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Christmas Letter 2008
Posted: April 23rd, 2009 @ 12:16am
Sat, 6 Dec 08.
Single digit temp this morning in my little corner of northeast Pennsylvania. I was at the post office by 0620, waiting for the truck to arrive with all the parcels, letters, and "junk mail" of which all of you are so fond. The temp brought back memories of a P-3 Orion pre-flight in Brunswick Maine at oh dark thirty so many years back. (Paul R. You can keep those ME winters all to yourself!).
It is especially this time of year that I reflect on the things I like to do each year — things that have become traditions. The Blue Ghost Reunion has become my favorite tradition. I like people and that makes a Reunion so much fun.
My re-connection with Blue Ghost came in the fall of 2004. Woke up one morning and wondered if I could find anything on the internet about F Troop 8th Cav. (At the time, I did not know about the connection to C/7/17th, nor did I know that the parent unit was once Americal). Soon, I learned of the upcoming 2005 Reunion. I put in for vacation, but it wasn’t convenient for the post office to approve my request. I didn’t try hard enough to make it happen and I regret that to this day. Next thing I know,it was time for the 2006 Reunion in San Antonio. No one or nothing was going to stop me from attending. Paperwork sent to Ron. Hotel and flight reservations made. Then a few days before departure, I received a phone call from Joe Loadholtes. He probably wondered what dolt he had on the other end. Seemed like minutes before I responded, though it was only seconds. But the years swept back to 1972 and that initial landing in Saigon. Stepping up to the door of the plane and feeling that oppressive heat (Joe. Is that why you settled in Georgia?!) and that smell. What was that smell? Something about …. River.
Thank you for that phone call Joe!
Since San Antonio, I have attended 2007 in Branson and 2008 in Louisville. I’ve met new Blue Ghosts each time and welcomed seeing those I had met at previous reunions. (Jimbo, 2007. You were the first from our time that I had seen since leaving active Army in 1974. William Dantzler, 2008. Great to see you again CO. It’s been a long time since Feb 1973).
As with previous years, 2008 is not without Blue Ghost losses. John Williamson. I’m sorry I never got to see you again. Beverly, I hope you will attend the 2009 Reunion. Ron Nishita. I’m sorry I never got to meet you. Elayne, I hope you will attend the 2009 Reunion. Mike, I’m glad I got to meet your sister Peggy at the 2008 Reunion.
Every Blue Ghost I have met has been a help to me. Also, every Family Member has been just as important. Thank You.
As 2008 marches to the end, I want to extend holiday greetings to those of Christian and Jewish beliefs. To all others, greetings. Life is not without pain,grief and loss. However, life is also happiness. I wish all of you an abundance of happiness.
John H. Brown