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A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:47 am
by Niner Alpha
Looks like the 31st Association is going to come back to life next month and maybe send out a newsletter. At least that is the word passed by Ron from somebody who thinks he knows, but at the same time doesn't post on this messageboard.

Looks like all 6/31st veterans are going to be stuck with the 31st Association until death us do part. What if... just for the hell of it.... a list was made of things people would like see changed. If a list of changes by consensus could be created and enough people are willing to sign on to it with an actual signature then we would then have an actual petition. The petition then could be presented at the next Regiment Association meeting. If there were say....fifty signatures, the people in charge would have a hard time ignoring it without at least a discussion, which would be unlikely if only one person were to offer such a demand. Wouldn't matter if some, or many, of those signing the petition were there or not it would seem to me. Such and action would in itself also be a perfect precedent to set to express the assertion that the membership is more than the sum total of whomever shows up at a single meeting.

This messageboard could be a start in composing the list. But the list would have to be seen as something that more than a handful of people would sign their name to and be in agreement about. A petition could be agreed to and then composed by those who would contribute to it on this site. Then it would be put in a word file that any 6/31st member could download, sign and mail to one address and be collected for evidence. Any remarks they wish to make could be added to the paper copy and mailed to one collection address. The knowledge of this petition could pass by email from one brother to another.

Oh... and I wouldn't deliver the petition. It would have to be delivered by somebody who the Associastion respects and who was an actual 11B 6/31st member. And that person would have to volunteer to read it at the meeting.....assuming he is allowed to read it.

Any interest?

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:36 pm
by Delta75
I would certainly support this idea..and it seems to me to be a good idea. If we could put together a list of suggested changes, we could distribute the list to the email list that I have and see who we can get to support the submission. Not sure who would volunteer to read the list in the business meeting????? I would be more than happy to present the list; however, with my yearly trips to VN, it might be quite a while before I attend the next reunion. On my "fixed income", in order for me to attend, the reunion would need to be either relatively close to me, or be scheduled at an appealing "vacation type" location.

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:20 pm
by Niner Alpha
(We talked about this on the chat tonight a little)

Lets start this by seeing if anybody has in mind something they strongly feel should be done that is not being done , or more than a few things that they think should be done. If people will put in their two cents worth we could create a list of suggestions and then vote on the top five or six and then see if we can get some people to stand up and be counted to support the list as something we are serious about. It's important that we set the direction we would like to see the Association go and set some goals we would like to see achieved that up to now the Association hasn't produced.... and a few serious demands would be a start.

I'll propose some things. Jerry White will too. But...we would like to hear from everybody who would like to see some changes in the status quo. However, if no more than two or three step up and say what is on their mind then nothing is going to happen.

If you don't care what the Association does....well..... then why are you reading this?

If we have to have the extra baggage of the Regiment Association to make face to face connections, then we better try to influence it. The more we die out the more they won't care as time moves on. That's assuming they don't self destruct of their own accord....which looks like what they have nearly already done.

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:58 am
by Niner Alpha
Here are some examples that I happen to be thinking about at the moment:

Fix the Association website. Hire a competent programer at $50 to $100 and hour and take out the trash. It's an insult to the membership to continue to see it online. That spam laced non functioning, locked down to everything but electronic spam registrations, message board is a long standing laugh. And how about that memorial page with the Utube link that was removed by Utube years ago for some legal reason? If they hire somebody who knows what he is doing, the entire site could probably be fixed for a few hundred dollars. And once functioning in a respectable way, it should always be kept up or revived quickly every time it falls. I've managed to do that for the past ten years with my website and I'm not an Association with bags of money to use for the purpose.

Have bylaws and a constitution and follow them. The last Association written ones were ignored and a few years ago totally suspended by the commander while someone, who has since vanished, wrote some new bylaws to the commanders liking. The new bylaws have never seen the light of day.....and probably never written. The Army operates on authority from the top down and obedience from the bottom up. Social organizations, like the Association, composed of mostly present day civilians, do best with some democratic process in place. And in order to have some democracy in place there must be some accepted rules for how the organization runs. And the rules must be respected and followed. That should be the commander's primary responsibility. You know... the President of the United States only swears one thing.. to protect and defend the Constitution. Why should the elected leader of a social organization not do something like?

