Saber Article Index

2010 Jan-Feb

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

Ron STRUB of Bullhead City, AZ, ronstrub@hotmail.com e-mailed, "Hi Mike, Is someone compiling a roster of the 15th MED that shipped over in 1965? I have my original 'Permanent Change of Station' orders for Co. C dated 29 July 1965 moving us from Ft. Benning to Vietnam. I was a PFC Medic and flew over on the advance party on Aug 16th with SSG Ned FIELDING, SP5 Dan ADDAIR, and PFC Tommy COLE. Would love to hear from anyone of that time period. Feel free to share my information with anyone. Happy New Year. Ron"

Murray GIBBS, Webmaster\Past President 2003-2006 15th MED Association, MEDEVAC '67-'68 gunnermadmur@neo.rr.com notifies that Clifford R. DAVIS of North Charleston, SC, died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Friday, December 11, 2009. He was born on July 5, 1947 in Elmira NY. Cliff was a decorated military man who faced his illness of pancreatic cancer with "grit and grace." He was a recipient of four Purple Hearts, and a paralyzed veteran. He dedicated his time to others through volunteerism, including The Military Order of the Purple Heart, and countless hours at the VA Hospital. He served his country in the United States Air Force and retired as a Medical Service Supervisor. The 15th MED roster shows he attainted the rank of MSG, and was in B Co. 15th MED in '66.

MEDEVAC gunner Dave PARKS shootdown@yahoo.com forwarded a forward from gunner Mike SMITH of a vet run online T-shirt company: www.wolvesandmore.com . The shirts are designed exclusively in the store. Many of the shirts can be personalized with your military history; i.e. your medal ribbons. The shirt for the 1st Cav Airmobile is particularly interesting. Also available: cavalry regiments; CIB; CMB; door gunner; old wars; recent wars; everything military veteran imaginable. The selection grew since I first looked. Requests may be possible. Other info: Wolves And More, 673 Main Street, Deadwood, SD 57732; 1-888-806-6126.

Ed JONES <ecjones19@aol.com> e-mailed, "Hi Mike, John RAMSDEN is attempting to put together a Vietnam history for the 27th Maint. Bn. We have been able to obtain the unit history from the Army History Museum at Carlisle Barracks, but they do not have the years 1968 and 1971. I was assigned to the S-2/3 shop and actually wrote the history in '68 and '69. One of the things I remember about the history of '68 was one of the 27th's NCO's or EM 're-invented' and\or made a major improvement in the jungle penetrator that aided in a quicker extraction of the wounded in the terrain we were dealing with.

"Was wondering if you have any recollection of this or if you could throw it out to some of your members. I'm thinking it had something to do with the size\shape and perhaps incorporation of a mesh or cover that better secured the wounded. Thanks for your help."

'70-'71 MEDEVAC PSG James MACDONALD csmret@iinet.com writes, "I gladly let you peer into the soul of the MEDEVAC platoon. As I viewed that year, I was blessed to be among the most wonderful band of young men that gave so much and asked for so little. All volunteers, individuals melded into a group, that believed in the words 'Strive to Save Lives.' Regardless of their position or rank they belonged to a calling that was committed to helping their fellow soldiers. Each group of words are a story in itself that tugs on a memory and are part of the past. It attests to what they did and went through. I think of them often with awe and pride.

