Old 2017 Front Page News

F-22 RaptorRegistration forms and other information are now available. Just click on “ Reunion Info.” The detailed schedule is still being prepared and is expected to be available around 1 Jan 18. Arrangements are being made for a group visit to Langley AFB for an F-22 Raptor Flight Demonstration by the East Coast Flight Demo Team, which is part of the First Fighter Wing stationed at Langley. If they are not on the road for air shows they do practice demos each week all Spring and Summer. What is not yet known is whether the practice demo during the reunion will be on Thursday or Friday. This is expected to be known in early 2018, and the detailed schedule posted here.

For planning purposes by reunion attendees, reunion activities will begin on Thursday morning 26 April and end after the banquet on Saturday night.

Williamsburg is located in one of the most historically significant areas of the U.S. Reunion attendees will be able to choose from a multitude of available tours.

The reunion will be held at the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, VA. Check the Reunion tab for detailed hotel reservation information. Call 1-800-551-9653 or go to www.greatwolf.com/williamsburg . Our group rate is $111.89 per night, which includes all taxes and fees. Be sure to specify our group code of “15THMED “(no spaces between figures) to get the group rate.


free money to attend next reunion

free money manDisabled veterans, military retirees and Social Security recipients will see a 2% pay raise in 2018. The pay raise represents that largest increase in Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) since 2012. The first increased payment will show up in the December 2017 pay check.

The average VA disability check will increase about $3 per month for those with a 10% rating, and $58 for those veterans rated at 100%. The survivors who draw Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), will also see an increase in monthly benefits.

Don't piss away your COLA increase but save it and use it go attend our next reunion - it's like free money!!

Early bird reunion registration

Early bird registration for reunion.

That's right fellow 15th Meders, registration for the next reunion 26-28 Apr 18 at the beautiful Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, VA is NOW OPEN! You may register using a credit card, debit card, PayPal account, or check. In addition you can now reserve your room at the Great Wolf Lodge to insure you have a room before they become scarcer than a battalion clerk during incoming. Last year we ran out of rooms and had to finagle additional rooms at the reunion rate. So don't put off registering and reserving your room. [Read More]


The VVMF (the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund) is the nonprofit organization authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1980 to build a national memorial dedicated to all who served with the U.S. armed forces in the Vietnam War. This memorial is the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D. C., completed in 1982.

One of the projects by the VVMF is to complete the Wall of Faces. The following quote is from the VVMF Web site.

Wall of Faces MemorialThe Wall of Faces connects a face and a story to each of the more than 58,300 names on The Wall. Collected photos are displayed online at VVMF’s Wall of Faces, which features a page for each person whose name is on the Memorial. These pages allow family and friends to share memories, post pictures and connect with each other. The photos will also be displayed in the future Education Center at The Wall.

To see the Wall of Faces, go to: www.vvmf.org/thewall
There are 3 of the 43 15th Medical Battalion KIAs with no photographs on the Wall of Faces. These soldiers are:

  • CHARLES S RIDOUT, SP5, Age 28, Washington, DC -July 20, 1968
  • GARY L TAYLOR, SGT, Age 20, Cincinnati, OH -May 24, 1970
  • MICHAEL R WICK, SP4, Age 21, College Point, NY -June 9, 1969

Also, there is a photograph of ARMAND A SYLVESTRE, CPT, Age 32, Nashua, NH-July 15, 1968 on the Wall of Faces, but it is of very poor quality, and a better one is being sought.

If you happen to have a photograph where any of these veterans appear, please notify the 15th Medical Battalion Association Historian at historian@15thmedbnassociation.org , or call 402-457-9807. Thank you!

final deros page added

Miliary funeral.Another page was added to our site recently - Final DEROS. It's a page dedicated to those 15th Med Bn folks that have died. I've tried to add as many obituaries as I could find on the Internet. Any help from all y'all would be appreciated. If you know of a 15th Meder that has died, please send me an e-mail. If you can find the obit, even better, send me the link to the obit page. The obits will be in chronicle order with the latest obit at the top of the page. There is also an index of the obits for those just stopping in and wanting to see if any of their friends have taken the final DEROS.



2018 reunion dates and location set

Photo of Great Wolf Lodge - Williamsburg, VA, United StatesThe 15th Medical Battalion Association will hold their next reunion 26-28 Apr 18 at the beautiful Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, VA. Reunion coordinators Dan Toothman (Fang) and Jim Ferguson (Fergie) found us an exceptional venue and promise a super list of events for our next reunion.

Online registration using check, credit card, or PayPal account, as well as more information about the reunion, will to added to this site next month.

