Old 2018 Front Page News
2019 reunion location set
The 15th Medical Battalion Association will hold their next reunion in San
Antonio, TX from 3-7 Apr 19. Our host hotel will be the Holiday Inn Market
Square where we have a very generous contract. The hotel is providing a complimentary
welcome reception on Wednesday evening, 3 Apr 19 (1700-1800) to include
beer, wine, soft drinks, water and chef’s choice of 1 hot and 1 cold hors d
. The room rate will be $99/night, which includes a
complimentary hot buffet breakfast each day with each room and we'll have
our own private breakfast room.
The hotel is three blocks from San Antonio Market Square (old Mexican
market) and famous Mexican restaurants, six blocks from the Riverwalk, and
10 blocks from the Alamo, a five-minute walk. We will also have a
complimentary shuttle van that will bring folks anywhere in the city and
then pick them up when called.
During the day and evening we will receive a 20% discount on meals in
the hotel restaurant as well as in the lounge.
There will be a tour of the US Medical Department Museum on Fort Sam Houston
as well as a night get-together at one of the famous Mexican restaurants at
the reunion page periodically and look for updates as they
occur. You can start now lining up your daily wear of t-shirts and shorts
because it's almost a safe bet that San Antonio won't have snow that time of
year!! So pass the word and all y'all come down and have a blast!
July-August saber Magazine
The latest issue of the 1st Cav's Saber Magazine has been published in our
section of this Web site. We owe Mike Bodnar a big thank you for taking the
time and effort to pen articles about the 15th Med Bn every other month.
He's been doing it for year, and years and is one heck of a dedicated
writer. Check out this latest issue and maybe click on some of the other
Vietnam film footage call
Scott L. Reda and his company, Lou Reda
Productions, has worked hard to preserve and share America’s military
history through film. Lou Reda has been a longtime collaborator with History
Channel and National Geographic, producing shows such as Vietnam in HD and
Brothers in War (Boys of 67). Included below is a link to an interview with
Vietnam Magazine that details his goals and history. They are continually
looking for footage to continue to help preserve and show our nation’s
Scott is looking for 8mm and 16mm film of the
Vietnam War and the American home front. Upon receipt of your footage, they
will clean and digitize to high definition, and return your original footage
with a DVD copy. You will also be asked to sign a release form to allow use
in the future. For more information, please contact his directly at,
. He greatly hopes you will assist them in sharing America’s past through
film and preserving it for the future.
The link is to the Vietnam Magazine interview.
Sophisticated Utilities Scam Ripping Off Veterans
new, highly sophisticated scam is targeting veterans across the country.
Many reports suggest the scammers are making millions by tricking veterans
into thinking they are speaking directly to a utility company
representative. The scam is making rounds around the country, and veterans
appear to be the main target.
The scammers claim to be your utility company
calling to inform you of a past due amount on your utility bill and then
threaten to turn off your power immediately if you don't pay. To create
urgency, the scammers tell you a technician is on his way to turn off your
power. The scammers are informing veterans they either missed a payment or
didn’t pay enough on their last bill.
The scammers are using a telephonic system to
make it appear as if they are calling you from your local utility company.
Using this “ghosting” technique, the scammers mimic local utility company
numbers, but, are off by a number or two.
If you get a call from a utility company
representative, call them back direct before making any payment
Home Depot Bait & Switch Tactic
Is it fact or fiction? Does Home Depot honor
your service with discounts or is it just a myth?
In a once very politically correct, and very
public display of honoring the service of all active duty American veterans,
Home Depot had proudly announced any veteran who presents an official VA
Benefit Card, Veteran ID Card or Military ID would receive a 10 percent
But now the number of days this discount is
offered to veterans who are not active, reserve, retired or disabled
veterans will now only qualify for a 10% discount during normal holiday
events (e.g., Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Independence Day).
Sounds like a classic ‘bait and switch’
publicity stunt. American servicemen and women don’t switch on their
promises. We have been always faithful.
View official policy HERE.
remember our combat wounded
2018 reunion was excellent
The 2018 reunion was one for the books. There
were over 115 folks in attendance and a good time was had by all. Ahhhhh,
except for the 0130 fire alarm going off and mandatory evacuation of the
whole lodge. Fang did an excellent job of having a wonderful hospitality
room for us and a super-tasty banquet buffet.
