709th Maint Bn & 99th CSB Assoc.

2013 Reunion Photos &

2013 Reunion After Actions Report & Commets

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos

By Jim Lambert

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos


By Steve Fetty

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos


By Steve Fetty

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos


By Steve Fetty

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos


By Steve Fetty

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos


By Steve Fetty

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos


By Steve Fetty

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos

Page 1

By Tony Stabinsky

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos

Page 2

By Tony Stabinsky

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos

Page 3

By Tony Stabinsky

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos

By Frank Stapleton

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos

By Les Haley

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos

By John Blanchette

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos

By Chuck Gallinger

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos

Group Photos

By Steve Fetty

2013 709th & 99th Reunion Photos

Misc. Photos

By ??????



Well, it happened again---another reunion that eclipsed the previous year!!! 

About 70 of us gathered at Dean and Kathy’s 9/11-9/14. 

The weather was very cooperative—a few warm days at the start, a few sprinkles in between and cool nights at the end.  

Keep an eye out for Tony Stabinsky’s (709th/HQ&A/66-67) posts on Yahoo Groups. The past few years Tony has been a part of Dean’s pit crew (as in BBQ) and has been posting comments on the reunion and menu.  

If you have not yet joined the Yahoo Group for 709th/99th, please do so ASAP. The quickest way to get information is to be a member of that group. You will automatically receive e-mails whenever there is a posting—no need to wait to see it on alwaysable.org or via the grapevine. In fact, all of our announcements/notices/communication generally now get posted on Yahoo first. If you are not yet a member of the Group, Google Yahoo and click on Groups/709th, look for us and join—there is no cost. 

Wednesday 9/11

The day started with very sad news of the previous day’s death of John Banks, the original CO of HQ&A upon reactivation of the 9th Division at Ft. Riley. John was a distinguished military graduate in college, a career soldier and attended a number of our reunions. I first met John a few years ago in Huntsville AL when I was able to get him, Sherrill Chaffin (3rd CO of 709th HQ&A) and myself together for dinner—we talked for 4 hours. John’s passing will be felt by many of us. He loved to visit at the reunions. He was a true Old Reliable. 

As usual a few “helpers” arrived at Dean’s earlier in the week to help get things organized. After the opening dinner Wednesday night we covered a few details about the bus trip and a few other schedule items. I think most of us got to bed early for the 0700 bus trip Thursday morning. 

Thursday 9/12

33 of us departed at 0715 on the bus trip to Lincoln’s Summer House—a small campus in DC where Lincoln spent about 1/4th of his time while in office. It was kind of an early day Camp David—a retreat from the daily hubbub, chaos and politicking at the Capitol. After a couple hour tour, we had a relaxing picnic lunch of cold cut sandwiches and chips on the picnic grounds at the visitors center, and then we bussed to the Memorial Mall where we had a wreath laying ceremony at The Vietnam Wall, including a reading of “The Wall”, a poem authored by our own Frank Montoya (709th HQ&A 67-68). Frank has published numerous military poems, which you can find on the Internet by Googling Frank’s name. 

After the ceremony, we had about 90 minutes on our own time at the Mall to visit the Wall and the WWII, Korean and Lincoln Memorials. We got back to the hotel just after 1700, plenty of time to get to Dean’s for a “cold one” before dinner. 

That night I took a few minutes to step back from the crowd under the tent and observe what our reunions are all about---chatter; visiting; laughter; howling; looking at old pictures, orders, piasters, whatever--it was lively and loud—everyone visiting, recalling the old days and catching up from last year’s reunion—or in some cases—the 45 years since our service in RVN. 

Friday 9/13

As usual, Friday was filled primarily with socializing—again lots of talking, reminiscing, viewing old photos, records, scrapbooks, etc. and sharing stories. Once again, Frank Danley (709th HQ&A 67-68) brought some of North Carolina’s finest “shine”, but this year I was not quick enough to get any. By all accounts it was another “banner “ crop.  

As you can see below, it was the whole pig and all the trimmings for chow!!!!! 

The combo we had last year was on hand again, playing some spirited bluegrass music during diner and thru the night.  

Saturday 9/14

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day and we gathered at Dean’s around noon for lunch, after which we held the Association annual business meeting, minutes of which Secretary Roy Francis (709th E Co/66-67) will post on Yahoo Groups once they are reviewed and approved by the Board. In general, we discussed next year’s reunion to be at Dean’s and it will be our 10th anniversary!!! Steve Fetty (99th HQ 69-70) indicated he and Dean were trying to pull off some big surprises to make the event BIG!! So let’s keep our fingers crossed. We discussed the bus tour possibilities and will try to step up membership, as we seem to be stuck at the current level—where “new guys” seem to be offsetting brothers who have not been heard from for too long. 

Kenny Foss (709th E Co/HQ&A/66-67) then led an hour of Soldier Stories, beginning with a tribute to our good friend and “brother” John Banks. Later, Col. Albert, fresh from celebrating his 89th birthday the previous day, held all our attention with some details of his long and eventful military career.  

Grilled New York strip steaks then followed for dinner and we closed with the usual spectacular fireworks and a final ceremony led by Mike Palmeri (709th HQ&A 68/69), who was installed as Association President at the business meeting earlier in the day. 

Some personal thoughts—

This was my last year as President, and I have been overwhelmed by the help everyone offered during my tenure. Mike Palmeri is now President for the next 2 years and I am sure you will give him all your support, as you did for me.  

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

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

-Dean’s cooking crew, who prepared the usual culinary delights for 4 days

-Steve Fetty for his behind-the-scenes work on photos and computer support

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

Once again we had “first time” attendees---a big WELCOME to you new guys!!!!!  

Some of the following is a bit redundant from last year, but I feel it is so important that it needs to be repeated. 

-Be sure to join the 709th/99th Yahoo Group ASAP. This is where the most current information is posted and conversation takes place.  

-I encourage you to write your “military service story” and send it and pictures to Dean for inclusion on the website. Over the years 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. Eventually, the contents of the website and hard copy of the Association historic records will be archived at a military history organization.  

-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—our 10th Anniversary. Dean should be posting dates in the next few weeks.  

-If you are apprehensive about coming to a reunion, 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 and look at old pictures when you were 20, enjoy terrific meals and tour interesting destinations. But more importantly, you will partake in the camaraderie and spirit of your “band of brothers.”  

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

God bless, good health, safe travels, and I hope to see you next year to celebrate our 10th Anniversary!!!


Jim Bury, Association President (outgoing)

709th/HQ&A/67-68)                                                                      09/22/2013   

Page Last updated 1/24/2014