Allow all members to vote in elections, and upon other significant matters, by email or paper ballot. Open up the proceedings of the association to allow all members to have a voice in it. As it has been, a few "leaders" decide among themselves what they want and serve it up for yearly meeting approval...or just do whatever it is they want. And when there is any vote taken only those at a reunion get to vote. Most of the members don't get any choice at all.

Have a computer list of all the members with at least name, company, platoon, time of service, email address, next of kin contact. Somebody should be in charge of it. Access to it should be for all registered members. When somebody dies and notice is given the organization then the organization should make it somebodies duty to consult the computer list and send a mass email to everyone who was connected to the deceased with notice of the death based on information on the membership list.

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:42 pm
by Delta75
A few thoughts from me.....

(1) At the top of the list is without a doubt...hire someone to fix and maintain the website. The present website is basically "dead in the water", and has been for some time. For example: Under the Reunion Section there is no current reunion information, other than the location and the coordinator's name....not even dates.
(2) Secondly, I agree, one should "not" be required to attend the reunion in order to be able to vote on officers, reunion locations, by law changes, etc.
(3) Consider adding a "Health Issues" section to the website that would permit inputs from our members as to their experiences with the VA. Some of our men are looking for help in getting past the barriers that they have encountered with the VA, and they don't know where to go. Maybe we could even consider creating a position that, hopefully, one of our men experienced with the VA issues would volunteer to support. In other words, let's try to do more for our men then simply reunions.
(4) It would be nice to understand the duties of the Regional Director. I have had no contact from my Regional Director in the last 7 years, and when Tim Miller and I asked for their help in reaching out to the men in their regions to make them aware of the 2010 Reno Reunion, we received no response.
(5) Membership Chair? What are the duties? Does this simply mean keeping a list of our members and their contact information, or does it also include actively recruiting to get more men to join the association? I haven't seen much on the later activity (recruiting) since the 2007 San Antonio Reunion.
(6) Newsletter. I don't believe that monthly newsletters are necessary, a quarterly newsletter should be adequate. It does, however, seem as though most of the history over the last few years has been related to the Korean War. Maybe it would be possible to alternate WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghan, etc.
(7) The following are related to reunion suggestions:

(a) Suggest moving the time of the reunion based on the location. For example: The South is too hot in August, and, for the Gulf Coast, its hurricane season; therefore, how about May for the South.
(b) Detailed Reunion notification information should be made available at least 6 months prior to the reunion.
(c) All association members and "potential" association members should be contacted and provided with the reunion information.
(d) Regional Directors should reach out to all association members and "potential" association members, within their region, to insure that they are aware of the reunion and to encourage them to attend.
(e) Association members should be offered the opportunity to submit a list of preferred reunion locations, and a final list should be complied and provided to all for review. The selection of a location "should not" be restricted to cities having military facilities or cities where an Assocation member resides. Most larger hotels, in attractive locations, have a staff that can assist in the coordinating of the reunion. For example, from what I was told, several years ago, the Chosin Few held a reunion in Branson, MO, and the hotel handled most everything.

and...finally........if we send an email to one of our Association Officers or Board Members.....they should "at least" show us enough respect as to respond.

Thats all for now.


Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:21 pm
by Niner Alpha
(Notion I posted on directors removed to reduce getting off course and complicating what should be basic suggestions.)

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:54 pm
by Delta75
Niner....greatly appreciate this input; however, I for one would like to see things "less" complex than "more" complex. The Association has had enough of a challenge with its present less complex structure...I don't believe that we would have much success with a more complex structure.

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:43 pm
by Ron
This is in response to Jerry's latest email sent out a short time ago:


Hopefully you've sent that 'other' email out to all the association officers as well and not as a general email to just us! Is the prez & his cabinet part of the notification?

And who's the volunteer that will carry this suggestion list to the business meeting, and that's not saying that they'll even allow us to speak our peace! Maybe they should be notified beforehand what we'd like to do at the meeting without upsetting the proceedings at the last minute.

Robert might start something of interest, but it doesn't mean the association has to recognize it! The officers can be stubborn headed!

There are some good suggestions out there that the association should rectify, such as, moving up the reunions to an earlier month as the cooler weather would be better as most of us are now retired! Having the health situation topic now come up I'm wondering how many of us Veterans are aware of the assistance the VVA as well as the legions & veteran affairs have offered over the years. The VA at this time is still having it's issues of resolving the backlog of medical reports. The information out there by all those organizations is more than helpful I'm sure.

