January 2013



Jerry Gill said that his sweet, strong, and beautiful Dorothy died on Christmas day after 50_ years as a loving wife and mother. After 27 years, the breast cancer finally won. Dorothy Swann Gill, 72, of Roswell, GA passed away on Christmas Day 2012. She was born on Valentine's Day in 1940 to Adolph and Ruby Waller Swann in Roanoke, AL and grew up in Birmingham. After graduating from Auburn University in 1962, she traveled the world for 26 years as an Air Force wife then settled in Roswell. She was active in the Roswell UMC choir family for 23 years. She is survived by her devoted husband of 50 years, Col. Jerry Gill, 3 daughters and their families - Susan & Clay Saunders; Leigh Ann & Jim Kane and Beth & Andy Wren; 8 grandchildren - Hillary, Meredith, Olivia, Trevor, Max, Wesley, Drew, Sarah; and sister - Nancy & her husband, Tom Brechin.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org in her honor. Neal Westbrook, Mike Rawlins, Jimmy Poole, Johnny Caughman, and Sam Barazzone attended Dorothy’s services.

Our class is quite proud of Mark Anderson’s recognition by the AOG as a Distinguished Graduate. Congratulations from all of us, Mark. It was well deserved! Mark will receive his 2013 DGA at the Founders' Day Dinner scheduled for Friday, April 5, 2013.  It would a wonderful tribute to Mark and his family for as many of his classmates as possible to attend.  Please watch for the appropriate AOG e-mails announcing the time and place of the presentation or simply go to www.usafa.org and register yourself and a spouse/guest for this special event.

Terry Storm’s Chairman’s Journal in this issue of Checkpoints is his last, since his term on the AOG Board of Directors is ending.  He greatly appreciates all of the support of our classmates in his efforts to enhance the effectiveness and cost-efficiencies of the AOG. We all thank you for your many efforts on behalf of our AOG and Academy, Terry.

Hector Negroni reports that the Class of 1961 DC Bunch held their November Luncheon at the Springfield Country Club, Springfield, VA.   Once again, through the courtesy of Charley Dixon, they were treated royally at his Country Club.   After a beautiful prayer by their Chaplain (Twy Williams), they had a status of the DC Bunch report by Lowell Jones and a report by Bill Foster on the activities during the most recent Air Force-Army game.   Bill was not able to give them a total description of the tanks that rolled over Air Force during the game, but he said that the Air Force cadets did not know what hit them.   During the meal, they discussed the normal litany of ailments and medical problems by our class members.  While they seem to be aging gracefully, their visits to the doctors are more frequent.   Charley Dixon gave them a scalpel-by scalpel account of his recent eye surgery.   He claims that his vision is 20/20, but his hearing has not improved.   They took turns yelling into his good ear.  For a bunch of 70-year-olds, they are doing pretty well.

Mark Anderson said that Jim Ulm, Bob Wagner, and he are starting to work on a reunion of their Reese pilot training class: 63B.  They have never held a reunion and decided if they don't get moving, it will be a small group!  Tentative plans are late spring, early summer of 2014 in San Antonio.  More info will be forthcoming to those involved.

John Boesch is 3 weeks into the "hip replacement flight."  All is well so far.  John is also currently serving as "tech advisor" to Frank Kiszley, who is soon to join that flight.  John has been sworn in as 1st VP for the local MOAA Chapter, and serves on the Board with (past President) Jerry Lefton.

Stu and Marnie Boyd are struggling with an addiction and need your help.  They are addicted to Les Miz.  Six stage performances and the movies of course—and they just got the original movie made in 1934, which runs for close to five hours and is in French (subtitles, thankfully). If one of you knows of a good program, let them know. 

Because people continue to inquire, Bob Brickey provided a very short update on their granddaughter, MiaBella Brickey.  Mia is doing beautifully in every regard.  She is enjoying school, ballet lessons, and her Soo Bahk Do martial arts in which she is not allowed to do the sparring.  She must always stay away from people who are ill, due to her immunosuppressed body, which keeps her new heart healthy. They are still ever grateful to so many who have expressed concern, prayers, and aid for Mia.

Pat and Marilyn Buckley continue to enjoy their endless summer in Satellite Beach, FL. Pat’s hip joint resurfacing is healing well, and he is approaching 3 miles at 6 mph on the elliptical strider as well as enjoying dips in the Atlantic Ocean for some swim exercise. Pat and Marilyn attended an alumni group television session to watch the Air Force/Army game. They had a good time, except the score! Being an optimist, Pat organized a Space Coast Alumni session to watch the Air Force/Rice Armed Forces Bowl game at the local Beef O’Brady’s. They and the 30 grads had a good time, except for the score, again! Otherwise, they have had relaxed time at home, except for all the doctor’s appointments. Pat and Marilyn will be going to the UK, Italy, and Spain in February and March. They will be at their Spanish home on the Costa del Sol (Velez-Malaga) from 26 Feb to mid March with two empty bedrooms (maybe) if anyone is in southern Spain and wants to visit.

Doug and Dee Cairns report that they are still in Montgomery, AL, enjoying full, uncomplicated retirement. Last year they enjoyed watching their eldest grandson, Chris, graduate, take a real job, get married, and move his bride from Wetumpka, AL, to the big city of San Francisco. That those two kids seem to enjoy living in the strange land of Congresswoman Pelosi is of concern to most of the Cairns family who are retaining their Southern roots. Cathy, Chris’s mom, is a nurse who directs a crew of cardiologists in town and maintains a watchful eye on Doug and Dee. Chris’s and Jordan’s wedding was cause for the other two grandkids to come for a month’s visit from their home in Italy. Nathan and Katye are teenagers and attend the DoD Naples American High School. This then became a grand “re-Americanizing” month for the kids since they have been over there for 8+ years, and counting. Rob seems to have become the indispensible man on the staff of CINCNAVEUR, so they may never come home.  Doug enjoys monthly golf with Steve Ho, Jimmy Poole, and Ron Jones.

Michele Cowan, AOG Customer Service Supervisor, realized that Trel and Dick Coppock had lost their complete collection of AOG Christmas ornaments in the 26 June wildfire.  She sought out a benefactor willing to purchase all she could find in her limited stock of past ornaments and sent them along to the Coppocks.  She found a generous spirit who, wishing to remain anonymous, purchased some 10 ornaments, including the Class of 1961 "jewel," and asked that they be sent to Dick and Trel with a simple Merry Christmas.  They arrived just as the Coppocks were decorating their tree in the (Saint) Nick of time.   The "usual suspects" prevail, and they are so very grateful to both Michele and their very own Santa.  The true Christmas spirit was indeed evident to Dick and Trel, and they are touched by such generosity.  They wish all classmates and their families all the blessings of the New Year.

   In June 2012 Randy Cubero was selected to run another charitable foundation called Parents Challenge, a 501C3, in Colorado Springs.  This charity provides low income families with financial assistance in the form of scholarships and grants to move their children to a better performing school or to enhance their child's academic performance in their current school with supplemental materials and programs, like tutoring and purchasing a computer.  Parents Challenge is part of the National School Choice Movement, which believes strongly that parents need to be more engaged and empowered in their child's education and that they alone should make the educational choices that will give their child the best chances for success. Randy indicated that it has been a real eye-opener to understand what has happened to our K-12 public education system, especially after so many years of running the Falcon Foundation and dealing with only top tiered academically performing students trying to enter the Air Force Academy.

