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Author Topic: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press  (Read 107958 times)

noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #210 on: May 21, 2013, 07:56:56 PM »

How about Bruce Lee? ;)
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arnold

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #211 on: May 22, 2013, 04:12:27 AM »

Yep, dead too!
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you're all a bunch of slack jawed faggots around here, this stuff will make you a sexual tyrannosaurus, just like me!

Benjamin Liu

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #212 on: May 28, 2013, 11:27:03 AM »

How about Bruce Lee? ;)

His Ohara books have also been compiled into one big book by Black Belt.

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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #213 on: June 13, 2013, 08:08:55 AM »

Any pulse yet?
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arnold

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #214 on: June 26, 2013, 05:23:34 PM »

Sorry, been out of town working.
He's still dead...
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I leave you idiots alone for 5 minutes and I come back and you're all dancing around like a bunch of Kansas City faggots
you're all a bunch of slack jawed faggots around here, this stuff will make you a sexual tyrannosaurus, just like me!

JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #215 on: August 09, 2013, 08:02:24 AM »

Mr Walker
You have now written an article in Black Belt Magazine in which you mislead people reading it about Mr Echanis and C / 75 and 22 LRRP.
You say Mike was a Member and participated in multiple actions with this unit.
You mention Mr O'Neil's book,yet seem to have skimmed over these parts,which contradict the Echanis was a LRRP or part of C /75 or 22 LRRP.

This site has portions of the book:
http://www.commandposts.com/2013/05/portrait-of-a-ranger-as-a-young-lrrp-warrior-in-vietnam/

Here is a portion on Gary Meeting Mike Echanis.
E Company was based out of An Khe and Pleiku, but we went wherever Special Forces needed us. This was where I finally found the opportunity to put all my knowledge and all my ability to good use. While officially I was assigned to Double Deuce, the truth was Charlie Rangers was pretty informal, so I’d go out with any team that needed me.

When replacements joined the team, we had to take time training with them before we would take them out on a mission. We were only as safe as our weakest member. I remember when Mike Echanis joined my team. Mike was a martial arts expert, and eventually we would live and work and almost die together in Nicaragua. Mike was my friend. He was one of the toughest men I have ever known and a black sash in Hwa Rang Do. Mike also was his own man who wanted to prove himself. On the first recon mission we took him out on, we got into contact with a superior enemy force. The NVA strategy was to occupy your attention from the front and attempt to flank you so you would be surrounded. That meant when we were in a firefight with a superior force we had to keep moving. If we stayed in one position too long, eventually they were going to surround us. So during this firefight I decided it was time to break contact and high-tail it to our exfil point, but Mike decided to stay there and fight them. Mike was always wanting to try out his hand-to-hand Hong Kong Fooey, to see if his kicks and punches worked, so he starts going at it with this NVA. I looked at him and thought, Are you shitting me? So I just shot the fucker and told Mike, “Come on, Mike, let’s get the fuck out of here. We got to go, amigo.” He didn’t want to leave. We had to go back and get him, which put the whole team in jeopardy. When we got back in the rear I fired his ass off my team; we couldn’t allow one person to function independently. Instead he got put on convoy security, and as his convoy was going through the An Khe Pass sometime in 1970, they were ambushed. Mike got his leg shot up bad and lost the use of his foot, although he managed to overcome that. I liked Mike, liked him a lot, but when he showed that he couldn’t be part of a team there was no place for him. He was in country for less than a month before he was wounded.
(pg 56)


Here is what Mr O'Neil had to say about Mike Echanis:
pg 148
"Mike was a unique individual.He was dreaming that he would be the next Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee and was doing everything possible to get publicity,writing stories for Black Belt and Soldier of Fortune magazines"
"hhhe kept hinting to people that he was some kind of superspook,making all these claims about his military background that weren't precisely true. Mike actually hadn't been in the that long before he'd been wounded and discharged,and while he was excellent in hand to hand combat,he certainly didn't have all the experiences that he liked to talk about."

Mr Echanis was one day out with 22 LRRP and was fired and sent packing.
He ended up on CONVOY SECURITY ,not as a member of C / 75 or as a member of 22 LRRP.

Over at Spyderco you wrote the following:
http://www.spyderco.com/forums/showthread.php?43076-Article-by-Janich-on-Spyderco-Warrior-in-quot-SWAT-magazine-quot/page3

Gary's book is an autobiography. I was stunned in the most positive sense of the term when I learned he had chosen to write it (his co-author is David Fished - one of the best in the business). O'Neil is one of the finest SOF operators in the world. His is no manufactured "legend".

If Gary elects to comment on Echanis it'll happen within the content of the much bigger story that is Gary O'Neil's. Again, I hope he does and how ever he does so it'll be the final word coming from the only person truly qualified to put it on the record.

DOL!
Greg Walker (Retired)
United States Army Special Forces

Apparently Mr O'Neil has spoken and it appears not to be what has been claimed but goes along with what I have said,yet the BS story is the one still written of.

I also like how over on Spyderco you have lifted much of what I have written on this thread and even used some of it in your Black Belt Article.

I will be sending the editor of Black Belt the story as written by Mr O'Neil and see what they do.
As with other subjects I am sure they will do nothing  as they have reprinted Echanis materials into that big book,which got a full page ad  along with your article.

The use of Mr Echanis name and claims which misrepresent his military background and training to make money seems to fall under the Stolen Valor Act,Does it not.
I wonder if the law about making money from Stolen Valor applies to only the person named or others who use a DEAD Man and make known false claims to sell things under the DEAD Mans name ?

I Feel Sorry for his family as they seem not to have known anything about their son, read stories about him ,written by others who claim to have KNOWN and these stories are false.

Here is Mike Echanis military Career in a nut shell:
He was an Airborne soldier,assigned to convoy security wounded in a fire fight in Vietnam,awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.
He never finished Phase one SF and Never served more than a training exercise with C/ 75 ,22 LRRP.
An ordinary soldier of NO special military training,who AFTER his service studied martial arts and went on to try and teach HIS VERSION of that.


Yes Arnold Mike Echanis is still Dead but the Falsities of his Military Career,though short,still continue on ,to allow people to sell products under his name.
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #216 on: August 24, 2013, 08:26:01 PM »

Dear Jim,

Wow. 

First, to save time and space, please go to this link regarding my professional thoughts on Gary O'Neal's recollections of Mike Echanis - http://www.amazon.com/review/R1FMHRS6L5YQQR/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R1FMHRS6L5YQQR

Now, to preface this post for ALCON -

"Hwa Rang Do's Immortal Warrior - The Untold Story of Michael D Echanis" is indeed in the August/September issue of Black Belt Magazine.

Let's use this opportunity on this forum to set the record straight.

Gary O'Neal never presented a verifiable source for his more "colorful" recollections of Mike.  In other words...what Gary offers might as well have begun with the words "There I was, and this is no shit...".

Per my FOIA Request in 2012 for the service records of Michael D Echanis and Charles Wilford Sanders -

Michael D Echanis, per NA Form 13164, was awarded not only the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and Purple Heart, but Combat Infantryman Badge as well as the Republic of Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm Device as well as the Vietamese Civil Actions Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal w/ 2 Bronze Stars and the Vietnamese Campaign Medal w/ Device (1960).

Echanis was indeed assigned to Company C, 75th Ranger Infantry upon his arrival in Vietnam, at the time of his wounding, and upon being medically evacuated to the 249th General Hospital in Japan.  Source for this information is the Service Member's Military Personnel File, Form 2-1.

Date of Arrival Vietnam and Assignment to C Company, 75th Rangers is 23 March 1970, Principle Duty is Scout-Observer, per the 2-1.

Echanis was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor Device on 15 July 1970.  General Orders Number is 1810.  Issuing Authority is Department of the Army, Headquarters 173rd Airborne Brigade, APO San Francisco 96250.  Unit of Assignment at the time of award is Company C (Ranger), 75th Infantry (W-G74-AA-A).

Echanis was awarded the Purple Heart on 7 May 1970, the day after the combat action he was involved in.  Unit of Assignment during the action he was wounded in is Company C, 75th Rangers, APO 96262.  General Orders Number is 104, Issuing Authority is Department of the Army, Headquarters, 17th Field Hospital, APO San Francisco 96294.

Also awarded the Purple Heart and named for the first time in the Black Belt article are Echanis' co-rangers, Alfred Carr/Robert Ladequx, Mark Laughton and SSG Eddie Black (2nd Award).

Gary O'Neal knew of this action and the resulting awards.  He also knew Mike was assigned to the same company as he was.  Whether Gary's account of "firing" Mike is accurate it is presently not supported by anyone other than O'Neal.  What is true is that Gary chose, for his own reasons, not to acknowledge Mike's heroism as a ranger.

If you've read the Black Belt article correctly you'd know the unit activities for the month of May 1970 were presented as background.  These were taken from the offical "Operational Report - Lessens (sic) Learned, Company C (Ranger) 75th Infantry, Peried (sic) Ending 31 July 1970.

The report is dated 5 August 1970 and was classified CONFIDENTIAL until being declassified per NND 984007, 12/20/2012.

Please note Echanis was assigned to C Company 23 March 1970.  He was wounded on 6 May 1970.  To date I have found no one who will/can confirm Mike was assigned to Gary O'Neal's recon team.  And I mean on paper, formally, not heresay. 

Per the unit Operational Report the company provided a "Ranger School" at An Khe.  It's mission was "to train all incoming personnel assigned to this company...The duration of the course is ten days and approximates the RECONDO school."

It is more likely than not Mike attended and graduated this 10-day program for the simple reason no "cherry" would be allowed to go operational unless so trained/qualified.

I'd point out that O'Neal himself, in his book, states he was not "Ranger Qualified" while at Company C.  This was not unusual but it does mean Gary was no more or no less a "ranger" than Mike Echanis.

Per the Operational Report for May 1970 - Page 1, Operations: Significant Activities, Section a:

"Company C (Ranger) 75th Infantry continued to conduct Ranger Operations in II Corps Tactical Zone, RVN, under operational control of Task Force Pursuit (1-5 May), 1st Brigade, 4th Division (5-27 May), Task Force South (27 May to 26 July) and 173rd Airborne Brigade (26 July - present).

Echanis was a member of the unit and operational under Task Force Pursuit, 1-5 May when he was wounded in action.  Further, per the official report in Section (b), "During the month of May, the company conducted 73 operations in twenty-three operational days resulting in 27 contacts, 32 enemy sightings, 34 enemy KIA and 14 weapons captured in action.

"Friendly losses were 2 US KIA and 14 US WIA.  The high casualty figure was MAINLY DUE (emphasis mine) to a convoy ambush in the An Khe Pass on 6 May."

In short, the highest unit casualty producing event in May 1970 was the one Mike Echanis was directly involved in, wounded in, decorated for and per the award narrative "Specialist Echanis' aggressive spirit and undaunted courage were DECISIVE (emphsis mine) in preventing the anhilation (sic) of the truck and its personnel."

Why no acknowledgement or mention of this action by O'Neal on behalf of his "friend" Mike Echanis?  You'd have to ask Gary.

