O’Rourke, RJ (RJOR), 4th Platoon

O’Rourke, RJ (RJOR), 4th Platoon

174 Blue Spruce Lane
Ridgway, Colorado
(970) 626-5831
Wife: Joan
Sons: LtCol Patrick O’Rourke USAF Pararescue – Multiple combat tours Iraq/Afghanistan; Maj. Eamonn O’Rourke AZANG F-16 Instructor Pilot – Iraq 2006 BIO:
• 2007 – Present: Colorado Outward Bound School: Mountaineering and backpacking instructor
• 2013 – Present: Lt.Col. Colorado Civil Air Patrol: Search and Rescue Mission Pilot, Aerospace Education Officer
• 2003 – 2013: Aerospace industry consultant
• 1982 – 2003: Aerospace industry executive – Hughes Aircraft, Raytheon, L-3; California, Germany, Virginia, Texas
• 1980 – 1984: Reserve Officer, USMC – LtCol.
• 1967 – 1980: U.S. Marine Corps Officer

EDUCATION: • MBA, Harvard Business School 1980-1982 • MA, International Relations, Boston University 1971-1973 • George Olmsted Fellow, University of Heidelberg, Germany 1971-1973 • BS, U.S. Naval Academy 1963-1967

• Infantry Officer U.S. Marine Corps: Rifle platoon leader Republic of Viet Nam 1968, 1st Marine Division – Hue/Phu Bai; Gonoi Island, An Hoa Basin
• Pilot U.S. Marine Corps: A-4 Skyhawk, Top Gun, Weapons and Tactics Instructor, NATO Air Ops Staff Officer, Maintenance Officer, Safety Officer, Logistics Officer, NATOPS Officer, Instructor Pilot 1970-1982 – Arizona, Japan, Philippines, Norway, Massachusetts

Paccassi, Jerry (JGP II), 4th Platoon

Paccassi, Jerry (JGP II), 4th Platoon

Patty and I have enjoyed married life together for 46 years. We have two children, Wendy and David, and ten grandkids. We reside in Brewster, MA from late spring to early fall; Henrico, VA in late fall and early spring; and Burbank, CA in winter. I am currently working as a management consultant for CSC, a worldwide information technology company.

After graduating from TBS, I went to flight school and was designated a naval aviator in 1969. I flew the F—4 for a few years at Cherry Point, Beaufort, and Iwakuni. I then served a tour at MCTSSA in Santa Ana and Camp Pendleton testing the TPQ-27, a radar bombing system.

I graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1978 with a master’s degree in Computer Science. Following school, I served as the operations officer at the RASC, Okinawa; the director of the ASC, Quantico; and at HQMC in CCI.

I graduated from the Naval War College in 1986, followed by a tour at the U. S. Space Command, J3 operation plans. I then served as the director of the RASC, Camp Pendleton; the AC/S Manpower, MCB Camp Pendleton; and the director of the MCCDPA, Albany, GA. I retired in 1992.

After retirement I worked for several information technology companies in the Washington, DC area.

Packard, Bob (RAP Jr), 4th Platoon

Packard, Bob (RAP Jr), 4th Platoon

Like the rest of our class, after TBS and MOS training, I went immediately to Vietnam, arriving in April 1968. My unit was the 3rd Engineer Battalion in Quang Tri, northern I Corps area. We actually had a surplus of junior officers, and I initially found myself assigned as an assistant platoon leader. But our combat engineers supported infantry battalions, and I was out in the field clearing LZs and doing a variety of demolitions work, free from most of the close supervision 2nd lieutenants might expect. This was not to last long, though, and when MajGen Davis asked for volunteers to take the place of infantry officers lost in the spring of 1968, I knew I was an obvious candidate. So for the summer of ‘68 I commanded a rifle platoon in “F” 2/9. This was unplanned, but because of our “every Marine a rifleman” ethic, not really unanticipated. Although I was back in 3rd Engineers by October, when I look back on my first Vietnam tour, I think first of that grunt platoon.

