmates in the DC area at the Clide's restaurant at Willow Creek Farms. The picture shows those in attendance. L TO R: Jim Ferguson, Chuck Nichols, Elaine Nichols, Peter Linn, Terry Ryan, Nancy Ryan, John Pickler, Karen Pickler, Jack Lowe, Annette Lowe, John Concannon, LInda Concannon, Tom Fergusson, June Fergusson, Bernie Ziegler, Ellen Ziegler. Anyone who has the opportunity should visit this Clide's restaurant. The ambiance is sublime and food delicious. Terry, thanks for getting us all together for both dinner and the outstanding musical.

It looks like a great time was had by all. I love seeing Classmates getting together this way! Thanks Chuck, Terry, et al.

Update on Families of Deceased Classmates

Tom Kovach continues his efforts to find the families of our deceased Classmates and inviting them to our 50th Reunion. Here is his latest report. Please read through it carefully and if you have any information which might assist his effort, it would be greatly appreciated. Tom can be reached at:


Here is an update on my search for the families of our deceased Classmates who were killed in Vietnam. Chuck Nichols noted that we lost 26 rather than 25 - I had not included Jim Gardner.

Jim Gardner: his omission from my earlier report was truly an oversight since I had already obtained a mailing address from WPAOG for his widow, Joella Gardner McManus, who lives in Huntsville, AL and had mailed an invitation; Chuck provided contact info for Jim's sister, Lynda Gardner-Park, who lives in Newbern, TN, and an invitation has been mailed.

Chet Myers: brother William Myers, USMA '52, died on 3/8/12; using an address obtained from a Register of Graduates, I have written to William's widow, Harriett Myers, asking for contact info for Chet's sister Margo Myers and brother John Myers; John is USNA '57 so I've also asked an old Naval Academy buddy to try to obtain contact info.

Jerry Clark: after the holidays, I received a letter from Jerry's sister, Beverly Mills, in response to the invitation; Beverly provided contact info for the other members of the Clark family; Jerry's two nephews, Terry Mills and Richard Mills, and one niece, Christine Trombley, are planning to attend Reunion to represent the Clark family.

Tony Borrego: I have located and contacted two cousins, Aprile Penhall who lives in Hillsboro, OR and Nancy Melnas who lives in Toms River, NJ; they will share Reunion info with other family members.

Bob Gagne: Bob's mother died in 1998; father in 2000; I have located and contacted (one-way) Bob's sister, Jeanine Faulkner, who lives in Grafton, MA.

Bob Lee: Bob's mother died circa 2010; sister Margaret in 2006; father in 2013; with assistance from the funeral home that handled the arrangements for Mr. Lee and from Mr. Lee's caregiver, I learned that Bob's nearest surviving relatives are a niece, Tabitha Elliott, who lives in Gainesville, GA and a nephew, Robert Smith, who also lives in Gainesville, GA (Tabitha and Robert are offspring of Margaret); Mr. Lee's caregiver provided a mailing address for Tabitha and I sent a sympathy card; will follow up later with Reunion info.

Mike Momcilovich: I have located and contacted Mike's brother, Mark Momcilovich, who lives in Bear, DE; Mark provided an update on Mike's daughter, Kristin James, who lives in the Nashville, TN area; Kristin is in transition at this time so contact will be attempted later.

Ed Menninger: Fred Laughlin has been maintaining contact with Ed's son, Jeffrey Butler, who lives in Bonita Springs, FL and with Jeffrey's adoptive parents, Ed & Nancy Butler, who live in Tinton Falls, NJ.

That's it for those who we lost in Vietnam. My search is basically completed.

Someone asked if we were sending invitations to families of Classmates who died after the Vietnam era. Yes. I only highlighted the 26 since the major gaps on family information existed with this group. There were some gaps with the post-Vietnam group that also required searches. I now have identified at least one family member for each of our deceased classmates. All have been invited to Reunion with the following exceptions:

Chet Myers: as noted above.
Bob Lee: as noted above.

Tim Vogel: Rollie Stichweh and I are working on contacting Tim's family.

Dennis Chudoba: both Ken Yoshitani and I have had no success in contacting son Todd Chudoba using his business e-mail; no contact info for son Sean Chudoba; I believe I have located Dennis' sister Eloise Murray and have sent to her a letter to confirm relationship - if that is positive, then I'll ask for contact info for Todd and Sean.

Doug Kline, Harry Dermody and Gene Farmelo: waiting for an appropriate passage of time before sending Reunion invitation.

Strength and Drive!
Tom Kovach

Thank you Tom for all your hard work.

Another report from the Great White North

Paul Renschen, our Classmate who lives in beautiful Fairbanks, Alaska, has sent me some more great pictures and a brief story.

I am going to be helping in leading a Snow Travelers ride down the Tanana River to Nenana and back on the 17th. I organized a little ride last Saturday just to see how the River is this year. Son Paul, Dawn, a friend, Carolyn, and I went. The sun was actually up but it hid behind a low hill on the horizon (this time of year it only joins us for a brief period each day and then it remains very close to the horizon). Here from left to right is me, Dawn and Son Paul.

We hadn't started until 10:30 AM so we only rode a little over 30 miles downstream before turning back. This is typical of what the "trail" looked like out there.

This next photo has a cute little story to go with it. That is me on the furthest sled and Dawn and Paul on the nearer sleds on the right. The musher on the lead sled is one of Susan Butcher's (if you don't know who she is, you can google her) daughters. While I know who Susan Butcher was, I googled her anyway and found some of her records: Susan Butcher was an American dog musher, noteworthy as the second woman to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1986, the second four-time winner in 1990, and the first to win four out of five sequential years.

Mushers typically do not like snowmachiners. There have been several cases of reckless snowmachiners hitting dog teams and killing and/or seriously injuring dogs. When Susan's daughter was about 100 yards away she started waving vigorously. I pulled off the trail and stopped. When she got alongside me, she stopped her team and said, "You didn't have to stop. I just wanted to make sure that you saw us." I said, "I always stop for dogs." She thanked me. She is waving at Dawn and Paul who have also pulled off the trail and stopped. It was one of the more pleasant and polite exchanges I have had with mushers on the trail. Susan Butcher raised a very nice daughter.

That's it. We were home before dark.


Thanks Paul, it's always great to hear from you and see some beautiful pictures of the Great White North. If anyone would like to contact Paul, he can be reached at: Paul and Neva Renschen

Enjoy the first two chapters of our Class History

As you probably know, Bob Doughty has taken on the herculean task of writing our Class History. He has been working on this for quite some time and is now ready to share the first two chapters. I have been reading them, and I must say I could not be more impressed. I find that as I read through the pages, I'm transported back to a wonderful time in my life (I'm not sure I always felt that way at the time) and then I look up to remember that it was actually a few years ago. Bob has a rare gift for bringing our personal history back to life and as a result of his extensive research and work with all of us, it's like reliving our colorful past.

Chuck Nichols posted both chapters to our webpage and has provided us with a link which you will find right after Bob's comments:

I have finished my first draft of the chapters on our USMA years and on the VN years. Note that I have tried to use personal stories and experiences to tell the broader story of our Class. Please review the chapters and send me any comments or suggestions you may have. I ask that you pay particular attention to names and let me know if I have identified anyone incorrectly. Now is the time to let me know if you feel I have failed to meet your expectations.

Please disregard the endnotes. I include them on the drafts only to permit me to locate the source of information. I will delete most of them for the final draft.

I am still working on chapters that I have tentatively entitled "The Post-VN Years," "The Civilian Years," "Hail Alma Mater Dear," and "Conclusion." It will be difficult for me to incorporate new material in the first two chapters, but I am still seeking information for the last chapters. Please send me information about yourself if you have not yet done so. Or, if you wish to elaborate on what you already have sent, please do so.

I look forward to hearing from you. My e-mail address is:

Strength and Drive,
Bob Doughty

To find drafts of the first two chapters click on this link:

Thank you Chuck, for the link and all you do for us with the webpage, and thank you Bob, for the magnificent work you are doing with our Class History.

