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Chapter Twenty-one: Future Reunions


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#1 homefront41

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Posted 06 July 2003 - 12:52 PM

Johnny Martin’s son Billy, Bill Guarnere’s son Gene, together with one Guarnere and two Martin grandchildren (plus a bunch of other revolving volunteers among the SinkKids), put together an organization to look after about 250-300 people for minimum 3 days, some for 4 days. This is not a small job. They can all be very proud of their achievement.

There was speculation that this would be the last reunion of Easy Company. It’s a lot of work and the vets and their wives don’t travel as easily now. And Bill just can't do it any more. The kids got together for a meeting and created the outline of an organization they will formalize with a 501 ©(3) organization. Bill insisted that a vet be in charge with overall responsibility. Herb Suerth (a genuine peach) volunteered. A very energetic chipper man, “Junior” ran a corporation for years. With a very strong sense of the mission, the kids want to make sure the Easy legacy continues. So that's what it'll be. Cool, huh?

The decision, direct from the Easy men, has been made to restrict future reunions once again to vets and families only. The HBO era of financial support has ended and in truth the men are really finished signing books and being celebrities. And it only took one slavering admirer to make a few of the veterans feel uncomfortable.

They’ve been good soldiers and provided the true glitter to the publicity of BoB and brought their history to millions in three generations who followed theirs. All things considered, it strikes the right note that the reunions revert to a completely exclusive gathering the rest of the way. The men once again have earned their peace and quiet. The rest of us need to return to our lives and leave the Easy men to the rest of theirs.

For me, those five days will remain unforgettable. I am so grateful I was invited. Until then it never occurred to me that I would ever meet my childhood heroes. It’s very hard to compete with a girl’s dad as hero, but those guys always have.

Well, I’ve met my childhood heroes and it turns out they are exactly as I’d seen them -- solid, decent men of strong beliefs and good humor, ordinary men who saved the world. An incomparable gift, that.

Thank you, Easy Company.

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#2 Kiwiwriter

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 08:20 AM

I guess these guys can now start going back to being ordinary Americans again.

I think they'll relish the experience, after two years of celebrity status. I'm reminded of the hostages returning from Iran in 1981. They couldn't walk down a street to buy a newspaper without 800 TV cameras following them to ask what it was like to walk down a street to buy a newspaper.

#3 Morgy

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 11:32 AM

Thats was a beautiful post, BK.

Morgy :D

#4 Irishmaam

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 01:21 PM

B.K. Thank you so much for the scrapbook. I finally finished and what a wonderful tribute.These men are all "My Dad" in a sense they have so much in common ....different units but made from the same cloth. I am so glad I found this place it has made a lifetime impression to get to know more of America's Finest. God Bless & Keep them always. Ordinary men..... Not in this lifetime

#5 seanx

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 09:06 PM

It's so sad to come to the realization of the men who came before us as late as I have. I do wish I had known about these great men sooner, so that I could absorb the depth of their character and courage to better myself.

Having said that, I was deeply honored to have been allowed by some miracle to attend the reunion for a few hours this past spring (summer?). I got to shake the hands of many of my fine forefathers, and (in the actors) my peers. I will never forget it. Whenever I share any bit of this experience, I watch people's eyes glaze over, and a look of "Yeah...and...?" I guess that's a good thing in a way, because it makes it all the more special.

The Brothers have been as gracious as anyone can expect of them by allowing many of the public to bask in their lights - may G-d bless them always.

#6 ss278

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 12:20 PM

Thanks very much BK. It has been great. I hope you don't mind but I'm going to print out all of your chapter pieces and keep them in a notebook. For my use only, I promise.


jm

#7 ss278

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 09:50 PM

I can understand their desire to remove themselves from the spotlight and get back to being with each other. It makes perfect sense. Still, I consider it one of the great disappointments of my life for not knowing about this site sooner, and possibly being able to attend a reunion.

God Bless you all.

jm

#8 will betts

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 10:08 AM

I am deeply moved by the men of Easy company.like bk said they graciously opened themselves up to us and though I have never seen them except on the film or read their encounters in books, it does really take one to take the gift that was hard for these men to giveto us away because it is harder for them to relive the experience rather than go through it.may god continue to bless the men of easy company and may their legacy live on forever

#9 galesport

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 09:56 AM

While most of us won't get to meet them in person, we will continue to see their exploits in our videos/dvd's/books. Hopefully, one day I'll get to meet them in the final DZ.

Thanks Guys,
Geoff

#10 Skip_Muck_fan

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Posted 19 May 2004 - 05:17 PM

Wonderful BK. I would love to meet the men from Easy. I would be so honored.
Hoobler and Muck fan

#11 Sgt Eagle

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Posted 20 May 2004 - 01:45 PM

Very good BK , I realy love those guys .

Currahee !!!!!!!

Mark W.

#12 Gerbrand

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 02:37 AM

Wonderfull BK thanks for sharing it with us

Gerbrand

#13 Jumpmaster482

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 12:09 PM

Love the pics BK,

I love all the WWII stories. These were really hero's. Not Hollywood Hero's!!! Real!!! Thanks for Sharing

Rob

#14 BoBfan814

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 06:14 PM

I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your Virtual Srapbook very much. Reading through all of the chapters was just like being there in person. These men and their families are true gems for allowing us to "get to know them".

Beth

#15 appell8

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Posted 27 February 2005 - 10:19 PM

I'm not sure if this is the right place. And I apologize to BK for intruding on her scrapbook. But this is a piece that belongs somewhere.

The Sunday that the 2002 Reunion ended was the day we heard the news that Dr. Ambrose had died. I heard some of the vets discussing it in the lobby of the hotel. One (can't remember who) said that CBS had called him earlier for a comment. There was a sad buzz all around the breakfast buffet about his death.

The death was not a surprise. We all knew that Dr. Ambrose had been ill -- probably terminally -- with lung cancer for several months.

But the timing was stunning. Dr. Ambrose had been the catalyst for ensuring that these particular indivduals would be remembered, as distinct individuals. Shifty Powers, One-Lung McClung, Don Malarkey, Wild Bill Guarnere, Babe Heffron, Paul Rogers, Tony Garcia, Les Hashey, Frank Perconte, so many others . . . Future generations will know them and their personalities in part because of Dr. Ambrose.

It was the first Reunion following the airing of the series. Dr. Ambrose was half a generation younger than these survivors. It was right and proper for heads to be shaking about his death. And probably a good thing that they were in a position to process the news about Dr. Ambrose together.

Stunning. And somehow, fitting.




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