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 International Space 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 75bestalive.org.