Class Poop

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Class Notes Third Quarter 2013


What a terrific report just submitted by Tom Fergusson which gives us a complete picture of the ceremony inducting Jose Gonzalez into the Army Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF). Check out the paragraph about the Army/Fordham Soccer. What a perfect way to end a magnificent weekend for Jose and all of us as we share in his glory. Here is Tom's report:

TO: Strength and Drive
SUBJECT:  2013 ASHOF Induction Weekend at West Point (13-14 Sep)
The 2013 Army Sports Hall of Fame weekend at West Point last weekend was enjoyable and truly memorable.  It could not have ended, late Saturday night on Clinton Field, more perfectly (or more dramatically) as you'll see!
Here's a summary of an exciting, memorable weekend for Jose Gonzalez and his family, the Class of '65, and especially those S&D classmates and family members who were able to attend some or all of the events described below.  The bottom line - three Army sports legends from the USMA Class of 1965 are now enshrined in the Army Sports Hall of Fame: Walter Oehrlein (ASHOF class of 2006), Rollie Stichweh (ASHOF class of 2012), and Jose Gonzalez (ASHOF class of 2013).  Others will certainly follow in the years ahead.

In this photo, three S&D members of the Army Sports Hall of Fame (so far): Walt Oehrlein (Tennis/Squash - Inducted in 2006); Jose Gonzalez (Soccer - Inducted in 2013); Rollie Stichweh (Football - Inducted in 2012)

Official Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony:  Late Friday afternoon, shortly before the 2013 ASHOF Induction Banquet at Eisenhower Hall, a special plaque unveiling ceremony was held in the Kenna Hall of Army Sports inside Kimsey Athletic Center at Michie Stadium.  During this ceremony, Jose Gonzalez and nine other Army sports heroes were officially inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame.  Jose's entire family (except for his daughter, Marysia, whose flight was delayed from Toronto) were there, including his wife, Ana, their daughter, Alina, their son, Federico, and his wife, and four grandchildren (three girls and one boy).  The ASHOF Class of 2013 included five All-Americans, the first American to walk in space, a Heisman Trophy runner-up, and two legendary coaches: Carleton Crowell (track and field) and Jack Emmer (lacrosse).

ASHOF Induction Banquet

In addition to Jose and his family, we had an excellent turnout from S&D at the ASHOF Induction Banquet Friday evening.  Those present were: Steve Ammon, Tom and Tosh Barron, John and Linda Concannon, Christina Cooley (daughter of our fallen brother Jack Cooley), Tom and June Fergusson, Bob Frank, Robin Galloway (Tom Fergusson's daughter), Clair Gill, Jim Golden, Walt Oehrlein, Frank Prokup, Fred and Mary Ellen Smith, and Rollie and Carole Stichweh.

Shown here, eleven classmates at the ASHOF Induction Banquet on 13 Sep (L to R): Walt Oehrlein, Bob Frank, Fred Smith, Clair Gill, Frank Prokup, Steve Ammon, Jose Gonzalez, Jim Golden, Rollie Stichweh, John Concannon (Tom Fergusson took this picture) 

Also sitting with us on the Class of 65 tables were: Joe Casey, '67, an Army soccer All-American inducted into the ASHOF in 2005 and Eric and Kristin Sorenson (Kristin is VP for Development of the AOG). I learned from our Army A Club POC, Dawn Georgalas that approximately 500 people attended the banquet in Ike Hall, a great turnout on a very special night.

Army vs. Stanford Football Game:  The Army football team, a 30 point (or more) underdog against # 4 ranked Stanford, gave the mighty Cardinal their best shot Saturday afternoon at Michie Stadium and it appeared, at least during the first half, that Army might be able to pull off a shocking upset of a Top 5 team visiting West Point for the first time since Penn State in 1962. Army trailed Stanford at halftime by only four points,17-13.  In the second half, Stanford's size, speed, and depth ground our team down and we ended up losing by two TDs, 34-20.  Jose and the 2013 ASHOF inductees were honored on the field at halftime.  Also, they participated in a special photograph / autograph session on Black Knights Alley before the game.  Other classmates attending the football game who were not able to attend the ASHOF Induction Banquet the night before included: Dan and Susan Christman, Tom and Ina Abraham, Jim and Carol Tomaswick, and Ray Hawkins.

S&D Teammates

Here we have five Army soccer teammates from S&D (L to R): John Concannon, Frank Prokup, Tom Fergusson, Jose Gonzalez, Jim Golden, and in the next photo, three Army soccer teammates from S&D (L to R): Jose Gonzalez, Jim Golden, and John Concannon

Army vs. Fordham Men's Soccer Game - the Perfect Ending to the Hall of Fame Weekend!  For Jose and his family, as well as several classmates and former teammates and family members (John and Linda Concannon, Tom and June Fergusson, and Bud Fish with his sons and grandsons) who were there to see it, the Army - Fordham soccer game Saturday night at Clinton Field provided drama and ultimately, the perfect ending to a great weekend at West Point.  The Army men's soccer team entered the Fordham game at 4-0, our best start since 2007. Coach Russell Payne invited Jose to speak to the team in the locker room before the game - he must have worked some magic on the Army players.  After 90 minutes of regulation play ended in a 0-0 tie, Army and Fordham played two 10-minute overtime periods with Army plebe Trase Stapley scoring the game winner on a laser shot into the upper left corner of the net. The entire Army team ran to Stapley and piled on as if they had won the NCAA championship or the World Cup.  Army is now 5-0-0, their best start since 1997!  Best of all, Coach Payne presented the game ball to Jose, signed by all of the Army players!  It just doesn't get any better than this! 

Jose, The Supe, & the AD

First we have Jose Gonzalez (center), flanked by the Supe (LTG Robert L. Caslen) and Athletic Director (Boo Corrigan) with his Army Sports Hall of Fame plaque during the ASHOF Induction Banquet after it was presented to him by LTG Caslen and Boo Corrigan.  Note:  As each 2013 Hall of Fame inductee's name was called out by the banquet MC, asking him or her to come forward, photos and video clips were shown on a large screen to take the audience back to the days when these coaches and athletes led Army teams to victories in their respective sports.  The superb visual tributes to Jose and the other nine 2013 inductees were accompanied by short narratives highlighting their accomplishments on "the fields of friendly strife" - well done by ODIA and the Army A Club!

Jose & Tom

The next shot includes Jose Gonzalez and Tom Fergusson with Jose's Army Sports Hall of Fame plaque - this is the plaque Jose took home to Toronto; an identical plaque now hangs in the Kenna Hall of Army Sports, Kimsey Athletic Center, Michie Stadium with the plaques of all of the members of the ASHOF.

Jose & Family

Next we have Jose with his beautiful family (L to R): oldest granddaughter, daughter (Alina), wife (Ana), next oldest granddaughter, Jose, only grandson (Sebastian, who aspires to be a great soccer player like his grandfather), son (Federico), youngest granddaughter, Federico's wife, and daughter (Marysia).

'65 Daughters

And finally, Christina Cooley (daughter of our fallen brother, Jack Cooley) and Robin Galloway (daughter of Tom Fergusson) at the ASHOF banquet - over the past several months, Robin and Christina, who live and work in New York City, have become good friends after being introduced to one another by Tom Barron and Rollie Stichweh - they drove up and joined us for the ASHOF banquet and the Army - Stanford football game.

Strength & Drive!
Tom Fergusson
O: 703-676-5018
H: 703-421-2675

I'm glad we were able to get the final picture with the two beautiful daughters of '65. Jack, you were not able to be here to see this but you are not forgotten.

Jack - The All Time Champ

From time to time following one of his frequent visits to Jack Terry, Tommy Abraham is kind enough to share a few words and a photo or two to keep us up to date on how he is doing. Here is his latest offering:

Had the opportunity to visit with Jack Terry last Friday, September 13, and today, September 20.  The first photo is just prior to the rubber arm wrestling match.  Since Plebe year through this year the all-time win-loss record for arm wrestling is 543 wins and 543 losses each.  Now I have been satisfied to let it alone, but the first thing Jack does when I see him is "takes the position", as he has here. 

Well, after a 45 minute duel, I have to confess that Jack is the all-time champ.  I just can't believe it.  The second photo is Jack receiving a patriotic blanket hand woven by a group of women in Pittsburgh who do this for Wounded Warriors and allowed me to take one for Jack.  My wife, Ina, and I gave it to him today, September 20.  We hope it keeps him warm for all his days.

My apologies to Jack for making him look into the sun.  It was too bright and each of the 4 photos we took had Jack squinting a bit.  I want all to know that last week and this week is the best I have seen Jack in several years.  He anticipates leaving VA Castle Point next month to live on a farm nearby with his wife, Sue.  Since I am no longer a challenge for him, he plans on bull wrestling, or bull something or other.


Thank you Tom for a great report. The love shows through my friend. We all appreciate how you have maintained this strong connection for us and for keeping us so well informed. Now we need a picture of the bull wrestling or whatever.

The Bowls Had to Go

Chuck Moseley shared a message which he apparently got from a member of the class of '68 which is interesting but becomes much more interesting because it makes reference to our unique exploits at the Syracuse game when we dropped a few oranges (OK - 2500 oranges) on the field prior to the game.

I thought some of you might enjoy the attached NY Times article regarding a famous (or infamous) exploit by a contingent from members of the Class of 1968 in E-4/G-4 (formerly L-2 in the "old Corps").

In the fall of 1967, the Army team was 8-1 going into the Navy game and was an odds-on favorite for a Sugar Bowl invite. However, in mid-November, Army Secretary Stanley Resor announced that under no circumstances would the Army team accept any invitation to any post-season bowl game. In protest, the E-4/G-4 raiding party entered the mess hall after taps and "borrowed" all of the sugar bowls (which as I recall, we stored in the mail box in the G-4 orderly room). The attached article and photograph of this exploit appeared on the front page of the Times' sports page.

 Let's pull for better fortune for the Army team this year. Beat Wake Forest and beat the hell out of Navy and Air Force.

 Jim Stanley
 USMA 1968

A different way of doing things but the message was loud and clear. I am in total agreement with Jim when he says: Beat Wake Forest and beat the hell out of Navy and Air Force.

Beat Navy!!!

Celebrating the Return of the POW's

I am proud to share another film clip in the Class webpage section called "Military/Patriotic Stories and Reports". It was provided to me by one of my personal heroes, Rollie Stichweh who was passing it along from another of my personal heroes, Bob Jones. While it is a little longer (just over 12 minutes) than the previous clip I shared, I highly recommend you take the time to see it. If you can listen to the rendition of "God Bless America" led by its author/composer, Irving Berlin, without tears in your eyes, you're a stronger person than I. Go to this link: and select: 2013 National POW/MIA Recognition Day to enjoy this great story.

Funeral Arrangements for Ed Knauf

John Howell is doing a terrific job as our POC with the Knauf family. Ed was a very special guy and I couldn't help but be impressed at how his very considerate personality is reflected in his fine sons. You will see what I mean when you see how they decided on the date for Ed's funeral. With a lot of time to put it together, please try to join the group who will be attending. Here is John's report: 

Ed Knauf (A. Edward Knauf) passed away on September 16, 2013, after fighting cancer for more than 10 years.  He is survived by his wife, Susan (Sue), and his three sons and their wives and 9 grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements for Ed's interment at West Point have now been finalized.

Services for Ed will begin at 1:30 PM on October 24, 2013, at the old Cadet Chapel in the cemetery.  Graveside ceremonies will follow the services.  

Following the ceremonies, all in attendance are invited to a reception at the West Point Club (next to Cullum Hall).  

If you are considering a donation, the family has asked that donations be made to The Fisher House Foundation.  The Fisher House is best known for providing a no cost "home away from home" for military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.  They are an outstanding foundation with an exceptional mission.  Additional Information and addresses for the Fisher House can be found below. 

Finally, you all will find of interest the fact that the original date was to be October 17, but when Ed's sons heard that the date conflicted with the Georgia golf outing that Pat Kenny has put together, they immediately said that would have upset their Dad, so let's move the funeral services.  Ed really enjoyed those semi-annual outings -- whether it was working his way through 18 holes or taking everyone's money at the poker games held nightly.  Indeed, he would have been upset.  For those gathering around the poker tables in Georgia, say a prayer for Ed and then count your blessings that he is not there to once again take your quarters.

If you wish to write a memorial note and/or a condolences note, please go to: [link to be provided in the next 5 days -- we will notify when it is up and running]

If you are able to attend the services and reception, please let John Howell know. He can be reached at: or (703) 644-0107.

Sue's address:
  Sue Knauf
  1551 Spinnaker Dr.  Apt. 5811
  N. Myrtle Beach, SC  29582

About the Fisher House

Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. These homes are located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide, close to the medical center or hospital it serves. Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room. Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is never a fee. Since inception, the program has saved military and veteran families an estimated $200 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.

Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans.

 Fisher House Foundation, Inc.    or
 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420
 Rockville, MD 20850-5168

Make checks payable to: Fisher House Foundation

I would like to make my donation in memory of: ___________________________

If you would like Fisher House to acknowledge this gift to a third party, please provide the name and address of the person to receive acknowledgement: ___________________

Thank you John for a great report. Note that the follow up with the link to the memorial page will be following very soon.

Proud to be an American

A few months back Chuck Nichols added a page to our webpage for me which contains two categories, one is called "Military/Patriotic Stories and Reports" and the other is "Things Medical". Just a few days ago, a close friend of mine (non-graduate) shared with me a terrific short video featuring one of my favorite Presidents, Ronald Reagan. I have no intention of starting any kind of a political discussion here, but one of the reasons I liked him was Reagan's unique ability to make me feel very proud to be an American (not a difficult thing to do but a true pleasure when done as well as he did). If you are interested, I invite you to enjoy this brief clip (3½ minutes under the heading "We Are Americans") which is almost guaranteed to make you feel good about being an American. .

A Great Day on the Oregon Coast

Jay Vaughn (boy this guy gets around) has been kind enough to send us one more great report regarding a small gathering in Yachats, Oregon. From the looks on the faces in this picture, it seems that a good time was being had and I'm sure some old stories have been exaggerated just a bit. Jay reports: 

We had a mini-cluster of H-1ers in Yachats, OR this past week that included Bo Forrest, Tony Livic, and me PLUS our wives or, in the case of Bo, significant other.  This was the first time in several decades that either of us has seen Tony so the visit largely amounted to an intense interrogation of this fine American in order to gather details of his life for later embarrassing use, should the need arise.  Classmates should know that Tony is very well preserved, hasn't changed a bit except he now uses bigger words, and still a force to be reckoned with.  He and Kathy split their time between Independence, OR and Maui.  In a moment of extreme weakness, Tony agreed that we could add their Maui condo to the H-1 Mooch Map.

In the interest of further delaying additional pictures of you with your florescent golf shirts, here is a flock shot of the six of us with the Pacific Ocean and Japan (if you look very closely) in the background.

Very conservative shirts, gentlemen. Maybe someday, when you get a little older, you will be bold enough to wear the likes of my fuchsia shirt. Thanks for a great report and even better picture to share.

The Passing of Ed Knauf

It is once again my sad duty to inform you of the passing of one of our dear friends. After many years of fighting multiple myeloma, Ed Knauf passed away this morning at 10:06 AM in his North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina home. Two of his sons and his wife Sue were at his side when he passed. His third son was en route and is with the family now. The family has not yet made funeral plans. John Howell stepped up quickly to accept the role of Point of Contact (POC) for us and has already reached out to Sue Knauf. He will provide me with information as it develops and we will get it to you as soon as possible.

As you probably saw in the past few weeks, this was not a surprise to many of his family and friends. However, true to form, Ed refused to give in to this disease and even assured me in his last e-mail that he had every intention of joining us all at our 50th Reunion. Please keep Ed and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Grip Hands my friends.

PMEE Report September 5th Class

Once again, Paul Schultz has provided a terrific report following the first PMEE session for the Fall Semester. We were very well represented but we are getting considerable pressure from other class participating in the program. If you either live near or are visiting in the area when the next session takes place, please consider joining your Classmates so we can maximize our mentoring  impact on these outstanding Cadets. Paul's report: 

First the pictures:

The new Superintendent (LTG Caslen) giving the opening talk for the new PMEE season.  This was first time any session was attended by the Supe and only second time Com has ever been at a session, which shows how program is growing in its impact and exposure at USMA.

Class of 1965 Volunteers at the Haig Room balcony in Library. Names left to right are: George Gehringer, Paul Bucha, Russ Campbell, Bob Frank, Paul Schultz, Doug Gibson, Rollie Stichweh, Gene Manghi, Dan Donaghy.

