Welcome to the Gateway Web Site of the 6924th Heritage Association.
6924th Security Squadron - USAFSS (United States Air Force Security Service)
|News and Events||Contact Us||Links||Reunion 2012||Site Updated - January 22, 2013|
|Reunion 2011||Reunion 2010||Reunion 2009||Reunion 2008|
If you served with the 6924th at Da Nang Airbase RVN, Monkey Mountain (OLAA) Son Tra RVN, Ramasun Station Thailand or if you served with the unit under one of its earlier guises (Team 1A - 6920th Security Wing, Det 1 - 6923rd Security Squadron, Det 2 - 6925th Security Group, Det 2 - 6922nd Security Wing) we would like to hear from you. To find out how to join our organization and learn more about our brotherhood of "Tigers" - Please contact Mike Gilkerson at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: 6924th Heritage Association - Attn: Ruben Villafranca - 1315 Belclaire - San Antonio, TX 78258.
Da Nang Main Site ................................................... Monkey Mountain ................................................Ramasun Station
This web site was created to provide a presence on the Internet for those of you who are searching for the 6924th. It is our hope that you will find us - make a connection and reunite with those brothers who you served with so long ago. Our main purposes are to promote Patriotic activities and to develop a group of unit members and associates to search, discover and promote the historical significance of the unit and its members throughout its existence from first activation. Just as important is the desire to stay in touch with those brothers that we served with and to meet and connect with all of those brothers who served in the 6924th from it's earliest days. Through some of our fund raising we sponsor a 6924th Scholarship Award in memory of Paul Wayne Anthony that is presented to AFROTC candidates at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte (where Paul attended). Paul was a young Airman in our squadron who was killed in a rocket attack on Da Nang - April 8, 1970.
Once you have joined our organization you will be given a membership to our main website (powered by MyFamily.com) which houses hundreds of pictures, stories, and historical notes along with a Registry List of all personnel sorted by flights (Able, Baker, Charlie, Dawg), Day Ladies, Iron Horse, AP-SP, Pioneers, Fallen Tigers, Maintenance, Monkey Mountain and Comm Center. There are many other categories of information. You will have an opportunity to post pictures or information to the web site as well as reply to postings by others. There is a weekly chat session and a monthly newsletter. You will receive a daily 6924th Heritage Association Update via email. Membership dues are only $12.00 per year - so give Mike Gilkerson a shout (see email) or drop a line to us at address above and find out what you are missing.
News and Events:
April 27, 2012 - PWA Scholarship Award Ceremony at UNC Charlotte Fallen Heroes Memorial - Our Spring 2012 Paul Wayne Anthony Memorial Scholarship nominees are Cadet Jeremiah L. Spurlock and Cadet William B. Rollins. Paul Deshaies, Ralph Jones, and Alan Forbes presented the certificates.
Cadets Rollins and Spurlock / Presentation with former PWA Scholarship recipients looking on.
Paul Wayne Anthony Plaque at Memorial Hall / Presentation of Certificate of Appreciation to Lt. Col. Christopher Rogers.
January 26, 2012 - A check for $500.00 was presented to Operation Care Package. Don LaChappell presented the check to Debbie Smothers of Operation Care Package whose brother is an Army Green Beret. Operation Care Package sends out approximately 150 packages every Wednesday. All of the items that they send out are donated by various organizations nation wide. They spend over $100,000 per year in postage (all through donations). If you have someone who is in the military servering outside the U.S. send their name and address to email@example.com. Thanks to Don and Joanne for delivering the check to the ladies on their "pack and ship" day.
December, 2011 - PWA Scholarship Award Ceremony at UNC Charlotte Fallen Heroes Memorial - Our Fall 2011 Paul Wayne Anthony Memorial Scholarship nominees are Cadet Mark Williams and Cadet Chau Tran. Paul Deshaies, Ralph Jones, Alan Forbes and Paul Talbott presented the certificates.
April 28, 2011 - PWA Scholarship Award Ceremony at UNC Charlotte Fallen Heroes Memorial - Our Spring 2011 Paul Wayne Anthony Memorial Scholarship nominees are Cadet Ian A. Lindstrom and Cadet Stephen T. Timms. Paul Deshaies and Buddy Anthony presented the certificates. Also representing the 6924th was Ralph Jones and Alan Forbes..
