Another A Team reunion

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Dave Siciliano, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    For several years, I've had posts on the Virtual Wall which is an internet board commemorating Vietnam war dead. Many times, relatives of fallen comrades have contacted me and asked for details of a lost loved one where I had a post about them. Over the last couple years, a couple fellas that served with me have contacted me. Some of you may recall I met with a former A Team member a couple years ago while at SIMCOM. He lives in Tampa and drove over.

    Day after tomorrow, I'll meet another fella that served on an A-Team with me in Vietnam in 1969. We've chatted a bit via e-mail and sent a few pics back and forth, but this will be the first I've seen him in person since 1969. Was surprised he was even alive. We lost half our team in one enemy contact in July of that year and they reconstituted that team (three killed and three more wounded on our 12 person team). Moved those of us that weren't hurt and brought in a new commander. So, I lost contact with all the folks on there.

    This will be fun!

    Best,

    Dave
     
  2. pbramlett

    pbramlett Line Up and Wait

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    Dave,

    Thank you for your service. Have fun with your buddies!

    All the best
     
  3. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    Where's that "Like" button? I'll settle for a +1. Thank you again.
     
  4. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    +5

    Thank you.
     
  5. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Remember the good times Dave, and toast those who did not make it. Reuniting with old comrades is very good for the soul. Good luck with the reunion.

    Thank you for your service under difficult circumstances.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  6. Tony_Scarpelli

    Tony_Scarpelli Pattern Altitude

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    Awesome! Dave.
     
  7. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    Here's a copy of our team pic from 1969. I'm kneeling in the front row, second from right with a mustache. Carl, who I will see tomorrow, is directly behind me. I was about 5'4 which is short of course, but in SF, exceptional. Carl is just over 6 feet. This team came through pretty well. We lost one fella to a rocket attack.

    Carl and I had both moved here from another team at Tra Cu. That was where we lost half the team the end of July 1969. There is one other member of Tra Cu I'm in touch with. I think a lot of folks didn't make it back. Of those that did, many just put it behind them after the war.

    Best,

    Dave
     

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  8. jmp470

    jmp470 Line Up and Wait

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    I cannot tell by your flash, what group were you in?
     
  9. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    5th group was in RVN. I was in the 7th group at Bragg.

    Best,

    Dave
     
  10. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    Interesting times in SF back then. We weren't really accepted in many parts of the main stream military. Unconventional warfare training wasn't as accepted as it is today. When I was first in special ops (only one mission over the fence) some of the top generals wouldn't believe the intelligence we were producing about what the North was bringing down the Ho Chi Minh Trail until pics were produced.

    As a young lieutenant in 7th Group at Bragg, I had occasion to visit the Pentagon. While walking down the hall ways after leaving an appointment, a colonel yelled at me to come over. I did and he demanded I take my pants out of my boots. (Airborne troops bloused their pants in their boots.) I told him I was in compliance with my commander's orders. He turned red and I thought he was going to pop when another officer ( I didn't see his rank) came over and said something to him I didn't hear. I used that as an opportunity to briskly walk away. As I was swiftly leaving, he yelled at me a couple times that I was out of uniform! Don't know why big guys like that put lieutenants in the middle like that.

    Reported it to my CO when I got back and he said I had done the right thing to just leave if I could, but not to directly disobey if possible. Seems there had been several tiffs up there about our uniform.

    Best,

    Dave
     
  11. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    Well, we got together Thursday evening. He immediately recognized me, but he was a retired police detective; so, more used to visually identifying folks than most. He reminded me of a lot of things I had forgotten and said I reminded him of many. He is the second fella I've linked up with that was on an A Team with me in RVN. I served on two different teams: Tra Cu and Thien Ngon. We lost about half the team at Tra Cu and then reconstituted it. Carl moved to Thien Ngon when I did.

    Could you have recognized us from the first pic (g). He we are now.

    Dave
     

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  12. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Glad it was a good reunion Dave.
     
  13. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    Met my three other team mates on Friday evening and spent many an hour discussing events of July 29, 1969 and all sorts of things subsequent to that. On that day, we lost over one half of out A-Team at Tra Cu, RVM. We all lived with one of most traumatic events in our life for 44 years without ever having a clear picture of what actually occurred and all that were affected. Each of us recalled things a bit differently and we had never had an opportunity to discuss with each other and learn of the other's perspective. It was a wonderful meeting. We each had some guilt we carried for years that each of us hadn't done all we could have. After talking, we all were comfortable we had done the best we could. We recreated the team at the time and it seems of 13 total men, 3 officers and ten enlisted, we were three short and one carried on the roster had been wounded earlier and was at HQ recovering. So, of an eight man team, we lost five that day.

    Went to Special Forces museum, Airborne & Special Operations Museum, but mainly just got to chat with three of the bravest folks with which I had ever served. Out on out own near the Cambodian border: two 175 mm we could sometimes get for general support and some air support; otherwise, up to us, LLDB and CIDG units in the camps. Have some pics and a write up I'm working on with links.

    Really glad I went.

    Best,

    Dave
     
  14. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    Seems two of us felt guilty because we offered to go on a reaction force once other forces were in contact and someone else was sent in our place. In each case, someone senior to us told us they would go instead. They were each killed in that action. Another fella that earned a silver star, had been hit three times before withdrawing under fire from a superior enemy force. He has felt guilty for years that he didn't do more. Very soothing to talk to each other and reassure each other we each had done all we could have.

    Best,

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  15. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Dave, I'm glad you were able to meet up with them. I'm also glad that I've gotten to meet you and get to know you. Thank you for your service.
     
  16. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Glad to hear the healing continues for all involved. You all did the best you could, including living well afterwards.

    I hope you continue to find peace with the battles you have fought.
     
  17. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Dave, I'm happy for you that your meetings with your fellow vets have helped you personally. You deserve it.
     
  18. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Thanks for serving Dave. Your reunion stories mimic another friend's feelings almost exactly. Similar type of service. Good to get a better picture and some closure.
     
  19. Dave Siciliano

    Dave Siciliano Final Approach

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    Thanks folks; appreciate you understanding. Someone called it survivor's guilt we sometimes get. I think I've put this in perspective and moved on, but some haven't. Wonderful to see these guys and share our perspective and feelings about it all. I'm writing something up, but want the other fellows to see it and agree before it's aired. It's for us and I'd like all to be in agreement. One of the hardest parts, is we were all moved after this or of course, three were lost. We never had an opportunity to share what each of us thought happened and how it developed. Now, at least we understand what each saw or heard on the radio. One fellow there actually was out in a airboat and ran into the enemy position. He explained what happened there. Two of us were in the camp listing on the radio and providing support--evacuating wounded, etc. One had been wounded before and was at our headquarters listening to the radio when he could. It helped us all put things together in our minds. Funny how we all saw or heard different parts of what turned into a large contact for that area, and this is the first time we could wrap arms around the total event.

    Best,

    Dave