Skip to comments...A Freeper Vet goes to the Vietnam Wall..
Posted on 11/11/2003 9:08:29 PM PST by ALOHA RONNIE
...Over Veterans Day Weekend each year we surviving Veterans of the 1st Major Battle of the Vietnam War held in the Valley of Death that was the IA DRANG of 1965...
...greet the dawn's early light of a beautiful Sunday morning standing at the 3rd Panel of the Vietnam Wall. We go there, under the fresh shadow of the Washington Monument, to pay honor to our fallen U.S. 7th Cavalry Brothers who fell forever in that Valley of Death on behalf of the FREEDOM of Others.
...Though no exception, this year's Veterans Day Weekend in Washington, D.C. was truly unforgettable.
...Fellow IA DRANG Veteran and War Correspondent JOSEPH GALLOWAY, the only civilian who has been awarded a Bronze Star for Valor, writes about our IA DRANG Alumni Conference Weekend and of our obligation drawing us there for our fallen Brothers each year in his outstanding Kight-Ridder Article titled:
..'Remembering brothers on Veterans Day'
...A Link to this outstanding Article follows.
...Present and future U.S. 7th Cavalry Congressional Medal of Honor Recipiants stand side by side with the rest of us former U.S. 7th Cavalry SkyTroopers in unabashed gratitude at The Vietnam Wall to those who gave all they had long ago so that others may live in FREEDOM.
...This year's IA DRANG Alumni Conference Dinner Keynote Speaker was fellow IA DRANG Veteran JACK SMITH, now a retired ABC News Correspondent, who was wounded 4 times in the IA DRANG Valley 38 years ago. JACK SMITH's father was ABC News TV Anchorman HOWARD K. SMITH, the most honest of all American TV Anchormen reporting about our Fight for Freedom during the Vietnam War. This as opposed to former CBS News TV Anchorman WALTER CRONKITE ...who was lying to us on TV for the other side, our Communist Terrorist Enemy.
...JACK SMITH now finds himself in another fight for his life ...in a private war with Pancreatic Cancer.
...How profound it is to see today's Communist Vietnam, under threat from Terrorist Attacks and the encroaching Power of Communist China emerging all over East Asia, move closer to America for its own protection in a new Time of War. And to see an America reaching out to Communist Vietnam for exactly the same reasons..!!! It's a new World.
...Who would have thought so long ago in a land that was so very far away that we would live long enough to see this new world come our way back when...
.."WE WERE SOLDIERS ONCE and YOUNG"..?
Signed:.."ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer / Vet-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965
((((((((((RONNIE)))))))))) my heart hurts. THANK YOU!
The month of November 1965 when these gallant fighters made history, the Joint Chiefs tried in vain to convince LBJ to bomb Hanoi and mine Haiphong.
His obscene and humiliating rejection of their plan is recounted in "The Day It Became the Longest War" by Lt. Gen. Charles G. Cooper, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) the aide to the chiefs at that meeting.
The article appeared in the May 1996 Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute.
I would be happy to fax the four-page article to any of you who express interest by freepmailing me with your fax number.
LBJs "sanitizing" of target lists and obscene rules of engagement together with the odious crimes of Strange McNamara snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
Hats off to the unsurpassed heroism of the finest fighting men on earth;
Heads off for the fifth column quislings from Johnson to Cronkite; from McNamara to Kerry.
Joe Galloway in 1965
McNamara's folly began even before the disastrous decision not to bomb Hanoi. McNamara was initially told we'd need about 600,000 troops to win a ground war but he browbeat the Chiefs into telling the President much less would do, to the eternal shame of all concerned. After toppling Diem and installing an unstable regime, Strange knew Vietnam could not hold out without U.S combat troops, but lied to the American people with his "hold until November" strategy that allowed LBJ to decieve the people and run as a "peace" candidate. Since they'd lied to the people all along about things being just ducky in Vietnam without ground troops, LBJ and Strange had to lie about the Tonkin Gulf incident to have a pretext to do what they knew they would have to do before the election.
When they finally sent the troops in, they hamstrung them with the stupidist rules of engagment ever - Cambodia and Laos off limits, most of Hanoi off limits, no stoppage of Haiphong cargo traffic. Stupid tactics - let's take the same ground two, three, four times and give it back so we can fight a war of attrition against a fertile Asian country more than capable of filling the ranks.
The d*mn thing is that despite the lies, stupidity and treachery, the American fighting man still defeated the enemy in the field by 1968, so the American press intervened to lie to the American people once again and snatch defeat from victory.
Rant over. CT out.
Ever think about returning?
I always told the guys I served with this place would be there someday.
Just moments before posting this..watched a segment where U.S. troops overseas from Afghanistan to the Gulf spoke of not being paid on time..of injured soldiers..some even in Hospital still having certain support funding terminated.
This reality ..where the soldier gets the nix from the top as per concern runs past party lines....makes me mad as hell!
Legions marched out of Rome on a mandate that devolved in time ..to finding them set against another Roman Legion or 2 in battle.
Troop stood by their comand...but their command was manipulated by the above crowd [Senate].
I see this happening again..The Hill..the Pentagon...D.C. with its CFR types tampering as the media weather vane moves.
A soldier leaves all for his nation...at least he should have some clarity to what he/she is about to forfeit all for.
During the Battle of Britian..R.A.F. Pilots saw their buddies buy the farm in a matter of weeks...they knew the reason for thier duty..and the reality set upon their nation.
