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Testaments

Just got back from a virtual tour of Ft. Wolters - what a nostalic rush! I really have to compliment you guys at the FWCVHPA for that "work in progress". I guess I'm a little jealous that you have the ability to continue those memories so closely. For me Ft. Wolters was the place that the major events of my life occurred.

Arrived, Oct 66. Met a TWU beauty at the end of preflight WOC party. Married her at the Chapel (now, or was a So. Baptist Church by the hospital) 31 yrs ago this Feb. Returned there after RVN and my son was born at Beach Army Hospital in Jul 69. Between June of 1966 and June 1967 I flunked out of college (lousy decision when there's a war on), got draft notice, dodged the draft by enlisting for flight school, got married, and graduated from flight school. A year later returned for two years when my son was born. Left Wolters Jan 70 for civilian life.

Since my wife's folks are from Texas, I have had the opportunity to return many times and every time I do we take a drive by old Wolters. Haven't been there in a couple of years. Went to the 1988 reunion at Ft. Worth when we had the picnic at Wolters. Everyone broke into their old barracks (the brick ones). When I went into my old room, under the dust the floor was still waxed!

Every time I go to Wolters, especially when I visit Downey Heliport at the Mineral Wells Airport, I'm reminded of that great (IMHO) old movie, "12 O'Clock High" where Dean Jones visits his old airfield from WWII in England. I look out over the concrete pads and memories just flood over my mind. I can still see the TH-55's all over the pads. I recall coming in from a training flight and lining up in the "daisy chain" listening to the radio. I can still hear "IP Up!" as we passed over the striped telephone poles. My good friend Garry Sheppard was from the south, and his call sounded like "Aye pee yup!" We used to kid him about that. Wish I still could kid him. He had his controls shot away around Soc Trang in early '68 and went in and died. (Damn, this screen is getting blurry.) Yeah, every time I think of Wolters I think of the five guys in B-1, 4th WOC that didn't make it back. Larry Stark asked me right after I got married whether he should get married or not in case he was killed. I told him I thought it would be a good idea to have the pleasure of marriage to someone whom you really loved than not to have it because of some probability. I'm here, he ain't. Tail rotor failure. Bob Scott was killed on his first combat assault. Too much of him was above the side armor panel when the RPG went off. Bob was so damn clumsy in flight school. He could be getting off the bus behind you and step on your foot. Big tall, freckled face, clumsy Bob - dead because he was too tall.

Enough of this S--T. Sorry guys.

Love you all

Bob Skiba
12/27/97

After 36 years I'm back in Texas, curriously enough for a training course. Mine a lot shorter than the one my father went to Texas for in 1963. My dad graduated from WORWAC64 in Fort Rucker Alabama and went on to do his tour. We got him back only to lose him in '72 when his OH6 (Bigger Mattel Toy as he put it) crashed in Puerto Rico after an engine failure.

Anyway, I'm planning to visit the old base and see how it's fared out. I learned english here in the summer of '63 before the school started and my memories from the base are clear, I was happy here.

Attached you will find some of the surviving pictures in our collection from that era. Enjoy.

Manuel Collazo
895 N. Jericho Drive
Casselberry, FL 32707

After viewing the website, I realized a good many of your folks did their growing up at this location. Plenty of memories shared. Apparently after the Feds closed the base, it was ignored. I viewed a portion of this base this weekend. We were busy eliminating some of the memories that many of you may have had.

We, the Flower Mound Fire Department spent the weekend burning down twenty of the old officers married housing. According to the locals during the hey day this was some of the most pristine of the grounds. It is a shame to tell you what it looks like now. It has fallen into the hands of the dopers and trash. Attached are some of the photos of our exercise this weekend. (April, 2002)

E. Eric Metzger, Fire Chief
Flower Mound, TX 75028

I had always heard of Fort Wolters. So while I was visiting a friend at Dyess AFB in Abilene I decided to drive to Mineral Wells and check it out. All I can say is that it touched my heart. Kinda sad how the Army can let something wonderful go to waste. Here I am, a soldier in the United States Army driving around this Fort and thinking of all the memories that were built and the men and women that served here. All I can say is that I am very proud. I am proud to be a soldier in the ARMY. I am proud of all the men and women that served at this great Fort Wolters. I know it was worth it.

SGT Jason Watts
377th TSC

Thank you for fighting for me. I will do the same for you

Photos taken by SGT Watts