A veteran – whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve – is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount of “up to and including my life.”
ODDS and ENDS
PLEASE MAKE YOUR HOTEL RESERVATIONS ASAPThe needed info is in this newsletter. It helps the reunion committee immensely to know our “numbers” are being met that we have to guarantee before every reunion.
Did you ever haul any celebrities around on your aircraft in Vietnam? Pat Gwaltney (WO 65-66) flew Hugh O’Brien at one time. Ron Seabolt (EM 66-67) and crew carried LTC Martha Raye on 13 January 1967 and Robert Mitchum on 23 February 1967. Seabolt’s and two other Rattler aircraft were involved in moving Nancy Sinatra’s entourage from Tay Ninh to Lai Khe in early 1967. Nancy had her own “Boots Express” aircraft carrying her.
It was documented in the Johnny Hitt / Tommy James story, “The Rescue of Saber 6” of having (then) LTC Norman Schwarzkopf on board a Rattler aircraft.
Please let the Association know of events like this. We need to keep this as part of our history.
This newsletter had to be delayed in printing while all the reunion info could be obtained. There will be no other mailings before the June reunion. The next newsletter will not be mailed until after the reunion. Because of this, the 2008 address directory will not be mailed until the first of August. Your dues year has always run from July 1st to June 30th. Because of the reunion date in June, you may renew your $12 yearly dues until July 26th, when the directory will go to the printer.
If you have never attended a Rattler-Firebird Reunion, you cannot imagine the camaraderie that is so in evidence. Our men are so proud to be with each other and to relive those days of life-threatening danger along with the humorous and sad events. CLOSURE to a chapter in your life can be discovered at these times.
Our unit is fortunate to have our Association to continue our wartime fellowships formed 40 or so years ago. Most units like ours will never have that chance. A man died last year that devoted a large portion of his later years helping aviation veterans find those lost comrades.
Charlie Rains was the face of the Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members Association (VHCMA) as Executive Director. Charlie helped us in our formative years with our own Association, even though he knew it would take some of his member’s attention from his own Association. Charlie was a retired Sergeant Major with 30 years service. He died on 10 June 2007 after a two year battle with cancer. Rest in peace Brother!
DENVER REUNION 2008
The Denver reunion will be held from Wednesday, June 25th to Sunday, June 29th. There are four pages of info in this newsletter concerning the reunion. Please do not delay making reservations and registering with Military Reunion Planners. There are deadlines of which you need to be aware. Registration to the offered events must be received by 16 May 2008. This includes the banquet dinner. A late reservation fee of $10 per person will apply after 16 May 2008. Hotel reservations may be made up to 30 days before the reunion, or May 25th. AFTER THAT DATE THE GROUP RATE IS NOT IN AFFECT and rooms are on a space available basis. This is your only notice you will receive concerning booking your hotel, special events and the banquet. The hotel number is: 303-399-7500. When you get reservations, be sure to tell them you are with the Rattler-Firebird Reunion. Reservations can be made between the hours of 9am and 4pm mountain time.
Our guest speaker at the reunion banquet will be Col. Roger Donlon (USA Ret.). Col. Donlon was awarded the first Medal of Honor given in the Vietnam War for his actions as an “A” Team commander in the Special Forces. This newsletter contains a description of that action.
Our reunion business meeting will have the Association Board of Directors election. Because of term limits, two of our “members-at-large” must move up or out. These are Vic Bandini and David O’Quinn. Vic Bandini is also currently our Reunion Committee Chairman, a post he has held and served with distinction and élan since 2002 in St. Louis.
Persons running for election on the board of directors must be current with their dues. In order to nominate someone for the board of directors, a person must be current with their dues and to vote in the election the same applies.
We have received one nomination for the board already. He is Terry Igoe (OF 68-69). Please submit any nominations for the board in advance of the business meeting for the purpose of insuring eligibility.
Our memorabilia room will be located in the area directly behind the dinning area in the hotel atrium.
The banquet area is directly below this area, one floor down.
The Hueys will be parked directly behind the hotel, just to the left after passing the covered entrance. This is known as the “taxi stand” area.
