121st AVN Association Volume Number 7 Issue Number 1 Date 25 April 2014
From the Chairman In June we join together again for our eighth annual reunion. Preparation for the forth coming gathering in Branson started about the time we all had returned home from Fort Worth last year. Much planning has been accomplished and the reunion committee is still at work preparing for your arrival. The turnout so far is good. I have already
prepared more than 80 name tags and it appears likely we will have more than a hundred in attendance.
The Association’s Academic Financial Assistance Program is still alive and well. One thousand dollars is waiting to be awarded to one of your descendants to assist in the cost of his/her education. Instructions and application forms can be down loaded from our web site (Rev 6 Sep 2013). Anyone unable to download and print the documents,
please contact me for assistance, email, USPS or telephone, 706 327 4112 (and leave message if no answer). Send applications to: John D. Kennedy, 7908 Cooper Creek Road, Columbus GA 31909. All applications, with all required documents and information, must be received no later than 30 June 2014.
From The Editor’s Desk We are moving quickly towards our reunion in Branson, Missouri. Donnie and Mickey Powell and John Schmied have been working on this this reunion since last summer and we are confident that it will be a fine gathering. and There are many attractions in the area, and Branson has traditionally been very friendly to veterans.
We will have a hospitality room open during the reunion. We will have beverages available as well as snacks. Something new this year is that we can not take alcoholic beverages out of the hospitality room. This is no longer a big inconvenience for most of us, but it is something that we have to keep in mind. The biggest attraction of this room is usually the conversations that take place between old friends. Every year these conversations shed new light on some of our memories as we get to see them through someone else’s eyes.
We are confident that we will have one of our better reunions. The guest list is already one of our best attended reunions, and we expect to have more sign up within the next few weeks.
TREASURER /MEMBERSHIP DESK Some things to share with you. Many thanks to Rick and Linda Weimar for their efforts at locating and connecting with our veterans, in many cases, long lost. They are a perfect combination for the task as Rick is terrific on the telephone and Linda has the necessary computer skills to make everything work. If you hear from them, please make every effort to assist them in their pursuit of finding our comrades.
The process of locating people is laborious to say the least and there is much all of us can do to facilitate the process. If you have old orders that list members of the unit from any time period, please make copies of them available to the Membership committee. They are quite often the start point in the search for folks. If you have personal contact or knowledge of anyone we have no information on, please share that with yours truly at: Tigerlead67@aol.com or Rick and Linda Weimar at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Although I’ve mentioned this before and I hate to sound redundant there is a continuing issue with our troops changing locations, phone numbers, or email addresses and not letting either the membership Committee or the Association Secretary (John Schmied at: email@example.com) know of the changes. We’re doing better at this but there’s still some room for improvement.
Renewal notices for our current members usually are mailed two or more weeks prior to the end of a member’s currency. Sometimes we’re not perfect at that but we try. When you receive your renewal letter and form please make every effort to send your paperwork on in a timely manner. When memberships lapse I generally send a gentle reminder once or twice but there is a limit to how much time I can devote to this. Once a membership has lapsed 90 days or more I remove that person’s name from the roster of current members and no further “nudges” are sent. If you look at the membership roster on the Association web site and your name is no longer listed you now know why the action was taken. It does not happen often I am happy to say. Although we lose members each year overall we have gained total membership every year and this past year has been no exception. Many thanks for continuing to support your organization.
As the payments to the Association for reunion registrations, PX orders, membership applications and renewals, and contributions come across my desk I sometimes encounter personal checks or money orders improperly endorsed. In all cases the payment should be made out to “121 AVN Association” and marked for whatever purpose the check was intended for. Lately there have been more payments made out to me personally. That’s not a large problem but everyone needs to be more careful with endorsements. I’m sure your CPA will appreciate that as well.
I sincerely hope all who are able will attend the upcoming reunion in Branson, MO and I am certain that all will have a great time. I know that John and Donnie have put a lot of effort into this one.
Historian’s report As the spring of 2014 approaches, it’s time to review for the forthcoming reunion what is happened since my last report where I describe the activities that took place at the national archives during last summer. I believe I mentioned that I had to re-examined the awards documents and reduce the number of DPI’s. I found that my Cannon scanner was automatically set to scan at 1200 dpi. The result of my not understanding how much space each award (a text document) took ended up by being a disaster space wise. So I had to go back through each of the awards and reduce them to 300 dpi. This greatly reduced the size of each file and still allowed the text file to be clearly read.
During last fall and winter I received photos from Tom Nelson, Don Wilson, and John Loper. These photographs have been added to the archive at their appropriate year and we now have the photographs of 36 individuals over the entire period that the Tigers were in Vietnam. However, I do not want to give you the impression that we have all the photographs that we need. I’m sure there are many more and I hope that you will bring some of them to our reunion at Branson Missouri this June. As soon as school is over I will resume my Tuesday visit to the National Archives and will continue searching for awards with citations as I explained in my last report.
As I have at past reunions, I will set up at a convenient location with my laptop so that you will be able to review the archive, check its accuracy, and add new information. I very much look forward to seeing each of you.
Reunion Update It is still two months away, but time flies and the dates for our reunion (June 12 – 15) will be here very soon. Here are some things you should know when planning your trip to Branson.
PX: Due to the high cost of shipping, we will not be able to have our PX items at the reunion. If you would like to make a purchase while in Branson order forms will be available. However, if you would like to “show your colors” while you are at the reunion, the time to order is now. Orders received before May 29 will be shipped in time for the reunion. Any orders received between May 29 and June 5, I will bring them with me to Branson, if you are planning to attend. Any orders received after June 5 will not be filled and shipped until after June 20 when I return home.
