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Information & Items of Interest




Oscar Co. 2017 Reunion in Las Vegas 

A majority voted that we should  meet again in Las Vegas, NV.  Our reunion this year will be held at the Orleans Hotel in conjunction with and by kind permission of the Special Operations Assoc. Reunion, from Oct. 16th - 19th.  Advance booking is now being taken, and is highly recommended, as rooms at the SOA's special rate usually go fast. http://soareunion.com/hotel     

The president of the SOA has graciously invited all of us to attend as guests, and further stated that anyone who served on FOB 3 during the Siege who wishes to join the  SOA as an Associate Member would be welcome. (However,  it is not necessary to join in order to attend.) 

As always, there are no fees or dues to belong to our informal CAC Oscar association or to attend the reunion, since you all "paid your dues" in 1967-8.  ; > 

However, the SOA has a fee for the reunion (pro-rated to suit individual needs and tastes), and you will be responsible for your own transpiration to and from LV, and your own room and food, and any activities the SOA offers. (If  you want to attend, but finances are a problem, let me know, as we may be able to help.)

Attendees so far will include: Roy Harper, George Sargent, Larry Harding, Rick Valdes  (depending on work), Donald Gullickson (depending on work), and Jim Taylor, all of of O-2, and Armand Maranda, Earl Grissom, William Pennock (depending on work) and Dick Moison of O-3.  We are also hoping to get Peter Haines (former CO), and Howard McKinnis and "Butch" Still of O-1 again.  (Armand tells me that John Balanco of O-1 is also planning on attending.) We hope to see as many other men of any platoon or era as possible. 

ALL of you from any platoon or era will be most welcome, and we sincerely hope that those of you who were unable to attend in 2015 will try to do so this year. 

The SOARs I have attended in the past have been terrific - very well organized and run, with lots of activities and side-trips for attendees and spouses if desired - or just gel out in the hospitality room. They have also been very kind and friendly to guests - even Marines!  ; >

Our own Armand Maranda (NCOIC O-3) lives in the area and has agreed to be our “point man” on the ground. (Check the Oscar personnel roster for his contacts, or contact me for them.)

Armand has also graciously offered the use of his home for a pool-side get-together, and the use of two guest rooms for any who might need them. 

For those needing ground transport, there are shuttles to the Orleans and most other hotels, and there are Uber and other public transportation available. (Armand has also offered to help shuttle if needed.)

For those with medical concerns, Armand told me that there is a brand-new VA hospital with ER and clinic that has opened up in the area, and he assures me it is excellent.

We will also visit the Leatherneck Bar and home of the Las Vegas Marine Corps League Detachment, with its famous Marine Mini-Museum running the length of the room on both sides with Marine relics and artifacts ranging from WW I through Iraq. It is reputed to be the best Marine Museum West of the Mississippi until you hit the Coast, and I’d have to say it lives up to that reputation! 

Last time, the owners and fine staff  kindly provided us with a room to meet, a staff for our guidon, a large flat-screen TV to watch the photo slide-shows I had put together, and some excellent food, drink and service!! They went far "above and beyond" the call of duty to ensure we were comfortable and to ensure our meeting went splendidly! We will contact our friends there and work in a visit around the SOAR events and their schedule. 

I would like to hear back from those who definitely plan to attend ASAP if you haven’t already confirmed. SOA informed me that the $50 rooms sell out rather quickly, and keep in mind that we aren’t the only ones coming to this - the SOA events I have been to have been very well attended, so those who definitely wish to attend must decide and book soon to get these prime rates. 

I will publish full  dates, registration, room rates, activities, costs, and all other pertinent data to all hands as soon as I receive it. 

For those of you on FaceBook and other social media, please publish this information to those media.

2015 was the largest reunion of Oscar veterans to date (14 plus two guests and families).  It was also the first time any of those in attendance had seen one another in 47 years.  

Also in attendance were honored guests Joe Adamski, an Army friend of Earl Grissom and President and co-founder with Earl of Veterans Advocacy Services Inc. of LA  (see below for details)  and Dave Hansen, a former dust-off med-evac pilot involved with the Khe Sanh Peace Garden project, as well as wives and families. 

