Name: Manuel T Ramirez
Remote Name: 188.8.131.52
Time: 11:43 AM
brothers, after 44 long years, we are finally going to do it. The men of
the 5th Bn, 42d Field Artillery will meet again for a reunion in Lawton
Oklahoma this September. It promises to be a good one. Here are the
Dates: September 13 - 16
Thursday September 13, 2012 Arrival Day
Thursday is dedicated to
meeting and greeting the men and families of
the 5/42. We will have
a hospitality room set up where you can see old buddies again, relax and
begin to share memories. This is a special day we can really look
Friday September 14, 2012 Trip to Ft Sill
We are planning a trip to the post and lunch
in one of the mess halls during the day. There are museums and other
activities we can take advantage of. We will firm up a more specific
schedule when we get a little closer to September.
Anyone who was
in A Battery with Chief of Smoke Guerrero knows what a
roast is. The Chief and his family have graciously invited us to
event which is to be hosted by them at one of the Guerrero homes in the
Lawton area on Friday.
Saturday September 15, 2012 5/42 Banquet
We have arranged a banquet in your honor for Saturday evening. This
Catered at the hotel where you are staying.
Saturday during the day, you are free to tour the area, play a game of
golf or just
spend time catching up with the guys.
September 16, 2012 Departure Day.
Here's what you have to do:
$100 per each person attending will be required to defray the cost
of the bus and trip to Fort Sill, the barbeque and the banquet and
hospitality at the hotel, and mementos. I need to collect that up front.
If you and your wife are attending, I will need $200.
I can tell
you I am really looking forward to seeing all of you. It has been too
To get registered for this event, you will need to do 2
things. Send me 1) $100 for each person attending, 2) make your
reservation at the hotel. And don't forget to book your transportation
to and from Lawton. I will need your $100 sent to me by June 20: check
or Money order please (made out to me, Ken Roberts), don't send cash. We
will need two dozen attendees (total headcount including spouses) to
meet the minimums for the activities planned.
Our official Hotel
is the Executive Inn. You must call them at 580-353-1682 to book your
rooms. Please tell them you are with the 5th of the 42d group and make
sure they give you the special rate of $49.95 per night.
have any questions about anything, please call or email me anytime.
See you there!
5235 Moon Shell drive
Apollo Beach, FL 33572
Documents show Army's disservice to
By Carl Prine
Sunday, February 6, 2011
WASHINGTON The Army's special medical units should be healing more
than 9,300 soldiers entrusted to their care.
But a nine-month probe
by the Tribune-Review found America's sick and injured soldiers must
struggle to mend inside 38 Warrior Transition units the Army has
turned into dumping grounds for criminals, malingerers and dope
Originally designed to
treat the wounded from twin wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, after
nearly a decade of battle these barracks snag soldiers in red tape.
Despite an epidemic of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression,
brain injuries and substance abuse linked to repeated combat
deployments, soldiers sometimes spend years desperately seeking
over-medicated and overseen by a stressed staff, the hardest hit
often are in the Army National Guard and Reserves.
Picked by President
Obama's administration in early 2009 to alleviate suffering in the
units, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Noel Koch said his
tenure ended abruptly in April when he and his investigators at the
Pentagon's Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy were
in the midst of a nationwide investigation similar to the Trib
After compiling reams
of audits, reports and interviews with commanders, hospital
personnel and patients nationwide and in Europe documenting these
problems, Koch said he was given the choice of resigning or being
fired by his boss, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and
Readiness Clifford L. Stanley.
Koch says he quit.
"They're trying to
fight two wars at the same time, and everything is breaking down,"
said Koch, a Vietnam veteran and high-ranking official in President
Ronald Reagan's administration. "The Secretary of Defense, Robert
Gates, is a good man. He has a Pentagon to run and two wars to
fight, so he pushed this down to the services to handle. But they
In his 11 months on
the job, Koch said he tried to meet with Gates but was rebuffed. He
said Stanley, a former Marine Corps. general, also declined weekly
briefings until that fateful staff meeting in early 2010.
After delivering his
report, Koch said Stanley uttered a single word, "Wow," and then
gave him a cryptic warning: "He did not address me by name, but he
did look directly at me and said the following: 'It is important to
be careful what is put in written reports. These can affect people's
Gates, Stanley and
other Pentagon leaders declined to comment.
When the Trib filed a
request to view these reports under the Freedom of Information Act,
Stanley's department heavily redacted the released versions, citing
secrecy and security needs typically reserved for classified
Concerned that the
Pentagon was covering up shoddy treatment of soldiers, insiders then
passed unredacted files to the Trib. They soon were joined by Army
employees nationwide who exposed problems at their bases.
In a written response,
the Army's former commander of the Warrior Transition program said
he couldn't "understand Mr. Koch's perseverating" on the program.
not sure Mr. Koch has ever fully understood the consequences of 10
years of warfare and the challenges of deploying brigades with a
year or less at home station between deployments," wrote Maj. Gen.
Gary Cheek in October.
Most of the Army's top
medical commanders refused to speak to the Trib for months. On the
eve of publishing these articles, the Army's Inspector General
released a report echoing the findings both of Koch's investigators
and the Trib.
More Walter Reeds
The Office of Wounded
Warrior Care and Transition Policy doesn't direct day-to-day
operations of the Army's special medical units. Instead, the
Pentagon agency identifies problems plaguing them and tries to find
challenges bedevil the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, inspectors
found the most chronic problems dog the Army, America's largest
service and the one that's doing the most fighting overseas.
The top concern: The
Army seems unable to trim the ranks of patients filling the Warrior
Transition units a never-ending flood of broken soldiers that too
often buried the special medical units, demoralizing patients and
military staffers, according to the files.
These problems aren't
new. In early 2007, stories by The Washington Post and other news
outlets alleged shoddy treatment of the wounded at the Army's Walter
Reed hospital in Washington. Reeling from the scandal, the Army
invoked a new mantra "No more Walter Reeds." The "medical holds"
housing most of the sick and injured were scrapped and merged with
special segregated units for the wounded that had been carved out of
the system in 2004, according to Koch and Army studies.
An Army order to send
all ailing soldiers to the new Warrior Transition units un-leashed a
flood of 10,000 patients who previously hadn't been identified as
"nondeployable," a wave that overwhelmed the medical barracks and
from which they're still recovering, according to the Pentagon
reports and unit commanders.
At Kentucky's Fort
Campbell, home of the 101st Airborne Division, the 67 soldiers in
the "medhold" in 2007 soon were joined by nearly 400 patients,
according to Army Col. Mike Heimall, a commander who has drawn
praise for compassionate care there and at Fort Riley in Kansas.
The Army brass issued
"Frago 3" in 2008 to dam the flood of broken soldiers by erecting
barriers to entering the new Warrior Transition units.
Individualized medical diagnoses called "profiles" limiting their
military duties for more than six months are now required. The
underlying conditions must be "complex" and require extensive
clinical case management by trained nurses, who are supposed to
oversee the care of about 25 soldiers each, according to the
Pentagon reports and Army files.
The Army credits Frago
3 with finally halving the number of Warrior Transition patients
since the unexpected deluge. But it never fully blocked the tide of
ailing personnel, according to internal reports. Despite dwindling
combat in Iraq, the nationwide Warrior Transition population stays
at more than 9,000 soldiers. An equal number who might qualify for
the special program are in their original units, according to Army
"There are a lot of
things wrong with the (units). We have our concerns with the growth
of them and how we manage them because they're kind of taking on a
life of themselves. I think it's going to require a more direct
supervisory approach," said Thomas R. Lamont, a retired Illinois
National Guard colonel who serves as the Army's assistant secretary
for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
By mid-2010, the
reports estimated 10,000 soldiers had sought Temporary Disability
Retirement for catastrophic ailments a rising trend that was going
to make the population "the most ever." The reason the Army is
reeling instead of healing is because of the Army's own policies,
according to Koch's fact-finders. The Pentagon files indicate that
commanders circumvent Frago 3's regulations and hurt the health of
all Warrior Transition patients by dumping on the medical units
soldiers they don't want to take overseas everyone from cancer cases
and GIs hurt in accidents to trouble makers, dope addicts, potential
suicides and malingerers.
While often presented
to America as special wards for the wounded, only 11 percent of the
soldiers in the medical units have Purple Hearts or fell ill in a
war zone, according to the Pentagon files. They're outnumbered by
the estimated 16 percent of the patient population that never
deployed to combat and never will, but this tally varies by base.
A February 2010 report
estimated that one-third of the 450 soldiers assigned to the Warrior
Transition barracks at Washington state's Joint Base Lewis-McChord
had never seen combat. They were "high risk soldiers who are not
ready to deploy and may display high risk tendencies" such as drug
addiction, suicide and criminal conduct, the report said.
Georgia's Fort Benning
medical barracks also were "burdened with soldiers placed in there
by commanders as an expedient means by which to rid their units of
their 'undesirables' " an ongoing problem investigators concluded
was occurring nationwide and that "deflected or defeated" other
patients trying to heal.
The reports allege
commanders nationwide knowingly turn the special units into
convenient pre-deployment "dumping grounds." And the Pentagon team
wasn't the only one uncovering the problem: The Department of
Veterans Affairs in 2009 discovered brigades doing the same thing at
Georgia's Fort Stewart, home of the Army's Third Infantry Division.
'Triad of Care'
feared that packing too many soldiers into the Warrior Transition
units would destroy what the Army calls its "Triad of Care" a
"cadre" of staffers who oversee patients in the barracks; nurse case
managers who coordinate treatment; and primary care providers, who
usually are nurse practitioners and physicians assistants.
The post-Walter Reed
reforms in 2007 raised the cadre by quickly drawing often
involuntarily hundreds of staffers from all the Army's branches,
even combat units. These soldiers often lacked experience in
medicine, especially caring for soldiers showing signs of substance
abuse, brain injury, suicidal thoughts and other problems
increasingly prevalent in the service, according to the Pentagon
reports and medical commanders interviewed by the Trib.
Koch and his
investigators say they are worried that high caseloads from the 2007
flood, along with ongoing "surges" of soldiers shed as units near
deployment dates, continue to overwhelm nurses, primary caregivers
and an overworked and undertrained cadre nationwide.
Fort Benning returns
about half of its Warrior Transition soldiers to active duty.
Nationwide, however, less than one in three patients remains in
uniform. The rest re-enter civilian life too often unhealed after
about a year, according to the Pentagon files.
The reports starkly
lay out the crux of the problem: The Pentagon is letting the Army
turn the Warrior Transition barracks into "dumping grounds" that are
"set up to handle everybody," a policy that creates an "exponential
misbalance" between veterans who should be there and personnel that
commanders don't want on combat deployments. Army policies make it
too "difficult to determine a reasonable line of demarcation when it
comes to providing care, and what level of care," the reports
To Koch, the growth of
the Army's Warrior Transition system and the shape it continues to
take "actually made 29 Walter Reeds" plus nine off-site units
designed for National Guard and Army Reserve troops.
