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Ancient Memories

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A couple of weeks ago, out of the blue I got an email from a young lady wanting to know if I was the Mike O'Handley that used to work with her Dad back at Camp Red Cloud in Korea before he went over to CID. As it turns out, I was and she put me in touch with her father. Coincidentally, the very next day I heard via email from one of the other guys in the same shop. For some odd reason, on the very same day that young lady was googling her Dad's friends, he had been on the net trying to track us down. Now all we needed was to hook up with our old boss, he told me. That was easy, I responded, I had his email address.

Well, after 32 years everyone has reconnected. This morning my old boss sent me some pictures of our time at CRC. The first picture is me along with the rest of the guys. I'm the second from the right. Can you believe those friggin bell-bottoms! Hell, the guy in that photo would be able to fit completely into one leg of my jeans today and still have room left over! The guy on the left, Jim, retired from the military as a Sergeant Major after 30 years and is now employed by the US Army in Korea as a civilian employee. The guy on the far right, Del, left MPI and went to CID and then retired not long before I did. He's a state employee. The guy you don't see is my boss, Dan, who is the one that took the photo. Dan retired as a CWO3 from CID and now works for a government contractor supervising about 70+ folks directly and over 700 investigators around the country. The guy sitting is Mr. Yi, the Korean National Police Detective assigned to our office.

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The amazing thing; after 30+ years we are all still married to the same Korean spouses, despite a US Army divorce statistic that says 3 out of 4 marriages between US GI's and Korean spouses go down the tubes.

The second photo is a 27-year old me at my desk in the little tin quonset hut that served as offices for 4 American investigators and a Korean Detective. Jeez, what I'd do to have all of that hair back again. Sigh.

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We're thinking of doing some kind of reunion.



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Good stuff!

The internet is amazing. I got a call about nine months ago from a perfect stranger that was hunting down the bricklayer from Holland I've mentioned that trained me. He was listed on my resume. Now 38 years later through google or some similar search engine, I get the call for someone that probably isn't even with us anymore. He'd be in his 90's.

Here's hoping your reunion happens and is a smashing event, Mike.

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Neat story.

(The dude on the right looks like Richard Pryor)

I was thinking more like Shaft. He's a baaaaaaad Mother, shut yo mouth![:D]

Yeah, actually Del was a baaaad mo-fo. Del is Puerto Rican and was the only one of the four of us who'd fought in Vietnam.

He'd been a member of the 173rd Airborne Brigade and had made the one and only combat jump into Vietnam during the war. As a paratroop, I was jealous of hell of his jump wings which are unique in that they have a little gold star planted right in the middle.

The 173rd is legendary in the U.S. Army. They deployed to Vietnam in 1965 and were the first major ground combat unit of the United States Army to serve in Vietnam and the first to go into War Zone D to search for and destroy VC raiders. They conceived and refined the use of LRPs (Long Range Patrols) and during Operation Junction City in 1967 conducted the only combat jump in Vietnam - the one that Del participated in and earned those VC jump wings for. OJC was a 3-month long op conducted by US and RVN forces in the Iron Triangle and was the largest airborne operation after the infamous airborne op conducted during Operation Market Garden in WWII.

Del had gotten out of the Army in the late 60's and had come back in 1976. They'd let him come back in as a PFC but he made rank pretty fast. It was his daughter who'd tracked me down.



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