The following article about the Scholarship Award Ceremony was written by Catherine Lash of the Examiner.com and is reprinted here with her permission:
"It made me proud to be an American and gave me a lot of confidence in our military." Buddy Anthony presented scholarships to UNC Charlotte Air Force ROTC cadets in honor of his brother, Paul, who died in the Vietnam War. America's future military leaders are in college classrooms ... like the Air Force ROTC cadets, Detachment 592, at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. Youthful and unseasoned, the cadets had military aspirations on their faces. The cadets were joined by three Vietnam Veterans of the 6924th Security Squadron in Da Nang: Paul Deshaies, Ralph Jones and Al Forbes. Experienced in the military matters of war, they had stories to tell.
Rocket Attack on Da Nang:
Ralph Jones was the last one to see Paul Wayne Anthony alive on April 8th, 1970. "I came on for the midnight shift. It was a slow night; we were shooting the breeze ... getting to know each other. We heard a big explosion. The first round hit down the road from us. The second round hit; I was on my way to the floor. The third exploded about 12 feet away from us." Paul was killed in the rocket attack. Jones was taken to a nearby naval hospital, then medivaced to the states. Jones received the Purple Heart for his injuries sustained in this attack. Buddy Anthony, of Concord, says it was thirty years before he learned about the details of his brother's death. "It was a big relief to find out. I thank the good Lord."
Boon In ROTC Growth:
UNC Charlotte Air Force ROTC is experiencing a boon in growth. Commander Lt. Col. Christopher Rogers says, "I currently have 135 cadets enrolled. At the start of Fall 2011 semester, I expect that number will rise to almost 200. Next Friday, I'll be commissioning 11 seniors into the active duty force." This summer, 19 cadets (sophomores) will attend "field training." When the cadets return in the fall with field training completed, Rogers says they will be "contracted" into the enlisted force, until they complete the ROTC program.
Addressing the cadets, Commander Rogers said, "You guys have come together in a way that every commander dreams about. You've melted; you've bonded."
Scholarship awards included; The Paul Wayne Anthony Scholarship was presented to Cadet Stephen Timms and Cadet Ian Lindstrom; Major Ray Jones presented scholarships to Cadet Colin C. Wilcox and Cadet Joel W. Winkler; American Legion Post 523 in Harrisburg, NC presented the Military Excellence Award to Cadet Sara Savage; UNCC Chancellor Scholarships of $1,000 each were presented to Cadet Destiny Stutts, Cadet Andrew Bills, Cadet Robert Tompkins, Cadet William Rollins, andCadet Rachael Layne.
Commander Lt. Col. Rogers and Cadet Ian Lindstrom / Buddy Anthony and Cadet Stephen Timms
6924th members Alan Forbes, Paul Deshaies and Ralph Jones / Lt. Col. Rogers, Buddy Anthony, Buddy's Son, 6924th members
April 14, 2011 - UNC Charlotte Fallen Heroes Memorial Dedication - The Fallen Heroes Memorial honors UNC Charlotte students, alumni, faculty or staff members who have lost their lives in military service to our country. Our own Paul Wayne Anthony is one of the first to be honored.
Those being honored are:
Airman First Class Paul Wayne Anthony, Air Force, Charlotte, NC
First Lieutenant Leevi Khole Barnard, Army National Guard, Mount Airy, NC
Lieutenant Colonel Joseph J. Fenty, Army, Long Island, New York
Air Force Second Lieutenant and Marine Sergeant Jason Matthew Montieth, Mint Hill, NC.
Jim Easterly and Paul Deshaies at the UNCC dedication ceremony of Memorial Hall. They are posing with the plaque bearing the picture of Paul Wayne Anthony, one of the five honorees who were former UNCC students and were killed while on active duty.
August 17, 2010 - Donation to "Returning Heroes Home Organization" - Member Reuben Villafrance presented a $1000 check to the Returning Heroes Home Organization. This organization is the fund raising arm of the Warrior and Family Support Center (WFSC). The WFSC is a 12,000 square foot facility located at Ft. Sam Houston - San Antonio, TX. It provides a safe place to enhance the healing process and help our wounded warriors and their families learn how to cope with war-related disabilities. Not one tax dollar was spent to build the facility. It was a gift from thousands of donors like the 6924th who wanted to say "thank you" to our military families for their sacrifices. The WFSC is run by a small paid staff and by volunteers like Reuben's wife Mary, who volunteers about 10 hours at week at the center. While Reuben was at the WFSC, he met a young Army SSG who had lost both legs in Afghanistan on July 12, 2010. In talking with him Reuben said that the young sergeant did not sound bitter and was very upbeat - It was very emotional for Reuben to listen to him talk. These are the types of men and women whose lives are touched with donations like ours.
