November 2010


4Nov04: TF 2-2 commences Operation Phantom Fury in Samarra, Iraq.
5Nov66: Operation Attleboro begins.RVN
8Nov66: Battle of Ap Cha Do. RVN
8Nov04: Operation New Dawn. Fallujah,Iraq.
9Nov89: Fall of the Berlin Wall. End of the Cold War.
10Nov90: BRO deployment to Desert Shield announced.
10Nov96: BRO takes command of Task Force Eagle in Bosnia, Tuzia Base.
11Nov18: WWI Hostilities End. Veterans Day.
12Nov65: Battle of Ap Bau Bang on Hwy 13. A Trp earns first Valorus Unit Award in RVN.
14Nov65: Operation Bush Master begins.RVN
19Nov67: Operation Shenandoah II ends.RVN
20Nov65: Battle of Trung Loi.RVN

24Nov69: Battle of Trapezoit IV. Last major battle in RVN.


12 Nov 1965

Opening Guns

The rubber forest on the Lai Khe plantation was mature. The dense, deep canopy cooled the red earth sixty feet below, and the men of the 3rd Brigade were grateful for that. Now, as October passed into November, the yellow blast of the midday sun was truly debilitating, but the green of the forest made it bearable. The wet furnace of the southwest monsoon would soon give way to the northeast flow that would bring dry air from the northern Asian plains. The days would still be hot, the nights more comfortable. The soldiers did not yet use blankets for sleeping; light ground-sheets were just right.
The Lai Khe plantation covered the gently rolling terrain north to the fortified hamlet of Bau Bang, about two kilometers from the command post, by the Soui Ba Lang, a paddy-lined stream that crossed Hwy 13 at that point. Just short of the bridge and on the east side of the highway, slept the hamlet of Ap Ben Cau, once home to a few rubber workers but now abandonded.
Another three kilometers north was the small settlementcalled Ap Ben Dong So. Here the old railroad bed approached the highway from the southeast and the little yellow station still stood sadly alongside. From here to Bau Bang, two more kilometers north, the rubber trees grew close to the highway only on the west side, while the railroad bed advanced through brushland paralleling the highway on the east. Bau Bang straddled the highway, and the narrow ribbon of pocked asphalt cut a wide breach in the earthen wall that surrounded the hamlet.
Four months after its violent but inconclusive engagement with the 272d Viet Cong Regiment at Bau Bang, the 5th ARVN Division was still unable to secure, with any confidence, passage between Lai Khe and Chon Thanh. Its successive failures throughout its zone during the spring and summer and the punishment it absorbed at the hands of the Viet cong main force, doubtless softened whatever starch was in the original fabric. The relative absence of aggressiveness by the ARVN divisions was not so much a consequence of timidity as it was a recognition by their commanders that the resources for successful forays into enemy territory were not available. The indispensable resources were enough helicopters to carry battalions into enemy zones, capitalizing on shock, concentration of mass, surprise, and the firepower necessary to over come ambush. Lacking this mobility and firepower, ARVN expeditions usually used trucks as far as practical, then the infantry continued on foot. Almost inevitably this technique invited ambush with disastrous results. The ARVN infantry lack the firepower to neutralize the enemy’s advantages of surprise, shock, and concentrated, pre-planned fires. There were no fighters-bombers on call, usually no artillery in range, and few if any armored vehicles in the column. Furthermore, Viet Cong agents had little difficulty penetrating ARVN headquarters; there was ample evidence that planned operations were regularly compromised.
The Third Brigade was settle and ready to go. General Westmoreland wanted to give it some field experience as soon as possible in order to build its confidence in its ability to deal with the enemy main force.
MACV intelligence analysts believed that all three regiments of the 9th Viet Cong Division were near Bau Bang. The Phu Loi Battalion was also in the vicinity, probably east of Hwy 13.
When General Thuan’s request for assistance in securing the move of his 7th Regiment on Hwy 13 reached headquarters MACV, it was a made-to-orfer mission for the 3d Brigade at Lai Khe. The brigade commander Colonel William D. Brodbeck, on of the several seasoned combat infantry leaders in the 1st Division, selected the 2d Battalion of the 2d Infantry for the task. The 2d Battalion was let by LTC George Shuffer, the only black battalion commander then in the division.
Highway 13, someone called it Thunder Road and the name stuck. It seemed to draw steel, a magnet for fire and destruction. The 2d Battalion of the 2d Infantry, with Troop A of the 1st Squadron of the 4th Cavalry attached, and with Battry C of the 2d Field Artillery Battalion, 33d Artilery in sport, would soon find out what the name meant.
The 2d Battalion was assigned responsibility for securing the road from the brigade perimeter at Ap Ben Cau north to Bau Long Pond, just south of Ap Bau Long. The distance to be covered was about 13 kilometers. Because 105mm howitzers could range onlya little past Bau Bang from positons at Lai Khe, Battery C of the 2d Battalion, 33d Artillery (reduced from six to four cannons for this mission), would march with the column and select a firing position from which it could cover the entire area of operations of the task force. This meant, of course, that the infantry would have to provide security for the artillery battery position.
The 2d Battalion task force moved out of the brigade perimeter on the warm morning of November 10th. The lead elements reached Bau Long pard without incident. The brigade and battalion civil affairs teams distributed 950 pounds of rice, 100 pounds of beans, boxes of milk, clothing and CARE packages to the villagers of Ben Dong So and Bau Bang. The brigade’s medical team treated minor ailments in both villages.
The first night in the field passed without enemy cotact. Colonel Shuffer and his command group bivouacked with Company A in a clearing just north of Bau Bang. By four o’clock in the afternoon of te 11th, the last ARVN unit cleared the task force area. Colonel Shuffer ordered Companies B and C to move into their night defensive positions: one was north of Bau Bang, the other south. He ordered Company A and the Cavalry troop into a defensive position on the southern edge of Bau Bang to provide security for C Battery there. Also in the perimeter were battalion’s reconnaissance platoon and the task force command group.
LTC Shuffer chose this position because it was close to the center of his area of operations and, in the no unlikely event that the Viet Cong had reconnoitered his position the night before, the new position would frustrate any plans the enemy might have for an attack this night. The battery could fire in support of the other two companies from here, and except for the berm around Bau Bang that rose fifteen feet or so above the terrain to his north, he had good observation and field of fire in all directions. This small force of fewer than 350 men occupied a perimeter 900 meter from east to west; 600 meters from north to south. The hard-baked ground was an old peanut field overgrown with waist-high brush. As they moved into their positons, the howitzers and personnel carriers beat down most of the vegetation and covered everything with a fine gray dust
The C Battery commander laid on platoon of two howitzers so that its primary direction of fire was west. The other platoon was laid pointing north. The guns at Lai Khe could handle missions south of the Position. The four 105’s went into position just north of the center of the perimeter, behind two rifle platoons of Company A that manned the forward edge.
Three mortar carriers (M-106’s) of Troop A were positioned on the left of the howitzer battery. Their hatches were open to permit firing the 4.2-inch mortars from the carriers. The 18 armored personnel Carriers of Troop A covered the southern approaches in a line that curved on each flank to tie in with the infantry platoons. Behind the carriers, in the center of the line, was Company A’s first platoon. In the center of the perimeter was LTC Shuffer with his command group and reconnaissance platoon. The eastern edge of the perimeter was 200 meters from highway 13. The jungle on the west was at least 500 meters distant, and the rubber trees and jungle on the south were 300 meters from the line of cavalry. It was a good perimeter with barbed-wire all around. Individual fox holes were dug by everyone, but darkness fell before these hasty fortification could be improved with greater depth and overhead cover. The artilleymen constructed earthen wall in front of their howitzers.
The company A mortar platoon, 81mm, registered its defensive concentrations and its barrage, as did Troop A’s 4.2 inch mortars. No barrages were assigned to te artillery, but a few concentrations had been registered by Battery C and Lai Khe artillery.
The only thing that worried Shuffer was that earthan wall, the berm around Bau Bang, only 150 meters from his forward foxholes.