On 26 July 2007, Senate bill 1877 was passed by unanimous consent, clarifying U.S. law to allow veterans and servicemen (and women) not in uniform to salute the flag. Previously, the hand over their heart was the standard of respect rendered by the persons who had sworn to uphold our nation’s flag.
In the future, it would be hoped that we see our veterans rendering a hand salute during the National Anthem at any event. This law also allows the veterans to be easily recognized in a crowd for their service.
The bill was introduced by U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla). Way to go Senator!
The Association has been notified of the following deaths since our last printing:
Clarence C. (C.C.) Andrews (EM 67-68) died on 27 June 2005
Joe L. Garcia (EM 65-66) died on 7 August 2007 from lung cancer.
Jerry Fairfield’s wife Sue passed away in December after a long battle with cancer. She had attended many reunions.
FATHER and SON SERVING TOGETHER
Tim and Ben Kelly - father & son together in Iraq
On 25 September 2007, CW3 Tim Kelly and CW2 Ben Kelly completed a combat mission together in the Iraq Theater of operations. It was the first time the father and son have flown together in the same aircraft. They are members of B Company, 2-147 Assault Helicopter Battalion currently stationed in Balad, Iraq.
CW2 Ben Kelly is a member of the Hawaii Army National Guard and is a 2005 graduate of the U.S. Army Aviation Warrant Officer program. CW3 Tim Kelly is a member of the Oregon Army National Guard and graduated from the Aviation Warrant Officer program in 1968.
The senior Kelly is a Viet Nam veteran and recent graduate of the Army War College. Until recently, he was serving full-time as a Colonel in the Oregon National Guard and chose to revert to Warrant Officer for the opportunity to fly with his son when he learned that his son’s unit was being mobilized and deployed to Iraq.
Together, the two Kelly’s so far have enjoyed and endured the three months of mobilization training at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma and the first two months of their year long deployment. They are looking forward to the opportunity to fly together often.
POC (point of contact) for this information is CW3 Tim Kelly at email@example.com
Editor’s note: The following was reprinted from the Anaconda Times by Sgt. Brandon Little.
LSA ANACONDA, Iraq – Chief Warrant Officer Tim Kelly has been a pilot for almost 40 years. During these four decades, he has been on two combat tours in Vietnam and flown with many other pilots.
However, this deployment with Task Force XII has given him a once in a lifetime opportunity….to fly with his son.
“We’ve flown together on four missions so far, “said Kelly, a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot with B Co. 2nd Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment. “He’s doing a great job. He reminds me a little of myself when I was younger.”
His son, Chief Warrant Officer Ben Kelly, is also a pilot in B Co.
“Having gone through so much training in flight school, I already knew a lot but he did teach me a few tips and tricks to flying,” said Kelly’s son. “I have a lot of respect for his experience.”
Sometimes a pilot’s knowledge and experience can be the difference between life and death.
“I know that he’s my son, but in the cockpit we are both professional,” said Kelly. “When I think about him sitting next to me, it feels a little different but I have to treat him the same as I do any other pilot.”
Ben Kelly has not made it to the position of pilot in command
of the aircraft yet; so when they fly together, his father
“One pilot has to operate the aircraft and the other has to operate the radio,” said Tim Kelly. “It works better when both pilots alternate these responsibilities.”
The elder Kelly would know what works best. In addition to the Black Hawk, he has flown CH-47 Chinooks, OH-58 Kiowa Warriors, Bell UH-1’s or “Hueys” and even the fixed wing C-12 Huron.
“My father had a big role in my decision to become a pilot,” said Ben Kelly. “When I was younger, he flew planes for a civilian company (in addition to military aircraft) and he let me fly with him.”
The fact that this father and son team deployed together was more than a coincidence.
Tim Kelly, the father, was a colonel in the Oregon National Guard. When he learned his son’s National Guard unit in Hawaii was scheduled to deploy to Iraq, he decided he wanted to hop back in the saddle one last time.
“I wanted to finish out my career the way it started, as a pilot, not behind a desk,” said the senior Kelly.
