Frank Graziano Ferry
635 NW Whitfield Way
Port St. Lucie, Florida, 34986
03 November, 2016
To the Officers, Directors & Members of the 14th Trans. Bn. Association of Vietnam Veterans.
It is with honor, duty and pride that my peers elected me, to be your Vice President of the 14th Trans. Bn. Assoc. of Vietnam Veterans six years ago.
Back in April of 2010, I found a website for the 339th in Vietnam and as I scrolled through it, I had tears in my eyes as I recognized many names, both living and deceased. It brought back memories good and not so good. Later that month I made contact with 339th director Ralph Frank. Ralph explained to me about the organization and the problems with the 339th website and the next reunion planned later that year in Branson. I wasn’t sure if I could make it, but I did. It was a very emotional experience for me, because previously I had never gathered with Vietnam Veterans to share photos or war stories, after all it was 46 years. At the Branson reunion, the membership elected Tom Myles president and me vice president.
Tom and I got along with all the directors and looked for input on how to improve the website and expand our membership. Thanks to Al Walker HHC & 610th (deceased) and his stepdaughter a new and improved 14th website was created with constant tweaking. Ralph Frank our webmaster is constantly adding to it.
Our total membership has slightly declined, as we all get older. There are many other 14th veterans who still don’t know of our existence. It is all of our jobs to seek them out.
The association also started a reunion memory book from our past 3 reunions every two years.
For the last three reunions, we’ve charted buses to air shows, visited static aircraft displays and guided tours of military bases in San Antonio and Virginia. We also charted tour boats in San Antonio and Hampton/Norfolk Virginia.
Thank you my brothers, President Tom Myles, Treasure Benny Aleman, Directors Ralph Frank, Dan Sippel, Dan Quackenbush, Art Harrison, Ken Gurbisz, Wayne Gallant, Tom Peterson and Carl Woods.
Memories of our 2016 Reunion at the Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina
Wednesday, October 26, 2016 was registration day and time to renew old relationships and make new ones. Next to the hotel was the Virginia Air and Space Museum and Williamsburg only a :30min ride from the hotel.
Thursday, October 27, 2016. About 81 of us departed on the charter boat “Miss Hampton II” for the largest naval base in the world (Norfolk Naval Base). Our tour guide and captain Mike are both military veterans. We got to see almost every category ship or boat in the US navy inventory. What a memorable tour.
Friday, October 28, 2016, 78 of us departed the hotel for Fort Eustis on our double decker charter bus, we were met and escorted by Col. Mark Jones (Ret). Now deputy to the 128th brigade commander. We got to see the Ft Eustis Transportation Museum and Army static display of aircraft. After lunch at the officer’s club, we then returned to the hotel. That evening the association hosted an informal sandwich buffet, attended by almost 100 members in our hospitality room. The majority of our membership present voted to have our next reunion in Charleston South Carolina in 2018.
Saturday, October 29, 2016. Our morning was free to visit Williamsburg or the US Naval Museum and USS Wisconsin battleship in Norfolk. Later that afternoon we had our photographer take group photos of all (114 paid) and proceeded to the banquet room for appetizers followed by our dinner. Preceded by Russell Planck giving a moving invocation. The guest panel of Robert Kirksey, Russell Planck and Dan Madish made us all laugh. They were so good that I wish we had videotaped their experiences in Vietnam.
President Tom Myles announced the stepping down of Vice President Frank Ferry (339th), and introduced his replacement Dale Thomsen (610th). We are confident that Dale will do an admirable job.