With respect to your statement regarding Mike's military assignment in Vietnam with C Company, 75th Ranger Infantry, the offical documentation and evidence proves you are in error.

Your reference to the Stolen Valor Act is simply bizzare.

The Black Belt story is, as stated in the story, the only family authorized account of Mike's service and wounding/recovery/rehabilitation and career afterward.  The author fee that would normally be paid to me as its author was donated by Black Belt to the Green Beret Foundation, per my wishes as well as the family's.  This is stated in the article.

During my research I discovered what all good researchers call "The Holy Grail" documentation wise.

While visiting/interviewing with Master Chief Bob Nissley in Tampa, Florida in December of last year I came across the official Nicaraguan and U.S. Embassy records post crash.  These include the death certificates for Echanis, Sanders and Bobby; the autopsy reports for all three; the U.S. Consular Mortuary Certificate for all three; the Nicaraguan Report of Death for all three (signed by Colonel Alejandro Lara, Medical Director, Cuartel General General, Guardia Nacional De Nicaragua on September 9th, 1970); the offical affidavit from the Embassy of  the United States, Republic of Nicaragua, City of Managua formally confirming the identify of the remains of Michael D Echanis, Charles W Sanders and of "Viet Van Nguyen" and signed by Mary M. Daniel, Consul of the United States of America on September 13, 1970.

The most impressive document (read: evidence) is the offical letter signed and dated "Septiembre 12, 1978" from the Jefatura Suprema De Las Fuerzas Armadas, Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua, Managua, D.N., Nicaragua.

It is a directive from then President Somoza to Senor Armando Saballos of Lineas Aereas de Nicaragua at Aeropuerto Las Mercedes to ensure the following -

At the direction of the President of the Republic the National Airlines, (TACA, owned by Somoza), was to provide air transportation for the following U.S. civilians designated to escort the prepared remains of Mike Echanis, Chuck Sanders and Bobby Nguyen to the United States PER (emphasis mine) the following route:

Managua-Miami-Fayetteville-Ontario (Oregon) - Fayetteville - Miami - Managua.

Those U.S. citizens were:

1.  Sra. Kemberly Kennedy O'Neal (Gary's wife)
2.  Sr. Gary O'Neal
3.  Sr. Charles W. Evans
4.  Sr. Paul Glasser

So that part of Gary's recollections are accurate based upon heretofore undiscovered offical documenation.

In his book O'Neal offers (Page 178) the "...Nicaraguan military flight landed in Tampa, Florida.  The bodies were transferred onto a civilian aircraft and flown to Boise, Idaho, and from there up to Oregon.  I was with them the whole trip...".

Not according to the official documentation regarding the flight route authorized by President Somoza nor with the personal account of Master Chief Bob Nissley who, along with the family in Ontario, Oregon tracked the flight / remains from Managua to their final destination in Ontario, Oregon (collaborated by notes taken by both Master Chief Nissley and Pat Echanis and other family members.

The remains were flown aboard a TACA civilian airliner - not military - from Managua to the United States.  The first destination in the US was Miama, not Tampa.  The FAA control tower in Miami refused landing privileges because no formal flight plan was filed in Managua by TACA.  The pilot then diverted to Fort Lauderdale International.  When he requested landing privileges he was told by the FAA controller on duty that he would have to wait until formal approval was given.  The pilot replied he was low on fuel and would land either on I-95 or at the airport...but he was landing.

He put the aircraft down at Fort Lauderdale.  The caskets were off-loaded and placed in quarantine for three days as the US State Department, US Customs and Somoza's government dickered over formalities.

This delay affected the memorial services and funerals planned in Ontario and caused enormous grief for the families and friends already gathered.

When arrangements were finally concluded it was a TACA flight that flew the caskets directly to Boise, Idaho.  Fayetteville, where Bobby's casket was to have been unloaded and turned over to friends for burial, was now out.

TACA landed in Boise, Idaho as Ontario had no - and still does not have - an airport that can accept airliners.  The funeral director for Bertelson Lien Kaempter Memorial Chapel, a close friend of the Echanis/Sanders families, in Ontario, Oregon, drove up from Ontario and took control of all three sets of remains.  This per arrangements made with the U.S. Embassy in Managua and with Dr. Manuel Morales Perez, Ministry of Health, Managua, Nicaragua on September 13, 1970 (Transit Label).  A copy of this document was attached to the US Consular Mortuary Certificate.

The caskets were transported by ground, not air as O'Neal claims, from Boise to Ontario and to the memorial chapel.  There is no record of any of the four escorts named arriving with nor escorting the remains from Boise to Ontario.

According to Master Chief Nissley O'Neal offered he and Paul Glasser were looking to head for New Mexico for awhile.  They showed up with Gary's wife, Kim, in Ontario several days after the call.

In the meantime the caskets had arrived in Ontario and Frank Echanis, Mike's dad, asked Bob Nissley who was already in town and coordinating funeral arrangments with the family, to go to the chapel and identify the bodies and their condition.  Bob did so.  None of those escorts assigned to travel with the remains were present to Bob's knowledge either in Boise or Ontario that night.

I have asked Gary in private correspondence about this discrepancy in his book - to date he has not replied.

When he and Kim and Paul Glasser did arrive in Ontario they were provided comfortable lodging by the Echanis Family.  Gary and Kim stayed in a private home belonging to a friend of the family's.

Personally, based on what I've learned reference the above, and in lieu of O'Neal's account in his book, I don't believe he was with the caskets/remains "all the way" as described.

O'Neal also offers he delayed the funeral of Bobby Nguyen until he (O'Neal) could drive to Boise, Idaho some 60 miles away and purchase an American flag for "...my friend's coffin."  In his book he states (Page 179) "When I got back we folded it in the correct triangular fashion, opened up his coffin, and laid it on top.  Only then would we allow them to put him in the ground."

This account is flatly objected to and denied to have taken place by the Echanis Family as well as Master Chief Nissley.

Where there was objection to placing a flag on or in Bobby's coffin this came from the active duty military personnel from the 5th Group funeral detail (MSG Jakovenko's team).  This because technically Bobby was not a U.S. citizen at the time of his death (he was a political refugee and had no other documenation other than this at the time of his death).

The Echanis Family knew nothing of Bobby.  His casket simply arrived with Mike and Chuck's.  Chief Nissley knew who Bobby was from their association at Fort Bragg.  Pat Echanis told me the family elected to have Bobby buried with Mike in the Catholic cemetery because they felt their son would have wanted this.  To accomplish this they gave up one of several family burial plots for Bobby.  Frank Echanis had to sign a document stating that Bobby was Catholic in order for the burial to be approved by the Church.  He conferred with Master Chief Nissley who told him many Vietnamese were Catholic...and Frank told me "That was good enough for me" and he signed the document.

Gary's account of stopping Bobby's funeral and the placement of an American flag by himself did not happen.  Pat Echanis is specific about this.  I'd not want to be Gary and come face to face with Pat on this and other issues having to do with O'Neal. 

The official documentation from the U.S. Embassy and Nicaraguan Government beginnng on September 9, 1978 with the admission of Mike, Chuck and Bobby's bodies at the Military Morgue at the Hospital in Managua at 1100 Hours (Solicitud De Engtrega De Cadaver) as signed by 2nd LT Andrew Lopez M of the Hospital General De La Guardia Nacional De Nicaragua ... through the embalming process that followed (all three were embalmed and their caskets made to order by President Somoza's personal embalmer) ... to the order given by Somoza on September 12th for TACA to fly the remains to the States ... to the U.S. Consul, Mary Daniels, approval for said return as signed on 13 September ... shows Somoza and the U.S. Embassy moved heaven and earth to take care of business.

Gary O'Neal was of little to no influence whatsoever despite his recollection otherwise.

This is further demonstated by who acted as casket bearers at the funerals.  Casket bearers for Chuck Sanders, per the formal announcement (of which I have a copy) were:

Michael Flynn / Michael Flanagan / John Easly / James O'Kief / John Echanis / Tom Phillips.

Honorary Bearers included Master Sergeant Valdimer Jakovenko / Staff Sergeant James Lally / Staff Sergeant Roger Bascomb / Sergeant First Class Thomas Powell.

For Mike' funeral the casket bearers were:

Master Sergeant and former VN POW James Jackson / Mike Yarborough / Master Sergeant Valdimer Jakovenko / SSG James Lally / SSG Roger Bascomb / SFC Thomas Powell.

Honorary Bearers included "Big Mike" Echanis, "Little Mike's" cousin (whom I have interviewed) / then Major Juan Montes and Hwa Rang Do Grandmaster Joo Bang Lee.

Neither Gary O'Neal, Paul Glasser nor C.W. Evans were asked to assist in any manner with the funerals other than to attend as guests. 

And brother, I could go on but you get the gist.

In closing, an American flag does fly at Bobby's grave today.  I placed it there last year as well as one at Chuck's.  I sent a photo to Gary as a kindness and out of respect.  I also placed a 2/75 RGR BN coin I'd gotten at the battalion for Bobby, this a specific request from Gary.

Only Master Chief Bob Nissley has made the journey back in recent times to remember his friends.

De Oppresso Liber - "No Fallen Comrade Left Behind"

Greg Walker (Ret)
United States Army Special Forces

 









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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
United States Army Special Forces
El Salvador/Operation Iraqi Freedom

"No Fallen Comrade Left Behind"

Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #217 on: August 24, 2013, 10:04:41 PM »

Postscript -

Jim - I have no idea why you have the "hard on" for Mike Echanis that you do.

And I have no idea why Gary O'Neal wrote the many questionable / unsupportable things he did about Echanis despite having access to information / documentation that would have, at best, "refreshed" his memory.

This to include stating that Chuck Sanders' wife was snubbed at the funeral (untrue - the Sanders family knew Susie and Chuck were getting married four weeks before Chuck's death - she was welcomed  by both the Echanis/Sanders families - duly acknowledged in Chuck's obituary as his wife - remained in touch with the Sanders' family, specifically Chuck's mother - for many years until offering she had to move on with her life).  It is unknown whether Bobby indeed married his gal from Fayetteville (as described in John Padgett's article in SOF in the early 80s.  I am in communication with John - founder of Refugee Relief - and he had no idea Bobby's body had been recovered and properly buried until I made contact and sent him photos.  If anyone truly knew Bobby it is John.

Had Bobby's girlfriend / wife been at the funeral - and the Echanis' simply do not recall her - she would have been afforded the same care, concern and consideration as Chuck's wife.  O'Neal's bizzare statement that the families considered the two women as "gold diggers" is nonsense.  As is his statement the US Government would not provide them with benefits because the marriages occurred outside the United States.

Chuck was no longer a serving member of the military so there were no survivor benefits to be had - and Bobby was a political refugee - with absolutely no benefits whatsoever regardless.  I'm still puzzled as to O'Neal's line of thinking and fault finding on this one.

Finally, there is no evidence or proof of any sort that Mike Echanis ever claimed a military qualification he did not have.  None, period.  O'Neal's claim that Mike got the H2H position at JFK by relying on a forged DD214 belonging to Gary - alleging Echanis to be both Ranger and SF qualified - is shameful. 

Echanis worked closely with such notables as Colonel Charlie Beckwith, Commander Dick Marcinko, Master Chief Bob Nissley, MSG "Ivan" Jakovenko and then Major Juan Montes among others.  This is documented - and supported by the above with the exception of Beckwith who passed away some years ago.  They would have sniffed out a fraud claiming Ranger School and the "Q" Course and sent him packing - Chuck Sanders would not have stood for it, either - being SF qualified himself.  This claim fails the Common Sense Test from the get-go.  Mike Echanis had all the qualifications he needed both militarily and martial arts wise.

IMHO, and having been in contact with both Gary during the writing of his book with no other agenda than to be of service, that Gary simply believed that 35 years later and after the fact who would know or care what he said - or bother to check - regarding his relationship and recollections of Mike Echanis, Chuck Sanders and Bobby Nguyen.

As Mike's mom told me a few weeks ago - Karma is funny that way.

GW
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
United States Army Special Forces
El Salvador/Operation Iraqi Freedom

"No Fallen Comrade Left Behind"

Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #218 on: August 25, 2013, 07:19:27 AM »

Post-Post Script -

Additional documention / NVA Ambush of C Company, 75th Rangers, 6 May 1970 during which SP4 Michael Dick Echanis was wounded in action.

Organization or Installaton:  Company C (Ranger) 75th Inf.
APO San Francisco 96294

Location:  Engineer Hill, Pleiku

From: 0001, 6 May 70 to 2400, 6 May 70

Daily Staff Journal or Duty Officer's Log / Page 1 of 1:

Entries begin at 0001 - Journal Opened

0800 - 2ond(sic) advance party departs today for Pleiku

1900 - Company had one truck ambushed today at An Khe Pass.  Suffered 7 friendly WIA's. Got four confirmed KIA's.  Negative Operations.

2400 - Journal Closed

Typed name and grade of officer or official on duty:

Gerald F. Colvin, CPT. OPNS OFFICER

This document is GROUP-4 Classification.  Classification downgraded at 3 year intervals.  Declassified after 12 years.

Declassified NND 873541 ib 12/20/12

Copy from National Archives, Record Group No. 472

***

The only decisive and accurate story about Nguyen "Bobby" Van Nguyen, KIA with Mike Echanis and Chuck Sanders on September 8, 1978 is -

"May Buddha Bless Bobby", by John E. Padgett.

Soldier of Fortune Magazine, October 1982.

Padgett was extremely close to Bobby Nguyen beginning in Vietnam beginning in mid-1967 "at the B-Team headquarters in Qui Nhon.  After the Tet Offensive John joined the newly formed Mike Force (Mobile Strike Force) as cadre and Bobby as an interpreter.  Later, in 1977, Padgett would see Bobby again although briefly when Padgett was at MACV SOG (CCC) in Kontum.

Bobby would join the Vietnamese Airborne where he worked his way up from NCO to warrant officer to lieutenant.  He was commanding a company that "held out as long as possible at Ton Son Nhut Airport" during the fall of Saigon.  Bobby then led his company in a breakout, fighting their way to Vung Tau and liberating a fishing boat which "they sailed out to meet the 7th Fleet".

John describes Bobby's journey as a refugee to the United States via New York then Fayetteville.  He then describes meeting Bobby some years later in the airport in Managua where John was on contract providing health services to the NIC people.  This was when Bobby was part of the Echanis led para military team working for the Somoza Government.

They met several times in Managua, once when Bobby introduced John to his American girl friend visiting from Fayetteville.

John learned of the air crash and up until last year believed Bobby, Mike and Chuck were at the bottom of Lake Nicaragua.  After I'd run down an issue of SOF on Ebay I then located John.  Photos of Bobby's grave in Ontario were sent as well as the story of how Bobby came to be buried there.

John was most appreciative.  He is the founder of  Refugee International Relief and has for many years worked around the world improving the lives of refugees.  His most recent travels took him to the refugee camps on the Jordan/Syrian border.

Upon learning of Bobby's affilation and commissoning as on officer in the Vietnamese Airborne I located and placed, with the Echanis Family's permission, a pair of Vietnamese jump wings at Bobby's gravesite.  Today his grave is cared for by both the Echanis Family and the small Vietnamese community that lives in Ontario.

I presented a copy of John's story about Bobby to the Echanis Family last year during a visit.  It was the first time they'd learned anything of substance about the young man they buried alongside their son in 1978...and the first time they'd ever seen a photo of Bobby taken by John in Vietnam.  "Now I know what he looked like!" exclaimed Frank Echanis afterward.

***

Of the Echanis team in Nicaragua the team dynamics broke down as follows according to Master Chief Bob Nissley, then the senior Naval Special Warfare Advisor to the JFK Center, Smoke Bomb Hill, Fort Bragg, North Carolina - Master Chief Nissley worked closely with Colonel Charles Beckwith then at the JFK Center as well as with Commander Richard Marcinko, then CO of SEAL Team 2 at Little Creek, Virgina.

If ever a book should be written about a legendary Navy Special Warfare operator it should be Master Chief Nissley's, IMHO. 

Chief Nissley is close friends with MSG "Jake" Jakovenko and has been an honored and respected Life Member of the Special Operations Association (SOA) for over 30 years now.

Team breakdown in Nicaragua:

Echanis/Sanders/Bobby Nguyen. 

Echanis, according to retired SEAL Skip Crane, then the Naval Attache at the U.S. Embassy in Managua, was the team leader and its paymaster.  Crane was close to Echanis and relayed information Echanis provided on events and activities taking place within the Somoza government and military through Crane, who then passed it to Chief Nissley at Fort Bragg for analysis, vetting and appropriate distribution.  Crane was the first official embassy officer to identify the remains of Mike Echanis at a staging hanger at Las Mercedes Airport in Managua.

Joe Camp, SEAL (Ret), Intelligence Officer for the team. Camp, hired by Echanis (I have read Mike's personal letters to Joe Camp) conducted Intelligence gathering and surveillance/counter surveillance for the team and its employer, then Major Somoza, the president's son and founder of the EEBI.  Camp disappeared under mysterious circumstances and after an NCIS investigation assisted by the NIC Government was determined missing, likely dead.  His body has never been recovered.  Echanis and Camp worked closely together.

Gary O'Neal/Paul Glasser/C.W. Evans (former 5th Group). 

C.W. Evans was nearly killed in a 1984 Blackhawk crash in Honduras near the NIC border.  Two of my friends, CPT Gil Nelson and MSG Johnny Santoro, were KIA (3/7th SFGA) in the same crash.  Evans was not recovered from the crash site for nearly 17 hours.  He was flown to Gorgas Army Hospital in the Republic of Panama where he remained in a coma for nearly a week. 

In 1990, C.W. wrote Pat Echanis, sending copies of his medical notes post crash and a copy of  his Hwa Rang Do black belt / Instructor certificate as presented to him by her son, as proof of his friendship with Mike.  Evans voiced his sadness at Mike's passing and expressed his continued sadness at the loss of his friend and HWD instructor.

His Hwa Rang Do certificate is dated 3-30-77, Instructor Course 76-5 and was awarded by Mike Echanis ... as was Gary O' Neal's HWD ranking in the military program taught at Bragg.

I have copies of the letter, medical notes and Mr. Evans HWD certificate as well as a copy of  a receipt dated 12-15-77 signed by "Charles W. Evans" where Mike Echanis bought an SKS from C.W. for $50, the check drawn from Mike's account at the National Bank of Oregon.  Master Chief Bob Nissley witnessed the transaction.

Mr. Randy Wanner, Team Logistics Stateside, Los Angeles, HWA RANG DO Headquarters.  Upon receiving a call from the embassy in Managua that Mike, Chuck and Bobby were dead under unclear circumstances Randy - at the advice of the caller -armed himself went into hiding for a period of time.  This information related to me by Randy Wanner over the period of two days' interviews in Coronado, California.

Randy Wanner was Mike Echanis' assigned HWD instructor per Joo Bang Lee.  Randy is also responsible for co-writing Mike's first three books for O'Hara Publications, arranging for the photo shoot for the books' illustrations, ensuring all the techniques shown were performed accurately and providing Mike and Chuck with logistical needs for their venture in Nicaragua on an on-call basis.

While interviewing Randy, who became a friend as time went on, I learned he was at one time Joo Bang Lee's most gifted American student.  When asked, Randy offered that between Mike and Chuck it was Chuck who was the more fearsome fighter, in his professional opinion, and a stone cold killer.

On October 22, 2012 I recieved the results of my FOIA request regarding Charles Wilford Sanders.

Chuck entered the Army on 8-29-74 as a "Student Med Spec" at the (SFQC), MOS 91 Bravo.  Graduating SFQC he became a Special Forces Medic and was assigned in late 1974 to Company B, 3rd BN, 5th Special Forces Group.  He graduated the Special Forces Underwater Ops Course (SCUBA), a 5 week course, in 1975 and was assigned to MSG "Jake" Jakovenko's SCUBA team.  He was also Airborne Qualified.

While assigned to ODA 594 SGT Sanders saved the life of MSG Nails during a high angle climbing exercise held in Utah.  For this actions that day he received the Army's Soldier's Medal for Heroism, the highest non-combat award a Soldier can receive during peacetime.

Sanders was instrumental in the recovery, rehabilitation and introduction to the 5th Special Forces Group/JFK Center of his childhood and closest friend, Mike Echanis.

Chuck applied for employment with the CIA prior to his discharge from the Army on September 9, 1977.  A copy of the Agency's letter thanking him but offering there were no current positions for someone with his background and qualifications is in the Echanis Family Archives.

Note:  Mike Echanis was not connected or did he ever work in any capacity for the CIA.  In a personal letter home, which I have read, he explained why he had no inclination for such employment.  Echanis was pressured by a CIA recruiter at Fort Bragg within the SF community - Luke Thompson (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1755&dat=19811210&id=YJ0cAAAAIBAJ&sjid=F2gEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6102,5472900) but threatend to "stomp" Thompson's ass if he continued to pester him.  Echanis was friendly with the CIA advisors at the JFK Center at the time, particularly T. Hewett, whom he visited whenever he came through Bragg on business.  Otherwise Echanis had no warm and fuzzy feelings for the Agency, for reasons expressed in his letter.

Sanders, a Journalism major at the University of Oregon prior to joining the Army, wrote two emergency medical books which were to be part of the 9-volume O'Hara Hwa Rang Do Series authored by he, Randy Wanner and Mike.  The books were co-written with former POW and close friend, MSG James Jackson, himself a VN era Special Forces Medic.

Chuck's manuscripts, as well as Mike's finished manuscripts for the completed series, were reported missing/stolen from their Managua homes after their deaths were reported.

***

All the surviving members of the Echanis para military team were warned by U.S. Embassy officials to include Mary Daniels and Colonel McCoy, the MILGRP CDR at the time, that their lives were in potential danger by unidentified forces and to take the appropriate precautions.

The earlier disappearance and alleged murder of SEAL Joe Camp loomed heavy on everyone's minds.

None of this information appears in Mr. O'Neal's book as presented here in detail.

Additional and updated information regarding Michael D Echanis can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Echanis

This is a living document, updated when new and verifiable information is located, sourced and vetted.

De Oppreso Liber -

Greg Walker
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #219 on: August 25, 2013, 08:59:25 AM »

Mr Walker,
You originally said,Mr O'Neil was the final word.
His words are posted in the page I posted above in earlier posts and in his book with pages also referenced by me in above posts.
Now what Mr O'Neil doesn't know ?
I think Mr O'Neil Made it very clear.

If Mr Echanis was assigned to C/75 then would not have Mr O'Neil have known that after their one LRRP training / OJT mission ?

Mr O'Neil says Mr Echanis was assigned to Convoy Security,that was a separate stationing,not as part of a LRRP Team as many reported ,and as you elude to in your Black Belt magazine,when you mentioned Mr Echanis name and then list Ranger missions and operations into Cambodia and the number of enemy contacts,while you know that Mr Echanis was never on ANY of those missions as a LRRP.
(If you have Mr Echanis military records,record book and personel file you would know what teams he was on and if deployed in cross border ops)
You correctly state that Mike was wounded while in a convoy ,but we DO NOT know what his job was ,was he working as an observer ?
Mr O'Neil would have known that,and Mr O'Neil said Mr Echanis Convoy Security ?

Why do I have a Hard On for / about Mr Echanis ?

Well for years Everyone made out Mike  Echanis was this super soldier.
I have been countering those claims for years on this site and others as I knew people who knew Mr Echanis.
Airborne,Ranger,Special Forces,LRRP ,wounded in combat.
Which is all half Crap BS.
Mr Echanis was:
A member of the US Army.
Was apparently Airborne qualified.
Was wounded in a truck convoy ambush.
Was awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
End of Military experience.

Mr Echanis was:
NOT Special Forces Qualified
NOT A Ranger Qualified
NOT A LRRP with C / 75 which would have put him under a Ranger designation.
NOT the man who starred at Goats
NOT a member of the First Earth Battalion
As Said before by me  in earlier pages of this thread,Mr Echanis could have been a Cook,Administration,Convoy Security within C/75 that does not put him in a capacity to be called a LRRP Ranger with C / 75.
A Play on words and assignments to make the uninformed believe something that is not true.
(This is like Jim Wagner being assigned to the TOC on a SWAT Team  and then claiming he is a SWAT Team member and expecting the uninformed to believe he was a door kicker member of SWAT)

You mentioned Mr O'Neil never attended Ranger school,but Mr O'Neil was assigned to a Ranger Unit and Was on a LRRP team 22 /Double Deuce. Now if you are calling Mr O'Neil's record into question as him being called a LRRP Ranger and comparing his designation to that of Mr Echanis I think that is a GREAT Error.

Any other connection of Mr Echanis to the Military was as a civilian who taught HIS Version of martial arts JUST AS Many others did at the time.
I have posted their names and their seniority to Mr Echanis at Fort Bragg,and how it was a BASE Martial arts program,which has been turned into a Special Forces only program.

Mr Echanis work as a Mercenary is that of Hand to Hand Instructor which also became much more.
Again refer to Mr O'Neil words and pages which I have posted in other threads above,where Mr O'Neil says Mr Echanis was NOT what he portrayed and was NOT what stories seem to tell.

I am not concerned over Mr Echanis claims and ranks in Martial arts or in Hawrangdo,though most of what is written about that is also phony BS.
I am not concerned over who,Military,Police,Civilians ,Mr Echanis taught as it means nothing as MANY have taught Military Units and Special Military Units,this does not make them members of those units,lol.
It is the BS claims of his military which form the background for this super heroe status legend,with most of those Military claims being false.

People with a Hard On for Immortalizing Mr Echanis and Making Money from his BS credentials should check themselves and just have left a Dead ,wounded Veteran alone .

I appreciate your service and you are a true Heroe,as is Mr O'Neil.
Do you believe that Mr Echanis was more than you,or Mr O'Neil or Colonel Howard or Colonel Rowe or any other Ranger,LRRP or Green Beret / Special Forces member who NO ONE knows about or has never heard of ?

I do not appreciate a phony being made to be more than he was in the Military to sell products, be they books or knives or anything else .
( I like how the knife is Mr Echanis Knife when Mr O'Neil describes how he and why he first made the knife Mr Echanis is now credited with,*For his LRRP Missions).

Mr Echanis is a wounded Veteran,for that he is a Heroe,the rest need to have never been made up to create a fake legend.
Then again a soldier wounded in an ambush on a truck convoy,who became a martial artist and a Mercenary would not have sold much copy ,would it ?

To raise a man who completed Army Basic training and was apparently Airborne qualified to Legend status for really only completeing and doing those two things is a slap in the face to those who ACTUALLY earned the Tabs as Rangers,LRRP's,Special Forces.

Your loyalty to Mr Echanis and trying to keep his story alive is commedable,(for what ever reason),but please just let him be what he is a Dead Veteran,period.

Semper Fi
De Oppresso Liber

JimH
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #220 on: August 25, 2013, 05:37:34 PM »

With all due respect, Jim, bugger off :).

Walker, out.
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #221 on: August 25, 2013, 06:38:27 PM »

Mr Walker,
Again I appreciate the dialogue and exchange.
All the Best
JimH
I am well and truly Buggered Off.(lol)
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SabreActual

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #222 on: November 28, 2013, 12:02:30 PM »

Upon submission of a formal recommendation packet presenting never before seen or available official documentation and photography from the John F. Kennedy Center, SEAL Team 2 and the Echanis Family archives - Black Belt Magazine has named Michael D. Echanis its 2013 Weapons Instructor of the Year.  His induction into the Black Belt Hall of Fame appears in the December 2013 / January 2014 issue of Black Belt. 
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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #223 on: November 28, 2013, 05:28:42 PM »

Pretty good for a dead guy. All those living instructors who didn't make the grade better up their game or get into some hi jinks to win that award.
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #224 on: November 29, 2013, 03:15:50 PM »

Quote
"Upon submission of a formal recommendation packet presenting never before seen or available official documentation and photography from the John F. Kennedy Center, SEAL Team 2 and the Echanis Family archives - Black Belt Magazine has named Michael D. Echanis its 2013 Weapons Instructor of the Year.  His induction into the Black Belt Hall of Fame appears in the December 2013 / January 2014 issue of Black Belt. "

If I may.
The supposed never before seen documentation ,is that which Mr Walker posted on the pages of this forum.

All ambiguous statements of half truths.

Mike was NEVER a Ranger,this was verified by the statements made in
Mr O'Neils book in which he staes Mike tried for the LRRPs and Mr O'Neil himself sent him packing as Mike was not cut out to do that job. Mike was then sent to convoy security.not a LRRP or Ranger Job.

Mike was Never in Special Forces.He went to Phase one and then was asked to leave and never attended the rest of SF qualifications,though Mr Walker,Black Belt and now Soldier of Fortune Magazine show Mike in a Green Beret with the SF Crest,which was not authorized wear once out of the SF training program.

Mikes teachings at Ft Bragg were not for Special Forces only it was a Base wide,Ft Bragg wide course taught by many as well as Mr Echanis and Mr Echanis never filled his contracted  instruction period.

So much for newly released documentation.
Mike was either not cut out for SF / LRRP Rangers due to physical or mental issues or he was a quiter

Mike did teach SOME members of SEAL Team 2 but not under any Official Navy contract.(He was brought in as they, ST2, believed the stories that Mike had taught H2H to SF at Bragg,which was again a half truth.

Mr Echanis knife design was stolen from Mr O'Neil as Mr O'Neil speaks to this in his book as well as describes the design and why he,Mr O'Neil, designed it as such.

In his book Mr O'neil,(The man Mr Walker said was the ultimate authority on Mr Echanis) says not to believe the Hype Mike created about himself.

Many will swollow the load as truth ,especially when sold by those trying to cash in on Mr Echanis  supposed claims to fame.
Black Belt ran Mr Walkers BS story as it helps sell their book on Mr Echanis re released weapons books.
Soldier of Fortune had Mike working for them as a writer and was influential in Mike ending up where he did  when he died.
Mr Walker is a fan of Mr Echanis and has interest in Mikes supposed knife designs with intent to reproduce them for sale.
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #225 on: November 29, 2013, 03:32:03 PM »

Nice user name Sabre Actual
You with 7th SFG ??
Do you know Mr Walker ?
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Greg Walker

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #226 on: November 30, 2013, 11:34:21 PM »

Jim -

Please note the following for the record -

Your statement regarding my having any commercial interest in Mike Echanis, specifically your claim regarding any form of cutlery project, is false.  Who in the world did you hear that from?

Continuing -

You clearly have not availed yourself of the Wiki page regarding Echanis.  Nor have you apparently read either my article in the August/September 2013 issue nor the current issue regarding MDE's induction into the Black Belt Hall of Fame.

If you had you'd know Mike's military record is accurately presented and properly sourced.

The recommendation packet submitted by myself to Black Belt's editorial staff consisted of official JFK Center / SEAL Team 2 Memorandum for Record, official photographs of training in progress and cadre graduations.

Additional background information was provided by Colonel (Retired) Juan Montes and Master Chief Bob Nissley, both who worked closely with Mike and Chuck at 5th Group / the JFK Center at the time.  Mr. O'Neal will recognize both names, I'm sure.

He will also recognize SGM Ivan "Jake" Jakovenko's name.  Jake was his and Chuck's team sergeant at 5th Group.  SGM Jakovenko was one of Mike's pall bearers as were several other members of his ODA and remains close to the Echanis Family.

The Sergeant-Major's opinion of MDE is much higher than his opinion of Mr. O'Neal.

Black Belt has their own criteria for Hall of Fame consideration and applied it. 

Mr. O'Neal made the cover of Soldier of Fortune recently (which Mike had already done twice, by the way).  Both David Fisher (Mr. O'Neal's co-author) and Bob Brown can attest to the fact that it was me who introduced everyone via E-mail to arrange for Mr. O'Neal's book to be reviewed by RKB.

On the other hand Mike Echanis has since been inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame. 

Perhaps 35 years from now someone will take the time and make the effort to see Mr. O'Neal given the same consideration.

Regarding Mr. O'Neal's description of the knife he claims to have handmade. 

What he describes is essentially the same design as the old mountain man's Green River Skinner although O'Neal offers it looks like an Alaskan whaling knife in his book.

Echanis "stole" no knife design from Mr. O'Neal or anyone else as you claim.  MDE was content with the Gerber MK I and II he is forever associated with.

You (and Mr. O'Neal?) may be confusing the Warrior combat knife designed by Master Randy Wanner now many, many years ago with O'Neal's Green River Skinner/whaling knife.  It has been public knowledge since 1993 when I wrote "Battle Blades" for Paladin Press that Echanis had no design input on Wanner's Hwa Rang Do knife project.  According to Randy, the only thought Mike offered when asked was perhaps the knife should have a serration feature.  Otherwise he couldn't have cared less.

Wanner teamed up with Bob Taylor (who Mr. O'Neal will recall from when they approached the Echanis Family about doing a commemorative knife project bearing Mike's name) and the Warrior design was further enhanced then taken to Al Mar at Al Mar Knives.

