December 2022          Foster Bitton

Impressive Feats: For those who bemoan the fact they could’ve been contenders in their neighborhood pickleball tournament if their opponent hadn’t had wheels on her walker, here’s a tidbit to put things in perspective. Ed Zerambo won the USA National Cross Country Cycling Championship, 70-74 age group, held in Winter Park, CO last July. Zerambo, last in the class alphabetical listing, first in the nation. While Ed was in Winter Park, he also joined in a mini-reunion with Bob and Cheryl Thompson, Joe and Melissa Debes, and Jim Schuman.

On the other side of the world, John Jenson was awarded the Ancient Order of the Chamorri Award – the highest honor the governor of Guam can give, for his work as a hydrogeologist and groundwater modeler for the University of Guam’s (UOG) Water and Environmental Research Institute of the Western Pacific. UOG President emeritus, Robert Underwood, stated John is “the greatest rock star for geology for Guam.” The acting UOG President added that John is one of the most incredible individuals in the UOG community. Well done, John - extremely well done. [Media Account HERE]

Who’s on First? A number of classmates checked in this quarter with where they are and what they are doing. The following information is provided at no cost to you, mainly because Class President for Life, Jim Carlson, won’t approve a charge, and Bruce Fritzsche, management major and realist, says we’re all too cheap to pay it.

Jerry Cooke reported he and Denise now have 18 grandchildren. He didn’t mention where he’s living, but that’s immaterial. With that many grandchildren, he and Denise have to be spending a significant amount of time on the road just to stay in touch with them.

Steve Lerum just moved from San Diego to Destin, FL. He has three grandchildren and noted he’s chasing them around the country. The difference between Steve and Jerry is that Steve doesn’t have to use Google Maps to find his house after each trip.

John Fritz and his wife, Karena, live in Silverthorne, CO. He has two ski instructor certifications and hopes to get one more while instructing at Copper Mountain this year. John is also active in Summit 50+ Ski With Us. He and about 40 other skiers pound the slopes at Breckenridge on Tuesdays and at Keystone on Thursdays. The group accommodates all levels of skiers and boarders, so if you’re in the area, feel free to join them.

Remember the blurb in the last issue of CP about a reunion the CS-20 Trolls were planning on having at Brad Lindsey’s ranch in Dubois, WY? It happened. Brad, Steve Vargo, John Santner, Steve Keen, Paul Kent, Steve Eickelman, and their significant others attended it. If Brad was hoping to get some help in digging post holes, he was sadly disillusioned.

Doug and Allison Miller hosted a CS-15 reunion in Hot Springs, AR with help from Jim and Dana Eken. Ten of the squadron’s 20 grads were able to attend the reunion, including Doug Fraser, Buzz Masters, Mike Straight, Jake Kearns, Mike Crider, Dan O’Steen, Hugo Gray, Tom Kocian, and their better halves. The reunion included the usual trappings: great food, sightseeing, and a lot of war stories. In short, a good time was had by all.

Jeff Chappell gave in to his nomadic urges and took a road trip between mid-September and mid-October that included nature hikes, music festivals, pickleball, Scrabble, and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta’s 50th anniversary. There are more details to the story, but it’s kind of like looking at pictures of your neighbor’s dog. One picture is all you need to see. The other 28 are overkill.

Tom and Patty Darner are in Pompano Beach, FL. Tom was declared in remission for acromegaly and is now battling Lewy body dementia. Treatment is PT, OT, and medication. Family, friends, and prayers help too.

Dale Hanner provided a detailed input to justify his continued presence in the workforce. To be fair, it’s only 6-8 weeks a year, and some might consider it worthwhile because he’s on a team that basically gives ORIs to Division and Corps commanders. You can put lipstick on a pig, but work is still work (ptui). To compound his current misdeeds, Dale also recently lured Joe Carroll into the same line of work. Repent Dale. Work is a four-letter word, and it’s not designed for septuagenarians.

Mike Heil joined Dave Tillotson, Director of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force (Dayton’s aviation heritage star attraction), at an annual meeting of the National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) in Dayton. Mike serves on the NAHA Board.

