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President's Newsletter
May 2017

Memorial Day Greetings from President Andy Blenkle

Marines of the 38th OCC and Basic Class 3-66

Marines and Friends,

We're a month into summer and two and a half months from our San Antonio Reunion. If you haven't registered with Terry Cox and the hotel, please do so. September 11th is the deadline for receiving the special hotel rate. The full details on how to register with the Class and hotel can be accessed, by clicking on the Reunion block on the website home page:

Home Page

Terry Cox and I had a very pleasant visit to San Antonio at the end of June to make the final arrangements for the Reunion. We touched base with all our points of contact. We are now, all squared away!

We visited the Nimitz Foundation Headquarters, which operates the National Museum of the Pacific War and met former Commandant, General Michael W. Hagee's executive assistant. She said that if the General is in town, he will greet us when we arrive at the Museum in Fredericksburg, a pleasant bus ride from San Antonio.

We also coordinated with our host for the Welcoming BBQ on Wednesday, October 11th, Ed "Tex" Stitler. I've known Tex since 2003, when we met on a Return to Vietnam trip. He is essence of "Texas Hospitality". He was our host for the recon visit and drove us to all our Reunion venues. He even loaned us his 1995 Ford pick-up. Talk about going back in time - no electric doors, windows, locks, or back up monitor. We even had to use a key to open the doors. Tex was with India 3/7 in Vietnam in 1967. You will all enjoy meeting him at the Reunion. Pictured below are Tex and his wife, Laurie, at dinner with us during our visit.

October is sure to be warm, so be sure to bring covers, sun hats for the ladies, comfortable walking shoes/sneakers, sun block and other personal amenities for an active Reunion.

At our Memorial Service on Friday, Marines are requested to wear khaki trousers and a dark blue (navy) Marine collared shirt. We also ask that a jacket and tie be worn for the Saturday night banquet dinner.

Our banquet speaker will be Classmate, Maj Gen John H. Admire who will discuss his recent book, "Darker than Dark".

I am pleased to announce that our registrations have reached 53 Classmates. The current list, broken down by Basic School platoon is listed below:

San Antonio Reunion Attendees
As of July 21, 2017












OCS A-3CostelloDick-
OCS A-2McGintyBobJoan
OCS A-3MikatRon-
OCS A-2RossPaul-

We hope that you recognize some of your friends from either OCS or Basic School among the attendees and will be motivated to join us. It will be a great gathering. Please plan to join us!

Semper Fidelis.

Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Annual Voluntary Contributions

As our fiscal year draws to a close, we encourage you to make an annual voluntary contribution, if you have not already done so.

As our Association has received tax-exempt status, ALL Contributions are fully tax-deductible.

The suggested donation is $25 for every member, but membership has already been earned and is not contingent upon making a contribution!

If you would like to make a leadership contribution, the levels are as follows:

  • Anchor $1 to $74
  • Globe $75 to $149
  • Eagle $150 or more

Contributions will be acknowledged and posted on our website.

Fiscal Year 2016-2017 contributions will be posted to the Contributions Honor Roll, as received.

Contributions will be acknowledged and posted on our website.

Please make your check payable to: "38th OCC/Basic Class 3-66 Alumni"
On the Memo line of the check, please insert Tax ID No. 54-2099257 and mail to our Treasurer:

Steve McComb
2960 Pharr Court South, Apt. N-3
Atlanta, GA 30305-2188

Thank you for your continued generous support of the Class and its activities!

Bereavement Notices

Since the last President's Newsletter, we have learned of the passing of several of our Classmates, some very recent, while others date back a couple of years. Please remember them in your prayers:

  • Stephen G. Bowen, Jr - died on July 6, 2017 at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA of lung cancer. Steve was in C-4 at OCS and D-1 at Basic School. He served in Vietnam as an artillery forward observer and battery commander and was awarded the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing "V". Steve was an accomplished rugby player and motorcycle rider. His civilian career was in advertising. A memorial service in Sharon, CT on July 21, 2017 was well attended by members of our Class.

  • Terrence M. Breen - Died on May 28, 2017 at his home in Seminole, FL of liver cancer. He was in D-2 at OCS and D-1 at Basic School. He spent 3 years on active duty and 20 additional years in the Reserves, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Terry retired from the Lawrence, MA school system and spent 20 years serving ceremonially as a member of the 1812 U.S. Marine Guard aboard the USS Constitution.

  • Gustavus L. Donnelly, Sr. - Died unexpectedly on July 6, 2016 at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC following surgery. He was assigned to platoon A-2 at OCS and D-2 at the Basic School. He spent 10 years on active duty, separating as a Captain. Gus served two tours as an artillery officer in Vietnam and was awarded both the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation medal with Combat Distinguishing "V" and the Bronze Star with Combat Distinguishing "V". He later graduated from Wake Forest University Law School and practiced in Mt. Airy, NC. He was buried with full military honors at Salisbury National Cemetery in NC.

  • Philip H. Ray - Died March 3, 2014 at his home in Fort Worth, TX. He was commissioned through the Navy Enlisted Scientific Education Program (NESEP). Phil joined our Class in platoon E-4 at Basic School. He retired from the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel. Phil's urn was placed at the Quantico National Cemetery with full military honors.

  • Joseph W. Robben, Jr. - Died on May 31, 2017 at his home in San Clemente, CA of brain cancer. Joe was commissioned through the Platoon Leaders Course and joined our Class with platoon E-4 at Basic School. He served as a Light Anti-Aircraft Missile Battery Commander in Vietnam. Later, Joe was an Aviation planner in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for Desert Storm. Joe retire after 30 years service as a Colonel. His awards included three Legion of Merit medals, the Meritorious Service medal and the Navy Achievement medal with Combat Distinguishing "V". In civilian life, Joe managed the public safety radio communications for Orange County, CA and its 31 cities. Joe was buried with full military honors at the Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego, CA with several members of our Class in attendance.

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