CIB Badge

Of all the Medals Upon our Chest From the Battles and War we knew, The one admired as THE VERY BEST
Is the one of Infantry Blue. It is only a rifle upon a wreath,
So why should it mean so much?
That gives it that Magic Touch. To earn this special accolade
You faced the enemy's fire
Whether you survived or not
God dialed that one desired.
For those of us who served the cause
It is the

CIB Badge

Posts Tagged ‘combat’

35- Update- Upcoming Events and summary of 12Sept2009 meeting

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

In this episode of the H21 Austin, Texas, Southern Chapter Combat Infantrymen’s Association, podcast, we give you an update of the upcoming events for the rest of 2009, as well as a summary of the meeting held on 12 September 2009.

CIB Association

We wish to welcome our newest member, Kevin Scharmen, who is a SouthWest Asia CIB recipient and still in the Army. He is the liaison with the 82nd Airborne Division Association Wounded Warrior Program at Ft. Sam Houston and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Welcome, Kevin!

In this audio episode, we go at great lengths to detail each of the line items in the agenda of the meeting held on 12 September 2009 at the VFW Post 8787 meeting room in Austin, Texas.

For a look at the pdf file of the 1-page agenda, click here:  Agenda-meeting 12Sept 2009.

You can look at the items we discussed and then hear the details of the items in the podcast audio episode.

Paramount among the topics were:

1.  The POW/MIA ceremony participation on 18 September 2009 in downtown Austin. For details, contact Tony Martinez (cell number 512 228 7045).

2. If anyone wants to go to the Branson, Missouri, National Convention and reunion, the chapter will reimburse $75 for the attendance fee. Please contact Tony Martinez, Financial Officer of the chapter. More details about the National Convention and Reunion in Branson are on page 1 and pages 14-17 of the Blue Badge quarterly newsletter from National.

Blue Badge about Branson

3. Upcoming meetings:

– October 24, 2009– scheduled joint meeting, hosted by the 82nd Airborne Division Association in San Antonio. More information on this in the next podcast episode, as well as the mailing of the newsletter.

– November 11, 2009– Meet at 7:30 a.m. on the Congress Ave. bridge between 1st Street and Riverside Drive, for participation in the Austin Veterans’ Day Parade and ceremony. Members should be in CIB Association uniform.

– Dec. 5 or 12, 2009– Austin chapter will host a family holiday social event and pot-luck gathering. More details to be provided later.

– 9 January 2010– The chapter will have its monthly meeting in San Antonio, Texas. More details on this later.

– 6 February 2010– The chapter will have its monthly meeting in the Fort Hood, Texas, area (e.g., Killeen or Harker Heights or Copperas Cove, etc.). More details on this later.

– The March and April meetings will resume in Austin, Texas. One of these months will have the chapter host the joint meeting with the 82nd Airborne Division Association at VFW Post 8787.

For more details on other items, please feel free to listen to the 22-minute audio podcast.

Copyright (c) 2009, Matrix Solutions Corporation and the Combat Infantrymen’s Association. All Rights Reserved.

33- Seeking ways to help Combat Veterans with Experiential Treatment

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

In this episode of the Southern Branch, H21, Austin Chapter, of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we bring you an excerpt from an interview that we had with Gayle Temkin, who has over 30 years experience in treatment of physical and cognitive issues.

In this informal discussion, Gayle seeks for ways to help the Combat Veteran with experiential treatment–either by trying to get a funding grant that would support the combat veteran audience, or by recommending to organizations (such as the VA) the type of treatments needed for veterans still suffering from the aftermath of combat.

From this audio episode, it is interesting to note that many people — even the professionals who provide healing treatment for others — have a difficult time in trying to understand the plight, the suffering, the symptoms and the actual episodes that the veterans suffer. The textbook-type treatments have proven somewhat ineffective when dealing with actual Vietnam Combat Veterans.

How true is that addage: “if you haven’t been in combat, then you can’t be expected to really understand.”

Gayle’s practice has given her a wealth of experience from which to draw, and her recommendations are such that the VA should note.

In addition to her therapy practice for over 30 years, she is also trying to advance her Coalition for Emotional Literacy.

