Page 1

9t Ho h A te nnu lI ss al ue Bringing Reunions and Locations Together Since 1991 Published by THE Reunion Network, Inc.

Volume XV • Spring, 2012


Hotel ConFAM© Parade pp. 7–16

Surcharges & Taxes – p. 17 Negotiate Rm Rates – p. 22 Are You Ready – p. 36 Making Friends – p. 44

Paul’s Opinion p. 26 Paul’s Second Opinion p. 28

We turn reunions into an art form.

With great attractions, live entertainment, dining and hotels all within easy walking distance, the Norfolk waterfront is the perfect destination for your next reunion. To plan your reunion, visit us online or contact Melissa Hopper, Associate Director of Tour & Travel. 1-800-368-3097

Showboat Branson Belle


August 20-23, 2012 BRANSON, MISSOURI

Veterans Memorial Museum

Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express

Vietnam Veterans Traveling Wall



TO REQUEST YOUR 2012 REUNION PLANNER SALES KIT Contact: Kimberly Carr, Leisure Groups & Reunions Coordinator Branson/Lakes Area CVB • P.O. Box 1897 • Branson, MO 65615 • 800-214-3661 417-334-4084 • Fax 417-348-0649 • •

Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Page 3

in this issue 17 ��

Hotel Rooms: Surcharges & Taxes

22 ��

Negotiating Room Rates

Books by Paul J. Spiewak

The latest book on:

Planning, Organizing, & Running Military Reunions! Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all fine book sellers at $99.95 Kindle Version $39.95

32 �� Travel Rights! Are You Ready?

36 ��

Order Direct from RFN & SAVE!

Planner Special Price: $59.95 CVB & Hotel Members: $69.95 All Others $79.95

38 ��Happy Mothers Day 42 ��The Dog That Cornered Osama Bin Laden 44 ��

Making Friends

The Day I Flew In My Car and Other True Stories Anecdotes by an Octogenarian

in every issue

Regular price $39.95 Now available to RFN members at $29.95

and other true stories

5 ��Editorial: From the Situation Desk

6 �� Sometimes Things Can Be Confusing!


plus shipping and handling By Paul Spiewak

ConFAM© / WorkFAM© Parade 9 �� Kissimmee, Florida 10 �� Branson, Missouri 11 �� Seattle, Washington 12 �� Chattanooga, Tennessee 13 �� Huntsville, Alabama 14 �� Detroit, Michigan WeekEnder 15 �� Cape Cod/Hyannis, Massachussets 16 �� Daytona Beach, Florida



Want To Be a Leader? by Paul J. Spiewak

18–22 New & Renewing Members

A NEW, easy-to read, fast-paced guide for both Leaders and “want-to-be” Leaders.

24 �� From A Woman’s Point of View SHIP TO:

26 ��

Paul’s Opinion: God Bless America

28 ��

Paul’s 2nd Opinion: Veterans Rejoice!

raveling with RFN T 34 ��Jacksonville, Florida 40 ��Email & Letters 46 ��Industry Watch 47–54 Member Listing

Page 4

Do You Want to be a Leader?

A philosophical analysis at the practical level of leadership and how to evaluate the effectiveness of any leader. In an “easy-to-read” fast-paced style; richly endowed with quotations and personal anecdotes. The book is based on the author’s 60 plus years as an employee, employer, consultant and entrepreneur in more than 19 different situations. Regular Price: $14.99 + s&h

Now available to RFN members at $12.95 postage paid!

Name Address

City State, ZIP

Books will be sent on receipt of check made payable to RFN, 2450 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 500, Hollywood, FL 33020. Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

By Zac Spiewak, Managing Editor, Reunion Friendly News


The Definitive Source Of Information For The Volunteer Reunion Planner

Situation Desk

Published by THE Reunion Network, Inc. DBA: Reunion Friendly Network 2450 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 500 Hollywood, Florida 33020

So, I have to ask… Now that I’ve been at the helm of the magazine for three years, this is the thirteenth issue I’ve completed, how am I doing? In the beginning I was just trying to produce a magazine that was as good as any of the ones that preceded me coming on board. Then as I learned the ropes, I saw that there was room for improvement. The Spring issue AKA the Hotel issue always seemed to be a little smaller than the Winter (CVB) and Summer (Annual Directory) issues. I couldn’t understand why. It became apparent that it was necessary to start working on any issue not three months in advance, but twelve months in advance. Why? Because sometimes it takes that long to find relevant topics for a particular editorial focus. We are sure that RF NEWS delivers the goods in this issue. There are four articles about different aspects of the Hotel industry. Please see “Inside This Issue” on page 4 or the center megaphone on the front cover for a complete list of these articles. In addition there are two more articles on the related airline industry; “Travel Rights!” on page 32, and “Industry Watch” on page 46. And then there is an increase in hotel advertising. This may be more of a result of the changing economy rather than any effort on my or Jane’s part. Maybe not… maybe it’s all about Jane’s hard work. Of course there is more. This issue’s ConFAM© Parade includes eight events including our third WorkFAM© and a brand new event, the ConFAM© WeekEnder in Detroit on September 28–30. If you haven’t heard about the WeekEnder, Paul talks about this new event in his article on page 6, “Sometimes Things Can Be Confusing.” We have regular features too; “From a Women’s Point of View” on page 24 and “Traveling with RFN” on page 34 both written by Charlene. Lately I’ve been missing my Mom (Joan Spiewak) so I thought I’d pay tribute to Mother’s Day with the article on page 38, “25 Reason’s to Thank Your Mom” (if giving birth to you isn’t enough of a reason to thank her.) Although I promised you that Marc’s “Finance Corner” would be back in this issue, he is just too busy this quarter doing tax returns to write an article. He assures me that he will have a new column for you in the upcoming Summer issue. I also promised you a new column tentatively named “The Minefield” or “Avoiding the Minefield.” However, we just did not receive enough material from you all to make it a regular column. We do have plans to use the stories we did receive as a featured article(s) in a future issue(s). Thank you to those of you who did take the time to compose and email me your horror stories. We wanted to introduce our newest employee, Jessica. If you call to sign-up for a ConFAM©, then most likely you’ll be talking to her. Jessica has done so well in the early going and she is a pleasure to have on the staff. We think you’ll agree. One last shout out for this issue: Happy 86th Birthday to my Dad, Paul Spiewak, the Reunion Guru! Thanks for all of your hard work. Look for not one, but TWO “Paul’s Opinions” on pages 26 & 28.

1-800-225-5044 • 954-922-8788 Fax: 954-922-8338 Website President / Founder Paul J. Spiewak “The Reunion Guru” Executive Vice President Charlene Adamson Vice President – Finance Marc Spiewak Managing Editor Zachary M. Spiewak Manager of Membership Sales and Development Jane Martin Administrative Assistant Jessica Yalowiec Director of Communications Gale Helser Subscriptions for Reunion Friendly News are free of charge to qualified reunion planners. All others: $30.00 per year or $10.00 per issue. Go Green (Internet version) free of charge at Reunion Friendly News (Reunion Friendly Network) is not responsible for opinions expressed in editorial material. The opinions are exclusively those of the authors and do not express the opinions of the Reunion Friendly Network, its staff, its members, its advertisers, or its readership. All editorial material is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The Reunion Friendly Network assumes no liability or responsibility for errors, mistakes, misprints, missing information, or content of advertising and advertorial copy. Reproduction of any portion of this publication is permitted for use in reunion group newsletters, providing attribution is given to the Reunion Friendly Network.

Reunion Friendly News


This issue brought to by the support of these organizations AZ CA CO DC IA LA MD MO MO OH

Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Fremont Marriot - Silicon Valley . . . . . . . . 23 Colorado Springs CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Washington - Crystal City Marriott/ Reagan Natl Airport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Grout Museum District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Jefferson County CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Ocean City - Dunes Manor Hotel . . . . . . . . 46 Branson Lakes Area CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Pulaski County CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Greene County CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Spring, 2012

SC Sea Mist Oceanfront . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 SD Rapid City CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 TN Chattanooga CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 TX Austin Crowne Plaza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 UT Utah Valley Convention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 VA Fairfax County CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 VA Norfolk CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 WA Seattle Airport Marriot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 WI Waukesha Pewaukee CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 USA AMRF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Page 5

Sometimes Things Can Be Confusing! Program Change

Having the reception the evening before the conference has provided many advantages. It has allowed us to start the Conference at 8:50 AM rather than at 10:30 or 11:00. As a result, the Conference seminars and exhibits will be completed on that day! It will also allow for an informal © In an attempt to improve the ConFAM discussion – a round table – where we experience, and in order to use as will be open to discuss anything the many suggestions from both military planners want to discuss, relating to reunion planners and exhibitors, reunions. RFN has made major changes in the ConFAM© program. There have been Appointments so many changes it is easy to become During the Conference day, planners confused. So let’s clear the air. get the chance to visit the tables of our exhibitors. Often this has led to one planner monopolizing an exhibitors Date Change Even if you have already signed time while others were waiting. This up, you will note that the dates is no longer necessary. As part of the listed on the opposite page, and on paperwork each planner receives the following Parade pages have a newly designed appointment been changed. Here is why! RFN sheet, so that planners will have has introduced a reception on the the opportunity of discussing their evening before the first Conference reunions on a one-on-one basis with day. We tested the idea in 2011, and exhibitors of their choice! it met with overwhelming approval, so it will continue. The date of the Appointments will be made on reception is now listed as the FIRST the day of the conference for the day of the event, even though it following day. That day will start with doesn’t start until 5:30 PM. The date breakfast, be followed by the very that used to be listed as the end has popular Planner/Exhibitor Forum, and also been moved up, because there then by the award of the door prizes. are no scheduled events that day. Exhibitors, of course, will also receive Sometimes breakfast will be included a newly designed appointment sheet if you stick around, but do not count to ensure that there are no conflicts. on it. The last day shown is now the last day of the ConFAM©. Planners will not be required to meet with exhibitors where there is no Planners should be sure to make interest, but each planner will have airline reservations so that they can sufficient time to clarify any points arrive on the afternoon of the (new) and arrange for a proposal from the first day, and to return home as early exhibitors chosen by that planner. as they want the day after the event ends. We hope this has not caused There will still be a full-day-and-a-half for the FAM portion. any inconvenience.

Page 6

Pricing Change

You will notice that the price has changed. The reason is that from now on we will be including a copy of “Reunion Guru” Paul’s new book: RFN’s Military Reunion Handbook. The list price of the book is $99, but we have been offering a $40 discount to planners, and a fair number have paid $60 for the book. Under this new arrangement, if you pay the new price, which is only $50 more, you will save an additional $10, by going to a ConFAM©. If you already have the book, or do not want it, you can simply deduct the $50 when you register. This will save us some freight and shipping, and we are passing the savings on to you. We have applied to make this an official textbook, and once that happens, the discount picture will change.

New ConFAM©

You will note that we have added Detroit to the confirmed list of 2012 ConFAMs©. This will be the first WeekEnder Event, tailored to those who are still working. It starts with the reception on Friday evening, a full day of seminars on Saturday WITHOUT out-of-town exhibitors, and a full FAM day on Sunday. Short, sweet and packed with information. If these prove popular, we will plan more of them. The first WeekEnder event is scheduled for September 28-30, in Detroit, Michigan. So there you have it. We have tried to consider every point of view when we made the changes. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012


A ConFAM© is an all-expense-paid multi-day event combining a Reunion Conference and a FAMiliarization tour of the area. Rooms (three [3] free room-nights only), meals, admission, local transportation, instruction and instructional materials are furnished — at no cost to you — by RFN, the local CVB host hotel, other participating hotels and local attractions. You only pay to get there and return, alcoholic beverages and personal ConFAM©/WorkFAM© Date purchases, including items A ConFAM© 2012 March 25–28 charged to your B ConFAM© 2012 April 16–19 hotel room.

NEW PRICING Registration Fee: $199 for a planner with guest; $149 for a single person.

To register:









Host Hotel

Kissimmee, Florida

Ramada Gateway Hotel

Branson, Missouri

Camden House Hotel



2012 April 25–28

Seattle, Washington

Doubletree by Hilton - Seattle Airport



2012 May 20–23

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel



2012 May 24–26

Huntsville, Alabama

Holiday Inn Downtown



2012 September 28–30

Detroit, Michigan



2012 October 21–24

Cape Cod / Hyannis, Massachusetts

Heritage House



2012 Nov 11–14

Daytona Beach, Florida

Plaza Resort & Spa



Prices for all events have been increased by $50 and include a copy of RFN’s Military Reunion Handbook at a 50% discount from list price. If you already purchased the book, you may deduct $50. If you have already registered for a ConFAM© at the old rate, you can send us an additional $50 and have it delivered at the ConFAM©.

Yes! I want to go to:

1. Tear out this page from the magazine. 2. Complete both sides. 3. Mail with your check to RFN, 2450 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 500, Hollywood FL 33020

_________________________________ Destination

Date Name

Incomplete applications will be rejected!

Guest Name Address City, ST, ZIP Daytime Phone

Cancellation Policy: Up to three weeks before the ConFAM© for a full refund, or up to two weeks before the event, you may transfer to another ConFAM© without charge. Less than two weeks before, no transfer or refund available. Reunion Friendly News

Group/Unit Name

Emergency Contact

Emergency Phone

Number Expected at Next Reunion Including Guests

Do you or your guest have any disability or dietary need that requires special attention?


While every effort is made to accommodate physically disadvantaged persons, the FAM portion of each event includes frequent on and off bus stops, plus walking through attractions and hotels during site inspections. •

Spring, 2012

Page 7

MY Reunion Requirements Your Name: Spouse Name: Home Phone: Cell

Work Phone:


E-Mail Address:

The exhibitors who have made it possible for us to have this conference want to help you plan your reunion. Please complete this form to help them assist you. Completing this does NOT put you under any obligation. It is for information purposes only. Your Unit/Group Name: Please Circle:

Branch of Service: Air Force Army Coast Guard Marines Navy

Unit Active During:




Desert Storm/Shield


Years from


Your Mail Address: City:


When is your next UNBOOKED reunion year? Northeast




Circle regions you are thinking of:

Midwest North




Alternate Dates:

Preferred Dates: Expected # of Attendees (including wives & guests): Expected # rooms needed (peak night):

How many nights?

Where was your LAST reunion? How many attended?


What Tours did you take?

Do you need a hospitality Room?

Meeting Room?

