Home Again

Mon 24 Jun 96

Leave 1200 for Sturgeon Bay, stay at the White Lace Inn. Shawn loves Victorian places like this!

Tue 25 Jun 96

Check out of White Lace Inn, visit Cana Island Light. Shop Fish Creek, walk around Ephraim, drive up to Gills Rock, dinner at Al Johnson's, Sister Bay, home 2100.

Wed 26 Jun 96

Second Group due in at 1245. They had a rough time - six days to get out of theater, eight at Bragg. They went to Germany, to Hungary, back to Germany, to Iceland, to Dover, Delaware, to Bragg. They got in early, we were delayed by a phone call dealing with Brendan plus construction on 141. Got in as they were claiming bags. Missed Bill Bartelme and Jeff Poh, did meet Frost, Jaworski, Dan Bartelme.

Fri 28 Jun 96

Third group has smooth time at Bragg, only five days, but comes in on three flights. Mike Marquette delayed, we go to greet Coyle, Zimmerman and Inman, then Marquette comes in at same time. Don Hansen and I run with banners from one terminal to the other. Wait 45 min for last group to come in at 1345. Big crowd of relatives for O'Neill, SSG Jim Smith, Levanetz, and Decker.

Sat 29 Jun 96

Go to Luxemburg to help Deb Luebker move. She was a big help to Shawn and had a lot of problems with orders, pay, phone bills out of pocket on behalf of the unit, etc. Over 90, humid, thunderstorms in evening.

Mon 1 Jul 96

Turn in 1351's. Takes 3 trips to get everything. Copy and mail claims forms to new team.

Sat 6 Jul 96

After serious snafus all week, we march in parade. Hansen, Gadbois and drive vehicles, families walk. Next group due to fly out from Germany today. We take Simba-he's a hit with little kids. At 1500 go over to Wally Coyle's. Poh also comes by. Go home to meet Jose and Maria for fireworks at 2000.

August 96

I get back into the textbook project and begin sending in photos to West. My first clue there's a major problem comes when they can't fit my art to the chapters. I discover that someone has butchered my chapters and in one case completely substituted his own material. I am furious. I manage over the next several months to repair some of the damage but the text is seriously mutilated and the work load on me is horrendous. In the fall West is acquired by Wadsworth and I manage to slip even more changes back in. I should have gone for the whole thing and just resubmitted my original chapters and art when the project changed hands.

Sat 6 Sep 96

Drill weekend at Bear Paw. On way up, MAJ Bestul tells me some stories about the follow-on team after we left. They came up to LA Lisa and didn't even introduce themselves. Instead they announced "we're airborne. We're in fast and out fast". And mild-mannered Jeff Poh came back with a shutdown for the ages. He simply said "Well, you weren't in very fast this time" - and the TOC went dead silent. COL Batiste dropped by Diane later and came up to visit - and found all 4 of them asleep at 1300. So he left without saying a word. Later on, at a briefing, he mentioned that they must have all needed their sleep. So the OIC, to "fight complacency", had his team string camo netting over the stairway.

Sat 5 Oct 96

Sit on promotion board at 308th. Other members are SGM Van Ravenstein, whom I knew from 38A class a couple of years ago, and SFC Slocum of 415th, who, it turns out, was also on Houlihan's team in Bosnia. Lots of good gossip.

Sun 6 Oct 96

Do 12K Associated run - we have 13 unit people. I have trouble with calf cramps and also ran out of steam at about 5 mi but still did 81 min, only 2 min over last year. Not bad considering that I walked quite a bit.

In PM help Roger Hoskins reconstruct his NCOER from Bosnia. He needs it to go AGR recruiting.

COL Price addresses unit. Says we did a good job and the right people know, although MG Nash downplayed CA in his reports. Also confirms suspicions that the force protection rules came from a very high order that there be no casualties whatever. Right now the 308th is lowest Bde in ratings, could be trouble if CA suffers cuts unless we turn it around. Big hits: MOSQ, OER/NCOER completion, retention. Got snagged for random drug test.

Mon 7 Oct 96

Letter from George McClellan today. Returned my dictionary. Diane is closed down and everyone moved back to Demi. Pat and Lisa also shut down, that last a surprise. Demi is being expanded to house 1000 troops and 4/12 is moving out in October. Tragic news - Cliff Baker's son was killed in an auto accident. Cliff is home and may not come back (he didn't).

Wed 30 Oct Return from GSA to find my condolence card to Cliff waiting. He has been transferred and the mail system can't track him (He's a civilian. Once he moves to another unit's area, they can't forward the mail.)

Sat 2 Nov

BG Matthews visits unit. In AM a long speech about how well we did. Refers to SOF as the "quiet professionals" - do it because it's the right thing, the good thing, to do. Showed GEN Shali a printout of CA people and skills. Shali: "these people are a national treasure. Briefed 16 NATO ambassadors on CA - they are flabbergasted. Briefed SecDef Perry on CA en route from airport, but SecDef distracted. Then he gives media the CA picture word for word. Afterward: "didn't think I was listening, did you?" Almost got into trouble. Sec State Christopher so impressed with 350 CA folks he wondered what 700 might do.

At 1300 Kilgariff and Matthews give coins to Shawn, Dale Jaworski, Sherry Frost, Sandy Ponkratz, Ruth Eliason, and Patty Timmerman. Pat Marquette not there. Later BG meets with enlisted troops.

At 1500 have make-up PT. 64 pushups - max out. 52 situps, 18:01 in the run. Total, 261, all-time best.

1900 go to dinner with Deb Luebker. Scott and Barb are back from Alaska

Sun 3 Nov

Ruck March

Fri 28 Mar 1997

Get around to packing Super Bowl shirts for Bachi and Sem. Bachi's mails OK but there is a hold on packages to Bosnia. Now what?

Tue 15 Apr 1997

Finally get done typing Bosnia diary!

August 1997

I go to annual training at Hohenfels in Germany, and discover I'm attached to the 2/6 infantry. This is exactly the same unit I was with in Bosnia except they reduced fractions from 4/12 to 2/6. (Will it be 1/3 next?) I met a lot of people I knew from Bosnia, including LT Bishop, LT Davila, Chaplain Carr, and CPL Strang.

From his former NCO, who was now the TOC NCO at Hohenfels, I got a follow-up on the prisoner we escorted back from Kladanj. It seems there were more than one person involved, but he took the fall rather than name the others. That clears up a lot of inconsistencies and loose ends. The kid got five years in Leavenworth for his escapade. He and his buddies must have planned this for some time and gotten info from locals on who in town was likely to have a lot of money.

May, 1998

I went to Fort Bragg for a training course on a computer system called ATRRS, and while I was there I dropped in to check on a soldier from the unit who was taking the Serbo-Croatian course. I said hello to one of the instructors in Serbian and she asked me how I knew the language. So I answered (still in Serbian) that I was in Bosnia for six months, stationed at Kladanj, and that we visited Vlasenica, Milici, Sekovici, etc. Then she floored me. She was from Sekovici! She had often worked with Psyops at the radio station! We must have met when I was in Bosnia! I think I even remembered her - she's a tall, slender brunette and quite pretty. Small world.


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Created 23 Apr 1997;  Last Update 10 January 2000