KILLEEN BASE, TEXAS
2007 REUNION INFORMATION
KILLEEN BASE (DASA) VETERANS '61-'64
ADDL. KB CONTACT INFO
We did some strange things while at KB. This was one of the milder ones. Mike Melinkovich, Roger Goehrke, myself, and one other KB alumni were driving around in my '57 Ford when we saw an old store with some unusual things in the window. We walked in and no one was there, so Mike M put on the hat, Roger the chaps, and I put on a very smelly old buffalo robe and sombrero. I can't recall who it was that took the picture. Then we put everything back and drove away. TX entertainment!
Back row Left to Right: Lewis Dorgan, John Uriah, Dale Holstead, Ken Smith, Charles Stickney, Dennis Mennillo, Mike Campos, Ed Woerz and Fred Romanowski
Front Row L - R: Joseph Dwyer, C. L. (Lee) Williford, John Geoghegan, Roger (Lizard) Lessard and John Mackey
The 1st ever reunion of 1961-64 (or so) of KB graduates took place the weekend of Oct. 12, 2007 in Atlantic City, NJ. Fourteen of us managed to get there to spend a little time and reminisce about our experiences serving our country. Ed Woerz, who did an outstanding job of organization, had a packet of material and a hat for everyone. There was also a shirt available for everyone with donations for the shirt going to the Wounded Warrior Project. Fred Romanowski assisted with finding a hotel and a place to gather for a group dinner. It was great to get together after 43 years! The city of Killeen is planning a possible KB reunion in 2008 or 2009. If you are interested contact Ed Woerz. Here are some pictures:
PICTURES (L-R): 1) The sign in the hotel (that would be Killeen!); 2) Fred Romanowski receiving Soldier of the Month award; 3) Charles Stickney still looking sharp; 4) Fred got into the jacket!; 5) The women who put up with us; 6) Dale Holstead found a woman - hey, it is Atlantic City and she is wearing a tiara!!!
NEWS 7/07: Joe Dwyer, Charles Stickney, Dennis Mennillo, & I spent a couple of hours together this past week discussing old times and the upcoming reunion. Dennis & I drove back from TX in his car after discharge and we spent a couple of days in NYC before coming upstate. I look forward to seeing Roger Goerke, Ian McKay, Fred Romanowski, & others in Atlantic City. I spoke with my last barracks roommate Mike Melinkovich and another 2nd Platoon alumni Dexter Sanders on 7/28. They plan to attend. It will be great to see everyone again after 43 years!!!
NEWS 3/07: A lot has been going on in the last few months. Joe Dwyer, Ed Woerz & I have been continuing to find people and try to coordinate a reunion for Oct. of '07 in Atlantic City. Joe has had contact with Fred Romanowski another KB alumni who has hotel contacts there. Also received the following humorous poem about KB life from Ramon Black ('61-'64):
It was once that I was happy, My heart was filled with cheer— I never had seen Texas ‘Til the Army took me there.
I’d heard songs of her beauty— Pretty girls and big strong me,
Rolling plains, majestic mountains— Just heaven from end to end!
But of this there’s one thing certain; Of this there’s no denying; The guys who started all that noise Did a helluva lotta lying!
Down in the Heart-o-Texas There’s sand in all you eat, The girls are so bow-legged And the guys all have flat feet.
That’s just why they sent us there To sit in sad dejection Out in that lonely desert For that damned State’s protection.
We were never very religious— We drank and fought and cursed, We had no worry of going to Hell, It couldn’t be any worse!
Down there the sun is hotter! Down there the rain seems wetter! It’s the "best State in the Union? Well there’s forty-nine that are better.
It was nobody’s fault but my own— And the Army never forgot it— I volunteered for foreign duty, Well believe me, by God, I got it…
NEWS 7/06: How long has it been since I have seen some of the guys I served with at KB? Not long, because on 7/16/06 I tipped a few with Joe Dwyer (Retired NYCFD - lives in NYC), Charles Stickney (Still working - lives in Ballston Spa, NY), and Ed Woerz (Retired from HUD - lives in TX). This was my second meeting with Joe & Chuck and Joe, Ed & I all entered the service on the same day in NYC. Ed had some great pictures and we all shared stories of our adventures both north & south of the border. Ed has been keeping up on some people from their platoon and, sadly, a few have left us.
(L-R) Joe Dwyer, Charles (Stick) Stickney, Me, Ed Woerz. It wasn't the Golden Corral but the beer was cold!
I have managed to contact Roger Goerhke (MI), Ian McKay (NY), Mike Melinkovich (WA), Dexter Sanders (NC), Bill Velie (AZ) and hope to find more from the 2nd Platoon.
MY PARTIAL STORY - MARTIAL ARTS LESSON
OVERCOMING PERSONAL OBSTACLES is part and parcel of martial arts training today. When I started my training in late 1959, teaching values, goals, decision making, or even realistic self-defense skills was not part of the curriculum.
I found myself at 17 and a H.S. junior having to make some difficult decisions about my future. Without going into too much detail about my personal situation - no, I was not in any legal trouble - I decided to join the military. Since I was dropping out of H.S. to do that, my future looked somewhat uncertain. So on March 22, 1961 I found myself in basic training at Ft. Dix, N.J. After Basic it was off to Ft. Gordon, GA for MP school. Upon completion of MP training I received my duty assignment near Ft. Hood in TX. Killeen Base was a top secret facility that was closed down but has recently been reactivated as West Ft. Hood and is not a top secret facility anymore.
PICTURES (L-R): Army logo; Me at KB; Patch we wore on our uniform. Do you think you can guess what we were guarding?; Me ready for duty - we were crisp!; My last roommate (we had semi-private rooms at KB), Mike Melinkovich. I wish I knew where he was so I could thank him for saving my butt one night and for telling me I could make it in college. He also made a great Lt. one night but that is another story. UPDATE: Mike played college football before the Army got him and after the service played pro-football from '65-'67. I recently tracked Mike down to Washington State thanks to my military records and we talked in July 2007.
While at KB, I passed my GED and received my H.S. Equivalency Diploma and, by my discharge in March 1964 had decided to attend college.
Having spent my upper teens in the service was interesting and allowed me to observe and grow as a person. Keep in mind that the draft was in effect and many of the guys I served with were older than I was. I spent a lot of time finding out what they had done before they got drafted and started to think about my future.
After a number of years I began to wonder what had happened to the people I served with and was able to re-connect with some at the military section of www.classmates.com
In the last few years I have had phone and email contact with several of the guys from MP Co C. They include:
Joe Dwyer retired from NYC Fire Dept; Gene Lively retired from Broadcasting; Ian McKay retired from NYC PD; Dexter Sanders lives near Ft. Bragg, NC and sent me pictures of myself that I didn't have; Charles Stickney is living in Ballston Spa, NY; Bill Velie is in AZ and running a construction business.
I also had an strong urge to revisit my youth and see the base where I spent most of my service. Finally in Sept. of 2005 my wife and I took a 4,700 mile road trip which included a stop at what was once Killeen Base (KB). Luckily, I was able to get the information I needed to get back on base and was amazed at how Killeen, TX has changed and how much KB has as well.
Below are some pictures and other memories that helped shape my youth - some of it misspent!