Welcome to the Charlie Company (1966-68) 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 23rd Infantry Regiment blog. Please feel free to look for old friends, share memories, and find information about our annual reunions. (Our next reunion is planned for September or October 2018, near Fort Riley, Kansas. More details will be posted on the Upcoming Events tab above when they become available.)
The photo at the top of this page was taken in September 2017, at our tenth annual reunion, in Columbia, South Carolina, the 50th anniversary of when most of the men served in Viet Nam. Many of the 29 men who attended are pictured.
We had chosen the city of Columbia as our reunion site, hoping to enable one of our members, Dieter Klose, a Columbia resident, to attend. Much to our sorrow, however, Dieter passed away from lung cancer just two months before the reunion. Dieter was a mess sergeant and was skilled at woodworking, making beautiful and intricate military plaques, among other things. We were glad that his son, Harry Klose, was able to attend and represent his dad amongst his Army fellows.
A highlight of the reunion was visiting nearby Fort Jackson. We toured the base museum and were treated as honored guests by fort commander, Major General John P. Johnson. He informed our group that Fort Jackson is the U.S. Army’s main production center for Basic Combat Training, training 50 percent of the Army’s Basic Combat Training load and 60 percent of the women entering the Army each year.
Next, we were bussed us to an area where we watched young recruits being instructed on ropes and the art of rappelling. It was intriguing to watch their energy and physical prowess. Next we observed and had the opportunity to participate in shooting laser-enabled M-4s at an indoor firing range. After the trainees achieve a specified level of accuracy, they continue their training outdoors with live fire.
Near the end of our visit, we enjoyed dining with officers at the Officers’ Club.
All in all, it was a fun excursion for us, and we were glad to have seen a little of what’s involved in present day training.
During our time together, we enjoyed chatting, sharing meals together, and sightseeing in the area. A women's discussion group, led by Jane Dillehay and Suzanne Cagle, met one morning during the reunion and was helpful and encouraging.
Our reunions are mostly “free-form” and casual. Jeans, shorts, and T-shirts are welcome. Some wear shirts and hats commemorating their service in Vietnam. Men meet, often for the first time in recent history, and are refreshed and energized by the bond that connects them to their combat brothers.
If you have never attended before, you are most welcome to join us in September (or October) 2018!