Notice of Lee Barnes Passing - October 25th
I will let folks know when I can what decisions are made for burial. Lee's son Chris is not sure yet. Stand by for more news, and stand up for a great American and Soldier.
Lee was in A-1.
Proud and True Award Presentation
Lee Barnes - Biography
His service included duty stations in Korea, Germany and United States. He served as a tank Platoon Leader, Headquarters Company Commander, Armored Cavalry Troop Commander, and Tank Battalion Commander (concurrently serving as the Tank Regiment Commander for the Opposing Forces at the National Training Center). His staff time included battalion personnel (S1and Adjutant), logistics (S4) and operations, planning, and training (Army National Guard Advisor, Battalion XO, Brigade S3 and XO, and Division G3). His final posting was as the Chief of the Advanced Concept Office for Army Forces Command.
Lee joined Mystech Associates, which joined Northrop Grumman Corporation through a series of mergers. Lee served as Subject Matter Expert, Business Area Manager, Department Director, National Account Manager, Business Development Manager, and finally, as the Corporate Lead Executive, Orlando, retiring in 2012.
Lee has served as an independent consultant, but chooses to remain RETIRED, except for his volunteer activities, fishing, golfing and grand parenting.
Lee initially volunteered in 2011, to help with the Camaraderie Foundation annual golf tournament, “Pars and Stripes Forever”. He was elected to the board of directors in January, 2013. He was elected as Programs Director in 2015, elected Vice Chair of the Board in 2017, as Chair in Jan 2018, and in Jan 2019, re-elected as Chair for an additional one-year term.
'72 Classmates in Orlando
Lee Roy was well remembered and honored by many friends and associates. Skip did a great job sharing some remembrance for A-1 and Chris did the same. Ann was very appreciative of the company turnout!
Classmates at Lee Barnes Funeral
Chris LeBlanc; Tod Wilson; Murro Martens; Bill Guarino; Ray Idzior; Paul Oskvarek; Lee’s son Christopher; Skip Ash; Tom Waller; Steve Curtis; Tom Pawlowski; Steve Main
West Point Grad News
The following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1953 | 1960 | 1961 | 1966 | 1971 | 1972 | 1979 | 1983 | 1984 | 1987 | 1988. Class Notes
The life and sacrifice of West Point Grad 1LT Donaldson (Donnie) Preston Tillar III Class of 1988 was honored on February 26, 2021, at the United States Military Academy. The Class of 1988 donated a beautiful wreath for the event. The wreath-laying memorial ceremony was organized by his classmate MAJ Brian B. Mahoney ’88 who held the ceremony at Cullum Hall in front of a plaque that also honors Tillar’s service to our country.
February 27, 2021 was the 30th Anniversary of Tillar’s Death. He was born on May 13, 1965 and died at age 25 on February 27, 1991. Tillar was killed in action during Operation Desert Storm. Tillar and eight other brave soldiers were shot down in their Blackhawk helicopter during combat. He is buried at the Emporia Cemetery in Virginia.
Tillar is remembered at West Point in many ways. Tillar was the son of West Point Grad COL(R) Don Tillar ’59. When he attended USMA, Tillar played on the varsity lacrosse team and made the Dean’s List. After graduation, they commissioned him into Aviation. After flight school, Tillar was assigned to the “Big Red One” at Fort Riley in Kansas. Then a few years later in February of 1991, Tillar gave his life for his country during Operation Desert Storm. In honor of his memory, Tillar’s 1988 West Point class ring is on display at the USMA Library.
Michael Shearin ’87 has been named to Forbes Magazine’s 2021 list of Best-in-State Wealth Advisors. Forbes’ Best-in-State Wealth Advisors list comprises a select group of individuals who have a minimum of seven years of industry experience. The ranking, developed by Forbes’ partner SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative and quantitative data, rating thousands of wealth advisors and weighing factors like revenue trends, AUM, compliance records, industry experience and best practices learned through telephone and in-person interviews.
COL Kevin Weddle ’79 has released The Compleat Victory - Saratoga and the American Revolution.
Summary: In the late summer and fall of 1777, after two years of indecisive fighting on both sides, the outcome of the American War of Independence hung in the balance. Having successfully expelled the Americans from Canada in 1776, the British were determined to end the rebellion the following year and devised what they believed a war-winning strategy, sending General John Burgoyne south to rout the Americans and take Albany. When British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga with unexpected ease in July of 1777, it looked as if it was a matter of time before they would break the rebellion in the North. Less than three and a half months later, however, a combination of the Continental Army and Militia forces, commanded by Major General Horatio Gates and inspired by the heroics of Benedict Arnold, forced Burgoyne to surrender his entire army. The American victory stunned the world and changed the course of the war.
