The Week of the Eagles took place at Ft Campbell Kentucky this past week. One of the highlights of the week was the honorary Air Assault badge ceremony in which the 101st Airborne awarded the Air Assault badge to Vietnam Veterans who were doing Air Assaults in combat before the badge existed.

LTC McEwen, the Public Affairs Officer of the 101st Airborne Division will speak about what took place during the Week of the Eagles as well as what the future holds for the 101st Airborne Division.

LTC McEwen’s credentials include overseas service at the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan and deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

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TRANSCRIPT – Transcript and Subtitles are generated automatically by YouTube and may contain errors.

good evening vietnam live from lz bunker
this is veterans live show i’m your host
ronnie embrace
i served on the first airborne division
in vietnam with 101st
sorry 101st april division from december
67 to december 68th
this week the week of the eagles took
place at fort campbell kentucky
so with that being said tonight’s guest
is lieutenant colonel carrie mcewen
the public affairs officer of the
hundred first airborne division one of
the highlights of the week was the
honorary air assault badge ceremony
in which the 101st airborne awarded the
air assault beds to vietnam veterans
who were doing air assaults in combat
before the badge existed
let’s go to the photo segment
okay first photo from boone preston nice
arc here
pullman albert from the namm page on
freedom comes encased in powder and
excellent next picture
from hack or cecil mckinney
midland texas kia 1968
long time medic from a company first to
the 327th infantry 101st airborne
division i-corps
extended for battalion aid station
struck head
in the head by a helicopter blade
well their firebase vehicle 10 days left
in the army
oh my goodness
actually they were more they say they
were more
casualties from non-combat situations
and sickness than it was from the enemy
dead and wounded combined okay ralph
bateman picture thank you ralph
heading out on my last mission we jumped
to the top of debbie
waiting for the chopper to drop our
serp team back into the buying soul
jungle for a 10-day mission
all right it must have been your scout
there there you go good thank you around
for that picture
next picture brad nikobaka me and my
squadron mates off the coast of vietnam
in 1968-69 about to lay waste
to the ho chi minh trail very good uh
what were you flying brad
f4s or uh what 101s or
i don’t know uh f what they what were
they 80s
86s or leftover stuff from korea
let us know if you could okay during the
show you can post a comment
thank you brad okay
next william arvo chow break eating sea
rations somewhere on highway one
between fang rang and the trang 554th
red horse combat
combat engineer squadron november 68 to
november 69. welcome home all
thank you bill appreciate it
okay next photo pj
peters thank you pj i’m looking for a
or in sorry i’m looking for a bunch of
or these that can help me find more
information about my father
he went in 1970 and did two tours i have
a photo of him on his shirt it says e31
with anything no anything about
that group i’m not sure what it is but i
tell you what if you post it on vietnam
veterans photo club
we have almost 90 000 members
some people from uh that’s on facebook
vietnam veterans photo club
uh maybe you’ll get a response
okay here we go okay here’s the card of
the week
the transfer of duties oh okay there you
go from american
uh to the vietnamese
an ambitious vietnamization program to
gradually end
american participation in the war began
in 1969.
military duties were slowly transferred
to the south vietnamese
the u.s supplied planes helicopters guns
and ammunition
as troops began began returning home
americans were to play only a defensive
role while advisors trained the south
to defend themselves interesting the
gradually end it says it took a little
it sure did okay welcome lieutenant
colonel carrie mcewan
nice to see you again thanks ronnie
great to see you too since meeting you
last week it was a pleasure to meet you
and your three sons last week
thank you very much the weekly eagles
was fantastic it’s the first time i was
in 50 years so you know it takes a while
but i guess it’s like old like oh a good
wine the older it gets the better it is
but hey it was great to meet you and
me i met a lot of my friends all buddies
i can’t believe it and
made a lot of new friends so there you
so welcome into the bunker and uh please
tell us a little bit of what you about
what you do there
oh i will um so as it was your first
week of the eagles it was mine also i
just got assigned to
fort campbell 101st airborne division
air assault just a couple of months ago
as the division public affairs officer
so this was my first week the eagles and
as you probably know and a lot of people
know we weren’t able to hold it last
because of the pandemic so um i know a
lot of our soldiers and leadership and
then a lot of our veterans too were
happy to be back
yeah i know what you mean because i’ve
gone to a lot of the association
meetings year after year and
the reunions and the you name it
and it’s bad storm banquets and things
like that at west point
and uh it just turns out to uh
they’ll build the camaraderie
and the uh the speeder corps for the
younger troops
and as we aspire towards the older guys
as they look forward
they look back on us to carry them
forward i think
oh yeah for sure and as i look at um
as i looked at leak of the eagles and
what it meant and kind of looked back
into history
um it’s been around since about 1974 now
we certainly haven’t done it every year
just like we didn’t do it last year
but i think it serves like three
purposes really it’s it’s an opportunity
to honor
our veterans uh remember our legacy as
the 101st and then have some fun
too um and it i think it was all as
exhausting as it was i think it was
it was all of those things as well yeah
did a few other things we had an air
assault big aerosol demonstration
um invited the community out for that
that was really cool we had
our championship day of sports so we had
the commanders versus the sergeant
majors tournament which you can imagine
was was pretty interesting
um basketball we had our best air
assault competition
tug of war and then i i think the
highlight of any
any week like this for the soldiers at
least is the combatives and
the boxing champions yeah i was going to
mention it
that always draws a big crowd um but
what we kind of call the female out of
the first how’s that female do
i’m not sure i’m not sure we’ll have to
go back and
yeah uh so the week culminated in the
honorary air assault ceremony uh which
was really put on by the 101st airborne
division association
uh and so it was we had a chance to
invite back vietnam veterans to
receive their air assault wings in a
ceremony um
presided over by our commanding general
so that was a really cool event and i
was honored to be a part of that as well
that’s it right there you go there you
go right here
there you go now you see it here so now
here comes that video
this is going to be great thank you hang
okay good afternoon we’re at laguardia
headed to nashville tennessee to get a
car and drive to fort campbell kentucky
tomorrow on the first airborne division
is awarding
aerosol bats soldiers who served in
a lot of guys will be there you are
dinners and partying so 50 years later
there’s better than nothing you can get
something from the army
at least
welcome to nashville music city okay
now we got to drive up to fort campbell
about an hour’s drive
and we’ll be good to go
we go here we go
rock and roll all the way there you go
yeah boy here you go mama says
here we go one second please that’s it
this one about my wife
and finally after 50 years we got
our aerosol badge and here’s the little
badge and he has a certificate of saying
thank you everyone all the way
welcome home brothers
and what does it mean to be an air
fight on foot be part of
when we have soldiers today who graduate
from the savaloski aerosol school
i know as a commander three critical
things about the soldiers
hi my name is aaron cook um so it starts
off with a day zero at the obstacle
and then after that they do uh so first
they do a two mile run
and then after the two mile run they
change back into their boots
head down to the obstacle course there’s
nine uh obstacles they need to
to go through phase one is it’s
your combat assault pz operations and
uh pathfinder operations and then phase
two is your sling load operations
which happen to take place in the motor
pool and then phase three
there’s a tower before they go on the
tower they have to do
uh what you see here is uh the red wall
and then after the red ball
they go up to the tower at the aerosol
school this is the rappel tower where
they uh they train the soldiers so the
the side of the tower with the walls
that’s what they go down first
and then they’ll go off this platform up
uh and that’s to simulate propelling off
of aircraft
and they also can do a fast roping off
this tower
and you’ll see the there’s a actually
repel master school that they teach here
and they’ll
you’ll see them do the australian repel
off this tower it’s pretty cool that’s
where they go down face first
things like that we were still are a
division that will crush our enemies by
falling upon that like a thunderbolt in
the skies we have a proud legacy earned
by the paratroopers world war
ii the guerrilla mobile soldiers of
vietnam and the air is also into desert
iraqi freedom and emmy today’s division
is one who translates new global
challenges and new technologies safe to
how we will adapt and prepare for
large-scale combat operations
our soldiers today take great pride and
inspiration from our history and
earned by all of you who came before us
however today we are awarding on our air
assault links to our vietnam veterans
we pioneered air mobile tactics in the
crucible combat to accomplish our entire
aerosol documentary
we strive to honor the legacy build upon
what you all accomplish
in the hills valleys and right studies
i hope that i’m not sure you do fully
appreciate the impact all of you have
on all of us but it is greatly
okay very nice huh not too bad
okay question here why did the 101st
airborne division decide
to finally give us or to give us aerosol
badge after 50 years
yeah so i think that general mcgee said
it best in his speech and you guys had a
clip of it there
um i mean who who better
that pioneered our air mobile tactics in
combat and he said in the crucible of
than our vietnam veterans and so the
tactics that
we currently use in air assault were
developed by soldiers like you
ronnie and your your fellow your fellow
and they’re the foundation upon which
our air assault doctrine is built so
um the reason that we would have that we
gave these
or recognized you all with this honorary
air assault badge is because you
demonstrated aerosol expertise in
training and combat
before there was air assault to be to be
to be said or to be hacked
um you demonstrated that you’re
proficient in sling load operations and
repelling and
um and i mean for that reason i think
that was
that was that was why we did it also you
know the sablowski air assault school
that you showed a lot there in the video
that wasn’t established until 1974.
