A publication of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress


April 2001/May 2001

Honoring JTF-FA Heroes

When their remains arrived on American soil at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, the seven members of Joint Task Force-Full Accounting, Detachment 2, Hanoi, who were killed April 7 in Vietnam were accompanied by VVA members. Members of Honolulu Chapter 858 were present when the flag-draped transfer cases containing the remains arrived at Hickam on April 13.

Among those killed were Army Sgt. 1st Class Tommy James Murphy of Georgia, who lived in Honolulu, and Air Force Master Sgt. Steven L. Moser of San Diego, a Vietnamese linguist who also lived in Honolulu.

Bill Duker, past chair of the Veterans Initiative Task Force, attended services for Air Force Major Charles E. Lewis, who was Deputy Commander of Det 2 at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Duker met Major Lewis during the October 2000 Veterans Initiative mission to Vietnam.

Lewis, an engineer, was responsible for the design and construction of the F-15 Eagle mounted on a pedestal at the entrance to the 33rd Fighter Interceptor Wing at Eglin, his previous assignment before volunteering for JTF and duty in Vietnam.

Duker said the memorial service for Major Lewis was one of the most emotional events he has ever attended.

"The love and respect his family, colleagues, and friends had for him was expressed over and over," Duker said. "Especially touching was the eulogy given by his eight-year-old son, Charles E. Lewis III, standing in the bright sun in a tuxedo. He talked about how he was brave just like his daddy. I think we all just about lost it. I know I did.

"I remember talking to a Marine Gunnery Sergeant who was in charge of the Honor Guard that was escorting remains after one of the repatriation ceremonies we participated in at the airport in Hanoi," Duker said. "I said to him, `Gunny, give these guys a safe trip home. He replied, `Don't worry, sir. These men are our heroes."

National Board member Larry Klein was joined by members of Chapter 708 in Rome, New York, at services at Fort Drum, home of the 10th Mountain Division. Incoming Detachment 2 Commander Army LTC George D. Martin, III commanded the 1st Batallion, 32nd Infantry at Fort Drum. Among those joining Klein were Kenneth Martin, Greg Stanton, president of Chapter 296 Carthage, and John Burleigh with his wife, Lori.

In a conversation with Klein after the service, Martin's widow said her husband was"looking forward to the service in Vietnam as the most important service in his career."

On April 25, National Vice President Tom Corey attended a memorial service for the seven men held at Fort Myer, Virginia. Corey was joined by his assistant, Janet Alheit, Rick Weidman, Alan Green, Mokie Porter, Jim Greene, and Ed Croucher of the national office.

VVA is proud and honored to know the people who work in Vietnam on behalf of the families and for us, as well. We commend those who represented VVA and its members at memorial services for:

Rennie M. Cory, Jr., LTC, U.S. Army, outgoing Commander, JTF-FA Det 2, Hanoi

Geroge D. Martin, III, LTC, U.S. Army, incoming Commander, JTF-FA Det 2, Hanoi

Charles E. Lewis, MAJ, U.S. Air Force, Deputy Commander, JTF-FA Det 2, Hanoi

Steven L. Moser, MSGT, U.S. Air Force, Vietnamese Intelligence Analyst/Linguist

Pedro J. Gonzales, CPO, U.S. Navy, Hospital Corpsman

Robert M. Flynn, TSGT, U.S. Air Force, Vietnamese Linguist

Tommy J. Murphy, SFC, U.S. Army, Mortuary Affairs, Team Sergeant

We also acknowledge and respect the sacrifice of the Vietnamese who were killed alongside their American counterparts:

Nguyen Than Ha, Deputy Director, Vietnamese Liaison Office

Senior Colonel Tran Van Bien, Deputy Director, Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP)

Nguyen Van Ha, LTC, Vietnamese Air Force

Nguyen Thanh Son, LTC, Vietnamese Air Force

Nguyen Huu Nham, MAJ, Vietnamese Air Force

Vu Pham The Kien, MAJ, Vietnamese Air Force

Giap Thanh Ngan, LT, Vietnamese Air Force

Pham Duy Dung, LT, Vietnamese Air Force

Dang Ngoc, LT, Vietnamese Air Force

   

E-mail us at TheVeteran@vva.org


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