Belser, Joseph Henry Jr. (Joe), 4th Platoon

Belser, Joseph Henry Jr. (Joe), 4th Platoon

15 March 1945 – 15 October 1989
Greenlawn Mem Park, W Columbia, SC, 29209

Joseph H. Belser Jr. was originally in Kilo Company (TBS Class 5-67) but was in an automobile accident and got pretty busted up. He ended up in Alpha Company (TBS Class 1-68 4th Platoon). Joe Belser passed away on 15 Oct 1989, at the age of 44, of a heart attack in West Columbia, SC.

Joseph Henry Belser, Jr. was born in Fort Myers, FL to General Joseph H. Belser Sr. and Delores Hutzler-Belser. He had five siblings: brother Mark, and sisters Beryl, Dorothy, Nanette and Karen. He received his Master’s Degree at Florida State University and his law degree at the University of South Carolina. He married Penny Miller, and they had a daughter, Megan Louise. He was a Vietnam War Veteran and received the Silver Star, the Purple Heart with two stars, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation with Palm and Rifle and Pistol Marksman Badges. He attained the rank of Captain. A resident of West Columbia, SC, Joe passed away on 15 OCT 1989 at the age of 44 from a heart attack.

USMC Resume:
TBS Class 1-68 Alpha Company, 4th Platoon June-Nov 1967
Vietnam: K/3/27 Dec 1967- May 1968
Hospital: Naval Hospital in Philadelphia
Post-Vietnam: Third Recruit Training Battalion PISC. He was a Series Officer in Golf Company from May 1969 until discharge.
Discharged <date> with the rank of Captain.
Awarded the Purple Heart with 2 Gold Stars.
Awarded the Silver Star

Following is the excerpt for his Silver Star:
“The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to First Lieutenant Joseph H. Belser, Jr. (MCSN: 0-101738), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company K, Third Battalion, Twenty-Seventh Marines, FIRST Marine Division in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 24 May 1968 during Operation ALLEN BROOK in Quang Nam Province, Company K was attacking the village of Le Bac (1) which was well fortified and occupied by a large North Vietnamese Army force. As the company approached the area it came under intense automatic weapons fire and two platoons were separated from the remainder of the company. Assigned to assist the besieged units and in an attempt to envelop the enemy, First Lieutenant Belser moved his reserve platoon to within 300 meters of the hostile positions when the Marines encountered heavy fire which inflicted several casualties, including First Lieutenant Belser. Calmly informing his men of the situation, and although seriously wounded in the arm, he courageously moved across the fire-swept area from one position to another, encouraging his men and directing their fire while simultaneously keeping his commanding officer appraised of the situation. Under his courageous leadership, his men successfully repulsed repeated attempts by the enemy to overrun their position. Assisted by a platoon from Company M, First Lieutenant Belser utilized supporting arms fire, hand grenades and a smoke screen to withdraw his platoon along with their casualties to the company perimeter. Informed that Company M was heavily engaged with the enemy and had sustained numerous casualties, he refused to be evacuated for treatment of his injury and organized a group of Marines to retrieve the casualties. With complete disregard for his own safety, he made several trips into the fire-swept area until he was wounded in the leg by the intense enemy fire and subsequently evacuated. By his courage, dynamic leadership and selfless devotion to duty in the face of grave personal risk, First Lieutenant Belser inspired all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.”
Action Date: 24-May-68
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: First Lieutenant
Company: Company K
Battalion: 3d Battalion
Regiment: 27th Marines
Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.), FMF

Personal Reflections about Joe Belser:

Tony Pesavento, 31 Jan 2015: “Joseph H. Belser Jr. was originally in Kilo Co. but was in an automobile accident and got pretty busted up. He ended up in Alpha Co. and despite his last name beginning with a “B” he ended up in the 4th Platoon. He was an 0302 and was with K/3/27 in Vietnam Dec. 1967- May 1968. He received a Silver Star, Bronze Star, 5 Purple Hearts and lost his right leg just below the knee. We both ended up at Parris Island in 1969 and shared a house. He got out of the Corp in 72 or 73 as a Capt. He died of a heart attack in 1989 (I think) in Columbia, SC.”


