THE NEWSLETTER FOR
THE LRRP/RANGERS OF THE 1ST CAVALRY DIVISION
NUMBER 68 ISSN 1941-7926 JANUARY 2014
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OF THE FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION
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LRRP/RANGERS OFFICERS 2012-2014 LRRP/RANGERS OFFICERS 2012-2014 Doug Parkinson John LeBrun PO Box Bayside, CA 95524 707-822-8421
604-764-9634 Bob Carr Joe
(Doc) Gilchrest Bill
Anton 719-392-5139 254-836-1382 702-648-9836 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Mike Gooding Bennie
Gentry Ken White 10538 Alswell
Court 1347 20th St. 314-849-2379 812-547-4830 703-966-8079 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Kenneth.firstname.lastname@example.org PAST
PRESIDENT Keith Phillips email@example.com
TREASURER SERGEANT-AT-ARMS 75th RRA
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Doug Parkinson John LeBrun
Bayside, CA 95524
Bob Carr Joe (Doc) Gilchrest Bill Anton
719-392-5139 254-836-1382 702-648-9836
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Gooding Bennie Gentry Ken White
Court 1347 20th St.
314-849-2379 812-547-4830 703-966-8079
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Kenneth.email@example.com
VICE PRESIDENTS REPORT
from John LeBrun
VICE PRESIDENTS REPORT 2014
From John LeBrun
salutations from the metropolis of Blaine; the gateway to America. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and
New Years. Starting to plan for the reunion in
A little while back I included an article about Trauma Releasing Exercises or TRE and what the possible benefits are. The VA has investigated it and decided to have sessions at a few of its facilities. While a couple of our members are a little reluctant to even think PTSD is a real problem, it looks like the VA not only recognizes TRE as a powerful way to positively affect PTSD they’ve puts a lot of money and effort in addressing the issue.
Wisconsin VA has funded five of their staff including OT's, an RN, and a
Psychiatrist to be certified to teach TRE within the VA system. They
completed their "in-house" training by the end of September. They
already have groups scheduled to start teaching at their facility.
I was invited to their annual Warrior
I hope that it assists those that use it. You might check with your local VA center to see if they are providing it. You can find local TRE Practitioners (and video testimonials from other vets) on the website of TRE’s founder Dr. David Berceli: www.tramaprevention.com . (EDITOR: see also the article on page 7 of this newsletter.)
Once again we will be having our raffle after the luncheon. Members continue to bring excellent prizes that are available to be won and hoping this year is no exception. If you have items please bring them, send them to the hotel care of me or give them to a member that is coming.
Had a member mail me Ron Christopher’s book “Above All Else”. He said that he didn’t need it in his library. Thought that was a bold statement but gave the book a read anyways. What a ride/read. After I read it I offered it up to anyone postage paid. Had a number of requests and sent it to the first requester that I got. Wouldn’t you know it he read it then mailed it back to me. So I have it again and offer it to who ever would like it postage free. The only requirement is that you can’t send it back to me. If anyone would like me to mail them the book send me your address and I will mail it to you for free.
Hope to see you all in
The strength of our nation is our Army.
The strength of our Army is our Soldiers.
The strength of our Soldiers is our families.
That is what makes us Army Strong!
Gen. Raymond T. Odierno
Army Chief of Staff
Greeting from Big White; spending my
winter skiing and playing in the snow. Hope all had a good Thanksgiving and a
great Christmas and New Year. I ready do not have much to say since the last
newsletter. Have talked with a few members about the upcoming reunion in
We are still looking for a new secretary as the position has been vacant for the last 4 years. It requires little time and little effort. We also still have an opening for the position of Vice President. If you attend the reunions and have not held a position you should seriously consider doing a little for the organization. These are the current members that have stepped forward. The absentee ballot is attached elsewhere in the newsletter.
President: John LeBrun Vice- President: Vacant Treasurer: Charlie Burckhardt
Secretary: Vacant Sergeant at Arm: Doc Gilchrest.
Well that’s it for now. Think about attending the reunion and make that reservation. You won’t know how great it is to attend until you do.
Respectfully submitted: John LeBrun
From Bob Carr
Start balance 7/24/2013 $11,451.43
Dues, merchandise & donations $657.00
NRMF brick ($280.00)
Postage mis-sent newsletters ($14.33)
Merchandise for unit ($692.20)
Refund postage to Bennie ($58.98)
New balance 12/01/2013 $10,032.06
Brick fund (included in balance above) $914.00
LOOKING FOR DAVID PATTERSON
Introducing my husband, SSGT Edmund A. Kalaola, Jr. of the 75th Ranger Regiment –
Frances M. Kalaola (spouse)
CARROLL, Terry Lee - age 62, went to be with the Lord, surrounded
by his family, Saturday, August 11, 2012. Funeral services will be held 11:00
AM Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at Sharp Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 6063
Fenton Road, Flint, with Pastor Gerald Lewin
officiating. Visitation will be held at the funeral home Tuesday from 3-8 PM.
Terry was born December 11, 1949 in
By adding work hours and using a new computer system, the VA has finally reduced the massive backlog that was forcing vets to wait months before receiving their benefits.
Far fewer veterans are facing long waits for disability compensation after the Department of Veterans Affairs spent the past six months focusing on the backlog, including mandating case worker overtime and rolling out a new computer system.
The progress came amid a torrent of public pressure that followed a March report from The Center for Investigative Reporting.
Internal VA documents, obtained by CIR, revealed the agency’s ability to provide earned benefits quickly had virtually collapsed under President Barack Obama, with the number of veterans waiting more than a year for compensation increasing by more than 2,000 percent, to 256,000 in March.
Despite clear progress, the VA failed to meet its goal to eliminate all year-old disability claims by October. The agency also fell 100,000 claims short of its production goal for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.
