(Ed. Note: There are no reviews as yet on what promises to be a fine accounting of a combat correspondent who had several tours in Vietnam. What we do have are quotes from those who will be featured on the dust cover. Watch for this one!)
I predict this is a great book by Bob Bowen who is writing about his own life during the Vietnam War. Bob is an expert photographer and was a war correspondent and a fine writer. This job was dangerous. This book could really take off and be a great success. I recommend it to anyone interested in the Vietnam War. The war was a harrowing experience for the men involved, and they have never been given proper credit for their bravery.
— Don Gilmore, author, Eyewitness Vietnam
The images you captured of our Marines in Vietnam are unequaled. Your book will be a smash hit!
— Franklin Cox, author, Lullabies for Lieutenants
My friend Bob Bowen has been a member of The American Legion for more than four decades, during which time he has been totally devoted to our country, our veterans, and their families. This memoir details his insights not only into war and coming home, but also into the people who are Americans. His life is proof that when most veterans take off their uniforms, they don’t quit their service to the nation. My Life and Lens is the inspiring story of how one Marine is still serving America.
— Daniel S. Wheeler, National Adjutant, The American Legion
Journalists possess critical responsibilities—one is simply to inform, another is to explain. As a military photo-journalist during the Vietnam Era, Bob Bowen has captured visually with his camera and explained eloquently with his written words, the horrors and the honorable service of that period. In his new book My Life and Lens, Bowen articulates not only high action combat but the artful subtleties and tactics of warfare. He writes so well that the reader is pulled into the stories as if there in person.
It is one thing to provide facts to America’s cumulative history; it’s another to display the facts through personal experiences. One will learn through reading this memoir that the life of a journalist in a war zone could be short-lived. It is dangerous work; but when successful, the work informs. This is what makes Bowen’s book such a compelling read. This memoir is an excellent pictorial and literary contribution not only to our nation’s history but in the recognition of those who honorably participated in that unpopular conflict. Respect is demonstrated to the families of the brave American heroes of this long-ago era by Bob Bowen’s memorializing them in his book.
— Worth Earlwood Norman, Jr., retired account executive, EDS Corporation; author of two biographies.
There have been several changes to the DOD awards programs. This past year, Defense Media Agency was directed to consolidated the three awards programs into one. A joint working group was formed to determine new categories and program criteria. This attachment is the final outcome of those efforts.
This year the Marine Corps awards will be conducted in accordance with the DOD Media Awards Program guidance attached. All categories in the Marine Corps Program will mirror those in the DOD Awards program.
Submission of awards will be conducted on DVIDS.
Submission SOP is here.
Golfers enjoy the sunshine and camaraderie while supporting the Florida Chapter’s Golf Tournament. Next one to be held is April 28 with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start at the Sherman Hills Golf Club, near Brooksville, Fla.
The 2017 golf tournament of the USMCCCA Foundation (Florida Chapter) will be held Friday, April 28 with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start at the Sherman Hills Golf Club, near Brooksville, Fla.
The Tournament, now in its 13th year, enables the USMCCCA Foundation to provide grants for the Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund, Oceanside, CA which assists our wounded Marines, their widows, and their families. The tournament also enables the Foundation to offer scholarships to active duty Marines and their dependents. Since its inception, more than $91,000 has been raised for these worthy causes. The Tournament format features a 4-person team scramble.
The $50 entry fee includes cart and greens fees, range balls prior to play, and a meal following play. Entrants are encouraged to form foursomes but individual players are welcome and will be teamed by the Tournament Committee on a first come, first served basis until all 36 teams are filled.
The Sherman Hills Club is located very near I-75 and State Rte. 50. and is considered one of Central Florida’s better venues with gently rolling hills and a fairly wide open, links-type terrain. The club address is 31200 Eagle Falls Drive, Brooksville, FL
Prospective players are encouraged to call “Red” Carpenter at 352.688.6720 or email JCar1@tampabay.rr.com for further information.
Dale Dye returns from Vietnam.
By Dale Dye
It’s time to sober up and evaluate this thing. Back here in The World there’s a little elbow room, a little space that’s not filled with specters of an old and controversial war. There’s been a day or two to fight through the roiling brain mists that engulfed most of us on the return engagement to Vietnam, so there’s no balm in shirking. What we need now are insights and inspirations, florid vocabulary that will instantly and accurately convey the nature and depth of strange, otherworldly sensations. What we need is a nuclear detonation of trenchant phrasing to describe the raw emotions we felt practically every waking moment during our return to ancient battlefields in a country long past the war that nearly destroyed it fifty years ago.
Indeed. But as Jon Fogarty fronting CCR reminds me, I ain’t no fortunate son. So we’re doomed to take it as it comes. And what comes first for those of us who last saw Vietnam as a war-ravaged third-world country is an instant realization that the societal worm has turned in Southeast Asia. You can call it the triumph of capitalism, you can call it empirical evidence that communism is, was, and always will be a failed social model for everything except UN desk-pounding and May Day Parades. What you can’t deny – assuming even a modicum of objectivity – is that the Vietnamese are generally thriving and pounding down the road to a commerce-based meritocracy.
Click here to read more ›
Dale Dye and Mike Stokey at RVN cemetery. Photo by John Riedy
by Dale Dye
Day Four of The Great Ghost Chase gives me a case of the staggering willies even before the bus rolls out of Danang headed north on Vietnamese Highway 1. Our course runs through the once-infamous Hai Van Pass that meanders as it climbs toward the far north. Then – somewhere up around 1500 feet – it twists into a series of radical switchbacks. And it’s up there where the road contorts like Lawrence Welk’s old accordion (okay…google it…he used to be a popular polka music guy on early American TV) right up around that point is where the North Vietnamese Army used to ambush truck convoys from the jungle-covered high ground above the Hai Van Pass. The convoys were called Roughriders with machine gun-festooned gun trucks rolling at front and rear of the cargo haulers. Marine Corps Combat Correspondents hitchhiking rides up to infantry units in areas like Phu Bai, Hue, Quang Tri and other killing fields closer to the DMZ hated the Roughriders. Granted riding a Roughrider was easier than humping hills but those heavy machine guns doing recon-by-fire played hell with nap time.
Our bus has no machine guns but there is a bad-ass dragon amulet swinging from the rear view mirror, so we figure it’s OK to relax. And when that happens war stories come bubbling up like swamp gas. Nobody wants to talk about the blood and guts stuff. Or if they do nobody is going to listen very long. That’s the kind of thing that makes you wheeze, gag and moan with night-sweats. Better to focus on the funny stuff…like the tine you were stranded with a broken down six-by overnight at the Hai Van Pass with only a .45 pistol and a bent tire iron to fight off hordes of marauding enemy. Yeah…well, maybe it wasn’t hordes. Maybe it was a couple of rock apes that scared the hell out of you and refused to retreat despite firing off every round of your pistol ammo and then grabbing the tire-iron from the panicky driver to do close-quarters battle with mountain specters. I’ve heard it all before, so it’s easy to tune out and contemplate some of the mysteries that confront us on this return to Vietnam after a half-decade of swearing we’d never return to the Land of the Lotus Eaters, The Nam where we all first learned to embrace the suck. Click here to read more ›
1st Division ISO Snuffies:(l-r) Eric Grimm, Richard Lavers, Robert Bayer, Michael Stokey, Frank Wiley, Dale Dye. (Or as Julia Dye knows them, Rafter Man, Rick, Ding, The ARVN, Lurch, and Daddy D.A.). Not shown is Steve Berntson. Photo by John Riedy.
(Ed. Note: Dale Dye and other CC “Snuffys” returned to Vietnam this week. This is Dale’s first installment):
An emergency room physician circulated among the survivors. His diagnosis was quick and easy: Terminal culture shock. If the moment had been some jangled parsec in the psychedelic sixties he’d have called it a bad acid trip, but the Doc knew where and when he was even if the shocked Veterans kept claiming if couldn’t be Vietnam, the war-ravaged turbulent country they’d left behind nearly 50 years before.
