The reunion this year was held in "The Live Entertainment Capital of the World", Branson, MO and we stayed at the Lodge of the Ozarks.The weather was nice and Brenda, our tour director (escort) from Ottawa Hills Travel, set up a very nice set of tours and shows.We had a tour of the Veterans? Museum with lunch at the All American Café followed by the Yakov Smirnoff Comedy Show.Friday we took a cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle with a show and lunch.That evening we took in the Shoji Tabuchi Show.Saturday we saw the Red Skelton Show followed by shopping at Branson Landing.That evening we had our dinner banquet that was attended by 100 people.
Our keynote speaker this year was Major General William M. Matz, U.S. Army Retired.Maj. General Matz retired from the USA in 1995 and worked eight years in the defense industry.In January 2005 he began serving as President of the National Association for Uniformed Services (NAUS).NAUS was founded in 1968 and is the only military association that represents the entire military/veteran family, enlisted/officer, and active duty/retired.His presentation reviewed the current struggle to maintain and improve benefits for the military family including Tri-Care health care.
A second presentation was made by 2Lt. Andrew Zanrucha, USAF, Executive Officer for the 509th Bomb Wing Maintenance at Whiteman AFB, MO..Lt. Zanrucha gave an unclassified presentation on the B-2 Spirit, Stealth Bomber and its role in today?s military.The B-2 completed its first-ever combat deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, flying 22 sorties from a forward operating location as well as 27 sorties from Whiteman and released more than 1.5 million pounds of munitions. The B-2's proven combat performance led to declaration of full operational capability in December 2003. For more information on the B-2 see:http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=82
Other honored guests included Carl Hopper, Commander of Legion Post 220 and his wife Norma and Kevin Mackey, Commander, VFW Post 11290 and his wife Sallie.
The 5 days of the reunion was a great time to renew old friendships, make new ones and enjoy the camaraderie of the 11th Bombardment Group (H) Association.A lot of people helped to make this a success, including Phil our Secretary/Treasurer and Brenda from Ottawa Hills Travel.I think we are all looking forward to next year?s reunion in San Antonio.
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