September 2022          Foster Bitton

GBNF:  Roy “Buzz” Sawyer passed away on 14 Apr 22. A memorial service was held for him at the Academy cemetery on 21 June.

Get-Togethers: Dink Yurko and Steve Vreeland attended a reunion of the 61st Tactical Airlift Squadron for squadron members from 1970 to 1978 at Little Rock AFB, AR. Steve had the honor of being the youngest one there at age 68, while Dink checked in at 69. The oldest attendee was 86. Reportedly, they didn't party as hard as they did when they were younger, but the stories were legendary. During the reunion, Dink and Steve graciously consented to pose for a picture with reunion attendees Lt Gen (ret.) Chris Kelly ('74), Maj Gen (ret.) Rich Mentemeyer ('74), and Gen (ret.) Norty Schwartz ('73), former Air Force Chief of Staff.

The CS-20 old Trolls are planning a reunion in Dubois, WY, on September 10th. Brad Lindsey has a large spread in Dubois and invited the Trolls to help him fill it up. Whether or not the invitation includes cleaning stalls or pulling stumps wasn’t clear at the time of publication. For those who are wondering how to pronounce “Dubois,” the first sentence in the town’s website is, “Dubois – say it like ‘cowboys’.” The irony is that the town is named after Idaho Senator Fred Dubois of French-Canadian descent, who found it insufferable when people didn’t pronounce his name “deh-bwah.”

Mike McClendon has a spread of his own near Sulphur Springs, TX, and on this spread he has a cow, e-i-e-i…no, that’s not right. He has a 2000-foot airfield, which is just the right length for his Maule M-7 235C bush plane. Mike writes, “I’m still working part time as an aerospace consultant, helping ForeFlight with DoD BD. Keeps me off the golf course and is interesting work.” Why would anyone openly state that they are happy to not be on a golf course? Surely there’s a counseling center in Sulphur Springs that can help this misguided soul.

Family News: Dave Wallace reports, “My son Maj Nate Wallace is an F-15E WSO at Lakenheath, and he decided to marry a beautiful English woman this summer. [Scribe’s note: marrying a “beautiful” woman is always preferable to the alternative.] The wedding was held at The Cambridge [student] Union, on the ‘campus.’ He challenged all military and, ahem, retired military members to wear Mess Dress to the affair, very specifically suggesting that he was talking to me, Mister. Concerned that a crash diet would be required to fit myself into a 25+ year-old-uniform, I discovered that alterations were available! Here's a photo of Col Wallace, USAFA '75, next to Maj Wallace (not a Zoomie). Yes, the combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq are evident in the medals on the younger man's chest. Five Air Medals or so; I'm proud of the boy.”

Mike Goyden and his crew of 16 finally made it to Disney Aulani resort in Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawaii in June 2022.  They originally planned the vacation for June 2019, but Covid restrictions and testing policies forced them to reschedule the trip four times.

George Walrond writes that his Army relatives have always teased him about how soft the Air Force life is, so he decided to find out just how tough Army life is, or was. In June he attended the US Calvary School near the Custer National Battlefield, and for eight days lived the life of a US 7th Cavalry trooper leading up to Custer's Last Stand. He spent 4 to 5 hours a day in the saddle, slept on the ground with a great coat for a blanket and a saddle for a pillow, and experienced an unexpected dismount during a mounted charge that left him bruised and stiff. But unlike Custer’s troopers, George survived, and he was elated about that. 

Mark Beesley, Mike Wisloski, Steve Marino, and Rick Benbow played in this year’s annual Commander's Cup Golf Tournament at Westfield Golf Club in Clifton, Va. Steve and Rick carded a score of 7 under par 65 in the multi-format tournament and won the "6 hole scramble" portion of the match. Air Force finished in second place, which is pretty good considering that we have classmates who are moving rocks and working (ptui) when they could be focusing on their golf swing.

Denny Mellen just finished a motivational speaking engagement at USAFA and has published Takes More Than Heart, a book that describes how he overcame a massive heart attack that suddenly ended his flying career, and expounds on “changing the journey’s challenges into opportunities.”

Brian Duffy played an important role in a book written by his wife, Jan, and his daughter, Shannon. Teddy’s Space Adventure is a children’s book about the friendship of Teddy and Shannon, and includes Teddy’s voyage to the InternationalSpace Station. The word on the street is that Teddy went with Brian on his four shuttle missions, and that he even spent the night in the International Space Station. That’s totally understandable. Linus had his blanket, and Brian had his teddy bear.

Once again, a lot of great photos were submitted this quarter. If you don’t see the one you submitted, more than likely it can be found on

Steve Vreeland, Dink Yurko
with some other guys

Mike McClendon
moving rocks, because he can

Dave & Nate Wallace

George Walrond, U.S. Cavalry

Dennis Mellen


Checkpoints Plus

Rick “Short Game” Benbow: Mark Beesley, Mike Wisloski, Steve Marino, and I represented the Class of 1975 yesterday at the annual Commander's Cup Golf Tournament at Westfield Golf Club in Clifton, Va. Graduates of USMA, USNA and USAFA pair up and play a match for the cup each July. Steve Marino and I have competed together for 3 or 4 years and Mike Wisloski and Mark "Magic" Beesley made up the ‘75ers in the field. Steve and I played against two Navy submariners from the Class of 1989. We play split tees with all grads from 1979 and earlier playing senior tees and 1980 and after playing regular tees. Steve and I carded a score of 7 under par 65 in the multiformat tournament. Steve and I won a skin and on the 6 hole scramble portion of the tournament we teamed up for a score of -5 under on the 6 holes to take top honors for that 1/3 of the round. Good times. Unfortunately, Air Force finished the match in 2nd place behind Army in 1st . Need more USAFA grads and we can take the Army and Navy next year!  ('75ers in Photo, Left to Right, Circled: Steve Marino, Rick Benbow, Mike Wisloski, & Mark Beesley).

Rick Pyatt: Carl Van Pelt hosted a Scoch tasting and BBQ at his farm in Northern Virginia. We also got to meet his miniature donkeys, Mayday and Bingo.

John Quattrocki: Al [Nash] and I had our annual get-together in his hometown of Pen Yan, New York (Finger Lakes region up north). His high school, Pen Yan Academy, was celebrating his (pandemic-displaced by one year) 50th reunion. Al was a 3-sport all conference athlete and the Class President here in the area, and his high school classmates lined up last night to spend time with us. It was great to see. Please find attached a picture of Al and me. My best to all… and continued appreciation for the prayers.

Jeff Chappell: Attached photo of Jan & Dave Wallace, me, and my middle son Ben. Ben & I went for the wedding of my nephew, Ben’s cousin, and the Wallace’s made time for us in their busy retired folks schedule. Thanks and see you around the campus!

Mike Marro: In May 2018 Pete and Jean Marcuzzo were in London to visit daughter Annie who procured tickets to Hamilton. They invited Carol and I to join them to see the show. In the meantime, Carol realizes that Dave and Jan are also in London (Facebook intel)–and privately arranged to have them join us for dinner as a surprise. Voilá–mini reunion! Fast forward to June 2022–Carol and I are in London to meet my nieces and we're in line to check in to the Victory Services Club. I glance over my shoulder, and who's in line behind me to check in? Dave and Jan! Surprise reunion reprise! As Father Guido Sarducci would say, coincidenzia?

Dick Dye: It’s not too soon to start thinking about our 50th reunion coming up in three short years (the years are getting shorter, I’m convinced). Even if you haven’t been at any of the previous reunions, even if you still have bad memories of the zoo, the reunion is to say hi to your friends and fellow classmates. I’ve attended many (most? all?) of the Class of ’75 reunions and they’re always a great time to tell exaggerated stories and share time together.

John Oleksey: I also have to echo Dick’s comments regarding our 50th Reunion. Due to hit and misses by each of us over the years, duty commitments, family conflicts, geographic limitations, and some who have just never attended, we have not seen some of you since graduation. We ain’t getting any younger gents. And our numbers are certainly starting to dwindle as we now say goodbye to Buzz [Sawyer] along with the others we have lost in the not too distant past. Whatever is going on in your life, I implore you to please keep the 50th in the back of your scheduling mind as we go forward. As Dick has stated so succinctly, the reunions are about all the happy times and BS stories we shared while there and catching up on our lives since graduation. And we are certainly a diverse group who went in many different directions. I’ve never regretted attending one despite my initial resistance and lingering sentiments. It was just great to see all who attended, raise a toast, and enjoy the great company of class mates/squadron mates. Please do your best to attend this next one. We look forward to seeing each of you before it is too late.

