Monday, 08-Jun-2015 16:56

 

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INTO THE FIRE!

 

To all the, CAN DO, soldiers I salute you... The history we made, peace we kept, and fun we had will be cherished forever... Even though the gates at Harvey are now locked and all secured we will never forget the hustle and bustle of our beloved,FLUGPLATZ! - Jim Karolchyk, SGM, Ret.

 

WELCOME TO MY WEBSITE!

 

Please Note

The photographs here-in are the sole property of me. I own all rights to these pictures and have almost every negative on hand. If you attempt to use these pictures elswhere or download them I will know. If you would like to use them in a book or other printed matter please contact me and we can agree on a price. If you use them on a website you WILL give me full credit and you WILL email me stating what site it is used on.

Harsh? Yes. This is My Property!

 

 

Reference and Advising

ATTENTION AUTHORs, MOVIE, or TV PRODUCTION Companies!

My time can be yours. I have 24 years of military experience as an American Soldier spread out over 2 military services and no less than 4 military occupational specialties. I have served on active duty in both the US Army and the US Air Force. I was a member of our National Guard and Army Reserve teams as well. I have retired but I keep up with the daily military grind like other advisors in this industry. I have working knowledge of NASA as I am a part time employee and I am currently earning my degree in Secondary Education to become a History Teacher.

My fees are resonable. If you are looking to keep your budget down, for accurate first hand hands-on technical info, and accurate portrayals, then please click my name to email me and lets discuss your plans.

Dave Matteson

 

If you are using a dial-up connection this website will take 3-10 minutes to open.

Large file sizes were used so that detail in the pictures would be easily seen.

I'm sorry for the inconvenience and I hope you understand.

Thanks, Dave

 

 

Welcome to my website.

If you are a former 3rd Infantry Division member (active or former) and are interested in advertising your business here please contact us and we will give you special rates for your linked advertisements.

Please understand that that this is a family oriented site and "adult" oriented advertisements are not permitted.

 

 

If you served in Kitzigen between 1945 and 1975 they want you!

Click the image and check their site!

 

My Dad's Website

 

3rd Infantry Division Association

 

 

In the fall of 1979 I join the US Army Delayed Entry program while still in high school. I attend regular drills with the 76th Training Division’s A Company 3rd of the 417th. I spent almost 3 years in this unit training as a drill sergeant and attending an advanced infantry training course at Fort Jackson, annual trainings with the 10th group SF at Fort Devens which including my first practice jump from a parachute tower which scared the living shit out of me. At Fort Devens when not training with the 10th Group we drilled JR and ROTC students to get them ready for their enlistment.


In late August of 1982 I requested to go active duty and chose Germany. In October of 1982 I was sent to Fort Dix to the Holding and Transfer point for assignment to the Federal Republic of Germany or West Germany as it was called. Arriving at Fort Dix at 3am was not unnerving as it was arriving at Fort Jackson at the same time two and a half years earlier to screaming drill sergeants and officers in civilian clothes. Unfortunately someone forgot to tell the drill sergeants waiting on several buses from Boston, New York, and Pittsburg that we weren’t them.


After the sergeants made their rounds apologizing for the screw up we were taken to our barracks and given our room numbers. Guys like me who had rank in the reserves were given two man rooms and had our rank returned to us for the time being. We were the squad leaders. One sergeant found out that I was a drill sergeant in my old unit and had me calling PT and marching the guys to the PX or the chow hall. As proud as I was to do it I really wanted to be just one of the guys as I had fears.


“My fear was a blanket party. I had received one in basic training about 5 weeks into it because the guys that I was training with thought that I was way too familiar with weapons, drill and ceremony, military courtesy, and the NCOs. In the middle of the beating Tony Sheffield, Terry Canida, and Eubanks came to my rescue. Somehow Canida got info that I was in a reserve unit and explained the situation which was being a member of a delayed entry program for almost a year I drilled with the unit I was joining until I went to basic.”


Our barracks was adjacent to the flight line at McGuire AFB so we got to see the prison and freedom birds coming and going. Old brick buildings dating back to the Korean War they were beaten and needed a lot of work. 8 short years’ earlier guys coming home from Vietnam were housed here until the area was void of protestors and peace activists. Then they made their quiet exodus out the back gate and home as civilians. One guy stayed. I don’t remember his name but he was a retired black Master Sergeant who helped us in-process. Nice guy. Told us stories of Vietnam and how one in ten C-141 transport jets were going somewhere other than Vietnam.


The day came where we packed our bags and headed to the flight line. Standing on the McGuire flight line I was face to face with a C-141 still bearing the artwork it wore bringing men home from Vietnam. Then in a twist of fate a Boeing 747 rolls up. I board, we take off, eat, drink several beers, fall asleep, and wake up in Germany. My plane was just touching down. I woke up.


Not a dream.

 

The Title and how I got it.

Three weeks after arriving in Germany and being assigned to my unit I got a nasty surprise at 3am one morning. A Russian fighter, not an East German fighter, flew over the border, did a U-turn and flew back. By 3:30am we were sitting in Klosterforest waiting for our orders. By 0700hrs we were sent back to the track park to await the final all is clear. By 9am all was clear and my adrenaline was finally subsiding.

I was in an M113 with a bunch of guys I had only known for a few days. My squad leader, SSG David Rand, had told the guys in my squad to treat me right and help me be part of the team. So with eight of us sitting cramped in a 7x10 box with everything we owned I started to learn about being brothers with men I did not know.

During the mount up phase of getting ready to leave the track park one of the NCOs looked at me and told me this was normal around the holidays as the commies didn't want us to sleep or have a good holiday season. As he told me this SFC Nelson Beard walked by and said "let’s go...oh you’re the new guy...Matt...Let’s go Matt, into the fire."

During our wait in the forest I asked what SFC Beard meant by into the fire and I was told that our mission was to hold off the advance of a Russian Armored Division. I looked back to my gaming days of Cold War and Squad leader and said, "With a company?" SSG Rand looked at me and responded, "The Russians don't use frying pans."

It was at this very moment when I realized that, at nineteen, I had just entered the real world and that everything I did would have a positive or a negative reaction.