Arrived back in Effingham and Jerry ended up back in the hosp again for a couple of days.

 I ordered some POR-15 over the net to use in my batt comp redo. Been reading about it and hoped it would do the trick this time. There were some holes eaten away on the comp floor. The POR-15 Kit came with some fiberglass matting for covering the holes. I bought a piece of thin plywood & a length of rubber floor runner. Cut the plywood to fit the comp floor, cut mat to fit and glued it to the board, cut the vent hole. Then I labeled all the wires in the comp and drew a diagram of how they connect. And took a pic.  Now I'm ready to do the comp. Got up early (lets you know how important this project was) and removed the batts and covered the wire ends with sandwich bags. Cleaned, scraped, washed, dried with a hair dryer and followed the POR-15 procedure. Sat back for a few hours while it dried, put in the board/mat and installed the batts. It was just turning dark when I finished. It looks good--now I hope it will hold up better than the last attempt.

  The week we were getting ready for our annual trip to DC for the Ia Drang Banquet. Get a call from Oregon and a very good friend, Lynn Webb, had passed away. He had been sick for a few months but you still are never prepared. We had made an appt to get the MH serviced for the week after we returned from DC but cancelled that as they were going to have a memorial service for Lynn back here in Effingham at the same time. We knew where we wanted to be & should be that weekend.

  DC this year was a biggie--40th anniversary of the battle. Over 1100 people at the banquet. Some guests were Randall Wallace (the director), Barry Pepper (played Joe Galloway), Josh Daugherty (played Col. Moore's radioman-Bob Ouilette), Danni & Steve (who finally got married)--producers on the movie. Plus others that I can't remember their names--sorry. I can't find the program for the evening with the names on it.

  One afternoon I was standing in line to get a couple of copies of the book autographed for some people. I got to talking to the people behind me. They were Karen (?) and her fiance, Greg Wilson. very nice people and later I talked with them some more. They were here with her brother who was at LZ ALBANY with us. It his first trip to DC and the banquet. I really enjoyed talking with them and hope they return for future get togethers.

  On Veteran's day at the wall--before the ceremonies started, they cleared the people from the wall and had the Ia Drang survivors march down past the panel (3E) that lists the guys we lost, and then into the reserved seating area in front of the speakers platform. As we were leaving the wall, Gen. Peter Pace, USMC, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, was standing there and shook hands with every one of us. Let me tell you--this guy is the epitome of a Marine. The way he carried himself, spoke, etc was fascinating. I can see why he holds such an important position in this country.

Part of the ceremonies was Aaron Tippin singing "Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly". Wonderful song. Of course we had the normal array of speakers. All in all, it was an impressive ceremony. I'm glad we were there.

  After we returned to Il, got the MH ready and packed. Weather was starting to turn cold (hose froze one night) and we wanted to be ready to head out after the memorial ceremony. During the week we went over and visited Lynn's wife, Pat, & daughter, Stacey. Pat's sister, Linda and her husband Willie were there from Wa state also. In memory of Lynn the family wanted any donations to go to Kilo--a police dog with the Effingham Police Dept. they wanted the money to go for an armored vest for the dog. We met Cpl Danny Lake & Kilo at the police dept. This is a great dog. Found out that the handler bought the dog, buys food, pays vet bills and any other expenses for the dog out of his pocket. There is nothing in the dept budget for a dog. Apparently this is fairly common with police depts. I feel the money donated was for a good cause. The dog definetly earns his keep. This might be something some of you would consider instead of flowers and the like. It would be a more meaningful and lasting donation. On saturday they had the service. Lynn was a very creative person. He was an artist and a writer. Anything he attempted, he went at it full bore and learned all he could about it. I remember being at their house and him showing me his Banzai Trees. He got into detail on how they had to be shaped, etc. And he held my attention. He just made things interesting. At the service they read a couple of excerpts from a short story he was writing about family. The whole audience was in tears. I wish I could write a third as well as he could. He just had a way of putting things in words so you could picture what he was saying. I will miss you my friend!

On sun we headed out to Savannah. A storm was coming in and we wanted to beat it. So we drove all night, finally stopping south of Atlanta. Next day on into Savannah. When unhooking the truck I found the battery was dead. WHAT!! This is a new truck! After setting the MH up in Mike & Clara's driveway I started thinking about what could have killed the battery in the truck. Then it hit me. This truck has the automatic headlights. And we drove all night. We have to leave the key in the 'on' position when towing to keep the steering wheel unlocked. This meant the lights would come on at night. DUH!!! And I couldn't see them in my mirrors as I have a rock shield in front of the truck. Headlights weren't visible to me. Lesson learned. I hope.

Bob & Donna came by for Thanksgiving. Mike's family was here for the holiday also. Mike was looking good considering all he has gone thru with his cancer. Been fighting it since Jan'05. That man has amazing willpower.

  End of Nov we (Kay, me, Bob & Donna) headed to Bowling Green, Fl where we volunteer at Paynes Creek Historic State Park. Same park as last year.

After setting up, first thing I had to do was fix a toilet leak. It wasn't leaking on the floor. An RV toilet has a slide valve between the stool and the holding tank. The bowl holds water over the valve as a 'trap' to keep odors from entering the RV. The seal around the valve is what was leaking. This is not my favorite job but something that had to be done. Glad it's not something that has to be done often.

  I had been feeling kinda poorly and one evening I told Kay to call the Va. Arm ached, headaches, heavy chest--hmmmm. They said to call an ambulance and go to the nearest hosp in Wauchula, Fl. Don't try and come to the VA which is 1 1/2 hrs away. Hosp checked me out but thought I should be observed for a couple of days. They don't have a heart Dr. available so they tranferred me to a Lakeland hosp. Now--they wanted to transfer me because they didn't have a Dr available if I needed one BUT I waited 6 hrs for a ambulance to come to take me to Lakeland. Finally the ambulance came and I had to pee before we left. I still had my hosp gown on, you know the ones--they open in the back--went in bathroom, tucked the gown under my arm and with my other arm/hand proceeded to do what I had to do. Then my head itched and I reached up to scratch it. I knew I was still going but didn't hear the 'tinkle in the stool' so I looked down and I was peeing on the gown. When I got outside I asked for a new gown and had to explain why. That definetly brought a chuckle to their lips. Sure glad I was leaving. Trip to Lakeland was unevenful except for the bumpy road. They checked me in and I was there for 3 days while they ran tests. They do a good job of taking care of you there. We were impressed. Finally I got to leave. Dr. said that I had a mild heart attack at some time, not necessarily this time. Prescribed some meds and told me to followup at the VA. We got a VA appt and they arranged for me to have a primary care Dr at the Tampa VA since we are here for so long in the winter. This is great. My primary care Dr is a lady and is very efficient. She took time to explain things, answered all questions, & arranged followup tests. She gave me some meds and will do a followup before we leave in March. My experience at this VA hosp was nothing but positive. Very efficient. Since we spend 3 or 4 months every winter down here it would probably be feasible to get all my annual testings done down here instead of trying to be in S. Il every Oct for 2 weeks. Something we are looking at doing.

My cousin Bob from NY called and he and Liz were going to be just south of Tampa in a few days to get some work done on their MH. We arranged to meet them at the Camping World in Tampa. They bought a 'new to them' Country Coach MH. We had a good visit and their coach is nice. He has a mural on the back of his 2-man bobsled. He owns and drives the sled and a few years ago tried out for the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. He just missed qualifying. Just to get that far is a worthy accomplishment. But at least he got to visit Sarajevo.

Kay took the train to Savannah to help Clara with Mike, her dad, and getting things ready for Christmas.LZ & I drove up the weekend before Christmas (left MH in Fl) and stayed at Jason's house. That's the house I helped remodel the kitchen last spring but we left before the countertops and floor were done so I now have pics of the complete job.  Christmas was good except Mike didn't get to join us very often. Too many people, and his immune system is low.

Last July, we ordered a Packer's helmet thru a friend that could get them at a discount. Bob and Donna are die hard Packer's fans. The helmet arrived just before Christmas. They couldn't believe it when we presented it to them. Grinning for a week.

Bob Tydd (another volunteer) and I went down to Arcadia, Fl for a 'Bus Nuts' rally. These are people that take old busses and convert them into RVs. We were hoping we would find some RVing stuff for sale that we could use but nothing. Wasn't a wasted trip as there were some nice conversions there. And some questionable.

New Years Eve we spent at the Elk's Lodge in Wauchula. Lots of fun.

Later                                           Pictures