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 Second Quarter 2016


Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

My friend and mentor, Denny Coll, has sent me the best report I think I have ever received. As most of you are aware, Denny, was our Scribe for more than thirty years. What most people don’t think about is that he did such a magnificent job for all those years without the benefit of the Internet and e-mail. He submitted quarterly reports to the staff of the Assembly magazine following a strictly prescribed format and process. Yes, during the last few years of his work in this capacity, he was able to submit his reports electronically. However, it was about eight months after I took over the job that it finally went all electronic and I was able to enjoy submitting reports as frequently as I wanted and in any format I chose.

I learned a lot from Denny and I salute him for his many years of service to our Class. I was especially pleased to read that he too enjoys a good road trip and recently took a great one all the way from Chicago down to Florida and back. Here then is his report:

What do you do when you have a grandchild graduating in Florida on a weekend in June and another the next weekend in DC?


Photo Right: dinner in Memphis with Jon & Susan Thompson where we were joined by Steve & Melissa Olson. Here we see, from left to right, Cathy Schulze, Melissa and Steve Olson, Jon and Susan Thompson, and Denny Coll

Here is Jon and Denny.

Then off to Panama City Florida and dinner with Dick Smoak and his lovely daughter Kathleen. Here we see Cathy and Denny with Kathleen and her dad, Dick Smoak. This is followed by another dinner in Florida, this time in Tampa with Nancy & Ron Floto. High school graduation in Naples, followed by lunch at The Villages with Dan & Diana Steinwald and Jerry & Peg Merges and then with Jerry and Denny next to one of the many scenic lakes in the retirement community.

After a stop near the old Ranger Mountain camp north of Atlanta to visit my sister (she of excessive speeding fame!), we were off to see my old roomie Zig Roebuck & Linda for lunch in Huntsville, Alabama, where we were joined by locals Dick & Nancy Mohlere and Tim & Sandy Thames.

Photo Left: Dick & Nancy Mohlere, Zig & Linda Roebuck, Jim & Nancy Thames, and Cathy & Denny

Next is Zig and I. We had lots of stories of the good old times on the 6th floor (only one in all of Cadet Barracks, I think) in North Area. After a B and B night in the beautiful foothills of the Great Smokies, we were off to DC and a grade school graduation of another grandson, where we managed a dinner with Joe & Lynne DeFrancisco and a lunch with Jack Lowe. Unfortunately, Annette had some urgent family business in California.

And finally, while we were enroute, Pat Kenny was able to hook up with grandson Addison Coll at the Columbus Country Club where the Ohio State golfer was playing in the Southeast Am. 14 days, 4,300 miles, 12 Classmates and 8 cities. We had a great time, made even better by being able to hook up with S&D Classmates and their spouses.

Dennis R. Coll
To respond directly use: Denny Coll

Thanks Denny, great stories great pictures and a really cool road trip!

Interim Report on the Passing of John De Vitto

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I just got off the phone with Tim Timmerman who has stepped up to take on the responsibility as our POC (Point of Contact) for the family of John De Vitto. We discussed some of the administrative aspects of the work he is doing for us with the family. I thought the following comments were especially interesting and thought it appropriate to share with you all. He commented that it was:

”A very nice and moving event. The family was a joy to meet. Also really appreciated the attendance by our Classmates. Dan Benton gets the gold star as he came in from Atlanta. One sidebar. We discussed the spelling of John's last name. In the Yearbook it is DeVitto. In the Obituary it is De Vitto. It turns out that John liked the last name separated. This is the second time I have done this and our involvement is always deeply appreciated. I told Amy (John’s daughter) the Class would not forget them.”

We went on to discuss the fact that we will offer to include as many e-mail addresses as the family would like in the listserv that Chuck Nichols maintains for us, so that they can remain in touch going forward.

Here, then, is Tim’s report:


Dear Classmates:

This past Sunday, as the Class Representative to the De Vitto family, I attended John’s viewing in Wadesboro, North Carolina. I was joined by five other Classmates and their wives. See the picture below. Most recently John had lived just outside Charlotte, North Carolina, in Monroe, near Wadesboro.

In repose, John was at peace dressed in his blues and wearing all his medals. Truly one could not be more proud of a member of the Strength and Drive, Class of 65. Near the end of the viewing John’s sister Sr. Regina De Vitto sang a psalm and their local priest led a short prayer service. Finally, John’s oldest son thanked everyone for their concern and support, especially from those in attendance from the Class of 1965.

Most impressive, however, was his family of six children, seven grandchildren and spouses who gathered to mourn his passing. As I looked at his family and shared their sorrow I was reminded that the future they represent is the real Class legacy and testimony to a life well lived. Well done John and Maureen De Vitto.

After the viewing, Amy, one of John’s children, asked that I convey to the Class how much her parents loved West Point. She noted, “We are lucky to be a small part of your West Point family, and are grateful for the experiences, life lessons, and values passed on to us.”

At the moment, the funeral details are still being finalized. What is known is that the funeral at West Point will take place in the Catholic Chapel on Tuesday, July 19th at 13:30 (1:30PM). John will then be buried with military honors in the West Point Cemetery next to his wife Maureen.

Respectfully submitted,

F.W. (Tim) Timmerman, Jr
S&D 65

Photo: L-R Chuck & Rosemary Mc Closkey, Ben & Gladys Whitehouse, John & Eleanor Vann, Tim Timmerman, Dan Benton, & John & DeDe Malpass

Excellent report, Tim, thank you for a job well done.

We are still seeking a POC for the West Point interment service and will provide more information soon.

50th Anniversary for Skip and Marilyn

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

My friend, Skip O’Donnell and his lovely wife, Marilyn, recently had a very special 50th Anniversary on June 11th in Las Vegas. Eighty relatives, high school and USMA Classmates, and friends gathered at their Siena Community Golf Club. You may recall that this is where the golf event was held during our mini reunion back in 2008. Before the party they renewed their vows at their church near Siena.

Here we have a picture of the West Point group in attendance, with Sandy and Preston Motes on the left and Bruce and Susan Clarke on the right. Preston was in Skip’s USMA Prep School platoon at Fort Belvoir and Bruce was his senior year roommate in M-2.

Thank you Skip and congratulations to a great couple.

An Article about Buddy Bucha

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I was just alerted by Skip O’Donnell that the Fox News website has a link to a great story about our own Paul (Buddy) Bucha. I’m not sure how long it will remain available but for now you can reach it by following this link:

Thank you Skip.

The Passing of John DeVitto - Addendum

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

As mentioned earlier, Tim Timmerman has taken on the responsibility of POC for the viewing and funeral for our brother John DeVitto. He has some details to share regarding the viewing which is scheduled for this Sunday, June 26:


Leavitt Funeral Home
2036 Morven Road
Wadesboro, North Carolina 28170

Time: 1200 Hrs, Sunday, 26 June, 2016

While the cause of death has not been officially determined, John was dealing with poor health for quite some time. This was complicated by severe respiratory issues recently.

There will be further updates as they become available.

Tim will be unable to attend the interment at West Point. Therefore, with this message, I am soliciting someone who knew John DeVitto, who would be able to attend the services at West Point and serve as an assistant to Tim in working with the family and helping with the coordination and arrangements at West Point. If you are able to help out in this way, please contact me directly at: or call me at 253-446-7366.

The Passing of John DeVitto

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

It is, once again, my sad duty to inform you of the passing of one of our dear brothers. This morning I received an e-mail from Steve Harman informing me that John DeVitto had passed away last evening. Currently there are plans to have a viewing at the funeral home in Wadesboro, North Carolina on Sunday, June 26th. John will be buried at West Point on a date to be determined.

Steve would have been more than willing to step up and be the POC (Point of Contact) for us, but he is currently recovering from heart surgery. He has offered to assist as much as he can. Tim Timmerman, who lives several hours away, has stepped up and offered to serve as our POC.

John DeVitto’s daughter, Amy English, is the Next of Kin and will be working with both Steve and Tim to get the necessary information to us as quickly as possible.

To respond directly use: Tim Timmerman
Or Amy English

Grip hands, my friends, as, once again, we go through this, all too frequent, process

Indian Lake Golf Course Member-Guest Golf Tournament

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Happy Father’s Day to all my Classmates who chose to procreate (well, I guess “chose” is a little presumptive but you know what I mean). My good friend Clair Gill sent me this very nice report and a couple of great pictures. He writes:

For the past 3 days (16-18 June), Sherry and I have been privileged to host three Classmates at our annual Men's Member-Guest golf tournament here at Indian Lake, Pennsylvania, in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains. We had Bob Frank (with Mary), Bob Harter, and Bob Radcliffe (with Faye) in our company.

Photo Right: Bob and Mary Frank, Clair and Sherry Gill, Bob Harter and Faye Hayes and Bob Radcliffe at the clubhouse following our grueling ordeal!

What may have been lacking in our golf skills was more than made up in the camaraderie.


Photo Left: The next shot is of the 4 golfers flanking a wooden statue of Arnold Palmer who laid out this beautiful course and actually supervised its construction in the late Sixties. Thus we know it as "Arnie's First."

I’ve seen pictures of that statue before and while I sure see Arnie in the stance, I have a tough time seeing him in the face. We have a course on this side of the country with a partially hidden statue of “Sasquatch” running through the woods. With ours, it’s hard to argue whether it looks like him or not.

Thank you Clair, for a great report and a couple of great pictures of some obviously, happy campers. You’re all looking great!

To respond directly use: Clair and Sherry Gill

Another Story

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

How cool is this? I just received another follow up story, this time from a guy who didn’t graduate with us but has clearly maintained strong connections. Steve Basset writes:

My name is Steve Bassett and I was a member of 65 for the first two years before both the Point and I decided that I was not meant to be an officer. This is a story from our yearling year. I was rooming with Ray Woodruff on the fourth floor of the division just south of the sallyport to the parade assembly area. We were in G2. I had also built a good stereo system I had built with some huncken good speakers that I set on the edge of the Windows to the north area.

My locker backed up to the access door to the plumbing wall of the bathroom. I happened to check it out and found the wiring to the PA system. This was the fall of 1962 and you may remember that there was to be very big heavy weight boxing match that fall. We tied my stereo receiver into the PA wiring thinking that we would be broadcasting to a couple of divisions. Well it turned out that we broadcast to every division, every speaker in the area and even in the guard room. The fight only lasted one round and as we were disconnecting the wiring, we looked out and saw the OD heading straight for our division and we thought that our goose was cooked. The OD ran straight up to our room and asked if we were broadcasting the fight through the large speakers in the Windows. We honestly answered no and he did not ask another question, just left the room. We still don't know what we would have suffered if he had kept on and asked the correct question. Ray and I will be discussing this again next Friday over dinner.


Thanks Steve, it’s great to hear from you. A very nice story but, I too, wonder why that OD didn’t follow up with the appropriate question. He was probably confused by the whole situation.

To respond directly use:

Army Sports Hall of Fame

Army West Point Athletic Director's Update with Boo Corrigan Director of AthleticsClassmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

I feel as if I have been remiss in my duties as I learned of this wonderful news almost a month ago. Our Own Tony Clay has been named as our next inductee into the Army Sports Hall of Fame. One of Tony’s teammates, Paul (Buddy) Bucha, immediately stepped up and volunteered to be the POC for the event that will take place this fall. Unfortunately, Buddy’s main source of information for the report he will be providing, has been out of town and impossible to reach. He and I wanted to share this news with a complete report but it now seems better to at least share this announcement and follow it up with a complete report as soon as possible.

First, I want to shout out a great big CONGRATULATIOS!!! to Tony along with my apology for the delay in getting the word out. Next, let’s take a look at the official announcement which came out last month.

Please check your calendars as soon as we are able to give you some details as we want to have a great showing of Classmates supporting Tony as he accepts this honor.

To respond directly use:

Early Taps - A follow Up

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

As always seems to happen, one story leads to another and another. My good friend Chuck Nichols shared two stories related to the recently shared story of the adjusted timing of the playing of taps. Chuck writes:

I was involved in a similar incident during plebe year. Being a member of L-2 and living in the 47 division facing out onto North Area a bunch of us thought it would be a good idea to have reveille an hour early. We had everything prepared. We figured out how to tie into the bell system so we could ring the bells at the start of reveille. I had a good stereo system I had built with some huncken good speakers that I set on the roof over the porch of our division so I could play reveille to the entire North Area. Classmates were assembled in each division to call minutes. We were all set to go.

I started the reveille music and hit the button to start ringing the bell. I got one and one-half bells rung and everything went silent. We had blown the fuse in our division. Needless to say we didn't disturb a single upper class-man's sleep. We all put our tails between our legs and slunk back to our racks for the actual reveille an hour later. I often wonder what would have been the repercussions had we succeeded.

I’m not sure why this fascination with the Taps and Reveille developed in the second regiment. All I ever wanted to do was kill the Hellcats and make that incredibly early and noisy stuff go away.

Chuck went on to share another story which was also brought to mind by this second regiment fascination:

Don't know if this was done Corps wide or not but in L-2 it was a tradition for the plebes to sneak into a first class room the night before Christmas leave, break down their M-1 and pack it in their suite case so they would take it with them over Christmas leave. This was well before the days of baggage screening at the airport. Of course all the firsties took precautions to keep plebes from sneaking into their room at night to do this. All the firsties in L-2 had barricaded their doors to prevent surreptitious entry. In the case of the North Area barracks the brick work on back side of the building was sufficient for rock climbing. Gill and I thought it would be great to scale the wall to get into the first class room on the fourth floor. Everything went as planned until we started the decent and were passing the yearling room on the third floor. They either heard us on our assent or were light sleepers but as we passed their room they started pelting us with water balloons but never raised the alarm to the firsties. Needless to say that was a chilling experience on a cold December night. We did manage to make it to the lavatory window on the first floor, our starting point, without falling off the now slippery rock wall. Nothing was ever said by the firsties after they returned from Christmas leave.

It was sure great fun doing the things we weren't supposed to do. If I had it all to do over again, I would have done more mischief.

Clearly, a die-hard prankster. Fortunately for us, he now focuses most of his attention on taking care of all our IT needs.

Thanks Chuck, great stories!

To respond directly use: Chuck Nichols

Seine River Cruise and More

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Now here’s a cool way to celebrate your 50th anniversary. This is a trip that I have always wanted to take, if for no other reason than to honor those heroes who gave their all for us that fateful day as they stormed the beaches of Normandy. Unfortunately, my travels have not taken me back to France since my amazing weekend in Paris with our own Bob Arvin back in the day.

Here Bob Wolff has done a terrific job of sharing his time with his wife and the Yoshitani’s as they cruise the Seine and visit Normandy. Bob writes:

Ranger Buddies Bob Wolff and Ken Yoshitani, with their shipmates Phyllis and Imi, traveled together in France for 10 days in celebration of their 50th Anniversaries. Starting in Paris and cruising down the Seine to Normandy provided us a great experience, especially the D-Day beaches to see firsthand the challenges of that historic invasion. Attached are a few photos of our trip which started and ended in Paris and had stops in Rouen, Etreta, Honfleur, Point du Hoc, Omaha Beach and American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, Le Havre, Caudebec, Chateau Gaillard, home to Richard the Lionhearted, and the gardens of Giverney, home of Claude Monet. We would highly recommend the trip to our classmates who have not been to Normandy.

Photo Right: Ken, Imi, Phyllis and Bob at Notre Dame in Paris

Here we see Ken, Imi and Phyllis. And then Ken, Imi, Phyllis and Bob at a Chateau Taillis near Rouen.

Here we see Ken and Bob on Point du Hoc with bunker in background. Then all four at the Omaha Beach memorial.

Then on the Beach at Etretat - logistics point for the Allies. And finally, Ken & Imi performing with a local singer on ship (as you may, or may not have heard, Ken and Imi are amazing dancers).

Photo Left: Bob and Ken at Engineer Monument on Omaha Beach


Thank you Bob, that was an outstanding report.

To respond directly use: Robert Wolff or (W) 301-983-8646 or (C) 703-795-8869 <

Early Taps

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

As I continue to try to clean up my desktop I’m drawn to a great story from Ralph Locurcio. He actually told me he had this story over a month ago but suggested I wait until things were a little slow and them remind him to share it. Ironically, things were slow yesterday when I suggested he share it. Oh well, it’s still fun to share this kind of story even if things have gotten busy.

Ralph writes:

I think I previously relayed the story of 3 bored Plebes (Locurcio, Letterie & Wattendorf) who collaborated to play taps 1 hour early (11pm) on a cold November night before a football game, when all the upper classmen had privileges until midnight (12pm). Letterie & Wattendorf had goaded me into playing taps on my trumpet at 11pm… “just for fun”. As a result, the central area guard house went into a “ratty” and all 3000 upperclassmen had to drop their dates and run back to their respective rooms to unmark their cards before taps inspection.

Here’s the sequel… some 30 years later I was hosting a conference in Georgia and the guest speaker was Mike Bowers ’62, then the Attorney General of Georgia. I was having a few “ring knocking” social moments before the conference with Mike as I had never met him before this occasion. As part of the conversation I related the story of the taps prank to Mike, just for yucks and to break the ice.

Well Mike didn’t think the story was so funny and when I was done he uttered the following exclamation… “You SOB!... I remember that incident very well… I was having a very nice evening with my young lady… up to that point… but had to leave her on the sidewalk and race back to my room to unmark my card to avoid a slug!!!... I’ve been waiting for 30 years to find the SOB who perpetrated that incident!” We both laughed, and I thought the revelation was ended.

However, when Mike got up to make his remarks to the 300 conferees, he ditched his formal remarks and related the final details of the entire “heinous crime” to the 300 guests assembled for the conference, but stated that no charges were pending due to the fact that the statute of limitations for such crimes had expired. He received a long and raucous ovation for his speech… and I received a lot of ribbing from my staff.


Wow, I never heard that one before but it sounds like a hoot! When you think about it, Mike Bowers must have experienced some major league passion interruptus to carry this grudge for thirty years. Oh well, all’s well that ends well and they were able to laugh it off at the end.

Thanks Ralph – great story.

To respond directly use: Ralph Locurcio

June Class Leader Update - Will you (Can you) Serve?

Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

Wow, it never rains, but it pours. We have gone for several weeks with very little to share and now, all of a sudden, my desk is full. I started with the great annual letter from Russ Campbell which you should have received by now. Next we have the June Class Leader update. A few months ago Russ and I decided that this update may be of interest to many of you so we have gotten into the habit of sharing it. When I received it I noticed that its author, Cathy Kilner, had highlighted two paragraphs. Interestingly, Russ and I had just had a little conversation (electronically) about these items and decided it would be good idea to ask all of you to take a look at your schedules and see if you could possibly step up and serve. Russ pointed out that we have nearly always had Class representation in these positions in the past.

Now that almost all of us are retired, maybe there are some of you who could give a little of your time and energy to represent the Class in one of these positions. If you would be willing to have your name submitted for nomination, please contact Russ Campbell right away (the deadline is very near – July 1st), .

And now, here is this month’s Update:

Greetings from West Point!

Below is a quick update and the latest from AOG:

  • Recently 953 members of the Class of 2016 crossed the dais and received their diplomas and commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants in the United States Army. I have loved seeing your emails about the anniversaries of your graduations! My how time flies!
  • The Class of 2017 has stepped into the roles as leaders of the Corps of Cadets.
  • The Class of 2018 has taken more responsibility as they continue to develop their skills as leaders during Cadet Basic Training, Cadet Field Training, and shadowing lieutenants during their CTLT assignments.
  • The Class of 2019 is experiencing Cadet Field Training, and will be promoted to Cadet Corporals upon completion and some will attend military development schools or take an academic trip, enriching their experience outside the classroom.
  • The Class of 2020 is enjoying their last few days of freedom before R-day on June 27th.
  • Yes, West Point is busy during the academic year, but it is also VERY busy in the summer with cadets literally all over the world!
  • Registration for Leaders Conference (10-13Aug2016) is now open! I am hoping to see someone from EVERY class there this year...okay…I will give LTG (Ret) Ely ’33 a bye, but none for the rest of you; you won’t want to miss out as we have a lot of great sessions planned! The conference agenda, FAQ, and registration form can be found by clicking on
  • Visiting West Point—The Rules Have Changed

    • Effective June 7, all visitors to West Point who do not have identification issued by the Department of Defense (or are not escorted by someone with same) will be required to stop at the Visitors Center outside Thayer Gate to get a visitor pass. USMA is still working on plans for handling this new requirement for large-scale public and alumni events. Please be patient during this process. For the most up-do-date information, please visit the West Point Garrison webpage with the policy.
    • Transportation on West Point: If you enjoy the use of technology, there is an app called Ride Systems. Try it out the next time you visit West Point. The daily shuttle bus is equipped with GPS trackers. If you download the app from Google Play or the iTunes store, you can track the buses around West Point. The daily shuttle, labeled the CPA Express mainly runs from Buffalo Soldier Field to the Superintendent's Review Box near the Plain in a loop throughout the day. 

