Gary S. Smith
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The Alumni is on FACEBOOK
The Vietnam Military Police Sentry Dog Alumni has it's own Group Page. You can pull it up by FACEBOOK or contact Gary Smith via his email. We are able to download pictures and stay in contact. FACEBOOK will not take the place of the website.
Gary Smith on 10.17.13 @ 05:22 PM CST [link] [No Comments]
Saturday, December 7th
Passing of Robert Cook 212th 65-66
This was sent to me by Vernon Jordan 212th 65-66. Thought I would just let you know. Robert Cook (Bob) passed away yesterday evening. 212th 1965-66. He and I were working partners at Long Binh.
[Karma: 0 (+/-)]Gary Smith on 12.07.13 @ 02:56 PM CST [link] [No Comments]
Monday, November 4th
Military Working Dog National Monument Dedication
This was sent to me by David Johns, 981st 70-71. It is from a publication called Stars and Stripes that is a local paper.
By Sonny Long
Military members stand at attention as service flags are raised at the U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument on Monday Oct. 28, 2013, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. JBSA-Lackland is home to the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Program and where the U.S. Armed Forces have been training its military working dog teams since 1958.
Benjamin Faske/U.S. Air Force
For Larry Chilcoat, Monday's dedication of the Military Working Dog Teams national monument at Lackland Air Force Base was long overdue.
"These incredible warriors have saved countless American lives since they were first officially recognized by the U.S. military in World War II," said Chilcoat, an Air Force veteran who partnered with a German shepherd named Geisha during the Vietnam War.
"Since then they have continued to go fearlessly in to combat with our troops and guard America's freedom.
"They do it all for food, water, a toy and the loving touch of their handler."
Chilcoat and Geisha were stationed at Cam Rahn Bay Air Base in Vietnam.
"She had my back for the year I was there," he said. They worked the perimeter of the largest military facility in Vietnam from dusk to dawn.
"The rules of engagement were specific: Any unusual sight or sound and/or alert by your dog outside the boundary, you call it in and engage.
"Many times we were outside radio range and had to put up a flare to get help, we had to hold our ground until help arrived.
"Air Force bases in Vietnam were secure because military working dog teams were the first line of defense."
Lackland is home to the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Program and is where the U.S. Armed Forces has been training its military working dog teams since 1958, according to a news release from the memorial foundation.
It is the world's largest training center for military dogs and handlers and home to the largest veterinary hospital for military working dogs.
The founder and inspiration for the national monument is John C. Burnam, a highly decorated Vietnam infantry veteran scout dog handler. Burnam is the author of "Dog Tags of Courage" and "A Soldier's Best Friend."
Chilcoat said he has championed a monument to military working dogs for more than 20 years. In 2001, Texas representative Geanie Morrison introduced a resolution recognizing the heroism of the war dogs and supporting a national monument.
Chilcoat was named to the board of directors of the military dog memorial in 2008 and serves as its treasurer.
Chilcoat still carries a photograph of Geisha in his wallet.
"When folks ask me what my dog in Vietnam meant to me, I pull out the picture of Geisha that I have carried for 43 years," he said.
"The look in my eyes tells more than I could ever say."
[Karma: 0 (+/-)]Gary Smith on 11.04.13 @ 09:35 AM CST [link] [No Comments]
Sunday, November 3rd
List of Who Attended the National Military Working Dog Monument Dedication
Who attended the National Military Working Dog Monument Dedication
Jim Frost wrote a description of the dedication that I could not add a thing to.
My purpose is just to let those who are curious about who attended the dedication out of our group.
If I miss anyone please forgive me. I do not remember names very well. That is why we had name tags at the reunion.
