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The Tradition Continues - good dog, good dog
Shortly after arriving at Phouc Vinh in 1970 I was pulling one of my initial first up aircraft stand-bys. About mid-morning all hell broke loose and I was told we had a mission. Crewmembers were tear-assing from Ops to the revetments as if the whole 1st Cav had down birds.
After cranking up the first up bird, I was briefed that the mission was to hoist a wounded working dog from the jungle. Seems Medevac had an unofficial mission priority. Number one, and the mission we flew the fastest for, was a downed bird. In second place was retrieving an injured working dog. I don't know how the tradition started, but having an undergraduate degree in Animal Husbandry, I was all for it.
It seems the modern-day version of our single engine air ambulance that's servicing the 1st Cav trains to continue our tradition, but maybe not with the same urgency.
Crew chiefs and flight medics from Company C (Medevac), 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion “Lobos”, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division conducted K-9 aircraft familiarization and flight crew K-9 training in March on Hood Army Air Field. Lobos coordinated with handlers from the 226th Military Working Dog Detachment to arrange a two-part training where flight crew members could get comfortable around the dogs and familiarize the dogs with the HH-60 Blackhawk.
“We want to ensure the first time a military working dog, handler, and paramedic work together isn’t in a combat environment,” said HH-60M Blackhawk pilot 1LT David Caskey. In the first half of training, Troopers spent time with the handlers learning how to muzzle the dogs and giving basic commands to the dogs. In the second half of the training, the handlers and their dogs visited the Lobos hangar to be briefed on the capabilities of the HH-60 Blackhawk and receive flying experience.
“I think it is great to find out the difference in reactions between an experienced and an inexperienced dog and how to handle the situation to avoid injuries to both dogs and handlers,” said SGT Raul Garza, a flight medic from Company C., 2-227th Aviation Regiment. During the flight training, Troopers simulated scenarios in which a 9-Line MEDEVAC was requested for a K-9. The medics learned to work with a stressed animal in a confined space and still provide care to the patient.
“The back of a MEDEVAC helicopter (HH-60M) is a tight space when packed with our complete medical load-out,” said Caskey, “This gives our medics and crew chiefs an opportunity to see what it’s going to be like to throw a military working dog and handler into the mix.”
how to obtain PERSONNEL ROSTERS
The 15th Medical Bn Association now has available personnel rosters
requested from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, MO
for 1965-1970. These rosters were generally prepared only for the months of
April and October of each year during the Vietnam War, except during 1965
and 1966, when they were prepared during some additional months as well.
Enlisted Personnel Rosters for 1968 are available only for 10/68. Officer
rosters are available for 07/65, 08/65, 10/65, 01/66, 07/66, 07/67, 09/67,
04/69 and 10/70
Rosters must be requested and will be sent by e-mail only, unless special arrangements are made by e-mail. Go to the How To Obtain Personnel Rosters page for further instructions.
Beware of Veterans Choice Program Scam
A devious telephonic scam has surfaced, and it is targeting veterans throughout the country who are in the process of making decisions about their own personal medical care. The scammers have set up a bogus telephone line, which mimics or resembles the actual telephone line used for the Veterans Choice Program.
The Veterans Choice Program allows certain veterans to use approved healthcare providers outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system by calling a toll-free number to see if they are eligible. At this point, the scammers step in to attempt to defraud veterans. This is where the bogus telephone number comes in handy for the scammers. The only difference between their bogus telephone number and the real telephone number used by the VA is the area code.
The real telephone number used by the VA has an “866” area code, while the scammers use the more common “1-800” area code telephone number. Veterans who answer the bogus (1-800) telephone number will get an automated message.
The phony message states that veterans may qualify for a rebate, usually
a $100 - $500 rebate if they are willing to update their information using
the telephone key pad and by giving their credit card information or
checking account information using the automated telephone system. The
message also indicates that veterans will receive quicker responses from the
VA regarding their healthcare choice if they update their information via
the automated system. Which, asks for the veterans’ credit card information.
There is no rebate, and the cons then have a person’s financial information.
It is important to remember that neither the VA, nor any government agency, will not ask for a veterans’ financial account information over the telephone.
Reduce Your Monthly Cell Phone Bill
Sprint provides a special discount on service to those who served in the Armed Forces. Veterans and active duty service members get 15 percent off select data rate plans (applies to new and existing customers). For example, a family of four can share 10GB of data for $85 per month (regularly $100 per month). Customers simply need to provide their military/DOD ID, Veteran ID Card or other proof of honorable service to receive their military discount when visiting a Sprint store. Visit www.sprint.com/verify to find out more about the Sprint Veteran Discount Program.
AT & T
Qualified active duty service members, Reserves, national guard members, veterans, and spouses of active duty and deceased service personnel can receive 15% off the monthly service charge on qualified plans. Valid proof of honorable military service required. Qualified individuals must be current account holders. Discount applies only to recurring monthly service charge of certain plans.
Military veterans are required to show proof of honorable military service: Department of Defense Form DD Form 214 indicating an honorable discharge or a valid retired military ID, veteran designated driver’s license or Veteran Health Insurance card are also acceptable. Spouses of active duty or deceased military service personnel: must provide valid Department of Defense sponsorship card.
As a valued active duty service member or veteran, Verizon offers a 15% discount off monthly Verizon plans. Also, wireless service and 25% discount off select accessories. Veterans, to verify your service, you can use: Your DD Form 214, Veteran ID Card, or Military Retiree Account Statement.
Lowes Veteran Discount Program changes
Lowes Veteran discount program is changing. In the past you would show your VA health photo ID Card or your Retired Military photo ID card to get the 10% discount. They are transitioning to a program called MyLowes. It's easy to apply at: Lowes.com/Military
Enter general information and then your military information that they will verify your honorable service. There is a possibility you might have to provide your DD-214 if you have not used the discount in the past.
