"…one of the best battalions in Vietnam"
General Tommy Franks – from his book American Soldier – ppg. 106
Nobody's shooting at us anymore.
And there's no leeches hanging off our butts.
Life is good!
Lee Alley, President – quote from Reunion 2001
*** Reunion Dates Set for 2017 ***
The dates are set. Our 2017 Battalion reunion will be held in St Louis from Thursday 6/22 through Sunday 6/25. Mark your Calendars. If your granddaughter wants to get married…tell her to pick a different date .
Red Cross Honors Emily Strange
Our pal, Donut Dollie Emily Strange was honored by the Red Cross at
the hospice care facility where she resides.
( On July 12th Dear Emily passed away)
Click on the link to see the article
Regret to inform the Association that Ann Reiser,
wife of Ed Reiser (Alpha Co 7/68 – 7/69)
(deceased 7/13/09) passed away 5/23/16.
Ann attended several of our reunions.
Our deepest sympathies to all of the Reiser family.
Here is a picture of our two departed Alpha Co Ladies.
Ann Reiser on the left, Ann Ebbole on the right.
Regret to inform the Association that Ann Ebbole,
wife of Dan Ebbole (Alpha Co 1/69 – 1/70)
passed away yesterday, 5/21/16.
Ann attended several of our reunions.
Our deepest sympathies to Dan and all of his family
Does anyone remember a Warrant Officer named
George Ballman (aka Lucky Mustache)?
He flew med evacs in 67-68 and was with us at TET of '68.
If so please contact his sister:
22831 SW 119th St.
Dunnellon, FL 34431 (2/28/16)
DC Reunion Photos
Added photos from Tom Beck to the Photos Page.
Travel Fund Donations
Our Association has started off the New Year with
Travel Fund donations from Tom Beck and Philip Burt
(nephew of deceased Association member, Harold Burt).
Thanks Guys !! (2/20/16)
Our own Captain Hector Villarreal (HHC 10/67 – 9/68)
will be one of two persons to receive
The Chapel of the 4 Chaplains Legion of Honor Award.
Distinguished recipients of the Legion of Honor Award have included
Presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, James Carter,
and Ronald Reagan. Notable luminaries who received the award were
Bob Hope, John Glenn, Mickey Rooney, Martha Raye,
James Michener, Marian Anderson, C. Everett Koop, Tommy Lasorda
and Shirley Chisholm as well as deserving military personnel,
veterans, and civilians from all walks of life. Captain V. will receive this prestigious award for his long time service to the
San Antonio Coalition for Veterans and Families (SACFV)
Congratulations Captain V. (2/13/16)
Mobile Riverine Force President, Albert Moore,
recently had his computer crash and he lost his e-mail addresses.
He was unable to send out a “This Week in the Vietnam War “ column.
Albert’s new e-mail address is: [email protected]
Use this link to access the Winter 2015 MRFA Newsletter. (12/24/15)
Association member General Steve Siegfried , Bravo Co CO 67-68,
recently went to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor,
located in New Hollond NY. It is on the Hudson River
about 13 miles north of West Point . General Sieg
urges everyone to look at this web site. If you have a Purple Heart,
click on the "Roll of Honor" link and make sure your information
is correct. You can also check on departed friends to make sure they
are properly honored. To make changes click on the "FAQ"
(frequently asked questions) link. (11/1/15).
Here are some clips from our filmmaker friend,
Larry Cappetto, who made the film of our DC Reunion.
"Faces of Vietnam" is a 4 minute slide show.
"American Soldier" is a 22 minute Film Clip.
Travel Fund Donations
Our Association has received generous Travel Fund
donations from Don Westphal,Terry Schermerhorn, Ben Davis,
Gary Bobbett,Gary Vertress, Tom Beck, Jim Jorgensen, Jim Lingley,
Charles McDonald, Sara Smith, Ann Reiser, Clemmie Jenkins,
Tony Sparaco, John Coutant, Mike Lynch, Dan Alcorn, Ken Sundberg,
Brian Barna, C. Fred Krebsbach, Harry Velez, Charlie Taylor, Jim Waldo,
Stan VonFeldt and Phil Nichols. Thanks Guys !! (9/26/15)
Alpha Co Guys:
We received this e-mail
Thanks, Paul Fowles [email protected] (7/15/15)
Would anyone have any more information on him?
and his name was dedicated therein.
