WELCOME TO OLE' BILL'S MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

February 2011


THIS WEEK IN QUARTERHORSE HISTORY

1Feb67: Operation Wellingston begins. (RVN)
2Feb68: Battle for Tan Son Nhut AFB -Tet 68. A Trp sent in to help out. More Below 3Feb03: 2,200 BRO Soldiers, including the 1/4th Cav, as ARFOR-t deploy to Turkey in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
6Feb07: 4th IBCT deploys to Iraq.
7Feb04: TF 1-63 AR returns to Germany.
10Feb04: TF Danger (Germany Based 1ID units deploy to Iraq.
12Feb67: Operation Rolling Stone Begins.Entire 1/4th Cav involved.(RVN)
12Feb67: Operation Wellingston ends. (RVN)
15Feb96: 1ID (-) deployed to Germany.
17Feb67: Operation Rolling Stone ends. (RVN)
18Feb43: Battle of Kasserine Pass, Tunisia. 1st Recon in battle.
21Feb66: Operation Mastiff begins. Entire 1/4th Cav involved.(RVN)
22Feb67: Operation Junction City begins. (RVN)
22Feb67: B Troop in Highway 4 Sweep Battle.
24Feb66: A Trp Battle. Ron Thompson uses 52 ton Tank for an ambulance. (See Below)
24Feb91: Operation Desert Storm, ground forces attack on Iraq begins.
27Feb91: 1/4th Cav severs Kuwait-Basrah Highway. Provides Tent and Security for Iraq Surrender.
28Feb91: Cessation of Desert Storm offensive operatons.


QUARTERHORSE HISTORY

RON THOMPSON TAKES HIS M48 INTO A HOT AREA TO PICK UP WOUNDED-24 Feb 66

as reported by the Star & Stripes


DATELINE VIETNAM - TANKS GO IN AFTER WOUNDED - by: A2c Bob Cutts

PHU LOI, VIETNAM-This isn't a war of army against army, it's a war of man against man. And something as big as a 52-ton M-48 tank has a hard time fitting into that lineup.

But once in awhile, they get in their licks. Ron Thompson can tell you about it. SSG Thompson, a thin, wavy-haired Missourian with greas-stained fatigues, is a tank platoon leader with Troop A, 4th Cav., 1st Inf. Div.

The day began at dawn in a rice paddy 30 mils northwest of Saigon. Thompson and his three-man crew rode in the lead tank, followed by another tank and a string of four Armored Personnel Carriers.

The job was to secure a landing zone for an operation and it was done uneventfully by 7:30

Then orders came for the armored unit to serve as a "walking" blocking force for the infantry sweep, moving slowly down a ravine across from thick jungle.

As the metal goliaths plodded through the paddies, the morning sun and the temperature rose higher. The M48 is a pretty big tank, but most of it is metal muscle. The crew is crowded into a tiny cubicle between shells, guns, control sticks, sights and c-rations inside.

There isn't any air conditioning, and in Vietnam, it's a rare day when the temperature inside that armor plated broiler isn't over a hundred. Today wasn't at all rare.

At mid-afternoon a change in orders was radioed to the line of crawling metal beetles. "Head across that ravine into jungle and medevac wounded foot soldiers who are pinned down." Thompson led the way as the tanks and APC's picked their way across the ravine and crushed through the tangled foliage. They started meeting small squads coming out of the jungle. Two or three men helping the wounded along, put them into the APC's and pointed out more wounded deeper in the jungle. Sniper fire began bouncing off the tough metal hide of Thompson's tank. One soldier waved the column on. He said there were two dead and one wounded was pinned down in enemy fire. Thompson charged ahead, and the second behemoth charged too-right off it's track. The crew, swearing and sweating, climbed out and set to work restringing the huge track.

Thompson stopped his tank further on and climbed out. He and a medic walked the last 50 yards to the three soldiers. There was no gunfire. they carried the wounded man out, and Thompson went back alone for the dead. As he was dragging one body out. a sniper's bullet plowed throught the top of his helmet, gourging two big holes in the tin hat and knocking the tanker flat. Dazed, he picked himself up and walked back to the tank, asking soldiers along the way if he was bleeding. He wasn't.

Back at his tank, Thompson found the crew had buttoned up the turret--hand granades had been mysteriously falling out of the jungle like big green hailstones. Beating on the hatch, Thompson got the crewmen to open up, and he climbed back inside to his control seat.

Then--Wham! a hidden antitank gun slammed a shell into the turret, knocking out the gunsights and wounding the gunner with fragments. While Thompson spun the turret around, looking for the VC gunner, another round slammed in--boring a hole through the tank's 90mm gun tube. The loader tried to fit a round home, but the only thing he could jam in was a cannister of grape shot. Bullets were bouncing off the mammouth stell shell like angry buzzing bees. The APC's had opened up with 50-calibers but none of them had been hit by the VC artillery. That Red was going strictly for the tank.

As the still-active gunner peered through his vision blocks, he saw the fanning grape- shot from the tank ripping holes in the jungle. Then he saw Charley: "There they are!" he yelled. "Fire" ordered Thompson. Boom! Both guns roared at each other at the same time. The turret shook angrily as the antitank shell gouged metal out of the two-inch thick steel skin. A cloud of smoke obscured sight through the glass slits that were Thompson's windows. When it cleared, all he saw was a big, clear lane cut through the jungle. The VC were nowhere in sight. Then the firing stopped. Thompson's gunner was the only casualty. Slowly, the armored column lumbered back out of the jungle, joined by the other tank, it's track now replaced. The tanks lined up in a paddy for air medevac of the wounded, then went home

Ron Thompson had won his duel for the day.


Ron Thompson pointing out enemy damage to his tank after A Troop action in Feb 66

More damage to Ron's tank

*********************************************

THE BATTLE FOR TAN SU NUT AFB - tet 68: 2 Feb 68 As told by QH Troopers
Hello Bill, Jim Lerdahl's recollection of the battle for Tan Son Nhut are pretty darn accurate. I was in the same fight as he was (Feb 2nd, 1968) and was on his left flank. I was TC of A26 with Lt John Hammond aboard. Bob Schooley was driving A8 with First Sergeant Frank Kather when it was hit in the fuel tank. The track that had the RPG stuck in the bilge pump hole.........lucky shot for sure.........lol......was very close to us. It was a pretty good fight for sure (I'm pretty cocky saying that today, but was scared shitless back then) and we were taking lots and lots of RPG's and small arms. Lt Hammond was wounded during this action and who ever it was flying above doing C&C (A Colonel I think) put me in charge of the platoon and gave me specific instructions to stop the incoming fire from the houses and buildings and find away to get through the houses and cut off the VC. I put all three tanks on line and started spraying the area with canister rounds. We stopped the incoming fire pretty quickly and the headed out to cut off the VC. So we were the guys Jim was talking about knocking out the VC and RPG's..........

Dan Thompson

Below is First Sergeant Frank Kathers track knocked out on Feb 2nd 1968 at Tan Son Nhut

January 31st 1968 The beginning of the TET Offensive. A Troop 1st Squadron 4th Cavalry 1st Infantry Division

Click on link below and it will take you back nearly 42 years ago this month. I have one more to add.

God Bless
Prepared and Loyal
Dan Thompson

The following sent in by Jim Lerdahl.
In the battle for Tan Son Nhut, the trail party consisted of ACAVs which included: the FSG track-A-50, the radio track-A-63 and the mecanics track-A-8 in the rear. At the time the battle started we were at a road corner which turned left into a villiage. We were bunched up at the corner with the FSG's track around the corner. We were stopped at that time. All of a sudden the A-50 M60 machine gunner opened up at the second story of a bamboo building. He said later the he saw an AK-47 barrel sliding out of the second story window.

All of a sudden all hell broke loose, with RPGs flying all over the place. We had to spread out so the machanics track started backing up, A-63, A-8 and the FSG track. while backing up, RPGs were flying over our heads and into to burm just below our tracks. Once spread out we found that all the RPGs were coming from our left flank which had houses around 100 yards away.

I spotted an RPG position next to a palm tree but could not fire at it till I was finished backing up. Once stopped I used a M79 which the first shot went way over the villiage. I knew this guy was getting the range so I hurried to reload and did whatever was necessary to make my next shot better. My next shot went where he was positioned. He either moved or was hit as the fire from that position ceased.

I finally ran out of M79 ammo a got my camera going, I shot a picture of A-63 and the FSG track in front of me fighting. Very soon after A-8 was hit in the drivers builge pump hole. the A-8 occupants ran to our track. The only one wounded was the driver who had small shrapnel wounds on his face and body. Next hit was the FSG track. It was hit in the fuel tank and started on fire. The medics went over to the track and started treating the FSG and SSG Waters for burns. They were placed on the right side of the track to protect them from further fire.

Shortly a tank started going down those line of houses which contained the rpg postions and blew up house after house, that ended the fighting from the VC. The trail party consisted of four tracks with the 2 in front of A-63 knocked out. Any fire from the right flank was very light at best.

The pictures I took were presented to the 1/4 cav war room along with the Chu Hoa flag that we used on Chu Hoa day.

*********************************************

To the Troopers of Troop A, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division,

I have asked Dan Thompson to forward this to you since he has the most comprehensive e-mail list of former troopers or Troop A. Sometime in 1973 or 74 the attached I wrote for the Department of the Army for the study that was being done on Armor Operation in Vietnam.

43years ago today we had been sent into Saigon the day before to help defend the city against the attack by the Viet-Cong and the North Vietnamese Army. I don’t think any of us realized when we were suddenly attacked by US helicopters in our night defense position the day before what would happen to us for the next couple of months. The attached paper was written only to explain how we conducted our combat operations. It was not written to reflect upon the feelings and emotions that each of you felt back then. Nor was it written to express all that you have personally experienced over the past 43 years. For many I know it has been a very difficult road to travel. None of us, including myself, are the same person we were before we went to Vietnam.

But maybe by reading what you accomplished it will make you even prouder of how you served our country with bravery and distinction. And maybe if you haven’t been able to share your story with loved ones, you will be able to let them read all the danger that you faced daily. And it will help them to understand better your feelings and emotions today.

The greatest honor of my life was to command you as the Troop Commander of Troop A. You are still the greatest bunch of guys who I have ever known. I thank you each of you for your service in Vietnam. There is not a day that goes by in my life that I do not think of you and what all you accomplished.

I ask that you take a moment and remember our Troopers who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the Tet Offensive: Jackie M. Morgan 6 Feb, Larry W. Darling 19 Feb, Adrian E. Sigler 19 Feb, Walter L. Brannon 31 March, and McKenly O Matlock 31 March. May God bless each and every one of you.

Prepared and Loyal, Fred Shirley, LTC(US Army-Ret)

***********************************************

ARMOR OPERATIONS IN VIETNAM

January 1968 to April 1968

Troop A, lst Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 1st US Infantry Division

INTRODUCTION

The evolution of armor's role in Vietnam from the myopia held by some that armor could not be used successfully to its dominance in many major operations throughout South Vietnam is testimony to the ingenuity and creativity of the officers and men of armor. Unquestionably, armor played a significant role in the tactical outcome of the War. For 23 months, May 1966 to April 1968, I witnessed armor's increasing role in Vietnam in my various armor assignments--Tank Troop Advisor (M41s) with the 1st RVN Cavalry Squadron, 5th RVN Infantry Division; S2, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 1st US Infantry Division; and Commander, Troop A, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry.

In October l967, I assumed command of Troop A. The Troop was organized with each platoon having three tanks (M48A3s) and seven ACAVs (without the special ACAV kits). The ACAVs were not, however, organized into the traditional cavalry sections/squads. Rather, they were employed normally as tanks. Sufficient personnel were not available to man an infantry squad, and the Troop did not have its organic mortars. All the 4.2 inch mortars during my duty with the 1st Division were consolidated under division artillery. In addition to the normal troop headquarters vehicles, the Troop was equipped with a medic track and two flame thrower tracks.

ACTIONS PRIOR TO TET

On 29 January 68, Troop A moved from the Squadron's Base Camp at Phu Loi to northwest of Tan Uyen (XT 968231) to establish a defensive position in the vicinity of XT 901265. The move was significant because the Troop had freedom of movement to reinforce a number of military installations and towns within a few hours--Binh Duong, Di an the Long Binh Supply Base, Phu Loi and even Saigon. At the time, however, no information had been received by the Troop either to future enemy actions or to how long the Troop would remain in its new location.

The following day was spent in improving the Troop's position and conducting mounted security patrols. No major operations were conducted because of the Tet Cease Fire. In mid-afternoon on the 30th two significant events took place that altered our situation. The Troop was informed that the cease fire had been lifted and ordered to encircle the village at XT 910300. Doing so without incident, the Troop, however, made no attempt to enter the village. Except for an unusual calm over the village, nothing was sighted, and the Troop returned to its defensive position. Towards nightfall information from an assistant division commander of suspected increased enemy activity during the night served to increase the alertness and attention to detail of the men. In addition, the Troop was instructed to maintain a high state of readiness throughout the night. Based upon the enemy information, no ambush patrols were established. My reasoning was that if the Troop had to move at night it might be difficult to locate and pick-up the patrols. Each platoon did, however, establish LPs and maintained two men instead of one man awake on each track which was normal procedure.