    Click here for more information:

    • Do you have classmates who are not ‘in the know?’ Remind them to update their contact information online in their WPAOG profile or by
    • All Academy Challenge Results: Thank you to the 3,568 graduates who participated in the All Academy Challenge! While the Merchant Marine Academy won, 7.43% of West Point alumni made a gift over the course of the 7-day challenge—something we all should be proud of. Because of this tremendous response from the Long Gray Line, over $750,000 was raised in support of nearly 150 Margin of Excellence funds, benefiting the Academy, the entire Corps of Cadets, and the Long Gray Line. GO ARMY!
      Please see the attached listing of the final results from all the classes.

    Here is a quick wrap up on the top 5 classes:

    1933 – 100% J
    1941 – 20%
    1968 – 16.48%
    1972 – 41.6%
    1990 – 16.21%

    • Nominations for WPAOG Director and Advisor-at-Large Positions Nominations for USMA graduates to serve on the WPAOG Board of Directors and the WPAOG Advisory Council must be submitted to the Secretary of the 2016 Nominating Committee no later than July 1, 2016. Serving on the WPAOG Board of Directors or Advisory Council is an extraordinary opportunity to give back to your alma mater and to help the Long Gray Line become stronger than ever. All graduates are encouraged to consider serving as a Director or Advisor-at-Large. Requirements for these positions, as well as details on the nominating packets and process, are posted here.

    Cathy Kilner ’90
    Associate Director, Class Services

    West Point Association of Graduates
    698 Mills Road West Point, NY 10996
    Phone: 845.446.1563

    Annual Class Letter

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    One of the requirements placed on the President of our Class is to provide an annual letter to keep us all informed of the activities of your Leadership Team, as well as the day to day functions that all of us on the team take on for you. I’m fortunate in that what I do is very easy to see. However, so much more is being done behind the scenes that most of you never see. Here, our President, Russ Campbell, has done an outstanding job of reporting many of the things that have taken place over the past year. This is being done to inform you, to insure transparency, and to maintain the extremely high standards of our distinguished and amazing Class.

    I have chosen to share this in two forms. Below is the entire letter in the form of an e-mail and then above is an attachment which will give you the same letter but in a form that should be easier to save should you choose to do so.

    Your Class President writes:

    Annual Class LetterJune 16, 2016

    To All Members of the Class of 1965
    This letter covers Class activities and events from May 2015 through the present.
    Post 50th Reunion
    The greatest reunion ever is now history, but its spirit and influence marches on in renewed Classmate contacts, various gatherings, golf outings and mini reunions. These activities have been well documented and communicated to the Class by our stellar Secretary/Scribe, Rick Bunn. Please keep those messages and photos flowing to Rick!
    Once again, we thank Marilyn and Tom Kovach for the wonderful job they did co-hosting the 50th. We received their final report, May 20, 2016, acknowledging the honor that it was for them to serve our great Class.

    Your new Leadership Team, as noted in the above letter head, moved quickly to support you. We have held three “all present” video conference calls, exchanged hundreds of e-mails, and dealt with many issues by phone. The transition from Clair Gill’s Leadership team has been smooth and transparent thanks to the extraordinary talent and willingness of Classmates to contribute their time and wisdom to the Class. In this letter, I will highlight the main topics that we have been involved with and summarize others that have been covered in detail during the year. Click here to read the entire letter.

    Honoring our Classmate - Second Addendum

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Harry Haines sent me an e-mail requesting the lyrics to the beautiful POW Hymn shared in the previous message Honoring our own Bob Jones. Chuck Nichols was nice enough to not only provide the lyrics but also the sheet music. The following pdf file will give you the entire package:

    Honoring Our Classmate - Addendum

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Yesterday I shared a great story and picture from Chuck Nichols regarding the chance meeting with Bob Jones at the airport. Since many of the West Point Alumni Glee Club were there, they took a moment to salute this hero of our Class by singing the POW Hymn. Chuck pointed out that:

    The POW Hymn was written by Colonel J. Quincy Collins, an AF fighter pilot captured in 1965, to raise the spirits of fellow captives. The Hymn was first performed outside the Vietnam prison in May 1973 at the largest dinner ever held at the White House. With the permission of Colonel Collins, the POW Hymn has become part of the Glee Club repertoire.

    After sharing the report and the photo, I asked Chuck if we could also share the audio of the Hymn and he kindly obliged. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.!AmeVzVDvbbKtrQs372LbypAG5d4e

    Chuck also asked me to point out that there was an oversight in the previous report. Terry Tutchings was also there but was not mentioned. Thank you Chuck for this audio and for correcting the record.

    Honoring Our Classmate

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Chuck Nichols, our Class IT guru, sent me this terrific report. Once again we caught Bob Jones. I hope he doesn’t mind the extra exposure.

    Last Monday the West Point Alumni Glee Club had the honor of singing for three honor flights from Nebraska carrying 500 Vietnam Vets to the Nation’s Capital so they could see their monument. During the performance one of our classmates noticed another Classmate wearing a Hawaiian shirt listening to the Club sing. It turned out to be our own Bob Jones waiting on his flight back to Hawaii. Bob was quickly corralled so the Glee Club could honor him by singing the POW Hymn.

    The POW Hymn was written by Colonel J. Quincy Collins, an AF fighter pilot captured in 1965, to raise the spirits of fellow captives. The Hymn was first performed outside the Vietnam prison in May 1973 at the largest dinner ever held at the White House. With the permission of Colonel Collins, the POW Hymn has become part of the Glee Club repertoire.

    You can see Terry Ryan on the left and Jim Ferguson on the right with Bob alongside Jim during the singing of the Hymn. It was clear that Bob got a bit chocked up during the presentation. The Club hopes he wasn't embarrassed as we only wanted to honor him. Also present from the Class but not visible in the picture were Pete Linn and Chuck Nichols.


    Thank you Chuck, this is great! This picture is so big; I’m hoping that it doesn’t cause anyone problems opening it. Let me know if you have difficulty and I’ll send it to you separately.

    I’m so pleased that you were able to do this for one of my Class heroes.

    50th Wedding Anniversary

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    I just received a very nice message from Dave Gnau. This is another great 50th Anniversary report. Dave writes:

    To celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary we are spending 3 weeks in Hawaii. The first week was a condo in Kapa'a on Kauai, then a 7-day cruise on Pride of America visiting Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai. Now we're on the Big Island (Waikoloa Village) until Friday before returning home. Last night we went up to Bob and Freya Jones’ home overlooking the ocean (a great view and wonderful home which they had built several years ago). We went to dinner with them in Hawaii.

    Here are two pictures. First is our family on the cruise (from left to right daughter, Meredith; son, Matt; daughter-in-law, Karen; Marcella; and me) and the other pic is us and the Jones' at dinner (Bob and Freya on left).


    Thanks Dave. Nice report and great pictures. I too will be making my way to the islands in September for the same reason. 50 seems to be a pretty magic number. I’ll only be there for a week but I’m sure it will also be great.

    Warning Order for Fall 2016 Golf Outing

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Bob Radcliffe, who has put together more golf outings than I can count, is doing it again for this fall. Here is his warning order for the next big golf outing. If you have never attended one of these, I highly recommend it. You will have a wonderful time just spending time with Classmates and the golf is great too! Bob writes:


    With the help of John Malpass “The Committee” has finalized planning for the Fall 2016 Class Golf Outing. I am pleased to announce that the Outing will be at Pine Needles Resort in Southern Pines, North Carolina during the time period 16 – 19 October. Courses to be played are: Pine Needles GC with first T-time at 12:00 pm on 16 Oct; Southern Pines GC with first T-time at 10:00 am on 17 Oct; and Mid Pines GC with first T-time at 10:35 am on 18 October. Check in will be on the 16th and Check out on the 19th.

    The cost for the Inn will include a full breakfast and a first class hospitality area. The cost for a single in room will be $865. For two Classmates sharing a room the cost will be $670 each. For a couple with only the husband playing golf the cost will be $995.

    There is no requirement for a down payment so send payments in August. I will send a reminder around 1 August.

    So I can ensure we have adequate rooms and T-times please give me your status ASAP as: Definite, Probable, Possible or Out. Also indicate whether you will be a single, share a room with a Classmate, or attend with your wife.

    My address for your checks is: 538 Keswick Place SW, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469. If you have questions call at 910-579-5105 (Home) or 910-398-2528 (Mobile).

    Feel free to forward this note to anyone I may have missed who might want to join us.

    Have a great Summer!


    Thanks Bob, for all you do for us.

    The development of a National Museum of the United States Army

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Our Class Historian, Bob Frank, just sent me this terrific report on the development of a National Museum of the United States Army. I think you will agree that the project is one we can all support in concept. Bob writes:

    As we approach the Army’s 241st birthday, I would like to share with you a story of which many may be unaware.

    In 1814, Congress approved the concept of a national museum for the US Army. Many years have gone by without a lot of progress toward a museum. However, more than a decade ago, the concept gained a great deal of momentum when GEN Gordon Sullivan, the Army Chief of Staff, threw his support behind the US Army Center of Military History’s plan for the National Museum of the United States Army. After retiring, GEN Sullivan put additional energy and impetus behind the fulfillment of the 1814 vision. After several efforts to site the NMUSA were rejected for a complex of reasons, agreement was finally reached that NMUSA would be located at Fort Belvoir.

    The next challenge was to raise the required funding for construction. Public monies were allocated for part of the projected costs, with an equal or greater balance to be raised from donations. In his new role as head of AUSA (Association of the United States Army), GEN-ret. Sullivan was instrumental in reinvigorating the Army Historical Foundation (AHF), a charitable entity that would lead the fund-raising campaign, staying directly engaged from his position as Chair of the Army Historical Society Board of Directors. Along with a number of very senior commissioned and non-commissioned Army leaders, AHF took up the complicated tasks involved with a multimillion dollar campaign.

    Progress has been such that The Army Historical Foundation anticipates a ground-breaking ceremony later this year. NMUSA will be a wide-ranging representation of the Army’s history along with personal stories of those who served in the Army uniform over the centuries. It will include artifacts, exhibits, art works, and educational materials. NMUSA will also be a place for conferences and educational programs. While there are numerous Army museums throughout the country, focusing on specific aspects of the Army’s past, NMUSA will cover the sweep of the Army’s and soldiers’ contributions to our nation’s history. NMUSA will also serve “as a moving tribute to the millions of Soldiers” whose selfless service and sacrifice merit the respect and gratitude of the American people.

    By way of demonstrating some of the approaches to be taken by NMUSA, The Army Historical Foundation began a program called “The Soldier Experience Series.” The third presentation in the Soldier Stories series was hosted by our own Ric Shinseki on 24 May. It was entitled ‘Asian-American Soldier Stories: Honor and Valor.’ Not only were there dynamic exhibits on display of the kind envisioned for the museum, there were also 6 presentations by individuals representing the various communities which comprise the rich and varied ‘Asian-Pacific Islander American’ experience. It is an experience as varied as the Philippine Scouts, the Nisei veterans of WWII, and the Chinese-American community from the Mississippi Delta whose volunteers contributed significantly in WWII.

    Photo: GEN William Hartzog, Vice Chairman of The Army Historical Foundation, and GEN Ric Shinseki before the presentations began

    Shortly after the photo was taken, Ric set the stage for the individual presentations to come by presenting an overview of the rich experience of Asian- Pacific Islander Americans’ service in the US Armed Forces. This contribution to the series was organized and coordinated by Major General Tony Taguba, USA-ret., who himself gave one of the talks - an insightful talk about the Philippine Scouts experience.

    The evening was informative and inspirational, and promised that NMUSA would reflect the greatness of those who have served in and with the United States Army. I look forward to the day in 2019 when all of us can visit NMUSA.

    As Class Historian, I was proud to attend and take note that the Class of 1965 reflects several of the groups discussed.


    Bob Frank 
    Thanks Bob, great report.

    To respond directly use: Bob Frank

    Memorial Day, 2016, Marblehead, Massachusetts

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    My good friend, Don Nowland, just sent me this brief report on the Memorial Day celebration in Marblehead, Massachusetts:

    Just a short note & pictures from last Monday's Memorial Day 2016 event in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

    Photo Right: me and Congressman Seth Moulton... as you can see, Seth is a combat vet of the Middle East wars in Iraq (4 tours)... and a great guy with 2 Harvard degrees and no history of military heritage in his family (he just decided he should do his part to serve his country). I know him well and he's a very genuine guy

    Photo Left: A picture of my wife, Davita, and me. The event was held in the auditorium in our 1727 Meeting House

    Note: As you can see, I look rather grim... I have been very sick over the last year and have lost ~30-40 pounds. My cancer has taken its toll, but I'm working to get back on the road to recovery!


    Thank you Don. I think you’re looking great! Now we just have to get you to fill out the collar on that shirt a little more. By the way, I like the hat in the first picture.

    To respond directly use:

    Birmingham Eccentric Newspaper - West Point Article/Joseph Anderson

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    While it is clearly repetitive, it is also very good to see the wide coverage that has been given to the presentation of the DGA to our own Joe Anderson. Walt Oehrlein was kind enough to forward this digitized piece from the local newspaper of Joe’s hometown. Walt writes:

    The honoring continues in celebrating the DGA for our classmate Joe Anderson. The download is the digitized piece that was in our local newspaper last Sunday. How appropriate for Memorial Day Weekend! Joe will also enjoy a gathering of friends/business associates on Tuesday, June 28 @ Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Oakland Hills will host this year's US Amateur Golf Championships.

    Photo Right: the article as it appeared in the Birmingham Eccentric 

    S&D, Go ARMY!

    Walter Oehrlein

    Thank you Walt and, once again, congratulations Joe.

    A final tribute to Jack Terry

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Last Monday, I received this very nice message from Susan Terry and her family. Communication was a bit of a challenge so my efforts to get a few pictures to include with this message did not produce any new shots to share. However, I did dig back through many Bunnograms and found the pictures below to help complete the story. Susan wrote:

    On Monday, May 30th, 2016, in the Town of Fremont, Fremont Center, New York, Jack Terry was once again remembered for his military service, his service to the community where we lived for many years, and his leadership qualities that led to many positive changes throughout the years. This was the 132nd Anniversary of this parade (2nd oldest Memorial Day Parade in New York) - The Grand Army of the Republic held the first Memorial Day Parade in the Town of Fremont to honor those who served in the Civil War.

    Photo Left: Jack alone ready to take on any and all enemies with his jeep mounted 30 Caliber 

    The parade is always dedicated to all servicemen and women. This year there was special emphasis on the 25th Anniversary of the Persian Gulf War (1991) - On January 17, 1991, Operation Desert Storm began under the direction of General Norman Schwarzkopf and General Colin Powell. Many special floats made by the local people reflected this event.

    After the parade, the Master of Ceremonies spoke about Jack. there was an invocation, a speech by a well-known county judge who served in the Gulf War, and a benediction. A flag folding ceremony and a presentation of the flag to our family was made by a group of men dressed in Civil War uniforms.

    Photo Right: Finally, a nice group picture with many of Jack’s friends at a tailgate party, (from left to right) Jim Harmon, Jim Tomaswick, Gene Manghi, Tom Abraham, Ray Hawkins, Bob Frank, Russ Campbell, and Paul Schultz 

    My family and I were truly honored that Jack was chosen to be remembered this year. On this beautiful day, in that little farm community 120 miles due north of New York City, with the beautiful, sincere voices singing the verses to The Star Spangled Banner, it's great to be an American! Thank you all for your service!

    Susan Terry & family

    And here are the pictures I found with Jack and many of our Classmates. First we have Jack with Jim Tomaswick and then with John Salomone.

    Next we have Jack with his lifelong friend, Tom Abraham.

    Thank you Susan for this very nice reminder of what a great guy Jack was and how much we miss him.

    Arvin Award Presentation May 20, 2016

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    On several occasions in the past, Tom Abraham has represented us with the presentation of the Arvin Award to the graduating member of the wrestling team who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership, scholarship, and commitment to Army wrestling. This year he did it again but not without having to overcome numerous obstacles. I want to personally thank him for his loyalty and devotion to duty as he focused on accomplishing the mission. Tom reports:

    To the Class of 1965,

    I have once again been honored to present the Arvin Award on behalf of the class in memory of Carl Robert Arvin, our Classmate, our First Captain, our friend, my wrestling teammate and all those fellow members of the Class of 1965 who were killed in the Vietnam war. The award, a pewter tray, was established in 1984, and is given to the graduating member of the wrestling team who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership, scholarship, and commitment to Army wrestling. This year’s recipient is Cadet Tyler F. McLees. Tyler and me.

    Photo Left: Tyler is shown below receiving the award

    Tyler is from West Islip, Long Island. He attended St. Anthony’s High School where he played football and wrestled before competing in both sports at USMAPS. As a freshman at Army he played football and earned a 3.3 GPA. He wrestled at 197 pounds as a sophomore and wrestled 184 and 285 as a junior and senior. Injuries hampered him his last two years but he continued to contribute to the team as best he could. He was selected for the Arvin Award by the coaches. Here he is with meand again with my wife Ina:

    Photo right: His father Matt and mother Lisa with Tyler and me

    His dad Matt is an athletic director at a high school on Long Island. The Clan McLees is a wonderful family and they sent us a superb young officer.

    Rest assured that once again the Arvin Award has gone to an outstanding cadet who will make a fine Infantry officer as he begins his military career. Bob Arvin would be proud as well.

    Congratulations to Tyler and thank you Tom for once again representing us in such an outstanding manner.

    To respond directly use: Thomas Abraham

    Strength and Drive Leads WPAGC Into Vietnam Memorial Celebration

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Terry Ryan shared some great comments and a couple of very nice pictures from the recent Vietnam Memorial Celebration/Retirement Gala for Jan Scruggs. Terry wrote:

    In the evening of Memorial Day, five Classmates, Jim Ferguson, Pete Linn, Chuck Nichols, Terry Ryan and Terry Tutchings (Tom Fergusson and Pete Cahill were not available) participated with The West Point Alumni Glee Club (WPAGC) at the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) Retirement Gala for Jan Scruggs. For those of you who are not familiar with Jan’s work, he enlisted in the Army, was wounded in Viet Nam and decorated for valor. Jan founded the VVMF and over the years has been the advocate and main force behind the establishment of the Viet Nam Memorial, all from private funding. The Gala was a fitting tribute to a man who greatly contributed to healing our nation and has been a champion of recognizing and helping Viet Nam Veterans. He is also a great friend of West Point.

    Back row fourth from right is Terry Tutchings. Middle row second from right is Jim Ferguson. Front row seated is Peter Linn. Front row far left behind the podium is Terry Ryan. Chuck Nichols is off stage managing the sound, video and overall production. We are directed by Nancy Riley (with her back to the camera).

    The West Point Alumni Glee Club was honored to be invited to sing at the event. The Viet Nam Medley (with a solo by Pete Linn seen here) and Mansions of the Lord were well received by the over 400 in attendance with a standing ovation.

    Gary Sinise was the Master of Ceremonies, with video tributes by many folks including Jimmy Buffett and Billy Joel. The keynote speaker was Chuck Hagel. Since Billy Joel sang a piece from Miss Saigon right before our performance, we consider his act as a “warm up” for us!

    It was an emotional evening. I, for one, and I was not alone, could not help but think about our brothers whose names are on that wall. It was hard to sing at times. It was a great opportunity for Strength and Drive to contribute to the recognition of a humble and great man. Without Jan Scruggs, there would not be a place of remembrance and healing for those who served in Viet Nam and their families. And to celebrate his accomplishment on Memorial Day contributed to reflection and thoughts of our brothers with whom we served. Proud to be a member of this great Class!

    Given the nature of their salute and Terry’s words which tie our fallen brothers to “The Wall”, I thought it would be appropriate to bring forward the following picture from our Class webpage:

    Terry asked me not to share a little side story but I guess I’ll have to admit that the “Devil made me do it”. It seems that my good friend and incredibly hard working member of the team, Chuck Nichols, was running around, doing his thing in preparation for the big show, when Terry reminded him that it might be time to get into his tux. That’s when Chuck realized he had brought the tux sans the trousers. Fortunately, a quick visit to the local Nordstrom Rack got him back on track. I can recall having numerous problems with trou over the years but at least I had them with me. Sorry Chuck, we love you buddy!

    Thank you Terry for another terrific report.

    To respond directly use: Terry Ryan

    Remembering Jack Hutton

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    On Monday I received these three pictures from Jack’s sister, Mary-Pelham Hutton White. She was inspired by the Memorial Day Holiday, to share some special pictures of her brother. Rather than just accept them, I pushed her to share a few words of remembrance of her brother to go with them. What she provided was so beautiful that I chose to share it almost completely unedited to give you a feel for the place that Jack occupies in Mary’s heart. Jack Hutton.

    And here is what she wrote. There were a few additional photos included with her comments but, unfortunately, they were too small to include:

    Thank-you for prompting me to add words to the pictures I shared with you Monday. Jack is always with me. He was 7.5 yrs. older than I and we lived in the small, close-knit town of Suffolk, Virginia, so we shared our lives in very organic ways. He was my brother and sort of a parent. In any event, he was my personal hero…and he’s still just 24 years old.

    Soon after Jack’s acceptance at West Point, I had an opportunity to watch the reel-to-reel of The Long Gray Line. I sobbed throughout the movie and into the night back home. I questioned my parents for sending him to prepare for war. They responded that if he had to go he would have had the best training possible. I was filled with pride, terror and a sense of helplessness. I followed his years at West Point through letters, a few visits, and in our parents’ hearts.