"What bothered me is
that they just wanted to keep the profile as low as possible. They
didn't want to focus on it at all," Koch said. "There were a lot of
bureaucrats at the Pentagon who were just trying to make the
services deal with it, to make the services, especially the Army,
take the fall on this. That's the bottom line. They weren't
interested in fixing it, but in handling it as a PR issue." Medical
commanders told the Trib, however, that the distinction between a
combat injury and a garrison malady is becoming increasingly blurred
after nearly 10 years of war, especially because of rising mental
illness diagnoses. More than one out of five patients in the special
units suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by
combat or sexual trauma, according to the reports. At Fort Riley,
home to the First Infantry Division, two out of every three soldiers
in the Warrior Transition barracks have been diagnosed with mental
issues such as PTSD or substance abuse ailments often after the
soldiers underwent repeated combat deployments.
"OK, let's say I have
a soldier who has done three tours. He comes home and his wife
leaves him. He begins to have financial difficulties. The stress
retriggers PTSD symptoms. Now, you tell me: Which came first, the
chicken or the egg?" said Lt. Col. Andrew Price, the commander of
the Fort Riley unit.
'A huge step ahead'
When a Trib reporter
directly asked Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker
about the problems the Pentagon team uncovered, the three-star
general tasked with overseeing the Warrior Transition units walked
away. Neither he nor his staff has answered written questions they
requested from the Trib in October.
boss outgoing Chief of Staff of the Army George Casey told the Trib
he's glad the Pentagon went out "inspecting and finding things that
we can do better" so his commanders could start "moving it to
another level." He nevertheless disputes the charge that Warrior
Transition units are "dumping grounds" worse than the wards they
"Believe me, the WTUs
are a huge step ahead of the medical hold detachments," said Casey,
who believes that the end of war in Iraq and Afghanistan eventually
will allow the Army a chance to "reset" and heal.
interviewed by the Trib, however, said patients who need more time
to mend or who want second diagnoses to ensure adequate retirement
benefits often are tagged in Casey's Army as "malingerers" or
ungrateful "garrison wreckage."
Koch heard their
"I think the time has
come for Congress to look harder into what has been going on with
our wounded warriors. We've deserted them before," Koch said. "We
did this during Vietnam. We don't need to repeat that history."
March 30th, 2010
Letter to a Vietnam Veteran
As the "Wall that Heals" was being taken down,
on Monday 22 March 2010, I spotted a female coming down
from the Wall area to the Van. I walked over to
meet her and I said I believe you can be classified as
the last person that has visit the Wall.
She stop and said to me, would you believe it, I
was a hippie and a protester during the Vietnam War and
my father was in Vietnam. She continued, I wish a
hundredth time that someone would have gotten a rope and
tied me to a telephone pole. The following letter,
shows how many of those young people now regret what
they did to those Vietnam Veterans, who were only doing
what the Commander in Chief asked them to do.
OPEN LETTER TO VIETNAM VETERANS
I was in my twenties
during the Vietnam era. I was a single mother and, I'm
sad to say, I was probably one of the most self-centered
people on the planet. To be perfectly honest. I didn't
care one way or the other about the war. All I cared
about was me-how I looked, what I wore, and where I was
going. I worked and I played. I was never politically
involved in anything, but I allowed my opinions to be
formed by the media. It happened without my ever being
aware. I listened to the protest songs and I watched the
six o'clock news and I listened to all the people who
were talking. After awhile, I began to repeat their
words and, if you were to ask me, I'd have told you I
was against the war. It was very popular. Everyone was
doing it, and we never saw what it was doing to our men.
All we were shown was what they were doing to the people
of Vietnam .
My brother joined the Navy and then
he was sent to Vietnam . When he came home, I repeated
the words to him. It surprised me at how angry he
became. I hurt him very deeply and there were years of
separation-not only of miles, but also of character. I
In fact, I didn't understand
anything until one day I opened my newspaper and saw the
anguished face of a Vietnam veteran. The picture was
taken at the opening of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in
Washington , D.C. His countenance revealed the terrible
burden of his soul. As I looked at his picture and his
tears, I finally understood a tiny portion of what you
had given for us and what we had done to you. I
understood that I had been manipulated, but I also knew
that I had failed to think for myself. It was like
waking up out of a nightmare, except that the nightmare
was real. I didn't know what to do.
One day about
three years ago, I went to a member of the church I
attended at that time, because he had served in Vietnam
. I asked him if he had been in Vietnam , and he got a
look on his face and said, "Yes." Then, I took his hand,
looked him square in the face, and said, "Thank you for
going." His jaw dropped, he got an amazed look on his
face, and then he said, "No one has ever said that to
me." He hugged me and I could see that he was about to
get tears in his eyes. It gave me an idea, because there
is much more that needs to be said. How do we put into
words all the regret of so many years? I don't know, but
when I have an opportunity, I take it so here goes.
Have you been to Vietnam ? If so, I have something I
want to say to you-Thank you for going! Thank you from
the bottom of my heart. Please forgive me for my
insensitivity. I don't know how I could have been so
blind, but I was. When I woke up, you were wounded and
the damage was done, and I don't know how to fix it. I
will never stop regretting my actions, and I will never
let it happen again.
Please understand that I am
speaking for the general public also. We know we blew it
and we don't know how to make it up to you. We wish we
had been there for you when you came home from Vietnam
because you were a hero and you deserved better. Inside
of you there is a pain that will never completely go
away and you know what? It's inside of us, too; because
when we let you down, we hurt ourselves, too. We all
know it and we suffer guilt and we don't know what to do
so we cheer for our troops and write letters to "any
soldier" and we hang out the yellow ribbons and fly the
flag and we love America. We love you too, even if it
doesn't feel like it to you. I know in my heart that,
when we cheer wildly for our troops, part of the reason
is trying to make up for Vietnam. And while it may work
for us, it does nothing for you.
We failed you.
You didn't fail us, but we failed you and we lost our
only chance to be grateful to you at the time when you
needed and deserved it. We have disgraced ourselves and
brought shame to our country. We did it and we need your
forgiveness. Please say you will forgive us and please
take your rightful place as heroes of our country. We
have learned a terribly painful lesson at your expense
and we don't know how to fix it.
From the heart,
237 East Gatewood Circle
Burleson, Texas 76028-8948
An item of interest.
WALL THAT HEALS
Residents flock to replica of wall
BY MITCH MEADOR STAFF WRITER MMEADOR@LAWTON-CONSTITUTION.COM
The Lawton-Fort Sill community joined Vietnam
Veterans of America Chapter 751 and its Associates in
celebrating the return of “The Wall That Heals” at a sunny grand
opening ceremony Thursday.
The Wall will be on
public view 24 hours a day until the closing ceremony at 3 p.m.
Sunday, when it will be packed up and sent to Tyler, Texas.
Retired Col. George Green began by recognizing Rick and
Renee Wolfe, the Elgin couple who paid to have The Wall brought
back. They are honorary members of VVA who wanted to say thank
you to the veterans who have generously supported their
Green also thanked the City of Lawton for
the use of Elmer Thomas Park and for providing traffic control
and public safety; Fort Sill for furnishing the color guard and
the full 77th Army Band; soldiers of 1st Battalion, 78th Field
Artillery, for erecting The Wall and the museum that accompanies
it; the Junior ROTC cadets who read area names on The Wall while
a bell tolled; the Vietnam Vet and Legacy Motorcycle Club for
escorting The Wall here from Chickasha; local businesses that
provided landscaping for The Wall, and especially the VVA
volunteers who set up the bleachers and tents.
Chapter 751 President Pat Powell, believed to be the first woman
in the U.S. to serve as president of a VVA chapter, welcomed the
crowd to the ceremony.
“It makes me so proud to see
so many people gathered here this morning to show your love,
patriotic spirit and appreciation for the many men and women who
shed their blood during this conflict. The state of Oklahoma had
988 casualties, and Lawton alone lost a total of 33 military
personnel,” she said.
“Those 33 members of our
community raised their right hand, took that extra step forward
to defend the Constitution of the United States and serve under
that red, white and blue that we love so much, so we could have
the rights, privileges and freedom that we enjoy today,” Powell
“The veterans of the Vietnam War often think
of our brothers and sisters whose names are engraved upon the
mirror-like surface of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in our
nation’s capital. We honor, respect and thank them for serving
our nation and its people. We miss them, and we will not forget
“When standing in front of the memorial wall,
reality becomes overwhelming when you realize that you are
standing in the company of 58,479 of America’s finest — not just
names and numbers, but real people who gave their all for each
and every one of us,” she said.
Powell said bringing
The Wall into the community allows the souls enshrined on it to
exit once more in the company of family and friends, thus
allowing the healing process to begin.
Command Sgt. Maj. Luis Cantu, who served two tours in Vietnam as
first sergeant of artillery batteries, directed the audience’s
attention to a banner stretched across the VIP platform. “We’re
Number One — Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter of the Year,”
banner was awarded to Chapter 751 at VVA’s last national
convention in Louisville, Ky., because its membership did more
for their community than any of the other 600-plus chapters.
“It was a surprise but
more of a shock to a chapter from another state that had run
away with this award for many years, when they were told to turn
that banner over to Chapter 751 from Lawton, Okla.,” Cantu
Vietnam War is, up to this point, the longest war that the U.S.
has fought. Cantu reflected on some of the lives that were lost,
including 1st Sgt. Pascal Poolaw, who was struck by a
rocket-propelled grenade while he was attempting to rescue his
oldest service member to die in action was 63, the youngest only
15. At least five 16-year-olds were also killed in action.
“While these six teenagers
might have become men overnight, to their mothers … they were
just their little boys,” Cantu said.
Lt. Sharon Ann Lane was cut down by a piece of shrapnel June 8,
1969, when enemy rockets hit the 312th Evacuation Hospital. Her
name is on panel 23W, line 112.
“At the end of the Vietnam
War in 1975, over 2,000 military members were listed as
prisoners of war or missing in action. Another 304,000 had been
left wounded,” Cantu said.
Vietnam veterans are the only ones who had to fight three wars
at the same time: The enemy in Vietnam, the war protesters in
his own country and a silent war of 15 or more diseases. As
military members completed their tour in Vietnam, they were not
looking for a tickertape parade, a band or a welcoming banner.
All they wanted was to return to their farms, their fire
stations, their former jobs, their own country and most of all
to their loved ones.
“Instead they were met in
places such as the international airport in Los Angeles by war
protesters shouting at the returning military members such slurs
as ‘warmongers’ and ‘babykillers.’ … They did not know at the
time the chemicals that had been sprayed by our own country
would turn into a nightmare for the rest of their lives. They
were not aware they were being heavily exposed to Agent Orange.
… And now these diseases have not only penetrated and poisoned
the bodies of these veterans, but they have been passed on to
their children and their grandchildren in the form of birth
want to know what a
Vietnam veteran (exposed to) Agent Orange looks like, all we
have to do is look around this morning at the veterans in
wheelchairs, in walkers or walking with a cane. Chances are many
of those veterans have one or more of the diseases brought on by
Agent Orange,” Cantu said, noting estimates that 390 Vietnam
veterans are dying each day.
