We are the members of an elite group of proud individuals, who served our country alongside the finest soldiers that have ever walked the earth on four paws. Throughout history these four legged soldiers have diligently committed themselves to protect their fellow team members. Because of their actions they have protected vital strategic areas and have saved the lives of countless servicemen and women. With the finest tradition of the Military Police Corps the sentry dog has upheld the motto: "OF THE TROOPS, FOR THE TROOPS"
Good afternoon. Paul Friedrich, 981st 68-70 alerted me to this. This is about Thomas Y. Flythe Jr., 981st 68-69. Take Care, Gary
Thomas Y. Flythe Jr., of Pennsauken, passed away peacefully on April 4, 2022 at 75 years. Beloved husband of Susan (nee Dence); Devoted father of Tracy Flythe (Mark), Thomas (Jenny) Flythe III, Carrie Flythe and Jana Flythe; Loving grandfather of Annalise, Andre, Francesca, Mateus, Noah, Isaiah, Joseph, Micah, Kelly and Kerrigan; Dear sister of the late Joan Michel; Also survived by loving nieces and nephews.
Thomas was a proud Army Veteran who served during the Vietnam War. He enjoyed playing his guitar, making model trains and loved his Yorkie dogs.
At the request of the family, all services will be held privately.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Y. Flythe Jr. please visit our Tribute Store.
William J. Howells, 73 of Monongahela (Valley Inn), passed away on May 15, 2022 in his home. Bill was born on December 19, 1948 in Pittsburgh, a son of the late William and Emma (Kay) Howells. After his graduation in 1966 from Monongahela High School he served in the U.S. Army Military Police as a dog handler during the Vietnam War. Bill worked for many years as a machinist and laborer for the Mitchell Power Station in Courtney until his retirement. A member of St. Andrew the Apostle in Monongahela, he belonged to the Valley Inn Sportsman Club and the Monongahela VFW Post #1409. Bill is survived by his wife Deborah (Buono) Howells who he married August 1, 1976, a sister and brother in law Kay (David) Post of Greenville, SC; three sisters in law, Linda (Bill) Hyslop of Tionesta, Cheryl (Jim) Martis of Monongahela and Pam Kroll (Bob Anderson) of River Hill along with numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews along with many good friends that he always considered his extended family. Friends will be received at the Marshall Marra Funeral Home, 216 Chess Street, Monongahela, 724-258-6767 on Wednesday 4-8pm. Blessing prayers will begin in the funeral home at 9:15am followed by a Mass of Christian burial that will be celebrated at 10am on Thursday May 19th in St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, Monongahela. Interment will follow in Mon Valley Memorial Park, Donora with military honors conducted by the Mon-Valley Honors Guard and Firing Squad. At Bill’s request in lieu of flowers please make a donation to either the Western Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors @ wpawoundedwarrior.org or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 600 Waterfront Dr #210, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Condolences can be made at marshallmarrafuneralhome.com.
This story is about Vince L. Smith 595th 71-72. Vince gave a great interview. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you Vince for sharing. This is from Elks River, MN Star News Mainstreams: A dog named Tap Veteran enjoyed his work as a dog handler in Vietnam by Joni Astrup Associate Editor
Vince Smith worked as a dog handler in the Army during the Vietnam War, and he wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“If I had a chance to do it over, I would. The experience was wonderful,” Smith said during an appearance Tuesday at the Elk River Activity Center.
Smith had no intentions of becoming a dog handler when he enlisted. But after finishing basic training, he was assigned to military police school in Fort Gordon, Georgia. About six weeks later, he was told he could continue training to be a dog handler, but it came with a guarantee that he would go to Vietnam. Smith took the offer and was sent to Okinawa, Japan, to work with a training dog named Dude. From there, he was stationed in Da Nang, Vietnam, and assigned a German shepherd named Tap. Tap came out of Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, where the military had a procurement center. Private parties would send dogs there to be tested to see if they were acceptable for the military, Smith said.
By the time Smith was paired with Tap, the dog had a problem. Tap’s previous handler was a heroin addict, and the man would inject Tap and himself with heroin before they went to work, making the dog an addict as well.
Smith was given two weeks to work with Tap and turn him into a working dog, which he did.
Smith said the dog was smart, and responded to both verbal commands and hand motions.
“Tap was a trouper and tried to please his handler,” Smith said.
He said they didn’t use treats in training the dogs, but rather relied on the power of praise. Later, as a science teacher, he found that what worked with dogs was effective with kids, too. “The most powerful tool we had was praise,” he said.
Smith and Tap never went into combat as that wasn’t their mission. Rather, they were assigned to sentry duty and worked nights guarding assets like a warehouse, ammunition dump, fuel depot and a helicopter base. Smith said the enemy’s mode of operation was sneak in, set charges, and sneak back out.
“We prevented that from happening,” Smith said.
Smith said he never had to unleash Tap to attack a person and he never had to shoot at anyone, either. The pair did have some encounters, however.
One was at 3:30 a.m. when Tap “alerted,” indicating something was in the water of China Beach, which was a “kill area” at night and there should be nothing there. Smith said he couldn’t see or hear anything, so he reported the information via radio. Within minutes two Huey helicopters were in the air, searching the ocean. They found fishermen in an area where they weren’t supposed to be and blew up their boats as there was the possibility they were the enemy, Smith said. In another instance, Smith learned the wisdom of having a dog respond to silent commands when he and Tap were fired on from an unknown source. Smith hit the ground, but Tap was standing. Smith used a hand motion to get Tap into the crawl position, and the two crawled to a safer area where Smith radioed for help.
Tap remained in Vietnam after Smith’s tour of duty ended. The dog was 6.5 years old and beyond usefulness for the military. Tap and other dogs like him were turned over to the Vietnamese, who ate them, Smith said.
“That was a sad thing,” he said. “The culture is different, no disrespect to the Vietnamese people. They get protein just like we do, but from different sources.”
Back in the United States, Smith became the kennel master at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where a program was being set up to use dogs trained to detect drugs.
After his military service, Smith went on to teach science for 34 years in Fridley, Coon Rapids and Champlin. He had graduated from Concordia College with a degree in biology before enlisting in the service.
A native of Browns Valley, Minn. and the oldest of three boys, Smith was the son of a World War II frogman. His parents were very active in the American Legion and Legion Auxiliary.
“At a very young age, I knew that I had to do some service,” he said.
It led him halfway around the world to a dog named Tap, and a priceless experience he will never forget.
Mainstreams: A dog named Tap | Elk River | hometownsource.com
BUXTON, ME & Leesburg, FL- James “Jim” Bright passed away on April 20, 2022, at the age of 74, in his beloved home of Maine. Jim passed away unexpectedly and showed courage in facing the hardest of life challenges to the very end.
Jim Bright was a good man; ask anyone who knew him. He was a bright spark in this world. So generous with his time and friendship. He touched the lives of so many and will be deeply missed.
As a child, Jim loved to play baseball. At age 11, the Alexandria Virginia Gazette highlighted Jim’s .457 batting average. Suppose you don’t know the meaning of this mark. In that case, a quick Google search will show that .300 or higher is considered excellent, and an average higher than .400 is a nearly unachievable goal. His love for the sport was a constant throughout his life. Jim shared the love of the game with each of his three children and many other young players. Jim pitched 21 innings at his last game a short month ago with the Hawthorne Softball League.
Before moving to Maine, Jim grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. Jim attended Gorham High School, it is there that he met the love of his life, Pat Spring. Jim and Pat celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary this past December. Together, they had three children: Jennifer, Rebecca, and Timothy, each proudly still holding the Bright surname. Jim dearly loved his grandchildren, Sarah, Dominic, and Chloe.
