Red Clay Newsletter of the Veterans who served at Khe Sanh Combat Base, Hill 950, Hill 881, Hill 861, Hill 861-A, Hill 558 Khe Sanh Village, Lang-Vei and Surrounding Area

 
Home Red Clay Index Issue 69 Fall Winter 2007
 
 
     
     

The Khe Sanh Veterans Annual Reunion
July 3-8, 2007 Washington DC
Special Edition
     
     
 
             
    Message From The President and Board
 
   
   

Tom Eichler
President

I want to thank the membership for    their trust in electing me President of the KSV Inc. I will do my best, as I have in my past positions, to promote and improve the Khe Sanh Veterans Association. The election also resulted with John "big John" Pessoni moving from Secretary to Vice President and Robert "Mox" Moxley (formerly Director at Large) moving into the Secretary spot. Successful candidates for Director at Large include Neil Kenny, Larry McCartney and Luther "Duke" Upton.
WELCOME ABOARD.

Thanks go to Russell Turner for his outstanding leadership and guidance during his two terms as President and Co-Chairman of the Reunion Committee. Thanks also to the outgoing Directors at Large Ed Feldman & Dale Pack. Last, but certainly not least, a giant Thank You to Colonel David "Bulldog” Smith for his unwavering leadership at a Two Term President and Two Term Past President.
You’ve left a tough act to follow!
 

 

The reunion was a success regardless of the Snafus caused by the Hotel. We have just returned from Reno Nevada and have completed plans for the 2008 Reunion. It will be held at the Silver Legacy Hotel, Reno NV July 28-03 August 2008. The complete details are included in this issue.

L-R: Russ Turner (Past President) being presented
a plaque from the KSV for outstanding service as a
two term President by President Elect Tom Eichler
Click Image to see
Plaque
 

   
             
   

From Russell Turner
Past President

A Big Thank You

I want to thank the membership for their overwhelming support during the two terms I was honored to have served as your President. Your continuing support made my job a lot easier. I know Tommy will continue to improve our organization as he has done in the past. I also congratulate John Pessoni & Bob Moxley on their election to Vice President and Secretary respectfully, as well as our three new Directors at large: Larry McCartney, Luther Upton and Neil Kenny.

A thank you also goes to Ed Feldman & Dale Pack our outgoing Directors at Large.


John "Big John" Pessoni
Vice President

I want to thank the membership for their faith in electing me as Vice President of the Khe Sanh Veterans.
With my new job I also assumed the responsibilities as Director of the Khe Sanh Veterans PX. I have many plans to expand our inventory and offer many new Items. The new telephone number for the PX is 732-948-9803. Please continue your terrific support of the PX. Profits allow us to publish our Red Clay Magazine, which is consistently improving with your support.

 



HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM THE RED CLAY STAFF

Original drawing submitted by Joe Bispo

   
             
 
 
 
             
    REUNION SHORTS
 
   
   

The Prodigal Bible Finds its Way Home.
“A Terrific Reunion Story”

By Tom Eichler

I was approached by former Colonel Nick Romanetz and Captain Ernie Spencer at the 2007 KSV reunion in Washington, DC with a very interesting tale. While going through some old memorabilia, Colonel Romanetz found a Bible which was given to him at Khe Sanh by a chaplain or his assistant. He observed that the Bible was already inscribed with a name and the following story tells how the Bible was reunited with its original owner

 

Colonel Nick Romanetz:

Prior to this year's KSV Reunion in DC, I was rummaging through my old military stuff looking for items to donate to the silent auction. One item I came across was a pocket Bible, that had been given to me by a Chaplain or his assistant during the siege. The small Bible was encrusted in red dust and the cover was beginning to separate from the body of the book. I had put my name, rank, unit and time at Khe Sanh inside the front cover of the book. However, my information was placed above the name of a person printed in the "property of" section of the Bible. In recent years, because of visits to the KSV home page, I recognized that name as someone who occasionally posted, but I did not know the individual. Checking the membership directory and the web site for reunion attendees, I saw that John Rowland was a member of Delta 1/26 and was scheduled to attend the reunion. After the Bible had almost been donated to a Vietnam Museum at MCRD San Diego, I decided to bring the Bible to the reunion and try and find John Rowland and determine how his name came to be in the Bible and explain how it came into my possession.


Col. Nicholas Romanetz (right) at annual banquet Returning Lost Bible to John Rowland.

After getting settled in at DC, I went to a person I knew could help me find John. The always reliable "Macho Man" Ernie Spencer knew John and within minutes, pointed him out to me in the hotel lobby area. I approached John, introduced myself and showed him the Bible. He looked astounded and asked where I got the Bible from, explaining that it had been his and somehow he lost or misplaced it. After some small talk, we went our separate ways and in my mind, a small mystery was now solved, end of story.

 

Shortly thereafter, Ernie approached me and explained that he spoke to John about the Bible and John shared with Ernie in detail the significance of that Bible in John's life and his Khe Sanh/Vietnam experience. Ernie asked if there was any way possible the Bible could be returned to John and without hesitation, I agreed. Ernie suggested we not let John know of our discussion and Ernie suggested that I present the Bible to John prior to the start of the dinner.

For those of you in attendance at the dinner, you know that I was able to give the audience a brief background on the Bible and, after 39 years, return it to its rightful owner. Once again, membership in KSV and being an active member of the organization has provided someone with a bit more "closure" to our Khe Sanh experience.

 

Tom Eichler:

I later interviewed John to obtain the full story how John obtained, and lost the Bible subsequent to its return at the reunion. John stated the Bible was given to him by a chaplain in early January 68 shortly after Tet, along with a rosary, which John still possesses.


"The Reuniters"
 L-R, Ernie Spencer, John Rowland and
Col Nicholas Romanetz.

The Bible was of great comfort to John many times during the onslaught of incoming and the precious times when we had a few moments to rest. Delta was not given much notice when they were told to saddle up and left Khe Sanh after the siege, John was under the impression they would be coming back to the base after the operational sweep they went on.

John, somehow, negligently left it behind with a few other personal items. “We never went back,” John stated, instead went to the Rock Pile, and a few other places, each worse than the one we left, I would have felt better if it had of went with me. It was a total surprise getting it back...it is an important keepsake, red stains and all, that I will pass on to my grandson with a little history of when and where it was first given to me and how I was reunited with it after all these years.”

Thank you Nicholas Romanetz from the bottom of my heart.

   
             
 
 
 
             
   

KHE SANH VETERANS HONOR IRAQ WAR HERO
Sergeant Jeremiah W. Workman

By Tom Eichler
 

   
   

The KSV had the honor of the presence of one of our newest Marine Veterans from the war in Iraq at our annual Awards Banquet at our  reunion in Washington DC.

Neil Kenny introduced Sergeant Jeremiah W. Workman to our organization. Jeremiah was our Honored Guest and warmly welcomed by the membership.


U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Jeremiah W. Workman, a drill instructor with Delta Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, receives the Navy Cross Medal from Brig. Gen. Richard T. Tryon, commanding general, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island/Eastern Recruiting Region, May 12. Workman received the award for actions performed while deployed to Iraq in 2004. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Troy Loveless

 

The KSV had the honor of the presence of one of our newest Marine Veterans from the war in Iraq at our annual Awards Banquet at our  reunion in Washington DC. Neil Kenny introduced Sergeant Jeremiah W. Workman to our organization. Jeremiah was our Honored Guest and warmly welcomed by the membership.

Sgt. Jeremiah W. Workman
Navy Cross Citation

 

Additional links related to Sgt. Jeremiah W. Workman

Washington Post "A Hero Who Didn't Save Himself"

Washington Post Photos "A Hero's Troubled Heart"

Department of Defense News About War on Terrorism

Parris Island DI receives Navy Cross

Stars and Stripes

   
             
 
 
 
We have instituted a new magazine section to thank those members who contribute so generously to the" Khe Sanh Veterans.
Their contributions allow us to continue to expand and improve our Red Clay magazine.
There will be four levels of contributions:
DIAMOND over 1,000, PLATINUM over 200-1,000, GOLD over 50-200 and SILVER 20-50.
Each member will receive a new membership card, corresponding with their level of contribution
 

DIAMOND
BODENWEISER, Alec
DAWDY. James H. Jr.
 
TOURTE, Craig W.
FOSTER, Gary
 

PLATINUM
ALLEN, Lewis J
CHICONE, Roger D
COLE, James F
FELDMAN, Ed
 
FRUGONI, Charles
GABLE, Vincent L
PATRICO, Sid
PIERCE, Thomas A
 
KUBLEY, Lawrence W
SCOTT, Michael D
STACK, Geoffrey L
WELLS, Jack
 

GOLD
ALLEN, Lewis J
BROPHY, Michael W.
CAMPO, Carl C
CATON, Louis W II
CHANDLER, David
COOK, Michael H
COSNER, Leonard G
COWAN, John R Sr.
DESETA, Louis J
DONAGHY, Richard E
DUBOIS, William H
DUNLAP, Lee C
EICHLER, Thomas J
ESSLINGER, John T
FOLEY, Richard M
GERARD, Charles G
GILLESPIE, Donald J
 
GRANT, James D
GRIFFIN, Jerry
HALLER, Tom
HANNA, Robert W
HERNANDEZ, John G
JACHIMIAK, Daniel L
KAHENY, John M
KAYLOR, James
KEATON, Thomas
LARSON, Larry L
LEE, Dale
LOERSCH, Phillip E
MAIN, Ronald G
MANNION, Dennis M
MCCANN, Timothy N
MCNEELY, Milton L (Mac)
MERCADO, Saturno
 
NOYES, Richard C
PADLEY, Shirley W
PATTERSON, Charles E
PELON, Sharon
RAIT, Donald M
ROBBINS, John L
ROGERS, David G
SHANKLIN, Dean E
SLATTERY, Robert J
SMITH, Patrick W
SMITH, Walter J
SPIVEY, Martin B
STUDT, John C
TATE, William R
WACHSMUTH, Robert W
WILKINSON, James B
YATES, William R
 

SILVER
AMBROSE, James F
APPLEBAUM, Robert S
BOLAND, Thomas
CAMPO, Carl
CHASE, James L
DACKERMANN, William P
DEARING, Richard M
FOSMO, Harold D Jr.
FRUGONI, Charles
HALL, Robert A
HARRIGAN, Joseph E
HICKS, Tommy J
HOFFLER, John T
 
HOLMGREN, Duane K
KAZIMIR, Edward J
KEATON, Thomas
KENDIG, Dennis R
LARSEN, Larry L
LEWY, Bruce S
MAHONEY, Brian
MAPEL, Randall D
MCCULLOUGH, Richard
MELLON, David L
MEYER, Donald J
MORGAN, Robert I
MOSEBAY, Watson T Jr.
 
MUDD, Ronald B
NEWSHAM, Robert G
PELON, Sharon
RINEHART, Earlin R
ROMANETZ, Nicholas S
SMITH, Patrick W
STAHL, Richard E
SWEARENGEN, Mark A
TAKACS, Richard E
UPSHAW, Leland
VIVONA, Robert T
WILLIS, Robert E
 
 

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