With great optimism, I, along with the 1/1 Reunion Board of Directors, continue to plan the 2021 Reunion scheduled in San Antonio, Texas. Because of the COVID-19 situation nationwide, the Board recently approved a recommendation from San Antonio business and military leaders to move the Reunion from May to October 6th – 10th. The MENGER Hotel will honor all previous arrangements for reduced room rates. Bill Kendle plans to officially launch the 2021 Reunion and registration details beginning in the Spring of 2021, along with the PROGRAM of scheduled activities, speakers, and guests. Meanwhile, you will continue to receive updates in the newsletter quarterly. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions.
2021 – R E U N I O N
October 6th – 10th
San Antonio, Texas
However, there are a few new accomplishments to report. Recently the Internal Revenue Service designated 1st B.N. 1st Marines Vietnam Reunion a 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Our IRS determination allows individuals, businesses, and foundations, donation deductions from Federal taxes. Dave Bertagnoli (1/1er) and Financial Advisor processed the necessary documents the IRS required to approve our non-profit status request. Dave will provide more detailed information on your benefits as a 1/1er during the Reunion’s Battalion Meeting in October. In the interim, you can make inquiries via the 1/1 website.
In running an organization, it is necessary to have dedicated leadership to help guide its mission. It’s important to mention that your current Board of directors represent your best interest. One of the essential skillsets is the mastery of board protocol and parliamentary procedures possessed by Robert Black (Blackie). Thank you Blackie for adding value and bringing your high-level expertise as a board member
Meanwhile, if you believe that a significant Corporation or Company in your area may be interested in funding or donating to the 1/1 Reunion Organization, please let us know. We will follow-up with you with the necessary proposal forms.
As a result of the IRS designation, donations to the Brotherhood Committee/GoFundMe can be tax-deductible. The goal of the Brotherhood Committee/GoFundMe is to raise funds to provide help to needy veterans to attend the Reunion, and for incidentals as determined by the Board of directors. Donate by going to the website and click on the GoFundMe link. According to Seth Wolfe, Chairman of the Committee, we must provide some financial support to those veterans with limited income to attend the Reunion.
Honorable mention goes to Dahrie Hayman. Dahrie facilitated the Silent Auction in San Diego. She was able to raise over $750.00 towards our General Fund. Thank You, Dahrie, for the incredible effort you put forth. Also, our sincere Gratitude to Sandra Griffin, Chair of the Women’s Luncheon. Sandy coordinated the Women’s Luncheon and honored Mrs. Gonzalez by presenting her with a special recognition plaque at the Battalion Dinner. It is important to note that 1/1 women continue to make a difference in our lives after Vietnam. Thank you, Ladies, for being there supporting our Marines.
The Board of Directors welcomes Leonard Davila of Alpha Company to the Board of Directors. He will be a Representative for the U.S South and Southwest Regions. Leonard’s addition brings both a geographical and Company balance to the Board.
Bobby Butler of Charlie Company accepted the responsibility as Battalion Chaplain during the Battalion Meeting in San Diego. He will conduct group and private sessions during the 2021 Reunion. A new Link on our website will direct you to contact the Chaplain. While on the website, mouse over to Links, a dropdown menu will appear. Cursor down to Chaplin and leave your contact information. Bobby will contact you to provide spiritual guidance or counseling to our veterans.
The Board of Directors remains committed to planning a safe, enjoyable, memorable, and prosperous 2021 Reunion for you and your family, friends, and guests. As an infantry battalion, 1/1 was involved in years of heavy combat, as evidenced by the high percentage of Purple Hearts among the membership. A reunion allows veterans to remember and share experiences that can alleviate the feeling of being alone, of not having friends with similar experiences. The end goal is to reduce the veteran suicide rate and increase the common bond and fellowship. I like the quote used by our Sergeant at Arms, Rafael Gonzales, to describe his family: “We might not have it all together, but together we have it all.” This quote from Rafael reminds me of the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines Vietnam Reunion Organization. Rafael served in Vietnam from January 1970 to January 1971 Alpha Company as a Radioman, and then with Charlie Company Second Platoon as Third Squad Leader. He is a native Houstonian and resides at Seabrook, Texas, near NASA Space Center. Thank you, Rafael, for your commitment as our Sergeant at Arms.
One of the primary benefits of creating a non-profit is to help raise monies for the General Fund. The goal is to increase the amount to $5,000 by Reunion time. Please consider donating to the general fund, or if you know of anyone who wishes to make a financial donation, please let us know, and we will follow up with a thank you letter. Should you have any questions or would like additional information on the benefits of donating to the general fund, please contact Bill Kendle. These donations, when received, will help to plan our Reunions activities. Bill Kendle and Roy Wiltrout will report on separately received donations budget items at the Battalion Meeting.
Samuel O. Verdeja
Delta Company’ 69/’70