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15th Field Artillery Regiment
1917 - 2008

15
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INDEX

2014 

Captain Hans Dollhausen

September 22, 1940 - October 10, 2014

All: Sadly I must report that the former Captain Hans Dollhausen passed away Friday, 10 October 2014.
When I was assigned to the 7th Bn, 15th FA at Fort Bragg in October 1966, he was commanding C Btry. He deployed with us to Vietnam in June 1967 where he relinquished command of C Btry in September 1967 and was assigned as the Assistant S-3 (Operations) Officer until his DEROS in June 1968. 


As a Reserve Officer he returned to his home in Independence, Ohio and started a successful business refurbing football for High Schools and colleges. In hte past few years he had been Battling cancer in his lungs. I saw him last year at my eldest sisters funeral and he was only able to breath with the help of an oxygen mask.

May he rest in peace and may God rest his soul.

Here are his viewing and funeral arrangements if anyone is in the area.

Viewing will be from 4 PM to 8 PM on Wednesday, 15 October 2014, at

Vodrazka Funeral Home.
6505 Brecksville Road
Independence, OH 44131

Phone: 216-424-3900

His funeral will be directly across the street at St Michael’s Church at 10 AM,
Thursday 16 October 2014.

My wife and I will be attending his funeral.

Allons!

Dan
Daniel P. Gillotti,  MS, MA, First Sergeant, USA Retired

Norman Franklin Forsythe

October 10, 1924 - May 11, 2014

Norman entered this life on October 10, 1924 in Newport, Rhode Island and entered into rest on May 11, 2014 at the age of 89 years in La Mesa, California.

He will be deeply missed by his wife of 20 years Olive Forsythe, daughters Deborah (Craig), Connie (Kenny), and Artina (Paul), son Arthur (Tina), sister Ruth, brothers Kenneth (Louise), Howard (Dee), and Gilbert, (14 Grandchildren and 4 Great grandchildren),  his pet Yorkie “Lilly”, extended family and friends. Norman was preceded in death by his parents John & Helen, sisters Norma, Dorothy, and Roberta, and brothers Ralph, and Everett.

Norman has resided in the La Mesa, California area for the past 3 years. He proudly served in the United States Army for 30 years. Including, WWII, 778th AAA, Korea, 37th Artillery, Vietnam, 7th/15th Artillery.  He was a lifetime member of DAV, Purple Heart Association, VFW, and American Legion.  He was the proud recipient of a Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars. Norman was a member of the Shiloh Presbyterian Church in Shiloh, Tennessee and was a Volunteer Policeman in Clarksville, Tennessee.  

Visitation hours will be held on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 from 8 AM to 9 AM with the funeral service starting at 9 AM at Legacy Funeral & Cremation Chapel, 7043 University Ave., La Mesa, California. Norman will be laid to rest with full military honors at Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego, California at 11:00 AM.

Should friends desire, in lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in the memory of Norman F. Forsythe to the Make a Wish Foundation. 

Big Daddy will be missed.

2012
 
REUNION
Name: Manuel T Ramirez
Email: manny14117071@yahoo.com
Remote Name: 99.58.8.165
Remote User:
Date: 07/07/2012
Time: 11:43 AM

Message:

Well, 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 details:

Dates: September 13 - 16

Itinerary:

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 forward to.

Friday September 14, 2012 Trip to Ft Sill
Guamanian Barbeque

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
Guamanian pig roast is. The Chief and his family have graciously invited us to
this 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 affair will
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.


Sunday 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 long.

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.

If you have any questions about anything, please call or email me anytime.


See you there!

Ken Roberts
5235 Moon Shell drive
Apollo Beach, FL 33572
2011
Documents show Army's disservice to broken soldiers

By Carl Prine
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW

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 addicts.

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 psychological care.

Overlooked, 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 probe.

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 need help."

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 careers.' "

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 military plans.

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.

"Unfortunately, I'm 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 policy solutions.

Although ongoing 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 leaders.

"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.

Weeding out

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'

Koch's investigators 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 contend.

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.

Schoomaker's four-star 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 replaced.

"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.

Troops nationwide 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 complaints, too.

"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."


2010
March 30th, 2010

An Open 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.

 

Luis Cantu 

 

 

 

OPEN LETTER TO VIETNAM VETERANS


Dear Hero,

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 didn't understand.

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,

Julie Weaver
237 East Gatewood Circle
Burleson, Texas 76028-8948


March 19,2010


An item of interest.

Luis
 

 THE 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 community.

    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.

    VVA 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 said.

    “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 them.

    “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.

    Retired 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,” it proclaimed.

    The 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 recalled.

    The 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 battalion commander.

    The 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.

    1st
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.

    “The
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 defects.

    “If we 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.

    Today,
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 p.m. Sunday.



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 commander-in-chief.

2008

 

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 PDF file

 


Notice: a little late!

  Sir, I 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 Vietnam 

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.

  Artillery 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 certain death. 

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. 

  We would 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 http://12fieldregiment.com Our webmaster is indeed a genius, and also a proud Gunner. 

I hope you can help 

Contact:  rob [mailto:cossie0102@bigpond.com]

 

 

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.

 

2007

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
Tulsa, Oklahoma
From 1p.m.-7p.m.
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:
June Moback
213 N. 11th St.
Broken Arrow, Okla. 74012
Rich Pennell

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,

Sheri Prasso

==============================
http://www.sheridanprasso.com
700 West End Ave. 3B
New York, NY 10025
tel: 212-678-6789

 

Upcoming Reunions

All Battalions
15th FA Regiment Association

June 14th - 17th
Branson MO
Contact: Dave Holdorf
See more here

 

DEADLY “A” BATTERY
6th Bn 15th FA

April 26th - 28th
Oklahoma City, OK
Contact: Terry Emery
See more here

2006

November 23, 2006

Here is a link to Carr's Compendiums.

http://www.carrscompendiums.com/

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. 
 

Hi -

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  Estimated Expenses
Thoughts and Musings


David Gunn 

The Data stolen has been recovered......
Personal data on millions of US veterans stolen
 
Reuters
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 theft.

"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 last week.

'RANDOM BURGLARY'

"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 disabilities.

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 said.

 

2005

Dec 6, 2005   The new December  Newsletter is on line  Here

 

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 yourself.

 http://www.washingtonwatchdog.org/rtk/documents/cong_bills/109/h/h109_ 4259ih.html

Thanks to Jerry Cooke for being proactive and forwarding this information to us.

 

The following letter is from John Sarantakes, originally with B Btry 6th/15th.

Thoughts on the 15th Field Artillery Regiment’s Sixth Reunion.

 I attended the sixth reunion of the 15th Field Artillery Regiment in Cleveland, Ohio

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. 

Daily activities: 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! 

Departure: The 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 goes on. 

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 them forever. 

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.

John Sarantakes
sarantakes@leavenworth.army.mil

  

The 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

Shelbyville, IN  46176

Phone:
317-398-4599

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: 

Patricia Trent
638 Hoover Street

Shelbyville
, IN 46176

Phone: 317-508-2201 

May the Good Lord bless his soul!

 

Thanks and “ALLONS”

Dan Gillotti

 

 

Subject: I Corps reunion
 
You 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 airdsie@charter.net

Its also at our web site
http://www.willpete.com/I-CorpsArtilleryVets.htm

 

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.
 

2004

Col. Norm Barnes Arlinigton Funeral Announcment 12/19/04
Information on VA Diabetes   12/16/04
Vietnam Troop 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
D.O.D. News Release  8/2/04
D.O.D. News Release  7/28/04
New 15th Webmaster!  6/20/04
Reunion 2005 Dates & Location Changed  5/30/04
Combat Artillery Badge  5/2/04
Military Phone Card Donation Program Goes Public  4/23/04
M107 in Vietnam War Museum at Hue  4/6/04
Brudno Added to Vietnam Veterans Memorial  4/2/04
Carol Donley  3/21/04
An Open Letter to the 2-15th Field Artillery Regiment  2/14/04
Send a 'Welcome Home' to the 2/15th FA  2/9/04
DoD Announces Korean Defense Service Medal  2/9/04
URGENT! Assistant Hosts Wanted for Reunion 2005  2/3/04
Korea DMZ Vets and Agent Orange 1/11/04

2003

The American Soldier named TIME Person of the Year 12/21/03
Soldiers Honored at Fort Sill 12/18/03
Authors Wanted 12/8/03
15th Commanders web page  12/7/03
HELP WANTED From those who served in the 6/15th FA 1966-1970  11/7/03
SHAD Vets Could Get VA Care  11/6/03
Artillerymen Killed in Iraq  11/3/03
Who fired the first round in Vietnam?  10/6/03
ATTENTION 7/15th FIELD ARTILLERY VETS!   6/10/03
U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Vietnam Veterans' Right to Sue for Injuries Caused by Agent Orange   6/9/03
New Agent Orange and Dioxin Study  6/4/03
Request Military Personnel Records Online  5/9/03
Museum in Australia  4/13/03
Combat Artillery Medal   3/6/03
Gulf War Syndrome Defined  1/6/03

