By Beth Krohe
"Ass-Kicking Alpha" - A Company, 1-506th to the uninitiated - got together in Hopkinsville, Kentucky over the weekend of May 18-20 for the fourth reunion of the unit. Attendees were from the Vietnam-era of 1967-1971.
Even though the "Reunion" officially didn't start until Friday - on Thursday evening the "Hospitality Room" (in the motel) was opened early - for those who arrived early and an impromptu "pizza party" was held (including refreshments). There were pictures to look through and stories being told. The ones that arrived early really seemed to enjoy themselves.
On Friday morning many of the "Currahees" went to Fort Campbell, KY to participate in "The Week of The Eagle - Pass and Review" on the parade field. The Veterans marched in front of the Active-Duty Soldiers. This was enjoyed by all that marched, watched and took pictures.
Then Friday evening more than 40 Screaming Eagles and their wives and family members answered the roll call at Ryan's Grill & Buffet, for a nice buffet dinner. ~ After everyone ate until they were stuffed ~ Beth Krohe said a few words about this years Reunion and some of the happenings taking place during the Reunion. Beth also told about finding more "Alpha Company Currahees" and how she has been doing this. Ken Parr then spoke a few words and handed out "Beautiful wooden miniature Monuments" to Fred May, Bruce Moore, Ray Sowinski and Gary George for their help and dedication to see the plan from start to the finish line. After dinner we all returned to the motel for visiting, taking and looking at pictures, telling stories and of course some refreshments.
On Saturday some gathered to watch movies and look at pictures and others went to Fort Campbell to see the sites. Then in the evening we all gathered together again for the "Alpha Company Dinner" at a local restaurant for a Chinese/American Buffet (another chance to get overly stuffed). We were honored to have join us for the evening, some "Active-Duty Soldiers" from Fort Campbell, KY. After dinner John Brown conducted a very moving and emotional "Fallen Currahee Ceremony" remembering the "Fallen Alpha Company Comrades". Following the ceremony Mike Oakley read a poem written by Father Charles R. Fink, "BURY ME WITH SOLDIERS". Following the reading Mike Oakley presented Beth Krohe with a "Challenge Coin - For A Job Well Done", from the `67-`68 reunited Currahees. Fred May followed and he also handed out some "Challenge Coins" to the men attending their first reunion, then he said, "that Bruce Moore and himself designed a new coin", they were handed out to all Alpha Company Veterans attending the reunion. After they were received, Fred explained everything that is on the new coin. Bruce Moore and Peggy Pearson followed and they handed out the "Currahee Crest Awards" to numerous people. Ron Rami followed by presenting CPT Justin Michel with a 506th Currahee Flag that was signed by all attending Vietnam Currahees!! And he also handed out "You Were There!" certificates to all fellow Currahees. Then Ed And Beth Krohe handed out specially made 6"x9" 506th Currahee Flags to Ed's fellow Currahees attending the reunion. Following all this excitement we discussed where and when to have the next Reunion and the decision was for Nashville, TN in 2009. Then it was time for the big event of the evening "The Raffle". There were numerous prizes to be had and was enjoyed by everyone. (The proceeds form the raffle were donated to "Operation Ensuring Christmas" to help the children of Fallen Soldiers.) This was followed by group pictures and then it was time to return back to the motel for more visiting, looking at those pictures of memories, more stories and of course of some refreshments!
As Sunday morning came, it was time for "Breakfast with The Troops" in one of the dining facilities at Fort Campbell. (In which Ron Rami pulled off some how. He must have had the right connections!!) This was followed by the "A Company 1-506th Vietnam Memorial Dedication" (this monument is a reconstructed one, of one that was made and placed in Vietnam and didn't make it back home). The ceremony was very emotional for everyone whom attended. The Monument, Benches and Landscaping are just beautiful, that words can not describe. The gentlemen that were involved with the reconstruction of this Monument, put their hearts, soul and so much love into it and they are "Thanked" for the great jobs they did. - If you are ever in the area, please take a few moments to stop by and see it. It is worth the trip!!
Many thanks to all who attended the "2007 Stand Down Reunion", without you it wouldn't of been such a big success. - We hope to see you at the 2009 Stand Down Reunion in Nashville, TN and hope that more will be able to attend and join us in reuniting with other Alpha Company Currahees. If you haven't attended one of the reunions, please try to make the next one - it is definitely worth it.