I thought about organizing my own small military reunion after attending my 40th high school reunion. There, I would reminisce about my two and a half years in the Army stationed in Germany in the late 1960s. What guy wouldn’t? It was beer and wine fests, bratwursts, skiing in the Alps, and of course gorgeous German fräuleins. I met some very amazing guys and their spouses.
I knew there were large military reunion groups, but I wanted to meet my fellow Army veterans with whom I worked alongside. My first thoughts were how to meet these guys again. I only could remember small things about them. Like me, they could have moved and so remembering their proper name was going to be important. Was it "James" instead of "Jim" or did they go by their middle name? I first had to figure out how to reach out.
I am a member of the American Legion and saw military reunion listings in the magazine, so I put an ad in the American Legion Magazine for the ASD (Administration Systems Division) group in the 3rd Infantry Division in Würzburg, Germany. ASD consisted of four office groups with about 20 guys led by two junior officers and three NCOs. We were part of the division headquarters. Distributing the mail, publications and printing the division’s daily newsletter were just a few of our tasks.
Amazingly, after a few weeks of the reunion notice I received a reply. It was from my former NCO of my office group. I joined a phone number web site that listed peoples' names, addresses and ages. It only cost $3-4 a month and with the list I finally accumulated, I only needed these two months. I finally contacted about 40 guys who served with me over the two years in Germany.
Our first reunion was in Nashville, Tenn. and was attended by 13 of us along with our spouses. I put together an itinerary that I hoped would make everyone enjoy our time together and to reminisce. It was a success. We went to the Grand Ole Opry, the German Oktoberfest, group dinners and group breakfasts at our hotel. We have since organized more reunions about every two years in Austin, Las Vegas, Dallas and New Orleans. It was both a pleasure and honor to meet my friends again after all these years.