Association President’s Message – November 2019
November 30, 2019
Dear Fellow Rangers,
Message from the 425th Regimental Association President.
To all of the great men that have served Companies E and F of the 425th Infantry Regiment:
It is my distinct honor and privilege to have been nominated and elected as your 425th Regiment Association President this past June at our yearly Association Meeting which took place during our annual picnic.
This is my first general message to you, hoping that it finds you and yours in the best health possible and pursuing happiness.
This may seem a bit long, due to the fact that I have four endeavors I had first outlined at our recent Dining – Out this past October at Baker’s in Milford.
My delay in sending this out, was due primarily to pay respect to the sudden and untimely passing of our dear brother and friend John Bunge. He will be remembered by those of us that had the privilege to know him, by his great sense of humor and many other traits. I did not want this first message to intrude in anyone’s time of reflection.
The original draft had actually begun with the names of those comrades whom have parted from this life:
- 1SG Jack Groner
- SGT Russell Poynter
- SSG David Waid
- SSG Edward (Recon Red) Kerwin
- SGT Thomas Rohroff
- 1LT Ralph Miller
- SFC James Rasmussen
- 1LT Jessie Willson
- SPC Jerry Kit
- SSG Joseph Harnish
- SGT Leonard Worlen
- SPC Randy Parr
- SGT Chester Perkins
- 1LT Robert Freeman
- SGT Melvin McGowan
- SGT Lonnie Anderson
- CW4 Richard Pineage
- SFC John Corkery
- SGT Gary Richards
- SPC Michael McArthur
- SGT James Androyna
- SPC David Cummings
- SGT Timothy Carlson
- SFC Matthew Hilton
- SFC Carl Peck
- SPC Glenn Demers
- SPC James Sturgis
- MAJ Lance Waldorf
- MAJ Robert (RJ) Smith
- SGT Robert (Buck) Chewning
- SPC Eddie Sykes
- SGT Robert Nanni
- SSG Phil Metevia
- LTC John Koehler
- SSG Guy Skarbardis
- LT Matthew Szymanski
- LTC Thomas Tack (Our first Commander)
- SGM Tom Nevison
- SGT Dale Remley
- SPC Randy Parr
- SGT Brian Zoldowski
- SGT Robert Ankony
- SFC Rick Essex
- SPC Robert Edwards
- SPC Frank Gawronski
- SSG Charles Nelson
- SSG Pete Bonderczuk
- 1LT Duane Gardner
- SPC Ryan Martin
- SSG Richard Nichols
- SP4 Michael Van Tuyl
- SSG Ron Hewelt
- SGT John Bunge
At the Dinning Out I had mentioned that we needed to ensure we could all get together more often, as we also are getting older and some of us, myself included, may take that ride into the sunset when we may least expect it.
Allow me to begin:
We should establish a network of local breakfasts by region, anywhere where you live and may have other fellow Company F members nearby, that would wish to get together.
It can be breakfast, lunch, dinner, whatever you would like. It can be monthly, every other month, or every six months.
What we are looking to do, is to have volunteers that wish to become the “regional leader” in your area, and establish a date and time for your event.
All you need to do is let us know so we can publish it in our general newsletter or perhaps we’ll issue a monthly reminder of these smaller events.
Example: Dean Burchill (I pick on him because he would like to be able to have an earlier breakfast he can attend and then get to work) would lead a breakfast near his home and provide the address and time. Any and all are welcome, and whoever shows up, along with Dean, determine when to have the next one. As stated, it can be monthly, every other month; it does not matter when or how often, as long as we have the time available and get together.
So, if you are interested, please let me know. You can reply to this email (do not reply to all and tie up people’s inboxes), and we can begin this effort. We hope to have a monthly list of such smaller events that we can participate if we are available, whether we live nearby or just happen to be traveling in that area and can make the time to be there.
Re-establish our time proven “Ranger Buddy” program. If you now have one, great, if you don’t, pick one. The idea is to maintain contact, assist that Ranger Buddy, if needed, by getting him to events if because of old age \ illness, cannot make the trip. Our picnic is only once a year, our Ranger Rendezvous is only once a year, the LRRA Rally in Branson, MO is only once a year (see more on this event in my next Proposal. It is no shame if you need help getting somewhere. Anyone can have more than one Ranger Buddy, the entire idea is to leave no one behind.
LRRA (Long Range Reconnaissance Association) Rally in Branson, MO is a once a year event where two to three hundred former LRPs, LRRPs and LRS get together for about five to six days.
We eat, drink, go to any of the hundred plus local shows (this is the Nashville West of the Mississippi), attend LRRA provided meals, raffle, etc. Time is running out, as the Vietnam LRPs and LRRPs are getting older, and won’t be around forever. You get to meet and personally chat with the likes of Gary Linderer, Ron “Mother” Rucker, Ron Piper, etc. Many of these LRRPs went on to form the Ranger letter companies. Several Charlie Rangers come out as well. We have many from E and F 51st Infantry which served in Germany.
This proposal which I first brought up at our last picnic’s association meeting, is that our 425 Regimental Association would help subsidize a charter bus to Branson, and get us there safely (I for one have been driving down there since 2016 and have no regrets, and have taken as many as three more guys with me. Scott Bradley has been making the same trip with one of his Ranger Buddies). If needed we could ask a small amount from each man that goes to offset the cost of renting such a vehicle.
We need to know how many of you would be willing to take this approach to the Rally. Send me an email please, and we will begin to formulate a plan. The Rally dates are 03 – 07 June 2020, we used to start on a Friday, but most have felt it was not long enough. Once you’ve been there, you will understand.
We will know more, once we have a good number to work with. The road trip is about twelve hours, we anticipate a commercial coach will make that easily in one stretch and perhaps faster.
Establish the ability for all of us to cast our collective vote via email for most Association decisions.
It is not feasible for us to have a once a year Association meeting, and only at such time conduct business/seek an all Association vote on any given proposal tabled at the meeting.
I seek your support in this endeavor so we can conduct business during the year and keep YOU involved. The Association Board cannot and should not make major decisions without your collective approval.
The way this would work, the Association will email you a ballot with one or more proposals on it. Each Board Member would be copied in that email.
You in turn would select your options to approve or not approve each proposal.
Once completed, you would simply reply to all of the Association Board members with your attached completed ballot. Each Association Board member will tally the ballot results, and only when all numbers match across all Board Members, will the vote be cast to either approve/not approve the proposal(s).
I ask that you send me an email stating whether you would be in favor or not in favor of having this ability to cast votes via email.
In closing, thanks in advance for any and all responses to any\or all of the four proposals above.
Once again, it is an honor to be your President, you can reach out to me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org