The Ballad of the Green Berets performed by Letters from Home Singers


Published on May 29, 2016

Letters from Home Singers perform Live on AM Raleigh, ‘The Ballad of the Green Berets,’ written by Barry Sadler, and send chills up my spine with this superb performance! We honor our fallen on Memorial Day and Always and we say with all our hearts, ‘Thank You!’


Two Great Songs about “Combat” the first from Sailor Jerri Hallelujah (two versions) and the second from Mitch Rossells A Soldier’s Memoir, if you haven’t been in Combat, and survived, you will not understand the power of this music.

Hallelujah Veterans Version, Original

Published on Apr 4, 2017

It’s rough. But I wanted it up My rewrite of Hallelujah “Veterans Version” Yes we are working on getting it recorded for everyone who has asked. Thank you for your support and for supporting the men and women in uniform. **yes the lyrics are protected under copy-write

Hallelujah Veterans Version, Final

Published on May 10, 2017

Two Great Songs about “Combat” the first from Sailor Jerri Hallelujah (two versions) and the second from Mitch Rossells A Soldier’s Memoir, if you haven’t been in Combat, and survived, you will not understand the power of this music.

The First from Sailor Jerri:

Hallelujah Veterans Version, Original

Published on Apr 4, 2017

It’s rough. But I wanted it up My rewrite of Hallelujah “Veterans Version” Yes we are working on getting it recorded for everyone who has asked. Thank you for your support and for supporting the men and women in uniform. **yes the lyrics are protected under copy-write

Hallelujah Veterans Version, Final

Published on May 10, 2017

Mitch Rossell – A Soldier’s Memoir (Official Music Video)

Mitch Rossell

Published on Jun 19, 2014

Book on my Service in Vietnam, Written in 1996

From the Introduction in the book …

The following account is written from notes I made while in the hospital in San Antonio recovering from wounds I received while in Vietnam and from communications I had with 5th Special Forces Group when I was stationed at Fort Campbell in 1968 and 1969. More recently I read several books on Vietnam (in 1992), listed in the Bibliography, which aided me in the geography of the area and which put the fighting I was involved with in Phuc Long Province in context of what was happening in the country as a whole.

In 1993 I joined the Special Forces Association, Cleveland Chapter XLV, and I am currently the Secretary of the Cleveland chapter. Some of the former SF troopers in that organization read drafts of this account and helped me to clarify this work (especially the parts relating to operations in Vietnam) prior to the final copy. Their help was greatly appreciated.

In 1994 the Cleveland Chapter of the Special Forces Association (Jim Cole, President) was the host Chapter for the national convention, which was held at the Rockside Holiday Inn. During that convention I met Steve Sherman, also an ex Special Forces trooper, who is compiling a history of Special Forces people and activities. I acquired from him a set of the “Green Beret” a magazine published by the 5th Special Forces in Vietnam from 1966 to 1970. In addition, I re-viewed other material he had that allowed me to expand on the work I had been doing to write this book.

Lastly I have used the National Archives section of the Smithsonian Institute in College Park, Maryland. The military records of that period are now declassified and available for re-search. I have found many reports and references to the military action I was involved with by using this valuable resource. This has probably been the since most important resource to me and I do want to thank the researchers there who were able to dig out the records I needed with the limited information I was able to give them.

Every attempt has been made to accurately state what happened to the team, the camp and me. My original notes were done while recovering from severe wounds in the hospital and at the time there were things I could not remember (there were several weeks were I was in a delirious state and it took many months to get back to close to normal), especially some names of people. Materials I read in 1992 and 1994 brought back some of this loss. Sherman’s work with Special Forces personnel missing in action (MIA) or killed in action (KIA) when compared to the dates and times of some of the battles I knew of gave me a way to place some other names back in. I will state that although everything that I tell about in this book is accurate to the best of my knowledge it is possible that some of the patrol activity is not in the proper time sequence, I don’t think so but it is possible.

This is me in the Jungle in Vietnam in October, 1967

The link below will allow you to download the book, if you want, and at no cost.

