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In preparation for next month’s Veterans Day (Nov. 11), we have begun compiling a list of our Lambda Iota Chapter veterans and their stories. We have only scratched the surface. We need your help to build our list, tell the stories and pay tribute to these men of character built from our Phi Gamma Delta values of Friendship, Knowledge, Service, Morality and Excellence.

Please review the list below and leave your comments in the box at the bottom. Help us tell the stories and feel free to leave your notes of gratitude to these brothers willing to sacrifice for the protection of our freedoms. If you have longer stories and photos to send, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Lewis E. Hall ’34 — U.S. Army
Colonel (Ret.). 

Willis H. Knipe ’46 —U.S. Army
Lt. Col. (Ret.) 

Jay W. Pershing ’54 — U.S. Army
Colonel (Ret). Member of the Purdue Army ROTC Hall of Fame. 

Richard H. Pletcher ’57 — U.S. Navy
Richard proudly served as Ensign and LTJG for 3 years with amphibious forces in the Pacific. 

Richard A. Powell ’59 — U.S. Navy
Capt./Commanding Officer 

Parker Wayland ’59 — U.S. Navy
Parker served 7 years in the Navy, including 4 years on USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine. When he left active duty in 1966, he moved to Tennessee to do process development work in the AEC/Department of Energy weapons plant in Oak Ridge. He stayed in the Naval Reserve and retired as a captain in 1989. 

Tom Spurgeon ’61 — U.S. Army
Following his 1961 Purdue graduation in industrial management, he transitioned from ROTC to a full officer Army commission. He ultimately was transferred to the Department of Defense where he joined the Defense Atomic Support Agency as a nuclear weapons officer. One of a select number of officers assigned to this position, Tom was responsible for maintaining warheads as assigned. 

Dennis B. McBroom ’65 — U.S. Navy
Captain (Ret.) 

Robert R. Chaleff ’72 — U.S. Air Force
Robert flew as an instructor pilot for the U.S.A.F. Training Squadron in the mid- to late ’70s. He graduated at the top of his class in Weapons School, winning numerous Top Gun awards. In the ’80s, he was selected to represent the Air Force Reserve Command twice at the Gunsmoke air-to-ground gunnery and bombing competition. In 1991, Robert became a test program manager for the Air Force Reserve Command Test Center. He retired in 2001 as a colonel and vice commander of the Air National Guard Reserve Test Center in Tucson, Ariz. He went on to found Aurora Leasing and fly as a captain for TWA and American Airlines. Today, he is a flight test consultant. 

David A. Salzman ’76 — U.S. Marine Corps

Keith W. D. Pankhurst ’83 — U.S. Marine Corps Reserves
Lieutenant Colonel Keith W. Pankhurst was born and raised in England, immigrating to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1976. He enlisted in the Corps in June of 1983. He is a graduate of Ranger School, Armor School, Aviation Maintenance Officerʼs Course and MAWTS One Weapon and Tactics Instructors Course. His decorations include the Air Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Gold Star, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal and the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal. In July of 1998 Maj Pankhurst transferred from the active duty Marine Corps to the Marine Corps Reserve. In January 2003, he and the Rangers of VMGR-234 were recalled to active duty for KC-130 flight operations in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He is currently a pilot for American Airlines. 

Curtis R. Ross ’84 — U.S. Navy
Naval Aviator 

Scott D. Witte ’88 — U.S. Marine Corps
Scott is a combat veteran who retired from the Marine Corps Reserves in 2012 as a lieutenant colonel with 23 years of active and reserve service. He is currently a director at Ernst & Young. 

Paul J. White ’94 — U.S. Navy
LTJG Navel Aviator 

Chad E. George ’95 — U.S. Navy
Chad will retire early next year after 20 years in the Navy. During this time, he has seen several deployments and has moved his family nine times. Following retirement, Chad will join his family in putting down more permanent roots in Gulf Breeze, Fla. 

Michael Dumas ’06 — U.S. Air Force
Captain. 25th Fighter Squadron A-10 Thunderbolt pilot.

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