Friendship - Communication - Understanding
Distributed Quarterly: March - June -
September - December
47th Scout Dog Platoon
59th Scout Dog Platoon
VDHA Unit Director: Bertram Hubble, email@example.com Bertram Hubble, firstname.lastname@example.org Webmaster: Jonathan Wahl, email@example.com Dean P. Harrison, firstname.lastname@example.org Historian: Bertram Hubble, email@example.com William Whitehouse, firstname.lastname@example.org Membership Director: Bertram Hubble, email@example.com Bertram Hubble, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fellow Platoon Members:
Post-Reunion Report May 10th-12th 2002:
We said that the reunion would be a memorable occasion. An event. you would not want to miss. We said that we would have a great program and dedication at the War Dog Memorial at Fort Benning and that it would be well attended by many of your buddies and friends.
It was in fact much more than that. It was a resounding success in every sense of the word. The exact numbers are not certain as folks kept showing up and wanting to come to the dinner banquet.
Dixie Whitman (from the German Shepherd Dog Club of Atlanta) drove down Friday morning with her band (Jerry Whitman, Ann Wilkerson & Brandt, Glee Lamb, Claire Leonard, and Scears Hardie, hereafter referred to as "the Angels") prepared to work. They set up and ran the reception table, collected money, greeted the guests, gave out a welcome bag to each paid attendant which included some very nice gifts (K9 t-shirts for the guys and tote bags with K9 decals for the ladies).
Throughout Friday afternoon and evening folks were arriving and meeting their old buddies and friends of long ago. For many this was their first reunion but soon the expected anxiety was over and everyone was just glad they came and were having such a good time.
Saturday, which was the big day for the planned events, was terrific. The buses and lunches arrived on time and with the help of Joe McMahon who gave the signal to board, the buses departed for Fort Benning at 10:00 AM sharp. Special thanks and appreciation go to Ann Bowden (Otis' sister) who arranged for the lunches. The lunches were perfect for our needs and helped to keep the day on track. Heightened security required that everyone show a photo id upon entering the base.
We toured the Infantry Museum which included the War Dog Exhibit room. The post newspaper The Bayonet ran a front page story proclaiming May 11th as War Dog Handler Day and mentioned our dedication ceremony at Sacrifice Field. We walked from the Infantry Museum to the War Dog Memorial and the dedication ceremony started promptly at 1:00 PM. The young men in the color guard looked so tall, young and strong. I could not help noticing how our time had passed. Jonathan Wahl welcomed the audience, the colors were posted, the National Anthem was played, Chief of Chaplains Col. Richard M. Hartsell gave the Invocation, the pedestals were presented by Jesse Mendez, the keynote speaker was Stanley Stockdale, the pedestals were unveiled and dedicated for World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Trackers, and a special pedestal in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Robert Hartsock of the 44th Scout Dog Platoon Vietnam. Chief of Staff Col. Lonnie Dale Vona, on behalf of Chief of Infantry and Post Commander Maj. General Paul Eaton, accepted the pedestals for Fort Benning, Kenneth Goss spoke and conducted a very impressive ceremony to honor the dead from the various wars, and a large American flag was raised behind five rifles covered with steel helmets. The German Shepherd Club Dog Club of Atlanta brought down six German Shepherd teams who formed a K9 Color Guard by lining the sidewalk leading to the pedestals and added a special and very appropriate touch to our dedication. It would have not been right without the presence of our K9 friends.The ceremony ended with the playing of Taps and veteran handlers and families and guests then approached the memorials for viewing. Those of you with access to the internet can read more about the dedication at http://www.47ipsd.us/47reun.htm.
After viewing the pedestals we boarded the buses for a tour of Fort Benning to see our old barracks, Infantry Hall, and training areas. Did you notice that the cinder airborne track is now paved with asphalt?
We returned to the Hilton at about 4:30 and prepared for dinner. While the buses were touring the post, the Angels were busy decorating the Empire Ballroom. The Empire Ballroom opened at 6:30 PM and dinner started promptly at 7:00. When we walked into the banquet room we were greeted with such a sight you can not imagine. The entire room was decorated in red, white & blue colors which complemented the brick walls . A DJ from the Columbus area was playing 60's music. Each table was beautifully decorated with each place setting receiving a program and a souvenir linen napkin embellished with a Scout Dog Reunion decal with five German Shepherds in front of the American Flag with Fort Benning GA and May 11th 2002 at the bottom. Around the room were other decorations to include a huge American Flag, tables decorated with army equipment and gear, a map of Vietnam that sparkled, a raffle table full of loot for the Hubbles. and much, much more.
The program was outstanding with Jonathan Wahl giving the introductions, Dick Leonard the Invocation, Don Jestes, Remembering our fallen comrades, Rusty Allen, John Carter, and Tommy Prisoc gave the Scout Dog Roll Call. The guest speakers were Jesse Mendez, Toni Gardner, and Peter Engelhardt. Jesse told us about future plans for the Pedestal Project, Toni discussed her book project, and Peter gave a very informative and interesting slide presentation about his experiences with the Second Brigade Headquarters Operations unit. The food was good, plentiful, and reasonably priced. Perhaps the most unique and and thoughtful surprise of the evening was when Dixie held a Mail Call for every veteran in attendance. She called each of us up to receive a personalized bundle of mail that was "long over due" to be delivered. Each letter was a heartfelt thank you from a person who wanted to convey their sincere thanks and appreciation for a job well done. It was truly a gesture that none of us should ever forget. I don't know how she did it but it was terrific. The program concluded with a very suspicious yet successful raffle in which one table seemed to have a lock on the winning numbers. A thorough investigation was performed by yours truly and no inappropriateness was found to have occurred. Nonetheless, the recipient of this lump sum distribution was smart enough to share some of the loot with others at her table (obviously a ploy to divert attention away from the scene of the crime). Then there was music, mingling, etc. until well past 11.
The reunion was everything we hoped for. In attendance were over 40 handlers from the 47th IPSD, at least 10 from the 59th IPSD, 10 from the 42nd IPSD and at least 5 trackers. Other handlers joined us from the 39th IPSD, 26th IPSD, 44th IPSD and sentry units. All in all, we had at least 130 attending the dinner banquet. The wives and guests of the handlers also had a great time and enjoyed the entire event. Especially that one person at the raffle. Others had planned to attend but due to untimely illness or family issues had to cancel at the last minute.
Due to the extraordinary help and assistance of the Angels, the German Shepherd Club of Atlanta, Jesse Mendez, Kenneth Goss, Ann Bowden, and others we were able to put on a first class event at a reasonable price and still have money left over. The reunion costs were as follows: banquet dinner $3,065,00, the two coaches $1,000.00, the lunches $515.00, the DJ $350.00, and the flowers $279.00. From the proceeds of the raffle and what was left over from the receipts less expenses we gave a check to Jesse Mendez payable to the Columbus Monument Company in the amount of $800.00 for the Pedestal Fund. For those several people who paid and were not able to attend, I took the liberty to net it out and include that in the check I sent to Jesse. I thought that they would probably prefer that rather than get the money back. If circumstances cause you to need the money back, let me know and I will give you a refund. Thanks goes to Dick Leonard for his careful and accurate handling of the funds during the event.
Fort Benning War Dog Memorial (Pedestals)
: I especially want to thank and applaud our new contributors to the Pedestal Fund who are as follows: Steven J. Glab, John Pinezaddleby, Gary Mengel, Jonathan Harraden, and David Starr Malkus. These contributions together with what we raised at the reunion brings the total that we have been able to contribute to the Pedestal Fund to $3,335.00 to date.
I hate to continue hitting you guys up for money but the truth of the matter is that many who should have helped have not gotten behind the Pedestal project yet. We were in early and I have told Jesse that you guys would stand firm and support this project to the end. I was not wrong in my belief. You have stood up and opened your wallets and given. I know times are tough and job uncertainty is a fact of life. Some of you can not and should not contribute at this time. For some, things are better and you can afford to send me a check or match an earlier contribution. I ask you to find your pen and checkbook and in the privacy of your own home, when no one is watching, when only you know how important it is, take a deep breath and just do it. write out a check that you can afford made payable to the Columbus Monument Company. Stuff it in an envelope, address it, add postage and run to the post office. It's done, it's over, you did it. You feel better already. When they ask as they surely will -you know nothing. It's none of their business. You did what you had to do - that's all that counts. Your remittance should be sent to me addressed Bertram Hubble, 143 S. San Jose Drive, Glendora CA 91741.
K9 Travel Club:
With all of us getting older and many of our group already retired, and the fact that we are spread all over the country, Jonathan and I have tossed around the idea of seeing if you guys would be interested in some sort of a Travel Club for the unit wherby members could travel to others parts of the country and save on their expenses by staying at the home of a fellow handler for rent free. Depending on circumstances the host would need to provide free lodgeing and local directions to places and events only but this would be great way to bring the guys in the unit closer together. We could have a separate page on our site to promote this and list platoon members who have enrolled to participate. I view it as a situation where one Travel Club Member would contact another Travel Club Member and make arrangements with them to stay at their home dates and times to be by agreement of the club members. The rest is pretty much what ever they want to do. I would say that Club Members are not obligated to accept any particular club member into their home if they do not want to but the presumption would be that Travel Club members would be receptive to an offer.and have appropriate accomodiations. This is just an idea that we will toss around. You can reply on this by leaving an opinion message in the 47th web site Guest Book or by sending us an e-mail directly. Would love to hear from you guys on this one.
See the next issue for more radical thought from the peanut gallery.
Take care of yourselves,
Author: Bertram M. Hubble Editor/Publisher: Jonathan D. Wahl © 2002 Bertram M. Hubble