Peter Walter, How Btry 3/11, 01/70-12/70
The Presidents Message
By: Peter Walter
4th Quarter, 2018
Greetings from your newly elected President!
I appreciate the support you have given me and the trust you have in me to serve you as your President. I will do my best and with the tremendous support and help I’ve grown to expect from the members and Officers of the 11th ACVVC, we will continue to be the standard of excellence for Vietnam Veteran unit associations.
My sincere thanks and appreciation go to both Allen Hathaway and Steve Page for the great job they’ve been doing for decades in leadership roles in the 11th ACVVC. We were lucky to have these dedicated professionals as “Blackhorse Troopers” in ‘Nam (“Together Then”) and 11th ACVVC Officers (“Together Again”). We look forward to seeing them both finally getting to relax at our reunions!
We had almost 1,300 people attend our 33rd annual reunion in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This was our first visit to this state and to Grand Rapids and based on the hundreds of positive comments we received, I expect we may visit the “Beer City” again. The city was a great host and the Amway Grand Plaza hotel and staff were spectacular as was the DeVos Place Convention Center, our venue for the Saturday banquet. Both Frank and I were impressed by the professionalism and attention to detail of Danielle Sidock, the Convention Services Manager at the Amway; thank you Danielle!
We had five offices up for election, an unusual situation due to resignations. The results are posted elsewhere in this issue, but your newly elected Officers are: Frank Church (Vice President), Chaplain Bill Karabinos (Director) and myself as President. Re-elected were Greg Mason (Secretary) and Bob Moreno (Director).
We are fortunate that Frank worked closely with Steve Page in the past few years as his Reunion Assistant; this allowed for a virtually flawless transition for our 2018 reunion. Thank you Frank for a great job!
I’ve been honored to serve you in numerous capacities over the years (Secretary for six years and VP for ~12) so this is not my first rodeo, but it is my first time in this saddle. I’ll need your help. Wish me well!
We hosted our 27th Marty Ognibene Memorial Golf Outing at Thornapple Pointe Country Club with forty-seven golfers registered. We had our annual Veterans Seminar with speakers from the Grand Rapids Vet Center; Joe Martinez (13 year Army vet, Iraq) and Kristina Krozal gave an interesting and informative presentation. Our Women’s Group meeting was very well attended and the trip to the Frederik Meijer Gardens had over one hundred touring! Our Memorial Service was once again a somber and respectful service chaired by Chaplain Karabinos. The Quarter Master Store, hosted by Jan & Jerry Beamon was again a huge success as was our Silent Auction hosted by Joanne & Greg Mason; more info on these events is included later in this issue.
Our Saturday night Banquet featured a welcome from Rosalynn Bliss, Mayor of Grand Rapids, a truly heartfelt speech with three personally narrated vignettes from our Historian, Don Snedeker, an update from Scott Woodward the 68th Colonel of the Blackhorse, presentation of awards and culminated in the “Blackhorse Salute”, our spectacular audio-visual program. A great time was had by all!
One “hang-fire” item from the reunion: QM Jerry Beamon still has custom embroidered reunion shirts that were ordered but not picked up at the reunion. If your name follows, please contact Jerry ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 1-903-530-2718; shipping is $7. Dave Taylor, Ron Slack, Burl Swain, Larry Woellert, Dennis Kelly, John Trujillo, William Stevenson, Ernest Hutchins, Larry Feyers, Don LaFountaine, Thomas Sikora and Roy Curlin.
Our 34th annual Reunion will be held Aug. 21 – 25, 2019 at the Westgate Resort & Casino, 3000 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, NV 89109. The room rates are $89 dollars including resort fee, internet access, cardio room, in room safe and free local calls. These prices are good 3 days prior and 3 days after the reunion. The call-in number for reservations at the Westgate is 800-635-7711. Be sure to give them our group code (SACV9R). The web page for the Westgate is: https://book.passkey.com/go/SACV9R. Our reunions in Las Vegas have always been well attended, averaging over 1,400 in two previous visits, so make your reservations early. Frank Church provides greater detail in his article later in this issuer.
We invite all Blackhorse troopers, family and friends to join us at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Sunday, November 11, to honor our fallen comrades as we lay our Blackhorse wreath at the Wall. If you’re not able to attend, take a moment wherever you may be and remember our Blackhorse brothers.
Your annual 11th ACVVC calendar should arrive in your mailboxes around Veterans Day. Read more about it later in this issue.
Finally, we your elected Officers value and need your feedback. We need to know:
● What do you enjoy the most about the 11th ACVVC?
● What are we doing right? More importantly, what are we doing wrong?
● What changes do you think we should implement to improve the 11th ACVVC?
This organization would not exist without you, the Blackhorse Troopers of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment who served with honor and distinction in Vietnam and Cambodia for 2,040 days. Contact any Officer with your suggestions, comments, etc. We are honored to work for you!