Class Poop

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Class Notes Third Quarter 2019

USMA1965 Class Notes – Despatches #52 – 190914

Dear Classmates,

For the second time in as many years, Army came within one Ångstrom of beating a Top Ten team, carrying the contest into double overtime. Say what you like about the shallowness of the technological age, the times do provide us with the ability to watch Army play every week.

We begin then with observations from several Classmates who attended the game. Batting lead-off is Dave Kuhn:

“I returned yesterday from Michigan where, as everyone already knows, Army played one of its greatest games in modern history and almost upset Number Seven rated Michigan, a 23 ½ point favorite. Everyone in attendance, including diehard Michigan fans, gained a great respect for the Army team. When the game was over, the Michigan team followed Army over to stand for our Alma Mater. As we all sang, the Michigan fans began chanting “USA, USA, USA!!” It was heart-warming.

Photo Left: L-R, Dave Kuhn, Bob Jones, and Chuck Shaw

“Apparently, the third quarter tribute to Bobby Jones didn’t get televised which is unfortunate. Through efforts of John Seymour’s younger brother Paul Seymour, who was All-American at Michigan in 1977, and a good friend, John “The Flame” Arbeznik, who was Captain of the Michigan team in 1978, the University of Michigan declared it Military Appreciation Day. In fact, it was Military Appreciation Weekend. It started Friday morning when Bruce Clarke put on a golf clinic for wounded veterans, trying to help them learn to play golf as a means of recovering from physical and psychological wounds. I didn’t arrive in time to be there to see it, but several golf professionals participated and it apparently went very well. Bobby spoke to the vets and really encouraged them to persevere in their struggles. I understand Walt Oehrlein was also there.

Chuck Shaw and I came specifically to join the extended Seymour Family. Friday night, there was a party to honor John and Bobby. And Paul arranged for Donna, her children, her sisters, John’s brothers and all of their families to watch the game from a luxury box.

“I was disappointed I didn’t run into more of our classmates who were there. I did see Dave Jones briefly before the game and saw Bruce and his wife Friday night. We did get to see Bobby and three of his four children. Attached are photos of Chuck, Bobby and me and Bobby with his beautiful children and spouses.

“As I said the tribute to Bobby in the third quarter was remarkable. As Bobby stood in the north end zone, they showed pictures on the huge screen of him as a cadet, a pilot in the Air Force and when he was freed and brought home. Over 111,000 people stood and loudly cheered for about ten minutes. It was something I’ll never forget.”

And Mike Lapolla had this to say: “The Harmons and Lapollas attended the Michigan game in Ann Arbor, then tacked on a couple of days in Chicago to recover. This photo at The Bean in Chicago’s Millennial Park. Mike and Carol also were at the Oklahoma game last year. Two exciting overtime games. Third time should be the charm.”

Photo Right: L-R, Mike & Carol Lapolla, Jeanne & Jim Harmon, in The City of the Broad Shoulders

Factoids about Bob Jones

From Bob Bradley comes this capsule of factoids on Bob Jones for those who may have been in a coma for the past 50-odd years:

More from Michigan

Aside from a few too many pass interference calls against Army, the only real disappointment in the Michigan game was the failure to televise the honors rendered Bob. On the other hand, we all know him to be a modest and self-effacing individual, so he may not share my disappointment at all.

As one might expect, that archetypal Grey Hog Denny Coll also attended the game, and provided a brief write-up and some excellent photos:

Photo Left: Bob Jones (third from Left) with kids and their spouses

“Watching Bob Jones being honored in front of the 111,400 patriotic fans in The Big House was amazing. Even more amazing was watching Bob's humility and true affection for the honor he was being given.

“Quite a neat moment for all of us from S & D to see how true humility and appreciation are handled.

“We were there with son and daughter-in-law ('92) and their kids. Spent quite a bit of time with Walt Oerhlein also

“Didn't see Dan Christman or Merrill Bumpass, but was told they were there also “Like Oklahoma game, we should have won this one”

Photo Right : L-R, the Colls, Bob Jones, Bob’s son Matt

L-R, BG Schmidt (ADC, 10MtnDiv), Carolina & Brian Coll (Denny’s son & D-i-L), all USMA ’92

Icthyologie a la Canadienne

Finally, something with nothing to do with the Michigan game: Creatures of habit, if nothing else, the notorious Four Colonels of Infantry once again repaired to a secret location in that bland country to our immediate North, there to harass the local bass population.

Photo Left: L-R, Jim Wood, Bill Sherrill, Barrie Zais, Bob Radcliffe

Aside from the obvious cover name of their location, you will by now have noticed two things about these forays – first, we never see the release, and second, there may be a bit of forcing the old perspective afoot here, judging by the fact that several individuals’ hands appear larger than their heads. Still, it must be a beautiful place and a jolly time to draw them away from their important duties every year, and we rejoice in their good fortune!

