The 2007 reunion
of W-1-12 was held September 14 – 16, 2007 in Brentwood, Tennessee.
Dick Stroud had done a great job of making arrangements and
attending to all the details, including a wonderful poolside
Many of the members chose to arrive a day early. To no one’s
surprise, there was more than enough to talk about for several or
weeks if we had had the time. It seems just like yesterday that we
were just a bunch of young men, kids really, carrying
responsibilities of a magnitude greater that most people experience
in their entire lifetime; however, to quote Larry the Cable guy, we
did “Gitter done!” Stomachs have grown in girth, hair has thinned
and grayed and many of us have children who are much older than we
were in Viet Nam, but still we are proud, as well we should be.
Saturday morning we had our breakfast business meeting. Dick Stroud
formally welcomed everybody and introduced Melonie Carideo who had
been a tremendous help to Dick in arranging the reunion. Melonie’s
daughter Bethany led us in the pledge of allegiance. Tim Wolf led us
prayer. Former W-1-12 CO’s Rich Richey and Hugh Walters provided
comments, observations and memories. Dick Hulslander updated the
battery on Joyce Salmon’s health, which was not good at that point.
Since that time, her health has improved; however, she is still very
ill and weak.
Melonie, Dick and Bethany
Lt. Saunders gave us a recap of his time with W-1-12 including a
very moving remembrance of the heroic actions of Doc Carothers who
died while trying to save “his Marines.” We were indeed honored to
have Bill Carothers, Doc’s brother, attend the reunion. Dick Stroud
presented Bill with a pin. I believe all Whiskey Battery Marines
were thinking that the “corps in Marine Corps is truly the Corpsmen”
who work so bravely, selflessly and sometimes at the loss of their
own lives to attend to us Marines.
Dick Hulslander reported that the battery fund contained $615.77.
Note; a pass of the old hat yielded another $511.00. So, as of this
writing, W-1-12’s fund has $1,126.77.
Charles Biddix noted that our reunions often provide closure to the
families of our lost Marines, such as was the case with Jerry
Glaze’s family last year.
Dick Hulslander read the names of the departed battery members. It
was especially emotional noting the passing of Bob Huber who battery
CO between Rich Richey and Hugh Walters.
Dick Huslander and Howard Richey
Hugh Walters, Eleanore and lovely daughter, Lori
Rich Richey had some update on the history of the battery since
1966. We learned that W-1-12 had been reactivated and sent to Iraq
as a military police unit. It was a little difficult trying to
imagine a W-1-12 person being on the so called good side of the
Ron Cummins gave the history of Blizzard, possibly the most all time
unusual member of W-1-12.
Many of those attending the reunion enjoyed a dinner The Stockyards
Restaurant on Friday night and a dinner theater and ride on the
replica steam/show boat General Jackson on Saturday.
Melonie Carideo provided a slide show and information on a possible
tour of Viet Nam with emphasis on Con Thien. She will follow up with
members who expressed interest.
John Forslin used to note that he learned in Kiwanis to never miss a
meeting because doing so would result in your being assigned to a
difficult or undesirable job, Apparently John did not learn that
lesson as well as he might have because: 1. He was absent from this
year’s reunion; 2. John was unanimously named to head up next year’s
reunion. (John, did you go to Boot Camp on the short bus?)
After breakfast, coffee and goodbyes, W-1-12 dispersed until next
PERSONAL NOTE; My personal highest thank to every member of Whiskey.
I do not believe I have ever seen a finer group of men than those of
you who held Con Thien and the W-1-12 who raised the battery’s
reputation elsewhere. It is perhaps the highest honor I have ever
had. And greatly appreciate seeing each of you at the reunions.
Whiskey Battery 1-12