Reunion 2021 Update

In December I met with the event coordinator (Emily) at the Strater Hotel and discussed our upcoming reunion.  At that time I was thinking the first week in June but she told me the cost of rooms would be $200+.  She said if we made it the end of May we could do rooms for $150.00.  We agreed on Memorial Day.  Emily was leaving the Hotel on January 1st and she said the new event coordinator would do the contract and get back to me the middle of January. 
I did not hear from anyone so I contacted the new coordinator ( Danny).  He did not have any of the paper work Emily.  We started over.  Danny sent me a contract quoting room prices from $185.00 to $210.00 per night.  Of course I got upset and explained the agreement with Emily.  Emily was gone and anything she agreed to was also gone.
I contacted the General Manager (Tori) and explained what had occurred and the problem we were having.  She told me Memorial Day was the start of summer and the prices were higher.  We finally agreed to move the dates back one week, May 20-23 and the room prices would be $149.00 per night.  (See my wiping the sweat from my forehead)
We are now set up for May 20-23, 2021.  I have booked 10 rooms for Wednesday and Sunday for those who want to come early and stay Late. 
You can call 800-247-4431 or visit their web site at  Tell them you with the Military Police Sentury Dog reunion.
This is a great historic hotel, that’s why I fought so hard to get a good room rate.  Look at their web  site and you will see the history of the hotel.
I will be talking with the Durango Silverton Railroad about a group rate to do the train ride on Saturday for those who may be interested.  See their web site a
More information will be coming as soon as we get more details.
I can be contacted at or 970-759-2068.
Bob Bousalugh

The Passing of Miguel Bustamante, 212th 68-69

Blake Cox 212th 68-69 put this out this morning on our Facebook page:  So sorry that Miguel Bustamante of the 212th Sentry Dog Unit passed away from cancer. He was my best buddy while in Vietnam. Prayers go out to his Family.  Below is several pictures of Miguel.  First is a picture of him at our reunion in San Antonio 2011.  The second picture is on the Texas Department of Agriculture honoring veterans.  It is labeled Miguel Bustamante, MP, 1968-69, Laredo.  Third is from our reunion in Springfield 2019.  Please keep Angie and family in your prayers and thoughts.  I will miss Miguel.  He and Angie made the reunions wonderful for me.  Take Care, Gary


Miguel Bustamante, age 73, entered eternal rest in Stockdale, TX Thursday, July 30, 2020. Miguel was born January 17, 1947 and raised in Laredo, TX to Pedro and Irma (Ramirez) Bustamante. He honorably served in the United States Army and retired from the Reserves after 22 Years. He is a member of the VFW and Past Commander of the American Legion Post 38 in Floresville, TX. Miguel was preceded in death by his parents; son, Isaac Bustamante; brothers, Javier Bustamante, Pedro Bustamante, Jr., Lauro “Betin” Bustamante, Johnny Dillard. He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Angelica Bustamante; sons, Miguel Bustamante, Jr. (Rebecca) , and Gabriel Bustamante (Chelsea); grandchildren, Melissa Quintanilla (Cameron) , Ross Valenzuela (Erica), Logan Bustamante, Leland Bustamante, and Laney Bustamante; great-grandchildren, Caroline Valenzuela, Claire Valenzuela, Joe Valenzuela, Hendrix Quintanilla, Miles Quintanilla; siblings, Hilda Bustamante Love (Charles), San Juanita Starr (Michael), and Veronica Perez (Arthur); aunt, Olga Canales; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other loving family and many friends. A visitation with the family will take place Tuesday, August 4, 2020 from 8:00am to 9:30am at Finch Funeral Chapel, Stockdale, Texas. A Procession will depart the funeral home at 9:30am that same morning. Due to current Covid 19 conditions the Rosary and Funeral Mass will be private for immediate family only.


Tuesday August 4, 2020
St. Marys Catholic Church
Stockdale, Texas

Funeral Mass

Tuesday August 4, 2020
St. Marys Catholic Church
Stockdale, Texas

Father Dennis Jarzombek will officiate at the service. Interment to follow in the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cemetery #2 in Selma, Texas. You are welcome to sign the online guest book at send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Miguel Bustamante please visit our Tribute Store.

