Tim's March 2021 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO ’68!! Hello 2021!! Good Riddance 2020!!! This overriding sentiment was shared by the overwhelming majority of you in the holiday correspondence I received at the end of 2020. Thanks to all who sent your cards, letters, photos, and emails to our Class Webmaster, Pat Russell, and me. Your greetings and well-wishes were appreciated.

THE FINAL FRONTIER: In addition to visionaries such as Elon Musk, Werner von Braun, and James Tiberius Kirk, the Class of 1968 has its own advocates for competence and competition beyond the earth's atmosphere. We owe a debt of gratitude for those who exhibited the courage to venture into space, like Dick Covey, but there are others, over the years, who have made substantial contributions to the creation of today's Space Force. Charlie Holland, was instrumental in this movement and in a January 2020 interview with the Air Force Association, Tom "Tav" Taverney provided some eye-opening statements about the importance of the new Sixth Service. Tav opines: "Today, the potential of a space attack is as dangerous to our nation as the threat of a nuclear attack was in the 20th century. . . Space today is a combat zone. It requires singular attention and focus. . . Deployment of weapons in space is a fact of life, and hypersonic and hyper glide weapons are a clear and present danger to our tactical and strategic posture. . . The biggest challenge is for the entire command to shift into a joint Warfighter mindset, to focus precious resources on speed, catching up, taking risk, fighting wars. The second biggest challenge is budget. The Class of '68 salutes Dick's, Charlie's, and Tav's significant contributions.

"Dave Kozak" - a.k.a., The Ageless Ninja)

'68ER OLDEST QUALIFYING NINJA: I received a note from Dave Kozak about his continued efforts with the Federation of International Ninja Athletes (FINA). Dave writes: "After self-isolating for all these months, Vera and I ventured out in mid-October 2020 to participate in the Ninja World Championship in Detroit. Masks were worn and people kept their distance most of the time. Despite our local gyms in New York being closed most of the year, my home training was enough to get me on a podium in both the Endurance (2nd place) and the Speed (3rd place) events in the Master's Division (Age 40+). I continue to be the oldest competitor, thus far, to compete and qualify." Our congrats to Dave for his success and perseverance.

"Lynn and Ken Stewart at Home in California."

'68ER'S HOUSE SURVIVES UNSCATHED: I received an email in September 2020 from Ken Stewart, who wrote after being forced to evacuate from his home in Scotts Valley. Ken writes, "The current fires got within two miles of our property (which has been in my wife's family since 1950) but we were unscathed. When we evacuated, we were lucky that we had a trip planned. We went to Murphy's and visited the old town, then to Convict Lake Resort near Mammoth. We went to the top of Mammoth Mountain and explored many of the lakes nearby. From there we went to Mono Lake (which is deserted) and then to Bodie State Historic Park. It was a leading producer during the gold rush, but is now a ghost town. Finally, up to Yosemite and Glacier Point. When the evacuation lifted, we returned home. I am currently a docent at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. My wife, Lynn's, great grandfather ran it before it became a state park. He leased the redwood grove and brought people up to it in his stagecoach from Santa Cruz. We are doing well."

"Grand Marshal Bill Gauntt"

'68ER RIDES IN FRONT: Our classmate, Bill Gauntt, received honors as Grand Marshal at the 71st Chattanooga, Tennessee Armed Forces Day parade on 23 October 2020. The event was co-sponsored by the Charles Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center in Chattanooga, which had its Grand Opening in February 2020, just prior to the pandemic. Bill writes, "I have been recovering from a broken femur for the last year and just about got the leg back in shape so that I can walk at least a quarter-mile. Not run, but walk! Nancy and I have been honoring the restrictions of the pandemic with a lot of reading, mask wearing, and not many guests, except for grandchildren. We are enjoying Academy football games and some of the University of Tennessee games. My only departures from the house are for necessities and serving as an election official for Lookout Mountain, Tennessee."

Mike Guth now has his Class ring. It had been missing for more than 50 years.

Happy to announce that my daughter, Melissa (Davidson) Cunningham, (USAFA '96) was nominated for promotion to brigadier general on 7 January 2021.

We were saddened by the death of our classmate, David Charles Allard, who passed away in Fairfax, Virginia on 14 December 2020. Condolences may be sent to his wife, Sandra, at sandra.c.allard@gmail.com.

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. Remember to include Pat and me in your holiday correspondence (with photos, if possible). Ciao for now. Tim

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