David 'Doc Johnson - Editor
December 2004
Officers & Directors
Tom ‘Stormy’ Mateo
Paul Mangan
Vice President
Phil Lelslie
Pete Meadows

John Norman
Phil Odom
Gene Csuti
Joe Mazzariello
Mario Sagastume

Newsletter Editor
David ‘Doc Johnson

Vin Burdziuk
Dues and membership renewal

Please return this form along with your $15.00 dues made payable to;
“Vietnam Era 2nd BN 1st MAR”
Mail to: Mario Sagastume  778 Silverado Estates Ct., Chico CA 95973

Name: _________________________________________________________

Address __________________________________ City _________________State ___ Zip_______

Phone ____________________________________ Email address __________________________

Is this a renewal?___________

Yes! I wish to support  2/1 and enclosed is my dues of $15.00___________

Yes!  I wish to receive the newsletter: _________

* Organization name (i.e. Golf, Foxtrot, etc.)________  

* Years of service in Vietnam: _________ 

* (include nickname if your buddies knew you by that) _________
Standing Room Only

Standing room only is about the best way to describe our group’s meeting room.  Rarely was there a time that this room was not full.  And lies!  You’ve never heard so many lies.  Fishing hats should have been required attire.  In all seriousness, however, our turn out was sensational.  A great time was had by all.  All credits go to the men, like Phil Leslie, Paul Mangan, Pete Meadows, and Tom Matteo for a job well done.  Thanks guys.
Together After 37 Years

Jim “Doc” Barbour (Fat Albert) and I, myself, met for the first time in 37 years.  Jim, it was great to see you.  I just wish your job and my time with my granddaughter would have matched up better.  I’ll be back however.  I think I have a picture of you getting your hair cut by Doc Hill at Quang Tri.  Need another?  Mike still has the shears.
Denise Branch

Denise, left, has created a guidon for each company in 2/1, including a US Naval Corpsman guidon.  These guidons added a very nice touch to colors the night of our banquet for which we are grateful.  Outstanding job!
We have always held high regard for family members of KIAs from 2/1.  To the right are Sue, Rick, and Mike Pierce - siblings of KIA Donald Pierce.  Doc Shaffer, Golf 69-70 is on the right.  Welcome folks.  Do come again.
Granny Fanny and Paul Stenzil

Granny, Granny, what a delight you were, about as southern as you could get.  To see you running around in your 2/1 jacket, like any other marine, was a sight to behold.  Your presents added a fragrance to our meeting unlike any in my recent memory.  Great meeting you and hope to see you in the future.  We’ll supply the weed next time just for you.
Tom and Angela Matteo

Pictured to the left is our President Tom and Angela, his wife. Tom Matteo is not only our president but comes off as the man for the job.  Our group is in good hands.

Angela was not a bit afraid of rolling up her selves and pitching in either.  She, in the absents of Pete, provided welcomed relief running our PX.

Angela was also assisted by others including Denise Branch, Sandy, and Pete’s wife, Joyce Meadows. Thanks to you all on a job well done.

Some sad news to report.  Al Selleck has lost a fight with lung cancer.  From his wife “I am saddened to tell you that my beloved husband, Al, died of Lung Cancer on Oct. 28, 2004. He never smoked in his life, but was exposed to Agent Orange in both his tours in Vietnam and we believe this was a factor. He was diagnosed a year ago in September. His final resting place is at Fort Rosecrans Military Cemetery in San Diego where he had a service with full military honors. Sincerely, Pat Selleck. Condolences may be sent to Pat at 268 Rock Hill Road, Vista, CA  92084-5816.
The passing of Al, of course, means much to those who attended a number of reunions in California.  Pat and Al opened their home to 2/1 each time.  The picture above is Al’s back yard.  Al is pictured in the center, standing with a Golf T Shirt and white shorts. So long Marine.  May you rest in peace.

Dave Novak would like to look at the possibility of creating book III.  With this effort in mind, I showed up at the reunion with scanner in hand, copying as many photographs as possible.  While scanning these pictures and viewing all the information provided, it did begin to occur to me that perhaps rather attempting to publishing these photos to a book, perhaps what should be considered is a CD (maybe two or three) crammed with as much information as possible.  Thus, actually we have two different projects here, a book and a CD.  In either case what we would be recording is history in a manner unknown to nearly anyone else.
The book issue can be handled by Dave and Marian.  They can be reached at PO Box 511, Livermore ME 04253, (H)207-897-6184 or Email at Signaltree@gwi.netAny writings you may wish to share with others, past or present, should be sent to them or me.  I can be reached at 265 2nd St SW, Forman ND 58032 (H)701-724-3347 or Email at 17dodge@drtel.net.

While copying these photos at DC, what was most interesting, was articles like shot cards, draft cards, ration cards, MPC, Vietnamese money, propaganda (ours or theirs), or anything of that nature.  As for pictures, pictures of each other are fine but it would be nice to have some of events and locations, such as the infamous Tracks, No Name Island, Dog Patch, or Vietnamese like Rose, the villager just south of the bridge on Highway 1 south of DaNang who many of us came into contact with.  I have a scanner so I can copy whatever you send me and can have it back to you ASAP.  Please included with the pitcher what it is so an outsider who might be looking in knows what/who it is and why it is significant if indeed it is.

The pictures to the left are a sequence of three provided to me by Dave Szabo of a downed chopper at Con Thien early in 1968.  This is dramatic stuff and goes to show the perils those of us were exposed to in life like fashion.  Or how about the picture provided by Gary Belden below?  For anyone who experienced Con Thien or Khe Sanh, they know the fear those in this picture are experiencing.  What’s missing is the rats that those who endured these conditions shared quarters.
A CD of this nature is capable of holding numerous pictures and can be copied and offered to others for the fraction of the cost of a book.  Please share what you have with those who never had the opportunity to take these pictures themselves to share with their family and friends; and as important, to share with the world.  Send your pictures to me and together we will record history.
Volume 3 Issue 11
        Home Once More

Back in the world some would ask us why 
We’d come here to fight and possibly die.
I guess some of them have never thought
That for good reasons we came and fought.
Some of them will never know why.
That is, until they look into a villager’s eye.
It’s only then that they can tell
That it was for Heaven’s sake we came to Hell.
Not just for this nation did we come to fight,
But for freedom’s protection and each man’s right.
It was for each man and each man’s son
That it was so important to have this war won.
It was for our wives back home and her unborn child,
We had to stop this world from running wild.
We had to stop and fight to preserve once more
What our ancestors had won so many times before.
For each man here, this is what it takes,
Thirteen months and a lot of tough breaks.
It takes a lot of time, pain, and sorrow
To give this world a new tomorrow.
The war is not past its peak.
The Vietnamese language we cannot speak.
That’s not important, for when we part
We know the “thanks” we’ll get from deep in their heart.
Soon, your sons will come home once more.
We hope you’ll welcome us to America’s shore.

           Donald J Pierce Jr., KIA 18-Mar-70
A Visit to Bethesda

Arranged by Tom Matteo a platoon sized operation was conducted at Bethesda Naval Hospital.  Members of 2/1 visited with and shared memories with those arriving wounded from Iraq War.  Some members felt it was the best thing 2/1 has ever done.  For others it brought back heart felt memories of days past.  In either case, this was a day to remember.  My granddaughter, Doodles (13 as of Veteran’s Day), visited one of the wounded.  She like will never forget that glimpse of the price of freedom.


This association is on it's way, with new blood and direction which is given by each of you.  I am deeply honored to be in the company of such wonderful people, who share a common bound for life. I know that we may not always agree on life, but I know that we would fight to the end for each others well being.  As a unit you have set new standards for other associations to support and value our military of today. My personal feeling on the issues at hand, play no part of my emotions to support our troops, who as we are doing their job.

As the association President, I pledge to each of you that I shall move us in the right direction so that in a short period of time we will again regain our ranks, and bring many others back to the association.  The association has many challenges ahead of us, but not one that we cannot tackle head on with a fresh and new prospective for years to come. I need the sincere assistance of each of you in the best interest of the association. My decisions have no personal attachments and I run this command as I would my own business.  This board will make fair, sound business decisions on behalf of the total association and listen to the ideas and recommendations of all.  As the leader I am faced with making decisions that may not make everyone happy, but as leaders we know that we cannot always make everyone happy.  Nobody likes change, but I feel that with good business practices and as adults, we will see that they are for the best interest of all.

I look forward to the next news letter which shall contain much new information and projects that we are working on for this next years reunion. I will look towards a great turn out next year, since many of the left coast troops have showed a desire to attend the Reno reunion.  Let's everyone make an effort in getting one more member to the reunion this coming year, we would love to see many more members in attendance.

The best to all for the holidays and my email is always open for thoughts, suggestions and complaints.

Semper Fi
Tom "Stormy" Matteo

The reunion site for 2005 has been set.  We are going to Reno NV.  The idea is we should be able to get a great rate on lodging as well as a few deals on air flights.  Food is relatively cheap, offered as deals to get you into the casinos.  The trick is not to give all your savings back to slots and leave any and all titles you may own home.  The details to this reunion will be forth coming.  Watch the next newsletter or visit our website at  http://www.FirstMarines.org