On the eve of Veterans Day, 401,000 claims remained officially backlogged, meaning that the applicants have been waiting at least four months – the agency’s target for the maximum allowable delay.
Dozens of newspapers, published editorials citing CIR and demanding solutions, based on a fact first reported by CIR – that despite a four-year, half-billion-dollar computerization effort, 97 percent of disability claims remained on paper.
Today, the computer system is in use at each of the VA’s 58 regional offices, and hundreds of thousands of paper files have been scanned and digitized.
This spring, a series of senior VA officials resigned. On May 15, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki announced that the more than 10,000 VA employees who process claims each would be required to work 20 hours of overtime a month to combat the backlog.
If the VA continues at its current pace, it will eliminate the backlog in mid-December 2014, fulfilling a promise set by the Obama administration that no veteran would have to wait more than four months by 2015.
president of the American Federation of Government Employees union local at the
“We’ve made a tremendous amount of progress, but on the other hand, if you filed a claim in February, it’s not a year old yet, so it’s probably just sitting there,” she said.
For those still waiting, the encouraging news was not much solace.
1st Cavalry Division Association Reunion
9-13 JULY, 2014
The hotel hosting our reunion is the Oak Brook Hills
Resort. This hotel was a Marriott property but was transitioned to a new
management company, Destination Hotels and Resorts, on
22 November. The hotel is located in
Toll Free: 855-458-5701
On-line reservation: 1st Cavalry Division Association On-line Reservations
The hotel does not provide a free shuttle from the airports but we are coordinating with a local company to provide discounted rates from both O'Hare and Midway airports. Information will be updated at a later date.
As usual, this reunion will include a Welcoming Mixer on Thursday; Gold Star Family Breakfast, Ladies Tea, War Era Lunches and Sweetheart Dance on Friday; Unit Lunches and our Annual Association Banquet on Saturday; and Group Breakfasts and Memorial Service on Sunday. We will have meetings of the Chapter Presidents and the Foundation and Museum Foundation Trustees on Thursday, the Board of Governors on Friday and our General Membership meeting on Saturday morning where elections for officers of the Association will be held.
The Gold Star Family Member Breakfast is becoming a major event during our reunions and we want everyone that is in contact with the families of our fallen Troopers to invite them to attend. There is never a registration fee for our Gold Star families and the Association will pay for their breakfast at this event.
The Sweetheart Dance raises funds to support the Foundation of the 1st Cavalry Division Association. Proceeds help fund scholarships for the children of Troopers that were killed in action or were totally and permanently disabled.
The Reunion Banquet will mark the end of the term for our current President, Jerry F. Eller and see the gavel passed to James Stokely who will serve as our President for the next two years. The Commanding General of the First Team is scheduled to provide a "State of the Division Address" and we will have Troopers currently serving with the Division in attendance along with our Division Honor Guard.
If you have not been able to attend one of our Memorial Services and hear the "Long Roll Muster", please plan on attending this one. This is a very special way to honor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Seating for all events is open with the exception of the Reunion Banquet on Saturday night. If you are attending the banquet, you must get your tickets marked with a table number at the Banquet Seating table prior to Saturday noon. If you want to sit with specific people, we recommend that you all go to the Banquet Seating table together with your tickets available. Don’t wait until the last minute or we may not be able to accommodate your needs.
Cavalry casual attire is appropriate for all reunion events. We are always questioned about attire for the banquet. Wear what you feel comfortable wearing; a coat and tie, your uniform (if it still fits), casual clothing with open collar or jeans. We want you to attend and aren’t overly concerned with what you wear, as long as it isn’t indecent!
The Association provides a Reunion Room in the Oak Brook Hill Resort during the reunion for you to gather together and enjoy yourself. Drinks in the Reunion Room are free but we ask that you generously donate to help us pay for this room.
The Crossed Sabers
Chapter Souvenir Shop will set up a gift shop in the Oak Brook Hills Resort
close to the Reunion Room to sell all kinds of First Team merchandise including
shirts, hats, Stetsons, pins, decals and other items. Pre-order your
We encourage you to coordinate your travel arrangements early especially if you are using public transportation.
Air Travel –
At the time this newsletter was being compiled, there was no registration form available for printing on the 1st Cav webpage. Registration forms are in the Saber and should be on the 1st Cav webpage, www.1cda.org at a later date, perhaps as you are reading this.
For Veterans with PTSD
From the Military Order of the
Purple Heart online Newsletter
Trauma often causes people to struggle with their memories and thoughts about the event. You may have a hard time making sense of what happened. You may find yourself getting "stuck" in your thoughts about the trauma and how it affects your life. This feeling of being unable to make sense of the trauma can make you want to avoid thinking about or dealing with your memories.
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) helps you by giving you a new way to handle these distressing thoughts and to gain an understanding of these events. By using the skills learned in this therapy, you can learn why recovery from traumatic events has been hard for you. CPT helps you learn how going through a trauma changed the way you look at the world, yourself, and others. The way we think and look at things directly affects how we feel and act.
Learning About Your PTSD Symptoms. CPT begins with education about your specific PTSD symptoms and how the treatment can help. The therapy plan will be reviewed and the reasons for each part of the therapy will be explained. You will be able to ask questions and to know exactly what you are going to be doing in this therapy. You will also learn why these skills may help.
Becoming Aware of Thoughts and Feelings. Next, CPT focuses on helping you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings. When bad things happen, we want to make sense of why they happened. An example would be a Veteran who thinks to himself or herself, "I should have known that this would happen." Sometimes we get stuck on these thoughts. In CPT you will learn how to pay attention to your thoughts about the trauma and how they make you feel. You'll then be asked to step back and think about how your trauma is affecting you now. This will help you think about your trauma in a different way than you did before. It can be done either by writing or by talking to your therapist about it.
Learning Skills. After you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, you will learn skills to help you question or challenge your thoughts. You will do this with the help of worksheets. You will be able to use these skills to decide the way YOU want to think and feel about your trauma. These skills can also help you deal with other problems in your day-to-day life.
Understanding Changes in Beliefs. Finally, you will learn about the common changes in beliefs that occur after going through trauma. Many people have problems understanding how to live in the world after trauma. Your beliefs about safety, trust, control, self-esteem, other people, and relationships can change after trauma. In CPT you will get to talk about your beliefs in these different areas. You will learn to find a better balance between the beliefs you had before and after your trauma.
VETERANS ADMINISTRATION NEWS AND UPDATES
You can see VA News on demand on the VA Home page at www.va.gov. Just click on “Media Room,” then on “videos.” It is on the VA YouTube page, which can be accessed by clicking on the YouTube icon on the VA home page.
ARMY EXCHANGE SERVICE
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service webpage www.shopmlyexchange.com has been upgraded. Shopping online and in stores is easier and more intuitive for military families all over the world.
New features include social media buttons that connect users with a direct source for exclusive discounts, new product announcements and local store events.
SURVIVOR BENEFIT PLAN NOW COVERS SAME SEX SPOUSES
Retirees who were married to a same-sex spouse at retirement and retired prior to June 26, 2013 must have that spouse’s concurrence if they elect less than full SBP coverage unless the retiree has child-SBP and adds the spouse to that existing coverage. The retirees must take spouse SBP action prior to June 26, 2014.Without the spouse’s concurrence the Defense Finance and Accounting Service will establish automatic full spouse SBP coverage and premiums retroactive to June 26, 2013. .
Do you still think about
This story came to me anonymously via e-mail,
the author, a fellow Vietnam Veteran. After reading his story, I felt compelled
to share this with you. If you didn't participate in the Vietnam War, this will
give you some insight into how our minds work. He writes: A couple of years ago
someone asked me if I still thought about
"Yeah, I think about it. I can't stop thinking about it. I never will. But, I've also learned to live with it. I'm comfortable with the memories. I've learned to stop trying to forget and learned to embrace it. It just doesn't scare me anymore."
A lot of my "brothers" haven't
been so lucky. For them the memories are too painful, their sense of loss too
great. My sister told me of a friend she has whose husband was in the
Here's what he said, "Just last
night." It took my sister a while to figure out what he was talking about.
Just Last Night. Yeah, I was in the
My sister says I'm not the same brother
who went to
Ask a vet about making friends in
A guy named Bob Flanigan was my friend. Bob Flanigan is dead. I put him in a body bag one sunny day, April 29, 1969. We'd been talking, only a few minutes before he was shot, about what we were going to do when we got back to the world. Now, this was a guy who had come in country the same time as me. A guy who was loveable and generous. He had blue eyes and sandy blond hair.
When he talked, it was with a soft drawl. I loved this guy like the brother I never had.
But, I screwed up. I got too close to him. I broke one of the unwritten rules of war. DON"T GET CLOSE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO DIE. You hear vets use the term "buddy" when they refer to a guy they spent the war with. "Me and this buddy of mine."
Friend sounds too intimate, doesn't it? "Friend" calls up images of being close. If he's a friend, then you are going to be hurt if he dies, and war hurts enough without adding to the pain. Get close; get hurt. It's as simple as that. In war you learn to keep people at that distance my wife talks about. You become good at it, that forty years after the war, you still do it without thinking. You won't allow yourself to be vulnerable again.
My wife knows two people who can get into the soft spots inside me-my daughters. I know it bothers her that they can do this.It's not that I don't love my wife. I do. She's put up with a lot from me.She'll tell you that when she signed for better or worse, she had no idea there was going to be so much of the latter.
But with my daughters it's different. My girls are mine. They'll always be my kids. Not marriage, not distance, not even death can change that.They are something on this earth that can never be taken away from me. I belong to them. Nothing can change that. I can have an ex-wife; but my girls can never have an ex-father. There's the differance.
I can still see the faces, though they all seem to have the same eyes. When I think of us, I always see a line of "dirty grunts"sitting on a paddy dike. We're caught in the first gray silver between darkness and light. That first moment when we know we've survived another night, and the business of staying alive for one more day is about
to begin. There was so much hope in that brief space of time. It's what we used to pray for. "One more day, God. One more day."
And I can hear our conversations as if they'd only just been spoken I still hear the way we sounded. The hard cynical jokes, our morbid senses of humor. We were scared to death of dying, and tried our best not to show it.
I recall the smells, too. Like the way
cordite hangs on the air after a fire-fight. Or the pungent
odor of rice paddy mud. So different from the black dirt
of Iowa. The mud of
I remember how the night jungle appears almost dreamlike as pilot of a Cessna buzzez overhead, dropping parachute flares until morning. That artificial sun would flicker and make shadows run through the jungle. It was worse than not being able to see what was out there sometimes. I remember once looking at the man next to me as a flare floated overhead. The shadows around his eyes were so deep that it looked like his eyes were gone. I reached over and touched him on the arm; without looking at me he touched my hand. "I know man. I know." That's what he said. It was a human moment. Two guys a long way from home and scared to death.
God, I loved those guys. I hurt every time one of them died. We all did. Despite our posturing. Despite our desire to stay disconnected, we couldn't help ourselves. I know why Tim O' Brien writes his stories. I know what gives Bruce Weigle the words to create poems so honest I cry at their horrible beauty. It's love. Love for those guys we shared the experience with.
We did our jobs like good soldiers, and we tried our best not to become as hard as our surroundings. You want to know what is frightening. It's a nineteen-year-old-boy who's had a sip of that power over life and death that war gives you. It's a boy who, despite all the things he's been taught ,knows that he likes it. It's a nineteen-year-old who's just lost a friend, and is angry and scared and, determined that, "some*@#*s gonna pay".To this day, the thought of that boy can wake me from a sound sleep and leave me staring at the ceiling.
