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Christmas Letter 2008
Posted: April 23rd, 2009 @ 12:16am
Sat, 6 Dec 08.
temp this morning in my little corner of northeast Pennsylvania.
I was at the post office by 0620, waiting for the truck to arrive
with all the parcels, letters, and "junk mail" of which all of
you are so fond. The temp brought back memories of a P-3 Orion
pre-flight in Brunswick Maine at oh dark thirty so many years
back. (Paul R. You can keep those ME winters all to
It is especially this time of year that I reflect on the things I
like to do each year -- things that have become traditions. The
Blue Ghost Reunion has become my favorite tradition. I like
people and that makes a Reunion so much fun.
My re-connection with Blue Ghost came in the fall of 2004. Woke
up one morning and wondered if I could find anything on the
internet about F Troop 8th Cav. (At the time, I did not know
about the connection to C/7/17th, nor did I know that the parent
unit was once Americal). Soon, I learned of the upcoming 2005
Reunion. I put in for vacation, but it wasn't convenient for the
post office to approve my request. I didn't try hard enough to
make it happen and I regret that to this day. Next thing I
know,it was time for the 2006 Reunion in San Antonio. No one or
nothing was going to stop me from attending. Paperwork sent to
Ron. Hotel and flight reservations made. Then a few days before
departure, I received a phone call from Joe Loadholtes. He
probably wondered what dolt he had on the other end. Seemed like
minutes before I responded, though it was only seconds. But the
years swept back to 1972 and that initial landing in Saigon.
Stepping up to the door of the plane and feeling that oppressive
heat (Joe. Is that why you settled in Georgia?!) and that smell.
What was that smell? Something about .... River.
Thank you for that phone call Joe!
Since San Antonio, I have attended 2007 in Branson and 2008 in
Louisville. I've met new Blue Ghosts each time and welcomed
seeing those I had met at previous reunions. (Jimbo, 2007. You
were the first from our time that I had seen since leaving active
Army in 1974. William Dantzler, 2008. Great to see you again CO.
It's been a long time since Feb 1973).
As with previous years, 2008 is not without Blue Ghost losses.
John Williamson. I'm sorry I never got to see you again. Beverly,
I hope you will attend the 2009 Reunion. Ron Nishita. I'm sorry I
never got to meet you. Elayne, I hope you will attend the 2009
Reunion. Mike, I'm glad I got to meet your sister Peggy at the
Every Blue Ghost I have met has been a help to me. Also, every
Family Member has been just as important. Thank You.
As 2008 marches to the end, I want to extend holiday greetings to
those of Christian and Jewish beliefs. To all others, greetings.
Life is not without pain,grief and loss. However, life is also
happiness. I wish all of you an abundance of happiness.
John H. Brown