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D Company 1st Bn 8th Cav 1st Cav Division RVN 69 - 70



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Me in 1970

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Every soldier that was in Vietnam has a different view of that part of their life. The sights and sounds effected everyone in ways that sometimes cannot be told. I have talked to guys that were there that just don't like discussing details, others are more than willing to discuss their experiences. I guess the thing to remember is that everyone's time in Vietnam was personal. We were all very young and saw and did things that people back in the world just could not understand. We came home to a country that was opposed to what we were doing there and we just tried to "fit in" again. We all just wanted to get "normal" again. Some of us did, and some didn't. However ALL of us will never forget! As hard as we try, we never will forget! The details happened long ago and names and places escape us. This project has jogged my memory about a lot of things that took place. As you read through this site please remember all of us have different stories. Even the guys that I was with. Vietnam was a very large country, about the size of California. There were mountains, jungles, oceans, islands, swamps, marshes, grassy areas, rocky areas, weather that was hot and dry, then the other half of the year WET. Monsoons where it rained all day and all night. One thing I can say for sure was I never saw snow! As you read other stories about soldiers in Vietnam, remember one thing. The guy on our left and the guy on our right would have given their lives for us and we would have done the same for them. It was the only way we could survive. Perhaps this is reason Vietnam Vets have such strong feelings about their experience. This is the part that others can't seem to relate to. test

About this web site

In January of 2003 I rented the movie "We Were Soldiers" with Mel Gibson portraying Lt. Col Hal Moore of 1 battalion 7th Cavalry. During the movie I was remembering small details of my time in Vietnam one of which was flying on helicopters as was the normal method for movement by the 1st Cavalry Division. At that moment I could not remember which unit I was with so I started to research though my old army papers that I had kept all these years and found that I had worked with D company 1st Battalion 8th Cavalry 1st Cavalry Division. I began my search by "googling" 1st Cavalry Division on the internet. To my surprise I found a number of web sites devoted to different units that served with the "Cav" in Vietnam. However I didn't find anyone that had a web site for D 1/8. It was during this research that I found the "The Vietnam Project" that was prepared by Texas Tech University. After spending some time doing research on the information they had collected I stumbled across their collection of documents that were provided for the 1st Battalion 8th Cavalry. This collection consisted of a copy of the daily officers log for almost every day the 1st Cav was in Vietnam. Imagine finding the story of your life recorded on the internet! I was able to locate the records of my time in Vietnam including the report of my Medivac on June 3rd of 1970. I knew at that time that I needed to put information together to share with my family and figured I might as well share it with others also. This was the start of this web site. Since then I have been fortunate enough to have found others that served with our unit and with myself. The willingness of others to share their stories and photos (including audio) has added to the dimensions of the web site.

I hope the memories that we share are enjoyed.

Gordon Swenson RVN 69/70


"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived."

- General George S. Patton -


How To Create a Website


7-19-2013: John Butler forwarded a link to a website that some of you may be interested in: Honoring Vietnam veterans: Help us put a face on sacrifice Link

4-18-2013: If you are the recipient of a Purple Heart, you can enroll in the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor click here for more information: Link Thanks to Don "Ketch" Ketcham for the info

3-18-2013: Harold passed away on Saturday I will send a copy of his obituary when it comes out thanks to all who may have contacted him Thanks again Terry

2-30-2013: Click here for reunion information! Link

2-19-2014: Update from Terry Lawrence: Gordon, Terry Lawrence here, hope your doing well. Just visited our web site was really happy to see it still there. I wanted to let everybody know about Harold Hoopengarners condition, not sure if you remember him but he was there for almost all of 1970. thought maybe you could put a notice or something on web page. Harold has pulmonary vibrosis, its a daily struggle for him now, he's trying to get on the list for a lung transplant and has no idea when that will happen. Anyway I thought it might lift his spirits if he received a few cards or words of encouragement from some of his Vietnam brothers. Here's Harolds email address: If you would like more info contact Terry directly at his email:

Veterans day 2010

My youngest daughter and her family purchased a flag in my honor for the Murrieta, veterans day "Field of Honor" Over 2000 flags were on display. It was quite a sight!

Important Message from John Dennison (1st Cav Medic)

Memorial Day 2007. Received notice of the death of John Dennison.......

I have received some bad news last week and I wonder if you could read this message and forward it to any Vietnam Veteran that you may know or anyone you may think would benefit from reading the information. Here is the link:

Please help me get the message out.

John D. Dennison

Tribute to Don Ketcham

The following link will take you to a tribute that was done by a co-worker friend of Dons. It will require a high speed connection as it is quite a large file (15 mins viewing time). All content is produced and presented by Kurt Mitchell of Memories-n-Motion. Kurt is a 16 year Navy Vet who came 10 years after Vietnam.

Here's the link.

Special Thanks This web page was developed to record my time in Vietnam. I have always expressed that this was a time I would never wish to go through again... However it was a time I would NOT have wanted to miss. My extreme gratitude to all involved with this project!

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Names Upon The Wall

This is a poem written by John A. "Pappy" Loughran SGM US Army (Ret). D co 1st Bn. 8th Cav 1st Cav Div RVN Jun 66 / Jun 67.

John A. “Pappy” Loughran

18 January 1923 - 10 May 2008

Read more

Reunion Information JUMPING MUSTANG
Ocean City, MD
October 1st thru 5th, 2014

Click here for info

Ann-Margret and her gentlemen A true story story about a Viet Nam vet and Ann-Margret as told by the vet's wife. Read more

Don't let the sun go down without reading this about Martha Raye.

This is a great story about a great woman.... Read more

National Purple Heart Hall of Honor

If you are the recipient of a Purple Heart enroll now! Click here


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