(with a 2005 – 2010 addendum by Tim and Linda Naccarato)
In 1952, the Uniform Code of Military Justice came into effect and its first
application in a combat area was in Korea. The act called for more military
lawyers and many of the World War II veterans found themselves serving in a
little known part of Asia. Some few had served as JAGs during the Big War but
many were former combat arms or service branch officers who had attended law
school after the war and now were wearing new insignia. Others were young law
school graduates subject to the draft and looked to the JAG as their home for two
years or four. For many of these, one of those years was spent in Korea.
The Korean theater was a cold and miserable or hot and uncomfortable. The cities
had been destroyed by war. The air smelled of human waste spread on the
plantings (Bob Hope is reported to have said on his debarking from a plane, “What
is that smell. I know what it is but what have they done to it?”) The Korean
culture and people were unlike Americans in many respects. All in all, the troops
continually counted up their points and hoped for an early return to the Land of the
Big PX. In the early fifties, the Land of the Morning Calm did not appear likely to
become a tourist Mecca.
Twenty five years later, the Korean government and its leadership recognized that
the immense changes which had occurred were not comprehended by the
thousands of troops who had served there from the United States, Britain,
Australia, the Philippines and others. They thus began a program to entice veterans
of that war to return learn first hand of the enormous strides that has been made in
a quarter of a century. In a letter to Jim Mundt in 1996, Zane Finklestein, who was
the SJA for United States Forces Korea/Eighth Army in 1976 he stated:
The return of the Judge Advocates was one the first . . . . What made this
group’s visit particularly significant to those of us in Korea was the
objection voiced by the then Assistant Judge Advocate General and
ignored by the group to the “fact” that KVA like almost everything in
Korea used both private and government funds in its activities. After the
“RAJA” group participated, no other group felt it necessary to formally
inquire. The then CINC (General Stilwell) was particularly pleased with
the outcome.
In any event, early in 1976, Wally Solf, a former JAG and then a civilian chief in
international law in JAGO was approached by the Korean Embassy in Washington
to come up with names of JAGs who had served during the war who might be
invited to make a return trip to Korea. Col. Solf called Len Petkoff, then working
on the Washington Metro project, and discussed it with him. The only requirementwas that one of the invitees be a judge. In early March 1976, a varied group of
retired member of the Judge Advocate Generals Corps who has served in Korea in
the fifties received phone calls from the Korean Embassy in Washington. Would
the Korea vet be interested in making a trip with wife on Korean Air lines for six
days in Korea all expense paid from Los Angeles as part of the Korean Service
Veterans Revisit program? Those who looked upon it as an adventure soon
received an invitation in writing which was co- signed by the President of the
Seoul Bar Association. It was clearly to be a lawyer’s trip.
Embarkation aboard KAL was from Los Angeles where all invitees met for the
first time. Some had known others from service together and others were only
acquainted from old JAG Conferences. . The group included Larry and Mary
Fuller (he had been the Eighth Army SJA after the war), Clio “Red” and Betty
Straight, Bruce and Betty Babbitt (he had served in the fighting Army at the Yalu),
Bert and Dee Ellis (probably the senior Korean veteran JAG on the list) Howard
and Blanche Levy, Len and Ruth Petkoff, John Jay and Papoose Douglass (he
claimed membership in the Korean bar), Tom and Marie Meagher, and Judge and
Mrs. Warren Blair, the Chief Administrative Judge on the Securities and Exchange
Commission (who satisfied the requirement to include a judge.).
The group were met on arrival by senior Korean officials and by Finklestein. The
group was billeted at the President Hotel in Seoul began an intensive visit of
Korea, observation of a Korea trial, visits to senior judicial officials, social
engagements including dinners at the home of individual sponsors from the Korea
bar and a delightful party given by Zane and Rosemary Finklestein. The Korean
papers covered the visit as did the North Korean press which stated that “ Eighteen
Korean War Bandits …serving the :U.S. Imperialists Aggressors had arrived in
Seoul.” The group was further described as “mercenaries who had participated in
the war of aggression.” Who would have thought that those wives were that bad?
At breakfast toward the end of the visit, the Babbitts, Petkoffs and Douglass’ all
agreed this was a great event. They also came up with the suggestion that it would
be great to get together with other retired JAGs. On the return trip (in first class)
Betty Babbitt and Papoose Douglass nagged Bruce and John Jay into action to
form a group who could bring the JAGs together for some kind of annual reunion.
The thinking came up with a name and RAJA was born high over the Pacific.
To show what a little female urging can do, RAJA was formed quickly by Babbitt
and Douglass and by May of that year in a letter of thanks to Zane Finklestein for
his kindness to the visitors, he was invited to become a member of the Retired
Army Judge Advocate Association as soon as he became eligible. Under the fine hand of Babbitt the organization was incorporated in Florida, where
he was in private practice. Incorporators included Floridians Dave Chase and Tom
Oldham. By early in 1977, with the help of the Commandant, Col.Barney Brannen
and his wife Anita, plans were underway for a gathering in early summer of retired
regular army Judge Advocates at the JAG School in Charlottesville. Old timers
could not believe that Douglass and Babbitt the new President and Secretary
Treasurer has committed them to billeting in the JAG School. They just could not
believe the facilities in the new building which had opened in 1975.
It was decided early on that the RAJA gathering would generally follow the
format of the annual JAG conference. That is, there would be an opening icebreaker and the meeting (required because RAJA was a corporation) would be the
next day. A ladies luncheon was arranged at Hollymead. The following evening
was devoted to a banquet and the fourth morning the members departed after
brunch at the Club on the top floor of the new building. . An important part of the
whole operation was golf which was arranged at Keswick. In another
“democratic” decision it was ruled that the only active duty invitee would be The
Judge Advocate General and he would be limited to twenty five seconds for any
remarks he might like to make at the banquet. Actually Wil Persons, the then
current TJAG, used only 20 seconds for which he was duly commended.
The after-action report stated “For those who never believed it would come off, it
did! Seventy Retired Army Judge Advocates including wives sat down to dinner at
the Boar’s Head In for the first annual RAJA conference”. A Jefferson cup was
awarded to John Kimball as the Retiredest who had retired in 1958. A cup was
awarded to Dick and Pat Garties as the Travelingest who had attended from
Hawaii. The report stated that there was consensus to have another gathering in
1978 and both Hawaii and San Antonio were mentioned as suitable locations. . At
the 18 minute business meeting the slate of Douglass as President, Straight as
Vice-President and Babbitt as Secretary-Treasurer and Petkoff and Garties as
directors was approved. . Dues of $5 per annum were accepted and $2 for widows.
It was reported that as of the meeting there were 97 members.
The following year, RAJA met in San Antonio, certainly an appropriate location
as that city is known as the “mother-in-law” of the Army and was the home of a
large group of retired JAGs. The old Menger Hotel was the meeting place. This
historic hostel prides itself as the place from which Teddy Roosevelt and his
Rough Riders assembled for the departure for Cuba in Spanish-American War.
None of the JAGs from that war were able to attend the meeting. Golf at Fort Sam
was again on the program and the business meeting was even shorter than the first
one. The banquet was held at the Officers Club at Fort Sam Houston and the Army
was good enough to provide bus transportation to the Post. This banquet
confirmed the practice of asking the senior general officers present to make aseries of toasts: to the United States, to the President, to the Army, to the JAG
Corps and a toast from the newest member of RAJA to the ladies. At the banquet
Carlos McAfee was given the Jefferson Cup as the Retiredest JAG present and Ed
Kurth was awarded the Travelingest Cup for his trek from Wilmington, Del. (He
must have enjoyed the trip for he later moved to San Antonio.) At the business
meeting a committee was appointed to select and organize a meeting for the
following year on the west coast.
In the following year, the program was arranged by Bill and Jane O’Donovan in
San Francisco. The Marine Memorial Hotel was headquarters for RAJA and the
group was beginning to get larger. Golf was at the Presidio and the ladies’
luncheon was held in a delightful restaurant, the Greenhouse, not far from the
headquarters but a climb up the Bay City’s hills. At the business meeting it was
approved to include JAG Warrant Officers as members. The Cup for the Retiredest
JAG was given to George Gardes and the Travellingest Cup was awarded to
Howard and Blanche Levy, then living in Providence, R.I. A Jefferson Cup for the
RAJA Host and Hostess was presented to the O’Donovans, Bill and Jane.
In a Warning Order late in 1979, the nature of the organization and its purpose was
sent to members and prospective members. Membership had grown to over 200
and the limitations of the Privacy Act which prevented use of mailing lists from
DA or OTJAG were explained. Members were asked to help build the
organization by word of mouth. an act which should not be hard for JAGs. The
letter also announced that the next gathering was set for June 15-17 at
Williamsburg and stated that it was anticipated that RAJA would “repeat the
geographical pattern of East Coast, Mid-America, West Coast in subsequent
With Bruce Babbitt setting up the details from his office in Fort Walton Beach, Fl.
RAJA did gather in Williamsburg in 1980. The pattern which had been set was
followed and for the first time included low caliber tennis as well as the
professional type golf expected of retired Judge Advocates. At the business
meeting a moment of silence was taken for our departed comrades. For the first
time committees for the following year and the year after were named to
recommend sites for 1981 and 1982. The Retiredest Cup was awarded to Bert
Ellis, an original member of the Korea gang. He established a nice new custom of
bringing packages of almonds from his farm (ranch) in California for the
attendees. The Travelingest Cup was given to George Michel. We also had a
young RAJA present when Jim and Lavinia Booth arrived with their FOUR month
old son.
In 1981, RAJA met for the first time in Colorado Springs with Tom Birch and
Hube and Lou Miller as our hosts. The headquarters hotel was the Antlers indowntown Colorado Springs. From here we had the opportunity to visit Fort
Carson, the Air Force Academy and to go up Pikes Peak. We even visited the
home of Katharine Lee Bates who composed the words to America the Beautiful,
which some consider the second national anthem. The golfers were at Fort Carson
while others toured. Hube and Tom divided up the group and each entertained
RAJA at their homes with food and libations. The banquet was held at the Antlers
where Nat Reiger was given the cup for the Retiredest and Jack Lovrien was
named the Travelingest RAJA of the year.
Heading west, in 1982 RAJA VI gathered in Monterrey, California near where
many had served at Fort Ord or the Defense Language School. The group
thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to tour this old city on the Pacific and to watch
the sea lions on the rocks and eat on Cannery Row made famous by John
Steinbeck. The RAJA hosts were Art and Jean Ireland who in addition to planning
had a group visit their home in the hills outside Monterrey; at the annual banquet
the Jefferson Cup for the Retiredest RAJA present was given to Winston Field and
the cup for the Travelingest to Roy Steele.
RAJA VII was the biggest yet. The group met June l2, 1983 in Atlanta with
headquarters in the Terrace Garden Inn in the Buckhead area of the city. The large
gathering may have been augmented in part by the large contingent from Georgia,
most of whom seemed to be working for some agency of the State of Georgia. The
report noted that “the business meeting moved with great speed to the ill
considered motion for adjournment by Paul Kovar in the absence of Swede
Hansen in eleven minutes, Due to Kovar’s apparent inability to articulate a simple
motion the motion failed by acclamation and RAJA is apparently still in recess.”
Bob Williams, Marion Thurston and George Prugh were appointed to a committee
to select a site on the west coast for 1985. Following the business meeting Bill
Green, Chief of Criminal Law at the School gave a presentation on the status of
the Corps, the School and military law changes. Three carloads of golfers took a
long tour of North Georgia following a map prepared by Tom Murdock. The
banquet was held at the Fort McPherson club. Col. Tom Pocher the SJA at
McPherson had arranged for a bus to get the members there which was probably
good considering the apparent inability to read maps. The TJAG, Major General
Hugh Clausen overran his 25 second allowance for speaking the banquet
according to Hube Miller, the timekeeper. The Retiredest cup was presented to R.
McDonald Gray and the Travelingest cup was given to George Prugh. It was noted
no one would qualify more than once for these awards. There was a standing
ovation for all present when Nobuko and Dick Snyder were awarded their RAJA
Host Cup for the great work they did in making arrangements for this RAJA
gathering. Paul and Ruth Tobin were hosts for the 1984 meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.
They were able to get us headquarters in the Seelbach Hotel and what a fine
gathering it turned out to be. There were even some of the visitors who became
acquainted with Kentucky bourbon during the short period of the annual gathering.
A major event was an evening boat trip on the Ohio River. The ladies had a
delightful lunch and the men met for lunch at the exclusive Pendennis Club in
downtown Louisville. The major touring event was the trip to Churchill Downs for
an afternoon of thorobred racing. The betting interspersed with real Kentucky
Mint Juleps made this an afternoon to be remembered. Some RAJA members even
came out winners. At the annual dinner after presentation of the RAJA Host cup to
the Tobins, the Retiredest Cup was given to Clio “Red” Straight and the
Travelingest award to George Gardes.