Commander's Cup participants
Find the '75ers!

Mayday & Bingo, with some fans
Rick Pyatt, Dale Waters, Bob Awtry,
Mark Beesley, Al Bready, & Carl Van Pelt

Al Nash & John Quattrocki

Jan & Dave Wallace,
Jeff Chappell, & son Ben

2018: Dave Wallace, Pete Marcuzzo,
& Mike Marro. 2022: Mike & Dave

Checkpoints Extras

To Go Into Checkpoints

Our own court composer penned another ditty for your enjoyment
(and to shame you into contributing to his quarterly column)

(Sung to the tune of Happy Together by The Turtles)

Imagine if you could, you should,
Of sending in a little bit, containing wit,
Expounding on your recent life, for just a bit,
To go into Checkpoints.

If you are on a trip, out on the sea,
And you are thinking this is how, a life should be,
Just put your thoughts in simple text, and send to me,
To go into Checkpoints.

I can’t write this stuff all alone, I need help,
To fill the void.

Send in news about your grandkids, but please not,
About your ‘rhoids.

All of you, you could go far,
This task is so much easier, than shooting par,
Just write some words about yourself, and be a star,
And you’ll be in Checkpoints.

Send in pictures of your exploits, of your car,
Or where you shop.

I’ll take all the photos you have, except those,
That show Tom Popp.

All of you, you could go far,
This task is so much easier, than shooting par,
Just write some words about yourself, and be a star,
And you’ll be in Checkpoints.

Ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba
Ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba

Scribe's Disclaimer: Concerns about why Tom Popp was slandered in this song should be set aside since his inclusion is only because his name rhymes with "shop." Other slimeballs could have been put in the song, but their names didn't fit.

Takes More Than Heart              Dennis Mellen

From the Back Cover:

Dennis Mellen expertly weaves story with message in his book, Takes More Than Heart. We learn with every challenge comes opportunity and What's Important Now (W.I.N) is just as important as the best is yet to come. Dennis's wit and down-to-earth personality are the bookends to this all-important armchair coach for those hit with unexpected circumstances.

Cortney Donelson, Owner of vocem, LLC, co-Founder/
editor-in-chief of Girl Story Magazine, author of
Clay Jar, Cracked: When Were Broken But Not Shattered

Teddy's Space Adventure               Jan Duffy & Shannon Duffy Payne

From the Publisher:

A true heartwarming story about the friendship between Shannon, the daughter of an astronaut, and her beloved teddy bear named Teddy. Read about Shannon, Teddy and the family's adventures throughout the years as Dad (former astronaut Brian Duffy) launches into outer space aboard a total of four Space Shuttle missions. Join them on their journey and discover the surprise and suspense as an extra passenger flies with the crew for the fourth and final flight. Feel the magic of the bond between a little girl and her teddy bear and follow along with a story that is sure to delight!

Association of Graduates Class Advisory Senate



CAS Brief

CAS Update

The AOG Class Advisory Senate met Tuesday night (19 July) for regular session. Approx 30 of 60 classes represented in person and virtual; we have a new senator from class of 2022! (which is record time...he is still on graduation leave!) Here is a summary; formal minutes/relay to class squadron reps to follow when they are posted.

a. We heard from the Director of Admissions Col Art Primus. His detailed brief on cadet accessions is attached, including details on the recently entered class of 2026 (just completing 2BCT)

b. We have a new CAS liaison to the AOG, Navierre Walkawicz, '99 who just retired from AFRES and largely served at STRATCOM. She also has AOG staff supervisory responsibilities. Her brief is attached. Details of the recent grad survey are slated to be released to members in August. Naviere has high goals for improving relevance to grads and grad relevance to USAFA. Urged contribution by all to 1Day1USAFA campaign first week in Aug.