It started the moment they began to unwind from 17 hours jammed inside a turbo-jet tin can that roared out of Los Angeles, through Hong Kong and into Danang, headquarters of their old 1st Marine Division where most of them served as Combat Correspondents in the bloody gut of the Vietnam War at various times ranging from 1965 to 1970. Giving them the bored bureaucrat stare at passport control were guys in familiar olive-green uniforms festooned with red collar tabs. The last place most of them had been so close to uniforms like that was up on the Demilitarized Zone—at places like Con Thien, The Rockpile, and Khe Sanh. Back then the uniformed Vietnamese were carrying AK-47s rather than rubber immigration stamps.
Click here to read more ›
Jack Paxton, Executive Director speaks with Mike McNamara on his podcast show.
If you read the January Leatherneck (and you should have) there was a piece on AllMarineRadio which was fascinating. You watch/listen on your computer/iPad/i/phone/tablet, et al. I contacted Mike McNamara thinking he would be an interesting addition to our San Diego conference as he lives in the area. He will join us if he can. Meantime, he set up an interview with me. We did the first of two parts Feb. 7 and will do another segment next Tuesday, Feb. 14. If you are interested, there are several ways to tune in. Mac is a retired Marine lieutenant colonel and his shows are quite interesting.
• Listen to the broadcast live at www.allmarineradio.com from your computer or mobile device, Monday through Friday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST (7 a.m. and 11 a.m. PST).
• Visit www.allmarineradio.com anytime and click on the “Podcasts” link on the banner at the top of the page. Each hour-long segment is archived and can be listened to at your convenience.
• Visit iTunes or Google Play, search “All Marine Radio” and download content to your mobile device.
• Download the “Tune In” mobile application, available on both iOS and Android devices, and search “All Marine Radio.”
— Jack Paxton, Executive Director
CC Bob McEwen on his way home
Thanks to CC Cid Atwood we learned that globetrotting Bob McEwen was hospitalized in Bangkok and had to be flown home in an aerial ambulance. We checked in with Bob’s daughter Megan Britt, and received the following info:
Hi Jack – Against my wishes, Dad and a friend were on their way to Myanmar to join a tour group for a river cruise. While on a layover in Bangkok on January 23rd , Dad’s blood pressure dropped to a dangerously low level and he was transported via ambulance to Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital. After a few days in ICU his blood pressure was stabilized, but his blood oxygen levels were low and he was getting very confused and disoriented. He was kept in ICU while tests were run by a neurologist and pulmonologist. Although his mental condition was improved, they were unable to get his oxygen levels stable enough to declare him “fit to fly” commercially. An escort/rescue nurse was recommended and sent to accompany him home, but the airlines would not allow him to board due to the doctor’s report on his oxygen levels.
Finally, after 13 days in intensive care, the insurance carrier approved an air ambulance (Lear Jet 35A) to bring him home. The air ambulance arrived in Bangkok yesterday and he departed around 9:00 PM (EST). He is expected to arrive back in Atlanta Friday morning where he will be admitted to a local hospital for evaluation.
Thank you for your concern. I have been keeping Cynthia Atwood updated throughout this ordeal.
In a follow-on email Megan indicated that Bob had taken out trip insurance and that paid for the aerial ambulance, a Cessna Citation jet.
CC Dan Bisher (l), President of the Hillsdale County, MI Veterans Hall of Fame presented a Hall of Fame challenge coin to World War II P-38 pilot Monty Powers during a recent ceremony. (photo by Corey Murray, courtesy of the Hillsdale Daily News)
Virginia “Ginny” Kyser of Springfield, VA, passed away gently on January 30, 2017 at INOVA Fairfax Hospital after a short but courageous battle with cancer.
She was born Virginia Lee Detweiler in 1936 in Reading and spent her formative years in Easton. A devoted “Red Rover” and member of the Eastern Star, she graduated from Easton High School in 1954 and worked at the very first Crayola factory.She met the love of her life on a blind date in 1955 and shortly found herself engaged to that Marine Sergeant; Jim Kyser, marrying him in 1957.