Bu Dop 1967

Experimenting with the T-10 military chute when it came out in 1967

This video is taken with a supper 8 camera and the conversion to digital isn’t as good as I would like but it’s interesting if you like jumping from perfectly good airplanes, C-123’s in this case. This was shot in in 1967 I think it was either April or early May at Fr Bragg, NC I don’t remember what drop zone it was. I had the camera strapped to my helmet so the first part after going out the door is a bit jerky until the canopy opens. At the end of the film that is me packing my chute after a jump.

The Political Trial of Maj. Matthew Golsteyn

I served as a Green Beret officer (1st Lt) in Vietnam in 1967 as an A team XO and the rules of engagement (ROE’s) were probably as bad then as they are now. That required “us” to sometimes operate outside those rules and as consequence there was a Direct Correlation between the ever increasing and restrictive rules of engagement (ROE’s) and the frustration of company grade officers trying to follow orders and complete missions without getting your troops killed for no good reason. Those two are often mutually exclusive both back in the day and today as can clearly be seen in the case being made again Maj. Golsteyn.

I will tell you for a fact that I would have done the same thing as then Captain Golsteyn did with that Taliban bomb maker.

I belong to the Special Forces Association but that associations can not get involved in politics or it would lose its charter. So they are helpless to protest what is now being done to Maj Golsteyn, see summary below.  Therefore what I would suggest is that if the military does put Maj. Golstyn on trial in a court martial then as individual members we former Greet Berets, not part of any group and who are no longer hindered by ROE’s,  go to where the trial is held and have a protest at the front gates for the duration of the trial.

David J Pristash, Captain
Service Number 05 331 790
MOS 31542


A former Green Beret who told Fox News in 2016 that he killed a suspected Taliban bomb maker nearly a decade ago during combat operations in Afghanistan is now being charged in the man’s death — a move his lawyer says is an act of betrayal by the Army.

The murder charge facing Maj. Matthew Golsteyn comes after years of on-and-off investigations by the Army following an incident said to have taken place during his 2010 deployment. A military tribunal that probed the killing years ago initially cleared Golsteyn — but the investigation into him was re-opened after he spoke to Fox News’ Bret Baier.

“I think he’s been betrayed,” his attorney, Phillip Stackhouse, told Fox News on Friday when asked how the Army has treated Golsteyn.

The once-decorated soldier, who had been on voluntary excess leave amid the latest investigation, has been living in a newly bought home with his wife and a 2-month-old baby in Virginia, working for the International Association of Firefighters, Stackhouse said.

Golsteyn was informed of the murder charge earlier this week after being ordered back into active duty.

“They have insinuated to me that they have new evidence,” Stackhouse told Fox News. “I don’t believe there is any new evidence at all.”



The Army Chief of Staff was recently asked by the President to form an elite counter-terrorist unit. The General went to his Sergeant Major, who was both Ranger and Special Forces qualified, and asked him which organization he would recommend to form this new counter-terrorist unit. The Sergeant Major thought about this for a few minutes and then responded to the Generals question with this parable:


Sir, if there were a hijacked Delta 747 being held by international terrorists along with its passengers and crew, and a counter-terrorists unit formed either by the Rangers or Special Forces were given the rescue/recovery mission, this is what you could expect to happen:



Forces/Equipment Committed: If the Rangers went in, they would send a single Ranger Company of 120 men with standard U.S. Army issue equipment.

Mission Preparation: The Ranger company first sergeant would conduct a haircut, uniform and boots inspection.

Infiltration Technique: They would insist on double-timing, in company formation, wearing their full combat equipment, and singing Jody cadence all the way to the site of the hijacked aircraft.

Actions in the Objective Area: Once they arrive, the Ranger Company would establish their objective rally point, put out security elements, conduct a leader’s recon, reapply their face camouflage, and then conduct final preparations for actions on the objective.

Results of Operation: The rescue/recovery operation would be completed within the hour, all of the terrorists and most of the passengers would have been killed in the ensuing intense firefight, the Rangers would have sustained light casualties and the Delta 747 would be worthless to anyone except a scrap dealer.


Forces/Equipment Committed: If Special Forces went in, they would only send a 12 man team, (all SF units are divisible by 12 for some arcane historical reason), and however, due to the exotic nature of their equipment the SF team would cost the same amount to deploy as the Ranger Company.