As I write this, I have a picture in front of me. It's of two young men. On their laps are tablets. One is smoking a cigarette. Both stare without expression at the camera. They're writing letters. Staying in touch with places they rather be. Places and people they hope to see again. The picture shares space in a frame with one of my wife.. She doesn't mind. She knows she's been included in special company. She knows I'll always love those guys who shared that part of my life, a part she never can. And she understands how I feel about the ones I know are out there yet. The ones who still answer the question, "When were you in Vietnam?"
"Hey, man. I was there just last night."
So was I. How about the rest of you vets-hits home doesn't it!
Share this article with others so they understand why many of today's veteran's behave the way they do be it Vietnam or other conflicts, this is a common thread shared by all.
From Jerry Ballantyne
Note: Jerry was on some LRRP missions in August and September 1967 before going to the 1/9. He said that from their flight time, this event occurred some 30-35 klicks from PhanTthiet.
I was assigned to A Troop, 1-9 Cav. On 22 Oct 1967, I was a scout/door gunner in an OH-13 scout helicopter. During a routine scouting mission on the coast north of Phan Theit, we received an urgent rescue request from an LRRP team who was trapped on a hill top by a large NVA element. The team had been on an O.P. and was discovered by an NVA unit. The NVA surrounded the hill and were approaching the team with a tremendous amount of fire power.
We flew to their location. We were talking to the team and observing what was going on. I started firing my M-60 machine gun and M-79 grenade launcher. My pilot began circling the hill as I was busy knocking off the NVA. It was pretty easy shooting and hitting because, at the bottom of the hill there wasn’t much cover for the bad guys, or for us. We were getting pounded real hard. Our “bubble” helicopter was an easy target as we circled the hill.
However, as we were climbing the hill, we started to get into double canopy jungle. About that time, the LRRP team was yelling in the radio that the “gooks” were right on them. That LRRP had some real heroes in it. My pilot told me that there was not much hope for them. However, we decided that, if we could get right on top of them and spin the 13, I would be able to take out most of the “gooks” that were right on the team. Because of the jungle growth, I could barely see the team and I was shooting too close to them.
I radioed to the team to take out their marker panel and have them all get on it. That way, I could see exactly where they were. I had about five hundred M-60 (7.62) rounds left. I was firing all around the panel. Then my M-60 was hit. I kept on firing. Then I noticed blood all around me. There was no pain, so I thought the pilot was hit. However, when I looked at him, he was fine.
It was me. I had taken a hit in my right forearm. Just then we received a call on the radio from Apache 6, our troop commander. His helicopter was observing the fight from far above us. He told us to drop a smoke grenade on the LRRP team and then he would send in the Huey Gunships to take over.
As I was firing, I reached for a smoke
grenade. All at once, I go hit with a
sledge hammer on my right side.
Actually, it was an SKS round. I
was able to pull the pin and drop the grenade.
I think it hit the panel or a Lurp. I told the pilot “good night”. When I woke up, I was in recovery at the 53rd
It’s been 46 years, and hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about that brave fighting team of LRRPs. Did they survive?
Jerry R. Ballantyne
NOTE: who was on that team? Jerry would like to hear from you. We did not have any KIAs in October ’67, so I know that all of you got out alive.
MERCHANDISE PRICE LIST
T-Shirts: Black/White sizes to 4X
T-Shirts Novelty: White sizes to 4X
T-Shirts Recondo: Grey sizes to 2X
Golf(Polo)Shirts:Blk/White sizes to XL
Sweatshirts M to XXL
Windshirts:Pullover: Black M LR XL
Windshirt: (converts to sleeveless)
Black With Khaki Trim: M L XL
Hats: Black or White
Ranger Ring: size 101/2 only
Watches: Ladies and Mens
Belt Buckles: numbered
Ranger Lapel Pin:
Cloth Scroll Patch: (Co H 75th Inf.)
Cloth Logo Patch:
Ankony's book; LURP's
DVD's 1 James Gang
2 Bear Cat Training
3 Tribute To Our
4 History Channel LRRP's
Shipping per order
Please mail check/money order payable to LRRP/RANGER
The $5.00 shipping charge covers only one or two shirts. Donations are gladly accepted
by and about LRRP/Rangers
The Ghosts of the Highlands by Kregg P.J. Jorgenson, Ivy Books. This is about the beginning of the 1st Cav LRRP/Rangers, 1966-67
LRRP Company Command by Kregg P. J. Jorgenson, Ballantine Books.
The 1st Cav LRRP/Rangers, 1968-69
Acceptable Loss by Kregg P. J. Jorgenson, Ivy Books. Kregg’s autobiography, 1969-70.
MIA RESCUE LRRPs in Cambodia by Kregg P.J. Jorgenson, Ivy Books. One mission gone bad during the Cambodian Invasion.
Above All Else by Ron Christopher, PublishAmerica. Ron’s autobiography about being the TL of the first team to pull a mission
as the 1st Cav’s LRRP/Rangers.
One-Zulu by Curtis “Randy” Kimes, published by author. About one mission, May 7-9, 1968.
Lurps: A Ranger’s Diary of Tet, Khe Sanh, A Shau, and Quang Tri by Bob Ankony
University Press of America, of Rowman and Littlefield Publishing group, 1967-68
For What It’s Worth by David Klimek, published by author. Dave’s experiences during the Cambodian Invasion before he joined H-75th.
A Troop, 9th Cavalry by Ron Christopher. PublishAmerica. Ron’s experiences with the “Blues” A-1-9 before he joined LRRP.
