May 24, 2007

Public Invited to Participate in OMA Reunion Events at RSU on June 2

WWII-era Airplane Fly Over and Sikorsky Hawk Helicopter Scheduled

The Oklahoma Military Academy annual reunion has all of the pieces of a summer movie blockbuster: heroes, planes and a helicopter. The difference is, these public events are free, and the action these distinguished men saw was real.

The public is invited to report to the hill Saturday, June 2 and take part in morning formation, cadet memorial service and hall of fame induction. The events begin at 8:30 a.m. when the YL-37 Sikorsky helicopter lands in front of Preparatory Hall on the Rogers State University campus in Claremore.

The YL-37 Sikorsky belongs to the YL-37 Group Foundation based in Inola, Okla. and was manufactured in 1961 in Connecticut. The helicopter was flown in Vietnam from 1965 to 1968 and used by the U.S. Marines. The helicopter was fired on many times during the war and has 54 patches over its bullet holes. An educational exhibit about the UH-34D Sikorsky helicopter will accompany the aircraft.

 During the memorial ceremony held to honor the OMA graduates who died in the past year, the Tulsa War Birds Sooner Squadron will zoom up Will Rogers Boulevard and complete the missing man formation as the planes reach the campus. The World War II fighter planes will fly low to the ground in a formation which honors the alumni who passed away.

In addition, the U.S. Army 95th Division Band from Oklahoma City will perform at the event. The morning ceremony is part of two-day OMA reunion. OMA is the predecessor institution of RSU.

More than 10,000 men graduated from the OMA junior college and high school from 1919 to 1971, when the academy became Claremore Junior College. Today, the institution has evolved into RSU, a major regional university serving more than 4,000 students on campuses in Claremore, Bartlesville and Pryor.

The adjutant for this year’s reunion will be Jack Short of Bixby, Okla., an OMA graduate of 1959. The role of the adjutant, which is a military term for a staff officer who assists a commanding officer with administrative affairs, is to serve as master of the various ceremonies at the reunion.

After the memorial service, the public is invited to attend the OMA Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumni Induction Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. at Will Rogers Auditorium. The ceremony will highlight the life, work and military service of six great men. 

For more information contact Stephany Foutch, RSU alumni director, at (918) 343-7803.