Putting the events described on 29 and 30 January into perspective and considering contingencies that the Troop had been given in December 1967, it was clear that the US anticipated increased enemy activity during the Tet time frame. Although no specifics of possible enemy activity had been given to me, never-the-less, I was able to make map reconnaissances of the entire area to select approach routes to possible enemy targets. And coupled with my familiarity of the area including Saigon (At the time of the Tet Offensive, I had spent 20 months conducting armor operations in Binh Duong and Binh Long Province and had visited Saigon as an advisor on several occasions.), prior planning was performed for a number of contingencies. The old adage of the importance of prior planning was once again to be proven true.

MOVEMENT TO SAIGON

(Note: All times are approximate.) The night of 30 January was uneventful until 0200 hours (January 31). From our position we could observe the Bien Hoa Air Base under mortar attack. Shortly after the initial observation, US attack helicopters were seen firing indiscriminate suppressive fires in our area. This was immediately reported to Squadron Headquarters, and a request was made to notify the helicopters of our existence in the area. This request was too late. Our position was soon hit by 2.75 inch rocket fire. Fortunately, no casualties were received. All personnel were in their tracks by this time (The LPs had been called in at the first sight of the helicopters.), but several claymore mine wires were severed on the tracks by the rocket fires from the helicopters. This incident was an obvious example of poor coordination between the 1st Division, Field Forces II, and the Bien Hoa Air Base Security Forces in establishing the Troop's location. Where the communication breakdown came, I do not know. But it could have been a costly mistake.

During this period, the Troop received word of Troop C's involvement in the town of Ben Cat near Lai Khe, and the Troop was alerted to move on order--destination unknown. No further enemy or friendly activity was observed in our area after about 0330 hours.

Between 0600 and 0700 hours the Troop was ordered to move towards Saigon as quickly as possible. Moving on Highway 16 would have been the quickest route to reach Tan Uyen, but the Highway was a favorite route for enemy antitank mines. Therefore, movement was cross- country until the Troop reached Tan Uyen.

One tank, however, from the 2nd Platoon did hit a small pressure detonated antitank mine (XT 934264). A cavalry troop from the 11th ACR was located just north of Tan Uyen on a Rome Plow Security Mission, and it provided security for the tank and crew while the tank was repaired. The remainder of the Troop sped towards Saigon. (The tank and crew rejoined the Troop several hours later while the Troop awaited further orders outside of Saigon.)

During the movement, the Troop had to move through several small burning roadblocks south of Tan Uyen. The lead tank in the single column formation never hesitated as it smashed through these roadblocks. Since the Troop had been placed under increased alert status some 12 hours earlier, an overwhelming sense of urgency had come over the Troop's personnel. Their personal safety was now secondary.

Several hours after our initial move, we were halted along Highway 316 and told to wait for further orders. The Squadron Commander, LTC John W. Seigle (now COL), later commented to me how amazed Division Headquarters had been at the rapidity at which the Troop had moved. Several factors worthy of mention contributed to this rapid deployment.

     1.	The sense of urgency that each man in the unit had developed.
     2.	The detailed knowledge of the area which caused us to move cross-country where we 
        suspected enemy mines and on the hard surface roads when we did not suspect mines.
     3.	Serving as both aero-scouts and as airborne commanders in their helicopters, the 
        Squadron qommander and the S3, MAJ Thomas Kelly (now LTC), greatly facilitated the 
        move--particularly in the area around the roadblocks.
     4.	The mobility of armor which I am afraid at times was neither appreciated nor 
        understood by our Division was a definite asset.
     5.	The contingency planning that the Troop had carried out prior tp the order to move.

MOVEMENT INTO SAIGON

Once in position outside of Saigon, the Troop remained static until about 1500 hours. During the interim, the Troop secured its position and an electrical power plant in the vicinity. Not until we crossed the bridge (XS 891941) leading into Saigon did the realization of what was happening in Saigon unveil itself to us.

After passing through the destruction at the eastern edge of the City without incident, the Troop proceeded towards the Tan Son Nhut Air Base (TSN). During the movement, I received the Capital Military District Advisor (CMD) radio frequency from the Squadron Commander. The flexibility of the AN/VRC 12 series of radios proved invaluable. I was able to monitor and talk on the Troop's command net, the Squadron's command net, and the CMD's command net with little difficulty. Information from CMD was sketchy.

Nearing the vicinity of TSN, the CO's helicopter was shot down by enemy fire from the vicinity of the golf course adjacent to the Base. The pilot was able to bring the helicopter down safely inside the Base. Events are somewhat confused to me now, but about the time that the CO was shot down military police were frantically trying to get me to proceed to the BOQ area where a 2 1/2 ton truck loaded with MPs had been ambushed earlier in the day by the VC. No orders were received initially from CMD to dispatch elements of the Troop, and the MPs had no knowledge of the enemy situation in the BOQ area.. I finally received orders after several requests from CMD to send a force. I dispatched my 1st Platoon commanded by LT Joe Scates. As the lead tank moved down the alley where the MPs were located, its gun tube was rendered inoperative by an antitank round. But the failure to destroy the tank prevented the enemy from delaying the Platoon in the accomplishment of its mission, and the firepower of the platoon quickly overcame the estimated platoon size enemy force. Unfortunately, upon reaching the MPs all were found dead. The Platoon was successful in recovering the remains of the MPs without casualties to the Platoon.

The Platoon returned shortly before dusk to the Air Base, but not before I had spent many anxious moments wondering about the Platoon's fate. For in the heavy built-up area, I had lost radio contact with the 1st Platoon. Loss of radio contact was to be experienced on several other occasions while operating in and around Saigon. While the 1st Platoon was performing its mission, the rest of the Troop continued on to TSN. Here my knowledge of Saigon proved invaluable. No guides were available to lead us after the CO's helicopter went down. Though all key personnel had maps of Saigon (We carried a large basic load of maps with us to include Saigon on our vehicles.), a knowledge of the city facilitated our movement. As the Troop approached the west end of TSN, all of us were shocked to see the carnage that laid before us. I am just as certain today as I was then that had it not been for the heroic actions of the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry the enemy would have inflicted heavy damage to the Base and increased casualties to Base personnel. The time was approximately 1800 hours when we reached TSN, and the major fighting had ceased by this time in this area. As darkness approached, the Troop moved into the Base and established a defensive position in conjunction with the ¾ Cav at the west end of the runway.

Noteworthy to point out is that for all members of the Troop it was the first time any of them had been exposed to fighting in a large city. No longer were troopers who had been trained to fight through jungles and over dry rice paddies and clear and secure roads exposed to these environments. The concern now was not with antitank mines, so the troopers were ordered inside their armored vehicles. Enemy snipers were located in windows and on roof tops, so observation had to be directed at these critical areas. Maneuver room was severly restricted, so the Troop had to insure that areas were clear before proceeding. Recon by fire could not be used for this purpose. Instead, this was done by either small mounted or dismounted patrols moving forward of the Troop. The threat of burning buildings was also of real concern. As I think back, it is remarkable how well the troopers adapted to this new environment. The minimal casualties that the Troop received in Saigon were testimony to this fact. Even in built-up areas, the flexibility, mobility, and firepower of armor had its. place and was used effectively.

ACTIONS THE NIGHT OF 31 JANUARY

At 2100 hours the Troop was ordered to report to the Tan Son Nhut Base Defense Headquarters. The Troop was given the mission of securing a total of three BOQs and BWOQs in the vicinity of TSN. (I cannot recall the exact locations.) I was given OPCON of an infantry company from the 25th Infantry Division, and I was also supplied with a guide from the CMD Advisory Team.

The first installation was found without difficulty or incident. The 2nd Platoon under the command of LT Hammonds and one infantry platoon with the infantry company commander were left to secure the first installation. The second installation was never located. This was because the Base Defense Headquarters had the wrong location and could not obtain the correct one. The third installation, a BOQ occupied by Air Force pilots, was located, but not without incident. In reaching the BOQ, the Troop minus the 2nd Platoon and one infantry platoon came under fire by enemy troops attacking the southeastern perimeter of TSN which was occupied by RVN soldiers. The brief engagement that ensued highlighted the importance of observing roof tops when operating in built-up areas. The NCO, SSG Barge, firing the .50 cal machinegun on my command track toppled three enemy soldiers from their roof top position almost immediately after they had opened fire. From their vantage point, which gave them excellent fields of fire, they could have inflicted a considerable number of casualties if it had not been for the alertness of SSG Barge. Using the firepower and speed of our tracks, the Troop moved through the enemy positions with only several minor injuries and no damage to the tracks and proceeded without further contact to the BOQ. The BOQ was located near TSN and was sporadically coming under small arms and light mortar fire from both RVN soldiers protecting TSN and enemy troops attacking the Base. The Air Force personnel had suffered one KIA earlier in the day, and they were very apprehensive about their situation. Throughout the remainder of the night, the four platoons (two infantry and two cavalry) secured tbe BOQ with mounted and dismounted patrols through narrow alleys surrounding the BOQ. After several checks on my other force, I remained with the four platoons the remainder of the night.

Had it not been for the presence of our force it is doubtful that the Air Force personnel would have held their position. Enemy troops had been reported closing in on the BOQ prior to our arrival, but the presence alone of the Troop was sufficient to keep the enemy away. And once again I experienced communication difficulties. I had to relay through the CO, 3/4 Cav, to contact the Base Defense Headquarters.

About 0900 hours 1 Feb, the Troop and the infantry company were ordered back to the Base. Much to the relief of the Air Force personnel, we brought them back with us to the Base. As the Air Force officers moved from their BCQ to the Troop, some of them were so overcome with joy to be leaving the BOQ that in an emotional scene they ran up to and kissed the tanks and threw their arms around the crews.

After a debriefing at the Headquarters with the late MG Keith Ware, who had assumed command of the defense of Saigon for the US, the Troop moved to the northern end of the north-south runway and came OPCON to the ¾ Cav command by LTC (now COL) Glenn Otis.

The remainder of the day was spent in maintenance, resupply, and getting rest. By this time, most of the men had been awake for more than 36 hours. If I recall correctly, we received resupply of ammunition from the ¾ Cav. Parts, other supplies, and hot meals were from the 1/4 Cav and flown in by helicopters. One platoon was sent during the afternoon to the US Embassy to provide security, but no contact was made.

2 FEBRUARY 1968

The night of 1 Feb was filled with reports of possible renewed attacks on TSN, but except for an occasional sniper round nothing materialized. Before nightfall of the first, the 3/4 Cay with Troop A OPCON was given the mission of conducting a show of force operation the following day through downtown Saigon.

Shortly after daybreak on 2 Feb, the mission was changed. Along with an infantry battalion from the 25th Infantry Division, the ¾ Cav with Troop A was ordered to conduct a reconnaissance in force operation north of TSN through the village of Ap Dong (2) at XS 820990 (Enclosure 2). The plan for the operation was sound. Following tac air strikes and an artillery preparation, the infantry was to move north through the village (Enclosure 2A). Led by Troop A, the cavalry was to move north along the north-south road bordering the western edge of the village in order to provide flank security for the infantry.

The operation commenced shortly before noon. Not knowing from one minute to the next where the Troop would be sent, the entire Troop moved out on the operation. The operation proceeded slowly at first with the infantry conducting a detailed search of the village. As the infantry approached the east-west road at XS 818990, they made contact with enemy forces, probably NVA, estimated at battalion size. At about the same time, the infantry battalion commander flying in a C&C helicopter reported a large number of the enemy troops fleeing north of the road at XS 817997. LTC Otis, mounted on an ACAV, ordered my Troop north as quickly as possible from our location at XS 815990. Reacting to the order, the Troop rushed north to head-off the escaping enemy force. The lead tank from the 2nd Platoon in the Troop's single column formation came under claymore fire and small arms fire as it rounded the turn in the road (XS 817997). Blasting its way through the enemy position, the 2nd Platoon moved northeast up the road through the intersection at XS 819998 to cut off the escaping enemy force. The command group; my track, the medic and communication tracks, and flame thrower tracks; was now located in the middle of the road (xS 817997) and receiving heavy enemy antitank and small arms fire from both north and south of the road. Soon afterwards, the communication track which the Troop's First Sergeant, Frank Kather, was in was hit by an antitank round. The entire five man crew were burned with the First Sergeant being the most seriously wounded. I then moved the Troop Headquarters through the intersection and instructed the 2nd Platoon to find a route through the village in order to attack enemy troops located in houses along the road running northwest-southeast (XS 818998). No route could be found. The need for an aero-scout was apparent. Had the ¾ Cav Commander been airborne he could have scouted the area quickly and told us that no routes were available except moving directly up the road where the enemy was located in the houses, but there was no helicopter available for his use. It should be noted that LTC Otis commanded this entire battle mounted on an ACAV. The infantry battalion commander was too busy directing his engaged companies to be of much assistance. Meanwhile, enemy troops could be observed continuing to flee north. But except for the 1st Platoon which was now located astride the location formally held by the Troop Headquarters and in heavy contact, fire could not be placed on the enemy because of the many civilians also fleeing the area.

