75+ Bikes, 4 Cages and an Antique Fire Truck with its riders gathered at the Cherry Hill American Legion Hall preparing to show Honor and Respect at the Silver Star Presentation to Fallen Soldier of the 7th Calvary James Castaldi. Also there Vietnam Veterans Lt. General(Ret)Michael S. Davison, Thomas Golden, Andrew Westin and Bill Hynes.
It was 47yrs ago that then Private Castaldi’s unit numbering just a couple dozen engaged in a battle with about 200 Heavily Armed North Vietnamese Troops moving through Que Son Valley preparing for the Tet Offensive on Jan. 30and quickly overwhelmed Castaldi’s Unit.
The Platoon Leader and Sargent were quickly hit as the unit sought high ground and Castaldi tried to fill the void firing a machine gun until he ran out of ammunition, then using a hand gun until he was killed by an explosive satchel charge.
Retired Army Lt. General Michael S. Davison who presented the Silver Star to Castaldi’s Family member said our Hero along with other Soldiers took the initiative to establish what they could of a perimeter, our Hero took over on the machine gun until it ran out of ammunition, then with his hand gun put himself right into the open at risk. Lt. Davison said Castaldi’s Heroism “FELL THROUGH THE CRACKS” but now some 47yrs later the wrong shall be righted so to speak.
Joining my Fellow Riders of the Warriors Watch in Honoring our Hero’s were many riders of the NAM KNIGHTS OF AMERICA, The Legion Riders, local dignitaries and guests, GOLD STAR MOTHER Melinda Kane, American Legion Officers and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 899.
Also I would like to Thank the Cherry Hill Police Department for the Total Safe escort of our Heroes from the Rally point to the point of pick up and to the Final Destination of the Cherry Hill American Legion.