If any potential reunion attendee.. any former member of the battalion or relative of a former member.... have anything they want to say about this effort....particularly a statement of positive interest, I would welcome it. We need to get a significant base number of those interested to carry this on to the next step. The next step being to present a limited number of choices to chose from as to site and time and then followed the results by a volunteer committee to get things rolling to produce a stand alone battalion sized reunion.
One thing I might say as regards to the Colonel's statement.."I believe that Jerry has recent copies of our Membership Rosters. I would like to know how you'r' efforts fair and what kind of response you get." The list we are using is composed of a stand alone Roster not obtained from the membership list of the 31st Association. This roster list was build over a lot of years from a number of sources. And ...many people on the list have likely never been Association members.
I do not believe that we have ever met, but I'm not sure. I was an Asst S-3 in Task Force Carlson at Dong Tam and the A/6-31Cdr from August 69 to Feb 70 at Can Guoic. Currently, I am the membership chairman of the 31st Infantry Regiment Association and newly elected Senior Director. I have worked with Jerry White and have supported his efforts to locate old 6-31 Soldiers. I hope your effort to build a separate reunion for 6-31 Soldiers is successful. Some of the leaders of the Association have started discussing the impact of your efforts, I think the basic outcome is one of "OK" that's fine. I see opportunities for reaching out to more of our old comrades and for some or even many a unit level of reunion organization may be appealing. Your efforts and those of Jerry could help the Regimental Association. I outlined in an e-mail to our leaders and directors why we should not be concerned that a separate unit level reunion is a problem or concern. The more venues that Soldiers can build to rekindle their old buddy contacts the better. Our only request should be to ensure that you also spread the word and info about our Association activities and events.
A part of my comments to our Association Directors is listed below:
Reasons why I do not believe any move for a separate unit reunion should be viewed as a detractor:
1. Our Regimental reunions are family friendly - at least I thinks we are.
2. Our Regimental reunions have a clear connection to the history of Regiment and the battalions.
3. Our Regimental reunions have clear connection to the current active duty unit which extends our history.
4. Our Regimental reunions honor the military traditions of the Regiment.
5. Our Regimental reunions do support rekindling of old Soldier memories and contact with old comrades.
6. Our Association could benefit from their efforts of contacting Soldiers and trying to build a reunion.
We should encourage those trying to establish or conduct separate unit reunions to ensure that any interested Soldiers are fully aware of the Association's Reunions and events. Old buddies bring in new members better than any other recruiting process. We already have a good example of a group from 6-31 that has a history of separate company level reunions under their belt - "B" Company. They have now reached out and that group has joined our Regimental Reunions and have fostered joining the Association. "Old Soldiers never die; but they eventually look around to find Soldiers they have served with."
I believe that Jerry has recent copies of our Membership Rosters. I would like to know how you efforts fair and what kind of response you get. If building a unit event at a time and location where the Regimental Association has a planned reunion, I don't see that as an issue. We all only have so much time left to look up old comrades and rekindling that process can take many shapes.
If you have the time, let me know what your thoughts are.
31st US Infantry Regiment Association