Saturday, July 24, 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 Paul Davis was John Hubbard, our supply sergeant in Colorado Springs and in Germany.  John is three months younger than me.  I met him when we were both 22.  Like many people meeting John for the first time, I thought he was somewhere between 30 and 40 years old.   John was balding and  15 pounds overweight when he was 22.  Thirty-five years later he did not look much different than when we met in 1975.  Things even out with age for some people.  

I'll add more people in future posts.  More than 100 people attended the dinner including 80 soldiers who served with the 1-70th between 1976 and 1984.

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