WP-ORG: The West Point Connection

As you are likely aware, WP-ORG is conducting its 50th fund drive.  Thanks to the generosity of those who use our service, we have successfully concluded 49 fund drives in a very short period of time. Typically, we send approximately 4-6 emails to our users per bi-annual fund drive, asking that you support us.  You always come through, and here we are, 25 years after the beginning.

To donate, please go to:

I am privileged to speak to every person who has contacted me through the years, but some contacts emphasize to me the great importance of what we do.

A phone call comes into WP-ORG from a graduate in a class with members who fought in both Korea and Vietnam. I recognize his voice immediately.  I assume our WP-ORG numbers are posted on his computer, though I have never asked. He apologizes to me for calling me “yet again”, and I assure him there is no reason to apologize. His memory is fading, and he forgets that he called me just a few days ago with the same question. He does not recall how to get to specific websites, and often forgets how to get to his email. I don’t mind at all. He is most worried that he does not remember the living and dead count for his class. It’s very important to him that he knows those numbers. So often has he called me for the information, that I asked our CIO write a script that sends me the most current living and dead numbers from every class on a weekly basis, so that those numbers are available to me in an instant when he, or anyone else, wishes to have them. I tell him the numbers, and relief comes over his voice. He now knows how many classmates are waiting to grip hands with him from the shadows. It comforts him. He often sings the Alma Mater to me, which is still available to him in his fading memory. He remembers all of the songs. He sings me “The Corps” –  “…Grip hands with us now though we see not, grip hands with us strengthen our hearts.”  In mid song, he often stops and speaks as his memories flood back, and I can hear his heart strengthen, and his mind becomes temporarily sharp again.  He tells me stories of his roommates, and those that the class lost along the way. He remembers, and then he sings  “….And the last man feels to his marrow the grip of your far off hold.” He stops, and asks me who the last man was that died in his class.  I tell him, and then I listen to vivid memories of that man. His memories are now sharp, and he sings to me more. Finally, we say goodbye, and I know that he will soon forget that we had the conversation, and that he made me smile for about a half hour just listening to his memories come into focus. He forgets, but I don’t. I am now privileged to hold his memories, and my heart strengthens too. His calls come less frequently now, but I am pleased to have been the voice on the end of the phone, and privileged to hear the songs and the stories.

It is through exchanges such as this, that I know WP-ORG is serving a great purpose. It isn’t all about email lists, websites, and email addresses. It’s about connection. The connections for graduates, the connections for parents, and sometimes, a connection to precious memories sparked by calling the lady who answers her work phone.

It is the personal link we have to our graduates and grad families that I personally benefit from every day.  When my WP-ORG office or cell phone rings, I answer.  You will not get a telephone tree with WP-ORG. You get me. It is my pleasure to do all I can to assist. We will stay faithful to our pledge to be here for your online needs, even if those needs are just to have someone answer a phone and give you time to connect to the most powerful memories you hold dear.

Links you may wish to check out:
Our main page: www.west-point.org
WP-ORG Budget: https://www.west-point.org/budget/
Donation Report: https://secure.west-point.org/donate/report/
IRS Letter Confirming WP-ORG 501(c)(3) Status:

Dian Welle
WP-ORG, Inc.

Author: Dian Welle