Tim's December 2017 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO ’68!! Season's greetings and best wishes for a joyous and healthy 2018! The countdown to our 50th reunion is down to a matter of months. It's time to clear your dance cards and make your travel plans accordingly. Our 50th won't be the same without you!

                                   "Gathering of Eagles" L-R: Colonels Jeff, Bob, and Bob Pavelko

Bob Pavelko traveled to USSOCOM HQ at MacDill AFB in August 2017 for the promotion of his son, Jeff, to colonel in the US Marine Corps. Bob writes, “Jeff is currently serving as the Deputy Director of Operations, Joint Collective Training and is slated to become Commodore of Training Wing 5 in Milton, Florida. He is a Cobra (AH-1W) helicopter pilot with four tours in Iraq and an Air War College graduate.

Bob, my oldest son, is a USAF colonel assigned to HQ Air Force Space Command as Chief of the Space Operations Division. He served a tour in Afghanistan, commanded the 21st Space Operations Squadron, was Vice Commander of the 45th Space Wing, and was a National Security Fellow at the JFK School of Government at Harvard. I couldn’t be prouder of both of them!” To the Pavelko family: A spirited ’68 congratulations!

I received a great update from Geoff Gorsuch, who has undergone some life-changing events in the last few years-to include the loss of his wife, Diane, and his personal battle with cancer. Based on his most recent letter, his faith is sustaining him and he has a positive outlook on the future. Among the positive events this year were trips to Malaysia and Myanmar, where he met with Christian delegates from more than eight nations, and news of his marriage to Teresa this summer after she lost her husband five years ago. To Geoff and Teresa: Congratulations on your marriage and best wishes for God's blessings on your ministry in Asia.

                         "Trolls Tee Off" L-R: Dick Ewers, Steve Marlier, Pat Hurley, and Steve McPhail.”

In a note from Dick Ewers, Dick writes, "Four 20th Squadron Troll classmates (Steve Marlier, Pat Hurley, Steve McPhail, and I) and our wives met for a week of fun on Kiawah Island, South Carolina from 4-11 May. Some 70th birthdays were celebrated, a lot of wine and scotch were consumed and some questionable golf was played. On our last day, we ponied up the bucks to play one of the best courses in America-the Pete Dye-designed "Ocean Course," which was the site of the 1991 Ryder Cup and the 2012 PGA Championship. Of note, for this esteem group, we are still married to the same ladies we were each dating during our 1st Class year. It boggles my mind that they are still putting up with us after all these years. We had a great week together, enjoyed near perfect weather and relived some 50-year old memories of days gone by. Semper Fi!"

"John Vandekamp"

'68ER ADDRESSES OPIOID EPIDEMIC: Our classmate, John Vandekamp, serves as contributing editorial reporter for the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. In the 19 September 2017 edition of the newspaper, his column titled, "On Opioids, Let's Not Be Derelict in Our Duty," John stated, "The opioid epidemic is pervasive. It's killing our friends and our children, and we've got to stop it-parent and grandparent to child. We've got to defeat pushers and hackers!" To read the full column go to: http://www.capitalgazette.com/opinion/ac-ce-column-van-de-kamp-20170919-story-html

Darrel Knudsen is initiating a Class project to pass along sabres from our class to members of the Class of 2018. The concept is that we will get our sabres engraved with our name, our highest rank, and Class of 1968 on them. Darrel will serve as the Class Project Coordinator and can engrave the sabres using Quelab's, our maker space, laser cutter. If classmates are interested in donating their sabres, Darrel is requesting that these classmates provide a one-page biography of themselves to provide the graduate from 2018 with some history about his '68 legacy officer. Darrel's contact info: Cell: 505-600-9082; E-mail: darrelknutson@sandien.com; PO Box 16778, Albuquerque, NM 87191. Darrel noted that new sabres are available at the USAFA Gift Shop for $355 in case someone wishes to participate but does not have his original sabre.

"A Distinguished Gentlemen Pose" L-R: J Ferron, Mike Morrison, Clark Gerhardt, Rhip Worrell, and Mike                                                                        "Tex" Burgamy

'68ER MINI-REUNION IN COLORADO: Clark Gerhardt sent a photo and a short note about his mini-reunion in August 2017 with classmates at "Base Camp Worrell" in Silverthorne, Colorado. He said that J, Mike, Rhip, and Tex attacked the local links while Clark reached the summit of one of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountains. All are doing well and are looking forward to our 50th.

'68 POTPOURI: With word count limitations on my column, here are some brief headlines of other class activities.

                              "Mike and Drew Freeborn at Sijan Memorial Dedication in Milwaukee"

Mike and Nancie Freeborn and grandson Drew attended Sijan Memorial Dedication in Milwaukee in May 2017.

                               "Scribe's Former 3rd Squadron Roommates Jim Reese and Paul McKlendin"

My former 3rd Squadron roommates Jim Reese and Paul McKlendin met in Atlanta for dinner. Paul is now retired and Jim and Marcia Reese are headed to Dushanbe, Tajikistan for Jim's new job as Director of Flight Operations for Somon Air.

         "Scribe Birthday Flight Around Honolulu" L-R: Grandsons Robert and Christopher Davidson, Scribe,
                                                                  and Ace Pilot Vic Bonfiglio

                                                                                   "Honolulu Dinner"

I had a mini-reunion in Honolulu in August with Mark Torreano, Don Motz, and Vic Bonfiglio while visiting my son at Fort Shafter.

             "Caribou Dedication Ceremony" L-R: Tom McCloy, Jack Hannig, Garry Dudley, Denny Chrismer,
                                                                      and Bruce Buono

Ed Leonard, Bob Denny, Tom McCloy, Jack Hannig, Garry Dudley, Denny Chrismer, and Bruce Buono attended the C-7A Caribou Dedication Ceremony at the USAFA SEA Memorial Pavilion on 5 October 2017. Of the 100 grads who flew the aircraft, 28 were from our class.
                                                        "Pre-Navy Game Dinner at Chez Davidson"

                                                        "Pre-Navy Game Dinner at Chez Davidson-Mirror Shot"

I hosted a dinner at Chez Davidson on 5 October 2017 prior to the Navy game and had a great time with guests Bob and Thuy Johnston, Brooke and Cathy Bailey, and Bob and Cathy Durham.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of two of our classmates-Wayne Petersen and Danny James.

Lt Col Wayne Petersen, USAF (Ret) passed away on 10 July 2017 in Trophy Club, TX after a battle with cancer. Wayne was a combat rescue pilot and staff officer. His civilian career was in the banking industry. Condolences may be sent to his family in care of his wife: Mrs. Jean Petersen; 28 Meadowbrook Lane; Trophy Club, TX 76262-5636.
                           "Reception After Danny James' Memorial Service" L-R: Scribe, Tony Marshall, and Frank Moore.
                                                  Ed and  Karen Eberhart not pictured.

Lt Gen Danny James, USAF (Ret) died on 1 August 2017 in Washington, D.C. He was our classmate during Doolie Year and then went to the University of Arizona to complete his college education and receive his commission through Air Force ROTC. His last military assignment was Director of the Air National Guard. Please remember his wife Dana and his son Daniel Steven 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. Photos for the Potpouri portion of my column may be found at our class website under Scribe's Page. Ciao for now. Tim

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