Dick Davis enjoyed the hospitality of Carl Granberry and his new wife, Lura, a high school chum. Carl has a well-fed herd of horses on his Winona, TX, property.  And Heather, Dick’s horse, is joining that herd as a guest. They spent the day together, and Carl showed Dick his family’s metal-bending plant where they make rings for brooms and mops. He also showed Dick the improvements he has designed into his metal-bending operation.  They are formidable accomplishments, demonstrating applications of his education in mechanical engineering and Double E. Very impressive.

Bob Dean said he is into doing a lot of exercises.  To exercise his legs, he walks back and forth from the kitchen to the computer room 30 times a day. His bending exercises include bending over 5-6 times a day picking up Golden Retriever puppy poop. To exercise his arms, at 4:30 p.m. every afternoon he lifts a heavy glass of vodka with an olive in it 30-40 times. For some reason, he can't remember what he does after 5:30 p.m.

Tom and Anne Eller spent a couple of weeks starting with Thanksgiving in the UK with son Rob Eller and family (USAFA '96), then hosted their other children and grandchildren in Colorado for Christmas. Tom and Anne plan to spend several weeks in Kauai this winter before going to Atlanta and back to the UK at the end of May to celebrate their 50th with all of their children.

Richard Fairlamb has been Flight Captain of the Order of Daedalians Flight #23/DFW since mid-year 2011.   This flight has the same number as the F-4 squadron Richard commanded at Spangdahlem AB, Germany in the late 1970s—23rd Tactical Fighter Squadron.   Flight 23 is one of the largest of the 70+ flights in the international Order of Daedalians at 209 members—holding steady over the past few years.   The flight hosted the National Convention in October 2011 and has supported two academic university-level scholarships, a CAP cadet solo program, and CFIP high school AFJROTC cadet solo program annually during recent years.   Flight 23, under Richard’s leadership, was awarded the “2012 Jimmy Doolittle Award” by Daedalian National HQ.   This is the second time Flight 23 has received the Doolittle Award, the last time being in 1997.   Just to keep out of trouble, and out of local watering holes, Richard continues to generate some revenue as a Business Continuity and Recovery consultant and teacher, and finds a little time to keep VFR and IFR current in his 1957 Cessna 182.

Paul Hinton ran a Half-Marathon at Disneyland with his oldest granddaughter. The thing started at 0500, and they had to be in place at 0430. When he got up, he thought,  "Exactly what the devil is it that made you agree to this?" Save for the hour, however, it was a delight. It was grand but what a comment on time.

Highlights from Henry and Peggy Howe are the memories they have of their five-week trip down under last fall. They spent four days aboard the Coral Princess II on the Great Barrier Reef snorkeling some of the loveliest waters they had ever seen. They explored the Daintree National Park by four-wheel tour bus and encountered the salt-water crocodiles and flightless emus. Then they went to Darwin and lived in Karnda National Park with the kangaroos, wallabies, and more crocodiles. They spent a week driving (yes - on the wrong side of the road) through the outback around Alice Springs, Ularu (Ayers Rock), Kings Canyon, and Kata Tjuta. They topped off the Australian adventure with a week in Sydney seeing the local sights and the Blue Mountains. They visited only the North Island in New Zealand, where they spent another week climbing the trails around Mt Ruapehu and rafting on the Tarangi River, then lounging in the hot thermal pools. Their underground adventure took them into the glow-worm caves.

Sometimes Don McCarter feels his and Johnnie’s daily activities have become so routine that making a change is a real challenge. They have been blessed to have their kids living close by. They get to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries with everyone in attendance with no long distance travel. It is also convenient for them to participate in grandchildren’s activities. Each summer they travel to Hendersonville, NC, for a reunion with Don’s brothers and sister and their families. The group size increases every year. Johnnie and Don love the North Carolina mountains. They especially enjoy the trails in the national parks where the trails are blazed to prevent them from getting lost. Don’t laugh. A lot of people take the wrong turn in those hills. Walking, tennis, and workouts at the YMCA help to keep the body upright and mobile. John and Kathy Dates and Jim and Judy Tulis visit Florida occasionally, and Don and Johnnie really enjoy the time with them. Don took a master gardening course at the Florida Extension service and has been certified as a Florida Master Gardener. He spends a lot of time coordinating the activities of the community garden sponsored by their church, and he volunteers about seventy hours a year at the Orange County plant clinic. Gardening in Florida is an eye opening and mind-boggling experience.

In January, Sam Barazzone, plus Gwen, and Charlie Neel and Dean Jones wowed the cold-weather skiers and brought Breckenridge slopes to their knees. Lynda Neel and Jo Jones remained grounded.

As is their custom, Hector and Joan Negroni will be spending the winter (Jan-May 2013) at their Bonita Springs, Florida, home.

Al and Becky Nunn said that their daughter, Ashley, was married last October. Her husband, Charlie King, is the father of two children, Sophie, age 10, and Henry, age 7. They were married at "The Quack Shack" in North Carolina's Outer Banks. Becky and Al rented the "shack" for a week for her wedding party and "30 of their closest fiends" to stay during the preliminaries to the festivities. While there, Al was treated to an unexpected and unplanned ride in the Rescue Squad van and admitted to the local hospital after experiencing a period of disassociation. Diagnosis was Transient Global Amnesia, a condition which shows symptoms similar to those of a stroke, but is temporary in nature, with no after-affects, and occurs to perhaps one in 300,000 persons. He was the one this time and was released the next day, following the diagnosis. Wedding went off without a hitch. Ashley lives with her husband and his children in Falls Church, VA, so that's close enough for frequent phone calls and occasional visits. Al’s recently resigned from the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross there.  Becky continues her activities with theater, having directed four plays for the local theater group, The Lancaster Players. She is currently in rehearsal as director for "How the Other Half Loves," opening March 8.

Nelson and Teri O’Rear had a wonderful Christmas season, starting with spending several days over Christmas with their daughter and her family in Michigan. Then, they enjoyed several days when their younger son’s family visited them in Granger, IN, along with their older son’s family, who also live in Granger. They also celebrated their sons and daughters-in-law anniversaries with a special evening at a very nice local restaurant. Wrapping it up, on New Year’s Eve, their oldest granddaughter and her boyfriend flew from Virginia to spend a couple of days with Nelson and Teri in Granger and Chicago.

Thanks for all who contributed. We hope to hear from you others next time.









