REUNION 2019

8-12 NOVEMBER

 

Marriott Residence Inn Rosslyn, in Arlington, VA

1651 N. Oak St., Arlington, VA 22209

 

It’s hard to believe that the Residence Inn will be hosting our reunion this year for the 7th consecutive year.  Their staff, from senior management on down to the maintenance and kitchen staff, have treated us in an exceptional manner.  Detailed information is below, but in a nutshell our rooms will be $129 per night (plus tax), and parking will be a special rate of $12 per night.  We will have their conference room available 24 hours a day as our hospitality room where you will find the normal snacks, beer, non-alcoholic beverages and more.  There is also a free continental breakfast every morning.  There is NO CHARGE for the reunion!  The only thing you need to pay for is your room, parking, and, if attending, our Marine Corps Birthday Dinner (more below). 

27th ANNUAL REUNION

 

50th Anniversary of 2/9 Rotating Out of Vietnam!

 

For those of us who served in Vietnam this is a significant anniversary.  Some of us were there and gone well before August of 1969, when 2/9 rotated back to Okinawa.  Others took part in that rotation, and still others later served in Vietnam as part of BLT 2/9 and the Mayaguez/Koh Tang Island incident.  As I sit here composing this I cannot help but think of the more than 520 men from 2/9 who did not come home.  They are all on The Wall, including a lot of my friends.  This year we are going to try to come up with a special type of observance in their memory.  Plans are still in the works and I’ll provide more information in a special email or the next Battalion Runner Newsletter.  Info will also be posted on the Reunion page of the 2/9 Network website. 

 

The reunion will run from 08-12 November, and there could be hiccups similar to the ones we’ve experienced the last two years.  I’ve been in direct contact with the “Scheduler for the Commandant”, and she has told me the official Marine Corps Birthday Wreath Laying Ceremony is on the Commandant’s calendar with a placeholder of 08 November, and “hopes” it will be at the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial).  She also stated that is subject to change since the Change of Command for the Commandant is sometime in late summer.  I’ve fired off a fairly sternly worded reply to her and told her frankly that 08 November means nothing to Marines, that the Marine Corps should be observing the memory of those lost throughout the Corps history on the only day that matters – 10 November.  While it is traditional for the Marine Corps to hold the ceremony on the 9th when the 10th falls on a Sunday, as it does this year, 08 November is not good.  I also noted to her several other things:  The flag on the War Memorial was in tatters moments before the ceremony last year, the ceremony itself was over in less than 20 minutes in both of the last two years, and no one could find out what the hell was going on.  I tried to be respectful and she will be a great contact so we know exactly what is going to happen, where, and when in plenty of time to plan.  Please keep in mind if you are attending that the 08 November date, if it happens, means if you want to attend you’ll have to be in town by 1000 hours on the 8th or you’ll miss the ceremony.  Rooms ARE available the evening of 07 November for anyone wanting to come in early.  For those of us that have been there when done right it is a truly impressive memorial service with the Commandant and a special guest speaking, performances by both the Marine Corps Band and Drum and Bugle Corps, performance by the Silent Drill Team from 8th & I, and them passing in review.  Let’s hope that is what we get this year. 

 

ROOM REGISTRATION DETAILS

 

Online Reservations:  The Residence Inn has developed a unique web page for our members to obtain room registrations at our special rate of $129.00 per night (plus 13% tax).  Click on, or copy and paste, the following link to find that page:

 

 https://www.marriott.com/event-reservations/reservation-link.mi?id=1555697392418&key=GRP&app=resvlink

 

Phone Reservations:  If you want to reserve your room by phone call the Residence Inn: 1-800-331-3131 and tell them you want the group rate for the 2/9 Marine D.C. Reunion. 

That number usually works, but if you have trouble try calling the hotel directly at 1-703-812-8400.  Please do not call that number first – only if you have difficulty with the 1-800 number. 

 

No matter how you get your room reservation make sure you get a confirmation number and keep it!  That’s the only way to be certain your room is available. 

