The Eighth Annual Reunion was held
September 12 through 16, 2007 in San Antonio, Texas
The hotel - Holiday Inn Riverwalk, 217 St. Mary's San Antonio, TX 78205 It's
been 40 years since we served together. We formed trusts and bonds back then
but I don't think that any of us realized till a lot later how much we'd
come to love our brothers. That's, after all, the reason we get together
every year. I've been to all the Kilo Company reunions, 8 in all so far,
and almost everyone I talk with has the same 2 things that they dislike about
our getting together; Going home at reunion's end and the long wait till
next year. That says a lot.
We were privileged this year to have in attendance, Major Trent Gibson,
Commanding Officer, Kilo Company, Iraq. An interest has been shown by our
Iraq War brothers to start their own Kilo 3/7 Iraq, reunions. We can expect
some of the "New Breed" to join us next year as they "Prepare to March" on
their own. Chesty Puller said it best when he said, "Old Breed, New Breed?
There's not a bit of difference as long as it's the Marine Breed." We are
all brothers and we welcome them with open arms and wish them well.
I've never met a Grunt that didn't love his Corpsman. We may have called
him "Swabbie" or "Squid", but we always knew that he'd be there for us. In
San Antonio, "Doc" was there. In attendance was "Doc" Bob Evans, "Doc" Wes
Lawrence, "Doc" Manuel Serrano, "Doc" Chris Valdez, "Doc" Richard Wagner
and "Doc" Jerry Walker. "You guys are the Marine's doctors-There's none better
in the business than a Navy Corpsman." (Lt Gen. Chesty Puller)
If you weren't there, San Antonio was a clean and friendly city. It was a
warm city too but that didn't stop us from enjoying our banquet at a ranch
on the outskirts of town, taking walks along the River Walk or from having
our memorial service at The Alamo. I would like to lay claim at being the
battle hardened Grunt
but I'm not. Our memorial service is a moving
experience. Being in the presence of others who weep openly at the loss of
their friends only strengthens our bonds. We honor them simply by remembering
them. As long as we remember them, they will always be with us. Presiding
over this year's memorial service was Pastor Michael Zimmerman. The bugler
was Nathan Oliver and standing post was a Marine Corps Honor
Entertainment at the hotel included
a Mariachi band. Add to that home made tamales courtesy of Lydia, Maria,
and Olga Morales, Lucille and Yvette Guzman and Celia Campos.
While at the hotel, 2 of our members met for the first time since serving
together 39 years earlier. Doc Walker and Hank Fletcher shared their time
at the reunion with San Antonio's Channel 12 News. Doc and Hank were part
of the 28-July-1968 firefight when Hank took fragments from an RPG. Out of
supplies and improvising, Doc Walker used a cigarette package to patch Hank
up and ultimately save his life.
Ralph and Jo Ann Bradford were perfect hosts and did a great job setting
the San Antonio reunion up for us. Ralph, Ya owe Jo Ann Big Time. Behind
the scenes there were Peg, Smitty and Brian Mc Kinsey keeping things flowing
and who could forget Dolly and all she does to keep the raffle running smoothly.
Next year we meet in Philadelphia, PA from October 2-6. Here is the contact
information: Doubletree Guest Suites, 1-800-222-TREE (1-800-222-8733) the
If you've never been, think about coming.
The Kilo reunion is my high point of the year. I find myself honored to be
a part of the Kilo family and to be looked upon as one of your brothers.
On a personal note, Bill Rolke will be happy to help anyone who is in need
of help with VA claim forms.
Corrections on the numbers, there were 77 grunts and corpsmen this year (6
corpsmen) with a total of 193 people including families and