Accordion War

Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2012 12:49 PM
Subject: New revision and Kindle eBook

Notice to fellow Korean War Vets, WWII and Vietnam vets and students of military history:
A revised and updated edition of my book Accordion War: Korea 1951--Life and Death in a Marine Rifle Company is now available on Amazon at the lower price of $19.95. It is also available as a Kindle eBook for $9.99 which can be read free by members of Amazon Prime. (Note: the $24.95 book is not the updated version.)
Accordion War is an account of my experiences as corpsman in the 2nd Platoon of How Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Regiment, 1st Marine Division. Recognized by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for its contribution to military history, the book is a carefully researched history of the three-year Korean War supplemented by the shared memories, letters and photographs from a number of my brothers in How Company.
The three major wars of the twentieth century are linked--senior officers and NCOs in Korea and Vietnam were veterans of the war that went before--so Accordion War presents the war in Korea within the historical context of the wars which preceded it and followed it. No matter which wars we fought in, most of us as eighteen-, nineteen-, and twenty year-old young men, our memories of those experiences will never leave us.
From Responses to and Reviews of Accordion War
“This is a gripping work and a must reading. . . . The present day overview/perspective ties the decades together and makes sense of the cost of war as well as the ‘why’s’ of warfare. . . .” Korean War Project Newsletter
"Hughes, who is professor emeritus of English at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark., is a gifted writer. . . . This book is hard to put down. The writing is terrific. . . . Well done, Doc.” GySgt John Boring, USMC (Ret.) Leatherneck Magazine of the Marines, Sept 2007
“This is one of the rare books that begs to be read in one reading. . . .the reader can smell both the gunpowder and the kimchi. . . . Well done, Doc.” Prof. Andrew Lubin Lead Reviewer, Military Writers Society of America
” I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book ‘Korea 1951.’ I always knew that one day an FMF Corpsman would grow up, learn to write and tell their (our) unique story. ‘Flags of Our Fathers’ came close but you nailed it.” Maxwell Baker FMF Corpsman, Vietnam/Korean War vet. HMCM USN (Ret)
“Doc. What can we say? This book is absolutely wonderful—There are so few books written about the Korean War and what our Marines went through. It’s a story that needed to be told—and you did it! We are so grateful. We will cherish this book and our ‘Doc’ that wrote it. Semper Fi” Ralph[Marine rifleman, Korean War vet.] & Betty (Tate)
"Doc: I’m deeply honored receiving the book, and also the privilege of serv¬ing with you in the 2nd Platoon of How Company. . . .It is certainly accurate from what I remember and beautifully written. I felt as I was reliving the past. It also clued me in on where and what the 2nd Platoon was doing prior to my joining How Company. Great Job. Joe Sipolski, rifleman and Purple Heart veteran of 2nd Platoon, H-3-7
“. . . extremely well written . . . it could be a best seller.” Harry “Ace”Martucci, Marine rifleman, Korean War vet.
"Bought the book. Read it. Couldn't put it down. . . . I'm normally a slow reader but I savored this one. Didn't want it to end. It was dejavu all over again. . . Like you I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Korea . Still am. Reminds me of my home state, WV. .I have read four books that I consider excellent: Witness by Whittiker Chambers; Falling Water Rising by Franklin Toker; Democracy in America by Alexis De Tocqueville; andAccordion War: Korea 1951. . . .You are in good company.” John Simpson, Marine rifleman, Korean War vet.
“Accordion Waris a quality read. Your descriptions of that era are like paintings without the sounds, however, your recounting of the artillery barrages was deafening.” Bob "Doc" Wickman, Korean War vet.
“Your book is great. If you had done it 20 years ago, I believe it would have become one of the key reference genre chronicles of that war and era. I hope it still can.. There are actions you tell that I never knew, even though I was usually only a few hundred yards away. Clearly you have done some great research since I first met you. I find especially interesting your musings about the alpha and omega, religion, and our role in the world. I am trying to spread the word about your fine writing—it makes me wish I had been lucky enough to have been one of your students. Stay safe... Semper Fi” Nick the BARman [Jim Nicholson, MD] Korean War vet.
Learn more and order at: http://www.dochughesbooks. com/
For an autographed postage-paid copy send check or money order for $22.00 to: Charles Hughes, 2303 Elaine St. Arkadelphia, AR 71923

For a pleasant memory from Korea click on this link: v=8vmxqTg825I
Charles "Doc" Hughes PhD
870 246 8557
Hospital Corpsman Awarded Silver Star

