The last two days were spent in Branson, and we took a steamboat ride on Table Rock Lake, which featured dinner and a fabulous show. The star was Janice Martin, who sings beautifully and also does the same with the piano and violin. She is also a three-year Army veteran herself and used her rope climbing experience from the Army to play the violin while climbing and suspending from a rope.
Prior to the cruise, we held a memorial service for our 404 MP comrades who have passed on. I learned that one of my buddies from Erlangen is no longer with us. They played taps while we saluted.
I have to say that the southwestern part of Missouri, where Branson is located, is a charming blend of the Midwest and the South.
The experience of our tour at Ft Leonard Wood's MP School was the highlight. We were all treated like visiting royalty and given a complete tour of their state of the art facility. Since our group consisted of over 50 vets and their wives, the post provided two buses to transport us. There are no words to describe how impressed we were with not only the hospitality of the MP School staff, but the professionalism and dedication they show. One thing that stands out is that virtually everyone we encountered sported a right shoulder patch which signifies a tour in a theater of war (Afghanistan and Iraq). They have all been there multiple times-a year at a stretch. We owe them so much. Think of the hardships for them and their families. In addition, they are facing massive cuts and reduction in force. Yet, we didn't hear one complaint. In the evening, we ate dinner on post with the MP School Commander, Brigadier General Inch and members of his staff, both officers and NCOs. You could not meet a better group of people. We could not help but come away with a sense of pride in our military, as well as our own modest service compared to theirs. (A few our our group were also Viet Nam vets.) We thanked them all for their service, and they thanked us for ours.
Our hosts: Brig. General Inch (3rd from l) and his staff
Tour of confinement training area
Ft Leonard Wood MP Memorial Grove
MP Memorial Grove
Post museum area: WW II barracks
Barracks latrine-WW II style
Some of the wives
It was a great week for all of us.