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NEWS FROM D.C......2003

Another reunion past, Kilo's 4th, and now Washington, D.C. is part of Kilo's history. We look forward to Albuquerque, New Mexico next year on October 22-26, 2004. Voted on for 2005, was Minneapolis, Minnesota. The idea of a Kilo reunion/cruise was shelved.

For those attending, if an award was presented to the person coming the farthest, this years' award would have had to have gone to Jean Marc LeVesque, (Frenchy). He flew in from the Philippines to be with his Kilo Company family and friends. Way to go Frenchy! Taking a close second was Nancy Smoyer, sister of 2nd Lt. William Smoyer, (K.I.A. 28-July-1968). She flew in from Fairbanks, Alaska to be with us.

Again, as in previous years, there were many new faces and many people happy to see them, some for the first time in 30+ years. In all, Kilo Company posted 75 members. Add to that family and friends and we had a sizeable turnout.

Honoring Kilo Company this year was a friend of Nancy Smoyer, Grace O'Brien. Grace was an "In Country" Army nurse during our years there, and is one of us. Thanks, Grace, for taking care of us!!!

Washington, D.C. was hot and humid, and busy too. Because of this few side trips were planned. Everybody was left to be on their own to see the city as they saw fit to do. The only thing Kilo Company did as a unit was a trip to "The White House and Capitol" and an evening trip to 8th and "I", where we rubbed elbows with the "New Marines", watched the "Presidents Own", The Parade and saw the Marine Corps Silent Drill Team. It's been a long time for all of us, but as they marched, the pride and Esprit de Corps was there in all of us.

The memorial service this year was exceptionally moving. This year, the memorial service was held at "The Wall" and for many members, it was their first time there. Pat and Don Hinman brought 137 American Flags mounted on wooden bases. Each carried the name and casualty date of one of our fallen brothers. These were placed at "The Wall" at the appropriate panel. Because of our tribute, many visitors to "The Wall" that day were witness to Kilo's sacrifice.

Later, a short distance away, fittingly, in a tree line, Kilo Company held a memorial service for our fallen. With the reading of the names and the ringing of the bell, a very special time was shared. Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his brother. As long as we remember them, they will always be with us!

D.C. was hot and crowded, yes. But it was a special time for all of us again. For some it was seeing a buddy from last year's reunion. For others, it was seeing a friend for the first time since the jungle. For those never having attended one of Kilo's reunions, think about Albuquerque. Semper Fi means just that,. . . . We Are Family!

In the past, Bill Rolke has made himself available to those with V.A. and Veterans Benefits questions and continues to do so. Wayne Miller has also offered his help. Check the newest roster for their phone numbers and E mail addresses.

Overall, we had a great time and leaving Monday morning, as we've done in previous years, was again a hard thing to do. We'll close this newsletter by saying the same thing we said then…See you in Albuquerque

Till next year…Semper Fi…….Bill Rolke "69
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The stats for this reunion are as follows:

August-Double Tree (DC) Crystal City
76 rooms