Provided by: Daniel P. Gillotti, MS, MA, First Sergeant, USA Retired.
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Hard Charger News: The weather is spectacular here on the shores of Lake Erie. We were very fortunate as our winter weather was not as brutal as many we’ve had in the past years. The corn will be ready for picking within the next few weeks and we cannot wait to eat some of those lovely ears dripping in butter. Yum! Yum!
Hard Charger Condolences: COL (R) Raymond A. Smith [B-30th FA, Ft Bragg, NC 1945-46 & HHB, 550th FA Rocket Bn, Fort. Bliss, TX 1957-58]; COL (R) Wesley Geary [30th FA Association Chaplain 2010-2016]; PFC Gary McKay [A-1-30th FA Vietnam 1965-66]; 1LT David W. Akers [C-1-30th FA Vietnam 1965-66]; SP4 Jonathan W. Woods [HHB-1-30th FA Vietnam 1969-70]; MAJ James Fleming [SVC-30th FA, Germany 1953-55]. Also, over the years we’ve lost several of our Active Duty soldiers assigned to the 1st Bn, 30th FA at Fort Sill including; SGT Angel Aponte, 7-19-1995; PVT Tron R. Boone, 3-6-1996; CPT Michael J. Pelkey, 11-5-2004; CPL Matthew C. Bryant, 11-14-2004; 2LT Robert E. Hayes, 2-25-2006; CPT Conan A. Gray, 10-6-2011; 2LT Ryan C. Yancey, 8-24-2012; SGT Bryan C. Comaduran, 10-31-2013; and CPT George J. Alsfelder, 5-8-2016. May all of these Hard Chargers Rest in Peace!
2016 Annual Hard Charger Reunion at Fort Sill, OK: Theresa and I arrived in Lawton, Oklahoma on Monday, June 6. Then on Tuesday, 7 June we went shopping for the Hospitality Suite along with assistance from some of our early arrivals. We swarmed all over a giant Wal-Mart and filled 3 shopping carts with goodies including: paper/plastic products, cookies, chips, dip, pretzels, energy bars, crackers, cheese, beer, pop, water, booze, and ice. After getting the refreshments unloaded, Chuck Causey our Quartermaster set up all of the hats, T-shirts, pullover shirts, pins, patches, and hats for sale. I set out all of the 150 pounds of picture binders for our members to look thru. And thanks to our members we now have “never before seen pictures” to add to the binders. The party lasted until late in the morning and a good time was had by all. On Wednesday morning we went to Fort Sill and held our General Membership Meeting in our 30th Field Artillery Regiment Regimental Room located in Room #114 [Known officially as the 1SG Thomas J. Vernor Auditorium]. The important aspects of the meeting included the election of officers for the next two-year cycle. For the good of the association, I declined re-election as President, and nominated COL (R) Theodore Janosko to succeed me as the President of our association. For information, 2018 will mark the 100th Anniversary of the organization of the 30th Field Artillery Regiment at Camp Funston, KS in August 1918. These next two years will be focused on organizing an appropriate series of events to celebrate this 100th Anniversary. It will require our Association President along with our new Honorary Colonel of the Regiment, COL (R) Frank J. Siltman [Director of all museums at Fort Sill] to participate in the planning and organizing process along with the new Commander of the 1-30th FA, LTC James Egan. It would be impossible for me to commute 2,400 miles round trip every time there was a meeting. Both COL Janosko and COL Siltman live in Lawton, OK, and can easily attend all of the meetings. They have at least 50+ years of combined experience dealing with the hierarchy at Fort Sill. COL Janosko served as the 30th FA Regimental Commander from 1998-2000. Later, he also served as the Honorary Colonel of the 30th FA Regiment for 3 years. COL Siltman served as the Bn Commander of 3-30th FA at Fort Sill from