Currahee!! _Welcome to Charlie Company!    A Brotherhood of Vietnam Vets

 

This website is dedicated to a veterans group of "Combat Field Grunts" that served together in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War with Company C, 2nd Bn, 506th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division (C/2/506th) during the years of 1970 and 1971.  After many years of looking, we have been fortunate enough to find each other again.  And our little "Band of Brothers" is still growing at 139 men found.  We continue to seach for and reachout to many of our "unfound" brothers that we served together with, and their families, that may be looking for us.  To that end, we hope this website may help.  We want to invite all of the members of Charlie Company to participate in the development of this website. We need your help in collecting all of the missing information needed to fill in the blanks on these pages. Names of Officers, NCO's, and men from the platoon's that you served in.  Think of this website as a "on-going work in progress" and we are always looking to you, our brothers, for information, comments, and suggestions on the content of this website...."your website".   Let us know what would be helpful to you?  What would you like to see here?  And how can we reach more of the men that we served with?  Add this website to your favorite's list and check back offen, we are constantly adding new members to the group, posting new material of interest, and adding new photo albums into our Photo Gallery pages (now over 1500 Vietnam War photos). 

View our site along with some great music of that period on each page. So be sure to turn on your sound system, and you may need to accept the active X controls for the player if you get a notice pop-up at the top of the viewing window... The audio piece that your are now hearing on this page is how Infantrymen feel about the Chopper Pilots that supported us in the field.  "God's Own Lunatics" is narrated by Joe Gallaway (The only civillian to earn a Bronze Star) who also co-wrote the book "We were Soldiers Once and Young" with Gen. Hal Moore which became the movie "We were Soldiers" with Mel Gibson.  This audio is a very powerful and healing piece.  It is our hope and desire, that here on our website, you will find a sense of veteran brotherhood, joy in the days of ole, and healing.... A place where you can be proud of the job that you performed for your Country. And re-connect with your old buddies and come full circle to find peace of mind!!

!! Our Newly Found Charlie Company Vets !!  Give a big "Currahee Shout-out" to: Don Holthausen 1st Platoon, Paul Burkey 3rd Platoon, Dan Rogers 3rd Platoon, Charles Jones 1st Platoon, Dennis Figley 3rd Platoon, Bruce Smith , Dan Akins 2nd Platoon, Chet Lucas 3rd Platoon, Bob "RT" Tarbuck 2nd Platoon, Andy Giles 2nd Platoon, Randy "Satch" Garver 2nd Platoon, Bob Smith 2nd Platoon, Rick Walsh 1st Platoon, Dale Cooper 1st Platoon, Jesse Butler 1st Platoon, Del Pulliam 1st & 3rd Platoons, Don (Doc) Kemp 2nd Platoon, Doug Stephens (Olson) HCC, James Owens 2nd Platoon, Larry Dubois 3rd Platoon...Welcome back men, to the old Company C group!  You can now find these guys listed on our "Roster" page.

To all Vietnam Veterans, many who have emailed us with praise for our website, the men of Charlie Company wish to say "Thank You" to all veterans that have served our country then and now. And we would also like to add a very special "Welcome Home" to each of you!!!