To relieve the pressure on the 1st Platoon, I ordered the 2nd Platoon to move northwest up the road. In an awesome display of armor firepower, the lead tank destroyed at least five Vietnamese stucco style constructed houses and silenced the enemy fire from this location. During this action, LT Hammonds was injured and lost his sight in one eye. With the greater part of the enemy's fire now silenced, LTC Otis ordered the Troop back down the original approach route (XS 814994) to await MEDEVAC helicopters for LT Hammonds, the First Sergeant, and three other troopers. The communication track which was already a combat loss was destroyed in place with an incendiary grenade, so that recovery personnel would not have to be exposed to enemy sniper fire that was still prevalent in the area. Medical evacuation completed, the Troop along with elements of the ¾ Cav moved east in a line formation through the village. Light contact was made. The 3d Platoon lost one tank from an antitank round, but no casualties were received. Around 1700 hours all units returned to TSN.

In reviewing this action, there are a few important points that should be highlighted.

1.	The Troop suffered no KIAs, five WIAs had to be evacuated and one M113 and one 
        M48A3 were combat losses. Enemy casualties were unconfirmed, but estimated at 
        between 30 to 40 KIAs.
 
     2.	For the greater part of the battle, little fire could be placed on enemy troops 
        to the south, because US infantry moving north were too close and could not be 
        moved back. The infantry company commander in the area had been killed and his 
        radio operator left his radio to go to the aid of his fallen commander. The 
        platoons were not contacted on the company or platoon nets. The full effect of 
        the closeness of the two friendly forces on the outcome of the battle cannot be 
        assessed, but no doubt enemy casualties would have been greater.
 
     3. The 1st Platoon, although engaged for the longest period of time, suffered 
        neither casualties nor vehicle losses primarily because of the platoon's 
        intensive organic firepower and the continuous motion back and forth of its 
        vehicles in its herringbone formation.
 
     4.	No artillery or tac air was used because of the closeness of the contact--at 
        times less than 50 meters-- and the civilians in the area. Attack helicopter 
        support was limited.
 
     5.	The limited maneuver room in a built-up area was very apparent. Quicker 
        reaction to the enemy situation w~s negated in part by narrow streets, dead-in 
        streets, and civilians fleeing the area, but still we could have maneuvered more 
        than we did.
 
     6.	For most of the men, it was their first heavy fighting experience. Without 
        exception, they all responded in the highest cavalry traditions.

3, 4 and 5 FEBRUARY

The night of 2 Feb was uneventful, and the following day was spent conducting sweeps of the area of the previous day's action. No contact was established, but numerous enemy bunkers and some equipment were found in the village of Ap Dong.

On 4 Feb the Troop moved west with the ¾ Cav from TSN and established a defensive position in the vicinity of XS 725960. This area consisted of dry rice paddies and sparse vegation-excellent terrain for armor operations. The morning of 5 Feb was spent by the Troop conducting a search of a village north of our position (XS 715975). Having the ability to speak Vietnamese, which was an invaluable asset to me, I was able to gain some enemy information concerning the withdraw of the enemy several days before through the village from a few bid villagers. The rest of the populace had been forced to support the VC's attack on Saigon and had not yet returned.

Around noon on 5 Feb the Troop was ordered back to the defensive position and instructed to move back through Saigon to the water filtration plant (Xs 944997) east of. Thu Duc. There we were to rejoin an infantry battalion from the 1st US Infantry Division. However, for the remainder of the month of February, the Troop and the infantry battalion were OPCON to either Field Forces II or CMD. No significant events were incurred during the movement and the Troop closed on the water plant just before dark.

Very little if any difficulty was experienced in operating with the 3/4 Cav, and we were made to feel a part of the 3/4 Cav by its Commander and men. No doubt, the feeling of belonging contributed to the Troop's success. All of us, however, were glad to rejoin the 1st Division. We were beginning to feel like like orphans being tossed between relatives and friends--never really knowing where we would be next and with whom and when we would be resupplied.

For the next two months the Troop operated with an infantry battalion from the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division with the mission of securing the water plant, Highway 316 and the surrounding area located generally between XS 592946 and XT 989935. Since this was the dry season, cross-country movement was good except in the vicinity of the numerous rivers and streams. Additional obstacles to armored vehicles consisted of the villages in the area. The high concentration of villages in the area also severly restricted the use of recon by fire, artillery, tac air, and attack helicopter support. Moderate vegetation throughout the area provided little concealment and the terrain provided little cover from enemy fire. The events that were to take place were noteworthy because of the night mobile operations conducted by armor and infantry in securing Highway 316. There were, however, four significant engagements that took place of which one will be discussed.

LONG BINH VILLAGE, 6 FEB 68

Initially, operations in the area consisted of reconnaissance in force operations designed to clear VC main force battalions from the area. On 6 Feb Troop A in conjunction with the infantry battalion minus to which the Troop was OPCON conducted a search of Long Binh Village (YT 008000). (This village is located about 3500 meters northeast of the Vietnamese Armor and Infantry Schools.) The previous day contact had been established in the village by a troop from the 11th ACR, but before the troop could develop the situation the troop was called to support an action elsewhere.

The sweep of the village commenced shortly before noon. Prior to the sweep, the infantry battalion established a blocking position in the southern section of the village (Enclosure 3A). When available, helicopters were to screen to the east of the village. Inundated rice paddies prohibited the use of armor to the east.

My plan was to move the 3rd Platoon commanded by LT William Chaffin through the village from north to south while the 1st and 2nd Platoons were to screen to the west. The command group, consisting of my command track, the medic track, and one flame thrower track (I cannot remember why the second flame thrower was not present.) would move between the 3rd platoon and the screening force depending on the situation.

Shortly after the operation started, helicopter gunship crews spotted three VC along the east-west trail (TY 012006). The 3rd Platoon had not yet reached this location, so I elected to try to capture the three VC with my command group less the medic track. While a few old villagers observed (the village was almost deserted), we successfully captured two of the three VC with the aid of two gunships. The third VC was KIA. The two captured VC were immediately evacuated for interrogation. We were to learn later from the infantry battalion commander about the time heavy contact was established that a VC battalion along with a VC regimental commander were located in the village. The importance of capturing the enemy and immediate evacuation was quite apparent, because when the enemy information was received the Troop had not yet sufficiently developed the situation to determine the number of enemy troops in the village. Based on this information, I was to withdraw the 3rd Platoon from the Village before additional casualties were received.

As the 3rd Platoon proceeded south in a line formation with a few dismounted troops, the platoon ran into heavy enemy antitank and small arms fire south of the same east-west trail where the two VC were captured. One tank was hit by an antitank round and within a matter of seconds it exploded. The driver was killed. In addition, Lt. Chaffin received a serious leg wound and had to be evacuated. (Within five days, the Troop lost two fine officers and an outstanding First Sergeant. Their loss was quite an adversity to overcome, because all were highly respected as combat leaders by the men, and they had extensive experience in VN. But credit must be given to the NCOs that replaced them until replacements could be received several weeks later. Their performance was outstanding and the men rallied behind them.) After LT Chaffin's injury and the enemy information was received, the 3rd Platoon withdrew from the village and the entire Troop took up positions about 300 meters west of the village. Tac air and artillery was requested, but because of heavy commitments elsewhere the support was minimal. The two jet fighters available dropped napalm and bombs, but the effect was marginal. Artillery fire support was received from a 105mm howitzer battery, but because the enemy's positions were fortified (some positions were under concrete floors of the houses) the fire was ineffective. The flame thrower would have been effective, but its crew had been wounded in the initial contact and had been evacuated.

The supporting fires completed, the Troop assaulted the village. The 3rd Platoon was involved again in the heaviest contact and lost one ACAV to enemy fire. Intensive enemy antitank and small arms fire caused the Troop to once again withdraw. Two more assaults were conducted on the village, but they too failed to dislodge the enemy from his position. At about 1700 hours and with almost all our ammunition expended, all units were withdrawn to the water plant because security of the plant, the Thu Duc District Headquarters and several other industrial plants located along Highway 316 were considered of more concern than the enemy in Long Binh Village.

The numerical results of this engagement are vague, but one man was killed and at least five or six were evacuated for injuries. One tank and one ACAV were destroyed. Enemy casualties were one KIA and two POWs confirmed. Several days later a few fresh grave sites were found in the village. The Troop, however, had been successful in preventing the battalion from conducting attacks on the US Army Long Binh Supply Base located just to the north or on Thu Duc or Saigon. The battalion was never again reported in the area while we continued to conduct operations in the area. As in all actions, there were lessons learned and problems incurred.

1.	A lack of understanding of the employment and capabilities of armor at all 
        levels of the infantry battalion chain of command was to plague the Troop's 
        operations for the entire period along Highway 316. The difficulty in 
        conducting a search of a village without infantry should be obvious. My 
        requests for at least a platoon of infantry had been denied. In future 
        operations this lack of understanding was most noticable, except for a couple 
        of exceptions, at the company commander level. The company commanders did not 
        know how to employ a combined arms team.
 
    2.  Vividly brought out in this action was the difficulty of dislodging enemy 
        troops when in fortified positions. With maneuver room almost nonexistent 
        in the village, only tac air and medium and heavy artillery could have 
        destroyed the enemy's defenses. But in this action tac air was not 
        sufficiently available and heavy or medium artillery fire was nonexistent 
        in the area.
 
    3.  Resupply was a problem in this action and it continued to be throughout the 
        two month period. The infantry neither understood the resupply problems of 
        armor; fuel, ammunition, and spare parts; nor were they able to carry out 
        our resupply of these items satisfactorily. I had to depend upon Squadron 
        Headquarters for resupply. Even though the Squadron was operating at extended 
        distances from Troop 'A's location, the Squadron supply and maintenance 
        officers overcame the problems and handled our needs with little support from 
        the infantry battalion to which we were attached.

OTHER SIGNIFICANT ACTIONS

During the next two months, several other major actions were to take place which I will only briefly mention. On 8 Feb the infantry battalion and my 2nd Platoon engaged several enemy companies located in and around a textile factory in the vicinity of XS 942981 and drove them from the area. In action against an enemy company on 19 Feb in the vicinity of XS 950995, the Troop suffered two KIAs and had one tank destroyed. In another significant action two cavalry and two attached infantry platoons engaged an enemy battalion in the village of Xon Dau Binh Thoi (XS 940960) on 30 March. This action, if intelligent reports were accurate, disrupted a planned attack on several bridges along Highway 316 leading into Saigon on the night of 30 March.

Minor contacts were to occur almost daily in an area bounded by XS 930970, XS 940990, XS 955990, and XS 950960. Typically, an infantry company would move into a sector of the area in the morning. Late in the afternoon contact would be made with an enemy platoon, and a cavalry platoon was dispatched to provide fire support for the infantry to enable the infantry to maneuver on the enemy.

ROUTE SECURITY

One of the most critical missions of the entire operation was the security of Highway 316 during the hours of darkness. Around mid- February convoys started moving again at night from Saigon to the Long Binh Supply Base. Almost immediately after the convoys started, they were ambushed by a platoon size enemy force. The convoys had several military police jeeps with three man crews for security. After these initial ambushes, the Troop was given the mission of securing the convoys. The infantry battalion's S3's plan was for a cavalry platoon to move physically with each convoy (four or five convoys a night of about 10 to 15 vehicles). This plan was in operation for a week when it became apparent that too many miles were being put on the tracks and that the enemy was not being destroyed. I recommended and the infantry battalion CO and S3 concurred in a plan that I had first tried to implement when I was a tank troop advisor to the Vietnamese along Highway 13, but to no avail.

The probable ambush area was between XS 926956 and XT 989034. To secure this area I was to receive one to three ambush patrols (six to ten men) nightly from the infantry. These patrols were to be inserted by a cavalry platoon at irregular intervals during the hours of darkness. And then at irregular intervals the cavalry platoon would conduct mounted patrols (one to three a night) over all or a portion of the Highway. A typical night's operation would begin with a cavalry platoon departing the water plant with an ambush patrol(s) to insert the patrol in its ambush location that I had selected-- usually within 100 meters of Highway 316. The ambush patrols could not be sent out during daylight hours, because of the civilians in the area. False insertions were conducted to add deception to the true location of the patrol or at times the patrol would proceed dismounted 300 to 500 meters to its ambush site. Once insertion of the patrol(s) was completed, the platoon would conduct a patrol or return to the water plant. Then at varying intervals and with a different number of patrols nightly, so as not to establish a pattern, mounted patrols were conducted. During the mounted patrols, movement was either by bounds or continuous. Extensive use was made of the Xenon searchlights using their infrared and white light capabilities. In addition, on occasions the ambush patrols would be picked up and inserted in another location. If contact was established by an ambush patrol or the cavalry platoon, the Troop's command group would proceed to the scene of contact.

