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Saigon Kids Stories: Al Kent In Movie About Alzhimer’s and Driving

submitted by Christy Kent – (ACS)

My brother Alan E. Kent (Brent School Class of 1961) is going to be in a film made by the Alzheimer’s Association about Alzheimer’s and driving.

The producers asked for some information and a photo pertaining to his military career. I’ve sent them the photo and his Silver Star Medal Award shown below.

It occurred to me Saigon Kids might also like to see them.

Saigon Kid Alan E. Kent - Brent School Class of 1961. U. S. Army Special Forces

Saigon Kid Alan E. Kent – Brent School Class of 1961. U. S. Army Special Forces. CLICK photo to ENLARGE

The Silver Star, officially referred to as the Silver Star Medal by all of the United States Armed Forces, is the third highest military decoration for valor that can be awarded to any person serving in any capacity with the United States Armed Forces.

Saigon Kid Alan E. Kent - Brent School Class of 1961 - U. S. Army Special Forces Silver Star Medal Award. CLICK photo to Enlarge

Saigon Kid Alan E. Kent – Brent School Class of 1961 – U. S. Army Special Forces Silver Star Medal Award. CLICK photo to Enlarge

Al has been coping brilliantly with his Alzheimer. About a year ago he sold his home in rural Virginia and has moved nearer to me in the Boston area.

Al attended Brent School spending his summers and school vacations in Saigon hanging out with Roy Chappell indulged in their favorite pass time — girls, girls, girls …

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24 comments to Saigon Kids Stories: Al Kent In Movie About Alzhimer’s and Driving

  • Frank

    Christy, Thanks for your information. Please keep us (me) undated. I just found out (a few months ago) that I have Leukemia. The VA said it was from exposure to “Agent Orange”. Many of us … maybe most of us, will never really leave Vietnam. But you know what? I do not mind! It was something special and sometimes very different. Hard to explain…Please Chrissy, keep us updated about Alan! I promise that I will have a glass of red wine for you, if you have one for me!

    Chrissy and I go back to 1960. Her parents and mine went to the floating restaurant in Saigon for dinner. Crissy, our friend Delia and I each took a class of red wine off the boat. We got caught. The three of us were pleasantly happy, and we let our parents figure it out. O.K.

    P.S. I salute Alan!!

    Frank

    • Norman Mau

      Hi Frank,

      I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis of leukemia. We have mutual friends of Christy and Allen as I was with them at Brent. Hopefully, you do remember me as Gordon’s brother from Tehran. We last saw each other in Honolulu at my Uncle’s house where you took the bus to about the 1960 timeframe.

      I visited with Allen and Christy about a week before he moved from VA to Mass where I helped with a little packing. I had not seen Allen since we graduated from Brent in 1961.

      I saw your picture taken at MARCORPS basic. Did you serve in Nam where you were exposed Agent Orange?

      Gordon is still in the Seattle area and has recently moved closer to Seattle than where he was previously about 90 miles North of Seattle.

      Norman
      301 983 8469

      Christy, I hope Allen is doing fine.

      • Christy Kent

        Norman, Alan is doing well. Has his own apartment in assisted living, his three feisty cats and his sense of humor are with him, and he still runs most mornings down by the Marina. Thank you again for all of your help when he was getting ready to move: it was a tough time and we both appreciated your kindness.

  • Frank

    Why do I think the Vietnam war was wrong, and yet I am so glad I served?

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    It WAS a wrong war, just like Iraq. BUT it is honorable to serve your country and follow the orders of your elected and appointed leaders. I have mountains of respect for the military members who served in Iraq, but I never thought it was a just war. I agreed with going into Afghanistan because the US was attacked by people being sheltered in that country but poor leadership in the White House, the cabinet and the Pentagon turned it into an sad embarrassment. The previous administration did more harm to the honor of the United States than anything in our recent past.

  • MIKE Parker

    UNRELATED TO THE ABOVE CHRISTY, BUT I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS A RELATIVELY NEW ARRIVAL IN SAIGON, LIVING IN THE “GUEST HOUSE”, YOU , SONDRA, AND VICKI COMING OVER TO SEE ME WHEN I WAS SICK WITH WHAT EVER. LOVED ALL OF YOU THEN, AND STILL LOVE YOU ALL NOW, EVEN IF ALL OF US (SONDRA) ARE NO LONGER WITH US. I LOVED HER “LIKE-A-ROCK” AND WLL NEVER FORGET OUR TIMES TOGETHER.

    TAKE CARE AND MAY GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU,

    MIKE

    • Christy Kent

      Mike, really nice to hear from you. Sondra was so glad you had a chance to get in touch and catch up. Vicky lives about an hour from me so we see each other at least a few times a year – it is lovely to still have that connection. The three of us, together with Vicki’s husband, visited VN a few years ago, saw our old homes, ate ice cream at Broudards – it was a wonderful trip. We had no idea of course that we were going to lose Sunni not too long after, but that makes me especially grateful that we went.

      • David Branch

        Christy my mother Karen Branch Cooper saw this and are so sorry to hear. But very glad it sounds like Alan is doing ok. We loved his visits to Golden when in Colorado..

        • Christy Kent

          David, so good to hear from you. Please give my best regards (and Alan’s) to your mom. I have been in touch sporadically with Missy but otherwise both Alan and I have lost touch with all Golden folks. He is doing well –as you’d expect, he maintains his sense of humor to the nth degree. Would be happy to know more about what all of you are doing and to pass the news along to him.

          Christy (although I think to Golden folks I was usually Chris!)

  • Frank

    Ken, A friend of mine, purple heart guy, who can’t hear very well as a result, said yesterday…”The war was wrong, we weren’t”.

  • Frank

    Ken,
    Once upon a time in early 2003, I went to a candle light vigil that was in light of opposing the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The U.S. had not invaded Iraq, but anyone with common sense knew it was going to happen, regardless of what Scott Ritter and other UN inspectors were going to say. A local newspaper person, somehow knew I was A high school teacher interviewed me after the vigil. I told him that the WMD were not a big deal or a concern. Iraq had chemical weapons in the 1980’s, and we were not upset. His nuclear capability had been knocked out by Israel and his Army had been pretty much destroyed in 1991. (I was G-2 of III Corps Artillery in 1990-91). I said the main question should be, is he tied to El Qaida, the folks that attacked us? I also said that was unlikely because he did not want to tangle up with religious groups. (in a briefing to Brigade Commanders in 1990, I told them when asked what type of Army Iraq had… I had lived in Iran as a kid…We (the U.S) had nothing to fear as long as we kept it a secular war..they would not be brave..BUT if we ever made it a religious war, we would be in trouble…this is a people that would run from a fight on Wednesday, but on Friday they could march in a parade cutting themselves with knifes and beating themselves with chains in the name of Alla). I also told the newsman that a friend of mine (Dini was her name, but I did not say that) had asked if the United States would attack other Muslim countries. My Korean exchange student was also worried about what the U.S. would do there.) After the article was published, I received hate emails at the high school. I was called unpatriotic, UN-American, how could a former service member not support the war, etc, etc… I most say I have not gotten over this. I felt worse and received more taunting then that what I ever received during the Vietnam War.
    I have to say that when the Dixie Chicks were “black balled” I went and bought several Cd’s to send to people. People seem to make up history, but in 2003, I told my friends (back in 2003) that I used to see how fun loving Germans were, and wondered how they would follow people in the 1930’s that were really not for their best interest. After 2003, I never wondered about that again. Ken, hopefully you and others understand what I am saying.
    I moved to teach at the high school from the middle school in 1997. A student of mine, in my first period of my first year at the high school was killed in Iraq… Spc. Michael M. Merila. I also have a friend named Tom that served in Iraq shortly after the invasion. He said so much “cash (in bills) was spent without any audit. What a waste of money and life! I think Vietnam gave us, or some of us a lessons, but for many, I think their head was somewhere else. In 1981 the Army study group (who also developed the new Army doctrine on Leadership and Ethics) said we must never go to war unless you can define what winning is. Vietnam was such a learning and teachable event, but time seems to take its tole. I guess many folks did not hear, or forgot.

  • Frank

    My wife’s mother, who still lives alone (about a 10 or 15 minute drive from us), turns 92 on St. Patrick’s Day. Susy is cocking up a bunch of corned beef, new potatoes, cabbage, etc. for tomorrow. Susy’s Sister, Linda is bringing the cake. Hope ya all, especially those in Boston and Butte, have a good one.

