Dear Friend of the 57th,
The 57th Alumni Association's (AA) reunion that held the 26th-29th of September in Fairborn/Dayton, OH this year has come and gone and my memories from this reunion are that it was great! If you were unable to attend this reunion do make plans now to join us in Branson, MO the 11th-14th of September 2014.
What made the 57th AA reunion so great this year? People started arriving on Wednesday (25th) in anticipation of who was coming and what we were going to be doing at the National Museum of the Air Force. Alumni started registering for the reunion Thursday morning and the process continued all day. Thursday evening in the 57th AA hospitality room an assortment of tasty sandwiches, pasta and brownies were available to the alumni with a pay as you go bar. I was told that the renewing of acquaintances continued until around midnight within the hotel.
On Friday morning the 57th AA was invited by the National Museum of the Air Force to enter the museum prior to its normal operating hours so we could get a guided tour inside an AC-130 gunship. Friday would turn out to be a day devoted to viewing the exhibits and aircraft on display at the museum until 1500 hour's. At 1500 hour the 57th AA gathered in Memorial Park to dedicate the 57th AA Memorial Plaque. The dedication ceremony was emceed by Col (R) Floyd Badsky who was also the design, development & procurement Team Leader. The dedication ceremony was indeed meaningful and magnificent! We were honored to have the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Honor Guard to post the colors during our ceremony. Many of you contributed to the 57th AA Memorial Plaque Project, again, thanks for supporting this project (attached is a photo of the plaque). Friday evening back at the hotel we had a fantastic dinner and in a setting where we could enjoy each other's company. In addition, we had two very special guests from the 57th Bomb Wing who were having their 47th reunion in the hotel at the same time. The president of the 57th Bomb Wing and one of their alumni, a WWII hero, addressed our group and their presentation was just outstanding or better yet it could be summed up by saying, "WOW"!
Saturday morning we held our 57th AA 2013 Business Meeting and the complete minutes of that meeting are posted on our website (http://www.57thalumni.com). Officer & Director at Large positions filled during the meeting are as follows:
o Vice-President: Mike Welch was elected to fill position till 2016
o Treasurer: Gary Snyder was re-elected to fill position till 2016
o Director at Large # 1: Larry Graham was re-elected to fill position till 2016
o Director at Large # 3: Mike Peters was elected to fill position till 2016
Some will notice that Paul Zender no longer fills the position of Vice-President. Per Paul's request his name was not placed in nomination this year. I must say a few words about Paul, but what can I say about him without writing a book? First I will start by just saying, "Thanks for doing a job extremely well". Paul wasn’t just a figurehead, he worked tirelessly in the position of Vice-President! We have spent many hours on the phone with each other getting the 57th Alumni Association to where it is today. When the 57th reunion was being held in Altus, Oklahoma, Paul opened doors for us within the community that many could not have. In 2010, we were faced with a major problem when within two weeks of the reunion in Altus the caterer for our banquet left town. Using his connections, Paul was able to acquire another caterer on very short notice for the banquet and yes, he saved our tush. Paul will be remembered as one of the founders of the 57th Alumni Association and someone who provided countless hours of support. Paul is a true friend of ours and the 57th Alumni Association. It has been said, "A friend is someone who will bail you out of jail but your best friend is the one sitting next to you saying 'boy was that fun'". It has been fun Paul and I will be calling on you!
Saturday evening started with a delightful social time and at 1835 we were called to dinner. CMSgt (R) Lew Shedd was the emcee for the evening and he kept the evening lively by engaging with the audiences and our guest. The Wright Brass, an element of the Wright Paterson Air Force Base Band of Flight, provided music for us and then the speaker's podium was turned over to one of the 57th former commanders Brigadier General (R) Dick Bundy. He rocked! The evening was just outstanding.
Today, I am happy to report that our 57th Alumni Association Membership has grown to eighty-one (81) Lifetime Member and seventeen (17) Annual Members. Are you a member? Your membership would help us reach our goal of 100 member before Christmas 2013. Please help us keep the 57th alive by becoming a 57th Alumni Association member. Visit our website at http://www.57thalumni.com for a printable application or use the application attached to this e-mail.
Reunion photos for 2013 will be posted soon on the 57th AA website, keep a lookout for them. Now, one more request, please forward this e-mail to someone you knew in the 57th so we can get the word out about our 57th Alumni Association.
Woodie Hall, CMSgt, USAF, Retired
President 57th Alumni Association
For those who were at the reunion, please send me pictures that I can post on the website. E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org or if you have many please send them to me via USPS to Woodie Hall, 2635 Maraval Court, Cape Coral, FL 33991.