Class Poop

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

Class Notes Fourth Quarter 2014

Was there something more than coal in our A/N Christmas stocking?

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Many of you may have seen the following link but George Bell brought it to my attention and I found it to be an interesting perspective on the recent continuation of our losing streak to the squids. While it is clearly self-serving for its author, Chris Pestel, I felt it was well written and contains many terrific photographs. Given that things have been rather slow in recent weeks and we can always use another source of optimism regarding next year's big game, I decided to share it.

I wish you all a wonderful New Years and I hope to see you all at the 50th in May.

Thanks George,


Oleh Visits Hawaii

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

In response to my request for some input regarding gatherings during the Holidays, Tad Ono stepped up with this nice message a great picture. Tad writes:

For the second time this year, my former teammate and good friend Oleh Koropey called to say he was on the island to check out the waves.  He invited Hiro and me to a very nice restaurant in the Hyatt Regency, Japengo, to have a special Christmas Eve dinner with him--a fixed menu of Hamachi with Ikura, Lobster tail, Filet mignon and a dessert extravaganza--all super delicious.  We talked about lots of things but especially about his recent visit to his parents' homeland, Ukraine. A great dinner, a great visit.

Well I got the lobster and filet but I haven't got a clue what else they had for dinner. Anyway, it looks like a lot of fun and a great way to kick off our Holiday Gatherings. Thanks Tad.

A reminder of how it was

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I hope that all of you are enjoying a wonderful Christmas. Gene Parker was kind enough to share the following link to a ten minute clip which will help you put into perspective any problems you may be dealing with on this very special day. It's a highlight clip of the many trips taken by Bob Hope to cheer up all those kids around the world serving their country during peace and war. We were those kids at one time and it's nice to remember how nice it was to get a small taste of home when we were off doing the work that we had dedicated ourselves to.

If you can find the time, give yourself a treat and watch Bob do his thing:

I wish you all a wonderful day and look forward to seeing each of you next year as we return to our Rockbound Highland Home for our 50th reunion.

Thank you Gene.

I'm Baaack

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

While I try not to make the use of this listserve self-serving, I do want to take the opportunity given me to thank several folks for their assistance and well wishes during the big move I just completed (well almost completed). First and foremost a big thank you to Chuck Nichols for covering for me this past few weeks. Even with his very busy schedule, he always seems to be there when I need him to help me with technical problems and in this case, with covering for me regarding the duties of this office.

Secondly, I would like to thank all of you who were kind enough to send along messages of support and encouragement as my wife and I took on this big move at a time in our lives as well as a time of year that seem to maximize our challenges. Additionally, a thank you to all who prayed and/or just maintained good thoughts for us as we worked and traveled to this beautiful (albeit wet) part of our country. We could feel the support and we truly appreciate it all. An interesting note here is that we spent four days on the road in our motor home with me very concerned about possible bad conditions in the mountain passes all of which we traversed with no snow or rain only to be met with the expected rain as we passed into Washington state. It rained most of the final day only to stop as we arrived at our new home where were greeted with not one but two beautiful rainbows. What a welcome!

I think we will be living with cardboard boxes for the next few months but we are here and enjoying the process of settling into our new home.

Thanks again for all the support. And, yes, I join you all in being bummed out about the big game last Saturday. Let's redouble our efforts to support those magnificent Black Knights as we look forward to a great season next year which I'm sure will culminate in a victory over those damn squids.

Book by Nick Mills on Brave Old Army Team

I've been trying to find the Brave Old Army Team book by Nick Mills
that you mentioned in a newsletter.  My husband Tom is eager to read it, and I had planned to order it for Christmas.

The book is not available on Amazon or at Rowman & Littefield.

Any help in locating a copy would be appreciated.

Thanks so much--

Becky Roper Matkov

P.S. We're looking forward to Tom's 50th West Point reunion next May! 

1964 All Over Again!!

Classmates, Wives and Friends of '65:

There are some items to pass on to you that may rekindle the spirit of 1964 when the Army Team, lead by our own Rollie Stichweh, went on to defeat Navy in Philadelphia.  This time the venue is Baltimore but we want our Affiliation Class, 2015, to do the same thing to Navy that Rollie and that Army Team did 50 years ago.

The first is news that the 60 Minutes Sports story about Army football, ("Marching On") from last year, is being made available again.  It is well worth watching and gives good insight into the work this team has put in to Beat Navy.  Here is the rebroadcast schedule.

There has been great interest in our 60 Minutes Sports story about Army football so we are posting it online so that anyone who doesn't have Showtime can watch it. It will be on and on our Showtime site by the end of today, and it will be on the Web until December 31st.

The show is also available on Showtime Anytime and it is re-airing several times throughout the month:
Thu, Dec 04, 10:00 PM - SHO EXTREME
Fri, Dec 05, 11:00 PM - SHO EXTREME
Sat, Dec 06, 9:00 AM - SHOWTIME
Sun, Dec 07, 9:00 AM - SHOWTIME
Sat, Dec 20, 9:00 AM - SHOWTIME
Sun, Dec 21, 1:00 PM - SHOWTIME

Here's the link to the program on the Web:

Yesterday, Rollie was at the Academy to address the Army Team and present to them the book, Every Army Man is With You, by Nick Mills.  Here is Rollie's report.

Written by Nick Mills, his book entitled "Every Army Man Is With You" was just released only a couple of weeks ago. The author selected this title after learning from our classmate, Ross Wollen, that he had encouraged Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to send a telegram of encouragement to our Class of 1965 and our football team just before that game 50 years ago. Ross had somehow secured an interview with Ike in Gettysburg and took the opportunity to make this wonderful suggestion. This book's title employs a phrase from the last sentence in that very telegram and in many ways sparked the interest of Nick Mills in writing this book. The author addresses this subject in detail in an opening chapter and very appropriately credits Ross with getting the ball rolling.

Just last week, Joe Sanchez read the book and contacted Clair Gill, our esteemed Class Prez, with a brilliant idea. Joe suggested that our Class donate copies of the book to West Point to be shared with each player on the team to help inspire them to a victory over Navy as we had done decades ago. Clair moved quickly to consult with our officer team who endorsed the idea, he then placed an order for 100 books with the publisher, charged them on his credit card and arranged for prompt delivery to the Academy. Before taking these action steps, Clair asked if I could check with Coach Jeff Monken to make sure he welcomed the idea and if he felt this would help in the preparation of the team. I did speak with the Coach, and he was very enthused and very appreciative.

Receiving a copy of the book, Coach Monken asked if I, as a representative of our Class and the '64 squad, might address the team briefly before this Saturday's game with Navy to highlight the incredibly similar circumstances the current team faces when compared to the challenge of our 1964 team 50 years ago. The sub-title of the book is "The Cadets Who Won the 1964 Army-Navy Game, Fought in Vietnam, and Came Home Forever Changed". We lost several games to Navy leading up to the '64 battle, and our current team has lost games to Navy as well but, like us, has a huge opportunity to gain a critically important victory in Baltimore this Saturday. Coach asked that I feature the book, as an important token of our Class' fervent support, when speaking with the team. I gladly accepted his invitation and met with the team this past Tuesday, 9 Dec.

In brief, in remarks of just 5-6 minutes with book in hand, I covered the following points:

  • Was joining them as a representative of Strength and Drive/1965, the proud Affiliation class for 2015; an intense supporter of this team
  • Recapped our battle with Heisman winner Staubach and his #2 ranked Navy team in '63
  • Shared the anguish and crushing disappointment of getting close to victory but falling short --- as these players have experienced of late
  • Emphasized that our team, rather than feeling sorry for ourselves, vowed to not leave the next year's field without a victory, led by '65
  • Addressed our preparation for the '64 rematch with Roger and his team, focusing on Ike's telegram and reading it to them
  • Having referenced the telegram, then introduced Nick Mills' book and shared a couple key messages of relevance for them in the book
  • Informed them that I have seen multiple practices, all home games, many away games and know each one of them better that they know
  • Told them in "strong" language, that when they play at their best, they can beat anyone - certainly this Navy team
  • Closed by saying that S&D is convinced they can win ... and will win ... and we will be with them each step of the way
  • Read Clair's message to them:

"We've got your backs for a big win over Navy! Go Army - Be Army Strong!! From the Strength and Drive USMA Class of 1965"
BEAT NAVY!!!!    Grip Hands,  Rollie

Here is a picture of Rollie addressing the 2014 Army Team followed by the assembled squad.

Finally is a picture of the telegram from General Eisenhower to the 1964 Army Team.  A copy of this telegram was placed in each book along with the note from Clair.

Coach Monkey summarized the event in his thank you note to Rollie.


Thanks for making the effort in the bad weather to be with our team yesterday.  I know that the boys will enjoy the book.  Can't believe the stark similarities between the classes of '65 and '15…pretty incredible.  We feel great about the game on Saturday.  It will be a fight to the finish but I am confident that we will prevail.

Thank you for all of your support.  I know that there is no one that supports our football team and the coaches more than you!  I am grateful for the encouragement you have given me all year.  Look forward to seeing you on Saturday.


Rollie, thanks for braving the nor'easter to bring encouragement from S&D to the Army Team.  And...

...Beat Navy!!!!

Beat Navy Lore

Classmates, Wives and Friends of '65:

Nic Merriam provided this interesting story concerning his exploits in trying to boost the Army spirit in preparation for the 1962 Army-Navy game.

One fine day in November 1962, as I was walking with my good friend Al (Alexander Jeremiah) Clark, I was scanning the banners hanging from the barracks windows, and I remarked, “You know, you could do just about anything and get away with it, as long as you ended it with “BEAT NAVY.”  Being audacious within a very small scope, I had the germ of an idea.

The next day, I got a beautiful, long, unblemished banana from Washington Hall, and wrote on it in my best engineering scrawl, “BEAT NAVY.”  That evening the rest of my plan unfolded. (I had already been experimenting with using a very strong rubber band to shoot darts out my window to the other side of Central Area. The darts were made of coat hanger wire with fins fashioned from Manila folder and a lighter flint warhead.  They made a delightful shower of sparks when they hit the pavement.). For this project, I removed a spool of dental floss from its little white box and attached it to the dart such that it would unwind freely.  Immediately before the half hour release from quarters at 2130, I tied the end of the floss to the third floor bathroom radiator with a double half-hitch and launched the dart across the Area. I then ran out to retrieve the dart – it had landed about 10 feet from the sunken passageways. I tossed a second roll of floss out of the bathroom window opposite the original launch site, tied the two ends together, and ran back up to haul it in.  I pulled it as taut as I could and secured it to that bathroom radiator with a clove hitch.

Back in Co A-2, I took my Beat Navy spirit message, with its stem pierced by a paperclip, and released it to slide down the dental floss. To my surprise, in spite of the floss being so taut, it came to rest only about ten feet off the ground; it was quite close to the Central Area clock. The next morning, cadets going to or from classes through Central Area could see the Beat Navy message brightly displayed on a banana seemingly suspended in midair.  I was gratified that it was rather difficult to see the supporting dental floss. I recall seeing some amused upward glances – I wonder if anyone remembers it?  It took about a week for it to turn black and fade away. Someone else had the privilege of removing it.

(Photo: is a reproduction of the original, lying in a bed of New York snow.)

That year, we didn't, but maybe this year, fate will smile on us and we will indeed BEAT NAVY! 

-- Nic Merriam

Thanks for sharing this story from the past. This will be the year when Army beats Navy.

Beat Navy,

Still More - The Tradition Lives On

I am happy to pass on this memory from the past from Paul Singelyn.  It is the front and back cover from "The Pointer."  Please feel free to share with all your squid friends.

Getting ready to move and ran across the Nov 1964 issue of "The Pointer".

It perfectly illustrated our attitude 50 years ago.  Grog's finest work.
Enjoy the covers.

Paul Singelyn '65

Paul, it couldn't have come at a more opportune time.  I was putting together the program for the West Point Alumni Glee Club performance at the West Point Society of DC "Army-Navy Rally."  I immediately found a place for this great art in the A/V portion of the program.  Thanks for sharing this with the class.