“The average life
expectancy of a
Vietnam veteran is 63 years, compared to 75 years (on the)
national average,” he said.
Vietnam veterans are at every homecoming ceremony welcoming back
those returning from the war zones, said Cantu. Their motorcycle
clubs protect funeral processions from protesters who attempt to
disrupt the proceedings. Some are now in veterans’ homes, others
sleep under bridges, a few are in prison.
“We only know them as
Vietnam veterans who, when the commander-inchief told them to
report to Vietnam, they said, ‘Yes, sir.’ They did not run
across the border into Canada,” Cantu said.
As part of the ceremony,
retired Command Sgt. Maj. Marty Talley recognized widows,
sisters, brothers, daughters and sons of area service members
whose names can be found on The Wall.
MICHAEL D. POPE/STAFF
Finding a name so the family can take a photo of it will be the
order of the day as “The Wall That Heals” remains on view 24
hours a day in Elmer Thomas Park until the closing ceremony at 3
MICHAEL D. POPE/STAFF
Samantha Mead, 11, takes a photo of names on this half-scale
replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that is on display
through Sunday in Elmer Thomas Park.
MICHAEL D. POPE/STAFF
A new generation can discover what the Vietnam War meant for
draftees at a time when young men were old enough to die for
their country but not old enough to vote for their
November 2008 - Davo has finally
released the newsletter to publication. It is now available
here. This is your
Newsletter guys. It does need some input from you to make it grow. And
for those who prefer Adobe here is the
Notice: a little late!
write to you from Australia. On the 13Th of May 2008 our Regiment,
12 Field Regiment of the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery
celebrated the 40th Anniversary off Fire Support Base Coral in
Vietnam. Australian deaths in this operation totaled 25. This was
the largest and most protracted Battle by Australian troops in South
We were supported
both at the 1A.T.F. area in Nui Dat and at Coral by the American
155mm unit A Battery 2nd /35. We tried to contact members of that
Battery in vain to come and join us in the celebrations. We even
went to the lengths of trying the American consulate and they could
not help us either.A Battery arrived at Coral after the first
attack in the early hours of May 13th 1968. The operation known as
Toan Thang ( complete victory) was the first Australian Brigade
action since the Second World War. The arrival of the American big
Guns and the dusters certainly increased our morale in consideration
that we flew into Coral in the late hours of the day before and we
never had time to put down proper defenses ( including wire) before
dark. The enemy seized upon our vulnerability and attacked in huge
numbers at 2.15 Am on the morning of the 13th. We had 135 Men on the
ground fought of an estimated Vietnamese force of 1000 men. They
overran one of our Guns that was later reclaimed and overran our
Mortar platoon killing 7 of our soldiers.
men of the 102Nd Field Battery Royal Australian Artillery fired H.E.
over open sights into the waves of oncoming enemy and Splintex
across the Mortar area to save the survivors of the platoon from
This is only a
small part of the story of Coral / Balmoral, many more attacks and
actions occurred between the 12th of May and the 6th of June. This
Month the Governor General of Australia bestowed an Honor title to
the 102nd ( Coral) Field Battery for their action at F.S.B. Coral.
This is the first and possibly the last time an honor title will be
given to an Australian unit. We are very proud of that distinction,
though it took a long time to come.
love to establish a link with some of the fellas of the
American Battery that served with us all those years ago I would
also suggest that you hook onto our great website and have a look
around. Maybe we could have a dual link set up. our Web address is
Our webmaster is indeed a genius, and also a proud Gunner.
Notice 4/6/2008 Dan Gilloti has
notified us that he is resigning as Battalion Historian. Please contact
Dave "Davo" Holdorf for
any Regimental history related questions. Thank you Dan for all the
historical records you have donated to this website. Without your
insight and research the site would not be complete.
Just repaired the guest book. Sorry but no one advised me it was
in that condition. 7/31/07
Notice: 7/5/2007 Carl Moback, One of our Battalion members lost his battle
with Hepitis-C this morning about 7a.m..
His wife, June, ask that I notify the 15th Arty
His family is having a viewing for family and friends This Saturday
and Sunday at:
Advantage Funeral Home
9761 E. 31st. Street
There will be a service at 10:00 am Monday, July 9th at the funeral
home, than a Vietnam Veterans motorcycle club will escort Carl to
Ft. Wagner Cemetary, Wagner, Okla. There will be a flag service and
taps at grave-side
Cards may be sent to:
213 N. 11th St.
Broken Arrow, Okla. 74012
Anyone interested in assisting this writer?
Dear Mr. Holdorf,
I am writing to you to request your
assistance. I am an American magazine writer and author. More
information about me can be found by clicking on the website below.
For the subject of my next book, I am
looking to find a willing participant. This person is a
Vietnam veteran who is
considering/planning a trip to Vietnam to see what the place he fought
in/patrolled looks like today, preferably on his own or as part of one
of the organized reconciliation tours. Ideally, I am looking for someone
who also has a son who fought (or is fighting) in Iraq, the experience
of his son having in part prompted a desire to return to Vietnam.
Through this veteran’s experience, I hope
to tell a story of how
America ultimately reconciles the war
experience, both for his generation and the following ones. While I
realize that many thousands of vets have already had the ‘return to
Vietnam” experience (and I have met several on previous trips to Vietnam
myself), I am interested in one who has not yet gone but plans to, so
that I would be able to chronicle the experience as it goes along.
Since you are in contact with a number of
veterans through the regiment’s website, please feel free to forward my
request widely in hopes of a response.
With thanks in advance,
700 West End Ave.
New York, NY 10025
November 23, 2006
Here is a link to Carr's Compendiums.
We don't do commercial sites as a rule, but Davo thinks that this one
will have some closure for a few of our members. Just click the link to
be taken to the site.
Here's my tentative proposal for a reunion in Nha Trang in July, 2007.
I know that it may seem a little early to start planning for such an
event. Ticket prices tend to go up about 3 months before a trip. I'd
like to start looking for tickets in a couple of months. I may try a
consolidator in "Little Saigon" in Orange County, CA. We may be able to
get a better price with a group going.
For those of you who would like to start saving, you have about 11
months to do so.
My wife and I, and some of our children are definitely going. We would
love to have any and all of you go with us.
Please note that the cost estimate is based on my last trip in January,
2006. Prices may go up. I have tried to guesstimate the mid-range cost
of hotels and meals.
When I went, I spent about $200US per week on in-country travel, hotels,
food, and beer. While I did not stay in the low-end hotels, I also did
not stay in 5 star hotels, or eat in 5 star restaurants. But for the
cost of the airplane tickets, it is a very inexpensive vacation.
I'll be back in touch in a month or so, to get some type of "head count"
- even if you are only interested.
In the meantime, get your passport and talk to your doctor about what
shots will be needed.
Take a look at some documents I created for this.
Return to 'Nam
Thoughts and Musings
The Data stolen has been recovered......
Personal data on millions of US veterans
By Will Dunham
56 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Personal information on 26.5 million U.S.
veterans was stolen from an employee of the
Department of Veterans Affairs
who took the
data home without authorization, exposing them to possible identity
theft, the department said on Monday.
The computer records
included names, Social Security
numbers and dates of birth for the military veterans and some
spouses, the department said. The electronic data related to
everyone discharged from the military since 1975, Veterans Affairs
Secretary Jim Nicholson said.
Lawmakers and veterans' advocates expressed alarm that the
government failed to safeguard the data, which could be used in
credit card fraud and other crimes.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said that "we have no reason to
believe at this time" that the data has been exploited for identity
"We are going to send out an individual notification letter to
every veteran to the extent possible," warning them of the risk of
identity theft, Nicholson told reporters by telephone.
Nicholson said the employee, a career data analyst and not a
political appointee or senior official, has been placed on
administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
The department said the theft of equipment containing the records
from the employee's home took place this month. Nicholson declined
to identify the employee, the location of the burglary or how long
the person had the data at his home.
The FBI said the
theft occurred in the Maryland area and its Baltimore field office
has been looking into the matter since it was referred to the agency
"They believe that this was a random burglary and not targeted at
this data," Nicholson said, adding that there had been a series of
burglaries in that community. "It's highly probable that they do not
know what they have," he said.
Nicholson advised veterans to monitor their credit card and
banking transactions and be alert for anything suspicious.
He said the employee had access to the data as part of a project
but "took home a considerable amount of electronic data from the VA
which he was not authorized to do."
Nicholson said there is no indication the employee intended to do
any wrong beyond improperly taking the material home. No medical
records and no financial information was compromised, he said,
though the data included information on some veterans' physical
Identity theft, or obtaining personal or financial information
about someone else to make transactions in that person's name, has
mushroomed with the growth of the Internet and electronic business.
"We look to V.A.'s executive management to hold everybody
accountable who was involved. And accountability we define as
immediate termination," Bob Wallace, executive director of the
Washington office of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, told Reuters.
Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Larry Craig, an Idaho
Republican, said he was alarmed the department had "no security or
checks or balances" for protecting the data.
"I hope this administration would send an alert out to all of its
agencies to take serious look at how they are handling all of its
data," Craig said in telephone interview.
The government is setting up a toll-free number, 1-800-333-4636,
for veterans to call if they notice anything suspicious, as well as
putting information on a government Web site, www.firstgov.gov, he
Dec 6, 2005 The new December Newsletter is on line
A bill is being introduced in the House of
Representatives for the "Veterans' Right to Know Act" Commission. The
hyperlink below will take you to the site where you can read it for
Thanks to Jerry Cooke for being proactive and forwarding this
information to us.
The following letter is from John Sarantakes, originally with B
Thoughts on the 15th Field Artillery Regiment’s Sixth Reunion.
I attended the sixth
reunion of the 15th Field Artillery Regiment in Cleveland,
from 18 - 20 August. 52
former members of the Regiment attended, two from 6/15 FA and 50 from
7/15 FA, along with 26 wives.
Folks traveled from 21
states; the furthest coming from Washington, California and Florida.
Other states represented included AL, OH, TX, WI, NY, IL, VA, GA, OK,
NE, MI, KS, PA, AR, IN, NC, KY, and MN.
While the numbers might
suggest that the reunion was only for veterans of the 7th Bn,
that was not the case. Let me explain. When you look at the Regimental
web page, at
www.landscaper.net , you will see that the Regiment was / is made up
of several battalions. At one time there were eight battalions, today
only two remain active: the 1/15 FA (155 SP) in Korea and the 2/15 FA
(105 T) at Fort Drum, NY. Two battalions, the 6/15 FA (105 T) and 7/15
FA (8”/175 SP), served in Vietnam. One member of C Battery, 6/15 FA was
awarded the Medal of Honor, (Posthumously).
In 1990, several former
members of 7/15 FA got together to share experiences and reminiscences.
