2002 Currahee Veterans Reunion
Timonium, MD
August 15-17, 2002

After-Action Report

Issued by Gene Overton (C Co, 1st BN, 1967-1968)

The Currahee Reunion held in Timonium, Maryland was by all indications, a great success. All had fun and good times.

The total number of attendees was 145, to include 81 veterans that stretched across the sixty (60) year history of the Regiment. A breakdown of the veterans in attendance is as follows:

Vietnam, 1st Battalion


Vietnam, 2nd Battalion


Vietnam, 3rd Battalion




Camp Breckinridge


1st Airborne Battle Group


The largest group of Currahees from any one single Company was from Company C, 1st Battalion - 1967 / 1968 with 14; followed by Company D, 1st Battalion - 1969 with 8; and Company A, 1st Battalion - 1970 / 1971 with 5. Also present, though only the first day at the Currahee Memorial Jump site in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, were three Currahee from Company E, 2nd Battalion - 1942 / 1945. They were none other than Major Richard Winters - Company E - Commander / 2nd Battalion - Executive Officer, Forest Guth and SFC(R) Clancy Lyall, along with Paul Miller - Regimental Headquarters Surgical Medic. Plus two Gold Star Mothers - Mrs. Dorothy Cook, whose son Thomas R. Cook, Jr. served with Company A, 2nd Battalion and was KIA - July 26, 1968 and Mrs. Ann Dile, whose son Steven O. Dile served with Company B, 3rd Battalion and was KIA - February 19, 1968.

On Thursday, August 15th, two Currahees (James Nemeth - B, 3rd Battalion - 1970 and George Palmer - E (Recon), 1st Battalion - 1968 /1969) organized a Currahee Memorial Jump, which was held in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Ground training started early in the morning for the 50+ Currahee jumpers, then at 1pm a small memorial ceremony which was led by Andrew (Doc) Lovy - 3rd Battalion Surgeon, 1967 / 1968 and included the following speakers:
. George Palmer - spoke of the sacrifice through the years.
. David Ratee of the United Kingdom [cousin of Carl A. Ratee, A, 3rd Battalion and was KIA February 1968] spoke of the legacy left him.
. Hoyt Bruce Moore, III [506th Association Treasurer / A, 1st Battalion - 1970 /1971] spoke of the legacy and heritage of the 506th Regiment and the 506th Association.
. Robert F. Harris, Jr. [Franklin County Pennsylvania, Director of Veterans Affairs] who spoke on behalf of our two Gold Star Mothers that attended.

Once the ceremony was over the jumping begin not only our 50+ Currahees but many other civilian and military jumpers as well; and continued till it was too dark to jump any more. The jump event attracted over 500 spectators, nearby families, politicians and military personnel. All attending were thrilled with the event as well as surprised to have an opportunity to actually meet with Easy Company (Band of Brothers) veterans.

Back at the reunion hotel, our well-stocked hospitality rooms were being put to good use. One room served as our snack and beverage area, and when we say beverage we're not talking about water. The other room served as our display area where thanks to Fred Behrens (Dust Off Pilot, B, 101st Aviation Battalion -Kingsmen) and Mary Jean Terrell provided an outstanding display of Vietnam- era weapons. Included among the weapons display was fully operative Starlight Scope and a M-60 machine gun mounted Mule. People just could not believe how the mule got into the room, but where there is a will, there is a way. Fred is a fully licensed with the ATF as a weapons collector and exhibitor, which was put to the test by local police and passed. It seems some locals called the police when they saw a cannon traveling down a local road and turn into the hotel entrance way. I guess I failed to mention that set up at the front door of the hotel stood a 75 mm cannon as well as a smaller cannon in the hotel lobby.

On Friday, August 16th (National Airborne Day), during the day over 87 Currahees gathered at Padonia Park (just a few miles from the hotel) for a picnic located on the park's 30 acres of rolling countryside and access to all of the park's facilities. When you think picnic, in August, in southern Maryland, right away you think HOT. Well, we were cool; because the picnic lunch and get to gather was all held indoor (air conditioned) and if you wished you had the option to venture outside. Most simply stayed indoors and enjoy the camaraderie, food and air conditioning.

