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  1. Rick Lowell says

    I want to wish all of my Grunt Brothers, your families and the families of our brothers that didn’t return home, a Merry Christmas, and a very happy, prosperous New Year.

  2. gary gill says

    Bill Connell
    Can you contact me at ,

  3. Bill Beckum says

    My Uncle had bi-pass in 1977 & died in Oct, 2014 at 93. Told him my goal was to live 1 day longer than him. Had mine in Nov, 1998 so my goal is to make 90. Hit 69 last Saturday. 21 more years t o beat him.

  4. Jim Intravia says

    I’m pretty happy with the 50%/ Based on family history, I’m pretty sure I’d be in the same shape no matter what I did fro 69-70. I even feel a wee bit guilty getting the 50%. As far as ptsd, I believe in it, but I feel that for me personally, I don’t have it. Flinching at loud noises and a few flashbacks that shook me up dozens of years ago. Compared to what some guys have, I kind of don’t think that counts. I suppose there may be a little of that “survivor guilt” though I know that makes no sense.

  5. mark tucciarone says

    Fella’s, sorry to here of your heart problems. Here’s some inspiration: My mom had a quad bypass, and part of her heart removed [ it was damaged] She now is unstoppable at 87
    years old. I just got upgraded from 60 to70%. My next step is to go for 100% using increased compensation based on unemployability. Don’t give up !! Be as much of a pain in the ass as you can. A friend of mine was an MP at Cam Ron Bay. The closest he got to combat was wiping the dust off his 1911. It took him 4 years, but he is now 100%

  6. Terry Roberts says

    And do not hesitate to add PTSD to that paperwork! My counselor was pissed when they came back with 30%, he felt there was not a CIB recipient alive that should be rated less than 40%. Infantry, I appealed their decision 5 times, they want you to accept the 1st offer, we didn’t give up over there, don’t quit here!

  7. Jim Intravia says

    Me too. I had five bypasses in 1997 and now diagnosed wit diabetes. Went to the VA about two years ago and now my disability went from 10% (which it was since 1970 for hearing loss, shrapnel wound, intestinal infections and some minor stuff) up to 50% now. I was advised to use DAV. A bunch of old guys (even older than us!) who love volunteering to help us and fill out paperwork. There was a lot of it. Request for this and that, power of attorney, ways of doing stuff so it does not get lost. They did good for me. I would have been bounced back and forth and maybe never gotten anything without their help.
    IMPORTANT!!!!. Get the ball rolling. If you get a claim, it starts on the day you file. If you file today and it takes two or three years (as mine did) you get paid RETROACTIVE to that date. I got a lump sum payment of about $8,000.00 (for that backdated stuff) and now receive $822 per month.
    Also, at that level (and I think the purple heart may be part of the formula) all VA care is free-no copay whatsoever. No medication cost. They even reimbursed me for the $8.00 copays that I had paid for the past year or two.

    As I understand it, if you were a grunt (boots on the ground as they say these days) in our area, there was Agent Orange and you are eligible. Whether it is the cause or not, it is considered a contributing factor for ischemic heart disease and diabetes. So, while you’re recuperating get this thing going. You could have a lot of money coming to you. I believe they asked all kinds of questions about family history, which I answered honestly; mine is full of heart disease but it did not stop anything. I get the benefits.
    Good luck. Go for it. And, take care of yourself. Diet & exercise. I’m 17+ years with no other symptoms. 45 minutes cardio every day and more pushups than I did in basic. I want to live a long time. And I want to live healthy and I hope for the same for all of you guys.

  8. Bill Beckum says

    I had the same experience as Carl. Go for it.

  9. Carl Fryman says

    Lawrence, Is your problem called ischemic artery or heart disease? If it is, it is AO connected. Get your cardiologist and pc doctor to write a letter to the VA on your behalf and file a claim. You will receive at least 30% and many get 60%. I had 4 bypasses in 2009 and receive 30% from the VA.

  10. lawrence fry says


  11. Jim Intravia says

    Thanks for the Snagglepuss link. Now tha I saw and listened I see why Bill named him that. He really did talk like that and probably still does!

  12. LT says

    Hey Clay,
    I wasn’t much into ham and eggs until my Kit Carson Scout showed me how to heat them. He took a church key and opened holes all the way around top and bottom so the things actually heated through and you didn’t hit a cold middle as often. Anyone who threw peaches away should have gotten the old section 8.

