Shipmate: May/June 2015 22 April 2015Posted by USNA Class of 1976 in Uncategorized.
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by Mark Hubbard
I don’t have time to kibitz, so here’s the latest news!
Charles L Dirienzo, Jr and Melody Higgins were married at the Naval Academy Chapel on April 11, 2015 at 1200. Attending the bride were her daughter, Maureen Salazar (Matron-of-Honor), friends Patricia Young, Meredith Bowman (Bridesmaids) and Rebecca Salazar (Flower Girl). Attending the groom were Peter Varsanyi (Best Man), Brad Little, George Wilson and Rex Greathouse (Groomsmen). The couple will honeymoon in Lake Tahoe in May.
Kevin Stone writes:
Barbara and Kevin Stone were guests of Lynn and Randy Goff at the Annapolis Rotary’s Black Tie and Diamonds charity dinner/auction to benefit “Connected Warrior Foundation” at the Annapolis Westin. Randy is the President-Elect of the Rotary. Also in attendance was Jeff Neufeld who was working the silent auction for the Rotary. Here’s a picture of Kevin and Randy conducting a recon and sampling the wares of the Westin where we’re holding our 40th … which brings us the next item.
The 40th reunion is next year, Labor Day weekend. We’re at the Westin and have the N* Room at the stadium reserved for the tailgate. Mike Seifert is heading this up again after our leading our successful 35th so we’re in good hands. If you want to help Mike make this another great event please let Kevin know. We’ll put you to good use!
Geez, as I write this it is just turning warm and I haven’t had to cut the grass yet here I am announcing “Are you ready for some football???” We have 6 home games this year and will be carrying on with our famous tailgates. We’ll be in the same place but due to being in the American Athletic Conference the kickoff times vary. Watch for my emails announcing the tailgate, menu and asking for the headcount. I look forward to seeing you under the tent.
Jim Doherty was inducted March 22nd into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Haddon Township High School (Haddonfield, New Jersey). Barb and I attended the event and were witness to an inspiring speech given by Doc. He reminisced about his cross country (XC) running experiences in high school and at USNA, as well as a real life sea story about the night he was boat officer during a real live “man overboard” experience while assigned to the USS Mount Vernon (LSD-39) where he and his boat crew saved a sailor’s life in spite of the stormy sea conditions in the darkness of night.
Speaking of Bobbie Doherty, she was recently cast as “Tootie” in the musical Meet Me in St. Louis produced by the Ocean State Theatre, a professional theatre company in Warwick, Rhode Island. The following is an excerpt from a review that appeared in Broadwayworld.com:
“No mention of Meet Me in St. Louis’ cast could possibly be complete without a nod to rising star Bobbie Celine Doherty, who plays Tootie, the youngest Smith daughter. Tootie is the first character on stage in St. Louis, and from her opening line, Doherty simply steals the show. This pint-sized actress more than holds her own in a cast full of professional musical theater performers. She is a strong singer and dancer, and her comedic skills – for all her sugar and spice, there’s more than a little imp in the precocious Tootie – are second to none.”
Tim Farrell met up with two of his Bancroft Hall roommates for dinner recently. Dave Sneeringer was his first roommate and Scott Jenkins was his last. Tim also sent a picture that was suppose to accompany a previous Class column update of his USMA boss, Mo Gillen USMA ‘86 wearing a Navy jersey after she lost a bet on Army-Navy last fall to Tim.
I received a late addition to this column from Greg Vaughn:
Had meant to send you a note a while ago, but life and the holidays (and then a new year) intervened. I guess it was Easter Services at the USNA Chapel and the Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin that reminded me of dear friends.
Susan and I had the opportunity to visit Judy and Chris Earl in Scottsdale, Arizona for a fabulous time at Thanksgiving, 2014. Although I’m sure it’s getting hot down there about now, it was a wonderful 65-70 degrees and extremely low humidity when we visited in late November. Our first time to Scottsdale and the first guests that Chris and Judy have had in the new home that they’ve spent the last two plus years building. The consummate hosts, Chris and Judy treated Susan and me to a wonderful time during our five-day visit.
