Brian Holcomb and Sam Hinches Excellent Adventure

As you may or may not know Brian Holcomb and Sam Hinch ('70-'71) were both called up for active duty. They have promised to let us know their progress and provide pictures as available. Check this page often for updates. Their email addresses are: and


Sammy is Home too

Hi, there:

Just wanted to share the good news with you. Sam arrived back at Ft. Hood early Wednesday morning (August 27th). I was able to go to Ft. Hood for his homecoming. It was great! They had a very nice ceremony in the gym. He is so happy to be back home on American soil and I was happy to have him here. He is currently outprocessing and attending briefings. He is scheduled to depart Saturday at noon and arrive back at our house around 8:00 p.m. I can't wait...we have a lot to catch up on!

I will go for now as I have to get busy getting things ready for his homecoming. Thanks so much for everything. You will be hearing from Sammy soon.

Rhonda aka Lou


Brian is Home

Hi......The warrior is home. I went to Denver and brought him home on Monday. He is in the garage as we speak unpacking boxes. He didn't have to go to Takrit. I will have him email you as soon as he gets back on the computer. We are really happy to know that Sammie will be coming home soon also. Did you know that Brian was able to fly to Arifjan and spend a couple of hours with Sam smoking cigars and sharing stories. The powers of persuasion. You should be hearing from Brian soon. Thanks for staying in touch with me all these months..Kathy


A note from Rhonda

Hi, there. It is great to hear from you. Guess what! Sammy is coming home the first part of September. He is supposed to go back to Ft. Hood for about 1 week to outprocess and attend required adjustment briefings. He is so ready. He said the new army is just not what is is cracked up to be. He is planning on retiring as soon as he can. I think the patches look great. He will love them. -snip-

The last I heard Brian was still on active duty, but may have been released by now.

I hope this finds you well and kickin'. Hopefully we can all get together soon. Thanks for everything.

Rhonda aka Lou



A note from Sam

Julie and Edd,

Thanks for taking the time to respond! I apologize for me taking so long to do the same. We've hit the ground, or should I say sand, running! We're flying about everything we have every day. Temps have been topping in the aircraft some days at +50c. The heat and grit are playing heck with our aircraft and crews.

Today we had a weather hold, it was dusty. The visibility was less than 1/4 of a mile, and this was just a"small" dust storm. You should see the big ones!

I hope this finds everyone well. I have to run for now, take care of yourselves, and I hope to see ya soon.



Brian's coming home, a note from Kathy.

Hi, Jack

Brian has left Baghdad and is temporarily back in Udairi, Kuwait. Within a few days will be going to Doha, Kuwait to clean and pack equipment. He is scheduled to take the boat home (25 days or so) on May 21st. Guess who he was able to see yesterday? Sammy Hinch! Sam is in Arifjan, Kuwait working in Operations and flying. Some how Brian was able to get the bosses to let the crew fly to Arifjan where Brian and Sam smoked a couple of Cuban cigars while they visited at Sam's "hooch". Sam is fine and can be reached at his military email address. Do you have that? It is: That's all for now.....Kathy


Another letter from Sam

Hi All,

Just a short note to let you know that everything is OK. We begin flying in earnest Monday. Some of the crews flew almost 8 hours. For those of you that don’t know that’s about 16 hours of time which includes preflight, planning, refueling etc. It makes for a long day. Yesterday was, I believe, the hottest day we’ve had. OK, everybody in unison “How hot was it?” I don’t know. After it reached 111 I quit looking at the temperature gauge.

A point of interest 1 pilot that flew said the area he flew into was almost as if you entered into a time warp. It looked like pictures straight out of the Bible. He absolutely loved it and wants to go back.

I do have a comfortable area to sleep. It’s an air-conditioned tent. I share it with 11 other folks. It’s great compared to being in a warehouse with 1000 people stacked in and the doors open for ventilation. B/T/W we figured it up last night, with the 12 pilots in the tent we have a total 348 years of flying experience. Your guess is correct, none of us are in our 30's! :)

I’ve been assigned to operations. My friend asked me if I would help him. He wants to use my experience. I agreed, but I did so with one caveat and that was when he could do without me I wanted to fly.

I’ve already flown and saw some of the country while receiving my “Environmental Checkout”. Camels are in herds as are the goats. Some of the goats look really pitiful and some of the camels are huge.Anyway, enough rambling from me, I must get to work.