McEntire, Tom (TMMc), 4th Platoon

McEntire, Tom (TMMc), 4th Platoon

McEntire, Thomas M (Tom)
04 December 1945 – 06 November 2017
Ambler Church of the Brethren Cemetery, Ambler, PA

Thomas M. McEntire, 71, of Ambler, passed away peacefully in his home on November 6, 2017. Tom, as he was known to family and close friends, was preceded in death by his loving wife, Marci. He is survived by his son, Brandon (Michelle), and daughter, Linden (Eamon). He also leaves behind four grandchildren, Jori, Will, Clodagh, and Jude and a brother, Richard (Robin). Tom was a lifelong manager at Merck before retiring to enjoy his golden years with his wife and family. He was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps as a Captain, serving his country in the Vietnam War. For many years, Tom faithfully volunteered at his church, including yearly trips to help rebuild poverty-stricken communities in the south. Tom will forever be remembered for his dry humor, his love of family, and for his devotion to Marci. A memorial service in Tom’s memory will be held on November 18th, 2017 at 11am at the Ambler Church of the Brethren. The family will receive visitors beginning at 10am. Published in Montgomery Newspapers on Dec. 3, 2017.

McGaughey, George (GLMc Jr), 4th Platoon

McGaughey, George (GLMc Jr), 4th Platoon

29 OCT 1945 – 28 FEB 2021

George L. McGaughey, of Shaker Heights, Ohio, died peacefully at home with his beloved wife Sarah Ott-Hansen at his side on February 28, 2021, after a long illness. Born to George and Margaret (Gibbons) McGaughey, he was raised in Easton, Pennsylvania along with his late twin sister Margaret known as “Sisty” and his younger brother James, all of whom preceded him in death. George was the Easton Area High School Student Athlete of the Year and attended Yale University on a Navy ROTC Scholarship. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history, he served in the United States Marine Corps from 1967 to 1972. He earned the designation of a Naval Flight Officer and, as a Radar Intercept Officer, flew in the F4 Phantom II. His service included a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1969-1970 where he flew over 270 combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He rose to the rank of Captain. During this time he married his late wife Sarah Yelverton who taught music in the Cleveland Heights schools. They were the loving parents of twin boys, Michael and Scott. George attended the School of Law at Case Western Reserve University. He graduated in 1975 with distinction as a member of the Law Review and the Order of the Coif. He began a 40-year career at McDonald Hopkins LLC as a litigator and ethics counsel for the firm. George shared his love of the profession with others as an adjunct professor of trial practice at CWRU School of Law. He was active in the American Civil Liberties Union and was inducted into CWRU’s Society of Benchers. George was an active member of the Rowfant Club and Cleveland Skating Club. He was also a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association and the John M. Manos Inn of Court. He enjoyed many years of attendance and service with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Shaker Heights where he taught Sunday School. After his first spouse passed, George found love again with his adoring wife Sarah Ott-Hansen. Together they traveled throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, read books by the sea in Groton Long Point, Connecticut, and enjoyed their blended families and lives. Known for his kindness, thoughtfulness, intelligence, good humor and wise judgement, he will be deeply missed by all he met along his path in life from his high school buddies, college and law school friends, fellow Marines, legal colleagues and many lifelong and family friends. Known by his Marine call sign “Sugar Bear,” George was a sweet man with a big heart. Besides his devoted wife Sarah and treasured sons Scott of Chicago, Il and Mike of Brooklyn, NY, he is survived by his cherished stepchildren Emily, Peter and Geoffrey Hirsch and beloved father-in-law Henry Ott-Hansen. George was also close with his first wife’s family, especially Carol Yelverton Floyd and Angie Monk. George loved getting to know his second wife’s family, especially Don Hirsch, Sharon Bergstein and Judy Sullivan. Burial at Lake View Cemetery will be private. A Celebration of Life is planned at a later date. Gifts in George’s memory may be made to the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, 2600 S. Park Blvd., Shaker Hts, OH 44120 or the Marine Corp Scholarship Foundation, 909 N. Washington St, Suite 400, Alexandria, VA 22314.


