Checkpoints Fall 2003
2386 Cherry Hills Loop
Alamogordo, NM 88311
Work: (505) 572-5382
Email: email@example.com or
Well, here we go again gents. However, I write this in my office as 450 of you all and families are whopping it up at the reunion. Not that I'm beaked at the fact that operational stuff kept me here while you all are there. I'll get over it. I wanted to publicly thank the reunion mafia who put in many hours of work to make it happen: Jim Arnold, Steve Dalbey Vinny Gallagher John Hicks (golf tournament organizer extraordinaire), Greg Hollister, and Ken Prusak, plus all of the squadron reps (too numerous to name, but you guys know who you are). Ken, Vinny, Greg and Jim especially put in quite a few hours. That's what you guys get for living in the Springs. Lani W'mg at the AOG was a blessing big-time and kept our act straight. Got a call from Greg Kaiser yesterday wondering where the heck I was. He let me know just what a swell time everyone was having.., and agreed to write an article on the event. He was standing at the gate of Falcon Stadium waiting to get in when a four-ship of F- 16s flew (very low he said) over. Glad we won so decisively as well. Kais hopes to get the article in by the next issue at the latest. Good man Kais... once a scribe, always a scribe.
On a quick personal note and at the expense of boring all of you, I will be retiring from the greatest air force in the history of man on the 151, of December. Colonel Steve Slick, my perpetual Academy roommate, has graciously consented to schlep from Dover DE to lovely Alamogordo to do the honors. From New Mexico, we will make the trek to Palmdale CA, with theft new governor, and work for BAE Systems as their QF-4 acceptance plot and deputy QF-4 program manager. Still can't believe that I'll be flying... the guy I am replacing is 65 so if my health holds out, I get to defer adulthood for several more years! I'm still pinching myself to be sure. As of 5 January, my work e-mail address should be Robertkay@baesystems.com if you wish to submit anything for the Winter article.
First order of real business is an addition to the '78 progeny list at the Zoo. Got a great call from Steve Sargeant a couple of weeks ago with news that his son Patrick is a proud member of 2004 and looking forward to graduation next year. Steve is AETC/XP and suffering tremendously at Randolph air patch. His neighbor across the street is Eddie Rice who is still running the AF Recruiting Service and doing an exceptional job filling this year's quotas. Also, Dave Wetlesen (will talk more about Dave later) mentioned that Neil Barlow's daughter Katian is in '07.
A few guys are moving around as senior (as in rank, not age... honest) people tend to do: Dick Newton from Deputy Director of Strategic and Future Systems on the air staff to Deputy Director for Info Ops on the Joint Staff. Bob Steele moves from his Director of Staff gig at AFNORTH to the commander of the USAFE Mr and Space Ops Support Center... still staying at Ramstein (the land of the big BX). Key Sabol gives up his wing at Grand Forks to be deputy AMC/XP at Scott. Also, Dick Newton, Mark Zamzow, John Weida and Kevin Kennedy pinned on their star this past summer... congrats guys!
In other news, Paul Morel is a "happily married 47-year-old father of a four and two year old." He also is a 757 Captain for Northwest living on
the South Shore of Boston and commuting to Detroit. He and Tahni have been married eight years and are loving life and very much enjoying watching their daughter and son grow. Life is indeed good...
Jack Anthony and I got into a great e-mail exchanges concerning what he's been up to. He's an 0-6 serving as the AF Space Command Director of Personnel (a real adventure for a career engineer) and hopes to retire next summer and either pursue a second career in the space industry or go teach high school science. Said his heart is in teaching kids to be space enthusiasts like he's been for so many years. Been married to Margo for 18+ years with two kids (one a senior in high school who was the Colorado 4A state cross country champ last year, and the other in middle school). He worked with Jim Halseli and Mark Erminger earlier in the year on the Columbia accident investigation.., great to see classmates but tough circumstances. Jack also mentioned that his new boss is Rob Worley, and Rob's deputy is Lou Christensen with Andy Anderson in the building as well (in the Logistics and Comm directorate). He saw Dave McFaddin at Ellsworth several months ago when Fads was still the vice soon to be off to Langley to be on the IG staff. While at Ellsworth, Jack spoke to 300 ARFOTC cadets and happened to meet Brittany Schick, daughter of Dan Schick who passed away a couple of days ago... small world! She's a Poly Sci major and looking forward to getting her commission. Jack also said that he regularly sees Mike Wright and Bob Kahle who are local space contractors in space industry. Sounds like '78 is taking over Space Command to be sure.., thanks Jack!
Back to Dave Wetlesen who is back at the Academy for his second teaching tour after 5 1/2 years in Norway and three years at Patrick AFB (pretty rough assignments there Dave). He teaches in the Aero department headed by Neal Barlow as the Permanent Prof with Dr. Aaron Byerley as Director of Research. He and Eloise have 10 kids with his oldest having just completed AFROTC this past summer and about to be married. The rest keep them fairly busy. He took one of his other sons to Alaska for vacation and dropped him off to do a Baptist mission for two weeks. While there, Dave visited with Ron Parkhouse who works for ALCOM in the rescue business and is about to retire. He mentioned that Ron has over too saves including the AF's highest altitude and latitude saves. If I messed that up Ron, please let me know.
While conversing about the reunion, John Hicks mentioned that he had dinner with Greg Intoccia while in Wash D.C. Greg is an attorney for the FCC in the D.C. area and has done very well over the years. He also met up with Mark Kargul in San Diego while John was there on business (he lives in Kansas City) and Mark was there on an American layover. John confirmed they both had a great time catching up over significant amounts of adult fermented beverages.., he even remembers everything. Thanks John... you may become the official '78 networker at this rate.
Speaking of superb conversations, I had a great time chatting with Paul Skolaut a couple of weeks ago. Skol has been highly active in the restaurant biz for many years in Kansas but is looking for a different direction for his entrepreneurial energies. We'll see what happens. Sure admire guys with Skol's talents ...one of the things that made this country great.
I'm running out of space so will sign off for now. I can't thank all of you guys enough for taking the time to contact me this quarter. PLEASE don't stop with the information now that the reunion is history. A short e-mail does wonders and ensures that you don't have to suffer through the latest round of Kay family tales. May you all have a blessed Fall and as always, may God bless America.
'78 is still great!
Class of 1978 - United States Air Force Academy
as of 27 Feb 2016