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Barely mentioning American Idol , Aiken instead turned his focus to the people who had the most influence in his life — his mother, grandparents, siblings, teachers, and friends — and to the importance of religion in his life. He describes himself as a proud Southern Baptist who journeyed away from those roots in his late teens in search of a religion with more liberal social policies. He then returned to that church because of family and social ties although he remains at odds with the church on some issues.
Rogers, and Jimmy Carter. Aiken has sung a few CCM songs at his pop concerts, and has made Christmas albums, Christmas television specials and performances, and Christmas tours essential elements of his career.
Aiken makes it clear that he is aware not everyone shares his religious beliefs and it is not his intention to press these beliefs on others. When he worked as a camp counselor at the YMCA , he challenged other camp faculty by insisting that singing "overtly Christian songs" was inappropriate, as some of the kids were Jewish.
Aiken had filled out an application to participate in the reality show Amazing Race when a friend of his insisted that he try out for American Idol instead. The show's judges first saw Aiken as a nerdy type unlikely to be a typical pop idol, but after hearing him sing Heatwave 's "Always and Forever" decided to advance him to the next round. The clip of the judges' surprise during this audition performance was replayed many times over the course of the competition.
Aiken made it to the round of 32 before being cut from the show, but he was invited to return for the "Wild Card" round; his performance of Elton John 's " Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me " sent him on to the final 12 as the viewer's choice. While noted for his performance of ballads, such as Neil Sedaka 's " Solitaire ", his upbeat performances, including The Foundations ' " Build Me Up Buttercup ", were also appreciated.
Aiken received enough votes every week to keep him out of the bottom three. Part of his appeal was his "geek to chic" transformation in appearance.
On May 21, , Aiken came in a close second to Ruben Studdard , who won the contest by , votes out of more than 24,, votes cast. The result was controversial, as some hypothesized that Idol' s voting system was incapable of handling the number of attempted calls. Rolling Stone featured Aiken on the cover of its July issue. In the cover article Aiken said, "One thing I've found of people in the public eye, either you're a womanizer or you've got to be gay.
Since I'm neither one of those, people are completely concerned about me. People are going to believe what they want. Aiken made a surprise appearance on the final show of the fifth season of American Idol , when failed auditioner Michael Sandecki returned to the show to receive a "Golden Idol" award for Best Impersonator for his Clay Aiken-like appearance.
Aiken appeared without introduction in a well-tailored designer suit and longer, darker hair with bangs, looking so different that many did not recognize him until he began to sing "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me. On October 14, , Aiken released his first solo album, Measure of a Man , which debuted at number one on the Billboard , with , copies sold in its first week, the highest-selling debut for a solo artist in 10 years.
The album spawned both the hit single "Invisible" and his first hit song, " This Is the Night " both co-written by British songwriter Chris Braide. On November 16, , Aiken released a holiday album titled Merry Christmas with Love , which set a new record for fastest-selling holiday album in the Soundscan era since Merry Christmas with Love sold over 1,, copies retail in six weeks and was the best-selling holiday album of , receiving RIAA Platinum certification on January 6, Clive Davis is credited with the cover concept.
Debuting at number two on the Billboard chart, A Thousand Different Ways made Aiken the fourth artist ever to have his first three albums debut in the Top 5 and scan over , in the first week.
Aiken stated in an April interview with People that he was planning a new album, and during his May appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! For a cohesive sound, Aiken chose Mark ' Kipper ' Eldridge to produce the entire album. First week sales of copies placed Playlist: On August 10, , it was announced on Aiken's official website that he had signed with Decca Records and he would have new music out by early The album was released on June 1, and features songs popular in the s and s, including two Aiken covered during his run on American Idol , " Mack the Knife " and " Unchained Melody ".
A tour to promote the album is planned for early The single is his first original song since the release of his album On My Way Here in On March 27, Aiken released Steadfast , a new album of previous recordings and songs only sung in concerts. The album debuted at on the Billboard chart with sales of 4, in the first week. Aiken has made many television appearances. Lewis compared Aiken with Frank Sinatra and marveled at the dedication of Aiken's fan base:.