The 2015 format was informal, with people arriving and leaving at different times, but with some group meals and get-togethers in order to visit and catch up with old comrades, but it went pretty well for a completely "unscripted" reunion and was greatly enjoyed by all.

There has also been some discussion of returning to Khe Sanh for the 50th anniversary of the battle and Siege. The Vietnamese have planned a major celebration to honor the soldiers of all sides, and to open and dedicate the first phase of the Khe Sanh Peace Garden, a monument to honor the fallen of both sides.

For all those not able to attend in 2015, your presence was missed, but perhaps we will see you in Las Vegas this year! 


Pictures from the 2015 Oscar Co. Reunion 












 




CAP Veterans Association information and news.

For reunion information, see the  CAP Vets Association Website

*****************************************************************************************************



The next morning, most of us met for a get-together brunch in the Claim Jumper restaurant in the Golden Nugget on Tuesday morning, where we planned the day.

After brunch. we adjourned until 1300, when we met at the truly memorable and outstanding Leatherneck Bar, home of the Las Vegas Marine Corps League Detachment, where the owners and fine staff (“Ghost" and “Google” Kathy, “Asia", et al) kindly provided us with a place to meet, a staff for our guidon, a large flat-screen TV to watch the photo slide-shows I had put together, and some excellent food, drink and service!! They went far "above and beyond" the call of duty to ensure we were comfortable and to ensure our meeting went splendidly! 

They also have a fine USMC “mini-museum” running the length of the room on both sides, ranging from WW I through Iraq. It is reputed to be the best Marine Museum West of the Mississippi, and I’d have to say it lives up to that reputation! 

Thanks to their kindness and generosity (and the able and unstinting assistance of our honored guest, Dave Hansen, a former dust-off med-evac pilot who is involved with the Soldiers Sanctuary and Khe Sanh Peace Garden projects), we had a pleasant afternoon where the men (and their families!) could get together for quiet chats, reminiscences, and renewing old friendships while making new ones. 

We took a photo around our unit guidon w/ battle streamers (center of picture, below), though unfortunately “Doc” Sargent was unable to attend. (Possibly due to a rough night before! )



The men later signed our unit guidon (center, w/ awards streamers) and a copy of "Last Stand at Khe Sanh" by Gregg Jones, which has an account of Oscar Company’s gallant stand in KS ville. 

The next morning, some of us met for coffee at Starbucks, followed by another brunch at the Claim Jumper.

Some of the group then dispersed for “liberty call” with their families, while others got together again in small groups. The final dinner was at the buffet in the Golden Nugget, where we toasted comrades past and present. 

The next morning, some of us met for coffee at Starbucks, and we reluctantly parted company. The consensus was that we must do it again -- but not wait 47 years!
Ideas were discussed for another meeting, perhaps elsewhere in the country to accommodate those living east of the Mississippi. 

There was also some discussion of returning to Khe Sanh for the 50th anniversary of the battle and Siege. The Vietnamese have planned a major celebration to honor the soldiers of all sides, and to open and dedicate the first phase of the Khe Sanh Peace Garden, a monument to honor the fallen of both sides.

For all those not able to attend, your presence was missed, but perhaps if we do this again, we will see you then!







"Our mission is to serve our fellow veterans."

Earl Grissom (right, above) and his friend Joe Adamski (left)  meet with a VA rep.

There are over 21 million Veterans in the United States, 1.7 million in California, and over 700,000 in Southern California. 
 
Veterans are at higher risk for homelessness, addiction and mental illness. In the United States, approximately 28 Veterans commit suicide everyday. 
 
Our comrade Earl Grissom (O-3), having overcome many long-term personal challenges in his own life with the assistance of VA counselor Dr. Beverly Haas and others, has decided to devote the rest of his life to assisting other veterans.

With his friend and fellow (Army) combat veteran Joe Adamski, Earl co-founded the Veterans Advocacy Services Inc. of West LA, a non-profit organization designed to assist their fellow veterans of all eras in transitioning back into society and in seeking the VA services they earned in order to  connect all veterans with the vital services they need.

