Archive for desert storm

Lt. Colonel Joe Repya

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 27, 2008 by andelino

Retired Lt. Colonel Joe Repya issued the following statement on Barack Obama’s cancelled visit to Ramstein and Landstuhl:

“The most solemn duty of a commander in chief is to fulfill his responsibility to the men and women who serve this country in uniform. Barack Obama had scheduled a visit with wounded American troops who have served with honor and distinction in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he broke that commitment, instead flitting from one European capital to the next. Several explanations were offered, none was convincing and each was at odds with the statements of American military leaders in Germany and Washington.

For a young man so apt at playing president, Barack Obama badly misjudged the important demands of the office he seeks. Visits with world leaders and speeches to cheering Europeans shouldn’t be a substitute for comforting injured American heroes.”

Army Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Joe Repya served 30 years of duty and three wars, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was born in 1946 in Gary, Indiana. He was the oldest son of a disabled combat wounded veteran of the European Campaign of World War II. Awarded an ROTC scholarship he attended Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, graduating in 1969.

Upon graduation he was appointed to the Regular Army as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry. His 30 years of service in the US Army (12 years Active and 18 years in the National Guard & Reserves) lasted from 1969 until 2006. He served as a Combat Infantry Rifle Platoon Leader in Vietnam in 1970/71 with the 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment (Band of Brothers “Currahee’s”), and an Aero Rifle Platoon Leader with A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment. In Desert Storm 1990/91, he served as a Combat Helicopter Pilot and Staff Officer with the 4th Brigade (Aviation), 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One). He initially retired in 1998.

After the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, he was one of 12,000 US Army retirees who volunteered for Retiree Recall to Active US Army duty for Operation Iraqi Freedom. LTC Repya was selected as one of only 350 retirees who were returned to active duty status. At 58 years old on October 1, 2004 he returned as an Aviation Branch Officer for two more additional years of active duty service with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, KY.

He served for nine months as the G-3 Air for the Division. In 2005 he served as the Senior Liaison Officer for the 101st Airborne Division with the Multi National Corps Headquarters at Camp Victory, Baghdad, Iraq. He reentered retired status at the end of September 2006 at the age of 60.

Joe is a classic citizen patriot and activist. He first came to public attention in March 2003 when, disturbed by the anti-war campaign mounted by Minnesota liberals, he arranged for the production of lawn signs saying “Liberate Iraq — Support Our Troops.” His effort garnered a lot of publicity, and Joe eventually distributed 30,000 signs.


Two weeks ago, as I was starting my sixth month of duty in Iraq, I was forced to return to the USA for surgery for an injury I sustained prior to my deployment. With luck, I’ll return to Iraq in January to finish my tour.

I left Baghdad and a war that has every indication that we are winning, to return to a demoralized country much like the one I returned to in 1971 after my tour in Vietnam.

Maybe it’s because I’ll turn 60 years old in just four months, but I’m tired:

I’m tired of spineless politicians, both Democrat and Republican who lack the courage, fortitude, and character to see these difficult tasks through.

I’m tired of the hypocrisy of politicians who want to rewrite history when the going gets tough.

I’m tired of the so called “Elite Left” that prolongs this war by giving aid and comfort to our enemy, just as they did during the Vietnam War.

I’m tired of anti-war protesters showing up at the funerals of our fallen in a just and noble cause, only to be cruelly tormented on the funeral day by cowardly protesters is beyond shameful.

I’m tired that some are more concerned about the treatment of captives then they are the slaughter and beheading of our citizens and allies.

I’m tired that when we find mass graves it is seldom reported by the press, but mistreat a prisoner and it is front page news.

Mostly, I’m tired that the people of this great nation didn’t learn from history that there is no substitute for Victory.

LTC (RET) JOSEPH REPYA, Jr. was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. He attended Western Michigan University from 1965 until graduating with a BA degree in 1969. He was an ROTC Scholarship recipient and finished first in his class at ROTC Advanced Camp, Fort Riley, KS in 1967. As a result, he received the WMU President’s Award and Sabre and served as the Cadet Brigade Commander from 1968-1969. He received his commission as a Second Lieutenant, Regular Army, in the Infantry and reported to Fort Benning, GA for the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course.

