3/17 Unit Crest

 

 

Crossed Sabres

 

 

Silver Spur President's Corner

 

2017 Veterans Day Message:

To My brothers

Veterans Day is upon us again. Seems that the time went by very fast this year. Perhaps some of you watched Ken Burns "Vietnam" documentary. I forced myself to watch all the series and for the most part disheartened once again how we were portrayed. I guess the parts that hurt the most were the taped conversations of the Commander in Chief, both Johnson and Nixon, and other government officials who decided to throw us and the people of South Vietnam to the dogs for a damn election.

Ken Burns portrayed the NVA and Viet Cong in a better light than the US troops. I think the anti-war people were third and as usual we were dead last. I don't like my brothers KIA and alive to be slandered or disrespected by anyone.

Now with that we have a former member of the US Army desert his post, betray his brothers, and while searching for him like our brothers did for each other, some were killed or wounded for life. This clown was promoted, given his back pay and treated like a celebrity. He finally went to trial with his entourage of lawyers paid for on a E5 paycheck, NOT, and received only a dishonorable discharge. No prison time, nothing.

While all of this was going down, I was thinking of my brothers that would never have cut and run. To me, that makes me proud to be a part of the greatest bunch of men I have ever know. I am so proud to have been and continue to be a veteran Silver Spur.

Regardless of the past, I am able to hold my head high and say, I am a Veteran! Thank God. Please brothers in spite of everything we have been through over the years, always hold your head high. I know you do because you are a Silver Spur. Men of Honor.

I wish you all a very happy Veterans Day and a joyous Thanksgiving. I love all of you from the bottom of my heart and soul. I pray that God will reunite us in heaven for the biggest reunion ever.

God Bless You,

J. Waldo Pepper
Silver Spur President

 

 

History of Veterans Day - U.S. Army

 

 

2017 Memorial Day Message:

Dear Brothers, I am not a writer. I found this article written by a young veteran named Jennie Haskamp written in 2015. She is an Iraqi veteran and I feel she hit it on the head with me.

I too, hate this "Happy Memorial" from the morons that sell mattresses and cars over the week-end. Quite frankly, for me it is a painful day. I think America has been brainwashed into this notion a Day of Honor is now a week end of partying. As you know many of our brothers don't have that luxury.

I would rather them to say, I know this is a sad time for you instead of Happy Memorial Day. I know they mean well but I want to ask them how do you figure it's a happy time for me.

I have friends buried in a small corner of a rolling green field just down the road from the Pentagon. They're permanently assigned to Section 60. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it's 14 acres in the southeast corner of Arlington National Cemetery that serves as a burial ground for many military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are fresh graves there.

I spent my formative years in combat boots and all of my friends are in the military, were in the military, or married into the military. I have several friends buried at Arlington, and know of dozens more men and women interred in that hallowed ground.

Section 60 is a place I visit often.

I toyed with the idea of making the trip south from New York City this weekend to spend some time, reflect and sit quietly but decided against it. Some friend, huh?

Wednesday night, sitting in a pizza joint in the Bronx, watching the world go by, I was upset and couldn't put my finger on why.

A friend said "Hey! Do you want to go to Fleet Week? It's this weekend here in the city." What? No? Absolutely not. I don't want to be in the midst of tens of thousands of people clamoring for a chance to look at a static display of Marine Corps and Navy equipment. I don't want to see Marines and sailors dressed up, paraded around for community relations and recruiting purposes. I don't want to watch any parades.

As I said it (barked it, really), my friend's eyes widened and I recognized the frustration in my tone. I didn't know why I was upset, at first. I paused, and while I was sitting there contemplating my outburst, I heard a commercial on the radio screaming through the tinny speakers. "Beaches, beats and BBQs!" it said. "We're your Memorial Day station with everything you need to kick off the summer in style!"

That's when it hit me. I'm angry. I've come to realize people think Memorial Day is the official start of summer. It's grilled meat, super-duper discounts, a day (or two) off work, beer, potato salad and porches draped in bunting. But it shouldn't be. It's more than that.

Nearly 150 years ago, Memorial Day- first called Decoration Day- was set aside to decorate the graves of the men who'd recently died in battle. America was still reeling from the Civil War when Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a proclamation in 1868, according to a PBS account of his decision. "The 30th of May," he declared, "would be an occasion to honor those who died in the conflict. "He chose the date because it wasn't the anniversary of any particular battle.

Here's how it was outlined in General Orders No. 11, Washington, D.C., May 5, 1868:

The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

How is it then, some century and a half later, after more than a decade of war in two countries that claimed the lives of some 6,861 Americans, we are collectively more concerned with having a barbecue and going shopping than pausing to appreciate the cost of our freedom to do so?

A friend reminded me that plenty of people use the weekend the way it was designed: to pause and remember the men and women who paid the price of our freedom, and then go on about enjoying those freedoms.

God Bless all of you. [End]

J. Waldo Pepper
Silver Spur President

 

 

 

2016 Veterans Day Message:

Fellow Silver Spurs,

We should all be proud to have served our country and our comrades. I'm sure you will all join me in honoring not only each other but all veterans, both living and deceased, of all services and all wars and conflicts. I hope the current political campaigns for local, state and national elections with the hoopla, hype and other craziness common to such events has not detracted from the intent of Veterans Day celebrations.

In the 44 to 49 years since 3/17th Air Cavalry served in Viet Nam, much has transpired to soften our experiences there, but much remains imprinted on our minds and in our hearts. Only through the ideals intended by Veterans Day and the love of our comrades and families can some of those memories be healed.

I personally feel at rest.

Your Silver Spur Vice President, Thomas N. Hennessy, Silver Spur 30

 

 

 

 

January 2016 President's Message:

Silver Spurs:

As we approach our 2016 Reunion I want to say a few words about Unity. I recently heard from a 3/17th trooper. He was an original member of the Squadron that came over on the Walker. He was not sure that his experience would fit that of later replacement troops. Difficult training at Knox, a slow stormy crossing on the Walker, and conducting operations while establishing a base camp is clearly a unique experience. Our original Spurs are a special and amazing group of Troopers.

That said, every Silver Spur Trooper like every other Veteran experienced the War differently but we still shared many of the same experiences regardless of duties or year that we served with the 3/17th. The point is that we are all Veterans, All served our Nation when called, and all Sacrificed. Our Squadron KIAs included Clerks, Pilots, a Spur 6, and Air Crews as well as Riflemen. We lost Troopers every year from arriving in country to our Unit's withdrawal from Vietnam.

Please do not let the year you served or the duties you had while in country deter your decision or desire to share your experiences with every other Spur. I am confident we will celebrate our Brotherhood by showing respect and admiration for every Trooper whether Enlisted or Officer regardless of year they served.

Make this Reunion the BEST EVER !!!


Al LaGrange, Spur

 

 

2015 Christmas Message:

Brothers. Christmas 2015. Hard to believe isn't it. I found this short story on the internet and thought it was appropriate for a message as well. The author is unknown. It tells us to teach the children. However in our case we tell our grandchildren and with some of you, great-grandchildren.

The Meaning of Christmas as Told by Santa

Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room, and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree. He placed his finger over his mouth so I would not cry out. "What are you doing?" I started to ask him.

The words choked in my throat, as I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement, TEACH THE CHILDREN! I was puzzled: What did he mean? He anticipated my question, and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree.

As I stood there bewildered, Santa said, Teach the Children! Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that a now-a-day Christmas has forgotten!

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it on the mantle. Teach the Children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind. All the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven.

He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. Teach the Children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of that promise.

He then reached into the bag and pulled out a CANDLE. Teach the Children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness.

Once again he reached into his bag and then removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. Teach the Children that the wreath symbolizes the eternal nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection.

He then pulled out from his bag an ornament of HIMSELF. Teach the Children that Santa Claus symbolizes the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December.

He reached in again and pulled out a HOLLY LEAF. Teach the Children the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent blood shed by Him.

Next he pulled out a GIFT from the bag and said, "Teach the Children that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift. Teach the Children that the wise men bowed before the holy babe and presented Him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We should give gifts in the same spirit as the wise men."

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree. Teach the Children that the candy cane represents the shepherd's crook. The crook on the shepherd's staff helps bring back strayed sheep from the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother's keeper.

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. Teach the Children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang 'Glory to God in the highest, on earth, peace and good will.'

Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL. Teach the Children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of a bell, it should bring people to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.

Santa looked at the tree and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, "Remember, teach the Children the true meaning of Christmas, and not to put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One who is, and I bow down and worship Him, our Lord, our God."

I pray that you and your families will have a blessed Christmas. We not only have our Savior's birth to celebrate but the blessing of our brotherhood through all these years. God Bless you this joyous season. I love each and every one of you.

J. Waldo Pepper
Troop Chaplain

 

 

November 25, 2015 - Thanksgiving Message:

Happy Thanksgiving to all the Silver Spur Family and may God Bless and Keep Us till we meet again in Branson.

Thanks,


Al LaGrange, Spur

 

 

November 11, 2015 - Veterans Day Message:

Our Silver Spur president has asked me to prepare a message to post for Veterans Day. I am honored to be asked, and I will use this opportunity to honor my flight school stick-mate, who was KIA at a little-known Special Forces camp in Vietnam on 11 November 1966.

In flight school, we students often flew together in the UH-19 helicopters. Milton Francis Smith was my partner during these so-called student solo flights. A former enlisted soldier, he was good natured and fun loving and seldom took anything too seriously. I don't know how he made it to flight school, because his hearing was about as bad as mine is now, and we nicknamed him "Deaf Smith," after a Texas Revolution hero of the same name. My favorite memory of Smitty in school was the time he pulled the transmission oil pressure circuit breaker when I was doing the flying, and I nearly passed out when I saw the gauge at "zero." He thought that was hilarious.

With only five days to go in-country in the 170th AHC, on Veterans Day of 1966, Smitty had been told he did not have to fly anymore. He stood down in his hooch, looking forward to going home. But an officer came through the hooches looking for anyone he could scrape together to fly some emergency missions. Milton did not try to refuse the mission or beg off, but reluctantly went up with a put-together crew which had never flown together, including a Major William Francis Callinan who had only nine days left until his DEROS.

They flew not because they wanted to fly, but because they were needed. They flew most of the afternoon, and during approach to one LZ, the ship beside them exploded in the air, hit by an RPG. Smitty repeatedly said he had bad feelings about what was happening; said it so many times that the major told him to shut up. At last they were released after dark, but were called back before they could reach Camp Holloway. Needing fuel from the fuel point at Plei Djerang before they could perform the next mission, they attempted an approach, went blind in the red dust, and flew into the ground in the darkness. Callinan and Smith were both instantly KIA. The crew chief and gunner, Joe Puglisi and Gerald Downs, were thrown clear and injured, but survived.

Milton Smith never got to see his new daughter, Charlotte. He never got to see his wife and sons again. I know he wanted to. I know he did not want to fly that day. But he did what we all would have done, his duty.

I have read that some feel guilty because they came home while others did not. Not me. Maybe I should feel guilty because I don't feel guilty. I am sorry for the loss of Smitty and the thousands of others, but I don't think we should feel guilt. Instead, we should honor them by living life to the fullest. I thank God for every day that I wake up, and I try to have more fun than everyone, every day, and to hug my grandchildren at every opportunity. That is what Smitty and all our buddies would want; that is what I would want. I would like to think I did my jobs the way they did theirs. Sure, mistakes were made. But this is an imperfect world. I think we should remember them in our enjoyment of the old age they were denied.

Honor our buddies, of course. Remember them, certainly. Mourn their loss. But enjoy this great gift of life which we have been fortunate enough to continue, as they would want - on this Veterans Day, and every day.

Chuck Oualline
Spur 3

 

 

July 4, 2015:

Brothers in Arms. The 4th of July has come again. There's a lot of talk about liberty and freedom these days. I do not have the intellect to write an aspiring essay on the subject. However there was a little known man in history who gave the following short speech to a crowd of people on "I'm American Day" in 1944. I think he hit it on the nail head. His name was Honorable Judge Learned Hand. Maybe you have heard of him. Happy Independence Day. You all had a hand in its defense.

{He} was a United States judge and judicial philosopher. He served on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and later the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Hand has been quoted more often than any other lower-court judge by legal scholars and by the Supreme Court of the United States.

"We have gathered here to affirm a faith, a faith in a common purpose, a common conviction, a common devotion. Some of us have chosen America as the land of our adoption; the rest have come from those who did the same. For this reason we have some right to consider ourselves a picked group, a group of those who had the courage to break from the past and brave the dangers and the loneliness of a strange land.

"What was the object that nerved us, or those who went before us, to this choice? We sought liberty; freedom from oppression, freedom from want, freedom to be ourselves. This we then sought; this we now believe that we are by way of winning.

"What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it.

"And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty, and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few; as we have learned to our sorrow.

"What then is the spirit of liberty? I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the mind of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned but never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest.

"And now in that spirit, that spirit of an America which has never been, and which may never be; nay, which never will be except as the conscience and courage of Americans create it; yet in the spirit of that America which lies hidden in some form in the aspirations of us all; in the spirit of that America for which our young men are at this moment fighting and dying; in that spirit of liberty and of America I ask you to rise and with me pledge our faith in the glorious destiny of our beloved country."


