Checkpoints 2006               Paul Kent

March 2006

The scribe has only good news to report. The only woman in America who happily cooks, cleans house, and does yard work is out of jail and automotive petrol is back down to a mere $2 per gallon. And there’s more to follow!

Final Count for Our 30th. Until the Final Final Count, of course. The scribe has received data from highly reliable sources showing the Class of 1975 broke another record, this one for attendance instead of attrition. The tally now stands at 365 grads appearing at some portion of the weekend in the Springs. Out of the 727 of us still around, this equates to 51%. The previous record for a 30th was supposedly ’69 with 34% attendance. Including non-grads, 385 of us showed up at some point.

Friendly Classmate Competition. Awhile back the scribe expressed curiosity about knowing the oldest and youngest fathers amongst us. Bill Swiderek proudly reports he and his wife Katie are expecting in May. Chris Glaeser sent a “4-Stars” photo of CS-17 alumni BGen Dave Sprenkle, BGen Dick Webber, and Maj Gen Mark Volcheff. Amazingly enough, they are all still serving actively, all in Colorado. Dave is Assistant Adjutant General – Air Colorado ANG, Buckley AFB; Dick is at HQ AF Space Command as Director of Mission Support, Schriever Air Force Base, and Mark is Director, Policy and Planning, USNORTHCOM. Chris offers the following challenge for the class: Has any other '75 cadet squadron: a.) Produced three or more general officers b.) four or more stars (2 x BG + 1 x MG= 4 stars)? From Jim Burling: Jim Dill is having a hip replaced in early January. Tongue in cheek, Larry Farriss suggested we start a database of various operations that our classmates have endured, so as each one of us faces some type of surgery, we can call a classmate who has "been there, done that!" An unnamed classmate suggested keeping tally of the greatest percentage (per squadron) of classmates whose last words on earth were “What happens when I press this button?”, but the proposal was nixed.

Retirements and Promotions. Maj Gen Dale Meyerrose has been confirmed by the Senate and appointed by the President as the first CIO of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Lt Gen Doug Fraser took command of 11AF in Alaska in October. Just received word that Maj Gen Perry Lamy will hang up the blue suit effective 1 February 06. Gen Dale "Muddy" Waters retired in January. Although his accomplishments in the Air Force are totally unique (the man behind Eldorado Canyon (the raid on Lybia), F-111 Ops Officer in Desert Storm I, and Wing Commander of PSAB during Desert Storm II), making him probably the most combat-experienced fighter pilot currently on active duty, the Class of '75 will remember him best as one of the last recipients of 6 and 120 associated with the infamous "Come in Rangoon" incident at Arnold Hall when we were smack wads. Muddy reflects: “I'm a civilian as of January 1. Gen Moseley is doing my official ceremony on Friday the 13th....but, I've already got the funny little green ID card. Feels funny after 34.5 years. I've never been a Mister...went straight from being a 17 year-old who answered to "hey, you" to being 'Cadet', etc, etc.” Dave Ehrhart's promotion ceremony to BG was at Bolling AFB, 31 Aug.

From Bill Taylor: Fred Whitican retired from AF (Reserve or Guard?) after 30 years. Bob Knauff made General in the NY Guard. From Fred Whitican: Mike McClendon pinned on BG today (January 6) at WPAFB. Mike is an AF Reservist and is the Mobilization Assistant to the AFRL Commander. Eight Classmates attended: MG Perry Lamy, Pete Hennessey , Lee Monroe, Sam Ryals, Eric Hoganson, Mike Heil, Rick Townsend and Fred Whitican. From Paul Lotakis: Dick Duesing retired in San Antonio from AFRES on 1 October.

Other. Kevin Lanzit, CS-21, is back from Taiwan, but sadly missed the reunion. From David Clough: I'm still smiling four months after my first USAFA Class of '75 Reunion. Nancy and I are pleased to announce that the middle of our three sons (Philip–namesake of Phil Jones) will graduate with his B.S. in Mech. Engineering from U. of Nebraska-Lincoln (GO BIG RED!) in May and marry his fiancée Samantha in July. From Jim Dearien: got to spend the summer (May-Sep) in Atlanta as the Delta MEC Secretary-Treasurer. Family still lives in Dallas. One daughter graduated valedictorian from her high school a year and half ago, she's at TCU in Ft Worth. Younger daughter is a junior in high school. Newly trained on the 767-400, based in LAX but live part time in Salt Lake City (Delta doesn't fly from DFW-LAX anymore) and fly to Hawaii. Keep trying to get with Steve Watson in Salt Lake, but no luck yet! I feel like a gypsy. I think it may be time to get out of this airline business?

