30 OCTOBER 2018:  The Marine Corps was not at fault, as described below.  I got incorrect

scoop from the Office of Protocol at HQMC.  Got a call yesterday from a Senior Aide to the

Commandant who explained the Wreath Laying was changed to the 9th due to the proposed

Presidential Veteran's Parade, originally scheduled for the 10th.  When it was cancelled it was

too late for the Marine Corps to reverse course and change the date back to the 10th. 

Thanks to Lt.Col. Dennis (Dolf) Sampson for calling this lowly former NCO to straighten out this mess.

Danny

28 OCTOBER 2018:  CRITICAL REUNION AGENDA AND 2/9 MEMORIAL PLAQUE

DEDICATION CEREMONY UPDATE

 

All,

     The Marine Corps has screwed us again and our reunion agenda has a drastic change!  I'll try to make

a long story as short as possible than give you all the new agenda for the 9th and 10th of November. 

People coming into town on the 9th probably want to pay close attention to the new agenda set out below.

1.  Patti and Gary Grifiss sent an email to the Office of Protocol asking for assigned seating at the Wreath

Laying ceremony.

2.  They received an answer from that office on Monday stating they had seats, the start time had been

changed to Noon, AND the date remained the same - 09 November, not the 10th.

3.  They forwarded that to me and I called the Office of Protocol on Tuesday, speaking to a SSgt.

4.  He told me directly that they found a "great venue" for the Commandant's Birthday Ball and had to

move the Wreath Laying Ceremony to Friday the 9th because the party was staring earlier than normal

.  In other words, the bigwigs and their special guests are going to be partying at the expense of tradition

and we low level Marines!  I've been to the last 18 consecutive Wreath Laying Ceremonies and this has

NEVER been done (unless The Birthday fell on a Sunday when they hold the ceremony on Saturday the 9th).

  It is mind boggling to me the Marine Corps would do this.  Throw tradition out the window and don't tell

anyone so the Commandant can have his party.  Wonder how many Marines, friends and family are going

to show up at the Iwo Jima Memorial at 1000 on the 10th and there will be nobody there! 

5.  Both myself, Henry O., Debbie Crist, and the Memorial Plaque committee have been working almost

non-stop since finding out to avoid our two big events this year - the Wreath Laying Ceremony and the

Plaque Dedication - being at two different places at the same time. 

6.  While in the middle of trying to "fix" things the best we could we also found out, from the Event

Coordinator at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, that the Corps has known about this time

change for more than a year.  They never told anyone and after scouring the internet for over an

hour Monday night I found nothing, nada, zilch, discussing the Wreath Laying. 

7.  What is going to happen is not perfect but it is better than what we were faced with.  The

committee decided we could not move the Plaque Dedication Ceremony to the 10th because there

were simply too many variables involved with that.  They were able to get the dedication changed to

later in the day on the 9th.  This is going to make for a long day, but at least everyone will have an

opportunity to attend both the Wreath Laying Ceremony and Memorial Plaque Dedication.  We may

lose LtGen Beaudreault as the keynote speaker but that is a hit we'll have to accept. 

NEW REUNION AGENDA

Noon on 09 November:  Attend the USMC Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Iwo Jima Memorial.

    1.  Vans will begin transporting those needing help around 1100 hours from the front of the

Marriott Residence Inn. 

    2.  After the Wreath Laying ceremony, our bus will be at the memorial to pick people up and

take them back to the hotel.  It is due to arrive at the memorial around 12:30 and take people

back to the hotel when the ceremony is over around 13:00.  Vans will also be available.

    3.  We will not have time for a group photo at the Iwo Jima Memorial.  We are still working

that issue.

15:00 Hours (3:00 p.m. for you civilians) on 09 November:  Attend the 2/9 Memorial Plaque

Dedication Ceremony at Semper Fidelis Memorial Park at the National Museum of the

Marine Corps

    1.  The bus and the vans will leave the Residence Inn for Quantico at 13:30, arriving at the

Museum at approximately 14:15-14:30. 

    2.  We will all convene at the bus drop off point and once everyone is assembled troop on

up to the plaque site for the dedication ceremony beginning at 15:00 hours.  Transport will be

available for those with mobility issues. 

    3.  The ceremony should not last longer than 45 minutes. 

    4.  The museum closes at 17:00 (5:00 p.m.).  Thus, the bus/vans will leave for the

Residence Inn promptly at 17:00 hours.

    5.  People with private vehicles may want to drive down on their own so they can maintain

control of how long they stay in the area at Quantico.     

Pray for good weather!!!!

1700 Hours on 10 November:  Attend the 2/9 Marine Corps Birthday Dinner at the

Marriott Key Bridge Hotel

    1.  Vans will begin transporting people from the Residence Inn to the Marriott Key Bridge

around 17:00 hours.  We did receive some good news yesterday.  We have once again had

the Birthday Dinner moved to the beautiful Capitol View Ballroom. 

