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nov-dec saber article posted

Saber Newspaper

The latest article about the 15th Medical Battalion in Vietnam is now available on this Web site under Informational/Historical Documents/Saber Articles. Mike Bodnar faithfully pens this article each month for the 1st Cavalry Division's Saber newspaper. We have back articles all the way back to 1999. So if you're stuck indoors for a while, why not browse through the old articles - it's interesting reading.

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Omaha reunion pictures coming in

I'm beginning to receive pictures from our last reunion in Omaha, NE. Click HERE to see the pictures from our last reunion. If you have pictures you'd like to submit, please send them to me a medevac2@15thMedBnAssociation.org.

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The purple heart

Once upon a time when most of us had died,
A 15th Med Bn soldier at the judgment seat applied,
"Show me" the stern one said,
"Some proof that your choice among the dead
So saintly act, kindly art, or holy skill."
"Only this Oh Magistrate. OK, King my God,"
My life's blood for this country stained the sod
For proof...I have this Purple Heart."
He gazed long at it
The King all mankind's mentor
Then nodding, softly, whispered..."ENTER."
Adapted from Richard Duckwal, Army WWII

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2023 Reunion info

15th Medical Battalion Association Reunion, 26-30 April 2023. Austin, TX. Our host is the Holiday Inn Austin Midtown, 6000 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX. Reservations 512-451-5757, Group code, is "MBA." POC: Baby Huey, medevac2@15thmedbnassociation.org or call or text 830-456-5580. Info at 15thmedbnassociation.org Austin is a "happin' town" with lots to do in your free time.

Lone starThere will be an open challenge bean bag throwing competition on Friday and Saturday afternoons. The winner will receive a special prize.

You will have a chance (at an additional cost) to join us on an evening river cruise. The highlight is watching 1.5 million bats depart their roost under the South Congress Bridge. If you ain't be seen a bat emergence, it's quite a site to watch.

We will have a Texas barbeque (of course) dinner for all y’all on Saturday evening, followed by our annual auction. We don’t have annual dues, so please plan on bringing something to be auctioned off that evening.

Please keep checking for further information and the opening of our reunion registration at the beginning of the year.

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ID Card Update

Retirees and military family members who have identification cards with no expiration date can choose to upgrade to the new Next Generation Uniform Services Identification, or USID, cards whenever it's convenient -- as long as it's done within the next four years, according to the Defense Department. DoD plans to phase out and cancel the existing card forms in 2026.

There is no looming deadline for use of those old non-active duty cards without expiration dates, but the department expects to completely phase out and replace them with the next-generation IDs, which are more durable and have enhanced security features, by 2026, Maj. Charlie Dietz, a spokesman, told Military.com.

In the meantime, cards with expiration dates are required to be replaced within 90 days of elapsing. The Defense Department began the effort to update all those IDs to the new format in July 2020, but the changeover hit delays caused by the pandemic.

"DoD plans to phase out and cancel the existing card forms in 2026 when all existing cards with an actual expiration date will have expired," Dietz wrote in an email. "After then, only the USID card will be accepted for installation and benefits access."

The USID format for military retirees and dependents represents the first change to those identification cards in nearly 30 years; the last update was in 1993. The new design closely resembles the Common Access Card, or CAC, format issued to active-duty troops and department civilians.

But there was uncertainty among those with cards that list the expiration as indefinite. The IDs are needed to access military facilities and to confirm eligibility for various military benefits, so missing a deadline or losing the identification could disrupt cardholders' lives. Expired cards can be confiscated at base gates.

Those with cards with no expiration dates "may have the card replaced at their convenience," according to Dietz. The department recommends they go to the ID Card Office Online and use the office locator to find a site that issues the new cards and book an appointment.

Retirees and their dependents, dependents of active-duty troops, reserve members and Medal of Honor recipients are among those who will receive the USID cards. A description of the new cards and a complete list of who is eligible can be found here.

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2023 Reunion plans

Lonestar River CruiseSave the date. Our next reunion for all y'all will be 26-30 April 2023 in the Lone Star State's capitol of Austin, Texas. Our host hotel is a mid-town hotel providing our rooms, hospitality room, and banquet hall in the same facility. At $129/room night, complimentary breakfast in the morning, free parking, and all the usual amenities. For those planning on flying, there is no shuttle from the airport to the hotel, so now is the time to download the Uber app and take a short test drive before arriving at the airport. Uber's rate is about $18, with a customary tip is 10-20%. The taxi from the airport to the hotel is about $25, plus a tip if desired. The Saturday night banquet will be nothing but the best of Texas fix'ns for you to stuff your face with before leaving God's Green Acres. There will be more about the reunion on this site and our Facebook page as the plans take shape.