Attorney: McDonald-Hopkins, A business advisory and advocacy law firm (Cleveland, OH) – Retired Dec 2015

Geo L McGaughey

Practice Focus
*Business LitigationGeo McGaughey

*Construction Law and Litigation
*Professional Liability Defense
*Securities Litigation
*Unfair Competition

Professional Experience
George has a wide variety of litigation experience, which includes professional liability defense, trade secrets and trademark violations (Lanham Act), restrictive covenants and unfair competition, shareholder litigation, ERISA, defamation, construction disputes, antitrust, breach of contract, lender liability, personal injury, and employment discrimination. George has defended a number of lawyers at law firms, and serves as the firm’s Ethics Counsel. He has also represented contractors, engineers and architects involved in construction litigation in state and federal court and before the American Arbitration Association.

George has also represented brokerage firms in successfully enforcing non-competition and confidentiality agreements and in defending firms against claims of broker raiding, breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of trade secrets. He has also handled numerous arbitrations before the National Association of Securities Dealers. He is licensed to practice in all Ohio and federal trial and appellate courts.

Cases / Matters

  • Successfully defended lawyers and law firms in legal malpractice claims.
  • Successfully defended corrosion control company against claims of trade secret violations and unfair competition asserted by a former employer of client’s management; obtained substantial jury verdict on counterclaim.
  • Obtained substantial jury verdict in favor of physician against hospital for wrongful denial of medical staff privileges.
  • Obtained jury verdict in favor of manufacturing company on claims for breach of contract and tortious conduct asserted by competitor.
  • Obtained enforcement of non-competition and non-confidentiality agreements in favor of brokerage firm against former employees and competitor.
  • Obtained jury verdict in favor of hospital and physicians on numerous tort and contract claims asserted by former physician-employee.
  • Obtained jury verdict in favor of health care company on tort and contract claims.
  • Successfully defended contractors, engineers and architects against breach of contract and professional negligence claims asserted by owners and other contractors.


  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., Order of the Coif (1975)
  • Yale University, B.A. (1967)

State Admissions

  • Ohio

Court Admissions

  • S. Supreme Court
  • S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

Professional Associations

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Judge John M. Manos Inn of Court
  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio (Director)


  • Seminar outlines on various litigation topics


  • Numerous seminar presentations on legal malpractice and ethics, construction, non-competition and trade secret litigation; securities arbitrations; and other litigation topics.

Awards and Honors

  • Selected for inclusion in Ohio Super Lawyers(2004, 2006-2011)
  • Named one of the Best Lawyers in America (2008-2014)
  • Society of Benchers, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Community Activities

  • Teaches Cleveland high school students about the Bill of Rights as part of the 3Rs Bar Association program
  • Teaches Ethics to Cleveland high school students as part of the Junior Achievement program

VMFA-115 Squadron Member Profiles
McGaughey, George

Date Entered: 1/20/2015
Job/Duties: RIO/Squadron Legal Officer
Rank: 1st LT
Spouse: Fiancée–Sarah Ott-Hansen
Hometown: Easton, PA
Squadron VMFA-115 Years From 1970-01 Years To 1970-09
Civilian Occupation: Lawyer
Special Hobbies: Reading, politics, Constitutional law, working out
Favorite Memory: Flying the missions and the camaraderie of my squadron mattes
Worst Memory: Losing friends from our sister squadrons at Chu Lai, including Peck Bradshaw, who I trained with.
Children: 2 boys
Grandchildren: 0
Special Comments: Looking forward to seeing all the gang again.
Semper Fi. M

McKelligon, Jim (JHMc), 4th Platoon

McKelligon, Jim (JHMc), 4th Platoon

LMcKELLIGON: Jim McKelligon Viet Namike most of us, I count my blessings that I had the privilege of being an Officer of Marines for 20 years. Vietnam taught us an awful lot of good about our fellow Marines, regardless of the bad times we endured. I have to say that my tours with Lima Battery, 4/11, and 1st Recruit Training Battalion were the most formative in my development as an officer, both working with 18-20 year olds in a combat environment, and working with DI’s in high stress recruit training, where DI teams would pick up new platoons 1-2 weeks before the previous platoon had graduated. I truly loved every assignment I had, but I always planned on retiring after 20 years.

McKELLIGON: Jim and Helen McKelligon

I married my college sweetheart, Helen Hargrave, in June 1969 after my return from RVN. We have had a wonderful 46 years together. Helen taught for 26 years, mostly as a math teacher for 7th and 8th graders. We bought our first (and only) home in Carmichael, CA when I was at RS Sacramento, and we came back to it in 1987 when I retired. Still here!