Ladies events: Don & Mickey Powell have made several trips to Branson to check on various things to make sure the reunion is a success and everyone is pleased with everything. We know the ladies may get bored with the guys telling the same old “war stories,” so plans have been made for the ladies to enjoy some Branson highlights. The committee (Don, Mickey, Julie, and I) has decided to offer an excursion for the ladies to visit the College of the Ozarks. Known as “Hard Work U,” the tour of the campus is free (although a donation would be appreciated) and will be guided by a student. The tour participants will visit the fruitcake and jelly kitchen, the grist mill, and the chapel. The tour will be approximately 1 hour. After the tour, there will be some free time on campus and you may visit the green houses and the bookstore. The Ralph Foster Museum is also on the campus. Named in honor of the late Ralph D. Foster, radio pioneer and philanthropist, the museum houses thousands of artifacts representing archaeology, history, firearms, antiques, numismatics, natural history, fine arts, geology and mineralogy. A small admission fee is charged. Please visit The Ralph Foster Museum web site http://www.rfostermuseum.com/ for more information.
Reservations have been made for the ladies to enjoy lunch at the Keeter Center. Anyone wishing to participate in this event must sign up (in the hospitality room) no later than 9:30 AM on Friday, June 13. More information and the lunch menu will be available for viewing at the Ladies Table in the hospitality room.
On Saturday, June 14, a morning show is being offered to the ladies who may wish to go. Arrangements have been made for tickets at a huge discount to see the Kenny Presley, “For the Love of Elvis” performance at the Music City Center. Tickets will be purchased upon arrival at the theater; however, anyone wishing to see the show must sign up at the hospitality room on Friday, so we know how many tickets to reserve.
If you are planning to attend the reunion, don’t forget to send in your registration form to the 121 AVN Association, c/o Dave Cunningham, 7650 SW 133rd St., Miami, FL 33156. Hotel reservations must be made ASAP so you can get the discount rate for our reunion. Call the Welk Resort at 1-800-505-9355. Be sure to tell them you are with Group Number 347590, the 121 AVN Association Reunion.
If there are any questions, please contact John Schmied – firstname.lastname@example.org or call 352-633-0541.
It is beginning to look like we are well on our way to another fun and successful reunion.
Don Powell and John Schmied
Branson, A Shopper’s Delight Ladies, the shopping in Branson is fantastic. Branson Landing is such a beautiful place on the river and the Bass Pro Shop is a treasure. I found shirts there that are sun shields and cooking tools as well for BBQ. There is also a fantastic aquarium in store that features fish from the area. It is beautiful and the home goods section is marvelous. They have some of the cutest bird houses and garden items I have seen anywhere. The mall area outside is outfitted with oodles of shops that appeal to every woman – Chico’s, Coldwater Creek and there are some good eating places there. Be sure and wear comfortable shoes as all of the shops are tempting.
Downtown Branson has a variety of sweet shops and stores. I have parted with a goodly sum with those novelty shops that sell custom jewelry items made from glass, tea items from the Victorian era and of course the 5&10 store that is so full of nostalgia it could make one weep. The prices are not the same but it is fun seeing and smelling all of those lovely items like hand-made handkerchiefs, , jacks, trains, paper dolls, and candies from days gone by and so much more. It is a free trip down memory lane for those of us in our second childhood
Plan on using the trolley to go downtown. There are many creative and novel shops offering unusual items that make great gifts for those who have everything. Homemade ice cream and fudge shops are not for the faint hearted or those who live dieting everyday but the smells are free and no calories.
Located in the Grand Shoppes is a Christmas store that is open all year...such lovely ornaments...even hard to find specialties. Tanger outlets has all of the top notch branded clothing like Lauren and Coach. There are kitchen shops galore and Harry & David have a shop there and often sample their products. The prices cannot be beat. The Amish store is a delight and I always come home with honey and herbs for cooking.
Located on Table Rock Lake is Chateau on the Lake Resort which features spa treatments which makes a woman's heart flutter and the lake presents a pretty picture from any angle. My husband and I have walked the edge of the lake after crossing the dam and the chateau sits like a castle overlooking the lake in a story book setting. Amazing.
You will have a hard time deciding on what you want to do first in this city of music of every variety and style, food venues to please any appetite and such a friendly place. The geographic area is very interesting if you like science and you could live a life time and not see or do everything that they have to offer. As an added bonus, there are coupon books with discounts to aid in your decision making but any way you look at it ...there is fun to be had at every corner. I love visiting this magic city when I can and what a joy to have our military get together there.
In Memoriam There are times when we are not informed of the death of one our comrades until long after he has passed. Such is the case of George Brinton.
George Brinton passed away March 27, 2013. He served with the 93rd Transportation Co. (the predecessor of the 121st AHC) in 1962 1964. George was one of the original pilots of the 93rd who flew into DaNang.
Jack Cherry passed away March 10, 2014. (No other information available.)
I have read Daniel Eismann’s book Freedom is Your Destiny!, and found it very enjoyable. Daniel tells us how his service in combat came later to color his spiritual journey. What I found very fascinating about the book is that Daniel recognizes that many people who will be reading it have no knowledge of helicopters or combat. Thus, he takes the trouble to explain what he is talking about. I am reminded of how many times I have tried to explain my experiences and been asked “What does that mean?” With this book, your non-military friends will be able to understand without needing a glossary. I greatly enjoyed his narrative.
I have also read Missions of Fire and Mercy by William E. Peterson. William was not a Tiger, but his book may be of interest to you. He was a crewchief in the 1st Cavalry in 1967-68. His well-written book gives us a tale of life in the Cav that points out the differences between the all American war and our war in support of the Vietnamese. I found it interesting to learn of his experiences and compare them to the war that we fought in the Delta. I had read other books that compared the assault helicopter companies to the Line Division aviation units, but this one really brought it home to me.