The Beirut Memorial Ruck, open to 300 participants, will begin at the Jacksonville Beirut Memorial and travel along the greenway to Camp Lejeune’s Main gate and back to the Memorial. This route parallels the original memorial trees originally planted in honor of the fallen. The ruck is 10.23 miles, representing the month and day of the bombing. Participants are encouraged to carry a weighted pack though it is not mandatory; the participation fee is $35.

If you are planning on attending the Parris Island graduation and tour, please take note of the important information below. 

Agenda:

0700- Arrival

0730-0815: Morning Colors
0845-1000: Graduation Ceremony
1000-1100: Museum Tour
1100-1130: Squadbay Tour
1130-1230: Luncheon at Traditions

You need to arrive by 0700.  Try to carpool from your hotel.  Make your hotel reservations ASAP if you haven’t already done so.

https://www.beirutveterans.org/announcements?id=69F0A2A5-CBC4-4FDE-B0A6-DE344B28EBD1

Six years ago Tim Edquist, nephew of Thomas Thorstad, started a new job. His mom Janice invited him to the Beirut Memorial in Jacksonville.  He declined the invitation since he just started a new job. On October 23 he went to work and was riding with his boss who asked if he knew that it was the anniversary of the Beirut Bombing. He replied that yes, his mom had asked him to go to North Carolina for the memorial.  His supervisor was surprised and asked why he would be going. Tim explained that his uncle was killed there.  His boss, who was even more shocked at this point, replied that his brother, Edward A. Johnston was killed there. What a small world! Charlie then invited him to the memorial in Struthers, Ohio. The following year Janice and Tim attended the Struthers, Ohio memorial. While there, the Johnston family encouraged her to build a memorial and start a service in Indiana.  Janice did years of research to identify everyone who was killed from Indiana. She identified a beautiful Veterans Park that has a replica wall with the names of over 1600 men from Indiana who were killed in Vietnam. She spoke to the Veterans Park and they were happy to have a Beirut Memorial Stone there. The community really came together to make this memorial happen.  With input from the family, Janice’s nephew designed a beautiful memorial stone. The dedication took place on September 21 and had over 160 people in attendance, including several Beirut Veterans. They plan on having an annual memorial event there. 

It is special to see what can be done when one family encourages another family and a community comes together. Through this tragedy, we are all connected and are a part of one big special family.   

Kevin Ayers is a familiar name to many Beirut Vets and family members and now he is your BVA Vice President.  Kevin joined the Corps in 1980 and served in Beirut with the 2531 Radio Men with MSSG 24 from May to November 1983 as Lance Corporal.  Kevin returned to Camp Lejeune where he was stationed with the 2nd Medical battalion until leaving the Corps in 1984.

After leaving the Corps, Kevin entered the commercial printing industry where he has worked since 1987.

Kevin has been very involved in the BVA for the last decade in an informal capacity as a life member.  Though he has not held a formal office until now, he has been very involved, including participating in the Memorial Day parade for 8 years and attending the Memorial in North Carolina during the past 12 years, making it there more frequently in the past 5 years.  

Other than the BVA, Kevin is involved with the American Legion, VFW, and local Sportsman’s Club where he served as president for 5 years.   

In his spare time Kevin enjoys kayaking, hunting, and fishing. He enjoys the outdoors and gets to travel for work.     

Kevin says he is looking forward to working with the board and for members in the future.  He also wants members to feel free to contact him for any needs or questions. His email is [email protected]  

 

This year was the 4th annual Michigan Beirut Veterans get together. This one-day event was held at the Clare VFW. The veterans and family had pizza from a local pizza shop and enjoyed the camaraderie of other veterans from the area.