From Jim Burling: USAFA Falcons Mens Basketball Team is 12-1 and getting ready to start Mountain West Conference play. They have beat two ACC schools this year and new Coach Jeff Bezdelik has them off to their best start in history. Regular attendees at the games are Traylors, Duffys, Pierces, Meyerroses, Ekens, Farris, Rosebushes, Dills and Burlings. Bur goes on to add: “There were a few bottles of Class Wine left, so Class Prez Jim Carlson, purchased it and divided it amongst the reunion planning committee. Personally delivered by Christmas elf Ken Finn (sans Santa cap). It went well with the Christmas turkey! Thanks, Jim and Ken!!!” More from Bill Taylor: “Jerry Wallace, Ed Streigel, and many others are in the middle of the airline pay and pension trauma. At the reunion, Joe Debes was introduced as a “trophy husband” by his wife Melissa, who’s kind of high up at AMD in Austin. That should be a great achievement for any of us? Our triplets turn two in March, and our son turns four in April, so family time is kind of hectic as well.” Speaking of family time, Wayne Willis sent an update from the All American Cover Family in Utah, where he humbly gives his wife Amy credit. Wayne adds, “(son) Brian graduated from the USAF Academy June 1st and married his eternal sweetheart Melanie June 3rd. They are spending the year in Hong Kong! Brian was selected as a Fulbright Scholar and is studying the Chinese culture (his second love) at the Chinese University in Hong Kong.”

And some news from John Kambourian: “Contrary to the old adage that ‘You can never go home’ I will be returning to the Academy summer of '06 to teach in the Political Science department.” As the scribe's Checkpoints deadline approaches, a few classmates are making some efforts for impromptu reunions. Paul Lotakis was searching for some Puget Sound '75ers to join at a local Seattle Sports Bar to support our NFL Seahawks in the their playoff attempt. The scribe badly wanted to go, but his company said he had to work. From Jim Burling to Jim Carlson: “a few of us from CS-31 are getting together for a ski weekend at Keystone this Friday. Charlie Beam is bringing his family, Larry Colletti, Bert Ferguson, Mike Dehart, and myself. Should be great as the snow is the best in years. We hope this is the start of tradition for many years to come. Will take some of your '75 Wine to make it less painful!!”

Empty Mailbox. The scribe has a recurring dream, one that “Scribe for Life” Jeff Hackett probably encountered at least once. The deadline for a “Checkpoints” column nears, and the news to ink to his fellow classmates is dearth. The scribe will assume this recent malady is caused by “Post Thirtieth Reunion Apathy.” The anticipation of the event, then the get together itself, was overwhelming enough to cause us to take a breather in sending the scribe updates about ourselves. That is fine, but now we are rested, and can start with little tidbits of even the most insignificant amount. Sometimes the scribe has to resort to ulterior means to get his classmates to write to him, like misspelling the last name Bill Schuessler. Twice. Hey, it worked!

Addendum. Our column in the last Checkpoints was missing a few lines in the body, where I included a poignant letter from non-grad Keith Workman (HERE). By the way, only squadron-mate Dean Spraggins called me on it. So I know at least one '75er does read this stuff.

DC Area Dark Ages Party     18 February 2006


6. Al & Nancy Piotter    7. Al & Billie Bready    8. Bill & Cleo Dalso 


9. Bob & Jill Aker    10. Chip & Sandy Kirby    11. Cowboy Awtry    12. Dale Meyerrose 


13. Gene Schempp    14. Gil Braun   15. Greg & Carol Schmitt    16. Jay Schell 


17. John Charlton & Dan McCorry   18. Chip Hardesty    19. John Sullivan    20. Mike Marro


21. Muddy & Robin Waters    22. Pete Losi    23. Phil & Arleen Saenger

June 2006

Recognition is Back. Never knew it left, you say? But there has been nary a word about Hell Week? So a general inquiry was made. Bruce Mitchell responded that in the current environment, it is absolutely Politically Incorrect to refer to the week before Recognition as “Hell” Week anymore, so it will not be mentioned again in this column. And with this PC stuff, I’m guessing Shower Formations aren’t a regular occurrence anymore, either? I’ll check on this.

