2015 Reunion

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Comments by Terry McCarl About 2015 Reunion

I attended the 15th Med Association Reunion in Boise, ID, April 15-19, 2015. It was the first 15th Med Reunion I attended, but I hope to make it to many more!

I arrived on the afternoon of the 16th and departed on the morning of the 19th, so I missed the first and last days. I therefore missed the tour of Gowen Field Army National Guard Base, a couple of evening dinners, the BBQ at the Smith's, and a few other activities. I am told that it was a shame to have missed any of those activities. However, the time that I was there was very enjoyable, filled with good conversation and memories of my 15th Med days.

The Oxford Suites in Boise, where the reunion was held, is a very beautiful and luxurious facility, yet very economical. Customer service was Priority 1!

There were 30 veterans that attended the reunion. I got to personally meet all but one who had to leave early for another reunion. There was no one there that I knew or remembered during my VN tour (11/68-11/69), but roughly half of them had tours that overlapped with my tour to some extent, and of those, roughly 75% knew someone that I knew during that time, so I had a great time reminiscing about people, places, and events.

A high point of the reunion for me was getting to meet Ella Turner (Mrs. Guthrie L. Turner), BG Turner's wife of 57 years. She was awarded Honorary Membership in the 15th Med Association at the reunion. Attached is a photo of Mrs. Turner with Mike "Smitty" Smith, 2015 Reunion Coordinator, and 2015-2016 President of the 15th Med Association. Mike is in his “1960's Hippie attire,” since the theme of the theme of the banquet was the Turbulent 1960's.

Another high point was the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Ceremony, at which all reunion attendees received a beautiful commemorative medallion. This was a big surprise! I understand that Velma Smith set this all up. A special thanks to her!

One dark cloud over the reunion was the passing of Jerry Dick on April 8, who had planned to attend the reunion. Jerry was a Door Gunner on Medevac, who was badly wounded on July 28, 1968. A BBQ was held to honor his service at the 2012 reunion I never got to meet Jerry, but I could tell that the support and friendship of his fellow 15th Med Veterans was of major importance to him, as was his friendship to them. Tributes to Jerry throughout the reunion were very moving.

Of the Reunion attendees, 21 were Medevac and 9 (including me) were other than Medevac. I believe that a common misconception by 15th Med Veterans that were other than Medevac, is that the reunions, and even Association membership, are strictly for Medevac personnel. Leo Williams, 2014-15 President of the Association, emphasized at both the Banquet and the Business Meeting that the Association is “The 15th Med Association” that includes all 15th Med Veterans, regardless of their assignment.