Saber Article Index

2012 Jul - Aug

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

Gordon Russell, '69 MEDEVAC PSG, died Thursday, 17 May 2012. Pilot Dan Toothman, "Fang" wrote, "MSG (Ret) Gordon Russell was the MEDEVAC Platoon Sergeant when I arrived in the unit in Jan 1969.  I had no personal dealings with him then, but have been exchanging almost daily e-mails with him for the past few years. He was an amazing man and true patriot who, early in his career, was a Medic with George Patton's Third Army during the relief of Bastogne in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII." Gordon was also in B Co. 15th MED in '68 when the 1st Cav first deployed to Vietnam and was honored as a Distinguished Member Of The AMEDD REGIMENT. <>

Murray Gibbs, Webmaster/Past President 2003-2006, 15th MED Association, MEDEVAC '67-'68 posts about the Reunion on the Website, "It was one great Reunion to attend this year.  We had more members attend this Reunion then any previous one.  This all goes to good planning by our Reunion Coordinator Art Jacobs."

Also, the kidney condition of Bobby Brooks is not worsening according to his wife. But, Dr. Marco A. Endara, PHD, MBA MSG, 15th MED. Bn. 1st Cav Div. RVN is suffering from a cancer condition. He notes, "My cancer may be related to exposure to Agent Orange. I was in Nam '70-'71 in Song Be, near Cambodia, 15th MED Bn., 1st Cav Div.. During my time there we used to spray Agent Orange very frequently so, indeed, I was exposed to the AO every time during my tour in Nam."

MAJ Jon K. Gutierrez, AZ ARNG State Maintenance Officer, writes, "Mr. Bodnar, Wonderful article on the March/April SABER edition.

"I served with the 15th Forward Support Battalion from 1998-2000. I went to the National Training Center in California twice and one rotation to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999. The Battalion was proud of our heritage and we were always telling the rest of the Division, we were the most decorated Forward Support Battalion in the US Army. In large part to the outstanding efforts of you and your peers. Thank you.

"I would like to ask you for a favor, I notice that the 15th is titled the "15th MED/15th BSB". I would like to add the 15th FSB to that title, I see the 27th does it with 27th ORD/MNT/MSB/BSB; that is kind of bulky, but appropriate.

"I was hoping for: 15th MED/FSB/BSB. The 15th was a Forward Support Battalion for over 10 years and I believe they deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom for the first time as a FSB. I feel it is appropriate that the FSB is allocated to represent the fine work those soldiers did to represent this great Battalion in Fort Hood, Bosnia, and Iraq. Thank you for your time."

I forwarded this to Executive Director Dennis Webster who said, "If you want it changed, then I'll make the change in the title.  It will still be listed as 15th MED on the Index on page 1 but we will add 15th FSB to the title."

Jim Calibro phone: (209)573-0701, Reunion Coordinator 2013 Past President 2006-07, Secretary 2007 to present, e-mails: "Mike, our 15th annual Reunion was held at the Marriott's Hotel in Franklin, TN, from May 2-May 6,2012. The Reunion coordinator Art Jacobs did an outstanding job, he went far beyond what was expected of him as the Reunion coordinator. This Reunion was a tribute to door gunner Jerry Dick who was shot in the head July of 1968. We had a record number of people attend this year's Reunion.

"Most of our attendees were from east of the Mississippi. Next year's Reunion will be held in Old Sacramento, CA. Old Sacramento is in the planning stages and will be held from April 17-April 21, 2013. I will be the Reunion coordinator and I have many ideas going through my head to make this Reunion as successful as Franklin, TN.

"I would appreciate it if you would post this e-mail in the next Saber. My e-mail address and phone number is also attached in case anyone wants to call with questions or ideas.

Al Joy, 15th MED '68, who has been submitting his reminisces, updates, "Just a short note to let everyone know I'm still alive. I went to the VA last week to check out a 'pimple' on my belly that I was concerned wasn't healing.

"The Dr. in Olean thought I should have it looked at by the Dr. in Buffalo, so I headed to Buffalo. The plan was to have the Dr. look at it, lance it, drain it and be back home for supper. As soon as I arrived I was given a private room and informed I would be having 'surgery' the next morning. By surgery I thought they were just giving a fancy title to 'lancing pimple.' It turned out that three days later I was being released from the hospital with a hole in my side the size of a golf ball, enough antibiotics to cure a dead horse, and an appointment to go back next week.

"I will say that the treatment I received at the VA was the greatest. I cannot imagine any congressman or VIP getting better care than I was given. When I go to the VA I'm treated like a war hero; every nurse and Dr. there makes me feel like thay really care about me. Still, after a couple of days of being treated like a prince, I'm ready to go home and be treated like a king. As great as the nurses are, they can't replace Judy and Bella."

Those city names sounded familiar to me so I asked Al if he lived in proximity to where I was born in Salamanca, NY. He replied "Cuba, NY, thirty miles east of Salamanca."

'70 MEDEVAC Medic and fellow 2-7 Cav Medic Bill Walsh reminds about John Brennan, author of "U.S. Army Helicopter Names In Vietnam," Hellgate Press, 2011. John says, "You can order from me a signed copy for $26 by sending a check payable to me and mailing to; 17355 Via Annette, San Lorenzo, CA 94580. You are welcomed to preview the first twenty pages at the publisher's website.

I preordered a copy from Amazon for a discount. You may also pre-order (and receive a 33% discount) from Amazon or Barnes & Noble the September 1st, 2012, release of his second publication: "Vietnam War Helicopter Art: U.S. Army Rotor Aircraft". It is a 8.5 x 11 inch, 208 page book, containing 300 color nose art photos from Stackpole Books.

I wrote to Larry Hatch whose photos I started to publish. One of them is with him and a Cpt. Hagerty. I told Larry that the Air Ambulance Platoon Leader when I was accepted in '69 and joined MEDEVAC in Jan. '70 was Captain Michael Hagerty, whom the photo resembles.

Although I never knew of CPT Hagerty's history except that he was a pilot, Larry confirms CPT Haggerty was there when Larry arrived in Nov 1966. Larry says, "As a side note, when I was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany, two years later, I met CPT Haggerty's girl friend who was a nurse at the hospital.  Small world sometimes. CPT Haggerty died around that time from TB if I recall correctly."

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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