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Unit Reunions

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For a couple years since I found out from a Hadit member that my old Vietnam outfit has a yearly reunion I have been thinking about going. I get excited thinking about it and then get nervous as heck. I won`t go into all the thoughts, but I`m sure some of you understand my apprehensive feelings.

Anyway, its the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment reunion and is taking place in Louisville in September. My question is have any of you gone to one of your units reunions and if so how was it the first time?


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I waited about 25 years, and had recently been in contact with a few people since I had just gotten the internet and was trying it out.

Online, I find that I have a lot of views, political, social, etc. that these people and their kind share, but I'm not much on actual socializing.

I went to a few. Dropping in informally while passing through worked out a couple of times, didn't stay long, had wife and kids along and we did whatever, like eating at a restaurant.

I've talked to a few folks, but with my hearing among other things, I tend to slip off by myself.

My last one (and could always end up being my last one) was in '04. Went alone.

I stayed in a different hotel and had privacy. Spent as much time watching TV as over there.

You can go without expectations, might have a ball, if not, just go where you want. Except for the big banquet, I ate alone at local restaurants, hit malls, etc., just drove around. Checked out of my room and hung a short while, then just went home half way through.

You can give it a try, you're free to leave if you don't like it. Probably would be better if you get in touch with some people you know who are going beforehand, have someone you know you'll be greeted by.


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Well, at least you and most combat vets here probably didn't have any serious "social problems" when you were out in the field...I mean where weapons were almost fired at someone (4 different times in my case). :rolleyes:

So if *I* were to go to a reunion of my old RVN unit, I don't know who would be more "nervous," me or those 4 guys.

As for most "normal" vets, however, I think that they should go to at least one reunion...

- John D.

Edited by cloudcroft (see edit history)
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I went to a 1st Cav reunion a couple of yrs ago, in Milwaukee, WI, and was very disappointed by the lack of Nam vets attending. Turned out to be mostly WW-II and Korean war vets. I won't go again. Not a good place to attend if you have an ETOH problem, as there are lots of "hospitality suites," with free beverages.


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Men- the Military channel had some great shows all day long on Memorial day-

They covered every war and I noticed that in the shows that were documentaries of vets going back to Korea- and Japan-many said they were leary about the trip-

just like many docs I taped on vets returning to Nam-

it does show that-this apprehension can be quite common.

Reunions- I dont drink and I can't relate to how that factor probably affects reunions-

but Return trips to where your unit served-something that is planned out well-

that is different-

The show on Iwo Jima was excellent- I had taped this last year but it is worth seeing again and the vets -from both sides- at Pearl Harbor reunions-that is always wonderful-

(still some vets-even after all these years- called the Japanese veterans "Japs" and one was very upset from meeting the "enemy")

I have many taped Vietnam vet documentaries of their personal returns to Nam.

One man did all he could to find a North Vietnamese officer he had fought against in the war.

He found the man and was invited to his home.

The disappointment on his face was evident when the translator told the US vet that the man could not remember the battle he talked about.

This vet wanted to know how the battle affected the 'enemy' but the 'enemy' wouldn't talk and just kept giving him food, saying in Vietnamese- that was all so long ago---I forget----

But a few days later after the American vet begged the Vietnamese man to go with him to the place of the battle-

suddenly the guy opened up-

the translator could hardly keep up with his description of the fight from the other side-

The Vietnamese vet had kept this all inside himself for years.Decades.

They became good friends and had many more visits and when the Vietnamese man needed a triple by pass operation the Vietnam vet paid for it to be done -in the US of A.

For the American vet (and I believe for the Vietnamese vet) this friendship helped them both to deal with their PTSD better and each got a different perspective of the war.

Then again apprehension-

I had a very good friend from Honolulu-and he and his cousin were the only 2 men who returned from Vietnam from their high school class.

When he was asked to be in a parade to honor Vietnam vets-in Honolulu not long after he came home- he thought he would see dozens of men who had served there-

I believe that is when his PTSD really hit him-just the two of them in the parade----

the rest died- and this is how he found out.

I took him to the vet center with me- and he was a wreck there-

he avoided Vietnam vets because he didnt want to think about it.

But he thought about it every day.He had the purple heart but that GSW didnt affect him- it was the leeches he was horrified of and dreamed about--- among the other things-

apprehension is normal ---my opinion-----

and probably everyone who goes to these reunions gets apprehensive.

Edited by Berta (see edit history)
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