His first duty assignment upon completing IOBC and Airborne School was with the 82nd Airborne Division. There, he became Jump-master qualified and served as an infantry and weapons platoon leader. After six months, he volunteered for combat duty and attended the Jungle Warfare School in Panama en route to the Republic of Vietnam. In Vietnam, he served as a rifle platoon leader in the 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division for six months.

He subsequently served as an aero rifle platoon leader in the 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment. ILT Repya returned to the USA in 1971, serving at Fort Carson, CO before attending Rotary Helicopter Flight School in 1973. Upon completion of flight training in 1974, Captain Repya was assigned once again to the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division. There he served in numerous Army aviation positions until he commanded Company B, Ist Battalion, 503 Infantry from 1975-1977. Captain Repya completed the Infantry Officer’s Advanced Course in 1978 and left active duty a year later in 1979.

He served in numerous aviation and infantry assignments in the Army National Guard and the Army Reserves from 1979 until his return to active duty in December 1990. Again, he volunteered for combat duty in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. LTC Repya became the S-2 of the 4th Brigade (Aviation) of the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, KS. LTC Repya spent five months in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq flying helicopters before returning home in June 1991. LTC Repya was credited with one of Desert Storm’s largest intelligence finds at the Iraqi airfield of Tallil, Iraq. After 1991, LTC Repya completed Command and General Staff College and additional USAR assignments with the 1st Infantry Division. LTC Repya’s final duty assignment was with the Brigade S-3, 7th Brigade, (ROTC Training), 84th Division. There he trained Senior ROTC Cadets at Fort Lewis, WA in 1997. On January 19, 1998, LTC Repya retired from active reserve status with over 28 years of service.

LTC Repya has been awarded the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with V for Valor (2 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Air Medal (Numeral 2), the Army Commendation Medal (40LC), the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry (individual award), the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and numerous other awards and service ribbons. LTC Repya is married to Debra Repya; he has two daughters, Robyn and Molly. LTC Repya and his family reside in Eagan, Minnesota where he works in sales in the packaging industry.

Joe Repya of Eagan, a former GOP activist and retired Army lieutenant colonel ran unsuccessfully for Republican Party chairman in 2007.

Dear Friends,

I would like to thank everyone who called and wrote me telling me that my predictions in 2007 of fiscal irresponsibility by the leadership within the MN GOP had come true. Many have asked me to run for the vacant MN GOP Chairman’s position and clean up the mess for the good of the party. You confidence in my ability to make the MN GOP once again a viable and respectable political party was very heart warming. Three factors played heavy in my decision not to run for MN GOP Party Chair.

First, many of you do not know that I’m recovering from major cervical disk surgery of four weeks ago. I’m fused from C4 to T1 because of numerous issues relating back to my thirty years of service to our nation military. It appears that my recovery will take at least another six weeks. Although the surgery was successful, it takes time to fully recover and rest is the best medicine.

Second, the commitment would be more then I could handle at this time. From speaking with party faithful and current leaders it appears the extent of the damage the previous leadership has inflicted on a once trusted party is very significant and perhaps well beyond the figure of 1.2 million dollars discussed in the press. I’m told it will take the external audit months to determine the alleged depths of the fiscal mismanagement, graft, kickbacks, corruption and possible financial theft and fraud perpetrated by those who were in charge. I’m confident that the State Executive Board will be totally transparent to the people of Minnesota and insure that no hint of a “cover up” will take place. They promise to take the necessary actions to reform the party so that this type of behavior never occurs again.

Lastly, it would place a burden on my family that I do not wish to put on their shoulders at this time. At this point in my life I believe it would be better to sit back and see if the new leadership will hold those responsible and accountable and that the reforms that are promised do actually take place. Only then will the voters of Minnesota trust the MN GOP to be the party of personal responsibility, financial accountability, and free of corruption.

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