Two tables at the morning prep session: Paul Bucha, Dan Donaghy and Doug Gibson, and Bob Frank, Rollie Stichweh, Gene Manghi, and Russ Campbell

This opening PMEE Class for the Fall Semester attracted the largest number of volunteers ever. Our Class had 9 Volunteers, which was the lowest of the 3 classes participating. Many '65 people volunteered for October, but had scheduling conflicts for September. Class of 66 was out in force- with 17 people attending. 

PMEE wants to have at least 20 volunteers from 1965 for the October 3rd Class. We have 15 signed up now, and could always use a few more to experience what is becoming an increasingly important program to the cadets. 

Anecdotes seem to be the best way to define how our volunteer efforts are affecting the cadets.  Progress is shown in a lot of small ways. Members of Class of 2015 and 2014 are now presenting the class with us, and faculty member volunteers to work with the presenters now are much easier to find and have the cadets prepped in most cases. 

Cadets from the company we work with now email us in advance to confirm the meeting and prep arrangements, and most Class volunteers are working the informal channels to assist cadets as needed. I get stopped by members of 2015 every time I go to USMA, some just wanting to talk and others wanting to discuss some aspect of the PMEE programs.  That's the reward most effective for me personally. 

If you want to participate in the October 3rd Class, please email me (best) or call with questions.  I'll be sending out the October Class information in about a week, and would really appreciate any new volunteers who would like to experience the program. 

Paul Schultz
Class of 65 POC
office  203-731-3571 (New line - we moved)
home  203-778-9164

Thank you Paul for the outstanding job you continue to do for us and the Cadets.

The Real Story???

Having recently shared two pictures taken during our Ranger training, I was surprised at how much feedback was generated by the many memories obviously brought to the surface by seeing a gathering of our friends back in the day. I generally try to avoid using these Class Notes to generate or perpetuate an ongoing dialog (I normally refer senders to the "forum" which was designed for that purpose) but I found one subject which so dominated the feedback, that I decided to gather many of the versions of the story to share all at once. Here then is a compilation of several different versions of the relationship that developed between our Class and the jerk we affectionately called Murph the Surf. 

Bob Bradley started us off with: 

Was this the Class where the Mountain Tac offered to fight them one at a time, and the Class purposely let the smallest guy win King of the Pit? 

Dave La Rochelle responded with: 

Yes Bob, you are correct. I was second in line to take on the little Naval officer who trashed our belongings while we were out on Maneuvers. Unfortunately the first Ranger beat me to it, and the door to his hooch slammed in my face when I politely knocked to kick his submariner ass. Yes, the smallest Ranger did toss me in the pit to finish first :). 

I think that Naval officer was also the squid who required that we drag that smelly goat around on our patrols in the woods. Unfortunately the goat was a casualty to enemy fire in a fake ambush in Georgia, or whatever the KIA report? I do not remember if we ate it?

Then Mike O'Grady added: 

That ranger company "TAC" or CO or whatever he was -- was a US Army Lieutenant with prior service as a submariner -- for which he wore a prominent badge and about which he shot off his mouth a lot. During that first week of barracks garrison 20-hr PE days in ranger school at Benning. He assigned the half-wild big-ass big-horned unruly long haired bad smelling goat to the platoon or individual or squad which displeased him the previous day. 

What a pain. He also had a bad case for WP graduates, and especially for ex-football players. His goat died mysteriously from knife wounds (3) a day after we passed out of his clutches into the mountain phase. I think the stories about the ranger candidates eating the goat are apocryphal. 

Dave La Rochelle followed up with: 

The stupidity that the lieutenant showed when he said he would take on anyone after the mountain patrol who wanted to meet him in his hooch was a mistake since he really was beaten severely by ranger candidate #1, in addition to having his hooch destroyed. His looked at me as ranger #2 through the half opened door with blood streaming down his face gave me the white flag of defeat sign. Slamming the door on me before we could "discuss" our differences was a good move, while I wondered about the military justice articles of punching out a superior officer. 

Our Class President added his memory of the story with: 

Don't remember the King of the Pits, but this indeed was the class that almost had a mutiny over the crass behavior of our Company Tac, a 1LT Murphy, whose claim to fame was that he had been a Navy submariner.  Well, he absolutely HATED college graduates, and especially West Pointers who made up 90 % or more of the class.  It came to a head one day at the Mountain Camp when Murph got chewed out because some of our rangers had left their heating stoves on.  He called half of the company out into the company street and very vulgarly chewed them out, parting with a threat that he would take on "anyone" who wanted to test him.  Mike Thompson marched up to his hooch at the top of the hill and wound his clock. 

In the aftermath, no charges were filed, but relationships with the Tac improved considerably and he was no longer a factor in our company.

I later heard that Murph was killed in RVN, but don't have facts to back that up.

Interesting times. 

Bob Bradley drew John Seymour into the fray by asking if he was part of it and he responded with: 

Our class, Ranger 3 made Ron Walters King of the Pit. Don Parcells and I were the ring leaders.  

Class 4 was when Mike Thompson took on the Tac and kicked his ass. 

Step Tyner added: 

Ah, Murph the Surf, as we called him in the previous class.  A genuine b...hole as I recall, though our class wasn't saddled with a goat except for a meal during the survival phase.  And either the story is apocryphal or your timeline is off or a couple of guys ducked training to travel from Dahlonega back to Harmony Church to make goatburgers, or ...?  

Finally Tim Thames summed it up quite well on the forum with: 

You both almost got it right.  Indeed the TAC at least for the Benning portion of Ranger 65-04 was 1LT Murphy and he was a true ass.  He ended up as an Infantry Officer instead of a Navy Officer because at the time he sought commissioning (pre-Vietnam) the Navy didn't allow for those without a College degree to become officers.  So he went to Army OCS and unfortunately made it through.  During our Benning phase, the dumb ass was out by himself at night trying [to] pull a surprise on some patrol or another and fell into one of the famous Ft. Benning deep erosion ditches and ended up with a rather badly sprained ankle. 

He bought the goat and assigned it to Mike Thompson and his Ranger buddy Ralph Asplund for its safe keeping and as a third Ranger buddy that they could not be without except when they were in the barracks.  Mike well known for not taking any unnecessary crap from anyone (adhering to good hockey player etiquette) continuously gave Murphy a bunch of lip at any and every chance, hence, his custodial opportunity with the goat.  

I believe I do remember the goat making the trip to Dahlonega  as did Murphy.  As all will recall, shortly after we off-loaded the trucks at the Mountain Ranger Camp and almost as soon as we found our bunks, we were ordered out on a three day patrol.  I clearly remember that because I had the flu from the damn flu shot that gave with a .45 caliber pistol back at Ft. Benning the day we finished Phase 1.  Anyhow, we hit the Tennessee Divide on short notice and many of us, if not all of us, left our non-essential crap on our bunks as we headed out on patrol.  Murphy who was still hobbling around on his bum ankle wasn't able to accompany us so he took the opportunity to go into the barracks and police up everything everybody left behind that was [not] secured in the footlocker or wall locker. 

When we got back in from the patrol, Murphy announced that he had all of our crap in his office and that if we wanted it back to form a line with your Ranger buddy in front of his hootch before chow to personally claim your stuff.  Each buddy team would be allowed into his office one team at a time.  Mike Thompson and Ralph Asplund were first in line.  Mike was totally irate when he and Ralph were called before His Majesty and apparently Murphy told Thompson that if he wanted his stuff back he would have to go back and get at the end of the line (about 30 men long by this time) and come in last.  Mike objected and Murphy made some snide comment and Mike leaped the desk and cold cocked him.  During the melee Murph's TV got broken, wall locker got trashed and Murph got a black eye and broken nose to go along with his sprained ankle.  Thompson and Asplund got their gear back without going to back of the line.  Nothing was ever said nor any action taken, that I know of, over the brou-ha-ha, at least not to Thompson and Asplund. 

They, however, maintained custody of goat until it died.  Ralph told me some years later that they knew that they couldn't out right kill the beast or it would be blatantly obvious what had happened and be big trouble particularly after the office incident.  So they refused to give it water and it died of dehydration.  I know for a fact that once when I tried to water the critter, I thought Mike was going to rip me apart.  They reported to a very suspicious Murphy that they had no idea why the smelly goat had died.  I think I remember that Murphy took the dead goat away from us, loaded it in his jeep and that was the last anyone saw of it.  

I think Murphy stayed with us all through the mountain phase but was relieved for some reason and was not with us in the swamps but I could be wrong on that.  He may have been down there but by then, who cared.  As the Tac officer though, he did accompany us to the mountains.  

I find the difference between the versions as remembered by each contributor to be very interesting. Of course, given that I have almost no memory, I can enjoy all versions equally.

Army Men's Soccer Off to a Fantastic Start

Tom Fergusson, who obviously follows Army soccer very closely, has provided this great report to help us all keep up with the amazing season the Army men's soccer team is enjoying:

Jose et al,

What a fantastic start to the 2013 season for Coach Russell Payne and the Army men's soccer team!  It could not be better!  

See the link below to an article on the Army men's soccer website yesterday morning describing Army's convincing 2-0 shutout of Marist at West Point Wednesday.  Once again, Army goalie Winston Boldt (class of 2015 - our affiliation class) was one of Army's defensive stars, stopping five Marist shots on goal.  Army is now 4-0 with four straight shutouts as they prepare for the Fordham game Saturday night at Clinton Field.

Some of us, who will be at West Point for the Army Sports Hall of Fame weekend, including Jose and John, plan to be there Saturday night to show our support for this very promising Army soccer team.  I'm sure Army soccer Hall of Famer Joe Casey, '67, who will sit with Strength & Drive tomorrow night at the ASHOF banquet, would be happy to join us at the game, but he and his wife are off to Africa on Saturday for a safari.  And we all know Ed Simpson would be with us tomorrow night and on Saturday night were it not for his unfortunate fall from a ladder a few months ago and the serious injuries he suffered.  I spoke with Ed a few days ago and he is doing well in his long road to recovery, but he is not yet ready for a road trip to West Point.


Thank you Tom for a great report.

The Irish Six

I'm afraid I have been pretty busy recently and I've allowed a few stories to sit on my computer longer than I would like. This nice report from John Swensson came in a few days ago so his comments may sound a little dated. Since I too have quite a bit of Irish blood running around in me, I would have enjoyed joining this happy group. John reports:

Chuck and Rosemary McCloskey and Tom and Karen Henneberry and Susan and I are on a trip to Ireland with Ireland run by Mike Healey, USMA '69. The three men are playing at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, site of the Irish Open--and the ladies were shopping in Killarney even though they were invited to play (I remember spending some time in Killarney back in the 90's and found it to be the most charming little town I had ever visited). A great trip which we heard about thru a notice shared in the Class Notes. Six nights in a Five Star hotel for around $1200 per person with tours most days. The six of us all recommend it. Future dates are May 14 (Class of 70 is base), June( '75 is base) July ('62), and Sep ('68). Our classmates are welcome to join any tour by emailing Mike Healey at: . We have classes from '59 to '99 on our tour. Greetings from Ireland from the Henneberrys, the McCloskeys and the Swenssons. Chuck and Tom and I will see the golfers in the class in October at Ft Benning run by Pat Kenny and Trees.

Strength and Drive,
The Irish Six






(For an additional photo, click here).

Thank you John it looks like a great time was had by all.

Golf In Florida

Sometimes brief is enough. Here Jerry Merges shares a pretty brief report of a good time he and Dave Gnau had on a golf course in Florida. He writes:

On a warm Florida afternoon - Jerry is the taller one; Dave the real golfer.

Thanks Jerry, enough said.

Memories of Another Ranger School Class 9/15/2013

Pat Kenny, always ready to help with just about any project that comes up, was able to find this photograph from the Ranger Class 65-03. If I get as much feedback from this photo as I did from the previous Ranger Class photo, I may have to recruit some assistance to handle it all.

As I'm sure most of you can, I see many old friends in this crowd also. Pat points out that "you can see the faces of lots of happy ranger students".

Thanks Pat.

The Affirmation Ceremony at Annapolis

Bob Frank has provided a terrific report on the Affirmation Ceremony conducted for the seven members of our Affiliation Class of 2015 who were unable to attend the Ceremony at West Point because they are currently participating in an exchange program at the Naval Academy. Bob's report:

On 3 September, members of the Class of 1965 gathered at O'Brien's Oyster Bar & Restaurant to participate in and bear witness to the Affirmation Oath taken by seven members of the Class of 2015.  These seven Exchange cadets are at the US Naval Academy for the semester and were not at West Point with the rest of their classmates for that event.  The West Point Society of Annapolis has been supporting the exchange cadet program for over a decade and has organized an Affirmation Ceremony every year.  The Class of 1965 turned out in a great show of support, with 15 Classmates and wives present:  Steve Ammon, Emory & Eleanora Chase, John & Linda Concannon, Kay Dermody, Joe & Lynne DeFrancisco, Bob & Mary Frank, Frank & Cam Hennessee, Chuck & Elaine Nichols, and Jim Wood.

Arriving at 1800 hours, we had the opportunity to engage the cadets before and during dinner.  Joe DeFrancisco and Emory Chase are seen in the first picture doing just that.

In the second picture Steve Ammon is captured mentoring one of the cadets during dinner.  Also in the picture (although not in focus) are Frank Hennessee on the left and Jack Concannon in the foreground. 

Along with the mentoring and mixing with the cadets, this third photograph shows that there was also the opportunity to socialize with the Class, as we sat all at one table and "broke bread" together.  Down the left side are Joe DeFrancisco, Elaine Nichols, Emory & Eleanora Chase, Jim Wood, and Jack Concannon just beyond him.  Down the right side of the table is Lynne DeFrancisco, next to a lucky cadet!  Chuck Nichols is the photographer, hence the empty chair.

In the fourth picture the featured speaker was our own Joe DeFrancisco.  Having gone to the ceremony at West Point, Joe was quite comfortable with the more up close and cozy atmosphere of the night.  Like Bill Hecker, Ric Shinseki and Bob Selkis before him, Joe focused on the significance of the oath and the cadets' dedication to serve in the Army.  He was inspiring as well as conveying the pride that the Class of 65 has in these youngsters.

Joe administers the oath while our Classmates covered down behind the cadets.  After taking the oath, the cadets did an about face, and each Classmate presented the Affirmation coin to the cadet in front of him.  The coin bears our crest on one side and theirs on the other.  As Joe had said, we are bound together in perpetuity!

The happy cadets gladly pose with Joe.

And then with the Class.


Very well done Bob, thank you very much.

Happy Birthday Tommy

Tom Abraham recently celebrated his 70th birthday. One of the merrymakers, Jim Tomaswick, was able to get two photos and shared this brief report of the party: 

Here's a couple of pictures of part of the group that celebrated Tom Abraham's 70th birthday this past week  Missing in the photos are Sheri and Clair Gill - sorry we didn't get a picture of the entire group. We had Abe's birthday party at a restaurant in downtown Pittsburgh on Wednesday, September 4th.  Jay and Carol Stewart and Carol Tomaswick and I stayed at Abe and Ina's house until Saturday.  Abe thinks it was one of his best birthdays and looks forward to many more. 

Here are Carol Stewart, Ina Abraham, and Carol Tomaswick at the Abraham home.

And here we have Jim Tomaswick, the Birthday Boy - Tom Abraham, and Jay Stewart. Looking good guys, now I ask you, with all those colorful shirts, wouldn't my fuchsia shirt have looked great?

Many happy returns Tom.

Memories of Ranger School

One of our Classmates (who has chosen to remain anonymous) found this photo and was kind enough to share it with us all:

I came across this picture taken during the Florida phase of Ranger School Class 4-66 (from early October 1965 thru early December 1965).  The class was listening to the instructor as we were preparing for a river crossing in late November1965. There are probably 100 or more of our classmates in the picture. 

Chuck Nichols has already posted it to the Class Webpage where it can be found at: He is also interested in trying to identify those in the picture. If you go to this link and click on the word "more>>" following the heading "Ranger Class 4-66" you will see a small image of the photo. Clicking on the photo twice will make it large enough to see the faces to help you find yourself. Then just send him the row and number of heads from the left or right whichever is closer. He also said he would understand if you chose not to share where you are in the picture if you are one of the sleepers. As for me, I found myself third from the right side in the 6th row (I have my chin in my hand looking off into the distance as if daydreaming about sunny beaches and girls in bikinis).

