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Ken Fitzgerald
03-29-2014, 8:37 PM
Welcome Home!

Observing Vietnam Veterans Day!

Thanks for your service!

from a Vietnam Era Veteran




USN '68-'76

Steve Schlumpf
03-29-2014, 9:26 PM
Thanks also from another Vietnam Era Veteran!

USAF '70 - '78

Mike Henderson
03-29-2014, 10:49 PM
This is Vietnam Veteran's Day? I never heard of it. When did this start?

Also a Vietnam vet.

Mike

[I went and looked it up. Looks like it's recent.]

Jim Creech
03-30-2014, 6:29 AM
That's a new one on me, also a Vietnam era vet!

Ron Barnes
03-30-2014, 9:24 AM
New to me also, Vietnam vet.

Joe Tilson
03-30-2014, 10:09 AM
New to me as well, Vietnam era vet. Thanks for your service.
Joe

terry mccammon
03-30-2014, 1:02 PM
Me too, US Army 71-75. Thanks to all of you.

Bruce Page
03-30-2014, 2:13 PM
Thanks from yet another Vietnam Era Veteran.

Kent A Bathurst
03-30-2014, 6:52 PM
I am of that age. My birth year was + 1 in the ping-pong ball bowl when the draft was cancelled. I did not serve in the Armed Forces.

From where I stand, every day should be Vietnam Veterans Day.

And Iraq Veterans Day.

And Afghanistan Veterans Day.

The toll in blood and treasure is immeasurable, and we cannot afford to forget. Or the <illegitimate children> in charge will screw something up.

I have been fortunate enough to walk that wall a couple dozen times. I make sure I get there every time I am anywhere near DC. Breaks my heart. But - I feel it is important to make that walk, even though I did not serve. Or, more likely, because I did not serve. When history is written, that will be the legacy of our generation.

But you men did serve. You. Men. Did.

Thank you all. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Kent

Dave Anderson NH
03-31-2014, 1:52 PM
I kind of ignore the day. As a Vietnam Marine grunt I observe (not celebrate) Memorial Day and celebrate Veteran's Day. The day rings hollow to me and I interpret it as a means of assuaging guilt for the way my generation was treated when we returned from war. I say this with slight bitterness, but mostly in recognition that ours was a war waged by a polarized and divided nation who blamed the warriors and not the policymakers. A young Marine friend who is currently serving and who deployed as a grunt in Gulf 1, Gulf 2, Afghanistan, and Somalia told me of a sign they had posted in Sangin, Helmund Province Afghanistan: "America is not at war, the Marine Corps is at war. America is at the Mall." That pretty much describes all of our wars, interventions, and police actions since WWII.

Ken Fitzgerald
03-31-2014, 8:28 PM
Dave,

After reading your post I am going to change the wording on my initial post from "celebrate" to "observe".

I know too well how our generation were treated even for serving, regardless of whether or not they served in Vietnam. It raises my hackles.

I started this thread only to honor those who served in Vietnam.

George Bokros
03-31-2014, 8:37 PM
I to am a Vietnam era vet Dec 1968 - Dec 1970. Cam Ranh Bay 1970

Ted Calver
03-31-2014, 8:53 PM
USAF '65-'92. I was there. Kinda feel the same as Dave.....couldn't have said it better.

Bruce Volden
03-31-2014, 8:58 PM
Quick? story. My draft # was 1. Dec '72. I joined so I could have a say in what MOS I wanted. I chose medic (insert other titles here). Basic training in MO (Leonard Wood) ----Nixon stops sending troops before I "graduate". AIT in Ft. Sam Houston---Nixon starts the withdraw before I graduate!!!! I should have been drafted and saved a year ie: 2 vs 3.

PS my luck has changed little since and I have no regrets!

Bruce

Dave Ray
03-31-2014, 10:11 PM
Also Viet Vet, thank you all for your service. I agree whole heartedly with Dave

Don Morris
04-01-2014, 3:13 AM
I was there during Tet. I live near Bethesda, now Walter Reed National Military Medical Hospital and get my meds there. So I see the returning guys and gals. Lots of young people wheeling through the place in wheel chairs or on metal limbs. They're getting great care and I'm happy they're coming back to a better reception than we did. You all know we get a 10% discount at HD and Lowes, probably other places too, but often when I present my retired ID I get a "Thank you for your service" from the cashier. That's only recently do you hear that. Didn't hear that in the 70's. I think the public is much more appreciative and that's a good thing.

