Obituary James T. Waldron, 981st 69-70

Good afternoon everyone, I received from Steven Dragovich 981st 70-71 several death notices. I will post them as I can. This is the first one. Note in the obituary the use of century.
James T. Waldron, 75, of Connersville, passed away on Saturday, July 28, 2018. He is the son of the late Robert Harry Waldron and Emma G. McNees Waldron. He graduated from Connersville High School in 1961, and was president of his class. He then attended the University of Cincinnati.
He served with the United States Army for two years as a Century Dog Handler, spending a year of that time in Vietnam.
He is survived by a brother, Paul Waldron, of West Chester, OH, and a sister-in-law, Shirley Rees Waldron, of Batesville, IN.
Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Janet Lynn Waldron; a brother, Robert Kenneth Waldron, and a sister-in-law, Cheryl Waldron.
A private graveside memorial service will be held at Dale Cemetery at a later date. To sign the online guestbook or to send the family a personal message, please

James T. “Wally” Waldron
I hope this place sells liquor, the harder the better
In the midst of Buddhist serenity
Which way to the black market?

Obituary for Richard Pelletier, 981st 69-70

2nd Obituary for Richard Pelletier, 981st 69-70. Richard’s obituary mentions life long battle with an injury from Vietnam. Does anybody recall what the injury was? Richard M. Pelletier, 66, of Sanford died Friday, September 11th 2015 at Hill Crest Commons in MA.
Richard was born October 26, 1948 to Roland and Lillian (Blanchard) Pelletier of Sanford. He attended local schools and graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1967. Following high school he attended The University of Maine, Orono.
Richard enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served in The Military Police, as dog handler and did a tour in Vietnam. Upon his return he had numerous jobs, which include years at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, U.S. Post Office and the Maine State Forest Service. His love for music and poetry sustained him in his life long battle of being a disabled Vietnam veteran. He will always be remembered as a kind, generous, and gentle soul.
Predeceased by his parents, Roland and Lillian (Blanchard) Pelletier.
Richard is survived by five brothers and three sisters; Donald of Sanford, Lionel and his wife Helga also of Sanford, Raymond and his wife Sylvia of Londonderry, NH, Albert and his wife Ellen of Kennebunk, Paul and his wife Carla of Wells, Gloria Laitres and her husband Richard of Grove City, Ohio, Theresa Rankin and her husband Bob of Shapleigh and Rachel Pelletier and her husband Jack Richardson of Lyman. He is also survived by one daughter, Amanda Boivin-Hill and her husband Seth, of Park City, UT along with two grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and his longtime caregiver and former wife, Monique Cote Pelletier.
Visitation will be held on Friday, September 18th from 10:00 AM to 12:00 noon with a funeral service following at 12:00 noon at the Lafrance-Lambert & Black Funeral Home located at 29 Winter Street in Sanford. Interment with military honors will follow at the Southern Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, located on Stanley Road in Springvale.
Memorial donations may be made to The Animal Welfare Society of West Kennebunk 46 Holland Road, Kennebunk ME 04043 Arrangements are under the direction of Black Funeral Homes and Cremation Service, Sanford-Springvale.

Obituary Billy McKinley, 212th 65-66

Gary, Billy died in 2009 and at that time Larry Majeski, who may have known him, expressed his sadness at Billy’s death. But Billy’s wonderful obit was was not available until later. Billy clearly wrote it himself, and it’s informative, colorful, and very funny. Alumni members will probably be surprised at the different dog-related experiences he had in his military career. This is also the first obit I’ve seen that actually mentions that the decedent was a member of both the Alumni and the VDHA. Alumni members will like this vivid picture of one man’s military career and how it involved all manner of dogs.


