THE NEWSLETTER FOR

THE LRRP/RANGERS OF THE 1ST CAVALRY DIVISION

DURING THE VIETNAM WAR

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 NUMBER 68                               ISSN 1941-7926                      JANUARY 2014

 

THIS NEWSLETTER IS DISTRIBUTED IN JANUARY AND  SEPTEMBER OF EACH CALENDAR YEAR.  IT IS FOR THE            MEN WHO SERVED IN THE LONG RANGE PATROL UNITS OF THE 1ST CAVALRY DIVISION DURING THE VIET NAM      WAR.  THESE UNITS ARE:  LRRP DET., 191ST MI; HHC (G-2) LRRP; CO. E (LRP), 52ND INF.; CO. H, (RANGER) 75TH INF.; AND DET. 10, (RANGER) HHC, 3RD BGE.

 

THE NEWSLETTER IS MAILED TO ALL OF THESE MEN FOR WHICH AN ADDRESS IS AVAILABLE.  FUNDING FOR THE NEWSLETTER IS BY THE LRRP/RANGER ASSOCIATION OF THE 1ST CAVALRY DIVISION DURING THE VIETNAM WAR.

 

ANYONE WISHING TO INCLUDE AN ARTICLE IN THE NEWSLETTER SHOULD SUBMIT THE MATERIAL TO:

BILL CARPENTER

713 DIAMOND STREET

FAIRMONT, WV   26554-3713

304-366-0022 (EVENINGS)

lrrp.rangers@comcast.net

 

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THE LRRP/RANGERS

OF THE FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION

DURING THE VIETNAM WAR

 

You can generate $2.00 for the LRRP/Rangers association

 

The 75th RRA will reimburse us for each 1st Cav LRRP/Ranger who joins the 75th RRA

 

 


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LRRP/RANGERS OFFICERS

2012-2014

 

LRRP/RANGERS OFFICERS

2012-2014

 

PRESIDENT                             VICE PRESIDENT          SECRETARY

Doug Parkinson                  John LeBrun

PO Box 131                                         932 3rd Street

Bayside, CA  95524                            Blaine, WA  98230                             VACANT

707-822-8421                                      604-764-9634

dpa@humboldt1.com                       caabnranger@yahoo.com 

 

TREASURER                           SERGEANT-AT-ARMS             75th RRA REPRESENTATIVE

Bob Carr                                               Joe (Doc) Gilchrest                              Bill Anton

4256 London Lane                             253 Jackson Lane                                               4129 Karma Drive

Colorado Springs, CO  80916           China Spring, TX 76633                    N. Las Vegas, NV  89032-5009

 719-392-5139                                     254-836-1382                                      702-648-9836

bcflies@comcast.net                          gilchrest@hot.rr.com                           rangerh75@allmail.net

 

 

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Mike Gooding                                      Bennie Gentry                                      Ken White

10538 Alswell Court                           1347 20th St.                                         3834 Inverness Road

St. Louis, MO   63128        Tell City, IN 47586                             Fairfax, VA   22033

314-849-2379                                      812-547-4830                                      703-966-8079

mgstimo@juno.com                           macv495soglrp@sbcglobal.net        Kenneth.white@mci.com

 

                                                PAST PRESIDENT                                          

                                                Keith  Phillips       

                                                18288 Acre Lane

                                                Kemp, TX 75143

                                                darby7172@embarqmail.com

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


VICE PRESIDENTS REPORT

from John LeBrun

       

    

 

 

 

 

VICE PRESIDENTS REPORT 2014

From John LeBrun

 

      Greetings and 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 Chicago this July; hope to see a lot of you there.

      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.

      "Madison, 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 Summit at the VA in Madison to teach, with these staff, the veterans and their family members during the Summit on November 13 and 14, 2013."

      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.

