Saber Article Index

2010 Jul-Aug

MEDEVAC 15th Med\15th FSB
Mike Bodnar
307B N Main Copperas Cove, TX 76522
1704 254-542-1961

"The 2010 Reunion in Boise, ID, was a very successful event for all those who attended. I wish I could have been there. Our Reunion Coordinator Mike 'Smitty' SMITH and his wife Velma did an excellent job putting it together. Currently I was only sent a few Reunion pictures by Larry NORRIS. I hope to get more with a little description in the near future so I can post them up on our Website. During the annual meeting new Association Officers we elected and appointed. Some officers continue to serve. Here are the officers for the 2010-2011 year: President: James BELAIR, Vice President: David HUSER, Treasurer: Robert MC KINLEY, Alt Replacement: Art JACOBS, Secretary: James CALIBRO, Database Operator\Webmaster: Murray GIBBS, Reunion Coordinator: John CRESPI, Search Coordinator: Paul TROOP, Historian\Chaplin: Paul TROOP, Historian: William DOWNEY, Snail Mail Sender: Norm ROBERGE, Saber Writer: Mike BODNAR, Ladies Aux Group: Velma SMITH.

"I have gotten some feedback from the 2010 Reunion. Next Reunion will be in Branson, MO. John CRESPI told me that it will be in the first week of April and that maybe subject to change. When I get all the details of the 2011 Reunion I will post them ASAP. I also heard we will not be sending Paul TROOP to College Park to retrieve any more documents. I have already posted about 1300 to 1400 of what he has retrieved. I have just received approximately another 250 to 300 documents from Paul. We have a lot of members on Facebook who joined either before or after the Reunion. It appears to be a way of communicating to other members. If any person related to the 15th MED Assn. sends you a message, an e-mail is sent to you. I know I have gotten my share. We must all remember Facebook is more like an open book on each and everyone one of us. It would be wise to be more confidential in what we post on Facebook.

"Mission Statement - I like to review our direction as an Association by posting our Mission Statement with a little explanation. The Mission Statement was put together at the 2000 Reunion in San Antonio.

---->> Our Mission Statement is Four Fold.

---->> 1.) To Establish contact with former members of the 15th Medical Battalion, Vietnam.

---->> 2.) To Establish and maintain a data-bank of known members of the 15th MED Association.

---->> 3.) To provide, each year, information as to time and place of the Annual Reunion. This is to include discounted hotel rooms, meetings rooms, banquet dinners, luncheons, interest for the family members and any additional information pertinent to the promotion of attendance of the annual reunion.

---->> 4.) To promote goodwill and brotherhood among the membership, their families and all veterans and their associations and organizations.

1.)  Looking for members can be time consuming and difficult. Several methods must be used of which I have used. One of the best methods I have used is where I had a list of names and the list had the SSN. I used the SSN to located City & State which narrows the search down to an easy find. Where do we get these lists? Anyone who has a 201 file has awards or promotion lists in it with names and sometimes SSNs. If we could get our hands on the Roster Lists at St Louis we would have a gold mine of information to do these searches. I know that SSNs must be held with the upmost confidentiality. I deleted all found SSNs on all the documents I posted. This is one item we do not post.

2.)  We have a data-bank or database on Excel spreadsheet that I maintain. It has gone thru many changes to include both Found & Find Members, a pending action list showing dates when changes were made to any member. The pending actions could be Found, Find, address change, phone change etc. There is also the KIA list and those known Deceased listed since Vietnam.

3.)  Each year we have an Annual Reunion. We have a Reunion Coordinator who sets it up for the Association. He coordinates all he can in Part 3. of the Mission Statement for all who attend the Reunion.

4.)  We promote our Association with friendship to all with whom we come in contact. These are our members, family members, veterans and others who are interested in us. Our goodwill and brotherhood attracts their interest. Thus, many of our members are in contact with current members, other veterans, associations and organizations. We have an open door policy inviting other veterans to attend our Reunions which we have done in the past. The first Reunion we had was in Franklin, VA, in April of 1998. Those who attend were mostly MEDEVAC veterans. Thus it was MEDEVAC veterans who started the 15th MED Association. It was called the MEDEVAC Association. At the 1999 Reunion in Las Vegas the name was changed to the 15th Medical Battalion Association. The intent of the Association is not to have just MEDEVAC, but to be inclusive of all members of the 15th Medical Battalion regardless of MOS (Military Occupational Specialty). There are many members who believe that we focus just on MEDEVAC, which is so far from the truth. At the 2003 Reunion outgoing President Maurice 'Corky' WALSH made the statement at the Meeting that we should include all 15th MED Bn. veterans from Korea to Vietnam. I, Murray GIBBS, became president then, and continued with that statement. COL William DOWNEY in his speech about Hospital Pods made a statement that the Association is not just about MEDEVAC, and we should get other 15th MED Bn. veterans to attend. Apparently we still have the same thoughts about the Association being just MEDEVAC today. That needs to be changed. Thus the true name of our Association is 15th Medical Battalion Association which is the home of MEDEVAC.

"I personally invite all veterans of 15th Medical Battalion to be a part of our Association. Listed below are patches that I have found of the 15th MED Battalion, and yes, most of the them are of the Air Ambulance Platoon (call sign: MEDEVAC).

"As well as the 15th Medical Battalion and 15th Support Battalion Crest, the first patch for MEDEVAC was called 'ANGELS OF MERCY.' During the summer of 1968 these patches evolved with the motto at the bottom saying, 'SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE.' No doubt this saying is used also for the 15th Medical Battalion and not just MEDEVAC. The current patch representation is The 15th Medical Battalion Association Decal.

"Website Updates - I have done a lot of additions and updates to the our Website. I continue to work on the documents because all of them have not been added yet. The Saber issues are updated to Jan/Feb 2010. I have added or updated most of the Reunion pictures I have on file. Lately, I made changes to the Main Index Page. I want the main index page to remain the same as when Larry ASH had it, with only a few exceptions. They are the 2nd Index Page button, Donation button and VOIP Banner. I moved buttons for USNS Upshur II, Forums & Webmaster's Page to the 2nd Index Page. I changed the icons on the 2nd Index Page not to be like the Main Index Page. I added the 15th Medical Battalion Crest and our Association Patch is below it.

"I added a link to the Virtual Vietnam Wall. I added a link to the 2-8th Cav, Eager Arms., Art JACOBS, and Jerry DICK were made honorary members of the 2-8th Cav, 1st Air Cav Div. The link goes to an incident that happened on 24 July 68. I added a page showing our Challenge Coin, any hats we have to offer or any other items. This page is still under construction.

"I added a Misc. Page for any items of interest that will be posted from this page. I have added one item that I got off of our old temporary sister Website before it went down in Feb, 2009. It started out about MEDEVAC Crosses. A nice piece of Historical information was made known from an eye witness concerning an event that happened in Sept. of 1966. The Forums - When I first re-establish this Website I added a discussion board type of environment called The Forums. I did this so from this Website one could make topic posts like the discussion board on our old sister Website. The old sister Website no longer exists. The Forums are there as a method to communicate with the Association. One must have a screen name with password to be able to respond, add or create a topic (post). Only 15th MED Assn. members are able to view topics strictly in certain boards. There are several permission levels created at different levels in the Forums.

"The important level for the membership is the 15th MED Assn. member level. Members can make posts in all the boards. There is one board that only 15th MED Assn. members can view and other levels can not view. These are the levels that can not view that one board, 15th MED member wives, honorary members, visiting veterans and researchers. Currently we don't use this tool (Forums) very much. Why? I don't know. I find it very useful.

"The Forums vs. Facebook. Forums can be very private with only 15th MED Members able to use the designate board that the public can not view. Facebook on the other hand is open to the public unless there is a way to keep those 15th MED Members on it on a private use level. I signed up for Facebook last month and already I have had outsiders requesting me to be their friends. I only accept those associated with the 15th Medical Battalion Association. We must be careful on the information we post on Facebook. Anyone can view it and use it to any intent they wish whether it be good or bad.

"Ways of Communication - There are several ways to communicate or stay in touch with others like our members. Each method is okay and is used either on a private or open way to communicate.  These are the methods: 1.)  Telephone or cell phone. 2.) E-mail, either person to person or group. 3.) Written letters or invites sent by snail mail. 4.) Website postings. 5.) Discussion Boards like the Forums we use on our Website.  6.) Voice over Internet Provider (VOIP). 7.) Facebook, My Space, Twitter and others which are open to the public and are setup for immediate contact with other members by sending one an e-mail from another making contact. "The method one uses should be based on the content of the intended message to be delivered from private to public. Anything that might be personal should not be posted in the Forums boards or Facebook. However, there is in the Forums a private message section that only the intended person can read. I like to thank all of you who were thinking of me during the 2010 Reunion.

"A card was sent to me shortly after the Reunion. It is a good feeling to know that one is missed. This card Promotes & Fosters GOODWILL and BROTHERHOOD among the members of the 15th MED Bn. Association. I really appreciate all the comments made in this card."

