“It’s Not About You.” Just finished reading a marvelous book, The Purpose Driven Life, which opens with those words. While I wholeheartedly agree with the point the author was making, in this case I’ll exercise Scribe’s Privilege and start off with news from the home front. Am happy to report that on 8 Dec I started a new job as Director of Propulsion Engineering with Orbital Sciences, Inc. Launch Systems Group here in Chandler, AZ. Lots of exciting work and challenges on the horizon but everything about this turn of events looks like answered prayer. Add to that Chris’s and my first anniversary, the great Arizona weather, being guest of a good friend at this year’s Fiesta Bowl (USAFA Wings of Blue were part of the pre-game ceremony), and a granddaughter that gets cuter by the day–the blessings meter is pegged! Oh yeah, and once again lots of inputs from y’all!
Not Gone – But Nearly Forgotten. With apologies to those consistently dedicated correspondents who e-mail me several times each quarter, I want to start with inputs from folks we haven’t heard about/from in a long time. Bruce Fritzsche sent tales of great Pheasant Hunt outing to South Dakota he participated in this fall. You’ll recognize Bob Thompson, Bob Turner and Mark Shope in the front row of his photo along with Bruce, Jim Schuman, and Randy Davis in the back row.
“The birds you see on the ground were the few that did not make it through out “wall of lead – we had a lot of fun telling lies and reminiscing in the lodge–a real first class operation!” From Brigadier General Sprenkle: “have recently been moved into a new position, the Deputy Commander of the Colorado Joint Force Headquarters. Our focus is to direct all CONG homeland security and homeland defense missions, and coordinate support from federal military and other state NG units.”
Mike Dehart sent this picture from a mini-reunion that occurred just prior to Scope Warrior (conference for senior AF communicators) Dining In at Keesler AFB. You’ve probably guessed that Dave Anewalt wasn’t part of the formal proceedings–just a retired Reservist attending class KAFB (Dave’s working for AFRC at Grisson AFB, IN) who happened to get randomly paired up with Mike in a golf tournament that weekend. Mike (AFSOC, Hurlburt Field), assures us that, soon after this picture was taken, we, Dick Webber (AFSPACE, Peterson AFB), Dale Meyerrose (USNORTHCOM, Peterson AFB), and Dave Kovach (AFCA, Scott AFB) “displayed our skills at ‘grogmanship’…I’m sure we really ‘impressed’ all the young Lieutenants.”
Not to be outdone, the AFROTC Commanders also had a conference (Atlanta in Oct) where we were well represented. Dave Fleming, AFROTC DO, noted that, “Barry Abbott is here with me at Maxwell as the registrar for AFROTC, Mike Coman is the PAS at Embry-Riddle in Daytona, Bobby Lynn has VMI, Mac McIntosh is at Loyola Marymount, Dave Dyche has the University of Arizona, Bob Gambrell is at Alabama, John Woodward has Oklahoma State and John Gaughan is the Regional commander for the Southwest.”
Rich Finke wanted me to alert Frat Five alumni that he’s begun posting items to www.Frat5.com. I guess it’s what Rich does when he’s not working as Captain for US Airways in Charlotte, NC flying the Airbus A-320. One item that is on the website is a picture of himself and Curt Devries that was taken when Curt passed through Charlotte Airport. Curt works for a civilian company at Hanscom AFB, MA on some type of development program. Rick Benbow was also with US Airways (for 14+ years) but was medically retired in 2002 due to a heart bypass surgery that was not 100% successful. Rick reports that he’s “fine and will be on medication forever but the FAA thinks I should stay on the ground for the foreseeable future. That door closed and another opened. I am now at Moody AFB, GA as a civilian T-6 Texan II classroom and simulator instructor pilot. It is very rewarding.”
Let the record show that your “always-has-something-to-say” Scribe passed along the following with only a look of profound awe – classmate Marty Miller dropped a note today that he’s changed careers; now the Airport Manager at the Great Bend, KS Airport…oh yeah, and his wife is expecting twin boys in February!
Don’t We Know! I’m sure it’s even more so for active-duty folks but even those of us still serving the Reserves are very aware of the fact that 30-year point is approaching rapidly. Sounds like a good reason for an awesome party and am happy to report that Scott Hente has volunteered to be a focal point for initial planning. Contact Scott if you have thoughts and/or want to get involved in planning.
David Anhalt, Bill Murray, and Mike Lischak decided not to wait till 2005–all retired recently. As noted previously Dave is in Indiana working for AFRC. Bill and Judy return to the Dallas-Fort Worth area where Bill was poised to start work in Lockheed-Martin Systems Engineering. There’s probably a good story behind this but Mike and John were getting ready to leave Hawaii for Milwaukee…in January! Mike will be working for Columbia St. Mary’s as their Medical Director for Occupational Medicine.
Duane Jones on the other hand is making a job change within the Air Force – leaving job as Exec to Vice Chief of Staff for assignment as 11th Wing Commander (Bolling AFB).
I’ve held on to a photographic record of the trip Jim Arthurs, Larry Colletti, and Dave Ferguson took to visit CS-31 squadron-mate Father Gary Oreshoski in Buffalo, SD (It’s a great picture but I’m limited to three photos per column – will look for opportunity to include it in a later column). Dave said that “we got there just in time to accompany Gary to two Catholic masses. More church than some of us have seen in a couple of years! The Big ‘O’ is doing fine although he is not so sure about such a remote assignment; Minot is actually a garden spot compared to Buffalo!”
Saw some e-mail traffic suggesting that Matt (Kip) Fong was going to be part of Governor Schwarzenegger’s transition team – trusting we’ll hear more if he becomes a permanent part of the Terminator Team.
Is That All There Is? Only came up with four Christmas cards from classmates when I received the stack – seems there were more but…? Believe I’ve previously covered news on Wayne Willis (they’re living in Salt Lake City now), Mark Donnelly (flying for Southwest out of BWI), and Kent Traylor (Vice Commander of Space Warfare Center). Previously unpublished news from Chuck Holland is that he and Roxanne have returned to Montgomery, AL; Chuck’s back teaching at AWC.
Yes, That’s All There Is. Thanks for doing your part – hope you feel I’ve done mine. Go take care of something important (as opposed to something urgent) – it’s later than you think.
“Feature Currently Disabled.” Believe we’ll see that’s descriptive of both the AOG send-an-email-to-the-whole-class option and the Scribe wit-and-wisdom capabilities. Don’t know what’s up with the AOG website but can attribute my general incapacitation to a long day of planting trees and shrubs in the backyard and a hellish convergence of work and USAFR activity. So I’m not really too disappointed that, without a reminder note to the masses, inputs for this column were scant–sit back and relax, this won’t take long.
Consolidation. Bentley Rayburn began his late February letter with the greeting “Happy-Merry Christmas-New Year’s-Martin Luther King-Groundhog-Valentines-Presidents ’Day!” He was quick to point out that there was a very good reason for his tardiness – birth of a first grandchild. And asserted that this event does not mean he nor Debra are old, only that they are now “seasoned.” The two of them are enjoying a third year at Maxwell while lookingforward to a probable PCS the summer.
Speaking of stars, Duane Lodrige got one and Perry Lamy got a second. As commander of the District of Columbia ANG, Duane was bound to get promoted to BG and by-golly that’s just what happened at the end of February. All accounts were that it was a first class ceremony and one that eight of our classmates (left to right in photo: Don Henney, Al Colley, Bud Calloway, Dean Cox, Dave Wallace, Bill Lyerly, Jim Carlson, and John Charlton) attended. I don’t have any of the gory details on Perry’s promotion (yet?); only saw the MG announcement with his name on it and identifying him as AFMC/DO.
Having Fun Here and There. Seems many of you are traveling/enjoying life and getting pictures to prove it. Didn’t get many details with this first picture but I think we get the idea that being a FedEx first officer allows you to fly to some interesting places.
Wayne Willis sent along a picture from blackjack 21 mini reunion and ski weekend. Left to right in this picture we find Dennis Forinash, (American MD-80 Captain), Wayne (Delta 737 out of Salt Lake), Scott Hammond (Georgia ANG General and Northwest Safety Officer) and Steve Hussey (head of a large Consulting firm near San Francisco).
Jim Burling set along several news items and pictures but the best photo was this next one taken during Falcons football alumni weekend; that’s Jim, Larry Fariss, Terry Young, and Bruce Fritzsche on the field after the annual “Geezer Game!” “It was a great time interacting with past and present coaches and players …plus no pulled muscles! We also enjoyed a tour of the new Falcon Sports Hall of Fame, football locker rooms/offices, and the new beautiful weight room. This is a fantastic, state-of-the-art facility!”
Jim also attended a change of command ceremony where BG Dick Webber took over 21st Space Wing Commander. Col. Gary Shugart was commander of trips for the ceremony and BG Doug Fraser, (AFSPC/XO), Bruce Fritzsche, Bruce Mitchell, and Scott Hente (representing the City of Colorado springs), were also on hand.
Familiar Name. While breezing through email at work last month I came across company (Orbital Sciences) press release announcing that Dave Anhalt had joined the company as Senior Director of Special Programs in our Advanced Programs Group (Dulles, VA). Dave officially retired in February. We’ve exchanged emails and look forward to his trip west or me getting back there-hopefully another photo op.