We have someone here today from the smash hit show American Idol. And I can honestly say I have never, in all of my life, seen a theatrical groundswell that this kid has motivated, that it makes us all come right back to the bobby sox and Frank. And isn't it nice to live through that magnificence again? Here is Clay Aiken. He also sang " Isn't She Lovely " on the popular television show Scrubs.
Aiken was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live in and participated in several skits. He has appeared multiple times on The Tonight Show , interviewing with Jay Leno as a guest in addition to singing, and has become a regular guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The Kimmel appearances often feature skits: Aiken made his acting debut on Ed in early , playing himself, and in , he was interviewed by Erica Kane on All My Children. In December , he made an appearance as himself on Days of Our Lives.
After hosting and performing in the American Idol Christmas special in , Aiken has had several subsequent hosting jobs. During an interview, Aiken covered Kelly Ripa 's mouth with his hand.
Aiken was a guest judge on the April 8, segment of Banks show America's Next Top Model ; in what the show refers to as a teach, he worked with the remaining 8 contestants on their acting skills prior to the judging.
Summer Belongs To You! Aiken appeared in one of the last episodes of The Office , titled " A. He played himself and was one of the judges for a reality show that Andy was auditioning for. Special Victims Unit along with Taylor Hicks and Ashanti , playing themselves as judges for a singing contest on the episode called "Dissonant Voices. On January 18, , Aiken made his Broadway debut when he joined the cast of Monty Python 's Spamalot for a four-month run, ending on May 4, Disney Buena Vista was the exclusive sponsor of this unnamed summer tour, promoting their Aladdin Special Edition 2-Disc DVD with a preview of Aiken's rendition of " Proud of Your Boy ", a song originally intended for the first release of the film but cut when the Aladdin storyline changed during production.
In November , Aiken launched his third tour of the year, which revolved around a Christmas theme. Local choirs from high schools and elementary schools also participated at each concert.
During the summer of , Aiken, with a seven-piece band and three back-up singers, toured with the "Jukebox Tour", performing songs of the s, s, s, s, and s, as well as a few favorites from Measure of a Man. He also performed a few new songs being considered for his next album. In early November , Aiken launched his second Christmas tour. The Joyful Noise tour featured a series of vignettes, written by Aiken,  which told the story of an older woman who had lost the Christmas spirit and a young boy who helps her find it again.
A cast of actors, dancers and back-up singers traveled with the tour, and members of local theater groups were added in each venue for smaller, non-speaking roles and crowd scenes. Aiken was supported by local orchestras, which also opened the concerts with a program of seasonal music. On this tour Aiken hired local symphonies to back him, along with tour regulars Jesse Vargas, pianist, conductor and arranger; Sean McDaniel, drummer; and Quiana Parler and Angela Fisher, backup singers.
Three days into the tour, Aiken and a woman were involved in an in-flight altercation in which she allegedly shoved him. As a result of the scuffle, Aiken and the woman were later questioned by the FBI. Tried and True — Live. Aiken started at an early age to believe in a life of service. At 19, Clay taught at Brentwood Elementary School in a class of kids with autism. Aiken worked with the Make A Wish Foundation to make one little boy's dream of singing on stage with Clay Aiken come true.
Horn , PhD  In April , Aiken told People Magazine that he was too busy to do as much as he would like, but "If there's something I can do remotely, I would've been happy to do it. Aiken has been a dedicated advocate for education and for children's causes. On August 5, , in an open letter from the founders, Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel stated "As we realized the impact the Foundation has already made, it became apparent that even bigger accomplishments could be on the horizon.
To that end, we along with the rest of the Board decided that a new name for the Foundation would establish long-term credibility and stability. We sought a name that would signify the Foundation's position as a national leader on inclusion as well as recognize the Foundation's start and the efforts of its faithful supporters.
After much thought and deliberation, we are proud to introduce the organization we co-founded as the National Inclusion Project. In November , Aiken was appointed a U. He later recorded a video, featuring the song " Give A Little Bit ", to be used as a public service announcement to raise money for tsunami victims. He was sent to Kabul and Bamyan , in Afghanistan in April , where he was able to spend time with children in their classrooms; he also visited a health center for women and children where he administered oral polio vaccinations to babies.
