709th Maint. Bn. & 99th CSB Assoc.

2012 Reunion Photos


2012 Reunion After Action Report

2012  709th & 99th Reunion Photos

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By Tony Stabinsky

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2012  709th & 99th Reunion Photos

Page 2

By Tony Stabinsky

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2012  709th & 99th Reunion Photos

By Chuck Gallinger

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2012  709th & 99th Reunion Photos

Page 1

By Donny King

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2012  709th & 99th Reunion Photos

Page 2

By Donny King

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2012  709th & 99th Reunion Photos

By Les Haley

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2012  709th & 99th Reunion Photos

By Janusz Scheffner

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2012 Reunion After Action Report

By Jim Bury


I’m going to cheat a little this year, primarily because Tony Stabinsky (HQ&A 66-67) did such a terrific job of sending out on the 709th Yahoo chat group a daily recap from the reunion. If you are not a member of the chat group, you should sign up ASAP, as this is a good way to stay in touch.  

Tony has been part of Dean’s cooking crew the past few years and, as a result, he gets a little different view of the proceedings while he is on KP. I’ll make a few tweaks to Tony’s recap and add a few comments along the way.  

Dean will also post this on the website. 

Wednesday 9/12

(Tony) Well the reunion at Dean's officially got started and the people are slowly arriving. A couple of people with motor homes arrived last weekend to do a little sightseeing before hand. As usual the wives all get together and help Dean's family prepare some of the snacks and munchies to qualm the hunger pains until dinnertime. For dinner we had grilled pork tenderloin, baked beans, scalloped potatoes and seasoned bread. To top off the evening there was a make your own sundae bar for desert. 

It was great seeing some old familiar faces and to watch the camaraderie among the brothers. This truly is a unique event Dean puts on every year. Tomorrow Jim Bury is taking a group of people to the Udvar-Hazy museum at Dulles Airport and he was busy packing coolers with goodies to eat while on the bus. 

Wonder what Dean is cooking up for dinner tomorrow? Whatever it is I'm sure it will be good. Will keep you updated. 

(Jim) The weather was the first of 4 consecutive, gorgeous, warm, sun-filled days. 

Thursday 9/13

(Tony) Jim Bury led 23 people on the bus trip to the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum early Thursday morning and they were really impressed with what they saw. Those of us who stayed behind did a little tweaking around the grounds, emptying trashcans and restocking coolers with beverages.  

We sure miss EJ and Steve Fetty and hope EJ mends well. Beth (Dean’s daughter) said you can't miss these reunions because the burden falls on her to answer all the computer questions and solve our problems. Yup—we sure miss your PC savvy and picture taking. 

At Dean's, we prepared some nice munchies to hold us over ‘til dinner. We had Maryland crab soup, creamed beef (sos), but a more gourmet recipe than the one we all know from the mess hall--assorted lunch meats and cheese, meatballs, bricks of cream cheese with Dean's homemade pepper jelly and a scrumptious hot crab dip. Who has room for dinner?  

The bus trip people got back around 1800 and we all dug into the sliced grilled pit beef, sweet Italian sausage, broccoli salad, baked beans, and scalloped potatoes. Another delicious meal enjoyed by all. And if there still was room for more, there was that usual ice cream sundae bar. 

We had a few new arrivals today and the camaraderie continued all evening with what was new in everyone’s life. These reunions are more like a family gathering than the typical reunions, a lot of bonding and good fellowship. 

Those who haven't decided to attend a reunion should give it a try next year. You'll be glad you did. Hopefully some of the newbies will drop a line on the website/chat group to let you know how much this reunion affected them. 

(Jim) Howie, our favorite bus driver, arrived at the Comfort Inn about 0745 and The Udvar-Hazy Museum was quite spectacular. 100+ air and spacecraft including the space shuttle Discovery, the Enola Gay, which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, a Concorde and a wide variety of military, commercial and aerobatic planes. Generally, all planes/craft are the real deal---only a few reproductions. We arrived at 10am after a 2-hour bus drive and had 2 tour guides who broke us into 2 groups, which was very nice. The museum was not crowded and it was easy to hear the guides as they covered the high spots in a 2-hour tour. At 1230 we broke for lunch and then had about 90 minutes to tour on our own. At 1500 we departed for home and hit a traffic snag about an hour into the trip. The trip home was almost exactly 3 hours long, which can happen when we venture to DC. Good thing we had a well-stocked cooler and snacks and fruit to hold us over. Most of us were able to catch a few winks on the way home, recharging our batteries to be ready for visiting at Dean’s in the evening. 

It was again a spectacular day, weather-wise and event-wise. 

Friday 9/14

(Tony) Friday at the reunion was another fine day of fellowship, everyone sitting around going over pictures on their laptops and trying to jog the old memory of who was who. As usual there were plenty of snacks to munch on and as usual Dean's crew added a few more goodies to the smorgasbord with sausage and corn chowder, crab dip, Maryland crab soup and some chicken wings with three different types of sauces, yummy!!!  

Somehow there also appeared three mason jars of some good old white lightning, one was peach flavored, one called apple pie, don't remember what the third one was (strawberry), but I can vouch for the apple pie one. It was the clear favorite and the first jar to go. There also appeared a plastic jug of the stuff but you'll have to ask Dean about how that one tasted, since I drive back and forth to the reunion everyday, I had to cut myself off early (it was potent).  

