Mongoose Bravo 1-5 Newsletter  January 2004


821 Dunbar Road, Carlisle, PA 17013

3 January 2004



Note from Mike:  I will add "hot" buttons for the photos ASAP


A. After-Action Report: Reunion 2003


 The reunion was hosted by Keith and Jackie Landgrebe at their home in Wauwatosa, WI during the period 18-21 September. Jackie and Keith Landgrebe proved to be incomparable hosts! They spent a LOT of money and time on the group and steadfastly refused any repayment. We owe them much for their gracious and remarkable hospitality. Finest Kind!


The hotel was really nice, but since the weather was absolutely PERFECT, we spent just about all of our time at the Landgrebes'  -- on their huge, shaded deck. Jackie took all the women off to do some shopping and to visit the zoo, but the men wanted to just hang out and talk, so we stayed on the deck (with the beer and food)  We managed the largest attendance of any reunion so far, with many first-timers. Sadly, due to severe storms in the northeast and the Verizon strike, a number of people had to cancel plans to attend. ‘Geese and their wives (and girlfriends) flocked in from CA, OR, NY, TX, PA, KY, MO, OK, DE, MN, IL, OH, TN and IA. Those in attendance were: Rodney & Debbie Ashby, Ron Bailey, Scott & Kathy Calloway, Jay Campise, Sonny Collin, Doug Curtis, Steve Dawson, Jim Dunnigan, Frank & Liz Edger, Hugh Foster, Joe Foster, Bill Getz, Jon & Wanda Harrison, Jeff Keel, Keith & Jackie Landgrebe, Auggie Loolam, Tom Loomis, Jim Mathis, Allen Roeder, Bob Stein, Jim & Chris Venditti, Jay & Linda Wade, Dan Whitson, and THREE girlfriends! That makes 33 attendees!


The deck was well decorated during the reunion. In addition to the huge Mongoose Bravo banner (donated last year by Jay and Linda Wade) Steve Dawson donated a Vietnam-made camouflage company guidon to the Association, and Bob Stein brought along an original guidon for display. Ron Bailey brought along a beautifully made Mongoose Bravo sign that was immediately affixed to the door of the house. All these items were in evidence for the entire time, along with the newly-made guidon and pole that are displayed at all reunions.


There were several guys in attendance who were in the company during the hot action on 11 June 1967, when we lost 11 KIAs and two soldiers of the company earned Medals of Honor (both posthumously). These men gave the rest of us a good account of the action, and Bob Stein provided copies of the official after-action report and a letter he wrote home a day or so after the fight.


Our Memorial Service, conducted most ably by former CO Tom Loomis was held on Saturday morning. Allen Roeder brought along a beautiful floral tribute in the form of a Cav patch -- the yellow of the patch was made up of 112 yellow flowers, one for each of our dead. (Sadly, that number has now grown to a known total 117.) It was, as usual, a very moving ceremony, by which we are able to pay tribute to our fallen brothers and to keep their memory alive in our hearts.


In the business meeting following the Memorial Service, the members voted to join with the 5th Cavalry Association in Gatlinburg for the 2004 Hard Core reunion. Sonny Collin volunteered to host the 2005 official reunion in Round Rock (Austin), TX. In 2005, we hope to again visit the current B Company, if they are not deployed overseas at the time.  


At the conclusion of the business meeting, I made presentation of a number of awards and mementos: The oldest member of the company, Ron Bailey, received the American flag we used during the Memorial Ceremony. A nice book on the Vietnam War was awarded to Steve Dawson to commemorate his having come the longest distance to the reunion. Jim Dunnigan and Doug Curtis were awarded joint custody of a 'Magic Eight Ball" to answer all their questions on the long drive back to Oregon. Chris Venditti received an Einstein 'action figure' which she was admonished to use to show Jim from time to time just exactly what Einstein really looks like. Rodney "Kentucky" Ashby was recognized as being the only member (other than me) to have attended ALL of our reunions –he was awarded a professionally printed and framed photo of Mongoose Bravo on the move at an LZ. All the ladies were presented boxes of expensive chocolates, in recognition of how much they do to allow the reunions to take place, and for all the work and other help that falls to them during our get-togethers.

On Saturday afternoon, the Landgrebes provided a pig roast -- cooked on site! While there is no way we could ever adequately thank the Landgrebes for their hospitality, we did present them with a framed artwork from the US Postal Service honoring soldiers -- they will also be issued Mongoose Bravo challenge coins once I have them engraved.


The reunion was a Great Success! It was really rewarding to have such a good showing from the 'early shift'.


