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REMEMBER RIO HATO Panama 1989


BIGGREG
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It was for recognize each other. remember the PDF had the same equipment and Kpot..so an easy way to be different was improvisation so...RAGTOP... :-)

Interesting, I had forgotten the PDF used the same equipment, so that makes sense now. Thank you for posting the little detail pics as well Greg, they are great!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I fought in Panama with 2/9 inf.I don't recall the rangers I saw having the cabbage patch on their helmets,that doesn't mean that they didn't,just that I don't remember them using that type of cammo.I do know for a fact however the whole 7th ID(L) did wear that type of cammo on their helmets.We also got issued glint tape which was to be cut into squares and sewn to the crown of our helmets and our shoulders so that specter would be able to ID us.

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The Rangers used the RagTop on the invasion after (+/- 2 days later) most of them remove them...

 

if you look at original pictures you'll see what i mean

This is 3rd Batt RANGERs in PANAMA :thumbsup:

 

post-64352-1348647880.jpg

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My father was a Herk pilot with the 40th TAS on Just Cause, he told me some fairly humorous stories about the mission and preparation for it ("there's just something weird about invading a country, then stopping there to gas up afterwards").

I know he has one or two photos, I'll have to dig them up.

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militariaone

Greetings all, thought I’d share some OJC souvenirs. Before you ask none of these items are for sale, so spare yourself your PM’ed e-mail(s) being ignored (actually, more like deleted). I like my privacy too, so no personal details (Units, rank, duty position, etc) will be forthcoming either, don’t go away mad…just go away. Now that the nasty stuff is outta the way, I hope you enjoy the posts.

 

Regards,

 

Lance

 

First up; The 7th Company's "Macho De Monte” items, from one of the two primary PDF units Stationed at Rio Hato. No, the "Paracadista" tab does not go with the 7th Co MDM's patch, it actually belongs with a "Diablo Rojo" patch, the Paracadista tab was found at Rio Hato. Clearly someone there had served in the other unit prior to moving to the 7th Co MDM had it loose in their belongings.The Captain’s hat belonged to the 7th Company's Commander, or at least it came off his desk:-) I once owned the unit's guidon too, but that's another long and disappointing story:-(

 

 

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militariaone

Next up the 6th Company’s items. I have one of their berets too, but it’s packed away right now. Their fatigue cap has a side view of their Cadillac Gauge Commando V-100 Armored Car on it. This was the second primary PDF unit stationed at Rio Hato. The mug is a 2nd RGR Batt novelty item made for unit sales after their return. It has a 2nd Batt Scroll on the other side. Black and white photocopy is the 6th Company's sign at Rio Hato at the time of the invasion.

 

Regards,

 

Lance

 

 

 

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militariaone

This post is novelty patches made for sale after the invasion. Note the small jump 2nd Batt jump oval is period issue/original. I included it to show its difference with the "Humped" and unauthorized versions shown. I do apologize for the blurry photo.

 

Regards,

 

Lance

 

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militariaone

Last post; Crater Face's Uniform and it's photographed on top of one of two Rio Hato’s Post Flags "Liberated" from the Camp Commandant's Civilian Residence it measures 9’X6’.

 

Regards,

 

Lance

 

P.S. No I do not have his hat, but his pants are on the hanger in the photo. He's a "little person".

 

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militariaone

Yes, the humped ovals are for master/senior wings. Again, not authorized but cool as hell on your uniform. No, I never saw them worn at any official functions, fine for Mom and Dad while on leave:-)

 

Regards,

 

Lance

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Great items, Militariaone! Thanks for sharing! I also have one of Noriega's personal tailored uniforms in my collection. Mine is almost identical to your's, but mine is a short sleeve version.

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Thanks for your kind comments, nkomo. Thought it was time to stop lurking and start sharing.

 

Regards,

 

Lance

 

I am glad you started sharing. :thumbsup:

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Militariaone,

 

No offense but it all looks fake to me, I have two personal friends, both were with in the army national guard and watched the invasion into Panama on TV. They both told me that they knew two guys that were Rangers and jumped and were told that they did not bring back ANY war trophies as they were not allowed, AND the 7th ID light took everything. They also told me they were required to stay in their battle rattle 24 hours a day to include helmets and they NEVER rolled up their sleeves. Is any of this stuff for sale? Where did you get this stuff?

 

Thanks for sharing,

 

Ryan

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Was Noriega as jump-qualified as his various badges indicate, or was he just a typical "dictator" awarding himself whatever tickled his fancy...as dictators tend to do!?

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Militariaone,

 

No offense but it all looks fake to me, I have two personal friends, both were with in the army national guard and watched the invasion into Panama on TV. They both told me that they knew two guys that were Rangers and jumped and were told that they did not bring back ANY war trophies as they were not allowed, AND the 7th ID light took everything. They also told me they were required to stay in their battle rattle 24 hours a day to include helmets and they NEVER rolled up their sleeves. Is any of this stuff for sale? Where did you get this stuff?

 

Thanks for sharing,

 

Ryan

 

 

And you believed that? You call it fake then want to buy the stuff. Real nice.

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militariaone

Greetings westernfed, your friends’ recollections are half correct. Approximately two days into operations, the chain of command did put out guidance that no war trophies would be allowed through US customs upon redeployment. Further, if you attempted to bring anything as such back, you would be punished (Via UCMJ) as having violated a standing order.

 

Early on, plenty of good items were there to be had. Though, once I was informed of the consequences of attempting to take items out of Panama, I disposed of all my war trophies. For me, the items were simply not worth getting into trouble over. Everyone that bothered with trophies, pretty much ditched their war booty

 

Now, here’s the other half of the story. Within the next day or two, newer “War Trophy” guidance came out. Basically, each squad could fill one PDF footlocker (There were plenty lying about) with military related items. The filled footlockers would be inspected to ensure nothing illegal was in them and then sealed, palletized, and moved to Howard AFB to be sent back with the unit when it redeployed home. Additionally, the time window for when the War Trophies were deemed “OK” and the footlockers had to be packed/placed for inspection were only a few hours. This short timeframe and all to be done during the heat of the day, made it something one had to really “want” to do at the time. So, a lot of folks just did not bother, especially with this “footlocker activity” on top of preparing/planning for future combat operations.

 

A lot of Soldiers were peeved at having just destroyed, thrown away over cliffs, or otherwise ditched their now deemed “legitimate” war trophies and showed little interest in obtaining new ones. As a long time militaria collector, I was not in the least dejected and went back to see what else was to be had. As a Squad Leader and the only individual in my Squad who possessed any real collecting interest, I easily filled our allotted PDF Footlocker. There were plenty of squads that did not even bother to utilize their allocation of one footlocker, or who only had a few items in the ones that were used. War Trophies were just not a real priority for the majority of the Squad Leaders (At least in my recollection). As an aside, there are not many active militaria collectors serving in Army.

 

Only upon return to home station, did folks (Suddenly) gain interest in obtaining War Trophies/Souvenirs. I was away attending some military schooling at the time my Squad’s PDF Footlocker was opened. My Platoon Sergeant started to share most of my Squad’s footlocker with the entire Platoon, as few Squads actually filled their footlockers. Fortunately, I had a squared away Team Leader (Well briefed, I might add) who in my absence was able to squirrel away Noriega’s Uniform and the items I have shared in my earlier posts.

 

Would I be surprised if there were PFCs, SPC4s, and a few SGTs (Not in my Squad, mind you) that did not obtain any War Trophies/Souvenirs? No, I would not be. If their leadership did not prioritize it at the time, I can easily see why they never got the word that for a brief window War Trophies were legitimate to obtain. It was very clear when I departed Panama that no “War Trophies” were to be carried out either in hand or in one’s personal gear. So, if your War Trophy was not in that pre-packed PDF Footlocker you were SOL (Kind version, Soldier Outta Luck).

 

In closing, a large cache of North Korean AK Bayonets were bought back too, and as I recall there were enough to give one to each Soldier in the company (who deployed) who wanted one. I have one of those too. The rumor at the time was they had been obtained from Cuba.

 

As far as the items being “fake”, well let’s just say I can’t please everyone. I do hope my above explanation addresses your concerns about the items’ originality. OJC was a good place to be a Squad Leader with a PDF Footlocker and a penchant for militaria collecting:-)

 

Regards,

 

Lance

 

P.S. Sabrejet, I don’t know if he was really qualified. I assume so, as falling from planes is not too hard for those men who can follow simple instructions and possesses a modicum of testosterone.

