Blackhorse Women's News
4th quarter, 2018 Thunder Run
By Kathy Tandberg, Womenís Group Co-coordinator
Grand Rapids Womenís Annual Meeting - Blackhorse Womenís News
Brothers bonded, old friendships renewed, and new friendships formed Ė the love was felt and heartwarming memories were made at the 33rd Annual Reunion of the 11th ACVVC which was held September 5-9 in Grand Rapids, Michigan!
As you moved through the reunion hotel, laughter and smiles were evident. It was a celebration yet there were times of sadness, and tears of remembrance and farewells for those brothers who werenít able to be there, those who passed on to Fiddlers Green.
So many things to tell you, so many people to thank, not enough room here for all but letís begin the news of the Blackhorse Womenís activities.
Luncheon and Tour: First of all, thank you to all who attended Friday afternoonís luncheon and tour! As you know, this is not a profit-making event. Itís simply something fun to do as a group whenever the reunion is in a city where there is something affordable for us to do together.
We filled two large buses to capacity with 112 people for this event. The luncheon tour was held at the world renowned Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Ranked in the top 100 most-visited art museums worldwide, everyone had smiles on their faces and the many comments I heard from our group then and for the remainder of the reunion was that the 158-acre main campus did indeed have something for everyone, both indoors and out.
Less Business, More Fun as Promised: Thank you to those of you who attended the Saturday morning Womenís Meeting. We began with the business portion of the meeting.
As discussed at the San Antonio meeting, the womenís board (Renee Majors, Sheryl Myers, Marguerite Austin, Cherry Platt, Jan Beamon, Cathi Bowers and myself) came through with our promise to skim down the business portion of the meeting. We hope you heard enough of our organizationís efforts and fundraising purposes.
After our business meeting we moved on to the fun of making Blackhorse bracelets! Iím excited to report that 146 women were in attendance to make the silver, red and crystal beaded bracelets!
A special thank you to all of you who joined us! It was heartwarming to see everyone working together, laughing and enjoying each otherís company. It was also wonderful to watch everyone help each other, especially those who also helped women who were unable to do this activity on their own.
Lastly, a super thank you goes out to board member Cherry Platt, who donated all of the beads and materials need to make the bracelets! Thatís material for more than 150 bracelets! Cherry, you are a gem!
Next Year Las Vegas 2019: While weíve come a long way in the past five years, we are still a work in progress. One of the tasks we spoke about but havenít yet begun is creating a short newsletter to email in between the Thunder Run publications.
We had planned to get it started last year and it got to the wayside. Itís still on our list and we have a volunteer to help us with that. Hopefully she will still do it for us. Laurie, weíll be in touch.
Women, if you have a new email address in the past year, or never gave us your email address, please send it to me at the information below. Then we can get you on an email list for the future newsletter.
If you have any ideas for the board to consider, please share it by emailing it to any of the Womenís Board (addresses found on www.11thcavnam.com). Follow links under Messages/Blackhorse Womenís News. Itís easier for us to check ideas out before the annual reunions and then present those to the membership that are do-able.
Please understand that while you may have a great idea to present, not all ideas are financially feasible for a group of women like ours from all 50 states. I wish we all had blank checks for our ideas, but everyone has different financial situations and we need to think of the group as a whole.
For the 34th annual reunion that will be held in 2019 at Las Vegas, we are working on locating a speaker for our Saturday morning Womenís Meeting. We have a couple speakers in mind, so watch for that update next spring.
Our Main Projects, ĎWhy We Fundraise: We fundraise by offering lanyards for a small suggested donation; occasionally we may offer a second item. The funds are never used for our womenís group enjoyment. They arenít used for luncheons or coffee for the meetings.
We presently have two very important projects that we raise funds for: The Prayer Shawl Project and Wreaths Across America. We are looking into the validity of another project and that information will be forthcoming at a later date.
Prayer Shawl Project: Chaired by board member Cherry Platt, more than 400 prayer shawls have been mailed to family/spouses of 11th Armored Cavalry Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia since the project began in the fall of 2011.
Cherry often hears requests from friends of a Blackhorse veteran who died before the fall of 2011. Please understand that each Blackhorse death is important to honor. However, we are unable to go back and send a prayer shawl for those countless Troopers who died before the Womenís Project began.
The process for a Prayer Shawl begins with notification of a death to the 11th ACVVC organization. Once the organization is notified, President Pete Walter notifies Cherry of the loss that has a surviving significant other. We verify losses with an obituary as well. However, some veterans are alone without family and we have no one to send a shawl to.
Anyone interested in helping with project, or wants more information about it can contact Cherry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 770-445-7534 for information.
Wreaths Across America: Each December, the Blackhorse Womenís Group donates raised funds for the annual Wreaths Across America project that places wreaths at cemeteries. Because we all reside in
locations nationwide, we chose to begin with the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.
We donate funds for 21 wreaths. You may wonder why 21? This number is representative of the 21 Blackhorse Troopers who were Killed in Action in Vietnam and Cambodia, who are buried at Arlington. While we canít specify graves to receive a wreath, thousands of wreaths are laid at Arlington and we know our 21 will honor a military death.
While we canít furnish wreaths for each of the 730 Blackhorse Troopers Killed in Action in Vietnam/Cambodia who have been laid to rest across our nation, we are looking at a way to do more.
We now have funds that enable us to add additional wreaths for more of the 730 KIA Blackhorse Troopers. We are reaching out to you for help in this.
Itís a fact that not all 730 KIA are buried in national cemeteries. While some are, others are in family cemeteries, or hometown/home state cemeteries. Our hope is to eventually lay a wreath on each grave perhaps in a rotation each year.
If you are a family member of a 11th Armored Cavalry Trooper killed in Vietnam/Cambodia, or an 11th ACVVC trooper that lives near one of the 730 KIA, please contact me a the email below to discuss what we can do for that Trooperís grave.
I also have a list of where each KIA grave is located by cemetery and state. This information is also located on the 11thACVVC website (11thcavnam.com) under Fiddlerís Green. For those not computer friendly, I have this list scanned and would be happy to email a copy of it to you. Contact me at email@example.com or by phone 701-870-6868 and leave a message if no answer.
Last But Not Least: Now I come to the end of my long article, and also to the end of my run as co-coordinator of the Blackhorse Womenís Group.
After five years as coordinator, itís time for me to pass the hat on to someone else. New blood is always good for a volunteer group. Renee Majors, who assisted me as co-coordinator, agreed to step down with me so a new team can begin.
Renee will continue as a voting board member in the position of secretary. I was planning to be out totally, but I was encouraged to continue as fundraising coordinator, and I agreed due to my years of experience.
My news was unexpected news to the great board of women I work with and others, but it was time. When the Womenís Group began to reorganize after the 2013 reunion, I agreed to the position as long as we did it as a board and for a short time.
That time turned into five years. We created a great board that worked together with one purpose and that's the motto of the Blackhorse Womenís Group Ė "We are family, friends and supporters who stand with the 11th Armored Cavalry's Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia." When possible, we offer a little diversion to you while your Trooper enjoys additional time with his brothers in arms.
With the six other wonderful board members who have become family, the Womenís Group began to grow and continues to do so because of you, Blackhorse family and friends. I love you my friends!
Please welcome Sheryl Myers (Gary Myers, L Troop) and her teammate Lajaunda Williams (Harry Williams, L Troop) as your new coordinators. Sheryl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I know this team and board will continue to do a great job for you.
This isnít goodbye, Iíll see you later!