Editor's note: As part of a yearlong investigation into charities across the nation, the Tampa Bay Times and its reporting partner, the Center for Investigative Reporting, asked readers in June to suggest nonprofits for closer review. Readers responded with nearly 300 suggestions. In the coming months, the Times and CIR will examine some of those charities and share what we found.
Wounded Warrior Project, created in 2003, has become one of the fastest-growing veterans' charities in the country. It was also one of the most requested when the Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting asked readers to suggest charities to investigate.
Readers wanted to know how Wounded Warrior was using its donations and whether the charity was spending a large portion of those donations to hire for-profit corporations to raise money.
To find out, reporters examined four years of tax filings and reviewed thousands of actions by charity regulators across the nation to determine if the charity had violated laws governing charity operations.
Unlike the 50 worst charities the Times and CIR named on its list of America's worst, Wounded Warrior does not rely heavily on for-profit solicitation companies to raise money. And it does not pay telemarketers to drum up donations. Instead, it uses a combination of fundraising events, corporate sponsorships, advertising and direct mail appeals.
Last year, the charity raised nearly $150 million. About $81 million was raised through professional solicitors. Wounded Warrior paid 11 percent of that money to cover its solicitors' fees and the expense of the solicitor-run campaigns. In comparison, veterans charities on the Times/CIR list paid an average of 82 percent to their solicitors.
Wounded Warrior Project spends most of the money it raises counseling veterans and running sports and educational programs.
Last year, it also
gave nearly $5 million to other charities, including the American Red
Cross and Resounding Joy, a music therapy group in
In its 2012 IRS filing, Wounded Warrior reported that about 73 percent of its expenses went toward programs. But the charity is one of many that use a commonly accepted practice to claim a portion of fundraising expenses as charitable works. By including educational material in solicitations, charities can classify some of the expense as good deeds. Ignoring these joint costs reduces the amount Wounded Warrior spent on programs last year to 58 percent of total expenditures.
The charity has been criticized for its salaries, with 10 employees earning $150,000 or more. Chief executive Steve Nardizzi, whose total compensation was about $330,000 last year, said salaries are in line with similarly sized organizations.
"We're a direct service provider, dealing with some of the world's greatest social ills," Nardizzi said, referring to the charity's more than 250 employees who provide services to veterans. "We hire the best of the best and we pay them a living wage."
While the Times and CIR found no actions against the charity by regulators, Wounded Warrior has gotten mixed reviews from independent charity watchdogs. The charity meets all 20 standards set by the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance but only gets three of four stars from Charity Navigator.
Charity Watch gave Wounded Warrior a "C+" grade, up from a "D" two years ago, based on the amounts spent on programs and fundraising.
WOUNDED WARRIORS ASSISTANCE
From Doug Matze
Hello Rangers, Families, and Friends,
Our experiences with the Wounded Warrior Program
have been exceptional. On two occasions we notified them of our situation
regarding a family member. They immediately responded by
sending checks totaling several thousand dollars to help with travel
expenses to / from NIH in
We are also aware of events sponsored by the Wounded Warrior Program for
our Wounded Warriors. On one of these occasions, Ben (my son) and I attended a
fishing tournament on the
These donated items and the time given by the volunteers are valuable assets to the organization which are not included on the Wounded Warrior Program's tax returns. If a value were assigned and reported as donations, the percentage of expenses compared to donations would be reduced to a miniscule number. Keep in mind that these types of events occur throughout the country year round.
I will also mention that Bill O'Reilly is a very strong supporter of the Wounded Warrior Program. He extensively researches and scrutinizes charitable organizations before endorsing or donating to them.
Regarding the salaries of the executives of the Wounded Warrior Programs, their counterparts in the business world are earning millions annually.
See you at the reunion,
Doug & Debbie Matze
Veterans Day 2013 at The Wall
By Ken White
The weather for this year’s Veterans Day
Observance at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) on The National Mall in
The Vietnam Women’s Memorial is located at
the west end of The National Mall, directly across from The Wall. It honors the more than 11,000 military
women who served in
was dedicated on November 11, 1993.
Diane Carlson Evans, a former Army nurse who served in
Prior to the start of the observance, a
group of high school students from
“To you, our
Veterans: John F. Kennedy once said,
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any
price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe
to assure the survival and success of liberty.”
“Today, we remember the fallen. Today we also take the time to honor those who have served our country. You proved strong in the face of adversity and your loyalty and love for this country remains undeniable. You are a true American hero who deserves the thanks of every person in this great nation.”
further ado, the students of
“Sincerely, the students of Forest Park High School and the Members
of Forest Park’s America’s Club.”
Tell me that doesn’t fill you with a sense of pride.
Pre-ceremony entertainment was provided by
singer, actress, and songwriter Jan Daley who entertained the crowd singing her
hit songs Raise Me Up, When Sunny Gets Blue, and others. Jan had starring roles in the movies
Diane Carlson Evans served as the master
of ceremonies for the observance. As
noted above, Ms. Evans was instrumental in getting the Vietnam Women’s Memorial
approved and built. As a 1st Lieutenant,
she served as an Army nurse in the burn unit of the 36th
A special salute to the memorial was
provided by Colonel Margarethe “Grethe”
A special salute to the memorial was also
provided by General Colin Powell,
On Veterans Day evening, the 1st
Cavalry Division Association in conjunction with the National Capitol Region
Chapter hosted the 5th Annual 1st Cav
Association Veterans Day Dinner at the Crowne Plaza
Washington National Airport Hotel in
The evening’s guest speaker was Brigadier
General Gary Volesky, commander of the 1st
Cav’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team (BCT). BG Volesky has served
in the 1st Cav since 2002, first as commander of the
2nd Battalion, 5th Cav, 1st BCT, then as
special assistant to the division commander, and now as commander of the 3rd
BCT. He led the 2nd Bn. 5th
The members of the National Capitol Region Chapter and their spouses did a great job organizing and setting up the event and making it a special evening.