John "Waldo" Pepper
Silver Spur Chaplain

 

 

President's Message June 10, 2015:

Allan La Grange
Silver Spur Rifles Sqd Ldr 68-70
allanshumiao@aol.com
Cell Phone 563-2102253

Silver Spur Membership Chairman Is Charles Stutzman
SilverSpur13@SBCglobal.net

TO: All Silver Spurs

I am writing to you either by E-Mail or Snail Mail or though our Silver Spur Website, President's Corner http://northwestvets.com/spurs/prez.htm to ask that you update your USPS address, E-Mail address, Phone number, Year(s) that you served in the Spurs, and what platoon or duties that you were assigned to. If you wish you may also include your Wife or Significant Other's name. I ask that you E-Mail this information to Charles Stutzman at the above link. We are trying to preserve contact with the Silver Spurs. As of now we have many more Spurs with no contact information than Spurs that we can reach. We have Hundreds of Spurs that we have no direct way to contact.

You may have received the list of Spurs we sent out by Alphabetical order one letter at a time. We hope you will recognize many of these Spurs and help them check in with Charles. We hope that by encouraging you to update your contact info before we lose all contact will help us maintain our organization well into the future till we are all in Fiddler's Green.

Attending a Reunion is another way you can serve your Brother Troopers. You may have the answer to a long held question. Maybe you have contact with another Spur's friend he wants to contact. Maybe just remembering the events and days spent together during the War may help another Spur to gain a feeling of worth and peace.

Thank You all for Serving our Nation, the Silver Spurs, and may God Bless and Keep you Safe and Happy.


Al LaGrange, Spur

 

 

Memorial Day Message 2015:

My dear fellow Spurs,

One hundred and fifty years ago this month witnessed the end of the darkest chapter in the history of our nation. The Civil War was over. Family and friends, North and South, spontaneously started a practice of placing flowers on the graves of those who had died in that terrible war in order to honor their sacrifice. The Day was originally known as Decoration Day, even until the end of World War II.

For many people the day means little more than a day of picnics, cookouts, vacations, sports events, and the beginning of the summer season.

We Silver Spurs know the full and true meaning of Memorial Day however, like few others. It was on Memorial Day week-end of 1967 that we witnessed the deaths of ten of our own, along with indescribable injuries to several others, on that terrible day at Fort Knox while preparing for our Vietnam deployment. And, then after arrival in country it continued with Mehl and McNair, and ultimately several dozen others.

I am deeply saddened by my beliefs that we now are a nation without a rudder trying to sail a stormy sea and all this in a world that appears to be upside down.

It is my sincere hope that they shall not have died in vain.

In spite of all the negativity, I wish you the best Memorial Day possible.

I love you all and I salute you all.

Nathan M. Pulliam
Silver Spur 6
December 1966-17 April 1968

 

Produced by John "Waldo" Pepper
In Remembrance of Our Fallen Troopers


 

 

New Year Resolution for 2015 and 2016 - Dec 28th 2014:

Silver Spurs,

Please allow me to thank our Past President and Chaplain Waldo Pepper for his incredible Christmas Message. His devotion to his Faith and to all of us is a testament to his character and devotion to God and to each of us and his Country. I want to wish each one of you a happy and prosperous New Year and to ask that you make a Resolution to begin planning to attend our next Reunion in the Spring of 2016. You may say that is a long way off but if you begin to plan now and to save each month you will find that you are prepared and eliminate any stress for the costs and scheduling. I want to ask again that you contact your fellow Spurs and ask them to make plans for the reunion in 2016.

I turned 67 today and I took my oath to our Nation two days from now on 30 December 1964, 50 years ago. I turned 20 a few days before I arrived in Viet Nam and a few days later experienced the Tet Offensive at Cu Chi while attending in country orientation which of course was cut short and never completed. I realize I will never again experience these events of my youth.

Finding the Spurs and taking part in the reunions has changed my life and I believe that many of you share this experience as well. I hope every one of you will attend and encourage every spur and their family to do so as well. Happy New Year and may God Bless each of you and your Family.

PS: If you have been Blessed with a good financial year please consider sending a contribution to Bill McCalister for expenses not covered by your registration fee. Your reunion committee has worked very hard to keep costs down and spent a great deal of their own funds to make each reunion special.


Al LaGrange, Spur

 

 

Christmas Message, Dec 2014:

Brothers, we have made it to another Christmas season. Some of you live in a warm climate, some of you have seen snow already this year. Snow seems to make Christmas come alive for me but in Charlotte North Carolina you get cold rain instead.

I remember a Christmas in 1968 when myself and the Dostal brothers decided along with a couple of pilots we needed snow. Of course there was none to be had except in the fifty pound chemical fire extinguisher on the flight line. So we made snow and ate Aunt Mary's fruitcake washed done with Busch Bavarian beer. Could have been worse with Carling Black Label but we made it our Christmas celebration. Good thing we didn't have a fire until we got it replaced. I have never forgot that Christmas. Still laugh about it when I remember.

Of course we all know the meaning of Christmas. It's a time of celebration of the birth of the Savior of the world. Of course we have family and friends to celebrate this time of the year. But yet I have to think about His birth. The Son of God in human form with the power of the universe in His hands. But yet he was all alone other than his family, born without anything material. Didn't even have a bed to call His own. Born in a cattle food trough. A manger. And with a death sentence over His head. Even as an innocent baby he was wanted by King Herod to be put to death. His family without a home and on the run to avoid death.

Pretty bleak Christmas I'd say.

But, as I think that beginning of life for Him, I am reminded of His death. "For He came into the world not to condemn mankind, but through Him to save the world". Pretty awesome mission I say. He had the power of God and could have stop his execution but His love for us was so great He would die by crucifixion to pay for the sins of the world past, present and future.

So for this Christmas remember what it is all about. A wonderful time to celebrate. Remember, no matter who you are, what you have done, what has been done to you, God loves as far as His arms can stretch like His Son's arms on the cross.

I love you guys, I cherish the time spent with you. For you, the Silver Spurs are my true brothers. It will always be that way with me. I wish you a Merry Christmas this year and the very best of the New Year. God Bless you all.

John "Waldo" Pepper
Silver Spur Chaplain

Coming Hot

 

 

Veterans Day 2014:

Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. November 11 was "dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day.'" As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after both WW II and Korea, Congress, at the urging of veterans' and their service organizations, Replaced "Armistice" with "Veterans." When this legislation was approved, November 11 was a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, under the Uniforms Holiday Bill, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.

Finally on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.

There has been, in the past, some confusion between Veterans Day and Memorial Day: Memorial Day honors service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Deceased veterans are also remembered on Veterans Day but the day is set aside to thank and honor living veterans who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime.

