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/2nd/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 113 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 ofen, 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 Re-located Charlie Company Vets !! Give a big "Currahee Shout-out" to Robert (Wayne) Plunk 2nd Platoon, Clarence Pearson 1st Platoon, Don Kemp 2nd Platoon Medic, Jerome (Jerry) Minahan 3rd Platoon, Jerome (Buffy) Buffington 1st Platoon, Stuart Trotter 1st Platoon, Doug Kolm 2nd Platoon, Corky Swafford 1st Platoon, Herbert Tatum 2nd Platoon, Duane (Bo) Rainville 1st Platoon, John (Jan) Krupiczowicz 1st Platoon, Ray Hulanick 3rd Platoon, Christopher D. Donato HQ, .....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 email@example.com
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 the 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 bad thoughts and 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 them further away from us. _These 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!!!
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!!
Have you ever thought about taking a trip back to Vietnam . . . . ???
Our Charlie Company buddy "Bob Smoker" has created "Viet Nam Encounters" which is now offering Return Trips to Vietnam. Helping our Vietnam Veterans heal by replacing the old haunting mental images of war with new memories. __ You can find out more and contact Bob by clicking on the Logo.
Part of an excellent 12 part Video Documentry Series 'Courage under Fire' hosted by Walter Cronkite with many actual stories about the "Soldiers in the Bush" and what they went through dailey to stay alive. Lots of action and lots of pain!! . . . .
Video #3 of 12 "They are all heroes" ..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo-iLn0Bpz0
Video #4 of 12 "The World of Charlie Company" (Not our Charlie Co)..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jom08fCnLyQ
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
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.cc.gatech.edu/fac/Thomas.Pilsch/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
A 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. . .
The Man In The Doorway – Very Powerful . . . . . .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH2vbYs6ebc
And while we were all off keeping freedom safe....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBdeCxJmcAo
Here is a link to the “Bob Hope Holiday Tour 1967” in Vietnam locations at Army Bases, Air Force Bases, Navy Ships and the Marine Base at Da-Nang. It is about 1 1/2 hour long, but WOW, Bob is a very funny man and it is worth watching every second of it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJWiMApO6ks&feature=sub
50,000 Names Craved Into the Wall (George Jones). . . .http://home.comcast.net/~singingman7/TNOTW.htm
Good Ole Boy, Toby Keith. . . .THIS WILL GET YOUR BLOOD PUMPIN'!!!
Support of today's 2nd Bn/506th Regiment at Ft. Campbell KY preparing for their next Afghanistan deployment. Our group continues to have a close relationship with the young men and women of today's 2nd BN, 506th 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. And you would not believe how much they enjoy us being there with them. It's a great relationship! Our very own Capt. Bob Seitz (Retired Colonel Bob Seitz) is the newly appointed "Retired Colonel of the Regiment". He, along with Col. Val C. Keaveny Jr, the 4th BCT Commander and Captain Jon Oglesby the current Company C, 2nd BN 506th Reg. Commander work closely together to develope new ways for us veterans to support todays troops. And of course, 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
Check out the new "Charlie Company Store" page. ...Click Here...
Here is a great way to show your unit pride and help out the families of men currently serving with the 2nd/506th. You can also find many other fantastic Currahee items for sale at the 506th Association "Quartermaster Sales" page and support a great veterans organization.
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 will be......
Announcement: _Charlie Company 2013 Reunion Plans, June 19th - 22nd in Branson MO
The reunion hotel information is listed below. Currently we have 24 Vets committed and expecting 30 to 35 Charlie Veterans. We believe that with Family and Friends, there will a total of 60 to 80 attending the reunion. We now have a block of 40 rooms reserved and expect to fill most or all of them. Please don’t delay in getting your room(s), a credit card can hold your booked room at no additional cost to you.
When calling the Dutton Inn, please use “Charlie Company Vietnam Military Reunion” (our Group Conformation # is 546001) to get the discounted rates. The prices below include 3 days with all the package extras as listed below included. For instance: “Total Cost” for for a couple ona 3 day stay will be $223.88 which includes everything listed below.
Be advised: Southwest Airlines will begin direct flights into Branson MO. in March/April of 2013 or you can fly into Springfield MO airport which is approximately 1 hour away.
If you have any questions at all, please contact Bob Lister or Mike Womack ---------------------------------------------------------------
Bob Lister: Phone: 440-624-4209 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Womack: Phone: 417-230-8032 Email: email@example.com
Dutton Family Complex
3454 W Hwy 76th Country Blvd
Branson, MO 65616
Dutton Inn Combo Group Reservation
The Dutton Inn welcomes the opportunity to host your group in comfort and convenience.
Group Name:________Charlie Company Vietnam Military Reunion (Group Conformation #546001)
Date of Arrival:______Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Date of Departure:___Saturday, June 22, 2013
Number of Nights:___3 Nights
Rooms Reserved:____40 Rooms
Group Rates:_______-$111.94 per person (for 3 Days), based on a Double Occupancy
_________________$187.27 per person (for 3 Days), Single Occupancy
_________________$ 86.83 per person (for 3 Days), Triple Occupancy
_________________$ 74.27 per person (for 3 Days), Quad Occupancy
This Group Package Includes: 3 Nights stay at the Dutton Inn with 3 Hot Breakfasts, 1 Dutton Family Theater Ticket Conf #546001 on 6/20/2013 at 8pm, 1 Dinner Buffet including tax and gratuities on Thursday 6/20/2013 at 6:00PM- Conf #546009,-1 Ice Cream Social on 6/20/2013 at 10PM Conf #546013, The-Conference room each day Evening 6/19, during the day 6/20, and 6/21 after 10:30AM-(Clean up after yourselves), and All Taxes
Additional Items Available Are: George Dyer Tickets @ $20 each/per person and Lunch Buffet @ $11 each or Dinner @ $12 each
Anyone wishing to stay any extra days, will be able to do so at our discounted rates. Southwest Airlines will be starting to fly into Branson starting in April. Shuttle service and car rentals are available at the airport. The theater tickets, dinner on Thursday and an Ice Cream Social after the show are already included in our room prices. You all can start booking your rooms to be held on your credit card. Those figures are for a 3 day total for one person.
Debbie and I will likely plan to stay for a week and enjoy the many attractions the Branson area offers. Here is the website for Branson Area to help you with your planning. http://www.explorebranson.com/?gclid=CJTRtcynorMCFfBcMgodP0sAHA
"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
2012 Charlie Company Reunion, Ft. Campbell KY
2012 Reunion, After Action Report:
Wednesday: We had an unbelievable reunion; as everyone began to arrive into Ft Campbell, we had a nonstop evening with the Charlie Company 70-71 guys and their wives getting to visit. Early evening many of the young men from Charlie Company 2012 began to filter in with us. I believe they were a little apprehensive at first; many meeting with the older Charlie Company for the first time, but as the night went on the numbers continued to grow. We started out with ordering 12 large pizzas and it appeared this would be enough for the evening but the second wave of young Currahees must have received messages from those with us and we had to order 5 more pizzas. We were very excited to see Captain Oglesby Charlie Company commander attended with his cadre. We had an amazing time; the bonding with these fine men of Charlie Company 2012, began on the very first evening.
Thursday: We began our day with pouring rain but just as we prepared to leave for the Wreath Laying Ceremony which had been changed to 9:30 AM the rain stopped and skies cleared. We met at the Currahee Memorial located next to regimental headquarters. Charlie 2012 formed as a company unit on one side and Charlie 1970-71 formed opposite and the wreath was presented with Charlie Company old and new ordered to attention by Charlie 2012 by FSG Donovant and our Charlie 1970-71 by LT Bob Leibecke. LT Leibecke did a wonderful job speaking to the companies assembled about the reason we had come and those remembered by the wreath. LT Leibecke ordered Charlie 70-71 to present arms as FSG Donovant ordered Charlie 2012 as an echo. We all took time to look at the Granite Stone inscribed VIET NAM with all the names of 506th Inf KIA in RVN engraved on the reverse side of the stone.