He observed that Afghani children, after being forbidden for so many years by the Taliban regime to attend school, are eager to return to school now that they are once again allowed to receive an education. In the midterm elections , Aiken was the Democratic Party 's candidate for North Carolina's 2nd congressional district.
He won the Democratic primary, held on May 6, , by fewer than votes. His main opponent, Keith Crisco , died days after the primary vote but before the votes could be certified. Aiken's campaign was captured by a filmmaking team and shown in the documentary miniseries The Runner-Up , which aired on the Esquire Network.
Since coming out as gay in , Aiken has been more politically outspoken, particularly on gay rights and same-sex marriage. Amazing my feeble mind can remember that did you ever visit the Star Hill hotel in Saigon? Jay, I am in Arlington, TX. Had I known you were that close I would have looked you up. Had two more careers after retiring from army. Check me out on Facebook. Jay, so good to hear from you. Where are you living and what are you doing these days?
Have you heard from Carl Brooks? Hope you can make the reunion this year in Louisville. Too darned old to work much. I trade the futures markets and play golf. When is the reunion and is there a site selected yet? Currently live in Austin Texas. I pretty much lost track of everyone. I have to look up that reunion date etc. Anyone know what happened to Major Burke? He escorted his brothers body back to the states when he was killed.
There was some problem when he came back to Lai khe as I recall. I left in July and never heard the outcome. Major Burke had a beautiful wife who was a professional singer. Seems like it was called the Contental or something. It was elegant then and still is now after some extensive remodeling over the last 45 years. Glad you had a worthwhile trip. I would love to go back. The whole expansion of the Saigon metropolitan area must seem unreal as would Highway I did a Google Earth search of the Lai Khe area a year or so ago and saw the roadway.
Going south out of Lai Khe toward Ben Cat was always chancy. There was a wood line several hundred meters right in front of that turn as you slowed down and we were always told to be aware of snipers. The famous Iron Triangle was nearby and Ben Cat had a fierce reputation from before. It was that low cluster of huts in the distance. We never slowed down around there either.
We all seem to have those same memories. That too will pass one of these days. Back then it was simply village to village. Hello Everyone, I just came back from a trip to Vietnam. Quite a change after 45 years. Saigon the locals still call it that is a huge metropolis of 10 million that extends all the way up past what we knew at Phu Cuong.
Ben Cat is a big town that now goes way past Hwy 13 on the east. Hwy 13 is a 4 lane toll road that extends to the North past Lai Khe. The Lai Khe area has been extensively covered with plantations of a tall skinny tree that looks like they were planted 10 or 15 years ago.
The roads are lined with homes and businesses. The Lai Khe of long ago is now just in my mind and my photo albums. It was a complete mental reset for me. It was a good trip and I plan on going back again sometime. Any background would also help. Loved your book Curtis.
Have read it three times. My son is reading it now and likes it also. Best assignment I ever had was team All the men were great and sorry that I did get to meet you. God bless you and all the men of MACV teams. They were all warriors in the true meaning of war. William, Your thoughts echo mine exactly. There are many I may have met while I was in G-2 and never really knew the name at the time. Christmas of at Team 70 was quite a memory.
Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Having Team 70 vets like it really makes me feel good. I did not work in the MARS station. I was assigned to G4 and worked with Captains West and Brooks. I have never heard from either of those men. I have made contact with Cpt Munn and exchanged information but he is the only one that I had contact with that I have heard from. Was that Captain John West? I really liked him. Whenever I was at HQ I looked him up.
We had many an intellectual discussion while sipping adult beverages. Or was it a war story? Hi this is Jay West. I was surprised to see your post. Was just reminiscing and found it.
Good to see some team 70 guys are still around. Wow I sure botched up my reply to Curtis. I was at Tm 70 HQ and he may have been in the field with one of the Regiments. I think I have a couple of pictures of Sam, the rocket dog, around here somewhere. Glad you made it back OK. I think you guys were in the hootch next to ours by the road facing the village. Hey Flash, how the hell are you?
Give me a shout and let me know. To Capt Gardner L. I served to I was rto Div. As I read these wonderful words of memory from all I am stunned at how really bad my memory is of those days of long ago. Maybe next year we could all do Wash. Hello Robert, I certainly remember McCort. He was next to my space in our hooch. I went to Saigon a couple of time with Paluch.