      Chicago is election time for the following two years. To hold one of the positions requires relative little time. The membership needs members to fill those positions to keep the organization going. It does not require you to attend every reunion but it is helpful. As a non profit organization we need to have a full and active executive. Think about it and make a commitment to fill one of the positions if not in this cycle in one over the next few years. We all need to participate to make the organization work.

Hope to see you all in Chicago this July. Until then take care and safe travels where ever you go.            

John LeBrun

 

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

 

 

SECRETARY’S REPORT

JANUARY 2014

      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 Chicago and it would appear that a lot of members are making plans to attend.

      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

 

TREASURER’S REPORT

From Bob Carr

Start balance 7/24/2013                    $11,451.43

INCOME

Dues, merchandise & donations          $657.00

EXPENSES

Flowers                                  ($80.00)

NRMF brick                          ($280.00)

Newsletter                             ($750.86)

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

 

Aloha
Introducing my husband, SSGT Edmund A. Kalaola, Jr. of the 75th Ranger Regiment –

Served in Vietnam 1971 - 1972 - 1st Calvary , "H" company, Camp Eagle "L" Co.  He is trying to find his long lost  "buddy" David "Sling" Patterson.  Sling ministered to them on the field and out of the field with the Word of God and always wanted to become a minister which I believe he did.  He may be serving somewhere in Latin America but we're not sure.  Do you happen to have any info on him?  We will be looking for his last known address (back in the 70's) which I think was somewhere in Tucson, Arizona.  My husband wants to attend one of the reunions one of these days, enjoys the newsletters and constantly looking if Sling is mentioned.  If you can help us find him, we would truly appreciate it.  Is the reunion next year in Chicago and the following year back in Texas?  Again, Mahalo to you and other for your hard work - Aloha, Edmund A. Kalaola, Jr. ( Son or Sonny)
Frances M. Kalaola (spouse)

 

 

      OBITUARY

Terry Carroll

 

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 Flint, the son of Terrance E. and Minada L. (Tahash) Carroll. He was a 1968 graduate of Rochester High School. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War serving in the U.S. Army as a sergeant and was awarded a Purple Heart, an Air Medal, and two Bronze Stars. Terry was awarded an Army Commendation Medal for Heroism in 1970. He worked for many years in chemical sales before opening his own custodial company. Terry is remembered for his clever sense of humor and his generous heart. He especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and loved ones. He loved to hunt, fish, and spend time in his garden.

 

 

Overtime, New Computer System Put Sizable Dent in VA Benefits Backlog

From the Washington Post

      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.

      Valorie Reilly, president of the American Federation of Government Employees union local at the VA’s St. Petersburg, Fla., office, said claims processors have been told to focus exclusively on year-old disability claims, leaving newer claims to languish.

      “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.

 

 

67th Annual 
1st Cavalry Division Association Reunion
Chicago , Illinois
(
Oak Brook, DuPage County)
9-13 JULY, 2014

LODGING

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 Oak Brook, Illinois.  This hotel will serve as our Reunion Headquarters for the 67th Annual Reunion and all of our regularly scheduled events will occur here.  You must make your reservations prior to 25 June 2014 to receive the guaranteed rate.  To reserve a room call one of the numbers listed below or reserve your room on-line using the On-Line Reservation link provided by the Oak Brook HillsResort.

     Oak Brook Hills Resort - $99 per night plus tax (11%)
     3500 Midwest Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523
     Toll Free: 855-458-5701
     Local: 630-850-5555
     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.

REUNION EVENT OVERVIEW

      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 Reunion T-Shirt from the Crossed Sabers Chapter Souvenir Shop.  They will have limited quantities available at the reunion so order your T-shirt today. 

TRANSPORTATION

We encourage you to coordinate your travel arrangements early especially if you are using public transportation.

Air TravelChicago has two major airports, O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and Midway International Airport.  Both are located about 25 minutes (19-20 miles) from our our hotel. 

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

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.

 

 

Cognitive Processing Therapy

Effective Treatment

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.

