to the Black Hills Veterans Writing Group which meets at 900 am (first half hour is social period) on the second Saturday of each month, until 1130. The free meetings are at EAFB's South Dakota Air and Space Museum. You are invited.
On December 10, SGT Mel W. Gunderson of Black Hawk will talk about his combat in the Battle of Ia Drang Valley, Landing Zone X-Ray, early in the Vietnam War, as part of the US Army 1st Cavalry Division, 1965-1966. He was with Joe Galloway who co-authored We Were Soldiers Once...and Young about the experience of surviving near annihilation as their unit landed in the middle of a vastly outnumbering enemy. video background, 1965 CBS film
Vietnam War Project Needs Donations (Tax-Deductible): Raising awareness of the Vietnam War is the goal of this Black Hills upcoming reading and discussion project, centering on public readings of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, with discussions led in part by veterans from our Group. more
On January 14, Ken Delfino of Keystone will talk about his combat experiences with the US Navy's River Patrol Force in South Viet Nam and what the current generation's mission is now: "We members of the original group will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary next year," he adds.
Robert J. Moir, Delfino's executive officer, has written about their experiences: "During the Vietnam War, small U.S. Navy units patrolled Mekong Delta rivers in fiberglass boats armed with machine guns, four men to a boat. By day they stopped Vietnamese junks, sampans and water taxis, checked people's identification, and searched for weapons and contraband. At night, during curfew, they drifted silently with the current, watching and listening for enemy movement. They were often targets for Viet Cong gunners. Boats were hit and men were wounded and killed." more YouTube
On February 11, Jim Dugan (USAF ret) of Rapid City will talk about his Vietnam war experiences as a dog handler. It is estimated that combat dogs saved the lives of 10,000 US military. He later was assigned in the nuclear weapons and missle industry at the Nevada Test site.
On March 11, Alan B. Walker will speak about his combat experiences as a Marine on Foxtrot Ridge in Vietnam, described in his memoir Every Warrior Has His Own Song. He was born and brought up on the Winnebago Indian Reservation in Winnebago, Nebraska. His father was an Omaha Indian. His mother was a great granddaughter of "one of the original seventy-five braves who volunteered to scout for the U.S. Army in 1863." more
On April 8, Ray and Josephine Cowdery of Rapid City will present on their latest World War II research. Check their names at both Amazon and Google to see previous publishing. more
The WWII sketches of Victor Lundy, still alive at 92, were just digitized. You might be interested. There’s something about pencil drawings that seems so spontaneous and egalitarian. All of us can teach ourselves to draw, at any age. I remember a quote that goes something like “We take a photograph of what we want to forget, but draw what we hope to remember.” more
Send us a message to be on confidential email list to receive monthly notices of meetings. Do you have a story about your military service that you'd like to share and possibly write down? We'd like to hear from you.