Dec 08 Newsletter - Safeside Association



Dec 08 Newsletter - Safeside Association
1041st SPS (T) - 821st CSPS - 822nd CSPS - 823rd CSPS - 822nd SFS - 823rd SFS - 824th SFS
Phu Cat - Phan Rang - Tan Son Nhut - Nhut Trang - Cam Ranh Bay - Tuy Hoa - Da Nang - Bien Hoa - Pleiku
Binh Thuy - Banmethuot - Vietnam 1967 - 1971
822nd SFS - 823rd SFS - 824th SFS
Kirkuk AB, Iraq - Balad, Iraq
Vol. 4 , No3
December 2008
My Fellow Rangers,
As we come to end 2008, there have been many activities that occurred in our Association that
I need to recap. In March 2008, many of us proceeded to Valdosta, GA for the 822nd Combat Dining
Out at Moody AFB. We had a great group of Safe Sider’s that attended and we all had a great time. The
822nd Spouses Club sponsored a luncheon for our spouses and a great time was had by all. The Combat Dining Out was a special time and will also be discussed later in this issue. The men and women of
the 820th Group are a magnificent team and treated us wonderfully.
In September, I had the opportunity to attend a 1041st reunion in San Antonio, TX. The unit had
approximately 25 members at the residence of Bob Sparks. Needless to say, it was a wonderful experience and an opportunity to be around a great group of Rangers. I presented Glen Cooper a Safe
Side Above and Beyond Beret Plaque for his contributions in helping other 1041st members into our
Association. Through his efforts, we have solidly increased our membership.I am sure we will continue
to garner memberships from their ranks.
In October, I attended the VSPA/Safe Side reunion in Albuquerque, NM. We had approximately
18 Association members attend and we picked up three new members at the event. I was able to present VSPA outgoing President Steve Gattis a Safe Side Above and Beyond Award for his commitment
to forging a strong relationship between our two Associations. Additionally, VSPA recognized our Sgt
Major, Bob Frink, with the Native American Indian Warrior Award. His presentation will be discussed
later in this newsletter. At our Business Meeting, Gary Jones was elected as our Secretary and Elbert
“EL” Wheeler was elected to the Board of Directors as the 823CSPS Representative. Our appreciation
is extended to outgoing BOD member Victor Candelaria and outgoing Secretary Sherrie Conkright for
their dedication and service to the Association.
Our Safe Side Reunion will be held 18-20 September 2009 at Valdosta, GA. We have decided to
hold it at Moody AFB, GA with today’s Safe Side troops. For those that haven’t been to Moody AFB and
visited the troops, you are in for a treat. They are magnificent warriors and treat us as one of their own.
Col Derry, 820 Group Commander, was the Guest Speaker at the Combat Dining Out and is a great
leader and loves Safe Side and its history. I encourage all of you to make your plans now to attend.
Pete and I are working the issues for the reunion and should have news shortly with all the details. I can
promise a wonderful event and lots of face time with the troops!
In closing, I would like to wish everyone a great 2009! We have a dedicated group of individuals
working daily to make our Association stronger and better. If there are issues that you would like addressed, please send me an e-mail or give me a call.
I hope to see all of you at Valdosta, GA in September!
Drive-On Rangers!
We had a wonderful time at the 822nd SFS Combat Dining Out, Moody AFB, GA in March of
2008. The 822nd Commander, Major Beers and the Project NCO, MSgt Jesse Lopez hosted us royally.
We had about 38 folks show up, twenty four Safesiders, some with their spouses and some by
themselves. We had an informal gathering at the hotel on Thursday, March 13, took photos of everyone
with their respective unit and our wives posed for a group photo.
The 822nd SFS provided us with bus transportation to Moody for the Combat Dining Out on
Friday. We all hung out with Col Derry, the 820th SFGp Commander and Guest Speaker. His dinner
speech centered on the history of Safeside.
A great time was had by all, and after returning to the hotel, we gathered at a Gazebo and continued visiting, enjoying some fine wine that had been shipped to us by Larry Rupp (822nd CSP) who
lives in Napa, California. I phoned Larry Rupp and all of us gave him a great “Hooah”. I also phoned
the Sgt Major and all of his troops from the 1041st were able to chat with him.
The next day we were again transported to Moody where we witnessed their training accomplishments at several sites. Our wives met with the wives of the 822nd and shared stories, cried, hugged
and thoroughly enjoyed their get together. It made sense to have the wives get together while the guys
went out and smelled the gun powder, climbed in and out of their tanks, vehicles; fired the weapons at
the simulator training site and enjoyed the dogs.
I presented MSgt Jesse Lopez a VSPA Challenge Coin, and a Safeside Association Membership. A collection was taken up later and the wives of the 822nd were presented with a sliver serving
tray, inscribed with “ Make new friends, and keep the old; One is silver and the other gold”.
The 822nd departed for Iraq in April, and all of us prayed for them and all of our military. They
were relieved in Iraq by the 823rd in November.