Photo Right: Front row, Billy Basso. Rear rank, Bob Radcliffe

Bill Sherrill and date - Jim Wood, forcing the old perspective - And starring Barrie Zais as the Old Angler

And so the fifty-second edition of Despatches draws to a close, with the reminder that if you don’t report it, I cannot publish it. My enthusiastic thanks to all this edition’s contributors!

Beat UTSA!


Meanwhile, in Central Virginia

Dave Hopkins sends word of another gathering of the Usual Suspects, Central Virginia Lodge.

“For an upcoming despatch, here’s an update on the Central Virginia group’s lunch get- together on 9/12/19. Jim & Margie Berry, Emery & Eleanora Chase, Roger Griffin, Jim & June Harvey, Dave & Darlene Hopkins and Chuck Nichols met for our quasi- quarterly lunch get-together, which Chuck arranged at the Grapevine Greek & Italian Restaurant in Richmond’s Far West End. Bob & Tricia Clover, Trish Griffin, and Jim & Lynne Helberg had planned to attend but were unable to.

“The get-together was an occasion to enjoy each other’s company, exchange news about kids and grandkids, swap stories of happenings 50-plus years ago, rehash Army’s near-win over Michigan, and find out who’s going to our 55th Reunion in April. Because Jim & June Harvey, Chuck and Dave are involved in planning for the reunion, we had two or three side meetings on reunion tasks, and Jim and June gave us an update on it, with attendance possibly topping 50% of our current number of classmates—well above the usual attendance for a 55-year reunion. Key point: The hotel is filling up, and those who haven’t made a hotel reservation yet should do so ASAP.

“Our next get-together will probably be in Jan-Feb.”

L-R, Jim Harvey, Chuck Nichols, June Harvey, Emery & Eleanora Chase, Dave & Darlene Hopkins, Roger Griffin, and Margie & Jim Berry

So there you have it: all the news that’s fit to print as of this date, with best wishes and thanks from …

Your humble scrivener, Step

USMA1965 Class Notes – Despatches #51 – 190911

Dear Classmates,

This edition of Despatches is devoted exclusively to items relating to the memorial service for our recently departed and much lamented Classmate, Steve Darrah, and is based on inputs from our Class POC to the Darrah family, Bob Radcliffe. Bob reminds that Steve is to be interred in Arlington National

Cemetery later, and that details of that event will be disseminated directly they are available.

The Report:
“4 September 2019
“Report to the Class
“Memorial Service for Stephen C. Darrah
“Class of 1965, USMA

“There was a Memorial Service and Celebration of Life for Stephen C. Darrah in Midlothian, VA on 3 September 2019. The Service was very well attended, with 17 members of the Class present. Remarks were made by Steve’s sons, Clark and Greg, and by Bob Radcliffe representing the Class. Steve’s obituary from the Richmond Times, Bob’s remarks at the Memorial Service, and a picture of Classmates in attendance follow elsewhere in this report.

“Classmates and spouses attending the service were: Steve Ammon, Dan Benton, Bob & Trish Clover, Bob & Mary Frank, Roger Frydrychowski, Sandy Hallenbeck, Bob Harter, Leo Kennedy, Pat Kenny, Jim Murphy, Larry Neal, Chris Needels, Chuck Nichols, Walt Oehrlein, Bob & Faye Hayes Radcliffe, Ben & Gladys Whitehouse, and Barrie & Lynda Zais. Bob Radcliffe is the Class Point of Contact for Steve’s wife Wanda and his sons Clark and Greg. It was Steve’s desire to be buried at Arlington and planning is currently underway to establish a date for this service.  When known this information will be communicated to the Class.

“Bob Radcliffe”

Bob Radcliffe’s Eulogy:
“On behalf of the West Point Class of 1965, I am honored to make remarks on the life of Steve Darrah, our Classmate and dear friend.
“As most of you know, Steve graduated from the United States Military Academy (or West Point) as a member of the distinguished Class of 1965. He was a remarkable Classmate, always there when a friend was needed, particularly during the very challenging “Plebe Year” at West Point.
“He was an outstanding athlete, competing in both Tennis and Squash. Steve was a true competitor, then and after West Point. As I recall he earned six Navy Stars, never losing in team competitions with Navy.

