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 2015

A Reunion After A Long Time

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Ken Cherry sent me this brief but very moving story of a reunion with his Vietnamese interpreter:

During my first tour in Vietnam I served with a Vietnamese interpreter Haun Nguyen. After the fall of Saigon Haun relocated to the US as a refugee. He found a job in Dallas with Texas Instruments. Haun and his wife, a boat person, have two college educated children. Haun had been looking for me since his arrival in 1975 and finally, thanks to Gore's Internet, found me through the West Point locator service. He and his wife drove up to Nolansville, Tennessee on December 23 for a short visit.

Ken included this great photo taken during their reunion.

Thanks Ken, good stuff. And again,
Happy New Year to all!

Can we help a Classmate in need? - Conclusion

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Back on the 18th of this month I sent out a message from Denny Coll requesting assistance for his sister, Pat, who had gotten herself caught in a speed trap. The response was terrific, as it always is when we ask Classmates to help Classmates, and all indications are that the final result will be very good. Pat offered this statement and photo to show her appreciation:

This is the sister of Denny Coll who asked that you send out an SOS to his classmates for lawyers who would be good to hire for a reckless driving charge of going too fast.

I thank you very much as the response was awesome! It lead to a lawyer who will plead for me in court and have it reduced to a non-moving violation with no penalties. I could not hope for a better result.

A valuable lesson was learned from this stomach churning problem. They tell you going over 85 will get you a ticket and an extra fine but I never heard that it was considered reckless driving until the officer told me. I did not consider myself reckless in any way but now that I know I was I am a believer.

Thank you again so very much!


Pat Coll Lyons
God Bless

She looks to me like a charming lady who just dodged a bullet thanks to her connection to our Brotherhood. Thank you to all who stepped up to assist.

Happy New Year!!!!

Classmate Visit to Dan Speilman

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I just received this terrific report from Mike Applin and Oleh Koropey. These guys know how to put together a report which sure makes it easy for me to put into a Bunnogram to share. They write:

Recently Oleh and Janice Koropey and Cathy and Mike Applin visited Dan and Nancy Speilman for a belated 50th WP Reunion at their beautiful home in Lewisburg WV. Oleh thought it would be a great idea to meet before the holidays and reminisce and celebrate Dan’s progress recovering from recent surgery. It was a great idea!

Some background: After teaching ES&GS at WP Dan went to medical school and became an Army plastic surgeon. He then practiced at Walter Reed, and after retirement, in Leesburg VA and Lewisburg WV. About 5 years ago he fully retired due to some serious Agent Orange related health issues.

Our visit was wonderful; we had plenty to chat about. Dan and Mike traveled through Brazil and Europe after Plebe and Cow Years; and Oleh and Dan served in the ¾ CAV together in VN. That evening, Dan and Nancy took the group to the Greenbrier for dinner and then back to the Speilman’s for dessert. It was a wonderful and occasionally raucous time. Dan and Nancy’s daughter Mollie, a talented artist, took the photo’s below. Dan doesn’t use email but would love a phone call. (304-645-4402)
Mike and Oleh

Here we see the three guys (L to R) Oleh, Dan, and Mike. And next a shot with their beautiful wives (L to R) Janice and Oleh Koropey, Nancy and Dan Speilman, and Cathy and Mike Applin.

I think the smiles and bright colors say it all. A great gathering of great friends. If you ever wonder what I’m looking for in the way of reports/stories to share, here it is.

Thank you guys and Happy New Year you and everyone out there.
Best Regards,

'65 Class Ring Recovery

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Your Leadership Team has been very busy recently in an effort to recover a ’65 Class Ring being sold on EBay. There was considerable discussion regarding how to proceed but the decision was finally made to do whatever we could to keep this very important symbol of our Class out of the hands of anyone who might choose to use it for inappropriate purposes. Our President, Russ Campbell, lead us through the effort and reports here to make our actions completely transparent and to keep you all informed:

Several weeks ago, Barrie Zais spotted a '65 Class Ring being auctioned off on EBay. He contacted the AOG and members of the Class Leadership Team. His timely alert allowed us to mobilize the whole Leadership Team, develop a plan, marshal the resources of the USMA Ring Recovery Program, engage e-bay, and monitor the auction process. It was quite an adventure with so many back stories all taking place over five days. The Leadership Team stayed in constant contact, even Bob Axley from Europe where he and Michelle were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

After the word went out to the Class, nine Classmates or relatives contacted us concerning lost or stolen rings---some very sad stories, which confirmed our initiative to try and get the ring back. Unfortunately, none matched the description of the ring on e-bay. The auction moved on, we modified our bid several times in order to stay in the hunt. There were 64 bidders for the ring. We stayed the course and won the ring!!

The ring is now with the Ring Recovery Team. They will use their experience and resources to try and identify the Classmate who owned the ring originally. There was an inscription inside the ring that apparently was rubbed out. If we can get 2 or 3 letters then we can back into identification. We were also in touch with Balfour, the original manufacturer of our rings. But, they did not keep individual records that far back. If any of you know about missing rings, please let us know, and we will try to get a match with the Ring Recovery Program.

If we are unable to identify the owner, then the ring will be sent to me for further disposition consideration by the Leadership Team.

Mitch Bonnett, Class Treasurer, will get a note out to the Class concerning donations to pay for the recovery and replenish the Admin Account.

We are very pleased to have recovered this ring on behalf of an unknown Classmate, and we hope that you are also.

On behalf of your Leadership Team, please enjoy the holidays, stay healthy, and have a great new year.

Russ Campbell, '65 Class President

I’m proud to be a part of this effort which clearly demonstrates the high esteem we all feel toward our Class and the brotherhood it represents. Very soon, there will be more information to share on the final disposition of the ring and a request for financial support for this endeavor.

For now, as we await any developments from the Ring Recovery Program, please let us know if you have any knowledge of a Class Ring that may have gone missing. The ring in question is in very good shape suggesting that its owner may have stopped wearing it many years ago.

December Graduation

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

As many of you are aware, graduation from the Academy these days is a little different than when we graduated all those years ago. One of the differences is that if a cadet is qualified or close to qualification for graduation but for any one of many reasons, he or she can’t graduate with his or her Class, arrangements are made for a delayed graduation. This year there were three such delayed graduations and the final one just took place on December 18th. Our Class Historian, Bob Frank, was there and provided this comprehensive report:

The last 26 members of the Class of 2015 (FOR THOSE WE LEAD) were graduated on Friday, 18 December. The ceremony was held in the Crest Hall of Eisenhower Hall. The hall was packed with family members, friends, underclass men and women, and several 2015 Classmates who returned to celebrate with their graduating Classmates. The Class of 1965 was also present in the persons of its Immediate Past President (Clair Gill) and its current President (Russ Campbell). The Class Historian was there to record this final Affiliation event, and Maryann Campbell and Mary Frank were also participants. (Sherry Gill was scheduled to attend, but effects of a foot surgery made that impossible.) The Superintendent, LTG Caslen, presided over the graduation, noting the perseverance of the 26 cadets in overcoming a variety of obstacles to get to this final day as a cadet. He thanked the parents and friends who supported their loved one through the process.

Photo Left: the entire graduating group with our Clair Gill on the left and Bob Frank and Russ Campbell on the right.

Here we see the moment they had all been waiting so long to enjoy

Next we see the presentations by our Classmates. In the second shot, I’m not sure who is happiest, the graduate or Russ.

The Dean, BG Trainor, was the keynote speaker. He gave a very thoughtful talk about what the cadets had been through, personalizing the experiences of several of the soon to be graduates. He talked about the physical, academic and character development of these fine young women and men. And he noted that this was all in preparation for the duties and responsibilities they would assume as Second Lieutenants. The speech was one of congratulations for what these 26 had accomplished, but also a reminder of the expectations that each would continue to develop as a leader of character, serving the men and women in their charge as officers, and doing their utmost to uphold their oath of office.

Diplomas were awarded by the Dean. The Superintendent provided each graduate a dollar bill signed by GEN Marty Dempsey, recently retired Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. Second Lieutenant Dempsey had given a similar bill to a young soldier many years before after receiving his first salute as an officer. Upon Dempsey's being named Chairman, that soldier, now a retired Sergeant Major, returned the dollar bill with a note that congratulated GEN Dempsey for having earned the dollar back. At the June graduation, GEN Dempsey cited this tale as something the members of 2015 should keep in mind in the future. GEN Dempsey then personally presented each new graduate a signed dollar bill. And those graduating in June, August and December also received a dollar bill.

Photo Right: The Class of 1965 presented each December graduate, as we had all those who preceded these 26, with a set of Second Lieutenant bars. Engraved on the back are the two Class years, a reminder of the bond that has been forged as each 2015 graduate now joins the Long Gray Line.

What started on R-Day 2011 was concluded on 18 December 2015 with two Classmates and their wives who participated in R-Day closing the loop. Our affiliation with the Class of 2015 continues into the future, and some day FOR THOSE WE LEAD will be our link to the Class of 2065!

Thank you Bob for a great report. It’s been a long road with these great kids and it’s good to see them finally on their way to some pretty amazing careers.

Merry Christmas to you all,
Best Regards,

50th Reunion Book - with Correct Dropbox Link

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

By now most of you should have received your copy of the 50th Reunion Book. When I received mine, I enjoyed reminiscing about the great time Donna and I had at the Reunion. It was such a pleasure to see so many old friends and meet so many folks I had not yet had the pleasure of meeting. My, how we have changed over the years and in so many other ways, we have not changed at all.

Since I wanted to acknowledge this significant achievement, I asked Larry Leskovjan to give me a little write up regarding the project. Larry wrote:

The Book was a team effort in which I, Tom Kovach and Marguerite Smith of the WPAOG, all had important roles. Compared to the 45th Reunion Book, this one seemed a lot easier to put together--maybe it was the vision that Tom had regarding what the book should present or the support of the AOG in providing a good format to follow and how it followed our wishes in putting it all together. In any event, there were so many photographs to choose from, over a thousand, thanks to those that I took and all that were sent to me by so many classmates. They were part of the team as well, and thanks be to them. I tried to pick the photos that were most representative of the various events, diverse in their subject matter and just good shots. Unfortunately, in a book like this, 90% of them could not make the book, but thanks to Chuck Nichols, who sent a note to the class on it, there is a link on our class web page to all photos, those in the book and those not used . Here is the link for anyone who needs another reminder: The Dropbox link will remain active until the end of February, so everyone will be able to download any of the photos they might want to until that time.

I think the book is a great memento of our greatest reunion, and I hope that everyone enjoys it.

Here is hoping that everyone has a super Christmas and that 2016 will be a great year for everyone.

Larry Leskovjan

Before I even received my copy, I received a very nice note from Nic and Darcy Merriam who wrote:

The Book has arrived! Congratulations to Larry on this stellar accomplishment! Darcy and I have spent quite a bit of time looking at it already (and expecting more), and the warm feelings of the reunion have warmed up all over again. It's really great!

Thanks and kudos for a job well done.

-- Nic and Darcy Merriam

I’m sure we all feel the same about a job exceptionally well done. It’s always rewarding to see the product of Classmates doing nice things for Classmates.

I’ll close with a wish that you all have a wonderful Christmas, an amazing Holiday Season, and a truly magnificent New Year.

And still Another Nice 50th Anniversary Story

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Chuck Moseley sent me this very nice story of his wedding exactly 50 years ago today. Check out the faces in the second picture. We even have a great shot which includes two of our fallen brothers Jim Scheiner and Bobby Arvin in the wedding party. Chuck writes:

The day began with a brunch at Walter Reed Hospital O Club for the Bride and her party. Then a formal wedding, with many attendees in uniform as both sides of our family served (The Greatest Generation). The wedding was on the grounds of National Cathedral in DC at St. Albans Episcopal Church.

Photo Left: we see a couple of very happy folks, Cathy and Chuck

Bob Arvin and Fred Laughlin were Ranger Buddies and had driven in the night before from Columbus after graduating – my parents remembered until their last days how they packed it away at Rehearsal dinner – eating several steaks. Jim Ruth and Jim Scheiner were with me at Princeton; Tom Fergusson was in Baltimore at MI school and not sure where Bill McKemey came from. Col. Hammond came down from West Point and was found wandering in the Columbia Country Club Parking Lot later that night looking for his car. It had been a “lively” reception and he had forgotten that he had flown in and had been using cabs!

What many remember was that the groomsmen raised their swords inside the “OLD” Church at the altar as a surprise, because the night and logistics prevented the traditional steps location. Apparently, that was a real No No as the rector did not show up at the Reception!

The marriage was almost short lived as Bill McKemey (My Getaway Car Driver) pulled out of the Country Club into divided Wisconsin Avenue and turned left!

Photo Right: we have (L to R) Jim Ruth’63, Bill McKemey, Cathy, Chuck’s Dad, Tom Fergusson, Col. Hamblin, Fred Laughlin, Jim Scheiner and Bob Arvin

Thank you Chuck, this is a terrific addition to our collection of 50th anniversaries.

Merry Christmas to you all,

And the Story Continues

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Well another member of the Last Section/Century Club has been heard from. Here we have pretty much the same story Slats shared but from the perspective of another stalwart member of that group. Tim Thames shares his memories:

Slats didn't mention that the class we were in was the Last Section of Juice. Of course, I was there too ( I met very few last sections that didn't have my name on their rolls). Also Slats forgot to mention that this was the first time Chandler had attempted to teach or at least put up with the Last Section. He left with Henri and I think he took Henri with him to see Col Cutler. LTC Chandler did not return to the Last Section (Henri did), instead we got laid back Maj. Emerson in his place. He had a much more appropriate temperament for Electrical Engineering students of our caliber.

I think Henri got away with that one without a slug. Well maybe a five and two but in the Century Club we don't count those as slugs. Also I disagree with Slats on the station. I think we were listening to WABC. There was always a fight over which station we would put on. Whoever got to the study hall (classroom) first got to wire the board.

Both Henri and Slats were great additions to our beloved academic section that we shared for at least two years and to my memories of the fun times. There are many more stories from the Last Section that bear repeating but there isn’t enough room here. Henri will be sorely missed.


PS: Pretty much the same crowd met on Saturday afternoons on Central area.

While I enjoy hearing and sharing this story, it saddens me that, I too was there almost every Saturday (as a member of the Century Club, starting in Plebe year, you spend a lot of time with these guys) but these stories seem new to me. Oh well, as they say, a mind is a terrible thing to lose.

Thanks Tim for filling in some of the gaps.

Another Adventure with the Kid

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

The story I shared about my adventure with the bouncy house slide prompted this very interesting and disturbing response from TJ Kelley. He had his own adventure with his son which made my experience seem like a walk in the park. TJ writes:

I had my own adventure with my son on a deer hunting trip to remote Pennsylvania. No water, electricity or external cell phone communication. All we had was an outhouse and a propane heater and two burner stove in the cabin. Anyway, on the second day I broke my ankle in three places when I fell with my foot caught between some rocks. I crawled out of the woods and connected with my son and he drove me to an emergency room 25 miles away down the mountain. Next day I drove 480 miles back to New Hampshire and was very glad to get home. Yes it was my right ankle but I had enough flexion to operate the gas and brake pedal. My son lives in Indiana so we figured this was the best alternative. Bottom line @ 75 some of this fun stuff is getting to hard to do. Facing six weeks in a cast! Happy holidays! TJ

Photo Left: the splints my son improvised so I could crawl out of the woods.

With a little push, I was able to get TJ to include some photos to help us get the whole picture:

Third, relaxing in the cabin that evening. Thing on my head is a headlamp, no electricity there. Finally, it all happened on my son’s birthday and I had brought a candle and cake but he had to arrange it all. A hunting trip to be remembered, TJ

Photo Right: Fireman carry hurt too much. Next is the injured ankle on ice after return from the ER.

TJ, I’m sure glad to see the smiles after that harrowing experience. That will be one trip to remember for years to come. Thanks for sharing the story and Happy Birthday to your son.

