Home

2000 Recipient - Sgt. Victor Zaragoza

2002 Recipient - James Michael Holmes

2004 Recipient - John Vester Wentworth

2006 Recipients - SGT John A. Julia, PFC Charles W. Cline, PFC Jerry W. Smith

2008 Recipient - PFC Alfred Douglas Smith

2010 Recipient - SP4 Pete Winter

2012 Recipient - Bob Dangberg

2014 Recipient - Cleabern William Hill
2016 Recipient - Edward Bishop

2018 Recipient - Tony Ward
   


SOME GAVE ALL

To remember those from Alpha who gave their lives fighting for our country, we will keep their memories alive. To that end, each reunion we will recognize someone who made the ultimate sacrifice.

 

                                       (scroll down or use links to left)

 
 

 

 

 

 


 

2000 RECIPIENT - SGT. VICTOR ZARAGOZA

 


The last few years of my motherís life were spent in a nursing home. Although her body had failed her, her mind was as sharp as ever. Over the years, she had appointed herself a one-person watchdog committee for the proper treatment of herself and the other people who lived in the nursing home along with her. On one occasion, when she and the administration could not resolve a difference of opinion Pam and I were called to meet with my mom, the administrator and the social worker. After mom had told her side of the story, the social worker proceeded to tell the nursing homes side of the events. After three times of calling my mother the resident I exploded and very forcefully explained to him, that my mother had a name-she wasnít the resident but rather Louise or Mrs. Morris. Regretfully we are living in a society that has disassociated-labeled-tagged and become impersonal.

My twelve-year old son came home from school last fall and started asking me questions about Viet Nam. After answering his questions, I asked to see his textbook. Of the three hundred and something pages in the book only two and a half pages were devoted to Nam . Regretfully  our historians have found it easier to forget about Our War than to teach the lessons we should have learned from so many years of hell and destroyed lives.

Quoting from the 1 May 2000 US News and World report-ď many of the lessons of Viet Nam have been lost, forgotten, or cast aside, deemed inconvenient or irrelevant. The war has virtually vanished from the cultural memory.Ē

At a high school football game last fall, as is the custom everywhere, the National Anthem was played before the game. I usually stand with my eyes focused on the flag as it is being raised. But for some reason I looked around this time and was astonished at what I saw. Teenagerís talking-running around-not removing their caps-  basically ignoring the significance of the moment-someone has forgotten to teach our youth the importance of Old Glory and what it stands for. When I get to the point of not having chill bumps and a tingle run up my spine when I hear Old Glory, I hope someone closes the casket in my face.

In Washington DC there is a long black wall. Many of us visited it together several years ago. Most of you, like me, had tears in your eyes as the memories came flooding back. Millions visit the wall each year. But other than those of us who were in Nam and family members of those listed on the wall, they pass by and never realize the impact of those names.  What if name 2000 had become a world leader who could have helped bring peace to the world, to keep our children and grandchildren from fighting in another Viet Nam, or become a doctor who could have saved millions of lives? They never realize the heartache of a mother and father whose child was lost-brother or sister who never would see their loved one alive again. The wife who never was, the children who never were-the grandchildren who never would crawl up on his knee and say paw paw I love you. But like almost everything else in life today, itís easier not to get personally involved, to not feel the pain, the fear of combat,  and realize  the future that never was.

Almost weekly you can find a news report of someone burning the American flag. Not only in foreign countries but here at home also. But let a national crisis arrive or a major disaster happen and the United States and more often than not, the US military is the first to be called to the rescue. We are despised and hated until we are needed.

Just a few weeks ago in our local newspaper and then picked up by the local radio talk shows, it was reported that buglers were no longer guaranteed for military funerals because of monetary restraints.

One lady called in and said it would be crazy to station a bugler in each state to cover such events. The report said that a CD or tape of taps would be provided for funerals. We can fight and die for our country but they canít seem to find the money for a bugler to play for our funerals. Our sacrifices are no longer recognized or appreciated.

We are living in a time where everyone wants to disassociate-wants to label and tag-wants to depersonalize-take the easy way out-wants to forget where we went and what we fought for-and in most cases despises us and could care less for the sacrifices we made.

Now Iíve said all of that to say this. No one else is going to remember Our War and our parts in that war and especially those who gave their lives fighting for our country. So that only leaves us to keep the memories alive. To that end, I contacted Joe and Tex several months ago and suggested that each reunion we recognize someone who gave all he had to give-his life. Iím asking Joe to appoint a committee to take nominations for the Alpha Avengers Some Gave All award for future reunions. Tonight, I am here to present our 1st award.

We are going to recognize a man who grew up in southern California. As a child he played army whenever he could and dreamed one day of being a real soldier. One day after reaching legal age, while his mother was out of town, he slipped away and joined the army. He ended up in third platoon A 2/501st. As an E5, he served as a squad leader but he went beyond what is expected of squad leaders. As all of you know, it didnít take long for us to find out whom we could depend on when it counted most. The man we are honoring tonight is one of those individuals.  Our honoree volunteered for point man, arguably the most dangerous job in NAM. He said it was the only placed he felt comfortable. For that he was awarded the Permanent Point Man Award. Among other awards, he received 2 Bronze Stars with V Device for Valor, Combat Infantrymanís Badge, 2 Air Medals, one for 25 combat assaults and one for going into a hot landing zone, Viet Nam Service and Campaign Ribbons and the Purple Heart. On February 20th, 1970 Victor Zaragoza gave his life for his country and for that we honor him tonight. Vicís sister had planned on being with us tonight but couldnít make it at the last minute. So I will accept it for her and make sure she receives the plaque.

Gentlemen, if you will, Iím going to ask you to do something most of us havenít done in a long  time, please stand and salute  Vic Zaragoza and the 58000 plus who were killed in OUR WAR.

-- Bob Morris

 

 

back to top

 

 

 

2002 RECIPIENT - JAMES MICHAEL HOLMES

 

Hostile fire had been exchanged for days at Firebase Tomahawk in the northern part of South Vietnam. Alpha Company was trying to take a hill that would give them a key position on a ridge line when they came under fire. PFC James Michael Holmes was our point man, and he took a shot in the torso. He went into shock and he died. 

I had seen hundreds of casualties and dead, but this was the first personal friend I knew and lost, and I've lived with that memory for 33 years.

Dave "Doc Deuce" DeSoucy

 


PFC James Michael Holmes' niece, Trudi Evans,  contacted us on December 31, 2001 through our web site and asked that we try to locate GIís who may have known him. Her effort brought together three of our comrades who served with him: Dave (Doc) DeSoucy, Michael Christiansen and Floyd Turnley. Their reunion was reported in the Salt Lake Tribune during the Summer Olympics. 

At our 2002 Reunion, Trudi Evans and family members, including James Michael Holmes' sister were present to receive the Some Gave All Award.

 

 

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

2004 RECIPIENT - JOHN VESTER WENTWORTH (20 Jan 1943 - 12 Apr 1971)

 


Eagle Diary: During this period, the Drive On 2nd Bn. (Ambl.), 501st Inf. operating in two locations approximately 10 and 17 miles southwest of Hue, was busy destroying the enemy and his cache. The action began with the 3rd Plat, Co. C, 2/501st, uncovering a buried cache of RPG rounds and boosters and tunnel digging equipment north of FB Bastogne. The next morning, the 3rd Plat. of Co. B discovered a large bunker south of FB Veghel. An investigation revealed six 82mm mortar rounds with one box of fuses, one 60mm mortar round and six antitank mines. The biggest fight came the next day south of FB Veghel. The 3rd Plat. of Co. B came under attack from an unknown size enemy force.

An attempt by the 3rd Plat. of Co. A to air assault and reinforce the element was aborted due to heavy fire from enemy gunners around the LZ. Co. A moved by land toward the "Bravos" while artillery, ARA and tactical air strikes were employed. As the elements attempted to link up, both units received mortar and small arms fire. The Screaming Eagles returned organic weapons fire and again artillery was employed. The 4th Plat. of Co. B then came under attack...At noon the next day during a CA, Co. A, 2/501st, received 12.7mm machinegun and small arms fire from the area surrounding the LZ. The ďAttack" troopers returned organic weapons fire and ARA was employed. - Screaming Eagle, April 1971

 
 


SSG John Wentworth was a competent soldier who had the ability to work with and motivate the guys in his command. After serving a very long period in the field in operations off Firebases Brick, Tomahawk and Bastogne, he had  well-earned a supply position in the rear in support of troops in the field. However, after a large number became casualties in the ambush off of Firebase Veghel, John, on his own initiative, voluntarily returned to the field. He was killed in the firefight mentioned at the end of the above article.

In a war, in which we were never sure who we were really fighting it for, we fought for each other. SSG John Wentworth not only fought for us, he "gave all" for us.  - Ray Houghton

At our 2004 Reunion, family members, including John's brother and sister, were present to receive the Some Gave All Award.

 


Sgt. Wentworth's name on the Vietnam Memorial Wall

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

2006 RECIPIENTS - SGT JOHN A. JULIA, PFC CHARLES W. CLINE, PFC JERRY W. SMITH


SGT Jon A. Julia 11/28/48 - 02/22/68,    PFC Charles W. Cline 10/09/49 - 02/22/68,    PFC Jerry W. Smith 09/01/47 - 02/22/68
 


This photo provided by Paul Cline

 

back to top

 

 

 

 

2008 RECIPIENT - PFC ALFRED DOUGLAS SMITH

 

  Sonny's awards or medals are as follows:
  • Purple Heart
  • Bronze Star
  • Good Conduct Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal
  • Combat Infantry Badge
  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon
  • Sharpshooter Badge -bar & rifle
  • Marksman Badge/ w/m
  • Parachutist Badge
  • Autorifle Badge

 

back to top

 

 

 

 


 

2010 RECIPIENT - PETER WINTER

 

The 2010 recipient of the Some Gave All" award was Pete Winter. His son Paul accepted the award in his honor. Bob (Rock) Saal submitted Pete's name.

 


The small table set for one is reserved to honor our fallen comrades in arms. This symbolizes that they are with us, here in spirit. We should never forget the brave men and women who answered our nation's call [to serve] and served the cause of freedom in a special way. We are ever mindful that the sweetness of enduring peace has always been tainted by the bitterness of personal sacrifice. We are compelled to never forget that while we enjoy our daily pleasures, there are others who have endured the agonies of pain, deprivation and death.

Following is the meaning of the items on this special table:

The table is round - to show our everlasting concern for our fallen comrades.
The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of our fallen comrades, and the loved ones and friends of these comrades who keep the faith.
A slice of lemon on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those who will never return.
A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by the families of those who have sacrificed all.
The glass is inverted, they cannot toast with us at this time.
The chair is empty because they are no longer with us.

Let us remember - and never forget their sacrifice. May they and their families ever be watched over and protected."

 

The following photos were provided by Bob & Barb Saal.
 

back to top

 

 

 

 

2012 RECIPIENT - BOB DANGBERG

 

The 2012 recipient of the Some Gave All" award was Bob Dangberg. His father and his brother Dennis accepted the award in his honor. Gene H Langenberg submitted Bob's name.

 
 

 

Back to top

 

 

2014 RECIPIENT - CLEABERN WILLIAM HILL, JR.

 

 


The 2014 recipient of the Some Gave All" award is Cleabern William Hill, Jr. Cleabern was KIA 13 May 1969 on FSB Airborne.

 

 

 

A letter written to the family of Cleabern Hill by Robert Amos.

 

 

Back to top

 

 

 

back to top


Webmaster - Barth "Shortround" Cunico
Copyright © 2007 by [www.alphaavengers.com]. All rights reserved.