Winter 2004          Jeff Hackett

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 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 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 AZ 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 our “wall of lead” - we had a lot of fun telling lies and reminiscing in the lodge - a real first class operation!” From Brigadier General Dave Sprenkle - “have recently been moved into a new position, the Deputy Commander of the Colorado's 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 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 at KAFB (Dave’s working for AFRC at Grissom AFB, IN) who happened to get randomly paired up with Mike in a golf tournament that weekend.  Mike assures us that, soon after this picture was taken he (AFSOC, Hurlburt Fd), Dick Webber (AFSPACE, Peterson AFB), Dale Meyerrose (USNORTHCOM, Peterson AFB), and Dave Kovach (AFCA, Scott AFB) “displayed our skills at "grogsmanship"… 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 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 picture of himself and Curt DeVries that was taken when Curt passed through Charlotte Airport last. 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 to say 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 in the Reserves are very aware of the fact that the thirty 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.

Dave 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 returned 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 Joan 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 photographic record of trip Jim Arthurs, Larry Coletti, 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 reviewed 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.


The Great American Sportsmen


Dehart, Webber, Anewalt,
Meyerrose, and Kovach


Coman, Abbott, Fleming,
Gaughan ,and Gambrell

Checkpoints Extras






1. Gary & Karen Exelby tying the knot. (January 2004)



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