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Current News

2016 GMSAA Reunion Online Registration Open

HEY all of you GMS Alumni! Ready for the 2016 Reunion?

Registration is open on the 2016 Online Registration Form!

Hope to see you soon!

Update from Jim Klosterman

Today the Record arrived and scarcely do I find a recognized name, save the obituaries. In September 1945 I arrived, 14 years young. Graduated 1948, returning September 1949 and finished as C Company commander in 1951. A boy came - a man left...thanks Colonel Joe! Now nearing 86, residing in Arkansas after 84 years a Buckeye. Anyone still out there? Let's have a "mini-reunion"!

Would enjoy hearing from you: Mink.

Current News Second Annual Spring Get Together to be held at Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix, AZ. June 8-12, 2016


Join GMSAA this June 8-12, 2016 at the Arizona Biltmore for the 2nd Annual Summer Get Away. Contact Terry Byrnes for more info:


The room rate would be $223.42 inclusive of tax, service charges and resort fee. (Resort base rate is $179.00 per night)

The airport transfers, via taxi would be $50 roundtrip. We are 7 mi / 15 min from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

Day: Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Date: 6/8/16 6/9/16 6/10/16 6/11/16 6/12/16

Sleeping room rates as noted in the “Room Block” above are net, non-commissionable and are quoted exclusive of applicable state and local taxes, fees and assessments.

Check-in time is 4:00 pm; check-out time is 12:00 pm. Early check-in & late check-out are subject to availability and our approval. There will be a $20.00 additional per adult charge per night, above double occupancy. Guests arriving before or departing after the above dates will be confirmed on a space available basis

Sleeping room rates as noted in the “Room Block” are quoted net, non-commissionable.

Room and tax will be paid by individuals.

Taxes: You agree to pay any and all applicable federal, state, municipal or other taxes, fees, or assessments imposed on or applicable to your Event. In the State of Arizona, currently the sales tax rate is 8.3%, and the hotel occupancy tax rate is 12.27%.


Arrival Night Cocktail/Hors d’oeuvres Reception: Wed, 6/8/16, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Cost per person TBD.

Saturday Night PM, Dinner in Frank & Alberts Restaurant Dining Room

Other available activities: Golf, Hiking, Shopping, Hot Air Ballooning, Glider Flying, etc.


The Resort Charge is reduced to $14.00 per room per night and offers:  Guestroom high-speed Internet access. Unlimited local telephone calls, Long-distance access fees -- no charge for credit card, toll free & collect calls, Biltmore Spa & Fitness Center admittance  Biltmore Fashion Park shuttle  Unlimited use of the putting course

Service charges will be posted to the Individual Guest Room Portfolio. These charges are subject to change without notice. Currently the fees are as follows:

Porterage: $12.00 per person (includes both check-in and check-out). Room Attendant: $ 3.00 per room, per day.


To make your reservation, call Erika Goldbrandsen, your Group Reservations Coordinator at (800) 950-0086 to reserve your room. Reservations can also be made via our website at Please enter the code GMS under the Group/Convention Code section of our reservations screen. It is helpful to mention this code to the reservation agent, as well, if calling your reservations in. All rooms must be guaranteed by a credit card and one night’s deposit, which is fully refundable up to 3 days prior to arrival, after which it is non-refundable.

GMSAA Facebook Group, Fr. Mike Kallock's Sermon of October 18, plus other new items


See our newly posted 2015 Reunion Photos.


Ask to join our brand new and official Greenbrier Military School Alumni Association Facebook Group.

This group has been created as requested by the GMSAA Board of Directors, October 16, 2015.
The purpose of this group is to network, communicate, share photos and stories, post news and promote activities that pertain to the Greenbrier Military School Alumni Association, its activities and its family of cadets, as another added resource to help us stay in touch. Please keep our group positive, kind in spirit and with respect to all, politically impartial. Posts not adhering to these simple guidelines will be deleted and if ongoing the poster will be banned.
{No spam or advertising obviously.}

Father Michael Kallock Sermon of October 2015

Fr. Kallock, GMS '63, delivered a thought provoking sermon on what it means to serve. His sermon was the final event of the 2015 Reunion Weekend and has been posted on the GMSAA Facebook Group.

