An Airborne Christmas
A DIFFERENT CHRISTMAS POEM
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
a lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light.
Then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night.”
“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam’,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.
“I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”
“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?”
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.
Remember Pearl Harbor – A Day That Shall Live in Infamy
Battleship USS West Virginia sunk and burning at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. In background is the battleship USS Tennessee.
September 11, 2001 was our December 7, 1941. Our country was caught off guard. Let us never forget either date.
Reunion Dinner, Nov 10, 2018 – AAR
The annual 425th Regimental Association Reunion Dinner for 2018 was another success. Approximately 28 troopers from mostly the 1970s & 80’s showed up to mingle and have a little chow. A single evening when you can eat and drink with the closest of brothers and family is one to cherish. Tony Lopiccolo said he was happy to meet some old dudes that he haven’t seen in a long time like Buck Cutlip, 1SG Surmacz, Don Bliss, and Bill Clark. Col. Faunt was able to give a real world, UNCLASS brief better that we ever got while we were serving, because it covered real world philosophy. After the dinner those who decided to remain went down to the club room for further conversations. Needless to say as the night went on the jumps were higher and the winds grew stronger. Everyone drank ’till their heart’s content, and discussed how to save the world. It was a really good time.
425th Regimental Reunion Dinner – November 10, 2018
425th Regimental Reunion Dinner
Saturday, November 10, 2018
Bruce VFW Post
28404 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores, MI
You are cordially invited to attend the 2018 Regimental Reunion Dinner. This is a great opportunity to renew past friendships and make some new ones.
The Reunion Dinner will include a buffet dinner, and an open bar. There will also be unit and association t-shirts, hats, coins, and other memorabilia on sale.
1700 Bar opens
1800 Induction of Association officers
1930 Guest Speaker – TBA
2200 Formal activities are concluded. Members are invited to stay longer and socialize in the Post Club Room.
The cost of this event is $40 per person. Payment must be made in advance NLT Oct 29, 2017. This event is open to members of the 425th Regimental Association and their guests only. If you are not a member or your membership has expired, you must join or renew your membership to attend.
For credit card payments click on this link – http://425regiment.org/?page_id=1363, or copy and paste it into your preferred web browser.
Payment made also be made by check (payable to 425th Regimental Association) and sending the form at the bottom of this invitation to Mark Day, 27312 Red Leaf Lane, Southfield, MI 48076.
There is no designated attire for this event. Members are encouraged to wear the Army Service Uniform, Class A Army Green Uniform, business suit, or sport coat and tie.
425th Regimental Reunion Dinner, November 10, 2018
Number of guests _____________________
Email address ______________________________________________________________
Phone Numbers: Home (______) ________________ Cell (_______) _______________
Amount Paid $ ______________
Send this form (with check) to: Mark Day, 27312 Red Leaf Lane, Southfield, MI 48076
Regimental Rendezvous – Camp Grayling, 2018
Approximately twenty of us gathered at Grayling on Friday, 7 Sep, with some arriving on Saturday, 8 Sep. The weather was absolutely perfect. Sunny skies with temperatures in the low 70’s were a refreshing change from the rain of the previous week.
It was an early Saturday morning for the team running the ranges as we were at Range Control at 0700 for our Range Briefing. After a quick breakfast of coffee and donuts we all convoyed out to Range 16, the 25-meter range.
Mark Evans was the Range OIC and after we set up the targets kept a quick turn over of firing so everyone had plenty of time to put as many rounds downrange as they wanted. Jon Allen and Dave Lincicome brought box lunches from the Officers Club to the range and we all had plenty to eat before we moved next door to Range 18, an Automated Field Firing range.
The Automated Field Firing range was a new addition this year. Bob Wangen and Stewart Boner had reconned the range and checked out the computer on Friday. Because of that Stewart and Denny Bak were able to put the range into operation and go “HOT” with Range Control quickly. We had a great time acquiring and engaging multiple pop up targets. Throughout the afternoon former Company F members who were training at Camp Grayling stopped by to check things out. It was great to see how many former Company F troopers were moving into positions of leadership in other units.
