The 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.