Douglas C. Dillard (Col. Ret.)
82nd Airborne Division
Greetings to all as we begin the Spring of 2013. Although it seemed wintery at the beginning of Spring, we do see Spring coming on and we welcome it.
As the New Year began I also became more active with planning, thinking and starting the coordinating process for the events to be celebrated in 2014, the year of our 70th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. For such as undertaking planning cannot start early enough. I visualize three events in 2014, the first being the annual reunion to be held in Columbia, South Carolina as already approved by the Executive Council. The South Carolina Chapter has volunteered to coordinate and help plan the event there. As you recall our last reunion in Columbia was a tremendous success.
The second event is presently conceptual as far as a VBOB group trip to Belgium and Luxembourg. However, to initiate the planning process I will appoint a 70th Anniversary Battle of The Bulge Planning Committee. I have mailed letters to the Ambassadors for Belgium and Luxembourg and requested they designate someone to work with our planning committee. I recently met with the Ambassador for Luxembourg and he indicated he wanted to schedule an open house at the Embassy in 2014 to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge and would advise our Association of such plans. Being a part of our committee will aid each of us in the planning and coordination of the event. I advised the Ambassador that I certainly plan to be in the Belgian/Luxembourg countries to celebrate the 70th Anniversary. I will keep all advised of our planning progress. The third event would be the annual commemoration in the Washington DC area coordinated by the BOB Historical Foundation.
In January I was honored by an invitation to lunch at the Luxembourg Embassy along with General Abrams of the US Army Historical Foundation. To complete the joint pledge of a donation both the VBOB and the Luxembourg Ambassador had made to the US Army Historical Foundation, the Ambassador presented General Abrams with a check. VBOB had already presented its check. It was an honor to represent VBOB at that luncheon.
On March 17, John Bowen, Mike Levin and I participated in the St. Patrick’s Day march in Washington DC. I led the C Division as its Marshall, and John walked, while Mike and I rode in WWII Jeeps. The previous Friday evening John, Mary Ann and I attended a reception at the Irish Embassy, again an honor to represent VBOB.