Lee Ross, ’73, F-4, owns an aerial photography business and produces, sometimes, pictures of West Point from the air. These seven are dated 26 July 2017:
On 18 March, 2017, the West Point Society of WA and Puget Sound celebrated the 215th anniversary of the founding of West Point. COL Christianne Ploch ’92 was the Emcee and moved the activities along very smoothly. We knew we were off to a great start when Mr Walt Sears ’79 not only led us in a blessing but followed up with a rocket. President of the society LTC Van Sawin ’91, welcomed everyone and presented Kent Troy ’81 with the local C. Coburn Smith “Duty Well-Performed Award”. 2LT Abigail Jeffers ’16 was the youngest grad and shared what she did not like while being a cadet and COL(R) Guy Troy ’46 was the oldest grad (after recently celebrating his 94th birthday and wearing his dress mess) and shared a project of honoring West Point Modern Pentathlon Olympians with a suite at the Hotel Thayer. Then BG Cindy Jebb ’82, Dean of the Academy, was the key note speaker and provided a wonderful update on the ever continuous progress made at West Point. After a few opportunities of audience participation, recognizing graduates for their accomplishments in such things as attending STAP, walking over 100 hours on the area, being on the dean’s list, being married at West Point and volunteering service to the Nation while at war. The evening concluded with a recitation of the Cadet Prayer and singing of the Alma Mater.
MAJ (R) G. Kent Troy ’81
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich addressed a gathering at the National Defense University on 14 December 2016. His subject was: Trumpism Explained. His over-arching point was that thinking, not money, is required for USA national welfare and the in-coming administration will require USA Armed Forces to deliver in that regard right from day one. It was a long speech and even this abbreviated version of it as a Fox News Opinion piece is lengthy. Well-worth the read, however, as a wide-view heads-up on what is coming upon 20 January 2017.
West-Point.Org is a major benefactor of our West Point Community in Washington State and everywhere else. They supply, gratis, the major part of our communications, relying on their users — Parents, Graduates and others — to cover the costs three times a year. It is that time. Please donate.
Beeman Buffalo Jack, ’64, writes with his customary panache:
Back a million nights ago, plebes would be tasked with a presentation at meals, the success of which would determine how much they might eat. Kind of like these fund drive messages. This message is directed specifically for those who have not donated in the past, but might do so now.
I’m an Old Grad, 1964. The horses were gone by ’46, but the library was still that depicted on the Engineer branch brass. At graduation, the Vietnam war was just beginning. This week, I was at Arlington, with surviving members of B/2-503 173rd ABN. There were fewer than ten of us for the memorial services: Roy Lombardo was the CO who brought the company over from Okinawa; Bob Warfield was CO when I got my first purple heart; and Les Brownlee, later acting Sec Army for three years, when I got my second purple heart. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but about 220 came in country in May ’65, and 17 walked on the plane a year later. That didn’t include me since I arrived in as a replacement once they were already in country. By that time Ron Zinn ’62 had been killed, and the base camp I reported into was Camp Zinn.
It’s about 300 miles from Buffalo Mountain to Arlington, but my wife, Sam, and I, have made this trip numerous times for Veterans Day. The gathering focuses only on one company from the 173rd ABN, and for the first year of the Vietnam deployment. But, we invite all members of the company from modern deployments as well.
We started at Section 60 where recent 173rd KIAs have been buried, then to where MG Williamson and his wife are buried. He brought the brigade over from Okinawa. Roy stayed in touch with them for years, and told stories about how he went from playing the trombone to Brigade CG. Next was a walk over to the Brigade Memorial at the foot of the hill where Robert E Lee’s mansion sits. The memorial is small, just off the side of the path.
Spouses, friends, children, grand-children, gathered around the flowered tripod with the foam backing and flowers. Small American flags were passed out, and as the names of our KIA were read, we all pushed the flags into the ground around the memorial, and into the foam backing. It looked like a butterfly convention at a watering hole. When 2 Jan 66 came, I placed my flag.
Afterwards, we reported to Roy’s favorite restaurant down on the old town Alexandria waterfront to decompress and catch up on each other’s lives.
When Sam and I returned home there was a voice mail from Kris Keggi. Every Veterans Day, it happens. Kris was a young Latvian boy in the backwash of WWII when he escaped from a train bound for a concentration camp. He ended up in post war Paris, then America, where he entered Yale at 16. I was shot on 2 Jan 66, and we met when he was the Brigade orthopaedic surgeon at the MASH hospital where our Dust Offs landed. I was looking up at the nurse who had a name tag “Crist” and he was looking down at a shattered left arm. Christ? And a WOMAN? Boy! Is THIS confusing! About that time, Kris is explaining Plan A and B. “A” was take the arm off below the elbow, and save the elbow. “B” was try to save arm, maybe lose elbow. Make a decision, Lt!
Those of you who have been hugged, or shaken hands with me, know we went with Plan B and it was successful. Kris has been a life-long friend, and has spent the last decades as the Elihu Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at Yale University School of Medicine. I tell him the only reason he rose to such prominence is that he had all those young paratroopers to practice on. He does admit that it was much easier working on those skinny troopers with just muscle, sinew, and bones, than today’s more portly patients.
So what is the purpose of this story? It is to remind you of the importance of relationships across the span of half a century. These relationships are fragile, and can wither away if not nurtured. WP-ORG has provided the structure to maintain these for over twenty years now. We need your donations to continue to provide service. You need the service for your own good measure.
Reach out to a classmate, join one of our many forums, donate!
Checks: WP-ORG INC 3800 Buffalo Mountain RD SW, Willis VA 24380
“Beeman Buffalo Jack” Price ’64 CFO WP-ORG INC on Buffalo Mountain
The man who won 24 Olympic gold medals for the United States isn’t Michael Phelps or Mark Spitz or even Jesse Owens. In fact, he didn’t compete in any Olympic sport. Yet he swung America’s attention to the importance of the Olympic Games as no other American had ever done — and turned Olympic gold into a rebirth of the American spirit.
Historian Arthur Herman is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institution Washington, D.C. He is author of eight books, including New York Times bestseller How the Scots Invented the Modern World (2001); the Pulitzer Prize Finalist Gandhi and Churchill (2008); To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World (nominated for the UK’s Mountbatten Prize); and the highly acclaimed Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, which The Economist magazine picked as one of the Best Books of 2012, as well as The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization (Random House 2013). His latest book, Douglas MacArthur: American Warrior, was released by Random House on June 14. A Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, he can be reached on Twitter @ArthurLHerman.
A Remarkable Man And West Pointer
September 22, 1879 – May 27, 1966
For scaling and raising The Colors above this wall to the City of Peking:
From Wikipedia: Print(reproduction) of the original “I’ll Try Sir,” U.S. Army in Action historical painting, depicting the United States Army during the 14 August 1900 Allied Relief Expedition assault on the outer walls of Peking in China during the Boxer Rebellion. I’ll Try, Sir! Department of the Army Poster 21-73 During the fiercely opposed relief expedition to Peking in the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, when two companies of the U.S. Army’s 14th Infantry Regiment were pinned by heavy fire from the east wall of the Tartar City and the Fox Tower between abutments of the Chinese City Wall near Tung Pien Gate, volunteers were called for to attempt the first perilous ascent of the wall. Trumpeter Calvin P. Titus of E Company immediately stepped forward saying, “I’ll try, sir!” Using jagged holes in the stone wall, he succeeded in reaching the top. He was followed by the rest of his company, who climbed unarmed, and hauled up their rifles and ammunition belts by a rope made of rifle slings. As the troops ascended the wall artillery fire from Reilly’s battery set fire to the Fox Tower. In the face of continued heavy Chinese fire, the colors broke out in the August breeze as the sign that U.S. Army troops had achieved a major step in the relief of the besieged Legations. For his courageous and daring deed in being the first to climb the wall, Trumpeter Titus was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.