“Above the Best”

267th Signal Company

Alumni Newsletter

October 2009


      As we normally do, we would like to welcome these fellowSnakemen” to our ranks;

Joe Aquino

Larry M. Amick

Norman L Bookout

George N. Cannon

Leonard Carlquist

Jerry Henderson

James W. Holland

David G Johnson

Bruce D. Larrabee

James H. LaCaze

David D. Long

Roger C. McCreery

Larry Neeper

 Daniel S. Paulsson

Douglas C. Vassen

Robert G. Wallis

Richard D. Woodrum


     Our Roster now stands at 165 and we are now the largest Signal (Company size) Alumni Association from the Vietnam Era and still growing, thanks to all of you.  Joe Bleers sent me some unit orders he had kept and those were extremely helpful in finding some of our new members.  We had quite a few guys attending the reunion who brought orders also, so hopefully we’ll be adding more names to the roster soon.  Again, if you recall someone you served with in Vietnam, let Bruce know and we’ll give it a shot at finding them.  He can be contacted at the address, phone number or email at the end of this newsletter.

      We received some sad news, Murphy L. Burton, former Snakeman, passed away August 2006.  His wife Phyllis said he was “a loving and devoted husband and often spoke of friends in Vietnam”.

     Well, I’m happy to report the 267th’s Second reunion was a rousing success.  Snakemen from across our great country converged on The Crowne Plaza St. Louis Airport Hotel, many meeting up with buddies they hadn’t seen in forty plus years.  We shared quite a few laughs and some tears, but all in all everyone had a wonderful time.  Our Association had more than doubled in size since the last reunion in 1998 (from 72 members to 150 members) and we hope to double that by the time the next reunion rolls around.  We had 48 (threefold more than the last reunion) former Snakemen attending with wives/family members: 82.  Though Friday night was scheduled as the first night; we had about 15 guys come Thursday and had an impromptu get together Thursday night.  Friday night was the official start of the reunion and everyone gathered to meet, greet and rekindle old friendships we formed in Southeast Asia, so long ago. The meeting room was packed as everyone enjoyed drinks, appetizers and conversation.  This went on late into the night.  Call it what you may friendship, brotherhood, camaraderie; what was shared in Vietnam was not forgotten.  It was if the years hadn’t passed.  We had a good number of guys who attended the first reunion return for this one, it was good to see them all again.  Saturday morning just the boys met for a meeting to decide the direction our Association should take. It was decided that we should break the Association up into four zones, to better serve our members (See back of this page).  We are hoping that with these regions/zones it will encourage more participation in the Association and offer the opportunity for those of us unable to attend a reunion that is across the country, whether it be due to health or financial reasons, to attend a regional reunion.   It was also decided that we shouldn’t wait eleven years for the next reunion and that five years sounded like the right amount of time, although I was approached by quite a few members after the meeting who thought that we should have a national reunion sooner than five years (more on that in future newsletters).  Saturday afternoon was left up to the individual with some going to see the Arch in St. Louis, visiting the St. Louis Zoo or paying their respects to the Budweiser Brewery (a brewery the 267th contributed greatly to).  Saturday night we gathered for the group photographs and the Alumni Banquet.  I introduced some of the people who helped make our Association what it is, let me again mention them: Paul Nega and Mike Kluttz who both set-up 267th pages on Miltary.com and Harvey Lacey for his 267 RVN page on his website.  Also thanks all of you who have searched their attics and basements and come up with orders that had names on them that we could use in searching.   We handed out the first “Above the Best” Awards to Rodney Ford, for not only being our “Man on the Ground” in St Louis but for being our unofficial Treasurer and Mike Kluttz, for our name tags, (which were outstanding) the 267th welcome banner and all he did to make our reunion happen.  Both went beyond the call and deserved all the praise they could get.  I would be remiss if I did not mention Dave Krygiel and Fred Schmidtke and the help they provided Rodney Ford in selecting the hotel, good job guys.  Thanks also to Mike Kluttz for leading us in the Pledge of Alliance and Bill Kohnen for the wonderful invocation.  Our photographer, a former linemen himself, brought his gaffs and lineman’s belt which were a great hit with everyone; though no one volunteered to put them on and climb any poles.  The photos are up on the webpage and can be found at the Photo Archives page.   Sunday morning we said our goodbyes and all made our way home.  I again say, if you get the opportunity to attend one of the reunions, please do, they’re not to be missed nor forgotten.


     Someone at the Reunion had a copy of the September 1968 “Snake Tales” I would like to get a copy of it so we can put it on the webpage.   I meant to get it copied there but with so much going on I forgot.

If you’re the person who had that or if you have a copy of the September 1968 “Snake Tales” our Company’s newsletter could you please send me a copy?  That would give us the newsletters from every year it was in existence.

     Some things never change- A quote from General George S. Patton, “One of the bravest men that I ever saw was a fellow on top of a telegraph pole in the midst of a furious fight in Tunisia.  I stopped and asked what he was doing up there at a time like that.  He answered, ‘fixing the wire, Sir.’  I asked, ‘Isn’t that a little unhealthy right about now?’ He answered, yes sir, but the wire has to be fixed.’ I asked, ‘Don’t those planes strafing the road bother you?’ And he answered, No sir, but you sure do!’ Now there was a real man, a real Soldier. There was a man who devoted all he had to his duty, no matter how seemly insignificant his duty might appear at the time, no matter how great the odds. Quoted from;” The Salute” Spring 2009. That a lineman for ya!