NOLA # 2 AFTER ACTION REPORT
New Orleans, Louisiana
November 7-10, 2013
The Alpha Recon Association held it's 2013 reunion in New Orleans from November 7th-10th at the Hilton Riverside. The Hilton hotel was right on the Mississippi River and only a few blocks from the French Quarter, the World War II Museum and many other great places to visit.
On Thursday, November 7th, 60 members and their wives/significant others checked into the hotel and gathered in the Hospitality Suite to renew old friendships and enjoy snacks and a few drinks. The PX was also open and had Alpha Recon hats, tee shirts and polo shirts for sale at very reasonable prices.
Friday, November 8th was an open day and our members had the opportunity to visit many of New Orleans' landmarks, including the French Quarter, the World War II Museum, the Nachez River Boat for a ride on the "Mighty Mississippi" or enjoying the many great restaurants in the "Crescent City". We all learned that the French Quarter is certainly more exciting after dark than it is during the day!
Saturday, November 9th began with the Alpha Recon Association Business Meeting. John Hlavac, the Company chaplain, opened the meeting with a short prayer. Jeff Savelkoul read the minutes from the last Company meeting in Reno, Nevada in May, 2012 and they were approved as submitted.
Don Schwinn presented the Company's current financial statements stating that the Company's finances were in very good condition, especially since the Company had received a meaningful contribution from an unnamed member. Don also mentioned that the Company had maintained it's tax exempt status as a 501 (c) 19 organization by timely filing it's tax return with the IRS. Don stated that the Company's financial statements would be updated in November to reflect reunion revenue and expenses.
Jeff Savelkoul gave an update to the members of the funeral services for two of the five "Striker" MIA patrol members. All five members of the patrol's remains were recovered by JPAC in 2012. At this time Merlin Allen and Doc Judd's remains have been positively identified. Jeff had the opportunity to travel to Hawaii to accompany the remains of Merlin Allen back to his hometown of Bayfield, Wisconsin in June, 2013. The memorial service in Minnesota/Wisconsin was very large with over 1,100 people attending this moving service. Eleven Alpha Marines attended along with Leland Upshaw and Dave Doerman both from Bravo Company were in attendance.
Jeff, George Neville and five other Alpha Company Recon members also attended the memorial service for Michael Judd in Arlington National Cemetery several weeks later. "Doc" Judd's memorial service was primarily a family affair compared with the Allen service in Wisconsin. John Doc Winters, Echo Company also attended.
Freddie Murray and Jim Shockley attended the memorial service for Bill Buhl in Libby, Montana in late July and gave the members an update on Bill's outdoor funeral service held on the banks on the Kootenai River. Fred Murray also updated the company on the passing of John Henry who also passed recently and was interred at Quanitco VA.
The members then discussed the venue of the next reunion. After a short discussion, Freddie Murray gave a short presentation of the advantages of holding it in Quantico, Virginia. After a brief discussion, the members approved that the next reunion was to be held in April/May, 2015 in Quanitco VA. Freddie agreed to head up the committee to to develop and finalize the details.
The present Company officers were re-elected and are to serve until the next reunion. The last major issue discussed at the meeting was to form a committee that is to formalize a procedure to assist members in financial need to attend future Company events. The Company officers are to develop such procedures and have such policy displayed on the Company's website shortly.
A motion to adjourn the business meeting was approved and John Hlavac closed the meeting with a prayer that remembered our fallen Recon brothers.
On Saturday evening, we held a dinner in the Starboard Room, overlooking the Mississippi River. A four man color guard from Marine Forces Reserve, New Orleans presented the colors. Ray Raymond welcomed everyone and John Hlavac said grace and remembered our fallen members. The dinner was a buffet of great Southern and New Orleans specialties. Our evening ended in the Company's Hospitality Room where we had a last chance to purchase some of the PX items, have a few last drinks together and say our "Good Byes".
Sunday, November 10th was a departure day for many of the members; however, a small group stayed for another day to enjoy the sunny, warm New Orleans weather and see a few more sites in the "Big Easy".
Tom Vennemeyer VP