Las Vegas Reunion
at the Golden Nugget Hotel
The first 5th Maint reunion was held on Nov 10 through 13th and was attended by John T Brown III, Bob Barnes, Joe Fraccola, Roger Bland, Dick Shephard, Florendo Saclayan, Ken Hamblin, Larry Ward, Thomas Lechowicz, and Greg Chew. The following is from John Brown
Attending the first reunion of the 5th Maintenance Bn (DS) held in Las Vegas November 10-13, 2005 were Dick Shepard, Greg Chew, Florendo Saclayan, Larry
Ward, Ken Hamblin, Bob Barnes, Joe Fraccola, Tom Lechowicz, Roger Bland and John Brown.
Those of you who did not make it missed a great time. This was the largest Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home celebration ever held.
All of us except Florendo and Ken, who stayed with relatives, had rooms at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas. We coordinated our arrivals by contacting John and we all gathered for the first time for breakfast on Friday morning. After a round of introductions and reestablishing old friendships, we headed for the forming up for the Veteran's Day Parade. There were several thousand Vietnam veterans in the parade but we believe we were the only ones there as a unit, albeit only seven of us. John brought the old Main Support Company guideon flag and a flag pole which Greg carried in the parade as we marched four abreast (more or less) down the one mile parade route. An estimated 20,000 people turned out to watch the parade and we were cheered on the entire route and shook the hands of many of them.
The mayor of Las Vegas was at the end of the parade to shake our hands and thank us for our service. As the only group with a company flag we were televised by all the media and appeared on at least one local news station.
We spent most of Friday relating our individual experiences and rounding up Larry Ward, who arrived early in the afternoon from Seattle. We kinda broke up into groups and did our own thing after the parade.
We met again for breakfast on Saturday morning. We all wanted to attend the air show at Nellis AFB and searched out the buses that were to take us there. The Air Force was obviously not prepared for the event as it was taking up to four hours to get from downtown to Nellis (five miles) and
through security. Several went and never got off the initial bus ride (you had to take two different buses) and came back and several of us turned back at the bus station. As a result none of us made it to the air show.
Ken Hamblin showed up from St George, Utah, with his wife late Saturday morning after having a blowout and having to buy a new tire enroute to LasVegas.
Saturday and Sunday we just knocked around and swapped stories. Everyone started to trickle out for home on Sunday. We met for breakfast on bothdays.
Everyone agreed that this reunion was a real treat and highlight and that weshould get together again next year. All who attended this year plan to attend next year. Dick Shepard was elected to be the main coordinator for the 2006 reunion which will be held in St Louis at a date to be determined
in the very near future. We hope all who did not attend this year will planto attend next year's gathering. You won't regret it.
Greg Chew produced a DVD containing the photographs that had been sent to him. He did a fantastic job with background music, news clips and excerpts from presidental speeches. You can obtain a copy of this DVD by contacting
Greg and sending him $15 with your mailing address. Proceeds after Greg's minimal expenses will be applied to expenses associated with the 2006 reunion.
Welcome Home, Brothers