Last week I had the honor of attending the 2015 Community Ball hosted by the Incline Village/Crystal Bay Veterans Club in North Lake Tahoe to pay tribute to the Vietnam War veterans. My gracious host, Colonel Steve Price, USAF Retired, had been present at the Cathedral City Rotary Club during my book talk there back in January, and he had extended an invitation to me afterwards, which I was happy to accept and had been looking forward to ever since.
It was my first time at such an event, and this one turned out a large crowd of about 120 people at the Incline Village Golf Course Club House where it was held. Veterans from most services showed up in their full-dress uniforms accompanied by their lovely wives, and were seated at tables grouped by service stations formerly located throughout Southeast Asia. I took in all the ceremonies, the Presentation of Colors, the patriotic and emotional tributes, the Service Songs and Hymns that got the crowd clapping and stomping. But most of all, I was deeply touched by the spirit of pride and comradery still so palpable between this Band of Brothers after all the years, something I had marveled about in my book but never had a chance to witness firsthand. For that, and for their service to our country, I’m grateful to Colonel Price and the Incline Village/Crystal Bay Veterans Club.
Steve also arranged for me to talk at the Incline Village Rotary Club and the local library, which I really enjoyed doing. Many summers ago I used to go camping and hiking around Lake Tahoe, but it had been a while, so it was wonderful to find myself back in this beautiful setting once again. This special trip certainly added to my fond memories of the locale, and it was well worth the long drive and the temporary adjustment to altitude (ah, what a difference a few years made!). Just before leaving, I sat at the very bench shown in the picture and made a wish to return some day.