c. We were briefed by President of the AOG/Foundation, Mark Hille; here are some interesting facts/figures he provided:

– very strong fund raising continues in 2022; almost reached goal of $35M for the entire year (in July)- other income streams like merch are good (making a contribution)

– AOG and Foundation are relevant 'every day to activities at USAFA' (metrics managing or contributing to 500 programs and $25M-$30M of added budget (outside Fed funds); 16 capital projects of various sizes currently underway) We should get figures on all classes (our class) "opt in" to all grads are members very soon-will relay the figures to you for '75 when I get them.

d. CAS President Randy Helms: CAS bi-annual election kick-off (final candidates) in November and election to follow (CAS only) electronically in the two weeks following the November meeting. Helms solicited nominations for officers and EXCOM.




1. Captain Oleh (Veronika Nemeth Stefaniuk, July 2022)

2. Bob Walden: Happy 4th of July! (July 2022)

3. Bob Akers: Had great support wishing our neighborhood a happy 4th of July. (July 2022)

4. Buck Rogers: Scotland Golf Adventure with USAFA Squadron Playboys, Sarv, Lucky, VP, & Buck. Played Western Gailes, Prestwick, Royal Troon (Old Course), Dundonald, & Turnberry Ailsa. Bucket List checked. (Left to Right: Rick Sarver, Lucky Corrigan, Buck Rogers, & Carl Van Pelt) (July 2022)

Read Carl VanPelt's review/thoughts of the Scottish links HERE.




5. Bill Murray: What a wild night! I was just going out to the local grocery store to get some milk for Judy and who do I run into but JOHN QUINONES!! He was checking out and I was coming in……I recognize him immediately and say, “John Quinones?” …..thinking it could just be someone who looked like him. I tell the story of me meeting him at the Salt Lake City Airport years ago when I was in the military, and I always regretted not getting a picture with him after visiting for several minutes. He’s really a nice guy and very personable……Anyway he says, “Let’s do it now!” He takes my iPhone and says, “Let’s do this!” We were born the same year……1952! You know he was a co-anchor of the ABC News program, Primetime, and hosted What Would You Do?. He also reports for all ABC News programs such as 20/20, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, and Nightline. (July 2022)

6. Bob Walden: With my T-38 Gombey flight "Little Buddy" Ray... Always a pleasure... Thanks for your nice sendoff from OSH2022!! (July 2022)

7. Otto Dieffenbach: The Loon performance and project were great successes. My team received a contract from Wide Angle Group in early June to produce a 10 foot flying Loon based on the Minnesota United Loon logo. The Loon was flown as part of the Major League Soccer (MLS) pregame covered by ESPN. Mike Frandsen, Bob Simon, Dave Encinas and Otto Dieffenbach built the Loon in 5 weeks with first flight on July 10. Emily DeJoode, Manager of Ampdraw Hobbies in Encinitas joined Otto as his far corner spotter for the performance. Three rehearsals and the performance flights were flown on August 8, 9 and 10. FAA and FBI approvals were obtained prior to flight operations. (August 2022)

8. Ralph Paul: Last Thursday, Loretta, her mom and I went to Echo Lake, just outside Mt. Evans, and drove the scenic drive on Squaw Pass Road. It was great to escape the nearly 100 degree weather in Denver. The temperature at 11,000 feet was 71 degrees. And the scenery was breathtaking and beautiful. (August 2022)




9. John Kambourian: Having lunch with daughter Alison at Le Diplómate!! (August 2022)

10. Michael Heil: I have joined the e-bike owners community. They are loads of fun! (August 2022)

11. Dave & Janet Wallace: Anchored in Livorno, ITALY, today involved a longish drive inland to Firenze (Florence), where we saw enormous crowds of tourists, many many marble statues and facades, and the Boboli Gardens above town. Hot and sweaty, too! (August 2022)

12. Rick & Pauline Kim: Salish Lodge & Spa (upper left) stands on the banks of the Snoqualmie River. (August 2022)




13. Stan Jones: After 2 fails on other 14ers this summer, I finally summited one. (August 2022)

14. John & Susan Loucks at a small café on the Greek island of Corfu:  We celebrated our 45th anniversary with the cruise, two years late due to the plague. (August 2022)