Jim proudly served his country as a sergeant in the United States Army from 1967 to 1969. Jim discovered his lifelong love of dogs in the Vietnam War, where he was a military police dog handler.
Jim was a hardworking man. For over 30 years, he supported his family by working as a Lead Carpenter at Maine Medical Center. Jim poured his heart into his work while always offering a friendly smile and hello to his co-workers and staff. Jim was admired by many. Jim was always quick to lend his woodworking and carpentry skills outside of his workspace, lending a helping hand to friends and family home projects.
Jim lived a beautiful and dignified life. The simplest pleasures in life brought great joy to Jim, including relaxing at home in Bridgton, Maine, or Leesburg, Florida. Jim was an avid boat captain and was happiest when boating on Long Lake, Maine. He loved to take family and friends out, provided the water wasn’t rough, and there wasn’t too much boat traffic, of course.
Jim had a fantastic wit, a sense of humor, and a beautiful laugh and smile. He made his whole family laugh with all his silly sayings, as you may well know “it’s always something.”
Jim was passionate about his Christian faith. He was a loyal member of the Hilltop Baptist Church in Cornish, Maine, and the First Baptist Church of Leesburg. He volunteered his time with the Hollis Center Church Youth Group. In addition, Jim was a color guard and a member of the VFW Hawthorne, Florida.
Jim was loved deeply, and his family takes comfort in knowing that he is at peace surrounded by light.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Jim Bright Memorial Scholarship Fund to support inspiring youth baseball players. Visit www.gofund.me/3861d8de
A funeral service to Celebrate Jim’s life will be held on Monday April 25 at 1 PM at the Hilltop Baptist Church, 17 School St., Cornish with a reception to follow. For those that can’t join the ceremony in person please visit the Hilltop Baptist Church Facebook page for a live stream.
Burial will US Army Honors will be held privately at the Southern Maine Veterans Cemetery.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Chad E. Poitras Cremation and Funeral Service, Buxton, www.mainefuneral.com
Queen of Heaven Cemetery and Mortuary – Rowland Heights Obituary
On March 15, 2022, Johnny L. Rivera passed away at the age of 78.
Johnny lived in Diamond Bar, California for over forty-four years with his beautiful wife Rosalee and three children Johnny, Carmen and David. Johnny loved his wife, children, grandchildren, parents, brothers, sisters, fellow veterans and others he would meet on a daily basis.
Johnny grew up in Los Angeles, California with parents, Grace and Jessie (Roland) and ten children including Johnny: Robert, Benjamin, Margarito, Richard, Joseph, Julia, Jessica, Mary, and Paula. Johnny learned a lot from his older brothers and sisters and his younger brothers and sisters learned a lot from him. Johnny was an alter boy at his local catholic church, was a cadet with the Los Angeles County Civil Air Patrol, shined shoes in Downtown Los Angeles and sold newspapers as a carrier boy (newsboy) for the Los Angeles Mirror-News.
On October 16, 1955, at the age of 12, while working as a Mirror-News Carrier Boy, Johnny saved the life of a five year old girl from a flaming death. While winding up his paper route, Johnny saw a five year old girl, her clothes afire, run screaming from a trailer court. Johnny acted quickly and rolled the child on the ground and beat out the flames. Johnny received recognition from Supervisor Kenneth Hahn of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and was photographed with Supervisor Hahn receiving an award for heroism.
In 1965, Johnny was drafted into the United States Army. Johnny served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1967 and served overseas in Vietnam as a combat Military Policeman at the military rank of Specialist 4 (E4). While in Vietnam, Johnny volunteered to serve as a Sentry Dog Handler and teamed with his attack German Shepherd dog “Prince.” Johnny was also a 100% disability rated veteran and participated in group meetings with fellow veterans at the East Los Angeles VA Center.
