HELLO 68! I hope you are
all finding the faith and patience to cope with the incessant barrage
of The sky is falling! news and our economys wide
swings of ups and downs. You may recall that the year we graduated
was quite turbulent, as well. In reflection, our class motto seems
as appropriate now as it did in 1968. We all need to carry on with
Wings and Courage.
55-YEAR REUNION IS AROUND THE CORNER: In an email from our 55-Year Reunion Chairman, Gary Hoffman, he writes: The photo above was taken during Bill Gauntts memorial service at the USAFA Cemetery in April. The reunion committee kicked off planning on April 14, 2022. Members include: Gary Hoffman (Chair), Bill Crimmel (Vice-Chair), Dave Allen, Garry Dudley, Carl Janssen, Ed Leonard, Bill Maywhort, Dale Oderman, Mike Parkinson, Gene Rose, Vince Rusinak, Ben Stevens, Mark Torreano, Gary Vasek, Doug Wilson, and Bill Wood. Current Academy policy is to sponsor three reunion weekends each fall. Using the reunion survey results as guidance, we selected the first reunion weekend in September 2023 for our 55th. If the Academy offers support for a summer reunion at a later date, we will reconsider our options. Watch our class website (and Checkpoints column) for updates as we grow closer to September 2023. Many thanks to Gary and our Colorado-based 68 contingent for their efforts to provide us with the opportunity to renew our lifelong relationships with one another.
FINAL REMINDER: The Reese AFB Class of 70-01s 53-Year reunion is scheduled from 27-30 October 2022 at the St. Pete Beach, Florida Hilton Garden Inn. POCs for the event are Charlie Holland and me.
68ER DRIVES ALONG DANIEL BOONES WILDERNESS TRAIL: In May, I received a wonderful travelogue from our classmate, Bill Eckert, describing his historic retracing of Daniel Boones exploratory work along the Cumberland Gap. Bill writes: All my life Id assumed that the famous Cumberland Gapfrom when our western frontier was the Appalachians, which runs from Canada down to Alabamawas somewhere north of Virginia, like along the valley of one of the three rivers at Pittsburgh or likely around the well-named town of Cumberland in western Maryland. Nope! After some diligent research, he learned more about the real location and the history that goes with it. Bills incredible journey is captured in his article, with photos, that may be found on our class website in Bulletin #62. I highly encourage you to check it out and enjoy the tale of the trail.
DOOLIE ROOMMATES REUNITE 58 YEARS AFTER FIRST MEETING: In June, I received a phone call from our classmate, Jim Parker, who is a retired FBI counternarcotics agent living in Madison, Wisconsin. He told me that he would be visiting his daughter in Alexandria, Virginia during the last week in June and wondered whether we could get together while he was in my neck-of-the-woods. We chose to rendezvous on June 29th, exactly 58 years after our first meeting in 1964 (in either olive drab fatigues or blue bathrobes--I cant remember which) as members of USAFAs Basic Summers 7th Flight of Cougar Squadron. We had a good time catching up and acknowledging we were big men yesterday, but boy you ought to see us now!
68ER PINS STARS ON DAUGHTER: On 2 June 2022, with members of my family and a very small group of friends gathered in my living room, my daughter, Melissa (Davidson) Cunningham, (USAFA 96), was promoted to brigadier general. She was one of two women in the Air Force selected for promotion to brigadier general in 2021 and it took nearly 18 months to pin on her new rank after the list was first published. She has had a stellar career in Communications and Cybersecurity and has excelled at all levels of command and staff. The promotion ceremony was orchestrated by Melissas husband, Fred Cunningham (USAFA 94) and her promotion official was Brigadier General Debra Lovette (USAFA 94). We are very proud of Melissas accomplishments, faith, and humility and trust that God will continue to bless her with opportunities to serve him and our country for many years to come.
THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS: We are very thankful for our Colorado classmates who have offered so much love and support to the families of our fallen comrades as they are interred or memorialized at the USAFA cemetery. A special thanks to Carl Janssen and Gene Rose for leading in this effort. Please remember our classmates and their families who are ill or grieving and remember them in your prayers.
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. Ciao for now. Tim
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