Saturday, June 27, 9 a.m.
St. Louis Marriott West,
St. Louis MO
The membership meeting of the 99th Infantry Division Association was called to order at 9 a.m. June 27 by President B.O. Wilkins.
The sergeants-at-arms advanced the colors and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Wilkins reported on his activities during the past year. He told the assembled membership that he and Howard Bowers had represented the 99th at a dedication ceremony at Elsenborn in December. Wilkins also attended the casing the colors ceremony in April at Pittsburgh PA.
Wilkins said Chaplain Joe Johnson resigned his position earlier in the year and Arnold Taylor was appointed as his replacement.
Treasurer J.R. McIlroy said the association had a balance of $75,754 in checking accounts and certificates of deposit. Dues notices have not been sent for 2008, resulting in a loss of about $25,000. He urged all members to pay their dues.
Executive director Donna Bernhardt presented a membership report, saying there are 1,753 current members including 183 widows and 231 associates. There were 14 new members for the year.
Bernhardt also gave the report for the Kansas City convention. Attendance was down from the previous year with 246 present. She also reported a loss of $7,250.
The St. Louis convention report showed a total registration of 214, of which approximately 80 were veterans.
A site selection committee report was given by McIlroy, who said Memphis TN, was the recommendation for 2010, with Louisville KY, as an alternate site. He told the audience it had been previously decided to keep conventions located in the Midwest. No dates have been announced for 2010.
McIlroy, as planning committee chairman, told the membership the committee had tabled any decisions until 2010.
Archives committee chairman Harry McCracken said the 99th Regional Support Command was moving to Fort Dix NJ, from its location at Pittsburgh PA. He said the facility at Pittsburgh, which was named after Medal of Honor recipient Vernon McGarity, will not be renamed.
McCracken urged all members to visit Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall at Pittsburgh PA, which houses an extensive collection of 99th memorabilia, including the complete uniform of Sy Saffer. McCracken said a new statue of the 99th shield stands at the museum. This shield took the place of the statue of the soldier that originally was planned for the location.
Major Bruce Kish said there were many artifacts on display in the War Room and urged everyone to stop by during the convention. He said 99th artifacts currently are stored in a climate-controlled facility in Johnstown PA. A wing is being built in the museum at Fort Dix to house and display 99th items.
McIlroy gave the nominating committee report. The slate of officers included Herb Knapp, president; Max Norris, vice president; McIlroy, treasurer; Al Goldstein to serve the remainder of Taylor’s term (two years) on the board, and Tim Nugent and John Ingram to fill three-year terms. The nominations were approved by acclamation.
MG William Monk III, commanding general of the 99th Regional Support Command, addressed the audience. He said the 99th RSC had reorganized in September 2008, with the 99th colors providing support for 13 states, 46,000 soldiers, and 300 units and facilities.
He said a new mission for the 99th began in September, with the formal closing of the 99th headquarters and casing the colors occurring in April. The 99th is housed in a new facility at Fort Dix NJ.
“It’s been a busy, significant year,” he said. “We who wear the Checkerboard patch today feel a strong connection to the legacy and colors of the 99th.”
He thanked veterans for their service and stressed that today’s most important responsibility is to maintain the lineage of the 99th.
“I’m honored and proud to be part of this group,” he told the audience. “The world would be vastly different if you had not stepped forward all those years ago. We appreciate it.”
President Herb Knapp read a brief article from “Echoes” about today’s Army. He presented MG Monk with a G1 Pentagon pen and a CD of the Army Field Band.
The colors were retired and the meeting was adjourned.