Arlington National Cemetery
3 July 2000
The No Greater Love ceremony honoring the KIA and MIAs of the 281st AHC.
The ceremony began with representatives of the 281st AHC laying a wreath at the
Tomb of The Unknown Soldier
Fred Mentzer, Allen Denmark, Jeff Murray, and David Sherrill had the honor of representing the 281st AHC at the wreath laying ceremony.
The members and their guests then proceeded to the SOA Memorial Stone where 281st veteran Dr. Steve Matthews, Ph.D., served as the master of ceremonies for the first 281st AHC memorial service.
(At this point, "Turn, Turn, Turn" was sung.)
INTRUDERS! Families of Intruders, Friends,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, WELCOME! Welcome to our
memorial ceremony here at
Arlington National Cemetery.
I'm Dr. Steve Matthews, and it is my great honor and distinct privilege to be
your Master of Ceremonies. We are sincerely grateful to see all of you here
today to help honor our fellow comrades who paid the ultimate price for our
First, let me introduce our distinguished guests here
on the stand. We are fortunate to have with us today family members of two of
the men we are here to honor.
Lindy Paschall, seated on your far right, sister of
Seated next to Lindy is Dr. Karen Heintz Forcht, widow of
Ned Heintz, and Mr. Heintz, brother of Ned Heintz, who is accompanied by his wife. We are grateful that these family members were able to be here with us for this memorial ceremony.
This remembrance ceremony is No Greater Love's tribute to the courage and
sacrifice of America's Intruders, the men of the elite 281st Assault Helicopter Company.
Today's program was opened by the song "Turn, Turn,
Turn" performed by LtCol Mark Gibson, USMC (Ret), Col Don Meno, USA, Cpt Roger
Jaskot, USN, and Cdr Tina Jaskot, USN.
This memorial tree and stone, dedicated to Special
Forces in 1995 by No Greater Love, is in the heart of Arlington National
Cemetery. It is right and just that the remains of these special heroes are
located in this most hallowed ground in America. Here they rest as tangible
reminders of a special breed of warriors such as the 281st whose deeds of valor
and selfless devotion maybe seldom noticed by those whose freedom they defend.
The pledge of allegiance will be led by Fred Mentzer, Immediate Past President
of the 281st Assault Helicopter Company Association.
Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the presentation of colors.
(COLOR GUARD ADVANCES)
(PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE IS RECITED)
(COLOR GUARD RETIRES)
Please be seated.
INTRODUCTION OF CARMELLA LASPADA
I would like to introduce Carmella Laspada, Founder of
No Greater Love and the sponsor of today's tribute. Carmella is the only woman to date to be awarded the United States Special Operations Command Medal.
Carmella Laspada has
been named by the United Nations as one of the U.N. Peace Messengers. It is the
only organization that brings families together in remembrance of their loved
ones who have died in service to our country or by an act of terrorism. The fact
that this humanitarian organization, founded in 1971, remembers long after
others have forgotten, is a mark of its uniqueness.
We gather to remember those members of the
281st who gave the last measure of devotion, their lives, in service to their
nation and their flight members. Each one truly irreplaceable. Each loved by
family and friends. Each so desperately missed and needed in those lives and the
life of our country. Young men with the strength, the vigor, and the faith to
endure what was beyond endurance and to see what was beyond comprehension in the
savagery of that war.
Two hallmarks of the 281st are teamwork and teammates. You worked with and through each other. Always there for
one another. I am reminded of a story about geese that may best describe how you
depended upon each other in carrying out your mission. By flying in a V-formation, geese create an
uplift for the bird immediately following. The whole flock adds at least
seventy-one percent greater flying range in this formation than if each bird was
flying on its own. Flight members
who share a common direction and sense of team can get where they are going more
quickly and easily because they are traveling on the energy of one another. When
the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies
point. Finally, and this is critical for us, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshots, and falls out of
formation, two other geese fall out with the stricken bird until it is able to
fly. Only then do they launch out on their own, to catch up with their group.
This is how, I am sure, you support each other.
Thank you for the sacrifices you made so that we your fellow Americans could live in peace and freedom. And however you managed to summon the strength to fight that war, thank you for the even greater
strength it must have taken to come home to an ungrateful nation and put it
behind, and become even greater American patriots and compassionate human
What endures until your last moment on earth
is the honor you earned and the love you gave. At a moment in your youth, you
sacrificed with your fellow Intruders for something greater than your
ROLL CALL OF REMEMBRANCE
( NAMES OF SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED BY
CARMELLA LASPADA )
JACK GREEN, JOHN HYATT, JERRY MONTOYA,
CORKY CORKRAN, FRED MENTZER,
JACK MAYHEW, KEN SMITH, RON SCHWACHENWALD, LANCE HAM, DENNIS CROWE,
JEFF MURRAY, BOB MITCHELL, JIM BAKER, ROGER GREEN, DENNIS CANFIELD,
KEN BOLING, JIM TORBERT, and STEVE MATTHEWS
( INTRUDERS TAKE THEIR PLACE BEHIND
THE PODIUM )
( THE NAMES OF 44 KIA/MIA INTRUDERS ARE SPOKEN )
( "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" IS SUNG SOFTLY DURING THE
SPEAKING OF NAMES )
( A TRIANGLE IS STRUCK AT THE SPEAKING OF EACH NAME )
( A ROSE IS PLACED AT THE SPEAKING OF EACH NAME )
of Jack Mayhew & Jerry Montoya
placing roses on the SOC Memorial.
Photo courtesy of Donald L. "Corky" Corkran.
Bob Mitchell at the Special Operations
Command Memorial Stone.
Photo courtesy Brian W. Paine.
to all you Intruders. I know speaking the names of our comrades was not
easy for any of us.
But this memorial was much deserved and long overdue.
INTRODUCTION OF POEM
An excerpt from the poem "Remember" will be read by Bob
Mitchell, President of the 281st Assault Helicopter Company Association. This
poem was written by a soldier for his friend who died in action.
( Reading of "REMEMBER" By MSG James J. Richard, USA,
IS RECITED )
( Singing of "ON EAGLE'S WINGS" )
Reverend Norman Kaufman, a member of the 281st Assault Helicopter Company, will now offer a prayer for those we honor.
"Heavenly Father, we have come here today to lay this wreath at this memorial
to honor the young men from the 281st Assault Helicopter Company who gave their
lives so that we could be here today. We are thankful that they were willing to
give their all for their country and their friends. Most of all,
Heavenly Father, we ask that the leaders of this country and the world would
find a way to peace so that no other young men will have to lay down their lives
as these men did. We pray in the name of the One who laid down His life for all
of us ...... Jesus.
INTRODUCTION OF REMEMBRANCE WREATH
Photo Courtesy of Brian W. Paine
The Remembrance Wreath will now be placed by Fred Mentzer, COL Jack Mayhew, fellow Intruder and Board Member of No Greater Love, and Carmella Laspada.
( THE REMEMBRANCE WREATH IS PLACED )
This will be followed by taps ,will you all please rise.
Photo Courtesy of Brian W. Paine
President John F. Kennedy said; "A nation reveals
itself not only by the citizens it produces, but also by the citizens it honors,
the citizens it remembers."
So, ladies and gentlemen, let us take with us today
memories of our brothers who gave the last full measure of devotion for their
country. . . for their comrades on the battlefield . . . and for all those who
struggled for peace and justice. The world is a better place because they lived
and because they served. God grant peace to those who loved them.
PRESENTATION OF GIFT
Before we leave, the 281st Assault Helicopter Company
Association would like to present our host, Carmella Laspada, with a token of
our appreciation. To present the gift is Jack Mayhew.
Carmella, we owe you and No Greater Love a debt of gratitude for putting this
memorial ceremony together. As a token of our appreciation, please accept this
personalized picture of a Huey helicopter with the 281 numbers on it.
Painting by Joe Kline
"Thank you so very much. I've enjoyed working on this project for the 281st. I will
hang it in my office to remember this ceremony and the men of the 281st Assault
This photo (left) taken by Brian W. Paine at the 2nd Annual Reunion of the 281st AHC Association held in Washington, D.C., during the 4th Of July weekend in the year 2000.
The guard at the Tomb of the Unknow Soldier is facing the 281st wreath that was laid in honor of the memory of each individual lost by the 281st AHC.
Photo by SGT John Ware, MIA
ONCE AN INTRUDER....ALWAYS AN INTRUDER