Acadiana Chapter - 82nd Airborne Division Association
82nd AIRBORNE DIVISION ASSOCIATION
34th SOUTHWEST MEMORIAL
AIRBORNE DAYS REUNION
June 9-11, 2017
Ramada Inn, Lafayette, Louisiana
THE SOUTHWEST AIRBORNE MEMORIAL DAYS REUNION HOSTED BY OUR CHAPTER WAS AN OUTSTANDING SUCCESS.
We had 69 people from Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Ohio, and Florida who registered for the event. We had 75 present for our closing banquet. Everyone had a great time enjoying the fellowship and camaraderie of fellow paratroopers. Our 82nd Airborne Division National President Ed Herlihy came from Connecticut to be with us.
We had a good number of door prizes for those who attended and we thank those who helped so much with this by donating items. Those who assisted in this were: (1) Retired SFC Lionel Elie; (2) Dwight “Bo” Ramsey (3) Richard Schales; (4) Brian Fladmo; (5) Guy Rogers and (6) John Girard. The silent auction was a great success and we thank those who helped in all of this. Those who supplied items were: (1) Ralph and Phoebe Gaudet; (2) Brian Fladmo; (3) Brett Fruge; (4) Lionel Elie; (5) Matthew Lane; (6) Bradley Robicheaux; (7) Bruce Stacy; and (8) Guy Rogers.
We thank Chapter Trustee Roosevelt Solomon for supplying the Jambalaya for lunch on Friday and Chapter Sect/Treasurer Marcus “Mark” Melancon for supplying the Shrimp Alfredo Linguini for lunch on Saturday.
Thanks also to LTC (R.) Bruce Stacy for donating the cigars (Cuban) that were auctioned off. The Tabasco basket auctioned off was donated by Richard Schales.
We thank those who assisted in guiding the groups to the tours on Saturday. Everyone reported they enjoyed them. The only complaint I heard was there were no alligators on the Swamp tour. That was probably due to high water, which has an effect on them. Those who attended the Vermilionville tour found it interesting and enjoyed the information given out by the role players throughout the village.
The banquet was well attended with 75 present.
LTC John M. “Mike” Barefield was very well received by those in attendance as was his lovely wife Kerri. His address was appreciated by his audience of paratroopers who were pleased to hear about their legacy being carried on in today’s Army. We appreciate the invocation and benediction from Chaplain Carl O. Brown.
Sunday morning we had an excellent Chapel service conducted by Chaplain Brown assigned to the 519th MP Battalion at Ft. Polk. Chaplain Brown served with the 505th of the 82nd including a combat deployment. His sermon from the first Chapter of Joshua was informative and all who heard it appreciated God’s promises. Everyone enjoyed a great breakfast buffet before departing.
It was voted that the Houston Chapter would host the Southwest Memorial Airborne Days reunion meeting next year in Houston on the 8-10 June 2018.
By Randy Vidrine