Photo Gallery - 2008 D Co 3-7 Infantry 50th Reunion

It was Fall 1958. For some young men it was several days before Thanksgiving. For others, it was a day or two after the holiday. Most had orders to report to Fort Jackson, South Carolina. That’s where they got their first taste of army life. By December 6th, their hair had been clipped off… they had almost learned how to make an army bunk… had drawn uniforms… and had all their clothing except what they were wearing neatly packed into their duffle bags.
On that Saturday morning, they were loaded into buses and shipped off to Fort Benning, Georgia. They arrived that afternoon. They had left their civilian homes in the Carolinas, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and other states. For the next six months, this would be their home.
After Basic Training, it was off to Aschaffenburg, Germany. For most, their new home was Company D, 1st Battle Group, 7th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division. Some stayed with the unit for eighteen months, others for two and a half years, and a few re-enlisted.
We tried to keep in touch with each other, but two young men from eastern North Carolina did more than try. In 1992, Bobby Taylor and Bill Batten contacted a few of their army buddies and put together a reunion in Greensboro, NC. They did it again the next year, and the next.
Within a few years, average attendance was almost a hundred. We went to places like Washington, DC, Charleston, SC, and Savannah, GA. The Savannah reunion included spending the day at Fort Stewart.
Planning for the 2008 reunion, it was suggested that we return where it all began… Fort Benning, GA. It had been fifty years since we first were there. Gene and LuEllen Richard, our “Permanent Planners”, once again outdid themselves.
We took a bus tour to places we remembered, but no longer looked the same. Kelly Hill, Sand Hill and others. Many said the only that hadn’t changed was the Chapel.
We had lunch at the “Dining Facility.” What happened to the “Chow Hall?” The food was excellent. The young soldiers went out of their way to be friendly and talk to us. Of course everyone there seemed like young soldiers to us. Several of our wives were seen getting their pictures taken with the Cavalry Troops. A few asked to wear the Cavalry Troops’ hats.
After lunch, we had an up-close demonstration of how today’s army operates. It was thrilling to see how professional a four-person fire team can clear a building of enemy combatants. Our country is in excellent hands.
The day at Fort Benning ended all too soon. But memories of the 2008 reunion will always be with us. And of course, our memories of fifty years ago, when we were young Basic Trainees will never fade away.

Here are a few photographs from the reunion.

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