  • Frank

    Congress did not decide the War in Iraq. Congress voted to let President Bush decide what to do. Yes, that was a fault from Congress, but President Bush could have made the decision, “yes or “no”. We all know what he did. In fact, at least three months out from the War’s start, we knew what President Bush was going to do. It had nothing to do what Sadam would have said or done, Bush wanted this war. This was a war of “choice”.I very much remember how the American public turned on anyone who spoke out against the upcoming invasion of Iraq. Americans seem to have a short memory span. Yes, it was President’s choice and the democrats in government did not stop him, and it was not the media who led the charge, it was the American citizenry.

  • Frank

    Memory of Vietnam…A helicopter would arrive, and it was strictly volunteer. The bodies were in poncho liners, not body bags. The flesh, blood, water, puce, hair and feces flowed out through the folds of the poncho liners on to those volunteers. On to their shirts, pants and into their boots as they unloaded bodies. After it was over, everyone took all their clothes, threw them away and hosed themselves off. One fellow, even took his wedding ring off and threw that away.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfmcUeueuhc

  • COL (Ret) Gary Marchand

    Christy, I believe that Al was my SMAJ when I commanded the 16th Engineer Bn in Germany (1982-83) More than that, we were close friends. I am heartbroken to hear that Al is suffering from Alzheimers and wish him only the best on the journey he is embarked upon. I ask that you give him my best wishes in the hope that he will remember me.Please keep me (us) updated.

    • Christy Kent

      Hi, don’t know whether you will see this since it is so long sine you posted but Alan does remember you very well – lots of good comments and memories, and he also mentioned how nice your wife was to him and his family. If you would like to get in touch with him please let me know. (BTW I think I met both of you very briefly when I visited Alan and Oot in Nuremburg one Christmas – my memory is that it was at a New Year’s Day reception at your home?).

  • Christy Kent

    Apologies to all for lack of response to your comments about and messages to Al. Somehow I had not seen them before tonight. All mean a lot and I will pass them on. Gary Marchand, generally Al’s memory for that period is excellent, so I suspect he absolutely will remember you. Will let you know. Thanks again, all. Helps to hear from folks who remember him. He’s a good guy.

  • frank

    Chrisy, Please keep us updated. Have not heard from Vicky for quite some time. How are they doing? Frank

    • Christy Kent

      Hi Frank, Vicki and Bob have just bought a brand-new “energy efficient” house closer to Sondra’s daughter and will be moving in October. Bob has started a new chemo trial and seems to be tolerating it very well. Vicki is as always, doing a gazillion things at once and doing all fabulously. I don’t know how she manages, but wish she could bottle and sell it to me. How are you feeling? Was sorry to hear that you have been ill and hope all is going extremely well with treatment. Please let me know. Every time I have a glass of red wine (which is often!) I think of you, Delia, and our mortified parents on the Floating Restaurant.

  • frank

    Christy, Listened to “Red, Red Wine” today and thought of you. I talked to Delia on the phone, in 1973. She was married and had a child and was living in Georgetown. I have tried to locate her after that, but to no avail.. Her parents lived in D.C. proper, but I assume they have long past.
    I hope Alan is doing well. The more I read “stuff” the more I realize the world is a small world. If Alan was at Johnson Barracks, Germany, I was just up the road about 20 minutes from there, at a place called Herzo Arty Base, at the same time he was in Furth. Best to Vicki and Bob…Frank

  • frank

    Being an old soldier, I would like to thank Col. Marchand for his words and concern. I personally liked an ole Army boss to come out in support of a fellow soldier. Thank You, Sir.

  • Gary Marchand

    Christy, Yes, I would like very much to get in touch with Al and you. The three years I commanded the 16th were the three best years of my Army career, mainly because of the tremendous rapport and friendship my wife had with Al and his family. We both shared the same goals, Mission and taking care of the soldier.. Without the soldier, the Mission could not succeed. I am sorry I don’t remember you, but those New Year receptions were wild and wooly. As Al can tell you, we brought all the leaders to our house at once, NCO’s (E-6 through E-9) and officers. Was not a command performance, but a gathering of soldiers and their wives to celebrate the new year.

    Gary

    • Christy Kent

      Hi Gary – I think/hope you can get my e-mail address through the site admin, or that with your permission he can give me yours – Ken, is that the case? If not [;s let me know and I will figure out a way to establish contact with Al (when he retired he swore never to use a computer again!) I know he’d be really pleased to hear from you. FYI He is scheduled for cardiac surgery in mid-April; doctors say that other than a pesky valve he is in unbelievably good physical shape, so we expect outstanding results!

  • frank

    Christy, Hoping the best for Al. Glad to hear everything is going so well. Please keep us updated. Frank

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