Magazine article VFW Magazine

Desert Storm Unit Reunites after 25 Years

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Desert Storm Unit Reunites after 25 Years

Article excerpt

Post 629 in Fairmont, W.Va., brought together former members of a close-knit outfit, providing an opportunity for one "family" of veterans to connect a quarter century after serving alongside one another in a war seldom mentioned today.

The Post hosted the reunion for about 100 veterans of the 1st Bn., 201st Field Artillery Regt., Aug. 14. Sen. Joe Manchin (D.-W.Va.) sent a representative and the state issued a proclamation.

And for Post Adjutant Gerald Hall and others, it was like a family gettogether because of the reserve unit's base in a community bound by social ties. "We grew up together, went to school together-brothers, sons, cousins-we were all together again," Hall said. "Once everybody found out there was going to be a lot of their friends there and comrades, everyone was happy to attend."

Hall was the personnel sergeant for the unit during its mobilization from December 1990 to June 1991. The idea for the reunion came up 10 years ago when the Post drew about 30 ex-members. This time, they wanted to attract even more vets.

The Post spent $375 from its charitable fund to cover the event. Family and friends were invited to the festivities, which lasted about six hours. "It was a good time," Hall said. "The best part was seeing all your buddies and friends you were in combat with." Some former members of the unit were still in the area, but others came from out of state. "Everyone enjoyed it," he said, "it was social just like the VFW national convention."

With a population of around 20,000, Fairmont is a community where many residents knew someone who served in the war. …

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