On March 28th, District 1 will be holding a memorial service for all of our Comrades and Sisters who have died in the past year. The service will be held at Post 2100 in Everett. Everyone is welcome to attend the ceremony.
We will be nominating new officers in the March meeting. Nominations will remain open until the April meeting when elections will take place. Installation of officers will take place in May the new officers will take command following Department’s convention in early June. If you are interested in be-coming an officer, let the nomination committee know. Jim Blossey, Fred Apgar, and Jim Traner comprise the committee this year.
Mike Reagan was honored by the Lynnwood Elks for his Fallen Heroes Project on February 28th at an awards banquet. The Douglas MacArthur award was given to Mike in a nice ceremony at the Elks. As Mike noted, this is the first time he has received an award from a civic group in his home town area.
Terry Crabtree, who serves as our Junior Vice Commander, was our featured speaker at our February meeting. He described the rescue efforts in which he participated following the col-lapse of the World Trade Center in the 9/11 at-tack. At the time, Terry was a construction engineer for Bechtel Corporation and was a member of a team of Bechtel employees who volunteered their services to assist in the rescue and clean-up efforts following the attack on our homeland. In addition to the nine construction specialists, of which Terry was a part, 25 other Bechtel employees served as safety inspectors. The team played a leadership role in the recovery of victims of the attack and the removal of construction debris. All debris had to be in-spected, and Terry described the reverence that was afforded whenever human remains were discovered. He also explained the efforts that had to be made in order to stabilize the slurry wall that prevented the water from the harbor from invading Ground Zero. Terry and his Bechtel colleagues worked at the site for six weeks. He indicated the most difficult part of the job was when the family members of victims came to visit Ground Zero.
Neil was born and raised in North Dakota. Like many boys during the Great Depression, he quit school after the 8th grade to work on the family ranch. At the age of 17, he also worked as a roustabout in the oil fields. Neil enlisted in the Army at the age of 23 and served in the Philippines and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He served as a mortar man and received the Philippine Liberation Medal, Asiatic Pacific Theater Service Medal, Victory Medal, Army Occupation Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. He was honorably discharged at the rank of Corporal after two years of service. Neil worked as a machinist at Boeing for 29 years and enjoyed good health during 24 years of retirement. Neil died at the age of 92 on February 5th after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Doris, three children and nine grandchildren.
The Post was asked by the family to conduct a graveside service for Neil. Commander Jim Blossey and Chaplin Fred Apgar lead the ceremony and Senior Vice (and 1st Sergeant) Chris Edwards provided troops to perform a flag folding ceremony. Post 1040 provided their honor guard.
I’ve included the obituary that Duane’s family provided to me which had a lot of facts that I didn’t know about Duane. Duane was Commander for 5 years at a time that the Post was going through some struggles. He and the other Officers kept it together and we owe him a great deal of thanks. Duane Pounds passed away on February 19th from complications of a stroke and a broken heart. Julie, his wife of 66 years, passed away last summer and he was simply lost without her. He lived a long and wonderful life of 86 years filled with family, laughter, travel and community involvement. Duane was born in Minnesota on June 30, 1928, to parents, William and Marie Pounds. After moving to Seattle with his family, he met Julie after she winked at him while riding on the back of a Harley. They had many adventures riding motorcycles and later raising a family of five children in Shoreline. Always an active and engaged parent, Duane volunteered for many chaperoning duties with the Shorecrest High School Band and Thunderbirds Drum & Bugle Corps which made it hard for his children to get away with any mischief! He was fortunate to be able to support his family working as his own Boss as a contractor which allowed for many random, spur of the moment, camping trips or road trips to various Pacific Northwest destinations. Duane and Julie enjoyed many cruises as well as several trips to Norway, Hawaii and American Samoa. They en-joyed their life and were always ready for the next adventure. Duane was active in many organizations including Lakeside Masonic Lodge; Seattle Scottish Rite; Nile Shrine Temple; Nile Legion of Honor; Past Commander, Edmonds VFW Post #8870; Past Commander, American Legion, Edmonds Post #66; Military Order of the Cooties, Pup Tent #18, Bellingham; Eagles FOE #2288 and many more.
Post member Mark Williams was traveling in England and came across (on purpose or accident, I’m not sure which), the building which I can only describe as a castle, that housed the 508th Parachute Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division. In the vicinity of that building is a monument to the 508th that reads:
Dedicated to our brave friends both past & present of the
American 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division,
who set up camp in this
Park in preparation for D-Day.
They parachuted into Normandy on June 6th, 1944 and
returned here during that summer
Before parachuting into Holland on 17th September
In the battle to liberate Europe
With pride and everlasting friendship.
Mark took several pictures of the monument and building and presented them to Fred Dietrich who was a member of the 508th. Needless to say, Fred was delighted his old Regiment was being honored by the Eng-lish.
I was talking to a fellow Nam vet the other day and he said “Beaucoup” meaning a lot or many. I hadn’t heard that term for a long time, but it’s a French word we used widely in Nam. It got me to thinking about the other slang we used. How about a few terms that I pulled out of my foggy memory:
- Cherry or FNG—your replacement, or worse, a replacement for one of your experienced troopers.
- Chieu Hoi Pass—a safe pass leaflet for VC or NVA surrendering (only saw it used once).
- Smoke—any color of smoke grenade or artillery round used to mark an LZ or location
- Di Di Mau—Move quickly or more typically “Lets get the Hell out of here”.
- Dinky Dau—crazy i.e. Is the Col. dinky dau sending us on this mission.
- White Mice—Vietnamese traffic cops (they dressed in totally white uniforms to direct traffic—being in an armored cavalry unit we didn’t pay much attention to their signals but they were very spiffy).
- Zippo—flame thrower mounted on APC
- In Country—Anywhere in Vietnam
- The World—Anywhere other than Vietnam, preferably America.
- P38—C Ration can opener worn on your dog tag chain.
- Mad Minute—Concentrated fire of all weapons at a predetermined time, generally around 0230 when you were nodding off on radio watch.
- “No Sweat”—GI’s response to every order received meaning “can do or easily done” whether it was true or not.
- Prick 25—PRC-25 radio
- PSP—Perforated Steel Plate—used for temporary runways but made for great bunker roofs after a couple of layers of sandbags were stacked on top. Also, used to provide some extra protection against RPG’s when hung from the side of vehicles or A Cavs.
- S&D—Search and Destroy—became politically incorrect so we were told not to use the term.
And of course our favorite,
- Freedom Bird—any aircraft leaving Vietnam heading home.
Those are the socially correct ones I can recall. If you have some you used let me know.
The American Legion has welcomed VFW in their Hall. They ask VFW for no rent and provide us with the Hall where our meetings are much more comfortable and conducive to running a meeting than our old surroundings. So how do we thank them. By joining the American Legion. The cost to join is $35/year. That works out to less than 10 cents a day. Since every VFW member is eligible for membership, I want each of you to seriously consider joining. I really don’t want to hear the following excuses:
“I already belong to too many organizations” or “If I join I want to be active and I don’t have the time.”
My response is “bullsh_t”. American Legion Post 66 supports us and we need to support them. You can’t go wrong belonging to too many veterans’ organizations. So consider when you are at the next meeting picking up a membership application. Can’t make the meeting? Go on line and get an application. If you can’t afford it, let the American Legion Post know it and they will accommodate your budget. In any event, support your fellow veterans.