Jack Steven Joyce, 212th 70-71

Jack Steven Joyce was a U.S. Army Military Police K9 Dog Handler in Vietnam. Among the dangerous missions assigned to Jack, his German Shepherd, and Jack’s fellow MP’s was to patrol roads frequented by U.S. Military personnel and prevent the enemy from planting land mines and IED’s on the patrolled roads.

These patrol’s were also conducted in the dark of night when the enemy thought they would be undetected, however the K9’s could alert to the enemy’s presence not only by sight, but also by sound and scent.

In civilian life Jack went on to join the Pompano Beach Police Department (Florida) attaining the rank of Detective-Sergeant.
Contributor: Maxwell Smart (50281772)

Pompano Beach
 Police Detective Sgt. Jack Joyce, who was named the department’s officer of the year in 1986, died at his home on Friday from what is thought to have been a heart attack. He was 41.

Sgt. Joyce, who moved to Pompano Beach in 1974 from Scott Depot, W.Va., started with the department that year and served as a patrol officer, plainclothes officer, detective and in internal affairs.

“He was one of the best detectives the city ever had,” said Sgt. Mario Indiviglio, who worked with Sgt. Joyce for 17 years.

Sgt. Joyce’s work in 1986 included an arrest in a case in which a woman and her grandson were terrorized and assaulted by a knife-wielding burglar who locked them in a closet, ransacked their house and fled in the woman’s vehicle, police said.

He was named the city’s officer of the month four times and received many letters of recognition and commendation.

He was a Vietnam veteran.

He is survived by his wife, Deborah, of Pompano Beach; four daughters, Jennifer, of West Virginia, Jacqueline, of Margate, and Lindsay and Katherine of Pompano Beach; his mother, Betty, of West Virginia; a brother, John “Bill,” of West Virginia; and a sister, Jodi Joyce-Stover, of West Virginia.

Services will be at 11 a.m. on Monday at the First Baptist Church, 138 NE First St., Pompano Beach. Arrangements are being handled by Kraeer Funeral Home, 200 N. Federal Highway, Pompano Beach.

Memorial contributions may be made to Kids in Distress.

If it is of interest, at the time of Jack’s death he lived at 360 SE 1st Ave., Pompano Beach, Florida (photo below). It’s my personal belief that Jack had chosen this location to live because it was only two blocks from the Pompano Beach Police Station where he worked. Jack had his fatal heart attack on March 27th, 1992 in the backyard while touching up the paint on the house on his day off.

I have always contended that it was the stress of Jack’s job (Rape, Robbery, Homicide Detective) that took him at such a young age. Any of the MP’s that knew him in Vietnam would tell you that Jack was truly as tough as nails and could eat rusty nails for breakfast, but at the same time he was a caring person and the horrible things he would see on the job, especially if they involved children, took its toll on Jack’s health, at least that is what I personally believe. Though he survived Vietnam, he eventually sacrificed all in civilian law enforcement and he is missed by many.

As a side note, one time I was with Jack and a song came on the radio, it was the The Hollies singing “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother” and Jack said to me “Do you know what this song is about?” I said what I had always believed the song was about, I said to Jack “It’s about an over-weight kid who is made fun of, but the singer of the song doesn’t see the over-weightness, only that the kid is a fellow friend”. Jack said “No, it’s about Vietnam” (carrying the wounded). I got an education that day.

Larry Swails 212th 65-66 and Okinawa Dog School NCOIC

Larry M. Swails, 77, of Lockridge, Iowa, passed away March 20th, 2020 at his home in Woodbridge, Virginia with his wife Sandra L. (McElwee) Swails, by his side.

Larry was born on August 23rd, 1942 in Burlington, Iowa. He grew up in the Burlington, Wapello and New London areas until the family moved to Jefferson County in 1952, where as a young man he helped on the family farm.  He attended Clay Hill, a one room school house, until the 8th grade.  Larry then went onto graduate from Fairfield High School in June 1960.  Following graduation, and just before his eighteenth birthday, Larry joined the US Army on July 29th, 1960.

After completing his basic and advanced military training, Larry returned home to marry “Sandy”, his high school sweetheart, on March 18th, 1961; a marriage of everlasting love and happiness for 59 years. Larry and Sandy spent the next nineteen years in the US Army, traveling the world having lived in Japan, Germany and multiple states in the US.  It was during this period of “Army Life” that they were blessed with the birth of their 3 sons.

