Reunion History


First Meeting

In July of 2002 the reunion idea was started when eight former members who served in 3/1 in Vietnam met in Atlanta at Joe Rhinehart's favorite bar, the Hops restaurant in Kennesaw GA.  Dinner Hosts were Former Battalion Commander Jim and Sue Ann Franklin along with fellow Georgians Joe Rhinehart, and Ken Baskett.  Also attending were Isbell, Nolan, O'Herron, Place, and Cook. It was decided to meet again the next year in Atlanta but at a cooler time of year. October 2003 was set for the next reunion with Ken Baskett in charge of making the arrangements and everyone else agreeing to make an effort to find former 3/1 veterans.

2003 Reunion

In October 2003 we held the reunion in Atlanta at Holiday Inn Express with fourteen vets showing up. Col Jim and Sue Franklin hosted the reception. Ken and Joe coordinated events. Those attending included the same group from last year plus Col & Mrs. Lowder, Jill O'Herron, Jin Rhinehart, Henry Carroll, Bill Riggs, Terry Maloney, Dan Drinnen and Al Labriola. A highlight of the reunion was a trip to the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Museum guided by Joe Rhinehart.   Wives attending were hosted on a shopping trip by the gracious Labrita Baskett. It was decided to hold the 2004 reunion in December in Orlando, Florida. Later the location was changed back to Atlanta and the time changed to October 15-17, with the Marietta Conference Center as the host location.  Ken Baskett was appointed to take the reins of the organization and coordinate the 2004 Reunion.   

 2004 Reunion

The 2004 reunion held on 15-17 October at the Marietta Conference Center had 27 veterans attending. The largest group was from Alpha company.   New veterans attending were, Neil Burke, Wayne Fox, Irv Gold, Mike Gould, Bill Hawkins, Nick Jarvela, Michael Lee, George McMurtry, David Orndorff, Mike Piazza, Alan Rossman, Vince Satarino, Gary Schaefer, and Charles Summers.  Col and Mrs. Franklin hosted, with Col Lowder, Baskett, Carroll, Cook, Isbell, LaBriola, Nolan, Place, Rhinehart, and Riggs also attending. Ken Baskett moderated our first official meeting which was held in the Sanford Room. A Board of Directors was proposed as well as a President, a first Vice President and a second Vice President. To ensure continuity, it was proposed that the Vice Presidential electees would succeed to the next higher office when the incumbents term of office were up. At this time, the term of office for president and vice presidents was to be one year. The Board of Directors was to serve until replaced.   The slate of officers &directors were elected unanimously by the attendees. Those elected were: President Baskett, 1st Vice President Cook, and 2nd Vice President O'Herron. Directors elected were Jim Franklin, Chairman, and Board Members were Lional Isbell, Henry Lowder and Joe Rhinehart.  At this meeting, President elect Ken Baskett proposed that a Last Mans Club be started.   It was agreed that a bottle of spirits would be purchased and kept for the last living Vietnam veteran member of the association to open and toast the departed members.   Ken also presented each member with a set of First Infantry Unit Crests. The Marietta conference center was chosen as the location for the next reunion, on 14-16 October 2005.   On Saturday evening the group dined at Grazie a Bistro in Marietta.  Family members attending included Sue Ann Franklin, Marcia Lowder, Jin Rhinehart, Labrita Baskett, Klare Fox, Jule Jarvela, Dorothy McMurtry, Marcia Piazza, Betty Riggs, Chris Satarino.                                                                                                                                

