About 250 veterans, family members, and friends met Aug. 6-9 in Kansas City MO, for the 59th annual convention of the 99th Infantry Division Association. That number included about 85 veterans. Attendance was about one-third of the previous year’s in Washington, D.C.
Several factors contributed to the lower attendance, including the advancing age of the veterans, family conflicts, the economy, and gas prices.
Many attendees enjoyed tours to Harry Truman’s home in Independence MO, Fort Leavenworth, and the Steamboat Arabia and World War I museums. The Patsy Cline dinner theater also was well attended.
A number of people attended the “Jazzin’ It Up in Kansas City” reception. The War Room was a popular gathering place as well.
Sixty-five names of deceased members were read during the annual Memorial Service. Arnold Taylor performed chaplain functions as President and Chaplain Joe Johnson was unable to attend due to illness. Special music was provided by Melanie Wilkins, daughter of B.O. Wilkins, K/393.
The Saturday evening reception and banquet was the culminating event of the weekend. Speakers were MG William Monk, commanding general of the 99th Regional Readiness Sustainment Command, and BG William Waff, assistant division commander. Gen. Monk introduced his staff and made some remarks about the changes in the reserve commands. He told the group that several readiness commands have been reorganized into four large commands. The 99th RRSC has absorbed all commands in the entire northeast corner of the U.S., and is headquartered in Fort Dix NJ.
BG Waff also shared remarks with the guests.
In the course of the evening, the head table was introduced and other announcements were made. The 60th annual convention will be June 24-27, 2009, at the Marriott West, St. Louis MO. K/393 won the attendance prize. Bob Terry of Seattle WA, won the prize for traveling the farthest distance. Winners in the 50-50 drawing were announced.
During the business portion of the convention, Vice President B.O. Wilkins presided over the first board meeting and membership meeting. The primary business issue before the board was to resolve the pending proposal to digitize issues of the Checkerboard. Other news can be found in the minutes of the meeting, printed elsewhere in this issue.