Remembering Mike Momcilovich - A Follow up

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Right after I shared the story about Mike that John Swensson gave me, I received several comments, additions and suggestions from other Classmates. Significantly, I was given two copies of the article by Nancy Lynch, referenced in the first note I sent out. Unfortunately, we still don't have a copy of the letter Mike sent to Nancy but we have a link to her Website “Vietnam Mailbag” where much of this is discussed. Both links (the one to the article and the one to the website) are now available on our Class webpage (Chuck Nichols never ceases to amaze me with his quick work on that site).

The link to the whole story is: once you get there, select “Remembering Mike Momcilovich”. It's not a short article, but it's a very good read and I highly recommend it.

Thank you to Tom Kovach and Chuck McCloskey for helping me finish this great story and, of course to Chuck Nichols for his constant support.

Remembering Mike Momcilovich

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

While I have a brief break here, I'm living in a sea of cardboard boxes as the movers finish preparing for my big move tomorrow, I thought I would share this nice, albeit sad, note that I received from John Swensson:

Long article in FEB 2015 VIETNAM Magazine on Mike's death in a Cobra which was hit by enemy ground fire on 5 May 1968, the day after Mike wrote the letter to "Nancy's Vietnam Mailbag."  I enjoyed reading his letter, four pages of which are photographed in the magazine. I cannot find it in an online source to forward. Mike states on two occasions "I feel as though I'm doing a worthwhile job here." Mike was in A Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cav in the 1st Air Cav Division.

A Vietnamese found Mike's military driver's license in the wreckage and returned it to Mike's daughter, Kristin Momcilovich James and his brother Mark Momcilovich in a 2013 ceremony in Delaware. Mike was from Delaware and coincidentally was killed in Operation Delaware in Quang Tri.

A grand guy--good memories.
Thanks, John
Emeritus Professor of English &
Director, Global Education Partnerships (GEP)
De Anza College - cell: 408-590-4430

Thank you John, it's always nice to remember our dear friends who sacrificed so much for all of us.

Mini Golf Outing in New Bern, NC

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Please excuse the brevity of my messages for the next few weeks as I am deep into the complexities of a major move. Soon I will be asking Chuck Nichols to cover for me when I lose my Wifi connection and hit the road.

However, while I have a minute, I just got this nice report from Steve Harman regarding a few of our golfers getting together for an outing in North Carolina this past weekend. Steve writes:

Class members in the picture are John Malpass, Steve Harman, Gordy Larson, Sandy Hallenbeck, Lansing Hewitt, and Bob Radcliffe.  Gordy's Service Dog, Major, is in the background A few North Carolina based members of the class visited New Bern for two days of golf and fun this past weekend.  We played two of the local courses.  The only downside was that John Malpass played so well (shot an 86 and 88) that word will definitely get back to the “Committee” so he will continue to be an “A” player during class golf outings.  He has been lobbying for a lesser role.  Note in the picture that Radcliffe was here so I assume he will validate these rounds with the appropriate members of the “anonymous committee”.   We had a nice visit and dinner at a local restaurant.  Even though Steve Darrah was not here to order wine, Sandy Hallenbeck filled that role quite nicely.  The door is always open for others to join in the future.

Class members in the picture are John Malpass, Steve Harman, Gordy Larson, Sandy Hallenbeck, Lansing Hewitt, and Bob Radcliffe.  Gordy's Service Dog, Major, is in the background.

Steve Harman

Congratulations to John for a couple of outstanding rounds. However, Steve is right, the “committee” will, no doubt make you pay.

A Great New Book about the '64 Win over Navy - A quick PS

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I thought it might be of interest to know that this great book is prefaced with an excellent example of how our Class is known for helping others in need. The preface focuses on the story of Denny Lewis' incredible and loving support of Tim Vogel in those desperate years of his life. It's very inspirational and a marvelous way to open this book and to set the tone for the selflessness that is demonstrated again and again by members of our Class.

Additionally, let me point out that my suggestion regarding passing the hint to your spouse to make this book a great Christmas gift, really works. Donna has already picked up on my hint and I will be seeing a copy of “Every Army Man is With You”, under my tree next month.

A Great New Book about the '64 Win over Navy

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

One of our Classmates (who chose to remain anonymous) shared with me a message which was sent out to “a large group of former players, coaches, and a number of others” regarding a new book about our 1964 football team and their amazing win over Navy that year. Our Classmate wrote:

The author is a historian and professor at Sarah Lawrence College and spent four years or more researching and writing this excellent book. He focuses on seven players in this book including John Johnson, John Seymour, Bill Zadel and Rollie Stichweh from our class of 1965.

You may not know Rees Barksdale who sent this note out to a large group of former players, coaches and a number of others. Rees is a great guy and a member of the Class of '66, is currently a Federal Judge in the 5th Circuit down south, and was the team manager of our football teams in the 60's.

Note that within the following message is a suggestion that if you want to purchase this book, you can save a substantial amount by using the attached discount and calling the publisher. Below Rees' comments are a few scanned pictures from within the book as well as the front and rear cover. My apologies that some of words in the scans are difficult to read – all the more reason to consider buying the book. Here then is the message from Rees:

BRAVE OLD ARMY TEAM:  Pleased to advise that, as we approach the great win in '64 over Navy, NICK MILLS' beautifully researched and written book on the subject is now available. I have had only a brief chance since obtaining it yesterday to read parts of it; believe me, it is more than splendid.  NICK, as you know, is a masterful writer and has made a marvelous contribution to the history of the game and the subsequent service in Vietnam.  Plus, background material on persons such as COACH DIETZEL is very enlightening and enjoyable reading.

I had a good telcon w/ANNE DIETZEL this afternoon about the book and read a few parts to her.  NICK has sent her a copy; it will arrive in a few days.

In addition to obtaining the book through your book store, obtaining the book via AMAZON is perhaps easiest. But, you can acquire it for less by using the attached discount and calling the publisher toll free:  ROWMAN & LITTEFIELD, at 800-462-6420.

DAN CHRISTMAN, ROGER STAUBACH and JACK FORD are among those who provided very positive comments about the book, which appear on the back of the dust cover.


Photo 3 | Photo 4 | Photo 5 | Photo 6

Note that the title “ Every Army Man is With You”, comes from the famous telegram Ike sent tour our Class of '65 football players on the eve of the 1964 Army/Navy Game. What a terrific Christmas present this would make. I'm even planning to slip this Bunnogram onto my wife's computer as a strong hint to help her find something that I would really enjoy.

Advisory Council Meeting

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

As most of you are aware, Bob Frank has been our Class representative to the Advisory Council of the West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG) very capably filling the huge shoes of Harry Dermody in that role. Additionally, of course we have our own LTG (Ret) Joe DeFrancisco, who was recently re-elected to the Board of Directors of the WPAOG for another three years.

Bob just provided some comments and very comprehensive notes and observations regarding the recent (21 November 2014) meeting of the WPAOG Advisory Council. Here is what Bob shared:

Below please find my notes and observations on the recent meeting of the Advisory Council.  As the Class of 1965 representative (through 31 December 2015), it has been an honor to observe and contribute to what the leadership and volunteers of the Association of Graduates are doing to improve our alumni organization.  When Clair asked me to accept this "duty," I intended to honor the memory of Harry Dermody, who did so much in this capacity and in so many other ways.  My interactions with people who work in Herbert Hall, with members of the Board of Directors (including one of our own), with Class presidents and WP Society leaders (including Lew Green '65 in Southeastern Florida) and many other volunteers who step up to help make WPAOG so much more than a fund-raising organization and so much more than when we were cadets, has been a most rewarding activity.  I have learned so much about the workings of our alumni association, and I am enthusiastic about its promise.  And, I am thankful to Harry for having convinced me of the importance of this effort.

I provide the following so you may know a bit about what is taking place for our benefit and the rest of the Long Gray Line.  If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know.  The next meeting of the Advisory Council will be in the Spring of 2015.  I expect the Strategic Plan to be more than a bare-bones document by then.  I shall report back to you on that front.


The WPAOG Advisory Council met on 21 November 2014.  The focus of the meeting was the Strategic Plan covering 2016-2020, which has been the center of attention of the last several meetings.  WPAOG has been in the process of forming such a plan at the same time that USMA has been working its strategic plan.  In fact, as Larry Jordan, the Chairman of the Board, has pointed out, the two plans have been worked in coordination with each other so that the WPAOG does not diverge from the USMA plans.

Three questions were put to the Council to deliberate and provide feedback on.  A fuller record of that feedback will be published by the WPAOG staff.  The intent here is to capture some highlights and to stir some thought about how the Class Representative might contribute ideas from our Class to the process.

The first topic was contained in the question What do we want to be known for as an organization of West Point graduates?  Generally, we know that Duty, Honor, Country projects the values common to all West Point graduates.  These three watchwords also encompass characteristics of West Pointers:  such as, character, competence, leadership, service, integrity, commitment to excellence.  What WPAOG is seeking for the Strategic Plan are actionable guidelines that help outside audiences understand, not West Point, but rather why an association of graduates exists and what it does to further those values inculcated by USMA during the cadet years.

The second topic relates to individual graduates and their relationship to the WPAOG.  As one person put it:  answering the “What's in it for me?” question.  Here, the intent is to find ways that graduates' needs and expectations are better met in all our phases of the Long Gray Line (recent grads, mid-career [both military and civilian], retired years, death and thereafter (that is, ensuring the legacy for future generations).   As everyone knows, participation in WPAOG activities is relatively low.  Look at the total number of votes in the recent election; it is way short of the more than 50,000 living graduates.  What are the ways that more members can be drawn into various aspects of the multitude of WPAOG activities?

The third area of discussion was about how to plan for and how to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the creation of the WPAOG.  2019 marks 150 years of the founding event, an occasion to begin the reconciliation of graduates who fought on both sides in the Civil War.   While the council members were asked for some specifics, the general conclusion was that a planning team needs to be established.  It would deal with the questions of what the celebration is about.  Such things as budget, events and the like are foreseen.  But one bit of guidance seems clear at the outset:  the celebration should not aim to match, and certainly not to exceed, the West Point Bi-centennial!

One of the more interesting notions that was brought up during the beginning of the meeting was something that the Chairman and the President have been deliberating.  As Larry Jordan and Bob McClure both emphasized, the West Point Association of Graduates is “we” and not “them.”  That is, all members of the Long Gray Line are members by virtue of graduation.  Payment of dues does not form the basis of membership.  Nor does working in Herbert Alumni Center.  In fact, the Board of Directors and the President would like to find a way to refer to all those in the operations of the “WPAOG HQS” in such a way as to differentiate them from WPAOG.  Currently, when one says WPAOG, one is indicating the Herbert Hall folks.

The Strategic Plan already has some framework to it.  Who We Are, a Vision, and a Mission are in place.  In addition, four goals have been identified:

  • Continue to Support West Point  (especially, through the Margin of Excellence)
  • Give Meaning to ‘The Grip of the Long Gray Line'
  • Continue to Recruit and Support Alumni Leaders
  • Celebrate Our Legacy and Prepare for Our Future

Needless to say, this is but an overview of what was discussed.  However, it is intended to inform the Class of 1965 Leadership of the issues being addressed by those running our alumni organization.  I have found that our Association stewards are trying to improve in all areas of operations to include increasing the involvement of alumni, improving communications, providing desired and useful services and making the embodiment of the WPAOG (that is, the headquarters) a vibrant part of an Association which truly “furthers the ideals and promotes the welfare of the United States Military Academy, and supports and serves its graduates.”  [My adaptation of the By-Laws statement of purpose.]

Thank you Bob for this and for all you do for our Class. Thank you also for all the help you give me as I struggle to do this job.