15. Jim & Ardis Hartney: 46th Anniversary today...celebrating in buffalo as we have the last few years...not sure the camera caught how happy we are! (August 2022)

16. David & Patti Ruddock, showing off Dave's Dad Bod™. (August 2022)




17. Gerry Conticchio, with his entourage. (August 2022)

18. Randy & Zita Mason. (August 2022)

19. Kent Traylor & Mark Volcheff golfing on the Arrowhead Golf Course in Littleton with friends Bob Peterson & John Hyten. (Bob Peterson, August 2022)

20. Jeff Chappell & Ben: It's better at the ballpark! (August 2022)




21. Grizzly Schuman: I finally got a new companion. Cannot thank you enough Patricia Edel. after an hour flight from King Salmon to Anchorage Alaska, a 5 1/2 hour flight from anchorage to Denver (thankfully on Sophie‘s lap) followed by an 8 hour drive from Denver back home to Gregory, Owen is where he belongs in the pheasant capital of the world. Now if I only live through the house breaking phase. So far, the jury is still out, I’m getting a little old for this. But I love it and I love him and my life is suddenly a lot better. Stay tuned for more on the adventures/travels of Owen. (August 2022)

22. Barry Abbott: Golf today with Dale, Butch, & Charlie. Scramble benefitting Hunting for Hope. Fun day! (August 2022)

23. Tex Bosma, at the Fox Hollow Rodeo. (August 2022)

24. Mickey & Jeannine Clemons. (Cheryl-Snigg-Cordova, September 2022)




25. Paul Kent with cousin Don at Snoqualmie Falls. (Don Kent, September 2022)

26. Greg & Peggy Berlan. (September 2022)

27. Mickey & Jeannine Clemons in Venice: What a wonderful gondola ride with my lovely wife and best friend. Great sights and nice weather (September 2022)

28. Jim & Ardis Hartney: Once-in-a-lifetime visit to Venice. (September 2022)




29. Bill Murray: Six couples recently had a Mini-Bull Six Reunion at the Opry Land Gaylord Resort in Nashville, Tennessee. We told a few stories. All of us were distinguished at USAFA by having CDB’s, some more than one!! Participants were (Left to Right):  Bill & Judy Murray, Dave & Sally Young, Raider & Vivian Ramstad, Byron & Barbara Huddleston, Jerry & Denise Cooke, Mark & Jayne Stickney. (September 2022). Editor's Note: By law, we cannot feature more than two Bill Murray photos per quarter.

30. Dick & Denise Dye atop Pike's Peak. (Carrie Morrow, September 2022)

31. Al Morrison & family. (Carissa Morrison, September 2022)

32. Ralph Paul: Three loyal Air Force fans, Loretta, her mom, Jennie, and Ralph, celebrate the Falcon's victory over Colorado University's Buffalos. (September 2022)




33. Lee Colburn & family. (September 2022)

34. Bob Walden: 42 years together and still flying high! Happy Anniversary, my darling PJ! (September 2022)

35. Story time with Tom Darner. (Kristy Case, September 2022)

36. David Beatty participating in a war game exercise with the group Rapid Fire Reloaded: Soviet rifle division augmented by a tank brigade attacks an Italian infantry regiment supported by a tank battalion and two German infantry and two German tank battalions somewhere northwest of Stalingrad November 1942. Our first walk through of the RFR rules generated lots of questions like how do infantry defend against tanks? LMGs should get 1 die vice 1/2. Hit mechanics of AT fire are confusing (do I roll 1 die per firing tank/gun or just 1 die per group firing at the same target?). But we all had fun! (September 2022)




37. Paul Kent: Granite Mountain summit before the season ends. Hiking partner 72-year-old Márcio was waiting for me at the top. (September 2022)

38. Bob Hickcox: Teacher work day at the park. (September 2022)

39. Jeff Chappell, standin' on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. (September 2022)

40. Willie Cosby, wine tasting outside of Tel Aviv, Israel with Cynthia Laird & Dave Coker. (September 2022)



41. Three generations of Bosmas (Ben in the center). (September 2022)


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