Friendship - Communication - Understanding
Distributed Quarterly: March - June -
September - December
47th Scout Dog Platoon http://www.47ipsd.us
VDHA Unit Director: Bertram Hubble, firstname.lastname@example.org Webmaster: Jonathan Wahl, email@example.com Historian: Bertram Hubble, firstname.lastname@example.org Membership Director: Bertram Hubble, email@example.com
59th Scout Dog Platoon http://www.geocities.com/ipsd59th/main.htm/
VDHA Unit Director: Bertram Hubble, firstname.lastname@example.org Webmaster: Dean P. Harrison, email@example.com Historian: William Whitehouse, firstname.lastname@example.org Membership Director: Bertram Hubble, email@example.com
Fellow Platoon Members:
As this will be the last report for this year, I would like to extend my personal best wishes to each of you for a happy Holiday Season and New Year.
Fort Benning GA War Dog Memorial Dedicated:
The second War Dog Memorial was dedicated at Fort Benning GA on Sunday October 8th 2000. The dedication was a great success and our group was represented by Donnie Jones, Daniel Barnett, Rusty Allen, Bert Hubble and his wife Espie, Jonathan and his wife Leigh Hunt, Bill Sawyer, Don Jestes and his wife Cathy, Charles Franks and his wife, and Stephanie Lemish, niece of Steve Lemish. The highlights for me besides the ceremony itself was meeting Jesse Mendez and his daughter (Army) Major Monica Mendez, visiting the National Infantry Museum where we have a pretty good display on the K-9 Corp. and seeing Columbus GA and Fort Benning that I had not seen in 32 years. Rusty had a car so he drove us around Fort Benning viewing many sights which brought back memories such as Infantry Hall, OCS and NCOC Barracks, old training sights, the site of the Leadership Reaction Course which is still there and the old Scout Dogs Barracks which is now occupied by the 75th Rangers and surrounded by a 6 foot high chain link fence covered with a green plastic tarp. The big Ranger Joe sign off to the left as you approach Fort Benning is still there. The field just down from our Scout Dog Barracks where we gave our dogs Basic Obedience is now built up with what appeared to be residential housing for permanent staff. We saw quite a bit of new housing built on the base but aside from that it appeared much the same. We crossed the Chattahoochee River and went to Uchee Creek where we trained for river crossing. That area is now a boating and recreation area. Columbus GA itself has grown a great deal and appeared to be a very nice community with many retired military residing there. I would have liked to visit Old Town but time was too short to take it all in. I would like to go back and spend a day in the Infantry Museum as there is so much to see. I had a framed picture of the Original WWII Graduating Class of the 47th IPSD from Fort Robinson Nebraska on August 18th 1945 that was given to me by Lowell Rosnau so I presented that to the Museum Curator to add to the War Dog Display. What a step back in time. It would be nice to put together a display from each of our units to present to the Benning Museum and the Marsh Air Field Museum. If anyone is interested in working on such a project, let me know.
VDHA Reunion Washington DC:
The Memorial Dedication was followed almost immediately by the VDHA Reunion (October 13th - 15th 2000) which was held at the Crystal City Hilton Hotel. With the exception of the Wreath Ceremony at "The Wall", the Banquet and the Breakfast Business Meeting the event was pretty much unstructured to allow time to get acquainted with old friends and see some of the sights. We had many in attendance from our units as follows:
Stanley Stockdale brought a PowerPoint presentation on the history of the 47th Scout Dog Platoon that he had prepared and given to the German Shepherd Society in Atlanta. The presentation was terrific and very professionally done. I think the next step is for Stan and Jonathan Wahl to get together and make a video on the history of the 47th Scout Dog Platoon.
Don and Cathy Jestes get my special thanks and appreciation for coming to my rescue and putting Espie and myself up for a night at their home when their was a snafu on my arrival date and the hotel did not have a room for us. Don also gave two spectacular slide presentations to the group and was a terrific host to myself and Espie during our stay in DC.
At the Reunion members provided us with a great deal of new information and good clear pictures and newspaper clippings that we will incorporate into the web sites as soon as possible. I think Jonathan will have about 6 months work to get caught up with the new information. Special thanks to Dan Tupper, Don Jestes, Richard Hong and Barbara Otto who provided pictures and articles at the Reunion. Also, many others contributed information on the history of the units. Neil Worsham, Doug McCoy, Charles Stevens and Frank Steinhebel have also sent us pictures or other material for use on the web sites.
