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Old 09-04-2012, 01:35 PM   #91
mikegc OP
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Originally Posted by biometrics View Post
I just found this thread... and I am awed. WELCOME HOME and thank you for your service, and for sharing this story... Thanks to ALL who serve and who have served.

from a brother in arms...

-John
U.S. Army (Retired) October,1967- February,1988
Thank you, John, first for staying at your post for over 20 years and guarding while we slept. Next, thanks for reading my thread and contacting me. Initially, I received several PMs and e-mail from service members and, of late, I've gotten more. Its very gratifying and I'm honored.

Salute, sir!

Mike
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:21 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by mikegc View Post
I asked my father once, back during the mid-1950s, if he was glad he’d served in the Army. He served in the Medical Corps in the South Pacific. I remember he got an odd sort of look on his face, paused and said, “I’m glad I had the experiences but I wouldn’t want to do it again.” I know what he means.
That is almost exactly what I've told my kids and others when they ask me about my time. Including the odd sort of look. I never thought how universal that feeling might be until now ...
-ceej
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:29 AM   #93
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That is almost exactly what I've told my kids and others when they ask me about my time. Including the odd sort of look. I never thought how universal that feeling might be until now ...
-ceej
Old soldiers, Ceej . . . old soldiers. Welcome home.

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Old 09-28-2012, 04:47 PM   #94
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Nice RR.

3rd 17th Air Cav
65- 68 Viet Nam 67-68
ATC Cu Chi, Dian Viet Nam

We had some great pilots, my favorite was WO Moreno, promoted to 1st Lt, then Captain before I left. He flew C and H models, then the Cobra when it came over. I flew door gunner with him on the "H" when delivering mail in the field.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:56 PM   #95
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Thank you so much for your service they did not support our troops back then like they do now.......................I never knew why
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:54 AM   #96
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Thank you so much for your service they did not support our troops back then like they do now.......................I never knew why
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I thought about this a little before deciding to post a ride tale for this story certainly isn’t about the ride but the journey. Yeah, I know, how many times have you heard that!? This is going to be something that may not belong in this forum so I’ll solicit the moderators opinion and will not be offended if vote is ‘no.’ You see, this journey started at a helicopter landing zone in South Vietnam in 1969 and, yup, that firmly qualifies me be an old man! Old men telling tales can be quite boring but I will make every effort not to do that you. Always remember, the back arrow is in the top left of your screen and the red X is on the right.

Kindly bear with me as I attempt to tell you how this tale came about. In those long-ago days, I was a combat photographer with The Big Red One, the US Army’s famed First Infantry Division. My job afforded the ability to travel our AO, area of operations, and photograph anything that caught my eye. My Leica M-2R and Nikon F captured combat scenes like these:









In the quiet times, however, I was able to photograph GIs helping bring a little joy to war orphans at An Lac:


















I spent as much time as I could at the orphanage. Those children touched my heart and being with them provided a wonderful escape from places like the Iron Triangle, the Michelin Rubber Plantation and War Zone D.



Another of my jobs was to photograph our assistant division commander for maneuvers, BG Herbert E. Wolff. This man entered the US Army in 1943 and fought in the South Pacific, winning a Silver Star and a battlefield commission. Years later, he told me his proudest moment of his 37 years, three-war career was helping to rescue the Bataan Death March survivors at the POW camp at Cabanatuan. I took many photos of this “soldier’s soldier” but this was my favorite and the one that led to a reconnection with our old team, Danger 78, some 37 years later:




Hopefully, I’ve set the stage for what Paul Harvey used to describe as, “the rest of the story. In 2003, my wife gave me instructions to clean out the basement and I did what, I suspect, many of you do under similar circumstances. That’s right, I was moving stuff around but not doing much cleaning . . . much cleaning? . . . I wasn’t doing squat! After some time, I came upon a box labeled “Vietnam” and recalled taping it up back in the ‘70s. I opened it, saw the above photograph and thought, “I’ll bet General Wolff would like to have this picture.” Well, long story shortened significantly, I found the general and sent the photo to him. We talked a few days later and vowed to get together as quickly as possible.

I also managed to find our helicopter pilot, Dale, and another officer, Mike. We even had a little reunion in Kalamazoo, MI about a year after the initial reconnection and it was pretty darned special. Camaraderie was resumed with no effort and friendship bloomed.





That's Dale in his Huey; Mike and me in 1969



Dale, Mike and me at our reunion in Kalamazoo in 2005. Time marches on, huh?

Sadly, not long after our reunion, we lost Dale to cancer. Naturally, Mike and I attended the funeral and made sure our buddy’s widow had everything she needed. Word, apparently, got around that Dale’s army friends were attending so, during the second night’s visitation for the much loved man, one of his friends approached. He said, “You’re ‘the Mikes’ aren’t you?” Replying affirmatively, he continued by saying, “You guys really live your motto, don’t you?” Seeing we were a bit puzzled, he stated, “You know: No mission too difficult, no sacrifice too great. Duty First!” That was the motto of the First Infantry Division and we were humbled. Old soldiers . . . . . . .


On a bit of a roll from the aforementioned reconnections, I found a lady who used to work in the orphanage, too. You may want to check this You Tube link about Betty Tisdale: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODQSRV-zPq8 . That led to a reunion last year at Fort Benning of the 219 orphans who were airlifted out as Saigon fell. I even manage to find the subject of a 1969 photo:


This was Ngoc at An Lac in 1969. In Columbus, this is Ngoc, Amy (another An Lac orphan) and me in 2010.




