Dear Geronimo Battalion Brothers,
Many thanks to you and all the guys you muster to bring together the 1/501 - 4/503 "Geronimo" Battalion one more time. The paratroopers of that special volunteer battalion were some of the greatest I have ever known in all my years of service.
Unfortunately, I have not been an active participant at recent 173d Brigade functions - perhaps a bad example. I am a 173d Airborne Brigade Association "Life Member", but my real regret is that I missed opportunities of being with our own 4/503 Geronimos. To me they were the Brigade!
God willing, at this year's reunion, I will once again be in the company of those great men and warriors that I am so proud to be identified with and counted among. That is an exhilarating expectation as I begin my 80th year. What an unforgettable, God-given gift it will be for me to see our guys together one more time, shake their hands, and again express my heartfelt, sincere and genuine respect, admiration and affection for each and every one of them.
For those who are not able to make this reunion, I know your names will be mentioned many times and your actions and magnificent service fondly and proudly remembered. You will be with us in spirit as you were with us in combat.
Please do not be offended or think me presumptuous when I say of the Battalion that they were "my boys." It was and will always be for me much more than a fighting unit. It was a family, truly our own "Band of Brothers." For 30 months, from Fort Campbell in 1964 until early 1967 in Vietnam, I was privileged and honored to feel and say they were "my boys." And, in a sense, you today and those who are no longer with us, always will be. Now, I am simply and humbly grateful just to be counted among the brave and dedicated warriors of our Geronimo Battalion. It was yours, you know! You made it what it was. You wrote a truly glorious page in the annals of the 173d Brigade and the overall history of the 503d Parachute Infantry Regiment.
Thank you, God, and continue to watch over them and their loved ones wherever they are.
Geronimo All The Way!
MICHAEL D. HEALY
Major General, USA (Ret)