and what’s interesting is if you visit
our museum here we have a set of the
the first uh air assault badge uh in the
and you’ll learn that it was um when
they graduated the first class they
they didn’t make any badges so they were
they were all set to be
graduated and not received received
badges so
um the local dentist made some he said
let me see that was it supposed to look
like and so he made
like i think a hundred was the first
graduating class
and he made people with uh with the
dental silver
and generally said um during this this
was uh
your class your graduating class from
air assault school was
probably one of the largest we’ve ever
seen i think it had around 330
people received the the badge and really
general winski major general retired
he was there he was our previous
commanding general i think he said it
best when he stood up and said welcome
to you and the rest of the veterans and
he i mean that to a
just a rousing round of applause and he
was extremely
um really like genuine when he said that
and it just
yeah i really we really felt it then so
um yeah that’s that’s why that’s why we
did that
so we’re so glad that we were able to
get visits from from you and so many of
the other vietnam soldiers that came to
spend the day with us then
yeah i tell you what we’re more than
obviously uh that a lot of people don’t
realize or
recognize or remember how we got treated
when we got home from the vietnam war
and yet as these after the years 1991
after the first iraqi war when they had
that parade in
up fifth avenue in new york
then they had the after party on the
deck of the intrepid
that was the beginning of our homecoming
which uh you guys now i’ve been at
fort campbell when when the
planes land and the troops get off and
from afghanistan
or iraq and it’s like all that but
we got absolutely the opposite i’m not
gonna you probably know what happened to
us as we hit the ports in california
but uh the point is that it’s so it’s so
that a lot of these guys are ready to
take the next step in
life which is death and you know sooner
they were all 70 75 years old
so it’s really a great recognition and
a comforting gesture that was given to
us again to make things
iron out a little bit you know and put
an extra little snug in the hog
which uh which really really did well
so um we’re going to go here to now a
question and answer session
so or comments whatever can we get the
first question up there matt
okay coffee is always good okay from
staff sergeant rod
phillips hello from daytona beach thank
you rod
appreciate it and welcome on to you too
thank you
marie kennemur well hello everyone i’m
here thank you for your service
thank you marie appreciate that he’s
murray’s a regular
kilo 19 here okay he’s uh he’s a smart
he knows all about this uh navy’s thing
the whole building knows everything
military so we got to get him on the
show one of these nights
all right kilo thank you for both of you
okay what unit were with you were you
with and how long did you serve
uh go ahead colonel you could go first
with that oh okay um for me so i’ve been
serving for a little over 19 years
and i’m currently serving with the 101st
airborne division
and um i guess my last combat deployment
was to afghanistan
with the 89th mp brigade
okay and i serve at the with big company
first to the 502nd infantry
uh back in 67 and 68. thank you for that
question roy next question
patrick pleasure never forget never
forgotten rip my brothers and sisters
amen to that
patrick thank you
greenie c this was a well deserved honor
for our vietnam veterans thank you very
appreciate that charlie lee fraley
question i sent an application to
receive the aerosol badge but i got sick
and couldn’t make it oh this is good for
to the weakened eagle so how do i get my
badge my unit was eight three
second three twenty seventh 65 66 even
over with the first brigade they were
the first eagles there
how does he go about that do you know
yes so um charlie you should contact the
uh association that would have been the
same organization you sent your
application to
so contact them and uh when you
put that when you’re right there write
attention randy underhill
he’s the uh honcho down there okay randy
at the 101st airborne division
for campbell kentucky i’ll close the
with uh randy also yeah you can also
look it up on facebook
i mean uh google or something thank you