Better News to Follow Up

When I received the report I shared regarding Ed Knauf's dire circumstances, I attempted to confirm the details with a call to his home and his wife's cell phone with no answer. My Bad - I shared the report prematurely. The good news is that Ed responded by borrowing from the great Mark Twain with:

News of my demise is highly premature.  We are trying another new med which hopefully will work.   But I will take all the prayers available.   The trip to CT is not the final but we have our 9th new grandchild, several other b'days including my 70th.  So hopefully this is a good trip.  If the new meds stop working there are a few experimentals but they are not known for effectiveness yet.  I will keep you posted but expect to go out kicking and screaming before the end.

Ed Knauf

This is great to hear and gives us all cause for optimism regarding having our friend Ed Knauf with us for a long time to come. Please excuse the assumed urgency which caused us to get the story out inaccurately.

Ed, we all wish you well as you follow this difficult road

Cows In the News

Our resident prognosticator, Gordy Larson, has been kind enough to provide us with a report on three members of our Affiliation Class who have gone above and beyond in their particular sport. Additionally, he has provided the attached "Cow Watch" (click here to view) which provides a great view of what to expect this year on the gridiron. Here is his report:

For those that don't make a point of checking out GoArmySports, I thought I might note that three members of our affiliation class were recognized for their performances on the fields of friendly strife this week:

Winston Boldt was named Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week.  The soccer team is off to a great start this year, with wins over VMI and Manhattan, which should be welcome news for our distinguished soccer alumni.

Angel Santiago received the College Football Performance Award Quarterback Performer of the Week Honorable Mention for his outstanding game against Morgan State.  A lot of fans who were mourning the loss of Trent Steelman are mourning him a little less after Friday's performance. One of the goals of the team this year was to improve our passing efficiency, and Santiago's rating for the game was 197 with 116 yards passing to go along with his 120 yards rushing.

Geoffery Bacon was named FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week.  The number of Independents in the FBS grew to seven schools this year and includes Notre Dame, BYU, Navy, NM State, Old Dominion, and Idaho as well as Army; so there's more competition for spots on the All Independent recognitions.  Bacon made the switch from MLB to Safety this season and is even better than the past two years when he was named to the All Independent teams.  Watch for him to garner a lot of recognition going forward.

I'm attaching a copy of a summary I prepared on the Class of 2015 in Football this year, appropriately titled, Cow Watch.

Gordy Larson

Thank you Gordy, it's always fun to read your previews.
Beat Navy.

Ed Knauf and His Family Need Our Support

Today I received some bad news from my good friends, Mark and Linda Sheridan. He shared this report about Ed Knauf:

Our good friend and Company mate, Ed Knauf, is in the fight of his life again.  As you know, he has been fighting multiple myeloma for more than ten years. Right now he is in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina awaiting the OK to travel to Connecticut. Sue Knauf and Ed's sons are heavily involved with the move and everything that will help an easy transition.
Your prayers and support will be appreciated by the entire Knauf family.
Sue called Linda yesterday and told her that Ed is in a very bad way. The doctors said he has exhausted (90%) of the available treatments - not a lot of hope left. The doctor (they are very comfortable with his skill level) said if he had a crystal ball would predict - 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months or a miracle. Their son Chris was there and asked Sue to contact the Classmates.
Last night, Linda called Jim and Carol Tomaswick, they were in PA to celebrate Tom Abraham's 70th B day.

Carol and Jim called Sue this morning. Sue was at the hospital while Ed was receiving a transfusion --white count had been 0 -- he has been having regular transfusions on an outpatient basis. Today the docs wanted to keep him at last overnight because he is so weak.
Son Chris is now in Myrtle Beach, son Andrew is on the way. One son will escort Ed on the plane to Connecticut and the other will help Sue pack up and drive her to Connecticut.

Please join me by including our friend Ed and his family in our prayers and good wishes. If you would like to talk directly with Sue, she has agreed to share her e-mail address ( and cell phone number (203 763 9177).

Grip Hands my friends.

A Great Return to Vietnam

Bud Fish and his wife, Judy, enjoyed, what looks like a great vacation, last winter and sent me this great report:

Last February Judy and I flew to Singapore and gathered with 10 others from AOG only three West Pointers William H Willoughby '60 myself '65 and Richard E. Martin '70 and their families. We spent two days in Singapore and then boarded our cruise ship Silver Shadow (299 crew and 300 passengers). Sailed to Saigon and Judy and I rented a taxi and a guide and we went looking for the fire bases from my first tour which were down by the Ben Loc Bridge. We spent two days in Saigon (even saw the old us air field). We then sailed to Na Trang and spent a day. Then on to Hui and we saw that they had not cleaned it up yet so we saw the ruins and then on to two days in Hanoi. We then sailed on to Hong Kong which is like Berlin/New York /Las Vegas all in one. It was an opportunity for Judy to shop till she dropped. We returned Friday March 8, 2013

Was it worth it? Yes and I would go again only this time fly everywhere. I forgot my old Vietnam map with my base camps at home so I only found one location next to the Ben Loc Bridge nor did I get to Binh Hoa, Long Binh or Vung Tau.

Vietnam was pure communist from 1974-1994 then they threw out the communist managers and let Capitalism flourish. They are now #2 in Rice (Thailand is #1), #2 in Coffee (Brazil #1). You can get as much as 50% off if you barter. In Hong Kong it was like 15%.

There are 10 million people in Saigon with 5 million Honda 50's no traffic rules. Hanoi has 8 million people. I could live in Hanoi. Hanoi has one water feature in the middle of a lake in town a burned out B-52. We also drove by the Hanoi Hilton.

You cannot spit or chew gum in Singapore but Hong Kong was cleaner. We each had a Singapore Sling at $44/drink in Singapore and High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong also $40/person.

The Silver Shadow our ship was wonderful. Unlimited bar and wine and a super room with Butler.

(Click highlighted links to view photos)

This first picture is the Presidential Palace, Saigon.

This is the Cathedral in Saigon and then a pagoda near Ben Loc in Vietnam plus me.

Finally, a fire base next to the Ben Loc Bridge with myself and our guide.

And Judy and I enjoying Singapore Slings at the hotel in Singapore where they were invented. 

Super vacation with some super pictures. Especially this last one with smiles that say it all. I always have enjoyed Singapore Slings and have only recently replaced them with Margaritas as my drink of choice. I guess that goes along with developing a taste in Okinawa and finally retiring in Arizona.

Thanks Bud.

WP65 Bike Ride Final Report

Wow, I'm overwhelmed. If you think I have a lot of stuff to share, wait until you check out this final report on the Great West Point '65 Bike Ride from Washington DC to Pittsburgh. There are numerous links to additional reports, photos, videos, maps and enough detail to write a book about this adventure. It was a complete success and was documented beyond belief. So find yourself a little block of time, a comfortable chair and something to drink and prepare to be blown away by every detail of this amazing adventure. Attached is the final report complete with numerous links to many different ways to follow the progress as these four Classmates made their way up this historic trail. Bruce Marshall has provided contact information at the end of the report which I will repeat here. If you have questions or comments, please contact him directly rather than just sending a reply back to me.

Here are Bruce's comments to go along with the attached report (Click here to view):

NOTE: Please be patient when following the links:  they are "Data Rich" & may take a little additional time to link.  I've tested them and I believe they all work, but let me know if they don't. If you don't want to mess with this right now you can always find the same links on the website under the Tab "SPECIAL"!  LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

To let him know what you think please contact Bruce at:

Bruce R. Marshall, CFP
Cell - (443)  286-3163

I hope you enjoy this report as much as I did.

Chuck Nichols - Our Technology Guru

For many years now Chuck Nichols has been handling all the IT (Information Technology) requirements for our Class. He has created and maintained our Class Website, and established and constantly updates the listserv which allows me to share with all of you the information necessary to keep us involved in the many activities and events so many of us enjoy. Actually he does so many things that I don't even come close to understanding that it never ceases to amaze me. Oh, I almost forgot, he even acts as my backup when I'm unavailable to perform the duties of Scribe for whatever reason.

As if all this is not enough, he has recently completed a major project to recreate, upgrade and improve our webpage. I highly recommend you check out the product of his many efforts at . This link will take you to the home page with numerous pictures from our rockbound highland home in a collage with our Class Crest and "1965 Strength and Drive" at the top. You will find a Navigation Menu in the center of the page to allow you to go to many areas of interest. In order to protect our contact information you may run into an "Authorization Required" pop up. To gain access, merely enter "usma1965" as the user name (note all lower case) and our Class motto (all as one word, lower case) as the password.

There are a few links that will lead to an "Under Construction" page (e.g., 45th Reunion). These are pages that Chuck will be working on for quite some time, as if he isn't busy enough with all he does for us. Should you find a broken link or find it difficult to navigate to a specific page, please contact Chuck ( as soon as possible and he will get on the fix right away. 

Chuck, on behalf of the entire Class, let me say that we all truly appreciate all that you do for us.

'65 Display in the Second Class Club

Pat Kenny has shared some great information. We, as a Class, were invited to participate with a display in the Class of 1963 Lounge (the Second Class Club) which is located in Eisenhower Hall. Here is Pat's report to which I would like to add my thanks to Pat, Tim Thames and all who made this project come together so quickly and well:

The Class of 1963 Lounge in Eisenhower Hall is used as the Second Class Club.  The Class of '63 put on display write-ups on their 50 year classes going back to 1813.  The Class of 1963 invited the Class of 1965  to prepare similar synopses of our 50 year classes. The invitation from the Class of 1963 was sent to us on June 24th by Art Meier, brother of our classmate Frank Meier.   Tim Thames immediately  volunteered to do the research and did tremendous work in putting together a short synopsis of each of the 50 year classes (view by clicking here).    So in a tad over 2 months this invitation from Frank Meier became a reality, quite amazing.

Thanks to all who made this happen!


Here is a picture of what the display looks like (those are chair backs below the write-ups) and the attachment will allow you to read each of the write-ups.

Well done guys.

See a larger version on the Affiliation page here.

Let's Do It Again!

What a great idea. Bernie Ziegler has shared a very short (1½ minutes) video to remind us all of the glory that was ours a little over 49 years ago when so many of our Classmate heroes led the Army team to a magnificent win over Navy. Back then we had been waiting quite some time for a win over the squids (true it wasn't quite as long as we have been waiting recently) yet they came through in such a wonderful way. Let's hope that that this will be a harbinger of a similar end to a great season in December. Here is Barrie's message: 

With the start of college football this weekend, thought you might enjoy reliving the wonderful past -

This web site also seems to have video of a lot of past Army games.

Thank you Bernie for a great suggestion.

Fishing That Makes You Want To Go To Alaska

Paul Renschen ( has provided several stories over the years (and hasn't once suggested he shared them to avoid seeing my fuchsia shirt). Now he has a terrific story about how great it can be to go fishing in Alaska. I'm sure he has many thinking that his is nearly the perfect way to retire. I gotta hand it to you Paul, you do make it sound pretty good. Here is Paul's annual trip to Valdez:

An annual trip to Valdez in August is almost a tradition for our family now. It is an eight-hour drive so we relax on the way down and take two days to get there. When we got there, there were so many boats in the harbor that there were no slips available, so we had to pay for the privilege of rafting. In this first photo (view by clicking here), Son Paul and his wife, Dawn, are working our boat out from between two that were in the same "raft" with ours. It was actually quite a chore.

It was raining with fog on most of our first four days of fishing. The fog was often so thick that we could not have gotten where we wanted to be without a GPS. The next photo  (view by clicking here) is typical of what it was like out there. There are six boats that we could just make out and four hidden in the fog. Fortunately, the fishing was great three of those four days.

The fifth day was spectacular. About mid-morning the clouds parted and the sun came out. We were trolling along the middle of the south shore of the sound. The little notch about 1/3 of the way across the photo from the left is Valdez Narrows, about six miles away. The white on the mountains in the right third of the photo is glacier. And the fishing was great! Two of the three of us limited out by 1310, the third was one short of limiting out when we quit at 1500.

We threw some glacier ice in our cooler on our first day there. It lasted us the full week. Our salmon went straight from the ocean to the cooler. The Harbor provides the carts to move them from the boat to the cleaning tables (Vvew photo by clicking here).

This one was about average (view by clicking here). They were big this year!

The day ended with some Grandfather-Granddaughter bonding (view photo by clicking here). Kayla is a city girl. This was her second trip to Valdez and the first year that she got in on the cutting that turns a whole salmon into a salmon filet.

When we were all done, we had 312 pounds of silver salmon filets in the freezer. It was a good trip.


Thanks Paul - 312 pounds - WOW! You could darn near feed the whole class - now there's an idea.

Army vs Air Force - 2 November

Bill Hecker, coordinator extraordinaire, has once again stepped up to assist Classmates who may be interested in the Army/Air Force football game in November. Here is his preliminary information to help you decide if you would like to join him:

Class of 1965 at the Army - Air Force Football at US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs CO on 2 November.

The planning is beginning to take shape.

Looking forward to having lots of classmates join us.

 So far the Heckers, Hughes, Isaksons, Tredennicks and Hagies are coming!
-Bill Hecker ( is handling questions on Activities and Hotels.
-Preston Hughes ( is handling questions on Game Tickets. 
-Write either one if you have questions.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY PLANNING: (Questions to Bill Hecker)

For Friday planning:  In the past Ft Carson has hosted an outdoor bonfire on Friday night, but it has not yet been announced.  Alternatively, if by chance there is not a bonfire, we, the class, could meet at the Flying Horse Country Club "Tack Room" for drinks, dinner and good cheer.  The club is across from the AFA and near our home.  We would arrange that if needed. Still evolving.

For Saturday (Game Day) planning:  There is usually an Army tailgate prior to the game planned by the West Point Society of Pikes Peak Region - but time is up in the air because as of right now, the start time of the game is not set - could be afternoon or night.  The WPSPPR normally has a website to order tickets on, once the time is set.  Assuming that the game is on Saturday afternoon and there is a tailgate prior to the game, the Hecker's will host a post-game party at our house afterwards.  If it is a night game, then the times for the tailgate and the party at the Hecker's would be adjusted.

HOTELS: Make your own reservations. Suggestions in vicinity of USAFA: Hilton Garden Inn at the Briargate exit across from the Air Force Academy.  Or, the Hampton Inn & Residence Inn at the Interquest Exit also across from the Air Force Academy. Hilton Garden Inn/Briargate.  Rate is $119 + taxes = $260.92 for two nights.  According to Hilton Honors Club, no AAA, AARP or retired military rates avail for that wknd.  Hampton Inn/Interquest. Rate there is $129 = taxes.  No AAA, AARP or retired military rate there, either.  Questions to Bill Hecker.

TICKETS:  Order your own tickets from the Army tickets site - URL below - using the "Group Number 1004" to sit with the Class of '65. When you order your tickets on-line (copy the URL below to your browser), place the following words in the special handling section: "Group Number 1004".  If you do it by telephone, make sure that you tell them "Group Number 1004". Tickets are $55 each on the aforementioned website.  You can either print your tickets or have them mailed to your house 2-3 weeks before the game.  Questions to Preston Hughes.

Army ticket website URL for Army-AF tickets (copy to your browser):

Looking forward to seeing you there!  Will keep you posted as the game approaches.

 If you are planning to come, please let Bill Hecker and Preston Hughes know.

 Thank you Bill and Preston it sounds like planning is off to a great start.

The Final Day
My apologies, I have become a little overwhelmed with stories and reports and have gotten a little behind. During the past two days, I have received three pictures from Bruce Marshall on the road to Pittsburgh with Ron, Denny and Norm. Anyway, with brief comments and pictures that show that they are doing fine and having a good time, I am able to share these three all at once. The first pictures show that Tommy Abraham was able to join the fearless foursome for dinner at the Italian Oven in Connellsville, PA. The comment with the picture:

Ron, Denny, Tommy, Bruce, and Norm @ the Italian Oven in Connellsville, PA - Lots of great stories! The next shot is called "The Last Breakfast": Ron, Bruce, Norm, and Denny - "Pittsburgh or Bust" - 62 miles left.

Finally, a photo, identified for me only as, "Denny's Great Grand Father" which looks like a page out of a Civil War Book.

That's it for now. it's good to see that the foursome are all back together and things seem to be going fairly well as they approach the finish line. Quite an accomplishment, well done guys. Don't forget to follow a much more detailed account of the adventure on: Be sure to click on "News" at the top of the page to read their comments.

The Affirmation Ceremony for our Affiliation Class of 2015

Last Sunday evening our Affiliation Class of 2015 passed a very important milestone. They affirmed their commitment to a career in the military and the profession of arms. Our Classmates supported this commitment in many ways and showed up in significant numbers to support them as they did so. Pat Kenny organized and coordinated our support and has provided this terrific report on the event so that all of us can see what it was like for those who were able to attend. Here is his report:

August 18th marked an important milestone for the Class of 2015 as that was the night before members of that class committed themselves to the profession of arms.  On the first day of second class academics cadets incur a military obligation.  For most cadets military service is a foregone conclusion as they came to West Point to serve in the armed forces.  However, that moment of commitment is an important milestone.  We, the Class of 1965, the class affiliated with the Class of 2015 played an important role in the event; we provided each cadet a commemorative coin and perhaps most importantly provided a speaker to comment on the milestone, our own Ric Shinseki, currently the Secretary of Veteran Affairs.  Ric provided thoughtful and moving comments that I'm sure were well received by the Class of 2015.  I know that those members of the Class of 1965 present were extremely proud of that distinguished member of the class; I encourage all to read Ric's remarks. Ric's remarks are attached for your review, view by clicking here.

Here we have a shot of Robinson Auditorium to give you a feel for what things looked like. And a shot of most of our Classmates who were in attendance, here from left to right, front row:  Russ Campbell, Joe Sanchez, Pat Kenny, and Terry Ryan.  Back row:  Gene Manghi, Art Mark, Emery Chase, Clair Gill, Joe DeFrancisco, Jim Ferguson, Chuck Eckart, Jack Koletty, John Howell, and Dave Mastran.

Prior to the ceremony Strength and Drive had dinner at the Hotel Thayer, which warmed us up to the events about to unfold in Robinson Auditorium (we knew it as South Auditorium).   Normally when a group of 15 or more there is normally at least one person present who carries a camera ready to take some snaps.  Unfortunately that was not the case with the 18 Classmates who attended the Affirmation Ceremony (Campbell, Chase. DeFrancisco, Eckart, Ferguson, Gill, Howell, Koletty, Manghi, Mark, Mastran, Ryan, Sanchez, Shinseki, Talbot, Tomaswick, Wollen, and me).  However, there was one camera and several smart phones so we have some pictures which to share. Here we have our speaker, Ric Shinseki with Joe DeFrancisco. The next photo includes Dave Mastran, Jack Koletty, and Chuck Eckart.

Next we have Jim Talbot, Jim Tomaswick, and Carol Tomaswick. And finally our Class President, Clair Gill with John Howell.

It should be noted that in addition to the main ceremony in Robinson Auditorium there were similar events at other locations for those cadets who could not attend the main event.  One of those ceremonies took place on the soccer field where 6 members of the Class of 2015 were engaged with a woman's soccer game against Stony Brook.   Five members of our Class shared the moment: Gill, Howell, Manghi, Mark, and Kenny.  Unfortunately no pictures are available.

Those members of the Class of 2015 currently on exchange at the other academies had separate ceremonies at those locations. The USAFA ceremony was organized by Bill Hecker and described in a notice published last week.  The USCGA ceremony was organized by Bob Selkis and conducted on August 20th.  In addition to Bob that event was attended by Russ Campbell, Jim Ferguson, and Terry Ryan each of whom were at West Point on the 18th.  


 Thank you Pat for an excellent report. The ceremony Pat mentioned at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy will be covered in a separate report.

 As I wrap up this report I want to leave you with a cute comment that Pat shared separately but it struck me as a totally different way to look at the women at West Point. He said:

As I was leaving Thayer Hall I noticed a group of 6 cadets having their picture taken.  It made me smile and I had to take a picture also.  Looking at the picture I believe that those of us who are part of the Long Gray Line can figure out where they are (which class) in their passage through the Academy.  A thought that hit me is that even though they are cadets they remain college girls - it's a beautiful thing!

A beautiful thing indeed!

Another Bike Ride

As we watch our four stalwarts working their way toward Pittsburgh, the following information and invitation was offered by Ed Winstead:

Some of the Classmate Riders might enjoy this ride.  It is called "The Assault on the Carolinas."   Next year is set for April 12, 2014.
It is the fund raiser for the Pisgah Forest Rotary Club.  Pisgah Forest is just next to Brevard, NC, about forty-five minutes from Asheville.

There are three routes, 40k, 60k, and 100k.  Registration is limited to 1,000 riders.  Next year's registration has not opened yet.

Official Site:  Detailed information for 2014.
 Google Search:
 Good photo of riders:   Transylvania has more camps than any other county in the States.

 Register early!  It fills up quickly.

If Classmates sign up Pam and I will have a party that evening.  The 40 and 60 k routes go right by our house.

Ed Winstead 

Thanks Ed, I included your e-mail address so folks can let you know how many to expect.

How Can a Heart be in Conflict with Itself?

As I mentioned earlier, the story of Tom Johnson and his letter to Robert Frost, generated more feedback than any other story I have shared. Even after I shared a supplemental including several of the responses, more came in. One in particular struck me as so cute that you all might enjoy reading it. George Ruggles wrote:

Tom's story reminds me of Faulkner's visit in '62.  Our English class, honchoed by MAJ Joe Fant and CPT "The Stash" Kurtz, prepared for this event diligently.  We even rehearsed the questions we planned to ask the great author when he came to class.  The instructors had primed us with their interpretations of Faulkner's writing, with emphasis on symbolism, this means that and that means this. 

So class begins and guys ask their questions, many of which were variations of "what did this character's actions symbolize", and time after time, Mr. Faulkner replied he was just trying to tell the story of the human heart in conflict with itself, and oh by the way, to make a living.  Toward the end of the session, CPT Kurtz took the floor and confessed that all along he and the MAJ had been stressing what they believed to be the hidden meanings in the works, and come to find out, the author hadn't had that in mind at all.  It was pretty funny, and we admired Kurtz for his honesty.

It wasn't until years later that I understood what the human heart in conflict with itself really meant, examining my feelings when an ex-wife telephoned with a booty call.


Thank you George, I like your style.

A Belated Farewell to Tony Ringl

Most of you are probably unaware of the many things Tom Kovach and his wife Marilyn have been doing for us as they co-chair the preparation for our fiftieth reunion. One thing Tom has done is to dig deeply into our records to find and invite those who have become disconnected from the Class for one reason or another. He has been contacting the widows of our fallen brothers and many of our non-graduated Classmates. Tom recently informed me that a guy who was briefly my roommate during Beast Barracks had passed away. Here is his official report of the passing which I will follow with my own recollection of Tony:


I regret to inform you of the passing of one of our non-graduated classmates, Anton W. Ringl, Jr.  Tony died in La Habra Heights, CA on December 3, 2012, after living most of his life in Stickney, IL.

Most of us probably did not know Tony for his stay at West Point was brief - he departed in the summer of 1961 during Beast Barracks.  Tony apparently maintained interest in the Academy as he was one of the very few non-graduated classmates for whom a mailing address is on file at West Point Association of Graduates (of 243 non-graduated classmates, WPAOG has info on only 18).

During the year (1962) following his departure from West Point, Tony was involved in a horrific automobile accident that left him with major brain damage.  He was able to function at a much reduced level for the next 40 years or so.  Subsequently, his mother became his legal guardian until she passed in 2004, and then his brother, Russell, assumed that role.  In 2008, Russell moved Tony from Stickney, IL to an assisted living facility in California where Tony spent his remaining years.

Tony is survived by his son, Raymond, who resides in San Jose, CA and by his brother, Russell, who resides in La Habra Heights, CA.  If anyone has a remembrance of Tony, please send that to me so that I can forward to Raymond (Rick Bunn, please send me yours - I cannot remember the details to do it justice).  I also will work with Raymond and Russell in preparing a Memorial Article.

Grip Hands! Once more,

Tom Kovach

Thank you Tom, for a job you and Marilyn continue to do very well. 

I only have a brief memory of Tony but I recall that he was a unique individual with unusual energy and an amazing dedication to the academy and its mission. Unfortunately, his dedication was seen as somewhat misguided and it didn't take long for him and the Tactical Department to realize that, while his intentions were very good, he just wasn't a good fit for a military career. My memory is not good enough to recall the details of the reason behind the final decision to have him return home, but I do know it was very painful for him and it struck me pretty hard as I witnessed one of my first real friends at the academy packing up to leave. He spent a few days in transient quarters prior to his departure and I was able to find a little time to visit him there before he left. He was very sad but in a strange way, I think he knew it was best for all concerned. He told me on my last visit with him that if I ever got discouraged (and boy did I get discouraged from time to time) that I should remember that for at least the four years at school and probably much beyond he would be setting his clock to get him up at the same time his Classmates got up and that he would always have his shoes shined just like we would. My guess is that he did just that.

Thank you Tom for bringing back this memory.

Saying Goodbye to Gene O'Neill

As mentioned before John Harrington has done an outstanding job as our POC for the family of Gene O'Neill. Here is his report on the Memorial Service held yesterday for Gene:

This morning, August 21, 2013, our friend and Classmate Eugene Darwin O'Neill formally joined The Long Gray Line at Christ Episcopal Church in Spotsylvania, Virginia. The Memorial Service was moving and a great tribute to Gene, who had been a strong member of the congregation. In addition to family close to 100 friends and classmates attended. Representing the class were Larry Neal, Jim Berry, Emery Chase, Jack Lowe, Leo Kennedy, Roger Frydrychowski, and yours truly. Immediately following the service, Gene was interred beside his church. Two Army Sergeants conducted the graveside flag ceremony crisply and professionally, presenting flags to Gene's wife, Judi, and to a grandson. An Honor Guard fired a salute and played Taps. Again, a very moving graveside ceremony. Following the burial, a reception was held in the Parish Hall.

 Judi and the family expressed their sincere gratitude for the support extended by the class and especially Tom Kovach, who had initiated contact before Gene's passing, as he worked to ensure Gene knew of the 50th Reunion. 

In the picture: John Harrington, Larry Neal, Roger Frydrychowski, Emery Chase, Jim Berry, Leo Kennedy, and Jack Lowe. And in the second picture, proof "that our flag was there".

 Respectfully Submitted,

 John Harrington
 Company H-1

Gene's family has identified two charities they would like to support with donations should anyone be so inclined. They are:

Christ Episcopal Church Memorial Fund
8951 Courthouse Rd
Spotsylvania, VA 22553


The Alzheimer's Association of Greater Richmond
4600 Cox Road, Suite 130
Glen Allen, VA 23060

Additionally, the family will be participating in a run soon as "Gene's Team" in support of the Alzheimer's Association. Our Class will be supporting that organization with our normal donation as well.

As we say goodbye to our dear friend, here is a brief reminder of how we knew him way back when. Chuck Nichols assisted by scanning this picture and write up from our Howitzer:

Grip Hands my friends as we say - Be Though at Peace - Well Done!

And Then There Were Three

As before, I'm not sure what's going on because the reports are somewhat less than wordy. However the subject on the last one I received "Denny has bad bad tire taking train back to Cumberland" left me wondering what the plan will be from there. And the repeated word "bad" (I'm assuming it was meant to read "had bad") leaves me wondering about the extent of the damage and the impact on the rest of the trip. However, the fact that the remaining three musketeers are smiling suggests that things are not too dire. Note also that they remain cogent enough to wear and organize themselves in red, white, and blue order.

The New Semester's PME2/50 Year Affiliation Program

Paul Schultz, our PMEE POC (Professional Military Ethic Education Point of Contact) is ready to kick of the new academic year with our Affiliation Class. As he put it, "Everything is back working now at Hogwarts on the Hudson, and we need to round up volunteers for the new semester." He has once again done a terrific job of filling us in on the details of the program for the fall semester and is hoping to get more volunteers from our Class to make it another huge success. Everyone who has been involved in the program in the past have had nothing but wonderful things to say about the experience, how much they felt they were contributing to the development of the cadets, and primarily how good they felt about being a part of this very important part of their training. Please give serious thought to contributing just a little of your time to making this program a continuing success. Here is Paul's report:

We now have specific information regarding our Class of 1965  participation in the 2013 Fall Semester Professional Military Ethic Education (PME2) Program.

First, thanks again to all those who have volunteered and made the PME2 Program for the Class of 1965 a new record setter for our 50 Year Affiliation Program.   Last weekend I was at the West Point Triathlon wearing my Class of 1965 hat.  Many of the team members and event volunteers from the Class of 2015 saw the hat, and stopped what they were doing to talk to me and express gratitude for the many things the class has done to make their time at West Point more special.  It's a great feeling to experience that kind of feedback.

After much deliberation, The Simon Center will again use the "Leader Challenge" instructional model for PME2.

Those that participated in the past two years found this model to be very effective and enjoyable.  It engages the cadets and creates a great opportunity for learning, discussion and interaction.

OUR CLASS ROLE. Each of volunteer will serve as facilitator of a small group of cadets. The Simon Center will provide advance material (videos, handbook, etc.) and a comprehensive prep session the morning of the class. Last year, some graduates were apprehensive about participating if they did not have combat experience or did not have a full military career -neither of these concerns is an issue; in fact their experiences in other areas were just as relevant.

The PME2 Program (Leader Challenge Model) will be implemented as follows:

1. You will receive content two weeks in advance of the class.  I have the Material for Challenge #1 to send as soon as you volunteer.

2. During the morning prep session on the day of the class we will review the video, discuss the scenario, identify key issues and learning points, etc.

DETAILS. The specific days volunteers will be involved during the 2013 Fall Semester are:

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5th: Leader Challenge #1:  WARNING SHOT - I have these materials for volunteers.  Email me if you want a set.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3th: Leader Challenge #2

SCHEDULE THE DAY OF EXECUTION. The schedule on the days of discussion will be essentially the same as last year:

0830 hours:  Meet for a rally breakfast at the Park Restaurant in Highland Falls.
1000 hours: Meet with CPT Davidson at the Simon Center (located in the old 1st Division where the First Captain lived during our Cadet days.) Simon Center will provide bus transportation from Buffalo Soldier Field         to Central Area due to the increasing number of volunteers from all 3 classes.
1030-1130 hours: Training- Review Content and discuss. (Location TBD)
1130-1200 hours: Available TACs and faculty/cadet facilitators meet with Class of 50 Year facilitators
1200-1235 hours: Lunch with cadets
1250-1345 hours: Leader-Challenge session; cadet will escort you to meeting room.
1400-1430 hours: Hot Wash; discuss sessions and provide feedback to Captain Davidson.
1430: Free to depart


Dress is coat and tie.


Email Paul Schultz ( to confirm your participation in either or both sessions. Call him  203-205-0763 (day)  or 203-778-9164 (night) if any questions.   

Interesting information on the new Class:


15,407 applications
1,193 New Cadets
188 Women
113 African American (91 men, 22 women)
77 Asian/Pacific Islander (62 men, 15 women)
133 Hispanic (109 men, 25 women)
8 Native American (8 men)
28 Other/Unknown (24 men, 4 women)
198 from US Military Academy Prep School (176 men, 22 women)
29 combat veterans (27 men, 2 women)
17 Foreign National cadets

Sorry for the short notice on the First session.  Please try to make room on your calendars to participate.

Paul Schultz
Class of 65 PMEE POC

Thank you again Paul for all you continue to do to make this program a success.

Day 3 and Still Going Strong

These guys don't have time to say much, but they sure send nice pictures. Here are Bruce, Norm, Ron, and Denny.

A Great Story from the Day - Supplemental Report

Thus far I don't recall any message to the Class generating more feedback than the story of Tom Johnson and his letter to Robert Frost. Because so much of it is interesting, I decided to share this supplemental report which is a compilation of all the responses I have seen.

Step Tyner wrote:

The story is certainly compatible with everything I know about Tom Johnson, and I knew him quite well, but I cannot confirm the particulars.  Perhaps his widow, Cynthia, could contribute some facts, but I no longer have her contact data.

Gene Parker wrote:

Rick, I had also heard this story and it being attributed to Tom Johnson (who was in A-1 with me).  I asked him about it during one of our reunions prior to his untimely death and he told  me it was an interesting story but it wasn't him.  At the time I believe the story was that the poet was Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982) whom Tom allegedly knew through his poetry interest outside WP.  In any event, it is a good story and if it wasn't Tom, perhaps it was another of our gifted members of the Long Gray Line. 

Gene Parker

Tad Ono wrote:

I was a goat in English so I can't say anything about the story--but I did know Tom and have visited his grave a number of times. He was truly one of the most gifted and accomplished members of our class who died much too young at 46.  See the following:

Jack Lowe wrote:

I knew Tom Johnson from the time we were 7th and 8th graders together as Army Brats in Heidelberg, Germany. Tom's Father was also a friend of my Father's. It is a true story about one of our most academically brilliant classmates

This is the way I remember Tom telling me the story.  It occurred on a short essay we had to write Yearling Year.  The question was something like, "What is the significance of the word tree in a couplet of the poem." Tom wrote, "The Tree has no significance!" and turned in that and that alone to the English Department. He was not only given a failing grade, he was given a 0.1 on the old 3.0 scale and only got that because the computer would not take a 0.0. The English Department turned the paper over to his Tactical Officer who slugged Tom 8 & 8 for 'Viciousness" .

Tom wrote Robert Frost and said that he thought that the Tree had no significance and that Robert Frost was trying to make the couplet rhyme in the pentameter that Frost was writing in and the word Tree fit perfectly with "Walking in a Woods..." Robert Frost wrote back that Tom was exactly correct and the first person who had identified what was going through Frost's mind when he wrote the poem (I saw the letter from Frost).

So as the story goes Tom went back to the English department and the grade was changed to a 3.0. However, as one of the great object definitions of the differences between the Academic Departments and the Tactical Department (I served in both in the 70's), the TAC refused to rescind the slug because even if Tom was correct, he was still being "Vicious". So Tom walked!

But the story goes on. Frost was so impressed with Tom's understanding of the techniques of poetry, he asked Tom to bring his poetry to Frost's Cape Cod Cottage our Cow and Firstie Years so that Frost could critique it. I read and had read to me the poetry that Tom wrote about our official visit to Berlin at the of AOT which was part of what Tom took to Frost's Cottage our Cow Year. 

In the late 70's Tom would transfer back from the Air Force into the Army. West Point set up a Research Institute for Tom because Tom was one of the foremost experts on the use of lasers as weapons in space. While he was at West Point, he taught simultaneously in the Physics, Chemistry, and English Departments.  His subject in English was Elizabethan Poetry. Tom was one of the great polymaths in the world and I miss our talks together greatly. I was just sitting at the feet of a brilliant man and along for the intellectual ride. Tom and I team taught Sunday School together. I quickly realized that I must have been hiding behind the door when God passed out what Tom got. 

The following people have some great personal stories about Tom Johnson: Sonny Ray (Tom's Firstie Roommate), Pete Cahill, and Rick Osgood. The best story I know of is how Tom rewrote the targeting software for the U.S. ICBM's four months after he graduated from West Point.

Jack Lowe

Cynthia Johnson wrote:

Dear all,

The story is true as far as I know, and repeated to me by more than one classmate (don't ask me to remember who) at some long past reunions.  And I have to say, so like Tom, who never found others' fame and/or fortune to be an obstacle to direct inquiry.

Cynthia Johnson

Mike Applin wrote:

Tom told me the same story in the late 80s when he was editing poetry for the then poet laureate of the US whose name I can't recall at the moment. Quite a guy!


Tom Kelly wrote:

Very similar to what happened to me, I was a goat in English and got turned out my 1st semester and spent Christmas in academic confinement even though my folks had driven from WI to see me. The "P" was professor Peterson who took another shot at me senior year. Glad to say he failed! Anyway I was asked to explain what Frost was trying to express in his poem " walking through the woods on a snowy evening". I gave a very literal interpretation and was given a failing grade. I argued that how did anyone know what he meant if someone never asked him and said my interpretation was just as valid as anyone else's. Needless to say got a failing grade. I never wrote to him however. And that's the truth!

TJ Kelly/ H-2 

Kent Brown wrote:

I heard this years ago and as I recall, the "Offending Cadet" was our classmate, Tom Johnson. Only as I recall, Tom didn't write Frost; he asked him when he visited WP as a visiting lecturer while we were cadets.

Kent Brown 

Dave La Rochelle wrote:

The only thing I remember about the English Department was "KISS" or "Keep it simple stupid" when writing. I think Frost was thinking of this when he wrote his poem.

David La Rochelle, MD

Bill Reisner wrote:

I was a very good friend of Tom Johnson and I knew he had a great love of poetry.  I never heard the story reference Robert Frost but I do know he corresponded with the poet Archibald Mcleish (spelling may be inaccurate).

I think Tom was probably one of the most brilliant members of our class but he really never cared about academics.  I think it was our 15th reunion and I had a chance to meet up with Tom.  During our conversation he said he was working with Seymour Cray.  At the time the Cray computer was considered a super computer and Tom was happy to be working with one of the best in the industry.

I'm glad that most of the recipients seem to have enjoyed the original story and I hope I will have more such stories to share in the future. Please keep me busy and remember to share pictures whenever possible.

A Great Story From the Day

As I sit here in my campsite in Leavenworth, Washington, having just finished a great cup of coffee and some marvelous French toast, I had the pleasure of reading through a message shared by George Bell of some chatter among some of the members of the class of 1967 (those young kids). Since our Classmates, Tom Johnson and Jim Ferguson, were named, he thought it might be of interest to some of you. I agree and have attempted to share it here in a series of comments about the incident. My memory (which really sucks) is that I have heard this before, many years ago and some of the comments here strongly suggest that it is true. Regardless, it's the type of story that makes us all remember some of the things that happened at our Rockbound Highland Home that made it such a unique place to be. Enjoy:  

On Jul 19, 2013, at 4:03 PM, <> wrote:

Margaret & I went to West Point yesterday for the retirement of Prof. Bill Krug, Director of the USMAPS English Dept.  Sitting on his desk was a book of select writings by Robert Frost.  That book reminded me of the following tale:

During a final in English we were given a poem written by Robert Frost.  The requirement was to put into our own words what Frost was trying to say in the poem.  One of our classmates (or perhaps another class - Snopes would be no help figuring this out) responded Frost was not trying to say anything - he was just putting words together that went well together for the sake of poetry.  The 'P' promptly gave him a failing grade.  This resulted in the Cadet writing to Frost to get Frost's explanation of the poem.  Frost replied he was not trying to say anything other than putting words together for the enjoyment.  When the 'P' was shown this, the Cadet's grade was changed to passing, but he ended getting a slug for writing to an outside dignitary without prior approval.

 OK, guys, was this a West Point urban legend, or does my memory serve me correct in my recollection?  If so, who was the Cadet? 


Day 2 with our Pedaling Pals

Well the boys are making progress and shared another great picture. I'm not sure if the "No Vacancy" sign means they had to go elsewhere or they filled up the place. Let's hope for the latter. Here we have Bruce, Ron, Denny, and Norm.

Later I got another message sharing a webpage where you can follow their progress on a map:

Pedal on guys.

70 yrs/70 mi

One more Classmate getting on my case about my fuchsia shirt. Oh well if it generates some great pictures like these and a little story to go with it, it's worth it. Here Jim McEliece provides a super photo of his birthday ride but, shame on him, he didn't include his, as he put it, gorgeous wife, Julie:

Rick, in the spirit of minimizing fuchsia golf shirt pictures, I am enclosing two alternatives.  I was dismayed at being unable to participate in Denny Coll's PA bike ride this summer, so resolved to prove that I was at least capable of doing so.  After a couple of 50-mile warm-ups, I committed to a 70-mile ride on my 70th birthday (15 Aug).  That's 70 miles in 6 continuous hours. The Minneapolis park system bike trails are absolutely gorgeous and I was joined on part of the trip by my equally gorgeous wife, Julie.

The second photo was inspired by your earlier pictures of our years at the Rock.  This one constitutes a quiz: "Who is that man sitting across from me one night as I looked up from my labors at homework?"  No fair peeking at the name tags. No problem, I covered them up. This was clearly back in the day when our B-robes were still gray. Mine has long ago turned a weird pinkish color. Send your guesses to Jim at: and I'll ask him to let me know who gets it right.

Jim McEliece

Thank you Jim.

A Surprise Birthday in Charlotte

Well I have heard several times over the years from my friend Harley Moore but I always have a tough time talking him into including a picture. It looks like I finally got through to him (or maybe I guilted him into providing this great shot). I got all over his case for not sending me a picture from his recent visit to Hong Kong so here we see what happens when I push: 

All right, Rick, finally a picture, but not of the lone Ranger in Hong Kong.

Myrna and I spent the weekend in Charlotte with Curt and Ann Adams.  Turns out: 1) Ann and I were high school friends and 2) I am one day older than she is. Curt threw a surprise birthday party for Ann on Friday, so we sneaked into Charlotte and enjoyed a great party and weekend with them.  Just as we were about to return to Miami we realized that we had not taken a picture of two old gray S&D guys and their wonderful wives.  So celebrating over ice cream cones we snapped a shot.  Back row: Curt and Ann. Front row: Myrna and me.

Sorry we forgot our bright pink polo shirts. 


Now that's one great picture - I can almost taste the ice cream. Thank you my friend.

And - They're Off and Running! (OK pedaling)

Two great shots to start off our intrepid foursome as they take on their huge adventure. Not much to say, but I'm sure we will get many words as the adventure progresses.

Here we see Ron Williams, Norm Eckstein, Bruce Marshall, and Denny Coll with our ever present Class flag and then again slightly rearranged all ready to hit the road:

We all wish you safe travels.

Affirmation at Flyboy Tech

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.

All in all a wonderful and very meaningful event beautifully organized and presented by Steve Shambach and Bill and Nancy Hecker. I think the Cadets involved will long remember their visit to the Air Force Academy and the meaning of this very solemn event with so much effort expended by their predecessors to make it special for them. I have found myself, as I'm sure many of you have, worrying from time to time about the direction our country is moving in and how the future will develop. Meeting these fine young men and realizing how many more there are in all our academies and schools around the country has gone a long way in dispelling those worries for me. I believe this country will find itself in good hands as these terrific young men and women move into positions of ever increasing responsibility and authority. God Bless them all!

On the Way to OBX

With a brief trip to Colorado Springs and a great visit with Nancy and Bill Hecker (a full report to follow), my plate has been a little full recently so I will apologize for the delay in getting this brief story out to you. I received this from Bob Frank telling of a small gathering and what sounded like a very enjoyable round of golf. It also included one of the best photos I've received in a long while. Bob writes:

On the way to OBX (that's the Outer Banks for those not in the know), Mary and I had a wonderful visit with Anne and Steve HarmanJohn Malpass swung over to New Bern from Pinehurst to round out the foursome.  Then Anne joined us at the club for lunch and to listen to Steve and I go on about how much John's game has improved now that he is playing three times a week at Pinehurst.  Steve's course is friendly and enjoyable.  And the host and hostess were superb!  Mary and I discovered that New Bern has many charms, including the relaxation that one finds!

Here we have standing L - R, Mary Frank, John Malpass, and Steve Harman and sitting L - R, Bob Frank and Anne Harman.

Thanks Bob, judging from all the smiles it looks like a great time.

Memorial Service for Gene O'Neill

Last fall while contacting Classmates (some of whom had become very difficult to reach) Tom Kovach and his wife Marilyn made contact with Gene O'Neill's wife Judi. Since then they have maintained contact and provided support to Judi on behalf of our Class during Gene's recent health problems. While not in a position to act as our POC (Point of Contact) Tom has been very helpful and has provided this message to the Class regarding the memorial service for Gene:


Judi O'Neill has provided the following information regarding a memorial service for Gene who passed on Sunday, August 11, 2013 in Fredericksburg, VA (correction from my previously reported Locust Grove, VA):

Date:  Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Time:  11:00am
Location:  Christ Episcopal Church
   8951 Courthouse Rd
   Spotsylvania, VA 22553

Gene's ashes will be interred at the church.

Judi said that she and the O'Neill family would be honored to have West Point classmates at the memorial service.

Judi can be contacted by e-mail at:

Or by regular mail at:
  202 Wakefield Dr.
  Locust Grove, VA 22508

Grip Hands!
Tom Kovach

Additionally, John Harrington, who lives fairly near to the O'Neill family and was a company mate of Gene's, has tentatively stepped up to be the official POC. His only hesitation results from the fact that he was on vacation when I asked him to take of the responsibility and the timing of his return is not fixed.

If you are able to attend the memorial service please let Judi know by e-mail at the address above and also, please cc me and John Harrington (

The Passing of Gene O'Neill

The most difficult part of this job is the sad duty to inform you all of the passing of another of our dear friends. Below is the report I just received from Tom Kovach:


With deep regret, I inform you of the passing of one of our brothers, Eugene D. O'Neill.  Gene died on Sunday, August 11, 2013 in Locust Grove, VA after a long battle with illness.

Gene was one of our truly "lost" classmates.  Some years ago, he had marked his contact information at West Point Association of Graduates as "confidential."  In my efforts to contact all classmates in regards to our 50th Reunion, I tracked down Gene and wrote a letter to him last fall.  His wife, Judi, responded by e-mail and informed me of Gene's medical situation and his desire for privacy.  Judi and I continued to correspond occasionally by e-mail - with Judi providing updates on Gene's condition.  Her latest update arrived in my e-mail inbox only a couple days ago.  As I was preparing to respond on Sunday afternoon, I received the following message from Judi:

Dear Friends,

I am sorry to have to write this but Gene passed away earlier today. It was a very peaceful death and I finally felt he was where he should be. It was gentle and the hospice and staff at the facility were angels -- so very caring and supportive. Our son Sean is flying in from New Zealand so funeral plans are up in the air as to time. I will let you know when all is put in place.

Thank you all for your prayers and support.


Judi is the real angel as she cared for Gene for many years.

Details will be forthcoming.

Grip Hands!
Tom Kovach

Thank you Tom.

The West Point Alumni Glee Club and its '65 contingent

A little while back I asked Terry Ryan to provide me with some photos and a report that I could share with you all to show the terrific job that The West Point Alumni Glee Club is doing. Our Classmates, Terry Ryan, Pete Linn, and Jim Ferguson are members and Jim and Terry are officers in the organization. They have been active for six years and have about 55 active singers ranging from the Class of 1949 through 2009 (on occasion). For the past three years we have provided $5000 annually to support the Cadet Glee Club. They have been extremely busy with as many as forty performances per year. He sent me this report:

In 2010, an Act of Congress established the second Sunday in August as the Spirit of '45 Day to recognize the end of World War II and to honor those who served as well as those serving.  We believe yesterday's ceremony was the first of the day, with dozens of others held across the nation and concluding with one at Pearl Harbor at the end of the day.

The West Point Alumni Glee Club and three 65ers (Ferguson, Linn and Ryan) were honored to take part in the event held at the World War II Memorial here in Washington, DC.  It was great to be among those remaining heroes of the Greatest Generation.

I've attached some pictures:  One is of the West Point Alumni Glee Club contingent under the direction of Fred Gray '64.  You'll find Jim Ferguson and Pete Linn in the picture on the right hand side singing tenor.  Jim also soloed during the World War II Medley.  Yours truly is missing from this picture as I did not get to sing, being the "roadie" for this performance and doing the sound system.

Another picture is of Pete Linn with a member of the 442 RCT who served with Senator Inouye, Medal of Honor (predominantly Japanese Americans who insisted on serving despite being declared 4C).  And finally Ferguson, Linn and Ryan in front of the wreath (note the "sound guy" got to wear shorts on a very hot day).

If any of the class would like to see and hear how this merry band of warrior singers does, you can take a look at the following two YouTube links OR search for WPAGC on YouTube for a lot of our outings.

WPAGC Singing the National Anthem at a Nationals Game in July (Nats are 7-1 when we sing):

Armed Forces Recognition at Lewinsville Presbyterian Church in McLean, VA:

Terry and I have become friends recently and he has never failed to come through big time when I have asked for help. This report is a great example of that support. Thank you Terry.

A Brief Visit to the Islands

This is fun - while there was no intent here to generate a competition, Tommy Thompson in Kauai, Hawaii, picked up on the opportunity to share a few sunset pictures from Princeville (seems a little like cheating when I think of some of the great sunsets I've seen from there) along with a couple of other photos from his little corner of the world. This first picture is a great shot with an unknown surfer standing on a surfboard (apparently paying homage to the setting sun) in Hanalei Bay. In the background is the other point of the Bay, known by the locals as Bali Hai because when the movie South Pacific was filmed there, it was made to look like the "island". As Tommy points out, the next major stop going west is Japan. The other sunset is from Poipu Beach on another part of the island.

Here are a couple of shots of Tommy with some unknown golfing friends. He is the third from the left in the Tommy Bahama shirt in the first photo. The guy at the far left in that photo is Kimo Garner, a local entertainer there in Princeville (for those of you who may have enjoyed some entertainment while in that area and who have a far better memory than I). Tommy is on the left in the gold shirt in the second shot. Please notice that he, too, obviously enjoys a good looking shirt.

In my opinion, the best looking picture here this next one where Tommy and his beautiful wife enjoy a Birthday Party at CJ's Steak and Seafood Restaurant in Princeville (no way I'm going to divulge which birthday it is). Finally, Tommy shares a picture of he and his beloved 5-0 Pony Convertible at Kalihiwai Beach shortly after they got to the Islands in 1998. He looks real young there, doesn't he? A nice car can do that to you.