Now, you’ve got to be asking yourself, “What’s the point of this guy’s rambling?” Well, my old lieutenant, Mike, was a great officer when in counted. Since our reconnection, he has become a friend even though we live half a continent away. For some time, I’ve wanted to recognize my old army buddy, thank him for “taking me under his wing” back then and for being a good friend today. After quite a bit of pondering, I came upon a solution. I purchased a Colt 1911 Government Model .45, the same type weapon we carried 42 years ago. Wanting to personalize the pistol, I found a gentleman who does scrimshaw work and ordered elephant ivory grips from him. He masterfully etched the grips with our First Infantry insignia. Next, I ordered a presentation case from a woodworker in Indiana. Here are the results of my efforts:










I leave in the morning on my GSA for Wisconsin, planning a three day trip up there on mostly back roads. Along the way, I’ll think about what I’m going to say to my friend when I present this token of respect, admiration and appreciation. You all know that some of your best thinking is done on two wheels and that’s what I’ll do. If you haven’t gotten too bored, yet, I invite you to come along as I perform this duty for a fine former officer and good friend.

God bless you and God bless the Big red One
thanks for sharing
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:15 AM   #97
mikegc OP
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Originally Posted by llamapacker View Post
Nice RR.

3rd 17th Air Cav
65- 68 Viet Nam 67-68
ATC Cu Chi, Dian Viet Nam

We had some great pilots, my favorite was WO Moreno, promoted to 1st Lt, then Captain before I left. He flew C and H models, then the Cobra when it came over. I flew door gunner with him on the "H" when delivering mail in the field.
Llamapacker, we were in the same area but at different times. I worked out of Lai Khe until February of '70 and moved down Hwy 13 to Dian. Jeez, what a lousy place that was!

Welcome home, bud,

Mike
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:17 AM   #98
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God bless you and God bless the Big red One
thanks for sharing
I'm honored by your comments, sir. Thank you, Kevin.

Mike
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:58 AM   #99
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Great story with a deep since of pride stired up in all vets that read this ride report. I served three tours in VN.
A Pathfinder team leader in the 1St Cav 1965-66





Company commander 1/506 101 st Airborne 1967-68


CCS 5th SFGA Launch officer 1969





This year at FT Benning, GA with three guys I served with two of them retired as CSM's and the third got after after his tour. I enlisted in 1962 and retired in 1996 as a BG.


I am the one on the right with three fingers. ( long story)



Last I was riding in NC ( tail of the dragon) and stopped to see CSM Tommy Shook. I wanted to visit him prior to his return to iraq as a security contractor. Tommy is 70 and is in his 8th year in Iraq. He is tougher than woodpecker lips. Tommy and I served in 1966 in the pathfinder team.


It seems like there are a lot of vets on this site.

Thank you for your service.
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:01 AM   #100
BOOGIEMAN
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Great story with a deep since of pride stired up in all vets that read this ride report. I served three tours in VN.
A Pathfinder team leader in the 1St Cav 1965-66





Company commander 1/506 101 st Airborne 1967-68


CCS 5th SFGA Launch officer 1969





This year at FT Benning, GA with three guys I served with two of them retired as CSM's and the third got after after his tour. I enlisted in 1962 and retired in 1996 as a BG.


I am the one on the right with three fingers. ( long story)



Last I was riding in NC ( tail of the dragon) and stopped to see CSM Tommy Shook. I wanted to visit him prior to his return to iraq as a security contractor. Tommy is 70 and is in his 8th year in Iraq. He is tougher than woodpecker lips. Tommy and I served in 1966 in the pathfinder team.


It seems like there are a lot of vets on this site.

Thank you for your service.
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:03 AM   #101
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I do not know why the double post some times I just do not get this machine.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:22 AM   #102
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I do not know why the double post some times I just do not get this machine.
Sir, your post was worth reading twice! Thank you for posting the good photos and a great story! I'm honored that you used this now year-old thread to let us know what you did. Thank you, sir, for staying at your post as we slept.

If there are, indeed, more veterans coming upon this thread, I encourage and invite you to share your experiences while standing guard over our wonderful country. And, for those veterans who may still be subscribed, please let us hear from you! C'mon Norton(kel), Egads1, Patmo, ceej and all the others who've contacted me. Show us your photos and tell your stories. Pirate Sea Captain & 6 Gun, I look forward to hearing from you now that you're out of Iraq.

Boogieman, thanks again, sir!

Mike
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:30 AM   #103
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Man, this is an awesome report. Thank You for Your Service!
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:26 PM   #104
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MIke- excellent


Perhaps should start a vet's pictorial/stories in JM
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:14 AM   #105
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Thank you

Mike et al,

I am sitting in Bagram, awaiting a 0200 show time for my flight to Kuwait, just finished reading your RR. (Kudos to Hakatan (my brother) for turning me on to it.) Excellent read. Fabulous sentiment. Thank you ALL for your service and sacrifice. I just spent my tour at a very remote and austere forward operating base doing the anesthesia for the forward surgical team. It was an honor and a priveledge to help care for those troops going into harms way to help defend the American ideal. I fear that with military operations going into their second decade in Afghanistan that the American people, who are so far removed from this reality, will forget or diminish what these young people are trying to do in service to our country. I pray not.

Hooah.

Josh "Sevoman" Wolf
66F, AN, USA
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