Well this will be a long newsletter. Got lots of input. First from John FLANAGAN. John called me a few weeks ago. He told me about his new book and his headline-making problems with the NYANG command structure. I have a copy of a news story about John. Excerpts follow from the New York Post of Feb 20, 1990. "A former Delta Force commander in Vietnam who earned more combat decorations than Oliver North was suddenly booted from the New York National Guard after he complained about minority discrimination and mismanagement, the Post has learned. John Flanagan, Jr, 50, rose through the ranks to become a brigadier general in the New York Air National Guard where he held the No. 2 position. But Flanagan, an international business executive and St. John's University adjunct professor, was summarily fired last September after refusing to retire under pressure from the National Guard commander. 'I recognized the discrimination, the manpower shortfall, the self-serving leadership, the loss of traditional purpose,' Flanagan wrote in a Dec. 6 letter to New York Gov. Cuomo... To many National Guard insiders, Flanagan's ouster symbolized how a tight-knit fraternity of bureaucrats could close ranks to silence a critic 'who did not fit' and who threatened their domination over a state agency... A recent New York Post investigative series found that top National Guard officials skillfully deflected investigators for years by intimidating potential whistleblowers and by altering record-keeping practices. The series also unearthed smoking-gun evidence that the National Guard commander and his predecessor, a convicted bribe-taker, kept a phantom Army of several thousand no-show soldiers on their rosters -- thereby inflating troop strength and bloating their annual budget to $400 million..." I can't print the entire article because of space limitations. It talked about John being a USAFA grad, rescuing trapped and wounded troops in enemy territory, receiving the Silver Star, becoming a business executive and other items. If anyone wants a copy, call me or drop me a line. John sent me an info sheet on his new book titled Vietnam Above the Treetops: A Forward Air Controller Reports. It is due out in April '92. The book has two major themes: combat history and warrior values. Some people in New York are encouraging John to run for Congress in the same district where he received his appointment to the Academy. Got a picture from John taken at the Navy game. Thanks for all the info, John. Keep me posted on your progress.
Got a Christmas card from the LEEs. Dave's wife, Fran, wrote the words. "Jack, we were in Melbourne in June visiting friends. We called but you were out. Bob KUCHLEWSKI had a kidney transplant on Dec 3rd at Ohio State Med Hospital. His son Robert E was his donor. We are all so grateful both are recuperating very well. Tom YOUNG, Herb WEATHERHEAD, Joe GALLAGHER and Dave got together to tell each other their latest news. The get-together came about because Joe Gallagher flew in to Dayton (compliments of Delta) and it was a good excuse to .see each other. The Regtags still manage to find time to see each other even with everyone's busy schedules. Talked to Fred and Arlene HENDRYX last week to give them the latest news on Bob's surgery. They are as great as ever." The newsletter from the Lees mentions that Fran will be starting her 14th year at a division of H & R Block, a temporary service job during tax time. Son Dean, and wife, Kelly, had a lovely two-story house built this year. Dean has a new position at NCR while Kelly has been nominated for two teacher excellence awards. David II works as a forester consultant to Dayton Power and Light. Keeps active in softball, hunting and canoeing. John is in his second year at Dayton Business School. He broke the school shot put record, played lacrosse, started a rowing club and works part time. Sounds like the Lees had a busy year. Thanks for all the updates.
Got a card and newsletter from the WHITMANs. Their son Dave left his job with the Sheraton in Tucson, AZ, changed his mind about going to Hawaii and spent the summer with the folks. He then headed for Vail, CO, where he is holding down three jobs and enjoying the skiing.Daughter Beth got married on March 23rd in Fort Walton Beach to Kevin Boyurn (see accompanying photo). Both are lieutenants stationed at Eglin in the Armament Lab. Both Beth and Kevin will be heading to Dayton next summer to get their master's degree at AFIT. Julie is in her final year at USAFA. She will be going to Ft Sam Houston next summer for two years to get a master's degree in physical therapy. It looks like the Whitmans will be planning the mother of all graduations this coming May. Ann and Dave spent the rest of their spare time this year at their jobs at Sacramento Sierra Medical Group. On a sad note, Ann's mother passed away on Nov 6th in Oklahoma City. She was survived by 12 children and 28 grandchildren. Thanks Dave and Ann for the updates.
Got a Christmas card and newsletter from the DYKES. They describe their year as "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." In February they took Fairfax County to the Virginia Supreme Court on the financing scheme for their transportation artery. In April they won the suit only to have it withdrawn for a hearing in the fall. Ted decided to run for the state senate seat in April. It became the race to watch in the state. Ted won the Sept primary after being outspent 20-1. in October, Ted was invited to the White House to meet President Bush and attended a briefing on his agenda for education. The Nov election was a squeaker. Garnering more votes than any Republican senate candidate in the country, Ted lost by four percent. Then the Virginia Surpreme Court ruled that the financing scheme was legal. An appeal is is the works.
On the family front, Tammy and Montana gave Ted and Marcy their second grandchild. Montana served in the Persian Gulf War. His ship was one that got mined. His ship was diverted to Bangladesh to help with typhoon victims. Then he arrived in the Philippines in time for the volcano eruption. Chris and Sandy just moved into their new home. Chris' Thanksgiving project was putting on the deck. He learned well from his father. Chris' jobs this year included designing the exhibits for the main floor of the Nissan Building in Los Angeles. And to cap it all off, Ted has been named to a blue ribbon panel to study waste and mismanagement in Fairfax County.Thanks for the news Ted and Marcy.
Got a Christmas card and newsletter from the HALEs. Son Charles is still working for McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach. He is putting in lots of overtime, including many Saturdays. Likes the city life. Curtis is working on an ambulance crew as an emergency medical tech in San Bernardino. After a year of practical experience, he will reapply to the Paramedic Program at Crafton College which is near his residence in San Bernardino. The Air Force Training contract for KC-10 training was won by CAE-LINK this past fall. Charlie has a new employer. The instructor force was reduced in number. These past few weeks Charlie has been on the 5 to midnight shift while Pat worked the 8 to 5 shift. So they only talk on the phone during the week. Pat works as a finance secretary at Air Force Village West, a retirement community for AF officers and/or dependents. Right now they have 400 residents but there is lots of room for expansion to 900 units. Charlie continues to teach recent USAFA grads in his job. He is continually impressed with the quality of the grads and the excellence of their training. The Hales miss Stan and Mary Ann PATRIE since the Patties moved from San Diego to Charlotte, NC. Fortunately they get to see Mary Anne when she visits their daughter. They correspond with Larry HARMON but haven't gotten together in a year.Thanks for the letter Charlie.
In October, I went TDY to Ft Worth and got hold of the MCATEEs. They were having an office chili cookout at Tuck's house so he invited me over. Had quite a time. You should have seen the gag prize they gave to the person with the worst chili. Got a picture from Tuck showing a camping vacation they took with the BLAISDELLs in Colorado this summer. I forgot most of what Tuck and Ann told me, except that everyone in the family is doing fine. Tuck is in charge of a division responsible for foreign sales of the F-16. He likes the new challenges and the potential for growth. He said that Joe Bill DRYDEN is doing fine. Joe Bill, I called you but didn't get an answer. My conference was too busy to allow me time to make more contact. It was good seeing the McAtees again.
Got a card and newsletter from the CHEESEMANs. "This year has been one of transition, of attention to detail, and of building our set of relationships as a family. Debbie has continued her CPA practice successfully with both tax return and business accounting clients. She has also found the time to concentrate on several of her craft hobbies and has a major sewing project underway most of the time. Chuck is devoting much of his energies toward the house that we're building at the Spruce Creek Fly-In outside Daytona Beach and he's also now aircraft shopping in earnest. Last summer, during our vacation with Debbie's family in New York, he flew sailplanes for several days at the Schweizer factory at Elmira. The transition part of our activities is preparing for the move to the new house.
This Christmas we'll be opening gifts among stacks of boxes packed ahead of time for the move shortly after the first of the year. While that's been going on, Emily has been getting taller and taller and is now 18 months old. So far, it's the parents who are being spoiled by the child; Emily's not been sick a day of her life and is a real treat to be around for both of us. Grandpa Cheeseman moved to Daytona from Valdosta earlier this year and enjoys her as much as we do when he babysits.., Jack, have a merry one. Hope to see you at our first party, date yet to be set." Thanks for the news. Will see you soon.
Now for changes of address and newspaper stories. Larry and Penny GOOCH have moved from Santa Maria, CA to Henderson, NV. Clint SEARL lives in Belle Mead, NJ. Al JACKSON sent a mail change but he is still in Saudi. By the way, Al went TDY to Orlando last month and came over to Cocoa Beach to see relatives. On his way back to Orlando, he called me and chatted for a few minutes. He said the job situation in the U.S. doesn't look too good so he will probably stay in Saudi for a while longer, Dave WESTHORP moved to Hendersonville, TN. Austin WEDEMEYER moved to Suisun, CA. Rudy BOW moved from Dayton, OH to Tempe, AZ. M/G George HARRISON has been reassigned from ACS/Studies and Analysis, Hq USAF to DCS/Ops and Dep Dir EACOS, Hq USAFE, Ramstein AB, Germany. M/G George LARSON has been reassigned from Dep Asst Secy, Budget, OSAF, to Commandant, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Nat'l Def Univ, Ft McNair.
I was very saddened by the passing of two Redtags in the last few months. The obituary on Bill HOWELL was in the recent issues of Checkpoints. The class offers its condolences to his daughter, stepdaughter, stepson and other family members. Also I saw an obituary on Chris BROWN in the Oct 21st issue of Air Force Times. The class offers its condolences to Miriam, their three sons and one daughter and other members of the family. It's particularly saddening to me because both men were part of our original group of doolies in the Fightin' Fourth.
That's it for now. Thanks for all the letters, cards, and phone calls. Have a great '92. Go Redtags!