Presentation of check to "Returning Heroes Home" - L-R - Judith Markelz (WFSC Program Manager), Reuben Villafranca, Beverly Lamoureux (WFSC Board Member). / Building in which the WFSC is housed.
July 24, 2010 - Donation to "Help On The Home Front" Program - Member R. E. Goldy presented a check to the "Help On The Home Front" program at the Houston Veterans Cemetery. A significant group of Patriot Guard Riders met with Goldy to accept the check. The "HOTH" group is the arm of the Patriot Guard Riders that deals with supporting the families of KIA and deployed troops. They prepare care packages for troops in the war zone, and help with problems that occur here on the home front for families whose members are among the fallen or otherwise in need of help. The "PGR" is prohibited by charter from holding fund raisers so they support themselves and also have provided the majority of the funds to support "HOTH" internally, so they were very appreciative of our help. They were nice enough to present a certificate of appreciation, a challenge coin and a small "PGR" banner signed by all present to be delivered to the Association at the reunion in October.
Presentation of check to Loretta Hamilton (SE Texas PGR HOTH Coordinator) / Loretta presents a certificate of appreciation and a PGR challenge coin which R.E. Goldy accepted on behalf of the 6924th Heritage Association. PGR riders in background of all pictures.
R.E.Goldy describing the 6924th Heritage Association and thanking them for coming. / PGR/HOTH Group all lined up.
June 24, 2010 - Terry Kearney - "Retired Major Terry Kearney passed away 24 June 2010 at his home. The family held a "life celebration" dinner on 30 June but burial will not be performed until 4 Nov 2010 at Arlington National Cemetery. Terry was a workhorse for the 6924th Heritage Assn and gave great support to our Tigers and their families. Terry will be greatly missed by all of us. Rest in Peace, Tiger Brother....! "
Terry's family has requested that Memorial donations in his name be made to The Paul Wayne Anthony Scholarship Fund. Donations should be made out to the 6924th Heritage Assn. and mailed to 6924th Heritage Assn, P.O. Box 132, Mascoutah, IL. 62258-0132
Terry did many things for the 6924th Heritage Assn, but probably one of the most important was the Colors/Guidon Project that he conceived and presented to the unit at the 2008 Tucson reunion.
1st Sgt. Frank Kwiatkowski and Maj. Terry Kearney / Terry at the Wall - Veteran's Day 2008
Spring 2010 UNCC Awards Ceremony - The Paul Wayne Anthony AFROTC Scholarship awards were presented to Cadet Nicole Milner and Cadet Lain Addleton at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte this past April 2010. The following 6924th members attended the Ceremony: Paul Deshaies, Al and Bess Skipper and Eddie and Jackie Brown.
Group Shot / Al Skipper presenting to Cadet Lain Addleton
Captain Thigpen with 6924th cap / Paul Deshaies presenting to Cadet Nicole Milner / Tsgt. Richards with 6924th cap
Fall 2009 UNCC Awards Ceremony - The Paul Wayne Anthony AFROTC Scholarship awards were presented to Cadet Ezekial Odom and Cadet Sara Savage at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte on November 9th, 2009. The following 6924th members attended the Ceremony: Paul Deshaies, Ralph Jones, Paul Talbot, and Al and Bess Skipper. This was the first award ceremony in "Memorial Hall", the totally renovated building exclusively for Air Force and Army UNC-Charlotte ROTC. This year, the freshman cadet class is the largest ever, 80 cadets, for a total of cadet corps of 136. Last week was the unit's UCI (IG Inspection) and they received an Excellent Rating and rated the #1 AFROTC unit in the State of NC.
Slide from the Presentation Ceremony............................Cadet Savage, Paul Deshaies, Cadet Odom
6924th group with Cadets and Commander LTCol. Christopher Rogers .... Paul Deshaies making Presentation speach.
Spring 2009 UNCC Awards Ceremony - The Paul Wayne Anthony AFROTC Scholarship awards were presented to Cadet Reginald Luper and Cadet Thomas Zajac at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte on April 16th, 2009. The following 6924th members attended the Ceremony: Paul Deshaies, Ralph Jones, Alan and Mary Forbes, Al and Bess Skipper, Rex and Hazel Faris, Eddie and Jackie Brown. Paul also made a special 6924th presentation to LTC. Rose who is retiring soon.
