Richard P Yood

Profile Updated: January 12, 2016
Residing In: Tallahassee, FL USA
Spouse/Partner: Penny Yood
Occupation: Visibility Professional in Promotional Products
Children/Grandchildren: Mine: Dawn C. Yood Sorenson born June 1967
Charles N. Yood born August 1969
Hers: Jonathan N. More…Kessler born September 1970
Ingrid F. Kessler Holst born November 1973
Grandchildren: Nicholas, Madison, Autumn, Ms Elliot, Kirkland and baby Juniper
Military Service: Army, Helicopter Pilot, Infantry Officer, 32 Yrs  
Comments/Memories:

High school was not a happy time for me, mostly because my parents expected much more from me than I was willing to give. I had some good time, usually after school with "friends", but truly made no close friends from my time there as I wasn't allowed to do the "fun" things. But that's water over the dam, and life has been, to say the least interesting the last almost 50 years...

Where Were You Since '62?:

Left for the University of Louisville in August 62, not because I wanted to, but because it was expected, and was the only school to which I had applied. The high point of being accepted was the fact that it was 800 miles away from Wynnewood, so I could be, finally on my own. The school handled a kid like me very badly in that the "guidance" counselor I was assigned was an overworked professor who offered me no guidance at all. Thus I discovered booze, cigarettes and girls, though I found out that the first 2 were easier obtained than the last... Thus after 9 months after I started school, I finished it! Something about "borrowing" a car, which we did legally, and then trying to take it to Spring Break in Daytona Beach. After it was not returned when promised, the student from whom we had borrowed it, reported it stolen to the Louisville police. However when we returned it 48 hours later and parked it across from the dorm and told him it have been there all along, (little white lie, and we never did get to Florida, only Atlanta before turning around), before he could recover it, the police found it and reported it to the school. The 3 of us were called into the Dean's office the following business day and advise that we were not only not finishing the semester, but if we did not "withdraw" that day, we would never be re-admitted the next Fall semester. Thus it was adios and back to Wynnewood on the Grey Dog, woof, 27 hour trip...
Needless to say I was persona non grata at home and told to get a job, something that I had never been allowed to do, so I pack an overnight bag and went down to Upper Darby and enlisted in the Army on the stipulation that they had to take me that day. Left for Ft Dix for Basic Training, and didn't go home again until 1964. After Basic and Advanced Training, and with the idea that I would serve my 3 year hitch, get a trade and become a useful member of society, I was sent to an MP unit at Ft Dix, and checked in on Friday November 22nd, 1963. I walked into the Orderly Room to report in exactly 10 minutes before President Kennedy was assassinated, at which time the entire unit was locked down for possible deployment to Washington DC. That was an interesting week, with many rumors, but we actually never left New Jersey. However, while I was cooling my heals at Ft Dix, I discovered that I could apply for Army Flight School, and if I could pass a class I flight physical, and some flying tests, I could get orders to Warrant Officer Flight School, so I did. Since 1963 was sort of "pre-Vietnam" my paperwork had to go through channels for approval and before that happened, I was sent to Ft Benning, GA to join the unit that ultimately became the First Cavalry Division. However, since I had met a young lady, I re-enlisted to get enough $$$ to get married and thus missed being in the 1st Cav when they deployed in 1965. Instead I was sent to Germany on the last WWII Troop Ship to leave Brooklyn Navy Yard, crossing the North Atlantic in January, some trip, I wasn't seasick, but most of the other 1400 troops were. While in Germany I was involved in keeping the Russians on their side of the Iron Curtain until, finally, my Flight School orders caught up with me, and after only 10 months in Germany I was sent back to Texas for Warrant Officer training and Primary Flight School. I soloed in 14 hours which pretty much meant you were going on to Ft Rucker AL for Advanced flight training and transition in the lovable bird the UH-1 Huey. Graduated in October 1966 as a Warrant Officer 1, sent to Ft Benning only to find out that I was joining a unit that was getting ready to deploy to Vietnam, which happened in February 1967. Spent 12 months, in 3 units, getting over 1500 hours of flying time, and only got shot down once during Tet 1968 when I had only 6 days to go before I was to leave country for the States. No harm to me or my crew, only the helicopter, and we landed back in our compound where we miraculously found one remaining helicopter in the parking area. Since it did not appear to have any holes in it, we cranked it up, picked up a ship load of our wounded and got out of there to the evac hospital in Pleiku. Flew night flare ship for the next 5 days so I didn't have to sleep in the compound at night as Charlie was still throwing mortars and rockets at us even thought he had gotten his ass kicked royally, and on the 6th day got a flight to Camrahn Bay and a flight back to the world. Spent 18 months at Ft Rucker as an IP teaching newbys how to fly a Huey during which time the Army asked me if I wanted a direct commission to First Lieutenant of Infantry, though still an aviator. Since the $$$ was better and I was planning on making it a career, I took it an was sent back to Vietnam for my 2nd tour in April 1970, during which I was very very careful as I now had 2 children plus my wife whom I wanted to see again. After leaving Vietnam in 1971 I went back to Ft Benning to get my Infantry credentials/ticket punched, and was cruising merrily along until May 1973 when I was laid off by the Army. (You will see the same thing once we leave Afghanistan as it's the quickest way to reduce spending) However, I did stay in the Reserves for the next 22 years retiring as a LTC. I also managed to land a job as a first line supervisor with AC Sparkplug Div of General Motors in Milwaukee WI, where I spent 7 years before I got fed up with the inter-plant politics, left them in 1980 to start my own sales rep company. Was doing OK, but was tired of the lousy weather and wanted to go back south, however wife did not want to go, so we parted company, and I drove to Tallahassee FL in May 1982 and have never left. Joined an Advertising Specialty company here, and by 1994 was the sole owner, married my lovely wife Penny in November 1987, bought an RV in 2005, and have been living Large on my Army pension, Social Security and Commissions from my current position as an employee of Vernon Graphics & Promotions to whom I sold my company in 2006.
It's been a good ride so far, and I doubt I would have changed anything that has transpired, and besides, what's behind us cannot be changed, so I always look forward, and France is on the schedule for next July as well as that 50 year reunion in April.
Well the trip to France and the Reunion never happened thanks to a little left over from Viet Nam, Agent Orange related Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia. Was going along fine through 2011, but when the calendar turned to 2012, things got dicey health wise and my Oncologist thought that Chemo was a good idea. Did one session, with an infection that we didn't know about, and almost kicked the bucket. 21 days in the hospital in March and April, discharged the week of the Reunion, so that was out, and the recovery, though faster than was expected, nullified the France trip. However, as I had survived, my wife thought a new RV was in order, which we bought the end of June, and then spent the next 60 days roaming the mid-west and west. Was in remission for almost a year and a half, went to Europe this May for 30 days, RV'd and am cruising along happily. Finishing up a 6 month regimen, in December, of Chemo for this bug I have, with no side effects so far, and should then be in remission for another year and half. It's still fun visiting family and grand kids, and might do another cruise to Europe next year, just to see what's up north there :-)
Well the medical challenges continued in 2014, but only after a wonderful return to Vietnam in February/March with a bunch of fellow Vets. 10 great days with nobody shooting at us, and some great interactions with the Vietnamese people, who still really love Americans. The tour covered only those areas in South Vietnam in which most of us served, but regardless was well worth the trip.
In the spring I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, again an Agent Orange element, and decided to have surgery in October. It was supposed to be done laprascopically (sp), and I went home after 3 days in hospital. 5 days later it was an ambulance ride back with peritonitis. Emergency surgery and cheated death, again for 20 days. Got out in time for a Christmas cruise in December with 2 of our kids, so it wasn't all bad.
In February 2015 the leukemia came out of remission, but, thank goodness, in the year and 2 months since my last infusion therapy, a pill had been approved, so I now take 3 pills a day, hopefully for the rest of whatever life I have left, but no more needles :-)
In 2015 we were all over the U.S. in the RV and also reunions with our Vietnam trip friends, and we just returned from a river cruise with some of those friends, in December on the Danube from Budapest to Passau, Germany, with 3 additional days in Munich. My first visit back to Germany since 1965 when the Army sent me there. It was also surprising that some of my LMHS German came back, after 53 years. I don't remember Herr ? the German teacher, but I guess some of it stuck.
2016 will be the year of the RV, unless someone of our now friends and travel group comes up with a good and affordable trip somewhere else.

School Story:

Couldn't wait to get out of there...

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Posted on: Nov 28, 2016 at 3:46 PM

Debbie, just came across your note, and feel sad for your loss. Be glad that you had 50 good years, and further that your daughter lives close by. That provides family continuity and is a blessing. Be strong and be well.

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