2018 Branson Reunion

2018 Group Branson Reunion Photo

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2018 Branson Reunion Report

The 8th Reunion of the 6/27th Artillery Vietnam was held at the Grand Plaza Hotel in Branson, MO on August 29 & 30, 2018. The photo above shows those attending. This year's reunion set an all-time record attendance.  Eighty-six Cannon Kings and Queens were originally registered to attend.  Unfortunately, two registrants were forced to cancel due to an illness in their family.  They were missed by those attending as well as those who were long-time attendees who did not attend this year.  Even with those late cancellations this year’s reunion set a record attendance of 84.  The Reunion's unofficial start began in the Grand Plaza Hotel’s Pub on the Plaza on Tuesday, 8/28 where early arrivers met at 7:00 p.m. for drinks and conversation until well past 11:00.

Registration began on Wednesday at 12:00 noon in the Grand Plaza Sunset Room.  A Reception was held in the Sunset Room from noon until 10:00.  Drinks of choice were easily available at the Pub on the Plaza with drink tickets presented as a part of the registration fee.  A buffet of appetizers was served in the late afternoon.  As at previous reunions this was a chance for those attending to greet old friends and to meet and get to know those attending a reunion for the first time.  Many thanks to Richard Attaway for providing pizza for those in attendance shortly after noon.  That was very thoughtful of you Richard!

As with each previous reunion the dynamics for this reunion were different.  We were happy to have a large number of Charlie Battery Cannon Kings attend this reunion.  It was great fun to meet each of them and they all added a great deal to this reunion.  The friendliness and good spirit among all those attending was quite evident. 

Those attending had their Thursday daytime to enjoy Branson, attend the many available shows or get together for more comradeship and friendship renewal.  The Grand Plaza Hotel rates included a free breakfast buffet  which most attendees took advantage of each morning.  Thanks to Les Higa we can see what some did with their free time.  Click here to see what some Reunion Attendees did.

The Banquet Dinner was held in the Grand Plaza Hotel Sunset Room on Thursday, August 30, 2018. The Grand Plaza staff provided a great meal with excellent service. By tradition the program was informal with a welcome from John Wavra with a benediction once again by Cannon King and Navy Chaplin, Tom Atkins.

After dinner the room was called to order and Fallen Comrades and Friends not present were remembered with a moment of silence after their names were read aloud by selected table hosts and a toast offered by Don Clay to their memory. The traditional "Fallen Comrade" place was set at many tables to remind each of us how fortunate we all were to have made it back from Vietnam and to be attending this reunion. It was again pointed out that all of us have been fortunate to live forty plus years longer than our comrades who gave their lives in Vietnam.

Special toasts were offered to the memory of many Cannon Kings who have passed in the last two years.  Among them were LTC John Girardeau, Stella Esther Jefferies, wife of fellow Cannon King, Wesley Jefferies, Richard Little, CSM Thoms E. Carr.  A special memory of George W. Bentley, F Battery 16th Artillery was given by Scott Krueger.  Many of us met George in Branson at the 2016 Reunion and became his friends.  He was a one of a kind guy! 

Toasts were offered by Les Higa for these friends and Norm Wolfinger, George Montgomery, Ken Wright, Berry Watson Anthony "Tony" Volponi and Col George May were remembered by a toast by Don Clay.

Several Drawings took place at this point.  Thanks to Jack Curry who served with the First Infantry Division, Graves Registration, we were able to give to nine winners some of the red laterite tarmac from Quan Loi.  Jack brought a slab back with him on a 2002 return visit to Quan Loi.  An  undertaker in civilian life, Jack suggested that now a little piece of Vietnam could be added to each winners grave when they pass.

Thanks to the Branson Grand Plaza Hotel three lucky winners were treated to a free night to be used while they attended the Cannon King Reunion.

The usual “around-the-room” self-introductions took place with all the fun that goes with it. Again, as with previous reunions, the floor was then opened to anyone who wanted to relate a memory, tell a funny story or whatever, and several Cannon Kings used this time to good advantage. It was fun to listen to new and old stories.

When the last story was told the dinner was over and group photos were taken, this year down in the front lobby. Click here to view an enlarged interactive group photo. The 2018 Reunion, it was agreed by most attending, had been a great success! Many thanks to all who attended the 2018 Reunion and to everyone who helped to make it the success that it was. A special thanks to each of the table hosts. And lastly, an extra special thanks to Reed McDonald and Les Higa, who, without their efforts over the last fourteen years, none of the reunions would have been possible.

Each Cannon King who attended was mailed a detailed financial statement regarding the costs of the 2018 Branson Reunion along with, what one attendee called "a nice windfall" refund check.

Hope to see you all in 2020 at the place of your choosing! John Wavra

Snapshot Video of the 2018 Cannon King Branson Reunion
Playing Time 15:47


Photo Galleries

There is bound to be some duplication of photos when three individuals unleash their cameras on the same events.  If you get bored, stop and come back later.  All of these photos of all of these great people are worth viewing more than once!  Many thanks to Roger & Les for sharing their photos!


John Wavra's Photos - 53 Images


Roger Mallory's Welcome Reception Photos - 35 Images


Roger Mallory's Dinner Photos - 46 Images


Les Higa's PreReunion Photos - 30 Images


Les Higa's Welcome Reception/Dinner Photos - 67 Images



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