Please Join Us at the 2013 Arizona Gathering

It's that time of year when those of us who live in Arizona, make our plans to gather together for the camaraderie and great relationships that are unique to our Class. This year we will be gathering at the beautiful home of Hank and Trina Mickells in Tucson, AZ on Saturday April 13th from 3 PM to 7 PM. Please consider this an open invitation to join us for this Gathering. If you are going to be anywhere near the Tucson or Phoenix area at that time please try to include this in your plans. We usually have several people who would be happy to provide accommodations and/or transportation from Phoenix to Tucson. If you have any questions or if I can be of assistance in any way, please contact me directly at

Hank and Trina also hosted us back in 2009 and here is a photo the group who attended then:

Additionally, some of us will probably be putting together a round of golf at the beautiful Skyline Country Club in Tucson that morning, so please consider joining us for that.

Please plan to join for the Gathering and if you can't be there, please join us in spirit as we have a special toast to my dear friend and fallen brother, John (BJ) Mogan.

I hope to see you there.

Great News - Joe DeFrancisco Selected as WP Distinguished Graduate

I just heard the great news from Clair, who got it directly from Bob McClure, President of the WPAOG, that our Classmate, Joe DeFrancisco, has been selected as a West Point Distinguished Graduate. The formal announcement will not be out for a week or so but I'm thrilled to be able to share the good news. Clair also wanted to thank Bob Radcliffe for shepherding the original nomination of a year ago and then our tune-up for this successful submission. Additionally he wants to express our appreciation to the original author, Bill Birdseye, for his splendid work.

Thank you gentlemen for your outstanding and successful efforts and congratulations to Joe for this well-deserved honor.

Remembering our Fallen Brothers

Chuck McCloskey has been doing a terrific job over the years to get our Memorial Articles up to date. Here is his latest report and appeal for assistance:

  • The goal is to have completed Memorial Articles for all deceased classmates (through May 2013) by the 50th reunion (May 2015).
  • Current status: 61 complete, 4 pending publication, 25 assigned, 4 unassigned (I need volunteers for Ed Maness D-1, Bill Bradley C-2 and Jim Smith C-2).
  • Classmates should know that a Cullum file is kept on each graduate. This file is maintained by the AOG and is good source material for Memorial Articles. Graduates should review their Cullum file and keep it updated through the AOG. The point of contact at the AOG is Marilee Meyer:

Marilee Meyer

Archivist/Cullum Files/Memorial Coordinator/West Point Association of Graduates
698 Mills Rd, West Point, NY 10996
Phone 845-446-1545 Fax 845-446-1695

Serving West Point and the Long Gray Line

Marilee will send graduates their Cullum file on request.

  • Graduates may prepare their own Memorial Article if so desired or leave instructions for its preparation.
  • Many thanks to those classmates who have authored Memorial Articles or are currently working on them. The Memorial Article is very meaningful in that it provides a permanent written remembrance of the graduate for the next of kin, relatives, friends, associates and classmates.

Chuck Nichols has worked with Chuck McCloskey and others to provide a very nice set of instructions on how to write a Memorial Article and has posted it on our Class Webpage which is linked here: Please take a look at it and see how easy it really is to memorialize your friend.

I was intrigued to see that we are invited (see the fourth bullet above) to write our own Memorial Article. This would be very appropriate for those of us who know exactly how they would like to be remembered or you may choose to leave instructions as to how you see it coming together. There are many options but the bottom line is insuring that all of our fallen brothers are remembered in this very special way.

For what it's worth, I recently contacted Marilee Meyer with a request for my Cullum file and was pleased to see how quickly she responded. I also discovered that it has been way too long since I updated it. This is a great time for all of us to update our file. All you need to request your file is your Cullum Number.

