Skip to comments.There Wasn't a Single Communist North Vietnamese Army Soldier inside a then Free South Vietnam
Posted on 11/12/2004 9:16:06 PM PST by Calpernia
Xray Day 1, 14 Nov 1965
Lead elements of the under strength 450 man 1st Bn, 7th Cavalry air assault into a small clearing in scrub jungle below the 2300 foot Chu Pong Massif. Within an hour, a fierce battle is underway between the American Air Cav troopers and the aggressive 9th Bn of the 66th Regiment of the Peoples Army of Vietnam - North Vietnamese Regulars. The American Commander, Lt. Col Moore, fighting on the ground with his men, is faced with three on-going tasks to be accomplished simultaneously:
* Shuttle in the rest of his men from 14 miles to the rear on 16 Huey helicopters
* Holding onto the clearing so that the Hueys can land and take off
* Carry the fight to the numerically superior force as far into the jungle as possible so as to control the edges of the clearing
It is quickly apparent that the enemy force is determined to overrun and kill every American on the field. The afternoon is consumed in a desperate fire-storm battle for survival in 100 degree heat for Moore and his men as the PAVN commander throws the 7th Bn of the 66th and a composite battalion of the 33rd Regt in a furious attack against the 7th Cavalry left flank and center. In the action, a 29 man Cavalry platoon is surrounded by 200 enemy. Employing massive air and artillery fire support, the disciplined Cavalrymen hold onto the landing zone clearing against 7-1 odds and cause the PAVN units to fall back and break contact by late afternoon. During the action, brave Huey pilots land their choppers under fire during the action to bring in ammo and water and carry out wounded. A reinforcing Cavalry company flies in just before dark.
During the fighting that day, the 1st Bn, 7th Cavalry is reduced to approximately 340 officers and men; none missing. PAVN casualties are much higher due to awesome American fire support; six enemy are captured and evacuated.
X-Ray Day 2
Before dawn, Moore orders his company commanders to meet him prior to an attack to rescue the still cut-off platoon. Before this meeting takes place, the PAVN launch a heavy attack which shatters the early-morning stillness like a huge explosion. The attack is carried out by the 7th Bn, 66th Regiment and the H-15 Main Force Viet Cong Bn.
C Company of the Cavalry Battalion bears the brunt of the assault and is soon involved in hand to hand combat. The right portion of D/1/7 is also struck. The code word "Broken Arrow" is sent out over the radio by the Battalion Forward Air Controller. Within minutes, all available fighter bombers in South Vietnam are headed for X-ray to render close air support to "an American unit in grave danger of being overrun". A 3 hour battle that features non-stop 105mm artillery (8" artillery also participated), aerial rockets, and determined American Infantrymen, results in Charlie Company holding it's ground in a stunning display of personal courage and unit discipline. But it pays a terrible price - no officers left and only 49 men unhurt. 42 officers and men killed; 20 wounded. Scores of slain North Vietnamese and their weapons litter the bloody battleground.
"An as their firin' dies away, the 'usky wisper runs, from lips that 'aven't drunk all day: The guns! Thank Gawd, the guns!"
- Rudyard Kipling
At noon, the 2nd Bn, 5th Cavalry marches into X-ray from a landing zone 2 miles east. Joining with the 7th Cavalry parent company of the cut-off platoon, it continues out unopposed, rescues it, and brings it back with all wounded and dead. Of the 29 man platoon, 9 killed and 13 wounded. When reached, the platoon, which had lost its Platoon leader, Platoon Sgt, and one Squad leader killed, had ammo left to fight with under the leadership of a 3 stripe "Buck Sergeant" Squad Leader (SGT Savage).
C Co 1/7 Cav survivors are replaced on line by the fresh B Co 2nd Bn, 7th Cavalry. The battalion now forms a strong perimeter and prepares for more action in the night. All American dead and wounded are evacuated.
Xray Day 3, 16 Nov 1965
The PAVN Commander, knows that he had severely weakened and damaged the defenders in the Charlie Co sector the previous morning. What he does not know is that a fresh company - B Co 2nd Bn 7th Cav, had taken over the position after that engagement. That company, unmolested the previous afternoon, had cut fields of fire, dug new foxholes, fired in artillery concentrations, carefully emplaced it's machine guns and piled up ammunition.
The PAVN assaults four separate times beginning at 4:22 AM. The last is at 6:27 AM. They are stopped cold, losing over 200 dead. B Co has 6 wounded. At 9:55 AM, a sweep outward is made which results in more enemy dead and the position secured.
At 10:40 AM, the 1st Bn, 7th Cavalry, having lost 79 men killed and 121 wounded is ordered back to the rear for reorganization. By 3:00 PM, 1/7 CAV had turned over X-ray to the 2nd Bn, 5th Cav and the 2nd Bn, 7th CAV and is flying back to the Camp Holloway airfield at Pleiku City.
At the conclusion of X-ray, the sister battalion of 1/7 CAV, 2/7 CAV, was ordered to march to Landing Zone Albany for extraction from the battle area and to get out of the beaten area for an impending B52 strike. The fight of 2/7 CAV at Albany is the next chapter of the Ia Drang Campaign.