Mar produced it for a short time.  When AMK dropped the project Bob Taylor picked it up and produced it through his new knife company at the time, REKAT.

REKAT went out of business and so did the Wanner/Taylor Warrior.

Guy Rafeeli (sp?), an Israeli H2H instructor and family friend of Sal Glesser at Spyderco Knives did a spin off of the Warrior which Spyderco began producing in 2010.  Mike Janich at Spyderco wrote a multi page booklet that goes out with every knife about the Warrior's history - to include that Mike Echanis had no design role in it.

The Warrior bears no design resembalance to what Mr. O'Neal offers he made for himself...other than perhaps a curved blade.  In fact, O'Neal offers his design's knife was not meant for "sticking" and was poor in this regard.  The Wanner Warrior is designed for both thrusts and slashes, impact strikes and "scaling" with the aggressive sawtooth pattern seen on the original Wanner, Al Mar and then Wanner/REKAT models.

Otherwise, as usual, your opinion / information as posted on this thread remains incomplete, inaccurate, undocumented and - as in the case of my having any interest in a knife project either associated or not associated with Mike Echanis' name - false.

Dude, you really really hate this poor fellow, don't you?

Also for the record and as appears in Black Belt -

I have no commercial interest in Mr. Echanis. My writer fee for the August/September article on Mike was donated directly from the magazine to the Green Beret Foundation for which I am its ambassador.  The Echanis Family and friends close to Mike from his time at Bragg, Virginia Beach and Nicaragua have long considered setting the record straight about their son, brother and comrade in arms - I have been blessed to assist them in doing that.

They have not always been happy or agreed with what I've learned and shared with them over the past 15 months.  But they are honest, real and truly knew Mike Echanis, warts and all.

They have allowed for me to "tell it like it was" on Wiki, in Black Belt and most recently on the Spyderco Knives Forums pages that discuss the Spyderco Warrior.

In that realm I've petitioned Spyderco to correct Mr. Janich's error-filled "history" of MDE in the booklet, specifically to consider dropping it entirely as Mike - as Janich claims in the booklet - has absolutely no design input at all with the Wanner knife.

You run along now, Jim.  Class is over. 



   
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Greg Walker (Retired - 2005)
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #227 on: December 01, 2013, 06:25:42 PM »

Quote
"You run along now, Jim.  Class is over. "

Funny how you use information you took form this forum and these pages and write them as yours on other sites when they are clearly almost word for word mine,lol.

I have read the black belt mag induction and it was due to your story revivng Mr Echanis a few months back,with same crap of his serving with C/75 and the picture of him in a BS Green Beret and Crest with no flash.

Mr Echanis knew people in 5th group through Mr Sanders.
I am the one who pointed to the classes that Mr Echanis taught at Ft Bragg and the people to contact to get more info.
I have more accurate details about Mr Echanis on this forum than any of the supposed record sources you posted.

You continue to push that Mike was a Ranger / LRRP in Vietnam assigned to C/75 when he was wounded and it is not true.
(Mr O'Neal clarifies that)
You continue to insinuate Mr Echanis was a Green Beret,posting BS pictures of him wearing one .
(supposedly made it through pase 1 and left,that does not make a Green Beret)

I am the one who directed you to the ST2 person who said they had Echanis teach them.

Mr O'Neal was the person YOU said was the authority on Mr Echanis in Vietnam and with C/75 and in his book Mr O'Neal tells the truth about Mr Echanis and you don't like what was said so now it is a competition for who else knew Mr Echanis and how many times he has been on Magazine covers compared to Mr O'Neal.

It is a joke to basically give a shorthanded dismisal to a Real Heroe like Mr O'Neal for some one who made their living through BS stories they told or allowed to be told about themselves with out correction like Mr Echanis.


Quote Mr Walker:
"Jim -

Please note the following for the record -

Your statement regarding my having any commercial interest in Mike Echanis, specifically your claim regarding any form of cutlery project, is false.  Who in the world did you hear that from?"

Who did I get that info from ?
You Sir.
http://www.warriortalk.com/archive/index.php/t-56230.html

Greg Walker 10/15/2012
(section of post)
"I also dug out all my old Echanis stuff, including original Black Belt and SOF magazines going back to the mid 1970's and compiled a thorough bio of Echanis for inclusion in the book. We're in the final phases of laying out the book now and it should go to print in a couple of weeks. In addition to being included with every Warrior sold, it should be available for individual purchase."

The part that says:
"In addition to being included with every Warrior sold, it should be available for individual purchase."

Looks like an interest in Spyderco Warrior CUTLERY to me,LOL.
(if Spyderco WARRIOR Blade has nothing to do with Echanis,as I ,Mr O'Neal and many others must mistakenly believe,according to your post above,then why include Echanis information,in a book to go with the Knife ?)

I also like how you went on to Amazon and wrote a review of Mr O'Neals Book in which you go on and on about Mike Echanis and how Mr O'Neal didn't give him the credit he,Mike Echanis,was due.

Such infatuation with Mr Echanis to call out a true Hero and what he did not do for Mr Echanis in a Book about him,Mr O'Neal ??
Unbelievable to me.

Mr Echanis was GIVEN this Title  Black Belt Weapons Instructor of the Year for the purpose of pushing their expanded book on him and his weapons instruction and for NO Other reason.
Why else nominate him and make him the weapons instructor of the year after 35 friggin years,lol.
Christmas time book sales ,so use the magazine that comes out just before the Holiday season begins and push a book .

I also like the part in Black Belt in which it is stated that Mr Echanis is the only Civilian to go operational with a Special Forces unit,or in this case a supposed story of Mike being the only Non Active Duty person ,(should read CIVILIAN),going with 5th Group to Puerto Rico.
(Story sounds like Frank Dux stuff)

I wonder how then Special Forces has,uses and employs civilian assets,
if not to work in conjunction with SF and or other US Military Type Agencies ?


Also in 1977 didn't then Major Montes  write  a letter to Rainbow Press about Mike Echanis book  saying it should be used to train Foriegn troops in H2H ?
So it is possible that if then Major Montes had opportunity to test his thoughts he might send Echanis to Puerto Rico to work with the 5th group in training the National Guard of Puerto Rico.
But it sure as crap was not a clandestine mission,as Special Forces were being deployed around the world to train Militaries and Police.

Then again how long could Echanis have been there training the PR NG ?
He was not there as long as the 5th group Team was he ?

If Echanis and or Hwarangdo were such a Great art,needed by Militaries around the world,why then was it not made part of the training program for JFK Warfare Center and or the Ranger's while Mike Echanis was alive or even to shortly after his death ?
Why not bring in GM Lee ?,(he would have loved that).
Why Not Bring in Mr Warner and the others who taught Mike and who created the Warrior Blade ?
They didn;t use Mr Echanis,nor anyone else in Hwarangdo.

Then Major Montes is said to have said Mike Echanis Materials would be a breath of Fresh Air ,as the Rangers and Special Forces were still using the O'Neil Methods of H2H established  in the 1940's.
They still used the O'Neil Method of H2H up until the late 80 early 90's when they also included/combined the O'Neil methods with  Larsen's GBJJ / MMA.

Class is not over for me,I am the one teaching the facts and the one producing the leads which have lead you to sources you did not have  during your investigative research.
Read the pages of this forum for the information written well before you came on board and since you came on board.

Now Class is over,lol.
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noload

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #228 on: December 01, 2013, 07:45:06 PM »

I'm just laughing that Black Belt gave an Instructor of the Year award to a guy who has been dead almost 40 years, and who while living was a mixed bag at best as an instructor. Can that rag insult any living, working instructor or those buying ad space anymore than that?

What's with martial artists and dead guys anyway?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2013, 09:55:56 PM by noload »
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #229 on: December 02, 2013, 01:38:18 PM »

Noload,
I also find it funny,and or sad depending,that Mike Echanis,who created no system of weapons usage,but who taught and or demonstarted that which he learned from the art of Hwarangdo,is the Weapons Instructor of the year for 2013.LOL.
Since Echanis died,how many Weapons Instructors of the year has Black Belt magazine featured who were Hwarangdo people ?
None
It is a joke , an insult to living weapons masters and is done to sell books for Black Belt .
In the Story which goes with the naming of Mr Echanis as Weapons instructor of the YEAR,Mr Walker reminds us that Black Belt has re released the old Echanis books as One large Volume book.
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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #230 on: December 02, 2013, 02:38:23 PM »

Class is back in session.
Today history.
Mike Echanis:
Studies some self defense
Leaves High School Early to join US Army
Completes Basic
Goes to Jump school and graduates.
Goes to JFK Warfare Center to be Green Beret
Completes phase 1,Basic infantry type training.
Leaves training ,is asked to leave or leaves on his own.
NOT a Green Beret
Goes to Vietnam
Tries for LRRP with C/75 ,found to not fit in asked to leave.
Not a LRRP,not a Ranger school Grad,(No scroll),therefore not a RANGER with C/75
Is Assigned to Convoy Security
Convoy is attacked
Mr Echanis gets bronze star and purple heart
Mr Echanis goes home to heal and rehab
Mr Echanis ends up in Caifornia
Meets GM Lee ,says he is Black Belt
GM lee sends MR Echanis to Mr Warner to learn Hwarangdo
Mr Echanis takes money from school and heads for Ft Bragg
(Not a Black Belt or Black Sash in Hwarangdo)
Mr Echanis reunites with his old friend Mr Sanders who is in 5th Special Forces at Ft Bragg
Echanis hangs out ,has no job,has what ever he got in service related disability.
Starts teaching his version of Hwarangdo to members of 5th SF,friends of Mr Sanders,Unofficially.
General at Ft Bragg starts a martial arts program on BASE,open to civilians and military,features different martial arts programs,Mr Echanis gets a slot to teach Hwarangdo course.
(names of other who taught courses are listed in early posts on this thread by me)
People injured on first day,many leave remainder mostly SF
3 week martial art course ,16 people get certificate from Echanis.
Mr Echanis teaches a 2nd 3 week course,small turnout ,get a certificate.
Letters of appreciation  to Mr Echanis
Mr Sanders wants to be in CIA
CIA says no
Mr Sanders says he will work as asset/civilian for CIA
Mr Echanis tags along
Mr Echanis asks to join agency he too is denied
Echanis writes as Martial arts expert for Soldier of Fortune and is featured in Black Belt magazine.
Mr Sanders and Mr Echanis go to Nicaraqua as contractors .
Mr Echanis is H2H Instructor for Nicaraquan National Guard.
Echanis and Sanders die in Nicaraqua as mercenaries,now would be called contractors.1978

Mr Echanis Awarded Weapons Instructor of the year,2013

History lesson is complete and accurate.

Class dismissed
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SabreActual

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #231 on: February 12, 2014, 08:37:21 PM »

Summer school for you, Jim :)

Unless you, as I have done, can back stop your commentary it remains just that...commentary... and as such personal, unsupported and undocumented - opinion.

I marvel at the fact you can't get over the documented fact that Echanis was assigned to, wounded with and then decorated by C-Co (RGR), 75th Infantry prior to his medical evacuation to Japan and then Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco.

This denial of the historical record, per Army documentation and FOIA, simply assures me you've no objective interest in this discussion.

By the by, where I first believed Gary O'Neal was at the aviation crash site in Nicaragua and did indeed witness the recovery of remains of those killed ...

And which I went on record in Black Belt Magazine (August/September 2013) as saying O'Neal's claim was likely true ...

Upon further research and interviews I now have no reason to believe O'Neal or any other living American was at the crash site or participated in the body recovery of all four who perished.

Strictly a NIC Guardia National operation.

This, in part, supported by a U.S. State Department telegram provided to me by the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and heretofore not available.  It is from then AMB Solaun to the then SECSTATE WASHDC titled "Alleged U.S. CIT MERCENARIES REPORTEDLY DEAD".

In the telegram AMB Solaun, who I have interviewed, tells the SECSTATE "President Somoza informed Ambassador this afternoon (SEPT 8) and we have heard same reports from other Sources in the GN [Guardia National], that an aircraft piloted by GN General Alegrett with three US citizens aboard crashed in Lake Nicaragua south of Rivas and that all aboard are dead."

I located and spoke with Randy Wanner about a month ago.
Randy's recollections of O'Neal are pretty interesting.  He (Wanner) met O'Neal on more than one occasion when Echanis/Sanders would come to the La Habra dojang to visit and train.  Wanner scoffs at O'Neal's claims of self-importance when it comes to anything having to do with Echanis - which is pretty much the common theme when you likewise talk with Ivan Jakovenko, Bob Nissley, Juan Montes, Ray Molina...all the "Old Guys" who truly were close to and respected by MDE and Chuck...and the real movers and shakers at Bragg and in NIC where Echanis is involved.

O'Neal was such a non-entity there is not one letter from Echanis to his family mentioning a "Gary O'Neal" nor had they ever heard of him until he showed up briefly in Ontario for the funerals.

Bear in mind Charles W. Evans, or "CW", as O'Neal knows him, is otherwise remembered by MDE.  Evans was both at Bragg with Echanis/Sanders and then in Nicaragua as part of the EEBI advisor team.

"CW" was very close to Mike and Chuck...and O'Neal.  "CW" was a graduate of the HWD/TKD Instructor Program at Bragg (I have a copy of his graduation certificate) and was also the "Silent Sentry" in the SOF H2H columns Mike authored.

CW wrote a very kind letter to the Echanis family in 1990.  He was clearly someone MDE respected and the feeling was mutual.  He'd suffered severe injury in a 1984 Blackhawk crash on the NIC/Hondo border and after regaining conciousness at Gorgas Army Hospital in Panama, he managed to recover and touch base with folks like the Echanis. 

Evans and Echanis were on such fraternal terms that on 12-15-1977, on official stationary that happened to be on hand at the JFK Center, "CW" wrote a receipt for "one aKs 7.62 rifle, Ser. 13065992 Chicom in exchange for check No. 204 in the amount of $50...checking account of Michael D. Echanis".  This for a rifle he'd sold to Mike while the two were at Fort Bragg.

Point being, among many, unless you can document your claims to the degree I have and can regarding Mike Echanis you're simply at the back of the class, my friend.

I'll drop by this thread in another six months or so just to see how riled up I got you this time :).







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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #232 on: February 14, 2014, 01:50:25 PM »

Mr Walker,
you are the one who cannot get over that Mike Echanis was NOT as important ,nor did he do the things attached to him all these years.
Other than saying he was with C Co  75th Infantry.
What was his actual job with C 75 then ?
He was not a LRRP /LRP so what did he do ?

All your post over at C 75 pages and NO ONE serving as a LRRP at that time knew or knows Echanis ,except for his books and or articles.
NO C/75  or LRRP Historical documents such as rosters and or LRRP memoirs and diaries has ever used the Echanis name.

All the other crap:
O'Neil,who now according to you was not important,though before his book you claimed him the most important and most knowledgable.LOL
(read back through the sialogue on these pages in this thread)

The other names newly meantioned mean nothing as no one is disputing Echanis was in Nic as a merc teaching H2H to Nic NG.
That was what he was contracted for,nothing else.

Your writings throw out names and people and places that prove nothing as to the Military claims of Echanis,which still stand that he was not
SF qualified,so no Green Beret
He was Not a LRRP so technically he was NOT a Ranger,unless he did the school, which he did not.

if you want to say he was some how assigned to C 75 as a HQ element ,or convoy security, again that does not make him a Ranger unless he did patrols as a LRRP or as Ranger.
Since you have his Service Records:
what patrols and or operations was he on ?
What other conflicts or missions was he ever on?
What was his  SPECIFIC job with C 75 ?
if I remember correctly most awards  have the unit and job titile /mos or what the person was doing mentioned in the award,but as I have said before any published account of Mr Echanis award leaves off who assigned to and what capacity he served.(Conveniently)

He was no black belt level in Hwarangdo when he left Ca to go to Bragg.

So what was he:
A soldier wounded in Vietnam who rehabilitated himself,studied a little Hapkido/hwarangdo,took his limited knowledge,started teaching his version of it and became a cult figure thanks to SOF,Black Belt and other followers/believers.
He became a Mercenary and was killed in that capacity.
He was nothing more than that ,with no other military trained speciality ,other than airborne qualified and wounded in action.

If he had some other military speciality schools and quals ,please post them.
But then again if he did you would have posted them already I am sure ,lol. as you have posted schools started but not completed and fabrications of events to make him a LRRP/Ranger ,which does not fly.

If you,Mr Walker believe Mr Echanis was better than,you as a fully qualified Green Beret, then believe that.
I know he was not better than me.
I know he was not better than Mr O'Neal.
He was not better than Col Rowe,nor better than Col Howard or any other true hero from SF or any other branch.
He was unqualified as a Green Beret,Unqualified as a LRRP,not a Ranger as designated by the school and or activities a LRRP.
So how he is better,held in higher esteem, than those who have completed the Q course and are fully tabbed and with more school and training than Mr Echanis ever had is deyond me.

Please try to stop inflating Mr Echanis BS reputation and just leave him as a soldier wounded in Vietnam who died as a Mercenary as that is all he was.
He was not a great martial artist,just a martial artist with no rank at the time ,who got to teach the little he knew to people at Bragg,civilians ,other soldiers and to include a few Green Berets.

Mr Echanis was a showman and that causes some to wet their pants seeing a guy dig a shallow hole lay in it ,push his stomach out and let a truck run over him as he pulls his stomach in and the crowd is in awe.
Or the blood flow control tricks of pushing a knitting needle through the skin at certain points and pulling it out with no blood.
Lets us see that trick with the knitting needle behid the artery of the neck or better yet,lets see a blood flow control master take a slash to the lower abdominal and stop the blood and intestines from coming out,lol.

Yep you took me to school again,lol.
All of this schooling and facts you keep getting out there,oh man,wonder why it does not change my mind,?? LOL

Get some real Facts for  follow up posts,since having his service record should answer the military questions,I wonder why the constant need to find people to say what Echanis did ?
Oh yeah I know why:
If the facts do not support the points being made and do not answer the questions being asked baffle them with BS.
So much BS being tossed out there.

See you in September,lol.
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SabreActual

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #233 on: April 12, 2014, 09:49:04 AM »

Good morning!

Nice post.

However I've previously posted / listed the official references to any and all of your questions now months ago.

To include his 2-1 assignment to C, 75th Infantry, duty title Scout-Observer.

And if you'll go to this website, the official C Co, 75th RGR website, and do a search for "Echanis" you'll find some of those he served with offer up a few good memories.

As for O'Neal - it isn't the first time Gary has told a camp fire tale that's come back to haunt him.  He didn't do too well at this last year's SOA board elections, in part for this habit pattern to include his claims regarding Echanis.

However, the endstate of what was a carefully researched, documented, warts and all (I believe I'm the only one to have confirmed and published MDE did not volunteer for nor attend Ranger School...and the first to confirm and publish he was dropped from Phase 1 at SFQC...and the first to confirm and publish he did attend and graduate Airborne school) the most factual and back-stopped account of both Mike and Chuck's lives.

Guess I got tired of seeing someone unable to defend himself, and a family that didn't know how to go about setting the record straight, get pot-shoted without recourse by hacks like Mike Janich, whacks  like Gary O, and those who simply have an axe to grind and never got their chatter boxes successfully challenged with the documented facts.

I note that Mike J has made an effort to apologize...Gary O has elected to get very, very quiet regarding his book's undocumented, untruthful writings about MDE (and Bobby Nguyen) that do harm to their person and/or reputation by bringing about hatred, scorn or contempt by a public audience...(by the by it's called "libel" in formal circles and libel can be very, very embarassing as well as expensive, I hear).

And there's a handful of others who have likewise scuttled back into their "bash Echanis" holes for The Good of the Order.

As for "better than you" or "not better than me"...

I was nothing more and nothing less than a good Soldier.

I was blessed to meet, serve with and be introduced to truly incredible warriors like Roger Donolan (MOH), Mike Kim, Bruce Hazelwood, Bob Nissley, Juan Montes, Ivan Jakovenko, Ken Bowra, Eldon Bargewell, David Kraske, Mike Brown, Kenny Walker, Barry Enoch, Leroy Petry (MOH) and the list goes on.

None of them would ever say "I was better than...".

Especially of another Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airmen or Coastguardsman who served honorably, was wounded in combat and cited thereafter for Valor as was Mr. Echanis.

I know it's only April - perhaps you can find additional fault with me for being a few months early in responding, old hoss.


Good morning!

Nice post.

However I've previously posted / listed the official references to any and all of your questions now months ago.

To include his 2-1 assignment to C, 75th Infantry, duty title Scout-Observer.

And if you'll go to this website, the official C Co, 75th RGR website, and do a search for "Echanis" you'll find some of those he served with offer up a few good memories.

As for O'Neal - it isn't the first time Gary has told a camp fire tale that's come back to haunt him.  He didn't do too well at this last year's SOA board elections, in part for this habit pattern to include his claims regarding Echanis.

However, the endstate of what was a carefully researched, documented, warts and all (I believe I'm the only one to have confirmed and published MDE did not volunteer for nor attend Ranger School...and the first to confirm and publish he was dropped from Phase 1 at SFQC...and the first to confirm and publish he did attend and graduate Airborne school) the most factual and back-stopped account of both Mike and Chuck's lives.

Guess I got tired of seeing someone unable to defend himself, and a family that didn't know how to go about setting the record straight, get pot-shoted without recourse by hacks like Mike Janich, whacks  like Gary O, and those who simply have an axe to grind and never got their chatter boxes successfully challenged with the documented facts.

I note that Mike J has made an effort to apologize...Gary O has elected to get very, very quiet regarding his book's undocumented, untruthful writings about MDE (and Bobby Nguyen) that do harm to their person and/or reputation by bringing about hatred, scorn or contempt by a public audience...(by the by it's called "libel" in formal circles and libel can be very, very embarassing as well as expensive, I hear).

And there's a handful of others who have likewise scuttled back into their "bash Echanis" holes for The Good of the Order.

As for "better than you" or "not better than me"...

I was nothing more and nothing less than a good Soldier.

