Reunion -Western 2010
Outstanding Trailblazer Awards

Click here for pictures of the Western 2010 Reunion.

Western Reunion - 2010
by Dale Bowlin C/883

Janet Hunter, AM, and her Monterey WSR committee of Henry Clarke, AT/274 and Brian Ellis, AM put together another outstanding reunion. Sixty two registered with a total of 94 enjoying the banquet dinner on the 10th floor of the Monterey Marriott with a fantastic view of Monterey Bay.

Left: Manning the registration table!

With Paula Hall (Bob A/274) and several volunteers manning the registration desk, the reunion got underway with a well staffed Hospitality Room on Thursday, May 6th. The reception the next evening was popular with beverages and "heavy hor-de-vours." In the absence of Dick Brown, D/275, Henry Clarke supervised the PX table. Several folks were impressed with the popular Monterey Aquarium featuring an elaborate seahorse display.

Saturday morning Dale Bowlin, C/883 FA, had the pleasure of introducing three First Timers: Duane Hyde, I/274 of King City, CA; Roland Kessler, Casper, WY, son of Elmer Kessler, A/276, deceased; and Nestor Tamayao, 70th RSC, Seattle. A fourth First Timer, Doug Toler, Watsonville, CA, son of Richard Toler, F/275, deceased, attended the banquet. Duane’s wife, Joyce, and Nestor’s wife, Cyndi, also attended the banquet. Duane, a medical doctor now retired shared how he and Joyce met at college in North Dakota. They went separate ways as he pursued his career and then were ‘reunited’ thirteen years ago.

Following the First Timers introduction Donna Bertch, Aux Mem, widow of Frank Bertch, C/275, of Petaluma CA, volunteered to chair the committee for the next WSR in Sparks NV. Donna assured us that John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino is very WW II veteran friendly. Stay tuned for more information about an April or May 2011 Western States Reunion in the Reno/Sparks area.

With the spectacular view from the Marriott Ferrantes Bayview Room as a setting, the no host cocktails were followed with the posting of the colors by a sharp color guard from the 70th RTC-W from nearby Fort Hunter Liggett. They were accompanied by some 12 of their fellow members and their CO, Captain Spanton. He expressed appreciation for the opportunity for his men to meet a few of those original Trailblazers. After dinner Assn President John Hildebrand, A/274, presented the following WSR awards: Vern Staley, MED/274, and Pamela Garrison, 70th RSC, for exceptional service in the relocation of the Trailblazer monument from Ft Lawton; Janet Hunter, Henry Clarke and Dale Bowlin for exceptional accomplishments relating to the WSR.

A highlight of the evening was a performance by five members of a local theater group including Janet Hunter. They recited prose and poetry that took us back to the ‘40s with dance and vocal numbers. Several of the ‘old vets’ received special attention with hugs and kisses.

The very successful reunion was concluded Sunday morning with a short Memorial Service dedicated to the memory of our fallen comrades. First Timer Duane Hyde served as song leader with Les Habegger, Med/1BN/274, providing a unique definition of "love your neighbor" and Dale Bowlin sharing his personal experience with "forgiveness by your enemy." The names of Trailblazers who died since the last reunion were read by Henry Clarke. Janet Hunter thanked those who attended and reminded all to meet at San Antonio in September.