My Daughter Graduates 8th Grade Tonight!


So today I am a proud father of an 8th Grade Graduate for a second time, last year at this time my oldest became an 8th grade graduate, and now its my middle child, and my second daughter. It seems like just yesterday I was holding her, and looking into her eyes for the very first time. My daughter has been one of my pride, and joys. Next year she moves on to become a freshman in high school. I am so proud of her, she has become an amazing person, and has become a great clarinet player, and also sings in chorus.

I was the first to gaze into her beautiful eyes the day she was born. My daughter was born  a month premature, and was a little over 5 pounds at birth. She was a tiny little thing, and still is. She has never let her size stop her, or get in her way. She has learned to be an amazing cook to. We have had many good moments together, from holding her, to her teaching me, yes you heard that right she has taught me a few things, but the one thing she taught me last year was how to use an open faced reel while fishing!.

I think my kids are the most amazing kids in the world!!! I could write, and write about my daughter, but I just want her to know that I love her, and am VERY, VERY PROUD OF HER!!!.


A life remembered!! Msg. Timothy Bodden


Today I had a friend pass at an early age, I learned this when I logged onto Facebook this morning. As I will never forget my friend, I decided to write something today, and let the words of others be my voice today. When I was growing up my dad would talk about his friend “Bodden”. This was the only name I knew him by until a few years ago. Msg. Timothy Bodden went missing in Vietnam. He was well liked, and had a daughter. I never knew him myself but thought I would write about this man, and his courage to defend others, when no one else would. He served proudly, and gave his life for that purpose, and left this world to soon. So without further ado, I present to you written in the words of others, the day America lost a soldier and a friend!.

Remains Identified 09/08/00
Name: Timothy Roy Bodden
Rank/Branch: E5/US Marine Corps
Unit: HMM 165, Marine Air Group 36
Date of Birth: 06 November 1942
Home City of Record: Downer's Grove IL
Loss Date: 03 June 1967
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 161914N 1064049E (XD795050)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: CH46A
Other Personnel In Incident: Frank E. Cius (returned POW 1973); Ronald J.
Dexter; John G. Gardner; Stephen Hanson; Billy Laney; (all missing); Mr. Ky
(Nung Cdr. - wounded and rescued); Charles F. Wilklow (rescued)
Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.
Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families,
published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 2011.
SYNOPSIS: On June 3, 1967, Capt. Steven P. Hanson, pilot; 1Lt. John G.
Gardner, co-pilot; Sgt. Timothy R. Bodden, crew chief/door gunner; LCpl.
Frank E. Cius, doorgunner; SFC Billy R. Laney, SFC Ronald J. Dexter, SFC
Charles F. Wilklow and an unknown number of ARVN personnel, all passengers,
were aboard a CH46A helicopter (serial #150955) on an extraction mission in
The USMC aircraft picked up a U.S. Army Special Forces team attached to
MACV-SOG, Command and Control, and the ARVN troops they were working with.
Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observation Group (MACV-SOG)
was a joint service high command unconventional warfare task force engaged
in highly classified operations throughout Southeast Asia. The 5th Special
Forces channeled personnel into MACV-SOG (not a Special Forces group)
through Special Operations Augmentation (SOA) which provided their "cover"
while under secret orders to MACV-SOG. These teams performed deep
penetration missions of strategic reconnaissance and interdiction which were
called, depending on the time frame, "Shining Brass" or "Prairie Fire"
The aircraft received extensive automatic small arms fire upon takeoff from
the Landing Zone, took numerous hits and crashed 350 meters from the LZ,
located about 15 miles inside Laos west of the A Shau Valley. The helicopter
did not burn on impact, and continued to receive fire. Three ARVN troops
were able to return to the LZ where the troops remaining at the LZ were
extracted the following day.
The troops waiting at the LZ could not search because of the hostile threat
in the area. Air searches located the survivors of the crash, but they could
not be evacuated. The only America found to be in a position to be safely
evacuated was SFC Wilklow. He gave the following account of what happened to
the crew and passengers aboard the CH46:
SFC Dexter appeared uninjured and left the wreckage with a large number of
ARVN troops. Capt. Hanson was wounded and outside the helicopter, but stated
that he had to return to get his carbine. The Marine Corps believes he died
of the wounds he received when the aircraft was overrun, although Hanson's
wife later identified her husband in a widely distributed Vietnamese
propaganda photograph of a pilot being captured. When last seen, all the
other Americans were still in the wreckage, and enemy troops (the U.S. Army
says they were Viet Cong; the U.S. Marines say they were North Vietnamese
Army - possibly a joint force of both) were tossing grenades toward the
aircraft with no attempt to capture the personnel inside. Wilklow left the
crash site, and noted that gunfire suddenly stopped. He continued to evade
the enemy and was picked up 3 days later.
When Mr. Ky, the Nung Commander was being evacuated by the last helicopter
out, he noted several men (undoubtedly Dexter and the ARVN) in a large bomb
crater firing red star clusters from a flare gun. Frank Cius was taken
prisoner and released from Hanoi in 1973. He was one of the dozen or so
captured by the Vietnamese and taken immediately to Hanoi claimed to be the
"Laos" prisoners. In reality, none of the dozen had been held in Laos.
Ronald Dexter, according to Frank Cius, was captured, and died in captivity
on July 29, 1967. John Gardner, according to the USMC, died on the ground
after the crash of the aircraft due to intense enemy fire. Billy Laney was
last seen lying wounded on the floor of the aircraft between a crewmember
with a broken back and the door gunner with a head wound.
NOTE: the USMC states that Bodden, crewchief/door gunner was shot in the
back and never left the aircraft, but reports received by the National
League of Families indicate that he was definitely alive after the aircraft
crashed. The U.S. did not know Cius was captured until he was released,
evidently believing he never exited the aircraft, and Wilklow had indicated
that the Vietnamese were not trying to capture the occupants of the
aircraft. Therefore, as door gunner, he must have been the "door gunner with
the head wound", and Bodden the "crewmember with a broken back".* )
Since 1975, the U.S. Government has received thousands of reports relating
to Americans still alive in Southeast Asia. Many of them cannot be dismissed
as untrue. Officially, the U.S. says it is operating under the assumption
that men are being held, and that the matter is of "highest national
priority". Yet, we seem unable to resolve the mystery. Nor have they ever
negotiated for the "tens of tens" of American prisoners the Lao stated they
There can be no question that the communists know the fate of those who were
last seen on the ill-fated CH 46A that day. The men aboard this craft were
inserted into Laos for exceedingly dangerous and important missions. They
deserve no less than America's very best efforts to determine their fates.
If any of them are alive, they must be brought home.
*  The "Homecoming (Egress Recap) Summary of all non-returnees reported"
by returnees dated 24 April 1973, quotes returnee Frank Edward Cius Jr as
saying "(Bodden) was the port gunner with me. As the aircraft lifted, Bodden
was hit in the stomach and went down. As he stood up clutching his stomach,
he took another hit in the stomach and fell to the floor of aircraft. I was
unable to examine Bodden but his eyes remained closed and his body was
motionless the entire time we were in the aircraft. I believe Bodden was
dead when the helicopter crashed.
It was our pleasure today to talk to Tim's mom, Dorothy at her home in
Illinois.  She hopes no one will allow the issue of our men to fade away, or
allow history to repeat the tragedies she has witnessed with her son. She
stated there is much more information to be gotten, and much more truth that
needs to be shared. The NETWORK will continue to forward all letters to her
regarding Tim, but she stated that her health does not allow her to
individually answer the letters. Married to a WWII veteran, leaving near her
son and his family, she does share each letter with them all.
She asked that we convey to all of you, her thanks --  and she sends her
love to all of you.