I was blessed to meet, serve with and be introduced to truly incredible warriors like Roger Donolan (MOH), Mike Kim, Bruce Hazelwood, Bob Nissley, Juan Montes, Ivan Jakovenko, Ken Bowra, Eldon Bargewell, David Kraske, Mike Brown, Kenny Walker, Barry Enoch, Leroy Petry (MOH) and the list goes on.

None of them would ever say "I was better than...".

Especially of another Soldier, Sailor, Marine, Airmen or Coastguardsman who served honorably, was wounded in combat and cited thereafter for Valor as was Mr. Echanis.

I know it's only April - perhaps you can find additional fault with me for being a few months early in responding, old hoss.









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SabreActual

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #234 on: April 12, 2014, 02:49:21 PM »

Postscript - Gary O'Neal - Not Credible

In his book "American Warrior" Mr. O'Neal offers he personally intervened in the burial of Nguyen "Bobby" Nguyen after he, Echanis and Chuck Sanders died in Nicaragua.

In specific while giving his account of Bobby's funeral the author writes:

"...some people objected to Bobby being  buried with an American flag because he wasn't officially an American citizen.  That made me furious...I would not let them start the funeral until we got that situation settled.  I got in my car and I drove sixty miles to Boise, where I bought an American flag for my friend's coffin.  When I got back we folded it in the correct triangular fashion, opened up his coffin, and laid it on top.  Only then would we allow them to put him in the ground."

The above account is a lie and a horrible one at that.  It is disputed by the Echanis Family and by Master Chief Bob Nissley, the latter who O'Neal knows all too well and keeps his distance from.

And I've shared that with both O'Neal and in public on Amazon in reviewing his book.

When the Echanis Family, which along with the Sanders family arranged for the funeral services for all three, discovered Bobby had been sent back with Mike and Chuck, they immediately chose to have him buried with Mike.

I have copies of the official U.S. and Nicaraguan documentation regarding the discovery, preparations and return of all three from Managua to Boise, Idaho, as does the family and Chief Nissley.

A memorial service was held to honor Chuck Sanders.  He was not "buried in his family's place" as O'Neal says in his book (Page 179).  Chuck was cremated and his ashes spread, per his request, over his favorite mountain range near Ontario.  His parents' grave marker at a Protestant cemetery in Ontario reflects Chuck's name, as well.

Mike was buried at the Catholic cemetery in Ontario in the Echanis Family plot.

When his casket was placed into the ground the Special Forces honor guard, led by then MSG Ivan Jakovenko, each stepped forward and dropped their berets into the grave atop Mike's casket.  Ivan Jakovenko shared this with me himself.  Chuck was a member of his A-team before leaving the Army and Mike was a welcome guest of the team and MSG Jakovenko whenever he was at Fort Bragg.

O'Neal knows this.  He, too, had been on Jakovenko's team at the time.  It is my understanding when O'Neal went to his former team sergeant seeking his recommendation for the Ranger Hall of Fame, Ivan not only told him "No" but Hell, NO!  He also advised O'Neal to never use his name in conjunction with anything associated with Gary. 

Bobby Nguyen was buried the day after Mike and Chuck's services.  The Echanis Family, through Frank Echanis, Mike's dad, arranged through the Catholic Church in Ontario for Bobby to be interred in the same cemetery as Mike.  Frank did not know if Bobby was Buddhist or Christian (Catholic).  He told me when the priest asked about this he offered many Vietnamese were Catholics...and Bobby certainly could have been one of these.

The Church signed off and gave its permission.

Bobby's marker was created from Pat Echanis' mother's first marble marker (Pat was Mike's mom).  They re-polished it and had it properly engraved for Bobby.  His services / funeral was announced in the local Ontario paper, the Argus-Observer.

Chief Nissley, who knew Bobby quite well, raised the issue of an American flag being provided for Bobby as he was not a citizen of the United States.  Bob is old school and as professional and legendary as they come.  It pained him to raise the issue but it was the right thing to do at the time.

Bobby was not buried with an American flag.  There was no disruption or delay of his funeral by Gary O'Neal.  There was no sixty mile drive to Boise...no purchase of such a flag...no folding of it...no opening of the coffin (At graveside?  In broad daylight?  With all those attending witnessing?  Only an idiot would believe this occurred)...and no placement of the flag in Bobby's coffin.

The Echanis Family and Bob Nissley, among others, flat out call this a lie and a disgrace.

In fact, Gary O'Neal was an unknown to the famiy.  He was only in Ontario for the shortest of time and then left with his wife at the time, Kim O'Neal.  Although the official documentation from the U.S. embassy in Managua lists O'Neal and his wife, along with Paul Glasser as the assigned escorts for all three caskets from Nicaragua to Boise, all three abandoned the coffins and their remains in Florida when the TACA airliner they were on landed and U.S. Customs / the State Department held up further travel for three days.

An American flag was placed at Bobby's grave and Gary notified of it and a photo sent him...by me.  I placed the flag roughly 14 months ago when I still believed Gary O'Neal's stories.

I do not any longer where they refer to Mike Echanis, Chuck Sanders and Bobby Nguyen.

Further, although I stated in my Black Belt article last year that I still felt O'Neal had been at the body recovery of all four men, as he has said multiple times in the past and then offered in his book, I do not believe he was anywhere close at this time.

O'Neal states "I was up near El Salvador taking peeks across the border when they were killed.  The Sandinistas were firing mortars on the border, and I went up there with my people to check it out (Page 176)."

There is no border between Nicaragua and El Salvador.  There is the Gulf of Fonseca but no mortar I know of could be fired successfully over it into El Salvador from Nicargua. 

Further, the U.S. ambassador at the time sent a telegram to the then Secretary of State from Managua less than an hour after being notified by President Somoza that all four had died and where.  AMB Solaun, whom I have interviewed, stated in this telegram the plane went down at 1300...additional official documentation states the first autopsies began at 1700 in Managua under Somoza's personal instruction to his Department of Health. 

The bodies were recovered by a Nicaraguan military patrol in the area from the EEBI.  They were trucked to Managua and left in the military morgue until discovered by two Nicaraguan officers who knew them.  From there they went to the Department of Health and then to a staging hanger used by the U.S. at the international airport.  Retired Navy SEAL Skip Crain, whom I interviewed, identified Mike's remains.

The descriptions of the bodies by O'Neal in his book, which are gruesome, are contradicted by Chief Nissley.  Bob was asked by the Echanis Family to view all three remains at the funeral home in Ontario the evening they arrived from Boise.  He did so.  He offers he saw no evidence of the amount of damage O'Neal given in his book (Page 177).  Chuck's brother, Jim Sanders, also viewed the remains on behalf of the Sanders family.

As for the Basque medallion Mike Echanis wore and O'Neal offers he recognized during his alleged presence at the crash site -

The medallion was given to Mike by his mother, Pat.  She'd bought it for him during a trip to Spain.  He'd worn it ever since and there are pictures in possession of the family, myself and Chief Nissley of this.

When I first began researching the true and accurate story of Mike Echanis I spoke with Gary O'Neal.  He told me he'd recovered Mike's medallion and had returned it to Pat Echanis personally when he met her in Ontario during the services.

I thought that to be highly commendable at the time.

Then, when I met Pat and asked her about the medallion, she told me she'd never seen it again after Mike left for Nicaragua.  When I offered Gary's story about returning it to her she scoffed and said that was untrue.  Mike's dad, two brothers and sister concurred with Pat.

Gary O'Neal is a very sore subject with them for these and other reasons.  And he knows it and knows why.

My trust and faith in Gary was compromised by the evidence and by the first hand accounts provided to me by those who were truly there, truly knew all the deceased and truly participated in the recovery of the remains, their transport back to the States and their services/funerals.

I have shared this personally with O'Neal.  He denies nothing and chooses to remain now quiet, ever so quiet on the subject.






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JimH

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #235 on: April 14, 2014, 03:29:17 PM »

Mr Walker,
You mentioned the  C Co,75 RGR site ,that has people,who served with Echanis, posting nice recounts of him.
Could you please cut and paste these sites ?
I have read many of the Ranger sites and only find you and or some one on the site asking,on your behalf, the members if they know of,knew of,served with Mr Echanis,and or if they knew if he qaulified for more medals  / awards.

I have not seen any one who remembers serving with Him,or who heard of him in the unit ,though they say they were in the unit at the time.(??)
Some remember his books and writings nothing of him.

I have said for years that Mr Echanis was not a Ranger or SF,had not attended the schools,but I would agree you are the first to have sent off and gotten his records and since these schools are not in there  he is documented .
I guess it was good when you asked me why don't I get his records and I said I didn't know how to and you sent for them instead,or I would be the one claiming the DOCUMENTED PROOF,LOL.
(justifying my claims over the years,lol)

One need not really need documents to tell that he could not have attended and graduated from any school as his time from enlistment to Vietnam was way too short to have accomplished much training. Certainly not enough for Ranger or SFQC.

I have also said he could have been a LRRP,and that would allow some to say he was a Ranger,but in truth there is NOTHING saying he served as a LRRP.
You say he is designated as a scout observer,correct ?
Was he a LRRP ?
Does he have a V designator as being a Ranger / LRRP who is parachute qualified ?

Please tell me where his record book says he falls in the following Facts on who is designated a Ranger?
I believe it also says those not LRRP / Rngers will wear the 75th Infantry patch and have a P for Parachute qualified,not a V disignator and NO SCROLL.
So please clarify which his record book DOCUMENTS says he was according to the following Feb 1970 rules of chage / re designation. (he was wounded in  May 1970 correct ?)
The re designation of LRRP to Ranger actually began in 1969.

FACT SHEET

SUBJECT: Ranger Companies LTC Sutton/72736 6 February 1970

PURPOSE. To provide information on the change in designation of the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) Companies to Ranger Companies and the Activation of the 75th Infantry.

FACTS

1. The Army Chief of Staff directed that Ranger replace the term Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) when referring to units of this type. The term Ranger traces its origin to the French and Indian War (Seven Years War) when natives of New Hampshire were recruited by Robert Rogers into nine companies. These Rangers, later to be known as Rogers Rangers, were used as "the chief scouting arm of the British" to procure Intelligence by scouting enemy forces and positions and taking prisoners. It was not until later when the Rangers were used in more offensive roles that the term Ranger took on another meaning. Ranger, therefore, has been returned to the role it was initially intended to signify intelligence gathering.

2. In order to provide a parent regiment for the redesigned Ranger Companies of the Active Army the 75th Infantry (Merrill's Marauders) was activated on 1 January 1969. The 75th Infantry which traces its origin to the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) was considered the most appropriate regiment with which to identify the Ranger Companies.

3. In approving the re-designation of the LRRP units to Ranger units and the activation of the 75th Infantry, the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army stipulated the following:

a. Only personnel who have been awarded the Ranger Tab through successful completion of the USAIS Ranger Course will be authorized the Tab.

b. Personnel of the 75th Infantry will wear the patch of the Corps/ Field Force or Field Army to which they are assigned. In the case of separate companies in Vietnam attached to divisions and separate brigades, the division or brigade patch will be worn.

c. There will be no change in the unit designation of National Guard units other than to change LRRP to Ranger.

d. The Ranger Department, USAIS, Fort Benning, Georgia will be designated the custodian of the regimental colors and trophies of the 75th Infantry.