Another Wonderful Reason to be Thankful

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Yesterday I received a very nice message from Tim Timmerman regarding Louis Csoka's current condition. He writes:

Here is an update on Louis Csoka provided by his Daughter Nancy (or Nance). We communicate with Judy, Louis's wife, constantly (daily) and visit frequently. Nancy's update is accurate and up to date. We can also take cards and communications to Louis and we can help with visits if that is desired. Our address is:

Tim & Sue Timmerman
10326 Newberry Park Ln
Charlotte, NC 28277

Or you can contact us by e-mail at:


And here is the update written by Louis's daughter Nance:

Dad is doing quite well. He is currently at a nursing facility (Peak Resources) in Charlotte where he continues to undergo pretty rigorous physical therapy and rehabilitation. He has progressed immensely. He is not able to stand up on his own but he is able to hold himself up for a short while once standing... each day it is for a little longer!

He also is speaking a little. It is difficult to understand what he says oftentimes but he is trying to communicate and he understands what people say to him and what is going on around him. He still has the tracheotomy and the feeding tube but we believe those will be coming out soon. He has even started eating food through his mouth, though only soft foods like applesauce.

He is working very hard in his rehabilitation and his determination definitely shines through.  We all understand he still has a long road ahead but he has put quite a bit of road behind him. We are so proud of him and we hope he will be able to come home for Christmas, even if only for part of the day.

Also, we would again like to thank everyone for the prayers and well wishes. Dad loves to hear from everyone. We read to him the emails which brighten his day and the calls and visitors always bring a smile to his face. Thank you all so much for your thoughtfulness and kindness. The impact is more than I can possibly express.

Most gratefully,

Here is email for Nance Csoka '94

Home address for Judith Csoka is:
10613 Newberry Park Lane,
Charlotte, NC  28277-2341

Thank you Tim for forwarding this message and to Nancy for giving us this good news. And to all, please keep Louis and his family in your thoughts and prayers. I'm sure you join me in hoping that Louis will be able to spend at least some of Christmas Day with his loving family. I'm sure a few cards and letters either through Tim and Sue or through Judith or an e-mail through Nancy would go a long way toward making that happen.

I'll close with the hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that nothing but good things will come your way as move into the Christmas (trying very hard not to be politically correct here) Holidays.

More from that fabulous Branch Night

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Two future Field Artillerymen with Joe DeFrancisco and Ric Shinseki I just received a great photo from Marie Lewis (04), Associate Director, Class and Membership Services, West Point Association of Graduates, whose husband saw it posted by the Field Artillery and was kind enough to share. Each of the branches took steps to welcome members of the Class of 2015 on Branch Night last Thursday. The Field Artillery obviously provided nice looking polo shirts with big crossed cannon emblems. Here we see two future Field Artillerymen who were able to talk two of our Classmates (who also started their careers in the Field Artillery) into posing for a picture. One can only hope that they will be able to come close to the contribution that Joe DeFrancisco and Ric Shinseki have made to the Army and our country.

Branch Night for the Class of 2015

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Wow, what a great evening was enjoyed by many of our Classmates on Thursday, November 20th – Branch Night for our Affiliation Class of 2015. Denny Coll, one of our Classmates in attendance, was kind enough to share this terrific report to fill us all in on many of the details. Denny writes:

The evening was actually quite magical.

We assembled at the Hotel Thayer bar for a few drinks before going to Ike Hall. We were joined by Cadet Kyle Warren, the 2015 Class Vice President and Cadet Ashley Phillips, Class Historian. Marie Lewis, Associate Director, Class and Membership Services, WPAOG helped us prepare for the coming event.

The excitement with 1000 cadets on the lower floor and probably another thousand cadets in the balcony was palpable. Joe DeFrancisco gave a really good and pointed talk which the cadets seemed to appreciate.

Photo Left: “I got my first Choice!”, the young man does seem rather pleased.

The Commandant then instructed them to receive the sealed envelopes with their individual branch selections in it. Company Tacs did the honors of passing out the envelopes. He then had some intentional false starts and stops which further heightened the anxiety. Included in each envelope was as insignia, provided by the Class of 1965, of the branch to which the individual would be commissioned.

When the cadets opened the envelopes, the lower floor went berserk. We all stood there in absolute amazement, trying to remember what our own branch night was like.

The Firsties then went out to the Branch tables in the Crest Room and Ballroom, where they were greeted by representatives of their branch. This was followed by celebrating, at which point, the Firsties devoured great quantities of pizza and beer, the amount of pizza and beer 1000 cadets can consume in a relatively short period of time was prodigious.

Participating Classmates and wives circulated around talking to many of the cadets.

Photo Right:, a nice shot of Ric helping a cadet with his new brass and a super group shot with all our Classmates who were able to attend along with the 2015 Class leadership.

In his remarks, Will Goodwin, Class of 2015 President, was very appreciative of everything that Strength and Drive had done for his Class. His words were sincere and had a great impact on all of us. They then gave Joe DeFrancisco a copy of their Plebe Poop (Bugles Notes) book.

It really was a special night for them and for us.

Denny Coll

Even better than this report is the fact that Denny provided the following great set of pictures. We'll start with the one captioned,

Photo: Denny Coll (our long time Secretary) with Cadet Hope Landsem who is the 2015 Class Secretary and a real cutie.
Photo: Clair Gill, Steve Bliss, Joe Defrancisco, and Mary Frank
Photo: Bob Frank pinning the new branch brass on one of the cadets.
Photo: Bob Frank and Steve Bliss sharing sage advice with a cadet
Photo: Joe DeFrancisco with 2015 Class President, Will Goodwin.
Photo: Joe DeFrancisco receives his Plebe Poop Book from Will Goodwin (note that Joe is standing in front of our Class flag)
Photo: Jose Sanchez seems to be applying first aid to Dr. Sonny Arkangel.

Here are a couple of shots of the young lady who has been very helpful to many of us,
Photo: Marie Lewis who works for the AOG, with Ric Shinseki, and photo with Jose Sanchez.
Photo: a great photo identified simply as, “Old and New Cav guys”.
Photo: the Campbells (Russ and Maryann) with BG Rainey (Head of Infantry at Fort Benning) who seems to have trained just a little too hard.
Photo: the Rosebergs (John and Carol) with Steve Harman.

Thank you Denny for a terrific report and even better pictures to let us all know what it was like to be there.

Two Close WP Friends with Big Smiles

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I just received this terrific picture from Rollie Stichweh who wanted to share a wonderful moment he had with one of our fallen heroes, Mike Berdy. Rollie is fifth from the left with his arm around Mike. I couldn't help but notice that Rollie (the groom) was subtly set apart from all the other guys by a way-cool white bowtie. He tells me that it was his soon to be wife who made that decision but that only tells me that they were both very cool. It looks to me like a very happy moment for all of them as they wish this great guy much happiness as he makes one of many life altering moves.

It's great to see our dear friend Mike with what seemed like an ever-present smile. Rollie writes:

As you know, Chuck Nichols has been doing a great job gathering photos from '65 classmates of their wedding. I have sent a group shot of Carole's and my wedding in 1966 to Chuck which includes Mike Berdy who was in the wedding party. The picture sent to Chuck is the formal one of Carole and me and all female and male members of the wedding party. In looking through the wedding album, I happily rediscovered this picture which was an informal shot of only the men in the wedding party --- an informal photo the photographer took showing two West Point classmates and very good friends enjoying a humorous moment!

The wedding was in 1966 and not long after, Mike and I were with combat units in Vietnam and he was tragically killed just before returning home when the helicopter he was riding in was shot down.
I thought you might want to share this picture with others who, as I do, loved Mike and miss him so much.

Thanks, Rollie
Thank you Rollie for sharing this great picture and the fond memory of one of our fallen brothers.

One more great car story

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Ed & Karen Armstrong have provided a great story of a very special car in their past. I am glad that we have been led to these very interesting visits with cars from our past. I, for one, am really enjoying sharing them – who knew? I hope you are enjoying them also.

Ed and Karen submit:

When we were stationed at McClellan AFB in Sacramento in the early 70s Karen decided we needed a '57 Thunderbird so we looked in the antique car ads every day. We saw a '56 Cadillac Fleetwood Limo for sale and bought it. I fixed a burned valve, cracked frame and window motor. The chauffeur for the previous owner had taken it to Mexico for a complete leather interior. The picture is before we got a $39.95 (extra $10 for metallic gray) Earl Scheib paint job. They said the masking tape cost more than that. Gigantic air conditioner in the trunk. Great car pool ride and we could take four couples to Napa Valley or South Lake Tahoe in comfort.

Ed Armstrong

Thanks Ed and Karen, great story.

Your comment about the air conditioner in the trunk reminded me of the old fifty something Lincoln my dad bought when I was just a kid. It also had the AC in the trunk with separate switches for the cooling system and the fan. Driving in the desert near El Paso he took great joy in turning on the cooling about 15 minutes before he would turn on the fan causing ice to form on the coils so when the fan was finally turned on it would literally snow in the car. My dad didn't have many friends.

Another car from back in the day

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Here's a very brief note from Paul Schultz with a great vintage picture of his pride and joy. Paul writes:

I don't have many pictures of my Porsche 356C, but here is one with me in civvies, Bill Heller in uniform, and Bill's fiancé Johanne.

Johanne and Bill found this and sent it to me a couple weeks ago.

Paul Schultz, Jr.
203-778-9164 Home
203-919-5600 Cell

Thanks Paul great picture and great car.

Gene Manghi's beautiful TR4

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Back in October, I shared some great pictures of TJ Kelly's corvette that he purchased at graduation. I just received these great pictures of Gene Manghi's sweet little TR4 which he has kept all these years. Here is his report:

My Triumph TR-4 is not as fast as the others but I still have it in running condition. It was my only civilian means of transportation for a long time [which is not unique] and it aged. There has been recent restoration work done. Photo 2 | Photo 3 | Photo 4

Are there other Graduation cars? Many were turned in for “family” cars.

Gene Manghi

Gene has a great idea. While Chuck Nichols is doing his thing collecting pictures from our weddings (our first love) I have had some fun sharing some pictures of the cars (our second love) that some of you have kept for all these years. Given that Chuck's collection of pictures has included some from second (or more) weddings, it seems only fair that I expand my request for pictures of cars purchased at graduation and kept through all these years, to include more in the way of favorites. Let's expand the request to include pictures of those awesome cars from graduation which you didn't keep or even some great cars you've enjoyed along the way.

Since I have always enjoyed the many different cars (in sales I went through a lot of them) I have had along the way, I will start off with two of my favorites. The first (photo left) is the Palminto Green Pontiac Lemans I bought at graduation shown here when Ron Walter and I were traveling in Mexico right after graduation. And the next one is my current favorite, my Inferno Red Chrysler Sebring, hard top convertible which I just sold so I can replace it with a new 2015 Mustang. And, yes, that second picture was taken on the famous Lombard Street in San Francisco.

OK, you get the idea, let's see some great car pictures that I can share.

As I close, let me share one other item. My wife and I have made the decision to move back to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to our kids and grandkids. We have purchased a home in Puyallup, Washington and will be moving next month. Naturally, there are many things keeping us both very busy as we make this transition. Please understand that there may delays in getting things out to you as I deal with all these issues. I will naturally do the best that I can but your understanding would be greatly appreciated.

A Reminder of One of our Fallen Heroes

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I just received a very nice message from Kent Brown (John Hayes roommate Firstie Year) who asked me to share the message and video link below with all of you. Kent received this message from Leslie Hayes Campbell (the widow of our dear fallen brother, John Hayes) and she explains the purpose of the video and some of the details of its creation. Here is Leslie's message to Kent:

Hello Kent,

We wanted to share this video with you. It was presented at The Meadowbrook School in Massachusetts where Lauren (John and Leslie's daughter) and our daughter-in-law teach. The school does not take the day off but instead, has an assembly to speak of the "why" of Veterans Day. A soldier from The Wounded Warriors Project spoke to the children first, and the video followed. Our son and his child were in the audience. Families are welcome to attend. 
The commentators in the video are first: grandson Michael (10), followed by John (13), and then Lauren and her husband, Shawn.
Warmest regards to you and Sherry from George and me.