Since then, they have held reunions every two or three years at various
locations. Even though the reunions have been open to any Regimental
veteran, usually only members of 7/15 FA attended. This year two members
of the 6/15 FA attended … 1SG (ret) Mike Howell (Service Battery Supply
– 1968-1969) and myself (B Btry – 1969).
The reunions have been
held in Pittsburg, PA, Clarksville, TN, Louisville, KY, Fort Sill, OK,
Fayetteville, NC and this last one in Cleveland, OH. Photographs and
descriptions of the reunions can be found on the Regimental web page at
www.landscaper.net/reunions.htm. Photographs of the Cleveland
reunion may not be posted for several weeks. The Cleveland reunion was
originally scheduled to be held at Fort Drum sponsored by the 2/15th
FA. The battalion, however, was alerted and sent to Iraq so Cleveland
was chosen as an alternative location. The “15th FA
Regimental Headquarters” is located at Fort Drum within the headquarters
building of the 2/15th FA. There are two 105 mm Howitzers on
display in front of the building: one is stenciled “6/15th
FA” with the name “Pinky” (the nickname of 2Lt Durham – the Medal of
Honor awardee from C Battery) on the tube while the other is stenciled
“7/15th FA. The building was dedicated as Durham Hall several
years ago and contains numerous memorabilia from the Regiment.
If you have never attended
a reunion let me fill you in on my experiences:
Travel: I chose to
fly to Cleveland from Kansas City. Had my wife attended I probably would
have driven. I booked my flight several months in advance and it cost me
$140. Everyone stayed at the same hotel at special rates and the three
nights stay including tax was $220. The registration fee was $90, which
included Friday morning continental breakfast, buffet dinner on Friday
evening, dinner at the banquet on Saturday evening, bus transportation
on our tour to downtown Cleveland, two hospitality rooms and all of the
snacks and drinks (beer, wine and soft drinks) available every day and
night. We gathered and talked in the hospitality rooms where we looked
at scrap books and photo albums and just plain reminisced with folks we
had not seen in over thirty years.
Comradeship: I was
a little apprehensive at first since I knew only one person at the
reunion …. Mike Howell from Service Battery, 6/15th whom I
had only met a few weeks before the reunion …. turns out we live in the
same town! I should have not been concerned... from the moment I walked
into the hospitality room to register, I was “one of the boys”. I can’t
tell you how many times someone came up to me and introduced themselves
and we began talking about the “old days”. Different batteries and
battalions, different times and different ways of doing things, but we
all shared many of the same experiences. Everyone was friendly and had
stories to tell and many had attended several of the previous reunions.
The regimental historian brought his many books of the regiments history
(even included a book on 6/15th) for everyone to look
through. And it seems as though most of the vets brought their personal
photo albums with pictures of their days in the Army to include Vietnam.
I took mine as did Mike. Incidentally, you can find many of our
photographs of Vietnam on the web site. I think that there are more
pictures of the 6/15th FA posted than those of the 7/15th
FA. Just click on the appropriate battalion and take a look.
Our first day was devoted to registration, meeting folks and
getting acquainted. The second day started with a continental
breakfast before we boarded the bus for our ride into downtown
Cleveland. We had the opportunity to tour the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame, the USS Cod, a WW II attack submarine, a 1920’s ore carrying ship,
the SS Mather, and the Great Lakes Science Museum. All of these venues
were within walking distance of each other and were on the shore of Lake
Erie. After a quick lunch, most of us took a two hour boat cruise. That
evening we held a memorial service for the members of all battalions who
had died defending their country in all wars. Mike and I read the names
of the fallen members of the 6/15th FA. After our buffet
dinner we participated in raffles and an auction of items donated by
members. On the third day we held our business meeting in the
morning where we discussed membership, finances, a proposal to become a
“formal” organization and the location for the next reunion. After the
meeting pictures were taken of the attendees for the web site, the
history books and our personal photo albums. Then we were free until the
awards banquet that evening. After dinner, awards were presented to
several organization officers who had devoted much of their time to the
organization. Of course, the hospitality room was open after dinner and
many adjourned there to relax, talk, have a snack or a drink and look at
the history books and picture albums. Amazing how much younger, handsome
and debonair we all looked in those days!
final morning was devoted to saying goodbyes and hitting the road for
the interstate or the airport. Some folks tied the reunion in with
further travels to visit friends or relatives, while for others, this
was their vacation.
Next Reunion: The
location for the next reunion has not been set yet. A committee was
established to look at several proposed locations, ranging from Nebraska
to Fort Leavenworth, KS to Branson, MO and a decision will be made
within a few months. If any of you have any suggestions or comments on
future locations, sound off to Mike Howell or myself.
I enjoyed myself at the
Cleveland reunion and, if I didn’t know anyone when I walked in, I
certainly knew a lot of folks when I walked out. Many of those
friendships will last a life time. Regular Army or draftee or volunteer,
we all went through a defining time in our lives and history while we
were in Vietnam whether we liked it or not. Reunions are not a place to
glorify wars but to grasp, renew, honor and hold on to the friendships
we developed during that time. It’s been thirty six years since I was in
Vietnam, probably about the same for most of you and none of us are
getting any younger. I am sure that we have already lost some of our
friends from the past and that will, unfortunately, continue as time
I would encourage you all
to think seriously about attending the next reunion wherever it is held
so that we can relive those friendships and experiences before we lose
As some of you know,
Gaither Kitchell and I are researching the history of our battalion and
batteries. Dick Brown is providing yeoman work in trying to locate
“lost” members and Mike Howell has volunteered to help anyway he can and
is pursuing the possibility of setting up the Fort Leavenworth/Kansas
City area for the next reunion. You can help us in several ways.
First, look in your garage
or storage areas for any old letters, rosters, orders or pictures from
your Fort Sill or Vietnam days. Send copies to Gaither or myself. We
will forward the pictures to the Regimental webmaster for inclusion in
our battalion’s “rogue’s gallery”. Please be sure to write what you
remember of the event on the back of the pictures. If nothing else your
name, your job, battery, and the year will work. Even if don’t have
anything from the past, send us an e-mail or call us so that we can
get-together and talk.
Second, if you know the
whereabouts of any of your friends from those days contact them and ask
them to get in touch with us.
And third, start thinking
today about attending the reunion in two years wherever it may be held.
The cost of attending is not great and can be tied in with a vacation.
We do need to meet again to talk and renew friendships before we are too
old to recall the past.
Thanks for taking the time
to read this memo, I hope that it provided you with the information you
need to help us in our research and that you will seriously start
planning to join us at the next reunion.
passing of a comrade in arms due to dioxins acquired in the line of duty
in Viet Nam.
Don Trent: Who
served on the Guns in C Btry from Jan 1969 to Jan 1970.
Don was operated on for Pancreatic Cancer on Tuesday and died on
Friday, 19 August. His wife, Patricia, said it was
Agent Orange Related and hopes all of the guys will get checked for
Agent Orange. The wake is Wednesday, 24 August from 4 to 8 PM and the
Funeral Service is Thursday at 10 AM. The viewing
and funeral will be at:
Glenn E George & Son Funeral Home
437 Amos Road
A recommended florist is “Drake’s” right there in Shelbyville
and you can call them at 317-398-8155.
For those wishing to send a Condolence Card, Pat
Trent’s address is as follows:
638 Hoover Street
May the Good Lord bless his soul!
Thanks and “ALLONS”
Subject: I Corps reunion
guys are welcome to attend our reunion – I Corps Artillery
We are holding it November 10 – 13, 2005
In Branson at the Westwood Inn
You can contact me
for further information at
Its also at our web
New Web Page: Vietnam Revisited - One of
our members, David Gunn revisited Vietnam in February of this year.
Returning to where most of us spent a year of our lives. He has written
a narrative to go along with his photos. Please join me in thanking
David for his contribution to the 15th's Website for all to enjoy.
Click on the picture above to visit the Website.
Col. Norm Barnes Arlinigton Funeral Announcment 12/19/04
Information on VA Diabetes
Ship: Gen. Nelson M. Walker 11/28/04
Vietnam Veteran helping
returning injured soldiers!
Col. Norman L. Barnes
(Ret) 1928 - 2004
Korean War MIA
remains found in North Korea 10/8/04
First ever National
Welcome Home to Vietnam Vets 10/6/04
News Release 7/28/04
New 15th Webmaster!
Reunion 2005 Dates & Location Changed
Combat Artillery Badge
Military Phone Card Donation Program Goes Public
M107 in Vietnam War Museum at Hue
Brudno Added to Vietnam Veterans Memorial
An Open Letter to the 2-15th Field Artillery Regiment
Send a 'Welcome Home' to the 2/15th FA
DoD Announces Korean Defense Service Medal
URGENT! Assistant Hosts Wanted for Reunion 2005
Korea DMZ Vets and Agent Orange
The American Soldier named TIME Person of the Year
Soldiers Honored at Fort Sill
15th Commanders web page
HELP WANTED From those who served in the 6/15th FA 1966-1970
SHAD Vets Could Get VA Care
Artillerymen Killed in Iraq
Who fired the first round in Vietnam?
ATTENTION 7/15th FIELD ARTILLERY VETS!
U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Vietnam Veterans' Right to Sue for Injuries Caused by Agent Orange
New Agent Orange and Dioxin Study
Request Military Personnel Records Online
Museum in Australia
Combat Artillery Medal
Gulf War Syndrome Defined
Col. Norm Barnes Arlington Funeral Announcement 12/19/04
Just in case you haven't received all the information regarding
funeral at Arlington, here is the info you'll need. It is on
27th at 11:00. Arlington requires everyone to be there by 10:30. At
station, tell them you are going to a funeral. The guard will direct
to the Administration Center where we will all meet. We will be
luncheon afterwards at the Holiday Inn Rosslyn at Key Bridge which
couple of miles away from the cemetery. We'll have directions for
the funeral. We hope you will be able to attend both the funeral and
|Information on VA Diabetes
This VA info is
appicable primarily for diabetes. It originated from a former SF
Vietnam vet who is also a lawyer. But its good info for everyone.
Hard Charger-Sir! Dan Gillotti
Pass it on please! And
Merry Christmas to all!
easiest way is to have 1 disease or disability that is rated at
100%. With diabetes for instance you have to almost be confined to
the hospital on a monthly basis. Since the chances are that you're
not locked up you must know how the system works.
1) Don't believe anything that a service officer from Am. Legion,
DAV, or any other service organization tells you!
2) Get the regulations read and understand them. It is necessary to
go the Code of Federal Regulations at
then click on CFR Home Page, then click on
Search or browse your choice of CFR titles and/or volumes
(current and/or historical data), then go to Title 38 and click on
July 1, 2004, then click on parts 1-17, you are now into
the information you need to get your disability, the correct rating,
and everything else you could hope for.
3) There are a lot of Sections and Chapters within the Sections. You
can learn a lot just by opening each of these sections to find out
what is applicable to you. The primary Section you are interested in
is Section 4.
Schedule for rating disabilities.