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The Medical Debt We Owe to the Vietnam War—and Vietnam Veterans

For the Vietnam War—and the Korean War just prior to it—it was lessons learned there that sparked the development of civilian paramedics, modern trauma centers, helipads at hospitals, civilian air ambulance services, and MEDEVAC. In battles in Vietnam, the UH-1 Iroquois helicopter, commonly known as the “Huey,” transported the wounded to treatment faster than in any previous war, enabling doctors to discover that they could use flight crews and surgical teams in the field to stabilize the wounded during air evacuations, treating patients for hemorrhagic and traumatic shock, which drastically reduced the rate of death from battlefield injuries. To this day, triaging and “the golden hour” remain the benchmark of civilian emergency care. For the whole interesting read by Rebecca Burgess, click HERE.

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Medevac still helping

With fears still high that the Kremlin may soon launch a new invasion of Ukraine, it's not surprising that a curious flight by a U.S. Army HH-60M, a "dustoff" or air ambulance variant of the Black Hawk, to a checkpoint along the Polish-Ukrainian border 16 Feb 22 night drew significant attention on social media. For some, the scene had almost a clandestine Bridge Of Spies feel to it. The War Zone can now confirm that this helicopter was retrieving a U.S. service member assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine who was experiencing an unspecified medical emergency.

In an article by Joseph Trevithick, the first indications that the HH-60M in question, which has the serial number 20-21131 and was using the callsign EVAC01 at the time, was headed toward Poland's border with Ukraine, based on data from online flight tracking websites, began to appear on social media at around 11 PM local time 16 Feb 22. The Polish Border Guard has a publicly available live camera feed showing Korczowa-Krakovets border crossing, which subsequently confirmed that the Black Hawk had landed on the road there, appearing to pick up an individual who had crossed over from the Ukrainian side. The helicopter was then tracked flying to a hospital in the Polish city of Rzeszow.

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purple heart day

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 by an act of international terrorism or paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives to defend the freedoms all Americans are privileged to enjoy. 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, by an act of international terrorism, 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 entities, will raise the Purple Heart flag in recognition of the service and sacrifice of their local sons and daughters. In numerous cities across the Nation, the State Capitol Buildings and other major landmarks will be bathed in purple light to commemorate Purple Heart Day.

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2022 Reunion registration open

Reunion registration for our 2022 reunion in Omaha, NB is now open. The 2022 15th Med Association reunion will be in Omaha, NB from Thursday April 21 to the 24th, 2022. Early check-in is on Wednesday, April 20th starting at 1PM. Rooms at both motels are blocked two days before and two days after the reunion. We have blocked 40 rooms for the reunion. The hospitality/meeting room will be at the Hampton on the main floor.

We have the Hampton Inn and Suites (402-345 5500) at $119 plus tax per night and the Homewood Suites (402 345 5100) at $129 plus tax per night. When making a reservation use the numbers above and not a toll-free number. Hotel Code is "15th Med MVV." If you have any problems let Ron Ingram know at 402-670-1370

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Omaha lifts mask mandate

Good news for the reunion! The number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations has improved enough in Nebraska that local health officials lifted Omaha's mask mandate 16 Feb 22, and some of the state's largest hospitals said they were easing certain restrictions. Of course, the use of a mask and social distancing may be practiced by anyone not comfortable being indoors with unmasked members.

The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus statewide has fallen steadily since hitting last month's peak of 767 on Jan. 28. State health officials said 436 people were hospitalized with the virus Tuesday — the lowest level of hospitalizations since early November. The number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations has improved enough in Nebraska that local health officials lifted Omaha's mask mandate, and some of the state's largest hospitals said they were easing certain restrictions.

The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus statewide has fallen steadily since hitting last month's peak of 767 on Jan. 28. State health officials said 436 people were hospitalized with the virus — the lowest level of hospitalizations since early November. For the full story, click HERE.



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15th Medical Battalion Association EIN: 82-1517632

Texas Taxpayer Number: 32064960969

The 15th Medical Battalion Association is registered as a non-profit tax-exempt private foundation with tax-exempt status granted under IRS rules section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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