Al Skipper presenting to Cadet Luper and Ralph Jones presenting to Cadet Zajac.
Paul Deshaies makes special 6924th award to retiring AFROTC Commander LTC. Rose.
Eddie and Jackie Brown, Paul Deshaies, Ralph Jones, Cadet Luper, Alan Forbes, Cadet Zajac, Rex Faris, Mary Forbes, Hazel Faris, Al and Bess Skipper.
Donation to "Missing in America Project" (May 2009) - Following a request/suggestion made by BJ Cook, the Philanthropic Committee approved a donation in the amount of $100.00 to the Missing in America Project. This program locates military service personnel whose cremated remains are located in various places and who have not been claimed by relatives/survivors. Once verified that the remains are that of a service person, the individuals involved in this program see to it that a proper and honorable ceremony is accomplished. If you want to read more about this Project you can to to the following website - www.miap.us
Donation to "We Serve Too" Program (March 30th, 2009) - In another undertaking by our Philanthopic Committee the 6924th donated $1,000.00 to the "Randolph Elementary School - Military Kids Serve Too" program. This program provides activities for the children of Service men and women stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan to interact with their parents. Another big plus of this program is that the children are involved in collecting shoes, clothes, toys, etc. to give to other children of U.S. servicemen not attending the Elementary school and to send to children overseas. Not only are these children being given something, but they are being taught to give back to the community. Ruben and Mary Villafranca represented the 6924th in presenting the check to the school and the children (see pictures below). Ruben said that it was a real heart warming experience for he and Mary to hear the children talk about their parents stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also sent along a quote from Ms. Dana Sommers (one of the sponsors of the program) - "The children often ask me if they have pay for things and I explain that they do not because people are so proud of their parents and what their parents are doing and also what they themselves are doing - that these people want to treat them. I think seeing your face was a treat for them as they began to put faces with these mysterious people that are proud of them and their parents."
We received the following thankyou note from the Principal of the Randolf Elementary School: "All of us who are part of "We Serve Too" thank you for your very generous donation. These Elementary students, each of whom has a Mom and/or Dad serving in Afghanistan or Iraq, receive support and special fun activities through this club. It could never happen without caring, giving people like you! Thanks for your service - to our club and to our Nation. Sincerely, Karen Bessette, Principal."
Donation to FACES Program (March 2009) - Following information and picture was received from Bruce Foreman:
Left to right. Larry Graves, Bruce Foreman, MSgt Bavin the manager of the F.A.C.E.S. program. Credit photo by SMSgt Sarah Wagner.
"The presentation of the check from the 6924th Heritage Association took place at 1400 today at the Airman and Family Readiness office. I explained a little bit about the 6924th Scty Sq, told that we had lost one young airman to enemy fire and presented annual scholarships to deserving AFROTC students in Paul Wayne Anthony's memory. I further explained that the Association made an occasional grant as in this case to worthy and special causes. Then we posed for the picture showing the check being presented.
The program this grant goes to is Families Apart Can Endure Separation (FACES). This effort does not wait for the families of deployed troops to come to them, F.A.C.E.S. hosts two functions monthly, having the families come for a dinner or some other social event so that they know they are not totally on thier own.
I personally felt honored to make the presentation and am glad I was asked to do this. I kept my remarks short but feel that I explained enough so that the folks in that office understood our heritage and appreciated the grant even more."
Here's some background info (provided by Gil) on the board action as proposed by the Philanthropic Committee. The committee was very comfortable with this recommendation and asked that the Board of Directors approve a $1,000 contribution to this program. The Board of Directors authorized immediate funding for $1,000 to "FACES (Families Apart Can Endure Separation) located at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. Richard Goldy has provided careful due diligence relative to this program. Also Bruce Foreman, an Association member living in the Goodfellow AFB area, has volunteered to make first hand contact, deliver the check and provide photo coverage. (NOTE: The question has already been asked about this being a one-time donation or a continuing program. The answer was "this is a one-time donation unless the committee sees fit to recommend it again at a later date for a second donation".)
