Two Army Veterans groups from the Vietnam era descended on the Sheraton Pentagon City last week. The 18th and 54th Aviation Company Otternest Reunion was one of the groups to hold their annual reunion there. Close to 100 veterans, spouses, and guests enjoy a great time seeing the sites of our nation’s capital.
The reunion started Thursday with registration and greeting everyone in the 15th floor hospitality room with beautiful views of the city. A welcome dinner buffet followed with an open bar sponsored by one of their generous members. On Friday, a bus took a group into Washington DC for a narrated tour. They saw the Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and WWII Memorial, just to name a few. Regardless of the busy itinerary, they paused for remembrance at the Vietnam Wall to honor departed comrades. Saturday’s trip took them in a westerly direction toward Dulles Airport to spend time at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the annex for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and home to the famed Enola Gay.
The reunion wrapped up Saturday evening with their banquet held on the 16th floor of the hotel with more breathtaking views through large glass windows.
Armed Forces Reunions, Inc. has planned previous reunions for this group in Nashville and Branson, and looks forward to helping with the next one in the Minneapolis area.
Veterans of the 106th Infantry Division and their families and friends joined together for their annual reunion in Washington DC in early September. The reunion was hosted at the Sheraton Pentagon City. The reunion, which was joint together with the National Timberwolf Pups Association’s (104th Infantry Division)’s annual reunion was chock full of meals, tours, and special events.
Beginning on Wednesday afternoon, reunion attendees began to arrive at the Sheraton Pentagon City where registration was held from 2:00pm- 6:00pm. Following registration, the 106th Infantry Division members had a Meet & Greet Mixer with the 104th Infantry members and spent time swapping stories in the hospitality room.
A highlight of the reunion was the group’s trip to Ft. Meade and the Holocaust Museum. Fort George G. Meade is an Army base that includes the Defense Information School, the United States Army Field Band, and the headquarters of the United States Cyber Command and National Security Agency. Originally opened in 1917, Ft. Meade has a rich history serving as a recruit training post and prisoner of war camp during WWII. Interestingly, many members of the 106th spent some time at Ft. Meade when active in the United States Army. The group enjoyed lunch at Club Meade, a base dining facility, and had a guest speaker visit with them as well as members of the band and active duty Army members present the Colors. After lunch, the group visited the Holocaust Museum, America’s only national memorial to the Holocaust. The museum which was established by a unanimous Act of Congress, contains a permanent exhibit of artifacts, films, photographs, and oral histories that document the Nazi genocide.
Upon returning from their Thursday tour, members had a little bit of time to rest and clean up before their Welcome Dinner, which was followed by an evening of fun spent in the hospitality room.
Friday morning began with the group’s Memorial Service followed by a Combined Men and Ladies Luncheon and Business Meeting. Friday evening wrapped up with a trip to see Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center.
Saturday morning members of the 106th Infantry and NTPA boarded buses to take in the sites of Washington on a Memorial Tour. Stops on the Memorial Tour included the Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, U.S. Navy Memorial, and the World War II Memorial. The reunion wrapped up on Saturday night with a Cash Bar Reception and a Banquet Dinner.
The event started Tuesday with the early-bird arrivals. Attendees continued checking-in on Wednesday and Thursday, and were welcomed into the hospitality room, the center of activity for the reunion. Each morning, attendees greeted each other in the restaurant at breakfast, which was complimentary for our attendees. Thursday’s group dinner buffet featured Kansas City BBQ style meats. Folks stayed busy on Friday with the President’s Meeting, Board Meeting, and special lunch for the ladies. Some took the complimentary hotel shuttle to nearby shopping and restaurants. Saturday’s agenda included the General Membership Meeting and final Banquet.
Armed Forces Reunions, Inc. has handled most of the Rakkasan reunions since 2007. It’s always an honor to plan events for our military!
The Pilot Classes of World War II held their annual reunion in Colorado Springs, CO this year. The reunion, which consists of Army Air Corps pilot training graduates from 1940-1945, was hosted at the DoubleTree by Hilton Colorado Springs.
The reunion kicked into action on Wednesday, September 7th as members began arriving from all over the country. On Thursday, attendees participated in a special tour to NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) and USNORTHCOM. They began the day by arriving at Peterson AFB where they were pleasantly surprised to receive a welcome by the men and women of the NORAD and USNORTHCOM. Upon arrival, attendees were greated by Gen. Lori Robinson, NORAD and USNORTHCOM Commander and LTG Dan Hokanson, USNORTHCOM Deputy Commander. The two helped to provide the guests with a better understanding of the unique missions of NORAD and USNORTHCOM to defend the homeland. Attendees received a briefing by NORAD, who is responsible for US and Canada military defense by aircraft, missiles, space vehicles, or maritime avenues. After the tour and command briefing, the group attended lunch at The Airplane Restaurant, an aviation themed restaurant with an intact Boeing KC-97 tanker as its centerpiece. Following lunch, reunion attendees made their way to the National WWII Aviation Museum, which specializes in the unique role of aviation throughout World War II.
Friday included an exciting tour as well, this time to the United States Air Force Academy. The Pilot Classes of WWII reunion attendees received a personal, guided tour of the 18,500 stunning AF Academy campus. One of the highlights of the tour was visiting the Cadet Chapel, now considered among the most prominent examples of modern American academic architecture. Lunch was served at the Officer’s Falcon Club and was followed by the viewing of the Cadets’ Formation and Parch in Tarrazo Pavilion.
For those interested in taking in the beautiful sites of Colorado Springs, the reunion association offered a tour to the Garden of the Gods on Saturday morning. The bus tour highlighted the 1,350 acre park with magnificent red stone formations that date back 300 million years. The park is now a registered National Natural Landmark, and features dramatic views of 300 foot sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies. After taking in the sights, the tour attendees enjoyed lunch on their own at the Trading Post before heading back to the hotel for their banquet dinner. For dinner Saturday evening, attendees enjoyed an option of New York Strip Steak with Peppercorn Merlot Demi, Chicken Saltimbocca with Fried Prosciutto and Sage with Glaze, or Colorado Bass and Shrimp with a White Wine Sause and Pearled Couscous.