1st Battalion-20th Infantry
11th LIB ~ Americal Div.
May 8, 2010
Volume III, Issue 3
FIFTH ANNUAL REUNION
June 4 and 5 are the dates of the 2010 reunion! We will be returning to the Hilton Cincinnati Airport in Florence , KY (7373 Turfway Road, Florence, KY 41042; the phone number is 859-371-4400. Be sure to tell the registration clerk you are attending the Charlie Company Reunion when making your reservation. The Hilton will provide complimentary airport shuttle service.
We have a block of 45 rooms reserved at the rate of $85 a night. This rate is good three days before and three days after the reunion dates. The Hilton will continue to honor this rate if we go over 45 rooms as long as space is available. The Hilton will release any unreserved rooms of our block for general sale at the cut-off date May 28, 2010 . Any reservation received after the cut-off date will be accepted on a space and rate available basis. If you wish to cancel, please do so by 6 pm, hotel local time, on the day of arrival to avoid cancellation penalties.
MEALS - We have arranged with the Hilton to prepare a buffet Friday and Saturday night at 6 p.m. for our group. The cost of the meal is $25 per person (this includes tax and gratuity). We have to order these ahead of time and must make payment before the actual event.
FRIDAY NIGHT BUFFET
Choice of Two Entrees:
Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes
Country Style Green Beans
Iced Tea and Coffee
Fruit Cobbler with Bourbon Vanilla Sauce
SATURDAY NIGHT BUFFET
Fresh Fruit Salad
Choice of Two Entrees:
Herb Crusted Pork loin with Chef's Select Sauce
Sliced Roast Beef with Bordelaise Sauce
Au Gratin Potatoes
Seasonal Vegetable Medley
Iced Tea and Coffee
Please send Mike Stinnett your order for the number of meals and payment by May 28, 2010 if you want to participate. The buffets are optional events.... you are still welcome to the reunion and may eat elsewhere if you wish.
AGENDA - Our agenda will remain basically the same with a Welcome Reception Friday at 3:00 p.m., a Business Meeting after dinner Friday night and a Memorial Toast Saturday night after dinner. Two items have been arranged for the ladies so they will have the opportunity to get out of the Hospitality Room for a while. A trip to Florence Antique Mall will be from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Friday and a brunch Saturday around noon at Yesterday's Cafe` & Tea Room are scheduled. The Saturday brunch is Dutch treat and you do not have to prepay but we must give them a number for reservations. More information may be found by clicking here.
Mike Feltes will be hosting another Golf Outing and is looking forward to having another good time on the links. Mike spoke to Russ Gartner at Boone Links GC and we are all set for Saturday, June 5th. We have 6 foursome groups (24 players) reserved. We are going to split it in two with three groups teeing off on the front nine and three tee off on back nine-- simultaneously. That way we can be sure to complete the round early, around noonish Mike predicts. Tee times are: 8:00. 8:09 and 8:19.
HATS & T-SHIRTS - Dan Malin is taking orders for 1-20 hats. The lady making the hats won't be able to make any until later this summer so these will have to be mailed later. Richard Rey, Ronnie Ray's cousin, will be bringing some Americal caps to sell (picture posted on web site). Mike Stinnett will have t-shirts for $12. Examples can be spotted in our reunion newsletters and pictures. Only a few extra shirts will be ordered and the extras sell out each year. Place your order by May 16 or be sure to catch us early at the reunion. We will send t-shirt orders to those not able to attend the reunion if you are willing to pay the postage.
We need to know ahead of time a count for the antique mall, the tearoom and the golf outing plus hat and t-shirt orders (be sure to indicate the size). We do have a To-Do list and activities check list online to help make sure you have done all you need for registration. You can also register with the Hilton online. Our website also include maps to the Hilton and links to attractions in the Northern Kentucky area.
NAME BADGES - The NKYCVB is again providing name badges for our reunion that includes a first name and nickname (if applicable). If this will be your first reunion (including wife, child, etc.), we will submit the names from our reservation list that may not have a wife or child's first name. So please let us know how you want your name badge printed.
REGIONAL REFRESHMENTS - One of the perks we receive from the Hilton is being able to bring our own food and drinks into our hospitality room. Our way to supply this is to ask folks to bring a few samples of refreshments made near where they live. We have enjoyed these "care packages" each year so think of something to bring to represent the "home land". If you want to help, don't feel like you have to provide enough for everyone. Thanks to the generosity of participants we have had plenty of drinks and snacks each year and have leftovers for take-home goodie bags.
MEMORABILIA - Find your old Vietnam photos and albums, orders, promotions, newsletters... anything. We've seen many different things at the reunion and almost everyone spends time looking at them on the display table.
Eighty-three people attended the fourth annual Charlie Company reunion at the Hilton last year and we hope to have even more in 2010. Make your plans now to join us this year.
