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POSTED ON 6.15.2018
POSTED BY: Lucy Micik

Thank You

Dear Cpl Mark Dreier,
Thank you for your service as an Infantryman with the 1st Cavalry. Your 49th anniversary just passed, so sad. We remember all you who gave their all. It has been too long, and it's about time for us all to acknowledge the sacrifices of those like you who answered our nation's call. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 11.29.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear CPL Mark Steven Dreier, sir

As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

Curt Carter
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POSTED ON 11.8.2010
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We Remember

Mark is buried at Postville Cem, Postville,Clayton Co, IA. BSM-OLC AM PH
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POSTED ON 10.20.2001
POSTED BY: Neil F Dreier

"My Cousin, Mark" Son of Herbert & Frances Dreier

Mark was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal w/One Bronze Service Star, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Sharpshooter Badge w/rifle bar & the Marksman Badge w/automatic rifle bar. At a ceremony conducted Sat., Jan.24, 1970 at
Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo, Corporal Mark S. Dreier was
posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal (First Oak Leaf Cluster) w/"V" Device for heroism. He was also awarded the Air Medal & the Purple Heart. He reflected great credit upon himself & the U.S.Army
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POSTED ON 7.12.1999
POSTED BY: John Dennison

June 2, 1969

Mark Dreier was one of the seven men who died on June 2, 1969 after being left behind because of heavy enemy fire. The story below from my web site at 1st Cav Medic, relates my recollection of the events of that fateful time.

June 2, 1969
John D. Dennison

In May 1969, I was transferred from 229th Aviation Unit to HHC 1st Bn. 8th Cav. Upon arrival at the 8th Cav, I met a friend, named Preston Taylor. We had completed our Advanced Individual Training together at Fort Sam Houston to become Medics. Preston had just arrived in South Vietnam from the States. He had completed jump school after A.I.T. and had some Special Forces training before being assigned to South Vietnam. I was assigned to South Vietnam directly after A.I.T. It was comforting to know at least one person at my new assignment while rekindling an old friendship.

Preston and I remained on the LZ for several days getting our medical aid bags supplied and going over procedures about how Dr. Hero wanted medical treatment in the field to be conducted. Finally it was time for us to be attached to our companies. Preston was assigned to Alpha Company, commanded by Captain Marm and I was assigned to Bravo Company, commanded by Captain Hottell. We flew out together in the same chopper since Alpha and Bravo Companies were on neighboring islands, called Banana and Chicken Island, because of their shapes.

Alpha Company and Bravo Company were working a joint operation in the Long Khanh province. Alpha Company was on one island while Bravo Company was on an adjacent island searching for a suspected enemy supplies center. This was supposed to have been the first time American Forces had been in this particular area since 1965. During this operation we were able to watch freedom birds flying in and out of Bien Hoi. Since I had been in Country for almost six months, the sight of the freedom birds made my longing for returning home even greater.

In the late morning of June 1, 1969 Alpha Company discovered an abandoned enemy position, which consisted of 2 hoochs, 1 lean to, 2 bunkers (4’in length 8’ wide and 4’ deep with a 2’ overhead), and a 15’ sampan on a rack. The rack appeared to have been used for repairing sampans. These items were destroyed prior to Alpha Company continuing their search.

That afternoon, Alpha Company discovered an enemy bunker complex with 13 bunkers (each being 15’x10’x6’ with a 3’ overhead) and also a hospital bunker (20’x20’). One bunker contained a cache of ammo consisting of 100 Chi Com grenades, 12 RPG rockets, 12 RPG boosters, 6 boxes of AK-47 ammo (500 rounds per box), and 6 rounds of 75mm for a recoilless rifle.

Alpha Company had pulled back from the bunkers to a small clearing where an LZ could be set up to ship out the seized enemy weapons by chopper. Alpha Company would move back to the bunkers the following day and destroy them.

It was decided that Bravo Company would join up with Alpha Company. As Bravo Company moved toward the river bank looking for a possible crossing site, Bravo Company discovered 8 bunkers (5’x6’x4’ with a 3’ overhead), 2 hooch’s, a small amount of food, in addition to pots and pans. We would destroy the bunkers the following morning and then make our river crossing from this location.

The following morning (June 2, 1969) Bravo Company discovered additional bunkers to our North. These bunkers needed to be inspected and secured before Bravo Company would be able to attempt the river crossing.

During the night (June 1, 1969), the NVA moved back into the Bunker complex unbeknownst to Alpha Company. It was estimated that the strength of the enemy was a company plus size. In the morning, Alpha Company began their approach on the bunker complex when they were met with heavy fire from machine guns and RPG's. Alpha Company took very heavy casualties from the enemy's intense fire and were forced to pull back, leaving five of their dead behind. Alpha Company then took a defensive position while being supported by jets, gunships, and artillery. During mid morning, the NVA bunker complex also shot down a "Loach" LOH (Light Observation Helicopter), killing the three crew members as it exploded upon impact.

After securing the bunkers, Bravo Company discovered that the river had risen during the night. The crossing was still going to be attempted with all packs being left behind, except for those belonging to the medics and RTOs. Air mattresses were to be used as PFD's (Personal Flotation Devices) and a guide rope was to be secured on the opposite island.

This crossing was of some concern to me, since I swim like a rock and my backpack with medical supplies was already on my air mattress. The lead man with the rope made it a little more than halfway before the river current became too great to traverse. The order was given to turn around after some of the men lost their weapons, ammo and a radio during the aborted crossing. A chopper was called in to rescue the lead man who was being swept down river. He was able to grab hold of the chopper skid and was ferried back to our location while clinging to the skid. The crossing was now going have to be made by chopper. We only had enough room for one chopper to land at a time. This would take 17 sorties to daisy chain Bravo Company over to Alpha Company.

Upon my arrival into Alpha Company's LZ. I met a fellow medic and asked him how my friend and fellow medic Preston Taylor was doing. The medic looked up and said that he had been killed. My stomach turned into a knot upon hearing of Taylor's death. The medic further stated that Taylor had gone to aid a wounded man, and as he began to treat the wounded soldier, he was shot and fell mortally wounded atop his patient. Visibly shaken from the carnage which he had just witnessed, the medic continued his recounting. As the wounded soldier continued to call for help, this medic went to the wounded soldier’s aid. As he pulled his fallen comrade’s body from atop the wounded man, he had recognized him as being Preston Taylor.

There was no time to mourn my friend’s death. There were still men who needed to be treated from Alpha Company and medivaced out. While I was at the LZ finishing medevacing Alpha Company's wounded and receiving additional supplies, Bravo Company's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd platoons attempted to recover our 5 dead troopers. They were again met with heavy fire from machine guns and RPG’s. Snipers who had moved into the woodline near the LZ also opened up. I sought cover behind a fallen tree with three other men. The solder next to me was reaching into his backpack while exposing himself to enemy fire. I asked him abruptly what are you doing? As he turned into my direction, I could see that this man, at whom I just barked at, was a Captain and I thought I was in for it now. The Captain replied "I'm getting this," as he removed his Medal of Honor from his backpack. Dumbfounded I asked, "How did you get that?" Captain Marm replied that he had charged a machine gun's nest and knocked it out during his first tour in Vietnam.

A call for stretchers came down. I left the safety of the fallen tree, grabbed a stretcher and proceeded to the C.P. As I made my way forward while exposed to enemy fire, I watched grunts seeking cover behind fallen trees and ground banks. I remembered hearing friends in Tay Ninh tell me how hard the grunts had it. I kept thinking to myself that right about now, grunts had it pretty nice, getting to stay behind cover. It’s amazing how one can envy another person’s job at certain times. We all know the grunts took the brunt of the hardships in Vietnam and it was only after the grunts spilled their blood, that the medic’s job became a little riskier. As I reached the C.P., I asked Captain Hottell for a guide to take me up to the wounded (one thing you do not need in a firefight is someone advancing forward without knowing where he is going). We went about one hundred yards further when we started to receive fire from the opposite island. The guide said that I should go straight-ahead and that he was going back to the C.P. Straight-ahead was a woodline with no one in sight and no visible trails. I laid on the ground with my back against a sand bank deciding if I should go straight forward as the guide said or should I listen to my instincts and go to the left. I noticed a freedom bird coming in for a landing at Bien Hoi and my thoughts go to home and I wonder if I would ever get out of this living hell. As another burst of machine gun fire came in my direction from the other island, I heard a voice call to me " Doc… Doc come over here." The voice was a sergeant calling for me to come to his location on my left. I later found out that there were enemy bunkers straight-ahead and no American troops.

After I finished treating the sergeant's wound, I got up and started to move forward. He grabbed my shoulder saying, "Stay here Doc. We have all moved back now". We set up a medical treatment area where we finished treating the wounded and checked the men a second time for any missed wounds or injuries. The enemy fire finally let up enough so we could evacuate the wounded from our LZ.

While our artillery and gunships pounded the bunker complex, we dug our foxholes extra deep for the long night ahead. As night fell, we could also hear the enemy digging. We all thought that the enemy was digging in for their final stand.

During that night, I had a moment to reflect upon my friend, Preston Taylor's death and said a prayer for him and myself. Preston was so proud about going to jump school and being able to wear jump boots with his dress A's. He showed me pictures of himself when he was taking Special Forces training. Now, he lies dead on the jungle floor. He and the other men who died with him were only a hundred yards out and we couldn't get to them.

I noticed more freedom birds flying in and out of Bien Hoi. My thoughts returned to home and my wife Carol. I wondered again, if I would ever get out of this living Hell alive. I went to sleep exhausted with tears in my eyes that night. I accepted the fact that I would probably be killed in the next day or weeks ahead.

During the night, I was awakened by screams of men yelling "Medic! Medic!" The wind had caused a stream of bullets from Spooky (C-130 with mini guns) to rain down onto our position. I, along with the other medics, went to the aid of the 6 wounded men. They were medivaced out without any further incidents.

In the morning, a mad minute of fire was ordered (when everyone fires their weapon at the enemy position). There was no return fire from the enemy. Later, a body of an enemy soldier was observed floating down the river. A patrol was sent out and they were able to recover the bodies of our fallen men without making any further contact. The enemy had moved out during the night and apparently crossed the river. As the patrol returned with our men, I sought out Preston so I could say a prayer over him, only to discover that none of the men were recognizable due to the extreme jungle heat. The order was given to put the men into body bags immediately without identifying them. A small prayer service was said over all of the fallen men before they were sent out on a chopper. I still regret after 30 years, not being able to say a separate prayer over my friend, Preston Taylor.

The digging, which we heard the night before, was the enemy burying their dead.

The bunker complex contained supplies, which were stolen from the docks around Saigon. Some of the items found were rice from Texas, Nestles canned milk, and canned salmon from Japan.

On a personal note, this was an extremely fierce firefight during which I lost a personal friend. The thing that made this firefight different from any of the other firefights in which I have been, was the ability to watch the freedom birds coming and going from Bien Hoi before, during, and after the firefight. This was definitely a morale breaker for myself, just as I am sure it was for others. It was a constant reminder of home and the probability of not making it back in one piece.

The following men died in Long Khanh Province on June 2, 1969

SSG Lyman Conrad Bach *
SP4 Scott Douglas Baldwin

PFC Warren Fred Brown

CPL Mark Steven Dreier *

SGT Francis Russell Mcgowan
1st LT Donald John Porter
SP4 Wilbur Allen Smith *

CPL Preston Taylor JR *

SGT Ray Leonard Ulrich *

SGT Paul Frederick Weber

* Alpha Company's men left behind on June 2, 1969

Let us not forget these brave men, along with all of the other men and women who paid the supreme sacrifice in the service for their country.
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