Joseph F. Knipes, 212th 65-66


Joseph F. Knipes, Sr.

July 10, 1941 – Nov. 29, 2021

FERRISBURG, VT – It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of our husband, father and brother, Joseph F. Knipes, Sr. on Monday, November 29, 2021 at UVM Medical Center. Joe succumbed to Parkinson’s disease which he contracted from Agent Orange while serving in the Vietnam conflict. While serving in Vietnam he worked with the K-9 dog unit as an MP.

Joe was born in Rutland, VT, the son of Jane (Fallon) and E. Earl Knipes. He married Sharon McKeighan from Rupert, VT on June 3, 1967. They were inseparable, enjoying 55 years together.

For many years Joe and Sharon were members of the Taconic Pipe band. Joe a drummer, Sharon a piper. Joe loved horses, traveling, and golf.

After Vietnam, he worked as a machinist in Fort Edward. He joined UPS in 1967, retiring in 2003 after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1994.

He was predeceased by his parents, his sisters: Patricia Volk and Carolyn Bouton and his in-laws: Kenneth and Miriam McKeighan.

Left with fond memories of a loving man are his wife, Sharon; son, Joseph Knipes, Jr. of Ferrisburg; siblings: Robert (Myrtle) of Las Vegas, NV, E. Eugene of Granville, NY, Terrence (Sheila) of Myrtle Beach, SC, Mary Willey of Greenfield Center NY, Sandra Knipes of Granville NY, Susan Vincent of Queensbury, NY, and Nancy Carroll (Jerry) of Moreau, NY along with numerous nieces; nephews; and cousins.

We are indebted to the nursing staff on 4 Baird. You provided so much comfort and care during Joe’s final weeks . . . thank you.

At Joe’s request services will be private with no calling hours.

Donations in Joe’s memory can be made to The Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Foundation or the Champlain Adaptive Mounted Program, 57 E. Shore Rd., South Hero, VT 05486.

Reunion 2023 Phoenix, AZ November 9-

Vietnam Military Police Sentry Dog Alumni Reunion 2023
When:  November 9-12, 2023
Where:  Embassy Suites, Phoenix, Tempe, 4400 Rural Road, Tempe, Arizona 85282, 480-897-7444
Hotel Info:  2 Room suites $149.00 per night ( comes with complimentary parking, made to order breakfasts and evening cocktail receptions )
Presently have 30 rooms blocked for group. 
(Use Code:  Vietnam Dog Handlers) Reservation Page:  Vietnam Dog Handlers (
Planned Activities:  Thursday November 9th:  Check in and mingle at catered                                                                                                       meeting room
                                   Friday November 10th:  Mingle at catered meeting room and free time.
                                    Saturday morning November 11th:  Phoenix Veterans 3 mile
                                    Parade (walk or ride)  (Space for riders maybe limited)                             
                                    Saturday afternoon November 11th:  free time
                                    Saturday evening November 11th: Banquet at hotel
Additional Costs:  $160.00 per attendee.  (For meal, room catering and transportation.)  Make checks/money orders payable to “Gary S. Smith Reunion”
Questions:, 713-614-2503

Number Attending: ________              Amount Remitted:_______________
Number Requiring to ride in the parade:___________
Send to:  Gary S. Smith, 31239 Kensington Park Drive, Spring, TX 77386

I really need the remittance and number needing to ride in the parade by June, 1, 2023.


Passing of Jon (Steve) S. Carson, 212th 67-68

I received from Ernie Ayala, 212th 67-68 that his friend Jon (Steve) S. Carson 212th 67-68 passed away August 13, 2022. Please keep the family and friends in your prayer and thoughts. Here is the obituary:


Midwest Cremation & Funeral Services, LLC – Springfield

2026 W Woodland St.

Springfield, MO


Jon Stephen “Steve” Carson, Sr., 78, of Nixa, MO passed away Friday, August 12, 2022. He was born May 19, 1944, to Erwin and Doris Carson.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Midwest Cremation and Funeral Services, Springfield, MO.

Published by Midwest Cremation & Funeral Services, LLC – Springfield on Aug. 19, 2022.

To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.

Thomas Y. Flythe Jr, 981st 68-69

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 (Bill) J. Howells, 212th 69-70

William J. Howells

December 19, 1948 – May 15, 2022Share this obituary
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U.S. Veteran

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 @ or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 600 Waterfront Dr #210, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Condolences can be made at 

To send a flower arrangement or to plant trees in memory of William J. Howells, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.SERVICESVisitation

Wednesday, May 18, 2022
4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Marshall Marra Funeral Home
216 Chess Street
Monongahela, Pennsylvania 15063Get Directions on Google MapsFuneral Service

Thursday, May 19, 2022
10:00 AM
St. Andrew the Apostle Parish
722 West Main St.
Monongahela, PA 15063Get Directions on Google Maps

News Article About One of Our Own, Vince L. Smith, 595th 71-72

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 |

With his time in Vietnam coming to a close, Vince Smith said goodbye to Tap.
Tap on Vietnam’s China Beach in 1972.
On sentry duty

James (Jim) L. Bright, 981st 69-70

James Bright VeteranApril 20, 2022

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

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,

– Celebrating the Lives of Veterans