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VI Corps Combat Engineers 2013 Reunion

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What was going to be an announcement for the 36th Reunion, has now grown into something else...

 

Looks like a few people will still attend a much smaller 36th Engineer Reunion in PA this fall, but most of us who attended that event, will be going to combined a VI CORPS Reunion/Operation Dragoon event in Washington DC this August instead. It's sad it has come to this, but it is what it is.

 

I will post more info as this comes together, so stay tuned for more details, very shortly.

 

Looking forward to seeing everyone this summer.

 

FOR THE LATEST INFO, please consult the attached PDF!

VI Corps Combat Engineers 2013 Reunion.pdf

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Here is the info on Operation Dragoon trip. I am waiting to hear from other members to see if we can pull of this as our reunion site too.

 

I am going to get in contact with Monika Stoy (point of contact on PDF), to see if we can get a suite for our group and use as hospitality room. This way we have some group privacy too.

 

Here's hotel link: http://www.sheratonpentagoncity.com/

Operation Dragoon - Aug 2013 - DC.pdf

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Whaaa! 'Fraid I won't be able to make it again - being on the other side of the Earth and what not.

:(

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Copy of an email:

 

 

Hi all of my friends in the USA,

 

Thank you Carl, John amd Marion for keeping me informed about the latest plans concerning the 36th Reunion 2013.

 

First I must tell you that I wont be meeting up with you all this year as I have an invitation from the Canadian Legion Yukon District to meet them in July in British Columbia. This is based around the 70th anniversary of Operation Husky and with my connection on research of this I must take the opportunity to go.

 

My decision has nothing to do with a venue change for the 36th reunion. I would have loved to be at the Sheraton in Arlington ,VA with you all in August. It is just that I cannot make two trips across the pond this year and for obvious reasons the Canada trip is important to me.

 

The cost of a trip for me has increased as I am now 75 and that is the point at which travel insurance goes up for me by 100% ! Also I could never manage the cost of two trips close together now.

 

I hope you will all understand that I am saying this with a heavy heart, whatever happens in the future, the last three yearly trips to meet you in Lebanon have been the highlight of each year. The way you made me welcome and included me in everything has touched me very deeply and bought me so many new friends.

 

I will await with interest the outcome of this years 36th reunion as I fully intend to be with you in 2014, this has not been a 'goodbye' message in any way.

 

Finally I wish you all a great time, whenever and whereever you decide to meet.

 

My best regards to you all and those not mentioned her,

Colin.

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Dear Colin:

 

Just read your letter to the gang. So nicely written. My gosh, you will be missed. More than I can say, but of course I understand, as I'm sure everyone else will.

 

You've become a huge part of this group and you will always be welcome no matter where we meet now or in the future.

 

I wish you all the best on your trip and I know how special that is to you.

 

Your friend forever,

Marion

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Okay, I am going to keep everyone posted on the responses...

 

Just sent out the first informational email yesterday, letting everyone know about the prospective reunion. Within a few short hours, this is where we stand already.

 

15 YES

8 MAYBE

 

Not a bad start at all, especially considering that many times by mid summer, our numbers may reach those, so I am excited by the prospects. One of those yes's is a member of the 36th family, so that is even nicer. And one of those is a friend from France, who is seriously considering the trip. Yippee!

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The cost of a trip for me has increased as I am now 75 and that is the point at which travel insurance goes up for me by 100% ! Also I could never manage the cost of two trips close together now.

 

Wow, is this an English thing? I am unaware of this!

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That caught my eye too. Is this something we will have to look forward to? :(

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As of this morning:

 

17 - YES

10 - MAYBE

 

Good numbers.

 

Without going into specifics for fear of trampling on toes, but I think everyone who has attended or is thinking of attending, should know the facts. I will try and be as diplomatic as possible.

 

I feel (and many of us feel), it would be a huge shame to break this reunion into two (PA and DC), but a very small minority will not budge and seems intent on splitting up the group. It's sad.

 

Many want to have it in DC, and we hear from more and more each day.

 

We took a vote last fall at the reunion and it was determined that we should find another venue and move on, so we've been looking at options. When the Operation Dragoon event was introduced, several of the vets stated they wanted to go. It was then I told Lee about the DC trip and he said, let's go too.