    2.  Doors into the Ballroom will not be opened until 18:00 hours.  We will have our 2/9 Security

Force on station at all doors entering the Ballroom other than the one where you will be checking in. 

Please do not attempt to get in the ballroom to grab a table until after you proceed through the

registration desk.  Reserved tables are not authorized.

    3.  18:00 hours the cash bar will be open.  Dinner will be served between 18:30 and 19:00 hours.

    4.  We will proceed with dinner, keynote speakers, our Hot Damn toast, Oldest/Youngest Marine

ceremony, and raffle and 50/50 raffle drawings. 

        a.  Our first speaker will be Larry Kirby, a 2/9 Iwo Jima Veteran and Author.  His book,

"Stories from the Pacific, the Island War 1942-1945" is excellent. 

        b,  Our second speaker will be my cohort in running the reunion - Henry Ostaszewski. 

Henry will be paying tribute to our founder, Red Hill

    5.  Red's wife, daughter, and son-in-law will all be present for the dinner.

    6.  The hotel will provide free parking in their parking garage for members who want to drive

over in their private vehicle.

2300-2400 Hours on 10 November (time approximate):  Gather at the entrance to the

Residence Inn (after completion and return from the Birthday Dinner), for our annual

trek to The Wall to see our lost brothers.

    1.  Vans will be available to transport those folks needing it.  Parking for private vehicles

should be relatively easy to find on Constitution Avenue. 

All other time is considered free time

    1.  While it is not an official agenda item this year, vans will be available on the 11th, Veteran's Day,

for anyone wanting transportation to the Veteran's Day ceremonies at The Wall.  This year,

I believe, the theme is concentrating on Women in Vietnam and as Veterans.  We'll have the

start time for those ceremonies posted at the hotel in the hospitality room.

    2.  Our hospitality room will be open non-stop from 8-12 November.  Free snacks and beverages

(water, soft drinks, beer), will be available courtesy of the 2/9 Network. 

    3.  Raffle tickets and 50/50 raffle tickets will be on sale continuously in the hospitality room

up to the time of the Birthday Dinner on the 10th.  Raffle items will be on display.  We will also

have a special silent auction item for people to bid on.  The winner of the silent auction will be

announced at the Birthday Dinner. 

    4.  We will also have a posting in the hospitality room about our annual group photo.  We are

thinking about getting a spot in the Marriott Key Bridge to do the group photo but will advise later.

  Another option available to us is to head over to the Iwo Jima Memorial the morning of the 10th

(vans will be available), and take our group photo over there. 

I apologize for all this mess, but this falls on HQMC and the Commandant.  It's a good thing we're

not taking the group photo after the Wreath Laying Ceremony.  He wouldn't be invited to be part

of it.  At least not by me. 

I still have a dozen people with a room booked at the Residence Inn who have not paid the $34 for

the Birthday Dinner.  I need those payments in my hands via check not later than 04 November. 

Send the check made out to me to 21 Moseley Street, Billerica, MA 01821.  Get this done ASAP

if you want to go to the dinner!

I want to thank Henry Ostaszewski, Debbie Crist (hotels and transportation specialist!), and John

Klemm, Keith Fay, Dick Kinney and Jim Tiner (the plaque committee), for all that got done in a

very short time to mitigate the damage from this Marine Corps SNAFU.

--
Danny Schuster 2/9 Network Administrator and Reunion Coordinator Echo, 1967 

 

2018 Reunion Room Registration Update, 20 April (original information follows below):

1.  8-12 November 2018, Marriott Residence Inn Rosslyn, Arlington, VA.  All eras. 

On Line Registration – click here:  http://www.marriott.com/meeting-event-hotels/group-corporate-travel/groupCorp.mi?resLinkData=2nd%20Battalion%209th%20Marines%20(All%20Eras)%5Ewasrr%60tnmtnma%7Ctnmtnmc%60125%60USD%60false%603%6011/7/18%6011/12/18%6010/12/18&app=resvlink&stop_mobi=yes

Telephone Reservations:  1-800-331-3131.  Make sure you tell the reservations people you are with the “2/9 Marine DC Reunion Group”, and GET A RESERVATION NUMBER.  If they ask for another group name tell them “TNN”.  The cut-off date for room reservations is 13 October.  Rooms are $125/night.

 

Reunion 2018 (ALL Eras)

08-12 November 2018


Marriott Residence Inn at Rosslyn

1651 North Oak Street, Arlington, VA 22209

 

This year’s reunion will be held in memory of the 2/9 Network founder and our “Point Man”, Richard “Red” Hill.  Since Red’s loss is so recent we have not had the time to decide how to memorialize Red but I would like to make one request of those of you who knew him best.  If you have good photos of Red, either in Vietnam, at a past reunion, or anywhere, please send me an electronic copy.  If I receive enough pictures I will create an audio/video file and have it prepared by the time of the reunion.  I will provide more information on this aspect of the reunion in the next Battalion Runner.  We will have a tribute to Red during our Birthday dinner. 