A Nice Visit in the Valley of the Sun

Tim and Sandy Thames recently made the trip from Huntsville, AL to Scottsdale, AZ to stay with their daughter while she recovered from surgery. While here in the Valley of the Sun they were invited to spend an afternoon with Ron and Janice Walter at their lovely home in Scottsdale. As Tim put it, "It was a great afternoon of reminiscing about how he and I barely slipped by in chemistry and other goaty encounters". I'm also pleased to report that Ron had actually had some good news that day when visiting his doctor he was told that he could forego one of his usual doctor administered medications. Ron was in great spirits (I don't think I have ever been with him when that wasn't the case except maybe the time we forgot to check the ice we put in our drinks in Mexico - but that's another story for another time) and he looked better than Tim expected.

Here are two great (albeit a little fuzzy) pictures of the visit. First, Tim on the left and Ron on the right. Then Ron with Janice on his right (our left) and Sandy on his left (our right):

Thank you for sharing these Tim. I hope others will remember to bring their camera when they visit Classmates - it makes sharing with the Class much nicer.

A Mini Gathering in Paris, NV

Tom Kovach shared this brief note and great picture as the smiling foursome got together for some always pleasant camaraderie:


A group of '65ers gathered in Paris for lunch earlier today. Pictured in the photo are Tom Kovach, Jay Stewart, Skip O'Donnell and Tom Abraham.

Okay, okay, I'll 'fess up. In the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. Tom and Ina traveled from PA to Vegas so that Tom could attend the International Builders Convention. Jay and Carol arrived from FL to visit their daughter and her family who live in Henderson, NV. We enjoyed the all-you-can-eat buffet but I don't think any of us got our money's worth. We're all watching our waistlines so that we remain in condition for our marching exercise at our 50th Reunion.

Strength and Drive!
Tom Kovach

Thanks Tom, it's always fun to hear about Classmates gathering for the fun of seeing each other.

PMEE Spring Semester Mentorship Program

Paul Schultz continues to do a fantastic job for us coordinating our participation in the PMEE program. Once again during this semester there are opportunities for us to take part. From all I've heard, everyone who gets involved only regrets not getting involved earlier. Paul has shared an article from the West Point Magazine (click here to view) which clearly explains the value of the program to the cadets. It also documents the support provided by then Chief Of Staff of the Army, Ric Shinseki, to get the program started and a quote from Rollie Stichweh who is an active participant in the program. Finally, Paul shared this quote from Captain Graham Davidson in the article that pretty much says it all, "This is stewardship of the profession at its highest caliber. There's no other University in the country that does this or anything close to it." Paul added, "You can't do many volunteer activities that can meet that standard, and we have only a couple years to do it. That's why participants return for the next session. They feel that way about the program."

Here is Paul's report and request for support:

Professional Military Ethic Education (PME2) Mentorship Program for the Spring Semester

In the previous broadcast notice, we confirmed USMA has completed the plans for the Spring semester's PMEE Mentorship programs. For the Fall semester, the Class of 1965 had great participation and the cadets really responded to the mentor's presence during the classes. During this phase, we participate along with members of classes of 1964 and 1963 in similar classes.

As of January 16th we have nine volunteer participants for each of the 2 classes. We need at least 12 participants to make a good working group and match other classes' efforts.

We need every classmate to check your calendars and try to schedule at least one of the days for working with the Cadets in a program you will remember for a long time - I know I will. Please check your calendars for those dates and let me know if you can make it.

PMEE/50 Yr Mentorship Program dates for Term II Leader Challenge Phase are:

Thursday 21 FEB 2013
Thursday 28 MAR 2013

Each Mentorship Participation day follows the general schedule below:

Rally Point breakfast with your classmates in Highland Falls

Very professional prep session at the new USMA Center for Company Level Leaders

Lunch with the PMEE Class Cadet leadership for the Leader Challenge session

Participation as a Mentor/Facilitator in the afternoon exercise

Hot Wash Review with other facilitators and PMEE staff on how to make it better

Most Importantly - The Cadets really value your presence and participation in these classes!

