We are a proud organization of military veterans, men and women, from all branches of service, conceived in 1988, representing over 1,000 Years of service to our country, who meet annually on Memorial Day weekend, for a Reunion hosted in a different city each year, to toast and celebrate our country, freedom, service, friendship and our health
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE FOD, THE ANNUAL REUNION HAS BEEN CANCELED. THE REUNION SLATED FOR MAY 2020 IN CHICAGO, IL WILL NOT BE HELD. REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED BY THE TREASURER ON BEHALF OF THE HOST
DUE TO SERIOUS CONCERNS OVER THE CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19) AND THE NEAR COMPLETE SHUTDOWN OF THE UNITED STATES, THE EXECUTIVE BOARD HAS MADE THE EASY DECISION TO KEEP OUR MEMBERS SAFE AND CANCEL THE 2020 REUNION.
AS OF RIGHT NOW, THE 2021 FOD ANNUAL REUNION SLATED FOR CHARLOTTE, NC IN MAY OF NEXT YEAR IS STILL A GO.
Our Hosts, Sam Saunders and Maria Tolson did an outstanding job in making this year's Reunion a very memorable one. Great site, great food, lots of fun, beautiful dinner banquet and an actual outdoors cookout on Sunday made it a stellar event and all who attended had a blast. On Monday, the hosts hit it out of the park again with a party at their wonderful 'estate' in the Maryland countryside.
The dark shadow of death has once again invaded our membership and taken one of our brothers.
Joe Bostick passed away suddenly on Friday, October 11, 2013 in Moreno Valley, CA.
Diane and I attended the services in Riverside, CA along with a host of Joe's family members, other Friends of Distinction members Acie Bone, E.K. Cannon, Charles Cook, Jim Hutcherson, Gloria Hutcherson and Jimmy Richardson. Many other Marines,their families and friends also attended.
Joe was interred in the National Cemetery in Riverside after a splendid full Marine Corps Military Funeral Service.
Cheers to the Hosting Crew for an OUTSTANDING JOB in making this one of the best Friends of Distinction Reunions in recent memories. We were blown away from the Registration to the 'Closers Party' as every phase of the reunion was well planned and carried out to near perfection. The FREE T-Shirts included in the registration bags were a nice extra, especially since they highlighted our 25th Anniversary and list all of our past reunion locations. Special unique FOD Reunion Buttons with our names displayed was also a nice touch. We were well taken care of with plenty of food, more than enough to drink, and almost non-stop fun in the Hospitality Suite where we whooped and hollered til the wee hours each night. Special Thanks to Jack Ware Jr, who volunteered to come down early and assist the Virginia hosts. Jack hustled, grilled, cleaned up, hauled gear and really worked hard to make it all come together. We salute the hosts and recognize the long hours, dedication and special effort it takes to pull together a reunion like this. Thanks again to Clara for the tremendous job she did on the baking and sweets, Brenda and the group for all the delicious 'Home Cooking', and of course the superb job done by Griff on the grilling and Fish Fry !! The Dinner Dance was very nicely laid out at the Officers Club of Fort Lee and the great music, OPEN BAR social hour, good food, and upscale surroundings made this one special. The many members in attendance made it hard to get the group photo completed. We also welcomed two new members to the organization as we continue to grow. We salute Ronald White, US Air Force (Retired), of Cleveland, Ohio and Dennis Murray, US Army (Retired), of Woodbridge, Virginia. A special presentation thrilled us all as LtCol Carliss Towns read an official Army citation and presented the group with a US flag that was flown over the 256th Combat Support Hospital at Al Asad Airbase in Iraq. This citation and others will soon be available on our webpage.
The Reunion Banner, along with our military flags and Welcome Banner were officially passed over to William ('Billy T') Bailey for the 2014 Reunion to be held in Warner-Robbins, Georgia. Brother Bailey promises to really wow us in Georgia and says he will put the FOD on the MAP!!! You don't want to miss this one he tells us - he has rooms already blocked out for only $39 per day, the Officer's Club is reserved, and has reserved a huge lodge for our cookout ..... See you in Warner-Robbins next year.
What an outstanding reunion ! Hats off to Otis and Mary Crews and for
putting on really special weekend for all of us. Who knew Greenville was such a
great place to visit ? The hotel and
arrangements made our Meet and Greet really enjoyable and we all loved the
outdoor tables, sofas and carpet for relaxing ( read DRINKING ! )
The US Marine Corps Band just happened to be in town playing
for the annual xxx Games and staying at our hotel. As you will see in the slide show, they put
on a special performance for our group, presenting the colors and saluting us
in front of the hotel. Kudos to SgtMajor
McGhee for setting up the show.
Weather was absolutely fantastic (love these Down Home
reunions) and members enjoyed shopping, golf, and the river and park downtown. Greenville is progressive, modern, yet still
has that Southern charm. The Shoeless
Joe Jackson Museum is even located here !
If you don’t recognize that name, Google It …
Many members drove over to the ‘Motown On Main’ restaurant and nightclub not far from the hotel
(Thanks Freddie Hall !) and enjoyed unbelievable prices on food and drink. On our second visit they reserved an entire
section for the FOD, recognized us officially, and treated us very special as
we dined and danced. ( Definitely going
back to see them next time in town )
The meeting went well and future reunion locations were
determined (see Upcoming Reunions tab
at top of blog) and a new slate of officers was elected (See Officer Slate tab at top of blog). We are looking forward to more great
leadership from new President Andrew Town and new Sgt At Arms Freddie Hall. Thanks to President Jim Hutcherson for the
great job he did during the past two years.
Our annual Dinner Dance was laid out, really nice venue,
great food, music and fun. FOD had an
outstanding professional photographer, Eva Frenzel of Frennet Studio in
Fountain Inn, SC, who took superb photos.