    I’ll list some of the highlights/fragments of Jack’s West Point years as I experienced them. We wrung our hands throughout your Beast Barracks and prayed that he was safe and healthy. I was with you all for Plebe Christmas. It snowed a lot so we couldn’t go skiing as expected. Another time, he drove his Plebe Pop’s car to our cousin’s in New Jersey and took us to the World’s Fair and then to the Rainbow Room in New York. Jack was so important to me. I hoped he noticed how grown up I was. Our family played and replayed General MacArthur ’s speech on our Hi-Fi and we recited it in between. He gave me a six-footer that I proudly wore to the Army-Navy game. I knew very little about the game but I knew Rollie Stichweh’s name and I knew that winning that game promised an easier life for you all. I also knew that Wanamaker's windows made the Christmas season in Philadelphia magic. I marveled that our near hometown boy, Phil Harper was the “goat” and it took some spectacular planning to ensure that distinction. Jack bought a huge Grand Prix that he let me use to practice parallel parking in front of our house in Suffolk.

    He married Paula from England who was living in New York City. I pictured Audrey Hepburn sitting on the apartment fire escape. I didn’t know any other young women who travelled so far from home and lived in NYC. They were married in August ’66 at West Point and I was in the wedding!

    In February of 1967, my birthday to be exact, Jack left Suffolk to begin his trek to Vietnam. We had a big family dinner and tried not to cry.

    We sent care packages with cool aid and stuff. He was good about writing home and telling us not to worry because by the time we heard any news at all, the rough part was over. He sent me beautiful silk to have a dress made. Paula planned to meet him in Hawaii in October; but that didn’t happen. August 11th, I answered the door to find a chaplain looking for Paula. She lived in Norfolk, Virginia, 20 miles away, and we had to take them to her because they were not allowed to talk with us...but while my parents were gathering their things, the chaplains told me that he was gone. I told mother to slow down. She would not be traveling to be with him. It was over.

    I can’t describe the tremendous outpouring from kinfolk and friends. As we rode to the cemetery, policemen stood at attention at every corner. Taps and the twenty-one-gun salute were piercing. My parents were heartbroken. Paula had to be hospitalized with a breakdown. She remarried a year later, but we lost touch.

    In 1995 I attended the 25th reunion of Vietnamese & American Advisors. It was another time that I wondered what I could possibly contribute but then realized that we were all there for each other. I am grateful for their stories and for this time together.

    I’ll write more another time to tell you how much it meant to me to be with you for your 50th. I experienced a little more of Strength and Drive and the Corps. Thank-you for including me.

    Mary-Pelham Hutton White

    Thank you Mary, that is beautiful.

    Grip hands my friends as we learn more about what it was like for those families left with nothing but wonderful memories.

    A Drink with a Roommate

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Ralph Asplund sent along this very nice message and a few pictures of his visit to his roommates grave in Massachusetts. Ralph writes:

    This past weekend, I visit the Massachusetts National Cemetery to visit my roommate, Mike Thompson. Mike's final resting place is in Bourne, Massachusetts. Close to family and friends and the Sea he loved.

    We had our annual Memorial Day drink and reminiscence of the past. It is a beautiful location and shared by another classmate.

    What a nice tradition. Ralph went on in a second e-mail to share what Mike’s wife and Son were doing at the same time:

    As I was having a drink with Mike Thompson on Cape Cod, his wife, Joan was visiting Minnesota with son Dave and attended the Memorial Day services in Two Harbors, Minnesota viewing the Michael Hall Thompson Memorial at the cemetery. Note the West Point braid, given to widows at the 50th reunion is on the stone. Also, unique is the reflection of Mike's wife (Joan) and Son (David) in the stone.

    Thank you Ralph for this very timely reminder of our dear friend Mike.

    To respond directly use: Ralph Asplund

    Memorial Day 2016 - Another perspective

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Bruce Clarke sent me this poignant message that he found on Facebook. Regardless of its origin, it is an amazing insight into the pain and worry that was endured by so many of our loved ones when we were called to war and is being endured now by those whose loved ones are doing their job for all of us today.

    The Other Woman

    --I have these thoughts often and finally put pen to paper in honor of Memorial Day. Here is to, the other woman. ---
    Today, more than ever, my mind is with "the other woman."
    I spend Memorial Day thinking back to the many combat deployments my husband and I have been through over the last 13 years.
    I think about those nights and days that never seemed to end and watching a calendar that seemed to hardly move. I think back to how I would have my phone charged, on the highest volume setting and always in eyesight for months until the deployment was over. We all know the reality of war and after 4-5 days without communication most military spouses know what that most likely meant.
    I'm sure most spouses (including myself) scour the internet, watch the news relentlessly and stare aimlessly at our phones praying for a call. We all know when communication goes black, usually there had been a causality and the military was going through the proper channels to notify the family first. You pray for a phone call and your worst fear is seeing an unknown car pull up in your driveway.
    I think back to those days when I would get a call that everything was alright and my husband was fine, it had been someone else who had paid the ultimate sacrifice. It's an immediate sense of joy, relief and then incredible guilt.
    That is when my mind goes straight to "the other woman."
    Who is she? Who is that other woman who received that knock on her door that day? She's still waiting on that last phone call that never came, a homecoming kiss that will never happen and a story that will never be finished. On many days I can barely remember receiving that "I'm safe" call, her life changed forever.
    My thoughts and my deepest gratitude are with that "other woman" on Memorial Day. The strength that you possess fuels me and the sacrifice of not just your husband, but your family overwhelms me with immense gratitude.
    I'll never know you, but you are in my heart.
    All my respect

    Kacie Jerry
    (Kacie is a flight attendant and friends with my neighbor. When I read this on Facebook, I asked Kacie if I could forward it. She agreed but was concerned it might be "riddled with errors." But she said it was written from the heart. Come to find out...her husband is a USMA grad, class of 2003!)

    Bruce B. G. Clarke
    Colonel, US Army (ret)
    785 550-8653

    Thank you Bruce. A great and very important message for all of us to think about.

    Memorial Day 2016

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    As we share this very significant day and remember all of our dear brothers who have fallen and everyone who has died for this great country, I was pleased to receive a very timely and meaningful message from Jim Dyer. He shared the following, informative and very poignant account of the history of Memorial Day:

    Memorial Day History
    The custom of honoring ancestors by cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves is an ancient and worldwide tradition, but the specific origin of Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was first known, are unclear.

    In early rural America, this duty was usually performed in late summer and was an occasion for family reunions and picnics. After the Civil War, America’s need for a secular, patriotic ceremony to honor its military dead became prominent, as monuments to fallen soldiers were erected and dedicated, and ceremonies centering on the decoration of soldiers’ graves were held in towns and cities throughout the nation.

    After World War I, the day expanded to honor those who have died in all America wars. No less than 25 places have been named in connection with the origin of Memorial Day, and states observed the holiday on different dates. In 1971, Memorial Day became a national holiday by an act of Congress; it is now celebrated on the last Monday in May.

    Since it all started with the Civil War, you might want to brush up on your knowledge of this event by visiting the Library of Congress Civil War collection, which includes more than a thousand photographs.

    The Poppy, A Symbol of Memorial Day
    The wearing of poppies in honor of America’s war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day (not Veterans Day). The origin of the red poppy as a modern-day symbol of this day was actually the idea of an American woman, Miss Moina Michael. Read more about the inspiration for the poppy.
    In war-torn battlefields, the red field poppy (papaver rhoeas) was one of the first plants to grow. Its seeds scattered in the wind and sat dormant in the ground, only germinating when the ground is disturbed—as it was by the very brutal fighting during World War 1.

    The practice of wearing of poppies was further inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written in 1915 by Canadian soldier John McCrae. He saw the poppies in burials around his artillery position in Belgium.

    Today, poppies are both the symbol of loss of life as a symbol of recovery and new life, especially in support of those servicemen who were damaged physically or emotionally.

    In Flanders Fields
    by John McCrae, May 1915
    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    Difference Between Memorial Day and Veterans Day
    Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.

    While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL who served—in wartime or peacetime—and whether they died or survived. Veterans Day is always observed officially on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls.

    Jim also provided the following short (8 minutes, 41 seconds) video which I found to be especially moving.

    Additionally, I found it to be very meaningful to visit our Class Website at both of these links:

    Grip hands, my friends. Our ranks are growing thinner every year. May God Bless our fallen brothers. Fortunately, our bond remains strong as we all reach out to each other to make the road ahead as smooth as possible

    Another Visit to West Point

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Here’s a nice message and photo from Rick Osgood:

    We were at West Point on Friday for an "award" ceremony for middle school students across the country, who completed the West Point oriented STEM program. Basically this is a major national program to spread interest in Science and Technology for younger students of all types.

    The picture shows my granddaughter Svea Smestad from Fergus Falls Minnesota and my daughter Jennifer (Class of 1992 - and now Corp Councilor for Ottertail Power) and I just retired from Columbia at West Point. We all had a great time and saw Debbie Vann and her Daughter.


    Rick Osgood

    Thanks Rick, very nice note and picture.

    A Farewell to Jerry Ledzinski - Addendum

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    My bad. When I sent out the final report on the celebration of life for Jerry Ledzinski, I managed to omit the final paragraph which Tom Fergusson had provided. This paragraph provides the details on how to obtain a Hard Cover Photo Book of the service and related activities. Here is the paragraph I omitted:

    Hard Cover Photo Books Available to Classmates: As he has done on past occasions for our Class, Denny Coll took many pictures at the Ledzinski's home and the Weirton Alliance Church before, during, and after the Celebration of Life service for Jerry. He is assembling many of these photos, as well as pictures of Jerry in the Army and Jerry and Martina and their family in their younger days. In the very near future, Denny is going to produce a hard back photo book that we (those Classmates who attended) can give to Martina and her sons, Jerry and Justin. Also, each of us have ordered our own copies from Denny which will be produced at a low / very reasonable cost and which we can pick up at the Walgreens nearest to our homes. Anyone who is interested in learning more about acquiring a copy of this photo book should contact Denny directly via email ( or phone (847-404-1767).

    All the photos are currently available at SnapFish:

    I should probably plan on another hour on the area for this (when you have about 130, one more doesn’t seem so bad).

    Class of 2015 Newsletter!

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65, I’m not sure how much interest this will draw but given that we have extensively covered our affiliation relationship with the class of 2015, I thought some of you might be interested to see their first newsletter. Will Goodwin, President of the class of 2015 sent the following note to his classmates. The actual newsletter can be found in the attachment. Today is the one-year anniversary of their graduation. I think they are off to a terrific start and I’m thrilled to see that they obviously still feel a significant connection to their affiliation Class (us) and the lasting ties we share. Here is Will’s letter. Note that it is effectively signed by their entire leadership team.

    Classmates and Friends of 2015,

    Welcome to our first post-graduation class update—and thank you for actually reading it! Older classes tend to maintain a strong system of “class notes” periodically distributed to provide updates on classmates, family members, and West Point that you might not find on social media. We hope that as a recently graduated class, we too can leverage the power of old-fashioned email to keep the Class of 2015 strong and connected between reunion years.

    One challenge in writing a class newsletter (beyond our clear lack of graphic design talent) is determining when to provide updates and what information to include. In this first iteration, we wanted to mark the one year anniversary of our graduation day—May 23, 2015—with a few highlights of Academy/AOG news, an update on our 50-year affiliate class, and resources available to you. When life slows down and we have more time to pull updates from individual members of the class, we hope to do a better job of showcasing talent, career moves, and personal milestones across this great class!

    Will Goodwin ’15 & Kyle Warren ’15

    AFarewell to Jerry Ledzinski

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    On May 12th I received the very difficult phone call from Tom Fergusson informing me that his good friend and ours, Jerry Ledzinski had passed away peacefully at his home on the evening of May 9th. Tom immediately volunteered to take on the task of serving us and Jerry’s family as our Point of Contact (POC). Tom has done an outstanding job in that capacity, working closely with the family and keeping us informed of the details as they developed. Here, now is Tom’s report:

    On Friday, May 20th, family and friends gathered at the Weirton Alliance Church in Weirton, West Virginia for a beautiful Celebration of Life service honoring our brother, Jerome Michael (Jerry) Ledzinski, who passed away peacefully at home on the evening of May 9th. Family in attendance included Jerry's wife of almost fifty years, Martina (Mankowski); their older son, Jerry M. Ledzinski II of Carmel, California, a 1995 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy; and younger son, Justin A. Ledzinski of Fayetteville, Arkansas, a 1996 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, his wife, Elli, and their sons, Adam and Taylor. Jerry II's wife, Dolly, was unable to make the trip from Carmel, California with her husband due to illness.

    Here we see Jerry’s family (from left to right) Elli, Justin, Martina, and Jerry Michael. In front are Elli and Justin’s sons, Adam and Taylor. Next is a great pictureof John Pickler, Martina and Ed Simpson.

    Photo Right: Here we have John Pickler, Ed Simpson, Karen Pickler, Bob Frank, Mary Frank, June Fergusson, Tom Fergusson, and Denny Coll

    The Celebration of Life service was led by Pastor Andrew "Andy" Strachan of Clearwater, Florida. "Pastor Andy" was the Ledzinski's pastor in Carmel, California for many years and a close friend of Jerry's for more than 30 years. When he learned of Jerry's passing from Martina, he immediately offered to fly up to nearby Pittsburgh from Clearwater with his wife, Jennifer, to lead the service, assisted by Pastor Jim Rhodes, the regular Pastor of Weirton Alliance Church. His participation was truly a blessing for Jerry's family and friends. No one could have handled this crucial role better.

    Five members of our Class and three of our wives were present, all having arrived in Weirton by car the evening before: Denny Coll; Tom and June Fergusson; Bob and Mary Frank; John and Karen Pickler; and Ed Simpson. John Pickler, a member of the Glee Club during our cadet days and later OIC of the Glee Club, led us in a spirited rendition of the Alma Mater during the Celebration of Life service honoring Jerry, accompanied by Karen Pickler on the piano. Karen also played the piano at various times throughout the service, as the congregation sang several Songs of Praise and Worship, as well as "God Bless America" and "The Lord’s Prayer”. Wonderful job, Karen, well done! Flowers from '65 | Memorial Service

    And then the Classmates rearranged: Denny Coll, Ed Simpson, John Pickler, Bob Frank, and Tom Fergusson.

    Martina and the Ledzinski family asked Tom Fergusson to speak during the service, representing the Class of '65. Coming up with material about Jerry was no problem -- trimming it down to fit the time frame requested by Pastor Andy was more challenging! Based on his memories of Jerry as a plebe year roommate in L-2 and close friend over the years until his passing, conversations with several Classmates who knew Jerry well, and some splendid material posted by other Classmates on the eulogy page established for Jerry by the AOG, Tom had plenty to talk about, both serious and humorous.

    Also, as Tom was drafting his remarks two days before the service, he was truly fortunate to have phone conversations with our own Paul "Buddy" Bucha, who knew Jerry well, especially from our firstie year, and a 94 year-old Army legend, Major General John K. "Jack" Singlaub, U.S. Army, Ret., who, as a colonel, commanded the once highly classified Military Assistance Command Vietnam - Special Observations and Studies Group (MACV-SOG), in which Jerry had served so valiantly during three tours in Vietnam (1967-69).

    Buddy's words about his memories of Jerry during our First Class year, especially when Buddy commanded the 2nd Regiment and Jerry commanded the Regiment's 1st Battalion, as we approached Graduation in the spring of 1965, were so thoughtful and powerful that Tom quoted him directly. "From my observations of Jerry when he commanded 1st Battalion," said Buddy, "he was already an officer, ready to lead Infantry or Special Forces troops in combat, unlike most of us who would need Airborne and Ranger training to be better prepared. Jerry was incredibly serious and focused about the profession of arms and the likelihood that he would soon be leading soldiers in combat." General Singlaub's memories of Jerry in MACV-SOG were also special. "Captain Jerry Ledzinski," he told me, "was a natural leader and a very honorable officer possessed of great physical and moral courage whose example inspired all of those with whom he served in MACV-SOG. He was a truly outstanding officer, among our very best leaders regardless of rank or age."

    At the end of the service, military honors were rendered to Jerry, as requested by his family, and they were performed with precision and professionalism. Mr. Gabe Arlia, an 87-year-old Marine Corps veteran of World War II and Commander of the Honor Guard of American Legion Post 10 of Weirton, came forward to Jerry's urn to offer a prayer followed by a slow, respectful hand salute. He then moved his veterans outside the church where they fired a three-volley rifle salute, followed by the playing of Taps. Immediately afterwards, inside the church, two young NCOs from the West Virginia Army National Guard, a Staff Sergeant and a Sergeant, approached Jerry's urn and the folded American flag resting behind it. Meticulously, they unfolded and refolded the flag before presenting it to Jerome Michael Ledzinski II, who then presented it to his mother, Martina, while kneeling before her.

    Here we see the very meaningful salute by Mr. Gabe Arlia followed by the folding of the flag. Note the prominence of our Class flag in both pictures.

    Finally, we see Jerry’s many medals and collage of many pictures taken throughout his life.

    Photo Left: a quick look at how we knew Jerry back in the day. As I was scanning this picture, I showed it to my wife whose immediate comment was “he looks like he’s about to say ‘the devil made me do it!’” What a great picture of a very special guy.

    To respond directly use: Thomas. G. Fergusson He will forward any messages for Martina or her family.

    Additionally, should you choose to do so, the family has asked that any donations made in Jerry’s name be made to his Class fund at West Point . Checks can be made out to “The Class of 1965 Fund” and sent to: WPAOG, Herbert Hall, West Point, New York 10996.

    Grip hands my friends as, on behalf of the entire Class, I offer Martina and her family our sincere condolences and to Jerry, Be Thou at Peace – Well Done!

    Joe Anderson's Distinguished Grad Award + Going out West

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Bruce Marshall is frequently a good source of information and photos. Here he provides some comments and a few photos from the recent gathering at West Point for the Joe Anderson Distinguished Graduate Award and then added a few great shots from his subsequent travels out west. Bruce writes:

    I was there as you can see from the selfie I took with Mitch Bonnett (his brother Don is a good friend of mine in MD).  Terrific event! Also thought folks might enjoy this photo of the Color Guard.

    Here's the actual award presentation at lunch (the Brigade Commander kept getting in the way)!  Well-deserved award, Joe.

    Unfortunately, I couldn't stay & headed back to MD. Had to fly to Las Vegas early the next morning (Wednesday 5.28.2016) for a Business Conference which starts today (Friday 5.20.2016)!

    Was able to squeeze in an awesome hike up Angels Landing in Zion National Park Yesterday 5.19.2016. Took 3 other guys with me including my good friend Werner Berger (age 78) in Red! Werner climbed Mt. Everest @ age 69 & is the oldest man to have done the 7 Summits (highest point in each continent.) This is my third time sitting on this summit cone.  Check out the beauty of Zion Valley behind me. Finally, the guide books say that this is the most remarkable trail in the entire National Park System.

    Bruce R. Marshall

    To respond directly use: 443-286-3163 or

    Thanks Bruce, as always, good stuff.

    USMA Class of 1965 - 50th Reunion Final Message

    To the USMA Class of 1965 Community,

    Almost four years ago, we (Tom & Marilyn Kovach) volunteered to co-chair the committee to plan our 50th Reunion at West Point. During that timeframe, we sent many messages. This will be our final Reunion message.

    First, we sincerely apologize for the tardiness of this message - now at essentially the first anniversary of our 50th Reunion. No excuse, Sir!

    Second, in keeping with our announcement at our Monday dinner event in the Westchester Marriott Hotel's Grand Ballroom, we are pleased to present the following Reunion financial summary:

    - Total income to the Reunion Committee of $362,322;
    - Total expense by the Reunion Committee of $348,900;
    - Net income and expense of $13,422 surplus.

    Lastly, serving as the co-chairpersons of the 50th Reunion Committee was our honor and pleasure. A number of you have mentioned that you continue to relive the memories of those three days a year ago this week. As you, on occasion, turn the pages of your magnificent Reunion Books which were orchestrated by Larry Leskovjan, please take some extra time to read the Acknowledgements on the inside back cover. These are the members of the Class Community, along with various service providers, who evolved "a once in a lifetime event" into "The Greatest Reunion Ever" as we Renewed, Reflected and Rejoiced!

    Best wishes to all of you!

    Strength and Drive!

    Tom & Marilyn Kovach

    Honoring Joe Anderson as our Fifth Distinguished Graduate

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Joe, congratulations on a very much deserved award. We are all proud to have you represent us in this way. You are one more source of the incredible pride I feel for being a member of this amazing Band of Brothers.

    Art Hester served as our POC for the Joe Anderson Distinguished Graduate Award Event. He has done an outstanding job of capturing the critical points during the activities involved and has submitted this terrific report:

    On Tuesday, May 17th, thirty Classmates and another 40 guests gathered at West Point for the formal presentation of Joe Anderson as one of the WPAOG’s 2016 Distinguished Graduates. Prior to the presentation itself, some Classmates participated in the Alumni March, Wreath Laying Ceremony, and the Alumni Review.