Dan Tupper related that when the 47th IPSD stood down on July 21, 1971, the two platoon mascots (Flexible and Sally-J) were given over to the Second Brigade Headquarters Company at Phu Bai and continued their role as mascots for that unit. This is a significant lead and may help us track down their ultimate fate. We will continue to investigate this.
New VDHA Members are Neil Worsham and Bill Whitehouse from the 59th IPSD. Congratulations on your decision to become VDHA Members.
What's New on the Web Site:
Jonathan has added a page to the 47th Web Site entitled "What's New". A link to it is on the home page. All new items added to the site will be listed here with the date added and a link to the specific new item. This is a very worthwhile tool to go directly to any new material added to the site since your last visit. This will save you a lot of time so give it a try.
War Dog Stamp Reconsidered:
We have learned that the U.S. Post Office has reopened their consideration for a War Dog Stamp. Now would be a great time to send them a letter of your support for a War Dog Stamp. As you know, this has long been a goal of the VDHA to have a Stamp issued to honor our K-9 friends and protectors. Letters may be sent to Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Rm 4474E, Washington DC 20260-2437. Encourage your friends or associates to do the same.
For the VDHA as an organization the most dramatic event occurred at the Business Meeting on Sunday Morning October 15th. At that time the new officers were elected which you will read about in the next issue of DogMan. The controversy occurred when it appeared that non-voting supporting members attempted to take over the meeting and exercise undue influence over the meeting and the direction that the VDHA should go in the future. There was an attempt to have a vote to split the VDHA up into Regions and incorporate in the state of Delaware so that the Regions could raise funds independently of the VDHA and provide funds for special projects they would like to pursue (such as monuments or memorials I suppose). It was not entirely clear what their intentions were or the reasons for these proposed changes. There was quite a lot of unrest among the voting members over these proposals causing Jonathan Wahl to approach the microphone and suggest that the VDHA put something in writing that the voting members could vote on at a later date. This suggestion was accepted. I personally had the feeling that outside interests and some voting members were trying to take over the VDHA for possible personal financial gain. I felt that the meeting hit a low point when some Marine whose name I do not recall decided to lecture the assembly on what we were supposed to be doing to support the organization. He was very specific in describing what our obligations were. This did not set too well with me so I voiced my opinion and walked out of the Business Meeting and did not return. I am not sure what happened after that.
At that time, I had every intention of leaving the organization. I have cooled off a little and have decided to remain a member for the time being to see where this organization is headed. You will each have to make your own decision where you stand with the VDHA depending on how things sort out for you. For me the VDHA is primarily a fraternal organization with a Unit Structure so that Platoon Members can locate and become reunited with the former buddies. The other key objective has been for the units to record their histories since this information is scattered at best and mostly non-existent.
It is commendable that Jeffery Bennett with the support of the VDHA has educated the public of the use of War Dogs in Vietnam through the War Dogs Video and the two Memorials placed at the Marsh Field Air Museum, Riverside and at Fort Benning. Yes, a Stamp would be appropriate also and with some luck a Memorial in DC would be perfect. Beyond that, I do not see the need for the VDHA to continue to push for more Memorials. It is my feeling that most of the members do not want the organization turned into a money machine or an organization bent on putting a statue on every corner, in every city, in the United States. Yes, we did our job and we had our successes and sometimes things did not work out. Let it be remembered that in the Big Picture, the large scale of the war itself, it was the straight infantryman who was out there every day to whom the greatest debt is owed. We were the lucky ones.
I have already received input from many 47th/59th VDHA members indicating that we should consider having our own separate Reunions and pull apart from the VDHA. For the time being I propose that we retain our membership and continue to promote membership in the VDHA. Overall the VDHA has been a huge success and may be suffering from growing pains. Let's keep our cool and fight for the organization that we want. If the organization does not fulfil our needs or wants, we can go our own way at a later time. Let me know what you think.
Personal Note - Marvin R. Pearce:
We have determined that the final resting place of Marvin R. Pearce is the Oakwood Memorial Chapel & Park, 3301 Paul Sweet Road Santa Cruz, CA 95065 Tel: 831-475-2464. He is located in Block 10, Division E, Grave 188.
Take care of yourselves,
|Author:||Bertram M. Hubble|
|Editor/Publisher:||Jonathan D. Wahl|
|© 2000 Bertram M. Hubble|