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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Golden Dragon vets pass scarves, legacy to current Dragon Soldiers

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hi. - “Thank you… Thank you so much for the welcome home we never got.” These words brought tears to many eyes and touched the hearts of all present at a scarf exchange ceremony held here, May 19th.

The “CEREMONY”, hosted by the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment “Golden Dragons,” was held in honor of the Vietnam era Battalion Reconnaissance Platoon known as “Fox Force.”

The veterans of Fox Force fought valiantly in Vietnam and Cambodia. As a symbol of their valor under fire, the platoon was awarded red scarves by the Vietnamese Army. Members of the platoon wore their scarves every day in Vietnam, to include during combat operations. The platoon was so effective in combat that the enemy offered a $10,000 bounty for any American Soldier wearing a red scarf. The surviving members continue to wear their red scarves to this day as a symbol of cohesion and a remembrance of battles fought and fallen comrades.

Twelve of the surviving members of Fox Force from 1969-1970 and 35 family members and friends travelled from the mainland to attend the emotional ceremony. In attendance was Col. (R) Victor Robertson Jr., the 1-14th IN commander in 1969, and his wife Lois.

“We, as a unit, have a burning desire to somehow leave a legacy for the Golden Dragons and to pass on our heritage to you and to the current Scout Platoon Soldiers,” wrote Lt. Col. (R) John Hedley, the platoon Leader at the time,

That desire came to fruition as Fox Force passed on their scarves, and their legacy, to the current Scout Platoon with all the fanfare the Battalion could muster out of respect for these great veterans. Col. (R) “Dragon” Robertson and Lt. Col. (R) “Fox 6” Hedley spoke of the history and valor of the Platoon and of the importance of the ceremony. The day culminated with a Battalion luau that provided ample opportunity for bonding of the Golden Dragons, past and present.

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