Work has called and I will not be able to make it out. Thanks to all that made this reunion happen, especially McCrossen. Please post as many pictures as you can. BE PROUD!!!
Well guys we did it. I really wasn't sure what to expect but I must say that I'm so glad I went. It was great seeing our old Battery mates but having McCain's family there meant the world to all of us. My family and I didn't get there until Sunday evening while some of the others had already met up Saturday but we all went out to dinner and turned the clock back while looking through the pictures in our basic book.
We went to the Burger King just on base and met up with Jolene and the military contingent who escorted us the entire day. Our first stop was the accident site. I'll leave out some of the details for the others but the ceremony was memorable to say the least. The area has changed a lot from what we remembered but once we got our bearings we found our formation area next to the ammo depot. I must admit I was a bit unnerved by the thuds of the artillery shells in the distance.
Again, thanks to Lou for starting this discussion in the first place because none of this would have happened if you hadn't. Thanks also to Chuck for setting this up with Jolene. I'd love to do this again in five years and maybe we can see a few more of you guys there as well.
Hey guys, it's Findlay. I'm actually on my flight home and thought I'd check in and talk a little about the reunion weekend.First I wanna thank Chuck for taking the initiative and getting this event kicked in gear. I wanna thank Jolene and all of her counterparts, the Active Duty Cadre, the O-3 that lead us everywhere, and the Command at Ft Sill for not only helping us do this, but also doing it with the utmost professionalism. Salutes to all of you. Thanks to my former brothers in Arms that made it out, and to the entire McCain Family for giving us an insight of where such a great guy like Jim came from.
Ok, on to how the weekend went down. I arrived in Lawton at 1045 hrs on 26SEPT09, and was picked-up by my old Squad Leader [MSG "Top" T. Lee Carter]. He took me right to post to see everything that I saw as a Basic Trainee, and also in around Post to see things I never knew existed. Mt Scott was just amazing, and the town we passed through to get there called 'Medicine Creek" was out-standing. Buildings that were primarily built by cobblestones right from the river that ran through town. Saturday night I had dinner with the Carter Family outside Post where we BBRBQ'd rib eyes and drank lots and lots of beer. Did I say "lots"? Yeah, a LOT of beer. I guess some Military Traditions never change. lol Later that same night I went to the Comanche Casino. In the beginning I made about $400, but in the end I lost $500, so a $100 to play was well worth it.
Sunday we toured around on Post again and I took about 1000 pics. Probably more, but I think 1000 is close to an accurate number. All of which will be uploaded to my Flickr account over the next few days, and I'll provide a link for all of you. Sunday night we got to meet at some local bar/restaurant and get reacquainted. Since I had been having dinner with my former "Chief", I was a little late. Luckily these days there wasn't a Drill Instructor to smoke my ass for being late.
Monday's event kicked-off with some of us meeting at the Best Western and then convoying over to Ft Sill to meet at the Burger King off Sheridan Road. Once the Cadre arrived and those of us were accounted for, we carpooled out to the SPOTC range. I rode with Peoples, another 3rd Plt member, and we talked about how weird it was to be there. How surreal it was to be at that range again 20 years and a day later. Absolutely gave me the chills. Then, when we parked and started into the entrance to the Range, the peacefulness was only broken by a strong breeze through the trees. It felt like the range was at Peace, kinda like I started to feel about finally seeing it again. As we made our way through the Range and past the impact site and over to the old bleachers, the Honor and Color Guard was directly in front of us. To our immediate left there was a Bugler, and after the Chaplain said a prayer, he went into the Taps, and I can honestly admit that at that point the water works were turned on for me and many others. After Taps Chuck made a great speech in-which he spoke like we all felt. Great job brother. Then, Mrs McCain came forward to speak, and that's when for me atleast, the water works were turned to flood status. When she talked about how just moments before we left to come to the SPOTC Range that Jolene had gotten a call from the soldier that was responsible for firing that fateful ONE-OH-FIVE, I just cried. All the years of holding anger towards that person just left me and I wished he could've been there so I could've shook his hand and told him "it's ok". I hope he reads this one day and knows that in my heart I forgive him, and through-out my many years in the service I've grown wiser with time, and know now that accidents happen. They can happen to anyone by anyone to anyone, and that's the nature of our job. He wore a uniform just like we all did, and above his heart it said "US ARMY" just like ours. If you get to read this, just know that you're a brother in Arms too, and I hope you find happiness throughout the rest of your life. Take care of yourself, and salutes.
Today's been pretty uneventful. I had dinner one last time with MSG Carter last night before turning in early, and have been on the move from one airport to the next since 0830 hrs. I'm currently at 33,000 ft above the mid to eastern part of the States headed East and should been boots on the ground again in Philly in another 2 hours. I hope we plan another one of these in the next few years to just all meet back and hangout again. Not so much to revisit the Range, since that part of me can finally rest now, but to stay in touch and catch-up every now and again. You old farts aren't getting much younger ya know! haha. Well, give me a few days and I'll get all the pics uploaded. I'll leave a link to grab them all. It was a pleasure, and more so an honor, to see all of my former Battery friends and their families. Take care guys. I'll be in touch. Findlay...OUT.