Services offered include:

- Counseling for PTSD
- Drug Counseling/ Relapse Prevention
- Referrals for treatment 
- Facilitate PTSD and TBI evaluations
- One on one peer support
- Suicide Prevention
- Community Outreach
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Home Ownership Services

They also serve veterans who are experiencing difficulty with readjustment back into society from a combat zone. They have combat veterans on site who understand and want to help. 
 
Earl says that part of their mission is to ensure that no veterans are alone and lacking the help they need.  According to Earl and Joe; "Veterans are always welcome, even if it is just to stop by for a cup of coffee."

Joe and Earl and their associates have put a tremendous amount of work and energy into VAS,  but there is a huge amount of work to be done. If you live in the West LA area, please get in touch and see how you can help out.  







was one of Oscar Co.'s COs prior to the Siege
.  CPT Haines now lives in the Boston, MA area, where he
 works
as a sculptor, working primarily in bronze. His work has been collected and exhibited at museums, galleries, and private collections around the country. 

 



REQUEST FOR INFORMATION


An Army officer whose father is a Vietnam veteran seeks information and witnesses about an incident which occurred about December 1967, in which a Marine LT (believed to have been part of the CAP Program) lost a leg around December 1967 near Chu Lai, Tam Ky, or Duc Pho. His father jumped off a half-track to retrieve the lieutenant under fire. 

The Army officer is hoping to find the LT and / or any Marines who witnessed the event, in order to arrange a reunion. Any would be greatly appreciated.

Please contact this site if you have any information.  

 

Larry L. Woolverton, the author of this memoir, was one of us, and was a "plank owner " in Oscar Company, as well as being one of our longest-serving members. After graduation from Central High School in Muskogee, OK,  Larry enlisted in the US Marines in October, 1965, completing boot camp at MCRD San Diego and ITR at Camp Pendleton. Larry was sent to Viet Nam in 1966 with the 26th Marine Regiment, later joining Oscar Company, 1st Plt. as a radioman. This memoir is Larry's account of his service. It can be ordered in paperback at Amazon. 








"Expendable Warriors - The Battle of Khe Sanh and the Vietnam War" by COL Bruce B. G. Clarke (Praeger International Security Westport, Connecticut & London, ISBN-13: 978-0-275-99480-8) ( http://www.expendablewarriors.com ) COL Clarke (then a CPT) was the US Army Advisory Team OIC at Khe Sanh before and during the Siege. COL Clarke was present in the District HQ / O-1 compound in Khe Sahn village before and during the initial Tet Offensive assaults on Jan 21st 1968, and directed the air and artillery support. After the stunning victory of the tiny garrison against great odds, the Marine command at Khe Sanh ordered an aerial withdrawal of the Marines and Army, but failed to provide transport for their ARVN and RF-PF native counterpart troops.  Loathe to abandon them to their fate, COL Clarke refused air evacuation, instead marching them back to Khe Sanh Combat Base and finding a place for them on FOB 3, the Special Forces / SOG base adjacent to the Khe Sahn Combat Base.  COL Clarke later served on FOB-3 for the duration of the Siege. 






USMC AUTHOR AND HISTORIAN GENE HAYS
MSgt, USMC (Retired) 

Gene Hays is the author of  six books including From Yellow Footprints to Pass in Review and Beyond, an autobiography spanning his over 20 years in the United States Marine Corps and several years spent in defense contracting. 

His first two books were about his service in Vietnam with the MAG-12 Civic Action Team in Chu Lai during the last 9 months of 1968, which interacted with 1st CAG units around Chu Lai. He still has the original map used by 1st CAG given to him by Major John Lawson indicating 1st CAG TAORs.

His first book, "Civic Action, Marines Fighting a Different War in Vietnam" details what he remembers from Nov of 1967 to Dec of 1968. His unit made the Stars and Stripes a few times; the two biggest incidents involving an ambush of  Major Risner and GySgt Petterson by VC Tiger Guerrillas  and when Major Risner was captured when they were on a mission and  later escaped. 