Nguyan Khac Minh had an abscess on the inside of his right ankle. It had started three days ago with an insect bite. Then it became infected. Tiger Balm did not help and now there was a red line approaching the underside of his knee. The throbbing was persistent, almost unbearable.
Minh saw the Americans for the first time just south of Bau Bang. They were making clouds of dust with their “tanks” on the old, shattered and cratered asphalt of Hwy 13. (Minh thought they were tanks, and he counted 21 as they filed past.) Now and then he could see the tall Americans walking through the rubber on the west of the road. Minh limped into Bau Bang to see that many women, children, and old men, amny of them friends of his, had gathered near the center of the compound. Something unusual was happening. Three American trucks were in the midst of the crowd. One had a red cross on a white background painted on it’s side. Minh drew closer.
There, beside the market, beneath a sheet-metal roof, were a table and a few chairs and six or seven big Americans. They were obviously medical people, for they were treating the villagers who came forward. The Americans had cases of pills, bandages and bright instruments. Minh’s let hurt so badly, Minh hobbled forward.
The doctor was quick and kind. The pain was sharp when the lance entered the pustule, but it was brief and the yellow mass discharged swiftly under the pressure of the surgeon’s fingers. The relief was wonderful. Then there was an injection of some wonderful American cure and a small box of tablets. The Vietnamese interpreter with the Americans, a young man from Saigon, explained how and when Minh should take the pills.
With a bandage covering the wound, Minh expressed his genuine gratitude and left the market of Bau Bang, walking slowly on the trail toward Ap Nha Mat, nine kilometers west through the jungle of the Long Nguyen Secret Zone.
Nguyen Khac Minh was not the only Viet Cong agent who reported to the advance headquarters of the “Cong Truong 9) that afternoon. Several others had seen the American force on Hwy 13. The main elements were centered on Bau Bang. Here was a beautiful opportunity to show how the combat-seasoned soldiers of the 9th Division could destroy the best the Americans could put in the field, “tanks” included.
The division cadre discussed the situation. The reconnaissance party returned late in the afternoon of the 11th with the news that there were no tanks, but there were 21 armored personnel carriers, four 105 howitzers (their muzzles pointing north), and about 150 soldiers in the clearing on the northern edge of Bau Bang.
The plan, discussed, completed, and put in motion, was no departure from previous successful operations. Just at sunset, six soldiers from the 273d Viet Cong Regiment entered Bau Bang through a secret tunnel on the west edge of the hamlet. The squad was escorting two political cadre, one from the 9th Division and one from the regiment, who met with the Bau Bang Viet Cong hamlet chief and his staff in a small house near the market. They explained that the Cong Truong would bring some weapons and the soldiers into the hamlet that night. There would be a brief battle in the morning as the “peoples’ soldiers” annulated the Americans. No people should leave the village but all should sleep in ther shelters and tunnels that night. Each house had a deep pit under the floor, and each pit opened into a tunnel that would provide protection from any enemy bombardment. The village chief reported that the Americans had moved from north of the hamlet to the peanut field on the south. The 9th Division cadre departed immediately upon hearing this news. He and the squad of riflemen hurried back along the familiar trail to Nha Mat, covering the five miles in under an hour. The attack plan would have to be changed now that the Americans had moved south of Bau Bang. Fortunately, none of the force had begun to move east out of Hha Mat.
A brief radio message was sent to the Phu Loi Battalion commander, alerting him to a change in the plan. A liaison agent was then dispatched to meet the Phu Loi Battalion east of Highway 13 at Bau Bang. He carried with him a sketch and orders detailing the changes in the attack plan.
The mortars and recoilless rifles were moved after dark into familiar positions at Bau Bang. Firing data for the mortars was already available; ranges and deflections were known. Even so, some check-rounds were needed. Two rounds from the base 60mm mortar were fired just after 10 o’clock. Then they were ready. The recoilless rifles were placed on the reverse slope of the berm that surrounded the village, on the southern edge facing the American position.
One battalion of infantry from the 273d Regiment quietly moved into Bau Bang. Another, the Phu Loi Battalion from Ben Cat, infiltrated stealthily into the brush on the east side of highway 13. It took up positions behing the old railroad bed. The third battalion, part of the 271st Regiment, following a guide from the reconnaissance company, was delayed reaching it’s position in the rubber southwest of the Americans. It’s reconnaissance party was ambushed by an American Patrol just almost daylight. A detour was required, and the battalion was not in position until almost daylight.
LTC Shuffer had passed the order that stand-to would be at 0600 hours. In order to be ready, the men on watch began waking the sleeping troopers at 0500. The drivers performed their before-operation checks and started the engines on the personnel carriers. The night ambush patrols returned to the perimeter; the patrol from the southwest sector reported with more details about its brief midnight fire-fight. The men were looking forward to a hot breakfast. It was being prepared in Lai Khe and would arrive on the company mess trucks shortly after six. The task force would resume its sweep of Hwy 13 as soon as breakfast was over.


It was five minutes past six in the morning. Platoon Leaders were meeting with their Platoon Sergeants discussing the plans for the day’s operations when the first volley of mortar rounds fell inside the perimeter, belching black smoke. In the clouds of gray dust that followed, infantrymen scrambled for their foxholes; the Cavalrymen to their armored sanctuaries to man the machine guns. The cannoneers ran to the guns and prepared for the first fire-mission of the day. LTC Shuffer told his radio operator to call brigade and tell them that the battalion was under attack. Among other things, that call cancelled breakfast. He radioed for reports from B and C Companies. Nothing going on in either sector.
The mortar bombardment continued for ten minutes. It was all 60mm, between 50 and 60 rounds in all, and the only casualties were two wounded cavalry troopers. Immediately the Viet Cong infantry assault began in the southwest sector. From fifty meters beyond the wire, under the covering fire of another volley of mortar shells, machine guns and rifle fire, the battalion of the 271st Regiment charged forward out of the thicket of bruch and young trees. The cavalry troopers responded with their .50 caliber machine guns, their m-60’s, rifles and grenade launchers. Then to the obvious dismay of the Viet Cong, the cavalrymen on the south side of the perimeter charged the advancing enemy over the wire with a sweeping assault and a storm of machine gun fire, roaring engines and crushing tracks. The cavalrymen then wheeled and returned to it’s positin within the perimeter without a loss. But during this action one of the mortar carriers sustained a direct hit. The round detonated inside the carrier, setting off the ammunition load and killing or wounding the entire crew. By this time all officers of Troop A were seriously wounded and unable to continue in the battle.
By the time the Viet Cong commander ordered his decimated battalion to withdraw, the 105mm howitzer concentration called for by LTC Shuffer had begun to fall in the rubber to the rear of the retreating battalion. Pulling back was not easy. Nearly every able soldier was dragging or helping another wounded, dead or dying comrade.
While the Viet Cong companies and platoons were making their tortuous withdrawal from the machine gun beaten zone, here came another line of armored personnel carriers, guns blazing, engines roaring. The American cavalry platoons pressed the counterattack to the edge of the rubber forest. Three Viet Cong mortar crews had no chance to escape the fire or to recover their weapons. The cavalry run over the mortars, grinding them into the dust of the peanut field. An enemy infantryman ran forward out of the trees. He aimed his flame thrower at an armored personnel carrier but was killed by a machine gunner on the vehicle before he could light his torch.
It was not yet seven o’clock. But to the troopers and infantrymen it seemed that the attack had lasted all day. Heavy fire from mortars, recoilless rifles and machine guns continued to pour into the perimeter from inside of Bau Bang and from behind the berm.
LTC Shuffer was in constant radio contact with his brigade commander, Colonel Brodbeck. The brigade was responding to all requests for artillery support. By 6:45 a forward air controller (FAC) arrived overhead with a flight of A1H Skyraiders. LTC Shuffer asked them to put their load on the woods north of Bau Bang. He couldn’t ask them to strike Bau Bang itself because it was a populated area, therefore designated a “no fire zone”. The bombs and 20mm cannon fire in the woods had no effect on the incoming ordance LTC Shuffer was receiving from Bau Bang. He was in the midst of his request to COL Brodbeck for permission to fire into Bau Bang when the next Viet Cong assault began.
The Phu Loi battalion charged across Hwy 13 from the jungle and brush behind the old railroad bed. It was met by concentrated fire from the right flank of Company A and the heavy machine guns of the Cavalry APC’s on the west end of Troop A’s Line. The assault withered, staggered and died in the middle of the road. As the shaken Viet Cong dragged their wounded back to defilade behind the railroad embankment, the 155’s and 105’s from the Lai Khe batteries began raining high-explosive on the Phu Loi Battalion’s assembly area. Casualties mounted rapidly as the battalion commander ordered a withdrawal eastward away from this storm of fire and flying steel.
Meanwhile LTC Brodbeck relayed and reinforced COL Shuffer’s request to hit Bau Bang. He called General Seaman at Di An. The 2d Battalion task force was suffering many casualties from fire out of Bau Bang and from the earthen wall surrounding it. It had beaten off three strong infantry assaults but was still dangerously vulnerable to destruction by attrition. It had no way to silence the mortars in Bau Bang or the recoilless rifles firing from position-defilade behink the berm. The artillery battery and Mortar Carriers of the cavalry were firing into the berm with little observed effect on the enemy gunners.
Relayed through COL Brodbeck, LTC Shuffer received General Seaman’s approval to strike Bau Bang just as the enemy infantry, the battalion of the 273d regiment, swarmed over the berm and charged the front of the two platoons Company A, four howitzers and Cavalry Mortar Carriers. It was quickly obvious that this was the main attack. Violent and costly as they were, the first three attacks were probes compared to this one, although the 9th Division Commander probably would have reinforced the success of any one of them. But they had challenged the strength and mobility of the American position and had not broken through anywhere; they had not even reached the barbed-wire barrier.
Covered by the fire of their machine guns, recoilless rifles and mortars, the 273d reached the concertina in front of the American infantry. Here they were stopped by the Machine guns of the cavalry and infantry, and by the devastating fire of the 105mm howitzers. The gunners of Battery C set the projectiles for two-second delay. Then they lowered the muzzles to fire into the ground just a few yards in front of the battery. The shells would hit and skip like flat stones across a still pond and, when they were above the attacking enemy infantry, explode in dark red and black clouds and jagged shards of steel.
The violence and volume of the American fire forced the enemy to withdraw. But not before one squad had worked its way through the barbed-wire and up to the number one howitzer (on the left of the battery). The Viet Cong squad lobbed a grenade into the midst of the crew serving the connon, killing two and wounding all the rest. But this courageous enemy squad died there too.
Now it was 0730, and another flight of bombers was overhead, ready to be directed to its targets by the FAC. These were A4 Skyhawks from a US Navy carrier. LTC Shuffer told the FAC to hit the berm. He wanted most of all to silence the recoilless rifles and heavy machine guns that were firing from that position. The flight of A4’s did it’s job, and it was quickly followed by two more flights of skyraiders with 500-pound bombs, napalm, and followed by two more flights of skyraiders with 500-pound bombs, napalm, and CBU*(Grenade sized bomblets, a devastating anti-personnel munition) that they expended on the berm. Meanwhile, Battery C continued the fire with more high explosives into the berm and, now that permission had been granted, with rounds timed to burst over the mortar positions in Bau Bang.
A brief quiet descended over the smoke, dust, and mournful murmers of the battlefield. Helicopters for medical evacuation, call “dust-off,” settled into the center of the perimeter. The “dust-off” departed quickly with the wounded that had been gathered near the command group.
It appeared for awhile that the enemy was through for the day. Many of his soldiers lay dead or dying in front of the American positions. But he was not finished. At 0900 he attacked again over the berm. Battery C responded with 65 more rounds of 105, timed to burst over the attacking ranks. Another flight of fighter-bombers appeared overhead. These were F-100’s carrying napalm, which they placed directly on the attacking formation. After this devastating bomb-run the left-over napalm canisters were tossed onto the mortar batteries in Bau Bang.
The nine-o’clock assault failed as decisively as had the earlier ones. The mortars in Bau Bang were silenced, as were the heavy weapons on the berm. Desultory enemy rifle fire continued for an hour or so, probably designed to cover his withdrawal. By noon all was quiet.
The tenacity, courage, dedication, and teamwork shown by the artillerymen in this particular battle were remarkable, even for soldiers who are trained, indeed indoctrinated, to believe that service of the howitzer comes above all other considerations. The cannoneers of C Battery stood and sweated out there in that peanut field by Bau Bang and fired 300 rounds of high explosive during the morning. It is likely that without them the enemy assault over the berm would have carried to the center of the perimeter.
The mortar men of Company A also did yeoman duty. They fired 225 high explosive 81mm shells in close-in defensive fires during the battle. That works out to 76 rounds per tube, a prodigious effort!
During the after mop up, B and C companies sweep the battle area to include around Bau Bang. They counted 198 Viet Cong dead around the perimeter and in the village. Because of the Viet Cong practice of recovering all dead and wounded soldiers possible, the enemy’s losses must have been substantially greater. He also lost numerous rifles, machine guns, light and medium mortars, light and heavy recoilless rifles, a radio, and a flame thrower.
The Americans lost 20 Soldiers killed in action, 103 wounded in Action (every third man had been wounded or killed). Five armored vehicles were destroyed (all three mortar carriers); three more were damaged badly enough to be withdrawn from service for repairs. The Vietnamese interpreter with the battalion, who had helped the hospital team in Bau Bang was also dead, and Bau Bang itself was completely destroyed, a lifeless ruin. It’s villagers had crawled out of their holes and bunkers and disappeared before the smoke, dust and confusion of the battle.


