Tim's December 2010 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO '68!!It's "Slash 'em with a beak" time again! As I write this column, our Falcons have posted impressive victories over BYU, CSU, Wyoming, and the Squids and were ranked as high as 23 of the top 25 football teams in both the AP and Coaches Polls. Could life get any better than a gorgeous fall day, a cool beverage, and winning Falcon football? How sweet it is!!

Pool Time in Arizona: L-R: Bruce Gerrity, Mike Langley, John Roulston, and Marty Cole.

SCOTTSDALE REUNION: In April 2010, as Marty and Claudia Cole were making one of their storied trips around the US, they stopped in at Chez Langley in Scottsdale, AZ to visit Mike and Evelyn and to link up with John Roulston, who lives in the area, and Bruce Gerrity, who was visiting from Arlington, VA. Mike retired from Southwest Airlines about four years ago and Evelyn said he gets in sets of tennis when not underfoot at home. The Langley's informed me that John Roulston was having a rough time with health issues lately and asked classmates and friends to keep John in their thoughts and prayers. I told them we would do just that.

Classmates at Inaugural Reunion: L-R: Tony Marshall, Scribe, and Maurice Ecung.

INAUGURAL BLACK SERVICE ACADEMY GRADUATES SUPER REUNION: Thanks to a timely telephone call from Tony Marshall, I was able to link up with Maurice and Antonia Ecung and Tony the night before the kickoff of the Inaugural Black Service Academy Graduates Super Reunion at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel, DC from 26-28 August. The event was principally organized by members of USAFA and USMA to provide networking opportunities for Black service academy graduates and to honor the legacy of the first Black graduates from the respective institutions. So, history buffs, here is the list of the first Black graduates from each of the academies: USMA: Henry O. Flipper, Class of 1877; USMMA: Joseph B. Williams, Class of 1944; USNA: William A. Brown, Class of 1949; USAFA: Charles V. Bush, Isaac Sanders, Roger B. Sims, Class of 1963; and USCGA: Merle J. Smith, Class of 1966. Maurice is putting a video diary of the event together to use as a recruiting tool for future cadets and midshipmen. Many thanks to Tony and Maurice for including me in this important inaugural event!

On 19 July, The Honorable James R. Clapper, Jr., then Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, presided over the promotion of Greg Varhall's better half, Linda, to the rank of brigadier general in the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes room. Bill Gauntt participated in the ceremony by serving as chaplain and Greg and his family helped Linda pin on her new stars and pose for photos. Joining our merry band was Bill's wife, Nancy, and Toby Sullivan, whom I had not seen in a number of years. Using my standard guilt trip phrases that it would be really nice, moral, and important to the future of mankind for Toby to provide me with a few words for the class column, he caved in and pasted a few sentences together to help us all catch up on what he has been doing. So, from the official Pentagon files, here is a quick review of his recent activities:

Toby received a Meritorious Defense Intelligence Executive Presidential Rank Award for his accomplishments during the past five years as the Director, Counterintelligence, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Office of the Secretary of Defense. During that period he also served as the Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Counterintelligence and Security for approximately one year. Toby was also honored at the annual Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) Awards Banquet in 2010, when was inducted into the AFOSI Hall of Fame for his accomplishments during his 29 year military career. That evening his son, Lt Col Troy L. Sullivan (USAFA '92) received AFOSI command awards for being selected as the AFOSI Field Grade Officer of the Year and for the AFOSI unit he commanded at Nellis AFB, NV winning the Verne Orr Award, the AFOSI Team Award (his narcotics team) and for the second consecutive year, the AFOSI Large Detachment of the Year. Troy was reassigned to Andrews AFB, MD where he now commands AFOSI's 7th Field Investigations Squadron. His wife Cherryl, also an AFOSI agent, is assigned to the Pentagon. Thankfully, this puts Toby and Sharyn's two grandchildren much closer to home than the trip they formerly made to see them when they lived in Nevada.

Back In The Day With The First Women Air Force Pilots: L-R: Charlie Coolidge, Jim Neu,
Amy Goodpaster Strebe, Elaine Harmon, Bill Begert, and Scribe

'68 MINI-REUNION AT 2010 AFA AIR & SPACE CONFERENCE: The Air Force Association put on another great conference this year at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel in DC from 13-15 September. This year's event featured presentations from all of the major commands and a series of featured presentations by luminaries such as Charles Krauthammer on American foreign policy in the Middle East. As this conference tends to draw in a few of our clan from time-to-time, I had my camera at the ready and captured a photo with Charlie Coolidge, Jim Neu, Bill Begert, and me as we joined up with Women's Air Service World War II Pilot Elaine S. Harmon and Amy Goodpaster Strebe at a book-signing of Amy's new book Flying For Her Country. Our classmate Bill Drennan was also at the conference and participated as one of the special lecturers on North Korea. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with Mrs. Harmon and listening to what the world was like back in her day.

REESE AFB 70-01 REUNION: Due to popular request from pilot training classmates, the next Reese AFB 70-01 UPT reunion will be in October 2011 in San Diego. More information to follow!

As I was preparing the class column, I learned of our classmate Tad Draper's passing in Papillion, Nebraska on 28 September. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Becky, sons, Jim and Rob, and daughter, Beth, during their time of sorrow. As this column was being completed, I was informed of Carl Knopke’s death in October. Garry Dudley reported that Carl was on a hiking trip in Oregon with friends and suffered a massive heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Knopke family and their friends, as well.

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 full size by clicking on Scribe's Page. In addition, please see the feature on our website under "Bulletins" about the new Southeast Asia Memorial Pavilion sponsored by the Class of 1970 that includes a plaque from our class. If you are visiting USAFA, it is really worth a few moments of your time for thought and reflection. Ciao for now. Tim

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