   


 

Col. Norm Barnes Arlington Funeral Announcement 12/19/04
Funeral Information
Just in case you haven't received all the information regarding Norman's 
funeral at Arlington, here is the info you'll need. It is on December
27th at 11:00. Arlington requires everyone to be there by 10:30. At the guard 
station, tell them you are going to a funeral. The guard will direct you
to the Administration Center where we will all meet. We will be having a
luncheon afterwards at the Holiday Inn Rosslyn at Key Bridge which is a
couple of miles away from the cemetery. We'll have directions for you at
the funeral. We hope you will be able to attend both the funeral and the
luncheon.

 

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! 
 
The 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
www.findlaw.com/casecode/cfr.html, 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 found here:

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 of strenuous
                       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 would be
                       compensable if separately evaluated..........................
                       Requiring insulin, restricted diet, and regulation of               60
                       activities with episodes of ketoacidosis or hypoglycemic
                       reactions requiring one or two hospitalizations per year or
                       twice a month visits to a diabetic care provider, plus
                       complications that would not be compensable if separately
                       evaluated....................................................
                       Requiring insulin, restricted diet, and regulation of               40
                       activities...................................................
                       Requiring insulin and restricted diet, or; oral hypoglycemic             20
                       agent and restricted diet....................................
                       Manageable by restricted diet only............................                     10
                       Note (1): Evaluate compensable complications of diabetes
                       separately unless they are part of the criteria used to
                       support a 100 percent evaluation. Noncompensable
                       complications are considered part of the diabetic process
                       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 rating.

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.

 


 

Vietnam Troop Ship: Gen. Nelson M. Walker

Guys,

            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 unit?

            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.

             Info: Howell 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: rhowell@howellpress.com

            Book: http://www.howellpress.com/Index.html?item69.htm

            Smithsonian Magazine article http://www.smithsonianmag.si.edu/smithsonian/issues04/oct04/object.html

            Scrap Contract: http://www.hamptonroads.com/stories/story.cfm?story=76082&ran=195624

            Info/photos: http://www.usstorsk.org/volunteers/stripship02/stripship202.htm   

            Davo


 


 



 

 
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
times.
 
"I got four Purple Hearts my first tour and zero my second," Cobb said. "I
finally learned to duck."
 
While learning to duck may have been an extremely valuable lesson, it can't
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 Base from
Iraq or Afghanistan three times a week.
 
It is that experience that gives him credibility when he meets one of those
servicemembers, as he's been doing since April. It is also that experience that
helps him put what has happened to that servicemember into perspective.
 
"The bond and understanding is instant, it is deep, and it's lifelong," Cobb
said, "because they recognize I've been through the same thing that they have.
 
"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 continued. "It's
really hard to understand what that person feels deep inside. But when you've
been there and gone through that, you have that understanding and the bonding
is so instant."
 
Cobb, currently the commander and adjutant of the Military Order of the Purple
Heart Chapter 353, Greater Washington Area, doesn't meet planes at 1 a.m. for
the glory. His motivation is the reception he received when he returned from
Vietnam.
 
"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 without being
welcomed (and) appreciated," Cobb said.
 
Cobb and his wife, Tanya, try to meet each servicemember at Andrews and offer
whatever help is within their scope. Usually that includes easing hesitations
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 has been
determined regarding a particular servicemember, they receive a specially
prepared packet of information. That packet includes information on benefits,
treatment and contact information in case there are any questions or problems.
 
It also contains some "morale boosting" items, including a miniature Purple
Heart medal, a history of the medal, a phone card, a sheet of Purple Heart
postage stamps and a welcome-home letter. Also included is a year's free
membership with any MOPH chapter.
 
Non-combat-injured veterans aren't left out. They receive welcome-home packets
from the Veterans of Foreign Wars that include a benefits brochure, a service
officer card and a year's free VFW membership.
 
"The philosophy behind that is, if I walk into a room with six patients and
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 all
appreciate it."
 
