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Newsletter from the 2009 Gathering at Pensacola Beach

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  • Newsletter from the 2009 Gathering at Pensacola Beach

    Lucky Red Lions HMM-363
    The Gathering Newsletter

    We are happy to report a total of 121 people attended our second Gathering of the Lucky Red Lions, HMM-363 Vietnam, held at Pensacola Beach who once again joined old friends and continued the great camaraderie we started 40 plus years ago. Those that did not join us, our doors are open, hope to see you next time.

    The majority of comments heard were that Friday’s shrimp fare and Saturday’s BBQ was very favorable. A lot of food was eaten (and it didn’t come out of cans). The food that was left over Saturday night was donated to a local organization and we received this note this past week from them.

    “Thanks to the men and women of HMM-363 Gathering for the wonderful donation of enough food to feed our clients who have AIDS and HIV, lunch and dinner for two days, about 200 meals. We cannot thank you enough for such a wonderful donation.” Rick Ling, Head Chef.

    Our caricature artist was a big success and brought many laughs to all (I think some of those drawings enhanced our looks, ha ha).

    We also want to thank the hotel staff for being such wonderful hosts. Marta and Sam certainly stand up and take that extra step for us each time we have been there.

    A Thank You to Fat Hatch and Hiram for the very touching ceremony, reading the names of our fallen brothers.

    Our raffle was extremely successful, not only did it increase our funds on hand for our next Gathering, but the camaraderie that was shown is just not seen everyday. People winning plaques and giving them to someone else and our drawing for the helicopter ended up with three winners. Mike Tripp won it, gave it back to be redrawn, Hank Amparan won it and presented it to the best gunner he ever had, Hiram Hogg. That, my friends, is what the Gathering is all about. Hard to believe these men can still care for each other that much. We want to thank Greg and Betty Ferris for the wonderful donation of the plaques and clocks they had made. Everyone loved them.

    Joe Clark’s very moving talk on how important teamwork was within the squadron to complete our mission, from all ground personnel to the flight crews, was received well by all. Joe is one of those rare individuals that can take our thoughts and put them into the right words.

    We also wish to thank our beautiful Lionettes for helping take care of all the food stuffs.

    Lots of laughs was had and a lot of pictures taken when Joe Clark, Dick Hooten, and Rich English were dressed up in white aprons, and tall chef’s hats to help serve the BBQ (overheard one of them say, “Hell, I’m a Col., what are they doing putting me on mess duty”? Remember what goes around comes around, hee hee.

    NOTE: After a survey, it has been decided to change the Gathering date and month in order to get us out of the hurricane season. If we stay in September, it is not a matter of IF, but when we will be caught in one. So, please note on your calendars, the new dates: the 3rd Gathering of HMM-363 Vietnam, Lucky Red Lions, will be at Pensacola Beach, Days Inn, on the 19th, 20th, and 21st of May, 2011.

    Semper Fi,
    “Pops” and Hank

    The following is a list of advisors that help make ALL the decisions for these Gatherings:
    Hank Amparan, Garret Hatcher, Mike Tripp, Larry Powell, Rich English and Joe Clark.
    Our food advisors are the Tim O’Toole’s and the Dick Hooten’s. 10-10-09
    Last edited by LARRY POWELL; 10-11-2009, 10:22.