The first visit to Las Vegas for RAJA was in 1985. Bob Thorniley was our RAJA
Host and was assisted by Jack Kinney from San Francisco. What an opportunity
for the gambling element and those who love the Big Shows on the strip. Our
headquarters hotel was with the Mafia at Caesar’s Palace and what luxury. The
banquet was held across the strip at the Imperial Palace. The TJAG Hugh Clausen
was present to make remarks both at the business meeting and his 25 second talk
at the banquet. The Retiredest Cup was presented to Jim Hanley and the
Travelingest Cup went to Dick and Angie Deegan from Connecticut.
In 1986 RAJA returned to the east coast to Savannah where Wil and Chris Persons
served as hosts in this delightful City of the Old South. Headquarters was in the
Hyatt Regency right on the Savannah River with big ships going up river to the
port and so close you could almost touch them. Golf, organized by Dick Rice at
one of the Landings courses was a major event and the players were given golf
visors to commemorate the occasion. Special events included a tour of the homes
in this quaint city. The annual banquet was an oyster roast held at old Fort Jackson
built in 1806 and we were greeted by re-enactors in Colonial uniforms playing
fifes and drums. This format did not lend to any speeches so we were saved from a
long address by TJAG Hugh Overholt. The “administration” was worried about
this type of affair but there was no rain and a strong breeze drove away the
mosquitoes and gnats all properly arranged by Will and Chris. Notwithstanding
the format changes, awards for Retiredest went to Howard Hasting and the
Travelingest RAJA to Jim Healey.
In l987 it was back to mid-America for RAJA in Austin, Texas where we stayed at
the Hyatt on Town Lake. This turned out to be one of the larger gatherings as
Texas JAGs turned our in force. .During our visit there was a boat trip on Town
lake and also a bus trip to Johnson City to the LBJ ranch. The ladies had their
luncheon at Green Pastures and the non-golfers took in one of the better barbecue
joints in Austin. The annual banquet was held at the Capitol Club, now sadly gone.The Jefferson cup for the Retiredest RAJA was given to Ed Kurth and Larry
Lougee, all the way from New Hampshire received the Travelingest Cup. There
was general joy to see our hosts, Win and Mary Kelso receive their Jefferson Cup
for a great job in 1987.
Back to the west coast and the furtherest point south for RAJA in 1988 when they
met in sunny San Diego. Headquarters was at the Town and Country Motel, which
was an ideal place for a gathering like RAJA. San Diego is great place to visit with
its military installations, history, zoo and coast line. Marve and Jean Krieger
outdid themselves in making this a great gathering. The banquet was held at the
Admiral Kidd officers club on the Pacific Ocean. Dancing was enjoyed by all to
OUR kind of music. Jasper Searles received the cup for the Retiredest JAG present
and Pat and Alma Bishop went home with the Travelingest Cup.
RAJA XIII convened in the Treadway Hotel in Newport, Rhode Island with the
registration set up by the faithful secretary, Bruce Babbitt. The ice-breaker that
first evening included much food and drink which broke the ice. The following
morning the required meeting was called to order by John Jay Douglass.
Apparently the officers, Babbitt and Douglass have done away with the legalities
of elections and just continue in office until objection may be made. Dave Bryant
was appointed time keeper and with some help announced at the conclusion that
the meeting had consumed nine minutes. The speed was in spirit of the time spent
on treasury reports and minutes and resolutions to send $100 to the Friends of the
JAG School and a memorandum to Congress for reconsideration of Cat Cap
(Catastrophic) Medicare legislation, a moment of silence for our departed
members, acceptance of Pensacola for meeting next year and appointment of
George Mickel, George Prugh and Jack Kinney for the 1991 meeting. Who says
lawyers can move when golf is in the offing. Following the official meeting,
TJAG Hugh Overholt brought the group up to date on JAG activities world wide.
He was followed by Tom Crean, Commandant of the School who gave an update
on School and legal matters of the Corps. The ladies luncheon was held at
Oceancliff, one of the former mansions at Newport. Golfers went about their
business but the tennis players were barred from the International Tennis Hall of
Fame courts as the courts wee not available until two days after the end of this
RAJA. That evening the entire group were entertained in two sessions by RAJA
Hosts Blanche and Howard Levie at their home built in1864. All were delighted at
the food and drink and amazed at the huge library collection, all classified by
Howard. (He subsequently donated his great research library to the JAG School.)
Tuesday there was a splendid tour of the mansions of Newport to include the
Bouvier (Jackie Kennedy) and the Breakers built by the Vanderbilts. The dinner
was held at the Commissioned Officers Mess at the Newport Naval Station. As the
TJAG had to leave early the only active duty officer was Tom Crean who gave the
annual 25 second address. Bill Mullins who came in from Paris appropriatelyreceived the Travelingest Cup and Howard Levie received the Retiredest Cup and
he and Blanche received the cup as RAJA Hosts for which they were loudly
congratulated and thanked for a great job. Howard has now received a cup in every
category. Following the dinner and presentations there was dancing led by
The year 1990 took RAJA to Pensacola. Some found it hard to put this in the
middle of America but the promoters pointed out that Pensacola is in the Central
Time Zone and in the far west of Florida’s panhandle. The program followed
precedent with ice-breaker, annual meeting and words of advice from the acting
TJAG Bill Suter. Pensacola provided a great opportunity to visit sites of interest
including one of the old historic forts on the Gulf of Mexico, a tour of the USS
Lexington, and the Naval Air Museum. Our hosts, Hube and Lou Miller invited all
to their home for afternoon drinks and it should be noted that they lived over in
Alabama. The program included the annual dinner at which Alan Todd received
his cup as the Retiredest and Jack Kinney finally got his Travelingest Cup for
coming from San Francisco (again).
When RAJA says it is going next to the west coast, they really meant it in 1991
when a great group met in Hawaii. A number of the visitors has arrived early to
take a cruise around all the islands. We were headquartered in the Hale Koa, the
great Army hotel at old Ft. DeRussy where many of the Vietnam types had taken
R&R during those years. After a brief business meeting, TJAG John Fugh spoke
on matters of concern in the Corps followed by Tom Strassburg, the Commandant
of TJAGSA who brought RAJA up to date on the School and military law. Our
RAJA hosts were Dick and Pat Garties who had done a splendid job of organizing
this occasion to include golf and tennis and luncheons and parties. Most of the
social events were held in Hale Koa which was so well situated to care for the
group. The annual banquet was held at the Cannon Club up on the side of
Diamond Head. In view of the long trip west for most attendees, it was decided
not to award a Travelingest cup because other that the wise ones who had retired
in paradise, all had come a long way.
Over Memorial Day weekend in 1992, RAJA returned to the Home of the Army
Lawyer at Charlottesville. The headquarters was at the Boar’s Head, a pretty spiffy
upgrade for this group. Most of the business meetings were held in the then newly
enlarged School and the members had a real tour of the School and an opportunity
to see what was going on. Many were impressed with the computer learning
center. The luncheon for the ladies was held at Farmington Country Club while
many of the golfers were playing at Birdwood. Tom Strassburg had been a recent
commandant so the arrangements for this RAJA by Tom and Nancy were in great
hands. The banquet with 200 present was held in the big dining room on the topfloor of the School, formerly the officer’s club and then known as the Community
club. The Jefferson cup for Retiredest was presented to Paul Kovar.
RAJA XVII returned in1993 for a second visit to San Antonio and the historic
Menger Hotel “across the alley from the Alamo,” The hospitality room was
managed by Bruce Babbitt who somehow had up graded his title from SecretaryTreasurer to CEO. Since he did all the work to keep RAJA going, it was
appropriate that his title be changed. The program continued from Ice-breaker on
the first evening through the usual pattern. At the business meeting Ray Wicker
was appointed time-keeper and Wayne Alley was his assistant and all they
concluded was that it was a short meeting. Hugh Clausen, Zane Finklestein and
Don Pierce were appointed as the site selection committee for the 1995 meeting on
the east coast. Following the meeting, TJAG John Fugh gave a report on the
Corps and its activities. He was followed by Col Dennis Corrigan, PPT&O and
Col. John Cooke, Director of Academics from the School who gave a presentation
on other aspects of JAG and the School. The ladies departed shortly for their
luncheon at Los Patios and the golfers found their way to the links. The following
day was devoted to sightseeing, riding the boat on the San Antonio river and more
golf and tennis. Ken Youngblood was declared winner of the tennis doubles
tournament. The banquet was held at the Fort Sam Houston officers club. Music
was provided during the dinner hour and the crowd was entertained by the
terpsichorean excellence of Blanche Levie and Ray Wicker. The Jefferson cup for
Retiredest was presented to John TeSelle who was attending his first RAJA. TJAG
John Fugh did limit himself to twenty five second barely and announced that next
year he would be present as a full fledged member.
RAJA XVIII went to Reno in 1994 with headquarters at the Reno Hilton. At the
annual meeting, first timer John Naughton was appointed timekeeper who later
reported that the meeting consumed eight minutes. CEO Bruce Babbitt gave his
usual abbreviated fiscal report. Co-Host Martha Johnson announced that those
wishing to visit the Judicial College located in Reno should contact her for
arrangements. It was noted that Jack Crouchet, Cecil Forinash, Ken Howard,
Grady Moore, Richard Russell, Hank Watson and Ken Youngblood had all
attended the College during their tours as military judge. Jim Mundt, Swede
Hansen and Malcolm Yawn were appointed a committee to select a location for
the1996 program. Being a progressive organization, the President noted RAJA had
not had an election in a long time and appointed a committee of Wil Persons, Vic
DeFiori and Marv Krieger to prepare slate of nominees for the forthcoming
meeting and to develop plans for the future of RAJA. Notwithstanding, the School
was simultaneously hosting the Reserve JAG Conference, TJAG Michael Nardotti
made a fast trip to be with RAJA at Reno and updated the group on the state of
the Corps and the downsizing of the Army. Substituting for the Commandant, the
Director of Academics Lee Schinasi gave an update on the school and itsactivities. Bill Fulton, then the Colonel of the JAGC Regiment, introduced Gen.
Nardotti who made a special presentation to Bruce Babbitt and John Jay Douglass
designating them Distinguished Members of the Corps and presenting framed
certificates to attest to this honor. Following the meeting the ladies repaired to the
Delta Saloon for their luncheon and the golfers and tennisters went about their
business. The grand banquet was held at the Hilton with music for dancing and
there was much enjoyment at the Lindy Hop performed by Taine and Joe Conboy.
Bruce Stevenson was announced as the golf champion and Dorothy Youngblood
as the tennis champion. Because of the early departure of Gen. Nardotti, Wil
Persons was allowed to finish his remarks made at the first RAJA. The cup for
Retiredest was presented to Phil Wilson and cups were given to Martha Johnson
and Jack Kinney for their great work as co-hosts for the Reno RAJA.
The Passing of the Flag
The RAJA News covering the 1994 meeting included a notice that at the meeting
in April l995, there would be an election of Board of Directors and that the
nominees were Paul Rice, Richard Dahlinger, Jim Mundt, Phil Meengs, Joe
Conboy and Don Pierce. It was further announced that the board when elected
would announce the new officers and at that meeting the official Change of
Command would take place.
In 1995 RAJA XIX convened in Charleston, South Carolina hosted by Hugh and
Betty Clausen. Our hotel was next to the arts and crafts market in the center of the
city. The opening ice-breaker was well attended and highlighted by the
introduction by Marge Sneeden of her grandson, a third year man at the Citadel
escorting Miss Teen America. The annual meeting was convened the next morning
promptly at nine a.m.with Steven Werner as timekeeper even though he noted that
he had no second hand on his watch. Secretary Babbitt gave his report of the
financial situation and the proposed transfer of the secretary’s function and record
keeping to the School following this meeting. Col. Joe Graves the Commandant
advised that the Alumni Association files had already been transferred and this
should work out well. A site selection committee of Jack Kinney, George Prugh
and Phil Meengs was appointed for the l997 meeting. Wil Persons reported on the
special committee appointed the prior year to consider management changes in
RAJA. They agreed that it was time to bring in new leadership and looked for
individuals under the age of 65 to serve on the Board of Directors and had selected
Mundt, Pierce, Rice, Meengs and Conboy as indicated in the notice with the news
from the prior years meeting. On motion of Bruce Babbitt and properly seconded,
these members were elected. Bruce then nominated Jim Mundt as President and
Don Pierce as Secretary. These nominees were elected by acclamation. Following
the meeting, TJAG Michael Nardotti gave a presentation on the state of the Corpscomplete with visuals. He then asked Howard Levie to come forward. After citing
an in-depth biography, TJAG had Col. Graves read the award of the Medal of
Freedom for Howard Levies long and continued labors particularly in the field of
international law and prisoners of war. Gen. Nardotti then presented a plaque
designating Levie a Distinguished Member of the Regiment and the members gave
Levie a standing ovation. Col. Graves then discussed the School and the recent
visit of the ABA Committee on Accreditation with particular interest in the
Masters Program. Thereafter the golfers departed but the rains limited their game
to only four holes. The ladies fared better and were able to enjoy their annual
The following day there were opportunities to visit the Citadel and Fort Sumter.
