News from the Rockland Rotarians, veterans (Nov. 5)
Ed Frank, Rockland VVA president and co-organizer of the humanitarian tour of Vietnam that my father and I are joining tomorrow night, sent me more news about the groupâ€™s activities today. (Scroll down to read his Nov. 2, 3 and 4 dispatches, posted earlier this week.)
While traveling south from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, the group visited the Demilitarized Zone a few days ago. Here’s a photo of Ed (right) with another group member last year.
Click here to read Edâ€™s news from last Monday and check back for current photos and more updates from this group of Rotarians, veterans and family members.
Monday, Nov. 5: We left the hotel and headed north on Hwy #1 in the direction of Quang Tri. Along ther way, we stopped at the remains of a Catholic Chuch destroyed during the Easter offensive of 1975 as the NVA move southward on the last military operation of the war. The church bears mute testimony to the destruction that resulted from the war. The walls that remain are littered with hole sfrom small arms weapons that were used.
After a brief stop at the church, we continue past the white sands of Quang Tri which are on either side of the Highway, which provided the main access route for the thousands of refugees that fled the area during this part of the war. We passed the Quang Tri Airfield that was used by two in our traveling party when they flew helicopters. On 9-15-70, Robert Montarro was piloting his helicopter and was shot down and lost two crew members Leo Meadows, and David Green. Robert himself was severly injured but was rescued by Fred Blanchard. At an open field just northwest of the “Rockpile,” Robert saw the exact site where he was rescued . It was truly an amazing exchange that took place between the Robert and Fred as they revisited that site so many years later.