    Then while researching this project I ran across this photo of a 
Marine touching Tim Boddens name on the wall!.


    The words that follow were writtenby another U.S Marine!!!
8 Jan 2005

While I was in the Marines visiting the Wall, I bought a bracelet from a
Vietnam veteran. I was hoping to get the bracelet of someone special,
but I had no idea how special that day would be.

Tim’s bracelet was the first one my hand touched. Turned out that he, like me, was a CH-46 aircrewman in HMM-165.

I went back to the Wall every Memorial Day to pay my respects to him,
and ended up running into several people who knew him personally. I
heard some stories that were so funny my sides hurt, and I could tell
that he was also a truly fine man … the kind everyone wanted to claim
as his best friend.

Just today I found an interesting link to a picture of me paying my
respects to Tim one Memorial Day long ago. Unfortunately it’s a
password-protected educational site in Texas, and they won’t answer my
email requests for a copy. If anyone is in school in Texas, they might
be able to get a copy. That would be pretty cool to see some day.

Best wishes to all who knew and loved Tim. Semper Fi.

Sgt. Douglas Findlay, USMC

People seemed to love Tim for all his efforts, and some lives were not only saved but created because of him, as this next post would say

18 Aug 2007

My father was with Timothy right before he got on that helicopter. I
would love to talk with Richard Bodden. If it wasn’t for Timothy, my
brother would not have had his father and I would never have been born.
If you know Tim’s brother, please have him contact me. Thank you.

From the daughter of a friend,
Penny Drumm

I was moved by all the memories of him and the people that knew him but no homage was more moving than this.

Tim Bodden is the greatest hero in my eyes and I never was able to meet
him. I have read through all of the materials online that I can find on
this man and all that I can find are good and positive. Tim Bodden was
my father, I was only 2 when he went missing. So many years later, I
was given the information of who he is. What a hero to be able to say is
your father!!!!!!!

Two of my sons have gone on to be Marines. They are both also very
proud to say he is their grandfather. He gave the ultimate sacrifice
for our country. The bravery of this man overwhelms me when I think
about it. Tim is my hero!! He has given not only me but my children a
legacy that we all look at with great pride! God Bless Tim and God
Bless all who have given the ultimate sacrifice!

From his daughter,
Leona Estes


Grave above in Arlington National Cemetary, May all those who served be remembered!!

Msg. Timothy Bodden

06 November 1942 – 26 February 1980

Note: Death date is when he was finally pronounced dead after his remains still were not found!.

Like I said before life is fleeting, and we are only here for a moment in time. We have to know life is precious.

Thanks for listening to this story of a mans life who served his country proudly!.


The beauty of my children!…



So I have been thinking all week about what I was going to write about, and I was drawing a blank. So after I had some issues with an aunt who thought she was my kids mother, I decided to write about the most important thing in my life. Besides Photography, the most important thing to me is my Children.

Although my children are slowly growing out of Childhood, they growing into teenagers, and young wonderful adults.

I never thought when I was a teenager I would be a father as young as I was. When I was 15, and 16 years old my dreams were to become a baseball star, because I was always a great baseball player. When I was 18 or so I met my soon to be wife,, and although things did not work out between us, I will always have a place in my heart because she is my childrens mother.

We had our first Daughter Amanda when I was 21 years old. She was born with a full curly head of hair, and the biggest chubby cheeks you have ever seen. She has become the most amazingly talented young woman, she is growing up to be. Amanda has played tee-ball, soccer, and now in High School she is playing softball on her freshman team, and has learned to become a switch hitter in softball. She has amazed me with some of her interests, and some of the things she has accomplished. I am so proud to be her father, although now most of the time when she is here with me she pays more attention to her Ipod than anything else. Yet she has taught me so much, like I did not know that Shakespeare used male actors for female roles in his plays she taught me that.

My Daughter Brianna is my second daughter, and I think I protect her the most because there were some issues when my Ex- Wife was Pregnant with her. She was born a month prematurely, at a little over 5 pounds. When she was born I remember Crying, I was so happy she was finally here, and although the doctors said she was going to be a boy, she turned out to be a beautiful baby girl. We named her Brianna, because my name is Brian. She is Graduating 8th grade this year, and again I am so proud of her. There are times she will be talking to her grandfather my dad, and she will say something that amazes us!. My dad always asks ” What wisdom is Brianna gonna give us today?”. She has played soccer and although she has not been much into sports like me, or her sister, and Brother, she has accomplished alot with her school band, and Chorus. I am so proud to have a daughter like her, and I am always there for her. She is my emotional girl, and gets hurt easy. When this happens she always wants a hug from Me.

Then there is Connor. He is my wild child, and can talk your head off. He is also my picky eater still,but he is slowly growing out of that. When he was born he was my first boy,and that is what we were trying for. I stayed up all night while waiting for him to be born. He has grown up to become a great boy, and although most of his interests are his Xbox, Star Wars, and football I will always try to listen although sometimes I do get irritated by the same things I hear everytime!!! SMILES!!!. He started 2 years ago with Flag football where he could outrun about every player on his team. Last year was his first year in tackle football, and he played corner all year he never complained once although sometimes he would know he was hurt he loved it. This year will be his second year in tackle football. He also plays violin for his school band. I am proud of all his amazing accomplishments.

So now you all know about my amazing kids, and I want to end this Blog with a letter my daughter Brianna wrote me in 2011.

Dear Dad,

In Language arts class we are learning to write letters. We have also been talking about people we are thankful for. I chose you, because you’re awesome, and smart.

You’re awesome because you were one of the first people to hold me, and look at me. When I got older, you helped me if I cried, was hurt, or just needed company. I remember when I was bout six years old. I got sick, and had to be taken care of. You helped me until mom took me to the hospital. Thank you!

I love that your nice to me because sometimes no one else is. I remember when I was younger,and I got hurt. You took me to the kitchen, and helped me make different things, like meat, or eggs. I still remember how to make them, Thank you!.

Sometimes I like when you’re smart, because you will help me with my homework, and other times you will just joke around. But you are always smart, even if you are joking around. Thank You!.

Thank you for being such an awesome, smart, and nice person. You have changed my life by always being there for me. If you were not here, I would miss you.




So I went for a walk!


So yesterday I decided at 85 degrees finally in Illinois, I was gonna go for a walk. I had heard of a park near me where there had been Bald Eagle sightings. I walked for about an hour with no obvious bald eagles in sight. I came to a gravel roadway, which is used for automobile traffic, and foot traffic to the nature preserve at the top of the hill. As I walked I ran across this little guy you see here pictured above.

Here he lay sunning himself on a roadway where he could get ran over by a car at any moment!!!. As I approached him he did not move much, but instead decided a safe spot would be underneath my shoe. He then slithered under it and coiled up!. So I moved gingerly, not trying to hurt the snake.  I made my way off the roadway, where I took out my camera and decided to lay in the weeds to photograph him at his level. I think one lady was even about to pull over to see if I was alright, because I was laying in the weeds. As I finished photographing my friendly little snake, I decided maybe the road was not such a good place for him. So I gently pushed him off to the side of the road into the weeds. He slithered happily into the weeds, and I hope now he will live a full life of insect, and mouse hunting. Good luck little Friend!!!