 

A few days later I started brainstorming and sent a note out to the gang; hey, since many of us are already going, why not have the reunion there too. We were already looking for a new venue and this would be perfect. The hotel rates are extremely reasonable, especially for DC, and the registration and banquet costs were the same as in PA. Sounded like a win-win scenario.

 

It was going well, then one person determined that it wasn't going to happen and said the reunion was still going to be in PA. Mind you this went against the grain and majority VOTE!

 

That is why we changed the name to the VI Corps Reunion, just to avoid more bickering and hassle.

 

This is where we stand right now. Looks like the majority of us will have reunion in DC, and a few will stay in PA. What a mess. We are still trying to rectify this, so we will keep you posted...

 

:armata_PDT_23: :armata_PDT_23: :tearyeyed:

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Looking forward to the 2013 VI Corps Engineer Rerunion at the Dragoon Event this Auugust.

Carl Furtado 36th Combat Engineers

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Oh me too. I am absolutely thrilled and am thinking how exciting it will be. Can't wait to see you once again. You are one of my very dearest friends and of course now, my worldly dad! Love you!

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Letter Carl is sending out to the group, trying to rectify the ongoing situation. Many thanks to Carl and Ted!

 

 

 

 

 

Hello 36th Engineers and family,

 

I’m sorry that numerous emails from multiple people about the plans under discussion for our next reunion have been a so confusing.

 

Even more importantly, I’m sorry that some feelings of people very dear to me have been hurt in this process.

 

Here is my summary of how this story has evolved and what is going on:

 

From discussions last September and since, it appeared that the majority of participants at last year’s reunion in Lebanon felt that the quality of the hotel that had served us so well and for so many years had declined (rooms, service and food) so terribly much (you do know that most of the rooms in the main building were occupied by public assistance families last year?) that it was no longer a clean and comfortable place to get together.

 

As such, a number of us felt it was time to find an alternative site and several of us volunteered to investigate for an alternative site for 2013.

We strongly felt that an alternative site that might be easier to travel to for many us (those family members flying in from across the country particularly) than Lebanon is currently, would also be a big plus for most of us as well.

 

When John Fallon sent us all the information about the "Operation Dragoon - The "Forgotten D-Day" event in Washington D.C. in August, it immediately appeared to be a good alternative date & time for the 36th meeting for 2013.

 

The meeting location afforded us a better (and still affordable) hotel, an easier to get to location (with hotel shuttle from the airport), the opportunity to be part of a bigger WWII event with more people, the ability to have our own hospitality suite and finally, having nearby national memorials (the WWII Memorial is a must!) and museums that will be easy to get to and visit.

 

A very nice added bonus to this event is that all the heavy lifting/planning of our reunion is done and as a result, our members just get to go and enjoy each other’s company.

 

As a result, Marion and several others, as well as I got very excited that this was the type of alternative site that would be perfect.

 

We then initiated a survey (emails to those of us who use them and mailed letters to the rest) of our group to inquire what everyone would prefer.

 

The goals of the survey were to ask if the majority of our group thought this might be a good idea or not and MOST IMPORTANTLY make sure that no one thought they didn’t have a say!

As of today’s mailing, our survey has resulted in 17 YES, 10 MAYBE and 1 NO for D.C. in August.

 

Again, this would be a vote on our only reunion event for 2013 as the great majority of us cannot possibly attend two events, D.C. & Lebanon.

 

Unfortunately, a very small minority within our group is adamant that Lebanon is the ONLY place the 36th should go, want nothing to do with D.C. and appear very hurt that such a thing would be proposed and considered.

 

Even more unfortunately that small minority sent a very hurtful, accusatory email/letter to me that Marion was trying to take over the reunion and that it wasn’t her place to do so.

 

I was shocked and disturbed by this email/letter as I know that ever since Marion has been involved with our group, she has only ever had the best interests of the 36th in mind, wanting us to have the best reunion possible, attended by as many people as possible.

 

I strongly believe that combining our 2013 36th Combat Engineer’s Reunion with that of the Dragoon event in D.C. in August is the best choice for us.

 

I know as members of the US Army during WWII, we didn’t operate as a democracy, but I am hoping that we decide together on this one!