Start making your vacation plans now and begin thinking about making a room reservation when registration opens for our block of rooms. Rooms will be $99/night. Available rooms ran out at last year's reunion so mark your calendar NOW.

This is the Web site for reunion updates so don't be shy about visiting often.

Vietnam Documentary

Vietnam War documentary.

A ten-part, 18-hour documentary series, THE VIETNAM WAR, tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history as it has never before been told on film.

Visceral and immersive, the series explores the human dimensions of the war through revelatory testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides-Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as combatants and civilians from North and South Vietnam. Ten years in the making, the series includes rarely seen and digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th Century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and secret audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations.


veteran's day challenge

Veteran's Day Challenge 

OK all you Nam Veterans, here's a challenge for all y'all. Which two Medevacs in this tight formation (must be flown by RLOs) are the same?

Rare Symptomless Cancer Attacking Veterans

Veterans who survived bullets, bombs and booby traps a half century ago in Vietnam say they are now threatened by a one-inch worm that hid for decades inside their liver, and may have left them battling a rare cancer.

“There are no symptoms,” said Jerry Chiano, who showered in river water infested with the parasite while stationed in Vietnam in 1969, and who was diagnosed with bile-duct cancer three years ago. “Maybe now Vietnam veterans will get checked before it’s too late.”

Veteran advocates are demanding that a form of cancer of the bile duct associated with the parasitic worm be included among diseases presumed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be connected to service in Vietnam. That would make Vietnam veterans diagnosed with the disease automatically eligible for disability benefits, which would go to a surviving spouse should they die of the disease.

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.

Military working dogs work with Medevac.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.”

Beware of Veterans Choice Program Scam

Telephone scam alert.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.

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.

20017 reunion in Branson

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.

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.

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.

Helicopter memorial

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.

Lowes Veteran Discount Program changes

Lowes Military DiscountLowes 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.

Purple Heart Day

Purple Heart Medal August 7th commemorates the day, in 1782, when General George Washington created the Purple Heart Medal - a military decoration awarded to those wounded or killed while serving the United States Armed Forces. You are encouraged to pay respect to fallen soldiers, listen to soldiers and veterans to learn more about their life stories and their military service, and to thank them for their service to the nations.

With its forerunner, the Badge of Military Merit, which took the form of a heart made of purple cloth, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U.S. military members – the only earlier award being the obsolete Fidelity Medallion. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York.



The Vietnamese View of the Ia Drang Battle

Ia Drang battleOK 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.

Click HERE to read about the battle from the other side's view.

Message from the president

Our Association president, Larry Hatch, has posed a new Message From the President. Read his latest message by clicking HERE.

Request for Information

We've been asked to help answer questions about the background of the aircraft in the picture. The aircraft is being purchased by Bill "Moon Mullen (past Pres. of the VHPA), and will be put on static display in Mt. Pocono, PA. The aircraft is a UH-1M, with Medevac markings. UH-1M model Hueys were used as gun ships in Vietnam, most being converted UH-1C model gun ships. So the question being asked is how did an aircraft built to be a gun ship end up with air ambulance markings?

UH-1M Medevac Huey.

Any info would be appreciated.
John "Pepe" LaDue
WO1 with B & D Co., 227th AHB, 1st Cav

Back issues of 15th med bn saber articles

Back issues of the 15th Med Bn articles written by Mike Bodnar for the 1st Cav's Saber magazine are being published on this site as fast as time permits. Current issues of Mike's "labor of love" are published on this site from 1999 through 2017. Newer issues will be added soon until all the issues are available under the Historical Documents tab on this site.

Saber magazine

If you're a sinner like me, and dropped out of participation in the 15th Medical Battalion Association's, and now have the desire to get caught up, the Saber articles written by Mike contain gobs of interesting anecdotes. It took me many hours to make the Saber articles available, but now I realize I've just begun my journey. I'm hooked now and am in the process of going back and reading every issue. I invite you to also take on the task of reading Mike's works.

the word is spreading

The word must be spreading about our association because last month we had the higher number of visitors (438 folks) in the history of our site. That means there's a very good chance attendance at this year's reunion will be well attended. If you're still on the fence about attending the reunion, take a chance and register to attend. There's a good chance you'll meet someone that has lots in common with you and is more than willing to exchange "true" war stories.

15th Med Bn Association site visits

new medevac t-shirts in store

1st Cav Medevac T-shirtBrother Larry Hatch just sent me a new collection of Medevac t-shirts to add to the online store. These high quality 100% cotton black t-shirts have a Cav patch over the left pocket area that reads MEDEVAC across the top with the inscription SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE inside the patch on the bottom. The back of the t-shirt has a Cav patch with a red cross and aviation wings in the center. Under the patch in large letters it reads, MEDEVAC, SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE. FREE SHIPPING in CONUS.

