I went to Washington DC with Ranger Scott Underdonk in early November, 1983.
I had just gotten off a Huey somewhere in the South Rainier Training Area with a class of Rippies, when SFC Conrad pulled up in a jeep. He said, "Doc, you got to go to DC." We were in the woods. I have no idea how long that it took Conrad to drive to the infil point.
I said, "I am walking this patrol."
He replied, "You are going to DC. Get in." So I did. No one asked me, "Would you like to go to Washington DC?" I was told to go, given a packing list, and dropped off at Sea-Tac airport.
I remember very little of these events. I remember that an escort from the Old Guard met us at the airport, and he took us to billets on Ft. McNair. He took good care of us. He told us the time and uniform to be ready in the morning.
It turned out that Underdonk and I were sent to DC to represent 2d Bat at a Rose Garden ceremony for the students from Grenada. I hope that he will jump in here, as his memory is surely better than mine.
S, Donk sent this to me via email and he also posted it to his FB page.
"Sunday, we flew back to Washington State and landed at McChord AFB. On the bus ride back we saw welcome back signs along the interstate and a big gathering waiting our arrival at the Ranger Battalion Quadrangle. Family members, friends, media and military from all over Fort Lewis came to welcome us home. My uncle, a Vietnam veteran and Boeing engineer made the trip down from Seattle to welcome me back.
After we were released, several of us went to Lakewood to get a few drinks then catch a movie at the Tacoma Mall. The movie; "The Right Stuff" was playing and I fell right to sleep halfway through the movie. I had to get up early on Monday morning to report to NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Warfare) School at North Fort. The unit could not get me out of the school so I had to attend.
During the morning of the first day of the school I was ordered back to the Battalion to give a deposition on Kevin Lannon and what we did on the first day fighting with 1st Battalion. On Wednesday, I was pulled out of the school for good when I had to report to LTC Hagler at the Second Battalion HQ. Alpha Company Medic, SGT Steve Trujillo and I reported to him and he told us to get your Class A uniforms squared away because we were going to the White House to see President Reagan. LTC Hagler saw my rank as an E-2 and promoted me right there because he didn't want "no E-2 to see the President".
One of my B Company NCO's said I should go off base get a gold star put on my jump wings because we made a combat jump. I didn't even know what a combat jump was at the time nor its significance. I met several of the Grenada medical students at the Rose Garden and it was refreshing to hear their experiences before and during the invasion. Our information on the pre-invasion events leading up to our call out was vague at best. Even though going to Washington was a great honor, I deeply missed going to Dayton, Ohio with the other Second Battalion Rangers for Lannon's funeral.
We had a "Ranger Rock" brought back from the island painted yellow with all our names from the 2nd Battalion medical section on it including Lannon's. The "Granada" rock (spelled wrong) was passed down through the section as the original Grenada medics ETSed, switched units or just moved on. Since I was the last Grenada medic remaining in the Battalion; I got to keep the rock which I am looking at right now. It reminds me of the deep honor and pride of being a member of the Ranger."
Must've been a thrill to meet the Gipper, eh?.
Times were certainly different.
Keep safe Magician
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