Does Your Group require any special facilities? If so, explain: ________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________ How Many Disabled Members Expected?


Page 8

Reunion Friendly News


Spring, 2012


Kissimmee, Florida March 25–28, 2012 Ramada Gateway Hotel

World’s Tallest Sky Coaster



Warbird Adventures

Lake Kissimmee Reunion Friendly News

Old Town Kissimmee

Spring, 2012

Page 9


Branson, Missouri April 16–19, 2012 Camden House Hotel GENERAL ATTRACTIONS ✭✭ Andy William’s Moon River Theater ✭✭ Baldknobbers Jamboree Show ✭✭ Branson Landing ✭✭ College of the Ozarks ✭✭ Dewey Short Visitor Center ✭✭ Dick’s Oldtime 5 & 10 in Historic Downtown Branson ✭✭ Dixie Stampede ✭✭ Jim Stafford ✭✭ Presley’s Jubilee ✭✭ Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery ✭✭ Shoji Tabuchi Show ✭✭ Sight & Sound Theatre ✭✭ Silver Dollar City ✭✭ Showboat Branson Belle ✭✭ Titanic Branson Museum ✭✭ Yakov Smirnoff Famous Russian Comedian

Showboat Branson Belle

MILITARY ATTRACTIONS ✭✭ Veteran’s Memorial Museum ✭✭ Ralph Foster Museum ✭✭ Ride the Ducks ✭✭ Hall of Heroes

✈✈ ✈✈


Page 10

Branson Landing

ACCESS Branson (BKG) Springfield (SGF) Ground Transport to hotel; shuttle or rental car I-44 to Springfield, south on Hwy. 65

Titannic Branson Museum Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

© While visiting Seattle reunion planners will have the chance to walk among the legends of the past at the Museum of Flight, see jaw dropping views of the Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier and city skyscrapers from high atop the world famous Space Needle and witness an engaging performance about area natives and their traditions, culture and food.

Seattle, Washington April 25–28, 2012

Doubletree by Hilton Hotels / Seattle Airport



✭✭ Museum of Flight ✭✭ Space Needle ✭✭ Tillicum Village ✭✭ Argosy Cruises ✭✭ Theo Chocolate Factory Tours ✭✭ Burke Museum ✭✭ Museum of Glass ✭✭ Pike Place Market ✭✭ Washington State History Museum

✭✭ Museum of Flight (Personal Courage Wing) ✭✭ Bremerton Naval Museum ✭✭ Flying Heritage Collection ✭✭ Fort Lewis Military Museum ✭✭ Hiram M. Chittenden Locks ✭✭ Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center

Tillicum Village Totem Pole




Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA) I-5

Museum of Flight - Great Gallery Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Page 11


Chattanooga, Tennessee May 20–23, 2012

Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel

Walnut Street Bridge

Chattanooga River

Lookout Mountain

Rock City

chattanooga riverfront Page 12

Tennessee Aquarium Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012



Huntsville, Alabama May 24–26, 2012 Holiday Inn Downtown

Everything You Wanted to Know About Contracts, But Did Not Know What to Ask! You asked for it! Now it’s here... A FAM Tour plus a FULL DAY on CONTRACTS

What You Will See & Do Huntsville, Alabama

History, Structure, Requirements, Analyzing, Dissecting, Improving YOUR Contracts What You MUST Have • What You Should Have What You Don’t Want • What You Should Not Accept

U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Classroom with Tables DAY ONE 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM Welcome Reception/Dinner DAY TWO 8:00 AM Breakfast 9:00 AM - Noon THREE Classroom Sessions & Breaks Noon Lunch 1:00 PM – 4:45 PM FOUR Classroom Sessions & Breaks 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM Dinner & Reception, & Site Inspection

Rocket City

DAY THREE ALL DAY FAM & Site Inspections Sessions Conducted by the “Reunion Guru” Paul Spiewak Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Sign Up Now — Limited Space Attendees eligible for RFN Planner Certification Page 13



Detroit, Michigan

September 28–30, 2012 TBA


Renaissance Center Henry Ford Museum

Detroit Skyline at night

Comerica Park - Ford Field

Detroit aerial view Page 14

Car Hall of Fame Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012


Cape Cod/Hyannis, Massachussets October 21–24, 2012 Heritage House Hyannis

Hyannis Harbor Lighthouse

Hyannis Yacht Club Sunset

JFK Statue - Kennedy Museum Hyannis Port Sagamore Bridge

Hyannis Port Cruise

Hyannis Harbor

Reunion Friendly News

Hyannis Harbor •

Spring, 2012

Page 15


Daytona Beach, Florida November 11–14, 2012 Plaza Resort & Spa

Daytona Beach - Known for the Speedway

Daytona Beach Pier Dunlawton Sugar Mill Botanical Gardens

Band Shell in the Park

Veteran’s Memorial

Sunrise at Daytona Beach Page 16

Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Hotel Rooms: Surcharges & Taxes And before you pull out your wallet to provide a tip to the bellhop for bringing up your bags or to housekeeping for making your bed, most spots have already charged you a generous gratuity for their service, just like they have done for years with Those of you who have ignored this room service. advice may be in for a rude shock! Several recent trade publications It’s also increasingly common to pay have had articles on this subject. A $10 to $20 per day for Wi-Fi access, Halloween article from CNN Money, as well as pay a fee for making local for example, headlines “Hotels Piling calls or even receiving a fax. And you On Hidden Fees.” Quoting from the can expect to pony up anywhere from $15 to $50 a night if you want to article: bring a pet (that is, if the hotel allows “Thinking of taking a dip in the pool pets) and $10 or more a night for a while on vacation? Even if you choose rollaway bed. not to, you could get charged $40 just That’s on top of a host of other fees for having the option. that have become standard, like Following in the footsteps of the reservation cancellation fees, which airlines, hotels are piling on a slew can be as much as the room rate, or of hidden fees for services that used a resort amenity fee, which can add a to be free. Now guests are getting significant amount to your daily tab. charged for everything from access to At the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, a gym (or a pool), to early check-ins or Calif. guests are charged $60 a night for the privilege of using the gym and departures to holding your luggage. parking on the premises. All of those fees really add up. Total fees and surcharges collected by The pricier the hotel, often the heftier hotels in the U.S. are projected to hit the fees. For hotels, all those charges a record $1.8 billion this year, up 80 add up to nearly pure profit. Most percent from a decade ago. Guests have incremental profitability of 80 checking into the Quality Inn & percent to 90 percent or more. The Suites in Surprise, Ariz., for example, “surcharging fad” took off after Sept. probably wouldn’t expect to see a 11 and got worse throughout the $1.50 “Safe Warranty” fee for use of recession as Americans reeled in the safe already in the room. The hotel their travel plans and hotels saw a introduced that fee this summer, sharp decline in revenue. In addition, according to the general manager of the rising price of food and fuel has put added pressure on most hotels’ the property. bottom line.” Stashing your bags for a few hours after checking out of the Hilton in Check Your Bill New York will cost $3.50 -- that’s In any case, you are advised to what’s called the “luggage holding check every bill you get carefully. If fee.” Hungry? Think twice about you have a debit card, for example, grabbing a bag of pretzels from the don’t be surprised if you suddenly minibar. Mini-bar restocking fees see a monthly debit card fee. If this can run up to $10 at hotels like the happens, try and get it stopped, or Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, in addition change to another bank. Still another to the hefty price of the snack. recent event that happened to me For several years, now, we have been cautioning military reunion planners to be sure to add contract language that specifies that there will be no room charges or surcharges that are not specified in the contract.

Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

was an unexplained $95 charge on a credit card. We tracked it down to a magazine subscription we hadn’t ordered and a late fee for not paying it! It seems I failed to mark the box that said I did not want it. A fair number of hotels are getting rid of their health clubs and offering special discounts at neighborhood fitness centers. It’s a good deal for the hotel as they get a commission. It’s a good deal for the fitness centers as they get more business. The hotel guest on the other hand now has to pay for something which used to be free.

More Taxes, Too

The list of counties and cities increasing hotel taxes is growing every day. Politicians seem to think that the public is a pigeon waiting to be plucked for municipal stadia and convention centers. There are just too many to list, but fair warning, we hear of another every day. Maybe it’s time to put a clause in those contracts that limits the amount of room tax also.

Restaurants, Also!

Due to the economy, restaurants at every level are hurting also. All sorts of special deals are in the air. Restaurants are working hard at small details to provide better service, to cut down waste, and to control costs. Tip: Check Groupon coupons at your reunion destination. If a restaurant is willing to make a special Groupon deal, they probably will bend over backwards to give you a great group deal – you may want to consider a restaurant for your reunion banquet, not just for the cost saving, but for the wide open menus. You can be inventive, also! P.S. AMRF members get a break on Sales Tax on the reunion banquet in eight states! Page 17

Thank You NEW & Renewing Members

We welcome these “Reunion Friendly” Members, who have either just joined or renewed their memberships. They actively support the Reunion Friendly Network and eagerly seek the opportunity to host YOUR reunion. We hope you will give them due consideration. See the complete list of RFN Members which starts on page 47. Convention & Visitors Bureaus

AL Birmingham Greater Birmingham CVB 2200 9th Ave N, 35203 Cynthia McHeard 800-458-8085 205-214-9232

CA Sacramento Sacramento CVB 1608 I St, 95814 Betsy Longmire 916-808-7275 800-292-2334

CO Colorado Springs Experience Colorado Springs CVB 515 S Cascade Avenue, 80903 Cheryl Blanton-Chisholm 719-685-7638 800-888-4748

FL Cocoa Space Coast Office of Tourism 430 Brevard Ave Ste 150, 32922 Bonnie King 321-433-4470 321-863-4226

Page 18



Lisle Lisle CVB (Chicago Area) 4746 MAIN ST, 60532 Jay Allen 800-733-9811 630-769-1000

Corning Corning/Finger Lakes (Steuben Cty CVB) 1 W Market St Ste 301, 14830 Danielle Roman 607-936-6544 866-946-3386

Schaumburg Woodfield Chicago NW Conv Bureau 1375 E Woodfield Rd Ste 120, 60173 Melinda Garritano 847-278-3446 800-847-4849

LA Jefferson Jefferson Parish CVB 1221 Elmwood Park Blvd, Suite 411, 70123 Julie Ott 504-731-7083 877-572-7474

MI Detroit Detroit Metro CVB 211 W FORT ST, #1000, 48226 Xenia Castillo-Hunter 313-202-1978 313-202-1800


OH Toledo Destination Toledo, Inc - CVB 401 Jefferson Ave, 43604 Julie Bolfa 800-243-4667 419-321-5055

OR Eugene Eugene, Cascades & Coast CVA PO BOX 10286, 97440 Juanita Metzler 541-743-8758 800-547-5445

PA King of Prussia Valley Forge CVB 1000 First Ave Ste 101, 19406 Courtney Pozo 610-834-7971 800-441-3549

Branson Branson Lakes Area CVB PO BOX 1897, 65615 Kimberly Carr 417-243-2117 800-214-3661 Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

CVBs continued

SD Rapid City Rapid City CVB 444 Mount Rushmore Rd N, 57701 Lisa Storms 605-718-8487 800-487-3223

TX Plano Plano CVB PO BOX 860358, 75086 Kay Summerville 800-817-5266 972-941-5861



Seattle Seattle Southside Visitor Info 3100 S. 176 Street, 98188 Meilee Anderson 206-575-2691 877-885-9452

Buena Park Holiday Inn Buena Park Hotel & Conf Ctr 7000 Beach Blvd, 90620 Dennis Fyda 714-690-4603 800-465-4329

Tacoma Tacoma Regional CVB 1119 Pacific Ave, Ste 1400, 98402 Moira Hurley-Davin 253-284-3257 253-627-2836


WI Appleton Fox Cities of WI CVB 3433 W College Ave, 54914 Mae Ibe 920-734-3358 800-236-6338

San Angelo San Angelo CVB 418 W Avenue B, 76903 Pamela Miller 800-375-1206 325-655-4136

Milwaukee Visit Milwaukee CVB 648 N Plankinton Ave Ste 425, 53203 Brian Hutchings 800-231-0903 414-287-4241

UT Ogden Ogden Utah CVB 2438 Washington Blvd, 84401 Joni Wall 801-778-6253 801-391-7577




Mobile Renaissance Riverview Plaza 64 South Water St, 36602 Derrick Williams 251-415-3086 251-370-0889

Fredericksburg Fredericksburg Regional Tourism Partn. 706 Caroline St, 22401 Kimberly Herbert 540-372-1216 866-405-3046

FL Jacksonville Sheraton Jacksonville Hotel 10605 Deerwood Park Blvd., 32256 P. J. Bailey 904-380-4127 904-564-4772 St Augustine Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort 860 HWY A1A Beach Blvd, 32080 Felicia Fink 904-471-2555 800-626-7263 Tampa Mainsail Suites Hotel & Conference Ctr. 5108 Eisenhower Blvd, 33634 Kelly Nixon 813-243-2635 800-724-5987

IL Oak Brook Doubletree Chicago Oak Brook 1909 Spring Rd, 60523 Ruby Lane-Hodges 630-472-6009 630-472-6000

Norfolk Visit Norfolk 232 E MAIN ST, 23510 Melissa Hopper 757-664-6620 Reunion Friendly News

Groton Groton Inn & Suites PO Box 807, 06340 Nancie Keenan 860-445-9784 800-452-2191


Spring, 2012

Page 19

Hotels, continued

IL Zion Best Western Plus-Market Square 2723 Sheridan Road, 60099 Julia Ramey 847-344-1204 847-872-4000

KS Lenexa Crowne Plaza Kansas City-Overland Park 12601 West 95th Street, 66215 Tom Lufft 913-217-1007 913-217-1000

LA Metairie Ramada Hotel Metairie 2713 N Causeway Blvd, 70002 Gina Abernathy 504-648-3821 800-874-1280

MD Gaithersburg Holiday Inn Gaithersburg 2 Montgomery Village Ave, 20879 Debbie Reed 301-948-8900 240-238-1108

ME S Portland Best Western Merry Manor Inn 700 Main St, 04106 Donald Haggett 207-774-6151 207-415-4537 www.merrymanor

Page 20



Branson Savannah House Hotel 2875 Green Mountain Drive, 65616 Cherie Chitwood 800-335-2555 417-335-2555

Pigeon Forge Music Road Hotel 303 Henderson Chapel Road, 37863 David Sorge 800-429-7700 865-429-7700