Here is the video they made to share with the students for the Veteran's Day Assembly on November 11th:

Veteran's Day 2014

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

On this very special day for all of us I wanted to express once again the great pride that I feel as a member of this amazing Band of Brothers. It was very timely that a dear friend of mine (not a Classmate) was kind enough to share a beautiful poem (author unknown) that I found to be both profound and somewhat sad as it explains the place of our many veterans in our society. Given its nature, it seems appropriate to dedicate it to our far too many fallen brothers. Additionally, I just received a very appropriate salute from Roger Frydrychowski with his brief comment which you will see after the poem. I too salute you all.

A Veteran Died Today

He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
and he sat around the Legion telling stories of the past.
Of the war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done.
In his exploits with his buddies they were heroes, every one.
And 'tho sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
all his buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer, for ol' Bob has passed away,
and the world's a little poorer for a veteran died today.

No, he won't be mourned by many, just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary, very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family, quietly going on his way;
and the world won't note his passing, 'tho a veteran died today.
When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
while thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell their life stories, from the time that they were young,
but the passing of a veteran goes unnoticed and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
some jerk who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow, who in times of war and strife,

goes off to serve his country and offers up his life?
The politician's stipend and the style in which he lives
are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary veteran, who has offered up his all,
is paid off with a medal and perhaps a pension, small.

It's so easy to forget them, for it is so long ago,

that our Bobs and Jims and Johnnys went to battle, but we know.
It was not the politicians and their compromises and ploys,
who won for us the freedom that our country now enjoys.
Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
would you really want some cop-out, with his ever-waffling stand?
Or, would you want a veteran, who has sworn to defend

his home, his kin, and country, and would fight until the end?

He was just a common veteran and his ranks are growing thin,
but his presence should remind us we may need his likes again.
For when countries are in conflict, we find the military's part

is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.
If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
then at least let's give him homage, at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in the paper that might say
Our country is in mourning, for a veteran died today.


Roger Frydrychowski at the Virginia War Memorial, Richmond, Va

This morning at the Virginia War Memorial, Richmond, Va.  No back story. Just a sincere respect and admiration for all in our Class of 1965. I salute each of you.

Thank you Roger and thank you all for your service.

A Long Weekend at the Rock

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I received this brief message from Skip O'Donnell with a couple of great photos. One with Skip and Marilyn in front of the Prep School and one that reminded me of all those beautiful fall days when we attended football games and could see the turning leaves for miles off in the distance. Here is Skip's note:

During our long Army-AF weekend at the West Point area, Marilyn and I stopped by the USMA Prep school Friday morning for a briefing and tour with the USMA Classes of 1984 and 1989.  The autumn leaves had just turned color a few days earlier and the Storm king highway was full of color. While we were visiting the Visitors Center on the old Ladycliff grounds, we met John Shuford and his family in the parking lot.  We stayed at the Days Inn in New Windsor/Newburgh Friday and Saturday nights.  Much to our pleasant surprise, we met Bob & Mary Frank and Ray & Linda Hawkins in the hotel lobby Saturday morning.  Although the game was disappointing, we had a good time with our 40 New England relatives over the weekend. 
Skip O'D  

 Thanks Skip for remembering to share.

Bob Wolff's Retirement Dinner

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

(L to R) Cheryl Viani, Nancy Ryan and Granddaughter, Lynn DeFrancisco, Phyllis Wolff, Dorie Skidmore, Susan Christman, Sherry Gill and Linda Concannon Bob Wolff sent this report on the occasion of his stepping down as the Executive Director of the Society of American Military Engineer (SAME). Bob's report was so complete and well put together that I didn't do a thing to it except cut and paste it into this message. This job just gets easier and easier. Here is Bob's report:

On October 30 at the Army and Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA, the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) hosted a Hail and Farewell Dinner to welcome BG Joe Schroedel, USA (Ret.) (USMA '75) and say farewell me and Phyllis after serving 12 years as the SAME Executive Director. The event was attended by 200 SAME members and guests, including the current Engineering Service Chiefs of the uniformed services and many retired General and Flag Engineer Officers who have been associated with SAME. Remarks by my son Allen, LTG Tom Bostick (USMA '78), the current Chief of Engineers, and LTG Robert Van Antwerp (USMA '72), a former SAME President Col John Mogge, USAF (Ret.) presenting “Book of Bob” Chief of Engineers and President of SAME, were highlights of the evening. Phyllis and I were honored to have many members of our family and 10 classmates and spouses at the dinner. I do not plan on fully retiring but rather working part-time as a consultant, volunteering for SAME and ABET (to evaluate undergraduate civil engineering programs), and going on more vacations. Daughter Dina and her husband Jim live a few miles from us in Potomac, MD and son Allen, his wife Shelley and their children Jocey (14) and Bryce (12) live in Carlsbad, CA, so we will be making frequent trips to CA.  We look forward to seeing everyone at the 50th Reunion.  Bob Wolff

Photo: Ballroom at new Army and Navy Club

Photo: Incoming XD Joe and Kathy Schroedel with Bob and Phyllis

Photo: (L to R) Allen Wolff, Marion Halpern, Shelley Wolff, Dina Rader, Jim Rader, Phyllis and Bob

Photo: (Back L to R):  Rick Shinseki, Mike Viani, Joe DeFrancisco, Frank Skidmore, Dan Christman
(Front L to R):  Terry Ryan, Ken Yoshitani, Chuck Nichols, Bob Wolff, John Concannon, Clair Gill

Photo Right: (L to R) Cheryl Viani, Nancy Ryan and Granddaughter, Lynn DeFrancisco, Phyllis Wolff,
Dorie Skidmore, Susan Christman, Sherry Gill and Linda Concannon

Photo Left: SAME President Col John Mogge, USAF (Ret.) presenting “Book of Bob”

Photo: LTG Bostick presenting a Crystal Castle to Phyllis and Bob

Thanks Bob, great report and terrific pictures.

The Bob Jones POW Display

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I just received this very exciting news from Tom & Marilyn Kovach regarding the Bob Jones – POW display that will be available for viewing in the Arvin Alcove of the Arvin Cadet Physical Development Center (CPDC). What an appropriate place to see this display which tells the story of the sacrifices of one of our outstanding Classmates as well as the Alcove which commemorates on of our fallen brothers. Here is Tom's report:

Many of you are aware that Bob Jones, with the support of Ross Wollen, has donated to the West Point Museum his personal possessions from his 5+ year stay (January 18, 1968 - March 14, 1973) as a prisoner of war at the Hanoi Hilton in North Vietnam.  A display has been created and initially was placed in the West Point Museum.  Following a rest period for the textiles, a portion of the display was relocated to the USMA History Department's library to make the display more accessible to cadets - this being one of the guiding principles established at the time of the donation.

A second guiding principle was that Bob's POW display would be available for viewing by attendees at our 50th Reunion.  The current venue - USMA History Department's library - would not readily accommodate our expected interest in viewing the display.  Ross has worked with the Museum's director who now has confirmed that Bob's display will be placed in the Arvin Cadet Physical Development Center (aka the Arvin Gym) for our 50th Reunion.

The most opportune timeframe for viewing by reunion attendees will occur on Tuesday following the Alumni Luncheon in Washington Hall (aka the Cadet Mess Hall).  We can stroll over to the Arvin CPDC and view both the Jones POW display and the Arvin Alcove.

Bob's POW display will be available for viewing in the Arvin CPDC for at least the week prior to and the week following our 50th Reunion.

Many thanks to Bob and Ross for creating at our once-in-a-lifetime event this memorable opportunity for all of us to share, in a very small way, Bob's experience which occurred so many years ago.

Strength and Drive!

Thank you Tom and Marilyn for this and all you are doing for us in preparation for the 50th Reunion and thank you Bob and Ross for making this display available to us.

Veterans Day opportunities - A Warning

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Back on October 26th I forwarded a message from John Pickler regarding. Many of you will find this very helpful in finding some of the many generous offers provided by numerous companies across the country that want to show their appreciation for our service on Veterans Day.

However, Buddy Bucha has provided the following warning to help you avoid a scam which could far outweigh any benefit you might enjoy from any of the offers listed in that message. While it is rather lengthy the important part of the warning can be found in the first sentence. This caution should be extended to say, do not allow anyone to write down any of the information (including the last four numbers of your SSN) on any documentation you provide to prove your status. Here is Buddy's message:

The discounts are real, but we need to caution everyone to NOT GIVE THEIR SSN, DD 214, and Military ID, last four SSN or other sensitive information to anyone. There is a massive scam going on right now with five or six companies that are publicly known and well financed, offering discounts if sensitive information is given as a prerequisite. The end game is collecting the data for the purpose of selling it; leasing it for a fee; or to be used to penetrate the national data bases monitored and managed by DMDC, the DOD data center. If one reads the small print on the computer web sites you see if a vet takes advantage of one discount, say a buck off a Big Mac, the release is triggered and the data then belongs to the company offering to arrange for the discount to do with as they please. Veterans Advantage which is the largest and most respected of the firms offering discounts and benefits to veterans, and active duty, guard and reserve and of which I am a member of the Advisory Board, has been in business over 14 years and never has required personal identity information as a prerequisite to membership or benefits and neither does the Federal Court System.

These data grab firms are actually advertising they have the ability to check veteran's status using the DEERS data base. Unfortunately that is not true. DEERS by law cannot be used for any commercial purpose and furthermore DEERS only has some 2+ Million names, i.e. those who are serving now or have retired, separated since 1985. As a result the check by the intermediary often comes back negative (no record) and then additional information is sought such as SSN, copy of Mil ID (which is a felony crime to copy), copy of latest orders (a national security violation), DD 214, or the complement of DOB, Address, last four with which one can literally scan the entirety of the "federated data bases maintained by DOD including access to medical records from DOD and Dept. of VA.

Thank you Buddy for this timely warning.

A Motley Crew

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Bob Baldinger, Jim Berry, and Jack Barwis I always enjoy sharing photos, especially those from back in the day. Here is a brief note that Chuck Nichols received and forwarded on to me along with a great photo.


While looking for wedding pics (should have something by the end of this week), I ran across a pic of (L to R) Bob Baldinger, Jim Berry, and Jack Barwis taken in December 1965 at our wedding.  A real motley crew.

Jim Berry, G-2

Motley or not, they are our guys. Thanks for sharing.

Slate of Candidates for the Next Leadership Team

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Clair Gill received the message (second below) from Fred Laughlin and asked that I share it with you all. He made these comments as he forwarded it:

The slate of candidates to be elected at the Class Meeting on Monday, 18 May 2015 during our 50th Reunion are provided below. There will be, of course, in keeping with Roberts Rules of Order, an opportunity to take nominations from the floor at that time. Our Bylaws state that we need to have this slate announced to the Class NLT 60 days prior to the Class Meeting, but I think it important that we let you know as soon as possible of the nominations. Again, per the Bylaws, our immediate past President, Fred Laughlin, chaired the Nominating Committee who did a fantastic job of balancing continuity and change in selecting these nominees.


And here is the message received by Clair from Fred:

The Nominating Committee is pleased to nominate the following classmates to serve as class officers for the years 2015-2020. We believe the proposed Team will serve the class well as we enter our post-50th Reunion years. Each member of the slate has demonstrated a commitment to the class and a willingness to contribute generously of his time and energy to class-related activities. The proposed Leadership Team contains past officers who can provide continuity and new leaders who will bring new perspectives to the next five years. While we on the Nominating Committee are pleased and proud to commend this slate for your approval, we are aware of the high bar you and your Leadership Team have set over the past four-plus years. Accordingly, with gratitude for the past Leadership Team, we present our slate for the Leadership Team for the next five years.

