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 Post subject: Bruce Winters 85
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 12:20 pm 
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Mustang!

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 6:58 am
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Winters, Bruce
U.S. Navy
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Aircraft accident
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
September 4, 1993
Munich HS/Germany'85


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 4:27 pm 
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Thinking About Getting a Life

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thanks for posting this, kim. i had no idea. i remember Bruce very well. he played trumpet in concert band. After Ken Peach left he became first chair. He practiced that horn a lot, truly earning his seat. i didn't know him as an adult, but as a kid he took responsibility seriously even though he had a quick smile.
i hope someone who knew him better will give us some idea of him as adult.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:48 pm 
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Blue Mud
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Kim - Thank you posting this thread.

Jojo - Thank you for the encouragement to say a few words about Bruce. I wanted to write something sooner, but couldn't bring myself to do so. I'll explain in a bit. Please forgive me if this post meanders from time to time -- I'm not very eloquent, and can only hope to keep up as the thoughts and memories flood in. Hopefully I can convey them in a coherent fashion. The anecdotes are many and may seem disjointed, but I want to ensure I relay them as best I can.

Like you, I remember Bruce from band. And as you said, he took responsibility seriously, and was always quick with a smile, and quick with a laugh.

I first heard of Bruce's passing several years ago from Robert Foore. I think he said he heard it from Ken Weide. I understood it was training related, but never knew the details until recently.

Although we knew each other from band, Bruce and I didn't hang out as friends in High School. We were always on good terms, and always had a friendly word with each other following our many performances. Of course, after HS we went our separate ways and didn't keep in touch.

Fast forward a couple of years to the University of Maryland at College Park. I was in my junior year and had just walked into one of my government classes. Sitting in one of the back rows, I noticed a fellow near the front looking back at me occasionally. Though he looked somewhat familiar, I couldn't quite place his face. When the instructor started calling roll and reached "Ralph Smith," the fellow's occasional glances turned into an outright stare. Of course, then followed shortly:

"Bruce Winters."

"Here."

Sure enough, there he was! Bruce seemed a little different -- he had of course matured in the intervening three years or so. We exchanged the obligatory grin and "What's up?" head nod. After class, we spent probably a couple of hours playing catch-up at the student union. Since he, too, was a Poli Sci major, we would have several classes together over the next few semesters.

Bruce and I would also later spend a great deal of time hanging out on and off campus. I remember fondly spending A LOT of time down at the 09:30 Club and Grog & Tankard when we both probably should have been studying. Winter Hours, Innocence Mission, Stray Cats, The Untouchables, Frontier Theory -- we saw a great many shows together. I visited him at his parents' home -- I think he was living in Catonsville at the time -- and we would put together the perfect mixed tape (for that week, at least) from whatever bands we were inspired by at the time. While there I couldn't help but be amused by a bizarre jury-rigged telephone system his brother David had put together. Nothing fancy, just a red light that would flash when the phone rang. Apropos of nothing, really. I just thought it was an amusing tale to share.

All throughout those couple of years on campus, Bruce would speak of earning his pilot's license. He had earned his pilot's certificate, and just needed some more hours to get the full-fledged license. I think I have that right -- it's been a few years. I think David was earning his pilot's license as well. He was always so enthusiastic, and wanted to take me on a flight from Baltimore down to Greenbelt. We tried to plan for a specific weekend, but for some reason it just never happened. I always regretted that. Contemporaneous to all of this, Bruce had been speaking to a Navy recruiter about joining up and going through OCS and becoming an aviator. I think he said there was some issue with his eyes or palette that they were hesitant about, but he kept trying nonetheless. It came to pass that one day the recruiter called him up and said that if he were still interested, they would take him immediately. At the time I think Bruce only had about a semester or so until graduation, but he left school right away to join the Navy. Such was his love of flying.