Get ready for the reunion in Branson by stopping by the online store and gett'n ya some of these new t-shirts before they're all gone!


The Louder You Scream T-shirts

Proudly announce your were Medevac by sporting one of our new t-shirts. Sexy nurse standing in front of a red cross with the word MEDEVAC on it. Around the perimeter the top arch says THE LOUDER YOU SCREAM with the lower arch saying THE FASTER WE COME. Comes in sport gray. Shirts have long tails so they stay in your pants. FREE SHIPPING in CONUS.

Visit the Store.

Online Store now OPEN!

Online store open.We negotiated a good lease and have acquired a huge virtual store with plenty of shelf space and lots of free parking space. We're slowly getting around to stocking the shelves. Looks like inventory will change periodically, so make an entry in your calendar to check back from time-to-time and see if there's something you might want to purchase. So pull in and check out the 15th Med Bn Association's new online store.

How many Vietnam vets does it take to replace a lightbulb?

We might just have to answer that question at our upcoming reunion. The answer may be 92 because that's how many folks are currently registered for this year's reunion. You still "on the fence" about joining the festivities? Don't be. This is the year you need to find out just how reassuring the camaraderie of life-long friends can be. We know what you went through and we'll even tell a war story or two to prove it!! Wanna see who's coming? CLICK HERE.

reunion planning looks great

Reunion hotel.

Ron Ingram is putting the finishing touches on, what looks like, a super reunion. The reunion agenda, as well as the business meeting agenda are available for your review HERE and in a printable form at the bottom of the reunion page.

There will be plenty of time to visit in the hospitality room and tell war stories (really just swapping lies) or head out on your own to the many attractions and shows offered in Branson.

Baby Huey will have the t-shirts, 15th Med Bn stickers, and challenge coins available for sale whenever he's sober. He'll be able to consummate your sale with cash, credit card, or debit card.

If you are one of those flying into Springfield, MO, send your day of arrival and ETA to medevac2@15thMedBnAssociation.org and he'll see if he can match your arrival with another reunion member so you might be able to share a ride and lower your transportation costs.

President's Message

Larry Hatch, our Association's president, has added his latest message for all to read. This message was sent by e-mail to all members. So, if you haven't seen this message as an attachment to an e-mail, please visit the Member Search database and make sure your e-mail address is entered correctly. If it's not, please fill out an Update/Correction form so the correct data will be available for friends to get back in touch with you.
[ Read more and his story ]

Reunion Registration Open Online

Registration for the 2017 reunion in Branson, MO is now open online. You may register and pay with a credit card, debit card, PayPal account, or by check. Sorry, we're not taking MPC this year!!

Ron Ingram has found us rooms at a great hotel at an outstanding rate, set up a breakfast buffet each morning, a number of activities to keep us busy during the day, and a great banquet the evening of 29 Apr 17. And of course there will be the hospitality suite open most other times. Sorry, but there's a limit of 10 war stories per day.

We're still finalizing all the events held during the reunion, so keep checking back from time to time and visit the Reunion Page for the latest information.

See you in Branson!

2017 Reunion Dates & Location Set

Get your challenge coin shined and your Cav clothing ready 'cause the 19th Annual 15th Medical BN Assn. Reunion will be held 26-30 April 2017, at Westgate Branson Woods Resort, Branson MO.

Information, including registration forms will soon be on this site under the Reunion Info tab. If you are not into computers, or just want additional information, contact Reunion Coordinator, Ron Ingram at papillion251@aol.com  or call 402-670-1370.

The reunion will be held at the beautiful Westgate Branson Hills Resort. For room reservations call 1-877-502-7058 and refer to Group Code: 61-327. Reunion room rates are $63/ day plus tax - a real bargain!

To get to Branson by air, fly to Springfield, MO and take a shuttle service to the Resort. Schedules and additional information coming soon!

online aafes exchange opening to all vets

After two years of study and debate, the Department of Defense has made a policy change, effective next November, to allow 16 million honorably discharged veterans to shop online for discounted military exchange products.

AAFES logoPeter K. Levine, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, signed a memorandum Wednesday announcing the benefit expansion, effective Veterans’ Day Nov. 11, and giving Congress the required 30 days’ notice before actions begin to implement the plan.

Months of preparation are needed to make e-shopping portals more robust and to allow the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) time to create software for verifying veterans’ status using Department of Veterans Affairs records. Several million vets already are eligible to shop in exchanges — on base or online — because they are active or reserve component retirees, or 100-percent disabled from service-connected injuries or ailments, or Medal of Honor recipients.

