Postcard sent to me by Aubrey Lee Spry from Dongbathein


Pfc Herman R. Adkins
Ronald P. Barker USS Savage
A/2C Lawrence A. Bird
Sp/4 Ellis R. Blevins
A/1C Harvey C. Brewster
Capt. R. L. Brown
Sp/4 Curtis R. Browning
Pfc John L. Browning
Pfc Raymond (Jackie) Burgess, Jr.
Sp/5 Paul Carey
Pfc Chester S. Copley
S/Sgt John E. Cox
Pfc Robert Lee Curry
Sgt Clarence Dowdy - deceased 1998
Sp/4 Reather Fields
Sp/4 David L. Gilpin (located)
Sp/5 John Gosnell
Robert Grimmett
S/Sgt J.C. Hager
L/Cpl Larry A. Harvey
Sp/4 James R. Hicks
Sgt Rupert Lambert
Sp/5 William Maynard (located)
Sp/5 Phillip J. Montgomery
S/Sgt Carl L. Mounts
S/Sgt Charles Nelson
S/Sgt Harry O'Neil
S/Sgt Emmett H. Pippen
T/Sgt Warren Sidebottom - died 1988 cancer/agent orange
Sp/5 Roger Sizemore
S/Sgt James M. Spears (located)
Pfc Aubrey Lee Spry (located)
A/C Larry Tabor
Sp/5 Mitchell Terry
L/Cpl Ralph Thacker (located)
A/1C Jack Thompson (located)
Pfc Delbert Vance Jr.
Sp/4 Raymond Vannatter (located)
Pfc Sherman R. Williams
Sp/5 Lowell T. Workman

Nov. 28, 1965 - Aubrey Lee Spry wrote from Dongbathein. "I received your Christmas card today and it made me feel so good to get it, especially from someone I don't even know. Probably all you know about me is my name. I don't know Don, but I know the outfit he's in over here. He is in a fighting outfit. The 1st Infantry Division sees most of the action."

On Memorial Day weekend in 1988 I talked to Aubrey at the Vietnam Veteran's Center in Mount Gay, (Logan County) West Virginia.

Aubrey Lee Spry

Aubrey was drafted at age nineteen and spent one tour in Vietnam. "‘Nam wasn't so bad," he said. "I got to go on R & R twice ‘cause our unit was takin' so many casualties. The Army needed to fill their quota my number came up twice."

Both times Aubrey flew out on the only available chopper which carried our dead. They were crowded for space so he sat on top of body bags. "That must have been devastatin'. . . "I said. His voice was a whisper the next time he spoke. "Nah, it didn't bother me," and again he repeated, "‘Nam wasn't so bad."

SPC James M. Spears

James Spears passed away in 2000

"Merry Christmas. I hope you don't mind getting the same card back, but I don't have a Christmas card to send you. When I can I will send you a card even if it is June or July." I was so touched by his gesture that I wrote to tell him so. Years later. I got a letter from his mother who told me he went back to Vietnam for a second tour, and had retired in Fayetteville, North Carolina after twenty years of service. His mother gave me his telephone number, and I was able to tell James how much his card meant to me.

He told me he was a mess sergeant with Charley Company, and flew hot meals by chopper to guys in combat. He said "We were call Ghost Riders, because we came floating in with hot meals for the troops when they least expected it." Our motto was: 'We doze, but never close.' He wasn't fond of flying but he did because it made the troops happy. James didn't recall sending my card back, but in May 1988 he sent me his picture with a note. "I am fifty now. I don't talk too much about Nam, but it seems like it all happened just yesterday."

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