“For all of us graduating from West Point in 1965, Vietnam was in our future. Steve chose Infantry Branch upon graduation but after a tour of duty with the 101st Airborne Division he was drawn to become a part of the Army’s Rotary Wing Aviation initiative. He shared with me that learning to fly helicopters was very hard for him and he had at times doubts that he could master the skills required. This was strange to me knowing his passion for cars and things mechanical…

“But he did learn to fly and he flew with distinction; two tours in Vietnam; one in Huey Gunships with the 1st Cavalry Division and a second in Cobra Gunships with the 101st Airborne Division. Flying guns, he was in intense aerial combat very frequently. Again he performed his duties with great skill and heroism. I can’t tell you how rare it is that one man would receive the Silver Star and five Distinguished Flying Crosses for heroism in aerial combat. He maintained contact with many with whom he flew in combat for all of these years since Vietnam.

“Steve got caught up in the Army’s transition from Aviation as a specialty to Aviation as a Branch. This led to the difficult decision to leave the Army at the ten year mark. The Army’s loss was Phillip Morris’s gain as many of you in this room know that Steve had a distinguished career in Phillip Morris rising to the position of Senior Vice President for Manufacturing. I was very lucky to join Steve at Phillip Morris and I remember listening to him making a State of the Business presentation and thinking at the time that “this guy really knows the business and I am glad that he is leading us”. He went on to work in four international tobacco companies, leading and managing in each with distinction.

“But there was another wonderful side to Steve. He was a loving husband to two wonderful wives and a father to two exceptional sons, and he loved his five wonderful grandchildren. And finally he loved animals and, in particular, his beloved Amy. I won’t go on as Clark and Greg have well captured this part on Steve’s life.

“But for those of us who were proud to have him as our Classmate, he was a great friend, a loyal supporter of our Class and West Point, and a man who lived a life consistent with the ideals of West Point captured in our motto – Duty, Honor , Country. He was and is one of the unique personalities in our Class, loved and respected by all who knew him. I am honored to have had him as a friend and I am honored to have been allowed to make these remarks.

“Wanda, Clark, Greg, and your beautiful families (Amy, Stephanie, Blair, Conan, Brody, Bridget and Olivia), please accept the condolences of the Class of 1965 for your loss. Believe me when I tell you that we feel the same pain and sense of loss as you do.
“So in closing, I know I speak for all of my Classmates when I quote from our Alma Mater: ‘And when our work is done, our course on earth is run, may it be said well done, be thou at peace.’.

“Rest in peace, Steve.”


Steve Darrah in his Nomex driving suit, no doubt having nailed every apex around the track
DARRAH, Stephen C., 76, of Powhatan, Virginia, passed away on Saturday, August 10, 2019, with his family by his side, after a brief but brave battle against pancreatic cancer. Steve was born on February 25, 1943. He was the youngest of two sons of Dr. and Mrs. Harry E. Darrah of Providence, Rhode Island. He attended Moses Brown School and Providence Country Day (PCD) School, graduating from PCD in 1961. While at PCD, Steve was a Rhode Island All Prep First Team Basketball selection for two years, captain of the tennis team for two years and Rhode Island Singles and Doubles Champion, a Rhode Island All Prep Second Team Football selection and received a total of eight varsity letters. Upon graduation from PCD, Steve accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. During his four years at West Point, he played on the varsity squash and tennis teams for three years. At the end of his junior year, Steve was ranked ninth nationally by the Intercollegiate Squash Racquets Association. Upon graduating from West Point in June 1965, Steve was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant Infantry Officer in the Army. He married Phyllis Blair of Barrington, Rhode Island in July 1965. Following completion of Airborne and Ranger Schools, Steve was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky as a Platoon Leader with 1- 502 Infantry. In 1967, he completed Rotary Wing Flight School and was assigned to D Co., 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cav Div., as a helicopter gunship platoon leader in Vietnam.

During this time, Steve and Phyllis' oldest son, Clark, was born. After a year, he returned to the United States as one of the more highly decorated Army Aviators at the time with a Silver Star, five Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Bronze Star, three Air Medals with a "V" for Valor, 43 Air Medals and an Army Commendation Medal with a "V" for Valor. Following tours at Ft. Rucker, Alabama and Ft. Benning, Georgia and the birth of his son Gregory, Steve returned to Vietnam from August 1971 to March 1972 as the Executive Officer with 2/17 Cav, 101 Airborne Division. He then returned to Ft. Benning, completing an MBA from Georgia State University prior to resigning from the Army on December 31, 1974. On January 2, 1975, Steve accepted a position with Philip Morris USA in Hopewell, Virginia as a Shift Superintendent in a tobacco processing plant. Over the next 20 years, he served in a variety of Operations positions with Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris International, culminating with his appointment in 1990 as  Senior Vice President of Manufacturing for Philip Morris USA.