Wesley “John” Baker, and spouse 212th 66-67
Richard E. Brummett, and spouse 212th 66-67
Melvin and Patty Canady, 212th 65-66
John D. Dandridge, 212th 72
Jim Frost, 981st 71-72
David Johns, 981st 70-71
Dent Laney, 981st 67-69
Pedro and Lupe Moreno, 212th 65-66
Ray “Tex” Rogers, 981st 71-72
Gary “Smitty” Smith, 981st 71-72
Dick Steinberg, 212th 65-66, 68
Manuel V. Zamora, 212th 65-66
John Baker and Richard Brummett and John Dandridge were new to me. John Dandridge was the Field First of the 212th. He started his career as a Sentry Dog Handler in 1962 in Panama. He closed down the 212th. He watched the last of our dogs to be loaded up on flatbeds and carried away by the ARVN’s.
[Karma: 0 (+/-)]Gary Smith on 11.03.13 @ 03:38 PM CST [link] [No Comments]
National Military Working Dog Monument Dedication Ceremony
On Monday, October 28, 2013, the military canine was officially honored and remembered for their loyalty, courage, dedication and the lives they have saved. The Military Working Dog Teams National Monument was officially dedicated and presented to the citizens of this country at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX. I was proud to have played a role in getting this project done.
It was a long journey with many bumps along the road. The concept started with one man - John Burnam - who was a US Army Scout Dog Handler in Vietnam. John never forgot his experiences with his dogs, first Timber and then Clipper. They saved his life on numerous occasions as well as the lives of countless soldiers. John wrote his book "Dog Tags of Courage" not only to tell of his experiences but to honor his dogs and to recognize their valuable contribution. From that the idea of a National Monument was born….a way to honor ALL canines who have served at the side of a military working dog handler. I first met John in 2004 when he was in Phoenix and immediately got on his side for this project. Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina sponsored legislation to create this project and also to designate it as a true "National" monument. I did what I could to help with funding. I set up a booth showing the history and some of the heroes of the Military Working Dog Program. I pitched it at dog shows, pet expo's, and police canine events. I sold t-shirts, caps, John's book, and had a donation jar. Everything I made went to the Monument fund. People supported this project in ways I never imagined. I remember a woman putting in a 100.00 bill in the jar and not wanting anything in return. A man placing 200.00 in it and finally accepting a t-shirt. I remember the kids coming up and putting a dollar in that their parents gave them. Still, I remember thinking that it would take years to get the funding for this Monument. In 2011, John informed me that Natural Balance Pet Food, PetCo, and Maddie's Fund came on board to sponsor various parts of this Monument. We knew then it would become a reality and even in our lifetime!!
The Monument depicts the four most common breeds used since World War II. The Doberman Pinscher from the Pacific theater in that war. The German Shepherd Dog, the official breed since 1958 and our dog in Vietnam. The Labrador Retriever used so much for IED detection today, and the Belgian Malinois, so much like its German Shepherd cousin. A key part of the Monument is the "Not Forgotten" fountain, depicting a soldier in Vietnam fatigues pouring water into his canteen for his dog to drink from. It represents the bond between a handler and his dog, and specifically honors our dogs from the Vietnam era. As I told my fellow Nam veterans who attended this ceremony "Your dogs came home today."
This Monument is open to the public. 750 people attended the dedication and already teams that are training at Lackland are posing at the Monument for their graduation photos. There is a procedure for getting onto Lackland AFB and these will be posted on the Facebook page for our group.
[Karma: 0 (+/-)]Gary Smith on 11.03.13 @ 02:57 PM CST [link] [No Comments]
LAST 2013 REUNION UPDATE:
Everyone I spoke with said the reunion was a success. I have to agree. We had about 120 folks attend. Out of that about 65 were dog handlers. Unofficially the reunion started for some of us on Wednesday meeting outside by the pool. Every time some one arrived at the hotel they found the unofficial welcoming committee. As the evening approached we dined at the hotel restaurant. There was about a dozen of us. On Wednesday we met in the center court of the hotel over breakfast buffet. Wednesday afternoon we moved into the hospitality room. We had plenty of beverages and food galore. You could hang out at the hospitality room and never get hungry. One of the most popular items which was gone by Wednesday afternoon was Buc-ee’s Beaver Nuggets. If you want to know what they were you will have to ask Lee Ruth next time you see him. Thursday was much like Wednesday, checking in and getting acquainted with old friends. The nice thing about Thursday there was time to site see. One of the most popular places was Bass Pro Shop. I heard you could spend two days in the Bass Pro Shop and not see everything. They even have a NRA museum there.