Hospital Corpsman Awarded Silver Star
>From Navy Medicine Support Command Public Affairs
>FORT BRAGG, N.C. (NNS) -- A Navy hospital corpsman was awarded the fourth highest military honor during a June 24 ceremony at U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) on board Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
>Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF/DV/FPJ) Amilcar Rodriguez was awarded the Silver Star for his actions on Nov. 6, 2009, while serving as a combat advisor and corpsman with Marine Special Operations Company F, 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Regiment, Special Operations Command. His unit was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan at the time.
>Rodriguez, an Avon, Conn., native originally from Caguas, Puerto Rico, is a trauma instructor at the Naval Special Operation Medical Institute (NSOMI), the Navy detachment within the Army Joint Special Operations Medical Training Center (JSOMTC) at Fort Bragg. He accepted the award in front of family and friends, crediting his actions during the four-hour gunfight to his training and experience gained during multiple missions, emphasizing the team work and camaraderie of his Company F teammates.
>"This is recognition of what my team and I went through and how we reacted to the situation," said Rodriguez. "I had multiple roles on the team, and during that encounter I was prioritizing as well as being a corpsman for the team."
>According to the citation, Rodriguez and an Afghan partner had established an overwatch position on a rooftop.
>Shortly after, a U.S. Marine and two Afghan commandos who were part of Rodriguez' team were wounded by an enemy sniper. Rodriguez immediately returned fire into the enemy position, killing two members of the opposing force, and, despite imminent danger, moved to the wounded Marine's position. While extracting the Marine, Rodriguez sustained three gunshot wounds from another sniper.
>Other Marines pulled Rodriguez and the other wounded service members from the roof, during which time Rodriguez calmly directed the initial assessment and treatment of the injuries he and the other service member had sustained. Though seriously wounded, Rodriguez calmly instructed another medic during the stabilization of other injured personnel later in the engagement.
>"Petty Officer Rodriguez' heroic actions are in keeping with the proud tradition of hospital corpsmen who deploy with
Sailors and Marines worldwide both in wartime and in peacetime," said Navy Surgeon General Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson, Jr. "The bond that Corpsmen share with Marines is like none other - it's sacred and unique. When our Marines deploy, they know they will be well-cared for, from the battlefield to when they return home. We will follow the Marines into heaven or to the gates of hell."
>The Silver Star is awarded for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations with a friendly force.
>JSOMTC is a subordinate of the Naval Operational Medicine Institute in Pensacola, Fla., and the Navy Medicine Support Command in Jacksonville, Fla.
>For more news, visit
New book Corpsmen & Helicopters

Sent: Fri, April 16, 2010 12:56:01 AM


     My name is Bruce Williams-Burden and I was MEDEVAC Corpsman who flew with the Purple Foxes during the 1969-1970 time period. For the past four years I have been collecting information and writing a book about Navy Corpsmen who flew as aircrew, passengers or patients with a number of different squadrons.

     I have provided you with the following information with the hope that you will visit the website, click on books, and  write in the title of the book which is LUMINOUS BASE, the call sign for a MEDEVAC with MAG-16 in Vietnam.


     Among the thousands who have flown on helicopters there have been Navy Hospital Corpsmen who did so as aircrew members, as patients, or as passengers. This book is about seventy-two such corpsmen of which fifty-seven were killed between 1962 and 2007. All of these corpsmen died far from their homes in places that includes South Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and the American Southwest. The pages of the book tells the individual story of each of the men and one woman with some stories accompanied by comments from family or friends.

     In order to provide a better appreciation for the corpsman and their work environs, this book provides an in-depth look at the evolution of the Navy's medical evacuation system, the levels of care from the battlefield to back home and the type of care provided at each level; the various helicopters used over the years, from the UH-34D to the Osprey; and a look at the training opportunities that are offered to today's Navy Corpsmen. This is the first book to be written that offers such a unique collection of tales about Navy Corpsmen associated with helicopters who have all demonstrated such courage, and selflessness and in some cases the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country.

     It is my hope that each person who decides to purchase a copy of LUMINOUS BASE would contact me and share what they thought about what they read.

Thank you in advance for any time and consideration you give to my effort to honor these corpsmen and all of those who fly.

                                                                         Semper Fi,

Marine to Corpsman

Subject: from


From Marine to Corpsman

Marine Corps News | Cpl. Billy Hall | February 04, 2008

AL QA'IM, Iraq - You will rarely find a group of Marines performing combat operations without a Navy corpsman by their side. The time-honored unification of Marines and corpsmen has created an immeasurable bond, indescribable to most.

For one proud Navy corpsman, this bond has been held from both sides.

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Leonardo E. Benitez joined the Marine Corps out of high school nearly 2 decades ago. With a wealth of family tradition, Benitez enlisted as an infantryman in 1989.

"All of my uncles were Marines," said Benitez. "I wanted to see what was out there. I wanted to get out of Brooklyn , (N.Y)."

Benitez left the Marine Corps in 1994 and pursued a career as an emergency medical technician at a Veterans Affairs hospital for 8 years.

After 9/11, Benitez was again inspired to serve his country, though, at the age of 32, Benitez could not re-enlist as a Marine Corps infantryman.

"I wanted to fight, or be close to the fight," said Benitez. "I went to the Navy and became a corpsman."

Learn more about Military service opportunities.

Benitez now brings his vast medical and military knowledge to his fellow Marines and corpsmen of Task Force 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5. He was recently selected as the 3RD Bn., 2nd Marines Sailor of the Quarter for the pride and professionalism he holds for his work.

"I'm proud to be a part of this Task Force," Benitez said. "There's a pride in putting on a uniform to me. It defines who I am and what I am; being able to be a part of history."

On his second deployment with the battalion, Benitez serves as corpsmen for the battalion commander's jump platoon.

"This deployment, the (Iraqi) people have a different attitude, and I think they accept the fact that we're here to help," Benitez said.

Recently, Benitez developed a unique program amongst his platoon.

"When we got here, we noticed a lot of the (Iraqi) people had bad dental cases," Benitez said. "Over Christmas, we got so many care packages out here with supplies like toothpaste and toothbrushes. I didn't want to see that stuff go to waste. Me and the guys take as much as possible and hand it out whenever we can."

Though Benitez has a significant presence due to his extensive knowledge and experience, the fact that he is a former Marine, is 6 feet 1 inch tall, weighs 250 pounds and has a thick New York accent, gives him a unique distinction.

Becoming a corpsman has given Benitez his longing to again work hand-in-hand with Marines. He is now exactly where he wants be; fighting from the front with his brothers-in-arms.

"I've always had a theory about the Marine Corps," said Benitez. "About Marines from the ‘50s, all the way back to when the Marine Corps began; the training has changed, but the essence of the Marine Corps is still there. You can feel it around these guys. There's nothing else I want to do in the world except this."

Sound Off...What do you think? Join the discussion.

Copyright 2008 Marine Corps News. All opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of

Corpsman Memorial

Subject:  Calling All Corpsmen & Marines

A Memorial honoring all Corpsman is becoming a reality - and they want all of us to contribute in any way we can to make it happen. **********************************************************

The first meeting for making the Corpsman's memorial a reality, held it's first meeting: and it was a success.  It was stated and felt by all in attendance that this memorial is long overdue in a community that has been the home of one of the two commands that train Corpsmen for duty with the Marines since 1950.

The corpman's relationship with the FMF goes back over 110 years since the first corpsmen made the landings with the Marine Expeditionary Unit landing in Guantanamo Cuba.  Heroism of the Navy Corpsmen can never be denied, with 18 Corpsmen winning the Medal of Honor and up until the present war in Iraq 2494 Corpsmen have died in the line of duty in the defense of their country.  There have been 6 corpsmen killed in the War on Terrorism, just from the eastern North Carolina area.  Many of these corpsmen have died taking care of their Marines. As any Corpsman who has been in a grunt outfit can tell you, the Marines in his unit are his Marines: like the Marines will call their corpsmen "my doc".

We still have a lot of work to do, and we will accept all offers of help from all quarters, no matter what your previous service or rank was.  For all Navy Corpsmen, whether you are retired, active duty or spent part of your enlistment as a corpsman;  this is your chance to remember your fallen brother who gave his all.  Any rank should be involved whether an HR all of the way to Captain, MSC officer.  All Marines are asked to be a part of this team, even if your only contact has been getting your shots and getting seen in sick call.  I really want to thank my brothers in the MOPH Chapter 642 for their continuing full support, and would like to get all other Veterans groups involved.

We are slowly having our WWII veterans leave us, and I would like to get this Memorial up asap.  It will remember all of the Corpsmen in the past, present and future, who are giving their all for their country, their Marines and their beloved Hospital Corps.  The next meeting be on Wednesday the 20th of February at 1900 hours at Spanky's bar here in Jacksonville.  Any questions please contact me at 910 388 3468, or on the internet.

Verl Matthews, 127 Winthrope Way Jacksonville, NC 28546  Tel # 388 3468


Click here to view RED CLAY ON MY BOOTS

Agent Orange

This hurts

  I remember when Paul Norton wrote this poem...his wife showed it to me without Paul knowing. (I read it once & a chill went through me! My God! He was speaking for every Nam Vet I knew!) He didn't think it was any good, but his wife, Shirley & I convinced him
to let us show it around...he wanted notoriety back then.

