Interesting Seal Stuff

Pete "The Pirate" Carolan

This is my hobby.  I know that I am crazy!  I do this to keep from going insane !                    Doc   “Mi Vida Loca”   Riojas 

Where Did the White Man go Wrong? 

Indian Chief ‘Two Eagles’ was asked by a white government official, “You have observed the white man for 90 years.  You’ve seen his wars and his technological advances. You’ve seen his progress, and the damage he’s done.” 

The Chief nodded in agreement. 
The official continued, “Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?” 

The Chief stared at the government official for over a minute and then calmly replied. “When white man find land, Indians running it, no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water
Women did all the work, Medicine man free.
Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having sex.” 

Then the chief leaned back and smiled.
“Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that.”

some people say; “I am wasting my money!”  Maybe yes, and maybe no!    I would not do this web site if I could take the money with me to heaven!

TIME MagzineSEAL Photo Gallery

Navy SEAL Mission De-Classified:Operation Thunderhead Navy SEAL Mission by Brandon Webb · April 16, 2012 · Posted In: NSWC, SOF History 

The Beginning of the Stingray Patrols 

  SOF History       by Peter Nealen · February 20, 2013 · Posted In: SOF History

Kenneth H. Stange  R.I.P.

  October 26, 1928 – March 27, 


Obituary for Kenneth H. Stange Kenneth H. Stange, 83, passed away peacefully at his home on Monday, March 26th under the wonderful care of Hospice of Lenawee. 

He was born on October 26, 1928 to Hattie (Pruess) and Henry Stange in Adrian, Michigan. He married Bonny Barbara Brieschke at St. John’s Lutheran Church on August 26, 1955. She survives.

 He lived in Lenawee County all his life except during the time he served in the Navy during WWII, from 1945-49. He was a member of Underwater Demolition Team 3. He continued his love for the water by owning and operating Wolverine Diver’s at Devil’s Lake for many years.

 During this time, he also was a part of the Lenawee Sheriff’s Department in search and rescue. He loved water skiing, swimming, ice skating and spending time with friends and family. 

He retired from Parker Rust Proof in Morenci, was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, and was an active member in the UDT/Seal Association. 

 You may also send condolences to his family at


"THE FIVE MOST DANGEROUS THINGS IN THE US NAVY" A Seaman saying "I learned this in Boot Camp..." A Petty Officer saying "Trust me, sir..." An Ensign saying "Based on my experience..." A Lieutenant saying "I was just thinking..." A Chief chuckling, "Watch this shit..."
$249.00 Dollars !    LOOK!   L o o k   at   the  price  of   this book !   $249.00  bucks
James "Jesse Ventura" Janos from one those SEAL books mentions Doc Riojas
Minh Nuygen and "Eagle" Gallagher
Victory Hotel, MyTho Vietnam, TET 1968 Morning Doc

I was visiting your site again and looking at your “Interesting Stuff page” and found a photo with history. The roof top of the Victory Hotel. 

First I don’t have a clue who took it, had to be one of the twiggits from the comm bunker on the roof. But if you are interested it had to be on 2 Feb 1968, sometime after 3PM. Those of us that were left at the hotel were assembled in the small court yard outside of the back entrance/exit to the “mess hall” (actually the main lobby of the hotel). and told to gather our weapons and all the ammo we could carry, and set up a defensive position on the roof to cover both ends of the street that ran along the front of the hotel, and to reinforce the main bunker at the entrance. 

An Intel report had come in from the ARVN’s that Charlie was assembling and getting ready for a two prong human wave attack. One against the Hotel the other to take the Park. That is me, forth from the left. I don’t remember how long we were up there, but with a perfectly good galley two floors down we ate C-Rats. The attack never happened, but we really took a lot of small arms fire. 

Don’t know how or why but not a single one of us got hit while up there. A close look will tell you that we were completely exposed. Anyway, just thought I would give you something to explain that photo. 

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Ft. Bragg "Goat Lab" was closed thanks to the Animal "Do Gooders". Now the Medics train with dummies.
pretty smoke ring?

Ho Chi Minh Trail Today 
submitted by:    isso4wmd  [at]  aol  DOT  com 
to: Doc Riojas

 ISSO4WMD This is an excellent pictorial. 

Slide Show: Legend of the Ho Chi Minh Trail 

Recent photos

Second time I read Barry’s book.  Interesting & true story on these pages.

Harry Humphries about WORK on Movie “Lone Survivor” 

From: Harry Humphries 
To:    Doc Riojas 
Date: 17MAY2012 
Subj: WORK on Movie “Lone Survivor” 

 I know that Marcus Luttrell has some serious physical problems. we will do the best we can for “Lone Survivor” which starts shooting this October in New Mexico. 

We want to hire veterans and disabled Vets where we can. Preferably team types looking to make some money as labor and support. 

 Get the word out,but they need to know it would be for labor type work, NOT ON CAMERA! Best, Harry Humphries

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pdoggbiker | January 16, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Tags: book sites, books war, cherry soldier, combat, Combat Infantry, digital books, firefights, Grunts, Hue massacre, Ia Drang Valley, jungle warfare, LZ Albany, LZ X-Ray, marine battles, MARS phone patches, Military, novels, operation hastings, POW, The vietnam war, The Vietnam war story, VC/NVA atrocities, Veteran, Vietnam blog pages, Vietnam book, Vietnam conflict, Vietnam Generation, Vietnam Heroes, Vietnam veteran, war books, war story, Wars and Conflicts | Categories: The Vietnam war story | URL:

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Memorial Day 2012

click on each photo to enlarge it !

From:  The Military Times:  Faces of the Fallen  May 28, 2012

Statistics Here:The Washington POST

The Military Times

CORONADO BREWING COMPANY AND LOCAL FROGMEN COLLABORATE ON NEW BREW: “FROG’S BREATH IPA” Local Frogmen and CBC Create New Beer :  Posted by Joseph Ditler on July 19, 2012 View Blog

Movie:  Colombiana

From: John Richter
To: T Keith to Larry, Jim, Tom, me, JohnsonD1D, bassthrift
Senior Citizens Health Care
Date: Saturday, January 14, 2012, 12:01 AM 

From: John Richter <jcr5326  [at]>
To: T Keith to Larry, Jim, Tom, me, JohnsonD1D, bassthrift
Senior Citizens Health Care
Date: Saturday, January 14, 2012, 12:01 AM 

Deputy Commander Rear Adm. Garry Bonelli

Mission Man, train, equip, deploy and sustain NSW Forces for operations and activities abroad,

in support of Combatant Commanders and U.S. National Interests

People Approximately 8,900

Subordinate commands

Naval Special Warfare Group ONE

– SEAL Teams 1, 3, 5, and 7, Logistics Support Unit 1, NSW Units 1 and 3

Naval Special Warfare Group TWO

– SEAL Teams 2, 4, 8, and 10, Logistics Support Unit 2, Unit 2 Detachment South, NSW Unit 10

Naval Special Warfare Group THREE

– SEAL Delivery Team 1, Logistics Support Unit 3, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Detachment 1

Naval Special Warfare Group FOUR

– Special Boat Teams 12, 20 and 22, Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School

Naval Special Warfare Group TEN

– Support Activity 1 and 2, Mission Support Center

Naval Special Warfare Group ELEVEN

– SEAL Teams 17, 18

Naval Special Warfare Center

– Basic Training Command, Advanced Training Command


Pay Tribute to a Hero
The Navy SEAL Foundation is offering a commemorative giving opportunity designed to honor and remember the U.S. Navy SEAL community while providing much needed financial support for the SEAL Heritage Center (SHC)
TEXTTO DONATE ( U.S.Navy SEAL Foundation)      or:To donate $10, text SEAL to 90999. A one-time $10 charge will be added to your wireless service bill.  We appreciate your contributions!      Hoo Ya !

TheNavy SEAL Foundation has set up a phone bank to accept donations. The phone number is 757-763-5501 . They have a number of volunteers manning the phones. 
Don Beem
Executive Director                              
UDT/SEAL Association 
           The Navy SEAL Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide immediate and ongoing emotional and financial support in times of adversity to U.S. Navy SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen, Naval Special Warfare support personnel and to their families. Ninety-five cents of every dollar spent by the Navy SEAL Foundation supports mission programs and services.
    Houston TX

The Herrick Chronicles: Navy SEAL Fantasy Cruises

Paul Herrick .  He is NOT A Navy SEAL !   He’s broken all kinds of parachuting records, and he was one of the guys who worked to develop methods for parachuting while wearing SCUBA gear.  He is still a jumping fool, flies planes, dives, rides in civilian submarines, and anything else he can figure out how to get into, on top of, underneath, or strapped on.





A Navy Recruit headed for Navy Hospital Corps asks: How To Become a USNavy SEAL

BRIAN V: Navy corpsman to navy SEAL ? I’m going to be a corpsman in the US NAVY and I’ll be shipping off September 04, 2011 

How do you get that offer?  From Regular corpsman to Navy SEAL corpsman ?

any information will be of  help to me 🙂    Brain V.

Best Answer – From a U.S. Navy Recruiter 

First you have to finish HM ‘A’ school. But during g school they will select people for certain assignments, most being Fleet Marine Force (FMF). These HM’s will be trained with the Marines and go into combat with them. Another is SEAL team HM. This program is a lot more difficult to get into for a few reasons: 

It has the most prestige so there are a lot of people trying to make. It is the hardest, most enduring program HM’s have so a lot of people wash out. Most people that try out for it aren’t in the shape they think they are. They look at the PST as individual tasks and say “Oh, I can do that”. 

Remember that the PST is an all out effort. I had a guy pass it just the other day and he was telling me just how hard it is. He can do 35 pull ups in a continuous effort, but during the PST he could only get 9. 

My suggestion would be to take the SEAL challenge in boot camp to see how you do. The work on your deficiencies and request to go SEAL HM when you arein school. 

Best of luck Source(s): US Navy Recruiter, 12 years of service

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 15 June 2011  To:  NSW360 Members,

I would like to bring to your attention the upcoming 50th Anniversary Celebration of SEAL Team TWO – the first commissioned SEAL Team. We’re planning to hold our celebration at ST-2 and in the new SEAL Heritage Center on 14 July 2011, the Thursday preceding the East Coast SEAL Reunion weekend. We will not be able to hold the celebration on our true birthday, January 8th, 2012.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: richard marcinko 
Date: Sat, Jun 25, 2011 at 11:04 PM
To: “Erasmo \”Doc\” Riojas” 

Subject: Re: I thought you may want to look at this sketch

—– Original Message —–
From: Erasmo “Doc” Riojas
To: richard marcinko
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2011 

Subject: I thought you may want to look at this sketch 

that never made the “BULL SHEET” because i got deployed to the ‘nam back in 1967. 

I hope you are doing well and also hope to get a picture with you at the ST-2 50th Anniversary.

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From:  Richard Marcinko
To:  Doc Riojas 

Subj: “Popping CHute at masthead level” on med cruise


It’s the truth. Doc Clark caught it on film and you could hear Chief Barrett screaming at me. I pulled at masthead level. I had a 1.6 black canopy w/ silk sleeve and 2 pilot chutes. 1 occilation and a splash. Barrett grounded me. I left the ship 5 days later to go to OCS. My last enlisted jump. 


From: Doc Bob Clark
To:Doc Riojas
Sat, Jul 2, 2011
Marcinko “pops chute at masthead” level on med cruise


What Demo Dick said is true. I was in the safety boat taking pictures of the jump & he did open at masthead level. One oscillation & into the drink. Scared the shit out of all of us. I got to jump his chute years later and that was the fastest opening I ever had. 

Bob Clark HMCM (SEAL)

Frogman in the Water
SEAL K-9 and his Handler Swimming

rom :Lou Boyles chief.boyles  [at]  verizon  DOT net 

to: “Erasmo \”Doc\” Riojas” <docrio45 [at] gmail DOT com> 

date: Wed, Jun 15, 2011 

subject: Re: HIT THE STAGE? WOW ! 


I would love to have been there Doc. As you may know, I was on the Parachute team for about 
11 years &, my one claim to fame is, that I was the one who came up with the name ‘Leap Frogs’. 

Gagliardi took it to the Commodore who was Capt. O’Drain at the time & he Approved it. The rest is history. There was a time of les than 3 years when Navy recruiting sponsored us & we had to be called ‘The Navy Parachute Team’ & only did shows with the Blue Angles. 

When they stopped the sponsorship we went back to the name ‘Leap Frogs’. Everywhere we went the people loved the name. 

Hope to see you in Coronado in Aug., 

~ Lou ~

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USS Michael Murphy DDG-112

Recognition, Memorial and Proclamation of Laredo’s

Vietnam Veterans Unsung Heroes


Public is invited to event that will feature roll call and guest speaker


WHO:             City of Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas and the Laredo City Council

                        Laredo Vietnam Veterans

                        Dr. Erasmo Elias Riojas


WHAT:          Recognition, Memorial & Proclamation of Laredo’s Vietnam Veterans Unsung Heroes


WHEN &       Monday, April 25, 2011                     10:00 a.m.
WHERE:       City Hall, Council Chambers, 1110 Houston St.


WHY:             Vietnam veterans returning home from the war did not receive the same recognition and fanfare as veterans of other wars and conflicts; in fact, it was often quite the opposite.  This event will  properly honor and praise these veterans – and their fallen comrades – for their service and ultimate sacrifice to our country.


As part of the activities, native Laredoan and Vietnam Veteran Dr. Erasmo Elias Riojas, retired, U.S. Navy Seal, will give some remarks about his three combat tours in Vietnam.  Riojas was wounded in each tour in Vietnam.  A highly decorated veteran, including two bronze stars for Valor, four Purple Hearts, Navy Commendation Medal for Valor; the Navy Achievement Medal for Valor, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and many other unit and campaign awards, retired after over 22 years of active military duty with 50% combat related disabilities.


                        Event Agenda

                        Welcome & Opening Remarks            Mayor Raul G. Salinas

Roll Call                                                Each veteran present will

give name, rank, years of service and service branch

                        Introduction of Guest Speaker Mayor Salinas

                        Guest Speaker Remarks                      Dr. Erasmo Elias Riojas

                        Proclamation                                        Mayor Salinas

# # #



Xochitl Mora Garcia

City of Laredo

Public Information Office

O:  956-791-7461

M:  956-337-3639


Vietnam Vets Honored

They were soldiers who fought for our freedom, but in many cases received an un-inviting welcome home.
But decades after the Vietnam War, Vietnam veterans are finally getting the warm welcome they hoped for for so many years.
Annette Garcia was at the welcome home ceremony and has the details.
“I appreciate this because 40 years ago we were unwanted and cast off labeled as murderers. This is something that I’m looking forward to.”
Emotional but truly thankful.
Vietnam veterans like Hector Gomez say today is the day when they can finally stop thinking of a dark past and look toward a better future no longer ignored or stereotyped as murderers.
In a memorial held Monday, City leaders offered a sincere welcome home and proclaimed the week of April 24th as the week to pay tribute to Laredo’s unsung heroes, veterans of the Vietnam war.
Gomez’ wife says it’s the beginning of the recovery, recovering from a pain they and the families felt for so long. People, she says, would discriminate against Vietnam veterans when they did go out and find a job. She says since then there have been memorials for all other troops who come home, but they have been forgotten.
Vietnam veterans say they’ve always been grateful for memorials like this one here at Jarvis Plaza but their families say they’ve always deserved so much more. Now their wounds can begin to heal.
One by one, Vietnam veterans were recognized and told thank you.
“I’m so glad justice has come through and after 40 years our soul is starting that healing.”
“We do not ask for anything, just a little love and respect. Some of us gave some and some gave all.”
Also remembered were those 28 Laredoans who gave it all, the ultimate sacrifice and a reminder that freedom isn’t free.
“This proclamation is something we really deserve and we’re proud of it.”
Today’s’ memorial also included a guest presentation by retired U.S. Navy Seal Erasmo Riojas.

National Security Windfalls of War

A family connection

Terry Sullivan & Carol A. Haave may be tiny, but it does have an influential Pentagon link

One of the more interesting Iraq contracts the Center uncovered involves a tiny firm called Sullivan Haave Associates.
Sullivan Haave is actually a one-man shop run by a government consultant named Terry Sullivan. Sullivan says his firm was hired as a subcontractor by Science Applications International Corp., one of the most successful and best politically connected government contractors doing work in Iraq.

Sullivan says his job was to spend four months in Iraq providing advice to various ministries being set up there by coalition and local authorities.

Sullivan has a much more intimate relationship with the Pentagon than his competitors, however. He happens to be married to Carol Haave, who, since November 2001, has been deputy assistant secretary of defense for security and information operations. And yes, Haave is the same person who appears in the name Sullivan Haave Associates.

Haave seemed surprised when contacted by the Center for Public Integrity at her Pentagon office about the contract.

She said she was no longer associated with the company in any way. She then said she had no knowledge of any work the company might be doing in Iraq.

When asked who the Center might speak with about the contract, Haave said that person was currently out of the country and unavailable. She said she would try to reach the person and have him call the Center.

A short time later Sullivan called.

He said the contract had only been for four months and he had completed it in July. He said he did not know what the total cost of the contract was. “They paid me for four months of my time,” he said.

Sullivan then disclosed that Haave was his wife, but said the contract had nothing to do with her position at the Pentagon.

“We have been very sensitive to the issue of conflict for a long time,” said Sullivan, who said his wife had signed everything involving the company over to him before she took her current job.

“People need to know how we operate as a husband and wife,” said Sullivan. “We keep things completely separate and always have.”

Besides the Iraq job, records obtained by the Center show that Sullivan Haave Associates has been awarded two other Pentagon contracts in recent years, both before Haave took her current job.

One contract was to provide “basic services” to the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. It was awarded in 1999 and was valued at $78,000. The second contract was from the Department of the Army for “technical services” and was valued at $100,000. It was awarded to Sullivan Haave Associates in 2001.

Haave has worked extensively on Pentagon projects during her career, both within and outside the Defense Department.

A biography posted on the Web site of a Pentagon advisory group she met with in July says Haave has had a “unique career in the public and private sectors [that] spans over 20 years of military, industry, and civilian government experience.” 

The biography describes Sullivan Haave Associates as having been a “woman-owned company that operated solely on behalf of the Department of Defense to facilitate the transition of advanced technologies into military operations.”

Background Ms. Carol A. Haave serves as an Executive Officer of The SPECTRUM Group Inc. Ms. Haave served as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence) Counterintelligence and Security from 2003 to 2005. Ms. Haave served as Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at Department of Homeland Security. She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Security and Information Operations (responsible for security, information operations, critical infrastructure protection, information assurance and counterintelligence). 

Ms. Haave spent more than 15 years as a consultant to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and advanced government technologies into the armed forces during military conflict, where she focused on transitioning advanced technology into the military and commercial markets and was a team leader for the House Appropriations Committee Surveys and Investigations Staff conducting bipartisan evaluations of technology programs. 

Ms. Haave owned Sullivan Haave Associates, Inc., from 1988 to 2001, and served as its President, where she worked closely with DARPA and other government agencies as well as the Commands and Intelligence Community to solve systemic operational problems. She started her career in the Army and worked on the National Defense Panel staffs and conducted other security-related consulting experiences. She has participated in numerous Defense Science Boards. 

Ms. Haave has over 25 years of strategic planning, program management and technology experience in security and intelligence, military operations and technology. She has been a Member of Federal Advisory Board of Xceedium, Inc. since December 2009. Ms. Haave serves as Member of Advisory Board of Cybrinth LLC. She serves as a Member of Advisory Board of Ideal Innovations, Inc. Ms. Haave served as Member of Advisory Board of ICX Technologies, Inc. 

Ms. Haave began her career as by enlisting in the Army and getting an in-service direct commission. She was one of the first women Army officers to attend airborne school and became a military police officer. Subsequently, she joined Summa Corporation, Howard Hughes’ holding company, doing background and organized crime related investigations and management audits. 

A stint in the NASA Inspector General’s Office and a manager at HRB-Singer, a communications electronics company followed her time in Las Vegas. She was the “operations manager” for the Bosnia Command and Control Augmentation Initiative. Ms. Haave holds an MA in Human Resources Management from Pepperdine University and a BA in Sociology from Stetson University.

Howard E. Wasdin ST-6 Book

SEAL Team TWO Plank Owners

From R.D. Russell, UDT/SEAL Archieves

Ablitt, Gordon       3040 Hidden Valley Ln. Santa Barbara CA 93108  
Andrews, James C.   deceased
Beal, Harry M.      1020 Warrens Mill Rd. Meyersdale PA 15552-8104
Benzschawel, Reinold Lloyd
Birtz, Pierre          3321 Terrazzo Trail, Va. Beach, VA 23452 5422
Boehm, Roy H.    deceased
Boesch, Rudolph E.       1413 Franklin Dr. Va \Beach VA 23454
Boles, Donald Wayne    2838 Avenida De Portugal, San Diego CA 92106
Brozak, Ron
Bruhmuller, William N.     2159 Briawood Circle, Panama City FL  32405
Bump, Charles     9307 Runks Rd.  Huntingdon PA 16652
Burbank, William E., Sr.  3100 Shore Dr.  #728, Virginia Bch, Va. 23451
Callahan, John F., Jr.    
Clark, A. D.    He lives in Costa Rica,  do not have his address
Dearmon, John W.        125 Summit Dr. Somerset KY 42501  4209
DiMartino, Joseph D.   deceased
Doran, George W.         968 Covey St. Virginia Bch, VA 23454
Finley, James F.   103 East Hidden Valley Trail Herford , NC 27944
Fournier, Samuel R.       deceased
Fox, Ronald G.    
Goines, William H.         6317 Colby Way, Virginia Bch, VA.  23464
Graveson, David H.    
Green, William T. 345 Whites Farm Rd,  Axton, VA  24054
Hager, Tex
Iwaszczuk, Tom  
Janecka, Stanley S.       1554 Sunrise Dr., Big Pine Key, FL  33043
Jessie, Charles W. Jr.
Johnson, Rex W.       
Kelley, Michael David   
Kratky, Claudius H.
Kucinski, Louis A. deceased
MacLean, James P.      deceased
Martin, Richard E.  PO Box 1445,  413 E. 8th St.,  Big Timber MT  59011
McCarty, Frederick        217 Cortland LN, Va. Beach, VA 23452
McKeawn, Mike
Melochick, Melvin f.      Deceased
Murphy, Thomas
Nixon, Guy
Painter, William   
Peterson, Robert           2809 C. Fall Creek Rd. Spicewood TX 78669
Ritter, John
Schwartz, Paul T. 7611 Cayuga Dr., New Port Richey, FL 34653
Shapiro (Stephensen), Dante M., 3380 Peachtree Rd. N.E., Atlanta GA   30326 – 1021
Stamey, Bobby G.    deceased
Stone, Donald   1440 S.W. 5th Ave. Boca Raton FL  33432
Taylor, Joseph     Decesed
Tegg, John D.       130 Maple Island Rd., Burnsville MN 55306- 5502
Tipton, James C. Deceased
Tolison, James T.
Tolison, Robert A.
Tornblom, Per Erik         Deceased
Wallace, Jim Jr.  
Watson, James D.         600 11th St. Vero Beach FL 32960
Waugh, Leonard A.        6964 Grande Vista Way S., South Pasadena FL  33707
Wiggins, Charles C.
Williams, Harry R.          deceased


From: Dante Stephensen <throc  [at]  bellsouth  DOT  net>
Date: Thu, Sep 15, 2011 
Subject: RE: ST-2 plank owners, the REAL ONEs
To: “Erasmo \”Doc\” Riojas” <docrio45  [at]  gmail  DOTcom>
Cc: Karen Peterson <petekarenpeterson  [at]  yahoo  DOT  com>

Dear Doc. Here are some answers about ST-2 plankowners.

