From The Command Track
By: Allen Hathaway
1st Quarter, 2018
Planning is well under way for the 2018 reunion in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on September 5-9. The Amway Grand Plaza is a great location for this year’s reunion. Our Reunion Chairman, Steve Page (B Troop, 1966-67) along with Frank Church (G Troop, 2/11, 1969-70) have been working hard to ensure this is another successful and memorable reunion.
We’re looking forward to Grand Rapids. The downtown area has many small restaurants within walking distance of the hotel offering a wide selection of food. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is an easy walk, just a quarter mile from the hotel. Adjacent to the Ford Museum is the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Both museums are worth a visit.
The reunion registration form is printed in this issue along with the reunion schedule. We expect another large turn-out for our reunion this year. As of this writing, over one third of the 600 room block has already been reserved. Nearly 700 Blackhorse troopers live in the state of Michigan with hundreds more in the neighboring states of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. We expect a large turnout from these states.
We are pleased to announce that Donald C. (Don) Snedeker will be the guest speaker at the Saturday evening banquet and program. Don has served as the historian for our organization for many years. He has done extensive research on the history of the regiment since it was formed in 1901 and particularly during the period 1966-1972 when the regiment served in Vietnam. Don served in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971 and in Germany with the 11th ACR from 1974 to 1978. He is a regular contributor to Thunder Run with the "Hoofbeats" article. He attends many reunions and is responsible for the history boards on display. Don is currently writing a book about the 11th ACR in Vietnam. He has conducted many interviews with our members to gather material for the book. We look forward to hearing him at the reunion.
You can help make this another successful reunion by keeping a few things in mind: Mail your reunion registration early and before the deadline of August 8. Make your hotel reservations early. (You may cancel up to 48 hours prior to check-in without penalty.) Contact old friends early giving them plenty of time to make their plans to attend. Contact any board member if you need help finding an old friend. Dig out your old pictures. Come prepared to enjoy yourself!
The 2018 11th ACVVC calendar was mailed to all members last November. This is the first of three of our fundraising projects to support our Scholarship Program. Once again, the calendar featured 12 new photos of "everyday life" in Vietnam submitted by you, our members. The calendar also contains information on significant historical events of your regiment in Vietnam.
Our Scholarship Fund is a
separate, self-sufficient fund. This means that all
scholarship awards, as well as all printing and
mailing costs associated with the calendar, are paid
directly from the scholarship fund. The expense of the
calendar is separate and not part of membership dues.
I once again appeal to your generosity as we ask for
your support for the calendar and Scholarship Program.
Your continued support has enabled our Scholarship
Program to be very successful year after year. While
the calendar you received is unsolicited, we ask that
you make the most generous tax-deductible donation
that you can to help support this project. An envelope
is included for your convenience to mail your
As president, I am pleased to report that the overall state of the 11th ACVVC is excellent. We continue to be successful in many areas; treasury, quartermaster, newsletter, website, scholarship and reunion attendance to name a few.
Our treasury is solvent. The
investments made over the years guarantee the
organization will be in a good financial position for
many years to come. Our two main sources for operating
income are quartermaster sales and membership dues.
Our reunions are well attended. The average annual attendance is 1,100-1,200 people. The quarterly magazine, Thunder Run, continues to deliver news and information to our members with a variety of articles, many of which are submitted by our members. The website continues to be a source of information for our members. The website offers a central location for current information about this organization. Our Facebook page augments Thunder Run and the website by providing many newsworthy articles and photographs. Our quartermaster store is very popular with our members and continues to do a great business by offering a variety of insignia products. Items are featured in each issue of Thunder Run and on our website.
The scholarship program continues to thrive thanks to the support of our members. Over $1.4 million in scholarships has been awarded since the program began. Beginning in 2018, grandchildren are now eligible to apply for scholarships.
The success in these areas
is due in part to the group of reliable and dedicated
volunteers who work every day to ensure the continued
success of this organization. But the most important
factor is the support from 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!
Finally, not long ago I found a note on the windshield of my truck. At first, I thought someone may have hit the truck. I opened the note and was surprised to read "Yo Bro, Welcome Home, Tet ‘68", Tet ’72, 16th MP Bde". I smiled. Obviously, this fellow veteran recognized the Blackhorse decal on my truck or saw the license place "11CAV67" and knew and understood. This is one of those very special bonds that veterans share.
In closing I ask that you continue keep our service men and women in your thoughts and prayers. When you see someone in uniform take a minute and offer your hand to thank them for their selfless service. These young men and women contribute daily to the security of our great country. We thank them. ALLONS! – Welcome Home, it’s good to be "Together Again".