How Cognitive Processing Therapy can help

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.

The four main parts of CPT

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 Vietnam?

anonymous author

      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 Vietnam. I nearly laughed in their face. How do you stop thinking about it? Every day for the past forty years, I wake up with it- I go to bed with it. This was my response:

      "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 Nam. She asks this guy when he was there.

      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 Nam. When? Just last night, before I went to sleep, on my way to work this morning, and over my lunch hour. Yeah, I was there

      My sister says I'm not the same brother who went to Vietnam. My wife says I won't let people get close to me, not even her. They are probably both right.

      Ask a vet about making friends in Nam. It was risky. Why? Because we were in the business of death, and death was with us all the time. It wasn't the death of, "If I die before I wake." This was the real thing. The kind boys scream for their mothers. The kind that lingers in your mind and becomes more real each time you cheat it. You don't want to make a lot of friends when the possibility of dying is that real, that close. When you do, friends become a liability.

      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 Nam smells ancient, somehow. Like it's always been there. And I'll never forget the way blood smells, sticky and drying on my hands. I spent a long night that way once. The memory isn't going anywhere.

      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.

 

 

HISTORICAL OCCURRENCES

 

DROPPIN’ SMOKE

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 Evacuation Hospital.

      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

P.O. Box 1224

Hoodsport, WA 98548

360-877-6362

 

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.

 

LRRP/RANGER

 

MERCHANDISE PRICE LIST

 

T-Shirts:    Black/White sizes to 4X

 $13

T-Shirts Novelty: White  sizes to 4X 

$10

T-Shirts Recondo: Grey sizes to 2X

$15

Golf(Polo)Shirts:Blk/White sizes to XL

  $30

Sweatshirts M to XXL

$20

Windshirts:Pullover: Black M LR XL       

$36

 

Windshirt:      (converts to sleeveless)

Black With Khaki Trim:   M  L  XL

$48

Hats:                  Black or White

$12

Ranger Ring:       size 101/2 only

Watches:          Ladies and Mens  

$50

$30

Belt Buckles:          numbered

$20

Ranger Lapel Pin:

$4 

Cloth Scroll Patch:    (Co H 75th Inf.)

 $4 

Cloth Logo Patch:

$4 

Wooden Nickel:

$1 

Ankony's book; LURP's

$30 

DVD's  1 James Gang

           2 Bear Cat Training

           3 Tribute To Our 

              Fallen Comrades

           4 History Channel LRRP's

$15   

each  

Decals:   interior/exterior

$2    

  ANNUAL DUES

$15   

 Shipping per order

  $5

 

 

 

Please mail check/money order payable to LRRP/RANGER

Bennie Gentry

1347 20th  St.

Tell City, IN 47586

812-547-4830

macv495soglrp@sbcglobal.net

The $5.00 shipping charge covers only one or two shirts.  Donations are gladly accepted

 

 

NONFICTION BOOKS

by and about LRRP/Rangers

in Viet Nam

 

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

 

OTHER BOOKS

 

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.

 

 

Wounded Warrior Project spends 58% of donations on veterans programs

TAMPA BAY TIMES NEWSPAPER July 21, 2013

KRIS HUNDLEYTampa Bay Times

 

 

 

 

 

·Print

·0

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 California.  Wounded Warrior also gave about $880,000 to nearly 100 veterans in the form of college scholarships and stipends for its year-long Track Program, which helps veterans transition to college and the workplace.

      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 Bethesda and Navy Med. Center in Portsmouth - no questions asked, no application forms, no B.S., etc.

      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 Potomac. The turnout was huge. Many boat owners donated their boats and their time allowing Warriors, families, and friends to participate. Also included were prizes, lunch, and gifts at no cost to the warriors, families, and friends. All of these items were donated.

      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

Washington, D.C.