(The above information was extracted from http://www.military.com/veterans-day/history-of-veterans-day.html)

 

Fellow Silver Spurs,

We should all be proud to have served our country and our comrades. I'm sure you will all join me in honoring not only each other but all veterans, both living and deceased, of all services and all wars and conflicts.

I am your Silver Spur Vice President, Thomas N. Hennessy.

 

 

Labor Day 2014:

Spurs,

Another Labor Day is here. For each of us it has unique meanings. For me it is the beginning of my favorite season. The Autumn fresh cool air, the leaves beginning to turn, and the thoughts of Thanksgiving turkey to come before Winter arrives. I also think of my Father who was a man that worked as a laborer all his life. He accepted the trials that working in those days entailed. Likewise, we Veterans labored under harsh, dangerous, and unhealthy conditions. I hope that each one of you are proud of the efforts you have made for our Nation. Veterans Day and Memorial Day are for us but I think that we can also claim Labor Day as part of our Service to America.


Al LaGrange, Spur

 

 

AUGUST 2ND 2014:

Spurs,

It has been awhile since I have written to you on our President's Corner. As Summer slowly ends and thoughts of Fall fill the minds of school children and those of us that love the outdoor life in those colorful days with warm afternoons and cool evenings I just want to say hello, Thank each and every one of you for serving our Nation, and to ask you all to keep in touch with each other and to contact any of our Spur Brothers that have not attended a reunion so far.

If you know a Widow or Child of a Spur please don't forget to tell them they are welcome and ask them to plan for our next Reunion. If you have not yet given the reunion committee your ideas for our next reunion please contact them soon so they will have time to discuss everyone's input. We want every Spur to attend and take part in every Reunion. Please support these Spurs that contribute their time and money to make these events fantastic! If I can be of service please call me on my cell 563-210-2253 or e mail me at allanshumiao@aol.com


Al LaGrange, Spur

 

 

JULY 4TH 2014:

Spurs,

Another anniversary for our Great Nation !! 238 Years !! When you think about it that is a very short time in the history of western civilization. We have, however, accomplished amazing feats in science, economics, justice, world affairs, and living standards in that short time span. No other country has produced such a record of accomplishments even those that have existed much longer than the USA.

I believe that our Faith in God, work ethic, 'can do' attitude, and perseverance in the face of trials and our sense of Justice has guided us so far. I pray that we always keep these standards and live up to the blessings that have been granted us.

It is true that we have many issues that need to be addressed and we have many opinions about how we should proceed in the future and what kind of society that we want to leave for our children. But if we instill in them a love of God, of Country, teach them our amazing History, and give them examples of the "Great Americans" that have served our Nation since it's founding we will continue to prosper. Our youth are the key to our future.

I hope that this 4th of July we will thank God for our Freedom, and enjoy a wonderful day of food and fellowship and a great fireworks show as we celebrate the amazing Heroes that founded and protected our Nation so we can enjoy the bounties of this unique Country. Say a prayer for our Fallen Brothers and Sisters that fought for us and remind our children of their sacrifice.


Al LaGrange, Spur

 

 

MEMORIAL DAY 2014:

Spurs,

I was reviewing past Memorial Day messages by Waldo and I don't know how to top them as his insight into the true meaning of the day and his encouragement for us to spread the message of the sacrifice made by so many for our freedom was right on target.

I hope that each one of us will take the opportunity to share our experiences with a youth the sacrifices our Brothers and Sisters have made to ensure that freedom. I like to read and recite "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and MacArthur's "Duty, Honor, Country" speech and of course "The Gettysburg Address" and President Kennedy's "Ask not what your Country can do for you" speech with my grandchildren. As Waldo noted in earlier messages our youth do not learn these things in school so it is our duty to inform them of the Heroes that bled and died for them.

In closing I have to share a photo of my Grandson, Carter LaGrange placing American Flags on the graves of our Veterans at the Rock Island Arsenal. This is an annual tradition of his Cub Scout Pack. Be well and happy and proud of our service to our Country.


Al LaGrange, Spur

 

 

April 28, 2014:

Spurs,

We have just completed our 2014 Reunion in Branson, Missouri. If you missed it you will soon have an after action report that will inspire you to attend the next one. At our business meeting the Spurs made the dubious decision to elect me as the new president of the Spurs. I had hoped that they would choose someone better qualified and who had been active longer than me but my protests were not effective. So.... I will do my best to serve each one of you until the next reunion or you tire of me and select another or I get to Fiddler's Green.

Now for the serious part. We have over 1000 addresses, names, and partial information on Spurs. Many of you know how to reach one or more Spurs that have not attended a reunion. Please, contact them and do whatever it takes to get them active and to start planning and saving to attend our next reunion. I repeatedly heard that many were afraid to open the door of the past. I know that is hard for many but you can assure them they are needed and missed by the rest of us that have not let that rob us of the healing and joy of being together again. Not to mention the great fun and food we always have at the reunions.

I have learned that for some there have been some bruised feelings in the past that have prevented them from attending. Whether from old issues during the War or since we need to remember that we all served together and risked our lives for each other despite any other differences we may have had. These reunions bring joy and pride for our service that we can not find anywhere else. If you have avoided these gatherings because of conflicts or any other reason, please know you are needed and missed by each of us. We need each other.

I'm sure that when you read the report on our 2014 reunion you will not be able to stay away from the next one. After the report is distributed please consider any ideas you may have for our next one and how we can stay united till then. You can forward them to the Reunion Committee in care of Bill Mc Calister or Chuck Qualline or me. If I can be of service to you please call me or e mail. My cell phone is 563-210-2253.


Al LaGrange, Spur

 

 

Veterans Day 2012:

Dear Brothers;

Well another year has passed by. As we get older time seems to be escaping us at a rapid pace.

Veterans Day November 11

It is the country's day to express gratitude to its veterans for their service. Peacetime and War.

In my travels with my business, I traveled to Russia several times. Aeroflot Airlines is a new experience enough to be glad we have US airlines.

But I discovered sometime about their military veterans. They are extremely proud to be a veteran of the Motherland. World War II, Afghanistan veterans and peacetime veterans show their pride of wearing their medals awarded to them for their service. Even on the everyday workday clothing.

American veterans tend to be a little more modest about their service to the country. We may wear hats and sometimes shirts about our service but we generally take a low-key approach in letting people know we served our country.

I encourage you this year to wear your ribbons on your clothing and identify yourself as a proud veteran and a man of honor. You are the best soldiers of our time in history. We were not unlike the "World's Greatest Generation". We are the greatest soldiers of our generation.

Today's soldiers are taught about the Vietnam Veteran and its soldiers. How we stood with one another in battle and how we prevented their generation of nutcases to steal their honor.