President Russ Campbell
Senior Vice President Bob Radcliffe
Vice President Rollie Stichweh
Treasurer Mitch Bonnett
Secretary/Scribe Rick Bunn
Historian Bob Frank

Respectfully submitted,

Fred Laughlin
Chair, Nominating Committee

Fredric Laughlin
H: 623-670-7966
C: 301-520-8594

Bob Radcliffe has done it Again! Part 2

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

John Shuford, Joe DeFrancisco, Tom Henneberry, Chuck Moseley, Steve Ammon, and Chris Needels I apologize for the delay in getting this second part of my report out, but I've had a lot of time on the road (a total of 4800+ miles) and it took me a while to get back to the job. Rather than just use the subject “Golf Outing Part 2” I chose to repeat the original subject lest we forget what a magnificent job Bob did for all of us putting this gathering together. In the first part of the report, I introduced you to most of the attendees (again my apologies to the ladies – it seemed most of the time when I saw them, I didn't have my camera with me). I promise to do better next time. This time I want to just share a little more of the folks gathering for a good time at different places along the way. Please note (especially in these first two shots the smiles that say so much about what it means to be with our dear friends.

In the this picture we have John Swensson, Steve Harman, Walt Kulbacki, and Susan Swensson gathering in the hospitality room. In the this picture is my roomie, Bill Sherrell, Pat Kenny, and or current President, Clair Gill all seem to be pretty happy.

On our first day of golf we gathered at the Green Course of the Golden Horseshoe Golf Complex.

Photo Left: we are getting ready to mount our carts and head out are, John Shuford, Joe DeFrancisco, Tom Henneberry, Chuck Moseley, Steve Ammon, and Chris Needels.

Next we have the foursome of Harley Moore, Jim Harmon, Clair Gill, and John Vann.

Now for the serious card playing that always goes on at these outings. Here are Steve Ammon, Lance Hewitt, Bob Harter, George Brock, and Mitch Bonnett and then from the other direction at the same table Mitch Bonnett, Chuck Moseley, Steve Ammon, and Lance Hewitt.

Each morning we had a very nice breakfast in the Lobby of the Best Western Plus where we stayed. Here we have Pat Kenny, John Swensson, Joe DeFrancisco, Steve Harman and Russ Cambell.

Photo Right: I was actually able to round up the whole gang (at least those playing Jurassic Park) for a group photo, and no, I'm not going to try to get all the names on this one.

The whole gang Sufice to say that we were all excited and ready to play this most difficult course. I recall looking at it and thinking wow, beautiful, intimidating, challenging, and I really want to perform the best I can (not unlike my first real date when I was a kid in high school but that's another story).

Now this is what I call timing. I felt bad and apologized in both the first half of this report and in this second part to the ladies for not getting more shots of them. Well just as I was getting to the end of this part, my good friend Chuck Moseley sent me two additional photos of many of us who went to a local pizza and pasta place for dinner on Tuesday evening. Here we have Eleanor Vann, Lynne DeFrancisco, Donna Mastran, Cathy Moseley, Dede Malpass, Maralee Laughlin. And then, finally, we have the guys table with Jim Wood, John Vann, Fred Laughlin, Dave Mastran, Bill Sherrell, Joe DeFrancisco, Chuck Moseley, Moi, and John Malpass. Is it just me or does this seem a little strange that the guys and gals decided to sit separately? I guess it was just because the gals got there first and were already seated when most of us arrived. Actually, I would have preferred to sit with the much prettier people but these guys are always great to hang out with.

That's it for this report. Another triumph for Bob Radcliffe and a terrific time for all of us who were able to attend. Thank you Bob and thank you to all who assisted me in pitting this report together.

Bob Radcliffe has done it Again!

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Chuck Moseley, George Brock, Clair Gill, and John Howell Wow, what a terrific golf outing we just had. Bob Radcliffe clearly has some connections in the right places because everything seemed just perfect including the spectacular weather. As always he put together a wonderful event that was a pure pleasure from start to finish.  At this time I want to acknowledge and thank the folks who stepped up to help Bob where they could. Jim and Janet Dyer assisted with the administration of the “games” and Bob wanted me to give a shout out also to several folks who assisted with the heavy lifting of all the stuff needed to keep the hospitality room well stocked. Thanks to all of you.

I'm going to switch thing around a little bit to introduce you to all the guys in attendance first and then give you a chance to see them later in just some of the many shots I took. This report will be in two parts and I will start with the group pictures where I got a little help from Bob Radcliffe and Bob Frank to make sure I didn't screw up the names. My apologies to the ladies (there were over a dozen in attendance) because I didn't get the pictures of them that I should have.

Bob Harter, Steve Darrah, Pat Kenny, and Walt Kulbacki Here are the group pictures which were taken on the last day of our gathering at the Royal New Kent Golf Course (nicknamed Jurassic Park for good reason as it is considered to be one of the most difficult courses in the entire country).

Photo Left: Chuck Moseley, George Brock, Clair Gill, and John Howell.

Photo Right: Bob Harter, Steve Darrah, Pat Kenny, and Walt Kulbacki.

Here we have Larry Neal, Tom Henneberry, Chris Needles, and Jim Harmon. Then Sandy Hallenbeck, Bob Radcliffe, Moi, and Bill Sherrell.

Here are Jack Thomasson, Gordy Larson, Major, Russ Campbell, and Joe DeFranciscoNext we have Dave Hurley, Lance Hewitt, Jim Dyer, and Steve Ammon.        

Here are John Harrington, Chuck McCloskey, Mitch Bonnett, and Walt Oehrlein. Then Dave Mastran, Fred Laughlin, John Vann, and John Malpass.

Finally, Curt Adams, Steve Harman, Harley Moore, and John Swensson. Read More

A Hike for the Ages

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Coming to you once again from Frisco, Texas where I am taking a one day break from the long drive home from the golf outing in Virginia. I'm visiting with an old friend who is recovering from surgery for esophageal cancer. Not much talking but a lot of reading as he writes many notes on a white board to remain in the conversation between his wife and me.

Hank Kelley heard my plea for folks to share the story of their interesting trips and gave me this amazing story. I didn't even have to do much of anything except cut and paste to share this beautifully written and presented story. Thank you Hank, well done:

You mentioned that you were looking for some recent trips to share. The following is an account of a trip you may find interesting that I made a couple of years ago, and is recent enough that I still remember it. I don't know if I'm a frequent enough contributor to be classified as a member of the infamous "core group," but if some son of a gun objects, it's all your fault. You asked.

Hank Kelley's Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela At some point, I don't exactly know when, it occurred to me that it would be a fine thing to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain. The Camino de Santiago is a trail that has been used for over a thousand years by pilgrims as they made their way from all over Europe to the city of Santiago de Compostela, to the shrine where the bones of St. James, brother of John the beloved apostle are said to repose.

I think the idea of walking the trail is more a case of the event seeking you out rather than the other way round. Anyway, the more I thought about it the more interested I became. And so it became one of those must do bucket list obsessions, until finally there was nothing to do but hat up and hit the trail. Since it would require some effort, I thought I'd better do this before my fast approaching 70th birthday while I was still young and in my prime. What follows is a brief account of my travel on the Camino.

The journey of 500 miles begins with a little step (or something like that). Hey, for Strength and Drive 500 miles is just like a stroll to the neighborhood pub, right?

I began my Camino in Roncesvalles on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees. Not starting on the French side may seem like wimping out, but I thought it prudent not to have to cross a mountain range the first day out.

The route of the Camino runs across northern Spain, passing through the major cities of Pamplona, Burgos, and Leon before arriving at Santiago de Compostela. Along the way, the nature of the Camino takes varied forms; at times it runs along highways (hard on the feet), along country roads, shady tree covered lanes, rugged mountain trails, pleasant forest paths, and old Roman roads (very hard on the feet; no wonder the Romans aren't around anymore). At times it passes through barnyards and pastures, and often enough even through someone's backyard. The trail has been used for centuries; the route was there first, towns and villages have grown up around and along it.

Character building accommodations. Late arrivals didn't get a mattress pad.

The accommodations along the Camino varied greatly, from the primitive (see above) which included floors of school gymnasiums, porches of public buildings, old jails and leprosaria of centuries past, to some fairly modern and well-appointed bunk houses. Accommodations were generally first come first served, so there was great incentive to hit the trail early, get in the daily mileage, and look for someplace to stay before too late in the day.

The day's routine was as follows: get packed and on the trail by first light, walk, find a place to stay, wash your clothes (and hope they dry overnight), shower, look for someplace to eat, sleep. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Day after day after day, until the journey itself becomes home.

The free wine spigot. A popular spot. Many a pilgrim doesn't get much farther.

Photo 2 | Photo 3 | Photo 4

Pilgrims have been walking the Camino for over a thousand years. And all that time, they have been cared for and helped by the local people along the way. Everyone along the trail was always friendly and helpful, going out of their way to provide assistance when needed to the lost, injured, or merely clueless. The free wine spigot was just one example. On several occasions, a local inn-keep would provide a complementary shot of booze to ease the rigors of the trail. It worked.

Although I traveled alone, the nature of the Camino guaranteed that I would meet and travel at times with others. Small groups would meet, walk a few days, and disperse depending on the varied pace of each walker. Some I would meet again; others never. Some of those I encountered:

  • A German man who told me he had visited New York City and run the marathon there. I told him I had run the Boston -- instant bonding.
  • A German woman who in the course of conversation related to me that her father had told her that America was populated with the cast-offs of Europe. (I politely refrained from mentioning Eisenhower).
  • A young lad from South Africa who told me he was a descendant of Thomas Jefferson. (Why is it that no one ever claims descent from John Wilkes Booth?)
  • A 70 year old dude from California who was walking the Camino in sandals. (I thought this was particularly unwise, as the trail frequently passed though barnyards and pastures that were veritable minefields of bestial droppings. The size of some deposits made me wonder if the locals had an elephant or two stashed away somewhere.)
  • An Australian gent who had served in Vietnam. (When he found out I had also served there, we naturally became "mates" and so spent a few evenings having a few pints and telling war stories and other lies. I feel confident he was the only pilgrim on the Camino carrying a map of Vietnam.)
  • A former member of the Irish Army who spent some time as a UN peacekeeper in Lebanon. (No one like the Irish for keeping the peace. More pints; more tall tales)
  • Two good old boys from Tennessee. We spent pretty much of the last week on the trail walking in each other's company. There were surprisingly few Americans on the Camino. It was good to hear English for a change.

And so we wandered and hobbled along across the Spanish landscape, drifting in and out of each other's lives, entertaining, irritating, and enlightening each other -- characters in a 21st century version of Canterbury Tales.

Two weary pilgrims in the square near the cathedral in Burgos.

Hank Kelley's Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela There were a surprising number of injuries on the Camino. (Not all age as gracefully as the Class of '65.) Many had to give up their pilgrimage and go home. There were any number of twisted ankles. And of course an epidemic of blisters for those without much hiking experience. Every town along the route had a first aid station solely dedicated in the evening hours to treating pilgrims. The weather didn't help. Every week had several days of rain, often heavy at times. My rain gear worked great, but there was no way to keep the boots dry. I developed shin splints from pounding along the pavement in an attempt to avoid flooded sections of trail. I considered myself lucky that that was the extent of my injuries. I took a couple of days off in Burgos and Leon to rest and see the sights before continuing on.

In front of the cathedral in Santiago. The sun is shining and all is well.

After long weary days on the trail, I walked through narrow winding streets of Santiago de Compostela, turned a corner and suddenly I was there in the plaza of the great cathedral. I had arrived.

I spent 36 days walking the Camino from Roncesvalles to Santiago de Compostela. The trek was over, but I'm still reflecting on it and digesting all that I experienced along the way. And I expect I will for the rest of my life.

A poem tacked on the wall of one of the bunk houses along the way expresses a common sentiment:

Oh, we've been to Santiago
And we've walked 500 miles.
We won't forget the people
And we won't forget the smiles.
We won't forget Pamplona,
And we won't forget Leon.
'Cause we'd rather be on pilgrimage
Than spend our lives at home.

But I don't think I'll do it again.



What a great trip, thank you very much for sharing it Hank.

