Posted by: philipfontana | December 2, 2014

More Vietnam, No. 2

  More Vietnam, No. 2:

“Turkey Reagan”

 

 

     Excuse us for living, but some stories, anecdotes, just have to be told! And my story of Turkey Reagan from my Vietnam service, 1970, is just one of many. But, if you ask me, the best one!

As background, I refer you to a previous post of mine, “My Vietnam, 1970.” You can find it in the right margin near the top or way down at the bottom, last one, by clicking on “Vietnam.” There, among other things, I give my apologies for relating humorous things that happened to me serving in Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam, when so many thousands of G.I.s gave their lives or were severely wounded. And there I describe the sandy Headquarters Company area of the 97th Military Police Battalion as if it were a M*A*S*H TV stage set for my Vietnam episodes.

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           First, meet Doug Schulz, Specialist Fourth Class, our Mail Clerk, from Bismarck, North Dakota, where he lives to this very day! – -No doubt the most important person in the entire Headquarters Company, 97th MP Bn, our link to home! “Mail Call!”

 

 

     Over the last year 2014, our old Mail Clerk, Doug Schulz, tracked me down along with a number of other guys in our Headquarters unit. We are now in touch once again thanks to his considerable research skills as an attorney all these years since our Vietnam service. Thanks to Doug as Mail Clerk, among his other duties, my family received a letter a day that I wrote home from my January 24, 1970, arrival, to my December 11, 1970, departure. It was one of those letters, one around, Thanksgiving Day 1970, in which I told the story about Turkey Reagan.

SizeTurkey

           Pictured here is just a plain old wild “Tom Turkey” that flew in and hung out in the neighborhood along Route 202 where I presently live in Montville, New Jersey, last fall 2013. He was a big, old crazed turkey running on and off the roadway for two weeks! The authorities eventually took him away after a car clipped him in a wing. But this photo serves a symbolic purpose. For, I do not have an old army photo of the real “Turkey Reagan,” the absence of which has only added to the mystique of this tale!

 

 

Danny Reagan was his given name. He was from North Carolina and was assigned to the Communications Command of Headquarters Company, 97th MP Bn. His office was in a rear section of the same building my S-4 command supply office was located. So, on many an occasion I would cross paths with him, as he walked the wooden plank walkway on the sand connecting our offices, delivering confidential messages to the Headquarters Company Commanding Officer, a full-bird Colonel. It was during these exchanged salutations crossing paths that Danny Reagan established his reputation. “Call me Turkey,“ he would say as he broke into his well-practiced imitation of the sound of a turkey, “Ulla-ulla-ulla-ulla-ulla!”

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             It was on this wooden walkway on the sand pictured here between offices and around the Headquarters Company area that Turkey Reagan established this nickname and that turkey imitation with dozens and dozens of guys. “Call me Turkey. Ulla-ulla-ulla-ulla-ulla!” That’s me standing outside the door to my S-4 Office after working hours in my “civies” on one of the wooden walkways.

 

 

The story is a simple one of facts speaking for themselves. Turkey Reagan had set the stage. It was the Eve of Thanksgiving. I had been waiting for this all year. Turkey was just asking for it. And he had the kind of easy-going disposition that told me he would be OK with our little caper.

Three other guys and I grabbed Turkey in our barracks on the second floor. He struggled, half laughing, as we made a straight “log” out of his body around which to wrap our arms and carry him down the steps. He kept wiggling/struggling, all of us laughing in jest, including Turkey, as we made our way across the Headquarters Company area from our barracks to the Mess Hall. It was early evening, still light outdoors, and the Mess Hall was long done for the day & unoccupied.

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                    The 97th MP Battalion Headquarters Company area. Read on to the next photo caption.

Size Hd Co Left

        If you can picture this second photo to the left of the first photo above, and excuse the overlap area pictured and marked as such, you can trace our steps from the barracks to the Mess Hall and back. The photos are marked HHD Barracks (2nd photo) and Mess Hall (1st photo). As you continue to read, you can picture the escapades as Turkey made his way going from building to building back from the mess hall to our barracks.

 

There, in the Mess Hall after hours, we corralled Turkey onto the very long wash table where we stripped off his khaki green army fatigues and underwear down to “buck naked.” He “didn’t go without a fight,” kicking and mildly screaming in yelps of, “No!” and, “Help me!” all in his southern North Carolina accent. – -Actually, going along with the joke, putting up a good-natured fight for the record.

But Turkey became more serious when we turned on the oven! – -Preheating always in order! If that wasn’t enough to upset him, we smeared Crisco all over him and put carrots, celery, and potatoes under his arm pits and between his legs. We then carried Turkey to the oven, now fighting and screaming for real, head first feeling the heat of the open oven door, at which point I uttered, “Gobble, gobble now, you son-of-a-bitch!”

SizeMeBarracks

        Our Headquarters Company Barracks located on the second floor. That’s me at the top of the stairway.

 

 

     We put him down, feet on the floor, turned off the oven, took his clothes and boots, and left Turkey there in the Mess Hall in the nude. What followed was the piece de résistance of the entire caper. We went back to the barracks and watched from the top landing of the stairway. Turkey made his way back to the barracks from the Mess Hall, going from building to building, stopping and hiding on the side of each building, covering his privates with his hands as a fig leaf!!! (See above 2 photos of the Headquarters area buildings!) All that was missing was some appropriate music like the “Pink Panther Theme.” The next day, Thanksgiving Day, Mess Sergeant Bernie Kopp, from New Jersey, treated us to a true noon meal Thanksgiving Feast. The U.S. Army really knows how to “do Thanksgiving” for the troops overseas and away from home!

SizeSSGKopp

       Staff Sergeant (SSG) Bernard Kopp, our Mess Sergeant, was from Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey, in the Perth Amboy area. He worked a toll booth on the Garden State Parkway near his hometown after his Vietnam War service.

 

 

     This story did not end in Vietnam in 1970. Fast forward to the fall of 1972. I was now just newly married, living in our apartment in Morristown, New Jersey. The telephone rang at 2:00 AM in the dark of night. “Pheel?” That’s “Phil” with a North Carolina accent! “It’s Turkey! Ulla-ulla-ulla-ulla-ulla!” Danny “Turkey” Reagan was drunk as a skunk and partying with friends! He got my telephone number from my parents at an earlier hour.

Fast forward again to this past August 21, 2014, a few months ago! That old Mail Clerk buddy of mine, Doug Schulz, responded to my plea for help searching for Danny “Turkey” Reagan. He came up with something on the internet posted by a Rich Jenkins, dated June 6, 2005, on “The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Message Board”: “To all who served at HHD, 97th MP Bn, HQ in 1970 to 1971 and knew Danny Joe Reagan he (sic.) passed away from cancer on March 29, 2005 in North Carolina. He gave us all many happy memories while serving in Cam Ranh Bay and he will be sadly missed and I salute you Danny.”

Mail Clerk Doug Schulz also came up with a photo of a Danny Joe Reagan. He was a musician in a band. While we cannot be certain that it’s Turkey, this Danny Joe Reagan died on that very same day, March 29, 2005, as did our Turkey, in North Carolina too.

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         This is the contemporary photo of a member of a band, photo center, with two fans, one on each side of him, in North Carolina, named Danny Joe Reagan who passed away on that same March 29, 2005. He was listed as “guitar and vocals.” I can still see a younger version of this same smiling face way back in 1970 Vietnam as if it were yesterday saying, “Call me Turkey!”

 

 

     Excuse us for living, come to think about it, Turkey DID play a guitar way back in Vietnam! Mail Clerk Doug Schulz, you found our Turkey! Rest in peace, Turkey! Ulla-ulla-ulla-ulla-ulla!

     Comments: Please!

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Responses

  1. What a great story Phil!
    It really made me laugh out loud! 🙂
    I could totally picture the whole event WITH the pink panther theme!
    Some memories are worth keeping tucked away save in our hearts forever.

    Lots of love and hugz ❤

    • Patty, Thanks, Patty! Me too with that Pink Panther Theme music! And this guy, Turkey Reagan, was moving just like an actor from building to building, stopping at the side of each while holding his privates! –A classic! And without WordPress & “Excuse Us…” the story might never have seen the light of day!!! So after 44 years I told my story! I am glad! Thanks again! Phil

  2. This is a wonderful story, one of many I am sure, of days gone by. My husband was in the Marine Corps back in the sixties and to this day, the friendships he made then are still important to him even though he hasn’t seen some of these men in all the years since. Thank you for serving.

