GBNF: Carl P. Schwartz, CS-01, passed away on 29 April 2019 in St. Petersburg, FL. Services were held on 1 June 2019 in Wesley Chapel, FL.
Kent Traylor represented our class as the sponsor of the 2019 Cadet Honor Committee Banquet and Awards Ceremony in April. Kent reported that while the honor system has morphed significantly in the last 44 years, the professionalism, dedication, and commitment of the Cadet Honor Committee and its leaders and advisors has not. The Class of ’75 was recognized and thanked for our continued support of this foundational and iconic pillar of character building at USAFA.
Medical News: Tom Darner spent last fall trying to figure out why he was having a hard time breathing or even humming do-re-me. After several visits to numerous doctors, he underwent brain surgery on Friday, 17 May, at Georgetown University Medical Center to remove a pituitary adenoma that was sending out growth hormone that had misshapen his larynx. Incredibly, by Monday evening his voice was recovered. There’s been no report on whether the operation had any effect on some of his personality disorders, such as sleeping on top of a made bed, stuffing cardboard inserts into the top layers of his underwear drawer, waxing floors after midnight, or waking up in a cold sweat after dreaming of missing a mechanical engineering class. For those of us who were in Tom’s squadron, we’re surprised he even knew the words to do-re-me.
Vito Goyden has been in remission from non-Hodgkin's Burkett's lymphoma blood cancer for a year now. Since that time he has completed CanCare training to provide volunteer one-on-one support with cancer patients and their caregivers in his local hospital setting and outside of the hospital, either face-to-face, over the phone, or by email when working with cancer patients nation-wide. In short, he’s taking the opportunity afforded him to "give back."
Understandably, Vito is devout in "spreading the word" about CanCare, and states that he wishes he had known about this non-profit, free service to cancer patients and their caregivers when he was going through six months of chemo and surgery. As the CanCare brochure states: "There is no catch"; CanCare is a free and confidential service that provides trained volunteer support for those who have gone through cancer treatment and are now in remission.
Vito goes on to say if any AOG grad, significant other, family member, or friend is going through cancer treatment or is a cancer caregiver and would like emotional support, empathy, and hope, CanCare is there to help! Its national number is 713-461-0028, or visit CanCare.org for stories of hope, encouragement, inspiration, or motivation from cancer patients and their caregivers.
Retirements Done Right: Stan “Chumley” Collins and his wife Mary Herzogenrath recently vacationed in northern Spain and, as part of a Dynamic Catholic tour group, completed 120 kilometers of the Camino de Santiago. The scallop shell engraving on the plaza in front of the St. James Cathedral is the touchstone for all Camino pilgrims signifying Camino completion, and tradition holds that pilgrims deposit a small stone at the cross from their home signifying an “unburdening” of whatever is weighing them down. Stan reports that the pilgrimage was fulfilling and enriching, and they met fellow pilgrims from around the world.
Dave McDaniel reports that life is good in Spain. He and Libby are settled in a town west of Madrid and are enjoying Spanish and American friends and good food. They have had several visitors from his fighter squadron who were stationed at Torrejon in the ‘70s and plan to have a small fighter squadron reunion there next year.
Foster's quarterly venture in
Classmates of gold, 7 and 5,
Those who drift and those who strive,
Now’s the time to tell the tales
Of sunny beaches, sand, and pails.
Or maybe storms you’ve faced and won,
Perhaps the gauntlets you have run.
Inspiring tales of courses beat,
Masses helped, a simple feat.
News of days without a boss,
Still rolling on, not growing moss.
Who would want to hear such stuff?
We ask ourselves in tones a-gruff,
Why does someone care what I
Do now, since I no longer fly?
The answer is, our classmates do,
With bonds that reach beyond the blue.
Time glides on laughter-silvered wings,
And lets us do a myriad things.
So now’s the time to lend our fare,
For songs we write are made to share.
Paul and Sheri Kent continue to maximize their retirement travel efforts while they’re still physically able. In April, along with 2 other couples, they chartered a 48-foot catamaran in the British Virgin Islands. Their boat was essentially brand new, due the massive damage the islands suffered in Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017. They got the cat up to 10 knots on a beam reach to Anegada, which is the fastest Paul can remember being in any chartered sailing vessel, much less a catamaran. He found it was rewarding to be moving at a fast clip without burning any fossil fuels, not to mention that it was a lot more peaceful without an engine roaring in the background. In June he and Sheri continued their roving on a cruise ship from Vancouver, BC to Whittier, Alaska, followed by a train trip into Denali Park. Paul highly recommends this travel to any and all classmates, as even those with limited mobility can experience the beauty of the ocean: glaciers, icebergs, whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions; and on the land: bears, moose, caribou, Dall sheep, Arctic hares, magpies, porcupine, lynx, ptarmigan, eagles, ravens, and more. Magpies? Really? Scribe’s note: if anyone wants to see a magpie, feel free to come to Colorado, but stifle any urges to say something positive about the birds so the locals won’t be forced to question your sanity.
Steve Duresky has been profitably using his time in Florida floating down creeks with his granddaughters or harvesting some “nasty beasts” from the Gulf with his grandson and sending them to the dinner table.
The 75th anniversary of D-Day was commemorated on 6 June 2019, bringing to mind the sacrifices made by many of the bravest from America and its allies in Operation Overlord to unshackle freedom-loving people from their oppressor in Europe. Rick Kim was reminded of a similar observation 25 years earlier when he flew the White House Press Corps as it followed President Clinton to record his commemoration of the sacrifices of the WWII veterans at the 50th anniversary of D-Day. Northwest Airlines provided a DC-10 with a full complement of crew, maintenance workers, caterers, loaders, and coordinators. Rick recalls that it was an honor to be part of the team that served in remembering the example set by arguably the greatest generation ever. No one in their right mind would ever want to revisit that war, but it would be nice to see a nation pulling together again as it did in the years following that conflict.
Chuck Hippler dusted off his uniform and his Contrails to relearn the Oath of Office so he could swear in his son Chase, Class of 2019. The next day Chase shook hands with President Trump, as did all 988 of his classmates, the president doing a record number of about-faces, to accommodate them all. Also, Bedcheck Charlie, virtually unknown at USAFA these days, made a surprise appearance at the graduation party.
Mark and Mary Volcheff hosted the annual graduation celebration in Colorado, which attracted 24 classmates and their significant others. In Mark’s words, “the war stories get more elaborate each year.” That’s a good thing. Just to remember the stories is remarkable; to elaborate on them is worth extra credit.