Hilton Crystal City
April 27 - May 1, 2006
The 2006 reunion was held in Arlington, Virginia from April 27 through May 1. Everybody
arrived in bright spirits on Thursday and there was a Welcome dinner that night. There was
a total of 14 crew members that were able to attend the reunion and more that wanted to but
were unable to attend.
Jeff Cope handed out a copy of his USS HOLT book to all the crew members. The book is
still in the process of being written and needs more stories from the crew members to make it
even more interesting. Some stories came out at the reunion that were never heard before so
they definitely are out there, they just need to be written down. Jeff's goal is to have every
living crew member's name in the book along with a story of themselves, another crew member,
event, etc. If anyone has something to add, please contact Jeff at the webmaster email address on this
Friday was spent going to Annapolis, Maryland to visit the town and the US Naval Academy.
It was confusing once the bus arrived as to what the group needed to do and where to meet. The
tour guide mentioned that at noon the students would be lining up for a little ceremony before
they headed into lunch. There were a few people that decided to attend even though the tour guide
downplayed it. It was unfortunate because it was fantastic and every crew member that could have
seen it probably would have left with a tear in their eyes.
After people shopped and ate lunch somewhere, everybody met at the Naval Academy's Visitor Center
for a tour of the Academy. The tour was led by two previous Navy Captains and was very interesting,
especially when it was learned that John Paul Jones was buried in a crypt underneath the church.
The night was spent playing the first of two exciting nights of Bingo and competition with plenty of gifts
to go around.
Saturday started with a recent surprise that the group would be able to tour the White House.
The tour was not as exciting as some had hoped for but there was some excitement when it was learned
the President was just leaving to go on a bicycle ride. After the White House, the group went to the U.S. Navy Memorial where after visiting for a little
while, participated in a beautiful wreath-laying cermony honoring the HOLT's deceased shipmates.
After lunch, there were brief stops at the World War II Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial.
When the group arrived back to the hotel, the crew members held a special meeting to decide what
to do with the future reunions since the crew member numbers attending were dwindling, mostly from being
ill. The decision was told at the banquet that the
real reason crew members get together is to meet each other and not necessarily for the tours. It
also is very difficult to guarantee to hotels that a certain number of people are going to attend.
The decision was to still meet in two years and Bill Morgan and others would try to find a central
location and offer suggestions to the rest of the crew members.
Sunday was a day off from touring except for those that wanted to do sightseeing on their own
and many took advantage of the opportunity.
Sunday night was the closing banquet as everybody was dressed in their finest and looked fantastic.
Photos were taken before the dinner and should be available on the website soon.
After dinner, presentations took place. Bill and Lois Morgan
were given a copy of the Lone Soldier statue from the U.S. Navy Memorial to thank them for all the
hard work they put into making the reunions happen. There were also two gift drawings. Bob Hoover
was given a ship's bell. Karl Nease received two surprises. One was a blow up sailor that looked remarkably
like Karl. The other was a receipt from a Panamanian jail where he was sidetracked for awhile and Arch West had to
pay his fine to get him out. The receipt was for the $15 fine that Arch had to pay. Bill Morgan had
done an estimate and that $15 fine would be over $500 today.
There were 14 crew members in attendance and 64 living crew members today.
Once again the reunion was a fantastic success and everybody cannot wait to meet once again in two years!