Ben Phillips, Mike Magee, Tom Calhoun, and other members of the USAFA Water Polo team spent three days at the Academy in October to celebrate 50 years of Division I Water Polo. The team stood up during our doolie summer, and it went to the NCAA Nationals at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach during our first class year. Impressively, the guys got in the water during the reunion and played four-minute halves. Speaking on behalf of the incurable sinkers in the world, four minutes of treading water is more than impressive, it’s unimaginable.

GBNF:  Sadly, we lost Scott Smith and Sam Ryals this quarter.

Ed Zerambo with the Hardware

John Jenson

John Fritz with a Future Olympian

A Gathering of Trolls
Brad Lindsey, Steve Vargo, John Santner,
Steve Keen, Paul Kent, & Steve Eickelman

CS-15 War Eagles Reunion
Seated:  Jim “Ekes” Eken, Doug “Dougger” Miller,
& Mark “Buzz” Masters.  Center: Tom “Koc” Kocian,
Dan “Dano” O’Steen, Doug “Che” Fraser,
& Hugh “Hugo” Gray.  Rear:  Mike “Cri” Crider,
Mike “Boa” Straight, & John “Jake” Kearns

CS-15 War Eagles Reunion

Mike Heil & Dave Tillotson

The 1974 USAFA Water Polo Team
Seated: Ben Phillips (‘75) & Jeff Heidmous (‘77)
Standing: Walt Heidmous (‘76), Billy Monroe (‘76),
Eric Thompson (‘78), Mike Magee (‘75),
John Welsfry (‘78), Tom Calhoun (‘75),
Jim Hogue (‘76), & Coach Bruce Fisher (‘69)

Checkpoints Plus

Bran McAllister: Bruce Fritzsche, Diane Turner, Carolyn McAllister, and me in the Canadian Rockies in July 2022. I had traveled there after graduation in 1975 with some classmates and finally returned after 47 years.

Mike Magee: The week before our 50th Water Polo Reunion golf outing the temperatures were in the mid 60’s & clear and it was in the mid 60’s and clear the week after our 18 holes, BUT with the Class of 75 involved, the temperature at USAFA on that Friday, dipped into the low 40’s for the high, with drizzle, wet fairways & greens, so we played the back 9 IMC & in the Clouds! Lousy scores, followed by some occasional great shots, lotsa stories, and a terrific time with teammates from our 1974 NCAA qualified team!

Paul Kent: The CS-20 old Trolls held our first ever away-from-C-Springs reunion at Brad Lindsey’s ranch in Dubois, WY in September, 50 years after first convening in our 3rd class year. Yes, that’s a half a century. Brad started the conversation in March 2019 and, 3.5 years later, 6 of us made it happen. Wives and significant others enjoyed our extended weekend of Brad’s hospitality.

The 1973 yearbook pictures 21 of our boyish young mugs, except for some reason Charlie Buck’s picture is missing, so we really started with 22. Four left before junior year, leaving 18. After the senior shuffle, Dave McDaniel and Greg Kratzer joined and Dave White left. We lost Larry Ridge in 1976 and Marlo Mellum just recently. I’ve lost all contact with Russ Newland and Greg Kratzer, despite efforts to locate. Mark Holmes and Jim Arter’s emails don’t bounce, but I don’t know if they receive anything, as they’ve never responded. More than a few of us have health issues that prevent or limit travel. So the six of us were most grateful that we were allowed to convene together.

The gathering had a special aura that I find hard to describe. Maybe just disbelief that we’re still around. The weekend was most pleasant, and the women I know enjoyed listening to us reminisce. Brad’s ranch is so relaxing. We had an inside fire on Friday night and an outside fire on Saturday. The dogs Kai and Maggie Jo entertained us (and us them). John and Kathleen Santner were on their honeymoon. How cool is that! Kathleen was most enthusiastic to listen to the stories. The Eickelmans and Kents took a hike around Jenny Lake in Grand Teton Park on Saturday, only 90 minutes from Brad’s place. On Friday, Sheri and Paul Kent attempted to locate some Big Horn Sheep in the reserve area, but the cloud level was too low for success. Come to find out that Steve Vargo almost hit one in his car a few weeks prior between Reno and Tahoe. Then the Keens and Vargo again saw sheep on the road when they inadvertently missed the turn to Brad’s. Go figure. On Friday night, Brad invited everyone, including the women, to “review your life.” So we went around the table, which was quite enjoyable.