Thank you Tommy for sharing this brief look into your island home.


In just over a week, several of our more intrepid (a more appropriate word might be crazy) Classmates will take off on a six day bicycle adventure from Georgetown, DC via the C&O Canal and the Great Allegheny Passage Trail to Pittsburgh, PA. It is my intent to share several reports with photos as they are made available to me so that you can follow their progress. These guys are really doing a bang up job of organizing and communicating (how could it be any other way with their main organizer being our previous Scribe, Denny Coll?). You’d think this was a high level military operation to see all the planning and preparation that has gone into this adventure.

Now I hear that they even have a link to a free App (iOS or Android Phones) whatever that stuff means and a website Bruce Marshall ( built for the adventure - Check it out and if you have a little time on your hands next week, follow along with them as they share their adventure.

We wish you well, guys, and encourage you to make us proud as you pedal on in the spirit of Strength and Drive.

Dignified Photos

Step Tyner chose the subject for this story but I’m not sure “Fred Astaire look alike” wouldn’t have been better. While I’m sure it’s just one more feeble attempt to make fun of my fuchsia shirt, I always enjoy running pictures of folks having a good time. Here Fred (I mean Step) shares a few great shots of good times he has enjoyed with his beautiful daughter and some good friends:


Acting on the theory that anything is better than photos of a fuchsia shirt (I own one I label "raspberry," but I'll spare you that wretched excess), I attach a shot of yours truly and my daughter Lauren at her recent wedding, as well as one of me pontificating about something at the reception.

As you can see, I am somewhat ambulatory, and still possess attire proper for a 1920s bank manager.  But wait!  As a bonus for publishing in the next five minutes, you also get a shot of John Swensson, Errol Alexander, and me at a Sacramento emporium of Chinese cuisine back in June -- they happened through this vale of tomatoes separately and we all managed to get together for some chopstick-wielding.

Finally, although the picture quality is notably poorer than the others, a shot of me and George Ruggles, same restaurant, earlier date.  I think the waiter coughed just as he pressed the button, but I am the better looking one, while George has longer hair. 

I promise that publication of these poor-quality photos will increase demand for high-resolution shots of you in whimsical clothes!

Step Tyner

Thanks Step, I hope you are right that this will increase demand for my great shots in whimsical (?) clothes.

Message Received Load and Clear

Some guys just can’t handle a little independent thinking and/or bright colors. Oh well, I still like my fuchsia shirt although I must admit that I felt a little silly while wearing it in Ensenada recently when I discovered that it exactly matched a large pot of flowers on the steps of the capital. Anyway, a couple of guys have gone out of their way to share stories and pictures in a lame attempt to keep me from sharing that type of thing in the future. Message received – I will focus on sharing the stories of others. However, I reserve the right to share more of my stuff if I don’t keep receiving stories from all of you.

Here is the latest effort from Johnny Wells to keep me (and my cool shirt) out of the limelight:


I, too, am responding in hopes of avoiding a repeat performance by "the guy in the day-glow fuchsia shirt".  As the enclosed iPhone photos will attest, I have not been indulging in anything nearly as interesting or ambitious as kayaking or mountain climbing.  Lolling around the West Coast of Florida does have its attractions though. Here Johnny caught his granddaughter Eva (in red) walking on Indian Rocks Beach on the West Coast of Florida near Tampa.

Here we have three great shots of some beautiful sunsets,

And finally some Midshipmen frolicking in the surf.

Thanks Johnny, good stuff, and yes I’ll keep cut back on the shots of me and my wild clothes.

A Wise Guy Goes to the Shore

Whatever it takes to get the job done. Here I clearly got to Hank Kelley with my, brighter than most, golf shirt. His report:

Hi Rick,

OK, you win; the threat worked.  To forestall the reappearance of the guy in the day-glo fuchsia shirt, I'm submitting the following:

This summer I spent some days kayaking along the sand bars and inlets of the National Seashore on Cape Cod with my daughter April (you'll never guess when she was born). 

Left to right:  himself, daughter (You anticipated confusion?)

All along the coast we came on large gatherings of seals, just lying around in the sun like retired folk.

Left to right:  seals (Well that’s pretty clear!)

Since seals are protected in the National Seashore, their numbers have increased in recent years.  The problem is that great white sharks find seals very tasty, and so there have also been an increasing number of shark sightings and beach closings.

We didn't see any sharks.  But the daughter wasn't worried.  As she explained, "You don't have to paddle faster than the shark, you just have to paddle faster than the old guy you're with."  Sweet kid.  Takes after her mother.



PS:  you will notice I'm wearing a shirt of the appropriate color. (Boring!)

Thank you Hank, great report. It’s hard to believe you are responsible for that beautiful girl.

Another Opportunity to Participate

Pat Kenny shared this message to give us another opportunity to participate with our Affiliation Class in their Affirmation Ceremony at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy:

Affirmation Ceremony at the US Coast Guard Academy

 Two members of the West Point Class of 2015 (Mason West, of Park City, UT and Joseph Scherer, of Boulder, CO) will attend the United States Coast Guard Academy for the first semester of the academic year, and, therefore, will not be able to attend the August 18th Affirmation Ceremony at West Point.  Those two cadets will, however, have their own very short Affirmation Ceremony on August 20 at 1300 hours in the Henriques Room of Hamilton Hall (main administration building).  Bob Selkis organized the event that will be attended by the USCGA Commandant of Cadets Capt. James McCauley and by the Assistant Superintendent Capt. Jones.   Incidentally, we are the first class to conduct such a ceremony at the Coast Guard Academy.

Bob will represent the Class, but if you happen to be in the New London, CT area during the early afternoon hours of August 20th please take the opportunity to join Bob as two members of the West Point class of 2015 commit themselves to the profession of arms.

Strength and Drive

Thank you Pat for sharing this and thank you to Bob Selkis for organizing this first time event. I’m not sure if it just appears that way, but I think I’m sensing more folks stepping up to organize and coordinate opportunities for us to get together and enjoy each other’s company. Thank you to all of you who have stepped up in any way.

The Dynamic Dozen Do Virginia

Bob Selkis sent me this great report on a good time had by a dozen of our golfing Classmates. But, wow, this is one tough group. My first reaction when I received this report was to think I’d love to have been there, it sounded like a lot of fun. Then I read farther down to see that poor old Fred was the “rookie” this time and treated like a Plebe. My memories of that summer fifty two years ago are so strong, I think I’m glad I wasn’t the “rookie”. I’m sure it was all in fun and no harm was done (at least none that they wanted me to know about). Here is Bob’s report:

On August 2- 4, twelve Classmates got together for our annual golf outing at Steve Darrah’s “estate” outside of Richmond. Steve put three of us up at his house while the remainder “slumed it” at a beautiful lodge on the golf course which is named after what it used to be, an old Foundry. Golf and poker took up most of the time. The same group of Classmates has been doing this for several years. Occasionally, we have a newcomer (rookie) join the group. This year it was Fred Grates who flew in From the Houston area. You can see by his photo that he was treated like a plebe for a few days.

In this first picture, it looks like a respite after one of the rounds with mostly smiling faces and several almost empty glasses (I don’t miss a thing). Seems like a pretty good time being had by all.

Left to right: Jack Thomasson, Sandy Hallenbeck, Fred Grates, Bob Radcliffe, Bob Selkis, Walt Kulbacki, and Steve Ammon.

In these next two pictures we have the same group from two different directions. Even more smiles and wine glasses galore, maybe it would have been OK to be the “rookie” after all. In the left picture on the left side of the table: Thomasson, Kulbacki, Kenny, Carll, Hallenbeck, Selkis, and on the right side of the table: Ammon, Grates, Darrah, Zais, Needels, Radcliffe.   

The 4th picture is Grates trying to sleep – rookies do not sleep in.

Fred, I’m guessing you had a good time in spite of some memories which may have come back of what we all went through all those years ago. 

Thank you Bob, for a great report.

Doug Davis - The Rest of the Story

As often happens, following the release of a story, I got some great feedback regarding the Doug Davis story. Here Jay Vaughn gave me some terrific additional information about this story and added some photos for us to enjoy. Jay shared:

A bit of clarification to this great story.  Judy Jance's book, Second Watch, comes out on September 10th.  I've had the opportunity to read it and she does a great job memorializing our Classmate, Doug Davis.  She also does a good job telling the poignant love story of Doug and Bonnie Abney.  I hope all of our Classmates will buy or at least read the book, especially those who knew Doug. Doug and Judy Jance attended high school in Bisbee, AZ, with Doug being a couple of years ahead of Judy.  Bonnie was raised in Alaska and met Doug met in Florida, where she was training stewardesses.  They had a storybook whirlwind romance before he went to his first assignment in Hawaii and then on to Vietnam with the 25th Division.  They were all set to be married in Japan when Doug was killed.  Bonnie actually had her wedding dress packed for the trip when she learned of his death.  Doug is buried in a Bisbee cemetery and Bonnie was a big help to Doug's mother during the time of his burial. She returns often to visit his grave. Bonnie is a wonderful lady who has become an honorary part of Doug's H-1 Class of 1965 company-mates. Doug was our company commander.

Here are some relevant pictures to accompany this story.  The picture of Doug, which appears in the book, was provided by Tom Barron who took it a few days before Doug was killed.  The picture of Bonnie her Bernese mountain dog, Crackerjack, was taken this summer when she stopped by to visit with Sharon and me during our vacation trip to Yachats, Oregon. Crackerjack is also named in Jance's book.

Jay Vaughn


Thanks for sharing, Jay, this is good stuff.

Doug Davis, '65

Well here’s a challenge for you, this story is so convoluted, I had to read it several times and even had to get back to George Ruggles for a clarification. Admittedly the clarification had to do with the fact that I don’t text and therefore didn’t know the meaning of the abbreviation MIL (I thought it might mean “My Ideal Lady” or something like that). Anyway, the story definitely has a tragic element to it but the fact that it will be shared in a potentially major book may soften it a little.

George sent this:

Got this note from my MIL (Mother in Law). She lives on Whidbey Island in WA, and is a neighbor and friend of Bonnie, Doug's OAO (One and Only) and intended bride.  Bonnie was on the way to HI (Hawaii) to marry Doug while he was on R & R when word came down that he was KIA in RVN. 

“George, I just learned that "Doug" will be a character in J.A. Jance's latest mystery ‘Second Watch’, to be out in September.  And, by extension, my friend Bonnie Abney, who was about to marry him at the time of his death in Vietnam, will also not only be in the book, but is going to accompany Judy on her nation-wide book tour to promote the book.  Bonnie indicated that their appearance is but a minor segment of the story, but she is an experienced businesswoman and seems to be looking forward to traveling with Judy, whom she has known for many years.  I think Bonnie and Doug were classmates at Mercer HS and Judy was either two years ahead or two behind them.

Thought you might be interested in this bit about a classmate of ours.”


Doug's friends may know this tragic story already.  Hard to imagine what Bonnie went through when she got the news about Doug's death.



Thank you George, I’m sure there will be many of our Classmates who will get the book just to see how the story is covered.

A Unique Connection

I’m always looking for new and different ways to share with you the comings and goings of our Classmates. While I often receive materials that might otherwise be of interest, it has been my practice to limit the information shared here to that which is directly connected to our Class. As you will see, the following submission from Tony Gamabo comes very close to that line, but I found it to be an interesting and unique connection with our Class and our Alma Mater - enjoy:

Here is an out of the ordinary and novel submission but one that has to do with a daughter of the Class of 65 and West Point.  My daughter is a Yoga instructor with many years of experience.  She has been asked during the last two years, by the coaching staff, to provide Yoga training to the Academy basketball teams as they can accommodate it.  Recently she gave classes to the men's and woman's basketball teams.  Here are a few pictures of that event ( For more photos, click here).

The short character in the red shirt with the men's team is my grandson a West Point aspirant.  The teams enjoyed the sessions, although some on the men's team had their difficulties with some of the moves.

I thought that this would be an interesting submission.
 Tony Gamboa
Thank you Tony for this unique report, it’s good to hear from you. We’ll need some stories and photos when your grandson is a Plebe.

A Fishing Trip in Alaska

I’m not sure if it was my request for more material or just a way to keep me from sharing more pictures of me in my bright colored golf shirts, but here is a nice set of pictures from a frequent contributor in Alaska, Paul and Neva Renschen. Paul writes:

This was a Monday - Friday trip that we took last week. We are going to Valdez for silver salmon later this month. I most often get good photos from that.

We were gone five days and are home again. Birch Lake was lovely. This is the view from the boat launch.

It was pretty uncrowded. That is our boat and motor home in the next two photos.

And the fishing was good - if you like small fish (which we do). Neva was taking us out this morning in the next photo. Now that’s a picture of concentration – no messin around with that nice boat.

I cleaned the fish as soon as we got to shore, Neva vacuum packed them, and then they went right into the freezer.

This is all of our catch to include two from our son and his wife. We have thirty in all.

It was a nice trip.


Thank you Paul, the campground reminded me of some of the beautiful campgrounds we enjoyed when I live up there in the early 70’s. We almost always had the campgrounds to ourselves because I’m not a fisherman so I would always follow the reports as to where the fishing was best and then go someplace else. We had a great couple of years up there.

Bill Sherrell Lifts Another One

Some of my recent comments brought back memories of Bill Sherrell for Ed Armstrong. While I normally try to avoid stringing comments and responses together (I leave discussions for the “forum”) this story seemed worthy of an exception, enjoy: 

Thanks for all the news. I appreciate your effort especially the recent updates on Bill Sherrell. Every time I see him I get a terrifying flashback. Yearling year Bill lived upstairs from me. I was a 145 pound 150 Pound football player and Bill was a - well huge! - Varsity Football player. One night I was studying with my back to the door in one of those steel chairs with the steel arm rests. Bill sneaked up behind and, in one fluid motion, picked the chair up by the arm rests and planted the legs on the ceiling. I hung on to the arms, curled my legs under the chair and squealed like a girl while starring down at that ear to ear grin of Bill's.  He finally lowered me and explained that he felt a muscle cramp coming on and was just looking for something to lift and I looked about the right size.

 Ed Armstrong


I had no idea how fortunate I was not to anger the boy on the golf course yesterday. Thanks Ed, for sharing that great memory.

The Price You Pay

Now that we have gone through the great bunch of pictures provided by Bob Guy, we seem to have entered a dry spell. I keep asking for input to share with the Class but unfortunately not much has been forthcoming recently. So I continue to try and keep you informed of the comings and goings of our Band of Brothers with not much to share but my own activities. Therefore, the price you pay is that you hear more and see more of my activities than you probably want.

Yesterday, because I am spending the week fairly close to Bill and Susan Sherrell’s home in Spanaway, WA, Bill and I got together for a very enjoyable round of golf at Lipoma Firs Golf Course just south of Puyallup. For those of you not familiar with some of the Indian names of towns in Washington State, there is a story about the folks who went into a fast food place in Puyallup (pronounced as if it were spelled Pyu…) and asked the kid behind the counter, “How do you pronounce the name of this place?” To which he responded, “M-c-D-o-n-a-l-d-’s”. Not very funny but cute.

Anyway, after the round we found a friendly guy who took our picture to share with you. And, yes, real men do wear fuchsia:

That’s Bill, the tall thin one on the right.

A Visit with Bob Guy Back in the Day - Part 4

This is the final installment of Bob Guy’s large collection of photos taken between 1963 and 1967. I hope you have all enjoyed them as much as I have enjoyed sharing them. As you peruse these last eight pictures and their descriptions, please consider doing the same thing with some of your own old photos. We would all love to see them. If you don’t have the wherewithal to scan your old photos, please consider asking a friend for some assistance or you could send them to me for scanning and I would be sure to return them to you. There have to be hundreds of great shots out there.

Now here are Bob’s last eight:

23. (Left) Class of 1965 First Class Trip at Fort Knox, KY in Summer 1964; Row in center-right of pic—Emery Chase (1st on right), Gil Curl (2nd from right), unknown (with head turned), Slats Letterie (4th from right looking towards camera), Frank Hennessee (5th from right), Bob Radcliffe (6th from right). (You can also see Rocco McGurk between rows, in background, looking towards the camera.)

(Right) 24. Studying in East Barracks room, Keyes Hudson (foreground) and Walt Saxon (behind Keyes), January 1965.

