Tim's March 2017Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO '68!! Thanks for all the cards, family newsletters, e-mails, and photos that you sent during the holiday season. Best wishes to you and yours for a bright, prosperous, and healthy 2017!

A very special '68 congratulations goes to Charlie Holland, who was selected as a USAFA Distinguished Graduate for 2016. Charlie joins Ed Eberhart as the second classmate to be so recognized and honored. A formal banquet to honor Charlie and the other selectees for 2016 will be held at the USAFA O'Club on 7 April at 6:00PM. If you wish to purchase a ticket to attend the banquet, please contact Daisy Hall, Director of Event Planning at the AOG at 719-472-0300 ext. 147. Way to go, Charlie!!

"Kodak Moment in China on the Goddess Stream in the Three Gorges." L-R: Sharon & Tim Ayres, Nancie & Michael Freeborn, and Steve & Susie Marlier

The Ayres', Marlier's and Freeborn's enjoyed a September 2016 China adventure together. This was quite an amazing trip that dispelled a lot of their perceived notions about China. In addition to the visit to the Goddess Stream, shown in the photo above, they discovered a beer vending machine in the Shanghai Airport where Michael Freeborn took the opportunity to "liberate" one of the cans for a personal taste test. Steve Marlier opined, "Susie and I thought this was our all-time favorite trip. Looking back, I think Hong Kong was our favorite stop followed closely by Shanghai and Beijing. It was a blast to travel with Tim, Sharon, Mike and Nancie."

Tim Ayres retired from Southwest Airlines in 2005 and enjoys taking advantage of his travel benefits. Sharon and he have also been blessed with four beautiful grandchildren. Tim writes, "Retirement has not been boring! Once I retired from the Reserves and Southwest, we have had the time to enjoy our families and travel with many of our classmates. Our oldest daughter was just hired by Southwest, so now she is experiencing some of the wonderful times I had in my 18 years with the airline. Probably doesn't sound too different than what we all have experienced in our almost 50 years since graduation. Speaking of which, we are looking forward to the reunion in 2018 and catching up with our classmates and all their new happenings, again."

Michael and Nancie Freeborn live in Chicago, Illinois, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and Naples, Florida. Michael has been practicing law in Chicago for 45 years and serves on the board of ORPHANetwork. Nancie and he volunteer for many philanthropic organizations, are blessed with nine grandchildren, and enjoy traveling with USAFA classmates.

Steve Marlier retired from industry at 50-years old and had executive positions with IBM and the Santa Fe Railroad. Susie recently retired after more than 40 years of nursing in labor and delivery. They live in Charlotte, North Carolina and have four sons and 11 grandchildren. Steve spends his time focused on volunteer work in Charlotte by volunteering with Hospice, an adult memory day care facility, and with the Knights of Columbus at his local parish.

Our classmate, Charlie Seifert, continued officiating track and field in 2016. After the 2016 Olympic Games, he began working on his recertification for the 2020 Olympiad. This spring, he will be at the NCAA Division III outdoor nationals in Ohio and the New Balance Nationals in North Carolina. When not wearing a striped-shirt and carrying a whistle on the "fields of friendly strife," he is part owner of the Barrel Oak Winery in Virginia, which, in addition to award-winning wines, premiered its farm-brewed craft beer in December 2016. Other pursuits include serving as a volunteer with the National Park Service at the Fredericksburg (2 days a month) and Chancellorsville (once a month) battlefields. During the warmer months, he gets outside with the public and gives walking tours of "The Sunken Road" and "The Jackson Wounding." To celebrate his 70th birthday, Polly and he had an incredible voyage around the Galapagos Islands in July with a follow-on land cruise in Peru and Machu Picchu.

                                                                        "Pat Hurley Catches Really Big Fish.”

A CATCH AND RELEASE GEM: Pat Hurley writes, I was showing this to a Physical Therapist working on my aging shoulder and thought some fishermen among our classmates might get a hoot out of it. I caught the fish, shown in the photo, on Bulkley River, north of Smithers in British Columbia, on a 5wt 13-foot Spey rod on a Skeena Poacher streamer. I figure it was about 23 pounds by looking at the formula for fish that are 40.5 inches by 24.5 inches. It was harmlessly released to fight, again."

                                   "'68er AOC Bob Pauli with Former Cadet, Now CSAF, General Dave Goldfein"

'68'S DIRECT CONNECTION TO CURRENT CSAF: The photo, shown above, was taken on 22 September 2016 at CSAF General Dave Goldfein's Tattoo ceremony. Bob Pauli writes, "Dave was a cadet in my squadron when I was CS-19 AOC from 1982-83. As you can see, Cadet Goldfein took my leadership tips to heart, then either followed them or maybe did the opposite. Either way, I feel like a 'Proud Papa' and was very grateful to Dave for being so thoughtful as to invite me to his 4-Star pin-on in 2015 and to his CSAF Tattoo Ceremony at Joint Base Andrews-Bolling in September. Gen Terry O'Shaughnessy, Lt Gen Chris Bogdan, and Brig Gen Dana Born were also cadets in my squadron. Quite a talented bunch! Made a tough job easier."

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS: Since my last column, we are mourning the passing of two more classmates. In October 2016, Mark Wise lost his battle with cancer. Our prayers go out to his wife, Cynthia, and his family and friends. On 25 November 2016, Thomas J. Meyer, formerly from Cadet Squadron 23, passed away in Martinsville, Virginia. Condolences may be sent to his family in care of his wife, Mrs. Carol Meyer at 415 Devonshire Drive; Ridgeway, VA 24148-3449.

We also pray for the loss of family members with the unexpected passing of my step-brother, Richard Judge, on 19 December 2016 and Vern McGraw's mother, who died on 8 January 2017 at the age of 98.

We offer continued prayers for healing, peace, and comfort to classmates Geoff Gorsuch, Jeff Feinstein, Bill Markham, Pete Davis, Dave Helgevold, and others who are fighting the good fight. Please give them a call from time-to-time to let them know you care

THAT'S A WRAP: Mind the flak; keep 'em flying, and keep those cards, letters, e-mails, and photos coming in to Pat Russell and me. Ciao for now. Tim

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