Friendship - Communication - Understanding
Distributed Quarterly: March - June -
September - December
Fellow Platoon Members:
The Beat Goes On:
The Washington DC Reunion, to be held at the Holiday Inn, Ballston, VA from Friday October 12 to Sunday October 15, 2000 will be upon us before we know it. It is not too early to start planning to attend. With over 1,200 VDHA Members and only 150 rooms blocked for our use, I strongly suggest that you do not delay and call Joan Elder at 800-878-6991 and reserve a room. I fully expect that the 47th and 59th Scout Dog Platoons will be the best represented units at the Reunion. I will do my best to make that happen. As always, wives, friends or other family members are welcome and they also enjoy these events. The only reservation that I might add is that teenagers might get a little bored - if you know what I mean, but the Washington DC area has a lot of interesting things to see and you can split off from the group at anytime and do your own thing. No problem.
The 47th IPSD Web Site has received the Hearth & Home's Award of Excellence and is listed as an award winner at http://www.geo cities.com/Heartland/Hills/3678/vetwin.htm. Thank you Jonathan for creating this site for us and continuing to improve on it. With the posting of two years of Monthly Platoon Reports (declassified documents) for the 47th IPSD, our site will be a great site to visit for those who are doing historical research on K-9 Units who served in Vietnam. The Monthly Reports for the 59th IPSD will also be posted as soon as J. Wahl can find the time to finish this project. One way to view the site if you do not have a computer in the home, is to go to your public library as many libraries now have on-line access to the World Wide Web. Bill Sawyer who has accessed the site from his public library in Palermo, ME brought this to my attention. Thanks for the tip.
Toni Gardner, an independent writer who specializes in stories about animals and pets came across our Web site and has decided to write a book using the 47th IPSD as the subject group for her book. The book will be entitled "Walking Where the Dog Walks - An Odyssey of Interspecies Trust" in Vietnam. The book will focus on the first year group but expand to bridge the second and third year platoon experience. This will not be a platoon history or a war story in the traditional sense. It will deal more with the bond between the men and their dogs. Some of the platoon members she has contacted for information for her book are: Herman Allen (Rusty), John Carter, Otis Johnson, Larry Proper, Jimmy Powrzanas, Jonathan Wahl, Jonathan Harraden, and Stanley Stockdale. There may be some other platoon members that she is or will be working with on information for her book. If you are interested in being contacted and are willing to provide her information, I know that she would be glad to hear from you. Toni has joined the VDHA as a Supporting Member and we have added her to our Platoon Roster as a Supporting Member. Toni can be reached at Tel: 410-532-7996 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She hopes to have a draft of the book ready for the reunion which she plans to attend. She would love to meet the 47th and 59th Platoon Members in person.
The Live On-Line 47th IPSD Chat Room which was conducted on Thursday July 22, 1999 was a partial success but I know that Jonathan Wahl was a bit disappointed. Due to a family emergency my brother and I had to leave town that night and could not participate and I did not have time to follow-up and personally contact individuals on a person-by-person basis so the total participation was not up to our hopes. Nevertheless, the Chat was conducted and the participants included Jonathan Wahl, Herman Allen (Rusty), Michael Yalango, and James Adams. In summary, the results were that the technology did work, and the participants enjoyed the chat but we did not get enough participants, and we should have an agenda next time. I would like to propose that one person volunteer to become the Chat Room Manager. Their main function would be to organize Chat conferences, set agendas and get members interested in participating. I think this would be a great contribution to the Platoon(s) if someone would like to volunteer to take on this task. If anyone is interested, we would love to hear from you. For me I just can not squeeze anything more in right now, but I think this first chat was a good first beginning and we should try to develop this into a regular event. The costs are minimal as everything can be done on-line. The Chat Room Manager could first work on developing a list of On-Line Platoon Members who are interested in being participants and then just keep everyone informed of upcoming Chats. I or Jonathan can provide you with the e-mail addresses. Hope that someone will take this up.
VDHA Dues & Membership: New VDHA members this past quarter from the two platoons are Dale Baker and Wayne Dennis for the 47th and Kenneth Whitecotton and Lee Scarborough from the 59th and Toni Gardner our new Supporting Member.
Unit(s) Count To Date: 47th IPSD 59th IPSD Platoon Members Identified: 166 132 Platoon VDHA Members: 55 23 Supporting VDHA Members: 2 2
My congratulations and thanks to each of the new VDHA Members. I know that you will enjoy being a VDHA Member and reuniting with your former platoon members.
It is quite possible that you may not have received a VDHA Membership Renewal Notice. If this is the case and you know that your dues are due again, I suggest that you take a copy of your membership card, attach a $20.00 check made payable to VDHA, and mail it to Bobby Railey, 3301 Leslie Avenue, Temple Hills, MD 20748.
Unit Histories: Aside from locating former platoon members and encouraging them to join the VDHA, one of our most important functions is to document the Platoon Histories. Due to a shortage of time this past quarter, I did not make any significant progress in this area. Do keep sending me material and information about your experience or your buddies' and I will get it worked into the History as soon as time allows.
A Special Thanks and Appreciation go out to Howard Hayes, VDHA Supporting Member and the guru of the War Dog Records. He has been working with Toni Gardner on her book and is helping me to fill in some of the missing information on our Roster. I should have an updated more complete Roster with the information that he is sending me in the near future. Some interesting trivia I learned from Howard is as follows:
a) If the first integer in your Dog's tattoo was a K or the second integer in your dog's tattoo was an H, in all probability your dog was procured in Germany. Most of the dogs were purchased and the going rate was about $150.00 per dog.
b) The ARVN troops were superstitious, so if your dog was black, he was not turned over to the ARVN troops.
c) In Vietnam we ate C-Rations, I understand that the new rations are called MRE (Meal Ready to Eat).
New Books For Better Understanding:
Recommended reading is, "The Sacred Willow - Four Generations In The Life Of A Vietnamese Family" by Duong Van Mai Elliott, published by Oxford University Press, 1999.
Author: Bertram M. Hubble Editor/Publisher: Jonathan D. Wahl © 1999 Bertram M. Hubble