The 6th Reunion and General Membership Meeting of the 506th Airborne Infantry Regiment Association (Airmobile - Air Assault) was held at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Harrisburg, PA from Wednesday July 28th through Saturday July 31, 2010.
This reunion was the largest ever held by the Association,
with 182 total number of attendees, which included 103 Currahee
veterans. A breakdown of the veterans in attendance was as follows:
The largest groups of five or more Currahees from any one
Wednesday afternoon people started arriving, getting themselves settled in and meeting old friends in the Hospitality Room. The Hospitality Room stayed open till midnight many night during the Reunion.
Thursday - people continued to arrive and the Hospitality
Room was buzzing with activity. Then that evening over 140 met
for our buffet dinner. The hotel provided a buffet dinner that
was superb and the desserts were to die for. After eating we
raffled off a number of door prizes that were either donated
by attendees or the activity duty. An additional drawing occurred
where three Currahees were selected as winner of free complimentary
room nights at the hotel. The selectees were:
Those who chose to go the Gettysburg had their own Currahee Guide; COL(R) James Roach - 2nd BN - 1967/1969. Jim put together a guided tour of the battle field to include a luncheon stop during the trip. Over 30 participated and all said that Jim did a "GREAT job."
Saturday was a full schedule; it started off with our General Membership Meeting at 10:00am, at which time various Committee Report were given; election of Officers and Directors was held, as well as a discussion with Members in attendance about the next Association Reunion site.
6:00pm kicked off the cocktail hour portion of the evening; for Vietnam veterans a surprise was organized. "33" Beer (Ba M'Ba) was donated by me, and enough was available for all those who want to taste what they had once dank in Vietnam. The Currahee Memorial Dinner began at 7:00pm with Association Chairman MAJ John Thomas Duckett calling all to order and welcoming everyone on behalf of the Association's Officers and Directors. The American flag, 506th Regiment flag and 506th Association flag was then posted by a six-man Honor Guard detail from the active-duty 4th Brigade Combat Team, 506th Infantry. Once the flags were posted a brief memorial / remembrance ceremony was conducted by Donald Thies - Association President and Fred May - Association Active-Duty Liaison. Three candles (Red, White and Blue) which represented the three battalions of the Regiment were lit. It should be noted that the candles stood in front of a large ice carving of the Currahee Crest. Once the candles were all lit, Fred May directed everyone to look at the small table in front and conducted a Fallen Currahees Remembrance Ceremony, our way of symbolizing the fact that some of our friends are missing from our midst and were unable to be with us. After Fred explained the meaning of all items placed on the table, there followed by a moment of silence, at which time Taps was played.
Dinner was then served to our 175 attendees. Afterwards a ceremony was held to placed all Battle Streamers awarded the 506th for the period 2004 to 2009. Gene Overton read off the citations of the Streamers as they were placed on the Association's Regimental flag by the following Currahees who served in the unit covered by the award:
. Global War on Terrorism placed on by 1SG Ryan Alfaro - Rear Detachment CSM, 4th BCT, 506th Infantry
Iraq - 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division:
Iraq - 4th Brigade Combat Team, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne
. Afghanistan - 4th Brigade Combat
Team, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division:
Next Tom Duckett acknowledged all former and newly elected
Officers and Directors. He also acknowledged the following special
Guest in attendance:
Tom then introduced our guest speaker of the evening COL Thomas D. Vail - Commander of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 506th Infantry Regiment - September 2005 - June 2007. Colonel Vail spoke of standing up the 4th Brigade before it was assigned a Regimental designation in the summer of 2005 and then the official reactivation of the 506th on October 13th, 2005. Followed soon after with the unit's deployment to Iraq where the 506th proudly continued the legacy of our storied Regiment. After the Colonel's speech, Fred May presented him with the Currahee Challenge Award for his dedicated service as the 14th Commander of the Regiment.
Presentations were then made by MAJ Bradd Schultz and COL(R) Bob Seitz, Honorary Colonel of the Regiment - HHC/B/C/E (Recon) Co., 2nd BN to those individuals who were unable to attend the 2010 Distinguished and Honorary Member of the Regiment Induction Ceremony held July 27th at Fort Campbell. Inductees in attendance were:
The next presentation was that of a Currahee Battle flag by Tom Duckett to MAJ Bradd Schultz for the 4th BCT to symbolize the 36 flags that were presented to all 36 units of the BCT on July 27th by our President - Don Thies and numerous other Currahee veterans.
Lastly, it was time to acknowledge those who have aided the Association over the past two years or more. They are as follows:
Presidential Citation: Lawrence J. Bowman - C Co., 1st BN & C Co., 3rd BN 1967 / 1968 - for organizing excursions and transportation of our wounded and family members at WRAMC to concerts as well as hunting / fishing trips since 2005.
Certificate of Appreciation:
This then left us to conduct our 50-50 Raffles. Raffle ticket sells generated a total of $520.00 of which 50% goes to the raffle winner and the remaining 50% to the Association. The raffle winner was Marco Polo Smigliani, nephew of Domenic Smigliani - C Co., 2nd BN, KIA 07/27/71; Marco did not accept his $260 winnings but instead donated the money back to the Association. This concluded our evening.
Sunday was time to pack and start the journey home. The early morning found many Currahees having breakfast together and saying their farewells; but not before promising to stay in touch and seeing each other again at the next Reunion or Gathering of Currahees.
In closing, space precludes us from listing all those who were so much a part of making this the largest Reunion ever held by the Association a great success. Several must be mentioned for their untiring efforts:
Emory King - C Co., 1st ABG, 1960-1963 and SFC(R) Joe Foster (Mustang) - HHC, 2nd BN, 1969-1970 for their efforts / coordination with the Hotel to ensure that the Hospitality Room was always stacked with snack, soda and beer throughout the Reunion.
Sabina May for working on the Memorial Dinner table seating plan which made seating 175 attendees a smooth process; not an easy task.
(R) James Roach - 2nd BN 1967 - 1969 - for organizing and
leading our Currahees on a tour of the Gettysburg Battle Field.