Peter Walter, How Btry 3/11, 01/70-12/70
The Presidents Message
By: Peter Walter
4th Quarter, 2020
I hope this edition of Thunder Run finds you all doing your best to survive in this “strange new world”.Our lives have changed as we have all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are no longer living in our normal routines.Hopefully receiving this issue of Thunder Run and the 11th ACVVC 2021 calendar will bring you some sense of normalcy and a sense of reliability.
All of our reunions have their own unique “flavor”, but our 35th reunion, held August 26 – 30 at the J. W. Marriott in Indianapolis was truly unique. Like every other public event, our reunion was subject to COVID-19 restrictions. Never-the-less, 161 stout-hearted souls attended and enjoyed themselves. Vice President and Reunion Chairman Frank Church provides more detail in his “State of the Reunion” article.
I need to give a public and heartfelt “Thank You” to Frank for not only doing his typical excellent job of organizing the reunion, but for serving as the Acting President in my absence. A quiet, steady, nose-to-the-grindstone guy, I can always count on him. Thank you, Frank, for all you’ve done for the 11th ACVVC, our reunion attendees and for me.
At the annual Business Meeting, there were – as always – a few surprises. Russ Sanford of Redford, Michigan (C Troop Medic, 1966-67)passed the Quilter Award to Don Brown, Tigard, Oregon (Medic, HHT, 1/11). Congratulations Don!
Elections were held and Chaplain Bill Karabinos was elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors. I was reelected to a two-year term as your President. Thank you for your confidence in me (I was unopposed!), I enjoy working for you and I will make the only promise I know I can keep. I promise to do my best. We had one office that was contested, the position of Secretary. Jerry Beamon (our Quarter Master) won the election over Greg Mason, our incumbent Secretary. We all look forward to working with Jerry. Congratulations to Bill and Jerry!
I want to personally thank Greg Mason for his service to our country, to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and for his faithful and routinely excellent service to the 11th ACVVC as our Secretary; thank you Sir! Jerry, while you have big shoes to fill, I know Greg will help you in any way he can.
There were three sites offered for the 2022 reunion: The Rosen Plaza in Orlando, Florida, the Marriott in Columbus, Georgia and the Sheraton in Birmingham, Alabama. After a detailed presentation by VP and Reunion Chairman Frank Church, the Sheraton Birmingham won a close contest. The dates are Sep. 5 – 11, 2022.
Our next reunion will be August 25 – 30, 2021 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, 2201 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75207. Rate: $139 Single/Double and $149 for Triple/Quad. Hotel Registration Cut-off date: July 23, 2021. Ph: 1-800-774-1500. Group code: VVC On-line booking link: https://book.passkey.com/go/5ce4394f
At the annual banquet, Bill Suhre, Esq.(I Troop, 1968) of Greeley, Colorado was honored as the “Trooper of the Year, in recognition of his dedication and sage counsel to the 11th ACVVC.
Trooper Jim Young (HHT, 2/11, 1969-70) of Germantown, Kentucky received a “Special Recognition Award” for his continuous contribution and devotion to the 11th ACVVC.
Troopers Terry Stivers (B Troop, 1967-68), of Jeffersonville, Indiana and Mike Cricco (I Troop, 1967) of North Haven, Connecticut were both recognized with perfect “35-0” awards for attending every reunion.
Congratulations to Bill, Jim, Terry and Mike!
There is a story in this issue by Van Marosek. Many of you who attended the 2015 reunion in Columbus, Georgia may remember Van speaking to us at the Members Business meeting. Van emigrated from Vietnam after the war and her perspective is one you need to read.
Our annual Scholarship fund-raising begins when you find your 11th ACVVC 2021 calendar in your mailbox. There are many excellent photos in this edition and I want to thank everyone who submitted photos and/or slides, CDs, etc. I am always looking for clear, good quality images, slides are usually the best. A note about the credits for the photos, sometimes I am given photos that have passed through many hands and I am not sure who took the picture. So, if a photo is published with no credit assigned or with the wrong name, please let me know so I can give credit in a future issue of Thunder Run.
While on the subject of errors, I apologize to George Ruggles (XO How Bat, 3/11, 1966-67), of Redmond, Oregon. The story on the front page of 3rd qtr. 2020 Thunder Run, "The Hardest Job in the Army, 2.0" was written by George. I incorrectly attributed authorship to Chp. Bill Karabinos, Sorry George!
On September 24, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, an event was held honoring one of our Blackhorse brothers. On that day, 53 years earlier, Spc. 4 Joe Minor Thomas, a Medic attached to G Troop, gave his life in the battle of Quy My. Mike Lapolla, an Ambassador with the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame orchestrated the affair. Mike is a 1965 graduate of West Point and formed the original LRRP unit for the Second Brigade, 4th Infantry Division in November 1966. He served a second tour of duty in Vietnam in 1969-70. serving as an advisor to the ARVN First Division based in Hue and the Ashau Valley. Mike is on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health. He teaches in the graduate program and also performs health and public policy research in Oklahoma. Mike says "any LRRP travelling through Tulsa has a free room and board at his home." Thank you Mike for hosting “Joe Thomas Day”!
There is a detailed story about this event in this issue, but I want to make a few points about Joe Thomas Day:
1. Next summer, Spc. 4 Joe Minor Thomas will be considered for enshrinement in the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame. Let’s hope he is accepted.
2. Mike Bloese (M Co., 69-70) and Tommy Sloan (SGT, A Trp., 69-70) both Life members of the 11th ACVCC attended. Thank you, Mike and Tommy.
3. Joe Thomas’ siblings were in attendance and would like to hear from anyone who served with their brother Joe. (Contact me if you served with Joe.)
About eight weeks earlier and over a thousand miles away in Freehold, New Jersey, another Blackhorse Trooper was being honored with the presentation of his second Silver Star. Bart “Doc” Fabian was presented the award by Congressman Chris Smith on July 18. Doc’s story is also in this issue.
There is a common thread woven throughout the fabric of Blackhorse lore that binds these two events…we never forget our brothers, living or dead.
I hope you enjoy this issue of Thunder Run. I am honored to work for you!
“Together then – Together again.”