Dear members and guests of the 5/60th
What a great reunion the association had in
Dallas Father?s Day weekend. I am still walking around in a daze, so
affected by the vast range of emotions. The tales of war are such one
laughs until your side hurts, only to be found choked with emotions
the next moment. I want to personally thank all those in attendance
for their participation and particularly Tom and Bree Russell for
acting as our host.
Some points of interest about this, our third
reunion. 1) We registered over 100 Veterans with approximately a
60-40 split. 60 being first time attendees and 40 returning. 2)
Banquet was set up for 154 and we extended that.
This reunion was a success?only because you the
members showed up. Any work by the association officers would be
fruitless without you the veterans who lived the Vietnam Experience
making the commitment to participate.
Looking forward, we must continue to grow. As an
association we are not interested in growth just to get larger, new
members means giving then the opportunity to share with fellow
Veterans as we did over the weekend. Go through your old pictures?go
through your old orders?find that platoon member from so long ago.
Bring him to the web site?then the next reunion.
It looks like the next reunion will be in two
years?summer of ?06. As an association we would like to set the date
and location within the next six months. We need your help?anyone
willing to act as a local sponsor let us know.
Thanks again?Talk to you later,
Dear members and guests of the 5/60 web site,
Just a reminder to
let everyone know the association reunion is nearly upon us. We are
scheduled for Dallas June 17-20. The success of this reunion as in
the past is largely dependent on you the members. As the officers
work behind the scene on the reunion, we work on one theme, it is your
reunion, and all activities revolve around you. If the past two
reunions are any indication, those in attendance receive great
benefits from the fellowship found among those you served with. Those
who read this and are undecided, it is not to late, make the call and
get a reservation. For those who have made the commitment, I'm sure
you know someone you wished would be there. Once again make that call;
often a personal invite goes a long way.
See you in Dallas.
I?m sure that all soldiers who have been in combat share a common bond
but certainly each situation is different. In WWII, the men who
stormed ashore on Iwo Jima clearly had a different experience than the
men who battled through the hedgerows of France.
Different weapons, different terrain and a
different enemy make each experience unique.
In Vietnam the men who fought in I Corp and the
men who served in the highlands had their own Vietnam War but life
(and death) was different in the Delta. No one who was there will ever
forget it and no amount of explaining will ever make someone who
wasn?t there understand.
The few times that I ever spoke of Vietnam I
would find myself looking into the blank, uncomprehending faces of
people with no clue of what I was saying.
On the very first day of the Denver reunion, it
was such a rush to speak with people who understood my war, people who
not only understood what I was saying but understood the feelings
behind what I was saying. It was a great joy to sit behind the
registration desk and just watch the animated conversations taking
place. A room full of men pouring out words so long bottled up.
After the last two reunions the Association
received a tremendous number of E-mails and letters from members
saying how happy they were that they had come. Many of these men had
struggled with the decision to come or not to come. I quote here from
some of these letters: "It was the most wonderful thing that I have
done in the past thirty years". "The reunion exceeded my expectations
three fold". "I feel better than I have in 32 years". "If I had been
able to talk openly about Vietnam like we did at the reunion I feel
that my life would have been very different".
I sincerely urge anyone who is wavering, about
whether to attend the reunion or not, to take the plunge. You will not
William (Metz) Metzler
Members and Guests of the 5/60th
Three years ago, no one could have convinced me
of how important this organization would become in my life.
I am sure this feeling is not unique to me, as we each continue to
reach out and find other veterans. Though I have been somewhat
silent on the web site, the activity behind the scenes continues at
full speed. Within the next 2-3 weeks, most of the loose ends
will be tied up on the June reunion and that information will be
placed on the web site. I challenge each member of the
association to take the time within the next 6 months to find those
missing buddies and bring them to the reunion. The officers of
the association have set several goals as far as attendance etc.
We cannot achieve these goals without everybody?s help. As
always, it is your reunion and any ideas or suggestions will be given
full consideration. Let one of the officers know.
Last week Ellen and I took a trip to D.C. where
we met with Jim Sharpe, Mike Schlee, John Sweet, and Wendy Winslow,
all members of the 5/60th. We had a great weekend. From
D.C., we flew on to Tampa, Florida, where we were guests of Tommy and
Cathy Franks for lunch. For all who are wondering, Tommy has not
changed. He is still a great guy, just one of the troops.
In our conversation, I learned of the recent death of Col. Antilla. He
was Bn. Commander late 67 and early 68. He was a great leader
and will be missed.
I pass this on to you, as all this reconnecting
with old friends was made possible by information provided by the web
site. It is so rewarding to become involved.
I have rambled on enough. I hope all had a great
Veterans Day and I thank each of you for your service. See you in
P.S. There is a great article on Tommy
Franks in Dec issue of Cigar Aficionado
Dear members and guests of the 5/60:
With less than a year until the next reunion, which
will be in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area June 17-20, I
feel it is time to get back on line and begin the
push to make this one the best.
While the major reunions are beyond words as far as
the healing, and fellow ship that takes place, an
unexpected bonus is the branching out of smaller
groups that are getting together largely through
contact made at these reunions. Such a gathering took
place a couple of week ago as five members of the Recon
Platoon showed up in Wyoming. What a great weekend. It
continues to amazes me how our time in combat ties us
together for life.
The joys, and the personal healing I have received
since joining the Association, I wish on all veterans. As
members of this Association we need to continue to expand
our search for our missing comrades. Make that call,
find that friend from so long ago, and bring them to the
Association, then on to Dallas.
5th Battalion Association President
With the onset of a new year, I feel it is important to tell the
Association members and guests that visit this site what it has meant
to me. But first let me back up.
This web site would not exist unless several unselfish individuals
had not taken it upon themselves to spend the time and money necessary
to put this all together. Webmaster Curt, Historian Alan, and
past President Earl. I will always be indebted to each of you
for the freedom you have given me. Yes I speak of freedom.
For years I was a prisoner of my past. This Association and site has
provided a platform upon which those who share the Viet Nam experience
can communicate . I not only speak freely of my
experiences, on a daily basis, I encourage others to do the same.
I am not sure what the founding fathers of this Association had in
mind when they started it, but I do not believe they could have ever
envisioned how many lives they would touch. It has been beyond
my imagination. As I see new memberships come across my screen,
my heart is warmed, we have touched another. Continue the good
work my friends. Make that call to guide others to the site.
Happy New Year to all.
Lee Alley Pres. 5/60