3/7/37 – 2/9/09

Following a long and hard battle with cancer, Billy R. “Squirrel” McKinley, Sr., died peacefully at their home on Monday, February 9, 2009.
Visitation was held 5-8 pm Wednesday, February 11, 2009, and will be held today from 9-11 am. Services will be held at Tutor Funeral Home in Magee. Burial will follow at Calvary Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Mize.
Mr. McKinley was born in 1937 in Mize, MS. He quit school and joined the United States Army in 1957. His military career took him to Southeast Asia, Okinawa, France, England, Germany, TDY all over the United States. Among various honors he received in the Army- he was selected as the smallest soldier in the Army. He served as the first Army dog trainer in the Polish Labor Service. He also trained the California National Guard Sentry Dog Unit. He was a combat soldier and POW for less than twenty one days, shot down from a helicopter as well as being hit by shrapnel on the morning he received word he was a new father. He took the first dog team of 189 dogs and men to Vietnam and the peak of the war was a tunnel rat before returning home.
As a civilian he was a heavy equipment operator for local 624 in Jackson and major pipeline companies. Law enforcement career involved Jackson Police Department, State of MS, Deputy Sheriff for Hinds County and Smith County. He drove an 18 wheeler with his son from 1983 to 2000.
In 2005 he was given the honor of United States Marshall. He was a member of the VFW post #9122 of Magee, MS, Pearl Lodge #23 Masonic Order, Wahabie Shrine and Motor Court, Vietnam Dog Handlers Association, and Vietnam Sentry Dog Alumni.
As a pastime he enjoyed selling produce along the side of the road or in Taylorsville, meeting and greeting people he liked to talk to all.
Mr. McKinley is preceded in death by a premature grandson.
He is survived by his wife, Linda of 45 years; son, Bill, Jr.; daughter, Susan Huffstetler and husband, Charles; granddaughters, Jessica, Raven, and Lillianah; and sister, Delores Smith
Family wishes to thank Dr. Khanzur and his Chemo Clinic staff at Veterans Medical Hospital in Jackson and Hospice in His Hands of Magee, especially nurse Kelly West for her kindness and loving care.

Published in the Clarion Ledger on 2/12/2009

Remembrance of John John Gaylord Bokor, 981st (‘70-’71)

Remembrance of John Gaylord Bokor, 981st (‘70-’71)
Born June 9, 1945 – Died December 8, 2016

I first met John in Lackland where we did AIT Sentry Dog training. He graduated MP school in Fort Gordon a cycle earlier than me and went back to New Jersey to bring his wife and sister-in-law with him to San Antonio. He had the Jersey accent (although not over the top) and a dry sense of humor. We became fast friends and many evenings and weekends I spent with them. What I remember most about John was his unusual way of walking, landing first on the toe, rather than heel, and rolling forward from there. I had never seen it before, nor have I seen it since. It still makes me grin. He also had that Nordic look of rugged features and a shock of dark blond hair. His dog was King, a nasty shepherd who could not be trusted, even by John (picture of John and King attached). I recall during off leash attack training one of the marines, Werkheiser, was in full burlap suit and upon release King took off like a bullet and hit the guy so hard he was knocked to the ground and ended up with a dozen stitches in his face from dog bite. The marine’s first battle scars…LoL.

In early April we flew with the dogs in the hold of a C-141 from Kelly AFB to Cam Ranh for duty. After a few months, the family was in dire straits in San Antonio and John applied for a compassionate transfer which was granted and he finished his tour at Fort Sam Houston. Awhile after my ETS I got married to the sister-in-law…LoL again! A couple of years after that John and wife got divorced (they never had children) and I inherited their dog, a Malamute. John joined the Peace Corps and served in Indonesia. (picture attached) He told an interesting story of one moonlit night he felt the urge to go for a walk, and the moonlight on his blond hair as he walked down the street spooked the villagers and the next morning it was deserted and took a few days to get everyone to understand that it was not a ghost. He enjoyed being out in the less inhabited areas and wilderness.

After returning once again to the U.S., he got a job with the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Department where he worked until retirement. (another picture) Since the time I first met him, he smoked like a chimney, and that is what did him in, as he contracted cancer and died at his home in Nampa, Idaho.

