"Not for self, but for country" is the motto of the USNA Class of 1966—it exemplifies the tie that eternally binds together our Class, a graduate's branch of service, the Naval Service as a whole.
As a Class, we were forged in the crucible of the Naval Academy. After honoring our warfighting skills, we were ordered to myriad duty stations around the globe—with a majority to the Vietnam War. We were the "nuggets" flying attack and fighter aircraft over hostile territory, challenging missile batteries on a daily basis. We were the junior officers on warships—conducting gunfire support at the DMZ, rescuing downed pilots and providing the leadership core of the Vietnam Riverine and Coastal Patrol Force. Aboard attack submarines and maritime patrol aircraft, we silently stalked Soviet ships and submarines, and we served countless hours on ballistic missile submarines as a critical arm of the strategic nuclear triad. As Marines and SEALs, we took the fight to the enemy across perilous foreign jungles, mountains and deserts.
Since graduation in 1966, our Classmates were key participants in the last 23 years of the Cold War. We led Sailors and Marines from the peak of conflict in Vietnam through the first Gulf War, and in every contingency from 1966 into the 21st Century. Whether one stayed the course or
left the service, the bonds formed as a Class will never be broken. The term "Classmate" has meaning and obligation beyond words.
We dedicate these Memorial Gardens to the memory of our deceased Classmates who, through their fidelity, courage, honor and selfless service, so willingly made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the freedoms we as Americans hold sacred. They will always be in our hearts and prayers.