I saw an article about the Chapel of the Cyrenian
He served in Alpha Co 5th/60th and was KIA in May 1967.
My daughter in law’s cousin was SSG Billy Hammontree.
My name is Paul Fowles
I was a lifelong friend of Charles Woodall
(Delta Co. KIA 1/25/69) and would love to hear
from people who knew him.
I was the best man at his wedding.
Billy (Chuck) Booth My e-mail address is: cbooth4444@aol. com
We received the following letter from the Daughter of
Alpha Co soldier Allen Haight who passed away on 8/23/1978.
Can Anyone Help?
I am looking for anyone who may have known or served with my father,
Allen R. Haight. I understand he was in Alpha Company
and served from 68-69.
I don’t have much more info than this.
He passed away in 1978 when I was very young.
Would love to know more about him.
Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Kathy……..My e-mail address is: [email protected]
Happy New Year Wishes from Bravo Co 1968.
Sent by Dan Gowing
Travel Fund Donations
Our Association has received generous Travel Fund
donations from Rocky Susshine, Richard Calton, Brian McCormick, Gary Bobbett, Ron Mayville, Clemmie Jenkins, Terrell Newby, Fred Krebsbach, Charles McDonald, Ronald Di Stefano, Gary Niver, Mitchell Glenn, John Hohman, Wayne Parrish and Buddy Gault. Thanks Guys !! (8/28/14)
John Hohman, Charlie Company 12/67 – 12/68, is pictured here being inducted as a Distinguished member of the 16th Infantry Regiment.
He is receiving this most prestigious award from
Honorary Sergeant Major of the Regiment, Bill Arthington.
Congratulations John…Well Earned. (7/3/14)
Letter from Sylvia Kisling
I would like to thank everyone who has sent cards and expressed their condolences on the death of my husband, Alan Kisling. My children, grandchildren, and I will miss him terribly. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend to many. He was very proud of being a veteran and a founding father of the 5th/60th Association. He loved history, especially military history and enjoyed being the 5/60 historian until his health prevented him from giving his best. He was especially proud of being a Bandido Charlie and slept with the Bandido flag next to his bed. He was a humble man and would have been honored by the love shown at his memorial. I want to thank the 5th/60th members who attended his memorial; Lee Alley, who made the trip from Wyoming, Sam Bailey, Manny Lucas and Metz. I hope to be at the next reunion. I know Alan would have wanted me to be there.
Thank you and God Bless all of you.
Sylvia Kisling (6/22/14)
Here is a photo of a group of Rangers
who met recently on Coney Island, New York. (6/21/14)
Left to Right: Lou "Doc" Rivellini, Sal Commisso,
Joe Chierchio and Tony Sparaco.
Memorial Service for
Alan "Shorty" Kisling:
Alan at The Wall at DC Reunion.
Photo at Memorial Service.
Wreath sent by the 5th/60th Association.
5th/60th Representatives, Sam Bailey, Manny Lucas, William Metzler
and Lee Alley salute the flag during the playing of Taps.
Lee Alley presents the flag to Sylvia Kisling.
Members and Friends of the 5th of the 60th
It is with great sadness I must report the death of one of our
Founding Fathers and devoted Historian, Alan "Shorty" Kisling.
Alan died Tuesday Morning, the 20th of May, 2014.
I have no great words of wisdom. I only wish to share my
admiration for this great soldier. Unlike many of us whose duty
ended when we left the military, Alan’s had just begun.
We Love You Alan.
Rest in Peace.
Cards and Letters may be sent to
Alan's loving wife, Sylvia, at:
2901 Gail Avenue
Turlock, CA 95382-1252
Charlie Co 2/4th Arty FO 10/67-10/68
5th Battalion, 6oth Infantry Association Founder
5th Battalion, 6oth Infantry Association Historian
Friend and Brother Forever
Here is a photo of a group of Bandidos who
met recently for a luncheon in Puyallup, Washington. (4/5/14)
Left to Right: Bill Thackery, Gary Vertrees,
Don Frasier, Terrell Newby,
Wayne Parrish, Al Herrera and John Hohman.