The banquet was held at the Howthorne Suites Hotel. The group was pleased to
have as the guest of Jim Baker, General and Mrs. William Westmoreland. It was
announced that of the original group who were in Korea that helped start RAJA,
present were Howard Levie and Blanche, Bruce Babbitt, Ruth and Len Petkoff,
Tom and Marie Meagher and Papoose and John Jay Douglass. Because Gen.
Nardotti had to leave early, George Prugh was called upon to make the TJAG
remarks and he stayed within his allotted time. The Jefferson Cup for Retiredest
JAG present was given to Phil Pollack and a cup was given to the RAJA Host and
Hostess Betty and Hugh Clausen. Jim Mundt was then called to the podium and
Douglass passed him the flag as new President of RAJA. Mundt accepted his new
position and immediately took the prerogative of announcing the 90
birthday of
Phil Wilson and called upon all to sing Happy Birthday. And another great
meeting ended.
The first meeting under new officers was RAJA XX in 1996 and the second in
Colorado Springs. Believe it or not the first day featured a Colorado blizzard
which covered the ground but by tee time the white cover was gone. The meeting
was brought to order the new President Jim Mundt, who introduced the newly
named Secretary, Steve Werner who replaced Don Pierce who had served until his
candidacy for office in the Florida VFW. The new Board of Directors established
a life membership fee of $100 for those who do not care to be signing small
checks annually. The site selection committee for 1988 was appointed including
Jack Rice, John Baker and Bill Fulton. Timekeeping for the meeting was handled
by Scott Magers and assisted by Fred Green. Following the meeting the ladies
attended their luncheon. The golfers hit them hard and long at the Air Force
Academy golf course. The following day tours were arranged to the Air Force
Academy, NORAD, the Garden of the Gods and Helen Hunt Falls. The annual
banquet was opened by the presentation of the colors by a color guard from Fort
Carson under direction of SGM Fred Heedt, retired sergeant of the JAG Corps.
Major Jim Coakley presented a program on the flag of the United States. Babbitt
and Douglass were presented numbered prints of the JAG School for their longservices for RAJA. The Jefferson cup for Retiredest was awarded to Karl Wolf.
Jim Mundt did and great job in his new duties as President and with Lee and cohosts Steve and Karen Werner did a splendid job in arranging the Colorado
Springs RAJA.
Following the precedent of the JAG Conference in calling each succeeding
conference the best yet, RAJA XXI in 1997 in Palm Springs got this same
accolade. Our headquarters was in the Palm Springs Marquis hotel which was
noted for its accommodations and hospitality. Over seventy early arrivals attended
the Palm Springs Follies featuring Howard Keel and chorus girls ranging from 54
to 84 years of age including a retired 84 year old female Army colonel (not JAG!)
who finished the programs with the splits. Jim Mundt handled the business
meeting with dispatch and appointed a by-laws committee of Steve Werner, Mac
Yawn, and Mike Kennett. Bruce Babbitt noted that this was suggested earlier but
no one seemed to have much interest. The selection committee for the 1999 RAJA
was Joe Conboy, Scott Magers, Fred Green, Dale Kile and Molly Newman.
Following the meeting TJAG Mike Nardotti updated the group on the work of the
Corps and Col. Joe Graves gave a presentation on the School. On adjournment, the
ladies repaired to a fancy French restaurant for their usual luncheon and the golfers
found their way to the links. Fifty brave souls took the aerial tramway to the
mountain top for the exciting views. A number were invited to visit the home of
Jim Healey in Indian Wells for cocktails and a buffet. The banquet was held in the
Marquis. The cup for Retiredest was presented to Jim Booth who advised that the
little baby he and Lavinia brought to the first RAJA graduated from college that
spring. The RAJA Host cup was presented to Phil and Ann Meengs who gave
credit to great help they had received from Doris and Bob Peckham. These four
were to be thanked for the drinks each evening and the breakfast each morning in
the hospitality suite.
In 1998 it was time to return to the East Coast and RAJA XXII really did, for we
went to Cocoa Beach Florida from May 1-4. Bruce and Jean Stevenson were hosts
and they did a great job and made sure that there was no rain in Florida for the
entire period of the meeting. Not only that but they arranged for the landing of the
shuttle Columbia during the meeting so that it could be observed by all who were
present. It is really hard to top that! All of the meetings with the exception of the
ladies luncheon were held at the Cocoa Beach Hilton and began with the typical
Icebreaker on the first evening. There was the usual annual business meeting on
this first full day in the morning. At that time it was announced that life
memberships was available at $100 a throw or as an alternative members can pay
five dollars a year; and the administration would like you to pay and get up-todate. Col. Jerry St. Amand, the current Commandant at the school, brought us upto-date on doings at Charlottesville. Special events included the opportunity to sail on the 15 passenger catamaran from
Boca Raton on the intercoastal waterway which Bernie and Kathy Radosh sailed
up to Cocoa Beach just for the occasion and the tour of Kennedy Space Center.
The special activities didn’t prevent the golfers from getting out of the golf courses
nor prevent the ladies from attending their luncheon at the Officers Club at Patrick
Air Force Base. The annual banquet was held at the Cocoa Beach Hilton. In a
departure from tradition, we heard the address by the TJAG, Major General Walt
Huffman who was unable to be present for the business meeting. It was noted that
the banquet that there were three members present who served as JAGs in World
War II, Phil Wilson, Howard Levie and Marion Thurston. The Jefferson Cup for
the Retiredest present was given to John Forsell. The evening was concluded by
dancing to a real band. Bruce and Jean Stevenson were awarded the Jefferson cup
as Hosts and were applauded for a great RAJA.
From the Atlantic Ocean in 1999 Raja XXIII took us to the banks of the Missouri
River in Kansas City with headquarters at the Ritz-Carlton. (Footnote: Following
this meeting, the report mailed to the members indicated that consideration would
be given to counting the “boondoggle” to Korea as the first meeting of RAJA
which would make this meeting number XXIV.) Early birds had the opportunity
to attend the Royals/Yankee baseball game (the Royals lost which didn’t seem to
bother anyone.) The Icebreaker on Sunday night was as usual a smashing success
although chilly weather and threat of rain moved the group from poolside to the
rooftop dining room.
The business meeting ran longer than normal and was preceded by a committee of
the whole which considered the question about membership for reserve officers
who were qualified for retirement. For many years, only retired regulars were
eligible to join RAJA. Noting the increased contribution of reservists to the Corps
worldwide, the group passed unanimously a motion to extend membership to
retired reservists. It was announced that there are 38 new members, most recently
retired. The group mourned the passing of Bruce Babbitt, longtime secretary of
RAJA, and agreed to honor him by establishing a scholarship for children or
grandchildren of JAGs pursuing an advanced degree, preferably in law. TJAG
Major General Walt Huffman briefed the members on the status of the Corps. The
site selection committee for 2001 was appointed to consist of Jack Rice, Jim
McCune, Dennis Corrigan and John Cruden. It is sad to report that the three timers
of the meeting, Tim Naccarato, Ray Ruppert and Bill Eckhardt still could not get
the time of the meeting correct.
On the second day many of the members went on a tour of the Truman Museum
and other sightseeing attractions around Kansas City. A few traveled out to Fort
Leavenworth to renew old memories of being assigned on that fine old post. Thegolfers went out in spite of the heavy rain and the scores indicated how bad the
weather was or how bad the golfers were.
The annual banquet had been originally scheduled for the rooftop facilities in the
Ritz-Carlton but somebody with clout outranked us, but the good hosts, Fred and
Jean Green, did a great job of negotiating and as a result the Hotel provided free
parking, continuous goodies in the hospitality room and more important an open
bar and champagne and wine at the annual banquet. Needless to say nobody
complained about missing the rooftop facility. The Jefferson cup for Retiredest
JAG present went to Toxey Sewell and of course the Host cup to the Greens.
In 2000, RAJA gathered in Sacramento, California. (Your historian is having
trouble deciding whether this is RAJA XXIV or RAJA XXV, which clearly
depends on how the original trip to Korea is counted.) However you count it, the
meeting was a great success Tim and Linda Naccarato and Dennis and Livvy
Coupe as co-hosts really did themselves proud. (The records do not indicate
whether it was necessary to provide two Jefferson cups) The business meeting
was relatively uneventful. Due to the inability of TJAG to be present because of
the cancellation of his flight, Col. Calvin Lederer, the School Commandant took
over for both the TJAG and School responsibility and brought the group up to date
on all JAG activities. Many of the group went on an outstanding tour of a winery
near Murphy, California. They enjoyed the beautiful grounds and an excellent
meal in the dining room. The ladies held their luncheon in Old Sacramento City
and afterwards had an opportunity to do some of the favorite recreation,
At the evening banquet Brigadier General Morrison former National Guard
assistant to TJAG and Brigadier General Richard Eres, on a non-JAG assignment
as the head of the Army element of the California National Guard, were present as
guests. It was significant that Ernie Auerbach was present as the first retired
reserve JAG to attend under the rules change made the previous year. The
Jefferson cup for Retiredest JAG was presented to Jim Henley.
RAJA 2001 or RAJA XXVI (under the new counting system) or Williamsburg 2
was hosted by Jim and Gale McCune and ably assisted by Bridget and Jim
Murphy. This meeting was unique in that it started with a pre- meeting tour of the
new facility at Balston in Arlington. This is the home of USALSA, the criminal
division of GAD, DAD, TDS and the Court as well as the litigation division.
Those on the tour were very impressed with the modern equipment, furniture and
surroundings. Unfortunately the members on the tour had to drive on Saturday
through a terrible rainstorm to arrive at Williamsburg. Nonetheless the hospitality
room was opened fully stocked and provided an opportunity for all to initially
mingle.On Sunday morning the members were invited to visit the technology
augmentation litigation and high technology courtrooms at William and Mary law
school under the direction of Fred Lederer. That afternoon another group visited
the Jamestown and Yorktown settlements and dinner was on your own.
The annual meeting was held with the normal speed under the direction of
President Jim Mundt. The TJAG and the Commandant of the JAG school, Cal
Lederer (the active-duty brother of Professor Fred at William and Mary) gave an
update on the status of the Corps and the school. The ladies held their annual
luncheon and the men tried to imitate them but certainly their meeting was less
structured. The banquet was held on Monday evening and Jim Robinson was
given his Jefferson cup as the Retiredest JAG present. The dinner guests were
entertained with a speech about Colonial Virginia in the early days of the
Revolution by Mike Haas. President Mundt read an article which he had noted in
Pacific Stars & Stripes while he and Lee were touring Asia which announced that
Burt Ellis, one of the original Korean group died in December, 2000 at age 97 and
left a bequest to his law school, the University of Idaho of $6 million, the largest
gift from an individual to the school in its 112 year history. Among the guests was
James Booth Jr. who was with his parents Jim and Lavinia Booth. Young James
recently graduated cum laude from Occidental College. He had attended his first
meeting of RAJA at age four months in 1980 when RAJA first met at
San Antonio was the site for RAJA for the third time in May 2002, this time
hosted by Janet and Scott Magers. This traditional Army town still draws a good
crowd and much time is spent touring the city the Riverwalk and probably even
the Alamo. A special tour was arranged for Sunday afternoon of the city and
dinner as usual was on our own. At the Monday morning traditional business
meeting the good news was that we are financially in good shape. Members were
encouraged to get a $100 life membership to make Steve Werner, the SecretaryTreasurer, happier. At this meeting it was agreed that the proposal to hold RAJA
2003 in Garmisch would be canceled as there was insufficient interest. It was
announced that the 2003 meeting will be held in Las Vegas Nevada and that in
2004 the group will meet in Portland, Maine. The briefing was given by TJAG
Major General Tom Romig and by the commandant of the JAG school Rick
Rosen. This is the first time in many years that that the TJAG was accompanied by
his wife and we were pleased to have Pam Romig with the group for the weekend.
Following the annual meeting, the afternoon was given to golf and the annual
ladies luncheon and the banquet was held that evening. The retiredest award was
given to Howard Husband. He beat out Jim Booth by only a few months.
(Actually, Jim has already received the award in 1997 but he wanted another cup.)Bill Green read to the group an article by the President of the ABA, Robert
Hershon, praising the work of Army lawyers through history.
