UDON THANI EXPATS CLUB
MINUTES OF MEMBER MEETING
|Meeting number:||MOMM 0030|
|Location:||Bangkok Hospital Udon|
|Date:||Sunday, February 22, 2015.|
|Subject:||See Agenda (Distributed by e-mail and shown on the website)|
|Participants:||See attendance list (For Administration only)|
|Secretary:||J.J. van Spaandonk|
1. Peter Edwards opened the meeting at about 14.00 hour
2. Administrative issues
– 29 members, 1 Sponsor and 14 guests/visitors attended the meeting.
– 11 members notified that they would not be able to attend.
– At present, the Club has 65 + 4 (who applied today) = 69 members.
– Quorum requires >40% members present. Quorum is OK.
– The minutes of the January 25, 2015 annual member meeting have been approved. No comments.
3. NewMembers, Visitors and Sponsors
* Mr. Fred Linden, Mr. Joe Russel, Mr. Peter Covey and Mr. Soe Thant Aung (Arthur) applied for
* Fourteen (14 guests / visitors, among them many VFW-members, attended the meeting.
The Club welcomes them all with much pleasure.
* Our new Sponsor, Mr. Karl Balsmeier, introduced his new restaurant the Diary. He offers a wide range of “Thai” and “Fallang” food. For details and location please visit the club’s website (Homepage) and click the logo of Diary restaurant.
4. Open Forum
* Tom, one of the visitors, asked how someone (his child) with a Thai and a US passport should proceed while visiting the USA. It was advised to get the proper info at Immigration. In addition someone, who experienced the same situation, advised to show Customs both passports.
* Nick announced that next meeting of the “Raising Awareness” group is Monday, February 23, at the pavilion of the Coffee Station.
* Jacob informed that those who use a prepaid (mobile) telephone are required to register their prepaid SIM cards by July 31, 2015 or face not being able to make calls. It is advised to register a.s.a.p. to avoid any misunderstandings.
Unregistered SIM cards by pre-paid users will be useless after the deadline (July 31, 2015),
except for receiving calls and making emergency calls to national police and hospitals.
Registration should be done at an office of the company that issued your SIM card (AIS, DTAC, etc.)
Bring your passport for proper identification.
5. Guest-Speaker; Mike Cavanaugh (retired) assisted by his wife Wan
|Mike was a Raven Forward Air Controller in Laos in 1969. He shared his personal account of the elite group of American, Thai, and Laotian pilots featured in the book,
“THE RAVENS, The Men Who Flew in America’s Secret War in Laos.”
At the introduction of his presentation, Mike remembered General Vang Pao, Lee Lue, Craig Morrison,
Tony Poe and many others that joined “The Other Theater” at that times.
He had many stories and showed a number of pictures and a video clip from a documentary about the
The whole documentary can be seen on YOU TUBE. Search under RAVENS.
He noted that there are very few Ravens still alive and he is the only one in this part of the world so he felt it would be good to tell the members and guests about some of the battles that took place only half an hour away from Udon Thani by air.
After Mike’s presentation, a lively Q&A developed where, in addition to the shared memories, there was also a critical word from the audience.
The compassion and regret for the many innocent casualties and enormous pain caused to both the local population and the combatants were discussed.
Autographed copies of the book “THE RAVENS, THE MEN WHO FLEW IN AMERICA’S SECRET WAR IN LAOS”, in hard back, which is now out of print, were available for the interested.
During the course of American history, there have been many covert military operations. None, however, reached the scope or intensity of the war in Laos during the Vietnam era. The backbone of this war were the Ravens-Forward Air Controllers (FACs) who flew small, slow propeller driven airplanes. The mission of the Ravens was to support indigenous forces in Laos in their fight against invading forces from North Vietnam.
Here is how the book’s author, Christopher Robbins, describes him — “MIKE CAVANAUGH: A onetime California biker, he became one of the most unorthodox officers in the United States Air Force who did battle in his very own way — until the system caught up with him and threw him out of the war.”
Mike retired from the USAF as a Colonel with 30 years’ service as a pilot. He was Director of Contingency Plans at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces before his retirement in 1987.
He enlisted in the Air Force in 1959 and through the USAF Airman Education & Commissioning Program; he attended Syracuse University and completed Officer Training School receiving his commission as an Officer in 1965.
He is a command pilot with 4,000 flying hours, half of which is combat time with over 1,000 missions. Colonel Cavanaugh served in Vietnam as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) in 1968, as a Raven FAC in Laos in 1969, a weapons planner for the 8th TAC Fighter Wing, Ubon Royal Thai Air Base in 1971 and Vietnam Air Force III Corp Adviser in 1972 for a total of four combat tours.
He also served in Afghanistan as the Air Attaché in 1978-79.
His decorations include the Silver Star, 5 Distinguished Flying Crosses, Bronze Star, 28 Air Medals, Vietnam Combat Ribbon with 13 campaign stars and over 20 foreign decorations.
6. Coffee Break
At the Coffee Break we enjoyed spring rolls, coffee & tea with assorted cookies and, not to forget, the animated discussions.
At the end of the amiable Coffee Break Joop thanked Mike and his wife Wan for coming all the way to Udon Thani to have his presentation about “The Other Theater”. And as a token of gratitude Mike was offered the Club’s “Certificate of Appreciation” and Wan was thanked with a bunch offlowers from Udon.
The meeting was closed by Peter at about 16.00 hrs
Next meeting will be on Sunday, March 29, 2015.
Please check at www.udonexpatsclub.com for possible changes and/or further information.
February 24, 2015.
Joop J. van Spaandonk