Association member Max Zurcher was recently presented this plaque
by Clarence Slaughter, Regional Manager of the Veterans Centers,
St. Louis, Missouri. Max, who had a heart transplant in 2003, was honored for his
tireless work on behalf of all veterans. Congratulations Max (2/2/14)
We received an impassioned letter from Paul (Doc) Arnold. Paul served as a medic to Alpha Co from 12/68 to 9/69. He never received his Combat Medic Badge (CMB) and would desperately like to do so. He has been dealing with the VA for several years but he needs collaborating evidence. Anyone who served with or remembers Paul please contact him at:
230 N. Elliott Creek Road
W. Amherst NY 14228
Jimmy L. Johnson served in Charlie Company from 1/68 – 8/69. He passed away in 2007. All of his photos from Vietnam were destroyed in a house fire in the ‘80s. His grandson would desperately love to have a photo of his grandpa from that time. If anyone has such a photo, please contact Metz at:
Article in "Veteran" Magazine
about our DC Reunion
Tim Koeneman has written a great article that appears in this issue of the Vietnam Veterans of America Magazine. It is available on-line
DC Reunion Photos
Added some photos from William Metzler, Rick DeLorenzo,
Willard Hinkley, Jim Barto, Harvey Fort and Barney Tharp
to the Photos Page.
We did not have an official photographer, so If anyone has some photos
they would like to post just send them to Metz!! (11/23/13)
Recap of DC Reunion
The DC reunion was a success due to the great turn out
of members, family and friends. Thanks to everyone.
The bills are finally all in and our Association is going to end up in the black. Everything is paid and we have enough seed money to get our next reunion off the ground. We are in good shape. Thanks to all of the guys who made such generous contributions. (10/6/13)
Here is a trailer of the video from our DC Reunion
Travel Fund Donations
Our Association has received generous Travel Fund
donations from Dan Spencer, Fred Krebsbach, Gino Vazquez, Henry Wells, Pat McAloon, Jeff Simmons, Sager McDill, Al Herrera, Ron Mackedanz, Max Zurcher, Wendy Winslow, Linda Adams, Mike Lynch, Larry Riley, Charlie Taylor, Jim Waldo, The Bandido Charlie Association, Jim Murphy, Ronnie Colsch, Tony Sparaco, John Coutant, Manny Lucas, Phil Nichols, Wayne Smalley, Stan VonFeldt and Barney Tharp. Thanks Guys !! (1/1/14)
Here are Pete Williams (1st/16th) and Association member Ron "Mack" Mackedanz at the Battalion Conference Room of the 1st/16th, 1st ID. Note on the wall behind them is the Bandido Charlie battle flag that we presented to 1st/16th CSM Dave Kuhnert at the Wichita reunion.
The flag originally flew on the track of Bandido First Sgt Charles McDonald in 1967-1968. (6/30/13)
This picture was sent to us by Master Sergeant Edmund
Scarborough, nephew of Captain Edmund Scarborough,
KIA 5/10/68. The photo shows Captain Scarborough and
two RTOs. It was reportedly taken on that fateful day.
Can anyone identify the two RTOs?
If so please e-mail Metz at;
Here is an article that appeared in the Laramie Boomerang newspaper announcing our Association President, Lee Alley, as the University of Wyoming parade Grand Marshall. (10/11/12)
We received this letter
from the Bandido Charlie Association.
Can anyone help this guy?. (7/14/12)
I’m in the center, I think Jerry Morrow is on the left, (to my right). Do you have an email address for him or name and address for anyone else in the picture from 1968? If so please pass my email address along to them.
We received this letter.
Can anyone help this guy?. (7/7/12)
On April 26, 1968, at a little past 2 PM, two of our jeeps left the Main Gate at Dong Tam, heading north to Highway 4, where we had a detachment of MP personnel working with engineers on the road to Cambodia.
The lead jeep was driven by a Sp 4 with a lieutenant in the passenger seat. The trailing jeep was that of our Provost Marshal from Bear Cat, Ltc. Grazioli. Also in his jeep were his Sp 4 driver, a master sergeant (our operations sergeant) and an Australian MP on liaison with us that day.