To describe Friday’s trip to Fort Leonard Wood, MO I am enclosing the thank you letter I sent to the Commandant, U. S. Army Military Police School who hosted our trip. I am enclosing the letter for several reasons, it describes what we saw and felt. It also gives a reference if anyone else is so incline to write a thank you note, and if anyone wants to attach names to the photos they took. The letter identifies key people we met.
Saturday during the day was like Wednesday and Thursday which was good. We had plenty of time to reminisce. Saturday evening we had our banquet dinner. The Hillcrest High School JROTC posted the colors for us. We were entertained through the night by a DJ from Travel Tunes Entertainment. We were welcomed by the city of Springfield. Our guest speaker for the night was Military Police Regimental Command Sergeant Major John F. McNeirney. He spoke to us about the evolution of the Military Police Corps from when we were young MP’s to present day. It was very enlightening. As the evening ended groups would go back to the hospitality room. Sunday morning we met in the hospitality room over breakfast and said our goodbyes.
During the reunion I overheard a couple times that some of our members did not attend because they did not enjoy drinking adult beverages. I can tell you first hand drinking was never important. What was the overriding theme during the whole time was hanging out with some of the greatest friends a sentry dog handler can have.
On a personal note, I want to thank each and everyone that came to the reunion. Thank you for all the gifts and compliments. I do not believe I deserve them. I had incredible assistance from Sandy my wife, Alumni members, the Ramada Hotel, Springfield Visitor’s Center, Fort Leonard Wood and the Hillcrest High School JROTC. They deserve every compliment I received. They gave their all. Thank you this closes out the 2013 Reunion. I’ll see you at Reunion 2015 with my hat on. By the way we are still looking for where we are going to have our next reunion. If anyone would like to volunteer contact Larry Majeski.
Gary S. Smith
31239 Kensington Park Drive
Spring, TX 77386
November 1, 2013
U. S. Army Military Police School
14030 MSCoE Loop, Suite 1061
Fort Leonard Wood, MO 65473
My name is Gary Smith. I was the reunion coordinator for the Vietnam Military Police Sentry Dog Alumni who toured Fort Leonard Wood, MO on October 11, 2013. I want to tell you how pleased we were with our tour of Fort Leonard Wood and our subsequent dinner with RCSM McNeirney.
Mr. Hanshew and SGT Shober scheduled everything for us. They were of immense help in fulfilling what we wanted to see and do. I also want to express my gratitude to Ms. Gregory for getting a wavier from TRADOC to allow us to visit during the Federal shutdown. Our whole reunion was centered around visiting Fort Leonard Wood.
SFC Lorenz, SFC Abdon and K-9 Atos were superb. Our members still hold fellow dog handlers and dogs near our hearts. To be greeted by both handlers and a former military working dog made our members day. SFC Lorenz and SFC Abdon not only escorted us, but they gave of themselves. They told us what it is like to be a dog handler and military working dog in today’s Army, and they listened to our stories. Atos, SFC Abdon’s retired military working dog, brought back the fond memories of being a dog handler.
I would be remise if I did not mention all the personnel who greeted and briefed us during our tour including SGM Lane, SFC Ochoa, and SFC Mayrand at Stem City. Stem City is far beyond anything we had at Fort Gordon. What a great operation you have. Mrs. Simpkins at the Dining Facility, Building 930, treated us like kings and queens. She made sure we got a very appetizing meal and that we did not leave hungry. It was a great feeling for us to be eating with fellow soldiers. SFC Jones, Drill Sergeant, B Co, 787th Military Police Battalion gave us a tour of a typical OSUT barracks and how training progresses in the barracks. We were glad to see some things have not really changed. I think our spouses got an idea of what we went through living in open bay barracks. Next on our tour, we were greeted by Mr. Rogers and Ms. West of the Military Police Museum. As you know, we have a first class museum there. We especially enjoyed the static displays of Vietnam and a dog handler in an agitation suit. Mr. Harne, Executive Director of the Military Police Regimental Association, greeted us at the Military Police Memorial Grove. He was very informative about what the Memorial Grove represents and what is going to be added in the future. I hope our Alumni will become involved in some small way in the future of Memorial Grove. Our final stop was at the Post Exchange. After the whirlwind tour of the Home of the Military Police Corps, we needed some R&R. As with everything else at Fort Leonard Wood the PX is top notch.
