2019 REUNION UPDATE
From Ron McCants:
The recent reunion was a huge success as each one proves to be!
They are what we make them – spending time with old friends and making new ones.
There are a few things we need to know going forward.
1. Lee Alley has been redeployed – at his own request! After 18+ years of leading us, he wants to rejoin the ranks of those of us who are able to attend the reunions with no responsibilities. In other words, he wants to be able to spend more time with you. I said all of that to say that he
has “retired” / resigned as President of the Association. I am sure you all want to join me in heartfelt appreciation for his leadership!
2. At the business meeting the members present selected me as Lee’s successor. I am both honored and humbled at the confidence you placed in me. Together, we will all continue to insure the Association continues to fulfill its stated mission / vision.
3. Metz has also relinquished his responsibilities as Webmaster. Thank you, Metz, for taking on the website and doing an excellent job! Linda Adams has graciously volunteered to take on the responsibility. She has tremendous expertise in this area and is a welcomed addition to the team. For those who do not know, Linda is the niece of one of our comrades in arms, Ron Bishop. Linda and her mother June, Ron’s sister have attended many reunions throughout the years. Welcome aboard Linda!
4. As some of you may not know, Metz is facing personal and family medical issues. Barbara is in the hospital and that takes tremendous amounts of physical, emotional and spiritual energy. Please remember them in your thoughts and prayers.
5. Please direct any updated information for the website to me Ron McCants. Any other questions regarding the Association may be also be directed to me Ron McCants or 850-590-5665 (voice or text).
I apologize for not practicing the grace of brevity, but as you can see there is important information
that needs to be communicated. We will endeavor to pass along all pertinent information in a timely manner.
PS: We decided at the membership meeting to return to St. Louis for Reunion 2021. Details will follow.
Dear members and guests of the 5/60th
What a great reunion the association had in Dallas Father?s Day weekend. I am still walking around in a daze, so affected by the vast range of emotions. The tales of war are such one laughs until your side hurts, only to be found choked with emotions the next moment. I want to personally thank all those in attendance for their participation and particularly Tom and Bree Russell for acting as our host.
Some points of interest about this, our third reunion. 1) We registered over 100 Veterans with approximately a 60-40 split. 60 being first time attendees and 40 returning. 2) Banquet was set up for 154 and we extended that.
This reunion was a success?only because you the members showed up. Any work by the association officers would be fruitless without you the veterans who lived the Vietnam Experience making the commitment to participate.
Looking forward, we must continue to grow. As an association we are not interested in growth just to get larger, new members means giving then the opportunity to share with fellow Veterans as we did over the weekend. Go through your old pictures?go through your old orders?find that platoon member from so long ago. Bring him to the web site?then the next reunion.
It looks like the next reunion will be in two years?summer of ?06. As an association we would like to set the date and location within the next six months. We need your help?anyone willing to act as a local sponsor let us know.
Thanks again?Talk to you later,
Dear members and guests of the 5/60 web site,
Just a reminder to let everyone know the association reunion is nearly upon us. We are scheduled for Dallas June 17-20. The success of this reunion as in the past is largely dependent on you the members. As the officers work behind the scene on the reunion, we work on one theme, it is your reunion, and all activities revolve around you. If the past two reunions are any indication, those in attendance receive great benefits from the fellowship found among those you served with. Those who read this and are undecided, it is not to late, make the call and get a reservation. For those who have made the commitment, I’m sure you know someone you wished would be there. Once again make that call; often a personal invite goes a long way.
See you in Dallas.
I?m sure that all soldiers who have been in combat share a common bond but certainly each situation is different. In WWII, the men who stormed ashore on Iwo Jima clearly had a different experience than the men who battled through the hedgerows of France.
Different weapons, different terrain and a different enemy make each experience unique.
In Vietnam the men who fought in I Corp and the men who served in the highlands had their own Vietnam War but life (and death) was different in the Delta. No one who was there will ever forget it and no amount of explaining will ever make someone who wasn?t there understand.
