BLUE CHRISTMAS, by DON RICKS
Try this link to hear this song:
REALLY OLD CATKILLERS?
Our own world traveler, Rod Stweart, who also has a keen eye, sent this intriging photo of (perhaps) our origin. Check it out and send your comments to Rod (RODonIsle@aol.com):
A little item for the lads ... a thousand year old carving I ran across in central Bosnia. I don't remember that as part of our AO but here's the proof.
WHAT IS THE NEXT CATKILLER EVENT, AND WHERE WILL IT BE HELD?
By the end of this quarter, we should have an idea of where we are going and what event we will have next year. Bud Bruton presented an excellent opportunity for us to return to Vietnam, as a group, and he put lots of work into initial planning and briefings. As of this publication date, there are too few Catkillers expressing interest in a tourist trip back to Vietnam to warrant further planning action. In fairness to Bud, and ourselves, for such an undertaking we require a decision by the end of this month, because planning should begin very early to ensure we have all the plans, support, and official documernts lined up for an early 2009 departure. If you want to visit Vietnam, please let me or Bud Bruton know soon. Your interest and participation are the major factors which drive the wheels to our next destination, where ever it might be held. If there is no positive upward change in the interest level to return to Vietnam, the decision will be made in favor of devoting our energy toward a reunion in the latter part of 2009.
"Here is a picture taken last Wednesday [July 16] when Curt Perry visited me here in New Hampshire, on his way to a family reunion in Maine.
Sarge Means and Stephanie stopped by yesterday on their way to Maine. I talked with Grayson Davis (Catkiller45/3) and heard that Lynn Bumgartener (Catkiller14/09) and Ned Wilson (Catkiller16) had seen each other in Arizona.
There is a request to contact Bob Ferguson. If you know him or how to contact him, please email the EDCOM (Don Ricks):
Back in 1972-73, I dated a Catkiller 31, and I still have his Zippo lighter, engraved as follows:
I knew him as Bob Ferguson whose parents lived in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, his father working for Phillips 66.
I am looking for return this lighter either to Bob or his parents, or if nothing else, to any museum that the Catkillers may have.
[I have contact information and will communicate directly with Robert, if we can locate him. Don Ricks ]
I would like to communicate with just about anybody that was there between Oct 69 - Oct 70. It's hard to remember names after so long., though I can bring back just about everyday in my mind, like it was just yesterday. Like when the rocket fired when I armed it, and the crash I wittnessed. Just names and faces are hard to remember. All my pictures got lost in my travels since then.
I remember that when I got there I was designated the U-6 mechanic, because I'd worked on them in Germany. I had to do the engine change with out having a clue of what I was doing. Thank God for TM's and Parts TM's.
Can you get my name on the personel list, I was a SP4 got promoted to SP5. Also if there's going to be another reunion, please let me know when and where.
By the way do you know of any way to get a unit patch or decal? [There are none available, Sorry.]
Thanks for getting back to me.
Lloyd E. Bunn, SFC Retired
Contact Lloyd at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Luna sent this message asking for contact with anyone with whom he served. His message is below:
Hello, My name is Richard Luna, one of my jobs was 68G20 airframe repairman on Bird Dogs, as well of alot of my other jobs was guard duty; towards my end of duty, seems like all we did was guard duty. I arrived around October 1967, and I left Bhu Bai around January 1969. I extended two and a half months in order to get an early out. For some reason I would like to get in contact with other Cat Killers from Bhu Bai. I was at a gun show in Orange County Calif. and I asked around to see if any venders were selling any or our unit patches. I was told that was was a very hard item to obtain. I arrived at our company in Bhu Bai as a Private E-2, and I made Spec.5. I was drafted into the Army, but I am very proud to have served. I am also a Color Guard for the 42nd. Black Watch Highland Society, We perform at all the Scottish Games and Festivals in Southern California. I hope to hear from you and others.
Have been trying to locate some of the guys I served with in Phu Bui, but no luck. I went to a 220th web sight, and I sent an e-mail, but I never recived a reply. Maybe you could help me on who I could contact. Thank you.
Spec.5 Richard Luna (Retired)
1209 W. Gardena Blvd
Gardena, Ca. 90247
These are photos of some of the enlisted men, courtesy of Guy Trettel (CatkillerCrewChief), from the 1967-1968 era:
Charles Finch recently visited the Active Duty Rehabilitation Center at the Veterans Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. Thanks for sharing the experience with us, Charles, and we hope your Bell's Palsy improves. Merry Christmas to you and Nancy:
There are no photos of me here as I still have the Bell's Palsy and not good to look at.
The community in which Nancy and I live, Reynolds Plantation, is one of the biggest supporters of our veterans anywhere in the US. It is amazing how we have attached ourselves to the Active Duty rehab center at the VA hospital in Augusta. We have used our Veteran's golf tournament and other functions to purchase exercise equipment and even a $40,000 van for the handicap. We go there once a month (77 mile drive) to celebrate those soldiers with birthdays.
The reason I write this is to tell a story that was told us by a MSGT who just finished his second tour in Afghanistan. Unlike many others in the rehab, the soldier had all of his limbs but had some other wounds.
Anyway, he was one of the experts in Russian artillery used by the good guys against the Taliban. He had all the fire fight stories, but what was interesting was how both sides fighting one another, hate each other, so bad that no prisoners are ever taken. He said the Taliban will fight till the death, and if there are any wounded left on the battlefield, they become KIA once closure takes place. He said both sides are so illiterate that they gain very little information, even if they have an interpreter.
This MSGT was embedded for both of his tours, mainly teaching Russian arty to the Afghans. He said they like the US, fight very hard, yet may never defeat the Taliban. War is like a way of life in Afganistan; without war it would not be Afghanistan. His respect of the Taliban was apparent, as they had killed so many - even when being outnumbered and having air always being called in on them. He said their refusal to back down from any fight, regardless of the odds, just defies description. He thinks we are greatly under-estimating their power and growing network. He said the body count over there is a lot higher than most report. He said they find many grave sites where Taliban just wipe out hundreds. Old and new graves litter the mountainsides, and the bad guys seem to enjoy not hiding the new ones like they did the old ones.
He and some others in rehab do not have a lot of nice things to say about the IRAQIS. He said after his second tour there, he would rather fight in Afghanistan, as he knew who the enemy was everyday and had the power to shoot and ask questions later.
It was a great visit. Hard to be around so many without limbs, etc but they were eager to serve and have great morale.
Take care everyone.