Welcome 1/1 Marines!

Vietnam Veterans Reunion

 San Antonio, Texas

Menger Hotel 

October 6th – 10th, 2021

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Alamo Tour

A tour revealing the story of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo and taking you to key battlefield locations that are today hidden under San Antonio’s streets.

Company and Women’s Luncheons

Battalion Banquet, Company and Women’s luncheon. Gather separately for lunch and talk about the good ole days in a local restaurant or hotels area restaurant.

Battalion Auction

The auction is a tradition and is used to help raise funds for the 1/1 Organization.

Battalion Meeting

Includes the 2021 reunion chairman updates, financial report, election of officers, approval of future reunions, and battalion business. 


Message from the Board President 

Samuel O. Verdeja

Tribute to the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines for its role during the Battle of Hue City

The 1/1 Reunion Board of Directors and the invited distinguished guests look forward to joining you during this historic and memorable gathering in San Antonio. Refer to the Reunion registration web link for the registration form and details.

Please call the MENGER Hotels for room reservations prior to September 9th, to avoid late penalty fees. Room rates of $129 (King or two Double Beds) are good through 9/14/21. After 9/14/21, the rate increases to the general-public daily rate from $159.00 to $200.00 per day.

Historic MENGER Hotel

204 Alamo Plaza

San Antonio, TX 78205

(210-223-4361)

Be advised that Sgt. Major John Canley has respectfully indicated that he will not be able to join us during the Reunion due to unforeseen commitment in Hawaii, and will not be able to travel from Hawaii to join the Reunion. However, along with the invited guest speaker, General Juan G. Ayala, Director of Military and Veterans Affairs for San Antonio and General Ray Smith, Keynote Speaker, the 2021 Reunion, will pay special tribute and honor Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta and other 1/1 Units of 1st Battalion, 1st Marines for their engagement in the Battle of Hue City during the 1968 Tet Offensive.

We continue to take every precaution for a safe Reunion during the Program activities. However, we strongly urge you to get your COVID-19 vaccine shots a minimum of two weeks prior to attending the Reunion, and to bring masks. Masks will also be available at the hospitality room throughout the Reunion. If you have received both shots at least two weeks in advance of the Reunion, the CDC has determined it is safe to travel on airlines without having to quarantine.


Semper Fi

  • Sam, Board President

Present at the Battalion Banquet

Mrs. Dolia Gonzalez, Mother of Hue City Battle, Medal of Honor recipient, Sargent Alfredo Gonzalez will be present throughout the Reunion. We will also be honored by General Juan Ayala, Government and Military Affairs for City of San Antonio, and the Battalion Banquet keynote speaker, General Ray Smith.

General Juan Ayala

Guest Speaker

General Ray Smith

Keynote Speaker

Dolia Gonzalez

Special Guest

Itinerary

Hospitality room will be open 

Wednesday – Saturday from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm 

Wednesday

OCT. 23

Continental Breakfast

7:00 am – 9:00 am


Arrival and Check-in


Optional Activities:

(Throughout Reunion) 

Old Town: Free Shuttle

Restaurants

Entertainment Venues

Shopping Center 

Thursday

OCT. 24

Continental Breakfast

7:00 am – 9:00 am


Women/Guests Luncheon

11:30 am @ Old Town


Company Luncheon

11:30 am @ Old Town


Evening

Free time

Friday

OCT. 25

Continental Breakfast

*7:00 am – 7:45 am


MCRD 

Graduation Ceremony 

Parade Ceremony 

Lunch at MCRD

Free Time 

8:00 am – 3:00 pm


City Tour

Mountain Soledad

National Veterans Memorial 

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm 


Evening

Free Time

Saturday

OCT. 26

Continental Breakfast

7:00 am – 9:00 am


Battalion Meeting 

At Hotel 

10:00 am – 12:00 pm


Battalion Auction

TBD


Battalion Banquet

Reception 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Dinner 6:30 pm (start time) 

Program 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm 

Sunday 

OCT. 27

Continental Breakfast

7:00 am – 9:00 am


Departure

 

Note:  

Charter buses are handicap accessible and have toilets, and refreshments provided by Reunion Committee  

*On Friday Continental Breakfast is scheduled in Hospitality room from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. due to early start for City tour and MCRD

Hotel Reservations

Hotel Rate: $119 Per Night + 12.5% California Tax

 Crowne Plaza Hotel, Mission Valley 

2270 Hotel Circle North

San Diego, California 92108

(619-297-1101)  

A dedicated website is available to book your hotel room!

Please ask for the “1st Battalion 1st Marines Vietnam” rate

Or use Group Code “MVV” when calling 1-888-233-9527

Itinerary

Wednesday

OCT. 6

Continental Breakfast

7:00 am – 9:00 am


Arrival and Check-in


Silent Battalion Auction


Optional Activities:

(Throughout Reunion) 

Veterans Memorial

Mexican Market Place

Tower of the Americas

Double-Decker Bus Tour

Riverwalk Boat Rides 

Thursday

OCT. 7

Continental Breakfast

7:00 am – 9:00 am


Silent Battalion Auction


BN Chaplin Gathering

Room TBD

8:30 am – 9:30 am


Alamo Tour

10:00 am – 11:30 am


Company/Women’s Lunch

12:00 pm


Evening

Free time

Friday

OCT. 8

Continental Breakfast

7:00 am – 9:00 am


Silent Battalion Auction


BN Chaplin Gathering

Room TBD

8:30 am – 9:30 am


Vietnam Memorial

Room TBD

10:00 am – 2:00 pm


Hue Forum

3:00 pm


Evening

Free Time

Saturday

OCT. 9

Continental Breakfast

7:00 am – 9:00 am


Silent Battalion Auction

Ending prior to Banquet


BN Chaplin Services

Room TBD

8:30 am


Battalion Meeting 

Room TBD

10:00 am – 12:00 pm


Free Afternoon

Free time before the Banquet.


Battalion Banquet

Reception 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Program 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm 

Sunday 

OCT. 10

Continental Breakfast

7:00 am – 9:00 am


Departure

 

Hotel Reservations

Hotel Rate: $129 before 9/14/21. 

After 9/14/21 room rate increases to $159.00 – $200.00 per day.  

 Menger Hotel 

204 Alamo Plaza

San Antonio, TX 78205

(210-223-4361)  

SOME OF OUR

2019 REUNION HIGHLIGHTS

WEDNESDAY 2019

ARRIVAL!

Arrival and Check-in at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

THURSDAY 2019

Luncheon

A lunch at Old Town with some old pals. 

FRIDAY 2019

MCRD and City Tour

Graduation/parade ceremony, lunch, and a city tour. This included Mountain Soledad and the National Veterans Memorial.

SATURDAY 2019

Battalion Banquet

Battalion meeting, auction, and banquet.

1st Marine Division 80th Anniversary Ceremony

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Roger B. Turner, Jr., the commanding general of 1st Marine Division, adds a streamer to the colors during the Division’s 80th Anniversary Ceremony at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Feb. 5, 2021. Campaign streamers are symbols and reminders of the sacrifice, service and a proud heritage the men and women of 1st Marine Division have demonstrated in battles and conflicts throughout Marine Corps history. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jailine L. AliceaSantiago)

Our Stories

47 Years Later – Reunion Reunites Hill 881 South Marines

“I met the marine who I had helped put on a chopper to get airlifted off that hillside. It was an unbelievable experience, one that I will never forget.”

June 18, 2021

My name is John Kaper and I attended my first 1/1 Marines Vietnam reunion in August 2015 at the Radisson Hotel in Washington, D.C. I was really looking forward to the reunion, as I was hoping to meet some of the marines that I had served with in Charlie Company, as well as other 1/1marines. It was a wonderful and emotional experience visiting with other Vietnam veterans. That particular reunion honored 1/1 marines KIA in Vietnam by dedicating our 1/1 memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

“When I saw all the photos, it was like a flashback”

One of the most popular events of the 1/1 reunions is the company luncheons, where members of the same companies get together. It is a time to reunite with marines you served with, and meet people who shared the same dirt, rain, mud and experiences as you. At the Charlie Company luncheon, one of the marines, a man named Bobbie Butler, who just happens to be our Battalion Chaplain, brought a big photo board with pictures of Hill 881 South. They showed members of 2nd Platoon moving out and off Hill 881 South as well as the surrounding hills and jungle. When I saw all the photos, it was like a flashback. They were so vivid, and brought back so many memories. It was like I was there yesterday.

“One of the 105’s landed only feet away from my squad”

I commented to Bobby Butler, who was in 2nd Platoon (I was in 3rd Platoon), that some of the photos showed the ridgeline that paralleled our hilltop on 881 South. The ridge was approximately 1500 meters west of our position and the NVA constantly fired mortars at us from the backside of the ridge. Periodically we would run patrols out toward the ridgeline, and on May 23,1968 we had a full company size operation to clear out the mortars. We had sporadic contact with the NVA that day and cleared out the mortar pits on the backside of the ridge. We found the pits with the mortars still neatly stacked inside them. About noontime all three platoons assembled on the side of the ridge facing our hilltop and took a break. Naturally we were all spread out to cover all directions as we had NVA around the area. Suddenly there was a series of loud explosions and concussions happening in quick succession from incoming. Our own 105’s had landed directly on top of our positions and seriously wounded at least 9 of our marines. Most were from 2nd Platoon. I was a squad leader with 3rd Platoon and we were right next to 2nd Platoon at the time. One of the 105’s landed only feet away from my squad. Thankfully it was a dud. Didn’t go off.

We rushed over to 2nd Platoon to help with the wounded and get the medevacs going. I told Bobby Butler that I remembered one marine had lost his leg and another looked like he was going to loose a foot. Unbelievably, he said that he was the marine that looked like he was going to loose his foot. Luckily he did not, even though he had other serious injuries.

“I met the marine who I had helped”

Forty-seven years later at the 1/1 reunion in Washington, D.C., I met the marine who I had helped put on a chopper to get airlifted off that hillside. It was an unbelievable experience, one that I will never forget. Bobby Butler and I have stayed good friends and in contact since that reunion. Semper Fi Marines.

John Kaper

Charlie Company

Contact Us

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Americans with Disabilities Act

The 1st Battalion 1st Marines Vietnam Reunion does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its programs, services, activities and employment practices. If you need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication (such as a sign language interpreter, an assistive listening device or print material in digital format) or a reasonable modification in programs, services or activities contact the ADA Coordinator as soon as possible, preferably 30 days before the activity or event.

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