Archive for Member’s Scrapbook

This paper was written by Chapter 1054 member Roger & Mary Karel’s grandson for a freshman English assignment.

The Same Differences of War       By Anthony Rodas

The tragedies of war will never change; it will always stay.  The statistics have shown that the war ends when all the people that were involved in that war die.  As we see now and then, war always changes in the world, but it never changes in the heart.  My Grandpa is a Vietnam Veteran and has many stories about the 60’s and the war forgotten.­

He once told me a story of a friend of his, dying in an explosives attack.  It was such a painful story for him to tell because he was a very good friend.  And he was there with him through some very tough times.  Soldiers now days make their army friends feel like a family, like they did back then.  And when someone dies, they all help each other cope with the pain.  My Grandpa, Grandma and the rest of my family went to Washington D.C. for an army reunion.  All of my family and my Grandpa’s army buddies sat around a table, looking at pictures and talking about the battles and vehicles they drove.  All of us visited “The Wall” the next day and we found his friend’s name on the wall.  As we scanned through the names, I couldn’t help but feel a deep, cold, empty space boring deeper down into my soul.  The reflection of myself on the black stone wall made me realize the message of it.  The only way to feel what it is like is to stand in front of the wall and read the names.  My Grandpa found the name of his friend on the  wall.  I read the name “Ronald McCoy” and my Grandpa’s eyes showed signs of despair.  I can only imagine the thoughts running through his head.

As I watch the news on CNN, NBC or ABC, every so often I see the stories of returning soldiers  and the men and women that come home to a large group of their families and bands that come to meet them on the runway.  My Grandpa told me about how he was coming home after he had been shot.  On the bus he had crackers thrown at him by young men with long hair.  They thought all the soldiers were murderers, but it wasn’t their choice to fight.  The draft didn’t discriminate.  “We tried not to wear our army clothes on the way home.  But for some people that was all they had to wear home” he told me.  They didn’t know the true horrors of being there, having to do the things they did.  Most of them didn’t call the Army; the Army called them.

In the cities and villages that lay inside the country of Vietnam, there were Viet Cong soldiers that would give hand grenades to small children and older men.  And they told them about the United States soldiers so they would try to kill them.  There was a story about a man that was riding in a convoy outside the city of Saigon, when they were shot at by ten year old boys not even able to properly hold a gun.  One man was wounded from a stray bullet.  That’s what made that war so confusing.  They didn’t know who or where the enemy could be.  They were always on the edge, waiting and anticipating the next ambush or attack.  In a book I was reading on the battles of Afghanistan, there was a story about a group of Special Forces soldiers that helped defend a village they were trying to gain the trust of, to help them find the enemy that was in the area.  As they entered the village, a boy jumped out from behind a wall and shot up into the air, dropped his gun and ran away.  Later, the leader of the group of soldiers asked the leader of the village why that young man shot at them.  He said, “The Taliban came into the villages and threatened the fathers and husbands in my village to shoot and attack US soldiers or they would murder their families.”

The strength of a nation relies on the hope of the people living within it.  If the people do not have a feeling of hope for something they don’t believe in, the nation will not move forward with what the leaders want it to.  Like now and in the 60’s, our nation is tired of war.  We pay for the war with tax money we may never see again.  When we finally pull our troops out of the Middle East, we can start healing.


Below is a photo taken when we were all in Washington DC in 2010 for one of Roger’s Army Reunions.

Glenn Folk story

A Veteran Died Today

He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around at Perkins,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.

And sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke, 
But all his buddies listened  
For they knew where of he spoke.

We’ll hear his tales no longer,
For Joe has passed away, 
The world’s a little poorer
For a Veteran died today.

He won’t be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary, 
And quiet sort of life.

Held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won’t note his passing,
‘Tho a Veteran died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And  proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young,
But the passing of a Veteran
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?

The  politician’s stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Veteran,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever-waffling stand?

Or would you want a Veteran
His home, his land, his kin,
Just a common Veteran,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Veteran,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind  us
We may need his likes again.

For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Veteran’s part,
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
While around to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage
At the ending of his days.

Perhaps a simple headline
In the paper that might say:


I fought so my country could do the right thing (Watertown Public Opinion 11/11/13)

Personal information for Frank Stupnik

Branch of Service: United  States Air Force (USAF)
Date of enlistment:  7/1967 – 7/1971
Occupation: Aircraft radio repairman
Basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas
Technical school at Keesler AFB, Mississippi
Major command: Air Training Command (ATC)
Stationed at Nellis AFB, Nevada 1968. Maintained F-105 Thunderchief fighter bombers. 
Major command: Tactical Air Command (TAC).
Stationed at Udorn RTAFB, Thailand in 1968-1969 in direct combat support of operations in South  Vietnam and support of aircraft flying photo-reconnaissance missions over North Vietnam.  Served in 432 Tactical Reconnaissance Wing (TRW) and maintained the following aircraft:
F-4D and F-4E Phantom fighter-bombers. RF-4C Phantom reconnaissance fighter-bombers, RF-101 Voodoo reconnaissance fighters, C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft, C-47 gunships, OV-10 Bronco, and the occasional transient aircraft such as the F-100 SuperSaber. 
Famous squadron assigned to Udorn RTAFB in 1968 was the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) known as Triple Nickel.  They were credited with 27 MIGkills with 7 of those while at Udorn.
Udorn was home to the 40thAerospace Rescue and Recovery Service (40th ARRS)  flying HH-53’s known as  Super Jolly Green Giants.
Udorn was also home to the CIA’s air force called Air Americawhich provided logistical support and resources to the “secret war in Laos”.
Major command: Pacific Air Forces (PACAF).
Stationed at Ellsworth AFB, South  Dakota1970 – 1971.  Maintained B-52D Stratofortresses, KC-135 Stratotankers, and Huey UH-1 helicopters for missile crews.
Major command: Strategic Air Command (SAC)
Rank: Staff sergeant
Honorable discharge
Date of enlistment: 3/1973 –6/1976
Occupation: Aircraft control and warning radar repairman
Technical school at Keesler AFB, Mississippi
Stationed at Kingsley Field, Oregon.  Serviced and maintained long range radar from 1973 to 1976.
Major command: Air Defense Command (ADC)
Rank: Staff sergeant
Honorable discharge
Medals/ribbons awarded:
National Defense medal
Air Force Small Arms Expert Marksmanship medal
Air Force Longevity medal
Air Force Good Conduct medal
Vietnam Service medal
Vietnam Campaign medal

My thoughts and memories of Vietnam of 46 years ago.

Three Servicemen