Way back when in those pre-internet days, we were actually pretty good about writing to each other. I still have several letters from him at my parents' home which he wrote from OCS. I think he was at Pensacola NAS. He loved it there, and told me he was to become a "rotor-head." He spoke of his experiences with the funny dunking contraption we all remember "An Officer And A Gentleman," and he joked about the class screw-up whom the DI made stand in a dumpster one day during drill and ceremony because he "marched like garbage" (they all called him 'Oscar'). You couldn't get away with that these days. Time passed, and as he went on to his first assignment and I went to grad school, we got more and more absorbed with our own lives. I would still write to him about the latest band I was into -- usually English -- or what concert I had seen, but by the time I moved to LA in '92, we lost touch completely. Little did I realize that only a year later, he would perish doing that which he loved so much.

Anyway, I hope this in some small way gives everyone a little insight into the man Bruce Winters became following High School. If anyone else has stories they wish to share, please do. I had wanted to write a post about him long ago, but really didn't know where to start, and didn't think anything I could say would do him justice. Learning of his death was actually quite devastating for me.

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In dentibus anticis frustum magnum spiniciae habes.

Fighting the Global War on Terror until 5 p.m. everyday.


Last edited by ralphdsmith84 on Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:53 am 
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Wind Up Merchant
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Bruce Winters '85

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:42 am 
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Thinking About Getting a Life

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ralph, that's an excellent tale of bruce winters. i feel i do sort of know him as an adult now, albeit a brief adult life. and the way you describe him makes me realize he was very much the same man as he was boy. sounds exactly like what i knew about him from hs, gently determined to get what he was after. i remember (quite vividly) that he never said much, and almost nothing at all to me, until one day i was talking to jurgen (i think) and bruce was sitting there next to us, and he busted out with a joke about the topic at hand. and it was funny. i laughed. i wish i remember better the conversation, but the impression i was left with was, "hey, bruce is funny!" and it stuck.
thanks for putting this up, ralph. i never knew you guys were friends. i guess i didn't know what all went on back at the deep end of that band room. it looked like fun though.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:49 am 
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Blue Mud
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Jojo - Do you remember the little choreographed routines the trumpet players would put on during some of the jazz performances? It involved Bruce, Scott Pheneger (I believe), and I can't remember the rest. It was always a treat to watch them from the audience.

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In dentibus anticis frustum magnum spiniciae habes.

Fighting the Global War on Terror until 5 p.m. everyday.


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 Post subject: Bruce in Geometry
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:29 am 
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Senior Hall Monitor
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I remember Bruce. He sat behind me in Geometry class. I remember he and I chatting one day and he was telling me he wished he could have played football in high school. I told him I wished I could have been in the band playing the horn like he did. That has always stuck with me of two kids wanting to do what the other did but were basically stuck in their niche. I am sorry to hear that he had passed but it sounds like he was doing something that he enjoyed in the Navy.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:14 pm 
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Thinking About Getting a Life

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ralph: i LOVED those routines they used to do! i remember watching those with glee all the time. they did them in concert band too. bruce, jurgen, scott, john sander (while he still played), kevin peterson, etc. yes, indeed. those were fun. thanks for that reminder. :)
Mike: great memory. you're right that went on a lot, didn't it? but what a great example of it.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:55 pm 
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WienerWalder

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I was very saddened to learn of Bruce's passing. Bruce sat in front of me in Mrs. Singleton's class in 8th grade. I remember him as a friend who helped me with class work on at least one occasion. Also, a very smart guy- one of the top in the class. I am sure that he had a lot to offer the world and is surely missed by all his friends.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:23 pm 
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Thinking About Getting a Life

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i bet mrs. singleton remembers him too. he was smart.


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 Post subject: Dubai
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:50 pm 
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Mustang!
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Location: Alberta, Canada
I just finished my third Afghanistan deployment and as we Canadian used to use an UAE hub, I tried to find out if there was a plaque or anything that I could take a picture of for us MAHSers.

Sadly, I failed to locate anything mentioning Bruce.

Funny thing is, my day job these days is working with Fighter pilots (Cdn F-18s). Who would have thought that many moons ago?

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"85"


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