Thursday, August 12, 2010

DENVER WEST POINTER - May 2010 Newsletter

President’s Corner
Graduating class of 2010
Admissions Update
Colorado Parent’s Club
Tri-Service Golf Tournament
Membership and Hails and Farewells
Board of Directors
Tribute to a Fighter Pilot
HomeAid helps Miilitary Veterans
President's Corner
LTG David H. Huntoon, Class of 1973, will soon assume his duties as the 58th Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, and I could not be more pleased about a classmate‟s success. I know Dave well, and can tell you that West Point will have a most capable person joining the long line of leaders in the position that Sylvanus Thayer defined.
I could use this good news as an excuse to avoid writing about giving to West Point, but my guess is that the Supe, no matter who he or she is, would prefer I address it. So I will.
At our meeting of past presidents of the WPS of Denver last January, the subject of giving to USMA came up. Attendees at that meeting recognized that this is a relatively new phenomenon that kicked into high gear during the early-mid 1990‟s. LTG Daniel Christman „65 was the Superintendent who I recall as first making a hard pitch for alumni to contribute money to the Academy, during his visit to our Founders Day Dinner in 1996.
But in fact, the movement to “wean” all service academies off of a certain amount of federal funding began with new statutory restrictions on the use of DoD Morale, Welfare, and Recreation funds in the late 1970s. This had a direct impact on clubs and some interscholastic activities at the academies. Inasmuch as many of these activities are important to the leadership programs at service academies, probably much more than they are to state and private colleges and universities, it fell to the alumni to fill the gap.

West Point alumni have been doing this to great effect, and it shows, at least in the public‟s eyes. The quality of the USMA academic and leadership program is well recognized, as recent Forbes and U.S. News & World Report magazine articles have documented.
We can pat ourselves on the back as a group for our organizational giving. But I suspect that not all of us are sanguine about this drive to privately fund a federal service academy, which is, after all, quite a bit different than a state or private institution. I will include myself in this group, as I am a bit embarrassed to admit to myself that I have given more to my grad school, The University of Iowa, than I have to USMA; though it cannot be said that the latter has given me more than the former.
It has been noted by some that, because the service academies are not fully funded by the federal government, they are now “federally sponsored” institutions, much as so-called state universities are state sponsored, while relying heavily upon alumni contributions, just as do private institutions. Harvard University is the private school held up as the “gold standard” in this regard.
Indeed, the Corps has changed greatly over the past 30-35 years and private funds giving has been a big part of that change. I wonder if giving is more of an effect than it is a cause of the change, but there is little doubt that this practice is a step toward being more like state and private institutions in the way the U.S. service academies are funded.
Some might say that alumni giving has changed the character of the academies, at least somewhat, but we can look at military schools like The Citadel, Norwich University, and VMI, and see that private funding has not harmed the character of these institutions. On the contrary, it has helped them thrive.
West Point Societies have been around longer than wide spread alumni giving to USMA. They are not intended to be fund raising mechanisms for the Academy, and I hope it stays this way. However, I also think that alumni giving is a good thing, and that societies should generally encourage it.
Efforts by West Point and the Association of Graduates to raise money should not be thwarted, but neither should societies harangue their members to give. This being said, we can be sure that fundraising is now among the duties of USMA Superintendents - a concern that Douglas MacArthur did not have.
Congratulations to Dave Huntoon on his upcoming assignment. And many thanks to LTG Franklin “Buster” Hagenbeck ‟71 for his many years of faithful service to the Army, and particularly for his service as the 57th Superintendent of the United States Military Academy.
May 2010
By Sam Thiessen

West Point Graduation
By Joel Martin
On May 22nd 1,002 West Point cadets were commissioned as second lieutenants. The class motto is “Loyal 'Til The End” and they began with 1,311 new cadets. This is West Point‟s 212th graduating class and the 31st class to graduate with women. The class of 2010 has 75 cadets who are sons or daughters graduates.

Admissions Update
By Bob Walcott '78
A total of 19 Colorado candidates have accepted offers as of the first week of May. The Colorado Admissions Field Force is hopeful that one or two more acceptances will come in before R Day, on 28 June 2010. Still, the total is down a couple from the post 9/11 yearly state average. This may, in part, be a result of an unusually high acceptance rate of Letters of Assurance (contingent offers early in the cycle) that favored other regions. Overall however, the academy will be admitting the largest class in many years, with approximately 1,400 Cadet Candidates expected at R Day.

Academy BizNet
The purpose of the BizNet is to support the personal and professional goals of graduates of all the Service Academies through networking, job assistance, advice, and contacts.
The group meets at 7 am every Tuesday morning at the Denver Tech Center Marriott Hotel, (Belleview and Syracuse - take the Belleview exit off I-25). The group welcomes all Academy Grads.

Colorado Parent's Club
By Bob Walcott '78
Jerry and Robyn Dodson (Richard „12) have stepped up as the Presidents of the West Point Parents‟ Club of Colorado. Jerry and Robyn represented over 80 Colorado cadet families at the annual Parents‟ Club Conference at USMA in April.
The next major WPPCCO event is the annual Send Off picnic for the Class of 2014 Cadet Candidates and their families. The Send Off will be held at the Wings Over The Rockies Aerospace Museum at Lowery at 1:00PM on Sunday, June 13th. Several cadets home on leave will speak to the candidates about R Day and Beast Barracks, while battle hardened parents will coach the rookie parents about things like boodle, dragging, walking the area and the ups and downs of cadet moral.
The Parents‟ Club will be enriched by several more Colorado ole‟ grads whose children will join the Class of 2014. Alexandra Efaw, daughter of Amy and Andy Efaw (both „89) and Brian Petty, son of COL Chris Petty („87) and his wife Beth.
Other upcoming WPPCCO events include a Beast Survival Meeting in July (mostly for New Cadet parents), and in August an Acceptance Day Picnic at West Point and a Summer Social here in Denver.

Tri-Service Golf Tournament
The Annual Service Academy Golf Tournament is the highlight of the year for Service Academy Alumni golfers and their guests. The tournament will be contested on June 18th at the Air Force Academy‟s Silver Course. The shotgun start for the foursome scramble formation is 0800 and lunch will be served at approximately 1300. Army is the two year defending champions and we plan on a three-peat. At stake is the Gilbert F. Rindahl Trophy, symbolic of golf “supremacy” among the Service Academy Alumni Organizations of Colorado. The Trophy is named in memory of Gilbert F. Rindahl, USNA ‟53, an avid golfer and an originator of the golf tournament competition in Colorado.
Please return the attached form via email or snail mail with checks payable to the West Point Society of Denver to enter the tournament.

By Joel Martin

Hails and Farewells
The WPSD currently has 208 paid members.
Hails: we welcome to the Denver area Michelle Arnold ( Highlands Ranch ‟05); Thomas Beierschmitt (Denver ‟03); Joseph Jaremko (Loveland ‟73); Kumar Kibble ( Highlands Ranch ‟90); Rev C. McCune (Denver ‟94); James Shinn (Denver ‟91); Chris Swenson (Parker ‟93); Michael Timlin III (Littleton ‟80); Michael Vineyard (Northglenn ‟99); & Troy Zeidman (Monument ‟98).
Farewells: Grads that have left the Denver area: Jennifer Charron; Joseph Ryan; Rob‟t Hartley; Minoru Sorensen; Ron Stauffenberg; & Salvatore Tortora. Just in under the wire, we‟re notified that Jay Bridge has left Denver. We offer special thanks to Jay for the 15 years service on the Society Board as Treasurer.

Board of Directors
West Point Society of Denver

Serve To 2011                Serve To 2012                          Serve To 2013
Lou Schroeder '59          Lindy Blackburn 69                   Sam Thiessen '73
Bruce Miller '63              Dave Jackson '73                      John Greiman '81
Robby Robinson '68       Steve Best 76                            Dan Young '94
Chris Petty '87                Bob Walcott „'78                      Amy Efaw '89
Joel Martin '02                Mary St. Onge '02                    Mike Lewis „90

Jay Bridge is moving to Phoenix, taking a new work assignment there. He had been our Treasurer for more than 15 years, and he is recognized by many as a long and dedicated mainstay of the society. Jay will be greatly missed. We wish him all the best in his new assignment. If you want to contact Jay the his email is:

President Sam Thiessen
Vice President Lindy Blackburn
Secretary Mary St. Onge
Treasurer Dave Jackson
Jones ‟68 Ex-Officio Immediate Past-President

Congressional Military Admissions Panel
We are seeking members to sit on Congressional Military Academy Admissions Panels later this year. If you are interested, or would like to learn more about this activity, please contact Bruce Miller via email at or by phone at 303-2207275.

Be Thou At Peace
Earl Dye „46 passed away Saturday May 22nd. The funeral ceremony will be at Christ Episcopal Church at University and Bate in Denver on Friday 11:00 June 4, 2010. There will be a reception following the service in the church hall. Burial will be at Fort Logan National Cemetery following the reception. There are 328 living members from the original 875 graduate of the class of 1946.
Thomas F. Carroll ‟61 passed away on May 16th at the tender age of 70.

-- A Sierra Hotel Salute to Robin Olds --
Robin Olds, Army '43, will be honored in a special program at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum on Friday evening, August 20th. Olds is widely considered one of the finest and most famous fighter pilots in history.
A committee of friends and fellow pilots are planning to re-create an old-fashioned Friday night O'Club atmosphere, surrounded by the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom, Republic F-105 Thunderchief and other aircraft of the Vietnam War. Olds flew the F-4 in 152 missions as commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, achieving 4 aerial victories, making him a "triple ace" when added to his 12 WWII victories in P-38 Lightnings and P-51 Mustangs.
Olds died in 2007, but his life is memorialized in a recent book, "Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds," by co-authors Christina Olds and Ed Rasimus. Daughter Christina and Rasimus will be at the Tribute event. The book has received widespread critical acclaim, re-counting Olds' West Point days, wartime exploits, unique leadership style and colorful personal life.
Olds returned from Southeast Asia to become Commandant of Cadets at the Air Force Academy. The Air Force Association of Graduates is also helping to plan the event. Olds retired in Steamboat Springs.
Wings Over the Rockies is Colorado's Official Air & Space Museum, boasting over three dozen military and civil aircraft, primarily of the Cold War era. It is located in Hangar One of the former Lowry Air Force Base in east Denver.
Mark your calendars and look for a memorable evening on August 20th. Toasts and roasts will be the order of the evening. Cocktails and heavy hors d'oeurves will be served. As planning progresses, details will be available on the Wings website,, or by calling 303-360-5360.

HomeAid Colorado Supports Local Military Veterans
Ben Carter is class of ‟62 and on the Board of Directors for HomeAid Colorado to give temporary homeless a second chance. This year, they are focusing on veterans.
Volunteers of America: is a national non profit dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential. Through more than 30 service programs VOA helps more than 200,000 Coloradoans each year. Since 1896 VOA has supported and empowered Colorado‟s most vulnerable groups including, at risk youth, the frail elderly, low-income families, homeless families and individuals, domestic violence victims, veterans and those seeking affordable housing.
This year VOA has initiated a new Veterans Service program serving homeless female veterans and their children and HomeAid Colorado is helping them to expand their program by building three new homes in Mayfair (current homes will be demolished). HomeAid will build one home each year for the next three years. The first home to be constructed in 2010 is described below:
Property Address: 1275-1295 Clermont St., Denver
Population Served: Homeless Female Veterans
Female Veterans suffering from PTSD,
Sexual Trauma
Physical injuries sustained while serving
Project Scope: Construct new two story single family home designed by Olson Architecture and constructed by Wonderland Homes, each house will have room for up to four female veterans and their children.
Project Value: Estimated cost of demolition, abatement, city fees, and construction of first house = $350,000
Groundbreaking and trade recruitment event June 18th
Estimated completion date December 2010