Remembering Gerald M. Eller

This is from Steve Dragovich, 981st 70-71.

Remembering Gerald M. Eller
September 9, 1949 to December 3, 2005

I was at Lackland Dog School in San Antonio with Gerry Eller and we both came to Cam Ranh Bay together with the rest of our Lackland class. My recollection is that he was posted to a detachment soon after we came to CRB, and I didn’t see much of him after that. But my memories of him at Lackland are fresh in my mind.

We were there from November to mid-January 1969/70, which meant that we spent
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day away from home, but it also meant that we all pooled and shared our food and goodie packages that were sent to us by our families. It was an unusual way for most of us to have spent the holidays, but it turned out to be happy just the same.

Gerry was a very friendly sort with a deepish smokey voice and what scientists and researchers today — in nascent investigative studies — call a distinctive “movement signature”: a
one-of-a-kind  pattern in a person’s muscular contractions that is as physically unique as a fingerprint or footprint. In Gerry’s case he had an almost undulating way of moving that was part dancer and part boxer. The way he moved and looked in motion defined him. 

We tended to speak about music a lot. He as most of us did loved the Beatles, and he was particularly interested in the way George Harrison was coming into his own as a songwriter and musical arranger. Harrison introduced his bandmates to Indian music and instruments, and this was of paramount interest to Gerry. For me, I liked George because his family’s newly acquired council house was more spacious than those of his bandmates, and his music-loving mother made their house available for rehearsals, particularly in the band’s early days as the
Quarrymen. And Gerry liked Mrs. Harrison’s musical nature and her generosity as much as I did.

Gerry’s favorite Beatle track was Norwegian Wood (aka This Bird Has Flown), a John Lennon composition from Rubber Soul wherein George introduced the sitar to his bandmates. In its use of Indian instrumentation and surreal lyrics the track was a precursor of what became known as psychedelic rock. The song, by the way, made me think that Gerry came from a Norwegian background and that Eller was a Norwegian name. Not so. Eller is a German name, but eller is also a word in Norwegian that means “or.”

After Gerry left CRB we met once in I believe Nha Trang. We had a good time catching up and it was in fact as if we’d never been separated. I wondered later how Gerry felt about the Beatles after their breakup, and too when John and George died.

Gerry died at 56 in 2005, too soon to leave the brightly lighted stage. Here is the last verse of your favorite Beatles song, Gerry:

“And when I awoke I was alone
This bird had flown
So I lit a fire
Isn’t it good Norwegian wood?”

Rest in peace, friend. I miss you.

Submitted by Steve Dragovich, Company Clerk, 981st, 70/71

Website Roster Updates

This is all from Steve Steven Dragovich 981st 70-71st. He put a lot of research into this.

Patrick T. Mulligan, 212th 66/67

Patrick T. Mulligan, 69 of Endicott passed away at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, Friday, February 12, 2016. He was predeceased by his parents Gerard and Thelma. He is survived by his wife Judy; a daughter Maureen (Edward) Ciotoli, Apalachin; a son Patrick “PT” (Kathleen) Mulligan, Liverpool, NY; three loving grandchildren, whom he adored Michael; Vincent and Megan Ciotoli; a sister Marcia (Al) Johnston, Owego; sister in law Kay Menichetti, Endicott; brother in law Jeff (Joyce) English, North Carolina; an aunt Norma Griffin, Binghamton; also several nieces; nephews and dear friends. He was a member of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Endicott and a veteran of the Vietnam War, serving with the Army Military Police as a Sentry Dog Handler. Pat was also retired from the New York State Police and Wegmans Loss Prevention.

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Donis Edward Montoya, 981st 67/68

Donis Edward Montoya, 71, passed away on Tuesday (Dec. 18, 2018) in Ojai, California. Born in Arizona on March 21, 1947, Donis served in the U.S. Army, graduating from the Sentry Dog Handler Military Police School. After being transferred to Pleiku, Laos during the Vietnam War he served alongside his battle buddy; Rex.

Donis and Rex were diligently committed to protect vital strategic areas and the lives of fellow soldiers. After honorably serving in the military, he went on to serve his country working twenty-three years for the City of Santa Barbara.

