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of November, 2003
by Bill Ruth
President, 3rd Armored Division Association

  Another reunion has come and gone. My wife Lale and I were reluctant to leave the Drawbridge Inn on Sunday after the reunion. Why? We developed so many pleasant memories during the week we were there. Let's tip our hats to George and Irene Edmonson for what I consider a flawless reunion. Any one with keen observation powers had to know that George was carrying an oxygen tank constantly. In addition to that, 15 years ago George was given less than a month to live if he couldn't locate a new heart. While we were all enjoying our reunion at Scottsdale, we learned that George finally found his new heart. He received many prayers from his Service Co/33rd family. Let's not forget our capable Walter Stitt and wife Betty as well as our past President and wife Alien and Phyllis Knisley.

If I were to mention all the volunteers, this page would be filled so suffice it to say it took many people to help our chairman accomplish this task.

Now, it's on to Columbus, Ohio. This will be another monumental task as we join forces with the Association of 3d Armored Division Veterans (post WWII). Let your PRESIDENT be the first to calm your fears about this group trying to take over. This idea has been floating around for some five years and this forthcoming reunion in Columbus is going to be an experiment. If it works as harmonious as I feel it will, then we will continue to have joint reunions and The SPEARHEAD DIVISION will be alive for many years to come.

To review what is happening to other Armored division associations, let's take a look at what happened to CADA. CADA was formed 21 years ago. CADA was the Corps of Armored Division Associations (all 16) that got together every October in Louisville, Ky.

Each association sent 5 delegates. The purpose of CADA was to foster the Espirit de Corps of the armored colors. We exchanged ideas and problems we were having in each organization and explored ways to solve them. Each year we had the high ranking officers from Ft. Knox give us a state of the art update. We visited with the soldiers and it was these gatherings that gave us the confidence that our men and women were well trained with the modem equipment and were well trained in the event of a conflict. (Iraq a good example) I'm sorry to say, CADA disbanded because some of our associations were disbanding and CADA was losing membership dues and it was becoming harder to stay afloat. A VERY SAD DAY. Four associations have disbanded. Your president is determined that this will not happen to the THIRD ARMORED DIVISION ASSOCIATION. Our Board of Governors is already studying our 10-year plan which we developed in 1998-1999. We have 4 years to go on this plan and the Board is to give your President their thoughts on how long our association should continue.

We are very fortunate. We are only one of three associations that have the luxury to perpetuate our association for years to come. Why is this? Since WWII the only three Armored Divisions that have been active during the Cold War - Desert Storm - and Iraq are the 1st (Old Ironsides), the 2nd (Hell on Wheels) and the 3rd (Spearhead). The information we get at FT. Knox is that since the reactivation of the 3rd in the early fifties to the retiring of the colors after Desert Storm, 50,000 men and women are veterans of the 3rd Armored Division. The new Association of The 3d Armored Division Veterans already has over 700 members, most through their website (150 members are WWII veterans.)

You may remember my comments at our Saturday night banquet when I gestured to the right and the left indicating the 300 in attendance representing members from the states of Washington to Maine and from California to Florida. I also reminded you that our assembly gave no indication of giving up or disbanding. My feeling is that a large percentage of the members in attendance were willing to have a joint reunion with the Association of 3d Armored Division Veterans and if the reunion in Columbus is successful, there will be a continuation of our two organizations meeting jointly together in the future.

Association President

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