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Date Posted: 09:07:29 07/20/06 Thu
Author: M. David "Doc Deuce" DeSoucy
Subject: Honorary Combat Air Assault Badge

In June, the Alpha Avengers Assn (A Co, 2d Bn, 501st INF) had their reunion in Nashville (Opryland),TN. While there we toured Ft Campbell and the Air Assault School. They put on a nice dog and pony show for us old vets. I personally spoke with the 1SG of the school and he stated that due to a lack of aircraft availability (Iraq commitment of 101st Airborne Division aircraft), they had to modify the course and continued graduating air assault qualified personnel. Thus these graduates have never even rode in a helicopter much less combat assaulted in one. That is the equivalent of going through jump school and receiving your wings without ever jumping from an aircraft. On that note, as the ascending new president of our assn and a qualified master parachutist and air assault soldier, I was able to locate a batch (50) 501st PIR (ABN, AMBL) wing backgrounds and also purchased a batch (50) air assault badges and personally awarded them to all the members at our banquet.Afterall, they have challenged the examination and passed the practical exercise from 1967-1972. I'm also going to follow on with a certificate. It went over well with the membership. The hell with waiting around for the Dept of the Army or DoD to do the right thing. Best Regards, CPT M. David "Doc Deuce" DeSoucy, USAR, Ret.

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