Pine Spring 2010: NAU Veterans, In Their Own Words

The Veterans Recognition Dinner at Homecoming 2009 was a particularly moving experience, as NAU vets and military personnel gathered together for fellowship and reminiscence. Celebrating these extraordinary servicepeople were several military and civilian guests of honor:

  • Major General Rhett A. Hernandez, U.S. Army Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff
  • Col. Jay R. Vargas, '61 & '01, Retired Veterans Liaison, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient
  • Rear Admiral Robin R. Braun, '77, U.S. Navy Director, Total Force Management, Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance
  • Victor Daniels, Governor's Military Policy Advisor
  • Sara Presler, '02, Mayor, City of Flagstaff
  • Bob Reyes, American Legion Post #3 Adjutant

NAU Alumni Association Board Member John Clark, '77 & '81, presented the recognition medals and read the honorees' service records and notes; Board Member Dick Nothstein, '59 & '63, and his wife Darlene, were on hand to unveil their special tribute, a "Band of Brothers" bronze created by artist James N. Muir. The 36th U.S. Army Jazz Band from Ft. Huachuca, Ariz. added to the lively spirit, and the NAU Army and Air Force ROTC Color Guard rounded off the festivities with a formal Posting and Retiring of the Colors.

Before the medal ceremony, we asked our guests to jot down their service records on index cards. Their brief notes, below, provide a powerful reminder of service and sacrifice.

Sculptor James N. Muir introduces "Band of Brothers."

Larry Bahill, '69
Cdr USN, 11 years enlisted, 24 years officer, 33 years reserve, two years active duty.

Sam Borozan, '57, '61, '67
USMC T Sgt 1947-'52 discharged Nov. 10th, 1952. Sports official 57 years, instructor in the NAU Health Science department.

Sam Borozan, Col. Vargas

Ester Britton, '53, '55
Served in England, France and Germany during WWII. Was stationed in London during buzz bombs, WWII; also served in France and Germany. She served under Dwight Eisenhower the entire time. Resident of Phoenix, Ariz.

Ronald Britton, '68
AF (retired).

Arzina Brown, '09
Sgt USMC, served from July 1998-November '05, served in OIF II from 8/04 thru 3/05.

Daniel Brown
Sgt USMC 2001-'06, Marine Security Guard Battalion, elementary education major.

Arthur K. Carlson, '06 HON
US Naval Reserve V7, 1943-'46 Lt active, Commanding Officer, US SC 1372, 1947-'55 inactive.

Art Carlson, Maj. Gen. Hernandez

Todd Carlson
Capt. Hopefully a future NAU alum and currently serving at NAU, teaching Air Force ROTC for the next generation of NAU veteran alumni.

Evelyn Carswell-Bing, '53, '63

Ester Britton, RA Braun, Evelyn Carswell-Bing

Speed Castillo, '58, '60
Native of Flagstaff, Korean veteran 1951-'55, Strategic Air Command, teacher, counselor, principal, basketball and football referee 47 years.

John Clark, '77, '81
Army Specialist 4th Class, 1st Cavalry Division, 7th Battalion in Vietnam.

Emcee John Clark keeps the troops in step.
Marcia Clark, '70, (with Maj. Gen. Hernandez) received a special citation from her family.

Roberta Eldredge Dawson, '63, '67
USN 1953-'55, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class.

Sam Elliott, '99, '01
Lt Col 1991-present.

Harold Elliott, '49, '51
Pleased to represent the Navy V12 program, stationed at NAU (then ASTC) in 1943 along with a contingent of marines. Saved the college from having to close because of so few students. Many of these Leaders of Tomorrow military men returned to NAU to finish college degrees and enter professions.

Harold Elliott, Col. Vargas

Lee Ferguson, '67
USAF, SSgt, Medic served 1967-'73.

Bobby Fields, '96
Was commissioned in the US Army Military Intelligence Corps. Bobby served from 1996-2005 and served in Korea, Germany, Bosnia and Iraq. Bobby continues to serve his fellow combat veterans throughout Arizona with the Mobile Vet Center.

Nolverto Steve Gardea, Jr., '06
USMC (retired) 1974-2005, Marine Corps League, evacuation of Vietnam, Beirut, Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Iraqi Freedom.

Richard Gomez
Cdr USN (retired), Flagstaff native, US Naval Academy class of 886

Martin Goslar, '74
US Army LTC (retired) 1968-'93, Vietnam - Infantry Sr. Advisor, Operation Desert Storm- Pentagon.

Andrew Griffin, '07
Lt Col (retired), NAU Army ROTC, veteran of Somalia and Bosnia. Proud to serve -- thank you, NAU and Flagstaff for today.

Virgil Hengl, '64
US Navy, Pearl Harbor survivor, USS Tennessee.

Virgil Hengl, RA Braun, Maj. Gen. Hernandez

Ami Hollis, '98
Active reserves USAF 1985-'87, active duty 1988-'94, Desert Storm Arabic linguist.

Kathleen Jones
USAF 1979-'83, asst. NCO club manager, Barksdale AFB, Los Angeles.

Mike Jones, attended
1972-'94 USAF, Father of Cpl Mike Jones, USMC, Sgt Will Jones, USA, SSgt Holly Jones, USAF.

Nina Kenmore, '87
LCdr (retired), USN 1989-2005, Information Protection, Information Warfare. Force Protection - Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Kosovo, Gulf War, Global War of Terror.

Frank Knaack, '78
Lt Col (retired) USAF 1952-'73, B-52 pilot, started in Korea, finished in Vietnam. Thank you NAU for your support.

Les Kodlick, '84
Col USAF Director of Public Affairs, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Marlene Kotchou
For husband Peter V. Kotchou, '61, deceased. US Army, Germany, TDY -- baseball and football.

Roy A Kritz, '60
1952-'56 USAF Korea vet, ready to reenlist and help Army win some football!

Marnie Madden, '89, '01
Capt USAF served 1989-'96, Foreign Policy development 2009 for US Pacific command.

Conrad Mallek, '73
Col (retired) USMCR 28 years 1975-2003, NAU wrestling 1969-'73, home: Yuma, Ariz.

George B McGrady, '59
US Navy 1951-'55, Storekeeper 2nd Class, USS Curtiss AV-4 -- tested the hydrogen bomb fall 1952, USS Radford DDE-446, Korea and China Service Medals.

Bob Meador, '69
Capt USMC 1969-'75, attack helicopter pilot Vietnam 1970-71.

Dr. Abdul Muhammad, '69, '70
was 1LT with 1st Infantry Vietnam 1967-'68. He is the father of nine and grandfather of 18; resides in Laveen, Ariz.

Frank Morales
US Army, 24th Truck Co. 7th Army, Bamberg, Germany 1954-'56.

Larry Mullins, '79
USMC, Vietnam 1968-'70.

Donald Murray, '61, '04 HON
US Army 1960-'61, 5th Infantry.

Don Murray, Col. Vargas, RA Braun

Dennis Neilson, '66
US Army Spec 5 1966-'68, NCOIC Officer, student battalion, medical field service school.

Dick Nothstein, '69, '63
Co-Chair of the Alumni Board Veterans Recognition Committee. Longtime friend of Major General Hernandez (see photo).

Dick Nothstein, Maj. Gen. Hernandez

Rudy D. Paredes, '64
US Army Sgt 1958-'59, Army of Occupation - West Berlin, Germany.

Michael Pavlich
CW2, G-6 CAV, representing Master Chief Warrant John R. Pavlich, '72, '82 -- served during Vietnam in Shimea, AK and Iraq, and currently with Military Intelligence Readiness Command 35 years. Lt John R. Pavlich served with AZ National Guard "Bushmasters" WWII in the Pacific theater.

Chuck Pilon, '59, '66
Korean War veteran, USAF SSgt. NAU alumni past president.

Chuck Pilon, Col. Vargas

Bob Reyes
USN 1964-'71, Yeoman 2nd Class.

Joseph C. Rolle, '41, '79
Lt US Army, 892nd Ordnance, South Pacific.

RA Braun, Col. Vargas, Joseph Rolle

Vivian Madsen Ryan, '84
Counterintelligence specialist, USAF Special Agent 1984-'99, Chapman University MS criminology '94. Married Lt Donald Ryan, '81 in June 1984, four daughters, one NAU graduate Lt Laura Ryan, '09, stationed at Keesler AFB, Miss. Two other daughters at NAU, husband served as USAF helicopter pilot 1981-'93.

Jim M. Schroeter, '80
US Army Artillery Surveyor Specialist 5th Class. Spent most of the service in Germany, 3rd Squadron 11th Armored Cavalry. Came to NAU for forestry 1970, changed majors, went into the service, then came back to NAU for engineering technology. Became registered civil engineer and licensed land surveyor in California. NAU was and is still a great place to go to college.

Betty Seely, '74
Service component US Army; Branch - Adjutant General (AG), Gulf War vet, rank - Maj (retired) - 20 years (1976-'96). Currently employed by the Joint Interoperability Test Command, Ft. Huachuca, Ariz.

Nancy Waves, '53, '55
LT, communication officer.

Donald E Williams, '55, '75
Major (retired) USMC 26 years active service. NAU football 1953-'55, one combat tour Korea, three combat tours Vietnam, CO of Marines aboard the USS Ticonderoga, CVA14 attack aircraft carrier. Best unit - 1st Force Recon Co., Camp Pendleton, Calif.; special training Airborne - Scopa - UDT - Army Special Forces, National Security School.

Jan Zabel
Hospital Corpsman 3rd class, 1953-'55 Corona, Calif. hospital, PHT (Putting Hubby Through) from Whittier College.

Russell Zabel
Hospital Corpsman, 3rd Class 1953-'55. Graduated from Whittier College '58 BS in chemistry.

Colors were presented by NAU Army and Air Force ROTC.

Engaging You in the Life of NAU.