4) There are a number of things you need to know which can all be
a. What does it take to get each rating, for instance for diabetes:
7913 Diabetes mellitus
Requiring more than one daily injection of
insulin, restricted 100
diet, and regulation of activities (avoidance
occupational and recreational activities)
with episodes of
ketoacidosis or hypoglycemic reactions
requiring at least
three hospitalizations per year or weekly
visits to a
diabetic care provider, plus either
progressive loss of
weight and strength or complications that
compensable if separately
Requiring insulin, restricted diet, and
regulation of 60
activities with episodes of ketoacidosis or
reactions requiring one or two
hospitalizations per year or
twice a month visits to a diabetic care
complications that would not be compensable
Requiring insulin, restricted diet, and
regulation of 40
Requiring insulin and restricted diet, or;
oral hypoglycemic 20
agent and restricted
Manageable by restricted diet
Note (1): Evaluate compensable complications
separately unless they are part of the
criteria used to
support a 100 percent evaluation.
complications are considered part of the
under diagnostic code 7913.
b. Find the schedule for each of the conditions you may have and
know them inside and out.
5) If you are asked to describe your symptoms for a disease or an
injury read them back the exact requirements of the rating. Do not
tell them things that are not part of the rating. If you have
neuropathy know exactly where the tingling is and where it isn't. If
it includes the bottom of the foot where does it stop!
6) If you are asked to have your doctor write a letter describing
your disability (even a VA doctor) give them a copy of the rating
chart and specifically instruct them what to write. Just because
they are doctors doesn't mean they can write for a disability
7) Make sure if you have secondary problems relating to the disease
or injury that they are kept separate and rated separately. There
are a number of associated disease related to Diabetes, if you have
one or more make sure that you get the rating or ratings separately.
8) If you have something wrong with say each leg – peripheral
neuropathy bilaterally, then you are entitled to an additional 10%
for the Bilateral Factor. But you wouldn't know that you are
entitled if you hadn't read the CFR.
9) If you have 5 separate disabilities of 40% or more, the VA will
give you a 100% rating.
Let me finish by saying never give up! You can challenge them
on everything they give you from the level of the rating to the
start date of the payment of the disability. If you find a rating
officer that will work with you (there are some) you can get the
100%. If you leave it to a service officer at the VA or in one of
the groups that are supposed to help, you are lost. THEY DON'T CARE
ABOUT YOU!!! They only know they have a job to do and like so many
people in social work there are too many people that have needs that
eat up all the social worker’s time. If you want to get through the
system YOU HAVE TO DO IT YOURSELF. I spent more than 25 years
fighting the bastards. I have been to the appeals board in 86, 88
and again in 99. I haven't quit yet, if I can get the VA agree that
my 100% disability is based on the 5 40% ratings that I have which I
think I can then those other disabilities that are not included in
the 100% can go to complete a 60% separate set of disabilities then
I am entitled to additional monies. They couldn't understand why I
wanted to get additional disabilities increased when it wouldn't
increase my 100%, they obviously didn't read the regs.
Ship: Gen. Nelson M. Walker
An Art Beltrone
contacted me via phone a few days ago and sent info via the po.
There’s info on the Internet also.
Art mentioned that the ship that the 7/15th
FA went to Nam on is being scraped via a recent contract. Prior to
being scraped, the ship was used in the movie “The Thin Red Line”,
and Art & his brother were allowed to board the ship for viewing,
photos, taking memorabilia.
On the phone Art
mentioned lots of graffiti left near the bunks. One of those is
“Going to Nam June 9, 1967 to settle things down and make sure
“Charlie” is turned upside down”.
I spoke to Mike Donley,
he said two FA units and an aviation unit were aboard for that trip,
some boarding several days prior to leaving the harbor. I checked
the Internet and it appears the 7/8th FA was the other
unit as per Gary Harrington’s website. I can’t find the aviation
Art & his brother have
released info on a book via Howell Press “Vietnam Graffiti: Messages
from a Forgotten Troopship”. By Art & Lee Beltrone.
Art’s letter mentions
that Ross Howell will send postpaid to any member ordering, I will
order one copy for our history files.
Press 1125 Stoney Ridge Road Suite A, Charlottesville VA 22902
1-434-977-4006 fax: 1-434-971-7204
http://www.howellpress.com Ross Howell:
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2004 – It happened to Steve Cobb during his
first tour in
Vietnam with the 11th Light Infantry Brigade. He was wounded in
combat - four
"I got four Purple Hearts my first tour and zero my second," Cobb
finally learned to duck."
While learning to duck may have been an extremely valuable lesson,
compare to what being combat wounded taught him. That is what he
draws on when
he meets the wounded servicemembers who arrive at Andrews Air Force
Iraq or Afghanistan three times a week.
It is that experience that gives him credibility when he meets one
servicemembers, as he's been doing since April. It is also that
helps him put what has happened to that servicemember into
"The bond and understanding is instant, it is deep, and it's
said, "because they recognize I've been through the same thing that
"It's hard to describe to someone who hasn't experienced all the
trauma and the
shock and the pain and the inconvenience of evacuation," he
really hard to understand what that person feels deep inside. But
been there and gone through that, you have that understanding and
is so instant."
Cobb, currently the commander and adjutant of the Military Order of
Heart Chapter 353, Greater Washington Area, doesn't meet planes at 1
the glory. His motivation is the reception he received when he
"When I came home there was nobody but demonstrators to meet the
troops. And I
just never wanted to see another generation of troops come home
welcomed (and) appreciated," Cobb said.
Cobb and his wife, Tanya, try to meet each servicemember at Andrews
whatever help is within their scope. Usually that includes easing
and maybe even eliciting a laugh or two to put things in
perspective. But the
duo's main focus is to make sure nobody leaves empty-handed.
MOPH supports combat wounded veterans of all wars. When that status
determined regarding a particular servicemember, they receive a
prepared packet of information. That packet includes information on
treatment and contact information in case there are any questions or
It also contains some "morale boosting" items, including a miniature
Heart medal, a history of the medal, a phone card, a sheet of Purple
postage stamps and a welcome-home letter. Also included is a year's
membership with any MOPH chapter.
Non-combat-injured veterans aren't left out. They receive
from the Veterans of Foreign Wars that include a benefits brochure,
officer card and a year's free VFW membership.
"The philosophy behind that is, if I walk into a room with six
three are battle injuries and three are non-battle injuries, no
patient is ever
left empty-handed," Cobb said. "It's a huge morale factor and they
While the packets provide an icebreaker, getting the servicemembers
to focus on
the future and not dwell on the past becomes the order of the day.
weapon of choice for that pursuit is usually humor. And "Wednesday
doughnuts" don't hurt anything either, Cobb said. Occasionally,
races have to be refereed after the doughnuts are gone, he said.
Those who get the packets at Andrews represent about 80 percent of
servicemembers coming in, he said. The other 20 percent of the
critical enough to be taken from the flight line at Andrews directly
Reed Army Medical Center or the National Naval medical Center in
where the Cobbs follow up to make sure the servicemembers receive a
welcome home, including one of the two packets.
It's through these follow-up visits that Cobb learns what the
hospitals need by
way of personal items for the servicemembers. He said the staff is
to voice those needs unless asked directly, but when he broaches the
there are always needs. The biggest, he said, is usually breakaway
He said he and his wife will continue to meet the wounded
into Andrews with information and their own special brand of thanks,
understanding and appreciation.
Military Order of the Purple
Col. Norman L. Barnes
(Ret) 1928 - 2004
COL (R) Norman L. Barnes
1928 - 2004
Colonel Norman L.
Barnes passed away on 11 November 2004. He served as the Bn XO for the 7th
Bn, 15th FA in 1966-67 and worked diligently to get the
Battalion and all of its equipment prepared for shipment to Vietnam. This
was a tremendous task considering the condition of our vehicles and
equipment, but he managed to make it happened. He was the right man for
the right job at the right time. Shortly after our arrival in Vietnam our
Bn CO, LTC (later BG) Robert B. Hankins had to return on Leave to the
states because of the deaths of his parents. In his absence of about a
month MAJ (later COL) Norm Barnes became our Bn CO until LTC Hankins
returned. Shortly after this Norm was promoted to LTC and he left the
Battalion to become the 41st Arty Group XO at Camp Fidel (Phu
Cat). Later, in 1978 COL Norm Barnes was my boss at Ft Sill until his
retirement in 1979.
From my perspective he was an honest, sincere, intelligent, brave, and
fair-minded soldier who became a good friend. And most importantly he was
a compassionate human being with a heart of gold. I would like to share
this story with you. Norm was appointed as the Commander of all of the
Troops on the ship when we deployed to Vietnam in June of 1967 aboard the
USNS General Walker. About 10 days into the trip two of the men in my
Battalion Fire Direction Section went on-deck with their towels and
wearing only a pair of shorts. It was an overcast day and they thought it
would be safe to take a nap. They laid down on the deck and fell asleep
for about an hour, woke up, rolled over and went to sleep again for
another hour or more. Needless to say, they had gotten severely sunburned
on both sides of their bodies. They were in a lot of pain and went to the
Sickbay for treatment. This incident had to be reported to Norm as the
Commander of Troops. Someone in the Sickbay felt these two men may have
been trying to avoid going into the Combat Zone.
Norm did what he
was suppose to do and looked into Military Justice charges. There is a
chapter in the Uniform Code of Military Justice that reads something like
“Purposely incapacitating ones self so as to avoid combat” or words to
that affect. I went to his cabin and requested to speak to him about my
men and the charges. He gave me the opportunity to speak and I explained
that I knew these two men very well. I told him they were certainly
guilty of being stupid but they weren’t guilty of being cowards. I also
told him that I needed these men when we got to Vietnam as they were an
integral part of our Battalion Fire Direction Section. He thought about
it for a few minutes and offered me a deal I couldn’t refuse.
He said, “Sergeant Gillotti, if those two
knuckleheads can get off of this ship wearing all of their combat gear,
flack jackets and carrying their own weapons and baggage when we get to
Vietnam I won’t Courts Martial them.” By the time we arrived in Vietnam
their blisters were the size of small pancakes all over their bodies and
they were in a great deal of pain. But they did manage to get themselves
and their gear off of that ship and onto shore. Eventually their blisters
healed and they served their 12-month tours honorably in Vietnam and the
whole incident was never brought up again.
Norm was a man of enormous integrity and
personal convictions. I was a much better soldier for having known him.
He kept his word and I will forever have the utmost respect for him. May
he now Rest in Peace with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Remains of American MIA's Found in North Korea
October 8, 2004 DoD News Release
Remains believed to be those of American soldiers missing in action
from the Korean War have been recovered by two teams of United States
specialists and will be repatriated to U.S. control at Yongsan
Military Compound in Seoul on Oct. 15.
precise number will be determined in follow-on forensic examinations.
marks the fifth and final remains recovery operation in North Korea
1996, 32 joint operations have been conducted in North Korea, during
which remains believed to be those of more than 200 soldiers have been
recovered. Of the 88,000 U.S. service members missing in action from
all conflicts, more than 8,100 are from the Korean War.
remains recovery work resulted from negotiations with North Korea led
by the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office. The remains are to be
repatriated overland across the demilitarized zone, as was done for
the first four recovery operations in 2004.