  1. You are correct about Painter. He drowned on a mission in Turkey. I was sent over to replace him which is how I missed some of our Cuban stuff.
  2. Both Tolisons are dead, JP in a training accident on the west coast prior to going to V.M. and RApassed away of natural causes.
  3. Charlie Wiggin would have been a plank owner, but was dropped my command before we were commissioned.
  4. Tex Ritter does not exist, but Tex Hager who passed away does. He came after commissioning but was granted plank holder status because apparently his orders were written before we were commissioned.
  5. Here are the other plank owner deaths I have been able to come up with based on letters I have received from current plank owners:

CO John Callanhan died about 2 years ago as did Chief Hoot Andrews, who also came late, but his orders were written before commissioning. Second XO Joe Di Martino died about 4 years ago as didLtjg. Dave Graveson. Roy Boehm also die about 4 years ago.

Judge JP Tipton is our most recent death, just weeks before our 50ths. We lost        Melochick in a free fall collision with another SEAL about the time we lost JP Tolison. Others known to be dead are: Dick Brozak, Jose Taylor (Not sure he is considered a plank owner, Bob Stamey, Sam Fornier, Hoss Kusinski, Swede Tornblom, Bill Green, and Harry Williams,

Recent letters since our 50th imply the following may be dead: John Ritter, Ron Fox, Mike Kelly and James Scot Maclean.

We know nothing of the whereabouts of , Mike McKeawn and Rex Johnson. No one has heard from any of the above three.

Doc Martin lives in Montana, he suffered a stroke, but is doing pretty good.

At our 50ths, there were 20 present in LC, but only 13 were present for the photo I took. If you want those names or a copy of the photo, let me know and I will send you one. I have a  list of who was and who was not in the photo.

By the way, here is the scoop of former Commanding Officers present. I have that photo too. Present were; Dave Morrison, Ted Lovett, Scott Moore, Joe Maguire, Tim Seymansky, Ryan McCombie,Mike Hayes (current CO), Rick Woolard, Bruce Williamson.

Those at muster, but not in the photo were Bob Rieve, Ted Lyon, Ric Marcinko and Norm Carley.

If you need their dates of service, I can send that to you. Just let me know.

If you get any updates on the “two who we have not been able to track down”, let me know: , Rex Johnson and Mike McKeawn.

NOTE: Red Cannon died in 2003. He came from the fleet with Tex Hager & Jose Taylor. All 3 were LDOs.. In my mind, Red Cannon is a plank owner also, and  like Tex Hager and Jose Taylor, they cameabout the same time. But Red Cannon is NOT on our plank owner plaque. I still dispute that, but it may be his orders were not written BEFORE the commissioning. Chief Hoot Andrews also came after commissioning, but was granted plank status. Additionally, those in UDT training when we were commissioned, but came over after they graduated, were all granted plank status.

Also, let me know if any of the data I have shared above you find to be in contention or incorrect.

                Your old buddy, (but I still mow 4 ½ acres of land)             Dante

Email from: RObert Peterson:    Karen Peterson <petekarenpeterson  [at]  yahoo  DOT  com>

I can not recall Tex Ritter and I am not sure that Charlie Wiggins ever reported for duty but stayed at UDT 21. 

William Painter is dead, actually the first SEAL to die on active duty.

Also at least one of the Tolisons is dead,  I think it is R.A. 

Dante is an expert on ST2 plankowners and their status..  Pete

Rudy Boesch’s  ST-2 Plankowner list.  Reviewed by John Dearmon Sept 2011

The real ST-2 Plank Owners are:  (38 total)

Harry M. Beal

Gordon Ablitt *   added to list by John Dearmon  20 sep 2011

Reinold Lloyd Benzschawel

Roy H. Boehm

Rudolph E. Boesch

Donald Wayne Boles

William N. Bruhmuller

Charles Bump

William E. Burbank, Sr.

John F. Callahan, Jr.

A.D. Clark

John W. Dearmon

Joseph D. DiMartino

Samuel R. Fournier

William H. Goines

David H. Graveson

William T. Green

Stanley S. Janecka

Charles W. Jessie, Jr.

Michael David Kelley

Claudius H. Kratky

Louis A. Kucinski

James P. MacLean

Richard E. Martin

Frederick McCarty

Richard Nixon

Paul T. Schwartz

Dante M. Shapiro (Stephensen)

Bobby G. Stamey

Donald Stone

John D. Tegg

James C. Tipton

James T. Tolison

Robert A. Tolison

Per Erik Tornblom

James D. Watson

Leonard A. Waugh

Charles C. Wiggins

Harry R. Williams

Let me know if you need anything else.






Bob Gardner’s Seastory about a SAIGON, Vietnam Liberty

From: Robert Gardner <bgardner1946 [at]  yahoo  DOT com>
Date: Wed, May 11, 2011 at 2:58 PM
Subject: Back Then To: docrio [at]  sealtwo  DOT  org 

Doc Rio, 

Don’t know if you remember me, but I just discovered your webpage and wanted to say hello after forty years. I an the Intel guy with NSWGV and deployed with Lt. Boyhan and Charlie platoon at Dung Island, then with Lt. Todd and Hotel platoon at My Tho and Ben Tre.

 I want to remember an OP you and I made in Saigon in June ’70. You were in town from the canal job and I was there with Charlie plt. stand down and you wanted to go to the Green Door on the other side of the Saigon River. 

Well, I went with you and before too long it was past curfew and we needed to get back (we were both staying at the Le Lai). We hired a cowboy to get us to the bridge but then had to make our way along and around Tu Du Street back to the hotel. You seemed to know every back alley and a couple times we even had to climb some walls to avoid the MP’s.

 We made it to right across the street from the hotel, broke into the open, and were promptly nailed by an MP jeep patrol. They took us all the way down to the Annapolis brig and turned us over to the SP duty guy there, all written up on a MACV report, very official. Of course, it turns out the SP duty guy was an old shipmate of yours and after we all finished howling he wadded up the reports, called transportation for a Navy SP jeep to deliver us safely to the front door of the Le Lai, and that was the end of it. 

I’ve told this story a million times to my friends and have been accused of gun decking more than once, but it’s all true. Great to see you’re still so involved, keep up the good work. Though I am not a SEAL you guys always took good care of me and I do share with all of you the devotion to the principles and traditions of NSW. 

I’m very honored to have served alongside you. 
Fair winds my old friend, Bob Gardner NSWGV

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Hey Bob! Why would they not believe you. You and I never lied! Reason I knew some back alleys was because I used to drive the bar girls home when they closed the club at the Lei Lie. My driving buddy was Jaime Garcia, a PBR sailor. He married one of those girls, has three children by her. They all look more Mexican than Vietnamese. 

Cho died last year of Hepatitis. Jaime lives in California with his daugher and his grandkid.

MCPO Bob Stoner’s SeaStory

from:  Robert Stoner RStonerCRD21 [at] msn DOT com
to:      “Erasmo \”Doc\” Riojas” <docrio  [at] sealtwo  DOT org>
date:  Wed, May 11, 2011 
subject: Another Saigon Vietnam Seastory 

Back Then You’re well aware of the in-country travel and TAD orders we carried in RVN. The MST-2 guys carried the same ones because we were all part of NSWG. When we turned over out detachment’s gear to the in-bound det the first week of 1970, my boss told me to pack my bags and catch a bird to Saigon to make sure our records had the right endorsements and check on our flight back to CONUS. 

Long story made short — NSWG Saigon had the paperwork ready, but they forgot to make arrangements with the USAF (Military Airlift Command). We went to Ton Sun Nhut and waited two nights and two days on the standby list. Morning of day three we held a council of war:  
(1) it was obvious we were all going nowhere fast with the USAF and 
(2) we’d find a place to stay in Saigon (President Hotel f or officers; Victoria Hotel for enlisted) until NSWG arranged a return flight with VR-21. It took NSWG in Saigon three weeks to make the arrangements, but we finally got out and arrived back at North Island NAS on 5 December 1970. 

Getting back to the TAD orders, EN2 Don King and I were walking back to the Victoria Hotel from the Cho Lon Exchange when a jeep with two Army MP’s pulled up in front of us, they got out, and asked us for ID and orders. Don and I handed them our green IDs and in-country travel orders. [Both Don and I kept as serious faces as we could.] 

Then the MPs hit the third paragraph that talked about carrying explosives, weapons, and jumping out of airplanes — and we watched the blood slowly drain from their faces. They folded our orders up and returned them along with our IDs. The MPs wished us a great day and split the scene as fast as they could.

MCPO Bob Stoner

Kiet Nguyen LDNN

from: Kiet Nguyen   < ktnguyen95  [at]  yahoo  DOT com>
to: Erasmo Doc Riojas
date: Thu, May 12, 2011 

Hi Doc Rio, & all, 

Congratulations to you and Bob Gardner for reunited after a long time of Vietnam war.   Cu Lao Dung or Dung island in Long Phu, Bac Lieu which I was there on late of 1970. 

The LDNN barrack was nearby with Navy SEAL advisors in that Naval base. I had soem good memories with my Vietnamese LDNN  Chief Hen who was in charged of Intel  in that team.
Best wishes, 

Kiet Nguyen

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Capt David Del Giudice will be inducted into the Commando Hall of Honor  

(CHOH) on 27 October 2010. 

Capt Dave was the first CO of ST-1, below is a statement about his career by Capt Andy (3rd CO of ST-1) 

LTC FARRELL — It will be a pleasure to bring forth information pertaining to CAPT DEL GIUDICE and his outstanding career in Naval Special Warfare.
As stated previously – Dave and I were Both Executive Officers of UDT-12 and UDT-11.
The Commodoroe (LCDR MACK BOYNTON) was summoned over the COMPHIBPAC to discuss a TS message pertaining to the formation of a Special Operational Force. We were selected to be on the ‘WHAT IF COMMITTEE”= to respond to CNO’S query.

In December CNO Directed that SEAL’S be established. LCDR BOYNTON selected Dave to be the Commmanding Officer of SEAL TEAM ONE to be effective 1 January l962. Thereby making Dave the FIRST SEAL.
SEAL TEAM ONE was composed of Officers and men from UDT-11 and UDT-12. Later that year Naval Operational Support Groups (Atlantic & Pacific) were established. Capt Phil Bucklew became the Commodore and shortly thereafter he and David Del Giudice departed for Vietnam to work on plans and operations.

The ensuring works are contained in the Bucklew report. Dave received a high decoration for his part. SEALS were deployed as Mobil Training Teams 
(composed from both coasts)in l962 and employed around Da Nang.
After Daves tour as Commanding Officer of SEAL TEAM ONE – He was ordered to report to COMMANDER NAVAL OPERATIONS SUPPORT GROUP, PACIFIC, as Operations Officer. During this period he was active in coordinating with COMPHIBPAC Staff for the employment of SEALS, and others NOSG assets. 

In early l966 his efforts were rewarded with the deployment of SEAL DET BRAVO to Vietnam. It soon became obvious that staffs were not familiar with employment of SEAL’S and Dave convinced higher authorities that a NOSGWESPAC DET be established in WESTPAC to assist in planning and operations. Upon completion of that tour he was assigned to the Office of CNO; in OPNAV 343, once again working with Capt Bucklew who had replaced Capt Kelly (I believe that later it was redesignated as OPNAV 345).

During this period great strides were made in the development of billets throughout the Navy, A career Program was being pursued, Research and Development slots were established in OPNAV, TDP’s and other methods of procurement of special weapons was on-going. Increased Manpower authorizations for SEAL was approved.

During this period GREAT STRIDES were made in the conduct of Naval Special Warfare and its support assets. Dave worked tirelessly in the performance of his Duties and his accomplishments are a matter of record. Thanks – Franklin

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Navy SEALs — The Beer Guzzlin’ Celebration

5/2/2011 3:12 PM PDT by TMZ Staff  

A bunch of Navy SEALs based in San Diego celebrated their faces off last night … toasting the UNBELIEVABLE raid carried out by their fellow SEAL brothers by reveling at a S.D. bar … a bar which happens to be owned by a retired SEAL. 

TMZ spoke with American bad ass Greg McPartlin — owner of McP’s pub — who told us when the news broke, SEALs from the nearby Naval Base Coronado quickly packed the house … many carrying American flags. 

We’re told the soldiers went through 8 kegs, 15 cases of beer and TONS of cocktails in just four hours … while leading the bar in several “USA!” chants. 

McPartlin tells us, “It’s great — Osama was expecting his 72 virgins, instead he got 24 Virginians!” (The Navy SEAL team that executed the mission is based in Virginia.)

FYI — the Naval Base Coronado is the home of the USS Carl Vinson … the ship from which Osama’s body was dumped into the North Arabian Sea. 

A media relations spokeswoman at the base tells TMZ there are currently no celebrations taking place at N.B.C., in part because, “Our boys had a lot of fun over at the Irish pub last night!”

“Today, there are approximately 5,400 total Naval Special Warfare active-duty personnel, including 2,450 SEALs and 600 Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen, operating in locations throughout the world.”

Click on the above Picture to see a captured-look-back-at-the-Vietnam-war-on-the-35th-anniversary

Squandering Our Victory

Posted By Blackfive [May 03, 2011]

Squandering Our Victory   :
This from a SEAL veteran who has served in The War on Terror and is now retired. He writes for the Premiere Military BLOG Blackfive. Pretty much on target. 

Just like everybody else, the news that Navy SEALs had infiltrated Pakistan and shot Usama bin Laden in the face really brightened my evening. I decided to celebrate with a Patel Brothers cigar and two fingers of Jack Daniels. Of course my heart was especially bursting with pride at the news that my brothers on the East Coast got the call and executed their mission flawlessly despite crashing a helo into the compound. If you have to be in a helo crash, you are far better off being in one piloted by a Nightstalker of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) because frankly nobody on the planet even comes close to how good those guys are. This is an operation that I have dreamed of being a part of for nearly 10 years, and I have fantasized about rolling up on a target to find UBL in my sights. I am fairly certain that I know somebody on that assault force, and I look forward to the East Coast UDT/SEAL Reunion this summer and sharing a cold one with some of the boys.

By now, May 3, 2011, the stories about how this successful operation is going to ensure a Barack Obama victory in 2012 are legion. I even got an email to that effect on the night of the 1st when we were all basking in the afterglow of UBL’s demise. I’ll admit the thought had crossed my mind, but I dismissed it immediately secure in the knowledge that if any POTUS could f*ck this up, he was sure to be The One. Right on schedule, the Administration has already put out several conflicting versions of actions on the objective, and I have yet to see somebody from the military nay the SEAL community on a podium at the Pentagon laying out the operation and answering (or not answering) questions. The Bush Administration was very good at this, and when some major military operation took place, the White House would direct the media to the Pentagon where some General or Admiral held a press conference often with video clips and some PowerPoint slides showing some the mission highlights. The Bush White House was happy to let the experts handle things and show a unified front.

Meanwhile, between NSC staffers, the WH Press Secretary, Homeland Security, CIA and a multitude of Senior Administration Officials on background, the story has morphed into various versions of events. While the political side of me sees this correctly as another manifestation of the incompetence of this Administration, this vacillation is causing real harm to the significance of our victory here and to the reputation of the SEAL Teams. Let me assure you right now that there is no such thing as a Kill only mission. If that SEAL operator came through the door to find UBL with his hands up, compliant, and unarmed (including no evidence of a suicide vest) he would have taken a muzzle strike to the face, but not any rounds. He would have swallowed some teeth, been flex cuffed, and dragged roughly out to a marshalling area and then onto the helo. To start out with the story that UBL had used his wife as a shield while shooting at the assaulters and to devolve that into to a woman was wounded and UBL was unarmed and shot in the face is quite a large spectrum of truth. Add to that the false notion of the Kill only mission, and now you have the entire SEAL community being thrown under the bus as wanton killers of women and unarmed civilians.

Are Navy SEALs eager to kill terrorists and UBL most of all? Hells Yeah! But we would not be tasked with a mission profile that excludes the capture of the single greatest intelligence bonanza in the history of the conflict. Certainly we will exploit the intel collected on the target and soon, but if you simply want to kill somebody no matter what you do not send Navy SEALs across a sovereign border to do it. That is what Hellfire missiles and JDAMs are designed to do.

This is also curious from the standpoint of Islamic sensitivity, which is clearly foremost in the mind of this White House. Only Obama could go out of his way to emphasize the respect for the Islamic burial process only to tee up perfectly the conditions under which conspiracy theories are born. The primitive peoples of the middle east are perhaps the most gullible ethnic group on the planet. When I was in Iraq, there was a widely held belief that VBIEDs were manufactured on our US military base in Ramadi, and that the guys with beards (like me) were actually Israeli agents driving in HMMVs with the Star of David on the door. I shit you not. The point is that coming out with a well laid out media plan that is executed from the Pentagon by experts is critical if your goal is to provide a clear and undivided narrative of the event. Of course, this White House has never been very good at sharing credit and it is that infantile demand for attention that is causing this victory to become muddled in conflicting accounts and naked political point scoring.

Frankly, I am content to watch Obama shoot himself in the foot while still having presided over a tremendous effort by our intelligence community and the SEAL Teams, but Iÿll be damned if he is going to be allowed to implicate my brothers out of his own incompetence or political expediency. More importantly, the killing of UBL is undoubtedly a very significant event in the War on Terror and the momentum that we have gained should not be lost by grandstanding, partisan jackassery, and rank incompetence. Get your sh*t together Mr. President!

The True Soldier fights not because they hate what is in front of them, but because they love what is behind them!




John Gay is still a Navy SEAL. He received the Bronze Star with Valor Device. His hopes for a deal to endorse the Randall knife that deflected a bullet and saved him from serious injury

have never been realized

U.S. Navy SEAL Ben SmithTakes a Stand !


DMCM Robert Lee Witherow, USN
1/22/1928 – 3/13/2011

It is with great sadness we inform you of the passing of Bullfrog number two, DMCM Robert Lee Witherow, who shared the Bullfrog title jointly with Rudy Boesch. Bob graduated in Class 6 (Little Creek) on 12 January 1951, and served as a joint Bullfrog from August 1981 until he retired in August 1985.

Bob was born in Clearfield County, PA and enlisted in the Army in 1946 after graduating from high school in Clymer, PA. During his time in the Army, he served on several USAT (U.S. Army Transport) ships in the Pacific. He returned to Pennsylvania after his tour on board the USAHS Comfort, attended technical school, and joined the Naval Reserve.

In November, 1950, he was called into active duty and assigned to Underwater Demolition 22 and subsequently volunteered and graduated from UDTR. Following graduation, Bob served in UDT-2 and UDT-21 where he was the mainstay in the OPS Department for many years. He completed his 35-year career as the Personnel Officer of the Special Boat Squadron TWO.

Bob was extremely active in intramural sports. In 1976, he joined the Little Creek Intramural Volleyball Team and soon was a member of the US Volleyball Association. He played against teams all over the country. He became a coach of the NAVPHIBASE “Gators” and took his team to the 1977 All Navy Tournament Championship. After retiring, he became one of the most respected volleyball referees in Virginia Beach.

Robert Lee Witherow

DMCM Robert Lee Witherow, USN 1/22/1928 - 3/13/2011 Rest in Peace

Albert Schaufelberrer III

rom:  spikey1971 [at]  aol  DOT  com
to:  docrio45 [at]  gmail  DOT  com

dateTue, Nov 23, 2010 
subject: from your friend in Vietnam

Doc Rio,
The issue is June 6 1983. It was kinda hard to find but I’m sure with time and patience you’ll find a copy. I found the shirt that Al is wearing in a vintage clothes store in Hollywood Calif about 8 or so years ago. 

I knew the guy running the store and I was just surfing the racks and saw this shirt, I knew the name so I grabbed it. Later I come to find out that the shirt I have is THE exact shirt that Al is wearing on the cover. 

I always wondered how this shirt got to the shop. I think the family might have gotten rid of his old uniforms after his death. So many uniforms, pictures and documents end up in the garbage or Goodwill type stores and then that history is GONE. 

That’s why I search this stuff out, any and all UDT/SEAL uniforms, pictures documents and patches are HISTORY that SHOULD be and NEEDS to be saved. 

That is why I collect these items.

from: spikey1971
to: docrio45

date: Tue, Nov 23, 2010 
subject: from your friend in Vietnam 

Please feel free to post whatever pictures I have sent. Maybe by guys seeing what I have they wiil see that someone really does have an intense interest about the Vietnam era UDTs and SEALs. SEALs today owe everything they are to the VN guys.

Webmaster Note:
Thank Mike,  I sincerely appreciate your time and efforts in collecting historical SEAL memorabilia.    HooYah !

             Albert Schaufelberger KIA Central   

On: Tue, Oct 18, 2011 ,
From: conrad collins <conraddavidcollins  [at] yahoo  DOT com>
To: Doc Riojas   docrio45 [at] gmail DOT com

Hey Doc, 

I met you at one of the reunions in the early eighties. More just bumped into you as we gathered to pour beers, I think. I was at Team 2 throughout the 80 and 90’s. Yesterday I saw your website, and I can’t tell you how glad I was to look through it. 

I noticed in particular a display case with Al Schaufelbergers uniform in it. I was one of the three enlisted SEALs in El Salvador with him and can honestly say I thought that little chunk of history and Al’s story were completely forgotten. 

I was wondering where that display case is located? 

I have always heard that Al was assassinated and never saw what hit him, it’s a lie. I went to San Salvador the day after he was ambushed. Don Macdonald and, I think, Doc Vacarri were with me. We went to the sight of the ambush with shotguns and Mac-10’s in hand. After checking out the sight and asking questions we found that Al’s pistol lay on his lap and it was said he never had a chance to grab it. I rode with Al a hundred times in that green Ford Maverick, his pistol was always stuffed between the seats. The only explanation being that he was bringing it to bear. The boys that killed him set a good trap. But Al went like a true Frog, he fought till the last breath. It’s not important I quess, but I like the idea of his 45. barking one last time before he went. 

Al was a damm good guy and more importantly he was one of us. Couldn’t stop thinking about him since I saw your sight. 

Ride Hard, Shoot Straight, 


From: “Erasmo “Doc” Riojas” 
To: conrad collins 
Sent: Saturday, October 22, 2011 
Subject: Re: Silver Bullet Question 

Thank you Conrad, I have been away to the ASR/ARS reunion in Ft. Worth TX. Give me a couple of days to try to find out where I got those pictures, OK? OH, may I post your email by his uniform pictures and the TIMES article? thank you, RIO 

From: conrad collins
to: Doc Riojas 

Hey Doc, 

Of course you can use my E-mail. 

If you use my E-mail  will will you please check for typographical errors and correct them.

Do you know Greg Bhurhamn and Al Williams? We gather every Monday for coffee and lies. They both have more time down-range so I have to exaggerate stories, in every tale the long legged girls liked me after my exploits. Don’t tell, I never dated any one over five three. 


Webmaster’s NOTE:
No Conrad I do not know Greg nor Al.  Please tell them about and your contribution. Thank you.



Lt. Comdr. Albert Schaufelberger, the First U.S. Military Casualty in El Salvador, Comes Home

By David Van Biema

One day in 1967 young Albert Schaufelberger heard his name ring out over the public-address system at Lemoore High School in Kings County, Calif. Wild with worry, he thought the summons to the principal’s office meant that his namesake father, a Navy pilot, had been shot down in Vietnam. The school was near the Lemoore Naval Air Station, and friends had received similar calls. Instead, the honor-student senior learned that he had been awarded a college math scholarship. Recalls his mother, Virginia, “He was so relieved he didn’t even care about the scholarship.” 
Two weeks ago, however, when the phone rang at the Fripp Island, S.C. home of Albert’s father—who after three tours had returned safely from Vietnam in 1969 with a chestful of medals including the Bronze Star—the news was tragic. His eldest son, Navy Lt. Comdr. Albert Schaufelberger III, 33, security chief for the American military advisers to El Salvador and the second highest-ranking U.S. officer in that country, had been shot to death—a murder later attributed to leftist guerrillas. He was the first U.S. serviceman killed there since American soldiers began training government troops in 1980. 
His death had about it that combination of horror and the mundane that has come to characterize El Salvador’s simmering revolution. While waiting to pick up his girlfriend, Consuelo Escalante, 32, outside Central American University, where she is manager of a cooperative store, he was shot three times in the head by a gunman. Schaufelberger’s body was returned to the U.S. Memorial Day weekend. In accordance with sealed instructions he left before going to El Salvador, his ashes were to be scattered in the Pacific from a patrol boat belonging to Navy’s elite SEALs. 

(Two days after the killing President Reagan, apparently signaling his commitment to an even harder line against El Salvador’s guerrillas, relieved Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Thomas O. Enders and indicated that America’s ambassador to the beleaguered country, Deane R. Hinton, would be replaced.) 
Himself a member of the SEALs, highly trained in sea, air and land combat, Schaufelberger believed deeply in his training mission, and some saw his murder as evidence of his success at interdicting arms smuggled to leftist guerrillas by sea. Others saw it as a grim reminder of the beginnings of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Not his family. “Vietnam is a wrong analogy,” says his father, Albert, 56. “For the moment it seems to me to be a reasoned approach to help out a nation that is genuinely striving for democracy.” 
As Schaufelberger’s brother, Tom, 28, a Richmond, Va. attorney, and two sisters, Kristine, 30, an immigration supervisor, and Margaret, 32, a San Diego detective, gathered with their parents at Fripp Island, near Charleston, S.C., there were many happy memories of Al, and cruel silences as well. “He was hard-driving, very determined,” remembers Tom. Margaret adds, “If he decided he wanted to do something, he was meticulous and did an outstanding job.” His family recalled the way he plunged into woodworking as a hobby at age 30. “His first project wasn’t a set of bookends,” says his father.
After high school, where he excelled academically (with a reported IQ of 155) and athletically (“He was small but he wasn’t afraid of anything,” remembers a football teammate), he entered Annapolis, a goal since age 12. The 5’9″ cadet lettered in 150-pound football and lacrosse before graduating in 1971. His drive carried him into training for the SEALs, which have a dropout rate of some 75 percent. Not Schaufelberger. He once fell 30 feet from a cargo net on an obstacle course. Badly injured, he crawled through the course until an instructor put a foot on his back to stop him. 

His Navy assignments took him to Japan, Thailand, the Philippines and Korea, but home was the modest three-bedroom house he bought in a San Diego suburb. There he coached a boys’ soccer team, built a redwood hot tub, and worked on his VW camper. He became a gourmet cook, sometimes preparing dinner for 30 friends, and let his siblings use the house when they wanted. “Al was a big brother in every sense of the word,” says Margaret. 

In his final absence, Schaufelberger’s military family choked back their tears, but didn’t disguise how proud they had been of the officer they had known as a man and a boy. “Oh yes. Tremendously proud,” says his mother. “He was a wonderful son. A wonderful brother. We couldn’t have asked for more happiness, and we’re thankful for the 33 years we had.” 

Marine’s .45 Pistol in Iwo Jima, shot by Jap sniper.

A few days after the flag raising on Iwo Jima, the Japanese attacked the marines,  another fight broke out. A Japanese sniper shot him and the  bullet hit him in the right wrist, and then continues on tohit his pistol on his belt. The round, after completely disabling his right hand, penetrates his leather pistol holster, and embeds itself into the slide of his M 1911. fragments from the round penetrate through the other side of the holster, and into his leg, injuring him further. He given first aid and then evacuated. 

DMCM Robert Lee Witherow, USN 
1/22/1928 – 3/13/2011 

It is with great sadness we inform you of the passing of Bullfrog number two, DMCM Robert Lee Witherow, who shared the Bullfrog title jointly with Rudy Boesch. Bob graduated in Class 6 (Little Creek) on 12 January 1951, and served as a joint Bullfrog from August 1981 until he retired in August 1985. 

Bob was born in Clearfield County, PA and enlisted in the Army in 1946 after graduating from high school in Clymer, PA. During his time in the Army, he served on several USAT (U.S. Army Transport) ships in the Pacific. He returned to Pennsylvania after his tour on board the USAHS Comfort, attended technical school, and joined the Naval Reserve. 

In November, 1950, he was called into active duty and assigned to Underwater Demolition 22 and subsequently volunteered and graduated from UDTR. Following graduation, Bob served in UDT-2 and UDT-21 where he was the mainstay in the OPS Department for many years. He completed his 35-year career as the Personnel Officer of the Special Boat Squadron TWO. 

Bob was extremely active in intramural sports. In 1976, he joined the Little Creek Intramural Volleyball Team and soon was a member of the US Volleyball Association. He played against teams all over the country. He became a coach of the NAVPHIBASE “Gators” and took his team to the 1977 All Navy Tournament Championship. After retiring, he became one of the most respected volleyball referees in Virginia Beach.

Erasmo Riojas & Sylvia Dolores Riojas-Vaughn

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Rev. Larry Lyons and Melissa’s Vietnam Vacation

From: Rev. Larry Lyons     ljlyons [at] texoma  DOT  net
to:      “Erasmo \”Doc\” Riojas”      docrio45 [at] gmail  DOT com

date”  Mon, Dec 6, 2010
subject:  Howdy from the North – North Texas that is

Hello Doc,
I talked to Roy Dean about an hour ago. Great visit. Thanks
for his phone number.
Doc, any and I mean any picture you get from me you may
use on your web site and share it with anyone you like. I don’t
need to see any proofs.
Yea, I did the disk label. I kind of like playing with that kind of
stuff. Just not really good at it.
What do you think of the music? it is for real. I have a hard time
getting the music on our travel slide shows but it really adds.

Remember Doc, as you said to me, please get back on the VTC
in a few weeks and get your web site back up and running. It is

My wife’s name is Melissa and she is the love of my life.   PTL !!
I am a blessed Frogman.

Roy Dean Matthews is in our prayers.


CuChi Tunnels Vietnam

                           CU CHI GUERILLA TUNNELS IN VIETNAM
Tunnels of CU CHI 
The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Củ Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, and are part of a much larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The Củ Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the Viet Cong’s base of operations for the Tết Offensive in 1968.
The tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous guerrilla fighters. The role of the tunnel systems should not be underestimated in its importance to the Viet Cong in resisting American operations and protracting the war, eventually culminating in an American withdrawal.

A trap door on the jungle floor leads down into the Củ Chi tunnels. Closed and camouflaged, it is almost undetectable 
The camouflaged trap door, now open. 
Booby trap with bamboo spikes. 
Part of the tunnel complex at Củ Chi, this tunnel has been made wider and taller to accommodate tourists. 
Visitors entering tunnel system.   
A command center in the tunnels. Today, visitors to the complex can eat meals underground, sampling foods that the underground Viet Cong fighters had eaten, such as rice 
Tour guide showing how the tunnel works. 
Just 30 km from Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon), hundreds of miles of narrow underground tunnels attest to the determination of the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.

MCPO Thomas Hayden’sCu Chi Tunnel Photos
………..also just a few of his many photos

Operation Red Wing 2005
Linda Norgrove's Rescue in Afganistan Oct 201
The SEAL 'nam era "Hushpuppy"
"Freedy the Frog" in movie "APOLLO 13"
SDV at SEAL Demonstration at reunion "shark"
Alvaro Lanza at FtPierce SEAL Museum
ChinaTown Houston TX

SCUD Is More Than A Four-letter Word

July 9, 2002     

this letter and the below article came to me from  Jake Rhinebolt, my XO  ST-2 back in the ’60’s.

Hi Doc Rio,

An ex-submarine shipmate sent me this article. The writer, Tony DeMarco did pretty good after 36 years since the event, but he was a little “fuzzy.”

The SCUD didn’t run submerged, but was a sailboat that could be launched from a submerged sub. It had water proof outboard motor. It was designed by the CIA to infiltrate agents into Cuba.

Ron Fox was along too. We three thought its best use was as a Cuban   (illegible word)   death trap.

It was also the coldest I have ever been in my life.

Good Luck,      Jake                    

     My comment:    Jake, what does “SCUD” stand for?

SCUD Is More Than A Four-letter Word

by Tony DeMarco

The American Submariner           April June 2002

When I first saw the photo of this submarine, it brought me back some 36 years to 1966, and my personal experience with an underwater swimmer delivery system, then called a SCUD. I believe it meant submerged covert delivery system. I was the Navigator and Operations Officer and a Lieutenant Commander at the time on the USS Grenadier (55-525). Grenadier with its high, North Atlantic sail was a four-engine, four-battery boat operating out of Key West as a unit of Submarine Squadron (CSR) 12. The skipper was Lcdr Fritz Hahn.

Grenadier always seemed to be the CSR 12 test boat for the latest underwater gadgetry. Having come from the relatively spacious three-engine, two-battery USS Threadfin (SS-410), Grenadier had something in every little cubbyhole.

Some of these facts may be bit fuzzy, because they happened over three decades ago in 1966. Repair personnel from the tender USS Bushnell built a special wooden cradle on Grenadier’s deck, just aft of the forward torpedo room (FTR) escape hatch. It was designed to house a crudely constructed SCUD capable of carrying two underwater swimmers to the beach for an undetected insertion or some other covert mission. The SCUD was tightly latched down in the cradle.  I don’t recall the SCUDs dimensions or capability, but it was battery powered and I believe about 8-10 feet long. It ran submerged, just below the surface of the water with its two occupants. The two SEALS were Ltjg Jake Rhinebolt and Petty Officer First Class Gallagher from SEAL Team Two at the Little Creek (VA) Amphibious Base.

Their mission was to make an undetected incursion onto the small Naval Coastal Facility at Panama City, Fl, some 90 miles east of Pensacola. I’m a bit hazy here, but as I recall, they were to enter the base commander’s office and remove something to prove they had successfully breached the base’s security. Grenadier’s role was relatively simple, except for the difficult navigation problem in reaching the precise drop-off point. We also had to remain undetected during our submerged nighttime transit of the shallow water. There weren’t many prominent navigation aids, landmarks, and getting a good visual “fix” was further compounded by the many lights of the resort area.

When we hit our spot, Rhinebolt and Gallagher locked out of the FTR escape chamber, went up on deck, unlatched the SCUD and motored to the beach, six miles away. They then had to hide the SCUD.  After accomplishing their mission (if they weren’t caught), they were to swim back to the rendezvous point without the Scud for Grenadier retrieval.

After the drop off, Grenadier retreated to the relative safety of deeper water, and six hours later returned to pick up the two “intruders.” The scheduled time for the extraction was 6 a.m. and we arrived back there 10 minutes early at 5:50. I informed skipper Fritz Hahn we were on station to extract the two SEALS. To be honest, it was a bit of ~ SWAG (stupid wild ass guess), because we were still having some NAV problems. I sure wish we had a global positioning system (GPS) back then we raised NO.1 scope did a quick look around. NO SEALS! At 6 a.m., I did it again. Still NO SEALS! Skipper Hahn said, “Give them another 10 minutes.” All of a sudden, I heard “Clank! Clank! Clank!” Someone was ringing the Grenadier’s doorbell. They had arrived and were longing of some steak and eggs If they had a broom, they would have tied it to the periscope. They swam six miles to affect a rendezvous with only a wrist-held compass. What a feat. I was totally impressed and tried to recruit them as part of my navigation team, but they respectfully declined. I don’t know who recovered the hidden SCUD, but the two happy SEALS had enough material to prove that they accomplished their mission.

About a year or so later, I left Grenadier and volunteered for in-country Vietnam :.duty as a combat field historian. There in the Mekong Delta, I met Lt. Rhinebolt, who was in charge of a SEAL platoon in Binh Thuy, and also now Chief Electrician’s Mate Gallagher, who was in Vinh Long with a SpecWarGru SEAL platoon. At the time, I was the historian for the SEAL activity in Vietnam. These two men were highly decorated Navymen.”

Page 31

Friday, March 28, 2008


(note, I didn’t write this, just using it by permission, it tells a bit about what I do)

I recently was engaged in a heated argument with a young sergeant during this argument the sergeant said to me “You are just a corpsman” This angered me to no end, as we continued with the patrol I thought about his statement. You are just a Corpsman.

I realized that even though he may have thought he was disrespecting me he paid me one of the highest complements that could be given to a warrior. Yes I am just a Corpsman.

You can call me a squid, pecker checker, sailor you can make fun of my Dixie cup hat and bellbottoms but let me tell you about myself………….

A common description of 8404 hospital corpsmen could be found in the 1980 book, Green Side Out Marine Corps Sea-Stories by H. G. Duncan and W. T. Moore, Jr.

– “A long haired, bearded, Marine-hatin’ Sailor with certain medical skills, who would go through the very gates of Hell to tend to a wounded Marine

I have my own symbol the Caduceus. It is very old and understanding its origins can be somewhat confusing. The link between the caduceus of Hermes (Mercury) and medicine seems to have arisen by the seventh century A.D., when Hermes had come to be linked with alchemy. Alchemists were referred to as the sons of Hermes, as Hermetists or Hermeticists and as “practitioners of the hermetic arts”. 

There the caduceus was the magic staff of Hermes (Mercury), the god of commerce, eloquence, invention, travel and theft, and so was a symbol of heralds and commerce, not medicine. The words caduity & caduceus imply temporality, perishable ness and senility, while the medical profession espouses renewal, vitality and health.. Like the staff of Asclepius, the caduceus became associated with medicine through its use as a printer’s mark, as printers saw themselves as messengers of the printed word and diffusers of knowledge (hence the choice of the symbol of the messenger of the ancient gods). A major reason for the current popularity of the caduceus as a medical symbol was its official adoption as the insignia for the Medical Department of the United States Army in 1902.

I myself think that the Hermes angle is better because, I will sell my soul to save your life. If I have nothing left to use I will invent a way to save your life, I will travel through anything including the very gates of hell to save you and I have often stolen you from the very hands of death.

But I am just a Corpsman.

I am Francis Junior Piece who while continuously under fire while carrying out the most dangerous volunteer assignments, I gained valuable knowledge of the terrain and disposition of troops .Caught in heavy enemy rifle and machinegun fire which wounded a corpsman and 2 of the 8 stretcher bearers who were carrying 2 wounded marines to a forward aid station I quickly took charge of the party, carried the newly wounded men to a sheltered position, and rendered first aid. After directing the evacuation of 3 of the casualties I stood in the open to draw the enemy’s fire and, with my weapon blasting, enabled the litter bearers to reach cover.

Turning my attention to the other 2 casualties I was attempting to stop the profuse bleeding of 1 man when a Japanese fired from a cave less than 20 yards away and wounded my patient again. Risking my own life to save my patient I deliberately exposed myself to draw the attacker from the cave and destroyed him with the last of my ammunition, Then lifting the wounded man to my back, I advanced unarmed through deadly rifle fire across 200 feet of open terrain. Despite exhaustion and in the face of warnings against such a suicidal mission, I again traversed the same fire-swept path to rescue the remaining Marine. On the following morning, I led a combat patrol to the sniper nest and, while aiding a stricken Marine, was seriously wounded. Refusing aid for myself I directed treatment for the casualty, at the same time maintaining protective fire for my comrades. Completely fearless, completely devoted to the care of my patients, I inspired the entire battalion.

But I am just a Corpsman.

I am John Bradley who is immortalized in the Marine Corps memorial. I am the one with an empty canteen pouch. It is empty because I gave the last of my water and canteen to a wounded Marine 24 hours earlier.
But I am just a Corpsman.

In August of 1942, the first major USMC assault landings against the JapaneseEmpire occurred in the Solomon Islands, Pacific. The island chosen for the invasion was Guadalcanal. As they moved inland, four Marines were walking point into the jungle. Advancing into an open area without cover, they came under heavy fire from the entrenched Japanese. All four Marines were wounded but managed to crawl into a shell crater, about fifty yards from where they had emerged from the jungle. I ran from cover into the crater with the wounded Marines, and ran back to cover, under fire. Having dressed the wounds of the Marine, I sprinted back for another, only this time I was hit. Not stopping to dress my own wounds, I carried the second Marine to cover receiving a second wound. After giving aid to the Marine, I was hit for a third time going into the crater.

 Staggering toward the tree line with the third Marine, I was again struck by enemy fire. When the third Marine’s wounds were dressed, I started after the last Marine in the crater. I still did not stop to care for my own wounds. In a final valiant effort, I stumbled toward the crater, where I was brought down by concentrated enemy machine gun fire. I lunged forward into the crater falling across the fourth Marine, finally giving up I life. But I am just a CorpsmanFifteen Corpsmen were counted among the dead following the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983.

But they were just Corpsmen

I am John Harlan Willis who was constantly imperiled by artillery and mortar fire from strong and mutually supporting pillboxes and caves studding Hill 362 in the enemy’s cross-island defenses, I administered first aid to the many marines wounded during the furious close-in fighting until I was struck by shrapnel and was ordered back to the battle-aid station. Without waiting for official medical release, I quickly returned to my company and during a savage hand-to-hand enemy counterattack daringly advanced to the extreme frontlines under mortar and sniper fire to aid a Marine lying wounded in a shellhole. Completely unmindful of my own danger as the Japanese intensified their attack, I calmly continued to administer blood plasma to my patient, promptly returning the first hostile grenade which landed in the shell-hole while he was working and hurling back 7 more in quick succession before the ninth one exploded in my hand and instantly killed me.

But I am just a Corpsman.

I am fearless, dedicated, tough and caring. I have delivered babies and treated the old. On submarines I have performed appendectomies even though I am no surgeon, I do this because it is what needs to be done. I will tranfer my own blood to your body from mine if that is what I have to do. I have the skills to keep you breathing even if you have no face. I will stop the blood from leaving your body in an singleminded effort to save your life while ignoring everything else including my own safety.When you are injured there are three things you scream out Oh God ,Momma and Corpman up. The first two usually don’t show up and the only thing that will stop me from getting to you is death itself. I have taken an oath to do this. I take that oath very serious.

I am just a Corpsman.

I have always been with you don’t you remember? Was I not there during the freezing winter in the Chosin resevoir. Did I not help you semaphore 100s of injured Marines. Did I not fight as hard as you did on Okinawa. In Belleau wood did I not keep you alive so that you could continue to do what you do best? Do you not recall during the TET offensive how I carried all that extra weight in the form of equipment to keep you alive? Was I not in Somalia?

 In desert storm did I not repel the enemy out of Kuwait with you.. Im sure you realize that I am still here with you fighting next to you in Iraq. I have spilled my blood here too. I have saved your life here as well. Don’t you remember?Was I not in Fallujah, Ramadi and Habaniyah. I know you realize that right now I am on a mountain in Afghanistan . I live in that battle position with you, I sleep next to you. I patrol with you, I suffer where you suffer.

I am just a Corpman.

I stand by you with pride don’t I deserve the same? have I not earned your respect?.I cry when you cry, I cheer when you cheer. Your battles have always been mine. I practice medicine through firepower. I will gladly take a life to save yours and give mine in your stead. That is what I am here for. I am just a Corpman. 

When the Marine Corps Hymn plays I stand a little taller and a tear wells up in my eye because I know that it is also my song. I have earned that by blood. You did not give it to me, don’t you see? Just like the Blood represented by the stripe running down your leg my Caduess is also red.

I am just a Corpsman

Same Same 1967 to now 2010
Hi Doc.

 I have put some extra in on Britt Slabinski that his Father sent me. You may have this already?  

Navy Cross, Navy Marine Corps Medal, Bronze Star

I am not computer smart or I would have sent these by whatever can be done by the copy gadget.

I am sure you know Andy Anderson. He is a member of my Legion Post 14, where I am the Historian. We inhaled a few beers on Memorial Day. Larry Bailey is also a Post 14 member. When Tom Hawkins was in Tampa recently, I had him come over (St.Pete) for supper at the Post.

Andy and Rick Green were with us. If you are ever in this neck of the woods, give me a buzz at 727 894 284 or do an email.

Jim Barnes “Older than Dirt”

 MOH & NavyCross Awards 
Click on small pictures to enlarge them


Traditional sports played: Water polo, triathlon, lacrosse, boxing, rugby, swimming and/or wrestling
Alternative sports played: Skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, climbing, rappelling and/or martial arts
Height: At least 5 feet 8
Weight: At least 162 pounds
Age: 22 to 25 (by law, only men are eligible to apply)
Education: Bachelor’s
Hobbies: Hunting, woodworking and/or chest
Geography: Grew up in New England (Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island), the Northern Plains (North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri) or the West Coast (California, Washington and Oregon)
          Source: Gallup

SEAL facts

  • There has never been a female U.S. Navy SEAL. Under Defense Department policy, only males can become members of the elite military unit.

  • Today there are about 2,400 SEALs, working in 33 countries.

  • About one-third of SEALs have college degrees.

  • The U.S. Navy’s Underwater Demolition Team, formed in 1943, was the predecessor to the SEALs, which President John F. Kennedy formed in 1962.

  • From 1945 through 2005, about 48,000 men went through UDT and SEAL training. Only 8,000 became UDTs and SEALs.

Source: National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum


Hi Doc,

I have noticed the guy from LDNN named Thang who was assigned in Nam Can Team, which Darryl Young wrote about his turned coat.  (Page:319 – 320 of SEALs, UDT, Frogmen: Men Under Pressure) I have met Darryl Young from my home a few years before his death.
I have someone who knew him and he is still living somewhere in Go Cong near Saigon Capital. He became a high ranking officer after Vietnam fall and working for the bastard Commies.

You remember Thang is never interested on me and of course I am not the one wanted to talk or see him too.
Best regards,

Kiet Nguyen, webmaster’s note:  Kiet was awarded the Navy Cross for the rescue of BAT-21

LDNN Traitor,named Thang

—– Original Message —–
From: Kiet Nguyen
To: spikey1971 [at] Cc: Doc Rio
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:48 PM
Subject: Re: LDNN Thang 

Hi Mike, 

Thanks, my family is doing well. Since April 30, 2005 I was retired from my 19+1/2 years of Boeing company. 

About Thang last name I am not sure, but I will find out later. After he betrayed our comrades in SEALs. He was transferred to other teams in center Vietnam (Cam Ranh + Da Nang). 

Then US forces withdrawn on 1973 the LDNN still rock and roll as well as of itself. I never heard Thang anymore while I was in LDNN headquarter as an instructor to the SEALs class # 8. On the fall of Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces, the Commies took over Saigon and control whole VN country, 

Thang , I heard that he became an high ranking officer to the VC. Now he is living in Go Cong. I have his home phone number but never called him. My friends still live in Saigon, once asked him wants to contact with me; But he rejected it. I thought if I did not leave VN my life should be in big trouble by him. For the rescue of BAT 21 operation succeed; that mole won’t mercy me by the way of my contribution to the Americans.

 For now our government are having connections with commies on many things… However Commies are never too honest.. Mike, what are you doing now? Can you tell me? On this May of 30 Thuy (my wife) and 

I will be in Santa Ana where Garden Grove for the STD reunion. If you are living close this area I am very happy to invite you to join with us at the Seafood Kingdom restaurant 6:00PM – 11:00PM 30.5.2010 If use GPS use the city hall address ( City Of Westminster, CA) 
8200 Westminster Blvd Westminster, CA 92683 

Kiet Nguyen 

— On Wed, 5/26/10,         wrote: 
From: spikey1971 [at] 

To: ktnguyen95 [at] 
Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 6:21 AM 

 Subject: LDNN Thang ;  what happened to that Traitor?
Thank you,    Spikey

—–Original Message—–
spikey1971 [at]
To: ktnguyen95 [at]
Sent: Tue, May 25, 2010 4:21 pm 

Subject: LDNN Thang 

Hello Kiet, Nice to hear from you and I hope you and your family are doing well. I saw something you postedon Doc Rio’s website
  about an LDNN named Thang that was on Sea Float then went to Xray platoon. 

