Saber Article Index

2008 Mar-Apr

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

Vincente "Ben" TAINATONGO , a supply sergeant in C 15th MED '69-'70, called to find out about the upcoming 15th MED Reunion. For that latest information, everyone should check the forum Website listed above. For those still not on computers, it says: at the Super 8 Motel in Biloxi, MS, April 03 to 06. Ben mentioned he was infantry in 1-12 Cav in '65, and was wounded.

Don HOWELL of Columbia, TN, signed the Guestbook and comments: "C Co., 15th MED Bn., Nov. '65-Oct. '66."

Webmaster/dBase Operator 15th MED Association, Murray GIBBS, MEDEVAC '67-'68 , whose recent inactivity has been noticed writes: "Hello Members, Well, it has been a good while since I sent the last newsletter. It is long overdue due to my move in December. I was getting errors trying to transfer my e-mail address book over to my computer. I had to give up to continue moving. One does not realize how much stuff they have until they move. It is hard to believe that I had a confirmed buyer in two weeks of posting a for sale sign. I held my price and got it in a lousy market for real estate. Next was getting a new ISP to get back onto the Internet once I had moved to my new location. I now have Road Runner at seven megabytes. I had to recreate the e-mail address book which was almost three hundred e-mails. I just recently finish my distributions lists.

"For the 2008 Reunion, we are starting to get more members sending in their Registration Forms. It is now up to twenty- four members. Now of these twenty-four members, there are a few who said they are coming, but they have not yet sent in their Registration Forms. I am one of them. So, I will soon be sending mine in to our Treasurer. He can have a more accurate count of who is attending and how many buffet dinners to plan for. March 17th will be the cutoff date for, I believe, the motel reservation and buffet dinners. If you plan to attend the Reunion, please send your Registration Form in to our Treasurer. A Registration Form is attached to this newsletter. You can also print one from our MSN Website at: <>. It is in the Document section of the Website if you happen to log on and not use the link above.

"Since I have been offline for a long time I have lost contact with the membership. I recently posted my e-mail by chance on the MSN Website. I have gotten a few replies. It is great to hear from those who have replied. I hope everything is going well with all the members. I miss some the joke e-mails I use to get. I did get flooded with so many that I could not reply or forward them. I am always open for e-mails and any inquires into the Association.

"It looks like Jerry DICK will not be able to make it to the 2008 Reunion. He has been at the last four Reunions. It was made possible by his brother Wayne, and Wayne's wife Cheryl. Jerry was wounded on a MEDEVAC mission. Jerry was always in good spirits at every Reunion. He will be missed at the 2008 Reunion. Here is an e-mail that his brother Wayne DICK sent to me: 'I just wanted to let you all know that we finally had to give up on keeping Jerry at home. It was a hard decision to make, but we feel that the decision is for the best. Although Jerry would rather be home, he is not unhappy where he is at. He is at a VA nursing home where they treat him very well and care is good. He likes being with other vets, and they say he interacts well with them. I am quite sure I will not be able to get him to the Reunion, but I am not writing it off just yet. After twelve years out of trucking, I bought another rig and I am going back to doing what I like best. If Jerry is able, and I can get the time, I will try to get him there, but I doubt it will happen. All of you have been so good for Jerry at past Reunions, and have made Cheryl and I feel so welcome. We thank you for that, it has been our pleasure. I can't get the contacts we have had on the computer to him now, but I am sure he would like any cards and letters anyone would like to send. His new address is: Jerry DICK, c/o Nursing Unit VA Medical Center, 1898 Fort Rd., Sheridan, WY 82801. Thanks again for the support you all have given us and Jerry and it has been a pleasure to have known such fine people. Please get Jerry's address out to any you think might want it, and please keep us in your prayers as this is a rather tough change in our lives. Later Gator, Wayne.' If any of you can reply to Wayne DICK, here is his e-mail address: .

