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  #21  
Old 12 June 2016, 15:13
SFC_SOF_Intel SFC_SOF_Intel is offline
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This website and this thread are what brought me to SOCNET in the first place. Here's my addition to this history:

In 1987 I was assigned to the US Military Group in El Salvador as Admin/Operations NCO for the Medical MTT. Shortly after arriving in country I met Greg, and we hit it off immediately. Over the next few weeks whenever the opportunity arose we'd share beers and laughs and generally had a good time.

Two days before he was killed, Greg and I, along with a number of other guys partied at the Helo House, the pilots team house in San Salvador. A couple of days later I saw him off at 1st Brigade where the choppers normally landed and took off in the city. His team leader decided to stay in the city that day because he he had forgotten a bag at the team house and decided take another chopper the next day.

After midnight the day of his arrival we started getting reports on the radio that 4th Brigade at El Paraiso was under attack by guerrillas and that Greg had been wounded, possibly killed. Steve, a medic from our team, was one of the first Americans to arrive at 4th Brigade early that morning. Steve found, recovered, and escorted Greg's body via helicopter back to San Salvador. I was waiting with a flag, which we draped over the body bag, and helped carry him to a waiting vehicle.

Greg was the first friend of mine who lost his life in battle. Even after almost 30 years, it is something that I will never forgot. I am proud to have known him, if even for a short while, and to carry the memory of him as a reminder of our military heroes who have fallen in battle.
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  #22  
Old 12 June 2016, 15:17
SFC_SOF_Intel SFC_SOF_Intel is offline
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Additionally, Tommy and Lynn were only recently assigned to the MedMTT before their ill-fated flight to CEMFA in response to another tragic incident there.
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  #23  
Old 12 June 2016, 15:42
UGA_11B UGA_11B is offline
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RIP SFC. Thank you for your sacrifice.

Great history. Thanks for posting.
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  #24  
Old 12 June 2016, 15:51
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Thank you for your post. We need to remember this important chapter in Special Forces history.
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  #25  
Old 12 June 2016, 17:50
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Great post SFC. Thanks for sharing with us
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  #26  
Old 12 June 2016, 21:50
Noah Werka Noah Werka is offline
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I remember one issue of Life Magazine after it became a monthly that had a 2 page photograph on the last 2 pages of an A Team that had been in El Sal for a year(?) with their names and rank. I went through TG and commo school with one of them, Roger Q, and knew one maybe two of the others. Nobody had any idea SF had been down there until that photo was published. I haven't seen or heard much about US involvement in that war since that photo.
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  #27  
Old 12 June 2016, 22:07
SFC_SOF_Intel SFC_SOF_Intel is offline
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I attended a Navy Ball a few years back where attendees were recognized by the war(s) they fought in. I was the only one there that stood up when "The Dirty Little Wars in the 80s" was called. Hmm ...
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  #28  
Old 12 June 2016, 22:11
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I was at the ceremony in USASOC Plaza when the El Sal guys were finally recognized for their service, and received their combat awards. That was in 1998, if memory serves.
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  #29  
Old 13 June 2016, 00:16
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I was at the ceremony in USASOC Plaza when the El Sal guys were finally recognized for their service, and received their combat awards. That was in 1998, if memory serves.
We had guys at JRTC, retirees that worked as planners who finally received their CIB's . The JRTC CG came over and awarded them himself.
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  #30  
Old 14 June 2016, 17:41
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I was on a remote assignment. I got my CIB, AFEM, and SSI orders in the mail. Had a handwritten sticky from Boykin that simply stated "Well done - about time"
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  #31  
Old 15 June 2016, 10:00
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In regards to the issuance of awards for El Sal involvement I thought I would share something interesting. Recently there was a thread that talked about the current protocols for the issuance of combat related awards, and how, in many instances they figuratively just throw them off the back of the truck to whoever is in the vicinity.