And then there was this unfamiliar acronym–I got a note from Chuck Nystrom saying that he had, “enjoyed my short six-week retirement from 1 July to 14 August 03 backpacking and canoeing in Alaska and returned back to active duty on 15 August 03 for three additional years through 2006 in the Retired Aviator Return Program (RARP). Still assigned to SOUTHAF in Tucson but currently TDY for 90 days with AEF 7/8 at Al Udeid, Qatar as the Chief, Master Air Attack Planning for OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan.”
Finally, Jim Carlson wrote to fill us in on the 50th USAFA Founders Day celebration that was held at Tyson’s Corner on Saturday, 27 March. Scott Smith, Bill Lyerly, Kevin Lanzit, Al Bready, Phil Benjamin, Gene Schempp, and John Quattrocki (non-graduate classmate) were also in attendance (we fell one short of being the most represented class at the festivities).
My Time Is Up. We'll have to get together and do this again not-too-soon! In case the AOG web mail thing is still honked up, set your alarm clock for June 21st or so and make me write a longer column (at just over 800 words, I don’t feel like I really earned my pay this time). Be careful out there – it’s later than you think!
Say It With Pictures. If you find yourself in the company of classmates my counsel is that you should be on your best behavior as it appears that as a group we are “snap happy” and it’s therefore likely any dalliance will be captured on film/in pixels. I received no less than 35 pictures via emails this time and had a few of my own (from late June visit to Colorado Springs) to consider. As I’ve noted before, I’ll count on your understanding if one of your pictures didn’t make it to these pages due to space limitations.
Thirty Year Reunion. Can it possibly be that we’re almost upon that milestone! Thankfully we have Scott Hente and some other local-area folks working hard to pull things together. Many/most of you have already responded toScott’s email poll regarding some of the basics but, if you haven’t, please consider the following and send your thoughts to Scott. Scott’s looking for your input relative to: 1) Do you want to push for a reunion as early in the football season as possible? 2) Do we have to have the reunion coincide with a football gameweekend? 3) Would you be in favor of a summer reunion (no football with plenty of time for golf, sightseeing, trips around Colorado, etc)? 4) What do you think should be the appropriate amount of money that should be required/collected for the “normal” events (class dinner, class reception, tailgate [assuming a football game], goodie bags, etc? 5) Do you want the reunion hotel to be close to USAFA or can we be a little farther away (still in Colorado Springs) if we can get a great deal or they put together a really attractive package?
Career Milestones. Three names caught my eye in recent Senior Leadership Announcements: BG Eric Rosburg and BG Andy Dichter are on their way to the Pentagon (Office of Vice Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff, respectively). And Dave Tillotson will be moving within the Deputy Chief of Staff’s office. Also, BG Scott Hammond was appointed as Commander of the 3,300-member Georgia Air National Guard by Georgia’s Governor Sonny Purdue. Heard from several classmatesthat Perry Lamy’s change of command ceremony to become Commander of AFRL was a first-class affair. And Larry Fariss returned to Falcon Stadium to mark the end of his USAF career. Heard many good things about the ceremony and (thanks to) Jim Burlingwas able to get one of the official photographer’s pictures. From left in the photo are Linster, Duffy, Mitchell, Traylor, Clemons, Pearce, Eken, Rice, Cross, Fariss, Gronseth, Meyerrose, Fritzsche, Webber, Willis, Dowdy, Burling and Turner. What a crowd!
Personal Milestones. Bill Davis advises that Dave Wallace’s wedding in Baton Rouge was a great event – I’m including a photo of the toast from the best man (one of Dave’s three brothers, Hugh); the maid of honor is Jan’s sister, Ann. As a result of this union and (Colonel) Jan’s orders from USAF, Dave has worked out a deal to travel from Fairbanks (where Jan will be Support Group CC at Eielson AFB) to Baltimore (where Dave will continue his work for Northrop-Grumman) on a monthly basis. Now that’s a commute!
I’ll let you decide if this belongs under the “My Hero” or the “Are You Out of Your Mind” heading – saw a note from Bill Taylor announcing he and his wife had triplets! Deflecting attention from his own state of sleep deprivation, Bill noted that Marty Miller had twins sometime earlier this year.
Other Gatherings. In terms of attendance, it looks like the Class of’75 progressive dinner hosted by Kent and Carole Traylor, Phil and Chris Pearce, and Brian and Jan Duffy was quite successful. Jim Burling summarized, “The food was delicious, drinks (‘ritas) powerful, and conversation was stimulating!” You won’t be able to make out all the faces in the group photo but somewhere in there are: the Pearces, Traylors, Nancy and Byron Bednar, Cathe and Dave Ferguson, Jon and Diane Turner, Michele and Lee Cross, Gwenda and Mike Rosebush, Dana and Jim Eken, Susan and AT Stoddard, Duffys, Dick Webber, Jim and Micci Burling, Roy Rice, Linda and Dale Meyerrose, and JD Barrowclough. Burr noted that special recognition goes to Roy rice for making the trip from Alabama!