charlie for that i hope you get it
i like hilo19 a little off talking to
you topic do you know where someone
could find records of
a family of a hundred first vet from
world war ii
grandpa was there but i wanted to find
some details of his travels but i have
no idea where to look
i could check with our historian he
seems to have uh
i mean he’s got a ton of information so
i’ll check there if you can get me
his name and then i admit possibly what
unit he would have served with
and then um also
you could probably check with the us
army human resources command
they might have a record of of all the
those who served before
oh and you’re sure he’s with the hunter
first that’s important
uh because it could have been you know
with another outfit
when he got there or transferred or
whatever you know what i mean so
uh well they’re very good kilo i hope
you uh
find who you’re looking for next
question try
two rabbit
tried to go back in 68 but they would
not take
me back my wife was carrying our third
really you tried to re-up you mean to go
back to vietnam for a second tour
wow i don’t blame you though with that
baby guy i knew too many guys
who never got who their their wives had
kids and they had their sons and
daughters and
they never got home to see him so
wow good for you robert but thank you
for your service
thank you for your statement next please
kill the 19th oh definitely on it first
good okay that’s cool
thank you who designed the metal it’s
i don’t know that’s a great question i
don’t know um
probably goes back to the herald jury
department or something
um i’ll check in the i’ll check in the
museum next time i’m in there to see
to see if we can figure out who did it
yeah shoot us a message on the
vietnam veterans photo club that’d be
cool i will
okay that’s it matt is it all right well
thank you very much that’s the end of
the uh
questions and comments we appreciate
lieutenant colonel kerry mcewen to be on
our show
nice to meet you in the past and nice to
meet you again tonight hope to see you
in the future
thanks for having me and it was so great
to see you and all the other veterans
who made the the trip out to fort
campbell last week
you know it’s like people don’t
understand it’s a fraternity it’s
family it’s you know the club the
sisterhood sorry you know what i mean
one of those things that i see people
walking down the street
my kids will go dad there’s an airborne
guy you know
they make his name not that i wouldn’t
go say hello but
it’s funny i said yeah question is it
like this
excuse me in no other profession
right you’re absolutely right yeah yeah
i hear you even like baseball players
switch teams and they don’t care
they want to just play for the team
they’re playing with so thank you so
appreciate it and uh talk to you soon
god bless appreciate you
running welcome home sister thank you
very much
okay guys out there i got some of these
patches here
anybody i got a whole bunch of stuff i’m
going to show you tonight okay if
anybody was in 187
i got rockets on pat patches i got
uh stickers for your car 100 airborne
i got nevada eagle
operation patches i got recon
502nd hip street patches i got army
veteran pat patchers i got
agent orange from uh buddy ken gamble
the orange memorial patches i got marine
for our marine buddies tell them to put
comments below the video if they want
okay from woody hur from herschel woody
on medal of honor foundation there you
go i got a bunch of those
i got more different kinds of uh the uh
orange heart from our agent orange
thing what else we got over here
i got uh strike patches uh
patches fibro deuce i got if anybody
jumps on on the side down in florida i
phantom airborne patches i got
what is this here hold on one minute i
dropped one
i got aerosol wings patches airborne
i got 100 first tabs
as well as that what they call that
that’s the tab
and this is the uh
subdue tab i got that too all right we
got more recon
5.0 deuce patch we got more army veteran
hold on a minute we got on our
vietnam vet decals we got vietnam
vietnam veterans memorial fund
decals i mean i got stuff guys so
comments on the video if you want if you
want one
uh comment on the bottom of the video
and we’ll tell us what you want and give
us a name and address and we’ll send it
out to you
alrighty thank you very much for being
with us see you next week with another
exciting episode from lz bunker god
bless you
welcome home