Merry Christmas to all,

The Radio that wouldn't turn off

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

In response to several times that Henri Klingler’s name has popped up recently, here is a pretty cool memory from Slats Letterie:

Just a short story about Henri Klingler. During Cow Year I was in a Juice Class with Henri. We had this class first thing in the morning so many times a week. During this period we studied Radio and there was a Superhet radio broken down into its component parts on a 4X4 plywood board that sat on a window sill. Every morning we would come into the classroom and someone would turn on the radio to KDET. As soon as the Prof, LTC Happy Chandler, came in he would go over and shut off the radio and begin the class. One day he came in and turned off the radio only it didn't turn off. LTC Chandler was completely puzzled and traced the components to find the problem. When he couldn't find any problem he looked behind the plywood board and saw a transistor radio playing. He questioned the class as to who put the radio behind the plywood and Henri raised his hand and was promptly dismissed from the class by LTC Chandler. Henri was a great guy and we'll all miss him.

Carl Slats Letterie

Great story Slats. Did the question by the Prof constitute using your honor against you? I wonder. By the way, remind me and someday, down the road, I’ll share a story about how our radio station KDET managed to screw me up big time.

Army/Navy Post Mortem

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Always fun to read is the amazing coverage of a game by our own Gordy Larson. Once again, as I read this post mortem, I was saying to myself, “yup, he nailed it.” Here are Gordys’s comments about a thrilling Army/Navy Game:

America’s Game - 116th Addition

Executive Summary

It was a warm December day at the Lincoln Financial Field as Army West Point met Navy for the 116th renewal of America’s Game. Navy came into the game ranked in the Top 25 in the FBS and were favored to win by 21 points, but the Black Knights gave Navy all they could handle as Navy needed three turnovers to hold onto the win.

Freshman quarterback Chris Carter completed 9 of 15 passes for 208 yards, but Navy won the turnover battle with a fumble recovery and 2 interceptions to hold off a fourth quarter counterattack by the Army West Point offense. The Black Knight defense contained the Navy offense most of the day as Army outgained Navy 345 yards to 312, but Keenan Reynolds broke loose for a 58 yard touchdown run and threw a 50 yard touchdown pass that put 14 easy points on the scoreboard for Navy.

I was planning to program my DVR to record the game before I left for Philadelphia, but as we seniors are want to do, I forgot, and now I have to wait until Monday night to watch the rerun on CBS Sports. In the meantime, I have a Monday morning deadline to meet, and will rely on my own initial observations, supplemented by a lot of comments I’ve read from participants on the forums.

It was interesting watching the game with members of the media up in the press box. We’re supposed to be neutral up there, and most are, but I was not able to contain my enthusiasm on a few occasions, and I’m sure the guy from SB Nation sitting next to me figured out which side I was rooting for. The press got more than they expected out of this game. I had the impression that most of them came to document Reynolds record breaking achievements and weren’t expecting to see a real contest to the final minute.

Click here to read the full analysis.

A Day with the Little Ones

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Please indulge the focus on my family in this story as I am doing it in the hope that providing a little levity might brighten our otherwise depressed mood following a well fought but very disappointing game. As the game was being played (fortunately, I was recording it) my two precious granddaughters (Chloe and Lily) were demonstrating their skills at a gymnastics exhibition. This was followed by a birthday party for Lily at a nearby bouncy house facility. I had a hard time getting around the facility because the big game was being projected on the wall and I didn’t want to see any of it to spoil my viewing when I returned home. Fortunately, there was no sound so all I had to do was avoid seeing it.

Photo Left: sisters, Chloe and then Lily, with their hard earned trophies. Have you ever seen such proud kids? (I love the cheeks on Chloe)

We then went to the bouncy house facility where Grandpa decided to try the giant slide. This was much tougher for me than what I remember of the slide-for-life at Recondo and Ranger School. Those stairs are not designed for crusty old guys like me. I finally made it to the top and the slide wasn’t too bad but I went a little farther than planned. Slide 1 | Slide 2 | Slide 3

My son, who has far more talent than I with computers and such, had a little fun with me by combining a few videos of my adventure and adding the music from the old “Benny Hill Show”. I hope you are able to open this link and enjoy a laugh at this old man trying to play a kids game. Today, I have pains in places where I didn’t even know I had places.

We wrapped up the whole event with a nice picture of Grampa and Lily on the Birthday Girl’s throne.

While we watched Lily opening her gifts her great grandmother (confusing, I know, but it has to do with my daughter adopting her foster kids) and I discussed the fun of having the girls visit periodically. We are convinced that both girls have a little Tasmanian Devil in them as they act like a couple of whirling dervishes when they enter our home. This charming lady shared a line I thoroughly enjoyed and I’m sure some of you can also relate to it. She said, “I have seen the lights of Paris, I have seen the lights of Rome but the prettiest lights I have ever seen are the taillights on the car taking my grandkids home.”

For me these pleasant memories help to soften the pain of waiting another year to BEAT NAVY. I hope they will help you as well.

Finally, an answer to our Memory Test

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Well, it took a little while and I never did get all the information I was hoping for, but I think I have enough to put this to bed. Jerry Dernar sent me a very nice write up about the paper mache elephant and even included some pictures. Unfortunately, no one could find any pictures of the elephant but we did get a few great shots from Vietnam which include our recently diseased brother Henri Klingler. Jerry writes:

Thanks for reminding me about the elephant. Part of first class year it was in the room I shared with Fred Grates in L1. Too bad none of us had the presence of mind to take a picture of it. We shared the building in New South Area that fronted on Thayer Road with I1 so it could easily have moved back and forth between companies as we had a huge open basement storage area as well as huge trunk rooms. It definitely was not pink - either gold or grey. My recollection is that it originated at Ladycliff, and was paraded down Thayer Road to the barracks area where it was presented as a gift to, of all people, Henri Klingler. This is not meant to be disrespectful to our recently deceased classmate, but Henri had a knack for being involved in all manner of unusual activities.

I am also attaching photos from Vietnam. I was in the 25th in Cu Chi while Tom Henneberry and Henri were in Tay Nin. I had a signal detachment there, and ran into them during my visits. Can't attest to the veracity of the photos as I doubt either of them ever filled a sand bag. My guess is that Henri was also signal because on one visit he pulled me aside, and pointed off in the distance. A few minutes later the sky exploded and the ground shook as we watched a B52 bombing run that he knew about, and wanted me to watch with him.

Top left, Henri with shovel and Tom holding sand bag - note Tom's 196th Light Infantry Brigade patch. Top right, Henri and Tom switching places - note Henri has no unit patch, name tag or any identification on his uniform. Bottom left Jerry in jeep. bottom right, Henri and Jerry on stoop of hooch.

Thank you Jerry. Now we know “the rest of the story” about the elephant and we can enjoy some great reminders of those amazing days in that far off land of beauty, destruction, adventure, and camaraderie called Vietnam.

A Wreath for Every Grave

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

When I took on this job about 5½ years ago I decided to limit my messages to only those things that directly impact our Class. This has worked fairly well but it does mean that from time to time I find that my self-imposed standard causes me to reject some really nice patriotic or just moving stories. I chose to share this here because it gives me an opportunity to explain why some stories don’t become a Bunnogram. When I received the following very nice story from Janet Atteberry, I was afraid this was going to be another of those rejections. However, as I got farther into it, I found that there was a very nice tie to the Class as a wreath was placed on the grave of her husband, Leighton Atteberry, who passed away back in 2012.

Janet explained that she had been a little reluctant to share because she doesn’t see many stories from widows and thought that it might not be appropriate. By the way, I was pleased when she explained that she prefers to be referred to as a Class widow (not just a widow) as it helps to reflect the closeness she feels to all of us. What a classy way to put it. Rest assured that all input from Classmates, wives, widows, families, and friends are definitely welcome.

Janet’s story started when she read in a recent e-mail from the AOG (which I also forwarded in a Bunnogram), that there was shortage of wreaths for the annual effort to provide one wreath for each grave in the West Point cemetery. When she saw the need she quickly e-mailed the link and offered to help and as she put it:

Photo Right: Marilyn with her son Tom

I immediately heard back from Jackie McNally, the primary organizer of the event. She asked me to call her right away, and we talked for 20 minutes, the day before Thanksgiving! She is a wonderful, personable woman with huge amounts of organizational skill and enthusiasm, and the mother of several USMA grads. Together with a Professor Crowder from the Academy, she has been organizing this project for 5 years. They depend on donations to purchase the wreaths, at cost, and volunteers to lay them. This was the first year they could afford to cover all the graves in the cemetery, and when we spoke, Jackie did not yet know they could provide enough this year. Last minute donations prevailed! Various large trucking companies volunteered to transport all the wreaths from a Maine company across the country to all our national cemeteries. At West Point Perdue trucks were unloaded by cadets and many civilian volunteers - over 7000 wreaths! The event nationwide takes place next weekend, but West Point does it early because of Army-Navy.

Janet was invited to attend but it was not possible this year. However, special arrangements were made for her cousin Marilyn (who lives nearby) with her husband and son to attend and lay a wreath at Leighton’s grave. As you can see in the two pictures below this was done earlier than the rest to accommodate Marilyn’s schedule. These are clearly very caring folks. The first shot shows Marilyn with her husband, Al. Note that these pictures provide a glimpse of the new columbarium in the background (looks a little like a wall).

Marilyn, sent a nice note to Janet following the wreath laying and I thought it would be appropriate to share it here. Marilyn wrote:

What a beautiful experience we had yesterday at West Point. We laid a Christmas wreath and said a prayer at Leighton’s gravesite. I’m so happy we could be there to represent you and your family. If only we could have been there for the actual ceremony at 1:30 and joined all the volunteers as they travelled through the cemetery laying all the wreaths. I’m sure it was very touching. We arrived about 10 minutes after they started unloading the trucks and it was announced about 30 minutes later that they beat last year’s record time. The cadets were really proud of themselves!! I believe there were 7000 wreaths. Maybe we’ll be visiting Leighton’s grave next year together.

I understand the final tally was actually 7004 wreaths, enough for one on each gravesite. I’m including a link here to a 90 second video of the event. I hope you can open it.

As Janet wrapped up her report, she added this very nice sentiment:

I often wish I had contacted all those classmates and dear old friends who helped us during Leighton's illness and death. All our efforts were focused on survival, though it did not happen. I have saved all those notes and emails, so perhaps this report can be my way to say thank you.

This project will once again be looking for support next year and I have promised Janet that I will share another request for donations at that time.

Another Nice 50th Anniversary Story

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Pat Kenny sent me this nice story of one more 50th anniversary. I’m sure there are many more out there. Please share them. I would join in but I have the rare distinction of having divorced my wife over 20 years ago and then remarried her 3 and butt years later (the divorce wasn’t working out). Unfortunately that leaves us with a very confusing count on how long we have been married and two anniversaries. Fortunately, the love is still strong.

Here is Pat’s story:

Alice and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary yesterday, 5 December. We did it rather quietly with a very nice dinner with friends at a wonderful restaurant in downtown Columbus, GA. The name of the restaurant is MaBella’s, cleverly named as at one time the store front housed the main switchboards for the local Bell telephone system. Our 4 children contributed to the evening by arranged with restaurant to provide all the wine and champagne we needed. So today we begin our journey on the next 50 years.


Great story Pat. I need to find a restaurant that will hand out wine and champagne. Then again, maybe I’m better off without one.

50th Anniversary

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I hadn’t thought of it but Bob Axley (my favorite recovering attorney) just reminded me that I should be getting some input from many of you out there, regarding your 50th anniversary. Bob writes:

A quick addition to the notes from those of us celebrating our 50th wedding anniversaries. Michele and I are in the middle of a cruise from France to Portugal. The building was started in 1882 but is as yet unfinished due to world wars, revolutions and lack of funds. You can still see cranes in the picture. Gaudi died in 1926 and it’s only been in the last 15-20 years that any progress has been made. We saw the building 15 years ago and it was still open to the sky. Now only 8 of the 16 bell towers are left to finish. Estimated time of completion: 2026. It’s the most unusual church I’ve ever seen, but magnificent. We’ll finish in Lisbon about the time Army beats Navy so we’ll have to find a way to follow the game live. Best to all. BEAT NAVY!!

Photo: us in front of the magnificent Antonio Gaudi designed basilica La Segrada Familia in Barcelona


Great thought Bob and a very nice report and photo.

A Farewell to Henri Klingler

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

On Monday of this week I informed you of the passing of Henri Klingler. I had just heard about it the day before and waited until I had enough detail to share a little of what had happened. Henri’s passing was unusual for us in that, the memorial service, and funeral had all taken place prior to us hearing about it. The family wanted it this way to maintain their privacy during this very difficult time. However, after the fact they were extremely forthcoming and, as you can see in this report, were happy to share many details of Henri’s life and those he loved.

I first heard from Larry Wiest who attended the funeral and volunteered to be the Point of Contact (POC). However, we both agreed that it would be better to offer the job to Tom Shaw who also attended the funeral and who lives much closer to the family. Tom was quick to accept the responsibility and has done a very good job on our behalf.

I spoke two times with Henri’s charming widow, Janet, who was very helpful and arranged for me to connect with Henri’s son James. James is one of their five children who delivered the eulogy (attached) and spoke for all the children when he overwhelmed me with information and photos for this report. A part of what he provided follows:

Harold Henri Klingler, Jr., Class of '65, passed away November 24, 2015, in Nashville, TN, after a brief period of illness following triple bypass surgery. Henri was deeply loved and is sorely missed by many: Janet - his beloved wife of 43 years; his five children - Anna, Margaret, Sarah, James, and Laura; his four grandchildren, three sons-in-law, his brother Jim, and indeed all family and friends who knew him well.

Photo Left: Henri with his beautiful wife Janet also at the wedding.

From his children: "We cannot stress enough how close he was to his wife and children; we are a group of great friends. He poured his life into caring for and teaching his family, and we will feel his absence whenever we are together. He had a strong and lasting influence on a great number of people, even those who met him only once or twice. He lived humbly, both in word and in deed, and was a Christian husband, father, and friend."

After an honorable discharge from the Army as a Captain, Henri's broad array of talents translated into a variety of hobbies and career pursuits: hotelier, commodity trader, carpenter, sailboat captain, high school headmaster, and teacher. He was an accomplished pianist and, as anyone who knew him would concur, a true entertainer.

While at West Point he was a goat and an area bird who lived his independent spirit in spite of the consequences. Henri did not care what others thought of him. He often said he "graduated 16th in his class... from the bottom."

He was one in a million, the life of the party, and he will be missed.

James was concerned that his use of the terms “goat” and “area bird” might not have been accurate or appropriate. As a fellow goat and area bird, I can assure him they are both. As a matter of fact I believe Henri and I shared the honor of being members of that most prestigious organization known as the Century Club. It took a lot to be a member and still graduate with the Class.

James also provided several pictures to help us remember Henri. I’ll start with a great shot of Henri in Vietnam. James pointed out his sidearm was a .357 Magnum revolver which he had received special permission to carry. The next shot was a proud moment for Henri as it was for all of us. He was honored to attend the swearing in of General Shinseki as Chief of Staff of the Army in 1999.

Next we have two pictures that show us more of who Henri was. One relaxing and just being himself and one with his precious grandchildren, Emma, Charlotte, Zach, and Elijah.

Next we have a very special day in Henri’s life. Here is a great shot taken at his daughter Sarah's wedding in 2014, in Colorado. From L to R: son James, wife Janet, son-in-law Mark Hubbard, daughter Sarah, Henri, daughter Laura, son-in-law David, daughter Margaret, son-in-law Mark Johnson, daughter Anna and grandchildren, Emma, Charlotte, Zach, and Elijah.

This next picture is very special to me as I enjoy the same hobby that Henri did. We both enjoyed building furniture and we would find things that we have built in our own home as well as that of friends and family. I took these words from the eulogy James delivered at the funeral “I can't count the number of times he would see a piece of furniture he liked, but rather than buy it, he would buy the tools he needed, and then go home and build it. His handiwork is on display in his home, and in the homes of his children and many friends. He told me on many occasions that when he died, I was to go to Ace Hardware, buy some pine, and make a box. Well, dad, it was Home Depot. I hope that's OK.” James later added: “Casket Visitation Union Springs - My dad requested that I build his casket, and I did. This is at the visitation at the funeral home in Union Springs, Alabama. The greenery on top is cut from the family farm in Shopton, those palms Henri transplanted from a tree in their yard in Panama City Beach, Florida. He always said buy fruit-bearing rather than decorative plants, so there are blueberry plants on the floor, to be planted on the farm in Shopton.

From what I can see, you did a terrific job James.