Be proud. Let America know you are a veteran and tell them about your brothers. Tell them we never turned our back on each other. Tell them about the sacrifice of our brothers fallen on the field of battle.

Be proud. You deserve every accolade there is. God Bless you brothers and your family's. I remain

Your servant

John "Waldo" Pepper
Always a proud Silver Spur

History of Veterans Day - U.S. Army

 

 

 

Memorial Day 2012:

As we approach Memorial day again, I am preparing the 100 flags at half mast that will line the driveway of my church to remind the younger generation of the sacrifice of the American soldier.

I'm tired of seeing ads selling crap as a "Memorial Day" sale without any reference to what the day means. As veterans, we know what that day means more than the public. But, we a small majority compared to the population of this nation.

The progressive school system hardly teaches American history anymore not even mentioning Memorial Day history or it's significance.

What are you going to do brothers to help promote Memorial Day in this country once again? Hardly any business will take the time to place their flag at half mast and in most cases don't even fly the American flag.

Next time you ride by a financial institution such as a bank look to see if they are flying the flag. Probably not.

I challenge you as you honor your brothers on Monday the 28th at 3:00 pm, take three minutes with your family, friends and co-workers and honor those sacrifices in silence or a prayer thanking God for them.

Pass the word and fly your flag Memorial Day weekend. And if possible, fly your flag at half mast from sunrise to 12 noon.

I love you brothers.

JOHN "WALDO" PEPPER
Silver Spur Guns

Coming Hot

 

 

A Bittersweet Moment This Veteran's Day 2011:

As we heard this week the Obama administration is removing all U.S. troops from Iraq. I am glad these fine soldiers are coming home. However, does this sound familiar forty some years ago. This time what is the difference for the average soldier? They are coming home with honor and respect.

We were so unfortunate as we came home to a country that despised us. Shunned by family and friends, the Vietnam veterans were portrayed as murderers, rapist and (I always loathed this term) "baby killers". Of course none of this was true. The Vietnam Veteran was a man of honor, a man who never turned his back on his brothers and to this day is well respected, successful and a strong family man.

Our soldiers in Irag and that crap hole Afghanistan have been welcomed home as heroes. They have received support from the American people, airlines go out of their way to give the best accommodations on their airplanes, millions of care packages were sent to our soldiers. In fact, in your name many churches and groups sent packages to Iraq and Afghanistan when A Troop was deployed there. The list goes on.

At the airports there are men and women who greet these soldiers and welcome them home. What happened to the American soldier in Vietnam when they came home? Protestors, vile name calling, having urine thrown on them and sometimes blood.

What happened this time to change the attitude towards our soldiers?

The Vietnam Veteran! You did. The motto was adopted by the Gathering of Eagles "Never Again". And the RVN Vet meant every damn word of it. The Vietnam Vet from all over America went to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC to prevent the desecration of it by people who were not even born at the time that wanted to make it their focal point for war protests. They failed !

The Vietnam Vet mobilized on motorcycles and traveled at great expense and time to escort soldiers to their final resting spot and to prevent the quacks of the Westboro Baptist Church of disrupting and tormenting the grieving family members.

The Vietnam Vet mobilized on the sidewalks and streets to honor a fallen soldier as their hearse past by. Someone they didn't know, but "he" was a fallen brother.

The Vietnam Veteran mobilized in the halls of Congress to make sure the veterans coming home would have proper benefits for their horrible wounds, TBI, PTSD and missing limbs.

The Vietnam Veteran paid visits to the hospitals all over the country and visited wounded vets and provided cell phones and laptops so they could communicate with their families.

The Vietnam Veteran mobilized and helped modify and build new homes for returning veterans and also their widows.

And all the time never complained about it. Many spent their own money, time, and personal resources to be there for them.

Never Again!

Our present soldiers come home as honored warriors made possible not by the government, Code Pink, the President or anyone other than the Vietnam Veteran and support groups across the country.

Our father's generation, "the world's greatest" said we were losers. Did we win? I believe we did. Just look around at the young soldiers you see. They have smiles on their faces. People shaking their hands and thanking them for their service.

Did we win? You bet your ass we did! The American Soldier is treated with the respect they deserved because of a bunch of old guys from a war despised and forgotten. The VIETNAM VETERAN. Be proud of who you are this November the 11th. Show America your colors.

I love each and every one of you. My brothers. Always. Never shall we forget!

JOHN "WALDO" PEPPER
Silver Spur Guns

Coming Hot

 

 

 

Memorial Day 2011 Message:

Once again we are coming to Memorial Day on Monday. There was a time I didn't think much of it but since we came together as the Spurs at reunions, I realized how important it is to remember those who have gone before us. Especially our own brothers.

This week, I am showing my grandsons how to display the flag on Monday. We will travel throughout our little town and lower the flags that are not at half-mast. On Monday evening at sunset we raise these flags back to full mast.

This Memorial Day is special to me for I participated in "Standing the Line" with brothers from the Eagles, Patriot Guard, Band of Brothers riders and even the Hell's Angels who are filled with Vietnam veterans and current veterans to escort the remains of a Vietnam Green Beret who had been missing in action for over 42 years. Even though I didn't know this brother I felt a kinship to him.

Now one our brothers Randall Dalton remains have been identified and sent home to be buried. See the website for additional information. No info from the family regarding a memorial service has been announced.

Fly you flag this weekend with pride. Know that you are loved, appreciated and thought of everyday by your brothers in the Spurs.

God Bless you all and God Bless the Silver Spurs

John "Waldo" Pepper
Silver Spur Guns

Coming Hot

 

 

SILVER SPUR PRESIDENT - 16 Jan 2011:

Before he left us, Bill Smith appointed John (Waldo) Pepper as our president pro tem. It was Bill's desire that Waldo serve out Bill's term, until we can hold another election at the 2012 reunion. He also wanted Waldo to continue to serve as our chaplain. He, of course, was our last elected two-term president, and has reunion experience. Waldo graciously agreed, and wants to be sure we elect a vice president next time.

Chuck Oualline

 

 

Please keep Bill in your thoughts & prayers - 27 Dec 2010:

It is with great personal sadness that I must report that our Spur President, Bill Smith - Spur 18, has been diagnosed with an extremely aggressive and terminal liver cancer.

Bill is wanting to spend his remaining time with his wife, Vicki, and his family. Therefore, Bill hopes all will understand that he needs to step down soon as our Spur President.

Please keep Bill & Vicki in your continued prayers. I had the honor of serving with Bill in our scout platoon and will always treasure our hooking up together again at two past Spur reunions. This is one Spur who truly loves Bill and cherishes the time we've had together.