    This first photo shows those Classmates lining up for the activities. The second photo shows the Reviewing Party for the Alumni Review which consisted of BG Diana Holland, Commandant, the six Distinguished Graduates, LTG Robert Caslen, Superintendent, and LTG(R) Larry Jordan, Chairman, WPAOG.

    After the Alumni Luncheon, a Class reception for Joe was held in the Arvin Alcove in the Arvin Gym. Our Class President, Russ Campbell, provided a great message about our Class history with special emphasis on Bob Arvin and the significance of the reception being held in “our” spot, the Arvin Alcove. In the first photo we seeRuss congratulating and presenting Joe.

    Photo Right: In the second photo we see Joe delivered strong, heartfelt remarks expressing his gratitude for the great support from Classmates and friends for the event. He stated that our motto, “Strength and Drive” truly embodies the spirit of our great Class. He closed his remarks by saying that although he was the fifth DGA in our class, he did not believe that he would be the last.

    Photo Left: a group shot of most of the Classmates who attended the Class reception

    In attendance for all, or some of the activities were Joe and Rochelle Anderson, Tom and Tosh Barron, Bill and Martha Birdseye, Mitch Bonnett, Buddy Bucha, Russ and Maryann Campbell, Steve Davis, Joe DeFrancisco, Reg Dryzga, Tom Fergusson, Bob Frank, Clair Gill, Jim and Jeanne Harmon, Tom Henneberry, Art and Cinda Hester, Jack Jannarone, Jack Koletty, Bill and Jane Lehman, Gene Manghi, Bruce Marshall, Nic and Darcy Merriam, Walt Oehrlein, Gene Parker and son Paul and granddaughter Allison, Ray Paske, John and Mary Kay Salomone, Jose Sanchez, Paul Schultz, Mark and Linda Sheridan, Ric Shinseki, Fred Smith, John Swensson, Bob Wolff, Ross Wollen and Myrita Pindar and Barrie Zais. And finally, the Class sponsors for the event: Russ and Maryann Campbell, Rochelle and Joe Anderson, Cinda and Art Hester.

    I received numerous other photos from both Russ Campbell and John Swensson which I will share here. In this first one we see Secretary Shinseki, a Cadet, and Bob Frank serving as beverage monitors (must be some pretty special people sitting at that table). Next we have a great picture of Joe Anderson with Walt Oehrlein.

    Next we have a good picture of, as John Swensson put it, “Swensson and Shinseki reduce the glare from Sanchez head while Wollen and Defrancisco observe”. This is followed by a nice shot of Walt Oehrlein, Russ Campbell, and Mitch Bonnett standing in front of the Arvin letter to his home town wrestling team which was the recent subject of a separate Bunnogram.

    Finally, here’s a very nice picture of Rochelle Anderson and one of Nic and Darcy Merriam standing at the entrance to the Arvin Gym.

    I’ll close with a thank you to Art Hester for an excellent job as POC and to Russ Campbell and John Swensson for providing so many photos and information. My apologies if we missed anyone or got any names wrong. With a large gathering like this it is always a challenge to get all the details to you correctly.

    An Opportunity to Serve

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    A recent message from the Association of Graduates (AOG) encourages graduates to consider making themselves available to serve as Directors or Advisors. We have had several Classmates who have served in this capacity including; Bob Frank, Joe DeFrancisco, and Joe Anderson. Now would be a good time to consider serving in this capacity. As you can see in the letter below, self-nominations are not permitted. However, we encourage you to contact any one of the members of the Class Leadership Team or one of the individuals named here if you have any interest. Here is the letter from the AOG explaining some of what is involved:

    Dear Fellow Graduates,

    Serving on the WPAOG Board of Directors or Advisory Council is an extraordinary opportunity to give back to our alma mater and to help the Long Gray Line become stronger than ever.
    Directors are responsible for the governance of our Association, and Advisors help ensure the Association is in touch with the needs and desires of the alumni body. Both Directors and Advisors populate the many committees that advise the Board and make important recommendations such as award recipients and help communicate back out to the Long Gray Line about what’s going on at West Point.

    Directors and Advisors at Large are not appointed, but elected by you – the membership. We encourage all graduates to consider becoming a candidate. To do so, you need a nomination from any graduate, Class or Society. Self-nominations are not permitted, and the deadline is 1 July for terms that begin 1 January 2017. 


    More information can be found at: or by contacting the WPAOG Secretary, Jim Johnston ’73 (at or845.446.1510).

    Beat Navy! Beat ‘em ALL!!

    Larry R. Jordan '68
    Lieutenant General, USA (Ret)
    Board of Directors 
    West Point Association of Graduates


    Robert L. McClure '76
    Colonel, USA (Ret) 
    President & CEO
    West Point Association of Graduates

    Give it some thought. Serving your Class and our Alma Mater can be very rewarding.

    '65 Class Ring Recovery - The Rest of the Story

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Well, it took a little while but we finally have the “rest of the story” regarding the Class ring that was found on eBay. This is a rather lengthy report, but we wanted to give you as much detail as possible regarding the process. I’m proud to be a member of the Leadership Team who, in my opinion, did everything you could have wanted us to do on your behalf with this rather unusual situation. We will start with a letter from Russ Campbell which points out the steps we took and the information we had to deal with. Then, once the decision was made as to who the most likely previous owner was, we get a very nice report and a few photos from Ron Bailey explaining what he did with the ring. Russ writes:

    Message to the Distinguished West Point Class of 1965,

    ’65 Class Ring Final story:

    It was Dec. 2015, when Barrie Zais alerted the AOG and the Class Leadership Team that a Class of ’65 Ring was about to be auctioned off on e-bay. Barrie’s alert set into motion a whole series of actions that ultimately led to the successful recovery of the ’65 ring. But, that was only the beginning, as we had to try and link the ring to a Classmate. A Bunnogram went out to the Class asking for help in identifying ownership.

    Well, 35 Classmates responded with a wide variety of stories. Without identifying each, here is a summary:

    3 rings lost in Vietnam
    3 rings stolen in Vietnam (one on Christmas day)
    15 rings stolen in USA (4 in BOQs, 3 in transit/household goods, 2 in a gym/restroom)
    3 rings lost/stolen overseas (Germany, Thailand and Korea)
    1 ring robbed at gun point
    2 rings lost (1 in river and 1 in a lake)
    8 rings missing, circumstances unknown

    Here are some of the verbatim extracts from Classmates:

    “Please advise the Team that (his) ring was stolen along with his watch…I have some correspondence with his mother about possible insurance coverage.”
    “In the late 1970’s our home was broken into and robbed. My ring was among stolen jewelry items, which the caught accomplices fenced…it was probably melted down.”
    “I would be overjoyed if my description and the recovered ring matched. I know how important our rings symbolize our connection to the Class of ’65 and evoke other memories of the original ring holders.”
    “I lost my ‘original’ ring in Vietnam…can’t imagine that it made it back here and on to e-bay”.
    “Please let me know, if you can what is up with the ring.”
    “My ring was stolen in Vietnam…Doubt that it could end up on e-bay but one never knows.”
    “My ring was stolen from my gym locker. I replaced it 20 years ago…”
    “My original ring was missing in 1966 from a BOQ in Ft. Bliss Texas. It was replaced in 1968. I still wear the replacement though it was stolen in 1991, then discovered by the police in 1993 from the finger of a young druggie arrested at a wild pot party. The wild adventures of a West Point Ring!”
    “My ring was stolen 30 years ago, but my lovely wife replaced it for my 50th birthday!”
    “My Class ring was stolen in the late 70’s…I immediately replaced my ring. However, if this turns out to be mine, I would be happy to reimburse the Class for the cost of recovery, as I wore this ring throughout my time in Vietnam.”
    “My original Class ring was lost in Vietnam, circa 1968. I replaced it when I returned home.”
    “I lost my ring quite a few years ago, in a lake. I’d be happy to throw in a few bucks for the recovery. This might turn out a good piece for the ring melt.”
    “Balfour does a great job in repairing rings and replacing stones in the ring. My Colgate tooth brush handle piece was used in Vietnam as a temporary.”
    “Maybe there is a match!”
    “I had my ring stolen from my ‘hooch’ in Korea in 1968. In 1990 I replaced it. I doubt that this ring is mine, but congratulations to all for this successful recovery.”
    “In 1971, I had my Class ring stolen...My wife bought me a new one and I have guarded it closely ever since. Could that be it?”
    “The late (Classmate) lost his ring many years ago. Could that be it?”
    “For what it’s worth my ring was stolen in NYC. Very glad that the Class bought it.”
    “I lost my ring around 1970…I accidently left it in a men’s room after washing my hands where I worked. A few hours later, it was gone. I then had a replacement made and I haven’t washed my hands since!”

    I’m sure there are many more poignant stories about our Class rings, and this does not reflect those that have passed for which we will never know that story,” Be Though at peace”. Rings do matter and do connect us through all the years.

    With that, the good news is that we have made a match!!! We believe that the ring belongs to Ron Bailey and it has been returned to him. We have already reported to you the saga to get us here. Now it is time to hear Ron’s story and how important the ring and the Class of ’65 is to him. Further, Ron has graciously offered to reimburse the Class for the cost of recovery. Thank you Ron.

    Finally, if anyone needs to replace a stone, ring, or repair same. You can contact Balfour at (201) 262-8800 Jayne Roland or Lisa Swatek,


    Thank you Russ. We appear to have a very nice conclusion to a very interesting issue. Now that the ring has been returned to Ron Bailey, he has taken the time to write a few words about what it means to him to have his ring back. Ron writes:

    Classmates and Friends of 65,

    As you might recall shortly after our 50th reunion Barry Zais' sharp eyes spotted a '65 Class ring on eBay in the New York area. Russ Campbell and the rest of our Leadership Team coordinated with the ring recovery committee to make sure the ring was rescued from eBay and returned to Class control. They asked Classmates, friends of 65, and interested persons to respond if they had lost a ring or were interested in recovering a ring that had once belonged to a Classmate. I guess my description of my missing Class ring was close enough to have the Class committee send the ring to me for verification. The ring was not in great shape but it certainly looked like mine. I had last seen the ring in 1998 when it was stolen from our house in Alexandria Virginia. Of course police reports and searches in local pawn shops and fences turned up nothing. My wife and I were very upset about this because not only was my ring stolen but her wedding and engagement rings were stolen as well as other jewelry. As many of us have, I had gained a few pounds since being measured for the ring in 1964 and I had stopped daily wear of it until a resizing could be done.

    I had no proof positive that the ring was mine. An inscription inside the ring had been worn away and the ring had undergone a poor attempt to be resized. The ring is now with a local jeweler for resizing and repair. In honor of those Classmates who have passed away and hold a white marble headstone in one of the national cemeteries I have asked the jeweler to include a white gold replacement section of the ring.

    Here is the ring by itself as I received it, out of round and with cracks where a poor attempt at resizing left faults at the base of the ring and a crack below the stone. The image of two rings better shows the ring's deformation. The image showing the repaired and shined ring on my finger with the matching miniature on my wife's is one we hope to live with until "death do us part".

    I'll wear the ring with the pride that I feel to be a member of the class of '65. Strength and drive.
    Ron Bailey

    Clearly a very nice ending to a very interesting situation. I would like to add here that all this inspired me to contact Balfour regarding my ring. I too have put on a few pounds (OK, maybe there is about twice as much of me as graduated back in ’65) and it caused my ring along with my wedding ring to fit so tightly that I haven’t had them off since my hip surgery almost eight years ago (they wouldn’t permit jewelry in the operating room). Anyway, the size issue along with a little chip in my stone caused me to contact Balfour regarding repairs. I was surprised to learn that they will resize both rings, put in a new stone (simple blue sapphire), and solder the two rings together for only $150. Even more interesting to me is the fact that I was asking to have the ring enlarged from a size 10 to a 12.25. they have a limit of two sizes that they will increase a ring before they actually melt it down and recast it. To me this seemed rather extreme but the cost was the same, so I’m having that done.

    If nothing else, I have learned how intense is our unique connection to our amazing Class and our Alma Mater through these beautiful reminders of our 47-month trial together all those years ago.

    Second Update on Memorial Service for Jerry Ledzinski on Fri, 20 May

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Tom Fergusson has learned one more bit of information regarding the celebration of life for Jerry Ledzinski on Friday, May 20. Tom writes: 

    In accordance with Jerry's wishes, his ashes will be spread in Big Sur, California over the Christmas holidays. A celebration of life will be held at 11:00 am Friday, May 20 at Weirton Alliance Church at 119 North 13th St. Weirton, West Virginia 26062. Visitation will be held at the church at 10:00 am.  Flowers may be sent to the Weirton Alliance Church or in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Jerry's Class fund in his name at West Point at: . Checks can be made out to "The Class of 1965 Fund" and sent to: WPAOG, Herbert Hall, West Point, New York 10996.

    It has been decided that the Class will support the event with a nice arrangement of flowers.

    Second Update on Memorial Service for Jerry Ledzinski on Friday, May 20 in Weirton, West Virginia

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    As promised, Tom Fergusson, has provide a second update regarding the Memorial Service to be held for Jerry Ledzinski on Friday, May 20th. Tom writes:

    For those who may be coming to Weirton, West Virginia for the memorial service for Jerry Ledzinski on Friday, May 20th, there are no changes to the family's plans for the memorial service and reception to follow at the Weirton Alliance Church, 119 N. 13th Street, Weirton, West Virginia. Visitation at 10:00 AM, Martina Ledzinski and the family will greet arriving guests in the Sanctuary; Memorial Service at 11:00 AM; all attending are invited to the Reception in the church basement at approximately 12:00 PM, immediately following the Memorial Service.

    The Memorial Service will be led by the Ledzinski's longtime family pastor, the Reverend Andy Strachan, of Clearwater, Florida (formerly of Carmel, CA). Military veterans from Weirton's American Legion Post 10 and soldiers from the West Virginia Army National Guard will participate in the Service. Jerry's USMA 65 Classmates in attendance will sing the Alma Mater, led by John PIckler.

    Information on lodging in Weirton: June and I, as well as several other Classmates and spouses, have reservations Thursday night at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, 139 Amerihost Drive, Weirton. The senior citizen rate (from Marriott) for at the Fairfield Inn & Suites is $110 per night plus tax. Breakfast is included. Phone number there is: 304-723-0088. Several good restaurants, including DJ's Ribs and Undo's Italian Restaurant are located nearby. Other good options for lodging in Weirton are the Comfort Inn and Holiday Inn.

    Transportation from the DC area: I received an email from Ed Simpson early this morning, letting me know that he's driving out to Weirton on Thursday in a large van with plenty of room for others to ride with him. He'll be returning home after the service and reception on Friday. Ed and his wife, Lee, live in Alexandria, Virginia. If you are interested in riding with Ed and want to contact him, his mobile number is: 703-304-9117, home: 703-971-4944. Thanks, Ed!


    Thanks Tom, this should be very helpful to anyone who may be able to attend.

    To respond directly use: Thomas Fergusson

    Army ladies make it look easy

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Wow, I was so impressed with a film clip I saw this morning on the “Today” show that I came right to my computer with the hope of finding it to share. Fortunately, Norman Eckstein beat me to the punch and saved me a lot of searching. The clip below is pretty much self-explanatory and shows that one of our lady cadets was so into helping Army win yet another game that she made a move I could barely believe. I’ve seen such a thing attempted but never executed so perfectly. The only thing that could have made it better would have been for her to have done it against Navy. Enjoy:

    Thanks Norm, that was terrific!

    Pictures from Vancouver

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Bob and Pat Anderson have become a reliable source of very nice stories and photographs as they travel and just enjoy life together. Their recent trip to Vancouver, British Columbia provides the most recent story. I must admit to having a soft spot in my heart for Vancouver. For the final five years of my employment with a shipping company in Tacoma, Washington, I enjoyed covering British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan as part of my sales territory. As the largest population center in those three provinces, I spent most of my time in Vancouver. Thank you Bob and Pat for renewing some of those memories. They write:

    We returned via Air Canada and United airlines yesterday from five super days in Vancouver, B.C. Public transportation there is well connected to light rail stations, main attractions, Chinatown, the beautiful modern English Bay waterfront on the Pacific Ocean, Stanley Park and Granville Island (both have many nice attractions which we saw from the Hop On Hop Off Bus.) Because of the ease of getting around on foot, we also walked three to four miles each day.

    Here are some of our favorite moments:

    Photo Right: Dinner at the Sylvia Hotel on English Bay (Est. 1912.) We had a beautiful view of the Bay and a magnificent sunset over the jibs of 20 - 25 sailboats.

    Here is English Bay from the veranda of The Sylvia. You can see some of the huge freighters anchored at the mouth of English Bay.

    We are on the ferry to Granville Island. You can see how small the boat is from a similar one behind us. The five-minute ride was exciting -- choppy water -- getting onto and off of the boat as it bobbed up and down took a bit of timing. The Sand Bar Restaurant under the Granville Bridge was a great place for our late lunch of fresh halibut. A friendly lady took this snap with the Canadian Flag behind us as we walked from The Sand Bar to the Hop on Hop off Bus.

    Photo Left: The Millennium Gate is the impressive entrance to Chinatown.

    The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is the first one constructed outside of China. It is modeled after such gardens built in Suzhou during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Note the juxtaposition of the ancient pavilion and the modern apartment building. Fifty-three master craftsmen from China constructed the Garden using traditional methods -- no glue, screws, or power tools were used.

    Our idea of a selfie. OUR FIRST EVER! We are looking into the mirrors, across the stairway, of the narrowest office building in the world (approximately 25' wide), the Jack Chow Insurance Agency in Chinatown.

    After these fun-filled occasions we returned to our Hilton home-away-from-home in Burnaby, a tony suburb, easily accessed by the Sky Train System. We are looking forward to a return visit -- perhaps to stay at The Sylvia Hotel.

    Bob and Pat

    Thank you Bob and Pat. Is it just me or do these kids seem to have more fun than most? Please keep up the reports on your exploits, they’re fun to follow.

    The Bob Selkis stories

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    As promised, here are two of the great stories about Bob Selkis which I have been encouraged to share. A little over a year ago the following Bunnogram went out with most of the information provided by Tad Ono and Ralph Locurcio. Following this story is another which I don’t believe has been shared anywhere near as widely. Please enjoy these brief looks at the unique personality that was Bob Selkis.

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    About a week ago I received a nice eulogy from Tad Ono to be put with many others for Jack Terry. In his eulogy Tad made reference to a side trip he and several others made to Panama City during out Firstie Trip. This caused me to ask him to explain what had happened as I don’t remember any opportunity to take side trips (other than the one most of us took to go into Juarez while visiting Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas – but those other stories for other times). Tad did a little digging and had Ralph Locurcio send me this great story with numerous pictures of what I’ll call the great escape from Ft. Benning. There is no way, with my failing memory that I could get close to getting the names right, so I’ll just let you pick out your friends by look. It looks like a great time for a pretty big gang of guys for which they seem to have paid later with sun burn problems. Now this is my kind of story! Ralph writes:

    While on the Firstie Trip we had a long weekend while at Ft. Benning so a bunch of us decided we needed to go to Panama City to hit the beach. I'm guessing it was July 4th, but I don't remember any fireworks.

    We scouted around for rides... tried to rent an airplane to save time... had no money... then a van... then finally we pooled our money and rented this truck and spent the rest of our money on beer...had to keep our priorities straight… took no clothes except bathing suits... big mistake... maybe a blanket for the beach.

    Drove for like 6 hours... 2 guys driving wouldn't stop for pee breaks cuz they couldn't drink (good to see they were conscientious about drinking and driving)... didn't go well with all the beer...

    So we peed off the back of the coming the opposite way had to put on their wipers!

    Got to Panama City... parked the truck on the beach... spent two days in the sun... slept on the beach... got roasted!!!!

    Truck got stuck in the sand... got it out using beer cans under the wheels! Rest Stop Photo

    Made it back on time...

    but training on Monday was swing landing trainer for airborne school... very bad combo with sunburned backs...

    The sergeants had a ball with us... swing... drop... PLF... and again... sawdust all down our burned backs!

    But we couldn't say a word... just had to suck it up and deal with it!!! 

    Thanks Tad and Ralph for sharing your great memories.

    More recently, I received the following story from Chuck Moseley. While Bob was not one of the principles in the story, his personality and proximity is all over it.

    This story has been kept quiet for ~15 years due to the request of some of the principals involved. With the passing of Bob Selkis recently, several of us while in Savannah a few weeks ago discussed the wider sharing of this great great classmate story.

    One of the classic stories that did not widely emerge until ~ 35-40 years later at one of the class outings. All three principals were present at the golf outing.
    Bob Selkis told the story of Jim Tomaswick and Dick Williams. They and Bob were roommates during Plebe year in K1.

    While standing in ranks before a meal formation and undergoing buckle/shoe/haircut inspections etc. and spouting off plebe poop, Jim suddenly popped off to an upperclassman – “Sir may I ask a question?” He was immediately asked to recite “what are your four allowable statements?” And he responded with the obligatory “Yes Sir, No Sir, No Excuse Sir and Sir I do not understand”

    After around 30 seconds, Jim again asks “Sir may I ask a question? This time he begins to attract a little more attention – as we all remember that is exactly what one did not want to do – under the radar was always the best tactic. Jim then is asked again what his responses are and he repeats the four answers.

