Near the end of
sept, Bob & Donna arrived. Good
to see them again. We took them to the Mid-America Corvette museum and on the
fishing trip to Lake Mattoon. Caught a bunch of crappie, (I guess it was a
bunch--not sure what you call them when they are out of school--:>)) Bill
& Peggy had us all set up for a fish fry that evening. Man those fish were
good! So we had good food, good company & hosts and the weather was
beautiful. What a day. Also took Bob & Donna to meet Kay's family and had a
couple of cookouts at John's house.
On Nov 6th we headed to DC. Stopped at a Flying J
Truck Stop the first night. They had an area separate from the trucks just for
RV's. Nice and quiet. Second night we stayed on a Wally World parking lot.
Checked with manager first and he said to put slideout out and whatever else we
wanted to do to be comfy. Usually when stopping at Wally's you don't do those
things as a courtesy but the mgr suggested it. Thur. we arrived at my sisters
house in Reston, Va. Bob parked way at the back of driveway and I was halfway
down. Not sure what the neighbors thought but we sure got the looks whenever
some came walking by. We were both able to get electric and cable. Took showers
in Jean's house. Fri. we headed over to the Hilton National/Crystal City,
Arlington, Va. where all the 'doings' were. Introduced Bob & Donna to
friends and Bob was able to get signatures of Ia Drang vets in his book. Also
got the authors sigs. They were selling a book by Larry Gwin, a friend of mine,
about his Nam tour so Bob bought one and had Larry sign it. Bob & Donna went
back to their RV and they took care of LZ for the evening. I met Wallace Craig
that afternoon. He is working with Joe Galloway selling prints from Ia Drang. He
was very interesting and really felt compassion for us. I have communicated with
him (email) since then and will probably visit him next time we go thru Texas.
My sister-Jean, her hubby-Mike, my niece-Heidi, my
brother-Tony, his friend-Cathy, Kay & I went to an informal gathering on fri
evening. During the evening they had a tribute to Rick Rescorla who died in the
WTC disaster. Rick is the one pictured on the front of the book. He was a Lt in
Nam. He was quite a character and a great leader. When the 1st plane hit, he was
in the 2nd tower working as VP of security for Morgan Stanley which was spread
out between the 43rd & 66th floors. they had told the people not to worry
and not evacuate, Rick said BS and started evacuating his people. Out of 3500
employees Morgan Stanley lost less than 25 people due to Rick. He was last seen
heading up the stairs on the 77th floor helping people. Also during the previous
bombing (1993?) he was instrumental in that evacuation. Rick--I salute you!
Sat. Bob & Donna came over and we all went to the
WALL & the KOREAN MEMORIAL. We took a cab as that is a whole lot easier than
trying to park a vehicle in the area. Veteran's Day weekend at the WALL is
really something. You don't have a bunch of tourists laughing and playing, it is
90% Vets. I don't like crowds but on that weekend it doesn't bother me. Kay
& I went back to the hotel early and Bob & Donna stayed to visit some
more sights. They came back to the hotel a few hrs later. The afternoon was
spent visiting and getting more sigs. That evening my family went to the banquet
with us. Guest speaker was Randall Wallace, the screenwriter & director of
the movie. Sam Elliott was there also. Plus a couple of the producers, Dani
(Danielle) & Steve. We had met both in Ca. so it was a pleasure to see them
again. During the evening they showed a clip of an interview with Rick Rescorla
from a couple of years ago. During the interview he stated that he thought the
next attack would be a plane! He was saying a small plane with biochemicals on
board. But he was close!
They also showed some clips from the movie. This is
going to be a great movie. It covers the people at home as well as the troops
and the NVA (North Vietnamese Army). Then Randall spoke and you could feel the
emotion in his speech about getting our story right. After the dinner there were
lines to Sam & Randall for pics and autographs. I had talked to Sam in the
hallway before the dinner and was amazed that he had remembered me. Called me by
name. You could tell that both Sam and Randall were tired but they stayed until
the last person had the opportunity to meet, take pics and talk with each of
them. Real gentlemen.
