1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
A Company Veterans Get Together
Story by Don
Photos by Lenny Cecere
"Gert" Gertenrich, Lenny Cecere and Chris Keuker had
in A Company 1/22 Infantry during the intense battle of March 14, 1967.
Chris had been a Captain and the Company's Commander that day when he was seriously wounded.
Gert, Chris and Lenny
Lenny and I drove down to
Englewood, Fl. to visit Chris and his wife, Dixie.
We spent a marvelous few hours kibitzing over old times and trying to get up to date on Chis and his condition.
We found two very engaging individuals doing the best they can with what life has to offer.
They live in a gated apartment complex not too far from the Gulf Of Mexico.
They have been together some ten years or so.
Chris is dealing with emphysema and using oxygen to get along.
We went out to lunch at one of the local eateries engaged in conversation thru all.
Chris picked up the tab for us moochers who dined high on the hog.
I noticed a number of the patrons bending an ear trying to follow our dialog.
It was apparent both Lenny and I held the Captain in high regard.
Neither of us knew that he was alive, until a couple of months ago when Bob Harik located him
That last we knew of him was that he was shot to hell and assumed he might have later died.
Lenny and Chris sat in front of his computer going thru many of the pics posted there by different people.
Dixie and I spent some of that time, going thru some of Chris's personal photos on the coffee table.
Dixie is also an RN and looks after Chris and tries to keep him comfortable and smoke free for obvious reasons.
Chris was a West Pointer and has had some contact from his old classmates.
He has a vague view, with some specificity, regarding the battles in Nam.
Much like many of us.
These current photos show good detail of his devastating injuries from Mar 14th when we last saw him.
He was found somewhat covered with brush, lying on a hand grenade that he kept for Charlie should he be found by him.
He suffered several AK rounds so the head was not the only injury. Dixie does a lot of his internet surfing
and I think he was surprised to see so much stuff posted from the 1/22 and the boat load of Rich Lawrence photos too.
I did not realize that he was the A Co. CO for only a brief time.
As a grunt, I was the led, not a leader.
I was not privy to combat thinking and planning.
To me stuff happened, those farther up the chain, knew more of the why.
It is always interesting to engage in conversation with others,
as a few things come to light to explain why this or that happened.
We said our good byes and got back in the car and left Englewood.
Lenny thankfully had his camera along to document this meeting.
All of us no matter the time past still reflect on those days.
It is amazing given there really are not many of us old timers around that made it thru those 12 months so long ago.
Regulars By God !
Lenny, Gert, Dixie and Chris
Lenny, Gert, Dixie and Chris
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