Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Photos from the Branson Reunion Posted

Photos from the Branson reunion have been posted on the "Media" page.  For the life of me, I can't believe I managed to miss snapping a pic of Eddie Young. I know was there.  I saw him right after all the pics were snapped by the photographer (we couldn't find him before all the pics were snapped).  I photoshopped him into a couple of pics that I know he should have been in using a photo we took of him at the Reno reunion.

I know there were a a bunch of folks snapping pics throughout the reunion.  If any of you can send me copies of your pics or links to where you might have uploaded them online, I'll include them in the Branson Reunion album.

I scanned a number of pics from Vietnam that some of the guys brought.  I haven't had a chance yet to go through all of them and get them prettied up.  But, as I get them web-ready, I'll be posting them in the next day or three.  So, stop back by in a couple of days and you should see a few more collections on the "Media" page.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Reunion Registration Deadline 17 May 2013

To assure we can accurately forecast and pay in advance for the number of banquet meals on Saturday night, and the amount of  h'orderves that will be needed for Friday evening's Meet 'n' Greet, we'll need to receive your reunion reservations by May 17th.

If you haven't registered already, To register to attend, you need to do TWO things.  You need to register for a room with the hotel, and you need to send your reunion registration fee(s) to Roger Rock.
  1. CLICK HERE to register online for your room(s) at the Radisson. Or — call the Radisson directly (800) 395-7046, but don't forget to use our GROUP CODE: 70ENG when making your reservations
  2. Print and complete the reunion registration form, write your check to cover the registration fees for each participant ($75 each), and mail both the registration form and your check to Roger Rock (address on the registration form)
Any and all 70th Engineers from ANY era are welcome to attend.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Register to Attend the 2013 Reunion

Reunion registration forms for the June 7-9-2013 reunion will go out in email this weekend. And, for those who do not have an email address, they'll also be going out in USPS. The Registration fee for EACH attendee will be $75.  That fee will cover the meet 'n' greet on Friday evening, and the banquet meal on Saturday evening.  To get the price down, we've opted not to hire a professional photographer and will be taking our own digital photos throughout the event.  We'll post all the photos out to the website after the reunion for folks to download. Folks who do not have internet connections will be able to order/purchase a CD or DVD of the photos (that will be mailed subsequent to the reunion).

Roger Rock will need to receive your reunion registration form and registration fees by no later than May 17th to be able to confirm meal counts and pre-pay the hotel for those meals per our contract.  That means folks who'll be attending will need to get their registration fees in the mail by no later than May 10th to ensure Roger receives them in time to reserve the correct number of meals and pay that bill.

The Reunion Registration and Hotel Room Registration are two separate processes.  Please note that you'll need to make your room reservations directly with the hotel.  You can do that by calling the Radisson Hotel-Branson:  (800) 395-7046.  Don't forget to use your Group Code: 70ENGR to get our preferred room rates:
  • King/Double - $89 ...  ~$99.33 after taxes
  • Leisure Suite - $129 ...  ~$143.97 after taxes
  • Presidential Suite - $169 ... ~$188.61 after taxes
Please note that the above room rates apply not just for June 7-9, 2013, but also apply both immediately before and after the event, from June 4th through June 12th.  So ... if you'd like to extend your stay and enjoy the surrounding area or a show or two, you'll be able to do that at more affordable rates than you'd be able to get on your own.

Branson, MO is known as a music haven, and the Radisson Hotel–Branson offers a prime location in the theater district – ideal for guests who want to take in toe-tapping shows. The city also offers a variety of shopping, golf, historic and natural attractions, and is just minutes from Branson Landing and Silver Dollar City Theme Park. Our concierge can help procure tickets to many of the local shows and attractions, and we offer great hotel packages as well.

Guest rooms and suites feature complimentary high-speed, wireless Internet access, 37" TVs and more. They also offer rooms featuring Sleep Number Beds, allowing you to adjust the firmness of your mattress to your exact level of comfort.

Hotel services/ facilities include a heated indoor/outdoor pool (so bring your swimsuits), wireless Internet access (not just in your room but in public areas as well), whirlpool, sauna, full-service concierge desk, Fitness Center and a Business Center. Plus, the hotel is “pet-friendly.” There is, however, a $30 pet fee assessed for your stay.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Social Security Earnings for Veterans

From the Social Security Web Site

Since 1957, if you had military service earnings for active duty (including active duty for training), you paid Social Security taxes on those earnings. Since 1988, inactive duty service in the Armed Forces reserves (such as weekend drills) has also been covered by Social Security.

Under certain circumstances, special extra earnings for your military service from 1957 through 2001 can be credited to your record for Social Security purposes. These extra earnings credits may help you qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of your Social Security benefit. Special extra earnings credits are granted for periods of active duty or active duty for training. Special extra earnings credits are not granted for inactive duty training. If your active military service occurred:

  • From 1957 through 1967, SSA will add the extra credits to your record when you apply for Social Security benefits. 
  • From 1968 through 2001, you do not need to do anything to receive these extra credits. The credits were automatically added to your record.
How You Get Credit For Special Extra Earnings 
The information that follows applies only to active duty military service earnings from 1957 through 2001. 
Here's how the special extra earnings are credited on your record:
  • Service in 1957 through 1977—You are credited with $300 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay. 
  • Service in 1978 through 2001—For every $300 in active duty basic pay, you are credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year. If you enlisted after September 7, 1980, and didn't complete at least 24 months of active duty or your full tour, you may not be able to receive the additional earnings. Check with Social Security for details.
  • Note: Change in special military service credits. In January 2002, Public Law 107-117, the Defense Appropriations Act, stopped the special extra earnings that have been credited to military service personnel. Military service in calendar year 2002 and future years no longer qualifies for these special extra earnings credits.
Please share this with anyone who's had active duty service prior to January 2002 and planning for retirement. In a nutshell it boils down to this: You qualify for a higher social security payment because of your military service, for active duty any time from 1957 through 2001 (the program was done away with in January 2002). Up to $1,200 per year of earnings credit is credited at time of application - which can make a substantial difference in social security monthly payments upon your retirement. 

You must bring your DD-214 to the Social Security Office - and you must ask for this benefit to receive it! Go to this Social Security website:

This is something to put in your files for when you apply for Social Security own the road.  It is NOT just for retirees, BUT anyone who has served on active duty prior to January 2002. 

FYI - this benefit is not automatic, you must ask for it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Agent Orange Exposure

From my eMail Inbox this morning:

ATTN:  All State Council Presidents

At the Agent Orange & Other Toxic Exposure Cmte meeting and then again at the Govt Affairs Cmte meeting in Silver Spring last week we were presented with extraordinary documents that were once classified and now reveal the federal governments across agency effort to deny any causal relationship between the exposure to Agent Orange (at any level) with veteran illnesses, disabilities, and tragically the impact on the progeny of Vietnam Veterans.

I am forwarding these documents to every State Council President and begging each of you to send these documents to every Vietnam Veteran in your state including all of your chapters, officers, and their families.

If every Vietnam Veteran reads these reports and comes to understand the magnitude of their findings – we can raise our voices once again to Congress, the President, and the VA and Dept of Defense – that we have been systematically and purposefully lied to for decades – and our children have suffered as a result.

We would also like to have this shared with every State Director of Veterans Affairs so that each state is informed and activated.  The medical costs of the disabilities of so many Vietnam Veterans and their progeny are an economic and social impact in every state.  We hope that every State Legislature will take up this cause and pass state resolutions calling for Congress to act.

These documents have been verified and confirmed by others who participated in this work.

We are now on the hunt for additional documents and materials referenced in this report that are essential to our case.

If you have any questions regarding this material, please contact the VVA office and/or Herb Worthington/Chairman of the Agent Orange and Other Toxic Exposures national  cmte for VVA.  He is and will remain the point man on this mission.

We now have DRAFT legislation that we are finalizing that will go to our champions on the Hill.  Once that is ready we will again send this out to every Vietnam Veteran and their families and ask them to immediately contact their members of Congress and insist it be passed and fully implemented.

Ric Davidge, Chairman, Govt Affairs Cmte
907 229 5328


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Clifford Hull

In November, as a remembrance for Veteran's Day, The Augusta Chronicle honored three veterans from Vietnam. One of those Veterans was Clifford Hull who served with the 70th Engineers in 1967-68. Clifford earned a Bronze Star for his service while in Vietnam.


Here's an excerpt from that article about Clifford:

"Clifford Hull: Sergeant’s experience helped him lead
Clifford Hull had earned his sergeant stripes by the time he deployed into combat for the first time. But he very nearly served in war as a private.
Three of his brothers were fighting in Korea by the time Hull was old enough to enlist in 1952, so he wasn’t deployed there. Instead, Hull was sent to Cold War-era Europe, where he joined a garrison of American troops intent on stopping the Soviets. He finally got his shot at combat in 1967, when he deployed to Vietnam with the 70th Engineer Battalion. His promise to his wife and five kids to return home was not made idly. One of his brothers remains missing in action from Korea.
“Being that long in the military, I knew there was a possibility of not coming back,” Hull said. “But I knew if I paid attention to my training and did my duty I would come back.”
“Doing his duty” brought him home and earned him three Bronze Stars – including one for valor – and three Army Commendation Medals. But it wasn’t without risks.
The enemy knew Hull by name.
“Sgt. Hull,” they called over a public address system somewhere in the dense jungle. Then they addressed his troops, harassing them as they labored over the construction of a long steel runway. 
“B Company: You may build it, but we will blow it up.”
It was a hallmark scene of Vietnam. The unseen enemy had spies in every village who knew everything about the U.S. troops, including their leaders’ names. Hull wasn’t fazed by the harassment. He leaned in and told his men in a stage whisper: “Don’t worry about it. We’ll get those” guys.
That was Hull’s first tour, from 1967 to 1968, when he was building combat outposts and sweeping 30 miles of road every day for mines. It was also on his first tour that he earned his first Bronze Star, this one with a “V” device for valor. On Oct. 9, 1967, a radio message was broadcast from a work party under attack about two miles from his position. Hull jumped into a jeep and drove straight to their position, stopping only to alert an armor unit to follow him. He found nine soldiers hugging the ground and out of ammunition in a densely vegetated gully. Hull immediately opened fire with the gun mounted on his jeep, and the enemy responded with a hail of gunfire so fierce that the antenna was stripped off the vehicle.
He matched their attack for a spell, but by the time the armor division arrived, Hull was down to one bullet, his bayonet and a hand grenade.
Nevertheless, “due to the quick reaction, courage and outstanding leadership of Staff Sergeant Hull, no … friendly casualties were sustained,” his commendation reads. For Hull, this was not heroism but duty.
“If I did not go back, it would be on my conscience for the rest of my life,” Hull said. “You had no choice but to go back and help somebody.”
Hull returned home from that tour without a scratch, but the Army wasn’t through with him. After a short stint as a drill sergeant at Fort Gordon, he was to go back to Vietnam, this time as an adviser. "