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The OPHSA 11th Annual Reunion

Report submitted by Martin Markley

One hundred three members and guests attended the 11th annual reunion of the Outpost Harry Survivors Association held from June 13 through June 16, 2002 at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans. Many arrived before the reunion, and stayed afterward making sightseeing trips.

Following individual registration in the hospitality room, a "Welcome Reception" was held for attendees. The Association provided complimentary chicken and sausage Jambalaya with corn bread.

The next morning the group took a 3-hour narrated tour of many areas of New Orleans, returning for lunch at the hotel.

This year, during the Memorial Service, not only were all the units involved in the outpost defense recognized, but recently deceased member, Regnard Burgess, former Association President and Society of the Third Infantry Division Sergeant-at Arms, was eulogized by several of his comrades. Members told of their outpost experiences and Mary, wife of member Charles Scott, read a moving tribute.

President Verlin Rogers conducted the membership meeting. Following the invocation given by Chaplain Ed Hanrahan, the prior minutes reported by Secretary E. Douglas Jones and Treasurer G. Samuel Buck's financial report showing the association to be liquid were approved. The usual business matters were quickly covered and the election of officers was conducted: F. Walden Storie was elected President; Francis X. Riley was elected Vice President.

The banquet was highlighted by Lt. Col. Steven H. Twitty's speech recognizing the importance and deeds of former soldiers and spoke, in detail, about the role of soldiers now faced with the threat of global terrorism. Lt. Col. Twitty also presented a video of 15th Infantry Regiment units conducting exercises at the National Training Center, Ft. Irwin, CA.

A Farewell Breakfast concluded the reunion with plans announced for the 2003 reunion to be held at Ft. Stewart, GA.

We Held

James Jarboe submitted the following account of the reunion in a letter:

Good morning Brad,

I'm finally getting my act together after the reunion.

With over 100 attendees it was the largest yet for OPHSA. Lydia and I went a couple of days early, rented a car and began sightseeing and eating! We found several other folks had the same idea so the second day we got a group together
and car pooled to the French Quarter. (parking fees are atrocious) We dropped the ladies off for a shopping spree and we took a bus to the D Day Museum. Later took a cab back to the French Quarter, met the ladies for lunch and had a great time.

New members are introduced at the reception by MC Jerry Cunningham and are (left to right) Len Godmaire, Bob and Esther Buckner, Paul Curtis, Del Tolen, Rubin Baum, Hank Flaack, Richard Entenmann, Paul Gregory, Paul Weibel, Charles Melancon and John Pate

There were quite a few people who were making their first reunion. Jerry Cunningham introduced them at the reception
but we had met most of them in the hospitality room earlier. That is where I put up the enlargements you sent. Many discussions about who, where and when used the pictures as reference. Some guys (Doug Jones and Gerry Harbach)
brought slides to show in the hospitality room as well Historian Dick Martinet brought books of clippings and photos which were of great interest, especially to the new members. There was interest in the Web Site. One of the guys had a lap top. We put one of the CDs into it and used it in the hospitality room to good advantage.

Picture showing the crowd at the reception.  (Jambalaya and Cornbread)

The bus tour of the city went well with two buses full. An air-conditioned haven from the 90 degree temp and 80% humidity.

The memorial service for those KIA and MIA was a candle lighting ceremony. President Verlin Rogers opened the ceremony and Chaplain Ed Hanrahan read the invocation. Representatives of the various units that took part in the defense lit a candle followed by a moment of silent tribute. Individual tributes from several members were given including one by Verlin Rogers for Regnard (RAB) Burgess (one of the founding group) who passed away earlier this year.

 The banquet was very enjoyable. Near the end of the festivities we had a 50:50 drawing and then the photos I contributed, your CDs, an oil painting of a 105 howitzer battery in action, a couple of hand made clocks from John Ferrara and a few little patriotic dolls (we won one for a grandchild).

After the farewell breakfast many folks headed home. Lydia and I went down to the French quarter and took a two hour
walking tour. The next day we took the paddle wheeler Natchez on a two hour cruise on the 'big muddy'. More shopping and eating. Then off to Lafayette to a B&B. Next day was a three hour tour of the Achafalaya swamp. Back to New Orleans near the airport and flew home the next day. 

Hope you had a good time at the wedding. Sorry the dates superimposed but I hope you can make the next reunion. It will be in Ft Stewart, GA in June. If the 3rd Division, head quartered in Ft Stewart, has to deploy in the interim the reunion will be at Ft. Benning, GA.

Best to you.


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