2019 Reunion Update

Dear Fellow Handlers, I am posting a letter I drafted for the upcoming newsletter and the announcement for the 2019 reunion in Springfield, MO. I realize the letter is a bit redundant for those who are on Facebook, or for those I have their correct email addresses for, but there is some new info in the letter. Thanks to all for your support.  You can make your reservations now.  

Dear Fellow Sentry Dog Handlers, my name is Gary Smith. I need to catch everyone up on our reunion 2019 in New Bern, NC. Hurricane Florence decimated New Bern mid September, 2018. The Doubletree Hotel in New Bern assured Lee Ruth the Reunion Coordinator that the hotel would be ready to receive guests by the time of our April reunion. Several weeks ago the hotel called Lee to tell him the hotel would not be ready for us in April. Lee coordinated with the hotel for September 20-22, 2019 for our reunion. A few days ago Lee was told by the hotel staff that the hotel would not be accepting any guests in 2019. Lee and Larry Majeski, and I had to make some quick decisions. Do we not have a reunion this year and wait till 2021. We have a gentlemen’s agreement with the Vietnam Dog Handlers Association (VDHA) that we host our reunions on the odd year and they host on the even years. The other choice was see if we could have our reunion somewhere else.
Lee did not believe he could host the reunion anywhere near where he lives. I checked with one person who had mentioned he would like to host the reunion again near where he lives. Due to time constraints he was not able to host it this year. I checked with Ramada Oasis Hotel, Springfield, Missouri. I had hosted our 2013 reunion with them. They are able to accommodate our reunion September 5-8, 2019. I then checked with everyone that I have a correct email address for to see how many were willing to make the change. The numbers were promising so we agreed to have the reunion in Springfield, MO. Rooms will be $105.00 during our reunion. They will honor that fee 3 days before and 3 days after the reunion.
For those who registered with Lee and paid the reunion registration he is personally contacting each handler and offering to refund their registration fee or transfer it to me for the Springfield Reunion. If you elect to switch your registration to Springfield, there will be no increases. I do need to find out from each handler if they want to go back to Fort Leonard Wood, MO for either an all day tour or a shorter tour. We are all getting older, some have mentioned they would like to go to Fort Leonard Wood but not for the same tour we did in 2013 because it was too long.
For those who have not registered with Lee, the registration fee will be $125.00, the same as what Lee was using. At the time of this writing I do not believe it will be necessary for an additional charge for the tour busses to Fort Leonard Wood. If there is no additional fee then that means I will refund the amount that would be charged for the tour to those who do not go to Fort Leonard Wood. If you have any questions please call or email me at 713-614-2503, puppypusher@att.net

WHEN: September 5-8, 2019
WHERE: Ramada Oasis, Springfield, Missouri
WHAT: September 5th: Free time and mingle at hospitality room.
September 6th: Tour of Fort Leonard Wood, MO (FLWM) (an additional cost may or may not be incurred) or free time and mingle at hospitality room
September 7th: Free time and mingle at hospitality room
6:30 PM – ? : Banquet
September 8th: Goodbye Breakfast
HOTEL ROOM: $105.00 per night
Hotel Info: Ramada Oasis, 2546 Glenstone, Springfield, MO 65803 Toll Free: 888-532-4338
Registration for Reunion Please return completed to: Gary Smith, 31239 Kensington Park Drive, Spring, TX 77386


GUEST(S) NAMES:_________________
UNIT/YEAR GROUP:________________
AMOUNT REMITTED: _______________
QUESTIONS: GARY SMITH AT 713-614-2503, or puppypusher@att.net

From Don Holloway 981st 68-69

Has anyone come across a website called Fold3 ?—–Fold3 has a Facebook site too. I am not endorsing this site, only saying check it out, there are other sites I’m sure.

It appears to be part of Ancestry. com, but strictly with military members and family in mind. I even found where the Army 981st MPSD Company was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation on there. It is described by the commanding officers why it was given. Amazing!
They have a 7-day free trial and if you choose, $7.95 a month thereafter.
There is a free version also. Thoroughly check the website out. More details below.

Fold3 provides convenient access to military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served. Flag Ceremony from the Vietnam War

The records at Fold3 help you discover and share stories about these everyday heroes, forgotten soldiers, and the families that supported them. On Fold3, you can combine records found on the site with what you have in your own albums and shoeboxes to create an online memorial for someone who served.fold3.comPage 2 Vietnam Service Awards – Fold3Recommendations for awarding Presidential Unit Citations (PUC), Valorous Unit Awards (VUA), and the Meritorious Unit Commendations (MUC).

