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Email Me:  Barry P. Gerischer

I entered the servie in November 1966 in DesMoines, Iowa.  Took a train ride to Chicago and arrived in Fort Bliss, Texas.  While their accidently applied for Officer Candidate School.  Completed Basic, did not go to Medic training but headed for Ft Lewis, Washington.  Completed Infantry AIT and soldiered under a MSG who serverd with my Dad in WWII, MSG Trawick.  Assigned to the 4th Infantry Division, but while typing in the AG office discovered my application for OCS and put it on top.  Two weeks late got orders for school.

 Arrived at Fort Knox, Kentucky and attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned an Armor 2nd lieutenant.  Assigned to 1/8th Cav and then off to Rotarywing Flight School.

Spent over 4 months in Ft Wolters, Texas and then off to the final portion at Hunter Army Airfield, Savanah, Georgia.  Did not like flying much and struggled alot.  Wanted to quit, but knew I would face my Father and he would never believe "I just can't fly."  After completing Flight School stayed behind and attended AH-1G Cobra training and became a gun pilot.  Next stop the sunny tropics---Viet Nam.  Pleiku to be exact-- D Troop, 1/10th Cav.  Left for RVN on December 25, 1968 and arrived 26 December 1968 at Cam Ranh Bay.

In going and out going Commanders Party.  Bottom left is "Wild Bill Schwietzer", a true Commander and a man that left a real impact on me.  He was on his third tour, but an Infantry Officer who later got smart and transferred to Armor.  We servred together later in my career.  Frank Bowen is inthe top middle.  Bottom left is Dick Gray the troop Maintenance, only he will remember how he saved me and my career!

As a young LT flying the front seat with some of the finest gunnies and soldiers I ever met.  Cpt Steve Hovis waves from behind.  Others not shown were  Shamrock 25-Paul Horton, Shamrock22-Dave Kyle, Jimmy Owens,  Shamrock 28 Ed "Shakey" Shanahan, Joel Barbalock, JD Lahman, Greg Sedgwick, and Paul's roommate Mr Weber.  There were others, but none like these guys.  I sat on Paul and Jimmy's Officer selection board as they sought to become LT's.  Jimmy and Paul got commissioned and yes I twisted arms to help.  I never told them.  Jimmy "the Mouse" with his handlebar was KIA.  Shakey, my mentor, let me have his call sign.  He died a year later in a accident at Hunter teaching a student to fly.  He always said he would live through VN and go home and get killed by a student.  Steve Hovis later, about 15 years later, came to my Unit and became my OH-58 instructer.

We had some of the newest yet oldest Cobra's.  Our favorite was the Calico Cat  #263.  We were not the only unit in RVN to have the Teeth, but they did look good.

This was our patch.  D Troop, 1/10th Cav, Gun Platoon

Came home Dec 25th, 1969 and went to Ft Bragg, North Carolina and Commanded a Basic Training Company.  This NCO, SFC Thomas and my first 1SG Gilliard took care of me as I had only been in Basic three years prior.

The Company guidon and the first streamer the Company won in the first 8 weeks of my Command.

Promoted to Captain and after Command off to Fort Knox and the Advanced Officer Course for 9 months.  Then off to Viet Nam again.  Made it back to Pleiku, but instead of Camp Enari and the 4th Division, I landed with B Troop, 7/17th Cav, 1st Avn Brigade.  I arrived in January 1972.

My roomie, Operations Officer, Gun Pilot and friend was Ralph Artilgiere.  A fine West Point Captain.  This is his family.  He jumped out of the Army a couple of years later went to law school and currently has residence in Florida.

To Fort Rucker and command of the 62nd WOC Company.  Took command from my 2nd tour frien Cpt David "Charlie" Elliott from  Monroe. Louisiana where his folk still live.  Alot of parties and social events.  Actually one, two or three a week in different uniforms.  Met Col Carl McNair (later MG McNair a pioneer of the return of the Aviation Branch) and MG Bill Maddox, Commander of the Aviation Center.

My good friend and soldier, MSG Don Kroeger, OPS SGT form South Dakota.  His parents took our family in during a subsequent tour in the Recruiting Command.

My XO and his wife.  John and Phyllis Popivich.  Later I had the honor of swearing his son in as a warrant officer.

My mentor, MG Bill Maddox.  He left command and 10 years later I met him in an airport in southern Thailand.  Replaced by my former 17th Gp Commander who tried to end my career for wearing a CAV hat in the O Club.  He lef and MG Carl McNair took command.  Of all the commanders I had, no one took care of me by teaching, correcting and directing me as an officer.  He told me if I ever needed anything to call.  I did in fact call him and he sent me his aid Cpt Robert "Lyn" Boylston.  Lyn was the finest officer, personally and professionally,that ever served with me.  He was a great XO and went on to serve in a fine fashion.

Graduation Day at the WOC Company.  Debbie's talent.

The Young Commander of the 62nd WOC Company,  1976.

My 1SG Bob and Nancy Black.  A real soldier!

My close friends, CPT Lee Yonkers, MaryAnn McGory, me, Karen Yonkers, CPT Jim McGory and Debbie

A trip to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the Recruiting Command.  Promotion day to Major.  LTC MCDonald and Debbie--1978.

My govt furnished car and my kindergarten son who got in trouble for beating up all the 6th graders in the school.

Back to Fort Rucker.  Our good friends and neighbors.  Dr(MAJ) Peter Goodenough, Nancy, Abbey, Peter and Katie.

To Hawaii as Commander of D Company, 25th Combat Aviation Battalion.  My last real assignment with another fine Commander, Col Ken Chien.  Another soldier that took care of me--the best.  Lyn Boylston as my XO, MSG Tom Blair, his wife, Spc6 Carol who never made me get shots before going over seas and my 1Sg Clancy Holokai(now retired SGM).  What a tour!   G3 and Team Spirit!  Cobra Gold!

Twenty years and  I still didn't name everyone or every place.  The memories are strong.  It was a great ride from infantry, to tanker, to OH-23, UH-1, AH-1G, OH-6, to OH-58!  From Shamrock 28 to Hawk Lead to Bandit 6-----1966 to 1986----PVT to PV2 to PFC to SGT to 2Lt to 1Lt to CPT to MAJ to retiree!!!!!