This will reward their service with exchange product savings that, on average, will be near to 20 percent versus commercial department store prices when military exemption from state and local sales tax are considered too.

Shull’s other purpose was to increase exchange revenues to help offset troubling declines due to the drawdown of active duty forces, base closures and the end of military tobacco discounts for the higher priority of healthier populations.

With DMDC verifying shopper identifies electronically, the department will not have to produce special identification cards. DMDC estimates that 13 percent of eligible veterans, primarily those who served before 1981 might not be in their data base when the shopping benefit becomes available. Presumably guidance will be issued for veterans who might have access problems initially.

New Books in the Store

If you haven't noticed, a couple of new books of interest to we Cav dudes have been added to the book section of the Store. Both are just about "must reads" and well worth the money. I'll try and keep you informed of new items in the store, but just in case I forget, stop in from time to time and browse what's on the shelves.

President's Message and Story

OK all you slackers. Ya you with the dirty comboot bats. Da Pres. wants to address all y'al, so stand at something resembling ridged. OK, maybe just semi-ridged. Or even better sorta-kinda like a semi-ridged polless litter!

Here's what he says. "I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. During this holiday season we need to keep in mind those comrades away from their homes and family who are serving our Nation.

Ron Ingram and Fred McKellar have the Branson, MO 2017 reunion set in motion awaiting your arrival. Everything you need to know about the reunion, to include registration, can be found on this site, including the registration list so you can find out if someone you know is planning on attending. [ Read more and his story ]

War Stories

War StoriesWe've had a couple of new war stories added to our archive. Isn't it about time you document your favorite war story - you know...the one you've been telling down at the VFW for 40 years now? It only takes about 30 minutes to type out the story. So take a few minutes, create a story, and then send it to us. Don't worry, we'll do our best to correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling before we publish it. Send your stories to us and we'll publish them for all to enjoy. We're quite sure the Association members will enjoy reliving "the good ole days."

Request Help Finding Relative

Missing 15th Med Bn soldier.Adrianne Keen is hoping exposure on this Web site might be able to help locate a family member. Adrianne did not know him, or even know of his existence until his daughter contacted Adrianne through Ancestry.com. He is somehow Adrianne's cousin, and she is trying to reunite him with his family. Any assistance any of you can give her would be appreciated. She has everything, except a name. This soldier served at Tay Ninh with the 15th Medical Battalion, 1st Calvary Division. The accompanying picture is the only one she has of him.

I you know who this is, please contact Adrianne D. Keen at 502-649-5475 (cell).


Medevac and Dustoff Crews of Vietnam War
Congressional Gold Medal Act

As you may have read on this site earlier, we have a bill in both Houses of Congress – S:2268 and H.R. 5299 to award the Congressional Gold Medal as recognition for the lifesaving efforts of DUSTOFF crews from Vietnam. This effort has the support of every major veteran’s organization in America. 

We need your support to urge your government representatives to support this legislation. Encourage them to join the veterans of America and cosponsor a Congressional Gold Medal for these singularly most remarkable, selfless and courageous unrecognized Veterans.

Below is a letter format for you to use in Word and Adobe Reader (PDF) format. Find your Representative or Senator, add their name to the beginning of the letter, sign it (type your name), and e-mail it to each.

Sample letter in Word format and in Adobe Reader (PDF) format.

 CPT William P. Brake
Army Aviation Hall of Fame 1992 Induction

For every new item of equipment that is proven on the field of battle, there are usually a few individuals who stand out as dedicated advocates - applying heroic energies and skills to promote its success. So it was with the helicopter as it made its debut on the battlefield of the Korean War. Aviators quickly proved the worth of the Bell H-13 as a key lifesaving factor in battlefield casualty evacuation.

But it remained for CPT William P. Brake to prove the true workhorse dimensions of one aviator and one helicopter. Brakes incredible record of 900 casualty evacuations in the span of 14 months in Korea has remained unchallenged. He was on combat assignment with the 49th Medical Helicopter Ambulance Detachment from March 1952 to May 1953.

A man of uncommon skill and enormous energies, he flew missions along the entire chain of casualty evacuation. Alternately, he could be seen lifting patients from field hospitals to evacuation hospitals for shipment to Japan or the United States. In his 14 months of service in Korea, Brake flew 567 missions of which 311 were combat missions, lifting 415 casualties from the front lines to field hospitals. He lifted an additional 485 patients from the field hospitals to facilities for evacuation
out of Korea.

Before leaving the Army, Brake was also an instructor pilot and member of the U.S. Army's helicopter demonstration team. His pioneering spirit, dedication and energetic efforts to prove the productivity and worth of the helicopter in medical evacuation roles profoundly influenced the post-war vision of the role of the helicopter in the Army of the future.

