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transparent Checkpoints, Class of 1978, June 2016

Greetings 78ers…

First off, I owe Brian Livie the initial spot this quarter. Last article we read about how his son Vince pinned on Lt Col a year early (with Brian’s personal rank). Unfortunately, space limitation forbade me to publish the picture that went with the story so am taking care of that here:

Brian also mentioned a tremendous Super Bowl party that he and several classmates had (sure helped that Denver won of course). Attending the game festivities with Brian were Greg Hollister, Mike Couillard, and Rod McNeill. Brian, Greg and Mike were all in CS-25 together and hang out fairly regularly since they all live in/around the Springs. Further (and this is the severely cool part), the three of them all married their brides on June 3rd 1978 and all are blessed to still be married. A fact they are justifiably proud of! Pictured left to right are Mary and Mike, Brian and Roberta, and Sherry and Greg. 

Fellow Bulldawger Rick Dunham shared his latest situation. He is a triple retiree: USAF, major airline, and now retired FAA. With all that experience and expertise, he is now on his “last journey working for the MITRE Corporation as a Lead Engineer/Representative to the Air Force Flight Standards Agency.” His focus is on UAV (aka drones) integration into the National Airspace. I’ve been doing quite a bit of work in that area and we’re hoping we run into each other somewhere within big FAA. He is also married happily to Vicki after 37 years (you guys are truly inspiring!) with both of their kids are married but no grandkids yet. Rick and classmate/Bulldawger Vic Summers have been sharing Academy pics on Facebook recently much to their amusement. Rick sent one of them of he and Vicki before 100s Night (wasn’t there an event by that name nearly fourdecades ago?) below. Somewhat grainy before the advent of megapixels but you get the idea. Actually, this might be a trend we can start…if anyone is as brave as Rick to send USAFA era shots like these in please do and I’ll run them in future articles.

Our own Hawk Carlisle has been all over the news lately. Seems that he’s spent the majority of his time either testifying before a Congressional committee or speaking at AFA events etc. He is certainly doing ’78 proud! I would imagine most of you have read that he’s on the short list for USAF Chief of Staff (along with Steve Goldfein’s brother) which is certainly an honor within itself! As of this writing, no announcement has been made yet and we’re all pulling for him. Given that Gen Welsh has recently announced his July retirement, one would hope his replacement would be named soon. All the best Hawk on your selection!

Finally, I had the unmitigated joy watching our son Jonathan (2015) take his mighty T-6 into the Wichita Falls skies alone and unafraid for the first time (well he said that he was a bit nervous) week before last. To say that my mind was flooded with memories of my T-37 solo is a severe understatement (I can actually remember some of that…my legs shaking on the rudder pedals as I was sitting number one to take off is seared into my collective consciousness). The T-6 is such an incredible improvement over the Tweet! For those who went to UPT, the interesting thing was walking around his flight room noting how the environment and culture are still very similar to our days. The tables with the IP sitting on one side and the students on the other was identical for instance. Guess some things really don’t change much over time. Anyway, the only reason you guys aren’t being subjected to pictures (my threat is always present gents) is that Brian and Rick did their part and submitted stuff. So take heed for next quarter and send me info fit to print (and just about anything really is).

We’ll call that a wrap for this quarter. I hope you all have a great summer and we’ll see you again in November.

God Bless

‘78 is Great!


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Class of 1978 - United States Air Force Academy
as of 29 July 2017