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Home > News & Archives > Misc > Reunion 2009, A Family Perspective

Reunion 2009, A Family Perspective

Posted: April 10th, 2009 @ 4:38pm

Our family had many invitations from several Blue Ghost members to attend this year’s reunion in Nashville. They assured us that we would be welcomed and we would have a great time. I have to admit that I thought long and hard about attending. My Mom and I discussed it. My husband and I discussed it. Is it the right thing to do…are we blurring the line between Ray’s life and ours, what should a family do?

After a lot of discussion, we decided that we should attend. We packed up, boarded a plane and flew from Connecticut to Nashville. It was a quiet flight, none of us said too much. I don’t know if that is unusual, but my Mom, Kathy is a New Yorker, she is never quiet! I don’t know what my husband Dave was thinking either..probably wondering what in the world he agreed to, spending time stuck in a hotel for 2 days with his Mother-in-Law and no where to go! We checked into the hotel and all was fine until I looked over and thought that I recognized my Uncle Ray’s Captain, Don Bentley and I froze.

All sorts of things were running through my head, but mostly I think I was now on the same page as Dave, what in the world did I agree to!

We put our things in our rooms and decided we came all this way; we might as well meet everyone. We piled into the elevator and went down to the 2nd floor. We could hear the noise as soon as we stepped off the elevator so we knew exactly where to go. Half way down the hall I noticed we all just stopped. That is really when it hit us I think…again, what are we doing here and is it the right thing to do? We all stopped there and looked at each other and none of us said a word, we didn’t have to, we were all thinking the same thing…..who is going first! I immediately spoke up and said, “don’t look at me”! I then hid behind my Mother like I was two again and told her “ You first, Ray was your brother”! Now how do you argue with that! So my Mom, Kathy, put on her brave face and led her family through the door of the Tennessee room into the unknown.

Immediately, John Brown came right over to us and welcomed us in. He introduced us to several people and just made us feel comfortable. As we made our way around the room, so many other Blue Ghost members came right over to us and introduced themselves and welcomed us. We were told to have a seat and a drink and just accepted into the group like we were old friends. We just sat back and listened to some of the funny stories, some old, some new. It was great to see everyone really enjoying each other’s company and laughing about things that happened almost 40 years ago. It was clear to us that these people we were with were just truly happy to be together again. Being included in this, how could you not have a good time?

Over the next day and a half that we were there, we met so many wonderful people. We truly enjoying meeting and speaking with every one of them. At times, it was a little hard and the tears would well up, and we would have to pull ourselves back together, but we knew that it was OK. We were among people who understood, but more importantly, we were among friends. As a family we walked away with a better understanding of Ray’s time in Vietnam, the good and the bad. We also now understand why Ray was so proud of what he was doing and the unit he was serving with. You are a very special group of people and we are proud to have had the privilege of getting to know each and every one of you. Thank you for making us feel welcome. It was an experience that our family will never forget and I encourage other families to attend if they get the chance. You will not regret it.

Thank you,

Debbie Ingersoll

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