After turning in the ranges, the guys cleaned weapons, had a few brews, visited the PX, and generally hung out at the barracks.
For dinner we met at the Officers Club where Merry Meredith and her staff served us a great chicken dinner, topped off with a delicious dessert.
A special treat was having Ken Bucy join us on the range and for dinner. Ken was a member of Company D (LRRP) 151 Infantry, the Indiana Ranger Company that served in Vietnam. What stories he had to tell!
Sunday morning was spent cleaning the barracks and packed up to head for home. We had a delicious breakfast at the Officers Club. Thanks again to Merry and her crew!
Our final event was our annual ceremony at our Company F Memorial at the Camp Grayling Chapel. We read the list of our fallen comrades and the Regimental Prayer.
We are already planning for 2019 and hope all of you can join us!
Regimental Rendezvous 2018 – Camp Grayling
Regimental Rendezvous – Camp Grayling
The Fourth Annual Regimental Rendezvous will be held at Camp Grayling on 7-9 September 2018.
This is intended to be a “guys” weekend. If members are welcome to bring a wife or significant other; however, there will be no special activities or arrangements made for them. This event is open to members of the 425th Regimental Association and their guest only. If you are not a member or your membership has expired, you must join or renew your membership to attend.
The cost for the weekend is $125 per person to underwrite the cost of the building, range, and meals. We have made arrangements for quarters in Building 656Q in the old “Tent City (600 area)” for Friday and Saturday night. These rooms will be first come, first served. Once all rooms have been assigned you will need to find lodging somewhere else in Grayling. These rooms have two twin-sized beds and private bathroom. Quarters and all meals are included in the registration fee.
Here is the schedule for the weekend.
Friday, 7 Sep
Arrive at Camp Grayling. No meals will be provided on Friday.
Saturday, 8 Sep
0800 – 1000 Continental breakfast (Coffee, juice, and donuts)
1000 – 1200 Move to Range 16.
Firing personal weapons on a Range 16 (25-meter range)
1200 – 1300 Lunch (on the range)
1300 – 1500 Firing personal weapons on a Range 18 (Automated Record Fire range)
1500 – 1800 Free time to hang out at Building 656Q, visit the PX, etc.
1800 – 2000 Dinner (Camp Grayling Officer Club)
2000 – TBD Movie night in Building 656Q, featuring WWII Airborne movies
Sunday, 10 Sep
0800 – 1000 Pack up and clear Building 656Q
1000 – 1100 Brunch (Camp Grayling Officer Club)
1100 – 1130 Roll Call at 425th Memorial Monument
1200 – Depart for home
We will provide a roster of all attendees to the front gate so those without a valid ID card can enter Camp Grayling.
Information on the range and how to bring personal weapons on post will be provided in a letter of instructions. This will be sent to all who register.
Everyone brings their own lawn chairs
We suggest that everyone bring a snack to share Saturday evening.
No alcoholic beverages will be provided by the Association, BYOB
There are no refrigerators in Building 656Q.
There are no linens in Building 656Q. Bring your own sheets, blankets, etc. or sleeping bag.
Reservations must be made NLT 31 Aug.
The preferred method of registration is through the Association website at http://425regiment.org/?page_id=1205
If you are unable to register online, mail the following form to Dean Burchill.
Ranger Rendezvous Registration
Name ________________________________________ Phone Number (_____) ____________
City ______________________________________ State _______ Zipcode ________________
Email address: _________________________________________________________________
I request a room in Building 656Q. Yes ____ No _____
I am not a member or my membership has expired and I have enclosed an additional $10 for my membership fee.
Enclose a check for $125 (plus $10 for membership fee , if necessary) per person payable to the 425th Regimental Association.
Send this form to:
St. Clair Shores, MI 48082
425th Regimental Association E-Newsletter – Winter 2018
425th Regimental Association
You can renew your membership online through the Membership Center on the Association website. You can also purchase Regimental clothing, coins, license plates, and decals through the Regimental Quartermaster Store. We accept payment by PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard.
VA Hotline Goes Live
The new White House/VA Complaint Hotline went live on June 1st. The number is (855) 948-2311. By August 15th the service will be 100% active with 24-hour, live operator assistance. All calls will be confidential, but the information will be shared with the VA.
Get Your Copy NOW!
It’s out! Basil Zaviski has published Gunston Street Comics as a book. Order yours from Amazon by clicking on this link. Gunston Street Comics – Iraq 2003-2005.
|Upcoming Regimental Events – 2018 – Mark your calendars and hold these dates. Look for more details in future mailings.|
#1 – 4th Annual Regimental Rendezvous
The Fourth Annual Regimental Rendezvous is currently under an extensive review. It will take place at Camp Grayling or Fort Custer. We are trying to get a date in early June, if not it will be in September again. We are totally at the mercy of the Grayling and Custer training site schedulers. This year members are welcome to come up on Friday night. We should have plenty of room. Plans are for range firing on Saturday with lunch on the range, a military movie fest on Saturday night, and a ceremony at the 425th Memorial Sunday morning.
#2 – Joint 82nd Airborne Division Association/425th Regimental Association Picnic
Saturday. 28 July 2018 / Family Picnic starts at 1100 hrs
Bruce VFW Post / 28404 E. Jefferson Ave, St. Clair Shores, MI. (Located between 11 & 12 mile Roads)
As in the past, the 82nd Association will be supplying hot dogs, hamburgers, condiments, paper plates, utensils, and beer. (please put a generous donation in the can to cover these and other costs). The meal is pot luck and those attending are encouraged to bring a dish to pass. The grill opens around noon.
There will be an Association Membership meeting at 1400 in the VFW Club Room. This is your best opportunity to participate in the decision making of the Association.
#3 – Thunder Over Michigan Air Show
David Lincicome will be leading the charge for our parking project at the Willow Run Airport. It will be the weekend of 25-26 August 2018 and feature the USAF Thunderbirds. As in the past the Association will receive funds for our coffers in accordance to the number of volunteers we have working the parking concession. We have done well the past several years.
The more volunteers we have, the more money we make. You can work both days or just one and get to see the air show for free. This year will feature the Blue Angels, so the crowds will be big. Workers will be provided with lunch and receive their choice of a free 425th Association hat, T-shirt or license plate. For more details or to volunteer contact David Lincicome at email@example.com or call him at (810) 560-4665.
#4 – 425th Regimental Association Reunion Dinner
We plan to hold a Reunion Dinner at the Bruce VFW Post in October (Date to be determined) The estimated cost will be $40 per person. This will be a catered buffet dinner with an open bar. This is NOT a formal Dining Out, but an informal “Reunion Dinner.” We hope that this will be an opportunity for both members and their wives to enjoy the camaraderie of Company F.
The 2017 Annual Reunion Dinner
We had a great plan with a guest speaker who had commanded Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan, and then he got recalled back to his unit and couldn’t make it. What did we do? We did what Rangers do best and improvised. SFC (ret) Bill Poynter came forward and spoke about how the two companies got joined together as one, a dynamic merger if there ever was one!. MSG (ret) Steve Mrozek spoke about paratroopers in general, and their histories. About how the Germany messed with the idea in the 40’s, and how the first parachute was invented in France in the late 1800’s. The idea may have originated in Europe, but it was the US that instituted the first successful Airborne Division in the military.
The food was good and plentiful, and while there wasn’t as many attending as we may have wanted, there was a good selection.
We presented the colors, passed out certificates of achievement to the members who have served in various functions during the year, recited the Regimental Prayer, had dinner and drinks, had a good time, then retired the colors.
Guys, this is a great time, a fun event, and a chance to stay in touch before you lose contact with each other. Look for more to come on the Dinner for 2018.
