E-News – February 2023

Troopers Down

Todd J. Beatty

Todd J. Beatty, age 51, passed away unexpectedly on January 22, 2023. He was born on February 20, 1971 in Richland Center, to Buzz and Jean (Longseth) Beatty. Todd graduated from Richland Center High School in 1989. He and his former spouse, Jacki (Faber) Heideman had 2 children together: Alyssa (24) and Nicholas (21), who he adored.

Todd proudly served in the United States Army with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in the Persian Gulf War and received many awards including the bronze star. He enjoyed fishing, hunting for morel mushrooms, supporting Wisconsin sports, and listening to music. He was a great storyteller with a one-of-a-kind sense of humor.

He is survived by his two children; his father, Buzz; his sisters, Sally (Jerry) Zogg and Vickie (Dan) Hopkins; his brother, Brian (Leanne) Beatty; many nieces and nephews including great nieces and nephews; and his furry friend Billy. He was preceded in death by his mother, Jean Beatty, and his brother, Gary Beatty.

A memorial gathering will be held at Stafford Funeral Home in Wisconsin on February 1, 2023, noon to 3:00 p.m., followed by Final Salute and Military Services held by the Local Veterans Military Memorial Honors Unit. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Todd’s children. Pink Floyd said it best Dad – we wish you were here. Online condolences available at www.staffordfuneralhomes.com.

George C. Reyes Sr of Gilroy, California passed away January 18, 2023. He was 72 years old. He was the son of the late: Richard L. Reyes Sr & Consuela P. Reyes. He is survived by son George C. Reyes II; nieces and nephews; and a strong circle of lifelong friends.

George relocated to Louisville in 1991 shortly upon retiring from the Army after 18 years. He was a dedicated member of Delta Company, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Both during and after his military career, SSG Reyes was proud and present at many of the Blackhorse reunions, ceremonies and events. Louisville is where he began his second career and eventually retired from the Louisville Main Branch Post Office. He enjoyed cooking and earned a Culinary Arts degree. He was an avid golfer and achieved a hole-in-one. He was a true San Francisco 49ers fan who remained faithful. He was a cigar connoisseur and attended the “Big Smoke” cigar show held in Las Vegas, Nevada. George was a loyal friend to many, a devoted father, and a doting grandfather. He was blessed with the unwavering friendships he developed with his golfing buddies, fellow soldiers, and other unforgettable individuals he met throughout his life. Many special friends became his family. He will be laid to rest alongside his family in Gilroy, California; and his memory will remain dear to all those who knew him. To know him is to appreciate him, and to appreciate him is to admire him.

Theodore James Offutt

Theodore James Offutt was born on December 22, 1943 to Olin & Ruth Offutt, and he passed away December 28, 2022 at his residence in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Theodore “Ted” grew up in Deming on the family farm and graduated from Deming High School in 1962. He worked various jobs before starting his career at Columbus Electric CO-OP as a lineman, electrician, and meterman.

Ted joined the Army in 1969 and went to Fort Wolters, Texas to become a helicopter pilot. He married Janet Burton in 1970, and they lived at Fort Rucker AL and Savannah GA so he could finish flight school. Ted was called to duty and sent to Vietnam in December 1970 where he flew the Cobra helicopters with Air Cav Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment until he was shot while on mission on Easter Sunday 1971. His Co- Pilot refused orders to land in hostile territory and flew a severely wounded Ted to a safe zone so he could have a chance of survival from his injuries. He was honorably medically discharged from the Army in 1972, and he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Devices, Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart.

After spending time in the military hospital, Ted came home to continue healing, and then was able to go back to work later in 1971 at the Co-Op until his retirement in 2008. Ted could scale an electric pole or tree with his claw climbing equipment, and he drove hundreds of miles every month for his job. He loved to play many practical jokes on his co-workers as he loved to laugh and have a good time with others. Ted had a son Tracy, and with his wife Janet he had two daughters, Tammy and Amber. The family spent many summers in the Gila camping, fishing, picnics and long drives in the mountains to get away. Ted loved fast cars, motorcycles, and his plane. He would take passengers on a plane ride, and do tricks and flips, all of which would make his passengers not want to go fly with him again. He loved being outdoors, in the mountains hunting, fishing, photography, collecting firearms, shooting sports and blowing things up. He enjoyed sharing these times with the kids. He truly enjoyed spending time with his grandkids, teaching them how to fish, shoot, drive, and especially letting them come home really dirty. Ted was proud to serve in the Army and loved his country deeply, so much so that he tried to re-enlist in 1990 to serve in Desert Storm, and any other battles he could fly in; he was turned down by the recruiter’s office.