VC sprung an ambush a short distance north of Highway 25, killing the driver of the lead jeep and severely wounding the lieutenant. According to the article I've attached, members of your outfit were in the vicinity and came to their aid.
All these years later we would love to know who some of those great guys were.
Any info you could provide would be most appreciated.
9th MP Company
Here are some interesting
5th/60th Links. (6/9/12)
This link, from Barney Tharp, is a pictorial concerning Alpha Co.
This link is a half-hour show from Wyoming PBS profiling
our Association President, Lee Alley….very well done.
We received this e-mail. Can anyone answer this guys questions?.(3/18/12)
Hello, My name is Hunter Moyer and I collect pocket patches of the Vietnam
War. I've been trying to reorganize some of my items and decided to do some
reasearch on some of the 60th Inf patches I have. I came across your website
and have been looking through it for over an hour now. It is really great to see
the time and dedication you guys have put in to preserving your history. I am
writing because I have a question on these patches. I was wondering
exactly what part/company of the 5/60th they were used by? I saw the Raider one on a
reunion picture but it did not say which company. I cannot find any reference to
any of them as to who wore them or when. Would you be so kind as to help me
or point me in the right direction to someone who can? If you know of any
period photos that these patches can be seen in use, could you let me know? I am
trying to do these little pieces of history the justice they deserve. Also, is there
any way to get a leftover program for the 2010 Recon Raider reunion?
Thank you so much!! Hunter [email protected]
Here is a photo of some of our 5th/60th guys and their
family members recently taken in Vietnam.
Back Row: Hoy (our guide), Tran (the helper), Andy Robertson B Co, Diana Taylor,
Madeleine Smalley, Wayne Parrish C Co, Glenda Parrish, Jerry Greenwood B Co, Donna Greenwood and Mr. Nguyen (driver)
Front Row: Charlie Taylor C Co, Sam Taylor, Wayne Smalley B Co, Phillip Smalley,
Chris Greenwood, Craig Smalley, Alan Greenwood and Dennis Smith B Co.
David Fritz B Co was not available for this picture.
Our Donut Dollie pals, Emily Strange and Barbara Hager, are
finally immortalized on the Internet. Here is the song that
they and Marge Connors preformed at our 2006 reunion
in St Louis (11/19/11)
This post was on the MRFA web page. Can anyone help?(11/19/11)
This son is looking for information on his father. I did a quick search and
got one hit on the 5/60th being the "Delta Humpin Hundred". Anyone
else recall this term? If you have informatino for John then please
contact him here:
Thursday 11/17/2011 6:52:37pm
My dad served. He has Alzheimer's now so I don't know all
Association member Ron Mackedanz was recently awarded a Silver Star at
Fort Riley Kansas for heroic action 42 years ago.
Congratulations Ron !! (11/17/11)
Barney Tharp represents the 5th/60th at the Lebanon
Kentucky National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2011,(6/3/11)
Travel Fund Donation
Our Association has received Christmas time Travel Fund
donations from Charlie Company member James Jordan and
from the Bandido Charlie Association. Thanks Guys !!(1/09/11)
The Recon Raiders from 1970 recently had a reunion in Fort Dodge, Iowa…A handsome bunch of fellows !!! (11/7/10)
Tony Sparaco Article
In the September/October 2010 edition of the MOPH Purple
Heart Magazine, on page 27, there is a 1/2 page article with a picture of Herschel Gober pinning the Bronze Star on Anthony Sparaco at the 5/60 reunion in Wichita! (10/17/10)
Wichita Reunion Photos
We have decided this year not to do an "official" Reunion Book. We have put all of the reunion Photos on line, including the
"mug shots". These can be seen on the Photos Page. If anyone
has some photos they would like to post just send them to Metz!! (7/5/10)
Travel Fund Donations
Our 5th/60th Association has received recent, generous
donations to our Travel Fund from Barney Tharp, Charlie Taylor, Hershel Gober, Mike Lynch, Wayne Parrish, Fred Lopez,
Geoffrey McCarron, Albert Gulliver, Patrick McAloon, Toby Chaffin, Norm Hirai, Paul Schade, Brian McCormick, Norm
Prance, Harold Steenbergen, Steve Ramsey, Gary Bobbett, Dave Miley, Bob Hill, Terry Schermerhorn, Ted Rinn, Steve Ramsey,
Bob Dornhecker, Bill Presley, Don Westphal, Bob Beechinor,
Buddy Gault, The Bandido Charlie Association and Teresa Lyons (niece of Ed "Big John" O'Hare Dec. 7/16/10).