Ted Armstrong worked hard to find the following information. I think his narrative is an appropriate honor for CPT Antoine's memory.BB


B Troop CO - Jul 68 until WIA late Oct 68
May 23, 1943 - November 22, 1992
Louisville, Kentucky

SP/5 Theodore (Ted) Armstrong – B66TC Track Commander
SP/5 Jack (Pineapple) Shizuru – Forward Observer
CPT Lawrence(Larry) V. Antoine – Company Commander, Bravo Troop 1/4th CAV.
PFC Timothy (Tim) McGuire – Driver

In Jul 2008 I became the TC (Track Commander) on Bravo Six-Six. This was the Command track for Bravo Troop, commanded by CPT Larry Antoine.
I stayed in that position until 23 Oct 68 when CPT Antoine informed me that he was sending me back south to Di An. He told me that I was getting “short” and he didn’t like the sounds of the missions that Bravo Troop was getting assigned, and it was time for me to leave, he knew that my DEROS Date was just a few days away. He requested orders for me “Casual – In route CONUS”.
We were operating in the North along the Cambodia boarder, An Loc, Loc Ninh, and Quon Loi (Fish Hook Area). He sent me off to catch a ride south on a Chinook. Don’t remember the route, Loc Ninh, Quon Loi, Lai Khe, Phu Loi, Di An? What I do remember, before I departed I got on a radio, knowing the operations frequency for that day, I talked to CPT Antoine one last time before I left. I finished our conversation with: “Dragon Bravo Six-Six Tango Charlie X-ray – Going Home”

Over the past few days, I have tried to track down CPT Antoine. I found out based on information that a LTC Lawrence V. Antoine had passed away on November 22, 1992 according to a listing on a Military Police Organization Web-Site. Could this be CPT Antoine? The search wasn’t easy, but I was able to track down Janet A. Antoine, his widow. She confirmed that LTC (CPT) Lawrence V. Antoine was indeed the same CPT Larry Antoine that had been the Commanding Officer for Bravo Troop 1/4 Cavalry, in Vietnam in 1968.
During our talk she mentioned in the later days of October 1968, not sure if the exact date, he was WIA, and Medevac to Japan, transferred from Armor and into the Military Police, where he finished out his military career.
LTC (CPT) Lawrence (Larry) V. Antoine suffered a heart attack in 1983, had heart transplant surgery in 1985, and suffered heart failure on November 22, 1992.
I have one more thing to say;
CPT (LTC) Larry Antoine….Welcome Home….Welcome Home
Dragon Bravo Six-Six Tango Charlie


Thanks to Dan Thompson for located the following troopers. BB

name: Brent Greenwell
email: brentgreenwell@msn.com
City: Victor
State: Montana
comments: HHC 1st. Sqdrn 4th Calvary, December 1966 to December 1967


name: Ken Kaufman
email: mstrken@msn.com
City: Grand Ronde
State: Oregon
comments: 1/4 Cav C Troop Mar '68 to Feb '69. Motor Sgt


email: ken35806@gmail.com
City: Huntsville
State: AL
comments: Quarterhorse Vietnam July-Sept '67


Thanks to Joe West for located the following troopers. BB

Eugene Long has been FOUND thanks to Joe West A troop. He is residing in Lancastor Ky. His PH: is 859-792-2867 His e-mail is 40444gl@windstream.net He was driver of C9 while willie was TC of C9 (67-68)


Dwight D. Allbee

- Trp D (ARP) June 67 April 17, 1968
dallbee@mchsi.com - email


George Shepherd

HHT, 1/4th cav
email: shepherdg1@yahoo.com


Everybody please keep Jim Umphrey, A Troop, 65-66 in your prayers.

I have also heard from Alan Benoit with an update on his grandson. BB

I got home last night after an ehausting weekend. I would like to thank everyone for thier prayers and support for Jake. It must have worked as when I got home I received Information that the Pressure in head had decreased from the 20;s down to 13 which is a good sign. He still didnt recognize anyone I dont think but I think he could hear us at least. Again Thank you from my Heart.

Alan Benoit - Trooper67


Title: Hooks, Hueys, Cobras & Loaches


Just need to touch base with you all before I finalize this book project for publication. I'll be sending the results of this huge undertaking, U.S. ARMY HELICOPTER NAMES IN VIETNAM, to the publisher at the end of December 2010. It's taken six years to gather 2,900 copter "names" that crews & pilots painted on their rotor aircraft between 1962-73. May I hit you up once again for crew names, chopper tail/serial #'s, nose/door/doghouse art images and copter "names" either verbally applied to a unit's helo or painted on the fuselage of that scout/slick/gun/cargo/dustoff/medevac ship. Please inform everyone you know that the time to contribute is now. This compilation of "names" can only be termed a success when ALL the names get recorded. I believe that what I have collected to date represents the MAJORITY of those that were inscribed and painted on our in-country birds. Posterity will safeguard those that are saved for history. Those that go un-recorded will regrettably chip away & erode our collective in-country legacy. Thank you gentlemen and fellow veterans, let's also welcome home some of our long lost aviation history. John Brennan, former SP5, 114 AHC, 1970-71, Vinh Long AAF, Mekong Delta. My email address is johnmailman@yahoo.com.


The Following historical Photos were provided by William Stanley, D Troop (Air), 1968. BB

Your host, Bill "Willis" Stanley, D Troop, 1968

Korean ROK Base Camp near Di An.

