Douglas C. Dillard (Col. Ret.)
82nd Airborne Division
First I wish to thank Barbara Mooneyhan and her supporters in South Carolina for the sponsorship of our forthcoming reunion in Columbia…a lot of planning and coordination…well done! If you have not signed up for the reunion, please do so as soon as possible.
The other big event for the VBOB, of course, is the trip in December to participate in the 70th Anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge. As I have written earlier, the planning and coordination continues. This is the current status of such planning: The Task Force in Belgium/Luxembourg has prepared and coordinated the itinerary with local authorities for those locations that we will visit. In September, the in-country Task Force has a scheduled meeting of all of its members to go over the finer details of in-country support.
The VBOB Historical Foundation sponsored a flag ceremony at Fort Meade, MD, the home of the VBOB Historical Room in the Post Library. Al Shehab, John Bowen, Ruth Hamilton, Colonel Foley, the Post Commander, Mr. Paul Goffin and Retired Colonel Menser participated in the ceremony, in which the Belgian and Luxembourg Flags were presented to Col. Foley for permanent placement in the VBOB Historical Room. The flags were presented to Col. Foley by Luxembourg Ambassador Wolzfeld and for Belgium, General Andries, representing the Belgian Ambassador. I did a short briefing about my Parachute Infantry Battalion and its combat actions.
During this event, Ambassador Wolzfeld told me his country had approved our itinerary, had appointed a coordinator and were very anxious to see our trip is successful. The Belgian Defense Attache General Andreis met with John Bowen and I to brief us on his actions in support of the trip. He has coordinated with the Belgian Ministry of Defense, the office of the King’s General as far as Belgium is concerned, and he is working at the US General Officer level with our Defense Department to secure, if possible, a US Air Force aircraft to fly the veterans to Europe, since his government has offered a one-way flight from Europe. He also advised us that the ground transportation was approved for use of their buses. As soon as we receive final word about the aircraft, we will send it out to the membership. At this time, I must ask for your patience.
Best regards, Doug Dillard