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TAPS is a tribute by the men and women of the 24th Evac
to our fallen comrades

It is our sincere desire that the example of their unconditional love of service, both serving the injured during war, and their examples in civilian life, will inspire you to service for all.

[To submit additional information for TAPS, please send email to the Webmaster.]

Webmaster: Fortmiller, Edward
Nicknames: Ed or Eddie

Served 1968-69 at the 24th Evac
Served as 24th Evac webmaster until his death

Born: December 24, 1947
Died: June 24, 2006

Ed is survived by his wife of 31 years, Joan Fortmiller.
His parents pre-deceased him.
Ed was the eldest of 10 children.

On May 1, 1968 Ed was drafted into the US Army. His basic training was at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio TX, followed by 12 weeks of advanced training to become a combat medic and a medical corpsman. He arrived in Vietnam on September 30, 1968, and was assigned to the 24th Evac Hospital. Serving first as a Corpsman on the Orthopedic Ward (wards 9 & 10), then at Central Medical Supply, and later as a Scrub Tech in the OR, "Eddie" was a dedicated worker who quickly advanced to SP5.

Recognition for his exemplary service was with the following medals:
Army Commendation Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Good Conduct Medal

Remaining active in support of the 24th Evac Hospital, he kept in personal contact with former coworkers and patients. Ed served as webmaster for the 24th Evacuation Hospital website from July 2003 until his death.

Returning home from Vietnam on December 4, 1969, Ed continued his career at Digital Equipment Corporation in MA. He spent nearly 25 years with Digital in various departments. When he left Digital, Ed had achieved the position of a Principal Software Engineer and was involved in more than one patent application.

Ed was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He served his church in many capacities, including deacon, and was webmaster for the College Church near his home in Massachusetts. Ed quietly lived a life committed to God, making an impact on the lives of everyone around him, whether coworker, neighbor, friend, or family member. Ed believed in volunteer work, giving thousands of hours of service.

Ed's most enduring legacy is his design of a website on the meaning and importance of the Bible Sabbath, that continues to share the love of Jesus with all who view it today. SabbathTrail.org

The following message from Ed's wife, comes with a prayer that by the example of Ed's life, you will be impacted to commit your life completely to God today and every day, and meet Ed when Jesus returns to resurrect him from the grave.

Dear Friends,

Since meeting each other, it is no exaggeration to say that we spent 32 years as best friends and soul mates. Our lives were closely intertwined, and our greatest happiness was simply to be together. Each of us had been praying that God would bring us the right partner, and we thanked Him so many times for answering our prayer so completely.

Many couples take the marriage vows, "till death do us part," but as our love for each other grew over the years, we took what perhaps is an unusual step, and declared to each other that our partnership will be for all eternity. What we are experiencing now is simply a short break before we will again walk hand in hand wherever we go, as we once did. Ed now is sleeping, awaiting Jesus second coming. [1 Thessalonians 4:13-18]. I know that the best experiences of our lives are yet to come, through all eternity together.

Ed always cared more about others than himself, even during his illness. His thoughts were on others, and how he could help them. I personally know how much Ed wants to see those he loves and cares about -- his family and friends -- again, and to spend eternity enjoying your companionship. I would be unfaithful to his legacy if I did not sincerely ask each of you to take some quality time to stop and reflect on where you truly are with God, and the shortness of life. Let's resolve to use Ed's example as just the wakeup call that you and I need, and that we will each take it personally that God is trying to reach us.

Each day I give my life to God again, and focus on being ready to meet Ed soon, on resurrection day. Nothing is going to get in the way of that reunion. I pray that you will join me in this commitment. ------ Joan

Name: DiBartolomeo, Dr Anthony (Tony)

Served 1968-69 @ Song Be Province Hospital
Died: April 17, 2004.

Dr. Tony DiBartolomeo served as a surgeon in a civilian hospital in Song Be Province treating refugees from 1968 to 1969. His wife Deanna (Ellis) DiBartolomeo was the head nurse on the orthopedic ward at the 24th Evac in 1968.
Anthony (Tony) G. DiBartolomeo, M.D., 62, of Morgantown, died Saturday, April 17, 2004, at Ruby Memorial Hospital. Please remember his family in your prayers.