The few times that I ever spoke of Vietnam I would find myself looking into the blank, uncomprehending faces of people with no clue of what I was saying.
On the very first day of the Denver reunion, it was such a rush to speak with people who understood my war, people who not only understood what I was saying but understood the feelings behind what I was saying. It was a great joy to sit behind the registration desk and just watch the animated conversations taking place. A room full of men pouring out words so long bottled up.
After the last two reunions the Association received a tremendous number of E-mails and letters from members saying how happy they were that they had come. Many of these men had struggled with the decision to come or not to come. I quote here from some of these letters: “It was the most wonderful thing that I have done in the past thirty years”. “The reunion exceeded my expectations three fold”. “I feel better than I have in 32 years”. “If I had been able to talk openly about Vietnam like we did at the reunion I feel that my life would have been very different”.
I sincerely urge anyone who is wavering, about whether to attend the reunion or not, to take the plunge. You will not be disappointed.
William (Metz) Metzler
Members and Guests of the 5/60th
Three years ago, no one could have convinced me of how important this organization would become in my life. I am sure this feeling is not unique to me, as we each continue to reach out and find other veterans. Though I have been somewhat silent on the web site, the activity behind the scenes continues at full speed. Within the next 2-3 weeks, most of the loose ends will be tied up on the June reunion and that information will be placed on the web site. I challenge each member of the association to take the time within the next 6 months to find those missing buddies and bring them to the reunion. The officers of the association have set several goals as far as attendance etc. We cannot achieve these goals without everybody?s help. As always, it is your reunion and any ideas or suggestions will be given full consideration. Let one of the officers know.
Last week Ellen and I took a trip to D.C. where we met with Jim Sharpe, Mike Schlee, John Sweet, and Wendy Winslow, all members of the 5/60th. We had a great weekend. From D.C., we flew on to Tampa, Florida, where we were guests of Tommy and Cathy Franks for lunch. For all who are wondering, Tommy has not changed. He is still a great guy, just one of the troops. In our conversation, I learned of the recent death of Col. Antilla. He was Bn. Commander late 67 and early 68. He was a great leader and will be missed.
I pass this on to you, as all this reconnecting with old friends was made possible by information provided by the web site. It is so rewarding to become involved.
I have rambled on enough. I hope all had a great Veterans Day and I thank each of you for your service. See you in Dallas.
P.S. There is a great article on Tommy Franks in Dec issue of Cigar Aficionado
Dear members and guests of the 5/60:
With less than a year until the next reunion, which
will be in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area June 17-20, I
feel it is time to get back on line and begin the
push to make this one the best.
While the major reunions are beyond words as far as
the healing, and fellow ship that takes place, an
unexpected bonus is the branching out of smaller
groups that are getting together largely through
contact made at these reunions. Such a gathering took
place a couple of week ago as five members of the Recon
Platoon showed up in Wyoming. What a great weekend. It
continues to amazes me how our time in combat ties us
together for life.
The joys, and the personal healing I have received
since joining the Association, I wish on all veterans. As
members of this Association we need to continue to expand
our search for our missing comrades. Make that call,
find that friend from so long ago, and bring them to the
Association, then on to Dallas.
5th Battalion Association President
With the onset of a new year, I feel it is important to tell the Association members and guests that visit this site what it has meant to me. But first let me back up.
This web site would not exist unless several unselfish individuals had not taken it upon themselves to spend the time and money necessary to put this all together. Webmaster Curt, Historian Alan, and past President Earl. I will always be indebted to each of you for the freedom you have given me. Yes I speak of freedom. For years I was a prisoner of my past. This Association and site has provided a platform upon which those who share the Viet Nam experience can communicate . I not only speak freely of my experiences, on a daily basis, I encourage others to do the same.
I am not sure what the founding fathers of this Association had in mind when they started it, but I do not believe they could have ever envisioned how many lives they would touch. It has been beyond my imagination. As I see new memberships come across my screen, my heart is warmed, we have touched another. Continue the good work my friends. Make that call to guide others to the site.
Happy New Year to all.
Lee Alley Pres. 5/60