TBS 1-68 Newsletter 16 Feb 2021

TBS 1-68 Newsletter 16Feb2021

Greetings and best wishes for the Vietnamese lunar year of the Buffalo.  We know how sturdy and dependable these animals are, and it bodes well for the upcoming year.

Before my mind goes blank, PLEASE notify us of any pending changes in your email contact address.  If not, we only find we have lost contact when your email bounces back as undelivered.

I have been hesitant to send out newsletters, not knowing exactly what to communicate in this Covid altered world.  I am reminded of my college newsletter editors, always begging for folks to write to them so that they have something to print.  Of course, I never write.

Our Dave Peters continues his remarkable work with our class website.  It is the reliable best source for all information about our class and its members.  I urge you to look at it, maybe once a month, for new bulletins and information.  I put a reminder in my electronic brain / calendar to do so every 30 days.  He has added a quick “What’s New” link on the home page- try it!!  https://www.tbs1-68usmc.com

Unfortunately, we are at that time of life when our friends are moving on to whatever is next on the journey.    I am reminded that John Wayne once said “Looks like none of us are getting out of here alive”.

Dave Hauntz, Beirne Lovely and Drew Ley have started their next adventures.   I think you will enjoy reading their life stories, which are on the website in the form of their obituaries (wish that were different).  All three were incredibly accomplished individuals.  Strongly recommend you learn of their accomplishments and lives well lived on our web site

I find it a bit tragic that I never find out how wonderful my friends were during their lives.  That has to wait until I read their obituaries.  By a stroke of coincidence, Beirne and Drew were college fraternity brothers of John Feltner and I, and classmates of Jeff Zimmerman. And many of you know Kevin Trainor (TBS 1-67) who was also a Dartmouth fraternity brother.  Small Marine world at Dartmouth in those days.

Drew was a prominent member of the USS Constitution Museum Board.  They have established a fund in his honor to support the Museum and its activities.  It is being kicked off by a Zoom event in Drew’s honor on 23 February with no less than Generals  Jim Mattis and Joe Dunford as participants- high company for Drew.  Click here to read about the Drew Ley Fund which contains a link for joining the event: https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/give/colonel-drew-ley-fund/

 My friend, Bing West, has a new book that I highly recommend: The Last Platoon.  It is a story of Afghanistan and Marines on a modern mission.  I learned more about that place “a pathology, not a country”, than from all my other sources to date.

I have two possible future class events and, maybe, a third.  All awaiting a Covid clearing:

            – My Vietnamese friend and guide, Mr. Nguyen Duy, and I have been sketching out a special tour of the country.  One not focused on the “American War”.  My plan is to rent a vehicle and hire a driver, along with Mr. Duy as our guide and interpreter.   And then to spend maybe four weeks visiting all of the prettiest places in Vietnam. We will be flexible with our accommodations, many will have to be made made on the fly.  I do not want to have a fixed itinerary, in case we stumble on places we want to examine in greater depth.  There are nature parks and caves north of Khe Sanh that just have to be explored.  And all of the mountain cities that the French found to be enchantingly beautiful and cool in the summer.  Then there are huge empty coastlines with beautiful beaches. Even a number of off shore islands that beg exploration.   I am not sure that 30 days will be enough.  Danielle and I are definitely going to do this, and all of you are welcome to join us.  It will only require our getting a bigger vehicle and being a little more careful with finding overnight accommodations.

            –   Danielle and I still have all of our notes and itineraries for visiting Normandy.  Those included both World War I and World War II sites that we all want to visit or re-visit. I expect this to be maybe a two-week trip.    Hiring a bus is a bit of a challenge in France because you have to know exactly what you are going to do every day, and it is difficult to make on-the-fly changes.  I think it is better that we rent self driving vans and do our own navigation from point to point.  On our last trip, I discovered so much that I did not know about World War I and what the Marine Corps accomplished.  I will have guides for every major stop.  If you want to stay in typically French accommodations outside of cities.  Probably best to do this outside of the annual celebrations, when all of the accommodations are booked years in advance.

            – Personally, I would really like to visit with all of you in some sort of a reunion event.  It just does not make sense to have such good friends out there in the world, and not find a way to spend time with them.  If you have an interest in pursuing this, please let me know.  If we have enough folks with an interest, we can begin sketching out how to make it easy for everyone to participate.  I just need to know your wishes, positive or negative.

That is all the news that is fit to print right now.  I extend our best wishes to Mike Williams and Bruce Wiggins who are recovering from medical events.  As our Jim Williams aptly said, “sometimes life gets in the way”.

Semper Fi,

Bob

“Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne

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