See you at The Wall on Memorial Day 2014.
From Karen and Al Volkel
Question to ALL: What do you know, if anything, about Operation Helmet--an organization that seeks contributions to send helmet pads to service members? I checked Charity Navigator and BBB and not bad but not good either: http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.profile&ein=201756585#.UokbpNKsg6Y
Answer: Operation Helmet was apparently started by an M.D. who treated physical brain trauma in combat veterans. Below is an excerpt from their webpage.
Government Issue (GI) military helmet pads are much too hard and cause severe headaches under the weight of the combat helmet. As a result, combat troops on patrol or convoy take their helmets off or release the chins strap for pain relief. Hard to concentrate on a dangerous job when you have a migraine-type headache. IED's, RPG's and ambushes pop up anytime, anywhere. Removing or loosening helmets to deal with severe distracting headache = needless injury or death.
helmet pads you help us buy and send combat troops operating in
The organization is not rated by the Better Business Bureau because Operation Helmet did not return the BBB’s questionnaire.
It would be nice to hear from some soldiers who have used these pads. If anyone has iny info on this organization, please let Karen and Al know.
WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP
THE SOUND THAT BINDS
By Keith Nightingale
Submitted by Bill Hornbuckle
Unique to all that served in
It was a simple machine-a single engine, a single blade and four man crew-yet like the Model T, it transformed us all and performed tasks the engineers and designers never imagined. For soldiers, it was the worst and best of friends but it was the one binding material in a tapestry of a war of many pieces.
The smell was always hot, filled with diesel fumes, sharp drafts accentuated by gritty sand, laterite and anxious vibrations. It always held the spell of the unknown and the anxiety of learning what was next and what might be.
It was an unavoidable magnet for the heavily laden soldier who donkey-trotted to its squat shaking shape through the haze and blast of dirt, stepped on the OD skid, turned and dropped his ruck on the cool aluminum deck. Reaching inside with his rifle or machine gun, a soldier would grasp a floor ring with a finger as an extra precaution of physics for those moments when the now airborne bird would break into a sharp turn revealing all ground or all sky to the helpless riders all very mindful of the impeding weight on their backs. The relentless weight of the ruck combined with the stress of varying motion caused fingers and floor rings to bind almost as one.
Constant was the vibration, smell of hydraulic fluid, flashes of visionary images and the occasional burst of a ground-fed odor-rotting fish, dank swampy heat, cordite or simply the continuous sinuous currents of Vietnam's weather-cold and driven mist in the Northern monsoon or the wall of heated humidity in the southern dry season. Blotting it out and shading the effect was the constant sound of the single rotating blade as it ate a piece of the air, struggling to overcome the momentary physics of the weather.
To divert anxiety, a soldier/piece of freight, might reflect on his home away from home. The door gunners were usually calm which was emotionally helpful. The gun had a large circular aiming sight unlike the ground pounder version. That had the advantage of being able to fix on targets from the air considerably further than normal ground acquisition. Each gun had a C ration fruit can at the ammo box clip entrance. Fruit cans had just the right width to smoothly feed the belt into the mechanism of the machine gun which was always a good thing. Some gunners carried a large oil can much like old locomotive engineers to squeeze on the barrel to keep it cool. Usually this was accompanied by a large OD towel or a khaki wound pack bandage to allow a rubdown without a burned hand. Under the gunners seat was usually a small dairy-box filled with extra ammo boxes, smoke grenades, water, flare pistol, C rats and a couple of well-worn paperbacks. The gun itself might be attached to the roof of the helicopter with a bungi cord and harness. This allowed the adventurous gunners to unattach the gun from the pintle and fire it manually while standing on the skid with only the thinnest of connectivity to the bird. These were people you wanted near you-particularly on extractions.
The pilots were more mysterious. You only saw parts of them as they labored behind the armored seats. An arm, a helmeted head and the occasional fingered hand as it moved across the dials and switches on the ceiling above. The armored side panels covered their outside legs-an advantage the passenger did not enjoy. Sometimes, a face, shielded behind helmeted sunshades, would turn around to impart a question with a glance or display a sense of anxiety with large white-circled eyes-this was not a welcoming look as the sounds of external issues fought to override the sounds of mechanics in flight.
Yet, as a whole, the pilots got you there, took you back and kept you maintained. You never remembered names, if at all you knew them, but you always remembered the ride and the sound.
Behind each pilot seat usually ran a stretch of wire or silk attaching belt. It would have arrayed a variety of handy items for immediate use. Smoke grenades were the bulk of the attachment inventory-most colors and a couple of white phosphorous if a dramatic marking was needed. Sometimes, trip flares or hand grenades would be included depending on the location and mission. Hand grenades were a rare exception as even pilots knew they exploded-not always where intended. It was just a short arm motion for a door gunner to pluck an inventory item off the string, pull the pin and pitch it which was the point of the arrangement. You didn't want to be in a helicopter when such an act occurred as that usually meant there was an issue. Soldiers don't like issues that involve them. It usually means a long day or a very short one-neither of which is a good thing.
The bird lifts off in a slow, struggling and shaking manner. Dust clouds obscure any view a soldier may have. Quickly, with a few subtle swings, the bird is above the dust and a cool encompassing wind blows through. Sweat is quickly dried, eyes clear and a thousand feet of altitude show the world below. Colors are muted but objects clear. The rows of wooden hootches, the airfield, local villages, an old B52 strike, the mottled trail left by a Ranchhand spray mission and the open reflective water of a river or lake are crisp in sight. The initial anxiety of the flight or mission recede as the constantly moving and soothing motion picture and soundtrack
The pilot turns around to give a thumbs up or simply ignores his load. The soldiers
instinctively grasp their weapons tighter, look furtively between the upcoming
ground and the pilot and mentally strain to find some anchor point for the next
few seconds of life. They will now be focused on the quickly approaching ground
and the point where they might safely exit.
