June 2023          Foster Bitton

By the time this issue of Checkpoints shows up in your mailbox, the winter of 2022 will hopefully be faint memories of colder than normal temperatures, the tallest snowbanks in decades, and w-a-a-a-y higher than usual heating bills. At least they were faint memories until some unthinking scribe just reminded you of them. Those who live in Florida are undoubtedly wearing their usual smug expressions for possessing enough intelligence to reside in a state that sneers at winter as if it were a salesman who showed up at dinnertime. The rest of us get a perverse pleasure in knowing that the smirking winter evaders have a deep south summer knocking at their doors, and palmetto bugs that are large enough to wear leashes. Last winter was great for the skiers. I skied an average number of times, and that was even with being sidelined for three weeks for a minor medical procedure. I hit a new personal record of 62.5 mph on the slopes, and the fact that you’re reading about it means I survived the run. Actually, getting the skis to go that speed isn’t all that hard. The hard part is in finding a run without a lot of people on it, because if you were to hit someone at that speed, there’s no telling what kind of damage it could do to your skis and bindings.

It's a small world: Scott Hente and Jerry Macken had a chance encounter a few months ago…in Istanbul. They and their wives were both on the same Mediterranean cruise. Scott and Jerry hadn’t known each other in school, but after they went through the usual break-the-ice questions they awkwardly realized they were classmates. The awkwardness stopped there, and the four of them spent a lot of time together the during the rest of the cruise. Scott guarantees he’ll remember Jerry when he sees him again at the 50th reunion.

Dave Ehrhart was attending an American Bar Association meeting in Annapolis in March and ran into the USAFA Men’s Gymnastic team in the hotel lobby. He tried to convince them he was on the team for a couple years, but he’s pretty sure they didn’t believe him. After all, how many 6-foot 7-inch gymnasts are running around the world? However, they did notice his class ring, and the Class of ‘25 guys wanted a picture with a member of their Legacy Class. It’s hard to believe the guy in the middle of the picture is 50 years older than everyone else in the picture.

Renegade Wisdom is the title of Bill Murray’s second book, and is now available on Amazon. In the preamble to the book, Bill says it is a book of philosophy and truth, but don’t take his word for it…ask someone who has already read the book.

Family Traditions: On June 1st, Glenn Jones, son of Duane Jones, graduated with the Class of ’23. The night before, Glenn was commissioned by his dad and his two older twin brothers, Capt Blake Jones and 1Lt Clark Jones. On June 3rd, Duane and Jan were in attendance as Chris married his high school sweetheart, 1Lt Felicia Engebrecht. Glenn and Felicia both enrolled in AFROTC at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs campus, but Glenn took a detour to the Academy his junior year, and Felicia was commissioned in 2021. The act of taking two paths to get to the same point is a relationship representation of Bernoulli’s principle, and since that results in lift, it can only say good things for their future. Bryon Huddleston reported that his son, Chris, is carrying on the family tradition of flying for Delta Airlines. Chris started his Delta class in April and is the third generation of Huddlestons to fly for the company. Bryon’s dad, Bob, was one of the few Sergeant Pilots of the Army Air Corps, was commissioned an officer when he flew B-17s during WWII, signed on with Delta in 1950, and had a career of 30+ years with the airline. Bryon was hired in 1987 and also had a 30+ years career with the company, and Chris has the potential of being with the company for 38 years. That would take the Huddleston-Delta story to almost 100 years. That’s a boatload of frequent flier miles.

Unrepentant: In the December 2022 edition of Checkpoints, Dale Hanner submitted rationalization for his and Joe Carroll’s inexplicable insistence at staying in the ranks of the employed. Dale was called to repentance in that issue, but he presented evidence this month that he and Joe ignored that call. This time, they also provided a picture to punctuate their solidarity against sanity. Dale must think he’s still tooling across the terrazzo, because he still has his hands in his pockets. Joe is the one with the scowl on his face and the stone-cold look in his eyes. He’d had runny eggs and cold toast for breakfast that morning, and at our age that’ll do a job on one’s normally sunny disposition.

GBNF: Mike Murdoch (CS-11), Dan Falvey (CS-25), and John Sims (CS-21). Their obituaries can be found via links, right


Scott & Jerry

 


Dave Ehrhart with Gymnasts

 


Dale and Joe. Maniacs at work.

 



Checkpoints Extras


Renegade Wisdom               Bill Murray


This book is a collection of life lessons, pearls of wisdom if you will, that only time, experience, and God’s amazing grace provide. Many of these lessons come from the School of Hard Knocks. This is a book of philosophy and a book of truth. And I have been special insight in observation and discernment when experiencing the many, many experiences that I have been abundantly blessed to have in my three score plus ten years. Many of you know from my first book, Renegade Colonel, my life is all about Faith, Family and Friends. This book is a personal collection of philosophies and truths based on those three principles.


Association of Graduates Class Advisory Senate


 


Minutes


AOG Update

 

We had a strong CAS meeting tonight...with standard / avg 50% attendance. Latest grad class 2022 is working to elect their new representative to round-out "all class" roster...a recent phenomenon on the CAS, thanks to efforts of several including CAS President Randy Helms. (p.s. Randy was just elected president/chairman of the COS city council.)

Our stalwart Mark Volcheff is rolling off the AOG BOD, having almost completed his elected term...and before that, he led as Foundation chair and I was thankful for his wingmanship as deputy dog CAS Rep in between. Thanks for all your continued service to the AOG and our Academy, Mark! BZ!

We had a terrific (not publicly releasable) briefing by Lt Gen (ret) BJ Schwedo on the USAFA Center for Future Conflict. This new center brings current warfighter initiatives, doctrine, information (up to TS) and practical experience to the AFCW. Very impressive. Plugged-in to several real AF nodes for all domain warfare exposure and even real-world research, problem solving and learning. CFC is also a new venue for intermediate service school assignment (substitute). Lots of goodness here and is very relevant to the fight. Diversity is not the focus of their training (Just let me say.) Will try to send you/our class more details about this that are releasable. (this brief will not be included in pending the formal minutes)

Special AOG BOD election (one seat) is half-way completed; please vote if you have not already.

New Academy hotel is progressing; should be closed-in (external) this fall and ready for op[eration by September 2024. New visitor center across the N. Gate Blvd from the new hotel will be closed in and handed over to the USAFA for internal

fit-out/filling with displays...to the tune of $18M overall...reportedly going to be a very impressive venue, to be accessible to J.Q Public right at I-25 and N.Gate.

Graduate engagement (raw numbers and percentage involvement of the overall alumni population) has not yet begun to grow in parallel with the "membership for all" initiative as hoped. More work to be done here.

New Long Blue Line branding/activities to involve more grads in all kinds of activities at USAFA, is about to Launch with a series of focus engagements at USAFA in July.

Will forward the official minutes to you as soon as they are available. As usual, please let me know if you have questions or comments.

Bruce
'75 CAS Rep

 

Album


 

Class of '75 Graduation Day Anniversary Reception, June 4, 2023


 

Mark Volcheff: A great time was had by all at our annual Graduation Day Anniversary Reception. It was great to be back at the former Giuseppe’s after all these years, as well to have so many spouses join us. Shout out to Spence Roberts who traveled the furthest to join us from Nashville (whether he was invited or not). We were also pleased to have two members of the Class of 2025 join us and as you know we are their legacy class. More on that to follow as we will be receiving invitations from time to time to join them for their special events, the first one being August 10th for their Commitment Dinner.


 

1. Buck & Suzie Rogers with their extended family. (April 2023)

2. Steve & Barbara Keen enjoying an evening at the Tiki Bar, Citrus Hills, Florida. (April 2023)

3. Dave Ruddock & family in front of a vintage aircraft at the Alabama Air National Guard air show. (April 2023)

4. Tony & Cindy Mahoney cycling at the beach. (April 2023)

 


 

 

5. Bob Hickcox & Marge Terhaar at the Palaci Real de Madrid. (April 2023)

6. Paul & Sheri Kent with friends enjoying the good life. (April 2023)

7. Veronika Nemeth & Oleh Stefaniuk: Happy 33rd anniversary to us. Lovely dinner to celebrate at The Blue Lagoon restaurnat in Fort Myers. Perfect! (Veronika Nemeth Stefaniuk, April 2023)

8. Michael Heil: In San Diego for an Embry Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide Industry Advisory Board meeting. (April 2023)

 


 

 

9. Jim Schuman: Is it my imagination, or do I look a lot happier without the facial fur? I could no longer tolerate waking up with hairs up my nose, in my ears, and in my mouth!! I grew it for a personal reason, but I no longer need or want it. It’s time to move on. (April 2023)

10. Jim & Emily Marshall with their extended family. (Kelly Vannoy, April 2023)

11. Eric & Elizabeth Rosborg: Great night at Camden Yards. Orioles lost to the Yankees, but it was fun!! Got to tell some Yankee fans stories about Grandpa Mott driving me in to Yankee Stadium in his ‘38 DeSoto in the days of Roger Maris and the old boys in pinstripes!! (April 2023)

