Veteran’s Day: Honoring a Vietnam War Hero 47 Years Later

Sergeant First Class Patrick Thomas Jr Two years ago I reconnected with a group of men I served with in Vietnam. I mentioned a soldier I’ve thought about each day since August 18, 1968, when he performed an act of heroism during an ambush and was severely wounded. At that 2013 reunion I learned his …

Sergeant First Class Patrick Thomas Jr Born 1931 Died 1986

I believe most of us carry ghosts we hold close. I received the phone call about Sgt Thomas while shopping for my wife’s valentine gift. It was déjà vu—the same sense of disconnect I felt when I learned my brother had been killed. Sergeant Thomas has been in my thoughts each day for more than …

6 February 2015: Revisiting the Past

I recently reconnected with Beverly Dawson, the lady I met at Glenview History Center in 2007. This Starlifter picture is from her book, Images of America, Glenview Naval Air Station. (Page 108). Note the bus with the red cross backed up to the back of the medevac aircraft; that’s what we were loaded on to, …

22 August 2007: Revisiting the Past

Have you ever been troubled by an event in your past? Troubled enough to revisit it? I did. I needed to make sense of why antiwar protestors would attack a hospital bus carrying wounded troops. The discoveries I made have had far-reaching effects. Here is the story, published in Vietnam magazine about my 2007 visit. …

Honoring a Vietnam Veteran’s Memory

http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/content/affield-donates-food-shelf The Mobile Riverine Force Museum visited Beltrami County Fair recently. 2014 marks the fiftieth anniversary of U.S. escalation in the Vietnam War, with the Tonkin Gulf incident on August 2, 1964. Over the course of five days, while signing books and helping at the Museum, I listened to hundreds of stories as men and …

Mobile Riverine Force Museum Visits Beltrami County Fair

Legion Escort Riders Wendell Affield and Legion Rider organizer, Ken Kephart Studying the Past Over the course of five days, while signing books and helping at the Museum, I listened to hundreds of stories as men and women reminisced about the Vietnam War and that era. I’ve come to realize that as we move into …

Legion Riders To Escort Mobile Riverine Force Museum to Bemidji

At 10:00 AM, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, American Legion Riders will gather at the Super 8 in Little Falls, MN to escort the Mobile Riverine Force Association Museum to Bemidji. All riders are welcome to join. The escort begins in Little Falls, travels west on Hwy 10 to Motley, then turns north on Hwy 64. …

Muddy Jungle Rivers Book Discussion Wednesday, April 23, 2014

(Written by Patt Rall, Bemidji Pioneer Previews, published Sunday, April 20, 2014.) •Northern Exposure to Lifelong Learning continues their spring season of talks with “A Healing Journey with Wendell Affield,” who is the author of “Muddy Jungle Rivers.” Affield will talk about his life after publication of his book, and his speaking engagements when he …

Searching For Sergeant Thomas: Two Clues This Week

The first clue, another picture of Sergeant Thomas at an awards ceremony. Picture taken by Army Veteran, Ray Pineau, sent to me by Loren Salzman. The second clue came from the sister of an army helicopter door gunner who went Missing In Action when his chopper was shot down during the Vietnam War. Donna Elliott’s …