News and Items of Interest 


Craig AFB, 63A

Dee and Doug Cairns, Neal and Gwen Westbrook, Jimmy and Susan Poole--Christmas 2004

Warm up prior to Army game, courtesy Brice Jones

Need for Real Cheer Leaders (November 2004)--Communication with Hans Meuh

AOG Governance Issues

7th Annual Gray Tag Redneck Riviera

     Photos of 7th Annual Gray Tag Redneck Riviera

Sears and the Military

The 2003 Cape Cod Caper

61 TFS (Mythical) Practice Party

Boyds Visit Washington DC

Message to All Hands on Eve of War

2003 Ski Reunion (Click to see)

Randy Cubero and Jim Hinkle visit Marc Anderson and Jim Ulm in San Antonio

1961 Washington DC Area Social, Winter 2003

Seventh Annual Grey Tag "Redneck Rivieria"

Football:  USAFA-Army 2002

My Heart on the Line:  A father and his Marine son

Lowell Jones Luncheon, 15 Nov 2002



  Thought you would be interested in this photo of classmates attending pilot training 
class reunion (63A, Craig AFB, Al '61-'62) held in Washington,D.C. in October 2004.  
Pictured left to right are Jack Taylor, Bill Sanzenbacher, John Kohout and Pete Lane.  
Vic Apodaca was the fifth member of this class when we graduated and was remembered 
throughout the reunion and during our visit to the Vietnam Memorial where his name is inscribed.

Jack T.



Dee and Doug Cairns, Neal and Gwen Westbrook, Jimmy and Susan Poole--Christmas 2004

Warm up prior to the Army game                                                                




Need for Real Cheer Leaders                                         

To 61TFS:

You will be pleased to read the message I received from the USAFA Director

of Athletics on the poor job our cadets and our cheerleaders do on cheering.

Nelson and Lowell: I would appreciate if you could disseminate to the Class

of 1961. A message of support to the Hans Mueh is also in order.



From: Mueh Hans J Dr USAFA/AH [mailto:Hans.Mueh@USAFA.af.mil]

Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 8:36 PM

To: Hector Andres Negroni

Subject: RE: We need some real cheerleaders!


You are absolutely right, and you're not the first one to tell me that. In

fact, I use to say the same thing before I got this job. Trust me on this:

next year will be different, less acrobatics and more cheering. I've been

in the receive mode for the three months I've had the job, and that's one of

the things that sticks in my craw. The problem right now is that they don't

know many cheers, so I have to give them some time to get it right. My goal

is to transition them after the football season and before we get into the

conference schedule for basketball. Thanks for the input.


Hans J. Mueh

Dr. Hans J. Mueh

Director of Athletics

2168 Fieldhouse Dr.

USAF Academy, CO 80840

(719) 333-4008

Fax: (719) 333-4009

-----Original Message-----

From: Hector Andres Negroni [mailto:hanegroni@cox.net]

Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 5:56 PM

To: Mueh Hans J Dr USAFA/AH

Subject: We need some real cheerleaders!


I am a 1961 graduate of USAFA and served as Head Cheerleader in 1960 and

1961. I attended the Air Force-Army game this past Saturday and was

dismayed and embarrassed by the poor performance by our so called

"cheerleaders." It seems that all they do is prance around doing dance

steps and admiring their "beautiful bodies." Meanwhile, no one is leading

the Air Force side in cheers. My classmate and former cheerleader Charlie

Neel and I tried to do our best and managed to develop a good response. But

at 67 years of age, I am too old for this effort. I do not plan to attend

any more games but I will let you know when I will and maybe you can

authorize me to teach the Cadet Wing how to cheer and teach the cheerleaders

how to get the Cadet Wing to cheer. I have had several e-mail exchanges

with the OIC of Cheerleaders (Capt Chris Backus) and have be totally

unimpressed by the fact that he and the cheerleaders feel that "cheering and

leading cheers" is not cool because the Cadet Wing is apathetic. I find

that hard to believe.

I am well aware that you have a lot in your plate but developing spirit and

cheers should be one of the things that you should try to buck up. If you

need some help, just let me know.

Hector Negroni

USAFA Class of 1961

PS: It would be nice to go back to the free telephone narration of Falcon

games instituted by your predecessor. I think that a $10.00 fee would be

fair and appropriate but the cost now is exorbitant.

PSS: It would also be nice to restore the Letter Winner pages formerly in

your website.







AOG Governance Issue                

In light of the recent scandal and the wide spread perception that the AOG did not represent the graduates, I am proposing a return to the practice of having a committee composed of AOG members who are NOT members of the Board nominate several candidates for each vacancy on the Board.  This would be followed by a competitive election of new Directors by the AOG Members. 

This is in contrast to the current practice of having a subcommittee of the Board of Directors produce a slate of one name per vacancy on the Board and presenting it to the members for an up or down vote. In addition, the Board can currently designate or appoint more directors. In other words, we now have a self-perpetuating Board of Directors that is not accountable to the Members.

There is a Board of Directors meeting at the Academy on 7 February 2004.  I have sent the attached proposed bylaws changes to the Chairman of the Board, Ted Legasey, and to each Director and urged that they be adopted and a transition to open elections be accomplished this year. For your information, the Bylaws are on page xlvi of the 2003 Register.

If you think the members of your class would be interested in this proposal, please feel free to send it on to them or put it on your class website.

Should you or your classmates wish to contact the Board members regarding this issue, I have email addresses for many of the Directors as follows (The AOG declined to provide email addresses for the Board, so I am missing some):

alanvrogers@aol.com   -- Al Rogers ‘64
bboisture@earthlink.net   -- Bill Boisture ‘67
GilMook@earthlink.net   -- Gil Mook ‘67
harry.pearce@hughes.com   -- Harry Pearce ‘64
Jim.Shaw@usafa.af.mil   -- Jim Shaw ’67 AOG President and CEO
julm62777@aol.com   -- Jim Ulm ‘61
larry.fortner@ngc.com   -- Larry Fortner ‘59
roncon@rmi.com   -- Ron Yates ‘60
Susan.Helms@peterson.af.mil   -- Susan Helms ‘80
ted_legasey@SRA.COM   -- Ted Legasey ’67 Board Chair
victor.andrews@usaa.com   -- Vic Andrews ’66
                    Bill Maywhort ’68 Board Vice Chair
                    Marty Daack ’66
                    John Moore ’78
                    Charles Garcia ’83
                    Amber O’Grady ’96
                    Leon Smith-Harrison ’75
                    Richard Schlosberg ‘65

Although the current Directors are a top-notch group of people, many of whom I would vote for, I believe that the AOG needs a Board that is responsive to the membership and that an open election is a giant step in that direction. The Board is now perceived as only doing what the Air Force leadership dictates, whether that is good or bad for the Academy. An open election will provide accountability and trust between the AOG and its members. I think you will agree. In any case, please let your opinions and those of your class be known.

Very Respectfully,

Thomas J. Eller, '61
Class Secretary

AOG President 1979-1983
AOG Vice President 1977-1979
AOG Director 1969-1973,



A Proposal for Returning the AOG Board of Directors to a Board Competitively Elected by the Members of the Association of Graduates

Thomas J. Eller, ’61

21 January 2004


Organization: This document consists of:


            Specific Proposed Changes to the AOG Bylaws

            Backup Material:

                        Observations on the Bylaws

                        Statistics on the AOG

                        Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for an Effective Board for the AOG




¨     To be effective for the AOG, the Board of Directors must be composed of good, energetic graduates, must have high quality processes, AND must be perceived as legitimate and representative of the AOG membership.