Since he had started out his pilot career as a warrant officer, his state adjutant general allowed him to be transferred to his son’s unit only if he took a reduction in rank.
“I thought it would be cool to fly together,” said
Ben Kelly. “I also thought it would be an opportunity
for us to spend time together.”
The Kelly’s aren’t the only father and son duo in the 2-147th.
Staff Sgt. John Lowe and his son, Pfc. Cody Lowe, are helicopter maintainers in the 2nd Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment.
Although a father and son both serving in the military is not uncommon, they say, it is a once in a life-time opportunity to serve at the same time.
“I thought one day this would be a good story to tell my grandson,” said Tim Kelly. “I’d tell him about how his dad and I flew over Baghdad together.”
By Will Drewry (EM 68-71)
During my first tour of duty in Viet Nam, the Army was concerned that soldiers were misappropriating vehicles to drive themselves around Chu Lai (our base camp), and to the USO beach or PX.
Someone at Division Headquarters decided that everyone who drove a vehicle had to have a trip ticket signed by their supervisor. This ticket authorized the driver to drive the vehicle from point A to point B.
This didn’t sit well with some of my fellow platoon members. A couple of them decided they needed their own vehicle, and that a jeep would do just fine. So off they went looking for any jeep where the assigned driver was not around. They came back driving into the snake pit (the company flight line) with the newest looking jeep I had ever seen. It was covered with a radio and antennas.
“Where did you get it” someone said. “Division Headquarters” they replied. It was a General’s jeep with Headquarter markings all over it. Then someone said, “Get me some paint and someone help me take off the radio.” We all worked like ants swarming over that jeep. We had one guy looking out for the Military Police who we knew must be out looking for this jeep by then. A man was sent back to the company motor pool to get a stick on vehicle number and a log book.
Changing the number was easy, and with a little mud it looked like any other jeep. The radio and antenna mounts were thrown into a nearby ditch. The MPs searched in vain for that jeep.
It was put to good use by the platoon. The platoon sergeant and the rest of the chain of command had to know we had an extra jeep in the company area. They never said anything to us about the new addition to the motor pool.
The jeep was a welcome addition to the unit. The men who appropriated it thoroughly enjoyed their new set of wheels.
One of the men who stole the jeep in the first place had a big going away party. He got drunk and decided to drive the jeep home instead to taking an airplane. The jeep was found in the surf by the MPs the next morning. They called the First Sergeant to inform him one the Company’s jeep’s was in the water. The First Sergeant told them that all our jeeps were accounted for.
The man who had taken the jeep and then later tried to drive it home was hung over, but made his flight home on time. The Military Police now had the General’s jeep back, and we never heard anymore about it. So I guess…all is well that ends well.
By Wally Honda (WO 69-70)
In reading the May 2007 Newsletter posting on the Rattler-Firebird Website, I came across the article by Dick Parcher “My Last Day” (June 10, 1969) with interest. I have never met Dick Parcher, but what caught my eye was Dick’s reference to his friend Rocky Cassano and June 10, 1969. I was also fortunate enough to have been good friends with Rocky and to have flown many missions with him as a “peter pilot”. I, like Dick, had also saved a letter from Rocky. My letter was dated April 22, 1971, soon after the birth of his son Allen; which, I recently shared with Peggy Cassano. Also, June 10 or 11, 1969 was my first day as a “Rattler”. I logged my first combat flight on June 13, 1969.
I arrived in Chu Lai on June 2, 1969 and waited with a half dozen recent flight school graduates for an assignment to a permanent unit. One of my fellow graduates was Neil Lang. Neil was an energetic individual, always looking for the best course of action in every situation. Neil took the initiative to scout out all of the aviation units in the Americal Division. He convinced me that the 71st Assault Helicopter Company was where we should be assigned. He talked me into going with him on an interview with the Commanding Officer of the unit, Major Price, to see if we could get assigned to the “Rattlers”. I had been in the army long enough to be skeptical about the success of choosing where we were going to be assigned. I along with everyone else I knew saluted and went where the army sent us. I hesitated until he said, “Hey, do you want to end up in Duc Pho with the Dolphins and Sharks?” (I had no idea what the hell he was talking about). Neil went on, “Duc Pho is in the middle of nowhere. The Rattlers are down the road in Chu Lai! This is where we want to be assigned.” I finally said, “OK let’s go.”
