Letter to the Editor:

There is an Outstanding Veteran among us!

During 3-6 August 2000 almost 1000 troopers (members) of The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment’s Veterans of Vietnam & Cambodia traveled to Buffalo from as far away as Montana, to attend the unit’s XV Annual Reunion. The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, known as the ‘Blackhorse Regiment’ served with heroic distinction in Vietnam from 1966 until 1972 adding 11 campaign streamers to its colors. The regiment is still active and is currently serving as the opposing force ‘top gun’ of armor tactics, assigned to the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California.

On 5 August 00, a remembrance service at the Buffalo Vietnam Memorial was held to honor the 767 members of the regiment, who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Vietnam. The organization was honored to have New York State Assemblyman Charles H. Nesbitt, Assembly District: 137 as a speaker. He was instrumental in the coordination of a Cobra helicopter ‘fly-over’, the first in the history of the organization. The theme of Mr. Nesbitt’s inspirational and emotional message was, "the names on the memorial wall are not just words carved in stone, but real people that did not get the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. People like Richard Engle from Albion, a friend and Little League playmate, that did not return from Vietnam. People that chose to serve their country".

Mr. Nesbitt was a helicopter pilot with the 57th Assault Helicopter Co. during the Vietnam War, served in the U.S. armed forces for 10 years and earned the prestigious air medal with 26 oak leaf clusters. The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment’s Veterans of Vietnam & Cambodia, is still receiving ‘Thank You’ letters from Veterans and their families, from all over the country, for Mr. Nesbitt’s participation in the ceremony. The all members and friends of the organization, are truly thankful that not only had a fellow veteran spoke at the service, but a person that can be called a friend, supporter and true patriot.

Mr. Nesbitt has served as the Ranking Member of the Assembly Veterans' Affairs Committee and has been appointed a Member of the New York State Veterans' Affairs Commission. Mr. Nesbitt has been a leader in advocating funding for services and programs for this state's nearly 1.3 million veterans. Mr. Nesbitt was also instrumental in obtaining the passage of an Assembly resolution in March 1994 calling on Congress to enact a U.S. constitutional amendment prohibiting the desecration of the American flag.

Thank You Mr. Nesbitt, for having served and continuing to serve your country.

Donald Kunego

11th Armored Cavalry, Vietnam 1967

Major, US Army (Ret)