Gentlemen, hope all of you are doing well. For those that missed the reunion this past June, I’m truly sorry that you couldn’t be there for the camaraderie, brotherhood, and sharing that took place. For those of you who were there, you know what I’m talking about. Please try to make it a priority to attend the next reunion in 2006 in Lawton, OK. That will be discussed in depth later.
|During the reunion, we had our business meeting with a lot of animated discussion about the things that are important to us. Basically, it is broken down into seven major topics:
1. The next reunion.
2. The memorial to be dedicated at the next reunion.
3. Our continuing search for members of our organization.
4. The forming of an auxiliary group for the wives of the members of our organization.
5. A system of annual, 5-year, and lifetime memberships for the organization.
6. A re-write of the current association by-laws.
First, the next reunion: We are going to have the next reunion in Lawton, OK. Depending on a lot of factors, we are going to try to tie in with the Armed Forces day parade that is held in Lawton each year. In 2006, the parade will be on Saturday, May 20. Before any of you pass out, we will not be walking in the parade, we will be riding on a lowboy trailer. We will try to have all members of our unit in matching golf shirts with the unit crest on the left front of the shirt. Ideally, we would participate in the parade on Saturday morning, and then have the dedication of the memorial to our fallen brothers Saturday afternoon. Terry Johnson, Gary Green, Michael Minor and I will be on the reunion committee for sure. As you can see, there are a lot of logistics to be worked out, but I’m sure we can make it happen.
Second, the memorial: Retired Major General Ike Smith has agreed to be the chairman of the memorial committee. There have been several designs proposed for the memorial and I am sure the memorial committee will pick the one that will properly honor those who lost their lives in defense of our nation.
Third, the continuing search for members of our organization: Jerry Mazur (IGOR) has agreed to chair the committee for finding our lost brothers and encouraging membership in our association by those that have been found. Jerry may be asking some of you for help. Please consider this worthwhile endeavor.
Fourth, the forming of an auxiliary group for the wives of the members of our organization: This was suggested by Juan (Chi Chi) Rodriguez during the business meeting. In following up on this, Terry Johnson’s wife Robin has agreed, along with Ken Zahn’s wife Jan, and Jim Arneson’s wife Marilyn, to get this up and rolling. Once that happens, the ladies can elect their own officers, etc.
Fifth, a system of annual, 5 year, and lifetime dues payment: The association has adopted the following dues structure: 1 Year, $15.00, 5 Years, $60.00, and a lifetime membership for $150.00. I have spoken with Fred James regarding the design of a laminated lifetime membership card. For those of you not familiar with Fred, he is the one that designed our beautiful association membership certificate.
Sixth, a re-write of our current association by-laws: Brian O’Neill is working on the by-laws of our organization.
Seventh, Newsletters: In the past the cost of preparing and mailing the newsletters exceeded the amount of dues that were collected from members of the association. This current letter is being mailed to everyone. In the future it will be mailed only to members who have paid dues for the current year. However, all men in our database will be notified of the details of the next reunion. The most current newsletter will always be posted on the battalion web site.
As all of you can see, we have a lot going on in the next 21 months. Working together, I’m sure we can make all of these things happen.Larry Martin, Chairman
A yahoo group has been created, as a forum for the wives to discuss future reunions, past reunions, etc. Please extend an invitation to your wife to check the site out at:
They need to go to this site and apply for membership. If there are any problems, they can just send a note to Robin at email@example.com with their email address, and she can send an invite to their mailbox.
It’s been almost six months since we had our reunion in Branson, Missouri, and I was solicited to submit an “after action” report for the help of those that follow.
The dates for the reunion were selected by the steering committee, but the actual site was selected by the membership in a poll taken from the members who are active on the battalion web site, Branson was selected, and a reunion committee was tasked to make it become a reality.
Any time an event like this is conducted in unfamiliar territory, it presents quite a problem as all of the activities have to be negotiated. After two visits to Branson for a pre- planning conference the committee felt that a professional on the ground was a necessity. At that time we agreed (hand shake) to let Branson Ticket and Travel help us. This was a very wise decision as they handled all of the arrangements to include accounting of all the registration money.