All of the El Sal awards were issued with extreme discretion. Anyone who was in country during the designated window had to meticulously prove, through orders, multiple witness statements, etc that they were eligible for the respective award they felt they were qualified for. All awards were case by case, and thoroughly reviewed/researched by USAFC. It was a time consuming process. IIRC there were maybe only 98 - 100 CIB's issued, a few Silver Stars, and a handful of Bronze Stars with V's. The guys that got the valor awards received them because there was NO DOUBT they were earned.
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  #32  
Old 27 June 2016, 11:02
CZ Brat CZ Brat is offline
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My connection to Sgt Fronius and the El Salvador war is a little different. I grew up in Panama. My Dad was a civilian who worked at the hospital on the Atlantic side and my Mom was a Kindergarten assistant teacher at Gulick Elementary. Sgt Fronius's son was in my mom's class. She went to the memorial for him at the Ft. Gulick (Fuerte Espinar) chapel. She said it affected her deeply, especially hearing the 21 gun salute echo off all the poured concrete buildings on the base. They later renamed the Ft. Davis Gym after him.

My Cub Scout den mother was the wife of Lt. Col. Stankovich, who was commander of 7th Company. Living on the Atlantic, most of the Army there were Rangers, Green Berets, or MI. Many of my friends dads were in those units and regularly "going to Hondo".

Even as a young teen, I knew that they weren't always going to Honduras, or at least not staying there long. I was quite aware that we were involved in many secret wars, and many of them were in Latin America, and thus I had a connection to them, even if it was seeing my friend's reaction when he told me his dad was "going to Hondo".

Though I served in the Navy, I was never SO. You all have my utmost respect and appreciation. Thanks.
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  #33  
Old 7 July 2016, 19:21
SFC_SOF_Intel SFC_SOF_Intel is offline
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I was OOC when I was notified by message traffic that some were recognized, albiet long afterwards, for things that happened there. There are few out there that know the full extent of what occurred. I'm sure I'll never hear the full story, as you stated, it was a case-by-case basis and I've long been out of touch with the majority of guys who served there.

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All of the El Sal awards were issued with extreme discretion. Anyone who was in country during the designated window had to meticulously prove, through orders, multiple witness statements, etc that they were eligible for the respective award they felt they were qualified for. All awards were case by case, and thoroughly reviewed/researched by USAFC. It was a time consuming process. IIRC there were maybe only 98 - 100 CIB's issued, a few Silver Stars, and a handful of Bronze Stars with V's. The guys that got the valor awards received them because there was NO DOUBT they were earned.
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  #34  
Old 7 July 2016, 19:26
SFC_SOF_Intel SFC_SOF_Intel is offline
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Thanks for sharing. I found out later that my wife had met Greg's wife, as well as the wife of K.H., who was also serving in El Sal when I was there.

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Originally Posted by CZ Brat View Post
My connection to Sgt Fronius and the El Salvador war is a little different. I grew up in Panama. My Dad was a civilian who worked at the hospital on the Atlantic side and my Mom was a Kindergarten assistant teacher at Gulick Elementary. Sgt Fronius's son was in my mom's class.
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  #35  
Old 7 July 2016, 19:57
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I'm sure I'll never hear the full story, as you stated, it was a case-by-case basis and I've long been out of touch with the majority of guys who served there.
Have any worthwhile books been written?
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  #36  
Old 7 July 2016, 23:21
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I have read a few white papers easily found online, but I haven't found any published books so far. It would be interesting to see if anyone tackles that one.
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  #37  
Old 7 July 2016, 23:25
SFC_SOF_Intel SFC_SOF_Intel is offline
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Interestingly enough, I recall in 1987 there was a firefight that took place in Usulutan in the evening hours where those of us in the capitol listened helplessly on the radio. I knew the SGM there, who apparently was out on a training patrol and ran into a patrol of guerillas. I haven't seen that story related in any story yet. I'm sure it's out there, just haven't found it.
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  #38  
Old 7 July 2016, 23:33
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I got to 7th Group in 1996, and had the good fortune to serve with many of the men who had fought in El Sal in the 80s. Most of these men were not prone to exaggeration. I have heard the accounts from many of these men about the actions they fought in, outnumbered, and trying to hold on until the fuerzas aeromoviles arrived.

Giants among men. I am honored to have served in their shadow.
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  #39  
Old 8 July 2016, 09:31
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I have read a few white papers easily found online, but I haven't found any published books so far. It would be interesting to see if anyone tackles that one.
Tripod? Heard you were looking for a project.

Seriously.
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  #40  
Old 8 July 2016, 10:03
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Nah - I'm not the guy for that. I was a small fish in that ocean. Quite a few other guys that have much better stories than I would ever have.
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