We then went to the Sink library where the staff had coffee and snacks awaiting us. We went to the Pratt Museum just a few blocks away and many purchased shirts, hats and other items of remembrance at the gift shop. At noon we made our way to the organizational area where Charlie Company 2012 along with their families had prepared a wonderful cook-out and family time together. We had some of the old Currahees challenge the young Currahees to a game of volleyball; as others thought them to be delusional, Bob Lister, Glenn Green, and Frank Matsko put the hammer on those young troops that started out taking it easy on the old men but soon were in a fight for their pride as the score as at 17-18. Fun was had by all that attended. Later back at the hospitality room we had a great time together and as wives rubbed Ben Gay on the old athletes the young men again began to show-up, again, led by CPT Oglesby and his Cadre. That is a miss-statement; actually the young men were never instructed to come but invited to the hospitality room by the old grunts at the cookout. We went through $150 worth of sub sandwiches and 10 cases of beer as well as other high-proof provisions by our famous 1st platoon Cuban. Bob Lister danced on the table but no one was impressed by his moves but noticed him only by the distinct aroma of Ben Gay! The men stayed until close to Mid-night even knowing they had 0500 formation.
Friday: Heavy rains greeted us as we awoke. But as clock work as we prepared to make our way to gate 7 the rains stopped, someone had some good connections… We headed to Charlie Company CP to board buses headed to the firing range at 8:30. We had some great time on the firing range and many proved they could be great warriors again if ever called but also noted that we would have to be called the wheel chair brigade. We can’t walk far but we can still shoot! We stayed on the range and slung brass until 1200 noon. COL Seitz then did a reenlistment ceremony for SGT Josh Bennett. We had an amazing time with these young Currahee’s at the range. This was followed by our breakout sessions with each of the three platoons back at Battalion HQ.
That evening we attended the Memorial Dinner, Captain Seitz spoke to his Charlie Company 70-71 as we remembered those who died along side us in Viet Nam a lifetime ago; as well as, those dear brothers we have lost since returning home. There was a notable absence of a special man: LT Joe Ficarra
As the names were called, the bell tolled reminding us to always remember. Currahee!! It is our hope that if you were unable to join us this year you will join us to remember our brothers next year.
LTC Jack Rich spoke to us of how the men of the 506th Infantry continues to look up to us as those whose footsteps that has provided a rich legacy beginning with the Band of Brothers in World War 2 continuing through Viet Nam as they continue extend the Currahee legacy. CPT Oglesby addressed those attending telling of the pride that his men have in those who they have bonded with throughout the week. We also were blessed to have SSG Starks Charlie company 2nd platoon 2/506th who was presented the Silver Star by U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus for valorous service in the last deployment; he was also named and awarded Soldier of the Year with us at the memorial dinner.
Following dinner we returned to the hotel to find most of Charlie Company 2012 awaiting our arrival. This night many of them got a room and didn’t stop until the next morning. Bonding of the old & new was now complete! These men are a part of our lives and we will be here for them as they deploy next spring and will be here for them when they return home.
I must say the 2012 Charlie Company 70-71 Reunion was amazing, but it was all of those young men that embraced us that was the real highlight of the week!
Many left out the next day (Saturday) for home but a few of us die hard brothers continued to visit until Sunday morning when reality set in and we had to return to our homes.
We will be sending out information on the next reunion soon. The reunion next year is being planned for Branson MO.
Since the Battalion will be deployed next year we are planning a trip to Branson where Veterans are celebrated.
We are looking at Mid June 2013. Bob Lister & Mike Womack are working on setting up the hotel and packages for this trip.
We are looking for a great reunion next year so begin to plan now.
We send our love out to all, Gary and Debbie Gilliam
Our "Photo Gallery of Albums" now has over 1200 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 40 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: firstname.lastname@example.org