On Saturday, we Had the opportunity to meet RCSM McNeirney. He joined us for dinner and told us how the Regimental Military Police Corps has progressed since we were young soldiers. It is oblivious to me why he is the Regimental Command Sergeant Major. He genuinely cares for the Soldiers and the mission. I am sure he is a reflection of the rest of your staff.
One of the things I missed about the U.S. Army is exchanging the greeting of the day with eye contact. From the youngest private to the most seasoned NCO, we were greeted with respect and thanked for our service. In the civilian world, people do not greet each other and hardly make eye contact. My wife Sandy, who is a retired Army Reserve LTC, pointed out to me that everyone we met went out of their way to make us feel welcome.
As you can see, we got to visit several places and meet some of the finest Soldiers in the world. We really appreciate all the hard work and planning that went into our visit. Every Alumni member I met and spoke with about our visit to Fort Leonard Wood had nothing but high praises for their experience. That includes our spouses. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts.
GARY S. SMITH
1SG USA RETIRED
[Karma: 0 (+/-)]Gary Smith on 11.03.13 @ 02:45 PM CST [link] [No Comments]
Tuesday, October 15th
Military Working Dog Monument Dedication
There have been questions if the Monument dedication at Lackland AFB on October 28 is still scheduled, due to the govt shutdown. As of right now, YES it is. Please visit www.jbmf.us and click on the Dedication link for parking, shuttle bus, and hotel information.
Attached are the latest photos of the Monument:
This photo depicts a canine handler pouring water from his canteen into his helmet for his canine partner to have a drink. Water will come out of the canteen into the helmet. The overflow goes into a small pool that recirculates and cleans the water. This is the "not forgotten" fountain and is dedicated specifically to the 4,000 Military War Dogs that served in Vietnam and met an unfair fate at the end of that conflict. Paula Slater was the sculptor and our thanks to Maddie's Fund for making this fountain possible. People who visit the Monument with their dogs can go over for their dog to have a drink of water. It will be operational by October 28.
The statues are in place, the granite walls with the narrative of these heroes is up, and the etchings which are on the backside of the granite panels are being placed this week.
The artist's rendition shows the placement of the "never forgotten" fountain in respect to the Monument itself.
For those interested in the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade, we are still awaiting word on if and when there will be a pre-parade meeting. I have been told unofficially our entry has been accepted. I attended the Grand Marshals announcement last night and it was a great event.
602-390-5950 cell phone
[Karma: 0 (+/-)]Gary Smith on 10.15.13 @ 02:28 PM CST [link] [No Comments]
Thursday, September 26th
Military Working Dog National Monument Update
I am sorry but I am unable to load the picture.
Pictured is John Burnam at the Monument with it virtually 90% complete!!! There is the fountain to go in, the lighting to be connected, and landscaping. I really like this photo. Remember, formal dedication is set for October 28, 2013. As it stands right now, gates open at 11:00 AM and formal ceremonies start at 1:00. There are several speakers on tap, including John, Congressman Walter Jones, Joey Herrick, the founders of Maddy's Fund, and military officials. After that, people are free to walk around the Monument and take photos, visit, etc. There will be the future Military Working Dogs,now puppies, on display and a demonstration of todays Military Working Dog as well. A booth with special dedication t-shirts will be there. Everyone attending receives a challenge coin depicting the Monument. This is a public dedication. While invitations were sent out, those are a formality and something that people may wish to keep. Everyone is welcome to attend.
