October 2012


01Oct04: 2nd BCT commences Operation Baton Rouge, Samarra, Iraq.
06Oct95: 1/4th Cav deploys to Bosnia with 1st Armored Division. Operation Joint Endeavor.
06Oct66: Operaton Tulsa begins, RVN.
07Oct65: 1/4th Cav Units (-) de-embark with 1st Inf Div units at Vaug Tau, Rvn. Carried by truck to Bein Hoa to marry up with TOE Equipment.
12Oct65: 1/4th Cav Troops placed at: HHT - Phu Loi; A Trp - Lai Khe; B Trp - Phuc Vihn; C Trp - Phu Loi; D Trp (Air) - Phu Loi.
14Oct96: 1/4th Cav returns to Germany from Bosnia.
15Oct96: Operation Shanendoa II ends 1967. RVN.
16Oct70: 3rd Brigade Redesignated 1st Inf Div (Fwd) Sheridan Dasern, Germany.
16Oct66: Operation Tulsa ends. RVN
16Oct66: Operation Shanendoa I begins - RVN.
19Oct96: 1st Inf Div Covering force moves into Bosnia, Operation Joint Endeavor.
20Oct65: Operation Teakettle, 1/4th Cav, begins. RVN
22Oct97: 1st Infantry Divsion transfers authority for mission in Bosnia to 1st Armored Div. Tuzla.
25Oct65: Operation Bushmaster, 1/4th Cav, begins. RVN.
29Oct67: Operation Shenandoah II, major battles around Loc Ninh, RVN.
31Oct68: Battle of FSB Rita. B Troop. RVN.


The War: Death Among the Rubber Trees (Battle for Loc Ninh)
Friday, Nov. 10, 1967
The district town of Loc Ninh, some 70 miles north of Saigon, was a company town and, until last week, a tranquil and prosperous one. Most of its 10,000 inhabitants worked for a giant French rubber plantation, the Societe des Caoutchoucs d'Extreme-Orient, whose trees marched away row upon row, mile after mile, across the low hills toward the Cambodian border.
Overlooking the town stood the red-roofed villas of the French plantation managers. Tropical flowers climbed their villa walls from green lawns, and their country club boasted a large swimming pool and a red-clay tennis court, the remnants of a prewar colonial past.
The wartime present in Loc Ninh was embodied in four understrength Vietnamese irregular force companies and an American Special Forces unit, both of which were assigned to guard the town's airstrip and the district sub-sector headquarters, a rambling set of old French buildings and bunkers ringed by concertina wire and crowned by an improbable, rickety observation tower. Down the airstrip from the headquarters (see map) was an only slightly more substantial, diamond-shaped Special Forces camp, its walls made of logs and earthworks like something out of the old American West. To the Viet Cong's main-force 272nd and 273rd Regiments, assigned the task of spoiling South Viet Nam's inaugural week with a major victory, Loc Ninh must have seemed an ideal target: a district headquarters defended by underforce irregulars and a handful of Americans, close both to the Viet Cong's source of supplies and to the sanctuary of the Cambodian border only nine miles away. They were wrong: in a week of fighting, the Viet Cong suffered their biggest defeat since the twelve-day battle around Khe Sanh last May, when they lost 1,200 men.
The Viet Cong struck just after midnight one night last week, pouring a rain of rocket and mortar rounds on the Special Forces camp and on the sub-sector compound. Part of their 273rd Regiment roared into the undefended town itself, took it over and used its dispensary to treat Viet Cong wounded. At the same time, other elements of the 273rd attacked the subsector compound from the north and west, filtering through the gloom of the rubber trees and throwing themselves against the guns of the 105 men inside.
Despite bombing and strafing by U.S. jets and helicopters zooming in to aid the defenders, the headquarters soon appeared doomed. Punching through the wire, the Viet Cong raced from building to building, setting each afire. They silenced the bunkers one by one, dropping grenades through their slits. Soon only the command bunker and one other were still firing back, and in the command bunker Captain Tran Minh Cong and his twelve men were running out of ammunition. So Captain Cong radioed for Vietnamese army artillery to zero right in on his bunker. The artillerymen were reluctant to do so at first, but Cong, as he explained later, was unworried: "This is the best bunker in Viet Nam, even if you hit it with a B-52." Thereafter, every time the Viet Cong swarmed over the bunker, fused shells set to go off in the air blasted them. By dawn, a South Vietnamese relief company, helilifted to the rescue from Phu Loi, 60 miles away, was able to launch a counterattack out of the Special Forces camp. They drove the Viet Cong back into the rubber trees, forcing them to leave behind more than 100 of their dead. Bleeding White Sap. Meanwhile, the U.S. 1st Division's reaction force was moving in reinforcements. The first to arrive were two helilifted batteries of 105-mm. howitzers and two rifle companies, the vanguard of two battalions. A third battalion later followed and began sweeping the rubber groves east of Loc Ninh. It proved an eerie enterprise. Moving down the corridors between the evenly spaced, parallel rows of trees, the troops were frequently brought up short by jungle birds whose screeches mimicked the whine of bullets. The almost purple earth underfoot teemed with a fierce breed of red ant whose bite meant torment. But the battalion soon did some tormenting of its own. Running into a company of Viet Cong, it killed 83 in a four-hour firefight that left the bullet-punctured rubber trees bleeding white sap.
Despite their heavy losses, the Viet Cong tried again next day, this time attempting a two-pronged attack from the east across the airstrip runway. It was a disastrous tactic; a howitzer at the south end of the field was in a position to fire right down the runway—"like shooting down a bowling alley," as one of the gunners put it. As the Viet Cong, 30 and 40 at a time, tried to sprint across the strip, the big howitzer shells exploded in their midst. The gunners fired off 575 rounds during the battle, blistering the paint on the lone gun's barrel. Helicopter gunships laced the Viet Cong from above with their mini-guns, and Air Force jets made one screaming run after another, dropping anti-personnel bombs. The few Viet Cong who survived the lethal gauntlet to reach the strip's west side were caught in a murderous crossfire between the Special Forces camp and the subsector compound. Again, more than 100 Viet Cong died.
Douse That Light! Next day was the only quiet one in Loc Ninh's bloody week. The Vietnamese irregulars dug huge pits for the Viet Cong dead, washed their clothes in the French Club's swimming pool and helped themselves to the wine cellar. Because the Viet Cong had returned each night to occupy the town itself for a few hours, the villagers were evacuating it by the thousands. To try to build up their morale, the 1st Division sent in medics and armored personnel carriers, and the division band went oompahing through the streets in full battle dress, brass horns gleaming in the sun. The effort was unsuccessful. Understandably frightened by the ferocity of the battle, the villagers continued to stream southward, their possessions on their backs. By week's end Loc Ninh was virtually a ghost town.
To the surprise of U.S. commanders, the Viet Cong stayed around despite their losses. Next night the fighting resumed, in perhaps as weird a contact as either side has made in the war. About 8 p.m. a group of men walked through a U.S. company's command post, one of them with a flashlight in his hand. "Douse that light," snarled a U.S. sergeant major, at the same time noticing that the offender was wearing black pajamas and carrying a Chinese AK-47 gun. But the group kept right on walking, and it was several startled seconds before everybody started firing. Four of the Viet Cong were captured, one by a young lieutenant who hit him with a football body block and a right to the jaw. Later that same night, the Viet Cong massed among the trees for another attack across the runway but were driven off by U.S. jets. Still another large force of Viet Cong tried to overrun a U.S. battalion positioned west of Loc Ninh; they were forced back in bloody combat, suffering 200 dead.
By the fifth day of the battle for Loc Ninh, the enemy had lost more than 900 men in their frantic, futile efforts to seize it. Allied losses were fewer than 50 dead.
The following was submitted by Alan Benoit. BB

Part of the report by 5th Special Forces on Loc Ninh in Oct-Nov 1967.

They don't mention Units but only 1st Inf Div Units. Does mention Units Airlifted in which was the ACAVs from C troop. The Tanks had to use the road to get there.

There were additional contingency plans: camp defense plans and camp alert plans. Effective communications were maintained throughout the attack on Loc Ninh. Internal communication was excellent, as was external communication to higher headquarters. Even after the discovery that the outside antennas had been destroyed in the attack on Loc Ninh, communication was immediately regained by switching to the underground emergency antennas.

All requests to higher headquarters were met promptly. The flare ships and Spooky were on the scene of battle within twenty-five minutes after their summons and they remained on the scene as long as they were needed. Forward air controllers, air and artillery support were outstanding. No requests for reinforcements were made to higher headquarters, but as the fight developed over the next several days, Vietnam Army units and the 1st Brigade of the 1st U.S. Infantry Division were airlifted into Loc Ninh. Logistical support was superb. Requests to higher headquarters for supplies and equipment were handled with immediate dispatch. Medical evacuation was swift once daylight came and the fighting abated. All reports were submitted to higher headquarters according to the standing operating procedure, and all deserving individuals were recommended for awards of valor.

Enemy pursuit, aside from the civilian irregular relief column dispatched to the Popular Forces compound, was left to the 1st U.S. Infantry Division in and around Loc Ninh. There were reports that the enemy was fleeing in all directions in a disorganized manner. Initially the enemy withdrew to the west of Loc Ninh, but heavy contact with U.S. and CIDG units diverted the Viet Cong to the north, northeast, and east. A trail survey later revealed that the enemy withdrew in battalion-size or larger units primarily northeast toward the Cambodian border and due east to the Bu Dinh Secret Zone.

A confidence bred of demonstrated ability created in the ranks of Civilian Irregular Defense Group troops a conviction that they could win against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese regulars. With this conviction the transition to the offensive was complete.


Below is a photo of the Air Base at Loc Ninh. C Troop, 1/4th Cav was set up near the air field at the bottom of the photo.


Battle of FSB Rita - 1 Nov 68 - As told by David Seal and Others

This version of the battle assembled by David H. Puckett, Sr. Honorary Sergeant Major of the Regiment

Fire Support Base Rita was positioned at the edge of the rubber plantation about 3.5 miles southwest of An Loc, some 55 miles north of Saigon and 15 miles northeast of Tay Ninh. The Cambodian border lay within four miles, to the northwest of the FSB, forming a salient known from the trace on the map as the "Fishhook." On 18 October the 1st Brigade initiated operations supported from FSB Rita to interdict enemy supplies and reinforcements moving into Vietnam from Cambodia. During the night of 31 October-1 November 1968 an enemy regiment mounted a determined assault on FSB Rita.

In a war covering an entire country and spanning more than ten years, it is inevitable that many battles are merely glossed over by the writers who find themselves charged with preserving history for future generations. If something major didn't take place, little attention was paid to recording details. It is possible that hundreds of battles could even be forgotten, and a true picture of actual battles and events would never be possible. When after action reports submitted by all elements involved in a battle tell a different story and vary in details as to what really happened, history is left with a dark hole, an unfinished chapter. If we are lucky - and haven't foolishly wasted too much time - the source we turn to in such cases are the soldiers who were at the battle. For as we all know, in a soldier's mind, no battle is insignificant when it involves themselves, their unit and their men. Time seems to have stood still whenever such events are recalled.

The battle at FSB Rita is but one example. Take a look at only a few published "official" examples. First, a Stars and Stripes report of the battle:


A North Vietnamese battalion, firing deadly shoulder-aimed rockets, tried to overrun a 1st U.S. Infantry Div. fire support base 50 miles above Saigon early Friday morning. "All the NVA we could see moving outside the perimeter had rocket launchers," said 1st Lt. Gregory King, commander of Charlie Company, 1st Bn., 26th Inf. only a very few had rifles.

Red infantrymen have frequently used the Russian-made RPG launcher, which can penetrate 11 1/2 inches of steel, in attacks, but seldom so many - the Americans inside fire support base Rita said as many as 1,000 were fired at them.

The fighting lasted until dawn, when the estimated 800 Vietnamese gave up, still outside the base. They left 27 dead. American losses were 12 killed and 56 wounded.

Or, this description in The First Infantry Division in Vietnam 1965-1970 relating to the 1st Battalion, 5th Artillery (105mm):

On 1 November at Fire Support Base 'Rita', Battery B, 1st Battalion, 5th Arty and Battery C, 8th Battalion, 6th Artillery repulsed an assault by an estimated NVA Regiment. The devastating direct artillery fires prevented Fire Support Base "Rita" from being overrun.... Over 100 enemy casualties were inflicted.

Or, this account from the same book concerning the 8th Battalion, 6th Artillery (115mm SP):

In November 1968, Battery C, operating with the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry at support base 'Rita', came under intense hostile rocket and mortar as well as a fierce ground assault by an estimated NVA/VC sapper battalion. The enemy penetrated the northwest side of the perimeter, but was ultimately evicted in a two hours battle...

And last from the same source, but not least, this report on Bluespaders in the action:

At 0300 hours, on November 1st, [1968] the NVA launched a ground attack against Fire Support Base "RITA", defended by B Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry, and elements of the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry. The battle lasted about four hours, being supported by Tac Air, artillery, and helicopter gunships. After the battle, sweeps produced 27 dead NVA soldiers. All evidence indicated an even larger number of enemy dead were retrieved from the battlefield.

Or, this version of the battle from Vietnam Medal of Honor Heroes by Edward F. Murphy:

...Helicopter gun- ships arrived at daylight. Their massed firepower finally broke the enemy attack. The NVA retreated into the jungle, pulling along their wounded. At least 328 enemy dead were later counted around FSB Rita...

Confused? Let's look at a few facts as related by the men who were there.

First the participants:

Bravo Company, 1st Bn 26th Inf, commanded by 1LT Gregory King Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 4th Cav, commanded by CPT Joseph F. Scates B Battery, 1st Bn 5th Artillery, commanded by LTC Charles Rogers C Battery, 8th Bn 6th Artillery Base Defense Commander, Major Allen Nauman, XO, Blue Spaders

Their foe:

an estimated NVA/VC Regiment/Battalion with sappers

Fire Support Rita had been manned about three months earlier to provide artillery support for ground units in their efforts to block a major infiltration route into War Zone C from Cambodia. The artillery units providing support out of Rita were six 105mm towed howitzers of B Battery, 1st Battalion, 5th Artillery, and six 155mm self-propelled howitzers of C Battery, 8th Battalion, 6th Artillery. From mid-October the FSB had been the target of daily and nightly mortar and rocket attacks. The 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry (Mech) had been providing perimeter defense for the base as well as running local patrols and search and destroy missions.

Gary Hershley, a 26th Infantry Regiment Association member who was assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry during that time, remembers being airlifted into FSB Rita a few days before Halloween to support the 1/16th, who in his words, "...had been taking quite a beating." He remembers their first day at the base being sent on a patrol to recover some of the bodies of the 1/16th that had been lost during a firefight in the surrounding jungle. He relates that his company spent the first few days constructing a perimeter of Dobol bunkers since a perimeter had never been established. Hershley recalls daily rocket and mortar fire, frequent friendly air strikes nearby, and the company's conducting short sweeps in and around the immediate area after each air attack.

As to when the 1/16th Inf left FSB Rita, Hershley states, "I don't know the exact day that the 1/16th pulled out, but they were replaced by the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry [B Troop], and I recall them being ambushed on their way in." A Quarterhorse troop was a formidible force - some twenty armored personnel carriers (ACAV), six tanks, three 4.2 inch mortars, and around 130 troopers. Once inside the perimeter, the ACAV's were strategically positioned around the perimeter to bolster the fire support base defenses.

David Seal was an M-60 machine gunner in the 1st platoon of B Trp, 1/4 Cav also remembers that greeting: "We were ambushed about a quarter mile before we got to Rita. Our platoon leader, Lt. John Walker, told us to keep our heads down and keep moving. We had no one wounded." Seal also recalls that the base was lightly probed and received mortar fire around the clock. Halloween night started out in a typical manner according to Seal: "...a few rounds came in early, but after that everything was pretty quiet. I went on guard at midnight."

It was standard operating procedure in the Quarterhorse that when a troop went on high alert for enemy action, it fired "Mad Minutes" on a random schedule to keep the enemy on their toes - and hopefully, to inflict casualties if they caught the enemy preparing to launch an attack. Immediately after such a blast was also a good time for the enemy to begin their attack as the troopers were busy reloading their weapons. That's exactly what happened: both cavalryman Seal and infantryman Hershley recall that there was a "Mad Minute" at 3:00 a.m.

Gary Hershley remembers an armored personnel carrier from the 1/4 Cav being right next to the bunker on the perimeter he shared with Johnson, a fellow Bluespader. "This was the first position to be hit that morning. The APC [ACAV] took a direct hit from an RPG...I was hit with shrapnel in the upper back/left shoulder area when the explosion occurred. Not knowing what was happening, Johnson and I jumped into our bunker...As I looked out a firing lane, flares lit up the sky, and the enemy were already inside of the wire. There was Johnson and I in a forward bunker and neither of us had a weapon. I reached out and retrieved my shotgun and ammo belt. [Just then] an enemy soldier crawled right in front of my firing lane -- I could have reached out and touched him....I emptied my shotgun into the side of this enemy soldier. Within a short time, his body was dragged away..."

1/4th Cav APC hit at FSB Rita

Nearby David Seal was just as busy, "One of our ACAV's to my left took a direct hit from either a mortar round or an RPG....Flares were popping everywhere and to me it looked like there were hundreds of NVA soldiers right at the wire. My track commander took over on the 50 cal. and I moved back to the 60 cal. A flare went off directly above our position and I saw an NVA soldier hung up in the concertina wire. I fired on him, but my 60 jammed; I yelled to my T.C. [Track Commander] who killed him with the 50."

Thanks to excellent camouflage, Hershley and Johnson's bunker had survived the initial onslaught, but their luck ran out. Hershley recalls, "I could now see NVA running all over the place....shortly thereafter we heard a "thump" as a grenade was thrown into our bunker. Johnson acted very fast and was able to immediately locate it and throw it back out." Due to all the artillery, machine gun, rifle fire and other ordnance, it is still a mystery to Hershley whether it exploded or not.

With the battle still raging, David Seal recalls the cavalrymen being ordered inside their tracks and to "button up" because it was time for the artillery to lower their tubes and fire anti-personnel rounds on and around the ACAV vehicles, and over the infantry bunkers.

Meanwhile, the cannoneers had been waging a two-pronged deadly fight inside the perimeter to protect their howitzers and to provide badly needed support. LTC Charles Rogers, [MG, Retired] the CO of the 1st Bn, 5th Arty was with his B Btry that night at Rita. With only two weeks before he relinquished command and scheduled to take a staff position at MACV, he found his unit in a battle for their lives.

"Captain Dan Settle told me the enemy had broken through the wire and was all over the position", stated LTC Rogers. "All the armored personnel carriers on the west flank had been hit by RPG's. I realized there was nothing there to stop the enemy but my battery."

Racing through the explosions, LTC Rogers discovered most of his crewmen huddled in their bunkers. He ordered them out to their positions. and gave fire commands to the crews. Although wounded three times during his dashes to the gun positions to rally his troops, he was amazed at the enemy behavior.

"I just couldn't understand it", LTC Rogers stated. "As fast as we cut them down, why here comes another row of them." That's when he decided to lower the tubes of the 105s for direct fire into the masses with the "beehive" canister rounds. Even though wounded a fourth time, Rogers continued barking orders to those around him for direct-fire, and at the same time called in air strikes to within 100 yards of the fire-base perimeter.

The crews of C Btry, 8th Bn 6th Arty had self-propelled 155 howitzers, but found their large vehicles ripe targets for the enemy RPG rounds. [As a result of this battle that it became policy to protect all tracked vehicles with chain link "RPG fences" to explode the incoming round short of its target.]

Air Force "Spooky" gun and flare ships were overhead throughout the night, providing deadly fires in and around the besieged defenders of FSB Rita. David Seal remembers that the "...NVA tried yet another attack just at daybreak, but it was over in a few minutes. " First light provided the USAF jets an opportunity to make their airstrikes more effective and low flying helicopter gunships were brought into the fray. Seal recalls that as daylight broke "...there were 6 dead NVA right in front of our position and about 25 inside the perimeter area.

Gary Hershley doesn't remember how long the fighting went on, but he does recall the firing ceased around daybreak. "There were bodies scattered throughout the perimeter. I do not recall the number of dead enemy troops within the wire. As we started to recon the interior of the perimeter, three NVA soldiers were spotted hiding behind a frontline bunker. Grenades and rifle fire soon erupted and the three were killed within minutes. I was on the chinook [CH-47 helicopter] that carried some of the wounded and the KIA back to Lai Khe. In all, there were 13 American KIA. I don't know how many of the 13 were 1/26, 1/4 Cav or artillery. We heard reports that the estimated enemy dead numbered several hundred."

Jay Antol was a Blue Spader from A Company who remembers going into FSB Rita that morning. "All of the trenches in the surrounding rubber plantation were filled up with dead bodies and dirt, and feet and arms were sticking out all over the place."

Shortly after daylight on 1 November, 1968, the fight for FSB Rita was over. While official reports list 26 or 27 enemy KIA during the battle, reports from forward air controllers and aerial observers related spotting "hundreds" of bodies of dead enemy soldiers, forming traces leading away from the scene of the battle. As stated earlier, Blue Spader Jay Antol also witnessed numerous casualties buried in hasty graves outside the perimeter.

As David Seal of the 1/4 Cav said, "...it was the scariest Halloween I have ever seen."


Here are a few more photos from this years reunion. Please send any others for sharing to me. thanks, Bill

Jorge Esqualin dancing with his GrandDaughter.

Lucky Linda - They say she went to bed with Elvis that night!

George Shepard, Terry Valentine and Dan Thompson

Ed and Mrs. Novak. It was really great seeing Ed back again after his stroke last year.

Ron and Mrs. Brauer. Ron was a c Trooper and a 1st Timer this year.

Orlando Gallardo and Jorge's GrandDaughter.

This is the Quarter Horse Rug you may have heard about. We auctioned one off at the reunion for $40.00. Contact Alan Benoit on Facebook if you want to obtain one of these. The AD QH sells them.

Always great the see the Millers at our reunions. Kisses and hugs for everybody!

Ole Bill and Ed Novak enjoy a chat.

