Reunion Recap: USS Valley Forge “Happy Valley Reunion Club” Reunion

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The USS Valley Forge “Happy Valley Reunion Club” held their 2016 annual reunion in Pittsburgh, PA! The reunion club is comprised of former sailors who spent time aboard the USS Valley Forge. The reunion was held at the DoubleTree Pittsburgh Green Tree.

Highlights of the reunion included a guided city tour, a walking tour of the Heinz History Center, a visit to the Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorial, and a trip to the Nationality Classrooms.

Perhaps the most entertaining part of the reunion occurred at the banquet when four reunion attendees put on a skit for their fellow shipmates and donned hula skirts and coconut bikinis! Reunion club member, Ron Andrews, serenaded the crowd following their banquet dinner.

Armed Forces Reunions always enjoys planning reunions for the Happy Valley Reunion Club and is looking forward to next year’s in Colorado Springs, CO.

Reunion Recap: OV-1 Mohawk Association

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The other Army veterans group from the Vietnam era that met at the Sheraton Pentagon City last week was the OV-1 Mohawk Association.  Almost 300 people were in attendance!

img_2173The reunion kicked off Thursday with registration and free time in the hospitality room and PX to pick up a new reunion t-shirt or other items.  A welcome dinner buffet followed with an open mic for members to perhaps tell a joke or a story.  On Friday, three buses transported the group into Washington DC for a narrated tour.  They stopped at the WWII Memorial and then drove my many notable sites including the Capitol and Washington Monument.  After lunch, they stopped at a central point to see the Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Wall.  They were back in time to rest up for the evening trip to the Kennedy Center to see the famed show, Shear Madness, a hilarious whodunit where the audience gets to catch the killer.  After Saturday’s business meeting, the group had a choice of taking a lunch cruise on the Spirit of Washington or free 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 along with many other aircraft and flight memorabilia.   The highlight of the reunion, perhaps was the anticipated Saturday evening banquet, full of lights, music, and action, as meticulously planned by the reunion chairman.   After a complimentary breakfast in the hotel restaurant (offered each morning), most said their farewells in hopes of seeing everyone next year.

Armed Forces Reunions, Inc. has been contracted to plan the last four reunions for this group along with the next one in Colorado Springs.  Plans are already underway for AFR to negotiate the Reno contract for 2018.

Reunion Recap: 4/9 Infantry Manchu Association Reunion

assn-officersThe Hilton Kansas City Airport was host to the 4/9 Infantry Manchu Association Reunion this past week.  Over 175 veterans and guests attended this annual reunion of Vietnam Veterans.

The event kicked off on Wednesday with most registering that day and reacquainting themselves with others.  After a complimentary breakfast each morning, a bus departed for the tour of the day.  Wednesday’s overview of the city took them by Lewis and Clark Point, Union Station, and the Liberty Memorial before arriving for lunch and shopping at Country Club Plaza.  On Thursday, they discovered the treasures of the Steamboat Arabia, sunk in 1856, but excavated in 1988.  Now, the remarkably preserved frontier supplies including jewelry, china, and more are on display for all to see.  After lunch at City Market, the group travelled on to the recently renovated Museum of Toys & Miniatures to see various toys dating back to the 1800s… a trip down memory lane for sure.  A visit to the mid-west wouldn’t be complete without going to Independence, Missouri, home of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum.  Consequently, on Saturday, the group saw a full-scale reproduction of the White House Oval Office, circa 1948 and a film depicting the life of Harry Truman.   Once back at the hotel Saturday afternoon, the group held their business meeting before getting ready for the Banquet and Auction.  Most said their good byes before departing the ballroom Saturday evening, but all are in high-hopes of seeing each other next year in San Antonio.

Armed Forces Reunions, Inc.  was first selected to be the group’s exclusive reunion planner for the 2007 reunion, and we’ve been honored to plan ten of the Manchu’s reunions!

 

Reunion Recap: USS Bennington

14232457_10206774258022252_8143873363401611000_nThe annual USS Bennington Reunion took place August 30-September 3, 2016 in Omaha, NE and was hosted at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel. Members came together from across the country to enjoy the four-day event, Tuesday-Friday, reuniting with old shipmates.

On Wednesday the USS Bennington Reunion Attendees got to explore two of Omaha’s biggest tourist attractions – the Strategic Air & Space Museum and Boy’s Town. More than thirty of the world’s most famous military aircraft are on display at the Strategic Air and Space Museum. A 300,000 square foot facility, the museum includes the SR-71 “Blackbird” and the B-36 “Peacemaker. The historic collection is a celebration of aviation and the men and women who served at Nebraska’s Strategic Air Command. Father Flannigan’s Boy’s Town was founded in 1917 and incorporated in 1936. Boy’s Town is a complete community for over 550 boys and girls having trouble at home, or with no home at all. The complex is a world-renowned college preparatory and technical training facility.

On Thursday morning, folks loaded up a bus for a guided tour of Omaha. Tour highlights included: the Lewis & Clark Landing, the historic spot where the duo landed; the historic Gold Coast District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places; Billionaire Warren Buffet’s home, a 1903 Scottish Castle; The Blackstone Hotel, the birthplace of the Reuben sandwich, St. Cecilia’s Spanish Cathedral; TD Ameritrade Park, home of the annual NCAA Men’s College World Series; the Omaha Community Playhouse; and many more hot spots in Omaha! After lunch on their own at the Old Market Downtown District, attendees traveled to the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, which houses one of the oldest corporate collections in the nation. The Museum includes artifacts, photographs, and documents that trace the development of the transcontinental railroad to the American West.

Friday morning began with the association’s annual business meeting and the reunion wrapped up on Friday evening with the reception and dinner buffet with Omaha steaks!

Armed Forces Reunions loves planning the USS Bennington Reunion annually and is looking forward to planning the group’s 2017 reunion in Great Lakes, IL!

Reunion Recap: 2/3 Vietnam Veterans Association

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The 2/3 Vietnam Veterans Association held their reunion two weeks ago in Charleston, South Carolina at the Crowne Plaza Charleston. The four-day event began on Wednesday, August 24th as attendees arrived in sunny Charleston to reunite with their fellow Marines. The Wednesday evening Welcome Dinner Buffet officially kicked off the week’s festivities.

14188630_10208980627387004_4856009925673430747_oOn Thursday morning, 94 reunion attendees boarding buses to explore the sights of the “Holy City”. The day began with a two-hour guided tour, with highlights including the Battery overlooking Charleston’s harbor and Fort Sumter, colorful Rainbow Row, the Citadel, and White Point Gardens. After learning about the city’s history, guests enjoyed an early lunch and shopping in the Market Area, Charleston’s historic marketplace surrounded by restaurants and eateries of all types. After lunch, those on the tour enjoyed a one and a half hour harbor cruise that cruised around Fort Sumter Fort Moultrie, Patriots Point, the waterfront mansion, commercial docks, and more.

For those interested in Charleston’s military history, Friday’s tour to Patriot Point and Charleston Crab House, was an area of interest. The day began with 85 attendees touring Patriots Point, home of the largest naval and maritime museum in the world. They visited the carrier USS Yorktown, the submarine Clamagore, the Summer-class destroyer USS Laffey, and a replica of a Vietnam Support base. War planes used in conflicts spanning from World War II to Desert Storm are featured aboard the Yorktown’s 40,000 square foot hangar bay and atop the 888 foot flight deck. After a morning of exploring, the group made their way to Charleston Crab House, a local staple. There they enjoyed a lunch with the option of grilled Mahi salad, grilled chicken sandwich, soup and salad, a hamburger, or fried shrimp. Friday evening began with a Wine & Cheese Happy Hour, hosted by the association, and then moved into the 2/3 Annual Auction.20160827_205322

Saturday morning the reunion broke up into their two different business meetings. One for the 2/3 Members and another for their partners. The whole group came back together that evening for their Cocktail Reception and Banquet Dinner where guests had the option of Sliced Grilled Sirloin with Mushroom Ragout or Grilled Balsamic Chicken Breast with Caramelized Peach Relish.

This is the first year that Armed Forces Reunions, Inc. has planned the 2/3 Vietnam Veterans Association’s annual reunion and we look forward to working with the group next year as they visit San Antonio, Texas!