After two months the enemy platoon was completely destroyed. One US infantryman was killed and no vehicles were lost. And just as important was the fact that no convoy vehicles were lost during these night mobile operations. There were several keys to the success of this operation.

       	1. Elements of the Troop operated east and west of the road daily as did the 
           infantry, so we knew the terrain well. Our knowledge of the terrain enabled 
           my platoon leaders and myself to select better ambush sites.
 
	2. The operations were so successful that both the cavalry and infantry 
           soldiers believed in them and were eager to participate. And the infantry 
           knew that if they made contact they would have armor support immediately. 
           It was not uncommon to have contact three or four times a week.
 
 	3. Several attempts were made to ambush the mounted patrols, but this proved 
           to have disastrous effects on the VC, because of the cavalry's armor 
           protection, its mobility in moving through the ambushes, and its organic 
           firepower.
 
	4. For about two weeks, I had under my OPCON a D Troop from an air cavalry 
           squadron. Once I was able to convince this troop that their wheeled vehicles 
           were not tanks the troop was employed successfully.

SUMMARY

The actions involving Troop A during the period of the Viet- Cong Tet Offensive of 1968 are only a small segment of all US Armor operations conducted during the War. However, the successful conduct of the varity of missions from jungle terrain to the streets of Saigon by Troop A is conclusive proof that armor can be used effectively in counter- insurgency operations. These events were especially satisfying to me, because for the most part I had all three of my platoons under my command. Generally speaking, in the 1st Division cavalry platoons were attached to infantry battalions leaving the troop commander with one platoon. The troop commanders in effect became platoon leaders. Such was not the case during the time frame discussed for my troop.

The success of the operations described was a direct result of emphasis being placed on things that didn't seem important to the men when the Troop would go for days without contact prior to Tet. Maintenance of vehicles and weapons to include proper head space set on the .50 cal machine gun, the use of loading plans, and the wearing of steel helmuts and flak vests are examples of what may have seemed like little things, but they paid enormous dividends in reducing casualties and equipment damage once the enemy situation changed.

The final totals of enemy killed by the Troop are not important. What is important is that the Troop played its part successfully in defending Saigon during the Tet Offensive, and in the weeks to follow continued to aid in the defense of Saigon. The Troop's actions along with the rest of the Squadron's actions in other areas of operation earned the Squadron the Valorious Unit Citation for this period. And the five Troop A troopers who gave their lives during this period will always be remembered for their ultimate sacrifice.

 
 
                                  /original signed by
                                  FREDERICK W. SHIRLEY
                                  Major, Armor


BIG RED ONE SOCIETY SELECTS NEW EXECUTIVE OFFICER

New Executive Director

The Society has selected an outstanding BRO veteran to serve as its Executive Director. CSM Darrell Wallace served with the Combat Aviation Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division during the current war with Iraq. He currently serves as the CSM of the 1st Infantry Division Rear at Ft. Riley, Kansas. CSM Wallace will retire from the Division in December of 2010 and will assume the duties of Executive Director on 1 January of 2011. CSM Wallace and his wife will reside in Junction City, Kansas very near the 1st Infantry Division and its units.


1ST INFANTRY DIVISION ANNUAL REUNION - 2011

2011 ANNUAL REUNION

BUFFALO, NEW YORK

AUGUST 17 TO AUGUST 21

The Big Red One is shuffling off to Buffalo ...
Buffalo, New York, the Queen City of the Great Lakes, is the destination for our 93rd annual reunion. The home of the famous Buffalo Wings is waiting to surprise you with what it has to offer.

The Adam’s Mark is a great hotel for our reunion, with plenty of rooms and space for our ever-important CPs. The hotel is across the street from the Waterfront Park and only twenty-five minutes from Casino Niagara and Niagara Falls.

As usual, we have arranged for a variety of tours and activities for you to enjoy. The surprising architecture of the city is something you can experience for yourself if you choose to take the city tour. Of course, no visit to this part of the country is complete without taking a trip to see the magnificent Niagara Falls. If you have a passport you can view it from both sides of the majestic site, but do not worry if you don't have a passport, since you can also choose to see the falls from the U.S. side only. There is a beautiful show of lights and fireworks over the falls on Friday evenings in the summer that you will not want to miss.

We are also planning a trip to East Aurora where you can shop in a one-of-a-kind Made in America Store where you will find over 2,000 items produced in America. You may want to experience the historic Erie Canal and the chance to board the Lockport Locks for an adventure of “locking through” and being raised 49 ft to pass through the only double set of locks on the canal. For those of you who love to see the sights on the water, you won’t want to miss the Miss Buffalo Cruise. We hope we have found a tour for everyone.

Our Welcome Party will offer you a chance to mix and mingle and enjoy some unique local entertainment. Please don’t miss it on Thursday night. It is free and everyone, of course, is WELCOME!

Your new Executive Director CSM (Ret) Darrell “Buddy” Wallace will be in each of the CPs for a chance to meet you, to say hello and get to know our members. The times will be in the program, so please come by and introduce yourself and get to know your new director.

There is something for everyone. This year we will be experiencing some changes so please check all the information carefully to see what appeals to you and join us in Buffalo. We have also selected the reunion locations for the following two years, which will give you plenty of time to make your plans so you won’t miss one: Memphis, TN Aug 1-5, 2012 and Jacksonville, FL July 31 - Aug 4, 2013.

We all look forward to seeing our old friends in Buffalo, and hope to meet many new ones. See you there!

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2011 TENTATIVE REUNION PROGRAM

August 17 – August 21 Buffalo, NY Wednesday, August 17 9:00 am - 8:00 pm Registration 9:00 am - noon; 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Supply Sarge open 9:00 am - noon; 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Cantigny First Division Museum open 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Tour: Buffalo City Architecture 1:30 pm Unit Representatives Meeting with Society staff Thursday, August 18 7:00 am - 6:00 pm Registration 6:45 am Golf Outing: Arrowhead Golf Club 8:00 am - 4:00 pm Tour: US / Canadian Niagara Falls (*passport required) 9:00 am - noon; 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Supply Sarge open 9:00 am - noon; 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Cantigny First Division Museum open 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Tour: All American Niagara Falls 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Tour: East Aurora 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm Tour: Miss Buffalo Cruise 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm Welcome Party (everyone is welcome) Friday, August 19 7:00 am - 6:00 pm Registration 7:30 am - 8:30 am Conflict Breakfast 9:00 am Unit Meetings in CPs 9:00 am - noon; 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Supply Sarge open 9:00 am - noon; 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Cantigny First Division Museum open 10:30 am Society Board of Directors Meeting 11:00 am - 5:00 pm Tour: Lockport Locks & Erie Canal 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Tour: Buffalo City Architecture 7:30 pm - 11:30 pm Tour: US Niagara Falls Illumination Saturday, August 20 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Registration 8:00 am Memorial Service 9:00 am Business Meeting 9:00 am - noon; 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Supply Sarge and Cantigny First Division Museum are open 11:00 am - 3:00 pm Tour: East Aurora noon - 3:00 pm Tour: Miss Buffalo Cruise 6:00 pm Cocktails / Reception 7:00 pm 93rd Annual Reunion Banquet Sunday, August 21 Farewell 'til next year! Hope to see you in Memphis, TN, August 1-5, 2012!

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REUNION 2011 - BUFFALO
DETAILS TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR REUNION

Our Hotel
The Adam's Mark Buffalo-Niagara is the setting for our 93rd annual reunion. Check-in will be at 3:00 pm and checkout at 12:00 pm. As usual, you can stay 3 days before and after the reunion at our rate. The hotel is located at 120 Church St. The phone number is 716-845-5100. We have taken over the entire hotel so we should all be under one roof. Included is a coupon to enter into a raffle to have your room upgraded to a suite for the same price as a regular room. Fill out the coupon and include the $5.00 donation to be entered in the raffle for the suite upgrade. The suites in this hotel are bi-level suites. Our Director will draw the winner on Monday, August 15th in Buffalo.

Transportation from Buffalo-Niagara International Airport
Buffalo Niagara International Airport is located close to our hotel. The hotel supplies a free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel on Wednesday and Sunday only. It will run every hour during the day. Buffalo Airport Shuttle is offering a per-person rate of $13 one way for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Call 716-685-2550 to schedule your pickup and use code words "BIG RED ONE" to receive the special rate.

Ground Transportation
The hotel is located at 120 Church Street off I-190. Exit 7 at Church and Lower Terrace Street is closest to the hotel.

Parking
For those who drive to the reunion, self-parking is complimentary to all guests staying overnight. Other guests will be charged $5.00 per day to park.

Hotel Reunion Meal Specials
The hotel is offering our attendees a 15% discount in hotel restaurants with your official reunion badge.

Schedule
If your wallet or schedule makes it impossible for you to arrive at the reunion on Wednesday, don’t worry. The core of reunion events takes place on Friday and Saturday. We can accommodate you either way. If you can’t make the entire event please feel free to join us whenever you can. You won’t be sorry!

Spread The Word!
You can help to spread the word about our reunion by sending our News Release to the editor or pressroom of your local media. Please make copies and mail or fax it to all of the newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations that you can. TIP: If you hand-deliver it, they may ask to interview you.

Unit Command Posts
As is our custom the 2nd, 16th, 18th, 26th and 28th Infantries, Artillery, Cavalry/Armor/Recon, Headquarters and Support Units will operate Command Posts (Hospitality Rooms) for their units. Veterans from units not listed are welcome in any CP. The size of your CP room will be based on the number of members from your unit attending.
Handicapped Rooms
Please do not request a handicapped room unless you absolutely need one. If you have problems with walking or anything else, please indicate them on your reservation form and we will do everything in our power to assist you. Please be considerate of your fellow 1st Division veterans.

Cutoff Date
The cutoff date for hotel room reservations is July 15, 2011. Please try to get your registration form to us well before that date. After July 15, 2011 hotel rooms will only be based on space and rate availability. After this date, you will have to contact the reservation desk at the hotel directly at 1-716-845-5100.

Hotel Cancellations / Refunds
If you make reservations and then have to cancel them, we will refund your full amount minus the registration fee, as long as it is 24 hours before your arrival. Cancellations made less than 24 hours from the arrival date will be charged for one night’s hotel stay including tax and the registration fee. Please check with us if you have any questions. Any cancellations to be made before noon EST on August 11, 2011 should be directed to the Society office 1-215-661-1969. After that time all cancellations must be made through the hotel as the Society staff will be in transit. Please call the hotel at 1-716-845-5100 to notify them of your cancellation and to leave your message for Jen Sanford as well.

Tour Cancellations / Refunds
If you cancel by June 24, 2011 you will receive a full refund. After June 24, 1011 there are no refunds.

Weather and Local Information Online
The Buffalo, NY climate is mild at this time of year, with average temperatures in the high 70s during the day. Evenings can be chilly with temperatures in the low 60s, so include a lightweight jacket or sweater just to be sure. Please wear comfortable clothes for all tours as well as good walking shoes. Casual clothing is appropriate for most restaurants.

Passports
A valid passport is required if you plan to cross the U.S.- Canadian border during your stay. For those who are not U.S. citizens, a valid visa is required in addition to a valid passport.

Confirmation
As usual, we will send you a written confirmation of all registration information. Please check it over carefully and make sure you are signed up for all of the activities and functions you are interested in as there is limited seating on some activities. The banquet is a very popular function, so please sign up early as we can only sell tickets to registered attendees of our reunion.

If any extra activities are not listed on your confirmation letter, then you have not paid for them and must call headquarters immediately to make corrections or additions to your registration.

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2011 REUNION
Tours and Activities
We have arranged a variety of optional tours to enhance your visit to Buffalo, New York. Don’t forget your cameras and your passports. We hope we have found something interesting for everyone. The tours are integrated into the program so they won’t conflict with other reunion activities. These are optional events and require pre-registration. Some of the tours have limited seating, so to avoid disappointment it is best to sign up for your tours when you register rather than waiting until you arrive at the reunion. All buses for tours will load outside in the front circle. There are often a few spaces open so please check in Supply Sarge if you decide you would like to take one of our tours.

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Buffalo Architectural City Tour - 4 hrs, $40 per person

Motorcoach will pick up our group at the Adam’s Mark Hotel for a guided driving architectural tour to include: Buffalo City Hall, Millionaire Row, Buffalo Saving Bank, Ellicott Square Building, parks designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the waterfront, and much more. You will also enjoy a guided tour of the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Base - home of the USS The Sullivans, the USS Croaker, and the USS Little Rock. There will be time prior to departing to walk the Veterans Park, view the memorials and remember the fallen from various wars.

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US / Canadian Niagara Falls Tour - 8 hrs, $80 per person

Motorcoach will pick up our group at the Adam’s Mark hotel and travel to Niagara Falls, NY, where we will meet a licensed guide and travel over the Border to Ontario. Our All Canadian Adventure tour features the beautiful Floral Clock, the Whirlpool overlook, Queen Victoria Park, and a visit to Table Rock for Superman’s view of the Falls. You will experience the Journey Behind the Falls for a “behind the scenes” look at the Horseshoe Falls. You’ll also cross the border to enjoy the world-famous Maid of the Mist boat ride and NYS Observation Tower, as well as a driving tour of Goat Island. Meals at your own cost.

*** NOTE: All passengers are required to have proof of citizenship when entering or exiting the US and/or Canada. US Citizens must have valid passports; non-US Citizens must have valid passports and valid visas.***

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All American Niagara Falls Tour – 8 hrs, $70 per person

Motorcoach will pick up our group at the Adam’s Mark Hotel and travel to Niagara Falls, NY. You’ll travel to Old Ft. Niagara with a licensed guide to hear about the French and Indian War, the War of 1812 and much more (walking is involved). Then you will depart for Niagara Falls and see the Falls from a historic perspective, from the Nation’s Oldest State Park. Visit Goat Island and Luna Island for spectacular views of the American and Bridal Veil Falls, Terrapin Point, Three Sisters Islands, the world-famous Maid of the Mist boat ride and the NYS Observation Tower. There will be time to shop at the Three Sisters Trading Post. Meals at your own cost. Passports are not required for this tour. East Aurora - 4 hrs, $40 per person

Motorcoach will pick up our group at the Adam’s Mark Hotel and depart for East Aurora. Take a guided tour of the Roycroft Campus. Elbert Hubbard began to develop the Roycroft Campus in 1897. It was one of several utopian societies formed during the Arts and Crafts movement in response to the shoddy, mass-produced goods of the Industrial Age. The campus would become a Mecca for master craftsmen and a gathering place for notable artists, authors, philosophers, social reformers, and power brokers. You will also visit the nationally known one-of-a kind Made in America Store, where you will find over 2,000 items that are produced in America. Complete your day with a visit to Vidler’s 5 & 10 store - this will take you back in time to the old-fashioned five and dime stores with many antiques.

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Miss Buffalo Cruise - 3 hrs, $35 per person

Motorcoach will pick up our group at the Adam’s Mark Hotel and shuttle us to the waterfront. Sit back and relax on a 2-hour narrated boat cruise along the Buffalo River, the Outer Harbor, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, the Black Rock Lock and Canal.

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Lockport Locks and Erie Canal - 6 hrs, $60 per person

Enjoy a 2-hour cruise along the Erie Canal aboard the Lockport Locks, where you will be "locking through" and be raised the 49-ft. elevation of the Niagara Escarpment in the only double set of locks on the Erie Canal. You will pass under bridges that raise straight up, see water cascade over Lockport's famous "Flight of Five" 1840's locks, and travel through the solid walls of the "rock cut" as your Coast Guard licensed captain describes the architecture, sights, and folklore along the way. There will be time to explore Market Street and see works from local artists. The Erie Canal Discovery Center is a new state-of-the-art interpretive center for the Erie Canal, and particularly the role that Lockport, NY played in the history of the Erie Canal.

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US Niagara Falls Illumination - 4 hrs, $30 per person

Motorcoach will pick up our group at the Adam’s Mark Hotel and travel to Niagara Falls, NY. We will meet our licensed guide and travel to the Nation’s Oldest State Park, where we will enjoy a short guided tour of the area from 8:30 – 9:30 pm. At 9:30 pm see the Falls Illuminated, and from 10:00 - 10:20 pm watch amazing fireworks over the Falls. Following the fireworks, walk back to the coaches and return to Buffalo. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Golf Outing, Arrowhead Golf Club - $55 per person

Arrowhead Golf Club in Akron, NY opened in 2003. As one of the premier courses in western New York State, it was host to the USGA Senior Open Qualifier in 2005. The USGA commented after the event “Scott Witter’s design and your facility are certainly among the best to be found anywhere.” Discussion about this Scottish Links style course brings out terms like “playability,” “strategy,” and “shot value.” The course is located 20 miles east of Buffalo and presents an excellent challenge for all golfers.

After a fun round of golf, have lunch at the clubhouse at your own cost. Transportation will be provided by volunteer drivers.

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Registration Form

Please print forms, fill them out and sent them to the BRO, Address is on the form, along with your fees. As an alternative, you may go on the BRO Society and they have a fillable form if you want to pay by Credit card.

I will post any additional information as it becomes avaliable. BB


TROOPER CHECK-INS

Thanks to Dan Thompson for fielding the following Trooper Check-ins. BB

Hello,
My name is

John Moorhouse

Seen your web-site ....looks real good....I served with A-Troop April68 - Aug68 M48A3....Specialist 5 (E5). Came from the 4th division 2/1 Cav. Looking to see if anyone remembers me....when i arrived i picked up a new tank...Was given a new crew which stayed together untill i left in Aug68...I recall. One person who served with me was a person by the name of D'Agustino (spelling). Can you help me or stear me in the right direction.

John Moorhouse
A-Troop April68 - August68

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Mark Darrow

A Troop, 1968
E-mail: mark.darrow11@gmail.com


TROOPER INFO CHANGES

Please change my email to m_unger@live.com

Thanks

Mike Unger


TROOPER NEEDS HELP

Rob Ferguson need some help from any of you who can substanciate exposure to "Agent Orange". I've seen QH Logs that list the QH tracks as carrying the AO Barrels from Di An to The units in the field or the Base Camps. The address to send a statement to is listed below. BB

I've attached the info For Rob Ferguson's claim. The more buddy letters, the better it will be.

Make sure the buddy letters end with a statement that you swear and affirm that the information provided in your statement is accurate to the best of your knowledge and belief.

We were directly involved in spraying the Agent Orange out of 55 gallon drums in our tracks, and riding in the stuff that was defoliated on a daily basis. It is more likely than not that any cancers he has were caused by the defolient that was used.

Additionally, we need to expound on our combat missions where he was exposed to the fears of the battle field on a nearly continuous basis while in the cavalry. They need a lot of info to support his PTSD claim as well. There is no way he could have escaped very significant PTSD. He commanded the Medic Track and the medics were constantly imbedded in the most horrendous wounds of the battle field. The track frequently had to move to sparsely protected areas and risk enemy RPGs,etcetera.

John Conley

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Address to mail the Statement to:

Department of Veterans Affairs
P.O. Box 310909
Newington, CT 06131-9972

His claim number is 26 212 711.

Also, I will provide copies of the logs I have that show the QH carried barrels of the AO plus several statements regarding the spray machine at the base camp that was use to defoliate with AO and then used in the evenings to spray insecticide in the areas where we slept. Anyone who is writing a statement for Rob or who would like to use the material for their own claim can e-mail me and I'll send copies to you via e-mail or s-mail. Bill Baty


QUARTERHORSE HISTORICAL ITEMS

Quite a few Historical items are showing up on the internet. Some of them are below. Please keep you eyes open for things of this nature so we can let everybody know about them and if possible, bet copies of them for our historical record. BB

YouTube - C Trp 1 4 cav

(I received this from a C Trooper that was in the same platoon I was in. Trooper6768) <> This is the unit I served with when I was in country, but I think it was taken in 1969. I left in April 68, but still in all it brings back many memories and gave me goose bumps, "Once your CAVALRY - your always CAVALRY", and damn proud to have served with a great unit that is very highly decorated and the best troopers to have served with and now we are all brothers.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO

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Here's an "A Troop" Video on "YouTube" sent in by Dan Thompson.

Click Here to Watch Video

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Another "A Troop" Video on "YouTube" from Dan Thompson. This one shows A Troop's participation in the Battle for Tan Su Nhut AFB during Tet 68.

Click Here to Watch Video

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O'le Bill
I have a You Tube video I did for 66-67 D Troop Quarter Cav ARP Wayne George. I am attaching the link, use it if you want its not bad. Click Here to Watch Video

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Here's another one from Dan Thompson. Click here to Watch video
This contains a great picture of A24


TROOPERS CORNER - SOUND OFF!!

Charles Murowski sent us this great People Search Engine. BB.

Click here

There's a site called Spokeo.com that's a new online USA phone book w/personal information: everything from pics you've posted on FB OR the web, your approx credit score, home value, income, age, etc. You can remove yourself by searching for yourself on their site, copying the URL of your page, then go to the bottom of the page and click on Privacy button to remove yourself. Paste the URL of your personal information page in their form. Spokeo will email you a confirmation; click on it and return it so that your information is hidden.

Make sure to search for both your name and your spouse's name, as well as nicknames.

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Check out this sent in by Danny Horn.BB

Snowmobile trail closed due to TRAFFIC JAM !!

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Real nice research item sent in by Dave Snavely.BB

Damaged Brain rewired by Singing
Written by Victoria Gill 1/26/11
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 09:52
Singing Words made it easier for stroke patients to communicate.Teaching stroke patients to sing "rewires" their brains, helping them recover their speech, say scientists.
By singing, patients use a different area of the brain from the area involved in speech. If a person's "speech centre" is damaged by a stroke, they can learn to use their "singing centre" instead. Researchers presented these findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Diego. An ongoing clinical trial, they said, has shown how the brain responds to this "melodic intonation therapy".

Gottfried Schlaug, a neurology professor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, US, led the trial. The therapy is already established as a medical technique. Researchers first used it when it was discovered that stroke patients with brain damage that left them unable to speak were still able to sing. Professor Schlaug explained that his was the first study to combine this therapy with brain imaging - "to show what is actually going on in the brain" as patients learn to sing their words.

Making connections
Most of the connections between brain areas that control movement and those that control hearing are on the left side of the brain. "But there's a sort of corresponding hole on the right side," said Professor Schlaug. Music engages huge swathes of the brain - it's not just lighting up a spot in the auditory cortex

Dr Aniruddh Patel, neuroscientist
"For some reason, it's not as endowed with these connections, so the left side is used much more in speech. "If you damage the left side, the right side has trouble [fulfilling that role]." But as patients learn to put their words to melodies, the crucial connections form on the right side of their brains. Previous brain imaging studies have shown that this "singing centre" is overdeveloped in the brains of professional singers. During the therapy sessions, patients are taught to put their words to simple melodies. Professor Schlaug said that after a single session, a stroke patients who was are not able to form any intelligible words learned to say the phrase "I am thirsty" by combining each syllable with the note of a melody. The patients are also encouraged to tap out each syllable with their hands. Professor Schlaug said that this seemed to act as an "internal pace-maker" which made the therapy even more effective. "Music might be an alternative medium to engage parts of the brain that are otherwise not engaged," he said.

Brain sounds
Dr Aniruddh Patel from the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, said the study was an example of the "explosion in research into music and the brain" over the last decade. "People sometimes ask where in the brain music is processed and the answer is everywhere above the neck," said Dr Patel. "Music engages huge swathes of the brain - it's not just lighting up a spot in the auditory cortex."

Dr Nina Kraus, a neuroscientist from Northwestern University in Chicago, also studies the effects of music on the brain. In her research, she records the brain's response to music using electrodes on the scalp. This work has enabled her to "play back" electrical activity from brain cells as they pick up sounds. "Neurons work with electricity - so if you record the electricity from the brain you can play that back through speakers and hear how the brain deals with sounds," she explained. Dr Kraus has also discovered that musical training seems to enhance the ability to perform other tasks, such as reading. She said that the insights into how the brain responds to music provided evidence that musical training was an important part of children's education.

Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News, San Diego
http://news.bbc.co.uk/

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Fred Currier sent in this very useful item. BB

Here is a map of gas prices around the country. If you want more specific info about your area, click the link and click on the map for what you want.

Some of you may have seen this before.

a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/gb_gastemperaturemap.aspx">Click Here

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Gary Chenett's dander is up over this effort by the CIA. BB

Ask me if I would ever serve for this Country again and/or put my life on the line for it... The answer is simple,..!!! Hell No!!!!!!!!! Not when we are treated like this..... It's to bad it has taken the VVA 40 years to get their heads out of their ass and finally start to stand up for the Millions who have died, been sickened or still not have a clue about AO while they have ignored them!!

Read on, See if you feel as disgusted about this as I do... We need our Freedoms and rights back.

Click Here to read Brief The Central Intelligence Agency will argue on January 13 for dismissal of Vietnam veterans' claims that the CIA must provide them with information about the health effects of chemicals used on them during Cold War-era human experiments. In a 2009 federal lawsuit, Vietnam Veterans of America claimed that the Army and CIA had used at least 7,800 soldiers as guinea pigs in "Project Paperclip." In its 32-page motion to dismiss the group's third amended complaint, the CIA claims it has no legal obligation to provide the veterans with notice of the drugs' health effects. A copy of the brief is available http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/12/14/CIADismiss.pdf

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Howard Greenfield found this beauty and sent it in. BB

Whether or not you are a country music fan, these are truly the words of a deep thinker, and a highly intelligent person. So simple, yet so profound! Read the words of wisdom from that famous philosopher Willie Nelson, iconic country and western singer, on his 75th birthday below his esteemed portrait. Only a man with such wisdom and maturity could be so concise and succinct in phrasing his feelings at this turning point in his life.

"I have outlived my pecker."

The Penis Poem My nookie days are over, My pilot light is out. What used to be my sex appeal, Is now my water spout. Time was when, on its own accord, From my trousers it would spring. But now I've got a full time job, To find the f***in' thing. It used to be embarrassing, The way it would behave. For every single morning, It would stand and watch me shave. Now as old age approaches, It sure gives me the blues. To see it hang its little head, And watch me tie my shoes!!