"2010 Reunion Coordinator - John CRESPI has been very busy with his wife who had a heart operation last month. She recently had to go back into the hospital due to water around her heart. This is the e-mail I got from prior President Fred MC KELLAR June 10, 2010: "Murray, I got a call from John CRESPI about 15 minutes ago. He indicated that he had to take Barbara to the hospital. She has fluid building up around her heart  and is going to be operated on today.  Need to put the word out to all the members that she and John need our prayers and encouragement. I would have called you, but I have your old number.  Thanks for getting the word out.

"I got this e-mail from our Treasurer Bob MC KINLEY June 11, 2010: 'Hi Murray, I just talked to John and he told me that they operated on Barbara and took between 3-4 CM of fluid from around her heart. He said she was feeling better but they have her doped up for pain. She will probably be there a few days.'

"I got this e-mail from prior President Fred MC KELLAR June 14, 2010: 'John called today. Barbara is doing better. All tubes have been removed. She does have some swelling in one of her arms and one hand. They want to keep her in the hospital for at least another day to see if everything is doing OK since the tubes have been removed. They are also checking to determine if there may be some infection in the swollen arm. If so, they want to treat that. John informed me that he has gotten many e-mails and correspondence from the members that he has not been able to respond to. He indicated that he and Barbara appreciate them very much and will be responding when Barbara gets out. He has been at the hospital most of the time with her. They thank everyone for them.'

"She is okay now. I know this has put a big strain on the CRESPI family. As soon as all is stabilized John will send me the necessary information on the 2011 Reunion. It will be in Branson, MO.

"Reunion Pictures - I have gotten a few 2010 Reunion pictures from the members of our Association. The members are Larry NORRIS, Jon LINDQUIST, and Jim BELAIR. I still need more pictures to post for the 2010 Reunion. If you attended the 2010 Reunion and could please send me some pictures to post on the Website, I would appreciate it very much.  If any of you have pictures from previous Reunions of years that I don't have pictures of, please send me a copy of them in .jpg file format if possible.

"Historian\Chaplin Paul TROOP recently had knee surgery replacement. I spoke with him a little while ago and he is doing well. Yes, he has pain and is trying to navigate as much a possible with that pain. I thank Paul for the items he took time to send me just prior to his operation this month. Last month I met with Paul and he gave me the last of all the documents he had. These documents will take time to scan, name, and remove all SSN's from them. Next will be organizing them to be posted on the Website. It takes time to do what I have been doing. It took Paul long hours at the archives to retrieve the documents that I now have. He did it while having trouble walking with both his knees needing an operation. Now he has done one knee I know soon he will have the other knee done. I know Paul would like very much to contribute to the 15th MED Association as much as he can. He would like to get those Morning Reports and Roster Lists from St Louis. These would help us gather more names of those we need to find.

"If any of you would like to me to post something on my next Newsletter please get in touch with me. If you would like have our Saber writer Mike BODNAR post something in our section of the 1st Cav Div. Assn. Saber, please e-mail him at: . Past President 2003-2006 / Webmaster Murray GIBBS MEDEVAC '67-'68. " P.S. "FYI, I have made a post on the Forums that anyone can read of all the e-mails I have received about Barbara CRESPI. If you have an account on the Forums you can respond to the topic link on that Web page. The last e-mail was sent June 20th, 2010, that Barbara has gone back into the hospital."

'70 MEDEVAC Medic Bill WALSH sent out a Web link for the Vietnam Memorial Wall. It has links for various personal searches, better than most I have seen.

Jerry ROHR of B 2-5 Cav '68-'69, forwarded a photo of Doc John NAGEL, whom I mentioned in the last column as having contacted me. The e-mail reads, "I remember Doc NAGEL. Here is a pic of him treating a wounded VC at LZ Jane in 1968. He was my HQ Medic for awhile. Well skilled and of a good nature, he was a good soldier . If you want to use the pic, feel free."

Kenneth R. WILLIAMS from Chicago signed the Guestbook as, "A Company 15th MED., October 1966- October 1967."

Stephen KELLY from Los Angeles also signed as, "215 MED Bat. FB Mace Dec. '71-Feb.'72? Until we closed it. Bien Hoa aid station until June '72."

William BURNS in Geneva, AL, writes, "Served with A Co, 15th MED Aug, '65 through Aug, '66. I was a 'leg.' Didn't get to go to jump school because I was on my honeymoon. I have thought of the men and our service many time over the years. I hope life has been good for you all."

Always remembering our 1st Cav troops on duty around the world; over and out.

Mike Bodnar C 2\7 '69
MEDEVAC 1-7\70

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