Everybody take care.



A letter from Sam

Hi All,

Here I am in Beautiful Kuwait! NOT!!! Well, not beautiful where I am. We are in a place called Camp Arifjan. We are located about 10 miles SE of Kuwait City and about 5 miles inland from the coast.

We left Ft. Hood Texas, Tax Day (15 APR 03), we arrived 17 APR 03, however, it seems like months ago. It's hot, dusty and dirty. 101 degrees in the tent as I type this and it's only Noon.We've got our aircraft off the boat, all put together and here at our location. Some of us were able to move into airconditioned tents that we share with 11 other folks. It sure beats the non-airconditioned hangars that housed 1000 of us together!

We have showers but sometimes they are packed. The "facilities" leave something to be desired. We have the original "Fiberglass Micro-waves 1 holer" and we have small trailer like things that have a row of 8 RV type toilets. But it's much better than digging our own! :)

I feel right at home after living in the 5th wheel for more than 6 months - and it had the same brand of potty! :) Phones are at a premium. I've got to visit with Lou only twice. I sure do miss my Bride!!! We did get Lou moved into the house and the 5th wheel gone before I left, so I'm really happy about that. Lou has a safe room when the storms come up and I'm super happy about that. I don't have to worry about her trying to weather out a storm in that 5th wheel!

Anyway, enough rambling for now. I'm just fine and "I keeps on smiling"!

Y'all take care and check on Lou for me, because if you really know her you realize she's too stubborn to ask for help! I love ya Baby but you know it's the truth! I don't have a stubborn bone in MY body!

Uh-oh I gotta go I think I heard Thunder. :)

Til later,


News of Sam

Good morning. How are you doing? I am doing okay, some days better than others. I try to keep busy and that seems to help. Anyway, I wanted to let you know I have a mailing address for Sam. I have only been able to talk to him twice and only for 2-5 minutes each. He seems to be doing alright, but they (at that time) did not have information on who they were attached, a mission, or timeframe. He sounded a bit homesick, but other than that, ready to do his job and get back home. I am sure he would welcome any correspondence as you probably remember it's great to hear from home. He said the wait for a phone is at least 3 hours. I think email has the same problem. The location he is currently assigned is set up for around 3500 troops but there are 18,000 there now. I have heard some of the guys are buying cell phones with pre-paid minutes. They are either out of phones at the PX or Sam has not had time to go get one. Maybe soon, I hope. Here's his mailing address. He thinks the mail will be forwarded if they move to another location because of the unit identification code.

CW5 Samuel T. Hinch, Jr.
Co G, 149th Avn Bn, WV71AA
Arifjan, Kuwait (KU)
APO-AE 09366

Thanks so much for your concern and keeping in touch. Have a good day.




Walker sends this note from Brian

"26 Feb 03


Excuse the dirty paper and what else comes with this letter. The desert is not a clean place to be. Trust me on that one.

I have been in Camp Do Ha since the 13th of Feb. We, the Unit, is staying in a warehouse. That is about 180 Troops sleeping in an open warehouse district and with the new Army that is man and woman, this place puts on a new meaning to political correctness.

I am a Blackhawk pilot with the 507th Med. Co (AA) assigned to the 3rd ID. We are at Do Ha waiting for the war to start. Do Ha is is a post for about 1200 troops. On any given day there are between 9000 to 10,000 troops. Want to wait in line? Just like boot camp.

Here, the land line for computers is between 6-9 K per second. I am allowed 30 minutes on a computer a day. It takes about 15 minutes just to get signed on to my army e-mail account. I have given up.

Sam [Hinch] has been activated. I saw Sam at Fort Hood for about 6 hours. My son and I took Sam to dinner and we talked and talked. I have no idea where Sam is right now. I did write Rhonda a letter. Hoping she would forward the letter to Sam. I think Sam might be headed to Turkey. He is not a happy camper.

If you could, do me a pause. Put out the word on where I am and my address. We will be moving when the war starts but the Unit will put in a change of address for me.

CW4 Brian Holcomb
507th Medical Company (AA)
Camp Do Ha
APO AE 09304

Right now I have no idea when I/Sam are comming home. "The needs of the Army" will dictate our stay here. I think Iraq will be another on a long list of peace keeping missions.

I will keep all of you posted on what I am doing. Soon I hope to have a satellite phone. I will be able to call the States from the middle of nowhere. Look out world.