3rd Annual Graduate Leadership Conference at the Zoo this Summer. We will hopefully have 10 classmates in attendance. The AOG limited each class to 5 representatives – but our class seems to have acquired some kind of influence or deference from the powers that be. I’ll quote our class Prez Jim Carlson: “75 might well be evolving to become a discriminating force in the future of the Academy as the 60's decade classes grow thinner. The Supe is a '73 grad and we share a brief span of common experience and outlook with him and those early 70s classes. That commonality appears to dissipate with the advent of the 80s and later classes. We're getting to, if not at, the top of our game with respect to our alma mater, classmates. Hopefully, the rest of the class will get brief impressions from each of the guys below, who represent a broad slice of our class. It will be interesting to see if they draw differing interpretations from the same briefings and Q &A’s they receive.” In a future (next) column, I’ll list the attendees and a synopsis of some observations.

Passings. Jose Ricardo Castro-Aguirre passed this life for another on April 16th. He was the first Salvadoran to graduate from USAFA. The scribe received word from his CS-20 mate Charlie Buck that his wife Katy passed away, her battle with cancer finished on February 1. Charlie adds “the local Lawrence newspaper and TV station both did nice pieces about her (a lot of other people had fallen in love with her, too).” Katy was the school nurse in Lawrence, KS. A delayed story from Bran McAllister: My father (WWII fighter pilot) died of ALS in 2004. His dying wish was to fly in a formation with his son (F-15 pilot) and grandson (USAFA ’04). We accomplished the feat 6 months before he died, flying with Air Combat USA in Fullerton, CA. We had a wonderful experience, documented in the local media.”

Classmates. From Charlie Beadling: we are having a 30.5 year reunion for the CS-16 Chickenhawks this weekend (Jan 28-29) in Las Vegas. It looks like we will get 12-13 (out of the 15 plus+2 non-graduating classmates) in attendance. We just had such a good time at the 30th we decided to keep it going. From Paul Lotakis (per his attempt at a Class of 75 Puget Sound Seahawks reunion at a downtown sports bar): “As they say it was an ill-conceived plan that was perfectly executed. I was the only one that showed (to my knowledge). It was crowded, noisy and no place to sit. Everyone got there super early and marked their territory. I looked around and could not identify any chubby-aging ex-cadets. I gave a waiter 20 bucks to snag a chair (without a table) and a view of the game.” For all things Al Bready, go to ... Duane Jones has been honing his skills as a web site jockey with a cool look backwards, leaning on Al Bready's good nature and immeasurable patience. What did Al do to deserve this? From Dave Clough: Check out Dale Meyerrose in Aviation Week and Space Technology's Feb. 27th edition. He retired as a 2-star and is now CIO for Director of National Intelligence.” Phil Gronseth was awarded the “Wakin Character Award” for his efforts as the one-person “mission element head” in charge of character development at the Prep School. Phil teaches Chemistry there. There was a nice article lauding Phil in the local paper. Makes us proud. From Dave Wallace: “Attached please find a photo of Lt Gen Doug Fraser, 11 AF/CC, a certified '75 Success Story. With him is his wife Rena, my wife Col Jan Wallace, and me; the occasion was the 11 AF Awards Banquet at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska last Friday 3 March 06. Doug officiated. We were there because Jan is the 354 Mission Support Group Commander at Eielson AFB, Alaska, a part of 11AF.”

From Jim Burling: “Dick Webber is on the 2-star nomination list and celebrated with classmates on Feb 26th at the Peterson Club. We don't have too many classmates' promotions to celebrate anymore!” True! At least not in the AF anyway. John Quattrocki adds (and sends the photo, above): “Congratulations on your promotion – well deserved and good for all who depend on the finest Air Force in the world. Your time on SERE cadre did nothing to prepare you for this but I am sure the attached photo is fun for you, family and everyone else in the class.”