4. The following significant actions have taken place since the redesignation.

a. TOE 7157E and G changed to reflect that all personnel will be parachute and ranger qualified.

b. Approval of a new coat of arms, distinctive insignia and traditional designation for the 75th Infantry.

c. Approval of Special Qualifications Identifier "V" to identify parachute/ranger qualified personnel and the placement of SQI "V" in second priority behind SQI "S" (Special Forces).

d. Approval of a Ranger Enlistment Option whereby qualified applicants may enlist specifically for the 75th Infantry and be assured of training as "an Infantryman or Radio Operator, a parachutist and a Ranger and initial assignment to a Ranger Company upon successful completion of training."

You keep saying Echanis was with C/75.
what did he do there ?
His records must say what he did.
Did he do Scout Observer work ?
Was her a Lrrp ?
Was he on a LRRP Team ?

If not a LRRP and Not Ranger school tabbed ,is he considered a Ranger ?
(or are we stretching it to make him fit )
I think it is pretty clear what the requirements for being called a LRRP Ranger and or Ranger were/ are.
How does Mike Echanis meet those qualifications,as written in his record book.

Stay tuned as I have several inquiries out there  and if these people respond we will know exactly what Mike was doing during his time in country and on the truck at Ahn Khe Pass.
I wonder if it will be seen as proof or called un documented,hear say ??

Like Mr O'Neal was guy to  hang it all on,but when he didn't say what was expected he was wrong and attacked.
I wonder if he would be so discredited if he said Mike was a LRRP,served on his team and was a killing machine ??
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SabreActual

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #236 on: April 15, 2014, 09:35:50 AM »

Just found this on YouTube - couldn't find any other thread that was closer than this  one to military knife combativess.

UK War Museum interview with WW2 Brit commando regarding the FS fighting knife.  In under three minutes this old fella puts out some pretty interesting information.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDGHKyB3T_U
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SabreActual

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #237 on: April 17, 2014, 09:54:18 AM »

From Pg 12 on this thread reference Echanis' militay history per FOIA.  No sense to repeat what is already posted to respond to your question, JH.

Postscript -

Per the National Personnel Records Center, Michael Dick Echanis received the following awards and decorations during his military service to the Nation:

Bronze Star with "V" Device for Valor

Purple Heart

Good Conduct Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Parachute Badge

Vietnam Service Medal w 2 Bronze Service Stars

Combat Infantryman Badge

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal w Device (1960)

The Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross w Palm Device

Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Medal

Marksmanship Badge, Army (Rifle)

Echanis' Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) in the Army was 11B1P, or Infantryman/Parachutist.

He entered the Army on May 12, 1969.

He attended Basic Training at Fort Ord, California; Airborne Advanced Individual Training (INF) at Fort Gordon, GA; Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA.

He did not attend Ranger School.

He did attend Phase 1, Special Forces Training, at Fort Bragg, NC with a start date of 25 October 1969.  He was removed from training, reasons not given, on 21 January 1970.

On March 23, 1970, MDE was assigned to Company C, 75th Ranger Infantry, I Field Force Vietnam USARPAC.  His assigned Principle Duty was as a Scout - Observer.

On May 6, 1970, then Specialist 4 Michael D Echanis participated in a combat action with his unit that resulted in his being wounded no fewer than four times. 

His first wound was to his left foot, the second was a head wound resulting from bullet fragmentation.  This wound partially blinded him.  The third wound occurred when a bullet struck him in his right foot and embedded itself in his right calf.  Despite now being wounded three times Echanis, now firing from inside the truck he'd been a passenger in, "drew a hail of enemy fire" because of his continued resistance and was wounded a fourth time.

His citation reads "Specialist Echanis continued to fight until the beleagured truck was relieved."

He was awarded the U.S. Bronze Star with "V" Device (Valor) for this action.  As well as the accompanying Vietnamese valor awards noted earlier.

Echanis was medically retired from the Army on December 18, 1970. 

His retiring rank was that of Private First Class. 

Apparently he got into a bit of trouble during his recovery/rehabilitation phase at Letterman Army Hospital, San Francisco, California .

On September 8, 1978, Michael D Echanis died while engaged in combat operations as a trainer/security contractor to the then government of Nicaragua.  He is buried in Ontario, Oregon.

With that - this link will take you to the website I referred to.  This is the same association Tactical Knives editor belongs to as he served in Vietnam as LRP/ranger with E Co/Charlie Ranger.  The site is restricted to members at this time - contact the Administrator or Steve Dick - and ask for the specific posts made reference Mike.  These are memories about Mike's antics at the in-country field hospital when some of his fellow rangers came to visit him before he was shipped on to Japan - http://e20-c75th-rangers-association.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=10

Also wounded from C Company, 75th Rangers, with Echanis were SSG Eddie Roberts, SP4 Alfred Carr, SP4 Robert Ladeaux and PFC Mark Laughton (General Orders #104, Department of the Army, HQ, 17th Field Hospital, Vietnam - dated May 7, 1970.

Until my research no one knew of the other 6 Soldiers' names, ranks, units of assignment or SSNs until the Echanis Family provided me with a copy of the Purple Heart orders on which all are listed.

  All four were, like Echanis, assigned to the unit.  For SSG Eddie Roberts it was his second Purple Heart.  Both the truck driver and assistant driver were likewise wounded.  I have their names, as well, and unit of assignment at the time of the ambush.

And I have the daily log for C-75 on the date the ambush occurred with entry, as I have posted before.  That came from an independent source other than the Echanis Family.

I note in referencing Gary O's book (Pg 55) that he, at the time of his final assignment to E Co/Charlie Ranger was rank wise a PFC.  "When my lieutenant found that out, he immediately put me in for corporal, and I finally made E-5, but most of the time I was there I was a private (Page 55, American Warrior).

When Mike Echanis arrived in Vietnam and was assigned to Charlie Ranger he was a Specialist 4th Class. He out-ranked O'Neal, apparenlty.  O'Neal by his own account (Page 96) states he had been promoted to Specialist 4 by the time he recieved his alleged Silver Star on 10 August 1970. 

In short, by Army standards, Mike Echanis out-ranked Gary O'Neal while the two of them were assigned to C Company (Ranger) prior to Mike's wounding and evac to the states.  I'm sure O'Neal didn't dig that at all.

As for all this "ranger/Ranger" stuff -

Again, from Gary O in his book as he describes himself while assigned to C Co, 75th Infantry (Ranger).

Page 98:  "Although I'd been designated a Ranger (note upper case "R") while I was in country, I was not officially Ranger qualified.  I couldn't wear the black and gold tab, although I was permitted to wear the Charlie Company 75th Rangers patch."

Historically this was the case for many, many LRPs and VN Ranger company members.  They were not school trained / qualified, or "short tabbed".  It has been a bone of contention for many of  them since to be considered non-Rangers despite their service as such in the VN Ranger companies.

Mike Echanis, likewise, was - as with O'Neal - a volunteer for Charlie Rangers and assigned (as a Scout-Observer on his 2-1) to the unit.  If Gary's observation hold true for him (...I'd been designated a Ranger while in-county", then it holds true for any and all who were so assigned to include Mike Echanis.

Again, this is from O'Neal's own book and mouth.

Further, on Page 100, O'Neal describes how he volunteered to attend Ranger School at Ft Benning after he left Vietnam in December 1970.  One of his RIs, who had served with him in C Co (RGR) in Vietnam asked him "What the hell are you doing here?"

O'Neal responds, "I'm going through Ranger School because I'm sick and tired of these shake and bakes telling me I'm not Ranger qualified, even though I got more than two years of Rangers in Vietnam.  That bullshit ends right here."

In essence, JimH, Gary O'Neal, by his own account, considered himself to be a Ranger in Vietnam although he was not school qualified.  When he did volunteer for Ranger School, after his return from Vietnam, he still considered himself as such but knew he wanted/needed to get "tabbed".

By O'Neal's own standards as stated in his book he would have to consider any LRP/Ranger assigned to Charlie Company in Vietnam as being a "Ranger".  This would include Echanis.

I note that when O'Neal left VN in December 1970, Mike Echanis was at Letterman Hospital in San Francicso, in-patient, recovering from his wounds while received with Charlie Company, 75th Ranger Infantry.  He would remain in-patient for several more months, the  go out-patient until medically retired at 100% disability in early 1971, per his records.

Check the book and Page references noted - it's there in black and white ;)

Next up - Why didn't Gary O provide in-country security for Mike's mom and dad when they visited Managua several weeks after their son's death and met him there?






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SabreActual

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #238 on: April 19, 2014, 12:27:42 PM »

Keeping the record straight -

Recently blackbeltmag.com featured a brief on-line piece exerpted by Mike Echanis' Collection edition.

The e-article is an adaptation from the Echanis Family authorized 2010
"The Complete Michael D. Echanis Collection" from Black Belt Books.

Also offered was a free download of an e-book titled "Michael D. Echanis - The Life and Times of the Army Ranger Training Expert and Hwa Rang Do Ambassador".

Michael Janich was given as the e-book's byline.

I contacted MJ and then Bob Young, editor at Black Belt Magazine as the article was a re-write of Mike's 2010 Black  Belt article, an article  out of date as to new and documented / properly attributed information about Echanis.

MJ sent a note offering he hadn't seen the e-book and knew nothing about it nor that it had been put online in this form with his byline.

Bob Young sent a note sharing "in the digital age, "free e-book" and "free guide" = repurposed magazine article." 

Apparenly someone in the marketing department converted the 2010 article into a "repurposed" article, added a few new pictures (non-credited) and put it on the website.

As it was a marketing gig when you down-loaded the "free" e-book you began receiving marketing information about Black Belt and its products.  I guess nothing is truly free after all ;D

As of this note Black Belt has removed the e-book from the webpage (http://www.blackbeltmag.com/daily/martial-arts-techniques/weapon-techniques/counter-knife-fighting-techniques-with-3-self-defense-moves-from-michael-echanis/).

A big "Thank you" to Bob Young for cleaning this up. 8)
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SabreActual

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Re: New Book on Mike Echanis Released by Paladin Press
« Reply #239 on: April 26, 2014, 10:07:57 AM »

Ah, Saturday morning in the park with a good cup of hot, hot coffee ;D

As a professional courtesy and because of Mike Janich's heartfelt effort to have the best recent research on MDE available -

I have sent him a concise document packet for his reference file on the subject.

Always better not to have to rely on a .com for one's material when writing :'(

Finally, sincere thanks to Kelly Worden yesterday who provided me with a copy of the Full Contact article "Blending - An Interview with Gary O'Neal" as written by Datu Worden.

I'd forgotten all about that one :o

Conducted at the 1993 Soldier of Fortune convention.  Great interview on Kelly's part with great sequence photos of O'Neal, Randy Wanner and Bob Taylor doing all the exhibition stuff Echanis used to do at Bragg and Little Creek.

I believe this is the only time in print and photography all three are together given their mutual associations and relationships dating now back many years.

 8)
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