Thank you for your service!
We wanted to share this very special story from Mary Ellen Butkus, our Vice President here at TFI Envision, in honor of Veteran’s Day.
Duluth, MN — They all performed different duties during the Korean War: Crane operator, operations manager, medic, chaplin, photographer. But they come together each year for the Korean War Veterans Annual Reunion in a different city or town to swap stories, photos – and remember the experiences that made them comrades for life.
They are Veterans of the 84th and 62nd U.S. Army Engineer Construction Battalions who served from 1950 – 1953 during the Korean War as bridge-building outfits, providing passage to the troops across territory that had been decimated by bombs, including the Freedom Gate bridge, a mile from the front lines, that assisted with the final exchange of prisoners of war after the 1953 ceasefire.
I am proud to say that one of these soldiers is my father, Joseph G. Butkus, past president of the Reunion Committee and acting Treasurer. For the past 8 years, he has been able to help in the planning, and execution of the annual 4-day reunion with my mother and sister – arranging local highlight event tours, raffles, hospitality rooms, themes, swag, banquets, and press, in cities all over the USA.
Event planning is one of my favorite disciplines at TFI Envision, creating memorable trade shows, fundraisers, and special events for an array of clients and charities. But the most rewarding part of this volunteer event, is spending time with my Dad and Mom, and listening to stories, getting to know these drafted men and their families, from all over the country. The respect shown to and by them, as they salute the flag at their meetings and banquet dinners, or sing God Bless America together, while remembering those who did not make it back home or have recently passed, makes our reunion effort – effortless.
Mary Ellen Butkus
TFI Envision, Inc.