Tim's December 2019Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO ’68!! Basic Summer for the Class of 2023 is mercifully over and it’s time for the faithful to cheer on our Falcons as they compete, again, on the “fields of friendly strife.” Best wishes to our cadets for hard-fought victories against their opponents and for sufficient supplies of anxiety relief medication for our alums to calm their nerves during close games.

“Doug Wilson, with Checkpoints and No Camel, at Egyptian Pyramids Between Volleyball Matches.”

‘68ER CALLS “INS AND OUTS”: With some prompting from Carl Janssen, our classmate, Doug Wilson, is being highlighted for his work as a Referee Delegate and Coach at the matches of the recent Volleyball Girls Under-18 World Championships in Cairo, Egypt, from 1-15 September 2019. There were 20 countries that qualified to participate. Doug’s job was to assign, supervise, and evaluate the 20 international referees from 20 countries assigned to him, who worked this event. Most of the time, they were in two different facilities with four matches per day. But, there was one rest day and all participants had the opportunity to visit the Egyptian Pyramids and Sphinx Monuments. Doug is quoted as saying – “What an incredible experience!"

TRAVELING BAND OF ‘68ER’S DO NORWAY AND SCOTLAND: I received a newsworthy travelogue from our Chicago-based classmate Michael Freeborn and his wife, Nancie, telling of their adventure to Norway and Scotland with Steve and Susie Marlier from Charlotte, North Carolina, and Mike and Roslyn Ellison from Seattle. The trip began in Oslo and terminated in London. Their journey included a “Midnight Sun” toast; a visit to the Shetland Islands; a seven-hour railway trip from Oslo to Bergen in the Norwegian countryside; welcoming Norwegian sailors entering Bergen Harbor as they stood high on their tall ship masts while singing loudly; taking in the sights around Geirangerford by land, sea, and helicopter; and visiting the Old Course at St. Andrew’s in Scotland. As you may have surmised, an absolutely fabulous time was had by all.

“Norway Adventurers with Checkpoints-in-Hand. L-R: Mike & Roslyn Ellison, Susie & Steve Marlier, and Nancie & Michael Freeborn.”
Bill Riley (USAFA ’66) replaced Al Blumberg as Chairman of the Tri-Service Academy Golf Tournament this year following Al’s passing. In honor of Al’s leadership, on the Air Force side of things, for the past many years, the Tournament prepared a plaque commemorating his contributions. Since, Al’s wife, Sue, was out of town, Carl Janssen accepted the plaque on August 23rd at the Eisenhower Golf Course Club House on the Blumberg family’s behalf.

Our classmate, Dave Kozak, sent a note to make me aware of an exciting opportunity for him to represent our generation. Dave writes, “As you know, I train and compete in American Ninja Warrior - style competitions. One of the two major leagues in this sport is the National Ninja League. In December, 2018, I had a third-place finish (Master's Division - age 40+) at a local event which qualified me for the World Championships Feb 16, 2019. I've attended as a cheerleader before, but never as a competitor. This is the second biggest stage for the sport behind the TV program, American Ninja Warrior (to which I continue to apply - I'd love a second chance so I could redeem myself after the 2016 season). I continue to be the oldest competitor thus far to compete and qualify.” To Dave, and former special ops snake-eaters, best wishes for many competitions to come.

"Reese AFB Pilot Training Class of 70-01 50-Year Reunion Photo.” L-R: Front Row: Tony Eden, Jim DeFazio, Jim Kitchen, George Hoffman, J Ferron, Ed Welliver, Andy Ferris, Bob Lutter, Bill Sasz, Tom Olsen, Jim Lozito, and Dana Drenkowski; Back Row: Dick Davidson, Tom Dreier, Ed Ashman, Dick Racette, Geo Roberts, Bill Gauntt, Rhip Worrell, Hank Irwin, Charlie Holland, Fred Bradley, Howell White, Tim Davidson, Mike Morrison, and Dan Kuebler."

50-YEAR PILOT TRAINING CLASS REUNION: From 25-29 September 2019, the Reese AFB UPT Class of 70-01 held its 50-year reunion at the Island Hotel in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Principal events included tours of Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field, a memorial service at the Hurlburt Field Chapel, and a closing banquet. Within four years of their graduation from pilot training, almost the entire class saw combat duty in Southeast Asia. One of its members, our classmate, Rhip Worrell, received the Air Force Cross and two Silver Stars, for his exceptional flying skill and heroism in combat. You can find the 70-01 50-year reunion photos posted on our Class website.

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS: Our class has suffered the loss of two more of our classmates in 2019. William Francis “Rod” Brown from CS-16 passed away on 12 July 2019 in Gilbert, Arizona. An informal memorial gathering took place on 24 Aug 2019 at The Winery at Pikes Peak in Cascade, Colorado. Condolences may be sent to his family in care of his daughter, Andrea; Mrs. Andrea Rodriguez; 1012 Copper Key Ct; Gilbert, AZ 85233-7815. I met Rod in the old Antlers Hotel lobby, the day before we were to report to the Academy in June of 1964. He was my first roommate.
Stanley Hugh Burgess, II, passed away on 10 July 2019. He graduated from USAFA with a degree in Civil Engineering and a life-long talent as an artist. Following graduation and pilot training at Laredo AFB, TX, Hugh flew C-141s out of McGuire AFB, and then C-130s out of Clark AB into Vietnam 69-70, and then out of Langley AFB. Hugh resigned from active duty in 1973 and had a colorful set of careers that included (1) pilot for Saturn Airways…pilot for ARAMCO, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia…and Captain for Hawaiian Airlines, including flying the DC-10, as well as (2) owner of Burgess & Co. Art, San Francisco…Management Ops Supervisor, McDonald Corp, San Francisco…Real Estate Investment Associate, Langley Tackes, San Francisco…Real Estate Investment Associate, Merrill Lynch, Ventura, CA…and Commercial Division Manager, Bob Crane & Associates, Los Angeles. Hugh was a fun-loving person who relished his friendships and the special home he had built in Hawaii.
                                                      May God bless our departed comrades and their families.

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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