Dateline: Hill AFB. It's the annual road-show version of the class article and I'll have to tell you the porter darn near threw out his back carrying the bag that held all the material I have for this article! Not only was there ample input, y’all also managed to exercise every medium of communication available with the possible exception of telepathy...or maybe one of you did try it and that wasn’t a case of indigestion I had the other day!
In Your Face! Fortuitous timing brought me to Salt Lake City just in time to have a face-to-face talk with Air War College graduate Dave Wallace. Dave was “passing through" to visit his family and home on his way to Izmir, Turkey where he’ll be working at 6ATAF. Belle will be taking a hiatus from teaching at Weber State so that she and the boys can join Dave for his two-year assignment beginning in July.
Dave had many good stories and lots of info on his AWC classmates; to save space (and relieve a little anxiety), I’ll only pass along the news and let you see the “FOR THE RECORD" picture. As you read the text you'll have to imagine you can connect names with faces since, by the time you get to AWC, you obviously no longer have to stand in straight lines! Working roughly from left then: Jim Corrigan, going to Joint Staff (J8); Mr. Viper Gooch himself (Dave), Bob Lynn, also to Joint Staff (J3); Dave Ehrhart, EUCOM deputy Legal “dude" (Dave’s words) at Stuttgart, Germany; Phil Martin, USCINCPAC Staff at Camp HM Smith in Hawaii; John Charlton, Guard advisor for the A-10 unit at Battle Creek, MI; Andy Dichter, also to Air Staff (XOOC); Kurt Bock, OG/CD at Andrews AFB; Bill Dalson and just in front and next to him, Steve Farnham, to Joint and Air Staff (J5 and XORC, respectively); Steve Duresky, T-38 squadron commander at Randolph; Clay McFarland, HQ Allied Forces Northwest, Stavangar, Norway; and Gary Craig, NORAD Staff. Not pictured: Carl VanPelt, also to Joint Staff (J36); and Ted Hilbun, 2nd Group AOC at USAFA. Just before Dave left L.A. (Lower Alabama) he went bug-smash flying with Bill Davis who was up from Tyndall AFB where he had been requaling in the F-15 enroute to being deputy operations group commander at Langley AFB.
Since l last wrote, Debby and I also had the chance to have Mark Fantasia over for dinner. Mark, the sage instructor, was in Phoenix riding herd on a Defense Systems Management College class that was visiting my employer, McDonnell Douglas Helicopters. Mark's been teaching at DSMC for a couple of years; likes the work and he/family enjoy the area. (If that all sounds a bit ambiguous it's because I can’t locate the notes l made the night Mark was over and am running on (im)pure memory)!
Next Best Thing To Being There. Four telephone calls came in. Let me be the first to acknowledge that Chuck Holland is not a shameless human being; he took the hint from the last article and called me the very day he got the magazine! He filled in some details by letting us know that he's a branch chief in STRATCOM (has two Zoomies and two Canoe-U boys in his office), he and Roxanne bought a house, and daughter (Leah) has just finished seventh grade. Chuck ran into fellow CS-14 grad Frank Dubuisson at the local shopping center the other day and discovered that they’ve been living fairly close to one another for the past year. Frank’s flying for FedEx. Chuck also ran into Duane Jones in June when Duane was on a visit to Offutt from Joint Staff (Staffing). He apparently likes the work and says that the very best part is that he does not work within the confines of the Pentagon.
One of my other calls was from Kent Traylor. Although I’ve kept y’all pretty much up to date on Kent, Carol, and Megan, l did want to pass along that Kent's squadron (71FIS at Langley AFB) won the Hughes Trophy for the outstanding Fighter Squadron worldwide in 1993. Guess there was a big write-up in the 16 May Air Force Times. Kent’s reward?...the “opportunity” to take his squadron on an overseas deployment for 120 days!
Did l really say Tom Byers in the last article? My apologies! Don must have had a sixth sense as he called to chat with me before the magazine hit the street. Most everything else l’ve said is correct. Don’s living in Fresno, flying Metroliners for the California ANG and 737s for US Air. Don has three girls. Don passes along the rumor that Duane Lodrige has remarried (either way, this should be good for a letter from Mrs. Lodrige)!
Jim Burling gave me a wonderful break from the grind at work with a call in late March. He, Micci, and the three kids were down for a Rockies spring training game. They had to hurry and get their baseball-fix in as they have by now arrived at RAF Feltwell where Jim will be commander of a space surveillance unit. Jim was his typical font of knowledge: brother-in-law (married Jim‘s sister Becky), John Gaughan, has been a KC-135 squadron commander at Mountain Home AFB, but was getting ready to go to Naval War College (Newport, RI) this summer. When he gets there he might run into one of the token (USAF) blue-suit instructors, Kevin Donovan. Bruce and Nancy Fritzsche and their three children are in the Springs where Bruce is the Head-Guy-Whats-in-Charge of USAFA athletic facilities. Mark Howes is working for Honeywell (in Minneapolis?) And another guy to add to the Northwest list – Jack Storer. Jack, who's married to another NWA (Theresa), and their three children live in Wisconsin.
Springtime Scribe Sniveling Brings Summertime Letters. lf not for the previous photo, I was prepared to submit the couple that Terry Young had just passed along from ACSC circa 1990! Seems Terry had inadvertently packed them away before moving from Montgomery to Grand Forks AFB – now, as he prepared to move to Scott AFB, he found them! Terry’s going to Scott to be commander of the 375 Services Squadron. Peg and the two kids will join him after summer activities in North Dakota are complete. Terry catches us up on Todd Zejdlik who is flying for NWA out of Minneapolis, but more importantly, is the father of a one-year-old daughter, Anjoli. Terry heard a second-or-third-hand story about Jack Shine in a Sushi Bar in Japan and asks that anyone who knows of Jack's location or exploits, call Terry at Scott AFB.
Got a belated invitation to the 492 FS (F-15E) change-of-command ceremony in March where Buck Rogers took the reins. He had a good excuse for being late – right after he took over, he took the squadron on a deployment to patrol the skies of Southeast Europe. Said he kept things calm at night and that Tom Popp’s A-10 squadron held the line during the day. Buck said he couldn’t wait for Mark Beesley to get to RAF Lakenheath and get checked out in the F-15E so that he could start to learn to “be the bomb.” Buck also noted that Bob Turner recently gave up his F-15C squadron when Bitburg AB closed down and is patiently waiting for assignment as 31st Operations Group Deputy Commander (at ?).
Told you in the last article that Dean Cox was in the middle of the Indian Ocean; no more! Dean wrote to say he was on his way to the Pentagon for a year of training then it’s off to Copenhagen where he’ll be air attaché to Denmark. Dean’s been on island for too long…all he had to say about this assignment is what a bummer it is that he’ll have to miss our 20-year reunion!
Oh Yea? Well Then &%$#@ You! I Cancel! That’s pretty much a quote from my “discussion” with the customer service folks at PRODIGY the night I discovered their new, “improved” software update made it impossible for me to retrieve E-Mail off my old Macintosh. A few days before this unfortunate turn of events I was able to grab a note from Steve Vargo’s wife, Ann. Seems I caught Ann’s eye in a previous article when I cast (only the very slightest) aspersion on some Airbus pilot. Well, it turns out that wasn’t our only classmate wandering the skies with a hand firmly on the joystick! Steve flies the “Bus” for NWA out of Detroit also and Ann is a supervisory air traffic controller there. (“Steve gets sent around at least once a month whether he needs it or not!”) Steve occasionally returns to real flying with the Reserve C-5 unit at Kelly AFB. Other than that, the "Vargo Flying Squadron" just tends to life with daughter Shawn, three dogs, two cats, frog, fish, hamster, etc.
As l just noted, l no longer have a PRODIGY address (and my daughter knows a few more words) but I’m still on INTERNET! Please make a note of the slightly different address routing. I know it still works as I got another E-Mail from Ric Lewallen at Kadena AB. Ric said he’s looking forward to getting back to the states in the summer of '95, in time for the 20-year reunion. Not a whole lot is new over there except for the fact that Chris and Penny Budinsky have by now had their sixth (!) child...I thought those AWACS guys went TDY a lot?!
And The “Winner” Is…By the time you read this some “lucky" devil who lives in the Colorado Springs area will have “volunteered” to head up our reunion effort. That individual and (knowing how we middle-managers like to delegate things to those around us with greater skills) his spouse would probably really like to hear from other Colorado residents who could help out somehow. Volunteers should call the AOG.
Imagine That! With this line I am officially one paragraph over the editor’s limit... I’m out of inputs (thanks for all you sent and keep ‘em coming)... I’m out of ideas... And it's later than I thought!