Trying to cater to all of the desires and not letting the a vocal few dictate the course of action, the committee attempted to fulfill as many requests as was reasonably possible. A major concern was that there would not be enough time for all of the members to tell “their stories” again and again. So the committee decided to make the event three days long, with only half of that time for group events and the other half free time. We (the committee) feel that we accomplished that goal.
Door prizes were discussed. Some thought that door prizes were a waste of time. However, when we were giving away of the prizes, no one vacated the premises. The committee fronted about $700.00 for the door prizes with the gamble that there would be money available from donations, raffles, etc. It worked; the money was enough to cover those expenses. And a lot of people walked away with some very nice door prizes.
Location dictates transportation requirements. In Branson buses are a necessity. It cost about $800 per bus per day, and I suppose the cost will be similar no matter where we go. This expense had to be worked into reunion registration expense.
Business meetings are not fun. We spent too much time discussing how our dues should be paid. For future business meetings, I suggest that a written agenda with motions prepared in advance be available.
Cost of the reunion is always open for discussion. Bill Kindt was able to turn back a fair amount of money to the association treasurer after all bills were paid.
In planning the reunion, one topic included “are the reunions for members only?” This years’ committee said “No,” it was for members and their family and guests. We felt that when the family interests were left out, that interest might quickly die and few people would come. We were the soldiers, but it was the loved ones that were really responsible for getting us back home and reestablish our lives. Their devotion, love and continued prayers were just as important as our days in country.
We express thanks to our guests who donated their time to make the closing banquet a delightful occasion -- toDelene Andre, one of Branson’s professional entertainers, who generously donated her time to become a part of the Banquet program –- to Betty Stover who served as the piano player during the banquet sing-a-long. (She died two weeks after the banquet, and was who was buried in the dress that she wore to the banquet) -- to Jenny Wade who brought a talk from the perspective of a wife of a soldier (all to the surprise of her husband, Alec Wade) -- and, to all of our members who became a part of the program during the reunion week and at the closing banquet.
We express thanks to all of those who worked hard to make the reunion possible, and to those who participated in the reunion and the banquet program.
And finally, we express thanks to all of you who attended. We hope that more will be able to attend Reunion 2006 in Lawton, Oklahoma.
In closing I would encourage the new committee to keep the lines of communication open with the general membership. The continued fellowship and network of friends must not be delegated to a few. I stand ready to help in any way I can, and know this is the feeling of most of the other members.
Joe L. Talley
The following is a sample dues statement which will be sent by a separate mailing each year:
8th Battalion 4th Field Artillery Association
Membership Dues Statement
December 15, 2004
|To: John Doe
|Annual Dues for 2004:||Paid
|Annual Dues for 2005:||$15.00
|Dues Last Paid for year:||2003
Prepayment Options [Approved by the committee on August 30, 2004]
|Life Time Membership:||$150.00
|Dues checks should be payable to the order of the 8th Battalion 4th Artillery Association and mailed to:|
|501 West Bay Street
|Jacksonville, FL 32202
We have decided to send dues statements in a separate mailing each year. The next dues statement for 2005 will be mailed in the next 30 days. If you have already paid dues for 2005, no statement will be mailed. If you have not paid dues for several years, rather than ignoring the statement, we request that you at least get a fresh start with the 2005 dues statement. As has been our custom, first-time dues payors will receive the association certificate of membership.
Charles G. White
Members of Executive Committee
|Larry Martin, President|
Brian O'Neill, Vice-President
Bill Prichard, Secretary
Charles Adams, Treasurer
The Battalion Knives for 2004 are in. Zippo sent me a few more than I ordered. If you want one, or more, please contact me via snail mail, e-mail, or telephone (lima lima). Gerald Mazur, 280 Finnin Rd, New Kensington, PA 15068 – OR – firstname.lastname@example.org - OR – (724)-339-7028. If, or when, you DO contact me, please include your phone number. Thank you. IGOR
NOTE: For other items in the association catalog consisting of the Battalion Book, Battalion Commemorative Coin, and Battalion Crest, see: