Over 40 years after most of us had served in the 407th Radio Research Group, a former Commander of the Detachment, Captain John Osmundsen, reached out to as many as he could contact, and organized an informal reunion of Soldiers who had served in the unit. I don’t recall more than three or four us having actually served together, but we shared the bond of having been part of the 407th at various points in its brief history.
That was May, 2002, and with our mini-reunion, we were invited as special guests to the Intelligence and Security Command’s Memorial Day Ceremony. Captain Osmundsen, as a former Commander of the unit with the last two Army Security Agency Soldiers killed in Vietnam, was chosen by the Commanding General to assist in the wreath laying ceremony at the Memorial to Fallen Army Security Agency and Intelligence and Security Command Soldiers.
I didn’t know John until that evening in 2002 when we met in Crystal City. We were no longer young Soldiers, now just older men with memories. John’s patriotism and compassion for the Soldiers he led and the bond he helped re-forge with other members of the 407th Radio Research Detachment erased the years that had passed since our ‘soldiering’ days. Because of his efforts, a vast majority of 407th Veterans have reconnected to share stories and be strengthened by the bond of brotherhood first sealed by our service in the northern most outposts of the Vietnam war.
Rest in Peace, John, you’ll never be far from our minds.