Gene's Civic Action Team’s TAOR overlapped much of 1st CAG, and some of the Army Americal Division 29th Civil Affairs Company’s areas, covering the area (roughly) north to the Tam Ky Quang Tin Province HQ and south to Quang Ngai HQ.

At the time he had no idea how many CAP units (27) were out there, but Gene had and still has a great appreciation for the CAPs. As he said; "All of those guys had their hands filled just trying to protect our base from incoming rockets and mortars. The VC were always after our F-4s and the A-6s in particular. The CAP units appreciated us because we did the majority of civic action projects while they were busy keeping us alive. I have nothing but the utmost respect for them and all of you. Except for a handful of nights I spent out in the Ville, I got to return to my hooch near MAG-12 HQ on the beach. Of course during TET of 1968 they pounded the crap out of us for almost an hour and a half and there were casualties."

Gene related how his unit made the Stars and Stripes a few times; the two biggest incidents involving an ambush of  Major Risner and GySgt Petterson by VC Tiger Guerrillas  and when Major Risner was captured when they were on a mission and  later escaped. 

Gene said, "Most of what I learned about the war in general and the CAPs specifically has been obtained from CAP members, and of course from Generals Krulak and Walt and LtCol William R. Corson.

 He has also been involved with several Marine Corps history books, and is currently writing one on CAP and CUPP, in which he hopes to get as many personal recollections as possible from CAP and CUPP unit veterans.  If you have a story from one of these units, contact Gene.

He has also authored two books of historical fiction centered around the World War II German Stealth Bomber, the Horten Ho 229 and the Cuban Revolution.

His work is featured on Amazon.
 







Bob Hall with CMC Amos
(Photo courtesy of Bob Hall)

Our comrade Robert A. Hall (M.Ed., CAE, FSA Scot, FSR) served with 26th Marines Radio Relay in 1967, including a stint in Khe Sanh ville in the O-1 compound before the Siege. Upon his return to CONUS, he attended school, and served as a Marine reservist, finishing as a SSGT.  
He later served five terms as a MA State Senator. Bob is now an executive specializing in managing non-profit organizations. 

Bob is also a talented writer who has written a number of books on various subjects (see below). He received the Robert A. Gannon writing award for poetry for his book "Old Jarhead Poems: The Heart of a Marine."

The award was delivered jointly by retired Marine LTGENs Boomer and Blackman at the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation 2012 Awards Dinner at the Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, and he was congratulated by CMC Amos. (See above photo. More Photos and d
etails can be seen on his blogspot.)

Bob also designed and registered the handsome USMC "Leatherneck" Tartan which can be worn by any Marine, their families or supporters. 
Note that Bob is sporting the "Leatherneck" tartan tie he designed in the photo with GEN Amos!)  



Piper Eric Heisler at 8th & I wearing the Leatherneck tartan with a Dress Blues tunic modified for use with the kilt.

 
Bob's books include:

 



(Gannon Award-winning book -- all author’s royalties from this book will be donated to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund to help wounded veterans.)


(All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans.)  


(All royalties go to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.)
 
These are available in print format from Amazon and other booksellers, with "The Coming Collapse" available in E-book format from Smashwords. 





COL Wesley L. Fox, USMC (Ret.)


I first met COL Wesley L.  Fox when he was a captain assigned as both the S-2 and S-3 officer at 3rd Recon Bn., then at  Camp Onna Point in Okinawa when I was there in the mid 1970s. He was my reporting senior when I became Commander of the Guard before my return to CONUS. 
An outstanding Marine officer, he taught us many things about being a better Marine, and also taught me sport parachuting. (COL Fox was a master jumper in both the civilian and military realms.)

He was one of the legends of the Corps, and had a long career, starting in Korea, holding every rank between PVT and COL except SGTMAJ. Among his many medals, ribbons, and awards, he received the MOH in Vietnam. (We had two MOH recipients at 3rd Recon during my time -- the other was our BN XO, Major [later Colonel] Jay Vargas.) 