  13. Jim Intravia says

    There was a new 90mm guy that Bill Young nicknamed “Snagglepuss” because he sounded like the cartoon character. I don’t remember the cartoon but the 90 guy with me was a funny sounding guy. He was in the field about a week and we were eating around our log (lagger?) and we see him toss something orange from his C-rats into the woods. Me and Bill freaked out. He was throwing away peaches because he didn’t want them. He’s lucky we didn’t shoot him! Bill and I were teamed up for a little while and he is one of my favorite memories.

  14. Gary Capshaw says

    I learned to love ham and eggs before it was over, but I never got hungry enough to eat ham and MF’s. Even when we went a week or 10 days with no resupply and ran completely out of rations, I didn’t eat the damn things.

  15. Clay Sniff says

    I really like chocolate and at first John Wayne bars, while not good, were tolerable. That changed after I got the really good (LOL) stuff from the C-ration cans.

    It is funny how tastes change. When I first got there I could barely stand to look at C-rat ham & eggs. Five months later I was so tired of the same old C’s that I was eating them just for variety. Beans & weenies were always good though. Even today.

  16. Terry Roberts says

    Chuck, you must be on one helluva diet to be craving a John Wayne bar!

  17. Chuck Missar says

    Boy what I wouldn’t give for a “John Wayne Bar”.

    • Gary Gill says

      Chuck you always did like them ,

  18. Carl Fryman says

    On R&R!!!!!

  19. LT says

    Radio silence again! After a series of very somber entries, how about some light hearted memories or something to pick our spirits up before Christmas!

  20. Jim Intravia says

    Yeah , really crappy. I knew Capt. Smith’s story was bad but timing and situation was even worse than i realized. Sorry to hear about Marty. Feel like I just went to two wakes that shouldnt have happened.

    Yeah Tuch. If I remember right, that was a stretch where the whole company between casualties and sickness went from like 140 to about 80 in about three weeks. Something like 32 killed & wounded and the rest from disentery or whatever and they pulled us out of the field early. Most of the casualties were booby traps as I recall.

  21. Carl Fryman says

    This kind of story makes me hurt. His LAST day in the field and gets killed. What a terrible story especially with new born twins that he had never seen. Thanks for filling us in on Cpt Smith.

  22. Gary Evans says

    I was Cpt Smiths RTO then and he was 3rd platoon leader. He had a set of twins that he had not seen, he was to go back to the rear that day but we were on patrol that day and found a bunch of rice and had to wait to get rice out so he missed his ride back to Hawk Hill

  23. Carl Fryman says

    Anyone remember Cpt Dennis Smith who was KIA on 11/30/69 by a mine in the NDP? Was he the CO? Anyone else wounded?

    • Jim Intravia says

      I remember a little about Captain Smith. I had just met him for the first time that day. Cheerful, nice guy. He was an Lt. as far as we knew but apparently had just gotten his promotion to Captain about a day before. He was, I believe, scheduled to go into Hawk Hill for another job, S4 or something and come out of the field any day. I also heard that his wife had just had a baby, who he never got to see. That was also the booby trap that messed up Marty (E5).. I don’t remember his last name but I’m sure others here do. I saw him at the one reunion I went to, in Alabama about 5-6 years ago. There was another guy who got two broken arms from the booby trap. I believe he sat with us (Me and Steerman, my 90mm partner) while we were awaiting dustoff. Smith was not CO. Captain Morris was at that time, I’m pretty sure. I think there were quite a few more casualties from that booby trap.

      • Mark Tucciarone says

        Jim, we hit 2 booby-traps that day , 1killed, 6 wounded including Lt. Shepard, Bruce Martin aka Marty [ who by the way died this past year] and myself. The next day, Tom Sipps stepped on a bouncy betty which did not go off. And yes, Capt. Morris was our CO.

  24. Bill Connell says

    R.I.P. Bob Garvin………Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  25. Gary Capshaw says

    The arrangements for Garvin’s funeral have been made. The services will be held at the Brown-Oglesby funeral home at 101 E. North 2nd St, Seneca, SC. Family night will be Sunday, Nov. 30th from 3-5 PM. Services will be Monday, Dec. 1st at 11AM. Burial will be in the Veteran’s cemetery in Anderson, SC.

    We will send flowers in the name of the whole group.

