2022 Reunion After Action Report

Posted on September 4, 2022


Charlie Troop 1/9th Cavalry held it’d Annual Reunion in Branson, Missouri August 19th,20th, and 21st. Here are the highlights from that reunion:

The afternoon of August 19th starting at 4PM, Charlie Troop held it’s Welcome and Honors ceremonies. It began with Charlie Troop’s Little Brother, Zachary Titchenell leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance. As always, he did an excellent job. Lucy Bieneman then came up and sang our “National Anthem”

At this time, I then introduced those who are making their 1st Charlie Troop+ reunion”

Vincent Nelson, his son and daughter in law, Vincent Nelson III, Jaclyn Nelson, His granddaughter Chloe Nelson, his Grandson Simon Nelson and US Navy retiree Nelson Graig.

John Sater and his wife, Donita. John served in Bravo Troop in 1965-66

Diane Walton-Gleaton and her family: Husband Michael, daughter Melissa, grandson Tate, granddaughter Autumn Holloway, 

Kathy Walton

Janis VanSant, daughter of George Vansant

Don Gresham’s sister, Cynthia Murray

And for those who have not met him yet, Our Newest Charlie Trooper, Jonathan Bieneman.

Edward N. Kaneshiro who served in Charlie Troop 1965-66. In July 2022, the US Army awarded SSG Kaneshiro the Medal of Honor.  Jerry Berggren came up front and read the Citation that awarded the Medal of Honor to SSG Kaneshiro.

Our special ladies, Peggy Carpenter, Ginny Blouin, Brenda Merritt, Jean Gruetezmacher, Anne Smith, and Alice Helms came up and read the names of Our Fallen Brothers.

“Lucy Bieneman came up front and sang “He’s more than a name on the Wall”.

We then began to Honor our Three Gold Star Families in attendance. The first to be honored were the Knight-Brenners Whose, husband and father, Billy M. Knight was Killed in Action November 19, 1965, .Secondly, were the Gleaton-Waltons whose father, Louis E. Walton, was Killed in Action June 26, 1966. Thirdly, are the Jelichs, whose husband, father and grandfather who was Killed in Action on April 2, 1972

The Knight-Brenners

Ruth Knight Brenner, Judy Knight Donaldson and Billy Knight Brenner came up and lit a candle in Honor of Billy M. Knight.

The family of Louis E. Walton, Diane Gleaton, husband Michael, daughter Melissa, grandson Tate, granddaughter Autumn Holloway, and sister, Kathy Walton came up and lit a candle in Honor of their Father and grandfather, Louis Walton and took a m moment to remember him.

Tina Tuttle-Jelich-Frost along with John (Jake) A. Jelich II, Elizabeth Jelich, John A. Jelich III and Brooks Jelich came up and lit a candle for her husband, his father, her father-in-law and their Grandfather John A. Jelich I and took a moment to remember him.

Lucy Bieneman came up and sang “If you’re reading this now”.

Now we moved over to our “Remembrance Table” where we honor those Troopers and Troopettes who we have lost since our last reunion.

Marilyn Owens came up to our Remembrance table and lit a candle for her husband, Keith and told us what made Keith so special.

Vincent Nelson and his family come up and lit a candle for Regina (Gina) Nelson. Vincent tell us what made Gina so special.

Jean Singletary came up and lit a candle for her husband, Claude and told us what made Claude so special.

Janis VanSant to came up and light a candle for her Father George VanSant and tell us why he was so special.

It is my Honor to remember Percy “Doc” Hipple and light a candle in his memory.  

Toby Tyler came up and lit a candle for Walker Jones said a few words about Walker. I said the following about Walker.” Look around this room. This would not be happening right now if it hadn’t been for Walker Jones. He started out just trying to find some of the other Pilots he flew with in Vietnam. He started a website for Charlie Troop, and it very quickly took off with, Pilots, crew chiefs, door gunners, blues and others from 1965 to 1971. He was a great Pilot, but he was a better comrade”. 

Tina Tuttle-Jelich- Frost, Jake, Beth, John A. II, and Brooks Jelich came up front. The Jelich family read the poem, “It’s me who has your Back”. At this time, we presented John A. II and Brooks a certificate making them “Little Brothers of Charlie Troop.

We also presented our Little Brothers with two Dog Tags. One has their father’s information on it from when he served in Bosnia, and one has their grandfather’s information on it. Also, we have one for Jake with your dad’s information on it

I called Greg Titchenell up front. Last year Greg, his wife Carrie and son Zachary read the poem and we inducted Zachery into “Our Little Brothers” and gave him a certificate and dog tag with his Great grandfathers, Wallace Titchenell, information on it. This year I want to present Greg a dog tag with his grandfather’s, Wallace Titchenell, information on it. This is three generations of Proud Charlie Troopers.

 To bring our opening ceremonies to an end, Lucy Bieneman came up and sang “Amazing Grace” for us.

This concluded the opening ceremonies. The rest of the evening was spent just talking and swapping stories.

Saturday was a fun filled day. We started out by taking the Branson Belle Showboat out for the lunch cruise. The entertainment on the showboat was good as always. However, the magician act was made when he selected two of Charlie Troop’s own to be his assistance. Tom Betts was chosen to be a sound effects man using a drum and cymbals. Jean Singletary was chosen to be his assistant. Tom was supposed to hit the drum every time the man made a certain move. Tom never did and yet he became one of the funnier parts of the show. Jean was supposed to assist him by cutting the rope and throwing open her arms and yelling “TA DA”. She did a great job. At one point, the magician decided he needed to go into slow motion so maybe the audience and Tom and Jean could keep up with him. He did not anticipate that both Tom and Jean would go into slow motion mode as well. He may have wet himself he was laughing so hard at them. On a scale of 1-10, this show became a 12+ thanks to Tom and Jean.

Saturday night’s entertainment was C.J. Newsom and Terry Sanders. C.J. had performed for us back in 2016 and we could wait to surprise the Troopers. C.J. began by asking if there were any Troopers who have birthdays in the month of August. She then went and sang a full verse of Happy Birthday to each one of them. As she was walking back to the stage she said “Pat, I don’t want to stay on stage, I want to mingle. I told her that it was her show, and she could do what she wanted to do”. There was never so many happy and grinning Troopers in the state of Missouri as there was that night. She went around sitting on laps, hugging, wrapping her hair around heads and making ever Trooper feel special. Terry Sanders was dead on as Barney Fife. He had us all laughing crazily. C.J. Newsome will also be a part of any future reunions held in Branson.

After, C.J. left, we held the raffle for three baskets. Two of which had a Germany theme, German beer in Flip top bottles, German beer steins, Tickets to several local activities, free night at the hotel, German chocolates, German candies, and many other things. We also raffled off a wine basket, that was donated by the manager of the Rhodes Family Price Chopper store.

Sunday the 21st started out with a quick “Troopers meeting”. We discussed finances and future plans. Then the families were allowed to go out for the day. A women’s luncheon was held for those who wanted attend at the White River Fish Restaurant, hosted by Carol Bieneman.

After dinner, we conducted our Raffle and Silent  Auctions. Overall, both were of great success. Afterwards was time to talk and say goodbyes.

Another great reunion.

To the best of my ability:

1st row l-r Ava LaChance, Carol Bieneman, Ilah Rosher

2nd row l-r Brooks Jelich, John Jelich, Marilyn Owens, Harry Reeg, Patrick Bieneman, Galen Rosher, Vincent Nelson Jr., Gene Smith, Anne Smith, Wallace Titchenell, Diane Pressman

3rd row l-r Elizabeth Jelich, Jean Singletary, Charles Blevins, Janis VanSant, Ernie Ryan, Jerry Berggren, Alice Davidson, Dave Davidson, James (Toby) Tyler, Don Vinnigre, James Pressman

4th row l-r Tina Jelich-Frost, Jake Jelich, Brooks Vinningre, Gary Farmer, Crae Carpenter, Peggy Carpenter, Butch Munday, David Blouin, Ginny Blouin, Tom Betts, Karen Betts, Billy Brenner, Judy Donaldson, Ruth Brenner, Marvin McMichael, Sandy McMichael, Grover Wright, Ed Gruetzemacher, Jean Gruetzemacher, Phil Merritt, Brenda Merritt, Doc Hockenbury