This has nothing to do with travel.

Last week I joined my former classmates from the 1962 University of Idaho Naval Reserve Officer Training Program for a brief reunion. Of the 22 who graduated from the program and were commissioned, 16 attended the reunion. One classmate who joined us became a Marine and in Vietnam was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with “V,” and a Purple Heart with Gold Star. Sad to say, two of our 22 have died.

The purpose of the gathering was to celebrate the 50 years since our graduation and commissioning, but also to honor our former Naval Science instructor and mentor, Navy Captain Donald S. Campbell, an extraordinary leader and one hell of a human being. We, his former students, have created a small scholarship that each year is awarded to the University of Idaho NROTC student who best exemplifies Capt. Campbell's leadership qualities. This year, with Don's wife, Phyllis Campbell, and his children Brad, Casey and Kim, we returned to the University for the presentation of this year's award.

University of Idaho NROTC

The 16 who assembled last week are an extraordinary group of war heroes, submarine commanders, engineers, pilots, teachers, entrepreneurs, and all around good guys. Some made the Navy a career while a few, like me, resigned their commission after the required four years active duty. The Navy paid our way through school, sent us off on cruises during college summers, and then asked us to serve for four years. For every single one of us it was a terrific deal and we are all more grateful than you can imagine. However, if you will read some of the biographical sketches in the 14-page attachment I think you will agree that not only did we 22 get a good deal but the taxpayers did too. It's a pretty amazing record of accomplishment and service and, I must say, interesting reading.

These days, among significant segments of the population, our military is no longer held in high regard. As someone who benefited so much from the military experience, both while in school and on active duty, I find that disappointing. Last week the 16 of us were tremendously impressed by the character and dedication of the current crop of NROTC students at the University of Idaho. Our only regret is that the scholarship award could not have been greater, because this year's winner is a standout student and will serve the country well. If you feel as I do about young men and women in the military, perhaps you'd like to contribute to the Don Campbell Scholarship fund. If you are interested please drop me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. — Bob Bestor, CEO,

Read the bios.