 

If you are driving to the reunion be careful if you have a very large pickup truck.  The parking garage is under the hotel and there is a height limit.  Most trucks can make it but some monster pickups could have a problem and there is NO alternative parking area.  Parking is at a special rate of $12 per night (it’s in our contract), so make sure you do not get overcharged for parking. 

 

Our group contract makes rooms available at the above rates from the evenings of 07 through 11 November, with check-out on 12 November.  Give them the dates you will be arriving and departing.  Room reservations MUST be completed by 19 October, at which time the hotel will release any rooms not taken in our contract for public reservations.  If you make your reservation after 19 October you may well have to pay the going rate for the room, currently over $200 per night.  GET YOUR RESERVATIONS EARLY.

 

Here are current, but flexible, agenda items with dates:

 

  1.  Attend the official Marine Corps Birthday Ceremonies at the USMC War Memorial/Iwo Jima Memorial on either 08 or 09 November.
  2. 2/9 Marine Corps Birthday Dinner at the Key Bridge Marriott Hotel in Arlington from 1800-2300 hours on 10 November (details below).
  3. Travel to The Wall to visit our brothers and have our own wreath laying ceremony following the Birthday Dinner.  We leave for The Wall after returning to the Residence Inn and leave from there.  This is usually around 2300 hours. 
  4. We have no official item for the Veteran’s Day Ceremonies at The Wall but members can attend as they see fit.
  5. All other time is free time.

 

Free transportation will be provided back and forth to all the events listed above. 

 

 

2/9 Reunion Marine Corps Birthday Dinner

 

Marriott Key Bridge Hotel

1800 Hours, 10 November 2019

 

The Key Bridge Marriott has again come through for us with a great deal for our Marine Corps Birthday Dinner on November 10th.  Although our initial booking this year is in their Potomac Ball Room, as it has been for the last three years, if no one else books the Capitol View Ballroom within a week or two of our reunion, we will be moved there again.  Those that have been there before know what a spectacular view it provides of the Lincoln Memorial, Mall, and Capitol building.  The Potomac Ball Room is no slouch either but I know we’d all like to be “upstairs”.   Their price has gone up to $35 per dinner.  That means in the last four years they have raised the price $5.  That price includes room rental (normally at least $10,000 just for the room), the meal, audio visual material, and all tips and taxes.  There’s gotta be a Marine involved there somewhere!!!  The low price does come with one downside.  That is that we are limited to one choice for the entrée, and that is chicken.  The dinner includes a salad, entrée, and dessert.  Please don’t ask for substitutes since they cannot be accommodated under our contract.  We’ll have a cash bar as always but water and soda are provided as part of the meal price.  As I previously mentioned, transportation will be provided both to and from the Residence Inn to the Key Bridge.  The agenda for the dinner this year will remain true to form:

 

  1.  Cocktail hour commencing at 1800 hours.
  2. Dinner served around 1900 hours.
  3. Short 2/9 Network business meeting. 
  4. Keynote Speaker(s).  I’m still working hard on this.
  5. Hot Damn Ceremony (for new attendees wait until you experience this!)
  6. Marine Corps Birthday Ceremony, including reading of Commandant’s messages and youngest and oldest Marine cake cutting.
  7. Raffle and 50/50 Raffle winners.
  8. Break up approximately  2200-2230 hours and return to the Marriott Residence Inn where we will gather together for our trip to see our brothers on The Wall.

 

As with many things there is good news and bad news with the dinner.  The bad news is the dinner costs $35 and you MUST PAY ME IN ADVANCE.  The good news is that the 2/9 Network, due in great part to the outstanding $3,000 donation made last year by Jim Joyce will be picking up $15 of that cost.  That means you need to send me a check or money order, made out to me, Danny Schuster, for $20 for each meal you want ordered. 

Send me the check at the following address:

 

Danny Schuster

21 Moseley Street

Billerica, MA 01821

 

Even with Jim’s donation, this is a move based on the last 5 years of donations from our members.  If donations approach those of the last 5 years we’ll be fine, so please keep that in mind when I beg for money.