Guest Scribe Jim Burling
Hello Classmates! Jim Burling here, pinch hitting for Jeff Hackett on this quarterly input for Checkpoints. So, bear with me, as Lucky Corrigan and Brian Duffy know I was never a very good hitter. Actually, Jeff has been swamped with work and planning all the details with his wife (Chris) for their belated wedding reception. I’m sure he will have a picture of this get together for the next Checkpoints issue. Here’s the news:
In light of the Academy’s approaching 50th anniversary, we are seeking inputs on squadron patches and ask that if any classmates know of the creation, history and significance of their squadron patch, the information should be sent to Duane Reed at the Cadet Library.
D.C. Notes: Dan McCorry organized the 3rd annual COISA (Curt Osterheld Is Still Alive) party. Held Feb 21 at Chevy’s Arlington, VA. This annual D.C. event is growing in popularity with another good turnout of ’75 classmates. As good time was had by all…especially Curt! Jim Carlson was in Tel Aviv on business for an extended period. Not the safest place to be, even as an “accidental tourist.” But he made it through and said it was an enjoyable experience, even though he was constrained to a six-by-two block area of the city. He claims to have some interesting stories that can only be told over a beer (or ten)! Mike Anderson made an easy transition from the USAF’s Legislative Liaison Office to Congressman Dan Young’s Chief of Staff in the D.C. area. Mike retired on January 27 and with four classmates in attendance. (See photo). Mike also included a photo of his retirement gift (to himself) – a brand new maroon Corvette! Ironic that another D.C. retiree, Steve Wojcicki, also purchased a maroon ‘Vette to celebrate his retirement! Watch for these two cruising the Beltway. Space won’t let me include both photos, but they both look like they could jump in their cadet uniforms and head down I-25 for pizza at “G’s”! Jim Hartney has also returned to the D.C. area with a job near Ft Meade.
Other Mailbag Items: Bob (Linda) Orwig wrote from the mountains of North Georgia where he teaches at North Georgia College and State University in the field of Operations Management. They love it all: location, job, school, etc. and say their doors are always open. Scott (Janet) Smith provided an “it’s a small world” story and photo with Chumley (a.k.a. Stan) Collins (CS-30), Bob Morris (CS-09), and myself at lovely Costa Mayo, Mexico. “Chum and I knew we were on the cruise ship together, but both of us were totally unaware that Bob was onboard until I spotted his ‘75er hat at the ship’s shops.” Phil (Chris) Pearce provided photos of classmates attending the First Flight Ball held near Kitty Hawk in December.
Bentley (Debbi) Rayburn sent a belated Christmas card and note with a beautiful family photo taken at their daughter’s wedding. Bentley is commander of the Air War College at Maxwell AFB. Another Alabaman is battle 1-3 at this time. Jim Corrigan, avid racquet-baller, hunter, golfer and sometimes Delta pilot, won the Alabama State Racquetball Over 40 title and was runner-up in the Open competition. His biggest loss occurred in January with The Great Barn Fire of ’03 when he lost his barn housing horses, tools, tractor and fishing gear. As with all crises, Jim was away on a trip, but quick thinking by Kim saved the horses! Stay tuned for a request to help rebuild the barn! Dr. Pete (Cindy) Krough has settled in south Denver where he is working for Kaiser-Permanente. We were able to attend some football games together last fall, but still haven’t made it up to the slopes for skiing, yet.
Colorado ‘75ers held a Best Alive Tailgate prior to the Wing Open Boxing Championships in March. The Wing Open tradition, still orchestrated by the cdets as a fundraiser for a deserving charity. In attendance were Dale and Linda Meyerrose, Dick and Michele Webber, Jim Eken and son Zach, Larry Fariss, JD Barrowclough, Mike Goyden, and myself. Scott Hente also attended the tailgate to distribute campaign buttons. Scott is running for Colorado Springs city Council in District #1. We wish him well as he would be a great councilman. (Update as of April 2, HE WON! Congrats, Scott!) Mike Goyden also had some good news to pass on. He was honored by the National Federation of State High School Associations as the 2002 Southwest Sectional Coach of the Year for Boys Soccer. As a sectional winner, Mike is automatically a finalist for national coach of the year. Finally, Jim Eken also had good news in that he had been named President of Keller Homes in Colorado Springs.
As I write this article, there are a number of significant events affecting out nation, Air Force, and Academy. The sexual assault scandal at the Academy is under investigation at this time. Key leaders have already been replaced and Secretary Roche and Chief of Staff Jumper are personally engaged and have issued their “Agenda for Change.” This weekend, even CNN ran a brief story about the “Bring Me Men” sign being removed. This was a big issue a few years ago, but now seems trivial. This scandal has implications far beyond honor and drug scandals of the past. I am sure you have received letters and/or emails from the AOG regarding this situation. I ask you to stay informed on events. Don’t let the rumor mill get out of hand. For the latest information, contact the AOG website. This site posts the latest news regarding all Academy events. We must help re-establish the credibility of our great institution.
We are also engaged in operation Iraqi freedom. (Today is day 11). I know many of you are directly supporting this operation in a variety of ways as military, government civilians, contractors, and possibly as airline pilots delivering troops to Southwest Asia. Our thoughts and prayers are with the troops who are bearing the brunt of this fighting and for our leadership that they may make good decisions. The press coverage is phenomenal and has prompted many different emotions at home and throughout the world.
I will close with a passage from Bentley's Christmas letter that says it best. He provides a big picture view, not the minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour coverage you are receiving through the media. “While victory on the military battlefield will enable oppression to be defeated and evil rulers deposed, the more important mission after the bombs stop falling and the guns fall silent, will be for us to fill the void with a message of hope based on the ideas that have allowed our own country to be so great. That would be my prayer, that many, many years from now, when we look back through the corridors of time to these countries and areas of the world where we are engaged in military operations today, the results of our actions taken today will have been to open these areas up so that people can have the freedom to think and express themselves without fear, and that the message of true hope can be heard.”