Jim Carlson sent along a good picture taken during Lance Grace’s recent visit to D.C.
Thanks to those who contributed and a special request to all of you who didn’t – get with the program! Why? Because it’s later than you think!
Retirement and Retirement. While there’s certainly news of greater interest to follow I want to lead off with news of my impending (voluntary but much needed) retirement from the USAFR, and more importantly my (voluntary but very much needed) retirement from duties as Class Scribe. In the case of the former I’ll be just short of thirty years and as regards the later, just short of twenty years. Both have been intense and enjoyable labors of love. Neither was an easy decision to move on from… but after prayerful consideration it seemed clear that it’s getting later than even I thought! And so as you read this (in late December?) I will be putting away the blue suit (effective date of transfer to Retired Reserve 31 Dec) and compiling a list of volunteers to “pick up the pen” (send me an e-mail or give me a call indicating your short / long-term interest, Jim Carlson and I will somehow pick a “winner” in time to write next column – due O/A 11 Jan).
Moving Off The Trivial. The clearly most important news I have to pass along is that our classmate and my dear friend Jon Turner is battling cancer. Jon got the shocking diagnosis in early September, had surgery in mid September to remove golf-ball size tumor from his brain, and started chemo / radiation therapy in October. He’s been… well he’s been exactly the kind of man I’m honored to say I knew he was from the beginning of this ordeal – a man of faith and character. A true hero. Hope each and every 75er will send along your best and will pray for Jon, Diane, the kids, and medical team caring for him.
Good News (Other Than Being Done With Hackett). Happy coincidence had me on USAFR duty a couple of months ago at same time Maj Gen (s) Perry Lamy was at Kirtland AFB to make an address; I crashed the reception and had great time chatting with Perry about his new job as Commander of AFRL. As the photo shows, our class is creating a center of mass in Air Force science; Col Mike Heil (Director of the Propulsion Directorate), Col (USAFR) Mike McClendon (Mobilization Assistant to the Commander, AFRL), Maj Gen (s) Perry Lamy (Commander, AFRL), and Col Sam Ryals (Deputy Director, Sensors Directorate).
More good news on the continuing recovery John Sims is making (following UH-60 crash in Iraq). John was featured in a segment of PBS Newshour highlighting his long journey back from brain damage suffered in the mishap. Another hero in our midst!
USAFA Graduate Leadership Conference. Someday I’ll figure out how one scores an invite to something like the USAFA Graduate Leadership Conference – for the time being we’ll live vicariouslythrough following photos sent in by Jim Carlson (the man is everywhere!)
Feeling More Secure About the Homeland. Bill (Ebola) Lyerly continues to move up within those Washington DC circles – in September he was promoted to Career Senior Executive / Scientific Professional (ST) which is only fitting for someone who is the “Director, WMD Operations & Incident Management, and Science Advisor to the Under Secretary for Science and Technology Department of Homeland Security”. While that is certainly impressive, you may want to consider Bill’s self-confessed “curse”! Bill recently realized that every USAF Base that he ever had a set of TDY or PCS orders in hand for (even if he never went there) – IS NOW CLOSED. I’m thinking I won’t be nominating Bill for any jobs at Orbital Sciences!
More moving up – MG Joe Stein is now at SHAPE HQ in Mons, Belgium. I’d have more examples of classmates-who-done-good to pass along if I hadn’t loaned my recent copy of “Air Force” magazine to a ’76 grad (OK so write me up for questionable judgment!) which had the “Senior Air Force Leadership” listing/pictures. If you didn’t see it and want to feel good/old go to the local Library and check it out.
Odds & Ends. Saw a note from John Noetzel announcing his retirement. Pete Hennessey is working for Battelle in Columbus, OH. Joe Facenda is organizing an AOG Chapter in the Southern California area. Thirtieth reunion plans are in full swing – start planning NOW!
Make a Good First Impression. Send anything and everything newsworthy (including pictures) to me right now – I’ll send it off to the new Scribe and giving him the chance to be more of an editor and less of a create-something-from-nothing author on his first time out.
Was many hair follicles and a whole bunch of great stories ago when I signed on to this gig – hard to imagine we’ve come this far. Hope I’ll continue to get some e-mails, calls, Christmas Cards, and real-live visits and even if I don’t I’ll look forward to opening up to the Class Column in Checkpoints to find out something I didn’t already know! As they say in the Budweiser commercials – I love you man! And for the very last time (and forever), go hug the ones you love – it’s later than you think!