Tim's September 2009 Checkpoints Class News Article

WELCOME CLASS OF 2009! The Class of 1968 salutes the newest members of the Long Blue Line. Our hopes and prayers go with you to "keep the wings level and true."

HELLO '68!! Happy Holidays!! What? You say the holiday season was months ago! According to Dick Fast, it depends on your procrastination and excuse calendar. It was a treat to catch up on belated news from Dick and his family as they continue to enjoy life in the Big Sky Country. Happy holidays to you, too, Dick!

"USAFA R Us, Inc." L-R: Lt Col Christopher Eden (USAFA'94), nephew 2nd Lt David Butler (USAFA '09), and classmate Col (Ret) Tony Eden)

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Tony Eden sent greetings from Falcon Stadium where he celebrated yet another USAFA graduation with a family member in the graduating class. This time it was his nephew, 2nd Lt David Butler. Adding to the family affair, Tony's son, Christopher (USAFA '94), presided over David's swearing in ceremony. David is now assigned to Vance AFB to attend pilot training. Christopher is stationed at Andrews AFB and performs DV flying duties with the 89th Airlift Wing. Congratulations, Tony, and a special thank you to you and your family for your steadfast service to our nation!

S.O.S!!!: For those unaware of our classmate Sam Gibson's recent medical trials and tribulations, I am passing along correspondence from Frank Moore and Sam's daughter, Stacy, that explains the situation and details the most urgent needs of Sam and his family.

Frank writes, "Greetings all! For those who didn't know, Brother Gibson had two strokes around the first of May. Unfortunately, the first stroke went undiagnosed for two days. The second struck shortly thereafter. Jim Thompson and I had a very good visit at the end of May. Jim did a lot of legal work preparing and recording multiple powers of attorney, which was a tremendous help to Sam and daughter, Stacy. We all laughed, cried, and talked a lot, and I feel Sam treasured every moment. We sure did! We also spent quality time with his awesome daughter, who lives in California, and his sister, Jackie, who was up with husband Alex from Williamsburg, VA.

Sam is in the rehab wing of the hospital, doing a demanding regimen of therapy every day. He has good large muscle control, which makes for a promising prognosis. His speech was heavily affected. However, I have spoken with him twice since leaving last Thursday, and he is noticeably more understandable...also very promising. You can call or write at: Mount Carmel West, Room 62, 793 West State Street, Columbus, OH 43222, Hospital Room Phone: (614) 459-7293 room #108, Cell Phone: (614) 441-8422.

He can take calls in the room or you can leave a message on his cell. He will be difficult to understand at first, but gets better as you get accustomed. Brother has mucho guts, and is working very hard on his communication. I am sure any contact will mean the world to him. I plan to go back in the next 3 weeks, so if any of you are thinking of going, please let me know and we may be able to coordinate. Take care, and keep those thoughts and prayers going. Thanks. Frank, H: (972) 780-7910, C: (214) 405-4026."

In response to a follow up note to Sam's daughter, Stacy, from Flash Wiley (USAFA '65), Stacy writes, "As many of you know, over the past few months I've been dealing with one of the more difficult challenges in life, as I've tended to the healing of my father after he suffered from two strokes recently. Taking care of him has been a fairly consuming challenge that takes up a great deal of my time, energy and resources. In the meantime, as my resources begin to tap out with no shortage of responsibilities still needing my attention in the caring of my father, I am forced to find creative ways to give him the quality of care that any daughter would want for her father. To that end I am humbling myself to reach out to you for assistance.

Being that my dad is in the hospital in Ohio and most of my work requires me to be in LA or other cities, I am rapidly accumulating a great deal of travel and lodging expenses flying back and forth and staying for weeks at a time in Columbus. I realize that some of you or someone you know might have airline miles, hotel points, or rental car vouchers that you may not have a need for immediately. If this is the case I would love to discuss the possibility of me purchasing bulk amounts of them for a "less than retail" amount. Rapid Reward points or Companion pass on Southwest Airlines (especially), American, United Airlines, or Hilton, and Marriott hotels are most appreciated because of the proximity and schedule conveniences, but truly, ANY points/vouchers you might be willing to offer would be invaluable in helping me maintain my own remnants of stability (and sanity) during this extended period of care for my Dad.

To all of my Dads' Academy classmates, I've heard so much about all of you throughout my life and I look forward to connecting with you personally in the near future. My information is as follows: Stacy L.Gibson; 156 S. Meridith Ave., #117; Pasadena, CA 91106; 818.903.0680; Frequent Flyer #'s: American - H36N062; Southwest - 124721225. All My Best, Stacy Gibson"

In answering Stacy's request, if you have more than ample frequent flyer miles and/or additional hotel points, please consider Stacy's offer. Any assistance you can render would be greatly appreciated!

"'68's Mountain Bicycling Team" L-R: Rhip Worrell, Mike Burgamy, and Pat McBride

BICYCLING TRIO REACHES SUMMIT: Pat McBride checked in with another '68ers Never Grow Old story of his bicycling exploits in Colorado with classmates Rhip Worrell and Tex Burgamy. While not quite the same as the Tour de France, Pat and company would have made Lance Armstrong proud with their six days of rides over McClure, Monarch, and Independence Passes on the mountainous roadways that make up Route 380. The smiley-faced photo tells the story of their accomplishments at the summit of Independence Pass. Way to go guys!

'68 EAST COAST REUNION: This year's East Coast Reunion will be held on October 3rd immediately after the USAFA-USNA football game at Mike's Restaurant and Crab House at 3030 Old Riva Road, Riva, MD 21140, Phone:(410) 956-2784. The restaurant is located just west of Annapolis off of Route 50 on Riva Road. All classmates and guests are welcome.

"Charlie Seifert and Polly Betor Tie Knot at Charlie's Winery" L-R: Scribe, Karl and Susan Whittenberg, Polly and Charlie Seifert, Alex and David Prevost, and Sally and Mike Wagner

HE SURE HAD SOME MIGHTY FINE WINE: No, I am not talking about Jeremiah or any bullfrogs, but instead about a wonderful wedding in Virginia's Wine Country where Charlie Seifert tied the knot with his beloved Polly on May 9th. Friends and family thoroughly enjoyed "sampling" freshly opened bottles of wine from Charlie's own winery. To provide a '68 flavor to the event, Karl Whittenberg sang a special love song for the bride and groom. It was a sight and night to behold!

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 the Class Website to see photos included in this column in color and in full size. Ciao for now. Tim

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