|A large group from Bravo
Company (27 troopers & 13 relatives) held their annual reunion at Crowne
Plaza Hotel Dulles, Washington, DC., May 2-6, 2012. As always, it was a
memorable and festive occasion that provided us all with lots of fond
memories. The ultimate highlight of our reunion was our memorial
ceremony at The Wall and here many of us made a tacit agreement to
conduct another ceremony in the near future.
The Bravo Company Guidon was posted at 16:00 hours on 2 May, and by then
most of our folks were enjoying a few drinks with their buddies in our
hospitality suite. This was our fourth reunion and in addition to the
regular attendees, there were many new faces and they received a very
warm welcome from combat buddies they had not seen for over forty years.
One of the routine actions every evening was the preparation of the
final events program for the following day which we then discussed.
Program of Activities
On 3 May our bus dropped us off at a point close to the White House,
Washington Monument and some of the most famous museums in the world.
Bravo folks had four hours on their own for visiting some of these
important attractions, like the Holocaust Memorial Museum, Smithsonian
Museums, National Museum of American History, etc. Some will remember
the fantastic hats of the ladies, including Laura Bush, who were
attending the fund raising function at The National Mall.
Ladies Fund Raising Lunch
At 14:30 we took our bus to the U.S. Capitol and made our way to the
office of Senator James Risch. Here we were met by three of the
Senator’s staff members who were our guides for the VIP tour of the
Capitol Building. We started off in the huge underground complex of the
Capitol Building and proceeded to the main building with a series of
elevators and a train ride for some. We received a fantastic guided tour
of all the main attractions and we all agreed that this was a “VIP” tour.
By the statue of King Kamehameha
By the statue of King Kamehameha
Later in the evening we all enjoyed a Bravo Company dinner at an Italian
restaurant, called Bertucci. Here Peter extended a big thank you to the
following for their dedicated work for Eager Arms and/or planning for
this reunion: Gene Hedberg, Jim Beck, Martin Brauer, Pete Genecki, Al
Hecker, Fred Fish and Bill Sherwood. Peter also stated that Tom De
Young, Henry Nylan and Chris Decker had sent their warm regards to
everyone. After dinner, we returned to our hospitality suite for a drink
or two and to go over the detailed plans for our ceremony at The Wall.
Bravo Company Dinner at Bertucci’s
The absolute highlight of our reunion was our ceremony at The Vietnam
Wall starting at 10:00 hours, and this is covered in detail at this page
After our ceremony at The Wall, Ray Bluhm was our guide for a visit to
the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean Memorial and the World War II Memorial.
Korean War Memorial
Dr. Jim Rascher, our Battalion Doctor, invited us to his home for a
wonderful BBQ. Even for a restaurant with a professional staff, it is a
major undertaking to provide food and drinks for a group of forty people.
The food was delicious, the setting was peaceful and harmonious, and it
was an outstanding arrangement. Jim was a very generous and gracious
host, and we all enjoyed meeting members of his large family.
We sent Jim a thank you note and this was his response: “Thank you for
your kind comments and the attached photos. Every so often I do
something that I really enjoy and last Friday was one of the best. It
was great watching the veterans of combat just talking and communicating
about their Vietnam experiences..I also was pleased to have my sons meet
and talk with "the boys." They were impressed.”
BBQ at Jim Rascher’s Home
Bravo Guidon Dessert Cake
Jim presenting Ray with second set of towels.
Later that evening in our hospitality suite, the ladies continued to
work on their gigantic puzzle while listening to the background chatter
of war stories and more war stories. Some of the ladies claim that these
war stories got better and better during the latter part of the evening.
Ladies Listening to War Stories
We arrived at Arlington National Cemetery at 09:00 on 5 May and were the
first ones in line for shuttle bus tickets. Ray Bluhm was our guide and
the first stop was President Kennedy’s grave where there is also a view
over many other graves.
President Kennedy’s Grave
Rows of Graves
Then on to the Tomb of the Unknowns and we arrived just in time for the
changing of the guard and the laying of a wreath by an Honor Guard.
Honor Guard Laying Wreath at Tomb of the Unknowns
We visited the burial sites for the Challenger Crew, Columbia Crew and
those from the Iran Rescue Mission. Then we loaded on the shuttle bus
for the short trip to Lee’s Mansion.
After our visit to Lee’s Mansion, many of us walked down the hill to
Captain Decker’s grave where we conducted an informal ceremony and laid
flowers at his grave.
INFORMAL CEREMONY AT CAPTAIN DECKER’S GRAVE
A SALUTE TO CAPTAIN DECKER
We then took our bus to the Air Force Memorial and then down to the
parking lot in the vicinity of the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon. This
memorial consists of 184 individual memorials honoring each person
killed at the Pentagon and on American Airlines flight 77.
The Pentagon 9/11 Memorial
LUNCH AT UNO’s. This was the final activity on our program and we
certainly received VIP treatment by the UNO staff at Union Station and
they served a delicious lunch.
Lunch at UNO’s
After our VIP lunch at UNOs, we decided on snacks for our “goodbye
evening” at our Hospitality Room. Many thanks to the following ladies
for the delicious feast of snacks that they prepared for us: Gen Bono,
Nancy Evans, Mary Larson, Francis Pino, Kathie Sherwood and Barb Stine.
Some of the Cooks
Bravo Company Troopers
Bravo Company Ladies
For more reunion photos, see following sites:
Many thanks for the photos to Jim Beck,
Nancy Evans, Barb Hedberg and James Miles