 

Hotel Reservations

 

Room rates at the hotel are $125.00 per night, plus applicable state and local taxes (currently around 13%).  Parking is available at a special rate of $12.00 per night.  Note that if you have a very large vehicle you may not be able to enter the parking garage and there is not a backup location connected to our hotel.  We have 75 rooms set aside for the reunion.  If past reunions are a good indicator we will run out of rooms fairly quickly.  Get your reservations made as soon as possible so you don’t get involved in a waiting situation for a room, or be forced to pay a higher rate if more rooms are not available.  In recent past years we’ve had more than 100 rooms booked, and we will increase our numbers with the hotel if they are available.  Your room rate also includes a daily hot breakfast buffet.

 

http://www.marriott.com/meeting-event-hotels/group-corporate-travel/groupCorp.mi?resLinkData=2nd%20Battalion%209th%20Marines%20(All%20Eras)%5Ewasrr%60tnmtnma%7Ctnmtnmc%60125%60USD%60false%603%6011/7/18%6011/12/18%6010/12/18&app=resvlink&stop_mobi=yes

Make your reservations by calling this number:  1-800-331-3131.  Make sure you tell the reservations people you are with the “2/9 Marine DC Reunion Group”, and GET A RESERVATION NUMBER.  The cut-off date for room reservations is 13 October.  After that date the hotel will release any available rooms under our contract and you’ll have to pay the going rate, and that can be well over $200/night.   We are working with the hotel to have them establish a separate web page unique to reservations for 2/9 reunion rooms.  That page has yet to be established.  Once I have the link for it I will post it on the Reunion Page on the 2/9 Network website. 

 

Once again we will have the hotel conference room on the 1st floor available as our hospitality room and the Network will be providing free beverages, including beer, and snacks.  We will be selling raffle and 50/50 raffle tickets in the 1st floor hospitality room and offering 2/9 shirts/covers, etc. for sale to support reunion expenses.  I’d also like to ask that folks consider donating raffle items for the reunion.  The raffle is the primary fund-raiser at our reunions and really helps offset the costs.  Reunion expenses run over $10,000. 

 

 

Reunion Dinner

 

For the fourth consecutive year our Birthday Dinner will be on November 10th, at the Marriott Key

Bridge Hotel in Arlington, VA. One critical point I need to make before providing any more details is

that the price of our dinner is all inclusive. That means we are paying for the ballroom (normal rental

runs in the thousands of dollars), AV equipment, self-parking in the hotel garage, the dinner (salad,

entrée, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage), and all taxes and service charges for the price of the

dinner, $34.00 per person. We will have a cash bar set up for alcoholic beverages for those who

choose to partake. We are currently scheduled in the Potomac Room but if their Capitol View

Ballroom is not rented within seven days of our dinner we will be moved there. Both are exceptional

ballrooms. Seating will be tables of 10. We cannot reserve seating for you so if you have a group of

people who want to sit together get there early to claim a table. Unfortunately, there can be no

substitutions to the menu we have contracted for. That is understandable considering the

outstanding deal they have given us. Here is the menu for the evening:

 

Salad – Choice of Key Bridge Signature Salad (mixed field greens, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots,

balsamic vinaigrette), or Key Bridge Ceasar Salad (romaine, parmesan, croutons, Ceasar dressing).

Entrée – Pan Roasted Breast of Chicken with chef’s choice of starch and vegetable.

Dessert – Chef’s choice of plated dessert (not to be cake)

Beverages – Assorted soft drinks, sparkling and still water, and coffee.

 

You must pay me for the dinner in advanceMake out a check or money order to me,

Danny Schuster, and send it to me at 21 Moseley Street, Billerica, MA 01821. I MUST

have your check/money order in hand at the latest by 01 November. I will be enroute to

the reunion after that date and will have no record of receiving payment. Please, do NOT

mail it on or after that date or you will not be able to attend the dinner. I must have it by

the 1st. There is a simple reason for this requirement. Two years ago we depended upon

people to pay for the dinner at the reunion. 22 people did not pay or show up for the

dinner and we took a $600 hit since the dinners must be paid in advance. We cannot

afford that type of financial hit.

 

We have the ballroom reserved from 1800-2300 on The Birthday, November 10th. Besides the dinner

we will have exceptional guest speakers, our unique “Hot Damn” toast (you have to experience it to

believe it), our official Cake Cutting Ceremony, a to-be-determined memorial to Red Hill, and our drawing for the raffle and 50/50 contest. I am still working on our guest speaker(s). I’m pretty sure the membership is going to be excited about one of our probable speakers.  Shortly after dinner we will be making our annual

pilgrimage to The Wall to honor and say hello to our brothers and lay a wreath in their memory.

