Brothers,
     Here are some pieces of news.
     
1. First, some good news. I received this text from Susan Brown today:
 
"Sully,
     Sorry I have been slow to update you on David. 
     He is home!!!
     After a "very bumpy" several weeks he is home doing physical therapy and eating, with wonderful care from the hospital and fantastic Drs.
     He is trying to recover from the West Nile encephalitis. We have been told it may take a long time to get strength and stamina back.But we are staying positive. We truly believe the thoughts and prayers from this wonderful class are a huge part of his outcome.
     He was extremely touched and honored by the first ever Class of 1970 Serve With Integrity Award, and wants me to express his gratitude to you all.
     Many people in this class are facing tough times. It is so nice to know you all have each other to lean on.
     On this Veteran's Day I wanted to personally thank you all for your service, kindness, thoughtfulness and prayers.
All our love and deep appreciation,
David and Susan Brown"
 
  2.   I spoke to Steve Strom a few days ago--- he is brave as a lion, says he feels ahead of the pain, and is not worried about himself--of course. He wants peace and comfort for Gayle, and can use our prayers. He is like he has always been- a hero of a man. Company A-2 went down to Florida to visit Steve and warm his heart--- good going, Brothers. This was a company-level effort. Mark Barbour's wife Katie sent Gayle a sweet note, reminiscent of their time as P's.
 
     This thread starts with Ted Shadid writing me Tuesday:
Sully,
 
I posted a prayer request on my Facebook page for Steve and Gayle. Katie Barbour wife of Mark and sister of John Hennessy, both classmates posted the following comment/request. Can you pass it on to Gayle?
 
Blessings,
 
Ted Shadid 
913-705-0427
 
Katie Barbour: So touching. Here’s a memory….when we were at West Point, Mark was teaching, I was pregnant with our 3rd, Gayle offered to share her maternity clothes with me, and they were SO CUTE. I loved them, and I loved Gayle for sharing them. I looked GREAT in them. Please let Gayle know. Loved her.
 
 
I forwarded to Steve and Gayle and got this answer:
 
Thanks for sharing that Sully. It brought tears to my eyes. I didn’t remember doing that but so happy I did. Loved Katie Barbour and haven’t seen her since those days forty years ago. 
❤️☘️
Gayle
 
 
3. Sully Sends:
Long Gray Line Indeed.
     The interconnection of the Brothers, our wives, and the endless richness of shared affection and respect uplifts us all. Ted Shadid, Steve Strom, John Hennessy, Mark Barbour and all their wives, with reference to the babies.
     I can feel the Spirit of the Class pump through my heart every time something like this happens.
     Shifting gears, I called John Norris and will keep it up until I get him. I'm told he is humming along, tough as ever. I got a note from him recently saying he is not sure how tough he still is. I'm still sure about him, though.
     TJ Young looks like he feels better, in the pix from the F2 Zoo's mini-reunion. Paul Passaro sent them--- the Zoo is in full swing. Thanks, Paisan.
     Dave Varnell and F3 also are getting ready for a mini in NOLA for Army-Navy, and, again, the trend is starting to look like things are developing at company level, which leads to this next point:
     Kurt Reineke's consensus survey on a DC area reunion turned up 162 responses.
    I am attaching Kurt's very expert assessment below.
     The upshot of Kurt's survey--very well done by his crew-- is that there is not a robust demand for a class-level event before 2025. The comments generated once again point to the notion that small company gatherings or city/regional gatherings are more likely to have some legs. If you will read Kurt's thorough summary, you will see the wealth of different opinions and ideas.
     In any case, let's keep the discussion open.
     One other thought---birthdays. I sent out letters before the election about sending out greetings on birthdays. What I know about a localized, company-level birthday-gram is that it has had a wonderful effect in the three companies that I do: E-4, I-4 and F-4. Everyone enjoys it, and it has led to 20 consecutive mini-reunions for E-4, because of the cohesion and tightness that having a roster, a mailing list and a steady diet of email contact can bring. The germ of the idea began many years ago in the fertile brain of Crash Werner. And it is simple because it is just about "The Company," -- maybe 30 guys at most.
     My idea proved impossible to accomplish at the class level, for several reasons. But if there is anyone who wishes to be the "birthday-man" for his company, Charlie McGee and I can help, with examples of the bio, local and almanac type contents, with an email list by company, and with a roster of names. If this does not catch any traction then maybe it shouldn't, but if it catches anyone's interest, please let me know and we will pitch in with you. 
     I am respectfully asking for volunteers to be the Company Birthday Man. Please contact me or Charlie McGee, our Class Scribe and Historian,  if you will do this.
     Charlie will be sending a message on this topic shortly.
     Charlie and I spoke about all various means of commo among classmates. All mediums are valuable. "Class Notes", as we originally grew up with, has progressed to another level with all mediums being used. We are committed to continuing "Class Notes"-- a gathering of info previously published or forwarded to us, or found by us. Please let us know your thoughts at papasully7023@gmail.com and Charlie at cbma470@gmail.com.
     In light of the impossibility of class-level birthday-grams, Steve Wilson has retired his Bio Committee and is now working with Crash Werner--they are handling Memorial Articles in John Van Vliet's Family Committee.
     Here's a little bit of kudos:     
     The class should know how much work and expertise Bill Taylor put into Fred Lough's Distinguished Graduate Nomination. It's so good, professional and thorough that it may have a chance to get through the first time. Taylor learned much from that, and went way above and beyond with Fred's. Also, Bill Roedy then broke the mold. By that I mean that future Distinguished Graduates will not necessarily be generals, and civilian accomplishment has gotten much weight now. That changed things. Taylor just works his ass off.
 
     And much respect for the heart-felt good work of Gil Harper's Special Ops Committee and Billy "X-Ray" Malkemes's Awards Subcommittee for fast action to get the SWI Award to Dave Brown. Thanks to that whole committee, each man, for the midnight requisition. Well Done.  
We thought the worst may be looming, and the lads wasted not one second. You can see in Susan Brown's comment above the good effect.
     Susan Locke and Rita Moore are grateful for our prayers for their peace and relief. I have spoken to them both. Rita texted me yesterday to look at the YouTube of the 1969 Army football season. She said tears were streaming, but she felt wonderful as she watched it. Moore looked like a locomotive. I think she's feeling better. Kudos to Donna Jackson for promptly getting her arms around our bereft sisters.
     There is a bit of class lore that has come up a number of times in zooms, so I did some research. When we scrambled after plebe year, the regiments did not do it all the same.
We went from 6 companies to 8 companies, adding G and H.
1st Regt: A,B,C threw together to make D; Old D became new G; E,F,and new G threw together to make new H.
2nd Regt: A,B,C threw together to make D; Old D became new H;  E,F, new H threw together to make new G.
3rd Regt: A,B,C threw together to make new G; D,E,F threw together to make new H.
4th Regt: A,B,C threw together to make new D; old D became new H; E,F, new H threw together to make new G.
     Another bit of class lore---Joe O'Connell, the Oak, the famed Bloody-Nosed Ranger, came up with "Serve With Integrity" in a tent at Lake Frederick before the March Back when we were plebes and said that since nothing rhymed with seventy, why not match the last two letters, and Integrity was a part of Duty, Honor, Country. We all looked at each other kind of dumb-struck that Oak went so deep on us, but it just rang like a bell, and it still does today. Thanks, Joe.
     There is also Brian Campbell likewise coming upo with the motto, and maybe both members did together, like Newton and Liebnitz both came up with calculus a continent apart.
     Lastly, Happy Veteran's Day to us all. We are a lucky crew. And it's important for us, while Serving our Country with Integrity, to do three things that we have always been pretty good at:
1. Stick together
2. Go out swinging for the fences.
3. Have as much fun as we possibly can.
 
Every Brother is a Hero,
All their wives are knockouts,
Every meal together is a feast,
And every meeting is a party.
 
God bless us and keep us and save us from harm.
Love to all,
Serve With Integrity,
Beat Navy.
 
Sully
 
 

Off-cycle/Off-campus Class Reunion Survey Results

Background:

Two emails sent to classmates two weeks apart: the first notifying them of intent to request information/opinion/comments, and the second requesting their actual input.  

 

Message 1: Original Survey Message

We circulated a 1970 off-cycle/off-campus reunion concept several weeks ago and we thank you for your thoughtful responses and comments.  The results were inconclusive but the comments were telling and encouraging, strongly suggesting a 2022 class get-together in the DC-area is a popular option.  Therefore, we are considering an early Fall (eg: 9 Sep-7 Oct period) 2022 DC gathering, prior to the annual 9-16 Oct 2022 golf outing in Hawaii.  

 

We will give you a couple weeks to mull this over and discuss with family and classmates before we ask for your comments and ideas, and will send out another message when we would like your response.  As usual, please respond to your battalion reps when requested. (Battalion Reps reporting matrix to whom you reply will be included in the next class email requesting your input.) 

 

Message 2: Request for Replies

Gentlemen, Ladies,

It’s been two weeks since I circulated the below question (between tear lines) for your consideration and discussion, and the time has come to submit your thoughts for those of you who wish to respond.  There is no formatted “pick A, B, or C” choice.  Class leadership wants to know if a late 2022 DC outing appeals to you, and any other thoughts you may have on the issue.  Please submit your responses to yourbattalion rep listed below by Monday, 1 November 2021.  

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Kurt Reineke, C4

==============Assessment================

 

Methodology/General Comments:

This is our first try at first sending the question, giving the respondents a significant amount of time to discuss with family and friendsprior to our requesting input weeks later.  Seems to get better results.  Also recall we touted this as a “no format” reply to engender considerable leeway in outside-the-box thinking, to get new ideas, options, and discussion.Further, we’ve asked this question three times now and the issue has had significant “brewing” time, yet another “take-away.”  Biggest lesson: Keep asking the same question several times in different ways to get better results.  

  • My observation: All regts managed this survey very well; predictably, 2nd Regt/Joe Alexander did a superb, thoughtful, and comprehensive job, not just a plug-n-chug approach.  Good man/good crew.

Results:

Significantly, we received a total of 164 responses (~27% of 612 received/opened emails; see SallyPort assessment, below, and at page 4), the largest number thus far for surveys.

Yes:     89(14.5% of 612)        No:      66(10.7% of 612)        Maybe:9(1.4% of 612)

 Yes + Maybe: 89 + 9 = 98 (16% od 612)almost 1 out of 6 classmates

Below reports are unedited or changed in any way; just as I received them.  Comments range from “unnecessary,” “zero interest in DC,” and “not appealing,” to “…we might be okay with it,” to“only want WP/Only 2025,” to a few “strongly support.”  

One unusual, unexpected comment suggests we’re competing with a Ladycliff reunion: “Be aware of a possible conflict for 20 to 30 of us who married Ladycliff ‘70 girls. Like us, they have been working on a reunion in NYC for the last 2 years. Currently they are planning for some time around October 2022.”(Didn’t see that coming.)

 

(Individual regimental comments and numbers are below.)  

 

Of note, many comments reveal classmates planning company reunions (one making a plea that our effort would interfere with a company reunion in France and dilute their participation; Ritch Rutledge sent me a long, impassioned email stating his case), making up for lost covid travel to visit family/friends/outings, and other personal travel that they consider interfering with this 2022 class-wide reunion.  One classmate wanted us to plan a reunion close to his home due to his/wife’s difficulty with traveling.  This is actually a positive comment: suggests an eager-to-participate classmate/spouse but their handicaps make it difficult/impossible, so I’d mentally “+1” that reply. 

*BothFred Lough and McGee have indicated a willingness to organize/coordinate/serving on the planning group that might be formed, so we have the nucleus of a steering committee.  

Overall:

I see much improvement over past reunion surveys, both in total number of responses and number of positive responses; negative replies appear to remain entrenched.We have a new (suggested) 612 classmate strength report; seems like 43 just aren’t interested in anything (see SallyPort assessment).  While numbers aren’t huge, these results are actually encouraging, and we’ve already commented that even 10 participants would make a reunion worthwhile.

 

SallyPort Analyses:(actual submission at the end of this report, P4)

612 of 620 and 612 of 621 emails respectively for each mailing sent were received (98%; ie, suggest we use 612 and not the usual 655+ as our class morning report strengthfor class statistics), but only 60% (of 385, first/announcement email) and 61% (of 373, second/request for responses) opened the emails.  Seems like apoor statistic, but that means we received 164 responses from an average of 379 (164/379=>0.43%) who opened (presumedly read) the emails, exceeding the usual historic 30-33% participation rates.

Regimental Responses:

1st Regiment-David Rosenblum

1st Bn      7 yes        13 No

2nd Bn    8 yes    3 No

3rd Bn    8 yes*    5 No

 

* 1 comment- should be earlier in the year and suggests someplace like Banson, MO or Las Vegas.

FYI, I strongly disagree with the comment.  I would not want to go to either place, however, I am going to see classmates not the sights or gambling so I would go anywhere reasonable.

 

2nd Regiment-Joe Alexander

Here are the 2nd Regiment votes on the latest out-of-cycle, not-at-West Point, fall of 2022, probably in DC reunion survey:

    Yes          - 21

    No         - 20

    Maybe   -   2

 

Shown below are the comments submitted with the votes:

    - I think this is a great idea but we had booked a safari next September and won’t make it.

    - I have almost zero interest in a DC reunion.

    - We will be going to Hawaii in October. We won’t also make a trip to east coast in same period.

    - Put me down as a possible attendee for the proposed DC class gathering next year.

    - I strongly support this endeavor.

    - No for us, not appealing.

    - I might be receptive to an off-cycle/off-campus in the time frame he suggests.  It is not so much that it "appeals to us", but rather, we might be okay with it.  A lot will be dependent on where the 2022 off-cycle "reunion" is held, and whether an on-cycle/on-campus reunion will occur anyway. As to location, I would prefer an off-cycle "reunion" to be within 2day (800 mile) driving distance of Indianapolis (our home); DC would be okay.  The reason for this is airplane travel seems to be a hassle, has been unreliable, and because I don't get around so good any more, cumbersome.  I need some sort of device, rollator, walker, etc to get around, that adds additional complexity to air.  Quite frankly, we still are more receptive to an on-cycle/on-campus reunion with known facilities, AOG support, opportunity to see current campus facilities to compare with "back when I was a cadet..."I fear that an off-cycle "reunion" will attract a smaller contingent than if held on campus, and ultimately compete with attendance at the presumably going-to-happen on-cycle reunion in 2025.  I know the concern with waiting until 2025 will incur a potential problem with classmates not living long enough to be there, but, Life happens, and the alternative.

 

    - Favor DC 2022. Consider: memorial service, WP Alumni Glee Club at dinner, Arlington, VietNam Memorial, rally outside Navy gate.

 

    - I find these attempts to "make up" for not having a 50th Reunion completely unnecessary.  We didn't have a 50th - OK; let's have the 55th, 60th, and so on.  I am not a fan of this idea - probably in the minority, eh?  What I am a fan of is our F2 reunions, and the more often, the better.  I think West Point Reunions should be at West Point.  And, considering my schedule, which is ramping up again, such gatherings are problematic for me in any case

    - I'm somewhat interested, but not sure a 3 or 4 day one way trip is something I want to do.  Best binary bet for an answer:  no.

    - 3 or 4 mentions of other Class of '70 events that would interfere.  Be aware of a possible conflict for 20 to 30 of us who married Ladycliff ‘70 girls. Like us, they have been working on a reunion in NYC for the last 2 years. Currently they are planning for some time around October 2022.

    - Depends on the timing of our Company reunion in Colorado and also what options there will be for the DC outing. Would like to be kept informed. 

    - Thoughts on a few preferred activities: (1) Class Memorial Service at the VietNam Memorial or Arlington Cemetery – A class memorial service is my #1 activity desire; (2) National Mall Monuments Tour; (3) Pentagon Tour – There may be a number of our class that have never been there. 

 

3rd Regiment-Tom Rozman

Consolidated 3rd Regiment Survey response – unstructured as requested.  Developed from 41 respondents. 

The general sense was an offsite was a good idea due to accelerating classmate losses. By 2025 these will be more significant to include reduced mobility resulting from medical conditions of many classmates or their spouses.  

 

From input provided to battalion representatives transmitted in their reports “yes” and “maybe” exceeded “no” by 1 broken out as follows:

a.     YES: 14 (Mainly folks close to DC)

b.     Maybe: 7 (both dependent on actual schedule)

c.     NO: 20

 

The Negatives included:

a.     Only want a WP reunion location (4 specified in 2nd Battalion Report)

b.     Only want 2025 (2 specified in 2nd Battalion Report)

c.     Scheduling conflicts (in addition to the “Maybe”s listed above”

d.     Only want to travel once (not 2022 and 2025)

e.     “A good part of my reason for attending a Class reunion is the opportunity to refresh my memory of our rock bound highland home.  That said, I personally have no interest in visiting DC for ANY reason. “

f.      “It depends on who else goes.  If my old roomies sign up, I’ll go and say hi. I would not go just to celebrate West Point, 300 miles from West Point.” 

g.     “I Am somewhat interested, but not at all if we’re still wearing masks and tiptoeing around COVID."

Reading the comments of the three battalion representatives (available on request) there is interest in offsite but qualified and the stronger interest develops from those in proximity to the DC location perhaps Central Atlantic Region, less in further out locations.  Note that the numbers of yes and maybe were just over 50% of respondents. It also appears that travel has become more of a concern in past perhaps driven by medical/health situation of classmates and of their spouses.  My sense would be to consider some function in the DC Area, especially if some “draw scenario” might be developed.  But we may only see a third of the class participate.

 

The 3rd Battalion Representative, Rich Measner stated that Fred Lough is interested in serving on the planning group that might be formed.   

 

4th Regiment-Rock Verrochi

4th Regiment

Yes

N0

Comments

1st Battalion

14

2

NOTES: A. Would like a DC tour included B. Prefer October C. Consider Las Vegas or San Antonio? D. Crystal City, not Washington Harbor E. McGee willing to organize or coordinate

2nd Battalion

7

3

Dick Williams wants 2022 Army/AAF game in Arlington adde to options.

3rd Battalion

10

1

Rock says the more options the better.

Total

31

6

 

Class Total

     

 

SallyPort Analytic Overviews: emails Delivered/Opened for each mailing as indicated.

First email: RFI; responses will be requested later 

Sent

Delivered

Opened

 

 

Bounced

Reported as Spam

621

612

385

 

 

6

0

100 %

98 %

61 %

 

 

0 %

0 %

Second email: Requested replies.

Sent

Delivered

Opened

 

 

Bounced

Reported as Spam

620

612

375

 

 

8

0

100 %

98 %

60 %

 

 

1 %

0 %

 

 

 

 

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