Vietnam War Commemoration for 50th Anniversary

Bob Dunn 212th 67-68 placed this announcement on our Facebook Page.  I believe it needs the widest dissemination, so I am sending out mass email to you.  I hope you agree and pass it on.  The link address is:     Take Care, Gary

Come one! Come all!

The Dept. of Defense is honoring us Vietnam veterans on the National Mall on Thursday, May 11th thru Saturday, May 13th. This event is called the Vietnam War Commemoration, recognizing the 50 year anniversary of the United States ceasing combat operations in Vietnam. It is a huge event as you can see by the attached brochure.

I need help. The organizers have provided us with a 20 by 20 foot tent to promote our organizations. It is a great opportunity to tell the visitors of our experiences in Vietnam as dog handlers. It is also an opportunity for us to let everyone know how important our four legged partners were over there how much they meant to us. If there are any members living in the greater Washington, D. C. area, or plan to visit during that time, please reach out to me. I sure can use help keeping our legacy alive. Please message me or respond to this post so that we can discuss.

Thank you.

Robert C. Gitchell, 212th 65-66

Obituary of Robert C Gitchell

Those of you that knew Bob, know that he was a charmer, a bs’er, a smart a**, and overall, an ok guy.
So, his daughter is writing this Obit, to honor him in the manner he would seem appropriate.
Bob passed away peacefully on Friday, December 23rd, 3 days prior to his 80th birthday. His wife Jo
Anne, the patron saint of the universe, took care of Bob in his final days and did her best to make
sure he was taken care of in the best way possible. I, Kristen, continued to keep Bob on his toes and
aggravated him as he did me.
He was many things to different people, and in his later years, he came to appreciate the attention
that being a Vietnam Vet would bring him. He hated that time in his life, but it was this path that
contributed to his future self. It may also have been what ended his life at such an early age, to be
He went on to get his master’s degree in Criminal Justice, and failed adolescent psychology, to which
I gave him a lot of crap about. Ironically, he retired from the State of Missouri, Division of Youth
Services as an Outdoor Rehabilitation Counselor. In other words, he took teens who were about to
end up in jail out into the wilderness to teach them about teamwork, self-reliance, and determination. I
know of at least one graduate who thanked him for changing his life for the better; I hope there were
Bob was an active member in the community involved in training local law enforcement and fire
personnel how to rescue stranded hikers who somehow fell off the local cliffs they shouldn’t have
been near, and people who wandered into caves who had no business doing so. He was also a swift
water, canoe, rock climbing, cpr, lifeguard, ropes course, and caving instructor. He might have done
more, but who can keep track??
In his retirement, he enjoyed doing whatever the h*ll he wanted. Eventually, he succumbed to
meeting his grandchildren Ava and Jaxon in 2017. This gave him a breath of fresh air and put a little
pep in his step becoming more adventurous again.
In addition to his wife, daughter, and grandchildren, Bob leaves behind his favorite daughter-in-law,
Ev, sister Debbie, nephew Jason, Nieces, Kim, Lauren, Carey, Cassie, and Carissa. He also leaves
behind his in-laws, Paul, Dee, Mark and his wife Sherri, Nieces Mandi, Sarah, Stephanie, and Olivia,
Nephews Russ and Matt. He survived his sister Cece and mother Christine.
In place of a funeral, Jo Anne is going to have a celebration of life when it gets a little warmer for
those of you who would like to get together and talk about Bob…nothing he would like better than
being the center of attention! She will get the word out at that time.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Robert

We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Hedges-Scott Funeral Homes and Crematory

Join in honoring their life – plant a memorial tree

David Ford, 212th 71-72

I was just alerted to this from Pedro Moreno, 212th 65-66. He told me David Ford, 212th 71-72 died. I am posting this in the event any members want to attend the services. Please keep Faye and family in your prayers and thoughts. I could not find a full obituary. All I found is the service info.


Commemoration services celebrating the life of Mr Ford include the following:

Visitation at the Winnfield Funeral Home of Winnfield, LA Friday evening, February 3, 2023 from 5:00 p. m. to 6:00 p. m.

Funeral Service Saturday, February 4, 2023, 11:00 a. m. at the Church of Latter Day Saints of Winnfield, LA. The casketed remains will

lie in state at the church one hour prior to the service.

Graveside Service will be held at the Central Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Leesville, LA Monday, February 6, 2023.

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.