The interview must have gone well. A week later, we were both assigned to the 71st Assault Helicopter Company.
I was assigned to the 2nd Platoon. I can’t remember who, but it must have been the platoon leader that gave me the 50 cent tour of the company area. I was taken to a hooch and shown where to stow my gear. On the musty bed was a .38 cal. Smith and Wesson in a black “cowboy” holster and a “chicken board”. The “tour guide” said, “These are yours.” I looked closer and noticed that there was blood all over the “chicken board” and some on the holster and pistol handle. When I looked at him in puzzlement, he said, “They belonged to Lieutenant…... he just got shot in the AO, welcome to Viet Nam.” I was not paying attention to the name nor did I care at the time what the Lieutenant’s name was. Inside, I was thinking, “Why in the hell did I listen to Neil. I should have taken my chances in Duc Pho.” In the end, everything turned out well and I was very happy that Neil talked me into joining the Rattlers. It turned out to be the best aviation unit in Viet Nam.
A message for Dick Parcher: “Your .38 and the bloody “Chicken Board” served me well until, My Last Day, December 24, 1970. I was lucky enough to keep more blood off your equipment. I hope, whoever next inherited your stuff, was fortunate as I was.” At every reunion, when the war stories started to flow, I had always asked if anyone remembered the name of a Lieutenant that was wounded around June 10, 1969. Now I finally know. Maybe I will get a chance to meet you at the next reunion. We can share war stories about Rocky.
By “George” Hardeman
I cannot remember the date, but I know it was in the middle of August, 1969.
We were on standby at LZ Baldy when the hot phone rang. We were told to saddle up and head for LZ Center. Our aircraft was 739. The Aircraft Commander was CW2 Lynn Kazmierowski, Peter Pilot was CW2 Jim Alsop, Crew Chief was SP/5 Bernard Smith and Door Gunner, Jim “George” Hardeman (the George was because I was from Georgia).
As we became airborne, the unwelcome call came over the radio telling us Firebirds there was a confirmed .51 caliber machinegun positioned in the valley east of Center. It didn’t take long to discover the truth of that statement.
We arrived on the scene and after a short conversation with the grunt commander, “Kas” sit up the gun run flying east right down the river. That is where the grunts wanted us to dump our ordinance. As we started the gun run, we began taking .51 caliber fire at 12 o’clock from the bend in the river. We were taking very heavy AK fire also. I could see the NVA in the jungle grass firing at us.
About this time, Crew Chief Smith reported .51 caliber fire at 9 o’clock. Then we started taking .51 caliber fire from the 3 o’clock position. We were flying through hell and we were all grateful to get the hell out of there.
When we got back to Baldy we started looking for holes in the aircraft. My crew chief and I found the .51 hole in the tail rotor drive shaft compartment just below the engine exhaust at about the same time. I saw the hole and stood on my tiptoes to peek through the hole and there was “Chunky” Bernard Smith, peeking through the other side.
We could laugh then because we were safe on the ground. We all knew that there was a fifth crew member flying with us, because the perfect hole was one-half of an inch from a tail rotor drive shaft coupling. We all knew what would have happened in the middle of a gun run with no tail rotor. “Kas” hung that section of the tail rotor driveshaft in the Officers Club.
A PORTRAIT IN VALOR
By Doug Sterner
On the night of July 5, 1964 one of the members of Roger Donlon’s Special Forces Team at Nam Dong wrote his wife saying: “All hell is going to break loose here before the night is over.” He was not alone in his premonition....most of the twelve men manning the small outpost just 24 kilometers from Laos in the Republic of Vietnam, had the same feeling. Earlier Captain Donlon had told his team sergeant, “Get everyone buttoned-up tight tonight, the VC are coming. I can feel it.” But as the 30 year old former West Point student made his 2 A.M. rounds of the small perimeter, all seemed quiet and he began to wonder if perhaps he was wrong. In previous days there had been indications that something was about to happen. Patrols outside the base camp had noticed increased activity, the villagers seemed nervous and scared, and the morning before one of his teams had returned from a 3-day patrol to report finding the corpses of two village chiefs who had been friendly to the Americans.
