Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas Veterans and Troops

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays To Our Troops, Veterans, and their Families. During this Christmas season we want to thank our veterans and soldiers for their bravery and selfless acts of courage in defending us and preserving our Nation's freedom. Again this year soldiers will observe the holiday season in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are separated from their families, and many more are preparing for deployments. All of us who remember similar Christmas seasons in our own lives sympathize deeply with them. To the right is the cover from the 1968 Christmas card sent home from Vietnam. Forty years ago we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in platoon blocking positions near Nu Ba Den Mt. It was a lonely time for us then as it is for our soldiers today.

As we think of our Christmas so long ago away from home these sacrifices are most obvious to us during this season when so many of us are warm, safe and happy in our homes with friends and relatives. Our thoughts and prayers are for the safe return of our soldiers not only during this holiday season but every day throughout the year. We honor their sacrifices, ask God to watch over them and their families, and pray for their safe return.

John,

Monday, December 17, 2007

Help Soldiers Traveling at Airports

Fellow Troopers,

Bob Dandridge has this suggestion to help support our servicemen and women who are traveling this holiday season.

If you happen to be driving by an airport anytime soon, remember your troops and the USO. If you have books and magazines pack'm up, stop by the store and pick up some packaged snacks and drinks and drop them off at the USO booth/room at the airport. All you ex GIs remember how lonely travel was. You can make it a little more pleasant. I've done it a couple of times and it feels great. Our men and women in uniform deserve our support and this is one of the little ways you can do it with a personal touch. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Bob.

Great idea Bob and thanks for providing it.

John,

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving


Fellow Troopers,

Have a great Thanksgiving today! Enjoy your holiday with family, friends, and relatives. Of course enjoy the great traditional meal that will be served today.

Back in 1968 A Troop was in the Iron Triangle on the high ground above the Saigon River on Thanksgiving Day. We had a great meal from our Troop mess section. Colonel McGowen in his helicopter flew out to our NDP with real ice cream and scooped it out for all of the troops after the meal. The excellent meal and real ice cream made one day special back in 1968.

Above is the menu from Thanksgiving 1968. If you want to share a memory about your Thanksgiving Day during your tour use the comment link below.

May God bless each and every one of you and your families this Thanksgiving and every day.

John,

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bob Schneider

Fellow Troopers,

Bob Schneider, Alpha Troop 1968 and current association secretary, is scheduled to go in on Thursday, November 15, for prostate surgery. Diane says they suspect cancer. Everyone please keep him in your prayers this week.

John,

Saturday, November 10, 2007

President Thanks Veterans

Fellow Troopers,

Thank you each for your service to our Nation, to the 25th Infantry Division, to A Troop 3rd Squadron 4th Cavalry, and to your fellow soldiers.

In his weekly radio address President Bush said, "On this Veterans Day, I urge every American to take time to thank one of our Nation's 24 million veterans. They come from different generations and different backgrounds. But they are united by a commitment to honor, duty, and love of country that has kept America free. They continue to strengthen and inspire our Nation. And we will never forget what we owe them." Listen to the President's entire address to the nation.

This weekend take time to remember our comrades who did not return. Of course enjoy this holiday which you earned with your service and sacrifice! Thanks again,

John,

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Free Veterans Day Dinner

Fellow Troopers,

McCormick and Schmick's Seafood Restaurants are offering veterans a complimentary entree in honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, 2007.
Veterans must provide proper ID to be eligible.
Visit the McCormick and Schmicks website for details and to find a participating restaurant near you. Thanks to Bill Baum for providing this information.

Also see the October 11th post. Golden Corral also provides a free meal to Veterans on November 12th.

John,

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What song was popular during your tour?

Fellow Troopers,

There were a number of great songs that were popular when we were 'in country'. I am sure many of those songs are still our favorites. Many have become associated with our war in popular movies. One song I remember and still my favorite is the Moody Blues song, Nights in White Satin. It was released in 1967 and was not that popular at the time. Of course all of the songs that reminded us of home were popular. What song was your favorite? Let us know! We Gotta Get Out of This Place by the Animals was one of the most popular songs of the war (note: the song actually is about getting out of the ghetto).



There are a number of lists of popular songs associated with the Vietnam War on the web. Maybe we can compile our own. Send us your favorite song (country or rock) from your 'in country' time. Select the comment link below.

Scouts Out!
John,

Friday, October 12, 2007

25th Infantry Division Association

Fellow Troopers,

The web address for the 25th Infantry Division Association has changed to http://www.25thida.org/ If you ever served in the 25th Infantry Division or were in a military unit attached to the Division you are invited to join the 25th Infantry Division Association. Family and friends of 25th veterans are eligible for Associate Membership.

To apply for membership, please print out this application, fill it out and mail it to the Association with your payment.
NOTE: At the 2005 reunion in Pittsburgh, the membership voted that dues be raised from $15 to $20 for Annual Membership and from $150 to $175 for Lifetime Membership.

Thanks,

John

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Military Appreciation Monday at Golden Corral

Fellow Troopers,

For the past 6 years, Golden Corral has been honoring the US Military with a free “thank you” dinner and beverage at any Golden Corral restaurant on Military Appreciation Monday (first Monday after Veteran’s Day). This year, Golden Corral has designated Monday, November 12, 2007, from 5 to 9 pm, to honor any person who has ever served in the United States Military.

From the first Military Appreciation Monday in 2001 to the present, Golden Corral has donated 1.5 million free “thank you” meals and $1.9 million dollars to the Disabled American Veterans. More information is available on the Golden Corral website.

It is nice to see a large corporation honor our veterans. If you have a Golden Corral in your area you might consider taking advantage of this offer. Here in Tucson you need to get there early because the line gets long in a hurry.

If you are aware of other Veteran's appreciation campaigns from other corporations let us know or post them in the comments.

And of course thank you management and owners of the Golden Corral restaurant chain.

John,

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Reunion 2008 Update

Alpha Troopers,

We have heard that D Troop is again throwing anyone they can find into a Huey for the reunion. We are getting tired of the helicopter drivers having the highest attendance. A Troop has been close to the top in attendance for the last 2 reunions. We had 40 troopers at the last reunion. We have 23 commitments to attend the Cincinnati reunion so far. Encourage any former trooper you know to attend the Greater Cincinnati Area Reunion in June 2008. Someone told me that A30, Geoffrey Cushing-Murray, is treating to Cincinnati's famous Skyline Chili. Here is a list of troopers planning on being at the 2008 reunion:

Dave Cox (65/66) & Diana
Bill Baum (68/69) & Marion
Art Bonevich (63/66) & RoseMarie
Larry Smith (67/68) & Barbara
Howard Phillips (66/67), Dianne, & grandson Shane
John Phelan (69/70)
Doug Clapp (69/70)
Charles Pierce (65/66) & son
John Moore (68/69) & Becky
Gene Yonke (1968) & Barb
Earl Hornung (1966)
Roger McGill (65/66) & Cathy
Richard Bradley (66/67) & daughter Abigail
Oren "OD" Albright (68/69)
Mel Moss (68/69)
Lonnie Dotson (69/70) & Allie
Geoffrey Cushing-Murray (1968)
Manny Montanez (68/69) & Lynn
Bob Schneider (67/68) & Diane
Cabell Martin (67/68) & Terry
Bill Imrie (65/66) & Jane
Harry Watson (68/69) & Marci
Rod Nishimura (68) & Linda
Walter Jones (1968)
Trent 'BUTCH' Lingafelter (1969)

You can email us at the A Troop website to add your name to the reunion list or to get more information on the reunion.

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Later, John

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Military Medics - Our Heroes

Fellow Troopers,
I recently read a wonderful news report about the heroism of an Army medic and surgery team in Afghanistan. The Army medic, the medivac crew, and the field hospital surgeons all cared for and treated a wounded soldier who had an unexploded rpg lodged in his abdomen. As a side note the wounded soldier who recovered refused to receive his Purple Heart until he was able to walk to receive it. You can read the news article on the ABC website here. Our young servicemen and woman serving in the medical field today are doing great work in support of our soldiers. This article reminded me of the medics who served in our platoons and troop in Vietnam. I will always remember the courage of Charles 'Doc' Jones, 1st platoon and later troop medic. Doc Jones could always be counted on to be where the action was no matter how dangerous the situation. His personal courage was demonstrated time after time. He was wounded himself while treating others during the battle in the Rubber on Feb. 2, 1969. James Brian 0’Keeffe, 3rd platoon and later troop medic, is another of our heroic medics. James won the Silver Star for his actions on Jan. 17, 1969 in the Boi Loi Woods. With complete disregard for his own safety, Brian exposed himself to a heavy volume of fire as he dismounted his vehicle and moved to the aid of his wounded comrades. As he neared the burning APC, he killed a Viet Cong soldier who was preparing to fire at the vehicle. Reaching the beleaguered APC, O’Keeffe killed another enemy soldier who was moving towards his position. One of our medics made the ultimate sacrifice performing his duties. Alvin Langford gave his life while treating the wounded on August 19, 1968 during the Battle for Tay Ninh. The medics who rode with our platoons and troop were among the most admired and respected members of the unit. While they were actually assigned to headquarters troop, they always supported us with great valor, courage, and sacrifice. Thank you medics!

If you would like to add a story about one of our medics, select the comment link below.
John,

Monday, August 6, 2007

Soldiers' Angel

Fellow Troopers,

Soldiers' Angel is a program that connects citizens to our men and women deployed overseas. It shows our service members that we support them and helps to bring home a healthy hero. You can nominate a soldier to receive Soldiers' Angel support or you can adopt a service member to communicate with through Soldiers' Angel. When you adopt a soldier you must commit to sending a card/letter each week and a care package each month. The duration of the adoption is usually 6 to 12 months depending on the deployment.

Many of you already support our deployed 3/4 Cavalry Troopers and others of our brave men and women deployed overseas. If this is something you can do, your support of our heroes is greatly appreciated. You can also make a donation that helps pay for the care packages sent to the troops. Please pass this website on to others who would want to support and thank our servicemen and servicewomen. Here is the web address for the Soldiers' Angel program: http://soldiersangels.org/

John,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

20th Anniversary Reunion in 2008

Help us celebrate our 20th anniversary when we meet June 26-29, 2008 in Fort Mitchell, KY. Reunion information is in our June newletter or on our association web site. The registration form for the reunion is here. The registration form for the tour is here.

The Drawbridge Inn in Fort Mitchell, KY is our hotel. It is located just off Interstate I-71/75. We have a great rate of $75 per night. You can make reservations anytime after July 1, 2007. Call 800-354-9763 (in KY call 800-352-9866). Tell them it is for the 3/4 Cavalry Reunion.

There is much to do in the Cincinnati area. There is horse racing, riverboat gambling, and baseball. There is much history associated with the city of Cincinnati and the Northern Kentucky area.

A special 3/4 Cav Coin is being made and each member attending will receive a free coin as a memento.

On Thursday we will hold our traditional golf tourney at the Twin Oaks Golf and Plantation Club. Later that evening we will have our ice-breaker in the hospitality room. Bring your photos from Nam to share. Bring your new war stories too.

On Friday morning we will conduct our Memorial Service in the Stuart room. Afterwards a city tour has been planned with a stop at Newport on the Levee. Shops, restaurants, and entertainment are available. The Newport Aquarium is here. After you return, our group photos will be taken. Friday evening we will have a Bavarian dinner with live German music. MG (Ret) Tom Tait is the guest speaker. Tom was the squadron XO during Tet 68.

Saturday morning is our business meeting followed by a riverboat luncheon. Our formal banquet will be that evening and Gen Glenn Otis (Ret) will speak. Glenn was the squadron CO during Tet 68. Our raffle will follow.

Sunday we will have a breakfast buffet to give us a chance to say our good-byes.

See you there!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Happy Birthday America

Our nation since its founding has been special in that it has been a beacon of freedom around the world. This freedom has come at a cost and on July 4th we celebrate our independence that has been fought for by generations of our citizens who have served our nation. This Independence Day we will celebrate with our friends and neighbors. We will watch fireworks, barbecue and have a 'charlie bravo'. 40 years ago if we celebrated we were in the Hobo Woods, the Big Rubber, Nui Ba Den, Tay Ninh, Cu Chi, and other places etched in our memories. We might of been able to have a 'charlie bravo' (most likely a warm one if we had one at all). We might have shot off some star clusters or had a 'mad minute' in celebration at the NDP. We may have been 'beating the bush' and could not have celebrated but each of us as we remember our time serving our nation can take pride in our contribution to its great legacy on Independence Day. We also should remember our men and women in uniform who today are risking all to bring freedom to millions of people and defending the traditions embodied in our 4th of July celebrations. None of these traditions has as much symbolism as displaying the flag. I am sure all of you display the flag on a regular basis. If you have a flag please display it this 4th of July. Fred Thompson spoke on the importance of the flag a few years ago. He says all that needs to be said about our flag and supporting the soldiers who defend our flag.



Have a great 4th of July. Remember our comrades and our soldiers serving today.

John,

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Birthday U.S. Army

To my fellow Cavalry Troopers and friends,

Today, June 14th, marks the 232d Birthday of the United States Army. On
this day in 1775, the Army was born. As former troopers of the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry you can be proud of your contribution to our Nation and the Army. The United States Army and its soldiers have never failed in its duty to our great Nation. You are a part of that great tradition and legacy.

Please remember the sacrifices of the soldiers of the United States Army. I hope all will wish every soldier now serving, and those who wore the uniform in our war and other past wars, a Happy Birthday. Every one of you who served is a hero. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. Today our Army's soldiers, all heroes, are in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. While most of us spent this day in comfort, our soldiers and their families are sacrificing enormously in the defense of liberty and our nation. These soldiers do not serve to become rich but instead serve for the privilege of defending our Nation, our values, and our way of life. I know that you do this but when we meet a soldier, thank him or her for his or her service and sacrifice.

Thank you former Cavalry Troopers for your service and thank you current soldiers for your service and sacrifice. Happy Birthday United States Army.

John,

Sunday, June 3, 2007

2008 Reunion Attendees

The association reunion will be held in the Greater Cincinnati Area from 25 to 29 June, 2008. It is not too early to start planning on attending the reunion. Here is a list of troopers planning on being at the 2008 reunion:

Dave Cox (65/66) & Diana
Bill Baum (68/69) & Marion
Art Bonevich (63/66) & RoseMarie
Larry Smith (67/68) & Barbara
Howard Phillips (66/67), Dianne, & grandson Shane
John Phelan (69/70)
Doug Clapp (69/70)
Charles Pierce (65/66) & son
John Moore (68/69) & Becky
Gene Yonke (1968) & Barb
Earl Hornung (1966)
Roger McGill (65/66) & Cathy
Richard Bradley (66/67) & daughter Abigail
Oren "OD" Albright (68/69)
Mel Moss (68/69)
Lonnie Dotson (69/70) & Allie
Geoffrey Cushing-Murray (1968)
Manny Montanez (68/69) & Lynn
Bob Schneider (67/68) & Diane
Cabell Martin (67/68) & Terry
Bill Imrie (65/66) & Jane
Harry Watson (68/69) & Marci
Rod Nishimura (68) & Linda

If you know of a former trooper who is planning on attending and not on our list of known attendees, please let us know and we will add them. We look forward to seeing you all at the reunion. You can email us at the A Troop website to add your name to the reunion list.
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Later, John

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day

Greetings Fellow Troopers

Unfortunately for many of our citizens Memorial Day is a day off and a barbecue. The real meaning and purpose is lost to them. This past weekend I know that you will have taken a moment to remember our fallen comrades and their ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms and way of life. 85 of our fellow troopers during the period April 1965 to September 1970 made this sacrifice for us their fellow soldiers and for our nation. We owe it to them to honor them in our thoughts and actions. My thoughts were on 3 fine young men who did not return: Sgt Thomas Robertson, 2nd platoon; Lt. Charles Ayres, 3rd platoon; and Sgt. James Feeney, 1st platoon. Their action and service is a credit to our nation. They should not be forgotten. All of our 85 troopers who did not return home are listed on our memorial brick page at url: http://home.comcast.net/~ATrp3-4Cav/brickproject.html

One way to remember them is to purchase a memorial brick for the 25th Infantry Division Memorial which will become a permanent reminder of their sacrifice. Our goal is to purchase a brick for each of our 85 troopers who did not return. Many of you have purchased one or more memorial bricks. If you have the means and have not honored one of our fallen comrades, consider doing so.

Fiddler's Green is a poem that honors fallen Cavalrymen so I feel it is appropriate to add it here.
In 1925 the "Fiddler's Green" was published in The Cavalry Journal and later included in the Cavalry and Armor Heritage Book Series, Volume 1, Leadership published by the Armor Association.

Fiddler's Green

* * * So when the cavalrymen die, their souls ride away with full pack and arms down the long dusty Road to the Next World. But two miles before the fork where the road turns north for Heaven and south to Hell, they ride off the road and dismount. They lead off to the right and past them march the infantry and the artillerymen drive their guns and caissons past, marching on to the fork of the Road to the Next World.