I was told the he was killed after it was found out he was selling information and maybe he was the reason why Xray platoon got shot up so bad. The whole Xray platoon tour seemed to be doomed from the start. So I was amazed that you said that Thang was alive in Vietnam. I think his full name was Bo Van Thang or maybe I have it backwards.

 Very interesting information. Did you know him? I wonder where he went after Xray platoon, maybe to an LDNN platoon? Best wishes.      Regards,          Mike Rush 

—–Original Message—–
From: Kiet Nguyen <ktnguyen95 [at]>
To: Doc Rio docrio45 [at]
Sent: Tue, May 25, 2010 1:50 pm
Subject: Re: write me here, but don’t post this email on the WWW, thanks 

Hi Doc Rio & Mike, 

It is a small world guys. Doc Rio was my trainer from LDNN Cam Ranh Bay (1970) Mike Rush who I had a good opportunity met him at the UDT-SEAL West coast reunion many years back while I have accepted the Honorary Life member of UDT-SEAL Association. HoohYaah! 

Kiet Nguyen 

On Tue, May 25, 2010 at 9:46 AM,
<Spikey1971 [at]> wrote:

 Doc Rio, 

I’ve been collecting UDT/SEAL/LDNN items for over 15yrs. A lot of people know I collect this stuff so they usually contact me. I have gotten some GREAT stuff from former SEALs that knew I liked to collect these items. Mainly I get a lot of stuff from West Coast guys, I have very little contact with any East Coast guys, Dan Olson gave me some cool stuff a few years ago and I got some stuff from Ace Sarich in the mid 90’s but that’s about it. I’m working on getting another hug batch of UDT/SEAL and LDNN patches, hopefully soon. I’d be honored to have your hat. Please let me know when you put the pics up so I can check them out. When I get home at the end of June I can re-shoot everything in a larger format if you want. Mike Erasmo “Doc” Riojas 

“Man has to be man – by choice; he has to hold his life as a value – by choice; he has to learn to sustain it – by choice; he has to discover the values it requires and practice his virtues – by his choice.” Ayn Rand”

This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from

Email from: phat28_6  [at]
To: Doc Rio       Dec 23 2010

“Thang low ” is the intructor and gave you plaque.
“Qua ” is the intructor CRanh bay .
Skinny Thang is suspected of being a VC. Vietnamese and U.S. security has cleared him and he was found to be innocent.

OK,  Thắng không phải là VC. Tôi tin rằng bạn. Cảm ơn bạn.




U.S. Navy SEAL Trident

SEAL trident

NICKNAME for the “Trident” SEAL qualification badge, formally called the Special Warfare Badge, which was adopted in 1971; as derived from reference to both the basic school, and to design similarity with the “Budweiser” beer logo. The Basic Underwater Demolition School (BUDS) is the preliminary training for SEAL specializations; so the name is a play on words: BUDS + wiser. The TRIDENT incorporates the original UDT badge as its central motif; both badges were initially partitioned silver for EM/NCO and gold for OFFICER, but later combined into a single gold badge for all ranks. See SEAL, SCUBA, UDT, NSWG, DIVER, BLOODING. [nb: ‘Budweis’ is the German name for a Czech (Bohemia and Moravia) town]



                                                          Bob Thomas (above)

                                               Class 89

Are you glad you missed the Vietnam War Games?   Making LOVE  &   WAR! 



   Subic Bay Phillipines and the Orient: a Cruise to the Past;  Great Photos !   If you have visited Yokosuka, Subic Bay,  Korea, you gotta see these guy’s Navy Photo Album!    

Doc Rio and Thang LDNN CamRanh Bay 'nam training camp 1970

       Petty Officer R.J. Thomas

Combat Experience with the .45 ACP

Oft times, comments on this net are about GySgt. Carlos Hathcock’s sniping adventures in Vietnam. Here’s one that very few know about, but is probably just as good as far as accuracy during combat is concerned.

A Navy SEAL Team was returning from a mission over North Vietnam in a chopper when it got hit pretty bad. The pilot and one crew member were killed and the copilot was wounded. Going into autorotation, the copilot managed to set the chopper down in a clearing. After landing, a few rounds of enemy fire were starting to come in. Seems the M60s were also damaged beyond use by the crash landing and initial RPG hit, the only M16 fell out on the way down.

The only firearms left was M1911s.The remaining crew member was carrying a match conditioned M1911 and had a few boxes of ammo. As more enemy small arms fire started coming in, the copilot and crew member also noted that the VC were coming out of the jungle and approaching them; shooting as they came. The crew member took out his .45 and took careful aim as he shot at each attacking VC. About 30 minutes later it was all over. Between reloading magazines and radioing for rescue, the copilot was pretty busy, but a rescue chopper finally arrived on the scene.

As the rescue chopper came in and landed, its crew noticed a lot of dead VC laying around. The downed helo’s remaining crew were picked up and on their way out, they counted the dead VC; 37 in all. Their distances from the downed helo were from 3 to about 150 yards; all shot by the crew member with his M1911 .45 ACP. About 80 rounds were fired by Petty Officer R.J. Thomas, a member of the USN Rifle and Pistol Team.

Petty Officer Thomas was recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor, but by the time the recommendation got all the way up through the chain of command, the recognition was reduced to the Navy Cross.

This incident has been cited this as the only known of example of top-level combat marksmanship since SGT Alvin York’s escapades in WWI.

Submitted by Mark Eberhard-CEO & President
LtCol. USMCR (Ret.)
American Marksman GroupA
(850) 626-9963


Scott Helvenston and a SpecForceSoldier; Blackwater Employees
I believe this one was at Vinh Long USArmy Camp
Ft. Benning GA, Basic AIrborne Training the 200 ft. towers

Subject: Hi Doc Rio
From Carl Swepston:
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2010 

From: Subject:  Lenny Horst

I do know that Lenny Horst was in the UDT SEAL teams. 

 FYI: Lenny was the guy who called the White House and asked to speak to the President because his platoon was stuck in Hawaii (on their way back from Vietnam) and the plane crew was  being delayed.  When Lenny got back to the strand Captain Schaible called Lenny into office.

 The Captain said: “Petty Office Horst tell me in 25 words or less why did you call the President of the United States? Actually, Lenny only reached an Admiral at the White House.. That is all  know. 

Carl Swpston.(SEAL) Happy Memorial Day


“Written By a World War Two Sailor.”

Come gather round me lads and I’ll tell you a thing or two,
about the way we ran the Navy in nineteen forty two.

When wooden ships and iron men were barely out of sight,
I am going to give you some facts just to set the record right.

We wore the ole bell bottoms, with a flat hat on our head,
and we always hit the sack at night. We never “went to bed.”

Our uniforms were worn ashore, and we were mighty proud.
Never thought of wearing civvies, in fact they were not allowed.

Now, when a ship puts out to sea. I’ll tell you son, it hurts!
When suddenly you notice that half the crew’s wearing skirts.

And it’s hard for me to imagine, a female boatswains mate,
stopping on the Quarter deck to make sure her stockings are straight.

What happened to the KiYi brush, and the old salt-water bath?
Holy stoning decks at night, cause you stirred old Bosn’s wrath!

We always had our gedunk stand and lots of pogey bait.
And it always took a hitch or two, just to make a rate.

In your seabag all your skivvies, were neatly stopped and rolled.
And the blankets on your sack had better have a three-inch fold.

Your little ditty bag . . it is hard to believe just how much it held,and you wouldn’t go ashore with pants that hadn’t been spiked and belled.

We had scullery maids and succotash and good old S.O.S.
And when you felt like topping off, you headed for the mess.

Oh we had our belly robbers, but there weren’t too many gripes.
For the deck apes were never hungry and there were no starving snipes.

Now, you never hear of Davey Jones, Shellbacks or Polliwogs,
and you never splice the mainbrace to receive your daily grog.

Now you never have to dog a watch or stand the main event.
You even tie your lines today; back in my time they were bent.

We were all two-fisted drinkers and no one thought you sinned,
if you staggered back aboard your ship, three sheets to the wind.

And with just a couple hours of sleep you regained your usual luster.Bright eyed and bushy tailed, you still made morning muster.

Rocks and shoals have long since gone, and now it’s U.C.M.J.
Back then the old man handled everything if you should go astray.

Now they steer the ships with dials, and I wouldn’t be surprised,
if some day they sailed the damned things from the beach, computerized.

So when my earthly hitch is over, and the good Lord picks the best,
I’ll walk right up to Him and say, “Sir, I have but one request.

Let me sail the seas of Heaven in a coat of Navy blue.
Like I did so long ago on earth, way back in forty two.”

Erasmo “Doc” Riojas joined the U.S.Navy in 1948


Randy (son) Robert D. Russel (father)

Thank you for your response on what I found on the WWW about the birth of USNavy SEALs.  I did not save what I forwarded you, so that is the reason is not posted here.   Thank you very much for the letter, above, and the two followup emails ,below.    

 Erasmo “Doc” Riojas   BUD/S class (zero,nada)

I did not sell president Kennedy on the idea It was Bill Hamilton the Skipper of UDT 21. He ordered me to give him a group of men that would go anyplace and do anything. He asked me if I could assemble this group from UDT 21; I told him it was the perfect place to do it.  We served Mc George Bundy Special assistant to the President for National Security. Attached is National Security Memorandum No 2 Our first operation started in the end of March 1961, and continued throughout the year prior to the creation and commisioning of what would later become the SEAL’s


Roy Boehm

I have nothing against the truth It was our skipper Bill Hamilton That had the know how and the connections to present the idea we had talked about and he and Doug Fane had talked about years ago. I kaboshed the movie because they were going to have the President crediting me . You can use anything I say. I don’t think it makes any difference. The men know what happened and when; a long time before the argument of  three hours between east and west coast times.

Roy Boehm

 The Story of the Instantanous       hand Grenade in Vietnam

The instant grenade incident happened to 3rd Platoon ST2 in Nha Be in
1968. That was my platoon. Here’s the story as told me by Bubba
Brewton, Jerry Todd, Bo Burwell, and others:

My squad left an instant grenade with pin pulled beneath a special device we implanted in an area of enemy activity. The other squad went back several weeks later by PBR (new guys, that’s a River Patrol Boat
with twin 50s and some M-60s
) to retrieve the device, which was on ariver bank.

Fully briefed and aware of the instant grenade, the SEALs attached a line from the PBR to the device, paid out about 50 yards, and pulled the device out of the ground and into the river behind the PBR. They expected the grenade to detonate harmlessly under water as the mud attaching it to the device washed away from the spoon.

That did not happen, so the LT in charge of the PBRs decided to pull the device to the stern of the boat to see what was the problem. He lifted the device out of the water and saw the grenade still stuck to it, spoon held down by mud. Fully aware the grenade had an instant fuse and despite warnings to the contrary, he reached out, took hold of the grenade, said, “I’m going to throw it”, and did.

There’s not much space to hide on the back of a PBR. Bubba Brewton, the SEAL officer present, was right next to the LT and did not get a scratch. A couple other SEALs got a little frag, but Skip Isham and a non-SEAL CDR who was the XO of Nha Be both lost eyes and had to leave the Navy.

The PBR LT lost most of his hand. When Bubba and I visited him at 3rd
Field Hospital in Saigon, I asked him what he had been thinking. His
response? “If only I had thrown it harder.”


“Stupid is as Stupid does!”     Skip” ISHAM, ST-2 Lost one Eye


Margaret Mence & Erasmo Riojas

  “Rupe” and Margaret Mence:The two great women that have “canned” me.   “LouLou”the last one is the charm!

The USNavy National Naval Medical Center,Bethesda MD. This is where I was stationed

We used this Sanpan also to chase VC Tax collectors.  That is Chuck Jessie, Tuan LDNN, and Erasmo “Doc” Riojas doing the maintenance on it.  One of the LDNN, or Minh, dressed as a civilian did the driving.  Roy Dean Matthews asked me in the year 2007 if I was ever scared riding inside this sanpan.  The gospel truth!  I was scared shitless.  It was because we are in side that plywood enclosure and cannot see what the heck is going on.  Plywood is not bulletproof !


Alfa platoon  SEAL Team ONE  Seastory in Vietnam


Thank you for the email. I will be out-of-town that day, but remember the incident with Donny well as Alfa platoon was scheduled to relieve Mike Platoon at the YRBM-18 on the Mekong in August 1968. 

I have enclosed the list of Mike Platoon’s members with reliefs in parantheses. If you can remember the other original members, please let me know. MIKE PLATOON (1) 
(21 Feb-Aug 68) 

Ltjg Benjamin S. Beall (LTjg Thomas Belding) Ltjg William J. “Bill” Brierton (CWO1 James P. “Jess”Tolison) BM1 Walter G. Pope (RD3 Michael V. Ambrose) CS1 Donnie L. Patrick SFP2 David E. Devine EN2 Charles W. Puckett HM2 William E. Poole (HM2 William A. Silva) BM3 Frank B. Toms PN3 R. F. Millerick EMFN R. D. Dean AN Barry H. Volkenant 

In a message dated 2/8/2011 7:41:08 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes: Teammates, wives, widows and friends, I didn’t know Annette, but knew Donny well from Team 11 and Seal One. He was killed inserting on an operation with Jimmy Ako, in Pope’s platoon. I can’t remember who else was in that platoon, but we broke them in . Donny was a hell of a guy and a good operator. 



Honor those who served, at UDT-SEAL annual muster 


After researching this column, I have a newfound respect for those serving our country in the armed forces. There are fewer than 30 federally designated museums outside Washington, and there is only one in Florida. We are privileged that it is in Fort Pierce. The U.S. Navy UDT-SEAL Museum — celebrating 25 years in existence and about to get bigger — is the only one of its kind dedicated to preserving the history of the Navy SEALs and their predecessors, the World War II Navy Frogmen who originated and trained in Fort Pierce.

The museum will host its annual muster Nov. 6 and 7. On Nov. 6, you can run or walk alongside (or slightly behind) real SEALs during the beach 5K at 7 a.m. Your footprints will be imprinted in the same sand that the Frogmen trained on beginning in 1943. At 11 a.m., the 25th annual ceremony and demonstration will take place. 

There will be men parachuting from a C-130, Navy helicopters present, a performance by a pipe and drum unit, demonstrations of rappelling, explosions and a mission scenario. “My favorite part of the event is educating the kids and giving back to the community,” said Hector Delgado, a former SEAL and U.S. marshal who is a federal agent and museum board member serving in the demonstration.U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, two SEAL Medal of Honor recipients and “Rudy” Boesch, of the TV series “Survivor,” also are expected, along with Nick Wynne, author and past director of the Florida Historical Society.Other VIPs include men and women who have served our country as SEALS and in other branches of the armed forces. 

After the demonstration, an auction and raffle will be at 1 p.m. and guest speaker Ed Robinson, a tour guide at Normandy, will speak about the French resistance. Later, museum officials will break ground for expanded facilities that will add more display opportunities and house a community multiuse theater, thanks to countywide support. Don’t be surprised if you see news cameras on the premises covering the story of the SEAL Bike Across America tour.The bikers most likely will have a police escort from the county line to the museum at 2:45 p.m. — something they deserve to conclude their 3,300-mile bike ride from California! 

The team of five cyclists (one of whom is 74 years old) is raising money for charities that provide support for the families of SEALs and other Naval Special Warfare personnel killed in action, and for sports programs and clinics for people with disabilities.Finally, at 10 a.m. Sunday, officials will dedicate the new SEAL memorial, which is the only one of its kind in the world and recently was completed after a year of construction. This memorial honors the 252 Navy SEALs who were killed in the line of duty. 

Chuck Theiss, who is a former Frogman and head lector and tour guide at the museum, has been a volunteer for more than a decade, giving 500 hours to his community. “Chuck is a tremendous resource and a great asset to the museum. He was a Frogman before the SEALs were created and helped link the Frogmen of WWII with the SEALs of the early 1960s,” said Mike Howard, UDT-SEAL Museum executive director.

It is spectacular that the birth of this elite group began in our backyard. Happy Friday! Correspondent Jennifer M. Trefelner is a columnist for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. This column reflects her opinion. Contact her 

Frank Sayle:



this book and other SEAL books are on sale on for $0.01 plus shipping.        Yes,  ONE  cent !              June 2008:  I am presently writing a book about my military experience in the Korean Police Action as a FMF Corpsman with an infantry platoon, and also my tours to the Vietnam war games as a U.S. Navy SEAL.   I am sure my book will be for sale in  for the same price.

"Hey! Be Careful!" You wanna be Careful? Go join the Coast Guard!

“The Shark at UWSS Key West FL”  constructed by YNCS (DV)(PJ)(SS) Dow Byers (RIP). 1967. Ernie Caltenback, Master Diver, was wrapped in casting cloth for the mold. The face was byers, the hands were his wife’s Annice Byers.  The shark is now atop the Diving Locker at the Naval Base, San Diego CA.

Rich Young    SEAL stuff!

      About  Vietnamese Rats
Doc Rio wrote:   asking if the below SEASTORY is true or false

Si Amigo , it is TRUE;
Kaloki Dave was the LPO of golf PLt. Mar -August 1970 at  SeaFloat ;  I do remember the Movie Rat account.
All the best ;     Kaloki Dave Bodkin

Dale Moses, CAPT USN (ret) EMAIL: DALEMOSES [at a :
   As a LT survived watching movies on Seafloat.  After dark at SeaFloat, the crew would show flicks on a movie screen that was a sheet thrown over a line tied between two of the hootches on the floats. You could watch the flick from either side of the screen. In those days (June 1970) there were lots of SEALs that hung out there. One night we had just started watching a flick and a rat ran across the rope holding up the sheet. One of the SEALs pulled out a pistol and tried to shoot the rat not realizing – correction, not being too bright – that there were Americans sitting on the other side of the rope and screen. The SEAL missed the rat and fortunately also missed his shipmates. But I never felt the same watching flicks there again. 

[I was a US advisor on a Vietnamese Navy LSSL that patrolled during the day, and the VN CO and I would come to SeaFloat forthe nightly ops brief on a small junk that would pick us up.) 

READ the below story from 

THE RATS Waking to some of the bluest language the Vietnamase ever come up with, I blearily looked around and saw that what looked like huge snakes were boarding us along the tie lines to the LSSL. They were cutting the lines with machetes! I cleared my vision and saw that the “snakes” werebunched up, pushing, throbbing lines of rats. They had already pretty well covered the main deck of my boat and were moving on to the other PCFs lashed up to us on the other side. After the lines were cut, the rats were leaping into the water off the LSSL–they just didn’t seem to care and there were LOTS of them. We were slowly spinning around with the other boats and we had to wake up all the other crews and get them to start their engines and unhook from each other. The PCFs all moved over to a large barge and tied up to it. We went back to sleep except for guards on the end boats. 



USNS Weigel, Doc Riojas' first seaduty as USMC Troop coming home from Korea.



Lt. Jason Redman, US Navy SEAL,  ST-10

By John T. Vigiano

This is the story of how a bunch of New York City Firefighters met and “partnered†up with SEAL Team TEN. This began with a trip to Bethesda Naval Hospital back in October 2007. As we were making the rounds of the ward, we came upon a sign hanging from one of the patient’s door. You could not help but realize that inside that room was an incredible human being; a man who gave part of himself to make this country what it is.

  This is the sign we saw:  

I immediately took a photo of this and we asked if we could meet this young man (Lt. Jason Redman, US Navy SEAL). The corpsman escort entered first and asked the warrior if he would meet with us (usual procedure) Needless to say, his response was affirmative. When we entered the room, this young man was standing there , .. hanging from him were a maze of tubes and other medical contraptions which to a normal person would mean “stay in bed”, Jay greeted us like brothers and began a conversation about New York , Firefighters, and SEALs being bonded. We stayed as long as we were permitted, and left. All day long we spoke the attitude of that young man. A few days later, a friend was going down to visit the troops … I asked her to visit this young man and to ask him if he would allow us to “adopt” his team, My friend did meet Jay and relayed my request. It was then I found out there were 200 people in the Team. Undaunted, I said “not a problem,” but I knew I had to come up with 200 hats, tee shirts and patches from somewhere. A few days later, I received an email from Jay’s CO, CDR Robert “Gus” Gusentine and we communicated back and forth discussing this partnership (SEALs are not adopted).

Webmaster’s note:  They all met and visited three FDNY firestations and the entire ST-10 got hats and T shirts.  article from The BLAST 3d quarter 2008. Vol.40, No.3


Jason Redman

This holiday season, home in Texas and surrounded by close friends and family, I often found myself thinking about virtual strangers.


A Navy Seal at work in Afghanistan.

I met them this fall when I spoke at the Naval Special Warfare Foundation (NSWF) dinner. The NSWF supports naval commandoes with scholarships and assistance for families of Navy SEALs killed or wounded in combat or training.

During my White House years, I came to know of the heroic actions of the Seals and other special operators in the global war on terror. These men willingly follow evil into dark and perilous places. They volunteered to be on the front edge of the conflict whose outcome will shape this century.

The highlight of the NSWF dinner was a video of “snatch and grab” operations in Afghanistan. It showed helicopters lifting off to pounding music, night footage of Seals jumping onto roofs and rappelling into dusty fields, the breathtakingly destructive power of American missiles and machine guns, and compound doors blowing open and terrorist suspects being rounded up.

The Seals who prepared the video had carefully mined President Bush’s speeches, using his voice and words as narration. I was touched by this and knew the president would be, too. So when I met the Seal who’d produced the video, we exchanged email addresses. Later, before he left for Afghanistan for his umpteenth deployment, I asked for a copy of the video to show the president.

He was happy to supply one but had a request in return. Could the wives and children of his unit’s members see the White House Christmas decorations while their husbands and fathers were deployed?

The First Lady readily agreed and with NSWF’s help, 75 Seal family members were greeted at the White House just before Christmas by the president and Laura Bush. It was one of the high points of Mr. Bush’s last holiday in Washington.

On Christmas Eve, I received an email from Afghanistan, with thanks for helping to facilitate the tour. Attached was a picture of the videographer and his team, ready for that night’s mission. Bearded and scruffy, covered with weapons and standing in a rude shelter, they were all wearing bright red Santa Claus hats. It was the best gift I received this Christmas.

I met another Seal at that NSWF dinner. He’d been shot eight times in Iraq and had undergone nearly two-dozen operations. One bullet had taken off part of his cheek and nose. He was destined for reconstructive surgery in a few days.

Yet he didn’t feel sorry for himself. He was full of charisma, confidence, cockiness and joy. After all, he confided, when you’re a wounded Seal, the world’s best doctors want to operate on you so they can brag about it. Besides, he explained, he was just showing that a Seal really could catch bullets with his teeth.

He said that after a couple more procedures, he’d “be back in the game.” I asked what he meant. He was amused and said he was going back into action. “My team needs me,” he said before letting out a laugh. But you knew he meant it, and you knew his team did need him.

He went off to get a drink for his wife. I didn’t want to pry, but I asked her how she felt about him going back into action. She said she was all for it because that’s what he was made for. I had to fight back tears.

The next day, I got an email from the retired Navy Seal buddy who’d talked me into speaking at NSWF. He shared a picture of the sign the wounded Seal put on his Baghdad hospital door.

On it, the Seal had scrawled that visitors shouldn’t “feel sorry” for him. “The wounds I received,” he wrote, “I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love. I am incredibly tough.” And on his sign he promised “a full recovery” and wrote that his hospital room was a place of “fun, optimism, and intense rapid regrowth. If you are not prepared for that, GO ELSEWHERE.” He signed it “The Management.”