12. Jeff Chappell: Randy Caraway sent the attached photo of the '75 cheering section at the Dallas AOG Chapter Founders Day dinner. Perry Lamy, Randy Caraway, Steve Haas, Bruce Edstrom & Randy Caraway, Mike Matte. (April 2023)

 


 

 

13. Bill Murray: Scott Terpstra and Corrie (Cor-Bear) Kundert (who both live in Sacramento) came by at the same time. Cor-Bear’s visit was planned, but Scott was just in the area visiting his son! When Cor-Bear drove up, I told him I had a Prep School “Welcoming Committee” awaiting him! He had no idea what I was talking about! Cor Bear is working part-time as a Pharmacist, and Scott is about a year out from selling his Insurance Business! I’m still working at American Airlines trying to catch up with them! (Scott Terpstra, Bill Murray, & Corrie Kundert). (April 2023)

14. A classmate biking along the Truckee River in California, near Lake Tahoe. (Bill Estelle, April 2023)

15. Ben & Ginny Bosma celebrating son Chris's graduation. (Ginny Bosma, May 2023)

16. Stan Jones: Took Barrett to the Denver museum. He loves prehistoric animals. (May 2023)

 


 

 

17. Mark Risi: Trying to figure out who wears the glasses the best — Sara or me. (May 2023)

18. Bob Walden (Left) and the Full throttle Formation Team with Mary Jo Bayles, Airshow Director, Chennault International Airshow. (Dean Marvin, May 2023)

19. Rodolfo Saavedra Ferrere: On my bike at the Rambla. (May 2023)

20. Jim Hartney: Back in NY…best time of year lies ahead! Flew by the house on the way in. Went to the PGA at Oak Hill CC today…would love to play that course just once! (May 2023)

 


 

 

21. Veronika Nemeth Stefaniuk: 24" snook Oleh caught at our dock on this gorgeous evening. Biggest one he's caught and didn't even have to travel. Fun stuff. (May 2023)

22. Michael Heil (Right) enjoying one with colleagues at the AIAA Fellows Dinner. (Christopher Pestak, May 2023)

23. David Myers: Was just baptized in the Jordan River by my friend Jon Slankard. (May 2023)

24. David & Sharon Myers: The Garden Tomb. It moved me powerfully to be there and to reflect on what Jesus did for each of us. (May 2023)

 


 

 

25. Barry & Gladys Abbott, celebrating Barry's 70th. (May 2023)

26. Stan Jones: First 13er of the season. Needed spikes and ice axe. Mount Sniktau from Loveland Pass. (May 2023)

27. We are assured (but have little evidence), that this is, in fact, Steve & Barbara Keen, pontooning with friends on the Homosassa Bay. (Jim Ekedahl, May 2023)

28. Tom Burns with two grandsons and family on a deep-sea fishing trip to Costa Rica. (Katherine Degroat, May 2023)

 


 

 

29. Bill Murray: Me and Jason Espinosa, VP of Bank of America, and my golf student at the Colonial in Ft Worth, having a big time! (May 2023)

30. Newlyweds Bob Hickcox & Marge Terhaar toasting their recent nuptuals on the island of St. John in the U. S. Virgin Islands. (June 2023)

31-32. Mark Risi: Just got back from a trip to the Holy Lands. Just posted a lot of pictures thanks to my wife. Melodee made notes on where the pictures were taken. Learned a lot about 1st century life and current life in the West Bank. Highlights had to be being baptized in the Jordan river and renewing our wedding vows in Cana. (June 2023)

 


 

 

33. Ginny Bosma: A man (Ben Bosma) and his dog...He loves Legend as much as I do...almost. (June 2023)

34. Ralph Paul: Buffalo Ralph at his world famous Western Show. (June 2023)

35. John & Bernadette Charlton with friends in Amsterdam. (Marijke Blok-Mahieu, June 2023)

36. Mickey Clemons with sons Joshua & Micah, celebration NBA champs Denver Nuggets. (Jeannine Clemons, June 2023)

 


 

 

37. John MacDonnell with grandson Jack. (Joanna Whitmarsh MacDonnell, June 2023)

38. John & Jennifer Kambourian celebrating their 17th anniversary. (Jennifer Kambourian, June 2023)

39. Bill Buchta attending to his newest grandchild. (Claire Buchta Rosean, June 2023)

40. Jim Hartney training his granddaughter to be a pilot or (sea captain). (June 2023)

 


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