Terry Emphry and Gregg and Sharon Cashion. Sharon's Father was one of our own and was KIA during the Tet.

Mr. and Mrs. Terry Valentine and daughter with Bob Corbin.

Auction Table and Avery Smith display. Thanks to Bob Corbin and Jim Smith for a great job as auctioneers.

Elke Kamfert and Jerry and Mrs Friday

This is Alan Benoits Motorcycle underneath all those neat stickers. Get him to tell you how he almost had to walk home this year!!

Ole Bill, Jim Capps and Rich Gerrine telling war stories

lst Inf Div Chaplin. He always pays us a visit and we appreciate him and his duty in Vietnam.

Ron Brauer, Charles Brigance and Karl Listl share memories about C Troop, 65-66.

Vice-President Bob Corbin


Burial at Sea
by Lt Col George Goodson, USMC (Ret)

In my 76th year, the events of my life appear to me, from time to time, as a series of vignettes. Some were significant; most were trivial...

War is the seminal event in the life of everyone that has endured it. Though I fought in Korea and the Dominican Republic and was wounded there,Vietnam was my war.

Now 42 years have passed and thankfully, I rarely think of those days in Cambodia, Laos and the panhandle of North Vietnam where small teams of Americans and Montangards fought much larger elements of the North Vietnamese Army. Instead I see vignettes: some exotic, some mundane:

*The smell of Nuc Mam.
*The heat, dust, and humidity.
*The blue exhaust of cycles clogging the streets.
*Elephants moving silently through the tall grass.
*Hard eyes behind the servile smiles of the villagers.
*Standing on a mountain in Laos and hearing a tiger roar.
*A young girl squeezing my hand as my medic delivered her baby.
*The flowing Ao Dais of the young women biking down Tran Hung Dao.
*My two years as Casualty Notification Officer in North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.

It was late 1967. I had just returned after 18 months in Vietnam. Casualties were increasing. I moved my family from Indianapolis to Norfolk, rented a house, enrolled my children in their fifth or sixth new school, and bought a second car.

A week later, I put on my uniform and drove 10 miles to Little Creek, Virginia. I hesitated before entering my new office. Appearance is important to career Marines. I was no longer, if ever, a poster Marine. I had returned from my third tour in Vietnam only 30 days before. At 5'9", I now weighed 128 pounds - 37 pounds below my normal weight. My uniforms fit ludicrously, my skin was yellow from malaria medication, and I think I had a twitch or two.

I straightened my shoulders, walked into the office, looked at the name plate on a Staff Sergeant's desk and said, "Sergeant Jolly, I'm Lieutenant Colonel Goodson. Here are my orders and my Qualification Jacket."

Sergeant Jolly stood, looked carefully at me, took my orders, stuck out his hand; we shook and he asked, "How long were you there, Colonel?" I replied "18 months this time." Jolly breathed, you must be a slow learner Colonel." I smiled.

Jolly said, "Colonel, I'll show you to your office and bring in the Sergeant Major. I said, "No, let's just go straight to his office." Jolly nodded, hesitated, and lowered his voice, "Colonel, the Sergeant Major. He's been in this job two years. He's packed pretty tight. I'm worried about him." I nodded.

Jolly escorted me into the Sergeant Major's office. "Sergeant Major, this is Colonel Goodson, the new Commanding Office. The Sergeant Major stood, extended his hand and said, "Good to see you again, Colonel." I responded, "Hello Walt, how are you?" Jolly looked at me, raised an eyebrow, walked out, and closed the door.

I sat down with the Sergeant Major. We had the obligatory cup of coffee and talked about mutual acquaintances. Walt's stress was palpable. Finally, I said, "Walt, what's the hell's wrong?" He turned his chair, looked out the window and said, "George, you're going to wish you were back in Nam before you leave here. I've been in the Marine Corps since 1939. I was in the Pacific 36 months, Korea for 14 months, and Vietnam for 12 months... Now I come here to bury these kids. I'm putting my letter in. I can't take it anymore." I said, "OK Walt. If that's what you want, I'll endorse your request for retirement and do what I can to push it through Headquarters Marine Corps."

Sergeant Major Walt Xxxxx retired 12 weeks later. He had been a good Marine for 28 years, but he had seen too much death and too much suffering. He was used up.

Over the next 16 months, I made 28 death notifications, conducted 28 military funerals, and made 30 notifications to the families of Marines that were severely wounded or missing in action. Most of the details of those casualty notifications have now, thankfully, faded from memory. Four, however, remain.


My third or fourth day in Norfolk, I was notified of the death of a 19 year old Marine. This notification came by telephone from Headquarters Marine Corps. The information detailed:

*Name, rank, and serial number. *Name, address, and phone number of next of kin.
*Date of and limited details about the Marine's death.
*Approximate date the body would arrive at the Norfolk Naval Air Station.
*A strong recommendation on whether the casket should be opened or closed.

The boy's family lived over the border in North Carolina, about 60 miles away... I drove there in a Marine Corps staff car. Crossing the state line into North Carolina, I stopped at a small country store / service station / Post Office. I went in to ask directions.

Three people were in the store.. A man and woman approached the small Post Office window. The man held a package. The Store owner walked up and addressed them by name, "Hello John. Good morning Mrs. Cooper."

I was stunned. My casualty's next-of-kin's name was John Cooper!

I hesitated, then stepped forward and said, "I beg your pardon. Are you Mr. and Mrs. John Cooper of (address.)

The father looked at me - I was in uniform - and then, shaking, bent at the waist, he vomited. His wife looked horrified at him and then at me. Understanding came into her eyes and she collapsed in slow motion. I think I caught her before she hit the floor.

The owner took a bottle of whiskey out of a drawer and handed it to Mr. Cooper who drank. I answered their questions for a few minutes. Then I drove them home in my staff car. The store owner locked the store and followed in their truck. We stayed an hour or so until the family began arriving.

I returned the store owner to his business. He thanked me and said, "Mister, I wouldn't have your job for a million dollars." I shook his hand and said; "Neither would I."

I vaguely remember the drive back to Norfolk. Violating about five Marine Corps regulations, I drove the staff car straight to my house. I sat with my family while they ate dinner, went into the den, closed the door, and sat there all night, alone.

My Marines steered clear of me for days. I had made my first death notification.


Weeks passed with more notifications and more funerals. I borrowed Marines from the local Marine Corps Reserve and taught them to conduct a military funeral: how to carry a casket, how to fire the volleys and how to fold the flag.

When I presented the flag to the mother, wife, or father, I always said, "All Marines share in your grief." I had been instructed to say, "On behalf of a grateful nation...." I didn't think the nation was grateful, so I didn't say that.

Sometimes, my emotions got the best of me and I couldn't speak. When that happened, I just handed them the flag and touched a shoulder. They would look at me and nod. Once a mother said to me, "I'm so sorry you have this terrible job." My eyes filled with tears and I leaned over and kissed her.


Six weeks after my first notification, I had another. This was a young PFC. I drove to his mother's house. As always, I was in uniform and driving a Marine Corps staff car. I parked in front of the house, took a deep breath, and walked towards the house. Suddenly the door flew open, a middle-aged woman rushed out. She looked at me and ran across the yard, screaming "NO! NO! NO! NO!"

I hesitated. Neighbors came out. I ran to her, grabbed her, and whispered stupid things to reassure her. She collapsed. I picked her up and carried her into the house.. Eight or nine neighbors followed. Ten or fifteen later, the father came in followed by ambulance personnel. I have no recollection of leaving.

The funeral took place about two weeks later. We went through the drill. The mother never looked at me. The father looked at me once and shook his head sadly.


One morning, as I walked in the office, the phone was ringing. Sergeant Jolly held the phone up and said, "You've got another one, Colonel." I nodded, walked into my office, picked up the phone, took notes, thanked the officer making the call, I have no idea why, and hung up. Jolly, who had listened, came in with a special Telephone Directory that translates telephone numbers into the person's address and place of employment.

The father of this casualty was alongshore man. He lived a mile from my office. I called the Longshoreman's Union Office and asked for the Business Manager. He answered the phone, I told him who I was, and asked for the father's schedule.

The Business Manager asked, "Is it his son?" I said nothing. After a moment, he said, in a low voice, "Tom is at home today." I said, "Don't call him. I'll take care of that." The Business Manager said, "Aye, Aye Sir," and then explained, "Tom and I were Marines in WWII."

I got in my staff car and drove to the house. I was in uniform. I knocked and a woman in her early forties answered the door. I saw instantly that she was clueless. I asked, "Is Mr. Smith home?" She smiled pleasantly and responded, "Yes, but he's eating breakfast now. Can you come back later?" I said, "I'm sorry. It's important. I need to see him now."

She nodded, stepped back into the beach house and said, "Tom, it's for you."

A moment later, a ruddy man in his late forties, appeared at the door. He looked at me, turned absolutely pale, steadied himself, and said, "Jesus Christ man, he's only been there three weeks!"

Months passed. More notifications and more funerals. Then one day while I was running, Sergeant Jolly stepped outside the building and gave a loud whistle, two fingers in his mouth... I never could do that? and held an imaginary phone to his ear.

Another call from Headquarters Marine Corps. I took notes, said, "Got it." and hung up. I had stopped saying "Thank You" long ago.

Jolly, "Where?"

Me, "Eastern Shore of Maryland. The father is a retired Chief Petty Officer. His brother will accompany the body back from Vietnam..."

Jolly shook his head slowly, straightened, and then said, "This time of day, it'll take three hours to get there and back. I'll call the Naval Air Station and borrow a helicopter. And I'll have Captain Tolliver get one of his men to meet you and drive you to the Chief's home."

He did, and 40 minutes later, I was knocking on the father's door. He opened the door, looked at me, then looked at the Marine standing at parade rest beside the car, and asked, "Which one of my boys was it, Colonel?"

I stayed a couple of hours, gave him all the information, my office and home phone number and told him to call me, anytime.

He called me that evening about 2300 (11:00PM). "I've gone through my boy's papers and found his will. He asked to be buried at sea. Can you make that happen?" I said, "Yes I can, Chief. I can and I will."

My wife who had been listening said, "Can you do that?" I told her, "I have no idea. But I'm going to break my ass trying."

I called Lieutenant General Alpha Bowser, Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, at home about 2330, explained the situation, and asked, "General, can you get me a quick appointment with the Admiral at Atlantic Fleet Headquarters?" General Bowser said,"George, you be there tomorrow at 0900. He will see you.

I was and the Admiral did. He said coldly, "How can the Navy help the Marine Corps, Colonel." I told him the story. He turned to his Chief of Staff and said, "Which is the sharpest destroyer in port?" The Chief of Staff responded with a name.

The Admiral called the ship, "Captain, you're going to do a burial at sea. You'll report to a Marine Lieutenant Colonel Goodson until this mission is completed..."

He hung up, looked at me, and said, "The next time you need a ship, Colonel, call me. You don't have to sic Al Bowser on my ass." I responded, "Aye Aye, Sir" and got the h-ll out of his office.

I went to the ship and met with the Captain, Executive Officer, and the Senior Chief. Sergeant Jolly and I trained the ship's crew for four days. Then Jolly raised a question none of us had thought of. He said, "These government caskets are air tight. How do we keep it from floating?"

All the high priced help including me sat there looking dumb. Then the Senior Chief stood and said, "Come on Jolly. I know a bar where the retired guys from World War II hang out."

They returned a couple of hours later, slightly the worst for wear, and said, "It's simple; we cut four 12" holes in the outer shell of the casket on each side and insert 300 lbs of lead in the foot end of the casket. We can handle that, no sweat."

The day arrived. The ship and the sailors looked razor sharp. General Bowser, the Admiral, a US Senator, and a Navy Band were on board. The sealed casket was brought aboard and taken below for modification. The ship got underway to the 12-fathom depth.

The sun was hot. The ocean flat. The casket was brought aft and placed on a catafalque. The Chaplin spoke. The volleys were fired. The flag was removed, folded, and I gave it to the father. The band played "Eternal Father Strong to Save." The casket was raised slightly at the head and it slid into the sea.

The heavy casket plunged straight down about six feet. The incoming water collided with the air pockets in the outer shell. The casket stopped abruptly, rose straight out of the water about three feet, stopped, and slowly slipped back into the sea. The air bubbles rising from the sinking casket sparkled in the in the sunlight as the casket disappeared from sight forever....

The next morning I called a personal friend, Lieutenant General Oscar Peatross, at Headquarters Marine Corps and said, "General, get me out of here. I can't take this anymore." I was transferred two weeks later.

I was a good Marine but, after 17 years, I had seen too much death and too much suffering. I was used up.

Vacating the house, my family and I drove to the office in a two-car convoy. I said my goodbyes. Sergeant Jolly walked out with me. He waved at my family, looked at me with tears in his eyes, came to attention, saluted, and said, "Well Done, Colonel. Well Done."

I felt as if I had received the Medal of Honor!


Pete Morones and family have lost a son and could use our prayers. Please add them to your prayer list. If you would like to contact Pete please call or e-mail me for their number.



TROOPER WITH CANCER - Please add him to your prayer lists.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for this information very interesting….…My husband is currently serving in the US ARMY -National Guard he joined in 1982 and has worked as a Civilian for over 20 years for the Guard…he served in Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan Wars…..so I know how much this information will mean to my Uncle and His family….Thank you so much.
My Uncles name is Charles L. Cleary – Specialist Four - E4 – 4th Calvary….
He is very sick with cancer but is holding his own right now…
Thanks and have a great day, Daughter -Jodi Padgett


Below is a copy of the minutes from this years reunion. Thanks to Secretary Joe Dabney for keeping us informed. Let's get ready for next years reunion at Jacksonville, FL. BB

August 3, 2012 Memphis, TN

Meeting was called to order at 5:10 PM by Vice President Bob Corbin.
Twenty-five (25) members were present. There were also approximately 16 spouses/guest.
Board Members not present: President John Conley who is recovering from an injury.
Board Members present: Vice President Bob Corbin, Secretary Joe Dabney and Treasurer Bill Baty.
Notice of this annual meeting was posted on the Association web site July 22, 2012.
Joe Dabney gave the opening prayer followed by an around the room introduction of all members present. Once again, Elke Kampfert, widow of Trooper Bill Kampfert, was recognized for her faithful attendance at our annual reunions.
Due to rules of the reunion venue we were not allowed to serve our traditional pizza nor were we allowed to have drinks purchased by the Association in the CP.
After giving an Invocation Bill Baty read the names of all the troopers of the 4th Cavalry units or 1st Infantry Armor units who had died the previous year or who the Association learned had previously passed away. There were five (5) post-Vietnam deaths and nine (9) Active Duty deaths. A Memorialization was read by Bob Corbin, followed by a toast to our fallen comrades.
The group was then led in the Fourth Cavalry song by President John Conley via phone.
The minutes of the 2011 meeting in Buffalo, NY were approved as published in the Association newsletter. Bill Baty presented the treasurer’s report which was also approved. There were no committee reports.
Old Business: The subject of our Association joining with other regiments or squadrons was brought up by Bill Baty. He pointed out that we are getting older and it is becoming more difficult to keep our Association afloat. This prompted a lively period of discussion and finally a motion was made for the Association leadership to explore such a merger by contacting other units. A motion was made and seconded and on the vote one person was opposed.
New Business: A motion was made and approved by unanimous vote to keep the current slate of officers. All members were encouraged to continue trying to locate old members of the unit. A request was also made for a volunteer to monitor current BRO cavalry members. It was found that Alan Benoit is essentially doing this through a Facebook page. Therefore he volunteered to keep doing what he was already doing.
Awards and Decorations: Dan Thompson was recognized for his untiring efforts to contact our fellow troopers.
Open Discussion: Tom Witter pointed out that we need to make all the membership aware to bring items for our fund raising auction/raffle. The fact that many of us are now on fixed incomes, which impacts our ability to attend the reunion was brought up. Then the subject of joining our Association with other units came up again with more lively discussion, but as typical when everyone is talking at once nothing was accomplished. The question of Association finances was brought up. It was pointed out that many members are life members and therefore no longer pay dues, negatively impacting our treasury. It was recommended that the life membership be eliminated but no action was taken in this regard.
A motion was made and approved to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 6:30 PM
Some other items of note: We had seven new Troopers in attendance for the first time. It appeared that all had a very good time.
Those in attendance this year were most generous with a total of $4,177 collected and another $2000 pledged with the check in the mail. This makes a total of $6,177 of which $410 were dues; the remainder being donations. This gets our Association even closer to having our own reunion, independent of the BRO.

Respectfully Submitted:
Joseph M. Dabney


Center Explores Combat Rations to Optimize Warfighter Capability
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

NATICK, Mass., Sept. 27, 2012 - Is your body feeling run down from all those dismounted patrols? Take a bite of lemon poppy seed cake in your combat rations and feel the Omega 3 fatty acids baked into it ease that inflammation.
Having trouble staying focused, or feeling generally low? Try a serving of salmon in alfredo sauce, a combat ration under development that's bursting with Omega 3s shown in tests to elevate one's mood and improve cognitive function.
Starting to hit the wall, but unable to hit the sack or pause for a cup of Joe? Munch on a caffeinated meat stick in your Frist Strike Ration and get the quick energy charge you need to get through the mission at hand.
Food scientists at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center here are exploring ways to enhance service members' warfighting capability through combat rations.
Caffeine, for example, is known to increase the ability to think clearly when fatigued or under stress. So in addition to coming up with a caffeine-infused meat stick, Natick food scientists are looking at other ways to deliver caffeine, possibly through a bar, gum or candy product, Jeremy Whitsitt, technology integration analyst for the center's Department of Defense combat feeding directorate, told American Forces Press Service.
They're also exploring innovative ways to boost physical and cognitive performance by lacing foods with naturally occurring compounds such as curcumin and Omega 3s, he said.
Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory supplement, and Omega 3s found in fish oils promote a broad range of functions, including reducing cholesterol and heart disease. New research also suggests they play a role in preventing traumatic brain injury -- an obvious concern on the battlefield, Whitsitt reported.
Natick food scientists started exploring dietary additives more than a decade ago to enhance what warfighters could do -- how far and fast they could move and how much they could carry, for example.
But the focus has shifted to preserving warfighter capability, explained Danielle Anderson, a food technologist on the Performance Optimization Research Team. "Now, we're looking at them to see if there's a way to enhance their immune systems, stop them from getting sick and stop the decrement that happens" during demanding combat missions, she said.
Ann Barrett, a senior food engineer, said the effort crosses several lines. "A lot of what we do is focused on load injuries, muscle strain and pain, because soldiers have to carry very, very heavy loads," she said.
So as an alternative to popping excessive oral anti-inflammatories that can irritate the stomach or cause other gastrointestinal distress, she and her team are looking into ways to introduce natural ingredients that deliver the same benefits into combat rations.
And recognizing the health consequences of dirty environments in which warfighters often operate, they're experimenting with prebiotics -- ingredients found in yogurt and other food items -- that stimulate "good" bacteria in the digestive system.
Fortifying combat rations with these ingredients isn't as simple as one might think. Omega 3s, for example, are less stable than many other oils. They tend to get rancid and develop a "fishy" odor and flavor over time.
That can be a problem when they're incorporated into combat rations that have to stand up to stringent shelf-life and temperature requirements. Meals, Ready to Eat, individual combat rations, must be able to maintain their quality for three years if stored at 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or six months when exposed to more extreme temperatures.
As food engineers here develop prototype rations with fortified products, they subject them to some pretty intensive rigors. "We produce the food and store it for six months at high-heat conditions," said Anderson, comparable to what they'd be exposed to during a three-year shelf life.
The next step is to assess how much of the Omega 3 oils get absorbed into the body. Barrett is writing the protocols to conduct human feeding studies, with hopes of completing them within the next few months. Once they get the required official approvals, she hopes to begin testing within the year.
The test subjects -- soldiers who pull 89-day duty tours at the Natick center serving as human research volunteers -- will eat the food, then have their blood drawn at various time intervals to measure Omega 3 levels in their blood, Anderson explained.
"Hopefully, what they will get from the stored food will be the same as [if they had eaten] the fresh food or taken capsules," Barrett said. "That's what we'd really like to see."
Meanwhile, the Optimization Research Team is investigating other ways to enhance warfighter capability.
One project evaluated the use of condensed tannins found in fruits and beans to determine the health benefits. Another under way now involves phytochemicals -- compounds in cranberries and other fruits and vegetables -- to determine what happens to them during the digestion, and ultimately, how they help the process.
"We're trying to find out the mechanisms behind what is going on when you eat food and it is introduced into your body, and how it turns into something useful," Anderson said.
She emphasized, however, that the bottom line for all the research is to support the missions warfighters conduct -- not to create "super-warfighters."
"The warfighter is not the same as a trained athlete doing the Tour de France," she said. "We have to demonstrate that the product will be effective in a military-relevant setting. Everything we do here has military relevance."