That is all for now! :?

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:48 pm
by Vin Zike

I realize I run the risk of a lot of very negative backlash here, but please try to understand that none of this is personal. I'm not very politically correct. I really do not wish to offend anyone or cause any controversy.

Jerry, Thank you for the email directing us to the message board and this topic.
Robert, Thank you for your work maintaining it. I’m quickly learning that it is not easy at the start.

For those that may not know me, I’m Vin Zike, formerly 11B with D/6/31 for a few months in 1969. I’m also the Adjutant of the Association and a former Commander.

I will happily offer to accept any “petition” or consensus list of suggestions that you may have for the Association, and I will present those to the Association at as an agenda item at the next business meeting. Please know that I need to get them in a timely manner if I am to get them formally on the agenda for the meeting.

First off, let me give you some fine print. I’m completely renovating a house in Florida. This is much more than a full time job. I’m also a consultant for the company that purchased my business this past year. I am selling our New York Home and another in Florida. My wife has some rather complex health issues and I have a newsletter mailing I do every quarter for the Association. In sort, I am very busy. I apologize for not spending time on these message boards, but I just do not have the time to keep up with them. Please feel free to use me as a conduit to the Association if you’d like. If not, just ignore my offer or respond with negative drama, and I’ll disappear.

I’m not sure what prompts Robert’s first comment that the Association "may come back to life and publish a newsletter"? I have mailed a newsletter every quarter for more than 5 years. If there are any members out there who are not getting theirs, please email your full name and address to me at, and I’ll be happy to update your address. Posting the updated pdf on the web site is another matter. I don’t know how to do that yet.

I don’t believe anyone is stuck with the Association. No one is required to join it, and the members who want to, can control it. It’s a struggle every year to find people willing to take the leadership rolls, plan reunions, and take on other tasks.

I joined the Association because Jerry asked me to come to a reunion. I stayed with the Association because I reconnected with some really great guys and met some amazing former soldiers from other units and other times. I really feel honored to be in the presence of these men. It’s just that simple. I have no desire to be in charge of anything.

OK, my input on some of the topics:

1) The Website. Last summer, Mary told Jackie and I that her cancer was back and they were not going to do any further treatments. Unfortunately, she passed without transferring the credentials for the domain or the web hosting site to anyone. I’ve been very busy with my business transfer and I don’t frequent any web sites, so I was not aware that the site was languishing. Karl sent a message to the officers expressing his concern. I stepped up and begin a process to secure the credentials. Last week I accomplished that for the domain name and the site. I was not successful for the FaceBook group, which is under Mary’s personal account. For the, I can now get into the control panel, but frankly, I have no idea how to use it. It will have to wait until I can get through tax season, and then I’ll attempt to learn it. Better yet, is there anyone out there who can help out? We cold hire a web tech. That should be one of the suggestions, and I’d like to see the discussion on it. I’ve never had much success with techs running my Challenge Coin Company web site, so tell me more.
2) The constitution and By Laws: these were formally reviewed and updated (dare I say, by 6/31 folks) very recently. I’ll make sure the ones posted on the web site are current, as soon as I can figure out how to do that.
3) Mailed or emailed ballots for business items would require a change in the by laws. That has to be done at a business meeting, so suggest it and it will be presented. I will say up front, that when I posted in the newsletter a request for email addresses to send the newsletters out electronically, I received less than 10 replies, and a week later received emails from three of those, changing their emails. email address change frequently. If we go to direct emails, we’ll need another person dedicated to that job. Any volunteers?
4) Maintaining a roster: The membership chair does this, and has just conducted an extensive review of it. As of right now, we have about 1200 names on the list I use for the newsletter. There are additions, deaths, and losses through moves to the tune of about 30 per month.
5) Addressing Jerry’s question on the membership chair: He is not the recruiter. He maintains the roster, collects dues, and updates the constant moving of our members.
6) Posting a roster for the members: That won’t happen. Privacy is a big issue. Many members would be very upset if we posted their contact info.
7) On the newsletter: Jerry, you said it would be nice to have a quarterly newsletter. Well…. I mail one every quarter. Additionally, over the 70 that have been sent out, they have covered every conflict in the history section that the 31st has been in. By the way, the January newsletter went out a month or so early due to my moving to Florida. The April newsletter is at the printer, and should go out this week.
8) About reunion locations. That is suggested and voted on at the general membership meeting. Just a note here….. most reunions have had between 200 and 350 members present. I don’t believe I have been to a single meeting where more than 20 members bothered to come and vote. Are you suggesting that we have people who do not attend the reunions tell us where to have them?
9) Time of the reunion: August is when the Regiment was formed, so traditionally that is when the Association has it. Cooler months in hot areas would be better in my book. I think work schedules might have had something to do with it as well.
10) I agree with you on the Regional Directors. It would be good to have them more involved with the members in their areas.