It was 2:26 A.M. as Captain Donlon finished his rounds and stepped through the screen door of the mess hall to check the guard roster. The twelve members of Special Forces Team A-726 were ready, whatever the darkness of that early morning might hold. So too were the 311 South Vietnamese soldiers and 40 Nungs (ethnic Chinese who worked with Special Forces) that completed the contingent at what Army Chief of Staff General Harold K. Johnson described as “An outpost of Freedom.” Suddenly the building erupted. The concussion of the exploding enemy mortar round threw Captain Donlon back out the door where he saw another round hit the command post and set it on fire. From the perimeter came the sounds of small arms and machinegun fire. Nam Dong was under attack.
Heedless of the continuing barrage of incoming mortar rounds and the flash of tracers across the camp, Donlon and team sergeant “Pop” Alamo began battling the blazes that threatened the camp, salvaging whatever they could. That done, Captain Donlon raced for one of the mortar pits. Suddenly an enemy mortar exploded near his feet, tossing him into the air. Despite the concussive force that had literally blown off one of his boots and left him fighting dizziness, Donlon crawled into the mortar pit just in time to hear Sgt. John Houston call out, “They’re over here! By the ammo bunker.” As the fearless Captain left his shelter to assist Houston a third mortar round exploded near him. Donlon lost his other boot and all of his equipment except his AR-15 rifle and two magazines. Worse, shrapnel had seriously wounded him in his left arm and stomach. He managed to force his battered body to another mortar pit from which he could see enemy soldiers only 20 yards from the main gate. Sgt. Houston was dead, Donlon severely wounded, and the enemy seemed to keep on coming.
For five hours Captain Donlon moved from position to position, dragging needed supplies and ammo to the defenders of Nam Dong, directing fire, and encouraging his men. Upon entering one of his teams own mortar pits and finding most of the men wounded, he directed their withdrawal to a position 30 meters away and provided cover fire for them. Then, while attempting to drag the severely wounded Pop Alamo from the same position, he was hit again by mortar fire that wounded him in the shoulder and killed his team sergeant. Struggling 30 yards further from the abandoned pit, he found four wounded Nungs lying beside a brick wall. He used a sock as a tourniquet for one, tore his shirt into bandages for the others, then stuffed a remaining scrap into the bleeding hole in his stomach. Before continuing on he propped them against the wall with weapons in their hands, encouraging them to continue the defense. As he moved from position to position, he was bit again...and again.., and again. Shrapnel pierced his leg, his face, his entire body. But with determination he battled the fatigue and wounds to continue to lead his men, tend their wounds, direct their fire, and personally defend his “Outpost of Freedom”.
When morning dawned the five hour battle had left 55 of the South Vietnamese and Nung defenders of Nam Doug dead, another 65 wounded. Pop Alamo and John Houston were also dead, never to witness the birth of children their pregnant wives were bearing at home. But the defenders at Nam Dong had held through the night, outnumbered at least 3 to 1 by a reinforced battalion of enemy soldiers. Donlon’s team would become one of the most highly decorated units in Army history. In addition to Donlon’s award, our Nation’s second highest medal for military valor The Distinguished Service Cross was presented posthumously to Alamo and Houston. Four team members were awarded the Silver Star, the other five team members each received the Bronze Star with “V” for valor.
On December 5, 1964 all nine surviving members of Team A-726 joined Captain Donlon in the East Ballroom of the White House as President Lyndon Johnson hung the Medal of Honor around their team leader’s neck. The humble hero introduced them all to the president and said, “The medal belongs to them, too.” Later he would write of that night, “It was a team effort, and I was simply the designated leader.” Captain Donlon’s award was the FIRST MEDAL OF HONOR awarded for action during the 14-year Vietnam War. 238 American soldiers would ultimately be awarded our Nation’s highest honor in that war. One hundred fifty of them died in their moment of Valor.
