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The purpose of making a road trip is to locate and spend time with members of our platoon. I began this road trip on September 10, 2009.
I drove straight away to Bourne, Massachusetts and dropped in to see Jamie O’Brien our platoon leader from Oct 68 to March 69. Unfortunately I was not able to link up with Jamie but the beautiful drive around Cape Cod was magnificent. I drove over to Centerville, Massachusetts to spend time with Jim Fell. Jim was our Platoon leader in November of 69.
I continued on and stopped and spent some time with George Leidy (RTO for Lt. James Fell Nov. 1969) in Brookhaven Pennsylvania.I proceeded to Bruce Deisinger’s home in Ephrata Pennsylvania and spent a great afternoon with him and his wife Darlene. Jim Pelipesky was next on my list and he and his wife Mary Kay were most gracious to entertain me late into the evening in Nanty Glo, Pennsylvania. Jim was one of our M-60 machine-gunners.
I continued my trip to Dayton, Ohio and stopped to see Harold “Gene” Riney who served as the Army’s youngest Lieutenant in Vietnam. Gene was an Artillery Forward Observer and hung with the Wolfhounds and our platoon when we were at Shamrock. I had the pleasure of stopping Lansing, Michigan and spending time with Larry Lamere. Larry was in the platoon from June 68 to June 69. Larry was one of the most colorful members of the platoon and never ceased to amaze us with his courage under fire.
I proceeded to Flushing, Michigan where I met up with my old friend Mike “the kid” Lozon. He and I and his Son Matt stayed up til all hours of the night talking and laughing about our time together in Vietnam. Mike recently retired from GM. I stopped in to see Gerry Dykstra but unfortunately he was not home. He was at his cabin enjoying the last days of summer.
I went to Butte Creek, Michigan in search of Charlie Hacker but I had wrong information on Charlies address and phone number. I hate it when I can’t find one of the guys! Gerry Granger was next on my radar and I pulled into his driveway in Richland Center, Wisconsin. Gerry and his wife Belinda were wonderful hosts and I enjoyed catching up on what Gerry had accomplished since returning home from Vietnam. I learned that Dave Duininck had attended the Granger’s wedding and they had not made contact since that day. Dave and Gerry would reconnect at the Minnesota Fishing trip.
I proceeded to Poynette, Wisconsin and was disappointed when I was unable to connect with Larry Stanczyk who served in our mortar platoon. My next destination was Tinley Park, Illinois and I had a great time with Arie Hill (Company Cook) and Larry Dobesh who served in the platoon from June 68. We sat up til the late hours looking at photos and memorabilia.
I continued on to Hawthorne Woods, Illinois in search of Toni Pieroni. This was the first time my GPS failed me. I never found Tony’s house and was very disappointed that we did not connect. I talked to Jack Slovey on the phone and was going to hook up with him on my return trip but unfortunately I blew through Chicago at midnight and did not want to disturb his family.
I kept the wheels turning and arrived at Bob Mollenhauer’s home in Owatonna, Minnesota to spend 2 days of R&R. His wife Pat spoiled me and she and I had many lively political discussions. She is an amazing woman who I love and respect. Moose and I proceeded to the Chicago Airport where we picked up some guys that were attending the fishing trip. You will have to check out the Fishing trip tab to see all the pictures of the guys that attended.
My road trip was a complete success as I continue to gather puzzle pieces to complete the history of the second platoon in Charlie Co, 2/27 Wolfhounds in Vietnam. My next road trip in 2011 will be in the southern states. You never know when I may be knocking on your door!