Our top story for this quarter is the following: FLASH! Class of ‘75 keeps rolling along with the announcement of 36 new majors-to-be. As I scanned the list at the CBPO I picked off the following names: Mike Anderson, Bob Awtrey, Jon Ball, Phil Benjamin, Charlie Bergman, Kurt Bock, Gil Braun, Dan Burkett, Bob Craig, Mike Deloney, Andy Dichter, Jim Dill, Brian Duffy, Steve Duresky, Jim Heald, Bruce Hevey, Mark Jefferson, Randy Joslin, Dave Kovach, Perry Lamy, Jerry Levesque, Lamar Lewis, Phil Martin, Buzz Masters, Clarence McFarland, Mitch McVay, Kurt Osterheld, Wilhelm Percival, Al Piotter, Mark Risi, Mike Rosebush, Sam Ryals, John Saxman, Bob Shappell, Gary Shugart, and Dale Waters. By the numbers I’ve seen the past few years, it looks like ‘75 is getting a much greater number of early promotions than most classes. Congratulations to all!
Homecoming: By the time this reaches you, there will probably be less than one month to the big event. Before you do anything else, pull out a pencil, turn to the center pages in this issue of Checkpoints, and fill out the registration form for the reunion. This one is the one used for reservations to the main events. Tim O’Connell and the reunion committee will be mailing out another form for ’75-only events and souvenirs. Yes, you do need to fill out both. Don’t put this off, though, because you may show up and find there are no “last-minute” seats available for the Jabara banquet or some of the other main attractions. For those who might be thinking of passing up this gala affair (surely no one in ‘75 would be so foolish), please reconsider. From the planning I’ve seen, it’s definitely something you won’t want to miss. Who knows? You might be this year’s winner of the “who has the most gray hair (or least of any color hair?)”, or other equally prestigious awards.
The spring season brought forth several visitors to the Academy this year. The most impressive, as is usually the case, were the Thunderbirds performing at graduation. Only this year, we had two high flyers from ’75 in the show, Dave Commons and Buzz Masters. I think I can say (with absolutely no prejudice) that it was the best show I've seen them do. Dave stopped in while he was out here. He says he’s having a great time, and let me tell you–the blue Thunderbird flight suit seems to be made for him. I think we’ve got good representatives there for the class.
My other distinguished visitor is a man the Air Force has been after for a long time–Bentley Rayburn. Well, they finally caught him and (remember, you heard it here first) they’re sending him to Leavenworth. What’s that? Oh, it’s the school, not the big house. Well, dealing with the Army for nearly a year in Command and General Staff College might feel like prison anyway. The good part about the tour, though, is that it’s not too far to drive to the reunion. By the way, Bentley did pass on word of an effort to get all of the old sergeant majors out for the reunion. So if you live by any of them, how about passing on the word?
To start off the list of movers, I’ll give some credit to a few of the guys here at USAFA I don’t think I’ve mentioned before. Ken Finn, Bill Davis, and Doug Miller have all been around for a little bit, and they are becoming integral members of the reunion committee. Colt Mefford is also a new arrival in the Springs, but I don’t know where he’s working yet. Mike Rosebush (who I have talked about before), on the other hand, is leaving USAFA for a while. He’s off to get smart and pick up his PhD. Jon Turner is also leaving USAFA, only he’s venturing out into the civilian work force in Arizona.
A late-breaking item concerns Dave Lafave, who was off to a high-powered job at SAC Headquarters, but decided to stay for another year as an AOC. According to Dave, some of his cadets already burned the bridges when they heard he was leaving–won’t they be pleasantly surprised? Other guys on the move include Walt Schell, who has apparently made it to SAC HQ; Jack Storer, who moved within the limits of Burnsville, MN; Tom Summers who now calls Fullerton, CA home; Steve Powers, a new resident of Grand Forks; John Scherer in Altus; and Mark Volcheff living it up in Mount Pleasant, SC. I also received a card from Al Krukowski who I think is headed to Chicago for med school, and from Otto Dieffenbach who is now a regional manager for Martin Marietta. He’s now living in Huntington Beach, CA with his wife Susan and two children.
Some bad news that came in just before press time involves the death of Mike Cox in an aircraft accident. I don’t have a lot of the details, but I think he was flying in an F-4 from Homestead. Our condolences to all his loved ones–we’ll all miss him.
Finally, I’m about to answer the prayers of many of you out there. I think the time has come for me to pass on the reins as Class Scribe to someone else. Months back Jeff Hackett called and said he’d like to take over the column when I left, and I’m going to take him up on that (actually he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse). As for me, I’ll be heading on to ACSC with my wife, Patty and two kids. I’ve listed Jeff’s address below, and seriously, I can’t think of anyone better for the job. My sincere thanks go to all of you who took time to write, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the reunion and years to come. See ya!
One last footnote I couldn’t resist. Jeff is now working for Hughes Helicopter. Bye.