A Double Honor for One of Our Own

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Let me start by apologizing for the typo that slipped by me in the report on Mike and Joy Stanko's trip story. I'm afraid I referred to his attempt to consume a “bug” pretzel rather than a “big” pretzel – that doesn't even sound all that tasty. Sorry about that.

Once again I'm sending this from the road as I get closer to Williamsburg, this evening coming to you from Nashville, Tennessee. A long day today, I logged 830 miles (actually a little more than I usually enjoy) but a beautiful drive none the less.

2014 hall of fame chris ed and sherry Now to the current story. For some time now, I have been trying to get the complete story from Chris Needles and now I think we have enough to share. Chris has not only been inducted into the Skydiving Hall of Fame (Note in the photos below that he is wearing the blazer that goes with that honor) but he has also been very busy with design and overseeing construction of the U.S. National Skydiving Headquarters which, as a surprise to him, will be named after him – how cool is that? This first picture shows Chris at the podium as he expresses his appreciation following his induction into the Hall of Fame. Then Chris shared these comments about the second photo:

2014 hall of fame chris needels at podium I was quite surprised when the US Parachute Association presented me with a plaque which will be placed on the USPA HQ building in an early 2016 ceremony.  The bronze plaque reads, “The Christopher J. Needels National Skydiving Headquarters.”  The building, which I largely designed, is located in Fredericksburg, VA.  It is visible from I-95 south at Exit 26 “Spotsylvania”.  Take a peek as you head to Williamsburg. This second photo is of me receiving the plaque which will be placed on US. Parachute Association headquarters.  Some of that stuff we took at West Point really does help… The two making the presentation are USPA president Sherry Butcher and USPA executive director Ed Scott.

Great stuff Chris, congratulations. I'm afraid it may be a little too far for those of us coming up from the south but maybe you can share some photos of the building and the ceremony in 2016.

Mike and Joy Stanko wrap up their trip

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Well Mike & Joy Stanko have finally returned home but not without sharing more terrific pictures and comments about this terrific trip of a lifetime. Here Mike shares how they wrapped things up:

Oktoberfest Small tent - a still civilized mob It's hard to believe that 30 days flew by so fast. To more than answer Dave La Rochelle's question, once in-country we rented a house and car in Sicily, then stayed in a hotel and drove in Germany before staying at the Edelweiss Lodge & Resort in Garmish where we primarily used a tour bus. We then rented a house and car in Italy. Used train, cab and local busses very minimally. Overall we drove about 1,300 miles and did about a 1,000 on a tour bus. This will be the last of it as we are now back home trying to get our “senior” bodies readjusted.

As for attending 2014 Oktoberfest:  Statistics - 6.3 million people attended; they consumed 112 oxen, 48 calves and 6.4 million liters of beer. Tent security stopped 112,000 people from stealing the traditional stone mugs. As for Lost and Found (Half-time stats):  320 pieces of clothing, 270 passports, 210 wallets/purses, 180 bags, 110 mobile phones, 100 sets of keys, 90 pairs of glasses, 55 umbrellas, 40 pieces of jewelry, 20 cameras, one set of ball and chain, a bugle, one set of dentures.

We were told that a new record was set the week before we attended - a “beer person” managed to carry 25 full 1-liter mugs of beer (something well over 100+ pounds). This photo was one carrying 11 mugs (1 stacked). Apparently the record holder had complete double stacks. The “tents” ranged in holding capacity from 2,900 to 10,000.

Photo Left: shows a “small tent” with a still civilized mob.


Oktoberfest getting into the swing of the crowd Apparently 80% of all seating is through reservation. We were lucky in that we 4 got seating in one of the smaller traditional tents which was the only one you had to pay to get in to – took about an hour to get in.

Photo Right: we are just getting into the swing of things.

Then I'm getting ready to devour a bug pretzel, and, of course, toasting my beautiful wife.

Here it's time to play adjacent to the Kellerei Kaltern Winery - northern Italy. Next is a view of the top of the Duomo in Milan – it took 424 years to build it, I can't imagine how. And then visiting Pisa to confirm that the tower still leans – it does. I can just see Leonardo (not DiCaprio) dropping stuff off this puppy.

Here we see how four and half star dining works on a slope in Siena, Italy. And how they make it all work out. As an engineer, I love this kind of stuff.Finally, after leaving Milan 10+ hours earlier, Miami is a welcome sight.

Overall it was a great trip, finishing in Milan, Lucca, Pisa and Siena +++. It was definitely not for the physically challenged as we walked and climbed a lot.

Thank you Mike and Joy, I felt as if I had enjoyed much of this with you.  For others out there who have recently taken trips or have plans to do so, please consider sharing your pictures and comments like this so we can all enjoy (even if vicariously) your adventure.

Wreaths Across America

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

“On the road again!” Man I wish I could sing but I'm no Willie Nelson. Anyway, I'm on my way to Virginia (spending the night in Van Horn, Texas) for the great golf outing starting on Sunday. My motel has Wifi so I was able to get a message from Marie Lewis at the AOG. Marie shares:

On December 6, 2014 at 1:30pm, Wreaths Across America along with the West Point Community will come together in the West Point Cemetery to place wreaths.

Please see the attached flyer to learn more and/or donate a wreath to a classmate or loved one.

Thank you,

Marie C. Lewis '04
Associate Director, Class and Membership Services
West Point Association of Graduates

This looks to me like a great opportunity to make a loving gesture in the memory of a fallen husband, roommate, or good friend.

I look forward to seeing many of you in Virginia.

Branch Night for the Class of 2015

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Here's another Bunnogram for your perusal. Pat Kenny just sent me this reminder that we are coming up on our last chance to participate with our Affiliation Class at one of their milestone events (other than their Graduation of course). I wish I lived close enough to participate as I, like so many of you, have been limited to seeing the reports of so many great events. These inspiring and inspired kids deserve all the support we can give them as they move so rapidly toward their exciting new careers.

Pat's report:

Branch Night, Class of 2015
Branch Night for the Class of 2015 is one month away!  So far 8 members of the class of 1965 have signed up to attend this significant event; there is room for many more and your attendance is encouraged.   Branch Night occurs on the evening of November 20th in Eisenhower Hall.   Our own LTG (Ret) Joe DeFrancisco will deliver appropriate remarks prior to the Commandant of Cadets instructing the cadets to open envelopes that contain their branch assignment.  The envelope will also contain their “first brass” branch insignia provided by our Class.  At the conclusion of the events in the auditorium each branch will have reception areas set up throughout Eisenhower Hall for the purpose of welcoming the cadets to their branch, and providing an ideal opportunity for the Classes of 2015 and 1965 to mingle.  As our last Affiliation Program event open to numerous participants a sizeable contingent from the Class of 1965 would be welcomed.   If you desire to attend please notify Pat Kenny at

I hope we are able to get many more of you to come out for this milestone event.

Thank you Pat.

VA Conference “The Brain at War”

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

My good friend John Swensson sent me this terrific report and beautiful pictures from the recent VA Conference “The Brain at War” in San Francisco where our own Bud Bucha delivered the keynote address. Here is John's report:

Bud and Bob Obana of the VA, and John We were honored to host Bud & Chintz (nick name for Bud's beautiful wife Cynthia) Bucha for four days in San Francisco--during which time the Giants won the pennant. Bud was in town to keynote an extraordinary VA Conference called "The Brain at War" which highlights progress in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, Female Veteran Issues, and related topics. Bud gave the keynote on why we should remove the D (Disorder) from PTSD, in order to remove the stigma and to facilitate veteran's obtaining treatment for their PTS. Bud's message is that while he is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, he also suffers from and has received treatment for his own PTS. It is my belief that Bud has saved countless lives of Veterans by taking this public position, and his unstinting work with Veterans is one of the reasons he was named as a Distinguished Graduate of West Point this year.
Bud was joined at the Conference and on the podium by Sloan Gibson, '75, the Deputy Secretary of the VA (and a former plebe in my English class) and by our mutual friend, the former Secretary of the Army, Dr. Fran Harvey. We were joined (apologize for no pictures of them) by Dr. Dave Larochelle, MD, who had been Bud's roommate and by Duncan MacVicar, who is also very active in work to support veterans here in the Bay Area. Ralph Adams and Bob Anderson could not attend the conference because of previous engagements, but sent their greetings.
Chintz and my Susan enjoyed each other's company and the conference, and Bud and Chintz also managed to sneak off and visit their grandchild in Turlock, CA where Bud's son is heading up a very large Amazon Center.
John, Sloan Gibson, MG Myatt, Bud, and Dr. Karl Grunfeld of the VA. And in the fourth picture: John, Sloan and Bud Bud gave two fabulous addresses to the 200 conferees, and we are very grateful to him and Chintz for honoring us with their presence and for encouraging Sloan to come out as well. Sloan and Rob MacDonald, both USMA '75, are working hard to fill Ric's very large shoes and the splendid legacy that he turned over to them.
See you at golf in Williamsburg next week. Warm regards, Strength and Drive,

John also shared some terrific photos from the event:

In this picture: Bud with his good friend, Dr. Francis Harvey, 19th Secretary of the Army.

Photo Right: Bud and Bob Obana of the VA, and John

Photo Left: John, Sloan Gibson, MG Myatt, Bud, and Dr. Karl Grunfeld of the VA.

In this picture: John, Sloan and Bud

Thank you John for this outstanding report and thank you Buddy (I can't help using the name I've always known him by) for continuing to make us all so very proud.

A Great Honor for our Fallen Brother John Hays

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I just received this great report and story from Gene Manghi regarding an honor being bestowed on one of our fallen brethren:

Mrs. Joanne Patton is giving the Hays grandkids a lift around the Homestead Leslie Hays Campbell, widow of John Hays '65, visited the George S. Patton Homestead in Hamilton, MA with her husband George, children and grandchildren. The occasion was the dedication of a field named for her late husband at the Patton's Green Meadows Farm. The ceremony was part of Operation Troop Support held annually at the farm by Mrs. Joanne Patton for veterans and their families. When the late Major General Patton retired he founded the organic farm. He named 3 of the working fields in honor of 3 fallen soldiers under his command in Vietnam. The families of the 2 other servicemen, both CMH recipients, were also invited.

My wife Berni and I were honored to be with the Leslie Hays Campbell family. It was good to remember a Classmate and fellow L-1 friend.

Photo Right: Mrs. Joanne Patton is giving the Hays grandkids a lift around the Homestead.

The extended Hays Campbell family with Mrs. Joanne PattonIn the this photo Michael Hays Jennings (10) and John Hays Jennings (13) in the field. In the this photo we see Leslie Hays Campbell with John, Michael and Lauren Hays Jennings and George Campbell.

Photo Left: the extended Hays Campbell family with Mrs. Joanne Patton.

It was a fine day, and a little sad.

Gene Manghi

Thank you Gene, a great report.

Classmates Touring in Turkey

lunch in Antalya overlooking the Mediterranean Sea prior to departing on a small yacht (gulet) for a four day coastal cruiseClassmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

 Larry Isakson sent me this great report of another fabulous trip being shared several Classmates. He writes:

We four Class of '65 brothers enjoyed a three week adventure in Turkey this past September, led by expert guides, Preston Hughes and his wife, Ann. It was a rekindling of memories of past assignments in Turkey for John & Karen Pickler, Tom & June Fergusson and Preston & Ann. For Larry & Rebecca Isakson it was an enjoyable fifth tour of Turkey with Preston and Ann as guides.

In this first photo Tom Fergusson, John Pickler, Preston Hughes, and Larry Isakson visit the Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara. The next photo shows John and Karen Pickler, Ann and Preston Hughes, Rebecca and Larry Isakson, and June and Tom Fergusson at a memorial cemetery at a World War I Galipoli battle site. 

Konya, Turkey, home of the Whirling Dervishes Photo Left: was taken in Konya, Turkey, home of the Whirling Dervishes.

Photo Right: lunch in Antalya overlooking the Mediterranean Sea prior to departing on a small yacht (gulet) for a four day coastal cruise. Looks like a fairly boring lunch with nothing but water, although the smiles look genuine.