However, COL Fox would have been an impressive Marine and officer without any of his medals. He had all the essential leadership traits and characteristics, and charisma in spades, but he constantly led the very best way -- by personal example -- and I can state with authority based on close personal observation that while he set a high bar for all of us, he set a still higher one for himself. 

COL Fox also had an interesting educational career.  He had dropped out of school after the 8th grade, originally intending to be a farmer, but during his Marine career, he got his GED and eventually earned two college degrees by dint of hard work and study.

After his retirement from the Corps, COL Fox spent 8 more years in uniform teaching the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech, retiring as the deputy  Commandant of Cadets.

He was and is quite a guy!  Here are some other sites which feature details of COL Fox's remarkable career.





COL Fox  has written a memoir of his service called Marine Rifleman: Forty-three Years in the Corps, available from Amazon and other bookstores.  It is well worth a read.  
 
COL Fox has also written two other excellent books, Courage and Fear: A Primer, and Six Essential Elements of Leadership, also available from Amazon and other booksellers.  

Many of COL Fox's life lessons detailed in these books can also be applied to other professions. Good leadership is (sadly) a commodity in very short supply in today's world.

COL Fox's  books are also available 
personalized and autographed, directly from him, at competitive prices which include postage and handling (H
ardback ed. only)  Send a check for the book(s) desired to:

Colonel Wesley L. Fox USMC (Ret)
855 Deercroft Drive, 
Blacksburg, Va. 24060-0272

Be sure to include the name of the person it is for, the message (if any) desired, and the address to which it is to be sent. 

MARINE RIFLEMAN -  
Personalized and autographed: $26 USD


COURAGE AND FEAR  - Personalized and autographed - $20.00 USD

THE SIX ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF LEADERSHIP - Personalized and autographed -  $25.00 USD

(Note: COL Fox will be pleased to autograph earlier purchased book or books any way desired.  Just send the book to him with desired comments and a bubble-wrapped envelope covered with the return postage.)








Now available for purchase on DVD with additional footage and interviews. 
Ken Rodgers was a riflemen in Bravo Company, 1/26 in 1968.  He and his wife Betty have made a documentary that involved four years of research, filming, and traveling thousands of miles.

Ken Pipes (a former CO of B 1/26) said that this film tells the story of one rifle company, as told by 15 men who were there and survived, and how the men of Bravo lived, fought and died during the Siege of Khe Sanh in one of the most fiercely contested battles of the Vietnam war. 
During this 77 day battle Bravo Company and attachments lost 65 KIA and 185 WIA, with 35 of these being wounded two or more times.  
 
According to the producer, BRAVO! also speaks for all the men and women who fought in Vietnam, as well as in World War II, Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq. It is the story of combat and its aftermath, a testimony to the human spirit.

Rodgers says that the DVDs are currently available for veterans, history departments at schools, universities and libraries, veterans organizations, and others interested in the nature of war. 

 
You can purchase DVDs of BRAVO! COMMON MEN, UNCOMMON VALOR at the producer's website 
for $19.95 per DVD. 
(Price includes freight, shipping and handling. Offer good through November 30, 2015.)

Please pass this along to anyone else who would be interested in this profound account of the Vietnam War experience.  


Also on Facebook






"When I get home and someone tells me to go to hell, I'm going to die laughing."
Author's letter home, Jan. 20, 1969.



This is a book most of us who have served will be able to relate to. Written by a Combined Action Program Marine, it is a collection of cartoons and vignettes of the author's experience in Vietnam.

 




"Heaven's Pavement"  - A gritty portrayal of Airborne in the Second World War.  The author, the late Juarez Roberts, was a paratrooper in the 507th, and fought with them from the first jump into Normandy all the way to Combat Varsity and the end of the war. (As a side note, I knew Juarez personally, and he was the real deal.) The story is a lightly fictionalized account of his own service in WW II.  Available at Amazon.com   






https://sites.google.com/site/usmccaposcar/bulletin-board/Dale_Dye.jpg?attredirects=0

CPT Dale A. Dye, USMC (Ret.)

