Dear Fellow Banshees,
First of all I would like to apologize for the problems that we had with the last Banshee Gazette mailings. I donít know exactly where the problem lies, but hopefully we have most of the problems corrected and all of you should be receiving your Gazette promptly.
Our organization represents a great variety of people that served with B Troop during itís many transitions and we have now either located or tentatively located over 700 former members that served with the unit at one time or another. We have accomplished this by going through copies of old orders and troop rosters that some of you took time to send to us. I would like to personally thank all of you who have made those contributions. I would like to remind those of you who havenít, please try to make time to go through any old orders that you may have, copy them and send them to me no matter how unimportant you may think they are. This is the only way we can increase the number of former members that we can possibly contact without making more expensive and time consuming trips to the National Archives.
As you can see by this issue, we are making plans for our 1999 reunion, which is scheduled for October 1st through October 3rd , in Las Vegas, NV. We have been growing each year and we hope to see a lot of new faces at this yearís reunion. We would like to encourage you to complete and return the enclosed reunion registration form as soon as possible so we can make the necessary arrangements. I would also like to remind you that you must be a regular member of the B Troop 2/17th Cavalry Association to have a voice and a vote in Association business during our annual dinner/meeting. If you have not yet joined the Association and plan to attend the reunion please send in your membership application as soon as possible.
Jim Matthews - President
We are preparing for a fabulous 1999 Reunion in Las Vegas.
One of the main reasons we chose Las Vegas was the cost of airfare. Typically if booked in advance you can obtain inexpensive airfare. We have arranged rooms at the Fitzgeraldís, which is downtown Las Vegas. If you chose to arrive early or leave after the Reunion you will be afforded the special Reunion rates. Please keep in mind that we are a family organization and your entire family is welcome at our Reunion. Fernando began family poker last year at Fort Campbell. This years game will be played by the same rules with one slight change, family members must be present to be counted. As an incentive to bring your families for the poker match and fun, a prize will be awarded to the winner.
This year we have changed the dates for the Reunion in hopes that those who had conflicts in the summer months could attend.This year our Reunion should be even more exciting than previous years. Lots of new (older) faces. All indications are that we should have an excellent turn out.
With this in mind, we ask that you please return the reunion registration form as soon as possible. Las Vegas Hotels book early and if you do not commit ASAP we cannot assure your receiving a room at the Fitzgeraldís. So, please send in those registration forms now.
Once the registration form is received you will receive a registration packet for the Reunion. This will have the telephone numbers and codes to use for the hotel and Alamo rent a car. It will also, contain size information on the Reunion jacket.
Comments Taken from B Troops Website GUESTBOOK
This is an invitation for all Vietnam Vets and especially all 101st Nam vets to attend the 17th annual Vietnam vets reunion in Kokomo Indiana Sept. 17,18 & 19,1999. Last year at the 16th the attendance was estimated at 30,000. If you can make it, do it! For ongoing information updates concerning the reunion visit the Howard County Vietnam Veterans website at http://geocities.com/Pentagon/Bunker/5246/.
Also as part of the Indy 500 in Indianapolis this May the main theme of the 500 festival parade will be honoring medal of honor recipients. 99 of the living 180 MOH recipients have committed to being there. If you can be there to honor America's true heroes, do it!
Remember Lamson 719 ; I was your Bell Helicopter Rep. Would like to know the Captainís name that was the maint. officer during that period. (Glad thats over).
Subject: 47th scout dog
by David Martin
We are hoping that we will have a special guest at our Reunion this year. Dr. Ronald B. Frankum, Jr., an archivist from the Texas Tech University Vietnam Archives has indicated a desire to attend and discuss ways we can preserve our legacy.
Plans are under way at Texas Tech to build a three story museum that will house The Vietnam Archives.
On The Wall, there are 58,182 men and women who gave their lives during the Vietnam conflict. Of the names 20,390 (35% of the total names) were members of the U S Armyís 101st Airborne Division. Thatís 1 out of every 3 causalities.
Information obtained from the 101st Airborne Memorial in Arlington Cemetery.
