11th ACVVC President

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Peter Walter, How Btry 3/11, 01/70-12/70

Peter  Walter
8 Tallowood Dr
Westampton, NJ 08060 

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The Presidents Message

By: Peter Walter
4th Quarter, 2022

“Greetings from the President…” Many of you first read these words over fifty years ago. Don’t worry, you’re not being drafted again, but this will be my last message as President of the 11th ACVVC. When I was thrust into the position of President by succession in 2018, it was my intent to not run, nor serve in this office for more than two elected terms. I enjoyed my four and one-half years as President but being true to my word, I did not run again for the office. The position of President is one of great responsibility and a serious commitment that anyone in this office makes to his Blackhorse brothers. I supported our Vice President, Frank Church as the candidate and the members elected him unanimously at the Birmingham reunion as 11th ACVVC President for the term 2023-2024. I could not be happier for Frank, and I believe the 11th ACVVC is in good hands. Congratulations Frank! Thank you to all who have helped me and supported the actions and decisions of your elected Officers. President-elect Frank has asked me to continue as the editor of “Thunder Run” and the annual calendar, and I look forward to doing so. I can assure you our primary focus has always been, and will always be, to do what is best for our Blackhorse brothers who served with the 11th ACR in Vietnam and/or Cambodia. It was an honor to work for you!

We lost one of our most respected and beloved members on August 15 when Lawrence “Larry” Haworth, LTC, USA (Ret) passed away. Larry was one of the first members of the 11th ACVVC and served as one of our Chaplains for many years. Larry served as a Chaplain with the Blackhorse in Vietnam in 1969 – 1970. Chaplain Bill Karabinos provides a beautiful story about Larry in this issue.
 
We held elections at the reunion in Birmingham, Alabama and some new/old Troopers were elected to office. As noted above, Frank Church takes over as your new President on January 1, 2023, through December 31, 2024. Steve Page was elected Vice President for the same time period. Greg Mason was re-elected Secretary through December 31, 2024. Mike “Doc” Rafferty was re-elected as Director for a three-year term beginning January 1, 2023, and Eric Newton was elected as a Director to fill the unfinished one-year term of Steve Page who will resign Jan. 1, 2023 as Director to move into the VP slot. Congratulations to all and Good Luck in continuing the unparalleled success of the 11th ACVVC!
 
Our members selected the DoubleTree Hilton in Omaha, Nebraska (Sep 2 – 9) as the site for our 2024 reunion. Next year we will revisit the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, Michigan, (Sep 18 – 24). We had a great turnout there in 2018 with 1,300 in attendance. We expect another big turnout, so register early using the reunion registration form in this issue.

At the Membership meeting, Elbert Carter of Fountain, Colorado (HHT, 1/11, 1969-70) was chosen as the 2022 recipient of the Jack Quilter Award by last year’s honoree Rick Alford.

The Blackhorse Women’s Group chose Carrie Holton as their “Woman of the Year” for 2022.
As President I was honored to present two Special Recognition Awards. One went to Jack Morrison, Rockport, Indiana (A Trp & Air Cav Trp, 1967-69) for his many years helping his brother veterans with VA claims and advice. Mike McFarland (brother-in-law of Ron Fishel, REGT HHT, 1967-68) was recognized for his invaluable help as a graphic artist in setting up our annual 11th ACVVC calendar. Congratulations Jack and Mike! Finally, I was pleased to award the 11th ACVVC 2022 Trooper of the Year Award to Frank Church, of Payson, Arizona (G Trp, 1969-70). Frank’s devotion to the 11th ACVVC and his attention to detail as Reunion Chairman were invaluable assets to our organization and a tremendous help to me.

We were honored to have members of the active-duty 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment attend our reunion: LTC Ken Furtick, Regimental Deputy Commander; CSM Kevin Burg, 2/11; SGT Chris Jamero, 1/11; PFC Jonathan Carlier, 1/11; SPC David Carter, 2/11; PFC Andrews Dexter, 2/11 and SPC Roman Alicea, RSS. We hope you enjoyed your time with us! The 11th ACR has a new Commander, Colonel Timothy J. Ferguson, the 70th Colonel of the Blackhorse. Welcome COL Ferguson! We look forward to working with you and the Blackhorse Regiment. COL Ferguson provides an article in this issue.

We received many compliments on the guest speakers at the Veterans Benefits Seminar. Jimmy Dickey (Veterans Outreach Program Specialist from the Birmingham Vet Center) and John Pinion (Outreach Coordinator from the Birmingham VA Medical Center) addressed an audience of over a hundred people and answered questions on every topic. In addition, Jimmy brought the Mobile Vet Center Van which was parked outside the Convention Complex and provided pamphlets and VA information until late in the afternoon. Thank you gentleman!
Chaplain Bill Karabinos hosted another solemn and respectful Memorial service and took time to focus on the career of our own Chaplain Larry Haworth…thank you Bill.

There were many issues with the host hotel, starting from the moment our Troopers checked in and things seemed to go downhill from there. VP/Reunion Chairman Frank Church worked non-stop with the hotel staff to try to remedy the poor situation we were presented with and ultimately the hotel agreed to pay a partial refund to our guests. Read Frank’s report in this issue. Both Frank and I want to personally thank Amy Haizlip, Event Manager at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex for the great work she and her staff did in helping to make our reunion a success. We also must extend our sincere thanks to all of our Troopers and your families for your patience and understanding in getting through a situation that was less than perfect.

I want to thank everyone who helped, any and all of you who volunteered at all of our functions. You never cease to amaze me in your willingness to pitch in and lend a hand wherever and whenever needed, and Jen – special thanks for the great photos!

In closing, I want to once again thank everyone for their support and guidance over the past the past four-plus years. The COVID pandemic took a toll on all of us, and sadly it took many of our members. We may not be totally finished with COVID, but we did soldier on and managed to continue our unbroken string of thirty-seven reunions despite unforeseeable circumstances which would have hindered lesser people than Blackhorse Troopers.

See ya in Grand Rapids!

Pete

 

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