The Vietnam Veterans of America National Chapter of the Year - 1999 & 2007
Newsletter of the Year 2007, 09, 11 & 15
- ATTENTION -
Michigan House Bill 5169 proposition would take away the property tax exemption from qualifying veterans and instead give them a $1200.00 State of Michigan tax credit
Please pass on to your Members, who are VA 100% Disabled "and" have applied for the "Real Estate Tax Exemption" from their City or Township.
Everyone should be writing or calling their State Representative and State Senator and tell them to "not" vote for this Bill 5169.
Michigan House Bill 5169 proposition would take away the property tax exemption from qualifying veterans and instead give them a $1200.00 State of Michigan tax credit.
Click here to find your Representative.
President’s April Message - David 'Doc' Martinez
I am coming to the end of a tremendously successful third term as the President of this Chapter and I owe it all to you, the members, friends and AVVA, for your wonderful, unprecedented support. In these last couple of President’s messages I’ve tried to thank everyone, because I owe you all so much. A successful leader is only as good as the people who support him and you have made my job so easy. Mere words cannot express the love and gratitude I have for each of you for having given me the privilege of being the president of the greatest Chapter in the Nation! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
We have a new set of executive officers and Board of Directors who will need your help and guidance to continue the good work that we do. I also want to take the time to give special thanks to Dave Draper for his courage to step up and run for the office of your next President. He’s a good and responsible guy, and I leave him with a wonderful executive board to help him. He will need your help and I ask that you help him.
Going back to the past, quite often I have heard from other veterans, “What’s the big deal with Vietnam Veterans?” I have told them there is no big deal, we just won’t let America forget! The men and women of the Vietnam War deserved more than America was willing to give. Three decades later the war, which never left our conscious, still ignites passion among its veterans. By being visible and doing the good things that we do, America will never forget us. So please march in the parades, be present at the fundraising events and wear your uniform with great pride. We were the best America had at the time and we fulfilled our duties to the best of our ability.
We will have a short meeting on Sunday, April 10 at 1200 hours to be followed by the officer and board elections.
Well, the time is approaching for our Recognition Dinner on April 23, 2016 at the UAW Hall on Textile Road. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. I would greatly appreciate seeing some of our new members there as well many of our faithful members who always show up. Our chefs are Mike and Shada Eadie and their crew. A wonderful Spaghetti Dinner with handmade meatballs by John and Jane Kinzinger and Sandy and the Prez. Sausage, garlic bread, salad, dessert, beer, coffee, raffle items and a 50/50 drawing.
Don Miller, here’s my last Vietnam story: On July 16, 1968, early in the morning, we headed out to our helicopter to begin our Medevac flights. At midday, we were at LZ Vandergrift when we received a call to pick up 2 KIA’S and 2 WIA’s, who had walked into an enemy mine field. The pilot made pass to see where the Marines were and check where enemy was. As he turned around for another pass, all of a sudden the helicopter twisted tothe left and twisted again violently so I figured we had been hit by enemy gun fire and we were going down. I remembered that while working in E.R. the ones who were injured were the passengers but the drunk hardly ever got hurt. So I threw myself on the stretcher and hoped for the best. When I came to, I discovered that I was thrown out of the helicopter and landed in the mine field. I was in elephant grass four to five feet tall. The Crew Chief called to me and asked if I was okay. I said I hurt my back but I think I was okay and he told me to stay there. “We’re coming to get you,” he said. I hollered back that I’m getting out of here because I can hear the gooks coming and talking. I thought to myself, I’m lying in the middle of a mine field and it would be my luck to start crawling up and set off a mine. I said a short prayer and took off. I got to where the rest of the crew was and saw one of the gunners with blood streaming down his face. I checked his wound and found that the plastic from his visor was hit and he was peppered with cuts. The face and the head are very vascular and a small cut can sure make it look terrible. I cleaned him up and was putting a dressing on him when I saw two NVA solders approaching us. I grabbed the gunner’s rifle and shot the two NVA soldiers. As one fell he dropped his rifle about 3 feet from me. I picked it up as a war trophy.
We were there with our downed helicopter for about 30 minutes while our chase helicopter was up above us laying cover. The chase helicopter ran out of ammo and had to return to base to pick up more ammo. In about 5-10 minutes another Medevac helicopter came and picked up us up.
They took me to Dong Ha, which had an aid station and they bandaged a couple of shrapnel wounds and x-rayed my back and sent me back to my base at Quang Tri. I wasn’t able walk without assistance for two weeks. During that time, my Chief visited me and said he was going to send me back to Da Nang. “You have done enough here Marty, so go to Da Nang and enjoy the rest of your tour there.” I looked at the Chief and, said “I can’t do that Chief, I have to go back to flight status because, if I don’t get back in that helicopter again, I never will.” So I continued flying and racked up 268 missions.
When I first got to Vietnam, I was stationed in Chu Lai with the 2nd 4.5 Rocket battery. For a month, we went to MEDCAP (medical aid to Vietnamese civilians) on Tam Ky Island once a week. There was a Vietnamese teacher and nurse there who we knew was a V.C. sympathizer. She took most of the medications we gave to the kids and gave them to the V.C. I never liked that part of my job.
While at Chu Lai, I was going to noon chow and as I walked past the personnel office, one of the Marine clerks called me over. They had received a message from Da Nang that they were looking for 7 medevac corpsman and he asked if I was interested. He told me they flew to an LZ and gave aid to the wounded Marines and to take them to an aid station. They also brought back the KIAs. I said, “sign me up” and went to chow. When I got back to our Sickbay, Chief was really upset with me. “I heard you signed up to fly medevacs!” I said I had and it was what I wanted to do. I have all this training on medical procedures and I want to be where I can do the bestjob for the Marines in battle. He said you know why they need 7 corpsman? Because 7 of them got blown away. I said, “Well Chief, wish me luck.” Chu Lai was a nice place to be. The sand on the beach was white and, at the staff club, we had steak and lobster on the weekends and a USO floor show or a movie. I packed up my gear the next day and got on the arriving helicopter to take me to Da Nang to 1st Marine Air Wing.
I spent one day at Da Nang to fill out my last will and testament and power of attorney for my wife. The next day I got on the helicopter for Quang Tri, RVN.
I have rambled on enough. Thanks to Don for encouraging me. These things really happened and Vietnam will always remain with me now and forever.
I leave you my sincere Thanks for all your support. I couldn’t have done it without you.
Lastly, Sandra and I will always hold you close to our hearts as over the years you have been wonderful friends to us. John, please send an invitation to Al Walk for our Recognition Dinner. I would like him to come. You, the Vietnam Veterans, the Friends and AVVA, are my strength. Without you, I would be nothing. My sincere thanks.
Semper Fi and Welcome Home
David “Doc” Martinez HMCS(CAC) USN Retired
Medevac Corpsman, HMM-163 & HMM-262
MAG-39, 1st MAW, Quang Tri, RVN 67-68
South China Sea, off the coast of RVN 71,72, 73