"Now that I am back online I will be more active. My move is a temporary one. The wife and I plan to buy a couple of acres and build a new home. The twelve acres I used to have took a lot of my time keeping it in great shape. That is what sold it. Everything was neat and in place. I know many of you were inquiring what has happened with me. I am okay and doing well. The living arrangement is not the best to be expected even though this apartment is in a private community. I went from a house with about thirty-four hundred square feet, including basement, to an apartment with only nine hundred and sixty square feet. This was a change that we are still trying to get used to. Well, take care. I will be back again sending out newsletters on a regular basis."

Murray forwarded the following from Robert "Warren" CAMPBELL from Westminster, MD, who was a 2nd Lieutenant promoted to 1st Lieutenant in 15th MED, Co. B '72 to '74, and adds: "I was an Ambulance Platoon Leader and Motor Pool Officer for the first year and a half. Then, General SHOEMAKER was so displeased with the appearance, behavior, and performance of the First Cavalry Division Band that he started using the 2nd AD band! How embarrassing is that? He had the Division G-1 search all officer records for anyone with a background in music to take control of the band while they found a Warrant Officer Band Commander replacement. Since I had a degree in Music Ed. (thought I wanted to be a high school band director at one time) I got tapped for the job.

"General SHOEMAKER required me to sit in his office for fifteen minutes each week to brief him one-on-one about the progress of the band. Pretty scary for a 'butter bar'!  I asked the General to relieve the band of all commitments for six weeks and let me whip them into shape. The General said the band is the most visible unit in the division and that every soldier in the band must be the model soldier in appearance, behavior, and demeanor for every soldier to emulate. I spent every duty day for six weeks conducting inspections, marching, drill and ceremonies, and rehearsals. I fired many soldiers and sent them back to their units for non-performance. You see, divisional bands are made up of about half MOS musicians (which I could not fire) and half are soldiers of every kind of MOS from units across the division that are talented enough and whose commanders allow them to be assigned for a one year term.

"After six weeks, I briefed General SHOEMAKER that his band was ready. We began performing and marching in a formal retreat ceremony every Friday with a different divisional unit each week. My troops were indeed the model Cav trooper from their Stetsons to their spurs! The General was once again proud. He then allowed us to perform off post, which he had previously forbidden because of their appearance and behavior. I was most proud when we went to Corpus Christi, TX, to march in their annual Buccaneer Day parade. When we finished the parade, we got back on the bus and left. We discovered the next day that the parade organizers were looking for us to give us the 1st Place trophy for military units! We won first place over the Air Force Band of the West and the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.....and we didn't even know we were in a contest!

"The First Cavalry Division Band also has a combat mission that most are not aware off. The TOE mission of the band is to defend the Division TOC in the field. We did that as well on FTXs. I remember one ARTEPP exercise where we airlifted out in Chinooks, defended the TOC against an aggressor force all night and then road marched on foot from the field all the way back to main post.

"Many are not aware that the most decorated in the division was the band! How could that be? Think about it. In war zones throughout the division's history, the band moved from one combat area to another all over the theater to 'entertain' the troops in the field, and raise their morale. During WWII, Korea, and in Vietnam they were there, from firebase to firebase, they were all over the map. It was nothing for them to drop their instruments and grab their weapons to defend the firebase. I guess 'Charlie' didn't like the music? Anyway, they saw more combat than the average Joe because of their mission.

"Sorry for the long e-mail, but the story is not well known and needless to say, I am proud of what I did in those early days of my career. I hold the distinction of being the only Medical Service Corps Officer in Army history to lead a divisional band! I still have my spurs and my saber proudly displayed over my fireplace."

Bobby W. BROOKS "old_salt42" says, "My name is B.W. BROOKS and I was in An Khe, Vietnam, from 1965-'66. I was a Medic with the 15th MED Bn. I can be reached at this number: 931-787-8685. You may call any time, this is my cell phone."

There has been recent discussion about the main 15th MED Website being down. Murray GIBBS said that Larry ASH, who started and maintained this site, is ill. Murray has most recently said that one of the members has donated the money for a year's rent on a new provider for the site. The 15th MED Assn. was going to pay for it from the treasury.

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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