PACKARD- Bob with Indy - a House-Sitting Charge

PACKARD- Bob with Indy – a House-Sitting Charge

Returning stateside in the spring of 1969, I was assigned to Marine Barracks, 8th and I in Washington, DC. It was a great assignment, including security duty at Camp David, working as a White House social aide, and serving alongside some really great Marines. In the course of this time my personal goals shifted and I realized how much I enjoyed leading young Marines and helping them progress. These men gave me a sense of pride that I knew I could not expect in civilian life, and I decided to be a career Marine and change my MOS to the infantry. I never regretted either decision.

PACKARD- Relaxing Enroute New Zealand

PACKARD- Relaxing Enroute New Zealand

A list of posts and stations doesn’t seem like very good biography, but it’s hard to summarize a military career without one. My service included two tours in Vietnam (the second one with the Vietnamese Marines – ironically back in Quang Tri); three tours in Washington, DC; two tours in the 1st Mar Div, staff duty in Korea; MOI duty at Cornell; and the Special Education Program (SEP) Monterey. This included leadership at platoon, company, and battalion levels, a Masters Degree, and a non-stop series of different environments and challenges. It was a varied military career; it tested my ability to adapt and kept things interesting. SEP at Monterey was more pivotal than I realized, as payback tours duty at HQMC became a large portion of my career: interesting but not always satisfying.

Without a doubt the best experience I had was the opportunity to command 3/5 at Camp Pendleton and Okinawa: challenging, exciting, and very memorable. After that tour I found it hard to be enthusiastic about subsequent assignments and likely opportunities, so in early 1989 I made the move to civilian life.

After the Marines, I shifted back to the engineering path of years earlier. My experience with computers in college, at Monterey, and at HQMC, helped me establish a second career with a defense contractor, supporting aircraft programs, including the Army’s LHX Comanche helicopter and the F-35 Lightning II jet fighter. Fortunately, my modest technical skills, combined with USMC staff and leadership experience had prepared me for a relatively smooth transition. I continued to find leadership opportunities and chances to learn about people, as well as the technical parts of the business. Work took me and my family to St. Louis, Huntsville, and San Diego as a part of the Northrop Grumman Corporation.

PACKARD- With the Family at Newport Beach

PACKARD- With the Family at Newport Beach

I married in 1971, just before departing the Marine Barracks in Washington, and have two grown children in Southern California, as well as three grandchildren. We subsequently divorced, and I met my present wife, Karyn, seven years ago. Karyn is a wonderful lady who has had a positive impact on many lives – most of all, mine. She has been and is now a tremendous help to me, and we share everything. Karyn and I put our new marriage to the test, living in very close circumstances for the last four years. We each retired in Long Beach, California in May 2011 and moved aboard our 45-foot ocean-going sloop, Realtime. That November, after some two years of learning, outfitting, and practicing, we sailed south to Mexico where we explored Mexico’s west coast and the Sea of Cortez for two seasons. Then in the spring of 2013, we sailed across the South Pacific, visiting all the “south seas” island groups and arriving in Opua, New Zealand in November. The crossing was a lifetime highlight, successful by any measure, but Karyn and I both realized that we were taking a lot of risks and that going further would be pushing our luck. We put Realtime up for sale.

Since coming off the boat, Karyn and I have continued traveling though, by house-sitting in New Zealand, Australia, the U.S., and England. We now take care of other people’s homes and pets while we see these far-away places in a way that more conventional city-hopping does not allow.

PACKARD- Karyn & Bob on, Huahine, French Polynesia

PACKARD- Karyn & Bob on, Huahine, French Polynesia

After a year and a half of house-sitting, we’ve recently completed our 17th engagement. Now we’re thinking hard about finding more stability and living a little closer to our children. We’re grateful to be able to attend this reunion, and I look forward to renewing acquaintances with classmates and introducing Karyn to some special friends for whom I have high regard.