Since WW-2..it seems the clarity lines for why the troop is out on Geostrategic projection blurrs..
Gov seems to at least find the means to send their soldiers in harms way..but mismanages them in diverse ways...eventually to become some segment on the news..which we either ponder or wretch on..plus party line and social lean from the media drive.
So..like the ancient days of Rome..the legion marches out...knowing the Senate is going to tamper with the original mandate.
Kinda sureal...McNamara is confronted by Rose and the Producer to be more forthcomming with his *political/military experience...to offer insight in the current Iraq situation.
McNamara refuses...waxes eloquent and says he will not criticise His President...but readers can glean from the 3 books he has participated in recently on his life and times.
The Producers is rolling his eye's for his reasons..and Charlie Rose is looking at Mac like he does at times when trying to understand Graveltone [Henry Kissinger] in an interview.
I'm watching this thinking.."What a disconnect".!
Charlie Rose..."So are we doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes" ?
Hand motions from McNamara...eye's rolling around from film producer.
The sureal part is the Film producer..who wants to see the lessons of the past learned applied to Americas best interst...that why he choose to do the film thingy on Mac..he has some passion behind his reasoning.
Tragic that an uncertain "what to do" McNamara had so many years near a Presidents ear.
Tragic too..that he chooses a forum like books to medicate his soul.
I like Charlie Rose for how he steers the interviewer to the topic..and tries to keep them their ..regardless of their talent to evade the core question at hand.
Charlie looked frustrated..the interview was a dud.
McNamara...I'm not intersted in reading a book or books by a man who is scared of his own shadow.
Some of the Senators are traitors for whom Leavenworth should be their retirement home.
Noel Twyman dined with him at his home while the former was writing his 900-page Bloody Treason on the murder of JFK [and subsequent rescinding of JFK's NSAM 263 with LBJ's NSAM 273].
McNamara was watching CNN and reneged on the promise of a follow-up interview.
What is truth to power?
LBJ needed JFK dead to avoid being dropped from the ticket and prosecuted for Billy Sol Estes and Bobby Baker related corruption.
Hoover needed LBJ to waive the Federal retirement statute and remain in power.
Dulles had been driven from power by JFK.
It was within the power of our military to defeat the North Vietnamese Army.
Democrats got revenge on Nixon for outing Alger Hiss by driving him from office--and Hitlery played a significant role.
Democrats could then negate the gains of Nixon's bombing by barring any further bombing, giving the country to the Communists as they did with China [via Owen Lattimore].
McNamara has 58,000 Americans, and millions of Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians on his karmic dossier.
Only a psychopath can rationalize that.
And Strange is all of that.
was invited to share an inhouse mail to Ronnie.
It comes from study of 3rd Marine...and of course Nolans excellent book *Into Laos.
I too feel "We were soldiers" is the most honest un P.C. project to reveal the character of the U.S. serviceman and his ability to perform the task at hand sent to him.
A family member now deceased was a 'Gunny' with 3rd Marine Quang Tri Prov..65 -69.
entering country *Operation Starlite.
back and forth Ronnie...up to the DMZ..then down to the Khe Sanh hillcountry complex.
I read the stories of so many who were just glad to make it from Rockpile to Khe Sanh..route 9 being an attrition reality like going after a RPG team which just wolloped a Sheridan tank logger in the night.
appologies...just seems the Logistical ident was allways left for last..the reality sucking life from the Army as each day past.
Into Laos..by Keith William Nolan..Operation Dewey Canyon II or LamSon 719.
W**!!... Intel in Quang Tri had to know the North was getting intel leaks from ARVN...that they would be waiting.
the ROE was insane...100 helo's lost..600 shot to pieces. Guys driving down Route 9 start getting pasted just after leaving Rockpile....and the guauntlet doesn't ebb all the way into Laos.
so many brave serviceman..trying to cope..trying to save their friends who are down..cut off.
meanwhile..ARVN mechanized units sit and watch others get the chop to a man on a hilltop firebase....just a hundred yards away....having a smoke while thier own get slaughtered..and while brave U.S. Helo crews try to extract some very brave ARVN units fighting for their lives.
just a debacle..
Grant [my Family member] saw 3/3/3 pulled out of the Khe Sanh area,moved back to DMZ...shortly after..Charlie just phased back in....secured more trail outlets.
then the seige of Khe Sanh.
3/3/3/ were to be sent to Khe Sanh..then things changed....and 26th Marine got the call.
Grant survived and returned home....maybe that would have changed if 26th Marine had not replaced them.
from studying 3rd Marines operations..and the goings on in Quang Tri...seems to me that Intel was allways changing logistics...and logistical movement meant Charlie got more opportunity to do what he was good at.
this reality I see occuring again in Iraq..
wish the U.S. could get a handle on logistical planning..less moves....more firepower and sustained engagement.
So very proud of Grant and 3rd Marine..
proud of your Troop Ronnie too.
somehow..if the knowledge of your gens experience could be applied to today.....things might go better.
regards Light Speed
Our fallen brothers gave all of their tomorrows so that we could have today. We who have served are a part of that special brotherhood. And to those young Americans, I can point to all those crosses and say to their youthful lives "Earn This" all those soldiers died for your freedom. Don't let their loss be in vain.
Thank you my brother, for your service to our country, for standing tall when others found it inconvenient to answer the call. A hearty "Job Well Done" from a fellow vet.