Tim's June 2012 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO '68!! Oy Yea! Oy Yea! Second Call for '68's 45th Reunion in 2013! Our Colorado-based crew is working to make this a spectacular event. If you wish to assist or have suggestions, please contact Al Blumberg at ablum68@hotmail.com.

2012 EAST COAST REUNION: Hot off the press . . . Ed and Karen Eberhart will be hosting '68's East Coast reunion at their home in Arlington, Virginia on 9 June. Start time is 6:30PM. All classmates are invited and RSVPs for those planning to attend are requested ASAP

Reese 70-01 UPT Reunion on USS Midway. L-R: Scribe, Tom Dreier, John 'Sully' Sullivan, Dana Drenkowski, J Ferron, George Hoffman, Bill Gauntt, Brian O'Hara, Charlie Holland, Rhip Worrell, Mike Morrison, and Jim Lozito. Not pictured: Marty Cole.

REESE AVIATORS OCCUPY SAN DIEGO: Not wishing to wait until their 45th reunion in 2014, Reese's 70-01 UPT class took San Diego by storm in Oct 2011 with visits to the Navy SEALS Basic Underwater Demolition School in Coronado, the USS Midway, the San Diego Zoo, and a cruise around San Diego Harbor. A memorial service for deceased classmates was held on the Midway. It was a rewarding and memorable reunion for one and all.

After sending out my first e-mail address change in 19 years, several classmates came up on the net who I had not heard from in quite a while. Such is the case with Jim Thompson, who left the environs of Washington, D.C. to enjoy a less stressful life on a small farm in Crossville, Tennessee. Jim is an eight-year prostate cancer survivor and is thankful for the prayers offered by so many of you during his ordeal. His wife, Brinda, and he recently traveled to Thailand to attend a board meeting and to visit his old B-52 base at Utapao. While touring the base, the Thai Commander gave him a car and a driver, closed the runway, and allowed Tony Marshall and him to drive its full length. As Jim stated, "The trip down the runway created some interesting emotions!" (Scribe Note: How many of you are now flashing back to our Third Class year and the Management class where we all watched 12 O'Clock High?)

Beyond farming, and fishing in a pond that is a stone's throw from his front porch, Jim is still practicing law. He recently completed a Masters of Law in Estate Planning and Elder Law and plies his practice by making house calls, where he actually goes to the clients. If you would like to catch up with Jim, or maybe get some good advice for your "elder years," you can contact him at jetblak1@gmail.com

Charlie Holland and Classmates at 2011 AFA Air & Space Conference. L-R: Bill Begert, Charlie Coolidge, Bobby Floyd, Charlie Holland, and Scribe. Not Pictured: Lindsey Bierer

HOLLAND HONORED: For most of us, February is fondly embraced for Valentine's and President's Days. In 2012, for Charlie Holland and his family, I believe it is more likely to be remembered as "Honors Month in Washington, D.C."

On February 7th, during the National Defense Industrial Association's (NDIA's) Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC) Division's Annual Awards Banquet, Charlie received the R. Lynn Rylander Award (the SO/LIC Division's most prestigious award) for his outstanding contributions to the Special Operations Community throughout his distinguished military career and in retirement by remaining faithful to core values that support the goals and objectives of our nation's SOF through his time, mentorship, and support of special operations organizations such as the SOF Warrior Foundation and NDIA's SO/LIC and Stability Operations Divisions.

On February 24th, Charlie became only the 12th recipient of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award from the Association of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (the Association's most prestigious award) for his outstanding accomplishments and service in the integration of technological and industrial resources for a strong U.S. national security and industrial base.

Charlie, your classmates are very proud of you! Thank you for continuing to provide such stellar service for our country. Please accept our heartiest congratulations for a job extremely well done!

The bounty of news from last holiday season continues with greetings from Bill and Jody Begert. While Jody plied her nursing skills on the two family dogs, Cleo and Kassie, our classmate, Bill, replaced his knees from the "Original Manufacturer" with newer and stronger bionic ones. Jody writes, "Bill is also ¾" taller because they straightened his knees and put in some plastic cartilage. His golf game hasn't improved, so he's searching for a neurosurgeon that might be able to help. He tried to retire from Pratt & Whitney in 2011, but he flunked. We'll see what happens in 2012."

Charlie Coolidge chimed in with season's greetings and updates on he and his family. Charlie is still working for EADS North America and now has a longer commute after their corporate offices moved from Arlington to Herndon, Virginia. Other activities on his plate include his appointment to the USAFA Athletic Corporation Board of Directors and continuing work on the Board of Managers for the National Museum of the Air Force and the AF Academy Falcon Foundation. Wife, Bonnie, remains the stalwart in coordinating and supporting family activities and son, Charlie IV, serves as her fulltime helper. Son, Brad, is an AWACS Instructor Pilot and Chief of Standardization Evaluation of his flying squadron at Tinker AFB and daughter, Colleen, works with Green Olive Media in Atlanta. Charlie's father turned 90 in 2011 and they had a wonderful family celebration in Chattanooga.

'68's Aloha Contingent. L-R: Tom Devereaux, Mark Torreano, Jim Estes, Vic Bonfiglio, John 'Sully' Sullivan, and Walt Yamamoto.

In addition to sending the photo shown above, Mark Torreano writes: "I am enjoying retirement in the Aloha State. I am working on a variety of political campaigns to help elect leaders who can put our government at all levels back on the path to fiscal responsibility and limited government. Mimi is an active Assistance League volunteer, working in their thrift shop to fund programs for children and the poor. Son Mark Jr, LCDR USN, Class of '94, is serving with the NATO Hqs in Kabul, while daughter Marcy is in Las Vegas where her husband Jack, Maj USAF, Class of '94, is flying UAVs."

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS: After last column, I heard from Abe Abramson who said he appreciated our Class' prayers. He is on dialysis and continuing to fight the good fight.

As I was completing this column, I received a note from Bob Marks telling me about the recent death of Don Duncan's wife, Barbara. To Don, my fellow 3rd Squadron classmate, please accept the entire Class' most sincere condolences for your loss.

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. Please go to our Class Website to see photos included in this column in full size by clicking on Scribe's Page. Ciao for now. Tim

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