You may not be all excited about seeing us, but we sure as hell are excited at the prospect of seeing you again. Let’s face it, some of our tales and memories don’t kick in until we hear a familiar voice from 40 years ago or get caught off guard by someone else's version of a story you’ve always seen differently. Bring a significant other. Bring the family. Bring your pen and pocket notebook, because there will be lots of stuff you will want to follow up on. There’s no class distinction, no layered degrees of importance. If you were a janitor who did nothing more than sweep the halls and keep our ashtrays empty, you were part of the mission and you deserve to be there for the goodies and camaraderie. If Pat or Adrian or Roger walk through the door, they aren’t there as celebrities. They are there as alumni of a very, very special group that once brought a touch of home to those 58,000-plus people whose names stretch through the years on that damned dark wall in Washington. Last time we had folks show up who thought they didn’t belong because they weren’t talent, or because they weren’t officers, or because they only played “a small role” for AFVN. Listen up, folks. No one played a “small role.” Every one of us, from the Conex dwelling supply moles to the “extras” who brought us voices from the Red Cross or the Big Red One or MACV or from Oz or from the land of Kiwis -- every one of us was simultaneously completely replaceable and incredibly indispensable. We may begin making reservations on November 1st, 2013. I will begin peppering the site with information and updates as we get closer to the end of this month. Remember, friends, that we have reached that part of our lives where we attend more funerals than weddings. Whosoever will may come.
The above is a plea to come while the following is a reaction to having attended in 2012.
I went to Memphis knowing I would only know a few people I was in Saigon with; left Memphis
knowing all and now have a face to some of the names in this group. Well done to all of us!
September 29 through October 2, 2016.
(To the best of theWebmaster's knowledge as of July 28,, 2016.)
Arrival at Hotel
Report to Hospitality Room for check in, name tags and schedule.
Time to renew friendships and
make new ones.
On your own at one of 10 Restaurants at the Crabtree Valley Mall just across the street or at a place of your choice.
(More information later)
6:30 to 9:30 a.m.
Bus to Fort Bragg, Fayetteville, NC
Board bus at 8:00 a.m.
9:15 Tour of Downtown Special Operations Museum
11:00 Leave for
11:30 Met at
11:45 Arrive 3rd Brigade Combat Team Military Dining Facility
($5.55 per person -- Please pay when you arrive at the reunion.)
Paired with Airborne buddies before entering dining hall.
12:45-1:00 Move to 82nd Airborne Division.
Meet and Interaction with soldiers.
2:00-2:15 Move to the Virtual Training Facility
for a tour and interation.
3:30-3:40 Move to the Parachute Packing Facility for tour and interaction.
4:30-4:40 Move to the 1st Brigade Combat Team Barracks for tour.
5:15-5:30 Move to the Cemetery to visit and pay respects at
Martha Raye's grave.
5:45 Return to Raleigh
Arrive approximately 7:00 p.m.
From return to
On your own at one of 10 Restaurants at the
Crabtree Valley Mall just across the street or at a place of your choice.
(More information later)
7:00 to 10:00 a.m.
Nondenominational Church Service
by Chaplain Mike Kumm in the Hospitality Room.
Church if Desired
(List of churches and rides will be provided.)
Lunch on Your Own
Shuttle to North Hills Mall (2nd largest mall in Raleigh) for walk-around and shopping.
NASCAR races in Dover, Del. on TV at 2:00 p.m.
Meet volunteer guides at 5:00 p.m. to take the Raleigh Trolley to the the Midtown Grille by the North Hills Mall.
Highlighting contemporary American cuisine, the restaurant will be open just for our group. (Dinner tickets do not include drinks -- a cash bar will be open.)
Will include speeches and prize drawings.
We are inviting
MGen Norman Grattis, Senior USAF North Vietnam POW, and
Joe Marm, a local Medal of Honor recipient to come to either the BBQ on Saturday or the Dinner on Sunday.
8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m or until everything is removed.
Depart by Amtrack, Auto or Raleigh-Durham Int'l Airport
SEE YOU THE NEXT TIME!
AFVN 2016 Reunion
September 29 to October 3, 2016, Raleigh, North Carolina
Don't say "maybe next time." Come and join us this year.
7:00 to 10:00 a.m.
"Pig Pick'n" BBQ
at the Hotel
Country attire if you like!
(Around the pool, weather permitting.)
From 6:30 p.m. to ??:?? p.m.
Attendees (as of the Reunion)
OK, all you AFVN’ers, I have a request. Every one of you is requested to send me a picture of yourself then and now. Joyce & I are trying to work out a plan for a raffle item to be presented at our next reunion. I need these pictures from you to accomplish this task. Whether or not you plan on attending next year, send it to me. Attached are samples of what I am looking for. Me, back in 1964 and now (larger of course).
Southern Rules for Perfect Living Plus Southern Dialect Translated
Registering for the Reunion
Please complete either of the below 2016 Reunion Registration forms and send it,
along with your payment, to Ken Kalish as show on the form.
Download form As a MS Word DOC file: Click Here
Download form as a PDF file: Click Here
Residence Inn Raleigh Crabtree Valley
2200 Summit Park Lane
Raleigh. NC 27612
The deadline for booking is September 9, 2016.
Click here for more information about the hotel.
However please note that this is not the AFVN Reunion registration page (see above).
Hotel Rates, Regisration and Payment
$99.00 plus tax per room per night (1 or 2 persons).
To register for a hotel room
1. Call the hotel directly at 919-279-3000 and ask for a room under the “Good Morning Vietnam”
group block to receive the special rate. Rooms are loaded Thursday through Sunday.
If anyone needs to stay before or after those dates let Dick Ellis know.
Then click on the link, enter the dates and room type desired, and reserve with a credit card.
If you have any questions regarding reservations, please contact the hotel at the phone number given above.
Getting There, Accommodations, and Information for the Disadvantaged
Steve Sevits has provided a lot of information on special rates from AMTRACK with
special attention to the disadvantaged as well as some good tips for the average traveler.
This is perhaps on your list--the World's Biggest Beer Garden.
Other activities to be determined.
Television interviews will be worked into the schedule.
There is a large hospital only two miles from the hotel.
The VA hospital is located in Durham, about 20-30 minutes from the hotel.
There is also a small VA Clinic in Raleigh.
Again, as was done for the 2012 & 2014 Reunions, an assistance fund will be established. Anyone wishing to donate may do so. Both donors and recipients will be anonymous, except when a donor asks his or her donation be tagged for a specific person. Even then, the recipient will not know the donor's identity. Donors wishing an accounting will be given one without any designation as to whom payments are made. No negative feedback from the previous reunions has been received, but an audit of the funds can be arranged if the donors wish. If you want to donate but are uncomfortable with this method, please look at the group photos on the last pages or the 2012 and 2014 Reunion Rock PDFs. Several individuals who joined us could not have made the trip without a bit of help. Imagine what the that photo and the other pictures would have looked like without half a dozen of those faces. Assistance in San Diego amounted to the tune of $3,500 and I assume several will need help in Raleigh as well.
Our efforts to make sure the assistance fund is available have been very successful. Right now (May 16, 2016) our fund is in the middle four figures. Donations of any amount are appreciated and requests for something here and bit of help there are greeted with happy respect. We want to see everyone there.
If you're still uneasy after reading the above, please don't donate. If you need assistance, please contact Ken Kalish.
Donations to the Assistance Fund may be made by US$ check as follows;
Payable to Ken Kalish, AFVN Assistance Fund
18671 Co. 81
Park Rapids, MN 56470
Or, if you prefer, you may donate via PayPal sent to Ken@carmabiz.com.
If you prefer a direct account transfer, call me for instructions.
You should receive an acknowledgement and/or receipt by email within 48 to 72 hours.
Any and all amounts, large or small, will help your fellow AFVN Veteran.
[Note: This section has been compiled from several messages from Ken Kalish.]
Chair and Registrar: Ken Kalish
Coordinator & Publicity: Dick Ellis
Webmaster: Jim White
Remember, everyone, "Whomsoever will come, may come."