The Eleventh Annual Reunion was
held in Portland Oregon,
September 16, 2010 through September 20, 2010.
I'm making a change this year from past newsletters because I think I've
put too much emphasis on the numbers that attend our reunions. Besides not
being as accurate as I would like, numbers really don't mean too much because
we keep growing as a family from year to year. So, with that said. I'll move
on to a personal thought.
When I talk about going to one of our reunions to someone who hasn't got
a clue, they always say "That's nice, I think you should do that.", but they
have no idea what we have shared. E.B. Sledge (K/3/5-'44) put it much better
into words. "Until the millennium arrives and countries cease trying to enslave
others, it will be necessary to accept one's responsibilities and to be willing
to make sacrifices for one's country-as my comrades did. As the troops used
to say; 'If the country is good enough to live in, it's good enough to fight
for.' With privilege goes responsibility." Together each year, we share that
Now, about the Portland reunion: John and Alinda Lord did a tremendous job
in setting up the reunion for us. The Red Lion Hotel was a beautiful place
and close enough to everything for all of our needs. The memorial service,
though only threatened by rain; was, in my opinion, the most memorable one
of all our reunions. There was a Flag of Remembrance Walk, a Marine Honor
Guard, a twenty-one gun salute, moving remembrances given by our brothers,
the service itself, and all done in a secluded, private area that reminded
me of the Punch Bowl in Hawaii. It was very well done and, if you weren't
there, you missed something very special. Great Job John and Alinda!!!
Our tour this year took us into
the Columbia River Gorge area, a vast, beautiful expanse of high, wooded
hills, waterfalls and rivers. At one point, for me, I felt like I was back
on Hill 1062, Easter, 1969, looking down at the Song Vu Gai. For many of
us, that feeling grew as we drove deeper into the woodland.
Our banquet was in a spacious room with a nice buffet setting that had a
great assortment of just about anything you wanted. Of course, there was
the Corpsmen's champagne toast too. (For that we thank the corpsmen, who
can never be thanked enough). Then, after dinner, a Disc Jockey spun a wide
assortment of music that kept the dance floor full for most of the evening.
We also had a lot of our brothers' visit for the first time and this year,
we had the most Corpsmen of any reunion. (In some places, people think that
they are Navy, but we know better).
We also had three of Kilo's Commanding Officers in our presence this year.
Mike Sweeney (68-69), Fred Fagan (68-69) and Wiley Clapp (65-66). Personally,
I enjoyed their "command presence" and was surprised to find out, while talking
with Wiley Clapp that our unit was the first American unit to set foot in
As raffles go, this year was no different. There were so many items donated
that we, again were looking at ticket numbers for hours as things passed
by. And a big thanks goes to Dolly Condrey who has always been there for
us, organizing the raffle. And never forget our Raffle Girls for keeping
things flowing smoothly. Still...as good as the raffle was, I missed out
on the black rubber welcome mat. You know the one I mean, the one with the
Yellow Footprints on it.
Because of the need to step back a little, Peg Smith has turned some of the
jobs that she has been doing over the years, to me. If you're reading this,
you know the great job that she's done over the years for all of us and she
deserves a BIG thanks, from me especially! Peg Thanks So Much!!! You know
we all love you so much.
As for one of those jobs she's done; I'll be taking over the roster duties.
So, if anyone moves, changes address, E-mail or phone number, please pass
the information on to me so that I can make the needed corrections.
While I am on the subject of contacting me: The Kilo Travel/Tree Fund was
used again this past year to help a few of our members attend the Portland
reunion, so thanks to those of you who helped make it possible for others
to be able to get there.
If you care to make a donation to the Kilo Fund, make a check payable to
"Kilo Company", specify where you would like the amount to go and mail it
to me. I will generally deposit it into the fund account on the same day.
Do NOT make the check out to me.
Over the past few years I have also had many people ask me about handling
V.A. claims. Let me know what help you will need in filing a claim with the
V.A. and I will be glad to walk you through the process. My email address
is K37USMC@ATT.NET You may contact me there for further information.
So much happens at our reunions every year that I always let something slip
past. It's not that I forget or don't want to add it here; I just don't have
the space or time. Friends and families will go off in different directions
and have new stories and memories to carry home. But one thing has never
changed. Every one of us...long time member or new...Everyone talks about
how great things were and that they can't wait till next year. If you've
never been to our reunion, think about joining us in Appleton this year...Or
Oklahoma City in 2012.
'Til Appleton... Semper Fi.
Bill Rolke .