Specialists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) comprised
the 27-man U.S. element of the recovery teams. The first team
operated near the Chosin Reservoir where the 1st
Marine Division and the Army’s 7th
Infantry Division fought Chinese forces November-December 1950.
Approximately 1,000 Americans are missing in action from the Chosin
second team recovered remains in Unsan County about 60 miles north of
Pyongyang. This area was the site of battles between communist forces
and the U.S. Army’s 1st
Cavalry and 25th Infantry
divisions in November 1950.
remains will be flown to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, where the
forensic identification process will take place in the JPAC
additional information about POW/MIA recoveries, visit
http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo, or call the Defense POW/Missing
Personnel Office at (703) 699-1169.
Consultations Conclude in Cambodia
The four nations involved in
accounting for Americans missing in action from the Vietnam War closed
their meeting Friday in Siem Reap, Cambodia, agreeing to intensify
cooperation on losses in border areas.
The 2004 Consultations were hosted
by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs
Jerry D. Jennings. Senior leaders from the United States, Cambodia, Laos
and Vietnam gathered to forge a common vision, share experiences and set a
course for the future.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen
opened the meeting challenging the conference participants to find new
ways to cooperate on the POW/MIA issue “for the sake of humanity.” He
said it was “…important to enhance cooperation and integration of efforts
between the United States, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia as so many of the
missing were lost in border areas.”
Last year’s gathering in Bangkok,
was the first time the four nations had come together to hold such a
meeting since the end of the war in 1975. The United States also
continues to work with each of the countries individually to investigate
MIA cases and excavate loss sites in an effort to recover, identify and
return to the families in the United States the remains of missing
Expressing gratitude for the
assistance the United States has received from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam,
Jennings said, “Without your cooperation, this mission could not
continue. We know that and the families and veterans know that.”
At the conclusion of the two-day
session, the delegates agreed to reactivate senior-level trilateral
discussions on cases in the border areas, where the United States will
join either Vietnam and Laos, or Vietnam and Cambodia to mount a
three-nation, or trilateral, effort for case resolution.
Additionally, the delegates
established new mechanisms at the expert level to coordinate efforts on
these cases. Special emphasis will be placed on the United States
government’s highest priority cases, those involving servicemen last known
to be alive (LKA) at the time of their incident of loss.
Resolving the LKA cases and
improving trilateral investigations in the border areas are two tasks
President Bush has identified as key to success in accounting for missing
United States personnel. The multilateral consultations follow recent
bilateral breakthroughs that also reflect President Bush’s push for
greater cooperation. These include agreements between the United States
and Vietnam, and the United States and Laos on initiatives to improve
access to each country’s archival holdings, along with renewed access for
investigations and recoveries in previously denied areas of the Central
Highlands in Vietnam.
Since the end of the war, the
United States has accounted for more than 700 Americans from the Vietnam
War. More than 1,800 are unaccounted-for from the war. More than 88,000
are still missing from all conflicts.
Additional information on
POW/MIA accounting may be found on the DPMO web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo
or by calling (703) 699-1169.
POW/MIA Official Cities Breakthrough in Vietnam
U.S. POW/MIA accounting operations will soon
resume in the Central Highlands of Vietnam to account for missing
Americans lost during the Vietnam War. U.S. and Vietnamese technical
experts will meet in September in Pleiku, Vietnam, to review cases and
interview witnesses as an initial step.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for
POW/Missing Personnel Affairs Jerry D. Jennings met with Gia Lai Province
officials in Pleiku yesterday to discuss the return of American POW/MIA
investigators, whose access had been denied for three years due to local
unrest. Senior province officials agreed operations will resume and that
they should be conducted in the same manner as in the rest of the country.
"I am very pleased," Jennings said, "that
Vietnamese officials both at the provincial and central government levels
are again willing to allow us access to this sensitive region. This is a
very positive step."
Jennings has notified U.S. investigators to
resume contacts with officials in the Central Highlands in order to
schedule operations. Of the 1,855 Americans missing from the Vietnam War,
some 110 are thought to be in the Central Highlands area.
Achieving the fullest possible accounting of
missing Americans is of the highest national priority. Of the 88,000
missing from all conflicts, more than 125 are from the Cold War, 8,100 are
from the Korean War, and 78,000 are unaccounted-for from World War II.
Additional information on POW/MIA accounting
may be found on the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/
or by calling (703) 699-1169.
|Please welcome the new 15th
webmaster, Frank Baker. Frank served with the 7/15th in Vietnam and you
can see his photo gallery here.
With extensive computer experience, Frank brings a whole new set of
talents to the 15th website. Best wishes Frank!
|To amend title 10, United
States Code, to provide for the establishment of a combat artillery
badge to recognize combat service by members of the Army in the
artillery branch. (Introduced in House)
HR 3950 IH
H. R. 3950
To amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for the establishment
of a combat artillery badge to recognize combat service by members of
the Army in the artillery branch.
IN THE HOUSE OF
March 11, 2004
Mr. GREEN of Wisconsin (for
himself, Mr. BALLENGER, Mr. BRADLEY of New Hampshire, Mr. EVANS, Mr.
LIPINSKI, and Mr. ROHRABACHER) introduced the following bill; which was
referred to the Committee on Armed Services
To amend title 10, United States Code, to provide for the establishment
of a combat artillery badge to recognize combat service by members of
the Army in the artillery branch.
Be it enacted by the Senate
and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress
SECTION 1. FINDINGS.
Congress makes the following
(1) The field artillery is
one of the oldest and most celebrated of the Army's combat arms.
(2) The field artillery was critical to American success in the `War
to end all Wars,' World War I.
(3) The field artillery also proved to be a decisive factor during
World War II, helping the United States achieve victories in Europe,
Africa, and the Pacific. General George S. Patton Jr. remarked, `I
do not need to tell you who won the war. You know the artillery
(4) The field artillery continued to play a role in military actions
in Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf and it remains critical to
today's military efforts.
(5) Despite the past heroic efforts of the members of the Army who
served in the field artillery, there is no badge specifically
recognizing the contribution of field artillerymen.
SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF
COMBAT ARTILLERY BADGE.
(a) In General- Chapter 357 of
title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the
following new section:
Sec. 3757. Combat artillery
(a) The Secretary of the Army
shall issue a combat artillery badge to each person who, while a
member of the Army in the artillery branch, participated in combat
after April 5, 1917. Criteria for the issuance of the medal shall be
established by the Secretary and shall be as similar as practicable
for the issuance of the combat infantry badge to persons in the
(b) In the case of persons who, while a member of the Army in the
artillery branch, participated in combat after April 5, 1917, and
before the date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary shall
issue the badge described in subsection (a)--
(2) to each such person with
respect to whom an application for the issuance of such badge is
made to the Secretary after such date in such manner, and within
such time period, as the Secretary may require.
(b) Clerical Amendment- The
table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by
adding at the end the following new item:
3757. Combat artillery badge.
Phone Card Donation Program Goes Public
|April 23, 2004 - The Department of Defense
announced today that any American can now help troops in contingency
operations call home. The Defense Department has authorized the Armed
Services Exchanges to sell prepaid calling cards to any individual or
organization that wishes to purchase cards for troops who are deployed.
The “Help Our Troops Call Home” program is designed to help
servicemembers call home from Operations Iraqi Freedom and Operation
For those wishing to donate a prepaid
calling card to a military member may log on to any of the three Armed
Services Exchange web sites: the Army and Air Force Exchange Service http://www.aafes.com
the Navy Exchange Service Command http://www.navy-nex.com
and the Marine Corps Exchange http://www.usmc-mccs.org.
Click the “Help Our Troops Call Home” link. From there, a prepaid
calling card may be purchased for an individual at his or her deployed
address or to “any service member” deployed or hospitalized. The
Armed Services Exchanges will distribute cards donated to “any service
member” through the American Red Cross, Air Force Aid Society and the
Fisher House Foundation.
The Armed Services Exchanges operate
telephone call centers in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and other countries
and aboard ships -- anywhere servicemembers are deployed in support of
Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. All of these
locations stay busy around the clock to keep up communication between
deployed troops and their loved ones. The cards available through the
“Help Our Troops Call Home” program offer the best value for calls
made from the call centers, never expire, and there are no added charges
or connection fees.
Individuals and organizations also can
show their support to deployed troops and their families with gift
certificates. The “Gift of Groceries” program allows anyone to
purchase commissary gift certificates at http://www.commissaries.com
or by calling toll free 1 (877) 770-GIFT. The Armed Services Exchanges
offer the “Gift From the Homefront” gift certificate for merchandise
at these exchange web sites: http://www.aafes.com
and http://www.navy-nex.com or by
calling toll free 1 (877) 770-GIFT. Gift certificates may be purchased
to be mailed to servicemembers and family members or will be distributed
to “any servicemember.” Only authorized commissary and exchange
patrons may redeem the gift certificates at military commissaries and
exchanges, including those stores supporting deployed personnel around
in Vietnam War Museum at Hue
|In March 2004, Martin Naprstek of Prague,
visited the war museum in Hue, Vietnam and photographed the 175mm gun
that is on display there. Martin was kind enough to send his photos for
display on the 15th website.
E. Alan Brudno Added
to Vietnam Veterans Memorial
|2 April 2004 - The Department of Defense
announced today that it has informed family members of U.S. Air Force
Captain E. Alan Brudno that his name will be added to the Vietnam
Veterans Memorial. His name will be inscribed on the Memorial Wall and
recognized during the Memorial Day ceremony at “The Wall.”
On Oct. 18, 1965, while flying a combat mission over North Vietnam,
Brudno was forced to eject from his aircraft. He was held as a prisoner
of war for seven and a half years during the war period. Brudno was
repatriated in February 1974. He died of his wounds when he took his
life, on June 3, 1974, less than four months later.
In a March 31 letter to the Department of the Interior, the Director
for Administration and Management, Office of the Secretary of Defense,
Raymond F. DuBois, conveyed the decision of the Defense Department to
accept the recommendation of the Air Force to add Brudno’s name to the
Memorial Wall. The Brudno case, while highly unusual because it involves
the suicide of a repatriated Vietnam prisoner of war, falls squarely
within the existing, longstanding defined criterion for Wall inclusion:
"Died as a result of wounds sustained in the combat zone." For
seven and a half years Brudno endured long-term, severe physical and
psychological abuse and torture-related wounds inflicted by the enemy in
the defined combat zone - and from the devastating effects of these
wounds he succumbed within a short time after his release from
While this case stands on the particular merits flowing from its
unique circumstances, the decision must not be misunderstood to include,
broadly, cases involving more attenuated circumstances that may have led
to post-war suicides, or those post-war deaths more distantly based on
cases of war-related psychological trauma.