RAJA 2003 also known as Raja XXVIII returned once again to Las Vegas
Nevada, this time to the Mirage Hotel. The hosts were Mike and Lorraine Kennett
who were ably assisted by Ron and Pat Cundick and Wayne Price and what a
show they put on! The members did find that through the years Las Vegas was no
longer the inexpensive place to drink and dine. The Board of Directors met on
Monday evening and selected the site committee for 2005 consisting of Earl
Lassiter, Steve Lancaster and Bill Heaston. They also appointed a history
committee to begin a brief history of the organization which is to be given the new
members so they will gain an appreciation for the background and traditions of
RAJA. The board selected Howard Levie, John Jay Douglass and Len Petkoff,
members of the original RAJA in Korea, as the history committee.
Two tours were held on Tuesday, May 27, as well as the golf tournament at Nellis
Air Force Base. The first tour was to Hoover Dam and the museum. In the two
busloads participated in the Celebrity Lights Tour. This included stops at the
Bellagio with its water and music show and a tour through the rest of Las Vegas,
with commentary, to the several blocks long overhead light show plus a sampling
of Las Vegas shows done on gondolas from the ceiling. Las Vegas builds it bigger
and better and more expensive each year
The annual meeting was held on Wednesday, May 28 and lasted nine minutes and
45 seconds. This was followed by a presentation by Major General Romig, TJAG
and the commandant Col. Rick Rosen. The ladies then adjourned to a fantastic
luncheon at the Venetian hotel across the street from the Mirage. The annual
banquet was held that evening with the traditional 30 second speech by The Judge
Advocate General after a much longer introduction by the President of RAJA. An
excellent musical entertainment was provided by a barbershop quartet which
included the mellow tones of Ron Cundick one of our hosts. Glade Flake was
honored as the Retiredest JAG present.
The year 2004 took RAJA the furtherest north and the furtherest east for any of its
long series of meetings. RAJA XXIX, hosted by Dennis and Phyllis Corrigan with
the help of Barney and Anita Brannen, was held at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel
in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Early arrivals enjoyed spending Friday wandering
around the old tourist town of Portsmouth and eating in the various local
restaurants specializing in chowder and lobster. On Saturday many took a bus trip
to Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, on Lake Winnepausakee where they had an
opportunity to board a lake steamer for a tour of the lake and see the mountains.
That evening there was a traditional New England clambake with lobster, shrimp,
clams, corn and all the trimmings.The business meeting was conducted and the timer Rosie Rosenblatt announced
the meeting was concluded in five minutes and 45 seconds for a new record. A site
selection committee for 2006 was picked consisting of Bill Heaston and
whomever he could draft (think Black Hills). The history committee announced
that they were still searching for material and asked for any help they can get.
Following the business meeting the TJAG, Major General Tom Romig, made his
report on the condition of the Corps followed by the new school Commandant,
Brigadier General Scott Black, on the situation at Charlottesville. General Black is
a first General Officer to command the JAG Center at Charlottesville.
Following the morning meeting a number of foursomes played at the Ledges golf
course undeterred by the wind and rain. The ladies had their traditional luncheon
and the gentlemen adjourned to a local eating establishment for conversation,
fellowship and libations. That evening the traditional banquet was held and the
Retiredest award was given to Bob Peckham. It was noted that the senior Judge
Advocates present were Howard Levie, age 96, and Jim Booth, age 93.
Unfortunately the Judge Advocate General and School Commandant had to return
to duty and thus missed the banquet and thus we missed the TJAG twenty five
second speech.
Through the years RAJA has served its original purpose of bringing together those
members of the Judge Advocate Generals Corps and their spouses who gave a
career to the service of the Army as lawyers and soldiers. Your author was once
pulled aside at a cocktail party by Joe Haefle who said, “See those guys in there. I
used to hate their guts but now I love every one of them. No matter, what, you
make sure that this outfit keeps going.” And it has. Each year new retirees join and
the precedents of the earliest meetings are continued and new precedents are set.
Who can forget the magnificent invocations given by Zane Finklestein; the toasts
lead by our retired flag officers to the United States. to the President, to the United
States Army, to the Corps and by the junior member to the ladies; the ridiculous
business of timing of the business meeting; the intense and continuing concern of
the members for word of the status of the Corps and the School; the annual
moment of silence for our departed comrades; that joy of seeing old friends for the
first time in the hospitality suite; the hurry of the golfers to get out on the links; the
ladies dressed to the nines for their luncheon; the concern as to who will get the
cup as the Retiredest JAG present this year; our pride in having the TJAG come
across country to be with us despite his duties; and most of all the promises to
“See you next year.”Acknowledgments: the author of this work is extremely grateful for the assistance
and conversations of RAJA members throughout the United States. I’m sure I will
miss some were very helpful but they included Mary Ruth Babbitt, Tom Birch,
Jim Booth, Barney Brannen, , Nancy Byers, Henry Capbell, Hugh Clausen, Joe
Conboy, Vic Defiori, Zane Finklestein, Cecil Forinash. John Fugh, Bill Fulton,
Viviano Gomez, Ken Howard, Howard Husband, Mary Kelso, Jack Kinney, Ed
Kurth, Scott Magers, Phil Meengs, Grady Moore, Jim Mundt, Don O’Neill, Bill
O’Donovan, Wil Persons, Don Pierce, Art Porcella, George Prugh, Richard
Russell, Ed Schmidt, Dick Snyder, Toxey Sewell, Brian Spencer, Bruce
Stevenson, Tom Strassburg, Bob Thorniley, Paul Tobin, Steve Werner and Ken
Youngblood. In most of these cases the real information came from the spouses
for which I was most grateful. What great fun it was to get on the telephone to ask
a question and wind up talking old times. Finally I must give great credit to
Howard Levie and Len Petkoff and to my wife, Papoose. Without their support
this would never have been completed.
Addendum by Tim and Linda Naccarato
RAJA 2005 was determined to be the 30
RAJA meeting and was held in
Columbus, Georgia. The hosts were Earle & Sally Lasseter and Bob & Stacy
Poydasheff. His honor, Bob Poydasheff, was the mayor of Columbus at the time of
the meeting. The schedule included a tour of Columbus and the Army Museum at
Fort Benning. MG Tom Romig gave the TJAG briefing. BG Scott Black, the
School Commandant, spoke to the RAJA members even though he almost did not
make the meeting due to bad weather. He arrived very late and the hotel gave
away his room. He later found out that the room was given to a new soldier and
his bride for their honeymoon, so he figured the room was well utilized that
evening. We never discovered where his luggage ended up, so BG Black
addressed the meeting in his travel clothes. Fred Chalupsky received the Retiredest
award. After 10 years of outstanding service and with thanks from all, Jim Mundt
turned over the presidency of RAJA to Tim Naccarato, to be the third president in
the history of the organization, following John Jay Douglass’ initial 20-year
RAJA 2006, our 31
meeting, was hosted by Bill & Dorris Heaston and John &
Nancy Erck in Rapid City, South Dakota. The wonderful tours included Badlands
National Park and the Crazy Horse Memorial. Those of us who had never been to
the Black Hills before were awed by the beauty and majesty we saw. The banquet
was held in the Visitors’ Center at the foot of Mt. Rushmore. Our speaker for the
evening helped create Mt. Rushmore as a teenager. However, the most exciting
event was the fire alarm at the hotel around 1:15 a.m. While standing in the hotel
parking lot, Kevin Carter asked if this was a normal RAJA activity. Afterregistering, Mike Nardotti promptly reported to the local hospital with a mystery
ailment. We missed him at the meeting, but were glad that Susan could spend
some time with us when she was not at the hospital. Ken Youngblood took home
the Retiredest award. It was at this meeting that the RAJA Board decided against
giving the hosts a Jefferson Cup as all of us have too many doo-dads. Instead their
banquet dinner is covered by RAJA. MG Scott Black gave the TJAG address, and
BG Butch Tate briefed on the JAG School.
In 2007, the 32
annual RAJA meeting took place in Scottsdale, Arizona. The
hosts, Buzz & Dottie France and John & Nancy Jones, did an exceptional job in
planning and organizing the events, especially since neither couple had attended a
RAJA gathering before. The events included a tour to Sedona and Red Rock. We
stopped enroute to visit Montezuma’s Castle, one of the oldest ancient Indian cliff
dwellings in the Southwest. The Sedona tour included a trolley ride to the
magnificent Chapel in the Rocks. Treasurer Steve Werner reported RAJA had
$27,400 in the treasury. The Board voted to allocate $2,000 of RAJA funds to the
host of each upcoming meeting to reduce expenses for attending members. Ken
Howard was voted the most Retiredest at the farewell western cookout. MG Black
and BG Tate were on hand for the briefings.
In 2008, the 33
RAJA meeting met in Atlanta, GA at the Embassy Suites Hotel in
downtown. Jim & Lois Gerstenlauer, Rob & Bridget Minor along with Dick
Snyder and Jim Hatten helping with golf, planned another outstanding RAJA
meeting for 131 attendees. Our first stop on the itinerary of tours was the
Cyclorama. We were treated to a presentation by a WWII B-17 pilot describing his
experiences of being shot down over Munich and spending time in a German
POW camp. Our next stop was Mary Mac’s Tea Room where both the men and
women enjoyed fried green tomatoes, okra, catfish fillets and peach cobbler. After
lunch we visited Stone Mountain, the Mount Rushmore of the South. Sunday
afternoon was free time. Since we were downtown, we were able to walk to the
Aquarium, CNN Center or the Coke Museum (no Pepsi in sight in Atlanta!). Zane
Finkelstein provided us with a powerful blessing at the banquet, just like he has
done for 33 years. MG Scott Black gave the TJAG address and BG Dana Chipman
briefed us on the JAG Legal Center and School. Dick Snyder was recognized as
the most Retiredest member. Following the banquet meal, the last order of
business is a briefing from next year’s host, Dennis Hunt. Little did we know his
presentation would include music, costume, beads and a conga line to celebrate
going to New Orleans in 2009. RAJA Webmaster, Tom Strassburg, posted a video
on the RAJA website.
In 2009, the 34th RAJA meeeting with 129 attendees marched into the Big Easy of
New Orleans and we stayed at the beautiful Hotel Monteleone in the French
Quarter. Our hosts were Dennis and Jeanne Hunt and Mike and Lennard Cramer.They were assisted by Ben Anderson, Tony and Josette Bonfanti, Ron and Linda
Howell, and Jim (Rosey) Rosenblatt. The icebreaker featured a local jazz combo
(of course) and a breathtaking view of the mighty Mississippi River. The next day
our tour took us to a local cemetery, neighborhoods hit by Hurricane Katrina, and
Mardi Gras World, where the parade floats are built and stored. The following
morning we conducted our business meeting with Lyle Cayce as the official timer.
Since we had $33,000 in the treasury, we advised the members that we would not
assess an administrative fee for the next several meetings. Newly promoted to
LTG, Scott Black provided his final always humorous and compelling briefing to
the members and BG Dana Chipman gave us an entertaining update on the JAG
Legal Center and School. As everyone came to expect from the Hunts and
Cramers, the banquet on the final evening was beyond festive–featuring the jazz
combo, songs by Dr. Michele Cramer Spector, and crazy Mardi Gras hats that all
were requested to purchase. John Jay Douglass was recognized as the most
Retiredest member. Following dinner, Steve Lancaster briefed all about the 2010
meeting in Indianapolis. The next morning we limped home from New Orleans.
In 2010, the 35th RAJA meeting of 111 attendees motored into the racing capital
of the United States–Indianapolis. We stayed at the luxurious Hilton Hotel and
Suites downtown. Our hosts were Steve and Pauline Lancaster. The icebreaker
took place in a beautiful ballroom, and the pasta buffet was bountiful. At the
business meeting the next morning, Dan Dell’Orto and Gerry St. Amand were our
official timers–yes, we came in at 9 minutes and 50 seconds. Steve Werner
advised that we had $27,000 in the treasury, so no administratve fee again next
year. Our old friend from earlier RAJA meetings, MG Butch Tate, DJAG, filled in
for TJAG and the Legal Center and School Commander (they had children
graduating from high school) and gave us a highly entertaining briefing. Then it
was onto the Indy 500 racetrack for a tour and a 30 mph ride around the race
course while imagining cars traveling 230 mph the previous week. At 1730 that
evening, Pam Kirby and Barbara Fowler hosted a wonderful and heartfelt
reception to thank the members for their support after the passing of their
husbands, Bob Kirby and Joe Fowler. Everyone attended. On the final evening the
banquet featured a color guard from the Indiana Army National Guard and a
member who sang the National Anthem and America the Beautiful. It was our
pleasure to have the soldiers seated at various tables and share dinner with us.
Darrell Peck was recognized as the most Retiredest member. At the close of
dinner, Dave Graham briefed us on the 2011 meeting at the Omni Hotel in
Charlottesville, Virginia.


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