From The Command Track
By: Allen Hathaway
1st Qtr 2017
This first issue of Thunder Run for 2017 is being mailed to the nearly 14,000 on our mailing list. Thunder Run is published four times each year, February, May, August and October.
For those of you who have not yet joined as members, this issue will give you an opportunity to catch up on some of the activities of the past year as well as those planned for 2017. We encourage you to join the thousands of others before you and become members of this organization. Visit our website and our Facebook page. Both sites have an abundance of information, photographs, stories and other interesting tidbits of information. Are you looking for an old friend? Just contact any of the volunteers listed on page 3 and we'll try to help you. I guarantee, it's rewarding to reconnect with an old friend. Even though it may have been decades since you last saw or talked with each other, that span of time will seem like minutes. WE WANT YOU AS A MEMBER! So, use the membership form in this issue and become a member!
The first leg of our annual Scholarship fundraising project began in December with a mailing of the 11th ACVVC calendar to all members. This is the 22nd year for the very popular calendar. The calendar features 12 new photos along with many significant dates and historical notations in the history of our regiment.
The calendar is one of three fundraising projects that benefits our Scholarship Fund. The Scholarship Fund is a separate, stand alone account which relies solely on your donation in order to continue. All scholarships, as well as all printing and mailing cost associated with the calendar, are paid directly from donations made for the annual calendar. While the calendar you received is unsolicited, we ask that you make the most generous tax-deductible donation that you can. Your donation, regardless of the amount, will help benefit the scholarship program and ensure that we can continue to mail you the calendar year after year.
In September we will hold our annual reunion at the beautiful Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Orlando and the Central Florida area offer a number activities. This is perfect opportunity to combine the reunion with a vacation.
The reunion is an excellent place to meet with old friends, to make new friends, to share your experiences and renew your pride in serving with our great regiment. We all have a common bond of having served in the Blackhorse Regiment in Vietnam. From the minute you walk in the door at a reunion and see the first Blackhorse insignia, you feel "at home" and among friends. They are all Blackhorse Troopers who have been the same places, talk the same "language", and experience many of the same things.
Over 1,600 attended the 2016 reunion in San Antonio with more than 80 troopers attending their first reunion. We expect another large turnout in Orlando so make your plans soon.
On Memorial Day and again on Veterans Day we will meet at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to lay a wreath to honor all Blackhorse troopers. This tradition began in 1986 and has continued every year.
Veterans Day, November 11, 2017, will mark 35th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. As part of the commemoration, each of the more than 58,000 names listed on the Wall will be read by volunteers over a four day period. It's an honor to be a volunteer and help read names. More information on how you can volunteer will be posted on our website and in Thunder Run when it becomes available.
Are you moving? Do you have a seasonal address? (north in the summer, south in the winter). Help us keep our records up-to-date and notify us if you change addresses. We receive 150-200 changes of address every three months, but we also have 25-35 magazines retuned marked "moved - no forwarding address". We don't want to loose any of our members! Notify the post office then use the convenient change of address form in every Thunder Run issue or submit your new address through our website.
As president, I am pleased to report that the overall state of the 11th ACVVC is excellent. Once again, we continue to be successful in many areas: treasury, membership, reunion attendance, newsletter, website, scholarships and quartermaster sales to name a few.
Our treasury is solvent. All accounts including the General Business Account, Scholarship, Reunion, Reunion Assistance and Memorial Account are all in excellent condition. Our primary sources for operating income are membership dues and quartermaster sales.
We continue to find new Blackhorse troopers every month. Over 150 new members joined in 2016. Many annual members choose to renew as LIFE members. Over 97 percent of our members are LIFE members.
Our reunions are well attended. Over 1,600 attended the 2016 reunion in San Antonio. We encourage anyone who has never attended a reunion to give it a try.
Our quartermaster store continues to be very popular with our members and offers a variety of insignia products. The insignia items instill pride in our service to our regiment AND help "spread the word" by attracting other Blackhorse troopers.
The investments made over the years guarantee the organization will be in a good financial position for many years to come. At some point it may be necessary to begin to draw on these investments to supplement operating expenses if membership dues or quartermaster sales begin to decline.
Thunder Run continues to keep our membership informed with a variety of interesting articles and activities. Many articles are submitted by our members and we encourage you to continue to write about your experiences. Our website continues to be another source of information for our members. The website offers a central location for current information about this organization.
We have many dedicated volunteers who work every day to ensure the continued success of this organization. On behalf of all those volunteers, it is a pleasure to serve this great organization. The most important factor, however, is the support from you, our members. Your support throughout the years has helped this organization continue to grow and succeed in every area. This support is a result of the pride we all have from serving in the best unit in the United States Army!
Keep those serving in uniform in your thoughts and prayers. If you see someone in uniform, take a minute and offer your hand to thank them for their service. ALLONS! It's good to be "Together Again".