  I remember Jennie said "The Agent" is scary & she didn't like it...we tried to convince her that if some of those stubborn, bull-headed Vets would read it perhaps they would think about going to get regular physicals which is their best defense against "The Agent".

  My tears fall freely right now because like Paul says "The Agent " has collected my brother's receipt, he has died." But I still hope that by reading this email it will convince a few more Veterans to get regular physicals & by doing so they may have a better chance at fending off this horrible grim reaper. The only comfort at this time for John Norton is like Paul says "I know he is not hurting now and is in a better place."

May the wonder of angels give you peace and hope

Hugz, Shelia

 Paul lost his Brother just this last Saturday after his long illness with AO and PTSD.
Paul Norton wrote:

"The Agent " has collected my brother's receipt, he has died.

John Norton, Grand Blanc Class of 1959 has died in Illinois. He was RA ( Regular Army) U.S. Army 1963 to 1966. Two tours in Vietnam... honorable discharge, and Agent Orange cancers recognized by our glorious Veterans Affairs system that was so kind to fry his insides with radiation in not only the right area, but also some wrong areas for good measure. They
apologized to him in their own warm govt. way. He of course is who inspired me in the middle of the night after he began to suffer, to write the 'Agent ' poem. Hell, I ain't no poet. It just came out. I was gonna toss it out and Shirley said save it. It is for all the Cpl. John Norton's who have suffered, are suffering, and have yet to suffer, from Agent Orange exposure. We poor mislead shits that joined to save America sure got a surprise didn't we? As an enlistee
myself, I can say that. Nothing new to report except that my oldest brother John , a veteran, has died. I know he is not hurting now and is in a better place.
Younger brother Paul.

The Agent

I am the reminder.
I am a herald of sorrow and anguish..
Pain and misery precede me on my appointed rounds.
I collect on debts owed.  I am the keeper of receipts.
My list of diagnosis grows.  I grow.
I am the Agent.

Through the years my disguises are many.
The result is the same.
I am irresistible, unstoppable, though once
preventable, now terminal.
Look here to the dark angel of a generation misguided
and mismanaged.
I am the way to this inglorious and undeserved end.
I have the last word.
I am the Agent.

I am the instrument of early demise ongoing.
I am a corrupter of men's ideal and intentions.
I am the Agent.

Some will escape me.  Not many.  All will know of me.
I know whom I have gotten and who yet remains.
I have the last word.
I am the Agent.  I am dioxin.  I am Agent Orange.

Written by a Vietnam Veteran Waiting For The Agent

Tradition of Valor

A Tradition of Valorous Service

U.S. Navy Hospital Corps- (By: Captain Harry P. Miller, USN, Ret.,Medical Service Corp)

A tradition of service in peace and in war
Hallmarked by honor, valor, resourcefulness,
Ingenuity and never failing responsiveness
To duty call at sea and in the field.
These tireless corpsmen never yield
In the face of danger or adversity,
But carry on their mission of mercy
Paying too often the ultimate price,
Offering their lives in sacrifice
That shipmates might live and return to station
In the honored service of our glorious nation.
Name the battle; they were there
Behind the scenes doing their share.
They have made their mark on history's pages,
Working efficiently whilst the battle rages -
Tending the wounded, oblivious to danger,
All things to all men, to none a stranger,
At Belleau Wood, Pearl Harbor, Corregidor,
Normandy, Truk, the Chosen Reservoir -
And in Vietnam were known to swealter
Midst the heat and slime of the Mekong Delta,
Words are inadequate to express our pride,
In the light of history 'tis justified,
In the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps-
A tradition of service in peace and in war.

Navy Manpower

Forwarded Message [ Download File ]

Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 07:36:13 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Awtrey Peace" <>
Subject: Fw: Thousands Of Medical Billets Will Stay Navy
To: "Jerry Griffin" <>

HTML Attachment [ Scan and Save to Computer ]