2017 Regimental Rendezvous
The 2017 Regimental Rendezvous was another success. We encountered a number of new obstacles and tried some new things, and it all worked out in the end.
The biggest obstacle was that Camp Grayling has turned Building 656Q from a chargeable quarters building into a barrack. This made it more difficult to schedule and the accommodations were not a plush as they had been in the past.
Based on the availability of Building 656Q, we scheduled the Rendezvous for September instead of May. Our less than expected turnout may have been a result of this decision as some of our members told us that they were tired up with fall sports and school activities.
We also opened the schedule to allow members to arrive on Friday afternoon/evening.
The time on the range was as enjoyable as ever. The Big Ranger in the Sky cooperated by providing beautiful weather for the weekend. We again used Range 3, a 25-meter range. Some members have asked about using Range 10, an automated record fire range; however we again chose Range 3 for several reasons.
This range can be run with a minimum number of range personnel allowing more of our members to shoot on the range, rather than running it. A 25-meter range allows use the flexibility to fire handguns and rifles at the same time.
Range 3 allows us to put more people on the firing line at the same time, increasing the amount of time people have for shooting, rather than waiting for their turn.
Bill Poynter, once again, entertained everyone by bringing his A3 .30 caliber machine gun. This is actually a semi-automatic version, but equipped with a hair trigger, so it is “almost” a machine gun.
In the afternoon, everyone had the chance to visit the PX and Class Six store, before we went to the Officers Club for dinner. At the Club, Merry Meredith and her staff provided our members with a great meal in a historical setting. The Officers Club was the residence of Rascom Hanson, who donated the land for Camp Grayling to the National Guard back in the 1913. It has been the Officers Club since Camp Grayling was established.
Michigan veteran designation for licenses and ID cards
The veteran designation gives veterans an easy way to prove their veteran status to receive discounts from businesses. Eligible veterans may get the designation by visiting any Secretary of State office or when renewing through the mail. The designation is available when you apply for an original or renewal Michigan license or ID at no additional charge. If added at another time, correction fees will apply. The word “Veteran” will be printed in red on the front of the card.
Military veterans who served in any branch of the U.S. armed forces and have an honorable or under honorable conditions (general) discharge may have a veteran designation printed on their Michigan driver’s license or state identification card. Qualifying services include the U.S. Air Force, Air Force National Guard, Army, Army National Guard, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy, as well as their Reserve components. Contact the Michigan Secretary of State office for more information.
What is the VA Veterans Choice Program?
- The Veterans Choice Program is a new program to improve Veterans’ access to health care by allowing certain Veterans to elect to receive health care from contracted providers outside of the VA.
Who is Eligible? A Veteran who
- Has to wait more than 30 days for an appointment
- Residence is more than 40 miles away from nearest VA Hospital or VA Clinic
- Excessive or Burdensome circumstances traveling to the nearest VA
How do I get started?
- Your VA doctor will order the consult
Can I call my Non VA doctor to make an appointment?
- No, please call the Veterans Choice Program at 1-866-606-8198 to set up an appointment. Veterans will be guided on the follow up process needed by the CHOICE Health Net administrators.
- Call Choice VA at 1-866-606-8198
How to contact the Choice Program?
- Veteran’s Choice Program – 1-866-606-8198
- Miami CHOICE Number – 305-575-7471
- Secure Messaging – MIAMI VA CHOICE PROGRAM
- Link www.va.gov/opa/choiceact
425th Regimental Association Board of Directors & Contact Information
- President: Stewart Boner – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice President Mark Evans – email@example.com
- Secretary: Tony Lopiccolo – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Treasurer: Tom Neff – email@example.com
- Historian: Don Bugg – firstname.lastname@example.org
- RCSM: Dean Burchill – email@example.com
- Adjutant : Bob Wangen – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Quartermaster: David Lincicome – email@example.com
_________________________________________________End of 2018 Posts