I keep this picture with me so I think every day about those I met this fall. And I thought about them often during the holidays.

When I did, I felt awe that such men and women exist, and gratitude that they put themselves in harm’s way for our nation. I hope America continues to be worthy of such staggering service and sacrifice.

May the New Year bring safety to all who wear our country’s uniform, success in the missions they so passionately believe in, peace and comfort to their families, and reunion with all whom they love.

Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush. NSWF can be found at

Classic Frogmen and Dive Books



To Kill an American
by:  Australian Dentist.

To Kill an American You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American. 

So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let everyone know what an American is . So they would know when they found one. (Good one, mate!) 

“An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan. 

An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans. 

An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses. 

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God. 

An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness. 

An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return. 

When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country! 

As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. Americans welcome the best of everything…the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services. But they also welcome the least. 

The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty , welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America. 

Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It’s been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists. 

So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

This is the Casket of SEAL Petty Officer James SHU of SDV Team ONE, Forest Lawn Cemetery, Los Angeles CA, summer of 2005.        data by Tom Hawkins
Webmaster’s NOTE:   This tradition started when Jerry Waters, ST-2, diet in a parachuting accident at Suffolk VA. in Nov. 1971.    Jerry was the first SEAL to die from ST-2 after the “Bud” was approved and the SEALs that attended his funeral at Savannah, GA thought it was the right thing to do to place their “BUDs” on top of Jerry’s casket before it was lowered.         Doc Riojas(webmaster)      story by Capt. Ryan Mc Combie (SEAL) (Ret) USN.


Matthew G. Axelson

June 28


Danny P. Dietz

June 28


Michael P. Murphy

June 28


 The three SEALs named above were part of a four-man reconnaissance team that clandestinely infiltrated into the Hindu-Kush mountains along the border with Afghanistan on June 27, 2005. The squad was reportedly tracking a high-ranking al-Qaeda leader when they were ambushed by overwhelming Taliban forces with superior firepower. The three SEALs provided protective fire for a fourth member in their squad to escape, before they were killed by enemy fire.  One SEAL, HM1(SEAL) Marcus Luttrell survived this “OP”,  and was later rescued.  Doc Luttrell wrote a book titled “LONE SURVIVOR” which was on best sellers list for a very long time.

The eight SEALs named below were on a combat rescue mission to reinforce a SEAL squad (above) which had been ambushed and was engaged in a fierce firefight with overwhelming Taliban forces. The eight SEALs were killed along with eight Army “Nightstalker†commandos when the MH-47 helicopter that all were aboard was shot down and crashed in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. (Full story…)

Jacques J. Fontan

June 28, 2005


Daniel R. Healy

June 28, 2005


Erik S. Kristensen

June 28, 2005


Jeffrey A. Lucas

June 28, 2005


Michael M. McGreevy, Jr

June 28, 2005


Shane E. Patton

June 28, 2005


James Suh

June 28, 2005


Jeffrey S. Taylor 

June 28, 2005



Steve Schwarzer, Knife Manufacturer Extraordinaire
I had this made when I was working in the Texas Dept of Corrections in two of their Prisons. I was known as "Dr. Death" aka: Doc Riojas
SEALS Hydro Track for treatment of injureis
Roy Dean Matthews foot on the right
Dow Byers son, Dr. David Byers receiving award as the youngest man ever to complete UWSS school. David is the son of Dow Byers YNCS.


                                             SNAKES &  Navy SEALs


 US spec-ops “Snake-eaters SEALs”  $200m porta-drone deal

By Lewis Page  Published Tuesday 8th July 2008 
The US Special Operations Command, SOCOM – aka the “snake eater community”* – has just placed a new order for hand-launched aerial surveillance robots which could be worth up to $200m and see hundreds of portable drones delivered.              Go to the below link for the full article.  

WEBMASTER’s email to the troops:  

In 1968, I ate a water mocassin that Chief Jim Tipton brought back from AP hill. 
Richard Marcinko ate the venom of a cobra in Tailand, I forgot if he ate the snake also. 
NOW, we are all the “SNAKE EATER COMMUNITY” according the above article.
I would like to hear some stories for my web site of other guys eating snakes. 
I remember Fred Toothman, up north , on E&E school found several new born snakes under a rock, but they stunk so bad he had to shitcan his gloves after picking one up. We did not eat them. 
Erasmo “Doc” Riojas 

BTW:  We also chewed our beer glasses and ate the glass ! 



From: nseal1 [at]
To: “Doc Riojas” <docrio45 [at]
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Subject: Re: The US Special Operations Command, SOCOM – aka the “snake eater community”* 

Hey Doc! 

Frank Toms and I caught and ate a snake at Widbey Isl. SERE school back in ’64. Tasted good too!
Bruce Russell WC29

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From: Steve Robinson
To: ‘Doc Riojas’
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Subject:The US Special Operations Command, SOCOM – aka the “snake eater community”* 


When I was going through cadre training out at Niland we nailed a big rattlesnake with a 
 shovel… skinned it (I wore the dried skin on a headband for years afterward) and cooked it up.  We’d washed the meat really well, then rolled pieces in egg, followed by rolling them in flour  and crumbled breakfast cereal (wheaties I think). Then we fried it up in cooking oil. Damned  tasty! And it had all of us watching closely for more snakes so we could get another taste…  but apparently word got around in the snake community because no others showed up during  the 3 weeks we were out there. 

Steve Robinson

2nd email from Steve:


Attached is a picture I took of our Niland snack food. John Balentyne (with shovel) and Dan Jurman while we were going through cadre training at Niland. John was going for the “big game hunter†look so he put his foot on the kill… and the headless body flexed over against his shoe.

We had gotten a bigger snake about 3 or 4 days earlier – a big pregnant female. It was very lethargic and there was no difficulty in nailing it with a length of 2×4. We cut the head off and buried it… then started skinning the snake and found 2 unborn baby snakes inside. We found a red ant anthill and left the babies there… and the skinned snake went to one of the other Team guys who were working as instructors. That’s when we learned they could be really tasty. So when the next one showed up, Balentyne nailed it with a shovel. As noted, it was cleaned, cooked, and most of us got a nibble. I guess the word got around the snake community, because after that we couldn’t find another snake anywhere! Tarantulas? Sure! Scorpions? Oh yeah! Ants? Plenty! Snakes? Not a one anywhere to be found!


From: Larry Bailey
To: Doc Riojas Sent: Wednesday, July 09,2008
Subject: The US Special Operations Command, SOCOM – aka the “snake eater community”* 

Once upon a time my squad caught a water moccasin at Seashore State Park in Virginia Beach, where we were conducting patrol training. We built a small fire and cooked the critter over a flame on a spit. Then I tried to eat him, but he wasn’t too tasty. That’s the only time I’ve ever tried to eat a snake. 

Larry Bailey

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From: Roger GUERRA
To: Doc Riojas Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Subject:The US Special Operations Command, SOCOM – aka the “snake eater community”* 

That’s funny, I used to eat snake regularly (rattlesnake) after I left the teams. Really good if cooked properly. Went to a Bar-b-que in south Texas and had it there. Sweetwater, Texas has a good sampling during the round up!

Si, senor, I am crazy!       Roger Guerra

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Webmaster’s note:   Curtis Ashton, KIA ‘nam, was from Sweetwater TX.  He talked about those Yearly Rattlesnake Roundups.     I bet he was also a SNAKEATER!            Doc Riojas

To: Doc Riojas ; al hale
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Subject: Re: The US Special Operations Command, SOCOM – aka the “snake eater community”* 

Never eat a snake, but one crawled up my pants while our fire team was on listening post in Viet Nam. The ensuing struggle between me and my “guest” nearly got me and two buddies in the shell hole where we were hiding, killed. When the sun came up, there were a couple of M16s, an M79, and one M60 aimed at us. The rest of Kilo Platoon (first Kilo circa ’67) didn’t know what it was all about and thought VC had found us.

I am Ron Kelmell….class 35, 1965, Coronado…UDT-11 and Seal Team One…..just retired from a four year “cruise” with Blackwater Security…enclosed is a pix directly from my “I love me” collection.  Between Viet Nam and BW (28 years), I was a pastor of small conservative churches of the Baptist variety.

Ron Kelmell    click on photo to enlarge it

This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from Very tiny mouth.  He cannot strike like a viper, but has to nibble at the webs between your fingers.   3d most poisonous snake.

Webmaster’s note:  I was with Mr. Hardy, and Chicken McNair on “The Big Blow Job.” While we were laying the MKVIII hose in the “tee-tee” canal, some of us had to take our hand and push away the little Crate Snakes.  After setting off the MKVIII hose demolition at the end of the day, there were thousands of slithering little black/white bellied snakes wiggling around in the mud.  No one was hurt by them.                           Doc Riojas

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

From: mike baumgart
Hey Doc, 

Twas’ Chicken Mcnair, Mike Radice, Walt Weed, Walt Harvey/Jerry Howard (OIC change) and me.
I never knew for sure how Zelmo got burned…just that he did.
I smuggled a 6′ Burmese Python back…through Hawaii…in my field jacket.
Kept him until I went over again in 1971.
Named him after the famous animal actor on Green Acres … Arnold … Ziffle.

Webmaster (Doc Rio):      I was with you guys only about one week.   What UDT  Team was it?  Do you remember the biggest shot, I went way out out far away rice paddy with the photographer to try and capture the entire shot on movie film.  Two Cobras came by doing a lookee-see.  I had a PRC-25, I called Mr. Harvey and told him to try and reach the cobras as they were probably going to make a firing run on moi and the photographer.  He was setting up this tripod with this huge movie camera looks from the air like a weapon.  We are in bathing suits with rags tied to our heads, and I do look like a VC, not like the white eyes photographer.   I was right and the Cobras told Mr. Harvey they were going to fry us.

Mr. Harvey wrote everyone up for medals, even me, but CDR O’Drain cancelled mine.  Do you remember?

Did you guys get a copy of those movies?  I would like to see it.       Doc  Riojas

From: mike baumgart
To: Doc Riojas
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Subject: SNAKE story emails that I have received today 

Does anyone remember “Zelmo” from Nha Bhe? He lived behind one of the quonset huts…in his cage.


Webmaster’s NOTE:
Yeah, Glasscock lives in Rockwell (?) TX. he came to one of our Gulfcoast parties. I have a photo of ZELMO on one of my pages.   I cured him of his severe neck burns after the PBR sailor tried to kill zelmo for eating his kitty.   Jim brought him to Saigon and left zelmo with me to cure and he said he would come back on the next platoon.  He never did,   I left ‘nam in Nov 1970 and took zelmo back to nha be.   I never heard of zelmo again.

  who were the guys in that platoon?          Rio 

     Zelmo and doc Rio at Hotel LeLei ‘Nam

From: eugenio crescini
To: Doc Riojas ; rrpopseal [at]
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2008
Subject: SNAKE story emails that I have received today 

my platoon occupied 2nd d, eck of a barracks in RSSZ, Nam. ‘mud Zmuda and I ocuppied a room. mud’s bunk was against one side of the room and mine the other. my squad had just returned from an ops(0300). I was so tired, took my clothes off and hit the sack. mud was still out with his squad. it was only a couple of minutes when I heard rustling on my wall. I turned around to check what the noise was all about. right in front of my face(my nose was touching a big snake). it was climbing the wall. believe me…I must have established a World’s Record in the Long Jump from a laying down position to the door. it was a 10ft+ phyton, which Pierson(one of my men)have in his room(caged). 

I grabbed my weapon to shoot it, but quickly change my mind(shots from a SEAL barracks might create General Quarters. looking for something to kill it, I finally found a straw broom our mama san use to clean the place, beating and sweeping the snake out the room, more beating and sweeping it out the barracks. the commotions Pierson and saw me swept his snake outside. after some searching, he got his pet back. after a few days past, I asked him about his snake. he said that it is not has a broken jaw.

“Pancho” Crescini

Mike “Snake” Macready 49wc

Snake was in platoon pre-deployment Vietnam training in the summer heat of the Cuyamaca Mountains near San Diego. They were learning the trade skills that have allowed all of us to succeed where others fail. This training area was not for live fire, but only for tactical training because it was sparsely inhabited by the local civilians who had given permission to be there.

That summer, the area had experienced an infestation of rattlesnakes. Because several of the locals had already been bitten, Mike and his platoon were given one box of live ammunition to counter this danger.

So much ammunition was expended supposedly shooting at snakes that his CO became suspicious. He demanded that everyone who had shot at a snake present the dead snake as proof that the expenditure of rounds was justified.   


                                                     photo from Ken Abasolo’s collection

The next day, the CO entered his office and spotted a shoebox from Petty Officer Macready on his desk. He opened it, revealing a sleepy and sluggish, but very live, rattlesnake. Inside the box were twenty expended cartridges, and a short note. The note said, “I missed!”

submitted by:   Ken Abasolo Ken & Son Bryce

From: Bob Stoner
27 Mar 2009

Just before we finished up our tour at SA, we took a daylight recon due west on the Cau Lon River until we came to a large canal several clicks away.  We took the canal north and it branched.  We took the right branch (now heading east) and then nosed the MSSC into the bank to drop off our SEAL squad.  The mangrove trees were thick.  The point man hit the water and immediately there were about six snakes that went swimming away!  (I decided that I was NOT getting off that boat — no matter what.)



Source: Kiet Nguyen  LDNN(SEAL)
Gary Smith in CamhRanhBay RVN

   Michael P. Macready’s Vietnam Snake Sea Story

—– Original Message —–
From: Michael P. Macready
To: docrio45 [at]
Sent: Monday, April 20, 2009 

Subject: Here is a true story for ya

Doc Riojas,  This is no shit;   in 1970 Vietnam, 

Our Squad was working out of a small river boat outpost that was manned by about 30 US and VN sailors. The sailors,barges and boats were taking a pounding by sappers swimming in and placing charges at night. One evening we patrolled out through the wire and were crossing a burned over rice paddy on our way to set up on a canal that we figured the sapper team was using to access the river. 

There were a lot of flares going up that night and every time one did we would squat down in the barren paddy. The first time I squatted something hit my boot and I wondered whether the snake that had just attacked me was of the poisonous variety. 

After the flare extinguished we patrolled for a few minutes until the next one went up…..squat…..snake strikes my boot…wait till flare goes out. By the third boot strike I am sure that there is some kind of Spec Ops snake following me with the intention of doing me in. I’m sure also that my heart rate was over 150 and I am doing everything I can to hold myself together and not compromise the op by working out my M-60 on the dirt around me. 

Finally I figured out that earlier that day I had reconfigured my gear and had not done a complete range of motion check on how everything was slung. Whenever I squatted my K-bar sheath would hit the back of my boot which would almost send me into cardiac arrest due to my well known phobia of snakes. 

What did I learn from all this? Not only that I needed to do a better job on checking out all my gear but that I was dumber than hell ever to tell the story later that night back at the outpost to the rest of the guys. Not only did it turn out to be extremely embarrassing for me, it just added fuel to the already fire of “screwin” with Macready with snakes. 

Mike Macready WC 49, ST-1



black helicopters over portland for dod terror drills kgwDon’t worry – Portland is not under attack. Low flying military helicopters buzzing downtown Portland looked like a scene out of a movie. Monday night’s drama was all part of a military exercise. Newschannel8 has learned, the Army and Navy are conducting Urban Military Training in Portland and Salem from August 17-30.

The training will include “low visibility movement, military operations in urban terrain, manual and low weight explosive breaching, fast-rope insertion, live fire†and other exercises according to a memo from Portland Mayor Tom Potter to the Navy’s Special Warfare Development Group.

A spokesperson in Mayor Potter’s office says, the military asked permission to conduct the training last November. The Portland Police Bureau’s specially trained SERT unit is involved in the training.

Monday’s exercise involved helicopters hopping from one downtown skyscraper to another. Many residents and downtown workers were concerned by the low flying helicopters. The Department of Defense provided no advance warning of the exercise.

Drills involving helicopters are expected to resume on Wednesday evening in Portland. The Urban Military Training is expected to take place in Salem on Tuesday and Thursday. It is not clear what type of training will take place in Salem.

military choppers to train again on wednesday
from oregonian: In The Oregonian’s news podcast, Today in Oregon, for Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008: A spokesman for the Department of Defense says the black military helicopters will train again on Portland on Wednesday evening. But he says they are not armed. download mp3 here. (8.3mb)

last night’s surprise navy seal training (may have) included live fire & training ammo willamette week: Here’s the text of an April letter from Mayor Tom Potter to the U.S. Navy authorizing last night’s helicopter training exercises downtown, which caught Portlanders by surprise and scared a good number of them.

Potter spokesman John Doussard says the city’s central dispatch line got about 50 concerned calls last night as the military helicopters buzzed over the Park Blocks.
“I think next time we would handle it differently,” Doussard says.
Potter’s letter says, in part:

“I understand that this training will include low visibility movement, military operations in urban terrain, manual and low weight explosive breaching, fast rope insertion, live fire,”

 which the Naval Safety Center calls “a hazardous but necessary part of combat training” “

low power training ammunition, simmunitions, flash bang, surveillance and counter surveillance .”

As war geeks know, the Naval Special Warfare Development Group is a real hot-shit bunch.
The Oregonian reports today that the training will continue.
Again, here’s the full text of Potter’s letter:

April 7, 2008
Captain Scott P. Moore
Commanander [sic], Naval Special Warfare Development Group
1636 Regulus Avenue
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23461

Dear Captain Moore
I am pleased to extend you an invitation to conduct Urban Military Training in our City from August 17 to 30, 2008.

In a letter from your command, dated November 14, 2007 requesting permission to conduct training, you stated that members of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group and Army Special Operations Aviation Regiment would utilize buildings in the jurisdiction of the City of Portland for this training exercise. I understand that this training will include low visibility movement, military operations in urban terrain, manual and low weight explosive breaching, fast rope insertion, live fire, low power training ammunition, simmunitions, flash bang, surveillance and counter surveillance.

I have been informed that all training has been coordinated through and approved by all involved government entities, as well as the representatives/owners of each property, and that all liability for your personnel and their actions during training rests with the Navy. I have also been informed that extensive planning and coordination has already been conducted and that Sergeant Mike Lieb of the Tactical Operations Division will act as liaison for this exercise.

I welcome the opportunity to support the United States Navy as you develop the techniques and tactics necessary to protect our country. We look forward to your group having a safe and productive training exercise in our City.


Tom Potter




Your Time Snapshots I remember when . . .

I remember when . . .

My ship stopped the demolition man

When I was in the U.S. Navy, my ship was entering a port in the Far East in 1955 when we spied a certain type of small ship anchored in the harbor. We knew instinctively that we would be “attacked” by the U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT), the forerunner of the Navy SEALs, that evening. This was their usual practice.

It was becoming a nuisance, as it happened in almost every port we entered. Someone would sneak aboard our ship and place something that said “BOMB” on it. Each evening, we put out a small craft to patrol around the ship looking for swimmers. When spotted, a bright beam of light would be placed on them, and they would swim away because they had been “shot.”

Our ship was an LST (landing ship, tank) with bow doors and a ramp. So one evening, we set an obvious trap by opening the bow and lowering the ramp into the water, and we waited in the shadows.

Sure enough, someone took the bait and came up the ramp. He was captured and placed in our brig. The ramp was raised, and the bow doors closed, and we continued to watch for more swimmers.

The next day, word was sent out asking whether anyone had seen the UDT commander, to which we replied, “No.” We watched as many small boats set out looking for that missing man, while we had him all the time, dried off, fed and clothed.

Our LST division commander obtained our captive’s word that he would stop the “attacks” if we let him go but would not betray his stupid mistake of falling for an obvious trap. We covertly set him ashore, so he could make up his own story.

We had no further “attacks.”,0,5743025.story

Webmaster’s SEASTORY:  

Back in 1968, LT Ron Yeaw, Chief Riojas and a platoon of SEALs made a sneak attack on the ships at Mayport  FL.   

THe first funny part was that we were hanging on to a one man submarine driven by an ex-UDT frogman, Kelly.  We placed our magnetic Limped (sp) mines on to the sub.  That made the sub’s compass go round and round so that Kelly had to periscope every now and then to see where he was going.   

We got in and we all hit all the big ships and commenced to hit the smaller ones.   Ron and his swim-buddy Joe Silva Ran out of MK-13 flares.  They surfaced by a destroyer and had the balls to ask them for some flares!  

Not only were they greeted by nasty remarks, but they started throwing stuff from their ship to these two SEAL swimmers.   Unbelievable that Ron and Joe would think they could get extra flares to go blow up more ships.      Doc Riojas

Warren Lockette (M.D. 1981) is the 2002 Navy recipient of the Roy Wilkins Service Award, given by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at their 93rd annual convention in Houston on July 9.

The award is presented annually to a member from each branch of the armed services who has best demonstrated accomplishments that support the Association’s principal goal of ensuring political, educational, social and economic equality for minorities in America. Lockette, a medical officer, scientist, and special advisor to the U.S. Navy’s top SEAL commando, received the award in recognition of his groundbreaking work in assisting the Navy SEALs in their diversity and recruiting programs.

In the spirit of ‘The Teams and Shit’…Subject: True Friends

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Tell you not to do something stupid when you are drunk. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will post 360 degree security so you don’t get caught.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Call your parents Mr. and Mrs. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Call your parents drunk as hell and tell them about the fat chick you tried to pick up.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Hope the night out drinking goes smoothly, and hope that no one is late for the ride home. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Know some wild sh*t will happen, and set up rally points and an E & E route.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Cry with you. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Laugh at you and tell you to put some vagasil on your p**sy.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Borrow your stuff for a few days then give it back. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Steal each other’s stuff so often nobody remembers who bought it in the first place.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Are happy that someone picked up a one night stand and leave them alone. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will Low Crawl naked into the room with a camera and hope for the tag team.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Know a few things about you. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that’s what the crowd is doing. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will kick the whole crowd’s ass that left you.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Would knock on your door. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Walk right in and say, ‘I’m home!’

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will try and talk to the bouncer when you get tossed outof the bar. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will man up and go after the bouncer for touching you on the way out.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will wish you had enough money to go out that night, and are sorry you couldn’t come. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will share their last dollar with you, drag you along, and try to steal free drinks all night.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will take your drink away when they think you’ve had enough. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will look at you stumbling all over the place and say,’Bitch, you better drink the rest of that sh*t, you know we don’t waste. That’s alcohol abuse!!!’

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Want the money they loaned you back next week. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Can’t begin to remember who owes who money after taking care of each other for so long.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will say ‘I can’t handle Tequila anymore’. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will say ‘okay just one more” and then 2 minutes later’okay just one more’.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will talk sh*t to the person who talks shit about you. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will knock them the f**k out!!

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will tell you ‘They’d take a bullet for you.’ TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will actually take a bullet for you.

CIVILIAN FRIENDS: Will ignore this. TEAM GUY FRIENDS: Will forward this.

              This was submitted by:  Tom Hawkins 

History of the Hospital Corps

Job Descriptions:

    As a SEAL, SWCC, EOD Technician or Fleet Diver, you may be called upon to dispose of ocean-borne mines or conduct combat operations in any environment throughout the world. To qualify for special warfare/special operations, you must complete an intense physical and mental conditioning program.

     The competition to become a member is fierce, but if you’re motivated, self-disciplined, in excellent physical condition and have the passion to perform under pressure in extreme environments, the Special Warfare/Special Operations field might be the perfect place for you. Typical missions include gathering enemy intelligence, performing covert reconnaissance or conducting counterterrorist operations and performing long-range maritime transit in support of a variety of Special Operations.

 What Will You Do?