When you’re formulating your suggestions, try to keep in mind what kind of a load that suggestion will put on the person responsible for it. If we make it too hard, it won’t get done. Jerry did an amazing job putting together the Delta guys. Others were inspired and did some of the same with their units. Other units just fizzled out. Work takes people. I volunteered to take the newsletter mailing over because the way the others were doing it took 4 people a week, and cost three times as much. It was something I could do. I’ll keep doing it as long as I can. I may not keep going to reunions. That piece hinges on whether or not the 3/D/6/31 guys keep going. If they have a separate reunion, I’ll attend if I can. If each of the companies had their own reunions, most would not actually pull of the first one.



Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:18 pm
by Niner Alpha
Thanks for responding Vin. I, for one, would be glad to see you take whatever we arrive at here and present it to the Association as suggestions arising out of a serious concern from members who would like to see a better functioning Association. However, I'm puzzled a bit.

) The Website. Last summer, Mary told Jackie and I that her cancer was back and they were not going to do any further treatments. Unfortunately, she passed without transferring the credentials for the domain or the web hosting site to anyone.

The Association site has been a wreck for more than a year and the message board locked down for several years, with an exception of Chuck announcing Mary's death, for which he obviously had the key to that site folder. The same overall site crash situation happened before ten years ago and the Association learned no lessen then. At that time the webmaster departed and actually took all the information for controlling the site with her... ask Karl Lowe. His son had to start from scratch to create the website you have now. The webspace ten years ago crashed because nobody knew who to pay to continue it's existence. And now... the present site has been in a state of suspended animation long before Mary died. And somebody in charge.... whenever Mary was handed the keys to the site.. must have had at least a passing glance at the details of hosting site and domain name and all the keys to the site....or was, at the same time, ignorant of the fact that such information was important to record and brought on this present situation. Who got the bill for the webspace? It sure wouldn't likely have been Mary. Somebody would have had to tell her how to get into the site files. My guess is Karl Lowe's son he set it up. Someone at the brains end of the Association should know how this worked.

The bottom line is.....what the members probably are curious about...and forget the blame stuff..... when is it going to be fixed now that you are almost up to the level that you are able to deal with the problem?

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:03 am
by Delta75
Hi Vin...thank you very much for your response. As to your question.

"Are you suggesting that we have people who do not attend the reunions tell us where to have them?"

I am saying that people who did not attend a current reunion "should have an input" as to where future reunions will be held. We need to understand that maybe the reason that "someone" did not attend a specific reunion is because they did not consider the current reunion site as an attractive location. At the business meetings that I have attended, I can't remember there ever being more than "one" reunion site proposed for each of the next two years; therefore, it was either a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down"......that is; not really a choice between more than one site. I believe that this has been the case because of our requirement that a future reunion site must have a member who lives in or near the location who will volunteer to coordinate the reunion. This requirement, therefore, restricts the reunion site location possibilities. Maybe it is time that we consider removing this requirement, and, investigate the possibility of using hotel coordinators to assist us with coordination. With many of us now on "fixed incomes" there are members who utilize the reunion as their "yearly vacation"; therefore, I believe that we need to do all that we can to provide an "attractive" location for our reunions....thus the reason for suggesting that we ask for inputs as to suggested future reunion sites.

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:48 am
by Vin Zike
"Who got the bill for the webspace? It sure wouldn't likely have been Mary. "

Mary paid the domain renewal and the annual site fee with her credit card, then mailed the receipt to the Treasurer for reimbursement. That's one of the issues we faced. The hosting company wanted me to verify the credit information in order to gain access. We ended up taking a different route, which ended in my gaining control of the domain and hosting site. I believe the previous web administrator just passed the credentials to Mary, and she took it from there.

"Maybe it is time that we consider removing this requirement, and, investigate the possibility of using hotel coordinators to assist us with coordination. With many of us now on "fixed incomes" there are members who utilize the reunion as their "yearly vacation"; therefore, I believe that we need to do all that we can to provide an "attractive" location for our reunions....thus the reason for suggesting that we ask for inputs as to suggested future reunion sites."

I agree. However, most of the hotels we have staged reunions at have reunion coordinators. They are very helpful, but only to a point. A lot more goes into this than meets the eye. If you lock in with a hotel, you have to guarantee filling a specific number of rooms to get a price. Fall short, you pay. Nice hotels are higher cost, and members complain. Lower cost hotels are not so nice... and members complain. Just right hotels and in the middle, and members complain. It really is important to have someone in the Association coordinate and run the reunions. Recently, it was suggested that we have a separate reunion for the Delta folks to be held around the same time as this reunion, at Branson. I resisted only because I need to support the Association and the older members. I would go (and support) a smaller separate one, if I could continue supporting the Association. As far as Branson goes, I really don't know much about it. I'm sure it has as much, if not more, than Orlando.

As you are aware, we go to Ft Drum for the reunions frequently. That's because the only active 31st unit is there, and that is where we will get the future members. We just picked up a new Honorary CSM, who was a recent, now retired, CSM of the 4/31.

I think your suggestions on the location will be well received.

On a separate note, Jerry sent the email to Association officers, including Karl Lowe. He welcomed it (enthusiastically, I might add) and passed the email on to the full Association Leadership. I have no doubt that positive input will be seriously considered.

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:38 am
by Niner Alpha
That's interesting about how the site was paid for and maintained. Did the Association pay for the financial support of Mary's site as well? Looks like to me that must have been the case.

Right now her website has suddenly been shut down. ... edpage.cgi

Does the Association intend to pump some life into it and continue it?

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:46 am
by Vin Zike
Mary's site?

I'm only dealing with the Association domain and site. We would not financially support any private effort. What are you referring to?

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:57 am
by Niner Alpha
That the Association would not support any private effort is good to know. And as it should be. I apologize for suspecting the possibility that Mary's site had become just an adjunct supported by the Association.

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:03 am
by Vin Zike
Seriously, Robert, what site are you referring to?

I'm asking because so many comments posted here seem to reflect that the site is a mess. I see ours as having not been serviced since November 2012, but it's not that out of date or cluttered.

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:12 am
by Niner Alpha
If you mean by what site is the one that I refer to as Mary's, I mean the second one down on the link list that is posted at the Association site. And the one listed in the Association newsletters for several years. Click on the link at the Association site and you will see Mary's site is now, as of last night, shut down. It's the one built by Mary, the last long standing Association secretary with the help of Chuck McCammon, the commander of the organization for the last two years. As some may recall, they took much of my site content to create Mary's site back in 2005.

If you think the Regiment site was updated last November take a look at that messageboard. Chuck made a comment about Mary's death, because he had permission to post, in November. Nobody else has posted anything for a year previous or since. The reason is that the board has been locked down. That's why no member can discuss this topic of what needs to be done at the Regiment site. They can't.

The last newsletter..September 2012 lists information about the Dayton reunion but your reunion page doesn't. Certainly the newsletter came out before last November.

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:54 am
by Vin Zike
OK..... I don't know anything about the other site. I'm only concerned with

The Sep 2012 newsletter (68) is posted to the site.
The Jan 2013 newsletter (69) was mailed early (Nov)due to my move. It had all the Reunion info.
The April 2013 newsletter (70) is at the printer, and will go out this week.

I need to figure out how to upload the newsletters to the site, and update the info before even looking at the message board. I see people have registered on it recently. Not sure how to lock or unlock it. Like I said, I'll deal with it as soon as I have time. I'm going to get on with a web tech at the hosting company this week to see if they can walk me through the simple update stuff.

Telling me what is wrong is fine, but suggesting ways to fix it is much more productive.

I can't speak to what Mary may or may not have taken from any other site. You and I discussed this a number of years ago, but please understand that I was not part of that controversy. She is now gone, and hopefully, you can get past all that. If the Association has wronged you in any way, let me know if there is a way I can address it or remedy it. I don't believe there should be any conflicting issues between your Sixth Battalion site and the 31st Infantry Regiment Association site.

Also, Robert, please understand that all the Association leadership is volunteer. None of us gets paid for anything we do. I spend a lot of hours on the newsletter mailing, and I assure you, I do not get paid for it. When I started, I purchased over $3000 in mail machinery so that I could do the newsletter in less than a day (sometimes more if there are issues). I did not request or get reimbursement for the equipment purchases. Karl Lowe does not get paid for writing the newsletter. No one gets paid for anything other than out of pocket expenses. For the newsletter, I send the Treasure the bill for the bulk permit ($190), paid directly to the USPS. I send him the printer bill for printing and folding 1250 copies ($400), and also paid directly to the printer. He gives me a check made out to the USPS to cover the quarterly mailings. If I buy tabs or label printer ribbons, I pay for it and send him the receipt for reimbursement. Our finances are completely an open book. Every dime is accounted for and presented at the open general membership meeting every year. You had better believe that I am NOT excited about having to deal with a web site at this point. I'll do it because no one else will, but I'll do it on my time line, and everyone will just have to live with that..... or they can volunteer to help with it!

So, you've got my story. I'll lay back now and get back to the newsletter mailing. Send me whatever your forum comes up with to present to the Membership Meeting in Aug.

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:12 pm
by Niner Alpha
What I'd do with the message board at the 31st site would be to dump it and start over with a free phpbb board or some other setup. Get somebody to manage it on a daily basis that knows what he is doing....there are a lot of retired guys out there with nothing much better to do that could handle it for you. And... set up some obstacles to prevent machine registrations from the get go. A site that can't control the crap that bombards it is lost. What the Association has now as a message board is not worth saving. Too many machine registrations to deal with that are already locked in. That's probably why it was locked down by Mary, or somebody else, years ago. The controller lost control and didn't know what to do about it.

You could also pay somebody to manage your entire site for you. That way you wouldn't have to rely on the charity of others. Probably cost a couple hundred a month...maybe less...all depending on how much service you want and who you could find that would do it.

I don't think anybody thinks Vin or Karl or anybody else has ever gotten any financial benefit from all of their volunteer efforts. That's not even a matter of question. The primary question is... what isn't being done that should be done? And the secondary question is , what is being done poorly? The failings of the 31st website has to be on top of the list in both regards.

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:01 pm
by Niner Alpha
It's looking like Jerry and I are the only ones that are really interested enough in this topic to say anything. Could it be that we are the only ones left that can work up enough interest to even care about the subject? And....of course....Ron Raymond excepted for his post.

If anybody wants to say's the time..... or, as far as I'm concerned, the Association can just go back to sleep and I will apologize for disturbing their slumber.

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:31 am
by Ron
What would it cost to have an event planner to set up the location and/or activities of our reunions? This way we wouldn't need an individual from that particular area to host the event. Military bases need not be included. Most of us have already experienced 'live fire' demos and don't really need to visit bases unless there's something of special interest & the base commander invites us there.

Will the hotel waive the policy of booking a certain number of rooms to our association or is this a requirement of all hotels?

For those that can't afford the hotel expense will the association help with the cost? Travel expenditures will be left up to the member of course!

Surely during the summer months from May to August the reunion can be planned accordingly. Most of us are of retirement age, with a few owning their own business, so moving the reunions up should make it more comfortable in travelling and sightseeing. Isn't this what vacations are all about & not restricted to just one time frame for the benefit of the association?

What would the attending membership like to see or enjoy while at these reunions? Golf outings, bbq's like Dean Hess had at a ranch in CO, tours of old submarines, natural or native American sites? The list could go on & on, but it's up to our input. So far this is what I came up with...could be more! :o

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:05 am
by The Pelion Kid
Not being the brightest bulb in the box excludes me from really getting involved too deeply..How ever Jerry white has brought up some good points and I think they should at least be discussed and any means possible should be brought out to strengthen the association..I don't think any of us want to destroy what we have ,just make it better..

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:42 am
by Vin Zike
Hi Ron,

I'm assuming that you are asking me those questions. I think they are good for all readers to weigh in on.

