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President's Newsletter
October 2017

Memorial Day Greetings from President Andy Blenkle

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

Marines and Friends,

This is my final letter as your President. One wonders where the last two years have gone. The older we get, the faster time seems to go.

Now, we're working on all the last minute details for the reunion. As mentioned earlier, we have a very large Hospitality Room. So there's going to be plenty of room to spread out and talk.

We have eleven first time Classmate attendees plus a TBS platoon commander, Dennis Gallagher and his wife, Maureen. Dennis had Delta 5 at TBS.

Here's the rundown on the scheduled events.

Wednesday

Dress should be casual for our BBQ - very casual - like California casual. We plan to have Marines from the San Antonio I and I staff, 4th Recon Battalion, as our guests.

My good friend Ed "Tex" Stitler is hosting the BBQ. I met Tex on my second trip back to Vietnam in 2003. He and his wife, Laurie, treated Terry Cox and me with gracious hospitality on our two recon trips to San Antonio. Tex took us everywhere we needed to go to coordinate the program.

In June, he even loaned us his 1995 Ford Bronco and is going to make it available for hospitality runs during the reunion, too. No, he didn't buy it from OJ.

Tex was Sergeant in I/3/7 - September 1966 to September 1967. He was wounded 16 days before his Rotation Date. After the Marines, Tex was a school teacher, principal, and had his own construction business. Please make it a point to meet him at the BBQ and thank him for all his help in making it a great event.

Thursday

We visit the Pacific War Museum. Walk around clothing, shoes and sun block should be considered.

We will be met on arriving by a representative of the Fredericksburg Visitors Center who will brief us on other places to dine and visit. Lunch will be on your own. We plan to leave the hotel at 0815 and depart Fredericksburg between 1430 - 1445. It is a pleasant bus ride. The buses are not yellow.

Friday

The Memorial Service at 0930 at the San Antonio Vietnam Memorial. Dave Mellon is coordinating this program, but will be relying on other leaders of the Association to handle key components of the Service. We will again be outside. So be sure to wear covers (hats/sun bonnets) and apply sun block. It is about a 4 minute walk from the hotel to the Veterans Memorial Plaza. The temperature is usually in the 80's this time of the year. If the weather is inclement (rain or too hot) the hospitality room will be the alternate site.

At the the conclusion of the Memorial, the group pictures will be taken by a professional photographer. The pictures will be displayed in the hospitality room and available for purchase Friday afternoon.

After the pictures the ladies will be transported to the Menger Hotel for their luncheon and historical tour via mini bus. The bus will make two trips as the capacity is 26. So far, 39 ladies are signed up. After the lunch and tour, the bus will pick up the ladies the around 1415 and return them to the hotel. You are not required to return to our hotel, El Tropicano. There is an Irish bar across the street; however the drinks are much less expensive in the hospitality suite. If you choose to walk back along the River Walk, plan on 25 to 30 minute trip.

Thursday and Friday Evenings

We are doing some thing new. Terry Cox came up with the idea of "Story Telling Time". He put this event together and will be the moderator. We're looking for stories of our experiences in OCS, TBS, VN and the Marine Corps overall. It is scheduled for Thursday and Friday nights in the hospitality room at 2100. The commentaries are expected to make Ken Burns series on the Vietnam War look amateurish!

Saturday Morning

We conduct the business meeting at 0900 for all hands. Ladies are invited, although sleeping in is an alternative.

At our Business Meeting we nominate/confirm the Officers and the Board members. Pete Clay has been working on this as Chair of the Nominating Committee.

Walt Flynn will assume the Presidency and lead the 2019 Reunion. Jim Herek has accepted the nomination as Vice President, so he will follow Walt as our President and be in charge of the 2021 Reunion.

Jack Sheehan, Steve McComb, Tom Howe have agreed to remain as Secretary, Sergeant at Arms, and Treasurer.

Saturday Evening

Our Banquet Dinner is at 18:00 and the suggested attire for gentlemen is jacket and tie. At dinner the change of command will formally take place and Walt Flynn will assume the Presidency.

Our after-dinner speaker is our classmate, John Admire, who wrote a great book "Darker Than Dark" about a Marine fire team in Vietnam. He will give us more background on the book and discuss his perspectives on Vietnam. Go to Amazon.com and read the comments on the book. They will give you some added context for John's presentation.

Comment

As my term comes to an end, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the tremendous job that Terry Cox has done over the last 12 years in bring order and efficiency to the conduct of our Reunions. Whether East Coast or West Coast, Terry has driven the Platoon Phone Program, been the point of contact for all registrations, collected the fees, kept all the myriad details straight, tracked and reported on progress while ensuring that every "t" is crossed and every "i" is dotted. This is his final year. Please make it a point to thank him for all his work on behalf of our Association. It is going to take a fire team to even begin to handle all he has done. Terry, thanks for all you have work, it is sincerely appreciated by each of us, who have led the Association and conducted the Reunions.

Reminder

Those of you driving to San Antonio, please remember to bring your large coolers and tubs for icing down the beverages for the hospitality room. Just put your name on them so we get them back to you before you depart.

Well, 12 days out!

See you in San Antonio and "Thank you" for the honor of being your President for the past two years.

Semper Fidelis.
Andy

San Antonio Reunion Attendees as of September 22, 2017

I am pleased to announce that our registrations have reached 73 Classmates, an all-time record for a "Western" Reunion. When you have time, go through the list and note all those that you absolutely have to talk to at the Reunion! The current list, broken down by Basic School platoon, is below:

TBSLASTFIRSTWIFE / GUEST
AirAkerLarryRenate
AirHamiltonAl-
AirHerbergRichard-
AirLillieJay-
AirMcCombSteveVirginia
AirMooreJimAmy
AirRedmonJim-
AirSnearClay-

D1AdmireJohn-
D1AlonzoJoeIrma
D1AulikJaakBonne
D1CartlidgeTomJanet
D1ClayPeteGinny
D1CoxTerryHarriet
D1CrosbyWarrenBernadine
D1CumminsGarySue

D2EspositoMikeMelanie
D2FlynnWaltMaryellen
D2GoldenRalphElaine

D3JanayMikeBarbara
D3JonesAndy-
D3KivlanTom-
D3McClinchieSamMolly
D3MellonDaveVal
D3MillerMikeBobbi
D3MorrisonJohnAnne

D4MyersLonnieJacquie
D4NelsonBob-
D4O'NeilBarryCarol
D4PasiekaStanEllen
D4PiersonMikeJanie
D4RichardsonBobLynne

D5SheehanJackPat
D5SnyderSteve-
D5SooterCharlesCarol
D5SpicerBill-
D5StankoskyMikeMaryanne
D5StClairMikeCindy
D5StoreySkipVicki
D5TorresLenpAnita
D5UeckerJimJane
D5WallDaveGerry
D5WellsDarrell-

E1BlenkleAndyMary
E1ConnorJohn-
E1CouchKellySusan

E2FranziaJoe-
E2GibbonsGeneGail
E2HerakJim-
E2HesterMikeLinda
E2HigbeeTom-

E3Howe Jr.Tom-
E3LittlejohnDwayneGoldie
E3McDavidJoeJennifer

E4ParkerMikeJanice
E4PerzanPhilMax
E4PylkkanenDonPat
E4RayJimEmma
E4RiveroFredSusan
E4RogersDaveRuth
E4RoughgardenBobOlga

E5SteflAlJoan
E5StockstillGreg-
E5SuttonRonRhetta
E5ThorntonJimKathy

OCS A-3CostelloDick-
OCS A-2McGintyBobJay
OCS C-1McGuireFred-
OCS A-3MikatRon-
OCS A-2RossPaul-

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