Send your comments and info to rparmley@verizon.net

Vietnam Duty out of Camp Evans (I-Corp) __ During our deployment in RVN, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division was stationed up near the DMZ at Camp Evans, located between the cities of Hue and Quang Tri in the I Corp sector of South Vietnam.  We worked in the steep mountainous area, covered with dense jungle canopy.  This area was located to the west of Camp Evans from the lowlands into the "A Shau Valley" where the Ho Chi Minh trail was a re-supply highway for the NVA.  We patrolled this area from the Song Bo River on the south, to Quang Tri on the north.  This mountain area was designated as a "free kill zone" with no civilians to deal with (all friendly's had been removed from this area).  We didn't need to have permission to engage our enemy.  It was just "Us" and the "NVA" to slug it out.  If there was some "unaccounted for" movement around us, we fired it up.  Most of our many fire-fights were quick and intense encounters.  When fighting stopped and the smoke cleared, the enemy would have faded away back into the jungle.  Many of us prefered it this way, easy and quick to pull back and disappear into the dense jungle.  But it was very tough moving and living in this steep and heavily covered terrain.  We did, however, have several on-going sustained battles.  The "Siege of Firebase Ripcord" and "LamSon 719" were a few to mention.  These were real hard times.  But during our time in Nam, the deepest bonds of friendship that you could ever imagine developed.  You see, we didn't need to worry about guys around us when trouble struck....Why?....Because we were then, and still are today....Currhee Brothers!!! _We had each other's backs covered and we knew that we could count on the men that we served with! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This was an incredible group of men (Officers, NCO's & Enlisted Men) that pulled together with one common goal; "Get as many of our guys home in one piece as we could."  The Enemy Forces in this area had us outnumbered by 12 to 1 at times.  Our longest period in the bush without a rear-break was 102 days.  When the small arms and mortar fire of the NVA weren't raining down us.  The US Military's "Agent Orange" rained down on us while we humped through the mountains cutting our way through the thick jungle, and much of it ended up in the water that we drank and bathed in daily.  Who knows??  Maybe in the end, the Agent Orange will take a far larger toll on us than the NVA could never accomplish!!!  We have already lost many good friends to the various effects of Agent Orange. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Another big problem for many of us Vietnam Combat Veterans was the untreated PTSD.  Due to the fact that we were deployed into the Vietnam War Zone as individuals.  Then thrust into an unimaginable reality of hostility and brutal survival where we quickly learned to only rely on each other for protection.  Over the course of the next year we endured things that we couldn't have never imaged. _We witnessed and participated in some very unreal actions. _Afterwards, when our tour in "Hell" was over, we were returned home and processed out of the Army, again as individuals. _This happened very quickly without any time for the proper decompression from the trama's and horrors what we had experienced for a year.  We were released back into a US civilian population which was at that time very hostile to Vietnam Veterans. _Many of the misinterpreted PTSD issues among us combat vet's were simply mocked or ridiculed by society and never treated properly.  This forced us to suppress and deeply bury our re-occuring visions and bad feelings about our experiences in the war. -We just tried to fit back into society the best way we could.  Our families and friends couldn't understand us, or help us in dealing with these feelings._And many of us only pushed the people who loved us further away. _These suppressed issues within us never really went away and would surface from time to time only to get us into trouble or send us deeper into the pit of isolation. -Even forty years after the war, our minds are still trying to make some kind of rational sense of what we experienced. -Here is one of the best explainations that I have come across, written by a Militray Chaplian, Richard Davis. . . . AFTER THE WAR - AN INSIDERS LOOK ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
These are a couple of reasons why we are reaching out to support each other today, and why it is so important for us to locate our unfound friends and brothers.  Nobody can understand how a combat veteran feels like another combat veteran!!!

FACT: THE AVERAGE WW II COMBAT SOLDIER HAD 40 DAYS OF COMBAT IN FOUR YEARS - THAT'S THE AVERAGE..., AND THE AVERAGE COMBAT SOLDIER IN VIETNAM HAD 204 DAYS OF COMBAT IN JUST ONE YEAR. . . YOU CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT THAT DID TO THE MINDS OF THE YOUNG MEN THAT SERVED IN COMBAT!!

The "Siege of Firebase Ripcord", Major Daily Events - Keith Nolan's Note's July 1st, 1970 to July 23rd, 1970

"Rendezvous at Ripcord" a VFW article by Charles "Chuck" Hawkins

Read the complete 2/506th history of 1970 here . . .Wow!

LamSon 719 - Operation Dewey Canyon II - Battlefield Diaries, Feb 8th to Mar 24th 1971

The Vietnam Warriors - A Statistical Profile . . .Wow! See the suicide rate, it's still climbing daily!

_____________________A Piece of History - Charlie Co. Roster as of about the 3rd of July 1970__ __________________ -_____I picked this gem up from SSG John Fowler, Plt Sgt 1st Platoon during the just concluded Ripcord Reunion at Myrtle Beach.  It was typed by Sgt Billingsly, Co Clerk, on or about 3 July.  Jeff Wilcox is the CO, and all the guys KIA on 902 are off the roster.  The date on this is a mistake.  Pete Meloro, the just departed Co Clerk said that "Billingsly probably used mimeograph paper with pre-typed date".  A total of 4 pages. Please feel free to disperse as you see fit.  A great little snapshot in time. Part of our company’s history.       Bob Leibecke

 

Some interesting "YouTube" & other video link's to view....

 

THE "VIETNAM WAR" EXPERIENCE FROM A VETERANS POINT OF VIEW. . .