Natick Center Strives to Improve Combat Ration Quality, Taste
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2012 - The Meal, Ready to Eat could go the way of the World War II-era C-ration and spinoffs of it that the MRE replaced almost 30 years ago.
Soldiers at Fort Carson, Colo., meet with Jeannette Kennedy, left, and Wendy Johnson, right, from the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center at Natick, Mass., to provide their input about items in combat rations and to try out new prototype menu items. U.S. Army photo by David Kamm
Jeannette Kennedy and her team at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center here relentlessly pursue the tastier, more universally acceptable MRE. But all the while, she said, they're looking beyond the horizon to consider what's next. "We are going to be looking at the whole concept of the MRE, and whether that is going to meet future needs," Kennedy, senior food technologist for the MRE improvement program, told American Forces Press Service.
The current MRE menu offers 24 menu choices, four of them vegetarian. A typical MRE ration includes an entrée, bread or cracker item, peanut butter or cheese spread, snack or dessert item and goodies such as hot sauce, beverage mixes and chewing gum.
"We are going back and evaluating whether that is the way [troops] are going to want to be feeding in the future," Kennedy said. "Is that what they want in a meal? Is that how they are going to be eating? So we are going back and looking at the whole concept."
That forward focus is part of a continuous product improvement program at the Defense Department's Combat Feeding Directorate, said Michael Stepien, the directorate's program marketing analyst. It's an ongoing quest to raise the bar for combat rations in terms of both selection and quality.
"It's all about making [combat rations] as universally acceptable as possible," Stepien said. "The bottom line is, you can develop a great product, but if [service members] aren't eating it, they are not getting the nutrition they need."
The MRE has morphed considerably since its initial introduction in 1983, with new selections inspired by changing troop palates and technological breakthroughs. Meanwhile, the changing operating environment led to the introduction of the Unitized Group Ration and the First Strike Ration for conventional forces conducting dismounted patrols over extended periods.
Regardless of the type of combat ration, their developers are committed to ensuring they're delivering the best product possible, Stepien said. To be certain they're getting it right, they go to the experts: the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines they're striving to please.
Every year, a team of product developers, food scientists, nutritionists and consumer researchers travel to field training exercises to hear firsthand what troops think of current combat rations referred to as the "control group" and some of the most promising prototype entrees. They visited two sites this year, two in 2011, five in 2010, three in 2009, and four in 2008.
During a recent visit to Fort Stewart, Ga., the evaluation team dished up new and prototype MRE rations and collected feedback from troops who rated them on a scale of 1 to 9 based on flavor, texture, odor, color and other characteristics. Another team recently visited Fort Sill, Okla., to get similar reviews of Unified Group Ration menus.
"We're looking to gather data from all sorts of different active military populations, geographically and by service, to make sure we are getting feedback and improving based on information from a wide variety," Kennedy said.
Based on that input, the developers make recommendations to the Joint Service Operational Ration Forum, which meets annually to approve additions and deletions from the combat ration menus.
As a result, several new selections will be added to the MRE menu next year: a jalapeno pepper-jack beef patty served with white wheat snack bread, ketchup and yellow mustard; beef taco filling; an oatmeal chocolate chunk cookie; chocolate-filled pound cake; barbecue-flavored almonds; fruit-flavored hard candy; dairy shakes and lemon iced tea.
Gone will be items that troops assigned lower ratings: beef pot roast with vegetables, sloppy joe filling and cornbread stuffing.
In 2014, production will start on the barbecued shredded beef and vegetarian taco pasta entrees, replacing chicken fajitas and vegetable lasagna. Seasoned black beans will replace refried beans. Potato cheddar soup will be dropped as barbecued corn nuts, pretzel nibblers, toaster pastries, chocolate fudge and a chipotle tortilla are introduced.
Meanwhile, the Natick team continues to explore new MRE menu options. Kennedy called a tomato-based pizza sauce with pepperoni, mushroom and green-pepper pieces, to be paired with Italian bread sticks, a cheese spread, garlic powder and red-pepper flakes, particularly promising.
Unified Group Rations will get fresh tastes, too. Thai chicken curry, meatballs and pasta and southwest chicken chili are to be added as new entrees during the next two years. They'll replace chicken stir fry, golden barbecue turkey riblets and chicken tamales.
Meg-Emlyn Aylward, a food technologist who manages the unitized group ration improvement program, and her team continue to seek out new breakfast items as they improve on existing ones. "We want to make sure that we're appealing to a large population," she said.
The popular First Strike Rations will expand from three to nine menu offerings, to include the new Mexican-style beef wrap with cheese and honey barbecue chicken pocket sandwich.
The expansion is the first since the First Strike Ration's debut in 2008, based on popular demand. "The First Strike Ration gets extremely high rating[s] from warfighters," said Stepien.
"Warfighters love it," he said. "They love the fact that it is lightweight. They love the fact that it has less volume than the MREs. They love the fact that it is easy to eat on the move, out of hand, with no preparation required."
The new First Strike menus will include 40 new components, including some of the most popular items in the MRE, said Julie Smith, a senior food technologist who oversees product improvement for the assault and survival rations.
She's already laying plans to use those nine menus as controls while conducting field tests next spring to solicit opinions on four new prototype menus. Among those selections will be a maple sausage wrap that could serve as a breakfast, lunch or dinner food.
"The idea is to continuously improve," Smith said. "We want everything to have high scores, but to ensure that, we need to gather that data to make sure the items are still doing well, and that the warfighter still finds those items acceptable."
Warfighter satisfaction is the goal behind everything the DOD Combat Feeding Directorate does, Smith said. "That's what really drives it for us, to provide them the very best."


XM25 'Punisher' Finds Home in Infantry Squads
Sep 21, 2012
Military.com| by Matthew Cox

FORT BENNING, Ga. -- The Army’s shoulder-fired 25mm airburst weapon that many soldiers call “the Punisher” is slowly winning the approval of the infantry after a decade of scrutiny.
The boxy, futuristic-looking XM25 Counter-Defilade Target Engagement System recently completed a 14-month battlefield assessment and is on its way to earning a permanent position in the infantry squad beginning in 2014, Army weapons officials said.
XM25 is an offshoot of the Objective Individual Combat Weapon program the Army began in the mid-1990s to increase the effectiveness of soldier firepower.
The weapon features a target acquisition system that calculates the range to a target with a push of a button and transfers the data to the electronic fuse built into the 25mm round. When fired, the projectile is designed to explode directly above targets out to 600 meters, peppering enemy fighters with shrapnel.
The XM25 has created a lot of excitement in the infantry community, but it has also attracted its share of criticism from door-kickers that the five-shot, 14-pound weapon system is more of a burden than a benefit to combat units.
In March, elements of 75th Ranger Regiment refused to take XM25 with them for a raid on a fortified enemy compound in Afghanistan, sources familiar with the incident said.
After an initial assessment, Ranger units found the XM25 too heavy and cumbersome for the battlefield. They also were concerned that the limited basic load of 25mm rounds was not enough to justify taking an M4A1 carbine out of the mission, sources say.Command Sgt. Maj. James Carabello, the CSM for the Maneuver Center of Excellence here at Benning, doesn’t share this opinion.
Carabello, who has served in units such as the 75th Ranger Regiment and the 82nd Airborne and 10th Mountain divisions, called the XM25 “a game-changer.” During a deployment to Afghanistan in 2011, Carabello’s soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain, used XM25s against enemy fighters on several occasions, Carabello said during a Sept. 20 round-table discussion with defense reporters at the 2012 Maneuver Conference.
In southern Afghanistan, the terrain is covered by low, dirt walls that Afghans use to grow grapes.
“They are about three-to-four feet in height, usually separated by about five-to-six feet,” Carabello said. “The enemy did use that to their advantage, where they could hide and engage our soldiers.”
These walls were often two-to-four feet thick, so it made it difficult for M4s, M249 squad automatic weapons and M240 machine guns to penetrate them, Carabello said.
“Well I’ll tell you that the XM25, when employed, was a game-changer,” Carabello said. “We absolutely defeated any enemy force that we deployed the XM25 against. … It’s a devastating weapon system and it absolutely changes the face of battle when we were in direct-fire contact with enemy forces.”
The XM25 grew out of its predecessor, the XM29 -- an over-and-under system with a 5.56mm carbine on the bottom and the 20mm airburst weapon on top. It stalled in the face of technical challenges that made the 18-pound weapon too heavy and bulky. The program ended up costing about $100 million.
The current XM25 recently wrapped a 14-month battlefield assessment in Afghanistan. Weapons officials used soldier feedback from the assessment to incorporate “more than 100 improvements” to the ergonomics and reliability of the weapon, said Col. Scott Armstrong, who runs Project Manager Soldier Weapons.
Weapons officials have accelerated the production of 36 of these newer XM25s for a second battlefield assessment scheduled to begin in January, Armstrong said.
The goal is to have senior leaders approve “a production decision next fall and, a year later, begin fielding the system in the fall of 2014,” Armstrong said.
This new addition to infantry squad could cost close to $25,000 each, but weapons officials argue that XM25 is worth it.
“This brings an entirely new capability to the soldier for the counter-defilade fight; to be able to get the enemy soldiers that are behind walls, behind trees or in buildings,” Armstrong said


Please take the time to read this item sent in by Gary Chenett! BB.

Welcome Home and God Bless you all:
From The Order of The Silver Rose:
I am writing because I need your help for a final donation.

The amount of the donation you offer does not matter any amount will help let me explain the details of This Mission.
I am hoping that one last time we can pull together.

I was told that I just beat this my Fourth Cancer, I was diagnosed a year ago last April with Terminal Stage 3c lung cancer,
My second terminal Lung cancer since 1993.
(the others were Terminal brain cancer in 1986, Terminal Lung removal of my left lung in 1992 and Prostate cancer in 2008,
On top of the 100% comp I am receiving for the cancers and other sicknesses and war wounds. I receive also 100% for severe PTSD
combat illness due to my service in The Nam 1967/68.

Bottom line is I am getting my 100% total but we all know the importance of yearly full physicals with Cat Scans that with it
and the grace of God is the only reason I have survived I believe.
This as I have harped on all of you could save your life also.
See it works lol But sure scared the hell outta me again.

This last lung cancer really hit me hard. ( I had one lung removed so this one had to be treated in my body or the party was
over. and after over 18 months I am finally starting to regain my health.
This second lung cancer which required over 40 Radiation Treatments and 6 Chemo's and above all God's Blessing to kill the
cancers was not a cake walk........

This is why I write it's not about me! It's about THEM Again!

I live near Flint, MIch and in Grand Blanc Township Mich population about 35,000.(that's about 60 miles North of Detroit)
Can you believe that this City does not have or never has had a Veterans Memorial, or any Veterans Parades or Memorials even
though we have three Veterans Posts in this town that are built on the precept that all donations collected go to selling cheap
beer, to anyone who enters their clubs.
They allow anyone to enter as long as you have the jingle in your pocket to pay for booze.
Thus there went any hope of a Veterans Memorial...................years ago.
It's time to change that and that's why I come to you today

The City was gifted $275,000.00 Four years ago money for a Veterans Memorial but somehow it got lost. (In a Politico's pocket)
So the chance of a Memorial hit the ditch again.

My Proposal for your consideration!
I need donations small large anything to help me build a Agent Orange Memorial just like the 14 we have all over America now.
I am in the process of building this Memorial now most using my personal funds.
I have spent to date my personal funds to erect a 20 foot double flagpole in my yard which is on a corner lot.....that cost
over $550.00. with the 5 Flags I fly from it. It's easily accessible to anyone........
I also have purchased two figurines of Veterans that are each 2 feet tall each holding a American Flag and saluting the large
20 Flag pole that is lit 24/7 with Solar lights. and the entire Memorial will be lit up by these lights.

My wife Eileen and I have built a garden around this Memorial along with 2 more Memorials Honoring Veterans that my best friend
purchased for us.
(I will be happy to send anyone a picture that's interested and anyone making a donation to the following
Memorial will be guaranteed they will receive a Photograph when I have this completed.)

We now just lack our standard 3 by 4 ft Memorial Plaque that will say basically this Memorial is in Memory of All Veterans who
have died of AO related cancers and sicknesses since the war.

It will be built of heavy Oak with a Redwood Plaque 3 ft by 4 ft piece of wood inlaid into it with the words on it written and
engraved in white lettering.

The wood will be all treated and is guaranteed to last for several decades.
It's Gorgeous, You will be very proud when I send you the pictures of it and the Memorial when we have it completed within the
next 4 to 6 weeks.

There will also be a sign placed on my property that will say Welcome to all that want to offer Honors to these Fallen Heroes.
With a Memorial Wreath Year Round on display year round as the Flags will be
We are going to encourage people to visit the Memorial at all times hopefully leaving flowers and memoirs..........Especially
during Veterans Holidays, contrary to what this Town does and ignores these Heroes.

I need your donations, The most this will cost is totally is only $500.00 or so.....So we are not talking the thousands that we
spent on other Memorials.

The next lowest quote I received was $1,100.00 and that was a rip off.
We don't need to spend that much money as a group, Eileen and I have invested almost a $1,000.00 but the latest cancer bills
took my extra money away. ( I used Medicare and not the butchers at the VA. The investment I believe saved my life by staying
away from the VA)

We only need to spend this small amount of money.
Unfortunately without your help I will not be able to complete this. Please consider offering whatever you can afford.

All of my four cancer treatments have almost diminished my life savings and I have put all I can into this Memorial, this is
why I ask for your support.......

Now I need your Donations to finish up The Silver Rose Mission in my home town that we started in 1997.
Can I depend on your help????
I need it very badly..........No amount is to small.
Please for the first time I have come to all of you asking for your donations to Honor Michigan Veterans.
You can mail them. Making all checks payable to:

Gary J. Chenett
9168 Ann Maria Blvd.
Grand Blanc, Michigan 48439

Thanks for your time and hopefully considerations helping me complete the Mission we all started almost
25 years ago. Remember because of your hard work over these past years we were able to raise almost $300,000.00 and bring
Honors and Memories to over 6,000 Vietnam Veterans or their families for the ultimate sacrifices these Heroes made for our
We can do this......Together.............again before it comes my time to leave.
This Agent Orange Memorial and Legacy needs to be left in this City!!


Here's some interesting news sent in by John Termini. BB.

So-called 'default' is being committed by Congress, not USPS

Dear Joseph,
The word “default” sounds ominous, but Wednesday’s failure by the Postal Service to make a $5.5 billion payment toward pre-funding future postal retiree health benefits—a so-called “default”—is really a default on the part of Congress. It is this unique burden that the USPS is “defaulting on”—while in fact Congress has defaulted on its responsibilities by not addressing the mess it created. How big of a mess is it? According to USPS financial reports, pre-funding accounts for 85 percent of all of the Postal Service’s red ink since 2007, 94 percent of this year’s.
Rather than fixing this problem it created, Congress wants to degrade the world’s most affordable delivery network by reducing services to the American people and to America’s businesses, which will only worsen the financial problems by driving our customers away and reducing revenue.
Besides bringing the Postal Service to the financial precipice, pre-funding also has prevented the agency from doing what it has done for 200 years: adapt to an evolving society. Instead, this artificial political crisis has focused all of management’s energy on a desperate attempt to pay bills that no one else has to pay.
If Congress would remove the sense of panic, the USPS could develop a forward-looking plan to address the structural challenges—and opportunities—that we acknowledge exist. For example, while first-class mail is declining, the e-commerce market is exploding. The USPS chief financial officer announced earlier this year that the agency’s $200 million operational profit for that fiscal quarter was attributable to a sharp rise in delivering Internet-ordered packages. Much more could be done to tap that market.
The ultimate irony about tomorrow’s so-called “default” is that the Postal Service already has $45 billion set aside for future retiree health benefits—more than any other organization in America. And yet, Congress wants to drain still more from the USPS. It even seems that some in Congress would rather cut key services to Americans than give the Postal Service a real chance to thrive in the 21st century.
So make no mistake: When you read about this so-called “default” on pre-funding future retiree health benefits, the default isn’t being committed by the Postal Service, but by Congress.

Fredric V. Rolando, President
National Association of Letter Carriers


Howard Greenfield says we need this "Granny" in the USA! BB.

Gun-toting granny Ava Estelle, 81, was so ticked-off when two thugs raped her 18-year-old granddaughter that she tracked the unsuspecting ex-cons down... And shot off their testicles.
"The old lady spent a week hunting those men down and, when she found them, she took revenge on them in her own special way," said Melbourne police investigator Evan Delp.
Then she took a taxi to the nearest police station, laid the gun on the sergeant's desk and told him as calm as could be: "Those bastards will never rape anybody again, by God."
Cops say convicted rapist and robber Davis Furth, 33, lost both his penis and his testicles when outraged Ava opened fire with a 9-mm pistol in the hotel room where he and former prison cell mate Stanley Thomas, 29, were holed up.
The wrinkled avenger also blew Thomas' testicles to kingdom come, but doctors managed to save his mangled penis, police said. "The one guy, Thomas, didn't lose his manhood, but the doctor I talked to said he won't be using it the way he used to," Detective Delp told reporters. "Both men are still in pretty bad shape, but I think they're just happy to be alive after what they've been through." The Rambo Granny swung into action August 21 after her granddaughter Debbie was carjacked and raped in broad daylight by two knife-wielding creeps in a section of town bordering on skid row.
"When I saw the look on my Debbie's face that night in the hospital, I decided I was going to go out and get those bastards myself 'cause I figured the Law would go easy on them,"' recalled the retired library worker.
"And I wasn't scared of them, either - because I've got me a gun and I've been shootin' all my life. And I wasn't dumb enough to turn it in when the law changed about owning one." So, using a police artist's sketch of the suspects and Debbie's description of the sickos, tough-as-nails Ava spent seven days prowling the wino-infested neighborhood where the crime took place till she spotted the ill-fated rapists entering their flophouse hotel.
"I knew it was them the minute I saw 'em, but I shot a picture of 'em anyway and took it back to Debbie and she said sure as hell, it was them," the oldster recalled...
"So I went back to that hotel and found their room and knocked on the door, and the minute the big one opened the door, I shot 'em right square between the legs, right where it would really hurt 'em most, you know. Then I went in and shot the other one as he backed up pleading to me to spare him.
Then I went down to the police station and turned myself in."
Now, baffled lawmen are trying to figure out exactly how to deal with the vigilante granny. "What she did was wrong, and she broke the law, but it is difficult to throw an 81-year-old woman in prison," Det. Delp said, "especially when 3 million people in the city want to nominate her for Mayor."


Osprey Cleared to Fly in Japan, Improving Alliance Capabilities
By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

BEIJING, Sept. 19, 2012 - The V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft is now approved to fly in Japan, Press Secretary George Little said in a statement here today.
Little, traveling with Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta in Asia this week, said today the secretary is pleased that an agreement has been reached between the United States and the government of Japan that permits the Osprey to begin flight operations.
"This agreement was the result of a deep partnership and thorough process that allowed both sides to reconfirm the safety of the aircraft," Little said. "It is a testament to the strength and maturity of our alliance, which remains the cornerstone for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region."
A senior defense official also traveling with Panetta said the agreement was "the result of deep personal attention on the part of both Panetta and [Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi] Morimoto, who have quickly developed a close relationship."
The Osprey has been controversial since it was shipped to Japan in July, but Panetta said during a Sept. 17 news conference with Morimoto that the two countries have established a joint committee to resolve any questions about the aircraft's safety.
The Osprey was sent to replace CH-46 helicopters used by the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force in Okinawa and Defense officials say it can operate at twice the speed, three times the payload, and four times the range as the helicopters.
"The Osprey will provide a critical capability that strengthens the United States' ability to defend Japan, perform humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, and fulfill other Alliance roles," Little said.


Here's an interesting movement from John Conley. BB.

Dust off the silver roses Gary!!

Purple Hearts for PTSD

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) released a special report today, Party for Patriots: The Mental Health Needs of Military Personnel, Veterans and their Families.
The report calls for Purple Heart medals to be awarded for psychological wounds like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and for military commanders at all levels to be accountable for suicide prevention and elimination of stigma.
“NAMI is drawing a line in the sand with the Department of Defense,” said NAMI Executive Director Michael J. Fitzpatrick. “Troops with invisible wounds are heroes. It’s time to honor them. It will also strike a tremendous blow against the stigma that often discourages individuals from seeking help when they need it.”
The full report is available online at www.nami.org/veteransreport . It includes statistics, tables and charts including:
One in five active duty military personnel have experienced symptoms of PTSD, depression or other mental health conditions
One active duty soldier dies by suicide every 36 hours and one veteran every 80 minutes
Suicides have increased within National Guard and Reserve forces, even among those who have never been activated and are not eligible for care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
More than one third of military spouses live with at least one mental disorder
One third of children with at least one deployed parent have had psychological problems such as depression, anxiety and acute stress reaction.
The report’s call to action includes increasing the VA’s service capacity and having the U.S Department of Health & Human Services fully implement the 2008 mental health insurance parity law.
The report also calls on all Americans to “reach out, listen and care” to help veterans in need.
“Simple things make a difference,” said Fitzpatrick. “Give veterans rides, watch their children or grant them extra time off from work in order to make it possible for them to get treatment. Our troops don’t leave wounded comrades behind. Don’t leave veterans or their families behind.”


I received this from Trooper Ron Halicki.I think you will enjoy it. A great presentation Ron!




Here's a thank you note for all of us. BB.

Dear Bill, I wan't you to know that Greg and I had the time of our life at the reunion.
Everyone made us feel so welcome. I felt so connected with my Dad when I was around you guy's.
I actually ate, talked and hung out with Heroes that my Dad was in battle with.
I would have never dreamed this. We are looking forward to next year.
God bless you and your family and keep you all healthy.
Love and hugs Sharon & Greg Cashion

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

Sent in by Lynn Anderson .BB>

Hints for Senior Sex!

1. Wear your glasses to make sure your partner is actually in the bed.

2. Set timer for 3 minutes, in case you doze off in the middle.

3. Set the mood with lighting (Turn them ALL OFF!)

4. Make sure you put 911 on your speed dial before you begin.

5. Write partner’s name on your hand in case you can’t remember...

6. Use extra polygrip so your teeth don't end up under the bed.

7. Have Tylenol ready in case you actually complete the act...

8. Make all the noise you want... The neighbors are deaf, too.

9. If it works, call everyone you know with the good news!!

10.Don't even think about trying it twice.


From Alan Benoit .BB


(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with "nothing" usually end in "fine."
(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of "nothing.")
(6) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. "That's okay" means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake. (8) Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying GO TO H (Hell, NOW!).
(9) Don't Worry About It, I Got It: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking "What's wrong?" For the woman's response, refer to #3.
*Send this to the men you know, to warn them about arguments they can avoid if they remember the terminology.
*Send this to all the women you know to give them a good laugh , because they know it's true.


Here's one from Bill Bowker .BB

A little old manshuffled slowly into an ice cream parlor and pulled himself slowly, painfully, up onto a stool. After catching his breath, he ordered a banana split. The waitress asked kindly, 'Crushed nuts?', 'No,' he replied, 'Arthritis.'


A good one from Ron Brauer .BB

A senior citizens group charters an overnight gambling casino bus trip.
An elderly woman comes up to the bus driver and says, 'I've just been molested!' The driver felt that she had fallen asleep and had a dream. So he tells her to go back to her seat and sit down.
A short time later, another old woman comes forward and claims that she was just molested. The driver thought he had a bus load of old wackos, but who would be molesting those old ladies?
About 10 minutes later, a third old lady comes up and says that she'd been molested too. The bus driver decides that he'd had enough and pulls into the first rest area.
When he turns the lights on and stands up, he sees an old man on his hands and knees crawling in the aisles. 'Hey gramps, what are you doing down there?' says the bus driver.
'I lost my toupee. I thought I found it three times, but every time I tried to grab it, it gets up and runs away!'


John Conley's contribution.BB

Subject: The Middle Wife

The Middle Wife (by an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher) :-)
I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back. When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.
Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater. She holds up a snapshot of an infant. 'This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday.'
'First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.' She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing
I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement. 'Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts going, 'Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!' Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. 'She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.) 'My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man.
They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.' (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.) 'And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!' (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!) 'Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe. They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom's play-center, so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there in the first place.' Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it's Show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another 'Middle Wife' comes along.


Bob Corbin sent this one in.BB


I hope this poem has the same effect on you as it did on me - then my forwarding it will be worth the effort.
Walk with me by the water - worth the read... right to the end...



S--t!... I forgot the words....


Here's a good one from Fred Currier .BB

Gentle thoughts for Today:

Birds of a feather flock together . . . .and then s--t on your car. br>A penny saved is a government oversight.
The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.
The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.
He who hesitates is probably right.
Did you ever notice: The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are XL.
If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.
The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble..
Did you ever notice: When you put the 2 words 'The' and 'IRS' together it spells 'Theirs...'
Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.
Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.
When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, think of Algebra.
You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.
One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young. Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.


Thanks to Danny Horn for this one .BB

There was a bit of confusion at the supermarket this morning.
When I was ready to pay for my groceries, the cashier said, “Strip down facing me.”.
Making a mental note to complain to my congressman about Homeland Security running amok, I did just as she had instructed.
When the hysterical shrieking and security alarms finally subsided, I found out that she was referring to my credit card.
I have been asked to shop elsewhere in the future...


Here's one from our departed comrade, Robert Furgerson .BB

Sitting on the side of the highway waiting to catch speeding drivers, a State Police Officer sees a car puttering along at 22 MPH. He thinks to himself, "This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!" So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over.
Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old ladies -- two in the front seat and three in the back - eyes wide and white as ghosts.
The driver, obviously confused, says to him, "Officer, I don't understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! What seems to be the problem?"
"Ma'am," the officer replies, "You weren't speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers."
"Slower than the speed limit?" she asked. No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly... Twenty-Two miles an hour!" the old woman says a bit proudly. The State Police officer, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that "22" was the route number, not the speed limit.
A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out her error.
"But before I let you go, Ma'am, I have to ask... Is everyone in this car ok? These women seem awfully shaken and they haven't muttered a single peep this whole time." the officer asks.
"Oh, they'll be alright in a minute officer. We just got off Route 119."


Pay attention to this one sent in by Howard Greenfield .BB

(Women often receive warnings about protecting themselves at the mall and in dark parking lots, etc. This is the first warning I have seen for men. I wanted to pass it on in case you haven't heard about it.)

Forewarned is forewarned! Be careful out there…
A 'heads up' for those men who may be regular customers at Lowe's, Home Depot, Costco, and even Walmart. This one caught me totally by surprise.
Last month I became a victim of a clever scam while out shopping. Simply going out to get supplies has turned out to be quite traumatic. Don't be naive enough to think it couldn't happen to you or your friends.

Here's how the scam works:
Two nice-looking, college-aged girls will come over to your car or truck as you are packing your purchases into your vehicle. They both start wiping your windshield with a rag and Windex, with their breasts almost falling out of their skimpy T-shirts (It's impossible not to look). When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say 'No' but instead ask for a ride to McDonald's. You agree and they climb into the vehicle. On the way, they start undressing. Then one of them starts crawling all over you, while the other one steals your wallet.
I had my wallet stolen January 4th, 9th, 10th, twice on the 15th, 17th, 20th, 24th, & 29th. Also February 1st & 4th, twice on the 8th, 16th, and very likely again this upcoming weekend.
So tell your friends to be careful. What a horrible way to take advantage of us older men. Warn your friends to be vigilant.
Walmart has wallets on sale for $2.99 each. I found even cheaper ones at the dollar store and bought them out in three of their stores.
Also, you never get to eat at McDonald's. I've already lost 11 pounds just running back and forth from Lowe's, to Home Depot, to Costco, Etc. (Oh, The best times are just before lunch and around 4:30 in the afternoon)


Tom Heckman sent this one in .BB

A little old lady is walking around in a supermarket calling out,Crisco, Crissssssscoooo! 'Soon an assistant manager approaches and says, 'Mam, the Crisco is inaisle 3.'The woman replies, 'Oh, I'm not looking for the cooking stuff. I'mcalling my husband.He's in here somewhere'The clerk is astonished.'Your husband's name is Crisco?'The woman answers, 'Oh no, no, no. I only call him that when we're outin public''I see,' said the clerk.'What do you call him at home?''Lard ass.'You gotta love old people!


Enter the Shadow Mode
(Works with all Windows versions)

Is your computer safe? Well ain't that the million dollar question? New security vulnerabilities are found every day by which many malicious programs or people attack the Windows operating system. Even the best security programs can't protect against new threats they know nothing about. And that's where Shadow Defender comes in. Shadow Defender is an easy-to-use security solution that protects your PC/laptop against malicious activity using an entirely different approach than most of the software out there.
Shadow Defender can run your system in a virtual environment called 'Shadow Mode'. 'Shadow Mode' redirects each system change to a virtual environment with no change to your real environment. If you experience buggy software updates, malicious activity and/or unwanted changes, perform a reboot to restore your system back to its original state, as if nothing happened. In other words, it's like a time machine for your computer!
With Shadow Defender, you have the flexibility to specify which files and folders are permanently saved to the real environment. This ensures your important files and folders are kept after a reboot, while everything else "goes back into time" to when they were undamaged.

Shadow Defender Features:

Prevent all viruses and malware.
Surf the internet safely and eliminate unwanted traces.
Protect your privacy.
Eliminate system downtime and maintenance costs.
Reboot to restore your system back to its original state.

Try the free trial of Shadow Defender for the most effective and easy-to-use security solution!


Dr. Edward Hayes's Weekly Medical Advisor

Drug Helps Purge Hidden HIV Virus
A team of researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have successfully flushed latent HIV infection from hiding, with a drug used to treat certain types of lymphoma.
Tackling latent HIV in the immune system is critical to finding a cure for AIDS. The results were presented today at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle, Washington.
While current antiretroviral therapies can very effectively control virus levels, they can never fully eliminate the virus from the cells and tissues it has infected.


Could a NOSH-Aspirin-a-Day Keep Cancer Away?

The humble aspirin may soon have a new role. Scientists from The City College of New York have developed a new aspirin compound that has great promise to be not only an extremely potent cancer-fighter, but even safer than the classic medicine cabinet staple.
The new designer aspirin curbed the growth of 11 different types of human cancer cells in culture without harming normal cells, reported a team from the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education of The City College of New York in a paper published this month in the journal ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. The cancers controlled included colon, pancreatic, lung, prostate, breast, and leukemia. "The key components of this new compound are that it is very, very potent and yet it has minimal toxicity to the cells," said Associate Professor Khosrow Kashfi, the principal investigator.
The aspirin compound also shrank human colon cancer tumors by 85 percent in live animals, again without adverse effects, according to a second paper in press by the City College researchers and colleague Kenneth Olson of Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend. Their results will appear in the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, now available online. "If what we have seen in animals can be translated to humans," said Professor Kashfi, "it could be used in conjunction with other drugs to shrink tumors before chemotherapy or surgery."


Study Pinpoints Effects Of Different Doses Of An ADHD Drug; Finds Higher Doses May Harm Learning
New research with monkeys sheds light on how the drug methylphenidate may affect learning and memory in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The results parallel a 1977 finding that a low dose of the drug boosted cognitive performance of children with ADHD, but a higher dose that reduced their hyperactivity also impaired their performance on a memory test.
"Many people were intrigued by that result, but their attempts to repeat the study did not yield clear-cut results," says Luis Populin, an associate professor of neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.
Populin was senior author of the new study exploring the same topic, now available in the early access section of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, published last week. In the study, three monkeys were taught to focus on a central dot on a screen, while a "target" dot flashed nearby. The monkeys were taught that they could earn a sip of water by waiting until the central dot switched off, and then looking at the location of the now-vanished target dot.


A New Approach to Faster Anticancer Drug Discovery
Tracking the genetic pathway of a disease offers a powerful, new approach to drug discovery, according to scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine who used the approach to uncover a potential treatment for prostate cancer, using a drug currently marketed for congestive heart failure. Their findings are published in the current online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"The science of genomics - the study of all of the genes in a person and how these genes interact with each other and the environment - has revealed many fundamental aspects of biology, including the mechanisms of diseases like cancer. But it has not yet been truly exploited to find new medicines to treat those diseases," said Xiang-Dong Fu, PhD, professor of cellular and molecular medicine and senior author of the PNAS paper.
Fu, with colleagues at UC San Diego and elsewhere, describe a unique screening strategy that compares genes associated with specific disease phenotypes (traits) with small molecules capable of intervening with disease-linked gene-expression events. The high-throughput process, capable of analyzing large numbers of genes and drugs simultaneously, emphasizes investigation of the entire genetic pathway of the disease against a large set of internal controls, rather than its limited phenotype or any particular molecular or cellular target.


Botox Injections Now Used for Severe Urinary Incontinence
When you think of Botox injections, you probably think of getting rid of unwanted wrinkles around the eyes or forehead, but recently the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved using the injections to help patients with neurological conditions who suffer from incontinence, or an overactive bladder.
Botox injections paralyze the bladder muscle to prevent contractions that cause urgency to urinate or leak. Although medications and behavioral modifications are treatment options, many patients, especially the elderly, do not respond to these methods and need a more aggressive approach.
"About 80 percent of patients with neurological conditions, such as spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, see improvement after about a week, and the results can last four to nine months," said Charles Nager, MD, co-director of the UC San Diego Women's Pelvic Medicine Center at UC San Diego Health System.


Antidepressant Shows Promise As Cancer Treatment
An antidepressant combined with a drug derived from vitamin A could be used to treat a common adult form of leukaemia, according to laboratory research led by a team at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).
A retinoid called all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), which is a vitamin A-derivative, is already used successfully to treat a rare sub-type of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) *, however this drug has not been effective for the more common types of AMLs.
Team leader Dr Arthur Zelent and colleagues at the ICR, with principal funding from Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, have been working to unlock the potential of retinoids to treat other patients with AML. In a paper published in Nature Medicine today, they show that the key could be an antidepressant called tranylcypromine (TCP).


Prescribing Opioids For Pain After Short-Stay Surgery Appears Associated With Long-Term Use
Prescribing opioids for pain to older patients within seven days of short-stay surgery appears to be associated with long-term analgesic use, according to a study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Patients are frequently prescribed analgesics after ambulatory or short-stay surgery in anticipation of postoperative pain. The most common analgesics prescribed to outpatients are opioids (such as codeine and oxycodone) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
While opioids can be beneficial, they are associated with such adverse effects as sedation, constipation and respiratory depression, and their long-term use can lead to physiologic tolerance and addiction.


