I read with interest “ROTC Returns to Campus” (Spring 2009), and reflected back to 1966 when I applied to and showed up at Bradley. As an out-of-stater, I was attracted to the fact that I could get an engineering degree in four years and a commission in the Air Force at the same time. Happily, that’s the way it turned out, and I learned to fly in Peoria, courtesy of the Air Force. I wasn’t alone in thinking that both Bradley and ROTC were a good thing. Our POC graduated many fine officers, and at least five of us from our little Bradley group went on to become captains with American Airlines, flying people all over the world. What were the chances? So bravo for Bradley and ROTC (although Army would have been my second choice) and the career choices you are providing.
DAVE USHER ’70
Here is a picture from the past. Attending the Bradley University Air Force ROTC Military Ball in Spring 1950 are, from left to right, Miss Jean Galen of Chicago, who was crowned Queen; her escort, Cadet CHESTER CISZEWSKI ’53; and Miss Mary Jean O’Mara of Fond du Lac, Wis., with her fiance Cadet Major ROBERT C. HOWELL ’50 from the first graduating class of U.S. Air Force officers from Bradley. A good time was had by all.
BOB HOWELL ’50
My brother JOHN L. MACDONALD ’51 graduated from Bradley as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. He was a World War II Naval veteran and in the local Naval Reserve Unit. As the Korean War had started, Bradley’s AFROTC stated that any vets could join the ROTC their last senior semester and get a commission. John did that and left for Wright Patterson Air Force Base after graduation. At the same time, his naval reserve unit was activated from East Peoria. John’s twin, WILLIAM P. MACDONALD ’49, and our other brother, David, went off to war on naval ships to Korea.
Shortly afterward, the FBI started talking to our neighbors on Lawndale Avenue in Peoria. The FBI was inquiring had anyone seen John around since the naval reserve unit was activated. The FBI then knocked on our door and informed our mother that John was a deserter, as he had not reported for duty to go to Korea in the Navy. She informed them that John was not a deserter as he was on active duty in the Air Force in Ohio.
RICHARD G. MACDONALD
Baby boomers switch gears
“Switching gears” (Spring 2009) was a great article and very timely, especially for me.
Last November, I was laid off from my job as marketing director for a group of manufacturing companies in Streator and Pontiac. I loved my job and the people, but the chnging economy and shifting priorities caused the owners to make tough changes.
Like a lot of the baby boomers, and at 64, I was not ready to retire, so I immediately looked for a similar company and marketing position in the Peoria area. With manufacturing on the downswing, these companies were simply not hiring. I even created my own marketing consulting company. I soon realized that I had to be creative and look for industries that were growing in these changing times.
Jumping ahead three months, I am now director of vocational services at Goodwill, Central Illinois District. Talk about switching careers! I recently read where 40 to 50 percent of individuals losing jobs are finding new jobs in a different career.
So here I am, with a lot of other Bradley grads, in a very interesting career and loving it. Plus I’m working in a position where I’m helping other people. What’s more important in life?
“Switching gears” will continue to be a very interesting read for many of us boomers. Keep up the good work.
BILL BONTEMPS ’70
Am I wrong or does the last issue represent a redesign of this publication? I spent more time reading the layout and stories than I can ever remember doing. Good job!
BRAD HAHN ’64
I was furious when I saw the spring issue of Hilltopics. If that picture had been inside the magazine, it would have been less offensive. Bradley should not push certain political agendas. I won’t support that position.
YVONNE MONIER ’78
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