Today retired Army Colonel Roger Donlon lives with his wife Norma and his children in Kansas, but he is seldom home. Perhaps the remarkable thing about true heroes is that they never stop giving of themselves in the behalf of others. Besides his full time effort directing the (William) Westmoreland Scholarship Foundation, Mr. Donlon spends much of his time speaking to schools, veteran’s groups, and promoting patriotism. Perhaps one of the most revealing examples of his great character was best displayed recently when he introduced his own personal hero to a group of students at a school assembly in Pueblo, Colorado. What kind of person would a hero like Mr. Donlon consider a hero.. .his wife of more than 32 years, Norma. Roger Donlon never forgot that everything demands teamwork, and one’s best heroes are the other members of your team.
THE RENAISSANCE DENVER HOTEL NUMBER IS 303-399-7500. WHEN YOU GET RESERVATIONS BE SURE AND TELL THEM YOU ARE WITH THE RATTLER-FIREBIRD REUNION. MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS EARLY PLEASE!
Is there someone from your military days you’d like to see?
They may be at the…
RATTLER / FIREBIRD REUNION
Denver, CO ~ June 26th– 29th, 2008
Welcome to Denver
Located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is one of America’s most beautiful cities, and is abounding with culture and history. At a mile above sea level, golf balls go farther, the sun feels warmer and the sky is bluer. Your reunion program will provide many opportunities to experience some of the city’s top attractions. The tour of Coors Brewery will offer an inside look at one of the nations largest breweries. You will also spend the afternoon at the Denver Mint, for a first hand look at the history of coin manufacturing in the United States. The Renaissance Festival on Saturday is one of the largest of its kind in the country. There will be many opportunities to spend time with your family and friends during your outstanding reunion program.
The reunion officially begins on Thursday, June 26th and ends on Sunday, June 29th. You will be staying at the stunning Renaissance Denver Hotel which is located at 3801 Quebec St., Denver, 80207. The Renaissance Denver Hotel is located close to many of the city’s top attractions.
The room rate is $89.00 plus tax per night based on single or double occupancy. Daily buffet breakfast is included in the room rate. For those of you who choose to arrive early or stay late, the same room rate is available 3 days before and 3 days after the official reunion dates, based on availability. Please make your hotel reservations NOW by calling the hotel directly at 303-399-7500 between 9am -4pm MST and ask for in-house reservations. Mention that you are with the Rattler/Firebird Reunion to assure you are associated with your group. You may request specific room types when you call to make your reservations (handicap accessible room, etc.). The hotel check-in time is 3:00pm. Please, don’t expect to get into your room before then. Make your reservations today; you can cancel up to 24 hours prior to arrival without penalty. They will ask you for a deposit or credit card number to guarantee your room reservation. The hotel is holding rooms until they sell out or May 16th, 2008, whichever comes first. Don’t delay.
Transportation & Directions
The closest airport is Denver International (DEN). The hotel offers complimentary shuttle service from the airport. For those of you driving to the reunion, the hotel offers complimentary parking. If arriving via Interstate 70, take the Quebec St. exit (Exit #278 South). Contact the hotel directly if you need more specific directions.
Travel safely and we will ….
See you in Denver!
RATTLER/FIREBIRD 2008 REUNION EVENTS
Thursday, June 26th (4:00pm at the Hotel) The Rattler/Firebird Ladies Meeting will be held at the hotel. Check your itinerary at registration for room location of the meeting. There is no need to pre register for the Ladies Meeting.
FIREBIRD FREEFIRE GOLF OUTING
Friday, June 27th (7:30am) This event will be held on the Air Force Academy course north of Colorado Springs. Players will meet in the hotel lobby on Friday morning at 7:30 am. Greens fees are as follows: All retired military persons - $25 plus $14 per player for the cart fee. Military ID required. Civilian - $60 plus $14 per player for the cart fee. Individual payment will be made at the golf course on the day of play. No prepayment or registration required.. Private transportation will be needed. Any questions concerning this should be directed to Vic Bandini at 317-201-4800.