Getting out is now very important. Suddenly, the gunners may rapidly
point to the ground and shout “GO” and the soldiers instinctively lurch out of
the bird, slam into the ground and focus on the very small part of the world
they now can see. The empty birds, under full power, squeeze massive amounts of
air and debris down on the exited soldiers blinding them to the smallest view.
Very quickly, there is a sudden shroud of silence as the birds retreat into the
distance and the soldiers begin their recovery into a cohesive organization
losing that sound.
Extraction is an emotional highlight of any soldier's journey. Regardless of the austerity and issues of the home base, for that moment, it is a highly desired location and the focus of thought. It will be provided by that familiar vehicle of sound. The Pickup Zone in the bush is relatively open or if on an established firebase or hilltop position, a marked fixed location. The soldiers awaiting extraction, close to the location undertake their assigned duties-security, formation alignment or LZ marking. Each is focused on the task at hand and tends to blot out other issues.
As each soldier senses his moment of
removal is about to arrive, his auditory sense becomes keen and his visceral
instinct searches for that single sweet song that only one instrument can play.
When registered, his eyes look up and he sees what his mind has imaged. He
focuses on the sound and the sight and both become larger as they fill his
body. He quickly steps unto the skid and up into the aluminum cocoon. Turning
outward now, he grasps his weapon with one hand and with the other holds the
cargo ring on the floor-as he did when he first arrived at this location.
Reversing the flow of travel, he approaches what he temporarily calls home.
Landing again in a swirl of dust, diesel and grinding sand, he offloads and
trudges toward his assembly point. The sounds retreat in his ears but he knows
he will hear them again. He always will.
About the Author
COL Nightingale is a retired Army Colonel who served two tours in
From Bill Carpenter
I got a letter from Comcast addressed to “LRRP Ranger Reunion” at my home address. Wonder how much digging Comcast had to do to get that one. And part of my internet bill goes to pay for such ads. Then a couple of weeks later I get one from American Express with the same address.
I have never used my
home address in connection with “LRRP/Ranger Reunion” although it is in the
newsletter. Well, at least someone in
Ron Christopher is writing a history book for our unit, from the beginning in January ’67 to the end in June ’72. Ron would appreciate input from all time periods.
Ron can be contacted at:
2013-11-24 Ron Christopher
Former Ranger Sgt. Ed Beal, recently underwent open heart surgery in
This is a correction to the write up about Jim Burton in
the last news letter. I want to set the record straight.
Ranger Ron Christopher
NOTE FROM PHIL GRANGE
I'm on my third round with cancer. I have to pay anything I owe. I also will be placing an order for some hats and other things I want my grandchildren to have. Some days life can suck. The government took away my disability payments for Agent Orange lung cancer. Now that I have another round of cancer I would like to reapply for it but the DAV advised me that I could loose my permanent and total rating. I'll just shut up and be happy with what I have. Thanks for getting in touch with me. Good to hear from a fellow Ranger.
I just saw my oncologist and the cancer cells are treatable with chemotherapy and not surgery. I may have the odds in my favor again. I don't know how many times I can get away with this but I'm sure happy for now.
Thanks to all of you for your prayers and good thoughts. I find comfort in them.
Take care. Phil.
John LeBrun has a copy of Ron Christopher’s book Above All Else, about the beginning of our unit.
Anyone who is interested in reading the book can contact John. His contact info in on page 2 of this newsletter. He will even pay the postage to mail it to you.
STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER
OBTAINING MEDICAL RECORDS OR PERSONNEL FILE
To get a copy of your medical records, you must complete Military Record Request Standard Form
SF-180. A copy can be downloaded from www.archives.gov and then click on “veterans”.
Or request it from:
Military Personnel Records
SF-180 may be returned via ground mail, fax or online.
From Jim Regan
I have thought long and had about this note to you. I believe I said a while back, don’t miss a chance to “Mend Fences”. Perhaps some of you did not understand what I meant. If you’ve wronged or offended anyone, or even hurt their feelings, take time and sincerely apologize. Recently, I sent a letter to two of my comrades. It was not an easy thing for this ol’ hard head to do! So far, no response. I’ll try again at least ‘til they tell me to “shut up”. Don’t give up, stick to it. it ain’t easy and you may not think it’s fair, that you are the one apologizing. Even if your efforts fail to :”Make Peace” with the person, your own heart and mind may find PEACE!
By the time you read this, lots of Holidays and Holy Days will be “History”. Hope you all have a wonderful New Year. Stay in touch with your friends and family. ‘Specially those who may be ailing or just plain not feeling/doing good. Reach out, it only takes a minute. Have had a chance to talk with and write to lots of our comrads. It’s always uplifting for this fellow to year your voices, get your notes & e-mails. Thanks for staying in touch. My time, 44 years ago, in the ;Nam, sometimes seems like yesterday for me. My “Prayer List” grows daily. Take care, stay warm and dry.
Editor’s note: Jim wrote this before the events mentioned below.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Just wanted to let you all know that Jim is in the hospital recuperating from triple bypass surgery. He did very well, is in ICU for a couple of days and then in a regular room for about three more days and then home for along recovery. I thought you all would want to know.
