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POSTED ON 2.6.2006
POSTED BY: Bill Nelson

Never Forgotten


"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you....and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.....Be not ashamed to say you loved them....
Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own....And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind...."

Quote from a letter home by Maj. Michael Davis O'Donnell
KIA 24 March 1970. Distinguished Flying Cross: Shot down and Killed while attempting to rescue 8 fellow soldiers surrounded by attacking enemy forces.

We Nam Brothers pause to give a backward glance, and post this remembrance to you, one of the gentle heroes lost to the War in Vietnam:

Slip off that pack. Set it down by the crooked trail. Drop your steel pot alongside. Shed those magazine-ladened bandoliers away from your sweat-soaked shirt. Lay that silent weapon down and step out of the heat. Feel the soothing cool breeze right down to your soul ... and rest forever in the shade of our love, brother.

From your Nam-Band-Of-Brothers

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POSTED ON 10.28.2004
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We Remember

Jones is buried at Nat Mem Cem of the Pacific.
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POSTED ON 4.8.2002
POSTED BY: Rev. Peter N. Mottas Jr.

Amity: Peaceful relations, as between nations; friendship.

I met Tomlinson, a Hawaiian/Caucasian from Hawaii, at LBJ (Long Bien Junction) Replacement Center. This is where the Army sent out replacements of casualties in the field for in-country Viet Nam. Tomlinson was assigned to the 25th Division, but arrange to stay together and we were assigned to the 1st/501st 101st Airborne Division. We went through "P" training (professional live small arms fire drills at Camp Eagle) and about a week and a half later we were sent to LZ Sally, Hue. In LZ Sally our group of 16 men were then directed to different companies Tomlinson was sent to Headquarters but arranged to stay together and was assigned to Charlie Company. In Charlie Co. he was sent to 3rd Platoon but managed to switch and stay together in 2nd Platoon 2nd Squad. At Landing Zone Sally base camp, we stored our gear and was issued our ruck sack and ammo for the bush. We pulled two day perimeter bunker watch before we were sent out into the field. The helicopter landed right next to a 250 LB bomb with our captain sitting on the nose of the bomb. Four of us got off the copper and was sent to our squads. In the squad you have a "Alpha" team and a "Bravo" team. I was sent to Bravo and Tomlinson went to the Alpha team. We humped the bush for two day before my Sargent told me to be ready because Bravo fire team is going on ambush that night-April 11, 1968. I felt scared and knew something bad was going to happen. I was very depressed. While we were sitting down in our marching formation, Tomlinson whistled the Hawaiian surfer's whistle. I didn't return the familiar return whistle. Tomlinson walked over and asked me what was wrong. I told him how I felt about the ambush for that night. Two hours later we stopped at our night ambush drop off point. I notice Tomlinson talking to the squad leader. The squad leader walked over and told me that Tomlinson was going out on ambush instead of me. I looked and thanked Tomlinson with eye to eye contact only. He smiled and nodded and gave me the Hawaiian sha-ka sign, turned and went off to their ambush location. That evening, we were set up alongside the main trail around a Viet-Namese pagoda which is a shrine for the Viet- Namese people to pray to their gods. The Captain, his radio man, artillery officer and the medic were in the pagoda surrounded by the company. The ambush with Tomlinson and three other men were just off the main trail about 50 to a 100 yards on the left flank of the company. The Alpha team watch began at 12 midnight. It was raining continuously. I had a one hour watch at 200 hour in the morning. While I was on guard I did my best to stay awake after a long day of walking. We had been up since 600 hour the morning before. I prayed through the whole hour of my watch and woke the next man up at 300 hour. At approximately 330 hour, we received an enemy rocket propelled grenade to the pagoda and incoming small arms fire from the main trail. Tomlinson and the ambush team on our left flank was also making contact with the enemy. After the initial fire fight, our captain could not make contact with the ambush team. We stayed on total watch till morning, catching whatever sleep we could get without leaving ourselves wide open in case the enemy was crawling upon us. The night was lit by artillery flares at first then the Airforce took over through the remainder of the night. In the morning, volunteers were sent to locate the ambush team and found all of them together next to the machine gun. I wasn't sent out because I was a new guy or a "Cherry". Cherries usually gets people hurt, so that left me out. Inwardly I knew I was a coward and kept that suppressed every second of my life and what made it worse is when they found Tomlinson, he was the only person who was killed by concussion and slumped over the machine gun. I knew he was the last person to get hit while firing the machine gun. Tomlinson was taken out with a big concussion grenade because they heard the machine gun that night and saw the muzzle flash. How I faired after that day doesn't matter. What matters is that Jones Eugene Tomlinson gave his life for his country and at that same moment saved the life of Rev. Peter N. Mottas Jr.

Father you are the creator of the Heaven and the Earth and through Jesus we find salvation. What you have in store for our lives are predestined by you Lord, if we hear and obey you, you promise you will guide us through trying times. Praise the Lord for Tomlinson's Parents and their parents and their family before them, for the life blood of Jesus Christ lives in the family today. We must die of our self and body in order to be born again in the spirit. Amen

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