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A warning sent in by Joe West. BB

S&W 44 Magnum accident -

First it was baby formula, then pet food, but now you should watch out when buying anything from China ,including bright, shiny, ammunition.

A guy came into the police department the other day to ask a favor. He had a S&W 629 (.44 Mag) that he wanted to dispose of after a mishap at the range. He said there was a loud bang when he tested his new ammo, (Chinese made), and the gun smacked him in the forehead, leaving a nice gash.

When the tweety birds cleared from around his head, the pictures below show what he saw. Bet he never uses Chinese made ammo again! Looks like when the round in the chamber went off, it also set off at least two other rounds in adjacent cylinders. I would have hated to been the one that pulled the trigger on that one!

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Now something useful sent in by Smokey Guillespie. BB

In Case of Emergency, Please Remove Your Bra
Published September 23, 2010
FoxNews.com

Click here for BraMask Website

The Emergency Bra is a protective garment that transforms into two respiratory face masks in case of an emergency.

Caught in a disaster? You'd better hope you're wearing the Emergency Bra. Simply unsnap the bright red bra, separate the cups, and slip it over your head -- one cup for you, and one for your friend.

Dr. Elena Bodnar won an Ignoble Award for the invention last year, an annual tribute to scientific research that on the surface seems goofy but is often surprisingly practical. And now Bodnar has brought the eBra to the public; purchase one online for just $29.95.

"The goal of any emergency respiratory device is to achieve tight fixation and full coverage. Luckily, the wonderful design of the bra is already in the shape of a face mask and so with the addition of a few design features, the Emergency Bra enhances the efficiency of minimizing contaminated bypass air flow," explains the eBra website.

It sounds silly, but Bodnar, a Ukraine native who now lives in Chicago, started her medical career studying the effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster. If people had had cheap, readily available gas masks in the first hours after the disaster, she said, they may have avoided breathing in Iodine-131, which causes radiation sickness.

The bra-turned-gas masks could have also been useful during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and for women caught outside during the dust storms that recently enveloped Sydney, she said.


WARNING!! TROOPERS JOKES - Some of these may not be pleasant for the young or weak of heart.

John Conley will probably hear from some blonds over this post.BB

Blonde Cookbook

It's fun to cook for Rob. Today I made angel food cake. The recipe said beat 12 eggs separately. The neighbors were nice enough to loan me the extra bowls.

He wanted fruit salad for supper. The recipe said serve without dressing. So I didn't dress. What a surprise when he brought a friend home for supper

A good day for rice. The recipe said wash thoroughly before steaming the rice. It seemed kind of silly but I took a bath anyway. I can't say it improved the rice any.

Today he asked for salad again I tried a new recipe. It said prepare ingredients; lay on a bed of lettuce one hour before serving. Rob asked me why I was rolling around in the garden...I showed him the recipe instructions.

I found an easy recipe for cookies. It said put the ingredients in a bowl and beat it... There must have been something wrong with this recipe. When I got back, everything was the same as when I left.

He did the shopping today and brought home a chicken. He asked me to dress it for Sunday. I don't have any clothes that fit it, and for some reason he keeps counting to ten.

I wanted to serve roast but all I had was hamburger. Suddenly I had a flash of genius.. I put the hamburger in the oven and set the controls for roast. It still came out hamburger, much to my disappointment.

GOOD NIGHT DEAR DIARY. This has been a very exciting week! I am eager for tomorrow to come so I can try out a new recipe . If I can talk Rob into buying a bigger oven, I would like to surprise him with a chocolate moose.

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Thanks to Alan Benoit for sending this one in. BB

A first grade girl handed in the drawing below for her homework assignment.

The teacher graded it and the child brought it home.

She returned to school the next day with the following note:

Dear Ms. Davis,

I want to be perfectly clear on my child's homework illustration.
It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint surrounded by male customers with money.
I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm.
This drawing is of me selling a shovel.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Harrington

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For all you Golfing (pros) heres one from Dave Snavely. BB

David Letterman's Top Ten Reasons Why Golf Is Better Than Sex...

#10. A below par performance is considered damn good.

#9. You can stop in the middle and have a cheeseburger and a couple of beers.

#8. It's much easier to find the sweet spot.

#7. Foursomes are encouraged.

#6. You can still make money doing it as a senior.

#5. Three times a day IS possible.

#4. Your partner doesn't hire a lawyer if you play with someone else.

#3. If you live in Florida , you can do it almost everyday.

#2. You don't have to cuddle with your partner when you're finished.

And the NUMBER ONE reason why golf is better than sex... #1. If your equipment gets old and rusty, you can replace it!

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Danny Horn sent this one in. BB

Look at the expression on the 'other' little girl's face! That is absolutely priceless!

A six-year-old boy told his father he wanted to marry the little girl across the street. The father, being modern and well-schooled in handling children, hid his smile behind his hand. 'That's a serious step,' he said. 'Have you thought it out completely?' 'Yes,' his young son answered. 'We can spend one week in my room and the next in hers. It's right across the street, so I can run home if I get scared of the dark.' 'How about transportation?' the father asked. 'I have my wagon, and we both have our tricycles,' the little boy answered. The boy had an answer to every question the father raised. Finally, in exasperation, his dad asked, 'What about babies? When you're married, you're liable to have babies, you know.' 'We've thought about that, too,' the little boy replied. 'We're not going to have babies. Every time she lays an egg, I'm going to step on it!'

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Bill Bowker sends this out to us. BB

Vat da hell Ole

Ole's car was hit by a truck in an accident. In court, the trucking company's lawyer was questioning Ole.

'Didn't you say, sir, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine, ?' asked the lawyer.

Ole responded, 'Vell, I'll tell you vat happened. I had yust loaded my favorite mule, Bessie, into da.....'

'I didn't ask for any details', the lawyer interrupted. 'Just answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine'?

Ole said, 'Vell, I had yust got Bessie into da trailer and I vas driving down da road... ..

The lawyer interrupted again and said, 'Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question.'

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Ole's answer and said to the lawyer, 'I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favorite mule, Bessie'.

Ole thanked the Judge and proceeded. 'Vell, as I vas saying, I had yust loaded Bessie, my favorite mule, into da trailer and vas driving her down da highvay ven dis huge semi-truck and trailer ran da stop sign and smacked my truck right in da side. I vas trown into one ditch and Bessie vas trown into da other. I vas hurting real bad and didn't vant to move. However, I could hear Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape yust by her groans'. 'Shortly after da accident da Highway Patrolman, he came to da scene.. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he vent over to her'..

'After he looked at her and saw her fatal condition he took out his gun and shot her right 'tween da eyes.

Den da Patrolman, he came across da road, gun still smoking, looked at me and said, 'How are you feeling?'

'Now vat da hell vould YOU say?

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Thanks to Dan Thompson for sending this one in. BB

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Here's one from Fred Currier. This must be Dave Letterman Day. BB

Top Ten Reasons Why Men Prefer Guns Over Women

And here we go...

#10 - You can trade an old 44 for a new 22.

#9 - You can keep one gun at home and have another for when you're on the road.

#8 - If you admire a friend's gun and tell him so, he will probably let you try it out a few times.

#7 - Your primary gun doesn't mind if you keep another gun for a backup.

#6 - Your gun will stay with you even if you run out of ammo.

#5 - A gun doesn't take up a lot of closet space.

#4 - Guns function normally every day of the month.

#3 - A gun doesn't ask , "Do these new grips make me look fat?"

#2 - A gun doesn't mind if you go to sleep after you use it.

And the Number One reason
Why Men Prefer Guns over women.....

#1 - You can buy a silencer for a gun

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Thanks to Grouchy I've sent in 30 applications. BB

Gynecologist Assistant

A recently retired pilot went by the downtown Dallas, Texas Employment Commission office and saw a card advertising for a Gynecologist Assistant.

Interested, he went in and asked the clerk for details.

The clerk pulled up the file and read, "The job entails getting the ladies ready for the gynecologist. You have to help the women out of their underwear, lay them down and carefully wash their private regions, apply shaving foam and gently shave off the hair, then rub in soothing oils so they're ready for the gynecologist's examination. The annual salary is $65,000, and you'll have to go to McGregor, Texas."

"Good grief, is that where the job is?"

"No sir, that's where the end of the line is right now."

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Anyone Thirsty!? Thanks Harold Greenfield for this gem.BB

After 99 weeks of drawing unemployment this girl could be sitting at home drawing 13 months more.
Instead she’s established a business without government financing with unlimited potential for expansion.
A creative entrepreneur that has developed business idea with real job potential without government.

A non-unionized cash business making it “tax friendly” offering ideal working conditions!

Lady selling margaritas on the beach (reportedly clearing $1250.00 per day)...
The jobs are out there Folks!

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Nice to hear from Joe Birindelli.BB

AAADD

KNOW THE SYMPTOMS......PLEASE READ!

Thank goodness there's a name for this disorder.
Somehow I feel better even though I have it!!

Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D..D. -
Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing. 

As I start toward the garage,
I notice mail on the porch table that
I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys on the table,
put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table,
and notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills
back
on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think,
since I'm going to be near the mailbox
when I take out the garbage anyway,
I may as well pay the bills first..

I take my check book off the table,
and see that there is only one check left. 
My extra checks are in my desk in the study,
so I go inside the house to my desk where
I find the
can of Pepsi I'd been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks,
but first I need to push the Pepsi aside
so that I don't accidentally knock it over.

The Pepsi is getting warm,
and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi,
a vase of flowers on the counter
catches my eye--they need water..

I put the Pepsi on the counter and
discover my reading glasses that
I've been searching for all morning.
I decide I better put them back on my desk,
but first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter,
fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote.
Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV,
I'll be looking for
the remote,
but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table,
so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs,
but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers,
but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back on the table,
get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to
remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:
the car isn't washed
the bills aren't paid
there is a warm can of
Pepsi sitting on the counter
the flowers don't have enough water,
there is still only 1 check in my check book,
I can't find the remote,
I can't find my glasses,
and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today,
I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all damn day,
and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem,
and I'll try to get some help for it,
but first I'll check my e-mail....




COMPUTER ADVICE

Just a bit of info for Computer users sent in by Alan Benoit.

Copy and past this into your Run Command box.

%windir%\system32\rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

This will FREE UP memory that has been stored in your Ram.
When you open a program it is coppied to RAM to increase speed of the program.

When you quit the program your RAM still retains remnets of the program that was running. When you
load another program it will use the space that the previous program was using. However it has to
erase what was there and write the new program code. By clearing your ram it eliminates having to
overwrite what WAS there so program will load more efficiently and faster. I use it to make things
run a little faster. It can also be used Before shutdown thus making ram clear, making shutdown a
little faster. Create a shortcut to it and have it on your desktop.


HERES TO YOUR HEALTH

Antibiotic Holiday Needs to Be A Long One to Combat Resistance
Heavy use of antibiotics has created a host of dangerous drug-resistant pathogens that endanger the health of millions of people. However, it has been unclear how quickly a ban on the overuse of an antibiotic would restore its usefulness. According to a new study by researchers at Yale University and the University of Tromso in Norway, the "antibiotic holiday" would have to extend over 40 years to be effective.
"Bacterial populations have evolved resistance to most antibiotics we have," said Jeffrey Townsend, assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and co-lead author of the paper, published online Jan. 8 in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. "Since we have failed to develop new antibiotics, many people have proposed that we just need to pause our usage of the ones for which resistance has reached a high frequency. Unfortunately, that alone does not appear to be a viable solution."

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Double Doses Of Chicken Pox Vaccine Most Effective
When vaccinating children against varicella (chicken pox), researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found, two doses are better than one. In fact, the odds of developing chicken pox were 95% lower in children who had received two doses of the vaccine compared with those who had received only one dose.
Published in the Feb. 1 issue of Journal of Infectious Diseases, the study was led by Dr. Eugene D. Shapiro, professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Yale, and his colleagues at Yale and Columbia universities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began recommending a single dose of chicken pox vaccine for children ages 1 to 13 in 1995. The chicken pox rate fell drastically and studies showed that the effectiveness of one dose was 86%. But there was still a high rate of breakthrough illness in immunized children.
The CDC changed the immunization policy for chicken pox in 2006, adding a second dose for children ages 4 to 6. In this study, Shapiro and his team showed that the effectiveness of two doses is 98.3%.

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Study Shows Promise for New Drug to Treat Fragile X
The first drug to treat the underlying disorder instead of the symptoms of Fragile X, the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability, shows some promise according to a new study published in the January issue of Science Translational Medicine. Researchers from Rush University Medical Center helped design the study and are now participating in the larger follow-up clinical trial.
The data from the early trial of 30 Fragile X patients, found the drug, called AFQ056, made by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, helped improve symptoms in some patients. Patients who had the best response have a kind of "fingerprint" in their DNA that could act as a marker to determine who should get treatment.
"This is an exciting development. It is the first time we have a treatment targeted to the underlying disorder, as opposed to supportive treatment of the behavioral symptoms, in a developmental brain disorder causing intellectual disability. This drug could be a model for treatment of other disorders such as autism," said pediatric neurologist Dr. Elizabeth Berry-Kravis, a study author and director of the Fragile X Clinic and Research Program and the Fragile X-Associated Disorders Program at Rush.

