Showing posts with label 101st Airborne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 101st Airborne. Show all posts

Friday, December 23, 2016

Soldier Looks Back on Nine Deployments

Face of Defense: Soldier Reflects on His 9 Deployments
Department of Defense
By Army 1st Lt. Daniel Johnson 2nd Brigade Combat Team
101st Airborne Division
December 22, 2016
This is Bailey’s ninth deployment. He has spent half of the past 15 years in the Middle East, with the vast majority of those years on the front line. On this tour, he is the first sergeant of Company A, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team. Some of the soldiers he now leads were 4 years old when he was first in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan.
NORTHERN IRAQ, Dec. 22, 2016 — Following the 9/11 attacks, Brian Bailey, then a private first class, arrived at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, home of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
Army Sgt. 1st Class Brian Bailey, the first sergeant of Company A, 1st Battalion 26th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Strike, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), waits for soldiers to arrive to a security patrol briefing in northern Iraq, Dec. 7, 2016. Army photo by 1st Lt. Daniel Johnson
Army Sgt. 1st Class Brian Bailey, the first sergeant of Company A, 1st Battalion 26th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Strike, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), waits for soldiers to arrive to a security patrol briefing in northern Iraq, Dec. 7, 2016. Army photo by 1st Lt. Daniel Johnson At the replacement company, incoming troops were asked if they wanted to deploy overseas.

Bailey recalled that he and another soldier raised their hands and were separated from the group. A few weeks later, they were both in Afghanistan, he said.

"Making that decision put me at the beginning of all of this," Bailey said. "I was allowed the opportunity to be part of the first big push in the global war on terror."
read more here

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Soldier Took 12 Steps, Then Ran to Help Others

Soldier stays sober with 12 steps
Fort Campbell Courier
by Leejay Lockhart, Courier staff
Dec 8, 2016
“Soldiers who go to treatment they’ll clean up. They’ll be stellar, but as soon as you step out of treatment, you have no tools to use to keep you sober in the real world. That’s what recovery is. There is a difference and a lot of people don’t understand.” Sgt. Kristin Cloyd
When Sgt. Kristin Cloyd, a motor transport operator, assigned to A Company, 526th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, was in high school she started drinking at parties.

It did not take long before she started increasing the amount of alcohol she drank.

“My junior year of high school I started drinking a whole lot more,” Cloyd said. “Instead of every weekend, it was lets try to see if I can drink at school. Let me try to see if I can drink on weeknights before school.”

Before long her drinking caused the high school athlete to give up both basketball and volleyball, but because she maintained her grades, her life might have seemed normal to many of those people around her.

When she was still 17 she met an Army recruiter who convinced her to join the Reserves as a motor transport operator. Cloyd committed to becoming a Soldier in 2009 with the primary job duty of driving military vehicles over a variety of roads and terrain. Yet before she left for basic training, the police in California charged her with driving under the influence as a minor.

She was in the beginning stages of alcoholism and her life began to spin out of control. During basic training, she hurt her leg and ended up on pain medication. This added to her substance abuse problems.

At advanced individual training, the cadre discovered alcohol in her wall locker, which was a violation of her AIT’s zero tolerance policy. Part of her punishment included meeting with her commander who asked Cloyd if she wanted to remain in the Reserves.
read more here

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Two Fort Campbell Soldiers Charged with Murder of Female Soldier

Two Soldiers Charged with Murder in Connection with Disappearance of Fellow Soldier Shadow McClaine
NBC News
November 29, 2016

Shadow Branice McClaine U.S. Army
Criminal Investigation Command
Two soldiers have been charged with murder in connection with the September disappearance of Fort Campbell soldier Shadow McClaine.
Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray and Specialist Charles Robinson, both part of the 101st Airborne Division, face charges of conspiracy, kidnapping and premeditated murder under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, according to NBC affiliate WSMV.
Williams-McCray is Shadow's ex-husband. It's unclear if Robinson knew Shadow.

The two soldiers are being held in pre-trial confinement pending a preliminary hearing, the station reported. Authorities have not commented on whether Shadow's body has been found.
read more here

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fort Campbell Welcomes Home 101st Airborne from Iraq

Soldiers return home to spend Thanksgiving with families
ABC 3 News
Posted: Nov 24, 2016

WSIL -- This Thanksgiving, members of the 101st Airborne out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky can celebrate with their families after returning home from the battle to retake Mosul in Iraq.

Fort Campbell troops are greeted by no shortage of cheers after returning from a deployment in Iraq last week. Family and friends embrace these soldiers who spent nine grueling months training and advising Iraqi troops, under the command of Major General Gary Volesky.

Volesky says the 101st Airborne Division leaves the Middle East with no regrets.

"We said it was a marathon but we are going to sprint the whole way and they hit that tape sprinting so I couldn't be more proud of them," he said.

Their focus was on helping the Iraqis retake the key city of Mosul from Islamic State.

"The enablers we bring the fires and the advise assist and the training clearly are getting them where they need to be," said Volesky.

Much of the training from U.S. and coalition forces focused on Iraqi commanders.

"Leadership matters you can have the best unit, but if you don't have great leaders they won't be as effective," added Volesky.
read more here
WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Monday, November 7, 2016

"REZ" 101st Airborne Lost Ring At Brigham and Woman's Hospital Two Years Ago?

Brigham and Women's continues search for rightful owner of US Army ring
Becker Hospital Review

Written by Emily Rappleye
November 07, 2016

With Veterans Day nearing, Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital is re-launching a search for the owner of a U.S. Army ring found about two years at the facility on 75 Francis Street.

"The BWH safety and security team has worked diligently in hopes of finding the ring's rightful owner but has been unsuccessful to date," the hospital wrote Friday in a Facebook post with photos of the ring.

The initials R.E.Z. are inscribed inside the band of the ring. One side features a banner that reads "Airborne" above an eagle's head, suggesting the owner may have been from the 101st Airborne Division.
read more here

Sunday, September 4, 2016

101st Soldier Rescues Child Forgotten in Hot Car

101st soldier, Woodlawn firefighter saves infant in Texas
Leaf Chronicle
Ayrika L. Whitney
September 2, 2016

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Staff Sgt. James Munns is a combat medic for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Rakkasans), 101st Airborne Division and a firefighter with the Woodlawn Volunteer Fire Service, providing him with intense and thorough training and experience.

Training and experience that proved to be invaluable in San Antonio on Aug. 11 — and may have even saved a life.

Munns was about to leave the city after training and needed to purchase a new phone before the flight home later that day.

About half an hour into his visit to the Verizon store, two women rushed into the store and Munns noticed they were visibly distraught, one holding a baby.

One of the women forgot the child in the car in the extreme Texan heat. The high for the day was 100 degrees according to the National Weather Service's weather records.

"The baby was bright red, is visibly not doing well," said Munns.

He realized nobody, including the women were trained to handle the situation, and his training kicked in.

"For a lot of medics, it's like a switch goes off, and you just do your job," Munns stated. "You stop what you are doing and you do your job."
read more here

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Police Officer's Body Camera Captures Saving Man from Burning Car

Video: Hero Athens cop risks life to save man from burning vehicle
Online Athens
Joe Johnson
August 26, 2016

Braving intense heat from a roaring fire, Senior Police Officer Daniel Whitney would not be deterred from rescuing a man who was trapped inside an SUV that had crashed and was burning.

Athens-Clarke County Senior Police Officer Daniel Whitney
The Athens-Clarke County police officer pulled and pulled on the vehicle’s stuck door, even as an explosion from under the hood rocked the SUV and knocked off his hat. When Whitney finally got the man out and brought him to safety, it wasn’t a moment too soon. Within minutes the back of the vehicle where the man had been was gutted. Without the officer’s quick actions the victim would have suffered the same fate as the 20-year-old driver, who perished.
Whitney, 36, is a native of Athens who graduated from Cedar Shoals High School. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army who served with the 101st Airborne Division. He joined the Athens-Clarke County Police Department in 2002, and is a member of the department’s Strategic Response Unit.
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101st Airborne Soldier in Custody After Opening Fire At Fort Campbell

Officials ID Soldier Accused Of Firing Shots At Ft. Campbell

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - Officials have identified the soldier who allegedly fired shots at Fort Campbell.

The soldier was identified as 23-year old Spc. Bryan Castillo, a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter repairer. He arrived at the post in September, 2013.

According to a release, Castillo allegedly entered Hangar 8 on the airfield at 11:30 a.m. Thursday and fired two shots.
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Soldier Arrested After Active Shooter Incident At Fort Campbell
News Channel 5
August 25, 2016

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - A soldier with the 101st Airborne Division has been arrested after an active shooter incident occurred at Fort Campbell. No injuries were reported.

Authorities confirmed the incident happened Thursday afternoon. The post was placed on lockdown; however, the situation ended and the post was made secure.

Base officials said the shooter entered Hangar 8 on the airfield at around 11:30 a.m. and fired two shots.

Law enforcement was notified and immediately responded. Police chased the soldier after they fled the hangar in his personal vehicle.

During the chase, the soldier hit another vehicle, but then tried to get away on foot once the soldier got to his on-base residence.

That's when police took the soldier into custody. They also found additional weapons and ammunition.
read more here

Monday, July 4, 2016

Fallen Soldier's Dad Charged With Taking Donations Meant to Honor Son

Father charged with theft of donations for soldier's grave stone
Pickaway News Journal
Trish Bennett, Editor
Published: June 30, 2016

CIRCLEVILLE - The father of a local soldier killed in Afghanistan is facing charges in the theft of money intended to repair his son's grave stone at Forest Cemetery.
Roger D. Jenkins, 51, is pictured here in this file photo
from a ceremony held at his son's grave site in May of 2015.
Roger D. Jenkins, 51, of Stoutsville, pleaded not guilty to theft, a fourth-degree felony, on Wednesday in Pickaway County Common Pleas Court. He was indicted on the charge June 3 by the Pickaway County Grand Jury.

A pretrial hearing in the case is set for July 8.

According to the indictment, Jenkins is accused of using deception to take money in excess of $7,500 from 11 individuals and organizations between May 1 and June 9, 2015.
Prosecutors contend the money was donated to help repair the grave stone of Army Spc. Gerald R. "Bub" Jenkins that was damaged by vandalism in April of 2015. No charges have ever been filed in the vandalism case.

Gerald Jenkins, 19, was a combat engineer assigned to the 1st Brigade Special Troop Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He was killed Oct. 20, 2010, by an improvised explosive device while on foot patrol in the Maquan, Zhari district of Afghanistan.
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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Leavenworth 10 Soldier Rebuilds Life

'Leavenworth 10' soldier rebuilds life after serving time for infamous 'Iron Triangle Murders'
FOX News
By Perry Chiaramonte
Published June 18, 2016

Among the more well-known cases is that of Army First Lt. Clint Lorance, who is serving a 20-year sentence for ordering his men to shoot two suspected Taliban scouts in July 2012 in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan. Lorance had just taken command of the platoon after the prior leader and several others were killed days before by fighters using information provided by scouts.
Corey Clagett, seen here hugging his mother before leaving to begin his prison sentence in 2007, was recently released and is petitioning for a pardon so he can re-enlist.
(Sheryl Levine Guterman )
Corey Clagett was a 21-year-old U.S. Army private in the 101st Airborne Division on a mission deep inside Al Qaeda-controlled territory in Iraq when, he says, he followed an order that would change his life forever.

It was May 9, 2006, and Clagett’s squad had been dropped on to a tiny lake island 200 miles north of Baghdad. They were told it was a terrorist training camp, and members would later testify the rules of engagement were to kill all military-aged males in the area. When they caught three men hiding in a house, the squad’s leader ordered Clagett and three others to let them go – and shoot them as they fled.

“I was just a private. I looked up to the higher officers. We thought they were following the rules,” Clagett, who was released earlier this year after serving 10 years at the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., told “I followed their orders and thought it was the right call, but it wasn’t the case.”
read more here

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hamburger Hill Vietnam Veteran Joe Ybarra Honored

Hamburger Hill veteran Joe Ybarra of Colton honored as ‘Hometown Hero’
The Sun
By Ryan Hagen
POSTED: 05/10/16

Joe Ybarra will always remember May 10.

U.S Army Sgt. First Class Chad Bliss says a few words before awarding Army Veteran Joe L. Ybarra of Colton, with the Silver Star medal for his service in the Vietnam War, during a hometown hero banner ceremony in Colton Tuesday.
It’s the day he was born, and it’s the day in 1969 that he and others began the Battle of Hamburger Hill, where his actions earned him the Silver Star.

And May 10, 2016 is the day 50 friends and supporters surprised Ybarra outside the Stater Bros. on Washington Street with a banner recognizing him as a “Hometown Hero.”

After months of work by his family, the celebration — which included a reception afterward with a caterer, DJ and more — wasn’t a complete surprise, said Ybarra, who arrived wearing a dress shirt and tie.

“It’s overwhelming,” Ybarra said after the ceremony. “I have a lot of family and friends I haven’t seen for years, and for them all to come today, I’m honored.”

Colton, one of many local cities to hold a “Hometown Hero” program, has put up nearly 200 of the banners since it began the program in earnest in 2013, said Deputy City Clerk Sabdi Sanchez, who manages the program.

The banners, displayed on thoroughfares, honor veterans and active-duty military personnel from the city.

Ybarra, who turned 67 Tuesday, volunteered for the paratroopers and wound up in the “Screaming Eagles” of the 101st Airborne Division.
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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Cancer Drug Trial Gave Hope to Iraq Veteran, Until It Ended

Cancellation of drug trial brings heartbreak to Anderson Township family
Anne Saker
December 24, 2015

For 18 months, Brad Giesting of Anderson Township has been fighting a rare cancer with an experimental drug. But last week, the drug manufacturer stopped the clinical trial and withdrew the drug, giving Giesting and his family a hard lesson at the holidays about cancer medicine.
Brad Giesting (left) and his wife Annie on a recent
visit with Santa Claus with their daughters, Hailey 5,
and Lucy, who turns 4 on Dec. 27. (Photo: Provided)
“To me, it doesn’t make sense,” said Giesting’s wife, Annie. “I’m sure it happens all the time. But from my perception, it’s not right. I’m just confused by the whole thing.”

Annie Giesting, 29, said that three years ago, Brad, 30, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a member of the 101st Airborne, was diagnosed with liposarcoma, an uncommon cancer that can kill quickly. The couple have two young daughters.

Brad underwent surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. He got a brief reprieve, but the cancer returned. Brad then enrolled in a clinical trial at Ohio State University run by Morphotek Inc., an Exton, Pennsylvania, company. The drug, morab, showed promise in earlier testing in treating liposarcoma.

Annie Giesting said that for a year and a half, her husband went to Columbus every week for treatment with the new drug and for related testing.

“On Brad's last scan, we were given the unbelievable news that all except one tumor have disappeared," Annie Giesting wrote in an email. “We headed into the holiday season with hearts full of joy and so thankful for the blessings that we had received.”
read more here

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Fort Hood Final Act of Selfless Life Captured As Memorial

UPDATE on this from CBS Pittsburgh

There is a video of Matthew Whalen's body being escorted to the operating room. His organs, on this earth for 35 years, were being saved to help others live. This is something rare, all too rare, but then again, Whalen and his wife served in the military. They know what rare selflessness is. The last ride for Whalen was captured on video as staff and veterans lined the hall in silent memorial to a life gone far too soon.
Dying soldier's final act of service captured on video
Leada Gore
December 23, 2015
Matthew Whalen and Hannah Whalen (Contributed photo/Whalen family/GoFundMe)
Staff Sgt. Matthew James Whalen's last act on Earth was a fitting one, according to those who knew the 35-year old Army soldier.

Whalen, a former member of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Fort Hood, was diagnosed Saturday with a brain hemorrhage. He did not recover and his family made the decision to remove him from life support. In accordance with his wishes, his organs were donated.

They ended up helping two veterans who were awaiting transplants.
read more here

Monday, November 2, 2015

Forgetting About Majority of Veterans Is The Greatest Sin of All

How do you start and conversation that has been going on for decades with the wrong information? How to you actually change anything when you leave out the most important details?

I've grown so weary of all the things being done to "raise awareness" that hope of meaningful conversations is evaporating.

This seems like a beautiful project and should be watched as well as earned awards but when folks will walk away thinking they have learned anything on suicides tied to the military, they will have learned what is wrong.

The fact is, the majority of the veterans committing suicide are over the age of 50. The fact is that veterans in general are double the number of civilian suicides. The fact is the younger veterans are triple their peer rate after all the fabricated lies of training them to be resilient when in fact even suicides within the military increased after this training. The fact is for female veterans they are 6 times higher than civilian female suicides while younger female veterans are 12 times higher.

The other fact in all of this is no one is talking about what works and has helped veteran heal for decades.

New documentary to address PTSD, depression and suicide among war vets
By John Bridges
Oct 29, 2015

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - Army chaplain Justin David Roberts served with the 101st Airborne Division in eastern Afghanistan, and compiled hours of video documenting their exploits. Roberts has turned that footage into a documentary called, "No Greater Love."
"There has to be this conversation and some sort of understanding on it," said Roberts. "That's what this film is all about: trying to help tell the story of not just the war, but also the people who were serving and why they were serving. Also to begin this discussion, this conversation on how to we fully come home and how do we sink in."

Roberts says he made the film because of the alarming rate of PTSD and suicide among veterans returning from war.

"Right now it's killing us. There's 22 suicides per day. I mean there are serious problems of depression, addictions, PTSD. A litany of issues and these are the best of our best."
read more here

KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather

Those numbers, yet again, are wrong and leave out the older veterans being forgotten about even though they are the majority of the veterans population in this country and that is the greatest sin of all.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Retired Army First Sergeant Still Serving In A Different Way

Siouxland man won't let injuries prevent him from serving his country
By Tiffany Lane, Multimedia Journalist
October 15, 2015
"It isn't over," he said. "I took an oath to protect and defend this country and nobody's relieved me of that yet."
Todd Landen has experienced many things in his life that many of us could never imagine.

He served for 21 years leading him to the high rank of Army First Sergeant during that time.

"I rose through the ranks quickly," said Landen. "I went through the most challenging training the Army had to offer and I got to do some things that a lot of people couldn't imagine. It was an honor and a privilege to serve."

Landen was most recently with the 101st Airborne Division, known as the "No Slack" battalion and led 150 people.

In 2005 he left for Iraq and was part of the raid to capture and kill Saddam Hussein's sons.

In 2008, he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury which led to chest, back and stomach injuries to name a few.

"We were getting ready to redeploy to Afghanistan and they were like hey with the extent of your brain injuries, not only are you not going to be a senior leader, you're not going to be in the Army anymore."
Landen has had more than 20 surgeries and counting after being struck by 12 roadside bombs.
read more here

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Corporal John M. Dawson Medical Clinic Remembers "Doc"

Fort Campbell’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team holds ceremony naming Medical Clinic after fallen medic
Clarksville Online
Written by Capt. Charles Emmons
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs
September 25, 2015
“I could always see the love his fellow Soldiers felt for him here on the OB and out on patrols,” said Curl. “After we lost Doc, you could see it in all of their faces. He will forever be in all of our hearts, and we will be better people because we knew him.”
Gen. John F. Campbell, commander of Resolute Support and U.S. Forces Afghanistan, shakes hands with 3rd BCT, 101st Airborne Division Soldiers present for the dedication of a medical clinic named for their fallen platoon medic, Sept. 17th, 2015, in eastern Afghanistan.
(Capt. Charles Emmons, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs)
Jalalabad, Afghanistan – Service members gathered in eastern Afghanistan September 17th, to celebrate the life of Cpl. John Dawson and honor his memory by dedicating a medical facility in his name.

The 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) hosted the ceremony, which was attended by leadership from 3rd BCT; Train, Advise, Assist, Command-East; and Resolute Support. The short event included a speech from Lt. Col. Jason Curl, commander of 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment “Men of War,” and an official unveiling of the plaque and sign for the Corporal John M. Dawson Medical Clinic.
read more here

Monday, August 17, 2015

Vietnam Veteran Finally Gets Medal Thanks to National Guardsman

Needed recognition: Vietnam veteran finally gets his medals
Winston-Salem Journal
Michael Hewlett
August 16, 2015
Wallace, who served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1971, said he got the award for helping to save a fellow soldier’s life.

Bernard Wallace didn’t worry too much about making sure he got his medals, including the Bronze Star Medal, when he left Vietnam. Wallace was remembering what his drill sergeant told him — do whatever you have to do to get out alive and to get home.

“At the time, all my concerns were getting back home to my family,” he said Sunday night.

But a young sergeant in the National Guard named Joey Ireland started digging around in Wallace’s military records and noticed that Wallace had a number of medals he had never received. After serving in the U.S. Army in the 101st Airborne Division, Wallace was with the National Guard for 24 years.
read more here

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Home of the Brave Homeless Veterans Get Pot

Homeless veterans were discovering apartment walls don't make a home when they have nothing to cook with. A veteran faced that fact when he wanted to cook a meal for himself. Now he is doing what he can to make sure homeless veterans have pots, pans and everything else they need to start again.
Once homeless vet helping others with home basics
Courier Post
Carol Comegno
July 31, 2015
Former homeless veteran Fred Silhol sits in his Audubon apartment with the apartment starter kit he put together for other homeless vets transitioning to permanent housing from Volunteers of America homeless shelters. (Photo: JOHN ZIOMEK/COURIER-POST)
AUDUBON – A homeless and divorced military retiree from Cherry Hill found himself living in a car and then a seedy motel until reluctantly landing at the Home of the Brave, a homeless shelter in Camden for veterans.

After getting rehired to his old job as a bartender at the Crowne Plaza hotel on Route 70, Fred Silhol was able to leave the shelter for an apartment in Audubon with the assistance of Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, the Home of the Brave operator.

Excited to be in his own home again, the retired U.S. Army master sergeant wanted to cook dinner that first night but suddenly came to a ballon-bursting realization. He did not have a pot or pan, dish or cup, silverware, can opener or anything else to prepare a meal and eat it except for his stove.

Resolute, he scraped $50 together to buy some basic, but essential, items for his new home.

That gave Silhol the idea to pull together another apartment starter kit for a homeless veteran transitioning from a shelter to permanent housing.

The VOA accepted his donation and embraced the concept, creating a new program kicking off this month called ASK, the Apartment Starter Kit.

“I just wanted to give back something for what the VOA did for me and to help other veterans who may find themselves in the same predicament as I did when leaving the shelter,” said Silhol, 54, a who served as a paratrooper in both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and as a drill sergeant.
read more here

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Lt. Gen. Charles Wilson Bagnal, 101st VIetnam Veteran Remembered

Former 101st commander honored with memorial service
The Leaf-Chronicle
Ray Howze
July 14, 2015
Lt. Gen. Charles Wilson Bagnal served as commanding general for the 101st from 1981 to 1983. (Photo: Submitted)
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Lt. Gen. Charles Wilson Bagnal, who served as commanding general for the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell from 1981 to 1983, was honored in a memorial service with full military honors Tuesday at West Point Cemetery in New York.

Bagnal, 81, died June 30 in Columbia, South Carolina.

Bagnal joined the U.S. Military Academy after graduating from high school in 1952.

Before deploying to Vietnam in 1966, Bagnal had a number of operational assignments in aviation and artillery units at Fort Campbell; Fort Still, Oklahoma; and Hanau, Germany. He commanded the C. Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam, according to the obituary.

He served as a military assistant to the secretary of the Army from 1969 to 1971. Bagnal later returned to Fort Campbell, where he served as a commander in the 101st Aviation Group and as an assistant division commander in the 101st Airborne Division before taking over as commanding general.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Decades After Vietnam, Retired Veterans Get Help for PTSD

The Long Shadow of PTSD
Decades after Vietnam, retired veterans reunite and seek help
AARP Bulletin
by Brian Mockenhaupt
May 2015

After two tours as an infantryman in Vietnam, Dave Dillard came home to a country that he felt didn't understand where he'd been, or how the war had affected him. The Army discharged him with no advice about the lingering mental strains of combat. His family told him to get on with his life.

Some of the World War II veterans he met at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post weren't much help, either. "Just forget it," they told him.
Dave Dillard, 66, of the 101st Airborne Division. — Brent Humphreys

He couldn't forget, but he moved on. He studied theater arts in San Francisco and later taught elementary school. But he gradually withdrew from friends and family. He avoided crowds and standing in lines. While mowing the lawn one afternoon, a loud noise sent him diving under a bush. Sleep was tortured. He dreamed that he'd been sent back to Vietnam for a third tour, and always he saw the same North Vietnamese soldier, his face lit up in the darkness by a rifle's muzzle flash.

In the mid-1980s he started searching for the men with whom he'd fought. He found them one by one over the next three decades. Many of them, he discovered, had been suffering as he had, and most hadn't gotten help until years later, if they'd sought help at all.

This is a common story among older combat veterans, who have contended with both the stigma of appearing weak and the lack of knowledge about the mental effects of combat. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — characterized by hypervigilance, intrusive thoughts, nightmares and avoidance — wasn't a formal diagnosis until 1980, and effective treatments weren't widely available until the 1990s.

"They came home, stayed quiet and tried to muddle on as best they could," says Steven Thorp, a San Diego psychologist with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. "They worked really hard as a distraction, 70, 80 hours a week, so PTSD didn't really hit them full force until they retired, or the kids left the house, or they're reminded of loss through the deaths of their friends."

"What they do know is that they're different," Thorp says. "But they don't know why it happened, and they don't know how to change it."

Dillard didn't know how to right himself, but he knew exactly what had changed him: one long, terrible night in the jungles north of Saigon during his first tour, when Delta Company, his unit from the 101st Airborne Division, was nearly overrun by hundreds of North Vietnamese soldiers. That night he witnessed heroics by his captain, Paul Bucha, and waited with Delta Company buddies like Calvin Heath and Bill Heaney for a dawn they feared would never come.

"That night marked all of us," says Dillard, 66, who now lives on a ranch in Livingston, Texas, and assists other veterans with their disability claims. "It's been the source of lots of nightmares."
read more here

It is never too late to heal!