From Raider Ramstad, who seems to be having too good of a time and forgot he is in his 50’s: “This is the NFL of skydiving – 25,400' AGL breathing O2 until exit, 5 Hercs in tight formation, all the ear blocks, sinus infections, hypoxia, stomach viruses, hangovers, bud buzzes, etc, not to mention extreme stress and pressure to perform. Yahoo, baby. This here is THE SHOW!” From Scott Baxter: My son came back from Iraq on leave in December and got married – baby is due 26 days from now. From Bill Murray: Stick (Mark Stickney) and I recently got together with our wives in Dallas for some good food, fellowship and golf! He’s still with Northwest Airlines as an A-320 Airbus Captain living with the pay cuts, and I’m still with Lockheed Martin trying to get my salary up to where he was cut to!” From Kevin Lanzit: “I left the US-China Commission to take a job with the Institute for Physical Sciences on 1 March. I am off The Hill and now working in McLean, VA.”

From Buck Rogers: Michael E. Rogers will be entering the USAFA with the Class of 2010. Young Mike Rogers is excited. He has visions of being a fighter pilot (don't know where that comes from), then Test Pilot & Astronaut, and culminating in being the first man on Mars – a real "Buck Rogers" story!!! I just hope he graduates!!!” From Rick Pyatt: My wife was unpacking old boxes last weekend and found my purple A-jacket. Amazingly, I could still zip it up. I'm sure I was stress-testing the material, but I felt like a peacock anyway. Still looking for my pointy hooded parka, although I think my Dad has it.” From Barbara (Michael, aka “Spike”) Johnston: Jack Shine and wife Debbie just moved to Shanghai with business, and plan to be there for 3 years. Additionally we are very proud of our only child Josh as he is about to graduate from Harvard in June.” BG Mark Beesley retires effective 1 June. From Duane Jones on Muddy Waters’ retirement: “It was a really nice ceremony. Chief of Staff took a great deal of time highlighting some personal stories about our classmate's great spirit and good works. Dean Cox, Lance Grace, Rick Pyatt, and I were happy to see him so well recognized. Sad to see him go.”

Closing. A comment from Bruce Mitchell that probably pretty much sums up most of our reflections as OUR era comes to a close: “Bentley Rayburn retiring...I feel a strange disturbance in the force. It truly won't be long until we ('75) are officially active duty has-beens.” As Duane "LoDrag" Lodrige adds: “Bentley has certainly represented the USAFA Class of ‘75 well!” Amen. And the latest from Bentley: “I know I’m nuts, but through an amazing and perhaps providential turn of events, we find ourselves back home in Colorado preparing to run for the open congressional seat here in the 5th District of Colorado. John Gaughan is our campaign manager.” On the other end of life’s spectrum, a word from Bill Taylor: “Our triplets turned two yesterday, so it should be easy sailing from now until they’re sixteen . . .” Count on it, Bill.

A note from the AOG: a survey to all graduate members should have been sent by the time you are reading this. Please fill out and return the survey.

September 2006

It’s summer in the Pacific Northwest as I write this. Actually, I am not writing a thing. I’m assembling email messages and attached photos from classmates who have taken the effort to help the scribe with this column of updates. The scribe greatly appreciates it, as he can then spend his spare time hitting little white balls across terra firma and being pulled on water skis by an underpowered runabout. When the scribe reflects on how difficult it must have been in the olden days for our scribes emeritus, he is truly relieved. Electronic communication has made writing this column a pleasure. And my fellow classmates efforts make it even easier.

Classmates. From Bill Murray: I was on business with Lockheed Martin (F-22) in Atlanta and hooked up with Dave and Sally Young. They're doing great (He's a 777 Captain flying overseas for Delta) and looked great also. From Wayne Willis: Larry (AKA Frankie) "Iron Man" Fariss is at it again (a cross-country bicycle ride). He had a rest day in Salt Lake City in June and I had the pleasure of spending the day with him. I've attached a picture of two real old guys who still look ready to play......shuffleboard.