Seven members of D, 1st Battalion - 1969 did not make it to the picnic, you see they had a mission of their own to accomplish. Due to prior commitments, some of the Company D (Delta) Currahees attending the Reunion could not participate in the Saturday, August 17th bus trip to Washington, DC; so they drove down on Friday to the Vietnam Wall for their own special ceremony. The Delta Company Currahees at the Reunion were determined to rectify a situation that needed correcting. You see, Ronald Kane (E-7) was awarded a Silver Star for his actions on July 11, 1969 in the battle for Hill 996; however, Ron was wounded and hospitalized. And the Army sent him his Silver Star in the mail after he returned home. So Ron was unable to participate in the official ceremony where he would have been pinned with the Silver Star by his CO. So, at the Wall on Friday, MAJ(R) Gerald Curtis, LT in Delta back in 1969, pinned E-7 Ronald Kane with a miniature of the Silver Star that he earned back on July 11th, 1969. Also in attendance at this ceremony was Richard (Doc) Daniels, Sal Gonzalez (RTO), Jim (Bike) Hoyt (also a Silver Star recipient on Hill 996), Bryan Rapp (M-60 Machine Gunner), and William (Frisbee) Farnie. The presentation was make as the group stood in front of the panel containing the names of the men who died on Hill 996. For some of these Delta Company Currahees it was the first time they have seen each other in 33 years, and it also was Ron's first visit to the Wall.

Then late afternoon was time to get a little business done as the Association held its bi-annual General Membership Meeting where the meeting was called to order at 4:30 pm and Michael Metzger, Association Chairman [B, C, D and HHC, 1st Battalion - 1966 / 1968] began the meeting by having the Pledge of Alliance said. Then he introduced all current Association Officers and Directors present and spoke briefly about the legacy of the Association, celebrating its past accomplishments and charting its future. Next Eugene (Gene) Overton, Association Cofounder / President [C, 1st Battalion - 1967 / 1968] gave the Members the highlights of Association activity since our last meeting held in June 2000. This was then followed by a Financial Report from our Treasurer, Hoyt Bruce Moore, III [A, 1st Battalion - 1970 / 1971] and reports of our various Committees and their activities. At this point we moved into new business, where the following important issues were covered:

· Proposed and approved a Dissolution Policy to be added to our Bylaws whereby all Association assets be converted to cash and then such cash be used to resolve all / any debt of the Association; with the reminder to be distributed to other tax-exempt military organization(s) at the discretion of the Association's board of Directors. [This is an IRS requirement for any military organization that has been granted tax-exempt status.]

· Asked for input from the Membership about our next reunion in 2004 and possible sites in the central or western region of the country. After much discussion it was decided to form a Planning Committee with James (Jim) Nemeth [B, 3rd Battalion - 1970] as its Chairman. The Committee's initial assignment is to determine if the various Platoon, Company, or Battalion groups of Currahee veterans are interested in attending the Association's 2004 Currahee Reunion. In addition, to identify possible reunion sites in the central or western part of the country. Then to determine which of these sites is the best choice for our Reunion, based upon our needs.

· Jim Nemeth informed the Membership that the 2002 Currahee Memorial Jump not only was a big success but also generated a net profit of $1,234.00, through the sale of "I Jumped with The 506th" T-Shirts as well as donations made by the community and spectators, which was being donated to the Association.

· Approved and authorized the expenditure of $625.00 for the purchase of a 506th Bench at the new 101st Airborne Division Monument at Fort Campbell, KY. This bench has etched in it the 506th PIR Crest on the left end; the Para-Dice-Patch in the center; and the current 506th Crest on the right. Then on the front edge of it is "Currahee." The expenditure is one-half the total purchase price with the other half of the purchase price was paid for by 506th PIR veterans. [Note: These funds were already paid on behalf of the 506th Association, advanced by a Member, and this would actual represent reimbursement to that Member when funds become available.]

· Approved and authorized the Officers of the Association to officially support an effort to have the Distinguished Service Cross awarded to Richard Winters, Major [Easy Company, 2nd Battalion / 2nd Battalion Headquarters - 1942 / 1945] upgraded to the Congressional Medal of Honor as originally recommended back in 1942 by Colonel Robert F. Sink, Regimental Commander, for Winter's actions on D-Day.

· Members unanimously voted in the slate of Officers /Directors to the Association's Board as follows:
Officers / Directors:
Chairman- Michael J. Metzger - B / C / D and HHC, 1st Bn -1967 / 1969.
President - Eugene L. Overton, Jr. - C, 1st Bn - 1967 / 1968.
Treasurer - Hoyt Bruce Moore, III - A, 1st Bn - 1970
Secretary - Joseph F. Foster, Jr. - Headquarters, 2nd Bn - 1969 / 1970
Michael C. Bookser -B and E, 1st Bn - 1969
Resty L. Habon, Jr.- HHC, 1st Bn - 1965 & 1967
Michael Krawczyk - C, 3rd Bn - 1967 / 1968
Andrew Lovy, D.O. - HHC, 3rd Bn - 1968
Kenneth A. Parr, Jr. - A, 1st Bn - 1970
Jay A. Schrom - A, 2nd Bn - 1968
Terry Van Meter - B / C and HHC, 2nd Bn - 1967 / 1968

This concluding all Association business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:30 pm with the rest of the evening spent enjoying one another's friendship and camaraderie in true Currahee spirit. The hospitality rooms were in full swing.

On Saturday, August 17th, at 8:30 am two chartered buses of Currahees, family and friends headed out to Washington, D.C. Our first stop was actually in Virginia at the site of the 101st Airborne Division Monument near the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery. At the monument a brief wreath ceremony took place, with a bugler in the background playing Taps three oval wreaths each covered with flower colored red, white and blue symbolizing each of the regiment's Battalions as depicted on the 506th Airborne Flash were placed in front of the monument. Dick van der Zee of The Netherlands provided the first two oval wreaths and ironically the colors on the wreaths are the same as the colors of The Netherlands national flag. On the first one was a ribbon that read - "We in Holland never forget" and attached a card that said - "May their memory be for blessing" and was placed by Dennis Seely [E (Mortars), 1st Bn - 1966 / 1968]. With great love and admiration." The second wreath read - "We in Holland remember you Band of Brothers" and a card that said - "No day shall make your memory fail from the heart of time" and was placed by MSG(R) John Keene [E (Mortars), 1st Bn - 1967 / 1969]. The last wreath was from The 506th Association and the ribbon on it read - CURRAHEE! We Stand Together - Then, Now, and Always (the Association's Motto). [Note: although the 101st Airborne Division Monument was built / dedicated in 1972 many of the attendees were seeing it for the very first time.]

Once all the wreaths were placed Gene Overton then said a few words about the legacy of the 506th Regiment and asked all to remember those Currahees who are no longer with us. After allowing time for all to take pictures and look at the monument it was back on the buses and head over to The Vietnam Wall. The buses had to park over by the Lincoln Monument which meant a short walk past it, the Reflection Pool and over to The Wall. Although we were fully equipped with all the required permits National Park Service Rangers were surprised to see the American flag; the 506th Regimental flag; and the 506th Association flag followed by a large group of Currahees, family and friends. In fact, one Park Ranger was beginning to get a little upset when we attempted to gather for our ceremony on the grassy area right at the apex of The Wall instead of the East Knoll, Area # 5 (outside of the restricted area of the monument) as called for on our permit.

Once at our assigned location, Carl Rebele [M Company, 506th AIR - 1952] led us in a brief prayer and asked for all to our fallen Currahees of the Vietnam War. After this we all proceed down the path of the monument to the apex, the flags leading the way, where MSG(R) John Keene placed a wreath from the Association, the same as placed at the 101st Monument. We next proceeded over to the Korean War Veterans Memorial where Carl Rebele placed a wreath that read - "In memory of our fallen comrades." During the Korean War 506th personnel trained infantryman before they deployed to combat in Korea. Then later on, many of those trainers, like Carl, were sent to Korea as well; many, however, did not return home.

With the wreath ceremonies completed, all Currahees and attendees had ample time to visit the monuments, make rubbings at the Vietnam Wall, and have a bit to eat at the concession stand near by before getting back on the buses for the ride back to the hotel.

In the evening, a total of 114 attended the Currahee Memorial Dinner. Dinner started off with Gene Overton welcoming all to the 2002 Currahee Memorial Dinner, after which he requested MAJ(R) John Thomas Duckett [B, 1st Bn - 1971] to have his detail post the colors. (Note: Tom Duckett, in December 1971, was the officer who led the detail that brought the 1st Battalion Colors back from Vietnam to Fort Campbell.) This was the first official posting of our Association Colors; the color guard detail was made up of Charles Mike Reid [C, 1st Bn - 1971] carrying the American flag; Fred Kennel [C, 3rd Bn - 1970 / 1971] carrying the 506th Regimental flag with all 31 Battle Streamers; and Mike Lachance [D, 3rd Bn - 1971] carrying the 506th Association flag.

Once the colors were posted, all remained standing as Taps was played, after which Joe Forster read a short poem written by Jim Nemeth. Afterwards Lee Greenwood's song "I Proud to be an American" was played, at the same time the names of 1,325 Currahee KIAs from WW II and Vietnam scrolled across a large projector screen which listed their unit, KIA date and then concluded our memorial ceremony and dinner was promptly served.

As dessert was being served, Gene Overton introduced our guest speaker for the evening, LTG(R) James W. Crysel, Sr. [E Co, 1st ABG, 1963-1964; B/HHC, 2nd BN, 1964-1965; HHC (BN CO), 1st BN, 1976-1978], the current Honorary Colonel of the Regiment (HCR). The General spoke about the continuing legacy of the 506th and how impressed he was with the active duty Troopers of the 1st Battalion, 506th currently stationed in Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division. He talk about how 1 April as the HCR he visited with the Troops.