 

American Medivac: This video is really worth watching. It brought a lot of feelings to the surface within me. It doesn't matter if you were Medivaced or not, the connection to our fallen brothers, the survivor remorse, the acceptance of our possible death at any momment just to do our job in the bush, the many other feelings of up's and down's experienced, and of course our appreciation of those Medivac pilots who came for our wounded and dead brothers. Our Reunions help us see what is really most important …… Our Brothers! _http://www.wliw.org/programs/american-medevac

"Why We Can't Forget Vietnam". . . https://vimeo.com/145907780 _ See if you can watch it all the way through without tearing up. _They were barely old enough to vote, but they faced death at an age when their adult lives were just beginning, and the experience changed them all. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the decision to send U.S. combat troops to Vietnam. Hundreds of thousands served. More than 58,000 didn’t come home, 3,415 of them from Texas, whose losses were third only to New York and California. The rest, some haunted by memories of dying buddies and bloody battles, came home to angry protests, a silent majority that refused to speak up, and the broken promises of a country that seemed determined to forget the divisive war. Veteran KWTX-TV producers, photojournalists and editors Jim Peeler and Don Smith, have spent months gathering their stories for a two-part documentary, “We Can’t Forget: Vietnam,” which airs at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 11 and Nov. 12 on KWTX. From a distance of five decades, the veterans they interviewed speak candidly and frankly, some for the first time, about their experiences both during and after the conflict. Their raw, unvarnished memories reveal just how deeply the experience affected them. They say that while they may not have been members of the Greatest Generation, they are the greatest members of their generation. But they say their sacrifices have gone unacknowledged, the good deeds of most tainted by the bad deeds of a few.     (Special Thanks to KWTX 10 News & VIMEO)

The Battle of Hill 902 on July, 2nd, 1970.  An in-depth analysis of the nights events as they occurred by Lt. Ken Pitetti of the 3rd Platoon, 2nd BN, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne.  This early morning battle was just one of the beginning events of the larger Battle of Firebase Ripcord  which raged from July1 to July 23, 1970. . . . https://vimeo.com/246102591

The Battle of Fire Support Base Ripcord in July of 1970 marked the last major confrontation of U.S. military ground forces against the North Vietnamese Army. This prolonged fight, which lasted 23 days, was a destructive, deadly event that cost many American causalities. There were many battle confronation events which happened during this period in the area around and below FSB Ripcord. Hill 805, Hill 902, & Hill 1000 battles were all part of this major NVA attack. Hear some of the actual Veterans recount the Battle of Fire Support Base Ripcord.... http://video.wpt2.org/video/150047097

Video #1 on "FSB RIPCORD"....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYLm18PFcwM

Video #2 on "FSB RIPCORD" ......http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w67-YKbVOog

The 101st Airborne in the A Shau Valley 1969-1971....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWUphwnDvHs

A Pictorial History of the 101st in action....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J94JKYMGVCk

The Animals - "We Got-a Get Out of this Place".....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJVpihgwE18

Here is a great link to a very large in-depth resource of the Vietnam War with History, Stories, Maps, and info. All cataloged in a easy format. Thanks to, Bob Seitz for the addition...Vietnam Resources...http://www.tom.pilsch.com/Vietnam.html

 

OUR BELATED "WELCOME HOME" . . .

A short video article of the (2009 WOE) three day weekend honoring Vietnam Veterans with a long overdue "Welcome Home Celebration" held at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky by the 101st Airborne Division.....Not a dry eye in the building, young and old alike....     http://www.army.mil/media/amp/?bcpid=6981683001&bclid=0&bctid=40921056001

"The Eagle Cried", Written and recorded by US Army Major J Billington. This song was written in honor of the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans, who did not receive the hero's welcome that they deserved when they came home from the fight. This song was written for and performed at the 13th Combat Aviation Battalion Reunion at Fort Rucker, Alabama, held on May 15, 2010. To the Vietnam veterans that may find and watch this video, please accept my humble "Thank you for your service, and welcome home!" J Billington ....... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ehbc1zU1BwQ

VIETNAM WAR VETERAN TRIBUTE, NARRATED BY SAM ELLIOT ....... https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=aVeBtnfAxP8&app=desktop

TRIBUTE TO A VIETNAM WAR VETERANS ....... http://www.v-prod.com/trailer_vietnam.html

A TRIBUTE AND THANK YOU TO OUR AGING VETERANS AND DEDICATED TO VETERANS WHO HELPED TO PRESERVE OUR FREEDOM.
FINALLY, A LONG OVERDUE THANK-YOU TO VETERANS OF THE VIETNAM WAR”....
http://www.beforeyougo.us/play_byg_vn

Vietnam Vets Welcome Home #2..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P2JSzjMpWI&feature=player_embedded

Vietnam Vets Welcome Home #3..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy7a83WGstA&feature=player_embedded

Vietnam Tribute #1...... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMOmF7lBrDE&feature=player_embedded

OTHER GREAT VIDEO's OF INTEREST. . .