But the dead troopers lead away from the road to the green fields with trees and streams where by the river are pitched row on row of tents. Up on the hill is Headquarters and there are the marquees of the dead old cavalry officers-they too halted here, for they stayed with their own rather than swagger about Heaven or sweat through Hell. They ride with staff and orderlies, flags and escort, Murat and Seidlitz, Forrest, Ziethen and Stuart, and many more, or sit about the tables in the shade, over maps and glasses, as they did in the years when they fought and rode in this world.

Along the picket lines under the trees, the dead troopers feed and groom, each man his own horse that he loved and rode in life. Now "Recall" blows, and "Mess Call": mess is served by celestial cooks and for K.P. and stable police the angels do miracles. The darkening sky shows its jewelry of stars and troopers rest about the fires, lying on the warm grass, with pipe and mug for every man. All together, man-at-arms and squire, cuirassier, lancer, hussar and dragoon; Briton and Frank, Cossack, Roman, Greek, Yank and Reb-all races and every uniform, at peace by the white and brown tents, the horses resting at the lines; the sergeants cease from troubling, the officers too are at rest; cavalrymen all, dreaming out eternity in the Last Camp.

And afar through the day and night, from the distant Road to the Next World, comes the muffled tramp of the infantry and the rumbling of the guns (and of late there has been the clangor of tanks and from overhead the hum of planes) marching on to the South Fork of the Road to the Next World.

The Cavalry Journal, January 1925
Farewell my brothers and sisters we will meet again at the Fiddler's Green.

If you have a remembrance of a fallen comrade or other story about one of our 85 fallen heroes, please feel free to post it here.

Respectfully,

John

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Who would you most want to see attend the 2008 reunion.

It has been 40 years since we have seen our brothers we served with in A Troop. I have been to three reunions. I attended the 1969 reunion, the 2004 reunion, and 2006 reunion. For me the highlight is visiting with Sam Jenkins, who took a naive young lieutenant and helped mold me into the man I am today. That is a great joy. Visiting with 1st platoon members Carroll, Manny, Larry, Joe, Doc Jones, Ron, Layton, Pat and others at the reunions gives me memories and friendships I will always cherish. We only had a chance to have Joe Bracone at one reunion. He passed away before he could attend another.
I was thinking about the men we served with and who I would like to see at the reunion who has not attended one. I thought of Doug Langdon. Doug served on A10 & A12 from Aug 68 to Apr 69. He was known in the 1st platoon as "flower power" Doug served on A10 during the time I was the 1st platoon leader. Doug received a Bronze Star for his actions on 2 Feb 1969. Doug was a good man who looked out for his fellow soldiers and served the troop well. I am not sure we told him that back in 1968/1969. I would like to tell him now. Doug has not attended a reunion and I am not sure why. Maybe he is unaware of them. Several years ago I had some email contact with Doug but have not heard from him since.
Maybe each of us can make an effort to track down one or two guys we want to see attend the reunion. I will try and find Doug, contact him, and encourage him to attend the reunion.

John,

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Onward Towards the Reunion

Hello everyone,

In the spirit of doing something new and using more technology to keep us better informed, I am starting this 'News & Notes" blog. If you are new to this, a blog is short for web log and it is an easy web page to use for tons of different things. It will be a way for us to stay connected with each other without the need of using email.

As we move forward together, here are a few things we could work on:

  • The 3/4 Cav Reunion will be held in the Greater Cincinnati Area from 25 to 29 June, 2008. We will post more information as it becomes available.
  • We need to get the word out to all of our email contacts about the 2008 reunion. We need to have a great attendance from A Troop. We were only a few troopers short of having the most attendees at each of the last 2 reunions. Nothing is better than seeing our fellow comrades we served with. Encourage those who have concerns about attending. Maybe some of you can post to the blog about how great of an experience your first reunion was for you.
  • We have a reunion page on our web site. You can add your name to the list of attendees. Here is the web link for our reunion page: A Troop Reunion Web Page.
  • If you have ideas for increasing the attendance from A Troop at the reunion let us know.
  • Any ideas you might have about making this reunion special to A Troopers would be appreciated.
  • Please be polite in your posts and avoid some of the language we may have used once many years ago. We have family members, some quite young, that visit our web site.
  • Select the comments link at the bottom of the page to comment.
  • Select the email icon to email this blog to other troopers.

All former Troopers can be proud of your service to our Nation, to the 3rd Squadron 4th Cavalry, and for the job you did during your time in the Troop.

Scouts Out!