Potter, Bob         Photo Today - January, 2002
Motor Pool Mechanic - Acting SGT     Update
697th Engineer Co (P/L)
Korat (Camp #44) & Satahip
Belgrade, Montana Map Click me to send the widow Flo an email! P.O. Box 684
Belgrade, MT   59714

Photo Legend:
Click here - for larger photo of 697th Guys!
"Huhhh.. the patient ain't gonna make it!"
"Sir! - this jeep don't need this part!"

    The character in the forefront is yours truly, the character to the right is Steven Standard (about to knock the pudden out of yours truly!), and the character to the rear is James Thomas.   Steven "Step On Standard" Standard, was at that time from Escondido, California.   (I used to call him "Sandy," because I had originally heard someone else call him that before I actually got to know him.   I called him that during my whole tour in Thailand.)  James Thomas was from St. Louis, Missouri.   I don't know if either are living in either place now.

Lazy bum Bob...
  201 File -

"Before'n After" update (below) -

    In-County:   1968 - 69 in both Korat (Camp #44, Friendship and Samae San)     Some more background info -

Lazy bum Bob...     I am living and working in a small community called Belgrade.   A small town that has essentually become a bedroom community to another small town in South Western Montana called Bozeman. We are located roughly nine miles west of Bozeman just off of Interstate 90 at exit #289.   I work for a company that manufactures chassis dynomometers for motorcycles, snowmobiles, go-karts, and automobiles.   We are liscensed to NASCAR and at this particular time have one of Robert Yates Nascar cars over at our test facility testing the car and a new retarder design on one of our 248 dynomometers.   We strap the cars down onto the dynos and put them into gear and accelerate the engines.   The drive wheels are centered on top of the drums and horsepower readings are established, as we say, "at the ground."

    I am a welder/fabricator for the company.   I and a couple of other guys at my end of the shop, produce most all of the accessories that are ordered for the various dynos that we sell.   During the past six years that has become pretty much the routine.   Not a lot to get to excited about anymore, as far as job duties go.

    The 70's and 80's brought a lot of different jobs and a lot of moving.   It made it hard trying to support a wife and raise a couple of kids.

    My son just turned 28 on Christmas day.   He is married with a really cute little 20 month old girl and another one in the hopper.

    My daughter will be 23 on the 26th of this month and she is still single.   I will be a double nickle on the 23rd of January.   My wife and I will be married 30 years this July.   And, it seems like it all just started yesterday.   I got out of the service on June 5, 1969 about six or seven days after leaving Thailand, with a 45 day "Early Out" Program.

  Well, I have probably bored you enough with all this and it is nearly 11:30 pm., plus I am no speed demon when it comes to typing.   So, I had better close out and go get some sleep.   Let me know what you think about the picture idea, if it will work or not, and any suggestions that you may have.   If I had the camera set up, then, that I have today, and the interest, then, that I have now, I probably would have several hundred slides to choose from.

Bob.    Email dtd 16 Jan 01

Some more background information -

    I entered the U.S. Army on July 12, 1966 in Butte, Montana and completed my basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana.   In September, I entered AIT at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, studying Engineer Equipment Maintenance (62B20).   In January, 1967, I attended the School of Engineering again and trained for Engineer Equipment Repair (62B30).   After completion of this course I was invited to join an instructor training program at Fort Belvoir.   After completing the program, I was assigned to the teaching staff, where I served until May 1968.

    In March of 1968, I came down on levee for Vietnam.   At this same time, my brother came down on orders to report to Vietnam as well.   I subsequently asked for a deferment and was granted it.   In April, I came down on levee for Thailand and in May was ordered to report to Fort Ord, California in early June of 1968.   On June 5th.   I was sitting in a hanger at Travis AFB, with orders in hand, waiting to board a chartered jet plane to Bangkok, Thailand.   While waiting there, a sergeant came into the hanger and with a solemn voice, announced that Robert Kennedy had been shot.   No one knew what his condition was at that time, but somewhere, out over the Pacific Ocean, the pilot announced the he had died.

    I arrived in Bangkok via Anchorage, Alaska and Tokyo, Japan some seventeen hours later.   I was then taken to the hotel for a briefing and then allowed to get over my jet lag.   Sometime during the next day, I boarded a bus for Korat and 44th headquarters.   Initially, I was to go to Thailand as a military person, but to work in a special civilian type uniform and similar capacity to teach the Thai nationals engineer equipment maintenance and operation.   But... after being briefly interviewed by a high, ranking officer, I was notified that I had gained too much rank too fast and was to wet behind my ears!   I was sent back to my quarters where I sat (mostly laid around) in limbo for about three weeks while the United States Army tried to figure out what to do with me, since they had flown me all the way over there.

    I was eventually called in before a warrant officer and notified that they really didn't know what to do with me, since I was sent over there to teach, but wasn't being allowed to perform in that capacity.   The officer said that he realized that I was trained to work on engineer equipment, but would I mind working on trucks, instead?   I responded that I needed to do something and that would be as good as anything else, I figured.

    The next thing I realized was, "Hello, 697th!"   I remained working in the motor pool at the 44th until we were moved to Camp Friendship.   I don't believe that I was at Friendship more than a few weeks when I was sent to Camp Vayama and quartered there.   We were trucked each day over to Camp Samae San to work out of a mix-shift motor pool site with a couple of storage containers for parts and tools located at D company, 538th Battalion.   I did this for a few months while a motor pool site was being completed for our company.

    In early 1969, our motor pool was completed, and the 697th was officially transferred to Camp Samae San.   I, and the fellows that were working with me were then transferred to the older quarters, by the hillside at Samae San.

    I rotated stateside on Memorial Day weekend, 1969 and was discharged on June 5, at Oakland, California.

Bob   Email 10 Feb 2001

"Before'n After" Update/January, 2002 -

Bob Potter, before - Satahip 1969     Bob Potter, today - January, 2002

Bob Potter's Vet Montana license plate!
Bob Potter's Thank-a-Vet bumper sticker!

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