The following introduction was provided by one of the local leaders of the organization: The Airman and Family Readiness Center (A&FRC), Readiness NCO is the POC for FACES. Funding is provided through donations made to Friends of Family Support and earmarked for Readiness. These events are held at least quarterly and anyone who has a loved one deployed, on a remote assignment, or TDY for more than 30 days is invited to attend. This is the opportunity for us to give to our hero’s who are in remote areas of the world making our homeland safe from those who wish to harm us. We host events that will appeal to both the children and adults, so that everyone feels like they had a good meal and a great time. Each event last an average of two hours and may include briefers to assist with identified issues, dinner out, lunch and fun out, pot lucks, BBQ’s, bowling, skating, support nights…you name it we do it to support the families. The one constant is we always provide food and drinks. We do everything we can to keep these events informal for the spouse and children. After a brief welcome we casually interact with the families and introduce families to one another, but there is never a written agenda. In 2008, the average attendance rose to 60-65 family members per event. This is a big leap from the previous year’s 18-22 average. Families enjoy asking questions and visiting with leaders face to face, and Leadership involvement demonstrates their concern for the welfare of our families left behind. There is never a cost to the families, we pay for everything, they just attend and enjoy. Any donations made to “Friends of Family Support” in support of the Readiness program are used to directly support the families of our deployed personnel.
Fall 2008 UNCC Awards Ceremony - The Paul Wayne Anthony AFROTC Scholarship awards were presented to Cadet Julien Adams (Sophomore) and Cadet Scott Sena (Junior) at the University of North Carolina - Charlotte on December 4th, 2008. The following 6924th members attended the Ceremony: Paul Deshaies, Ralph Jones, Alan Forbes, Al and Bess Skipper, Rex and Hazel Faris.
Det 592 AFROTC and Tigers / Tigers with Cadets Sena and Adams.
Paul Deshaies presenting Scholarships to Cadet Adams and Cadet Sena
Ralph Jones, Hazel Faris, Alan Forbes, Bess Skipper, Al Skipper and Rex Faris
On Veterans Day this year at The Wall in Washington D.C., Members of the 6924th Heritage Association presented the 6924th Security Squadron’s Guidon with the Squadron’s 32 award, decoration, and USAF Campaign Streamers, to honor the Memory of our Brother Tiger, A1C Paul Wayne Anthony, KIA at Da Nang, on 8 April 1970. The presentation was done near the engraving of Paul’s name on The Wall. The presentation also included the attachment of a special 33rd Streamer: Our Memorial to Paul Wayne Anthony.
Bobby Edwards who participated in the presentation took the pictures and wrote the following:
The Guidon/Colors Project was conceived of by Terry Kearney, and through his research and efforts to duplicate the recognition of the Unit's Awards with Streamers, Terry worked with a Flag Company to Recreate the Accomplishments of a Unit's Proud History. The 6924th Guidon and Streamers were introduced at the 6924th Tucson Reunion in September. It was at the Reunion that Terry Pledged to Take the Guidon to the Wall and to recognize our Fallen Brother, Paul W. Anthony.
Terry's comment at the reunion was as follows: "Our Flag/Guidon pulls together all the experiences, past and present, of all our troops - as much as The Vietnam Memorial pulls together all who served in Southeast Asia. It's time for these two icons to come together."
Terry Kearney and 6924th Guidon at The Wall.
Roger Polk, Terry Kearney, and Bobby Edwards represent the 6924th with a Unit Guidon Colors Presentation at The Wall. The Black Streamer is that of Paul Wayne Anthony, KIA April 8th, 1970.
New Registry List Established (29 May 2007) - Thanks to the efforts of Terry Kearney and a few others a new "6924th Pioneers Registry" has been established. This Registry is dedicated to the men who served with Team 1A, 6920th Security Wing and Detachment 1, 6923rd Security Squadron, at Da Nang Air Base and Monkey Mountain, Vietnam, 1962 - 1963. They were the troops who started us on our journey in Southeast Asia - culminating in the 6924th Security Squadron, one of the longest tenured, most highly decorated USAF units of the Vietnam War.
This is a work-in-progress as are all the Registries. Entries will be added and expanded as people are ID'd, located and their jobs defined. When new folks first come on board, many can't recall the details of their assignments (e.g., the names, AFSCs, and tour dates of others with whom they served). We suggest they check out the other Registries on the site to help "Stir the synapses". The success of these Registries is up to you. We need your help to get these Registries into shape and to correctly identify you and your brother Tigers. If you were one of us and you haven't joined the 6924th Heritage Association yet, please join us and become a part of something that you will never forget - Become a part of an organization that will always remember you.
Reunion 2012 - This years reunion will be held in Las Vegas. For more info click on this link - Reunion Info. Reunion info update July 2012 - The registration process begins NOW - Registration information and forms are available in the July Tele-Tiger (access through 6924th myfamily website).
Reunion 2011 - This years reunion was held in Baltimore, Maryland from September 28th through October 2nd. The following reunion report was put together by Faith Manzer:
Holiday Inn – Inner Harbor, Baltimore - To those of you who were unable to attend from those who did attend: GREETINGS FROM BALTIMORE !
Some of our fearless leaders arrived early on Monday and were busy setting up the activities for the members…but took time to avail themselves of some of the great restaurants at the Inner Harbor.
Most of us—80 strong—arrived on Wednesday in time for Registration with RJ Jones and the Welcome Dinner at 7:00 pm. After president’s welcome by who else but our President, Jon Murrow, Buddy Childs took over as Master of Ceremonies for the evening (next time you see Buddy ask him about Foot, Foot Foot and Foot Foot Foot). The First Shirt (Frank K.) presented the unit colors and welcomed everyone home. Geoff Goodman led us in the Invocation. Following the excellent dinner, Eric Masterson-Mott, Director of Group Tour Sales gave us an informative talk on things to see and do in Baltimore. Of course, the evening would not be complete without Fred taking the microphone to “remind us” (translate that harass us) if you were going to the Fort McHenry and Crypto Museum the next day that we needed to be in the Lobby by 9:00 am. Also, “remind” us that the Hospitality Room on the 11th floor was open and stocked by 8:00 am every day.
Thursday morning after a great complimentary breakfast a group of about 60 climbed aboard a tour bus with the company of Mark, our guide, we set out for Fort McHenry. The new visitor’s center was informative and inspiring. We were shown a video of the battle for Baltimore including an explanation of how Francis Scott Keyes came to be on a British ship in the harbor. From his vantage point he saw the bombs bursting over the fort and wrote the poem “The Defense of Baltimore”. Later the poem was set to music and in 1931 became our national anthem “The Star Spangled Banner”. The video concluded with a curtain rising and with “The Star Spangled Banner” playing in the background we saw our flag waving in the breeze over the fort. It brought the entire ground to its feet…a very moving and emotional moment.
Our tour guide dropped us at the Inner Harbor for lunch and advised us of the various venues available and reminded us to be back at the same spot by 1:00 pm. We climbed back aboard the bus for our trip to the Crypto Museum for a guided tour of cryptology through the years. It is truly and amazing place. We really needed more time but our knowledgeable museum guide did the best to get us through the high points. Most of the members, naturally, were most interested in the Vietnam era. Mike Magill even found a mistake in the display!
Dinner was on our own that evening and many found a restaurant in the Inner Harbor to sample some of the fare of Baltimore…especially the crab cakes for which they are so famous.
Friday featured another optional tour to the Gettysburg battlefield. The visitor’s center had a very informative video presentation followed by a spectacular 360 degree cyclorama of the battlefield. Then, back to the bus, lunch at Dobbin House and a guided bus tour of the battlefield.
That evening we gathered by a delicious Caesar salad and pizza party at the hotel. We were treated with a power point presentation of the Sepelak and Villafranca trip back to Vietnam. Gary Heriford brought some of his films of his DaNang tour, Ed Simmons reminisced about his friend Bud Leach, Al Skipper entertained us with his guitar and Blue Grass music and Clyde Orr invited the members to join the Chat Room on Sunday evenings.
Saturday morning the member’s meeting convened at 10:00 am followed by the Raffle in the Harbor Ballroom at 11:00 am. Many great prizes were awarded including some very generous money awards. The remainder of the day was “on our own” and most opted to visit the Inner Harbor or spend time in the Hospitality Room catching up with friends.
Saturday evening featured camaraderie in the Hospitality Room followed by a banquet in the Chesapeake Room at 7:00 pm. We were again fortunate to have Buddy Childs as our Master of Ceremonies. The posting of the colors was flawlessly executed by a group of young men from the Navy Information Operations Command and then they joined us for dinner. Jean Molnar led us in the Invocation and again dinner was delicious. The evening’s speaker was Sharon Maneki, Senior Historian, from the Center for Cryptological History accompanied by a power point presentation…an informative and interesting talk. Jon Murrow took the podium and made two awards. Ruben Villafranca received the Founder’s Award for all his service through the years to the 6924th Security Squadron reunions and Jack and Judy Ziemba were recognized for their support of the many reunion activities. Gary Heriford regaled us with a “bit of humor” sometimes at the expenses of Brenda. Is she still talking to you, Gary? The night’s program closed with remarks by Lujean Morelli and why her attendance at the 6924th reunions was so meaningful to her and her father, Richard Linton The night ended with a rather chaotic attempt to get a group picture of the members. Hopefully for the record someone got a good one.