Chris and I are classmates, 36th company mates, and fellow 30-year submariners. We seemed to end up in many of the same duty stations starting with our department head tours. This included Mare Island, CA, Pearl Harbor, HI and most recently the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area. We came to the DC area in 1998 and Chris and Judy followed in 1999. We’d been living about 6 miles apart the entire time (we’re still in Alexandria, VA) until Chris and Judy pulled chocks at the end of July last year and moved into their dream home in Scottsdale. I can’t emphasize what a big move this was for them. Chris and Judy had both been working here for the entire 15 years and they had only made frequent, short visits to Arizona as they cemented their plans to make the big move.
Since we had spent most of the last 15 years together at Thanksgiving, it was not a huge surprise when they asked us if we’d like to come visit them in Arizona for Thanksgiving, 2014 – and of course we said yes and promptly bought our tickets. (In hindsight, Chris thought that was a brave gesture – not knowing what was left to finish on their home. Chris emailed about three weeks before Thanksgiving and asked if we were ‘still coming’. I’m not sure what answer he really wanted to hear, but were already committed!)
As I mentioned, we had a great visit! After a quick detour to Sedona, Susan and I joined Chris and Judy the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Chris (the consummate chef) succeeded in making the best Thanksgiving turkey dinner that I think he and Judy had ever served, we did power walks and saw indigenous wildlife galore, we hiked the famous Pinnacle Peak Trail (and realized that even though it’s only 3.5 miles round trip we weren’t 25 anymore), we got a tour of Old Town Scottsdale and we also visited the Phoenix auto show. Sunsets were spectacular and the nighttime sky was so clear and unpolluted that you had difficulty making out familiar stars because there were so many other stars in among them.
Anyway, Chris and Judy will tell you that the work on the house is not yet done, they are still working some exterior details and finishing touches – so I have no photos of the dream house, but I have a couple others of us during our Pinnacle Peak trail hike and some of the flora and fauna out there. There is a photo included of them and their cats, Mason and Garfield, relaxing in the den and a photo of their beautiful Thanksgiving spread.
We miss Chris and Judy here in Northern Virginia and are jealous of their new home and wonderful surroundings. We see Chris occasionally in the DC area when he comes back for some consulting work and we hope to see them both at the 40yr reunion in 2016 – if they haven’t grown very deep roots by then.
It seems that many of our 36th Company Mates have moved from the DC area in search of greener pastures or already live somewhere in their own paradise. In addition to Chris and Judy Earl’s departure, Mike Donnelly and his wife Candy moved not too long ago to St Augustine; Gary Greenfield now spends most of his time in Boston, and Janet and Brad Speer and Chris and Randy Large constantly taunt us with tales of their idyllic life in San Diego (my favorite duty station!). We wish them all the very best and hope to see them and the majority of our friends and classmates at the 40th reunion.
In the meantime we’ll continue to hold down the fort in the DC area with 36ers Val and George Puddington, Cathy and Brad Little, Gerri and Frank Wysocki and the rest of our many other local classmates, and watch Navy continue its football success this fall.
Just a quick note: my wife, Barb, and I spent a recent week at Grand Bahamas and Barb completed her PADI open water scuba certification with legendary diver, Nick Rolle from Sunn Odyssey Divers (Freeport, Grand Bahamas) as her instructor. My daughter, Meghan, and her husband, Jared Marinos USMA ‘05, joined us for the week. You can see the YouTube video of the gin clear waters and sea life at https://youtu.be/39y8IuLoZI0. We also snorkeled with Meghan & Jared and ran into a couple of spotted eagle rays off of Taino Beach (see https://youtu.be/XgnPlGe7STk).
A Classmate me asked to mention that a recent Shipmate contains the obituary of CDR Stanley Jerome Carter ’65 who passed away on November 8, 2014. CDR Carter was the 10th Company Officer from the beginning of our Plebe Year through the end of our Second Class Year and was well known around Bancroft Hall. We offer our deepest sympathies to the Carter family. May he rest in peace.
Shipmate: Stewardship 2015 8 March 2015Posted by USNA Class of 1976 in Shipmate.
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by Mark Hubbard
Time to ante up! Being that this is the Stewardship edition of Shipmate, it’s time to get your checkbooks out and support the Naval Academy in anyway you can! The Naval Academy truly relies on the philanthropic support from the alumni to keep the USNA a top notch academic and leadership institution.