Books by Dale A. Dye 

Dale A. Dye was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on October 8, 1944. He attended Missouri Military Academy, graduating as a cadet officer, but lacking money for college, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in January 1964. He spent 13 years as an enlisted Marine, including tours in Vietnam in 1964 and again in 1967 - 1970, being promoted through the ranks to Master Sergeant before being selected for Officer Candidate School. Appointed a Warrant Officer in 1976, he later converted his commission, and was promoted to captain. 

CPT Dye went to Beirut with the Multinational Peacekeeping Force in 1982-83, and later served in a variety of assignments around the world. He also attended college, graduating with a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland. 

After his service in the Marines, CPT Dye later worked for a year at “Soldier of Fortune” Magazine. CPT Dye spent time in Central America, reporting on and training troops in guerrilla warfare techniques in both El Salvador and Nicaragua before leaving the magazine in 1985. 

Dye then sought a new career in Hollywood, where he became a successful military consultant, actor, and writer, whose firm Warriors Inc. has participated in such films as Platoon (in which Dye had a cameo role as "CPT Harris"), Saving Private Ryan, and many others. (See his complete biography and info at his website.)  He has also authored a number of fiction books (including his most recent "Chosin File") and has established a publishing group for his own books and others, Warriors Publishing.

CPT Dye's medals and awards include the Bronze Star with 'V'; Purple Heart (3 awards); Meritorious Service Medal; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Navy Commendation Medal with combat 'V' (2 awards); Air Force Commendation Medal; Navy Achievement Medal with 'V';  Combat Action Ribbon (2 awards); and numerous others. (See his Wikipedia entry for a full list.)







Angelica Pilato  was a USAF officer, who as a young captain, was assigned to manage the officers' club at Udorn Air Base in Thailand in 1971.
Among her clientele were the pilots who flew sorties over North Vietnam. They soon christened her club "Angel's Truck Stop." 

Though many would consider this a "soft billet, " the young officer soon found herself faced with many challenges and a struggle to fit into the high-testosterone world of combat pilots. She also has to cope with the realities of warfare eroding her youthful ideals, and a less than certain future. 

This book runs the gamut of human emotions, and gives us the war from a rare perspective -- that of a woman in a supporting role, in the days when women were  rarely seen on the front lines. I highly recommend it for both men and women, especially those with a service connection.

Her book is available from Amazon and other booksellers, as well as in iBook format for iPad. A Kindle edition is also available, and Angel is now working on a movie version.  
 
 



Items of Marine / Military Interest for Sale

NOTE: 
When I was in boot camp, one thing they hammered in was that a Marine never wears anything he isn't entitled to or didn't earn. Unfortunately, there are "wannabees" out there [sadly, even among some who really wore the uniform] who apparently have forgotten or never learned this basic lesson. 
According to DoD and USN / USMC regulations and policies, any veteran with an honorable discharge may wear their  uniforms with their last highest successfully held rank and appropriate 
medals, ribbons and badges, or to wear said medals, ribbons, etc., on their
 military or civilian garb 
on appropriate occasions, 
 as long as they comply with the regulations governing such wear.   See: MARINE CORPS UNIFORM REGULATIONS CHAPTER 11, spec. 1102 and 1103 for details.  

The basic three medals each man in Oscar co. earned for being in service and in theater were (in order of precedence): the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnamese Campaign Medal (plus any personal decorations, 2nd and subsequent awards of ribbons, or other awards, such as the Good Conduct, Purple Heart, etc. ). In addition to the medals, all members of CAP Oscar are entitled to at least one award of the following ribbons without accompanying medals (in order of precedence": Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation (when awarded for combat units, this is the equivalent of a Navy Cross for the entire unit), Navy Unit Commendation (when awarded for combat, this is the equivalent of a Silver Star for the entire unit), Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry (Unit Level w/ frame and palm,  the equivalent of a Cross of Gallantry for the entire unit) and the Vietnamese Civic Action Ribbon (Unit Level w/ frame and palm).   (See illustration below.) 






http://www.medalsofamerica.com


As their name implies, this US veteran-owned and operated business specializes in US military medals and ribbons and other military memorabilia to order. They can help you select and mount your full-size of miniature military medals and / or ribbons, and badges either in a shadow box or for wear on appropriate occasions on your uniform or your cap or shirt. (Their "mini-ribbon" racks are really great, as they can be used in a number of different ways to wear or display your ribbons).