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. Cobb's
weapon of choice for that pursuit is usually humor. And "Wednesday night
doughnuts" don't hurt anything either, Cobb said. Occasionally, wheelchair
races have to be refereed after the doughnuts are gone, he said.
 
Those who get the packets at Andrews represent about 80 percent of the wounded
servicemembers coming in, he said. The other 20 percent of the troops are
critical enough to be taken from the flight line at Andrews directly to Walter
Reed Army Medical Center or the National Naval medical Center in Bethesda, Md.,
where the Cobbs follow up to make sure the servicemembers receive a proper
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 not allowed
to voice those needs unless asked directly, but when he broaches the subject,
there are always needs. The biggest, he said, is usually breakaway sweat pants.
 
He said he and his wife will continue to meet the wounded servicemembers coming
into Andrews with information and their own special brand of thanks,
understanding and appreciation.
 
Related Site:
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. 

 Respectfully Yours,

Dan Gillotti

Historian, 15th FA Regiment

 

 



 

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.

 

            A more precise number will be determined in follow-on forensic examinations.

The repatriation marks the fifth and final remains recovery operation in North Korea this year.

 

            Since 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.

 

            The joint 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 campaign.

 

            The 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.

 

            The remains will be flown to Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, where the forensic identification process will take place in the JPAC laboratory.

           

            For additional information about POW/MIA recoveries, visit http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo, or call the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office at (703) 699-1169.

 

 

 

 

 


POW/MIA 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 Americans. 

 

           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.

 


U.S. 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.

 


New 15th Webmaster! 

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! 

Reunion 2005 Dates & Location Changed

The 15th Field Artillery reunion location has been changed from Watertown, New York to Cleveland, Ohio. The dates have been changed from May 2005 to 18-22 August 2005
For all the latest reunion updates see REUNIONS webpage

Combat Artillery Badge

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
108th CONGRESS
2d Session
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 REPRESENTATIVES

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


A BILL

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 assembled,

SECTION 1. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:
      (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 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 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 badge

    (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 infantry branch. 
    (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)-- 

      (1) to each such person who is known to the Secretary before such date of enactment; and

      (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.

Military 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 Enduring Freedom.

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 the globe. 


M107 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. 

   


Capt 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 captivity.

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.
   


Carol Donley

On Thursday, 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 on. 

If you have attended the 7-15th reunion, you would always see Carol along side her husband, Mike. 

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
   


An Open Letter to the 2-15th Field Artillery Regiment

7/15th Field Artillery Association
9343 West Capitol Drive
Milwaukee, WI. 53222-1534
1-414-464-2939
http://www.landscaper.net

David E. Holdorf
9343 W. Capitol Drive
Milwaukee, WI  53222

14 February 2004

Michael A. Albaneze
LTC   U.S. Army
Cmdr. 2/15th FA Regt.

   
Dear LTC Albaneze,

With great 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 Iraq. 

Those soldiers 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 wonderful! 

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! 

Sincerely,
Dave Holdorf
Dave Holdorf, Group Leader 
7/15th FA Association, Vietnam 
July 1967 - November 1971 
   


Send a 'Welcome Home' to the 2/15th FA 

Monday, 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 them. 

Also 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


ALLONS

Update - February 14, 2004
Following 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! 

DoD Announces Korean Defense Service Medal

Febraury 9, 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 of Korea.

Public Law 107-314 legislated the creation of a new medal to recognize military service in the Republic of Korea and the surrounding waters.

Members of 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.

The KDSM period of eligibility is July 28, 1954, to a future date to be determined by the secretary of defense.

Servicemembers 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.

· While 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 60-day requirement.

· Personnel 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.

Each military 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.

More than 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.


URGENT!  Assistant Hosts 
Wanted for Reunion 2005
 

 Assistant Reunion Hosts Wanted for 15th FA Reunion 

The 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 previous reunions.

As 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.

The 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.

Our 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 host/hostess.

Please reply ASAP so we can continue the planning. Feel free to ask questions!

Thank you - 
Dave Holdorf, 7/15th FA Assoc. Grp. Leader
hidavo@earthlink.net

Korea DMZ Vets and Agent Orange
Source: 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.

Who and What is Eligible

Mandatory requirements 
- 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 
   

Military Units Eligible (April 1968 to July 1969) 

Elements 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
   

Herbicide-Associated Health Conditions 
Presumptively Recognized 

- 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. 

   


The American Soldier named TIME Person of the Year

The 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.
The 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 Iraq. 

