31st Regiment Association Regional Director Concern

This forum was created for information about the very successful first battalion stand alone reunion in June of 2015. It remains to remember the success and perhaps to encourage planning of another such reunion in the future.

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Delta75
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31st Regiment Association Regional Director Concern

Postby Delta75 » Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:28 am

The following email was recently sent out by one of the 31st Regiment Association Regional Directors:

"What is the point of a stand alone reunion??? Are some people simply jealous and find the can't run the show they go off and start their own show?"

The simple answer to the second question is No.

I am a life time member of the Association, and have probably done as much or more than anyone (other than Mary Doyon, who has now sadly passed) to encourage our 6/31st men to attend the 31st Regiment Association reunions. My company (Delta) has won the 6/31st High Attendance trophy for all but two of the reunions since 2004, and, as we all know, the 6/31st has been the primary attendee at all of these reunions. The Delta attendance resulted from Delta men reaching out to encourage their Brothers to attend. It did not result from an organized reaching out by the Association, and certainly not by the Association Regional Directors reaching out to men within their regions, because during my 12 years as a member, I can't ever remember being contacted by my regional director in reference to a reunion.

Several years ago, the Association decided to use their quarterly newsletter as their primary tool for reunion notification. Unfortunately, this reaches only between 200 - 300 men who are presently on our 6/31st roster. It does not reach the other ~2,000. It also does not reach the men who have moved and for whom the present address on the 31st Regiment Association roster is no longer valid.

For years, I have personally recommended to our 31st Regiment Association commanders that we: (1) Allow our men to vote on a reunion location (and not simply vote to accept the one location offered during the reunion business meeting), (2) Stop limiting the reunion location to only a location where one of our members resides so that he can coordinate the reunion (most hotels in places with vacation atmospheres have event coordinators), (3) Reach out to all of our 6/31st Brothers, and not just those who are members of the Association, and (4) Have the Regional Directors reach out to "all" of the 6/31st men within their regions to encourage them to attend the yearly reunions. Sadly, none of these recommendations have been put in place.

BTW: The 4 suggestions above were included in a more detailed list of suggestions that were provided to one of our former 31st Regiment Association Commanders for submission to the 31st Regiment Association. This list contained quite a few suggestions that were submitted by a number of individuals on this website. We had hoped that these suggestions would be presented and voted on in the reunion business meeting. This, however, did not occur, and we were told that they were provided to the Officers/Board of Directors for their review. We have heard nothing since; therefore, we can only assume that all of these suggestions were rejected.

So to further answer the question "What is the point of a stand alone reunion??? Are some people simply jealous and find the can't run the show they go off and start their own show?" The more complete answer is that Robert Stewart and I wanted to see what would happen if we were to ask our 6/31st men to vote on a reunion location, and if we actually reached out to the ~2,200 men on our 6/31st roster for whom we have contact information.

The results speak for themselves, and that is that 6/31st reunion records were set at the battalion level and for Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie Companies....and...HHC Company tied their previous record. Both Delta and Echo also had excellent attendance, with Delta again being awarded the 6/31st High Attendance trophy.

Whether are not there will be future 6/31st reunions, who knows? Maybe yes, and maybe no. That will depend on the wishes of the 6/31st men (and their wives) themselves.

Please understand that we would ask that our actions not be viewed as "anti" the 31st Regiment Association, but instead as an attempt to make positive changes within the Association. I will continue to encourage men to attend the 31st Regiment Association reunions; however, I would hope that based on the results of the 2015 Stand Alone 6/31st reunion, the Association might consider accepting some of the previously made suggestions.

Best regards
Jerry White
Delta Company/1969
"Caretaker" of the 6/31st Roster
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Re: 31st Regiment Association Regional Director Concern

Postby Niner Alpha » Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:51 am

I've promoted 31st Association reunions on this site going back to beginning at a time, a dozen years ago, when a 31st Regiment Reunion might have attracted six guys from the 6/31st in total...because that's about all of the 6/31st men that knew the Regiment Association existed. They didn't start getting serious numbers from our battalion and our time until they started getting notice from people that came by way of my site. Witness the largest Delta contingent ever at the 2005 Ft. Benning reunion that were there because of the dedicated and hard work of Jerry White. Many of us, by way of my site, brought much of the 6/31st membership they have now to them directly or indirectly.

Many of the major players in the last ten years came by way of this site..Chuck McCammon even played an assistant roll at this site in it's original form. Mary Doyan never heard of the Association until after joining my site. She saw a post I made about her brother, whom I knew well. She found my site by a Google Search with her brother's name in the search bar.... looking possibly to see if Google had picked up an old blog site she had made as a tribute for him. Most of the regular Alpha handful that attend the association reunions every year in the last ten years wouldn't have known about the Association except for my site.

No commander of the Association, except Karl Lowe, has posted anything at my site after being appointed Commander other than Vin Zike who posted a few things as Commander and later posted to respond to the string I started on the suggestions to the Association that Jerry mentions above. The suggestions, by the way, that were promised to be read at an open Association meeting for discussion were instead buried into amended minutes after the general meeting and have never seen the light of day since.

Up until now I have helped the Association in posting reunion details as a service to those who visit this site, even when Association Reunion Chairmen made no effort to do so or to ask me to do so. Now days... I'm done with that. They have to post the information themselves on this site. They are welcome to do so as they wish and I hope they do.

I think the problem with the Association is that they just don't get it as far as what the main and overriding thing is that a reunion is good for. They never have. It's not about a fantasy Regiment. It's not about punch bowls . It's not about a battalion with a different fractional numerator that exists today with no connection whatsoever to our battalion and our experience in Vietnam . It is, or should be, about having a space where guys can re-connect and meet as many guys as possible that they served with that are yet alive. It's about talking about experiences we all still carry around with us as front line expendable young soldiers once. It is also about seeing guys we served with and seeing that they have had a life too and experience one of those... I'm OK... You are OK.. moments. That's what my reunion was about.

One of the Regiment loyalists at the stand alone reunion, asked me... "Aren't you afraid this will dilute the membership of the Association?" What I said, taking offense at the question, was: "I don't care about the Association." What I should have said was, "How many 6/31st guys were at the last Regiment reunion? Who diluted that number from past years?" It sure wasn't me.

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