Friday, 24 February, 2006
I came to Harlingen to attend three functions at the Marine Military Academy:
- A Board of Trustees meeting, because I'm hoping to serve as an Advisor;
- The General H.M. Smith Dinner, honoring those individuals who have donated large sums to the school;
- The Iwo Jima memorial parade, commemorating the WWII battle for Iwo Jima and honoring those who served there.
As a side benefit, or perhaps the side benefit was the primary reason I attended, I got to visit with some old friends with whom I attended school, and some whom I've met since leaving school. In addition to the staff and faculty, Board members, donors, parents, and cadets who attended, there were eight Alumni.
Top row, from left
- Lt. Col. Timothy A. Herndon, USMC, who graduated in 1979. Tim is a helicopter pilot and Commanding Officer of a helicopter training squadron. He recently was selected for promotion to Colonel. Tim was my roommate in 1975, and has remained a very good friend for over 30 years.
- Next is me, Jim Mischel. I graduated in 1980. I'm in pretty rare company with this group, but I'm easily the best looking of the lot, don't you think?
- Anthony J. McIntyre graduated in 1975. Tony owns an insurance company and currently serves as Chairman of the MMA Board of Trustees.
- Craig Matteson also graduated in 1979, and has been a friend for 30+ years. He owns a business in Chicago and serves on the Board of Trustees. Craig is the one who helped me turn my little bike ride into a scholarship fundraiser.
Bottom row, from left
- Kuni Beasley graduated in 1972 and served in the U.S. Army as an artillery officer. Kuni holds several Ph.D. degrees and is the founder of Gateway Preparatory School. Debra and I were privileged to attend his wedding in December.
- Bill Fanning, another 1979 graduate, is the owner of Pilot Insurance Center. I didn't know Bill very well when we were attending school, but Debra and I have come to enjoy visiting with Bill and his wife Tish.
- Mike Forrester, a 1972 graduate, is an attorney in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and is a Lt. Col. in the Marine Corps Reserve. He recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq.
- Staff Seargeant Hood graduated from MMA in 1993. He is currently in the Marine Corps Reserve and serves on the staff of the Marine Military Academy as an assistant Drill Instructor. I think he also was in Iraq recently.
This is just a small selection of the great guys who have graduated from MMA over the years. I count myself fortunate to be associated with these men.