Sunday, July 25, 2010

70th Armor Reunion Dinner

Today my kids and I left Georgetown, Kentucky, at 11 am and drove south for five 1/2 hours to Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the 1-70th Armor Reunion Dinner.  Lauren and Lisa both dressed up for dinner.  Nigel wore his best digital camo t-shirt.  I was, as it turned out, in the proper uniform--khaki's and a dress shirt--but the really cool guys and all of the organizers were wearing Land's End polo shirts with Strike Swiftly Tankers logos:

One of the first people I met on the way in the door was Captain Paul Davis, my company commander from the time I joined the 70th Armor in late 1975 until he was reassigned in Germany in early 1977.  Davis was a great commander for a new tanker moving over from the Air Force.  My first assignment was as gunner for Sgt. Ralph Plowman, a tough old guy (almost 30 I think!) from Alabama who taught me a lot about gunnery and taught me by example how to lead a crew.  I got my own tank several months later.  My first crew was, like me, inexperienced.  Davis let me take my crew out for extra training on weekends, after regular motor pool work hours.  He really let NCOs run their own show.  My crew fired Distinguished (top 10%) first time out at least partly because we practiced more than any other crew.

Sitting with Davis was Joh