Next morning (Veteran's Day) at dawn we were all at
the wall for our own ceremony honoring our brothers that died in Ia Drang. The
1st Cav Color Guard was there, posting the colors while standing on top of the
WALL. Down below we all gather in a circle, the Gen & Joe read the names of
our fallen brothers and then we all have an opportunity to speak. Usually it is
quiet, some try but cannot get the words out. It is a very moving ceremony. We
returned to the hotel and had breakfast, since I was already up and going we
packed and headed back to Jeans. That evening Mike cooked us a delicious dinner
and the next morn (noticed a crack across upper part of the left
windshield—about 14 inches long) we headed to Bristol, Va/Tn to visit with
friends of Bob's—Gary & Bev. They have a 200 year old farm house way out
in the country. They have added on to it and made the addition look like the
original. Nice job! The whole site looks great. Beautiful views.
We rented a limo (a guy from the local American
Legion) and went to the Bristol Speedway for the Christmas light show. They did
a nice job! It was worth it.
Next we all moved to Ebenezer Park in Rock Hill, SC
to visit with my daughter, Sherry & her hubby, Robin. We were there over
Thanksgiving and went out to eat for the holiday. Just Kay & I went with
them—Donna was sick, so Bob stayed and fixed her a turkey leg & the
fixin’s. Sherry brought over an afghan that she crocheted for the 9/11 fund.
It received a $4000.00 bid! It was beautiful! I’m proud of her! A week later
Kay & I went to Gaffney, SC to the Freightliner factory for some 40,000 mile
work. Fluids, filters etc changed. Bob & Donna stayed at Ebenezer. From
Gaffney we went to Easley, SC to visit PJ & Katie and their families. We
didn’t hookup the P/U as it was less than an hour drive. I was pulling into
their subdivision from a 2 lane road. Car coming from opposite direction, I cut
it a little tight as it looked like flat ground. The ditch was mowed and looked
like level ground. Back tires dropped in ditch and I gunned it to get out before
I got stuck or tipped over. During this—the windshield cracked more (safety
glass) and now looked like a road map. Little splinters all over. Had a good
visit for a few days. When we left we were going to meet up with B&D again
at the first rest area outside Columbia, SC. and head for the coast. We had made
arrangements for a replacement windshield in Savannah. The glass had been
shifting every time we used the levelers so we decided to head straight for
Savannah and skipped the coast.
in Savannah and checked in at the KOA. Much better than Belaire Woods. Cable,
phone hookups. Nice site back from the water and no other RV's in front of us.
Lots of geese, ducks & swans on the lake but the area is not messy like you
would have expected. The KOA feeds them twice a day. After we set up we went to
Kay's sister's house and surprised her and Mike. They hadn't been expecting us
for a few more days.
windshield guy came out and they had sent the wrong side. He reordered and they
sent the wrong size this time. 3rd times a charm. Got the correct one. Before he
installed the glass we had a hell of a rain and we noticed water running down
the inside of the glass. It had pushed over enough that it separated the rubber
seal from the MH. There was a 1/2" gap that was 3 inches long.
night we went looking for an American legion Post. Finally found one on Tybee
Island. Stopped in, met some nice people and had a few brews. Went back again
the next week.
& Clara had flown back to the midwest and driven Kay's dad back to Savannah
for the holidays. We took him on a boat tour of the Savannah River. I took a pic
of a boat (ship?) we saw docked along side. Lots of bucks.
a day trip to Tybee Island.
couple of evenings we went to Clara's and had a low country boil. 1st time was
crab legs, 2nd time was shrimp. Mike puts in some sausage, taters, corn on the
cob and his own seasoning mix. It is delicious, I look forward to it on every
spent a lot of time over there helping get things ready for company &
helping her Dad get things done. Real pain with the VA here. All he needed was a
blood workup to keep his Cuminem (sp?) (blood thinner) prescription going. They
really gave him a hard time. She finally got it done. They are not usually that
bad here but....
Eve we over at Clara's for dinner and again Christmas Day. I was back in Mike's
computer room and started feeling bad. The more I was in there the worse I felt.
So I headed back to the MH for a nap. Couldn't nap at their house as I needed my
CPAP & oxygen. They had the gift drawing without me. No way could I stay
long enough for it. The nap and a couple of days rest and I was feeling much