(Left) 25. In Central Area immediately after Class of 1964 Graduation Parade, recognizing class of 1967 Plebes, ’65 members Bill Birdseye (w/ guidon on left), Denny Lewis (2nd from left, D-2009), Bob Guy (3rd from left), Chuck Hemmingway (right side w/ rifle on right shoulder (KIA RVN 1967)

(Left) 26. Home football game at Michie Stadium, Fall 1964, Bernie Kistler (L, KIA RVN 1966) and Johnny McCullough (back to camera).

(Right) 27. East Barracks Nap time, (L to R) unknown USMAPS visitor, Keyes Hudson, Bernie Kistler (KIA Vietnam 1966), Fall 1964.

(Left) 28. Bracing Plebes for the last time, Class of 1967 Recognition following the Graduation Parade for Class of 1964; Frank Prokop’65  is on right w/o FD hat, June 1964.

(Right) 29. First Class Beast Detail for Class of 1968 at Lake Popolopen, Rick Sullivan (L) and Bob Guy (R) just prior to Plebe Hike back in w/ Class of 1968, Aug 1964.

(Left) 30. Tommy Abraham ’65 during Operation Cedar Falls, 173rd Airborne Brigade, RVN, January 1967.

That’s it for Bob Guy’s memories for now. Please consider my request to follow his example with some of your favorite pictures.

A Visit with Bob Guy Back in the Day - Part 3

Time for one more installment of the great pictures taken back in the day from Bob Guy. 

(Right) 16. Headed down the hill to the Post PX; Bill Birdseye (L) and Bernie Kistler (KIA RVN 1966), taken about December 1963.

 (Left)  17.In Central Area after Class of 1964 Graduation Parade, Ron Floto ’65 in Full Dress, June 1964.

(Right) 18.  Wearing B-robes in the Mess Hall during evening Football Rally, (L to R seated) Ric Shinseki (mouth open), Gene Parker, and Bob Guy (others seated unknown), Fall 1964.

(Left) 19.  Mickey Mantle at the plate, NY Yankees played USMA baseball team, Baseball field USMA, April 1965

 (Right) 20. Rick Sullivan ’65 bracing New Cadets from Class of 1968 during Beast Detail, Central Area, Aug 1964.

(Left) 21.  Roommates hard at work, East Barracks, Jan 1965, Bob Guy (w Kool-Aid), and Barre Bernier.

(Right) 22. Studying in East Barracks, Bill Birdseye (Seated) and Bernie Kistler (standing, KIA RVN 1966), February 1965.

Thanks again Bob, all these pictures are great fun.

Bruce Marshall on Mt. Katahdin

Bruce Marshall has done it again. This guy has a habit of making me feel guilty for slowing down a little when I retired. Here he has provided a complete report of his recent climb to the top of Mt. Katahdin along with a great picture of him at the top with a small Class flag to show that he dedicated his climb to all of us. Thank you Bruce.

Summited last Thursday, 18 July for the Third & Last time over the past 20 years!
 I was attending the 27th Annual Convention of the Highpointers Club of America held in Millinocket, ME just outside Baxter State Park. - Mt Katahdin is the most challenging State Highpoint East of the Mississippi River!

 I dedicate this climb to all my Classmates:

 It was a real epic this time ascending & descending the Hunt Trail - the precise trail Appalachian Trail hikers take to start or end their through hikes  (5.2 miles each way - with a 4,000 foot elevation gain).  It took me 5 hours 35 minutes to go up, but over 10 hours to get down; believe me I'm not bragging, just grateful I didn't twist an already marginal right ankle which I twisted in a beach volley ball game over 30 years ago - which resulted in a nerve entrapment, some atrophy of the lower right leg, & ultimately release of the entrapment by a very skilled Neurosurgeon over 20 years ago ("your leg won't get better, but it won't get any worse").

 I'm really trying not to "push my luck" too far while trying to be as active as feasible.

I have done 33 State Highpoints, and I do realize that my "climbing career" is rapidly nearing an end. I will not be doing Mt. McKinley in AK (most difficult state Highpoint);

 I've turned back on:

 (1) Mt. Hood, OR (the 5th most challenging state Highpoint) twice (June 2012 & June 2013);

 (2) Borah Peak, ID (the 6th most challenging state Highpoint) - September 2011 - got part way across 'Chicken Out Ridge' before turning back - also caused what ultimately became a Frozen Shoulder from using my climbing poles like canes coming down and driving the shock up into my shoulders for over 5 hours, & finally,

 (3) I turned back about 2 miles from the Summit of Kings Peak in Utah (7th most challenging state highpoint) with my son this past September 2012 because I was being stupid & thought we could do the 28 mile round trip in a single day.

 In conclusion, I'm looking forward to the C&O Canal - Great Allegheny Passage Bike ride in August!

 Bruce Marshall

Great stuff, thanks Bruce.

The Need for a Few More Memorial Articles

Chuck McCloskey took on a very difficult task as the lead in our Class efforts to remember each of our fallen Classmates with a Memorial Article. He has done a magnificent job and has the vast majority of the Articles either completed or in progress. However, he is in need of a little assistance to make sure we reach our goal. Please consider responding directly to Chuck to volunteer to write or assist with one of the needed articles. Here is Chuck’s request: 


The Class of 1965 has set a goal of having Memorial Articles written for all deceased members of the class by the 50th reunion. We are well on our way to meeting this goal with many of you writing or assisting in extremely well done articles that we have seen in “TAPS”.  

However, we still need authors/facilitators for two classmates who have gone before us, Lewis (Ed) Maness of D-1 and Bob Bradley of C-2.  Preparing a Memorial Article is a challenging task, but one that has many rewards for families, friends and Classmates—it permits all to remember how the loved one, gone before, enriched their lives. 

Should you be willing to assist in this effort, view the AOG Memorial Article guidelines by clicking here for your assistance. 

Please consider sharing your time and talent to take on this noble task. Our class coordinator for Memorial Articles is Chuck McCloskey ( and he stands ready to assist.

Thank you Chuck for your many efforts and to anyone willing to step up and assist.

Another Great Time at the Home of Bill and Susan Sherrell

Last year about this time Bill Sherrell and Jim Wood put together a PNW (Pacific Northwest) Mini Golf Outing. One of the events was a wonderful dinner at the home of Bill and Susan Sherrell in Spanaway, Washington. Bill and Susan decided to do the dinner again this year because they enjoy entertaining and are really good at it. Here are a few pictures from this year’s Bar B Que. Here we have Grant Fredricks and Tad Ono enjoying the back deck while waiting for dinner. As always, Tad brought enough wine to share with everyone. On the other side of the deck were Doug Gentzkow and Ron Butterfield enjoying each other’s company.

We took the opportunity to get the mandatory group picture (back row – Bill Sherrell, Grant Fredricks, Doug Gentzkow, Duncan Brown, and Ron Butterfield – sitting – Susan Sherrell and Anita Fredericks – and, of course, in the middle with the ever-present smile – Tad Ono) taken before dinner and then the host with the most (Bill Sherrell) finished preparing the terrific cedar plank salmon dinner.

Now the happy campers finishing off the great dinner (Ron Butterfield had to leave early) as we continue to solve many of the major problems facing our country.

Finally, I wanted to make sure that all could see the amazing view of Mt. Rainier that the Sherrell’s have right out their back window and, of course, we can never get too much of Tad’s smile:

Thank you Bill and Susan for another great

Football is Just Around the Corner

I just received great report from Gordy Larson regarding the upcoming football season. In his inimitable style he describes what should be a very successful season for our Black Knights. Enjoy:

As we draw closer to the start of the football season, I thought I'd share some insights into the prospects for our affiliation class this coming season.  Although only juniors, the Class of 2015 is taking on an early leadership role on the team, and I've attempted to capture that phenomenon in the following article.  

 With the new Supe spurring them on and the best defensive backfield we've seen in years coming back, I expect to see a real turnaround this year, led by our affiliation class. 

For those who are interested, I'll have a more detailed perspective after the start of pre-season.  I don't expect the incoming plebes to take on a major role in this year's team as they have the past two seasons, but I'm watching closely to see how well some key players have recovered from off season surgery.   I fully expect us to be significantly better than last year, but how much better is still a question.

 Go Army
 Beat Navy (and everyone else while we're at it)

Class of 2015 Ready to Take Charge

As we approach the start of pre-season football practice, the members of our affiliation class appear ready to take on a leadership role for the coming season of Army football. In the 2011 season, Army had more freshmen (plebes) in the lineup than any other team at the FBS level, with 19 earning some playing time and 11 earning a chance to start. That was as much due to the lack of quality upperclassmen on the team as it was with the quality of the plebes. As was to be expected, the plebes struggled a bit while learning that playing at Division 1 level was considerably different than playing in high school, and the outcomes sometimes reflected the lack of experience. A few of the class dropped by the wayside or were sidelined by injuries in 2012, but several more rose to replace them and the Class of 2015 was once again called upon to exceed normal expectations for their level of experience. A total of 24 yearlings saw varsity action in 2012, and 13 earned at least one starting assignment. Ryan Powis was named to the Rimington Award watch list at center, while Geoff Bacon and Steve Shumaker were named to Phil Steele’s All Independent team and Powis and Bacon were two of only three sophomores named to the All Service Academy Team. Entering the 2013 season, several members of our affiliation class are grizzled veterans and are staking a claim to leadership on the field. As Hayden Pierce stated in a recent article, “...we kind of feel that our class is the class that’s going to end up running the defense.” Geoff Bacon echoed his remarks in another article, saying “We know that this is our (Junior Class) team, but at the same time we still want to show respect for the seniors.... it’s a junior dominated team when it comes to players who have played significantly.”

Who to Watch

Just how dominant is the junior class on this defense? Ellerson and staff are encouraging competition for all the starting spots so the starting lineup is still unsettled, but at this point in time it’s quite likely that as many as 6 of the 11 starters will be juniors with another 3-4 sophomores in strong supporting roles. Bacon has been named to the Ronnie Lott Impact Award watch list and he and Pierce are almost a lock to start at the two safety positions, Avery or Johnson-Harris will most likely start at Field Corner, Kelly holds an edge over senior captain Mackey at Whip, Drummond is the likely starter over sophomore Alexander at Bandit Tackle, and Glover is in a head to head

contest with sophomore Altimalala for the starting spot at Nose Tackle. Colin Linkul is unlikely to start, but will likely be inserted as a pass rusher in clear passing situations again this year. Bobby Kough is listed as a football junior, but I don’t know if he affiliates more with the senior or junior class at this point, but clearly he is one of the recognized leaders on the team as well. With Laird, Kime, and Doak Walker candidate Ray Maples returning, the seniors have a

stronger claim to leadership on offense, but they will rely heavily on veterans from the Class of 2015 on that side of the ball as well. With 19 career starts in his young career, Powis is the veteran on offensive line, and will share leadership with the senior Kime (13 starts) and junior classmate Shumaker (12 starts) while Bennett appears ready to step into a starting role at LT. Seniors Laird and Stephens are the veterans at WR, but junior Lawrence returns as the leading pass receiver and a 12 game starter from last season. In the backfield, the senior Maples returns for an attempt at his third 1000 yard season, but Dixon is already one of the acknowledged leaders of the team at FB, and

great things are expected of Baggettt and Turrentine at A back. What we may have here, to paraphrase Minnesota Fats, are the fruits of a couple of misspent seasons. A team that has a lot of experience returning but two more years to take advantage of it.

Go Army


Thank you Gordy, I’m looking forward to a great season and, of course, that, all too illusive, victory over the squids.

A Visit With Bob Guy Back in the Day - Part 2

As promised, here are the next eight photos in this great trip down memory lane provided by Bob Guy. As I’m sure they do for most of you, these pictures bring back many memories for me. The note about #10 reminded me of a teaching job I took about twenty years ago at a local community college. The gentleman who hired me was actually a classmate from Annapolis who had a very attractive plaque on his wall with a two word engraved plate identifying the mounted item as simply “slide rule” with one of our Keuffel & Esser models proudly mounted like you might find in a museum.

Additionally, for me it was fun to see a picture, from the day, of a new neighbor of mine in Goodyear, AZ, Frank Hennessee.

I hope you are all enjoying these photos as much as I am. Here, then are the next eight shots:

8. Coast Guard Academy Exchange Trip, Fall 1963, Sonny Ray ‘65 (L) and Bob Guy ’65 (back row) on steps of Academic Building at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

9. Denny Lewis (D-2009) preparing for PT test, about Jan 1965, East Barracks.

10. Taken in East Barracks in Jan 1965, (L to R) Gordy Kimbrell –Class of 1966 (KIA Vietnam 1970), Johnny Buczaki Class of 1966 and Barre Bernier ’65 (R) in Barre's Room (note slide rule on desk at left).

11. First Class Trip, Ft Knox, KY; Bernie Kistler (w/ sunglasses, KIA RVN 1966), and Denny Lewis (R, wearing hat, D-2009), summer 1964.

12. Football pep Rally (in B-Robes no less) featuring  (L to R) Gene Parker, Ric Shinseki and Johnny DeVitto, Fall 1964 in Central Area.

13. Frank Hennessee (L) and Keyes Hudson (R)  enjoying “Beefaloe” burgers at Fort Sill, OK during First Class Trip, Summer  1964.

14. Gene Parker ‘65 (on stoops), Company Commander of 1st New Cadet Company in Beast Barracks for Class of 1968, addressing New Cadets, Central Area, Aug 1964.

15. Hanging out in East Barracks, (L to R) Clair Gill, Bernie Kistler (KIA RVN 1966), and Denny Lewis (D-2009), taken January 1965.

Thank you again, Bob, for you efforts to share these with us.

A Visit with Bob Guy Back in the Day - Part 1

I’m pleased to be able to share a very nice treat with you all. Bob Guy has put a lot of work into cleaning up and scanning a bunch of photos that he took back in the day. From what I have seen, I think he did a fantastic job. He points out that you will see several shots of Bill Birdseye, Barre Bernier, and Bernie Kistler because he roomed with them at various times during Cow and Firstie Year.

Bob also pointed out that the photos center around Company C-1 but they give us all a nice reminder of what life was like during our time at the Rock. There are a lot of shots of Bernie Kistler as he and Bob roomed together for half of Cow and Firstie Years. Bob remembers Bernie as an exceptional person who left us too soon and, like all our fallen Classmates, should be remembered always. 

Bob has provided 30 pictures of random times and events with brief descriptions of each. I have chosen to break this large file into four parts which I will be sharing over the next few weeks.

Here then is Part 1:

1.     Taken immediately after Class of 1964 Graduation Parade, June 1964, formation in Central Area, (’65 members L to R) Bill Birdseye (w/ guidon), Bernie Kistler (KIA RVN 1966), and Denny Lewis (D-2009). Plebes from Class of 1967 were being recognized.
2.     Taken in Athens, Georgia on a weekend during our time in Airborne School; Jim Webb (L, eating Georgia Redeye ham biscuit) and Bernie Kistler (KIA RVN 1966) at Bob Guy's House for R&R from Fort Benning, Sep 1965.

3. (Left) Bernie Kistler (KIA Vietnam, 1966) w/ friend from Pennsylvania, in Hotel Thayer Parking lot, March 1965.

4. (Right)Bernie Kistler (L, in rack, KIA RVN 1966) and Bill Birdseye (R), typical weeknight in room in East Barracks, January 1965.
5. (right) Chapel Time! (L to R) Bill Birdseye, Bob Guy, and Bernie Kistler (KIA RVN 1966), near East Barracks, taken on a Sunday in November, 1963.
6. (right) Clair Gill, Spring 1965 (I have no idea why Clair wanted this profile picture!) With a magnificent profile like that, wouldn’t you want a picture?

7. Co C-1 Intramural Football Team; ’65 members in  1st row-- Keyes Hudson (2nd from Left), Jay Stevison (3rd from left), Slats Letterie (5th from left);  ’65 members in back row-- Tim Thames (2nd from L, in front), Bob Guy (6th from left) taken in Central Area before intramural game in October,  1963.

So there is Part 1 of a 4 part visit to Bob Guy’s world back in the day. If there are any others out there who would like to take on a project like Bob has done, I would love to share them. Stay tuned for Parts 2, 3, and 4.

More Travels with Dick and Joan Williams

Dick Williams has been very good about keeping us posted with some of the details of his cross country trip with his lovely wife Joan and their two cats, Romeo and Casanova in their nice new motor home. This time we pick them up in North Carolina:

After a ninety-some days trip in their RV and two days at Biltmore House in Asheville, Dick and Joan Williams took a break from their trip home to stop by Ed and Pam Winstead’s house in Transylvania County, NC just west of Brevard. 

True to Ranger fashion they left the main highways and took a cross country ride on one of the prettiest routes from Hendersonville to Brevard.  Their route was on a two-lane road with lots of curves. 