From Wayne Nelson: Jim Marshall and I had the opportunity to present an AOG scholarship to Tom Finn's son Brian. We did the presentation at Randolph AFB. Brian will attend Trinity University here in San Antonio. My son Alan also attended. He will be going to Texas State this fall.

From Steve Powers: Teledyne Brown Engineering Chief Scientist Dr. Roy Rice was recently selected by the Military Operations Research Society (MORS) to receive its highest recognition, the Vance R. Wanner Memorial Award. Humble Roy adds: Here's an old dude in the F1 Auditorium at USAFA putting about 1,000 people to sleep. If we can bottle my speech, we could all retire on the money we'd make putting sleeping pills out of business. I have an audio recording of my acceptance speech...but all the snoring drowns me out...a good thing. From Bentley Rayburn: “I need to thank you for your overwhelming generosity and kindness to Debbi and me as we pursue our calling to run for the U.S. House seat in the 5th District in Colorado. You have been wonderful with your support, both financially and with your time, talents and prayers for our efforts.” From Dean Cox: Duane Jones is headed to Ramstein; Andy Dichter will be retiring.

From Jim Carlson: Your classmates in greater metropolitan Washington DC, celebrated our 31 years since 4 Jun 1975 at Annapolis, Maryland on 4 Jun 2006. Our class outing was hosted courtesy of Duane Lodrige and Bill Lyerly. Our fine hosts made their personal watercraft available to classmates for cruises up and down the river, extra beer runs, and for water-skiing. It was a fine day to appreciate our common bond and the gift of friendship we extend to one another. Starting at 1400, it was well past 2100 before the last of our classmates finally departed the fix. There were about two-dozen of us gathered for the crab feast and river motoring. Many, many thanks to Duane and Bill for their generosity, patience, and good natures. To those who could not possibly make it due to vast geographic distances, timing, and exigencies – you missed what I consider the best-ever class function we've had outside our formal reunions! This, in spite of the fact that we had to view Mark Beesley without his shirt on (thank heavens he left his Brazilian thong at home). (Photo Gallery Below)

From Charlie Wintermeyer, who is a State Department Representative, Qalat, PRT: “I departed Morocco last June and arrived in Afghanistan last July. The new PRT team here now is largely USAF, which is nice, and we are considering forming the Qalat, Afghanistan AOG Chapter. 2003 USAFA grad 1Lt Joe Myhra, our chief engineer, and I took a 2-day trip to southeast Zabul Province (talk about the middle of nowhere–one town had a camel parked in the middle of the main road, and, in another town, a donkey was tied up to an old Russian APC that was in dust up to its axles!).”

Bill Swiderek gets the Newest Daddy Award. Squadrons 37-40 are coming back! The plan is to have them re-established in time for the arrival of the Class of 2010. From Muddy Waters (edited), recently retired: “I just got back from a very special event held at RAF Lakenheath, UK—the 20th reunion of Operation Eldorado Canyon, the April 15, 1986 attack against Libya and state-sponsored terrorism. Many USAFA grads were involved in the planning and execution of Eldorado Canyon but 20 years later the Air Force still keeps the aircrew names under wraps. Now we can see that it was one of the first missions of the Long War. Eldorado Canyon has been judged by most observers as a strategic success and a major blow to Khadaffi and others like him who openly and brazenly supported terrorism aimed at the U.S. and our allies. During the dining out, the Libya Raiders were asked to stand and check-in when their aircraft call signs were called, a reenactment of our 1986 flight check-in. It is hard to describe the emotion all of us felt when Fernando Ribas, Jr. and Peter Lorence stood to check-in for their dads….they were only 4 and 1 when their fathers went out the door on a secret mission and never came back. There were many fine tributes to our lost friends during the reunion but this was the one that gripped us all—these fine young men standing to take their place in our formation—to honor us and the fathers they never really knew. They both told the veterans that the time they spent with us and with the aircrews and airmen of the 48th FW gave them a closer connection to their fathers than they ever had before.”

Dedication of the USAFA Memorial Pavilion. From Jim Carlson: I attended the USAFA Cemetery Memorial Pavilion Dedication and Groundbreaking. Other '75ers with me were: Leon Smith-Harrison, Dan Chapman, and Jon Turner's widow Diane. (We are) working out a future guide for our classmates when they visit the cemetery. (see Ed Sienkiewicz's email at the end). I also received invaluable assistance from Scott Hente and Bruce Mitchell to secure my lodging and making my visit as smooth as can be (as always when you have classmates like these). The day was picture perfect. The weather was fantastic, the sky was deep blue with a few white clouds, and the grounds were verdant and immaculate. It was hard to feel too somber on such a day and such an event. It was a day when I, more than ever, wanted to fly–my spirit at least took flight. Leon, Dan, and I visited each of our classmates (me for the first time ever) and said hello to the 16+1 guys from '75 resting there. Among us three, we were able to verbalize a connection with each of our fallen, and to relate a fond memory or story as we stood before their graves. In one of the photos, you will see the shadows we cast over one classmate's memorial plaque. These of course cannot compare to the long unforgettable shadows of comradeship and friendship they each have cast over our own lives. Bill Linn is also memorialized there, but there's no gravesite (he's the 17th deceased classmate).



From Joe Bryant: Before the ball game at the reunion, we met at the cemetery and shared memories around the grave of Ray Johnson. Rod Kallman (Ray's roommate) suggested this. It was a good time of remembrance of Ray and to spend time together, too. I learned one very important thing at the reunion: it was just good to be back there with everyone again. Some of us in our squadron didn't necessarily spend that much time with each other back then – seems we had our little groups – or maybe we didn't even like every one of our classmates in the squadron very much for some reason. But for me, after all those years, any disagreements or whatever had just evaporated. It was just good to be there and to remember the experience that we had "back in the day." I think maybe being at the cemetery that Saturday morning to honor a fallen classmate sort of solidified all that in my mind. Maybe the other squadrons already do something like we did – I don't know. But, I think it would be a very worthwhile part of every reunion for individual squadrons to gather informally and do that at some point during the weekend as a way of honoring those GNBF, and also to maybe solidify the bond with those present. I really enjoyed the memorial ceremony at the chapel, and meeting in small squadron groups at the cemetery would in no way replace that, but for me those few minutes there on Saturday morning were one of the highlights of the weekend.

From Ed Sienkiewicz: Just after our 30th back last Sep, I stopped by the USAFA Cemetery (I had virtually never been there before) and after visiting classmate John Steward's plot, visited each of our deceased classmates (plots) who are buried there. I felt good after doing this "labor of love”. Perhaps we could build a listing of '75ers who are buried there (including plot address). (Done. HERE). Further, working with the AOG, etc., work to get built a master list of all deceased '75ers and where they are buried across the country (and across the globe). Then the '75er gatekeeper(s) of this listing could periodically keep it updated, as our '75er Gone But Not Forgotten list continues to grow (very slowly, hopefully). Many years ago (back in the late 1980s), when I was stationed at Hanscom AFB, MA (and armed with a faded Dec 1976 obit clipping from one of the Boston newspapers, from when I was stationed at Pease AFB, NH, back in the latter 1970s – and, by chance, happened to see the obit of one of our classmates), I visited the Boston area cemetery and plot of our first deceased classmate graduate, Larry Ridge, who was from the greater Boston area and died on 10 Dec 1976 in an auto accident near Mesa, AZ. When I contacted his family (who still lived in the area), they were absolutely tickled that a person unknown to them (but a fellow USAFA '75er) took the time to visit their son and brother. That certainly made my day.

Greater Washington DC Area Graduation Celebration     4 June 2006


1. Hugo Posey & Bill Lyerly.     2. Don Byers, Mark Beesley, & Hugo Posey.     3. Al Bready & Terry Young.     4. Dean Cox, Terry Young, & John Charlton.


5. Hugo Posey, Bill Lyerly, & Al Piotter.     6. Mark Beesley, Hugo Posey, & Bill Lyerly.     7. Hugo Posey & Bill Lyerly.     



9. ?, Julius Hargrove, Don Byers, Mark Beesley, & Al Piotter.     11. Don Byers, Mark Beesley, Mike Anderson, & Duane Lodrige.     12. Al Bready, Don Byers, & John Charlton.