Thanks guys (and gal) !! (7/26/10)
Tony Sparaco, Charlie Co 9/68-4/69, was recently (and very belatedly) awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam.
The award was presented by Congressman Peter King of Tony's
Congratulations Tony !!!! (6/11/10)
An article about our Association member, Bob Cooper,
will appear this month in a national medical magazine. (2/12/10)
Our own Buddy Gault was recently named to be
a Distinguished Member of the Regiment (DMOR) of the
1st/16th Infantry. Buddy was feted at Fort Riley.
Congratulations Buddy !!! (9/23/09)
Buddy Gault (left) receiving his award
from Colonel (R) Skip Baker
Men from Charlie Company 1970 recently had a reunion in Great Falls Montana…A handsome bunch of fellows !!! (9/16/09)
Kneeling L – R: Wally McManigle, Leo Woods
2nd Row L – R: Sam Bailey, Bob Carnaghi, Carl Hartley, Toby Chaffin, Bob Lindguist, Bill Smith
Back Row L – R: Terry Stull, Buzz Buswell
Front Row L to R: Wally McManigle, Toby Chaffin, Bob Lindquist, Leo Woods
Back Row L – R: Bob Carnaghi, Bill Smith, Carl Hartley, Sam Bailey, Buzz Buswell, Terry Stull
Charlie Company 68/69 recently had a reunion in St Louis. As part of the program the men intended to give a special award to Lt Bob Cooper. Unfortunately, Bob took ill right before the reunion and could not attend.
Dennis Rognes (a good man) unselfishly decided to pass up the reunion and fly to Oregon to make the presentation. Congratulations, Bob and Well Done, Dennis
Dear Friends and Family,
I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing a wonderful man last week in Westmoreland, Kansas. Bill Wedekind fought in Vietnam. An explosion in 1967 cost him his hands and eyesight. Bill also sustained multiple wounds over his body. Bill is one of the most positive, inspirational people I have ever met. He is truly one of my heroes.
Bill makes pottery and speaks to kids about what happened to him. I am putting together a story about Bill to hopefully encourage more people to use what they have instead of focusing on what they don't have. One of Bill's lessons for us is to use what we have – to use what God has given us, to help others.
One of Bill's favorite quotes is from Henry Ford: "If you think you can or you think you can't you are right."
Pictured with Bill are myself and Vietnam vets, Lee Alley (far left) and William Metzler (far right). Lee is featured in my film, "Vietnam Remembered."
Please feel free to share this letter and picture with others. If you would like to write Bill a special message please use the following email address. Tell him you saw his picture and read my letter. Thank you very much.
LEST THEY BE FORGOTTEN
Watch the CBS News Story
BRAVO COMPANY HISTORY BOOK
The Bravo Company History book is finally complete, and now available. According to Jerry (Doc) Leppert, over 100 of the books have already been sold. This book is a pictoral history of Bravo company from its training in Fort Riley through its service in Vietnam. It is 40 pages long and contains over 400 photos. Much positive feedback has been received on the book, and many vets are buying multiple copies for family members.
Copies of the book can be obtained by contacting Jerry Leppert at 303-875-9090 during the day or 303-838-3016 during nights and on weekends.
Bob Langley, Delta Co 3rd Plt 12/68-12/69, recently suffered a fairly severe stroke. Bob is powerless on his right side and has some speech problems. His wife, Brenda, reports that he is getting a little better every day and asks for everyone's prayers for a full recovery. Bob is in roon 6N10 of St Joseph's Hospital, 350 West Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013.
Travel Fund Donation
Metz, our Association Secretary, graduated from the University of California, San Francisco, Dental Hygiene program in 1975. (a class of 23…22 women and Metz)
At a recent class reunion they had a mini-talk around, giving everyone the chance to explain what they had been doing for the last few years.
Metz told everyone about our Association, our reunions and the good things that this has accomplished.
He was pleased and amazed today to receive a $400.00 donation from his classmates to our Association travel fund.(2/23/09)
If anyone needs a copy of their DD214
it can be ordered on this web site.
Men from Bravo Company 3rd Platoon from 1968 recently had a mini-reunion in Orlando…A handsome bunch of fellows !!! (9/26/08)
A group from the Franklin County North Carolina American Legion Post traveled to Ft. Bragg recently and put on a pig pickin for about 450 members of the wounded warriors battalion and their families. They cooked 3 pigs, bare bottom beans, slaw, potato salad, BBQ bread and had ice cream for dessert. It was a very rewarding experience for all of the Legion guys and was very well received and appreciated by the soldiers. 5th/60th Association member, Wayne Parrish, is the guy on the left followed by Snooky Coley from the 9th division – Wayne Rigsbee Black Horse Division – Kurt Southerland 101st Airborne – and Richard Marshall Air Force Pilot. Well Done Guys !!! (8/9/08)
This link shows an interview featuring Association President, Lee Alley, produced by the State of Wyoming. It runs for 15 minutes.
We have come to find out that our Australian FO friend, Garry Cooper, a special honoree at our 2006 St Louis Reunion, is currently battling prostate cancer. Garry would be heartened to hear any encouraging words from his 5th/60th buddies.
E-Mail: [email protected]
This link shows Association Secretary, William Metzler, and Association President, Lee Alley, participating in the "Reading of the Names" at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial on Veteran's Day weekend 2007.
The 1st /16th Association came up with the idea of erecting a flagpole in Oklahoma in honor of our 5th/60th Association founded, Curtis Hatterman.
We contributed to this worthy cause.
President Lee Alley recently received this note from Debbie Hatterman:
Thanks to you and all the guys in the Association for “everything” you have done.
Thank you for the donation towards the flagpole in Curt’s memory.
This is a link to an article on the Bandido Charlie mission in Al Asad, Iraq.
The following was received from Al Herrera.
Al is the Secretary of the Bandido Charlie Association,
1st/16th 1st ID.The letter was writted by Jon Garner, brother of Larry Garner, concerning the Bandido Charlie tribute to Larry(8/17/07)
Dear Ken & Al,
Wow! What a roller coaster ride.
It’s hard to capture the range of emotions we all experienced at the BRO/Bandido Reunion last week in St. Louis. We laughed and we cried; we felt joy and sorrow and anger and a huge sense of loss, but we always felt welcome and loved and understood.
I don’t know where to begin to thank all of the members of the Regiment, Battalion and Company who made us feel so much at home. From the moment the two of you made contact with me, I felt something special was happening. I didn’t know what to expect of the actual reunion experience, but I was overwhelmed. Everyone we met was so gracious, so generous and so sincere. All of us appreciate the respect you have for Larry and his memory, and the work you have done to perpetuate his legacy. We learned so much about him and his accomplishments and we’re eternally grateful for that. Many of our questions were answered and you helped to bring a measure of closure to all of us. We loved Larry and it was incredible to be with a group of others who shared this love.
We’re especially grateful for the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people who made the experience so special:
- Both of you for all your hard work coordinating the event. I’ve learned over the years that dealing with the Garner Clan can be challenging. You handled our many concerns and requests with genuine caring and tact. The plaques and letters were wonderful and will be cherished by all of us. You showed great skill in navigating the politics of including the Original Bandidos in the heritage of a Division rightly proud of its many accomplishments.
- Ken for your friendship, your stories, your words on Thursday evening and for your love of Bandido Charlie.
- Al for your masterful handling of everything. Tactful, respectful, attentive to detail, forceful when called for and always on top of things. You exemplify the qualities of an outstanding 1st Sgt.
- Phil Greenwell for all of his work, especially his work with the Thursday evening memorial. His words were heartfelt and made us even prouder of Larry and the men he led. His music selection for Saturday’s Division memorial was haunting and beautiful and captured the emotions of our loss in a very special way. Larry was a friend as well as a brother, father and husband.
- Betty Herrera and Linda Greenwell for being so caring, generous and supportive.
- Charlie Taylor for his photos, his stories and especially the presentation of his Bandido scarf to Chris. I know it was a cherished memento of his and will be equally cherished by Chris. It was also a pleasure to meet Sam and hear from him how Larry’s legacy affected both him and his dad.
