Photos were taken by Bill Schoettmer of the Indiana National Guard at the 117th Indianapolis Reunion, June 2004.

Al Bennett presented these Rangers with 117th Warlord patches and 117th coasters.

 

Photos are thumbnails, click to enlarge.

From left to right, Al Bennett, Chuck Wallace, Chuck Eads, Bill Schoettmer, and Phil Cravens.

 

L-R: Chuck Wallace, Chuck Eads, Bill Schoettmer, Phil Cravens 

 

   

The following photos taken by Al Bennett at the Indianapolis Reunion 2004

 

     

Chuck Wallace's daughter did the back of his shirt

Our Girl Annie !

Annie Nose Art Artist

Josh Aaron

 

1st Flt Plt

 

D Co-Larry Rhodes - Ken Haywood/117th AHC

     
 

 
     

Zita dancing

 

 

ATLANTA  2003

The following letter was faxed from the D Co Rangers to the 117th AHC Reunion in Atlanta, 2003:

 

A Message to the Annie Fannie Crews from Company D (Ranger) 151st Infantry:

What could we possibly say? All of us are here, because you were there. You were there to take us to work - in our line of work, that was a less than bearable task. You made it fun, though. Some us remember seeing the Bong Song river while looking UP on the way to work. You were there in the commo shack listening intently for the slightest sign of trouble to befall a team. And you would run to help when all hell would break loose. You were there when it was time to come home from work - Whether it was calm or whether there was lead flying, and guys dying - you were there.

You never left us - not once. Any one of us that was ever on a hot extraction LZ owes their life to you and your crews. Hell, we ALL do. We have tried to describe the tenuous relief felt when those titties would come over the tree line. The relief being tenuous because we still had to get to the bird, and the bird had to get in the sky. But once we were safe in the Annie Fanny bosom and a thousand feet up - well that is a feeling that just can't be described to anyone, not even ourselves. Some have been known to claim it is better than sex - not sure where they're gettin' it, but that is the claim. Some say the two biggest egos in the Army are Rangers and Pilots. That's because we have the biggest balls (yours being slightly bigger). We would go into a dangerous area once for five days. You guys would fly into dangerous places TWICE in the same mission! Your balls have to be bigger than your brain to do that.

We lost one pilot, Iron Mike Reitz and his crew, John Klingen, Reginald Begnoche, and Richard Stanley, along with two of our Rangers and a Forward Observer during our tour. We honor "Iron Mike" and his crew at our memorial services. Iron Mike, John Klingen, Reggie Benoche and Richard Stanley pulled our bacon out of many tight spots. They will never be forgotten.

I think the thing that we regret the most, is that we never really knew you. Because we never got to know you, we never really got to convey how much you were appreciated by us. You were our lifeline, yet we had no idea where you were from, or your favorite food, or color. What you wanted to do if you got home. We didn't even know what you looked like. You all looked alike, nifty flight suits, big helmets, big goggles. A name printed on your helmet, maybe something painted on it. We never got to take the time to thank the pilots for flying into hot LZs, the whole crew for agreeing to do it, the door gunner for suppressing fire so we could make it to the chopper (and once in a while going to pick up a casualty off of the LZ), the crew chief for covering both his job of ensuring the bird was safe and maintained, and door gunning on the side, while helping each of us onto the craft, and making sure EVERYONE was aboard before allowing the pilot to leave.

Oh yeah, and loaning the bird to the pilot so you all could come fetch us out of hell. Yes, we are here, because you were ALWAYS there. Now you all are here, in our hearts. "Thank You" from the bottom of them.