Hope to see you soon. And and by the way, we have CAV AH-64's here. And I am only one of many Vietnam Vets. I wear the Cav Patch with pride.

Miss you all, your Brother in Arms,

Brian [Holcomb]
Former C Troop.1/9th WO pilot

And one from Sammy

I'm still at Hood, but we don't think for much longer. We were part of the forces that were going into Turkey, now all of that's been shifted. We are waitng on the boat, with all of our equipment, to get there and then we feel we'll be getting on an airplane shortly after that happens.

Lou's fine and in the new house. I was able to be at home a few days and help her move in.

Thanks for the address. They told us to stop our incoming mail as of last Thursday. I'll let you know my address when I know! :)



Word on Brian from Kathy

Hi Jack. Word travels fast....Yes Brian is in Baghdad. He is at the former Saddam Int'l....been there for about a week where he finally got a shower after 15 days. The first time he called me he was on the roof of Iraqi Airlines. I think he will be there for awhile, but will let you know if he changes location.


Message from Sam


I just want to clarify that I’m not pissed or unhappy about being activated! First and foremost I am a professional aviator/soldier. I have been in the military for over 33 years and I am damn proud of that and proud to be of service to my country! It was the way the activation came about.

I was given 36 hours notice. I was informed, just the day before that I would not be activated, nor could I volunteer to be activated. I work for a sorry Colonel in my chain-of-command that doesn't have any ethics. He would rather lie to you than tell you the truth. As Brian stated most of the RLO’s today are only interested in their careers, not the soldiers. I wanted to set the record straight. I am proud to do my job wherever I am sent! And maybe, just maybe, I’ll have the privilege to save someone’s ass as this old man did 30 + years ago!

Your Friend,

Hell Sam, a lot of us would like to get a shot at Saddam.



A note from Sam's Rhonda

Hi guys, good to hear from both of you. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to respond to your emails. We finally finished the house, closed, and moved (partially). Things have been really hectic and busy at work also. Anyway......Sam is still at Ft. Hood awaiting deployment orders. He says the tempers are starting to flare and bordom has set in. They have insignificant classes daily, just to fill time. He has been able to come home a couple of weekends to see the final stages of the house and help with things. He is most relieved to have me out of the "Ranchero Deluxe" before the Spring storms are upon us. He is supposed to get a 4-day pass this weekend. He should get to our house around 3:00 p.m. on Friday and leave Monday a.m. Each time we see each other, we are prepared for it to be the last for awhile. One thing, we don't take any time that we have together for granted.

I am forwarding Kathy's recent email concerning Brian. It sound likes he is miserable. I am sure this is not what he had in mind for the end of his military career, but he is making the best of it and doing his duty ---as always.

I will go for now, but I will keep in touch and definitely let you know when and if Sam deploys overseas. Thanks for your care and concern.


And one from Brian's Kathy

Hi, Rhonda.....Here I go again asking the same question....Where is Sam? Is he still in the projects or has he deployed and if so where? How is the new house and more importantly how are you? Here is the latest on Bubba. I talked to him two days ago and he was very tired, dirty and said the food (which I think are MRE'S) tastes like _ _ _ _! He was not a happy camper. A crew member's wife called me last night said they were back in Udari for a couple of days waiting out the storm. Which is good as they at least have showers there and hopefully there was a place for them to get some sleep. Brian said he had not slept in 3 days. I was shocked, but I am hearing via the news that this is common. He is doing lots of flying. Take care and keep in touch.......Love, Kathy

And this just in from Kathy

Hi...Sorry I didn't get back to you yesterday. I had not heard from Brian for a few days. He called at 4:30 am this morning and finally checked in.

He had gotten separated from the sat phone when they got grounded in Udari due to the storms which turned out to be a blessing. He was able to shower, launder some clothes and sleep. So now instead of being really grouchy he is now just grumpy. Back to normal. This is a different war than he has experienced before. I hope he will eventually look back on it with more perspective than he has now. He says those in charge are more worried about their OER's than their men and women. He has no patience for that. He could not tell me where he was or was moving to tonight. That's all I know for now. Thanks for staying in touch...Kathy



A note from Sam.

Too much to do and not enouigh time to do it. May be on the move to the place that going to vote for us, not anything definite as of yet.

Hood still sucks!