Since 1962, when the first SEAL Teams were commissioned, Navy SEALs have distinguished themselves as individually reliable, collectively disciplined and highly skilled warriors. SEALs go through what is considered by many military experts to be the toughest training, both physically and mentally demanding, in the world. Their duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducting insertions/extractions from the Sea, Air or Land (hence SEAL) to accomplish covert, special operations missions in any environment throughout the world.

  • Capturing high-value enemy personnel and terrorists around the world.

  • Collecting information and intelligence through special reconnaissance missions – reconnoitering both enemy installations and enemy movement.

  • Carrying out small-unit, direct-action missions against military targets.

  • Conducting underwater reconnaissance and the demolition of natural or man-made obstacles prior to amphibious landings.

    SEALs receive normal military pay and allowances, plus incentive pay for special skills and assignments. There is also a $40,000 enlistment bonus available for SEAL applicants. The enlistment bonus is the highest paid in the Navy.

   Are you up for the mission? Click here to explore the clandestine world of the Navy SEALs.


    SWCCs are trained in all environments and are the masters of maritime Special Operations. SWCCs are superbly trained as maritime mobility operators who operate a variety of high-speed Special Operations Craft (boats) in open ocean, coastal and Riverine environments.

    SWCCs are required to utilize a combination of specialized training in maritime navigation, radio communications, boat/propulsion systems engineering, crew-served and personal weapons, parachuting, first aid and tactics in completion of Special Operation missions worldwide. Some duties in this field may include:

  • Conducting maritime insertions/extractions of SEALS and other Special Operations Forces.

  • Collecting information and intelligence on enemy military installations in coastal areas.

  • Performing parachute/helicopter insertion operations in support of missions.

  • Supporting military and civilian law enforcement agencies.

 EOD Technicians

    EOD Technicians deploy to the world’s oceans and seas with Aircraft Carrier Battle Groups and amphibious-ready group staffs. They are always on hand to respond to ordnance in any environment. Specific mobile detachments called Mine Countermeasures specialize in mine hunting and mine clearance. They’re specially trained to use the equipment and procedures necessary to locate, identify, neutralize, recover, exploit, and dispose of sea mines, torpedoes and depth charges.


    EOD Technicians directly support the global war on terrorism by integrating with Navy SEALS, Army Special Forces, and Marine Expeditionary Units to name a few. Their unique knowledge of Improvised Explosive Devices, conventional and non-conventional ordnance, underwater ordnance, chemical/biological material and nuclear material make them a force multiplier to any war fighter. Other duties may include:

  • Supporting Aircraft Carrier Battle Groups and Amphibious Readiness Groups in all aspects of Ordnance safety.

  • Conducting reconnaissance and demolition of natural or man-made underwater obstacles prior to amphibious landings.

  • Conducting demolition of hazardous munitions, pyrotechnics and outdated explosives using detonation and burning techniques.

  • Performing underwater location and identification of foreign and domestic ordnance.

  • Rendering safe and/or disposing of foreign and domestic ordnance.

  • Performing parachute/helicopter insertion operations in support of missions.

  • Supporting military and civilian law enforcement agencies.

  • Working with cutting-edge technology to remotely disable unsafe ordnance.

  • Conducting underwater mine countermeasure operations to clear waterways in support of the fleet.

    From helping protect the President to clearing minefields, click here to learn more about the stimulating work being done all over the world by EOD Technicians.

 Navy Divers

    From their simple beginnings as swimmers disarming mines during the Civil War, Navy divers trace their history back to the middle of the nineteenth century when they were primarily employed in the salvage and repair of ships. The term “Navy Divers†is anything but typical. Divers have played a critical role in the Navy. The rare breed of men and women in today’s Navy Dive Team play a vital role in a broad spectrum of missions.

  Using the most modern diving equipment available, divers are taught how to operate in a variety of conditions  from clear, warm tropical waters to frigid, arctic waters beneath icebergs to water so murky that the work must be done by touch alone. Today, divers perform a number of essential tasks, including underwater reconnaissance, demolition, construction, ship maintenance, search and rescue, and salvage operations. Other duties may include:

  • Performing a variety of diving salvage operations and special diving duties worldwide.

  • Supporting military and civilian law enforcement agencies.

  • Serving as the technical experts for diving evolutions for numerous military special operations units.

  • Providing security, communications and other logistics during Expeditionary Warfare missions.

    View the photo gallery of Navy Divers in Action!

    Ready for a deeper dive? Click here to learn more about the exciting world of Navy Divers.

 Skills and Training

    Your training in Special Operations is a combination of intense physical and mental training, designed to push your mind and body to their limits. You’ll train in any number of conditions and environments, including maritime, coastal, Riverine, mountainous, jungle, desert and urban terrains.

 Earn College Credits (Equivalent to Elective Credits)

    You may learn the fundamentals of explosive ordnance disposal through formal Navy schooling. Or you may learn about chemical and biological warfare, military tactics, deep-sea diving or a number of other tactical military procedures. The courses in this field are demanding, but individuals who accept these challenges are rewarded with extra pay and extraordinary duty assignments.

Career Outlook

    Jobs within Special Operations have comparable civilian counterparts that include high-level security assessment, security instructors, emergency medicine, law enforcement, civilian EOD/bomb disposal, Chemical-Biological-Radiological (CBR) protection and response, force protection/personal security and all types of diving salvage. You will be part of a community that values leadership, self-determination and organizational skills.

 As you mature in any of the Special Operations fields, employers in the military and civilian communities will value you. Completing some of the most demanding training our country has to offer says that you have what it takes to accomplish any task an employer could throw your way!

Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Executive Order Honoring Vietnamese Heritage

    WHEREAS the Vietnamese-American community has made positive contributions to the historical, cultural, educational, and economic prosperity of California; and

by: Jim Sims;National Junior Vice Commander MOPH 

Not a month goes by without news of another Phony or Faker who is charged or prosecuted for pretending to have medals he or she had not earned or been awarded. These actions are the result of the Stolen Valor Act of 2005.  

The Stolen Valor Act was signed into law by President Bush on December 20, 2006. Introduced by Congress­man John Salazar of Colorado , the Act amends the fed­eral criminal code to expand the prohibition against wearing, manufacturing or selling military decorations or medals without legal authorization. prohibits purchas­ing, soliciting, mailing, shipping, importing, exporting, producing blank certificates of receipt for, advertising, trading, bartering, or exchanging decorations or medals.

 The Act prohibits falsely representing oneself as having been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces or any of the service medals or badges.

 It is a federal crime for an individual to falsely claim to have earned or to wear or to publicly state that he has been presented a combat medal or award; Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Cross, Silver Star, Purple Heart, CIB, Combat Action Ribbon, or any other combat medal or award. The law states, in part: “Whoever falsely represents himself or herself, ver­bally or in writing, to have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the , or any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, or the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration or medal, or any such badge, decoration or medal, or any shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. 

The Stolen Valor Act was passed with the active sup­port of the leadership of the MOPH and input from Patriots throughout the country, particularly in 2005 and 2006. Passage of the Act once more demonstrated jaw effective a concentrated effort of Patriots can be. 

What should a Patriot do if he or she sees or is in couch with a phony who is in violation of the Stolen Valor Act? Call the local FBI Field Office near you and report the individua1. The more information you lean provide (photos, news articles, etc.) the better the chances the individual can be charged and prosecuted and added to the list of phonies trying to be heroes.

May/June 2008  Purple Heart magazine   page 47





Hear my voice, America!  Though I speak through the mist of 200 years, my shout for freedom will echo through liberty’s halls for many centuries to come. Hear me speak, for my words are of truth and justice, and the rights of man. For those ideals I have spilled my blood upon the world’s troubled waters. Listen well, for my time is eternal  -yours is but a moment. I am the spirit of heroes past and future. 

I am the American Sailor. I was born upon the icy shores at Plymouth, rocked upon the waves of the Atlantic, and nursed in the wilderness of Virginia. I cut my teeth on New England codfish, and I was clothed in southern cotton. I built muscle at the halyards of New Bedford whalers, and I gained my sea legs high atop mizzen of yankee clipper ships.

Yes, I am the American Sailor, one of the greatest seamen the world has ever known. The sea is my home and my words are tempered by the sound of paddle wheels on the Mississippi and the song of  whales off Greenland’s barren shore. My eyes have grown dim from the glare of sunshine on blue water, and my heart is full of star-strewn nights under the Southern Cross. My hands are raw from winter storms while sailing down round the Horn, and they are blistered from the heat of cannon broadside while defending our nation.  I am the American Sailor, and I have seen the sunset of a thousand distant, lonely lands.

 I am the American Sailor. It was I who stood tall beside John Paul Jones as he shouted, “I have not yet begun to fight!”  I fought upon the Lake Erie with Perry, and I rode with Stephen Decatur into Tripoli harbor to burn Philadelphia.  I met Guerriere aboard Constitution, and I was lashed to the mast with Admiral Farragut at Mobile Bay. I have heard the clang of Confederate shot against the sides of Monitor. I have suffered the cold with Peary at the North Pole, and I responded when Dewy said, “You may fire when ready Gridley,” at Manila Bay.  It was I who transported supplies through submarine infested waters when our soldier’s were called “over there.”  I was there as Admiral Byrd crossed the South Pole.  It was I who went down with the Arizona at Pearl Harbor, who supported our troops at Inchon, and patrolled dark deadly waters of the Mekong Delta. 

 I am the American Sailor and I wear many faces. I am a pilot soaring across God’s blue canopy and I am a Seabee atop a dusty bulldozer in the South Pacific. I am a corpsman nursing the wounded in the jungle, and I am a torpedoman in the Nautilus deep beneath the North Pole. I am hard and I am strong. But it was my eyes that filled with tears when my brother went down with the Thresher, and it was my heart that rejoiced when Commander Shepherd rocketed into orbit above the earth. It was I who languished in a Viet Cong prison camp, and it was I who walked upon the moon. It was I who saved the Stark and the Samuel B. Roberts in the mine infested waters of the Persian Gulf.  It was I who pulled my brothers from the smoke filled compartments of the Bonefish and wept when my shipmates died on the Iowa and White Plains. When called again, I was there, on the tip of the spear for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

 I am the American Sailor.  I am woman, I am man, I am white and black, yellow, red and brown. I am Jew, Muslim, Christian, and Buddhist. I am Irish, Filipino, African, French, Chinese, and Indian.  And my standard is the outstretched hand of Liberty. Today, I serve around the world; on land, in air, on and under the sea. I serve proudly, at peace once again, but with the fervent prayer that I need not be called again. Tell your children of me. Tell them of my sacrifice, and how my spirit soars above their country. I have spread the mantle of my nation over the ocean, and I will guard her forever.  I am her heritage and yours.

I am the American Sailor.  

MUCM J. Wallace, USN

Joe and Jane Oliver
Glen Gringe and Doc Rio in Japan
Ronald Shouse, Rosalie, Bob Sr. Robert Shouse Jr. One of Bob's sons had Freddie the Frog tattoo
Kristensen Tombstone
Mr. Jensen is presently in O.C.S. and will probably go to BUD/S from there when he graduates from OCS.

—– Original Message —–
From: Bill Langley
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Sent: Friday, March 13, 2009 

These modern smart alec youngsters think they are so technologically advanced with their phone messaging.

 I remember when on one of our deployments, Durwood White sent/received messages with our ship that was offshore when a storm was on it’s way. 

We stayed ashore and the ship departed for deeper waters. All was done by flashing light. Durwood used a C-rat box with a light bulb inside it. He made a flap on one side to send his message. 

We all knew a little Morse Code but Durwood was our platoon expert. UDT 21-2 “Second to None” during the good ole days.
Bill Langley

From : Doc Riojas
To: Durwood H. White 
Sent:  Friday, March 13, 2009     
Subject:  Durwood, is Bill Langley’s story true?

I would like to hear your side of that story.


To: docrio45 [@]
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2009
Subject:  Re: TECHNOLOGY 

Yep its true. Can’t remember the exact nature of the communications; thought our boat had slipped its mooring and I asked the ship to send a boat to look for it  I am now 70y.o. and dementia setting in, I’ll go with either reasoning. I think the Island was Corsica but not sure. Definently remember a local coming around each day with Chianti wine and cheese to sell. That’s where I got hooked on wine and drink it to this day. I think I have a picture of our Platoon taken on the Island.  

I’m planning a trip to Calif. around the last of May and before Christmasto see my Daughter and Grandkids. Her Husband is in the Navy stationed at Le Moore Naval Air Station Calif.  I’m driving because I know I’ve seen at least 3/4 of the world while I was in the Navy but I have never seen the Western United States. This might be my last chance. 

Take care Old Comrade;   



29 Dec 2009

Danny MeEvoy,
This is some email communication that got started when I told Doc Rio about the time Whitey communicated with flashing light to our ship when we were stranded onshore when a storm was coming.  Durwood cut a flap in a C-ration box and put a light inside to send flashing light.  Do you remember the incident? 

John, I think you were there.  Do you remember?

Bill Langley


    28 Dec 2009

As most of you know, Durwood was an expert in every area of Naval Special Warfare, sea-air-land.  He was a superb NSW operator who distinguished himself bravely many times in Vietnam under fire.

  He was always quick to volunteer for any operation and was highly respected by all of his teammates.  I had the privilege to deploy with Durwood on several cruises with UDT-21 second platoon and served in Vietnam with him in SEAL Team Two second platoon. 

 He was always impressive and a teammate that I will never forget.


Bill Langley

Webmaster’s NOTE:  Hunter was on treatment some years back for Cancer of the Lungs. This year, he told me that they had found it had metastasized to his liver.  Please read his Obiturary below.    Doc Rio



It is with great sadness that the UDT-SEAL Association informs the membership on the passing of Durwood Hunter White, USN (Ret.) Class 26.                     Durwood Hunter White USN (Ret.) Class 26  


Durwood Hunter White, 71, of 3655 N.C. Hwy 41 W, died Dec. 28, 2009 at Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

    Durwood is preceded in death by his wife, Barbara White; brother, R.W. White; sisters, Louise Ricks and Vivian Brittingham. Durwood Hunter White was a US Navy Seal (Retired).

  He is survived by son, Sean Hunter White and wife Shannon of Washington; stepdaughters, Charlene Taylor and husband R.V. of Seven Springs and Nikki Barker and husband Eric of California; sister, Elizabeth Quinn and husband Thurston of Seven Springs; and six grandchildren, Jordan Taylor, Kyle White, Braxton Barker, Kevin White, Bradley Barker and Hannah Barker. 

    Durwood was a member of CLASS-26, Little Creek, VA. and served with UDT-21 and SEAL Team 2.  

  Funeral Services:  will be held at today at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009 at Gospel Light Church, 153 Houston Road, Comfort with the Rev. Ruffin Hill officiating.   Visitation: will be held today, Wednesday, Dec. 30, following the funeral service.    

Burial Services:  with military rites will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009 at the Philyaw Thomas Cemetery.  Hannah Barker.

  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Gospel Light Church Att: Gene Green, P. O. Box 153, Comfort, N.C. 28522. Arrangements by Pink Hill Funeral Home. Sign the guestbook at

UDT-SEAL Association | POB 5965 | Virginia Beach | VA | 23471

THese 2 picture from Steve Sagri SPecial Forces USArmy

Marcus Luttrell’s Dog Killed; 

on Glen Beck

By Shannon Bell
Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 11:56 am

Talk Radio host Glen Beck has been a good friend of Marcus Luttrell for a few years now detailing his story and promoting his book when it first came out. Luttrell has done numerous radio and television interviews with Glen Beck, he will do another tonight at 5 pm. Eastern. This post will be updated to reflect the content of his upcoming interview as soon as it is available.

It seems that four young good for nothings had been killing dogs in Marcus Luttrell’s county where he lives in Texas. And as terrible luck would have it ( terrible luck for them), the last dog they decided to kill belonged to Marcus Luttrell. As Glen Beck tells the story on his radio program this morning, these thugs should be thanking God that Marcus Luttrell knew how to show restraint when he single handedly, armed of course, apprehended the four.

Marcus Luttrell’s dog was named Dasy; each letter in DASY represents his fallen seal team member’s names. He was given the dog during his recovery period after sustaining horrific wounds that none of us could ever imagine. Marcus Luttrell was awarded the “Navy Cross” and the “Purple Heart” for his heroic actions in Operation Red Wing.


Marcus talks about another tragic loss…


Marcus talked with Glenn on TV last night about the tragic loss of his dog, Dasy. She was a yellow lab given to him as a puppy and she was ‘like a daughter’ to Marcus. He lost her when some dirt bag punk kids were out joy riding and shooting animals and murdered her. One of these scumbags — Michael Edmonds ( pictured here) is still on the run. PETA is offering a reward for his apprehension — if you have any information call (936) 435-0152 and ask for Sgt. Steven Jeter.  Glenn talks about the circumstances and why this is especially painful ( Transcript, Insider Audio) on radio today, you can watch Marcus describe the tragic incident on TV with Glenn here.

"Demo Dick Marcinko"

Cassidy, 39, a Navy commander from York, Maine, was awarded the bronze star and a presidential citation for leading a nine-day operation at a cave complex on the Afghan-Pakistan border. He picked up another bronze star a few years later.

His resume reads like James Bond’s. As a 10-year member of the SEALS, Cassidy was skilled in building assaults, ship boardings, desert reconnaissance, combat diving, underwater explosives, parachuting and rappelling.

“I like a little bit of a thrill,” he explained with a chuckle.

NASA picked him as an astronaut in 2004. This is his first spaceflight. By virtue of his seating on the shuttle, he will become the 500th person to fly in space, and he will perform three spacewalks.

He and wife Julie have two daughters, one 14 and one who turns 12 this week, and a 10-year-old son.

The crew of space shuttle Endeavour, from left, flight engineer Timothy Kopra, mission specialist’s Thomas Marshburn, and Christopher Cassidy, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie Payette, commander Mark Polansky, pilot Douglas Hurley and mission specialist David Wolf gather for photos after their arrival at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Tuesday, June 9, 2009. Endeavour is scheduled for a June 13 launch on a mission to the International Space Station.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

—– Original Message —–
From: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To: jimcat [@]
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 7:50 AM
Subject: Farewell Luncheon for CAPT Wikul, USN 

Farewell Luncheon for CAPT Pete Wikul “BULL FROG”, USN 

Where: Union Street Public House 
121 S Union St, Alexandria, VA 22314 
(703) 548-1785 When: 1130 Wednesday, 8 July 2009 Cost: $26.00

Menu selection: 

1.Smoked Chicken Club: Triple decker with bacon,lettuce,and tomato served with pasta salad 
2.Grilled Chicken Sandwich: Melted Havarti, Arugula, red onion, and Roasted Pepper Aioli on a K Twist roll with french fries 
3. Saloon Cheeseburger: Fresh ground certified Angus, served on a Kaiser roll with lettuce, tomato, house made pickles, and french fries 
4. Grilled Shrimp Caesar: Grilled shrimp, hearts of romaine, parmesan cheese croutons, and traditional dressing 
5.Seasonal Harvest Salad: Mixed greens, seasonal fruits and nuts with vinaigrette dressing 

Dessert: Cheesecake of the Day or Key Lime Pie Coffee, tea, or soda is included 

RSVP with menu selection and directions NLT 1 July 2009 to:    Dina McNamara:   Tamika Jones:  Joyce McConnell:   
Contributions toward a gift are welcome and are being collected separately. 

—– Original Message —–
From: Jim Bracken
To:jimcat [at];
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 9:11 PM
Subject: Fw: Farewell Luncheon for CAPT Wikul, USN 

Damn . . . I really feel old now. Pete was in my BUD/S Class in 1971 . . . and still hanging. 38 years on active duty. I was 20 and Pete was 17 . . . he came to BUD/S right outta boot camp . . . an E-2 striker . . . made it to O-6 . . . never would have made Admiral, though, because he refused to leave the Teams . . . have to have “Diversity of Command” to aspire to Admiral. Was Skipper of SDV 2 (SEAL Delivery Vehicle – 2) for a few years. 

For all you “Black Shoes”, “Legs”, “Jar-heads”, “Chair-Force” and “Civvie” types, the “Bull Frog” is the current, longest-serving SEAL on active duty. His name is added to the BULL FROG trophy, which he holds until his retirement, at which time he passes it on to new next BULL FROG. 

Congrats, Peter Igor Wikul . . . but, I’ll be sleeping with one eye open for a while. 

bracken Class 52 

SEAL WANNABE SeaStory,   Unbelievable Stuff they Dream of!


From:  Lyle ; lmeece1 [at] 
Subject: A couple of SEALS
To: Doc Riojas  docrio45 [at]
Date: Monday, June 15, 2009

I stumbled across your web page. I was looking for a man I met about 15years ago. Patrick Callahan, he was with SEAL 1 in 66-67-68. I was on a veteran awareness walk.

 I am not a vet. My father served in WWII and Korea. I was also friends with Bob Marvin he was with Team 2 at the same time. I showed Callahan a picture (from Time Life series) and said Bob was in the picture in the first row. Callahan freaked out he was standing exactly behind Marvin in the picture.

 It was probably the only time Team 1 and Team 2 ever operated together especially during the day. I got the two of them together and they had a long talk alone in the woods. Callahan was from Texas, and Marvin was from Chicago. Well, Marvin passed away recently. 

I have a copy of the Time life picture, and a picture of Callahan as I met him. If you would be interested in the pictures, I would be happy to send them to you. If I don’t hear from you I know that you are not interested. Yours and thank you for your service to our country 


Doc Riojas, 

Neither ROBERT “BOB” MARVIN nor PATRICK “PAT” CALLAHAN are listed in the SEAL Database. In fact there is only one listing for the name MARVIN and one listing for the name CALLAHAN in the whole SEAL Database… and neither the first nor the middle names for either of our men match the names of the guys in the story you sent. 

This has all the earmarks of two phonies who never really knew each other, but who each think that the other guy might be real… so they agree with whatever the other guy says. You get this odd situation of one phony validating the claims of another. I have seen it happen time and time again. 

The other situation is one where someone sees an old Vietnam B/W photograph and loudly proclaims “HEY THAT’S ME AND MY GUYS”. After 30-40 years no one really looks like they did back then, and it’s virtually impossible to match the guy NOW with anyone in the picture. So then the other phony comes along and says “Yeah… and that guy next to him is ME”… and they both agree because neither one wants to be shown out as an imposter. 

I do think the Vietnam War photograph might legitimately show Team guys. The partial arm and weapon at the far right shows the short muzzle of a CAR-15 variant as was often carried by the Team guys at that time… when it wasn’t widely available to other units. But if it is real, then neither of the two guys in the story are in that picture, because neither of the men in the story are listed in the SEAL Database. They couldn’t be in a real photograph of Team guys from the Vietnam War since they are not now, and never have been Navy SEALs.. 

The picture of the guy in BRAND NEW STORE BOUGHT VN TIGER STRIPES with all the patches is just that… a guy wearing VN cammy and patches. He’s got a SEAL Team ONE patch and a couple of variants of the patch now used by the SPECIAL OPERATIONS ASSOCIATION (The skull with the green beret above a banner, with anchor flukes below). ALL of those patches are NEW, and can be purchased by virtually anyone online without any need for supporting documentation. 

If the guy in the photograph wearing the tiger stripes and patches is either BOB MARVIN or PAT CALLAHAN, then he most certainly is NOT a US Navy SEAL or UDT “Frogman” 

I’m copying RD Russell at the Naval Special Warfare Archives so he can have a heads up regarding these two claimants, and be aware that both are apparently claiming to be in that photograph from the war. As I said, since neither man is listed in the SEAL Database, then if the photo really does show SEALs, then it certainly isn’t THEM. 

Steve Robinson RM2(SEAL) 
UDT-SEAL Association – Member – Webmaster 
Author – “NO GUTS, NO GLORY – Unmasking Navy SEAL Imposters”


That is total Bullshit!!  Chip Maury took that photo using a time delay. See the whole picture here.

