Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Recon Marines Reunite in Osprey for Weekend

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Recon Marines Reunite in Osprey for Weekend

Article excerpt

Thirteen members of the 1st Battalion 1st Marine Division D Co. Recon -- later known as C Co., call sign Antifreeze -- got together last month in Osprey, for a weekend of reconnecting and reminiscing about their days in Vietnam from 1966 to 1968.

The annual reunion, which was Oct. 26 and 27, grew out of a surprise party for platoon leader Ed Cannon's 70th birthday in 2004 in Panama City.

At that first get-together, some of the veterans had not seen each other in more than 40 years.

Radioman Skip Bachman found as many of the Marines as possible via the Internet. Since then, they have found most of their comrades who made it out of Vietnam.

This year, Edward "Al" Shaw organized the reunion in Nokomis and Osprey.

The first afternoon, the men boarded the Just Ducky boat, which Shaw was told was in Vietnam in 1966, for an afternoon of sight- seeing through Nokomis and Venice.

That evening, they reconvened at Bentley's Resort restaurant for socializing around the pool and dinner.

The next day, they spent time at Shaw's home, and then headed to the Disabled American Veterans 101 in Nokomis for dinner and music.

"When we returned home, our fellow countrymen were less than appreciative for our valor and our sacrifices, but this too has changed," Shaw said. "Us meeting again after all these years has meant more than we could easily explain."

Among the 13, they earned four Silver Stars, six Bronze Stars and 10 Purple Hearts. All of the Marines enlisted in the service; none were drafted.

"I went in in '67, and some of the guys were already there," Jim Knerem said. "Some of them stayed through to '72."

The men help each other tell their story.

"We were in Chulai, then sent to DaNang," Shaw said. "Some rotated home. I went from there to Phu Bia, then served three more years. Ed Cannon led us through the bush, then he was promoted to second lieutenant, then Central Intelligence Division. …

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