  • Observation: The individuals currently on the Board are clearly of high quality and are the type of people who might have been elected competitively had they stood for election. The difference is that because they were NOT elected competitively, they lack the trust of the members, are perceived to be isolated, and lack the perception of responsiveness to the members that is absolutely necessary for success as a Board of a membership organization.


¨     The size of the staff and the population of the board do not reflect the size and composition of the AOG membership in terms of Active Duty vs. Retired/Separated nor the distribution of members in years since graduation.

  • Observations: Although the population of grads to be served has increased by a factor of 2.3 between 1982 and 2003, the staff has increased ten-fold and the ratio of Staff to Members has increased by a factor of 4.6—twice the rate of increase in population to be served.  A natural question is: “Have the services for the graduates increased by a factor of 4.6 since 1982?
  • At the same time, by having fewer directors, the number of grads per director has also increased by a factor of 4.2. That could be said to reflect efficiency or it could be called diluted representation.


¨     The structures of the Board and the EXCOM have changed drastically in the past several years. Portions of the Bylaws related to EXCOM composition, election of the Board, and the method of changing the Bylaws have drifted far from a proper model for a membership association. This has resulted in a Board that is not accountable to the members, an EXCOM that is not a proper subset of the Board, and a Board and Bylaws that do not control policy and practice of the AOG Staff, which is 75% non-graduate.


o      Example: 2003 Bylaws Article XV, Amendments Section 1:

The Bylaws will be reviewed biennially during even-numbered years by a temporary committee and revised as necessary to reflect current AOG policies and procedures. [Underlining for emphasis, not underlined in the Bylaws].


§       Observation: Anyone see anything fundamentally wrong here?  AOG policies and procedures are supposed to be in conformance with the Bylaws, not the other way around! So much for the Board controlling the Staff. No wonder there is no accountability.


¨     If we believe in the AOG Vision, Mission, and Objectives, it is imperative for the health of the AOG, the Academy, the Air Force, the profession of arms, and the nation that these errors in the AOG organization and practice be corrected immediately. I urge the Board to adopt the following changes to the Bylaws immediately, then transition with urgent speed this year to a Board of Directors competitively elected by the AOG membership.


Proposed revision to the Bylaws of the Association of Graduates of the United States Air Force Academy


¨     Purpose: To restore to the Association of Graduates (AOG) the legitimacy of its Board as representatives of and accountable to the Members of the Association.


¨     Approach: To return the Board of Directors back to a Board that is composed of Directors who have been nominated by non-Board members and competitively elected by the Members of the AOG in a formal election.


¨     Minimum Changes required in the 2003 AOG Bylaws to accomplish this:


¨     Add to Article II:


1.      Graduating Class Director: that one director who is selected by the new graduating class from among those members who will be stationed at the Academy immediately following graduation.


¨     Replace Article IV, Section 1 with the following:


1.     Directors shall be regular members of the AOG elected to serve four-year terms. There will be twenty (20) directors elected by the membership plus the Graduating Class Director, and the President/CEO.


¨     Replace Article IV, Section 2 with the following:


2.     Vacancies that occur among the Directors shall be filled from among the runners-up from the previous election beginning with the runner-up with the most votes and following in that order. Directors appointed to fill a vacancy will serve the remainder of the term of the person whose departure caused the vacancy. If all previous candidates are unavailable, the Board may select a temporary Director to serve until the next election.


¨     Delete Article IV, Section 3 and renumber the remaining Sections as necessary.


¨     Replace Article VIII, Section 1 with the following:


1.     Approximately half of the Director positions to serve four (4) year terms will be open for election every two years during odd numbered years. Every Issue of Checkpoints shall carry an item indicating to whom a member of the AOG may make known his/her desire to be considered as candidate for nomination as a Director of the AOG.  On or before 15 September of the year preceding an election, the Chair will appoint a Nominating Committee of five members of the Association who are not members of the Board of Directors of the Association. The Chair will advise the membership of the identity and location of this Nominating Committee so that individual members may suggest candidates to the committee. The Chair shall also pass to the Nominating Committee the information that has been received from volunteers since the last election. Nominations by petition signed by at least twenty-five members of the Association that reach the Nominating Committee by 15 February of election year shall be included in the ballot but not identified as such. It shall be the duty of the Nominating Committee to submit to the membership a slate of candidates with at least three nominees for each vacancy. The nominating committee shall select candidates to ensure that the proportion of directors shall reflect the membership as follows:

a.     Same ratio of Active Duty to Retired-Separated members as of 30 September prior to the election.

b.     Same distribution of AOG members in the various ten-year blocks since graduation.

Such nominations with position statements by the candidates shall be contained in an official ballot published in an official publication of the Association to be mailed to the membership no later than 1 March of an election year. A different Nominating Committee will nominate candidates for the remaining Director positions two years later with election held as outlined above.


¨     Replace Article XI, Section 1a with the following:


1a.  Executive Committee: An executive body consisting of the Corporate Officers and such Directors designated by the Chair to perform in accordance with Article IV, Section 6. The composition of this body will be static until modified by the Board of Directors.


¨     Replace Article XV, Section 1 with the following:


1.     The Bylaws will be reviewed biennially during even-numbered years by a temporary committee composed of two Board members and three AOG members not on the Board and revised as necessary to reflect changes required by Colorado law or by the needs of the AOG.


Notes:  The Graduate Community is currently 41% active duty and 59% retired/separated.

            Currently the ten-year blocks are:

            Less than ten years: 1994-2003:  6156 AOG Members

            Ten to twenty years: 1984-1993:  4053 AOG Members

            Twenty to thirty years: 1974-1983:  3721 AOG Members

            Thirty to forth years: 1964-1973:  3718 AOG Members

            Forty to fifty years:            1959-1963:  1018 AOG Members 


These types of constraints do not place an unreasonable burden on the election process. One simply must, when counting ballots, order the vote-getters top to bottom annotated with which groups they fall into. If the raw vote does not automatically satisfy the constraints, then the top names in the restricted group are moved onto the Board and those displaced go to the runners-up list for future use.



Statistical Comparison of the AOG in 1982 vs. the AOG in 2003



1982 Register

2003 Register


Number of Graduates




Living Graduates




Number of AOG Staff




% Graduates on Staff




Number of Directors

31* + President*

17 + President


Number on Active Duty




% on Active Duty












Grads per Staff Member




Staff Members per Grad




Grads per Director




*Competitive Election for all Officers and Directors



Observations on differences in the AOG Bylaws between 1982 and 2003


o      1982 Bylaws, Article II, Section 5:

Executive Committee: a subcommittee of the Board of Directors convened in the absence of a quorum of the Board to conduct the business of the Association as outlined in Articles IV, V, and VII. When convened, the Executive Committee has all of the powers of the Board of Directors except those denied by Colorado Law or reserved for the Board.


·       Observations: All Directors were competitively elected by the Membership from a list provided by a Nominating Committee composed on non-Director members of the AOG. Ten of the directors were required to be stationed at the Academy. A simple majority of the Board constituted a Quorum and a Board meeting could be called with 24-hours notice.  Thus, the leadership of the Board were in intimate contact with the Academy and were fully accountable to the Members.


o      Although 2003 Article IV, Section 6 goes into great detail enumerating the powers and authority of the EXCOM vis-à-vis the Board, Article XI Section 1a states:

Executive Committee: An executive body consisting of the Corporate Officers and such Directors, staff, and members designated as necessary by the Chair, to perform in accordance Article IV, Section 5[sic, should be 6].

