2008 Snowbird Reunion

FEB 1st & 2nd 2008

Ramada Plaza Hotel Gateway
Kissimmee, FL


After Action Reports


Steve and Kathy Urfer's after action report;

We enjoyed our first reunion. Steve was so happy to see Bob Berry, Marc Goodell and of course Bob Carr.  37 years is a long time.  I had programmed some of the guys that I knew could not be there into my cell phone and called each one so they could talk each of the Comancheros as we sat on the patio.  Frank Tigano, Fred Thompson, Jim Wisecup and John Lipski all enjoyed talking with the guys.  Very gratifying experience.  I pulled up pictures from Vietnam on my laptop for viewing.

We enjoyed meeting and chatting with Courtnay Johnson, Sue and Joe Turner and Major Bob Clewell (interesting man and told us some funny stories in the hallway at midnight. Chuck Slezak joined a group of us that went out to dinner Friday night, to Carrabas restaurant, Nice guy.

My 2nd grade girlfriend Ruth Dunnavant, whom I had not seen in 16 years, drove from Pensacola and fit right in.  We discovered that Valerie Cauley and her sister Vickie were also born and raised in Arlington Virginia like Ruth and myself.  Bob Berry's wife Ihram is a warm and beautiful lady.  We gals all decided next time we get together, Saturday night should be ladies night out.


Melanie Janssen's after action report

 

Hi there!

 

What an eventful vacation I had this past month. The Snowbird reunion felt, as always, like coming home. Though I still marvel at the realization that I'm surrounded by a group of people I have not much in common with, but who have nonetheless accepted me without questioning and who've turned me into one of their own. I can never stop being elated by that and I thank my lucky stars every day for the warmth you keep showing me.

 

I was also glad my tribute to Gary Lee Stamey was so much appreciated. I'm sure he'll be missed for a long time. I know I will.

 

After this year's reunion, I made it up north. Went to see the 'Airborne and Special Operations Museum' at Fort Bragg...that was beautiful.

 

On Friday, February 15th, I ended up in Washington D.C. It's a remarkable city and very overwhelming if you tend to get a little emotional. (I'm a GIRL, girls DO that. Sometimes. And it's not blackmail either. Not every time, anyway.)

 

I think I started crying at the WWII memorial, thinking about the sacrifices so many young guys made for the benefit of my grandparents and so eventually my own. And just as I thought it couldn't any worse; there it was. The Wall.

 

Over 58,000 names. Endless rows. Too much to take in and yet you can't turn your back on them for even a split second. It hit me just how many of them might have been your friends and how lucky I am that I'm friends with the ones whose names have not been etched in marble.

 

I hit rock bottom at Arlington. Vast and endless. I never knew it takes a tour bus to get around it. I found the grave of Major-General Maxwell D. Taylor and again, tried to let it sink in. I'm still not quite sure it did.

 

Fact is, I'll never really understand just what you've all had to face in Vietnam and still face every day. It's impossible and maybe it's better. But I do recognize you more now as the heroes you are. And id this is too emotional for you, tough. ;-)

 

Anyway, I wanted to say thank you, again, to all of you whom I've already met and the ones I know I'll meet someday. Thank you for allowing me to become one of you.

 

See you soon I hope!

 

Love, Melanie Janssen


Snowbird 2008 photos


click on thumbnail to see larger photo and captions

Photograph by Howard Klein

L to R; Brian Wold, Howard Klein, Milo Overstreet, Jerry Green.

We all flew together at Camp Eagle. It was the first time I had seen Milo and Jerry since Vietnam. I've always kept in touch with Brian and at one time he dated my sister when we were stationed at Rucker together.

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Melanie Janssen holding a picture poster she had made in honor of Gary Lee Stamey

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Marc Goodell, Melanie Janssen holding a picture poster of Gary Lee Stamey and Jim Rickard on right.

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Jim and Irma Rickard, the host of the A/101 Avn hospitality room. They did an outstanding job!

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Col. Bob Murphy ret, Chuck Slezak and Major George Carter ret. Bob currently owns a Russian Yak that he fly's at the Reno Air races. George and I were discussing a mission we were both on at Touy Huy in Feb or March of 1966. He thinks he may have ridden on my aircraft in that combat assult from what I had said about the assult that he recalls happening.

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Dick Schoneberger, Kelly Stumpus and Chuck Slezak

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Bob Berry, Marc Goodell and others outside the hospitality room

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Jim Rickard, Mike Pavisich and Michael Gouch

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Jim Rickard giving hugs

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Mike Pavisich, Jim Rickard and Michael Gouch

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Ponytail Paul Cauley

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Valerie Cauley and her sister Vicky

Photo by Chuck Slezak

gathering in the hospitality room

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Bob Berry, Jim Rickard and Bob Carr, right

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Bob Berry, Melanie Janssen and Bob Carr, right

Photo by Chuck Slezak

left to right Vicky (Paul Cauley's sister in law), Ruth Dunnavant, myself, Valerie Cauley and Ihram Berry.

Photo by Chuck Slezak

the ladies

Photo by Chuck Slezak

from left, ?, Bob Clewell, ?, and Milo Overstreet

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Comancheros gathering in the hospitality room

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Comancheros gathering in the hospitality room

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Comancheros gathering in the hospitality room

Photo by Chuck Slezak

Comancheros gathering in the hospitality room

Photo and captions by Pony Tail Paul Cauley

Photo and captions by Pony Tail Paul Cauley

Photo and captions by Pony Tail Paul Cauley

Photo and captions by Pony Tail Paul Cauley

Photo and captions by Pony Tail Paul Cauley

Photo and captions by Pony Tail Paul Cauley

Photo and captions by Pony Tail Paul Cauley

Photo provided by Steve and Kathy Urfer

From left, Steve Urfer, Bob Barry and Bob Carr outside hospitality room

Photo provided by Steve and Kathy Urfer

Dinner at Carrabas w/ (L) Steve, Bob C., Courtnay, Chuck and (R) Kat, Ruth, Ihram & Bob Berry

Photo provided by Steve and Kathy Urfer

Left to right Steve Urfer, Bob Carr, Marc Goodell and Bob Berry

Photo provided by Steve and Kathy Urfer

The Arlington Virginia Gals from left Vicki, Ruth, Kat and Valerie


2008 SNOWBIRD A/101 AVN ATTENDEES


Jim and Irma Rickard
Mike & Terri Pavisich
Joe and Sue Turner
Howard "Kosher Eagle" Klein
Milo Overstreet
Courtnay Johnson
Robert Clewell 
Melanie Janssen
Chuck Slezak
Brian Wold
Bob Carr
Marc Goodell
Steve and Kathy Urfer and girlfriend Ruth Dunnavant
Pony Tail Paul and Valerie Cauley and Valerie's sister Vicky
Michael Gouch
Ken Roach
Jerald Greene
Bob and Ihram Barry
 

Copyright 2006 A/101 AVN. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03/14/08.