D Trop Maint Crew working on a UA1-B Gunship, sporting M-5; 40mm Valcon talking at 250 Rds per min.

Local Vietnamese in line outside Phu Loi AB for Job interviews.

UH1-B Gun Ship loaded with 2 mini guns, 14 rockets, 2 M-60 door guns,and 4 man crew.

Local cops, "White mice" on way to Phu Wong.

CH-47 and Huey flirting with the weather over Phu Loi.

Daily vietnamese workers entering Phu Loi.

Phu Loi Barracks

D Troop Supple Clerk, 1968 (Name ???).

"Duster" with two 40mm guns headed for Pui Wong.

CH-47 used for Lifts, Downed Choppers, Cargo and troop loads.

M-48 Tank passing by on way to Phu wong.

Check in booth at Phu Loi.

Vietnamese Home on way to Phu Wong

Vietnamese lined up outside Phu loi for Job Interviews.

Phu Loi Maint Building.

D Troop motor pool at Phu Loi, 1968.

Vietnamese Worked at Phu Loi. Probably very popular.

D Troop Mess Hall at Phu Loi, 1968.

ARVN Sergeant who was in charge of Chu-Hoi,"former VC's", Phu Loi-68

One of the ugliest and "Most loved" aircraft in vietnam. The "Mohawk".

An OH6A with tail damage. D Troop, Phu Loi 1968.

D Troop OH6A "Scout Helicoptor"Short Down. Phu Loi, 1968

D Troop Guard duty at Phu Loi, 1968. (Names ???)

CH47 with a OH13 load. D Troop, Phu Loi, 1968

ARVN Guard Post


And here for your viewing enjoyment is a Then and Now photo of JERRY PORIER, HHT, 67 to 68.



Heres an interesting article sent in by Alan Benoit. BB

US To Try Israeli Tank Protector

By: Colin Clark Monday, October 25th, 2010 2:10 pm

Next month a Stryker combat vehicle will arrive in the US equipped for testing the Israeli’s Trophy active protection system. The Army has pursued active protection for years, most recently abandoning the Future Combat System’s active protection system developed by Raytheon. We understand at least one M-ATV will also get the radar– directed system. The M-ATV integration is more challenging, given the vehicle’s design.

The Israelis have already created a Merkava tank brigade with the Trophy system and plan to install it on all of those tanks. The Israeli system was designed and built by Rafael and is being displayed at the Association of the US Army conference here. The Trophy system basically tracks incoming RPGs and missiles with radar antenna mounted flush on the vehicle. Once the system identifies an imminent threat it deploys tiny explosively formed penetrators to destroy it, striking the target in the warhead. Click here to view video


AAFES Duplicate Charges
Customers who have shopped at an Army and Air Force Exchange store 7 to 9 AUG 2010 should make sure to check their statements for any duplicate charges caused by a processing error. The error has resulted in numerous charges to customer‘s credit cards. Army Col. Virgil Williams, AAFES chief of staff said, "If a customer finds a billing anomaly, no action will be required on their part, as we're working to correct inaccuracies on their behalf. We're putting all the resources we have towards doing the right thing for customers affected by this unfortunate turn of events. If there is an overdraft fee as result of a duplicate charge, we're going to fix it. Our priority is to take corrective action as quickly as possible and return customers' accounts to the exact state they were prior to this glitch." The processing error that produced duplicate charges affected AAFES locations worldwide. Depending on the type of card used, officials said, corrective action could be visible to the customer anywhere from 24 hours to a couple of weeks. ―The timeline is subject to a number of variables,‖ Williams said. ―Regardless, we want exchange shoppers to know that every possible measure is being taken to eliminate any additional charges and rectify any concerns created as a result of this processing miscue.
[Source: AF Print news today 13 Aug 2010 ++]


VA Home Loan Update 19: A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is one of the first important steps in the VA loan process. The COE contains the following information about each potential VA borrower: Name; Service Number; Social Security Number; Entitlement Code; Branch of Service; Prior VA Loan Status; Basic Entitlement Availability; and Total Entitlement Charged to Previous Loans. A COE can be obtained using one of the following methods:
Lenders - Online instantly for most VA-eligible borrowers. Through a system called webLGY, lenders can access a program called ACE that enables printing of a borrower‘s COE on the spot. Lenders only need a name and social security number. As long as the veteran is in the system, this is the quickest way to obtain a COE.
Borrowers - Online with a recent upgrade to the VA system using the Veterans Information Portal (VIP) at https://vip.vba.va.gov/portal/VBAH/Home. Once a military member is registered to use the system, then a COE can be viewed and printed instantly. Members are also able to update or correct their information pertaining to COE and apply for restoration of entitlement.
Electronic Application - If a military member attempts to obtain a COE online and receives a message indicating that the VA is unable to do so, then the member will be directed to an electronic application that can be filled out and submitted online. This option is still quicker than printing and filling out VA form 26-1880 (Request for COE) and submitting by U.S. Mail. Knowing what to look for on the COE is half the challenge in understanding how to read one. For many borrowers, it can be advantageous to have a seasoned VA loan professional review a COE. A very common mistake made by inexperienced loan officers is to assume ―zero basic entitlement‖ which means the borrower cannot get a VA home loan. In fact, additional entitlement, which does not directly appear on a COE, must be calculated using the basic entitlement and total entitlement charged to previous loans. Only then will a lender know whether a borrower has enough entitlement to qualify for a VA loan. For more information about obtaining contact a VA home loan professional at www.directvaloans.com/?s=8&sr=77.
[Source: Military.com | Home Buying 17 Aug 2010 ++]


PTSD Update
Recently a judge extended the deadline for a class action lawsuit that hopes to get monetary compensation for veterans who suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from their service in the wars in the Middle East. The extension would allow more veterans to sign on to the pending litigation. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans by the National Veterans Legal Services Program and pro-bono counsel. Military veterans who were discharged between 17 DEC 02 and 14 OCT 08, may be eligible to join the class-action lawsuit Sabo, et. al. vs. U.S. The deadline to sign-up is 10 NOV 2010. For more information on how to sign-up, refer to the ptsdlawsuit.com website.
[Source: NAUS Weekly Update 10 Sep 2010 ++]


Alan Benoit has come up with a brilliant idea!BB

Here's the way it should be:

Let's put the seniors in jail and the criminals in nursing homes.

This would correct two things in one motion:

Seniors would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.

They would receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs, etc.

They would receive money instead of having to pay it out.

They would have constant video mongering, so they would be helped instantly if they fell or needed assistance.

Bedding would be washed twice a week and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.

A guard would check on them every 20 minutes.

All meals and snacks would be brought to them

They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

They would have access to a library, weight/fitness room, spiritual counseling,

a pool and education...and free admission to in-house concerts by nationally recognized entertainment artists.

Simple clothing - ie., shoes, slippers, pj's - and legal aid would be free, upon request.

There would be private, secure rooms provided for all with an outdoor exercise yard complete with gardens.

Each senior would have a P.C., T.V., phone and radio in their room at no cost.

They would receive daily phone calls.

There would be a board of directors to hear any complaints and the ACLU would fight for their rights and protection.

The guards would have a code of conduct to be strictly adhered to, with attorneys available, at no charge to protect the seniors and their families from abuse or neglect.

As for the criminals

They would receive cold food.

They would be left alone and unsupervised.

They would receive showers once a week.

They would live in tiny rooms, for which they would have to pay $5,000 per month.

They would have no hope of ever getting out.

"Sounds like justice to me!"


Thanks to Lloyd Howard for this peek at the past .BB

What an era to grow up in and experence playing outside everyday and having fun, read and enjoy and maybe shed a tear for the old cowboy gang!!!

The Roy Rogers Museum has closed its doors forever.
Here is a partial listing of some of the items that were sold at auction...

Roy 's 1964 Bonneville sold for $254,500, it was estimated to sell between 100 and 150 thousand dollars.

His script book from the January 14,1953 episode of This Is Your Life sold for $10,000 (est. $800-$1,000)

A collection of signed baseballs (Pete Rose, Duke Snyder and other greats) sold for $3,750

A collection of signed bats (Yogi Berra, Enos Slaughter, Bob Feller, and others) sold for $2,750.

Trigger's saddle and bridle sold for $386,500 (est. 100-150K)

One of many of Roy 's shirts sold for $16,250 and one of his many cowboy hats sold for $17,500.

One set of boot spurs sold for $10,625. (He never used a set of spurs on Trigger.)

A life size shooting gallery sold for $27,500.

Various chandeliers sold from $6,875 to $20,000. Very unique and artistic in their western style.

A signed photograph by Don Larsen taken during his perfect game in the world series against the Dodgers on Oct.8, 1953, along with a signed baseball to Roy from Don, sold for $2,500

Two fabulous limited edition BB guns in their original boxes with numerous photos of Roy, Dale, Gabby, and Pat sold for $3,750.