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A Culture Of Fear Worsens The Nursing Shortage And Medical Errors
There has been a lot talk about changing how we reimburse providers for healthcare from one that pays for services performed, to another that reimburses providers depending on what happens to the patient.
I think we must take a couple of steps back and first tackle the public health crises we are facing that is putting our healthcare in danger, namely, medical errors and the growing nursing shortage. Despite identifying work place conflict as the root cause, the number of medical errors and shortages of nurses has continued to rise over the past decade.
Until the role of organizational culture in conflict is fully addressed, we will continue to have nurses abandon the profession and unacceptable levels of medical errors. The culture of fear that permeates the healthcare system effectively blocks open communication and collaboration that is necessary to resolve conflict and provide the safe working environment necessary for quality healthcare. Rather than learning from medical mistakes and resolving conflict, healthcare managers and leaders place blame for errors squarely on doctors' and nurses' shoulders. Fear of litigation, blame, accusations of incompetence, and retaliation creates unresolved conflict throughout the organization. With unresolved conflict, mistrust persists, anxiety grows, conflict escalates and mistakes escalate, creating an unsafe, hostile environment.

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Engineers Plays Key Role In Potential New Cancer Drug Delivery
Mechanical engineering professor Warren Finlay has taken on a major role in research to improve drug delivery for lung cancer patients.
Working with Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences researcher Raimar Lobenberg and Wilson Roa at the Cross Cancer Institute, Finlay has devised a way to manufacture an inhalable powder that could effectively disperse chemotherapy drugs into a patient's lungs.
The team encapsulated chemotherapy drugs into nanoparticles that could be inhaled by patients with lung cancer. To keep the nanoparticles apart, they first freeze the particles in tiny ice carrier particles before removing the ice to make a powder. The challenge then was to produce a powder that would not only make it into a patient's lungs, but also disperse the drugs effectively.

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FDA-Approved Drug Shows Promise As Alcoholism Treatment
A medication commonly prescribed as a muscle relaxant shows promise as a potential treatment for alcoholism, based on a study in rats by researchers at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center and the University of California, San Francisco.
Chlorzoxazone, an FDA-approved drug, significantly decreased alcohol consumption in a rat model of heavy drinking, said lead author Woody Hopf, PhD, an associate investigator at Gallo and an assistant adjunct professor of neurology at UCSF. The study appeared online in Biological Psychiatry (Jan. 3, 2011).

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Vaccinating the Billion-Brain Parasite
If a parasite infected the brains of 2 to 3 billion people, up to one-half of the world's population, one would probably consider it a pretty serious public health emergency. But such a situation already exists, with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, the cause of the disease toxoplasmosis. The parasite is the most common infectious cause of retinal damage, and can cause brain damage or death in its most severe forms.
Most people hear of toxoplasmosis from cases of mother-fetus transmission, the reason why pregnant women are advised to stay away from cats, who are known carriers and dispersers of the parasite. Toxoplasmosis can also flare up in people with compromised immune systems, due to diseases like HIV, cancer, and autoimmune disorders. But the Toxoplasma gondii parasite is also an apparently quiet, untreatable houseguest in the brains of billions more people, where its possible role in seizure disorders, schizophrenia, and memory loss is just starting to be investigated.
With a widespread infection where the proven effects are already scary and the unproven effects may be even worse, it would be great to have vaccine protection against toxoplasmosis. But while vaccines are typically designed for unwelcome visitors of bacterial or viral form, they are not normally used to prevent infection from protozoan parasites like Toxoplasma gondii. That did not discourage the laboratory of Rima McLeod, who has recently published three papers with collaborators on two separate potential vaccination strategies against toxoplasmosis.

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Certain Painkillers Appear to Boost Odds for Heart Attack
Common painkillers taken to treat inflammation, such as Celebrex and Advil, can raise the risk of heart attack, stroke or death, a review of existing research suggests. Swiss researchers analyzed the results of 31 trials involving seven non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as these medications are called, and concluded that cardiovascular risk needs to be considered before prescribing any of them. "NSAIDs are widely used worldwide for treating pain and inflammation," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, American Heart Association spokesman and professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
"A number of studies have shown that many of these agents are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events, particularly when used at higher doses and for longer periods of time, but uncertainty remains as to the magnitude of the risk and how the cardiovascular risk may vary among different NSAIDs," said Fonarow, who was not involved in the study.

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Update To Ongoing Safety Review Of Lantus (Insulin Glargine) And Possible Risk Of Cancer
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is updating the public about its ongoing safety review of Lantus (insulin glargine) and a possible increased risk of cancer. Lantus is a long-acting modified version of human insulin (insulin analog) used to control blood sugar in patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
In July 2009, FDA issued an Early Communication About Safety of Lantus (insulin glargine) to inform the public that it was reviewing four published observational studies, three of which suggested an increased risk of cancer associated with the use of Lantus.1-4 FDA has reviewed the four studies and has determined that the evidence presented in the studies is inconclusive, due to limitations in how the studies were designed and carried out and in the data available for analysis. These limitations prevent our ability to attribute the observed cancer risk to Lantus (see Data Summary below).
FDA has also reviewed results from a five-year randomized clinical trial, Evaluation of Diabetic Retinopathy Progression in Subjects with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Treated with Oral Agents Plus Insulin, which compared Lantus to Neutral Protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin in individuals with Type 2 diabetes. The results did not show an increased risk of cancer in subjects treated with Lantus compared to those treated with NPH insulin; however, this study was not specifically designed to evaluate cancer outcomes.

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Why Coffee Protects Against Diabetes Coffee, that morning elixir, may give us an early jump-start to the day, but numerous studies have shown that it also may be protective against type 2 diabetes. Yet no one has really understood why.
Now, researchers at UCLA have discovered a possible molecular mechanism behind coffee's protective effect. A protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) regulates the biological activity of the body's sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen, which have long been thought to play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. And coffee consumption, it turns out, increases plasma levels of SHBG.
Reporting with colleagues in the current edition of the journal Diabetes, first author Atsushi Goto, a UCLA doctoral student in epidemiology, and Dr. Simin Liu, a professor of epidemiology and medicine with joint appointments at the UCLA School of Public Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, show that women who drink at least four cups of coffee a day are less than half as likely to develop diabetes as non-coffee drinkers.
When the findings were adjusted for levels of SHBG, the researchers said, that protective effect disappeared.

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Prescription Acetaminophen Products to be Limited to 325 mg Per Dosage Unit; Boxed Warning Will Highlight Potential for Severe Liver Fail
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is asking drug manufacturers to limit the strength of acetaminophen in prescription drug products, which are predominantly combinations of acetaminophen and opioids. This action will limit the amount of acetaminophen in these products to 325 mg per tablet, capsule, or other dosage unit, making these products safer for patients.
In addition, a Boxed Warning highlighting the potential for severe liver injury and a Warning highlighting the potential for allergic reactions (e.g., swelling of the face, mouth, and throat, difficulty breathing, itching, or rash) are being added to the label of all prescription drug products that contain acetaminophen. These actions will help to reduce the risk of severe liver injury and allergic reactions associated with acetaminophen.
Acetaminophen is widely and effectively used in both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) products to reduce pain and fever. It is one of the most commonly-used drugs in the United States. Examples of prescription products that contain acetaminophen include hydrocodone with acetaminophen (Vicodin, Lortab), and oxycodone with acetaminophen (Tylox, Percocet).
OTC products containing acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) are not affected by this action. Information about the potential for liver injury is already required on the label for OTC products containing acetaminophen. FDA is continuing to evaluate ways to reduce the risk of acetaminophen related liver injury from OTC products. Additional safety measures relating to OTC acetaminophen products will be taken through separate action, such as a rulemaking as part of the ongoing OTC monograph proceeding for internal analgesic drug products.

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Hold The Gas? Inhaled Nitric Oxide of No Benefit to Most Premature Babies
A new Johns Hopkins Children's Center study challenges the widespread practice of treating premature babies with nitric oxide gas to prevent lung problems, neurological damage and death. The research, based on analysis of 22 major studies of the effect of nitric oxide in babies born before 34 weeks of age, found no evidence of benefit in most infants.
Overall, the Hopkins review found that babies who received nitric oxide in the neonatal intensive care unit didn't fare any better than those who didn't. The babies who received the treatment were no less likely to die, develop chronic lung disease of prematurity, suffer cerebral palsy or have neurological or cognitive impairments, the researchers found.
The findings, to appear in the February issue of the journal Pediatrics, point against the routine use of inhaled nitric oxide in all premature babies and call for careful, case-by-case evaluation of each baby's degree of brain and lung maturation to determine if nitric oxide would help, hurt or do nothing for a patient, the researchers say.

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Pill-Splitting Potentially Perilous, Study Suggests
The common practice of pill-splitting - done by patients and health professionals alike to save money or make medications easier to swallow - is inaccurate and potentially dangerous, a new study suggests.
Belgian researchers found that nearly one-third of split pill fragments deviated from recommended dosages by 15 percent or more. In the study, five volunteers divided eight tablets of various sizes using three tools: a kitchen knife, scissors and a pill-splitting device.
Another 14 percent of split tablets differed from recommended dosages by 25 percent or more, according to the study. And even the most precise method (the splitting device) caused a 15 percent to 25 percent error margin in 13 percent of cases. Each pill fragment was weighed after splitting to determine how much they deviated from theoretical weight.

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Inverse Benefits Due To Drug Marketing Undermine Patient Safety And Public Health
Drugs that pharmaceutical companies market most aggressively to physicians and patients tend to offer less benefit and more harm to most patients - a phenomenon described as the "inverse benefit law" in a paper from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Published online Thursday, Jan. 13 in the American Journal of Public Health, the article explores recent withdrawals of blockbuster drugs due to safety concerns and finds a clear pattern of physician-focused marketing tactics that ultimately exposed patients to a worsening benefit-to-harm ratio. Potential patient safety and public health implications include unnecessary exposure to adverse side effects, high medical costs and competition for scarce resources.
"This is not a random occurrence, but rather a repeating, planned scenario in which drugs, discovered with good science for a specific set of patients, are marketed to a larger population as necessary, beneficial and safer than other alternatives," said co-author Dr. Howard Brody, a professor and director of the Institute for the Medical Humanities at UTMB Health. "Marketers are just doing their jobs. However, the reality is that for most new drugs, safety and efficacy are scientifically proven for only a small subset of patients. It's time for physicians to take a stand and not prescribe them so readily."
The inverse benefit law, coined by the authors and inspired by Hart's inverse care law (1), is manifested in marketing techniques commonly deployed to extend a drug's use beyond the proper evidence base. Brody and co-author Donald W. Light, a professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, identify these strategies and illustrate the "law" with recent examples:

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Believe it or not

Wis. woman finds $280K of drugs in vacuum
A Green Bay, Wis., woman opened a Christmas present from her children to find a refurbished vacuum - and a load of drugs.
Authorities say the woman found 2 pounds of crystal methamphetamine and 2.2 pounds of cocaine shrink wrapped inside the box. Sheriff's officials estimate the drugs' street value at about $280,000.
Lt. David Poteat (poh-TEET) tells the Green Bay Press-Gazette that a smuggler likely put the drugs in the box before it was shipped from the Juarez, Mexico, area, where it had been reconditioned.
Poteat says no one noticed anything, including the department store where it was purchased, until the woman opened the package.
Sheriff's officials say the store is cooperating with the investigation.


DA.VA, and Veteran News

Thanks to Gary Chenett for sharing this information. BB BY: CAROLE BARTOO

2/12/2010 ~ As the Chief Warrant Officer in charge of maintenance for the Blackhawk helicopters flown by 101st Airborne soldiers in Iraq, 52-year-old Jimmy Williams says he always felt protective of the young servicemen and women he worked with overseas.

Now, Williams has come to Vanderbilt University Medical Center seeking an invasive procedure — one that won't do anything at all for his health. But it’s one he hopes might help some of those younger soldiers.

He is preparing to undergo surgical removal of a small section of lung for biopsy to explain why he and many of his fellow soldiers can no longer breathe like they used to.

"I never used to get exhausted. Now when my wife and I go for walks I have to tell her to slow down. Simple work around the house or yard, or even playing with our grandchildren, makes me so short of breath I have to lie down and rest,” Williams said.

Williams is the typical example of what may be an emerging profile: a soldier who was fit, a lifelong non-smoker, and who returned from deployment in Iraq with permanent lung damage.

Since 2004, physicians serving the Fort Campbell Army base have been referring dozens of soldiers with exercise-induced shortness of breath to Vanderbilt, to see Robert Miller, M.D., associate professor of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.

