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1967 Christmas card handed out South Vietnam

CO A, l/327, lst bde, l0lst ABN. Camp Eagle
Where Do I Begin ...
Christmas gift to Co A, l/327
December 25, l968
From San Mateo ... with Love

by Linda Patterson,
© 2000

Photo above: Sgt Joe Artavia

Where do I begin ....

December 16, 1968, looking out the window of a Pan Am landing at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam

Where Do I Begin ... December 16, 1968, looking out the window of a Pan Am landing at Tan Military Escort during my visit with CO A, l/327, lst bde, l0lst ABN, Camp Eagle ... Lt. Steve PattersonTan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam, and seeing a young Lieutenant waiting for me; my brother's platoon leader assigned to be my military escort during my visit with CO A, l/327, lst bde, l0lst ABN, Camp Eagle ... Lt. Steve Patterson, the man I've been with for 32 years, my husband ....

Or Do I Begin ... with a "letter" from my brother Sgt Joe Artavia asking me for a favor, his last.

He begins ...

"Sis do you think you could get the City of San Mateo to "Adopt" us, for morale support? You see, many of the guys aren't getting mail and maybe someone back home could write us and we would write back. I know it would bring their morale up AS HIGH AS THE CLOUDS, please try Sis, ..." December l967....

Or Do I Begin ... three months later when the City Council of San Mateo, California finally responds to Joe's letter and formally passes a resolution "Adopting Co. A, l/327, lst, bde, l0lst Airborne Division" as their very own "Adopted Sons", the famed Screaming Eagles asking me to organize a citizens' committee enlisting community support ... March 4, l968 ....

Or Do I Begin ... when Sgt Joe Artavia (l9) is killed in action living long enough to learn his sister answered his last request and the people of San Mateo, CA had adopted his buddies, troopers of Company A ... March 24, l968.

Or Do I Begin ...
City Seal, and under the seal read Adopted Son, with each man's name engraved in back of it: our Christmas gift to Co A, l/327, December 25, l968. in Vietnam on Christmas Day standing before the young men, Joe's Company (ABU they called themselves), giving them our special Christmas gift from their adopted parents -- the mission I was sent on, to personally deliver medallions in the form of the City Seal, and under the seal read "Adopted Son" with each man's
name engraved in back of it: our Christmas gift to Co A, l/327, December 25, l968.


Or Do I Begin ... saying good-bye to Joe's buddies after a three day stand-down ... walking to the top of a small hill, shaking their hands, accepting their small tokens, a Zippo lighter, a l0lst pen, whatever they gave me and watching them load on a Chinook back out into the jungle -- I wonder if they realize, how I will forever carry their young images with me every day of my life. CO A and I exchanged our good-byes, memories cherished forever... December 28, l968.

January 23, 1972, Homecoming parade: A Company, 1/327, 101st, marching in parade given in their honor and Welcome Home!Or Do I Begin ... with the incredible three day Homecoming when the Army, and Secretary of Defense, Melvin Larid gave San Mateo special permission to keep her promise to Co. A, l/327. We told them when the war ended, we would give them a homecoming they would never forget and we did.

On January 22, l972, "ABU marched in their jungle fatigues down San Mateo's main street to countless cheers." At long last Americans distributed their pride, in waves of smiles and tears, "WELCOME HOME SCREAMING EAGLES" -- her "Adopted Sons.".. January 22, l972.


Or Do I Begin ... with the SCREAMING EAGLES MEMORIAL ROOM -- a living memorial to those who served, won battles and sacrificed with honor in the Vietnam War. Countless letters in glass cases, plaques of appreciation, treasured memorabilia and exhibits of a grateful American City ... and Sgt Joe Artavia's picture his letter to his sister stated ... "You see Sis, Adopting us would raise OUR MORALE ...

   
Screaming Eagles Memorial Room in San Mateo's main Library dedicated August 9, l974.

Or Do I Begin ... with Desert Storm and the 60 units Adopted through America Supporting Americans, non-profit organization setup in l990 using Sgt Joe Artavia request ...
Sis can you do me a favor ... please?


Where Do I Begin ....



Nearly four decades later 2004:
Photo: 82nd ABN adopted holding the WTC flag in Afghanistan.
82nd ABN adopted holding the WTC flag�in Afghanistan


... Or do I begin on September ll, 200l, a day that not only shocked America but the World ... America Supporting Americans (ASA) is called upon by our troops all over the world, Afghanistan, Iraq, wherever a soldier's foot print is placed in harmsway.

The unit's lSG changing Command over to incoming lSG city t-shirt

Photo: The unit's lSG changing Command over to incoming lSG with their "adopted City T-Shirt (Malibu, CA) in  Iraq

"Sis" (over the years has turned to) "Mam, can you do us a favor ... can you get our unit adopted?"   An echo from the past is heard in a clear whisper from  Joe and his buddies: never forget Vietnam -- please try. Today, cities in 23 States follow San Mateo's lead 33 years later and have adopted units. 

             

Thank you for all you do Don ...

                    Linda


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