A collection of memorabilia from his shows entertaining the troops in Vietnam sold for $938. I never knew he was there. His flight jacket sold for $7,500.

His set of dinner ware plates and silverware sold for $11,875. The Bible they used at the dinner table every night sold for $8,750.

One of several of his guitars sold for $27,500.

Nellybelle sold for $116,500.

A fabulous painting of Roy, Dale, Pat, Buttermilk, Trigger, and Bullet sold for $10,625.

One of several sets of movie posters sold for $18,750.

A black and white photograph of Gene Autry with a touching inscription from Gene to Roy sold for $17,500.

A Republic Productions Poster bearing many autographs of the people that played in Roy's movies sold for $11,875.

Dale's horse, Buttermilk (whose history is very interesting) sold below the presale estimate for $25,000. (est. 30-40K)

Bullet sold for $35,000 (est. 10-15K). He was their real pet.

Dale's parade saddle, estimated to sell between 20-30K, sold for $104,500.

One of many pairs of Roy's boots sold for $21,250.

Trigger sold for $266,500.

Do you remember the 1938 movie The Adventures of Robinhood with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland? Well Olivia rode Trigger in that movie. Trigger was bred on a farm co-owned by Bing Crosby. Roy bought Trigger on a time payment plan for $2,500. Roy and Trigger made 188 movies together. Trigger even out did Bob Hope by winning an Oscar in the movie Son of Paleface in 1953.

It is extremely sad to see this era lost forever. Despite the fact that Gene and Roy's movies, as well as those of other great characters, can be bought or rented for viewing, today's kids would rather spend their time playing video games. Today it takes a very special pair of parents to raise their kids with the right values and morals. These were the great heroes of our childhood, and they did teach us right from wrong, and how to have and show respemct for each other and the animals that share this earth.


Heres a good reminder from Smokey.BB

Remember our .45 Cal side arm with the swivel safty?

A .45 caliber round makes a pretty big hole...I can just imagine how the conversation went:

"Hey honey, check out my freshly tuned .45, it has a really great trigger pull."

nice squeeze .............


Oh crap!!!........

Honey!......... I need another Budweiser!

Damn that hurts........


Wayne Paddack sent this one in. BB


To the Guy Who Tried to Mug Me in Downtown Savannah night before last.

Date: 2009-05-27, 1 :43 a.m. E.S.T.

I was the guy wearing the black Burberry jacket that you demanded that I hand over, shortly after you pulled the knife on me and my girlfriend, threatening our lives. You also asked for my girlfriend's purse and earrings. I can only hope that you somehow come across this rather important message..

First, I'd like to apologize for your embarrassment; I didn't expect you to actually crap in your pants when I drew my pistol after you took my jacket.. The evening was not that cold, and I was wearing the jacket for a reason.. My girlfriend had just bought me that Kimber Model 1911 .45 ACP pistol for my birthday, and we had picked up a shoulder holster for it that very evening. Obviously you agree that it is a very intimidating weapon when pointed at your head ... isn't it?!

I know it probably wasn't fun walking back to wherever you'd come from with that brown sludge in your pants. I'm sure it was even worse walking bare-footed since I made you leave your shoes, cell phone, and wallet with me. [That prevented you from calling or running to your buddies to come help mug us again].

After I called your mother or "Momma" as you had her listed in your cell, I explained the entire episode of what you'd done. Then I went and filled up my gas tank as well as those of four other people in the gas station, -- on your credit card. The guy with the big motor home took 150 gallons and was extremely grateful!

I gave your shoes to a homeless guy outside Vinnie Van Go Go's, along with all the cash in your wallet. [That made his day!]

I then threw your wallet into the big pink "pimp mobile" that was parked at the curb ... after I broke the windshield and side window and keyed the entire driver's side of the car.

Later, I called a bunch of phone sex numbers from your cell phone. Ma Bell just now shut down the line, although I only used the phone for a little over a day now, so what 's going on with that? Earlier, I managed to get in two threatening phone calls to the DA's office and one to the FBI, while mentioning President Obama as my possible target.

The FBI guy seemed really intense and we had a nice long chat (I guess while he traced your number etc..).

;In a way, perhaps I should apologize for not killing you ... but I feel this type of retribution is a far more appropriate punishment for your threatened crime. I wish you well as you try to sort through some of these rather immediate pressing issues, and can only hope that you have the opportunity to reflect upon, and perhaps reconsider, the career path you've chosen to pursue in life. Remember, next time you might not be so lucky.Have a good day!

Thoughtfully yours,



I think this is a repeat but It's worth a second look. Thanks to Charles Maurawski for the Information.BB

PLEASE SHARE WITH ALL VETERANS! Business's that give all Military and Federal Employee/Veterans Discounts: all you have to do is ask.


Back Yard Burgers
Burger King
Captain D's
Cotton Patch
Dunkin' Donuts
IHOP (20 percent

Discount with military ID Card

Java Café
Long John Silver
Pancho's Mexican Buffet
Pizza Hut
Taco Bell
California Cryobank
Jiffy Lube
Home Depot
Sears Portrait Studio
Travel and Leisure
Movie theaters
Hot Topic
Ripley's attractions and museums
Professional Sports teams
Apple Computers
Bass Pro Shop
Bath and Body Works
Big 10 Tires
The Buckle
Champs Sports
Copeland's Sports
Dress Barn
The Finish Line
Foot Action
Great Party
Happy Harry's
NAPA Auto Parts
New York & Company
Pac Sun
Payless Shoes
Play It Again Sports
Pure Beauty
Sally Beauty Supply
Spencer's Gifts
Timberland Outlets
Wilson's Leather


Get um while they last! I like this one from Smokey! Photo follows.BB

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.
"You have to be prepared all the time, at any place, at any moment, and practically every woman wears a bra," she said. Her patented devices also look pretty, no different from a conventional bra, she added.
According to a report on tech news site CNET, there are plans for a "counterpart device for men" in the works, though the precise shape it will take has yet to be revealed....h-m-m-m.

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

This may explain why you see some many men our age flying kites. Thanks to Bob Corbin for Sharing.BB


I was in my back yard trying to fly a kite.

I threw the kite up in the air, the wind would catch it for a few seconds, then it would come crashing back down to earth.

I tried this a few more times with no success.
All the while Vicki was watching from the kitchen window.
Muttering to herself how men need to be told how to do everything.

She opens the window and yelled to me,

'You need a piece of tail.'

I turned with a confused look on my face and said,

'Make up your mind. Last night, you told me to go fly a kite.'


Believe me! There is always someting to learn on our website. This one sent in by Charles Murawski. BB.

Chicken Blood

Remember this the next time you have major surgery and need a blood transfusion!!
This is good to know!!

Australian Medical Association researchers have found

that patients needing blood transfusions may benefit from receiving chicken blood rather than human blood.

It tends to make the men cocky and the women lay better....

Just thought you'd like to know.


OK...First blond joke of the week sent in by Dan Horn.BB

A blonde was weed-eating her yard andaccidentally cut off the tail of her cat which was hiding in the grass.

She rushed her cat, along with the tail, over to WAL-MART!



WALMART is the largest re-tailer in the world!!!


This one has been around before but I think you'll find some new editions on it.BB

Q. How Do You Catch a Unique Rabbit?
A. Unique Up On It.

Q. How Do You Catch a Tame Rabbit?
A. Tame Way.

Q. How Do Crazy People Go Through The Forest?
A. They Take The Psychopath

Q. How Do You Get Holy Water? A. You Boil The Hell Out Of It

Q. What Do Fish Say When They Hit a Concrete Wall?
A. Dam!

Q. What Do Eskimos Get From Sitting On The Ice too Long? A. Polaroids

Q. What Do You Call a Boomerang That Doesn't work?
A. A Stick

Q. What Do You Call Cheese That Isn't Yours?
A. Nacho Cheese.

Q. What Do You Call Santa's Helpers?
A. Subordinate Clauses.

Q. What Do You Call Four Bullfighters In Quicksand?
A. Quatro Cinco.

Q. What Do You Get From a Pampered Cow?
A. Spoiled Milk.

Q. What Do You Get When You Cross a Snowman With a Vampire?
A. Frostbite.

Q. What Lies At The Bottom Of The Ocean And Twitches?
A. A Nervous Wreck.

Q. What's The Difference Between Roast Beef And Pea Soup?
A. Anyone Can Roast Beef.

Q. Where Do You Find a Dog With No Legs?
A. Right Where You Left Him.

Q. Why Do Gorillas Have Big Nostrils?
A. Because They Have Big Fingers.

Q. Why Don't Blind People Like To Sky Dive?
A. Because It Scares The Dog.

Q. What Kind Of Coffee Was Served On The Titanic?
A. Sanka.

Q. What Is The Difference Between a Harley And a Hoover ?!
A. The Location Of The Dirt Bag. Q. Why Did Pilgrims' Pants Always Fall Down?
A. Because They Wore Their Belt Buckles On Their Hats.