·       Observation: That is an awfully loose definition of a body that has the power of the Board of Directors, given that only the Directors on the EXCOM are elected and they have been in turn selected by a committee of the Board and not the membership.  The full board meets only quarterly, leaving the operation of the AOG to the staff and the loosely defined EXCOM, which has no visible accountability to the Members.


o      Per the 2003 Bylaws footnote, the Bylaws were implemented and Aug 1977 and went unchanged until Feb 1997. Since then there have been changes in Feb 98, Aug 2000, Feb 2002, Aug 2002, and Aug 2003.


·       Observation: First of all, that Change-date list is not accurate, for I know there were changes just prior to the 1982 Register. However, the list of changes made in the last few years is indicative of a very fluid organization.




Reflections On The Dimensions of a Good Board Of Directors of a Membership Organization—Specifically the Association of Graduates


¨     Necessary but not sufficient:

o      The Quality of the Decisions and Function of the Board

§       Timely Action

§       Innovative Solutions

§       Appropriate Solutions

§       Value over the long term

·       Stability of the organization

·       Agility of the organization

·       Sustainable processes and progress

·       Adaptability of process without total rework

·       Predictability of outcomes

§       Efficiency of Board process

§       Control of the Organization and Staff vis-à-vis the mission

§       Control of Finances

§       Control of Fiscal Planning

§       Energy and Participation of the Directors

o      These quality factors are probably easier to ensure with an appointed board than an elected one, and the temptation would be strong to head in that direction.


¨     Necessary but not sufficient:

o      Perceptions of Legitimacy (Things perceived as real are real in their consequences. John Williams Therefore things perceived as real damn well better be! Tom Eller)

§       Responsiveness to the membership

§       Accessibility to the members

§       Representation of the Membership as seen by the members

§       Representation of the Membership as seen by USAFA, USAF, Congress, Press, the Public

§       Prestige in the view of outsiders

§       Accountability to the membership

§       Obvious focus on the AOG Mission and Objectives

§       Courage of convictions

§       Awareness and sensitivity on the part of Directors

o      These perception factors are best achieved by a Board of Directors that has been elected by the members from among several graduates competing for each position.


¨     Necessary AND Sufficient;

The AOG Board must achieve both the quality measures of its own operation as well as the perceptions of legitimacy in order for the AOG and the Academy to prosper.  Therefore it is imperative that the AOG Board immediately transition back to a Board competitively elected by the members.

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                7th Annual Gray Tag Redneck Riviera Beach Weekend (GTRRBW), 10-13 October 2003

Doug and Dee Cairns, Jerry and Dot Gill, Jimmy and Susan Poole, Neal and Gwen Westbrook, and a host of others did an outstanding job of orchestrating a perfect weekend for our many classmates and ladies who attended this mini-reunion in Orange Beach, Alabama. In fact, so many of us accepted their invitation that it nearly overtaxed the available beach rental units in the immediate vicinity. The houses that we shared were great and very conducive to visiting in the common areas, mostly the roomy kitchen area in our case. Six couples shared our unit, a couple of units housed seven, and a few had less. In all, 65 attended: Mark and Ginger Anderson, John and Lydia Boesch, Bob and Jan Brickey, George and Susan Buchner, Lee and Dorene Butler, Doug and Dee Cairns, Jim and Joy Darnauer, Gene and Judy Davis, Bill and Theda Foster, Jerry and Dot Gill, Jim and Peggy Hinkle, Jim and Patty Hourin, Dean and Jo Jones, Lowell and Sandy Jones, Reb and Frances Jones, Wayne and Mary Jones, Bill and Janet Lane, Jerry and Sue Lefton, Bud and Carolyn McCollum, Jack and Diane McDonough, Charlie and Lynda Neel, Hector and Joan Negroni, PB and Mer O’Connor, Nelson and Teri O’Rear, John Payne, Jimmy and Susan Poole, Mike and Ginny Rawlins, Jim Rogers and Linda Cain, Charlie and Sarah Stebbins, Byron and Pat Theurer, Bob and Winnie Wagner, Rees and Pauline Wagner, and Neal and Gwen Westbrook.

Although some arrived as early as Wednesday, most arrived on Friday, with the first major scheduled event that evening. We drank and socialized in one beach house, and then ate the traditional delicious steamed shrimp dinner and socialized in the adjacent beach house—well into the early morning hours for some. The next morning we all had leisurely breakfasts, including homemade grits-egg casseroles, fresh fruits, juices, cereals, bagels, coffee…. (You get the idea. Our southern hosts went well beyond the extra mile to make sure that we had everything we could wish for.) Later, some golfed, some visited the Navy Air Museum at Pensacola, some visited the Shrimp Festival, many ladies lunched and then shopped, and others just hung out at the beach. Saturday evening we all attended the 2nd annual Ed Zompa Memorial Dinner, with more delicious food, this time catered by Gulf Shores Bistro in the same beach houses as the evening before. We again socialized far into the evening. Following leisurely breakfasts in our individual homes, many attended church services nearby, and most ate a wonderful brunch at Zeke’s, a very popular spot near the beach. Afterwards, some had to depart early, but most took part in some of the activities of the prior day, plus Theda provided a large puzzle to put together. Additionally, PB was to oversee a kite flying competition, and Rees was to judge sand sculpture competition between the houses. We got back late from golfing, but I don’t believe that either competition got under way due to the weather. Although the original plan was to order pizza that evening to go with the leftovers from the prior two nights, there were so many leftovers that we all ate once again in style without the pizza. Following a lot of visiting that evening and some the next morning, those remaining departed Monday morning. Many took pictures during the weekend. Hopefully, some with digital cameras will share shots to be placed on our web site.

In addition to Theda Foster, PB O’Connor, and Rees Wagner, others who organized events included: Jim Hourin (golf); Bob Wagner (fishing, which ended up being canceled because of insufficient fishermen and not very good weather); John Payne (visit to Navy Air Museum); and Dee Cairns, Susan Poole, and Gwen Westbrook (lunch at Lulu’s, followed by shopping). My fivesome for golf threatened me if I didn’t mention our overwhelming win on the course—was it by one or two strokes? At any rate, Wayne Jones, Jerry Lefton, PB O’Connor, Nelson O’Rear, and Charlie Stebbins won the big money. (Is it true that we lose our amateur status by accepting winnings that won’t even pay for a cup of Cappuccino and Starbucks? That’s not really a complaint since we didn’t realize there was a prize.)

The above is meant to give you a flavor of what happened, but it cannot—nor could any write-up—do justice to the extent of the detailed planning and faultless execution that made this weekend such a success. The food, lodging, and events were absolutely outstanding. The only thing better was being able to visit with everyone. Again, a special thanks to each person who had a hand in making this such a great weekend. Those of us who attended salute you.

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                                                            Sears and the Military


Assume you have all seen the reports about how Sears is treating its reservist employees who are called up? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up.

Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years. I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution.

Suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves.

Pass it on.

Someone who received this decided to check it out before forwarding and sent the following email to the Sears Customer Service Department:

I received this email and I would like to know if it is true. If it is, the internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your store. I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a like item even if it was cheaper at the other store.

Here is their answer to that email......................

Dear Customer,

Thank you for contacting Sears.

The information is factual. We appreciate your positive feedback. Sears regards service to our country as one of greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.

Bill Thorn webcenter@sears.com

Please pass this on to all your friends, Sears needs to be recognized for this outstanding contribution and we need to show them as Americans, we do ! appreciate what they are doing for our military.   ALSO VERI FIED AT http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/sears.asp




By Hector Negroni

During the third week of August 2003, Charlie and Sarah Stebbins and Hector and Joan Negroni visited the Cape Cod area where they enjoyed the unparalleled hospitality of Brice Jones and Susan Porth in their super-elegant residence, located in the exclusive Orleans area of Cape Cod.  The first evening of their visit they had dinner at the fashionable Chatham House, a fine gourmet dining establishment operated by our very own restaurateurs: Tom and Mimi Skilling.  The company feasted on the delectable cuisine of the establishment while sprinkling all the goodies with a sampling of the Chatham House's extensive wine cellar.  The next day, Brice and Susan outfitted their boat and took the company on an exhilarating boat ride to the outermost eastern reaches of the Cape where we gazed at the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean.  Brice was the only one brave enough to get into the 67 degree frigid waters. Hector and Joan stated that they would have gone swimming if the water had been of Caribbean thermal quality.  That evening, Susan and Brice hosted a lobster feast for about 12 guests.  Among the guests was Barry Clifford, the noted marine archeologist, who recently discovered and is recovering artifacts from the first documented pirate ship ever found: the Whydah.  The Whydah sank off New England in April 1717 with her hold full of treasure. Her captain, "Black Sam" Bellamy, and 143 others died with her. Armed with Whydah clues and informed imaginations, historians speculated about the ship's whereabouts until it was recently discovered by Barry Clifford.  The next day we had lunch at the famous Arnold's Restaurant and ate their famous fried clams until we began to fill like a bivalve.  Around five in the afternoon we went to the beach and at night fall, Mari (Brice's and Susan's youngest) demonstrated her pyrotechnic abilities by building a roaring fire while Susan cooked some great hamburgers and chicken on her grill.  The meal was topped off with a competition to see who could cook the best Smores. It was a draw but we did manage to get marshmallows and chocolate all over our hands. Finally, the adventure came to an end and the Stebbins left by auto back to West Virginia while Hector and Joan drove to Manchester NH and caught a plane back to DC.  It is always great to see the great members of the Class of 1961.  If you are traveling near one, do not fail to stop by and say hello. I am enclosing a photo of the group.




                                                                    61st Tactical Fighter Squadron (Mythical) Practice Party

On Friday, June 6th, 2003, some members of the 61st Tactical Fighter Squadron (Mythical) gathered at the home of Hector and Joan Negroni in Vienna VA for a practice party honoring the presence in the East Coast of our founder Brice Jones. Brice Jones, and his wife Ms. Susan Porth were conducting a surprise inspection of East Coast facilities and attending the wedding of the daughter of our squadron Adjutant, Bill Kosco, in Carlisle PA. Accompanying Brice and Susan were Squadron Athletic Officer Bob Brickey and Jan Brickey. Among those who gathered for a short arm inspection were: Barbara Campbell, Bill & Theda Foster, Lowell & Sandy Jones, John Kohout (Joan was DNIF) , Ron and Cathy Muller, Hector & Joan Negroni, Jim and Linda Rogers, Bill & Rhoda Stackhouse, John & Ellen Sullivan, Karl & Dianne Whitaker, John & Lydia Bosch, Lanny & Barbara Lancaster, John & Diane McDonough, Jim & Diane Wiltjer, and Gerry Dawes and friend. Squadron Sommelier Lanny Lancaster provided 36 bottles of exquisite wines that were promptly consumed by those attending. Squadron members also polished off two cases of beer. In addition, Joan Negroni, Squadron Cook, prepared a delicious repast of hors d'oeuvres (that is French for "take two they are small"), her world class taco salad, smoked salmon, shrimp Pacifica, assorted sandwiches, and an eclectic collection of desserts. At around midnight, the squadron members practiced some of the Squadron Songs, a capella, to the delight of the Negroni neighbors who called in with comments. I am enclosing a photo of some of the group members that were still standing or sitting when the photo was taken. Brice, Susan, Bob and Jan RONed at the Negroni quarters and were fortified with a high calorie-low residue diet prior to departing for Carlisle.

Hector Negroni

Squadron Deputy Assistant Helper


 Brice, Jim, Linda, Ellen

Hector, Brice

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Boyds Visit Washington DC

Posted 30 March 2003

From left to right: Stu Boyd, Marnie Boyd, Joan Kohout, Joan Negroni, John Kohout, Ron Muller, Barbara Campbell, Bill Foster, and  Theda Foster.  Hector Negroni is front and center. 

Stu and Marnie Boyd visited Washington DC the last week in March 2003, in conduction with their volunteer  work on behalf of the World Figure Skating Championships.  Stu and Marnie were in charge of announcing the contestants and playing the music during the preliminary competitions.  They demonstrated to the class the clockwork precision and close coordination that they developed during the competition.  To celebrate their visit, the Class of 1961 Washington DC bunch got together and hosted a luncheon in honor of Stu and Marnie at the World's famous Hamburger Hamlet, located in the fashionable Crystal City Section of the Nation's Capital.  Unfortunately, in recognition of the advanced age and precarious health of many of the members of the class and spouses, most of those attending opted for a salad.  Nonetheless, we managed to stay together at the same place for almost three hours catching up with each other's grandchildren and comparing ailments.  Enclosed is a photo of those attending.  Unfortunately, Mary Francis Koerner left before we could figure out how to work the digital camera.

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Message to All Hands


Major General J. N. Mattis, USMC


In explaining the mission of our soldiers, we can't do any better than Major-General J.N. Mattis, commander of the 1st Marine Division now heading somewhere into Iraq. Here is what he told his troops in his "Message to All Hands" on the eve of war:

"For decades, Saddam Hussein has tortured, imprisoned, raped and murdered the Iraqi people; invaded neighboring countries without provocation; and threatened the world with weapons of mass destruction. The time has come to end his reign of terror. On your young shoulders rest the hopes of mankind.

"When I give you the word, together we will cross the Line of Departure, close with those forces that choose to fight, and destroy them. Our fight is not with the Iraqi people, nor is it with members of the Iraqi army who choose to surrender. While we will move swiftly and aggressively against those who resist, we will treat all others with decency, demonstrating chivalry and soldierly compassion for people who have endured a lifetimeunder Saddam's oppression.

"Chemical attack, treachery, and use of the innocent as human shields can be expected, as can other unethical tactics. Take it all in stride. Be the hunter, not the hunted: Never allow your unit to be caught with its guard down. Use good judgment and act in best interests of our Nation.

"You are part of the world's most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon. Share your courage with each other as we  enter the uncertain terrain north of the Line of Departure. Keep faith in your comrades on your left and right and Marine Air overhead. Fight with a happy heart and strong spirit.

"For the mission's sake, our country's sake, and the sake of the men who carried the Division's colors in past battles -- who fought for life and never lost their nerve -- carry out your mission and keep your honor clean. Demonstrate to the world there is 'No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy' than a U.S. Marine."

   Semper Fidelis.



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Randy Cubero and Jim Hinkle visit Marc Anderson and Jim Ulm in San Antonio

Last month Jim Hinkle and I went down to San Antonio to visit with Marc Anderson and Jim Ulm . We stayed three days and golfed every day at Fair Oaks Ranch where both Marc and Jim live. It is a beautiful community and although it was unseasonably cold we had a great time and vowed to do it again next year. Attached are three pictures of our group and you are free to do with them as you wish. Talk to you soon.


The Gang of Four

Jim Hinkle, Randy Cubero, Jim Ulm, Marc Anderson

Jim and Jim

Jim Ulm


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1961 Washington DC Area Social, Winter 2003

John and Joan Kohout kicked off the Class of 1961 Washington DC Area Social Season with an elegant sit down dinner held at their beautiful home in the Mount Vernon area of Virginia.  Those in attendance included: Bill and Theda Foster (who arrived late from a church social), Steve Ho and Lynn Funkhouser (Steve is still practicing his investment technique of buying low and selling lower), Lowell and Sandy Jones (back from another "short" road trip around the nation in their camper), Jack and Dianne McDonough (who will be attending the Redneck Riviera Reunion this year), Hector and Joan Negroni (looking great and humble as always), Jim and Linda Rogers (who did not dress up in matching outfits), Bill and Paulette Sanzenbacher (so far...a great addition to the Washington DC crowd), Bill and Rhoda Stackhouse (looking  tired after babysitting their new grandchild in between building their new lakeshore home), John and Ellen Sullivan (John cut his hair shorter and trimmed his beard while Ellen continues to be the Class of 1961 youngest spouse), and Karl and Dianne Whitaker (Karl received the most improved award after losing bunches of pounds with Dianne's new cooking technique: when the smoke alarm goes off the food is ready).   After a long cocktail hour featuring Joan Kohout's special French hors d'ouvres (which included pheasant tongues on Melba toast etc...) and assorted drinks (featuring miniature cocktails...take one and in a minute you are out) , the guests sat down at three large tables for a repast fit for a King.   The piece de resistance was a very delicious Poulet Ragout (Chicken Stew for the uninitiated).  The recipe is an old family recipe borrowed from Puerto Rico where the first thing you do is "steal a chicken."  Everything was washed down with copious amounts of white and red wines.  Entrance to the activity was gained by using the traditional challenge and response pass word of "Fast, Neat, Average.....Friendly, Good, Good."  The Form 0-96 for this dinner reflected high accolades.  Since most of us are "retired"  we agreed that "Work is good, but it's not the most important thing. Money is nice, but you can't take it with you. Statistics show most people don't live to spend all they saved -- some die even before they retire. You've never seen a U-Haul hooked up to the rear of a hearse, have you?"  Hey boys and girls, if you do not attend Class of 1961 activities you are depriving yourselves of a great time with a bunch of great people.  It is one hell of a support mechanism.


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Grey Tag Redneck Riviera

Dates:               October 10-11-12-13, 2003

Location:            Orange Beach, Alabama

Hello Gray Tags - the 7th annual Gray Tag “Redneck Riviera” beach weekend is scheduled for Oct 10-13, 2003 (Columbus Day weekend) in Orange Beach, Alabama. This area is a piece of heaven on earth - white sand beaches / warm water / homes right on the beach with 2 pools / 15 golf courses in the area / great eating / deep-sea fishing / shopping at one of the largest discount malls in the US / historic sites to visit / plus fun together.

The Plan:

·         Three nights - Friday - Saturday - Sunday with departure on Monday morning. Check-in around 1500 on Friday and depart NLT 1000 on Monday.

·         Lodging will be in the same homes as in 2002. These are two separate homes built in 2002 and are side-by-side with deck access between the homes. Each home has 7 bedrooms and 7 baths and both are quite spacious and very nice. They are right on the beach and are about 40 yards from the water. We will house the first 14 couples in these homes and the overflow will go in either nearby homes or in a motel just down the beach (appx ¼ mile)

·         Lodging Costs – appx $315 per couple for the three nights. To reserve and “lock-in” the rental homes, I need a commitment ASAP of 7 couples for 1 home, and 14 couples for the 2 homes.

For this reunion to work, I have to reserve these homes early and really don’t have flexibility with the 3 nights or with the rate. It is not like a hotel room where you can cancel up to 6 PM the day of arrival. It really is nice to have these homes for common a gathering place, and I can make things work once I get commitments. I will allocate space in the homes on a “first come – first serve” basis. Once you commit to coming, I will need your $115 deposit by March 15th and your acknowledgement to pay the remaining amount in July. Last year I was able to fill in with motel folks for people who had to cancel.

For folks who prefer to stay in a motel, I recommend that you reserve a room at the Hilton Garden Inn. It is appx. ¼ mile west of the homes and provides traditional cancellation flexibility. There are others nearby. If you make reservations this spring for October you can get a rate of appx. $93 per night (includes tax). If you wait until Sept or Oct the rates will probably be higher.

·         I will appreciate a response from you by March 15th about this reunion. “Yes” – “Maybe” – “No” - so I can begin the necessary planning. We had a wonderful time last year and look forward to seeing many of you this year.

Thanks – Jimmy Poole (new e-mail address – jpoolejr@knology.net)

            334-272-1863 (H)   334-271-1305 (F) – 334-546-3222 (Cell)

