Important Notice!

Please contact the site admin when you register so that you can be assigned to the appropriate user group. The easiest way to do this is to add a profile picture to your account. This is one of our efforts to prevent spam. Thank you!!

Dear Marvin,

Thank you for remembering me and including me on you invitation list for the next reunion.
I will not be able to make it, but that does not in any way mean that I do not every single day think of you all, the 11th ACR, the other men and women I have had the privlidge to serve with, both as an Enlisted Man and as an officer, and the great US Army.
I retired in February 1986 and I still dream every night that I am with soldiers. I deeply miss you all–and I was honored to have served with you in Vietnam.
There is an item I feel you may be interested in sharing with others, and pass it on now:
I was at an official HQDA dinner in DC (I was the Chief of Signals Intelligence at DA) where one of the senior guests was a Soviet general. The USSR was coming apart and he was asked for his opinion as to the main reasons for Communism failing. After some thought, he replied, “There are a number, but key among them is Vietnam.”
We were all taken aback and asked for clarification. He (I paraphrase) said, “You fought in Vietnam for over a decade against a most dedicated and capable enemy who was well supported by outside nations, you never lost a single major battle or failed in a campaign, you took tens of thousands dead and many more wounded, you lost and gave to the ARVN great amounts of expensive equipment, you experienced significant anti-war demonstrations at home, you had draft riots — all this for many years and yet you still had young people going to colleges, still produced automobiles and iceboxes, still had free elections and continuous civilian-led governments at all levels, still had an economy that grew at unprecedented rates, and still had an Army which constantly grew in strength and capabilities. We nearly perished trying to control Afghanistan. What you did and endured in Vietnam, and how you did it, made us realize that we could never beat you or your form of government or economy. Communism was dead — we had to change.”
So you see, Marvin (and all those of us who served honorably, both in the Services and at home), what we did in Vietnam was not wasted. It was not lost on the rest of the world. The loss of our friends and comrades was not in vain. The greatest possible war the world had ever had to face (US-USSR) was never necessary to be fought. We won the war against Communism in large> measure in the jungles, paddies, on the rivers and in the mountains and cities of Vietnam. You and I! WE WON!
And as I tell my son (currently the Division Planner for the 82d), my generation won the war against Communism, with losses for sure, but in a way that precluded millions more. He now must win the current war(s) against drugs, terrorism and aggressions so that his kids (our grand children) can continue to enjoy peace, freedom and prosperity. We won ours! Now it is his turn. And we will support him!

Thank you. Please give my best to all.

Frank Zachar

P. S. I live with my wife on a sailboat and have been in constant travel mode for the past 13 years. In so many ways in my life, I thank God, my family, the men and women I served with, and my country that I REALLY won!

Now go forth, do good and avoid evil.

ALLONS!!!!! [11th Cav’s motto]

Dear Marvin,
If you think anyone would want our e-mail address, please so provide.
I do not have a LL computer setup– only pocketmail. So NO pictures and a max
od 4000 characters per msg.
Sorry I keep missing these things but life is a pressure cooker here afloat!
Best to all–

Frank Zachar


What great encouragement!

Thanks, Marv for forwarding this. You don’t hear much from me, because to this day I have been bitter about a war that I left college for and volunteered to serve in to fight communism and make this great nation free.

In 1964 I walked into an Army Recruiter station and signed up after listening to and reading the words of our politicians of the day – how they were sending the country into an honorable war to defend the citizens of Viet Nam and the world against the godless Soviet juggernaut. Later, these same politicians limited our ability to wage a battle, kept their kids from fighting through various nefarious means, and generally proved to me that they were duplicitous.

I had/have very flat feet! It isn’t easy for this old boy to run,especially in full combat gear as we did at Army Basic Training. The doctor at the Army Recruiter station (a captain at the time) just happened to be the son of one of my father’s best friends and business associates. He said I could not join the army. I begged him and persuaded him to sneak me by the physical exam, promising him that I would not complain and would be a dedicated soldier – convicing him that I wanted to join to server my country with the best of intentions. He cheated and passed me.

I intentionally flunked a Spanish language proficiency test (because I was very fluent in Spanish, largely self-taught) when I joined the ASA – they said that they were going to send me to the Spanish embassy. I wanted to fight in Viet Nam. So, since I scored high on the Army Language Aptitude Test (ALAT) which included phrases in Esperanto that I was asked to learn and translate, they allowed me a choice of another language. Following my plan, I * volunteered * to take Vietnamese as my first choice, and put “Viet Nam” as my first choice for a duty station. Needless to say, my wishes were immediately granted, given the fact that most people wanted anything but that duty assignment, let alone volunteered for 4 year’s duty when the enlistment was three years for the Army. Army language training added a requirement that you volunteer for an extra year.

At Bien Hoa base camp, while awaiting my orders for an assignment at PhuBai, I met the troopers at the 11th Cav as they came in base camp on their supply and mail runs. I wanted to be in a combat unit like theirs so badly that I befriended the company clerk and persuaded him to (illegally) change my orders for the 11th Cav, who had requested an experienced, senior Vietnamese linguist to start out their new mission “in country.”

When I returned home on a 30 day leave to bury a brother who had been killed in a car accident while I was still Viet Nam, I met with some supportive friends. But I met quite a few people who were hostile about me, our involvement, and who pretty much slapped me in the face for my dedication to the cause of fighting Communism in a foreign country of which they had little or no interest or compassion.

Those of you who worked with me know that I worked long hours, night and day on my mission, rarely taking out much time to play. Actually, I had intended to make a career out of military or civilian intelligence, and in fact attained the rank of Staff Sergeant in my last duty station with less than 4 years service. I was subsequently offered the opportunity to become a Warrant Officer upon re-enlistment, NSA civilian employee, or CIA employee because of my dedicaton. But my young man’s mentality could not accept the fact that our nation as a whole did not support or endorse what we were trying to do in Viet Nam, as witnessed by my brief visit back to the U.S. to bury my brother. So, at the end of my first enlistment, I went back into civilian life.

After all of the hurdles I engaged just to join the Army and serve in Viet Nam, followed by all of the disillusionment, I “came home” from VN service to find that I was thrown down the proverbial well by my fellow countrymen, most of our politicians of that era (who had no clue what damage they were doing), and most if not all of the news media; to say nothing of many college students (18 to 20-year-olds whose only frame of reference was a liberal and therefore anti-establishment California college campus).

Then I went back to sign up for California State University at Fresno with a fellow Vietnamese veteran, linguist and close friend.I had met Lee Bishop, a.k.a. Lee Taylor during the Vietnamese language studies at the Presidio of Monterey (the Army Language School). He then went overseas to as an Army Security Agency linguist with the 101st Airborne during the time I was in the 11th Cavalry Regiment (with the ASA). We met again at our stateside assignments to the National Security Agency (ASA) and surreptitiously rented a country cottage with some other military intelligence buddies off-campus (while keeping it to ourselves and maintaining bunks at the NSA military quarters at Fort Meade, Maryland!).

Lee came back to California with me after we received our honorable discharges. Then, he and I found ourselves one morning at Fresno State University in the center of two hate groups who were rioting on campus, in the name of freedom and fair treatment for their respective “minority” groups, tearing up school politicians’ candidate stands, threatening to kill us while surrounding us with baseball bats, chains, knives and sundry weapons, and in general disenfranchising me further against the very people I had gone to Viet Nam for. I recognized some of the people in the mob had been my friends with with whom I associated and “partied” prior to leaving for the Army; and it may be for this reason that we were not killed. The campus police had to form a wedge and extricate us, after we were in the middle of the melee for several very tense minutes. Through that bitter episode, and despite the fact that I had GI benefits, I never went back to college to get my degree – all because of an ungrateful nation and how it had wounded me deep inside. Instead, I became a cop, and rarely discussed my Viet Nam experience with anyone.

All of that comes into focus, and has been * vindicated * by Frank Zachar’s e-mail. This is one of the most inspirational messages that I have ever had as a soldier who felt defeated, ignored and scorned by my own country, and disenfranchised with the politicians who ran our country during the time that I volunteered for Viet Nam to try to win the war against communism.

I didn’t really know Frank Zachar that well But he did us all a great service with this message. One day after perhaps the second most significant 4th of July in our nation’s history (the first one being the actual Independence Day), Frank Zachar has left at least one trooper with a message that truly has made the efforts and sacrifices seem worthwhile.

Thanks, Mr. Zachar! (Extended hand salute)

John Clark

Tom Beaven Butch, > Thanks for this one. I have always liked and respected Colonel Zachar (In > fact, I was his Sgt Maj for a while in Korea) I was fortunate enough to > serve with him twice, in Germany and later Korea. Thanks again. > Tom

Marvin… Thank you kind sir… I do appreciate it – as do several other that I’ve passed these messages along to. Butch Williamson SFC (Ret) 05H4HM9

Cheyenne, Wyoming

From: “James Sessoms” > > Well, Frank just had a way to do things like that. I knew him as a Captain > in Bad Aibling in the mid 60’s (when he was the A/Ops Officer and I was the > A/NCOIC of the SIT Section) and finally, when he was Colonel at HQDA and > Chief of the SIGINT Division. We only had a speaking relationship in our > first assignment, but in the last, I was the primary SIGINT guy at HQ > FORSCOM (largest Major Command in the Army) and we had some heart-to-heart, > nose-to-nose discussions. I trusted him, he trusted me. Hated to see him > go, but he was frustrated. Had bad news when he had a heart attack, working > with a civilian firm. Glad to know he’s still around–he’s one of the good > guys. Would appreciate knowing how to get in touch with him. By the way, > just in case none of you have heard this before, let me say it again. The > Vietnam scene wasn’t pretty, but I was a professional soldier and it was my > job–maybe not for 2 1/2 yrs, but that’s the way it went. And I never gave > a big rat’s ass about what any civilian in CONUS thought about what I did or > did not do over there. Still don’t, never will. So, tell me how to reach > Frank. Thanks.

