Tim's June 2007 Checkpoints Class News Article

GOOD TIDINGS TO CLASS OF '07!! To the newest members of the Long Blue Line, best wishes for much success from your bold, courageous, and AARP forefathers in the Class of '68.
HELLO '68!! For you long range planners, it's time to call your travel agents and mark your calendars for 1-4 October 2008 so you can join in the revelry of our 40-year reunion. Gene Rose is presiding as Chairman of the Reunion Committee and along with other committee members Rocky Gaines, Garry Dudley, Bill Eckert, Steve Staley, Bob Denny, and Al Blumberg have selected the Embassy Suites, located near USAFA's South Gate, as the reunion hotel and headquarters. For you Falcon football fans, we will be playing Navy that weekend. To get the latest information on the event, please check our new class website at www.usafa68.org. If you have any questions or suggestions for the reunion (e.g., class gift, social events, etc.), please forward them via website: usafa68reunion@aol.com.

Dick Ewers

"Class Webmaster Pat Russell and Family" L-R: Daughter-in law, Spon; son, Andy; daughter, Kathy; wife, Nita; grandson, Joe; granddaughter, Katie; grandson, Steve; daughter-in-law, Michelle; son, Jim; and Pat.

'68's "SPIDERMAN" ESTABLISHES CLASS WEB: After years of laboring with careers in the Air Force and the City of Las Vegas, our very own Pat Russell began delving more deeply into the dark arts of computer programming and web-design. In a moment of weakness, following an exhilarating drive in his speedy Corvette, he volunteered to take on Webmaster duties for '68's Class Website. The site is now up and running and may be found at www.usafa68.org. The site includes photos, articles, class Checkpoints columns, and classmate contact information. If you have suggestions or comments, please contact Pat at webmaster@usafa68.org. Many thanks, Pat!

'68's MiG PILOT: Just when you thought you knew all you needed to know about the Cold War, new revelations shatter your perceptions of a classmate you knew only as Karl Whittenberg. Under the cloak of secrecy from 1977 through 1988, working in a now declassified project called "CONSTANT PEG," Air Force, Navy, and Marine pilots were selected to fly Soviet-designed MiG fighters to help train American pilots "how to defeat or evade the Communist bloc's fighter of the day." As a card-carrying member of the 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron's Red Eagles, Karl was one of the original seven pilots who established the squadron in 1979. While serving as one of the "bad guys" he flew two versions of the MiG-17, the MiG-21, and two versions of the MiG-23. Oh, the tales he is now cleared to tell! Thanks for coming in from the cold, Comrade Karl!

John Lambert & Family

"Hurley Family at La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club" In photo: Nancy and Pat; son, Justin, his wife Andrea, and their two girls Alana Grace (the older of the two) and Eden Dwyer; and son Ethan and his wife Amy.

'68ER RETIRES FOR 4TH TIME: Pat Hurley checked in to say that he has officially begun his 4th and "hopefully last retirement, but not his last gig." His last day at Raytheon was February 2nd and involved leaving the confines of his Santa Barbara Bed and Breakfast in Paradise Valley to wend his way back to Arizona. Pat writes it was great fun building Raytheon's electronic warfare business, but the constant traveling and dislocation from Nancy and family took its toll. Future plans include family time, golf, fishing, sitting on a couple of public companies' board of directors, and launching an Aerospace and Defense consulting firm. He closed by saying that Nancy has him on a strict fitness regimen to return to pre-corporate clothes sizes. Good luck, on enjoying a bountiful, and buff, 4th retirement, Pat!

'68ER A SECOND-TIME GRANDPA: Slava Harlamor sent a proud grandfather e-mail that his son Alexander, a captain in the Army National Guard in Florida and the GS-14 Facility Commander of Brooksville Army Airfield, had a baby boy named Mitchel Alexander Haralmor on April 9th. Mitchel joins big sister, Katherine, as grandchild number two. Slava noted his son saw combat in Iraq working with Blackhawk and Apache helicopters out of Tikrit and that he is currently in Army Test Pilot School at Fort Rucker.

Gary McDonald & Sons

"Bob Pavelko & Sons" L to R: Son, Lt Col, USAF, Bob; Our Classmate, Bob; and son, Maj, USMC, Jeff.

WIFE CONVINCES '68ER TO WRITE TO SCRIBE: After a gentle admonishment from wife, Jane, Bob Pavelko realized the error of his ways and immediately began typing on his computer keyboard to communicate by written word to his class scribe for the first time on January 23rd. Apparently, Bob, who lives in Arlington, Texas, had volunteered to assist the North Texas Association of Air Force Academy Graduates in organizing the tailgate party before the USAFA - TCU football game on December 2nd. As fate would have it, Bob's son, Air Force Major Bob Pavelko, called to say that he would be returning from Thule, Greenland, where he is Commander of Detachment 3 for the 22nd Space Operations Squadron, and wondered whether his dad could help him pin on his below-the-zone, lieutenant colonel, oak leaves on December 1st in Colorado. After carefully weighing the pros and cons of pinning on his son's new rank or staying the course with his commitment to the tailgate party, Bob made a bee-line for Colorado to be with his son for this momentous occasion. Using a green stamp or two, Bob's son, Jeff, a Marine Corps major and Cobra pilot, managed to get a few days leave from his unit and joined his father and brother in a very happy reunion at the promotion ceremony. As Bob notes, Jeff seems to be heading in the right direction, too. He just completed a tour at the Marine Weapons and Tactics Squadron in Yuma, Arizona, which is the Marine Corps' version of "Top Gun" school. Following that assignment, Jeff was sent to intermediate service school in Quantico, Virginia. To the Pavelko family, a very hearty congratulations on your many accomplishments!

BUMPED INTO DEPT: While chairing the 18th Annual National Defense Industrial Association Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict Symposium in February, I saw some fellow 68ers at the event. Those in attendance included: Charlie Holland, Bruce Gerrity, George Degovanni, and Dan Bucchoni.

In a more somber ceremony, I saw Ed and Karen Eberhart and Tom O'Beirne at our former Commandant General Seith's funeral at Arlington Cemetery in March.

On a sad note, Ron Kerchner sent an e-mail indicating that our classmate Jim Lyons passed away quietly in his sleep on November 25, 2006 after a long battle with cancer. Jim is survived by his mother, brothers, and sisters.

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. Next column features Jim Reese in the Land Down Under, Clark Gerhardt in the Philippines, and the East Coast Reunion. Ciao for now. Tim

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