Hugo Gray: After the class 45th was cancelled, we tried to do a 75/15 get-together last year and that one was stopped by COVID. Last week we finally got it done. Doug and Allison Miller have retired in Hot Springs, Arkansas and graciously hosted, with assistance from Jim and Dana Eken. We managed to turn out 10 of 20 grads, with some excused absences. Charlie Wintermeyer (and Wife Nazli) caught COVID while driving to the reunion and had to return home! Clint Waltman had an audition for bass player in a legacy rock band (?). Mark and Linda Howes were in London for a tennis tournament, Dave and Mary Williamson had a last-minute family issue, Gary Whitfield/Wes Routh had some health issues – and a few other folks were out as well. We did turn out half the class: Doug and Rena Fraser, Buzz Masters, Mike and Dot Straight, Jake and Nance Kearns, Mike Crider, Dan O’Steen, myself (Hugo Gray) and Wife Yvonne, and Tom and Andrea Kocian. The weather was perfect, Doug and Allison have a beautiful waterfront home and a couple of boats. Most of us stayed in the Hot Springs Doubletree – beautiful property on the main lake.

Most arrived Thursday night and we had a great Welcome/Mixer in the hotel lounge. Mark Howes graciously funded the Mixer’s open bar and food bill in absence (we think he forgot our drinking/eating habits, but we did our best to live up to old reputations). The next day (after a suitable recovery period) we made our way to the Miller waterfront abode. Doug put on his Captain’s hat and gave us tours of Lake Hamilton, while Allison catered snacks, drinks, and a barbeque luncheon. A wonderful day on the lake. Hot Springs and area sightseeing the next day, with an evening group dinner at a local waterfront restaurant. Toasts, photos, and “war stories” from our Cadet days and careers abounded, and we closed Saturday night with another farewell mixer at the hotel. A toast to our (too early) departed classmate Eddie Mallo (multiple Wing Open Boxing Champ) always a sad moment. For a group of 70-year-olds we seemed a bit spry, though stories of cadet adventures fifty years ago gave way to comparisons of current medical issues frequently. Anyway, we’re primed for our 50th Reunion at the Zoo, but will likely do more local and individual visiting in the years to come.

Dale Hanner: In 2010, after 13 years at United, I took mil-leave to go back in the Air Force for three years, working with a team that travels to various Army bases all over the world to give what is basically an ORI to Division and Corps (2- and 3-star) commanders and their staffs. In 2017, after retiring from United and for lack of anything better to do, I rejoined the team part-time.

Recently I persuaded long-time friend Joe Carrol (CS-22, retired Southwest) to join in on the suffering (i.e., to Embrace the Suck), and in October we finished Joe’s first exercise at Ft Lewis WA. The construct of the Army “ORI” is actually pretty interesting. It’s a bit tedious to put 100,000 troops in the field to train a Corps commander on how to do his job, so the subordinate echelons are all virtual (i.e., exist only in computer simulation). Even so, it takes over a thousand soldiers who act as “role-players” to replicate all the units that come under a Corps. The exercise is unique in that it provides training to multi-star generals which they can’t get any other way–the Ukraine being the obvious example of what happens when you invade a country without your commanders having had this type of training!


Bruce Fritzsche, Diane Turner,
Carolyn & Bran McAllister

Water Polo Team Golf Contingent
Billy Monroe ('76), Mike Magee,
Tom Calhoun, & Walt Heidmous ('76)

Checkpoints Extras

Association of Graduates Class Advisory Senate          Bruce Mitchell



CAS Update

Class Advisory Senate 1 Nov 2022


1) Call to Order – 1800 MT
2) Roll Call – AOG will track Zoom attendance
3) Previous minutes
4) Naviere Walkewicz ’99, Grad Survey
5) Bob Lowe ’71, AOG Board of Directors Update
6) Mark Hille ’97, President’s Report
7) CAS Officer elections 9-18 Nov 2022
8) Bruce Fritzsche '75, Wreaths Across America effort at USAFA cemetery
9) Round Table
10) Next Meetings
      a) Ex Com 6 Dec 2022
      b) CAS 17 Jan 2023
      c) AOG Board 17 Feb 2023

Bruce Mitchell Notes:

– 37 of 63 class senators attended, either in person at Doolittle Hall or virtual on Zoom.