Larry was known as a man of service to others, and this is reflected in his Army career choice of the Military Police Corps and as reflected in the Corps Moto: “Of The Troops, For The Troops”. He served, in the US and overseas, as a Military Policeman, Traffic Accident Investigator, Squad Leader, Post Patrol Supervisor and the assignment that he was most proud of, that of a MP Sentry Dog Handler.

As a sentry dog handler, he became a school trained instructor and his last MP K-9 assignment was that of the NCO In Charge of the Army’s Sentry Dog School on Okinawa. In June 1966, after Larry, Sandy, and sons had completed a three-year tour in Japan, the Army assigned Larry to an eighteen-month tour on Okinawa. In this unaccompanied assignment, along with his Sentry Dog “Spook” he established, on Tori Station, Okinawa, the US Army’s first overseas sentry dog handler training school: the USARPAC Sentry Dog School. This school prepared MP handlers and their dogs for their combat tour in Vietnam.

During the period of 1969 – 1980, Larry applied for and was accepted to become a Military Special Agent with the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and was subsequently appointed as a Warrant Officer Special Agent from the NCO ranks.  Larry served as an Army military CID Agent and/or Supervisor, in Vietnam during the war from May 1969-May 1970, South Korea, Germany, as well as Army Posts in the US.  His last assignment was as a CID Command Senior Warrant Officer and Special Agent, responsible for the development of new US Army CID procedures, policies, regulations, and the field inspections of CID units worldwide.  He somehow managed to complete his Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement at the University of Maryland in 1977, then went on to complete his Master of Science in Personnel Management and Supervision at the University of Michigan in 1979.

On October 31, 1980, Larry retired at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer Three (CW3) and was award the Meritorious Service Medal, First Oakleaf Cluster, for his twenty years of faithful and honorable service to the US Army.

However, this was not the end of Larry’s dedication and service to the Department Of Defense (DoD) and the US Army CID.  From 1981 – 1983, Larry performed duties as a Protective Service Agent, with the Protective Services Division of the Command Security Office, for the Defense Logistics Agency, of the DoD.

In 1984, Larry was hired as a Federal Special Agent of the newly established Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), of the DoD.  Between May, 1987– July 1993, Larry held the position of Assistant Special Agent in Charge, DCIS Washington Field Office.

Larry left DCIS to return to the Army CID, as Federal Special Agent, and after being selected to become the first Director, of the Army CID’s newly formed Major Procurement Fraud Unit (MPFU) in May of 1995. MPFU was a special investigative unit, which was established to combat major procurement fraud in the US Army contracting and procurement systems.

In 1999, nearly four years after establishing the Army’s MPFU, a unit that exists some twenty-one years later in the same basic format that Larry devised, he retired from Federal Service and was awarded the Department Of The Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award.  Larry M. Swails served his country as a Solider and Federal Agent for over Thirty-Eight years.

He will forever be remembered by his family and friends as a great storyteller.  From stories about his time in Vietnam, to the investigations he was a part of in Germany, his high-speed chases in Japan, his favorite dog “Spook”, to stories about his great grandkids, who he adored.  Once he got that sparkle in his eyes, he could make any story he told interesting. Larry loved to travel and find the best spots for beautiful scenery pictures.  A passion he passed along to his granddaughter.  He loved boating with his family at their lake house in Lake Gaston, VA, driving back roads through mountains, when the leaves changed colors in the fall, anything that had to do with being outdoors.  In the last years of his life, his great grandkids brought him so much joy.  Larry was very proud of the fact he, along with his oldest son, were able to teach his great grandson how to safely shoot a gun.  He loved driving the neighborhood kids around on the golf cart for any adventure his great granddaughter had planned for the day.   Which often included ‘bear hunts’ in his back yard.  Something he would do with his granddaughter 25 years ago.  He had such a great imagination and truly loved his family.

Army Solider, Military Policeman, MP K-9 Dog Handler, Military Criminal Investigator, Federal Special Agent, Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather, Larry M. Swails will truly be missed.  Larry also took and received great support from Sandy and his sons and was fortified in his efforts, by the pride they showed in being part of his life and the occupations he had chosen for himself.  He left behind a great legacy that his wife, sons, and grandchildren are proud to be a part of.  They all knew he was very proud to have served his country.