As you know, I like to finish my farewell messages with a reminder of how our Classmate looked back in the day. This time we have a treat in that James provided me with a photo of his dad when he was a cadet which we can add to the Howitzer picture I use.

Grip hands my friends as, on behalf of the entire Class, I offer Janet and the entire family our sincere condolences and to Henri, Be thou at Peace – well done!

Eulogy for Henri by his son James

A Memory Test

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Bill Browder called me today and we had a terrific conversation about the good old days. We reminisced about many aspects of our four year visit to Hogwarts on the Hudson and, of course, came to realize how many things we had forgotten. One story, which was really the purpose of the call, left us both wondering if we could find someone out there who could fill in the gaps with a few names and places as well as maybe the whole story. We refer to the story of the Paper Mache Elephant that seems to have spent some time in I-1 during Firstie Year. Bill remembered that it might have been pink but the reference to it on page 358 of our Howitzer suggests that it was Golden. “Our company was reknowned (not sure why this spelling) for Cadet Captains, Golden Elephant, Purple Cow, Goats, Hives, Igor, and the grand old times.” While the Purple Cow and Igor sound interesting, right now we want to focus on the Elephant.

Below is Bill’s memory of the story which clearly needs some more detail. I’m afraid I don’t remember anything about it but then I can’t remember what I had for breakfast so I’m not much help here.

A West Point, First Regiment First Classman, from the Class of 1965 was given a Paper Mache Elephant (2’ High by 3’ Long) by a girl Friend.

He placed it in his room by the window where the TAC Officer found it the next day. The TAC Officer placed a note on the Elephant saying – MR. TBD, “Get this Paper Mache Elephant out of this room immediately !!!”

So Mr. TBD placed it in a latrine stall where it was found the next day by the TAC Officer who attached another note to the Paper Mache Elephant saying - MR. TBD, “Get this Paper Mache Elephant out of this Barrack immediately!!!

The following day at Lunch formation the Paper Mache Elephant was spotted on top of the roof entry shelter of New South Barrack by the TAC Officer who was in the higher elevation TAC Building looking down on the roof of the New South Barrack. The TAC Officer opened his window and yelled down to the Cadet Formation – MR. TBD REPORT TO MY OFFICE IMMEDIATELY!!!

Question: Who was the MR. TBD ????

Note: The Paper Mache Elephant was never seen again !!!

We are hoping that someone out there can fill in a few blanks for us and, of course, give me a great story to share. Can you help?

A Loving Gift - Addendum

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I recently sent out a message, subject, “A Loving Gift”. I received several very positive responses and, just today, I received another. This one included a suggestion which may be of assistance to some so I decided to share it also. Steve Darrah wrote:


Excellent thoughts. Along a similar line, a good friend gave me a book titled “Checklist for Family Survivors” by Sally Balch Hurme. It is published by AARP and is available on Amazon. It is an excellent and comprehensive guide for all the considerations one needs to address when someone you love dies. It provides a clear step-by-step guide to the hundreds of details that survivors need to organize and complete to navigate transition and closure after the loss of a loved one. There are a number of sections which can be completed now which will make this work much easier after we are gone.

Thought this might be worthwhile to pass along. Thanks.

Thank you Steve. I hope this proves helpful to some folks.

Lunch in Richmond, Virginia

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Wow. I just got a terrific report from Dave Hopkins. This is precisely what I hope many of my Bunnograms will generate. Reading about previous gatherings has generated even bigger gatherings. Now all anyone has to do is read about a gathering near where they live or will be traveling and contact someone in the group to get involved in the next gathering. Here is the report from Dave:

In early Oct you emailed the class some photos I sent you of the late-August get-together at Jim and June Harvey’s home in Chesapeake, VA – at which they, Darlene and I, and Jim and Lynne Helberg had a great time together, catching up on kids/grandkids, retelling tales of our cadet days, and putting forth solutions for the world’s major problems.

When Bob Clover read your email, he noted that the restaurant at which we ate dinner that night was only a couple of miles from a getaway place he and Tricia have in Chesapeake and often travel to from their home in Burke, VA, so he contacted us to ask if he and Tricia might join us for the next get-together.

Coincidentally, we were planning to get together for lunch in Richmond on Nov 4, the same day Bob and Tricia were going to drive from Burke to their place in Chesapeake, so they joined the bunch of us for lunch at the Firebirds Restaurant in the Short Pump Town Center, in the far west end of Richmond.

In addition, for this lunch, Jim and Margie Berry joined us. They had only an hour and a half round trip between their home in Fredericksburg and the restaurant, compared to the 7 – 8 hr round trip they’d have had to make if they’d joined the Harveys’ get-together in August.

Early on in our lunch, Jim Helberg welcomed Bob and Tricia to the group by recalling a funny story about a cadet intramural lacrosse game in which Bob and he were on opposite sides. (Something about another classmate on Jim’s team who had been absent from the first practice, during which the allowed extent of aggressive defense had been explained—and which absence led to some overly enthusiastic defense by said classmate.) And from that beginning, we were off and running! We covered all the usual subjects with barely time for a breath between one discussion and the next.

Our two-hour lunch stretched to two and a half hours, then to three. With classmates on one end of our line of tables and our better halves on the opposite end, we retold some old stories and told some new ones, we rehashed some subjects from earlier get-togethers and pontificated on some new ones. And we talked about kids and grandkids and plans for Thanksgiving. Etc., etc., etc. All in all, it was another great time with treasured friends!!

Finally, we agreed to get together early in 2016, probably for lunch somewhere in the Richmond area.
We didn’t get around to picture taking until we were ready to leave, so we only got the following group shot. Standing, left to right, are Bob & Tricia Clover, Jim & June Harvey, Jim & Lynne Helberg, and Margie & Jim Berry. Kneeling/sitting, Dave & Darlene Hopkins.

All the best,

Dave – for all of us

Thanks Dave. What a great looking picture of a bunch of smiling faces. I love seeing gatherings like this. By the way, the boy (Bob Clover) who, with his beautiful bride, Tricia, slipped into your gathering, was my Plebe Year Roomie. Ah the fun we had getting each other in trouble way back when.

The Passing of Elaine Nichols

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Bob Frank sent me a very nice report on the gathering for Elaine Nichols funeral on November 23rd. He wrote:

Family, friends and Classmates gathered in the Old Post Chapel at Fort Myer on 23 November to honor the memory of Elaine Maria Nichols, beloved wife of Chuck Nichols. Attendance was such that the chapel was full. The West Point Alumni Glee Club turned out in record numbers with more than 27 members present to start the service with a most sublime rendition of "Army Blue." Chuck's membership in that superb group of alumni made the appearance all the more meaningful, as Classmates Terry Ryan and Jim Ferguson led the tribute to Elaine. The service was followed by a procession to Arlington National Cemetery, where graveside prayers were said.

The attendees were unable to get the normal group photo but they did get these two shots which help to get a feel for what it was like to be there.

Photo: a nice shot of Chuck with his son Jason and his wife Theresa (notice that Terry Ryan’s wife, Nancy, was able to accidentally photo bomb the shot).

Chuck had arranged a reception at Spates Hall on Fort Myer. Along with a large family contingent, the USMA Class of 1965 supported Chuck, Elaine's mother and others of the immediate family. Those included were Emery Chase, Bob Clover, Joe DeFrancisco, Kay Dermody, Jim and Karen Ferguson, Bob and Mary Frank, Clair and Sherry Gill, Bob Harter, Leo Kennedy, Jack Koletty, Jim Murphy, Ric and Patty Shinseki, Frank and Doré Skidmore, Terry Tutchings, Mike and Cheryl Viani, and Bob and Phyllis Wolff.

Attached is a copy of the eulogy delivered by Chuck which really speaks to the special nature of their relationship. I have chosen just a few words from his tribute to his wife of 45 years, 4 months, and 28 days. Chuck pointed out that, “Elaine exhibited love, compassion and friendship to everyone she met and she cared for all of God’s creatures, especially birds and butterflies.” He went on to quote Eleanor Roosevelt, who said, “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.” “Elaine’s footprints are in many hearts here today.” And finally, Chuck chose the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said, “To know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.” Clearly, Elaine succeeded in her life.

Thank you Chuck for sharing these special moments with all of us.

God Bless You.

The Passing of Henri Klinger

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

It is once again my sad duty to inform you of the passing of one of our dear Classmates. Harold Henri Klinger Jr. passed away on Tuesday, November 24th. Henri had been fighting heart problems for quite some time.

A funeral service was held in Union Springs, Alabama on November 29th which the family chose to keep fairly private.

I received notification from Larry Wiest, a good friend of the family. However, due to geographical considerations, Tom Shaw has accepted the responsibility of being our POC and will be happy to assist should you have any inquiries or wish to forward your condolences to Henri’s widow, Janet. Tom can be reached at:

Grip hands my friends as we say goodbye to another of our dear Classmates.

Report on the Rutgers Game

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I never cease to be amazed at how much more Gordy sees, when he watches a game, than I do. Sometimes it feels like all I can do to figure out who’s wearing what uniform. Once again Gordy has reviewed for us all the details of the disappointing Rutgers game. He tells me it will be a few weeks before he will provide his advance analysis of the Army/Navy Game.

Seniors on Senior Day

Since Saturday was Senior Day at Michie, I thought I’d honor them by devoting a section of this article to the seniors who played in the game.

Seniors Jared Rogers and Kyle Ricciardi served as game captains and joined season captains Jeremy Timpf and Matt Giachinta for the coin toss. AJ Schurr carried the flag onto the field for Senior Day. 7 seniors participate on the offense and defense.

The seniors who started on offense were Matt Hugenberg, Ryan Alexander, and Deandre Bell. As expected, Kelvin White entered the game during the first series and had a lot of snaps at Tight End, and Matt Giachinta had his share of snaps at Fullback that included 2 carries for 7 yards. Deandre Bell recovered a fumble by Chris Carter to avoid a turnover in the 4th quarter of the game.

TJ Altimalala and Chris Carnegie were the only two seniors who started on defense. Carnegie had 4 tackles and Altimalala had 2. From what we could see, they were the only two seniors to appear on the defense Saturday.

Click here to read the full analysis.

More on VIP65

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

You’ve probably seen a few of my messages on the subject of VIP65 recently. Here we have much more information on the subject from our VIP65 Coordinator, Fred Laughlin, which will answer many of the questions you may have on the subject.

Volunteer Interview Program 65 (VIP65)

As Russ Campbell mentioned in his recent missive to the class, the Leadership Team has approved the implementation of a Volunteer Interview Program 1965 (VIP65) and has asked me to be the VIP65 Class Coordinator. The purpose of VIP65 is to add interviews of our classmates to the website of the USMA Center for Oral History (COH). As so clearly manifested in Bob Doughty’s brilliant book “Strength and Drive,” there are some amazing individual stories among our classmates, stories well worth recording in print and audio/video formats. The COH leadership has agreed to post interviews of members of our class as long as they meet the standards set by COH.

As Class Coordinator my role will be to develop and implement a process for VIP65 and to serve as the Class Point of Contact with COH. Below is my proposed process:

1. Recruit interviewers: I would like to hear from classmates or “friends of ’65” (family members, others) who are willing to be part of the cadre of interviewers. The requirements for joining the cadre are:

  • access to a HD video camera. Most hand-held cameras on a tripod work just fine. There is no need for a professional grade. Simply that the camera is capable of HD.
  • willingness to connect with an interviewee and coordinate a 60-90 minute interview at a location convenient to both the interviewer and interviewee.
  • capable of following the instructions for setting up, conducting, and recording the interview (see attached — Guidelines for COH Voluntary Contributors)

2. Recruit interviewees: Concurrent with the effort to recruit an interview team, I would like to hear from classmates who are willing to tell their stories. I realize that many of you may be reluctant candidates, but let me remind you that the program is not about telling war stories or pounding chests. It’s about documenting history through the eyes of those who have lived it and many of you have stories that present and future generations will benefit from hearing. Attached is a document listing the topics COH has ranked by priority. Interview candidates will be asked to identify which of the topics they will be speaking to. Even if you feel your story is not worth telling, you may know a classmate’s story that belongs in the COH library. If so, please let me know. Perhaps a word from you and me will encourage him to record his story.

3. Connect interviewers and Interviewees: As the Class Coordinator for VIP65, I will try to connect interviewers with interviewees and work with them to schedule and complete their interviews. I will ask the interviewer to send me the completed interview so I can review it before sending to COH.

Priority Topics for COH Interviews | Volunteer Interviewer Guidelines

We are proud members of the distinguished class of 1965. Help us preserve that label by expanding our presence on the COH website.

Thank you all in advance for helping us with VIP65.

Strength and Drive,


Thank you Fred. This should answer many questions.

More on the Volunteer Interview Program (VIP65)

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

A few days ago I shared a letter from our President, Russ Campbell, explaining the Volunteer Interview Program (VIP65), recently approved by your Leadership Team and, being run by Fred Laughlin. Fred wasted no time in getting started and below is a comment by John Pickler, one of the first to be interviewed:

Fred and Maralee Laughlin are in Nashville this week, and Fred is doing some work with Dave Mastran and his team at Quaver Music in downtown Nashville. My longtime friend (since 5 July 1961) and fellow Beast Barracks squad member, Fred, had coordinated with me in advance of their visit to Nashville about conducting one of the first VIP65 interviews yesterday afternoon. After furnishing Fred some detailed read-ahead materials, I drove to meet Fred at Quaver Music yesterday morning, where we discussed potential topics for the interview from a long list of my childhood, West Point, Army, Bechtel, and post-retirement experiences; had lunch together at a nearby restaurant; and then returned to Quaver, where a very professional team put together the sound, lighting, and video components of the interview process, even to the point of adding a little makeup in an attempt to improve my appearance (tough task!) for the camera. I was most pleased and honored to have Fred actually conduct my interview, and he had obviously done his homework (no surprise!) on what I had furnished him. I have been interviewed many times and in many different places, but none were close to the quality of what Fred did with me yesterday. He made me feel very comfortable and relaxed; asked great, probing questions; and led me through the process to provide the kind of responses that VIP65 seeks from its subjects. I attribute the success of this interview to Fred and his interview techniques, and I encourage other classmates to join the VIP65 ranks and conduct an interview so that COH will have a repository of "Strength and Drive, '65!" stories of significant life experiences -- from childhood to retirement -- to share with this and future generations.

Go Army! Beat Navy!!! John

Fred followed up with this comment and a great picture of the group at an early Christmas party in Nashville:

To close the loop on John’s note, attached is a photo of John and Karen alongside Dave and Donna Mastran and Maralee and me at the Mastrans’ Quaver Christmas party in Nashville.

It was a superb affair, in one part to celebrate the holidays, another part to initiate the Mastrans’ magnificent hew home in Nashville, and in third part to recognize a fantastic year for, Dave’s generous gift to the world of music education.



Thank you gentlemen for this terrific introduction to the VIP65 Program. For what it’s worth, those beautiful ladies make you look pretty good.

The Funeral of Elaine Nichols

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

My good friend and yours, Chuck Nichols, is facing a very difficult day on Monday as he lays his dear wife, Elaine, to rest. If you live or plan to be visiting in the D.C. area, please consider joining him. Below is a notice he has prepared followed by his contact information. Even if you are unable to attend, a phone call or an e-mail sharing your support would be well received.

Elaine will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery this coming Monday, 23 November, following a funeral service in the Old Post Chapel, Fort Myer, VA. The funeral service starts at 1445. If classmates plan to attend they should be aware that security has been tightened at all military installations in the DC area. Individuals without DoD IDs should allow 30 - 45 minutes to get through security.

There will be a reception following the graveside service in the Spates Club, 214 McNair Rd, Fort Myer, VA. All are invited.

Chuck Nichols

On behalf of all of your Classmates, I wish you well as you say goodbye to the love of your life. May God Bless you and ease some of your pain.

Ralph Locurcio named "Educator of the Year"

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Wow, this boy is definitely doing something right. It seems like every time I see him he’s wearing his tux and receiving another award. This time he has been name Educator of the Year. Congratulations Ralph, nice going! Ralph writes:

I recently received a surprise from the Construction Management Association of America when they called to tell me they had selected me for their “Educator of the Year Award for 2015”.

I recently received the official photos from the Construction Management Association of America and I thought I’d share these photos with the class. 

The citation reads as follows:

CMAA presents its Educator of the Year Award to a teacher whose example motivates students to excellence and encourages them to pursue careers in construction management.