The owner is a veteran, as are many of his staff, particularly the "military specialists" who assist with putting your ribbon and medal racks together. (The gentleman who assisted with my "mini-ribbon" order was a Marine who had served in the Marine Drum & Bugle Corps at 8th and I, and was highly knowledgeable and efficient.)

I believe their prices are reasonable, and are competitive with even the MCX Uniform Shop. It is a great way to show your branch and affiliation, display your earned medals and ribbons, 

They can carry other products, so if you don't see what you are looking for, be sure to enquire. 

 


 

(Note: The shirt pictured is a preliminary mock-up of a shirt done for me, showing items selected, placement, etc., and is not to scale. The finished product was scaled appropriately.)


This US veteran-owned and operated business offers custom-embroidered shirts, vests, caps, framed cloth emblems, and other memorabilia to order. They can embroider your military medals and / or ribbons on your cap or shirt, your rank, branch of service and other insignia, names, dates of service, etc. They are unique among such businesses in being formally licensed by the DoD and service branches to use these insignia.  (In fact, they pay a fee, and you must send a copy of your DD-214 or DD 215 verifying your entitlement to any military rank, medals, ribbons, etc.)   

The owner / operator, J. Wayne Stephenson, is a Vietnam era veteran who puts a great deal of personal time and energy into his work -- and it shows!  Given the amounts invested in the equipment, the work involved, and the quality, I believe the prices are reasonable. It is a great way to show your service branch and affiliation, display your ribbons, advertise your group or affiliation, etc.

They can also do other custom work if they have a good image to work with, so if you don't see what you are looking for, be sure to enquire. 

The base cost for a top-of-the-line cotton polo shirt is about $40, though Wayne has cheaper ones, and if you provide your own shirt, he will customize those as well.

An EGA or other service emblem is $4.00, and the ribbons range from about $1.75 to $2.75 (depending on complexity and thread count). 

Wayne also has a digitizing fee for emblems he doesn’t have in stock, such as the CAP badge, and my 3rd Recon patch, but that is a one-off charge. Since he already did it for me, other CAP or Recon vets will not be charged.  (You’re welcome!)

However, If someone wanted the original green CAC patch (which I did not select) that would also be a one-time charge for the first buyer.

(As some of you may be aware, our original acronym, CAC is a Vietnamese word “Cặc” which is pronounced roughly like the English word meaning both rooster and the male generative organ.  The phrase “Sức Mạnh" at the top means “strength.” Taken together, it is no wonder the Viets would titter when they saw our patch or unit signage.)

Aside from the shirt, the charges are based on how much detail is desired. A “Rolls Royce” model (such as the one illustrated), with a top of the line shirt and a LOT of items and embroidery which runs to many thousands of stitches, and several digitizing charges is obviously going to be a lot more than a basic “Chevy” model T-shirt with an EGA, a CAP patch (or other unit patch), and a few ribbons (e.g. the CAR, PUC, NUC and VSM w/ battle stars, which would come in around $40. (Less if you provide the shirt.)

Wayne will be happy to individualize and price out anything you or any others might want. 

Wayne is also a bagpipe aficionado, and, having heard of my piping in Vietnam, he is giving all CAP Marines a special promo discount of 12%. (Code: Bagpipers)







In the summer of 2011, four young Air Force officers, Jon, Josh, Joey and Ryan deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. They came upon beautifully crafted handmade scarfs created by a group of women who had lost their husbands to the Taliban, and the officers saw a need to assist and empower the local population beyond their basic military role, and soon Flying Scarfs (TM) was formed.  Through a lens of free market capitalism and micro-economic development, Flying Scarfs is a socially responsible enterprise dedicated to the empowerment of the artisans in Afghanistan and around the world, and has turned into a worldwide mission to find and assist in similar situations in underdeveloped countries.  Please consider joining me in supporting these fine young men in their new mission.

