Could This Be Your Conscious?...Naw! I’d like to think that my latest pleas and your personal character had something to do with the relative wealth of information I’ve received for this letter; but on further reflection I realize that it was really more directly tied to the threat of publishing further words from our Appointed-For-Life President, Jim Carlson. Speaking of Jim (in something other than abusive language), I’m truly pleased to pass along the good news that he was on the latest Lieutenant Commanders’ list (US Naval Reserve). But the really important news is that he was recently reappointed (promoted?) to the position of “Dad.” He and his daughter, Jennifer, have been getting reacquainted during trips around Southern California and expeditions down the Colorado River.
Mom, Apple Pie and Your Class Scribe. A little “Small World” fate has given me an idea that will guarantee your next letter! During my recent (Reserve) annual tour at Kirtland I attended a number of minor league baseball games; during one of these games Larry Bryant’s mom and dad sat behind me, noticed my class ring and struck up a conversation. They’re just delightful people and Larry’s mom promised to get him to write me. (I’m in the process of having the AOG send me the name and address of every ‘75 mom). Larry, Melinda and the two boys have been in Las Vegas since June 1985. Larry’s apparently involved with some type of cosmic-classified work, but I’ll tell you more about that next time, after his letter arrives (would you let your mom down)? I also managed to chase Joe Dowdy down on this trip to Albuquerque. This was made easier as he was still in the euphoric fatigue of becoming a dad for the second time the week before (a daughter, Emily; she and Vonda did great)! Joe’s the test manager for Armament and Aircraft Branch at AFOTEC. He confirmed that Chuck Schmelling had recently left and was on his way back into C-130s at Davis-Monthan. Joe hesitated to pass on the “old” news that Rick and Donna Odegard had left Kenya (F-5s) early this year and were now at Langley (F-15s) with their daughter, Amanda; I assured him that, if it wasn’t printed here, it wasn’t official.
The O-F-F-I-C-I-A-L word came from Kenya about two weeks later. I got a letter from Mr. Bill Lyerly of the State Department! Bill left the army when he was offered a faculty appointment in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. He received a fellowship that’s co-sponsored by the State Department and is now serving as the African Bureau AIDS Coordinator, traveling to numerous garden spots on the African continent. Bill has found what we’re all seeking, “a job where I can really make an impact” but doesn’t take himself so seriously that he can’t mockingly deny that he authored the “Make War, Not Love – It’s Safer” bumper sticker. Bill lives in Maryland and babysits Pat Ash’s 24-foot sailboat (what a pal) while Pat’s in Alaska flying AWACS. Bob Dorsey is pulling his Pentagon stint as a “Red Team” member of the “Checkmate” Directorate of Warfighting Analysis at HQ USAF/XOC. (Ever noticed how guys with humongous, undecipherable titles hang around with each other)?
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About…Something or Other. Bill also noted that Hugo Posey was at Armed Forces Staff College enroute to an air attaché job somewhere in Latin America. Hugo is in no small crowd as I say half of the real correspondence (letters) and 75% of the junk mail (change-of-address-cards) I received concern comings and goings at mid-level PME. Paul Williams wrote on his way to Montgomery where he’ll be taking a break from six years (2000 hours) of KC-10 flying. Kathy will be through with her CPA exam by the time this hits the streets and if I recall correctly he’ll be looking forward to his first Wealthy-CPA-s Husbands’ Club function.
Other changes of address to Montgomery/Prattville include: Randy Chapman (from Colorado Springs), Lamar Lewis (from Scott AFB), Jim Ruttler (from Fairfax, VA), Ben Phillips (from Honolulu) and Phil Romanowicz and Jed Vandendries (from the Far East). Apparently they never did teach these former residents of the greater Prattville metropolitan area to write (see the Spring Checkpoints). All I got was the stinking “C-o-A cards.” Randy James (to McChord AFB) and Mark Risi (to Springfield, IL). Bill Spencer and Felix Grieder will be getting smarter the Navy way (is there such a thing?) at Newport, RI. Bill and Kathleen are coming from Kadena AB, Felix from Dover. On the other hand John Owens was smart enough to write a little note on his “C-o-A” card saying there’s a “group of ‘75er here;” the card was from Army Command and Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. It’s the thought that counts.