Thank you Larry for a great report and some super photos. It looks like a good time was had by all.

Classmates Touring in Turkey

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

TJ Kelly came up with a great idea when he chose to help with our wonderful memories of those beautiful new cars we bought back in early 1965. Here is the story of his corvette which, surprisingly, he still has although he says he's about ready to finally sell it. I offered him a 100% profit on it but I'm guessing he will turn me down. Here is his story and some great pictures:

Thought I would share some great memories of our getting our cars firstie year. I still have my 65 vette purchased from A&C Chevrolet that spring. If I remember correctly he sold either 94 or 96 corvettes to our Class. The only car that beat that was the 65 Mustang as it was its first year. Anyway here are some pictures. One of the canceled check I wrote, thanks to highland falls bank who loaned us up to $4000 at 2% interest!(Note the address on the check and the price of $3817.00) Second is one of the owner's manual with the metal card in the back with my name on it and finally a few of the car itself. Have taken care of it but am getting ready to part with it and sell it. Brought back memories for me and I am sure it will for others. I even rented a garage in highland falls for $15.00 a month to garage it. I remember one of our classmates also bought a vette but opted to save $ by not getting a radio. He used to hang a portable radio from his rearview mirror. That might have been Andy Zaleski! Enjoy. TJ

Photo 3, Photo 4, Photo 5, Photo 6

While I don't mean to be critical, I am planning to purchase a 2015 Mustang, so I know that it will be the 51st in the Mustang series which means it actually came out in '64. I have no idea why Ford waited until 2015 to make a dramatic design change rather than making the change for the 50th model.

Anyway, I think this is a terrific reminder of the joy that most of us felt at that time in our lives and a lot of it was tied to those beautiful cars waiting for us down at Buffalo Soldiers Field. I can still remember my Palminto Green Pontiac Convertible with the white top and gold interior. Unfortunately, I didn't keep it long as my first assignment was Okinawa and they recommended against bringing a new car there. Good times – good memories.  

Thanks TJ for a great reminder.

The Annual "Darrah Bash

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Today I received a nice report from Bob Selkis which clearly shows that there are at least a dozen guys working real hard on their golf games in preparation for the big blast in Williamsburg later this month. Dubbed the annual “Darrah Bash”, which I immediately assumed was some sort of roast, it's actually some good friends getting together and probably giving each other as much guff as they are to the host. Bob Selkis is trying to test me by providing names for the first photo only, leaving it to me to match faces and photos for the rest – I'll do my best but please understand that we are dealing with a less than complete memory. Bob writes:

L to R front row: Sandy Hallenbeck, Fred Grates, Steve Darrah, Bob Selkis, Barrie Zais, Tom Carll.  L to R back row: Steve Ammon, Pat Kenny, Jack Thomasson, Walt Kulbacki, Ray Paske, Bob Harter This past weekend 12 distinguished (?) members of the class got together at Steve Darrah's club, the Foundry, outside Richmond, for our annual "Darrah Bash". We had some great golf matches, lively poker games, and as always, embellished story telling. Although we have slowed down a little, the aches and pains more apparent, the competitive spirit is still alive and well. A good time was had by all.

In the group photo Right: L to R front row:
Sandy Hallenbeck, Fred Grates, Steve Darrah, Bob Selkis, Barrie Zais, Tom Carll.
L to R back row:
Steve Ammon, Pat Kenny, Jack Thomasson, Walt Kulbacki, Ray Paske, Bob Harter.

In this next shot we have Walt Kulbacki, Bob Harter, Barrie Zais, and Tom Carll (who by the way, is clearly trying to get an unfair advantage by distracting his opponents with those wild blue trou.

Steve Ammon, Ray Paske, Sandy Hallenbeck, Fred Grates, Bob Selkis, Jack Thomasson, and the man of the hour, Steve Darrah The third shot left: includes Steve Ammon, Ray Paske, Sandy Hallenbeck, Fred Grates, Bob Selkis, Jack Thomasson, and the man of the hour, Steve Darrah. 

Here we have Sandy Hallenbeck, Fred Grates, and Steve Darrah. And then, the other end of the table, Steve again with Bob Selkis, Barrie Zais, and Tom Carll (I notice there is no shortage of wine here). 

Gentlemen, my sincere apologies if I got a few names wrong.

Classmates visiting Classmates

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

It always warms the cockles of my heart to hear about casual visits between Classmates. It suggests a closeness and camaraderie with a very large group that few in this world can enjoy. Dave and Marcella Gnau recently enjoyed such a visit with Mike and Joanie in Punta Gorda (someone had to work pretty hard to come up with that name – unless I miss my guess it has to do with a fat point). Anyway, Dave put together a very nice report with some great pictures. Dave writes:

Marcella and I had an opportunity to get a 3 bedroom condo in Port Charlotte, FL recently for $129 for the week (such a deal!). We contacted the Huston's who live in Punta Gorda (just across the Peace River from Port Charlotte where we stayed 10 minutes away).  They invited us to their lovely house on an inlet from the river for dinner on Saturday night. Mike grilled pork (delicious) and Joanie did the rest... Marcella and I had friends come down from The Villages where we live (about 2.5 hours away) for a few days and then on Friday Marcella and I went out to dinner with the Huston's to their favorite restaurant. Then, after dinner we went back to their house for after dinner drinks and munchies. I've attached a few pix from that visit.

Dave and Marcella on the left and Joanie and Mike on the right and the boat I want behind them

Photo right: That would be Dave and Marcella on the left and Joanie and Mike on the right and the boat I want behind them.

Mike in his barIn the next picture we see Joanie and Marcella in what looks like a fabulous kitchen. 

Next photo we see Joanie and Mike in their living room (cool blue leather couches).

And finally Mike in his bar (I was a little worried about him when it appeared he only had water in the first shot).

Cool stuff, thanks Dave.

Mike and Joy Stanko continue their fabulous trip

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

A little over two weeks ago I reported on a fabulous trip that Mike and Joy Stanko are taking through Europe. Here is the latest update. We should get at least one more as they get involved in Oktoberfest. Mike reports:

Since the last email we've had a lot of email issues but we have made our way through Grafenwöer, Amberg, and Regensburg on our way to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Munich.

Joy & Mike after a nice lunch in Regensburg Photo Right: is Joy & me after a nice lunch in Regensburg before heading south. 2nd photo is with our friends Kate & Tony patiently waiting for dinner (looks to me like those steins and goblets will hold you for some time).    

3rd photo is view of the Zugspitze (highest Alps point in Germany) from our Edelweiss Lodge location in G-P.

King Ludwig II's Neuschwanstein Castle (what Walt Disney patterned his castle after)For those who may not know the Edelweiss is fabulous for retired military for tours/vacations (AFRC - Armed Forces Recreation Center Resorts). Saw many great spots including drives in Austria and through the Brenner Pass to wine tours in northern Italy, and tours of Dachau and the medieval town of Lindau City. The last 2 photos are of Joy & me (you definitely have that pose down cold try switching sides next time) at King Ludwig II's Neuschwanstein Castle (what Walt Disney patterned his castle after).

Oktoberfest to follow!

As always, Cheers to all.


Great report Mike, keep them coming. This is fun following you through Europe.

A Farewell to Dick Tragemann

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

When I was still dealing with the sad news of the passing of our friend Dick Tragemann, I called Guenter Hennig and asked if he would be willing to take on the responsibility of being our POC. As I described it to him, I wanted him to be the representative of our Class to the family and the representative of the family to the Class. Without hesitation Guenter accepted the responsibility and got right to work with contacts and coordination. Guenter has done an outstanding job with this very difficult task and I would like to thank him on behalf of all of us. I know Dick Tragemann's family appreciated his efforts as well.

Here is Guenter's final report:

12 October 12, 2014


A display of Dick Tragemann's life Funeral services were conducted on 11 October 2014 starting at 2 pm at the Summer Island Clubhouse, near ST. Augustine, Florida.  The large room had been arranged to accommodate a display of Dick's life, including the Class flag.   Dick's remains (an urn containing his ashes) were centered on the large table with his mementos.  The clubhouse facility accommodated about 50 guests including four classmates of the West Point Class of 1965.  These included Frank Arnall, John Bell, Ron Floto, and Harry Haines and me with some of our spouses.  Several other West Point related persons including the widow of Col. Eleazar Parmly and George Jacunski '64 were there.  The family of Dick present included his children Rick, Bart, and Brooke and two brothers as well as grandchildren.  Also friends and neighbors attended the ceremony.

Firtst photo, Attendees from our Class included (left to right) - Ron Floto, Frank Arnall, Harry Haines, John Bell, Guenter Hennig and in the second picture - John Bell, Harry Haines, and Frank Arnall.

At 2 pm three Florida National Guardsmen provided Military Honors playing Taps and presenting the U.S. flag to Brooke Saunders, Dick's daughter.  The performance of the Guard was extremely professional and well received.

Following the Military Honors, the family provided a forum for comments about Dick and his life.  Ron Floto and John Bell provided some insights about Dick's life and activities from his cadet days at West Point.  Many of the family and neighbors had moving stories and comments about Dick.

Following the ceremony, the family and friends enjoyed refreshments and hors d'oeuvres.  In this picture (left to right standing in front of the table) Sister of Dick's wife, Rick Tragemann, Brooke Saunders, Bart Tragemann.

Overall, the event went very well and it appeared the family was appreciative of the Class of ‘65's assistance and presence.

The final disposition of the ashes was kept as a private ceremony for the family.

The US flag and the flag pole stand for the Class flag were borrowed from San Sebastian Catholic Church.  The flowers from the Class were purchased locally and I brought them with me to the clubhouse.

I dealt directly with the Florida National Guard Funeral Honors office in St. Augustine, filled out the forms for the military detail and to obtain the US flag from the post office.  Because the family did not desire a rifle salute, the detail came from the local unit.  Otherwise another unit would have been involved.   This was my first experience with military in St. Augustine and it was very positive.

Guenter Hennig

Dick TragemannDick Tragemann Let me close this report with a picture of Dick from our Howitzer along with a reminder of how we saw him back in the day.

Dick you will be missed by so many.  Grip hands my friends as we say good bye to our friend Dick Tragemann. On behalf of the entire Class of 1965 I wish to express our condolences to the family and to Dick - Be thou at Peace – Well Done!

The Thompson Clan Gathers in Colorado

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I got a very nice message from Jon Thompson who provided a couple of nice photo's (OK I had to work on him to get the big group picture which looks like a lot of fun even though most of us don't know the majority of the folks shown). He shared a very cute side note when he pointed out that his wife, Susan, his “betrothed of 45 years, says he's the only person she knows whose wife lets him look for another woman!” Jon has been working for many years with a group searching for the remains of Amelia Earhart. He says that after four months at sea they are zeroing in. Jon's comments:

Thompson family reunion in Colorado Just returned from a family reunion in Colorado and here is a photo of forty Thompson's at the Red Rocks. Susan is 4th from left, front row, in brown T shirt and I am on the far right.  My twin, Don is the white haired guy behind Susan and his wife Judy is next to Susan, 5th from left in blue shirt.

Jon ThompsonSince it was also on my birthday (September 28th), I am forwarding a photo of the first of Strength and Drive to reach 75!!!!! Scary isn't it?!  I begged my buddy, and our dear friend, Harry Dermody, to spare me this role and I will do my best to spare the next in line for at least twenty years!

 I am now the second oldest in my family, as my twin brother is nine minutes older than me. Bob Jones named me Dad Thompson during the two years we were roommates and the name stuck.  I am very proud to be part of this truly great Class of 1965!

Best,   Jon

Great message Jon, thanks for sharing.