For those planning to participate in this year's Phoenix Veterans Day Parade, Michel is working on that. Applications are due this Friday and we will find out later when the parade meeting will be held. The city of Phoenix is now the primary sponsor of the parade. There are many changes being rumored taking place, including the route. Standby and information will be forthcoming. There are going to be a record number of military former veterans coming who want to walk this year, one may be coming as far away as Florida. That is what this entry means to them and it is something so many of you have created for them.
More news to follow.
[Karma: 0 (+/-)]Gary Smith on 09.26.13 @ 01:00 PM CST [link] [No Comments]
Military Police Anniversary Today
United States Army Military Police Corps Regiment
On this date in 1941, the Military Police Corps was officially established as a branch in the United States Army. Its traditions of duty and service establish its solid foundation as recognized professionals in our Armed Services. The Military Police Corps has been a very busy organization during the seventy-two years of its existence. As one of the most deployed branches of the service, the Military Police Corps will continue to be recognized as professional “Warrior Police” who are the Army’s experts at promoting the rule of law and protecting the force at home and abroad on every base, station, and camp.
Of the troops and for the troops
[Karma: 0 (+/-)]Gary Smith on 09.26.13 @ 12:58 PM CST [link] [No Comments]
Thursday, September 19th
Tribute to Jimmy Sailors 212th 67-68
I didn't meet Pastor Jimmy Sailors, I was just finishing up at high school when he served. It sounds like our brother-in-arms came back home and made a real good, upstanding life for his family, friends, congregation and himself. Like he and others did for us that went before us in Vietnam, I know this dog handler is up in heaven right now scouting out his post and laying the ground work for those of us that follow and for this, I'll be forever grateful. Rest in peace dog handler. Praise that dog up too... for another job well done. Al Boek 212th Phu Loi 71-72
[Karma: 0 (+/-)]Gary Smith on 09.19.13 @ 09:15 AM CST [link] [No Comments]
Wednesday, September 18th
Lieupo Crawford 212th 70/71
It is with heavy heart to announce Lieupo Crawford 212th 70/71 passed away December 12, 2012. I was just notified by his wife today. Judy said he really enjoyed the 2007 reunion and meeting with everyone. I am sorry I do not have an obituary for Lieupo.
[Karma: 0 (+/-)]Gary Smith on 09.18.13 @ 01:04 PM CST [link] [No Comments]
Jimmy Sailors, 212th, 67-68
Listed below is obituary for Jimmy Sailors, 212th, 67-68. We just become aware of Jimmy's death.
LaFAYETTE Pastor Jimmy "Jim" Donald Sailors, 64, died Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012. Mr. Sailors pastored for 31 years and is currently pastoring Resaca First Assembly of God. He has been employed with the Bank of LaFayette since 1994. Pastor Jim was a veteran of the United States Army, in which he served in the Vietnam War. He was preceded in death by his father, James Herbert Sailors. Survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Lavenda Sailors, of LaFayette; mother, "Mama" Jean Sailors; daughter, Jeanna Sailors, both of Bremen, Ga.; son, James Harvey and wife, Kristina Sailors, of Buchanan, Ga.; sister, Lisa and husband, David Mayes, of Bremen, Ga.; brothers and their wife, Earl and Patricia Sailors, of Buchanan, Ga., Gerald and Janet Sailors, of Bremen, Ga., Ernie and Phyllis Sailors, of Huntsville, Ala., Larry and Michelle Sailors, of Dallas, Ga., grandchildren, Alissa Sailors, and Jillian Sailors, several nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral from LaFayette First Baptist Church at 2 p.m. today with the Rev. Fred Mercer, the Rev. Paul Chastain, the Rev. Welton Wriston, Dave Gilbert and Rich Gwyn officiating. Entombment in LaFayette Memory Gardens.
Pallbearers and honorary pallbearers are brothers and nephews.
Family will receive friends at LaFayette First Baptist Church from 1 p.m. today until service time.
The arrangements are by Wallis-Wilbanks Funeral Home, Lafayette.
[Karma: 0 (+/-)]Gary Smith on 09.18.13 @ 12:57 PM CST [link] [No Comments]
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