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!

Reunion Recap: 3rd Marine Division

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The Holiday Inn Riverwalk hosted the 62nd Annual Reunion of the 3rd Marine Division Association this past week in San Antonio, TX.  The Texas Chapter went all out with decorations for the Hospitality Room, snacks/drinks, goody bags, and more.

The reunion kicked off in true San Antonio style with a dinner cruise along the famous Riverwalk on Tuesday evening.  Wednesday, some took a city tour of San Antonio’s famous sites, while others stayed close to the hotel.  That evening, 100 gathered for a Welcome Dinner at the hotel featuring fried chicken and beef brisket.  Thursday’s buses traveled to the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, TX for a plaque re-dedication and time to tour the museum, as well as the quaint town.  The famous missions of San Antonio were the topic for Friday afternoon’s tour, and then some traveled to Austin, TX for the funny, satirical show – Esther’s Follies.  While the men took care of business Saturday morning, the ladies walked over to the historic Menger Hotel to hear about its famous past and enjoyed a lunch buffet while they were there.  The Banquet on Saturday evening is always the highlight of the reunion with active duty present, as well as Retired General Hagee.  The group enjoyed dinner with a choice of steak, chicken, or salmon and Commemorative Pins for the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War were presented.  The reunion wrapped up Sunday morning with a church service, followed by a Memorial Service.

Armed Forces Reunions, Inc. has had the honor of planning the last 16 reunions, and is already under contract to plan Savannah in 2017 and Colorado Springs in 2018.

Reunion Recap: USS LSM LSMR

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IMG_7303More than 60 veterans and guests of the USS LSM LSMR Association reunited in Portland, Maine this past week for their annual reunion.  The host hotel was the Best Western Merry Manor Inn, a truly reunion-friendly hotel.  The complimentary breakfast each day was a hit, as was the hospitality room stocked with snacks, drinks, memorabilia, and even playing cards.

The group enjoyed a busy but fun reunion.  After most checked in on Wednesday, a bus took the group on a light house tour with free time in Kennebunkport on Thursday.  On Friday, they headed up to Bath, Maine for a guided cruise around Bath Iron Works and a tour of the Maine Maritime Museum.  After lunch in Freeport, most visited LL Bean’s flagship store.  Once Saturday’s business meeting was complete, a trolley picked the group up to explore Portland.  After lunch in Old Port, they saw the IMG_7306childhood home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Bug Light, the Liberty Ships Memorial, as well as other notable landmarks.  The Banquet and Memorial Service at the hotel wrapped up the event on Saturday evening, and most headed home w/ fond memories and high hopes of seeing each other again.

Armed Forces Reunions, Inc actually organized their first reunion in Norfolk back in 1989.   It has been a privilege to have planned twenty-six of their reunions since then!  The group will return to Norfolk in 2017 where it all began.

Reunion Recap: The Chosin Few

Active with VetThe Chosin Few Inc. held their bi-annual reunion at the Marriott Mission Valley in sunny San Diego last week.  Over 150 Veterans (mostly Marines) gathered with their family and friends to total 445 people for the final banquet.  Many journalists were present to document and photograph the veterans’ experiences.

The reunion started Tuesday with registration and a Welcome Reception.  Ellen Gordon, CEO of Tootsie Roll Industries, and some of her family and staff were special guests.  Tootsie Roll Industries has been a strong supporter of the “Frozen Chosin” veterans ever since countless tootsie rolls were mistakenly airdropped over the battle zone instead of the mortars they actually needed (code word for the mortars was tootsie rolls).  The veterans firmly believe that the tootsie rolls helped saved their lives during that sub-zero temperature battle, as they could suck on them for energy, and even used them to plug holes in equipment.

On Wednesday, approximately 250 people went to Camp Pendleton for opening ceremonies, a tour of the base, and lunch with active duty marines.  Thursday, most stayed in the hotel during the day for the annual business meeting, seminars, ladies lunch, and a couple of film showings.  That evening, 200 went aboard Flagship Cruises for a lovely dinner cruise on San Diego’s harbor.  Five buses transported attendees to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot for graduation ceremonies on Friday.  The new Commanding General stopped by their lunch at the Bayview Club to speak, which was an exciting surprise.  Saturday’s trip took them back downtown to tour the USS Midway.  The reunion wrapped up Saturday evening at the Banquet held at the hotel.  Local Korean dancers showed their appreciation to the veterans by entertaining them with native dances.

Armed Forces Reunions, Inc. has been honored to plan 5 of the last 6 reunions for the Chosin Few, Inc. and plans are underway to contract for the next reunion in Norfolk, VA.

View the full reunion photo album on our Facebook page.

Top Reunion Destination: Dayton, OH

Dayton home page imageAny military reunion group is welcome to DAYTON, the Birthplace of Aviation and So Much More! Located at the “Crossroads of America”, this convenient location is extremely accessible for your reunion attendees. In fact, the Dayton region is within 600 miles of 53% of the U.S. population. Meeting in Dayton makes sense!

In addition to being home to the Wright Brothers and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park sites, Dayton is home to the FREE National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The world’s largest military aviation museum is even bigger! See more than 70 aircraft in four new galleries — Presidential, Research & Development, Space and Global Reach. You can board a space shuttle, walk through four presidential aircraft, step inside cargo planes, enjoy new educational opportunities in three STEM Learning Nodes and much more — all with FREE admission and parking! Plus, try out the Air Force Museum Foundation’s new suite of simulator rides including the Pulseworks’ Virtual Reality Transporter (for a small fee), the first of its kind in North America, featuring an exclusive Space Voyage experience!

Read all about Dayton here or click here to find Reunion-Friendly Hotels in Dayton!