I have been following our Classmate, the Reverend Steve Clark, on Facebook for quite some time and have been aware of his trials and tribulations these past couple of years regarding his health. Peter Varsanyi provided a succinct update on his status:
An update on Rev Steve Clark, former USMC CH-46 driver and fellow 31st Company mate who received a successful heart transplant at Newark Beth Israel Hospital, NJ, on 10 July 2014. Steve had been suffering with cardiac problems – what’s called a cardiomyopathy, which made him prone to heart failure, abnormal rhythms of the heart, and multiple open-heart surgeries over many years that gave requirement for a pacemaker/defibrillator. In 2012 he underwent significant cardiac surgery twice in NYC and spent many months in rehab before returning to his parish, Church of St. Francis of Assisi Mount Kisco, NY, in late 2012. Basically after two cardiac arrests, and two near cardiac arrests, multiple episodes of ventricular tachycardia from January to July 2014 and several abnormal rhythms of the heart he underwent ventricular ablation without success. He was finally evaluated as a candidate for a heart transplant. According to Steve, he hasn’t felt this good in many years and looking very much to going back to work at his parish. His recent follow-up visit with the director of the Rusk Institute for Rehab Medicine this past month showed extreme progress, and received written clearance from the transplant doctors at Newark Beth Israel to go back to work. Upon finishing he last cardiac rehab sessions and prior to going to work, he will undergo several interviews and exams to make sure he is mentally and emotionally ready. He is ready for boots back on the ground and not on Prozac yet! Steve gives heartfelt thanks for all the emails, prayers and encouraging words from his well-wishers. He wants to give a shout-out to all 31st Company mates, the Class, and especially his roommate, George Hicks, who visited him a few times for bed-checks.
Steve is on Facebook (Find: Steven Clark USNA) and looks forward to anyone who friends him. From the beginning it’s obvious to Fr. Steve that his health and well-being have been in God’s hands. He will continue to try to follow His lead, with some interesting challenges now and then. In any case, he feels “it’s still good to be on the snowy side of the grass”! Fr. Steve says “God Bless you all and thank you for your prayers and concern”.
Kevin McNamara has exciting news:
It has been awhile since I contributed to our Class News in Shipmate. The McNamara’s are all alive and well in Virginia Beach and I am working for Lockheed Martin supporting JS J7 in Suffolk. Still playing bad golf with Tom Kennedy, Dick Feckler and Bob Jackson on the weekends but it’s been a while. Waiting for Old Man Winter to get gone. I bumped into Mark Rupprecht at a Hampton Roads area Service Academy Seminar for high school students interested in attending one of the academies or ROTC. The McNamara’s had several major family events these last few months that I would like to share. My youngest daughter Maureen married her fiancé Nate in July in Virginia Beach. It was a wonderful event with family, friends and our Classmate Victor Thombs. The picture shows the entire McNamara clan. The two daughters in peach dresses are in various stages of their pregnancies. Fast forward 3-½ months later and the next picture shows me with my newest granddaughters Nora born to my oldest daughter Jennifer and her husband Greg (F-16 pilot) and Charlee born to my daughter Laurin and her husband Bubba.
Kathy Byus sent a nugget of news:
These 4 guys were all in 35th company. John Willis, Fred Byus, Walt Neboshynsky and Russ Pope. John and family came into town for the Army-Navy Game, and we all were able to get together for Sunday brunch. John and Walt had not seen each other since graduation! Names for the wives are: Monica Willis, Kathy Byus, Jane Neboshynsky, and Janice Pope.
I saved the last word for Kevin Stone:
Classmates – The annual “Halfway Dinner” to mark the mid point of our “deployment” between tailgate seasons is going to be on Saturday April 25th. As per tradition it will be at Joe Theismann’s in Alexandria. Cocktails are at 6:30, dinner at 7:30. Cost is $35 per person for dinner, pay your own bar tab. Please send your RSVPs to Mike and Vanessa Seifert at firstname.lastname@example.org NLT April 17th.
Okay, I lied – I have the last word so, as I think of my son-in-law, Jared Marinos USMA ’05, I just wanted to exclaim: BEAT ARMY!!!
Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, my old roommate, Jim Doherty, is being inducted March 22nd into the Haddon Township (New Jersey) High School Hall of Fame: “A stand-out performer on the legendary Haddon Township track and cross country teams of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Jim Doherty is honored this year as the Hall of Fame’s 1970s inductee. Jim is recognized as one of the great founders of the Haddon Township cross country tradition, a leader by pure example, who was, as Coach Al Tanner said of him, pound for pound one of the most indomitable runners he ever coached.” Congratulations, Doc!!! Barb and I will be there for the ceremony.
Shipmate: March/April 2015 27 January 2015Posted by USNA Class of 1976 in Shipmate.
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by Mark Hubbard
I am writing this from Maryland in between business trips. I’ve spent every week in January traveling for NASA racking up the air miles. Starting the first week in January I started my travels in Albuquerque, New Mexico, then to Berkley, California, then San Antonio, Texas and finally, next week at Vandenberg AFB in California for the launch of SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive). I was a member of the Goddard Team that built the Radiometer for SMAP. Scheduled to launch on Thursday, 29 JAN, the goal of the SMAP mission is to establish a satellite observatory in a near-polar, sun-synchronous Earth orbit in order to produce global maps of soil moisture, which will help improve our understanding of Earth’s water and carbon cycles and our ability to manage water resources. Okay, enough of today’s science lesson – let’s get on to the news.
While returning from our trip to California in December, Barb & I had the honor to fly home to Baltimore with the last surviving member of the Tuskegee Airmen, Lt. Col. Bob Friend. He was very gracious and eager to have his picture taken with me.
My wife, Barb, and I made a personal trip in December to be present in San Diego for the exciting Poinsettia Bowl, which Navy held on to win 17-16 over San Diego State University. There were several Classmates present at the game and the tailgater including: Tim Traaen; Emory Chenoweth and his sons, Matt and Kevin; Sharon & Phil Poirer; Jan & Pat Nevitt; Bev & Stu Hinrichs and their daughter, Jamie; A.B. & Dennis Dilucente, Mark Schweer and his friend, Ken; Dan O’Brien; Cindy & Mark Costello and Mark’s Mom. Tommy Gardner was late to the game and missed the tailgater. Randy Large helped to arrange the Tailgater as well, but was unable to attend the game because his Mom passed away that week. (Randy – you have our deepest sympathies; we are so sorry for your loss.). Many thanks go out to A.B. & Dennis Dilucente, Tim Traaen and Randy Large for coordinating and setting up the tremendous tailgater! Also, thank you Kevin Stone for helping coordinate the tailgate from a far as well as re-acquainting our Class with the USS Higgins (DDG-76). As Dennis Dilucente so poignantly stated, “We took a step, albeit a small step, towards once again sponsoring Leadership Awards for DDG-76 and welcomed the opportunity to party with the wardrooms JOs.” The Class donated roughly 100 tickets to the USS Higgins so a large contingent of crew members could attend the game. BRAVO ZULU!
The day following the game, Barb & I drove to Hermosa Beach, CA, to spend Christmas with Barb’s daughter, Jane Marie. While there I had an opportunity to stop by for a short visit with MaryLou & Phil Kumpis. They look great and are doing well.
There was a great turnout at the Army-Navy tailgater in Baltimore prior to the 13th victory in a row over Army. Many of the Class rendezvoused at the Raven’s Roost parking lot a couple of blocks from the stadium. There was more delicious food and drink than could possibly be consumed, but we all fun trying! Nothing like getting primed for battle against our arch rivals.
Tim Farrell won a bet because of the outcome of the game:
I work for Mo Gillen USMA ’86, at the Veterans Multi-Service Center in Coatesville, PA. Our bet on the Army-Navy game was the loser would wear the winner’s spirit gear at work all day Monday following the game, winner to provide clean spirit gear. I brought something for Mo to wear but when I arrived at work I saw she was already wearing a Navy shirt she’d gotten when she served with John Holden ’79.
Bill Kneller has some distressing news about Steve Topscher:
We have Steve Topscher, a 14th Co. classmate who is at the Perryville, MD, VA Medical Center with advanced stages of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). We had a 14th Co. get together for the GA Southern game and split up groups so half of us could visit on Saturday and the rest on Sunday.