 



 tm



While not a site of Marine or Vietnam interest per se, there are many of us who are arms collectors and re-enactors seeking quality reproductions to use, or just to fill a hard-to-find spot in our collections.  When I was younger in the Civil War Centennial re-enactments, it was very hard to find some items of kit. These days, there are many places to seek replica 
arms and armor  on the Web, at many levels of price and quality (both of which can vary widely). Usually, you have to slog through dozens of sites, comparing prices, before you get the right piece at the right price. 

However, there is now an alternative. KoA (not to be confused with the campground chain or certain sound-alike secret societies) is a terrific "one-stop shopping" resource for those seeking good quality, accurate reproductions of historic arms and armor of many periods and cultures, both historic and fantasy.

Ryan Whittlinger at Kult of Athena has assembled some of the finest reproduction arms and armor from well-known makers and suppliers all over the world, from A to Z (well, "W" at least), including well-known names such as Albion, CAS Iberia, Cold Steel, Del Tin, Hanwei, Marto, and Windlass (to name but a few) with prices for every budget. They stock the finest available products at highly competitive prices - and though some of the products are from off-shore they also carry American made items from companies such as Albion, and employ Americans at their HQ and warehouse in IL. 

They stock a wide range of swords, spears, axes, shields, dirks and daggers, from ancient times through the 19th century, and from many cultures and periods. They keep most items in stock in their warehouse, and do not "drop-ship" or order after your order comes in. They have an actual warehouse with many of the weapons and equipment they advertise - over 4000 at present.  (See their FAQ for details and a lot of other good reasons to buy from them.)

In addition to weaponry of all sorts, they have the gear to carry them in the form of belts, baldrics, etc. They also carry period jewelry, clothing, etc. So if you are in the market for Celtic weapons or equipment (or for that matter, almost any type of weapons and equipment), have a look at Kult of Athena first.

(Note: As with all links and reviews on this site and others, I receive no financial or material reward or incentives of any kind. They are posted because I have personal experience of them and / or their products, and think they are good quality and might be of interest to our readers.)






Though not strictly speaking a Marine-oriented business, J. Higgins are specialists in outfitting Police, Fire, Veterans and Masonic pipe bands, honor guards, and other groups. They carry a large selection of Kilts, Highland wear, bagpipes, and a full line of Highland, Irish, and Celtic accessories, with something to suit every taste and budget.  

Their well-made and well-designed garments look sharp and are reasonably priced - and the more so when you consider that they are based right in America's Heartland in Lenexa, KS.  American owned and operated, they provide real value for money!

(Note: As with all links and reviews on this site and others, I receive no financial or material reward or incentives of any kind. They are posted because I have personal experience of them and / or their products, and think they are good quality and might be of interest to our readers.)
 


(Note: This site represents the result of many years of investigative work and research. I have tried to be as accurate throughout as possible, but there is no such thing as 100% perfect. In cases where I was not present, I have relied on the accounts of those who were present and / or  official records, correspondence, statements from comrades, friends and family, and other sources. Statements, quotes, poems, or any material other than my own reflect the views of those who made them. Neither this author nor this site assumes any responsibility for any errata made in good faith, nor for any of the views expressed other than my own. All the photos, documents, text, and other materials are copyright, and they belong solely to the authors, photographers, etc., who retain all rights to the materials.  All material is copyright, and may not be used without express written permission of the owners or their heirs and assigns. All material used with the express permission of the owners, who are named where known. Unattributed material will be attributed when the owner contacts me.  

 

I receive no financial or material reward or incentives of any kind for any reviews or links on this site. They are posted because I have personal experience of them and / or their products, and think they are good quality and might be of interest to our readers. 

Most of the goods and / or services offered here have been either seen or used by me personally and found satisfactory, but n

either I nor this site receives any money or other remuneration or compensation for any of the products or services mentioned, and do not assume any responsibility whatsoever for any product, service, or transaction of any sort.  Disputes are solely between the buyer and seller of said goods or services.

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(Note: Your contact information will NEVER be used for solicitation by us, nor will it be traded, hired, lent, sold or otherwise distributed. You will only be contacted if you request us to do so.)



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