Our favorite Battalion Commander, Ken Cassels, and his wife Peggy, graciously picked up the check.
Once again, Al and Ken
failed to make the tour buses!
Somewhat late Thursday evening (or early Friday morning), Mack and Ken
had just completed their duty of guarding the CP until slightly after "last call".
As they were on their way to their rooms, a young active duty soldier passed them and asked, "Are you guys Bandidos?
Upon the "Yes" reply, this "spit & polish" young soldier, SP4 Ronald Minick, set down his
beers (he was carrying 4) and excitedly shook Mack and Ken's hand telling them what an honor it was to meet them.
had just returned from a 15-month tour in Baghdad with the Black Lions, and, although he
was with A/1/28 INF, he
repeatedly related to Ken
and Mack how "honored" he
was to meet "Bandidos
" from the Vietnam era and how widely respected and renowned (and yes, he
did use the word "awesome") the Bandidos
are throughout the Division as the "cream of the crop".
The next evening, he
brought some of his
fellow warriors to the CP and graciously insisted on contributing a donation to our fund.
It must be noted that Ken
and Al courageously guarded the CP while others went on tours.
Al and Ken
"accosted" the General just outside the hotel's restaurant and engaged him in discussion for some time.
presented him with a Bandido Charlie Association
Challenge Coin (as was CSM Champagne) and given a brief history of the Bandidos
was later seen in the hall outside the regimental CP's, flashing his
coin and declaring that he
was a Bandido
Being in the direct chain of command of the Bandidos
is, in fact, a Bandido
(as is CSM Champaign) and certificates declaring them as such have been printed, signed and delivered.
Al and Ken
were able to do this because, once again, they missed the tour bus.
The list of attendees were: SSG Matthew Carson, Rod Tokubo, Kathy Dee, Ron Mackedanz, Janet Mackedanz, Phil Greenwell, Linda Greenwell, Joe Calhoun, Marian (Sis) Morris, Ken Costich, Ray Padilla, Jose Garcia, Maria Garcia, John Hohman, Wayne Parrish, Ron Morgan, Doug Ludlow, Cathy Ludlow, Luis Landin, Carlos Landin, Ken Cassels
, Peggy Cassels, Steve Rabourn, Cliff Poris, Gil Thompson, Janeen Thompson, Becky Tharp, Jen Sanford, Nancy Freeston, Bryan Luke, Shannon Herrera, Brent Blackmer, George Hanggi, Nina Hanggi, John Hanggi, Diann Hanggi Nicolai, Al Herrera, Betty Herrera and Sam Taylor.