Dan "Fang" Toothman did an out standing job in coordinating the 2018
reunion in Williamsburg VA. The hosting hotel was a perfect location for our
group to meet at and hold our 20 year reunion. Many of us were stationed at
the transportation school at Fort Eustis to become crew chiefs. I was also
stationed at Ft. Eustis to be a tug boat operator but once I arrived in VN I
was converted to a 11B2F MOS and made a door gunner. Fang was knowledgeable
of the area and met our needs. Great restaurants and historical locations in
the area. I was unable to travel to the Tattoo ceremony, but those that did
commented on how well they enjoyed it on numerous occasions. We kept Fang
The auction brought in over $2800 thanks to the
work of Jim Calibro and Doc Holiday. Also Doc Holiday stepped in and helped
me with the auction when I got tired. Doc did an outstanding job. Valarie
Williams kept track of items sold and who bought them. Velma Smith, Teri
Raferty and Lana Brown did an outstanding job. Also, thanks to all the volunteers
working in the background making name tags, manning the registration desk,
cleaning the hospitality room, and a zillion other tasks needed to have a
It was an honor to recognize Yolonde Martin and her family. Art
Martin passed away in 2017, he will truly be missed by all. We also lost my
good friend Bill Haistings & "Doc Nose" Flowers. They will be missed by all
members. Both passed away since the 2017 reunion in Branson.
This reunion was special to me as I broke my neck last year and I
though that I would no longer be capable of making another. The members of
the association prayed hard for my recovery and God answered all prayers.
Thank you 15 Med for having my back.
In parting, many thanks to Fred McKeller for serving a 2nd term as
President of the 15th Med. He brought integrity and professionalism to the
Association as we rebounded.
Now is the time to send your pictures of the
medevac2@15thMedBnAssociation.org for inclusion in the 2018 reunion
page. I know all y'all took lots of pictures, so take a half hour out of
your day and send them in.
Here's what we have so
An updated version of the Constitution and
By-Laws was approved at the reunion. Besides reducing the "legalese", the
latest version is searchable. The previous version was in Adobe reader
format and could not be searched. If interested, the Constitution and
By-Laws are HERE.
the 9-Line medevac request
Our mission requests in Vietnam came in a
non-standard format that usually covered the essential data elements to (at
least) bounce and begin the mission. After Vietnam the Army Medical
Department realized it would be more advantageous to use a standard mission
request format. Current members of the military are now taught the standard
9-liner. Below are the data elements of each of the nine lines of a mission
request. Hey, hey don't laugh...the young bucks and buckettes in the service
today all know the 9-liner. And...there's going to be a pop quiz on this at
the next reunion!!
Line 1. Location of the pick-up site.
Line 2. Radio frequency, call sign, and suffix.
Line 3. Number of
patients by precedence:
A – Urgent
B – Urgent Surgical
C – Priority
D – Routine
E – Convenience
Line 4. Special equipment required:
A – None
B – Hoist
C – Extraction equipment
D – Ventilator
Line 5. Number of patients:
A – Litter
B – Ambulatory
6. Security at pick-up site:
N – No enemy troops in area
P – Possible
enemy troops in area (approach with caution)
E – Enemy troops in area
(approach with caution)
X – Enemy troops in area (armed escort required)
* In peacetime – number and types of wounds, injuries, and illnesses
Line 7. Method of marking pick-up site:
A – Panels
B – Pyrotechnic
C – Smoke signal
D – None
E – Other
Line 8. Patient
nationality and status:
A – US Military
B – US Civilian
C – Non-US
D – Non-US Civilian
E – EPW
Line 9. NBC Contamination:
N – Nuclear
B – Biological
C – Chemical
* In peacetime –
terrain description of pick-up site
take a knee... my ass
Wait for opening music to stop and then click triangle in middle of picture.
Do you know your history?
To know why we did what we did in Vietnam,
you need to understand the efforts of the pioneers of medical evacuation.
They forged the way for the 1st Cav Div. to realize it needed dedicated air
ambulance support for its deployment to Vietnam.
To be proud of what we did in Vietnam, you
need to see the current efforts or our air ambulance soldiers in the war
against insurgency. Take a few minutes and view the video linked below. It's
well worth the time.
Reunion side trip
Just 16 more days ‘til the Virginia International
Tattoo! Don’t miss you chance to see the most spectacular, most moving
Tattoo ever—more than 1,000 performers from around the world, in an
astounding display of inspirational military music, majestic massed pipes
and drums, show stopping drill team maneuvers, colorful dancers and more.
Check out what’s new in Tattoo this year:
-From Italy, the amazing musicians of the 11th
Bersaglieri Regiment Fanfare Band! With their plumed hats, these wonderful
musicians run while they play!
-From Norway, the precision formations of the
top-notch Band and Drill Team of His Majesty the King’s Guard
-The Traditional Army Band of the Republic of South
Korea, with its colorfully costumed Yepuri Dance Team and astonishing,
acrobatic tae kwon do masters!
The centerpiece of this unforgettable show is a
moving salute to Medal of Honor recipients, the highest
award for valor in action which can be bestowed upon an individual serving
in the Armed Services of the United States. Nine living Medal of Honor
recipients will be at the Tattoo performances, and you’ll learn first-hand
about their bravery and sacrifice. As part of this Medal of Honor
commemoration, you’ll see the U.S. Army 3d Infantry Tomb Guard Platoon
perform for the first time outside Arlington Cemetery’s Tomb of the
Unknowns…and see the solemn beauty of the U.S. Army 3d Infantry
Caisson Platoon, with their 11 horses.
Come early for the “Tattoo Hullabaloo” on
Scope Plaza and other free pre-show events!
don't forget your auction item
organization has no set dues. The operating money we need during the year is
made from online sales at our store, reunion registration, and the
ever-so-popular annual auction. Though not mandatory by any means, it has
become customary to bring an item (or two) to be donated in our annual
auction. These items may be something you got a business to donate,
something you've made, or something you've purchased and donated to the
auction. The items auctioned off over the years just about runs the gamut of
everything you can image. We've had books, wine, license plate frames, Cav
memorabilia, paintings, walking canes, t-shirts, indoor/outdoor
thermometers, and moonshine. Like I said, you name it and it's probably been
auctioned off at one of our reunions. So plan ahead and support our
Association by coming to the reunion with something to be auctioned.
reunion agenda published
know what's going to happen at the reunion? Well Fang has published an
(tentative) agenda to guide you in knowing what day to arrive and what
functions are planned. The reunion agenda is published on the
Reunion Page and
may change at any moment. So check back periodically and make sure you know
what's gunna happen and when.
Vietnam Helicopter Pilot and Crewmember Monument
Vietnam Helicopter Pilot and Crewmember Monument will be dedicated in a
formal ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Wednesday, 18 Apr 18 at
The monument will honor the nearly 5,000
helicopter pilots and crewmembers killed during the Vietnam War, and is the
only monument established to honor all who died operating rotary-wing
aircraft in what is frequently called, “the Helicopter War.”
During the Vietnam War the helicopter became
the mainstay for joint operational mobility. Approximately 12,000
helicopters operated in the combat zone and were used by all military
services: Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force. Of this number, 5,086 were
Arlington National Cemetery holds the
greatest cluster of helicopter casualties from the Vietnam War made up of
immediate casualties, Medal of Honor recipients, and the remains of MIAs
recovered in the decades after the war ended in 1975.
The dedication ceremony will see Vietnam
Veterans, Gold Star Families, and helicopter combat crewmembers rejoin to
honor friends lost in combat. “With more than 40 years having passed since
the end of the Vietnam War,
reunion hotel rooms running out
initial block of rooms in our reunion hotel are nearly filled. Fang is
requesting additional rooms, but the problem is the hotel is also having
another large gathering of folks and is running low on available rooms. If
you haven't made your room reservation yet, our advice is to do it quickly -
you snooze you lose.
If you run into problems making a room
reservation at the Great Wolf Lodge, alternative accommodations at the La Quinta
(pronounced La Keenta) around the
corner from GWL may have available rooms. Their
phone number is 757-229-0200.
Veteran ID cards
A law was passed in 2015 by Congress to have
the VA issue Veteran ID cards. A Web site was first available in Nov 2017
but the system crashed because so many Veterans were applying. Requesting an
ID Card is not mandatory, but may be useful to have a Veterans ID to obtain
Veteran discounts (especially if you are not Retired Military or do not have
a VA Health ID Card).
- You have to apply online
- You do not go into a VA facility to get one
- It is mailed to you once you apply online
- It does not cost you anything.
Before you start to apply make
sure you have photos in your computer of:
1. Current Driver License
2. Current Photo of yourself - passport photo size
3. Photo of your DD-214 that specifies "Honorable Discharge"
Changes effective 1 Jan 2019 to Retiree Dental Program
retiree dental plan and the addition of a vision plan will allow for
beneficiaries to choose from several dental and vision carriers with a
variety of benefit options. The FEDVIP program lists 10 dental carriers and
four vision carriers (Delta Dental is included) with comprehensive dental
and vision insurance at competitive group rates.
choose a plan during TRICARE's open season (November 12, 2018-December 10,
2018). Beneficiaries need to understand
there is no automatic transition
for those currently enrolled in the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program. Changes
can only occur during open season and life changing events.