You may be paid the actual cost for meals, lodging, or both - not to exceed 50 percent of the amount allowed for government employees - when it is determined that an overnight stay is required for your travel related to obtaining VA health care services. Factors VA may consider in making that determination include, but not limited to:
The distance you must travel;
The time of day the VA scheduled your appointment;
The weather;
The traffic, or other conditions affecting your travel.
Be sure to contact the "Enrollment Coordinator" at your local VA or your
"Veterans Service Officer" for more information.


Gary Chenett pointed me to this article. Those of you who are fighting or may someday have to fight cancer will find it very informative. BB

Cancer fatigue: Why it occurs and how to cope

The exact causes of cancer fatigue and how best to treat it aren't always clear. Find out what doctors know about cancer fatigue and what you can do about it.
Fatigue, usually described as feeling tired, weak or exhausted, affects most people during cancer treatment. Cancer fatigue can result from the side effects of treatment or the cancer itself.

Causes of cancer fatigue

Cancer fatigue may be caused by many factors, and the factors that contribute to your cancer fatigue may be completely different from those of someone you know. However, possible contributing factors include:
Your cancer. Your cancer can cause changes to your body that can lead to fatigue. For instance, some cancers release proteins called cytokines, which are thought to cause fatigue. Other cancers can increase your body's need for energy, weaken your muscles or alter your body's hormones, all of which may contribute to fatigue.
Cancer treatment. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, bone marrow transplantation and biological therapy may all cause fatigue. You may experience fatigue when chemotherapy or radiation therapy destroys healthy cells in addition to the targeted cancer cells. Fatigue may occur as your body tries to repair the damage to healthy cells and tissue. Some treatment side effects — such as anemia, nausea, vomiting, pain, insomnia and changes in mood — also may cause fatigue.
Anemia. You might develop anemia if your treatment destroys too many healthy red blood cells. You can also develop anemia if the cancer has spread to your bone marrow and interferes with blood cell production or causes you to lose blood.
Pain. If you experience chronic pain, you may be less active, eat less, sleep less and become depressed, all of which may add to your fatigue.
Emotions. Anxiety, stress or depression associated with your cancer diagnosis also may lead to fatigue.
Lack of sleep. If you're sleeping less at night or if your sleep is frequently interrupted, you may experience fatigue.
Poor nutrition. In order to work efficiently, you need the energy that a healthy diet provides. When you have cancer, changes can occur in your need for and ability to process nutrients. These changes can lead to poor nutrition, resulting in fatigue. For example, you may need more nutrients than usual or you may not be able to process nutrients adequately. You may also take in fewer nutrients if your appetite wanes or if treatment side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, make it difficult to eat.
Medications. Certain medications, such as pain relievers, can cause fatigue.
Lack of exercise. If you're used to being on the go, slowing down can make you feel fatigued. Though you will have good days and bad days, try to maintain your normal level of activity if you can.
Hormonal changes. Many hormonal changes can occur during cancer treatment. Hormonal therapies may modify hormones as a way to treat cancer. Hormonal changes also may occur as side effects of treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Changes to the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, testes or ovaries can all cause fatigue.

Not everyone who has cancer experiences fatigue. And if you do, the level of cancer fatigue you experience can vary — you may feel a mild lack of energy, or you may feel completely wiped out. Your cancer fatigue may occur episodically and last just a short while, or it may last for several months after you complete treatment.

When to contact your doctor

Some fatigue during cancer treatment is to be expected. But if you find that cancer fatigue is persistent, lasting weeks, and interferes with your ability to go about your everyday tasks, tell your doctor.

Tell your doctor right away if you experience:
Loss of balance
Inability to get out of bed for more than 24 hours
Severe shortness of breath
Worsening signs and symptoms

What to tell your doctor

If you're fatigued, your doctor may examine you and ask you questions to assess the severity and nature of your symptoms. This gives your doctor clues about what's causing your cancer fatigue and how to treat it.

Your doctor might ask questions such as these:

When did you begin experiencing fatigue?

Has it progressed since your diagnosis?
How severe is it?
How long does it last?
What eases it?
What makes it worse?
How does it affect your daily life?
Do you experience shortness of breath or chest discomfort?
How well are you sleeping?
How and what are you eating?
How are you feeling emotionally?

In addition to these questions, your doctor will likely conduct a physical exam and further evaluate your medical history, the type or types of treatment you are receiving or have received, and any medications you're taking. He or she may recommend some tests, such as blood tests or X-rays, specific to your condition.

Coping strategies: Medical treatments and self-care

Because cancer-related fatigue may be caused by many factors, your doctor may suggest more than one method to reduce and cope with your symptoms. These may include self-care methods and, in certain cases, medications or medical procedures.

Medical interventions

Medications may be available to treat the underlying cause of your fatigue. For instance, if your fatigue is the result of anemia, blood transfusions may help. Medications that stimulate your bone marrow to produce more red blood cells might be another option, though, as with any medicine, these medications must be used with appropriate cautions.
If you're depressed, your doctor might suggest medications that can help reduce fatigue, increase appetite and improve your sense of well-being.

Self-care options

Coping with fatigue might require things you can do on your own. You might try to:
Take it easy. Set aside time in your day to rest. Take short naps — no longer than an hour — throughout the day rather than resting for one long period.
Conserve your energy. Save your energy for your most important activities. Keep track of the times when you feel your best, and plan to do your important activities during those times. Ask for help when needed.
Maintain your energy. Drinking lots of fluids and eating well can help keep your energy reserves up. Limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol. If nausea and vomiting make it hard to eat, talk to your doctor about these side effects.
Get moving. When you feel up to it, light exercise throughout the week may help you preserve your energy level. But keep in mind that once you start feeling fatigued, it may be too late to start an exercise program because it's hard to find the energy to get going. Instead, exercise regularly as you start treatment. You'll get in the routine of exercising, and it may even help you prevent fatigue during treatment.

Speak up about your fatigue

Don't assume the fatigue you're experiencing is just part of the cancer experience. If it's frustrating you or affecting your ability to go about your day, it's time to talk with your doctor.
Though fatigue is a common symptom when you have cancer, there are steps you can take to reduce or cope with your condition. If you're feeling fatigued, talk with your doctor about what factors might be causing your fatigue and what you can do to improve them


Have you ever wondered how the VA determines your rated disability? This may help you understand a little better. BB

The ability to overcome the handicap of disability varies widely among individuals. The rating, however, is based primarily upon the average impairment in earning capacity, that is, upon the economic or industrial handicap which must be overcome and not from individual success in overcoming it. However, full consideration must be given to unusual physical or mental effects in individual cases, to peculiar effects of occupational activities, to defects in physical or mental endowment preventing the usual amount of success in overcoming the handicap of disability and to the effect of combinations of disability. Total disability will be considered to exist when there is present any impairment of mind or body which is sufficient to render it impossible for the average person to follow a substantially gainful occupation; Provided, That permanent total disability shall be taken to exist when the impairment is reasonably certain to continue throughout the life of the disabled person. The following will be considered to be permanent total disability: the permanent loss of the use of both hands, or of both feet, or of one hand and one foot, or of the sight of both eyes, or becoming permanently helpless or permanently bedridden. Other total disability ratings are scheduled in the various bodily systems of this schedule.

Source: CFR Title 38, Volume 1

************************************************************** Uh-Oh! We may have a problem here Houstin! BB

Chagas, a tropical disease spread by insects, is causing some fresh concern following an editorial—published earlier this week in a medical journal—that called it "the new AIDS of the Americas."
More than 8 million people have been infected by Chagas, most of them in Latin and Central America. But more than 300,000 live in the United States.
The editorial, published by the Public Library of Science's Neglected Tropical Diseases, said the spread of the disease is reminiscent of the early years of HIV.
"There are a number of striking similarities between people living with Chagas disease and people living with HIV/AIDS," the authors wrote, "particularly for those with HIV/AIDS who contracted the disease in the first two decades of the HIV/AIDS epidemic."
Both diseases disproportionately affect people living in poverty, both are chronic conditions requiring prolonged, expensive treatment, and as with patients in the first two decades of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, "most patients with Chagas disease do not have access to health care facilities."
Unlike HIV, Chagas is not a sexually-transmitted disease: it's "caused by parasites transmitted to humans by blood-sucking insects," as the New York Times put it.
"It likes to bite you on the face," CNN reported. "It's called the kissing bug. When it ingests your blood, it excretes the parasite at the same time. When you wake up and scratch the itch, the parasite moves into the wound and you're infected."
"Gaaah," Cassie Murdoch wrote on Jezebel.com, summing up the sentiment of everyone who read the journal's report.
Chagas, also known as American trypanosomiasis, kills about 20,000 people per year, the journal said.
And while just 20 percent of those infected with Chagas develop a life-threatening form of the disease, Chagas is "hard or impossible to cure," the Times reports:
The disease can be transmitted from mother to child or by blood transfusion. About a quarter of its victims eventually will develop enlarged hearts or intestines, which can fail or burst, causing sudden death. Treatment involves harsh drugs taken for up to three months and works only if the disease is caught early.
"The problem is once the heart symptoms start, which is the most dreaded complication—the Chagas cardiomyopathy—the medicines no longer work very well," Dr. Peter Hotez, a researcher at Baylor College of Medicine and one of the editorial's authors, told CNN. "Problem No. 2: the medicines are extremely toxic."
And 11 percent of pregnant women in Latin America are infected with Chagas, the journal said.

************************************************************** Thanks to Don Kalahar for sending us this information. BB

Some Insight on the new Health Care Bill.

At age 76 when you most need it, you are not eligible for cancer treatment. page 272

What our politicians didn't want us to know until after the healthcare bill was passed. Remember what was said, "pass it and then read it!!." Here it is!


Judge Kithil of Marble Falls, TX - highlighted the most egregious pages of HB3200

Please read this........ especially the reference to pages 58 & 59

Page 50/section 152: The bill will provide insurance to all non-U.S. residents, even if they are here illegally.

Page 58 and 59: The government will have real-time access to an individual's bank account and will have the authority to make electronic fund transfers from those accounts.

Page 65/section 164: The plan will be subsidized (by the government) for all union members, union retirees and for community organizations (such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now - ACORN).

Page 203/line 14-15: The tax imposed under this section will not be treated as a tax. (How could anybody in their right mind come up with that?)

Page 241 and 253: Doctors will all be paid the same regardless of specialty, and the government will set all doctors' fees.

Page 272. section 1145: Cancer hospital will ration care according to the patient's age.

Page 317 and 321: The government will impose a prohibition on hospital expansion; however, communities may petition for an exception.

Page 425, line 4-12: The government mandates advance-care planning consultations. Those on Social Security will be required to attend an "end-of-life planning" seminar every five years. (Death counseling..) Page 429, line 13-25: The government will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order.

"Finally, it is specifically stated that this bill will not apply to members of Congress. Members of Congress are already exempt from the Social Security system, and have a well-funded private plan that covers their retirement needs. If they were on our Social Security plan, I believe they would find a very quick 'fix' to make the plan financially sound for their future."

David Kithil of Marble Falls , Texas


Prayer for Those Who Mourn Almighty God, Father of all mercies and giver of all comfort: Deal graciously, we pray thee, with those who mourn, that casting every care on thee, they may know the consolation of thy love, through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen



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

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