Ted is survived by Janet, his wife of 50 years. His surviving children are Tracy (Martha) Offutt of Oceanside, CA, Tammy (Mike) Smelker of Las Cruces, NM, and Amber (Adrian) Aizpuru of Las Cruces, NM. His grandchildren include Venita, Victor, and Vincent Offutt; Garrett, Mikayla, and Tyler Smelker; and Adigail, Araelia Jo, and Abram Aizpuru. He is also survived by his five great grandchildren; sisters Joan Hayes and Nita Stinson; and many nephews, nieces and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents Olin and Ruth Offutt; sister Diana Arrington; niece Donna Arrington; mother-in- law Lillie Burton; and sister-in-law Deanna Johnson. Our father will be greatly missed by his family and friends. His services were held on January 9, 2023, at Terrazas Funeral Home. Thank you to everyone who attended the services, those who have been a part of his life, and everyone who has enjoyed his presence.

Riders of the Storm: Home’s Countdown
This is the third in a series of novels about the Blackhorse in Vietnam by a veteran of the Regiment in that War.

Riders on the Storm

For many young soldiers, the battlefields of Vietnam became a deadly testing ground for their courage, leadership, and maturity. But coming of age during a fierce and controversial war, pits a soldier’s skill and intelligence against raw self-doubt and the uncertainty that waits in the depths of the dark, humid jungle. For those returning home, derisive Americans and internal enemies often replaced those they had faced on the battlefield. Riders of the Storm: Home’s Countdown is the concluding book in the Riders series that chronicles a tour of duty in Vietnam with the men of the 11th Armored Cav.

Countdown begins in the summer of 1968, and 1st Lieutenant Frank Danner is approaching the halfway point of his Vietnam tour. He faces a choice of assignments – stay with the men he respects and has fought with or take one of several staff positions. Fierce North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong units remain determined to protect their country from the Americans they see as invaders. They lay traps, spring ambushes, and change tactics to try to overcome the 11th Armored Cavalry.
Frank commands an Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle (ACAV) Platoon in G Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment — the Blackhorse Regiment. As his year in Vietnam draws to a close, Frank’s perspectives about the war and his role in it are continually challenged by what he sees and experiences in battle, as well as what he learns from his comrades. His successes lead to more responsibility, more pressure, and more self-searching, as he works to do everything in his power to protect his men without compromising their mission. The horrors of the war are softened by the profound sense of duty and camaraderie among the men, and Frank struggles to keep his mind away from thoughts of home, as the opportunity for a career in the Army presents itself — a career he had never imagined. But what does he want?

T. N. Rauh is a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War who served as a platoon leader, XO, and CO of G Troop in the 11th Armored Cavalry during the period of time this book series takes place. He returned home at the close of 1968 to face the changing views of a divided nation. He has survived the long-term effects of combat and his own experiences in the jungles of Vietnam. Riders explores the soldier’s experience from both a military and a personal lens, following the crushing realizations and changes in perspective that come when young men face death at every turn. Home’s Countdown is the concluding book in a series that carries Frank and his men through the Tet Offensive and back home to an America that has soured on the war — and on its veterans. Books 1 and 2, Invincibles and Death on Your Shoulder, are published along with Countdown by Amazon Publishing and available on Kindle at this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BR64BM9R?binding=kindle_edition&searchxofy=true&ref=dbs_s_aps_series_rwt_tkin&qid=1672705153&sr=8-1

Proceeds from all three books in the Riders of the Storm series go to a scholarship fund for the Troopers and families of the 11th Armored Cavalry.

Two Websites of Interest
Courtesy of First Sergeant Bill Clark

A short video of a visit by Santa Claus, staged by the Blackhorse Regiment in Germany, in 1965:

The Blackhorse Regiment’s 121st Birthday Video:

Another Website of Interest

 This is a link to a website that has a short article on armor in Vietnam. It features the Blackhorse and has several photos of our vehicles: https://www.historynet.com/vietnam-war-armored-cavalry-in-photos/

An Update From Point Alpha
New name, new leadership: historian at the helm of Point Alpha Research Institute.

Point Alpha Research Institute.

They want to advance the research work in the newly named PARI research institute. From left, scientific coordinator Tobias Becker, Vivian Seidel, board members Claudia Wiesner, Philipp Gassert and Manuela Henkel. © Point Alpha

The research institute Point Alpha eV in Geisa, which will in future work under the name PARI (Point Alpha Research Institute Geisa), will have new management and scientific coordinators in the form of historians Vivian Seidel and Tobias Becker. Katharina Bittorf is at your side to support you.

Geisa – At the recent general meeting, Seidel and Becker were able to report on twelve very successful events in 2022. After the well-attended opening event with political scientist and democracy researcher Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Merkel in the cultural center in Geisa, scientific conferences and workshops as well as public lectures and panel discussions were held. The focus was particularly on the Ukraine conflict and its consequences for European politics, as well as the history of right-wing extremism in the region.

Point Alpha: Historians lead research institute with new name

The Fulda University of Applied Sciences, which PARI has already recognized as an affiliated institute, also carried out the introduction to the first semester in Geisa, which also included a visit to the Point Alpha memorial site. Students from the University of Erfurt, which is another cooperation partner of PARI, also visited the memorial. They then discussed the crises at the end of the Cold War with Vivian Seidel. The Point Alpha Foundation and the city of Geisa are two other cooperation partners with whom PARI is in close contact.

The research institute also awarded scholarships to the scientists Dr. Stefanie Eisenhuth from the Leibniz Center for Contemporary History, Dr. Birgit Hofmann from the University of Heidelberg, Dr. Andrew Tompkins from the University of Erfurt and Zhylien Kaja from the Fulda University of Applied Sciences. “We want to support top international research with the scholarships,” explained Managing Director Vivian Seidel.

“We have already planned a large number of events for 2023,” Seidel continued. On April 27, Stefanie Eisenhuth will present her research results on “Beauty in the GDR” as part of a “Geisa Talk”. In June, an international conference on the Basic Treaty will be held in cooperation with the Berlin Cold War College and the Institute for Contemporary History. Further workshops and conferences are also planned. (Also read: Point Alpha: Special Exhibition – Students Paint the Peace )

PARI conducts research on topics that are closely related to Point Alpha, a place of history and remembrance. Starting from the German-German border region, the scientists involved deal with the topics of the Cold War and its aftermath, borders and border regions as well as democracy in the global order. With its events, the institute also repeatedly addresses the interested public.

“We don’t want to conduct research in an ivory tower,” emphasized Dr. Tobias Becker.

Another Note from Point Alpha

From Glenn Snodgrass: “The words say it all – these new young men who are leading Point Alpha Foundation are pretty remarkable – hence our optimism for the future. BG Crow personally bought the hoodies, and with the help of Craig Birchard (our liaison with the Foundation in Deutschland), he made this happen. Hoodies also went to Winfried Jager at the Museum in Fulda and Herr Reiner Methe at Point India (and there might have been one other too).”

Dear Craig, dear Glenn, and dear John,

We are happy to report that the package with the pullovers has arrived on Wednesday. Thank you very much, we like them a lot. They came at the right time, because winter has made its comeback and warm and comfy clothes are very welcome. In the attached picture you see (from left to right) Philipp, myself, Tim, and Jan. It was taken in the lower courtyard of the baroque palace in Geisa, with the village in our backs. In part, the historic building serves as Point Alpha Foundation’s administrative building today.

Point Alpha

We are looking forward to the “Last Border Patrol Ceremony” in about two months. A Blackhorse veteran contacted us and asked about details of the ceremony. He is considering the trip, together with a fellow veteran. He has read about the event in the Blackhorse Newsletter. It would be great to have them over. Fingers crossed it works out.

Thanks again for the generous gift. We appreciate it very much and it is a great incentive for us to make the memorial even better.

Kind regards from Geisa,

Johannes and the whole team

Johannes Schneider, M.A.
Point Alpha Foundation
Schlossplatz 4
36419 Geisa

Tel. 036967-5964-274
Fax 036967-5964-26

AmazonSmile Update

Amazon.com has decided to wind down its ten-year AmazonSmile program by February 20, 2023. As a result, the Blackhorse Association’s affiliation with this program will end as well. We have enjoyed our relationship with the program, and we have generated needed dollars for our scholarship program. To those of you who have participated in the program, we appreciate your acts of kindness — and we thank you!

Send us your Blackhorse-related news.

Do you have items of interest that are related to the Blackhorse? Please send them to Clint Ancker, Director of Communications, at banditsix@nullaol.com.

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