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"As soon as I make sure everyone else is out".

Back when the movie "We Were Soldiers" came out, I was working at the National Simulation Center at Fort Leavenworth.  My government boss, Joe Henry, was the son of an officer who had fought at LZ Albany (the other fight that was occurring at the same time and area, but is not the focus of the movie, that was LZ X-Ray). 

Given his obvious interest in the story, Joe arranged for the local theater to have an early, unadvertised showing, and he took the directorate, contractors and government, to go see the movie.  Before we went, we had lunch and a coincident  "professional development" session, in which the office history geek (someone you might know) did a presentation on the battle at the Ia Drang.

Joe's contribution, aside from the afternoon off from the mundane, was singular.

He had a cassette tape.  A cassette tape of the officer survivors of the Battle of  Ia Drang.  And it was Rick Rescorla, with his distinctive voice, leading the singing.  Rescorla was a member of 2/7 Cav, Joe's father's unit.  Rick found himself fighting in both fights, because he was commanding the scouts of 2/7.

Of course, most of us know Rick Rescorla for a completely different reason.

He's the fellow who was Chief of Security for Morgan Stanley at the World Trade Center.  The man who told the Port Authority as early as 1992 about the terrorism risks to the WTC.  And when he was proved right by the parking garage bombing - Rescorla had a plan that got most of Morgan Stanley's people out of the buildings and to safety.

As his Wikipedia entry notes:


Rescorla, following his evacuation plans, ignored building officials' advice to stay put and began the orderly evacuation of Morgan Stanley's 2,700 employees on twenty floors of World Trade Center Tower 2, and 1,000 employees in WTC 5. Rescorla reminded everyone to " proud to be an American ...everyone will be talking about you tomorrow", and sang God Bless America and other military and Cornish songs over his bullhorn to help evacuees stay calm as they left the building.

And what was he singing - altered lyrics to one of my favorite pieces of music, "Men of Harlech."

Men of Cornwall stop your dreaming;
Can't you see their spearpoints gleaming?
See their warriors' pennants streaming
To this battlefield.
Men of Cornwall stand ye steady;
It cannot be ever said ye
for the battle were not ready;
Stand and never yield!

Rick Rescorla leads the singing on alternate Thursdays at Fiddler's Green.  I can attest, however, from listening to that tape of warriors singing off their dead, his voice isn't quite as good as the Band of the Royal Regiment of Wales, who are doing the singing in the link.

But there's lots of enthusiasm.

Wikipedia entry on the Battle of Ia Drang
.  This battle still having living participants, and being of interest to the government of Vietnam, the wikipedia entry on casualties is interesting.  The US claimed circa 1500 Vietnamese casualties; the government of Vietnam acknowledges on the order of 200.  But I would note that when Hal Moore (commander of 1/7 Cav at LZ X-ray) went back to revisit the battle site a few years ago there was one place he and Sergeant Major Plumley were specifically *not* allowed to visit.  The Vietnamese military graveyard. 


As a short aisde to the main point of your post, John:  I've mentioned before that my wife's uncle was a 2Lt in B Co., 1/7 at Ia Drang.  His picture (and many other interesting ones) can be found here:

For those who are students of the event, he and others can also be wached/listened to telling their stories here:

Item Number: OH0473 (Record 331531)
Title:  Interview with George Jennings - November 11, 2005

It may be that Rescorla is in there somewhere too.

You forgot one item, John.  We went from the movie to Marfield's Irish Pub and hoisted a remembrance to comrades fallen.  We shall do that again - real soon - and talk about your dad meeting my dad and the no longer newbie - Gloria's dad.  Maker's Mark is on me!!  ML

 It was a fine day, a great historical talk, and the whiskey wasn't bad either.  Most of the tunes on the cassette were not fit for polite company in spite of Rescorla's fine Cornish baritone.  We will raise our glasses at Marfield's and sing of Willie McBride and others of his ilk who are now far and gone away.


 It was a fine day, a great historical talk, and the whiskey wasn't bad either.  Most of the tunes on the cassette were not fit for polite company in spite of Rescorla's fine Cornish baritone.  We will raise our glasses at Marfield's and sing of young Willie McBride and others of his ilk who are now far and gone away.

When I teach the Vietnam War in my U.S. History class, we watch "We Were Soldiers...".  It's rated "R", but what the hell, the kids are old enough.  There's historical problems with the film, but it gives a view of the war to my students that they don't get elsewhere on campus.

We won on the battlefield, but lost at home.  I rip the libs and show the Cambodian killing fields along with the panic of the Vietnamese boat people.  Our DemCong have much to answer for.
I know I just lurk around here, since I'm a military kid, not former military; but, MAJ it sounds like you're probably teaching HS kids, if that's the case, the proper CYA is to send home "permission slips", you're pretty much guaranteed that every parent will sign them, but if one doesn't it helps avoid those nasty things known as lawyers.
cfdxprt -- "Why ruin the beauty of a thing with legality?" -- Theodore Roosevelt
cfdxprt - just because we old pharts are pushy and opinionated doesn't mean you have to hang out in the rafters and only listen.

No active duty/retired id required.  Family member is fine, though, in fact, no id card is required at all.

Taxpayers got rights, too.  Though the political class sometimes forgets that.
John - Glad I'm appreciated around here!  For some background, my dad retired as a Maj, now handles VA benefits for one of the counties with the highest population densities of any in this country (if anyone has questions, offline I can ask him, he's been doing it for years), my g-paw #1 retired from the AF after having flown the last bombing mission over Japan (and yes we're trying to get him to document a little more what that involved - start to finish), and doing a whole lot more service.  My g-paw #2 was sent to the green with all that is involved when a CMSgt leaves this green.  There's a whole lot more I can explain, but won't right now, it goes back to before the revolution...

I lurk around a lot of blogs, mainly because I tell a computer to do something and I have 3-4 minutes to wait.  Might as well internet.  It's not time enough to formulate and document a coherent thought, but I can read others' coherent thoughts.  I guess what it boils down to is that I'm an ocsansional commenter everywhere, but I really only comment when I believe there is value there (except on ElBorak who through his blogroll introduced me to you, there sometimes I'll say things meant to be asinine, because I know [a little] and respect Bill, and sometimes it helps the soul to be snarky, not with the opinions of the blogger, but with what society is devolving to).

As for Id's, I just said that to try to introduce myself some.  I knew it was never required.  But, I find it weird that when I visit my parents and offer to go do something on the boat, one has to go along, I can't get on base.  Back in the day, the MPs just waived me through when I was on my bike, because they all knew me.  Now, when visiting, I can't make a run to the BX or the Com, without bringing one of the auld people along.   It's just a change for me, known,  but different.

All that said, I read this site probably 300 out of 365 days a year.  For the most part I think like everyone else here, and if I have disagreements they're minor.  The site provides a GREAT service for people who actually know a little more about how the world works to see news and opinions that most people don't know/care that it happened.

Maj - While I appreciate the quote from the lesser evil of the 2 Roosevelts, if you click through my link (works at least in the first post), by practice, I'm an engineer.  The best bet is to keep lawyers off your butt, if/when they get involved it's crap, and that was all that I was trying to communicate.

Sergeant Major Plumley and General Moore came and spoke to my class at the Basic Course at Ft Benning in 1994, just a few years after the book came out.  One of my buddies had been out late the night before and was nursing an enormous hangover.  He actually started to nod off during the presentation which included a slide-show of General Moore's pictures from the battle.  CSM Plumley came over and "personally" woke my buddy up and put him in the front leaning rest for the remainderof the presentation.  Knowing what I know now about the good CSM, my friend is probably lucky to be alive!