She traveled the world with him, raised two children and later the family settled in Virginia. She and her love Jim traveled the world together on many adventures, but always followed their feet “home” where, to her final days, she was surrounded by her loving family and a vast network of amazing friends.
She left a smile on every person she ever met and was the personification of “an angel on earth.” She was preceded in death by her husband MGySgt Jim Kyser, USMC (Ret.) and is survived by her daughter, her son, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Funeral Services will be held at 0930, Friday February 3rd at the Quantico Marine Chapel, in Virginia followed by internment at the Quantico National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at goo.gl/bwo6ED
Fred Garcia, Capt. Skye Martin and CC president Keith Oliver were among 75 presenters and attendees and I MEF’s second annual public affairs summit at Camp Pendleton January 25-26. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Keith assured USMCCCA Executive Director Paxton that he did not represent the association in sweatshirt and blue jeans when he gave his formal presentation the first day of the conclave.)
New York University’s Fred Garcia chats with I MEF deputy PAO Maj. Staci Reidinger following the final session of the MEF’s second annual Communications Summit.
CAMP PENDLETON — With sought-after strategy comms expert Helio “Fred” Garcia among the speakers, the First Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office convened its second annual Communications Summit at Camp Pendleton earlier this week.
MEF PAO Lt. Col. Chris Perrine credited his deputy, Maj. Staci Reidinger, with pushing the concept – a robust blend of academic and real world thought and discussion which included a variety of southern California military public affairs practitioners as well as Combat Camera representatives.
The inclusion of ComCam was no accident, according to Reidinger, who noted the MEF’s day-to-day teamwork approach with their imagery-gathering counterparts. A highlight of the sessions was HQMC’s Maj. Sean Hays’ briefing on the merger of the two occupational fields.
In addition to a lively pitch from Marine Corps social media guru, Sgt. Julia Dagostino and a strategic planning class offered by Reidinger and MEF PAO operations head, Capt. Rachel Nolan, the group also heard from CC national president Keith Oliver, who was invited to speak on PA and ComCam’s historical perspectives on behalf of the USMCCCA.
“If Norm Hatch’s and Bob Jordan’s and Dale Dye’s ears were itching, “ Keith said, “it’s because I used their names and war stories as examples in trying to explain ComCam’s and public affairs’ contributions during wars and crises over the past seven or eight decades.”
Oliver also freely cited current and deceased USMCCCA members Jack Lewis and Jack Paxton(Korea); Russ Thurman, Steve Stibbens and William Perkins (Vietnam); John East (Grenada); Eric Dent and Keith Milks (Afghanistan); Joe Sanders and Brett Beard (Iraq); and Neil Gillespie and Jerry O’Leary (WWII).
“We received pledges of CC annual conference attendance and support from the Camp Pendleton-based shops,” Keith said, as well as from “Capt. Skye Martin’s Marines at 12th Marine Corps District and lst Lt. Karen Holliday’s at Twentynine Palms.”
2nd Lt. Holli Richmond coordinated the event and it was she who first made the call to CCHQ inviting association participation.
The USMCCCA Annual Conference & Training Symposium is set for August 21-24 2017 at the Crowne Plaza San Diego, Click here for room reservation. Marine Commandant, Gen. Robert Neller, has been invited to address the association as Awards Banquet speaker on Thursday night.
Navy Senior Chief Laura Penuelas of 3rd Fleet, Twentynine Palms deputy PAO Lauren Kurkimilis and I MEF’s Sgt. Paris Caper took advantage of the opportunity to “talk shop” at the MEF-hosted public affairs summit.
Pat and Jack Paxton, Fred and Donna Lash.
On The Road: Past USMCCCA President and current Conference Emcee Fred Lash (standing) and wife, Donna (r), were lunch guests of National USMCCCA Executive Director Jack Paxton (2nd from l) and his wife, Pat on Sunday in the Villages, FL. Fred and Donna, Springfield, VA were on the way to visit friends in Florida.