March 19, at approximately 1800 hours (6pm), God saw that Carol Donley
was getting tired, and saw a cure was not in sight so he picked her up
and said daughter you have suffered enough. She now has joined some of
our comrades that left us during the Vietnam conflict and some later
If you have
attended the 7-15th reunion, you would always see Carol along side her
Mike, there is
very little we can do to comfort a person when their loved one is taken
away. However, Mike we love you in a special way and we will always be
with you in our prayers.
Our love -
Luis and Virginia Cantu
7-15th Newsletter Editors
Open Letter to the 2-15th Field Artillery Regiment
9343 West Capitol Drive
Milwaukee, WI. 53222-1534
David E. Holdorf
9343 W. Capitol Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53222
14 February 2004
LTC U.S. Army
Cmdr. 2/15th FA Regt.
Dear LTC Albaneze,
respect and admiration the 7/15th FA Association wishes to extend a “Welcome
Home” to the 2/15th FA TOC Team Troops returning from Northern
who honorably served their country deserve the respect and a huge “Thank
You” from all Americans.
Our Best Wishes
to all and the Families of the returnees, may your homecoming be
We look forward
to our association's 6th Reunion at Ft. Drum in 2005 and hopefully
meeting some of the soldiers serving there.
You will always
have our support. Freedom is Not Free!
Dave Holdorf, Group Leader
7/15th FA Association, Vietnam
July 1967 - November 1971
a 'Welcome Home' to the 2/15th FA
February 9, 2004 - Dan Gillotti, our 15th Historian, has
the following request for welcoming home our 2nd Battalion troops from
SW Asia next week:
I'm requesting that you please send a simple "Welcome Home and
Thank You for your Honorable Service to our Country" card or
letter. You can simply say Thank You, sign it (list your military unit
and dates/places of service if you are a veteran).
The S-1 Officer from 2nd Battalion, CPT Ben Croom said he would
gladly receive the letters or cards and make sure all the guys see
consider asking some schools and churches in your area to join in our
welcome. Here's the mailing address for all Welcome Home cards and letters:
2-15th FAR TOC Welcome Home
ATTN: S-1, CPT Croom
10510 South Riva Ridge Loop
Fort Drum, NY 13612
- February 14, 2004
Dan Gillotti's request for Welcome Home cards, the students at Pleasant
Valley Elementary School in McMurray, Pennsylvania got busy!
Thanks the efforts of PTA member Gail Schlafman, two kindergarten
classes and two third grade class created over 75 custom greetings for
the returning soldiers of the 2-15 FAR. Thanks kids!
Announces Korean Defense Service Medal
2004 - The Defense Department announced today the creation of the Korean
Defense Service Medal (KDSM). The KDSM is a service medal to give
special recognition for the sacrifices and contributions made by members
of the U.S. armed forces who have served or are serving in the Republic
107-314 legislated the creation of a new medal to recognize military
service in the Republic of Korea and the surrounding waters.
the armed forces authorized the KDSM must have served in support of the
defense of the Republic of Korea. The area of eligibility encompasses
all land area of the Republic of Korea, and the contiguous water out to
12 nautical miles, and all air spaces above the land and water areas.
period of eligibility is July 28, 1954, to a future date to be
determined by the secretary of defense.
must have been assigned, attached, or mobilized to units operating in
the area of eligibility and have been physically deployed in the area of
eligibility for 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days or meet one of
the following criteria:
· Be engaged
in actual combat during an armed engagement, regardless of the time in
the area of eligibility.
· Is wounded
or injured in the line of duty and requires medical evacuation from the
area of eligibility.
participating as a regularly assigned air crewmember flying sorties
into, out of, within, or over the area of eligibility in support of
military operations. Each day that one or more sorties are flown in
accordance with these criteria shall count as one day toward the 30 or
who serve in operations and exercises conducted in the area of
eligibility are considered eligible for the award as long as the basic
time criteria is met. Due to the extensive time period for KDSM
eligibility, the nonconsecutive service period for eligibility remains
cumulative throughout the entire period.
The KDSM may
be awarded posthumously, and only one award of the KDSM is authorized
for any individual.
department will prescribe appropriate regulations for administrative
processing, awarding and wearing of the KDSM and ribbon for their
servicemembers, to include application procedures for veterans,
retirees, and next-of-kin.
40,000 members of the U.S. armed forces have served in the Republic of
Korea or the waters adjacent thereto each year since the signing of the
cease-fire agreement in July 1953, which established the Demilitarized
Zone. For more than 50 years, U.S. Armed Forces’ efforts to deter and
defend the Korean Peninsula have helped maintain democracy and preserve
the indomitable spirit of freedom.
for Reunion 2005
Reunion Hosts Wanted for 15th FA Reunion
15th FA Organization needs to find volunteer hosts/hostesses for Reunion
2005 ASAP. The
reunion will take place at Fort Drum, New York during mid-May 2005, covering a 4-Day weekend
-- Thursday thru Sunday. The daily schedule will be similar to that of our
in the past, it’s been a real plus to have a Vet near the action for needed
face-to-face contacts. The 2/15th FA is an active unit at the fort, and we
will receive some assistance from them. That alone, should help
make a volunteer's job that much easier.
requirements of a host are: Good Commo skills, a home computer and
e-mail service. Input is also needed on local hotel, banquet and dining
facilities in the Watertown / Ft Drum area.
main-players will support your efforts. Most of the work is the
pre-planning. When the reunion starts, a few of the main-players show up a day early to help
with last-minute set-ups. Once the leaders are there, hosting has always
become a coordinated effort with main-players and the
reply ASAP so we can continue the planning. Feel free to ask questions!
Dave Holdorf, 7/15th FA Assoc. Grp. Leader email@example.com
DMZ Vets and Agent Orange
January 2004 VFW Magazine
Compiled by Ted Sypko
The Pentagon has confirmed that Agent Orange was used from April 1968 through
July 1969 to defoliate the fields of fire between the front line defensive
positions and the south barrier fence. The size of the treated area was a strip
of land 151 miles long and up to 350 yards wide, from the fence to north of the
civilian control line. There is no indication that herbicides were sprayed
inside the DMZ itself.
and What is Eligible
- Service in country between April 1968 and July 1969.
- Assignment to a specified unit in Korea between April
1968 and July 1969.
- Medical evidence of presumptive condition under
38 C.F.R. 3.309
Units Eligible (April 1968 to July 1969)
of four combat brigades of the 2nd Infantry Division:
- 72nd Armor - 1st & 2nd Battalions
- 7th Cavalry - 4th Battalion
- 9th Infantry - 1st & 2nd Battalions
- 23rd Infantry - 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions
- 38th Infantry - 1st & 2nd Battalions
3rd Brigade, 7th Infantry Division:
- 73rd Armor - 1st Battalion
- 10th Cavalry - 2nd Battalion
- 17th Infantry - 1st & 2nd Battalions
- 32nd Infantry - 3rd Battalion
- Chloracne (must occur within one year of exposure
to Agent Orange).
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
- Soft tissue sarcoma (other than osteosarcoma,
chondrosarcoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, or mesthelioma).
- Hodgkin's disease.
- Porphyria cutanea tarda (must occure within one
year of exposure).
- Multiple myeloma.
- Respiratory cancers, including cancers of the lung,
larynx, trachea, and bronchus.
- Prostate cancer.
- Acute and subacute transient peripheral neuropathy
(must occur within one year of exposure and resolve
within two years of date of onset).
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
- Spina bifida (except spina bifida occulta) is a condition
recognized in children of some Korea DMZ vets.
Soldier named TIME Person of the Year
American Soldier was named TIME magazine's Person of the Year on Sunday, Dec. 21,
2003. TIME editors chose the nameless soldier to represent 1.4 million
men and women who make up active duty troops in the US military. The
issue goes on sale Monday, December 22nd. While attached to an artillery
platoon, two TIME
journalists were injured in a grenade attack. Their story is told in
"Portrait of a Platoon" appearing in the same issue.
Survey Platoon, also known as the 'Tomb Raiders,' is part of
Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment of
the 1st Armored Division, based in Giessen, Germany. Instead of using
the artillery survey skills for which they were trained, they have
been assigned a district of Baghdad to patrol in Humvees. Their
primary duties include searching for insurgents and weapons.
In recent months, TIME journalist Michael Weisskopf lost a hand to a
grenade while patrolling with the Tomb Raiders, and the platoon lost
2LT Ben Colgan to an IED (improvised explosive device). Casualty
records indicate more than 50 artillerymen have died in
Honored at Fort Sill
December 18, 2003
service and sacrifice of three soldiers who paid the ultimate price in Vietnam
was recognized with the dedication of two Fort Sill buildings Wednesday.
757 now becomes Townes Hall in honor of 1st Lt. Morton E. Townes Jr., who served
with the 1st Battalion, 30th Field Artillery, for four years and was killed in
an ambush in February 1967. His forward observer team was tasked to support a
South Vietnamese Special Forces mission during a raid conducted by the 101st
Airborne Division in the Lam Dong Province.
746 will be known as the Abrams-Snyder Hall in honor of Staff Sgt. Samuel Abrams
Jr. and Staff Sgt. George E. Snyder, who died defending Fire Support Base Becky
on Aug. 12, 1969. Both were howitzer section chiefs in Alpha Battery, 1st
Battalion, 30th Field Artillery.
buildings are stone structures once used as stables. Townes Hall is battalion
headquarters for 1st of the 30th, and Abrams-Snyder Hall is the headquarters for
all of its batteries, according to Lt. Col. Samuel White, battalion commander.
members helped pull the lanyards to whisk away the guidons covering the
nameplates over the doors. In a slightly later ceremony, members of the 30th
Field Artillery Regimental Association pulled another lanyard to reveal an
M114A1 howitzer that will now grace the front of Searby Hall, headquarters of
the 30th Field Artillery Regiment.
Townes’ widow, the memorial carried special meaning because at the time of her
husband’s death, the climate at home was such that survivors could not talk
about those who died in Vietnam without being ridiculed.
he can be recognized for the hero he was. He can be shared with his comrades he
went to (Officer Candidate School) with and he served in the military with …
but most important, he can be shared with his sons," Peggy Bristow said.
was a soldier through and through. In his heart, he always knew his destiny was
to serve his country, even if that meant dying for his country. Before we were
even married, we sat on the back step of the building where we went to college,
and he told me, ‘After I tell you what I have to say, you may want to leave
and never come back.’
he said he thought that his goal in life was to win the Medal of Honor, which
meant going to war. And my comment was, ‘People who win the Medal of Honor
die.’ And he said then that he was an Army brat, that if that happened to him,
he wanted to be buried in Arlington (National Cemetery) because some of his best
memories he had growing up were when his father was stationed in Fort Belvoir,
(Md.)," Bristow said.
who knew him knew that he did nothing halfway, and from the stories my sons were
able to hear last night I can understand why," she said.
