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From The

MAY 2005

Dear 508 Veterans,
            Family Members,
                         or Friends of the 508th

GEORGE STOECKERT (HQ 1st). 508 Man of the Year

GEORGE STOECKERT was named 508 Man of Year at the recent Airborne Awards ceremony held in April at Atlanta, Georgia. Over the years, GEORGE has been instrumental in keeping HQ 1 a vibrant group, and GEORGE has (of course) been active with the 508 PIR Association for many years. Let GEORGE know how much his attitude, work, and dedication to the 508 PIR are appreciated.


During the final association reunion in Gainesville, Florida two significant issues were raised:

1. Approximately 100 people expressed concern and interest with the future of the 508th PIR. A concern was the ability of members, relatives and friends to continue communicating with each other sharing the legacy of the Association, and enjoying the camaraderie, they shared over the years during 508th PIR Assoc reunions. Primarily, the young people wanted to see some continuation of the 508 type assemblies.

2. Insufficient time was available to visit the Camp Blanding Museum and Memorial Park and to view the 508th PIR memorabilia.
During the STATIC LINE Awards Festival, 508th PIR attendees assembled informally to discuss the above issues, and potential remedies.
The consensus was that initially an attempt be made to establish an informal organization comprised of 508th PIR WWII Veterans, their families, and friends. Eventually, forced by attrition, this initial organization and its legacy would evolve into a membership comprised of the sons, daughters, grandchildren, relatives, and friends of the WW II 508 PIR Veterans. Thus, the 508th PIR would live on.

The consensus included a tentative concept for assembling as many people as possible on October 20,2005 to participate in a ceremony at Camp Blanding, Florida to commemorate the activation of the regiment in 1942 and the retirement of the association in 2004.
At that time, the museum and memorial park could be visited and detailed plans developed for the formation of a facsimile of the 508th PIR Association. (Note to editor: this marks the end of GEORGE'S blurb.)

As things stand now, the anticipated date for the "508 related event" mentioned above are October 19-23, and the assembly will be held in the vicinity of Camp Blanding, Florida. Look for more information (firmed dates, fees, registration, etc.) about this event in future columns (as well as the 508 PIR website-508pir.org). At present, the organizers of this event need to have a "ball park" estimate as to how many folks plan to attend this meeting. If interested in attending this 508 related event, please fill out the following form and mail it to:

RICHARD J. O'DONNELL, 760 Conestee Dr, West Melbourne, Florida 32904-1812

Street or P. 0. Box: __________________________________________________________
City, State, and Zip Code: _____________________________________________________
Phone Number: .__________________________________
e-mail Address:______________________________________________________________
Or send Dick an e-mail with the above information at: jumpmaster@508PIR.org


Bill Nation

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