– ‘75’s Bruce Fritzsche presented USAFA Wreaths Across America program details and plans for this year’s ceremony (stay tuned for AOG e-mail)

– Stay tuned for pending AOG release of video (2 hours of interviews) series with the Supt on multiple topics of interest to Graduate community. Should be available to grads in a couple of weeks. Reportedly the Supt shares details of recent "public media stories and grads reaction thereto.” Let's see what the Supt has to say, should be interesting.

– Supt was quoted during CAS meeting as having said “16 hours spent on cadet diversity and inclusion training, but thousands of hours spent on warfighting skills training.”

– AOG board chair and CAS chair compiled a summary of graduate reactions to the most recent USAFA kerfuffles in/from the national media and forwarded to the Supt. My input to CAS president in September was, “USAFA consistently keeps shooting itself in the foot by allowing these media reports to go publicly unanswered…especially in the current national 24-hour news cycle. As a result, the public is left with the impression that all they hear in the media about USAFA must be true. It is damaging to USAFA's external/public image and also internal graduate understanding of the facts, and thereby to unity and cohesion.” We’ll see what the Supt may say about this topic in the interview video.

– Currently 35,000 AOG members have opted in to membership for all grads

– There is reportedly a website (which sounded a lot like ’75 Best Alive website in terms of a historical archive) but I’ve yet to look into it (hadn’t heard of this before last night)

– Initial (top level) new 2022 grad survey results were briefed, but too complicated to summarize here...the survey analysis brief slides will be included with the minutes. AOG/Foundation is starting to use the survey results for action guiding purposes.

– CAS election of officers and exec committee coming up this month; Paul Ferguson ’99 (heading to Peterson to be some sort of commander) is running for President vs. incumbent Randy Helms ’79…all others unopposed.

– Academy Foundation/AOG CEO again stated that the capital campaign is on pace to exceed their goal of $270 million with several months still to go. The goal for these funds spans several significant capital programs like Falcon stadium renovation, design of the Center for Warfighting Innovation, etc. I believe the Foundation is currently supporting (to some extent) about 2 dozen capital projects.

– New Northgate visitor center was dedicated as Hosmer center a few weeks ago. Progress on buildout of main hotel lobby is now discernable. Reportedly the hotel will have a roof-top bar with "killer views of USAFA" (which is hard for me to imagine in terms of sight lines...but OK) and 350 rooms.

– During round table discussion (open floor), approximately 10 passionate speeches were made by class senators from across the decade year demographics (from ’1961 to ‘2014, including current active duty officers who are also their class senators) in response to the diversity training incidents / stories from or about USAFA as of late; basically opining about whether or not the Academy is off track or is focusing on the wrong priorities.

Per usual, let me know if you have questions or comments.




Air Force – Army Game

The Class of '75 was well represented at the Air Force–Army victory in Arlington, Texas, which secured the Commander in Chief's trophy for Air Force.



1. Dave Schmitz, Bill Hughes, Mike Matte, & Jack Huffman (Association of Graduates)

2. Front: Jim Burling & Mike Matte. Rear: John Gaughan, Dave Schmitz, Jack Huffman, Bill Hughes, & John Caraway. (Mike Matte)

3. Dave Schmitz, Bill Murray, Mike Matte, Jim Burling, Jim Scruggs, Scott Terpstra (DNG), & John Gaughan. (Bill Murray)

4. Linda & Perry Lamy, Bill Murray. (Bill Murray)



1. Bill Buchta & Lori Campbell with a couple of their grandchildren. (Maggie Ann, October 2022)

2. Jim Marshall with a little one. (Kelly Vannoy, October 2022)

3. Mickey & Jeannine Clemons with Micah Clemons. (Jeannine Clemons, October 2022)

4. Willie Cosby & Cynthia Laird at the Hotel Amira, Instabul, Turkey. (October 2022)




5. Don Cunningham with daughter Kelly. (Kelly Cunningham, October 2022)

6. David Beatty with cousin Sheryl. (October 2022)

7. Bill Murray & Ollie Lorenz at an AFA watch party. (Bill Murray, October 2022)

8. Steve Duresky with his latest catch. (October 2022)




9. Ralph Paul: Loretta, her mom, Jennie, and I went to Golden, CO to walk around, check out the shops and have lunch. It was a beautiful day; sunny and 78 degrees. (October 2022)

