Saber Article Index

2010 Nov-Dec

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

Dave PARKS , MEDEVAC gunner '69-'70 e-mailed on 07 Sept 10 that he was sitting, drinking a beer, and remembering the 41st anniversary of the his first shoot down. Dave remembers two guys were wasted that day, James and Gary. The chew chief was burned real bad. The PP broke his arm and several other things. Dave said he and the A/C weren't hurt too bad, at least he thinks the A/C wasn't hurt too bad. Dave says he ended up with some contusions, and other bumps and bruises.

Dave recommends, don't ever rub Bengay in your crotch. He says he also sprained his whole body and that was the treatment the doc gave him. Dave says he didn't think he'd ever have any pubic hair again! He remembers it took awhile to get an LZ made. Said it was "Kinda cool," they used about 200 feet of det cord to blow down some trees. The only problem was all the trees fell to the inside, so no other choppers could land. First in was a "s'hook" with a sling of ammo. Then, one of our birds came in and fetched all the other guys that needed to go. Dave said if the Bn. 6 hadn't been on the ship he could have also left then but, no room for Dave. He says he spent the night in an APC. Quote, "Damn that was FUN!"  Dave said it rained, and it rained, and there were several "mad minutes," so for some-aforementioned-reason he just didn't get a whole lot of sleep that night. The next day about ten AM the first MEDEVAC bird made it in. The mud was knee deep. Dawe says he went from the left side all the way through the ship to sit in the hellhole on the right side. Says a nice clean ship with big mud prints from left to right. "The chew chief, 'Lurch,' had a s'fit cus I MUDDYED UP HIS CLEAN BIRD." Dave said the next four months and days he was on three other birds that went down. Some of the pilots wouldn't fly with the ship he was on. The ones that did were the best of the best; Mr. LEONARD, ZEPP, SCHMIDT, "Little Okie," Mr. TANNER, SALENGER, and a few others Dave can't remember. "Oh, almost forgot, Capt. HOLMES." Dave says he was never on a ship long enough to learn the tail #'s. The crew chiefs knew them all, "Not me."

I can confirm Dave's pilots' assessments. I flew with all of them myself. I had only missed any death defying experiences with Charlie HOLMES, whom I hear, got shot down more than Dave; seven times. That attests to either the 1st Cav's AO, or Capt. HOLMES' determination to make an attempt. Probably both!

Said Dave, "Anyways, I'm sitting here thinking of the two guys, MEGEHEE and BOWDLER. They were KIA that day. Never will understand why two guys, that had all the right reasons to live, die'd!  and I made it out alive. Only hope I was able to hold up to their high standards."

Bob KON, B 1-7 Cav '70 , e-mailed that after reading the last column, he couldn't find the name of Cleave BRIDGEMAN on The Wall.

I forwarded to Tim BRIDGMAN, <> and Tim replied, "This is probably because they are spelling his name wrong: Cleaveland F. BRIDGMAN (no 'e' in the last name and an 'a' in the first one). It is true that a BRIDGEMAN was also killed in Vietnam, but he bears no relation. If there is any question, tell them to e-mail Jack MORRISON who replaced Cleave in Vietnam after he was killed."

I checked my records, and although I always copy and paste from the 15th MED Guestbook, my spell checker may have triggered a misspelling and put it out wrong to everyone.

I received feedback from Bill WALSH who felt that I had over emphasized his participation in the 1986 Chicago Vietnam Veterans' Parade. I did generalize "hosted," but he says he has to clarify; the ONLY thing he hosted at the original was me and two others at his house. Bill says his vet's organization, Windy City Vets, sponsored the Aussies; and the parade was put on by the City of Chicago. "Three of our members, Al LYNCH, Medal of Honor with 1st Cav, Gene CONNELL, now deceased, and Tommy STACK, also deceased, were instrumental in giving their input; Tommy STACK was a friend of both the mayors and several aldermen."

Bill was in fact a marshal for the parade as well as, he says, other brother/vet cops, led by Bob HANLEY, now deceased. "It sounded as if I put together that soiree which I did not, I did what I could. Don't want folks to get the wrong impression."

Bill mentions Bob KOLLING is a committee member of the Anniversary Parade and believes he told him he was the resident sniper on LZ Jamie, B 2-7, by the TOC in '69, and forwards from Bob, "Robert KOLLING, October 27, 2010 at 7:43 AM, Subject: Welcome Home 2011 Press Conference; You are all invited to attend an important press conference scheduled for Veteran's Day, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010, at 2 P.M. at The Palmer House Hilton Hotel in the State Ballroom, 17 E. Monroe St. in Chicago. The press conference is intended to announce 'Welcome Home 2011,' a series of events and festivities planned for June 17-19, 2011, that are aimed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1986 Chicago Vietnam Veterans' Welcome Home Parade.

To read the Press Release, visit ; .

Remember, mark your calendars and make plans now for Welcome Home 2011, a Chicago Vietnam Veterans' Welcome Home Parade, June 17-19, 2011. Go to:

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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