In 1995, Steve was recruited by Rothmans International as the Director of Global Operations in London, England. In 2000, following the acquisition of Rothmans by British American Tobacco, he returned to the United States and retired. Steve and Wanda Walton of Richmond, Virginia were married in 2000 and resided in Powhatan, Virginia. During his retirement, Steve was active with collecting, racing and showing modern day sports cars, spending time with family and friends at his beach house in Corolla, North Carolina, playing golf, working out hard at the Midlothian YMCA and serving as a volunteer member of the Greater Metro and Midlothian YMCA Board of Directors. He was a member of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, the Vietnam Crew Members Association, the Distinguished Flying Cross society, the Foundry Golf Club and Virginia International Raceway. He is survived by his wife, Wanda; two sons, Clark and Gregory; and five grandchildren. There will be a memorial service and celebration of Steve's life at 11 a.m. Tuesday, September 3, 2019, at Salisbury Presbyterian Church, 13621 West Salisbury Road, Midlothian, Virginia 23113, followed by a reception at Salisbury Country Club, 13620 West Salisbury Road, Midlothian, Virginia 23113. Steve will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the YMCA of Greater Richmond, American Huey 369 or a charity of your choice.

Class Attendees:

L-R, Chuck Nichols, Pat Kenny, Steve Ammon, Jim Murphy, Bob Harter, Barrie Zais, Bob & Trish Clover, Walt Oehrlein, Mary Frank, Lynda Zais, Bob Frank, Ben & Gladys Whitehouse, Sandy Hallenbeck, Leo Kennedy, Chris Needels, Larry Neal, Faye Hayes & Bob Radcliffe, Roger Frydrychowski. Present but not pictured, Dan Benton.

Bob, we are much beholden to you for your service to the Class and to the Darrah family on our behalf. Not included in this report is the considerable effort you exerted to obtain verification of Steve’s National Guard service subsequent to his separation from the Regular Army, in which you were assisted by a number of Classmates, all eager to help. That behind-the-scenes activity is itself a tribute to Steve and demonstrates the high esteem in which we all held him.

We shall not see his like again!


USMA 1965 Class Notes – Despatches #50 – 190803

Dear Classmates

Through the Years of Half a Century Told

Okay, it doesn’t scan as well as the original line, but here’s a recent meeting with some members of our Affiliation Class, 2015, at beautiful Ft.

Benning on the Chattahoochee, site of what was formerly called The Infantry School (now with some kind of business school label like Violence Delivery Center of Splendor or whatever’s trendy just now). Bob & Mary Frank had the encounter Bob limns here: “On our recent trip to Columbus GA for my Vietnam unit reunion, Mary and I were able to get together with Dr. (CPT) Kyle Warren, CPT Seamus Bann and Marika Psyhojos (Seamus’ fiancée) for a continuation of our Affiliation with the Class of 2015. Kyle is a resident in Family Practice medicine at Martin Army Hospital.  Seamus is in the Captains’ Course at the Maneuver School at Ft. Benning, and is slated for the 326th Engineers at Ft. Campbell as his follow-on. Marika is now in med school at the University of Miami.  It was a wonderful night where Mary and I got to act as “grandparents."

L-R, “Gramps” and “Granny” (Bob & Mary Frank), Kyle Warren (’15), Seamus Bann (’15), Marika Psyhojos

Bob does not mention the precise venue, but it looks suspiciously like the rathskellar of the Benning O-Club (now probably called the Nexus Facility for Abstemious Networking), where more than one of our Classmates disappeared under the table at various functions back in the day when there were giants in the earth.

Ah, youth! I wonder: do these three attractive young people know how wasted it is on them?

Buckeyes Being Busy

Terry Carlson sends this report on a recent rendezvous of three of our Ohio Classmates. [Disclosure: your humble scribe is a native thereof and didn’t permanently escape until he was 10 years old; as I still have relatives there, I shall not mention where, lest the local authorities seize them and send them to a gulag to shuck corn until they die.] Terry tells it succinctly and unassumingly, both highly valued Ohio characteristics:

“Terry Carlson (retired from the VA), Bill Lyons (retired from Chase Bank), and still-working Jim Holmes (Chief, Technology Services for the Franklin County Treasurer) had lunch together in Columbus, OH. We discussed past careers, current medical issues (old folks’ talk), and current fun activities. All are doing well!”
I suspect that fun activities include golf, grandchildren (spoiling, then giving back), and yelling at the television, but these three look a lot fitter than I do, so “Uhiah” must agree with them.

L-R, Terry Carlson, Bill Lyons, and Jim Holmes

It’s easy to identify the guy who’s still gainfully employed; just look for the necktie!

Working Up a Sweat

Hank Kelley checked in recently with a quick report on his recent activities. I cross checked against his local police blotter and his account is largely accurate – he was there when it happened, but did not do it.

“I recently spent a week or so hiking and biking around Moab, UT -- lots of outdoor adventure fueled by dietary health supplements from the Moab Brewery. Great fun.”

I was initially skeptical that a state founded and largely populated by members of the LDS Church would tolerate a brewery therein, but my sources tell me that I am hopelessly in the thrall of stereotypes and ought to be heartily ashamed for my lack of awareness. Photographic confirmation of Hank’s claim is offered on the next page.

R-L, Hank, daughter April, son Mike. Background, a real erosion problem.

Note caps and facial hair on the men and sunglasses on all three. What do these people have to hide, one wonders.

L-R, Mike and Hank Kelley reach an oasis of liquid refreshment, April presumably the photographer.

Though no bicycle is pictured, it’s obvious from Hank’s shirt that he rides one. Cyclists and race cars are a whole field of advertizing unto themselves!

More Classmates Out to Lunch

Joe Barkeley sends this report on mass consumption of calories in the Quaker State:

“On Tuesday, July 16, 2019, a group of “Strength and Drive” met for lunch at Giordano’s Restaurant in Kennett Square, PA. Fred Smith organized the luncheon. There are a number of classmates living in the area and Fred thought we ought to get together. There were a few others in the area who were invited too, but had other commitments.
We are going to organize ourselves to do this on a more regular basis. The next gathering will be on Monday, November 4, 2019 at the Yardley Inn in Yardley, PA. I will be the organizer then. Our plan is to do this about quarterly and rotate the location and organizer. We will reach out again to more classmates in the Southeastern PA and New Jersey area too.
If we gave an award for traveling the greatest distance, Joe Sanchez would have won as he drove about two hours to get there. It was just a great time; lots of “war stories,” but fortunately no one was shot.”

L-R, Fred Smith, Chuck Boohar, Chuck McCloskey, Jim Lehman, Joe Sanchez, Joe Barkeley

Darn good thing no one was shot; do you know how many forms you have to fill out for shooting a Classmate in Pennsylvania?

Remembrance of Things Past

“Ou sont les neiges d’antan?” Proust wondered. Harley Moore is an engineer, not a dead French aesthete, but he happened upon an old picture of A-2 types after a November, 1965 Ranger School river crossing in Florida and wondered too.
Captions were jointly worked out with Tom Barron and, though I think one of them eventually identified the man labeled “??” in the caption, I am damned if I can find their communication thereof, so I am going as is. Harley also found his Cow year Howitzer company picture but since that is in the hands of most of you, I am not running it. Here’s Harley’s account:

“Myrna and I recently moved from our Miami Beach condo (hurricanes) to a condo in Oakland, CA, (earthquakes) and are going through many, many boxes of "stuff". Found these and your faces popped out at me. You needn't thank me for the memories.

Given the intervening 54 years, as well as the trauma of Ranger School, I cannot remember all (hell, many) of the names. I assume Tom Barron has a list of the A-2 files and could put names to most faces. Maybe a committee of several of us can name our Ranger buddies. Dang we were young then. Alas, many are no longer with us. And why are we smiling?”

Front Row: Ray Pollard, Pat O'Toole, Joe McChristian, Jim Long
Back Row: Bill Lehman, Bob Arvin, Harley Moore, Jim Harman, ??, Don Parcells, John Seymour, Chris Needels, Charlie Eckert, Frank Probst, Jerry Dernar, Fred Laughlin, Ranger NCO, John Howell

I can tell you why most of you are smiling, Harley. It’s because you have two and a butt Ranger phases behind you and are beginning to believe that you might actually survive that character- building experience and forever have a tiny place on your left shoulder that never gets too hot, never gets too cold, and is never afraid of anything!

Apologies to all for the unidentified Classmate; totally my bad and I will be glad to disseminate his identity in the next edition of Despatches, presuming that is made known to me, that is.

A Second Bite at the Apple

Neil Brown, one of ‘65’s men of the cloth, sent in this happy story, complete with photos of two now-blended families. Neil is a Baptist minister in Georgia, for those of you who don’t keep up with everything, and was until recently a widower.

Photo Right: Neil, Sharon, and their adult children

Then, on 20 April 2019, that changed when, as he said, God blinded a second woman such that she would marry him and he wed a lovely widow, Sharon. Because I was working with five Word documents at once, I unintentionally over-wrote his original email text, so by way of amends, I am publishing all three photos he sent.

The Rev. Neil and Sharon Brown

Photo Left: Neil & Sharon with their combined 12 grand-children

Now, apologies accomplished, I have but two questions for Neil: did you officiate at the ceremony yourself? If so, did you have to conduct your pastoral counseling talking to a mirror?

But seriously, folks, hearty best wishes to the happy couple from all of the Class of 1965!

He’d rather be crazy than stupid

Bob Bradley, whom I’ve known since he was an E-2, is one of our more colorful Classmates, as anyone who remembers the 20-year book will emphatically attest. He recently sent me this Photo.

L-R, Dave Thompson and Bob Bradley

Pressed for an explanation, Bob furnished a rather fascinating tale of serendipity and synchronicity, as is presented on the next page:

“This was four or five years ago and it was just before the Army-Navy game, so I was hedging my bet because I think Navy was favored. Also, Dave Thompson, our fallen Classmate Mike's son, refused to wear the Navy shirt, so I had to wear it.

Dave stayed with me in San Diego for a few weeks while he supervised the renovation of an old boat I bought on a whim. He has since moved back to Minneapolis to live closer to Mike's other son, from an earlier marriage, whom Dave had gotten very close to (Dave is about 20 years younger than his older half-brother)
Our Mike's brother, also named Dave, was a member of Southwestern Yacht Club in San Diego, which is how I met younger Dave. Dave the Elder has since moved to Florida and remarried. I had known Dave the Elder for six months before I found out he was Mike's brother. They both grew up in Northern Minnesota, which is why Mike became such a great hockey player.

Dave the Younger is a very talented 30 year old who now works as a construction supervisor in Minneapolis. He is still single and loves hunting and fishing, which is another reason he moved back to Minnesota.”

I am bound to say that with that salty beard, Bob makes a creditable Navy rooter, if such a proclivity can merit any credit at all.

And so we reach the end of another scintillating litany of great adventure and great love, coupled with considerable lunching and, of course, my usual respectful, nay punctiliously reverent, connective prose. My thanks to all our contributors and the promise (or threat) that all the Class news that will fit, I will print.

Beat Navy! Step

Carl Gentine

USMA 1965 Class Notes – Despatches #49 – 190708

Dear Classmates,

This edition of Despatches is wholly devoted to Glenn Doughty’s report on the funeral of our late and much lamented Classmate Carl Gentine, for which Glenn represented the Class as POC.
Our profound thanks to Glenn for the alacrity and affable efficiency with which he essayed this important task on behalf of the Class of Strength and Drive!
Grip Hands!
Step Tyner, Secretary/Scribe

POC Final Report for Carl Gentine

  1. A summary of the funeral services for Carl is provided in a scan of the program below. The procession to and from the church to the Texas State Veterans Cemetery was accompanied by the Patriot Guard Riders of Texas as part of their Patriot Guard Honor Mission. The Committal Service at the cemetery was conducted with full military honors by the Fort Hood Honor Guard.
    On the evening before the services, visitation (with closed coffin) was held from 6-8 p.m. at the Hamil Family Funeral Home. Our “class of ’65 Flag” was displayed during the visitation as well as at the funeral and committal services.
  2. The visitation and services were well attended by many family members, friends and two classmates. The family members present in the photos attached include his wife and soulmate, Suzi and his daughters Kristin Gentine (brown hair) and Stephanie Oxford (blonde hair). Jim & Jane Seaburn and Glenn Doughty (POC) attended both services Jim was one of Carl’s roommates in his I-2 company years, while Glenn was a D-2 company mate during our last two years at West Point.
  3. In lieu of flowers, Suzi prefers donations to the Southwest Parkinson Society at 3610 22nd Street, Suite 300; Lubbock, TX, 79410.

Obituary of Lt. Col. Carl William Gentine, U.S. Army (Ret.)
Lt. Col. Carl William Gentine, U.S. Army (Ret.) entered his heavenly home on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at home surrounded by his loving family.

Lt. Col. Gentine was born in Ft. Monmouth, NJ to CWO Paul William and Helen Gentine on July 25, 1943. Being in the military as a child, he moved every three or four years, finishing his senior year of high school in Tustin, CA.

Upon graduation from high school, it seemed only likely that he continued with the military life he had enjoyed throughout the year. Carl graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1965, and almost immediately was assigned to Vietnam where he served two tours.

Photo Right: L-R, Kristin Gentine, Suzi Gentine, Stephanie Oxford

After 20 years of service to his beloved country, he retired from the Army. He later went on to work for E-Systems and Raytheon.

Carl was preceded in death by his parents and a daughter, Kerri D. Gentine.

Lt. Col. Gentine is survived by his wife and soulmate, Suzi; daughter, Kristin Gentine and husband Jonathon Roberts; daughter, Stephanie Oxford; son, Thad Oxford and wife Jessica; two brothers, Paul and wife Muriel, and Marc and wife Sue. He was blessed with several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And last, but never least, his fur babies: Landry, Prince, and Blossom.

The Honor Guard from Ft. Hood, Texas will serve as pallbearers. The family of Lt. Col. Gentine would also like to thank Hendrick Hospice nurses and aides for their kindness and compassion.

Visitation will be from 6 PM until 8 PM on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road. Funeral Services will be 11:30 AM on Wednesday, July 3 at River of Life Church, 539 US-83, Abilene, with Dr. David Ray officiating. Interment will follow at 1 PM at the Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Abilene.

