806 Forest Willow Circle
El Paso, TX 79922-2906
Phone: 915 584-8302
I came to Moscow in the summer of 1961 with my father's assignment as Assistant Professor of Military Science at the University of Idaho, and left upon graduation from MHS to attend New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico, when my father recieved his orders as Air Defense Advisor for the Taiwanese military on the Island of Taiwan less than 50 miles off the Chinese mainland. I was fortunate to visit my family during summer break in 1965 and saw a lot of the island of Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Dad was assigned back to El Paso, Texas (Ft. Bliss) for his second tour in 1966 where I finished my last two years of college at the University of Texas at El Paso, then known as Texas Western College. Still the only school in Texas that has won an NCAA Basketball Championship when the '66 Miners beat Adolph Rupp's Kentucky team. A movie is being made of that event called "Glory Road" starring Ben Afleck.
I graduated in 1968 with a BBA, and being an ROTC participant, I received my degree, Second Lieutenants bars, orders for Transportation Corps Officer Basic in Ft Eustis, Virginia, orders for flight school and Vietnam all at the same time. Wow - talk about your life being planned for you - but it was my choice. I had wanted to fly for the Navy or Air Force, but my flat feet, of all things, prevented that. The Army couldn't get enough helicopter pilots at the time, so off I went. In the middle of flight school I came home to El Paso on Christmas leave and met a wonderful young lady, Paula Fassnacht, on a blind date. You guessed it - we were married 5 months later - just in time to join me for the conclusion of flight school at Ft Rucker, Alabama and go to Ft Eustis, Virginia to attend the Army's Aircraft Maintenance Officers Course and Test Pilot School. A shock to both sets of parents - you bet - but it worked out fine regardless of the odds.
I spent a year (1970-71) in the Delta of South Vietnam flying for an Assault Helicopter Company and serving as Maintenance Officer and Test Pilot. My daughter Kim was born during my year-long tour, and I have a spot in my heart for the Red Cross who notified me of the birth through our base of operations while I was actually on a mission. Talk about surrealistic! After leaving the military in 1972 while stationed with the First Air Cavalry Division at Ft. Hood, Texas, I took a position with Johnson and Johnson in Sherman, Texas north of Dallas as a manufacturing supervisor. After 32 years I retired this last January with my last assignment as Director Human Resources for the Johnson and Johnson companies in Mexico. We relocated seven times in 32 years including two assignments to El Paso. Paula, myself and the kids appreciate the time with the company we spent in El Paso as we had time to spend with both sets of parents (both retired military) before they passed away.
Tom Helbling's family and ours have exchanged Christmas
Cards for the past many many years, and recently I sent an e-mail to Dan
Crimmins. He replied with comments about our time on the track team
together. The 1964 track team made an appearance at the state meet in Boise
were we took third in the Medlay Relay. I still have that little bronze medal
I was very fortunate to have been a part of the 1964 class of MHS and some of the values that I took away that stood me in good stead throughout life.