Pete Villarreal,
In November of this year I had the pleasure of presenting our Sgt Major Bob Frink of the 1041st
SPS (T), two awards. Gloria and I flew to Sacramento, California where we were met by Larry Rupp,
one of my troops of the C Flight, Heavy Weapons section, 822nd CSP. Gloria and I stayed with Larry
and Sue Bailey at their home in Napa.
We had a great time catching up. We had last visited at the VSPA/Safeside Reunion at DC in
November of last year. Larry Rupp, Gloria and I took the Wine Train to Napa Valley on Friday, during
the day. What a treat that was.
On Saturday, at 1230, Larry Rupp, myself, Glen Cooper (1041st), Rich Clower (1041st) and
Dave Pierson and his wife Cathy met at the parking lot at the establishment where the Sgt Major resides. We practiced a military routine, and went in and were ushered to a private room. We practiced
our routine again, and took up our positions.
The Sgt Major came into the room and I yelled, “Detail, Ten-Hut!” I rendered a hand salute to
the Sgt Major and reported. I made an about face, and instructed the group to report. Each Safesider
reported with a hand salute, in the following manner: “Sgt Major, Capt Rich Clower, 1041st, reporting,
Sir”! Sgt Major, Sgt Larry Rupp, 822nd, reporting, Sir”! “Sgt Major, Dave Pierson, 821st, reporting, Sir!”
Sgt Major, Glen Cooper, 1041st, reporting, Sir!” “Sgt Major, Pete Villarreal, 822nd and Vice-President
Safeside Association, reporting, Sir!” The Sgt Major was overwhelmed to say the least. He was breathless, and thank God that he had the stamina of a Safesider to keep his composure, cause we didn’t let
“Sgt Major”, I said, “we have a couple of awards to present to you.”
Glen Cooper approached the Sgt Major, and presented the Sgt Major Bob Frink Award, reading
the following:
“The Safeside Association created this award in honor of our Sergeant Major, CMSgt (Ret) Robert C. Frink for his superior leadership and guidance to the men of the 1041st Security Police (Test)
during the Vietnam War. His total dedication and commitment to Operation Safeside resulted in the
unit’s highly effective training regimen and extremely successful deployment to Vietnam. The outstanding record of the unit’s success resulted in the creation of the 82nd Combat Security Police Wing and
three subsequent units, the 821st CSP, the 822nd CSP and the 823rd CSP. Additionally, the legacy of
Operation Safeside has continued into today’s Air Force with the creation of the 820th Security Forces
Group and three subsequent units, the 822nd SFS, the 823rd SFS and the 824th SFS. CMSgt Frink’s
devotion to duty to the United States is particularly noteworty with outstanding service in World War II,
the Korean war and the Vietnam War.
This award is hereby created to recognize outstanding men and women of the Safeside Association and/or the 820th SFGp, who have distinguished themselves in the performance of their duties,
dedication to Operation Safeside or in their service to the United States.”
I then presented the Sgt Major with the “Warriors Medal of Valor”, from the hearts of the First
Nation People of the United States of America. It read:
“For your honorable military service while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of
America, your conspicuous performance of duty represents great patriotism and pride in the finest traditions of the armed forces of the United States of America while preserving the great cause of freedom.
Your tour of honorable military duty is what protects our freedom and keeps America safe. The First Nation people hereby bestow upon you this great honor. We are proud of your dedication to God, Country
and family.” Signed by Marshall Tall Eagle, and Vietnam Security Police Association President Steve
The Sgt Major was awarded this award at the VSPA/Safeside Reunion held at Albuquerque,
New Mexico in October 2008.
And many thanks to Cathy Pierson who took photos of the presentations. I called President
Jerry Nelson on my cell phone in order for him to speak with the Sgt Major and offer his congratulations.
The Sgt Major invited us to his “hooch” where we visited for a couple of hours. We had a wonderful time and it was my distinct pleasure to represent the members of the Safeside Association at this
memorable event.
Pete Villarreal, Vice-President
Safesiders Attend Combat Dining Out
The weekend of March 14 saw former Safeside members of the 1041st SPS(T) and 821, 822
and 823 CSPS shoot an azimuth on Moody AFB, GA., and send out on a long-range patrol to attend a
Combat Dining Out, hosted by the 822nd Security Forces Squadron.
Members set up their Objective Rally Point (ORP) at the King of the Road Best Western Motel
in Valdosta, to plan their final assault. With Pacemakers charged, canes straightened and hearing aids
finely tuned, the festivities began with a Meet ‘n’ Greet at the Hotel, hosted by Safeside Association
President, CMSgt (Ret) Jerry Nelson, and Vice-President Pete Villarreal. This was the first time some of
the attendees had seen each other in 40 years. The tales grew taller as the evening progressed. Polygraphs were banned from the area for obvious reasons. Group photos were taken of the 1041st SPS
(T), 821st CSP, 822nd CSP and the 823rd CSP, with the respective squadron flags. The group then
posed for a photo with the Safeside Association Flag. The better looking part of the group, the wives,
also had their group photo taken.
The following evening, the Safesiders and their wives were transported to Moody AFB on a luxurious Blue Goose “posting bus.” Upon arrival at the base, we were greeted by our hosts for the evening,
Major Jason Beers, Commander, 822nd SFS and his lovely wife, Amy; CMSgt (Sel) “JJ” Johnson and
Rachelle and MSgt Jesse & Irma Lopez.
The hangar was adorned with a gigantic American Flag, serving as a backdrop for the Head
Table. The flags of the 822nd CSP, Safeside Association and 1041st SPS (T) were also prominently
displayed. The 822nd SFS had static displays of some of their weapons and equipment. The tools of
their trade made our Vietnam era weaponry seem like muskets by comparison. Even more impressive
than the weapons were the young Airmen and NCOs, who explained the weapons’ characteristics and
capabilities. These young men and women were confident, articulate and knowledgeable.
The 822nd SFS color guard posted the colors and Major Beers officially opened the mess. Major
Beers introduced the Head Table, including the Guest Speaker, Colonel Donald Derry, incoming Commander of the 820th SFG. Major Beers then directed MSgt Jesse Lopez to supervise the mixing of the
Grog to ensure that it conformed to the high standards of the patented 822nd SFS secret recipe.
Violations of mess protocol were frequent among the many ne’er-do-wells in attendance. The
President of the Mess was forced to order more than a few members to the Grog bowl.
The highlight of the evening was Colonel Derry’s inspiring speech. He traced the Safeside history from its roots with the 1041st SPS(T) and the service of Safeside units in Vietnam to the present
day missions by the 822nd SFS in Iraq. Colonel Derry credited the original Safeside concept as being
the cornerstone of the current Air Force doctrine for defense of air bases. It is interesting to note that
then Capt Derry commanded the 822nd SFS when it was reactivated, Now, eleven years later Colonel
Derry returns to Safeside as its Group Commander. Hooah!
The following day, the 822nd SFS treated us to a tactical assault demonstration in their urban
terrain training area. Using snipers, mobile and ground forces, the troops demonstrated the tactics they
use in Iraq. It is no wonder that these troops are in such great demand…they are absolutely the best in
what they do.
After the tactical demonstration, the Safesiders continued on with a tour of the 820th SFG’s
facilities and prototype equipment. The tactical firing range and the MWD demonstration were big hits
with everyone. Watching how a MWD clears a convoy or patrol route was really impressive.
While the Safesiders were touring facilities, their wives joined the wives of the 820th SFG for a
Brunch in the Group’s Heritage Room. The wives shared lots of hugs, laughs and tears, as they told
their own stories. Even though their wars are separated by 40 years in time, the wives found that the
hardships today are no different than those faced during the Vietnam War.
Following the facilities tour, many of us returned to Base Camp (Best Western). Pete Villarreal
shared four bottles of fine Napa Valley wine sent to the group by 822nd CSP member Larry and Sue
Rupp. War stories continued, but our thoughts were on the courageous young men and women of the
Eight-Double-Deuce who were preparing to redeploy to Iraq for yet another time.
The old timers and their wives sincerely thank the 822nd SFS for allowing us to share in their
Combat Dining Out. They were wonderful hosts. We are looking forward to seeing all of them again
when we host our 2009 Reunion at Moody Air Force Base.
Safesiders ready to Drive On: Kneeling (L to R):
Glenn Cooper, Gary Jones, Ken Cole; 1st Row Standing: Tom Fair, Pete Villarreal, Tom Dierig,
Horace Riebe, Jim Sly and Marvin Rowland. Back Row: Bill Burnett, Benny Gibson, Jimmy Hall,
Ray Silhavy, Bobby McGehee, Cal Herdman, Jerry Nelson and Eddie Whittaker.
Not Pictured: Tony Rodriguez and Glenn Hopson
1041st SPS(T) Members (L to R)
Bill Burnett, Marvin Rowland, Benny Gibson,
Jimmy Hall, Glenn Cooper and Eddie Whitaker
821st CSPS Members (L to R)
Jerry Nelson, Cal Herdman, Bobby McGehee,
Jim Sly, Tom Fair, Ken Cole
822nd CSPS Members (L to R)
Horace Reibe, Tom Dierig, Bill McGraw, Ray Silhavy, Pete Villarreal, Gary Jones
823rd CSPS Member Rick Adams
The ladies: Front Row (L to R): Mary Burnett, Barbara Fair,
“JJ” Jones, Gloria Villarreal, Darlene Whitaker. Back Row:
Linda McGehee, Beverly Silhavy, Pat Cooper, Sandy Sly,
Margaret Rowland (NOTE: Connie Rodriguez and
Barbara Hopson had not arrived when the photo was taken)
Our host for the CDO,
MSgt Lopez, with Jerry Nelson and Pete Villarreal
The 822nd SFS Color Guard posts the colors
Assault team assembling for mission de-briefing
Safesiders, the article below was posted
on our Safeside Bulletin Board.
Pete Villarreal,
7/28/2008 - JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq -- The 332nd Expeditionary Security Forces Group activated
July 24. Its Airmen have a singular purpose, which is reflected in the group’s mission statement: “Defend the Base.”
The activation marks the first time the Air Force has deployed such a large security forces unit into
combat to defend an airbase since the Vietnam conflict.
“The 82nd Combat Security Police Wing was deactivated back in December of 1968, and now -- almost
40 years later -- the 332nd ESFG will carry that legacy into the future,” said Brig. Gen. Brian Bishop, the
332nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander.
Col. John “J.D.” Decknick is the 332nd ESFG’s first commander.
“J.D., I know you’re looking forward to this,” General Bishop said. “I would argue it’s the most challenging assignment of your career to date. Commanding is an opportunity that, as commanders, we relish
-- especially now that we lead Airmen in combat.”
The group will encompass Airmen from several career fields: radio and satellite communications, personnel, administration, vehicle maintenance, intelligence and more, Colonel Decknick said.
“We are all joined together with a singular focus on defending the base,” Colonel Decknick said. “We
know our role is to support that mission and that mission only. We have great synergy because we’re
‘joined to fight.’”
The number of in-lieu-of Army taskings across the combat zone will decrease at nearly a one-to-one
ratio so that additional security forces Airmen can be assigned here, Colonel Decknick said. The 332nd
ESFG will assume every aspect of base defense, including the Joint Defense Operations Center, Quick
Reaction Force, tower supervision, housing areas, the flightline, entry control points, law and order,
base perimeter gates, the badging office and areas outside the wire.
The group will also cooperate with the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, whose Soldiers are responsible for the battlespace outside Joint Base Balad.
“The 2-320th is doing an outstanding job of defending the base, but their area of operations is huge,
and they only have so many assets to cover that area,” the colonel said. “So any joint teaming that can
be done is to our mutual advantage.”
The precedent for in-depth base defense began with Operation Safeside and the activation of the
1041st Security Police Squadron (Test) in July 1966. The 1041st SPS(T) became the 82nd CSPW in
July 1967. Lt. Col. William Wise Sr. spoke at the wing’s deactivation ceremony at Fort Campbell, Ky.
“(Operation Safeside) has left an impact on Air Force security operations -- an impact which may not be
fully recognized, felt or appreciated for many years to come,” Colonel Wise said at the ceremony. “But
rest assured, an impact was made -- an impact that may some day affect not only our entire career field
but could well make an impression on future tactical air operations.”
Insurgents’ tactics today mirror, in many respects, tactics that the Viet Cong used against airbases
like Phu Cat Air Base in South Vietnam, one of the 1041st SPS(T)’s first deployment sites, Colonel
Decknick said.
“The enemy doesn’t recognize a nation-state boundary. Airbases are not islands in the rear area that
require less protection -- they’re in the middle of the fight,” Colonel Decknick said. “Like in Vietnam, the
United States was fighting an insurgency that could launch mortars and rockets against us. The forward
edge of the battle area is undefined.”
The similarity of enemy tactics has revived the need for integrated base defense. The veteran 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment prepared the battlefield for the arrival of Task Force 1041 and the commencement of Operation Desert Safeside in early 2005.
Named after the 1041st SPS(T), Task Force 1041 conducted 338 combat patrols, 56 sniper
insertions, 26 direct action patrols and 131 hasty raids in a two-month period. Their actions led to the
capture of 17 high-value enemies, eight major arms caches and more than 100 heavy weapons. Indirect fire attacks against the base dwindled.
“Task Force 1041 showed that Air Force security forces, when properly trained, can augment our Army
brothers to defend airbases in a combat environment anywhere at any time,” Colonel Decknick said.
“TF 1041 proved to joint commanders that when properly organized, trained and equipped, Air Force
security forces have a lot to offer to the joint fight.”
The Airmen of TF 1041 came largely from the 820th Security Forces Group at Moody Air Force Base,
Ga., which Colonel Decknick commanded from June 2005 to January 2008. The 820th SFG was one
of the first Air Force security forces units to participate in outside-the-wire missions.
“They’re normal cops and Airmen from other career fields who get additional training,” Colonel Decknick
In order to perform outside-the-wire missions, Airmen must learn how to shoot, move and communicate more effectively, react to ambushes from the front or rear, apply combat lifesaver skills, use Blue
Force Tracker to track friendly and enemy units, move tactically as flights and squads, call in medevac
requests and more, Colonel Decknick said.
Colonel Wise predicted that the Air Force might use another “crash program” to organize, train, equip
and deploy a unit such as the 82nd CSPW. However, Colonel Decknick said, the Airmen who will comprise the 332nd ESFG are already fully prepared.
“Air Force security forces, with the 820th SFG as an example, are ready to go now,” Colonel Decknick
said. “We are organized, trained and equipped to do this mission now, so no crash course is required.”
Three Airmen deployed from the 820th SFG -- Capt. Ian Dinesen, Senior Master Sgt. Ron Hall and Staff
Sgt. Brett Darby -- are building the foundations for the rest of the group. Each recognizes the historic
significance of activating an expeditionary security forces group.
“It’s humbling, daunting, exciting -- it’s a myriad of several different emotions wrapped into an intense,
fast-paced package,” Captain Dinesen said. “I’m having one heck of a time with it; it’s awesome.”
As the NCO in charge of intelligence, Sergeant Hall is developing the group’s intelligence capabilities
and situational awareness.
“This whole war is intel-driven,” Sergeant Hall said. “I’m here to give our people the right information for
the base defense mission to keep everyone safe.”
Sergeant Darby, a combat technology NCO, ensures that intelligence will be available to Airmen on the
“There are a lot of threats outside the wire,” Sergeant Darby said. “The most important job for me is to
make sure they have the best equipment they can have when they go out there so that they can come
All three Airmen have previous experience in Iraq. In terms of experience and motivation, they reflect
the 332nd ESFG as a whole, Colonel Decknick said.
“This is not their first rodeo -- they are highly motivated and excited to see that they’re finally going to
be able to put their training to the test,” Colonel Decknick said. “We’re looking forward to teaming with
our U.S. Army and coalition counterparts to focus our efforts on ‘Defending the Base.’”
Safesides, the Eight double deuce
822nd SFS has provided us with a photo of our 820th SFGp Ceremonial Flag on a Combat Patrol.
Keep our warriors in your prayers.
Pete Villarreal, V/P
Happy 61st Birthday U.S. Air Force!
Sept. 18, 1947
USAF Key Historical Dates:
Aug. 1, 1907 - U.S. Army Signal Corps established a small Aeronautical Division to take charge of all
matters pertaining to military ballooning & air machines.
May 20, 1918 - WWI, President Woodrow Wilson issued an executive order transferring aviation
from the Signal Corps to two agencies under the Secretary of War: the Bureau of Aircraft Production,
headed by Mr. John D. Ryan, and the Division of Military Aeronautics,
directed by Maj. Gen. William L. Kenly.
1926 - Air Corps Act of 1926 changed the name of the Air Service to the Army Air Corps.
During WWII, the U.S. Army Air Forces was then established in 1941.
1964 - USAF was heavily deployed during the Vietnam War following the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
1991 - The USAF provided the bulk of the Allied air power during the first Gulf War.
The F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter was utilized.
2003 - In the invasion of Iraq, following the defeat of Saddam Hussein’s regime,
the USAF took over Baghdad International Airport as a base.
Once they were Soldiers....
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008
You’re an 18 or 19 year old kid. You’re critically wounded, and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang
Valley, 11-14-1965. LZ Xray, Vietnam. Your Infantry Unit is outnumbered 8 -1, and the enemy fire is so
intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own Infantry Commander has ordered the MediVac
helicopters to stop coming in.
You’re lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns, and you know you’re not getting out.
Your family is 1/2 way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you’ll never see them again. As the
world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day.
Then, over the machine gun noise, you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter, and you look up
to see a Huey, but it doesn’t seem real, because no Medi-Vac markings are on it.
Ed Freeman is coming for you. He’s not Medi-Vac, so it’s not his job, but he’s flying his Huey
down into the machine gun fire, after the Medi-Vacs were ordered not to come.
He’s coming anyway.
And he drops it in, and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 2 or 3 of you on board.
Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire, to the Doctors and Nurses.
And, he kept coming back...... 13 more times..... and took about 30 of you and your buddies out,
who would never have gotten out.
Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman died last Wednesday at the age of 80, in Boise, ID......
May God rest his soul.....
The History of the Challenge Coin
by Bob Anderson, CMSgt, USAFR (Ret)
Several years ago I witnessed the resurgence of an old military tradition called challenge coin. I
first became familiar with the tradition about 10 years ago while serving in the Air Force reserves. Many
units perpetuate this tradition but admittedly I did not see it during my active duty time with the Air Force.
I’m not going to say they weren’t around, I just didn’t experience them.
In the year 2000, I became the Command Chief Master Sergeant for the 147th Fighter Wing, Ellington Field, Texas Air National Guard. I had the opportunity to design my own coin. Coins are usually
given out as recognition for service, outstanding contributions to the mission and serve as an immediate reward for service. In my own research I learned the history of the challenge coin and frankly was
surprised when I found out that the tradition started during World War One. I get a lot of questions about
the history of the challenge coin, so I thought I would share it with you. This is taken from the Marine
Corps News site:
History of the Challenge Coin
During World War I, American volunteers from all parts of the country filled the newly formed flying squadrons in Europe. Some were wealthy scions attending colleges such as Yale and Harvard who
quit in mid-term to join the war. In one squadron, a wealthy lieutenant ordered medallions struck in solid
bronze and presented them to his unit. One young pilot placed the medallion in a small leather pouch
that he wore about his neck.
Shortly after acquiring the medallions, the pilot’s aircraft was severely damaged by ground fire.
He was forced to land behind enemy lines and was immediately captured by a German patrol. In order
to discourage his escape, the Germans took all of his personal identification except for the small leather
pouch around his neck. In the meantime, he was taken to a small French town near the front. Taking advantage of a bombardment that night, he escaped. However, he was without personal identification.
He succeeded in avoiding German patrols by donning civilian attire and reached the front lines.
With great difficulty, he crossed no-man’s land. Eventually, he stumbled onto a French outpost. Unfortunately, saboteurs had plagued the French in the sector. They sometimes masqueraded as civilians and
wore civilian clothes. Not recognizing the young pilot’s American accent, the French thought him to be
a saboteur and made ready to execute him. He had no identification to prove his allegiance, but he did
have his leather pouch containing the medallion. He showed the medallion to his would-be executioners and one of his French captors recognized the squadron insignia on the medallion. They delayed his
execution long enough for him to confirm his identity. Instead of shooting him they gave him a bottle of
Back at his squadron, it became tradition to ensure that all members carried their medallion or
coin at all times. This was accomplished through challenge in the following manner - a challenger would
ask to see the medallion. If the challenged could not produce a medallion, they were required to buy a
drink of choice for the member who challenged them. If the challenged member produced a medallion,
then the challenging member was required to pay for the drink. This tradition continued on throughout
the war and for many years after the war while surviving members of the squadron were still alive.
We proudly continue this tradition today with the challenge coin.
“Coin Check” Rules
A “Coin Check” consists of a challenge and response. A challenge is initiated by either holding
your coin in the air or slamming it on a table or floor and yelling “Coin Check!” Individual(s) challenged
must respond by showing their Coin with their own unit’s logo to the challenger within 10 seconds.
Anyone challenged who doesn’t show their Coin must buy a round of drinks for all challenged,
including the challenger.
Coin Checks are permitted anywhere and anytime.
If everyone being challenged produces their Coin, the challenger must buy a round of drinks for
all challenged.
If you accidentally drop your Coin and it makes an audible sound on impact, then you “accidentally” initiated a Coin Check.
There are no exceptions to the rules. They apply to clothed or un-clothed. One step and an arms
reach are allowed.
A Coin is a Coin. They are not belt buckles, key chains or necklaces. Coins worn in a holder
around the neck are valid.
Always carry your coin as a reminder of your commitment and connection to something bigger
in your daily life.
Having my coin has given me the opportunity to acknowledge excellence, acknowledge service
of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and the Coast Guard. It gives me an opportunity to honor those
that fought in the great wars that protected our freedom and citizens; and those folks that exemplify service and sacrifice in their day to day activities. It has allowed me to start conversations that I otherwise
never would have had and make connections I would have otherwise missed.
What Are We Fighting For?™ One reason is to honor our traditions - they help us remember
where we came from. Traditions should be honored and kept strong, particularly those that are fun.
Bob Anderson, PhD, CMSgt, USAF (Ret) is president and founder of What Are We Fighting For?™ an
association focused on re-Americanizing America and supporting the troops. For more information visit
his Web site at
A Veteran’s Eyes!
Look into a Veteran’s eyes as they walk past you. Age may have taken its toll on their body,
their face may show wrinkles where once there were none, but still the eyes tell all. Those eyes have
seen the American flags raised and lowered in many countries. Today, each time the American flag is
raised the Veteran’s eyes will glisten with the tears of freedom. Memories will come back, comradesin-arms will be remembered, of those who came back and most of all, of those who didn’t.
But the real truth is that those Veteran’s eyes are the eyes of freedom fighters. They are the
eyes of men and women who gave of themselves to preserve this thing we love but take for granted.
Freedom. These are the same eyes who would still give their life for this country. If asked today
would they serve again, the true Veteran would look past you and answer “yes” without hesitation
except to clear their throat to keep the pride from welling up in their eyes. For their love of freedom
rings special in their hearts and to serve so that others may live freely is that special gift to you.
Look deeply into those Veterans eyes, shake their hand, and say thanks.
By Felipe G. Tamez
My Military Medal Last Will and Testament
An official Will and Testament that is valid in all States authorizing military veteran’s to bequeath
their military medals and military award certificates to a specific member of their family for eternal preservation to be passed down from generation to generation is now available.
Although it is not necessary, veterans and their signatory Witness may wish to sign the My Military Medal Last Will and Testament in the presence of a licensed Notary Public. Consult your bank or
telephone directory for a local Notary Public.
The United States of America is our world’s oldest Democracy but we are comparatively young
when it comes to preserving our personal or a family member’s military history. Very, very few American
families are in possession of their military veteran’s military records, medals and certificates mostly
because their veterans never bothered to acquire them, or family members never bothered to preserve
a family member’s military service history and awards they acquired upon the death of a family member.
The My Military Medal Last Will And Testament provides veterans the incentive and ability to preserve the greatest accomplishment any American can claim as his or her most honorable and highest
contribution to our Nation and the human race.
Military Medal Issue Regulations
Military and Veteran Information-Exchange Forums
Military and Veteran Websites and Resource Guides
Military Medal and Display Recognition Replacements
Contact Person for this Posting:
Roger Simpson,
Public Information Office (
The American War Library (
16907 Brighton Avenue
Gardena CA 90247-5420
Fone/Fax: 1-310-532-0634
Veterans Service Organizations- View All
Veterans Service Organizations - View All Organizations Department of Military & Veterans Affairs · ...
U.S. Fatalities confirmed/pending
http://icasualties. org/oif/Details. aspx
Military Newspapers
Easy nett search hundreds of sites
Many sites throughout the world,
http://defensie. boogolinks. nl/ Housing for Seniors Page
http://www.usa. gov/Topics/ Seniors/Housing. shtml
World Association of Persons with Disabilities World Association of Persons with Disabilities
Click on the state and it pulls up all the newspapers for that state.
go down the page and click on your state or any other
SHARING - Reveille
This is an “outstanding” clip and worth the download.
http://video. videoplay? docid=-248763861 2433437293& q=Veterans
Web Sites for Veterans
VA Home Page ............ ......... ......... ......... ......... .......
VA Health Care ............ ......... ........ benefits/
Returning Veterans ............ ..... www.seamlesstransit
Survivors ............ ......... ..... survivors/ index.htm
VA Facilities ............ ....... y/guide/home. asp
VA Forms ............ ......... ......... ......... ......... .
VA Benefit Payment Rates ........ bln/21/Rates/
Education Benefits ............ ......... ......... ......... . gov/
Home Loan Guaranty ............ ......... .... www.homeloans.
Life Insurance ............ ......... ......... .........
Voc Rehab ............ ......... ...... bln/vre/index. htm
Burial and Memorial Benefits ............ ......... ....
Veterans Employment and Training ............ .. vets/
Federal Jobs ............ ......... ......... ......... ..
Veterans Preference ............ veterans/ index.asp
Records ............ .. www.archives. gov/st-louis/ military- personnel/
Department of Defense ............ ......... ....... www.defenselink. mil/
************ ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* **
Important Phone Numbers for Veterans
VA Benefits 1-800-827-1000
Health Care 1-877-222-8387
Education 1-888-442-4551
Life Insurance 1-800-669-8477
Debt Management 1-800-827-0648
Mammography Hotline 1-888-492-7844
Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) 1-800-829-4833
CHAMPVA 1-800-733-8387
Headstones and Markers 1-800-697-6947
Special Health Issues: Gulf War, Agent Orange, Project 112/Shad
************ ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********* ********
1-800-FED INFO (333-4636)
The call center is open from 8 am to 9 pm (EDT)
www.firstgov. gov/veteransinfo and
and idtheft
Retiree Pay Raise
The Dec. 1 cost-of-living adjustment for military and federal civilian retirees, disabled veterans and survivors will be 5.8 percent, with the increase first appearing in Jan. 1 checks.
The COLA is the biggest increase in military retirement pay since 1982, and is significantly larger than
the 3.9 percent pay raise Congress recently approved for active duty and reserve componant members. That’s because the two annual increases are based on separate factors. Retired pay automatically increases each year to keep pace with inflation, measured by the change in the cost of goods and
services. Increases in military are designed to match private-sector wage growth.
We rarely get a chance to see another country’s
editorial about the USA .
Read this excerpt from a Romanian Newspaper. The article was written by Mr. Corne l Nistorescu and published under the title ‘C’ntarea Americii, meaning ‘Ode To America ‘ in the Romanian
newspaper Eveniment ulzilei ‘The Daily Event’ or ‘News of the Day’
~An Ode to America ~
Why are Americans so united? They would not resemble one another even if you painted them
all one color! They speak all the languages of the world and form an astonishing mixture of civilizations
and religious beliefs.
Still, the American tragedy< I> turned three hundred million people into a hand put on the
Nobody rushed to accuse the White House, the Army, or the Secret Service that they are only
a bunch of losers. Nobody rushed to empty their bank accounts. Nobody rushed out onto the streets
nearby to gape about. Instead the Americans volunteered to donate blood and to give a helping
After the first moments of panic, they raised their flag over the smoking ruins, putting on T-shirts,
caps and ties in the colors of the national flag. They placed flags on buildings and cars as if in every
place and on every car a government official or the president was passing. On every occasion, they
started singing: ‘ God Bless America !’
I watched the live broadcast and rerun after rerun for hours listening to the story of the guy who
went down one hundred floors with a woman in a wheelchair without knowing who she was, or of the
Californian hockey player, who gave his life fighting with the terrorists and prevented the plane from
hitting a target that could have killed other hundreds or thousands of people.
How on earth were they able to respond united as one human being? Imperceptibly, with every
word and musical note, the memory of some turned into a modern myth of tragic heroes. And with every
phone call, millions and millions of dollars were put into a collection aimed at rewarding not a man or a
family, but a spirit, which no money can buy.
What on earth can unite the Americans in such a way?
Their land? Their history? Their economic Power? Money? I tried for hours to find an answer,
humming songs and murmuring phrases with the risk of sounding commonplace, I thought things over,
I reached but only one conclusion... Only freedom can work such miracles.
Cornel Nistorescu
Membership, for persons paying yearly, runs from January 1st thur December 31st. That means if you
pay your dues in March or July or September your dues are payable again on January 1st of the next
year, not March or July or September.
The cost of Yearly dues for New Members ONLY are as follows:
January 1st thru June 30th---------------------------------$15
July 1st thur September 30th--------------------------$8
October 1st thur December 31st---------------------------$15 also pays for the full next year.
The cost to renew membership for one year-------------$15 no matter when paid.
Life Membership costs are as follows:
Under 30-----------------------------------------------------$250
Ages 31 to 40------------------------------------------------$210
Ages 41 to 50------------------------------------------------$180
Ages 51 to 60------------------------------------------------$160
Ages 61 to 70------------------------------------------------$130
Ages 71 to 80------------------------------------------------$90
81 and older--------------------------------------------------$55.00
If you can not afford to pay your dues, for any reason, please notify a Board Member and private accommodations can be made.
Members of today’s Security Forces who were sponsored into the Association in 2006 or 2007 must
pay their own dues to renew. We hope your membership was enjoyable and you will renew. We love
having you as members.
Please send your dues payments to: Roger Nelson
1329 O St.
Omaha, NE. 68107
DO NOT send dues to me, I just send them on to Roger.
Thank you for your service. Welcome Home and Drive On.
Editor’s Desk
I need your help for information to put in the newsletter. I am running out
of things to put in the newsletter. I need your input: stories or any thing you
would like to see in the newsletter.
Please don’t post them on the SafeSide Forum.
My e-mail is [email protected]
My address is: 1033 Dexter
Clay Center, KS 67432
Phone: 785-632-5310
So please lets keep the newsletter going!
Remember These?
Dinh Van Buu receive many important rewards for returning
weapons to the Republic of South Vietnam.
I Dinh Van Buu, a VC solider, of local forces in Tan Hiep surrendered at PhuChanh center. He informed and helped government seize many weapons from VC: 10 Claymore, 42 Bazooka, 75 Tank
mines, 110 mm shell, 25 Kilograms of TNT, 90 Boxes of AK-47 bullets and 90 Grenades, These things
are of the biggest victories to stop Communist’s motive to stall VN War, Dinh Van Buu will get big
rewards and help from South Vietnam government to start his new life.
Either a painful death because of lacking of care in the hospital with out medications in the jungle or
the injured would get care from doctors of the republic of South Vietnam and Allied Forces.
If you are injured, try to get in an eares where South Vietnamese Army could see you- It’s good if you
could cross South Vietnam border, You would be brought to hospital and cured by good doctors.
Chaplain Corner
Never alone!
“…for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5b
This is the season for reunions and family gatherings. It is a wonderful time. We often look forward to sharing the stories of things that we’ve experienced together. There may be some people that
stand out as especially colorful, courageous in the midst of difficult circumstances or uncommonly caring. We look forward to meeting them again, or if they aren’t in attendance, we share our recollections
of the time we shared with them. We enjoy the chance to remember the times past and to make plans
for the future.
Reunions and gatherings are a good way to fellowship and also to fight the loneliness that we
may experience otherwise. While we enjoy the time together we know that we can’t stay together forever. We will need to return home and get back to normal routines.
Scripture tell us “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24b. Maybe
we’ve experiences the help of this brother in a war zone, during a personal illness or a family crisis.
While we may be lonely from time to time, we are never truly alone. This friend is with us always. He
is there to hear all of our complaints, to care for us during difficult times, to heal our broken bodies and
our broken hearts. This friend is ever present with us. This friend has even given His life for us, so that
we can have forgiveness and, when this life is over, to lead us to eternal life. His love for us is so great
that He will “never leave you nor forsake you.” He’ll never leave us today, tomorrow or for an eternity.
This friend is Jesus. I pray that His presence fills you with hope, comfort, peace and joy each day.
In the Name of our mutual friend, Jesus,
Rev. Paul Tessaro
Safesiders, your president, myself and board member Bobby Le Fever have been working
and planning for our Safesider reunion for couple of months. Suffice it to say that we have received
the blessings form Col. Derfry, 820th SFGP Commander for our reunion to be held at Valdosta,
Georgia September 18-20 2009.
If you don’t have your beret, order one now, and purchase the flash from our BX. The beret
can be order by calling 1-800-653-5515. Their website is The armed forces
beret is #4063 (unlined) the unlined is easier to shape, and cost is $11.75.
Our president will be coordinating the event with the reunion brat, and I am coordinating the
event with the POC at Moody. There are many, many variables and options, and much work left to
As usual, we will keep you informed as relevant information becomes avable.
Pete Villarreal, Vice-president
060618-N-8492C-276 PACIFIC OCEAN, (June 18, 2006)USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) (foreground), USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) (middle), USS Abraham Lincoln
(CVN 72) and their associated carrier strike Groups steam in formation while 17 aircraft from the Air
Force, Navy, and Marine Corps fly over them During a joint photo exercise (PHOTOEX) while preparing for exercise Valian t Shield 2006.
The Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group is currently participating in Valiant Shield 2006, the largest joint
Exercise in recent history. Held in the Guam operating area June 19-23, the exercise includes 28 Naval
v essels inc luding three carrier strike groups. Nearly 300 aircraft and approximately 22,000 service
members from the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard are also participating in the exer-
1033 Dexter
Clay Center, Ks 67432

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