Fortieth Anniversary of “Operation Urgent Fury,” the Invasion of Grenada, 1983 on VBC Happy Hour

Date: October 9, 2023
Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Zoom, Facebook, YouTube
All Events | Online Events | VBC Happy Hour
Capt Jeb F. Seagle drags Capt Timothy D. Howard away from their burning AH-i Cobra, shot down by enemy antiaircraft fire near Fort Frederick(Reconstructive art by Lt Col A. M. “Mike” Leahy, USMCR)

Capt Jeb F. Seagle drags Capt Timothy D. Howard away from their burning AH-i Cobra, shot down by enemy antiaircraft fire near Fort Frederick(Reconstructive art by Lt Col A. M. “Mike” Leahy, USMCR)


Forty years ago, on October 25, 1983, U.S. forces, with a coalition of Caribbean nations, launched Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of Grenada, an island nation at the southern tip of the Lesser Antilles, about 500 miles from the Venezuelan coast. It was a key moment in a volatile year that saw the Cold War heat up more than it had since Vietnam.

Join us on October 9 at 7pm for a special two-hour program to talk with a journalist, museum curators, and five remarkable Marine Corps veterans whoserved in Grenada and almost never made it back.

Journalist Phil Kukielski, author of The U.S. Invasion of Grenada: Legacy of a Flawed Victory, will give us the background of the story and also tell us why so much of the war has been shrouded in secrecy.

Larry Burke and Doug Doer from the National Museum of the Marine Corps will also show us a stunning new artifact installed from Operation Urgent Fury. It’s the tail boom of a US Marine AH-1 Cobra helicopter from Operation Urgent Fury, one of two shot down by anti-aircraft fire.

Behind that artifacts is a story of rescue and survival. Five Marines involved in that story will be on our program giving their first-hand accounts.

On the first day of the invasion, two AH-1 Cobras were sent into action to assist some Navy SEALs on the ground in Grenada. Both took fire from Cuban forces.

One caught fire but managed a rough landing on the ground. Its pilots, Captains Jeb Seagle and Timothy Howard, escaped the wreckage. Seagle went for help, while Howard, right arm nearly shot off below the elbow, right leg severely injured, and a large piece of shrapnel in his neck, waited at the crash site for help.

Coming to the rescue was a Marine CH-46 crew, which also took fire as it descended to land.

Gunnery Sgt. Kelley Neideigh, a Vietnam veteran who’d been manning the door gun, braved fire at the crash site to drag Howard to the CH-46 to safety.

With no sign of Seagle, and Howard’s condition worsening, the CH-46 crew took off.  Seagle was later found dead on the beach, killed by hostile fire.

The other AH-1 Cobra still circled above, drawing fire to allow the rescue team to take off from the crash site. However, deadly anti-aircraft fire sent the Cobra into the sea, killing pilots Major John “Pat” Guigerre and 1st Lt. Jeff Sharver.

In the months and years that followed, Tim Howard learned to walk again and function with one intact arm. He remained in the Marine Corps until his retirement as a colonel in 2006.

We are honored and privileged to welcome Tim Howard to our program to remember the events of October 25, 1983.  We’ll also have Kelley Neideigh, who dragged Howard to safety.

In addition, we’ll welcome three other crew members, heroes all, who flew the CH-46 rescue mission on October 25: Pilot Major Mel DeMars, Co-pilot 1st Lieutenant Larry King, and Crew Chief Corporal Simon “Doug” Gore.

Finally, we’ll welcome Vivian Scharver, Gold Star mother of 1st Lt Jeff Sharver, USMC, KIA 25 Oct 1983, Operation Urgent Fury.

Join us to hear the remarkable story of a little-known Cold War operation from those who were there.

Thank you to Tobacco Free Adagio Health for sponsoring this event!

IN-PERSON Veterans Breakfast Club in Chartiers Township, Washington County, PA – Chartiers Township Community Center | October 10 @ 8:30am ET

Date: October 10, 2023
Time: 8:30 am - 10:30 am
Location: 2013 Community Center Drive, Houston, PA 15342
All Events | In-Person Events
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We’re back with a breakfast in Washington County at the Chartiers Township Community Center (2013 Community Center Drive, Houston, PA 15342) on Wednesday, October 11, 8:30am-9:30am.

Our last event there was before the pandemic, and this breakfast is, again, brought to us by the volunteers at the Canonsburg First United Methodist Church, led by Vietnam Veteran Ron Worstell. The breakfast will be made and served by the volunteers, and the Veterans Breakfast Club will ask for a $10 donation from those attending.

The breakfast will be served at 8:30am and the program will begin at 9:00am. We’ll show photos of veterans on the three screens at the front and interact with as many veterans as we can. You never know what you’re going to hear, and there’s always new people with new memories to offer.

RSVP by calling 412-623-9029 or emailing betty@veteransbreakfastclub.org.

Please consider sponsoring this event!


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The mission of the Veterans Breakfast Club is to create communities of listening around veterans and their stories to ensure that this living history will never be forgotten.  We believe that through our work, people will be connected, educated, healed, and inspired.


Preserving veterans’ stories so that this living history is never forgotten.

We pair passionate VBC volunteers with military veterans for one-on-one oral history interviews over Zoom. If you are a veteran, or you know a veteran, who would be interested in sharing his or her story with us, let us know. If you are someone interested in conducting these interviews, please reach out!


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