An update on Louis Csoka

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Yesterday, I reached out to Christa Csoka for an update on her father's progress. Here is her latest report:

The last 2 weeks have shown quite the improvement.  He is now much more mobile and is better and better at communicating to us.  Although he does need to re-learn some things, they think he has improved enough to accept him in the rehab facility downstairs, which was always where we wanted him to go.  We expect that to be this coming Monday.  This is a much more intensive rehab clinic where they will work him hard and the hope is that after the 2 weeks in this clinic, he will be much closer to coming home.  I think we will know much more after these next 2 weeks.  As you can imagine, he is very frustrated since he still has the Traech and is having a hard time communicating.  But he is a trooper and he really is better day by day and we know he will beat this.

Thanks so much for all the thoughts and prayers.  We believe they continue to help him each day.

Thank you Christa, it's great to read that our good friend is making progress toward a full recovery.

As you may recall (my recall button is damn near useless) Louis and his family asked for a little help with the unexpected cost of transportation back to his home. Many of you stepped up big time so that his need was not only met but greatly exceeded. Late last month Sonny Arkangel sent me a great suggestion on this subject to share with you all. I decided to hold it until I received the next update on Louis' condition. Here is what Sonny had to offer:

Aloha Rick,
This would be an appropriate time to advise you all to invest in a travel insurance that will cover your expenses at the nearest facility, and then provide insurance to get you back home the safest and quickest way.  Most of these policies will cover the transportation of the significant other either to visit the insured one if they did not travel together and return them both home.  Naturally, this is in addition to your medical insurance, for us, Medicare and Tricare for Life if we retired from the service.  These policies are purchased for a year and cover all travel except for medical excursions, e.g., travel to Columbia for an elective plastic procedure.  For you who travel so much, you should invest in it.  For all of us who may suffer a medical emergency like Louis, it would cover the expenses for the transport.  Cruises also sell policies just for the trip, but this type of policy that I described is good for all travels.  They are available from AAA, NRA, VFW, MoPH, etcetera at a reasonable cost.  Recommend that you all check it out.
Stay well,

Thank you Sonny. Given the age of all of us, this is a very good suggestion, thank you for sharing it.

The girl at the Pep Rally

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

A little less than a month ago I shared a great story from Hank Kelley about how he slipped his brother George into our Graduation Parade. Following that I managed to miss a great follow up story shared by Nic Merriam. By the time he got me straightened out about my oversight and my pushing him for a picture to go with the story, a considerable amount of time had passed. However, we finally have his follow up story to share with a couple of great pictures. Here is Nic's story:

Hank Kelley's adventure sneaking in his brother to the Graduation Parade reminds me of an episode in my own cadet past.  Back in our cow year, I was telling the beautiful girl, to whom I was pinned and eventually engaged, about the great pep rallies we had with the Rabble Rousers.  The word “spirited” doesn't do justice to these howling, savage frenzies led by the likes of Rocco McGurk and Mike Klink. 
Although she really wanted to see one of these phenomena, I explained that she couldn't necessarily do that as some were held inside the area of barracks.  But she was not deterred.  Once shortly before Navy, a rally was to take place in Central Area.  So with the aid of Bill Bradley, who was to later become our best man, we devised a simple but effective disguise.  We bundled her up in his brown boy; being as tall as many of the cadets, this worked just fine.  You recall that this was in the era of Paul Dietzel's (no longer politically correct) Chinese Bandits, so on top of her hairdo we of his bright red cellophane bandit hats.  Since she was well disguised, we plunged into the crowd of the rally, which was already in progress.

The Rabble Rousers were in great form, standing on top of a PT stand or a truck flat bed, and the cadets were all hollering at the top of their lungs.  Of course Darcy was not saying a word, as her voice was significantly different from all the others'.  However, her face was remarkably softer and lovelier than the rest.  After a few minutes, she noticed one of the guys glanced at her and looked startled (deer in the headlights?) and he melted away.  He must have passed the word because there was created a perfect circle of emptiness around the two of us.  This was not unlike being a drop of penicillin in a Petri dish.   So we side-slipped to a different spot in the crowd.  But once again, after a while someone noticed and we again became like a spot of detergent in oily water, with no one around us. A third time, we did evasive action and tried to blend, again with the same eventual result.  With visions of the OD tapping me on the shoulder (I'd already gotten several 8 and 8's from our fraternizing too closely) I guided her quickstep to the nearest sallyport.  I gave Bill back his brown boy and we melted back onto the street and safety.  Only now do I realize how Bill had decided not to go in there with us.  Wonder why?  Unlike Hank, I have no photograph to commemorate this event.  It was crazy enough, without recording it for posterity.
She still remembers the event vividly and the wonder and the fervor of it.  She says, “Very tribal.”
     -- Nic Merriam

Great story Nic. I'm not a bit surprised that folks moved away from the danger of being caught near such a beauty. I can see it now, that sweet face surrounded by a heavy brown boy and a red cellophane Bandit hat. Here are two pictures that will show you all what I mean. For what it's worth, they are still together.

Darcy Merriam

Any other stories like this out there?

A Remembrance of Rance Rountree

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,
Our dear Classmate, Rance Rountree, passed away and was interred at West Point in late February of this year. There was a significant turnout of Classmates to honor and celebrate his life and our own Ric Shinseki (Ric and Rance had been roommates for three of their four years at the Rock) attended and presented a magnificent eulogy. Rance's daughter, Leigh Bangs, has wanted for some time to put together some of her thoughts into a remembrance of her dad. She has put together a charming piece which fills in many of the more personal memories that she has of this very special guy. They must have had a great relationship because I look through her remembrance and see that she knew her dad in some ways better than I know myself. She sent me, and several others, an e-mail with the remembrance as an attachment. I chose not to share all of her preliminary comments but here are a few lines including her appreciation to Ric for the eulogy he presented.
Hello everyone,

Below you will find what I am calling a “remembrance” of my dad, as seen from my perspective.

Ric Shinseki: It was so good to meet you at the memorial. My dad never really spoke much about his time at work, and little about West Point, so it was fascinating to see so many people at the memorial that knew him before I even existed. I really appreciated the effort you took to attend, and I think you did an amazing job with the eulogy. It is true that the piece that was missing was his personal family life. I hope what I have written will give you that missing piece, but you are welcome to call or e-mail with any questions. Thank you so much for your willingness to write the AOG MA, you certainly have my permission to tackle this job.


A Remembrance of
LTC Rance Hendrix Rountree
By his daughter

You may have known my dad as a cadet, scholar, soldier, ranger, or simply as a guy who knew how to have a good time, a great guy to have around. But you probably don't know much about how he was in his family life, or as a father and grandfather. I think a great way to get a quick glimpse into who he was is to list some of his favorite things. These may not be true with a capital “T,” but it's my impression of some of his favorite things over the years.

Favorite Movies: Brother Where Art Thou, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Lost in Translation

Favorite Books: Any atlas he could get his hands on, The Wind in the Willows, Anything by Faulkner or John Steinbeck

Favorite TV Shows: all of the Peanuts specials, Georgia Tech football games, classic movies, historical documentaries

Favorite Activities: gourmet cooking, reading, backpacking, bike rides, travelling, doing something useful out of doors, taking his grandkids to Pike Place Market in Seattle

Favorite Foods: gumbo, spicy stir fry, rum and coke, shortbread cookies, butter pecan ice cream

Favorite Songs: “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce, “Song Sung Blue” by Neil Diamond, “The House at Pooh Corner” by Kenny Loggins, “Poncho & Lefty” by Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard, “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett

Least Favorite Things: bad drivers, commuting, “bozos” (anyone who did anything idiotic), low-quality food, computers, and the song “Silver Bells”

I remember when I was little, I would wait to hear the sound of the car pulling into the driveway, and the key turning in the lock. I would run and wrap myself around his leg in the entryway, and he'd have to drag me into the kitchen.

When I was five we would have wrestling matches and he would let me win.

When nacho-flavored Doritos first came out he brought some home and said, “Aren't these good?” They were indeed.

When I was about seven years old, he gave me a toy football and taught me how to throw it with the proper spiral.

On road trips he stopped at all of the historical markers and lookout points.

When I was 8 he tried to teach me how to ski. The lessons the next day were more helpful. At the end of the week of lessons, everyone participated in a slalom race. My dad came in dead last, because he ignored all the gates, so they pinned his participation medal on his rear end.

Later, we were skiing at high altitude in the Alps after he had to carry his skis and mine up the hill. He fell asleep on the T-bar and dropped his poles. He managed to ski down and retrieve them, but by the end of that trip both of his ski poles were bent.

We were in Italy when he ordered what he thought was noodles with pesto sauce. We were surprised when the waiter came back with a huge plate of green beans. He pretended it was what he wanted, but luckily the waiter didn't believe him.

When I was 10 he taught me how to solve two equations with two unknowns because he was bored. We were in a hotel room in France on our way to a vacation in Spain. In Spain he taught me how to bodysurf.

Once, perhaps in Amsterdam, my dad asked for directions with words from three languages in the same sentence. The man answered him in English.

We got back to Germany after a vacation in England, and he said he was glad to get back to a place where he understood the language.

He finally got the sailboat he always wanted when we were stationed at Fort Monroe. Unfortunately my mom and I weren't really into sailing. But I learned how to be active ballast and never to call the sheets “ropes.”

When I was 11 he taught me some of his ranger water survival skills in the community pool.
My dad became the family cook when we were stationed in Korea, and my mom got her first full-time job since I was born. This continued even after we moved and my mom didn't work for a while. He entered a cooking contest and got runner-up.

My dad ordered quiche at a brunch. His friend turned to him and said, “I thought real men didn't eat quiche.” Without skipping a beat he replied, “Real men can eat whatever they want.”

My dad came to help out after my first daughter was born. For 10 days, he cooked, bought the groceries, did the dishes, and even changed diapers. After that he made the trip from Florida to Seattle every three months during my kids' baby and toddler years. He loved to take Kayleigh out to get yakisoba so he could watch her slurp up noodles.

He loved helping out with the kids and found ways for my husband and I to get away for a few days here and there. I think it really disturbed him when his body started to give out and he couldn't help out anymore. But it is fitting that the last thing he did for us, while limping around the kitchen, was to make us cheese grits for breakfast (in December 2011).

To honor my dad, please do not support crops that have been genetically modified to withstand large doses of pesticides. No one else should have to die the way he did.

Thank you Leigh for allowing me to share this very beautifully written remembrance with all of Rance's Classmates.
If you would like to communicate with Leigh, she can be reached at:

A Great Message and Update from Paul Schultz

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

As most of you are aware, our Classmate Paul Schultz, had to pass the baton on the brilliantly run PMEE program, to our Classmate Doug Gibson when it became impossible for him to continue due to a very personal battle with esophageal cancer. Doug has done a terrific job filling in for Paul while Paul has gone through and continues to go through some very difficult steps in this battle, which he seems to be winning.

Paul has received numerous messages of support, good wishes, prayers, and requests for updates from Classmates and friends. He has asked me to share this message of appreciation for that support as well as very encouraging status update:

Thanks to everyone for the good wishes and get well notes!

At this point I am more than halfway through the program - both chemo and radiation are finished. Last week was the low point (the pits) on side effects and this week has been progressively better each day. Thanks goodness - I can taste and eat now  but still have a hairdo like Yul Brenner.  No sign of regrowth yet.

Last Monday I transferred to Yale-New Haven Cancer Center for the surgical part of program.  I'm now doing the prep tests there, and am tentatively scheduled for Oct 23rd to have part of the esophagus with tumor removed. Final date will be if I stay on track for recovery to reach certain goals before surgery can be performed.  That date won't be sooner but could be pushed back.

The prep last Monday included a PET scan and it showed the tumor was killed by chemo + radiation and no other spread anywhere - so that is best news possible.

My goal is 2d semester PMEE participation and going to 2015 graduation to celebrate with our mentor class.  Also, dancing at the 50th reunion.

Thanks again for all the good wishes.

Paul Schultz
Strength and Drive

Thank you Paul, it's great to hear that you seem to have turned a corner. Don't worry about the hair, not too many of us have much left either. I, for one, am very optimistic that you will reach the goals you have set out and that we will enjoy your company at the 50th.

If you would like to contact Paul directly, please use: