road to USAFA began in Detroit in Aug 46, just after my Dad's WWII duty in the
Army Air Forces. Moving to Cincinnati in '52, I became a Reds fan while Dad worked
at the GE large jet engine division and brought home pictures of Air Force jets.
At the 1960 Boy Scout Jamboree in C Springs I saw the purple mountain majesties
and the Cadet Area for the first time. Later, a high school upperclassman I really
admired, got an USAFA appointment (Pete Johnston, '66) and I resolved to follow
him. Admission took some work but I finally got an alternate appointment with
the help of a truly great Liaison officer, Col Bill Raitt (his son, Mike, is Class
of '76.) Col Raitt sent seven of us to BCT that year--Behr, Defazio, Hites, Moran,
Pohlman, Sallee and me, and we all tossed our caps in the air on 5 Jun 68! I had
great roommates--Evanoff, Mike Phillips x 2, Freeman, Vail, Gary Hoffman, McPherson
and Gurley--all were outstanding floor buffing partners!
best USAFA memories include the Gulf of Tonkin incident during Doolie survival,
gymnastics team, 3rd Lt at Homestead AFB with Col Jabara's 31st TFW, driving my
brother Mike's ('70) chin in, only Contrails Calendar editor to sneak a skinny
dipping photo in (Vail made me do it!), Air Base Security detail, Firsty summer
field trip to Japan, and the F-105 finale!. Saddest moment was Pete Johnston's
Mar '66 death in a parachuting accident, but my best cadet moment also was around
then when I meet Mimi ("She's still the one . . ."), with thanks to
Garry Dudley for his assist!
Chinese, I leveraged that into a first assignment as an East West Center student
at the Univ of Hawaii. My 27-year career flew by, with assignments in Intel, USAFA
Poly Sci instructor, Japan, Space Command, Hong Kong, and PACOM. A 15-year business
development career at Lockheed Martin has just closed out, after a bunch of interesting
jobs in the DC area and then in Hawaii as the corporate rep. Hard to believe I
am only 44!
Well, I can't think of one serious
complaint with the whole thing, except it went by too quickly. Of course, the
career is only the vehicle for sustaining the family--and Mimi has raised two
great children, both born at USAFA. Mark Jr (Tricia) is a P School and '94 grad,
Naval Aviator (EP-3) and father of 3 daughters, while Marcy married 2Lt Jack Antedomenico
(also P School and '94--F-15s) and they have 3 sons. The future will be busy spending
time with them as often as we can.
plans are to embrace retirement, I don't have grand goals of starting my own business,
consulting or even aspire to WalMart greeter. I'm going to focus on getting in
shape and healthier (#1 goal--win the Class of '68 handstand contest at the Jan
2011 Gymnastics Team reunion), learn some new "tricks," continue as
a reading tutor, get active in supporting political candidates, take some Space
A hops, and establish a "sustainable" retirement relationship with Mimi
(I've already been home with her for lunch!). There are lots of adventures ahead,
thanks for all the great memories you have helped create.