101st Airborne Tribute (All Generations) - Blood Upon the Risers . . . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6UXcUgRa60

The Man In The Doorway – Very Powerful . . . . . .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH2vbYs6ebc

Manison's of the Lord– WOW! Very Powerful . . . . . . http://worriersanonymous.org/Share/Mansions.htm

And while we were all off keeping freedom safe....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBdeCxJmcAo

50,000 Names Craved Into the Wall (George Jones). . . .http://home.comcast.net/~singingman7/TNOTW.htm

Good Ole Boy, Toby Keith. . . .THIS ONE WILL GET YOUR BLOOD PUMPIN'!!!
--http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=wbV3lf1HzQI&vq=medium#t=18

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Support of today's 101st young troops at Ft. Campbell KY_  Our group continues to have a close relationship with the young men and women of today's Currahee Regiment.  We attend many of their functions at Fort Campbell to show our support for them in the job that they are doing and to demonstrate the rich history of our unit to them.  Charlie Company will always hold a special place in our hearts, but we call all the regiments currahee's our brother's... If you haven't made it out one of the events yet, you really need to.  You will come away with a chest full of unit pride and feeling absolutely great!!!  That' a promise!  Seeing old friends and making new young friends.  It doesn't get any better then that folks ....once you go, you will be back again & again.  And I will see you there at the next event....

See the latest News here on our "Charlie Company Today" webpage....Charlie Today

2014 Volleyball Game

1st Platoon

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UP-COMING EVENTS  &  OUR NEXT REUNION OPPORTUNITY

Keep checking back here for the lastest info on coming events.  We will try to give you the earliest news of what is coming up so you can make plans to join us...See you there!  ...Our next planned event is......

 

Charlie Company 2020 Reunion Event

Details coming soon

 

The 2020 Charlie Company Reunion is being planned. . . Check back soon.!

 

Check back here ofen for up coming events.

 

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"PAST EVENTS"..... OUR WRITE-UP's AND REFLECTIONS

To help our homepage download speed.  The lastest event will be displayed here on the homepage for a period of time, then moved over to the Reflections Page as they are replaced with newer articles.  Thanks for your understanding...RP

Charlie Company 2019 Reunion Event

Branson MO- Thursday Nov 7th thru Monday Nov 11th

 

Gary's After Action Report, 2019 Reunion at Branson MO.

Captain Seitz and Charlie Company Brothers,

We had an amazing reunion in Branson.  We had a great turn out with Charlie Company 32 veterans, 22 wives, a few family members, and 3 members of SSG Guy Shannon's Gold Star Family were in attendance.  The Radisson offered a great location with great amenities.  Thursday evening we ordered Pizzas and met the new arrivals throughout the evening.  We had 4 attending for the first time, Don (Doc) Kemp, Doug Stephens (Olson), James Owens, and Larry Dubois.

Friday was spent by some scouting, planning for our memorial service, parade route, float and car parking.  The ladies were dedicated to spending Friday we had Joy Penrod come and provide some insight with show schedules and events taking place, followed by the ladies getting down to business shopping, having luncheons and more shopping for the hospitality room. The guys spent a lot of time catching up with each other, dining out and going to shows. Some attended the Creedence Clearwater Revival show and where Frank danced to "Running through the Jungle" and took to the show to the isles as Charlie Company men and ladies cheered him on.

Saturday the weather started getting warmer and we continued spending time together.  Later in the evening we all headed to the Legends Theater and enjoyed a great time watching impersonators portraying Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Jake and Elwood (the Blues Brothers), Stevie Wonder, Elvis.  Charlie Company took up 2 complete rows with 60 plus attending but the real hit of the show was "Doris" as they announced she would soon celebrate her 100th birthday on the 20th and her contribution as a WAC Tech Sergeant in World War II.  She got plenty of attention as throughout the show she got hugs and kisses from Jake & Elwood and Elvis came down gave her his scarf and big kiss.

On a wonderful sunny Sunday morning at 10:00 we met at College of the Ozarks Vietnam Memorial for the memorial service where 32 men of Charlie Company who showed up to take part in the Memorial for Guy Shannon Jr.  Guy's sister Sue (Gloria Sue) Seely, his nephew Brian and wife Helen had come to the reunion to remember their loved one. We were joined by a group of the Patriot Guard Riders, the Missouri's Honors provided active duty personnel presenting the American Flag to the Family, the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 913 Honor Guard came to provide the "Rifle Salute" and "Taps" bugler, along with many others and the Local Media in attendance.  The handout for the memorial is attached.  It was a warm 65 degrees at the start of the service and 72 by the time we ended.

