2nd Reunion
More Pictures
May 11-13, 2000

9th Med Lab Reunion at
Moody Gardens Hotel

(L-R): Mike Hudgens, President 685; Jake Dotson, VFW 880 Chaplain; Dr. John P. Heggers, LTC, MSC, Ret., Professor Plastic Surgery UTMB Galveston and Mill Meeks, TSC President.

(L-R): Jake Dotson, VFW 880; Chapter 685 Color Guard Robert Rodriguez; Jime Rose; Mike Hudgens; Jerry Bosworth and Bob Hern.
Participants at 2nd Reunion
(click on images for larger picture)


9th Med Lab Reunion:  Expense Account
    Expenses Income
Date Activity Cost Registration & extra cash
5/11/00 Reception $2,974.14
includes gratuity & taxes
total income
5/12/00 AVW-Audio/Visual $582.60  
5/12/00 Continental Breakfast $625.00  
5/12/00 Coffee Break $247.50  
5/12/00 Lunch $1,345.50  
5/12/00 Astronaut Dr. Harris $250.00  
5/12/00 Gratuity & Taxes $591.29  
5/12/00 Paddlewheel dinner $2,552.00  
5/13/00 Bus Transport to UTMB $907.50  
5/13/00 Breakfast/Break $920.00  
5/13/00 Reception-Air museum rental $600.00  
5/13/00 Open bar Air museum $399.90  
5/13/00 Banquet Air Museum $780.00  
Total Cost $12,755.43  
"T-shirts and caps not included"
Our speakers paid for their own hotel expenses, we provided lunch and other amenities.
Contributions to offset the cost can be made to:
John P. Heggers, Ph.D., LTC, USA Retired
Shriners Hospital for Children, Burns Hospital
Galveston, TX  77551
Telephone:  409-770-6665
Fax:  409-770-6749
Email:  jphegger@utmb.edu

(Article reprinted from "Impact", Volume 24, Number 11, June 12, 2000, A semimonthly newsletter for and about UTMB employees)
9th Med Lab reunion
In May 1966, at the height of the Vietnam war, 33-year-old John Heggers a young clinical microbiologist from Brooklyn, New York, and his 40-year-old sergeant, Richard Hansel from Atlanta, Ga., were uprooted from their quiet army medical lab and sent by airplane to Saigon.  Their mission:  to set up from scratch a comprehensive infectious diseases reference center, called the 9th Med Lab.  All wars in which the United States has more than 5000,000 troops on foreign soil must be supported by such a lab--the on-site equivalent of the nation's domestic Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  For the next six years, 900 men and women (about 150 each year) rotated through the unit, identifying disease organisms that couldn't be identified or which were weren't responding to treatment at the army's many field hospitals throughout South Vietnam.  On May 11-13, 2000--the 35th anniversary of the lab's first day--70 of these doctors, microbiologists,  insect biologists, parasite biologists, veterinarians and their spouses met in Galveston for the group's second reunion.  The reunion was organized by Heggers, who is now a UTMB professor of surgery, microbiology and immunology.  Missing from the reunion:  9th Med Lab forensics specialist Colonel Pierre Finck, who performed the autopsies on President John F Kennedy before being transferred to the unit in 1966 to become its first commanding officer.

Attendees included Vietnamese lab secretaries Danh Lutz, Phuoc Germine, Kim Kibler, Kim Mai and Ninh Lawhon.

     Danh Lutz (Supply) left VN to be united with her husband, Tim Lutz, about a year before the Communist took over.
     Phuoc Germine (Chemistry)and Ninh Lawhon (Bacti, Vet) left VN together with their mothers about 2 weeks before the end of April.
     Kim Binh C. Kibler (Headquarters) the last one in the group to leave Saigon before the VC took over the next day.  Kim was picked up on the roof of the American embassy in Saigon by the Marines helicopter to the USS Denver waiting somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
     Kim Khue T. Mai finally came to the U.S. in 1986.

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