[back to index]


Soldiers Honored at Fort Sill

The Lawton Constitution 
December 18, 2003 

The service and sacrifice of three soldiers who paid the ultimate price in Vietnam was recognized with the dedication of two Fort Sill buildings Wednesday.

Building 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.

Building 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.

Both 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.

Family 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.

For 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.

"Finally 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.

"He 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.’

"And 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.

"Those 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.

Rosalind 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 player.

Her 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 was."

"George 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."

White said the dedications bear testimony to the motto of the 30th Field Artillery Association motto, "No one is forgotten, no one is left behind."

Col. 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.

The 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," Cardillo said.

White 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.

Jack 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 said.

Shawn 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.

"This battalion was the first battalion to do a combat air assault with the M114A1," White said.

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Authors Wanted
Last 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 webmaster today. 

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15th Commanders web page
15th 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

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HELP WANTED 
From those who served in the 6/15th FA 1966-1970

Our group, former members of the 6th Battalion, has been formed to write the unit’s VN history. If you have the names of any of the battalion’s personnel, stories, pictures, documents or knowledge of the battalion’s locations-fire bases or events in which we operated, please contact us:

John Sarantakes, Historian and Project Leader: 
Email:  JOHN.SARANTAKES@LEAVENWORTH.ARMY.MIL

Gaither H. Kitchell, Member: 
Email:  gatorpub1@earthlink.net

Dick Brown, Member: 
Email:  Dick.Brown@us.army.mil

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SHAD Vets Could Get VA Care

From: VFW Magazine - November 2003 - Washington Wire by Tim Dyhouse

The 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. 

LINK: Congressional Action -- Visit the link below and enter H.R. 2433 in the SEARCH box: 
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.html 

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Artillerymen Killed in Iraq
We are honoring fellow redlegs killed in Iraq at the top of our Remembrance webpage.

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Who fired the first round in Vietnam?
Dan 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!

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ATTENTION 7/15th FIELD ARTILLERY VETS!

“VETERAN NAME LISTS”
To be listed as “FOUND”: Contact “Davo” Holdorf, 15th Group Leader
hidavo@earthlink.net 

OR 1-414-464-2939 Evenings: 5:00 - 8:00pm (Central Standard Time)

Upon 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.

Please 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.

Example 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

Veteran 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.

Use the 7/15th FA list to contact comrades, and consider meeting them at one of our Reunions, which are now held every two years!

Dave “Davo” Holdorf
C/7/15th FA Vietnam
15th FA Association Group leader

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FOR 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., 301-897-8838) 
Brent Rosenthal, 214-521-3605
U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Vietnam Veterans' Right to Sue for Injuries Caused by Agent Orange

TLPJ Successfully Urged Court to Uphold Victims' Right to Day in Court

In 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.

"This 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 court."

An 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.

"The 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.

"Manufacturers simply cannot use class actions to block 'future' personal injury victims from obtaining access to justice."

The 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.

In 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.

TLPJ's 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.

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New Agent Orange and Dioxin Study 
From a 12 May 2003 report... 
"In the process of compiling data for the GIS, the researchers discovered that at least twice as much dioxin—the toxic contaminant in the herbicides—was dropped during the war than was previously thought."

LINK:
More details from Columbia University Health Sciences

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Request Military Personnel Records Online

Posted May 9, 2003 
The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), now has an  improved method of requesting documents from the NPRC. As you know, the NPRC provides copies of documents from military personnel records to authorized requesters. Their new web-based application will provide better service on  these requests by eliminating their mailroom processing time. 

See: http://www.archives.gov/research_room/vetrecs/index.html

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Museum in Australia

Posted April 13, 2003

John 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 displays. 

[click thumbnail to enlarge photo]
M110 Howtizer

M110 Howitzer Display
Photo: John Loughman
Model Curator - VVAA
   

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Combat Artillery Medal 
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

108th CONGRESS
1st Session
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 OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 6, 2003

Mr. GREEN of Wisconsin introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services

A BILL

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,

SECTION 1. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:

      (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 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 military efforts.

      (5) 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.

SEC. 2. 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:

Sec. 3757. Combat artillery medal

    (a) The 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, 1917.

    (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)--

      (1) to each such person who is known to the Secretary before such date; and

      (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.

    (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 medal.'.

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Gulf War Syndrome Defined

Posted January 6, 2003
Link to Document by H. Lindsey Arison III
 

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