Professor Ralph V. Locurcio, PE, director of the CM program at the Florida Institute of Technology, shares his extensive real-world experience with students as well as his vast technical knowledge. As a former brigadier general in the Army Corps of Engineers, he has planned and managed complex projects all over the world.


Ralph Locurcio

Well done Ralph. Keep on keepen on!

Volunteer Interview Program (VIP65)

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Many of you are probably unaware that your Class President, Russ Campbell, and his Leadership Team experienced a first at the recent Golf Outing in Pinehurst, North Carolina. We were able to put together a, mostly face to face, Leadership Team meeting which made it possible for many Classmates to sit in and observe how their Leadership Team works. We had five of our team present and two of us (Chuck Nichols and me) attended by video connection set up by Mitch Bonnett and Chuck Nichols.

During the meeting a proposal, from Fred Laughlin, one of our previous Presidents, was introduced and discussed. This proposal, identified as VIP65 (Volunteer Interview Program 65) is an initiative which will focus on interviews from within our Class to provide input to the West Point Center for Oral History. Following a discussion of its merits Russ called for a motion, a motion was made, seconded, and unanimously approved by the Leadership Team.

Here is Russ’s introduction and explanation of the program:


Purpose: This note is to alert you to a recent decision by the Class Leadership Team to initiate a Volunteer Interview Program to support the West Point Center for Oral History (COH). Because the purpose of the program is to add interviews of our classmates on the COH website, we are labeling it VIP65. LTC Dave Siry, the leader of COH, has agreed to post interviews generated by VIP65 so long as they address priority topics at COH and meet COH video and audio quality standards.

Background: As you all know, our class has contributed generously in money and expertise to COH in the recent past. In the form of money, last spring we delivered our $2 million class gift. In the form of expertise, Tom Barron has worked steadily with the COH leadership to strengthen their planning and budgeting functions. COH has made significant progress on a number of fronts in the past few years and is poised to make even greater advances in the near future. The Class Leadership Team believes the Class of ’65 can be part of the COH growth by supporting it through VIP65. In addition to helping the COH, VIP65 will help profile our class. Our classmates have many stories worth capturing, as we learned full well from Bob Doughty's book "Strength and Drive.” We look forward to seeing a greater presence of USMA ’65 on the COH website.

VIP65: The Class Leadership Team has asked Fred Laughlin to be the Class Coordinator for VIP65. In that role he will be the Point of Contact with the Class Leadership Team and COH to ensure that each is fully aware of the program’s plans and on-going activities. Fred’s first step will be to recruit volunteer interviewers, who have access to the necessary video and audio resources and who are willing to give their time to conducting the interviews. Next Fred will publish a list of COH priority topics and ask classmates who can address those topics to submit their names to be interviewed. If the interview meets the COH criteria, Fred will link the interviewee with the interviewer to work out a mutually convenient time and place for the interview.

Watch for Fred’s note in the near future and please respond. Be part of VIP65 -- as an interviewer, an interviewee, or simply someone who encourages a reluctant classmate to tell his story.

Russ Campbell
Class President

Thank you Russ for this message and a special thank you to Fred Laughlin for his initiative in putting this program together.

A Loving Gift - revisited

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Earlier today I sent out the message I called “A Loving Gift” with the hope that it would be helpful to some of you. This message was unusual in that it generated much more feedback than I normally receive. I guess there were quite a few folks out there who thought it was a good idea. As I mentioned in the message, I was concerned that it might have come across as being a little maudlin or depressing. Quite the contrary, most responses felt that it didn’t have that tone at all. In fact one response was so good I felt compelled to share it with you. George Ruggles responded with this nice note:

Hi Rick:

I talked to my wife about doing the article in advance and she thought it was a good idea, too. Said I wanted her to be happy when I'm gone, and if she found a new man he could have my golf clubs. She said, "No, he's left-handed."


Thanks George for keeping it light!

A Loving Gift

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Over the past few weeks I have had the privilege of writing a Memorial Article for publication in the TAPS magazine for my dear friend Ron Walter. Chuck McCloskey contacted Ron’s widow with the request to write such an article. Unfortunately she was at a loss as to how to proceed and what to do. She asked me to do it for her and I was able to combine input from two friends and Ron’s four kids to produce what I think was a fairly nice and appropriate article.

While reading the instructions which are provided for writing a Memorial Article (Click here for the Memorial Packet), I noticed that the AOG encourages us to write our own Memorial Article in advance. I gave that some thought and choose to do just that. It is an interesting exercise and when you are through you will know that you have provided your loved ones with a truly unique and helpful gift. The AOG suggests submitting it to them and says that they will provide it to your Next of Kin at your passing. However, I found it rather awkward to write mine in the form that I would hope the final article will take. Instead, I wrote several notes that tell those I leave behind, about those items, or milestones, that I found most important in my life. This way whoever writes my Memorial Article will, at least, know what was important to me.

Additionally, I chose to print out what I wrote and put it in a file in my desk where it is bound to be found.

I’m sharing all this because my wife considered my action to be a very loving gesture which should make her chores at my passing just a little easier. This made me feel good and I recommend it as loving gesture which will make both you and your special lady feel better.

I’m not sure who’s going first, but if it’s me I want to do everything I can to make her life as easy as possible.'

I apologize if this seems a little maudlin or depressing. It is only a suggestion based on something that worked well for me.

Tulane Post Mortem and Rutgers Preview

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Here is one more terrific report from Gordy Larson. This one even includes a visit from, Mr. Magoo. Gordy writes:

Fellow Army Football fans

The Black Knights play host to the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers in the 48th meeting of the two teams and the 2d Big Ten team on this year’s schedule. It’s also the last home game of the season and Senior Day at Michie.

As a graduate alumnus of Rutgers, I was considering driving north to take in the game at Michie, but it’s a long drive from NC and Major and I will be watching from home if anyone wants to join us to help consume our left over beer and munchies.

Tulane Post Mortem

Army West Point came into the game as a 3 point favorite and lost by 3 points in the last four seconds. It’s the second game that has ended in that same manner this season. The bend not break defense broke at a critical time. We were pleased to see the new wrinkles in the offense but disappointed with the performance of the defense.

Andy Davidson for a great play to block the Tulane punt, and Kenneth Brinson for finishing it with the scoop and score. My candidate for play of the game.
Alex Tardieu for his heads up “pass attempt” to avoid a huge sack after the long snapper air mailed it.
John Trainor for his 3 receptions totaling 81 yards, including a great catch for a TD.

Click here to read the full analysis.

West Point Association of Graduates Advisory Council Meeting

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Bob Frank provided this report from his most recent meeting of the West Point Association of Graduates Council Meeting. This will give you just a brief look at how very busy Bob is as he represents us all in so many ways.

After an early morning Advisory Council Meeting and a brief welcome from the Chairman of the WPAOG [LTG (R) Larry Jordan], the Commandant of Cadets, (BG Thompson), provided us with an update on the United States Corps of Cadets (USCC). During his remarks, the Commandant emphasized the following points: 1) Not tolerating mediocracy. 2) Honorable Living. 3) World Class Military Instruction. 4) Diversity. 5) Military Branching for the First Class Cadets next week with 70% Combat Arms.

Following the Commandant’s remarks, the WPAOG Chairman [LTG (R) Larry Jordan] made some remarks before WPAOG President & CEO [COL (R) Bob McClure] presented the WPAOG financial report. In summary, the financial needs of the Academy for enrichment remain at an all-time high; however, the funds raised by the WPAOG “For Us All” Campaign are also at record highs and we’re currently meeting the need. The WPAOG and the Academy thanks everyone for contributing to the extremely successful and record setting “For Us All” Campaign! Keep it up!

After thoroughly discussing the current state and future evolution of the Register of Graduates, we discussed the current state and future evolution of our Alumni Center (Herbert Hall). After lunch, we received a presentation from the West Point Women’s Lacrosse Coach. Coach Kristen Waagbo enthusiastically described how she and her talented staff have recruited and trained the new Corps Squad Women’s Lacrosse Team into an aggressive, athletic, and tough team. This excited, young coach has built an exciting, young team that is preparing for their first match with Navy on April 2nd, 2016. Let’s strongly support this new coach and her new team!

This evening, Debbie, Amelia, and I had dinner at our Alumni Center (Herbert Hall) with remarks from the Superintendent, LTG Robert Caslen. Very good meal, great company, and very informative remarks from our Superintendent. In summary, the Supe emphasized the following: 1) Live Honorably. 2) Build Inclusive Teams. 3) Build a Culture of Winning in accordance with our Values. 4) Build Diverse Teams. 5) Protect the Academy (Force Protection). 6) Strengthen the Academy Relationship with New York City. 7) Beat Navy!

Thank you Bob, for this and all you do for us.

Wrapping up the Arvin Foundation

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I’m sure you have noticed an abundance of information recently regarding our good friend and one time leader, Bob Arvin. As the Board of Directors of the Captain C. Robert Arvin Foundation move to dissolve this very successful enterprise, it is not unexpected that there would be numerous references to it and its name sake. Additionally, you will probably see a reference, fairly soon (hopefully with a picture or two), to the presentation of the letter from Bob to his high school wrestling team encouraging them to do their best. Walt Oehrlein is in the process of having it encased for display in the Alcove of the Arvin Gym at West Point.

Walt was also kind enough to forward the following letter from the Board of Directors of the Captain C. Robert Arvin Foundation. Here they formally dissolve the foundation and discuss their intentions moving forward.

Thank you Walt for this and all you have done with so many others to keep the memory of our very special friend alive.

Get Together in Columbus, Georgia

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

As they say, “it never rains but it pours”. After a bit of a dry spell I seem to be getting a whole bunch of reports. No complaint here, just noticing a trend and a good one at that. I just received this from my friend Rick Charles who shares:

Last month, Tad Ono and I again attended our Vietnam engineer battalion's annual reunion started by Soldiers from Tad's company. Had a great time at Fort Benning (for me, first time back since leaving night of Ranger School graduation). The Infantry Museum was very impressive and well worth visiting (they've added Armor exhibits, also, until the new Armor Museum is built). We had the opportunity to get together for breakfast with Pat Kenny, fellow engineer and local resident.

In case it’s not obvious, that’s (left to right) Tad, Pat, and Rick.

Great time sharing old times. Thanks, Pat, for getting us together!


Thanks Rick, good stuff.

Another Class Leaders Newsletter

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

You may recall that early in this month I shared a message from the AOG to class leaders. Here is another such message. I hope I’m not throwing too much stuff at you. If so, let me know and I’ll back off. Remember that if you want to respond to any of this, please go directly to Cathy Kilner listed at the end.

Dear Class Leaders,

Our Communications and Marketing Department have asked me to forward the below note.

  • “We have had a lot of calls about the 2015 Register of Graduates and when people should expect to receive it. It is currently in production and the edition should be shipping by January 2016. We are unable to guarantee a December delivery.”
  • Also, remember that the cost is set to increase on December 1st from $90 to $105. (Shipping will remain the same at $13.95.)
  • To purchase a 2015 Register of Graduates, contact our Gift Shop at 800.426.4725 or order online at

Other News:

Career Services – There is a service academy career conference (SACC) in San Antonio this Thursday and Friday. For more information about our career conferences, please visit

There is still space available for this weekend’s Rutgers tailgate - For more information and to register, please visit
Army-Navy Tailgate – COME ROCK THE BLACK AND GOLD AT WPAOG's ‪#‎BEATNAVYTailgate! Registration is now open for the largest tailgate event of the year! Click below to see all the details and to register online:
In case you missed it, here's a short video showcasing all the excitement of a WPAOG Army-Navy tailgate:
The Army Navy Boxing Classic 2015 - This event is taking place on December 11 in Philadelphia.
What: USAA Army-Navy Boxing Classic 2015
Who: Army and Navy boxers will face off in seven action-packed bouts
Where: Pennsylvania Convention Center, Exhibit Hall A, Philadelphia PA
When: Friday, December 11, 2015 10:00pm. Prelims begin at 9:30
Number of expected guests: 4,000
Distinguished Guests: Invitations will be extended to Superintendents of each service academy, corporate sponsors, leaders of industry and the business community.
Ticket Sales: Online ticket sales available beginning 3 November 2015 at Tickets will be available at the door if it is not sold out.
- On the floor: $25
- General admission/bleachers: $15
PROJECT MANAGER: Geoff Clark (717) 951-5847 or

Army-Navy Sponsorships – Know of someone or an organization that might be interested in sponsoring the Army-Navy Pre-game Tailgate? If so, please encourage them to visit

Current WPAOG Job Postings – There are four WPAOG job postings available online at WPAOG is a great place to work! Come join us!

Brick and Paver Program - Ever consider leaving a lasting legacy for a fallen classmate or for a Legacy Cadet (the child or grandchild of one of your classmates)? Visit out our Brick and Paver program to see how easy it is to order –

2016 Travel Program – Registrations for the 2016 WPAOG travel program are now open! Visit to learn more about the upcoming trips.

For your consideration:
On December 5th, 2015, Wreaths Across America and the West Point Community will come together to place wreaths in the West Point Cemetery. Last year they were able to place a wreath at 50% of the graves in our cemetery. This year their goal is to get enough wreaths for 100% of the graves. It is not a question of hands. Plenty of volunteers show up to lay the wreaths, please see attached flyer. If you would like to learn more about sponsoring a wreath, please visit: PA-0015 is the West Point code in the “3 for 2” Program. All contributions go to purchasing Wreaths at West Point. Email: for info.

Go Army! Beat Rutgers!

Cathy Kilner ’90
Associate Director, Class Services
West Point Association of Graduates

698 Mills Road West Point, NY 10996
Phone: 845.446.1563

Hope this finds you all well.

Tucson Meeting

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Wow, you folks are really getting the hang of this stuff. Here is another great report, this time from Hank Kelly, already in great shape for me to just cut and paste. Hank writes:

I was in Tucson recently and had the opportunity to meet with Jim Coughlin. Jim and his wife Cissy had just returned from a trip to sunny Italy and Sicily. We had a nice get together at (appropriately enough) an Italian restaurant where we got caught up on our latest happenings.

Photo Left: l to r: Hank, Jim

Photo Right: l to r: Hank, Jim

It was a good time and a good meal. As you can see, we both look well-fed. And we didn't spill any food on ourselves.



Thanks Hank, great report. Good to see you and my Arizona buddy sharing a good time.

Warning Order - Savannah Golf 2016

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Our good friend, Bob Radcliffe, has asked me to send this out just to get a little feedback regarding possible attendance numbers. This is one I’m hoping to attend.


A great time was had by all in Pinehurst and it is time to begin planning for the Spring Golf Outing to be held in Savannah, Georgia. This is our first trip to Savannah and this will add a few new requirements. First the details on the outing:

The Outing will be 10 – 13 April 2016. The package will have three nights of lodging beginning (check in) on Sunday the 10th. We will stay at the Hampton Inn at 591 Al Henderson Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419. The phone # to the hotel is: 912-921-1515.

We will play three days of golf. On the 11th we play at Savannah Harbor with the first T-time at 8:15 am. On the 12th we will play at Savannah Quarters with the first T-time at 8:30 am. Finally on the 13th we will play at Wilmington Island Club with a shotgun start at 9:00 am. If you want to stay at the hotel that night (the 13th) please call Eric Rosenberg at Seaside Golf Vacations at 877-732-6999. He will arrange that or any other extra night. You will pay for extra nights separate from the package. Note the Masters concludes on the Sunday we arrive so I will try to have the hospitality room set up with a television that afternoon.

This is the first outing that Eric has set up in Savannah. He was glad to do this for us as he established several new working relationships. However the Clubs, not having worked with him before, have required a minimum for play (36 players) and a deposit. The total deposit will be $9000, so if you are able to send me either a deposit or the full payment it will be appreciated. I must make the deposit by 1 February.

Dean and Diana Loftin live nearby in Bluffton, SC. They have graciously invited us to their home one evening of the outing. More information and confirmation of the date will be sent out as planning progresses.

The cost for the outing will be: Shared Room with Classmate – $608; Single in a Room – $798; and Couple in a Room $823.

Please send your status as Definite, Probable, Possible or Out. If your wife will accompany you please indicate so also. I need this for room numbers and numbers of T-times.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and Holiday Season!