Update: I'm sad to report that Bill passed away on Jan 8th 2011. There is a tribute posted at:

http://northwestvets.com/spurs/smitty.htm

Roger "Bear" Young
Spur webmaster

 

 

Veterans Day 2010 Message:

Greetings to all my fellow Silver Spurs!

On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month a Armistice was signed ending the Great War. November 11, 1918, Armistice Day, was declared a federal holiday in honor of those who fought in World War 1. On June 1, 1954 this day was changed to Veterans Day to honor all soldiers who have fought in war.

It has been 40 years since I served in Viet Nam. I have no regrets, only memories. We continue to have fellow troopers check in to our Spur website. Welcome home.

It's time to start thinking about our 2012 Silver Spur Reunion. I plan to spend part of Veterans Day putting some ideas together. I will think back over past reunions for inspiration. Please take time on this special day to do the same.

Bill Smith
Silver Spur 18
President, 2012 Silver Spur Reunion

The History of Veterans Day - Courtesy of the U.S. Army

 


Courtesy of DVA

 

 

Independence Day 2010 Message:

Sunday July 4, 2010 we will celebrate Independence Day.

I feel, in some small way, I did my part. But it is the millions of American workers that made it all happen. From "Rosie the Riveter" to the USO Donut Dollies they all did their duty. To all my thanks.

This is their day,

Bill Smith
Silver Spur 18

 

 

Memorial Day 2010 Message:

To All My Fellow Spurs,

I remember back in the 50's that Memorial Day was when we:

Opened the neighborhood pool

Cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill

Got a day off from school

I was in grade school then.

 

This Memorial Day my family will:

Open the neighborhood pool

Cook hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill

My grandchildren get a day off from school

I will remember friends that I lost.

 

Bill Smith
Silver Spur 18

Silver Spur Honor Roll

History of Memorial Day - History Channel

 

 

At the 2010 Spur Reunion, Bill Smith, Spur 18, was elected as our new President.
Bill flew with the Scouts from '69 - '70.

 

 

Spur President, Waldo Pepper
Past Spur President John "Waldo" Pepper - Gun Platoon
2006 Spur Reunion, Ft. Rucker, Alabama

 

Veterans Day 2009 courtesy of DVA
Courtesy of DVA

VETERANS DAY - 11 Nov 2009:

Ten Reasons for celebrating Veterans Day

10. I get hugs and kisses from the old ladies at church and work.

09. The preacher makes all the veterans stand up and are recognized. (Yuk).

08. Friends call and wish me a “Happy Veteran’s Day”

07. I get to see many American flags flying.

06. I get the day off from work, maybe.

05. I get a flower from the elementary kids at school.

04. I get a free meal from local restaurants.

03. I get hugs and kisses from the middle-aged women.

02. I get hugs and kisses from the younger babes.

 

And number 1

My brothers and I are veterans and damn proud of it!

HAPPY VETERANS DAY! The crowning achievement of my life is to have had the opportunity to serve with you. God Bless each and every one of you. I remain faithfully your brother until the end of time.

JOHN "WALDO" PEPPER
Silver Spur Guns

Coming Hot

 

The History of Veterans Day - Courtesy of the U.S. Army

 

 

15 Sept 2009:

Brothers; I hope summer has been good for you. As you know, Reunion 2010 is approximately six months and a few days away.

I must be direct with you. We are not getting any younger. We ain't getting better either, just mellow.

I ask each and every one of you to attend this reunion. It may the last opportunity to visit with your brothers. For those of you who knew Jerry Samuels, he came to the Reunion 2006 at Ft. Rucker. Jerry was dying of cancer and was taking heavy doses of morphine to alleviate his pain. His prayer to God as he told me was to allow him enough time and stamina to see his brothers. Shortly after returning home, Jerry died from his cancer.

Another case with similar circumstances was Glenn Summers. Glenn was suffering terribly and he attended Reunion 2008. I was thrilled to see him again.

These brothers are inspirations to me and others. Make it a priority to make the Reunion 2010. Yes, we are going back to San Antonio and yes Joe Galloway will be there. The greatest majority wanted to go back because we had such a great time. The count was about 98%.

For the Spur 6's, we really need you there this time.

Sell the spare tire, forget the phone bill, postpone the weddings or whatever and come to San Antonio. Your brothers are waiting.

P.S. A Troop made a contribution to the hospice charity Peggy Barber requested. God Bless her.

See you there!

JOHN "WALDO" PEPPER
Silver Spur Guns

Coming Hot

 

 

1 July 2009:

Happy 4th of July my Brothers:

Here we are again half thru another year and some of us are cooking in the heat. I was talking with a friend the other day and we got on the subject of the Revolutionary War. Here were a group of people who wanted liberty from a tyrant who opposed their prosperity, denied their God given liberty and imposed unfair taxation without representation. No matter how much they petitioned King George, he imposed more taxes, boarded soldiers in their homes, arrested them without cause and in some cases declared them traitors to the crown and hung them in the public square.

Finally, the people had enough and rebelled against the mightiest force on the face of the earth. Well you know the story. What amazed me about these patriots was their unwillingness to become soldiers but they would follow a leader worthy of their respect. They endured hardships we never could imagine such as the harsh winters without shoes or adequate clothing. Disease and hunger was the call of the day. Yet they continued the struggle for a period of 7 years and many were never paid for their service.

These patriots or rabble as the British referred to them never gave in for one minute. I think I would been inclined to disappear in the night after marching in the snow without boots, provided I had any feet left from the frostbite.

What a legacy they left for us. All throughout our history, the American patriot has rose to the occasion all over the world for the cause of liberty. During the capture of towns by our past enemies, the women and children would run and hide in fear of rape, torture and death. When the towns were liberated, the people ran out to the streets greeting the American warrior knowing America had brought liberty and freedom to them. It was no different for us in Vietnam. The people weren't afraid to come out to us because they knew we would not harm them contrary to what liberal Hollywood says about us. And by the way, this will upset a few of you, Mr. President; you don't have to apologize to the world for whatever you perceive as America's faults. American patriots set the standard for the world in 1776 for life, liberty and the pursuit of God-given happiness and freedom.

Teach your children what it means to "sacrifice" for America. Because you know it first hand and it is not just a word to use at parties and in front of the press.

God Bless You and Happy 4th. See you in 2010.

JOHN "WALDO" PEPPER
Silver Spur Guns

Coming Hot

 

 

23 Mar 2009:

Greetings to my brothers;

It is spring again at least in most of the country and we have a lot of things in the pot for the upcoming reunion. I pray all is well with your family.

The Contribution of the Vietnam Veteran

The story of Joseph in the Old Testament is a story of what man meant for evil, God made good. Joseph was sold by his own brothers, placed in slavery, imprisoned for a number of years by a false accusation of pharaoh's wife only to be placed in a position of power that saved the Israeli people from starving to death.

