As the groups unofficial story teller, I am taking it upon myself to put into words what is probably in our hearts.  Most of us got together a few weeks ago and had a great time and we have had time to reflect in our minds what occurred. We renewed friendships, met our buddies loved ones, filled in some of the void of the past 35 years, connected some of the missing points in our memories. and more, much more.
     Many years ago, when we were young, our country called upon us to embark on a great and difficult adventure, and we all answered that call.  A few dozen brand new officers and a few hundred brand new enlisted men were mixed with a handful of seasoned officers and NCO's and were given the mission to organize an artillery battalion and prepare to take it into combat.  Not just any artillery battalion, the most complicated and powerful in our arsenal. 
     We did that in about three months, then we packed up everything, said goodbye to our loved ones and shipped it halfway around the world.  Before we even landed, our mission was change, and we adapted.  We were placed in the most critical and dangerous spot in the war.  We were blessed with great leadership.  Our commander understood leadership better that any.  He placed each key person in the role that they were best able to perform.  Made sure that we were properly trained.  Made sure that we had the  necessary resources.  Made sure that we understood the mission.  Then, he got the hell out of our way and let us do our job.  And we did, as a group, perform and excel.  
     We were fortunate to have a few months over there of relative quiet, to give us time to learn and perfect our jobs.  Then, as if on que, the eyes of the War, our country, and the world turned onto the 2nd of the 94th as we took the war to the North Vietnam Homeland, and they responded with a vengenance. 
     In the past, heavy long range artillery was always kept in the rear areas of battle.  WE were on the front lines, and at times, several miles in front of the lines.  It was not unusual for our batteries to pack up and convoy at night to reach troops that needed us.  Enemy gunners knew exactly where we were, and "dialed" our number regularly.  As an FO, I did not spend very much time with the unit.  I was usually with our Marine hosts, and I can tell you how proud I was to represent you.  The Marines loved and respected us.
     The professional manner in which this Battalion came together and performed, under difficult conditions was truly amazing.  When troops lives were on the line, our gun crews stayed on the guns in spite of counterbattery fire and followed the mission.  Our ammo convoys travelled dangerous roads.  Even our cooks and clerks risked death daily just by living at the center of a target.  In spite of all that was thrown at us, our losses were small.
     There were very few individual decorations in our unit.  Certainly Eddy should have gotten a Silver Star for his patrol action at Gio Linh.  But, as often happens, his bravery was foreshadowed by the fact that many Marines died on that patrol.  His actions certainly saved many others.  There were probably many other acts of bravery that went unnoticed.  I, personally, am most proud of the fact that we were decorated many times as a UNIT.  We were a team, and we know that we did well.  That is the force that brought us back together after all of these years.  We returned to loved ones and a Country that could not understand what we went through.  YOU HAD TO BE THERE, TO UNDERSTAND. 
     Then, just as abruptly as we started, we disbanded and came home.  For the last 35 years we have be busy building careers, families, and lives.  But as you well know, we did not entirely come home.  A part of us will always be over there.  Late at night, our minds wander back to our big adventure and we would wonder about our buddies.  Where were they?  What are they doing now?  We now know some of those answers, thank's to the efforts of Will, Charles, Glenda, and others.
     I heard faint grumbles about those who did not go.  I feel sorry for those who did not have the opportunity that we had.  I came out of the War with a much greater appreciation of life and our liberties.  For a brief time in my life, I was on a GREAT TEAM, and we soared with the eagles and made a difference.  The guys that stayed home and did not take a turn at the bat, owe me nothing.  I am richer than they will ever be.  Those guys owe the 51,000 men whose names are on a wall in Washington, because they stepped up for them.  Even though I did not stay "in",  the leadership examples that I learned from men like Trefry, Gray, Heard, and others have served me well in my career. 
     We have all been bonded together by our great adventure.  We were separated for many years, but have now come back together, and we dare not let it happen again.  Whether you like it or not, we are FAMILY.  That means that we care about each other.  Being a member of a family has responsibilities.  It is everyones responsibility to let the others in the family know what is going one in your life (good, bad, happy, sad).  Yes, we will get together for more reunions, we will chat on the internet, now that we know where we live, we might "drop in" if we are in the area.  The important thing is that we are back together again.  Sadly, we came together to late for some of the family.  Three that we know of are gone and we had near misses on a few others.  If you are still with me after all of this BS tonight, then your in the Family.