"Flashbacks and Reflections: Seems like it was just a few months ago. But everything seems hazy. The Days and nights thru Dec 70--Dec 71 were a blur of flights, change of personnel and the roommate that drank beer in the shower. The loss of aircraft, the exchange of friendship, the respect for the first up crews, the wounded, anger at the 'unseen' enemy, the unclaimed Hero's and the frightened, nervous laughter, loss of Sam the Soda-Man, mortars at the movie, Cannibalization to keep the craft flyable, and loneliness of the pitiful raped Hanger Queen. Downed birds rescued, sting of the call-Troopers hit, Triple Canopy Extractions, radio chatter, hot refuels, Mountainyard and rotor chain bracelets, nightly doses of Agent Orange, insecticide cocktail, blended with a morning quinine pill. Booze to forget, beer for a dime, script was monopoly money, revetments to spring from, Boots on the bar at the 9th Cav, wide-eyed newbeeies, a screaming monkey, short timers counting. First up call, racing to it out of trim, identifying smoke, snakes overhead, going in the hole, muttered prayers, rotors slashing bamboo, bean cans for the Patient Protector's rounds to ride on, green tracers, bulletproof cushions and chicken vests, safety straps, reaching out, pulling in the ride, the silent nod of thank you, Hop the wire to Bn. Aid, Hot Refuels, skid slide takeoffs, hidden pride, wings that were earned, separation of close friends, medals that were and were not earned, JP4 in a coke can, cleaning machine guns, smells that got used to, More Hot Missions, over the berm, dog rides to POL, blood on the ships floors, C-Missions logged, dailies pulled, supplies restocked, scout dog in a rigid litter and a defective jungle penetrator, laughing and crying. Just wanting out, cold night sweats, bad dreams, fear of the last mission. P38 on a dog tag chain, Red Devil and C-rats, Posted centerfold pin up. Trapped in a Mosquito Net, sleeping with boots on. False sense of security, Unauthorized weapons under the pillows. Believing in God, Buddha, or any damm good luck memorabilia, Blue Max, and your crew.

"15th MED Bn. Goes Home: MED Co. 215th CS Bn., 3rd BDE (Separate). Retire the colors; re-name the same, change the spot to spring from, MEDEVAC is still MEDEVAC- Fire Support Bases to visit, Jungle House-calls, borrowing aircraft, bartering for people and part replacements. Hotel Three, hundred mile an hour tape to bandage the craft, sand in almost everything, Spine chilling Down Bird Call, CMB's and CIB's, unlucky POW missions, a Y cord to share the knowledge, Hooch by the flight line, Blue smoke frag, Flight Ops chatter, Red Carpet and Fat Albert, MEDEVAC 11 and other call signs, strength in unity. Rebellion at the EM Club, Proud Mary songs, IG Inspections, Bien Hoa Air Force Killer omelets, unauthorized non-nomax ride to the states, beautiful South China Sea, time to leave and forget somebody else's war. Unloading the stress of Vietnam after being suspended over it wearing a bull's-eye. Class A's that were baggy and short. A tan that you forgot you had. Out-processing was a blur. Proud of the job, friends that forgot to remember. Some said it was a mission, some said it was live training tested, some just dismissed it as a Bad Dream, most said nothing. Proud of the MEDEVAC LOGO POCKET PATCH. Everyone paid the price, some more than others. Some, more than not, if not with their life, than with their youth. Well at least justification in saying...Although, during the tour, the reasoning proves,,,.Right or wrong, it was "our 15 Minutes of Fame in the Sun" and by God, Did We FLY...The Old Flight Platoon Sergeant"

An update to the last column about the mispronunciation of "cavalry," no word from the White House after my message to them got through. I haven't since heard anyone from there use or mispronounce the word "cavalry," e.g. The Commander in Chief; i.e. President OBAMA-yet.

CBS did not reply to me, but news anchor Katie COURIC did finally get it correct when they did a follow up to the Ft. Hood tragedy with good news about 1st Cav troops returning home from deployment. I could tell when she emphasized "CAVALRY" that she got the message, and wanted to stand corrected. During the same broadcast their field reporter at Ft. Hood also pronounced "cavalry" correctly which was good to hear. When that happens with me, bells ring, and the bells were ringing that night.

Brian WILLIAMS of NBC twice reported on the 2nd BCT returning to Ft. Hood and both times announced "Good news for the 1st Cav!" He usually knows what he's saying when it comes to veterans. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.

I had mentioned the book: The Anonymous Battle, by Captain John POINDEXTER (RET.) which documents the incident in March 1970 when C 2-8 Cav became overwhelmed by heavy contact with the NVA in War Zone C. Alpha Troop 11th ACR was working in task force with 2-8 Cav and decided to go to the aid of C 2-8 instead of just listening to them on the radio being decimated. What ensued was a horrendous firefight between armor firepower and a determined enemy's resistance. Anyone interested in that subject would want to read this book. I am still in the middle of it. This, again, prompted the award of the Presidential Unit Citation given to A 1-11 Cav at the White House, and my discovery of President OBAMA's mispronunciation of "CAVALRY" as "CALVARY," available on You Tube.

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