This reunion has caused me to look back and assess some things in my life. Here are a couple of things that are important to me:

First – TBS. It worked. Despite my unexpected role as a grunt, I found myself well prepared when the truth hit me in Vietnam. I know I made mistakes, and I know I could have done better, but I had the skills I needed to lead young men who were open to leadership and showed it by doing whatever I told them to do.

Second – The Vietnam War. It really defines our class. I had few misgivings with national policy then, and I maintained this view through my second tour. When South Vietnam collapsed in 1975 I decried our nation’s failure to step in. Since then, I’ve been saddened over time as I learned of the political nature many decisions to fight that war. I feel no personal guilt for the part I played, but I certainly have a more skeptical view of the soundness of our country’s actions, in Vietnam and in subsequent conflicts.

Third – Money in Politics. Congress is paralyzed from making changes that the people want: tax code, health care, schools, ethanol, and all the rest. Nothing gets done, and nothing improves. I think the root cause is the amount of money in politics. Sadly, Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution severely limit campaign finance reform by telling us that money is a form of free speech and that corporations enjoy the rights the 1st Amendment gave to people. Legislators can’t reform anything without jeopardizing donations they need to get reelected – never mind the ridiculous share of their time they must devote to asking for money. Without changes, this trend will worsen, making our democracy a laughing stock. Therefore, I now strongly support movements to correct these misguided Constitutional interpretations.

Parker, Paul (PDP II), 4th Platoon

Parker, Paul (PDP II), 4th Platoon

I am an NROTC graduate of the University of Texas and the son of a Marine Corps aviator. After TBS I went to Pensacola, graduating in March ‘69 as a helicopter pilot and getting married in April. Out of Pensacola, I went to New River, joining HMM-264 for 2 months, then down to Vieques P.R. to HMM-365 as a member of the Caribbean Ready Group aboard the USS Guam. We returned to New River in August and I left New River for HMM-164 which was located in Marble Mountain, RVN when I got there. In September ‘69, the squadron was withdrawn and floated as part of the Special Landing Force aboard the USS New Orleans. I left the squadron in December ‘69 when I went back in country with HMM-263 located at Marble Mountain.

I left RVN in August ’69 and went to Monterrey, CA for Aviation Safety Officer training and was assigned to MCAS Quantico. In September 1972, I got orders to jet transition to fly A-6’s. I Flew A6’s with VMA(AW) 121. I had an overseas tour with VMA(AW)-533 in Japan and the Philippines. I returned to MCAS Cherry Point in November 1975 where I was assigned to H&MS-14, flew A-6’s and TA-4’s and worked various MAG-14 Group jobs until February 1979 when I reported to the Marine Corps Development Center, Quantico. I did 2 tours there (7 years), separated by another overseas tour in A-6’s and TA-4’s with MAG-12 in Iwakuni Japan. I retired from Quantico in June 1987.

Since getting out of the Marine Corps, I have worked with a series of defense contractor companies supporting the Marine Corps at Quantico and Naval Air Systems Command. During part of that time I was a director of Applied Ordnance Technology a small business that was acquired by SAIC. I am still working full-time with SAIC, doing system safety engineering work for the Product Manager, Reconnaissance and Amphibious Raids. I expect to retire in July 2016.

Most of my time was spent on the east coast, Pensacola FL, New River NC, Cherry Point NC, and Quantico VA. I stayed in Quantico after retirement from the Marine Corps until May 2014 when I moved with my wife to Rolesville, NC, just outside of Raleigh and Wake Forest. I have one daughter who is married and also lives in Rolesville.