On a final note, I received the sad news that Steve Rohrssen (30th Company) passed away unexpectedly on December 22nd. A close friend and co worker of Steve’s, Jim Noonan ’74 provided a fitting tribute to Steve stating that, “He was a good man, a dedicated family man, a spirited supporter of the Navy and Naval Academy, a highly skilled manager and leader at IBM, and a great friend to many. He will be deeply missed.” Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to Steve’s wife, Jo Ann, and his children, Michael and Erika, as well as the rest of Steve’s extended family.
Army Navy 2014 18 December 2014Posted by USNA Class of 1976 in Photos.
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Shipmate: January/February 2015 30 November 2014Posted by USNA Class of 1976 in Shipmate.
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by Mark Hubbard
I reported in the last issue of Shipmate that John Lovasz (27th Co) was courageously battling a serious illness. It is with great sadness that I report that John lost his valiant battle with cancer on 11 October at his home in Round Hill, VA. Several of our Classmates attended the funeral at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, Purcellville, VA, on Wednesday, 15 October, as well as the interment later that day at the Culpepper National Cemetery. 27th Company was well represented with the following in attendance: Tim Farrell, Dan Galik, Jim Grayson, Bob Miller, John Stamos and Jerry Willett. Also there were Rick Hepburn, Mike Seifert, and Kevin Stone. Our thoughts and prayers go out to John’s wife, Stephanie, as well as son, James, daughters Barbara and Christina, and his siblings Margaret Johnson, Linda Barragry, Craig Lovasz, and Tracy Sator.
I received an input from a fellow NASA/GSFC engineer, Leroy Sparr:
I spent two weeks in Rome last winter during Christmas and two days in Naples. I was on a shoestring budget, but had a great time; certainly better than the last time I was in Italy as a Lt. on PARGO. The barber did not speak a word of English but I figured how bad could it be. I highly recommend Rome to any grad; well worth the trip. History has become more relevant to me as I get older.
I recently returned from a ‘staff ride’ to Saratoga Springs with an intersting group of people from around the country. Four USNA grads from classes in the 50’s, 60’s and 76, a number of other pilots from the USAFA and USMA plus some others with real different backgrounds. A lot of Vietnam vets. I also was able to find the shack I lived in when I attended nuke prototype up there in ‘77 so my brain is still working.
I also stopped up to visit Marty & Mark Clements up in Glyndon this summer. We cooked out on the grill and had a great time. I caught up with Valerie & Payne Kilbourne at his parents’ house this summer for his 60th birthday; J.J. Janosek and his lovely wife was there to celebrate the occasion as well. Great to see them and I will try to do it again soon. I met up with John Stamos in D.C. where we attended the SAAC conference this past summer. We spent time catching up and considering our futures. God willing, I have miles to go before I sleep and I am trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I also met with Ray Putt in Annapolis Mall after work this summer for a beer. I talk to Mike Prendergast every couple of months. He let my kids and me stay in his condo in the everglades two winters ago. I was able to attend some football games as usual this year, not every home game but enough to see all the regulars.
My last good idea of the day that I talked to Kevin (Stone) about was the idea the Class of ’76 (whoever might be so inclined) pull our resources and rent a large chalet in the south of France (or Spain) near the Med for 4 to 6 weeks. We could split it up in 2-week increments and hold a European reunion of sorts. I cannot think of many better to vacation with than many of my classmates. Sort of like the Rook House in Sardinia in days gone by. Anyone else think this idea has merit besides me?
Mark Haas took his family to the Nationals Park in D.C. for Game 2 of the NL Divisional Series against the San Francisco Giants. The game lasted longer than your standard 9 innings:
Here is Phyllis, Chris and me around 3pm at the Nationals Sat 4 OCT playoff game versus the Giants. We arrived at 3PM for a 5:37PM game time so we could watch batting practice and enjoy the atmosphere. Little did we know we would be at the stadium for over NINE HOURS (until shortly after midnight). The Nationals lost a heartbreaker, 2-1, when Brandon Belt crushed a solo home run off Tanner Roark in the 18th inning to give the Giants a 2-0 lead in the series! But it was still a cool experience seeing the longest playoff game in MLB history!