Details for that will be available in the hospitality room at the Residence Inn.

 

2nd Battalion, 9th Marines Plaque and Possible Dedication Ceremony

at Semper Fidelis Memorial park at the National Museum of the Marine Corps

 

At our reunion in 2015 we presented the idea of a plaque being designed and installed at the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.  Four of our 2/9 fellow Marines have been working on this since then.  John Klemm, Jim Tiner, Keith Fay, and Dick Kinney form the committee.  At last year’s reunion the membership present unanimously agreed that the 2/9 Network would provide some funding toward the cost associated with this effort.  The amount will depend on how much money we have in the bank.  Henry Ostaszewski and I informed reunion attendees during our business meeting at the Birthday Dinner, that we were doing well with donations and did not wish to just sit on the money.  We need help with the reunion but as of now have the minimum we need to have a reunion and pay for the 2/9 Network website.  We have already submitted a donation in the amount of $3,000 to the VVMF toward their fundraising for the Education Center for The Wall, also approved by the membership last November.  I know from experience that many of you that want to help out cannot afford the minimum of $100 John asked for as a donation amount, but am sure John and the committee would be happy with any amount you might be able to send to support this ultimate preservation of 2/9’s legacy covering all the wars they fought.  Most of you should have by now received a letter from John soliciting donations.  Minimum cost is $10,000 and the committee has, largely out of their own pockets, committed nearly $6,000 to the effort.  The conclusion should be reached before our reunion.  While we hope this happens, please be aware what I am about to say is very tentative.  We are trying, through this committee, to schedule a dedication ceremony for the plaque installation on 9 November, during our reunion.  Details at this point are sketchy at best and there are several complications involving weather, transportation, scheduling with the Marine Corps Museum and Marine Corps Heritage Society, etc., that, at this point, have not been addressed.  Obviously weather is an unknown, but we are working with John’s committee to address the rest of it.  More information will develop on this as we move into the summer months and I will update everyone in the next Battalion Runner.  You can go to this website to view photos of memorial plalques already installed in Semper Fidelis Memorial Park:  https://www.marineheritage.org/semperfidelismemorialpark.html  That same Marine Heritage Foundation website has another link to the Commemorative Plaque program, similar to the Commenorative Brick program.  If you check that out you will see what is involved and, hopefully, understand why the cost is not cheap.

 

 

Reunion Agenda (Tentative!)

 

8-12 November 2018

 

8 November:   Free Time.  Marriott Residence Inn hospitality room open all day/night with free snacks and beverages (includes beer).

 

9 November:  VERY tentative.  Dedication ceremony for the 2/9 Memorial Plaque in Semper Fidelis Memorial Park at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico.  Time, method of transportation, etc., to be determined. 

 

9 November:  Free time for those not attending the dedication ceremony outlined above, if it is finalized. Hospitality room open as it is every day of the reunion.  

 

10 November: The Marine Corps Birthday:

 

0900-1000:  Proceed to the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial), United States Marine Corps official Wreath Laying Ceremony commencing at 1000.  Immediately following ceremonies gather in front of the Memorial for 2/9 group photo (weather permitting)

 

1130-1800 (time approximate):  Free Time – Hospitality Room open for business.

 

1800-1900:  Cocktail hour at the Marriott Key Bridge Hotel

 

1900-2300:  Marine Corps Birthday Dinner at Marriott Key Bridge Hotel.  Tribute to Red Hill, keynote speaker to be determined, short 2/9 Network Business Meeting, United States Marine Corps Cake Cutting Ceremony, 2/9 Network Hot Damn Ceremony, 2/9 Network raffle and 50/50 raffle.

 

2330(time approximate):  Trip to The Wall to visit our brothers.  We will leave from the Marriott Residence Inn AFTER the conclusion of the Birthday Dinner.

 

11 November (Veterans Day):  Still to be determined.  With President Trump having scheduled the Military Appreciation Parade on Veteran’s Day we don’t know if there will be ceremonies at the Wall, what time if there are, and how veterans like us could be involved in the parade.  More to come on this.

 

12 November:  Fairwell and free time. 

 

NOTES:  Transportation provided to Wreath Laying Ceremony, Birthday Dinner, and trip to The Wall.     Free parking for the dinner will be provided for those with private vehicles at the Marriott Key Bridge Hotel.  Iwo Jima Memorial is about a 10-15 minute walk from the Residence Inn.  Hospitality room is open throughout the reunion with snacks and beverages provided at no charge.  2/9 apparel on sale there as well as 50/50 and regular raffle tickets.   Raffle items will be on display.   If anyone wants to volunteer to help out please see Danny Schuster or Henry Ostaszewski when you arrive.