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!

Reunion Recap: Army Otter Caribou Assn.

IMG_0148The Hilton Savannah Desoto served as host hotel to the Army Otter Caribou Association Reunion last week.  Despite the typical hot summer temperatures and more rain than preferred, the group enjoyed pure southern hospitality at its finest!  As the group Vice President said, “The hotel was extremely helpful in all aspects of our time there.  Anything that I observed that was being done or needed to be done – was done – usually in the back ground.  The hospitality suite was always cleaned and ready to go.  Service was excellent.”

The group of over 100 attendees enjoyed a mix of free time, group meals, meetings, and tours to occupy their time. IMG_0216 On Thursday, they travelled a short distance to Hunter Army Air Field to relive old memories of where most once trained.  That evening, the group stayed at the hotel for a buffet dinner.  On Friday, most embarked on a tour of the city with free time for lunch and shopping in the City Market.  The evening trip took them aboard the Savannah River Queen for an evening of dinner and music.  Saturday was spent at the hotel remembering departed comrades at the Memorial Service, followed by the annual business meeting.  The event wrapped up with the final banquet, speaker, and entertainment.

Armed Forces Reunions, Inc. first contracted the group for their 2014 reunion, and has since handled the 2015 and 2016 reunions.  Favorable negotiations are currently underway for the 2017 reunion.

Check out the full reunion photo album on our Facebook page!

Reunion Recap: USS Little Rock Association

IMG_3368The 25th Annual Reunion for the USS Little Rock Association was hosted last week in beautiful Warwick-Providence, RI. Members of the association gathered at the Crowne Plaza Warwick where the reunion kicked off on Wednesday, July 13th with registration and a Welcome Party in the Hospitality Room that evening.

IMG_3331The next morning, attendees of the reunion boarded the buses and departed for a tour of Newport, RI. The day began with an audio tour of the historic Marble House, home of Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt. Built in the 1890’s by New York architect Richard Morris Hunt, this magnificent home and Chinese Tea house is the pinnacle of Gilded Age mansions. Following the tour of Marble House, members of the USS Little Rock association enjoyed lunch at the Brick Marketplace, many opting for some famous New England fish and chips or clam chowder at one of the local pubs. Following lunch, folks enjoyed a lively driving tour of Newport which included sights such as Bellevue Avenue and the spectacular coastline Ocean Drive.

On Friday, attendees had the opportunity to go on a unique tour to the Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) on the Newport Naval Base. Once on base, participants were able to enter the LCS-9 simulator room where they used a 3 dimensional setting with voice control and realistic sound controls to experience taking the ship in and out of the channel. After the exhilarating experience of using the LCS-9 simulator, attendees made a stop at the Naval War College Museum. Exhibits here focus on the history of naval warfare and the naval heritage of the Narragansett IMG_3359Bay.

The Memorial Service was held on Saturday morning at Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA onboard the USS Massachusetts. The association honored those lost with a ceremonial reading of names, a wreath laying, a gun salute, and the playing of “Taps”. Following the Memorial Service, members of the USS Little Rock Reunion made their way to the Ward Room where they enjoyed a catered deli lunch complete with home-made potato chips, potato salad, fresh fruit, and cookies. Following lunch, folks were able to tour the decks of the USS Massachusetts, otherwise known as the “Big Mamie.”

That evening the reunion wrapped up with a Reception and a delicious Banquet Dinner. Attendees dinned on meals IMG_3399of Roast Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus, Chicken Breast with Sage and Apple Stuffing, and Baked New England Scrod with Lemon Herb Butter. After dinner concluded, the association handed out several awards including the President’s Award, awarded to Steven Chase, and four awards for the four members who have attended every reunion since the founding of the organization. Awards weren’t the only thing won, the association also raffled off three 50/50 prizes and a handmade riffle donated by a member of the association, Jerry Tylla. The night came to end with everyone on the dance floor enjoying songs from the 40s, 50s, and 60s.

Next year, the USS Little Rock hopes to return to Buffalo, NY, where their ship is located. Armed Forces Reunions has had the privilege of planning reunions for the USS Little Rock Association for the previous 25 years! View the full photo album on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ArmedForcesReunions/.