Are You On the Roll of Honor?

National Purple Heart Hall of HonorThe National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, located in New Windsor, NY is the only facility in the nation dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing the stories of our nation's service men and women who have been killed or wounded by enemy action while serving in the United States military.

They rely on family, friends, and Purple Heart recipients to share their stories with us. They need your help to build the Roll of Honor database containing these stories.

To learn more about the Hall of Honor, sharing your story and FREE enrollment, please visit their Web site or call the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor at 845-561-1765.

President's Corner Letter

The boss has sent another letter commenting on events going on that may interest all you 15th Meders. It's a nice wrap-up of the mini-reunion held in Peru, IN during the middle of August. Check out the "rest of the story" by visiting the President's Corner.

1998 Reunion Pictures Added

1998 Medevac reunion pictures.Reunion number one in 1998 was held at Snores house in VA. Thanks to Smitty we've recovered some of the pictures from that first reunion. Funny...those guys and guyettes look a lot younger than the folks that went to that great recent reunion in Olympia, WA!! So if you have time to take a trip down Memory Lane, check out the 1998 reunion pictures. If fact, I'm almost sure that is General Becker doing the "moon."

As time permits, the rest of Smitty's reunion pictures archive will be scanned and added to this site. So check back every once-in-a-while and see if any progress has been made.

Flood Relieve In Louisiana

As you may have heard, Louisiana has been the victim of a catastrophic flood that has devastated much of the State. According to the Red Cross, it is "the worst natural disaster to strike the United states since Hurricane Sandy four years ago." Thousands of residents have lost everything. At least five of our Patriot Members have lost almost everything and need our help. Just as we move quickly to assist those in need in our local communities, so too should we assist our fellow Patriots in this time of need. At this point, all emergency supplies and necessities are being taken care of by Red Cross and other donations of goods. Tons of water, cleaning supplies and used clothing have already been donated. However, they will need assistance with other necessities of resuming normal life. Unfortunately, almost none of those affected were covered by flood insurance because this area was designated as a sheltering area when Katrina hit. Most areas were north of I-10 and I-12, which in Louisiana is basically the designated line by FEMA and insurance companies as the safe line, and flood insurance is not required.

With assistance and guidance from the MOPH National HQ, The Department of Louisiana has set up a special account and Committee to receive donations, evaluate needs, and distribute assistance to those who need it most. The Department will verify the need prior to sending any monies out, and no administrative costs will be taken out of any donated funds. The total (100%) of donations will go to Patriots in need. The Department will keep a strict accounting of who makes donations and checks will be written to Patriots and LAMOPH members on an equitable basis. The entire process will be monitored by the MOPH Leadership, the MOPH National Judge Advocate, and the MOPH Finance Officer who is tasked to ensure strict accountability.

Anyone who would like to make a donation should make their check payable to "Department of Louisiana, MOPH." Checks should be mailed to Department of Louisiana MOPH, Alton Rock, 217 Leeds St., Slidell, LA 70461. Each entity making a monetary contribution will get an accounting of how and where the money was spent. Please help our brothers and sisters in need!

President's Corner Messages

Our Prez, Larry Hatch, has posted a couple of informative letters in his own tab on this site - President's Corner. Make it a point to visit this tab each time you visit our site so you may keep in touch with the latest information from our Prez.


2016 Reunion "one for the books"

If you missed this reunion, shame on you because it was a ball and attended by a great group of guys and their wing-women. Next years reunion is going to be in Branson, MO so keep visiting this site or our Facebook page for news about when it will be. You'll want to make reservation early and plan your vacation to one of the liveliest music venue towns in the USA.

Front row:
Larry Hatch, Art Martin, Leo Williams, Bob McKinley, Bill Haistings, Jim Calibro, Richard Schroder, Randy Cavanaugh, Clyde Moore
Subsequent rows:
Rudy Peden, Tom Grove, Larry Silvey, Jim Victor, Randy Burkhart, Dennis Guthrie, Rich Leonard, Barry Brown, Larry Norris, Jim Hall, Dave Huser, Damien Vierra, , Jim Ong, Ken Colby, Jim Fergusen, Mike Smith, Terry McCarl, Richard Medlock, Jon Lundquist, Ron (HUEY) Huether, Fred McKeller, Ron Ingram, Henry Land, Ken Moro

Wyoming Army NG Receives Additional Medevacs

Wyoming Army aviation, which is highly used across the state, nation and abroad, is growing. The Wyoming Army National Guard is standing up a second helicopter unit.

A command aviation company will reside alongside the C Company, 5th Battalion 159th Aviation Regiment medical evacuation unit at the Army Aviation Support Facility and will execute missions that were previously impossible due to legal or operational limitations.

“Wyoming has always been a medevac-only unit and there are restrictions on medevac aircraft imposed by the Army, so (there have been) many missions we have been unable to do or must ask special permission to do,” Roth said. “Since we are picking up a CAC unit, none of those intricacies will apply which will better enable us to support domestic operations missions.”

Charlie Med is the most deployed unit in the Wyoming Army National Guard. Its missions include aeromedical evacuation, movement of patients, medical personnel, equipment and supplies to include blood products, combat search and rescue, and air crash rescue support.

When in Wyoming Charlie Med’s missions include assisting with Domestic Support to Civil Authorities taskers. Those missions may be firefighting or, like one of its more recent tasks, search and rescue of lost snowmobilers.

National Purple Heart Day

National Purple Heart Hall of HonorA Day to Honor America's Combat Wounded and Fallen Heroes

Each year on August 7th, the nation pauses to remember and pay homage to the brave men and women who were either wounded on the battlefield or paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. As America's oldest decoration, the Purple Heart is awarded to any member of the U.S. Armed Forces that has been wounded, died as a result of wounds received in battle, or those who died in captivity while a prisoner of war (POW). We now celebrate Purple Heart Day on the anniversary of its creation by General George Washington on August 7, 1782.

This year, many States, Counties, and Cities; sport and entertainment entities; colleges and universities, and other patriotic entities across the nation who have proclaimed themselves as Purple Heart communities, will raise the Purple Heart flag in recognition of the service and sacrifice of their local sons and daughters. In New York City, the Empire State Building will be lit in purple lights as a reminder to all Americans that there is a price for the freedoms we enjoy, and honor is due to those who gave their all in defense of those freedoms.

2016 Reunion a Huge Success

2016 Medevac reunion members.
A few of the reunion members on tour.

The 2016 reunion in Olympia, WA was attended by the largest number of members in a long time. Forty-one members and their naviguessors managed to find the little hamlet of Olympia. The tours, dining outs, and hospitality went off with precision, thanks to reunion coordinator Larry Hatch and the almost invisible (but much appreciated) Velma Smith . We owe them a huge thanks for the effort and hours they put in during the preparation for the reunion and while it was going.

Reunion photographs are beginning to roll in and it's at this time that the Association would like to disavow any responsibility if your picture looks foolish, you're sitting with your girlfriend instead of your wife, or you were picking your nose when the picture was taken.

See the latest reunion pictures here or from the reunion page.

Facebook Page Opened To All

For a number of years the Association's Facebook page was grouped secret (you had to request permission and then be given a password). That strategy has been revised with the decision made to make the Association's Facebook page open to all. If you have the time, you can now visit the Facebook page for the Association and read about two years worth of traffic. There is some good historical information there. So now that anyone may read and comment on the Facebook page, why not join in on the discussions or even better, join our organization.

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Medevac Hoisted Above Veterans Memorial Park In Las Cruces, NM

A Vietnam War-era Huey Helicopter is installed at the new Vietnam War Memorial at Veterans Memorial Park on 1 March 016. The New Mexico Vietnam Veterans War Memorial Project in Las Cruces, NM, is a memorial paying tribute the 398 New Mexico Vietnam veterans killed in action (1955-1975).

Medevac Hoisted Above Veterans Memorial Park In Las Cruces, NM Medevac Hoisted Above Veterans Memorial Park In Las Cruces, NM Medevac Hoisted Above Veterans Memorial Park In Las Cruces, NM

The memorial, titled “Heroes Never Thanked,” also honors all Vietnam veterans who served in Southeast Asia and those who have made the ultimate Medevac Hoisted Above Veterans Memorial Park In Las Cruces, NMsacrifice by giving their lives during the Vietnam War.  Each KIA Vietnam Veteran from New Mexico have their photo metal engraved and set in a semi-circular stone wall as part of the memorial.

[Watch the Hoisting]



15th Medical Battalion MEDEVAC at Phuoc Vinh, Vietnam, 1969

Ran across an interesting video of the 15th Medical Battalion after it had moved down south and set up at Phuoc Vinh.

15th Medical BN To Be 90 years Old 1 Jun 16!

The 15th Medical Battalion was organized 1 June 1926 at Ft. Bliss, Texas. The 90th Organization Day, or 90th Anniversary, was commemorated at the 18th Annual 15th Medical BN Association Reunion in Olympia, WA.

Organization Day Celebration on 1 June 1969
Photo taken at the 43rd Organization Day Celebration on 1 June 1969. L to R: Mess Steward, SFC William H, Barnville; BN CO and Division Surgeon, LTC Guthrie L. Turner; and HSC CO, CPT Aubrey C. Hall.

Texas Bed & Breakfast With Medevac Rates

Front of Der Stall a Fredericksburg Texas bed and breakfast barn.If you're ever passing through Texas just north of San Antonio or just west of Austin, check your GPS for Fredericksburg, TX. Tucked away in the Texas Hill Country is Der Stall Bed and Breakfast Barn . It offers great rates for Medevac crewmembers and their guests.

This guesthouse has a master bedroom featuring a queen-size bed with a robust log headboard and footboard. Both were cut from nearby cedar trees and made by the innkeepers. The bedroom also has a romantic in-floor two-person Jacuzzi brand jetted bath. You're invited to dim the lighting and let the warm bubbling water sooth your cares away. Climb the steep (did we mention the steps are steep?) wooden steps to the hayloft for two full-size beds with a commanding view down into the cozy living room.

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day

March 30 is a very special day for a generation of veterans who had served in their Nation's Armed Forces with honor, valor and a patriotic commitment to defend the values and freedoms that make this country so unique. They were the veterans of the Vietnam War who, rather than receiving a hero's welcome home, became the scapegoats of a divisive crossfire of negative public sentiment and disapproval of the U.S. Government's involvement in an unpopular war. In many cases their sacrifice went unappreciated, dismissed or was even insulted. Over the almost 15-year course of the War, more than 3,400,000 Americans served in support of U.S military operations in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, while more than 58,000 members of the Armed Forces gave their lives and more than 300,000 were wounded.

It was not until 2011 that Vietnam Veterans would finally be granted the recognition and reward they had earned. That year, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution designating March 30th of each year as "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day," almost 38 years to the day of the final withdrawal of U.S. combat and combat-support troops from Vietnam. Though long overdue, all Americans should pause today to recognize and thank Vietnam veterans -- America praises their sense of duty, unselfish devotion and courageous willingness to put their country first.

Reunion Attendance Number Keeps Climbing!

Image result for 1st cav medevac reunionSo far we have 65 67 69 folks registered! We're going to have a great reunion this year with a bunch (or is it a passels) of folks we haven't seen in a while. In fact, that no-good dirty ole WOPA member Rich Leonard is attending. Ask him about his smooth control touch on landing the aircraft in this picture. He swears an RLO touched the controls at the last second. Ya...right!



15th Med Bn 2016 Reunion Information

The 15th Medical Battalion Association’s 18th annual reunion will be held in Olympia, Washington April 11-16, 2016 at the Red Lion Hotel. Hotel reservations are required NLT March 20, 2016 to reserve rooms at $94 plus. Online booking use Group Code MILI0411 (The first 4 characters are letters followed by 0411).

The theme of this year’s reunion is “Western” beings the Pacific Northwest has lots of ranches and farms. As such, there will be awards for the best dressed in Western garb at the BBQ banquet featuring the “Oly Mountain Boys” Nationally awarded blue grass band. So, cowboys and cowgirls boots are in order along with a ten-gallon hat.

As your reunion coordinator, I have several tours on the agenda as well as great dinning places. Tours include Museum of Flight at Boeing Field, LeMays Auto Collection (over 2,500 vintage vehicles), NW Helicopters, and Olympic Flight Museum. My goal is to ensure you have a very memorable reunion.

Saturday will feature meetings, group pictures, opening ceremonies, awards, presentations, and an exciting auction. Cabela’s is booked at 6:00 pm for an evening of eating game meat (if desired) and shopping.

You will receive a Welcome Packet in our hospitality suite outlining the week’s agenda. Sign-up sheets will be provided for the tours and tickets for the Banquet BBQ. Refreshing drinks and snacks are provided daily in the hospitality suite.

Hotel reservations are required NLT March 20, 2016 to reserve rooms at $94 plus. Completed reunion registration forms need to be sent to Treasurer David Huser at 4339 Windemer Lane, Hobart, WI 54155 or vvhuser@gmail.com as soon as possible.

Larry Hatch
Reunion Coordinator
360-491- 6486 or campingout@comcast.net

Reunion T-shirts

T-shirts are available now with a small shipping fee or they'll be available at the reunion in Olympia. If you're planning on picking up your t-shirt at the reunion, please e-mail Bob Mckinley with your desired quantity and size.

Medevac and Dustoff Crews of Vietnam War Congressional Gold Medal Act

Congressional Gold Medal

Right, Senator John Cornyn hosted a press conference at the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum on Veterans Day to highlight his recently filed legislation, The Dust Off Crews of Vietnam War Congressional Gold Medal Act. Left, Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady, a Dust-off veteran, described the contributions of Dust Off and Medevac crews during the Vietnam War.