Donis’s life was a life of service. He was a volunteer for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Office of Family Life. He dedicated over twenty years in teaching parenting and pre-marital classes, etc. In addition, he was an advocate for the immigrant community. He received numerous awards of recognition for his community service.

Donis was a family man who shared the love of fishing with his nephews. He married Teresita H. Montoya on March 26, 1977. The family moved to Ojai and was often at his favorite place to fish, Lake Casitas.

He is survived by his wife of forty-two years, Teresita; daughter, Teresa; granddaughter, Jasmine; numerous family and friends

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Michael D. Mooney, 212th 66/67

Chief Michael D. Mooney, 63, of Morrill Street, died at the Lakes Region General Hospital, Laconia, New Hampshire on Tuesday, April 8, 2008. Chief Mooney was born August 10, 1944 in Laconia, the son of Ronald and Beatrice (Thompson) Mooney. He was raised in Belmont and graduated from Belmont High School in 1964.Chief Mooney served in the U. S. Army in Vietnam from 1964-1967 where he was a Military Police Machine Gunner on a helicopter and was also a dog handler. Chief Mooney resided in Belmont and later moved to Gilford where he lived for the past twenty-six years.

In 1961, he was a call fighter for the Town of Belmont and then went on to work for the Laconia Fire Department in 1968. In 1971, he became a firefighter for the Town of Gilford. He was named Lieutenant in 1973 and proceeded up the ranks to Captain in 1976. In 1979 he became Fire Chief. He retired in Sept., 2005 after twenty-six years as Chief.Chief Mooney was past president and member of the New England Association of Fire Chiefs, past president and member of the N. H. Association of Fire Chiefs, a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, a member and past president of the Lakes Region Mutual Aid, Chairman of the N. H. Board of Fire Control for fifteen years and was Forest Fire Warden for twenty-six years.Chief Mooney was awarded a Medal of Valor from the Manchester Union Leader and the International Association of Firefighters Local 1153 for the lifesaving rescue of a woman in the McIntyre Block Fire of 1969.

Chief Mooney was Grand Marshal of the 2005 Gilford Old Home Day Parade. He was a member and past president of the Belknap County Sportsmen’s Association, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Laconia Post # 1670 and the American Legion Wilkins-Smith Post #1.

Steve writes below Last Post Entries. He is referring to our Last Post Roster on the Website.

Last Post Entries:

Barley, Raymond, 981st 69/70, October 22, 2018

Baum, Gary C., 981st 69/70, May 27, 2018

Branch, Reed G., 981st 69/70, December 13, 2017

Bremer, Wilford E., Sr., 212th 66/67, March 15, 2019

Carlton, Dale A., 981st 69/70, July 25, 2017

Conway, Harrison E., 981st 69/70, January 17, 2017

Denenberg, Edward J.: correct the info on the Last Post roster — date of death

Dischler, Arthur W., 212th 66/67, February 14, 2018

Eller, Gerald M., 981st 69/70, December 3, 2005

Ewert, Phillip L., 212th 66/67, March 28, 2016

Franklin, Jerry D., add DOD May 21, 2012

Grabis, Louis J., 212th 65/66, October 9, 2008

Harris, Charles R., 212th 66/67, May 2, 2019

Holzberger, Richard S., 212&Hawk66/67, January 24, 2016

Keith, Alton L., Sr., 212th 66/67, July 18, 2011

Kelsey, George E., Jr., 212th 66/67, July 24, 2010

Molina, Salvador, 212th 66/67, July 26, 2019

Montoya, Donis E., 981st 67/68, December 18, 2018

Mooney, Michael D., 212th 66/67, April 8, 2008

Mulligan, Patrick T., 212th 66/67, February 12, 2016

Nolley, Jesse R., 212th 66/67, January 16, 2006

Pickering, Irving L., 212th 66/67, February 25, 2019

Sayles, Robert L., 212th 66/67, January 28, 2012

Schnuriger, Alan J., 212th 66/67, August 15, 2010

Short, Robert W., 212th 66/67, July 15, 2018

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K-9 Roster refers to our K-9 Roster on the website
K-9 roster:

Add one more Rex and one more Gunner.

Add King M315 and Fritz M254

Many thanks Steven Dragovich