I was always interested in banking and finance, and I went to work for Great Western Bank in Sacramento the day after I retired. I was a branch manager for four years. I had friends in the real estate lending business, made the switch in 1991, and was a mortgage broker in Sacramento for 21 years. For 19 of those years, I worked with a nonprofit teaching financial literacy classes to prepare families for the home buying process. I retired in 2012. Now, life is about traveling the world and keeping involved with our children and grandkids.

McKELLIGON: Jim & Helen McKelligon Today

Helen and I have three children: Carrie was born in Quantico in 1973–she is married to a dentist in Roseville, CA, and they have three children. Carrie was an elementary teacher for five years, and now she works part time in the dental practice. Katie came along in Honolulu in 1976. She and her husband now live in San Diego with their two kids. Katie has worked with a young man with cerebral palsy for 15 years, and her husband sells business communications systems. Matt was born in Newport, RI in 1981. He got a degree in architecture, and he has a landscape design business, and does a little acting, in Los Angeles.

USMC Resume:
-Commissioned as a PLC Regular upon graduation from the University of Oregon.  After TBS, attended the Field Artillery Officer’s Basic Course at Fort Sill.
-April 68-May 69: Assigned to Lima Battery, 4/11, with stops in Phu Bai, Hill 55, An Hoa, and Fire Support Bases Cutlass, Lance, and Maxwell. Progressed from AXO to FDO to XO of the Battery.
-June 69-July 72: Recruit Training Regiment, MCRD San Diego. Series Commander and Adjutant for 1st Recruit Training Battalion, and Company Commander for Regimental Headquarters.
-August 72-May 73: Amphibious Warfare School, Quantico.
-June 73-June 74: 12th Marines on Okinawa. Regimental S-3B for five months and CO of Golf, 3/12 for seven months. Deployed on ARG-A with BLT 1/4.
-July 74-July 77: Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor. Two years as CO, Guard Company, Pearl Harbor, and one year as Barracks Adjutant. -August 77-July 80: 1st Field Artillery Group, 29 Palms. First year as S-3B, and two years as CO, 2nd 8” Howitzer Battery.
-August 80-June 81: College of Command and Staff, Naval War College, Newport, RI.
-July 81-July 84: CO, Recruiting Station, Sacramento. -July 84-May 85: III Marine Amphibious Force, G-3 Action Officer, Camp Courtney, Okinawa.
-May 85-July 87: CO, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines, Camp Foster, Okinawa.

Metli, Rich (RM), 4th Platoon

Metli, Rich (RM), 4th Platoon

METLI: Richard Metli

I was born and raised in New York City the sixth and last child of immigrant parents who instilled a fundamental work ethic into their children. My father fought on horseback in the US Cavalry in France during the First World War in the service of his adopted country. My three brother-in-laws served in the Navy and Army in WWII and Korea. They were all an important and positive influence on my development.

I excelled in math and science in high school and was accepted to Purdue University as engineering major and into the NROTC Regular program. As I recall the program was quite large with perhaps 50 entering midshipmen. On line, to be measured for uniforms was when I first met Tom Pearson. He was a skinny freshman then with a charming smile. I didn’t know Steve Freiherr too well until all three of us were Marine Options. I believe there were at most 7 of us but I can’t remember who the others were or what eventually happened to them but they didn’t join Company A with us. No need to comment on TBS everyone else was there.

METLI - Rich and AnnI requested and received a 1302 MOS and with 6 or 7 others hung around Headquarters Battalion at Quantico waiting for engineering school to start. Between that delay and the 6 week school we missed the Tet Offensive into which the 0302’s were thrust. It was at LeJeune that we heard that Tom Pearson was killed at Camp Carroll from my old MOI Lt. Col. Cizek. That was a heavy blow. He had a great future in store for him and it was a shame he did not live to see it.

Bob Packard and I flew into Da Nang together to make our way up to Quang Tri and join the 3rd Div. As I stepped forward for an assignment the Captain said first battalion ninth marines, when I protested that I was a 1302 he said “I don’t give a shit marine“and repeated the battalion. Having forgotten everything I had learned in TBS about “Company in the Night Attack” I quickly added I had a degree in engineering upon which he changed the assignment to the 11th Engineers.

