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Raymond Richard
10-29-2009, 12:18 PM
Some of you may already know that after 39 years I did another internet search trying to locate fellows that I served with over in Nam. It was the night before Christimas Eve this last year. I decided to try a little different wording in my search and I found the pot of gold. I not only found one of the fellows I served with but he was my best friend while I was there. Gil and I have since had a mini reunion of our own this past spring. Gil had sent me this email after he returned from a battalion reunion this past weekend. I asked him if it would be OK to share it and he said go for it. I'm Sgt Frog.

Sgt Frog.

Got home late yesterday afternoon with a lot of jet lag. That traveling is a lot of work. I had a great time at the reunion. Spent almost all of my time with George and his wife. He looks just like me and you. We could all be brothers. No hair...............and old.....

What a great guy. I am glad that we had some time to spend together. I got there Thursday afternoon and left Monday morning real early. Plane ride was okay. Some bumps.

There were fifty-two veterans there. A lot of them served between 1968 and 1969. Some brought their wives and some brought other family members. I brought me. They came from all over the country. All the way from California to Maine.

The town of San Antonio and the surrounding area sucks. Just another BIG city with lots of traffic and lots of expressways. I was glad to get back home to the corn fields.....

We had a get together and a barbeque at a VFW post out of town very near a large Air Force base. The place was huge. They must have a lot of receptions there. Someone got a hold of our old Chaplain and he showed up for the reunion. He spoke for about thirty minutes. He spoke of the power of God, reading the bible etc. etc. He also told of some of his personal experiences with dying soldiers and even annointing dead soldiers. He also told us about some of his times out in the field with us. He said that one time he ran short of bibles or something and that he passed the helmet around the troops for an offering. He told the troops what the money was going to be used for. Anyway, when the helmet got back to him it had about three thousand dollars in it. He said he had to pass the helmet back to the troops several times in order to get the offering down to one hundred dollars. What a great story. Throughout his speech we were all crying. I do not think that I have experienced anything like that before........What a testimony. I know that you would have loved it. I could feel God's hand in the way that evening turned out. He even had his old Chaplains bag with him from Vietnam. The same one that he used over there. He set everything up on a small table. The cup the cross and his bible..

I am thinking about retiring March 1st if I can last that long. One day at a time.

I cannot believe all that has happened to me over the past three years or so.

Take care my brother. I think of you every day.....................................

Gil, Thin Man...............................

JAWilliams
10-29-2009, 01:48 PM
Thanks for sharing this Ray and thank you for what you did for our freedom.

Denny Eller
10-29-2009, 02:36 PM
Thank you for your service Ray. I wish I could have been at that reunion to hear the chaplain speak. I was in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970, USMC 1st Marine Division, 1st Recon Battalion, Bravo Company. I have hooked up with a lot of vets in all branches of the service. If you could tell me your branch, your unit and when you were there I might be able to help you find some more guys. At any rate, God brought you home and still watches over you.

Raymond Richard
10-29-2009, 03:02 PM
Thank you for your service Ray. I wish I could have been at that reunion to hear the chaplain speak. I was in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970, USMC 1st Marine Division, 1st Recon Battalion, Bravo Company. I have hooked up with a lot of vets in all branches of the service. If you could tell me your branch, your unit and when you were there I might be able to help you find some more guys. At any rate, God brought you home and still watches over you.

Denton, Welcome home to you also! And thanks for the offer! Slowly by surely we are finding more fellows that were in our platoon. Gil got together with Truck Driver at the reunion and I'm pretty sure he knows two more fellows. Here's what I found the night I located Gil: http://1-22infantry.org/pics3/brown.htm I think he told me he'd put that up about a year or so before I found it. I have since added a page on me: http://1-22infantry.org/pics4/richard.htm The wording on mine I did for another knife forum last year and the webmaster for the site whet ahead and used it the way it was. Here's my most favorite picture of Gil and I. Gil's the blond. We really were playing when this picture was taken. Neither of us remember where it was taken but it must have been in the rear somewhere. Never seen timber's like that on the hills I was on. Ours were always round in shape. :D I told Gil I will be at the next reunion.

http://www.hawknknives.com/forums/IMG_1316.JPG

Denny Eller
10-29-2009, 03:43 PM
Ray, those are some great pics you have. I think every guy in Nam posed for a picture with a .50 cal. Before I enlisted in the Marines I worked for Amboy Sterile Packaging Company in my hometown of Amboy, Illinois (pop. 1800). We made 2 things at Sterile Pack - ready to eat pudding and C-Ration cheese. We got in 40 pound blocks of age Wisconsin cheese (good stuff) and then added the caraway or hickory smoke etc. The batches were made upstairs above the warehouse and then piped down to be canned and packaged. The guy who made the batches would finish one and then come down to the warehouse to see how we were doing. He'd reach in his shirt pocket for his pack of Camels and go " Oh, sh#*, I dropped another pack in the batch ". Every time I opened a can of cheese out of my C-rats I thought of him and wondered if the cheese would taste funny.

Raymond Richard
10-29-2009, 05:41 PM
Ray, those are some great pics you have. I think every guy in Nam posed for a picture with a .50 cal. Before I enlisted in the Marines I worked for Amboy Sterile Packaging Company in my hometown of Amboy, Illinois (pop. 1800). We made 2 things at Sterile Pack - ready to eat pudding and C-Ration cheese. We got in 40 pound blocks of age Wisconsin cheese (good stuff) and then added the caraway or hickory smoke etc. The batches were made upstairs above the warehouse and then piped down to be canned and packaged. The guy who made the batches would finish one and then come down to the warehouse to see how we were doing. He'd reach in his shirt pocket for his pack of Camels and go " Oh, sh#*, I dropped another pack in the batch ". Every time I opened a can of cheese out of my C-rats I thought of him and wondered if the cheese would taste funny.

Denton, I kind of remember that cheese. I don't think the pack of Camels hurt it any. :D Did you ever find away to make the canned ham and eggs eatable? Just thinking about them makes me want to gag. Funny how when you first got in country you had your favorites but by the end of your tour the ones you couldn't stand became your new favorites. I always liked the spice beef but got terrible heart burn from it so I gave it up.

We were in country at the same time. Several of my friends from high school joined the Marines. I found out later they had told everyone I was going with them. I just took my chances with the draft. One of my best friends Eric was with the Marines and over in Nam in 68. There outfit was always getting beat up. He was at the Rock Pile and later at Khe Son. 75 to 80% losses were real common where he was at. He's a great guy and I'm sure glad he survived.

Denny Eller
10-29-2009, 06:06 PM
Hot sauce, a whole lotta hot sauce. And being real, real hungry helped to get them down, too. Canned peaches and pound cake were my favorites. I had a buddy from Coos Bay that used to get care packages from his mom. His uncle had a canning factory so his mom would bake up all kinds of good stuff and take it right over to be canned. When my buddy opened those cans it smelled like you were standing in the kitchen where they were baked. I just recently heard he drowned in Alaska a number of years back. He was a good man and his mom was one heck of a baker.

Eli Gautreaux
10-30-2009, 08:10 AM
What a great email and story Ray, thanks for letting us in on it. I wish I could have bee there to just watch and hear the chaplain tell those stories, that's incredible.


Sgt Frog? There must be a story behind that...