After some discussion, all decided that the best place to park the rig was in the local Wal-Mart parking lot.  Brevard is in a rain forest and after several weeks of everyday rain the ground is too muddy to support the RV.  Ed met them and took them to Giraffe House where Pam had prepared a light lunch.  The timing was just right because the rain held off until after they left. Her we see Dick, Pam, Ed, and Joan on the Winstead’s deck overlooking the French Broad River.

Lots of good conversation and catching up on class news and “retired” work and trips.  One interesting fact came out about how Dick and Joan met.  Where else but a skydiving event?  At the time both had a thousand jumps. 

After lunch there was a tour of the RV where the Winsteads were introduced to the passenger cats, Romeo and Casanova.  They seemed to have enjoyed the trip but were looking forward to home territory. 

After the tour the Williams took off for home—this time on the main highways.

I understand that this report was a result of the joint effort of Dick and Ed. Thank you guys for a great report, you make my job easier.

A Great Couple of Days with Good Friends

One of my best sources of information regarding the comings and goings of our Class, Bob Frank, has once again provided a great report on a mini gathering of Classmates. This time he and his lovely wife, Mary, with Dave and Patti Jones visited Ray and Linda Hawkins at their Port Jefferson, Long Island home. The men and women played the Port Jefferson Golf Course two separate days and then went to the U.S. Golf Association’s Women’s Open at Sebonack Golf Course in the Hamptons. As it turned out, Dave was positioned perfectly to see one of the players hit her second shot 160+ yards into the first green and watch it roll into the cup for an eagle. Three minutes later, another player hit a similar distance shot from the 2nd fairway into the cup for another eagle. There were only two eagles that day and this gang was there for each of them.

Here we see the three lovely ladies (L to R) Linda Hawkins, Mary Frank, and Patti Jones at the signs for the event and in the next shot a self-described “suave” looking Mr. Bob Frank with Ray Hawkins at the entrance to Sebonack.

Next we have Linda, Bob, Ray, and Patti also at the entrance to Sebonack (right):

And a great way to finish off the day with some pizza at the Port Jefferson Beach on Long Island Sound (clockwise around the table) Linda, Patti (hidden), Mary, Bob, and Ray. My guess is that Dave took this picture and my advice would be to try to get your lovely wife into the shot a little better in the future. Finally, the whole gang together (Ray Hawkins, Linda Hawkins, Bob Frank, Mary Frank, Patti Jones and Dave Jones) and my thanks to the mystery person taking the picture.

It looks like a good time was had by all. Thank you Bob, for sharing this.

A Technology Experiment

I enjoy sharing with the Class many things that come to me. This will be the first time I have tried sharing a short video. Gordy Larson (our resident sports analysis guru) suggested sharing a great clip from the 1965 NIT basketball game between Army and Western Kentucky and since it’s fun to watch, I thought, what the heck. So here it is, enjoy:

If you have any trouble opening or running the clip, I would recommend contacting either Gordy (, or Chuck Nichols (

A Real Talent in Our Affiliation Class

Some time ago, Denny Coll shared some information that may be of interest to many of you. He found that the young lady who holds the position of Secretary/Treasurer for our affiliation class of 2015, Hope Landsem, has written an article for the Op Ed page of the Wall Street Journal entitled “A Gettysburg Hero’s Medal Too Long in the Coming”. We had a little difficulty getting a copy which we could share, but Denny finally made it happen. Here is her very well written article:
    The Wall Street Journal

    July 2, 2013, 6:53 p.m. ET

A Gettysburg Hero's Medal Too Long in Coming
Congress's delay in honoring a Union officer reflects a military-awards process that needs reassessment.


On July 3, 1863, First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing, a Union artillery officer, arrayed his unit on Gettysburg's Cemetery Ridge. In the ensuing Confederate infantry assault that came to be known as Pickett's Charge, Cushing was shot twice, the second bullet tearing through his stomach and groin. The wounded officer kept up the fight, clutching his intestines as he commanded the artillery battery. Then Cushing was hit a third time, struck in the mouth by a bullet that exited at the base of his skull. The defenders of Cemetery Ridge eventually repulsed the Confederate advance, a pivotal moment in the Union victory that turned the tide of the Civil War.

One hundred and fifty years later, Alonzo Cushing's heroism at Gettysburg is finally moving closer to being recognized with the posthumous awarding of a Medal of Honor. His story suggests that the United States should reassess how long it can take for the country to honor its war heroes.

In the decades since Gettysburg, historians and others have periodically spearheaded efforts to encourage the nomination of Alonzo Cushing for a Medal of Honor. By law, military commanders must nominate soldiers for the award within two years of the action for which they are nominated. After the two-year period has passed, Congress can nominate potential recipients.

In 2003, Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold nominated Cushing—who was born in Wisconsin—and though a lengthy Army investigation finally deemed Cushing worthy of the honor, the attempt died in Congress.

This year, two Wisconsin congressmen, Ron Kind and Jim Sensenbrenner, resumed the quest. On June 14, the House passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that included legislation to authorize Cushing's medal. If the Senate passes the NDAA, Cushing will finally receive the Medal of Honor.

The long delay is not an isolated incident. With the help of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and the state legislature, retired Army Sgt. Leonard DeWitt is still pursuing a Medal of Honor following his original nomination 60 years ago for gallantry in New Guinea during World War II. California Rep. Duncan Hunter has led an effort seeking Medals of Honor for several service members, including Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta, who reportedly sacrificed his life covering a live grenade during a 2004 clearing mission in Iraq.

As America's highest military award, the Medal of Honor is not just a bit of ribbon, it's a national symbol. Recipients are those Americans in uniform who, in a split-second clouded by the fog of war, risked their lives to save their battle buddies and accomplish their mission. Prompter recognition of these sacrifices seems appropriate, but that may not be so easily accomplished. Military awards generally have come under close scrutiny in recent months.

On Feb. 13, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta introduced the Distinguished Warfare Medal to recognize service members for their "extraordinary actions that make a true difference in combat operations, even if those actions are physically removed from the fight," as Mr. Panetta said at the time. An example of a potential recipient: an unmanned aerial vehicle operator based in Nevada, using a system in Afghanistan that directly affected combat operations on the ground.

The idea of a drone operator receiving an award with greater prestige than the Purple Heart angered many in the military and outside it. When current Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took office, he ordered the Joint Chiefs of Staff to review the award. On April 15, Mr. Hagel announced the medal's cancellation, substituting a device that can be added to existing medals to indicate actions performed far from the battlefield.

Critics of the awards process also note an uptick in the number of medals being awarded; the perception is that unwarranted accolades are being handed out.

In the current climate, speeding up the awarding of Medals of Honor may be difficult—even though the number of awards made in the modern era has dropped dramatically. Only four Iraq veterans and seven Afghanistan veterans have received the Medal of Honor. By comparison, there were 1,522 recipients in the Civil War, 464 in World War II and 246 in the Vietnam War.

Why the drop off? America's military members are certainly not becoming any less intrepid. There is something to be said for the fact that troops in today's unconventional conflicts may be less likely to encounter the close-combat situations that have frequently precipitated Medal of Honor-worthy action in America's past wars. But some of the downturn might also be attributable to a military-awards system that is plagued by bureaucratic oversight and sometimes hindered by internal military politics.

If the defense secretary and the Joint Chiefs of Staff can respond quickly to criticism, reviewing and then canceling the Distinguished Warfare Medal in less than two months, maybe it's also time to launch a review investigating ways to streamline the Medal of Honor nomination and awards process. First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing's heroism helped save the nation. A century and a half later, it's time for the nation to honor his sacrifice.
—Ms. Landsem, a Bartley Fellow at the Journal this summer, is a second class cadet at the U.S. Military Academy. Her views do not reflect those of the academy, the U.S. Army or Defense Department.

A version of this article appeared July 3, 2013, on page A15 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: A Gettysburg Hero's Medal Too Long in Coming.

Copyright 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved
It turns out that Hope is interning with the Wall Street Journal this summer. Wow, that’s impressive, seems to me that when I was that age I was spending an inordinate amount of time finding reasons to spend just a few more minutes in the warm embrace of my Brown Boy.
We seem to have a lot of talent in our Affiliation Class. It’s fun to watch them and reminisce about what we were doing back in the day.

Jose Gonzalez to be Inducted into the ASHOF - a Reminder

About a month ago, Tom Fergusson accepted the position of POC for organizing and coordinating our Class support of the induction of Jose Gonzalez into the Army Sports Hall of Fame. He has been doing a bang up job as this this report clearly shows. I’m sure that all of your questions will be answered in the report below along with the attachment (click here to open) which may assist in finding accommodations near West Point. Here is Tom’s report:

1.  Reminder - Jose Gonzalez to be inducted in the Army Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF) in September -- hope you can come to West Point:  As you know from the information I sent you via Rick Bunn about a month ago, Jose Gonzalez, a three-time All-American on Coach Joe Palone's Army soccer teams that twice advanced to the NCAA final four (1963 and 1964 seasons), was selected for the ASHOF in May.  As suggested by Clair Gill, I am the Class Point of Contact (POC) for the two main ASHOF events to be held on 13 and 14 September. When Jose and nine other Army sports legends are inducted into the ASHOF at West Point on Friday, 13 September, I'm hopeful that we'll have a strong S&D turnout to show our support for Jose and his family, just as we did for Rollie Stichweh and his family when he was inducted into the ASHOF last September.  Many of those who come will want to attend the Army-Stanford football game on the 14th as well. 

2.  Formal dinner on Fri, 13 September in Ike Hall:  Jose and nine other Army sports heroes will officially join the ASHOF on Friday evening, 13 September during a formal black-tie Hall of Fame Induction Banquet in Eisenhower Hall - doors open at 6 pm for the cocktail hour. Here's the link to purchase your tickets for the ASHOF induction dinner on Fri, 13 Sep:

Please let me know via email at if and when you decide you're going to the dinner and who will be with you so I can work with the Office of the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics (ODIA) / Army A Club POC in arranging S&D tables at the banquet.  Also, please let me know if you have any preferences about who you would like to sit with on your table and I'll do my best. Each table will have a maximum of 10 people, same as last September.

Here is Jose back in the day and more currently with his beautiful wife Ana.

3.  Army vs. Stanford football game on 14 Sep:  The 2013 ASHOF inductees will also be recognized during Army's football game vs. Stanford at Michie Stadium the following day - kickoff is currently scheduled for noon on Sat, 14 September. I've been in touch with the Army football ticket office and the Army A Club re. tickets for the football game for those who are interested in sitting with classmates.  (Note: You do not have to be an Army A Club member to purchase these tickets, but you will have to pay for Michie Stadium parking unless you are an Army A Club member.)  Dawn Georgalas, Special Events Coordinator at the Army A Club, has set aside a block of seats in Section 16 for the Class of '65 at the game.  Here are Dawn's instructions about how to buy your tickets if you want to sit in Section 16 (Rows SS to XX) with the Class. Note that these tickets will be held for the Class until 1 August.

"We have set aside a group of seats in Section 16 at the football game for the class of 1965.  Here is how they can purchase their seats:

·         Go to

·         And enter promo code: 1965 (on this page, do not click anywhere else)

They can also call the ticket office at 1-877-446-4996 and let them know they want to purchase tickets for the Stanford game with the 1965 group.  This block of seats will be on hold until August 1st." 

4.  Lodging near West Point for the weekend of 13-15 September:  You're on your own to arrange your lodging.  Because of the combination of the ASHOF induction dinner on Friday night and the Army-Stanford football game on Saturday afternoon, lodging is expected to be tight in the vicinity of West Point that weekend.  No surprise here!  The Thayer Hotel is already booked and the same is likely for other choice places close to West Point.  Click here to view a list of West Point area hotels and motels including the Five Star Inn next to the West Point Visitors Center in Highland Falls, provided by Dawn Georgalas of the Army A Club.  Dawn's note to me included the following: "I may have rooms available in my room blocks but they are reserved for inductees' families until early August."  I will stay in touch with Dawn and let you know if some of these rooms open up in early August.

5.  FYI - other ASHOF inductees this year:  Several other 2013 ASHOF inductees will be of special interest to many members of S&D, including football All-American Dick Nowak (class of 1964) and track & field coach Carleton Crowell (1954-75).  Others being inducted this year include: football All-Americans Paul Bunker (1903), Al Vanderbush (1961), Charles "Monk" Meyer (1937 -- Heisman Trophy runner-up, also a basketball and lacrosse star), and Gary Steele (1970); lacrosse coach Jack Emmer (1984-2005); soccer and track & field star, as well as the first American to walk in space, Edward White (1952); and women's basketball star, Julie DelGiorno (1996).

ODIA's Official Announcement of 2013 ASHOF Selectees:  Once again, in case you missed it, here's a link to the official announcement of this year's ASHOF selections, posted on the Army Black Knights website in late May: 

Don't hesitate to give me a call if you have questions about any of this or something else related to the ASHOF weekend in September.  I look forward to seeing many of you at West Point on Fri, 13 Sep, if not before. 

Strength & Drive!

Tom Fergusson

O: 703-676-5018

H: 703-421-2675


Is this boy “all over it” or what?

Thank you Tom, I wish I could join you.

Better Late Than Never

I got a pleasant surprise when I sat down to the laptop this evening. While there was a little delay in getting it to me, I’m always happy to receive reports of get-togethers. Andy Zaleski had a pleasant visit with Steve Bliss in Carlsbad, California. I’m sure they feel the way I do that it’s a great pleasure to spend a little time with old friends learning about the ups and downs of careers that can take such different paths. Andy’s report:

I had the opportunity a month or so ago to visit and have lunch with Steve Bliss in Carlsbad, California.  It turned out to be a terrific visit as we got to talk about old times and memories of days in the service (Army & Air Force); our recent marriages to two wonderful women; our upcoming endeavors; the current jobs we both are truly enjoying...the last jobs before we begin the next phase of our lives, retirement.

Here are Andy on the left and Steve on the right.

Many of you may not know that General Steve Bliss is the Headmaster/President (believe these are the right titles) of the Army/Navy Academy in Carlsbad... an elite boarding school (founded in 1910) and is located on the ocean.  The Academy has approximately 330 students.  Their basketball team had the tallest player in the entire San Diego area - over 7 feet tall.  Steve (one of two in our class to go into the Quartermaster) is currently overseeing a $10 million expansion of the school's Sports Complex...quite an undertaking.  He told me he is planning on moving to Savannah, Georgia, when he retires in June 2014.

I was also able to share with him that I have been in San Diego the last 12 years serving as the Dean of the Defense Acquisition University's West Region...a job that has truly been the best of my career.  I will be retiring at the end of June 2013 and plan to reside in La Quinta, California and in San Diego (during the summer). The welcome mat is always out to fellow classmates.

Cheers to all,

Andy Zaleski    

I called Andy before finalizing this message and learned that he has just entered retirement this weekend. Congratulations Andy, welcome to the world of busy days with no pay. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us.

Affirmation Ceremony at the Air Force Academy – Reminder

Back in late May, I shared an invitation from Bill Hecker to join him and his lovely wife, Nancy for the Affirmation Ceremony for 7 of the Cadets in our affiliation class of 2015 who are on exchange at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. He went on to point out that the ceremony will be held from 1700 to 2000 hours at the Falcon Athletic Center Reception area on Thursday, August 15. At this ceremony we, the Class of ’65, will present each cadet with a Class of ’65 Challenge Coin. LTG (U.S. Army, ret) Jack Sterling will be the featured speaker. 

Today, I received a reminder to be shared with all with the hope that it will generate some more participation. His first message was so good, I decided to join him. His reminder:

Hi to all,

 I heard back from Bill Tredennick and Les Hagie saying that they are looking forward to coming.  Do hope that they will bring their wives if they are able to come too.

 I would like to hear from the rest of you as well.  Again, wives are included.  It should be a fine day.  I would like to invite everyone to share a Dutch treat lunch together at Flying Horse Club around noon.  We could come back over to our house, not far away, and pass the afternoon catching up with one another until the 1700 Ceremony.  Or, if you would prefer a tour of the Air Force Academy could be arranged too.

 Also, thought everyone would like to know that no one's homes were destroyed in the Black Forest Fire.  Gordon and Henriatte Long's home was missed by 100 yards and spared.  Nancy and I had to evacuate, but we were not that close (within a mile or so from the apartment and 1/2 mile from your new home) to the west of the fire.  A scary time.

 Will send directions when I receive your RSVP for the activities.

 Many Thanks.  Looking forward to seeing everyone.


Thank you Bill it sounds like a good time for all. Also very happy to hear that your new home and Gordy’s place was spared.