A soldier remembered

Elwood 'Howie' Howe reclining in the back of a military ambulance.
Elwood 'Howie' Howe in Vietnam.
Photo Courtesy Darrell Smith
Photo Courtesy Darrell Smith

Membership Memories

Elwood Howe served with the 51st Medical Co. Ambulance in 1967 and 1968 during the Vietnam War. Those of us that knew Howie appreciated his sense of humor and his caring ways. Somewhere in his early years he learned something about duty and being prepared because whenever we were on commitment at the hospital or the airfield, he always made sure he had his gear and the supplies that he might need. “You gotta be ready,” he would tell us new guys.

I remember seeing Howie and the other guys stop at the children’s orphanage that was on the way back to our compound, and at Christmas they would bring the children to our compound for a party. Because we liked to eat, and Howie would agree, we always went to the leprosarium near Qui-Nhon when we were assigned to go. The French nuns always fixed a special meal for the doctors, nurses and the 51st Med. Co. guys. — I know he would remember those trips. After being away for a day or two, going back to the compound meant going to the motor pool and doing maintenance on your ambulance. Like most, Howie didn’t always like the thought of the motor pool, BUT he always showed up and made sure his ambulance was refreshed.

Knowing and serving with Elwood ‘Howie’ Howe gave me and others in the unit a chance to be around someone of a different culture and we respected and truly liked serving with and getting to know him. One thing we could be sure of was that if things got tough, Howie would always ‘have our back.’

The family of Elwood Howe and the Southern Ute nation can and should be proud of this warrior. May he rest in peace!

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