He is survived by his wife, Sandra (Sandy); his sons, Tracy Swails of South Hill, VA, Tony (Lisa Kershner) Swails of Lakeridge, VA and Todd Swails; grandchild, Destini (Darryl Jenkins Jr.) Swails; and great grandchildren; D’Andre Swails and Arianna Jenkins, all of Woodbridge, VA; a brother Lynn (Gail) Swails of Richmond, VA and a sister, Margaret (Steven Gardner) Lessenger of Golden, CO;  He is also survived by a niece, nephews and many friends across the United States. He is preceded in death by Paul Swails and Audrey (James) Robbins, his parents. In lieu of flowers, the family would like memorial contributions made to Prince William County Police Department. Team Prince William Officer Assistance Fund which can be sent it to P.O. Box 7402 Woodbridge, VA 22195. or the Patriots Riders (, both of which are escorts to Arlington National Cemetery.(ADDED: Funeral Home is: and  POC for the Swails Family, is Larry’s Granddaughter: Destini Swails @

Drew A. Carsten, 981st 71-72

Drew A. Carsten

Drew A. Carsten age 67 of Bolingbrook, passed away peacefully on, Monday, August 12, 2019. Services will be private.

Arrangements entrusted to Bolingbrook-McCauley Funeral Chapel & Crematorium, 630-759-1212.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.Published in Suburban Life Publications on Aug. 22, 2019.

James W. Durrence 595th 71-72

James Wayne Durrence
Claxton, Georgia
James Wayne Durrence, 71, passed away December 31, 2019, at Medical Center Navicent Health in Macon. After graduating from Claxton High School he earned an Associate Degree in Agriculture from ABAC. He then attended the University of Georgia prior to enlisting into the military. He served in the Vietnam War as a Sentry Dog Handler with the Military Police. After his military service, Wayne came home to Evans County to help his parents with the family farm and handle the broiler houses.
Wayne was a member of Bay Branch Primitive Baptist Church. He enjoyed searching for arrowheads and other Indian artifacts found on the farm. He lived with his mother the last two years of her life, so that she could remain at home. He loved his family and friends.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Irene Durrence.
SURVIVORS: his daughter, Keisha (Marvin) Welch of Claxton; brother, Ronnie Durrence of Claxton; sister, Judy (Stoy) Martin of Claxton; special friend, Sheila Thompson of Claxton; special cousins, Kenneth (Phyllis) Durrence and Glenda Edwards, all of Claxton; three granddaughters, Jasmine, Jenisa and Jalyn; and several nieces and nephews.
VISITATION: Friday, January 3, 2020, 1-2:00 p.m., at J. Mellie NeSmith Funeral Home.
FUNERAL: Friday, January 3, 2020, 2:00 p.m., at J. Mellie NeSmith Funeral Home Chapel.
BURIAL: Bay Branch Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery.
REMEMBRANCE: Bay Branch Church Cemetery Fund, Bay Branch Church Rd., Claxton, GA, 30417.
Mellie NeSmith Funeral Home in charge of arrangements
“Our Family Serving Your Family”
“Since 1917”
(912) 739-3338
Savannah Morning News
January 2, 2020
Please sign our Obituary Guestbook at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.Published in Savannah Morning News from Jan. 1 to Jan. 2, 2020

William Knott, 981st 71-72

William Knott

Dover – William Dean Knott, 1st SGT USA, Retired, age 79, of Dover, TN, passed away Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at his residence. He was born May 29, 1940, in Stewart County, TN, to the late Otis and Jeanette Clinard Knott. First Sgt. Knott was a decorated veteran that served for almost 22 years with many accommodations to include, The Air Medal with the 1st Calvary Division Airmobile unit, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four Bronze Service Stars, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Army Commendation Medal with 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Bronze Star Medal, Expert Riffle, Meritorious Service Medal, and more.

Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by daughter, Anna Crimmins and brother, Donnie Knott. Survivors include his wife Eva Knott, San Francisco, CA, son, James Knott, Dover, TN, daughter, Connie Baumeister, Erial, NJ, brothers, Ken Knott, Bunker Hill, IL, Roger Knott, Columbia, TN, sisters, Joyce Baker, Ocean City, MD, Sandra Paschall, Paris, TN, Lois Keel, Dover, TN, 7 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, November 30th, at 12:00 pm at Anglin Funeral Home, with entombment at Parker Cross Road Veterans Cemetery at a later date. Visitation will be at 10:00 am until the time of service Saturday.