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From the Pit - Issue #1, May 2021

May 2021 - See what you've been missing!

SFA Chapter 500 “D” Indiana closed 2020 with a virtual Christmas event. We shared the unique stories that led chapter members to Special Forces, and what it has meant to them in their lives. Stories were proud, touching, patriotic, and as you would expect, often damn funny!

Get the full PDF issue with photos here.

From the Pit Issue No1 May 2021
Download PDF • 774KB

From the Chapter President

I want to say how extremely honored and humbled I am to be able to work with and represent some of the most incredible warriors in the world. As a new chapter, we have come a long way despite last year being so slow with Covid. Now we have a full calendar for us all to spend time together in fellowship doing cool and interesting things. I want to also thank everyone that has stepped up and volunteered in the past and in the months to come, we are here to support each other and our families—that's all that matters. Here is to a very bright future! –Jeremy Miller, Carpe diem!

Sadly, during our Holiday meeting, one of our scheduled speakers, CW3 Zane Koester, (Ret.) fell ill with COVID-19 and was unable to participate. He passed away a short time later on December 31st. Chief Z was a very popular member of the chapter, and joined the Regiment in 1968. He deployed many times and served in Afghanistan in 2001 with the 19th SFG(A). Zane retired from the army in 2005 and also retired from the US Postal Service. His photo is on the memorial page, and he is greatly missed.

Our chapter helped plan and raise $13,000 for a permanent memorial to Sergeant Jeremy R. Wright at his former high school in Shelbyville, IN. Wright was a Special Forces communications sergeant assigned to 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Lewis, WA. He was killed in action while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom on January 3, 2005, in the vicinity of Asadabad, Afghanistan. Under the outstanding leadership of Chapter 500 Member, David Knight, and with the enthusiastic support of our members and others, the memorial was designed and funded in about one month. The memorial unveiling and ceremony, hosted by Chapter 500 is May 14th. You can learn more about Jeremy Wright and the Memorial on Chapter “D” 500’s homepage.

Chapter member, Clay Edens, owner of Sunset SCUBA, conducted a PADI, Discover SCUBA, on 27 Feb 2021. Discover SCUBA is a quick and easy introduction to what it takes to explore the underwater world. We had a total of 18 non-divers take part in 3 pool sessions, and experience breathing underwater while enjoying a weightless environment. This event earned participants credit toward the PADI Open Water Course! Some Discovery SCUBA participants are continuing with our in-house instructor, Clay, to Open Water certification and beyond (up to assistant instructor). Clay is currently organizing a cave diving trip to Bonne Terre Mine for interested chapter members, which should be very exciting above and below the surface.

With special thanks to chapter member, Greg Stube and our host, Doug McComb and his incredible staff at Camelot Ridge Resorts, chapter members and their families were treated to a day of fishing, clay shooting (but not at Clay!), and even some pheasant hunting. This was followed by an incredible meal of day long smoked meats prepared by a chef who came all the way up from Texas to cook for the event. Gary Wainright, of Weco Automotive, guest hosted us at the event and became a chapter sponsor! More than a few of us learned that even though we can make an M-4 sing, shotguns can be a whole other deal! The pheasants were probably pretty safe too.

The day after the Camelot Ridge adventure, chapter members travelled to Holland, Michigan to place flowers at the grave site of Medal of Honor recipient, Gordon D. Yntema. Of course, they raised a glass in his honor led by our own Ken Hurst with chapter members Richard Underkofler and Tibor Bierbaum, and with Dave Fetters of Chapter 65. SGT Yntema graduated from Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana in 1963 and joined the Army from Detroit, Michigan in 1964. Yntema was a Sergeant in D Company, 5th Special Forces Group when he was killed in action in 1968 in the Republic of Vietnam. He was awarded the MoH for fighting to the death while refusing to surrender or abandon his wounded comrades.

Chapter member Steve Goodan hosted a fun family axe throwing event at Speedway Indoor Karting in April. No one was hurt, and by all accounts it was a big hit!

Chapter members Matt Rowe and Shane St. John are running the inaugural 2021 “Hoosier Tactical Skirmish” on October 3rd, 2021 in support of the SFA National’s effort across the country. The Tactical Skirmish is a 1-day, 3-event competition testing your physical endurance and shooting skills while under significant stress. Each event consists of a timed, physically and mentally challenging obstacle course, followed immediately by competitive pistol and rifle target engagements. These obstacles and conditions simulate the environments often encountered by Green Berets during tactical operations. Open to anyone who wants to test his/her skills as a tactical athlete from all manner of backgrounds. It’s an exciting and effective way to promote the chapter to the Central Indiana Region, as well as a great recruiting event for the Regiment, and the SFA. We are planning a hog roast and live music afterward, so it is a great time for everyone! If you want to be a sponsor, participant, or volunteer, please reach out to Matt Rowe.

If you are not an SFA or Chapter 500 member yet, you can now see what you’ve been missing! Join us today! More range outings, rappelling events, and a boating weekend are still on the schedule this year! We are also researching how we can most effectively reach out to imminently separating or newly separated SF veterans. We want to ensure they can quickly become a part of our SFA community, and get the unique camaraderie, activities, and support they need to make best transition possible into the very different civilian world.

Chapter Sponsors

We’d like to thank our chapter sponsors for their generous support of the SFA and veterans in general. We’re very new, but members of the local community are stepping up to help us create the organization we hope to be.

Please patronize these fine organizations whenever you can and let them know how grateful we are.

De Oppresso Liber

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