  Thousands Of Medical Billets Will Stay Navy
(NAVY TIMES 04 MAY 08) ... Chris Amos
Congress has ordered the Navy to abandon its plan to replace thousands of uniformed medical personnel with civilian federal government employees.
The service had intended to replace about 7,700 uniformed physicians, dentists, nurses and hospital corpsmen with government civil service workers and contractors between 2005 and 2013.
The conversions would have amounted to 28 percent of the Navy’s uniformed dentist billets; 18 percent of HM billets; 14 percent of uniformed Medical Service Corps billets, which include specialists such as occupational therapists and pharmacists; 6 percent of uniformed physician billets; and 4 percent of uniformed nursing billets.
The roughly 2,700 military billets that have been converted to civilian billets since 2005 will not be affected, said Cmdr. Tim Weber, director of manpower resources for Navy Surgeon General Vice Adm. Adam Robinson. That means 152 physician, 191 dentist, 99 nurse, 213 support officer and 2,011 corpsman billets will remain filled by civilians.
The Navy will continue to convert a limited number of unfilled positions that were ordered converted in fiscal 2005, 2006 and 2007, and plans for the 700 billets scheduled to be converted in fiscal 2013 remain up in the air because Congress’ order expires at the end of fiscal 2012.
The Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery will scrap the 4,200 conversions scheduled from fiscal 2009 through fiscal 2012. Weber could not provide a breakdown of what specialties would be spared or which hospitals would have lost billets under the plan, but said as many as 75 percent of the conversions would have involved corpsmen positions.
The prohibition on further conversions, passed in January as part of the 2008 Defense Authorization Act, might not last. The Senate Armed Services Committee approved its version of the 2009 defense authorization bill May 1 and included language that would repeal the prohibition on converting positions and allow the hiring of civilians if the services certify the conversions would not affect the cost or quality of, or access to, care.
House committee members say the apparent confusion comes from disagreements as to the future makeup of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. They say top Navy officials want to hire civilians because of difficulties recruiting military medical personnel. The Health Sciences Scholarship Program, which provides as many as 75 percent of Navy physicians and dentists, has fallen short of its recruiting goals for five straight years and could lead to a shortfall of more than 10 percent of the Navy’s 3,700 physicians by 2013.
But they say some lawmakers are reluctant to convert billets because of complaints that service at Navy hospitals could suffer if enough civilians cannot be hired, especially in rural areas such as Jacksonville, N.C., and Parris Island, S.C., where even civilian hospitals have trouble filling positions.
“We have challenges in personnel,” former Navy Surgeon General Vice Adm. Donald Arthur told the House Armed Services Committee last year. “We have a program ... that has asked us to make military-to-civilian conversions. We are only able to make about 83 percent of those conversions at the moment, despite an intense effort to do so.”
Bureau ‘Doesn’t Get It’
Navy officials said the plan would allow them to focus uniformed medical personnel on supporting deployed units while dedicating some billets at Navy hospitals to civilian workers, who could improve continuity of care. But many junior military doctors opposed the plan.
One Navy surgeon said last year that conversions would have worsened retention problems. “The question is whether deploying personnel will have any place to return to and provide medical care to active duty, retirees and dependents as they have been trained to do,” said the surgeon, who asked to not be identified. “Most physicians don’t want to just go to Afghanistan. Most of us want a range of assignments. In the past, we have always exchanged quality of life [at hospitals in the continental U.S.] for the stresses of deployment medicine.
Arthur’s testimony stressed the heavy tolls of high op tempo, as well.
“We also addressed fatigue of our deployers,” Arthur said. “We have a great number of our corpsmen, doctors, nurses, dentists who are deploying, and not just once or twice, but three, four times. And this operational tempo for a very combat trauma-resuscitative, intensive war does cause fatigue in our providers.”
“The Bureau of Medicine and Surgery doesn’t get it,” a second Navy physician said last month. “You have to have civilians who will take these positions or qualified civilians in the area of some of these military treatment facilities. They’re not there. Not to mention service people wanting families and constantly being deployed.
“Better warm up Rangel’s draft plans they’re going to need them,” he added, referring to calls over the years by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., to return to a draft.
Weber said patients will see no difference in care because Navy medicine will continue to operate as it has been. He declined to comment on the benefits or risks of scrapping the plans, but acknowledged that the Navy retains operational flexibility by keeping health care providers in uniform.
The divide between civilian and active-duty hospital staff also could create morale problems an issue Arthur raised when he testified before the House Armed Services Committee in 2007 about work conditions at National Naval Medical Center Bethesda, Md.
“I was told of the problem with overtime pay given to the civilians that we’ve had on conversion,” Arthur said. “There are no nights, no weekends, 40 hours a week, no deployment. And they take the place of and sit right beside a lesser paid active-duty member who is doing the same job.”
Books of interest

I'm not sure if I am doing this right, but I want to share some info.  I just read the U. S. Naval
Institute Press Catalog for Fall of 2005 (phone: 800 2333-8764).  I noticed two books that may be of interest to NAMC members:
1) Medics at War: Military Medicine from Colonial
Times to the 21st Century.
2) Medicine Under Sail.
In very respectful comradeship,
Larry Holman