Q . What's The Difference Between a Bad Golfer And a Bad Skydiver?
A1. A Bad Golfer Goes, Whack, Dang!
A2. A Bad Skydiver Goes Dang! Whack.

Q . How Are a Texas Tornado And a Tennessee Divorce The Same?
A. Somebody's Gonna Lose A Trailer.
Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.


I like this one from Howard Greenfield.BB


Here's one from Jim Smith. BB

Cow, an Ant and an Old Fart A Cow, an Ant and an Old Fart are debating on who is the greatest of the three of them.

The Cow: I give 50 litres of milk every day and that's why I am the greatest!!

The Ant: I work day and night, summer and winter, I can carry 52 times my own weight and that's why I am the greatest!!

Why are you scrolling down? It's your turn to say something...


Jeff Kramer sends us this news flash. BB

DALLAS, TX (AP) - A seven-year old boy was at the center of a DALLAS County courtroom drama today when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulation requiring that family unity be maintained to the highest degree possible.

The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried and said that they also beat him. After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him. After two recesses to check legal references and confer with the child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the DALLAS COWBOYS football team, whom the boy firmly believes are not capable of beating anyone.


Short, Sweet and to the point. That's the way John Vanerio likes them. BB

Two women were sitting quietly together, minding their own business.

Ole' Bill: Read it again........Think about it


I hope that Fred Currier didn't put a lot of personal research into this one. BB

Two great white sharks swimming in the ocean spied survivors of a sunken ship.

"Follow me, son" the father shark said to the son shark and they swam to the mass of people. "First we swim around them a few times with just the tip of our fins showing." And they did.

"Well done, son! Now we swim around them a few times with all of our fins showing." And they did.

"Now we eat everybody." And they did. His wise father replied, "Because they taste better without the shit inside!"


Heres a good one from Ron Brauer. BB

Horny Hot Tub Party


Yeah, I also clicked on this one real fast....

And what exactly, were you expecting... .??


Windows allows you to create a password reset disk, just in case you forget your password and can't login, because, well, that would be a bummer. So here's how to avoid that.

Windows Vista/Windows 7:

1. Click on the Windows button at the bottom left, then open the Control Panel, double-click on User Accounts, and click on your username.
2. Look on the left pane and click Create a Password Reset Disk.
3. Click next and follow the directions to create your reset disk.

Windows XP:

1. Go to Start > Control Panel > User Accounts and click on your username.
2. Under Related Tasks on the left pane, click Prevent a forgotten password. A wizard will show up.
3. Click next and follow the directions to create your reset disk.

The disk will now contain your encrypted password. If you forget your password, you can just use the Password Reset Wizard to create a new one. Just make sure to create another reset disk once you changed your password. So if you forgot your password and changed it to a new one, create another reset disk by repeating the above procedure again.


Printer ink.
Save on printer ink by using CENTURY GOTHIC FONT, which a recent study showed consumes about A THIRD LESS INK than the standard Arial. that saves about $20 a year for a home user printing 25 pages a week.


Save on common computer problems at www.fixya.com where volunteer techies give no cost advice.


Prepared by Dr. Edmund Hayes

Expert Panel Recommends Labeling, Registry for Long-Term Use of Osteoporosis Drug
A widely prescribed class of drugs is highly effective in reducing common bone fractures in people with osteoporosis, but an expert panel announced today that these same drugs - when used long term - may be related to unusual but serious fractures of the thigh bone.
In the most comprehensive scientific report to date on the topic, the task force reviewed 310 cases of "atypical femur fractures," and found that 94 percent (291) of patients had taken the drugs, most for more than five years. The task force members emphasized that atypical femur fractures represent less than one percent of hip and thigh fractures overall and therefore are very uncommon.
The task force was convened by the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research - the leading scientific organization on bone science - in the wake of growing concern about the connection between these drugs, called bisphosphonates, and unusual femur fractures.


More and More, Paramedics Pack Cardiac-Arrest Patients In Ice
For several years, paramedics have watched intently as hospitals around the region reported miracles on ice: cardiac-arrest patients who were rapidly cooled in the ER and, against all odds, woke up a few days later perfectly normal.
Now rescue workers are icing heart-attack patients in the ambulance. "The first time we used it," last October, "the woman went home in 10 days," said Bob A. Hotchkiss, chief of Southern Chester County Emergency Medical Services. A handful of other paramedics south and west of Philadelphia have jumped into the icing business in the last 18 months: New Castle County, Del.'s countywide system; Longwood Fire Company; and Delaware County Memorial Hospital's squad. Paramedics staffed by Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby began last month in the eight towns they cover, the same day as New York City.
Many more, including Philadelphia Fire Department paramedics, have discussed doing it.


Watercress May 'Turn Off' Breast Cancer Signal
New scientific research from the University of Southampton has revealed that a plant compound in watercress may have the ability to suppress breast cancer cell development by 'turning off' a signal in the body and thereby starving the growing tumour of essential blood and oxygen.
The research, unveiled at a press conference today (14 September 2010), shows that the watercress compound is able to interfere with the function of a protein which plays a critical role in cancer development.
As tumours develop they rapidly outgrow their existing blood supply so they send out signals which make surrounding normal tissues grow new blood vessels into the tumour which feed them oxygen and nutrients.
The research, led by Professor Graham Packham of the University of Southampton, shows that the plant compound (called phenylethyl isothiocyanate) found in watercress can block this process, by interfering with and 'turning off' in the function of a protein called Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF).


Repeated Antibiotic Use Alters Gut's Composition Of Beneficial Microbes
Repeated use of an antibiotic that is considered generally benign, because users seldom incur obvious side effects, induces cumulative and persistent changes in the composition of the beneficial microbial species inhabiting the human gut, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found.
By a conservative estimate, something like 1,000 different varieties of microbes coexist harmoniously within a typical healthy person's gut, said David Relman, MD, professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology at the medical school and chief of the infectious diseases division at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. Relman is the senior author of a paper, published online Sept. 13 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The study examined the effects of ciprofloxacin (trade name Cipro), an antibiotic that is widely prescribed for intestinal, urinary and a variety of systemic infections. In an earlier, short-term study, Relman's group had concluded that people's intestinal microbial communities seem to bounce back reasonably well within weeks after a five-day regimen of ciprofloxacin. This new study involved two courses of antibiotic administration, six months apart, and it revealed more-subtle, long-term effects of ciprofloxacin use - such as the replacement of multiple resident bacterial species by other, closely related varieties and the occasional complete eradication of a species. Read more..... [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=8btz69n6&et=1103699414669&s=1508&e=001OBUecZaejJSeFwR4tXGl-HtTlsWUBtjxElvjqTZxLz1tX6650iGSaumi5vCDVtrf8QWZPZnUrwaLoSoLwAK_M-aXt84vwxUaEzmV-1QMNlqTWNRUIYQpsJGuFMxCLoeRQuo6SNh0vUKSZ7NcooFoQxrnt0nGo67j]


Scientists Find Link Between Arthritis Pain Reliever And Cardiovascular Events
A research team from the University of California, Davis and Peking University, China, has discovered a novel mechanism as to why the long-term, high-dosage use of the well-known arthritis pain medication, Vioxx, led to heart attacks and strokes. Their groundbreaking research may pave the way for a safer drug for millions of arthritis patients who suffer acute and chronic pain.
Using metabolomic profiling to analyze murine (rodent) plasma, the scientists discovered that Vioxx causes a dramatic increase in a regulatory lipid that could be a major contributor to the heart attacks and strokes associated with high levels of the drug and other selective COX-2 inhibitors, known as "coxibs."
"This is a major breakthrough that can lead to a better medication for people suffering from acute pain," said entomologist-chemist Bruce Hammock, a distinguished professor of entomology with a joint appointment at the UC Davis Cancer Center. The research took place in the laboratories of Hammock, cell biologist Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, UC Davis Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; and physiologist Yi Zhu, Peking University. The research is to be published the week of Sept. 13 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Radiation Risks Of CT Scans Need To Be Taught To Patients
Radiation is emitted in various forms. Recently, CT scan radiation has preoccupied (or "absorbed") the attention of the public and media. As explained: "X rays, γ rays, and neutron beams are considered ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation may break molecules into pieces, creating ionic free radicals that can be very damaging to tissue."
For this reason, it is imperative that the use of radiation is only by highly trained personnel and that the public is appropriately educated so that they understand their risks as it relates to their health care.
People come in all different sizes, and CT scans are obtained of different areas of the body, so routinely radiation doses vary. Unfortunately, there have also been some recent examples of over-exposure of patients due to computer errors that resulted in some individuals being scanned multiple times over the usual amount. These errors must obviously be corrected. There is no excuse.