The members of Army air ambulance units in Vietnam were some of the most heroic and talented service members in the history of American aviation warfare. The Vietnam War imposed an extraordinary cost of life and limb suffered by so many of our service members who fought there. The air ambulance's mission in Vietnam was to expedite the relief and remedy of pain and injury by transporting the wounded to a waiting US medical facility as fast as human and machine would allow. These intrepid American warriors boldly executed this humanitarian mission by rescuing nearly 900,000 souls in the process. At great risk to their own safety, they often innovated new procedures and techniques that allowed our wounded on the battlefield to be rescued in the face of insurmountable odds and unrelenting conditions. These crews were an inspiration to so many and attracted praise from some of the highest leaders in the U.S. military for their common displays of courage and bravery while under fire.”

U.S. Army Helicopter Names in Vietnam

John Brennan, former SP5, 114 AHC, 1970-71, Vinh Long AAF, Mekong Delta, is asking for help from anyone in the 15th Med Bn with photographs of Army helicopters. He came across images in this site's photo gallery and thinks some of these images could very well be candidates for his next in-country Army helicopter photo book planned for 2017.

He's trying to identify and inform anyone that has Army helicopter pictures and any anecdotal information that can be obtained about these Medevac photos (date, place, crew, etc). He'd like to feature as many Medevac and Dustoff photos he can assemble over the next 12 months for his new book. So far Medevac has been vastly under-represented in his publications due to a shortage of decent looking images from prints or slides. Two unit photos, thus far, have made it into his first book U.S. Army Helicopter Names in Vietnam book: HELL'S UGLY and OLD RELIABLE.

He's looking to gather 300 images for the next helicopter photo book. So far he's nearly half way to that goal. If you can help contact John at johnmailman@yahoo.com .

How Will You Remember Our Heroes?

Many will celebrate on New Years Eve, but I'm pretty worried about what's in store for our military veterans in 2016. Throughout the country, disabled military veterans and their spouses sit in despair at their kitchen tables, desperately trying to wade through paperwork and claims for the VA benefits they need and deserve. The Purple Heart Foundation helped 19,000 military veterans and their families to obtain over THREE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS in service-related VA benefits in the last fiscal year. Good counsel, a wide range of support, unwavering advocacy, and a good measure of love. That's the Purple Heart Foundation. So if you have a couple of bucks you'd like to send them, click HERE.

Aircraft Identification Help Needed

John Brennan, former SP5, 114 AHC, 1970-71, Vinh Long AAF, Mekong Delta, is asking for help from anyone in the 15th Med Bn with identifying the crewchief and the story behind the photographs of Medevac helicopters shown below. He came across these images and thinks some of them could very well be candidates for his next in-country Army helicopter photo book planned for 2017.  If you can help contact John at johnmailman@yahoo.com .

Vietnam Medevac aircraft
Blood Sweat & Tears
Vietnam Medevac aircraft
Super Kong
Vietnam Medevac aircraft
Cheap Thrills
Vietnam Medevac aircraft
Iron Lung

Hank (Little Okie) Tuell Inducted Into Hall of Fame

Hank Tuell Little Okie Medevac 1Hank (Okie) Tuell inducted into Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame.One of our members has added another honor to his name. In addition to being inducted into the DUSTOFF Association Hall of Fame in 2011, the notorious quid chewing Oklahoman, who flew as Medevac 1 in the 1970 timeframe, was recently inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame in November 2015.

Okie now resides in Red Lodge, MT and has been doing great and wonderful things for our wounded warriors through Operation Second Chance.

If we don't watch out for him, and keep his escapades in Vietnam on the hush-hush, the Queen of England will hear about his adventures in III Corps and dub him Sir Okie of Red Lodge!

9th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision that Unauthorized Wear of
Military Decorations is a Right of "Free Speech

On 11 Jan 16, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling on a 2007 conviction of Idaho resident Elven Joe Shisher for violating the Stolen Valor Act, overturned the conviction, saying it was a form of free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution. In taking this action, the Court upholds the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2012 which struck down the Stolen Valor Act for the same reason.

With regard to the Court decision, it is disappointing that once again the courts have determined that the wearing of unauthorized military decorations is an expression of "free speech," as protected by the U.S. Constitution. For most veterans, and especially those of us who received the Purple Heart medal for wounds sustained on the battlefield or as the result of acts of terrorism, the Purple Heart is a badge of honor. It is the symbol that the recipient was willing to sacrifice his or her very life in defense of the United States of America and the freedoms all Americans are able to enjoy. When someone who is not entitled to any military decoration wears that medal, they not only denigrate its significance, but they dishonor those brave and heroic American military members who served to defend that same Constitution.

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