The Vietnam Veterans of America National Chapter of the Year - 1999 & 2007
Newsletter of the Year 2007, 09, 11 & 15
President’s Message - David 'Doc' Martinez
PRESIDENT’ FEBRUARY MESSAGE
As we come to the beginning of another year, I have to marvel at all we have accomplished together during the past year. I know that none of this could have been possible without your hard work and sacrifices. The members of VVA Chapter 310, our Friends and AVVA have my gratitude and a special place in my heart for their support. It was an easier year than I expected and it’s all because of you.
We have had a few new members join our Chapter. Just as other Chapter members have, I know you will see the benefit being a member of this Chapter. We have some of us who have experienced episodes of PTSD and we have people here to help you. If you have a problem you need help with, please contact me or John Kinzinger, Don Behm, Tim Driscoll or our Vice President, Vance McCrumb.
If you’re new, I’d like you to get to know our Chapter. Find someone who can help you, or get to be friends with some of our members because, together we can do so much.
Then there are those who are behind the scenes who help when they can. These are the hidden treasures of our organization. When the chips are down they pop up to help us when we need them the most.
I wish the entire membership of Chapter 310, our supporters and our Friends and AVVA, a year of happiness, love, good health and continued success in 2016. May we grow stronger as a Chapter; may our membership grow; may our members become more involved; and, may we become closer as family.
I remember while flying Medevac’s, one time, we were sitting at an LZ (Landing Zone). The LZ was called LZ STUD. (Later during the war LZ STUD was changed to LZ Vandergrift after some Marine General.) As I was saying, we’re 15 miles from our home base at Quang Tri, yet we were within 5 to 8 miles of any area that was taking enemy fire or being threated to become over run. We could be there within minutes from LZ STUD. Soon, we got a call for a Medevac and off we went.
After a short time the crew chief said, “Doc the pilot wants to speak to you” I turned on my headset and said “Yes Sir?”
“Doc, we are going into a shit. They are taking heavy fire and have a lot casualties. I’m not sure we are going to make it out of there, so I’m going to drop you off back at the LZ and come back to get you.”
I said, “Sir, what the hell am I going to do at the LZ?”
“Doc, they are my Marines down there and I‘ve got to get them.”
“Sir, they’re my Marines too, so let’s go.”
We went into that engagement three times. Our helicopter, a UH-34, was full of holes from incoming fire. Those UH-34’s could take licking and keep on ticking.
Finally, on our third trip we had to go back to Quang Tri and switch helicopters. We went back two more times and evacuated the rest of the wounded.
The thing is, we did these things because it was our job. I would do it again, if I was needed. Which reminds of something. I read once about a letter that a Marine at Khe Sanh sent home. It went something like this: “Dear Family, as you probably already know we are now at Khe Sanh surrounded by 20,000 NVA troops, so now they can’t get away.”
This nation sent them over there to do a job and despite the overwhelming odds they seemed to find some humor in it. Well, our snow for Christmas never arrived but other parts of our nation got hit with tremendous amounts of snow all down the East coast. So, take a minute and say a prayer for them.
Again, Thank You All for your support throughout the year. Happy New Year, Chapter 310.
SEMPER FI and WELCOME HOME
Together, we truly make a difference.
DAVID “DOC” MARTINEZ
MEDEVAC’S HMM-163 & HMM-262
MAG-39, 1ST MAW, QUANGTRI, RVN 67-68
OFF THE SOUTH CHINA SEA, RVN 71,72 73
To read the complete February The 310 Dispatch newsletter click here>>