    After a brief interlude, Jim asks for a third time “Sir may I ask a question?” Now he becomes the center of attention for a growing crowd of upperclassman and he again spouts off the four allowable responses.

    Then an upperclassman states – “Okay Tomaswick, what’s your question? At this point, Jim asks “Sir may I switch teeth with Mr. Williams?” This causes an uproar! After composing himself, the upperclassman asks Dick, standing directly behind Jim, “Mr. Williams, do you want to switch teeth with Mr. Tomaswick?” Dick responds, “Yes Sir” (Both wore partial plates)

    Then, while standing at attention Jim and Dick remove their plates and swap over the shoulder and reinsert their own teeth. The upperclassmen are apoplectic!

    Well, the audience at the golf outing decades later was in tears laughing upon hearing this great story.

    The next morning, Chuck Moseley and Bob were cart mates for their match and Chuck told Bob (and continues to tell people today) that story is the funniest cadet story of ANY class he had ever heard. (It has been told again at later golf outings to newcomers and continues to produce the same result – even to those who already knew the story!) Bob turned to Chuck and said, with the flair of a carnival man switching walnut shells and one guessing which one hid the pea, “Yeah, sometimes they would piss me off and I would swap the glasses on the sink” Chuck almost fell out of the cart!

    As we do with all our fallen brethren, we miss Bob greatly. However, stories like these help us to remember just how special they were.

    Update on Memorial Service for Jerry Ledzinski on Fri, 20 May in Weirton, West Virginia

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    It appears that Tom Fergusson is doing an outstanding job as our POC for the Jerry Ledzinski family. He has just provided some more details regarding the services to be held on Friday the 20th. Tom writes:

    Based on several conversations I've had with Martina Ledzinski today, as well as initial coordination with American Legion Post 10 in Weirton, West Virginia, I can now provide a few more details about plans for the memorial service and reception honoring Jerry on Friday, 20 May at the Weirton Alliance Church, 119 N. 13th Street, Weirton, West Virginia. Hopefully, this information will be helpful to those Classmates who are planning to attend or may be thinking about it.

    Martina, her sons, Jerry Michael and Justin, and other family members will be at the Weirton Alliance Church beginning at 10:00 am on Friday, 20 May to welcome arriving guests in the Sanctuary. The memorial service will begin at 11:00 am and be led by Reverend Andy Strachan of Clearwater, FL ("Pastor Andy"), the Ledzinski's pastor for many years when they lived in Carmel, California.

    The Honor Guard of American Legion Post 10, commanded by a World War II Marine veteran, will participate in the memorial service and provide a rifle salute followed by a bugler playing Taps outside the church at the conclusion of the service. It appears likely that the West Virginia Army National Guard will also participate - details TBD. I will bring the Class of '65 colors out to Weirton for display in the church, on loan from Terry Ryan. Immediately following the memorial service, there will be a reception hosted by the Ledzinski family in the basement of the Weirton Alliance Church.

    I expect to provide information about available lodging in Weirton in the next few days.

    For Classmates who are planning to come, I would appreciate an e-mail or phone call letting me know of your plans so I can give Martina and her family some idea of who may be attending from Strength and Drive. Of course, this does not preclude anyone making a last minute decision to attend. The main objective is to have a good turnout from the Class as we say farewell to our brother, Jerry, and celebrate his life. Martina and her sons are thrilled that some of Jerry's Classmates will be in attendance.

    (H) 703-421-2675 (M) 571-212-4514

    Thank you Tom, very good information. For those who may need it for their GPS system, I have underlined the address of the church above.

    I hope we are able to have a large number of Classmates attend.

    Louis Csoka's book

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    I know we could all use some good news so here it is. I got this very nice message from Christa Csoka, Louis Csoka’s daughter. Christa writes:

    My Dad actually finished his book (yes while still recovering from his stroke!) and I think the Class would like to see that. Below is the link to the landing page on his Publishers site. And some blogs that they’ve done already to promote it. Its official release is May 16th.

    A quick update on him too. He is still rehabbing in terms of all three therapies…speech, physical and occupational. But he is making great progress with physical and we’re hoping that by end of summer he’ll be walking with just a cane! The speech rehab is still a little slower, but he is making great strides and working towards promoting his book himself…meaning going out and speaking about it. He has a goal to do a speaking engagement by October! I know he’ll do it!!

    The first excerpt from Dr. Csoka’s book “When the Pressures On” was released today on The Five Rules of Stress Management.

    Actually, I think the second paragraph of her message is the best part. Our boy is well on the road to the recovery we have all been praying for. Of course, the book is a very important part of the message as well, so here is a link that will get you a brief summary of the book and information on how to get it if you are interested.

    Thank you Christa we are all thrilled to hear of your dad’s progress in recovery.

    The Passing of Jerome Michael Ledzinski

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    It is once again my sad duty to inform you of the passing of one our dear Classmates. Jerry Ledzinski passed away quietly and suddenly at his home in West Virginia at about 9:30 PM on Monday, May 9th. I received the call from Tom Fergusson a few hours ago and was pleased to hear that without even being asked he volunteered to be our Point of Contact (POC). Tom wrote:

    I learned the sad news of Jerry's passing this afternoon via a phone call from his dear wife, Martina. Jerry and Martina had lived in Weirton, West Virginia since 2008 when they moved back to Martina's hometown from their longtime home in Carmel, California, where they had lived since Jerry left the Army in the early 70s.

    During our conversation this afternoon, Martina told me that Jerry passed away quietly and suddenly at their home this past Monday evening (9 May) at about 9:30 pm. Martina was with Jerry when he died.

    Fortunately, their sons, Jerry Michael, who lives in Carmel, California with his wife, and Justin, who lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas with his wife and children, had come home recently to visit their parents because Jerry had not been doing well for the past several months, but they had returned to their respective homes. The cancer Jerry had first been diagnosed with in 2010 and which had been in remission for years, apparently returned with a vengeance in March and Jerry's VA doctors had started him on chemotherapy a few months ago.

    The family is planning a memorial service for Jerry at the Weirton Alliance Church, 119 N 13th Street, Weirton, West Virginia on Friday morning, 20 May. Details to follow. USMA '65 Classmates are invited to attend. No funeral or burial service is planned. Instead, Jerry has been cremated and his ashes will be scattered in a private, family-only ceremony in California later this year.

    I offered to act as the Class of '65 POC and told Martina to let me know how I and the Class of '65 could assist her. Further, I told her that June and I would drive out to Weirton on 19 May to attend the service on 20 May and that I expected some other Classmates and possibly their spouses would attend as well.

    Martina does not communicate via email. Her home address, for those wishing to write to her, is 93 Martina Drive, Weirton, West Virginia, 26062.

    Thank you Tom for an excellent first report and for your willingness to take on this responsibility for us.

    For those who may prefer to send messages to Martina by e-mail, please send anything directly to Tom who will be sure that your thoughts and prayers are shared with Martina and the family. Tom’s e-mail address is:

    Grip hands my friends; these notices are coming way to frequently.

    Dave Mastran's Latest Book

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    My good friend John Swensson sent me a very nice book report on the latest effort from Dave Mastran. John is clearly a big fan, as am I. John writes:

    Dave Mastran has done it again, following his establishment of MAXIMUS, recounted in his book “Privateer”, and his successful music business QUAVER recently reported by Rick Bunn (Mcullough, McConnell, Pickler, and Bunn in a recording studio!!!!). His new book, now available on Amazon. Vietnam 1968: Turning Point is dynomite as Max Thurman used to say, and a great read for members of the Class of 65 as Dave recounts much of our own class history throughout the book. Available in paperback or Kindle at

    Dave has captured with remarkable and riveting detail a previously classified story of McNamara’s electronic wall, and of his own soldiering for the US Air Force in Vietnam and Thailand to try to make that concept a viable reality. McNamara’s Wall employed air-dropped sensors to detect movement to assist in halting the flow of NVA men and material, but was ultimately ineffective. Dave, who graduated #007 in our class, became a skilled Systems Analyst at graduate school at Stanford, and his welcome to Saigon was TET 68 when, only recently arrived, he was cut off at his BOQ for days by combat in the streets of his neighborhood. This is his story for the entire year of 1968, a coming of age story with a quality of writing we seldom see these days and with an acute level of remembrance. Maxine Hong Kingston says it takes twenty years to tell a good story; this is a 50 year-story honed to a perfect pitch. Beautifully written, captivating, the story of service to country in the name of a great idea which ultimately bordered on folly—and Dave Mastran was the arbiter of that judgment, then and now. A very successful music publisher of music for younger people, he lives with his wife Donna in Northern VA, and Nashville. And bring your copy for an autograph to the next Class Golf Outing. J

    I have not yet had the pleasure of reading this book but knowing what John shares here and Dave’s obvious talent, it will soon be on my reading list.

    Fruit of the Loom

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Here’s a nice follow up to the farewell to our dear friend, Bob Selkis. Pat Kenny wrote:

    On my return drive south after Bob Selkis’ funeral I stopped for lunch with Mike and Cathy Applin at their condo in Arlington VA; Mike and I graduated from G-2 and were Ranger buddies. After lunch we took pictures to include the one holding up a Fruit of the Loom t-shirt. The shirt was sent to Mike by Oleh Koropey, another company mate, who was at some point in his career in charge of Fruit of the Loom products. After some prodding by Mike, Oleh sent the shirt and a package of skivvies.

    Here’s a nice picture of Mike and Cathy Applin and then the shot that caused me to contact Pat with the question, “What the..?”

    The shirt ended up in the picture, the skivvies were donated to a homeless shelter. Thanks Oleh!


    Thanks Pat, that clears up my question nicely.

    A Farewell to Bob Selkis

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    On May 3rd many of our Classmates and their wives made their way to West Point to say good bye to our dear friend Bob Selkis. Bob’s unique personality made him many friends within our Class and in everything he did in his life. In keeping with the wishes of Bob’s beautiful wife Betty, the mood of the event was kept very positive as a celebration of his life, not a mourning of his passing. Soon after I announced Bob’s passing, Bob Radcliffe, in spite of his very serious health problems which ultimately kept him from attending the services at West Point, stepped up and offered to serve us as the POC. The following is his report on those services.

    On the morning of May 3rd, 2016, family and friends gathered at West Point for Bob Selkis’ interment. Family in attendance included Bob’s wife of almost fifty years, Betty; daughter Amy Lamaker of Greenwich, Connecticut and son Michael Selkis of Saratoga, New York. With their parents also attending were Bob and Betty’s four grandchildren: Naelle and Tobias Selkis and Sophie and Emma Lamaker. Bob’s Brothers Ben and Bern Selkis and his Sister Dolorous Shelley were also in attendance.

    Photo Left: those in attendance gathered to sing the Alma Mater 

    More than fifty members of our Class and wives made their way to West Point on a cold rainy day. Another fifty people traveled to West Point from Bob’s home in Connecticut or from elsewhere in the Northeast. This picture gives you a feel for the conditions on that cold and rainy day.

    The Ceremonies began with a Memorial Service in the Catholic Chapel followed by interment with military honors at the West Point Cemetery. The ceremonies concluded with a reception at the West Point Club. At the reception Michael Selkis delivered a wonderful eulogy to his father, Steve Darrah presented remarks prepared by Bob Radcliffe for the Class (a written version of Bob’s remarks) and several Classmates and friends, most notably Fred Grates, shared memories of Bob. Betty shared with me that the ceremonies hit the mark exactly in terms of remembering Bob and celebrating his life.

    Here are two group pictures of some attendees. The first includes, from left to right: Sonny Ray, Joe DeFrancisco, Clair Gill, Barrie Zais, and John Salomone. The second includes, from left to right: Larry Strassner, Ray Paske, Jack Jannarone, Jack Thomasson, and Jim Tillman all of whom played Lacrosse with Bob.

    Next we have a picture taken at the reception which shows what a large group was in attendance. And finally a repeat of a great shot of Bob as he spoke at the Affirmation Ceremony for the two Cadets from the Class of 2015 (our Affiliation class) who were on exchange to the Coast Guard Academy. Had it not been for Bob’s effort along with three of our Classmates, who joined him, these two Cadets would have missed out on this very significant ceremony.

    Bob Radcliffe, provided this list of attendees at the services at West Point. However, as you can imagine, it was very difficult to get an accurate count given that he was not able to attend himself. Therefore, he and I apologize for any oversights that may have occurred. We assure that they were unintentional. Additionally, here is a very brief video of that effort.

    In attendance were: Ray and Ginny Paske, Bob Harter, Mark and Linda Sheridan, Larry, Neal, Jim and Ellen Wood, Tom and Susan Carll, Jim and Mary Ellen Kelly, Nick Principe, Mark and Linda Walsh, Chris and Nancy Dorney, Jack Jannarone, Barrie and Lynda Zais, Jack Thomasson, Fred and Carol Grates, Stan and Barbara Genega, Clair and Sherry Gill, John and Mary Kay Salomone, Steve Ammon, Tom Henneberry, Ric Shinseki, Joe DeFrancisco, Bob Wolff, Dave Hurley, Gene Manghi, Pat Kenny, Jim Tillman, Larry Strassner, Jack Koletty, John Nolan Cullen, Ross Wollen and Myrita Pinder, Steve Darrah, Sonny Ray, Jim and Carol Tomaswick, John Malpass, Russ Campbell, Fred Smith, and Ray and Linda Hawkins.

    Photo Right: is a brief look at how we knew him back in the day 

    Bob held a very special place among his many Classmates. He will be missed but not forgotten.

    I have been asked by several Classmates who knew Bob well, to share a story that reveals much about his personality. I have decided to do that in a few days. When I do, it would be nice to add any other stories any of you may choose to provide. Maybe we can even find out about “little bear” referred to in the small bio above which was taken from the Howitzer. Please send me anything you would like for me to share at that time. The sooner you can get it to me, the better, and, of course, if you have a picture, all the better.

    In closing, I would like to thank Bob Radcliffe for a superb job as POC even though he was unable to attend the service. We all wish you a seedy recovery, Bob.

    To respond directly use: He will forward any messages for Betty or her family.

    Grip hands my friends as, on behalf of the entire Class, I offer Betty and her family our sincere condolences and to Bob, Be Thou at Peace – Well Done!

    A Farewell to Edgardo (Ed) Querijero Abesamis

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    The following is my final report on the passing of our dear friend Ed Abesamis. I apologize that it is a very lengthy report with several eulogy attachments but it seemed appropriate to do this since we were unable to have any Classmates attend the services in the Philippines. The first attached eulogy actually comes from another Philippine graduate of West Point from the class of ’69. Shortly after I learned of Ed’s passing, a good friend of his, Mark Sheridan, stepped up and volunteered to take on the duties of Point of Contact (POC). Most of what you see here is a result of his efforts to represent us to the family and the family to us.

    Edgardo Abesamis (Philippine Army Retired, USMA 1965, Cullum number 25568) passed away on March 17, 2016 in Quezon City, Philippines. I sent out an interim report on April 3rd with many pictures (some of which will be duplicated here). Ed was interred very soon after his passing in the Loyola Memorial Park, in Metro Manila, Philippines. However, his son, Oscar, explained that, “It is a Philippine custom among Catholics that the soul of the departed still wanders in the natural world for 40 days before going to its final realm”. Because of this it wasn’t until April 25th that there was a simple gathering of family and friends for a Memorial Service.

    Photo Left: a much more recent photo of Ed with his family. Oscar, Ed’s son identified everyone for us: Me, my brother Rene, Papa and Mama, Fredirik (my brother-in-law; Kay's husband). In front: Enzo (my eldest son), Shirley (my wife), Skyla (my youngest daughter), Nadia (Rene's wife) with Amaya (their youngest daughter); Jaron my second son, Mayumi (Rene's eldest daughter), Tina (our youngest sister) and Kay (the eldest) with her twins Karl and Elise. What a great looking family!

    Here we see the casket and the procession from the interment ceremony shortly after Ed’s passing.

    Before I get to the comments and pictures from the final memorial service on April 25th, I would like to share more pictures of our friend both back in the day and more recently.

    Here we see Ed at Camp Buckner and then proudly wearing his Full Dress Grey.

    Next is a great shot of Ed with Ric Shinseki while involved in some mortar training and finally a shot of Ed with some of his Philippine Army comrades.

    Moving on, now, to the Memorial Service held on April 25th. Your Leadership Team decided that there was too much risk involved with shipping the Class flag to the Philippines. So, after much discussion, Terry Ryan, our “Keeper of the Flags”, came up with the idea of sending a picture of the flag along with a nice letter from our Class President, Russ Campbell, to the family as a keepsake and reminder of Ed’s connection to the Class. Below is the product Terry came up with and put together for us. Alongside is the enlarged letter so you can read what Russ wrote. Then we see how the picture and letter were displayed and another nice shot of Ed’s family.

    Next, we have a comment from Oscar, Ed’s son:

    The memorial service of my father went well. It was highlighted with a mass celebration and dinner get-together. A lot of my father's friends and colleagues attended together with our relatives. It was again another joyous event for us family as we recollect and share stories about my father. Truly comforting to hear folks remembering their good memories with him.

    We placed the Class flag photo with letter beside the photo portrait of my father. It was really nice as guests looked and read the letter. Thank you very much for taking time sending this very memorable token.
    I plan to place this beside my dad's framed USMA diploma together with the rest of the memorabilia he kept.

    Again thank you very much for everything the Class have done. We truly appreciate! Kindly extend our heartfelt thanks to the rest of the WP alumni.



    Should you want to express your condolences to the family, you can write directly to Ed’s widow Susana or e-mail his son Oscar at:

    Susana A. Abesamis
    20 Wagner St. Ideal Subdivision
    Quezon City, Philippines 1121

    Photo Right: Finally, as has become my custom, here is a look back at the way we knew Ed at West Point.

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

    Remembering Bob Selkis

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    In a recent conversation with our Class President, Russ Campbell, we discussed the Affirmation Ceremony that took place at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy way back in August of 2015. You may recall the Bunnogram that went out at that time to report the event. In that report it was pointed out that four of our Classmates, Russ Campbell, Bob Selkis, Terry Ryan, and Jim Ferguson made the trip to the Coast Guard Academy. They went to insure that two members of our Affiliation Class of 2015, who were involved in an exchange, would be able to participate in the ceremony and be recognized at this milestone in their cadet careers. Cadet (now 2LT) Mason West, and Cadet (now 2LT) Joseph Scherer were able to participate in the ceremony because our Classmates thought it was important to include them in what all of their classmates were experiencing back at West Point.

    Having heard about the recent passing of our Classmate, Bob Selkis, 2LT West sent the following letter:

    I apologize for my tardiness in this response as I was in Ranger School during LTC Selkis' passing.

    However, I would greatly appreciate if my condolences were passed along to whichever parties you deem appropriate.

    LTC Selkis' initiative in organizing an affirmation ceremony for me and (now) 2LT Joe Scherer at the Coast Guard Academy was absolutely unforgettable. I was immeasurably impressed that the Class of '65 alumni made the drive to New London just for me and Joe - it made the bond between my class and the Class of '65 much more meaningful. LTC Selkis' speech, delivery of the oath, and the presentation of class coins to us made the event unforgettable.

    Thank you, and I wish you the best as you mourn LTC Selkis' passing.

    Very Respectfully,
    2LT Mason West

    After Russ and I discussed this, I reached out to Joe Scherer, and asked him for his comments so I could share both perspectives. Joe was very quick to get back to me with the following comments:

    Spending a semester at the Coast Guard Academy was one of the many blessings I received while at West Point. During that semester, Lt. West and I met and shared many unforgettable friends and experiences as we were immersed in the Coast Guard culture. However, looking back, the affirmation ceremony afforded to us by LTC Selkis and his fellow members of the Class of '65 was by far the most memorable and important of our experiences during our time spent at the Coast Guard Academy.

    Being away from West Point, I hardly expected anyone asides from myself and Lt. West to note the significance of our day of affirmation. However, we were pleasantly surprised when we learned that LTC Selkis and his classmates had put together such an organized and memorable event to mark such an important day in our time as cadets.

    LTC Selkis comments on his own experiences in the Army and the significance of what it meant to join the Profession of Arms inspired me and affirmed that I was joining an organization in which I would be proud to serve and admired those who had served before. LTC Selkis' care and initiative in providing Lt. West and I such a memorable experience despite the fact of never having met us before made me realize the bond shared amongst the Long Gray Line and the importance of the mentorship provided by the Class of 1965 to the Class of 2015.

    Please send my regards and thanks to LTC Selkis' family and the Class of '65 as a whole for the memorable experience.

    Very Respectfully, 
    2LT Joe Scherer

    To help make the story complete, I pulled some of the pictures from the 2013 Bunnogram to include here.

    I enjoyed a rather cute side story that Russ shared with me regarding the ceremony. It seems the Commander, who was very pleased to have our Classmates make the trip to insure these cadets enjoyed the proper ceremony for their affirmation, attempted to make things a little easier by telling Bob that his speech really wouldn’t be necessary. Bob replied that he had been working on the speech for three weeks and was going to present it. And here he is doing just that:

    Photo Left: shows the two Cadets taking their oath as administered by Bob Selkis

    Bob was a special guy in so many ways. I know we all miss him greatly.