    • Michelle from “Book Chat” fame!!! How nice of you! Thanks! Yes, I have about 20 Vietnam tales but I don’t want to go to that well too many times nor too often. I like my website NOT to be pigeon holed, leaving me the latitude to address anything I wish. I know exactly what you are saying about “your Marine” & the ties of friendship from the ’60’s despite not getting together or being in touch. Hard experiences solidify bonds!!! Thank you so much for visiting here & “Liking” this! Phil

  3. OMG! you smeared him with Crisco??? You badddd boy! lol…now that is funny-what a wonderful shared memory of a fella who sounds like he was nice as can be-and went alond with a joke!
    thx Pheel…..lololol….

    • Marg!!! Can you imagine???!!! Every word the truth with NO EXAGGERATION!!! It was a war zone with rockets occasionally coming in. We were crazy blowing off steam! And you read it right…Turkey was a gentle southern soul going along with the joke! Thanks so much, Marg, for your usual genuine comments!!! “Pheel”…..HA!

  4. Hey Phil–PRICELESS! It’s pretty cool that your old mail clerk is still connecting you guys. I have not been connected to anyone I knew during my tour, and always wonder what happened in their lives. One of my main problems is not having very many, if more than 1 or 2 names. I think I’ll try to google them and see if I have any luck.
    One experience I did have was quite something–let me set the stage for you. In 1964-65 I wasn’t at Rutgers, because of some pretty poor student habits–I would go back in the Fall of 1965, and graduated, I guess, with you, in 1968. Anyway, one weekend (64-65) I went to Syracuse University with my friend Joe DiPonti, who also left Syracuse after one year. We went to visit Ray Sparks, but he wasn’t around, and left instructions at his fraternity to put us up for the weekend. One of his brothers, “Charlie” as I will call him– because I can’t yet dig his name out of that 50 year-old memory bank–put us up for the weekend.
    Flash forward to Tay Ninh, Vietnam the Spring of 1970, where I was stationed with the Public Information Office of the 25th Infantry Division. The invasion of Cambodia (very nearby) had begun, and we were dealing with all sorts of press who came to cover it the best they could. One such reporter I met with, was based in Saigon with the Stars and Stripes newspaper–it was “Charlie” from Syracuse–some 5 years after I first met him! We had a good laugh about how we had come so far to meet again–and we both thought it was pretty cool.
    After extending my tour 50 days to get an early discharge, I returned to Paramus in late July, 1970. I went to Germain School of Photography in NYC, and became friends with a young woman with 2 daughters, who was also a student there. We went Christmas shopping one evening in 1971, before taking a commuter train to her home. Before we boarded, we stopped at a place that had a bar on one side, and a diner type restaurant on the other side. We had a drink or two and then went to the diner counter with revolving stools. There were 3 open stools–Mary sat on my left, and the one to my right was open. While we waited for our food, I turned to my right, and sitting on the 2nd stool to the right was, believe it or not–“Charlie”!! Talk about a hair-raising experience! From Syracuse to Vietnam to lower Manhattan–over 6 years, and how many thousands of miles. I’d like to say I met him a 4th time somewhere else, but it hasn’t yet happened–who knows???

    • Ray, Great hearing from you! Yes, me too, until this old mail clerk contacted me a year ago. I was only in touch with one guy …We were in Basic Training & MP School together, & even crossed paths in Vietnam once. Yes, try to google search what you have. That’s what he did, plus I gave him dozens of names & address from 1970, & he worked miracles…well at least six people. Didn’t know your dates at RU, no less graduating together in ’68! Ray Sparks at Syracuse & “Charlie” helping you at the frat. Got it! Then Charlie working for “Stars & Stripes” 5 years later & you as Public Information Officer.!!! Good going extending to get discharged,,,,,,,My father said “no,” get the hell out of Vietnam as early as you can. And Charlie….by now like Clarence the angel in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” showing up in that bar/diner in 1971. –Over a six year period covering all that geography & half the world! “Angel Charlie” shall appear again! –A mystical story & one you will have to put to a post yourself!!! Just great! You could make it a Christmas story with that last “encounter,” pun intended! And hope that Germain School young woman with two kids was good!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Merry Christmas, Raymond! And thanks so much! Phil

  5. Good story, Philip. I could picture that happening in camp during Vietnam. Had to have a little fun and let off steam some way. The last picture of band member Danny Joe Reagan (RIP) looks a little like the captain in “Forrest Gump”. He seemed like a nice guy . . . good memories.

    My hubby was in the Air Force during Vietnam but served at a radar site in the States. I can only imagine what it was like over there. God bless you for having served and coming through it.

    In tribute, here’s a little something during that era. The music can sure take you back.

    • PAT!! From “Plain Talk & Ordinary People”!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just don’t get around to sites enough! But you are on my list of MANY blogs I “Follow.” I just don’t click automatic notification & replies or my wife will scream with 5000 emails! Thank you for the so kind comments on my Vietnam story of “Turkey Reagan”!!! You’ve got it EXACTLY!!! Fun & letting off steam!!! HE DOES look like that guy from “Forest Gump,” you’re right! And right again! He WAS good natured! Good that the Air Force kept your husband State side working with radar! Yes, I was lucky & came through it all & returned & picked up my life like I never left the USA!!! And thanks for the music & photos from “The Vietnam War Years” I will now enjoy!!! So nice comments by you! Thanks, Pat! Merry Christmas! Phil

      • Hi Philip — no problems as I can understand in getting a ton of emails. It fills up your inbox fast for sure.

        I’m sorry you’re not able to view the video. It’s the best I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, I made the YouTube mistake of sharing it here as a 3rd party instead of directing you to the post on my sight. So, it was taken down. If you don’t mind, I’d be happy if you would go into my comment above and just delete the video, if you can, as I do not want to infringe on copyrights.

        I’m happy to share with you just the same and recall the era. I’m also glad to hear you returned safely and was able to pick your life back up as you left it.

        It was a powerful time — so many emotions only those of that time can understand. I guess it was the same of our parents during WWII.

        Take care and wishing you and yours a blessed and happy Christmas. God bless. 🙂

      • Sorry about the video. I’m glad you at least got to see it, Philip, before it was taken down. It was a good video – loved it and sorry to see it was gone.

        I originally thought it was my fault it was deleted because I shared it. But now, think it was removed from the video owner as I never got any notifications. (Just wanted to clarify.)

  6. Phil–it took me 5 hours, but I finally remembered “Charlie”‘s real name–Dave Oswald! I’m going to try to find him–maybe he stayed in the Syracuse area–an hour from here. That would be something else! Also that young woman and I are still good friends all these years later–she lives outside Chicago, and I’ve visited her a couple times–only we’re not that young anymore…but nod old! Best holidays to you too, Phil! One last thing–I’ve started writing articles for a trade wine magazine in CA–although I’m concentrating in the Finger Lakes, I may do a trip to Long Island sometime next Spring. If I do, let’s try to get together in NJ–that would be fun. Take good care, Ray

    • Ray, How great you remembered “Charlie’s” real name, Dave Oswald!!! Hope you find him!!! There are online services you can pay for a nominal fee to get info on people. If you just google his name, these outfits will come up & list people by the same name & then ask you to pay for more info. Great that you & that “young woman” are still in touch like the movie, “Same Time Next Year,” starring Alan Alda & Carol Burnette!!! Yes, I know of your great involvement in many things “wine” from the retail store to judging & now writing for a magazine! Proud of you! If you’re down this way anytime, it would be easy for us both to fit in lunch at a convenient spot for us both….Rt. 3, The Tick Tock Diner!!!!!! You too, keep well! Phil

  7. Pheel, good story. Just like those college years, whether you try or not, you come away from the military experience with special bonds with a few close, life-long friends. You may not see or hear from them for years at a time, but sooner or later one pops up and the memories come flooding back. Then you kick your own butt for not making even an occasional call or sending a postcard. But you know, regardless, they are there for you. Thanks for the guilt. Jym

    • Jym, Thanks as always for your nice comments! Yes, a war zone sure DID make bonding ties!!!!!! Exactly, after years the friendships are still there!!! You said it right….Everybody goes on with their lives & suddenly someone decides to contact the other & relationships never lose a beat! Thanks, Jym! Phil

  8. A wonderful story of your Vietnam experience and funny “Turkey” Danny Reagan. Great recollection Phil and a sweet tribute. It is nice that people can still stay contact each other after such mission and services, nowadays maybe it will be easier with internet and social media..

