Reunion: Stand Down 2007, St Joseph MO.
Click on play button below to view TV news broadcasts on our reunion:
To all that got to come to the reunion, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I
All that did not come to the reunion, you messed up. It was great.
We are making plans for the next reunion. We'll send out some ballots for
suggestions and stuff. We tentatively picked OCT, 2009. The two places that
received the most interest are Maui and Washington DC. Mike Schindler lives
on Maui and might be able to hook us up with some good discounts. October
is a good time to visit the islands. Its not peak tourist season but the
rainy season hasn't started. You can get off-peak rates.
The reunion started with Muzzy and his son Kyle arriving at KCI at 7:00
thurs am. I took him to Cabela's in KC to kill a little time. Muzzy decided
he was hungry and talked a couple of the cleanup ladies from the (closed)
snack bar/deli, into cooking him an omelet. While one was cooking the
omelet, he sent the other lady to cook him some fried potatoes. Muzzy
hasn't changed much.
We left Cabela's in time to pick up Mike Schindler back at the airport and
headed for St Joe. Others started arriving at the hotel. We picked Doc
Lamunion up at 2:45 and went back to the hotel. Jim Swafford and his wife
Shirley were there along with Coy and Sherry Smith. Walt and Annie Sanders
came in with two of their grandchildren. (My wife gave them so much candy,
Walt will be sending me a dental bill). Mark and Debbie Helten brought 3 of
their kids. Their daughter has travelled all over the world and had taken a
picture of the Rockpile in VN!! LT (Chuck) and Teresa St. Amour walked into
our meeting room and I tell you he looks just the same. I had hoped he
would have gotten a little better looking, but oh well. His wife is pretty
so she must be blind. Mike Hite arrived about 11:30 Thursday night. My son
and daughter-in-law along with my daughter and son-in-law were there so I
talked the boys into going after Mike. We stayed up talking until 1:30 AM.
Mike Wesley got there about 1:00 Friday afternoon. He brought a bunch of
pictures so we had to start going through those. We had a banquet Friday
evening at a restaurant that had promised us a special tent for our
meeting. It was a 10 by 10 canopy over the food. The table was long enough
for 20 people but they had 30 chairs around it! The mayor of St Joe (Ken
Sharen) arrived and saw what we had, so he and my daughter went inside and
visited with the manager. They brought another table out and the manager
decided he would help serve. It was a nice evening and it turned out much
better than I thought it was going to. The Mayor made a proclamation,
proclaiming it 101st Abn, Vietnam Vets day in St Joe and gave us a key to
the city. The key didn't open any doors that I could find. I tried it on
the local bank and on the women's locker room at the hotel. Since it didn't
work on any doors, we gave the key to Doc. He had really pushed the reunion
and had sent caps, shirts, and MRE's for us to try. He can bring it to the
next reunion and we'll try it on more doors. We went back to the hotel and
had some cake in honor of Teresa and Debbie's birthdays. The door opened
and in walked Ray and Terri Leader! We took more pictures. We had a dirty
dozen of us together again! The St Joe Newspress and KQ 2 took several
interviews and filmed us a couple of times. We were on the news two times
and the newspaper is doing a story that will come out shortly. I'll sent
everyone a link or something. The TV stories can be seen on the internet at
StJoeChannel.com. Go to the site and clink on News at the top of the page.
When that page opens, click on the little archive button in the Top Story
section. Look in Sunday 7/22 and in Thursday 7/19. You'll have to watch a
commercial then the stories will come on that were on the 10:00 news.
We did some running around on Sat, then went to a great fireworks show that
night. There were thousands of people there, but my church people had saved
us an area to sit in, so we had an excellent view. The church had also
loaned us a bus so we could all ride together. Sunday morning, we had a
memorial service for Tom Testorff and Harry King. Tom's brothers sent
flowers and had mailed us a couple of letters that Mark read during the
service. My kids sang a song, then I made a little speech. It was an
emotional time. There was more than one person that was having problems
with their eyes sweating. We formed a circle, held hands, and everyone said
some nice things about Tom and Harry and about everyone else. It was a time
of healing that we all needed.
It was pretty tough to watch everyone leave. Jim Swafford has a great
attitude about getting wounded. He said there is no need to be bitter, it
just happened and it can't be changed, so enjoy life. He lost his other leg
due to complications, so he is without both legs above his knees, he lost
two fingers on his hand and he lost an eye. He offered to use his
replacement eye to play marbles, if anyone is interested. As I said, he has
a great attitude about it all. Jim does have a lot of health issues. I sure
hope he can come to the next reunion, where ever it is. Most everyone had
left by Sunday night. I went back over to the hotel Monday morning and said
good-bye to Jim and then Mike S and I went to the airport so he could catch
his flight. We had more good visiting time on the way, then he left also. I
was pretty melancholy Monday and Tuesday. I'm really looking forward to the
next one. I hope everyone can make it.
I left a lot of the stuff that happened out of this letter. I guess you
just had to be there to get the full effect. My wife and kids did a lot of
work to make the reunion special. I am sure blessed to have my family.
Everyone chipped in and gave us gift certificates and a lot of cash to help
with the expenses of the reunion. It was unnecessary but appreciated.
Brothers for ever,
We are still trying to contact former members from 2nd Platoon, B 1/501 in the 1971 era. Your help is needed. If you are in contact with former platoon members, let us know.
An old Roster for the entire B Company is available listing all names and SSAN's. Copies of this roster are available upon request. We will need to confirm your identity before making this resource available to you.
If you served with me in Vietnam, please send me an email - GLamunyon@aol.com and WELCOME HOME!
My Platoon Guestbook
PHOTO: Preparing to move out for mission to DMZ AO after standdown at Eagle Beach.
EMail Doc Lamunyon
PHOTO: PT in Vietnam? Yes, when we were on the mission to pull guard duty for the Marines as they withdrew from Danang our platoon sgt. had us do PT so we wouldn't get soft - I forgot your name sarge, but I remember you LOVED TO KILL GOOKS!
PHOTO: The LT, RTO Jim Robinson and SGT Jim Swafford.
Contact information (no email address)
JAMES L SWAFFORD
6684 BIRCH RD
WINSTON, GA 30187
Telephone number available upon request - email Glamunyon@aol.com
My Platoon Guestbook
Mike Schindler's Website
I am developing online photo albums from my own photos and photos from other Geronimo's - visit later for more photos - Doc Lamunyon.
LEFT: Photo from 2007 reunion
Recent letter from LT St Amour
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