Thanks Bob and thanks for the numerous times you have put these great golf outings together.

A Mini Gathering in Florida

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Stan Genega sent me this very brief note and nice picture. Clearly he and Barbara are a bit camera shy. However, I’m pleased to get what I can. Stan (Stas’) writes:

Thought I'd send this photo of Cheryl and Ron Riley taken last Thursday. Barbara and I had lunch with them in Florida. We were spending a couple of weeks at our condo there, and Ron and Cheryl live nearby, so we get to see them a couple of times each year.

They are doing great.


Thanks Stas’, great picture and it’s good to hear from someone who I haven’t heard from in a while. By the way, that sure looks like a lot of money hanging on the wall behind them?

Battlefield Buddies

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Wow, this job just easier and easier. My good friend Jay Vaughn sent me this great report in such good shape that I didn’t have to do anything but cut and paste it and send it off to you. Jay writes:

Here are some pictures of a great week of Civil War battlefield touring by ex-roommates from E-1 Plebe Year, Paul Singelyn, Ben Whitehouse & Jay Vaughn. We were joined later in the week by Lee Atchley (Jay's H-1 roommate) as we visited sites near Lee's Chattanooga home. Naturally, we mooched lodging off the Singelyn's and Atchley's. Suzanne Atchley had the good sense to be out of town while we were in Chattanooga.

Photo Right: (standing) Paul, Ben & Jay. Seated are Mary & John McCullough and Nancy Singelyn

Battlefields visited were Stones River, Fort Donaldson, Shiloh, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and Fort Negley. At each location, we pondered the battle maps in the West Point Atlas of Wars, watched their videos, studied their displays, argued incessantly with each other and any park ranger that inadvertently made eye contact, walked the ground, and eventually came away from each site with a deeper appreciation for these battles. Visiting such sites with old pals is a great way to do it if you don't mind sore stomach muscles from all the laughing!!

This adventure began at the Singelyn's beautiful new home in Hendersonville, TN where we were joined for supper by John and Mary McCullough.

In Chattanooga we were royally hosted by Lee Atchley, who tried to take credit for the great meals that Suzanne had prepared for us.

Paul, Ben, Lee, & Jay at the Chickamauga visitor's center.

Photo Left: As the last ones to leave the Chickamauga visitor's center on Veteran's Day, we were invited to assist in folding the flag. The park ranger let us do it because there were no cub scouts available. We showed lots of reverence and few flag folding skills.

Thanks Jay, great stuff.

The Golfers Gather at Pinehurst

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I received this nice message from Larry Neal who was actually sending it to Bob Radcliffe and John Malpass to thank them for the work they did to make the Pinehurst Golf Outing another in a long string of very successful golf outings. Larry wrote:

Bob and John,

Thank you again for the great outing. Camaraderie trumped both the rain and nightfall on Sunday and Monday, and Tuesday golf weather was flawless. The Carolina was an awesome hotel. Attached are some photos I took.

Photo Right: The Carolina Hotel at Pinehurst

Photo Left: Class Leadership Team: Mitch Bonnett, Bob Axley, Bob Frank and Russ Campbell.

Team 2: Trey and Curt Adams, Don Parrish, Harley Moore

Team of Winners - John Harrington, Rick Kuzman, Larry Neal, Tom Henneberry

Thanks Larry, a nice report to which I will add more if it comes in.

We were so close!

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I received this brief message from Bob Frank which demonstrates that we still support the team that has run into so many close finishes that went the wrong way. Bob writes:

Despite a losing effort, the Army Team provided lots to talk about for these Class of 1965 spectators at the Tulane game. From left to right, Jack Jannerone, Ray Hawkins, Bob Frank, Linda Hawkins and Mary Frank. The group was able to enjoy a little refreshment after the game as the traffic cleared out.

Thanks Bob. it looks like, but for the final score, a good time was had by all.

Please take the time to say Hi to our friend Jim Conley

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Mitch Bonnett has been kind enough to share the following message about our good friend Jim Conley. I had asked Mitch to explain to Jim how helpful it can be to get support from friends and Classmates so don’t let me down. Let’s let Jim know we are thinking of him and wish him a quick recovery. Mitch writes:

Spoke with Jim Conley today. Jim’s phone number is 313-215-3515. His email address is Jim was discharged from Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan on 12 November to Evergreen Health & Living. He expects to be there for at least a week. In late October 2015, Jim underwent cardiac surgery, was discharged only to be readmitted when some complications developed. He is now undergoing a rehab program but welcomes calls or e-mails from his Classmates.


Evergreen Health & Living Website

Thank you for sharing this with us Mitch. And Jim, we all wish you a speedy recovery.

AFA and Tulane

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Here’s another great report from Gordy:

Fellow Army Football Fans,

Army returns home to take on Tulane this Saturday after dropping out of contention for the CiC by losing to AFA in Colorado Springs. The game this Saturday is on CBS Sports at noon, but I will not be hosting a gathering. I’m a little late in getting the post mortem and preview out to all of you due to our class golf outing in Pinehurst this past week.

Air Force Post Mortem
Air Force 20 Army 3

A total of three field goals in two years? Seems like Air Force has figured out how to defend Monken’s version of the triple option. Since 2000, there have been only three games against Air Force in which Army has not scored a touchdown, and two of those were the past two games. The only other Army team that failed to score a TD against Air Force in that timeframe was the 2003 team that Berry and Mumford shared that went 0-13. No team under Ross, Brock or Ellerson scored less than 7 points against Air Force. Ellerson teams scored 7, 22,14, 41, and 28 points in his 5 games against the Falcons. Monken’s teams have scored 9 points against AFA in two years. Air Force has had good defenses, but not that good.

Click here to read the full analysis.

Class of 65 at the Army/Air Force Game in Colorado Springs

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Today I received this nice report from Bill Hecker regarding a small group who got together for the Army/bird game. Bill writes:

The Class of 65 attended the Army Tail Gate before the game, visiting with friends from the many classes who attended as well as the cadets and we had a fun time with the Cadets pre-game.

Photo Right: L-R Les Hagie, Nancy Hecker, Bill Hecker, Sam Reed, Andy Reed, and Bill Tredennick

The our Cadets gave the game their best effort, but the AFA team was better and stronger.  We kept hoping that good fortune would turn our way, but it was not to be for this year.

After the game, we gathered at a local brew pub near the academy before heading back to our various homes. The three of us and my wife Nancy were joined by Howie and Betsy Reed's son, Andy, and his daughter, Sam, a member of the AFA 4th Class.

Photo Left: (Left to right) Les Hagie, Nancy Hecker, Bill Hecker, Sam Reed, Andy Reed, and Bill Tredennick. We had a grand time sharing great stories, tales, and memories over good food and drink.

Les, Bill, and I wished that more of our classmates would have been able to make it to Colorado Springs for the game. Maybe in 2017.

S&D 65

Thanks Bill, good report and I agree, let’s have a bigger gang next year.

Ed Simpson needs a little help

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I’m always happy to help out and this seems like a reasonable request. Ed Simpson sent this in requesting a little help from those who may have the item he wanted or might even want to sell the one they have. Ed writes:

My wife is "West Pointing" the bedroom used by our "local" Grandson, with light gray walls, several West Point pictures, and a couple of Cadet hats. She would like to have a Tar Bucket lamp (stand), which we recall the AOG selling several years ago. However, it does not appear in latest catalog (which we have!)

If anyone has one (i.e., tar bucket lamp), I'd like a couple of pictures and a few measurements. If they want to sell one, even better!

Ed Simpson
703-971-4944 (Home; accepts messages)
703-304-9117 (Ed's Cell; doesn't accept messages, but best way to reach me, in person!)
Alexandria, VA

If you can help Ed out, please contact him directly. And Ed, when the room is finished, I’m sure we would all like to see a few pictures of how it turned out.

A Celebration of the Life of David Vann

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

As you may recall, on October 30th, I shared the farewell to Dave Vann. In that report there was an invitation to join the family in a Celebration of Life to be held on November 1st. Three days ago I received this nice report from Bob Frank on that Celebration of Life for Dave Vann. Most of the folks involved were busy with their contribution to the celebration so little effort was put into getting photographs to share. However, while it took a little time, John Vann, Dave’s brother and our POC, was able to gather three pictures which you will see below to give you just a little feel for what it was like to be there. Bob Frank wrote:

Yesterday, members of the Class gathered in Northern Virginia with Stash Vann and her family and friends to celebrate the life of our Classmate, Dave Vann. The large group were serenaded by a contingent of the West Point Alumni Glee Club, which Terry Ryan pulled together. After a rousing version of Army Blue and the Army Goes Rolling Along, we sang the Alma Mater. It was a great way to give tribute to Dave and his family. Terry also brought the Class flag, which was prominently displayed.

I have tried to capture the names of all our Classmates who were there; however, I may have missed one or two. So, I beg forgiveness. The list follows: Mike Applin, Frank Arnall (who flew up from Orlando), Pete Cahill, Bob Cato, Emery & Eleanora Chase, Bill Connelly, Joe & Lynne DeFrancisco, Bob & Mary Frank, George Gehringer, Tom & Judy Genetti, Bob & Mary Harter, Frank & Cam Hennessee, Jack Koletty, Frank Kolezar (I think), Pete Linn, John Malpass (up from Pinehurst), Chuck & Rosemary McCloskey (Raleigh/Durham), Ken & Gheraldene Moorfield, Chuck Nichols, Terry & Nancy Ryan, Hank & Ann Sterbenz, John C. Thompson, Terry Tutchings, John & Adrienne Wattendorf.

The members of the WP Alumni Glee Club included: Ferguson, Linn, Nichols and Ryan. Unfortunately, John and Eleanor Vann could not join us because of health reasons.

If I have missed anyone, it is in part because he (or she) did not sign the guest book.

In the following pictures you can see a good shot of Kathy Vann Mulligan, one of David Vann’s three charming daughters, as she addressed the gathering. And a nice picture of the flowers donated by John Vann (the Class budget for flowers was used for flowers at the funeral).

Thank you Bob and John for this great follow-up report.

Be thou at Peace Dave, Well Done!

Buddy Bucha to Provide Commentary for the Veteran's Day Parade

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Bob Frank alerted me to this information and Paul (Buddy) Bucha confirmed it and shared this article from the American Legion. I, for one, will be very interested to watch this parade and hear one of my true heroes and good friend, buddy Bucha provide the commentary.

America's Parade' part of NYC Veterans Week
Leaders of the New York City veterans community have announced details for the fourth annual Veterans Week NYC 2015, an ambitious schedule of events honoring veterans. On Nov. 11 the week’s marquee event takes place - “America’s Parade,” the 96th annual New York City Veterans Day Parade, the largest celebration of service in the nation, with participants from more than 30 states marching up Fifth Avenue.

The featured military branch of this year's parade is the Navy.

“Every year Veterans Week NYC serves as the perfect buildup to Veterans Day and America’s Parade,” said Vince McGowan, founding president of the United War Veterans Council (UWVC), producers of the parade. “The amazing lineup of events celebrates and honors, deservingly, the brave men and women, past and present, who serve in the U.S. military.”

Veterans Week NYC 2015 activities include:

  • Eternal Light Monument cleaning: Scouts and children from the community will clean the Eternal Light Monument in Madison Square Park on Saturday, Nov. 7.
  • Veterans Mass: Active-duty personnel, veterans, and their families and friends will celebrate Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday, Nov. 8.
  • USS New York: The Navy ship, whose hull includes steel from the World Trade Center, will arrive on Sunday, Nov. 8. The captain and crew of the ship, which recently returned from deployment in the Middle East, will participate in the parade and other events throughout the week, departing on Nov. 13.
  • Launch of Prosper Labs: An incubator for veteran-owned businesses will open at 20 Jay Street in Brooklyn on Monday, Nov. 9.
  • Band of Pride Concert: Hundreds of high-school students from marching bands nationwide, as well as the U.S. Navy Band, will perform in Times Square on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
  • Marine Corps Birthday Dinner: The gala will mark the 240th anniversary of the founding of the Corps on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
  • America’s Parade: The 96th annual New York City Veterans Day Parade will march up Fifth Avenue on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
  • Veterans Village: A resource and street fair will follow the parade, on 53rd Street between Fifth and Madison avenues, on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
  • Veterans Unity Reception: A gathering of major post-9/11 veteran support organizations and volunteers will reinforce camaraderie, coordination and collaboration among a new generation of advocates, and honor the organizations that came before, on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
  • Women in Service: A reception will honor the essential role and contributions of women in military service on the anniversary of the first woman veteran in U.S. history - Margaret Corbin, who was wounded in action during the Battle of Harlem Heights during the American Revolution - on Monday, Nov. 16.
  • For a full and updated calendar of Veterans Week NYC 2015 events, click here.

More than 25,000 participants, including active-duty service members, veterans of every U.S. war since World War II and marching bands from across the nation, will march up Fifth Avenue on Nov. 11. It will be broadcast live on WPIX-TV 11 from noon until 3 p.m. and streamed live on, and will also be broadcast to military bases around the world and VA hospitals across the country. Vietnam War Army Medal of Honor recipient and Veterans Advantage Advisory Board member Paul Bucha will provide on-air commentary. Sponsors include Chase, HBO, the History Channel, Cushman & Wakefield and UWVC Recycling.

For more information, visit or call 877-PARADE3. Join the conversation @AmericasParade on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Local American Legion posts want as many Legion family members as possible to participate. For more information, email Visit the website of New York City's 9-11 Memorial Post 2001 or the America's Parade website for more information on the event.

Thank you Bob for the heads up and thank you Buddy for this and all you do for us and all veterans. You make us all proud.

IMPORTANT *** ARMY - navy Get-Together

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

John Howell is once again doing a magnificent job organizing our gathering for the Army/Navy Game. He does have some concerns, however, because the response has not been as strong as was expected. That’s why the highlighted word IMPORTANT in the subject line. I hope this does not reflect any attitude of giving up on those kids who are trying so hard to bring the glory back to the Point where it belongs. When their situation gets tougher, we should be increasing our support when they need it the most. Please try to join this group if you can and let’s push them over the top.

John writes:

Classmates –

Some of you have been asking for information regarding making your reservations at the Marriott Renaissance Philly Hotel. The link to use is: Book your group rate for USMA CLASS OF 65 What is not noted is that current non-group room rates at this hotel are $239 ( + fees) per night – Class of 65 rate is $169 per night. More importantly, the $169 includes breakfast for two in a private dining room both Saturday and Sunday mornings. I note “importantly” because over time we have found that a lot of visiting and catching up occurs during these morning meals. There is no rush at breakfast and there is plenty of time to mill and mix.

There will be a dinner Saturday evening which I will bill for separately. The Marriott has always done very well for us for this dinner – normally there is a choice of three different entries.

If you have already made a reservation at the Marriott, please call them and make sure you are listed under our class account, “USMA CLASS of 65” and if your reservation is not for the Marriott, please consider changing and joining us at the Marriott Renaissance - Philadelphia Airport.

Finally, I would appreciate you sending me a brief email telling me you have made a reservation for our hotel and that you will (or will not) be joining the class for dinner.

We hope that all will join us for dinner, to include those who do not stay at the Marriott Renaissance, Philly Airport. This email and info is meant to serve as a warning order for getting the reservations. More details (times, etc.) will follow. NOTE: Please do not wait until the 11/20/2015 cut-off date, as I need some planning and purchasing time.

Questions: please don’t hesitate to call me or email me, and do please keep me posted regarding your intentions – reservations and dinner.

(h ) 703-644-0107 
(c ) 703-424-8598

Thank you John for once again going above and beyond to serve the Class as organizer of this exciting event.

A Farewell to Dave Vann

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

This final report on the passing of Dave Vann may seem a little late in coming, but I can assure you that it is with good reason. John Vann, Dave’s brother took on the responsibility of POC for us but while dealing with the devastating loss of his brother, he has also been serving and supporting his wife while she deals with a major health issue. He has literally spent many days in the hospital recently to help her and I told him to hold off on this report as long as necessary.

Once he was able to focus on the task, he came up with one of the best reports I’ve seen. John writes:

Our beloved Classmate Dave Vann was laid to rest Oct 14 on a beautiful fall day at the West Point cemetery following a memorable and moving service at the Old Cadet Chapel filled with many Classmates and friends. The service was conducted by Father Luke Edelen, the brother of one of Dave’s sons in law. Dave’s brother John spoke of their treasured lifelong memories of Dave as a brother, father, husband, and soldier who cared deeply for others. His three daughters Sandy, Debbie, and Kathy, two of whom are graduates themselves, gave deeply moving tributes to their father from many standpoints as a great, loving man.

