25th Infantry Division Reunion - 2009

 

25th Infantry Division Association
60th Annual Reunion
held at Fairbanks, Alaska, September 14-19, 2009

  

Tom Jones, who served as an officer with both the 1/14th and 2/14th, represents the 14th Infantry Regiment Association at the reunion

  

Don and Joyce Casteel

  

Benny and Louise Gaia

  

Spectacular scenery greeted Reunion visitors

  

Signs of the times . . . you might not be able to get there from here!

  

 

Tom Jones (1/14th and 2/14th, Vietnam) shares some highlights from the reunion:

  
Everybody who took the cruise option really seemed to enjoy it.  The weather in Fairbanks was cloudy but warm with temperatures reaching 65 degrees.

   We held our 4th Annual 25th IDA Memorial Fund, Inc. golf outing on Thursday.  We purchased a Golden Dragon hole sponsorship that benefited the Fund.  The Association raised over $4500.00 for the Fund and everyone had a great time.  The match resulted in a 3-way tie that was decided by a putt-off.

   The Reunion coincided with our 1st Stryker Brigade's return from Iraq and I've included some shots of banners lining the fences on every approach to Ft. Wainwright.  I've seen other displays before in Hawaii, but none to match this display of support.  Particularly cute were several of the signs that said things like "Welcome home SGT, You thought Iraq was hot - Wait until tonight!"

   We toured the Army's training facilities that have high-tech (almost like live video games) buildings teaching everything from marksmanship, driver training, vehicle rollover techniques, to first aid.  They have a complete Middle Eastern village scenario (much like the old "Kara Village" many of our guys will remember in Hawaii) that is all electronic and produces on the spot videos, like NFL game films, for leadership critiquing rather than the lane graders we used to experience. 

   We had briefings from the Brigade Commander, COL Burt Thompson, and our banquet speaker was USARPAC Commander LTG Randy Mixon.  Both emphasized the importance of the civil affairs roles the Army played in Iraq; training Iraqi leaders and police in governance and working with local communities to correct the infrastructure problems like water, power and schooling.  Most soldiers we talked to felt that they had "planted some valuable seeds for democracy".

   Being among our Active Duty soldiers leaves one humbled by their intelligence, conditioning, professionalism, and dedication to duty.  The nation, however, has them stretched to the limit and there are signs of strain on them and their families.  While we were on Post a soldier that had been home less than a week committed suicide, much like I had experienced last July in Hawaii when the Wolfhounds first got home. The Army is working very hard on that; the troops are kept on a tight leash as they first return to cut into the binge drinking, as well as to allow each returnee to receive inprocessing that includes counseling and family practices instruction.

 

Banners posted for returning Iraq veterans

 

Banners posted for returning Iraq veterans

  

 

Reunions:  2009 25th Infantry Division Association, Fairbanks, Alaska
Copyright 2009 Kirk S. Ramsey
Last modified: February 11, 2013