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Discussion Starter #1
Friends,

I'm NOT sure where this thread belongs BUT I simply cannot resist telling everyone about who I was honored to entertain last evening at dinner, here in San Antonio.
(Feel free to move this thread, if I picked the wrong forum.)

His name in Apache is NAATEH LUVEEN, which means: Looks Up and Fears Not. He is in San Antonio to celebrate Fiesta San Antonio. - His English name is Richard Lund & he is a guest of Ft Sam Houston's command group.

Richard made every jump that the 18th Airborne Corps made during Korea, as a 17-19YO paratrooper and was decorated with EVERY medal for bravery that the US awards, except the MoH. Five allied nations also decorated him for valor in combat.
(Richard is credited with killing more than 100 enemy soldiers with his M1 Garand.)
In 1953, Richard was captured by the Red Chinese and tortured for well over a year. He escaped Chinese captivity and "returned to US control" late in 1954 and was honorably retired from the USA, as a result of the physical damage that he suffered at the hands of the Chinese.

note: Richard is now 80YY and is the current Principal Chief of the White Mountain Apaches. He is the sole living grandson of both COCHISE (father's side) and GERONIMO (mother's side)
We NA generally consider him to be the GREATEST living AmerIndian Warrior.

yours, sw
 

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Was he in the 187th Airborne RCT? I had a very good friend who served with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
bearcat6,

YES, for a while. He also served with the 82d ABN Division, but I'm not sure of the dates.

yours, sw
 

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Discussion Starter #4
To ALL,

Speaking of AI warriors, I cannot get the family's permission to interview the only surviving grand-daughter of TARANTULA, the last of the Comanche war chiefs. - She lives in a nursing home here in SATX, remembers her grandfather well and I'm told frequently talks about him to staff and residents. She was "his pet" in his last years & he told her much about his warring against TX & the USA.
(Her daughter & 2 sons are afraid that I might "upset her needlessly".)

yours, sw
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
bearcat6,

Note: The CSM of USAMEDAC told me last night that "his fellows" in the 187th RCT, nicknamed Richard (fondly) "Speaks little, Kills much".
(Like most old soldiers, Richard is willing to talk about anything EXCEPT his own BRAVERY. - His comment to me over dinner was, "I didn't do anything special.")

yours, satx
 

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Why was he kept POW until 1954? There must be a story there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
bearcat6,

AGREED. OTOH, I DOUBT that anybody who wasn't there (and maybe not even them) could get the REAL story. (IF I was guessing, I would say that Richard was doing something "quite sensitive".) = "I didn't do anything special" told me all that I needed to know about asking more "nosey questions".
FYI, my dad (of the USAAC) and my uncle (Acting Chief of the Boat of the USS CHAMPION) wouldn't tell me much either. - WWII/KPA vets just didn't talk about their war to "outsiders".

For those of us who want to write down "1st person accounts" of soldiers, airmen, sailors, marines & coasties, it is FRUSTRATING as most of "the old boys" have "walked on up the trail of stars" and the rest still won't "blab".

yours, sw
 

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Indeed--I'm a member of a veterans' forum dedicated to the last aircraft my grandfather worked on (they let me in as a "family member"), and while they're quite willing to share stories among themselves and even with me since I'm a "Legacy Member," when I expressed my desire to put together a book of information and stories about the F-106 from the men and women who flew and maintained them in their own words the pitch got a lukewarm response from the few who replied.

Mind you, this is from my oldest and closest friends, rivaled only by some of you who were here back in the AmBack days...
 

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Yeah, even tried explaining that "you CAN still serve, by educating and inspiring future generations..."

Part of it's the whole mindset of that generation about "you face your problems alone, and don't talk to nobody about 'em", I think... even my great-uncle who helped liberate a Nazi concentration-camp only talked about things, other than talking about his unit as a whole and their actions, through the photos in his albums.

And, perhaps another is wanting to not be seen as bragging or ego--the challenge, and the art, is to frame it as "it's not about beating your chest, but about passing the 'Tribal Knowledge' and the lessons learned from your experiences for posterity" or something similar. Make a case that it's about something bigger than themselves and there's sometimes a little more of a chance...
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
IrishCop,

Makes you wonder if it's NATURE rather than NURTURE in his case, does it not?
OR perhaps BOTH. = He did grow up APACHE after all.

We Natives do NOT have "titles of royalty" but Richard would certainly be an AmerIndian crown prince, if we did.

yours, sw
 

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SW, you might also consider a tack of "we seek to learn from and honor you all who did come back because there's only so much we can do for the heroes who didn't... and the only ones who can really shed light on their stories are you who were there with them."

The one case that really opened up to me was one of my profs, and that was between the guy knowing I saw him as the father I never had and taking a tack about "THIS is your war now... please, let me fight it at your side."

Maybe these ideas might help you, maybe not, but either way here's hoping you get your breakthrough opportunity, compadre.
 

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IrishCop,

Makes you wonder if it's NATURE rather than NURTURE in his case, does it not?
OR perhaps BOTH. = He did grow up APACHE after all.

We Natives do NOT have "titles of royalty" but Richard would certainly be an AmerIndian crown prince, if we did.

yours, sw
Yes, an age-old question with no real answers. But you gotta admit, this amazing old soldier has some honest-to-God warrior blood running through his veins.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Diamondback,

I'll give that a try.- Wish me luck. - I don't want his irreplacable memories to walk on with him. - What he knows should be written down and remembered.

yours, sw
 
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