Each of our participants has their own stories on Cadet feedback for their efforts. PMEE Staff did a random survey of more than 200+ Cadets and some of the results were:

The best part of having a 50 Year Affiliate present in the class? Perspective and Experiences

What makes the presence of the 50 Year Affiliate more valuable? More Interaction with Cadets

Would the class have been as successful without the 50 year affiliate? 64% of Cadets said NO

We need at least 12 Class of 1965 participants to be effective, and the optimal is 20+ for Class of 1965.

Please give the program a try - you'll enjoy the results and never forget the experience.

Email your confirmation of participation, or any questions to: Paul Schultz

Call Paul to discuss at 203-205-0763.

The Cadets want and need your mentorship. Please give it to them.

Thanks for all the class support of this program

Strength and Drive!
Paul Schultz

Please look at your calendar and see if you can join in one or more of the classes. We have Classmates who are traveling great distances to participate.

Thank you Paul for the great work you are doing.

A Proud Grandpa Shares

I received this from my friend Orlin Mullen and while it happened a few months back, the pride remains as strong as ever. Thank you for sharing Orlin, and congratulations Willow.

Need to see the article bigger?  Click here to view a larger version in our online photo album.

Celebration Gene Farmelo's life - Addendum

Shortly after sending out George Gehringer's great report, I received these two photos from Bruce Marshall. Thanks Bruce, these give a good feel for what it was like to be there.

Here we see our Classmates getting ready to sing the Alma Mater (photo left).

And here is a panoramic view of the attendees (photo right).

Rest In Peace Gene Farmelo

George Gehringer and Terry Ryan stepped up quickly and did a magnificent job as our POC and assistant. The following is taken from George's very comprehensive report. Thank you gentlemen for a difficult job very well done.

The service was conducted at the Moser Funeral Home, 233 Broadview Ave., Warrenton, VA from 2:00 to 4:00 PM on Sunday, 30 December. It was a spontaneous, informal and heartfelt service conducted in an open room with couches and stuffed chairs arranged in a comfortable manner. Photos of Gene and his family were displayed around the room. It was a celebration of his life with attendees offering prayers or stories when prompted by Gene's family. While there were very few photos to share these will give you an idea of how the room looked and a good shot of the flowers provided by George from the Class (note the black, gray, and gold ribbon).

It was a reunion, of-sorts, for classmates and spouses alike, clearly a time to renew great friendships and to remember that our contributions to this nation will continue for all times. Classmates, friends, family, and care-givers remembered this extraordinary father, grandfather, cadet, and soldier with songs, anecdotes, and "tall-tales". The Alumni Glee Club led all in the singing of the Alma Mater followed by Taps. There was no coffin or urn present and there will be no formal interment ceremony; rather Gene's ashes will be dispersed within their farm area.

Bev and her family are very grateful to all of "Strength and Drive" for the enormous support provided to her and to Gene and for what is yet to be provided. Should you wish to share your thoughts or condolences with her, she can be reached at:

Bev Farmelo
94 Old Hollow Road
Sperryville, VA 22740
(540) 987-8383

A total of 82 persons (20 classmates) attended the two hour service. For the list of attendees, click here

From all I've seen it was a unique, moving, and appropriate farewell for a special member of our Band of Brothers.

Be Thou at Peace, Gene, well done!

Cadet Drill From Way Up High

Bill Heller shared the following comments and great photos to remind us of a distant, simpler time when all we had to worry about was which way to go when the command "March" was barked.

One Saturday in the fall of 1964, as a photographer for the Howitzer, I got a ride on a helicopter to photograph the parade prior to a home football game. My memory may be faulty, but I believe it was one of the last parades in the old style of drill formation we struggled with from Beast Barracks to that time. One of the photos is on page 88 of the '65 Howitzer.

I took the liberty of cropping the first one so you can more clearly see the distinctive double line of squads that was the basis of the old "Cadet Drill" formation.

I remember finding myself in the dubious position of the only guy out of the eight in my squad who turned right when everyone else was turning some other way. It had me questioning my sanity but then after a few more steps everyone seemed to miraculously end up facing the same way and all was right with world again as we marched off in a new direction. Ah the memories.

Thanks Bill for the reminder.