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How long will you go?
  The USS Callaway Newsletter noted that WWI reunions continued to be held for about 75 years after the war. The newsletter then questioned how long WWII reunions will continue. The original estimate was until 2016 which has been changed to 2006 or 2007. We’re collecting information about how long you plan to continue holding/attending WWII reunions. We also seek information from children and grandchildren who plan to continue the reunions. And if anyone is in the midst of planning a “final” reunion, we’d be interested in featuring it in Reunions Magazine. Email with your stories!

Here’s the recap, old sport
  The USS Callaway reunion persevered through the events of September 11th to have an outstanding event. The early birds met at hosts Tom and Betty Maxwell’s house for Sunday dinner. The reunion officially kicked off on Monday, even though some couldn’t make flight arrangements following the attacks.
  The Maxwells’ son and daughter-in-law, John and Kit, hosted a welcome reception. Tuesday morning. Several members visited the Sophia Sachs Butterfly House; rain kept them indoors, where they got acquainted with more than 2,000 species of butterflies. Others were entertained by shopping and an Ameristar Casino trip for a buffet and gambling.
  Wednesday’s theme was Germany. The first stop was the Hermanhof Winery. After inspecting and tasting wine, they lunched on German foods at Europa Inn. The Fulton Historical Society in Callaway County, Missouri, welcomed the group. Joining the group was Nathan Carrington, who built a model USS Callaway for the society’s exhibit. The day’s last attraction was Auto World, a huge car museum. Everyone enjoyed seeing cars of the past as well as those anticipated for the future.
Thursday was their annual meeting, which concluded with a banquet. Coast Guard Captain Kevin   Schumacher, the guest speaker, presented a slide show about the Coast Guard in the 21st century.
Summarized from USS Callaway Newsletter by Kit Jenkins Maxwell.

Flags flying proudly
  In an emotional and patriotic letter to the Northern Kentucky CVB, Albert B. Moore, president of the Mobile Riverine Force Association (MRFA), wrote that “on Christmas Day 2001, while on operations in the Arabian Sea, a flag presented to the MRFA was flown in all her glory in honor of the Mobile Riverine Force Association and the folks of Northern Kentucky.”
  In part, the letter read: “Being a retired Navy man my thoughts were running deep for the love and respect I hold dear to my country.… looking around the den I spotted a red, white and blue box. In the box was a flag that was presented to the Mobile Riverine Force Association at our annual reunion at the Drawbridge Inn in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky.”
  Mr. Moore continued that in following the nightly news, he saw how flags flown over the World Trade Center had been sent to various US bases and ships. Another member of the MRFA had a son on the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The flag was sent in the hope it would be flown during a day of operation. Mr. Moore has the flag at his home in North Carolina, where he will ensure it attends all future group reunions.

Bravery x 4
  The Indianapolis Rescue and Recovery Association has formed, joining members of three ships with the crew they rescued in August 1945. The USS Bassett, USS Doyle and USS Ringness responded to the a call for help from the sinking USS Indianapolis nearly 60 years ago. Now they’ve answered the call to become a collective unit once again.
  The group’s specific goals are to perpetuate patriotism and community awareness about the 1945 events and communicate with these ships’ current crews. They also endorse programs to increase and promote reunions of these individuals sharing a common bond.
We wish them luck in their endeavors, and many happy reunions in the process. We also encourage others to follow their footsteps and share their stories with us.

Taps, a fitting tribute
   A touching moment in ceremonies for a fallen war hero is the playing of Taps by a bugler. Unfortunately, a bugler shortage often forces veterans to play a CD or record instead of the real thing.
With about 1,200 WWII veterans dying daily, there is an effort to recruit more buglers. The Pentagon urged commanders around the world to find and train buglers and rifle salute volunteers. “We want to provide the appropriate honors to veterans who pass away,” said Charles Abell, assistant secretary of defense.
   Michael Hurt plays Taps for families of veterans and gets paid between $50 and $200 per funeral. But the 20-year-old college student isn’t doing it for money. “I do it to honor the veterans,” Hurt said. Beth Gay, another bugler, said, “The highest honor I've ever had is the privilege to play Taps for our military heroes. I don't know how to express how I feel when one of our veterans passes away and it is my job to salute him with my music.” That’s a powerful statement, especially from someone whose accomplishments include being an Olympic Torchbearer in 1996.
   Gay added that it’s her own way of contributing something to America’s “Greatest Generation.” She is touched by the moment because “Taps is the final goodbye for a friend or someone you never knew personally ... except that, in days gone by, that person served our country. Playing Taps for these men and women is and has been the highest honor of my life.”
   Many veterans haven’t experienced a traditional funeral for their comrades. John Davis, a WWII commander, said he’s attended many funerals and has always had a CD playing Taps and has only been to two funerals with an honor guard. He said the Pentagon’s efforts are “wonderful” and that “a bugle rendition would be much more touching, meaningful, poignant.”
   If you or someone you know can help, Pentagon officials urge you to contact a military base in your area and ask for the public information or casualty assistance offices.

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