By Ken White

     The weather for this year’s Veterans Day Observance at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) on The National Mall in Washington, DC could not have been nicer.  It was sunny and dry with temperatures in the mid-to-high 60’s.  As you might imagine, the observance attracted a very large crowd of veterans, family members, and friends, due partly to the weather and partly to the fact that the observance marked the 20th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. 

     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 Vietnam, most of whom were nurses, and the 265,000 women who served around the world during the Vietnam era.  It consists of three uniformed women with a wounded soldier, standing atop a mound of sandbags.  One woman is looking up, another is praying, and the third one is caring for the soldier.

     The memorial was dedicated on November 11, 1993.  Diane Carlson Evans, a former Army nurse who served in Vietnam, led the effort to get the memorial built.  Initially, the project met with stiff resistance from government officials and others, but perseverance paid off, and the memorial became a reality after more than ten years.  It required three federal commissions and two separate pieces of Congressional legislation.  According to the National Park Service, an estimated 2.4 million people visit the memorial each year.  If you would like to learn more about it, you can go to “Vietnam Womens Memorial” website.

     Prior to the start of the observance, a group of high school students from Forest Park High School, Woodbridge, VA came around and handled out a letter to the veterans thanking them for their service.  It reads as follows:

     “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.”  We at Forest Park High School strongly believe in commending the Americans who have upheld these values and who have given us the opportunity for a better life.  It is with deference that we honor the services and sacrifices you have made for our great country.  It is with admiration that we recognize the men and women who took on the responsibility of protecting our freedom and the American dream.  It is with pride that we look to the finest examples of patriotism and strength that our country has to offer.  And on this day, it is with due regard, that we simply wish to say thank you.”

     “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.”

     “So, without further ado, the students of Forest Park High School and the members of Forest Park’s America’s Club wish to give you our deepest gratitude.  Thank you for answering the call and serving the United States of America when we needed you most.  Thank you for ensuring the blessings of freedom.  Thank you for coming to Washington, D.C. today to honor and remember your fellow comrades who did not make it back.  We want you to know that the bravery and courage you have shown will never be forgotten.  Thank you.  God bless you.  And God bless the United States of America.”

     “Sincerely, the students of Forest Park High School and the Members of Forest Park’s America’s Club.”  Forest Park High School, 15721 Forest Park Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22193,”

     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 Oklahoma, Anything Goes, Taming of the Shrew, Two by Two, and Carousel, and co-starring roles in musical specials for television with Frankie Avalon and others.  But according to Jan, her most treasured highlight was singing to the GI’s in Vietnam as a member of the Bob Hope USO Tour – Vietnam, 1968.  Jan’s father was killed in World War II as a pilot when she was two months old.

     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 Evacuation Hospital in Vung Tau and in the 71st Evacuation Hospital in Pleiku in 1968-69.  Since getting the memorial built, she has remained active in veterans’ affairs and speaks nationally about the experiences of women in wartime.

     A special salute to the memorial was provided by Colonel MargaretheGretheCammermeyer, USA (Ret.).  COL.  Cammermeyer was born in Oslo, Norway under Nazi occupation.  In 1960 at age 18, she became a U.S. citizen.  A year later, she joined the Army Nurse Corps.  She served 14 months in Vietnam as a nurse in the 24th Evacuation Hospital in Long Binh, and received numerous honors including a Bronze Star for Meritorious Service.  She eventually earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s, and a Ph.D.  She retired from military service after 31 years on active duty.       

     A special salute to the memorial was also provided by General Colin Powell, USA (Ret.), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. Secretary of State.  General Powell served two tours in Vietnam.  His first tour was in 1962 as an advisor to an ARVN unit.  One day while on patrol, he stepped on a punji stake and developed a serious leg infection.  It eventually forced him to return to the U.S. for treatment.   In 1968, he returned to Vietnam as a major.  This time he served in the Americal Division (23rd Infantry Division).  One of his first assignments was to investigate the rumored allegations of the My Lai Massacre involving the 11th Light Infantry Brigade.  His assessment of what happened at My Lai would later be described by the news media as “whitewashing” the news of the massacre.  As an assistant chief of staff of operations, he was decorated for bravery after he survived a helicopter crash and single-handedly rescued three others from the burning wreckage, including the division commander. 