Abrams said she did not know her father, but what she learned from the men who
served with him in Vietnam was that he was not a selfish man but a great team
mother, Rosie Abrams, said of her husband that "he loved the Army. He had
choices and he chose the Army for his profession. It was one of his passions. He
was a dedicated husband and loving father and a man who loved and cared for his
entire family. I thank the men who served close with him in Vietnam for giving
us a glimpse of Staff Sgt. Sam Abrams Jr., a glimpse of the soldier that he
Snyder was probably one of the best friends a man could have," retired 1st
Sgt. Gary Ponder recalled. "We went through a lot of things together. …
The one thing that stuck out in my mind … the most is trying to stay ahead of
what the mission was going to be. … Sam was just getting ready to go home.
George was just coming back (as) we needed help on (Landing Zone) Becky. … You
don’t meet people like that every day."
said the dedications bear testimony to the motto of the 30th Field Artillery
Association motto, "No one is forgotten, no one is left behind."
Richard G. Cardillo Jr., commander of the 30th Field Artillery Regiment,
predicted the actions of the three soldiers and their legacy will inspire the
younger "Hard Chargers" to continue to bring honor and glory to the
30th Field Artillery Regiment.
M114A1 howitzer used in Vietnam was an Army staple for 40 years before it was
replaced by the M198, White said. The one in front of Searby Hall was "on
the East Coast looking for a home, and we had a home here and we were looking
for a howitzer, and somehow through technology we were able to hook up,"
said the howitzer was sitting in front of a Revolutionary War Museum in
Virginia, and museum officials had another artillery piece they wanted to put in
its place. The Center for Military History in Washington, D.C., knew Fort Sill
needed one and contacted the 30th Field Artillery Regiment.
Kloke, who commanded 1st of the 30th in Vietnam, owns a trucking company in
Virginia, and he volunteered the services of his company to get the howitzer to
Fort Sill. A crane was used to put it on the back of a flatbed truck, White
Neugebauer, a civilian working in the paint shop, gave it a rush paint job, and
retired Command Sgt. Maj. Norman Wilfong christened the 155-mm howitzer with a
bottle of champagne. White said Wilfong served on the M114A1, as did many other
members of the 30th Field Artillery Regimental Association, in Vietnam.
battalion was the first battalion to do a combat air assault with the
M114A1," White said.
year we added the web page VETERANS
VOICES to the 15th web site. Here is an opportunity for you to tell a short
story, whether it is funny or serious, about artillery or your time in the
military. Submit your story to the 15th
Commanders web page
Historian Dan Gillotti and the 15th webmaster need your help in developing
information for the newest web page on the 15th web site which lists past and
present Battalion level commanders of the 15th Field Artillery. If you have a
photo and/or Biography please send an email to Dan Gillotti or the 15th
webmaster [Contact Info]
Vets Could Get VA Care
VFW Magazine - November 2003 - Washington Wire by Tim Dyhouse
House approved legislation September 10, 2003 that would provide VA health care
for veterans who were subjected to potentially deadly toxins in Cold War
biological and chemical tests. The bill, H.R. 2433 - Health Care for Veterans of
Project 112 / Project SHAD Act of 2003 - would remove the current VA requirement
that they prove their illnesses are related to their participation in the tests.
The Pentagon has identified 5,842 troops who were used as, what one participant
called, "lab rats" in some 50 tests called Project 112 conducted by
the Deseret Test Center between 1962 and 1973. In some cases, anthrax and the
nerve agents sarin and VX were used. Project SHAD (Shipboard Hazard and Defense)
tests were conducted at sea and were part of Project 112.
Some veterans have complained of ailments such as cancer and hypertension, and
through June VA had received 260 claims. Veterans who need help verifying their
participation in a Project SHAD/112 test can call Pentagon staffers at
1-800-497-6261 Monday through Friday, 9am to 9pm. To speak with a VA
representative, call the Special Issues Helpline at 1-800-749-8387 or visit the
VA SHAD web site http://www.appc1.va.gov/shad/
At press time the bill had been forwarded to the Senate VA Committee.
Action -- Visit the link below and enter H.R. 2433
in the SEARCH box:
fired the first round in Vietnam?
Gillotti, distinguished historian of the 15th FA (...and 30th FA) settled this
argument once and for all at Reunion 2003. Which battery of the 7/15th FA fired
the first round in Vietnam? For those who weren't there, listen up: "B
Battery, 7th Battalion, 15th Field Artillery fired the first round at 1130 hours
on 16 July 1967." Thanks
for keeping us straight Dan!
7/15th FIELD ARTILLERY VETS!
To be listed as “FOUND”: Contact “Davo” Holdorf, 15th Group Leader firstname.lastname@example.org
OR 1-414-464-2939 Evenings: 5:00 - 8:00pm (Central Standard Time)
providing me with your 7/15th FA Service info, I will add your name to our list
and send a copy of the approximately 560+ Vets listed as of June 2003. The list
continues to grow, and any new members that are “Found” are published in the
next newsletter that ALL listed 7/15th FA Vets receive. Newsletters are
published three times a year.
furnish the following info, the format of our “Found” list:
1.) Name: First, Mid-initial, Last.
2.) Months/Years Served w/the 7/15th FA.
3.) HHB, Service, A, B, or C-Battery.
4.) Rank upon Leaving the 7/15th FA.
5.) MOS/Duty Job held/performed.
6.) “Nick-Name”, IF used, that Vets would remember you by.
7.) Address: Street, Apt.#?, City, ST., Zip Code +4.
8.) Evening Phone & E-mail.
of the format for the list:
Joe, G I 7/67-68 A-Btry. Sp4 13A “Spanky” 123 Jump St.,
Perfectville, US zip/phone/e-mail
Search info: I have morning rosters and orders to help find “Buddies”.
However, we don’t have ALL rosters, and can always use copies of various
orders you may have brought back. These items are where we get ALL of our
Veteran search information. If you don’t have a complete name, please provide
any/all info you have.
the 7/15th FA list to contact comrades, and consider meeting them at one of our
Reunions, which are now held every two years!
C/7/15th FA Vietnam
15th FA Association Group leader
IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 9, 2003
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Jonathan Hutson, TLPJ, 202-797-8600 x 246
Gerson Smoger, 510-531-4529 (or Deborah Schwartz, Media Relations, Inc.,
Brent Rosenthal, 214-521-3605
Supreme Court Affirms Vietnam Veterans' Right to Sue for Injuries Caused by
Successfully Urged Court to Uphold Victims' Right to Day in Court
a landmark victory for Vietnam veterans' injured by exposure to Agent Orange,
the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed today in Stephenson v. Dow Chemical that the
1984 class action settlement of Vietnam veterans' claims against the
manufacturers of the toxic defoliant Agent Orange does not bar a suit by
veterans who would not obtain any relief under the settlement. TLPJ had filed an
amicus brief successfully urging the Supreme Court to affirm the decision of the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which recognized the veterans'
right to sue for their injuries.
is a huge victory for Vietnam veterans injured in the line of duty," said
TLPJ Foundation Board Member Gerson Smoger of Smoger & Associates in Dallas,
who argued on behalf of the veterans in the Supreme Court on February 26, 2003.
"Veterans exposed to Agent Orange will finally get their day in
equally divided Supreme Court affirmed the lower court's ruling in a per curiam
opinion by a vote of 4-4. Justice John Paul Stevens recused himself from
considering and deciding the case.
Supreme Court's Stephenson decision preserves an important victory in the fight
against abusive class action settlements," said Brent M. Rosenthal of Baron
& Budd in Dallas, the primary author of TLPJ's amicus brief.
simply cannot use class actions to block 'future' personal injury victims from
obtaining access to justice."
Supreme Court's opinion in Stephenson is the latest chapter in the saga of
victims' attempts to obtain recovery for injuries associated with exposure to
Agent Orange. In 1984, U.S. District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein of the
Eastern District of New York approved a global class action settlement of all
present and future Agent Orange victims' claims. The settlement provided nominal
recoveries regardless of causation for all exposed veterans before the age of
60. But it cut off all compensation for class members after 1994. Stephenson
contracted Agent-Orange-related illnesses in the late 1990s, long after the
Agent Orange settlement fund had run dry. He filed a lawsuit against the
chemical manufacturers seeking recovery for his injuries, but Judge Weinstein
ruled that he was bound by the 1984 settlement.
a unanimous decision, the Second Circuit reversed. The court held that the
settlement's failure to provide any recovery for class members whose injuries
occurred after 1994 revealed a fatal conflict between victims like Stephenson
and the class representatives. In light of this conflict, the court concluded
that Stephenson and victims like him had not received adequate representation in
the class action and could not be bound by the settlement. TLPJ had filed an
amicus brief urging the Second Circuit to rule as it did.
amicus briefs in Stephenson - available at www.tlpj.org - were filed as part of
its Class Action Abuse Prevention Project, a nationwide campaign dedicated to
monitoring, exposing, and fighting class action abuse nationwide. In addition to
Rosenthal, TLPJ's legal team included Steve Baughman Jensen of Baron & Budd
and TLPJ's Leslie A. Brueckner and Arthur H. Bryant.
Posted April 13, 2003
Loughman, the model curator of the Vietnam
Veterans Association of Australia museum, has forwarded
the following photo of an M110 Howitzer position in one of the artillery
thumbnail to enlarge photo]
Photo: John Loughman
Model Curator - VVAA
HR 1127 IH
|To amend title
10, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of the Army to establish
a combat artillery medal. (Introduced in House)
HR 1127 IH
H. R. 1127
To amend title 10, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of the
Army to establish a combat artillery medal.
IN THE HOUSE
March 6, 2003
Mr. GREEN of
Wisconsin introduced the following bill; which was referred to the
Committee on Armed Services
To amend title 10, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of the
Army to establish a combat artillery medal.
Be it enacted
by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of
America in Congress assembled,
the following findings:
(2) The field
artillery was critical to American success in the `War to end all
Wars,' World War I.
field artillery also proved to be a decisive factor during World War
II, helping the United States achieve victories in Europe, Africa,
and the Pacific. General George S. Patton Jr. remarked, `I do not
need to tell you who won the war. You know the artillery did.'
(4) The field
artillery continued to play a role in military actions in Korea,
Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf and it remains critical to today's
Despite the past heroic efforts of the members of the Army who
served in the field artillery, there is no medal specifically
recognizing the contribution of field artillerymen.
ESTABLISHMENT OF COMBAT ARTILLERY MEDAL.
(a) IN GENERAL-
Chapter 357 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at
the end the following new section:
Combat artillery medal
Secretary of the Army, in accordance with criteria established by the
Secretary, shall issue a combat artillery medal of appropriate design
with accompanying ribbon to each person who, while a member of the
Army in the artillery branch, participated in combat after April 5,
(b) In the
case of persons who, while a member of the Army in the artillery
branch, participated in combat after April 5, 1917, and before the
date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary shall issue the
medal described in subsection (a)--
(2) to each
such person with respect to whom an application for the issuance of
such medal is made to the Secretary after such date in such manner,
and within such time period, as the Secretary may require.
AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is
amended by adding at the end the following new item:
since December 21, 2003