Friendship - Communication - Understanding
Distributed Quarterly: March - June -
September - December
Fellow Platoon Members:
There is much new news and information to report as follows:
59th IPSD Now Has It's Own Stand Alone Web Site:
Special thanks and appreciation must go out to Dean Harrison who has volunteered to be the Web Master for the 59th IPSD. The beginnings of the new web site are up and may be viewed at URL http://www.geocities.com/ipsd59th/main.htm. Many pages are under construction and Dean will work on it as much as he can time permitting. Please do not try to compare the new site with Jonathan Wahl's 47th Platoon web site as Jonathan has been working on the site for almost three years and has hundreds of hours of time invested so far. The main thing to remember is that Dean can get the material up on the site but he will need your input and contributions to make it a truly outstanding web site. He would very much like to hear from former platoon members especially if they can send him pictures and stories that will add to documenting the unit's history. This is an appropriate time for all you 59th guys to gather up what you have and send it to Dean. Any pictures or original items that Dean receives will be scanned and returned to you undamaged. Dean served with the unit from August 1970 to October 1971 and handled Scout Dog Rebel 9A37. Dean may be reached at Tel: 805-523-7021 or on-line at email@example.com
47th IPSD Web Site Continues To Improve:
As of this time, Jonathan's 47th platoon web site has won seven awards for excellence. Something tells me this is just the beginning. The award icons are located at the bottom of the Home Page and are very impressive. These awards are a source of independent verification of the quality of the site to include graphics, links, theme, content and overall layout. The site has been changing very rapidly so be sure to visit it often to see the new material. In particular, we now have a page for Original Documents. Many new entries have been made to the Platoon Diary which now features a separate page for each year and we plan a special section for the Original Graduating Class of August 18, 1945. Check out the new Flashback Photos also.
This last quarter has seen a lot of input from many different sources. In particular I would like to thank Lowell Rosnau, Frank Steinhebel, Steve Lemish, Sandy Burnstein, Bill Sawyer, Joe McMahon, Kenneth Hudson, and Kenneth Whitecotton. Hope I have not forgotten anyone. Due to the information these members have provided, we have been able to post new pictures, add new material to the Platoon Diary and in general continue to fill in the missing pieces. For example Lowell Rosnau provided us with a copy of the group Graduation picture of the Original 47th Scout Dog Platoon dated August 18, 1945 (see Flashback Photo). Frank Steinhebel took some 8MM tape footage when he was at Phu Bai. Frank has converted it to VHS tape and provided us about 30 minutes of footage taken between July 1970 and July 1971. Can you imagine our surprise and delight when we found that Frank had captured a shot of my brother Daryl's dog Trooper 3M28 who had found his way back to the 47th IPSD and got photographed by Frank more that two years after my brother left country? What a great gift to have received that tape with Trooper on it. It is really cool and truly unique.
I think VDHA Membership has slowed a bit but our congratulations and welcome go out to the new VDHA members this past quarter from the two platoons: Frank Steinhebel from the 47th and Robert Wilson from the 59th. Also we thank Beth Franz for joining as a Supporting Member of the 47th IPSD. Beth appeared in the CNN Special that aired in March. Beth was the Original Donor of Scout Dog Barr 189A who served with the unit from March 1971 to July 1971. Anyone knowing anything about Barr or who his handler may have been is requested to get in touch and share that information. An update on the numbers are as follows:
Unit(s) Count To Date: 47th IPSD 59th IPSD Platoon Members Identified: 188 152 Platoon VDHA Members: 61 30 Supporting VDHA Members: 3 2
Toni's Book "Walking Where The Dog Walks-an Odyssey of Interspecies Trust In Vietnam"is on-going as she continues to work with a group of 47th handlers. Besides her subject group Toni would like to hear from the recipients of this report as to their comments to the following questions.
- Compare your impressions of your dog when you first got him to when you separated?
- What changes in your impressions occurred along the way?
- How much did you learn about your dog?
- What did you learn from your dog?
- How did your experience with your dog shape your attitude toward other animals?
- How did having a dog in Vietnam affect your attitude toward being there?
- Compare your relationship with your dog to your relationship to the other guys in your unit?
- How different did you feel from regular infantrymen because you had a dog?
- How do you think the regular infantry troops regarded you?
- Did your experience with your dog change your outlook on your relationship with other people in the long term?
- Finally, and most importantly - what did you learn about YOURSELF and the world around you from this dog-human relationship?
Toni is looking into important aspects of the human/animal bond that have not been dealt with before. Her book will not be the typical war story, in fact the war aspect will be secondary to her other objectives. Your comments will be very welcomed by Toni and could contribute greatly to the finished product. This is a chance for you to make a significant contribution to what will be a very unique book. Please take the time to reply to the above questions and forward your comments to Toni on-line at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your response to Toni at 602 Hollen Road Baltimore MD 21212. Toni may be reached at Tel: 410-532-7996.
Things We Are Looking For:
One of our main objectives is to record the history of the unit(s) from your individual memories and obtain pictures, stories and documents to support that history. As we know the detailed history of Scout Dog units has not been preserved very well so it is up to us to do it if we want it done. Each one of you has something to share with us which will further our cause.
For the 59th IPSD: We need many more pictures and stories of the events that spanned their 3 year Vietnam service record. Copies of Military Orders will help in identifying the remaining platoon members who have not been identified or located yet.
For the 47th IPSD: While the same remarks apply to the 47th IPSD, and since the 47th web site is pretty well established there are some specific items we are looking for. At the St. Louis Reunion, someone had a terrific picture of Marvin R. Pearce holding Flexible and wearing a DI hat. We really want that picture for our web site. We also need pictures of Tim Edwin Newell and Lt. James M. Bradshaw. Another area of concern to us is that we have many dogs named but do not have them matched up to a particular handler. Please check our Scout Dog Roster located on the web site and help us fill in the missing information.
Both Units: We want to hear from you guys who were with the unit(s) in the final days. Write to us and tell us what it was like, the morale level, who was in charge, what was happening to the dogs and handlers, and if the dogs and personnel were being reassigned and to where. Your personal recollections during this time will be greatly appreciated. All pictures received will be scanned and returned to the sender undamaged.
We have learned from Kenneth Whitecotton that former 59th IPSD platoon member Tommy Clay passed away on April 6, 2000. Tommy served with the unit from March 1970 to March 1971. Our condolences go out to his family and to those of you who knew Tommy.
The Name Tiles mentioned in the last report is a wonderful way to memorialize your dog or a fallen buddy. I hope many of you have used the application I enclosed for your convenience.
If you need another application, let me know and I will send it to you.
The Washington DC VDHA Reunion:
The site location for the Reunion has changed. The Reunion will now be held at the Hilton Crystal City at National Airport from Friday October 13th through Sunday October 15th, 2000. Call Joan Elder at Miramar Travel Tel: 800-878-6991 to reserve a room. Joan will also provide Flight Reservations as needed. The room rate will be $115.00 single or $119.00 double occupancy. To get the special room rate we must go through Joan Elder so do not call the hotel direct. The rate is good for two days before and two days after the reunion. The hotel is 14 stories with the usual amenities including free breakfast and free newspaper and within 4 blocks of the Crystal City Metro Station. If you are planning on coming by yourself and would like to share a room let me know. We will try to match you up to save a little money. Frank Steinhebel would like to share a room with a non-smoker. If you would be interested in sharing a room with Frank, let me or Frank know. You do not need to be a VDHA member to attend. If you have not made up your mind yet about attending I would like to highly recommend you decide to give it a try. I would expect that in DC we will have the largest gathering of 47th and 59th folks ever assembled at one time. You are bound to meet someone you knew. And for sure, you will have a good time.
We are truly in the midst of another Technological/Industrial Revolution. Not since the 60's have we seen so much political activity by American young people and united global movements. We saw it in Seattle and again in Washington DC. The demonstrations have been peaceful and non-violent in nature. They are demonstrating against total corporate domination and control of every aspect of our lives. The government is controlled by the corporations and the corporations are non-democratic entities that have only one goal - to make more money. I for one am proud of the brave young people who are standing up against GATT, NAFTA, WTO, World Bank, and the IMF. It takes a lot of courage and idealism to do what they are doing. Suggestions: (1) Weigh all the facts and Vote to send a message (2) Consider alternative sources for news and information since you will not get the entire story from the major networks.
Take care of yourselves,
Author: Bertram M. Hubble Editor/Publisher: Jonathan D. Wahl © 2000 Bertram M. Hubble