Submitted by Dennis Thomas, 981st 70/71

Passing of Gary Lynn Richmond, 981st 70-71 Vet Tech

I was alerted by Martin Maier 212th 67-68 about Gary Lynn Gary Richmond 981st 70-71 Vet Tech. You can view the full obituary at
Gary Lynn Richmond, age 69, of Vienna, Mo., passed away October 27, 2018 at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital in Columbia, Mo.
Gary was born on January 24,1949, in Highland Park, MI, a son to Lyndal and Dell (Watts) Richmond. His father precedes him in death and his mother survives of her home in Chesapeake, VA.
Gary was a 1967 Graduate of Warren High School in Warren, MI. Following high school, Gary joined the Army and served during the Vietnam War.
On April 24, 2000, Gary married the love of his life, Sharon Moake in Nashville, TN. Sharon survives of their home in Vienna.
Following his service to his country in Vietnam, Gary went to work for the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department where he was employed for over 20 years before retiring. He later opened his own business, the Richmond Saddle and Harness and Western Store, before moving to Missouri.
Gary had been a resident of the Vienna area for 16 years after moving from Mason, MI. He had a knack for being able to fix about anything. Gary loved rebuilding and working on mid-fifties Chevy cars as well as horse drawn carriages. He was a pilot and had been building his own plane at the time of his death. His hobbies included gunsmithing, rebuilding computers, was an avid reader and, together with Sharon, participated in Civil War reenactments. Gary enjoyed training horses and loved passing that knowledge on to the kids in 4-H or to anyone who was willing to learn. He would help out anyone in need with no questions asked. Gary greatest love was time spent with his wife, kids and especially his grandchildren. He will be missed by all those that knew and loved him.
In addition to his mother and wife, Gary is survived by: one daughter, Beth Plumlee and her husband Chris of Phoenix, AZ; one son, Colin Cook and his wife Brandy of Byron, GA; four grandchildren, Genevieve and Jocelyn Plumlee and Jordan and Camryn Cook; and one sister, Denise Wolf of Chesapeake, VA as well as many extended family members and friends.
Gary is preceded in death by his father, Lyndal Richmond.
Memorial services will take place at a later date in Mason, MI.

Texas Tech University Vietnam Center and Archives Oral History

I do not know if anyone on our site will want to do this, but I feel I should remind our members once in awhile that this site is available.
Texas Tech University Vietnam Center and Archives has the largest collection of Vietnam items outside the Congressional Library. If you ever want to tell your story in your own words without writing a book so your surviving family members have something to go back and find out what you did in the Vietnam War go to Texas Tech University Vietnam Center and Archives Oral History I did my oral history years ago. I also gave them a copy of all my Vietnam pictures and orders. I am just throwing it out as a thought.

William Smith 981st 69-70 Obituary

I just finished Lee Halverson’s (981st 69-70) book Cong Catchers, A Soldier’s Memories of Vietnam. In the epilogue I saw that William Smith, Smitty, 981st 69-70 had died in 2005. I found this obituary:
Tribute & Message From The Family
William F. “Bill” Smith, 55, of Oskaloosa, died Friday, September 10, 2004, at the Knoxville Area Community Hospital in Knoxville after a courageous battle with multiple myeloma. He was born February 25, 1949 at Jefferson, the son of Richard Glen and Pearl Frances White Smith. He graduated from the Panora-Linden High School with the class of 1967, where he excelled at track. He served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He worked at Oscar Meyer plant in Perry, and later at Firestone. On December 22, 1983, he was united in marriage to Joy Prothero at Nashua, Iowa. He was an auctioneer and livestock buyer. Bill was a lifetime member of the V.F.W., and a member of the American Legion and Elks. He loved his special times with his family and enjoyed helping his girls with their F.F.A. projects. He raised exotic animals, and donated his time, auctioneering talent, and money to many different projects and causes.
Bill is survived by his wife, Dr. Joy Prothero of Oskaloosa; 2 daughters: Holly and Heather, both at home; a daughter by a previous marriage, Dana Smith of Mequeon, Wisconsin; his mother: Pearl Smith of Panora; 2 sisters: Glennis (& Jim) Peterson of Panora and Carmen Smith of Des Moines; and 2 brothers: Dennis Smith of Guthrie Center and Audrey Smith of Bayard.
Bill was preceded in death by his father and a sister in law: Gail Smith.
Funeral services for Bill Smith will be held Tuesday, September 14, 2004, at 10:30 a.m. in the First Presbyterian Church in Oskaloosa with the Rev. Dr. Dennis Morey officiating, assisted by the Rev. Casey Cain. Military rites will be accorded at the church following the funeral by members of the Oskaloosa American Legion, V.F.W., and D.A.V. Cremation will follow the funeral ceremony. Visitation will begin at the Bates Funeral Chapel on Monday after 9 a.m., and the family will be at the funeral chapel on Monday 6 ? 8 p.m. to greet friends and relatives. A memorial has been established in his name.