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
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
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2000 RECIPIENT - SGT. VICTOR ZARAGOZA
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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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
At our 2002 Reunion, Trudi Evans and family members, including James Michael Holmes' sister were present to receive the Some Gave All Award.
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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
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
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2006 RECIPIENTS - SGT JOHN A. JULIA, PFC CHARLES W. CLINE, PFC JERRY W. SMITH
This photo provided by Paul Cline
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2008 RECIPIENT - PFC ALFRED DOUGLAS SMITH
Sonny's awards or medals are as follows:
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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.
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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.
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2014 RECIPIENT - CLEABERN WILLIAM HILL, JR.
|A letter written to the family of Cleabern Hill by Robert Amos.|
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Webmaster - Barth "Shortround" Cunico