Remembering SSG George H. Fleming 981st 70-71

This was provided by Steven Dragovich, 981st 70-71.

August 9, 1937 – October 29, 2014

Those who knew or may remember SSG George Fleming will almost certainly recall his very straight posture, his pride in telling us of his Native American background, and his closeness to 1SG Ralph Hamblin. My recollection is that the two had worked together at an earlier post, where they bonded, and so were glad to see each other at Cam Ranh Bay in mid-1970 when SSG Fleming arrived. It’s even possible that Top may have had a part in facilitating SSG Fleming’s new assignment.

He was also close to SSG Anthony “Chuck” Eisenmenger and Operations SGT Monte Adams, and was a frequent habitué of Top’s newly renovated Senior NCO lounge — the place to go for good liquor, relaxation, and a storied collection of stag films.

At CRB SSG Fleming became responsible for supervising handlers newly arrived in country in repairing, policing, and in general sprucing up the 981st barracks and other unit buildings and facilities. In this endeavor he was thorough, he was sensible, he was well-liked, and he was fearless.

One incident immediately comes to mind. Upon arriving in country four new handlers with their dogs inexplicably decided to separate themselves from the rest of their group of “new guys” and
explore the area surrounding the airport closest to CRB. This was while waiting for a 981st truck to transport them to their new living quarters. They wound up wandering off military property onto South Vietnamese territory, were nowhere to be found when the truck arrived, and so unwisely became AWOL on their first day in country. After some phoning the next morning, we located them and they finally arrived at 981st headquarters, this time having been picked up by a truck with SSG Fleming in it.

The four men, scared but not exactly in a repentant frame of mind, entered the orderly room while I happened to be up front by the entrance. Barely controlling myself, I lit into them for their poor judgment in being absent and endangering their own lives and the welfare of their dogs. I then sent them to Top’s area in the back, telling them how to present themselves to Top, and waited for the explosion. It never came. Top was very quiet and obviously was arranging for them to be supervised by SSG Fleming in a “punishment” detail. All was explained a bit later when I looked out the window and saw SSG Fleming and the four men on the steep second-story roof of one of the barracks buildings doing repair work there. One of the men was on hands and knees, the other three were probably not too happy either, but there was SSG Fleming standing very tall and proud, providing instructions to the men. He was absolutely unafraid and ready to lend a helping hand to the four men, and very quickly excused the most frightened of the four from any more time on the roof — with the promise of a later detail, this time on the ground.

As in all his other duties, in this one SSG Fleming showed fearlessness, reasonableness, sensitivity, and good judgment. His guiding principle here was: get the work done and do it well. From what I saw of him in my time in country, he succeeded.

Perhaps Monte Adams said it best when he told of SSG Fleming’s pride in the Army and in himself: “He was very proud to wear the Army uniform. He told me ‘The uniform is with me all the time, even when I’m not wearing it physically — it is still worn on my heart.’ He could be as tough as he looked on the outside but he also had a listening ear and a very good heart.”

I had one last look, so to speak, at SSG Fleming before I left Vietnam for good. One of the tasks I set for myself was to write up service award recommendations (Bronze Star for Service) for meritorious soldiers in the 981st who were set to go home. I wrote one up for SSG Fleming and I left a draft copy with Top, to be forwarded for approval shortly before SSG Fleming was to go home. I’m pretty sure his would have gone through without problems or delay. I hope so because I don’t think anyone ever did anything like that for him before in his entire life, or at least in his military career.

Sensing that the military was a very important part of his life’s work where he did well and where he served proudly, I believe that the only thing left for me to say is: George, rest in peace now for a job well done.