Memorabilia at church prior to funeral service.

Carl’s family and classmates with class flag after all services. Glenn is on left and Jim Seaburn is on the right.

Respectfully submitted,

Glenn Doughty, USMA Class of 1965 POC

USMA1965 Class Notes – Despatches #48 – 190704

Take SEATS! Well, ‘65’s last man standing, that is, our last man in active Government service, has retired. Ambassador Ken Moorefield relinquished a high-level post in the DoD Office of the Inspector General on 6 June 2019, a fitting date for the end of a distinguished career that included two combat tours in South Vietnam, important duties during the evacuation of Saigon and later during the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Vietnam, senior State Department posts in Peru, Venezuela, the UK, France, Vietnam, and with the US Mission to the European Union. As chief of mission, he served as US Ambassador in the Republic of Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe. On his second day in Principe, he was confronted by a mercenary-led coup against the legal government which he was instrumental in ending, with the release of the lawful cabinet and a return to democratic governance.

Photo Left: L-R, John Swensson, Vanessa & Lucas or Sebastian, Terry Ryan, Vanessa, Moorefield, Ken, Pete Cahill, Peter Linn, Hank Sterbenz, and Jim Ferguson

Ken’s achievements in the private sphere were equally impressive, and included organizing and later directing the Vietnam Veterans’ Leadership Program, a Federal and private sector initiative that was responsible for the re-integration of Vietnam veterans into civil society with jobs, health care, and community recognition. More recently, he served on the DoD Advisory Board supporting the 50th commemoration of the Vietnam War.

In addition to a Silver Star, four Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, and Combat Infantry Badge, Ken is airborne and Ranger qualified. He has been decorated with two State Department Superior Honor Awards for Heroism and a pair of Presidential Meritorious Honor Awards.

Ambassador Moorefield and his wife, the former Geraldine Rincon, have a daughter, Vanessa, and grandchildren Lucas and Sebastian.

A ’65 contingent of the Alumni Glee Club attended and rendered our Alma mater at the ceremony.

I know all of you join me in taking great pride that in our association with such an extraordinary individual. Fall out, Ken, and make sandwiches!

Plus, there was cake!!!

Dan Spielman still has it going on

Recently, Dan’s buddies Oleh Koropey & and Mike Applin visited Dan, who has had health difficulties for some time. The following is Oleh’s and Mike’s account.
"Recently Oleh Koropey and Mike and Cathy Applin visited with Dan and Nancy Spielman in their lovely home in Lewisburg WV. As many classmates know, Dan has been dealing with some very challenging health issues but presses on surrounded by a loving family.

"Dan and Oleh had been together in the 3/4 CAV in Cu Chi, and Dan and Mike (K2 Plebe Year) had traveled throughout Brazil and Europe while cadets. So, we try to get together a couple of times a year to tell our old stories, and then retell them. Who remembers?

"Dan had been the lead plastic surgeon at Walter Reed for some years and suggested that he could improve our looks with one eye closed and a dull scalpel. What a pal!

"It was a good visit; we'll make it again.

"Dan and Nancy would love to hear from you. Emails to Dan via his daughter Molly ( will be appreciated. Or even better, contact Nancy on her cell phone 1-304-904-1462. Leave a name and number and Nancy and Dan will call right back. Dan enjoys talking to classmates."

Let’s get some calls or emails going, Rangers! Who knows; if Dan is right, you could get a cut-rate rhinoplasty out of it.

Photo: L-R, Mike Applin, Dan Spielman, Oleh Koropey

Central Virginia

If there is a group of Classmates who get together more consistently than the Central Virginia contingent, I have yet to learn of it. Dave Hopkinsiled this report:

"Bob & Tricia Clover, Jim & June Harvey, Dave Darlene & Hopkins and Chuck Nichols met for our quarterly lunch on May 20 in Richmond. They say you can tell you’re getting old when your best friends are doctors. In keeping with that saying, some of our group were unable to attend because of medical appointments. The rest of us enjoyed a couple of hours of stories, laughter, and talk about our upcoming reunion.

We’re looking forward to our next get-together in Aug/Sep.

I find it encouraging that so many of you are able to get out and about, apparently without elaborate life-support gear! I anticipate you’ll still be doing these luncheons, perhaps with softer and blander food, well into the 2030s. If so, I look forward to watching on the big-screen plasma TV at the bar in Fiddler’s Green!

[I’d also like to point out my gratification that Chuck Nichols has not adopted the mid-calf- length hip-hop shorts that one sees on the streets these days. Of course, he has the legs for it.]