I met with another vet the other day that I served with on Team 91 the next year. It is so different talking to someone that was there and has common experiences. Lots of things come flooding back. I am the same Tom Howes. Now retired and living in Austin. Never heard back from Zippo but have heard from Glen Taylor in the last month.
Hope all is well. Ken Wallingford lives near Austin but I have lost track of others. I visited Bill several times at his parents house shortly after we returned from Nam. I believe Irl has passed. Don is at last I knew still in Acworth Georgia. Chuck in my time there I also served during Cedar Falls. Norm sure loved those Vietnamese in recon. I am interested in locating Oliver H. I ran across his name in a set of orders awarding him a CIB in October Taylor, one other thing ….
I am and your husband is the person who came in with the king bees and pulled us out of Cambodia. OMG I can hardly believe I heard from you. I have thought about you often over the years, I moved to Naples in and somehow I knew you lived here in Naples. I moved to Denver after I got out of the Army in , managed a Chevrolet Dealership for 30 years, retired in and moved to Naples.
My email addess is craigrmcgee hotmail. I just moved into a brand new house along I in Estero, a new development called Tidewater by Del Webb. I am retired in Dallas Texas. Good to hear from you. It was surely a bad day when we lost Bob Boyd. I am glad you got your well deserved Bronze Star. I spent several years in Naples. We lived in WindStar. I plan to be down in Florida early next year. Please send me your contact information so we can get together.
Craig, If you look back in the archives I think you name came up from some colleagues. I still think you should tell the story of your Zippo. Craig, Do you remember a few years ago when I helped to reunite you with your Vietnam lighter? Maybe you want to share that story. I received the lighter and have told the story many times. Hello Karen Stith, Are you still using the same email that Larry was using? Larry and I spent quite a bit of time together on Team My husband Larry Stith was on Advisory team 70 from — Anyone who has any memories of him it would be greatly appreciated as he recently passed away.
Does anyone remember Vinnie DePaulo not sure about the spelling. This is Vinny DePaola. Just found this site yesterday. We spent some good times together during my short time in country Sept. Wish I had discovered the site sooner so we could have reconnected.
Hope you are well. I was at the team HQ, Sr. I knew his SGT. We too were At the 5th Div Hqs just across the street from the Sr. I left in Early December. I was there when President Kennedy was assinated and when the Vietnames President Diem and his brother was overthrown. Hope to hear from you soon. But, I will check with my family. I am a high school class mate of Capt. He was from Miami, Fl but I cannot find his burial place. I have visited several other cemeteries in Miami but am unable to locate his grave site.
I also have not found a military picture of him. I have pictures of Sammy from our high school. Can anyone give me advise how I might find his grave site or locate pictures of him in service? I maybe reached at altownsel altownselinc. Hello Alphonso,My father was also in Team He died in and is also buried at Miami Memorial Park. I have heen to Miami Memorial Park many times over the last 48 years. I do not remember ever seeing the gravesite of Capt. I will double check at their office next time I am there.
Good luck in your search. We were both at the Team Headquarters in Bien Hoa. Is there any chance he was related to your family?
Thank you for your response. You are correct Capt. I have recent information as to his burial place and can soon confirm. Again thank you for you response. I was there that night when Sammy got killed , it was feb 1st about 4 am or so. I was with the artillery liaison. Sgt Gregory Gray was also killed and 3 others wounded. A us tank save my life by a mere second. I was with capt Stewart the morning he lost his life. It was feb 1st , not the 11th TET 68 sgtv68 aol.
Sammys actions help save my life sgtv68 aol. Hello Jesus, I may be reached at rpadron99 aol. You can email at hgarcia87 hotmail. Hello Jesus, My father was Capt. He was born on 30 April, in Matanzas, Cuba. He fled Cuba on 19, April, after the communist takeover. He returned to Cuba as a 2nd Lt. He was one of only a few to elude capture in the swamps and make it to the Colombian Embassy in Havana. My father was good friends with another Cuban-American soldier, Cpt.
Our families are still very close. God bless America and good luck on your book. I wonder if your father was a Captain leading 2 companies of Mike Force in Binh Long province in ? I met a captain of Cuban descent who had been in the Bay of Pigs mess. They provided security around our air strip during a high threat time and also were inserted in the jungle to find a NVA hospital which turned out to be a regiment.
I FACed the extraction and all but 3 were wounded or dead but all were extractred. Hello Lou, I am really sorry to hear about Larry Stith. We had just started corresponding since he found this web site. I have a terrific picture of him working at his desk at Lai Khe. Condolences and best wishes to his family from all of us that knew him and worked with him during that sometimes dangerous time.
It is with a heavy heart that will tell you that my friend and our brother Larry Stith, Team 70, , has died. Funeral arrangements will follow. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. We both hit the floor very quickly. Some shrapnel actually went through my hootch so I might have been at the right place at the right time.
When we communicated a few months ago we both remembered that day. We both really enjoyed it. Those are the type of things you always remember. Larry was a good friend and a terrific guy and will really be missed. I hope his family is aware of this website. Hello, I was wondering if anyone served with my father Sgt Steven Zeller, he was an RTO with the 9th regional combat assistance team, advisory team 70 5th division combat assistance team. He was for sure there august to October but probably longer.
The last name of Zeller sounds familiar. Hi Bob, thanks for the reply it gives me a place to start anyway. I remember some exciting experiences while a member of Team 70, But age and memory has caused me to forget the names of most of my friends and acquaintences from May God bless all of you who served.
Ken, hope you are well. Are you in Virginia? Should get together for a lunch one day. I did not work at the MARS station.
I was the advisor to the 5th logistical BN. I left in December of and have since connected with Mike McMunn. Hope to make it in November but not sure at this time. Team 70 was the best assignment that I had in my 21 year military career and I was glad to have been part of the team.
Hello Bill — You and I left the team just about the same time. Did you ever come into the G-2 office at Lai Khe for maps or to register a war trophy? We might have met.
I remembered your name from somewhere and then I saw that you and I were on the same awards order dated 5 December Did you move on to another assignment or finally done with the Army? I still had a year to go and moved further south back to Lam Son. Larry, I did ship a war trophy home and that must have been when I met you. I would remain in the army for another 8 years and I retired in with 21 years active military service. I have always considered my time with team 70 as the best assignment I ever had.
I hope to attend the reunion but not sure at this point. The team members always worked well together and I considered the people in team 70 to be some of the best I have ever served with.
Please stay in touch and we may get to meet at the reunion. To Richard Gotch , thanks for the reply — I cannot remember their names I hope we get to meet in Nov. How long did it last? I really hope we can pull off a reunion in Nov. For everyone reading this I had a reunion in New Jersey with one man and we asked a local VFW if we could use their facility and they let us. A captain replaced me as senior advisor and a Lt who jumped of the chopper that flew me out to Lam Son on my way state side.
By chance do you know their names and if they made it out? I was advisor to 3rd Bn 7th Regt — I was with the 1st div.
My other 1st Infantry team members were Maj. I was Sp4 Jerry Barrett. McGowan once at Ft. Sill in , but had no contact with anyone from Tm 70 until I found this site in late They are planning a reunion in DC in November. I hope plans for this is posted on line. I was wondering if you were my replacement after I left in Feb and also if you remember my team member brothers?
Any info on them? I would surely love to see and talk with them. I will be 70 yrs old in November and feel like I am living on borrowed time. I live in Georgia. Want to talk Hope to meet new and old friends in November. Big Red One attached to Tm The other members were CPT. Did you know any of these guys? I have lost contact since leaving Nam. It would me great to be able to talk with them.
Good to see you on this site. Have a great Christmas and New Year. I joined the Team under fire while moving into Trung An outpost. The basic purpose of the site is for Team Vets to find each other. Many of the follow ups with former colleagues are done off the site and directly between individuals. In the tab Website Guidelines on the site home page is a recommendation to coordinate any reunion details directly among participants and not through the site.
This keeps the site free of any references to commercial activities including airlines, hotels and travel agencies. Count me in also. I may be of some help setting it up since my children live in the D. I live in the Pittsburgh, PA area. Note that time period in D. Dudbridge any chance we crossed paths at Gosney? I remember an individual who had a bronze star with either one or two oak leaf clusters.
