Aragon Class of ‘64
“Keep Your Fork” Newsletter

Classmates & Friends of Aragon 1964, Contributors of all Articles
Bonita Beck, Publisher                                         Bob Graham, Editor

May 2016
 "Heros, Front & Center"  
Issue #145



April was an “Outstanding” month for all that “you brought to the table.”  May is looking even better.  You will understand more as we get into our monthly articles and events.

Be patient, we will be there soon.  But, first a short editorial:  May is a very important month to many for lots of different reasons.  Once you look at the calendar, at the end of the Newsletter, you too will see events meaningful to some and others that mean nothing.  With Veterans in our Class, and with the passing of Ron Santos and Greg Edison (two Veterans); I would submit to you, that “Memorial Day” is our most Important Day.  Without it, and for what it stands for, many of the other designated holidays, would not exist.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day (the 30th of May, 1868), it was a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers.  It is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America.

The preferred name for the holiday gradually changed from "Decoration Day" to "Memorial Day.”  It did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967.  On June 28, 1968, the Congress passed the “Uniform Monday Holiday Act.”

Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who “died” while serving - while, Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. Military Veterans.

Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery each year with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave.  Traditionally, the President or Vice President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

“For Love of Country They Accepted Death”…   Gen. James A. Garfield, Arlington National Cemetery In Virginia, May 30,1868

We Shall Not Forget - We Can Not Forget

Thank You for allowing me to express myself, about this most sacred day - May 30, 2016...

”All Gave Some, Some Gave All!”

•     Revolutionary War - 4,435 Deaths / 6,188 Wounded
•     Barbary Wars - 35 Deaths / 64 Wounded
•     War of 1812 - 2,260 Deaths / 4,505 Wounded
•     Indian Wars - 1,000 Deaths / 106,000 Serving
•     Mexican War - 13,283 Deaths / 4,152 Wounded
•     Civil War - 364,511 Deaths / 281,881 Wounded
•     Spanish-American War - 2,446 Deaths / 1,662 Wounded
•     Philippines - 4,200 Deaths / 2,800 Wounded
•     Mexico - 21 Deaths / 6,000 Serving
•     W.W.I - 116,516 Deaths / 204,002 Wounded
•     W.W.II - 405,399 Deaths / 670,846 Wounded
•     Cold War - 35 Million Serving
•     Berlin Airlift - 31 Deaths / 32,900 Serving
•     Korean War - 36,574 Deaths / 103,284 Wounded
•     Vietnam War - 58,220 Deaths / 153,303 Wounded
•     Lebanon - 265 Deaths / 177 Wounded
•     Grenada - 19 Deaths / 116 Wounded
•     Persian Gulf - 148 Deaths / 467 Wounded (as of 1987)
•     Panama - 23 Deaths / 322 Wounded
•     Gulf War - 382 Deaths / 467 Wounded
•     Iraqi Kurdistan - 5 Deaths / 12,316 Serving
•     Somalia - 43 Deaths / 28,000 Serving
•     Haiti - 4 Deaths / 16,253 Serving
•     Bosnia - 100,000 Serving
•     Global War On Terrorism - 2,355 Deaths / 20,067 Wounded / 2.5 Million Serving
•     Kosovo - 31,600 Serving
•     Afghanistan - 2,215  Deaths / 20,026 Wounded / 831,576 Serving
•     Iraqi Freedom & New Dawn - 4,491 Deaths / 32,244 Wounded / 1.5 Million Serving
•     Operation Inherent Resolve - 15 Deaths / 13 Wounded (as of 8 April 2016)

Bottom line: We Have A Lot Of “Military Men & Women,” “WE OWE OUR LIVES & THANKS!”

Thank you for your patience,  now here we go!  I received some questions from a few of our Classmates - here are the answers:
•   The parentheses under the “Contributed by” is usually written by the Classmate that sent the article for the Newsletter.  If nothing is written, I will usually “add my two cents worth.”
•   If more than one person sends in an article, I will put all the names on the “Contributed by Line.”
•   Now back to the “normal” items for the month:

CONNECTIONS AND RECONNECTIONS:  This proved to be a double - winner, winner, chicken dinner. OK, it sounded good in my head! We had three Reconnections, brought about by the Bucket List Challenge & the “Who Said That - Movie Quote Addition” (WST-MQA). Reconnections:

•   Dianna (Bremer) Cava - correct answers, just a little late for first place.
•   Sandi (Picone) Murray - she too had the correct answers, and was also too late for first place.
•   Henry “Hank” Hoyt - he also was good to go, but a little late.

*FYI - get your answers in on the 1st of the month, check your computer. If for some reason it does not get published on the first, keep checking or drop me an e-mail.

THE BUCKET LIST CHALLENGE:  OK, I have been bailed out two months in a row now! Sandi (Picone) Murray is my Hero this month.  Sandi and Bob (her husband) travel a lot.   “My last and one of the best things on my Bucket List was to fly to Durham, North Carolina and see a Duke Basketball Game.  I love Coach K!  It was so much fun to see him and the team!”  All right, if you can top a Duke Basketball Game and Coach K, bring it on.  Before we move on... who is going to be my Hero for the month of June?  Come on, I need your help... Please, no more embarrassing events for me.  Thank You in advance, HELP PLEASE!

WHO SAID THAT - MOVIE QUOTE ADDITION:  The “APRIL” Winner was Gary Rocklage! Dianna (Bremer) Cava and Steve Bechtold were right on his heels!

•   January Winner - Bruce Ahlvin
•   February Winner(s) - Steve Bechtold and Gary Rocklage
•   March Winner - Gary Rocklage
•   April Winner - Gary Rocklage
•   May Winner - ?????

               “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”


                                  Hooah, Hugs & “Heroes - Front & Center," Bob

A Preview Of The May Newsletter, “Heroes - Front & Center:”

•   God Bless the USA
•   It Never Gets...
•   Valor & Tears
•   Day’s End
•   50s Horse Power
•   Angels With Dresses
•   Random Thoughts
•   Russia
•   DSC
•   Just A Pilot
•   A Break In The Ocean
•   Americans
•   Deaf Dog
•   DD-214
•   Alive
•   Who Served
•   Never Wrong With...
•   First U.S. Jet
•   Missing Man
•   One Call Away
•   Heroes
•   Quilts of Valor
•   Angel Flight

I’m Proud To Be An American
Contributed by Lee Greenwood  (I love this song, I hope you enjoy it also)

It Never Gets Easier...”  
Contributed by Bob Graham  (in memory of America’s Fallen)

Soaring Valor” 
Contributed by Peggy Graham & Bruce Ahlvin (you will have tears & how about Gary Sinise!)

Day’s End”  Contributed by Gary Rocklage  (great way to finish or start a day)
Check this out.  Understand all the kids are in a Kentucky statewide chorus competition and are staying at the hotel.  They come out of their room to the balconies before curfew and  sing the anthem each night they are there for the competition.  Seems this happens every year during this competition. 500 high school choir students sing the U.S. National Anthem in a high-rise hotel.  Each night before curfew, they gather to sing the Star-Spangled Banner from the balconies of the 18-story Atrium at Louisville 's Downtown Hyatt. This is part of the Kentucky Music Educators Convention.  You can’t help but get goose bumps when you hear them sing.

50’s Horse Power” 
Contributed by Charlene (Wiper) Swenson (the memories will blow your mind – Charlene, stay calm)

Angels With Dresses” 
Contributed by Mark Cantrell, freelance writer based in N.C.   These young women were someone you could talk with and leave the jungle behind, for the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee and have a donut or 3!


“Random Thoughts”
Contributed by Gary Rocklage
(I think many of us may have had some of these thoughts)


I changed my car horn to gunshot sounds. People get out of the way much faster now.

Gone are the days when girls used to cook like their mothers. Now they drink like their fathers.

You know that tingly little feeling you get when you really like someone?  That's common sense leaving your body.

I didn't make it to the gym today. That makes five years in a row.

I decided to change calling the bathroom the John and renamed it the Jim. I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.

Old age is coming at a really bad time.

When I was a child I thought "Nap Time" was a punishment. Now, as a grownup, it feels like a small vacation.

The biggest lie I tell myself is..."I don't need to write that down, I'll remember it."

Teach your daughter how to shoot, because a restraining order is just a piece of paper.

Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators. We haven't met yet.

Why do I have to press one for English when you're just going to transfer me to someone I can't understand anyway?

Of course I talk to myself; sometimes I need expert advice.

At my age "Getting lucky" means walking into a room and remembering what I came in there for.




In Russia”  Contributed by Ted Dumke  (I like their style.)

Limping Lady & a DSC” 
Contributed by Peggy Graham  (This is a great story.)

The Last Fighter Pilot of WWll” 
Contributed by Ted Dumke & Peggy Graham  (Outstanding interview from an outstanding American!)

A Break In The Ocean” 
Contributed by Linda (Wanke) Rapp  (Say hello to the USS Hartford - our underwater heroes!)

Contributed by Bob Graham  (Just listen to the words - “WE ARE AMERICANS!”)

Nearly Deaf Dog Overwhelmed by Sight Of Her Soldier Owner” 
Contributed by Ted Dumke  (more to see after first video - check them out - a soldier & a dog)

Stayin’ Alive” 
Contributed by Ted Dumke (Ted, you have done it again, great memories and "dancing till midnight!")


“FYI - Important...DD-214 - The Military Resume”
Contributed by Gary Rocklage

(everything you or a family member did in the military - this is a real advancement and a big deal)

It’s official; DD - 214s are now online. Please pass on to other Vets. The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following website for Veterans to gain access to their DD - 214s online:  

This may be particularly helpful when a Veteran needs a copy of his DD-214 for employment purposes. NPRC is working to make it easier for Veterans with computers and Internet access to obtain copies of documents from their military files. Military Veterans and the next of kin of deceased former military members may now use a new online military personnel records system to request documents. Other individuals with a need for documents must still complete the Standard Form 180, which can be downloaded from the online web site. Because the requester will be asked to supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays that normally occur when NPRC has to ask
Veterans for additional information will be minimized. The new web-based application was designed to provide better service on these requests by eliminating the records centers mail room and processing time. Please pass this information on to former military personnel you may know and their dependents.


“Percentage Who Actually Have Served”
Contributed by Linda (Wanke) Rapp
(from a veteran’s point of view - I totally agree - Bob)

Interesting to read. I send this on, out of respect for those who are still serving and the sacrifices that they and their families continue to make year after year, deployment after deployment, all as this Division continues to prepare to once again deploy for another tour in Afghanistan.

Percentage who actually have served their Country in the military…    Something to think about! Received from a friend and I think very well done:
     I remember the day I found out I got into West Point. My mom actually showed up in the hallway of my high school and waited for me to get out of class. She was bawling her eyes out and apologizing that she had opened up my admission letter. She wasn't crying because it had been her dream for me to go there. She was crying because she knew how hard I'd worked to get in, how much I wanted to attend, and how much I wanted to be an infantry officer. I was going to get that opportunity.
     That same day two of my teachers took me aside and essentially told me the following: Nick, you're a smart guy. You don't have to join the military. You should go to college, instead.
     I could easily write a tome defending West Point and the military as I did that day, explaining that USMA is an elite institution, that separate from that it is actually statistically much harder to enlist in the military than it is to get admitted to college, that serving the nation is a challenge that all able-bodied men should at least consider for a host of reasons, but I won't.
     What I will say is that when a 16 year-old kid is being told that attending West Point is going to be bad for his future then there is a dangerous disconnect in America, and entirely too many Americans have no idea what kind of burdens our military is bearing.
     In World War II, 11.2% of the nation served in four years.
     In Vietnam, 4.3% served in 12 years.
     Since 2001, only 0.45% of our population has served in the Global War on Terror.
     These are unbelievable statistics.
     Over time, fewer and fewer people have shouldered more and more of the burden and it is only getting worse.
     Our troops were sent to war in Iraq by a Congress consisting of 10% veterans with only one person having a child in the military.
     Taxes did not increase to pay for the war. War bonds were not sold.
     Gas was not regulated. In fact, the average citizen was asked to sacrifice nothing, and has sacrificed nothing unless they have chosen to out of the goodness of their hearts.
     The only people who have sacrificed are the veterans and their families.  The volunteers.  The people who swore an oath to defend this nation.
    You stand there, deployment after deployment and fight on. You've lost relationships, spent years of your lives in extreme conditions, years apart from kids you'll never get back, and beaten your body in a way that even professional athletes don't understand.
     Then you come home to a nation that doesn't understand.
     They don't understand suffering.
     They don't understand sacrifice.
     They don’t understand why we fight for them.
     They don't understand that bad people exist.
     They look at you like you're a machine - like something is wrong with you. You are the misguided one - not them.
     When you get out, you sit in the college classrooms with political science teachers that discount your opinions on Iraq and Afghanistan because YOU WERE THERE and can't understand the macro issues they gathered from books, because of your bias.
     You watch TV shows where every vet has PTSD and the violent strain at that. Your Congress is debating your benefits, your retirement, and your pay, while they ask you to do more.
     But the amazing thing about you is that you all know this. You know your country will never pay back what you've given up.
     You know that the populace at large will never truly understand or appreciate what you have done for them.
     Hell, you know that in some circles, you will be thought as less than normal for having worn the uniform. But you do it anyway. You do what the greatest men and women of this country have done since 1775 - YOU SERVED. Just that decision alone makes you part of an elite group.

     "Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few." – Winston Churchill
     Thank you to the 0.45% who have and continue to serve our Nation.


You Can Never Be Wrong With Animals”  Contributed by Jake & Honor Graham (you gotta love that first photo - what a pair!)

The First US Jet - Oct. 1942”  
Contributed by Bruce Ahlvin (we’ve come a long way, in our jet advancement)

Missing Man Table” 
Contributed by Bruce Ahlvin & Mike Graham  (A nice gesture by Chik-Fil-A for our troops)

Israel Is Only One Call Away
Contributed by Maggie (Tubia) Horwitz
(and yet, we send billions of dollars to ass----s who want to kill these people - look at the  faces on those young soldiers helping out the sick and homeless! - this is the Israel nobody hears or talks about!)
Our Military - Heroes” 
Contributed by The Vets of Aragon Class of 1964  (think about what you did today and then what they did, so we can continue our lives - I cry every time I see these great troopers)

Quilts of Valor
Contributed by Bonita Beck.  (I spent some vacation time with my daughter quilting for this organization at the Northwest Regions President’s house in Portland!  50 quilts in the closet ready to go and three rooms for supplies & machines!  And who is her biggest supporter?  Her husband, quilting with her and now learning to use a long-arm machine quilter!  Whimp?  No - 6’5” and an ex-Navy Seal - showing love for his brothers!   Great hobby, great organization, great charity!)

Angel Flight”  Contributed for Ron Santos and Greg Edison  (Classmates and Veterans - Rest In Peace Our Brothers)


MAY (National Date Your Mate Month) - DATES TO REMEMBER:

1  -  May Day - Loyalty Day - Mother Goose Day - Save The Rhino Day.
2  -  BABY DAY - Brothers and Sisters Day.

3  -  National Teachers Day - Lumpy Rug Day - World Press Freedom Day.
4  -  Bird Day - National Candied Orange Peel Day - Renewal Day - Star Wars Day.
5  -  HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY - National Hoagie Day - Oyster Day - Cinco de Mayo Day.
6  -  NATIONAL NURSES DAY - No Diet Day - Space Day.
7  -  Birth Mother’s Day - National Tourism Day.

8  -  V-E DAY - MOTHER’S DAY - Iris Day - No Socks Day - World Red Cross Day.
9  -  Lost Sock Memorial Day.
10  -  Clean Up your Room Day.
11  -  Eat What You Want Day - National Receptionist Day - School Nurses Day - Twilight Zone Day.
12  -  Fatigue Syndrome Day - International Nurses Day - Limerick Day.
13  -  Blame Someone Else Day (first Friday the 13th of the year) - Frog Jumping Day - Leprechaun Day.
14  -  Dance Like A Chicken Day - International Migratory Bird Day - National Train Day.
15  -  POLICE OFFICER’S MEMORIAL DAY - National Chocolate Chip Day. 
16  -  Love A Tree Day - National Sea Monkey Day - WEAR PURPLE FOR PEACE DAY.
17  -  Pack Rat Day.

18  -  International Museum Day - No Dirty Dishes Day - Visit Your Relatives Day.
19  -  Boy’s Club Day.
20  -  Be A Millionaire Day - National Bike To Work Day - Pick Strawberries Day.
21  -  ARMED FORCES DAY - National Memo Day - National Waiters and Waitresses Day.
22  -  Buy A Musical Instrument Day - World Goth Day.

23  -  Lucky Penny Day.
24  -  National Escargot Day.
25  -  NATIONAL MISSING CHILDREN’S DAY - National WINE Day - Tap Dance Day.
27  -  Sun Screen Day.
28  -  Amnesty International Day - International Jazz Day.
29  -  Learn About Composting Day.

30  -  MEMORIAL DAY - Water A Flower Day.
31  -  National Macaroon Day - Save Your Hearing Day - WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY.

“If you have time or can make time, here is a chance to support a great charity and one of our Classmates.”

Thank You - Thank You - Thank You!!! Your support for “Keep Your Fork...’64” has been nothing less than “OUTSTANDING,” this last month! Keep that “Fired Up” State of Mind - Up Front!



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