Hold your breath and maybe this one will be over quickly.
More when I get more time.




A letter from Brian from Kuwait City.

Sounds like he's ready to roll. If you have any trouble reading it let me know and I'll see if I can decipher it. Click for Part 1 and Part 2.

CW4 Brian S. Holcomb
Attn: 507th Med. Co. AA
Unit 93914
APO AE 09303-3914



A note from Brian

I have been talking to Sam and hope that time permits us getting together. I will be leaving for the desert on Tues and that doesn't give either of us much time. Sam is pissed and I will try and calm him down. A beer or two will do.

Shuttle parts are all over the place down here. However we(the unit) don't have any aircraft. All the 60's are on the boat and we have NOTHING to fly. How do you find a shuttle part with out putting someone on the ground. There is a lot of forest out here and we need a few good, and I mean really good scout pilots to find all the stuff that fell to the ground.

Kathy will be sending you some pictures soon. I will be in the desert in about a week and that is when I will be sending pictures home. If Kathy can't figure out how to send e-mail pictures I will have her send the CD and that will cut out the middle man. We will get this done one way or the other.................Brian


A note from Brian

I am still at Hood until about Tues the 11 of Feb. I will be on the long plane ride to the "BOX" and hope to be home some time in Sept or Oct. Will see what the Army has in store for an old fart.

Sam should be here on Sun and he is not one happy camper. I will try and get him drunk and change his attutide. That may be harder that even I know. What this e-mail is about is I gave you a wroung e-mail for Sam. Here is the correct one:

Can you make all the necessary corrections. Thanks Brian

And a note from Sam

Hi All,

A reprieve and a chance to catch my breath! We were scheduled to depart Thursday, 6 February 2003, however, we're now to depart Sunday, 9 February 2003 to beautiful Ft. Hood, Texas. :)

So far as I can figure most of everything is packed. What a chore, digging through stuff in storage to find what I needed.

Anyway, I don't know if I'll be able to check the OKARNG military email address after today so here's my new military address. I'll be checking it when I gain access to a computer whenever and wherever that might be.

My new military address is

The email address that Rhonda will be checking is

Our home phone will be the same when it is hooked up and operational in 30 to 45 days.

I'll be trying to find Brian either Sunday or Monday. Everybody take care and I hope to see ya soon,



A note from Sam.

Hi All,

I was called to active duty Thursday afternoon and had to report Saturday early. It's been very hectic and I don't have much information. We leave Thursday, for Ft. Hood, TX. From there who knows? So, now you know as much as I do.

Take care and keep my Bride in your thoughts and prayers.



I was informed by Brian that Sam Hinch was called up as well, below is Brians note.

Well Jack I have good news and bad news. Depends on how you look at it. One I have sent Kathy some pictures. And she will get time developed and some how get them into the computer. I will be trying to get them e-mailed to you, some how. I think this will be a challange. I hope not. Now the bad news Sam Hinch has been activated. Sam is no longer at work and therefore he doesn't have e-mail. However Sam does have an Army account and he will be able to get any e-mail sent to that account. The same way I do. I/Sam needs this information put on the web page and hopefully Sam will be at Fort Hood soon. Isn't this just wonderful.................Thanks Brian


I will keep you posted and I think that I will be adding pictures to the site as I get them. Kathy will be helping and I will be looking for some help and that is where you come in. I am still learning this computer stuff and at times think that I will break this thing. I leave for the big sand box in about two days. I think that this will be the trip of the life time(NOT). Pictures will be comming.......Brian


I had heard that he was headed to the 4th Infantry and then the 1st Cav, when I asked him I received this reply:

Good morning, and I am not in the Cav or the 4th ID. I ended up in a Medi-Vac unit and we are going. I am still here at Fort Hood (home of the 1st Cav and the 4th ID). I will stay state side for another 2-3 weeks and them I will be east bound. Some 7500 miles to a country that doesn't want us around. Sound familuar. Any way I will try and keep you and the others up dated on what I am doing and where I am going.........Brian


January 2003

The first of the year Sam Hinch informed me that Brian had been called up. This is his note to me:

I have been activated for about one year. At least my orders say "No longer that 365 days".Yea right. And we all know the Army and the truth telling that goes on there. Any way I have to report to fort Benning GA some time on Sunday, Jan 5, 2003. For the time being I will have an Army e-mail address. So here it ......see all of you in about a year.......Brian