Lois Ann (Mrs. Regan)
Jim has recovered very well from the surgery and. was home before Thanksgiving.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 9 FRIDAY, JULY 11 - Continued
1300-1800 Registration Desk Open 1500-1700 Board of Governors Meeting
1300-1800 Souvenir Shop Open
1300-2400 Reunion Room Open SATURDAY, JULY 12
0730-0900 Purple Heart Breakfast
THURSDAY, JULY 10 0900-1030 General Membership Meeting (Elections)
0900-1800 Registration Desk Open 0900-1200 Registration Desk Open
0900-1800 Souvenir Shop Open 0900-1700 Souvenir Shop Open
0900-2400 Reunion Room Open 0900-2400 Reunion Room Open
1330-1500 Chapter President’s Meeting 1000-1130 Ladies Tea
1600-1800 Welcoming Mixer (Hors d'oeuvres/Open Bar) 1230-1430 Unit Luncheons
1500-1600 Veterans Benefits Briefing
FRIDAY, JULY 11 1745-1845 Cocktails (Cash Bar)
0730-0900 Gold Star Family Breakfast 1900-2200 Association Banquet
0900-1800 Registration Desk Open
0900-1800 Souvenir Shop Open SUNDAY, JULY 13
0900-2400 Reunion Room Open 0700-0830 Group Breakfast Buffet
0915-1015 Museum Foundation Trustees Meeting 0700-0830 LRRP/Ranger Breakfast Buffet
1030-1130 Foundation Trustees Meeting 0900-1000 Memorial Service (Long Roll Muster)
1230-1430 War Era Luncheons
1st CAVALRY DIVISION ASSOCIATION 67th REUNION (2014) REGISTRATION FORM
Mail to: 1st Cavalry Division Assn. Reunion, 302 N. Main, Copperas Cove, TX 76522-1703
I will attend the 1st Cavalry Division Association 67th Annual Reunion at the FUNCTION NO. OF COST TOTAl.
Oak Brook Hills Resort in Oakbrook, Illinois on July 9-13 2014. Cancel by TICKETS AMOUNT
5:00pm Monday, June 30, 2014 in our office (254-547-6537) for a full refund. Registration Fee (Members Only) 1 $20.00 $___________
Seating at some functions is limited. Hotel cancellations must be done Postmarked after June 2, 2014 $40.00 $___________
personally with the hotel. Active Duty (Must have Active ID Card) $10.00 $___________
Register early! THURSDAY, JULY 10
YOU MUST BE AN ASSOCIATION MEMBER TO REGISTER. Welcoming Mixer ____ $28.00 ea. $___________
PLEASE PROVIDE ALL OF THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION.
FRIDAY, JULY 11
Are you a Member of the 1st Cavalry Division Association Yes ___ No ___ Gold Star Breakfast ____ $22.00 ea. $___________
Please print clearly or place a Return Address Label. Don’t forget Nickname! War Era Luncheons
WWII Veterans ____ $26.00 ea. $___________
NAME ________________________________________________________ Korean War Veterans ____ $26.00 ea. $___________
Vietnam War Veterans ____ $26.00 ea. $___________
STREET ______________________________________________________ Gulf/Iraq War Veterans ____ $26.00 ea. $___________
CITY, STATE & ZIP ____________________________________________ SATURDAY, JULY 12
Purple Heart Breakfast ____ $22.00 ea. $___________
NICKNAME ___________________________________________________ Ladies Tea ____ $16.00 ea. $___________
Unit Lunches ____ $26.00 ea. $___________
GOLD STAR FAMILY MEMBER ___________________________________ I wish to attend lunch with: (Circle One)
5th Cav 7th Cav 8th Cav 9th Cav 12th Cav Artillery
Telephone # (_______) ___________________________________________ Engineers HQ & Special Troops LRRP/Ranger Silver Wings
Preferred Unit(s) order (1)__________________________________________ Adult ____ $45.00 ea. $ __________
Children (12 and under) ____ $25.00 ea. $ __________
(2) _____________________________________________________________ I wish to sit at the Banquet with: (Circle One)
5th Cav 7th Cav 8th Cav 9th Cav 12th Cav Artillery
Date(s) Served in 1st Cav (1) ____________________ to__________________ Engineers HQ & Special Troops LRRP/Ranger Silver Wings
2nd _____________________________ to _______________________ Banquet table seating is assigned during the reunion. You must take your
banquet tickets to the Banquet Seating Table to get your table number as-
I served during (Circle one or more): Pre-WWII WWII Japan (Anytime) signed. No One will be admitted without a table number on their ticket.
Korean War Korea '57-65 Ft. Benning Vietnam War Ft. Hood Gulf War To assist us in organizing the seating, please circle the unit that you wish to sit
Bosnia Iraq War Ft. Bliss Afghanistan Other_______________________ with at the Banquet.
Please get your table number assigned prior to noon Saturday.
I will be accompanied by my spouse/other (Full Name and Nickname) _______
___________________________________________________________ SUNDAY, JULY 13
and the following persons, please specify relationship (family members only) Group Breakfast ____ $26.00 ea. $___________
Name Nickname Age(Children) Ranger/LRRP Breakfast _____ $26.00 ea. $___________
_______________________________________________________________ Add a little extra to help cover expenses? $___________
_______________________________________________________________ Please renew my SABER Subscription ($10 per year) $___________
Is this your first 1st Cav Division Association Reunion? ___Yes ___ No New Life Membership ($10) Rank_____ $___________
My E-mail is: ___________________________________________________ Last four of SSN ________
I am staying at Oak Brook Hills Resort ___ DOB____________
Local Area ___ Home ___ RV ___ Grand Total (Don't forget Registration Fee) $__________
Other___________________________________________________ ___ VISA ___ Master Card ___ Check ___Cash
Please specify where you are staying. It will help us to find you in the event
of an emergency. Thank you!
Registration fee required for Association member only (Widows and Gold Star _____________________________________________EXP Date____________
Family members pay no Fee) – no fee for family members accompanying Card Number – Print Clearly
Association member. Registration includes: Name Tags (required for admission
to Reunion Room and other activities), Official Reunion Program, Reunion Pin, _____________________________________________Date ________________
and information package Signature – Credit Card Payment Only