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

Photos are clockwise from upper left:
. SSG George Fleming self-educating in SGT Monte Adams’s office
. SSGs Chuck Eisenmenger and Fleming in relaxation mode
. SSG Fleming dressed for the Summer of Love, 1971 version
. Monte and George swathed in black plastic (don’t ask) and “gone for the day”
Photos courtesy of Monte Adams

The Passing of Gerald (Pops) G. Droese, 212th 69-70

Obituary for Gerald Grahm “Pops” Droese

Gerald G. “Pops” Droese, found peace on May 9, 2019 at the age of 74 years. He is survived by his loving wife Joyce (nee Gerlach) of 47 years. He is the loving father of Craig, Brendt and Paul. Proud Papa of Caitlin Droese, Mandi and Paige Kurth. Also survived by siblings; Bernice Grams, Dale (Kris), Jim, Diane (La Vern) Pomeroy and David (Theresa), sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, longtime friends and his Vietnam buddies. He was preceded in death by his mother Hazel, step-father Ed Wiedmeyer, father Clem Droese, brothers; Ronnie, Roger, Harold and Danny, brother-in-law Jerry Grams.

Gerald proudly served in Vietnam 212th MPS dog handlers from 1969-1970. He was the service officer with the United Vietnam Veterans of Hartford for many years and the Vietnam Military Police Sentry Dog Alumni.

Funeral Services for Gerald will be held at 2:00pm on Tuesday May 14th at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel (1420 W Paradise Dr. West Bend) with Military Honors following. Visitation will be held on Tuesday at the funeral home from 12:00 pm until time of service. Burial to follow at St. Paul’s UCC Cemetery in Menomonee Falls.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Stars and Stripes for Vets or the American Heart Association are appreciated.

The family would like to thank Kathy Hospice and Dr. Herdrich and staff for all the care they gave to Gerald.

This obituary is protected by copyright by West Bend. Proudly Serving the Communities of West Bend and Slinger and Wisconsin. West Bend is located in the state of Wisconsin, United States.

All rights reserved. This obituary is also archived at obittree.com

West Bend

Request for Assistance

For Steven Dragovich 981st 70-71

He is asking for help to find out who these guys are in the pictures.

Picture 1:The twins are named Sobing, but we have no first names for them
and don’t know city and state for them, which SD company they
were a part of and for which years. Their name does not come up
on the alumni search index. Can anyone identify them further?
I left in January of 1971 and I don’t remember them so my guess is
they came afterward. The 981st sign behind them is not from
CRB, but see small ribbon above the hat of the right twin, and
the T-39 incomplete alphanumeric to the right of him for clues.

Picture 2: 1SG Hamblin is at right, but who is the brigadier? When I enlarge the photo it looks like his name tag could be Eustas. Does anyone know for sure? The event also seems to be part of an inspection of the 981st kennels, maybe at a detachment. Can anyone help with this?

Doyle Chandler 212th 67-68

Good afternoon everyone, I am sorry I have to pass this on to you.  Ernie Ayala 212th 67-68 posted this on Facebook this morning.  If an Obituary is posted I will pass it on.  Please Take Care of yourselves.  Gary
It is with great sorrow Doyle Chandler lost his final battle with cancer at 8:40 AM today. His wife, Paula called to inform me of his passing this morning. He was comforted by his family around him in his final hours.
Doyle served with the 212th MP Co 67-68 in Long Binh and Vung Tau. He has gone on to meet his military dog, Comanche 2A05 at the Rainbow Bridge 🌈.
Doyle was from Spiceland, Indiana.

212th 69-70 Updates

I got this from Steven Dragovich 981st 70-71. He has taken it on himself to find out as much as he can about our fellow members who we have lost contact with. I want to publically thank Steve for this.

Brand, Maynard; 212th 69/70; April 25, 2012

Conn, Ricky R.; 212th 69/70; April 10, 2005

Dochat, Kenneth E.; 212th 69/70; May 30, 2007

Ennes, LeRoy L. (Wally); 212th 69/70; October 18, 2015

Hendry, David M.; 212th, 69/70; August 19, 2016

Lambert, Michael C.; 212th 69/70; April 6, 2008

Lay, Larry; 212th 69/70; November 10, 2012

Monroe, Jack M.; 212th 69/70; April 29, 2014

Ojeda, Angel DeAvila; 212th 69/70; September 18, 2017

Osen, Eric G. (Ogie); 212th 69/70; February 6, 2011

Stuckey, Barrett (Barry); 212th 69/70; January 4, 2012

Trautman, Andrew H. (Andy); 212th 69/70; October 22, 2011

He discovered a tribute to Eric Osen 212th 69-70 that is sensational. Eric passed away Feb 6, 2011. http://www.ianabbott.com/…/Eric_Osen_-_US_Army_-_02_FEB_201…