Lunch was a refreshing assortment of cold cuts, tuna salad and chicken salad for sandwich making. For dinner we had grilled boneless chicken thighs, steamed sweet corn on the cob, coleslaw and broccoli salad.  

A new treat this year was a 4-piece bluegrass combo to entertain us after dinner and everyone really enjoyed them. 

Saturday 9/17

(Toby) Well it’s Saturday morning and time to head the 60 miles up the road to Dean’s and see what’s cooking today.  

And now it's finally all over and you hated to see it end (Amen-Tony!!!).  

As usual, there were plenty of “vittles” to snack on while waiting on lunch. The lunch menu consisted of fresh steamed corn on the cob, hot dogs, fresh ground sirloin hamburgers (several of us cut up some whole sirloins and Ron Phillips personally ground all the beef, no fingers were lost in this operation-Zero Defects—remember that one? And the women formed an assembly line and made up the patties. Country and classic potato salads and assorted condiments/veggies rounded out the offering.  

After lunch we had our meeting and I'm sure Jim Bury will post the minutes on the web site. After the meeting we gathered outside for Soldier Stories. To start off Col. Berg accepted the task a few years ago to find out why Dean Ayres was the only one that didn't receive a Bronze Star for his actions at the POL fire in Tan An on 11/27/1969. Well, come to find out it was listed on his DD-214 but was never issued. So Col. Berg got all the paperwork taken care of, read the citation and pinned the medal on Dean.  

This was a real touching ceremony and more than few tears were shed!!! We are all so proud of Dean for his actions!!!!! 

Then it was time for the group photo and also some individual photos taken. 

For dinner we had homemade chicken and sausage tomato pies, hand-cut New York strip steaks (I personally cut each and every one of them about 1-inch thick), grilled new red potatoes, grilled asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and hot seasoned bread. Another fine meal put on by the Ayres family.  

As night began to fall it was time for the fireworks a real nice experience when you’re so close to them. The evening ended with our usual closing ceremony with Jim Bury reading a prayer, the names of our fallen brothers and taps. Then it was time for everyone to say their good by's and wish everyone well and hope to seem them back next year. 

We had some “newbies” again this year and they said it was the most moving reunion they had ever attended. They had heard about it but said that until you come and partake in it you can't imagine how wonderful this event is. Its just several days of bonding with your brothers, and the wives bond together just like at a family reunion with everyone pitching in and helping do whatever they can. 

In closing I strongly urge those of you who are hesitant about attending a reunion, please don't put it off, none of us are getting any younger and if you do come you will surely say to yourself “I should have done this sooner.” 

You all take care and be safe until next year. I will post my pictures in the next day or two. 

(Jim) In the afternoon we held our Association annual meeting. Minutes will be posted separately in a few days. In general, we agreed on next year’s reunion to be at Dean’s around the same time, the need to get new members as a number have let dues lapse and appear to be no longer “in the fold”, and we also discussed the need to be sure we sign up early for reunions/bus trip so the events can be planned. Destinations mentioned were (APG Museum (under renovation), Ft. Meade (bus driver Howie said he takes tours there frequently), Memorial Mall (The Wall every few years), Philadelphia, White House, Gettysburg, Lincoln Summer Home, Quantico (further than Udvar-Hazy), Baltimore Inner Harbor (cruise/museum/aquarium). Also, it appears the treasury will be in good shape at the end of 2012. 

(Jim) Personal thoughts

At the risk of overlooking others, I would like to personally single out a few people from this reunion:

-Dean and Kathy Ayres for their spectacular hospitality and menu

-George Berg for his relentless quest to get Dean Ayres the Bronze Star he so deserved for his actions on 11/27/1969.

-Kenny Foss for his mastery in getting the best out of Soldier Stories.

-Dean’s cooking crew, including brother Tony Stabinsky, who helped prepare the usual culinary delights for 4 days.

-All the wives/significant others who again pitched in with KP and other mealtime tasks.

-Tony Stabinsky for his daily report issued over the 709th Yahoo group—Thanks Tony. You’re hired!!!  

Once again we had a few newbies and they appeared to be taken in with the camaraderie and a big WELCOME to you new guys!!!!!  

Be sure to visit the website frequently to look for updates. In addition, we encourage you to write your “Soldier Story” and send it and pictures to Dean Ayres for inclusion on the webpage. We have had requests from families for any information we have on a number of our “brothers”. In addition, our website has provided authors and researchers invaluable accounts and pictures of the Vietnam Era. Our “alwaysable.org” website is a terrific place to record your story and pictures. 

To those of you who have attended our reunions, thank you for your active participation in our Association and adding to the camaraderie we enjoy. You are the Old Reliables-the Always Able-the Active Support!!! 

If you have not attended a reunion, I encourage you to attend next year’s, which should be scheduled in the next few weeks. As Tony said, “we are not getting any younger.” If you are apprehensive about coming, I can assure you that many of us had the same feelings—“Will they remember me? Will I know anybody? I didn’t do much.” You will laugh and probably shed some tears, be reminded of things that occurred 45 years ago, have personal conversations around the tables, enjoy terrific meals and tour interesting destinations. But more importantly, you will partake of the camaraderie and spirit of your “band of brothers.”  

Finally, if you want to join and/or make a donation to the association, use the Membership Form on the website and complete the appropriate sections. 

God bless, good health and I hope to C-U at next year’s reunion!! 

Jim Bury, Association President

709th/HQ&A/67-68)                                                                                                   9/25/12

Page Started 2/7/2013

Last updated 1/5/2014