In conclusion, we want to note how much some of our faithful attendees Mike and Linda Gilkerson and Eddie and Jackie Brown were missed.
A great big thanks goes to Fred Sepelak and all who helped for the many hours that made this such a memorable reunion. See you in Las Vegas in 2012!
Below are a few pictures from the reunion.
Award recipients Ruben and Mary Villafranca and Jack and Judy Ziemba / Flag raising ceremony at Fort McHenry
Ed Simmons and others helping fold Old Glory!
Reunion 2010 - This reunion was held in Nashville, Tennesee from October 6th through the 10th. From all reports, a fine time was had by all!
Once again, the years 66-67 gang had the most folks in attendence.
Reunion 2009 - Minneapolis, Minnesota. Another great Tiger reunion was enjoyed by all who attended. Our founder, Mike Gilkerson had this to say about the reunion "This was perhaps the most laid back and enjoyable reunion we've had.The weather might have contributed to it abit, but we never stopped going out somewhere and doing something. And it gave us alot of time to gather in the hospitality room and just talk and be together. Several folks commented that we were using our room more this time than any other reunion and that was really true. Many thanks to the guys that kept the roomed stocked with goodies and some good drinkable liquids...! It was MARVELOUS....!!!! Many, many thanks to FRED SEPELAK for another outstanding effort in putting together the reunion package. I think we've found the right mix of GO and STAY PUT combination that folks seem to enjoy. Look forward even more to Nashville 6-10 October 2010 now. We'll have to leave the DANCING FRED story to Fred to tell from start to finish. He'll get tired of typing by the time he's done with that one for sure....! I can't remember anything that equals his performance in both entertainment value and something that touches the heart quite so much. That is one thoughtful guy who gave what I thought was one of the greatest gifts he could have given."
The following is a reunion report from Dave Husby: On Wednesday September 30 thru Saturday October 3, the 6924th Reunion Group invaded Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota. Some of the “movers and shakers” arrived early on the 29 th but the guys and gals mostly arrived on Wednesday the 30th. The festivities began immediately. Wednesday night was the welcome dinner and we had several guests that ended-up being the highlight of the evening. Our desire to visit the veterans at the VA Medical center could not be accomplished. We, as normal, adapted to the situation and invited them to join us at the Hilton Hotel for our welcome dinner. Isn’t it nice that we can still react to small bumps in the road? We had the Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Ralph Heussner, for the VA Medical Center as our guest speaker. He gave a very positive and optimistic talk about the VA system and in particular the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis. He brought along a very nice lady, Ms Kristen Thieding, who is in charge of the rehabilitation/reintegration to society portion of the VAMC. What a wealth of information we received from those two folks. The highlight of the evening however were the five veteran patients that consented to enjoy an evening with us. Five young (and not so young) one was 44 years old ate dinner with us and participated very well. They were all very nice young gentlemen. It seems that veterans of all ages seem to get along. What a great evening! We presented these fine folks a check for $300.00 authorized by the philanthropic committee. On Thursday, many of us went on a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River. We went through lock and dam number 1. Got that? Lock and dam number 1? The first lock on the Mississippi. Many had never been through a lock. We raised and lowered 40 feet to get where we wanted to go. I am risking great bodily harm here but … the weather was less than what was reported/forecast by one of our own. I won’t say anything more, Jon. I do believe everyone had a great time regardless of the temps in the forties and misty/rainy/windy conditions. Friday was a day “on your own”. Many decided it was time to travel a few miles and go to Mystic Lake Casino. Regardless of the stories I heard on return, I don’t believe there were any real winners. I believe they all contributed to the moccasin fund. Others contributed to the stimulus fund by visiting the Mall of America or other side-trips. I personally saw many plastic and paper bags coming into the hotel. Many of them ended up in my room. Saturday was again a great day. Breakfast at IHOP for the second or third day for many of us was again enjoyable. The general membership meeting held no real surprises and the minutes of the board are posted on the 6924th Heritage site for your review and comment. Again, the Mall of America was inundated by many attendees. The banquet dinner was an exceptional affair as always. The Minnesota Air Guard unit provided the colors for the banquet and Al Amorello led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. Ron Wisian was our guest speaker and did a great job. Then Al serenaded us until…The highlight of the evening was a big surprise to most of us and especially to Connie Sepelak. Mr. Fred Sepelak came out in full costume trying to emulate Fred Astair. Mr. Twinkle-toes impressed his bride with an anniversary performance rivaling any I have ever seen. We could all tell Connie was duly impressed/embarrassed. Good job Fred! All-in-all, a great place, great people, and a great time.
