Saber Article Index

2007 Jul-Aug

MEDEVAC 15th Med\15th FSB
Mike Bodnar
307B N Main Copperas Cove, TX 76522
1704 254-542-1961
E-mail: mbodnar27@juno.com

A correction to the last column should read: "Car (Ed) BRUER ebruer@comcast.net in Colorado Springs, CO." The Saber had it "Calr (Ed) BRUER," which the editor may have thought it should be "Carl," and "typoed" the letters. "Car" is the way he signed in the Guestbook, and unless anyone can confirm otherwise, that's the way it is. Send e-mail if you know.

Benjamin MITCHELL photoneeds@yahoo.com , Suitland, MD, comments: "Served with Co C, 15 MED Bn. when it was 11th Air Assault Div., and as 1st Cav Div. Sailed to Vietnam on USNS UPSHUR 11 as part of the division. Remained with Co. C until my discharge from USA, June '66."

Keltner "DOC" FARRIS fishincapt@yahoo.com of Kingman, AZ\ Kenai, AK, signed in the 1st Cav Assn. Guestbook: "Served with HHC 15th MEDEVAC '67-'68."

15th MED Association Webmaster\Past President 2003-2006 Murray GIBBS, MEDEVAC gunner '67-'68 gunnermadmur@embarqmail.com had written after the last column was submitted, "On the behalf of the 15th MED Association and myself, I wish everyone a good Memorial Day. Let us remember all those who made the greatest sacrifice in the service of their country. Let us also remember all those who served with the 15th MED Bn. who made the greatest sacrifice. The 15th MED Bn. purpose was service to the 1st Cav Div. (Airmobile), and others in need of medical attention. Their deaths were not in vain. They died risking their lives getting the wounded out.

"2007 Reunion was another eventful one. I thank all those who never attended a Reunion, for coming. We had an opportunity to meet many more of those of the 15th MED Assn. because of our Reunions. Our Secretary Corky WALSH was not able to attend so our Alt. Replacement John CRESPI filled in for him during the meeting to take the Minutes. I am still waiting for the Minutes to be sent to me by John. "FYI, John CRESPI told us before the Reunion that he took a test for leukemia. When he returned from the Reunion it was confirmed that he has leukemia. Hopefully he only has to go thru the first level of therapy for it. John will be on disability for the next 6 months, then retire. He is in high spirits that he will be okay down the road. I gave him pilot Roger BADERSCHNEIDER's phone number to call. Roger had leukemia and is doing well now. Roger had to have a bone marrow transplant, that took. "Here are the results from the 2007 Reunion: 2008 Reunion will be in Biloxi, MS, or close by. One person designated to send out Reunion invitations, Norm ROBERGE, will be working on an association patch. "Officers for 2007-2008-I hope I have this right; I haven't got the minutes yet; President - Richard "Tiny" MELLON, Vice President - John CRESPI, Treasurer - Robert MCKINLEY, Alt. Replacement - Fred MCKELLER, Secretary - To be announced (this is an appointment position), Webmaster\Database Operator - Murray GIBBS, Search Coordinator - John CRESPI Historians -Paul TROOP, Fred MCKELLER, Jim HALL, Leroy CAUBARREAUX, Writer - Mike BODNAR, Snail Mail Invitation Sender - Norm ROBERGE, Women's Auxiliary Coordinator - Holly CALIBRO.

"FYI,  I have been experiencing some trouble on the MSN Website. I was getting a restriction notice every time I tried to update a page. After several e-mail exchanges, the real problem was found. Microsoft did update their Website about 3 weeks ago. They had the pages to "READ ONLY." Then, they changed them back. Well, many of the pages became corrupted in the process. Microsoft sent me a set of instructions of how to correct this and it worked. Soon I will be making many updates that I wanted to do several weeks ago.

