Friendship - Communication - Understanding
Distributed Quarterly: March - June - September - December
"It's an indescribable experience to be reunited with the fine young men I served with thirty years ago."
God Bless - Linn E. Sprowl
"It is most difficult to describe how seeing you guys affects my life. I think of the good times but it also reminds me of the death, and the hatred people had for us, who were so young and just doing our jobs. I love you guys."
"I am a very happy man that I am here. Thanks to everyone for all the arrangements and putting this reunion together."
Thanks, Otis Johnson, Sr.
"Good to be here and see all the guys again. Memories are rich and should be talked about. The experience brought men from diverse backgrounds and bound them together as brothers. HELLO Viet Nam."
"Bert, I think the reunion was a success and everyone that came will plan on returning for the 2000 event (you might as well mark down Otis right now). We reconnected with Sgt. Sprowl, heard some great stories, laughed a whole bunch, greatly enhanced our library of photos, met a couple guys from the 59th IPSD, saw a live Panda Bear, had our emotions tugged and our memories jogged, went all over San Diego in the California sunshine and ate and drank like Kings (especially McMahon)."
Fellow Dog Handlers:
The above comments and reflections are only a sample of the heartfelt sentiments expressed at the recently concluded VDHA Reunion held in San Diego, California on November 5-8.
By any standard the reunion was a tremendous success. The VDHA presented each participant with a gold VDHA Pin and a Reunion Pin. Overall attendance appeared to be about 200, the weather was perfect until Sunday when a light rain storm came in. Friday alowed time for sight seeing and to get together with old buddies.
Although we did not make our goal of 50, The 47th IPSD and the 59th IPSD had a very good showing with twenty three as follows:
47th IPSD Platoon Member Wife/Partner Linn E. Sprowl Beverly Jonathan Wahl John Carter Bertram Hubble Espie Daryl Hubble Naty Jonathan Harraden Belinda Otis Johnson Sharon Joseph McMahon Angie Richard Leonard Lucille Zoltan Mestrits William Sawyer Steve Lemish Bett 59th IPSD Platoon Member Franklyn Harrison Theadora (Teddy) Nino Krajacic
Each reunion is unique and has a very special meaning and significance apart from the previous ones. For the original group being reunited with First Sergeant Linn Sprowl was a very special highlight of the Reunion. It was terrific to meet Otis Johnson (Squad Leader for the Second Squad) after these many years and learn what he has been doing since we last knew him.
Since one of our primary objectives each reunion is to gather more pictures, facts and information about the Platoon's history and accomplishments, we want to thank Zoltan Mestrits (4/70 - 8/70) and Steve Lemish (1/71 - 7/71) for allowing Jonathan Wahl to borrow many fine pictures for scanning. Sgt. Sprowl and Otis Johnson also contributed some fine pictures that had not been seen before. Zoltan also provided a set of orders dated 6/23/70 which identifies many names we had not heard before and provided Social Security Numbers for many others we have not been able to locate.
Thanks to each of you for your contributions. Jonathan Wahl will return your photos once he has scanned them into his computer.
The Saturday evening banquet was a very nice affair. The food was very good (turkey, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables, salad, dinner rolls, desert & coffee). It was a white tablecloth affair with a candle on each table. A huge ten-foot screen showed War Dog footage prior to dinner. Pre-dinner activities included the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and the singing of the Star Spangled Banner by a female Naval Ensign. She did a very fine job but unfortunately I did not get her name. After dinner a raffle was held and some very nice prizes were awarded.
GRB Entertainment , Nature's Recipe and Tom Mitchell provided an update on the progress of the War Dog Documentary, the War Dog Memorial and our efforts to obtain a War Dog Stamp. We were shown a five minute demo clip of the documentary. The film which is scheduled for release in February '99 is a very powerful and emotional work. Be sure to have a box of tissues handy (required for viewing). After the film clip each participant was given a T-shirt to promote the upcoming release of the War Dog Documentary.
The VDHA presented awards to various members in recognition of their special contribution to the organization and the dancing began for those who are better coordinated than I.
Zoltan Mestrits joined the VDHA making him the 41st member to join from the 47th IPSD and 12 have joined from the 59th IPSD.
Special thanks to First Timers: Franklyn Harrison and his wife Teddy and Nino Krajacic who represented the 59th IPSD, and Sgt. Linn Sprowl & Beverly, Steve Lemish & Bett, Otis Johnson & Sharon and Zoltan Mestrits.
Special thanks to Jonathan Wahl (Webmaster) for his on-going work on the Web Site he has created for us. The effort he makes in scanning, sorting and updating the Platoon Diary is immense and worthy of special recognition.
Many thanks and appreciation of each of you who attended this Reunion or any of the past Reunions. Your support and continued interest is important to us and a necessary ingredient.
- Join the VDHA if you have not done so thus far.
- Renew your membership if it has elapsed.
- Send us any Orders, Stories or Information you have about your Tour Of Duty.
- Watch for the next Quarterly Bow-Wow Report.
- We will be working behind the scene to locate other platoon members and complete the history.
- Next Reunion scheduled for Washington D.C. in 2000 (Month & Date Open)
- Plan to attend next Reunion. See you there.
Bobby Railey from the VDHA has informed me that while the 47th IPSD has 41 VDHA members, a number of those members have not renewed their membership by paying the annual dues. The VDHA is very flexible on money issues if that is a problem - they will fix it. If their are other issues - give us a call to discuss - we will try to fix it.
Take Care Of Yourselves,
Author: Bertram M. Hubble Editor/Publisher: Jonathan D. Wahl © 1998 Bertram M. Hubble