PASSING IN REVIEW ARTICLE on Col. Robert J. Fullerton

See Deak Roberts' new Passing In Review article in honor of Col. Robert J. Fullerton. One of the finest articles he has posted. Amazing life he had.


I posted some of my photographs of the recent 2015 reunion on the GMSAA website. They are located at,

Also the 2014 reunion photos taken by official GMSAA photo guy are now up online.

Regarding the 'Official' Facebook page, I like 2 people to act as co-administrators who will also have access. Contact me if you want this honorable honor. I also recommend that this (Facebook) gets passed on to others as we progress with it.

If anyone else has photos of this recent reunion, please send them to me at my email address, not through the submit button on GMSAA.ORG. Just email them to me, my email address is found in the cadet database.

If I have posted a photo that you think should not be up, please let me know and I will remove it.


As Posted in Fall 2014 Alumni Record

President’s Message

Greetings to my fellow alumni as well as the many family and friends who read this Alumni Record. The officers and directors of your Association have been in active communication this past winter and spring as we anticipate our upcoming reunion and the issues of interest and priority to be discussed and decided at the Board Meeting and the General Meeting. Foremost in our Board discussions will be decisions to find a path to ensure that our signature legacy GLI leadership programs live on after our Association is no longer in existence. We are also working on marketing improved awareness and knowledge about our wonderful museum to the general public.

Elsewhere in this issue you will read the fascinating story about our two cannons. A special thank you to Tony Sadler for his part in researching the history of these guns. We hope to have plaques on each of the cannons to tell their story in time for the upcoming reunion.

It is not something we want to dwell on, but we need to remind ourselves that in just eight years we will be presenting 50 Year Pins to our last graduating class. The positive side of that is an ever increasing percentage of our alumni are now retired and have the available time to come back to Lewisburg each October. So, fill out that reunion form you just received and make your reservations. Plan now to join your fellow alumni as we all gather to re-connect, remember and reminisce in Lewisburg, October 16 – 19, 2014.

Greenbrier Forever,
Bill Isbister

2014 GMSAA Reunion Online Registration Open

Is everybody ready for the 2014 Reunion?

Registration is now open on the 2014 Online Registration Form!

Alternatively, feel free to use our Mail-In Registration Form PDF.

Hope to see you soon!

Passing In Review Article for Richard Cedric Barker


One of the most talented individuals to ever come out of Greenbrier Military School, Dick Barker commanded Company “A” during his senior year of 1955. He started his career as a musician at GMS playing the guitar and singing Western songs. He would later impact on the career of the great singer/songwriter Judy Collins. They met at Colorado State and he taught her how to play the guitar. Dick pioneered rafting on the Snake River and created the famous “Hootenanny”, his musical legacy, at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Follow the link below to see the newest “PASSING IN REVIEW" article written by Deak Roberts. You will enjoy reading about Dick, a true Legend in his own time.

Class of 1969 45th Year Class Reunion

Bob Boles called me a while ago and asked if I would write a little something about why one should come back to Lewisburg for a reunion. This October is the class of 1969’s 45th anniversary of our graduation from GMS. My original intent was to compare leaving GMS after 3 years to my retirement this past May from Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM), where I taught for 28 years.

But it is really impossible to compare the two, GMS and MSUM. Though I have successfully enjoyed my time here, it pales against the 3 years spent in Lewisburg. I have made strong connections with MSUM and Fargo-Moorhead over these years, but none will hold the bonds made 45 years ago with you guys, the school and community. So why go back to this 45th reunion?

In 2008 Angelo Damante and I had a brief email exchange after Dave Ritchie received the GMS Hall of Fame Award. Angelo made a telephone appearance during Captain Ritchie’s presentation and I wanted to let him know how much it meant to everyone in the audience.

I wrote, “Angelo, you hit it spot on in addressing what all those men had done for us during our stay in Lewisburg, even those moments when we couldn't stand being there. Just think of the enormous responsibility they assumed while being our teachers, our leaders and our guides through those years! Responsibility we, as cadets, were too young and immature to recognize.”

Angelo wrote back: “The years go by so fast, and we tend to forget so much, due to the fact that we are tending to our daily existence…”

He spoke of the faculty members at GMS and of what … “many of us went through, but maybe didn’t appreciate at the time. ... I really attribute any success that I have had in this life to the years at the Brier. They truly made me who I am…” I feel sincerely lucky that I (and my son Greg who resides in DC) were in the audience that day to hear Angelo’s call and watch Dave Ritchie receive his award.

To mirror Angelo: What we did there at GMS molded us into who we are today and in many ways our success.

About 8 years after our graduation in 1969, I made it back to Lewisburg while on a ski trip to Snowshoe. After that I attended another reunion probably around 1994. And I think that was it … until 2008. Since then, I have been back at every reunion that I could attend. I have rekindled friendships and I have made new ones. I have connected with faculty members who actually remembered me, and some that look at me in puzzlement. Maybe they were looking at me with the same look that long time ago.

GMS Alums such as Bob Boles (’70), Jim Dodway (’69), Jim Downer (’71), Chuck ‘Bruce’ Hartman (’70), Dan Pennington (‘69), Tony Sadler (’70), Sam Sardis (’70), Pat Smith (’68), Butch Wingo (’70) and faculty such as Herb Pearis (’56) all have been instrumental on my returning time and again to Lewisburg each Fall, some years more than that. And many of us have taken an active role in the GMSAA organization, trying to keep GMS alive in some small but important way.

So, why this attachment after 45 years?

Though closed in 1972, GMS lives on physically in the front yard and the main structure of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. A drive past the mess hall and D stoop will bring back a host of memories. And while the dorms and auditorium are not so recognizable, one stroll down the main or the upper hallways or through the Tower will bring a on a flood of recollections.

If you still have your yearbook, take some time and flip through it. There is a heading on page 5 of the 1969 “Brier Patch” that reads, “It is a Spirit That Frees Us and Enables Us To Believe in the Future, To Live with Zest—The Free Spirit”. Truly this is a statement describing our generation. The Free Spirit: free to learn, to accomplish, to compete, to get together, and to make friends. That is who we were then and are now.

So, where are all those guys in that yearbook we had so much in common with? We were and are in such a small club, that it is a shame we have not stayed in closer contact. Where are you Raymundo Rodriguez, Ed Dillabaugh, Pete Zuhars, Roy Taylor, Ralph Gallo, Lacinio Pichardo and Quentin Bullock?

Think about the bonding we went through. What our daily regiment meant to us: reveille, retreat and taps that ruled our day; eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with 300 of your closest friends; daily bathroom routines that other’s not in our boots would ever understand. Think of the close camaraderie amongst all of us no matter what our age, social strata or school rank. One would never see that outside the walls of an institution such as ours. Remember the Final Dress Parade and Silent Drill?

When I think of GMS, I think mainly of good friends and good times we had together. GMS football with fall colors and smells that will never be matched anywhere else; cold walks to the basketball games and snows that coated our campus in a winter splendor. The rebirth of the hills each spring is something I miss even today and will always cherish. Yet, we all experienced some tough times and major homesickness, being away from home, family and friends, maybe away from your girl. But we made it through.

October will quickly be upon us. So come back to Lewisburg this fall October 16-19 and maybe find out what happened to your roommates and friends, see what GMS has evolved into, chat with some of the faculty members and coaches. Come and share some good food and stories. And OH YES, those stories get longer, bigger and better every year!

Hey, Pennington remember when Dodway….


A memorial service for Samuel Stanley Combs, Cadet Major 1956, will be held on Saturday, May 17th, 2014 at the Calvary Methodist Church in Richlands, WV. Richlands is located outside of Lewisburg, rt. 60 west. The service will commence at 11 AM with Stan’s ashes buried in the church cemetery. Following the service a reception will be held in Church basement. Stan’s children will be here for the service and to meet as many of their fathers remaining friends as possible.

Please assist in helping get the word out to any and all that might have an interest in the service. I am concerned those members of the band in ’53, ’54 & 57 be notified. Please as you can.

The service is in keeping with Stan’s wishes.