BY JEFF McCORMICK
Hello from Quantico!
Thanks to all of you who were able to attend the first-ever National Conference in Washington DC this past July. And special thanks to those of you who were able to stay an extra day, and participate in the FBINAA Homecoming here at the National Academy. While we had demonstrations, lunch, and a few short speeches, I heard from many attendees that the highlight of the day was the opportunity to once again walk these halls, share stories, and marvel at the many positive changes taking place. A particular highlight was that each attending family linked up with a current NA Student from the 269th Session, who were in their 4th week. That student served as their guide, and link from their past attendance to the current NA experience.
The day after the event, I received a letter from Arnold Daxe, Jr, Session 91. He had been present at Homecoming, and in his letter about the event, Arnie expresses what I think are the general sentiments of the attendees better than I ever could:
“Jeff, If you are the guy that put everything together today for us old-timers, you struck a hole-in-one or a grand slam whatever your sports passion is. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I drove in this morning, but I was more than pleasantly surprised, quite impressed and really felt like I had come home to the NA from a long overdue absence. Your staff and especially the men and women who comprise the 269th session did a bang up job escorting us, answering questions, and kinda being our buddy for a day. One of the day's highlights was seeing a colleague of mine from Fairfax County PD, Major Eddie O'Carroll, section 4 who appeared to be enjoying himself and learning the tricks of the trade, as I did back in 1972 as a US Army military police captain.
Many things had changed, but, of course, many things remained the same. There was no Yellow Brick Road, no paved walkways, no TV's in the rooms, and no gate guards checking us through the East gate; however, those intrinsic values of camaraderie, citizenship, integrity, selflessness, and fidelity, the bedrock of the Academy appeared to be alive and well. Your staff has obviously done a superb job in instilling those values in the class today, as they did with me, back in 1972.
I attended the NA gathering in DC, and again, was the lone attendee from my 91st session, the 2nd session at Quantico. We were the first to have women, and the last to go without counselors. There was a bit of cain raised from time to time, but I think we policed ourselves and looked mighty proud when graduation came before Christmas and we were handed our diplomas from Acting Director, L. Patrick Gray.
In closing, thanks again for a wonderful day of memories and restoring my pride in being a graduate of the 91st session.
Arnold Daxe, Jr.
Col, USA Ret
Jeffrey S. McCormick
National Academy Unit Chief
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