Just found this website and felt compelled to send a note. After I found this website, I read off some of the comments to him. He initially worked for COL Hayes and remembers him well, he laughed at the snake and duck story.
He remembered the another story about the snake getting out one night and loose in the area….. Wondering if anyone remembers the dates or has any pictures to share. Not to tell stories or look at old pictures. Not to laugh or weep.
Comrades gather because they long to be with the men who once acted at their best; men who suffered and sacrificed, who were stripped of their humanity. I did not pick these men. They were delivered by fate and the military. But I know them in a way I know no other men. I have never given anyone such trust. They were willing to guard something more precious than my life. They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me for the rest of their lives.
It was part of the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another. As long as I have memory, I will think of them all, every day.
I am sure that when I leave this world, my last thought will be of my family and my comrades… Such good men. I remember your father very well. He then managed our move from Lam Son to Lai Khe. Not many like him. Pass on my regards. Lott was dispatched to greet the 4 star general— At the chopper Lt. Lott was only greeted by another Lt. I believe he was friends with Capt Parlow, I had contact with him about 6 years ago. He lives in Minnesota and when I find his address I am going to tell him about this website.
I liked your post about your feelings of those you served with. I also think of Viet Nam every day of my life. The days, weeks, and the months are ticking by—for all reading this, where are we going to meet? Thanks both Mike and Bob. I really appreciate the anecdotes. It seems, a generation or two later, those kinds of funny things still happen in the Army and I guess always will.
A couple of other anecdotes: We took over about a 2 square block area within the ARVN perimeter, an area previously inhabited by units of the 1st Infantry Div. In the early days, we would spend half of our days performing advisory duties and the rest of the day improving the advisor compound by erecting B wire, filling sandbags for machinegun emplacements, and painting sun-dried wood that soaked up paint like a sponge. Lott wanted to make it into the compound chapel and, of course a chapel must be white.
We painted that building everyday for a week before it even gave an appearance of looking white. We must have gone through 50 gallons of paint. In the end I remember him saying that the paint job looked like hell but that the cross at the top sure looked great! Another story if I may: At about hrs there was an explosion on or very close to the compound. Per SOP my orders were: I rang and rang the field phone to his hootch with no answer.
At that point I was worried he had been injured by the explosion or if he had been fragged. It turned out a drunk soldier from a Signal unit housed on the compound pulled the pin on a grenade and tossed it near one of the guard posts. Fortunately, no one was harmed but it made for an interesting night. Thanks for the post. And for anyone who may know — back the the question on the engagement some time in the Fall of 69…. Daybreak brought CAS and helicopter gunships which broke up the enemy.
All the details I know, other than my father said ARVN soldiers fought bravely in the engagement and through the night…. Hey bob I was with Col Hayes and your dad at Lamson and lai khe.
When boy was loose the other players were decidedly nervous and their focus was shattered. Col Hayes made up hid losses while Boy slithered around the room. Those Thursday night poker games were legendary. There was a navy Lt. One of the players who would fly in for the game was s Ltc named Beckwith. You will orobably be impressed. I think my assignment to advisory team 70 was one of the highlights of my career. I remember Ltc Lott well. He was one of the good guys. My email is rpadron99 aol.
Robert I never met your father. I did meet and at times worked with his replacement, as well as his actual team members actual names still escape me. I do remember that he was held in high regard especially for his prior military exploits. I was not there during the actual downing of that CH. However, having participated in numerous flights in and out of Song Be subject to hostile sniper fire, it is my belief that a sniper on Nui Ba Ra got lucky with a small arms round to the tail rotor.
Those chopper pilots were highly skilled at knowing exactly what their aircraft was capable of handling. I was in and out of Song Be once a month on the pay chopper.
I believe we had two advisors killed. One was a boy I knew as we came into country together. We had to take evasive action as they locked onto our chopper. According to the pilot, we were lucky to evade the rocket. We were under mortar attack that day while on the ground. I just found this web site. My memory of those years should return and would like to hear from anyone, I have several hundred slides stored somewhere in my house and will share them. My father was with Advisory Team 70 from July — July Hi John, Yes, I had a huge memory flood especially reading certain parts.