Photo: L-R, Dave & Darlene Hopkins, June & Jim Harvey, Chuck Nichols, Tricia & Bob Clover

Ric Shinseki donates his Arvin print

This report from Ross Wollen. "Below is a recent photo taken by Ross Wollen of our Classmates Ric Shinseki and Joe DeFrancisco in front of Ric's 40th Reunion Print of Bob Arvin, now placed in the '65 Arvin Alcove of the Gymnasium. Artist Paul Martin offered copies of his artwork to the four signatories at its base. Ric ... donated his copy to West Point. Here he presents it to Joe, Chairman of the AOG Board of Directors

A generous gift, Ric, and a most appropriate placement. I daresay that I could dress you two A-1 files in class shirts and grey trou and you’d not look exceptionally old for Cadets, let alone gentlemen of three score and ten … plus! Given Alex’ semi-successful command of that company at our 50th reunion, I’d conjecture that there must have been something magical about the water in that end of East Barracks. Not, lamentably, in B-1’s section, however; I look like Dorian Grey’s portrait.

Further adventures of the Coll Dynasty

The Colls are one of our dynasty families, those with children and grandchildren who’ve graduated from USMA. Here’s Denny Coll’s report on a recent gathering of his clan. "This was taken at my granddaughter Darby Horne's Naples High School graduation in May. She is off to Marion Military Institute in Alabama for a year of WP-AOG sponsored civilian prep and then to USMA next year to join the Class of '24. She is my daughter Shannon's 2nd daughter. Older sister Kirby ('22) is entering her Yearling year.

"Samantha Gunn has essentially been "adopted" by the Naples Horne family and starts Beast in a few days. She was at the USMAPS with Kirby and would have been part of '22 but she injured her leg. She’s a great young lady with an unbelievable story.

"We even have a Navy guy! Shannon's father-in-law, Greg Horne, is USNA '68. He is also the guy that was prominently featured in a full page story in The NY Times last Army-Navy weekend who "forgot" to fulfill his bet with a Cadet for our great victory over Roger and the Middies in 1964. None of us really "bought" that story but it played nicely in the press that weekend."

Photo: L - R: Greg Horne USNA '68, Colby Horne ROTC, LTC (USAR) Shannon Coll Horne '95, Rose Hulman '20, Cadet Kirby Horne '22, Cadet Candidate Darby Horne '24, Brian & Carolina R.R. Coll '92, Cadet Candidate Samantha Gunn '23 and Denny Coll '65

And then there was golf

"Another outing of the USMA 1965 Golf and Chowder Society took place last month. I’ll begin with a segment on activities by the non-golfing ladies of the group, if only because the photo is well captioned.

Photo Left: Left to right: Erica Wells, Diana Loftin, Joyce Triick, Alice Kenny, Lynne DeFrancisco, Joanie Huston, Sue Clarke and Donna Knocke. They look way better than the guys playing golf. Good times!

The guy who submitted the other photos never came through with captions, and though Bob Radcliffe tried to help me out at considerable geographic remove, I am not 100% sure for a few of them. If you find yourself captioned with the name of the Classmate who snaked your OAO in the Weapons Room Yearling year, remember: all sentient beings have the Buddha Nature.

We’ll begin with an anonymous (writer and photographer) segment:

Photo Right: L-R, BBG Clarke, Sandy Hallenbeck, Mitch Bonnett

"We are about to conclude another of Bob Radcliffe's famous golf outings, this one in the Jacksonville/St Augustine area. While classmates were braving the heat to play golf several of the accompanying wives spent a day at The Ponte Verde Lodge & Club. By coincidence, this particular group are wives married to Classmates for over 50 years."

Call me a loathsome skeptic, but I cannot credit any of these ladies with being old enough to have been legally married for 50 years. I suspect that at least some of our Classmates have emulated Jerry Lee Lewis!

Click to view more photos: L-R, Clair Gill, Fred Laughlin, Bob Frank

Counterclockwise from 0700: Joe and Lynne DeFrancisco, Susan Clarke, Flat Cullum, Bruce Clarke, Walter Kulbacki, Sandy Hallenbeck

L-R, Flat Cullum, Eleanor & John Vann, Pat Kenny

L-R, Mike Huston, Flat Cullum, Joyce & Bill Triick, Joanie Huston

L-R, Bob Radcliffe Flat Cullum, Russ Campbell, Dave Hurley, John Howell

Finally, this.

Duncan MacVicar took time from fighting a host of health issues to send in the following comment and photo, and I think that they are a most appropriate way to end this edition of Despatches, disseminated on the 242d anniversary of the establishment of our Nation:

"This flag flying in front of our house once flew over our nation’s capitol. It was given to me by my Congressman when we graduated. I fly it every national holiday in memory of our fallen classmates."

God bless you, Mac, and God bless America! Strength and Drive!