- Gary Bobbett for sharing memories of Larry and his accomplishments and also the great photos that caught the joy Larry felt with his Bandidos. To us Gary exemplified the positive impact that Larry had on so many individuals.
- Larry Tirreno for his extraordinary photos, complete with stories for each one that captured Larry in ways that we never were able to experience. We were so happy that he included his daughter Carolyn. What a charming, poised young lady!
- Martel Firing for sharing his memories of Larry and for his willingness to connect with each of us.
- Tony Haug for keeping Larry’s personal effects for all these years and passing them on to us. Also for the regimental insignia he found for Mike and the WWII 9th Infantry “sweetheart pin” for Harriet. I really appreciate his thoughtfulness for securing an old “Eagle, Globe and Anchor” for this former Marine.
- Lucian Hinkle for seeking us out and sharing his remembrances.
- LTC Ken Cassels and his wife Peggy for welcoming all of us into the 16th Infantry “family”. I know Larry would have been proud to serve in his command.
- “Sit Rep” Mike and his wife Sue for all their work with the Bandido material and for their willingness to simply listen and be there for us when we needed it.
- Mack Mackendanz for his poetry, which captures the emotions all us have felt at various times since our service.
All the 5th/60th Bandidos who reached deep into their memories to help us learn more about Larry and his Bandidos. I know it can be a painful experience to relive the past and we’re touched by their willingness to deal with that pain and share with us.
All of you who were involved in the reunion deserve to be acknowledged, and I know there are many I’ve not mentioned. I apologize for any lapses of memory on my part and hope you’ll understand.
You probably didn’t expect the entire clan when you invited Mike to the reunion. As a group we can be a bit overwhelming. Thanks for welcoming us as family and for sharing your memories with us. The reunion was an incredible experience for all of us and we’ll never forget it or your generosity.
With gratitude, appreciation and heartfelt thanks.
Jon & Nancy Garner
The following article appeared in the Lockport NY
Lockport Union-Sun and Journal April 11, 2007
VETERANS: Locals remember fallen brother in ceremony marking his death
By Joyce Miles/[email protected]
Standing at the foot of Veterans Monument, he pulled the news clipping out of his jacket pocket and unfolded it with care.
The news of Robert W. Raetz’s swift death by sniper fire in a Vietnamese jungle has never left Ed Miller. He was in fact there, only a few feet away, when Raetz took the hit.
Miller has kept his friend’s obituary, front-page news in the Union-Sun & Journal, tucked away in his wallet ever since. He brought it out of safekeeping Tuesday for a special occasion.
April 10, 2007, was the 40th anniversary of Raetz’s death, and Miller decided to mark it with a memorial service in Veterans Park.
“I thought it was high time after 40 years,” he said. “I was with Bob when it happened and I’ve never forgotten.”
Miller, of Lockport, worked with Robert’s only surviving relative, younger brother Ron Raetz of Newfane, to put on the service. It was a low-key affair attended by a handful of veterans, friends of the Raetz brothers, and a couple of elected officials invited to help honor a fallen local hero.
“Twists of fate” put Miller and Bob Raetz on the path to friendship, Miller recalled. Born a week apart, they both graduated from high school in 1964, Miller from Lockport High and Raetz from Newfane High; they both landed jobs at Harrison Radiator after turning 18; and they both were drafted into military service on the same day in the same place, Selective Service at the Bewley Building, yet they didn’t know each other at all — until they got to Vietnam.
At the camp they occupied as fellow members of the same Army unit, B Company 5th Battalion, Miller was reading one of the hometown newspapers his mom had mailed to him when Bob approached, demanding to know, “what are you doing with ‘my’ newspaper?”
Thus began a friendship that gelled quickly and ended too soon.
Miller remembered he and Bob were taking part in “Operation Junction City” in spring 1967. On the afternoon of April 10, the men were heading back to their vehicle when Miller heard gunfire. As quickly as the sound dissipated, 20-year-old Bob was dead. The gunner had been struck first and Bob had moved to take over his position.
“That’s how I remember him then, and every day after that,” Miller said.
Miller presented a floral wreath marked “Remembered” to Ron Raetz, who laid it at the foot of Veterans Monument and shared a few memories of his own. Ron was 14 when Bob died.