St Robert Baymont Inn & Suites 139 Carmel Valley Way, 65584 Betsy Thomson 573-336-5050


NM Albuquerque MCM Elegante Hotel & Event Center 2020 Menaul Blvd NE, 87107 Shannon Mullan 505-872-0412 866-650-890

NY Niagara Falls Comfort Inn -The Pointe One Prospect Pointe, 14303 Tricia Mezhir 716-284-6835 800-284-6835 Niagara Falls Sheraton at the Falls 300 Third St, 14303 Monica Rapini 716-278-2622 800-953-2557

SC Myrtle Beach Springmaid Beach Resort 3200 S Ocean Blvd, 29577 Sharon Kemerer 843-315-7173 800-770-7198

San Antonio El Tropicano Hotel 110 Lexington Ave., 78205 Michael Rodriguez 210-277-4046 877-214-9768 San Antonio Holiday Inn Airport 77 NE Loop 410, 78216 Roland Lopez 210-524-5910 888-615-0518 Galveston Holiday Inn Resort on the Beach 5002 Sea Wall Blvd, 77551 Carly Rowland 409-740-5300 409-740-3581

VA Arlington Crowne Plaza Washington Natl Airport 1480 Crystal Drive, 22202 Sean Mansfield 703-842-1222 703-371-4634 Arlington Crystal City Marriott/Regan Natl Airport 1999 Jefferson Davis Highway, 22202 Department Sales 703-413-5500

Reunion Friendly News


Spring, 2012


Hotels, continued

Reston Sheraton Reston 11810 Sunrise Valley Dr, 20191 Bob Ciccone 703-262-5931

VA Arlington Holiday Inn National Airport/Cry 2650 Jefferson Davis Hwy, 22202 Sean Mansfield 703-842-1222 703-684-7200

WI Appleton Radisson Paper Valley Hotel 333 W College Ave, 54911 Nancy Hollis 920-733-8000 800-242-3499

Ashburn Embassy Suites Dulles North 44610 Waxpool Road, 20147 Jolene Pardee 703-554-6051 703-723-5300

Green Bay Radisson Hotel Green Bay 2040 Airport Dr, 54313 Jennifer Simonar 920-494-7300 920-405-6438

Dulles Holiday Inn Dulles Airport 45425 Holiday Drive, 20166 Lorrie Hooper 703-563-1502 703-563-1502

Destination Managers

Herndon Hilton Washington/Dulles 13869 Park Center Road, 20171 Beth Holcomb 703-834-1991 703-478-2900

FL Jacksonville Active Escapes Jax/St Aug 1177 Garrison Drive, 32092 John Aguilera 904-230-8787

McLean Courtyard by Marriott-Tysons Corner 1960-A Chain Bridge Rd, 22102 Kathleen Porter 703-790-0207 703-584-2142

MO Hollister Branson GrayLine 155 Industrial Park Drive, 65672 Renee Youngblood 417-335-4466 800-542-6768

McLean Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner 1960 Chain Bridge Rd, 22102 Maggie Drummond 703-738-3118 703-584-2142

Reunion Friendly News

TN Nashville Sharin- Nashville Tours PO Box 140234, 37214 Sharon Cole 615-846-0867 •

Spring, 2012

Hotel Management Co.

MD Bethesda B F Saul Company - Hotel Division 7501 Wisconsin Ave Ste 1500, 20814 Alison B. Rubin 301-986-6321

General Attractions

AK Wrangell Nolan Center PO BOX 1050, 99929 Terri Henson 907-874-3699 907-305-0102

MO Branson Mansion Entertainment & Media Ctr 189 Expressway Lane, 65616 Amy Leaming 417-239-3058 417-294-2446

SC North Myrtle Beach The Alabama Theatre 4750 Highway 17 S, 29582 CMP, Kathy B Flowe 843-272-5758 800-782-2262

Reunion Promotions

USA Hollywood, Florida Promotional Associates, Inc. 2330 Hollywood Blvd, 33020 Stephen C. Greenberger 954-295-5955 954-921-5600

Page 21

Negotiating Room Rates

It wasn’t a surprise, but the trade news bulletin this past January 30 had a lead story about the room rates in Indianapolis during the Super Bowl. We’ve sung the refrain before about the best strategy of getting the lowest room rates is to look at the calendar. In Indianapolis, the room rate at the Days Inn jumped to $500 per night, with a minimum of four nights! One hotel near the airport was charging more than double that amount, with other hotels joining the madness. It never has been a secret that hotels do not have a fixed rate. We’ve heard planners talk about “rack rates,” and “standard rates,” and “normal rates,” for years. If you believe in such a thing, I have a Miami causeway to sell you. The fact is that there is no such thing as a standard, normal or rack rate. It is pure fiction.

Caveat Emptor!

This Latin phrase meaning ”Let the buyer beware” fits the hospitality industry like a bikini on a model. Rates fluctuate for only a few reasons, and every reunion planner ought to know what those reasons are! Room rates affect everyone who attends a reunion and it is the responsibility of the reunion planner to negotiate the best possible rate. That puts the burden on the planner to negotiate the best rate. Rates vary widely according to the location, and the shrewd planner often selects a location just outside the major city where the reunion is planned. Rates also change and vary widely according to the season, according to the days of the week, according to special events in the community, and most of all how much advanced Page 22

business the hotel already has on the cherry blossom season, are prime books at the time you want to go. examples of time/location situations the planner should avoid.

Time of the Year

There are more reunions held in September than any other month. Why? The fact is that hotel bookings in general are lower in that month. It is an in-between time in most locations. As a result, military reunions have naturally gravitated to that month or even the first half of October because that is when the best rates are available. It is good for the reunion group and it is good for the hotel. A good deal is good for everybody! This is not true for every hotel, or even every community, so when you pick a location, ask the question, “What is the best month for us to come?”

Days of the Week

There are two kinds of hotels, those that are busy on the weekends, and those that are busy during the week. When you do a site inspection, ask what days the hotel is least busy, and you will quickly learn the facts for that hotel. We once stayed in a suite on the strip in Las Vegas for the amazingly low price of $29/night. That was the rate for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We were due to fly home on Saturday, so we stayed Friday night and were charged $189 for that extra night! The reason is that the hotel typically was packed on Friday and Saturday night, with some overflow to Sunday night. Similarly, we once stayed in a beautiful hotel in Montgomery County just outside of D.C. with a Metro station across the street. We arrived on Thursday and left Monday morning. The charge for Thursday night was more than $200, but the other days we only paid $49.

What Do You Mean Busy?

Even after you do all the research and planning, you can go to a hotel at what you believe is the time to get the best rate, and you get a shock! Why? The odds are that even though the hotel is usually empty at that time, they have booked another piece of business.

What Do You Do?

By far, the best way to get the lowest rate is to let the hotel decide when your reunion is best for them! You can’t leave it entirely open-ended, but what you do is to give them a time window of at least 30 days. The hotel can look to see how much space is available through that period and then tell you what the best dates are. Whenever that is, it is also to your advantage because you can request more in extras if you go along. Even better, despite the low rate offered, you still have room to negotiate it down further. It depends on the size of your group, and particularly your skill as a negotiator. A planner once called us to brag about the fact that he had negotiated a $27 per night deal for his reunion at Cape Cod, with a guarantee that every room he booked would have an ocean view. What a deal! On questioning, we quickly learned that the reunion was in the middle of January. We don’t know about you, but as a South Floridian, you couldn’t pay me enough to go to Cape Cod in January!

Do Your Homework

The moral of this article is that you should ask questions before you Special Events If ever there was a trigger to jack up decide on the time and place to have rates, special events are it. Booking your reunion. A few simple questions, a reunion at the time and place of a readily answered will tell you when Super Bowl, booking most of New and where you can make a good deal England during leaf-watching season, for your prospective attendees. booking Washington DC during Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Perfectly situated at the gateway to Silicon Valley, the Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley hotel is located at the scenic southern tip of the San Francisco Bay just north of San Jose. Conveniently close to San Jose Mineta International Airport, Oakland International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport, you’ll find our hotel easily accessible from all major transportation. Classic and modern in every sense of the word, guests will be treated to an elegant and inviting atmosphere near the gorgeous Napa Valley and the world-renowned high-tech headquarters of Silicon Valley. With our recent multi-million dollar renovations to our gorgeous reception space (with more square footage added to provide even more hosting options than ever before), our new MI Greatroom, restaurant, bar, and business center, this unique Fremont destination makes the perfect host for a reunion you’ll never forget. Enjoy exquisitely prepared meals and sip hand-crafted cocktails with old friends at our gorgeously-styled MI Greatroom lobby featuring a hot new restaurant and bar. You’ll experience the ideal spot to meet and greet, or take in the scene with complimentary wi-fi and 14 state-of-the-art HD LCD screens with a 150-inch video wall at the bar. Relax and take a dip in the indoor pool, or treat yourself to an invigorating workout at the 24-hour fitness center. Attendees will love winding down their day when they slip into the luxurious new Marriott Revive bedding while surrounding themselves with all the comforts and conveniences of home in their spacious guestrooms.

NEAR THE CENTER OF IT ALL. We’ve combined the best in luxury and value to

And with more than 15,000 sq ft of fully-flexible reunion space and 19 versatile meeting rooms, you’ve got the perfect host for everything from the grandest gatherings to the most intimate affairs. Start your planning now, we’ve got a wide variety of packages to suit every need.

create the perfect reunion. Convenient to San Jose,

For more information on reunion packages, reservations and more call our sales office at 510.413.3700 or visit

to re-connect and share memories. And thanks to 19

San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area, our beautiful hotel, spacious meeting rooms, re-designed lobby and greatroom is the perfect Venue to hold your event oversized meeting rooms and more than 15,000 sq ft of flexible meeting space, high-speed wireless internet, and the business amenities to make every meeting more productive, getting down to business has never been easier or more convenient. For more information on reunion packages, reservations and more - call our sales office at 510.413.3700 or visit

FREMONT MARRIOTT SILICON VALLEY 46100 Landing Parkway Fremont, CA 94538 Phone 510.413.3700

From a Woman’s Point of View …

history adventure s

Find your

time s machine memories

Being the Co-Pilot in Life and a Reunion By Charlene Adamson


Has your veteran military reunion planner spouse or companion taken on the responsibility of planning a reunion and found it to be an awing experience? What about yourself? Wisely, most planners choose to share the planning and implementing of the reunion with a partner. Of course, there are always those who choose to go it alone and RFN recommends that planners not do this. Why?

There is a place where the past meets the present. Where history and heritage and events and activities converge in an ideal location. We call this Rocky Mountain oasis Colorado Springs. You’ll call it the reunion of a lifetime. Let us help you create an unforgettable get-together at 800.888.4748, ext.138.

Find your time machine and build your itinerary at

Page 24 CSCVB12 ReunionFriendly WINTER 2.25X10_FNL.indd 2/8/12 1 10:45 AM

all want your event to be successful but there must be an open line of communication. Waiting until the last minute can be daunting and sets up the event for failure.

If you have attended an RFN ConFAM© and served as a reunion planner, perhaps your next step should be to attend a WorkFAM© where Paul teaches Contracts and Negotiation. This year following the Chattanooga, Sadly, crisis may arise because of Tennessee ConFAM©, we are heading health, family, or even death, and if to Huntsville, Alabama (less than an there is no partner the entire reunion hour and a half from Chattanooga) to may be in chaos. Who has the contract conduct a WorkFAM©. and where is it? What about the “notebook” that Paul emphasizes must Last year, the WorkFAM© was in be up to date? Someone else from Bowling Green, Kentucky following your unit, group, or association steps the Nashville, Tennessee ConFAM© and in at the last minute and tries to piece it was highly successful for attendees everything back together. Sometimes who came away self-assured that they it works; sometimes it does not! There understood the importance of having are pilots and co-pilots working to fly new knowledge about Contracts. that plane successfully just as there are captains and co-captains. Why should The WorkFAM© begins on the evening a military reunion be any different? of the first day with dinner and a siteThis is one of the reasons that RFN inspection. The following day includes allows two persons, plus their spouse all of the teaching on Contracts and or companion, from the same group to Negotiations. The next day is devoted attend a ConFAM© together. to a FAM tour of the host city with check-out the next morning. There Each of you may have experienced a are no outside exhibitors, only local situation where the Sales Manager at vendors. the CVB leaves prior to your event, or the hotel contact changes. Remember Like a well choreographed performance, how bewildering that felt? It is the the planner and their partner are now same if the planner changes. The hotel, prepared to go center stage and be the CVB, transportation and tour company stars! Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Reunion Friendly News


Spring, 2012

Page 25

Paul’s Opinion This article is a personal opinion, and does not necessarily represent the views of The Reunion Friendly Network, its employees, customers, or reunion planners.