Hey FINDLAY..its Lopes. I've been following the posts for the last few months here from IRAQ (I'm working out here for a year)... Keep me posted and take some good pictures...
Hey Lopes. How ya been? I've been uploading pics for a few hours. Gonna post a link shortly.
I found former Drill Sgt Trimpey this evening. I know it's late for the reunion we had, but none-the-less I found him. Spoke to his son this evening, and his son is gonna relay my info to him. I can't believe he lives in Lawton OK! Man, if only I could've found him a few days sooner. Would've loved to talk to him there at Ft Sill. Atleast I can pass along this thread and all the info of what went down this weekend.
Ok, here's a link to the pics I took at the reunion. I still have a few hundred more to upload, but it's late, and I didn't have any time tonight to edit them or add descriptions. I'll be working on these all week. -fin
Reunion Pictures CLICK HERE
Facebook has a picture of COL Bowyer during his welcoming speech to you that attended the event. You may find that picture on Facebook under Fires Center of Excellence. According to the caption, the Fort Sill Cannoneer will be running a story in the paper on 8 Oct.
Hope everyone got the article from the Cannoneer.
I have been reluctant to post on here since returning from Sill. I am still in awe that we pulled the reunion off for one, and more than that, the way the military treated us. I felt like a General that day. My thanks to Jolene and all the military personell that made it such a great event.
I am already in the early planning stages of our 25th reunion. Its not that far off. I am hoping to make it bigger and better. If anyone has suggestions let me know. (Vegas?)
I am proud to be a member of the 2/80th FA. I love you all like brothers!
Here's a link to the article.
Special thanks to Jolene for sending out hardcopies of the Cannoneer paper. She is such a great person. I am forever in debt to her.
WOW, I can't believe I'm only reading this now. I saw another article about 9/27/89 and got me searching the net and I found this. I was at FT Sill (AIT D 3/321st) that day firing M109s, I "pulled tail" that day. We were loaded in cattle cars and hauled back to the barracks to call home and tell our families we were ok. When I got a hold of my Dad he said it was on CNN 24 hours a day. I remember the relief I felt personally that it wasn't our battery that shot that round, but always mourned those that died. I have an old, yellowed newspaper clipping from that day my Mom saved for me in the same frame as my Honorable Discharge. God, I don't know what else to say other than I've always thought of you all even though I've never met you.
I was at Ft. Stewart in 89 my first duty station. and at Sill in 88, B 3/321 FA. I meet a guy who was there that came came to my Unit, C BTRY 3/41 FA. He said he was there and he was getting out of the Army. He left soon after that. I was tring to find him and see how hes doing. I hope someone is still checking this.
Hey Lou, I just came across this forum today by way of Pugh. Glad to see how it's going. Sorry I missed the reunion. I went on to Germany with Pugh and was later joined by DS Trimpey. I had staff duty with him one night and we went over the yearbook from basic and talked about the accident for a while. I hope all is well with everyone involved.
Would be interested to hear what DS Trimpey had to say. Sorry you missed the reunion. Will keep you in the loop for the 25 year!
I am. The last time I seen DS Trimpey, were we stationed together in Herzongenaurach, Germany. (1989 - 1992).
I was on duty as an MP that day of the accident and was the first responder at the site not affiliated with their unit...I saw alot of young soldiers helping fellow soldiers and the first person i saw was DS Harris....I also gave CPR to a soldier who had extremely bad injuries....All i can say is it was a tragic day and all these people who doubt there was a cover up let me tell you me and my best friend who was also an MP was pulled into Provost Marshals office and given a piece of paper on what to say if we were contacted by the press and told that we would be shipped off post if we did not follow guidlines.....extremely sad day
I arrived at Ft. Sill 18 Sept 1989. A Few days after my arrival, I remember seeing helicopters heading back and forth for what seemed like hours; however, it's been so many years since that day I am really fuzzy on the exact particulars. I vividly recall the Drill Sgts making jokes about the training accident and telling us that we were going to get killed just like the other trainees.
About 4 weeks into Basic Training, our Battery, (i.e., Bravo 1/31) were training at the same site that those trainees were killed. You could still see the shrapnel holes in the buildings were the round hit out of box. It was rather surreal to say the least.
Back in 2001 I sent a FOIA request to the Army requesting the details from that day. I was stonewalled by the Army for several months until I finally enlisted the aid of my Congressman. Eventually the Army sent me about 50 pages of information from the accident investigation. Unfortunately I lost the documents. I am thinking of requesting them again. This time I will post them online.
I am sorry that I am just now finding this. I was involved in this training accident and I always woondered what happened to the people that were injured really bad. I agree with the initial post that there should have been more done for the soldiers invloved in the accident. Does anyone know if any other people died becasue of their injuries.
I tried sending you a message, but for some reason I do not think it went through. It was awesome to see hear from you. By the way, It is Mike Perkins. Shoot me a message with your e-mail and I will contact you.
THINKING OF ALL OF YOU THIS DAY OF DAYS....
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