(Added on Nov 17, 2016) The VP-17 reunion has been a great pleasure for Irene and me. We have derived a fond relationship with the members. We look forward to the next one and plan for it. Being the only enlisted at the Chattanooga reunion, Irene and I felt at home with all present. Irene and I wish all VP-17’ers God speed and a safe and well year.
John and Irene Pendleton
You guys did it again. What a great Reunion! Maggie and I had such a wonderful time. As we age, friendship becomes more precious than ever. I have been blessed to have been a part of VP-17. My military friends are amazed how tight we all are as an outfit. They don't have reunions. They don't have any friends from their time in the service.
Until we meet again, stay safe and healthy.
Very sincerely yours,
Benny and Maggie Cheng
Thank you again for your warm hospitality and conversations this past weekend. VP-17 was clearly a life changing experience for many and that experience and memories stayed close to our collective hearts. Carol and I owe BBO, you and others for a terrific experience.
If we can do anything to support the VP-17 reunion effort in the future please let us know. VP-17 means a lot to us to this day - thanks for reinforcing the memories.
Rick and Carol Munro
I don't think I thanked you enough or hugged you enough for all the hard work you did putting this reunion together. You had amazing help from Marta and Jack and they deserve a huge round of applause. And, as always, Gerry keeps the family together with his perfect communications network.
Thanks again for everything. Robin and I had a fabulous time.
I had such a great weekend it was so much fun and I loved the Sculpture dedication Thanks Bill you are the best.
I cannot find the words to adequately express my gratitude for being a small part of our 2016 Reunion. Being a part of the remarkable people gathered to celebrate those years was truly great. Remembering those times and seeing the people that make it so special brings me so much joy. We may have laughed at our antics but one thing remains in the forefront. We did it together. Thanks to all of you for clearly pointing out that Yesterday is composed of memories, Today is what brings those memories into light, and Tomorrow is our plan for more Yesterdays. Thanks again.
Jack & Barbara Schrager
This is Bill Davis, I was an AT2, Inflight Tech with VP 17 from May 1972 to June 1973. I stumbled upon your website looking for a “PATRON 17” Shoulder Patch I need to complete a shadow box I am putting together.
Do you have any idea where I could find one as I have NOT been able to locate one via the internet and they are NOT at any of the garage sale/consignment type venues. Also, looks like you guys just had a reunion; when do you expect to have the next one and where?
Ken and I had so much fun. Bill, you did a great job of arranging everything. Thank you so much.
Thanks for pulling so many things together and for helping make the 2016 reunion so great.
Note: Jim provided a bio update and photo of himself and his fiancee Bridget which are now posted to our Alumni Bios & Photos page. Thanks, Jim.
to those who joined our alumni group for the first time this year.
Glad to have you with us!
Rick & Carol Munro 1979-81 (XO/CO)
Glenn & Madonna MacDonald 1980-83
Jim Carlson (1973-76) & his fiancee Bridget Zolman
"Bullet" Bob Barclay & his new bride Anna
Mark Byars and his new bride Pam
Skipper Bill Ketchum and his daughter
Katherine LeDoyne, still the sweet princess
we first met back in Hawaii
New couple in need of a room.
Wait a minute -- is that a bird?
Courtesy of Jack Schrager
(These are not thumbnails and this is not a slide show.
Just scroll through the pictures at your own pace.)
Gathering of "eagles" at the Springhill Suites
For reference, here's who came:
Bill Ketchum - CO, VP-17 1972-74, & daughter Katherine
Bill & Anna Overend
Pat & Kate Maley
Ken & Emily Crandall
Daryl & Susi Ray
Ben & Maggie Cheng
Rick & Carol Munro - CO, VP-17 1980-81
Guy & Vicki Leary
Marta Heffner & Kelly Hayden
Jack & Barbara Schrager
Jon & Kathy Dresel
Doc & Kathy Bakken
Bill & Robin O'Brien
Doug & Nonie McWhorter
Bob & Anna Barclay
Mark & Pam Byars
Larry & Leanne Lane
John & Irene Pendleton
Glenn & Madonna MacDonald
Jim Carlson & Bridget Zolman
Jim & Pam Whatley
Plus a few more sons and daughters
Thursday night, dinner at Chattanooga's
Back to the Hospitality Suite, where the booze
is paid for and treasured conversation
among old friends is plentiful.
BTW, who said, "The next round is on me?"
At breakfast on Friday some of us decide to
venture to the top of Lookout Mountain........
...while others opt for "sea" duty--a cruise on the
Tennessee River aboard the Southern Belle.
Friday evening is set aside for a BBQ buffet dinner followed by a live band performance, all in our very own Hospitality Suite. When the band strikes up, we are joined by other hotel guests who wander in to see what the commotion is all about. Along with us they enjoy the good music.
Wait a minute!
Let's have a closer look at that last one!
Roxbury Guys, eat your hearts out!
Don't remember the Roxbury Guys? Check out a clip of 'em here:
Quiet trespassers. But they were OK and we didn't mind.
"No BBQ for you!!" cried the soup Nazi.
Following a leisurely breakfast on Saturday it's off to the Sculpture Fields at Montague Park to plant a Commemorative tree to memorialize and honor those who have served in VP-17. The tree is planted near the “Anchors”, a 65-foot sculpture which memorializes the four Marines and one Sailor killed by a terrorist in Chattanooga in 2015.
After the tree planting ceremony, art tour
and fun visit to the artist's home, it's time
for lunch. Some go to the Boathouse.
Following a Boathouse bellyful, all rivers lead
back to Reunion HQ for a bit of reminiscing
around the dormant fire pit.
And then comes our Saturday night Grand Finale - a steak-dinner banquetat the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club overlooking the Tennessee River. Remarks by Captain Ketchum. Trouble is we have no photos of this event - ZERO, NONE, NADA. Seems our official photographer Jack Schrager made it to the banquet OK, but his camera decided to stay behind in the Hospitality Suite. PLEASE HELP! SURELY SOME OF YOU TOOK AT LEAST A FEW SNAPS SATURDAY NIGHT WITH YOUR DIGITAL CAMERAS OR SMART PHONES. IF SO, PLEASE EMAIL YOURS TO GER AT firstname.lastname@example.org SO I CAN POST THEM TO THIS SITE.
Sunday, the day of departure, is a day of hugs,
kisses and tears - probably more than at any
previous reunion, as with each passing year
our love and appreciation for our VP-17 family grows.
Or, to paraphrase that wise, proverbial philosopher
"As we age, friends become more precious than ever."
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN -
"We'll Meet Again" (from Dr. Strangelove)
And now available in Kindle format...