B. Reunion 2004: The particulars


The truly Hard Core among us will meet with the larger 5th Cavalry Association during its meeting May 2 – 6, 2003 in Gatlinburg, TN. Mongoose Bravo has been invited to attend, even though many of us are not current members of the 5th Cavalry Association. I have provided a Mongoose Bravo roster to the 5th Cavalry Association, and have been assured that each of you will receive a solicitation to attend from them (You might know that one of our members, Joe Grayson, is the current President of the 5th Cavalry Association.)


Though the following information is coming to you from the 5th Cavalry Association, I will provide the salient information, for your early consideration and action:


1. The River Resort and Convention Center, 240 River Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 will be the site of the reunion. A great room rate of $49/night has been arranged. You can make reservations by calling 1-800-251-2040, or you can call the hotel directly at (865) 436-5161. The hotel offers a free continental breakfast each day.


2. A number of tours and other events are planned, including golfing, NASCAR racing, a Veterans Museum, an aquarium, a banquet, and so forth.


3. More information and an advance copy of the registration form is provided in the enclosed excerpts from the 5th US Cavalry Association newsletter.



C. Other Mongoose Bravo News


1. Memorial Scrolls.  I have had some good success in getting Mongoose Bravo Memorial Scrolls out to the surviving families of our dead. The total cost to us for mailing each scroll is about $3, including postage,  the scroll itself and the stiff cardboard mailing envelope.  If any of you wish to contribute to the Company Fund,  which bears this cost, I will happily receive your donations. To date, we have gotten scrolls to the families  (multiple members in some cases) and friends of 28 of  our men. If you know how to reach a surviving family member, or if you want a scroll yourself to commemorate a friend, please get in touch with me. The survivors of the following soldiers have received scrolls:

SP/4 Dale F. Hudson            SP/4 Frederick L. Manly

SGT Jerrold J. Schliesman      SP/4 John L. Chambers

SP/4 Leslie H. Cantrell        PFC James C. Cochran

PFC Richard F. Barnes          SGT James J. Greb

PFC Brent A. McClellan         SP/4 George E. Guyett

PFC Robert H. Carr, Jr.        SP/4 David A. Jackson

SSG Frank J. Somers            SP/4 Michael J. Gwinn

PFC Harold E. Berg, Jr.        PFC Nathaniel Buggs, Jr.

PFC John T. Evans              SGT William H. Fillion

PFC Frank J. Costantini, Jr.   SGT James Giles

SP/4 Carmel B. Harvey, Jr.     SGT Daniel J. Maloney

PFC Gary L. Kenaga             SP/4 Finley A. Rice

PFC Robert E. Browning         1LT William H. Thigpen

SGT Terry W. Birmingham        PFC Charles J. Keitt



2. Remembrance Cards. On Veterans Day Sunday, Art & Carol Brandt, Doc & Liz Edger, Tom Loomis and I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, in D.C.  We placed remembrance cards for each of our dead at the base of the panel where his name is listed. I prepared special cards for our two Medal of Honor recipients. Should any of you plan to visit The Wall and want to place one or more remembrance cards during your visit, I will gladly provide them, upon request. Mike Collins visited The Wall the next day and reported that the cards were still in place at that time. (The examples shown above are slightly smaller and less distinct than the originals.)


3. The great Mongoose Bravo ball caps – a gift of Chuck Jesse – are still available. Sale of the hats is our sole money-raising activity. Coupled with donations (and there have been some significant ones) sale of the caps brings in the funds necessary to produce and mail the newsletters and provides ‘seed money’ to get our reunions off and running. The caps are available for $12 each, postpaid.


4. Enclosed, please find a Mongoose Bravo association roster, accurate only up to the moment it was printed. It seems the roster changes almost daily, as new men are found, others disappear, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses change, and so forth. Please note that email addresses are now a part of the roster – those of you who are on the ‘net please confirm the accuracy of the email address listed, or send me your email address if you are not shown as having one. The Postal folks are getting pretty sticky about using the expanded zip codes (Zip plus four) – so send me your complete zip code ASAP.           

5. We are immortal! (Or is that immoral? I think its immortal.) In the TV program Law and Order that aired on December 3, 2003, the police detectives arrived at the scene of a brutal murder. As they entered the room, one of the cops who had been an ‘early responder’ cautioned them, “This is pretty bad. It looks like he tangled with the 5th Cavalry!”

Don’t Forget To Reenlist!


Hugh Foster

CO, August 70 – March 71

(717) 249-6219