10. Rick & Pauline Kim enjoying a meal with friends. (Make a Wish Foundation event) (October 2022)

11. Paul Kent: As my cousin has enlightened me, grandchildren are God's gift to old people. (October 2022)

12. Jim Schuman: And so it begins. A new chapter. Today was Owen‘s first real day with the hunters, a group of friends from Arkansas. I am very excited at how well he has taken to it. Next year he will be a pro. (November 2022)




13. Michael Heil: At the NASA Glenn Visitor Center for the Cleveland Engineering Society annual meeting and dinner at the Great Lakes Science Center. A great time was had by all! (in low earth orbit?) (November 2022)

14. Bob Walden: What a great "hometown" airshow weekend this was with family and friends. Our formation team performed all three days, and the grandkids were able to meet the Blue Angel pilots and other performers. Nice to see the sell-out crowds! (November 2022)

15. Jeff Chappell: Strike Team Foxtrot, Team Rubicon Operation Sunshine Strong, Port Charlotte FL. Great bunch doing good things! Roy, ER doc, Ft Lauderdale; James, RN, Thornton CO; Bill “Fearless Leader,” retired cop, Deptford NJ; Mike, IT guy, Saugerties NY; yours truly. See ya next op, gang! (October 2022)

16. Jim & Emily Marshall with a bevy of their grandchildren at a Veteran's Day celebration. (Kelly Vannoy, November 2022)




17. Mike Matte with a friend, celebrating his 80th birthday. (Diane Oksenholt Childress, November 2022)

18-19. Ben & Gini Bosma enjoying their sojourn to the Fiji islands. (November 2022)

20. Alabama was well represented and had great success at the recent US Open Racquetball Championships in Minneapolis! Congratulations to all the winners: Craig Herr who won three gold medals; Destry Everhart, a gold and silver; Bob Frazier, a silver; Mick McGuire, a silver, Billy Cannon, a gold and silver; and James Corrigan (second from left), a gold and silver. (Billy Cannon, November 2022)




21. Duane & Jan Jones at an undisclosed location (November 2022)

22. Bob Hickcox: Had the rare privilege of seeing a one of the very first prints of the United States Constitution and North Carolina’s copy of the US Bill of Rights, which convinced our state to adopt the Constitution and become the 12th state in the union. Once in a lifetime opportunity. (December 2022)

23. Bruce Mitchell returing from low-earth orbit at the Denver Museum during the Colorado space business Forum. (December 2022)

24. Bob Hickcox & Marge Terhaar, On the Precipice: Norway, Part 2. We visited Bergen for the rest of our time in Norway, visiting the waterfront, the Mauk Museum, riding the Floribanen, and spending a day doing "Norway in a Nutshell". It rained most every day, but we didn't let that get in the way of our fun. Consumed lots of fiske, and other local treats. (December 2022)




25. Tom Burns: Thank you Kenny Krueger for hosting me and Rix Banks at the 12.11.22 Cowboys game - skybox, airfare & hotel, compliments of the Texas lottery "Cowboys Wild Weekend" won by Kenny. (December 2022)

26. Dave & Patti Ruddock with family. (December 2022)

27. Bruce Fritzsche presiding over the Wreaths Across America at the USAFA Cemetary on 17 December 2022. (Association of Graduates, December 2022)   Memorial Gallery HERE

28. Don Byers & daughter Jennifer Lawton at SoFi Stadium for the Jummy Kimmel Bowl. (December 2022)




29. Bill Spencer & Bill at a Colorado Avalanche game in Denver. That's Bill on the left...or the right. (December 2022)

30. Jim Hartney: Started the day in Tampa…flew to Rochester to go to the game with Joe who celebrated his 70th birthday. First a stop at Schwabl’s for the very best beef on weck (right). Another epic performance by Josh. PA announcer actually said, “Josh wants you to stop throwing snowballs.” (December 2022)



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