Kevin J. Weddle offers the most authoritative history of the Battle of Saratoga to date, explaining with verve and clarity why events unfolded the way they did. In the end, British plans were undone by a combination of distance, geography, logistics, and an underestimation of American leadership and fighting ability. Taking Ticonderoga had misled Burgoyne and his army into thinking victory was assured. Saratoga, which began as a British foraging expedition, turned into a rout. The outcome forced the British to rethink their strategy, inflamed public opinion in England against the war, boosted Patriot morale, and, perhaps most critical of all, led directly to the Franco-American alliance. Weddle unravels the web of contingencies and the play of personalities that ultimately led to what one American general called “the Compleat Victory.” Available at Amazon.
Dan Priatko has released A Noble Knight: Dan Priatko’s Story of Faith and Courage. “As the reality of my accident settled in, I faced a choice. I could become bitter and depressed, wondering, 'Why me?' Or I could live each day to the best of my ability, trusting in Jesus Christ to be my source of peace and strength.”-- Dan Priatko Anything seemed possible for Pittsburgh-area native Dan Priatko as his 23rd birthday approached. A graduate of the United States Military Academy in West Point, Dan had recently completed Army Ranger School. Those who knew Dan were convinced he was destined for great things -- and might one day become a general. Just before Dan's first army deployment, tragedy struck. Dan was in a catastrophic car accident, one that probably should have killed him. Even after he pulled through doctors didn't expect him to have much quality of life. Dan spent more than a year in a coma due to a traumatic brain injury, but his family never gave up hope. Their religious beliefs sustained them through the most trying of times and Dan made a miraculous recovery. He approached relearning such basics as walking and talking with the Army Ranger motto that has always resonated with him: All the way and then some. Dan made it easy for people to root for him with his can-do spirit, relentless positivity, and unwavering faith. He never dwelled on what might have been or what he had lost. Dan became an inspiration to many, including Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, a fellow West Pointer, and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau. His remarkable journey is one of faith, family, and the power of perseverance. Most of all it is about someone who was robbed of so much but refused to let a tragedy take his essence. Available at Amazon.
In December 2009, West Point named Russell Payne as the eleventh head coach of Men’s Soccer. “It is a tremendous honor,” said Payne. “West Point is our nation’s top institution and the traditions here run as deep as they come. Army has the ability to attract the highest caliber student-athletes, and I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to re-establish the Men’s Soccer program’s presence on the national scene and to develop a culture that reflects the prestige and rich tradition represented by all who have called West Point home.” Prior to his appointment, West Point was not on Payne’s radar. He was in his fifth season as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland, his alma mater, when Army contacted him during a national search for a new head coach. Payne’s brother had been an ROTC cadet, but he had very little familiarity with the military. He consulted a former teammate of his from Maryland (who was an Army officer) who told him he should consider it because the values emphasized at the Academy lined up with who he was. The rest, as they say, is history. He visited for an interview and discovered “amazing people and a beautiful campus.” He was excited that Army was committed to reinvesting in the program, and he did indeed think West Point was a good fit. He said, “My wife and I got a great feeling from all the people here and we are looking forward to becoming part of the West Point family.”
In fact, West Point seemed a lot like home. It reminded him very much of his roots in Columbia, Maryland—what he calls the “original planned community.” It was a suburban environment, a highly diverse neighborhood, where everyone had appreciation for community, and education was very important. “This is hard to find,” he says, but he found it at West Point. He especially loves that his family and his players are extremely close. His children come to practice as often as they can, and he says, “My kids have 25 big brothers!” Full story.
On Friday, February 26, 2021 four West Point Grads, McCausland ’72 (Battalion Commander), Lyons ’83 (Battery Commander), VanSant ’87 and Mance ’87 (Platoon Leaders), joined a 30-year virtual reunion of their Battery since being together in Desert Storm. There were about 40 soldiers from A Battery 3/17 that joined in on the call. Also on the call was the current Army Materiel Command, Command Sargent Major Alberto Delgado, who was a Private First Class (PFC) in the unit, as it was his first duty station as a solider.
Help WPAOG get answers for our West Point Family Feud game! Can you name a building at West Point that starts with a "T"? or name something that West Point is famous for? Take a survey to help us get answers for our West Point Family Feud game. Please submit your answers by March 15, 2021. Contact us if you have any questions at: Alumni-Services@wpaog.org. Follow the link to answer more interesting questions for Family Feud: http://bit.ly/FamilyFeudWestPointSurveyQuestions.
The following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1953 | 1960 | 1961 | 1965. Class Notes
The Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame, located on the capitol grounds, has inducted a 1961 graduate. LTC(R) James Armitt Scott entered on January 29, 2020 before a crowd of 500 well-wishers that included Governor Brian Kemp and other distinguished guests, family members, classmates, and several graduates whom LTC Scott mentored as a USCC tactical officer. The Hall of Fame selected Jim for distinguished valor and service. He is one of the most decorated combat leaders of the Vietnam era. His award citations and witness testimonies describe him as a courageous, yet calm, and humble hero.
Scott was one of 15 veteran finalists among many applicants who served during wartime and distinguished themselves for service or valor. Currently there are 115 veterans in the Hall of Fame.