I also am thankful for my place in the organization, but then we all had our part to play. It was truly an interesting book because many parts were real. I am not much into the organizing. He may have some info. Maybe the current occupants of the White House would put us up?
I love DC, great place. To everyone who reads this I hope God has blessed your lives. Oh those were the days. If my math is right that was 50 years ago when I left the Nam, back to the world.
Obviously, I am just throwing this out to get the conversation started. The other thing is to start getting some idea of how many may attend. I would be honored to attend. Hello Larry, glad to hear you had a good trip. I am hoping to hook up in Nov in DC. Would be very cool. How are you doing? Was nice to meet you and your wife on your trip south. See you, Chuck- Sampson Scooper 4 , over, the only call sign I can remember that we used. Chuck, sorry for not checking in sooner.
Things are great no complaints at this point. Was there a meeting in San Diego? Chuck I saw your picture on Facebook.
If there is a reunion we should all bring pictures. Hello Mike, no problem, good to see your post. I can not make it to San Diego. Larry Eagon must have posted the picture. I may have if it was on Facebook. Nov would be terrific for s reunion. Glad to hear you are doing well. Same here, very blessed. Hope to see you before the days slip away.
I think your suggestion about anyone who is familiar with facilities in the DC, Arlington, Alexandria area might be able to make some contacts and see what might be available. It would be nice if we could get a general idea of how many folks might be interested. I know Tom Boyle and myself are interested. Tom, I came into the team in June, No problem with remembering me. He has a picture of you and Lou in his archive. I worked in the admin office first as a typist and later ran the message center.
I visited each office twice a day so I got to know most everyone at Gosney Compound. I remember that after the swimming pool was built I almost drowned you horsing around in the pool. You had some lung problem. Scared the hell out of me. Hi All, By Jan 71 the plastic liner in the swimming pool had become infected with some kind of bacteria. Several people got bad rashes so the whole thing was closed down and the liner was taken out. It sat empty for awhile until some of the engineering guys assigned to Team 91 scrounged rebar and cement and built a really first class pool.
Everyone on the team helped out when they were pouring and finishing the concrete. It sure was nice on some of those hot days. Too much guard duty and too many drinks at the EM Club. My name is Greg Skalany.
Beside doing generator repair on the compound and two other sites, I was tasked with keeping the pool area clean. I remember painting the surrounding fence.
I also ran the special services photo lab at night, and processed mission photos from our pilots. I went back to Lai Khe in The first thing I do every morning is check this sight for new postings. We all carried on a proud tradition of serving in the United States Military. This will be one of only a few opportunities we all have left to get together. One of this group should be able to get a place we could all meet on Veterans Day Nov.
I thank all of you for making my tour a Honored tradition and a memory I think of every day. If we are serious about a reunion on November 11, I am definitely in. What do we want to do? A get-together at a DC pub, visit the Wall as a group, dinner at a great restaurant at Eden Center in Falls Church, or all of the above?
We need a thinker like you to organize give the orders and the troops will follow. When I was younger and more healthy I would have gladly put it together but I cannot do it now. Everyone else reading this think about it, maybe someone knows of a hotel that will sponsor us a meeting room or a hall where we can gather and meet. I just sent an email to Tom telling him you mentioned him. I was there later Jan 70 — Jan 71 but saw you mention Tom Boyle. Tom is a very good friend of mine and I have been trying to get him to post here.
Maybe this will get him out of the weeds. We live in the same general community and he, his wife and I got together last Thursday evening. If he does not respond here let me know and I will give you his email address after I check with him. We saw each other the last couple days there. I believe he was from New Jersey when we served at Gosney. Tom Bacon, glad you got back OK. Everyone…it was great to read through all the comments and things remembered for us all over 46 to 50 years ago.
It was a trip back to a time. I was and still am proud to have served my time with Warriors who jobs were to assist those in the field. I was at Gosney Compound Oct 67 through Oct Welcome home to all and prayers for those who have passed. Who did you work for! I mostly hung out with the guys at G2. Lost my High School ring in the big field outside Gosney…anyone find it?