Special guests were acknowledged: Tom, Dan and Zach Shepherd, the two sons and grandson of SFC Thomas C. Shepherd, Sr. [B, 2nd Bn - KIA March 24, 1971]; Roger D. Marshall [Guest] who served in the British Royal Air Force and was a Vietnam Relief Worker - 1968 / 1972; and Lyman (Skip) Faulkner's [E (Recon), 1st Bn - 1968 / 1969] brother-in -law, who we did not acknowledge during the dinner at his request, General (Retired) Barry McCaffrey [Commander - 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) during Desert Storm and an Infantry Officer when he served with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam]. The Shepherd brothers were asked up to the podium where Gene Overton pinned a 506th Crest to each of their shirt collars and told them to wear these Crests proudly; let it be known that they are part of the Currahee family.

Alex and Taylor Rebele, grandsons of Carl Rebele, were called up to the podium to help with the drawing of names from a bag; those names drawn would receive one free night off their hotel bill. The lucky winners were: Manuel Chavez, Sr. [D / E, 1st Bn - 1970 / 1971]; Peter Mauch [A, 1st Bn - 1972 / 1975; Chester Clinkscale [C, 2nd Bn - 1968 / 1969] and Skip Faulkner [E (Recon), 1st Bn - 1968 /1969].

At this point Gene Overton acknowledge various Currahees and friends of the Association for their efforts and hard work on behalf of the Association. Special Certificates of Appreciation were designed and read as follows:

Presented to
CSM(R) Robert F. Gilbert-D, 1st ABG - 1956 / 1963
Richard M. Daniels - HHC / D, 1st Bn - 1969
Richard J. Clanton - B, 3rd Bn - 1969 / 1970
James M. Nemeth - B, 3rd Bn - 1970
Christopher D. Garrett - B / E 2nd Bn - 1970 / 1971
Kurt E. Maag - D, 2nd Bn - 1970 / 1971
Donald E. Thies - B, 2nd Bn - 1970 / 1971
This 17th day of August 2002 in recognition of your efforts in Membership Recruitment.

Presented to
Michael C. Bookser - B / E 1st Bn - 1969 / 1970
Jay A. Schrom - A, 1st Bn - 1968
This 17th day of August 2002 in recognition of your efforts as Designers and Webmasters.

Presented to:
Richard Coffelt - Supporter
This 17th day of August, 2002 in recognition of your efforts in research and providing information on the over 1,300 Currahee KIAs listed on the Association's Web Site.

Presented to:
Andrew Lovy, D.O. - HHC, 3rd Bn - 1967 / 1968
This 17th day of August 2002 in recognition of your efforts in setting up and monitoring the Medical Support Section of the Association's Web Site.

Presented to:
James M. Nemeth - B, 3rd Bn - 1970
George Palmer - E, 1st Bn - 1968 / 1969
This 17th day of August 2002 in recognition of your efforts in organizing and hosting the 2002 Currahee Memorial Jump.

Presented to :
Ronald L. Helwig - B, 1st ABG - 1960/ 1962
Michael R. Mullican - A, 3rd Bn - 1967 / 1968
Duane Gregory - WWII 506th Reenactor
This 17th day of August, 2002 in recognition of your efforts Stick Leaders and aiding the organizers of the 2002 Currahee Memorial Jump.

Presented to:
Robert F. Harris, Jr. - Franklin County, Pennsylvania
Director - Veterans Affairs Office
This 17th day of August 2002 in recognition of your efforts in public relations / media and aiding the organizers of the 2002 Currahee Memorial Jump.

Then one last presentation, the awarding a Presidential Citation to:
Hoyt Bruce Moore, III - A, 1st Bn - 1970 / 1971
Peggy Pearson
This 17th day of August 2002 in recognition of your unselfish devotion, distinguished service and supportive leadership to the 506th Association.

The above Certificates and Citation were all signed Gene Overton, Association President and Michael Metzger, Association Chairman.

We where about to end the Memorial Dinner when Gary Purcell suggested that we auction off a wooden birdhouse that he had made, with the proceeds donated to the Association. So, we had an auction. Things started out slow at first, then the bidding picked up. It was almost as if it became a battalion challenge, the bidding went fast and furious, with the winning bid reaching $160.00. This then concluded the dinner portion of the evening; many just went over to the hospitality rooms to finish off the evening and the last of the beer.

On Sunday, August 18th, it was time to start head home. The early morning found many Currahees have breakfast together and saying their farewells before traveling back home. But not before promising to stay in touch and seeing each other again at the next Reunion.

Note: Space precludes us from listing all those who where so much a part of making this 2002 Reunion a success but two ladies and one Currahee that must be mentioned for their untiring efforts. They are Peggy Pearson and Marilyn Overton who kept the Welcome Tables going day and night, greeting the Currahees as they arrived and making sure everyone knew about the reunion events. And SFC(R) Joe Foster (HHC 2nd Bn-1969 / 1970) who kept all three Hospitality Rooms well stocked with snacks and beverages. We all thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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506th Airborne Infantry Regiment Association (Airmobile - Air Assault)
This page updated 04/12/13