Reunion 09

Well, the reunion went quickly at least for me and it will take me a few days for the fog to clear. Everything moves so fast it takes a while to recover. I arrived on Thursday at about four in the afternoon. As the schedule says, we met in the hotel lounge from 5:00 on. As people rolled in I met with old friends that I'd met at previous reunions and and those that would become friends by the time the weekend was over. A special treat for me was that FINALLY I was able to talk to someone that was in Main Support Co at the same time I was. Thanks for coming to DC Lance! Sometime Thursday evening we all went to get a bite to eat and somehow while I was trying to talk to everyone at once, the group got split up and some of us went for Mexican and the others for pub food.

We followed the schedule below albeit very looseley . We left the hotel for the Wall via the metro, a new experience for some of us. A few noisy minutes later we were at the Mall and walked to the memorial. Jim Michaud gave a run down of the time and place to meet for a Capitol tour that he had taken the time to arrange with his congressman. I didn't do the tour so I'll have to leave it to someone who did to send me a rundown of how it went so I can post it. Ken and Debbie Hamblin, me and Jadz and Russ and Carol Walters headed for the Smithsonian's American History Museum. After a while Debbie and Jadz left for the hotel and me, Ken Russ, and Carol finished off American History and move on to the Natural History Museum. That killed the rest of the day. We all ended up at Baily's Pub for dinner.

Saturday, John Brown and Jim Felsecker got the hotel to 'souvenir' us a meeting room for the day so after breakfast we all met there with all our stuff that we've been carrying around to the last four reunions. John got his folder back that I'd been holding hostage since Philadelphia. After a few hours of hashing out the whens and wheres of the next and looking at the "artifacts" we split up and pretty much did on our own. Me Jadz and Deb went to Arlington National Cemetary where we saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier. After thad Jadz and I took a short walk to the nurses section of the cemetary and found the headstone of my great aunt Ada Chew. A career Navy nurse in the WWI era. Although I barely remember her, I got a tear in my eye when I first saw the stone. The Chew pride I guess. Imagine, one of my family laid to rest with all those heroes!

We got back to the hotel, freshend up and went to the reunion dinner at McCormick's & Schmicks aroun the corner from the hotel. John gave a toast to of all people, me, for starting all this. I got that "aw shucks it weren't nothin" feeling. I just made a web page and it got away from me and turned into a whole web site. Col. Kelly got up and spoke and basically said what we enlisted men have waited years to hear. Apparently the brass was paying attention and appreciated what we all did. Thanks Col Kelly!!

And a big thanks to all the wives who came and put up with what at times must have seemed like our obsession to talk endlessly about our past. Thanks for your understanding! The Girls

Sunday morning we all slowly went our separate ways hoping, I'm sure, that we all meet again next year and welcome more 5th Maintenance Bn alumni.


Those in attendance were

  • Bill Gallivan
  • Donald Kelly
  • Bill Bellanger
  • John Brown III
  • Chuck Beegle
  • Saf Canja
  • Jeff Wetjen
  • George Fairfax
  • George Dotson
  • Bob Barnes
  • Jim Michaud
  • Billy Popham
  • Ken Mahler
  • Jim Felsecker
  • Lance Becker
  • Richard Clinton
  • Ken Hamblin
  • Russell Walters
  • Roger Bland
  • Greg Chew
  • Steve Uchniat
  • Dick Sheppard