    With regard to the two Cadets, now young officers, a very positive thought comes to mind. I have mentioned before that the living conditions at our Rock Bound Highland Home have become so soft compared to what we endured for our 47-month visit, that I worry about the possibility that its mission will not be met. However, every cadet (or graduated new officer) I have met or been associated with, have convinced me that there is nothing to worry about. Our Alma Mater continues to turn out amazing men and women of substance who make me proud and confident that our Army and our nation will be in good hands for many years to come. 2LT West and 2LT Scherer are no exception. I know they will do well as they meet the challenges of their chosen career.

    Photo Right: L to R: Jim Ferguson, Russ Campbell, Cadet Joseph Scherer, Bob Selkis, Cadet Mason West, and Terry Ryan.

    Little Bo

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Happy news is such fun to share. My friend Jay Vaughn sent in this nice report and great pictures. Jay writes:

    Here is a happy news item from the H-1 "Little Bo" fan club.

    Bo Forrest's first grandson was born on 14 December 2015. His proud parents are Bo's daughter, Mary Graham Forrest, & Jacob Sigmon. Young Graham Forrest Sigmon will be known as "Little Bo," especially to his H-1 grandpas. We combined to give him a couple of birthday gifts including a West Point baby cup and a hoodie with his name on it.

    Participation in this endeavor was widespread as this bunch of aging wonders joined hands to make Little Bo feel welcome. We are sorry Bo didn't live to see his grandson but are sure he is looking down from his lofty perch and proud as can be. We think you will agree that Little Bo resembles his grandpa.


    Thanks Jay, great stuff. That is one good looking little guy. I’m guessing he will be encouraged to follow his Grandpa to our Rockbound Highland Home one day.

    To respond directly use:

    Working at the Food Bank

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Now here’s a guy who has figured out how to remain active and productive in retirement. My good friend (he lives just down the road from me) Bill Sherrell writes:

    I am a volunteer for the Tacoma Emergency Food Network (EFN), as well as a volunteer for the Pierce County Conservation District and the local Lakewood VA Hospital. The Emergency Food Network distributes more than 16 million pounds of food annually to 70 food banks, hot meal sites and shelters throughout Pierce County. Volunteers at our Repack Project help to prepare bulk foods for distribution by repackaging the food into smaller, family portions. Bulk foods may include rice, beans, oats, frozen corn, and peas, oranges, and apples. In this picture you can see me helping to repack 4800 lbs of frozen peas-two scoops per pack.

    This Saturday, along with 20 other volunteers, we planted 600 bushes and trees along Clark Creek to improve this important salmon habitat. It is enjoyable, and keeps me off the couch.

    William Sherrell

    Actually, Bill is doing some real work for the EFN. While I didn’t do any hands on work, over thirty years ago, as the President of the Transportation Club of Tacoma, a worked out an alliance with EFN so that our members could donate food at our annual Christmas Party, in exchange for raffle tickets. Over the years we raised in excess of $200,000 worth of food for the area food banks.

    I’m sure Bill would join me in saying how rewarding it is to help out where the need is so great.

    Thank you Bill for this reminder of what can be done with our time.

    To respond directly use:

    Vietnam War Reference Site

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Some guys just never stop serving the Class. Paul Schultz has done so much for us in the past and here he is again with a terrific reference site for those of you who may want to look back at the details of your service in Vietnam. Paul writes:

    I was directed to this historical reference site by a friend, and found it the best I've seen.

    I thought members of the Class might find this useful in some of their own research activities.

    Paul Schultz

    Thanks Paul, I have already looked up a few things and found it quick and easy to work with.

    To respond directly use:

    Ric Shinseki Exhibit

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    I received the following message from Roy Garms. I looked up the museum on the internet and got the pictures below and a few words about the exhibit. Since I have a time-share in the Islands, I will definitely be paying a visit to the museum on my next trip. Roy wrote:

    My wife and I were able to spend a week in Waikiki last month (believe it or not our second visit to Hawaii this year). We visited the US Army Museum of Hawaii at Fort DeRussy. We were happily surprised to find that the museum had a section specifically for Hawaii’s “Local Boy Makes Good” – our own Ric Shinseki. It covers his life from Kauai to West Point and Army Chief of Staff with a nice interview video. I was not aware of this exhibit although its existence may have been communicated to the class earlier by you or Denny. Once again, it makes one proud to be a member of the Class of 1965. I would urge a visit to the museum if one is fortunate to visit Honolulu in the future.

    And here is the information I took from the museum webpage:

    As a courtesy to Ric, I ran this Bunnogram past him before sharing it with the entire Class. I was thrilled that; not only did he approve my sharing it but he added a sizable comment of his own. Ric writes:

    This exhibit is located at Ft. DeRussy in Waikiki and was established by some good folks there in Hawai’i, most notably Dr. Larry Tseu, who funded the entire project. He and three brothers all served in the military, each in a different Service. All four served during the Korean War, with the eldest brother also serving in WW II, and the youngest serving also in Vietnam. They are the sons of a World War I, U.S. Army Veteran, who forged his parents signature at age 17 to fight in France -- seven major campaigns, three purple hearts. I did not have a hand in creating the exhibit but was invited to its opening some years ago. To show how little I really had to do with it, I’ve just noticed some factual errors in the caption amongst the photos below. Although I’ve visited Korea many times on a variety of missions, I was never actually stationed there, like a number of our Classmates, Joe DeFrancisco for one. Instead, I spent most of my overseas time in Cold War and post-Cold War Europe. Also, I retired from the Army on 1 August 2003, rather than June 2005, as stated in the caption. I have asked that these statements be corrected. 

    I’m honored that folks back home, particularly Dr. Tseu, thought enough of my military service to put this exhibit together. There have been a couple of defining events in my life. One was spending about eight months in Flemington, New Jersey in 1959, as an exchange student from Hawai’i, just as Hawai’i was being granted statehood. During that stay, I was able to visit West Point, about which, at that point, I knew very little. When I returned home to Hawai’i, I applied and was fortunate enough to receive an appointment to USMA. The time at West Point as a member of our great Class was the second event, which continues to define and influence my life even today. The third, and probably most defining, was marrying Patty Shinseki, who had a lot to do with how things turned out. She’s also a part of the exhibit.

    Thanks for sharing Roy’s note -- Ric

    Thanks Roy for making me, and probably many others, aware of this added treat should we find ourselves in Hawaii.

    And thank you Ric for this very nice explanation and endorsement of the project.

    Now that was a Road Trip!

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    This is not about me but I had several requests for the details so: 22 days - 123 hours, 47 minutes of driving - 7,138 miles - 17 states - 10 overnight or longer stops.

    The main thing I want to do here is share the incredible experience of connecting with my Classmates. From the large group at the Savannah Golf Outing, to the hospitality of Dean and Diana Loftin when they opened their home for a big party during the Golf Outing, to the wonderful hospitality of John and Karen Pickler in Lebanon, Tennessee, to the absentee hospitality of Dave Mastran in Nashville, Tennessee, to the warm hospitality of Dennis and Diane Hawker in Mesa, Arizona which included a great party with four other couples, to the final visit with Classmate Skip and Marilyn O’Donnell in Las Vegas, this trip was a huge success.

    I am sharing these things to encourage all of you to take the time, whenever you can, to reach out to Classmates (especially those you don’t know or don’t know very well) and just spend an hour or two with them. You won’t regret it. A lunch while traveling through an area where you know a Classmate to live is a great way to enrich your travel experience. It’s amazing how this Band of Brothers and their beautiful ladies respond to just a suggestion of getting together. You have seen it reported dozens of times and believe me, it’s as much fun as it appears. The fact that we all shared a very sizable chunk of somewhat difficult time together in our younger years can be the basis of many new and very rewarding relationships.

    If you are planning a trip or would just like to connect with someone new in your area, use either the 50th Reunion Edition Roster or the roster on the webpage. Both will give you names addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses. Additionally, both have the names broken down by state and city as well as by Firstie company. If you can’t find your copy of the 50th Reunion Roster, try the webpage. It is restricted but either Chuck Nichols or I would be happy to help you with the necessary user name and password to get access to the list.

    I’m sure to many, I sound like a broken record but if you connect with any Classmates, please share just a brief note about the event and take a picture for me to share with all.


    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Home again, home again Jiggedy Jig. Coming to you this evening from beautiful Puyallup, Washington. I finally got my lap top plugged in and found this nice message from Steve Bliss:

    I have enjoyed all the dog photos so thought I would share one of my own.

    This is Allie, my wife Sally's Guide Dog which she received in September 2014 from Guide Dogs for the Blind.

    Allie has been a blessing for Sally and helps her meet the daily challenges of dealing with her glaucoma.

    Thanks Steve. What a great looking dog. I’m assuming that we are just seeing a reflection of the flash and not that you have a dog who glows in the dark. A very nice picture of Sally also.

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    CA to OR

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    I just received this nice report from George Ruggles. Coincidentally, I am doing the same thing as this Bunnogram is coming to you from Klamath Falls, Oregon as I approach my last leg of my trip. I should be home this evening. George shares some great points:

    On the way to Redmond, OR from Palm Desert, CA today. Got to Sacramento and took a planned detour to Grass Valley. Had been there some years before to visit BG Chuck Yeager at his home. He did promotional ads for the company I worked for, and I stopped by to drop off some product and say hello. He showed me around his property and his house, full of photos of airplanes he had flown; his favorite: the P-51 Mustang. A hero for lots of reasons, he was great to work with.

    Grass Valley is a beautiful part of California, very green and lush, hilly, at about 2400' elevation, with rivers that have actual water in them.

    The reason for today's trek was to visit with our class hero, Errol Alexander. We invaded Starbucks and solved many of the world's problems in less than an hour. I got the full story behind his monumental prank at the 2015 Alumni Parade, which thankfully was recorded and can be found on YouTube. Turns out he spends time in the winter in the Coachella Valley, so we made plans to get together down there for a more in-depth review of current events as well as brainstorming ideas for the 2020 reunion. Stay tuned.......

    Attached photo of old soldiers, friends since USMAPS '61. That’s Alex and George looking very happy and pretty much the same.


    Thanks George, great report.

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    Picture at Dinner in N.C. Dennie & Karen Sellers

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Here’s one quick message and picture to share before I hit the road in the morning, heading home. Don Nowland, with whom I spent some time during Buckner Training, 
    sent me this nice note and picture:

    Davita and I stopped in Rock Mount, NC on our way back from Florida, 2 weeks ago, to have dinner with Dennie & Karen Sellers. A great time telling old stories with some added flavor of the '65 times.

    Here we see Davita and I on the left and Dennie & Karen are on the right.

    Don Nowland

    Thanks Don, great picture.

    Final Details - Bob Selkis Services - Changed

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Our POC for the Selkis family, Bob Radcliffe, just informed me that there has been a change to the plans. For those who are able to attend, please note that the notice forwarded earlier (and repeated below) is changed from Lot K to Buffalo Soldiers Field where a bus will take everyone to the Chapel, the Cemetery, the Reception, and return afterward. Everything else remains the same.

    I talked with Betty today and she confirmed the services for Bob Selkis at West Point.

    The Memorial Service will be in the Catholic Chapel at 1:30 pm on May 3rd. Attendees are encouraged to park in Lot K behind the Cemetery Buffalo Soldiers Field. There will be a bus available to transport folks to the Chapel and to the other venues. After the service in the Catholic Chapel there will be a Graveside Service at the West Point Ceremony. At the conclusion of that service attendees are invited to a Reception at the West Point Club to celebrate Bob’s life. The bus will remain available to transport folks to the Club and back to the parking area after the Reception.

    Betty has asked that people who want to make a donation in Bob’s name do so to St. Judes Hospital for Children. Bob had a great deal of respect for this charity and gave frequently to it during his life.


    Thank you Bob.

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    The Vegas Connection

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    As we pass through Las Vegas we were pleased to have the opportunity to dine with our good friends Marilyn and Skip O’Donnell. Knowing the area, they picked a terrific restaurant where we all enjoyed the same dish, crab stuffed shrimp, and it was amazing. Naturally, as the Scribe, I couldn’t fail to get the obligatory picture to share. As you can see, we were all having a great time.

    Thank you Marilyn and Skip. It was great to see you again.


    Today, coming to you from beautiful downtown Las Vegas. Now traveling with my beautiful bride who joined me in Phoenix. We will be here for two more nights and then start back toward the Pacific Northwest.

    The dog stories are starting to subside but there are still some to be shared such as this one from Nic and Darcy Merriam. They write:

    Yet another entry for the Dogs' Gallery.
    In the memoir book of our 50th Reunion, Lucy was in the picture with us, but was playing a subordinate role. For those of us who believe she should get top billing, here's a shot of her with her favorite outdoor toy. This is not a comment on Air Defense Artillery -- just a collie having fun.

    -- Nic & Darcy

    As an Air Defender, I take no offence and must admit that there were times when I think this might have been more effective.

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    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Now here’s an interesting story from John Bell who clearly made a very difficult decision for the benefit of his four legged friend. John writes:

    In 2007 we lost our two beloved Corgies in same year. Being pet less, decided that was fine and keep it that way (easier travel, no vet bills etc.).

    In early 2008 my son and his wife visited and showed up with a Tibetan Spaniel named "Sparky". My son Andy was being deployed to Afghanistan and his wife was going to Africa for several months. They assumed (with a sales pitch) that we would baby sit while they were gone (but I did not want another animal). While here, my daughter-in-law Betsy got a call from Sparky's "owner" in N. C wanting to know if she knew of anything regarding the dog.

    Flashback...About a year before, Betsy had found Sparky wandering the roads of N. C. without a collar and obviously not well taken care of. She took him to a veterinarian and had Sparky treated for heart worm, epilepsy and other things. She also had him chipped. Shortly thereafter the owner somehow found the vet/dog and took repossession. A few weeks before their trip to see us, someone found Sparky on roads again without collar and located Betsy via the chip. Betsy got Sparky whom had reverted to poor health and kept him.

    Back to owner's phone call.... Betsy told the owner she would call him later. She discussed situation with us and Andy. I broke the honor code and told her to say no; thought there would be no next time and the dog would soon be dead if returned.

    They went overseas and we inherited Sparky. The temporary inheritance quickly became permanent. There was no way they were getting him back; he had become my best bud.

    On top of Sparky are his favorite toys: "Lady Bug" and "Baby Bug"


    Thanks John. Interesting story.

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    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    I’m not sure if the dog stories have run their course but if they have, here is the perfect end to them. My friend Pat Kenny sends this poignant message and photo. Pat writes:

    Our dog days are behind us, but we still remember many happy days with them romping on the beach, so their final resting place is in the sand dune of the North Carolina beach under the statue of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals.

    Excellent and most enjoyable intermittent reports as you make your way back to Washington.


    Thanks Pat, a great way to remember your special friends.

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    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    While I think the dog show is about to run its course, Ed and Karen Armstrong have a cute entry to share. I understand the first photo and its explanation but I’m having trouble with the second photo. Is this dog part monkey? The Armstrong’s write:

    This is our rescue dog, Rags, working on his tan for the beach.

    Thanks and maybe you can let us know what’s up with this pup climbing a pole.

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    Mrs. Kitsy Westmoreland Visit, Sat 9 April 2016

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Walt Oehrlein has been very helpful with several projects your Class Leadership Team has been involved with. Here he has taken the opportunity to have me share a great story that was a long time in the making. The effort to get this note was originally intended to be part of the spectacular 50th Reunion that so many of us shared last year, but it took until now to make it happen. Walt writes:

    As done in previous years I visited a Michigan Pal residing @ Bishop-Gadsden Senior Community in Charleston, SC. We were able to jointly visit Mrs. Kitsy W. (also a Bishop-Gadsden resident) that afternoon. She graciously wrote the note I gave You as a memo to our Class. As you know Gen Westmoreland was our Supe during our Plebe and Yearling years. I had hoped to have this for our 50th Reunion Celebration, but still most meaningful for her to address the S&D '65ers.

    This note was actually printed for her so all she would have to do would be to sign it but she chose to add the words below 1965. Walt also helped me find several pictures showing Kitsy with the General.

    Some of our classmates saw the excellent photo of Mrs. W. I had taken in 'her quarters'. She stated she will be 90 years young on her next Birthday. Photo 3 | Photo 4 | Photo 5

    Walter Oehrlein

    Thanks Walt, great stuff.

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    The Arizona leg of the trip

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    After a few days in Frisco, Texas with an old friend, I made my way to Arizona. On Thursday I arrived at the beautiful home of Diane and Dennis Hawker in Mesa, Arizona, I was warmly welcomed and made to feel at home. On Friday two of my friends from Goodyear joined us for super round of golf at Dennis’s home course, the spectacular Mesa Country Club. While I wasn’t up to playing the entire round (I’m guessing I was just too tired from all the driving) we had a great time. That evening we returned to the Country Club for a wonderful dinner with two friends of the Hawkers (a retired Air Force Colonel and his wife). That’s Dennis, Diane, Roberta, and Lou Rever and me behind the ladies. While at the Country Club I managed to get this great picture of Dennis next to the shot of him when he was President of the Club in 1998.

    Photo Left: Art Mark and Terri Mark (who happened to be visiting the area from South Carolina and heard about the Gathering), Dennis Hawker, Diane Hawker, and Larry Clewley

    The next day we (mostly they) focused everything on the annual Arizona Gathering. Unfortunately, attendance was down a little this year but a good time was had by all anyway. Here we see, in the first picture, left to right – Bob Hill, Jacki Clewley, and Cyndee Hill.

    I’m getting a reputation for being a pain in the patootie but, as usual, I pushed for the standard group picture. Here we see all in attendance at the time holding up a special version of the wonderful mats that Jacki and Larry Clewley have been making for the homeless for over three years. You may recall that quite a while back I did a story on their project to reduce unrecyclable grocery bags while creating sleeping pads for the homeless. They shared that they have made over 130 such pads each of which use over 500 bags. How interesting that that comes out to about 65,000 bags (65 being one of my favorite numbers). Here we see Bob Hill, Cyndee Hill, Larry Clewley, Jacki Clewley, Terri Mark, Art Mark, Diane Hawker, and Dennis Hawker.

    Photo Right: Then Dennis insisted on letting me get into the picture so he and I switched

    And then Dennis tried to get a selfie (actually he dropped my camera on the couch).

    An interesting twist developed after everyone had left. In previous years we had held the Gatherings starting at 3 PM. However, this year, Dennis and Diane decided to make it considerably earlier to accommodate a nice lunch and a chance for all to get home before dark. However, Lowell and Judy Lawson arrived for the usual 3 PM start and enjoyed a nice visit but missed the others who had already left. Here we see Dennis, Diane, Judy Lawson, and Lowell Lawson. Finally, I always like to try to get a picture of the host and hostess who have put so much effort into making their Classmates feel welcome. Here we seeDennis and Diane who sure succeeded at making me feel welcome.

    I’ve had a wonderful visit with these charming folks and will once again be on the road in the morning.

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    260 lbs. of poodles

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Dog stories seem to have taken on a life of their own. Here we have a great tail, so to speak, from Jim and Minnie Lou Long. They write:

    To join the dog show: These are our four standard poodles:

    Lani, the Mom, and three of her eight pups: Ginger, Latte, and Omega. Lani came from Australia (to avoid the four-month quarantine for importing mammals into Hawaii since there is no rabies here; Australia also has no rabies) and we bred her six years ago. Had planned to keep two, but then one came back. We walk twice a day and enjoy the beach.


    Jim and Minnie Lou Long

    Now that’s a lot of dogs! Clearly they are doing their job because there are sure some big smiles.

    Thanks Jim and Minnie Lou.

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    Dogs Redux, Yet Again

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    As usual when Step Tyner sends me something, I have to run to the dictionary. I’m not sure if he’s that bright or just finds words to play with and then teases the world with them. Anyway, here is his latest offering:

    Great excursus, this, honoring our canine companions. Shown here is my rescue Inga, a small German shepherd mix who at six months weighed only ten pounds. I got her in 2007, when she was two, and she's been my constant companion ever since. She still runs like a pup at the dog park, though she limps around for a few days afterward -- obviously, my arthritis is contagious. The small person in the second shot is my OAO grandchild, grand-daughter Rory, of whose welfare Inga is touchingly solicitous.

    Inga's my sixth rescue adoptee and I tend to agree with Chuck: rescues seem to sense that they are beneficiaries, and it's my observation that they often have separation anxiety as a result. I know that Inga would climb in the shower with me if she didn't hate getting wet... know because she tried it once -- soapy, wet, naked man chases (at a hobble) wet dog through house.


    Step Tyner

    Does this boy paint a word picture, or what? I can just see him (although, I’m not sure I want to) chasing that wet dog through the house.

    Thanks Step.

