Here's and idea that needs some editing

Fall in. Answer up. Be accounted for. Post a memory, photo, greeting or question. If nothing else, post that you are still alive because some of us are likely to be glad you did.
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Here's and idea that needs some editing

Postby Niner Alpha » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:59 pm

I want to send a message out to Alpha guys in a mass email. This is the too long version I know.... but the problem is I have to sell myself before I can sell anybody else and this long screed is the result of the process of selling myself on an idea. In any case, if you have nothing better to do here is the long argument for doing something I'm suggesting doing:

I was the responsible producer and co-chairman of the first 6/31st stand alone reunion at Branson in 2015. You were sent at least a few emails from me during the promotion of that event. My purpose with this message is to present a suggestion for a different sort of event. But before I get to it I have to lay down a little background as to why I came to this notion of what I’m proposing and why I think you should give it some thought. And… this isn’t anything that will cost you any money..so read on.

I started what has evolved into the website 6thofthe31st.com in 2002. I got the motivation to start the site because I had sent Mike Kirby an email as a result of his signing the guestbook at a now long gone 9th Division site. I wrote Mike…” I think I remember you. Do you remember me?” He wrote back…”Sure I do” and attached a photo of me that he had taken in Vietnam. I had a copy of that same photo also since he had handed it to me as a duplicate in 1970 in Vietnam. His response overwhelmed me more than I had expected when I sent him the email. It was truly a light clicking on in the darkness. He was someone that I had fully believed as impossible to ever cross paths with again but now there was communication. The internet was a wonder. After that eye opener of an experience I started a message board website to attract guys from the whole battalion. More wonderful in 2002 than 2018 ...but you know that without me measuring it all out.

After the site got to going and attracting some guys, I got the idea of starting a type chat as part of the first message board. It started slow and for weeks only a couple of us typed back and forth to each other. It got better. Some chat nights there were a dozen or more guys in and out….. and we were just typing… we heard no ones voice nor saw anyone's face… and the guy who could only hunt and peck was at a disadvantage as the type page rolled in how much he could say. We were doing it a couple and then three nights a week at one point. Importantly, contact was now, although with serious limitations, for the first time actually happening every week. These were real people at the other end of the letters slowly appearing on the screen and reveling words of often questionable spelling. Skype and Google voice chat didn’t exist in those days.

Time ticked on. Many of us met at Regiment Reunions…which we, including my site, promoted because they were already there and “organized". The original formers of the Association being all from occupation Korea, and not Vietnam, had no idea what combat veterans wanted in an organization to meet their needs and couldn’t be blamed for not seeing why we were even there. Nobody blamed them. Unfortunately, as 6/31st men assumed officer roles in the organization nothing changed. The ones among them that came into the Association in order to make contact decided that they were now were satisfied and the real need was over.They were now loyal Regiment men and totally dedicated to the support of the modern serving 4th of the 31st. Enter me and Jerry and the Branson Reunion after we had taken all we could take.

There is not likely to be another battalion reunion...because I'm not going to be responsible and nobody else seems to be waiting in the wings. The type chat is long gone. The Regiment Association, instead of yearly, has a reunion every two years now for its loyal members. My website is still there, like a night light, for the stray lost sheep. The 31st Regiment Association limo with the casket has passed by already with the remains of the 6th of the 31st …the symbolic grieving widow will surely be next….if there is one.

Now to the point, if you are still reading this. There is one good, effective, form of contact that hasn’t been fully explored that fills the veterans need to communicate. That is the Skype live group chat. What is good about Skype is that all you need is a laptop with a built-in camera or a computer video cam to attach to your desktop computer that can be purchased for very little. What I am suggesting is a group Alpha chat ….and I’m sending this message to only Alpha guys with emails that I have access to from the main Roster. If you are interested, if you don’t already have one, open a Skype account…which is free. You let me know what your Skype handle is and I’ll send you a message asking for contact and you add me to your contact list. You turn your Skype account to online on at the appointed time and I add you to the chat. It works best if you have some headphones to limit feedback ….or just keep your volume down.