Once you are approved you only give them your telephone number and you receive the discount. It is also good for immediate family members (Spouse or children in your household). You can request a MyLowes card if you want one, but you don't need it to receive the discount. I process my application and it was approved in 30 seconds.
The reason to attend reunions
I bask in the afterglow of attending another reunion where it was so great to see so many friends again. Those attending our reunions have a bond of friendship few civilians would understand. It was while thinking about the reunion that I received the latest edition of Purple Heart Magazine where I read one particular essay that hit home with me.
In the article, An Extraordinary Experience with Exceptional Men, LTC Ken Donovan (US Army Retired) provided a well constructed trip down memory lane during his tour with 155th Assault Helicopter Company. I'm going to cherry-pick some of the sentences that made me dwell the longest.
"We now gather in the twilight of our years, to recall events that occurred nearly 50 years ago, but more importantly to share our lives since we came home. I guess I always knew this but it has taken this long to come to the full realization that I survived an extraordinary experience and that I shared it with truly exceptional men. I am alive today because of them, and they are the best of their generation."
"This shared commitment to each other was unlimited; while it was not something we openly talked about, we were willing to turn landing zones into aircraft junkyards to get our guys out."
He concludes with, "For some reason thanks does not seem enough, but thanks for helping me survive an extraordinary experience and sharing your lives with me."
You'll have to trust me on this, but if you missed our last reunion and haven't yet starting thinking about attending the next reunion, I believe you'd be missing out on an extraordinary experience with exceptional men.
Monument Honoring Vietnam Helicopter Crews Approved
The Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association and Congress came together for the Vietnam Helicopter Crew Monument Act, directing the secretary of the Army to place a 2 1/2-foot by 2 1/2-foot monument at the cemetery in Virginia. It will be placed in Section 35 along Memorial Drive, not far from the Tomb of the Unknowns.
The Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association will donate this monument to Arlington National Cemetery.
A monument that honors the Vietnam-era helicopter crews is important not only for family members who visit Arlington Cemetery to see their loved ones, but also for those who aren’t directly impacted.
2017 reunion one for the books
The 2017 reunion in Branson MO was a hoot. In fact, there's a good chance it was a hoot and a half! We had a record turnout of about 90 folks and fortunately Ron Ingram (Reunion coordinator) got us a large room, which functioned as the hospitality room, breakfast room, and banquet room. Check out some of the pictures received already by going to the 2017 Reunion page.
We had several first time folks attending the reunion and it was really great to see them again after all these years. We also had Joel Chase attend this year's reunion. Joel was a platoon leader with D Co.1/5th Infantry at LZ David. Joel was severely wounded by a Chinese grenade during an attempt to overrun the LZ. We were happy to welcome him and his wife Dorothy. Joel gave a heartfelt talk thanking members of the 15th Med Bn for having not given up on him and mending his maimed body.
On a lighter note, the booze flowed freely in the hospitality room, the shows were lots of fun, we dined together at many of Branson's eateries, and the banquet chow was outstanding.
Our annual auction brought in and exceptionally high amount this year thanks mainly to outgoing President Larry Hatch's challenge to match his donation to the Association. Read his last letter as President in the President's Corner. We also want to thank Jimmy Ong for standing up and starting another challenge, which helped bring in even more donations.
If you're one of the many folks taking pictures of reunion events, don't forget to send some of those photos to medevac2@15thMedBnAssociation.org for inclusion in our historical section about past reunions.
The Vietnamese View of the Ia Drang Battle
OK you old farts - you know who I'm talking about. You Med guys that were up north where the "real" war was fought. Here's a good discussion of the Ia Drang battle.
For the past 35 years the US Army and the North Vietnamese have claimed victory in the October to November 1965 Ia Drang Valley Battle. While the United States side of the battle has been extensively documented, the Vietnamese version has remained obscure. Although heavily colored by communist propaganda, recently published People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) accounts provide answers to many questions and acknowledge a number of North Vietnamese Army (NVA) mistakes and command failures. When added to information from US sources, these accounts reveal how greatly the fog of war, over optimism and blind fate influenced the battle.
Webmeister Needs Your Help
The database making up the Unit Member Search has been scrubbed to make it as accurate as we can at this time. All e-mail addresses were checked for currency and "dead" e-mail addresses deleted. This leaves many members without an operating e-mail address associated with their data. I need your help in filling in the blanks. Please search for friends you served with and if you notice an individual's name doesn't have an e-mail address, but you known what the e-mail address is, then please let me know at medevac2@15thMedBnAssociation.org . Thanks.
15th Med Bn Searchable Database
After some very long days and nights of typing in over 753 member names into a database, Terry McCarl and I are finally finished and the works or our labor are available on our Unit Member Search page. Now's where the hard part comes in.
We need everyone to help cleanse the database and report inaccuracies to us. We also need to know of anyone that may have died so we can move their data to another searchable table.
So go over and see if we have your data and check that it's correct. If there are any inaccuracies, fill out the corrections form and send it in.
New Pictures Added To Photo Page
Some new pictures were added to the Photo pages. So what's keeping you from scanning a few pictures and sending then in to us. We'd love to post them and let the whole Association see them. Send them as an attachment to an e-mail to medevac2@15thMedBnAssociation.com . No scanner or not comfortable with attaching items to an e-mail, just sent the pictures to R. (Baby Huey) Huether, 110 Cedar Hills Dr., Fredericksburg, TX 78624. I'll scan them for ya and then return your pictures.
15th Medical Battalion Association EIN: 82-1517632