Saber Article Index

2019 Jan-feb

Mike Bodnar 307B N Main Copperas Cove, TX 76522 254-542-1961 E-mail:

I received a telephone call from Earl Kinard who said he was a SP5 Medic in HHC 15th MED at An Khe ‘66-’67. Earl mentioned something about he was in the Congressional Record. I ran his name on Google - as you can-and found an article from the Washington Post: judge-questions-prosecuting-physicians-aide/60b9598d-83fa-4bf8-98d5- fa0467357369/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.708f583ec084.

Earl was arrested and prosecuted by the D.C. government for misrepresenting himself as a medical practitioner. When questioned by a D.C. Superior Court judge he was told that he could continue performing routine medical functions as a physician’s assistant.


Judge Harry Greene said that Earl Kinard, a former medical corpsman in Vietnam and a trained physician’s assistant for thirteen years, appeared to be the victim of foot-dragging on the part of the D.C. government. The judge also questioned whether federal prosecutors could continue with their prosecution, the first of its kind in the city. You have to read the article to get all the details, but the judge allowed Earl, who had been licensed in Maryland and graduated from a Howard University program, to return to the clinic where he has worked for ten years, and said he found Kinard to be competent.

Earl is functioning as a physician’s assistant. The District’s effort to license physician’s assistants “is becoming inexcusably slow,” said Nicole Gara, legislative director of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

From the Washington Post article: “There are about 18,000 physician’s assistants nationwide, and all but three states have some kind of licensing or certification procedure. Until the recent legislation was passed, physician’s assistants could practice in the District under the supervision of a licensed doctor without violating the law. Physician’s assistants, most of whom have had some medical background before enrolling in a two-year course, typically take medical histories, give physicals, make diagnoses, assist in surgery and, in some cases, write prescriptions.”

Earl said that although he was not in a 1st Cav combat unit, he learned a lot about medical practice during his time in 15th MED. He said he went out on every MEDCAP treating the local civilian populace which educated him and perked his continuing interest in medicine, enough to want to become a physician’s assistant when he got out of the Army. Earl said he had no previous interest in medicine before he was drafted.

Earl said he would like to hear from anyone who knew him in the Army. He said that he knew a MEDEVAC gunner in Ah Khe who was killed on one mission, assuming that when the gunner never returned. Earl said the door gunner went by the nickname ‘Buddha.” Another name Earl mentioned was Ray William Johnson. Earl is at (202) 441-0363. Earl apparently just started getting the Saber again, so he read my column and contact information.

I saw in the last Saber Taps section the names of 15th MED members Randy Brewer ‘67-’68 and David Cooper ‘70. From the website Last DEROS page: Randell “Randy” Johnson Brewer passed away at home 28 September 2018, in Biloxi, MS. Randy was born in 1946 in Marianna, FL. Randy was a crew chief in MEDEVAC and apparently later in the 101st Airborne Division Airmobile. He was at A Shau Valley, Khe Sanh, Da Nang, and Hue. His medals include the Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and two Purple Hearts.

David Cooper passed away on 30 September 2018 at his home in Dallas, GA. He was born 13 July 1946, in Atlanta, GA. His Last DEROS reads, “Dave Cooper, aka ‘Coop’ served in the 15th MED Bn. as a Medic and a door gunner and was extremely proficient in both.”


R.I.P. to Randy and David. Carpe Diem to everyone else.

I received e-mail from Lynn Wellman  who asked me in response to the last column about the MEDEVAC Maintenance helicopter crash if those killed received a Purple Heart.


I would say no, because simply, you have to be wounded by the enemy, and that was a non-combat accident. I replied to Lynn to find out his unit, but I did not hear from him. I asked our Saber editor and she said his member information says he was in HHC 2 FSB ‘67, if I heard her correctly. Tina also researched deeper and found out that was in 1st Cav DISCOM.

Photo caption: MEDEVAC tail number 68-16429 which WO1 Arnold, SFC Brooks, & SP6 Conway died in crash near Song Be Bridge 25 Apr 70.

A l w a y s remembering our 1st Cav Troops on duty around the world; over and out.

FIRST TEAM! Garry Owen
Mike Bodnar
C 2\7 '69 MEDEVAC 1-7\70

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