Do you have comments about the newsletter or need information about our contacts or do you have information about other vets not on our list? Contact Dan Malin at 4136 Kenyon Avenue, Lorain, OH 44053 (440) 242-7664 ( danielmalin<AT>hotmail<DOT>com) . Contact Mike Stinnett for reunion activity sign-up at ( mike.stinnett<AY>yahoo<DOT>com ) or ---319 Antioch Road, Clarksville, TN 37040 (931) 647-8917.
Mrs. Big Moose (a.k.a. Jo Lynda Watts) - It was so good for Roland (a.k.a. Big Moose) to finally see all his "buddies" again. Roland most enjoyed being able to "piece together the puzzle of what happened, where, and when?" after thirty-nine years. I was moved by the compassion and concern expressed in comments among the different ones that served. It was an honor to be there. The other wives truly made me feel welcomed and I enjoyed the outings. I enjoyed most having so much in common as far as life experiences, joys of grandchildren, etc. We look forward to next year!!!
Rick Tucker , 3rd platoon leader - When I left Viet Nam I really didn't care if I ever saw any of the people that I served with again. I was so glad to be going home to my wife and children. But as the years went by I felt a deeper bond with those people who helped me to get home, and I was so glad when I was found and given an opportunity to show my appreciation to those people.
Officers, especially Lt.'s, had no bonds with other officers. They depended on the men in their platoons and companies for survival, and their men looked to them for the same kind of protection. That is why the reunion with the men was so important to me, and why I hope you will find many more of the men who served so valiantly for a cause that was ill defined at best.
OUR BETTER HALVES!
One of our first reunion questions was "are wives invited?" Our response was "sure, why not?" I know several of us were newly weds or engaged when the Army separated us. Their love and support while we were in VN and when we got back to the "world" was so important and to get exclusive would have been dumb! It has been good to see the ladies are enjoying the reunion as much as the men. One lady tells her co-workers she'll be going to a reunion this weekend with her Vietnam buddies! So ladies, thank you for attending. (Below is a defector that thought the women were actually more fun to be with than the men!)
DUES Our $20 dues cover the time period of June 1 to May 31. This money is primarily used to print and mail the newsletters, pay for some reunion expenses and a few other minor expenses that occur during the year. A yearly financial report will be given at the reunion. Dues may be sent to Dan Malin or Mike Stinnett.
OUR SYMPATHY to Cindi and the family of Captain Charles S. Seketa who passed away January 31, 2010 and to Penny and the family of Robert Keith Trace, who passed away February 27, 2010.
Chuck served primarily in Delta Co. in Vietnam but was a great help to our group as we began to try to find past members of Charlie Co. and to hold reunions. He was one of the seventeen people at our first reunion and it was good to hear him say, "I like you guys!" and see him return to all but one of our reunions. His leadership and encouragement were greatly appreciated. You will be more appreciative of Chuck when you visit 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry web site and see the results of Chuck's research and compilation. We were happy to have met Cindi at our last reunion and continue to keep her in our thoughts and prayers. Chuck's family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
***Here is the link to Chuck's Memorial Page on 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry web site: The Personal Comment by Lt. Davis and the Eulogy by Lt. Herber are very good!
To several of us our friendship with Keith goes past the reunions to more than forty years ago when Trace arrived as an "instant" to 2 nd platoon in August or September 1969. Our company was in transition then as many of the guys Duck and I knew when we arrived in May were going home. We were in weapons squad with two M-60s and would go out on patrols and snakes with the other squads as assigned. We liked Trace and Stephens out of these "new" guys since part of the deal was keeping "something" together and they tried to do that. Trace was fun to be around and it was good to see him again back in '02. I enjoyed reminding him of the SEC at the reunions and appreciated his love for his family and his passion for living life to its fullest.
His obituary stated. "Keith was an avid outdoorsman and found peace and comfort in the woods. He loved all type of game hunting especially deer and turkey. He spent many hours fishing and walking in the woods. Keith loved Ohio State football and missed very few games in his lifetime. He was a hard core Trimble Tomcat fan, especially Football Friday night."
"He served in the United States Army and completed a one year tour in Vietnam. While serving in Vietnam he received a bronze star medal for meritorious achievement in ground operations against hostile forces."
"Keith worked for AEP as an electrical lineman for 32 years and retired from the company in 2004."
"Per his wishes, his body was donated to the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine." The family had a "Celebration of Life" on Saturday, March 13 th at the Trimble High School gymnasium and a dinner and social gathering after the celebration.
If you wish to donate in memory of Keith please send to: Keith Trace Strength Building Program, C/O Sandy Gyrue, PO Box 187, Glouster, OH 45732. These funds will be used to upgrade the Trimble Local weight room facility to benefit all student athletes. "Keith was a strong believer that physical and mental strength not only helped make a superior athlete, but a better person."
We will miss Chuck and Trace at the reunion and will always be grateful for their friendship.