The Honorary Colonel of the Regiment and I have discussed means by which we could reach Black Lions scattered throughout the country, and our webmaster provided us this great way to do so. Colonel Murphy‚Äôs primary focus is the Regiment itself, to include interfacing with the active Army and overseeing Army programs as they apply to those of us who have previously served the Regiment. You have already seen a couple of his announcements under the From the Honorary Colonel tab. My focus is the Association, and I will endeavor to keep you fully informed on the state of the Black Lion association. In the future look for announcements ‚ÄúFrom the President‚Äù on our website.
Since becoming your president I have worked to continue the business of running a business; and, that is first and foremost what your Association is – a business, and it must be run like one. This simple-minded infantryman still has much to learn, but I‚Äôm up to the task and am gaining ground. At the same time I am trying to understand complex data bases, for which I am taking classes, and the time-consuming issue of membership. But, here is my assessment of the current state of the Association.
First the business. The 28th Infantry Regiment Association is a not-for-profit organization organized under paragraph 501(c) of the IRS code. The Association is organized in the District of Columbia. It has taken some time to get the business transferred from the last president to me, but that transfer is now complete. The last tax returned filed with the IRS was 2013. I am pleased to report that we are current and in good standing with the IRS. The Association is debt-free and has a positive balance in our operating account. As of this update the Association‚Äôs net worth is $9,000. Our sole source of income is membership dues, contributions, and our quartermaster operation. Regarding the quartermaster, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Black Lion Fred Tolson for running a first-class operation. He has been innovative in designing apparel and memorabilia to the membership‚Äôs desires, then having it manufactured and promptly mailed. Invoicing and payments are now done in an efficient business-like manner without delay and frustration. In addition to being an astute business man, Fred is an expert in the information technology world. He volunteers his highly sought-after skills to be our webmaster. Our webpage is the face of the 28th Infantry Regiment Association and Fred is doing a magnificent job of getting our message to world-wide audiences. The services he provides for free could otherwise cost the association a significant recurring sum. A huge thank you to Black Lion Fred Tolson.
Membership in the business is an ongoing task that consumes the majority of my time. The Association currently has 65 Life Members and 2752 Annual Members. That‚Äôs a pretty impressive number, but only 30% are current with their dues. Our membership program is clearly not where I want it to be, but we are working at it. I have asked our Regimental Secretary Phil Duncan to take this issue on and become the membership czar. Phil‚Äôs willingness coupled with Fred Tolson‚Äôs IT skills will hopefully make this big problem become a little problem. And yes, I do plan on sending a dues request as so many of you have suggested.
A major responsibility of the president is to provide the membership with opportunities to reunion with each other. In that regard, the Regiment‚Äôs next official reunion will be held June 25th thru the 29th in Orange County, California in conjunction with the 1st Infantry Division Annual Reunion. The 28th Infantry Regiment CP will be fully operational throughout the reunion and be a place to for you to assemble. Refreshments will be available at all times. There are real advantages to piggy-backing on the Big Red One reunion. The 1st Division provides us with a room for our CP. This saves us several hundred dollars that we do not have to spend. The tours arranged by the Division give us a variety of activities to choose from. It gives us the opportunity to visit with pals from other BRO units. We will hold a general membership meeting during the reunion. Come join us. You can register and get more information at www1stID.org.
I also make you aware of a reunion that for several years has been held in Las Vegas during the month of October. The audience has been primarily Company D and Company A 2nd Battalion 28th Infantry, but all 28th Infantry Regiment veterans are cordially invited to attend. This year the reunion will be held in Laughlin, Nevada October14, 2014. Jim Shepherd, Fred Dunlap and I are serving as the reunion organizers but please contact me for more information.¬† If you can‚Äôt make Orange County you might want to check out the gaming opportunities in Laughlin. This reunion will not be supported with 28th Infantry Association funds.
Your Association President