Your stall warning alarm plays Dixie.
We would like to thank John Schmieding for providing the list of jokes used in this on-run cartoon for the Gazette. David Martin is providing the art work. If you would like to contribute additional Redneck Pilot quotations please send them to David Martin, the editor of the Banshee Gazette.
We are regretful to inform you that we have lost another Banshee.
Bob Acklen was a CO-founder of the 506th Infantry Regiment Association. Bob died on the evening of December 31, 1998, after being diagnosed with cancerous brain tumors in September. In October 1970, he was assigned to fly Cobras with B Troop, 2 Squadron, 17th Cavalry out of Camp Eagle.
The Association has made a donation to Friends of Vietnam Memorial Fund in our fallen comrades names
If you havenít gotten your B Troop bumper sticker there are still some available. These are really nice and they let everyone know who you served with.
Members receive one free bumper sticker with their initial membership dues. Additional bumper stickers are available for $3.00 each.
Get one for all of your cars and trucks (if you live in Texas).
Just send a note to Randy with your money and he will have them sent to you.
Fernando DePierris has done an excellent job of setting up a return trip to Vietnam. The group will return to Vietnam at the end of May.
Numerous members of Joseph "Doc" LaPointeís family will accompany the group, which plans a memorial service in TamKy on June 2nd for Doc.
The group will also be taking Physicians Desk References for local Doctors in TamKy and DaNang. The group will include our own combat photographer Randy Kunkleman. This means there will be lots of pictures to look at when we arrive in Las Vegas for the Reunion.
Have a safe trip folks!
The Association by-laws governs the nominations and election of Association officers.
Elected officers for the Association are President, Vice-President, Secretary/Treasurer, and Chaplain.
The by-laws state that two months prior to the general membership meeting, anyone wishing to nominate a member for office shall notify the secretary/treasurer of such nominations so the nominee can be notified to accept or refuse.
If you wish to nominate anyone please advise Randy Kunkleman.
Several years back the Boston Publishing Company put out the series 'The Vietnam Experience'. Time-Life Books picked it up and sold over 700,000 sets. It's been called the definitive story of the war. Now it's back. Producer Robert George has asked Nick Mills to take on the task of doing the video series in addition to reprinting the books. Let me give the response here so you can appraise it yourself. I think you'll find, as I do, that this represents a great opportunity, not only for the Banshee's but for all Veterans of the Vietnam War...to tell it like it was.
Steve, nice talking with you, and I'm excited about the possible contacts with members of the Banshees and other groups.
A little background: When Bob George created his Vietnam Experience web site, he was a bit surprised by the quantity and quality of interest in Vietnam. Not only veterans, but young people -- sons and daughter of veterans, high school and college students doing research projects -- contacted the site in large numbers. Many of the veterans expressed a wish for something more in the area of books and/or videos, something which would reinforce their pride in having served and which would help other people, other generations, understand the Vietnam experience.
The idea we came up with was to produce a video series which would explore as many key aspects of the Vietnam experience as possible, through the recollections of people who were there -- soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, women, correspondents. I guess you could call it a "human history of Vietnam." We want to reveal as much as we can of the very rich tapestry of the American experience there -- what it was like stepping off the plane in Vietnam; how we worked, fought, ate, drank, slept, raised hell, lived and died. It won't emphasize the "John Wayne" aspect, nor will it be another dry history. It will be stories, told by veterans, of all aspects of their experience there, illustrated by photos, film, paintings, poems, songs and anything else which will help.
I'm looking for veterans from all branches and as many job specialties as I can find, from dog handlers to tunnel rats to "donut dollies" to gunship pilots and door gunners and artillerymen and tankers and, of course, grunts. My plan is to select a number of people, interview then at length on-camera, and use them throughout the series. If you can spread this appeal to veterans in your group, and beyond, I'd be very grateful.
I look forward to reading your story, and we'll talk again soon.
Nick Mills, Producer
THE VIETNAM EXPERIENCE -- THE WAY IT WAS
Boston Publishing Company Custom Communications Inc.
57 Wells Avenue, Newton MA 02459-3227