Bob was several officers back but I waited for him to arrive at the assignment desk and the Captain again said the name of an infantry battalion. Bob wasn’t saying anything, so I stuck my 2 cents in and said “he’s a graduate engineer also” to which the Captain assigned him to the 3rd Engineers. I would have thought Bob owed me at least a beer but as things played out he switched his MOS to 0302 before the war ended so maybe I should have shut up.

I enjoyed my tour in RVN as much as one could. There was a lot of camaraderie among the junior officers in the battalion and I am only now sorry I did not keep in touch with any of them. The battalion took part in Operation Pegasus to open the road in the relief of Khe Sahn and I had the opportunity to take part in that exciting operation. I had 3rd Plt. Delta Company which could build all sorts and manner of bunkers, buildings and observation posts, but lacking the opportunity to gain the experience afforded the 03’s they were less confident on those patrols we were infrequently assigned.

My only near death experience came when one of the NVA artillery shells hit the Dong Ha ammunition dump. The collateral explosions lasted hours. I had been on the chow line when it started and as everyone ran in all directions I ran into a low small bunker that housed the battalion generator. There was just enough room in there for me and a corporal from one of the other companies. The roar of the generator kept us from hearing the explosions so every 10-15 minutes either I or the corporal stepped outside and quickly ducked back in.

We both were reading whatever we had on us when I thought I heard a different noise over the roar of the generator. So I looked around the small bunker didn’t see anything and looked up. There about 18 inches above our heads was a jagged star shaped hole in the overhead about 30 inches wide through which I could see the blue sky. My first thought was “there’s no overhead cover on this bunker it’s just sand bagged around the perimeter” my second thought was “what made the hole. “ I looked down and there about two feet from my right foot and 6 inches from the corporal’s left foot was a half buried 60mm mortar round. I pointed the round out to the corporal who was still reading and we both bounded out of the bunker. When I got outside away from the roar of the generator it sounded like the world was exploding. I made it to the next bunker I could find.

The round did not go off because the pin must have still been inserted, as it obviously came from the dump. But there were some secondary explosions occurring in the battalion area so some of the ordinance was arming itself. The near death was not getting hit on the head with it.

Near the end of my tour I was assigned to operate an R&R center on the north shore of where the Cau Viet River emptied into the gulf. Essentially it was 50 GP tents, a generator, a stage, a field kitchen and sand. The general would send in 03 battalions fresh from an operation for a few days of swimming, movies and the largest T-Bone steaks I have ever seen. Across the river was the 3rd Amtracs and I got to visit with Dave Purvis from time to time.

On return to the states, Bob Packard came up to NY while we were on our leave to pick up his newly purchased BMW 2002. I had my sister fix us up with 2 co-workers in her office and Bob and I showed up in Manhattan on a Tuesday night to take our dates to dinner and dancing. When we arrived at the office the very pretty receptionist said her name was Donna and that she was one of our dates and left to get the other. Bob and I looked at each other and said “OK who gets that one we know what she looks like” Ever the leader, Bob said” look I’m taller than you I’ll take the taller one”. Donna returned with Ann McCarthy, an inch shorter and about 25 times more gorgeous. Bob struck out that night (again).

Ann and I dated to 1972 when we were married. We have one son, Christopher, who is married to Missy with a brand new son of his own, Walker Randolph and resides in Boston with Missy, a pediatric neurologist at Mass General. Christopher is an Executive Director analyst in quantitative and derivative strategies out of both the New York and Boston offices of Morgan Stanley.

Rotating back I was assigned as assistant recruiting officer to Recruiting Station Buffalo NY. The anti-war movement was in full swing in the east and I received my fair share of the finger from manly men with flowing locks as I drove the MC vehicle on recruiting business. After several months I was transferred to the Headquarters of the First Marine Corps. District on Long Island as the personnel/ legal officer.

Typical of the military I was given a duty in two fields I knew nothing about. However, handling the administrative discharge trials for the prosecution, the Marine Corps assigned real lawyers to the defense, I was hooked and decided that this was something I might want to do for a living. So when my obligatory time to serve came due I applied to law school asked to resign. The President didn’t object accepted my resignation although I’m sure he was real sad about it.

I attended St. John’s Law School also on Long Island and was associated with several firms and in several partnerships over the years as a litigator and trial attorney. I have had the pleasure and opportunity to try various types of civil cases for both plaintiffs and defendants. I am still at it and specializing for the most part in construction and real estate disputes. But my most pleasure is spending time with my wife, son, daughter-in-law and brand new grandson.

Mills, Chip (WWM), 4th Platoon

Mills, Chip (WWM), 4th Platoon

Upon completion of TBS, I had orders to report for flight school in Pensacola where Skip Ringo and Pat Finneran became close friends, though they had orders for pilot training and I was headed NFO training at what was affectionately called ‘Banana School’, but we all had the good fortune to be together for preflight training. It was while there that I asked a hometown (Camden, S.C.) girl, Beau Wilson, to be my date for the Marine Corp Ball in 1968. The rest is history and we’re still thankful; we were married in February 1969 and I departed for Da Nang in November for my year abroad, having spent nine months at Cherry Point becoming proficient as an RSO in the RF-4B with VMCJ-2.

My Vietnam tour had a few highlights, especially since after VMCJ-1 deployed in June for Iwakuni I joined H&MS-11 so as to stay in-country and fly, a decision I still wonder about. Among its other missions, H&MS-11 had a flight mission that involved low-level/high-speed visual reconnaissance missions along the Trail. My pilot and I were shot down in the A Shau Valley in July, and were spectacularly and safely (to us, anyhow) rescued by Spads, Jollys, and, it seemed, the whole MAC(V) air armada. Thereafter, nothing could quite top that, and that is where I learned gratitude.

After returning from Vietnam and nine months at Camp Lejeune with 2/2 as an ALO, I buried any notion of a military career. My wife, Beau, and I went back home to Camden, SC, and I entered law school at the University of South Carolina. It was time to settle, to raise a family; time to start developing a professional life and to become a part of a community. After a lengthy wait, we were able to adopt over a six-year period three beautiful children, a boy, Jonathan, and two girls, Eliza and Susanna. I practiced law; we made a life in the proximity and presence of extended family, and we joined our home community in work, play and service.

Following the untimely deaths of Beau’s parents in 1981, we began to consider moving. By then we were making an annual pilgrimage to Alaska where we bought some land in 1978 and eventually built a cabin. I also flew for an air taxi operator out of Homer for a couple of summers. I had spent a year in a graduate course at the University of Washington Law School, so we settled on Seattle for a permanent move and arrived there in 1983. I once again practiced law. We had the city for the school year, Alaska in the summer, and the kids adapted well to what was a little bit easier annual trek to Alaska.

After seven years we decided we were really small town people after all and we moved again, this time to Sun Valley, Idaho, in the fall of 1990. We had come for a year and stayed for twenty-two. I gave up law for a few years and took up an old calling of church musician when a local organist failed to show up one Easter Sunday. I had asked the rector after attending several services, if I could practice the organ occasionally. “How about every Sunday morning at 9:30?” was his answer. For twenty-two years, until I entered Episcopal Divinity School in the spring of 2012, I spent my Sunday mornings making music, and it was a gift and a joy. I did resume the practice of law within a few years.

The Sun Valley years were wonderful, rich in friendships, and full of outdoor activities, and though our children thrived in school and in small town life after the years in Seattle, there came the untimely and unexpected death of our youngest daughter, Susanna, in 1994. The immediate pain of Susanna’s loss has slowly subsided as the years have passed, but it never seems to lie too far below the surface. We have adjusted to her absence yet a vacancy remains in our hearts as we imagine what she might have been like as a thirty-five year old woman and we recall her spark of life that made her such a joy in spite of her challenges.

This current chapter will end as I graduate from seminary and am ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church next month, so this Reunion couldn’t be coming at a better time as we all gather to remember endings and beginnings. I am so grateful to the organizers of this reunion. It has been too long between visits! I look forward to hearing the stories, sharing the memories, and swapping sea stories. I am especially anticipating remembering and honoring those who are now departed from us whose names may or may not be on the Wall, but whose memory we’ll carry in our hearts.

I look forward to seeing everyone whether I remember you or not! I expect we all may look a little different.