A different kind of school, but John Gaughan will probably still be burning a little midnight oil as he goes through Undergraduate Space Operations training at Lowry. John was one of only 10 officers picked for the class.
“Somebody Left The Gate Open At Altus.” That's the word from Rick Benbow who's off active duty and now "double dipping" in the Reserves C-5 unit at Kelly. He draws pay as an Air Reserve Technician (GS-13, Chief of Stan/Eval) and as a captain in the Reserves. Notice that I said nothing about working, just drawing pay. Rick spoke about playing a lot of golf. He and Claire live in what used to be a country club. (I assume this has something to do with a “Frequent Duffer” program or a really awesome bet with the Club Pro). The comment about Altus has to do with the migration of other ‘75ers to the Reserves at Kelly. Dick Duesing is a part-timer with the Reserves and a full-time (captain, is there such a thing?) with Delta Airlines. He and his wife are about to release their sequel to “Child Raising – Part 1.” Steve Vargo is another Altus transplant; he’s full-time with the C-5 unit now but waiting for a call from the friendly skies.
Yes Sir! I’ll Write That Up Immediately, Sir! The award for first input to our class article from an O-5 selectee he goes to Mark Volcheff. I’m suddenly feeling very old. Mark has been bouncing around MAC for sometime now in C-130s, at HQ, and currently at Charleston in 141s (Special Ops Division). In October it’s back to Scott to take charge of the Colonel’s Group (A chance to extinguish yourself if I ever saw one)! Even with all his professional accomplishments Mark’s main thoughts are obviously elsewhere; he signed his letter “Mark A. Volcheff (Mary select).” He and Mary will consummate the ultimate blind date sometime in October. Mark had lots of other news; a summary quotation: “Dan Burkett (Liz) has to stay fairly tight-lipped about his job… at L.A. Air Station working Star Wars issues and putting in 16-hour days… one son and another potential grad in the chute. Jon Ball (Sharon) was working in the test group at Eglin… Now on his way to ACSC near beautiful Weeeeeetumka (for those SOS grads that were not asleep during that lecture). Spence Roberts found an absolutely terrific wife, Kelly…was hot-shot F-15 pilot at Eglin…recently moved to Yuma MCAS to fly F-4s and ‘some Israeli plane’ as an aggressor pilot with the Gyrenes and Israeli exchange pilots. Will be working with Mike Murdoch at HQ MAC. Been sharing airplanes with Ron Bean and Robert Lyons at Charleston. Tom Finn (Gail) is flying the DVs around in the 89th MAW Detachment at Hickam. Tom Fraley (Michelle) is in the C-130 unit down at Howard AB, CZ on missions sneaking around that part of the world. Bouncing off the walls, or room dividers if you’ve been there, making their mark and filling the HQ square while rapidly aging in a very short time are Jim Fellows in MAC/DOX; two children and Jay Wallace in MAC/AC.”
When you guys finally run me off from this job I be forced to point you towards Mark is a capable successor. Thanks for a great letter, Mark.
But You Don’t Get Off the Hook That Easily; I Said “When…” Other short notes and rumors; Steve Powers is chief of aircrew scheduling at Mather, Mark and Donna Wells have a new baby girl and are at Randolph, Dave DeFoliart is Chief of Operations for the 343 TFW/DEM at Eielson, AFB. Bob Morrison has taken his airline pilot skills to Georgia and is now with Delta, Bentley and Debbie Rayburn have yet another new address, at Holloman, and Colt Mefford has left the flock (active-duty).
Friends Don’t Let Your Friends Borrow Their Latest Checkpoints. Ever notice that ‘75 has the distinction of being one of the bucket classes when it comes to “Percent Members” in the AOG? This has either to do with their cheapness, my writing, or your genteel character when some bozo asks to read your latest magazine. Next time tell the guy to buy a frog and write a check to the AOG. (Frog biting not required if a letter is written to the scribe). Remember that neither annual dues nor life memberships have ever decreased so rush to get in on the good deals… it’s later than you think!