Dear Fellow Handlers, I am posting a letter I drafted for the upcoming newsletter and the announcement for the 2019 reunion in Springfield, MO. I realize the letter is a bit redundant for those who are on Facebook, or for those I have their correct email addresses for, but there is some new info in the letter. Thanks to all for your support. You can make your reservations now.
Dear Fellow Sentry Dog Handlers, my name is Gary Smith. I need to catch everyone up on our reunion 2019 in New Bern, NC. Hurricane Florence decimated New Bern mid September, 2018. The Doubletree Hotel in New Bern assured Lee Ruth the Reunion Coordinator that the hotel would be ready to receive guests by the time of our April reunion. Several weeks ago the hotel called Lee to tell him the hotel would not be ready for us in April. Lee coordinated with the hotel for September 20-22, 2019 for our reunion. A few days ago Lee was told by the hotel staff that the hotel would not be accepting any guests in 2019. Lee and Larry Majeski, and I had to make some quick decisions. Do we not have a reunion this year and wait till 2021. We have a gentlemen’s agreement with the Vietnam Dog Handlers Association (VDHA) that we host our reunions on the odd year and they host on the even years. The other choice was see if we could have our reunion somewhere else.
Lee did not believe he could host the reunion anywhere near where he lives. I checked with one person who had mentioned he would like to host the reunion again near where he lives. Due to time constraints he was not able to host it this year. I checked with Ramada Oasis Hotel, Springfield, Missouri. I had hosted our 2013 reunion with them. They are able to accommodate our reunion September 5-8, 2019. I then checked with everyone that I have a correct email address for to see how many were willing to make the change. The numbers were promising so we agreed to have the reunion in Springfield, MO. Rooms will be $105.00 during our reunion. They will honor that fee 3 days before and 3 days after the reunion.
For those who registered with Lee and paid the reunion registration he is personally contacting each handler and offering to refund their registration fee or transfer it to me for the Springfield Reunion. If you elect to switch your registration to Springfield, there will be no increases. I do need to find out from each handler if they want to go back to Fort Leonard Wood, MO for either an all day tour or a shorter tour. We are all getting older, some have mentioned they would like to go to Fort Leonard Wood but not for the same tour we did in 2013 because it was too long.
For those who have not registered with Lee, the registration fee will be $125.00, the same as what Lee was using. At the time of this writing I do not believe it will be necessary for an additional charge for the tour busses to Fort Leonard Wood. If there is no additional fee then that means I will refund the amount that would be charged for the tour to those who do not go to Fort Leonard Wood. If you have any questions please call or email me at 713-614-2503, firstname.lastname@example.org
VMPSDA REUNION 2019
WHEN: September 5-8, 2019
WHERE: Ramada Oasis, Springfield, Missouri
WHAT: September 5th: Free time and mingle at hospitality room.
September 6th: Tour of Fort Leonard Wood, MO (FLWM) (an additional cost may or may not be incurred) or free time and mingle at hospitality room
September 7th: Free time and mingle at hospitality room
6:30 PM – ? : Banquet
September 8th: Goodbye Breakfast
HOTEL ROOM: $105.00 per night
Hotel Info: Ramada Oasis, 2546 Glenstone, Springfield, MO 65803 Toll Free: 888-532-4338
COST FOR ALUMNI REGISTRATION: $125.00/attendee
Registration for Reunion Please return completed to: Gary Smith, 31239 Kensington Park Drive, Spring, TX 77386
(IF REGISTERED PRIOR FOR NEW BERN, NC, NO NEED TO REREGISTER, BUT PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU WANT TO GO TO FORT LEONARD WOOD LONG OR SHORT TOUR OR NOT AT ALL)
TOURING FLWM? Y/N IF YES #___LONG OR SHORT_
AMOUNT REMITTED: _______________
QUESTIONS: GARY SMITH AT 713-614-2503, or email@example.com