Lung Cancer Culprit Could Offer Target For Therapy
A tiny molecule that spurs the progression of non-small-cell lung cancer could become a player in fighting the disease, say researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center, who published a study on how the molecule behaves in mice in the Sept. 14 issue of Cancer Cell.
Scientists have known that the molecule microRNA-21, or miR-21, is present in overabundant quantities in human tumors, including non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Until now, however, it was unclear whether miR-21 contributed to the development of lung cancer, or whether it was simply an indicator of the presence of the disease.
To find out, lead study author Dr. Mark Hatley, an instructor of pediatric hematology/oncology, and UT Southwestern colleagues used mice that had been altered specifically to harbor non-small-cell lung cancer. In some of these mice, they genetically engineered the animals to produce too much miR-21. In another group, they deleted the miR-21 gene altogether, which eliminated the molecule in the rodents.

DA.VA, and Veteran News

Thanks to Smokey Guillespie for sending this to us. BB

Forwarded by Kevin Secor, VSO Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
An organization called Veterans Affairs Services (VAS) is providing benefit and general information on VA and gathering personal information on veterans. This organization is not affiliated with VA in any way. http://www.vaservices.org/us/index.html
VAS may be gaining access to military personnel through their close resemblance to the VA name and seal. Our Legal Counsel has requested that we coordinate with DoD to inform military installations, particularly mobilization sites, of this group and their lack of affiliation or endorsement by VA to provide any services.
In addition, GC requests that if you have any examples of VAS acts that violate chapter 59 of Title 38 United States Code, such as VAS employees assisting veterans in the preparation and presentation of claims for benefits, please pass any additional information to Mr.Daugherty at the address below.

Michael G. Daugherty
Staff Attorney
Department of Veterans Affairs


Thanks to Howard Greenfield for sharing this with us.BB

VA insists Iraq veteran not disabled enough

By Christine McConville
Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Veterans Administration is standing by its claim that Iraq war veteran Matt Boisvert doesn’t qualify for an adaptive housing grant — even though his right leg was blown off and he lost the use of his right arm in a bomb blast in Fallujah.

As debilitating as those injuries may sound, they aren’t covered by the program, a VA spokesman said.
“Medical evidence supporting Mr. Boisvert’s claim does not show that he meets the criteria,” said the spokesman by e-mail, on condition of anonymity. But the VA plans “to further explain the VA’s decision and his options moving forward.”
Boisvert, 27, of Pepperell said he waited nine months to learn he had been denied and never got an explanation. Since the Herald called attention to his case Monday, he’s heard from U.S. Sen. John Kerry, former Bruin Lyndon Byers as well as outraged local vets who are promising to do what they can for him.
“It’s incredible how many people offered to help, and I really, really appreciate it,” Boisvert said. “But I didn’t do the story to get free stuff. I wanted people to know how frustrating it is to deal with the VA.”
Boisvert is classified as 100 percent disabled. He wants a garage, because he has trouble getting in and out of his SUV in New England winters. He’d like a finished room over it with exercise equipment and a whirlpool, because his good side gets strained from compensating for his injured side. The VA program is meant to help wounded warriors modify their homes. But the strict criteria includes loss of both legs, total blindness, or extreme burns, and the VA deemed Boisvert insufficiently disabled.


VA Prostate Cancer Program
Most physicians are reluctant to prescribe the drug finasteride to prevent prostate cancer in older men with elevated risk of the disease, despite evidence that the drug can reduce risk by about a quarter, researchers say. "There are no other proven ways of reducing your risk of prostate cancer — this is the only one," Dr. Ian M. Thompson of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, told Bloomberg. Its use could reduce new diagnoses by "tens of thousands," he said. Thompson was the lead author of a 2003 report that showed that the drug, sold by Merck under the brand name Proscar, could reduce the risk of prostate cancer among such men from 24% to 18%. Another study this year showed that a second drug, dutasteride, might be even slightly more effective. Risk factors for prostate cancer include being older than 65, having elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a family history of the disease and being African-American.
In the new study, Dr. Linda S. Kinsinger of the Veterans Health Administration National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and her colleagues surveyed a random sample of 325 VHA urologists and 1,200 VHA primary care physicians to determine how their prescribing practices changed from 2000 through 2005, a period that included the widely heralded finasteride trial. The researchers reported in the September issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention that the use of finasteride did increase somewhat during the 35 period, but to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (an enlarged prostate gland), not to prevent prostate cancer. Fully 64% of urologists and 80% of primary-care physicians said they never prescribed the drug for prevention. One concern among urologists was that the 2003 study suggested that, even though finasteride reduced the risk of prostate cancers, those who did develop the disease might be more likely to develop a highly aggressive form. Researchers have shown, however, that that was an artifact of the study and is not true. Kinsinger compared using finasteride to ward off prostate cancer to using statins to ward off heart disease. The primary difference between the two, she added, is that the effects of statins can be monitored by measuring cholesterol levels, but there is no analogous marker to show that finasteride is working. The primary side effect of finasteride is that it increases hair growth.
[Source: Chicago Tribune | Living Thomas H. Maugh article 1 Sep 2010


Saving Money:
• Ask your doctor for a discount. Before your appointment t, visit www.healthcarebluebook.com or call a local health insurer to find out what it pays area doctors for a similar consultation or test. Then aim for that number, which is usually lower than the doctor‘s charge. Try to negotiate directly with the doctor – not office personnel – in person and before treatment is given.
• Dental work. Get dental work for a fraction of the cost from dentist-supervised students at a dental school. Find a school at www.ada.org by clicking on ―Dental Schools‖. For low-cost, federally funded care, go to www.nidcr.nih.gov and click ―Finding Dental Care‖.
• Request an itemized bill when hospitalized. A daily bill helps you track whether you‘re getting the medical supplies, drugs and services that have been determined necessary for your treatment, and to cry foul if they haven‘t been provided. It also lets you spot and protest outrageous charges, such as $30 for a ―thermal therapy kit‖ that is really just an ice bag.
• Bring your own drugs. Some hospitals quadruple the price you normally pay for prescription and over-the-counter medications, so find out in advance what you‘ll need and get them yourself. But ask the hospital if it will allow this. Many hospitals don‘t.
• Medical studies. No cost treatment and medication may be available if you qualify for a medical study for a chronic condition such as diabetes or allergies. Find studies at www.clinicaltrials.gov or call local medical schools. Check the stud‘s credentials.
• Haring aid. Try haggling over the price of your hearing aid, which typically sells at a retail markup of 120%. Most of the 15% of people who ask for such a deal get one.
[Source: AARP Bulletin Jul-Aug 2010 ++]


VA Home Loan
Veterans in the Gulf States impacted by the recent oil spill may qualify for delayed mortgage payments if their mortgages are already guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). "We are strongly urging mortgage companies to extend every possible forbearance to Veterans whose livelihoods have been affected by the oil spill crisis," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. Shinseki noted that several mortgage companies have already announced plans to waive late payment charges and suspend negative reporting to credit bureaus on affected borrowers. VA is asking all mortgage companies to follow this example. "Through no fault of their own, many of our Veterans are out of work and are struggling to earn an income," the Secretary added. "We must assist these Veterans in this difficult time, just as they have supported us in their sacrifice to the Nation." VA has information on its website, www.homeloans.va.gov that provides basic guidance for Veterans affected by a major disaster. Veterans in need of mortgage counseling may also contact their nearest VA regional loan center at 1(877) 827-3702 for help and information, regardless of whether or not they have a VA home loan.
[Source: VA News Release 20 Aug 2010 ++]


Veterans' Court
On 13 SEP, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge will start hearing criminal cases against military veterans charged with nonviolent felonies. The pilot program is meant to give a second chance to veterans who may have gotten into trouble in part due to conditions related to their service, such as post-traumatic stress syndrome, brain injuries and other mental conditions. Orange County has a similar program, which mirrors other veteran courts that have sprung up across the nation. "This is long overdue," Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Tynan (who will preside over the court) said. "Everybody's concentrating on soldiers right now returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, but I'm not sure that these guys are getting the kind of care they ought to get." The veterans‘ court will start with a maximum of 50 cases at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles. All military personnel will be eligible. Many of the cases are expected to be drug and alcohol-related.
Research suggests that veterans often self-medicate to numb the pain of war experiences. Tynan now oversees the county's drug court, also a specialty unit intended for those whose crimes are primarily a result of addiction. The idea is get the defendant into treatment, as opposed to a jail cell.
Some defendants may be referred to Veterans Affairs, which runs outpatient and clinical care facilities in Long Beach, Lancaster and West Los Angeles. Veterans will be supervised for a set period. If they violate conditions of the court, the severity of penalties will increase. The first court of the kind was started in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2008, and so far none of the veterans who completed the program committed new crimes, officials said. Federal lawmakers are looking to pass legislation that would provide funding for treatment and court costs. The VA estimates that 131,000 veterans are homeless on any given night, a situation caused largely by mental illness and substance abuse. Torrance-based Deputy District Attorney John Lonergan, a colonel in the Army reserves, helped set up the local pilot program for veterans. He said, "These men and women are pulled away from their families for a year or more. They are under constant stress, under the microscope, and they come back and face broken marriages and othe difficulties. ... People are finally recognizing the need to treat these individuals. We don't want to relive these issues from Vietnam."
[Source: myFoxla.com article 13 Sep 2010 ++]

