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“The Vern and Colleen Lochausen Scholarship Fund for Excellence in Technology”

Testimonial to Vern Lochausen
by  Bill Coyne

Observations from a 50 year veteran of the TACAMO Community on the occasion of a very special day in the history of the TACAMO Community Veterans Association and the TACAMO community.


I find “changes of leadership” occasions bitter and sweet events for me.  On this day especially bitter, because the single most driving force in TACAMO history, pioneering the spirit of dedication, recognition, professionalism, capability and sustainability in the TACAMO mission, is stepping down after years of unprecedented success in virtually every one of his goals.


They say the mark of a great leader, among other hallmarks, is the ability to recognize and maximize the capabilities of their team, more importantly, instilling loyalty and belief in what they are doing.  Vern Lochausen has met and exceeded these traits.  His leadership skills have maximized the capabilities of a highly motivated, skilled volunteer team of achievers who are masters in the art of strategic planning, generating agreements and program implementation.


Recently, I was texting with Jack Bowers, formerly of VQ-4.  Jack remains an ardent aviation enthusiast and a TACAMO community supporter.  In our text exchanges, he commented how important is is to have the right person, - in the right place, - at the right time.


His prophetic assessment is personified in Vern Lochausen.  In the same exchange I proffered that I do not believe there are indispensable persons in any organization.  I immediately qualified my comment by saying that Vern Lochausen was at the 99.9% level of indispensability when you are grading his knowledge of, and contributions to TACAMO.


Fortunately, Vern has expressed his desire to remain involved with the Community by way of being designated President Emeritus and TACAMO Heritage Foundation Resident Historian.


As always, he recognizes the need for an orderly transition of responsibilities, and additionally, he will be able to concentrate on his stated desire to collect and record past, present and future facts and artifacts for future generations.


By now, you are probably wondering whether there is a positive or sweet side to my thoughts and the post Vern era.  I offer this, as an organization, you have now matured in your confidence and your capability to handle, and the insight to accept, that there will be changes in leadership as time goes by and as needed.  Do not underestimate the tremendously important step that has taken place here.  There can be no greater gift to the TACAMO community than the fact that Vern has prepared this staff and all new volunteers for this day.

How do you reward such dedicated service to a community and military mission?  You Can’t!  I know Vern well enough to know the pride in the accomplishments of his Board of Directors and the dedicated volunteers who have brought joy, recognition and connectivity to the entire community is all he ever wanted.  He is a leader who thrives on shared accomplishments and successes.

Such an extended leadership role as Vern’s is always fraught with conflict and consequences.  We would be remiss if we did not recognize the contributions of our First Lady Colleen, who is a success and achiever in her own right, yet a supportive, understanding, listening, counsel and patient partner.  We must never forget the contributions the spouses, partners and families make to the success of the military mission.


Today is a pivotal point in TCVA history.  Vern and his loyal and accomplished assistants have recognized the unrecognized, have recorded the unrecorded and found the forgotten.  Each stone turned becoming the cornerstone for a foundation which will provide permanence, reliability and a measure of certainty to continue the Community’s efforts.  But, of most importance, within the Heritage Foundation the addition of focused sub-committee volunteers who will support the Board of Directors capabilities for expanded program support of proactive real time programs to record current events and artifacts as well as reaching out to the community with tangible benefits.  Thus, the new leadership may rely on a solid basis to take on the plethora of challenges and opportunities of sustaining the pioneering spirit that has been the hallmark of the TACAMO program since its inception.  Now the leadership will be able to assist, reward, recognize and praise the whole of the TACAMO organization backed up with tangible support.

While I have stated that there is no way to reward such dedicated service as that which Vern and his team have accomplished, Phyllis and I believe we can accomplish a plausible solution.  Accordingly, I have asked the Board of Directors to establish “The Vern and Colleen Lochausen Scholarship Fund for Excellence in Technology”.  We will fund the formidable years but call upon each and every member to contributing to this effort.  Even more important is to sponsor their own grants in a way that honors a loved or revered member.


Always remember, “If you build it, they will come”, (Field of Dreams).


To the TACAMO Community: Never forget or doubt that you are the very best and most importantly, “We are as one in fact, spirit, community and commitment”.


God speed Vern and Colleen, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your love of TACAMO and your friendship.


TACAMO Community: Vern Lochausen …………

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