Joel Loftis, Tom Caputo, Pappy-Green
Vietnam Security Police Association

A1C Joel C. Loftis
KIA
35th Security Police Squadron
Phan Rang - 07JUN69

Tribute by Craig Lord


A1C Joel C. Loftis (Above Photo: Left)


Joel was a young Black Man from South Texas down near Houston. I'm not sure how close to Houston but that doesn't matter. He was a bit older than me, but had alot of energy. He was a damn good dog handler-I trusted him. His dog was good too!

Joel Loftis, Tom Caputo, Pappy-Green However, what he was really good at was playing the piano. He used to play at the Red Cross before we went to work and draw an incredible crowd. It turns out that Joel played for Archie Bell and was a true professional. Joel was one of the most humble and yet talented people I have ever met.

However, it was more than just talent---everyone in the 35th SPS K-9 liked Joel (everyone on the base liked Joel!). He was special. He had carizzma! He always had a smile on his face and something good to say about everyone. He talked about his family and was very devoted. One of his favorite songs that he played on the piano was called "Eleanor". He really cooked on this and had everyone rocking!

I left Phan Rang in April of 1969 and went to Hickam AFB in Hawaii. Joel was KIA in June of 1969 and word traveled very fast througout PACAF. When an SP, especially a K9, got KIA the info hit the "street" fast.

I was on a three day break when I heard the news about Joel. No one saw me for three days, until I went back to duty. I cried for three days (and I was f-uped for three days too). It is very hard for me to talk about this even now. Very, Very hard, and I'm not ashamed to say I still cry and grieve for Joel.

In 1994 I finally got to The WALL in D.C. and got to say goodbye to Joel. But it really wasn't goodbye, it was really saying, "Thanks, I'll see ya soon, wait for me".

I guess this is a bit of a tribute for Joel, and hope it helps to remember him.

Craig Lord

Official Information
Purple Heart, Posthumously

A1C Joel C. Loftis
Combat Awards:
Air Force Commendation Medal
Purple Heart (Posthumously)
Killed In Action, Phan Rang AB: Vietnam
Jun 7, 1969

A1C - Air Force - Regular
22 year old Married, Negro, Male
Born on Jun 17 1946
From LA MARQUE, TEXAS
Length of service 1 year.
His tour of duty began on Dec 07 1968
Casualty was on Jun 07 1969
in NINH THUAN, SOUTH VIETNAM
Hostile, died of wounds
GROUND CASUALTY
ARTILLERY, ROCKET, or MORTAR
Body was recovered
Religion - ROMAN CATHOLIC
Panel 23W - - Line 104

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