Tim's June 2015 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO '68!! The “silly season” is gaining momentum in our nation’s capital as candidates for our 45th President extol their virtues and give us glimpses of reformulated plans and programs to improve our lives. Can months of political TV commercials and “robo-calls” be far behind? I can hardly wait! NOT!!

Carl and Debbie Janssen and Garry and Tina Dudley co-hosted another successful Dark Ages party at Chez Janssen in March that had to be postponed from its original date in February due to a Colorado blizzard. Carl said, that a great time was had by all as topics from the Academy’s victorious 2014 football season to women boxing at the Wing Open were discussed. Kudos to the Janssen’s and Dudley’s for continuing this very special ‘68 Dark Ages tradition.

“68ers at 2015 Dark Ages Party.” L-R: Mike Parkinson, Don Caughlin, Gene Rose, Dave Allen, Dan Hites, Gary Hoffman, Carl Janssen, Steve Staley, Bill Woods, Barney Mills, Garry Dudley, Dale Oderman, Rock Buraglio, Doug Wilson, Steve McPhail, Vince Rusinak, and Chuck Jones. Not pictured: Neal Starkey, Charlie Holland, and Geo Roberts.”

: For our 45th reunion, under Neal Starkey’s leadership, our class participated in a giving campaign to USAFA activities of our choosing. During the banquet, Steve McPhail and his compatriots from 20th Squadron challenged the rest of us to make a greater effort toward this end by becoming Sabre Society donors--a gift of at least $1,000 per year. Following this challenge, our class placed first among all graduating classes with a total of 70 Sabre Society members. In the March 2015 edition of Checkpoints, our Class News column shows that our number is now down to 54 members. Recognizing that finances are a very personal matter, I simply ask that you make an honest assessment of what USAFA has meant to the quality of your life and to see whether it would be possible to put an additional $83.34 per month on your credit card to reach the Sabre Society giving level. Sequestration and Defense Budget cuts have had a deleterious effect on our alma mater and your financial assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this request.

                                                        “24th Squadron Legacy Recognition for Class of 2018”

During the summer of 2014, Don Sutton floated the idea among his doolie squadron classmates from 24th Squadron about being involved with the Class of 2018’s recognition as part of ‘68’s Legacy Class activities. Everyone was in full support! Their rationale was that recognition was, and should continue to be, one of the major milestones of "cadethood" and should be on the list of legacy events along with the existing ones such as the Acceptance Day parade. Since recognition is very squadron specific, the 24th Squadron alums wanted to have a direct linkage between the doolies of 1968 and 2018. Garry Dudley, our class Senator, was extremely helpful in pointing them in the right direction and Megan Nash of the AOG helped with internal coordination. In addition to their presence at recognition, they commissioned a commemorative coin to give to each 4th classman in CS24. The attendees were Bert Bauer, Bruce Buono, George Kramer, Rich Moran, Neal Starkey, and Don Sutton. While many others desired to be there, for various reasons they could not. The initiative resulted in a very direct interaction with some 20 some members of the Class of 2018 and some of the CS24 upper classmen. As Don opined, “I think they liked it! We tried to tie our history with their future and, hopefully, we made an impact. It was fun for all of us who participated. In addition, we had a great time reconnecting with one another and spending a little quality time together. The AOC (LTC Cook) thought everything went well and that the entire squadron really appreciated us taking part in the event.” A full account of this effort with photos may be found at our class website under Legacy Class: “24th Cadet Squadron’s Recognition Day.”

After getting in touch with Geoff Gorsuch last Christmas, he sent the following letter in reply. “This year for us was more or less dealing with the realities of a stage 4 bone cancer. By God’s grace, Diane has done well with it for over a year. But, since November, tumors came back with a vengeance in the brain and spine and 2 weeks of intense radiation left her without hair and energy…but not without hope. Though our faith struggles at times for the most part we are encouraging each other to face it and get on with life. So we take it day by day. There may be some intense chemo in the year ahead…or she may decide that she has had enough. After all, we do have The Answer and heaven at some point will seem like a better option. In any case, we are going to enjoy Christmas and wait for the arrival of our two daughters in January to help mom and dad decide what the next steps should be. In spite of it all, the ministry progresses through the men that have been closest to me here in Southeast Asia for the last ten years. They have traveled with me throughout the region as I have had the privilege of mentoring them in life and ministry. So, when Diane’s health began to fail, they were ready to step up and lift the ministry load from me so that I could be more available to her. And, they have done well! The feedback from the region on their performance has been very rewarding for Diane and me. Our spiritual sons and daughters are now doing the job and we will stay out here to continue to coach and counsel them as long as the Lord allows. We request prayer for wisdom as we do that…and for the specific decisions we need to make with respect to Diane’s health. May His will be done!” Geoff’s new address is: 4908 Persistence Lane, Redding, CA 96002. E-mails are: Geoff@lifecoach.org and DianeGorsuch@hotmail.com.

                                                    "Navigators Come Home" L-R: Diane and Geoff Gorsuch

2015 EAST COAST REUNION: The East Coast Reunion is scheduled for 6 June at Ed and Karen Eberhart’s home in Arlington, Virginia with a start time of 7:00PM. If you need a place to stay to attend the reunion, please contact me so I can help in coordinating classmate lodging for you.

Prayers and apologies to Charles Price for mistakenly reporting the loss of his son Ethan. Ethan is fine, married, and working in Mobile, Alabama. His older son, Ryan, died in 2014. Prayers to Marty Cole and Tom Dreier battling Parkinson’s disease. Prayer of thanks for Debbie Janssen completing her radiation treatments and prayers for her continued healing. Prayers for Diane Gorsuch in her fight with bone cancer.

Mind the flak; keep ‘em flying, and keep those cards, letters, e-mails, and photos coming in to Pat Russell and me. Photos of 2014 UPT reunions may be found on the class website under Bulletins. Ciao for now. Tim

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