Following the service at the Chapel, everyone moved to a nearby site where military honors were rendered as the sun broke through against a gorgeous background of fall leaves on the nearby hillside of Storm King mountain.

Dave’s remains were placed in a beautiful container wrapped in part of his dress blues with gold thread holding in place the small wooden cross he clutched throughout his battle with cancer.

As the bugle played taps and shots rang out over the Hudson Valley signaling farewell to yet another of the Strength and Drive Class who lived the motto to the hilt even before he joined the Class of 1965, the honor guard presented Stash with the flag and offered condolences on behalf of a grateful nation. A reception followed the service at the Association of Graduates, where many of us enjoyed a film of Dave’s life and shared memories.

L to R Bob Frank, Larry Neal, Ray Hawkins, Russ Campbell, Jack Koletty, John Vann, Mark Sheridan, Tim Timmerman, Jack Jannarone, Hank Sterbenz, and Joe Sanchez. John Wattendorf was also present, though not in the picture.

Sue Timmerman, Ann Sterbenz, Mary Frank, Eleanor Vann, Linda Hawkins, Adrienne Wattendorf, and Linda Sheridan, Stash's brother Ray and his wife, and John's daughters Elizabeth (husband in Navy and deployed) and Valerie. Here SueTimmerman and Eleanor Vanndiscuss many happy memories they experienced with Dave and Stash.

Another grouping of Classmates reminiscing about good times together with Dave shown here includesMark and Linda Sheridan, Ray and Linda Hawkins, and Russ Campbell.

The greatest testimony to Dave’s life is that of his loving and loved family, whose words and many accomplishments speak volumes of the Vann tradition from Dave and John’s grandfather, to their father (USMA ’39), and now to Dave’s children and grandchildren.

Rest in Peace, dear brother.

Dave’s wife Stash and family welcome anyone who was unable to attend the funeral at West Point to a Celebration of Life on November 1 from 1 to 3PM at Spring Hill Community Center Ballroom, 8946 Yellow Daisy Place, Lorton Virginia 22079. Gates will be open from 1230 to 330. Dave’s daughter Kathy Vann Mulligan would appreciate letting her know if you plan to attend at either or 703-403-6969. Terry Ryan and members of the Glee Club will be singing during the Celebration.

As has become my practice, I would like to share here a quick look back to how we remember Dave when we were all so very young. John points out that one of the “pro drags” Dave enjoyed seeing, later became his wife, Stash. She was one of the ladies from Ladycliff.

Grip hands my friends as we say good bye to our friend Dave Vann. On behalf of the entire Class of 1965 I wish to express our condolences to the family and to Dave - Be thou at Peace – Well Done!

Our Energizer Bunny does it again

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Paul and Sabine and the Triathlon Team and Marathon TeamsSome guys just don’t know how to slow down. After facing overwhelming health issues, Paul Schultz just keeps on doing his thing for us in many different ways. You may have seen the report I just shared regarding his leadership at the Traveling Vietnam Wall at Trophy Point. And now we see that Paul and Sabine are actively supporting the needs of the Triathlon Team and Marathon Teams. Please consider following his lead when the Sports Clubs participate in activities in your area.

Paul writes:

As we all know, the West Point NCAA sports get more funding and support, while many of the Cadet Club Sports are very good but have to do their own fundraising. I've been a supporter of the Triathlon Team and Marathon Team.

Paul and Sabine and the Triathlon Team and Marathon TeamsThe Marathon Team needed an additional half marathon to prepare for the Richmond Marathon in November and then onward to the Boston Marathon in the Spring. Sabine and I funded their entry into a Half Marathon in Weston, Connecticut on Sunday and everyone had a great time.

The Team Plebes took all 3 winner places in the 18 and under category, and team runners also placed first and second in the 19-28 category and second and third overall. It was really great to work with these enthusiastic athletes for the day. I've included pictures from the race day.

First picture is before the race. Second picture is after the race when they collected their trophies. I am in both pictures and Sabine is in the post-race picture, so Class of 65 support shows. (You can see Paul with the distinctive Class crest on his hat and Sabine in the second picture to his left front)

Third picture is the 3 plebes coming in strong. Fourth picture is near start of race as the team began leaving the crowd of runners behind. I am not in those race pictures pacing the cadets.

It was a great day, and we just wanted to encourage everyone to support the Club sports when they compete in your area.

Thanks Paul and Sabine, keep on keepen on.

Report on Class of 65 Volunteers Working at Travelling Vietnam War Memorial Wall

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Today I received another terrific report from Paul Schultz who has been instrumental in organizing our Class participation in many activities at West Point over the years. This time he put together our participation in the sharing of the Traveling Vietnam Wall at Trophy Point. There are two things I would like to point out before you read his report. First, I am very pleased to see that we have several folks involved who are not among the normal group who frequently come to the Point to represent us. Thank you all for joining in this activity and please consider joining other activities in the future. We are proud to have you representing us. Second, for those who may not be familiar with him, Gary Sinise (seen in the fourth photo below) is an actor, best known for his role as Lieutenant Dan in the film, “Forrest Gump”, who is this year’s recipient of the Sylvanus Thayer Award for his unwavering dedication to the veteran community.
Paul’s report:

hursday Morning Crew reporting for duty. From left to right: Nic Merriam, Gene Manghi, Eileen Rountree, Paul Schultz, Bill Reisner, Dan Donaghy, Dan’s son – also named DanClass of 1965 Volunteers at the Traveling Vietnam Wall on Trophy Point – West Point 10/22 and 10/23
Great thanks to the Representatives from the Class of 1965 who served as volunteer guides for visitors to the Travelling Vietnam War Memorial on October 22d and 23rd.
Russ and Maryann Campbell Nic Merriam
Bob and Mary Frank Gene Manghi
Eileen Rountree (Rance’s widow) Bill Reisner
Dan Donaghee and Son Dan Paul Schultz

Photo Right: Thursday Morning Crew reporting for duty. From left to right: Nic Merriam, Gene Manghi, Eileen Rountree, Paul Schultz, Bill Reisner, Dan Donaghy, Dan’s son – also named Dan.

The Superintendent presided at the Memorial Opening Ceremony at 8:30 AM on Thursday and gave a very moving talk about the sacrifices and service the Memorial represents. 384 West Pointers have their names on the Wall. Of the 58,267 names, 39,996 were just 18 years old and 997 were killed on their first day in Vietnam. The Class of 1965 has 26 names on the wall.

50th Anniversary Commemoration: There was a separate display with 50th Anniversary Memorabilia, which was run by the classes of ‘83 and ‘84. Russ Campbell, Eileen Rountree, Paul Schultz, Gene Manghi, and Bill ReisnerVolunteers from the Vietnam War classes met visitors (cadets, veterans from VFW and American Legion, and others who came to visit). Most younger visitors had minimal knowledge of the war and its impact upon American society during the 1960s and 1970s – and that included most of the cadets. The volunteers fielded many questions and were asked numerous times to relate their own experiences during the period. I found one exception to that general observation. Vietnamese American cadets had a very deep knowledge of what their families had been through and were very grateful of the reception the USA gave their grandparents as they immigrated to this country. They came to the memorial to express thanks to the volunteers and to those whose names were on the wall.

Photo Left: 50th Anniversary Commemoration: There was a separate display with 50th Anniversary Memorabilia, which was run by the classes of ‘83 and ‘84. Russ Campbell, Eileen Rountree, Paul Schultz, Gene Manghi, and Bill Reisner.

The pictures below were taken throughout the volunteer time, and I tried to include everyone who worked at the Wall.

  1. Thursday Afternoon – we were joined by Bob and Mary Frank. From Left Eileen Rountree, Bob Frank, Mary Frank, Bill Reisner.
  2. Friday Morning Crew – With Russ returning Gene’s “lost” IPad. Paul Schultz, Bill Reisner, Gene Manghi, Eileen Rountree, Bob Frank, Russ Campbell, Mary Frank, Maryann Campbell.
  3. Russ Campbell and Gary Sinise, Thayer Award winner, when he visited the Memorial.

Thank you Paul for another terrific report and thank you to all who represented us at this very special event.

Sharing The Grief - a Follow up

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Just about a month ago I shared the following message from Skip O’Donnell. While the circumstances remain unthinkable, I’m pleased that the support of family, friends, and especially Classmates has eased the burden a little. First a reminder of the message I shared in September and then the message I just received from Skip.

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I’m very sorry to share this sad report. However, I strongly believe in the power of prayer and feel that a Classmate in need of support should get all that we can muster. I learned of this tragedy and then spoke with Skip and Marilyn O’Donnell before sharing it with all of you. Please keep them and their family in your prayers as they go through this very difficult time. Skip writes:

Last Thursday Marilyn and I got the sad news from our daughter Jackie that our 21 tear old granddaughter Michaela (Mikki) Earley died in a single car rollover on I-15 south of Idaho Falls. We are in Idaho Falls helping with Mikki's memorial services this coming Saturday. Her obituary will be starting this Wednesday. Mikki was a great young lady and we have many fond memories with her. She loved the outdoors and had just started her junior year at Idaho State University possibly pursuing an engineering degree.

Obviously, we are still grieving about this unexpected event. I don' feel up to accepting phone calls right now. E-mails are OK. Remember Mikki in your respective church services this coming weekend.

Skip O'Donnell

And here is what Skip just shared with me:

It has been a month since our granddaughter Mikki passed away. We are still going through the grief process.

However, I would like to thank you for suggesting we let the Class know about Mikki’s passing as it might ease the pain. It did.

We spent ten days in Idaho taking care of Mikki’s funeral services with our daughter Jacki and son-in-law Mike. During that time we had lots of e-mails from relatives, friends and USMA Classmates. When we finally got back to Las Vegas, our postwoman asked if we were celebrating an anniversary or Christmas early because there were a lot of letters and cards in the vacation mail package. We told her about our granddaughter’s passing away. It took us about a week to read all the cards and mass cards from lots of people, especially my USMA Classmates and widows. All these e-mails and cards have definitely eased the pain of our loss and recommend my Classmates let our fellow Classmates know about these family events-good or bad.

Love all you USMA 1965 Classmates and widows.

Thank you Skip for sharing this and thank you to all of you who took the time to let the O’Donnell’s know that they are not alone in this time of need. The power of His Love and of the support of our Classmates is hard to deny.

Bob and Pat Tie the Knot as She Joined the Army Too

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Pat and Bob's WeddingWhat a treat to get this terrific report from both John Swensson and Bob Anderson. I really wish I could have been there. John writes:

Bob and Pat Anderson were joined in matrimony at St. Paul’s Church in Burlingame, CA, on Saturday, 24 October. The minister said that they had taught him that the Holy Spirit is alive and well as Bob and Pat had met on

We have seen a lot of Pat, and she attended our Fifty Year Reunion, and they are a lovely couple. Ralph Adams and Susan and I joined the festivities which included Bob's children David and Cheryl and Pat's stepdaughter, Sadie. Also in attendance was  Bob's uncle, Jim Scott, a Korean War Vet who retired as a LTC and still drives and plays golf at 90 years of age.

Here we see Pat and Bob with Bob’s son David. And then a nice picture of David with Bob’s daughter Cheryl.

Bob also retired as a LTC in 1993 and served many years in managerial positions with the VA, and he and his late wife Barbara also  served as missionaries in the Cameroons for five years.

Pat and Bob's WeddingNext we see Cheryl with Bob’s uncle Jim Scott, a Korean War Vet. And another great shot of the happy couple.

Finally some of the Classmates who were able to make it. Here we have John and Susan Swensson and Ralph Adams (Ralph’s wife, Kathy was unable to join them). Next we have Ralph with the happy couple and Susan.

And one more great picture of the happy couple with what looks like great food nice wine and lots of love.

Bob and Pat will make their home at 6607 N. Wembley Drive, Fresno CA 93711.  
I’m told that everyone was pleased with the very appropriate line that John Swensson took from one of our favorite songs, “Army Blue” when he toasted the happy couple. Given the fact that Bob and Pat had joined us for our 50th Reunion recently, the line we all remember, "To the ladies who come up in June, we’ll bid a fond adieu. Here's hoping they be married soon, and join the Army too"seemed to fit very well. John’s toast was followed by another, very appropriate, toast when Ralph Adams said, "Here's to the second luckiest guy in the world, Bob Anderson."

I believe the last comment in John’s message to me speaks to how we all feel about this happy union. He said:

Pat, welcome to the ranks, and CONGRATULATIONS to the Andersons.

Thanks to all of you for a terrific report.

Roomies Get Together in D.C.

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

This just came in from Bob Selkis:

Just returned from a short visit with my ol' roomie Jim Kelly. He and his wife Mary Ellen are living in D.C. My wife, Betty, had never seen some of the newer memorials. So the Kelly’s' took us on guided tour of the memorials and other points of interest in D.C. A good time was had by all. I Have included a few random photos.

Bob decided to test my memory (not usually a good bet) by sending me these four unlabeled pictures in which I have attempted to identify all the faces. I hope I was successful. First we have Jim in the background and Mary Ellen Kelly on the left and Betty Selkis on the right (I left everyone pretty small to show off the beautiful sunset).

Photo Right: the two roomies together, Jim on the left and Bob on the right

Photo Left: we have the foursome together with (from left to right) Jim Kelly (sporting a very sharp looking 50th Reunion hat), Mary Ellen Kelly, Bob Selkis, and Betty Selkis

And finally (again Left to right) Betty, Mary Ellen, and Jim. Great shots and a very nice report, thanks Bob.

Jerry Kelly Funeral

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Our non-Classmate POC (Paul Mlakar) for the Jerry Kelley Funeral has been doing a terrific job for us. While it is very early, the following information is provided for your long range planning purposes:

A full Catholic Mass with burial to follow – Full Military Honors, will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at 10:45 AM on Thursday, February 18th, 2016.

There will be a Reception following the service at the Fort Myers Officer’s Club from 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM eastern time.

More details will be shared as we get closer to the date of interment.

Should you have any questions, please contact Paul directly at:

Grip hands my friends as we prepare to say goodbye to another dear friend.

Bucknell and Rice

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Here, one more time, is a great report from Gordy Larson on the state of Army football. Thank you Gordy for your always complete coverage of the situation:

Army fans of Southeast NC,

The Rice game this Saturday will be televised locally on Fox Sports Network. Unfortunately, for those of us here in NC, Fox thinks we’re more interested in the NC vs NC State game, which is on at the same time. Unlike ESPN, Fox doesn’t have the alternative of streaming video available with ESPN; so I’ll be following the game on GameTracker.

My thoughts on the Bucknell Game

This was supposed to be the sure win on the schedule, a breather sandwiched between tough games against Duke and Rice, but it turned out to be anything but an easy win, as Army West Point needed a play-of-the-week pass reception by Edgar Poe to pull out a win in the 4th quarter. The offense sputtered most of the day, and four glaring errors in the first half and fifth big error in the second half showed that the Black Knights still need a lot of improvement in the mental aspects of the game.

Kudos to: 
Edgar Poe for the spectacular game winning TD reception and 2 more for a total of 100 yards
John Voit for a blocked field goal to go along with his 3 tackles
Jordan Smith for a blocked PAT to go along with 5 tackles including 1 TFL
Chris Carnegie for a nice interception and 3 pass breakups to lead the pass coverage
Jordan Asberry best run from scrimmage of 31 yards and a total of 56 rushing and 7 receiving.

Click here to read the full analysis.

Mansions of the Lord

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

As, I’m sure you can imagine, I receive many things with the suggestion that I share with the Class. This is a constant dilemma for me as I want to share what you would probably be interested in while avoiding those things that might not be appropriate. I hope I have accomplished that for most of you. Fortunately for me, I often receive things that fall into the category of a “no brainer”. This beautiful clip, I received from Ed Armstrong, falls into that category. Listening to the Cadet Glee Club sing “Mansions of the Lord” on this beautiful Sunday morning just feels right. Additionally, while it is not performed by the Glee Club, there is a second link which you will see after opening the original link, which will take you to a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace. I recommend taking a just a few minutes to listen to both. Enjoy!