After service in Vietnam, Johnny worked for True Value Hardware (Cotter & Company) distribution warehouse, the nations largest hardware distribution chain, for over twenty years as a long-haul truck driver. Johnny loved the outdoors and delivered freight to many different states. Johnny moved his family to Diamond Bar, California in the 1970s.
In retirement, Johnny loved spending time with his wife and grandchildren. He enjoyed traveling and playing the saxophone and piano. He volunteered at the Veterans Administration (VA) office in Long Beach, California and helped escort disabled veterans in wheelchairs throughout the VA hospital for over 15 years. Johnny earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation from United States President George W. Bush. Johnny also volunteered with Meals on Wheels and delivered meals to needy residents. Additionally, Johnny was active with the East Los Angeles VA Center and met with fellow veterans multiple times each week for group meetings. He loved his fellow veterans and shared that he felt a strong bond with veterans who understood what he went through overseas in Vietnam.
Johnny was a tall man at 6’2″ and many knew him as “Big John” but was down to earth and liked to tell jokes and loved to laugh. He loved to dress as Santa Claus each Christmas for his family and would visit disabled children at Rowland Unified School District. Johnny was full of energy and spirit and loved life.
Johnny had a special loving bond with his children and grandchildren whom he loved very much. He was proud that his son Johnny earned a Master’s Degree and was a United States Army Reserve Officer, his daughter Carmen earned her Master’s Degree and is a public school teacher and his son David earned his Bachelor’s degrees in Nursing and is a practicing registered nurse.
Johnny loved living and he will always be remembered as a special man with a very big heart who touched the lives of many people.
Johnny devoted his life to god, wife, family, friends and country and is greatly respected.
Rest in peace beloved husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, U.S. Army combat veteran and friend- YOUR FAMILY.
Louie “Delbert” Barnett of St. James, Missouri passed away on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at the Buffalo Prairie Care Center in Buffalo, Missouri at the age of 67. Delbert was born in Richmond Heights, Missouri on December 21, 1947 to the late Louie and Edna (Stender) Barnett. Delbert was a graduate of John F. Hodges High School in St. James, Missouri; He proudly served his Country in the United States Army and served two tours in Vietnam earning the distinguished Bronze Star Medal. Returning home he married the love of his life, Miss Jacqueline Laney on June 12, 1970. He went to work as a carpenter in the construction industry and he and Jacqueline settled into a small farm outside of town. Delbert enjoyed hunting, fishing, and his friends and family. Delbert had an audio-graphic memory and was always fascinating his family and friends on remembering special dates, once he knew your birthday or other special day, he would never forget it. Delbert also had a special way with people, he never met a stranger and would strike up a conversation with anyone. He was a loving and devoted husband, brother, uncle and friend and will be greatly missed by those that knew and loved him. Survivors include his devoted wife of 44 years Jacqueline Barnett of the home; brothers: Delman Barnett and wife Lynda, of St. James, MO, Jesse Barnett and wife Robin, of Davisville, MO, Ronald Barnett and wife Shawna, of Seabeck, WA, and David Barnett and wife Kelly, of Cuba, MO; sisters: Darlene Matlock, of Cuba, MO, Geri Barnett, of Rolla, MO, and Velda Kossuth and husband Gene, of St. James, MO; a host of nieces, nephews, extended family and many friends. In addition to his parents Delbert was preceded in death by brothers Edward and Wilburn Barnett, and sister Roxie Bettis.
Funeral services for Louie “Delbert” Barnett will be held at 11:00AM Saturday, March 7, 2015 at the St. James Chapel of the James & Gahr Mortuary with Pastor Craig Rippy officiating. Interment will be in the St. James Cemetery with Delman Barnett, Jesse Barnett, Ronnie Barnett, Dave Barnett, Lanny Graves, and Gene Kossuth serving as pallbearers. Visitation for family and friends will be held prior to the service from 10AM until service time. Memorials are suggested to the American Heart Association, cards are available at all James & Gahr locations.
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