April, 2012 Seahorse Newsletter
REUNION 2012: We imagine that the following information is what you have all been waiting for. Our next reunion will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, October 18-21, 2012. That is 6 months away. Make your plans NOW. The location will be the Embassy Suites Nashville Airport Hotel. Circle the dates on your calendar and start your planning. More information will follow as soon as the contracts are signed and other arrangements finalized. We look forward to seeing all Seahorses and their ladies there for another great reunion! Pass the word along to your friends who may have served in another RAC unit and invite them to attend. Queries were made about having the Lt. Dan Band attend and provide music for our banquet. However, their $40,000 fee is way beyond our budget.
We had 2 mini reunions in the summer of 2011. One was inCharlotte,NCand the other was inMaine. Each was a big success and was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Several of our brothers attended for the first time and said they will be at the one inNashville. We look forward to seeing you.
FYI: Even though he is an honorable man, Col.Mack Gibson has not joined the honor roll. However, he is suggesting that we have our reunions on an annual basis in the future. Be prepared to discuss this inNashville in October.
HONOR ROLL UPDATE: As you may already know, we have lost (or learned of their loss) several of our Seahorse brothers since theColorado Springs reunion. Our sympathies go out to their families. If you know of anyone we missed, please let us know ASAP. And if we have mistakenly included anyone who is still very much alive, let us know that also. Our list below comes from several sources. Check our web page.
SFC Glenwood Taylor February 2010
CPT Jerry Bussell 18 October 2010 Cancer
Neil Quatkemeyer 31 October Pancreatic Cancer
CPT David L. Woods 9 November 2010 Klatskins Disease
SP5 John P. Jones 2 December 2010
CPT Robert Steenrood
SP4 Ronald L. Hogue 21 February 2011
Larry T. Childers Date Unknown
MAJ Ralph Godwin April 2011 He was the second CO of 183rd
MAJ Lee Solomon 21 November 2011 Plt. Ldr. 1st tour & CO of 183rd on his second tour
SP5 Carl Forgey 8 April 2012 Carl was helping other vets inCaliforniawrite a book. See the link below to the Modesto Bee newspaper site.
SP5 Mike Seehass 1986 …. Was there really a Seahorse named Seehass? If Chinook crew chief, possibly not. See email below from John Fischer.
Hello fellow Seahorses. Mark Mitchell has been trying to help Col. Fee acquire some history on his father-in-law, Mike Seehaas. Mike apparently was a crew chief in the 183rd in 1968-69. If you knew Mike Seehaas, have any stories or pictures of Mike, please send them on to Col. Fee. Helping families reconnect with our Seahorse brothers is one of the best ways to honor them and at the same time preserve our history. Mike will be added to our Honor Roll and remembered at future reunions. Please assist in this search if you have any information that might be helpful.
More on Carl Forgey: From the Modesto Bee article: (see the website Modesto Bee .com) Saturday, Jul. 16, 2011: ModestoareaVietnamvets band together to write book.
By Jeff Jardine Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/2011/07/16/1778170/jardine-modesto-area-vietnam-vets.html?story_link=email_msg#storylink=cpy In fact, some localVietnam vets are doing just that. When I mentioned our project to Modesto Vet Center Director Steve Lawson, he told me several vets a few months ago began collaborating on a book. Each is writing a chapter or two detailing his experiences and feelings. They've produced a rough draft of eight chapters so far, with hopes of publishing it within the next year. Their stories all are compelling. Some are entertaining, and all of the contributors bare their emotions and souls. These men became acquainted through their visits to theVetCenter, which offers counseling for those with post-traumatic stress disorder. Writing is part of their therapy. Hence their book, with its working title: "The Conflict That Was a War/In Vietnam & At Home." They wrote to explain what it was like to fight in a war that many people, including some of their World War II- veteran fathers, refused to call a "real war." They wrote because they needed to release pent-up emotions and frustrations after coming home to a country that ridiculed them as baby killers and dopers. They needed to exorcise the demons of war and death that have haunted them for decades. Some,Modesto's Chet Brassart ofModesto among them, quit listing theirVietnam military experience on job applications because they knew they'd otherwise never find a decent job.
"It took me over 30 years before I could participate in Veterans Day activities," Modestoresident Carl Forgey said. And they wrote because the project provides the kind of camaraderie they haven't experienced since being inVietnam.
"When I moved here six years ago, I had maybe three friends and one of them was a cat," said Bill Bruno, who fought in the 11th Armored Regiment in 1968 and 1969. That changed when he began attending sessions at theVetCenter.
"It's what we call our 'safe haven,' " said Jim Money, who served in infantry and combat engineering divisions from 1967 into 1969. "Our bunker." They meet weekly at a restaurant in Riverbank to compare notes and give progress reports, each wearing a cap or shirt proudly telling the world they are, indeed,Vietnamveterans. Most of the men in the group are contributing to the book. Most have endured major health complications from Agent Orange exposure and struggled with Veterans Affairs to get their ailments recognized and covered. Money, who later became the Red Cross' local disaster relief coordinator, is editing their book.
"I didn't intend to write a life's story," Brassart said. "I just wanted to leave something kids and grandkids can go into and see what your life was like."
Snippets from the chapters do just that. Bruno, for instance, recalls being under attack at Quan Loi in May 1969, with North Vietnamese soldiers scaling the barbed-wire fences to get into the compound.
"It seemed like there was no end to their numbers because we fought all night," Bruno wrote. When the attack finally subsided and daylight came, the enemy carnage was in the hundreds and included some teens who tried to fight even though they had no weapons.
ANOTHER FYI ITEM: If it is still available on-line, we encourage you to click on the following link to watch a 15 minute video of a Marine banquet during which retired Marine General Zinni gives a very impressive talk. If you are aVietnam vet, you will appreciate and understand Gen. Zinni’s presentation.
If not, you will never understand us, what we went through and how we lived our lives since. But watching this short video might give you some insight—and appreciation—to who we really are or were.
There are only 1/3 of us left now.
We have received several emails in the past few months which contain some info which you may find useful. Space does not allow for all to be shared. If some important Veteran info comes across your desk, please share it with us, and if space allows, we will try to in include it in future newsletters.
From Gerry Lemons: An email address to see benefits for veterans, including discounts at restaurants etc. Check it out.
From: U.S. Veteran Compensation Programs
Sent: Saturday, March 10, 2012 3:51 PM
Subject: More Merchants Giving Discounts to Vets
Hi, just a reminder that you're receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in USVCP. Don't forget to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book so we'll be sure to land in your inbox!
From John Fischer: You will recall Gary Dolan attended our 2006 Reunion in Washington, D.C. He had written a book which he sold, donated and signed for our Seahorses. He also presented us with a Ranger flag. Featured in his book are references to the 183rd and Jerry Bussell. Lt Col Dolan was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame in 2011.
From a friend: As we get older we sometimes begin to doubt our ability to "make a difference" in the world. It is at these times that our hopes are boosted by the remarkable achievements of other "seniors" who have found the courage to take on challenges that would make many of us wither. Harold Schlumberg is such a person: QUOTE FROM HAROLD:
If you are receiving this newsletter by snail mail, we do not have your EMAIL address. Why is this so important? First is money. More than 60 email addresses are missing. With 3-5 pages going to each one of them, that amounts to a lot of paper. Next is an envelope for each and then the postage. Second is the time. With our home PC’s and printers it takes a long time to print all of these. Next are all of the envelopes that have to be hand addressed. All of this takes lots of time for us. Please email them to Don Tyler at email@example.com.