The soldiers had already received all the conventional tests for shortness of breath: lung imaging, pulmonary function and exercise tests. Almost all of the tests were normal, yet the soldiers reported, inexplicably, that they could no longer catch their breath when they exerted themselves.

The soldiers also shared similar stories of exposure in Iraq to massive amounts of smoke from sulfur fires in 2003, or breathing air fouled by sand and smoke from burn pits all over the country. Miller began to wonder if conventional testing might not be enough. He made what he calls an “unconventional” move and recommended surgical biopsies.

“So far, all but a few of these soldiers we have biopsied have had constrictive bronchiolitis,” Miller said.

Constrictive bronchiolitis, also called Bronchiolitis Obliterans, is a narrowing of the tiniest and deepest airways of the lungs. It is rare, and can only be diagnosed through biopsy. Cases that have been documented in the medical literature show striking similarities to what is seen in the soldier's biopsies.

“These are inhalation injuries, suffered in the line of duty,” said Miller.

In 2008, Miller and pulmonary/critical care fellow, Matthew King, M.D., pulled together the first round of what they believe is solid evidence that soldiers are returning with serious and permanent lung injuries related to their service.

Most of the first patients biopsied were 101st Airborne soldiers who fought the Mishraq Sulfur Mine fires in 2003. Later, many soldiers reported exposure to burn pits, especially a massive, 10-acre burn pit in Balad, Iraq.

“We slept an eighth of a mile from the burn pits,” Williams said. “Those fires burned the whole year, just huge bonfires where they burned metal, tires, trucks, human waste, everything.”

Williams retired as the Division Aviation Maintenance Officer after his last tour in 2008, and he continues to work as a contractor for the Army. His papers list a few health conditions related to his 32 years of service.

He is already guaranteed some lifelong compensation for a bad back and knees, but there is no mention of a lung condition. He says it concerns him greatly, and he knows other soldiers in the same situation.

“It's an injury, but it's on the inside. Something they can't see. But it has changed me,” Williams said.

Making the connection
In 2007 The Army Public Health Command took notice of VUMC's work and requested information from Miller. At that time, the Army launched an investigation of its own, saying VUMC's evidence created a “plausible connection” between exposures during deployment and respiratory problems in some soldiers.

Miller and King presented their evidence at an American Thoracic Society (ATS ) meeting in May 2008. Of the original group of 56 soldiers who came back from Iraq with unexplained exercise-induced shortness of breath, 26 of 31 lung biopsies performed at Vanderbilt showed constrictive bronchiolitis.

“In every war there is a unique health syndrome. It is possible that whatever is causing the shortness of breath will be the ‘agent orange’ of this war,” Miller said.

The evidence presented at the ATS meeting garnered precious little attention from the medical community. Meanwhile, a steady number of soldiers continued to find Vanderbilt's work online, including Sylvia Waters-Moujan, M.D., an Army Staff Anesthesiologist based in Texas.

“When I couldn't even run a mile because of the shortness of breath and my chest hurting, I was scared. I thought ‘My God, something is wrong," said Waters.

The former marathon runner and mother of 7-year-old twin daughters returned from deployment in Mosul in 2007 unable to pass her military physical fitness testing. Even her colleagues at the Army hospital couldn't help her pinpoint what was wrong. When Waters heard about Miller's work she came to Vanderbilt in 2008. Her biopsy confirmed constrictive bronchiolitis.

“As a medical officer, I am considered fit for duty because I can still work in the O.R., even if it is only one day per week,” Waters said. “But my future is uncertain. Once I leave the service it could be very difficult to get medical coverage because of my preexisting medical condition.”

Miller says he is concerned soldiers continue to be tested for shortness of breath across the country using only conventional methods. He says surgical biopsy and definitive diagnosis are required just to create the possibility of proper compensation, but even then, there is no guarantee.

“Even with positive biopsy, disability ratings have been highly variable,” Miller said.

Miller's Vanderbilt colleagues, who perform the operations and pathologic exams, say they are on board to continue, but they agree with Miller's own assessment that biopsy for these soldiers is “unconventional.”

“At first I wasn't sure that surgical biopsy was required, as the results were unlikely to change the course of treatment,” said Eric Lambright, M.D., assistant professor of Thoracic Surgery. “But it turns out (Miller) was right and the information is rather convincing. We have to ask ourselves, ‘what is our responsibility as a nation to these soldiers?’”

“It was gutsy,” said Joyce Johnson, M.D., professor of Pathology, of Miller's first orders for lung biopsy. “In that early series, with fewer than 10 soldiers, even the military didn't believe our results. Finally I got a colleague at the AFIP (Armed Forces Institute of Pathology) on the phone and talked with her about the slides, and sent them up for her review. They are starting to listen, but we need broad, national recognition that this is a complication of being in this theater.”

Addressing the problem
Lam bright says he continues to be concerned about the risks of the surgical procedure, which generally requires a two-day hospital stay, because even with a diagnosis, there is no specific therapy for the disease. “Hopefully, we will be able to diagnose this without a need for surgical biopsy,” Lambright said.

King, Miller, Johnson and Lambright are submitting their work to medical journals in the hopes it might galvanize medical and military support for widespread research and testing. In October 2009, Miller testified before Congress, hoping to garner federal support.

In a statement e-mailed to VUMC this week, Coleen Baird Weese, M.D., environmental medicine program manager, U.S. Army Public Health Command (Provisional), said the Army investigation has turned up no specific evidence that exposure to the sulfur fires in Mishraq increased pulmonary risk for soldiers, but there is evidence that deployment itself has increased respiratory complaints from soldiers.

On Feb. 19, Miller, King and other Vanderbilt physicians will join fellow pulmonary experts at National Jewish Health Hospital in Denver for a first-ever, collective discussion group entitled “Post-deployment Respiratory Health Issues.” Military health officials plan to attend as well. King says the immediate hope is to better define the problem, or problems, and to devise a non-invasive way to diagnose permanent lung damage in soldiers.

But until that happens, Miller says he will continue to counsel soldiers who come to him requesting further testing. While there is no specific treatment for the disease, for now, biopsy can help to educate soldiers and their families as well as physicians who care for other soldiers with similar complaints.

Williams, who is scheduled for surgery later this month, says the discomfort and hospital stay were worth it, even if it changes nothing for his health.

“Soldiers have to be there for each other, whether in combat overseas, or right here at home. I want somebody to realize this is a problem, especially for the young guys. I am willing to sacrifice for them,” Williams said.

Diagnosis, treatment among lung disorder’s challenges
by Carole Bartoo

Constrictive bronchiolitis is an untreatable thickening of the tiniest airways deep in the lungs. It can be the temporary effect of a respiratory infection in children, the permanent result of rheumatoid arthritis, or a deadly side effect of lung transplant.

It is also well known to be the result of toxic inhalation. The condition made headlines a few years ago after workers at a microwave popcorn plant developed constrictive bronchiolitis (called “popcorn lung” in media reports) from inhaling butter-flavored chemicals.

The trouble with diagnosing the disease is twofold. The major symptom — shortness of breath — occurs only with exercise or exertion.

“The symptoms these people are reporting seem out of proportion with the degree of disease seen with the standard tests,” said Joyce Johnson, M.D., associate professor of Pathology.

“That's because these airways are normally closed at rest. They open when we need extra oxygen, like during exercise. In these patients, the tiniest, innermost airways are stiff, like a garden hose.”

The other problem is that current tests, like lung pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are designed to diagnose trouble in larger airways, like with asthma, and while CT scans and X-rays turn up tumors or large pockets of fluid, misplaced air or scar tissue of other diseases, they do not typically detect the microscopic scars characteristic of constrictive bronchiolitis.

click here for subject web site

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Here's another one from Gary Chenett. BB

VA must pay $20,000 for failure to inform veteran on benefits

Click here

Larry Hertz • Poughkeepsie Journal • February 18, 2011

A Newburgh law firm has convinced a federal judge to sanction the Department of Veterans Affairs for waiting more than two years before explaining what ben! efits a veteran should be receiving, the firm announced this week.

Katrina J. Eagle, director of the Veteran Service Group at Finkelstein and Partners, said the $20,000 sanction was believed to be the first ever imposed on the VA.

Eagle represented Brea, Calif., resident Cleveland Harvey in a case involving Harvey's VA benefits.

She said the agency had delayed a decision for nearly two years on Harvey's request for a review of his veterans benefits.
"For the first time in the history of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims found the VA in civil contempt for failure to expeditiously handle a veteran's claim after the court had issued a previous decision on the case," Finkelstein spokeswoman Danielle Mackey said.
Eagle said she hoped the court's sanction would help other veterans receive more timely service from the VA.
"This is a significant decision for the rights of veteran claimants. Instead of receiving the benefits he was due for his sacrifice and service to our nation, Mr. Harvey dealt with a nightmare of unnecessary delays and distractions. With this decision, it is our hope that other veteran claimants will not have to suffer the same poor treatment," she said.

Reach Larry Hertz at E-mail or 845-437-4824.

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This is probably a good one to print and keep handy. Smokey sent this in. bb

Vet Websites: Below are web-sites that provide information on Veterans benefits and how to file/ask for them. Accordingly, there are many sites that explain how to obtain books, military/medical records, information and how to appeal a denied claim with the VA. Nearly 100% of this information is free and available for all veterans provided they ask for it:

Appeals: Click Here for Website Board of Veteran's Appeals Click Here for Website CARES Commission Click Here for Website CARES Draft National Plan Click Here for Website Center for Minority Veterans Click Here for Website Center for Veterans Enterprise Click Here for Website Center for Women Veterans Click Here for Website Clarification on the changes in VA healthcare for Gulf War Veterans Click Here for Website Classified Records - American Gulf War Veterans Assoc Click Here for Website Compensation for Disabilities Associated with the Gulf War Service Click Here for Website Compensation Rate Tables, 12-1-03 Click Here for Website Department of Veterans Affairs Home Page Click Here for Website Directory of Veterans Service Organizations Click Here for Website Disability Examination Worksheets Index, Comp Click Here for Website Due Process Click Here for Website Duty to Assist Click Here for Website Electronic Code of Federal Regulations Click Here for Website Emergency, Non-emergency, and Fee Basis Care Click Here for Website Environmental Agents M10 Click Here for Website Establishing Combat Veteran Eligibility Click Here for Website Evaluation Protocol for Gulf War and Iraqi Freedom Veterans with Potential Exposure To Depleted Uranium (DU) Click Here for Website See also, Depleted Uranium Fact Sheet Click Here for Website Forms and Records Request Click Here for Website General Compensation Provisions Click Here for Website Geriatrics and Extended Care Click Here for Website Guideline for Chronic Pain and Fatigue MUS-CPG Click Here for Website Guide to Gulf War Veteran's Health Click Here for Website Gulf War Subject Index Click Here for Website Gulf War Veteran's Illnesses Q& As Click Here for Website Hearings Click Here for Website Homeless VeteransClick Here for Website HSR&D Home Click Here for Website Index to Disability Examination Worksheets C&P exams Click Here for Website Ionizing Radiation Click Here for Website Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Freedom Veterans VBA Click Here for Website M 10 for spouses and children Click Here for Website M10 Part III Change 1 Click Here for Website M21-1 Table of Contents Click Here for Website Mental Disorders, Schedule of Ratings Click Here for Website Mental Health Program Guidelines Click Here for Website Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Centers Click Here for Website MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Centers of Excellence Click Here for Website My Health e Vet Click Here for Website NASDVA.COM Click Here for Website National Association of State Directors Click Here for Website National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Click Here for Website Neurological Conditions and Convulsive Disorders, Schedule of Ratings Click Here for Website OMI (Office of Medical Inspector) Click Here for Website Online VA Form 10-10EZ Click Here for Website Parkinson's Disease and Related Neurodegenerative Disorders Click Here for Website Peacetime Disability Compensation Click Here for Website Pension for Non-Service-Connected Disability or Death Click Here for Website Persian Gulf Registry Click Here for Website


WEEKLY INSPIRATION

Father, I'm praying for my Army Brothers and others in my circle of family and friends in need of Your healing touch... For these who are sick, have medical conditions, or have suffered accidents, I ask You to look upon them with Your mercy and compassion. I know our days are numbered and sometimes You have a different plan, but You have taught us that sometimes we don't have what's needed because we haven't asked, and so I ask for healing. May Your Spirit help me when I don't know what to ask, and above all, may Your will be done. Heal those with the personal faith to be healed, and those whose friends who have the faith to ask on their behalf. If any are ill as a consequence of sin, I ask You to be merciful, to forgive and heal—as You healed the paralyzed man whose friends lowered him through the roof. Sometimes sickness or a condition may be caused by an evil spirit; if that is the case, set them free. At times disease comes as discipline; where that is true, I ask that in Your love and mercy, You grant repentance and healing. Sometimes an illness is meant to bring You glory; may it be so for these I'm praying for. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Prayer for the Beginning of the Day O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace, help me in all things to rely upon your holy will. In every hour of the day reveal your will to me. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that your will governs all. In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by you. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray. And you, yourself, pray in me. Amen.


Thats all the news for this week. Check back end of next month. Thanks, Ole' Bill


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