The larger hotels have event planners, which have no cost associated. Those hotels tend to charge more for the rooms and have large banquet and meeting rooms. We need the meeting rooms and banquet rooms. I have no idea what a specific event planner (not hotel associated) would charge. I believe we would still need a person in that area to coordinate the efforts, and guide any planner. Smaller/cheaper hotels have tiny meeting rooms and no banquet rooms, and normally have very limited room availability.

We do not select areas because there is a military base there, unless there is a specific reason. Ft Drum, because the active duty battalion is there. It's important for the future of the Association to stay close with them. I, for one, have never gone to the base tours (live fire, etc), which are an added cost for the people going to them, but they are very popular and well received. You may not be interested, as I am not, but we would get a lot of complaints if we did not include those when we are near a base.

Room minimums are everywhere. No hotel would risk waiving that. Also, for every ?? number of rooms, they give the Association a free room. Those are always used for the Active duty honor guard.

The membership would have to vote and create a policy about helping with room costs. In the past, that hase been done by individual donations, when someone knows of a hardship. The Association cannot use it's money that way, without a membership approval and policy, in my opinion.

Ron, keep in mind that a just over 10 years ago, a small group had control of the Association. During that time, things were run very loose, minimal records, no voting, and no real rules. Tens of thousands of dollars evaporated. Since Karl Lowe took an interest and got others involved, that has all changed. We are bound by law and honor to use the Association money according to the by laws and constitution. I think those old ways have given the Association a reputation that still makes some believe it is run the same way today.

I hear what you are saying about the timing and content of the reunions, but the Association is all about the 31st Infantry Regiment, not individual vacations. It is an extension of the military, including a Department of Defense appointed Honorary Colonel of the Regiment (MG Sam Wetzel) and Honorary Command Sergeant Major (recently retired from the active 4/31, Dan Wood). No matter what we do, some will like it, some will not. We get a few hundred that attend the reunions, and very few of them complain about the content. Some complain about the timing, but moving it to suit them will only garner complaints from others. We have to find middle ground and the majority rule. Once this conversation is over, If you-all put together a summary of suggestions and comments, I will make sure it is read into the record and discussed. That's the best I can do on it.

"Golf outings, bbq's like Dean Hess had at a ranch in CO, tours of old submarines, natural or native American sites?" I agree. We plan things like that into all our reunions. There are golf outings, and tours specific to the area. All have to be planned, busses coordinated (event planners at hotels will not do that), and head counts taken. If we don't control who pays for an event, a certain group will just jump in. We have had attempts to take Shanghai bowl cups, significant theft from the quartermaster store by members families, and folks not paying for events. We always get people who come, but do not register and pay the registration fee. We do try to make this an enjoyable vacation. It takes a lot of individual planning and effort (and money).

Again, I'll point out that this is a military Association. It is not a vacation club. There are parts of it that are defined in the constitution and by laws that we have to follow. All that being said, you have some good points and they can all be addressed. By laws can be changed.

Some former 31st guys hate the military, and want nothing to do with it or any of us. Some live for the annual meetings. Every one else is somewhere between. The Association is for those who wish to maintain their ties with the people they served with, recognizing it is about the service, not just a random group of buddies. We stay close to the active unit, so those younger guys (and now women) can have a group to identify with. We are starting to get more members from the current 4/31.

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:42 am
by Vin Zike

I went into the control panel for the .org site, and realized that Mary must have created the html in a separate program (probably on her personal computer) and uploaded it using an ftp. Does that sound right? If it is, I can't really do anything with the web site. I don't know if she used FrontPage or MyLittleWebCreator (sic), or something else. Can the content of the site be taken, and transferred to a new web site creator program?
Is the Message board a separate program like that, or is it part of the hosting package? Can the content of the site be taken, and transferred to a new web site creator program?

Re: A suggestion about the 31st Association March 2013

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:54 am
by Vin Zike

I just read your earlier about the Association going back to sleep.

It sure seems to me that we are listening.

I'm not sure why you feel the need to be negative. We (members) want this to work for everyone. We will listen even if only one person steps up, however, it will be run by the majority of the membership, not by that one. The Association is very active, for an Association of this type. It is certainly not asleep. I believe participation from within it is the most effective way to make it go in the direction you want. Jerry effectively used the Association as a place to get our platoon together. It seems that some in Delta are now interested in breaking off to a smaller group. That is fine, but the 31st exists for all former 31st soldiers, so it will go on, with or without elements of the 6/31-Vietnam units.