The fact that Mike and I are in the same town and had served in Team 70, a few years apart, was a great suprise. I am glad that this site is here so us old war horses can get in touch with each other. I remember our time in Sidney and still laugh about the ladies there not liking facial hair. Welcome home to all my brothers from the teams especially Team I agree that the get together is a great idea and would be fantastic.
I met and married a lady from PA and have lived there since. Tom, got the pictures from Scotty today that you and Fred put together. I would also be interested in a reunion later this year. I have had a great ride, have some health issues now but the VA has taken very good care of me. Larry, I would also like to read the book! Do you know, or anybody know where to find it? They thought smoke grenade cause they took off my jeep. Jim, I got it on Amazon. I checked libraries all around my area, but no one had it.
Maybe some other used book sites might have it, but I had a credit at Amazon. They sent it very quickly. Unbelievable, what some went through. I will say, it got my emotions going. From anger to hate, and laughter. Not that it was funny, it was just so ridiculous, what Jerry Harris had to go through. I had forgotten the Pizza Hut reference. I guess that is artistic license. I did go through Oakland when I returned. I did not get a uniform issue there as I left RVN in khakis. The book was interesting to me since back when it was written there were few books, fiction or non-fiction, written about advisors and it hit home being somewhat based on Team 70 itself.
Mike, Many parts of it hit home with me also. It had a real authentic atmosphere. I suspect he created a composite to tell stories he heard about plus his own experience.
I left RVN in khakis also. Thanks for telling us about the book. Thanks for telling me about this group. I just started reading the posts and saw this one.
We went outside the advisors compound gate and got a pizza at a hut, or at least I thing we did. It was a long time ago. Neither of us were sober. To say the least I was not a happy camper!! Remember now SA was Col. Scared us both, Ha, Ha. Spent all my time with the ARVN and picking up prisoners. Probably wrong, but I was told they where way over loaded. Anybody hear anything like that.
On page 85 it says a Chinook was made to hold 33 and they had 50 on board when it crashed at Song Be. An interesting coincidence, at least for me, from the book. In the first few pages he recounts being at the auto race in Germany when driver Jimmy Clark was killed. I was there also. A good read and certainly moves along quickly. We certainly used that one a lot. One point that struck me was that he did not seem to go through Oakland Army Terminal.
Did officers have a different routine? I went through there every time I went back and forth to RVN 2 round trips. We got our dress green uniforms there, not at Lai Khe. Was there really a Pizza Hut at Lai Khe? Thanks for recommending the book. My father was Capt. Song Be is located at the footsteps of Nui Ba Ra. My understanding of the events leading up to the crash are based on the Collateral Investigation Report that was done immediately after the accident.
The report states that while the CHA that crashed was at the upper limits of its gross weight capabilities, it was not the cause of the accident. The report concludes that: The testimony of the survivors is that shortly after take-off engine 2 malfunctioned forcing the CHA to loose altitude.
The pilot attempted to continue and land in the valley outside the Song Be airstrip. As it flew at low altitude the landing gear hit wires at the edge of the compound. The CHA rolled over and crashed on the steep slope at the end of the compound. My wife and I visited Song Be in With the help of the maps and crash site photographs provided in the report I was able to locate the crash site. I laid flowers and said a prayer.
We spent the night at Song Be. Visiting the last place on earth my father was at gave me some closure and has had a very positive effect on my life. SA was Jimmy Leach. He later took over the 11th ACR. One title I remember is Patton He has a Wikipedia page. I worked in the Admin Office. One of my jobs was to take classified mail from office to office so I visited G2 twice a day as well as all the other offices. There was also a SP4 who was bald so everyone called him Curly.
He later went to a regiment. While standing outside his hooch, he was accidentally shot by the division commander, Thanh I think his name was. Hello Jim, Welcome on line. Were you in G-2? It appears you were about 9 months ahead of most of us that have been communicating lately. Could not stop bleeding from something?? Remember Fred, and tall Major named Taylor. Lots of years undercover CI in Detroit , Hell of a guy!! Kelly is another I remember…. One of the best officers I have ever had the honor to work with!
I was older than most there I guess, 26, and. Made all the officers change into dress uniforms for lunch…. Stayed in the Army and retired out of Defense language Institute in June
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