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militariaone

Dug out the aforementioned NK’s AK Bayonet, 6th Company's Beret, 7th Company MDM's T-Shirt, Maps, Regimental ROE (Rules of Engagement) card. and S-3 briefing for the Jumpmasters.

 

Regards,

 

Lance

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GREAT explanation, Militariaone. Great NK bayonet and Macho de Monte unit t-shirt. Your 6th Mech. Inf. beret is RARE. I only know of two in private collections (one in mine) and your's now makes three.

 

Your posts here have been extremely informative. :thumbsup:

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militariaone

No sweat nkomo, it has been fun remembering those days. I only wish I had been able to score the stuff I originally snagged (Ahem, I meant “Liberated”) from the MDM CDR’s office. Unit marked fighting/survival knives, PDF and Noriega Marked Swords, Unit flags, signed photos of Noriega, Castro, and General Omar Torrijos. Those items would have been nicer, but at least I was able to bring something home. Not many others cared enough to re-procure items when the brief opportunity presented itself. I found Noriega’s uniform the day we received word we could have War Trophies, getting his uniform was just plain luck and my best “find” period.

 

Regards,

 

Lance

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And you believed that? You call it fake then want to buy the stuff. Real nice.

 

Darktrooper,

 

I thought my rediculous explination for my opinoin would be crazy enough to show that I was joking, so incase that was not clear, I was joking. Militariaone is a good friend of mine, and I was having a bit of fun with him, All his stuff is legit without question, and I am not interested in buying any of it.

 

Have a good weekend

Ryan

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Team,

Nice job all. Ryan, no names here please, LOL. Militariaone, get a new photo you WAC job or no more beer for you!

 

I read most of this string and found some very good and some very funny posts as well as some total poppycock.

 

The jump into Rio Hato was over 20 years ago and many of us young Rangers are now middle aged men and beyond. My company was at Rio Hato for less than 24 hours and when I jumped (AJM Chalk #2) I had been awake for the better part of 48 hours so my ability to recall some details is just not there. So forgive me for not remembering every little detail of what happened. Also, some of us have spent the better part of the last 20+ years trying to forget some of what happened at Rio Hato as killing other men (and women) at close range is not always a pretty sight or something you want to remember after the fact. There is also the current war many of us have been fighting and the 90s was not exactly a peaceful era either.

 

I will address a few things I read on this string;

 

1) The "cuffing" of sleeves was common out where bad guys were as you can see from the VERY FEW photos that exist of Rangers and squads in OJC. We were not allowed to have cameras so there are not too many photos of actual Rangers taken by Rangers in Panama. Again, one of the “Ranger things” that some of you like to point out about discipline and all that; there were some cameras so there you go as to draconian levels of discipline, that photos were taken shows that cameras were taken and that violated an RCO order. It was hot and being a heat casualty was not a good thing in the 75th Ranger Regt…in fact it would most likely lead you to another unit in a hurry. A roll or two helped circulate a bit of breeze and that was nice having been in the low 30s in Georgia and jumping into the high 80s in Panama. To those that are on the CSM and 1SG always around kick, remember in 89 there were still a few Vietnam vets running around, even in the Regt, and many of them did not care as long as you could fight hard and won battles. Our CSM was a Marine sniper in Vietnam who had photos on his wall of many of the VC he had killed and my 1SG could give a shinola about a few cuffs on your sleeve as long as you could run like a sculded cat and fight like a corner coon. My PSG had just come in from working a job in Beirut so he didn’t really care much of the CS either. DEAD ISSUE there, but funny from some of the posts I read.

 

2) If anyone claims that tying things down was not something the Regt did or their unit in the Regt did, walk away from that person. They were never in the Regt. We tied down everything and then some, and that was something that leaders were fanatics about! We even made PVTs tie their patrol caps down so they wouldn't lose them. CSM L-G inspected squads randomly while he was at 2/75 so we did a lot of tying. In all honesty the only gutted 550 that was allowed by the SOP was in the helmet and the canteen NBC cap. All other 550 cord was supposed to have guts in it. We routinely used the guts to sew up pants and boots and the like as well as make poncho hooches (it rained once and a while at Fort Lewis) and it did not always get replaced in a hurry.

 

3) The ragtops were never for camo. It was all about identification at night between us and an enemy that dressed like us and in many cases could speak good English. We also only wore them for Panama and never at any other time did we wear them; IM SURE OF THAT. I’m pretty sure also we didn’t even wear them for the rehearsal mission prior to OJC. We did jump them! I got it, other units didn't jump stuff on their helmets; I jumped a chain saw strapped to my chest once so we did things other units did not. You can ask some of my Pta Rican buddies from A Co that did not speak English so well how they felt at Rio Hato and being around an enemy that could speak better English and dressed like us; scared shitless because of their accent! We did stop wearing them, the ragtops, about a week into the invasion when the fighting ceased (maybe 4 or 5 days, I can’t remember as it was not very traumatic when we took them off and to be honest most of us didn't like wearing them as we didn't want to look like everyone else (elite-ist mindset). So those that saw Rangers without ragtops you may be right but you may not have been in country on 20 DEC 89 as I can assure you that we had them on when we entered Panama. We also stopped camoing our faces at about the same time (4-5 days in) because it scared the Panamanians, or so we were told, and we did not want to do that after we had just taken Noriega and the PDF out of power. None of us was too upset about not painting our faces with stinky green/loam colored grease!

 

4) As for supplies, keep in mind all, in Europe it’s not so easy to find EXACT items to match US Gov issue items from the late 80s and this event took place in Belgium. My PLT had issued equipment that you can find listed elsewhere on this web site as WW2 issue, YEA WE DID! I thought REMEMBER did a damn good job with what they had.

 

5) As for discipline and all that which has been talked about on this string. Well, it's like many things in life...Bugtussle Community College is not quite on line with Harvard nor are they alike in student body. It also varied from PLT to PLT and Company to Company based on leaders. Also, keep in mind all…discipline is defined in different ways by different people. The Regt as it was in 89 had only been around since 84. Many of our 2nd Batt PSGs and 1SGs came from the era when there were 2 x very distinct Ranger BNs that did things somewhat differently so 2nd BN was not always like 1st BN and neither of us was always like 3rd Bn which was the new Bn in the Regt. 1st BN was formed mainly from volunteers coming from the 82nd in 1974 and they brought that mentality with them. 2nd BN was formed from Vietnam Ranger companies (A and B/75 specifically and yes I know neither was in VN but most of their Rangers were Ranger Company vets) and MACV SOG vets. The first commander of the 2nd Ranger BN was a SOG vet and the first A Co commander was a SOG MoH recipient; Bob Howard (RIP COL Bob). I think those of you that are in the know would agree, that is two very different mentalities about the Army and discipline and what is important and what makes a hard fighting Soldier such. In A Co, my PSG, the 1SG, and the 3rd PLT PSG had all started out as PVTs in 2nd Ranger BN in the 70s. The late 80s was also around the time of the 18 series MOS began kicking in and prior to that you were a weapons guy on an A TM as an 11B or 11C. So many of those NCOs and officers jumped back and forth between the Batts and the Groups as they were promoted. The A Co 1SG in OJC was a Special Forces demo man and a dam good one at that. SF group guys tend to look at discipline a lot differently than a mechanized unit in Germany or Fort Hood. I'm just say'in.

 

6) Engineer tape? Not sure what you are talking about. We did wear a certain type of tape that I will not go into but only at night and I can assure you it was not E-tape. Some units may have worn it for ID but we did not. We did carry an 18" piece to mark our chute after a tree landing but no one would be caught wearing it on their arm unless they were dead and their buddy did it as a joke. Just my 2 cents!

 

I am thankful that the group did this and I was a part of it. As I told them all; no veteran wants to be forgotten for what they did and in the US most people don’t even remember we invaded Panama much less honor it's vets in this way. I didn't ask for this, they ask me, but I was glad to do it and glad to have friends like REMEMBER. It was hard emotionally to do it and I did let some things go that maybe were not exactly right but as you can see there were variations from PLT to PLT so it was all good in my mind. Why did I look the other way on some things, because I was dealing with some emotions that I’m happy to say most people probably don’t have to deal with. If you have ever seen an 18 year old mortarman screaming for his mother to help him pput his destroyed body back together you know what I'm talking about! Many bad memories were brought to the surface after a long time being in hiding at this event, much more so than I thought would be, so work with me here. REMEMBER did tons of other research from books and on-line which is not easy if you have never done it especially when you consider English is not REMEMBER's first language.

 

In the end we did accomplish the mission and that's the most important aspect of what happened at Rio Hato.

 

Thanks my friends at REMEMBER for doing such a good job. I was happy and my buddies from the Regt were happy when they saw the photos. Militariaone was happy because he got to poke me in the eye about doing a Rio Hato reenactment, F U Lank, LOL! The rest that were not impressed or had issues that they can’t get over, well you can kiss my rump! RLTW

 

TK

A Co 2/75 JUL 1986 - JUN 2003

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flashesandovals

Outstanding TK!

 

Again, thank you very much for your support.

 

:thumbsup:

 

Team,

Nice job all. Ryan, no names here please, LOL. Militariaone, get a new photo you WAC job or no more beer for you!

 

I read most of this string and found some very good and some very funny posts as well as some total poppycock.

 

The jump into Rio Hato was over 20 years ago and many of us young Rangers are now middle aged men and beyond. My company was at Rio Hato for less than 24 hours and when I jumped (AJM Chalk #2) I had been awake for the better part of 48 hours so my ability to recall some details is just not there. So forgive me for not remembering every little detail of what happened. Also, some of us have spent the better part of the last 20+ years trying to forget some of what happened at Rio Hato as killing other men (and women) at close range is not always a pretty sight or something you want to remember after the fact. There is also the current war many of us have been fighting and the 90s was not exactly a peaceful era either.

 

I will address a few things I read on this string;

 

1) The "cuffing" of sleeves was common out where bad guys were as you can see from the VERY FEW photos that exist of Rangers and squads in OJC. We were not allowed to have cameras so there are not too many photos of actual Rangers taken by Rangers in Panama. Again, one of the “Ranger things” that some of you like to point out about discipline and all that; there were some cameras so there you go as to draconian levels of discipline, that photos were taken shows that cameras were taken and that violated an RCO order. It was hot and being a heat casualty was not a good thing in the 75th Ranger Regt…in fact it would most likely lead you to another unit in a hurry. A roll or two helped circulate a bit of breeze and that was nice having been in the low 30s in Georgia and jumping into the high 80s in Panama. To those that are on the CSM and 1SG always around kick, remember in 89 there were still a few Vietnam vets running around, even in the Regt, and many of them did not care as long as you could fight hard and won battles. Our CSM was a Marine sniper in Vietnam who had photos on his wall of many of the VC he had killed and my 1SG could give a shinola about a few cuffs on your sleeve as long as you could run like a sculded cat and fight like a corner coon. My PSG had just come in from working a job in Beirut so he didn’t really care much of the CS either. DEAD ISSUE there, but funny from some of the posts I read.

 

2) If anyone claims that tying things down was not something the Regt did or their unit in the Regt did, walk away from that person. They were never in the Regt. We tied down everything and then some, and that was something that leaders were fanatics about! We even made PVTs tie their patrol caps down so they wouldn't lose them. CSM L-G inspected squads randomly while he was at 2/75 so we did a lot of tying. In all honesty the only gutted 550 that was allowed by the SOP was in the helmet and the canteen NBC cap. All other 550 cord was supposed to have guts in it. We routinely used the guts to sew up pants and boots and the like as well as make poncho hooches (it rained once and a while at Fort Lewis) and it did not always get replaced in a hurry.

 

3) The ragtops were never for camo. It was all about identification at night between us and an enemy that dressed like us and in many cases could speak good English. We also only wore them for Panama and never at any other time did we wear them; IM SURE OF THAT. I’m pretty sure also we didn’t even wear them for the rehearsal mission prior to OJC. We did jump them! I got it, other units didn't jump stuff on their helmets; I jumped a chain saw strapped to my chest once so we did things other units did not. You can ask some of my Pta Rican buddies from A Co that did not speak English so well how they felt at Rio Hato and being around an enemy that could speak better English and dressed like us; scared shitless because of their accent! We did stop wearing them, the ragtops, about a week into the invasion when the fighting ceased (maybe 4 or 5 days, I can’t remember as it was not very traumatic when we took them off and to be honest most of us didn't like wearing them as we didn't want to look like everyone else (elite-ist mindset). So those that saw Rangers without ragtops you may be right but you may not have been in country on 20 DEC 89 as I can assure you that we had them on when we entered Panama. We also stopped camoing our faces at about the same time (4-5 days in) because it scared the Panamanians, or so we were told, and we did not want to do that after we had just taken Noriega and the PDF out of power. None of us was too upset about not painting our faces with stinky green/loam colored grease!

 

4) As for supplies, keep in mind all, in Europe it’s not so easy to find EXACT items to match US Gov issue items from the late 80s and this event took place in Belgium. My PLT had issued equipment that you can find listed elsewhere on this web site as WW2 issue, YEA WE DID! I thought REMEMBER did a damn good job with what they had.

 

5) As for discipline and all that which has been talked about on this string. Well, it's like many things in life...Bugtussle Community College is not quite on line with Harvard nor are they alike in student body. It also varied from PLT to PLT and Company to Company based on leaders. Also, keep in mind all…discipline is defined in different ways by different people. The Regt as it was in 89 had only been around since 84. Many of our 2nd Batt PSGs and 1SGs came from the era when there were 2 x very distinct Ranger BNs that did things somewhat differently so 2nd BN was not always like 1st BN and neither of us was always like 3rd Bn which was the new Bn in the Regt. 1st BN was formed mainly from volunteers coming from the 82nd in 1974 and they brought that mentality with them. 2nd BN was formed from Vietnam Ranger companies (A and B/75 specifically and yes I know neither was in VN but most of their Rangers were Ranger Company vets) and MACV SOG vets. The first commander of the 2nd Ranger BN was a SOG vet and the first A Co commander was a SOG MoH recipient; Bob Howard (RIP COL Bob). I think those of you that are in the know would agree, that is two very different mentalities about the Army and discipline and what is important and what makes a hard fighting Soldier such. In A Co, my PSG, the 1SG, and the 3rd PLT PSG had all started out as PVTs in 2nd Ranger BN in the 70s. The late 80s was also around the time of the 18 series MOS began kicking in and prior to that you were a weapons guy on an A TM as an 11B or 11C. So many of those NCOs and officers jumped back and forth between the Batts and the Groups as they were promoted. The A Co 1SG in OJC was a Special Forces demo man and a dam good one at that. SF group guys tend to look at discipline a lot differently than a mechanized unit in Germany or Fort Hood. I'm just say'in.

 

6) Engineer tape? Not sure what you are talking about. We did wear a certain type of tape that I will not go into but only at night and I can assure you it was not E-tape. Some units may have worn it for ID but we did not. We did carry an 18" piece to mark our chute after a tree landing but no one would be caught wearing it on their arm unless they were dead and their buddy did it as a joke. Just my 2 cents!

 

I am thankful that the group did this and I was a part of it. As I told them all; no veteran wants to be forgotten for what they did and in the US most people don’t even remember we invaded Panama much less honor it's vets in this way. I didn't ask for this, they ask me, but I was glad to do it and glad to have friends like REMEMBER. It was hard emotionally to do it and I did let some things go that maybe were not exactly right but as you can see there were variations from PLT to PLT so it was all good in my mind. Why did I look the other way on some things, because I was dealing with some emotions that I’m happy to say most people probably don’t have to deal with. If you have ever seen an 18 year old mortarman screaming for his mother to help him pput his destroyed body back together you know what I'm talking about! Many bad memories were brought to the surface after a long time being in hiding at this event, much more so than I thought would be, so work with me here. REMEMBER did tons of other research from books and on-line which is not easy if you have never done it especially when you consider English is not REMEMBER's first language.

 

In the end we did accomplish the mission and that's the most important aspect of what happened at Rio Hato.

 

Thanks my friends at REMEMBER for doing such a good job. I was happy and my buddies from the Regt were happy when they saw the photos. Militariaone was happy because he got to poke me in the eye about doing a Rio Hato reenactment, F U Lank, LOL! The rest that were not impressed or had issues that they can’t get over, well you can kiss my rump! RLTW

 

TK

A Co 2/75 JUL 1986 - JUN 2003

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