EVENT A: COORS BREWERY & DENVER MINT TOUR
Friday, June 27th (9:00am-4:00pm) **Tour maximum is 100 Your day begins at the famous Coors Brewery where you will get a "close-up look" at what goes on over the course of a day at the third largest brewery in the U.S. As you tour the brewery, you’ll witness the malting, brewing and packaging processes. The tour will conclude in the hospitality room where you will have the opportunity to sample some of the Coors products (non-alcoholic beverages are also available). There will also be time to visit Coors & Co., the gift shop located adjacent to the hospitality room. Lunch will be on your own at a suitable location after the brewery tour. Then it’s off to The Denver Mint for a fascinating tour covering both the present state of coin manufacturing as well as the history of the Mint. Learn about the craftsmanship required at all stages of the minting process, from the original designs and sculptures to the actual striking of the coins. There will be time after the tour to visit the gift shop which offers the United States Mint coin sets, commemorative coins, numismatic collectables, books and souvenirs.
Important Tour Notes:
- This tour is limited to 100 people, first come first served.
- Both tours are walking tours, however they are wheelchair accessible.
- The mint is a secure facility, all tour participants will be required to clear security. No items are permitted on the Mint tour with the exception of a small wallet. A list of prohibited items will be available at registration.
MEMORIAL SERVICE & BUSINESS MEETING
Saturday, June 28th (8:00am at the Hotel) The Annual Rattler/Firebird Association Memorial Service & Business Meeting will take place on Saturday morning. Please check your itinerary at registration for room location. There is no need to pre register for the Memorial Service or the Meetings. The meeting will adjourn in time for you to take the Colorado Renaissance Festival Tour.
EVENT B: COLORADO RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL
Saturday, June 28th (9:30am-3:30pm) As you wander down the village streets and pathways of the Colorado Renaissance Festival, ready thyself to revel with master revelers, watch artisans create original works of their ancient craft and be taken in by the tantalizing aromas of roasted turkey legs, or steak on a stake. The festival features a cast of hundreds of authentically costumed merrymakers living and working throughout the village and performing, continuously upon the Festival's seven stages. Impromptu encounters with the royalty, jousters, jugglers, minstrels, maidens, and peasantry of Tudor England are common place as you stroll through the festival. Enjoy the classical creativity and craftsmanship of over 200 skilled artisans exhibiting in a wide variety of mediums including fine art, glassblowing, pottery, jewelry, wood working, blacksmithing, leather working and more. There are many renaissance delicacies to choose from for lunch on your own, including turkey drumsticks, steak on a stake, roasted corn, Leonardo DaVinci meatball sandwich, artichokes, a variety of sausage on a stick, and more. An assortment of the finest ales and drinks are available to quench the heartiest of thirsts. This is going to be a great day at the Festival. Be sure to wear your walking shoes. The buses will depart the Festival at 3:00pm to return to the hotel.
Saturday, June 28th (5:30pm at Hotel)
Saturday, June 28th (7:00pm at Hotel) Join all of your friends for your Banquet Dinner at the Hotel. Cocktails will be available from the cash bar at 6:00pm; dinner will be served at 7:00pm. Please make your entrée selection on the reservation form.
TOUR CANCELLATION INSURANCE
Protect yourself from unforeseen expenses caused by sickness, injury or any other causes that impact your travel plans. This insurance enables a refund of Tour & Banquet expenses up until three (3) days before the start of your reunion. If you need to cancel – please call our office immediately (817-251-3551) for a cancellation number. If you have not purchased cancellation insurance all tour and meal money is non-refundable 6 weeks prior to the reunion.
Important Event Notes:
- Please understand that a certain amount of walking is necessary from the bus to attractions and in some instances to also see the attractions. Please consider your abilities before purchasing tours.
- Be sure to bring photo identification (like a driver’s license) on all events.
- All tour times are subject to change. A final itinerary is available at registration.
Click here for Reunion Reservation Form in Adobe Acrobat format (253k).
David McDaniels (EM 66-67)
L-R Will Drewry, Wally Honda, Rocky Cassano