As a lifetime member of the 6th/31st Association, other than my contact through your email’s and an occasional association newsletter, which now seems defunct, I had no idea what the Association did, who ran it, or, what their rules and regulation were. In their defense, I never inquired either!
That said, suffice it to say, if there is an association, there should be a way for a member to view the by-laws and constitution, review the duties of the officers of the association, including a bio page on the website, which should be maintained and updated on a monthly or better, schedule, and a way to hold the elected officers accountable for their actions or inactions, good or bad. Finally on this subject; any association is only as strong as their ability to attract new members, as well as a hiring and paying for a webmaster, there should be a funded position at worse, and a full-time paid position, at best, for a person(s) whose primary function is to recruit, recruit, and recruit.
Like our personal vote, we each (any person who served with the 6th/31st, from any era) should have one, and like our personal vote, it should be up to the individual to exercise that vote and to determine how much or how little one should become involved in the internal workings of the association. The more involved the more your individual voice will be heard, the less involved or no involvement the less your complaints will have merit or influence.
While I am eternally grateful for those of you who organized and put on the reunions, as a result of attending a reunion; it made me realize, I was not only not alone, I was not forgotten; for I have certainly never forgot. It actually allowed me to consider seeking assistance from the VA that I might have issues related to the War. I agree, and in my opinion, the selection of a reunion site should be for the pleasure of getting together, not predicated on having access to a military base. If the committee to select the sites, if one does exist, and it should, puts out a bid to several competing properties, I can almost certainly guarantee you will get several strong responses from those properties; as meetings and reunions are gold to a hospitality facility. Next the committee might put out a survey to the members and ask them what is important to them when it comes to a location for a reunion. Items on the survey might include; does it require access to a military base, shopping for the wife, will they bring the wife, be close to off property entertainment, places to go, places to eat, site-seeing possibilities, or non-of-the-above. Whatever the criteria the committee comes up with; if they have a consensus from all or even a majority of members on what is important, that would go a long way on determining the type, location, and season of the next reunion location.
Finally, on adding a Health Section, I hope the powers to be take this request to heart. Recently, again, thanks to the email of Mr. White, I was informed some, and subsequently, a lot of our fellow brothers have had varied success and experiences in dealing with the VA on both Agent Orange and PTSD. Many veterans have spent a lifetime “Dealing” with issues best suited for a medical professional to address, I put myself in that class. However, as our band of brothers ages it becomes more and more apparent, not even the sands of time will erase some things and it would be nice to be able to spend the remaining time as unburdened from these issues as one can. I really appreciated all of the recent responses to those posts on the 6thofthe31st.com website. It seems I do have PTSD based on my experience in Vietnam and it was suggested by a med professional to seek assistance from the VA. Those posts gave me both pause and push I needed to gather my supporting data and seek a VET Rep to assist. Therefore, if it helped me, I am sure it will assist others, especially since our unit continues to provide brave young men and women to fight in the name of our country.
Thanks for taking the time to review my comments.