Dave Anderson NH
04-01-2014, 11:14 AM
I didn't take any offense Ken. I use "observe" because Memorial Day has strong meaning and emotions for me. I CAN NOT "celebrate" the deaths of friends I lived and served with who now are forever young. It was just my somewhat cynical observation. One thing I tried to imply by the quote was that since WWII all of our conflicts have been limited ones. As a result the general populace has been largely unaffected and somewhat disengaged unlike in in WWII where those who served numbered in the millions and every family had a family member serving. Additionally war bond drives, rationing, reduced speed limits, and other restrictions constantly drove home the fact that the nation was at war.

Ken Fitzgerald
04-01-2014, 11:53 AM
Dave, I changed it so that it wouldn't be offensive to you or any other Vietnam Veteran. I agree I wouldn't celebrate the death of friends. As a Vietnam Era veteran I remember all too well how we were all treated while wearing the uniforms in those days. We were required to travel in uniform and as such, we were all often treated equally......badly.

While making a "Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran Day" was too little, too late, as Vietnam Era veteran I wanted to give thanks to you who did serve in Vietnam and recognize your service in an appreciative way.

Mike Henderson
04-01-2014, 11:57 AM
I was there during Tet. I live near Bethesda, now Walter Reed National Military Medical Hospital and get my meds there. So I see the returning guys and gals. Lots of young people wheeling through the place in wheel chairs or on metal limbs. They're getting great care and I'm happy they're coming back to a better reception than we did. You all know we get a 10% discount at HD and Lowes, probably other places too, but often when I present my retired ID I get a "Thank you for your service" from the cashier. That's only recently do you hear that. Didn't hear that in the 70's. I think the public is much more appreciative and that's a good thing.
I've gotten that "Thank you for your service" line a few times when I disclosed that I had served in Vietnam. I never know how to respond. One time I replied, "Well, it wasn't my choice - I was drafted" but that probably wasn't a good response.

The people serving today are different - they choose to serve. I take my hat off to them.

When I hear that comment I often wonder if it really comes from the heart of if it's just today's PC thing.

Mike

Mel Fulks
04-01-2014, 12:14 PM
When I think of Vietnam I always remember a guy from high school. He was not popular,but well liked. There is a difference. I didn't know him well but we always spoke in passing. We took the army enlistment tests the same day, that took hours so we talked and became friends based mainly on neither of us knew anyone else there. At the end of the day I had a medical deferment but he was sure he was going to be drafted ,so he enlisted. Didnt run into him again until at least fifteen years later. When I was buying a car he happened to be the sales manager so we spent a few minutes catching up. Told me he had gone to
Vietnam and was still suffering from exposure to chemicals. Several years later I'm reading the newspaper and there is a photo of soldiers and others at a gathering. In the foreground was a boy,young teenager, hugging his mother.
And instantly I thought "that kids hair looks just like Mike's". My friend had a most unusual wavy and curly hair pattern.
Dont think that guy had crossed my mind once since I bought the car. So I looked at the caption,NOT ALL DEATHS FROM
WAR WERE ON BATTLEFIELD. It was my friends wife and son with at a Memorial Day gathering. Smaller print said he had
recently died from the effects of the chemicals. Some how these episodic events have made a stronger impression on me
than the deaths of closer friends.

Dave Anderson NH
04-01-2014, 1:10 PM
Ah yes Mel, Agent Orange. The gift that keeps on giving as many of my fellow vets say. I think the most poignant way of describing those who have been in combat is that not all wounds are visible.

Joe Tilson
04-01-2014, 2:41 PM
After coming back from Japan in 1969, we decided to wear our uniforms to Candlestick Park to get in for free. We got in and had great seats, but the number of people that spit on us was appalling. The next time we went, it was in street clothing, and we paid for our tickets. Yes some of the memories are bitter pills, but we just need to forgive and move on. I can't forget, but I did forgive. Life has been better since. God Bless the United States of America!