Thank you Ed.

Bob and Pat's Italian Holiday

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

What a great trip report I received from Bob Anderson and his lovely lady Pat. These folks are definitely living the good life as they are also anticipating a honey moon next year. Bob writes:

Hope you enjoy these snapshots from our Rome to Venice Oceania Cruise. September 25 -October 4, 2015

Photo Right: A pleasant day for us in Rome -- not so for the early Christians!

Second photo -Awaiting lunch at the St. Regis Hotel in Rome. It was yummy!

Photo Left: Amazing rainbow from our Veranda prior to sailing.

Underway from Rome to Venice, enjoying the refreshing night air.

Directing the Gondolier on the Grand Canal. And finally back home on our lake in Fresno.

The vacation was enlightening, at times challenging (a million stairs up and down), but thoroughly wonder-full with lasting memories of people and places for a lifetime. Glad to be home after so much sightseeing, sailing, and overeating. Looking forward to a 2016 Honeymoon.

Love, Bob and Pat

Thank you both for a terrific report. We look forward to even more next year.

A Letter from Bob

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Back in September I shared a few things regarding the ceremony honoring Bob Arvin which took place during half time of the football game in Ypsilanti. Mitch Bonnett and I shared much communication on the subject and it continued even after my Bunnogram went out. While I felt we had covered the subject sufficiently at the time, something has come up which caused me to want to share even more.

In Mitch’s continuing correspondence with Tino Lambros (you may recall that it was Tino who was the driving force behind the formation of the Arvin Foundation), Mitch received a copy of a hand written letter from Bob to his old team back in 1962. I found this letter and its explanation by Tino to be very interesting and thought that some of you might be as interested as I was. First are some excerpts from the letter Tino sent to Mitch just this month. Then, with some help from Chuck Nichols to format it properly, is the copy of Bob’s handwritten letter. And finally (in case the copy did not come through clearly enough for you to read) is the text of the letter printed out. Enjoy:

October, 2015 

Enclosed find a copy of the letter and envelope that Bob sent us from West Point his first year there. Ypsilanti High School won the Class A State Wrestling Championship in 1961 and our class following Bob's repeated in 1962. Click here for a larger view of the letter.

A few clarifications of who Bob is referring to in the letter...

I'm sure you know the name Natvig -2 time NCAA champion from West Point.

Mr. Waterman - our high school wrestling coach. He was from Nebraska and wrestled at Michigan State. He started the wrestling program at YHS in 1951 or 1952. He coached 11 or 12 straight regional championships, 4 state championships, and many top 5 state finishes that were not state champions. After leaving YHS, he went to Yale where he finished his long, illustrious coaching career. He is a member of the YHS Athletic Hall of Fame and the Michigan Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Ernie - Ernie Gillum - We were co-captains of the 1962 State Championship team. - Ernie was a three time All State wrestler and was a two time undefeated state champion.

I appreciate all you have done for the Foundation and Endowment.

Take care,
C Tino Lambros
Arvin Foundation

And here is Bob’s letter:

Finally, the printed version:

24 Feb. 62

Ernie, Tino, and the Team,

I just saw a perfect example of what a group of guys can do when they put their mind to it. We went against Navy with three of our starters out. It was a real thriller, but the guys just kept pushing and won 20 - 8. We have one guy named Natvig, something like Ernie, you know, to look at him you wouldn't think he had a muscle in his body, but this guy uses his head and almost wrestles off his back it seems -and he WINS !

You know that old saying "winning isn't everything," well I've found out that Mr. Waterman's philosophy "what else is there" is very true.

I have been following you guys real closely this year and I know that you guys can go right to the finals and take State - if you give it all you have got.

When a team gets to the point that you guys are at by now another saying that is popular is very applicable "conditioning is 10 % physical and 90 % mental." You have seen it as much as I have - a guy with "guts" and determination can beat a man with more actual ability.

It is surprising how much something like a State Championship can mean to you after you graduate. I won't elaborate on it so just take my word and take the opportunity you have as members of Mr. Waterman 's squad. The opportunity is there and I think that you guys know how much it means as well as I do.

It takes eight matches to win a title and every man on the team to bring the team through -and you guys can do it this Friday and Saturday and then the big one next week.



I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did.

A Strong Appeal for Assistance

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Paul Schultz, while dealing with his own very sever health problems, has been soliciting support for the Vietnam Memorial Wall Project at West Point. You may recall the original appeal I shared on September 29th. Unfortunately, the response has been very disappointing. There are seven classes which, due to their involvement in the war, have been asked to support this opportunity to share, with the Corps of Cadets, their memories and experiences and to generally support and make more meaningful the experience the cadets will have when they visit the wall.

Because the response has been so disappointing, the seven classes are being forced to combine efforts in the hope that they will be able to muster enough personnel to answer the many questions that are expected. I, for one, would love to be able to share my memories and experiences with these future leaders of our Army but distance from the Rock is prohibitive.

Please, if you live within a reasonable driving distance of West Point, consider sharing your time and memories with this very worthwhile cause. Only by learning from our past can we hope to do better in the future. These cadets deserve anything we can do to improve their understanding of the Vietnam War, both positive and negative. Sharing our experiences can be a very valuable asset to these men and women as they prepare for their future leadership roles.

Below is Paul’s appeal with contact information if you can step up and help out:

Report to the Class of 1965 on the Vietnam Memorial Wall Project at West Point

The Mobile Wall is coming to West Point for installation on Trophy Point. It will be available for viewing by the Cadets and all personnel stationed at West Point. The Ceremony opening the Wall and the Thayer Award Ceremony will be held early morning October 22d, and the Wall with support structures will be open for viewing October 22d – 24th.

What has not gone well is the lack of response from all the Vietnam War era classes in providing volunteers to guide cadets and others through the Memorial and also assist in looking up names, etc. In order to provide enough support for the project, a member of the class of 1962 has obtained a good number of volunteers from the Highland Falls Rotary Club. These volunteers will be briefed and trained Wednesday evening to assist people coming to Tour the Memorial. These volunteers are mostly notveterans and not West Pointers, so most cadets will not get any benefit from the background and experiences of the Vietnam era West Point Classes – which was the original intent.

To date the Class of 1965 has 3 volunteers, including me. The Class POC’s are working together to assure at least 1 or 2 West Pointers are present during the viewing times to help the Rotary Club members. If anyone from 1965 is within driving distance and wants to come for a day or half day Oct 22d through Oct 25th, your presence will make a difference in the quality of the tours given all the cadets who come. Please email me with the date and times you can be there. Call me at 203-778-9164 if you have any questions.

There will be reserved parking near Trophy Point and a tent for volunteers to check in. We want to rotate so no one is on duty or on their feet too long, and we can each bring a folding chair to rest. The Ceremony is at 8:40 AM on the 22d, if you want to see that. I’ll provide more information to the volunteers as they contact me.

Thank you Paul for all you have done and thank you to anyone who can step up and help out.

Looking forward to the Bucknell Game

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Here is Gordy’s report following a very difficult loss as we look forward to the Bucknell Game:

Fellow Army fans in Southeast NC,

Coming off its worst home loss since 1979, the Black Knights will attempt to regroup as they host the Bucknell Bison at Michie Stadium for the first time since 1995. Army West Point has met Bucknell 5 times going back to 1900, and has a perfect 5-0 record against the Bison.

As usual, Major and I will be watching the game here at Trailwood with plenty of beer left in the fridge and a supply of munchies, for anyone who cares to join us. Those of you who’ve been here know that Major gets a treat everytime Army scores or does something else worth cheering for, and last week he nearly starved last weekend. He’s counting on more treats this Saturday.

Duke Post Mortem

Duke was a game that most of us  didn’t expect Army to win, but we didn’t expect the “butt whipping” we got either. Army needed to play a nearly perfect game to have any chance of pulling off an upset over the Blue Devils, but what we saw was the polar opposite of a perfect game. For the second game in a row, Army had 7 fumbles and added an interception for good measure to make things a lot easier for the Blue Devils.

Click here to read the full analysis.

Another very nice offer - And another - Still more

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

My good friend, Dr. Sonny Arkangel, who has a tendency to talk way above my comprehension level, has provided a little more information for those who may be facing knee or hip surgery in the near future. He writes:

Concur on that ice machine for almost all joint surgery--shoulder for which I am well experienced, hips, and knees. The coolers with ice and running water make it so easy versus changing bags of ice and soaking the beds & easy chairs. It also makes one less dependent on the narcotic analgesics and in our mature stage of life be careful with the prolonged, more than a week, of NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, naproxen, etcetera) use. NSAID's not only are cardiotoxic, but are insulting to the kidneys and certainly the gastrointestinal(GI) system. Aspirin is not considered an NSAID and will work for mild to moderate pain, but has to be taken every 4 hours and not on an empty stomach. And aspirin with its effect on platelet aggregation are used to prevent heart attacks. With this said, another consideration is the use of the Voltaren 1% gel an NSAID which gets into the knee joint and resulting pain relief without the adverse effects on the gastrointestinal system and on the kidneys.

Stay well and active!


Thanks Sonny, I hope this is helpful to someone who has any idea what you just said.

Part two of Report on the Clarke's Trip to the East Coast

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

As he promised, Bruce Clarke came through with the second report on his trip to the east coast. This time the pictures are even better. The only down side is the reference to that horrible game against Duke. Bruce writes:

As the second part of Sue and Bruce Clarke’s trip back east they took their kids and “grandguys” back to West Point for their own reunion and to introduce the “grandguys” to West Point.

Photo Right: the whole team Clarke at Trophy Point.
Front row: Alex Clarke (Robert’s son), Sue and Bruce, Philip Zurn and Matty Clarke (James’ son)
Back row: Mel Zurn, Robert Clarke, Jen Clarke (James’s wife), Suzanne Clarke Zurn and James Clarke

We had a wonderful estate on the other side of the river where the ten of us could enjoy casual time. We ate together, played together and slept in the same house.

Photo Left: Sue and Bruce enjoying their grandguys after the disastrous Duke football game. Philip, Matty, Sue, Bruce and Alex relaxing on the couch watching a cartoon movie after the Duke game—several of us still had on our ’65 polo shirts

Each of us wore a polo shirt to the game with a USMA ’65 class crest on it. The grandguys each had the term “Clarke grandson” on the back. You can see this as the boys sit on their dad’s shoulders waiting for the Army Team to come out of the tunnel. Popa’s back wouldn’t allow him to hold them like that but that is what dads are for. Sue is in the foreground.

Hard to read but each grand guy’s ’65 shirt said “Clarke grandson” on the back.

Sue, Bruce and oldest grandguy Alex in our ’65 shirts

It was a wonderful family reunion and the West Point reunion that we didn’t have. We spent 3 days with our kids and grand guys in a West Point oriented environment, but also very family oriented—just what we have been working towards for the last 6 months. Recommend it to everyone.

Beat Navy! 
Bruce B. G. Clarke
785 550-8653

Thanks Bruce, good stuff.

A Visit with Dick Smoak & Daughter

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I just received this nice picture and brief story from one of our regulars (and again thank you to my regulars for keeping me supplied with things to share), Bob Frank. Here we have Mary, Bob, Dick Smoak and his lovely daughter. Bob wrote:

Mary and I were recently down on the Florida panhandle. We got to Saint George Island (vic. Apalachicola, aka the "Georgia Riviera") before all the flooding in South Carolina. So, we were able to travel on I-95. Being close at hand, we made a trip to Panama City to visit with our favorite Federal judge. Here we are at Uncle Ernie's restaurant, on the Panama City waterfront, with Dick and his daughter. It was a perfect day and a great visit even if my hair (what little is left) got blown by the wind!

Thank you Bob, it’s always nice to hear from you.

Another very nice offer - And another

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I love the way Classmates step up to help each other out. Here is a very good example. I just sent out an offer by Karl Savatiel to provide advice/support to anyone facing hip surgery. He was following up on an offer some time ago from Tommy Thompson to do the same. Now, Bruce Clarke is making the following offer which might also be very helpful. I’m afraid a typo slipped into his message but I’m pretty sure he had a hip, not a bip replacement. (Not sure what a bip is but I’m guessing its part of a bippy as in “you bet your bippy”). Bruce writes:

I have had both a bip and knee replaced and stand ready to assist others and have several ice machines for icing down the new parts that I can loan out. Skip OD used the knee machine and said it helped him a lot - ice is the key to pain management and swelling reduction.

Bruce B. G. Clarke
785 550-8653

Thanks Bruce, a very nice offer.

Results of RV Survey

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

It has been almost a month since the last time I heard anyone provide information on their interest in RVing with Classmates. The attached list of eight of us who might like to join in such an adventure is provided for anyone who may decide to step up and organize such a thing. I’m told that Don Parrish might just be the guy for that job.

The list has no particular order to it (just the order of receipt of information) and is sometimes a little sketchy on content but should provide a starting point for an organizer.

This could be a very pleasant project and, of course, anyone else would be welcome to join in on the fun should it come together.

Click here to view the list.

Part one of report on the Clarke's trip to the east coast

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

One of our regular contributors (and thank you very much for that), Bruce Clarke, sent along this very nice picture and comments about a gathering that seemed to bring out many smiles. I, too, was sorry that you missed the 50th. I’m afraid I must comment, however, what’s wrong with this picture? It looks like nothing but water on the table. Bruce writes:

The first step in Sue and Bruce Clarke’s trip to the east coast was a very enjoyable dinner with Mike and Cheryl Viani and Colin (Toby) and Muriel Halvorsen at Landini Brothers Italian Restaurant in Old Town Alexandria. We had not seen either couple for years and were truly sorry that we had not been able to get to the 50th reunion. It was great to catch up on kids and grandkids. Meanwhile the classmates were swapping experiences.

Shown left to right are Sue and Bruce Clarke, Muriel and Toby Halvorsen, Cheryl and Mike Viani.

The wait staff were great, but also hinted that as the last table in the restaurant they were waiting for us to leave so that they could close up. We parted vowing to do it again soon.

Bruce B. G. Clarke 
785 550-8653

Thanks Bruce, it’s always good to hear from you.

Another very nice offer

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Karl Savatiel just went through the surgery that so many of us have faced (mine was about eight years ago and, as usual, I don’t remember much) or will be facing soon. He, like Tommy Thompson is reaching out to help others who may need advice/support or just information. When I got Karl’s offer, I immediately started to push for the picture that I always feel, makes any story better and more fun. In Karl’s case, it’s clear that it is more fun for us at his expense. He calls this selfie, “Look Ma, no hands!”

Karl writes:

Several months ago, you shared Tommy Thompson's offer to correspond with classmates who were contemplating hip replacement surgery. Unfortunately getting several unsolicited comments from Classmates at the Reunion, particularly after they saw me attempt to "walk", that I needed a.hip replacement turned out to be true. I took advantage of Tommy's offer and his info and guidance was very helpful in my planning and now recovery. He suggested that I should do the same and I agree.

So, if I can be of assistance to anyone else, please call or email me. Phone : (707) 875 3252 and email . Surgery was on 10/05/15, so it's real time.

Best to all,

Thanks Karl, a very nice offer. I hope it will prove helpful to some.

Duke Game

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

A little late this week but still time to read up on Gordy’s report before the Duke game tomorrow:

Army hosts Duke at Michie this Saturday, and Major and I invite you to join us in watching the game. As is the case with all home games this year, the game will be broadcast on CBS Sports starting at noon. Unless you need a gate pass, there’s no need to RSVP. Just drop by for beer and munchies.

Penn State Post Mortem

I think most fans will agree that Army West Point missed an opportunity to pull off a major upset in Happy Valley last Saturday. The most obvious reason that didn’t happen was that the offense had trouble hanging onto the ball. After the Black Knights turned the ball over in their own territory three times, we might have expected Penn State to have built an insurmountable lead by halftime, but that didn’t happen either. The Army offense had just 1 net yard rushing in the first quarter and just 77 net yards at the half, and they had a time of possession of 11:47 to Penn State’s 18:13 at the half; but they trailed by just 10 points, with all of PSU’s points coming from turnovers. Credit that to the outstanding work of the defense.

Click here for the full analysis.

The Passing of Dave Vann - Services

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

For those who are able to attend, I have just received the following from the Vann Family with regard to Funeral Services and inurnment of David Vann’s remains:

David's services will be on Wednesday, October 14 at 1:30 PM at the Old Cadet Chapel at the West Point Cemetery. Guests are invited to meet at the West Point Visitors Center at 1pm to join an escorted procession through West Point to the cemetery. A reception will be held following the Funeral Service in Herbert Hall.