Coalition for Emotional Literacy web site

However, unless the formal organizations receive either grant funding from this administration; or unless the VA seeks to really help the Vietnam Veterans (and not just “set them aside” because they have to make room for those returning from SouthWest Asia during this present conflict), then these types of treatment alteranatives that can really help veterans may fall on deaf ears.

However, it is great to realize that there are those individuals who really do care about the appropriate treatment that should be given to the veterans who are suffering from PTSD and other symptoms, so that they can have a chance to improve their constant adjustment to the “World” upon their return from their tours of combat or improve their quality of life after suffering for over 30 to 40 years.

Copyright (c) 2009, Matrix Solutions Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

31- Liberty Bell mobile replica honors those who fell in combat- David Hall

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

In this episode of the H21 Southern Branch, Austin, Texas chapter of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we interview David Hall, a volunteer who drives the country’s only mobile replica of the Liberty Bell that is currently housed in Philadelphia.

Mobile Liberty Bell

David Hall was at the unveiling and dedication ceremony of the permanent replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Mineral Wells, Texas, on 30 May 2009. He preceded the ceremony of the unveiling by giving the entire crowd and audience a solemn and serious remembrance when he rang the bell 70 times.

As you will hear in this audio episode, David rang the bell 70 times–one time for each panel of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, where the 58,260 names of those killed in combat are engraved. We have also included a sample of the bell ringing  seven (7) times, with the special significance as explained by David himself in this podcast episode.

In addition to the bell, the mobile exhibit includes a stone monument replica on either end of the Liberty Bell of the Ten Commandments. David explains why this is significant in honoring those who fell to save our laws and country.

The website for this mobile monument is and it gives us not only the pictures of the Travelling Bell, but also:

– a History of the original Liberty Bell of the 1750’s;

– a History of this mobile Liberty Bell; and

– a chance for you to ring the bell yourself online– by just moving your mouse over the icon of the bell and clicking it.

Mobile Liberty Bell web site

We would like to thank David Hall for his patriotism and dedication to honor all those who had to make the ultimate sacrifice to defend the laws of the U.S. It is interesting and fitting to note that David’s brother is a Vietnam Veteran, and that he, himself, is of the Vietnam era.

Copyright (c) 2009, Matrix Solutions Corporation. All Rights reserved.

30- Author Joe Galloway and the CIB at the Vietnam War Museum

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Over 58,260 names are engraved on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. However, they are NOT just in Washington, D.C. or in the Moving and travelling WALLS that go from location-to-location in the US. Those names rest PERMANENTLY in an exact replica of the original Vietnam Veterans Memorial WALL found in Washington, D.C.

This replica is located in Mineral Wells, Texas, at the National Vietnam War Musuem gardens. And on Saturday, 30 May 2009, the dedication ceremony and the unveiling of the Memorial Wall took place.

Program cover for Unveiling event

The highlights of the event saw the following:

– A real, live UH-1 Huey Vietnam-era (“slick”) helicopter arrived, landed, and then took off with several passengers from the audience. It made several take-offs and landings after the ceremony–one of which you will hear during the interview in this audio episode.

Dana Bowman, parachute onto the grounds after skydiving from his jump from a helicopter. What is amazing is that Dana–a prior Special Forces Soldier and a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, as well as member of the U.S. Army’s elite GOLDEN KNIGHTS parachute team–lost both of his legs in a mid-air collision in 1994. However, with the artificial limbs, he still hit the target drop zone near the audience to begin the ceremony.

– The guest speaker was Joe Galloway, the author of the book, We Were Soldiers Once…and Young. Ia Drang–the Battle that Changed the War in Vietnam. This book later became a motion picture of the same title, starring Mel Gibson in 2002:

We Were Soldiers-book and movie

As you will hear in this audio podcast, we did get a chance to interview Joe Galloway after the ceremony.

– The ringing of the travelling and mobile Liberty Bell replica–a fitting mobile memorial dedicated to all those soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that have fallen in the line of duty.

– And finally, the unveiling of the replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, with all 58,260 names engraved.  This Wall is in the location of what is called the “Museum Gardens,” as the landscaping will add to the honor and respect for this solemn memorial.

Image of the memorial WALL now complete

After the ceremony, we had a chance to speak with Joe Galloway and get his perspectives of the dedication of this monument. Amidst the background sounds of the “chop-chop” turning of the Huey’s rotor blades (a sound you will NEVER forget), Joe explains to us in this audio interview how much he honors the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and what an honor it is to have earned it.

Now, although Joe was a civilian and correspondent during the Vietnam War, he is the ONLY civilian to have been awarded the Bronze Star, with “V” for VALOR, for what he did during the battle of Ia Drang in saving a soldier’s life. But you will hear him, as he states that the medal he most wishes that he could have is the CIB.

Joe Galloway after the ceremony

Joe is a noted author, now with the follow-on book, We Were Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam. He is also a public speaker at major events, as well as a supporter of the troops. His support and fervor agrees with the motto portrayed by the association of the Vietnam Veterans of America: “Never again shall one generation of Veterans abandon another.”

Our tribute to Mr. Galloway is to proclaim Joe’s mantra: “Hate War…but love the warrior.”

Thank you, Joe, for your service and for your support of the combat infantrymen–especially to those who have fallen.

Copyright (c) 2009, Matrix Solutions Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

27- From a Combat Parachute Jump in Panama to Iraq – Duane Williams

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

In this episode of the H21 Southern Branch, Austin, Texas, Chapter of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we have an extended interview with a veteran who earned his CIB in one campaign, but then served in another campaign in the following year halfway around the world.

For Duane Williams, earning a CIB as an Airborne Infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division meant that he went into harm’s way during the night parachute jump under fire in Panama. And just 8 months later, he found himself in the Middle East on the Kuwaiti border with Saudi Arabia. He was one of the 82nd Airborne Division troopers who helped to “draw a line in the Sand” and not allow the invasion of the Iraqi army into Arabia.

Duane Williams

The interview is a bit longer than others, but it is because we explore Duane Williams’s pariticipation in both campaigns–

– Operation Just Cause (airborne assault into Panama); and

– Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm (assault on Iraq to push the forces of Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait).

For the 8 years that Duane spent with the 82nd Airborne Division as a squad leader and airborne infantryman, the real moment of pride, honor, remembrance for those who were KIA or wounded, and accomplishment came with the award of the Combat Infantryman’s Badge after the operation in Panama.

27- The assault on Panama - Just Cause

In this audio episode, you will experience the preparedness that Duane Williams felt as he got ready for the deployment. You will feel the fear that went through his mind–just as it has for every combat infantryman–and you will rejoice in the elation of the pride, honor, strength and self-confidence that Duane had after he returned from his mission.

Parachute jump

But Duane also goes into detail about his participation in the deserts of Kuwait and Iraq as the 82nd Airborne Division pitted itself agains the 4th largest army in the world at that time–Hussein’s Iraqi armored forces. The “Line in the Sand” that was drawn by the first troops to deploy to Arabia–the 82nd Airborne Division–meant that not one inch of ground would be given up while the rest of the Allied forces arrived by air-landing. This meant the rest of the 82nd Airborne Division, the 101st Airmobile Division, the rest of the Army and the Marines, etc.

As you will listen to Duane recount the story of the assault on Panama, you will realize that this was the last combat parachute jump — and airborne assault– in which the 82nd Airborne Division participated. Duane’s pride and courage are also reflected by the gold star that he wears on the canopy of his parachutist jump wings, which signifies that he participated in a combat parachute jump.

We thank Duane for his service and for being such a great role model today (as a law enforcement officer) for young troopers everywhere that earn their CIB in the campaigns today.

Copyright (c) 2009, Matrix Solutions Corporation. All Rights reserved.

23- The Battle for Grenada- The Army Reborn

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

In this episode of the H21 Southern Chapter, Austin-based Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we narrate for you the article that appeared in the 2009 Winter Edition of The Salute Newsletter (one that goes out to all Army veterans, regardless of MOS, campaign or service). This article deals with the multi-branch effort of the 1983 invasion and capture of Grenada, in which the Army played a vital role–especially with the Delta Force, the Rangers and the 82nd Airborne Division.

For the pdf document of that article, click here: PDF file of the article, THE BATTLE FOR GRENADA- The Army Reborn

Army choppers in Grenada

In what is commonly referred to as a “brushfire action” (very similar to what military historians refer to, as well, for the Panama invasion, known as “Operation Just Cause”), the operation in Grenada was the beginning of the steppingstones that would lead to better inter-operation and cooperation of the branches of the military to accomplish the overall mission from the Unites States high command–in this case, the President of the United States at that time, Ronald Reagan.

82nd Airborne Division troopers mix with students

The Southern Branch Chapter, H20, of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association has contacted an individual who served as an infantryman during Operation Urgent Fury. We hope to have an interview with this CIB award-winner in the near future in another episode.

A salute to all the men who took part in the operation and put the US Army, and the rest of the military, back on the path to effectiveness–which would later pay off in big dividends during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.

Copyright (c) 2009, Matrix Solutions Corporation, The Salute, and The United States PsyOp web page for the Grenada campaign. All Rights Reserved.

22- Combat Camaraderie- what it means to a Combat Infantryman

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

In this audio podcast episode of the Southern Chapter in Austin, Texas- H21, of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we deliver some thoughts on the theme of Combat Camaraderie.

Combat Camaraderie

We also try to address these common questions that are being asked now by some of the combat infantrymen who are returning from their tours of duty in the Middle East:

– what is this type of enduring and internal bond between comrades who are combat infantrymen?

– how is this bond created, and how does it last during combat–and even afterwards–for the combat infantryman?

– why is this something that the school-trained counselors at the VA cannot totally comprehend nor understand?

– what are some of the examples of this type of camaraderie that has existed in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Desert Storm and the current conflicts in the Middle East?

Take it from one individual’s experiences in how this type of camaraderie saved his life and kept him going–solely to go above self and put the lives of his men before his own during the combat. Also, you will see in this audio podcast how this type of bond still endures to help those Vietnam Veterans that are being treated for mental health issues (like PTSD) because their trust, understanding and non-judgmental empathy is the real treatment that provides the healing and possible closure.

Copyright (c) 2008, Matrix Solutions Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

17- CIB Austin meets 82nd Airborne Paratrooopers

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

In this episode of the Southern Branch H21, Austin Chapter, of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association podcast series, we focus on several events for the CIB Austin chapter.

(1) The chapter meeting on 2 August 2008:

In this meeting, we had a full Agenda. You can get to view what it was by clicking here: PDF- Agenda

(and how the items discussed are described in the audio mp3 file of this episode).

(2) During the meeting, it was approved by a vote of the members to schedule a trip to San Antonio to attend a meeting of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, Alamo Chapter: 82nd Abn Div Association patch

We wanted to present both a certificate of appreciation, but also a complementary membership, to Darrell G Harris, author of the book Casablanca to VE-Day: A Paratrooper’s Memoirs.

[Note: you can get a full interview of this paratrooper’s history in episode 12 of this podcast series]

(3) The 82nd Airborne Division Association Meeting on 27 August 2008:

– We presented the Certificate of Appreciation to Darell G. Harris – click here to view the certificate: PDF for certificate;

Bobby Briscoe presented a free membership to D. G. Harris to the Combat Infantrymen’s Association;

Bobby Briscoe then presented a signed copy of his book, Jungle Warriors, to D. G. Harris (my apologies for not having a steady hand while taking the photo);

Bobby Briscoe presents DG Harris with a copy of Jungle Warriors

D. G. Harris also presented signed copies of his own book, Casablanca to VE-Day, to the members of the CIB Association, Austin Chapter.

– Attending the meeting were: Bobby Briscoe, Tony Martinez, John Torres and Fred Castaneda;

– The members talked to those paratroopers with CIBs and encouraged them to join our association. Below, Fred Castaneda and DG Harris (note- Fred is a member of BOTH the CIB Austin and 82nd Airborne Association, since Fred served 2 tours with the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) and the 505th PIR, and like Darrell, has both jump wings and a CIB badge);

DG Harris and Fred Castaneda at the 82nd Abn Div Assoc meeting

– We met Don W. Bailey, a future interviewee, as he received his CIB for the combat that he saw in Grenada in 1983; and

– We agreed to have a joint meeting for both the 82nd Airborne Division Association, Alamo Chapter, and the CIB Association in Austin in the first half of 2009 at the VFW 8787 location, so that the camaraderie between these 2 groups can continue and grow.

(4) If you are interested in acquiring the audio version of the books described in this podcast, here are the links for the audio version (note: the hardcopy versions are almost depleted):

Casablanca to VE-Day: A Paratrooper’s Memoirs by Darell G. Harris;

Casablanca to VE-Day- A Paratrooper's Memoirs

Jungle Warriors by Bobby Briscoe.

Jungle Warriors

Copyright (c) 2008, Matrix Solutions Corporation and Combat Infantrymen’s Association. All Rights Reserved.

15- Tony Martinez- Vietnam CIB Vet who avoided near tragedy

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

In this episode of the Austin, Texas, Chapter – H21 Southern Branch of the Combat Infantryment’s Association podcast series, we continue the interviews with CIB veterans from all the wars and campaigns since World War II. Here, we interview a combat infantryman during the Vietnam War who served as a member of a six-man SRRP (Short-Range Reconnaissance Patrol)  team with the 11th Light Infantry Brigade of  23rd Infantry Division-Americal.

Tony Martinez was only 19 years old when he was in Vietnam. In a candid moment, he was captured in a photo by his buddy as Tony was ready to guide in the resupply helicopter during a mission, and he was ready to “pop-smoke.”

Tony Martinez on the LZ in Vietnam

As you will hear in this podcast audio episode, Tony returned to an ungrateful American public that rejected the Vietnam Combat Infantryman.

After withdrawing from everyone and everything and being what he called a “vagabond,” Tony was saved from near tragedy by the patience, understanding and dedication of his beloved wife (to whom he is still married after 35 years). It is important to note that she did not harass Tony with the same expressions as most wives did to returning Vietnam vets suffering from PTSD and other disorders:  “Get over it” or “the war’s over” or “what’s wrong with you?” or “you’re crazy,” etc. Instead, she helped him through his adversities and helped to guide Tony to set his foot on a road to success — after 38 years of struggling with the post-Vietnam “demons.”

Tony reached a milestone recently by attending a reunion of his combat outfit and seeing his company after all these years at this event.

Tony Martinez today at his combat unit's Reunion

What is interesting is Tony’s perspective of the wonderful help offered to him by the Mental Health clinic of the VA today–but also, the overburdened system that does not offer the right treatment in other departments.

Tony now sees his direction as a “giving back” to the returning CIB veterans from their Middle East tours-of-duty, so he can (in his own way) ensure that they do not suffer for 35 years the plight of the “Vietnam Veteran Syndrome” of anguish, suffering and misery due to the neglect and rejection of the American public.

As Tony says in his departing words, “Welcome Home, guys. . .We love you, and we’re here for you.”

Copyright (c) 2008, Matrix Solutions Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

14- Combat Infantrymen from Vietnam- plagued by PTSD triggers

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

In this episode of the H21 Austin, Texas, Chapter of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we share with you the complete and unabridged article about the current problems of the resurrection of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms for the Vietnam Veterans– especially for the combat infantrymen. Thanks to the VFW Magazine for their article in the November, 2007, issue.

'Ghosts and Demons'-Vietnam Vets Coping with PTSD

As you will see when you investigate this article, even some of the officers of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) organization are still haunted by the symptoms of PTSD, especially with the triggers caused by today’s environment, as well as the time they have on their hands as they retire.

However, as you will see, the VA does have recognition of the problem and treatment available for Vietnam Veterans. And for the Combat Infantrymen who earned their CIB (Combat Infantryman’s Badge) during this conflict, that badge is recognized as a “stressor” in the qualification and administrative requirements section for getting into the VA system for assistance.

Copyright (c) 2008, Matrix Solutions Corporation. Copyright (c) 2007, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and VFW Magazine. All Rights Reserved.