We came home, were rejected by our friends, family and country and wondered all these years what did we do to make such a sacrifice only to be rejected by an ungrateful nation. I have attached a link to a video on YouTube I want you to watch. When the Iraqi conflict started I felt it was another Vietnam. Sacrifice on the field of battle with no plans to stay and no plan to get out in victory. I was wrong.

How did we make a contribution? The Bush haters were all over the streets, the media was selling out the troops, Congress was behaving like traitors to the country and in the meantime we were waiting in wings.

We all vowed that we would NOT allow this nation to treat its soldiers as they treated us. The Vietnam vet lined the streets all over America to oppose groups like the Answer Coalition, Adam Koresh of Iraqi Veterans against the War ( I call him Adam Koo-Koo and other various foul and profane names). We the Vietnam vet carrying out our careers in airlines getting support to fly these warriors home in first class. We the Vietnam vet gave up our business class seats for veterans returning home. We the Vietnam vet stand guardian over our nations Memorial Monuments to protect them from vandalism by the leftie *$#!*&^% trying to steal the honor of our war dead. And we the Vietnam vet turn out in the thousands to escort our dead brothers to their final resting place. Watch the video.

And finally, we the Vietnam vet changed the face of America by our honor to support our troops in harm's way. Never in my lifetime has America turned out by the millions to support our brothers. Our legacy.

What man meant for evil, God made good in the Vietnam vet. You are Men of Honor. I stand in reverence to each and every one of you for your courage, honor and keeping the faith with your brothers. This is only one small part of the Vietnam vets contribution to America.

http://www.mycameronnews.com/slideshows/feb09/kelleyfuneral/

Reunion 2010:

We are approximately one year away from another reunion. A location has not been decided as of yet but is being discussed by the reunion committee. If you want some input as to a location speak now or forever hold your peace! Contact Chuck Oualline at spur3@satx.rr.com or 210-654-8334. Time is running out.

JOHN "WALDO" PEPPER
Silver Spur Guns

Coming Hot

 

 

18 Feb 2009:

I SINCERELY HOPE ALL IS WELL WITH ALL OF YOU AND YOU'RE FAMILIES. SEVERAL THINGS I NEED TO COVER WITH YOU.

DONATIONS

THANKS TO THE 15 SPURS WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THE LAST ROUND OF DONATIONS TO THE TROOP FUND. WE ARE ALL GRATEFUL. THE FUNDS WILL BE USED TO PAY FOR EXPENSES FOR FLOWERS OR OTHER REQUESTS FOR OUR BROTHERS WHO HAVE CALLED HOME, POSTAGE, AND TOWARDS TO THE NEXT REUNION EXPENSES.

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT CONTRIBUTED YET, PLEASE DO. WE NEED THE HELP. YOU CAN SEND YOUR CHECK TO THE TROOP TREASURER:

Bill McCalister
15518 Creekside Dr.
San Antonio, TX. 78232

210-249-2333
silvertip_trading@yahoo.com

REUNION 2010

WE RECENTLY SENT OUT A REQUEST FOR LOCATION INPUT TO ALL THE TROOPERS WE HAVE ON EMAIL. NOT MANY OF YOU RESPONDED. WE NEED YOUR INPUT! A DECISION WILL BE MADE SOON BY THE COMMITTEE. ONE OF THE LOCATIONS BEING CONSIDERED IS SAVANNAH, GA WHERE A TROOP IS NOW LOCATED AT HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD. ANOTHER HOMECOMING BY SOME OF US WHO WERE THERE IN "THE DAY". AT THIS POINT IN TIME WE DO NOT KNOW WHETHER THEY WILL STILL BE THERE IN 2010 AND WE ARE EXPERIENCING SOME COMMO PROBLEMS IN CONTACTING THE UNIT. THAT WILL WORK ITSELF OUT. NOT TOO LATE TO CONTACT CHUCK OUALLINE VIA EMAIL spur3@satx.rr.com

WE ARE GETTING OLD BROTHERS, TIME IS MARCHING MORE AND MORE QUICKLY. AS MY PASTOR SAYS, WE ARE ONE HEARTBEAT AWAY FROM MEETING GOD FACE TO FACE. RECENTLY, SOME OF US HAVE ATTENDED THE FUNERALS OF OUR FALLEN BROTHERS. WHAT WE ALL HEARD FROM ALL THE FAMILIES WAS, "HE WAS GLAD HE WENT TO THE LAST REUNION TO SEE HIS BROTHERS". BROTHERS, THIS UPCOMING REUNION IS SO IMPORTANT AND FOR YOU TO BE THERE. TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR ALL OF US. PLAN TO COME TO THIS NEXT REUNION. WE WANT TO HAVE THE LARGEST ATTENDANCE EVER AND YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT. THE REUNION IS NOT A SAD AND DREARY AFFAIR. WE ARE ALL ON FIRST NAME BASIS, NO MILITARY FORMALITIES. IF YOU HAVEN'T ATTENDED NOW IS THE TIME. IT IS A TIME OF FELLOWSHIP WITH ALL. PLEASE ATTEND THIS UPCOMING EVENT. YOU WILL HAVE AT LEAST ONE YEAR TO PLAN.

AS I MENTIONED ABOVE, DONATIONS WE ASK FOR OVER THE YEAR WILL OFFSET SOME OF THE REUNION EXPENSES TO MAKE IT CHEAPER FOR THOSE ATTENDING THE REUNION. CHUCK OUALLINE AND THE COMMITTEE DID A SUPERB JOB FOR THE 2008 REUNION IN SAN ANTONIO. PLEASE COME. WE WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN. BRING THE FAMILY AS WELL.

OH-6 #962 - FT. RUCKER

I HAVE TRACKED DOWN AIRCRAFT 962 WITH THE MUSEUM AT FT. RUCKER AND SHE IS SAFE IN A STORAGE WAREHOUSE OWNED BY THE MUSEUM. (962 HAD BEEN ON DISPLAY OUTSIDE THE ENTRANCE TO THE MUSEUM FOR YEARS). STEVE MAXIM, THE MUSEUM CURATOR, INFORMS ME 962 IS A VERY VALUABLE ARTIFACT AND WILL NEVER BE SOLD OR DESTROYED.

962 in 1/4 Cav markings at Ft. Rucker

THAT'S THE GOOD NEWS. NOW FOR THE MAYBE NOT SO BAD NEWS. 962 HAS BEEN REQUESTED BY THE USS ALABAMA MUSEUM IN MOBILE FOR USE AS A STATIC DISPLAY SINCE THEIR ARMY DISPLAY WAS DESTROYED BY THE RECENT HURRICANES. (WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU WANT A DISPLAY LESS THAN A BATTLESHIP FOR A DISPLAY IN A HURRICANE ALLEY?) MY COMMENT.