Chip is standing on the right with glasses, kneeling in front of Chip is Barry Enoch, right behind Enoch with the black face flashing the V is David “Willie” Wilson, standing second from the left is Scotty  Lyon the Platoon officer. They had just captured a VC flag. 

Not To long after this pic Williams was killed by a booby trap and a year later Enoch was awarded the Navy Cross.

RD Russell, UDT SEAL Archieves


Doc Riojas, 

I have been wanting to tell you this sea story for years.. I always had the highest respect for SEALs, those “want a be assholes” who buy the SEAL trident an then wear it, really piss me off. 

So, when a GMG1 that I had known for many years, reported on board wearing a SEAL  trident, I gave him a chance to take it off, while I double checked his service record. I was adding him to my boat crew at a rear .50 gunner,, down in Panama, was doing a Kindle Liberty exercise, I was Patrol officer as a very senior CPO. We were using  PBRs an Mini ATCs we had shipped down there by C 141s. 

 Then at the second muster, he was still wearing the SEAL trident, an sweating about my hard  stares. I called him out front and ripped the trident off his whites, my crew was not surprised, as several of them were qualified, experienced SEALs, but junior POs.

 The dumbass was like a whipped puppy after that, actually I think him faking being a SEAL cost him Chief. He never made it an had to retire early, did not bother me a bit. 

About an our Senior Chief SEAL instructor Orlin “Nelly” Nelson bought me a beer for that. 

Take care, still doing IKE clean up,

Doug Traylor ENC USN ret.

Career-building books

I am reading Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell, the only surviving man on a team of four Navy SEALs in Afghanistan. The book deals with the importance of training and gut instincts to get you through the toughest times in life. Again, Good to Great, which offers keys to understanding what your organization can be the best at and, equally important, what it cannot be the best at. 

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny by Robin Sharma makes you analyze life and think about dreams and goals and how your daily habits can help make your dreams a reality.


               Vietnam Facts vs. Fiction

received from: Bill Langley

The most notable fact is that 2.7 million Americans actually served in the Vietnam war. In the last census nearly 14 million Americans claimed they served in Vietnam. Four out of five are lying. 

For over 30 years I….like many Vietnam veterans….seldom spoke of Vietnam , except with other veterans, when training soldiers, and in public speeches. These past five years I have joined the hundreds of thousands who believe it is high time the truth be told about the Vietnam War and the people who served there. It’s time the American people learn that the United States military did not lose the War, and that a surprisingly high number of people who claim to have served there, in fact, DID NOT. As Americans support the men and women involved in the War on Terrorism, the mainstream media are once again working tirelessly to undermine their efforts and force a psychological loss or stalemate for the United States . We cannot stand by and let the media do to today’s warriors what they did to us 35 years ago. Below are some assembled facts most readers will find interesting. It isn’t a long read, but it will….I guarantee….teach you some things you did not know about the Vietnam War and those who served, fought, or died there. 

–Capt. Marshal Hanson, U.S.N.R (Ret..) –Capt. Scott Beaton 

Facts, Statistics, Fake Warrior Numbers, and Myths Dispelled: 

9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the official Vietnam era from August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975. 

2,709,918 Americans served in uniform in Vietnam. Veterans represented 9.7% of their generation. 

240 men were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. 

The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1958. He was with the 
509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him. 

58,148 were killed in Vietnam. 

75,000 were severely disabled. 

23,214 were 100% disabled. 

5,283 lost limbs. 

1,081 sustained multiple amputations. 

Of those killed, 61% were younger than 21. 

11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old. 

Of those killed, 17,539 were married. 

Average age of men killed: 23.1 years. 

Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old. 

The oldest man killed was 62 years old. 

As of January 15, 2004, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for. 

97% of Vietnam Veterans were honorably discharged. 

91% of Vietnam Veterans say they are glad they served. 

74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome. 

Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups. 

Vietnam veterans’ personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent. 

87% of Americans hold Vietnam Veterans in high esteem. 

There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group (Source: Veterans Administration Study) 

Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison – only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes. 

85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life. 

1,713,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive as of August, 1995 During Census count, the number of Americans claiming to have served was 9,492,958. 

As of the current Census taken during August, 2000, the surviving U.S. Vietnam Veteran population estimate is 1,002,511. This is hard to believe, losing nearly 711,000 between ’95 and ’00. That’s 390 per day. 

During this Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country is: 13,853,027. By this census, FOUR OUT OF FIVE WHO CLAIM TO BE Vietnam vets are not. 

The Department of Defense Vietnam War Service Index officially provided by The War Library originally reported with errors that 2,709,918 U.S.. Military personnel as having served in-country. Corrections and confirmations to this error in the index resulted in the addition of 358 U.S. military personnel confirmed to have served in Vietnam but not originally listed by the Department of Defense. (All names are currently on file and accessible 24/7/365). 

Common Myths Dispelled: 

#1. Myth: Common Belief is that most Vietnam veterans were drafted.. Fact: 2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. Approximately 70% of those killed in Vietnam were volunteers. 

#2. Myth: The media have reported that suicides among Vietnam veterans range from 50,000 to 100,000 – 6 to 11 times the non-Vietnam veteran population. Fact: Mortality studies show that 9,000 is a better estimate. “The CDC Vietnam Experience Study Mortality Assessment showed that during the first 5 years after discharge, deaths from suicide were 1.7 times more likely among Vietnam veterans than non-Vietnam veterans. After that initial post-service period, Vietnam veterans were no more likely to die from suicide than non-Vietnam veterans. In fact, after the 5-year post-service period, the rate of suicides is less in the Vietnam veterans’ group. 

#3.Myth: Common belief is that a disproportionate number of blacks were killed in the Vietnam War. Fact: 86% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasians, 12.5% were black, 1.2% were other races. Sociologists Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler, in their recently published book “All That We Can Be,” said they analyzed the claim that blacks were used like cannon fodder during Vietnam “and can report definitely that this charge is untrue. Black fatalities amounted to 12 percent of all Americans killed in Southeast Asia, a figure proportional to the number of blacks in the U.S. population at the time and slightly lower than the proportion of blacks in the Army at the close of the war.” 

#4 Myth: Common belief is that the war was fought largely by the poor and uneducated. Fact: Servicemen who went to Vietnam from well-to-do areas had a slightly elevated risk of dying because they were more likely to be pilots or infantry officers. Vietnam Veterans were the best educated forces our nation had ever sent into combat. 79% had a high school education or better. Here are statistics from the Combat Area Casualty File (CACF) as of November 1993. The CACF is the basis for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall): Average age of 58,148 killed in Vietnam was 23.11 years. (Although 58,169 names are in the Nov. 93 database, only 58,148 have both event date and birth date. Event date is used instead of declared dead date for some of those who were listed as missing in action). Deaths Average Age Total: 58,148, 23.11 years Enlisted: 50,274, 22.37 years Officers: 6,598, 28.43 years Warrants: 1,276, 24.73 years E1 525, 20.34 years 
11B MOS: 18,465, 22.55 years. 

#5 Myth: The common belief is the average age of an infantryman fighting in Vietnam was 19. Fact: Assuming KIAs accurately represented age groups serving in Vietnam, the average age of an infantryman (MOS 11B) serving in Vietnam to be 19 years old is a myth, it is actually 22. None of the enlisted grades have an average age of less than 20. The average man who fought in World War II was 26 years of age. 

#6 Myth: The Common belief is that the domino theory was proved false. Fact: The domino theory was accurate. The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, Philippines , Indonesia , Malaysia , Singapore , and Thailand stayed free of Communism because of the U.S. commitment to Vietnam . The Indonesians threw the Soviets out in 1966 because of America ‘s commitment in Vietnam . Without that commitment, Communism would have swept all the way to the Malacca Straits that is south of Singapore and of great strategic importance to the free world. If you ask people who live in these countries that won the war in Vietnam , they have a different opinion from the American news media. The Vietnam War was the turning point for Communism. 

#7 Myth: The common belief is that the fighting in Vietnam was not as intense as in World War II. Fact: The average infantryman in the South Pacific during World War II saw about 40 days of combat in four years. The average infantryman in Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in one year thanks to the mobility of the helicopter. One out of every 10 Americans who served in Vietnam was a casualty. 58,148 were killed and 304,000 wounded out of 2.7 million who served. Although the percent that died is similar to other wars, amputations or crippling wounds were 300 percent higher than in World War II….75,000 Vietnam veterans are severely disabled. MEDEVAC helicopters flew nearly 500,000 missions. Over 900,000 patients were airlifted (nearly half were American). The average time lapse between wounding to hospitalization was less than one hour. As a result, less than one percent of all Americans wounded, who survived the first 24 hours, died. The helicopter provided unprecedented mobility. Without the helicopter it would have taken three times as many troops to secure the 800 mile border with Cambodia and Laos (the politicians thought the Geneva Conventions of 1954 and the Geneva Accords or 1962 would secure the border). 

#8 Myth: Kim Phuc, the little nine year old Vietnamese girl running naked from the napalm strike near Trang Bang on 8 June 1972……shown a million times on American television….was burned by Americans bombing Trang Bang. Fact: No American had involvement in this incident near Trang Bang that burned Phan Thi Kim Phuc. The planes doing the bombing near the village were VNAF (Vietnam Air Force) and were being flown by Vietnamese pilots in support of South Vietnamese troops on the ground. The Vietnamese pilot who dropped the napalm in error is currently living in the United States . Even the AP photographer, Nick Ut, who took the picture, was Vietnamese. The incident in the photo took place on the second day of a three day battle between the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) who occupied the village of Trang Bang and the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam ) who were trying to force the NVA out of the village. Recent reports in the news media that an American commander ordered the air strike that burned Kim Phuc are incorrect. There were no Americans involved in any capacity. “We (Americans) had nothing to do with controlling VNAF,” according to Lieutenant General (Ret) James F. Hollingsworth, the Commanding General of TRAC at that time. Also, it has been incorrectly reported that two of Kim Phuc’s brothers were killed in this incident. They were Kim’s cousins not her brothers. 

#9 Myth: The United States lost the war in Vietnam . Fact: The American military was not defeated in Vietnam . The American military did not lose a battle of any consequence. From a military standpoint, it was almost an unprecedented performance. General Westmoreland quoting Douglas Pike, a professor at the University of California , Berkley a major military defeat for the VC and NVA. FACT: THE UNITED STATES DID NOT LOSE THE WAR IN VIETNAM , THE SOUTH VIETNAMESE DID. Read on…….. The fall of Saigon happened 30 April 1975, two years AFTER the American military left Vietnam . The last American troops departed in their entirety 29 March 1973. FACT: How could we lose a war we had already stopped fighting? We fought to an agreed stalemate. The peace settlement was signed in Paris on 27 January 1973. 

* It called for release of all U.S. prisoners, withdrawal of U.S. forces, limitation of both sides’ forces inside South Vietnam and a commitment to peaceful reunification. 

*The 140,000 evacuees in April 1975 during the fall of Saigon consisted almost entirely of civilians and Vietnamese military, NOT American military running for their lives. 

*There were almost twice as many casualties in Southeast Asia (primarily Cambodia ) the first two years after the fall of Saigon in 1975 then there were during the ten years the U.S. was involved in Vietnam . 

*Thanks for the perceived loss and the countless assassinations and torture visited upon Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians goes mainly to the American media and their undying support-by-misrepresentation of the anti-War movement in the United States . 

*As with much of the Vietnam War, the news media misreported and misinterpreted the 1968 Tet Offensive. It was reported as an overwhelming success for the Communist forces and a decided defeat for the U.S. forces. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite initial victories by the Communists forces, the Tet Offensive resulted in a major defeat of those forces. General Vo Nguyen Giap, the designer of the Tet Offensive, is considered by some as ranking with Wellington , Grant, Lee and MacArthur as a great commander. Still, militarily, the Tet Offensive was a total defeat of the Communist forces on all fronts. It resulted in the death of some 45,000 NVA troops and the complete, if not total destruction of the Viet Cong elements in South Vietnam . The Organization of the Viet Cong Units in the South never recovered. The Tet Offensive succeeded on only one front and that was the News front and the political arena. This was another example in the Vietnam War of an inaccuracy becoming the perceived truth. However, inaccurately reported, the News Media made the Tet Offensive famous. Please give all credit and research to: Capt. Marshal Hanson, U.S.N..R (Ret.) and Capt. Scott Beaton.

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Doc Riojas Note:

I was given the gift of a set of 4 DVDs “Vietnam War Secrets” this past Christmas. The Truth became the first casualty of war. Correspondent Edward Rasen is the narrator.   Although I am not impressed with it’s format, it does contain a lot of great graphics and short movies,and statistics as stated in this, above, article

Eric Prince

July 20 1969, Earthmen had landed on the moon.

  The Coronado Bay Bridge was not yet complete, the ferry was still running, the Trade Winds was still the “hang out” and a group of ‘tadpoles’ were gearing up for Hell Week. My BUDS class 53 started Hell week July 20 1969. 

How could one ever forget a man walking on the moon the same night a group of men were set to jump into San Diego Bay.

  Buzz Aldrin stepped off the lunar module onto the moons surface and Vince Olivera stepped out of his office in Bldg 208 and said “One small step for man and one big step for you bananas…now hit the bay”! 

Laddie Shaw 



Nic Walsh was in Seal Team One

He made 2 tours to RVN. One as as Platoon XO and one as Platoon CO. I believe he was a grad from West Point and requested inter-service transfer in order to attend BUDS. He received a head wound in RVN and was medically retired. Nic decided to become a Doctor but due to his injury, had to obtain a special waiver to attend medical school. He was allowed the waiver but could not specialize in a field that had any surgery requirements. 

Nic became a bone and mussel specialist. He is considered one of the top in his field in the world and is on a long term International Council for that specialty. He is a Professor and Chairman of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department of one of the top medical schools and hospitals in the US (UTHSC) and has served as chair of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He also is responsible for the Pain Clinic, Physical Medicine and Rehab portion for the Audy Murphy VA hospital and is heading up the implementation of the new Poly Trauma Center at that facility. 

As a note, he has taken a personal interest in our wounded teammates who end up at any of the facilities in this area over the last many years. 

Nic was an excellent SEAL operator and OIC in RVN and has carried that same spirit onto the medical profession. 

I am never surprised at the accomplishments in both the Military and civilian careers of our Teammates. No matter what the challenge, given the opportunity, the majority of our Teammates will rise far above the norm. 

Jim McCracken 
ST-1 WC 56/57

ouble standards of the West

Mano RATWATTE          Friday, 24 July 2009

“These are just a few facts of history. We can examine the excesses by US Forces in Vietnam (MyLai was just one of the few that were exposed thanks to journalists). For example, former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska acknowledged massacring 25 innocent Vietnamese civilians in a US Navy Seal attack. Senator Bob Kerrey led a seven-member team of Navy Seals into Thanh Phong village in February 1969, and murdered in cold blood more than a dozen women and children. 

What hardly anyone knows, and what no one in the press is talking about, is that Senator Kerrey was on a CIA mission, and its specific purpose was to kill those women and children. It was illegal, premeditated mass murder and it was a war crime. He had to wait nearly 30 years to admit this crime. Why has no one brought charges against him? Was it a necessary mission? I have never heard Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing ‘disappointment’ at her friend.”

Who has ever said Mea Culpa Mea Culpa Mea Maxima Culpa?

photo courtesy of Thomas Hager

Tom Hagen Vietnam Pictures 2010

The Cu Chi Tunnels Vietnam, North of Saigon

—– Original Message —–
To: Doc Rio
From: Thomas Hayden
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2010 12:55 PM
Subject: Re: some of your photos are here: 


I was in the same UDT Training class with Roy Matthews, Hershall Davis, Harry Constance, Gil Gilloully, John Porter, Bob Thomas, Jim Fricks and a lot of other guys. I think it was class 36 that graduated in Dec. 1966 if I remember right. 
Gene Fraley, Tom Blaze, John Bakealar, and Mike Boynton were a few of the instructors…Louie Boink and I went to high school together…lol…

It was a long time ago and I’m 68 years old now, but I still remember the training area at Little Creek, carrying those goddamn IBS’s on our heads, the log PT and the mudflats….I’ve always regreted that one moment of weakness I experienced back then, but I suppose in life things work out the way they’re supposed to. 

Later on I was able to go thru Airborne training at Ft. Benning and become SCUBA qualified, but dropping out of BUD/S haunted me for years. However, I was able to stay jump qualified with SEAL Team One in Coronado and still remained friends with guys like Roy and Hershall over the years and by jumping with the teams in Coronado, I developed friendships with other guys that still last today. So I guess it all comes out in the wash. 

Thanks for correcting my name to Thomas Hayden; I’ll be looking for the Cu Chi tunnel pics when you post them. 

I don’t know if you have ever visited my you might want to take a look at it…you’ll learn a lot more about me and how my career developed after  I rang the bell at UDT/R Little Creek Va.

Take care,     Tom


Goodbye Blackwater, Hello Xe
Carl Clearwater & Mike Kruse
Click on Image
Hell Week : Smoke

Navy veteran speaks of being ‘Lone Survivor’

By Mary Rainwater
Staff Reporter

Published: September 29, 2009 10:04 pm

While some soldiers tend to keep their battlefield experiences private, U.S. Navy SEAL, Marcus Luttrell did just the opposite — writing it all down in what has become a New York Times best-selling book, “Lone Survivor.”

Luttrell, a Willis native and Sam Houston State University alumnus, spoke about his experiences as a Navy SEAL on Tuesday morning as part of the SHSU President’s Speaker Series.

“When I made it back (to the United States) I made a promise to God that I will never let the memory (of my fallen teammates) die,” Luttrell said about his reason behind the book. “I thought I would keep their memory alive by writing the book and that would be it. I didn’t know I would be giving talks like this.”

The soldiers Luttrell spoke of are the three SEALs lost during his team’s 2005 mission in Afghanistan called Operation Redwing, where the four were ambushed by a Taliban force.

While on the mission along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan to gather intelligence on a Taliban leader with ties to Osama bin Laden, Luttrell and the three fellow SEALs were discovered by three goat herders, one of them a young teen.

“We had captured them until we could determine what to do, when about 100 goats came up,” Luttrell said. “Despite what you may have heard, war is not black and white — it is very gray.

“Those goats were the biggest instrument in our decision — we decided to let them go and pushed back to our original position.”

Shortly after, a large Taliban force ambushed the team on a remote ridge and forced them to fight.

“They were coming down on our flank and were everywhere,” Luttrell said. “I took a dude out and they unleashed hell on our left side. We fought for three to five straight minutes.”

Luttrell and his team continued attempts to evade fire from the Taliban force — tumbling down a bolderous mountain, trading shots and fighting injury all the way.

It was during that time that his three teammates were killed.

“Matt was on the phone calling for help and was shot,” he said. “He got up and finished the call before crawling away to take cover.

“I can still hear him screaming my name in agony,” he said. “I cannot get that out of my head.”

Hours after Luttrell watched all three friends die and was literally blown off the mountain by a rocket-propelled grenade, a rescue helicopter carrying 16 special operation forces was shot down. All on board were killed.

“The whole night was a long night,” he said. “And as hurt as I was, I was even more thirsty. So I determined that, ‘I ain’t going down thirsty.’ ”

On his search for water, Luttrell stepped off a mountain, hit a tree and was shot in the back before crawling seven miles to a small waterfall.

“I got about two sips of water, when two dudes came up,” he said. “I got this sick feeling again, about this guy 15 to 20 feet away. The only English words they spoke were ‘American’ and ‘shampoo.’ ”

But the man turned out to be one of two Afghan villagers from Sabray, who took him in, cleaned up his wounds and, honoring their tribe’s custom, protected him from the Taliban at the risk of their own lives.

“They brought me water, cleaned me up and gave me clothes,” he said. “A doctor came in and bandaged me and gave me medicine for the pain.”

The Taliban soon attacked the village and captured Luttrell, hiding him from noon until about 3 a.m. the next morning.

“The villagers snatched me away and put me in a cave,” he said. “They moved me around for over four more days and then carried me up a ridge to a Marine outpost.

“I didn’t know at the time but it was the custom of the over 2,000-year-old village to protect anyone they take in, no matter the cost,” Luttrell said. “There are good people out there.”

After assisting the military in locating his team, Luttrell was eventually taken to a hospital in Germany to recover from his injuries, which included shrapnel wounds, a lacerated face, a broken nose, torn rotator cuff and three cracked vertebrae.

“The whole experience of that operation took something from me — something I needed to get back,” he said. “So after I recovered, I went back to Iraq again for a second tour.”

In the spring of 2007, Petty Officer 1st Class Luttrell retired. He was awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism in 2006 by President George W. Bush.

During the lecture, Luttrell also outlined his experiences in becoming a Navy SEAL — from his joining the U.S. Navy in 1999 to completing SEAL training in 2002.

Before the Afghan mission in 2005, Luttrell served his first two-year stint in Iraq.  Huntsville TX.

Gerry Flowers
Gerry Flowers
Traveling Wall in Pasadena TX 27 Sep 2009

Limpet mine

A limpet mine is a type of attached to a target by ; they are so named because of their superficial similarity to the , a type of mollusk.

A swimmer or diver may attach the mine, which is usually designed with hollow compartments to give the mine a slight negative, making it easier to handle underwater. Normally they are directly attached, but the warhead of the human torpedo was linked to the magnets by wires about 1-foot (30 cm) long.

Usually limpet mines are set off by a time fuse. They may also have an anti-handling device, making the mine explode if removed from the hull by enemy divers or by explosions. Sometimes the limpet mine was fitted with a small which would detonate the mine after the ship had sailed a certain distance, so that it was likely to sink in navigable channels or deep water out of reach of easy salvage and making it harder to determine the cause of the sinking.




 The Central Texas UDT-SEAL Association Chapter
The Central Texas UDT-SEAL Association Chapter is based out of Austin TX. and are reaching out to members that would like to join us. To date we have found 44 that live within an approximate 2.5 hour drive.
If you are already a member of another Chapter, you can still be put on our email list to enjoy our events, as some of us will be coming to yours. We plan to be a “pay as we go” group with no dues.
We had our first meeting  8/23/09, to pick our committee.
The committee members are:
Larry Burchett, Manchaca, TX, President
Tom McCutchan, Bastrop, TX
Kirk Anthony, Cedar Park, TX
Craig Miller, Florence, TX
Stan Seidner, Austin, TX
Our first planned event will be for members and their families on Sunday October 4th at the home of Larry and Regina Burchett in Manchaca, TX. This will be a pot luck affair and B.Y.O.B. We ask that those that plan to come RSVP with a head count no later than September 30th.

If the number gets too large, we will move to a more suitable location. There will be more details to come for this event. One thing, If you play a musical instrument please bring it!
For directions and RSVP Contact information:

Larry Burchett, UDT21SEAL [at]     512-289-
Tom McCutchan, tmccutchan [[at]   512-985- 

Alan Wing
The Peace Medallion
Leap Frogs
Alan Wing
Roy Dean Matthews ST-2 photo taken from SEAL recruiting poster
Mark Metherdl Memorial
Larry Theorine, Dave Cassale, A.Dee Clark, Erasmo "Doc" Riojas, Joe Baimbridge(DV Officer)

—– Original Message —–  from:  Dennis McCormack Class 23
From: DKMSEAL [at]
To: BullDevine [at] ; Sent: Saturday, November 28, 2009 1:17 PM
Subject: Re: The “Frog” Community has lost a great one 

Tad & Friends, 

I came across this quote in the Parade section of the Sunday paper years ago, and used it when talking about another friend of ours who preceded us in that last leg of our life’s journey, and believe it is equally applicable when defining the life of our friend and teammate John Callahan. I was most fortunate to have spoken to John several times a few months back, and he definitely was determined to live his life to the full each and every moment. 