An editorial by Paul Spiewak As some of you know, I write a short weekly essay, usually a page or so of text, plus some appropriate cartoons, which I send to roughly 500 people (on request), commenting about things that I find interesting, and which I hope my readers believe is worthy of commentary. A few months ago, I wrote one of these titled God Bless America. The amount of response was staggering. Here is what I wrote (edited a bit):

God Bless America

Forgive me, but I really do not understand why every political and every presidential speech ends up this way. When a president addresses the nation on television and tells them he has ordered an attack on a country that did not attack us, and then winds up with that famous phrase, it strikes me as an oxymoron. Do we attack in the name of peace? Would it not be more appropriate to say “America blesses God?” In the same way, it strikes me as somewhat odd that the U.S. Government, our government, has invaded our economic and financial structure with a series of moves that at the very minimum has impeded the free flow of capital, and then looks at our Divine Maker to make it all work. The old adage of “The Lord helps those who help themselves” seems to be more appropriate. It is a well-known fact that small businesses create more jobs than any other group. The government may Page 26

also create jobs, but it is also a fact that government produces nothing! Nothing! Zilch! De nada!

will be nothing left to take. God did bless America, but we have traded those blessings for a mess of pottage called national debt. I think it is time There are millions of small business for America to bless God, and get back people who, through their efforts, to work. I think it is time we stopped often very innovative, serve as a looking to government to solve our backbone to the economy. In the problems, to start living within our normal course of events, without the means, and give our thanks to God for government interfering, the natural allowing us to do it. economic forces would entice these entrepreneurs to expand or start That’s the way it looks to me. new businesses and create those desperately needed jobs. It hasn’t ——— happened. What our government has Here are some responses (edited for done is diverted the funds that these clarity and brevity): existing and new small businesses needed, using them to bail out a few Just to let you know that when I big losers. started reading your spot I said to myself “I don’t like where this is By this time, it should be obvious going.” But after reading the whole that the powers in Washington, spot I have to say, “I agree totally with particularly the Federal Reserve, have, you.” Like Paul Harvey’s, “Now for the to coin a phrase, screwed up royally. rest of the story.” Richard Souza There are no “fixin’s,” no workable USS Charles H. Roan DD-853 plans, no way for government to help, ——— except to get out of the way. God bless you. If you were a carpenter you would never bend a nail - always Asking for divine intervention to a direct hit on the head! It would be avoid financial disaster simply does interesting for you to go into what not work, however well-intentioned. each Congressperson cost us — You either have the money or not. You $180,000 base pay plus $900,000/ do not write bum checks because the yr for expenses, plus free postage good Lord will not bail you out. (most used to enhanced the wonders they do), plus 80 employees each, Don’t have the money, use credit and junkets at government expense. cards. Credit cards maxed out, stop They even have three or four offices paying the mortgage. Did you ever despite being limited anatomically to stop to look at the other side? If one behind. someone fails to pay you, do you George Washington was wise to ask for a heavenly angel to drop the limit himself to two terms. Congress dough on your doorstep, or do you go and the Senate should follow. These after the non-payer yourself? self anointed lords act and demand like the chosen ones. This must be God really did bless America. We were changed! They spend most of their given a beautiful land with untold time on unnecessary trips, vacations, wealth in minerals, arable land, and seeking votes for reelection! potable fresh running water, and clean air to breathe. It was a place We are in a crisis tantamount to like no other, where a person could being in a war of survival. Our brave start with nothing and create wealth. troops did not take vacations or stop But, somewhere along the way we at sundown. They hunkered down blew it, squandered our gifts, lost on the battle field risking their lives our principles, and started to look for to save America. Our failed president handouts. Handouts aren’t free. They and Congress have no inkling in their come from other folks who earned it. cotton picking minds that America is in a crisis war of survival. When those in power take away I cry for you America! the incentive from the earners, the Name Withheld by Request developers, the entrepreneurs, there Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Book Your Next reuNioN at the SullivaN BrotherS iowa veteraNS MuSeuM

Waterloo, IoWa “We were blown away by the interactive exhibits and state of the art displays at the Iowa Veterans Museum.” -Larry, U.S.S. Fletcher Reunion 2011

reuNioN itiNerarY SuggeStioNS • Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum and Grout Museum District • Veterans Memorial Hall • Iowa National Guard Army Aviation Support Facility • Historic Tour of Downtown Waterloo

other regioNal attractioNS • River Boat Cruises • Wine Tasting Excursions • John Deere Tractor Assembly Tour • Isle Casino at Waterloo • Galleria de Paco

“I can’t believe a museum of this caliber is right here in Waterloo, IA.” -Dave, Iwo Jima Survivor

319-234-6357 • • 503 South St. Waterloo, IA 50701

Established in 1932, the Grout Museum District is widely acknowledged as one of the cornerstones of culture in Northeast Iowa. The District consists of the Grout Museum of History & Science, Bluedorn Science Imaginarium, Snowden House, Rensselaer Russell House Museum and Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum. Opened in November 2008, the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum honors the service and sacrifice of all Iowa veterans from the Civil War to present. Step into their stories through traditional exhibits, interactive activities and an electronic Wall of Honor. The Iowa Veterans Museum has a number of permanent exhibits that visitors can explore.

about the activities of specific units: the 21st Iowa Volunteer Infantry, the 51st Iowa Regiment and the 168th Iowa Regiment, part of the Rainbow Division. The productions have been drawn from letters, diaries and historical accounts. The upper level theaters feature the voices of actual veterans through video interviews, which capture the emotion and pride they experienced. Contact Information: Grout Museum District 503 South Street, Waterloo, IA 50701. Ph: 319-234-6357 Contact: Cyd McHone Email: Web:

The museum’s interactive Dog Tag Stations provide insight into the lives of soldiers and citizens. In each combat period, a station will “read” your dog tag, which is given to you at admission. The station will tell you about that dog tags assigned persona, and how that individual may have experienced events during that period of time. The Voices of Veterans theaters provide museum visitors detailed accounts of experiences by Iowans. The theaters in the lower level areas feature historical reproductions Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Page 27

Paul’s ^ Opinion This article is a personal opinion, and does not necessarily represent the views of The Reunion Friendly Network, its employees, customers, or reunion planners.

An editorial by Paul Spiewak

Veterans Rejoice! Americans Win! Victory in Iraq! Three Cheers for the Red, White & Blue Maybe I missed something. There was no surrender, no humbled enemy, no newfound freedom, no democracy unless that’s your definition of a hated puppet dictator, no national glory, and not even a single drop of oil — that went to the Chinese. So, after Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and more warfare for nearly 20 years; and aside from the trillion dollars we dribbled away; and 4,500 Americans dead, and another 32,226 wounded; we watched the Iraqis burn the American Flag and curse the infidels (that’s us). The final ceremonies at the airport were marked by heavy guards, and speeches by officials. Each speech assured the troops of their courage and bravery, and of course that their efforts were not in vain. Excuse me! This war was not only clear American aggression for political purposes, but surely was a disaster from the beginning. As the Wall Street Journal phrased it, “The advanced U.S. military was brought low by primitive Page 28

weapons: homemade bombs made suffered a misfortune, we jumped in from fertilizer or discarded artillery to help. Everybody in the world loved shells.” us, or at least they wanted to come to America. That picture has changed. We surely are not very prosperous these What really happened? days. We still have our humanitarian It all started when Iraq invaded Kuwait instincts, but it seems to me that we back in 1990, which, from the Iraqi can hardly be called peaceful. view was to regain control over an oilrich wayward province. If one reads The United States has a worldwide the history of Kuwait, once part of the network of between 700 and 800 Ottoman Empire, it is evident that the military bases in foreign countries. borders were never clearly defined. There are more than 250,000 military Its chief industry was the production personnel stationed in 156 countries. of pearls, but that industry collapsed Our military is considered one of the when artificial pearls became popular largest foreign land owners in the in the 1920s. By 1938, the British world! We maintain those bases and had control of both Iraq and Kuwait the personnel at a cost of more than a and oil had been discovered. Britain half-trillion dollars per year. hung on until 1961, when they finally let go and Kuwait and Iraq became It Is Time to Reflect independent. Isn’t it time to re-evaluate just what The problem for both Iraq and we are trying to achieve? Isn’t it Kuwait was the conflict between the time we reconsidered our place in Sunni and Shia sects of Islam. Iran is the world? Isn’t time to examine Shia. Saudi Arabia is Sunni. Iraq and ourselves and decide what kind of Kuwait are mixtures, but up to the world what kind of world we want to fall of Saddam Hussein was ruled by live in? More importantly, isn’t it time the Sunnis. The difference lies in the to decide what kind of world we want claim of descendancy of Mohammed. our children and grandchildren to live They have been feuding over this for in? nearly fourteen hundred years! Isn’t it time to re-examine our moral This Shia-Sunni conflict is like a values, our standards, and our powder keg, ready to explode. We obligations? Don’t you want to have put ourselves in the middle, and after the United States of America, OUR the noise and clamor settled down, United States of America, regain the the one thing we managed to do glory, regain the trust, and regain the appears to be that we have kicked the respect of everyone in the world? Iraqis out of Kuwait, and we moved in. Kuwait has lots of aliens. Out of I believe in a strong America. I, and a population of 3-1/2 million, only 1 most of you who read this, pledged our million are citizens. We have a mere lives in defense of our beloved country. 10,000 troops, and maintain seven These past few years, I confess, have military bases there, plus a major air left me a little bewildered. It seems force base. that we have changed our ways and lost our moral standards. America, I cry for you. What Do We Stand For? When I grew up, I had a beautiful That’s the way it looks to me. picture of America. I was taught that we were a prosperous, humanitarian, peaceful people. If another country Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Meet in the Middle!

• Home to Fort Leonard Wood, the largest training installation in the country Centrally located in both the United States & in Missouri, We’re right along I44 between Springfield and St. Louis! • Guided driving tours of the fort & Rt. 66 • Daily direct flights to Fort Leonard Wood • State-of-the art military museums • Complimentary itinerary planning • Assistance obtaining bids for restaurants, hotels, meeting space & much more

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau - St. Robert, MO


Home of Fort Leonard Wood

Home of Fort Leonard Wood, Pulaski County

Leonard Wood, step-on guided tours of Route 66

offers the perfect seeing for your next military

and tours of other museums throughout Pulaski

reunion. Originally this post was infantry, later


becoming an nationally recognized Engineer

Pulaski County provides endless opportunities

training facility. Today, Fort Leonard Wood

for group day trips and is just a quick jaunt to

trains over 90,000 soldiers in basic training and Branson, Bass Pro Headquarters in Springfield, specialized courses. Training of other branches the St. James Winery Region, and shopping at of the military; Marines, Navy and Air Force also

the 100 store outlet at Lake of the Ozarks. Pulaski

occur. This makes Fort Leonard Wood an appealing

County also offers over 70 restaurants ranging from

choice for all types of military reunions.

American and ethnic options to lip-smacking BBQ,

Itineraries for military reunions range from

including national franchises to the unique dining

windshield tours of the Fort, group tours of the experiences of dining in a cave. Quality catering Museums of Fort Leonard Wood, specialized

services are available for banquets.

itineraries that provide behind the scene tours of the

Pulaski County is centrally within the United

latest training facilities and can be personalized to

States, making this location an excellent choice

focus on your division of the military. Reunions may for your reunion attendees to gather. Our location also choose to dine at one of the mess halls.

along I-44, between St. Louis and Springfield,

Reunion Planners can make the most of their Missouri, makes Pulaski County easily accessible groups stay with over 27 lodging options. Too

by vehicle and those that wish to fly may book

much to choose from? The Pulaski County Tourism flights through Cape Air, (associated with American Bureau offers complimentary reunion planning

Airlines), into the Waynesville-St Robert Regional

services. Bureau staff will help you obtain room,

Airport located on Fort Leonard

restaurant, group transportation, entertainment Wood. For more information call and catering bids. Itinerary planning is our specialty

8977-858-8687 or visit our website,

and we will help with coordinating tours of Fort

Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Page 29

WW II Trivia

so (at long range) if your tracers w e r e hitting the target 8 0 % of your r o u n d s were missing. Worse yet, tracers instantly told your enemy he was under fire and from which direction. Worst of all was the practice of 2. The youngest US serviceman loading a string of tracers at the was 12 year old Calvin Graham, end of the belt to tell you that USN. He was wounded and you were out of ammo. This was given a Dishonorable Discharge definitely not something you for lying about his age. His wanted to tell the enemy. Units benefits were later restored by that stopped using tracers saw their success rate nearly double act of Congress. and their loss rate go down. 3. At the time of Pearl Harbor, the top US Navy command was 7. When allied armies reached called CINCUS (pronounced the Rhine, the first thing men “sink us”), the shoulder patch did was pee in it. This was of the US Army’s 45th Infantry pretty universal from the lowest division was the Swastika, and private to Winston Churchill Hitler’s private train was named (who made a big show of it) and “Amerika.” All three were soon Gen. Patton (who had himself photographed in the act). changed for PR purposes. 1. The first German serviceman killed in WW II was killed by the Japanese (China, 1937), the first American serviceman killed was killed by the Russians (Finland 1940); highest ranking American killed was Lt Gen Lesley McNair, killed by the US Army Air Corps. So much for allies.

There are some people that come into your lives and instantly touch your heart; Korey Soderman does just that. Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy shortly after birth, Korey has defeated all odds to live a normal life by doing what others do, just a little bit differently. Now 22, he serves as an inspiration to his classmates, community and others facing challenges just like his. Kenny Loggins’ song “This Is It,” empowered Wendy, Korey’s mother, to give Korey the opportunity to live despite his challenging prognosis when she only had a few minutes to decide the fate of Korey and his twin Kyle. It was fifteen years ago when Wendy first shared her amazing story of grace and courage inspired by Kenny Loggins. Every year since then, they have visited different concert venues throughout the country to hear “This Is It” performed live. Their amazing story is a A&E Documentary “Between the Lines” narrated by Robert Downey Jr. The power of music has played an integral part in Korey’s life, touching his soul and enriching his spirit. For that very reason, Korey’s latest endeavor is to break the World Record for the largest wheelchair dance ever! Kenny Loggins, now a close friend to the Soderman family, will be writing a special rendition of “This Is It” just for Korey and the World Record Event on Sunday May 20, 2012 from 2:00pm – 4:30 pm at CityPlace in downtown West Palm Beach. Kenny and his band, Blue Sky Riders will also be performing a concert for everyone to enjoy. More information at

Page 30

4. More US servicemen died in the Air Corps than the Marine Corps. While completing the required 30 missions, your chance of being killed was 71%. 5. Generally speaking, there was no such thing as an average fighter pilot. You were either an ace or a target. For instance, Japanese Ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa shot down over 80 planes. He died while a passenger on a cargo plane. 6. It was a common practice on fighter planes to load every 5th round with a tracer round to aid in aiming. This was a mistake. Tracers had different ballistics

8. German Me-264 bombers were capable of bombing New York City, but they decided it wasn’t worth the effort. 9. German submarine U-120 was sunk by a malfunctioning toilet. 10. Among the first “Germans” captured at Normandy were several Koreans. They had been forced to fight for the Japanese Army until they were captured by the Russians and forced to fight for the Russian Army until they were captured by the Germans and forced to fight for the German Army until they were captured by the US Army.

Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Reunion Friendly News


Spring, 2012

Page 31

Travel Rights! There has been a lot of talk lately about airplane passengers and their rights. As those of us who fly relate our experiences going through security lines and with all those extra charges on our tickets, what are those rights?

becomes a three-stop on a puddle jumper. Answer: You can either accept it, ask for a refund, or try to get a different flight.


