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.
In the morning before the rain came, I did some tractor work on our five acres, planting new life.
As I pause on my seventy-first birthday to look back upon my life, I wish there was some way that I could communicate to all West Pointers, past and future, how richly blessed my life has been, and how much of that richness includes the lessons that I learned at West Point.
To say that my life has been fulfilled would be an understatement. I have accomplished every major life dream that I have ever had, with the exception of two, and I have partial accomplishment of both of those. Most importantly, I know that I am loved, and that I have given a great deal of love. I have Suzi, and four magnificent adult children, all four of whom are happily married, have good jobs, own their own homes, and all have at least one beautiful child. I have seven grandchildren and one more on the way. For an old father and grandfather, there is no greater blessing than this.
Later in the day, I worked on my latest book, which is important for me to finish before the end of my life, because it's mainly for the benefit of one of my grandchildren. By the way, I already have eight published books, and I know that at least two of them have had a positive impact upon the world.
I still have an active law practice. I also find great joy in teaching two Business Law courses at the local college. I sneak important life lessons for my students into the course material, and that gives me great joy.
At seventy-one, I still have dreams about West Point from time to time. I still miss my company classmates. I still hear the distant drums.
I ran for public office three times. Lost the election every time. But learned amazing lessons about relationship to community that I'm not sure that a military brat like me could have learned any other way. I'm glad that I ran. And I'm glad that I had an influence upon my community and upon my Country.
Here is the thing that I wish that every West Pointer could know: as far as my particular class of magnificent cadets goes, I was just a cadet of average, or perhaps even less than average ability. I did excel in a few things, like military leadership and athletics. But in academics, I barely made it through my plebe year, I was a goat in the goats and engineers football game. And I graduated near the bottom of my West Point class.
Interesting that what I learned at West Point was enough so that later, I graduated number two in my law school class at one of the toughest law schools in the Country. Maybe it was what I learned about discipline.
Of course, I had an incredible amount of help with law school. When I first got to law school, feeling way out of my league, and very worried, one of my West Point Company G-2 Classmates, Phil Lower, was a year or two ahead of me in the same law school. It was Phil who showed me how to study the law, how to write a good law school exam, and how to understand what was needed to succeed in law school. He was so generous. It was the same kind of generosity that I received from the brilliant upperclassman in my company who tutored me through my first set of calculus exams in my plebe year, when I was in serious danger of failing.
I learned many wonderful life lessons at West Point, but generosity was one of the sweetest of those lessons. And I have done my best to give generosity back into the world in accordance with that which I have received. And in large part because of my doing that, I have had an astoundingly happy and fulfilling life.
We sign off in the Class of 1971 with "PD", which is short for our class motto, "Professionally Done."
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Colonel Aaron Reisinger is on the Front lines leading the way in the Midwest – Chicago and Milwaukee regions. COL Reisinger is overseeing the rehabilitation of three hospital sites.
“We are in a race against time right now to see what we can get done in next three to four weeks as a relief valve for existing hospitals,” COL Reisinger said. The Elgin site will be an “alternate care facility,” just like McCormick Place will be in Chicago, meaning they would receive patients transferred from existing hospitals.
“We don't want people to believe this is a hospital that people can show up to as an emergency room,” Once the construction work is done, the state will supply equipment, staffing and administration of the hospital sites, COL Reisinger said. Read more.
To support small businesses in the Austin area affected by the COVID 19 crisis, Clear Launch, Notley and Sabot Development, Ltd. have partnered to create LocalSupportCard.com. This searchable platform connects customers to local businesses' gift-card sales pages. It costs nothing for businesses to have their page listed on the website. Those who don't already have a gift card sales page get free enablement support to set one up through Shopify or Square. The platform will be expanding to other cities as well. This will help businesses without previous online sales capability quickly stand it up.
Purchasing from your local favorites on LocalSupportCard.com will generate immediate revenue for your favorite businesses helping them to bridge the gap during these challenging times.
The following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1952 | 1953 | 1956 | 1957 | 1959 | 1960 | 1970 | 1995 | 2010 | 2016. Class Notes
As a West Point cadet, Claire Dieterich thought she would be career military. She commissioned as a Military Police officer in the U.S. Army in 2010 and met her now-husband, Kevin, while she was stationed in Washington state. During her time on active duty, she deployed to Afghanistan and shortly before her five-year contract was up, she gave birth to her first child and decided to take life in a different direction.
“Leaving active duty was an easier decision than I thought it would be,” she shared. “While I loved my time in the Army and am so proud of it, I knew that it wasn't the long-term lifestyle that I wanted for myself or for my family. I [transitioned into working] as a project manager and oversaw projects that put fire alarm and security systems in schools and hospitals. While I did enjoy that I was making local schools and hospitals safer, especially as a parent myself, it wasn't something I wanted to do long-term.”
It was in this period of transition that a lightbulb went off for Dieterich. “When I was pregnant with my second child and working in corporate America, I knew that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom before he was born,” she explained. “But I also wanted to create something as an outlet for my passion of cooking that I could grow into an actual job. From this, 'For the Love of Gourmet' was born!” Read more.
France Hoang was not quite two years old, and his sister was barely two months old, when his parents were forced to flee the Republic of Vietnam. His father was an officer in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam and his mother worked for the U.S. Naval Attaché.
One day, her boss told her they had to leave the country immediately. Her husband was faced with a dilemma; flee the country with his wife and two children, or remain and face an uncertain future. After a harrowing incident at the airport in Saigon, the family flew to Guam, and after a brief period of processing, were transported to Camp Pendleton, California.
Governor Dan Evans of Washington welcomed the Vietnamese refugees with open arms, and the Hoang family was sponsored by the Petersons, eventually moving to Tumwater, Washington. Watch to this great interview with the West Point Center for Oral History.
First Captain and Class President are two of the most challenging Cadet jobs the United States Military Academy at West Point has to offer. Emmanuel J. (EJ) Coleman III conquered both of them as a member of the Class of 2016. This feat has been done by only seven cadets previously, including General John J. Pershing and Heisman Trophy winner Pete Dawkins, and he was the first African-American to hold both positions.
It was on March 29, 1973, when American combat and combat support units withdrew from South Vietnam. However, by the war’s end in 1975, more than three million American men and women would serve in Vietnam, including hundreds of members of the Long Gray Line. As a proud partner of the Vietnam War Commemoration, WPAOG would like to recognize that March 29 is National Vietnam War Veterans Day. In particular, we honor the members of the Long Gray Line who served our Nation during the conflict, especially the 334 who gave their lives.
The following classes have added updates this week to their Class Notes pages. 1950 | 1956 | 1959 | 1961 | 1969 | 1987 | 1992 | 1993. Class Notes
National Vietnam War Veterans Day is March 29. Organizers canceled or postponed many events to slow the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing. Veterans are encouraged to stay connected and participate in virtual events.
For Veterans with a Facebook account, they can download a frame at http://www.facebook.com/profilepicframes/?selected_overlay_id=1283448505177118 to place a picture and show their pride for serving. The frame shows the Vietnam War Veteran day pin and the text “Proud Vietnam War Veteran.”
For anyone who wants to show appreciation for Vietnam War Veterans, an additional frame is at http://www.facebook.com/profilepicframes/?selected_overlay_id=539877446965802. The frame shows the Vietnam War Commemoration logo and the text “I support Vietnam War Veterans.”
VA will also release two short videos on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VeteransAffairs, Twitter at https://twitter.com/DeptVetAffairs and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/deptvetaffairs/. Read more.