For more on Tony and Deanna, see:

Name: Dennis, Karl

Served 1966
Died: June 13, 2004

Karl Dennis was one of the individuals who helped setup the 24th Evac back in 1966.
He lost his long battle with cancer on June 13, 2004.
If you have a story to add about Karl it would be appreciated.

Messages from Mary Ann Dennis, his Wife

Hello all, Karl passed away last night at 11:50pm. We were at his side, and watched as the peace of the Lord settled into his face. It was a difficult hour and a half, but he is at peace now. Yours in Christ, Mary Ann

From: Mary Ann Dennis
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 2004 00:29:29 -0500
Hello all, I wanted to share with you the incredible love we experienced
this week.

The wake for Karl was attended by over 400 people and the funeral was attended by at least 120 people. The wake was a time of sharing wonderful stories of Karl: His work ethics, love of family, friends and country. Many tears were shed but more laughter was shared. The guests stayed on through the end of hours just enjoying stories of him. I have never hugged and kissed so many people in my life, but I felt the love for him in every hug.

The funeral was beautiful, filled with scripture readings, eulogy of four people very dear to him: His former boss and dear friend Jerry Gasvoda, my sisters Char Schuyler and Rosemary Sexton and our son-in-law Michael. They told of how much Karl meant to them and how he affected all he knew. Karl was loved. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Our family will miss him forever, but we will go on, with the help of our Lord. Thank you all for your prayers and visits. To all of you who traveled far to attend the service, we can never express how much it meant to us to see you there.

The service had a military ceremony in it, in which Army personnel blew taps and a 21 gun salute and presented me with the flag on behalf of the President of the United States. Not a dry eye in place after that.
I love you all, and will stay in touch.

In His Name, Mary Ann

Name: Wilson, Liz

Served 1970-71 @ the 24th Evac
Died: Sept 24, 2004

My sister Liz was stationed at the 24th Evac in Long Binh for parts of 1970 and 1971. I am writing to let you know that she died on Friday, September 24, 2004. We think she laid down to take a nap and just never woke up. We found a copy of your e-mail about Karl Dennis' death and thought Liz would appreciate us letting the 24th Evac family know what happened.

We had a private family service in Denver and a memorial mass at Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Washington DC, followed by an internment at Arlington National Cemetery on October 29.

Mary Kay Wilson


Name: Webster, LTC Ruth

[Notice received from Kenneth P Butke LTC RET 24th Evac Registrar from: 1969-1970]

Because of Tom Ferri's interest in Ltc Ruth Webster, I did some research and found out that LTC Ruth Webster died last year in Australia. Ruth had cancer. She went to Australia after Retirement because she enjoyed her R&R there from Vietnam. She enjoyed her time in Australia and sent personal information to the Army Nurse Corps newspaper.

I know Tom would join me in saying that she exemplified the very best that The Army Nurse Corps had to offer.

Name: Cochrane, Charles R.

Born: May 23, 1921
Died: August 5, 2006

The youngest of eight children, and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma Medical School, Doctor Cochrane began his military service as a Medic in the Navy during WWII. His Army military career began as a Medical Officer in 1952 and spanned 34 years until his retirement in 1986.

Col. Cochrane served his country as a three war veteran with assignments that included Austria, Italy, Fort Sill, Okinawa, Fort Hood, Letterman General Hospital, Long Binh Vietnam and Fort Carson, CO. A former CO of the MEDDAC at Fort Carson, he dedicated 14 years of service at Fort Carson to transforming the "temporary" WWII hospital to the present Evans Army Community Hospital.

Dr Cochrane is said to have been the surgeon that performed an operation out on the helipad at Long Binh, VN, to remove a live round from a soldier.

Charles Cochrane is survived by his wife of 47 years, Ella Stepanion Cochrane, a former army nurse in World War II and the Korean conflict, as well as his two daughters Rhonda and Susan.

The recipient of numerous honors, Doctor Cochrane was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Fellow and Diplomat of the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a Distinguished Member of the Army Medical Department Regiment, and a Charter Member of the Order of Military Medical Merit. He was also a life member of both local and national MOAA, honorary member of TREA, member of the Fort Carson Retiree Council, and had formerly served with the American Red Cross and the Pike's Peak Council of Governments.


Updated: April 6, 2008