Why do it? It’s for fun. You get to talk to guys who went through, even if not the exact same stuff as you, stuff they would understand if you told them a story from the war that may still remain in your memory. You won’t have to draw them a picture. If you ever went to a reunion you will remember the conversations in the hospitality rooms and elsewhere. It’s like that. It is also something else. It’s the stuff you don’t say about the war that makes a group chat an experience worth having. A group of us have had Skype chats for years and now days the war is only a marginal topic. Yet we are drawn to it regularly.

If you would be interested to joining an Alpha company chat, respond to this email with your Skype handle. I will make a list of those interested and send out a further email to those on the list of interested that I have made Skype connection with and set up a night to try out a group chat. I won’t email you further if I don’t hear from you. I only make this suggestion as a leaf I didn’t want to leave unturned.

I remember a guy coming up to me at the Branson reunion who was making contact with guys he served with for the first time. I remember the waver in his voice as he spoke his appreciation for the part I played in making it happen. I knew then he had just experienced that feeling I got when I got the response from Mike Kirby seventeen or so years ago. There are some others…maybe you… who haven’t had that experience. A Skype chat might be a memorable experience you would be glad you tried at least once.

I appreciate any consideration you may give this idea.

Robert Stewart,
6thofthe31st
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Re: Here's and idea that needs some editing

Postby Niner Alpha » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:54 am

Ok ...the above idea is long and winded and reminds me of a scene in which Archie tells Edith to "stifle" at some point. Here is at least an improvement:

Alpha Company, 6th Battalion of the 31st Infantry, 9th Division ring any bell with you? I hope so. You’re name is on the Alpha Roster I used to send out a lot of emails to back in 2015 about the Branson. Now, I want to see if you have any interest in an Alpha group Skype video chat.

Once upon a time…back about a decade and a half back my 6th of the 31st site started type chats. With many guys on hunt and peck, and with fast scrolling pages, it must have been a real exercise for some. The early adventure produced surprising interest though. This was before Skype and Google and anybody knew what a facebook was. Such type forums are now as dead as Hubert Humphrey...and rightly so. No offence to Hubert.

There has been a group Skype chat for a half dozen and more years now with four of us on Thursday nights. It’s an odd batch of us too….two Delta guys, myself and a refugee from the big red one. None of us served at the same time even. I got to thinking more guys ought to be aware of this internet age possibility that is the live Skype chat and am now emailing all Alpha guys I have an email link to…. you being one of them…..to see if I can work up any interest.

So you don't know what to talk about? Here are a few examples:

Shit… you still alive?

You want to know what happened when I went to the VA?

Just got back from my vacation and gals now are wearing these two piece outfits with the ass end being only a string up their crack and….

Do you remember that time when….

If you are interested in giving an Alpha Skype group video chat a try respond to this message and I’ll fill you in with the details. It would be helpful if you let me know what your Skype handle is so I can get on your Skype contact list.

Skype is free. You just talk. No typing. And you see who you are talking to by video camera. You can share links and images as well. You do need a video camera….most laptops now days have one built in. Desk tops can be equipped with an add on video cam for about $20.

Robert Stewart

6thofthe31st.com
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Re: Here's and idea that needs some editing

Postby Niner Alpha » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:06 pm

Ok... I mass emailed the above message... with a couple of exclusions...like death and people I know I don't get along with. The email adddresses are three years old so I know many will bounce. If you are reading this and didn't get an email ...and are interested.... let me know.
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Re: Here's and idea that needs some editing

Postby Niner Alpha » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:19 pm

Thursday night we had two new voices on the Skype chat. Both were from Alpha. One from the original Ft. Lewis boys. One from late 69 until October 1970. Neither had ever been to a reunion before, neither the 31st Association, which both belonged to, or at the Branson stand alone non Association affiliated reunion. Both are living out West. One in Arizona and the other in California

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