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Cpl. Jerry Nicholson
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2016 After Action Report & Photos

The VMFA 542 Reunion, August 2 through August 7, 2016, in Washington D. C. was a big success. Thank you to everyone who came and shared with us. I will list those in attendance, post photos and attempt to provide some details of the event from my perspective. 

2016 VMFA 542 Washington D. C. Reunion is now in the history book.  This was a great turnout with 13 Tigers showing up.  We also had the honor of having Annie Vitali Stout join us.  Annie is the daughter of Col Henry Vitali, our commanding officer at Da Nang in 1968.

Our host hotel was The Comfort Inn Ballston, 1211 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA. Most people stayed at this location. Several people stayed at other hotels in the area and several people were local to the area.

We had a great time.  Thank you all for being a part of a fun reunion.

Jerry & Laurie Nicholson 68-69 Com/Nav, Winnetka, Ca
Ted & Sue Beaudet 67-68 Flight Line, Lake Luzerne, NY
Bob & Katy Masek 68 Radar, Middleburg, Va
Rocky & Debra Hudgeons 67-68 Flight Line, Edna, Texas
Wayne & Marilyn Wolter 68-69 Flight Line, Hugo, Minnesota
Harry & Cindy Dilks 66-68, Manville, New Jersey
Thomas Smith 66-67 Ordnance, Wayne, WV
Dale & Kathleen Hargadine, 66-68 Ordnance, Stevenson, Washington
David & Cathy Rosenbaum 67-68 Radar, Johnstown, PA
Ed & Mary Jo Marici 67-68 Radar, Seabrook, TX
Frank Costanza 65-66 Radar Bristow, Va
Harry Julian 67 Check Crew
Jeff McMaster 69-70 Hydraulics, Local, Virginia
Annie Vitali Stout, Memphis Tn (Col Vitali's daughter. Col Vitali commanded VMFA 542 in 1968 at Da Nang)

2016 VMFA 542 DC

Day 1 Tuesday August 2, 2016
On Tuesday as we arrived at the hotel and met one another. We had our meet & Greet at the World of
Beers about 3 blocks South on Glebe Rd.
2016 Day 1 Meet & Greet Photos

Day 2 Wednesday August 3, 2016
Wednesday we traveled on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) most of the time, using the
BALLSTON METRO station to get to the National Mall area. We arrived at the L'ENFANT PLAZA
METRO STATION and walked about 0.3 miles to The National Air and Space Museum on Independence
Ave at 6th Street, SW.

Lunch was at the Capitol Visitor Center Restaurant on the lower level.  It was about a one mile walk from
the Air & Space to The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

After lunch we toured the U.S. Capitol, or parts of it.  The rotunda was under construction for maintenance, so we missed that part. 
2016 Day 2 Tour National Air and Space Museum and Tour U.S. Capitol

Day 3, Thursday August 4, 2016
Thursday we toured Arlington National Cemetery in the morning. We took the BALLSTON METRO to the
ARLINGTON CEMETERY METRO STATION and walked to the Arlington National Cemetery Welcome
Center. We purchased tickets for the hop-on hop-off cemetery tour bus.

While at Arlington we were able to meet Annie Vitali Stout when she arrived.  It was such a pleasure and honor to meet her.  She is the daughter of Col. Henry Vitali who was the VMFA 542 Commanding Officer in 1968 at Da Nang.

We traveled from Arlington National Cemetery to the National Mall on the METRO from ARLINGTON
Castle for lunch. After lunch we spent the rest of the day on the National Mall.
2016 Day 3 Tour Arlington National Cemetery

Day 4 Friday August 5, 2016
Friday was our big day.  We took the BALLSTON METRO to FOGGY BOTTOM METRO STATION and walked to the National Mall War Memorials. We first visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and paid our respects. We visited
all of the VMFA 542 fallen names on the Wall as well as the names of personal friends and family.

We traveled to the EASTERN MARKET METRO STATION and had dinner at Molly Malone’s Pub.
After dinner we went to The Marine Barracks at 8th and I St for the evening Retreat Parade Ceremony.
2016 Day 4 Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall & National War Memorials
2016 Day 4 Marine Barracks Evening Parade

Day 5 Saturday August 6, 2016
Saturday was Planning Meeting for 2018 and review of 2017 reunions. We also brought out the old photos and cruise
books for everyone to enjoy. The rest of the day was open for freestyle sightseeing.
2016 Day 5 Open Day

Day 6 Sunday August 7, 2016
We said our farewells at breakfast and departed for home. 

Click Here for AAR .pdf

The 2017 reunion will be in the Seattle, Washington area Wednesday, August 2, 2017 through Sunday,
August 6, 2017. We are also looking at an alternate date of Wednesday, September 13 through Sunday
September 17, 2017.  See you there. 

We also are looking at Branson, Missouri for the 2018 reunion