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    Chuck Pfeifer book event

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    As, I’m sure we all do, I greatly admire Dan Christman especially as what appeared to me to be a real, “hands on” leader in the role of Supt at our Rockbound Highland Home. I now discover that he also has quite a talent as a writer. Maybe I should take steps to protect my job. Here he provides a very detailed report on the April 12th reception to announce the release of Chuck Pfeifer’s book, “Daiwi”. Dan writes:

    On Tuesday, April 12th, at the Racket and Tennis Cub on Park Avenue in NYC, our treasured classmate Chuck Pfeifer hosted a reception to announce the release for publication of his book, "Daiwi" ("Captain" in Vietnamese). But the event was far more than a reception for a book release. For sure, it was fun seeing classmates and Chuck's many diverse and always colorful friends. From '65, besides Rollie Stichweh, Tom Barron, and Jim Harmon, two daughters of our classmates were in attendance: Jack Cooley's daughter Christina and Tom Ferguson's daughter Robin Galloway. And the organizational efforts of Chuck's amazing wife Lisa were evident throughout the evening as she strategically placed photos of Chuck at key moments in his amazing career throughout the reception venue - including the famous "Winston Man" shot of Chuck in the 70's that graced Times Square for weeks.

    Photo Left: we see Chuck as the “Winston Man”

    But again, this was more than a book reception. In many ways it was a return to the days we all experienced in the 1960's - of a war that ended tragically but that was filled with extraordinary courage and sacrifice. Chuck Pfeifer's role in this was obscured because of the unit to which he was assigned: as a special forces officer, he arrived in Vietnam in 1968 and joined the politely named "Studies and Observation Group” (SOG). As Chuck attests, SOG's actions were hardly polite, and they were largely covert. When I was Superintendent in 1997, Chuck called me and informed me that he had been awarded a Silver Star for his actions with SOG in 1968 - - actions that until then had been classified. Chuck asked if I'd present him the award at West Point, and I gladly agreed. We hosted Chuck, his friends, and '65 classmates in my office for the presentation, and at Quarters 100 for a reception. But even then, it was not clear to me the nature of the events that led to Chuck's award. Chuck's book "Daiwi" spells this out graphically; and the event at the Racket and Tennis Club earlier this month brought it, and indeed the entire period of the Vietnam tragedy, back to life through two events that night.

    First, during the reception, there was a short talk by one of Chuck's fellow SOG and Special Forces brethren, Major (Ret) John Plaster. Without notes and with deep emotion, John recounted the evening of August 23rd, 1968, a night in which roughly 100 North Vietnamese Commandos conducted an amphibious assault against a SOG Forward Operations Base near Danang; it was an assault that led to the deaths of 17 US Special Forces soldiers, the most in a single incident in the history of the Special Forces. As Major Plaster recounted, "When some men hear gunfire, they run from it; when Chuck heard it, he ran to it. Good men are alive today, with precious children and grandchildren, thanks to Chuck's courage and deadly skills during the bloodiest fight in US Army Special Forces history."

    Photo Right: with his friends Dan Christman on his right and Rollie Stichweh on his left.

    And then, actor Harvey Keitel (Pulp Fiction, Thelma and Louise, U-571) read briefly from the last chapter of Chuck's book. After Major Plaster, the audience by this point was transfixed; I -- and I suspect each of our classmates present -- were transported back nearly 50 years. Keitel's remarks from the book included the following from Hal Moore, author of We Were Soldiers Once and Young: "There is no glory in war; only good men dying terrible deaths." Keitel continued; in Chuck's words, Keitel intoned, "I would hope though, if the battle is worthy, the young will stand up and fight to defend the freedoms and way of life they have enjoyed in the best place in the world, The Republic of the United States of America."

    It was a moving ending, to a moving evening. Conversation quickly turned to current topics, with a far different focus. But everybody left the evening with a much deeper appreciation of one of the Class of 1965's most colorful members, who marched to the sound of guns, loved his soldiers, and bared his soul in a book worthy of our motto "Strength and Drive."

    Thank you Dan for this terrific report. Let me know if you want this job because I’ll need to prepare to fight you for it.

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    Three rescues

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Here is one more Classmate who excels at brevity. The two words on the Subject line are the extent of the message but Chuck Moseley included this great picture of his dogs:

    My little shih tzu, Molly, who’s picture I shared a while back, is also a rescue dog. While I’m sure they have a tough time understanding that, I think it makes us more sensitive to their needs and how precious they can be. I’m sure what we perceive as appreciation is really just the natural love that dogs are so happy to share.

    Thanks Chuck.

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    Class Leader Update

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    As promised some time ago, here is the latest Class Leader Update from the AOG:

    Spring has sprung and the Gloom period is FINALLY over at West Point!

    1. Just around the corner is the DC Leaders Conference on 12 May.

    The 2016 DC-area class leaders conference will take place on 12 May at the Fort Myer Officers Club, Lamplighter Room. You may come earlier and stay later but the formal part of the meeting will take place from 1100 to 1400 hrs. Cost is $21 for those who want the buffet.

    If you have not already done so, please notify Bill DeGraf at of who will be attending from your class.

    1. Christine Merkel has joined our Alumni Support team as the new Memorial Services Coordinator. Christine will also be supporting Rachel Coleman, our new Career Services Director, with Career Services. Please welcome them both!
    1. Please remind your classes to update their contact information online in their WPAOG profile or by emailing
    1. Founders Day Video

    The link to the Superintendent’s Founders Day video is posted on the WPAOG Vimeo page - It is a GREAT informative video. Be sure to watch it!

    1. Mark your Calendars

    June 1-7 West Point will participate in the third annual All Academy Challenge, in which we compete against Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and Navy for the highest percentage of alumni participation. During the 7-day challenge, graduates will receive a series of emails and updates, similar to last year, encouraging participation by making a gift of any size to any Margin of Excellence fund. If you would like more information or to become a social media volunteer for this effort, please contact Emily Bitteker, Assistant Director of Annual Giving, at GO ARMY!
    Be sure to watch yours truly in the upcoming video for the Challenge!

    1. WPAOG Jobs

    We have several open positions here at WPAOG! Check out our job postings at WPAOG is a great place to work!

    1. For Your Consideration:

    Please contact Ray Jefferson if you would like more information on the below summit. Ray can be reached at

    • “The 2016 Service Academies Global Summit (SAGS 2016) will take place in Singapore this June 22-24, 2016 and all grads are invited! See: The Summit is the seminal convening event for all graduates of the U.S. service academies (and their spouses/partners/friends) and focuses on professional development, networking, learning from global leaders, sharing experiences, leadership, service and exposure to new ideas and opportunities. The Summit features renown, VIP speakers from business, government and the non-profit sector as well as a Career Workshop and "Deal Huddles." Junior military officers (0-1s to 0-3s) can obtain free registration. A not to be missed event!”

    Go Army!


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

    698 Mills Road West Point, NY 10996
    Phone: 845.446.1563

    And still more dogs

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Wow, now here’s a guy who really got carried away with his camera and his dogs. Steve Philo writes:

    Our English Bulldog as a puppy. Still a puppy.

    Our Boston Terrier as a puppy. Still a puppy.

    Together. Today.

    At attention. Bracing.

    Thanks Steve, great pictures.

    Enough of the Dogs

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    It had to happen. Here come the cats! Roger Griffin provided this short story about his cats. Roger writes:

    As the proud parents of 5 indoor kittens, we've enjoyed the reports of Class dogs. Thought it was time to input at least one purrrr-fect pet, our little Molly. She is a Manx rumpy-riser (just 1 little knob for a tail). We got her from Trisha's cousin in Louisiana at 4 1/2 weeks old. She was too young to be separated from her mom, so we really had to baby her. She is still daddy's baby after 5 years in the family. Here are two pictures from her early days.

    She was a tiny little thing. Daddy and Molly taking a well-deserved nap.

    Warmest regards -


    Thanks Roger, cute stuff.

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    Ain't Love Grand?

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Here’s another great dog picture. This time from Bob White who shows us:

    A picture of love between our great granddaughter and Ruby our Golden retriever:

    Thanks Bob, great picture.

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    Harman on the Mend

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    He just keeps getting better but keep those cards and letters coming. Steve writes:

    Anne had me out amongst her flowers this AM in beautiful New Bern NC. Appreciate all the notes and calls. New heart valve seems to be working fine.


    Looking good, my friend. Keep doing what the doctors say.

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    Our Dog Family

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Terry and Judith Ann Throckmorton have joined the parade of dog lovers. They write:

    Thought we would join the Dog Family from here in the Shenandoah Valley. This is our 4 month old Shih Tzu, Jack! We call him Killer to build his self-esteem.

    Terry and Judith Ann Throckmorton

    What’s the matter, Terry, you look like Killer did something on your foot. He is one cute little guy and looks very similar to my Molly.

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    The National Veteran's Art Museum, Chicago

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    I got this very unusual but moving story from Bruce Raybeck. Given that 25 of our Classmates are represented in this amazing tribute, I thought it was more than appropriate to share this. I have heard of it but never had the pleasure of seeing it in person. A lot of work went into this. Bruce writes:

    This is a sight you may have never seen, and more than likely, never heard about. It is a rare and beautiful memorial to our veterans who were killed in the Vietnam War. It hangs in the National Veteran's Art Museum, Chicago, Illinois.

    Did not know this existed when visitors first enter the museum, they will hear a sound like wind chimes coming from above them and their attention will be drawn upward 24 feet to the ceiling of the two-story high atrium. Dog tags of the more than 58,000 service men and women who died in the Vietnam War hang from the ceiling of the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago on Veterans Day, November 11, 2010. The 10-by-40-foot sculpture, entitled Above and Beyond, was designed by Ned Broderick and Richard Stein. The tens of thousands of metal dog tags are suspended 24 feet in the air, 1 inch apart, from fine lines that allow them to move and chime with shifting air currents. Museum employees using a kiosk and laser pointer help visitors locate the exact dog tag with the imprinted name of their lost friend or relative.
    "If you can read this, thank a Teacher........If you are reading it in English, thank a VET."

    Wow, that is amazing. Thank you Bruce.

    Our Dog Family

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Just one more before I hit the road. Tom Kelly submitted this very nice story:

    Have to get in on the dog act! Lynda and I have been doing English Springer Spaniel rescue for over 20 years We have had many we have fostered and/or adopted over that period and loved them all. Lynda has been involved in dog therapy activity for almost as long. The current rescues are Finn on the left he is 12 and has been with us for 11 plus years. Finn is my bird hunting dog and is the only one that has identified with me. Ruby on the right is the therapy dog and is 8 and has been with us for 3 years.

    She really is a hard working dog as she does patient visits with Lynda at the local Hospice House and other long term care centers. She also is involved with a children’s reading program at a local grade school where challenged readers can read to her in a less pressure filled environment. As if that wasn’t enough she also goes to local colleges to library’s to provide stress relief for students during exam weeks. In their spare time Lynda also takes Ruby to rally training classes. So that id the Kelly clan! Thanks-Tom

    Thanks Tom, good stuff.

    To respond directly use:

    Who let the dogs out? - More

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    As I prepare for the next leg of my trip, this time going to Mesa, Arizona to visit with Dennis and Diane Hawker, I received this cute follow up on the dog sharing. George Ruggles shares:

    Here's my two, both miniature schnauzers----------the black one is Oliver, whose whole life revolves around chasing and returning a tennis ball. Very friendly, tons of fun, always up for play time. Morgen, the gray female, on the other hand, has attitude: just try to take her toy away.


    Thanks George, they look like a pretty feisty pair.

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    Invitation to Alumni Review and Luncheon for Distinguished Graduates

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Bob Wolff suggested that I share this with all as it might be fun to get involved. The date of the event is May 17. The note to Bob from Claudia Phillips:

    Dr. Wolff,

    All alumni are welcome to join the Alumni March, forming up on Thayer Walk at 10:05 and stepping off at 10:20 to march to Thayer Statue for the Alumni Wreath Laying. During the Cadet Review that follows, you will be seated in the Superintendent’s Review Stands.

    We look forward to having you with us next month for this special occasion.


    Claudia Phillips
    Director, Stewardship & Events
    West Point Association of Graduates

    698 Mills Road West Point, NY 10996
    Phone: 845.446.1575 Cell: 845.290.7098 Fax: 845.446.1693

    To respond directly use:

    Thank you Bob.

    Who let the dogs out? - a follow up

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    I just received this nice note from Bonnie Abney. For those who may not remember, Bonnie was on her way to Hawaii to marry our Classmate, Doug Davis, when she learned that he was KIA in Vietnam. She has become a great friend of the Class and remains in touch. She is clearly a dog lover. How could you not be with these two horses dogs to love. Bonnie writes:

    Here are my two boys. Crackerjack, now eight and a half, presides in any setting. Alex, just two, is a handful. Sitting quietly is simply not his thing. That is a firm grip holding him still just long enough for the photo. This was taken at my sister’s home in the North Cascades.


    Thank you Bonnie, it’s great to hear from you.

    To respond directly use:

    Anderson DGA Ceremony

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    I just received this reminder and additional information from Art Hester regarding the upcoming ceremony to present Joe Anderson with the Distinguished Graduate Award (DGA). Since Art referenced my March 2 Bunnogram I have included it here below for your convenience. I too encourage all who can attend to do so. Art writes:

    Your March 2, 2016 email has all of the basic AOG details/requirements, but the essential step that must be taken if individuals want to attend the Alumni Luncheon is to register at

    The Alumni Luncheon will conclude at 1;15 and we will have a Class Reception for Joe at the Arvin Alcove, 1:45 - 3:00. Those planning to attend the reception should contact me at so that I can complete the necessary arrangements.

    This will be another in a long line of special occasions for the Distinguished Class of 1965, and I encourage all that can be there to be a part of it to do so.

    Strength and Drive,


    My March 2 Bunnogram:

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Back on February 11, I had the pleasure of sharing with you the fact that Joe Anderson had been selected to receive the Distinguished Graduate Award (DGA). Our President, Russ Campbell, just received this notice from Cathy Kilner, of the AOG and asked me to share it also. I hope we can get a significant turn out for the award ceremony. If you are able to attend, please follow the links provided to register but also, please contact Art Hester at ( so he can coordinate our Class participation. Art was the POC for putting together the very impressive nomination package for Joe. Here is the message from Cathy:
    Congratulations on the selection of your classmate, Joseph B. Anderson, Jr., as one of the West Point Association of Graduates’ 2016 Distinguished Graduates! I hope you and your classmates will be able to join us at West Point on Tuesday, May 17th for the Distinguished Graduate Award Ceremony. 
    Classmates are invited to participate in the Alumni March and Wreath Laying Ceremony, attend the Alumni Review, and to join us in the Cadet Mess Hall for the Alumni Luncheon featuring the Distinguished Graduate Awards. More information can be found at our registration link: Please register here if you’d like to attend.

    • Classmates who choose to join the Alumni March will assemble on Thayer Walk near the Pershing Barracks Clock Tower at 10:00, with the March step-off at 10:20. Registration for this is not necessary.
    • The week prior to the event, all registrants will receive a “Know Before You Go” email, which will contain information on parking and security at West Point, uniform, inclement weather plan, and much more.

    We look forward to welcoming you back to West Point in May as we celebrate our Distinguished Graduates. If you have any questions about the event, please direct them to our Development Events office or 845.446.1641.

    Cathy Kilner ’90
    Associate Director, Class Services
    West Point Association of Graduates
    698 Mills Road West Point, NY 10996
    Phone: 845.446.1563

    Again, a big CONGRATULATIONS! to Joe. And one more opportunity to share this great picture.

    I wish I could join you for this terrific honor. To respond directly use:

    State ID's

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    It’s hard to keep a good man down. Not only is Bob Radcliffe recovering from major health issues and is acting as our POC to the family of our fallen brother Bob Selkis, but he found time to share this little warning which may save some of you some time. Bob writes:

    The DOD recently communicated that state issued Driver’s Licenses or ID Cards from Illinois, New Mexico, Missouri, Washington and Minnesota will no longer be accepted for use in issuing daily passes to DOD Installations (West Point included). You will need a passport for entry from these states. This decision has to do with the failure of these states to abide by federal requirements in issuing these documents. Information is available with details on the internet.


    Bob also added that the military ID (retired) that many of us carry should be adequate but it would be worth checking out before wasting a trip to a DOD Installation where you might be turned back.

    Thank you Bob for the heads up.

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    Who let the dogs out?

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    I feel a little like Marty Robins as I’m coming to you this evening from, “Down in the West Texas town of El Paso …” Well, I guess it was inevitable. Here is a follow-up to comments about dogs. I guess I can roll over, so to speak, and share the pictures of our beloved pooches. Here’s a message from Tommy Thompson:

    Photo Right: Maggie

    Since you opened the doggy door. Here are ours. Maggie the 17+ year-old Lhasa Apso passed in January. Our new Chihuahua, Suzy, the toe biter, now resides here. I wanted a German Shepherd, my wife Penny wanted a small dog, so we compromised. You know how that goes...

    Photo Left: Suzy 8 weeks

    T⊃;ommy Thompson

    Thank you Tommy. Any other dog lovers out there who want to share? Oh Oh is that the soft sound of the footsteps of some cat people I hear approaching?

    To respond directly use:

    Final Details - Bob Selkis Services

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Our POC for the Selkis family, Bob Radcliffe, just provided the following details regarding services at West Point. He writes:

    I talked with Betty today and she confirmed the services for Bob Selkis at West Point.

    The Memorial Service will be in the Catholic Chapel at 1:30 pm on May 3rd. Attendees are encouraged to park in Lot K behind the Cemetery. There will be a bus available to transport folks to the Chapel and to the other venues. After the service in the Catholic Chapel there will be a Graveside Service at the West Point Ceremony. At the conclusion of that service attendees are invited to a Reception at the West Point Club to celebrate Bob’s life. The bus will remain available to transport folks to the Club and back to the parking area after the Reception.

    Betty has asked that people who want to make a donation in Bob’s name do so to St. Judes Hospital for Children. Bob had a great deal of respect for this charity and gave frequently to it during his life.


    Thank you Bob.

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    Founder's Day in Hawaii

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Here is a great report from Dave Bangert regarding the Founder’s Day Dinner in Hawaii.

    Tad Ono and I escorted my partner, Sandy Kirkoski, to the Hawaii Founders Day. Hiro could not make it.

    The program was in the traditional format with the last toast being to our spouses. Appropriately, the Guest speakers were women from the class of 1980, both were retired Colonels. Their experiences enlightened us on how far the Army and the Nation have come in gender issues. Of course, we are not where we should be.

    The oldest grad was Col Buzz Sawyer, ’44. He gave an amusing talk about his experiences from graduation through the Korean War. His closing comment was “I’ll tell you the rest of the story next year!!”

    The youngest grad was president of our affiliation class, 2015. He was an impressive speaker, starting with humor and closing with his class’ commitment to the Long Gray Line. (I did not catch his name.)

    Here is a photo of the women grads at the dinner.

    Thanks Dave, great report.

    To respond directly use:


    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Here is a cute message from Don Parrish regarding their new puppy. I’m surprised Don is able to find the time for this message as I would expect him to be recovering from carrying me around the golf course during the Big Savannah Golf Outing. Don writes:

    Sharon and I would like to announce the arrival of Murfee Doodle Parrish!! She is a miniature golden doodle, 10 weeks old and weighs 6 lb.

    The vet says that she is healthy and ready to hang out with dogs of higher socio-economic status (i.e. the ones who also get shots). This includes the infamous JJ of Orange Tree.

    I have a socialization check list. She has already been introduced to engineers and likes them. Judging from where she pees on our short walks, she does not like lawyers, democrats and Annapolis graduates. We will check out golfers next.


    Thanks Don. A great report and an amazingly cute puppy who I’m sure would get along famously with my Shih Tzu, Molly.

    To respond directly use:

    Best Regard,

    P.S. – Roger Frydrychowski recently sent me a request that I include a “respond to” with my Bunnograms to make it easier to get back to Classmates without going through me. I have done that periodically but not consistently due to concerns for the privacy of those involved. Roger’s comments have caused me to rethink this process especially as they relate to those recovering from some health issues. I am now going to make the assumption that if you have shared something with me you are willing for me to share your e-mail address with our listserv (which only includes Classmates, Wives, and Friends of ’65). I will continue to avoid using phone numbers unless I’m sure you are OK with me doing so. Including your phone number in a message to me will be a strong signal that you are OK with me sharing it with the Class.

    This decision seems consistent with my main focus of encouraging communication between all of us.

    Please consider all aspects of this decision and share your thoughts with me.

    Promotion Ceremony

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Here’s a nice report from Bob Frank on the promotion of Erik Michael Berdy. Eric is the nephew of our Classmate Mike. Bob writes:

    Mary and I had the privilege of witnessing the third generation of Berdy colonels. On 15 April, in the Pentagon, LTC Erik Michael Berdy was advanced to the grade of Colonel. Erik is the nephew of our Classmate Mike, who was affectionately known as Igor, and who died tragically in Vietnam. Erik is also a Classmate of COL Clair Gill, USMA '94. I imagine we have other Class offspring rising to the rank of colonel and shouldering the weighty responsibilities of command and staff positions that these not so young officers have sworn to execute with commitment and diligence. Now-COL Berdy is hard at work as the Chief, Transregional Threats Division, J-5, The Joint Staff. This is the division which is working policy and approaches to dealing with ISIS, as well as other threats. Erik is no stranger to the Middle East as he deployed with the 3rd Infantry Division in 2003, and was among the first American soldiers to see Baghdad in person.