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2002 Air Force-Army Game

Submitted by Hector Negroni

The 61st Tactical Fighter Squadron (Mythical), founded by Brice Cutrer Jones, held its 41st reunion on the occasion of the Air Force Army Football Game held at the United States Military Academy the weekend of 8-10 November 2002. Squadron activities started with initial sign-in and short arm inspection Friday Night, 8Nov02, at the Squadron Forward Command Post (Residence of Kathleen Kennedy in Upper Saddle River New York) during which copious amount of wine was used to wash down a diverse assortment of rations provided by the Culinary/Class VI Control Officer. Early Saturday Morning, 9Nov02, Squadron members, family, friends, and camp followers met at the Forward Command Post for a roll call, breakfast, and to board a bus for West Point. Upon arrival at West Point we met our escorts, Cadet Privates Monte Jones and Leigh Kosko, sons of squadron members, and members of the USMA Class of 2006. The Squadron marched up the hill in a column of gaggles and occupied a section of the Army Parade Ground bleachers to watch the West Point parade. After grading the parade we tried to debrief the Superintendent but he avoided us. Therefore, squadron members ambled over to the residence of Col. & Mrs. David Allbee (Mrs. Allbee is the sister of Squadron stalwart and Athletic Officer Bob Brickey but thank God she does not look like him). The Allbees hosted at tailgate at their home, which was built in 1826. The structure was still standing after the Squadron left thus attesting to its sound foundation and good building technique. After the tailgate, squadron members walked up the hill (some had to be dragged or pushed) to Michie Stadium where we settled back and watched the Air Force team dismantle the Brave Old Army Team. Following the game, we walked (down hill this time) to the Thayer Hotel where we took over the place, drank, ate, sang Air Force songs and serenaded the entire Hotel. Squadron activities ended Sunday Morning with a chili/Fighter Pilot Stew and Debriefing Function held at the Forward Command Post. I think the following were there: Mark & Ginger Anderson (Morals Officers), Jim Hinkle (Entertainment Director) , Charlie & Lynda Neel (Choirmasters), Rees & Pauline Wagner (Big Apple Reps), Randy & Jan Cubero (Diversity Officers), John & Lydia Bosch (Legal), Old Hector and Young Hector Negroni (Cheeleading), Brice and Susan Porth (Supply Officers), Jim Rogers and Lynda Cain (Dress Inspectors), Tom & Anne Eller (Reporters), Bob & Janice Brickey (Setup and Cleanup Detail), Dean & Jo Jones (Hangers on), John and Nancy McDonough (Decorum), Charley Moores and son (Observers), Jerry and Sue Lefton (Physical Fitness Monitors), and Bob Wagner (Bon Vivant). Additionally a large contingent of "friends of the Class" also attended. They included: Gerry Dawes and Libby Edwards (Limmericks), Jim & Diane Wilter, Bill Charney, Fred & Sue Westerberg, Bill & Mia Rossiter, Steve & Francine Tormey, Kathleen Kennedy (Gracious Hostess), Bill & Betty Kosko (General Oversight) and family members., J. Phelan, B.Strauss, and many others. It will take us at least two years to recover from this one and reports are still coming in about our activities. More to follow! In recognition of their efforts on behalf of the Squadron, Brice Jones and Bill Kosko were presented with slightly used 2002 calendars.

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  My Heart on the Line

         posted Dec 7, 2002

Forwarded by Larry Shewmaker.

I believe that this appeared in the "Chronicle of Higher Education." JTM

My Heart on the Line

By Frank Schaeffer
Tuesday, November 26, 2002; Page A29

Before my son became a Marine, I never thought much about who was defending me. Now when I read of the war on terrorism or the coming conflict in Iraq, it cuts to my heart. When I see a picture of a member of our military who has been killed, I read his or her name very carefully.
Sometimes I cry.

In 1999, when the barrel-chested Marine recruiter showed up in dress blues and bedazzled my son John, I did not stand in the way. John was headstrong, and he seemed to understand these stern, clean men with straight backs and flawless uniforms. I did not. I live on the Volvo-driving, higher education-worshiping North Shore of Boston. I write novels for a living. I have never served in the military.

It had been hard enough sending my two older children off to Georgetown and New York University. John's enlisting was unexpected, so deeply unsettling.   I did not relish the prospect of answering the question "So where is John going to college?" from the parents who were itching to
tell me all about how their son or daughter was going to Harvard. At the private high school John attended, no other students were going into the military.

"But aren't the Marines terribly Southern?" asked one perplexed mother while standing next to me at the brunch following graduation. "What a waste, he was such a good student," said another parent. One parent (a professor at a nearby and rather famous university) spoke up at a school meeting and suggested that the school should "carefully evaluate what went wrong."

When John graduated from three months of boot camp on Parris Island, 3,000 parents and friends were on the parade deck stands. We parents and our Marines not only were of many races but also were representative of many economic classes. Many were poor. Some arrived crammed in the backs of pickups, others by bus. John told me that a lot of parents could not afford the trip.

We in the audience were white and Native American. We were Hispanic, Arab and African American and Asian. We were former Marines wearing the scars of battle, or at least baseball caps emblazoned with battles' names. We were Southern whites from Nashville and skinheads
from New Jersey, black kids from Cleveland wearing ghetto rags and white ex-cons with ham-hock forearms defaced by jailhouse tattoos. We would not have been mistaken for the educated and well-heeled parents gathered on the lawns of John's private school a half-year before.

After graduation one new Marine told John, "Before I was a Marine, if I had ever seen you on my block I would've probably killed you just because you were standing there." This was a serious statement from one of John's good friends, an African American ex-gang member from Detroit who, as John said, "would die for me now, just like I'd die for him."

My son has connected me to my country in a way that I was too selfish and insular to experience before. I feel closer to the waitress at our local diner than to some of my oldest friends. She has two sons in the Corps. They are facing the same dangers as my boy. When the guy who fixes my car asks me how John is doing, I know he means it. His younger brother is in the Navy.

Why were I and the other parents at my son's private school so surprised by his choice? During World War II, the sons and daughters of the most powerful and educated families did their bit. If the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done?

Have we wealthy and educated Americans all become pacifists? Is the world a safe place? Or have we just gotten used to having somebody else defend us?   What is the future of our democracy when the sons and daughters of the janitors at our elite universities are far more likely to be put in harm's way than are any of the students whose dorms their parents clean?

I feel shame because it took my son's joining the Marine Corps to make me take notice of who is defending me. I feel hope because perhaps my son is part of a future "greatest generation." As the storm clouds of war gather, at least I know that I can look the men and women in uniform in the eye. My son is one of them. He is the best I have to offer. He is my heart.

Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book, co-written with his son,
Marine Cpl. John Schaeffer, is "Keeping Faith: A Father-Son Story
About Love and the United States Marine Corps."

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  Lowell Jones Luncheon

        Posted 15 Nov 2002

Lowell Jones sent the following summary of their recent luncheon.  Since so many participated, forwarding it to you seemed a good way to help stay in touch with each other.

Summary forwarded by Nelson:

Yesterday's luncheon at Chevy's was the usual success, particularly in being able to get up to date on everyone's activities.  Attending were Charley Dixon (thousands of dollars damage to his water plane from a nice storm going through Manassas), Bill Foster (made it to the luncheon despite a late flight getting home from Peru/Bolivia the night prior - and then getting a flu shot before the luncheon), Steve Ho (still keeping us up to date on how to survive the market), Lowell Jones (telling more travel stories and heading to Disney World the last two weeks in November - didn't win a free trip like some do), Jack McDonough (went to the Army game and still one of two present who is working full time), Hector Negroni ( many stories about the Army game - mostly about the great parties, not the game), Jim Rogers (showed great pictures of the Army game - mainly the parties - he's the other one still working full time - wore a tie), Bill Stackhouse (sacrificed home-building time to join us and got us up to date on the mansion by the water), and Karl Whitaker (first time he was late commuting from New Jersey - endured 3 traffic jams through Baltimore and Washington).  Excused absences were Pat Buckley (couldn't get out of London), Terry Norris (was on his way to the luncheon but his nearly new car's fuel pump decided to crash), Bill Sanzenbacher ( had his home remodelers decide at the last minute that they could only be at his house on Wednesday), and Charlie Stebbins (who invited us to West Virginia, but didn't provide a Lear Jet to get us there).  We had much fun as usual and fortunately didn't have to worry about dodging sniper bullets.  Steve Ho was within 2 miles of shootings in Maryland, and the one in Fredericksburg was 3 miles from our home.  Beat UNLV!

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