Below are just a few pictures from the reunion.
Reunion 2008 - Tucson Arizona. At this years reunion the 6924th Security Squadron Guidon and it's Award, Decoration, and Campaign streamers (1962-1973) were presented to the Members at the 2008 Reunion Welcome Dinner. You can read more about the Guidon above.
In addition to the Guidon presentation, the Ziemba family (Judy, Jack, Mike, and Michelle) designed and produced a Guidon Stand (see pictures below) which they presented to the troops at the Welcome dinner. The Ziembas are non-military friends of Fred and Connie Sepelak who "adopted" the 6924th SS several years ago for it's 15 year service in SEAsia. They are in the machining business (Aristo-Cast Co., Almont, MI) and thought that we could use a floor stand for our Guidon. It took months to complete - and it is truly a work of art. The base of the pyramidal stand is 0.5 inch aluminum, weighing in at 32-lbs. On each side are bronze casting of our "patches", representing several of the guises of the unit: Team 1-A, 6920SW ("Zobel's Zomibes" - the Pioneers); Det 2, 6924SG; Monkey Mountain; and the 6924SS.
Terry Kearney who was instrumental in researching and reproducing the Guidon had this to say: "Our Guidon, Streamers, and the Stand are both unique and send a profound message to each of us: While each saw his tour and experiences through a single, personal "lens," the Flag, Streamers, and Stand serve to mold all those experiences into a single entity. For 15 years, we WERE the Unit. Today, we ARE the Unit. Our Squadron set the standard for Combat Intelligence for decades to come. Major General Gary O'Shaughnessy recently revealed that the very techniques and methodologies we developed at Da Nang, Monkey Mountain, and Ramasun are employed today - in Afghanistan and Iraq."
Reunion 2007 - Our reunion this past October 11-14, 2007 was held in Washington, D.C. - The theme of this reunion was "Remembrance" and that certainly held true to form as we visited "The Wall" and placed carnations at the names of those who gave their lives, including our own Paul Wayne Anthony. We visited The Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, The Korean Memorial, The World War II Memorial, The Women's War Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of The Unknowns where the 6924th represented by Ralph Jones and John Thelen had the great honor of placing a memorial wreath. (see pictures below)
John Thelen, Honor Guard Member, and Ralph Jones place Memorial Wreath - 10/12/2007
At the Wall - Ralph Jones, Ed Simmons, Al Skipper - 10/12/2007
Memorial Day - May 26, 2008 - In Remembrance - Paul Wayne Anthony
6901st SCG - Zweibrucken Germany
Misawa - USAFSS Misawa Family - Japan
6910th - Darmstadt to Augsburg (MyFamily.com site)
6987th SG - Shu Linkou AS Taiwan
6910th - Darmstadt to Augsburg (Angelfire.com site)
TUSLOG 3-2 - Samsun Turkey
OLAA/OLJA/Det-1 6910th - Rimbach W.G.
6994th SS - 6994th Security Squadron
6911th RGM/Det-1 - Kaserne / Rhein Mein
Beaner Banner - (Spanish Linquists)
6912th RSM - 6912th Radio Sq. Mobile
6913th - Bremerhaven
6915th RSM - Hof Reunion Association
FTVA - Freedom Through Vigilance Assoc.
6916th - (1960 - 1990)
Silent Warriors - Prop Wash Gang
6918th - Hakata AFB (Brady AFB) Japan
6922nd - Clark AB PI - Cobra Den
6931st ESS - Iraklion, Crete
Iraklion, Crete - Various Units
6937th - Peshawar AS - Pakistan
37th RSM/6952nd - Kirknewton - Scotland
KVA - Korea Veterans of America (KWVA Chapter # 299 - Massachusetts)
VFW - Veterans of Foreign Wars
6986th RSM - Wakkanai AS Japan
KWVA - Korea War Veterans Assoc.
VVA - Vietnam Veterans of America
The 6924th Heritage Association is a nonprofit wartime 6924th (various locations) veteran association under IRS Section 501(c)(19).
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