    Although I did not get a picture of the actual pinning on of rank, I was able to get a few shots of the family.

    Photo Right: Erik shaking hands with colleagues

    COL (R) Andy Berdy, Erik’s father and Mike’s younger brother. At far right in the, Nikki Berdy, Erik’s mother.

    Photo Left: Erik’s wife Kelli.

    Thanks Bob, good report.

    Big Savannah Golf Outing - Follow Up

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65

    I sent out several Bunnograms from the Big Savannah Golf Outing with many pictures. Unfortunately, this one came in too late to be included. However, it’s such a nice picture that I thought you might enjoy seeing it also. Like George Bell, who sent it to me, I’m not going to even try to put names to faces. But what a group of beautiful ladies!

    Thanks George.

    Harman Gets A Heart Valve

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Here’s a brief but optimistic note from Steve Harman. He writes:

    Just spent six days at Duke University Hospital getting a new aortic heart valve. Looks like I missed a great class outing in Savanah. Hope to join in for the fall golf outing. Best to all. Steve

    Steve also sent along two pictures. First while still in the hospital with Anne and then back home.

    Thanks Steve, I hope your recovery is quick and comfortable.

    The Genius of David Mastran

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    I don’t use the term “genius” freely, but I’m convinced that there is a large portion of it in the enterprise that Dave Mastran has put together in Nashville.

    As I shared in my recent Bunnogram about my visit with John and Karen Pickler, the one full day John and I had together we went into Nashville primarily to visit “Quaver”. Quaver is defined as, “a note having the time value of an eighth of a whole note or half a quarter note, represented by a dot with a hooked stem.” It is also the name of the company that Dave and his Co-Founder, Graham Hepburn chose for their new enterprise not too many years ago. They are in the business of creating the most amazing tools to assist schools and teachers with the teaching of music, sound concepts, and all manner of associated ideas to address the need for education in this area that is so often the first to be cut back when budget constraints seem to demand it.

    John and I arrived in the parking lot of the company a little early and were met by a young man who I took to be some office assistant just out to help. It turned out to be the Co-Founder, Graham Hepburn, who quickly made us feel welcome with his charming English accent which reminded me a little of Dick Van Dyke in “Mary Poppins”. Soon, John McCullough and Cam McConnell joined us and we were off to tour the company. To a man (and quite a few women) I was impressed with how each person we met seemed to exude enthusiasm and excitement for what they were doing. Each seemed so dedicated to making magic happen for the kids. The interest in making the learning process easier and more fun was very obvious. To explain what they do and how they do it would take much more than I can offer here so I highly recommend that you take the time to visit the Quaver webpage at: Please take the time to follow many of the links to see just how comprehensive the program is. Before you move to any of the links, move your curser over the first screen with your sound turned on so you can enjoy some of the creativity incorporated in the opening page. Note also that the Quaver described above is incorporated into the “Q” in the name as the musical note with the “dot with a hooked stem”, which you can see here. And then there is the picture of our boy, also from the website.

    I have often said that due to the background we all share, one attribute which I find most impressive in people I meet or observe is leadership. There is no doubt in my military mind that the phenomenal success of Quaver is due, in large part, to the leadership of our Classmate, Dave Mastran. Well done Dave!

    Then came the big surprise. All morning we had been told that there was a surprise coming. I couldn’t imagine what it might be. I hoped it might be that Dave was able to join us after all. However, when it came, it knocked my socks off, so to speak. We were led into a professional recording studio, all set up with four stools, head phones, mikes, etc. and told we were going to actually record a song. For anyone who has ever seen movies about the careers of famous singers, this is a scene that sticks with you for some time. They had a prerecorded voice singing an Australian chanty and we were able to sing a few words as part of the chorus. Here is a picture of the four of us in the studio. That’s, left to right, Cam, Moi, Graham, John P. and John Mc. Above, just under the subject line is the link to the actual recording. Any time you hear the words, “Heave away, Haul away” together you will know that is your Classmates ready to start our new careers. It sure tells me a lot about the quality of those mixing boards and the talent of the gentleman operating it that he could make us sound so good. That was the work of Justin Williams. Click here to listen!

    Following that amazing experience we went to lunch at a local hangout where Graham picked up the tab for all of us. Here is a picture of Graham Hepburn, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, and Kirk Maddox, Key Account Representative. And finally a picture of all of us at lunch. Right to left, that’s John Pickler, John McCullough, Kirk Maddox, Graham Hepburn, Cam McConnell, and I have no idea who that guy with the big gut is.

    All in all, an amazing visit. Thank you Graham, Kirk, Justin, and all who made this visit possible. And a very special thank you to our host in absentia, Dave Mastran.

    An Amazing Visit in Tennessee

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Coming to you this evening from beautiful downtown Frisco, Texas.

    What a treat! I received an invitation to visit John and Karen Pickler in Lebanon, Tennessee on my return trip from the Big Golf Outing in Savannah. These folks are the very best host and hostess I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. They really know how to make a guy feel at home. From the moment I arrived they made me feel like family. A super comfortable room and private bath, and it wasn’t long before we were sitting down to a marvelous dinner. Karen is an amazing cook. The great food and the opportunity for us to get to know each other made for a perfect evening.

    Here we see John and Karen in front of the fireplace in their beautiful home. This home sits on almost three acres, right on a river, in a beautiful country setting just a few miles from the charming town of Lebanon. Their home is very warm and welcoming and is filled with so many reminders of their more than 36 years of service to our country.

    Photo Left: I had heard about this tapestry and had to get a picture to share. As you can see, Karen has captured mementoes from each of their tours and promotions including cadet insignia

    I had the pleasure of staying two nights and during the full day of my visit John and I went into Nashville to visit Dave Mastran’s company, Quaver. That visit will be covered in a separate report. However, after the visit to Quaver, we took a driving tour of Nashville, during which we saw many of these unique devices. For those of you, like me, who haven’t seen these before, they are mobile bars (the kind you sit down to and have a drink) that the patrons peddle to move them around town. By my count you get 12 people power to move it around. I’m not sure if they move faster or slower after everyone has had a few. I was about to crop the second picture and then I thought better of it so you could see how focused John is on his driving. The name you can’t see completely is “Pedal Tavern”.

    Photo Right: After a great day in Nashville, it was back to Lebanon and then out for a wondrful dinner in town

    From there it was back home for another piece of the most amazing lemon marengue pie I have ever put in my mouth. We had enjoyed a slice the night before, had one then, and then Karen packed one up for me to have on the road today. It was so good that I had to call and thank her again from the road. This charrming lady can cook!

    Wonderful people, a wonderful visit, this road trip just keeps getting better and better! Thank you John and Karen.

    The Great Savannah Golf Outing - It's over and it was a HOOT!!!

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Well this was the best golf outing I’ve ever attended. But now it’s over and most folks are on the road home or are already there. Me, I’m staying an extra night so I could goof off and take a nap this afternoon and I’ll hit the road in the morning. Below I will share several random shots taken today and as before, I’m not even going to try to put names to faces as I’m sure I would mess them up one way or the other.

    The first shot catches a few folks at breakfast before departing for the golf course and then we move to the parking lot at the golf course for most of the remaining shots.

    Notice how difficult it is to find someone who isn’t smiling.

    Who is that guy with the ponderous gut covered by a fuchsia shirt?

    I like a lot of color in my pictures so I just couldn’t resist this shot. Then we moved inside for a late lunch following the round.

    Jim and Janet Dyer were kind enough to buy me lunch so a special shout out to them! (yes, I can be bought – not matter that I bought yesterday).

    That’s it for a great time with great friends in Savannah. A very special thanks to Bob Radcliffe for putting this whole thing together for the umpteenth time. So sorry he couldn’t join us but a big thank you to the guys who stepped up to help him make it happen in his absence. George Bell, Jim Dyer, Pat Kenny, and John Malpass all stepped up to help make it happen as Bob had planned. Thank you to all of you. Photo 3 | Photo 4 | Photo 5 | Photo 6 | Photo 7 | Photo 8 | Photo 9 | Photo 10 | Photo 11 | Photo 12

    The Passing of Bob Selkis - Memorial Service Information

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Bob Radcliffe continues to serve our Class in so many ways. He just shared with me this report on the planned Memorial Service for our recently fallen Brother, Bob Selkis. Bob Radcliffe reports:

    The Memorial Service will begin on Tuesday, 3 May at 1:30 PM in the Catholic Chapel. The Graveside Service will be immediately following at the West Point Cemetery. Betty will host a Reception after the funeral most likely in Herbert Hall. Planning is underway now for the reception and I will confirm with you when I have those details.

    Betty has requested that Classmates and/or wives who plan to attend the Memorial Service and Funeral let me know ( so I can help her develop a planning figure for the food and refreshments at the Reception.

    Grip hands my friends. Let’s send Bob off with a large contingent of his Classmates and friends.

    For those of you following Bob Radcliffe’s recovery from his recent surgery, he shared that they just removed his staples uneventfully and he is now transitioning from walker to cane.

    Thank you Bob, for a very good report. We all wish you a very speedy recovery.

    Day two of the Big Savannah Golf Outing

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    I just want to share a few random shots I picked up today. It was another great day of camaraderie with good friends. I’m afraid I wasn’t feeling too well, so I didn’t get as many photos to share as I would have liked. I’m sure I’ll get some better ones tomorrow. As before I’m not trying to name names as there are just too many and it’s too easy to mess up. Of course some shots are obvious to all of us. Here we have two gung ho golfers ready to hit the links. Followed by a group shot as we gathered after the round to hear who won.

    Not much of a report, but I’ll wrap up tomorrow with a better one.

    Photo 3 | Photo 4

    A Great Party at the home of the Loftin's

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Dean and Diana Loftin went way out of their way to put on a terrific party for all Classmates gathered for golf in Savannah. After driving down the magnificent entry road to the community where they live and then entering their beautiful home, I had to express that I felt as if I had just entered “Tara”.

    Photo Left: In the entry was this most appropriate sign to make us all feel welcome

    The food was fantastic and more than we could eat. Nothing was left to chance. Dean and Diana were the perfect host and hostess. Here is a great picture of them (they chose the background – thank you for that). Then we have a few random shots taken around the house and back yard. Photo 7| Photo 8 | Photo 9 | Photo 10 | Photo 11

    Then we have a nice shot of a matched set of Walts followed by a picture of a guy we all met on the golf course. His name is Al E. Gator. We invited him to the party but he was a no-show.

    Photo Right: we have the obligatory group picture

    Here are two of them so I won’t be accused of only sharing the one where someone was scratching their nose. We never did get an official head count but we decided that the appropriate number was 65!

    Finally, Larry Neal was kind enough to catch yours truly with Lance Hewitt on our way back to the hotel enjoying the top down in “Mustang Sally”.

    An awful lot of you folks are missing out on some great times. Please try to join in any time you hear of a gathering of this wild Band of Brothers.

    One final note. We paused for a moment of silence for our fallen Brother, Bob Selkis. However, a good time was had in the memory and celebration of his life and what he meant to us all.


    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    I think we have a new record (and a difficult one to break) for the shortest message ever. I received this picture with the one word subject, “Dinner”, from John Swensson. Thanks John, I think. Note that John is wearing a fuchsia sweater. Clearly he knows that real men wear fuchsia.

    Hey, brief or not, I’m always happy to see Classmates and wives enjoying each other’s company.

    Planting Trees

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Here’s a very brief note from Bill Sherrell who couldn’t join us but is still keeping himself very busy. Bill writes:

    This Saturday I planted trees for the Pierce Conservation Corps. I was the oldest volunteer by Twenty years.

    Hang in there, Bill, it looks like you’re doing a great job.

    On the Way to Savannah

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    I see that folks are coming in to Savannah from all directions. I just arrived late today, spent some time with the gang, had dinner, and then found this nice message from Fred. Following Fred’s comments I will just share a few pictures without attempting to get all the names right. After all, the pictures are the most fun. Anyway, Fred writes:

    Maralee and I are looking forward to being with the Radcliffe gathering in Savannah this week, though we are saddened to be Bobless as he will be having staples removed from his leg rather than joining us on the links. As a warm-up for Savannah, we enjoyed a pleasant couple of days in Naples, FL.

    Photo left: with David and Donna Mastran and a lovely dinner with them and Kathy and Walter Kulbacki, all shown in the this after-dinner photo

    Next stop => Savannah. See you there!


    Fredric Laughlin
    What a great picture and some really happy campers.

    And now just a few random pictures [Photo 3 | Photo 4] I took. First the gang already here when I walked in. And on the other side of the room, some of the lovely ladies who joined us.

    Then at dinner, two more group shots. Basically, a whole bunch of very happy folks. It’s always such fun to gather the gang.

    Thanks Fred.

    Celebrating Hudson River Valley Springtime

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    One more Bunnogram before I hit the sack. Paul Schultz sent this nice report:

    On Thursday April 7th we held our quarterly seasonal celebration of Hudson River Valley weather at the Culinary Institute of America.

    For the Sun Valley Crowd, it snowed on Monday and Tuesday and snow is scheduled again for Friday evening and Saturday. However, on Thursday we had only good cheer and a great lunch at the Caterina de Medici Restaurant.

    It is very serendipitous that there are 4 restaurants at the CIA to help us remember which season we are celebrating.

    The picture below shows the Strength and Drive Group just after they enjoyed the delicious meal and fellowship.

    From Left to right: Gene Manghi, Bernie Manghi, Sabine Schultz, Mark Sheridan, Paul Schultz, Linda Sheridan

    Paul Schultz

    Thanks Paul. That’s what we like to see, lots of smiles.

    White Coat Ceremony

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    This evening coming to you from beautiful downtown Oakley, Kansas (I think the entire population is around 30). I have a very nice, albeit very unusual story for you from my good friend and golf partner in a few days, Bob Frank. Bob writes:

    Mary and I were pleased to be invited to the USUHS (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences) 2016 "White Coat Ceremony," which took place at the Bethesda campus this 8th day of April. Shown in the picture are most of the Class of 2015 members of the youngest class in medical school. Having achieved academic success in their studies, they earned the right to wear white coats and interact with patients. These recent West Point graduates are on their way to contributing to military medicine, the health of the force, and care of families, as well as retired beneficiaries. Their enthusiasm and determination, as well as their pride in completing the first year of medical school is evident by the smiles on their faces. The look on my face is more of "I can't believe I'm old enough to be their grandfather!"

    Thanks Bob. I always enjoy seeing what terrific kids our old Alma Mater continues to produce.

    Report from the Left Coast

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of ’65,

    Coming to you tonight from beautiful downtown Salt Lake City. Yup, I’m on the road again, on my way to Savannah for the big golf outing.

    I just checked in to my motel for the night and found this great submission from George Ruggles. I guess he and Bob Bradley are raising a little hell in Temecula. George writes:

    Bob Bradley and I got together for lunch yesterday in Temecula, CA, a town chosen for its location midway between his palatial digs overlooking Sandy Eggo Bay and my two-room hovel in Palm Desert. Also because it has an Indian restaurant that features a buffet including goat, per Bob's request. The food was excellent, at least Bob said so, upon return from his fourth trip to the steam tables. Friends since USMAPS in 1960-61, we try to get together often. Bob doesn't like to come to my house, complains about the #2 grit toilet paper, but gets talked into it now and then. My wife Sue and I like to go to his place just to see how the well-heeled live.

    Attached photo shows us fighting over the last chunk of naan. (So what the heck is naan and why are you fighting over it?)

    Earlier this year Ray Paske and wife Ginny hosted Art and Cinda Hester and Sue and I, with dinner at Ray's condo in Palm Springs. All of us are snowbird residents of the Coachella Valley, departing before the hot weather really hits in April/May. (It was 102 yesterday, my car said). Forgot to take a picture of the group; next time.

    George Ruggles

    Thanks George. It looks like you’re having fun.

    Scotty Smiley, Army's first blind officer

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Tom Abraham sent me this great story regarding the Army’s first blind officer. While it’s not entirely about our Class, I think it tells a great story of survival and his and our Army’s willingness to accommodate the continued service of a good officer. Tom writes:

    When I was approached to buy a ticket to a dinner to meet and hear Major Scotty Smiley, ‘2003, the Army’s first blind officer, at a banquet in my hometown of Greensburg, PA, it was a no brainer. I could hardly walk, recovering from knee replacement, but my bride and I would be there. Scotty was blinded by a roadside bomb in 2005. After descending into the deepest of all depression, having lost hope, He found God and decided to salvage his life. He convinced the Army to allow him to stay on active duty and had a very distinguished career. I’m sure most of our classmates have heard his story, either from the listserv, the AOG, or 60 minutes. I heard of him but don’t remember where. His beautiful bride of only 1 year, at the time he left for Iraq, helped pull him from the depths of no hope to a life of inspiration for others. He has run marathons, taught Leadership at West Point, got a graduate degree from Duke, and leads a busy and useful life inspiring others who may have lost hope. I felt honored to meet with him. In the picture below, I am the one in the blue shirt. (As if we couldn’t tell). Next, with our wives, Ina and Tiffany.

    Also at my table was Danny Priatko, class of '84 who was a great Army football player and who was in a horrific car accident on the way home from graduation and has been severely disabled since. His dad was there also. Bill Priatko played for the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Oddly enough, Bill Priatko was with the Pittsburgh Air National Guard in 1966 when I checked in for a free ride to Vietnam. I was the 1000th such soldier and the event made the newspapers. He has since been a good friend of the family. Small world. Didn't think of getting a pic.


    Thanks Tom. A great story and some beautiful people.

    Founder's Day

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    Ken Yoshitani came through for us regarding the Founder’s Day celebration in Chicago. Ken writes:

    I am forwarding the Chicago Founder’s Day gathering of '65. It was a notable gathering in that we of '65 were the oldest grads with nearly 300 years and, therefore, were honored with giving the oldest grad speech. Can you imagine that we of '65 are now the oldest grads in many Founder’s Day Dinners? This photo shows from left Norm and Bridget Eckstein, Anna and Tom Croak, Don Shutters, and Izumi and Ken Yoshitani.

    We missed the Colls, Layers, Rosebergs, Seaworths and Chuck Shaw of our usual Chicago gang.

    Ken Yoshitani

    Thanks Ken. Great picture, many happy campers, what more could we ask? I have high hopes of one day being the oldest grad at a Founder’s Day Dinner. I never thought of doing it by adding numbers.

    The Passing of Bob Selkis

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    It is my sad duty to inform you of the passing of our dear brother, Bob Selkis. Earlier today he suffered a massive stroke. Bob is survived by his wife, Betty, his son, Michael, his daughter, Amy, and four grandchildren. Bob Radcliffe, who is still recovering from some very serious surgery on his knee, stepped up immediately to offer his service to us and the family as the POC (Point of Contact). Bob Radcliffe will be assisted by Barrie Zais and Ray Paske as needed. Bob Radcliffe shared these thoughts:

    Bob Selkis was one of the great personalities in our Class, full of a zest for life and a unique sense of humor. He will be missed greatly by all who knew him.

    Bob wanted there to be a Memorial Service at West Point in the Cadet Chapel. He also wanted to be interred at the West Point Cemetery. Betty would like to host a celebration of life after the Memorial Service at the Hotel Thayer. These events are contingent upon availability of venues and do not need to be near term. Bob will be cremated and his ashes held until plans can be made based on his and Betty’s desires.

    More information will be shared as it becomes available.

    If you would like to share your thoughts or condolences with Betty, please send them to Bob Radcliffe and he will forward them to her at the appropriate time. Bob’s e-mail address is:

    The Passing of Edgardo Abesamis - Interim Report

    Classmates, Wives, and Friends of '65,

    As mentioned last month Mark Sheridan stepped up to take on the duties of POC. Unfortunately, communication with folks in the Philippines has been difficult and time consuming. However, I now have some additional information I can share. Ed’s son Oscar has been most helpful in sharing information and even provided some very nice photographs.

    As pointed out earlier, Ed passed on the 17th of March and was interred very soon thereafter in the Loyola Memorial Park, Metro Manila, Philippines. Oscar was kind enough to send a few pictures of the funeral service. Here we see the open casket in a beautiful chapel, as well as the procession to the gravesite.

    Photo Left: Ed as we knew him

    Oscar explained to me that, “It is a Philippine custom among Catholics that the soul of the departed still wanders in the natural world for 40 days before going to its final realm”. Because of this it won’t be until April 25th that there will be a simple gathering of family and friends for a Memorial Service. The family has invited us to have our Class Flag displayed at that event so Terry Ryan is working on the details to get it to them. If any of you have plans to be in the area at that time, please contact me and I will discuss with the family the possibility of your attendance at the Memorial Service.

    A few more of the photos provided by Oscar, one with his father and another with some Philippine Officers.

    Photo Right: I asked Oscar for a recent picture of his dad and he provided this beautiful shot of Ed and his wife Susana

    I have several more pictures of Ed to share but I will save them for the final report following the Memorial Service later this month.

    Should anyone wish to send their condolences to Susana or Oscar, her address is below along with Oscar’s e-mail address. He will be glad to share any messages with his mother.

    Susana A. Abesamis
    20 Wagner St. Ideal Subdivision
    Quezon City, Philippines 1121

    Oscar Abesamis: