Members of the Society of the 5th Division traveled to Columbus, Georgia to attend their 96th Annual Reunion. The reunion was hosted at the Hilton Garden Inn in Columbus.
Highlights of the reunion included: a special trip to the National Infantry Museum, a VIP tour of Ft. Benning Army Base, a tour of the National Civil War Naval Museum, and a trip to Andersonville, Georgia to see the National Prisoner of War Museum.
The National Infantry Museum is home to one of the most significant collections of military relics in existence. Recently opened, the museum houses poignant art and artifacts of war that showcase the role of the infantryman in American defense over the past 200 years and include military transport vehicles, tanks, assorted artillery weapons, and rare documents, along with U.S. and foreign military uniforms from nearly every major conflict. One special moment at the museum took place when Society of the 5th Division Member, and WWII veteran, George Klien was presented a Certificate of Honor and a lapel pin by the museum staff for his service. Mr. Klein was a US Army Ranger who scaled the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc on D-Day. The museum has a depiction of Pointe du Hoc and upon seeing it, Mr. Klein noted, “it looks familiar… but shorter.”
Attendees enjoyed a “Sample of the South” Dinner Buffet on Saturday night. Dinner was followed by the presentation of pins and certificates from President Obama to the Vietnam veterans in the room in honor of the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. Following the presentation of the pins, the group’s Guest Speaker, CSM Steven McClaflin (Ret.) took the podium. CSM McClafllin is currently serving as the Director of Operations and Security for the National Infantry Museum following a 27 year career in the Army, some of which was spent as a member of the 5th Infantry Division.
Sunday served as a day full of planning and remembrance for reunion attendees, beginning with the Non-Denominational Worship Service moving into the Memorial Service and General Membership Meeting. Society of the 5th Division members paid a special tribute to their brothers who lost their lives during the three years the company spent in Vietnam. For two hours on Sunday afternoon the association honored all 514 veterans who were killed in action with a photo presentation and reading of names.
The reunion wrapped up on Sunday evening with the dinner banquet and the Installation of 2016-2017 Society Officers, followed by dancing. Armed Forces Reunions has worked with the Society of the 5th Division since 2012 and is looking forward to next year’s reunion in Kansas City, MO!