What a pleasant surprise to sit down for breakfast on this Veterans Day, 2007, and see the front page story in The Signal about your trip back to Vietnam and your memories of the battle on June 19, 1967. I too have a connection to that date.
I was in training at Fort Riley in 1966 also but I was in Alpha Company, 4th,47th. I was with Echo Company on the day in question and was across the river at the French Fort with the four deuce mortor platoon firing support for you guys. I also lost my best friend from Alpha Company, SP4 Noel T. West who was a combat medic. Sp4 West was instrumental in my not being with A company that day and probably saved my life. I was a squad leader with Alpha through AIT.
I just finished looking through your web site and enjoyed it a lot. I knew several of your Company members including Steve Moede (sorry to hear of his passing) whom I went to high school with at Crespi. He was in my class. I also met him shortly after leaving the Army when he and another friend from Monroe high school, Alan Kerstein, pulled into my parents driveway in Sepulveda in a LAPD squad car. They were partners at that time. I also met John Sclimenti about twenty years ago when he lived in my neighborhood here in Canyon Country. I didn’t know his name at the time but I recognized him on your web site. I knew he had been in Charlie Company.
I had to get out my Fort Riley Kansas ‘yearbook’ that we all received after graduation after looking through your site. It brought back many memories from 40 years ago! A great way to spend Veterans Day and by the way….
A few years ago, I built my own web site just to try and keep in contact with others that served in Vietnam. http://home.pacbell.net/jwgerb/
Here it is 40 years later, and I find others who only live 10 miles away! It truly is a small world! Thanks for the memories on this Veterans Day, 2007. God bless!
John W. Gerbing – MRFA Member
From Tim Johnson’s sister (Tim gave the ultimate sacrifice during the June 19th Battle):
Thank you Bill. I will share this with my daughter and her husband and other friends who will be touched by your journey and dedication to supporting your colleagues and our troops.
Joanne Stone – November 12, 2007
Bill, outstanding story and publication. A few of the boys from our ole Reseda neighborhood had the opportunity to serve their country. I have always been proud to have been there and I have always been proud of you, Alan, Larry, Rick, Bob and Ted. Not bad for a small neighborhood. A different day and a different time, when young men knew their duty and performed it well.
Welcome Home Brother !!
Roy Burns – November 12, 2007