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  Update Membership | Ranger Rings | News Letter: Third Quarter 2017


Tom Sagan | Dennis Clevenger  | Greg Kowalczyk | Joe  "Smitty" Smith

Joe Smith

Joe Smith is gone.  He passed away on July 22.  And it seemed to me that I could not let this go by without saying something about him. 

Joe was one of the founders of our unit – one of the 5 guys in the unit when I arrived in December, 66.  I always considered him “LRRP No. 1.”  Joe was many things to the unit.  He was Recondo School Graduate #0139.  He was, of course, an instructor for those of us who had not yet attended Recondo School.  He was during those first months of the 196th LRRP’s existence, in my opinion anyway, the heart and soul of the unit.  It goes without saying that during those early days there was a loose edge to discipline during stand downs.  That did not bother Joe, but he did instill in us tactical and team discipline, as well as a great sense of esprit.  He was the consummate team leader.  In some ways, there was an almost mythical side to him.  The fact that the unit was deemed successful was due in part to Joe’s quiet yet determined leadership.  He was most certainly a mentor to me. 

When I left the service, I lost track of Joe.  I figured that maybe he returned to SF.  Later, when I found out that there was an association encompassing the LRRPs of the 196th, I made an effort to find my LRRP teammates from the formative era.  But finding someone named Joe Smith, even with the internet, was no easy task.  I had little to go on, not much in the way of documentation; no photos.  But we did find him.  When he was finally located, he gladly joined us at a couple of our reunions.  He was the same Joe.

When his daughter sent me an email to let me know that he passed, I was stunned.  I always assumed that he was blessed with an air of immortality – and would be the last of us to go.  Apparently, he was getting ready to go for a motorcycle ride with some of his vet buddies when he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital where he died.  And he was gone.  Just like that.

As we grow older, we begin to assess our lives and look back on the people who have had influence on us.  Joe was one who influenced my life.  He was a hero of mine. 

Bye Joe!  Thanks for everything!



Reunion 2017 -  Buffalo, New York          


The 2017 Reunion dates are Thursday, September 21st with a checkout date on Sunday, September 24th. The rate is $109 per night plus tax ($13.75). For those that want an extended stay you can get the special rate 2 days prior or after our reunion.

The reunion will be at the Marriott Airport Fairfield Inn with free airport shuttle and a hot breakfast and free parking. The phone for booking is 1-716-633-2488. The address is 4271 Genesee Street, Cheektowaga, NY, 14225. More to follow next issue. Rod Congdon


Airport Fairfield Inn Link

Wednesday, September 20:

Early Check in Hospitality Room opens from 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM On your own for the evening

Thursday, September 21:

Official start of our reunion Hospitality room open from 12:00 Noon until 11:30 PM Host & Hostess Pizza and Wings party- 6:00 PM in Hospitality Room

Friday, September 22:

Board Meeting- 9:00 AM Hospitality Room General Membership Meeting- 10:00 AM Hospitality Room Hospitality Room open from 12:00 Noon until 11:30 PM On your own for supper For those interested, Cook out at the Hospitality Room 5:30 PM until 7:00 PM, $5 per person Music in the Hospitality Room 8:00 PM- 11:00 PM by an all veteran local band

Saturday, September 23:

Memorial Service Rendezvous – Parking Lot- 9:00 AM Drive to Buffalo Naval and Servicemen’s Park 9:15 AM Memorial at Naval and Servicemen’s Park 10:00 AM Time allowed for tour of the Park and Canal Side if desired Return to hotel at 12:00 Noon Hospitality Room open 1:00 PM until 12:00 Midnight Banquet in Hospitality Room at 6:00 PM Auction in Hospitality Room at 8:00 PM (This pays for our reunion cost; please bring something to auction and your banker)

Sunday, September 24:

Check out and farewells

This Huey was in Nam. Couldn’t have been used by us on any of our missions; no bullet holes! This and other displays will be available to see at the Buffalo Naval and Servicemen’s Park where we will have our Memorial Service

Above the USS Boston submarine sail is on display at the park. Below is the USS Little Rock to be captained by Jacks!


Our 50th year anniversary challenge coins arrived earlier than expected.  To place an order for these new coins, email Concessions Manager Dave (Chief) Moncada or send your order through the mail.  Coins are $30.00 plus $5.00 shipping and handling each ($35), and will be mailed in a protective plastic cover.  Coins are $30.00 each at the reunion. Make checks payable to the G 75th Ranger Association and send to Dave Moncada, 4356 Virgusell Circle, Carmichael, CA 95608. 

Rangers Lead the Way!

U.S. Army Rangers Creed

Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and "esprit de corps" of the Ranger Regiment.

Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move farther, faster and fight harder than any other soldier.

Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be. One hundred percent and then some.

Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, my neatness of dress and care for equipment shall set the example for others to follow.

Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.

Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission, though I be the lone survivor.

Rangers Lead The Way!

"Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying who shall I send, and who will go for us?

Then said I, here am I, send me."

Isaiah 6:8



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Richard "Red" Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance