All posts by DetASnake

TAPS – Gilbert R. Turcotte

Folks, sad news.   Our brother Gil Turcotte passed away on 11/10/2019.  Gil was a generous man, full of caring for all of us. One hell of an SF TROOPER. He will be sadly missed among his Detachment (A) family.

Gil served in Detachment”A” from 1976-1984.

A Celebration of Life ceremony was held for Gil on Saturday, 14 December 2019 in Augusta Maine at  the Maine Army and Air Force Joint Forces Headquarters Maine National Guard Maine Camp Chamberlain Assembly Hall.

The service began with a Color Guard unit made up of the three law enforcement departments that SGM Gilbert Turcotte worked with plus the Maine Army National Guard soldier in dress blues carrying the US Army Flag. Then the Maine State Select (the best in the state) honor guard brought the folded Colors and the Urn to the table in the front. Followed by a female army guard singing the National Anthem.   This was followed by the Invocation by LTC Earl Weigelt Maine National Guard Chaplain.

Then speakers from the Agency Gil worked for in order:

Army MSG Bob Charest Detachment”A” member

Det Paul Ferland of the Winthrop Police Department

Sheriff Ken Mason Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office

Dan Davies of the Sabattus Police Department.

Kevin Cookson Major Kennebec Sheriff’s Office and Gil’s commander as LT in the  CID.

Next came remarks from folks present which was well over 100.

Detachment”A” members Douglas Curry, Ron Russell, and Ric Patrick attended along with former army buddies of Gil including “Smitty”, and Steven Boyd were also in attendance.

This was followed by Dot given her emotional remarks.

A poem read at a lot of Vietnam veterans funeral was then recited by MSG retired Ryan Hewins.

The poem was followed by Gil’s one and only request:  to have the Ballard of a Green Beret by SSG Sadler.

This was followed by LTC Earl Weigelt Chaplain Maine Army National Guard. Once his remarks were over the Honor Guard standing outside at attention in the pouring rain gave the 21 gun salute.

Two SSG performed the unfolding then re-folding of the colors which was presented to Dot.

Chaplain Weigelt performed the benediction.

After the ceremony a catered reception was held in the camps dining hall.

This is a link to an article from the Central Maine Newspaper.

TAPS – Peter M. Gould

Peter Marcus Gould passed away on 31 October 2019.  Peter served in Detachment”A” from 1980-1984.

A Celebration of Life was held on December 14, 2019 at the Contoocook Fire Station, 9 Pine Street, Contoocook New Hampshire .  Detachment”A” members Doug Curry and Ron Russell were in attendance.

Additional information

SFA Chapter XI Regimental Birthday Reception, Dinner and Dance Honoring the Veterans of Special Forces Berlin

This event has been postponed to a later date to be announced.

On May 1st, 2020 Chapter XI  are hosting a Regimental Birthday Reception, Dinner and Dance Honoring Veterans of Special Forces Berlin at the Army Navy Country Club, 1700 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, Virginia.

Their Chapter website has a button  “Click Here for Invitation” to download the invitation with RSVP card and return address.

David Jackson and Chapter XI president Ray Oden are contacts for this event.

SFA Chapter XI Regimental Birthday Reception, Dinner and Dance

    • Honoring the Veterans of Special Forces Berlin
    • FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2020
    • 1800-2300 Hours
    • Army Navy Country Club
    • 1700 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22202

2019 Detachment“A”/PSSE Special Forces Berlin Get Together After-Action Report

2019 Detachment“A”/PSSE Special Forces Berlin Get Together After-Action Report

The 2019 Detachment “A”/PSSE Special Forces Berlin Get Together held in Asheville, NC from 12 September 2019 – 15 September 2019 was outstanding and truly special. The 2019 Detachment”A”/PSSE Special Forces Berlin was incredible and truly special, one of the best yet.  They just keep getting better.


Many thanks to all the folks that contributed to this year’s function which was extra special this time.  Sid Williams contributed enormously to this function in both time and effort.  His support is greatly appreciated.  He also kept the bar stocked which was no small task.  Many thanks also to Gil Turcotte as well for his contributions to this function. Mercer “Mac” Dorsey, Ron Braughton, Chris Feudo, Gil Turcotte, John Lee, Pat and Gabbie Walters, all made very generous donations of beer to the bar and food, as did many others. Alan MacRae and the PSSE contributed their time and efforts to help keep things going, many thanks to all of them.  Alan will be hosting the 2020 function. John Lee provided us all with the sharp-looking name tags using our Berlin logo.  Many thanks from the attendees. Nick Brokhausen was in attendance and he brought along copies of his first book WE FEW: U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam; three of which were auctioned off at the function.  Nick has written a new book entitled Whispers in the Tall Grass with an expected publication date of 19 October 2019.  All the information about Nick’s second book has been posted to the Special Forces Berlin/Detachment”A” web site.  

Betty Amaker from the JFK Museum/Gift Shop was in attendance.  Betty brought a large assortment of Special Forces and Detachment”A” items for sale. Sid Williams donated several artifacts for the JFK Museum including: two US Command Berlin telephone directories:  US Command telephone directory, Directory of key personnel; copies of Berlin photos from 1935 to a 1963 checkpoint Charlie photo and maps from Berlin from the early days.  These artifacts were handed over to Betty who will transport to Roxanne Merritt for processing.

Original Member Recognition

One of our Original Detachment”A” members, James Wilde attended with his lovely wife Rosi.  Jim was in Detachment”A” from 1957 to 1963.

Some of the couples we managed to snap pictures.


Bob Charest kicked things off.  Bob spoke about members on sick call, and how they were greatly missed; wishing them all well.  Bob then introduced Chris Feudo who gave the blessing of the function.  Chris gave a meaningful and inspirational invocation. Bob then introduced Alan MacRae who will be the hosting our next function in 2020.  The Detachment”A”/PSSE Berlin Special Forces function will be held in Colorado Springs, Colorado in September 2020.  Alan gave a detailed presentation to everyone about the next function.  Bill Crowley is doing a lot of the groundwork for this function. All this information has been posted to the Berlin Special Forces /Detachment “A” web site so you can find out all about the next function.  For full information on our 2020 Detachment“A”/PSSE Special Forces Berlin Function go to the web site. Bob then asked Sid Williams to give everyone a briefing on his efforts with the Veterans Cemetery in Monterey, CA.  Sid provided a full status on all the work done for the veterans’ cemetery.


Bob Charest and Nick Brokhausen were having breakfast when Nick came up with the idea to auction off three books and donating the proceeds to our function.  He suggested to Bob Charest that he preside over the auction.  Right about the time Bob was thinking it over as to who could be drafted as auctioneer instead of himself, along came Ron Bruce at the most opportune time.  To make a long story short, Ron was ‘assigned’ the job of auctioneer although somewhat reluctantly having informed us he had no experience in this area. Later that day, the auction began.  Ron assumed his role as auctioneer and not only did he perform as well as any trained auctioneer, he excelled; it was performance to behold.  Ron was a big hit with the folks. Jeanne Fondas aided Ron by keeping records of all the bids.  The bids exceeded expectations having raised over $300.00 for the three books.  Many thanks to Nick for his generous donation.  Bob Charest gave the money raised by the auction to Alan MacRae for the 2020 function.

Special Toast

Lee Fondas surprised Bob Charest with a special toast.  Lee shared a $500.00 bottle of cognac with the troops.  He and his wife Jeanne set it up.  They prepared special shot glasses for those present and toasted Bob for his friendship, and his efforts and contributions to Detachment”A” and Berlin Special Forces.

MG(Ret)Jim Guest

Our honored guest MG(Ret) James Guest could not make our function this year, and he was sorely missed.  A specially crafted eagle cane was to be presented to Jim at the function by Gil Turcotte who had the woodcarver artist create a personalized eagle cane for Jim.  The cane was mailed to Jim’s home.

Whispers in the Tall Grass by Nick Brokhausen

Expected publication 19 October 2019

Former Member of Detachment”A” Nick Brokhausen has written his second book entitled “Whispers in the Tall Grass with an expected publication date of 19 October 2019.

On his second combat tour, Nick Brokhausen served in Recon Team Habu, CCN. This unit was part of MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observations Group), or Studies and Observations Group as it was innocuously called. The small recon companies that were the center of its activities conducted some of the most dangerous missions of the war, infiltrating areas controlled by the North Vietnamese in Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The companies never exceeded more than 30 Americans, yet they were the best source for the enemy’s disposition and were key to the US military being able to take the war to the enemy. This was accomplished by utilizing both new and innovative technology, and tactics dating back to the French and Indian Wars.

This small unit racked up one of the most impressive records of awards for valor of any unit in the history of the United States Army. It came at a terrible price, however; the number of wounded and killed in action was incredibly high. Those missions today seem suicidal. In 1970 they seemed equally so, yet these men went out day after day with their indigenous allies – Montagnard tribesmen, Vietnamese, and Chinese Nungs – and faced the challenges with courage and resolve.

Whispers in the Tall Grass is the second volume of Nick’s riveting memoir of his time with MACV-SOG. Written in the same irreverent, immediate style that made We Fewi a cult classic, he continues his hair-raising adventures behind enemy lines, and movingly conveys the bonds that war creates between soldiers.

Click here for additional book info

Click here for information about Nick’s first book entitled “We Few, U.S. Special Forces forces in Vietnam

Berlin Special Forces