In addition to the funeral services at West Point, a celebration of David's life will take place in the Northern Virginia area at a later date.

Many have asked how to honor David's memory. He repeatedly expressed his sincere appreciation for your love and prayers of support during his fight, and those prayers will continue to nourish his soul and comfort his family and friends. Dave proudly supported many causes during his life, from medical research to helping veterans find comfort with canine companionship. If you would like to make a contribution in his name, please consider a charity of your choice with his love and passion behind it.

The Vann family

If you are able to attend please contact David’s daughter Debbie Edelen (Vann) at: 845-774-6700 or by e-mail at:

Strength and Drive does it again

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I would like to share with you a couple of messages that may help you to follow one of the actions taken by your Leadership Team as discussed in the letter from your President, Russ Campbell, that I sent out earlier today. In that letter, Russ mentioned that the Leadership Team had approved a $10,000 donation to the West Point Fallen Graduates Memorial Scholarship Endowment in memoriam of the son of our Classmate Bill Hecker, Maj. Bill Hecker, III, who was killed in combat in Iraq.

Once the donation was approved by the Leadership Team, Russ sent this message to Bill Hecker:


On behalf of the Class Leadership Team and the Distinguished Class of 1965 I am honored to convey to you and your family that a donation of $10,000 has been made to the Bob Jones '65 Fallen Graduates Memorial Scholarship Endowment on behalf of your son Bill Hecker III. We are honored that Bill will be recognized and remembered by your Classmates for the ultimate sacrifice that he made on behalf of our Country.

Please convey this news to Nancy and the rest of your family.

Click here to view a copy of the Class resolution that was passed.

Strength and Drive,


Upon receiving this notification, Bill Hecker responded with this message:

We are truly honored by this Class gift in honor of our son, Bill, Class of 1991, Major, Field Artillery, KIA Iraq, 5 January 2006. We are sharing this with Bill's widow Richelle & his four children as well as his younger brother, John (a Marine Major, C-130 Pilot). Please convey to the Class how much it means to our whole family.

Strength and Drive '65,

This is the kind of thing that makes me so very proud to be a part of this great Class. The fact that Bill and Nancy Hecker are dear personal friends aside, I am proud that we as a Class go out of our way to honor the incredible sacrifice made by so many on our behalf.

A Letter from our President

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

In the spirit of keeping you all informed of the activities of your Leadership Team, our President, Russ Campbell, has put together the attached letter. As you can see, we have been busy working to keep our Class involved and connected to our Alma Mater and taking care of business for your benefit. Should you have any questions regarding our actions, please feel free to contact any one or all of us using the contact information that we chose to make a part of the letterhead that we use.Click here to read the letter.

We are all proud to represent you in all that this amazing Class does.

The Passing of Dave Vann

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I am terribly sorry that once again it is my sad duty to inform you all of the passing of one our dear brothers. I received notice from our Classmate, John Vann, of the passing of his twin brother (also a Classmate), Dave Van. John sent this message:

Rick, I'm sad to inform everyone that my beloved twin brother Dave Vann passed away late Thursday night, Oct 1, from lung cancer and melanoma at his and Stash's new home in Lorton Virginia. Dave was surrounded by his entire family, several classmates, and most of my family, and fought courageously for months against the ravages of cancer. His daughters will be providing more information about services in a separate email.

Rest in peace, Dave

Love, brother John

For obvious reasons, I have appointed John to be the Point of Contact (POC) even though he is dealing with many other very serious issues within his family. John pointed out that the Next Of Kin (NOK) is Dave’s widow Stanlene (Stash) who will be helping Dave with many of the details. Just as I was putting this notice together, I received the following message from her. Stash writes:

David’s brother, John, may have shared with you the sad news that David's journey here on earth ended on October 2, 2015. We are at peace knowing that he is with his maker, the Lord our God. Dave passed peacefully in the night, surrounded by loved ones and friends. The smile on his handsome face is confirmation of a full and meaningful life. He embraced it with joy and love. Arrangements are being made for a service and burial for David to be laid to rest at West Point, followed at a later date with a celebration of life in the Northern Virginia area. We’ll share details with you when we can.

We feel that God has blessed us richly in unexpected ways. After a year of searching, we planned to settle on a house last May, which precluded us from going to the reunion. When settlement on the house fell through, we headed to visit our daughter in Cornwall, NY, affording us the opportunity to go to West Point. Dave was so happy and honored to see classmates at the Class Memorial Service and the Parade.

David and I had talked about sharing this update with the Class several months ago and never had time to send it. David was proud to be a West Point graduate and, especially, a member of the distinguished Class of ’65. He dedicated his life to living the West Point values of Duty, Honor, Country, but always considered his greatest accomplishment to be his three wonderful daughters, who share the same values and live his mantra of service above self. In late July, we had great joy in attending, as a family, the Change of Charter for our oldest daughter, COL Sandy Vann-Olejasz, USMA ’89, at Ft. Belvoir. It wasn’t until we read the program at the ceremony and heard the words that her boss spoke, that we truly understood how game-changing and complex her organization and program was to the protection of our service members worldwide in concert with interagency and homeland security efforts for the defense of our great nation ( When we looked back at the attached picture of the wonderful day, we realized that we have a West Point family, along with Dave’s father, MG Walter Vann and his brother and classmate, John.

Our family is our life’s treasure and being a fun granddaddy was so important to David. He was his grandchildren’s greatest fan on the sidelines and supported them in all of their endeavors. Their love and caring of him was affirmed this week, as each child held his hand at his bedside and recounted wonderful memories of their Granddaddy that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.

David is the love of my life. I thank God for the many years of happiness with him. Well done, David. Be Thou at peace.
Stash Vann

Grip hands my friends as we reach out to support this wonderful family with our thoughts and prayer.

Our first selfie - from Las Vegas

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Wow, I think we have a first. I don’t recall sharing a selfie before. Jim Holmes shared this:

While Jim Holmes was in Vegas for a gaming conference this past week, Marilyn and Tom Kovach, seen below in a selfie with Jim, made time for one of our favorite past rituals - Happy Hour at the M Casino.

Cool, this way there is no need for the extra body to take the picture. Plus, I’ve heard that sometimes that extra body runs off with the camera.

Thanks Jim.

Thayer Invitation

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Here’s something cool shared by Denny Coll:

Man, you know you have arrived when you have a room named after you at the Thayer. That is really neat. I always read the room plaques,especially the ones I have known over the years. Unfortunately, Cathy and I will still be in Europe.

Congrats, roomie!

Dennis R. Coll

How cool is that?

WPAGC Classmate Gathering

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Terry Ryan sent along this nice report with a great photo.

Dave Gnau has a running competition with his son to see who will be the first to attend a baseball game at every National and American League ball field. When Dave heard that the West Point Alumni Glee Club was going to sing the National Anthem at the final game last Monday, September 28th, he and Marcella made the trip from The Villages in FL to Northern Virginia. By the way, the Nationals are 10 of 12 when the WPAGC sings the National Anthem. Perhaps we should sing more often so they get to the playoffs.

Photo: left to right: Dave Gnau, Marcella Gnau, Chuck Nichols, Nancy Ryan, Terry Ryan, Karen Ferguson, Terry Tutchings, Sharon Tutchings and Jim Ferguson.

Since the WPAGC was also singing Saturday morning for two Honor Flights of WWII and Korean War Veterans, he was able to extend his stay for the entire weekend, thanks to his hosts the Fergusons.


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

Thanks Terry. May I assume that arrangements are being made to have the West Point Alumni Glee Club sing before the Army/Navy game?

Chesapeake get-together

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Wow, it never rains but it pours. We have been going through a bit of dry spell regarding stories and all of a sudden I’m inundated with good stuff to share. Here is one from Dave Hopkins who gave me a complete report already in the form I like to use. Thanks Dave – he writes:

Photo Right: At dinner: June & Jim Harvey, Dave Hopkins, Jim Helberg, Darlene Hopkins, Lynne Helberg

Jim and Margie Berry, Jim and June Harvey, Jim & Lynne Helberg, Darlene and I typically get together for dinner two or three times per year. On Aug 29 we met at Harveys’ beautiful home on the South Branch of the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake, VA. (Heavy beach traffic threatened to make Jim & Margie’s round trip a 7- to 8-hr drive, so they decided to skip this time.)

We met at Jim and June’s about 3, spent a couple of hours catching up on grandkids and our latest home-repair projects, and solving the world’s problems. A little after 5 we walked out to the end of Jim & June’s pier, got in their boat, and Jim motored about 15 min. down river to the Amber Lantern Restaurant. After a terrific dinner, and airing the approved solution on several of the world’s weightier problems—or was it keeping up with grandkids’ schedules?—we made it back to Harveys’ before darkness fell, and adjourned about 9, after setting a tentative date for our next get together—when, thankfully, Jim and Margie should be able to join us.

Photo Left: On Harvey’s pier after dinner, Lynne & Jim Helberg, Jim & June Harvey, Darlene Hopkins

On boat returning to Jim & June’s: Lynne, Darlene, June

Jim Harvey, Jim Helberg, Dave Hopkins

On Harvey’s pier after dinner, Lynne & Jim Helberg, Jim & June Harvey, Dave Hopkins

What a great time!

Dave – for all of us

What a great report and so easy for me to just forward on to all of you. Thanks Dave.

Another Visit to Our Saxophonist - Slats Letterie

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Back in July I shared a story about Slats Lerrerie playing the saxophone. That seems to have generated some interest in another great reason to get together with Classmates. Here we have a report from Mike Huston on the results of a reaction to a suggestion from Johnny Wells. Mike writes:

Photo Right: picture of the couples, we have, from left to right, Duke and Sally, Slats and Angie, Mike and Joanie and Johnny and Rose Ann.

Shortly after you posted a few months ago my message and pictures about Slats Letterie performing on the saxophone at a jazz club in Venice, Florida, I received an email from our classmate Johnny Wells suggesting it would be fun to get several of our Classmates living in Florida to surprise Slats by showing up at one of his performances. I agreed, and Johnny set about contacting Classmates within reasonable driving distance of Venice. Due to scheduling conflicts, etc. only three of us, with our wives, were able to go last night to see Slat's perform: Mike and Joanie Huston, Johnny and Rose Ann Wells and Duke and Sally Wheeler. Johnny and Duke drove more 1 1/2 hours to get to Venice from the Tampa area. Slats was indeed surprised to see his Classmates in attendance, and we all had a great time. In the picture of the guys, we have, from left to right, Duke, Slats, Mike and Johnny.

Surprising to all was that the three of us visiting all had on our Class of 65 shirts. We had not discussed that and yet each of us independently decided to wear the shirt. An example of "great minds think alike".

Finally, in the "it's a small world" category, one of the other musicians playing last night came over and told us that he had been in the USMA band from 1967 until 1970.

Mike Huston

Photo Left: Naturally, it’s appropriate to throw in one more picture of Slats, hard at work.

Additionally I received an interesting follow up on the story from Johnny Wells who writes:

I thought it would be worth sharing with you something I (finally...) learned last night: the origins of the nickname "Slats".
Apparently everybody but his Classmates calls Slats by his real name, Carl. Although Carl/Slats was not someone I "knew" as a cadet, he was someone I knew of by virtue of his nickname. Slats is not a nickname Carl is all that fond of though. As he explained when I asked, it was Ed Klink who coined the term upon noticing that Carl had put on some weight after Yearling Summer. It seems "barrel" was Ed's first choice but that quickly morphed into (barrel) slats. And the rest is history.

In the ensuing conversation last night someone (sensing a bit of sensitivity about this on his part) asked Carl if it was OK with him if we called him "Slats". To put your mind at ease, that is more than OK with him. However, I would put it in the category of a term of endearment that Carl is happy to tolerate (proud of, even), but ONLY when used by his classmates. (Sort of like, if your father insisted on calling you Hot Shot, as in: "I'd like for you to meet my son, Hot Shot". You may have been "happy" to tolerate that, but ONLY from him!)
Johnny Wells

Now that is cool, thank you Johnny and thank you Mike for the original story.

The Tribute to Bob Arvin - follow up

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

On Tuesday the 22nd, I shared a report on the anticipated tribute to Bob Arvin during the Army/EMU football game. In that Bunnogram I shared the text of the narrative and a few of the slides which were expected to be shown on the big screen of the stadium during the tribute. I’m told that the event went off without a hitch and exceeded all expectations and made for a fitting salute to our onetime leader. I was able to get a few very nice pictures from the event which capture our Classmates in attendance. In the first shot we see (left to right) Walt Oehrlein, Dave Hurley, Bob Arvin’s widow, Merry Lynn, Mitch Bonnett, Arvin Foundation Chairman, C. Tino Lambros, LTG Caslen, and Bob Harter. I’m not sure who the two partial faces behind the general belong to.

Merry Lynn is a charming lady who was kind enough to share a few comments with me and then gave me permission to share them with all of you. She wrote:

The Eastern Michigan University stadium is located next to our home, the home my family built and occupied while Bob and I were in high school. I have fond memories of our adventures there, such as our first date when I slipped on ice on the porch landing on my you-know-what, Bob's attempt to ride my horse ("Ike") bareback and Bob's immediate departure from Ike's back, Bob driving up our loose rock covered steep driveway on his little scooter...watching folks try to make it up that driveway, especially when it was icy, was a favorite pastime. Bob always had jobs...paper route, raking sand traps, resetting sprinklers for his landscaping customers during our dates.

Ypsilanti was a great town in which to grow-up and "Ypsi" had a major impact on the military in WWII. As many of you know, The Ford Motor Company Plant at nearby Willow Run set records building B 24 "Liberator" bombers. An assembly line that was one mile long produced one B 24 every hour....a plane that, among other things, destroyed German U boats and their dominance over Allied shipping in the North Atlantic prior to D-Day

So, it is good to see Army and Bob's hometown coming together again in the form of what is so American...a college football game... enhanced by the celebration of Bob's achievements and the dedication and hard work of those who have built the Arvin Scholarship program.
Merry Lynn

When I received this I was inspired to share a little bit of how I got to know Bob. Here is a part of the communication Merry Lynn and I shared:

Merry Lynn,

I have shared, in this and the previous message, that Bob was a friend of mine. I’m very proud of that fact although it might be a little misleading. Our friendship was based on a rather brief experience when we found ourselves traveling together overseas during Army Orientation Training (AOT). This was an opportunity to be assigned to an active unit somewhere in the world and find out, first hand, what it would be like to be in a real Army unit. We were given the fictitious rank of “Third Lieutenant” and were able to work with a true Lieutenant or actually substitute for one if he was on leave. Bob and I were fortunate enough to be assigned to units in Germany and traveled together to get there. While we were in totally separate units, we were in the same area. Upon reporting to my Commander, I was told that he had a second car (an old VW Bug) that I could borrow if I could talk the mechanic at a nearby shop into finishing the work needed on it. My reaction was to thank him and then explain that it would be unreasonable to loan me a car and not give me a three day pass to drive to Paris. He agreed and I immediately contacted Bob and we enjoyed the most amazing three day trip you can imagine for two kids in a strange land. We had a wonderful time and I got to know just what a great guy Bob was.

Merry Lynn, in a follow up e-mail asked a couple of questions about our trip to Paris, so I responded this way.

To answer your questions about our trip to Paris I’ll start with, back then, in those countries wearing uniforms off base was frowned upon. Therefore we wore civies. As for how the French treated us, they couldn’t have been nicer. One of my favorite stories from that trip was checking in to a cheap hotel for our two night stay. We couldn’t afford much so we just got the cheapest hotel and room we could find. Unfortunately, the room had only one narrow bed so we put the mattress on the floor and one of us took it while the other took the box spring. In the morning we put it back together and went out to explore the city. When we got back that evening and went to lift the mattress off again, we found that the maid had figured out what we were doing and kindly made up the mattress and box spring separately. Naturally we gave her the best tip we could muster.

I will always treasure that memory and thank the Good Lord for giving me the opportunity to get to know Bob.

Please forgive me for rambling again but I thought some of this might be of interest to some.

Let me close with a big thank you to Walt Oehrlein, and Mitch Bonnett for their assistance in putting this report together.