13. Terry Young, Julius Hargrove, & Al Piotter.     14. Dean Cox, Mike Anderson, & Duane Lodrige.     15. Mike Anderson.     16. Julius Hargrove, Bill Lyerly, & Hugo Posey.



17. Hugo Posey, Mike Anderson, & Bill Lyerly.     18. Hugo Posey, Bill Lyerly, & Mark Beesley.     19. Jim Carlson & John Charlton.


December 2006

ZoomieNation. All the News that Fits. That’s all the Class of 1975 gets in the printed “Checkpoints.” The printed column is limited to 1200 words and three pictures. Considering the growing number of alumni, that’s a reasonable request by the editor. The scribe has been able to beg for a little more in the past, and the request has always been graciously granted. Thanks to the power of electronic communication, the scribe now receives more than he can include in this column. Before he even started to edit this column, we had over 7300 words of Classmate news and input. Scribes of the past would have begged for any input from classmates to fill a “Checkpoints” column. (Zoomienation Now Defunct).

Classmates. From Dave Wallace: My wife Jan and I spent 2 short years at Eielson AFB in Alaska. On the day before Jan relinquished command as 354 Mission Support Group Commander on 5 July 06, 35 short years to the DAY that we all started down our disparate military career paths, Alaska Congressman Don Young's Chief of Staff, '75's own Mike Anderson paid Coonell Wallace an office call. Jan was touched by Mike's gracious agreement to stay one more day, and he attended her change of command.

Mike Anderson responds: What they have not mentioned is that they left a new high-water mark at Eielson AFB AND most notably in the Fairbanks region. From Bill Murray: For those of you that remember Chaplain Merv Johnson, who was the head Chaplain at USAFA during our time, you will be saddened to know that he passed away at age 80. From Jim Burling: A lot of classmates are probably wondering how Bentley [Rayburn] did in the Colorado Republican Primary for the 5th District Congressional seat. In the end, the result wasn't what Bentley wanted – but this was a huge accomplishment in a short time. Bentley represented himself, his family, the USAF and the class of '75 in fine fashion. He will definitely be a force in Colorado politics. Our classmates can be proud of the team that Bentley assembled, primarily of our Colorado Class of 75 members: John Gaughan served as his campaign manager ("what a learning experience; worse than BCT!"); Tim and Jan Murphy; Phil and Chris Pearce; the JD Barrowcloughs; the Jim Ekens; and Bruce and Janice Mitchell.

From Ed Sienkiewicz: I retired at Robins AFB, after 31 years of active duty. I'm looking to apply for my job, which is being civilianized after I retire. From David Shields: I left WBT/SIL last August. Maj Gen Stan Gorenc was recently appointed Air Force Chief of Safety, and Commander, Air Force Safety Center. From Chris Glaeser: I retired for the second time, this time from North West Airlines. Found a new job with Alaska Airlines in Seattle, Vice President Safety for Alaska Airlines. From Paul Lotakis: I was working a flight recently and as I got to know the first officer (older fellow), he began to speak of his UPT experiences as an IP. He really didn't talk of anyone in particular...except one. He mentioned Tommy Hartwell as one of his favorite students and spent a fair amount of time talking about him. He caught me quiescent and misty-eyed. He was shocked to learn I was a classmate and knew him...then it was his "turn." Tommy, we hardly knew ye, but never forgotten...see you again at the 35th. From Randy Caraway: four of us '75ers at the 3rd Annual USAFA Graduate Leadership Conference, including: Dave Ferguson, Dave LaFave, Bran McAllister, and myself. Rich Chanick came by for the Supt's reception. Overall, I thought the GLC was great. I was glad to see the open discussions, and the candor.

From Dennis Brooks: I am now in Albuquerque, NM. After my father passed away, we decided to get out of the humidity in the South. From Max DellaPia: I stepped down as commander of the 109th. I reported for duty at the Joint Forces Headquarters in Latham, NY as the Executive Support Staff Officer. From Chuck Woods: I'm looking forward to staying in touch, as some days I really feel like I'm on the other side of the planet. Hey, what am I saying?? I've been in Macau for five years, so that's precisely where I am. From Ric Lewallen: I joined an executive coaching firm. I really enjoy the work.

From Phil Gronseth: One of our own has been recognized: Al Morrison was inducted into the AFA Hockey Hall of Fame. He is the only goalie in AF history to be a four-year starter, has most saves in a career with 3270 and most in a series with 121 (in other words, the rest of us didn’t offer him much help at times!). To reinforce the previous records he also has most goals allowed in a season with 181 and most in a career with 480 (but don’t tell Al I told you these stats!). Al was also goalie for the two teams with the best won-loss records in AF history and is the only goalie to beat Colorado College three times.

From Joe Kahiapo (Hawaii Earthquake). The family is doing well and unaffected by the earthquake, except for a 10-hour power outage, and we consider ourselves lucky. From Sam Hollins: Still trying to figure this page out [the ZoomieNation website]. It is really a neat concept and I find myself on it for hours searching the various paths. (Note from scribe: Get a life, Sam. Never mind, you’re our ZoomieNation Poster Grad). Steve (PeeWee) Barber called after losing contact for a few years. It was great to hear from him. We’ve all been through a lot. It’s nice to catch up and reminisce. From Stan Schoener: I'm doing great. Teaching Math seems to be what I was meant to do. I was going to major in math at the zoo, but someone (and I honestly can't remember who) talked me out of it. But teaching these kids math is a lot harder than flying in bad weather and losing an engine (but then again, we had 4 of them). Tough News from Dan Burkett: My precious 22 year old son was killed in a boating accident.

Health Stuff. From Mike (Nark) Narkiewicz: I had 12" of colon removed and the pathology report was negative for cancer on the external tissue surrounding that area. Thank god for modern medicine. From Jeff Hackett: I had my first return of Melanoma since my initial diagnosis 22 years ago. A Mayo Clinic dermatologist performed a Mohs excision. Pathology report came back, thankfully all clear. Counting my blessings and hope you are too! Don’t forget to see your dermatologist.

From Ralph Reed: I transferred to the US Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, KS. It's a pay raise in two ways – GS11 to GS12, and I'm not on furlough during the summer. The VA has been monitoring my PSA and has given me four prostate biopsies (pretty soon there's not going to be any left to biopsy). It's almost as much fun as a colonoscopy. But, each one has proven negative. My wife Dorothy donated her kidney to our nephew. Both are doing fine. From Dean Cox: Don Byers also had surgery recently. Seems he shattered a disc, pieces of which were impacting his spine and causing lower extremity paralysis. He is recovering out in California.

Class Legacy Fund. From Russ Trinter: I got the letter from Duffy about the continued effort to reach the 750K goal. (Lets not forget) about corporate matching gifts. Most of us have it and it is a great way to get more money! Another idea I suggest planting in heads is what I did last time and that is to donate $1975. I think it's a way to influence behavior to try to get folks to commit to an amount that has a second meaning.

Identify this Mystery. From John Retelle (USAFA '67, an Aero Instructor when we were there): Stan Siefke and Jon Turner won the two aero prizes, so they were easy to remember. There was one other guy in your class . . . an aero major. He got the finals schedule all mixed up, and went to the golf course by mistake during my final exam. I called over to his squadron, and his AOC contacted him. He came running in, over an hour late in a totally panicked state. He wrote non-stop for the remaining time, and nearly collapsed afterwards. Would you believe he got the highest grade on the exam, by a huge margin? He moved his overall grade from a B to an A. He was magnificent.

2006 Album



1. Jim Carlson spent eight days (23 February - 2 March) touring the splendors of Rio de Janeiro and environs, including 5 days of Carnaval. Here Jim relaxes on the beach on his final day, having successfully survived the ordeal.  

2. EDELWEILER, Germany – U.S. Air Force Col. Mark Wells reads names of service members killed during a mid-air collision of two C-119 Flying Boxcar transport aircraft in 1955 while Army Chap. (Col.) James Hoke, Air Force Lt. Col. Brian Bohannon and others look on, Aug. 11, 2006. (Department of Defense photo by Air Force Maj. Pamela A.Q. Cook) (18 August 2006)

3. Phil & Chris Pearce, daughter Shannon, son Sean & Shayia Belisle-Jolls.

4. Charlie Wintermeyer: HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! Last photo of Dad with all of us, in 2006.