THANK YOU TO OUR
CLASS OF 1966 
VETERANS

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There is no greater love than this: that a man would
lay down his life for the sake of his friends, for when he gives up
his life, he gives up all that he has
.
 
— Reference to 
John 15:12-14 —


 


THE TRAVELING WALL

          Many of you may not know that the United Stated had members of our Armed Forces stationed within Laos from the late 50’s through the end of the Vietnam war.  I know because that’s where I was assigned for a short tour in 1968.  Everyone that was there, went in without any form of ID.  We were simply just “Not there.”  If someone went down, and for some reason, they could not be recovered, they were sometimes listed as “Missing in action.”
 
          Recently, I was asked if I could tell what I felt the first time I saw the Traveling Wall.  Because of what took place while I was in Laos and events later in my life, I’d like to tell you the effect the wall had on me the first time I saw it.
 
          I greeted the news that the traveling Viet Nam Memorial was going to be in town with extreme joy and happiness.  At last I could search for the names of my fellow Airman that I lost while serving in those two countries.  I counted down each day until the wall would be here.  When it did arrive, I was like a small child the night before Christmas.  I know the wall was there, just waiting for me.  
 
          That afternoon I left work and quickly walked over to the see the wall.  The closer I got, the faster I walked.  With each step, I took toward the wall, the more excited I became.  At last, I could see it.  The traveling wall was right there, just across the street.  The Vietnam Memorial was here at last, in Spokane, Washington and I was on my way to see it.
 
          The Wall was just across the street and up the steps.  For some reason I stopped, I just couldn’t force myself to cross the street.  I just couldn’t get any closer to the wall.  I just stood there staring at the wall.  All the pain, sadness and memories came rushing forward.  I just leaned back, resting on a building, and started to cry.  I tried to remember the names of each one of my friends that I lost that year.  For some reason I just couldn’t recall all their names.
 
          After a while I slowly regained my composer and started walking to go back to work.  This time I wasn’t in a hurry to get back to work, you see, this time I wasn’t walking alone, all my friends were there, walking with me.

No Name

(Written by our classmate and Veteran, James McLefresh, in October of 2020)




 

OUR CLASS OF 1966
VETERANS and A VIDEO TRIBUTE

During the planning of the 50th Reunion in 2016, we finally accumulated accurate information about the veterans from our class. With the video tribute below, we hope to somehow express our heartfelt thank you to all of our class members who served our country. We honor you and thank you, including any classmates who many not be shown. 

This is dedicated to all the men and women who have served or are serving our country. 
CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO




 

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ELLIOTT ALLEN
After high school, Elliott attended college for a couple of years then went into the military. He was in the Navy for 7 years 9 months and 11 days. During that time, he went to various electronic/computer schools and was on shore duty in the US until deployed on a ship in Vietnam in 1971. After discharge, he worked for a computer company, eventually ending up at a large defense contractor (SAIC) where he retired as an Assistant VP of Network Services.

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THOMAS BOWMAN
USAF from 1966-1970

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BILL BRIDGES
U.S. Army, Sergeant E-5. Basic Training in Ft. Benning, Georgia (home of the infantry); Advanced Training at Ft. Dix, New Jersey; Stationed in Camp Kaiser, South Korea; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1
st Battalion Mechanized, 17th Infantry, 8th Army 1968.

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STEVE CRUEA
U.S. ARMY; 101
st Airborne Division; Vietnam Veteran; Bronze Star recipient

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TED DEVILBISS
Drafted into the Army after college.

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JOE DIXON
Four years as a weatherman in the Navy mainly at North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego; Saw a little bit of Vietnam early in, certainly more than I ever wanted to, but sorry, no pictures from then, at least in anything approaching a uniform.

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BOB ENGLERT
In 1968, Bob received his draft notice and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served with the First Cavalry Division in Vietnam for one year beginning October 25, 1968 and was an instructor at Ft. Lee Virginia after that until 1971. His tour in Vietnam was at Bien Hoa Army Base.

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LEO FRENCH
United States Army; 1970 to 1977 overseas and state-side assignments; United States Army Reserves, 1978 to 1986; United States Army, 1986 to 1996, all state-side assignments.

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RON FRYDMAN
Served in military … details unknown

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ED FULLER
USAF; went to Texas for Basic Training; Did a tour in Vietnam; Given a Hardship discharge after his father died. After Ed's death in January of 2021, the following additional information was included in his obituary. "Ed was a proud veteran of the United States Air Force, having fought in Vietnam in the 1968 Tet Offensive."

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ALAN GAINES
USMC   Aug 1966 - Feb 1970
Extended tour Vietnam   Aug 1967 - Mar 1969
Ammunition Technician & Infantry Weapons Repair
Camp Pendleton, CA
Camp Lejeune, NC

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LARRY GROSSNICKLE
USMC from 1966-1969

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MARC JENNINGS
USMC; 
Marc served as a Captain and Company Commander in the 2nd Marine Division.

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TOM KENDER
USAF 1970-1974; Langley AFB in Virginia; Sergeant and Base Newspaper Editor; He and his two brothers all served simultaneously during Vietnam.

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BILL KISTNER
U. S. ARMY (ASA) MOS — 1968-1971; Intercept Equipment Repair

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JIM MCLEFRESH
U.S. Air Force service from September 1966 - September 1986; Stationed at Lackland AFB, TX (Basic Training); Chanute AFB, IL (Skill Training); Luke AFB, AZ (Training for Vietnam assignment); Vietnam and Laos (worked for the CIA and Air America); Castle AFB, CA; Madrid, Spain; Fairchild AFB, WA (outside of Spokane, WA); Holloman AFB, NM (completed R&D on the F-16); Nellis AFB, NV (retired at Nellis and moved back to Spokane, WA)

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BOB MURDOCK
Served four years in the USAF.

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DAVE OAKES
Was in the United States Air Force until 1988.

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ROBERT PERKINS
38 years in the Army starting as a Combat Specialist; from 1
st Lt. to Captain, to Major; Army National Guard; became Army Chaplin and prison Chaplin; two state-side tours of duty; one European tour of duty; officially retired in 2008

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REED PUTNAM
29 year career in the U.S. Navy; Enlisted in 1968; Commissioned Ensign in 1974; assigned to the Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Program; in 1998 Reed was a Navy Capt. assigned to Naval Sea Systems Command in Arlington, VA.

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WILLARD C. RUSSELL, Jr.
Was in active duty in Vietnam and Germany 1968 through 1971.

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KERRY THOMPSON
Served in the military … specific details unknown.

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GEORGE WIEMERSLAGE (WIEMER)
Served in the U.S. Navy for four years.

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MICHAEL WILLIAMS
After FHS, Mike enlisted in the USAF; Discharged in 1970; Re-enlisted in the Air Force in the late 70s and stationed at WPAFB; transferred to Goldsboro, NC and became Avionics Maintenance Superintendent at Seymour Johnson AFB in 1988; Transferred to Austin, TX at Bergstrom AFB in 1991-1996.


After the creation of the video tribute to our class veterans, we learned of three more classmates who served in the military. Regretfully, they are not included in the video. 

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ALLAN GODSHALL
SP 4, U.S. Army, Vietnam
This was the only photo available of Allan.

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LEONARD (STEVE) GRIEVE 
Steve served in the U.S Army, including two tours in Vietnam as a member of the 361st Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade, USASTRATCOM.
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ALFRED GODWIN LASSTER lll
Al served in the U. S. Air Force in Thailand and Spain during the Vietnam era. He serviced the computers in the reconnaissance aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force.