Mission Preparation: The SF team sergeant would request relaxed grooming standards (long hair, and beards) for the team and uniforms would not be required.

Infiltration Technique: The team would insist on separate travel orders with max per diem, and each would get to the site of the hijacking by his own means. At least one-third of the team would insist on jumping in.

Actions in the Objective Area: Once they arrive, the SF team would cache their military uniforms, establish a team room, and use their illegal team fund to stock the unauthorized team room bar, check out the situation by talking to the locals, and have a team meeting to discuss the merits of the terrorist’s cause.

Results of Operation: The rescue/recovery operation would take two weeks to complete and by that time all of the terrorists would have been killed (and all would have signed confessions), most of the passengers would be ruined psychologically for the remainder of their lives, and all of the women passengers would be pregnant. The Delta 747 would be essentially be unharmed, the team would have taken no casualties, but, would have used up, lost, or stolen all the highly expensive exotic equipment issued to them.

The Story of Drew Ferguson, a Special Forces Trooper

I belong to the Special Forces Association (Green Beret’s) and last year we, in north east Ohio, were notified that one of our brothers had died and we were invited to the ceremony to be held on August 5, 2017 at 10 AM at the Veterans Memorial Park in Avon Lake Ohio. We always go when possible to these events as is it is a very small and close group. Most NCO’s and all commissioned officers are college grads and of course are in top physical shape. The 5th Special Forces Group “The Legion” is I believe the most highly decorated united in the Army (I was in the 5th in Nam). And we have almost all seen combat and lost good friends. About half on my local chapter made it to the service.

Drew was a very unique individual (most of the Green Berets are but he was the ultimate and I wish I had known him we had much in common) and, as proof there were hundreds there from his high school class in Avon Lake including teachers, to college friends from Ohio University, to active duty Green Berets and retired Green Berets. The speakers told of story of his life which was in summary: top of his class academically, an accomplished artist and musician, a top notch athlete. He went to Ohio University and while there it was much the same except he was also in ROTC and graduated with honors including being number 13 out of over 4,000 ROTC grads the year he graduated (I’m not positive on the exact numbers).

He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and severed in the 10th Mountain Division we he got jump wings (Paratrooper) and a Ranger Tab. He did two tours in Iraq. After making 1st Lieutenant and being on the way to Captain he applied for and was accepted to undergo Special Operations training and of course became a Green Beret and did one or two tours in Afghanistan. I may not have this exactly right but its close enough since they didn’t give all the dates.

While he was doing service to his country he continued to work on his art, poetry and music; I’ll type in a sample at the end of this. Needless to say he was good at that as well. I would guess Drew was born ~1984, graduated from HS in ~2002 (after 9/11), graduated from college ~2006 and left the service in ~2016 after 10 years; making him ~33 when he died.

After getting out he turned back to is art and was in the process of setting up a website for artists called Lifeblood Art when he committed suicide; the exact date was not given so I would guess it was sometime in late July.  The family continued that work he started and The Cleveland Foundation set up the “Lifeblood Art Fund” How the hell could this happen and then I read his poetry.


Drew’s Song, I Know A Place

I know a place, I know a place where we can go, to pass the time
Pass. pass, pass the time

I know some friends, I know some friends, we can call, to share our night
Share, share, share our night

I know a drink, I know a drink, we can drink, to warm our bones
Warm, warm, warm our bones

I know a song, I know a song, we can sing to lift our souls
Lift, lift, lift our souls

I know a dance, I know a dance, we can dance, to fill our hearts
Fill, fill, fill our hearts

I know a bed, I know a bed, where we can go, to rest our heads
Rest, rest, rest our head

I know a dream, I know a dream, we can dream to change our lives
Change, change, change our lives

I know a song, I know a song, we can sing to lift our souls
Lift, lift, lift our souls

I know a song, I know a song, we can sing to lift our souls
Lift, lift, lift our souls

I know a song, I know a song, we can sing to lift our souls
Lift, lift, lift our souls
Lift, lift, lift our souls
Lift, lift, lift our souls

When I read this I know what happened since I had just finished ready CG Jung’s The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (as an artist I think you would appreciate his writing) and based on his work, which I agree with, we all have the male Yin and female Yang in us which leads to conflicts in some cases. Drew had both the warrior and the artist in him. What was bad was he was strong in both and so when he went in the army after 9/11 he was driven to be the best a Green Beret when then that put him in direct conflict with his artist side. Based on his rank and accomplishments there is no doubt that if he would have stayed in he would have made general so why did he get out? And why did he committee suicide right after getting out?

The 10 years of being in the military and being deployed 3 or 4 times where he was there to destroy things ripped his soul apart I know for I felt some of that after I got out; obviously not to the same degree, but I could see the conflict in that poem. After I got out I was working with a bunch of engineers at GE in New York and a lot of them hunted deer. I went out with them a couple of times after buying a rifle and I found I could not shoot a deer.

The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign wars are building a Veterans Park in the city of Macedonia which is in the Nordonia Hills School District in Ohio

Last Spring both the American Legion (AL) Post 801 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 6768 that I belong to, in the Nordonia Hills area of Ohio, decided to fix up and rededicate an old neglected park making it a first class veterans park.  The entire project would cost over $360,000 if done as a normal project but we have been about to secure many parts of this project as donations in kind reducing our actual cash requirement significantly.  So far we have raised almost $40,000 in cash secured a Grant for $20,000 and have a commitment for about $65,000 in construction value.

That allowed us to order a memorial and work toward finishing the first phase of the project by Memorial day May 29, 2017 three months from now. We have about $14,000 in the bank, as I write this, and only need $25,000 more to completed Phase One which is about a $150,000 investment. 100% of the money raised goes to the project as the AL and VFW personal  are the only ones involved in the fundraising and we do not take any compensation. However this is a city of Macedonia park and they are responsible for much of the major site prep and concert work that will be required as well as maintenance of the park when it is done. Not counting the on going maintenance of the park the cities work to prepare the site is probably about 40% of the project.

Below are two pictures the one on the left is what we started with and the one on the right is an architects rendering of the park done last year and although a few changes have been made to accommodate some of the legal and environmental restrictions this rendering is very close to what is actually being constructed.


Here are a couple of views of the park that were created for us by a local artist Sharron Finn, they were used to create the plan view of the park shown above in the .

The Veterans memorial that we will be installing in three months is shown next the image on the right is the front and the image on the right is the back. The base in gray granite is 84 inches wide 20 inches deep and 12 inches high. Siding on top of of the base is the memorial which black granite and it is 72 inches wide 72 inches tall and 8 inches thick.

The next images are of some of the planed sub monuments one for each conflict the country has been in which will be placed in the Veterans Park after the main memorial and plaza are finished this June The first is for the current War on Terror (WOT) and will be to the left as you walk in the main gate. These sub monuments will be on a base 48 inches wide 14 inches deep and 8 inches high. The vertical sitting on the base will be 36 inches wide 18 inches deep and 60 inches high.

The second sub monument is from the Vietnam War which will be on the right as you come in the main entrance

Any donations made toward this project are tax deductible as we are a 501(c)19  (same as a 501(c)3 for tax purposes. You can check either of the to Posts involved in this project

Click here for American Legion Nordonia Hills Post 801

Click here for Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6768

Click here for The City of Macedonia the veterans park project is the last link on the right side.

For information on the project and find the various ways we have established to donate to the project

Click here for the Veterans Memorial Park web site

If you would just like to make a simple donation by credit card of PayPal

Click here for the Go Fund Me Park web site

David Pristash, Commander American Legion Nordonia Hills Post 801





5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Flash Change Ceremony March 23, 2016

This video was provided by the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs office at Ft. Campbell, KY.  I was at this ceremony since I was with the 5th in Vietnam in 1967 with my wife Darlene.  I wore replicas of my old jungle fatigues, boots and Green Beret the real ones are to tatters or long gone. There are a few spots in this video where you can see me and my wife as well; one place is at 6.35 to the left under the tent with old uniform and my wife to my right.  It was a cold very windy day and I’m surprised some of us were not blown over, but then were are America’s Best.