Jul 67 – Nov 67: TBS

Nov 67 – Mar 69: Naval Flight School

Mar 69 – June 69: HMM-264

Jun 69 – Aug 69: HMM-365

Aug 69 – Dec 69 HMM-164 (RVN)

Dec 69 – Aug 70: HMM-263(RVN)

Aug 70 – Aug 72: MCAS Quantico VA

Aug 72 – Dec 72: Jet Transition

Dec 72 – Aug 75: VMA(AW)-121

Aug 75 – Mar 76: VMA(AW)-533

MAR 76 – Dec 76: MABS-14

Dec 76 – Mar 78: VMAT(AW)-202

Mar 78 – Feb 79: H&MS-14

Feb 79 – Jun 82: Marine Corps Development Center

Jun 82 – Jun 83: H&MS-12

Jun 83 – Jun 87: Marine Corps Development Center

Jun 1987 – Retired

Pearson, Thomas Rickard Jr. (Tom), 4th Platoon

Pearson, Thomas Rickard Jr. (Tom), 4th Platoon

20 June 1945 – 23 January 1968
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA 92166

Thomas Rickard Pearson, Jr. was born 20 June 1945 in Vallejo, CA to Navy Commander Thomas Rickard Pearson, Sr. and Maryanne Louise Kuebelbeck. Tom’s father was a 26 year career Naval Officer who served in WWII, the Korean Conflict, and Vietnam from 1943 to 1968. Tom, the oldest, was followed by James Anthony – 1946, Edward Francis – 1952 and Mary – 1966. James became a Naval Officer in 1969. Tom attended Purdue on an NROTC scholarship, and was an English major.

Pearson, Tomas RickardSecond Lieutenant Thomas Rickard Pearson Jr died on 23 January 1968 at the age of 22 due to a mortar, rocket, or artillery incident at Quang Tri Province in South Vietnam. Second Lieutenant Thomas R. Pearson is honored on the Vietnam Memorial Wall at Panel 35E, Line 17.

Tom was buried at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, as are both of his parents. All three are listed at the same plot site – Section PS-5  Site 151.

USMC Resume:
The Basic School Class 1-68 Alpha Company, 4th Platoon, Jun-Nov 1967
Vietnam: 3RD PLT, H CO, 2ND BN, 9TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV, III MAF, Jan 1968

Pearson Sr.Personal Reflections about Tom Pearson:
From Rich Metli as relayed to Bob Newlin, 16 April 2015: I do remember very vividly that Tom was on the fence about switching to the Marines because of his father, brother and maybe a grandparent were or had been in the Navy. [On a Purdue NROTC short trip to some Navy base] I have a  very clear memory of Tom’s dissatisfaction with the lack of discipline in the Navy when a Lt. Jg. was taking a group of us around a ship for some forgotten reason and brought us over to a PO 3rd Class who was sitting on a pipe stand smoking a cigarette.  The Lt. Jg., a nebbish sort, was giving the PO instructions of what to do with us as the PO looked annoyed, remained seated and blew the smoke out his mouth.  Tom lost his usual friendly composure and shouted at the PO to get on his feet when an officer spoke to him and put that God dammed cigarette out. I don’t think anyone ever spoke to the PO that way before, he shot to his feet and dropped the cigarette.   Sometime afterwards Tom was lamenting the lack of real discipline and made his decision (to go Marine Corps).

I knew him better at TBS.  As you know he was one of the nicest guys in the platoon, save Newlin.   As good looking as he was good natured, courteous and polite (Tom not Bob). The girls loved him (Tom not Bob).  So he was good to hang out with in case there were any “hanger-ons”.

From Steve Freiherr, 16 April 2015: Rich nailed it on Tom. No comment on his clothes – at least his uniform was squared away for drills and classes!

Seriously, I recall that besides the discipline issues w/his Navy cruise, the leadership displayed by the Marine NROTC staff, the comradery among the staff and the Marine Options, opportunity to be a platoon commander, and Marine Corps leadership opportunities all contributed to Tom’s decision to go Marine Option. His father was supportive of his decision, but he caught lots of grief from his younger brothers, especially James who I think went by “Drew.” I do recall he worked very hard to graduate with the distinction of being his class “Anchor.”

Tom and I spent many memorable weekends in DC staying with a friend of Tom’s Dad. His wife’s sole purpose in life was to get Tom and I invites to many social events/parties and to “fix” Tom and I up with appropriate dates – daughters of senior military officers and feds. And of course, we were required to write thank-you notes before we left for Quantico. Memorable times! I can share more details of our liberty and his short time in RVN, but not for publication.