IT IS POSSIBLE THE REQUEST WILL BE DENIED AND IN SUCH CASE THE MUSEUM WILL NOTIFY ME SO WE CAN HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PLACE HER IN A MUSEUM FOR A PERIOD OF 2 TO 4 YEARS. ALSO STEVE WILL HELP US WITH THE PAPERWORK AND WE CAN RESTORE HER TO HER ORIGINAL BEAUTY. AS DELIVERED BY HUGHES TO A TROOP. LOTS OF GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRACY JUST TO PAINT THE AIRCRAFT. BUT AT ANY RATE, SHE IS SAFE AND WILL BE KEPT INDOORS (REQUIREMENT) UNTIL THE END OF TIME.

AT THIS POINT, WE ARE LOOKING FOR THE GAINESVILLE, FL POLICE AIRCRAFT "LUCKEY LADY" AS POSSIBLE PROJECT. ANYBODY KNOWING THE CURRENT WHEREABOUTS OF HER PLEASE LET US KNOW.

JOHN "WALDO" PEPPER
Silver Spur Guns

Coming Hot

 

 

12 Nov 2008:

Brothers; I hope all is well with you. I must come to you with hat, er’ Stetson in hand. Our Troop fund is down after the reunion and we need help once again. I know times are tough for all of us and I pray the economy will bounce back soon. As you know we have no dues imposed on Troop members. We have relied on fees to pay for reunion events which come very close to the expenditures. In addition, we have flowers that must be sent or donations to a charity in lieu of flowers when our brothers are called home. This year has been sadly, active.

I ask you to consider sending a five or ten spot, or more if you can, to the Troop to help defray these costs. A few of our brothers have gone far beyond on many occasions in donating money to the Troop when we were in time of need. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to their dedication. But, their wells run dry and is it fair to ask the same ones to carry the burden?

Please send you contributions (memo line: Silver Spur fund) to the Troop Treasurer:

Bill McCalister
15518 Creekside Dr.
San Antonio, TX. 78232

210-249-2333
silvertip_trading@yahoo.com

God Bless you Brothers and God Bless our Young Warriors in harm’s way!

JOHN "WALDO" PEPPER
Silver Spur Guns

Coming Hot

 

 

Veterans Day 2008 courtesy of DVA
Courtesy of DVA

 

VETERANS DAY - 11 Nov 2008:

I HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO KNOW THAT I AM A VETERAN AND THEY CALL TO THANK ME FOR MY SERVICE. IT IS CERTAINLY VERY KIND FOR THEM TO REMEMBER BUT IF YOU ARE LIKE ME I FEEL SOMEWHAT AWKWARD WHEN I RECEIVE THOSE COMMENTS. BUT IT IS A DAY OF RECOGNIZING THOSE OF US, COMBAT AND PEACE-TIME, WHO SERVED THIS GREAT NATION.

WE BELONG TO A UNIQUE ORDER. AN ORDER OF WHICH A LOT OF PEOPLE CANNOT SAY THEY BELONG TOO. AS IN OUR CASE, MANY OF FRIENDS STAYED HOME FROM THE WAR WHILE WE SERVED. DON'T MISUNDERSTAND ME, THAT DOESN'T MAKE THEM BAD PEOPLE.

WHILE OUR HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE FRIENDS WERE HOME PROBABLY GOING TO SCHOOL AND HAVING A GOOD TIME, WE WERE FAR AWAY FROM HOME FROM FAMILY AND THE COMFORTS OF HOME IN PLACES LIKE FT. RUCKER, FT. BRAGG AND SOME OF THE OTHER EXOTIC DESTINATIONS. MANY TIMES WE WERE LONELY, BROKE AND TIRED OF EATING ARMY CHOW. THEN CAME VIETNAM. TENTS, C-RATIONS, SAND, WEIRD BUGS AND HOT BEER WITH FOUL TASTING WATER. NOT TO MENTION CHARLIE AND HIS AK'S, MORTARS AND ROCKET ATTACKS. WE SUFFERED THE LOSS OF CLOSE BROTHERS AS WE CARRIED OUT OUR MISSIONS DAY TO DAY. BUT WE HAD A LOT OF GOOD TIMES AS WELL. SOME I WON'T MENTION HERE SINCE MOST OF US ARE MARRIED FOR SOME YEARS AND WE ARE GRANDFATHERS. (JUST KIDDING)

SOMEONE AT MY CHURCH SAID I SHOULD BE VERY PROUD TO BE A VETERAN. I TOLD HIM I AM. I AM PROUD TO BE A CAVALRY TROOPER WITH THE SILVER SPURS. I WILL ALWAYS BE A SILVER SPUR. I AM PROUD TO HAVE SERVED WITH THE FINEST MEN I HAVE EVER KNOWN. I THINK OF YOU EVERY DAY AND WISH WE COULD SPEND MORE TIME WITH EACH OTHER. I AM PROUD OF OUR MISSION IN VIETNAM. WE WON. PURE AND SIMPLE. WE KEPT THE LINE, NEVER BROKE THE FAITH AND THE COUNTRY AND OUR LEADERS DIDN'T.

EVERY SUNDAY BEFORE VETERANS DAY AND MEMORIAL DAY, I WEAR WHAT I CALL MY REUNION UNIFORM. COMPLETE WITH CAVALRY BOOTS, STETSON HAT AND SCARF. I DO THIS NOT TO CALL ATTENTION TO MYSELF BUT TO REMIND PEOPLE OF THE FREEDOM AND LIBERTY WHICH WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY ALL VETERANS. AND ON MEMORIAL DAY, I WEAR IT TO HONOR OUR BROTHERS ON THE WALL AND OTHERS WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE US. AS THE OLD SAYING GOES; "WE GAVE UP OUR TODAY'S FOR THEIR TOMORROWS." WE DID JUST THAT.

THIS VETERANS DAY, THANK A VETERAN YOU SEE ON THE STREET. AND BE PROUD OF WHO ARE AND WHAT YOU STOOD THE LINE FOR. KEEP THE FAITH. REMEMBER, NONE OF US EVER BROKE THE FAITH WITH EACH OTHER. WE ARE MEN OF HONOR. GOD BLESS YOU AND GOD BLESS THE CAVALRY.

BE A PROUD VETERAN THIS NOVEMBER!

JOHN "WALDO" PEPPER
Silver Spur Guns

Coming Hot

 

The History of Veterans Day - Courtesy of the U.S. Army

Nation Salutes Those Who Served on Veterans Day - VA Press Release - 5 Nov 08

President Proclaims Nov. 11 Veterans Day - DefenseLink - 6 Nov 08

 

 

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