Letters: Readers Write

Montanan readers weigh in. 


Nice ROTC Story

Thank you for the excellent article on the ROTC program at (UM). In an age when the military is sometimes denigrated, I deeply appreciate the positive coverage that you’ve given to this vital program, as well as the men and women who are training to serve and protect our country.

Ken Sande J.D. ’81


Air Force ROTC?

I read the article “A Century of Soldiers” in the spring 2018 issue of the Montanan with great interest. However, I was disappointed to find no reference to the Air Force ROTC Program. Yes, the University had an AFROTC for many years. I know, as I participated from 1966-70 and was commissioned in June 1970. As a result, I spent 28 years in the U.S. Air Force in one capacity or another – active duty or reserve – and retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1998. It would have been nice to have mentioned there had been such a program at UM … I don’t know when it started or exactly when it ended, although I believe it was closed out in the mid-1970s because it was not producing enough officers each year. … Again thanks for an excellent, informative article that brought back lots of memories.

Lt. Col. Larry Dobb ’70, USAF Ret.
Great Falls

More to the Story

I read with interest the recent article by Jacob Baynham on “A Century of Soldiers” in the spring 2018 issue of the Montanan. While quite detailed on the history of ROTC at (UM), it falls short in being a complete history in that it ignores and does not mention the opposition to ROTC and military training, which some regarded as having no place on a university campus. As a (UM) student from 1966 to 1972, I was deeply opposed to the United States intervention in Vietnam. As part of this anti-war movement at (UM) in the late 1960s and early ’70s, our group held demonstrations on campus, as well as prayer vigils and even occupied the ROTC building in an effort to start a dialogue with ROTC staff and students. I think your history on ROTC should have included the complete story.

Peter Steere ’70, M.A. ’72
Sells, Arizona

Oh, Emma!

I was so very pleased to read the story of [106-year-old] Emma Lommasson in the spring 2018 Montanan. I was raised in Maxville, Montana, and graduated from Drummond High School in 1964. She managed the War Orphans Educational Assistance Act of 1956, which provided financial assistance to dependents of WWII vets. As a war orphan, I qualified for this act, and I was required to visit Emma in her old “Old Main” office. Starting in the fall of 1964, I would monthly leave my Craig Hall room and visit Emma to chit-chat on how I was doing. I remember well, outside of my mother, thinking she was absolutely the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. With those black, piercing eyes and her white/blue short hair, she was intimidating to me. I know she related to me due to the fact I was from the mountain town of Maxville. Thank you, Emma, for helping me succeed at the University some 50-plus years ago.

Gordon Spunich, ’68
Spokane Valley, Washington

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