Aside from the Constitutional Bill of Rights, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation is the one making Problem: You have reserved an aisle the rules. They recently issued a new seat but wind up in a middle seat. set, and here is what they say. Even worse, a big clinically obese person sits down in the aisle seat next Problem: Your flight gets cancelled! to you. He can’t help it, but you get Answer: There is no legal recourse. squashed and shoved into the person The airline can do whatever it feels sitting in the window seat. like doing. Most will try to re-book Answer: Some airlines have a rule you as soon as possible, some even on that a very large person must buy two another airline. Nevertheless, there is seats, that rule is rarely enforced. The no obligation on the airline for a free fact is that unless you paid extra for a meal or hotel room. specific seat, the airline has the right to seat you anywhere on the airplane. You have no recourse! If this very Problem: You get bumped. Answer: If the airline gets you on large person is your problem, you another flight that arrives within an have three choices: you can ask for hour of the original flight schedule, a different seat and you may be put you are not entitled to anything. If elsewhere on the plane, even perhaps your reschedule gets you there within upgraded; you can ask to be put on four hours, you may be entitled to as the next flight; or you can live with it. much as double your fare (maximum $650). If your reschedule gets you Problem: The airline changes the there more than four hours later, schedule and decides not to fly to you are entitled to up to four times your destination on the day you your original one-way fare to a booked. In order for you to make the maximum of $1,300. You are entitled meeting, you have to fly a day earlier. to demand the payment in cash. Do Who pays for the extra night at the not accept vouchers as vouchers have hotel and the meals? restrictions. Answer: Tough on you. There is no recourse Problem: Excessive taxiway delay Answer: Technically you are entitled Problem: The airline changes the to get off the plane after three hours, routing, or even changes your booking but the location of the plane may so that your non-stop on a big jet make this impossible. Page 32

Your checked luggage is lost Answer: New rules require reimbursement up to $3,300 per incident on domestic travel. This does NOT mean you automatically get the money. The airline is entitled to proof of value, less depreciation. The smart traveler makes an inventory of the items packed and their value. Actual receipts for the items packed are much better. In all fairness, the incidence of lost baggage is comparatively rare. Most travelers with this experience, get their “lost” luggage within a day or two.

Problem: You buy the wrong ticket. Answer: On some web sites, this is

fairly easy. You may not notice prechecked boxes and wind up buying two tickets when you only wanted one, or even made a mistake with the date. There are NEW regulations that give you 24 hours to correct the error. Within that time frame, you can cancel the reservation with a full refund, or change the booking. The new regulation forces the airline to hold the reservation for 24 hours before you pay. Note that this may not be true when dealing with third parties, so if you want to be safe, book directly with the airline.

Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

It’s Reunions made easy at the Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort! Exceptional customer service and extraordinary packaging has placed this establishment well ahead of its competition in the Myrtle Beach area. Newly renovated Oceanfront one Oceanview rooms with a breathtaking view of the Atlantic await you at the Sea Mist Resort, Our 15 acre Oceanfront Resort provides on-site amenities that are unparalleled on the Grand Strand. The largest resort waterpark is the centerpiece of our water activities. On premises, our guests will find 8 outdoor swimming pools, 2 indoor pools and 4 Jacuzzis, as well as a state-of-the-art fitness center, gift shop, convenience store and miniature golf course for their enjoyment, Dine at Tena’s Restaurant for breakfast, relax on the beach, then try our newest addition; Three Steps Down Grille & Tavern, which offers exciting new menus to satisfy the most discriminating palates. Our freestanding Conference Center provides 17,000 square feet of meeting space compete with R e u n i o n F Rr i e n d l y n News

full catering services. The private meeting rooms staffed by our Banquet and Catering professionals are designed to hold your group of 25 to 400 attendees. We can accommodate meetings of various sizes, seated dinners for 400 and receptions up to 500. Our Sales and Catering professionals will help you make your reunion extraordinary! Treat your group to the Sea Mist’s inclusive Reunion package. It includes: four nights lodging in our Oceanfront or Oceanview rooms, breakfast buffet each morning in Tena’s, a welcome reception, a farewell banquet in the Conference Center, a ticket to one of our award-winning theatres, commemorative T-shirt, and a hospitality suite so that you and your attendees can socialize at their leisure. Please contact our Reunion Specialist for additional information on our four-night or our three night package by calling 800-200-8687 or by visiting our website at

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Traveling with RFN

Jacksonville, Florida Bowling Green

A Crown City with Many Jewels Showcasing Their Love of Veterans By Charlene Adamson Returning to Jacksonville last November closed RFN’s 2011 season. The Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Airport was a welcome assurance that all would be well. That is the reputation that Jacksonville has earned both by the quality and care of the hotel, as well as the expertise of the CVB. It is especially heart-warming to return time and time again and the same key players to be there. In this industry, that is unusual! Under the direction of Janice Dailey and Karen Howell, the staff of the Crowne Plaza stepped up to the plate and created an atmosphere of true hospitality. We were among “old friends.” From the General Manager to the maintenance and housekeeping departments, it was obvious that this hotel is appreciated and it showed in each person’s attitude, smile, and helpfulness. When the next few days were busy and full, watching the beautiful river from the guestroom and seeing Jacksonville’s evening lights appear got us ready for the following days.

Jacksonville Riverwalk

Highlights of the event for the nearly 100 planners, guests and exhibitors were the booking successes. The exhibitor cocktail reception was well attended and planners dropped by to see everyone. Jacksonville and its hospitality industry is unique in that it works together as a team to bring groups to their destination. While many cities are the same, there are those that compete so highly that we miss the needed site inspections and Alex Michaels and Nicole Trueblood were champions at other venues. Our good friend, John Aguilera of Active the CVB and old friend, Bob Meyer, who is taking over the Escapes, oversaw the FAM and all transportation. Meals Military Reunion Market, shared much of his time with were wonderful wherever we went, including the Crowne the ConFAM©. Plaza Jacksonville Airport, The Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk, the Hyatt Regency Riverfront, the Crowne Plaza Riverfront, the Embassy Suites Hotel, and the Sheraton Jacksonville. Places of interest were the Veterans Memorial Wall, the Maritime Museum, USS Adams Class Naval Ship Museum, Naval Station Mayport, and St. Augustine (I felt younger immediately). Two spectacular evening events were the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in a “Celebrate America” performance and the final night’s dinner and “”My Fair Lady” at the Alhambra Theatre. Jacksonville is a crown city with many jewels all showcasing their love of the veterans. RFN gives Jacksonville a round of applause and will return there in the future. Booking your reunion there is a must. Fountain of Youth Page 34

Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Rapid City is the ideal location for reunions and special events. We are close to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Badlands National Park, two national caves, Custer State Park and more. Plus, we offer: •

5,400 hotel rooms

A variety of meeting spaces that are quaint and intimate or large and roomy

FREE WiFi in hotel rooms, as well as all meeting rooms, FREE on-site parking and FREE/discounted shuttle service

The NEW Main Street Square

Four major airlines with direct flights from eight hubs

Download a free Meeting Professionals Guide at CoNtaCt Lisa stoRMs: | 1-800-487-3223 ext. 8487

Breathtaking Breakout Sessions. Close to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Rapid City, South Dakota, is an affordable location for military reunions with immediate access to patriotic places, lodging, dining and intimate gathering spaces. Less than 25 miles away from Rapid City stands our nation’s Shrine of Democracy, Mount Rushmore National Memorial.  Here groups will also find Ellsworth Air Force Base, which holds half of the nation’s B1-B bombers and the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, a Cold War era missile silo and launch facility.   The Black Hills are home to other notable attractions like Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument. You can also take a relaxing, scenic drive on Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road or Spearfish Canyon.   After exploring the Black Hills, groups can return to Reunion Friendly News

Rapid City and choose from more than 5,400 area hotel rooms, spacious meeting facilities and a variety of dining and shopping options. Rapid City also features charm and attractions all its own, including Historic Downtown, the City of Presidents, City View Trolley, the Journey Museum and drive-thru wildlife parks. The new Main Street Square is also now opened featuring free events, farmer’s markets and interactive water displays and seasonal ice skating. Ideally located in the middle of the country, Rapid City offers direct flights from seven hubs on four major airlines, and most of our hotel properties offer free WiFi, free onsite parking and free or discounted shuttle service.   Planning your event with the Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau can save time and money. For a free Meeting Professionals Guide, contact Lisa Storms at 1-800-487-3223 x8487, email Storms@VisitRapidCity. com or click 

Spring, 2012

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Are You Ready? Part of the seminar at an RFN ConFAM© deals with for example, have placed a low table next to the bar the reunion planner’s responsibility with respect to for persons in a wheelchair. That no longer meets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. code. Now, there has to be an actual section of the bar that is lower. As far as meeting space is concerned, the One of the reasons planners are urged to visit the space not only has to be accessible throughout, but reunion hotel before a contract is signed, is to insure also requires a clear line of sight. that the hotel is compliant. In many cases, the reunion planner may be declared personally liable if there are More Rules infractions that adversely impact an attendee. A special slide-out shelf at the hotel registration desk no longer is adequate for accommodating wheelchairThe Rules Are Changing bound guests. Hotels must provide actual counter On March 15, 2012, 20 years after the passage of space at a designated height. the original ADA, a new set of rules will take effect. • If there are multiple elevators responding to the same call button, all must be accessible-compliant. This is not new! These standards were created two years ago and are officially called the 2010 Standards • All swimming pools will require lifts or sloped entry. for Acceptable Design. New hotels must comply • Spas must ensure saunas and steam rooms have accessible doors. immediately, but existing hotels can still use the old • In a fitness center, at least one of each type of exercise standards until they renovate. equipment categorized as promoting strength and cardiovascular health must be designated accessible The impact on hotels will be major, and further, it and have clear floor space to enable an individual to will put an additional burden on the reunion planner. properly use the equipment. The new requirements for public areas are much more severe, covering all public areas of a hotel including, but not limited to: elevators, website accessibility, Noncompliance will come at a heavy price. The service animal policies, physical fitness areas including Department of Justice will impose a fine of $55,000 exercise rooms, swimming pools, and saunas, plus for the first offense and $110,000 for subsequent violations. The DOJ’s enforcement activities against lobbies, meeting rooms, and ballrooms. hotels has been on the upswing (as has its budget, climbing to $162 million last year from $123 million Five Percent! in 2009). In November 2010, as a result of lengthy One of the major rules is that five percent of public investigation and negotiation, Hilton agreed to a fine space must be ”fully” ADA accessible. Many hotel bars, of $50,000 and to remodel 900 of its U.S. hotels (built after 1993) to meet ADA requirements for accessible guest rooms and facilities. Allegations against the chain included failure to disperse accessible rooms, failure to allow persons with disabilities to reserve accessible rooms online or by telephone, and failure to provide accessible sleeping rooms when they were reserved. According to a statement by the DOJ, that settlement represented the first time the agency had required a franchisor to certify that its hotels — whether franchised or managed — were in ADA compliance. The agreement also represented the first time a hotel chain has been required to make its online reservations system accessible and to provide data about features in accessible rooms throughout the entire chain.

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Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Allow us to present our colors.

America’s Freedom Festival

Patriotic celebrations, historical sites and picturesque scenery. And that’s only the beginning. Experience Utah Valley, complete with amazing meeting facilities, including the new Utah Valley Convention Center and the Provo Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. • 888-414-UTAH (8824)

Regardless of the time of year you decide to visit, there’s a surplus of activities for people of all ages and adventure types. With four beautiful and distinct seasons, a diverse history, breathtaking mountain scenery, unique attractions, group-friendly hotels and restaurants, Utah Valley is a perfect western destination to explore – and it’s all extremely affordable. For a reunion itinerary that’s sure to please, we suggest attending a festival or historical site. Camp Floyd and The Stagecoach Inn State Park and Museum are Utah’s connection to the Civil War and Pony Express. Walk the same streets that Civil War generals did many years ago! America’s Freedom Festival at Provo is one of America’s biggest patriotic celebrations. This festival draws in thousands of spectators each year as people gather to honor the Nation’s birthday with a firework show prominently known as the Stadium of Fire. Don’t forget to experience the outdoor beauty while visiting Utah Valley. For a unique mountain experience, check out the paved Provo River Parkway trail that begins at the mouth of Provo Canyon and meanders by Bridal Veil Falls (a

Reunion Friendly News

607-foot double cataract waterfall). Or, take a drive on one of Utah Valley’s famous scenic byways such as the Nebo Loop, for picturesque mountain scenes and fall foliage. Several meeting facilities are available as well. The new Utah Valley Convention Center in historic downtown Provo, opening this spring, is the perfect place to host your next reunion. Attendees will enjoy the majestic views of the towering mountains at this 52,000 square foot eco-friendly facility. The Provo Marriott Hotel and Conference Center adjacent to the Convention Center is an excellent option for lodging, meeting and banquet space with 21 meeting rooms to choose from. Treat your guests to catered events graciously handled with a superb level of service. Plan your visit with the Utah Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau. We help you find the attractions, accommodations and amenities to put your reunion package together. Take advantage of our complimentary group assistance so you can focus on making your event a success. Visit or call 888-414-UTAH (8824).

Spring, 2012

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Happy Mother’s Day!

25 Reasons to Thank Your Mother 1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE. “If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.” 2. My mother taught me RELIGION. “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.” 3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL. “If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!” 4. My mother taught me LOGIC. “Because I said so, that’s why.” 5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC. “If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with me.” 6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT. “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.” 7. My mother taught me IRONY. “Keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about.” 8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS. “Shut your mouth and eat your supper.” 9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM. “Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!” 10. My mother taught me about STAMINA. “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.” 11. My mother taught me about WEATHER. “This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.” 12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY. “If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!” 13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE. “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.” 14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION. “Stop acting like your father!” 15. My mother taught me about ENVY. “There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do.” 16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. “Just wait until we get home.” 17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING. “You are going to get it when you get home!” 18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE. “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.” 19. My mother taught me ESP. “Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?” 20. My mother taught me HUMOR. “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don ‘t come running to me.” 21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT. “If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.” 22. My mother taught me GENETICS. “You’re just like your father.” 23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS. “Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?” 24. My mother taught me WISDOM. “When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.” 25. And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE. “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!” Page 38

Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Fairfax County … for Reunions

“Above and Beyond” the Ordinary! Why do hundreds of reunion groups decide to get together in Fairfax County, Virginia every year? It’s not simply the county’s location, directly across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. There’s a lot more to it than that. “There are lots of wonderful reunion sites across the United States,” notes Dean Miller of Visit Fairfax, the county’s convention and visitors bureau, “but I can’t think of any place that publicly celebrates and embraces America’s veterans the way the Washington area and Fairfax County do.” The list of “must see” attractions located in and around Fairfax County and goes on and on … Arlington National Cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknowns, the World War II, Korean War, and Viet Nam War memorials, the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps memorials, the battlefields of Manassas and Antietam, and many, many more. Groups meeting in Fairfax County enjoy the best of both worlds. They have easy access to the monuments and museums of Washington, DC, along with the lower room rates and ample free parking typical of suburban locations. It really is all about service, Miller said. “At Visit Fairfax, our goal is to assist reunion planners in any way we can. Whether it’s finding great hotels at great rates, making introductions to staff personnel at our world-famous attractions, providing lists of transportation suppliers, or simply recommending restaurants for group dining, we are here to be of service to those who have served.” When asked about the many accolades that Visit Fairfax has received from planners, Miller recalled one group in particular. “We were working with an Air Force fighter squadron to help them have their reunion here. The planner was a retired major general. When we were finished, he said to us, ‘Thanks … you really went ‘above and beyond’ for us.’ Coming from a two-star general, that really meant something to us.”

When it comes to accessing the museums, monuments and memorials honoring America’s veterans, no destination in the country rivals Fairfax County, Virginia. Our proximity to Washington, DC makes it easy to organize trips and observances. Our wide range of hotel options let you accommodate any budget level. And with the many historical sites and entertainment opportunities right here in Fairfax County, you’ll find plenty of places to trade stories and reminisce right here. To learn more about all there is to see and do, simply visit

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center features one of the country’s leading collections of historic aircraft and spacecraft. In April of 2012, the Space Shuttle Discovery will permanently land at the museum. Admission to the museum is free. Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

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We were formed in 1987 by the founder who lived in Mississippi. He incorporated us in that state in 1988. He passed away long ago but we maintain our incorporation in Mississippi, but have no active members residing there. We pay the CSC (Corporation Service Company) about $300 per year to represent us as our registered agents. For the life of me I cannot determine what they do for us as we have no record that they have ever sent any correspondence other than an annual bill. I know that there are IRS and tax advantages but cannot get a clear answer as to what they are. What is the real benefit of being incorporated? Would we be better off just being a social organization? I would certainly appreciate any guidance you can provide and thank you very much. Ben Catalina President, Aviano Reunion Ass’n

First, I would suggest you come to a ConFAM© where we discuss these things (among others). To answer your questions directly: 1) As you are incorporated in Mississippi, I presume you have a bank account for that corporation using a Federal ID# issued to the corporation. If this is not so, you have a problem. 2) As a state licensed corporation (in this case the State of Mississippi) you have to pay an annual fee to maintain the corporation in an active condition. This is true in almost all states. 3) Every bank account in the U.S. has to have an associated Social Security # or Federal ID #. If you give up your corporation the Federal ID# associated with it becomes inactive, so you would have to apply for a new Federal ID# for your newly created social group. If you use your personal SS# for that account, the IRS probably will pick up all of the deposits and want to know why you did not include this income on your personal tax return. This can lead to a personal IRS audit, and perhaps a personal penalty.

D.indd 1

(Edited for clarity) We have about 150 members and have an annual reunion, either in the USA or in Italy, attracting about 80 people each year. Our dues are $15 per family per year and we have about $5,000 in a bank account. We do not sell anything and we have no income other than dues. I am in Texas, the VP is in Kansas, our newly elected Secretary-Treasurer is in Colorado, and our Editor is in Alabama. Our main question that we cannot seem to get a clear answer to is why do we need to be incorporated?

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There is a simple solution to this called AMRF. RFN’s VP Finance, Marc Spiewak, set up a non-profit foundation for situations 2/13/12 10:33 AM exactly like this. AMRF (American Military Reunion Foundation) provides its member military reunion groups with a Federal ID#, a free bank checking account, a 501(c)(19) veterans non-profit IRS status, sales tax exemptions in 8 states primarily for your banquet (the other states do not give tax breaks to veterans), a non-profit mailing permit to save postage on your newsletters, an annual P&L statement, and filing of all necessary tax returns. Members also have access to bargain-priced $4 million Reunion Liability Insurance Coverage. The cost is less, I believe, than your current cost for corporate renewal in Mississippi. If you want more detail, email:

for specific answers and exact cost.

In your two emails you have provided more information than I have gleaned from the IRS website and other research. It is really appreciated, Ben

Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

MORE THAN YOUR TYPICAL AIRPORT HOTEL. Far more contemporary than ordinary airport hotels, the Seattle Airport Marriott offers an incredible atmosphere in an authentic Pacific Northwest setting. With our newly renovated guest rooms, you’ll experience comfort and relaxation like never before. Enjoy eclectic dining at our newly renovated Aquaterra Restaurant, featuring 2 new private dining rooms and take advantage of more than 18,000 sq ft of flexible meeting space. All ideal for groups, parties, and reunions of all types. And thanks to our 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center, a beautiful indoor atrium pool, an on-site business center, and more, you’ll have the perfect stay in Seattle, whether it’s for business or leisure travel. For more information on reunion packages, reservations and more - call our sales office at 206.241.2000 or visit

SEATTLE AIRPORT MARRIOTT 3201 South 176th Street, Seattle, WA 98188 Phone 206.241.2000

SEAWA 2012-99 Reunion Friendly ad.indd 1

2/15/12 7:59 AM

Located adjacent to the SeaTac Airport, the Seattle Airport Marriott is a gorgeous retreat offering all the comforts, amenities, and value for the perfect reunion in the SeattleTacoma area. And with complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport and the hotel, you’ll start your celebration relaxed and stress-free from the moment you come into town. Upon entering the lobby, you’ll be treated to a warm and inviting welcome featuring a magnificent stone fireplace and majestic two story wood-beamed atrium. Thanks to our newly completed renovations featuring plush new carpeting, air walls, high-tech digital signage, and state-ofthe-art lighting and sound systems, you’ve got the perfect host for an unforgettable reunion celebration. Each of our 459 guestrooms come equipped with high-speed internet connectivity and feature our luxurious Marriott Revive bedding package and a host of upscale amenities, including a complimentary morning newspaper delivered straight to your door. Order a tantalizing meal from the comfort of your room with the push of a button, or head down to sample the amazing Pacific Northwest cuisine offered at our newly renovated Aquaterra Restaurant which also features two new private dining rooms. Relax with old friends in our beautiful indoor atrium pool or take-in an invigorating workout in our 24-hour Fitness Center. With our highly acclaimed service Reunion Friendly News

staff on-hand, we’ll ensure the party and your stay with us is an experience you’ll never forget. We’ll help you create the perfect setting for an evening to remember with our 22 oversized reception rooms and more than 18,000 sq ft of newly renovated flexible space. We’re the perfect host for everything from the entire class reunion to more intimate get togethers with old friends from long ago. Now is the time to start planning, and we’ve got a wide variety of packages to suit every need and get-togethers of every size. For more information on reunion packages, reservations and more - call our sales office at 206.241.2000 or visit

Spring, 2012

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The Dog That Cornered Osama Bin Laden! …and the Canadian Connection When U.S. President Barack Obama went to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, a couple of months ago for a highly publicized but very private meeting with the commando team that killed Osama bin Laden, only one of the 81 members of the super-secret SEAL DevGru unit was identified by name: Cairo, the war dog. Cairo, like most canine members of the elite U.S. Navy SEALs, is a Belgian Malinois. The Malinois breed is similar to German shepherds but smaller and more compact, with an adult male weighing in the 65-pound range.

(German shepherds are still used as war dogs by the American military but the lighter, stubbier Malinois is considered better for the tandem parachute jumping and rappelling operations often undertaken by SEAL teams. Labrador retrievers are also favored by various military organizations around the world.) Like their human counterparts, the dog SEALs are highly trained, highly skilled, highly motivated

man-dog parachute deployment, jumping from more than 30,100 feet up, the altitude transoceanic passenger jets fly. Both Forsythe and Cara were wearing oxygen masks and skin protectors for the jump. Here’s a photo from that jump, taken by Andy Anderson for K9 Storm Inc. (more about those folks shortly). special ops experts, able to perform extraordinary military missions by Sea, Air and Land (thus the acronym). The dogs carry out a wide range of specialized duties for the military teams to which they are attached: With a sense of smell 40 times greater than a human’s, the dogs are trained to detect and identify both explosive material and hostile or hiding humans. The dogs are twice as fast as a fit human, so anyone trying to escape is not likely to outrun Cairo or his buddies. The dogs, equipped with video cameras, also enter certain danger zones first, allowing their handlers to see what’s ahead before humans follow. As I mentioned before, SEAL dogs are even trained parachutists, jumping either in tandem with their handlers or solo, if the jump is into water. Last year canine parachute instructor Mike Forsythe and his dog Cara set the world record for highest

As well, the dogs are faithful, fearless and ferocious, incredibly frightening and efficient attackers. I have seen it reported repeatedly that the teeth of SEAL war dogs are replaced with titanium implants that are stronger, sharper and scare-yourpants-off intimidating, but a U.S. military spokesman has denied that charge, so I really don’t know (never having seen a canine SEAL face-toface). I do know that I’ve never seen a photo of a war dog with anything even vaguely resembling a set of shiny metal chompers. When the SEAL DevGru team (usually known by its old designation, Team 6) hit bin Laden’s Pakistan compound on May 2, Cairo’s feet Continues on page 43

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Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Continued from page 42

would have been four of the first on “canine tactical assault suits” last four suits when he jumped into bin year for $86,000. You can be sure Laden’s lair. the ground. Here’s an explanation of all the K9 And like the human SEALs, Cairo Cairo was wearing one of those Storm Intruder was wearing super-strong, special features: flexible body armor and outfitted Just as the with high-tech equipment that Navy SEALS included “doggles” — specially and other elite designed and fitted dog googles special forces are with night-vision and infrared the sharp point capability that would even of the American allow Cairo to see human heat military machine, forms through concrete walls. so too are their Now where on earth would dogs at the top of anyone get that kind of a canine military incredibly niche hi-tech doggie heirarchy. gear? From Winnipeg, Canada. In all, the U.S. Jim and Glori Slater’s military currently Manitoba hi-tech mom-andhas about 2,800 pop business, K9 Storm Inc., active-duty dogs has a deserved worldwide deployed around reputation for designing and the world, with manufacturing probably the roughly 600 now best body armor available in Afghanistan for police and military dogs. and Iraq. Working dogs in 15 countries As for the around the world are currently

protected by their K9 Storm body armor. Jim Slater was a canine handler on the Winnipeg Police Force when he crafted a Kevlar protective jacket for his own dog, Olaf, in the mid1990s. Soon Slater was making body armor for other cop dogs, then the Canadian military and soon the world. The standard K9 Storm vest also has a load-bearing harness system that makes it ideal for tandem rappelling and parachuting. And then there are the special hi-tech add-ons that made the K9 Storm especially appealing to the U.S. Navy SEALs, who bought four of K9 Storm Inc.’s top-end Intruder Reunion Friendly News

ethics of sending dogs to war, that’s pretty much a moot point, don’t you think? If it’s ethical to send humans into combat, then why not dogs? At least the U.S. now treats its war dogs as full members of the military. At the end of the Vietnam War, the U.S. combat dogs there were designated as “surplus military equipment” and left behind when American forces pulled out. Collected from multiple blogs on the internet.

Spring, 2012

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Making Friends While I’ve often said that the salesperson at the hotel has the same goal that you do, i.e., you want to bring your reunion to the hotel, and that person‘s job is to get you to bring your reunion to that hotel; it does not mean that you are friends! Oh, you can be friendly, you can smile, and you can be dripping sweetness, and so can the salesperson, but it still does not mean you are friends. There is a time to be friends, and that is after the deal is signed! Up until that time, you are trying to get as much as you can, while the hotel person is trying to give as little as he/ she can. It all boils down to perception, the perception of which one of you is weaker. Why? Because the weaker party to the negotiation will ultimately give in. That’s just the way it is.

Weakness The perception of weakness depends on how badly you want to make the deal, and how badly the hotel needs your business. This leads to a key question for you: “How can I make my (bargaining) position stronger? Surely, there are a number of ways you can accomplish this. The strongest point in your favor, although many planners do not realize it, is that you can just say “No!” If you come across a situation that you do not want to accept, then just say “No,” and see what happens. You can smooth it a bit and say something like “That’s not satisfactory,” or perhaps, “My committee will not accept that.” I don’t care how you phrase it, because the fact is that you are not there to make friends, you are there to make a Page 44

for the response. Anytime you do not like the answer, just say “No!” Either they go along, in which case you can I freely admit that this is not the proceed with the negotiating session, usual way of acting, but you are not or you can get up and walk out. the sales person in this case. Let the other side tell you exactly what they The decision to end the negotiation are offering, and if you do not like it, because the other party does not you have the same privilege that any want to give you want you are seeking customer for anything has, and that is the ultimate. Once you play that is walk away and go somewhere else. card, the negotiation is over, and is unsuccessful. You want to use that as the ultimate threat, not do it over Not Friends, Yet trivialities. Remember you are not seeking friendship. You are not seeking a The RFP long-term relationship. What you want is respect, and a good deal for That’s why the RFP (Request For your group. To do this, you can build Proposal) is such a powerful tool. You a picture of what your reunion means can put everything you want in there, to the hotel. To do this, you need to and if the hotel offers you something understand the hotel’s position first. less, you can merely point to what You may have to make some inquiries, you have said, and say “That’s not so find out from the CVB, or even ask responsive.” This is important the salesperson at the hotel, when because many hotel personnel do that hotel is least busy. not read the RFP. You should bring a copy with you, and any time there In your previous reunions, try to find is an objection, all you have to do out how much the attendees in total is point to the place in the RFP and charged to their hotel rooms over say something on the order of “If and above the room charge and tax. you did not plan to meet my needs, This total number is something you why did you think you would get my can toss into the negotiation pot at business?” the right time, by telling the other party that your group, in addition to Friends, Now the rooms and the banquet, typically spend another $30,000, $40,000, or After you have gone through your list, $50,000 at the hotel. If you do not and hopefully convinced them to go have that number, go back to your along with all of your wants, it is time last two reunions, call the hotels to become friends. Unfortunately, where you were, and see if they can there is a strong likelihood that the give you the number. person you negotiated with will not be there when your reunion takes Also, before even starting place. That’s not the important thing. negotiations, before you even think of The important thing is that you got checking the hotel and the area, you what you wanted for your group, should have a list of the things you want and demand. You accomplished your mission, and made a friend afterwards. You made Point out that your group is coming at a friend AFTER the deal was made, the time when the hotel is least busy, not before, and not during. That’s and that you want to do business effective negotiation. with them, but they must meet your basic wants. After that, you can sit back and wait deal that is favorable to you and your group.

Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Conveniently located off of Interstate 94 in southeast Wisconsin, Waukesha & Pewaukee is a mere 25 minute commute from Milwaukee’s General International Airport and most popular local attractions. Within a 90 minute drive are The Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, IL and the EAA Air Venture Museum in Oshkosh, WI.

Tour “Days Gone By” at Old World Wisconsin – the country’s largest outdoor 19th century living history museum or take in the “City Sites” of the Great Lakes Naval Station & Museum – the Navy’s largest training facility and St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy – one of the leading schools of its kind in the nation. “Cheers” with old comrades during tours of Miller Brewery – frosty beer samples available and Pabst The Waukesha & Pewaukee Convention and Visitors Mansion – home of Frederick Pabst, world famous Bureau (WPCVB) is pleased to offer military reunion beer baron and more! planners the opportunity to become better acquainted with popular attractions, favorite restaurants, and The WPCVB also offers FREE services assisting first-class hotels on a site tour. Experience first hand planners with the organization of their reunions your accommodations and attraction selections for including, but not limited to: reunion planning, the group. program assistance, registration assistance and public relations. Offering 1,000 sleeping rooms and 100,000 square feet of meeting space, hotels selections include: full- Waukesha & Pewaukee’s small-town community service Milwaukee Marriott West and The Clarke appreciates the sacrifices and commitment of our Hotel, Country Springs Hotel Water Park Conference country’s military veterans. Visit and feel the Center, the northern lodge décor Comfort Suites, the embrace of friendly locals welcoming you with warm Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Radisson Milwaukee- smiles and mid-western hospitality! Pewaukee, Best Western Waukesha Grand and Super 8. All hotels offer ample FREE parking and are easily To book your next reunion or to inquire for more located off interstate 94. information contact Deana Birmingham-Heinisch at 800-366-8474 or log on to Reunion Friendly News

Spring, 2012

Page 45

O C E A N C I T Y, M A R Y L A N D

The perfect setting for your next Reunion!

Oceanfront at 28th Street ~ One Block from Boardwalk! ALL Guestrooms are Oceanfront with Private Balcony! Oceanfront Restaurant & Lounge ❖ Heated Pool & Jacuzzi Complimentary Morning Coffee and Afternoon Tea Complimentary Hospitality Suite ❖ Complimentary Meeting Space Full Service Catering ❖ Casino Ocean Downs nearby!

Relax. Refresh. Renew!



Crowne Plaza Austin — The Place to Meet We would be honored to have you as our guest! Shelly Staff - Group Sales Manager • Direct: (512) 371-5243 •

The U.S. government has taken a different tack. The Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) has decided to regulate. Accordingly, new rules have been issued to force airlines to advertise the total price including all mandatory per passenger fees and taxes. The effect has been to make it appear that air fares have suddenly jumped. This may turn some people off, but it surely is more realistic. My son, two years ago, caught a “cheap” flight from Chattanooga to Fort Rising fuel prices combined with a Lauderdale. The flight was advertised reluctance to raise fares has caused at only $29, bout wound up actually the air lines to institute a variety costing $108. Under the new rules, of extra charges, in most cases this no longer can be the case! for services that were previously included with the stated fare. In this On the other hand, most of the regard, they merely emulated what additional charges that air travelers hotels have been doing for the past incur are still not included. Most decade or so with a variety of hotel of the add-on costs are listed as “optional.” This includes the biggest room surcharges. extra dollar generator for airlines, Among airlines, the leading proponent baggage charges. of extra charges is Spirit Airlines. They profess to be the “people’s” airline by The airlines do not escape totally advertising rather low fares. Their free, however, because the DOT has pitch is essentially that you should decided to regulate in this area also. not have to pay for something you do Unfortunately, the people who work not want. As an avowed Libertarian, at the DOT are not always very smart, I do not take issue with their right to and the end result may be more charge anything they want, in any confusing. Nevertheless, the airlines way they want; I also profess my must now (since February 1) disclose right to not use their airline. While many of your attendees drive to the re u n i o n , sometimes the location is such that it really is better to arrive by air. There are even a number of locations where air is almost mandatory.

Page 46

the fact that there will be additional fees for baggage at the time of any quote, and also, print the schedule on the e-ticket receipt. One slight victory for the consumer is the elimination of automatic “optin” fees. You cannot be charged unless you accept such charges. Maybe this will end the surprise that an RFN executive got a few months ago. She asked for a glass of water to take her medicine, and was charged $2 for a half glass of water. While the DOT imposed changes are welcome, because we believe it forces airlines to conduct their business in a more ethical manner, we deplore the intrusion on our right, and the rights of those who run the airlines, as misguided as it might be, to conduct their business by government dictatorship. There is no problem or objection if the government wants to enforce safety regulations, but intruding and dictating the manner in which a business can quote prices is a curtailment of our freedom.

Reunion Friendly News •

Spring, 2012

CVBs (Convention & Visitors Bureaus & Tourism Development Agencies) These CVBs help the military reunion community in many ways, and offer a variety of free services to help you have the best reunion possible. When you work with a member CVB, you help us ALL! Birmingham

Greater Birmingham CVB

Cynthia McHeard




Huntsville/Madison County CVB

Sharon Snell




Mobile Bay CVB

Ron McConnell




Metropolitan Tucson CVB

RoxAnne Erickson




Yuma CVB

Shannan Louser




San Mateo County/ Silicon Valley CVB

Angelina Preza




Sacramento CVB

Betsy Longmire




Visit Aurora

Kate Bleakley


p 24


Colorado Springs



The Greater Pueblo COC

Experience Colorado Springs CVB Cheryl Blanton-Chisholm 719-685-7638






Jeanne Santillanez



Janice Putman


Kent County CVB

Kimberly Bailey-Thomas 800-233-5368

Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach COC

Meghan McCalley



Greater Wilmington CVB

Sara Garnett




Central Florida VCB

Joni Allen




Space Coast Office of Tourism

Bonnie King



Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach Area CVB

Nina Crabtree




Kissimmee CVB

Sara Melendez



Lake Mary

Seminole County CVB

Steve Ryals



Panama City

Panama City Beach CVB

Ann Gager




Pensacola Bay Area CVB

Larry Orvis



St Augustine

St Augustine, Ponte Vedra & Beaches VCB

Jaya Larkin




Augusta CVB

Michelle Bovian




Columbus Georgia CVB

Sid Kaminsky




Waterloo CVB

Lonnie Elmore




Lake County CVB

Kimberly Ghys




Lisle CVB (Chicago Area)

Jay Allen




Quad Cities CVB

Dan Gleason



Oak Brook

DuPage CVB

Julie Scholle



Prospect Heights

Chicago North Suburbs CVB

Michelle Lobell




Woodfield Chicago NW Conv Bureau

Melinda Garritano




Evansville CVB

Ashley Vezzoso




Visit Salina Area COC

JoAnn McClure




Visit Topeka INC

Joe Lopez




Go Wichita

Keith Talbert



Bowling Green

Bowling Green CVB

Duncan Hines




Northern Kentucky CVB

Barbara Dozier




Lexington CVB

Roseanne Mingo



Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Area CVB








Jennye Snider


Julie Ott


Shreveport-Bossier CB

Carolyn Dowden


Cape Cod COC

Patti Lloyd



Maryland Office of Tourism Devel

Rich Gilbert


Ocean City

Ocean City CVB/Dept of Tourism

Norma Dobrowolski




Detroit Metro CVB

Xenia Castillo-Hunter 313-202-1978



Discover Kalamazoo CVB

Jennifer Williamson

p 55

Jefferson Parish CVB

Reunion Friendly News


Spring, 2012


Page 47

RFN Members


RFN Members

CVBs continued MI


Greater Lansing CVB

Heather C. Kim




Bloomington CVB

Lori Rebers




Rochester CVB

Jay Gunnarson


Kimberly Carr


Amanda Wiltse







Branson Lakes Area CVB


Maryland Heights Maryland Heights CVB

Laura Brahan



St Charles

Karen Fraser


Independence Missouri Tourism Dept St Charles CVB

p 29


St Robert




Greater Warrensburg Area COC & VC

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau Beth Wiles David Shook




Fayetteville Area CVB

Myron Jones



Winston Salem

Visit Winston-Salem

Dianne Brice




Fargo-Moorhead CVB

Teri Onsgard




Omaha CVB

Bill Slovinski




Albuquerque CVB

Larry Atchison




Buffalo Niagara CVB

Matt Carlucci




Corning/Finger Lakes (Steuben Cty CVB)

Danielle Roman




Sullivan County Visitors Assn

Herb Clark




Long Island CVB & Sports Commission

Jennifer Rothman



Niagara Falls

Niagara USA/Tourism & Conv Corp

Reanna Darone




Greater Syracuse CVB








Greg Snell


Lisa Willis


Dayton/Montgomery Cnty CVB

Anna Nash


Destination Toledo,Inc - CVB

Julie Bolfa



Eugene, Cascades & Coast CVA

Juanita Metzler



Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau

Dawn M.S. Rickenbach 717-240-7191



Gettysburg CVB

Jenny McConnell




Hershey Harrisburg Regional VB

Candice Fry



King of Prussia

Valley Forge CVB

Courtney Pozo




Luzerne County CVB

Janet Allen Hall




York County CVB

Laura Gurreri




Providence Warwick CVB

Sheila Lindemann




Charleston Area CVB


Rapid City





Nashville CVB


Pigeon Forge




p 31

Greene County CVB

Chris Hendrix


Rapid City CVB

Lisa Storms


Chattanooga Area CVB

Chris Petro


Amy Starnes


Pigeon Forge Dept of Tourism

Kay Poole


Amarillo CVB

Tina Teague



Beaumont CVB

Rebecca Woodland


College Station

Bryan College Station CVB

Amy Duffel



El Paso

El Paso CVB

Catherine Countiss



Fort Worth

Fort Worth CVB

Dave O-Lenick




Galveston Island CVB

Sheri L. Teller




Huntsville CVB

Kimm Thomas




Killeen CVB-Civic & Conf Ctr

Connie Kuehl




Midland CVB

Sarah Marston




Odessa CVB

Shelia Pippins




Plano CVB

Kay Summerville



San Angelo

San Angelo CVB

Pamela Miller




Ogden Utah CVB

Joni Wall




Arlington CVS

Portia Conerly




Chesapeake CVB

Susan Drewery


Page 48

p 35 p 40

Reunion Friendly News


Spring, 2012

CVBs continued VA







p 39

Visit Fairfax


Fredericksburg Regional Tourism Partn.

Kimberly Herbert


Hampton CVB

Julie A. Williams



Visit Loudoun

Jennifer Ritter



Discover Prince William & Manassas

Mark Kowalewiski



Newport News

Newport News T & D






Virginia Beach


Cheryl Morales


Melissa Hopper


Virginia Tourism Corporation

Joni Johnson


Virginia Beach CVB

Shevonne Morgan



Seattle Southside Visitor Info

Meilee Anderson



Tacoma Regional CVB

Moira Hurley-Davin




Vancouver USA Regional Tourism Office

Debbie Picard




Fox Cities of WI CVB

Mae Ibe




Visit Milwaukee CVB




p 45

Visit Norfolk

Waukesha & Pewaukee CVB

Brian Hutchings


Deana Birmingham


Destination Management Companies, Tour Operators & Military Reunion Planners Tired of running around? These RFN Members can make life easier for you. Tell them what you want and leave the rest to them! FL


Active Escapes Jax/St Aug

John Aguilera




Tour Trends

Ed Sturrup




Five Star Reunion & Tours

Karen Phillips



Branson West

Gatherings Plus

Pam Brown




Branson GrayLine

Renee Youngblood




Charleston Convention & Group Services

Erin Mellen





Sharin- Nashville Tours

Sharon Cole



Stephens City

Mid Atlantic Receptive Services

Jennifer Wood


Hotels TRN could not exist without the support of member hotels. They want to help you have the best reunion you possibly could have. We urge you to think of these folks first! AL


Renaissance Riverview Plaza

Derrick Williams



Country Inn & Suites by Carlson Mesa









Cindy Brown


Larry Cardarelli


Radisson Suites Tucson

Julia McGaugh


Red Lion Hotel Anaheim

Yani Lopez


Buena Park

Holiday Inn Buena Park Hotel & Conf Ctr

Dennis Fyda


Buena Park

Radisson Suites Hotel Buena Park

Dennis L. Banks III




Red Lion Hotel Eureka

Lowell Maffia



Rancho Cordova

Sacramento Marriott Rancho Cardova

Kristin Goble


p 30

Holiday Inn Tucson Airport

Reunion Friendly News


Spring, 2012

Page 49

RFN Members

Dean Miller

RFN Members

Hotels continued CA


Doubletree Hotel Sacramento

Angelina C. Nunez



San Diego

Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside

Jodie Langhammer



San Diego

The Handlery Hotel & Resort

Steve Larson




Red Lion Hotel Denver Southeast

Pamela Feeley



Colorado Springs

The Academy Hotel

Suzy Esposito




Red Lion Hotel Denver Central

Todd West




Groton Inn & Suites

Nancie Keenan



New London

New London Plaza Hotel

Kelli Antoniac



Amelia Island

Amelia Hotel at the Beach

Marianna McIntyre



Cocoa Beach

International Palms Resort

Colleen Mazzoni



Daytona Beach

The Plaza Resort & Spa

Kathy Masterson



Fort Myers

Crowne Plaza Fort Myers

Joan Jenkins




Crowne Plaza Airport

Natalie Galmore




Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Riverfront

Karen Howell




Sheraton Jacksonville Hotel

P. J. Bailey




Radisson Resort Orlando Celebration

Jadeine Shives




Ramada Gateway

Janis Blair



Live Oak

Camp Weed & Cerveny Conf. Ctr

Starlett Zinn




Quality Inn Pensacola

Joye Fletcher



St Augustine

Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort

Felicia Fink



St Petersburg

Hilton St Petersburg Bayfront

Debbie Sanders




Baymont Inn & Suites

Jocie Rivera




Clarion Hotel & Conference Center

Alison Fitzgerald




Crowne Plaza Tampa Westshore

Sharon Haley




Mainsail Suites Hotel & Conference Ctr.

Kelly Nixon




Holiday Inn Perimeter

Michael Vescio




Holiday Inn North

Erica Newton



Peachtree City

Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center

Eileen Lavoie




Holiday Inn Savannah/Airport Pooler

Lauren Heldreth



Port Wentworth

Holiday Inn Express Savannah North

Amy Ambrose




Doubletree Hotel Historic Savannah

Gina Kreiss




Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Midtown

Cathryn Bowyer




Inn at Ellis Square

Linda Bell




Ramada Hotel & Convention Ctr

Sandy Thomas




Red Lion Boise Downtowner

John Beacham




The Boise Hotel & Conference Center

Curt Asmussen




Red Lion Hotel Lewiston

Amanda Anderson




Red Lion Hotel Pocatello

Dawn Williams



Post Falls

Red Lion Templin-s Hotel on the River

Kelly Gwinn-Duby



Twin Falls

Red Lion Hotel Canyon Springs

Denise Young




Embassy Suites Chicago North Shore

Reyna Espinosa




Hyatt Deerfield

Paul Payawal




Crowne Plaza Chicago-Northbrook

Michele Lee




Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel

Renee Labay



Oak Brook

Doubletree Chicago Oak Brook

Ruby Lane-Hodges




Holiday Inn & Suites Chicago O-Hare

Becca Schnepper




The Westin Chicago North Shore

Jim Straus




Best Western Plus-Market Square

Julia Ramey




Crowne Plaza Kansas City - Overland Park

Tom Lufft




Marriott Wichita

Becky Lehane



Bowling Green

Holiday Inn University Plaza

Jessica Waren


Page 50

Reunion Friendly News


Spring, 2012

Hotels continued Baton Rouge

Holiday Inn South Baton Rouge

Heather Day




Days Inn Hotel New Orleans Airport

Lisa Sweet




Ramada Hotel Metairie

Gina Abernathy



New Orleans

French Quarter Chateau LeMoyne

Thu Tran




Constitution Inn

Emily Goretsky




Midtown Hotel

Alan R Small




Hilton Boston Dedham

Winnie Boussicaut




Rockport Inn and Suites

Kayla Testaverde




Hawthorne Hotel

Laurale Abraham




Hilton Wash DC North/Gaithersburg

Bernard Howe




Holiday Inn Gaithersburg

Debbie Reed



S Portland

Best Western Merry Manor Inn

Donald Haggett




Mission Point Resort

Michael Price




Kahler Grand Hotel

Chris Wagner




Grand Plaza Hotel

Darlene Burkhart




Lodge of the Ozarks

Mary V. Fetner




Radisson Hotel Branson

Sarah Hord




Savannah House Hotel

Cherie Chitwood




Stone Castle Hotel & Conf Center

Rachael James




Welk Resort Branson

Cherie Chitwood



St Robert

Baymont Inn & Suites

Betsy Thomson



St. Louis

Sheraton Westport Hotels

Nancy Masterson




Red Lion Colonial Hotel

Erin Schweitzer




Red Lion Hotel Kalispell

CJ Getty




Holiday Inn & Suites Parsippany

Samia Dumani




MCM Elegante Hotel & Event Center

Shannon Mullan



Las Vegas

Hampton Inn Tropicana

Lorin Balaban




Edgewater-Colorado Belle Casino Resorts

Kathy Millar




Hilton Garden Inn - Reno

Morgan Montemayor 775-412-4355



Sands Regency Casino Hotel

Janette Spradley




Adam-s Mark Hotel Buffalo Niagara

Christa Beal




Millennium Airport Hotel Buffalo

Edwin Shelp



N. Syracuse

Ramada Syracuse

Judy Herzig



Niagara Falls

Comfort Inn -The Pointe

Tricia Mezhir



Niagara Falls

Sheraton at the Falls

Monica Rapini




Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel

Holly Sickels




Holiday Inn Dayton/Fairborn

Matt Pauley




Hope Hotel & Richard C Holbrooke Conf Ct

Matt LeValley




NCED Hotel

Lisa Webb




Red Lion Hotel Bend

Suzanne Heise




Red Lion Hotel Medford

Margaret Knight




Red Lion Hotel Pendleton

Cheryl Rolstad




Red Lion on the River Jantzen Beach

Michele Clifford



Camp Hill

Radisson Hotel Harrisburg

Gail Wakisaka




Sheraton Great Valley Hotel

Kim Turnbaugh




Holiday Inn Harrisburg East

Brenda Ryneski




Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel

Megan Savannah




Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Downtown

Jessica Kramme




Four Points by Sheraton Philadelphia NE

Chakira Chew




Holiday Inn Historic District

Mizetta Hopkins




Doubletree by Hilton Pittsburg Green Tre

Denise Verzi Goetz




Crowne Plaza Hotel

Michelle Sartrys


Reunion Friendly News


Spring, 2012

Page 51

RFN Members


RFN Members

Hotels continued SC


Holiday Inn Charleston Riverview

Rose Guinn




Town & Country Inn & Conference Center

Stephen Clarke



Myrtle Beach

Landmark Resort Hotel

Pat Emmons


p 33


Myrtle Beach

Leanne McCulloch



Myrtle Beach

Springmaid Beach Resort

Sea Mist Oceanfront Resort

Sharon Kemerer



North Charleston

Radisson Hotel Charleston Airport

Chris Walz



Rapid City

Grand Gateway Hotel

Bob Hodet




Chattanooga Choo Choo

Tonya Steele




Country Inn & Suites/ I-24 West

Christi Baggett




The Riverview Inn

Renee Bruens




Greystone Lodge at the Aquarium

Renee- Spurling




The Park Vista - Doubletree Hotel

Angela Quigley




Holiday Inn Express Millington

Miriam Drenning





Mari Anne Liporace




Holiday Inn Express Nashville Downtown

Jennifer Jones




Holiday Inn Opryland Airport

Dianna Gupton




Sheraton Music City Hotel

Devin J. Murphy



Pigeon Forge

Music Road Hotel






Forth Worth


David Sorge


Sonia Moore


Holiday Inn Midtown Austin

Theresa Campos


Crowne Plaza Fort Worth South

Tim Laska



Holiday Inn Resort on the Beach

Carly Rowland


San Antonio

Crowne Plaza Riverwalk San Antonio





San Antonio

Crowne Plaza San Antonio Airport

Mari Majul



San Antonio

El Tropicano Hotel

Michael Rodriguez



San Antonio

Holiday Inn Airport

Roland Lopez



San Antonio

Holiday Inn Downtown Market Square

Cris Osorio



San Antonio

Holiday Inn San Antonio Riverwalk

Debbie Zaeske



Salt Lake City

Red Lion Hotel Salt Lake Downtown

Jerry Mika




Hilton Alexandria Mark Ctr

Michael Sicheri




Crowne Plaza Washington Natl Airport

Sean Mansfield


p 46

p 25

Crowne Plaza Austin





Holiday Inn National Airport/Cry

Sean Mansfield




Embassy Suites Dulles North

Jolene Pardee




Holiday Inn Dulles Airport

Lorrie Hooper




Holiday Inn Dumfries Quantico Ctr

Petra Carr




Mason Inn

Leslie Bauman



Falls Church


Sharon Sotsky




Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina Hotel

Jeffrey W. (Jeff) Fork 757-727-8916



Hilton Washington/Dulles

Beth Holcomb




Comfort Suites Manassas

Denise Parra




Courtyard by Marriott-Tysons Corner

Kathleen Porter




Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner

Maggie Drummond



Newport News

Marriott Newport News @ City Ctr

Karen Murrell




Hilton Norfolk Airport

Colleen Briley




Holiday Inn Norfolk Airport

Donna Faison




Sheraton Reston

Bob Ciccone




Hilton Hotel Springfield

Tami Anderson



Virginia Beach

Best Western Plus Virginia Beach

Rachel Hayes



Virginia Beach

Cavalier Hotel & Convention Center

Cindy Woolfolk



Virginia Beach

Crowne Plaza Virginia Beach

Jennifer Blair



Virginia Beach

Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach

Amanda Mason


Page 52

Crystal City Marriott/Regan Natl Airport

Department Sales 703-413-5500

Reunion Friendly News



Spring, 2012

Hotels continued Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach Resort Hotel & Conf Ctr

Jamie Caron




Colonial Williamsburg Resort Collection

Scott F. Coelln




Red Lion Hotel Bellevue

Andrea Sullivan




Red Lion Hotel Kelso/Longview

Ginny Whiffen




Red Lion Hotel Olympia

Ruby Turner




Red Lion Richland Hanford House








Genevieve Speegle


Rachid Zemmaoui


Crowne Plaza Seattle Downtown

Beth Harwood


DoubleTree Suites-Hilton Seattle Arpt SC

Diane Witt



Doubletree by Hilton Seattle Airport

Bobbi Barkley



Red Lion Hotel at the Park

Stephanie Stobie




Red Lion Hotel Vancouver at the Quay

Michele Dunn




Radisson Paper Valley Hotel

Nancy Hollis




Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield

Adam VanOuwerkerk 262-364-1010


Green Bay

Radisson Hotel Green Bay

Jennifer Simonar




Best Western Bridgewood Resort Hotel

Joe Williamson


p 41

Seatac Airport Marriott

Hotel Management Companies Hotel Management Companies and Hotel Chains are increasingly aware of the military reunion market. These TRN Management Company & Chain Members offer the reunion planner an opportunity to look at a number of locations and sites using one source. MD


B F Saul Company - Hotel Division

Alison B. Rubin




Country Inns & Suites by Carlson

Janelle Smith




Red Lion Hotels Corporation

Sharon Danitschek


General Attractions These RFN Members provide additional services and support for your reunions. Help yourself and help TRN continue its work. Always go to RFN Members first! AK


Nolan Center

Terri Henson




Phillips Seafood Restaurants

Debra Morroni




Branson Variety Theater

Lisa Martin




Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction

Angel Eubanks




Flash Photo Group Photography

David Cain




Jim Stafford Theatre

Tate Womack




Mansion Entertainment & Media Ctr

Amy Leaming




Showboat Branson Belle

Teina Woodburn




Sight and Sound Theatres

Simi Telesco




The Starlite Theatre

Jill Pearce




Titanic Museum Attraction

Ruth Ann Crust



St Louis

The Gateway Arch Riverfront

Natasha McIntosh




Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises

Mike Murphy


Reunion Friendly News


Spring, 2012

Page 53

RFN Members


RFN Members

General Attractions continued NY

New York

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

Meghan Lynch



Myrtle Beach

The Palace Theatre

Dawn Formo



North Myrtle Beach The Alabama Theatre

CMP, Kathy B Flowe 843-272-5758



Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

Suzanne Tolbert




Grand Ole Opry/Gaylord Attractions

Joshua T. Mullins




Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino

Doreen Vitek


Reunion Promotions These RFN Members provide additional services and support for your reunions. Help yourself and help TRN continue its work. Always go to RFN Members first! USA

Hollywood, FL

Promotional Associates, Inc.

Stephen C. Greenberger 954-295-5955

Military Oriented Attractions Everyone wants to have a good time! These attractions offer fun things to do for your reunion attendees. As RFN Members, these attractions promise a great experience! p 27



Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum Cyd McHone




USS LST Ship Memorial



Veterans Memorial Museum

Diane Masterson


June Tillis






Nauticus & Battleship Wisconsin

Colby Peck


National Museum of the Marine Corps

Sara O-Bryan



Virginia Beach

Military Aviation Museum

Jacey Byrne



The Museum of Flight

Meagan McGuire


In The Next Issue: 1) New easy-to-read layout & pull-out section for the Annual Directory 2) The return of Marc’s Finance Corner

Page 54

Reunion Friendly News


Spring, 2012


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C o n v e n t i o n


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allows the protester to burn the flag!”

“Serving Those Who Spring, 2012 Served Our Country” “Serving Those Who Served Our Country”



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10/10/2003, 11:55:42 AM

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u Asked You Asked For It For - Now It -ItNow Is Here! It Is Here!

Reunion Insurance Reunion Insurance with Hostwith Liquor Host Liability Liquor Liability

ican Military The American Reunion Foundation Military Reunion (AMRF) Foundation was formed (AMRF) as a nonprofit was formedorganization as a nonprofit to offer organization to offer mical source an economical for militarysource reunion fororganizations military reunion to obtain organizations tax, accounting, to obtainlegal tax, and accounting, insurance legal and insurance services.

many benefits There are to joining many benefits AMRF –to here joining are just AMRF a few: – here are just a few:

purchased AMRF a FOUR has purchased MILLION aDOLLAR FOUR MILLION Reunion Extended DOLLAR Reunion Liability Extended InsuranceLiability policy. Insurance policy. under this Coverage policy isunder available this policy to all AMRF is available member to all military AMRF reunion membergroups. military Itreunion is available groups. It is available MRF members. ONLY to AMRF Rates are members. reasonable Rates starting are reasonable at $299 for starting small groups at $299AND for small less than groups $500 AND less than $500 roups up even to 200. for groups up to 200.

Insurance Insurance is only theis beginning! only the beginning!

want is insurance, If all you want we’ll isgive insurance, you a FREE we’llAssociate give you a Membership, FREE Associate so your Membership, group canso qualify. your group can qualify. s a lot more But there to AMRF. ‘s a lotBUT! more AMRF to AMRF. is a veteran’s BUT! AMRF tax-exempt is a veteran’s non-profit tax-exempt organization. non-profit If you organization. If you et any or join all you of these get any benefits: or all of these benefits:

& legal 1) organization Formal & legal status, organization including astatus, Federalincluding ID#, under a Federal the AMRF ID#,Veterans’ under theIRS AMRF Status Veterans’ IRS Status ual Federal 2) No or annual State filing Federal feesor State filing fees ual Federal 3) No or Annual State renewal Federal fees or State renewal fees ing includes 4) Accounting a Year-End includes Financial a Year-End Statement Financial prepared Statement by a C.P.A. prepared by a C.P.A. nk Account 5) Free for Bank your group, Account using for your the legal group, group using ID# theNOT legalyour group Social ID#Security NOT your number Social Security number s tax required 6) No sales for your tax banquet required in forseven your banquet states. in seven states. ofit mailing 7) Non-profit permit formailing your newsletter permit for your newsletter to an inexpensive 8) Access to legal an inexpensive contract review legal contract review

Want an application Want an application form? – Contact form? – Contact

Profile for Paul  Spiewak

Reunion Friendly News Spring 2012  

Reunion Friendly News Spring 2012, RFN News

Reunion Friendly News Spring 2012  

Reunion Friendly News Spring 2012, RFN News