(Compiled from excerpts of beautifully done write-ups from Debbie Hazen, Marie Heil and
with additional information from Dave Reinheimer. Reunion photos courtesy of Debbie Hazen, Pam Peabody
and Al Werth.)
The B-2/501st 67-72 reunion was the ultimate Oregon experience.
Thirty-four members and an approximately equal number of family members attended the reunion.
The reunion began Thursday afternoon, July 19, in the interesting and scenic Rose City of Portland
OR where name tags were handed out. The Eagles were greeted by Phil & Debbie Hazen and co-hosts
Dave & Pam Krautscheid in the hospitality room on the 23rd floor which provided a scenic vista of
the foothills around Portland. Friendships were rekindled and good fellowship was enjoyed by all.
The room was filled with laughter and good times. Stories of children and grandchildren were heard.
Now was the moment from which gathered lasting memories.
Friday morning a chartered bus took the group over Highway 26 to Seaside with a stop at
Camp 18 (a restaurant and logging museum) to give the men of Bravo Company, their wives and
loved ones, a taste of Oregon’s big timber country. The driver pointed out interesting sights
along the way. Relics of the logging industry and beautifully wood carved animals and lumberjacks
could be seen. The width of some of the cut logs was bigger than the height of an average man.
After lunch it was onward for some free-time in Seaside on the Pacific Ocean where a group
headed off to the beach. While some just touched the waters of the Pacific Ocean, other
adventurous folks went knee deep into the cold water. This beach was an
experience to see. There were wooded hillsides going down to the sea and sand.
Next was a scheduled stop at the Astoria Column and then arrival at the Clatskanie River Inn
about 3:30 p.m.
Cheers erupted as the group saw the special message to them on the “Welcome to Clatskanie” sign
on the west end of town as the bus arrived from Astoria, and again on the drive up to the hotel
where the other welcome sign is located. There were other signs around town welcoming the Eagles as
well, and lots of flags flying. Each couple had a thoughtful gift bag awaiting them in their room
with donations from various Oregon companies and businesses and a DVD of "The Shadow of the Blade".
Besides providing opportunity for lots of visiting and reminiscing, a salmon barbecue provided
some of the best salmon ever eaten by some, at least for those from outside the Northwest. The spring
chinook salmon was caught in the Columbia River by a local commercial
fisherman during the early July season. It was fresh frozen and barbecued on Traeger barbecues.
After dinner there was a warm welcome by Clatskanie's Mayor, Diane Pohl. John Heil designed and
had patches made to commemorate the reunion and these were distributed to all.
service was next on the agenda. A professionally framed board was uncovered and it contained
etchings from the memorial Wall in Washington D.C. of every one of the sixty-four B company troopers who
were KIA, courtesy of the Hazens. They had thoughtfully made the etchings on a trip to Washington
D.C. in Feb 2006. A bound booklet of the etchings was provided to each B company Eagle in
attendance. Kristen Van Camp, a senior at Clatskanie High School, played “Taps,” and there wasn’t
a dry eye in the hall.
Saturday the men gathered in the Cedar Room at the Clatskanie River Inn. From there, some went
fishing, kayaking, shopping, and much more! Fifteen went on a tour of "The Castle", a historic
mansion. Next, there was a stop at the Clatskanie Historical Museum, and then, a visit to the
"Shooting Star Lavender Farm".
The business meeting was held on Saturday afternoon and a banquet at the Clatskanie Legion Hall
followed on Saturday night. It was opened by a color guard of
local combat veterans. The color guard was piped in by bagpiper Gary Thoen, also a veteran.
Members of the B-2/501st group donated a number of gifts for the reunion. Everyone went home with
something special. It was agreed by all that Cat and Brad Jimerson (who were unable to attend this reunion) should receive the beautiful
and meaningful “A Grateful Nation” blanket donated by the Pendleton Woolen Mills, because of all
they have done for the company. Almost $1200 was raised by raffling off the donated items to be
used as "seed money" for the next reunion in Southwest Michigan in 2009, to be hosted by Leo "Doc"
Flory and his wife, Ann.
When they were young men, this nation sent them into battle in an unpopular war, where they were
changed forever by their experiences, but they returned home - welcomed or not - and continued to
live the lives of productive, honorable Americans. They are military consultants and entrepreneurs,
coaches and police officers, ranchers, businessmen and blue collar workers. The men of Company B
truly have a unique bond. The short time they served together has forged unseverable bonds. They
are husbands, fathers and grandfathers. The men who were “welcomed home” in Clatskanie came
together from 17 states, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Iowa,
Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington
Mr & Mrs Jim Motika 67-68
Mr & Mrs Ron Peabody 67-68
Mr & Mrs Pat Torres 67-68
Mr & Mrs John Heil 68
Mr Mike Horigan & Sharon Paulus 68
Mr & Mrs Walt Bouman 68-69
Mr & Mrs Rick Browne 68-69
Mr & Mrs Jim DelGiorno, daughter & son-in-law 68-69
Mr & Mrs Frank Duchow 68-69
Mr James Ervin 68-69
Mr & Mrs Leo Flory 68-69
Mr & Mrs Dwayne Huseman 68-69
Mr & Mrs Dave Krautsheid & daughter 68-69
Mr Irvin McCoun, son, daughter-in-law & granddaughter 68-69
Mr & Mrs Pat O'Leary 68-69
Mr Dave Reinheimer 68-69
Mr & Mrs Dan Hefel 69
Mr & Mrs Larry Muller 69
Mr & Mrs Len Blachly 69-70
Mr & Mrs Robert Colombo 69-70
Mr & Mrs Phil Hazen 69-70
Mr & Mrs Leo Hiller 69-70
Mr & Mrs Larry Jackson 69-70
Mr & Mrs Larry Parkhurst 69-70
Mr & Mrs Mike Silverthorn 69-70
Mr James Thompson 69-70
Mr & Mrs Larry Wedig 69-70
Mr Al Werth 69-70
Mr & Mrs Jay Eilers 70
Mr & Mrs Jeff Bennett 70-71
Mr & Mrs Terry Heig 70-71
Mr Norm Miller 70-71
Mr Don Otto 70-71
Mr Paul Wilgus 70-71
Those attending their FIRST B-2/501st reunion:
REUNION REMARKS from those who were THERE:
"Just a few lines to relate my experiences with the 2007 Reunion 101st Airborne. After I went to
Kansas City, the apprehension I felt at my first reunion was
completely gone. My wife and I had a wonderful time and felt completely at ease. We had a great
time talking about some of the funny things that happened. Met up with John Heil and he had a copy
of a letter I sent him after he was wounded, hoping he'd
get better soon. It's amazing, I still have the same handwriting. Moose was there and as always,
quite hilarious. We spent alot of time with Rock and Dominga and we drove them to the airport
with us on our return to Portland. I hope Rock starts feeling better soon. I now can't wait
for our next meeting in 2009 in Kalamazoo. Doc Flory received full support from everyone. I can
only hope that more of the originals (67-68) will see that this is a good experience and
will try to attend. I would also like to extend my warmest regards to Phil and Debbie Hazen.
Wow!!!!!!!!! What a
job they did. I believe everyone felt very comfortable in the environment they introduced us to.
The food was great.
~Jim & Sue Motika 67-68
"It truly amazes me that every two years we all get together and that every two years the
reunion just gets better and better. Thanks to everyone, this was truly a great time. Lots of
good talk and lots of good silence. Phil and Dave and families really did a GREAT job. No matter
what the year, no matter what your status...jumper, leg, grunt or clerk, we were all surrounded,
all the time; we were all in the same boat or hole. At Sally or Whip, at Airborne or Ripcord, we
were always surrounded. Hey! We were paratroopers! (Airborne/air assault); we're supposed to be
surrounded! Didn't matter if you made 20 jumps or no jumps, we all did the same grunt work in the
same grunt AO with the same grunt pride and spirit. We put food in our rucksacks, jumped in our
choppers and CA'ed into work every day. Never was there a more profound statement that once a
man is in combat he is forever changed and that friendship forged in combat will always grow and
grow. I would like to add that our reunions change us forever and the new friendships made at the
reunions will always grow and grow! God Bless all my friends, thanks for my bi-annual battle
buddy "fix"! I can't wait for Michigan, Leo will do a great job. I have so much respect for the
men of Bravo. Amen!"
~Pat O'Leary 68-69
"Well what else can you say, think all that made it to the reunion had a great time. Very well
organized and went without a hitch. We worked around the weather on Fri/Sat eve. I sure liked the
small town atmosphere. Went with Phil for ice on Fri eve and all were on a 1st name basis at the
grocery store. All the accommodations were great and well planned out by Dave/Pam Krautschied
and Phil/Debbie Hazen. The dinners at the Legion hall were fantastic and those smoker pits are
hard to beat I think. (Available at Hazen Hardware if you checked them out.) Thanks to all for
being so helpful in generating a little $$ with the raffle. I really think this is the way to go
in the future. Hopefully the Peabody’s did not get stopped for being over-loaded getting out of
town. Thanks to all that brought items for the raffle and as Phil mentioned, the town of
Clatskanie helped with quite a bit also, as you could tell when you got to your room.
The “Shadow Of The Blade” was included in the goodies and when you see it, it is awesome.
My camera was really on the blink. Got photos and all were under/ over exposed. Any copies taken
at reunion would be greatly appreciated. MANY THANKS AGAIN TO YOU ALL FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS
ALL POSSIBLE. ANOTHER REUNION, A
HUGE SUCCESS. SEE YOU IN MICHIGAN, IF NOT SOONER. DRIVE ON."
~Dave Reinheimer 68-69
"Dan and I had a great time at the reunion. We missed the night in Portland and even missed the bus the next day but it was all for the good
because we didn't miss Lenny and his wife Catherine. We had a chance to visit for a couple of
hours before their check out time and enjoyed every minute of it. As for the rest of the reunion
it was great to see everyone and to meet some new friends. Even
though we left several days of rain at home we hardly even noticed the rain in Clatskanie. When
your with good friends, good food, good drink nothing else seems to matter. Like everyone else we
felt it went way to fast. A little note to Norm Miller...You raised yourself a wonderful young man. We think everyone
enjoyed having Sam at the reunion. Thank You to Phil, Deb, Dave, Pam, and their family and friends
that helped to make this such a
memorable reunion and to the town of Clatskanie for making us feel so welcomed. Drive On.
P.S. one more thing.... Jimi and Elizabeth, You 2 are 1 of a kind... God Bless... Can't wait to
see you again!
~Sue and Dan Hefel 69
"Had a great time for just spending one day in Portland. Saw grunts that I had almost forgotten.
Man it was good to see everyone.
Dwayne and Ervin were great, even though I was not there at the same time. Had one hell of a
time with them and Jimi. When me and Jimi went back to the 23rd floor late, when Pat O'Leary,
Moose and Dave were all there, and a couple of the '71 guys at the last, was great. The stuff that
Pat were remembering
was priceless. My time was overlapped with these guys. Seeing Phil was just super, and to
talk to after all these years. Seeing Hefel was the highlight for me. He came right after the
bus left. Colombo was one fine dude. Al I remembered very well.
I could not go to the coast and on to Phil's. Will try with all my being to get to Michigan and
~Len Blachly 69-70
"I attended this year with my 21 year old son Sam, and as expressed by others that were there, it
was a very enjoyable get-together. The people in small-town Clatskanie are like the people in
small-town Iowa, friendly, appreciative, respectful and just plain nice! I have always liked the
natural beauty of Iowa, but thanks to Phil, Dave and families, I have now
been exposed to the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, which is both unique and awesome. I cannot
thank them enough for hosting this event because by driving out to the West coast, my youngest son
and I had the opportunity to visit several western states and see many places that are different
from Iowa. After the festivities were over, we headed down the Pacific coast into Northern
California to see
Giant Redwoods and other attractions, heading back east when we got about 100 miles north of San
Francisco. A week to go out and a week to drive back, with the bi-annual reunion being the hilight
trip - what a great vacation! Saw some friends from "my time" ('70-'71) overseas that were at
their first gathering so that was
just icing on the cake - I am already looking forward to Michigan in 2009. Take care."
~Norm Miller 70-71
"I was contemplating if I should attend or not, I'm sure glad that I did. It was so much more than
standing or sitting around talking war stories. The camaraderie was shared with not only the guys
from my time frame of 70-71 but the friendship and reception from the guys that came before me.
At times I would just sit and listen and was completely at ease. In addition I got to meet and
speak to some of the guys like Pat Torres and his wife, Dave Reinheimer, Pat O' Leary, Dan
Hefel and a few others. I was able to reconnect with some of the guys from my time frame like
Terry Heig, Norm Miller, Don Otto, Al Werth and Jeff Bennett. I wanted to talk to Len Blachly,
but didn't get a chance to. I just arrived in the field a
short time before he was hit, while in the 1st squad at an ambush site. One of the highlights of
the reunion was that Terry Heig, Al Werth and myself were all RTO's for Bob Layton at one time or
another. We wished that Bob could have made it to the reunion, but we did the next best thing-
we called him in Ohio, twice,late at night! :) It's the little things in life that we enjoy!
Again, I'm glad I went. Thanks to all who were involved putting it together. I'm looking forward to
the next one."
~Paul Wilgus 70-71
"Jeffrey and I want to thank you for all the work you put into getting these guys together.
Jeffrey was glad to visit with the boys. We enjoyed ourselves. Thanks again."
~Starleen & Jeff Bennett 70-71
Thursday, July 19:
Free time in Portland
1600 - Bedtime: Informal gathering in Presidential Suite - Hilton Hotel
Friday, July 20:
Breakfast: On your own
0845: Gather at Hilton Hotel Lobby in preparation for tour of NW Oregon
0900: Board bus for tour ending in Clatskanie
1000: Arrive at Camp 18 in Oregon's Big Timber Country to view huge log
building, old logging equipment, gift shop, coffee break
1100: Leave Camp 18 for seaside
1200: Arrive seaside to view ocean, shop and lunch on your own
1345: Leave seaside
1415: Arrive Astoria Column to see the fantastic view, Lewis & Clark NW history
1500: Leave Astoria Column
1545: Arrive Clatskanie River Inn and check in
1600 - 1800: Informal gathering in Cedar Room at the Clatskanie River Inn
1800: Spring Chinook Salmon & Pork Loin BBQ at the Clatskanie Legion Hall
1930: Memorial Service at the Clatskanie Legion Hall
Until Bedtime: Visit in Cedar Room or swim in hotel pool
Saturday, July 21:
Continental breakfast in Clatskanie River Inn lobby
Informal gathering in Cedar Room
Lunch: On your own or pizza in the Cedar Room
Kayaking the scenic Clatskanie River
1300 - 1500: Historical walking tour of Clatskanie
1800: Banquet, followed by program and meeting at the Clatskanie Legion Hall
Sunday, July 22:
Continential breakfast in Clatskanie River Inn lobby
Goodbye until we meet again
Reunions have been held almost yearly since 1990. Reunion
sites have been: Wash DC-1990, Colorado Springs CO-1992, St Louis MO AND Victoria TX-1993, Ft Campbell KY-1994,
Victoria TX-1995, Red Wing MN-1997, Ft Campbell KY-1998, Ft Campbell KY-2000, St Louis MO-2001, Ft Campbell KY-2001,
Kansas City MO-2003, Bayside TX-2004, Tulsa OK-2005