We returned to the hotel and put the floats together.  SGT Christiansen had done a fantastic job preparing the floats to be assembled quickly.  Sunday evening we had 64 attend our Charlie Company Memorial Dinner.  It started with the presenting of the colors by the VVA chapter 913, Rolland Christiansen led prayer for all our active duty troops, Doc Kemp offered grace to start our meal.  Following dinner we had the Missing Man Table and Roll Call by Dave Simonds, Bob Lister and Frank Matsko.  The names of Charlie Company Fallen were read was called out followed by the tolling of the bell by Dan Rogers and a toast to the memory of our fallen brothers.  Gary Gilliam presented a power point program showing pictures and details of each of the 18 Memorials that Charlie Company Memorial Teams had previously completed.  He also discussed how Charlie Company is making an impact playing a role in shaping the future of the 506th with DMORs, and can play a leadership role the Paver Program at the Currahee Memorial.  LT Pitetti read Captain Seitz's letter those attending.  The men acknowledged they appreciated hearing from Captain Seitz but also wanted to let him know he was truly missed.  LT Lombard provided insight for Guy's family of what was taking place during the period of Dewey Cannon II and the mission in Lam Son 719 leading up to the loss of Guy. John Beebe and James Owens told of the day of the loss of Guy, Sue's brother, and let the family know that he was not alone.

LT Pitetti told about what had happened around the beginning of November 1970 and how things had transpired leading up to the wounding of Jerone "Buffy" Buffington and how things can happen in the real world of war resulting in Buffy not receiving a Purple Heart Award when he processed out of the Army.  Things had gotten lost in the paperwork in the injustice of red-tape.  Then LT Pitetti presented the Purple Heart Award to a totally surprised Buffy.  Buffy was overwhelmed and in tears as he accepted the award.

The temperature dropped on from Sunday afternoon at 72 degrees to a Monday morning start at a rainy 40 degrees and still falling as we went down to the parade route.  It was a windy cold day but our spirits were high and we had a great time.  Frank was walking and dancing his way throughout the parade route, while everyone was throwing candy to the kids.  The parade took about 1 1/2 hours and by the time the we got back to the hotel it was 29 degrees and snowing.  Charlie Company spirits cannot be overpowered by just a little cold and snow, we had a great time.  Several left to go home right after the parade but the weather had more impact on them as their flights were cancelled and roads were worsening as they moved north.  Thankfully everyone made it home safe and sound.

Now we are starting to plan our next reunion and looks likely to be the first week of May in Washington DC. 

Note the pictures of ladies that police delivered to us after they got left behind on the parade route handing out candy to a group of little kids but we were able to create a funny picture thanks to JoAnn Harris and Cathy Matsko.

Everyone said this reunion was the one best yet. 

Gary Gilliam

The Charlie Company Hospititily Suite was always a active place.

Nov. 9th, Doris's 100th Birthday Party in the Charlie Company Hospititily

Nov. 9th, Doris at the "Legend's Show", Elvis comes off-stage and gives her his scarf and a Birthday Kiss.

Nov. 10th, at 10:00am in the Morning. Memorial Service for Guy G. Shannon Jr.

Local Channel 10 News Clip: https://www.ozarksfirst.com/local-news/national-veterans-group-holds-memorial-for-local-fallen-soldier/

Nov. 10th Afternoon, Preparing the two Charlie Company Floats

Nov. 10th, The Charlie Company Memorial Dinner. Charlie Awards and Buffington's Purple Heart Presentation.

Nov. 11th, The Branson Veterans Day Parade

 

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Our "Photo Gallery of Albums" now has over 1600 Nam photos, have a look!      You can find a menu-bar button on this page, and each of the platoon pages.  During our reunion in late May at the "Rendezvous 2009" we had our 1st chance to pass around our individual photo albums for all to see. We found that everyone is in everyone else's pictures.  It was really neat to see photos of yourself (from 50 years ago) that you have never seen before.  We all agreed that there should be a central place for all of us to place a copy of our pictures for all to enjoy.  This web based PHOTO GALLERY is the perfect solution.  Heck, you can even get photo printouts sent to your home in the mail.  We can easily setup a photo album for each person that submits their photos.  So get yours sent in soon!   If you need any assistance in scanning and converting your old film photos, I will be happy to help you.....   Just send me an email with your questions.  You can reach me at: rparmley@verizon.net

RVN Ribbon_____          ____Air Medal Ribbon____          _____Bronze Star Ribbon

 

_Huey's on a Combat Assault_

_Flight of Huey's on a Combat Air Assault (CA)_

 

_Camp Evans_

Camp Evans as seen from the Huey's returning from the field.

The 2nd 506th area is shown in the foreground next to the wire.

 

 

RVN Ribbon_____          ____Air Medal Ribbon____          _____Bronze Star Ribbon

 

__          _US Flag_          __