Our ninth annual national reunion was held the third weekend in September at the Red Lion Jantzen Beach Hotel on the banks of the Columbia River in Portand, Oregon. Once again it was a very good turnout with some 200 Manchus and family members on hand.
This year we were honored by the presence of three currently serving 4/9 Manchus. Making the trip down from Ft. Lewis, Washington were battalion commander Lt. Col. and Mrs. William Prior, battalion S-5 Capt. and Mrs. Karl Harness, and Command Sergeant Major and Mrs. Philip Pich. The battalion was re-flagged last June in a ceremony attended by a number of the battalion's Vietnam veterans. You can read all about that event along with an explanation of the mission of the newly configured and now mechanized battalion at http:// www.manchu.org/current_Manchus.
Again the long reunion weekend was a mixture of informal gatherings in the meeting room along with several organized tours of the Portland area. At the association's annual meeting Saturday afternoon the membership decided to provide the modern day 4/9 Manchus with financial support for their soldier of the month/quarter/ year project. And as the battalion is due to deploy in Iraq in the Spring of 2007 further funds were voted to provide "care packages" to the troops while they are deployed.
As a follow up to our donations in support of hurricane Katrina victims the members voted to continue supporting the effort through the "Samaritans First" group. Several Manchus who had spent time as volunteer reported the Samaritans group had earned the respect and admiration of many for their efforts.
When it came time to decide where to hold our 10th annual reunion a number of issues we have been discussing over the years came into play. The Executive Committee presented three options -- Atlanta, Washington, DC and Memphis. Memphis won easily so start making plans now to be in we us at the Marriott East hotel the third weekend in September, 2007. As it will be a milestone event, our 10th get together, it will be one you won't want to miss. Keep checking the Reunion button on the Manchu homepage for registration details.
Along with deciding which city would host us next time around we also did some fine tuning on the site selection process. The members voted to adopt a "quadrant" system for choosing reunion sites, rotating each year between the Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and Northwest. Those who are also members of the VFW will recognize that we will be following their model.
The current slate of officers were re-elected so Larry James will continue as President, Alen Fyfe, Vice President and Cheri Criteser, Secretary Treasurer.
It was another great reunion. You can expect it to be an even better one next year. See you in Memphis.
4/9 Infantry Manchu (Vietnam) Association