Much of her work can be seen in our blog. The Group Photo, Past Presidents and three
slideshows are available for your viewing.
If you wish to order any photos contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sunday Cook Out was held in the hotel courtyard and most
of us came out for awhile, but that South Carolina sun was doing most of the
cooking.We retreated to the Hospitality
Suite and did what we do best !!Sunday
Night and once again ‘The
Closers’ mustered to properly close out the Hospitality Suite and
celebrate the ‘Official End of Reunion’.This year ‘The
Closers’ wore special Blue T-Shirts designed by Melanie’s class which made it
even more special.If you wanna be a
Closer, you better ask somebody !!!
The Crews wound down the weekend with the most unbelievable
After Party at their lovely home. They
hosted one really superb cookout in a backyard that looked like a park! If you were not able to attend, you missed
the Big One Baby …
Once again, a very special and sincere thanks to Otis, Mary
and all of their crew who put together a really fantastic weekend.
The 2011 Reunion was a huge success with over 150 members, significant others, friends, and guests.The Hospitality Room was rocking the entire weekend with unlimited access, plenty of room, the swinging sounds of DJ ‘Friendly Freddie’ and plenty of ‘Libations’.The Reunion kicked off with a bang when the Hospitality Suite opened at 1500 on Friday and the action never slowed down.Kudos to the Reunion Hosts and all the folks that helped make this one a great one.
It was great to see our founder, Larry Hunt, back on his feet and having a good time after his ‘Camping Out’ incident on Super Bowl Sunday.He was joined by his sons, Cliff and Larry Jr, who helped him celebrate this 23rd Reunion.
Despite a lot of rain, members enjoyed the normal activities of golf, shopping, drinking, spinning tales, playing cards, sight seeing and just hanging out.The Annual Meeting was ‘interesting’ to say the least, but resulted in some solid decisions about future reunions, and the limiting of our membership in the near future.
The locations for the next three years are posted on this web site in the left column and the choices look GREAT.We welcomed four new members to our group and one new member even volunteered to HOST next year … that’s SPECIAL !!
Our Dinner Dance was very special this year, great food and service from the Hilton staff, and once again music by Friendly Freddie.The ladies were dressed to the nines, and as usual, the guys were, well just dressed.A lot of fancy footwork was on display and we saw the latest line dances demonstrated.The Hospitality Room reopened at 2300 and the gang gravitated toward the free booze.
Luckily the Sunday ‘Cook Out’ was indoors, as we had more rain on Sunday, but everyone enjoyed it and later heated up the Hospitality Suite for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
We waved good by to those who had to get on the road, but for some of us, the party was just starting.The Cleveland Gang hosted a Fish Fry at the Cleveland InterCity Yacht Club and man, we ate Fish for days !!Highlight of the day was a Lake Erie boat trip courtesy of member Darlice Ogletree, on his fabulous cabin cruiser.
Cleveland was blistering HOT, really unusual for Memorial Day weekend, but it made this 23rd Reunion even that much better.
Looking forward to going back down SOUTH next year.
The 2010 Friends of Distinction Reunion will always be remembered for the huge group of new members invited by Carl (Moe) Moore and inducted into the group this year. Several other new members also joined, sponsored by various members. We welcome all TWENTY FOUR new members hailing from the Baltimore/ DC Metro Area, Cleveland, Alabama, Tennessee, Tampa and other areas. And from all indications, they have come to Party !!
This was an Election Year and a new slate of Officers has been installed to serve the group. Please see the current administration listed on the FOD Officers page.
The Reunion was one of our largest with at least 117 members and guests. Our Hosts, Charlie (Doc) Watson and his hardworking bride Barbara, did an outstanding job in all areas. We had three adjoining suites for the well stocked 'Hospitality Room' and members partied HARD for the duration of the weekend. A superb hotel staff made sure our every need was met and we commend the Towne Place Suites at Cross Creek for their fantastic efforts.
We rocked the hospitality suites on Friday night, Saturday night and well into Sunday Morning as 'The Closers' held tryouts for the group. Several new members of the 'Irish Rose Parade' were also inducted into that division as we danced on tables, chairs and whatever was at hand. Outstanding audtions by Barbara, Doc, Bama, Sheila, Minnie, Bea and Cooley as well as fantastic new moves by veterans like Eddie,Ronnie, Dorothy, Diane and Gunny. The music rolled into the wee hours of the night until saner heads prevailed.
Meanwhile in the lobby, the Virginia connection of TJ, Brenda, Griff, Carla and others played cards til all hours, made the 1:00 AM deadline with The Closers, then repaired to their rooms. They looked none the worse for wear at Sunday Breakfast.
New members James, Derrick, Cliff, Beers, Eric, Scrivens, Sam and others showed they 'Can Hang' and are more than qualified for 'Get Down' membership in the FOD.
As I write this, a very large contingent of members are in the lobby attending Church Service and I know they will be praying for all the others of us not there. I personally am mentally preparing myself for the festivities still to come.
Added these notes later:
The 'Cookout' was great with really good food and service. The warm and sunny day made it a super outing. Afterwards members relaxed, talked and enjoyed the day. Later the new members, led by Sam and Carl, set up for an outdoor party Sunday evening, centered around the big RV in the Sam's Club parking lot. Forty or more folks kicked in for burgers, sausage, beer and music as we pulled up chairs and partied into the night. " Chef Darryl Scrivens " did an outstanding job of cooking, serving and making the night Fun.
There was a big 'After Party' on Monday at the Hosts home, but unfortunately I could not make it as I had to leave for Cleveland, so will have to get feedback from those that attended. What a great year for the Friends of Distinction.