"I received many pictures taken at the 2007 Reunion for members who attended. I also have two camcorder tapes that I will pull video off of. Mine is most of the Air Force Museum. Richard 'Tiny' MELLON's is of the meeting and our gatherings in the hospitality room. I will be putting them together on DVD like I did the 2006 Reunion. I will let you know when I have finalized the DVD movie\slideshow." If NAPOLEON had been in the Vietnam War, these could be his maxims: "NEVER FORGET! 1. Once you are in the fight, it is way too late to wonder if this is a good idea. 2. Helicopters are cool! 3. It is a fact that helicopter tail rotors are instinctively drawn toward trees, stumps, rocks, etc. While it may be possible to ward off this natural event some of the time, it cannot, despite the best efforts of the crew, always be prevented. It's just what they do. 4. NEVER get into a fight without more ammunition than the other guy. 5. The engine RPM, and the rotor RPM, must BOTH be kept in the GREEN. Failure to heed this commandment can affect the morale of the crew. 6. A billfold in your hip pocket can numb your leg and be a real pain in the ass. 7. Cover your buddy, so he can be around to cover you. 8. Letters from home are not always great. 9. The madness of war can extract a heavy toll. Please have exact change. 10. Share everything. Even the Pound Cake. 11. Decisions made by someone over your head will seldom be in your best interest. 12. The terms 'Protective Armor' and 'Helicopter' are mutually exclusive. 13. The further away you are from your friends, the less likely it is that they can help you when you really need them the most. 14. Sometimes, being good and lucky still was not enough. There is always payback. 15. 'Chicken Plates' are not something you order in a restaurant. 16. If everything is as clear as a bell, and everything is going exactly as planned, you're about to be surprised. 17. The BSR (Bang Stare Read) Theory states that the louder the sudden bang in the helicopter, the quicker your eyes will be drawn to the gauges. 18. The longer you stare at the gauges, the less time it takes them to move from green to red. 19. It does too get cold in Vietnam. 20.  No matter what you do, the bullet with your name on it will get you. So too can the ones addressed 'To Whom It May Concern.' 21. Gravity: It may not be fair, but it is the law.  22. If the rear echelon troops are really happy, the front line troops probably do not have what they need. 23. If you are wearing body armor, the incoming will probably miss that part. 24. It hurts less to die with a uniform on than to die in a hospital bed. 25. Happiness is a belt-fed weapon. 26. If something hasn't broken on your helicopter, it's about to.  27. Eat when you can. Sleep when you can. Visit the head when you can. The next opportunity may not come around for a long time. If ever. 28. Combat pay is a flawed concept. 29. Having all your body parts intact and functioning at the end of the day beats the alternative. 30.  Air superiority is NOT a luxury. 31. If you are allergic to lead it is best to avoid a war zone. 32. It is a bad thing to run out of airspeed, altitude, and ideas all at the same time. 32a. Nothing is as useless as altitude above you and runway behind you. 33.  While the rest of the crew may be in the same predicament, it's almost always the pilot's job to arrive at the crash site first. 34. When you shoot your gun, clean it the first chance you get. 35. Loud sudden noises in a helicopter WILL get your undivided attention. 36. Hot garrison chow is better than hot C-rations, which, in turn is better than cold C-rations, which is better than no food at all. All of these, however, are preferable to cold rice balls (given to you by guards) even if they do have the little pieces of fish in them. 37. WHAT is often more important than WHY. 38. Boxes of cookies from home must be shared. 39. Girlfriends are fair game. Wives are not. 40. Everybody's a hero on the ground in the club after the fourth drink. 41. There is no such thing as a small firefight. 42. A free-fire zone has nothing to do with economics. 43. The farther you fly into the mountains, the louder the strange engine noises become. 44. Medals are OK, but having your body and all your friends in one piece at the end of the day is better. 44a. The only medal you really want to be awarded is the Longevity Medal. 45. Being shot hurts. 46. Thousands of Vietnam Veterans earned medals for bravery every day. A few were even awarded. 48. Running out of pedal, fore or aft cyclic, or collective are all bad ideas. Any combination of these can be deadly. 49. Nomex is NOT fire proof. 50. There is only one rule in war: When you win, you get to make up the Rules. 51. Living and dying can both hurt a lot. 53. While a Super Bomb could be considered one of the four essential building blocks of life, powdered eggs cannot. 54. C-4 can make a dull day fun. 55. Cocoa Powder is neither. 56. There is no such thing as a fair fight, only ones where you win or lose. 57. If you win the battle you are entitled to the spoils. If you lose you don't care. 58. Nobody cares what you did yesterday or what you are going to do tomorrow. What is important is what you are doing NOW to solve our problem. 59. If you have extra, share it quickly. 60. Always make sure someone has a P-38. 61. A sucking chest wound may be a good way of telling you it's time to go home. 62. Prayer may not help . . . but it can't help. 63. Flying is better than walking. Walking is better than running. Running is better than crawling. All of these however, are better than extraction by a MEDEVAC, even if this is technically a form of flying. 64. If everyone does not come home none of the rest of us can ever fully come home either. 65. Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your HONOR. 66. A grunt is the true reason for the existence of the helicopter. Every helicopter flying in Vietnam had one real purpose: To help the grunt. It is unfortunate that many helicopters never had the opportunity to fulfill their one true mission in life simply because someone forgot this fact. 67. 'You have the right to remain silent' is always EXCELLENT advice. 'Like the book says, we may be through with the past but the past is not through with us.'"

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

FIRST TEAM!
Garryowen,
Mike Bodnar C 2\7 '69
MEDEVAC 1-7\70
SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE