425th Regimental Association

The regimental home of Company F (RANGER) 425th Infantry

A Soldier’s Christmas

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Airborne ChristmasThe embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
my daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep
in perfect contentment, or so it would seem.
So I slumbered,  perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eye when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
and I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

“What are you doing?” I asked without fear
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts,
to the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
then he sighed and he said “Its really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night”

“Its my duty to stand at the front of the line,
that separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,”
then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers.”
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘Nam
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red white and blue… an American flag.

“I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home,
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat,
I can carry the weight of killing another
or lay down my life with my sisters and brothers
who stand at the front against any and all,
to insure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

“So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone.
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
to know you remember we fought and we bled
is payment enough, and with that we will trust.
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.

Michael Marks
December 7th, 2000

425th Regimental Association Prop Blast

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20 Sep 2014

Kennedy’s Irish Pub
1055 W Huron St, Waterford Township, MI 48328
(248) 681-1050

Meet at the Company F table – Yes, it’s still there!

1600 hrs until ?????

We have a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Express at 4350 Pontiac Lake Road Waterford, MI 48328. 248-674-3434.
Ask for block code RAA. Double rooms for $ 95.00 + tax per night.
This offer is good till 17 SEP 14.
There is no shuttle from the hotel.

Kennedys Pub

425th Regimental Association 2014 Dining Out

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Dining In LOGOThe first Dining Out since the inactivation of the unit was held at the Bruce VFW Post on April 12th. It was well attended with over 100 members and family present.

2014 Dining Out - 10The evening started with time to reacquaint with old friends and comrades. Some had not seen each other in years and many of the most recent members of Co F were able to meet some of the original members of the unit. As the stories (jump lies) were told with the altitudes higher, winds stronger, and nights darker, the revelry was interrupted as everyone was asked to take their seats for dinner.

The formal portion of the evening was initiated with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Airborne Prayer.Flag at halfstaff

The Roll Call of Absent Friends was followed by a moment of silence.

Regimental CSM Dean Burchill discussed the Memorial Monument at Camp Grayling and

President Dick Anderson recognized former First Sergeants and Commanders in attendance and introduced the guest speaker, former Co F First Sergeant and now CSM Bryan Merkel of the 1st Bn, 125 Infantry.

CSM Merkel recalled his time with Company F, his two deployments with the unit. When comparing his time on active duty prior to joining Company F and his time in other units since leaving the unit, he said his time with Company F was the best.

2014 Dining Out - 1The key point of his presentation was that soldiers from Company F have been assigned to many other units and they are making a difference and adding value in every case. They are setting a new standard for excellence that is increasing unit performance.2014 Dining Out - 7

Following CSM Merkel’s presentation dinner was served. It was generally agreed that the food was delicious and there was plenty of it.

The social gathering continued after dinner and many members hung around to adjourn to the post’s club room to continue the celebration.

2014 Dining Out - 4We want to give a special thank you to the team that coordinated this event:

425th Regimental Dining Out

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Dining In LOGO425th Regimental Association Dining Out

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Bruce VFW Post

28404 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores, MI

This will be our first formal event since the unit was deactivated in 2012.  This is a great opportunity to renew past friendships and make some new ones.

The Dining Out will include dinner, open bar, and a free membership in the 425th Regimental Association for all NEW members.  There will also be unit and association t-shirts, hats, coins, and other memorabilia on sale.

Our guest speaker will be CSM Bryan Merkel.  A former Co F NCO, a veteran of tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, who is now the CSM for the 1-125 Inf.  He will discuss “Life after Company F.”

The cost of this event is $30 per person.  Payment must be made in advance NLT March 31, 2014.

Payment made be made by check (payable to 425th Regimental Association), or by credit card.  For credit card payments go to PayPal.com, select “Make Payment,” enter your own email address, and CoF425thRegimentalAssociation@yahoo.com for the payee email address.  Make the payment as a gift, not a payment.

Regardless of your method of payment, send the attached form, or the same information in an email to csm@425regiment.org.

The appropriate attire for this event for members is the Army Service Uniform, business suit, or sport coat and tie, and comparable attire for female members and guests.

A block of rooms have been reserved at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Roseville, 31900 Little Mack Ave, Roseville, MI 48066 at a special rate of $79/night.  To get this rate, register in one of the following ways:

1 – Call the toll free reservation line 1-888-HOLIDAY and ask for the Company F-425 Association Reunion Group (group code CFA)

2 – Call the hotel direct (586) 285-5800 and ask for the Company F-425 Association Reunion Group (group code CFA)

3 – Click the link:  www.hiexpress.com/redirect?path=rates&brandCode=ex&localeCode=en&regionCode=1&hotelCode=RVLMI&_PMID=99801505&GPC=CFA

This rate is only available until 15 Mar 2014, after that you are on your own.

Ranger Scroll Small425th Regimental Association Dining Out

12 April 2014

Registration Form

 Name ____________________________________________________________________

Address __________________________________________________________________

Highest rank held _________________  Number of guests _____________________

Email address ______________________________________________________________

Phone Numbers:   Home  (______) ________________ Cell (_______)  _______________

Amount Paid $ ______________


425th Regimental Association Dining Out – April 12, 2014

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Dining In LOGOThe 425th Regimental Association plans to hold a dining out April 12 2014, In order to do this we need to gauge the participation level, “HEAD COUNT” The cost per individual will be announced once a estimated attendance level is established. The cost of admission once calculated will be for the following, Hall, Open Bar, Food, and Shuttle service to the local Holiday Inn Express.

The event will take place at the VFW 1146 Bruce Post, 28404 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores, Michigan. With the date placed well in advance we hope to have a huge turn out.To let the Dining Out team know you are interested in attending go to the Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/243918029098493/?ref=23.  If you are not on Facebook, let us know if you are interested in attending by making a comment on this post.  Let us know if you will attend and how many guests you might bring.

We also encourage any support for this event from our members, If you have connections to have any Co.F merchandise made such as T-shirts, Mugs, Decals, Etc, please comment to this post.

Taps for SSG Phil Metevia

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Flag at halfstaffServices for our comrade SSG Phil Metevia will be on 9 August at 1400 at the Great Lakes National Cemetery, 4200 Belford Rd, Holly, MI.  The phone number is (248) 328-0386.

Driving Directions:

From Detroit Metro Airport and points south of Detroit: Take I-94 West to I-275 North, about 18 miles to I-96 West toward Lansing about 18 miles. Take U.S.23 North to Flint. Take Thompson Road Exit 84, turn right on Thompson Road, go to Fenton Road, turn left on Fenton Road, go to Baldwin Road, turn right on Baldwin Road, go to Holly Road, turn right on Holly Road, go to Belford Road, turn left on Belford Road cross the railroad tracks. The cemetery is on the right after crossing the railroad tracks.

From Ann Arbor and points South: Take U.S. 23 North toward Flint.  Take Thompson Road Exit 84, and follow the directions from that point above.

From points East of Detroit: Take I-75 N to Holly Road (exit 108). Turn left onto Holly Road then turn left onto Belford Road.

From Lansing and points West: Take I-69 E toward Flint, merge onto I-75 S (exit 133) toward Ann Arbor/Detroit. Take Holly Road (exit 108).  Turn right onto Holly Road, turn left onto Belford Road.

From Bishop Airport, Flint: Merge onto I-75 S (exit 133) toward Ann Arbor/Detroit. Stay on I-75 to Detroit. Take Holly Road (exit 108).  Turn right onto Holly Road, turn left onto Belford Road.

From Saginaw, Bay City, and points North: Take I-75 S toward Flint and follow the directions from Flint.

Anyone who wishes to sign the virtual guestbook may do so by going to this web address:



One of our fellow Rangers has fallen

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SGT Bob Nanni recently passed away in a car accident. The details on the funeral as we know them are-

Saturday, 29 Jun, 10 AM – Visitation is at the Creek Center Banquet Hall 72025 North Ave Armada, MI the service will start at 11 then we will go to the West Berlin cemetery in Allenton (near the intersection of Almont and Capac Roads, east of Almont). After the service at the cemetery we will return to the Creek Center Banquet Hall for a luncheon.

Normal attire for funerals is the Class A uniform.  Retired personnel are authorized to wear the Class A uniform for such functions.  Informal Association policy is to wear slacks with a dark (Navy Blue, etc) sport coat with beret if an appropriate uniform is not available.  Retired personnel are authorized to wear decorations on the sport coat in lieu of a uniform.

The Wall – Lest We Forget

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Memorial Day will be upon us soon.  As we enjoy our time with family, friends and former comrades, let us pause and remember those who gave the last great act of devotion so many years ago.

A little history most people will never know. Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall

There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010. The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

1LT Ralph P. Miller, a former member of Co F (Ranger) 425th Infantry, is memorialized on the Wall – http://www.virtualwall.org/dm/MillerRP01a.htm. 

Miller Drop Zone at Camp Grayling was named in his honor.

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those among us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.

Don’t Like MRE’s?

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Veterans have always complained about the rations they were issued in the field.  Many of us didn’t know how well we had it.  How would you like to have served during the Civil War?


This simple four and water biscuit was the staple of US soldiers and sailors for most of the nineteenth century.  During the Civil War, nine hardtack crackers a day constituted the campaign ration for soldiers, North and South. If kept dry, hardtack lasts indefinably – it just gets harder and harder.  Soldiers generally dunked, boiled, or crumbled the crackers, which could only be chewed by the hardiest souls.  Many chose to fry bits in salt pork fat making a mess called “skillgallee.”  While soldiers generally despised hardtack, weevils loved it. The crackers were often issued riddle with worm holes.  Veterans considered the worms a supplement to the meager meat ration, but new recruits would dunk and skim or just eat with their eyes closed.

Hardtack Recipe –

Mix ingredients into a big dough blob. Sprinkle with flour so it doesn’t stick to everything.  Knead well and roll 1/4″ thick.  Cut into 1 1/2″ squares.  Use a nail to pierce each square with 16 evenly spaced holes.  Bake at 340 degrees for one hour or until golden brown and hard as a rock.  Enjoy!

Veterans’ Day Discounts

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World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Click this link to see the opportunities available on Veterans’ Day for meals, parks, and retail discounts. http://themilitarywallet.com/veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts/