Remembering an Old Friend

by DakotaRed 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • Valis

    Dakota...are you in the pic on the Company C page? I was thinking how you might have looked back then and if one of those was you its kind of ironic. You were there in such bad position for anyone to be in and had a smile on your face....then the dub years...then your profile pic now.....I did see that you had already found a site like that, I just didn't know if it was the one. I couldn't think if I didn't at least post it then you might be missing out on some more of your old friends and good memories.


    District Overbeer

  • MegaDude


    A couple of years ago I took the deposition of a former Vietnam veteran helicopter pilot. (I'm a court reporter.) He told me he had a bounty on his head over there and would routinely get on the radio and mock the North Vietnamese for putting such a cheap price on his head. Weird that your enemy's intelligence was good enough that they could name names of the helicopter pilots.

    He talked about his helicopter being shot up badly on one mission and trying to get his machine to the top of a hill that was free of trees to put down in. Complicating this was the fact that he was shot and trying to fly his machine. He overshot the hill and came down on the slope, going face first into the dashboard and rolling the helicopter down the hill. His lower jaw was smashed to pieces but the docs did a good job patching him up. All on board survived. His sentiments are the same as yours as far as his duty over there. He said morale was high in his squad, and anybody who was afraid or not committed to the war effort was run out of the squadron quickly. Interesting person to meet.

  • manon

    Thank you for sharing your story & photos with us. Two of my mothers brothers served in the armed forces. One of her brothers served during the Korean war the other in Vietnam. They both returned home safely. My grandmother was ever so greatful. I grew up listening to their stories.


  • DakotaRed

    Valis, I have sent Lee some photos, but he hasn't put them up yet. However, my buddy Ron has a couple at the bottom of the 69 - 70 page. It's funny you mention me smiling, my daughters complain I don't smile enough. The smile in my profile pic was easy, though, I was holding my second Grandson, Josh, the day he was born.

    Mega, the story of that helicopter pilot is all too familiar. In the 18 months I was physically in country, we lost about 44 of the OH-6s I worked on. From that number, I can only remember about 6 dying. One, Scotty, was a total shock to everyone. He was shot in the leg, was recovering fine and on the flight to Japan, his leg started bleeding inside the body cast they had him in and he bled to death while sleeping. The book, "Red Bird Down," by Bruce Carlson, is dedicated to him. Bruce was flying the helicopter the day Scotty was shot.

    Another book covering the operations of the Air Cav in Vietnam is "Hunter-Killer Squadron" by Matthew Brennan. It is a compilation of first hand accounts of activities there, from 1965 to 1972.

    Manon, Thanks. Most of us did return safely. Many faced ostracism from the public, though. Since I stayed in the Army another 6 years after Vietnam, I wasn't exposed to as much of it as some others were, though. I'm very happy your uncles returned safely and hope they are doing well.

    In retrospect, the 7/17th was considered one of the better units in Vietnam. All still agree today and we are actively seeking all who we served with. They have been holding yearly reunions around the country as well as reconnecting old buddies and getting reacquainted with each other. We had some really good leaders who did everything they could to keep our morale high and still get the job done. We all regret the politicians didn't let us do what they sent us there to do.

    Lew W

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