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Reunion Memories, by Shirley Clark

AFTER TWELVE YEARS, IT SEEMS NATURAL FOR US TO BE GETTING PREPARED FOR THE USS BRISTOL DD857 VETERAN'S ASSOCIATION REUNION. THIS EARLY OCTOBER WE ARE PLANNING TO LEAVE KENTUCKY TO VISIT MILWAUKEE,

MANY YEARS AGO, MAYBE AFTER THE SECOND OR THIRD REUNION, WE DID NOT DREAM IT WOULD GO ON THIS LONG. WE ARE SO GRATEFUL THAT IT HAS.

A LOT OF SHIPMATES AND GUESTS HAVE GONE ON TO BE WITH THE LORD. THEY ARE DEEPLY MISSED. THE OFFICERS HAVE HAD TO BE CHANGED, NEW ONES INSTALLED, SOME HAVE CHANGED POSITIONS, DO ALL KINDS OF DOUBLE DUTY, BUT THESE BRAVE PEOPLE HAVE STEPPED UP TO THE PLATE EVERY TIME THEY WERE NEEDED. ALL OF US SHOULD BE SO PROUD OF ALL THE MEN WHO HAVE GIVEN OF THEIR TIME AND TALENT. WITHOUT PEOPLE LIKE THESE, THE REUNION COULD NOT HAVE CONTINUED.

MILWAUKEE WAS AN EXCELLANT CHOICE FOR A REUNION SITE. I KNEW THAT AS SOON AS WE ARRIVED IN THEIR FAIR CITY. THERE WAS SO MUCH TO DO AND SEE, BUT EVEN AT THAT, THE GREATEST PART OF THIS NUMBER TWELVE REUNION WAS BEING TOGETHER, JUST BEING TOGETHER. THERE WERE MANY STORIES, SOME FUNNY, SOME SAD, BUT ALL GREAT MEMORIES OF A TIME PAST, A TIME SPENT ON A "TIN CAN" THESE SHIPMATES SERVED, PROTECTED AND DEFENDED THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. AND FOR THAT ALONE----WE SHOULD ALL BE PROUD.

I AM SO GRATEFUL THAT I HAVE BEEN ON BOARD FOR ALL TWELVE REUNIONS. I AM BETTER FOR HAVING BOUGHT A TICKET FOR THESE GRAND AND WONDERFUL TRIPS.

Written by Shirley Clark
October 13, 2009

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