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
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
.Bill Rolke "69