A partial list of coverage TRICARE
beneficiaries receive with FEDVIP include: No wait period for most dental
services; No annual maximum benefit for some dental plans; Access to
regional and national dental networks; No deductible for some vision plans;
No limit on brands for frames or contacts for some vision plans; Discounts
on LASIK offered by some vision plans.
Beneficiaries are encouraged to start getting
information and pre-enrollment communications at:
Flag, adopted on 14 June 1777, is
the fourth oldest national flag in the world. Denmark's flag, adopted in
1219, is the oldest.
- A flag expert is called a "vexillologist."
- The blue field on the U.S. Flag is called the "union."
- On Memorial Day (the last Monday in May), to honor all who died in
battle, the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then
raised to the top of the staff for the remainder of the day.
- Since 1834, the U.S. Flag has flown continuously next to the grave
of the Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette, near Paris,
- June 14 was proclaimed Flag Day by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.
While Flag Day was a popular celebration in scores of communities for
many years after Wilson's proclamation, it didn't receive its official
Congressional designation until 1949.
Virginia International Tattoo during reunion
Virginia Fines Arts Festival is hosting the annual
International Tattoo during the time of our reunion. The event is in
Norfolk, VA a little over an hours drive (43 miles) from our reunion site.
Our illustrious Reunion Coordinator Fang and his wife went to one in 2013
when they honored Vietnam Veterans and he says it was a great show. Fang has
been to a couple of them and he says it is inspiring to watch the military
marching bands from all over the world performing. Lots of bagpipes, drums
and such. This year they’re honoring Medal of Honor recipients.
Tickets are in the $40 range (Military and
senior rate) and it looks like there isn't a bad seat in the house. For more
their site and don't forget to stroll over to the
Tips Page. You may also be interested in
downloading their brochure.
If you're interested in going, Fang is
checking on a group rate for a block of seats.
E-mail Fang (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let him know you're
interested. If he receives enough e-mails with interested folks he will be
able to get a better price.
The reason to attend reunions
I bask in the afterglow of attending another reunion where it was so
great to see so many friends again. Those attending our reunions have a bond
of friendship few civilians would understand. It was while thinking about
the reunion that I received the latest edition of Purple Heart Magazine
where I read one particular essay that hit home with me.
In the article,
An Extraordinary Experience with Exceptional Men, LTC Ken
Donovan (US Army Retired) provided a well constructed trip down memory lane
during his tour with 155th Assault Helicopter Company. I'm going to
cherry-pick some of the sentences that made me dwell the longest.
"We now gather in the twilight of our years, to recall events that
occurred nearly 50 years ago, but more importantly to share our lives since
we came home. I guess I always knew this but it has taken this long to come
to the full realization that I survived an extraordinary experience and that
I shared it with truly exceptional men. I am alive today because of them,
and they are the best of their generation."
"This shared commitment to each other was unlimited; while it was not
something we openly talked about, we were willing to turn landing zones into
aircraft junkyards to get our guys out."
He concludes with, "For some reason thanks does not seem enough, but
thanks for helping me survive an extraordinary experience and sharing your
lives with me."
You'll have to trust me on this, but if you missed our last reunion and
haven't yet starting thinking about attending the next reunion, I believe
you'd be missing out on an extraordinary experience with exceptional men.
BG TURNER TO BE HONORED
AT MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER
The family of BG Guthrie L. Turner Jr. (26
May 1930- 9 January 2014) has informed the 15th Medical Battalion
Association that a building on the Madigan Army Medical Center Campus at
Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Olympia, WA will be renamed in honor of the
General. The Memorialization Ceremony for the renaming of the building will
he held on 2 February 2018 at 10:00.
The building to bear BG Turner's name is
presently the “ Preventive Medicine Clinical Services Building” (Building
9025).. The new building name will be the “ Brigadier General Guthrie Turner
Preventive Medicine Clinical Services Building”.
BG Turner was the 15th Medical BN Commander
and 1st Cavalry Division Surgeon from June 1968-June 1969. He completed his
medical internship at Madigan Army Medical Center in 1953, and served as the
Commander of the facility from 1980-1983.
Click the link below for the official
Invitation form with directions to the building. Also, if you plan to
attend, please send an e-mail to
email@example.com stating the names of attendees. There
will be a section designated for 15th Medical BN Veterans.
Official Invitation Form