A number of AWONers are going to Unit Reunions, and they're coming back with a wealth of experience,
ideas, and suggestions for the rest of us. Their main message is: Go!
With many thanks to Walt Linne and Alece Egan, we offer this Reunion Checklist. Walt and Alece are
the organizers, the main collaborators, and the people to write to if you have your own additional
hints and tips on how to get the most from a Unit Reunion. Here goes:
7. Additional Experience or Input --
This is just our First Draft of the Reunion Checklist. If you've had a specific experience at a Reunion, and have
a hint or tip you think might be worth adding to this list for others, please write to Walt Linne and/or Alece Egan.
Click Here to write to Walt Linne
Click Here to write to Alece Egan.
With thanks for the above to AWON member Joanne Crandall
by Rachel Firth
Autumn leaves rustling, together to the appointed place, the old
warriors come. Pilgrims, drifting across the land they fought to
Where they meet is not important anymore. They meet and that's enough
for now. Greetings echo across a lobby.
Hands reach out and arms draw buddies close. Embraces, that as young
men they were too uncomfortable to give, too shy to accept so
But deep within these Indian Summer days, they have reached a greater
understanding of life and love. The shells holding their souls are weaker now,
but hearts and minds grow vigorous, remembering.
On a table someone spreads old photographs, a test of recollection.
And friendly laughter echoes at shocks of hair gone gray or white, or
merely gone. The rugged slender bodies lost forever.
Yet they no longer need to prove their strength.
Some are now sustained by one of "medicine's miracles," and even in
this fact, they manage to find humor. The women, all those that waited,
all those who loved them, have watched the changes take place.
Now, they observe and listen, and smile at each other; as glad to be
together as the men.
Talk turns to war and planes and foreign lands. Stories are told and
told again, reweaving the threadbare fabricate of the past.
Mending one more time the banner of their youth. They hear the
vibrations, feel the shudder of metal as engines whine and whirl,
and planes come to life.
These birds with fractured wings can be seen beyond the mist of
clouds, and they are in the air again, chasing the wind, feeling the
exhilaration of flight close to the heavens. Dead comrades, hearing
their names spoken, wanting to share in this time, if only in spirit,
move silently among them.
Their presence is felt and smiles appear beneath misty eyes.
Each, in his own way may wonder who will be absent in another year.
The room grows quiet for a time.
Suddenly an ember flames to life. Another memory burns.
The talk may turn to other wars and other men, and of futility.
So, this is how it goes. The past is so much present. In their
ceremonies, the allegiances, the speeches and the prayers,
one cannot help but hear the deep eternal love of country they
will forever share.
Finally, it is time to leave. Much too soon to set aside this little piece
of yesterday, but the past cannot be held too long, for it is fragile.
They say "Farewell" . . . "See you another year, God willing." Each keeps
a little of the others with him forever.
Watch for future Checklists posted here!
SGT Walter John Linne, KIA 24 March, 1945
2LT Edwin Lawrence (Ted) Blanche, KIA 24 March, 1945
Many thanks to Walt Linne and Alece Egan for compiling and maintaining this information. On behalf of AWON,
we dedicate this page to the memory of: