Welcome 1/1 Marines!

Vietnam Veterans Reunion

 San Antonio, Texas

Menger Hotel 

May 4th – 8th, 2022

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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 2022 reunion chairman updates, financial report, election of officers, approval of future reunions, and battalion business. 


Message from the Board President

NOVEMBER REUNION UPDATE

To all the First Battalion, 1st Marines Vietnam Reunion Organization members, we (1/1 Board of Directors) want to thank you for your patience and commitment to attend the Reunion scheduled in San Antonio, Texas, May 4th -8th, 2022. Because of the COVID situation nationwide, it was necessary in the best interest and well-being of attendees to reschedule from October 2021 to May 2022. The invited VIP guests and speakers, including General Ray Smith and General Ayala, have confirmed to join us in May. We sincerely appreciate their commitment. The 1/1 Board of Directors has faced many challenges in making decisions in the organization’s best interest and upcoming Reunion. I wish to commend them for their dedication and work toward the planning of your Reunion. 


The Board of Directors would like to acknowledge and recognize Bill Kendle, Reunion Coordinator, 1/1 VP, and Finance Secretary. During the last few months and while battling cancer, Bill and his wife Arlys were diagnosed with COVID. However, after much-needed rest, treatments at the VA Hospital, and a third booster shot, Bill (and Arlys) overcame COVID. Bill, now recovered from COVID) is currently moving the Reunion planning forward. The Board, in his absence, “held the fort,” and after a long wait, we are deeply grateful for his successful recovery.  


Meanwhile, have a safe and fantastic holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you May 4th 8th 2022 in San Antonio. 


Semper Fi

Sam Verdeja


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Message from the Board Vice President


Marines, 


I have just recently returned from an unintended medical leave. I contacted Covid-19 during the middle of September and am now in recovery.  The virus was utterly debilitating and very difficult to manage. It was a horrible experience.   I have never been that sick in my life. At times, I did not believe I would recover. I’m very grateful to my caregiving wife and the staff at the VA hospital that I remain.


Due to my current cancer, I must receive monthly infusions of chemotherapy and immune system replacement (IVIG) on the first Thursday of each month. My oncologist also recommended that I take the Covid booster the day I received chemo.  Two weeks later, I contacted the Covid variant.


My family has been extremely cautious and mindful concerning CDC-recommended preventive measures. However, I let my guard down and allowed a non-vaccinated, non-masked friend in my space.  The friend I contacted Covid from is now in the hospital. He may not recover. He also passed the virus to two others who have since passed away. His viral load was substantial. 


1st Battalion 1st Marines is fortunate to have a medical professional on our Board of Directors. His advice concerning Covid awareness presents us with challenges to ascertain a safe and memorable 2022 reunion. 


Many of you are not aware that Sam and I made a trip to San Antonio last April. The purpose of the visit was to meet with civic leaders and military officials concerning San Antonio’s escalating degree of pandemic exposure.  Both Sam and I returned home disillusioned and made the immediate recommendation to 1-1’s Board of Directors to reschedule the reunion until May 6 of 2022.


Everything is still on track for our 1/1 Reunion in May of 2022. The Board will continue to monitor the status of San Antonio. Let’s hope for a successful save- the- date and not have to reschedule again. 


We currently have 86 registered for the reunion. Six members requested a refund. A shout out to Doc. Montgomery for encouraging Marines to remain on the registration list.

FYI, Major Henry (Hank) Trautwein passed away on April 11, 2020. He received 2 Silver Stars, 2 Bronze Stars w Combat V, and 3 Purple Hearts.  Our Battalion Secretary, John Kaper, sent regrets to his wife, Rosella.  


Semper Fi

Bill Kendle 



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

MAY. 4

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

MAY 5

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

MAY. 6

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

MAY. 7

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 

MAY. 8

Continental Breakfast

7:00 am – 9:00 am


Departure

 

REUNION AUCTION INFORMATION

Seth Wolfe Jr.

Chairman of the Committee

Again this year we will have a fundraising auction at the reunion. In the past these events have raised around $1500, a figure that we hope, with your support, to surpass this year. So we need your donated items to sell!


Donate anything that you think fellow 1/1’ers might like.

Handmade things, especially with Marine or 1/1emblems on them, always sell. But don’t just stick to that theme. If you think something is cool, others probably will too. We’re seeking a broad selection of items, in all price ranges. .

Donations can be physical things, but don’t have to be. You can donate services, such as legal help, tax prep or landscaping consultation. A few of you high rollers might want to donate a week or weekend at your ski, golfing, or Caribbean condos.

This will be a silent auction, not a live one. Starting when I get commitments, we’ll post the item list on our website, so everyone will know what’s being offered. We’ll also post the current high bids. At the reunion, the stuff will be out on display, each with a sheet that you can use to make last minute bids. At the designated “witching hour” the auction will close and high bidders will pay up and take their stuff.

To donate, you just need to let me know as soon as possible what you’re committing to give. Don’t ship the items to me, just bring them to the reunion. Anything too large to bring with you may be shipped directly to the Menger Hotel, with clear marking that it’s for the 1/1Vietnam reunion. The hotel has allowed us storage.

To donate, please contact me, Seth Wolfe, with the form below and Click to Send.


Let me know:

  • Description of the item
  • Your best guess as to its value
  • If there is a minimum bid we should accept for the item, please let me know what would be appropriate.


See you in Texas!

  • Seth Wolfe

Hotel Reservations

Hotel Rate: $129 before 4/4/22. 

After 4/4/22 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

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.

Bobby Butler

John Kaper

Bobby Butler Today

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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