Newsletter - July 2012

Mr. James G. Craig

It is with great regret and heavy hearts that we report the passing of one of our clients, Mr. James G. Craig, 66 years old from Longmont, Colorado.  This newsletter is dedicated to, and in the honor of Jim.

Mr. James G. Craig
Jim at FSB Siberia, April 20, 2012

Jim was a combat veteran of the Vietnam War where he served in 1970 – 1971 as an infantryman with Company B, 3/21st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade.

Jim was born Christmas Eve, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois.  He grew up in Decatur, Illinois graduating from Douglas MacArthur High School and Western Illinois University.  He and his wife, Donna Bley, lived in Rockford, IL, Peoria, IL, and West Des Moines, Iowa before moving to Longmont in 1997.  Jim and Donna’s daughter DeAnna resides in DeLand, IL with her husband John.

He retired in 2007 from Shelter Insurance Company where he had worked for over 30 years as a claims adjuster and still found time to officiate at high school football and basketball games.  Jim was an avid golfer and also served as a marshal at Ute Creek Golf Club.  You couldn’t find a bigger fan than Jim when it came to the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bears.  Jim loved to stay active.  He would hike, golf, ride horses and water raft in his adopted State of Colorado.

Jim loved America and studied history with a passion.  Annoyed by misconceptions about the U.S. role in our many wars, Jim was quick to correct the account of those who believed common myths.  Most of all he loved his family and his brother veterans.  Jim was a member of American Legion Post 32 in Longmont.  He fully enjoyed the Americal reunions where he would swap stories with his brotherhood of veterans.  At his memorial service, Jim received full military honors from the US Army and the American Legion.

All veterans are profoundly affected by their combat service.  In that vein, Jim and ten other Americal Division Association veterans decided to return to and visit the places they served while they were in the war.  In April 2012, this band of brothers arrived at the places where they had fought when they were young.  The names of these places may be all but forgotten to history, but are very much alive in the minds of the veterans who fought there.  They walked the positions that held so much meaning to them, the hard-fought battlefields with their bloody firefights.  These places have names that can immediately transport veterans to a time 40 years earlier.  Names like: Tam Ky, Hiep Duc, Que Son Valley, Landing Zone Siberia, Landing Zone Center, and Fire Support Base Mary Ann.  It was on FSB Mary Ann that Jim died.  It was April 24, 2012.  Jim had come full circle in his life.

Jim will be laid to rest on the 3rd of August 2012 at Camp Butler National Cemetery, Springfield, IL.

A soldier to the end.


2012 has been our busiest year to date with 8 tours to Vietnam.  February saw F Troop/9th Cavalry return; in March we had two tours, Northern I-Corps & 101st Airborne; in April, two more tours, Southern I-Corps and Americal Returns.  In May we had our first Educational/Student Tour with Indiana University offering a course titled "Producing International Documentaries".  This September we have two more tours returning to Vietnam, our II, III & IV Corps tour and 1st of the 8th Cavalry.


The past two years we have joined the 1st Recon Bn Association as a co-sponsor of a Marine Corps Birthday Cruise.  This year we will cruise from New Orleans November 4-11.  This cruise is not just for Marines but all friends and clients of Vietnam Battlefield Tours.  Come join us


We have been active attending reunions and will be at the National Conventions of VFW, MOPH, DAV, VVA, 1st and 3rd Marine Division Associations, Americal, Nebraska Veterans gathering, and many more.  If you would like us to send material or come make a presentation give us a call, chances are one of us can join your reunion.

2013 is an ambitious schedule.  We will have tours January through June and September.  We will keep with our February and September schedule for II, III, IV Corps and March through June for Northern and Southern I Corps.  This schedule works well for the weather seasons in Vietnam and provides for the best opportunities for access of special requests.  As always your tour is specific to the participants.  We begin with a basic itinerary and make the modifications as you provide the information of your special interests.



January 9-21, 2013 join Vietnam Battlefield Tours for a return to the Philippines.  We will be visiting Manila and its many World War II historical sites.  We will visit Corregidor, Subic Bay Freeport (former Naval Base), and the Bataan Peninsula, Clark AFB, Cabanatuan and return to Manila.  Our goal is to remember the courageous American Nurses of Bataan and Corregidor.  Read about their struggles: We Band of Angels, Elizabeth M. Norman.

Time is short for this tour so sign on soon. We are ready to make this a special event in 2013.

2013 Tour Schedule
09 January - 21 January
Philippine Nurses Tour
10 February - 22 February
II, III, IV-Corps
16 February - 24 February
Educational/Student Tour (High School)
10 March - 24 March
Northern 1-Corps
10 March - 24 March
Educational/Student Tour (University)
24 March - 07 April
Special Tour (Closed)
14 April - 28 April
Southern 1-Corps
05 May - 19 May
02 June - 16 June
Educational/Student Tour (High School)
08 September - 22 September
II, III, IV-Corps

Thank You

To all of you who have returned to Vietnam with Vietnam Battlefield Tours, we want to thank you for allowing us the honor to walk beside you as you returned to those areas where you spent your youth.  For those of you still thinking about returning, we look forward to the opportunity to take you there.

Ed "Tex" Stiteler, Bob Burke, Bill Stilwagen,
Dave Lytle, Dave "Big Dave" Macedonia and Gene Miller

VIETNAM Battlefield Tours   -    5150 Broadway St. #473   -    San Antonio, TX 78209-5710   -    Phone: 1-210-568-9500   -   Toll Free: 1-877-231-9277
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