“It doesn’t seem like 40 years has gone by. Robert was my hero. He was my big brother,” Ron said.
In one of his last letters to their parents, Ron recalled, and in the midst of a war growing increasingly unpopular at home, Bob wrote that he was fighting for his country so Ron wouldn’t have to.
“It was his way of saying they’d win the war and there would be peace,” Ron said. “Of course we know we’ll always have war, because people just can’t get along. If there were only two people in the world there would still be war.”
Miller and Ron Raetz kept the memorial service largely unpublicized, to the extent that even many American Legion officers in Lockport and Newfane were unaware of it, out of respect for Bob Raetz’s memory. The war in Iraq invites parallels to Vietnam, and increasingly is just as unpopular with the public, and Raetz said he didn’t want to risk the service being targeted by protesters.
Raetz rejects the implications of words like “quagmire” and “no-win situation” and suggests the United States is obliged to finish what it started in Iraq, not “sneak out the back door” as it did in Vietnam.
Miller has a different view — Iraq looks like a case of “same stuff, different day,” he said — but he appreciates one of the things that clearly separates the two conflicts.
“When we came home there weren’t groups of people waiting at the airport with bouquets. We got jeered and spit on,” Miller said. “I’m not taking anything away from the Iraq veterans, but the gratitude wasn’t there 40 years ago. … I’m grateful to see it is now.”
On a recent trip to Washington DC, 5th/60th Association President Lee Alley had a private meeting with follow Wyomingite Vice-President Dick Cheney.
Jim Logsdon, Charlie Company 5/70 – 8/70, received the
"Patriot of the Year Award"
from the Military Order Of the Purple Heart at their recent convention.
This is the highest honor that the MOPH bestows.
Congratulations to Jim.
Jim Logsdon with Mrs. Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000.
Jim is on the left (g)
photo from Purple Heart Magazine (9/27/06)
Members and Friends of the 5th of the 60th
It is with great sadness I must report the death of one our Founding Fathers and devoted Web Master, Curtis Hatterman. Curtis died Wednesday evening, the 14th of December, 2005. I have no great words of wisdom. I only wish to share my admiration for this great soldier. Unlike many of us whose duty ended when we left the military, Curtis' had just begun.
His love and devotion to those with whom he served spawned the award winning web site of the 5th of the 60th Infantry, as well as the Bandido Charlie Site and several others. The officers of the 5th /60th have no intention of trying to replace Curtis, as that would be impossible. At the same time, a search must begin for someone to carry on his work as the Web Master.
Continuation of the web site is essential to the life of the Association.
Curtis founded it, it is his legacy.
We Love You Curtis,
Rest in Peace, Bandido
Cards and Letters may be sent to Curtis's loving wife Debbie, at:
PO Box 683
Shattuck, OK 73858
1946 – 2005
Charlie Company 5th/60th 6/68 – 10/68
Charlie Company 1st/16th 10/68 – 6/69
5th Battalion, 6oth Infantry Association Founder
5th Battalion, 6oth Infantry Association Web Master
Co-founder of the current day Bandido Charlie Association
A Distinguished Member of the Regiment (DMOR) of the 16th Infantry Regiment
Friend, Brother, Bandido Forever
Photo by Sarah Orlando, daughter of Doc Gil Thompson C/1/16
Several attendees at our reunions have mentioned friends of theirs who were unable to attend the reunion because of financial circumstances.
To help with this situation, the Association has created a "Travel Fund".
1) If any member could use some monetary assistance to attend a reunion please contact the Association President, Lee Alley at:
[email protected] or phone at: 307-331-8902.
Any information given or actions taken will be kept in the strictest confidence.
2) If any members wish to contribute to this fund, please make checks payable to:
5th Battalion, 60th Infantry Association
377 Pebble Beach Drive
Rio Vista CA 94571-2140
3) Any questions about this fund, please contact Metz at:
[email protected] or: 707-374-1377 (CA)
Remember to always check the NEW ITEMS page for updates to this web site.
Click on blue links to view pages
Email the Secretary if you have Battalion news
This web site was created on August 7, 1999
And first displayed on the Internet on October 11, 1999
For information, questions or comments about this web site,
please email the Secretary – William Metzler