Fayetteville GA

Dear Marvin,
I am sorry to tell you Frank died on September 10th. We were southbound from
a wonderful summer spent in Nova Scotia. Frank had a heart attack and died in
Portland, ME. A service was held for Frank at Arlington National Cemetery on
September 25th. His son, Frank, who was deployed to Iraq, was flown home
immediately upon notification. We expedited the service so he could attend
before flying back to Iraq.
My Frank is located in section 54 site 5945 of Arlington Cemetery within
walking distance of the visitor’s center where a locator map can be obtained.
He is close to the Memorial Bridge entrance.

Dee Zachar

Sounds great to me, I will do my best to beat my Dad’s record for showing up at
the reunion. Should be an easy one to beat-eh? I bet you would all love to
hear what he had to say about that tour. He loved to talk about his time there,
and was especially proud of the men he served with while in Vietnam.

I’m currently slogging it out here in Baghdad and should be getting home in
JAN-FEB 04. You can reach me at this email anytime.

Thanks for writing. If you are interested, you can go to and
look us up there. You will find some things there about my Dad. I haven’t
updated it since I only came home for a couple of weeks to bury him and had to
get back.

Sincerely, Frank

Frank Zachar
BDE S3, 2/82 ABN

Thank you for the message regarding Frank Zachar’s passing. Rick Lester called to tell me and then I went online and saw you had sent it to me as well. He was CO for most of the 5 months I was at the 409th and put me in for the Army Commendation Medal. Tried several times to thank him but never received a response. No longer have his correct e-mail address so, if you would be so kind, please re-send it to me so I can send condolences to his wife. Another trooper in Fiddlers’s Green. May his soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed, rest in peace. Allons,
Joe Bohr

I knew Frank when he was a Captain in Bad Aibling and, if my memory serves
me right, was the Assistant Ops Officer. He did good. I then was
pleasantly surprised to find him in charge of the SIGINT Division at the
DCSINT level when I was the primary SIGINT person at US Army Forces Command.
He and I had a lot of “one on one” discussions about the health of the
Army’s SIGINT force. I had a tremendous amount of respect for his
knowledge, skills, and abilities, not only from the technical perspective,
but from the human perspective. Another great American gone and I’m
saddened. There aren’t many of his kind left. May his soul rest in peace
and his survivors gain some solace from the fact that there are many of us
out here that he touched and we are all better off for it.
Jim Sessoms
Sergeant Major, USA (Retired)

Melodye and John Pompa, S/V Second Millennium, have received word that they are recipients of a 2002 Service Award from Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA), “for your work in alerting the cruising community to areas of crime in the Caribbean”. For nearly four years, Melodye and John have been net controllers for the Caribbean Safety and Security Net, meeting daily at 8:15 a.m. on SSB frequency 8104 with listeners and callers from Jamaica to Panama.

The Caribbean Safety and Security Net began during the summer of 1996, when yachts flocked to Trinidad and Venezuela after the horrific hurricane season of 1995. Frank Zachar, S/V Vagabond Tiger, recognized that someone needed to alert the cruising community to areas of dinghy theft, and thus began reporting those events on the single sideband radio. When Bob and Robin Jones, S/V Buster but on S/V Elixir at the time, took over from Frank, they started keeping a log of reports. Bob and Robin returned to Maine, handing the reins over to Donald and Judith Kline, S/V Daisy D, who began keeping the log in a computer file, thereby making analysis faster and easier. When Donald and Judith headed to the northwestern Caribbean and could no longer hear most of the callers, Melodye and John took on the responsibility.

June 28 2000 Tink again had a wire come loose. In fact, it was the same one as before! After that, we headed in to pick up light bulbs and milk. The dinghy was supposed to be ready today. Unfortunately, there was some corrosion that needed to be dealt with so it took longer than expected. That evening, Bob on Shamaal (Sherri is home visiting family), Frank and Dee on Vagabond Tiger, Bill and Janet on Britican, Eric and Susan on Ellysia, and Pat and Mike on Impulse all came over for cocktails. It was a great evening with all type of food & drink brought by everyone.

July 27 2000

That evening, we had a rescheduled cocktail party. It was a lot of fun. We had Vagabond Tiger, Shamaal, Elyssia, Mutual Fun, Goody Two Shoes, and Zaftra all came out. It was a tad bit on the crowded side, but everyone was comfortable and the cocktail party ran until almost midnight!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Comments


Email Address*