Saturday, August 20, 2011

Different Reunions

Last year I went to the 70th Armor reunion, this year to my 40th high school reunion. I wrote about the reunion on the Stoneham High School Facebook page as follows:

The reunion was a wonderful event. Better than I could have hoped. Not just because Murrie, Chickie and the other organizers put together a great event, but because after 40 years I am finally old enough to appreciate what a great thing it is to reconnect across decades.
The first person I talked to at the pre-event mixer was Pat Daly. He told Frank Capuano and I just how tough his childhood was. I had no idea. The more important thing he said--if I can quote correctly--we were all fucked up in our own way. Which was very true for me.
Coming to this reunion let me see that I shared a very difficult part of my life with some really great people. We were trying to figure out who we were while the rest of our country was trying to figure out what kind of world we would live in.
For me, basic training was a relief from life as a teenager. Everyone in the military seemed to know what they were supposed to do.
I did not get to talk to even a quarter of you and hope to talk to all of you in future reunions or mini reunions. But for those I did get a chance to talk with--Mike Katz, Pat Daly, Mark West, Gary DePalma, Dottie Crocker, Beverly Smith and others, I got a chance to see how they got through the turmoil of teenage life in the 60s and early 70s and lived good lives. I also talked to some of the spouses brave enough to come to somebody else's reunion. Murrie's wife was delightful to talk with. Next event I will be their. Thanks again for a great evening.
Neil

I realized today that one big difference in the reunions is that the 70th Armor reunion was almost entirely officers. They remembered a different unit than the one that we sergeants served in. At my high school reunion, we were all enlisted--just trying to get though it.

I am very much looking forward to the next high school reunion, but I will pass on future 70th Armor reunions.

I would love to go to a reunion of all the enlisted men in Bravo Company, 70th Armor.

By the time anyone has a reunion of my current unit, I'll probably forget I went to Iraq.

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