************************************ Federal Tax Law Changes
Probably the most distributed email for the past month has been a scare message (Subject: Tax Hikes in 2011) that talks about what would be in three waves the largest tax hike in history starting in January 2011. While the intent of the email is to tie in the increases in taxes and changes in law directly to President Obama‘s ‗redistribution of income‘ scheme and some of the items in the email are directly related to the President's health care bill, there are several items that should be of concern to citizens. The partisan language at the conclusion of the email is not warranted, and the assertion that this is an attempt to force America to ‗Soviet style Socialism and then Communism‘ is simply a scare tactic. So let‘s drop the partisanship and examine the particular items. MOAA sat down with their resident financial expert, Phil Dyer, CFP, and went over the list item by item. Their thoughts in brackets follow corresponding items:

First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief. In 2001 and 2003, the Congress enacted several tax cuts for investors, small business owners, and families which are all scheduled to expire on 1 JAN 2011. [These changes would become the regulations and terms only if Congress did not act to extend the cuts]:
Personal income tax rates will rise. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal rate hikes is: The 10%, 28%, 33%, and 35% brackets rises to an expanded 15%, 28%, 31%, 36%, and 39.6% respectively. [It is extremely unlikely that the tax brackets will not be extended, especially for anyone making under less than $200k annually or $250k for families filing jointly.]
Higher taxes on marriage and family. The ―marriage penalty‖ (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income. The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level. The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut. [This would be something that would hit the most American families directly and, by MOAA's estimations, has about as much chance of expiring as the Rams have of winning the Super Bowl this year.]
The return of the Death Tax. There is a 55% top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones. [This has a high probability of coming back in some incarnation, but it is extremely unlikely that the rate will be for estates worth over $1 million.]
Higher tax rates on savers and investors. The capital gains tax will rise from to 20% and the dividends tax will rise to 39.%. These rates will rise another 3.8% in 2013. [Will most likely increase in 2013 vice 2011.].

Second Wave: Obamacare. [Can hardly be considered a historic wave of new taxes and affects a much smaller portion of the populace than the email implies.]
Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines except insulin.
A cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500. [For most people, the $2500 cap won’t be noticed.]
Additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA increases to 20%,

Third Wave: The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and Employer Tax Hikes. [Would only be an issue if Congress failed to enact an extension to the yearly fix that ensures that the number of families affected remains low.]
Without indexing families will have to calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level.
Small business expensing will be slashed to $25,000 maximum and 50% expensing for larger businesses will disappear.
Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses. [The fate of any increases are, at worst, still up in the air, and at best, an almost sure-to-pass group of extensions. Especially in a hot mid term election year, MOAA expects Congress to ensure that these changes don’t come into effect.]
The deduction for tuition and fees will not be available. Tax credits for education will be limited. Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses. Coverdell Education Savings Accounts will be cut. Employer-provided educational assistance is curtailed. The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.
Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed. [Expired at the end of 2009.]
The W-2/1099R/1042S tax forms sent by a private concern or governmental body gross income figure will be increased to show the value of whatever health insurance you are given. [The amount is not taxable and does not factor into your tax brackets.]
[Source: MOAA News Exchange 8 Sep 2010 ++]


VA Vet Centers Update
The Vet Center Program was established by Congress in 1979 out of the recognition that a significant number of Vietnam era vets were still experiencing readjustment problems. Vet Centers are community based and part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In APR 91, in response to the Persian Gulf War, Congress extended the eligibility to veterans who served during other periods of armed hostilities after the Vietnam era. Those other periods are identified as Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, and Kosovo/Bosnia. In OCT 96, Congress extended the eligibility to include WWII and Korean Combat Veterans. The goal of the Vet Center program is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services to eligible veterans in order to help them make a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life. On 1 APR 03 the Secretary of Veterans Affairs extended eligibility for Vet Center services to veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and on 25 JUN 03 Vet Center eligibility was extended to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and subsequent operations within the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). The family members of all veterans listed above are eligible for Vet Center services as well. On 5 AUG 03 VA Secretary Anthony J. Principi authorized Vet Centers to furnish bereavement counseling services to surviving parents, spouses, children and siblings of service members who die of any cause while on active duty, to include federally activated Reserve and National Guard personnel.

If you, or a family member, served in any combat zone and received a military campaign ribbon (Vietnam, Southwest Asia, OEF, OIF, etc.) than your family is eligible for Vet Center services. Readjustment counseling covering a wide range of psycho social services is offered to eligible Veterans and their families in the effort to make a successful transition from military to civilian life. They include:
Individual and group counseling for Veterans and their families
Family counseling for military related issues
Bereavement counseling for families who experience an active duty death
Military sexual trauma counseling and referral
Outreach and education including PDHRA, community events, etc.
Substance abuse assessment and referral
Employment assessment & referral
VBA benefits explanation and referral
Screening & referral for medical issues including TBI, depression, etc.
VA's readjustment counseling is provided at community-based Vet Centers located near veterans and their families. All Vet Center services are prepaid through military service. Contact your nearest Vet Center through information provided in the Vet Center Directory at http://www2.va.gov/directory/guide/vetcenter_flsh.asp or listings in your local blue pages. Vet Center staff are available during normal business hours at 1-800-905-4675 (Eastern) and 1-866-496-8838 (Pacific). By the end of 2010, there will be 300 Vet Centers across the US and surrounding territories (US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa).
[Source: www.vetcenter.va.gov/Vet_Center_Services.asp Aug 2010 ++]


Outward Bound Update
Outward Bound, a 45-year old non-profit outdoor, adventure-education organization, is looking for veterans, interested in participating in fully-funded reintegration wilderness expeditions. Adventures are physically, mentally and emotionally stimulating and work to build the self-confidence, trust, and communication skills necessary to successfully return to their families and communities following war time service. Goals of the program are to provide a positive outdoor experience for military veterans that will enable them to experience the healing benefits of the natural world and benefit from quality environmental education. Details are:

Who: Available to all OEF or OIF Veterans who were deployed to Iraq and/or Afghanistan , pending medical screening.
What: A 5-7 day Wilderness Expedition: may include backpacking, rock climbing, canoeing, dog sledding, sailing, sea kayaking and white water rafting.
Where: Wilderness locations include: California , Colorado , Maine , Maryland , Minnesota, New Jersey , Pennsylvania , Utah , Oregon , Washington , Alabama , and Florida.
When: Dates available year-round.
How: What sets Outward Bound apart is that the goal is personal growth. The wilderness and the skills learned to deal with it are simply a vehicle for growth.
Cost: All expenses paid! Veterans will not be responsible for cost of expedition including round-trip stateside transportation to course site. Funding provided by the Military Family Outdoor Initiative Project, a joint project of the Sierra Club and The Sierra Club Foundation.
To Enroll: Call 1-866-669-2362 ext 8387 (VETS).
[Source: MSC Newsletter August 2010 ++]


Hip/Knee Replacement
Even though knee and hip replacements have become routine, they‘re not fail-safe. A study published in 2007 found that 7% of hip replacements done for Medicare patients had to be replaced within seven and half years. Experts agree that failure rate should be lower. If you‘re considering replacing a knee or hip, here are some ways to increase your chances of success and avoid a second implant:

Choose an experienced surgeon at a hospital that does a lot of implants. Ask for a referral from your doctors and friends. A study published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery in 2004 found that doctors who perform more than 50 procedures a year had fewer complications. Patients at hospitals that performed more than 200 new replacements a year fared better than patients at hospitals that performed 25 or fewer. Ask the prospective surgeon how many joint replacements like yours he or she performs a year. Do the same with your hospital.
Not everyone with joint pain will benefit from a replacement. An implant can help reduce pain and improve mobility if the damage is caused by arthritis, for instance. But a new joint won‘t help pain caused by inflammation of surrounding soft tissue. According to doctors, some people can manage with careful use of medications.
Gather information about the procedure. Once you‘ve picked a surgeon and have recommendations for the type of joint you will receive, find out how well it has performed in other patients. Are there known complications? Depending on the type of implant, some may cause tissue and bone damage in certain patients. Some patients have complained of ―squeaky‖ new joints.
Have a recovery plan. To avoid complications recuperating from a joint replacement, discuss with your doctor what sort of support you‘ll need when you go home. Make sure you have enough help since you‘ll have difficulty getting around. You won‘t be able to drive right away and you may want a friend or family member to stay with you. Consider hiring an aide or visiting nurse. If you have pets, make arrangements for their care as well.
[Source: The New York Times Lesley Alderman article 2 Jul 2010 ++]


The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.. She said, 'Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?' I laughed and enthusiastically responded, 'Of course you may!' and she gave me a giant squeeze.. 'Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?' I asked. She jokingly replied, 'I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids...' 'No seriously,' I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. 'I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!' she told me. After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this 'time machine' as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up. At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, 'I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.' As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, ' We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it! There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody! Can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets..' She concluded her speech by courageously singing 'The Rose.' She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those months ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be. When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they'll really enjoy it! These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE. REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give.

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

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