2005 Reunion

The 2005 reunion at the Marietta Conference Center had 34 attendees.. Registration was held on Friday 14 October.  The largest group was from C Company which had 14 members present. There were sixteen new members at the reunion: Roger Taylor, George Brewster, Jim Girvin, Terry McGuire, Paul Hayden, Tom Crichfield, Jack Catron, Gary Kinkaid, Ken Bauer, Larry Baker and Pete Molyneaux from C company; Bill Strouse, Brad Newell, Mike Bible from B company; Terry Sula from E company and Gene Wilson from S-2. Many guests and family members attended.  After introductions in the Sanford Room, the hospitality suite on the fifth floor, hosted by the Franklins, was opened for the evening.  Saturday activities at this reunion included golf, local trips and fellowship. Alan Rossman led a group to visit the grave of C Co. Veteran Donnie Stokes (KIA 3 DEC 68) who is buried in Marietta, Many veterans brought photo albums, scap books and historical items for viewing in the hospitality suite. Joe Rhinehart brought a series of tactical maps of Quang Nai Province that were used in combat operations by the battalion. Much interest were shown in these items. The group moved to the Sanford Room for the business meeting after dinner on Saturday evening. Carolyn Bauer was appointed to take minutes of the meeting.  The business meeting was called to order by President Baskett.  A moment of silence was observed for our departed brothers.
This year it was proposed that the term of the President (and others in the succession to president) would be two years. Joe Rhinehart was appointed by the Board Chairman Jim Franklin to serve as Vice President to fill the term of Jim O'Herron who has not been able to attend due to illness in the family. There was no objection to these motions and they were passed.   VP Cook was sworn in as President for a two year term (2006 & 2007) by Outgoing President Ken Baskett.   A stand up roll was taken by company.  Board Chairman Franklin addressed the membership. He presented a letter from Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue welcoming us to the State of Georgia, a copy of which was presented to each Veteran present. It was agreed that the next reunion would be held at the same Marietta location on 20-22 October 2006. The meeting was adjourned and the attendees posed for a group picture and retired to the hospitality suite for the remainder of the evening. Local battalion veteran Buford Inman (C Co) stopped by on Sunday morning to say hello, bringing C company attendance to 15.  Family members and friends attending the reunion that year were, , Labrita Baskett, Carolyn Bauer, Sue Drinnen, Klare Fox , Sue Ann Franklin, Jule Jarvela,  Marcia Lowder, Marie Franklin Mathews, Marcia Piazza, Jin Rhinehart, Betty Riggs and  Lisa Franklin Smith                                                                               
In February 2006 Jack Nolan volunteered and was recommended for appointment as the Treasurer of the association by Tim Cook. Nolan's appointment as treasurer was confirmed by Board Chairman Franklin in a telephone call.  It was proposed out of meeting in (March 2006) by Nolan to undertake association fund raising by designing shirts and other    memorabilia with association logo and selling them to the membership. Lional Isbell volunteered to assist Jack in the fund raising project.  

2006 Reunion

The next reunion was held 20-22 October 2006, also at the Marietta Conference Center. There were 33 veterans present.  New veterans attending included: (A Co) Ray Elliott, Rex Miller, Carl Skarin;  (B Co) Fred Crabtree, Frank Hickman;  (C Co) Bill LaBarbera, Charles Riggs;  (HHC) Sherwood Hamilton, George Morris. Also attending was Air Force Forward Air Controller Bill (Andy) Anderson, better known by his Viet Nam call sign "Helix 31".   Notably absent were Neil Burke and Dave Orndorff, who were convalescing and were sent a card from the membership. Battalion logo shirts ordered during the year were delivered at registration. Next, a brief meeting was held in the Sanford Room and all attendees were introduced. Col Franklin gave his personal thanks to the group for attending and read a letter of welcome from U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson. Col Lowder also addressed the group  We then adjoured to the Hospitality Suite hosted by Jim and Sue Ann Franklin. Several other family members and guests attended, including Labrita Baskett, Carolyn Bauer, Marie Elliott, Jamie Franklin, Diane Hawkins, Georgia Isbell, Marcia Lowder, Annie Miller, Marcia Piazza, Christine Place, Jin Rhinehart,  and Betty Riggs.  The usual activities were held on Saturday. Dinner was held in the Hamilton Dining Room on Saturday evening. A professional photographer was on hand to take the battalion photo as well as photographs of companies, platoons, and other groups.  The business meeting was held in the Sanford Room. It was opened and a moment of silence was observed for 3/1 veterans lost in Vietnam and those that have died since the end of the war. Jack Nolan led us in the pledge of allegiance with all veterans rendering the hand salute. Ways of increasing membership were discussed and company representative were appointed to promote attendance, they are: A Co. Wayne Fox, B Co. Mike Bible, C. Co Alan Rossman, E Company Nick Jarvela.  Members who participated in the Bio project were thanked and all others were encouraged to provide a short biography with a VN era photo and a current one. Treasurer Nolan recommended that a 50/50 raffle be held at the next reunion to help raise money for the organization. Ken Bauer and Bill LaBarbera were appointed to coordinate the collection of Vietnam photographs from the membership. Joe Rhinehart was appointed as Chairman of the Historical Committee.  Joe asked and it was agreed that Alan Rossman should be appointed as Deputy Chairman. It was agreed to hold the 2007 reunion from 19-21 October at the Marietta Conference Center.