In This Issue:
- President’s Page
- Was Race a Factor in Col. (Ret.) Paris Davis’ Almost 60-Year Wait to Receive the Medal of Honor?
- SFA Con 2023 — Last chance to register!
- Book Review: Break in the Chain— Intelligence Ignored Military Intelligence in Vietnam and Why the Easter Offensive Should Have Turned Out Differently by W. R. “Bob” Baker
- SFQC Graduation — Class 332
- Bringing The Wall That Heals
- Ground Truth for Commanders – the Special Operations Forces Integration Detachment
- The Day I Met Billy Waugh
- March 2023 Chapter Meeting
From the Archive:
The World’s First Combat H.A.L.O Jump
In the January 2015 Sentinel, Mike Perry of SpecialOperations.com granted us permission to print his story of how SOG Recon Team Florida stepped off the ramp of a C-130 at 18,000 feet over Laos on 28 November 1970. Billy Waugh, Army Special Forces legend and CIA paramilitary officer, who passed away in April, was in charge of the combat HALO effort for Command and Control North.
Cliff Newman’s and HALO’s First Combat Jump — What Could Possibly Go Wrong
Mike Keele, a member of Chapter 78 whom we also lost in April, has been a frequent contributor to the Sentinel. In May 2019, in his inimitable style, he wrote about RT Florida member Cliff Newman’s presentation at the April 2019 Chapter meeting, where Cliff shared his memories of the November 1970 HALO jump.
ON THE COVER: Volunteers in San Luis Obispo, California, carry a panel to be installed into The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. (Courtesy Rick Carter)
A Retired Green Beret Needs Your Help
Retired Army Special Forces soldier Brad Boyer is a current doctoral student with Grand Canyon University (GCU) pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree in General Psychology with an emphasis in Performance Psychology. He is in the process of writing a dissertation on “The Effect of Physical Exercise on Quality-of-Life for Disabled Veterans” and is in desperate need of people to participate in his study.
Click here to learn about the qualifications to participate in this study and to find out what volunteering to participate entails.
From the Editor:
At press time, we are mourning the loss of our dear, longtime chapter member Mike Keele. Next month, we will tell you more about how he touched and supported us all.
Lew Chapman, my former A325 Duc Hue teammate, has put into words, drawn from his own experience, what many of us were thinking when we heard that Col. Paris Davis Medal of Honor paperwork had been “lost” twice. Neither Lew, as a black man, nor I, as a white man, observed racism while serving in SF. If a man was wearing a green beret with a flash on it, that was all I needed to know about his character. We didn’t use derogatory terms for the Vietnamese (occasional VC and NVA excepted), Cambodians, or Montagnards. They were our comrades in arms, and many of us are alive because they protected us.
This is literally your last call to register for SFACON 2023, held in the last full week of May in Indianapolis. Quite a lineup of presenters will appear, including keynote speaker Scott Mann, author of the play Last Out, the book Operation Pineapple Express, and much more. Plenty of activities and camaraderie awaits you.
When our president, Greg Horton, said he was planning to read Break in the Chain, he was the logical choice to review the book by Bob Baker. The Easter offensive was one glaring example, among many he presents, of how dearly bought intel was not always seen in the right light and was wasted, to disastrous effect. Bob offers solutions, but August of 2021 shows those lessons still have not been fully learned.
It’s titled Regimental First Formation, and it’s a celebration of transformation, from struggling to become one of the finest soldiers on the planet to one who will be tasked with keeping us and democracy safe in the world. Two days after their last informal get-together at the barbecue, co-sponsored by Chapters 78 and 1-18, these men intensely swear to do what it takes to complete their assigned missions and “Don their Berets”. John Stryker Meyer once again represented Chapter 78.
The Wall That Heals, spreading the message and presence of “The Wall” far and wide throughout the country, is an instrument of healing, both for those whose friends and relatives participated in the Vietnam War, and the nation as a whole. Rick Carter and I went to observe and help in the assembly process on a muddy field in San Luis Obispo, CA. It was a treasured experience for both of us.
Greg Walker tells in detail how one of SF’s greatest skills was put to effective use during Operation Iraqi Freedom, forming bonds of trust with those who were initially resistant. The results of that were a zero-percent occurrence of blue-on-blue incidents. Greg had a ringside seat, helping to put the SOFID program together and successfully execute it. It was part of the continuing growth in acceptance by ground commanders of what SOF can bring to the table.
Along with losing our own member Mike Keele, we have also lost the legendary Billie Waugh and his one-time CO within a week. Jim Morris brings us a little flavor of what made Billy so special.
We close with pictures of our members at the March chapter meeting.
- Awarded best Special Forces Association Monthly Newsletter at SFA National Convention June 2011 and 2014
- Awarded Golden Quill at SFA National Convention June 2015 and June 2016
- Best Newsletter Award for 2017 from Special Forces Association National Board of Directors at the International Convention in Fayetteville, NC
- Special Forces Association (SFA) Cross Arrow Award for Excellence, 2018, First Award Presented by SFA in this category
- The War Reporters Award, Presented by Alex Quade – (War Reporter and Film Producer) for Chapter 78 Sentinel’s Commitment documenting Special Forces History, July 2018
- The Golden Arrows for Excellence in Newsletters 2019 awarded by SFA National
- The Golden Arrows for Excellence in Newsletters 2020 awarded by SFA National
The Sentinel is published monthly by Special Forces Association Chapter 78, Southern California — art direction and design by Debra Holm, Dinwiddie Holm Graphics. The views, opinions and articles printed in this issue do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Army or the United States Special Operations Command, the Special Forces Association, or Special Forces Association Chapter 78. Please address any comments to the editor at email@example.com.
[…] the Special Forces Association Chapter 78 Newsletter is now available online. There are a number of interesting articles to read: MoH recipient Col. (Ret.) Paris Davis, Special Forces Association Convention, Book Review of Break […]