What a weekend!
The 13th reunion of the 4th Battalion 9th Infantry Regiment was one of the best. Nearly 300 Manchus and Manchu Family members were on hand at the Doubletree Hotel in Colorado Springs.
This year we were honored by the presence of a large contingent of currently serving 4/9 Manchus. Making the trip from Ft. Lewis, Washington were battalion commander Lt. Col. Mark Bieger and his wife Amy, CSM Richard Liehrdahl and wife Laurie, SGM Lee Baleme and wife Wendy. In addition a six member Color Guard (SGT Michael Lewis, SGT Joshua Morrison, SGT Joshua Nielsen, SPC Caleb Jenkins, SPC Robert Moritz) was on hand to post the national and battalion colors at the Saturday Night Banquet. Another special guest at the reunion was Captain James "Bud" Corbin who performed his showstopping original composition The Fighting Ninth detailing the history of the regiment. The battalion had only just returned several weeks earlier from a successful deployment to Iraq where they distinguished themselves as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. You can read all about their deployment at http://www.manchuwarriors.org/2009-2010/
The organization for this reunion was outstanding thanks to the services of our Armed Forces Reunion. This is the fourth year that AFR has handled the administrative end of things for us. They put together a good list of outside excursions. The tour of the Royal Gorge, Garden of the Gods and Air Force Academy were all well attended and by the looks on the smiling faces much enjoyed.
There was a full agenda at the annual business meeting where we saw the membership decided to continue its support of the Manchu families at Ft. Lewis and to fund the production of a unique new Manchu belt buckle for those currently serving. The buckle will be different from the one we wore as the new belts for the battle dress uniform is much wider than the belts from our generation. We will post more details of this unique addition to our heritage as soon as the die are cast.
Larry James, Alen Fyfe and Cheri Criteser were honored to be re-elected to their posts of president, vice president and secretary/treasurer.
Now that we are planning our reunions two years in advance we already knew the 2011 gathering would be held in Washington, DC. It will be a special one with a memorial service to be held adjacent to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall. More details on that activity will be posted on the Manchu mailing list and here on the web site. With regard to the 2012 reunion the Executive Committee presented three options � Seattle, Washington, Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon. Portland got the nod so keep checking the Reunion button at www.manchu.org for more details on how to register.
It was another great reunion. You can expect it to be an even better one next year. See you in DC.
Keep Up The Fire
4/9 Infantry Manchu (Vietnam) Association
The Bigfoot Sighting
By: Ron Beedy
Manchu Alpha 6 (Griff Killgrove) and Manchu Alpha 16 (Ron Beedy) departed Doubletree via Ford Expedition at 0800 Friday with the top of Pike's Peak being the objective of the day. Unfortunately a chopper crash near the summit resulted in the closing of the road. Forty years ago they may well have bushwhacked to the peak via an alternative route, but, in consideration of current age and physical condition, the two Manchus opted not to pursue that course of action. They were allowed to go part way up the mountain road to a point where they encountered the legendary Bigfoot. Knowing that Bigfoot has kept up the fire through centuries of coping with a hostile environment, they decided to make him an honorary Manchu.
The Fighting Ninth
By: Captain James "Bud" Corbin
You can listen to the song "The Fighting Ninth" by downloading it here, or by playing the YouTube video below.