Reunion 2002 ~ WEEK OF THE EAGLES (Ft Campbell KY)
From left to right: Fry, Heil, Jimerson, Arbogast, O’Leary, Bouman, Reinheimer
(Missing from photo – Hallums, Marks)
The reunion was held at:
Days Inn North
130 Westfield Court
Clarksville, TN, 37040
Those in attendance:
Gene and Dora Fry
Jim and Robin Hallums
John and Marie Heil
John and Sherry Marks
Some comments from those who attended:
Mike Connell – “Dear B/2501st, The reunion was great. I really enjoyed the dinner we all had together, and I really wish that we could eat together again. I met many of you, I have a special place in my heart for B Company. We fought in so many battles together, side by side. It was extra good for me to meet Brad and Dave Reinheimer, we have talked through e-mail so much and it was great to meet both of you. So I say to all of you; Geronimo.
Mike ‘Mighty Mouse’ Connell
Nam 67 – 68″
John Heil – “Being my first reunion, it was very fulfilling for me and meeting the other men of Company B. It continued the healing, putting names to pictures that I had all these years. Being a Point Man Minister, Brad has a true calling to God and to his veteran community. He made my wife and I very welcome. I am hoping to participate again with my comrades in the future. I hope more make the effort to join in with us. God Bless.”
Marie Heil – “With this being the first reunion that my husband and I attended, I was anxious and concerned. The drive from Philadelphia was smooth and as we journeyed through Tennessee to Clarksville, the anticipation level rose. Upon check-in, the atmosphere became one of extreme pride, meeting the veterans who so long ago put their lives on the line serving our country. One person, in particular, made our transition easy and that was fellow Company B member, Brad Jimerson. He took the initiative to listen to my husband that first afternoon. That is something I sincerely appreciate. Later that evening the men of Company B gathered around a table for a prayer service followed by conversations of the past and present. These men traveled so far from the villages and jungles of Vietnam in the late 60s. Most are still tormented by flashbacks, but this was a time of peace, understanding and comradeship. Friday took us into Ft. Campbell for a continuance of events for Week of the Eagle. Everyone assembled at the parade field and all 101st Airborne veterans were invited to parade. As I sat in the bleachers watching these heroes march, my patriotism soared high like the eagle. These veterans answered the call of their country. In Philadelphia the motto of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is It is our duty to remember. From the applause and recognition these veterans received, it is gratifying to see others carry this same feeling. About 11,000 troops passed in review and I realize these men and women now
carry on the legacy of the 101st Airborne Division. The United States is a wonderful place with so many opportunities. We should all honor her and fly our flag proudly. Next came lunch at a mess hall and a recreation of the capture of the village in Vietnam. Last was a demonstration of todays air assault in an urban environment. The evening ended with a dinner attended by other members of the 2nd Brigade, 501/502. A
special thanks goes to the enlisted men who were our guides. They were accommodating to all needs or requests and a pleasure to be with during our stay. I am sure we all wish them well in their military career. On Saturday my husband and I went back into Ft. Campbell, went to the museum and paid tribute to fellow comrades as we laid a flower bouquet at the Memorial at the Gate 4 entrance. This was truly a memorable experience for John and I. We look forward to meeting more of the Company B family at the next reunion”
Bradley Jimerson – “I’m always happy to go to the next reunion. I flew to Atlanta where Gene and Dora Fry met me and we drove to Ft Campbell together from there. We sure ate good at the reunion and there is always some invisible paratrooper that ends up paying the bill. I can’t figure that out! I did some talking and some listening and I’m always open. We need each other. I enjoyed the Air Show. I enjoyed the marching and the skydivers. Fry and I visited Ft Benning together after the reunion and that brought back some memories. Can’t wait till next year’s reunion.”
John Marks – “I had a great time! No one from my era was there (Nov. 69- Nov. 70 except me), but I felt very comfortable visiting with others that served with B/2nd/501st and other eagles from other units. Some of the highlights of the week were walking in the Veterans March and talking with the oldtimers that jumped at Normandy on D-Day! I loved the mock air assaults, and the Pratt museum.”
Pat O’Leary – “It was the best time of my life and now i consider myself the luckiest person in the world. I will someway, somehow try to make every reunion B 2/501 has for the rest of my life. After seeing all those WW II guys still going, i was inspired but even if i did not see them it would not have made a difference. This was the most important event of my life, thank you for finding me. Such a BIG part of life’s puzzle just found it’s place. To all the B 2/501 brothers that took part in the week of eagles 2nd brigade reunion, from the bottom of my heart thank you and God bless you. To anyone that missed the reunion, beg, borrow or steal and get to KC, MO, you will not regret it.”
Dave Reinheimer – “It is always a good time, as in the past it does not take a large turn-out to make things work and all having a good time. We had 3 turn out for the 1st time and I am sure we will be seeing them again. I believe all the batteries that needed charging will be running on “high” for a while, Hat’s off to Rick Arbogast & friend Izzy for driving up from Biloxi, Ms. arriving at 2 a.m. for 1 day”
Events were as follows:
Wednesday 12 June:
The Division Welcome Center was established near Gate 7 at Ft Campbell. 2d Brigade booth monitored by active duty soldiers. Visitors received a welcome packet outlining the week’s activities for the Division & the Brigade.
1200 – Brigade picnic @ 2d Brigade dining facility, with honored guests, distinguished members of the regiment; the best LT competition winners were honored.
Afternoon Thursday 13 June:
Check in and registration at Days Inn. Active duty soldiers were provided to assist in sign-in and maintain separate rosters for the units.
Memorial Ceremony at Div Hqs followed by Reception at Div Museum.
Hospitality Room Open
Friday 14 June:
0830 – Veterans assembled to the left of the bleachers on the Division Parade Field for the Veterans’ Review (at 0900). Veterans passed in review and then took their seats to the right of the Reviewing Stand. The Division Review was then conducted.
Noon – Lunch at 2d Brigade Mess Hall (arranged with Col Tata).
1300 – World War II, Vietnam, and current operations demonstration.
1300 – Hospitality Room – Days Inn.
Air Assault Demonstration.
1700 – Ceremony at Division HQs in which veterans were honored.
1830 – Dinner at Sportsman’s Lodge, Fort Campbell.
Saturday 15 June:
Supper on Post.
Checkout and depart.
Brad Jimerson, Machine Gunner
Class of 67-68
Visitor # since 3/13/03