NEWS | Oct. 16, 2013

Vietnam Security Police Association reunion held at JB Charleston

By Senior Airman Ashlee Galloway Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

This past week, the Vietnam Security Police Association held their 19th annual reunion October 9 through 13, 2013, at Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

The Vietnam Security Police Association is a team of former active-duty Air Force Security Police members who served in Vietnam during the Vietnam

Each year the association conducts a lottery to decide which installation they will visit in order to stay in tune with the ever changing career field and technological advancements. This year, for the first time in the association's history, JB Charleston was chosen.

During the time VSPA was on JB Charleston they took a tour, watched demonstrations from the 628th Security Forces Squadron, and took part in a retreat ceremony.

"We came to talk with security about their time verses our time in the service, and to compare the differences on the things that have changed," said Senior Master Sgt. (retired) Pete Piazza, VSPA president and Silver Star awardee. "We discussed how similar our jobs are; the different tactics that were used, different weapons that they have now compared to what we had, the different vehicles that are used now, and we ended our time on base with a retreat ceremony."

Piazza entered the Air Force on February 19, 1960, and served three tours in Vietnam at Cam Ranh Bay - Air Base, Bien Hoa - AB and Phu Cat - AB. One of his biggest awards received was the Silver Star for gallantry in action during the TET Offensive of January 31, 1968, at Bien Hoa - AB. Piazza is committed to the Vietnam Security Police Association mission of maintaining the history of their service in Vietnam and Thailand. He has spoken at numerous events throughout the country and at Air Force bases regarding the history of the Security Forces career field, especially the events surrounding TET of 1968.

"The best part about having the VSPA here was that it brought our history out of the books and placed it square on our front porch," said Master Sgt. Chad Hashley, Installation Security Manager. "It provided members of the SFS who have conducted combat missions in the Iraqi and Afghan AORs the opportunity to speak with warriors of the past who had similar experiences. Of course, the environment, equipment and return reception were different but, the battle field and face of a combat Defender is the same. It was a HOOAH moment I will never soon forget."