Washington, DC 2001
Washington, DC - It was a hot, sultry weekend but
that didn't deter about 1200 Blackhorse troopers, family and friends from enjoying the
16th annual reunion of the 11th Armored Cavalry's Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia.
This stellar event was held in Washington, DC at the Hyatt Regency Hotel - Capital Hill
and marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Blackhorse Regiment - the 11th US
Cavalry. My wife Hellen and I arrived on Wednesday in order to take in a few days of
Washington, DC sightseeing. The week's celebration began with an impromptu gathering
on Thursday evening, in the bunker, as many Blackhorse troopers arrived early. Of
great excitement for me was meeting Dennis Morgan, Jim Settle and David Saxby.
I remembered David Saxby, then Sgt. Saxby, from my days with K Troop in Vietnam.
He was accompanied to the reunion by his wife, Mary. David introduced me to the
former Commanding Officer of K Troop, Captain William Boice. Captain Boice left K
Troop in March of 1968 - one month before I arrived.
On Friday evening, the Stable Your Mount Party featured ceremonies by the
Blackhorse Association. A huge crowd gathered in the Regency Ball Room swapping
stories, sharing photos and toasting memories of Vietnam with beer and soda. Chips
and dip rounded out the party for those hungry for more than just war stories.
On Saturday morning, buses took the reunion goers to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial for
a wreath laying ceremony and then on to Arlington Cemetery for a visit to the Tomb of the
Unknown Soldier, after which, lunch at the Ft. Myer dinning hall was served to all.
Following lunch, a reenactment ceremony of the founding of the regiment was held at
Summerall Field, Ft. Myer, VA. The buses returned to the hotel at about 4:00 p.m.
Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. found revelers crowded into the Regency Ball Room for a
cocktail social. At about 7:00 p.m., emcee, Gene Johnson greeted the Blackhorse with
opening remarks. The Ball Room, overflowing it's capacity, necessitated the need for
an additional room to handle the overflow. H Company agreed to occupy the room
across the hall from the Ball Room. A dinner of roast beef and grilled chicken was
served by the hotel staff. An American favorite, apple pie, finished off the
Army Secretary - Thomas E. White, Jr.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers:
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition.
Keynote speaker, Thomas E. White, Jr., quoting King Henry V, of William Shakespeare's
play by the same title, referred to his Blackhorse brothers as a happy band of
brothers. Remembering his days with K Troop, M Company and the ARP's of the
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Vietnam, Secretary White referred to men like Jack
Stoddard as the heart and sole of the regiment. He credited men like Jack with
helping him to overcome the awkwardness of being the new guy and learning the ropes from
the men of his command.
Secretary White delivered a rousing speech in which he questioned the logic of men who
avoided military service during the Vietnam War being elected to the highest of offices in
our government. He went on to praise the dedication of the men who served the
regiment in Vietnam and remarked how privileged he felt to be the Secretary of the Army.
He said that the men and women who served in the Army today follow a tradition of
courage and sacrifice begun by troopers of the Blackhorse in the jungles and rice paddies
of Vietnam. Following the dinner, Secretary White gathered with the men of the
Blackhorse and posed for photos.
To learn more about Secretary White, GO HERE.
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 Nashville, Tennessee. A bitter sweat
end to another great reunion which saw dignitaries like former commanders of the regiment
and Benjamin Patton, the son of George S. Patton - the 39th regimental commander.
The Schedule of Events
The Stable Your Mount Party
The Banquet Program
Army News Service
'Blackhorse', Vietnam Legacies
Army's Sgt. Major
Remembers - 11th Armored Cavalry Vietnam
The Winners Are!
2002 - Nashville, Tennessee
2003 - Eugene, Oregon
Visit the 11th Armored Cavalry's Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia at 11thcavnam.com.