Son Tay Raid focus of latest ARNSF
The CGSC Foundation’s Simons Center hosted an Arter-Rowland National Security Forum luncheon event on Oct. 12, 2023, at the Carriage Club in Kansas City.
Simons Center Director Bob Ulin welcomed the ARNSF members, some of whom also introduced their guests. As lunch wound down Ulin introduced Terry Buckler as the day’s guest speaker.
In this presentation of the forum, Terry Buckler, the youngest of 56 volunteers from the Army Green Berets and Air Force Special Operations, discussed his personal experience in the famous Green Berets’ raid on the Son Tay prison camp in North Vietnam. On November 12, 1970, U.S. Forces conducted a daring POW rescue attempt into a North Vietnam prison camp. With ground forces led by Army Special Forces Col. Arthur “Bull” Simons and overall mission commander Air Force Brig. Gen. LeRoy Manor, the Son Tay Raid is a masterful demonstration of surprise, concentration, audacity, and tempo. Although the mission failed to recover any U.S. POWs, it was highly successful at both the tactical and strategic levels and proved that, despite the North Vietnamese air defense network, U.S. forces could inflict punishment in North Vietnam without massive bombing campaigns.
Buckler grew up on a farm in Clark, Missouri and on March 18, 1969, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Three days later he extended his service to be a member of the U.S. Army “Green Berets.” These choices soon led to Buckler becoming the youngest member of a joint group of volunteers on a mission that ranks as one of the most daring missions in special operations history.
After his enlistment, Buckler attended Moberly Junior College and graduated from Columbia College, Missouri, earning a bachelor’s in business. He is founder and president of Delta Systems Inc., a Kansas City-based software development company. Buckler is also president of the Kansas City Special Forces Chapter 29 of The Green Berets and also serves as president of the Son Tay Raiders Association.
Buckler’s military awards include the military’s third-highest decoration, the Silver Star, awarded for gallantry in action. He also earned the Combat Infantry Badge, Vietnam Service Medal, Parachute Badge, and Good Conduct Medal. In 2019, Buckler received the Philip Pistilli Silver Veteran’s Medal from the Harry S. Truman Foundation. He co-authored the book Who Will Go: Into the Son Tay POW Camp with Cliff Westbrook, a personal story of his military training and the mission to rescue POWs, published in November 2020. After his presentation, Buckler stay on-hand to autograph copies of his book.
After the presentation and a question and answer period, Ulin closed out the luncheon with a short brief about the schedule for future gatherings of the Forum.
The Arter-Rowland National Security Forum (ARNSF) is led by the CGSC Foundation’s Simons Center and is an exclusive professional information sharing and networking forum for senior executives.
Members of the Forum and their guests meet periodically at guest speaker events in downtown Kansas City. National and regional guest speakers representing all elements of national power (Diplomatic, Informational, Military and Economic) highlight the meetings. The Forum is nonpartisan, but elected government officials may present from time to time.
The Forum is named after Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Robert Arter, Founding Chairman of the CGSC Foundation, and Mr. Landon Rowland, the Foundation’s first major donor who was well-known in Kansas City for his keen interest in national security issues and his leadership in business and philanthropy.
ARNSF events are only open to ARNSF members and their guests. If you are not a member but are interested in joining, contact Bob Ulin at email@example.com or visit the Forum page on the Simons Center website for more information.
The Arter-Rowland National Security Forum is cohosted by the CGSC Foundation’s Simons Center and the Kansas City Chapter of the Association of the United States Army (KCAUSA).
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