  26. Terry Roberts says

    Hey SR, got word today I don’t have to cook the turkey,peel the potatoes or make the gravy! But, since none of the above is my responsibility my past professional experience has made me pots and pans KP eligible! Just no way possible to escape our history! To all my Brothers be safe, eat lots of turkey and pumpkin pie and stay the heck away from Black Friday!

  27. Rick Lowell says

    I wish all my Grunt Brothers, and your families, a very happy Thanksgiving. I, for one, am thankful for having this website to go to and read and participate in discussion, with you all!
    It makes my day, day in and day out.

  28. Clay Sniff says

    Gary, the name Bob Garvin is very familiar to me but I can’t put a face or a function to him. What platoon was he in?

    • Gary Capshaw says

      Garvin was in 2nd platoon. He was short and blonde headed.

  29. Gary Capshaw says

    Received word today that Robert Garvin passed away this morning. Bob served with us in 70 and 71. No arrangements have been made yet.

  30. LT says

    Chuck and Russ: You too old farts wouldn’t last a night in Bangkok!

    Carl: Count me in on the peaches and pound cake


  31. Chuck Missar says

    Sounds like a road trip Russ…..

  32. Chuck Missar says

    That is a question that would require a lot of time to answer as well as a lot of cocktails/beers. Of course this conversation would have to be held in a secure location such as Bangkok Thailand.. Gimmie a shout when you are ready to roll….
    This old body of mine could not take what I would like to put it thru but that would be a cool week or 5 trying……

    while I am on here, are you out there TOP? have not heard from you in quite some time. I’m still surviving on my “Peaches and Pound Cake”. Please post and let us know you are OK.

    • Russ Schweizer says

      OK Chuck, I think I can be persuaded to join a mission to Bangkok to discuss a national defense oak leaf remf cluster medal that can also be given for viet nam era service. What are you doing next Tuesday.? Gotta give Rocky and Roger a call to help.

    • Carl Fryman says

      Just finished a night snack of pound cake and peaches. Maybe the best thing I got from Nam except for ME!!!!

  33. Chuck Missar says

    Did it have a “V” device or an oak leaf cluster on it?

    • Gary Capshaw says

      LOL I didn’t notice, but I’ll watch for him again and report back if I run across him.

    • Russ Schweizer says

      Chuck…….an oak leaf cluster on a nation defense service medal means 2 tours as a REMF…? or just meritorious REMF service..?

  34. Gary Capshaw says

    Funny you should ask that, LT. I just saw a guy at Walmart today wearing a Veteran’s baseball cap with…..get ready for it….with the National Defense Service Medal embroidered on it! No CIB, no jump wings, no combat service ribbons. Just a full sized representation of that yellow and red ribbon they tossed to you out of shoe box in basic training.

    I guess for those who don’t know any better, it looks pretty impressive. For those like me, though, it causes a WTF moment.

  35. mark tucciarone says

    Larry,I always cause a ruckus when I talk about remf’s; and love doing it. I also have very strong debates with my two therapists regarding my insistence that ptsd for grunts is different than everyone else. Another thing; boots on the ground has no meaning when it comes to most Americans. They think everyone fights.

  36. LT says

    Hey Larry,
    Illinois is so stupid that they have a Vietnam Era License plate. I hate that term. It’s like who the hell is going to Medals of America and buy a hat with Cold War Veteran on it. Bone chilling cold in the Chicago area!

  37. Larry Harper says

    I caused a ruckus a few years past on my thoughts on REMF’s, so lesson learned. However, it still irks me that there is this guy that is two years my junior that was drafted in 1972 and was a cook. He never left the continental United States. He is a member of our local American Legion. He always says he is a Viet Nam “era” veteran. He kind of mumbles the era part or does not say it at all. I would guess that about 99% of the public thinks that a Viet Nam veteran had boots on the ground and do not know the difference in a boots on the ground and an “era” Veteran. I asked him one day about being a Viet Nam vet and he said he is a Viet Nam “Era” vet because he served during the time period when the United States was in combat in Viet Nam.

  38. Chuck Missar says

    A short story of interest. One of my buddy’s sons is a colonel in the Marines and just got transferred to Hawaii. He has a clip on his Facebook of the kids playing in the yard. All of a sudden a bugle starts play in the distance as they retire the colors for the night. All of the little kids drop whatever they are doing or playing with and face the direction of the bugle and stand still until it is over. Once the sound stops the kids resume their play. It was amazing to watch.

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