Barbara and Mark Hubbard are pleased to announce the addition of another grandchild. Madeline Belle McCain was born 10 October to Barb’s daughter, Sara, and her husband, John.
Bruce Hinkley writes about his recent opportunity to go back to elementary school:
Picture is a little fuzzy but I was very proud to be invited by my grandchildren Campbell and Evan Cato and my daughter Heather Cato, to be the guest speaker at the Clayton Elementary Veterans Day celebration. Also pictured are my wife Christi and daughter Heather Cato who is a teacher at Clayton Elementary. During Q&A, the inevitable question came up: How do you go to the bathroom on a submarine? Had a great time with my family and enjoyed all the children’s questions!
Martha & Mark Nesselrode and Barbara & Kevin Stone of “Club 34″ got together recently for a weekend and visited Winterthur, the former DuPont home in Delaware. It is a rather unique home devoted to early American architecture and furnishings set on a site of 1,000 acres of natural gardens and countryside. The museum had an exhibit of “Downton Abbey” costumes from the BBC TV series, which was a real hoot. Yes, the guys enjoyed it as much as the ladies. Here’s a shot of the happy couples in front of Downton Abbey (or so they’d like you to think…)
Jim Stavridis announced the engagement of his daughter, Ensign Julia Stavridis, to LT Scott Wallace ’08. Julia received her commission through the NROTC program at Georgetown University in 2013 and is a Navy nurse. After graduating from USNA, Scott attended UVA medical school and is now in the Navy Medical Corps and neurosurgeon. They met while working at the Bethesda Naval Hospital.
Kevin Stone has important news to pass on to the Class:
Warning Orders: Well the 2014 football season is behind us and it’s time to actually start thinking of two future events: first, the purchase of 2015 season tickets which opens in January and, secondly, the 40th Reunion in 2016.
2014 Tailgate finances: We had anywhere from 62 to 123 persons come to our tailgates on any given weekend this year. We ended up netting a small profit (including the mini-reunion reception) of around $400, which stays in the overall class fund.
2015 Season tickets: If you plan on buying season tickets for the first time, change the number of your existing tickets up or down or want to move to be nearer your Plebe year roommate then please drop me a line. I’ll open up negotiations with the NAAA in April and try to accommodate everyone.
2016 40th Reunion: We are all set for Labor Day weekend in 2016 (9/2 through 9/5). Our HQ hotel is the Westin (same as last time). We arranged for a good rate, by Annapolis standards), of $259/night. Reservations are available now by calling the hotel and asking for the Class of 1976 rate.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who made the 2014 Tailgate Season a resounding success. First and foremost Lisa Alberg, the better half of Chris Alberg, did an outstanding job of working with the caterer and arranging for great spreads each and every weekend. Steak, salmon, crab dip, Bourbon pecan tarts … hmmm! Another shout out goes to those classmates who signed up for “tailgate watch” and helped setup and breakdown the tailgate: JD & Craven Engels, Lynn and Randy Goff, Pat and Laura Jacobs, Mark & Sally Moore, and Doug and Linda Schaus. A hearty BZ goes to Mike Herb, our class “tent master”. Mike has been setting up and taking down the tent for several years now but needs to step down due to he and Martha (that’s Rear Admiral Martha) moving to DC for her assignment to head up the Inter-American Defense College. We need someone to step and take command of the class tent and sledge hammer and keep us shaded and dry! Any takers? Finally, a warm and heartfelt “thank you” to my wife Barbara whose loving support makes all of this possible.
Well, as I write this column, Navy has two more football games: Army on 13 DEC and, after defeating South Alabama, 42-40 on 28 NOV, they are now bowl eligible and will be playing at the Poinsettia Bowl on 23 DEC – Hope to see you there!
GO NAVY!!! BEAT ARMY!!!
Navy vs. Georgia Southern Senior Day 2014 23 November 2014Posted by USNA Class of 1976 in Photos.
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Navy vs. Notre Dame 2014 23 November 2014Posted by USNA Class of 1976 in Photos.
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Navy vs. VMI 2014 23 November 2014Posted by USNA Class of 1976 in Photos.
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Navy vs. San Jose State Homecoming 2014 27 October 2014Posted by USNA Class of 1976 in Photos.
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