 

I hope that even those few of us who may shudder at the thought of breaking tradition by leaving Lebanon, come to realize that we will not have that many more opportunities to come together as the special group we are and that we should all be united on this.

 

Finally and most importantly, I hope that we all fully understand that it is the collective spirit of the WWII 36th Combat Engineers (comprised of those of us who are still fortunate to be here, along with those who no longer are), is what is so very important to us at our reunions, not the location.

 

Carl Furtado

36th Combat Engineer

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Nice letter, Carl. I hope everyone comes together for this. I recall that the rooms in Lebanon in 2011 were not that nice, and I can only assume they haven't gotten a lot better since that time. I think it would be great to not only see your old mates with whom you have met with for so long, but also people that shared your experiences but you might not have known before. (It might be a time to hear some new stories, to boot!) I understand the difficulty of change - I don't care for it much myself. And as I am only 40 I can't imagine having to change something one has done for 65+ years. I think sometimes, however, things change because they must. The car ride to Lebanon from the nearest airport might just not be doable for some now, and I think that to be one of the most important points. I hope emotions soften and all who can make do, because as Carl mentioned, there may not be many opportunities for travel left.

 

I truly wish I could be there. The opportunity to make it in 2011 is a treasured memory. It was akin to being able to have that WWII discussion with my grandfather that I never really had. Like most vets, he never really brought it up and we were told not to ask. I did finally ask in 1999. It was after I had gotten married and had flown to see my grandparents (they had not been able to make the wedding). Unfortunately, I didn't get to talk near as much as I would have liked. Being with John, Carl, and crew really gave me a sense of what that longer conversation would have been like, so it was truly special. As of right now, I cruise off the coast of Thailand in the USS Bohnhomme Richard and will be doing something similar in August. Duty calls and I know they understand that better than anyone. I just wish I didn't have to miss it.

 

Dad%2520CO%25202832.jpg

1945

 

J.%2520O%2527Brien%2520Sr.jpg

1999

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I'm so glad that it was a wonderful experience for you. You and I are blessed to have done so.

 

Just wish I could have met your grandfather.

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Latest poll:

 

23 YES

6 MAYBE

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23 YES

6 MAYBE

 

Great results!!!!

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Thought I would check in and look at the letters posted here and so far they are good. Marion and I are keeping in touch with people and hope to increase the number of people going down to the dragoon affair. It should be fun. See you there.

 

Carl Furtado 36th Combat Engineers.

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Okay, working out final details for the reunion in DC. They are getting us a hospitality suite. I should know more within the next day or so. We will see how much it would cost and divvy out the cost among our attendees.

 

Right now we are shooting for Friday, Sat and Sunday, August 9, 10 and 11th. We may also throw Thursday in too. I have to talk to Carl Furtado later today.

 

So stop by again very soon and get all latest, then you can call the hotel and book your rooms, very shortly,.

 

:pdt12: :pdt12: :pdt12:

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Okay, everything is finalized for the reunion. Please download the PDF file for all the information.

 

If you are going to attend, please make sure you call, email or write to me to let me know how many people will attend in your party.

 

See you there 6th Corps Combat Engineers!!!!!

VI Corps Combat Engineers 2013 Reunion.pdf

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Just sent in our reservations for the banquet and event. Booking our room today too! Yeah, all set to go.

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Wow, good thing I called today, for we wanted to stay over on Sunday and Monday, and the hotel is already booked solid on those days. The great gal on the phone got in another hotel for those two days, which overlooks the harbor, for a great price.

 

So if you haven't made your reservations yet, do it today!!!!!

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I'm very jealous, you know! I guess I will have to email in a letter again (I'll try to make it on time this year!) As for me, the entire month of August I will be with the MEU in Australia training. It sounds like it could be a good time, but getting ready to go is a huge pain. The Australia Agricultural inspection is very invasive (every, box, truck, and yes, helicopter must be thoroughly inspected which means taking most of the exterior apart. Big pain. But I digress. . .

I hope all goes well and will expect lots of updates and pictures!

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You will be there in spirit with us. Maybe we can touch base via phone while we are there, so you can say hi. Of course, happy as always to share photos, etc.

 

Ya, and that does sound like a pain to go through all that planning for Australia. But, you gotta do whatcha gotta do!

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