We Lost a Great Friend, Leader, Mentor Today–a True American Patriot and Hero

Friends, it is with a very heavy heart that I have to let you know that our friend, mentor, and brother-at-arms, Bill Grimes, passed away this evening.  We have lost one of our family and, moreover, a true American hero.  Judy has some of her family with her.  She is a strong lady, but still needs our prayers.  Bill’s body will be cremated and buried at a Veteran’s cemetery north of Manchester.  I will try to get out information about the arrangements as soon as possible.  

I just received an amazing note from Colonel Geraghty.  He asks that I share with you: “The Big Safari family mourns the loss of our greatest leader, Bill Grimes, the man who built the culture that we strive to carry on.  We are forever grateful for who he made us, and we will honor his legacy with continued service to the men and women who defend us.  Our thoughts and prayers go our to Judy and family.”

God bless, Bill Grimes.

Mike Meermans

Update from the BSA President

Friends, we are less than two months away from the Big Safari Reunion in Omaha.  Disturbingly, I’ve heard from some people, as late as this week, that they’d “heard nothing” about the Reunion.  I sense that our effort to move to electronic notifications hasn’t been as smooth as possible and that we are missing people.  The information is detailed on the BSA website.  And the electronic registration is pretty straight forward and easy.  I would ask that everyone reading this note to please reach out to your BSA friends and colleagues to “make sure” they know about the upcoming event in Omaha beginning 6 September.  

Our Reunion team in Omaha, led by Bill Ernst and LtCol Corey O’Tool – the 45th Recon Squadron Commander – has been hard a work planning the Reunion, I think we are going to have a great time!  On Friday the 7th of September, the 55th is going to have RC-135 and OC-135 aircraft available for us to tour.  We will have a great opportunity to talk with current crewmembers and get tours through the aircraft.  Following that we will have a BBQ with Members of the 55th.  

Finally, I wanted to let our Membership know that our dear friend, Bill Grimes, is at this moment in the ICU recovering from open heart surgery done on Wednesday.  There were some issues thereafter, and he went back into surgery yesterday.  He is still under sedation, with hopes that he will be up tomorrow.  I would ask everyone to say a prayer for Bill and Judy.

All the very best,
Mike