Nashville, TN 2002
Nashville, TN - Old friends reunited and new
friends were made as Blackhorse troopers, their families and friends turned out in
Nashville for Reunion XVII. The Sheraton Music City Hotel played host to this year's
event. The weather was just about perfect for the three days that saw members of the
11th ACVVC and Blackhorse Association come together, from all areas in the country, to
share remembrances of our time together in the struggle that was the war in Vietnam.
Early birds starting arriving on Wednesday, August 7. My wife Hellen and I
arrived on Thursday afternoon. Thursday's events included the annual golf tournament
at Shelby Park Golf Course and the "Early Bird" party in the bunker.
Surprising, the early bird party was more widely attended then I expected. The
Quarter Master store remained open from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and at various times
throughout the reunion By the end of the reunion close to $30,000 in merchandise was
Friday was an active day for members and officers of the 11th ACVVC. The
registration desk bustled with activity as reunion goers lined up to collect their ID
badges. By reunion's end 1293 members and family would register. A veteran's
benefits seminar was held at noon and officer's meetings were held for both the 11th ACVVC
and the Blackhorse Association.
Friday evening's Bunker Party was largely attended, even though many used the
opportunity to take in the show at the Grand Old Opry. The Bunker Party also saw the
return of an earlier concept of limited special events. No formal program was held
which afforded people the opportunity to spend more time together. A few remarks
were made from the podium and a slide show was presented. As usual, beer, soda and
hot hors d'oeuvres were plentiful.
At the K Troop table, Dan Stroia welcomed newcomers with a traditional black bandana,
Jim Brigman gave out reminders of the Nashville reunion that included luggage tags and
wallets and Terry Cioffi, of Staten Island, NY gave out remembrance pins of 9-11.
Others brought their photo albums and two K Troopers brought copies of Vietnam magazine,
June 2002 issue, that features an interview with Retired Army General Donn Stary, 41st
Commander of the Blackhorse.
Saturday morning took many reunion goers to the Memorial Service at Memorial Park in
downtown Nashville while others toured the city with a stop at the Country Music Hall of
Fame Museum. The women's group met at 2:00 in the "Two Rivers" room.
About 100 women gathered together. This meeting afforded them the chance to
get to know each other and to listen to a seminar on Agent Orange. A question and
answer session followed.
The annual business meeting of the 11th ACVVC convened promptly at 2:00 in the
Hermitage Room of the Sheraton Music City Hotel. Although the room wasn't filled,
many members attended the two hour meeting. In the absence of President Ollie
Pickral, Vice President and Reunion Chairman John Sorich conducted the affairs of
business. Top on the list of discussion was the manner in which reunion sites are
determined. No one presented recommendations for a reunion site for 2004 so the
reunion committee exercised it's authority and presented Daytona, FL as the best site for
Reunion XIX. With no other site proposals the membership voted to hold the 2004
reunion in Daytona. Surprisingly, there were many voting against Daytona.
The Blackhorse Association members met in the Tulip Grove Room at 4:00 P.M.
A cocktail hour in the Plantation Lobby preceded the dinner and banquet program in the
Plantation Ballroom at 7:00 P.M. It was earlier reported on the 11th ACVVC web site
that an overflow room would be necessary to seat approximately 250 people however, it was
decided on Saturday that everyone would be seated in the ballroom. A problem quickly
arose when it became clear that not everyone would get in. Hastily, extra tables
were set up in the lobby to accommodate most of those members of M Company.
Following a dinner of roast beef and chicken reunion-goers were treated to an address
by keynote speaker, Retired Army General Wallace H. Nutting, 43rd Commander of the
Blackhorse (1970). General Nutting is a 1950 graduate of the US Military Academy at
West Point. After the banquet many people danced to nearly dawn in the Plantation
Sunday morning found everyone in the hotel lobby saying their final farewells.
Many having reunited themselves with buddies that they haven't seen in over 30 years and
promising to get together again next August in Eugene, Oregon. A bittersweet end to
another great reunion which saw dignitaries like former commander Wallace Nutting.
The Schedule of Events
The Banquet Program
The Winners Are! - To Be Announced
2003 - Eugene, Oregon
2004 - Daytona Florida
Visit the 11th Armored Cavalry's Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia at 11thcavnam.com.