” It takes so much to be a full human being, that there are very few who have the enlightenment or courage to pay the price — One has to abandon altogether the search for security and reach out to the risk of living and loving with both arms. One has to embrace the world like a lover. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying—Anonymous. “

How more appropriate would it be than to include a prayer for John written by our honorary SEAL, Navy chaplain, Father McMahon, a man known to many of us: 

” Dear Father in Heaven, if I may respectfully say so, sometimes you are a strange God. Though You love all mankind, it seems You have special preferences, too. You seem to love those men who can stand alone, who face impossible odds, who challenge every bully and every tyrant — those men who know the heat of loneliness of a Calvary. Possibly You cherish men of this stamp because You recognize the marks of your only Son in them. Since this unique group of men known as SEALS know Calvary and suffering, teach them now the mystery of the Resurrection – that they are indestructible, that they will live forever because of their deep faith in You. And when they do come to Heaven, may I respectfully warm You, dear Father, they also know how to celebrate. So please be ready for them (John) when they (he) insert(s) under your pearly gates. “

HOOYAH to a fantastic true gentleman who now lives forever, 

Dennis McCormack Class 23


Friday, November 28, 2008

Story last updated at 11/28/2008 – 9:22 am

Navy SEALS train in Kodiak’s cold terrain

KODIAK – Everyone in town knows about the Navy SEAL base on Spruce Cape. Walk along the beach on the cape’s north side and soon you’ll hit a fence. On the fence, you see a sign saying do not enter and an ominous cutout of a human figure.

Ensign Ron Rector, officer in charge at the base, sat down for an interview to clarify what does and does not go on behind those fences.

“Really, all we’re doing here is teaching guys how to survive in the cold, wet weather,” Rector said.

The cutout on the fence? On the first day of training, students are told to follow their compass through the forest and see if they can land on the target.

“The forest is so thick, you can walk right by those things.”

SEALs – SEa, Air and Land forces – are the U.S. Navy’s special operations forces, deployed for reconnaissance missions, unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense and anti-terrorism missions, among other things.

The Naval Special Warfare Cold Weather Detachment Kodiak was built in 1987, Rector said, “with the thought of the Korea threat.”

“The weather here, the terrain is pretty much identical to what you see in Korea.”

Over the years, the base has served different functions, training different kinds of units in various stages of their SEAL careers.

Rector first came here in 1994 as part of a platoon doing cold-weather training.

“Back then, we just didn’t have any gear. We would go into the field with a pair of long-john underwear and a rain slicker on. That’s all you had, and it was horribly painful,” Rector said.

Navy SEAL platoons used to come to Kodiak for advanced tactical training.

“We used to stake out different places in town. The power plant used to be a big target. We’d go up on the hills and watch it and act like it was an enemy compound,” Rector said.

But for the past several years, the base has functioned as part of basic SEAL training, emphasizing survival and navigational skills in cold, forested, coastal environments.

Six classes averaging 40 students come to Kodiak each year for a 28-day course.

Navy SEAL training may evoke Hollywood images of hard-nosed drill sergeants and recruits dropping like flies, but Rector said that’s not the idea behind cold-weather training.

“We’re past the attrition phase here. We’re not trying to get anybody to quit any longer,” he said. “Even though the training’s really tough and there’s really tough stuff going on, compared to what these guys have gone through, this is nothing.”

“From here on out, for the rest of training, it’s getting these guys ready to go to their respective SEAL teams and march on from there.”

Rhonda Mary Jan Lisa
USS Begor (APD-127), 24 December 1950 12/24/50 - Our Squadron mate, Begor, APD 127, off Hungnam evacuation beaches Demolition teams ashore are blowing up useable supplies and installations The close of the battle for the Chosin Reservoir, and North Korea A sad ending to a brilliant beginning

Retired Navy Capt. Robert Bedingfield leads a prayer during a burial at sea ceremony in Fort Pierce, Fla. The museum is on the original training grounds of the World War II Scouts and Raiders. This unique ceremony is steeped in tradition and honors all members of Underwater Demolition Team and SEAL special operations forces who have passed. (photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Clark)

Burial at Sea Ceremony in Fort Pierce, Fla.

Retired Navy Capt. Robert Bedingfield leads a prayer during a burial at sea ceremony in Fort Pierce, Fla. The museum is on the original training grounds of the World War II Scouts and Raiders. This unique ceremony is steeped in tradition and honors all members of Underwater Demolition Team and SEAL special operations forces who have passed. (photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Clark)

Some these photos of pictures of photos on the walls of the HoChiMinh City, Vietnam War Museum. Roy Dean Matthews, Gel Grinnage and Erasmo "Doc" Riojas visited 'nam in Nov 2009
Nam era Stoner Machine Gun .223 cal.

Erasmo “Doc” Riojas
Aboard the USS Coucal ASR-8 and the USS Skylark ASR-20, I was the independent duty Corpsman. I was also the Medical Diving Tech (HM-8493).  Each Diver had his diving folder in the Dive Locker.  The “Doc” was the man designated by the Diving Officer (usually the XO) to type the diving forms for diving pay.  We got  paid for each dive we made and for Five Cents for each foot we went under.  We also got $55.00 a month Diving Pay if we were assigned to a Navy Diving Billet.

Every Year at the Ft. Pierce FL. UDT-SEAL Muster we have sea burials SEAL swimmers swim the ashes out beyond the surf zone and scatter their ashes.

“The Only Easy Day was Yesterday”



One of the great “perks”I have enjoyed as Writer/Editor of The Jerseyman, is getting to hear from many sailors and Marines that served in the Navy and Marines at the same time that I did (1953-1975), and from those that served our nation during World War II and Korea.

Writer/Editor of The Jerseyman, he posting below was received today, and I am sending this on only to those that I think might have their own military experiences that might relate as to what is being said.  The author is not identified, but if you served during the 1940’s and through the 1960’s, I think you will probably nod your head in agreement that the author knows what he is talking about.  Some of what he writes actually began changing during the late 1960’s… and by the early 1970’s “political correctness” had permanently surfaced it’s ugly head.   It’s a long read, but I think it’s a good one.

Volunteer Writer/Editor The Jerseyman Before you get all up in my face ’bout what I’m ’bout to ramble on about, lemme first say that I know the human memory tends to heavily discriminate the stuff it stores, cataloguing things the way it wants to and reserving special places for certain select events, sounds, sights, smells, and scenes. And not only does it selectively edit things in and out, but it tends to embellish events with its individualized set of filters, ethics, morals, priorities, and tastes, magnifying some episodes and minimizing others.

O.K. That said, I recently came across something that triggered memories of my early experiences in the Navy. ‘Smatterafact, lotsa things do that as I get older. My holistic retrospect on my 24 years in the USN is quite positive, and I often willingly go back to relive what were my most exciting and satisfying times . . . all the way from a raw unranked boot in San Diego to the guy responsible for maintenance and repair of elex comm & crypto equipment for CincPac, SubPac, CinCPacFlt, Com7thFlt, and several other high-powered commands in Hawaii.

 Master Chief Tom Helvig, USN (Ret.)
Volunteer writer/editor The Jerseyman
Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial  -4913
62 Battleship Place
Camden, NJ 08103
Home (856) 778-
Fax (856) 778-5668
Email: THelvig [AT]

Hair all shaved off. Personal effects confiscated. Clothes that didn’t fit. Strangers yelling stuff at me I didn’t fully understand. Food that tasted like stewed dirt. Beds that spoke of the hundreds who’d slept in ’em before. Marching in formation with guys wearing exactly the same clothes I had to wear, carrying an out-of-date rifle with which I had to master and demonstrate skills useful in no situation my fertile imagination could conceive.

My entire personality dragged out, ridiculed, abused, and tossed on a scrap heap only to be replaced by one that knee-jerked instantly to commands and single-mindedly carried out lawful orders, even though no one had ever explained to me what exactly an unlawful order might have been. No longer was I a college boy pursuing liberal arts and intellectual growth but a cog in a 72-man machine dedicating every single waking moment to causing no demerits to the company during inspections, drills, skill training, or parades.

Home was a narrow cot in an open-bay barracks featuring gang showers and rows of sinks, urinals, and commodes with no provisions for individuality, much less privacy. Lights out happened when the Company Commander decided we’d absorbed enough humiliation for that day, that our lockers were properly stowed, that our shoes were properly shined, our barrack was properly cleaned, and that we clearly understood that we were still useless raw meat that some unfortunate Chief Petty Officer would one day be burdened with molding into halfway decent sailors.

Reveille was 0500, even before the seagulls which swooped down to pick up the lungers off the grinder were up yet. Formation was 20 minutes later, after shaving and dressing and fixing bunks and being reminded that the coming night would indeed be damned short if we screwed up ANYthing that day.


Breakfast was hard-boiled eggs and beans and soggy toast one day, chipped-something-or-other on soggy toast the next, greasy fried mystery stuff with soggy toast the next, hamburger with tomato sauce on soggy toast the next, and all served with something vaguely white called “reconstituted milk” and a dark, vile, burnt-smelling but otherwise tasteless fluid some would-be comedian labeled “Coffee.” One good thing, though . . . you could have as much as you could eat in the 15 minutes you were allowed inside for breakfast. Lunch and supper were always filling and nutritious, even if often unpalatable, indefinable, and unrecognizable.

It was cold all morning out marching around toward no place in particular, and hot in the barracks at night when the giant inventory of our individual and collective miscreancies was recited to us by members of our own group temporarily endowed with positional authority over us. And I loved it. I’d go back and do it again if they’d let me and I thought my digestive system could survive it. Yes, I loved it, yet I counted the days, the hours, the minutes that I had left to endure in that young-adult Boy Scout camp before I could go see the real Navy and have some fun . . . AND get paid.

Once actually out IN the real Navy, I was astonished at the importance, the almost religious reverence, that people in khakis showered upon two things: control over the free time of non-rated personnel, and rust. To me the sole purpose of Chief Petty Officers was to ensure that anybody in pay grades E-1, E-2, and E-3 get dirty as soon as possible after morning quarters and NEVER have an opportunity to go ashore and act like sailors (i.e., drink beer and bring great discredit upon their beloved United States Navy).

My first assignment after boot camp was on a tanker whose duty was to fuel ships anchored beyond the breakwater, deliver AvGas and MoGas to detachments on islands off the California Coast (San Clemente, Santa Catalina, and others), and defuel ships going into the yards for overhauls or extensive refits.

When not involved in the specific act of transferring fuel in one direction or another, my primary value was in ferreting out and annihilating pockets of rust everywhere on the ship except in the engineering spaces, where my red-striped non-rated peers busied themselves at the same thing, except that their enemy was oil, grease, steam, and water leaks.

Six months later, now a fully-fledged sailor in all respects with three white stripes on my left arm, I got orders to Electronics Technician School at Treasure Island (San Francisco), where my primary duty was to listen to fatally boring lectures on basic electricity and make absolutely certain that my shoes were spitshined at all times.

A giant conspiracy existed amongst the staff, primarily the CPOs, at the school command to do everything in their power to keep those of us who had actually been to sea from contaminating the ones who’d come to school straight from recruit training. The strategy consisted mainly of ensuring that we fail enough quizzes and tests to require our spending all our evenings at night study, thereby keeping us from going into town or to the club to fill our bellies with beer and our eyes with the silicone boobies of Broadway.

Probably what amazed me even more than the fanatical interest that Schools Command CPOs had in ascertaining that everyone’s shoes reflected light better than polished onyx was the number of people who couldn’t take the pressure of boot camp or service schools and went to extreme lengths, such as bed wetting, to get out of the Navy and go back home to Mama.

Other than its unnatural interest in shoe shines and haircuts, tho, the Navy’s plan was beginning to make sense to me. First you got stripped down nekkid, both inside and out, all your strengths were identified and your weaknesses exposed, you were shown how to do a job, and then you were sent out into the field to see if you could hack it. In front of you at all times were both good examples and bad examples: you saw the carrot side reflected in the gold hashmarks on Chiefs who’d learned how to work within the system and you saw the stick side in the red ones on career E-5s who either couldn’t cut it or didn’t know how not to get caught.

Everybody smoked. Everybody drank beer. Everybody had a disgustingly nasty coffee cup. Everybody cussed, except when the chaplain or some officer’s wife was around. You did your job, and if you were good at it, you got pay increases through promotions. You pissed people off and didn’t get the message, you stayed in the lower pay grades and got really good at handling brooms, trash cans, and scrub brushes.

The Navy I joined had the old-fashioned Chiefs, those keepers of tradition, guardians of ancient lore, solvers of problems . . . those grouchy, irascible, sarcastic, but indispensable guys who’d been around longer than anybody else on the ship, except maybe the Captain. They knew where everything was, how everything worked, what everything was for, and who was responsible for what.

Becoming a CPO was really a big deal in that Navy, involving a time-honored festival of near-orgiastic silliness designed to close out the years of irresponsible ignorance with one last naked dance through the fires of humiliation and excoriation to emerge reborn as full-grown lion guarding the gates of the repository of all useful knowledge.

Amongst the Chief’s primary duties were making sailors out of farm kids and smartalecs and goldbricks and Mama’s boys, showing them the skills and qualities required for them to fill his shoes when the time came for him to retire his coffee cup. The Chief nominally reported to a young butterbar whom he had the awesome challenge of transforming into a leader of those other young men he was making sailors of.

Chief reported to the Ensign, but he delivered the real status to the Ensign’s boss, usually a seasoned Lieutenant or Lieutenant Commander. Chief generally had a special relationship with both the XO and CO, both of whom sought his advice and assistance in all sorts of problems and situations. His niche and his positional authority were well established and completely understood by every member of the crew. Any white hat entering the Goat Locker had better have his hat in his hand and a damned good reason, and Heaven help him if he forgot to knock first.

Today . . . I’m not so sure I’d make it. Chief no longer has that special relationship with CO and XO, and he rarely does business directly with his department head. As soon as he sheds his dungarees and shifts into khakis, he enters a confusing political arena of Senior Chiefs, Master Chiefs, Warrant Officers, and LDOs all doing what the Chief used to do. He’s simply gone from technician to supervisor, and his initiation has become as watered down as his authority.

In the Navy of the 50s and 60s, traditions aboard ship were honored, cherished, and observed. Various initiations occurred from time to time, such as making Chief or crossing the equator, during which rookies or newbies were ritually cleansed, humiliated, and physically abused to degrees generally powers of 10 more severe than anything the Gitmo terrorists ever had to endure from their guards.

Such episodes served the purpose of reminding every member of the crew that new experiences, new threats, new life-altering events could bring even the proudest and strongest to his knees. And when the purging was over, the initiates were welcomed as brothers, tougher than before because of what they’d learned they could withstand if necessary.

But it was a good Navy, a Navy that won wars, intimidated dictators, brought relief to victims in faraway lands, had fun, and proudly carried the flag. And I loved it. But I’m not entirely sure that what we have today is the natural child of that generation.


In 1960 if you got drunk on liberty, your shipmates got you back to your rack and woke you up in time for you to make morning quarters. If you found yourself in jail, the Chief or your DivOff would bail you out and work with the local cops to fix whatever you broke, or stole, or lost, or insulted, or forgot to pay for.

Today you get drunk and you wind up in a rehab facility with entries in your service jacket that’ll haunt you for years.

Same thing for behavior on the ship. In 1960, you mouth off to the Chief or get caught goldbricking one too many times and you got a blanket party, or extra duty, or both until you got your act together. You also didn’t see much of the quarterdeck or the brow, and you could forget that recommendation to take the next rating exam.

Today you act like a jerk and you wind up in a seminar, or a counseling center, or a psych ward and they load you up with a ton of paper that follows you until you abandon ship and go to work for IBM or AT&T or the local sanitation service.

In 1960 you came out with four-letter words and some heat in your voice toward what you saw as petty rules or regs or some would-be politician, and people either agreed with you or stayed away from you ’til you calmed down.

Today you say “Hell” or “Damn” and you’d better be talking about either the Revelation or furry little aquatic animals with big teeth and flat tails.

In 1960, when they were in schools or on shore duty, sailors lived in barracks and ate in chow halls.

Students in today’s Navy or sailors on shore duty live in hotels like the dormitories rich college kids used to have in the 60s. They’re called “Unaccompanied Enlisted Personnel Housing Facilities” and look like Ramada Inns. And sailors today eat in “Dining Facilities” like debutantes, and there aren’t any grouchy old Navy cooks in the back stirring the pots or grumbling mess cooks scrubbing pans and swabbing decks.

In 1960, sailors leaving the ship or station on liberty wore the uniform of the day, either Dress Blues or Whites. Officers and senior enlisted were often privileged to wear civilian clothes ashore, but not always.

Today’s sailors wear cammies most of the time, and it’s hard to find a sailor in dress uniform any more.

In 1960, the Navy Exchange was there to provide low-cost uniform and toiletry items for sailors and their families. Selections were limited, but quality was good and savings were considerable on things such as booze, cigarettes, candy, and trinkets. Today the typical Navy Exchange is a poorly managed, badly stocked, miserably staffed business failure that sees more merchandise go out the back door in a lunch bag than out the front with a sales receipt on it. You want selection and a good price, go to Wal-Mart. Commissaries aren’t much better except for meat and cosmetics.

In 1960 many officers had at least some experience in enlisted ranks or engines or management and were patriotic military men who commanded respect by understanding the jobs their personnel did and staying out of their way while they did them, then sending them on liberty when they got the job done.

Many of today’s officers are politicians who are afraid to say what’s actually on their minds for fear of offending someone’s delicate racial, ethnic, cultural, or religious sensitivities. They’re generally much better at leaping to premature cover-my-six conclusions than making well-researched but tough decisions.

In 1960 sailors went to night clubs and titty bars and kept pin-up pictures of girlfriends or movie stars in their lockers.

  Today the girls go to sea with the guys and hope they bought the right brand of condom. Any sailor looking at a picture of a girl today is doing it either on his blackberry via e-mail or on a porn site with his laptop.  >

In 1960 you got medals for doing something extraordinary, such as saving lives or preventing disasters or killing and capturing enemies in battle.

  Today many sailors get medals for not being late for work for more than 6 months at a stretch and never coming up positive on a random drug test.

In 1960 many sailors were involved in collecting human and signals intelligence and analyzing it.

Today the MAAs collect urine and civilian contractor labs analyze it. In 1960 we had clear-cut rules of engagement and unambiguous descriptive names for our enemies. The basic rule of engagement was to wipe out the enemy by whatever means available, and we called them “Red Bastards” or “Commie Sonsabitches” or words our grandmothers wouldn’t like to know we used.

Today we call people who want to destroy us, cut our heads off, enslave our women, end our way of life, “Aggressors” or “Combatants” or “Opposing Forces” or “Islamic Warriors” to avoid offending them. Our sailors are no longer allowed to kick ass and take names, only to Mirandize and make comfortable.

In 1960, victory meant that the enemy was either completely dead or no longer had the ability to resist, that all his machines and networks were captured or out of commission, that he had surrendered or been locked up, that the fight was over and he accepted defeat.<

Today we declare victory when the opposing forces call time out, insist that it was all a big mistake, and that they’ll stop resisting if we rebuild their cities, their refineries, their factories, their infrastructure.

The Navy I joined was easy to understand. It was organized and straightforward. The hard workers got the bennies and the shirkers got the brooms, and everybody in between was anonymous and safe so long as his shoes stayed shined and his hair never touched his ears or his collar. Chiefs ran the place and officers did the paperwork until required to put on their zebra shirts and referee bouts between CPOs engaged in pissing contests.

Anything a sailor needed to know, the Navy taught him, from tying knots to operating fire-control computers on 16-inch guns. A sailor never had to worry about what he was going to wear; that decision was made for him and published in the Plan of the Day, which was read every morning at quarters, usually by the Chief, the source of continuity, stability, and purpose for everyone in the division.

Today a kid can’t even get in the Navy unless he finished high school and has a clean record with law enforcement. He’s expected to be keyboard literate from day 1, and he speaks a completely different language from what his Korean- or VietNam-War grandfather spoke, no matter if that was English or what. He doesn’t play baseball, or football, or hockey; he plays golf, and tennis . . . more often on a Wii than on a course or court. The modern Navy doesn’t keep people around to dump trash cans and scrub galleys and clean heads; that’s done by civilian contractors. And the majority of CPOs today are expected to either HAVE a degree of some kind or be working toward getting one soon. Today’s successful Navy non-com is a paper-chasing button pusher, not a sweat-stained commie killer.

Today’s sailor is in touch with his “significant others” by e-mail or cell fone almost anywhere he’s sent. The idea of a 6-month deployment to Southeast Asia with no contact other than snail mail seems cruel and unusual torture to him.

No, it’s doubtful I could succeed in today’s Navy as I did in yesterday’s. I prefer my triggers to be on pistols and rifles, not on joysticks controlling surveillance drones and other bots. My policy as a division officer was never to tell a tech to do something that I couldn’t do myself, much less that I didn’t understand. Today I’d have to learn a completely new vernacular and become familiar with a strange culture before even TALKing to my troops.

And though it dates me and cements me into a mindset that’s fallen out of fashion, I think I liked the Navy that I joined better than the one we have today. Yes, of course the capabilities we have now are wider, more sophisticated, more potentially effective. But they’re more fragile, too, and techs can’t even FIND the discreet components in a printed circuit board any more, much less actually isolate a bad one and replace it.

I’ve let technology pass me by, willingly and completely. My skill set is anchored in tubes and resistors and 18-guage wire and cathode-ray tubes and hand-held multi-meters and bench-mounted o-scopes that weighed 120 lbs. But still, I LIKE those old Chiefs with the pot bellies and the filthy coffee cups and the scarred knuckles and the can-do attitude backed up by years of hands-on experience, both on the job and in the bars all over the world. I LIKED guys like Harry Truman who weren’t afraid to make hard choices and fire egomaniacs and take personal responsibility for their own decisions. It was GOOD to see people standing on a beach or a pier waving when the ship pulled in, knowing there’d be dancing and singing and fistfighting and dangerous liaisons, not snipers with Russian-made rifles and lunatics planting IEDs along the streets.

Yes, we lived with the omnipresent fear of instant nuclear annihilation, mutually assured destruction, uncertainty about tomorrow, and all that. But it seemed that the government was on our side, that our country did good things throughout the world, that the US was the best place to live on the planet and our presidents didn’t feel they had to apologize for a goddam thing to anygoddambody.

It’s not so much that I want a do-over; I just want teachers, and senators, and taxi-drivers, and clerks, and college professors, and congressmen, and judges, and doctors, and kids growing up to see my country the way we all saw it in 1960 . . . as a strong, charitable, fun-loving, loyal, don’t-piss-me-off place with no patience for petty tyrants and loonies.

I wonder what my British counterpart might feel about the direction HIS country’s taken in the last 60 years or so. Probably much the same as what the native-born Roman Legionnaire of the 4th century felt when he saw what had become of his beloved SPQR.

Author Unknown

 Webmaster Note: Erasmo “Doc” Riojas was promoted to HMC(T) in  1961while onboard the USS Fulton (AS-11) while on shake down cruise in Norfolk VA. from homeport New London Conn.       He underwent full CPO initition !

A gift from Gerry Flowers, Redon USMC, from Vancouver Canada

—- Original Message —–

From: Robert Stoner, GMCM

To: Erasmo “Doc” Riojas, HMC

Sent: Sunday, February 28, 2010 12:45 PM

Subject: Fw: Memories of Tasty C-Rations?


I don’t remember C-rats were ever considered to be tasty.  I do remember you always wanted a small bottle of Tabasco Sauce handy to liven them up.  

I do remember some really vile concoctions.  I do remember some C-rats that were so old that we got the green can with the three “hockey puck” hamburger patties (along with an inch-thick white-greenish slab of solidified grease) that were last procured in 1958.