    • Indah, Thanks so much, Indah, for your comments! Glad you liked the story of “Turkey Reagan.” Yes, though years pass, the bonds of friendship made in a war zone, or any difficult experience, never fade!!! True, the internet & social media really are a plus! We did this story thanks to Google research!!! Thanks again, Indah! Phil

  9. I think six did not return in my class of ’67 st North Miami Senior High School.

    • Carl, Such a loss!!! That’s why I apologize finding humor in my Vietnam service. But if anyone can understand humor, it is YOU from your great cartoons!!! I worked hard too & earned a Bronze Star doing it. Appreciate you looking at my post & thanks, Carl, for the comment too! Merry Christmas to you & yours!!! Phil

  10. Great story Phil and great tribute. It’s crazy how the absurd silliness of our youth turns into the treasured moments in adulthood!

    On a less serious note, I can totally imagine the young man, covered in butter or crisco trying to find his way back to his clothes! Did he ever get retaliation?

    • M, I ALREADY REPLIED… must have skipped the post box!!! Sorry!
      Like your comments…. so true our youthful actions turn into our mature revered anecdotes!!! Absolutely right…the scene of Turkey getting back to the barracks was the high point of this plus, I might say, so was the scene when his head reached the hot oven & I said, “Gobble, gobble now you son of a bitch!” No, no retaliation or such concern among friends!!!!!!! Imagine!!!!!!!!!!!! Merry Christmas!!! And thanks…we talk “so easily.” Phil

  11. Not only do I thank you for the great laugh and story and I also thank you for your service in our “forgotten” war. We may differ on somethings my dear friend but I have the honor and privledge of calling you a friend.

    • Eddy, Thanks for the great response to my story!!! And as for my service to our country, “it was nothing!” HA! I was drafted but earned a bronze star in the process! Differences? Maybe we would differ depending on the issue, but I hear/see/read a lot of common ground. And as you indicate friendship supersedes all! Thanks, Ed! Phil

  12. Reblogged this on Just Us Owls and commented:
    A great story from my friend Phil. Have a read on his adventures during our “fogotten war.”

    • Ed!!!!!!!!!! How nice of you to reblog this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now I’ve made the “big time!!!” I’ll have to meet you over at “your place” & leave a comment of thanks! How nice, how nice of you! Phil

  13. Reblogged this on Ace History 2 Research News .

    • Ace News, Many thanks for your confidence in my 2 posts on Vietnam! The content on my website in the right margin, at the bottom, by topic, would interest you. –from history books to commentary in particular & more!!! Your website is a great vehicle to get out some special informational stories! Thanks again! Phil

  14. This left me speechless Phil… what a priceless story I got the pleasure to know today, thank you very much 🙂

    • Lily Lau!!!!!!!!!! Just checked you own website! Very nice!!! Glad you liked my story of “Turkey Reagan” in Vietnam, 1970!!! Yours was one of the nicest comments on this post!!! “Love Lily” for that!!!!! Phil

  15. Very nice story Phil! Love the pictures you added! Makes it very complete and I got a vision of your time in Vietnam! De guy Danny “Turkey” Reagan sounds very funny haha!

    It’s nice to have good memories even if they were in times that were hard!

    Thanks for sharing Phil!

    Love
    Sheryldine

    • Sheryldine!!! How nice to read your comments!!! You are the first person to comment on the photos completing the story! Thanks for that! Danny “Turkey” DID have a good sense of humor…You are right there too! And you got the point here that despite a time of war in Vietnam, life went on with good memories too!!! Sheryldine, in few words you made one of the best comments of anyone in three years of my posts on “Excuse Us…” –One smart woman you are! Phil

      • Yeah really loke the photo’s! Pointing every place out! Ahw! Well it’s just what I think and every word is true!

        Hugz sheryl dc ine

  16. Sheryldine Lindsay, Thanks again! Right, I tried to point out the places! And your words are so sincere I can tell! Phil

  17. Happy new year and best wishes to you and yours for health, happiness, peace & prosperity in 2015!

    • Russel !!! Just came from your website to say thanks for the “Like” & check in & apologies for my absent profile. Nice job as always on your instruction on using Photoshop CS6 to frame pictures!!! Thanks for the good, generous wishes for 2015 & may you experience the same for a worthwhile 2015!!! Phil

      • Phil, I am the Rich Jenkins mentioned in your articled who posted the information about the death of Danny Reagan. I also was at this event on Thanksgiving 1970 and have never forgotten what we did to Danny Ragan, aka “Turkey”. I will never forget the look on his face when we picked him up while playing cards and took him to the mess hall. This story was written with great detail exactly as it happened and was glad to finally come across it today. It brought up many good memories of our times like this where we all cut loose to keep our mind off where we were.I last saw Danny in March 1994 in Winston Salem, NC while returning from Texas. He was then singing and recording with his band and seemed like he found the love of his country music. I posted this on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Message Board regarding his death from cancer in 2005 hoping someone would read it and get in touch with me. I only found out too late or would have attended his funeral. I live near Baltimore, MD and often wonder what happened to all the other guys from the barracks of HHD. I left suddenly in January 1971 on emergency leave and never returned after receiving a compassionate reassignment at Fort Bragg, NC. The only regret is that I left with only five months and no recognition for being there such as a bronze star. I came to HHD in August 1970. I worked in the S3 as a draftsman and chart maker and made all desk signs for everyone. We all had many good times at the club and these good times helped get us all through. Danny and I were best friends while I was there and kept in touch after I found him through the VFW. I know I remember you from the S4 supply and certainly remember Doug Schulz the infamous mailman. I remember Danny sitting upstairs in the barracks and strumming on his guitar singing country music. The picture with three people in it is definitely Danny Reagan in the middle with his friends. Yes that was our Danny Reagan who passed in March 2005. We will all miss him very much and will never forget this incident with “Turkey” Reagan. Phil, I could not have told this story any better and thank you for putting this in print for all to read. To anyone who doubts it, it is all true exactly as told. Please feel free to send my email to Doug Schulz and anyone else who was there while I was from August 1970 until January 1971. I am proud of my service and proud to have served with all of you great guys in HHD, 97th MP Battalion.

  18. Phil – Too many coincidences to wrap my head around. I’m a ’68 college grad who was (kind of) drafted out of law school (longer story) and finished my Vietnam tour with the 97th MP Bn S-1. I began my tour as an RTO with the 3rd/9th Inf Div in the delta and Cambodia. When that unit disbanded I was transferred to HHC (G-1) 25th Inf Div (overlapping? another commenter raypomp). When that unit disbanded I was sent to Cam Ranh, and, as best I can tell, arrived at the 97th pretty close to the same day you left.

    I knew Turkey. Not sure I ever knew his real first name. If I remember correctly, he was the one who made caricatures of the guys for their going away parties. One of the lasting memories of the 97th was the Sergeant Major insisting that the sand be raked every morning into perfect rows that would usually be undone by the wind before lunch.

    Because Cam Ranh seemed relatively safe compared to my other stops, I extended to get an early out. I took my GREs on the base and started graduate school at RU a couple months later. I now live about 30 miles south of you.

    No post will ever be long enough for all the conflicting, irrational, overwhelming, and under-processed thoughts and sensations that continually escape resolution that was that one year, one month, and 26 days that has lasted 43 years. Thank you for posting your story and particularly the pictures. The names are mostly forgotten and the faces are fading from memory, but some fragment of the guys on the second floor is always there.

    • Joe, This is unbelievable!!!! I was Class of ’68 Rutgers, New Brunswick. I too was drafted out of law school, Wayne State U. in Detroit! I went to Paramus High School with Ray Pompilio!!! I never knew Turkey’s first name either back then. The fact that he did drawings rings a bell now that you mention it, but no memory of him doing caricatures for the guys leaving. That Command Sergeant Major always complained that when his unit landed there in 1965 they leveled the sand dunes. He wanted to make HHD are more level again. SAME GUY!!! But he never had us rake the damn sand! I wanted to extend to get out early too but my family pressured me to come home as soon as possible & get out of Vietnam. I never missed a Christmas!!! Good move taking GREs while there. Hope grad school at RU worked out for you. But generally I warn people how tough it is, especially the Ph.D. & Ed.D. But maybe the MA was OK. Loved your comments…ALL! A few of us from HDQ Co. 97th got reconnected over the past year or so….as I wrote about in this post! I live in Montville just off Rt 287. I’m also on Facebook. And my telephone number is listed. Give me a call! Phil

  19. Rich Jenkins!!!!!!!!!!!! Your comments (two above) are the most spectacular thing that has resulted from my 3+ years doing this website!!! All you report & relate are like a gift from God verifying that the Turkey I wrote about is one & the same you posted on the Vietnam Wall Message Board & was pictured & in a band in NC who died in March 2005. Your comments are a gold mine of information about Turkey in Vietnam & afterwards back in the USA,, HHD, our experiences, & about you. For the record, I personally came up with the idea for this crazy caper about Turkey that took place on Thanksgiving Eve 1970. And now I know you were one of the fours guys who helped me pull it off! And thanks for your telephone call this morning! I’ll follow through with contacts with Doug Schultz & Joe Young. How can I say thank you?????!!!!!! Phil

    • Phil, you are more than welcome. This story brought Danny back to life in an event I will never forget. All I can say is thank you for this story. Danny Joe Reagan “Turkey” was my best friend in Vietnam and I can never say enough thank you for your heartwarming tribute to Danny. I am so grateful I found this and reconnected with you to talk about the old times at HHD. Keep up the great work.

      • Rich, Agreed. It does not get better than this. This has made my three years of writing on my website worth all the hours! And to think on top of everything else here, you & Danny Joe were best of friends!!! This experience, thanks to you, will stay with me all the rest of my life. Hope we meet again one day! Phil

  20. Wow…Phil!! I love when “boys/men” play!! Great story…RIP Turkey!

    • Lorrie, I like you comment! That’s the spirit in which this was written….”boys/men at play.” —that we could laugh too in Vietnam & that laughing was OK! Many thanks! Phil

      • Phil…I think about young men (& women now)…children really…being in that environment…and my heart breaks! I know it is necessary…but it is a tough road. Great chatting with you ❤

    • Thanks for reading Phil’s story about Turkey Reagan which I was part of. You will see my comments under Rich in this page. Phil thought of this idea and some of us helped him make it come true. I found by accident and contacted Phil that I was the Rich mentioned in the original story. I verified that poor Danny Reagan died in March 2005. I wanted to thank you and anyone else who has posted nice comments that this was a once in a lifetime experience which I will never forget. It was just a bunch of young guys trying to cope with the situation by having some fun.

      • Hi Rich! Wow…I am so amazed at this story. I went back and I read your comments. I find this whole story heartwarming…and it is wild how you were a part of the “Turkey preparation” in 1970 and then you accidentally come across Phil’s account on his blog!! I love it!!
        And let me say “Thank You!” for serving our country…and that you don’t need a “Bronze Star” to legitimize the fact that you were in the trenches of Vietnam. I am so grateful for you…for every person who serves us all! Have a super weekend…thanks for commenting 🙂

      • Lorrie, thanks for the reply to my latest post regarding Turkey. This event was quite an experience and one I can never forget. Thanks for honoring myself and every veteran who sacrificed in the Vietnam War. I cannot believe how I suddenly cam across this story and written so well by Phil as it actually happened. It brought back memories about my best friend in Vietnam, Danny Reagan. People like you who read and place comments such as you have are very much appreciated by us who were there. Thanks again and best wishes.

      • Rich & Lorrie, How great is this!!!!!!!!!! It’s a first for “Excuse us…” to have two readers exchange messages!!! And both so meaningful to me….Rich with your first hand participation in this story & in verifying that, indeed, we had found out about Turkey’s sad passing…..& Lorrie with your deep appreciation for the contributions of servicemen as well as an appreciation for the place & necessity of humor in a war zone. Thanks a bunch to you both for this exchange!!! Phil

      • You are quite welcome as one Vietnam Veteran to another. We served together and are forever in a fraternity of Veterans of Vietnam. I will never forget the times I remember with you and all the guys.

  21. Rich, How great to hear that! Rich to have lived long enough to reconnect the unusual way we did & the exchange of comments, emails, & your telephone call, altogether one of the most rewarding experiences of my life…..real quality guy you are!!!! Your friend, Phil

    • Phil, you are the quality guy for bringing this famous event back to life, and I will always be grateful for that. I further was happy to reconnect with a friend and talk about the good times at 97th MP. Take care and keep up the good work.

      • Rich! To be continued….friendship! Phil


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