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Biggio and others defend Checkerboard

To the Editor:

Regarding the letter "Checkerboard is taken to task" in fifth issue 2003. Charles Konkler is of course, entitled to his opinion — but he does not seem to realize why the Checkerboard is not as lengthy as it once was.

There are two good reasons:

The Checkerboard is made up primarily from inputs from the members of the 99th Association. These inputs are fewer now because most of us are now in our 80s — and those who were inclined to submit their stories have done so. Need I remind your readers that when the members stop sending items to the Checkerboard — there will be no Checkerboard. I, for one, am guilty of not submitting as many inputs as I might have.

Our editor and publisher, Bill Meyer, suffered an extremely serious heart attack a couple years ago and barely survived. His health is such that he has had to cut back on his activities — including the time and energy he can give to the Checkerboard. After his heart attack Meyer could easily have decided to terminate the Checkerboard. However, he is acutely aware of how much his paper means to hundreds of members of the 99th. Many of us really appreciate his printing the old war stories, the updated rosters, the convention news, and the death notices. So instead of quitting, Meyer tried to continue to publish on a reduced scale. I, for one, admire him for making that decision, and I think he deserves a medal rather than scathing criticism.

And lastly, the 99th Convention was mentioned derisively in Konkler's letter. Several of my friends of the 372nd FA Bn. and I look forward all year to those conventions because it affords us the opportunity to get together once a year. So we make the effort if our health permits. I sincerely regret that there are some who cannot afford the trip — and I also realize that not everyone enjoys reunions like I do. But, I do hope they continue during my lifetime, now with Donna Bernhardt in charge.

Charles P. Biggio Jr. C/372

6411 22nd Street N

Arlington VA 22055