P 12

 

    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 Crystal City.  It was just short of a sell-out at 200 or so vets and friends, according to Dennis Webster, executive director of the association.  I’m happy to report that our unit was well represented.  LTC Jim Wright (1967), Terry Smith (1970-71), and yours truly (1966-68) were in attendance.  LTC Wright of course was a 1st Lieutenant when we knew him at LZ Uplift in eastern Binh Dinh Province in the summer of 1967, and Terry served in the unit in the Phuoc Vinh area in the III Corps tactical zone.

     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 Cav into Iraq in March 2004 for a yearlong deployment.  He deployed to Iraq again in 2009 as commander of the 3rd BCT for another yearlong deployment, this time in the city of Mosul, located on the banks of the Tigris River in northern Iraq.  Mosul was the scene of some of the most intense fighting of the entire Iraqi war.

     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.

 

OPERATION HELMET

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.

 

      Traumatic Brain Injury is still the number one cause of death or disability in our warriors stationed in Afghanistan

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.

The helmet pads you help us buy and send combat troops operating in Afghanistan pass the same protective tests but are also comfortably conform to the warrior's head. With these helmet pads, head armor is no longer a dangerous distraction and troops are once again maximally protected.

 

 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 Vietnam is the UH1H helicopter. It was both devil and angel and it served as both extremely well. Whether a LRRP, US or RVN soldier or civilian, whether, NVA, VC, Allied or civilian, it provided a sound and sense that lives with us all today. It is the one sound that immediately clears the clouds of time and freshens the forgotten images within our mind. It will be the sound track of our last moments on earth.

    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.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  page 14

 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
                        
Keith Nightingale
COL Nightingale is a retired Army Colonel who served two tours in Vietnam.  He later commanded both the 1/75th Rangers and the 1st Ranger Training Brigade.

 

RUNNING SLACK

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 Pakistan is being paid to do this.  I heard somewhere that about 1/3 of what you pay for a product goes for advertising.  Kinda makes me wonder.

--------------------------------

 

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:

509 California St.

Beverly Hills, FL 34465

352-527-3940

wiseowl@tampabay.rr.com

**************************

 

 

  GOD and the Soldier we all adore,

In times of peril, but not before.

When the peril is gone, and all things righted,

GOD is forgotten, and the Soldier is slighted.

We are being slighted ever so slowly. Things will that we considered sacrosanct will be cast aside like so much “trash over the fantail.”

From John  Simones

 

2013-11-24 Ron Christopher

Former Ranger Sgt. Ed Beal, recently underwent open heart surgery in North Carolina after the Tahoe Reunion. He is doing as well as to be expected so any good thoughts and prayers sent his way would be appreciated by he and his wife, Judy.

 

JIM BURTON

  This is a correction to the write up about Jim Burton in the last news letter. I want to set the record straight. Burton did not go on a mission with my team as an observer or anything else. Jim came from a line unit and was a former Ranger instructor so he didn't need to do any observing on my team.  Jim's first mission was Feb 3, 67. His frist attempt landed him on a stump and he injured his right arm. His team was immediately extracted and they were down for a week. Jim had his arm in a sling for a week. Then on  Feb 13, 67 Jim tried it again. On this insertion Jim broke his ankle and he was in a full leg cast for a few months.

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.

Update 12/12/13

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:

                National Personnel Records Center

                Military Personnel Records

                1 Archives Drive

                St. Louis, MO 63138

                Fax 314-801-9195

          SF-180 may be returned via ground mail, fax or online.

 

CHAPLAIN’S BOX

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.

Jim RLTW/L&P

 

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

                                                                                                                              Association Banquet

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