|COMPANY E-3 USMA
CLASS of 1972
2018 MINI REUNION, SAN ANTONIO
Quick Blast to the Class 13 July 18:
We have a new Supe. News about LTG Darryl Williams. Very distinguished career, including a tour
as a Tac at USMA in the early 90s. The Army chose to give 2LT Rapone an Other-Than-Honorable
discharge. This guy slipped through the cracks at so many levels it’s hard to place the blame. I’ll
just leave it at the job of being the Supe at West Point has lots and lots of challenges, and the great
news is that that position gets voluminous advice and help. On to happier news. Adamczyk’s
orchestration of 50th Affiliation events is masterful. Gold star awards to Ferrin & Borders for the Ice
Cream Social and R-Day. I’ll just add that both days were extremely hot, breaking what I think is ‘72’
s hottest Beast record. Hougnon deserves huge props as National Level Dog Tags coordinator.
Lastly, Saunders has teed up the March Back effort. In their words.
From Borders and Ferrin: R-DAY CLASS OF 2022
“New Cadet Candidates and their parents, siblings, grandparents and others got a glimpse of the
Long Grey Line – plenty of grey hair indeed -- on Sunday July 1 and early Monday morning, R-day.
Your Class of ’72 50-Year Affiliation Program was well represented by Joe & Agnes Adamczyk, Paul
Capofari, Gary & Cathy Speer, John Goshorn, Doug & Carole Hoon, Gary Sarpen, Dan Muchow,
Kweon Stambaugh, Steve Presley, Roger & Debbie Miller, Shaun & Linda Conlin, Joe Drach, Larry &
Mary Cook, Gary Dennis, Bruce & Mary Scott, Mike McDannel, John & Mary Northrop, Bob & Molly
Curran, Duston and Joanne Saunders, Mike Donaghy, Tom Davis, Tony & Rhonda Dedmond, Mick
Hanratty, Co-Leader Rick Ferrin and yours truly.
We had the chance to casually meet and chat with these outstanding young women and men of
2022 at the AOG Ice Cream Social on Sunday afternoon. Hundreds of cadet candidates and families,
gripped hands with about forty 72ers and wives. Most of the new cadets were wearing their
Affiliation dog tags and those who weren’t got theirs at Herbert Hall. West Point t-shirts were
everywhere and the AOG gift Shop was raided for still more emblems of USMA pride. The young
men and women are just really neat. Fit, smart and social.
‘72 answered the 0545 call on R-day at Eisenhower Hall. In 90+ degree weather our offers of water
(about 25 cases) and encouragement were very welcomed. Our class also provided a continental
breakfast to family and friends to help them unwind from the emotional farewells in the Auditorium.
72 wives were especially appreciated as they met tearful parents coming out the Auditorium doors
with tissues, kind smiles and hugs.) All together we manned eight separate stations throughout Ike
Hall and the many stairways down from the bus drop. ’72 welcomed ‘22 offering enthusiasm,
reassurance and guidance throughout their eventful journey into the West Point family. Our class
also provided over 1000 decals that read, “West Point 2022, Courtesy of the Class of 1972 and the
Long Grey Line, Grip Hands.” Keep an eye out for one and go say hello.
It would risk too many slights to point out the extraordinary efforts of those I saw hauling water,
organizing shuttle buses, sorting dog tags, giving directions, etc, etc, etc. Suffice to say every
member of our team found a way to be useful, compassionate and affirming. Indeed some
classmates and wives – you know who you are – served above and beyond, all “Proud“ to serve
and “True” to the task at this stirring event.
It wasn’t all work. Following the Ice cream social on Sunday and some “Zulu time” at the Thayer
rooftop, we also enjoyed an unofficial mini-reunion dinner, ably MC’d by Co-Leader Ferrin. Tales of
July 1, 1968 abounded as well as reminiscences -- some true -- of the daring exploits of our younger
and indestructible selves. And, as a bonus, a bunch of the 2022 Parents covered our tab!
R-Day was capped off for ’72 Monday at 1830 with a view of the 2022 Oath Ceremony on the Plain,
as guests of new Superintendent LTG Darryl A. Williams. (Given the “Beastly” weather we didn’t
even have to wear the customary coat and tie in the Supe’s box and General Williams was most
gracious toward the Old Grads.) In sum, your Alma Mater and your class set a new standard for R-
Day support of the newest link in the Long Grey Line. Our Affiliation program is off to an excellent
Mega-kudos to Jim Houghnon for incredible, detailed, orchestration of the "Dog Tag program". I
cannot possible accurately express the impact and success of this effort. As of today – we’re at
about the 95% distribution. Curran is still working with the RTO. Many of the kids began wearing
them and kept them on from day they got them and are wearing them now. I’ll send a note out later
to request stories from that experience that we can share. But in my experience, the Class of 2022
really, really, responded to “I’m not just any old grad – I’m your old grad!”
“The class kicked off its 50-year affiliation program with the Class of 2022 by welcoming the
members of the new class and presenting each with a personalized dog tag. More than 100 of our
classmates attended events sponsored by West Point Parents Clubs, West Point Societies, All-
Academy parents clubs, Congressional offices, and other venues across the nation to greet the
candidates and give them the dog tags. In addition, several classmates travelled, sometimes great
distances, to meet candidates and their families one-on-one to make the presentations. Charlie
Fletcher led a team of several USMAPS graduates from ’72 to present the tags to the graduating
USMAPS class. The real kudos on the dog tags go to the distributors. There were many I didn’t
know about that participated. Our classmates took the time to meet the young men and women of
2022. And they didn’t just hand over the tag, shake hands and walk away. They spent time with them
and got to know them. They impressed the kids, and the kids impressed them. There were
speeches. There were one-on-ones. Including the USMAPS presentation, we presented close to
1000 tags in person or by mail. The 200 or so that were not presented went to West Point, where the
R-Day welcoming desk led by Bob Curran, presented half of the remaining tags. Bob will work to get
the rest of the tags in the hands of the new cadets this summer. But we all owe these classmates a
big “thank you”. The stories of the personal bonds that have been established between our
classmates and some of the new class are impressive. Watch for some of those stories on our web
site in the near future.The tag is inscribed to symbolize the gripping of hands between our classes.
It has been approved by USCC for the new cadets to wear with their regulation dog tags. Previous
classes used a certificate, but the dog tag is something the new cadets can keep with them and
continually remind them of our support. The dog tags have been an amazing success and have
helped build a strong bond between members of 2022 and our Proud and True class.”
Next up – a little stroll in the woods. Update on Affiliation March Back from Duston Saunders:
“I am looking forward to sharing some time with both Classmates and New Cadets on a little walk in
August. The Class of 1972 was allocated 50 slots for the 13 August, 2018, 12 Mile March Back from
Camp Buckner and unlimited slots for the 2 Mile March Back from the Ski Slope. Both groups will
link up at the Ski Slope and march down Washington Road as a Class to Quarters 100, the
Superintendent’s House. As of 13 July, our Class has only claimed 42 slots for the 50 slots for the
12 Mile March Back from Camp Buckner. Only 11 classmates have signed up for the 2 Mile March
Back. This is a great opportunity for the Class of 1972 to “grip hands” with the Class of 2022 - our
50 Year Affiliate Class - and show our support for their successful completion of Beast Barracks.
Registration for the March Back - both 12 Mile and 2 Mile - is now closed. In-processing is
12 August from 1200-1430 at Herbert Alumni Center. But there’s more! There will be a Class of 1972
Dinner on 13 August 2018 following the March Back. Dress is casual and location is the Haig Room
on the 6th Floor of Jefferson Library. Cocktails from 1700-1800 and dinner from 1800-2000. Dinner
is open to all classmates and spouses - not just marchers. Space is limited to 120 and cost is $42
per person. Cash bar. Registration for the dinner will open on 10 July so watch your email for the
As always, if the mood moves you, please throw a little change into the collection plate
Proud & True ‘72
See below recent "Blast" from Class President, John Northrop.