Albany. Day 1, 17 Nov 65
A B-52 strike of 800 500 pound bombs (200 tons) is headed for the near slopes of Chu Pong Mountain above X-Ray early on 17 November scheduled to drop at 11:17 AM. To get out of the danger zone, both Cavalry Battalions are ordered out of X-Ray. 2/5 CAV leads enroute to the Artillery position at LZ Columbus. 2/7 CAV follows with orders to break off shy of Columbus and head for a small clearing 1.5 miles to the Northwest. 2/5 CAV reaches Columbus and goes into position without any problems. The head of the 2/7 CAV column captures two PAVN soldiers at 11:57 AM 100 yards east of Albany.
The battalion column stops while the prisoners are interrogated. The lead Company Commander, A/2/7, puts out observation posts. Weary troopers in the column, after over 50 hours without decent rest or sleep, sit down and take a break. Some light up cigarettes, some remove packs, radios, mortars, etc. Others lie down. Visibility in the 3-5 foot high grass is extremely limited.
Albany. Day 1, 17 Nov 1965
The 2/7 CAV Battalion Command Group and A Co 2/7 CAV reach Albany after interrogating the two PAVN prisoners. All Company Commanders are called forward and begin arriving at the clearing. The column is 550 yards long. C Company and A/1/5 put out flank security. PAVN soldiers of the fresh 8th Bn, 66th Regt (which had not seen action) deploy down the Northeast side of the column. Survivors of the 33rd PAVN Regiment deploy at the head of the 2/7 column.
Albany. Days 1-4, 17 - 20 Nov 1965
At 1:20 PM, PAVN mortar rounds explode in the clearing and down the length of the column of American companies followed by a violent assault which fragments the column into small groups.
When the firing begins, the Cavalrymen drop into the tall 3-5 foot high elephant grass where it is impossible for the soldiers of either side to identify friend or foe except at extremely close range. Within minutes, the situation becomes a wild melee, a shoot-out, with the gunfighters killing not only the enemy but sometimes their friends just a few feet away. When the firing begins, Captain George Forrest, commander of A Co 1/5 CAV (attached to 2/7 CAV), turns on his heels with his 2 radio operators, runs back 500 yards to his company and "circles the wagons". His two radio operators are killed beside him during that run.
For the next two hours, the battle roars. A-1E Skyraiders are brought in dropping napalm and 250 pound bombs which slow down the enemy actions, and the fire slackens. Artillery is brought in. By dark, B Co, 2/7 CAV had landed to reinforce Albany. There is now a small perimeter at Albany and one at the tail of the column. In between are American survivors being hounded and killed throughout the night. Also, in the night, a few isolated Americans escape and evade; trying to make it to the artillery position at Columbus.
When daylight breaks on the morning of 18 November, it is a quiet and tense battlefield. Survivors begin the grim task of recovering American dead from the intermingled bodies of both sides. One platoon leader describes the scene down the 2/7 column as "a long, bloody traffic accident in the jungle". Wounded and dead are evacuated.
By the 19th, evacuation of the wounded and dead is complete. On 20 Nov, after 3 days and nights on that bloody, hellish, haunted battleground, the survivors of 2/7 CAV are airlifted out. 403 PAVN dead are reported and an estimated 150 wounded. Total American casualties at Albany: 151 killed, 121 wounded and 4 missing in action. In April 1966, the remains of all 4 of the missing are recovered.
The first two Communist North Vietnamese Regular POW's of the Battle of IA DRANG fresh from LZ X-RAY are escorted from Helicopter to Helicopter at LZ FALCON by members of the HHC, 1/7 Cav. Associated Press Photographer is running to the right to get in front of them to take the picture that is in 'WE WERE SOLDIERS ONCE....AND YOUNG.' Shadow of me taking this picture is at lower left. I consider this Picture one of the best. Notice M-16 POW wounded knee on one of the POW's in the middle of the picture.
bump to read later
Hi Ron... a small tale from last week.
I had not been to the VA clinic in more than 3 years. In the current procedures one must visit annually to stay in the "system" so when I arrived last week the Nurse Practitioner was not really happy to see me. The place was jammed and it was obvious I was just one of many she was going to have to deal with that day... and since I hadn't been in recently that meant a lot of extra paperwork.
She had a "far east" appearance but I couldn't quite "locate" her so I asked what her heritage was. She said "Vietnamese". When I mentioned my tours there her demeanor and countenance immediately changed. She became attentive, questioning, probing (verbally). Wanted to know about the battle for Hue and other places I had been. She was truly searching for some reinforcing information about what really took place.
Turns out she was working in the US embassy in Saigon in the early 70s and the information being passed around was really way out. She was evacuated just prior to the end of the war but has been searching for the truth about how the war was really fought and won by the US troops and her (south Vn) people.
The visit turned out to be a long one but very interesting. It is amazing how many people have no idea of what the truth is, even those who were seemingly "in the midst" of things. The stories, or lack thereof, by the media pundits (Cronkite and his descendants) and the lack of government clarity has hurt a couple of generations of Americans. I referred her to FR and some of your posts but have no idea if she will follow up.
In many ways the defeat of sKerry was the beginning of the parade the Vietnam vets never had.
A must read!
"The Nixon led retreat... recovered most of POWs well before Siagons [sic] fall."
Thank You, Cal.
The 2004 Election also marked the political maturing of the Vietnamese-American Community across the country.
It has been my honor in Little Saigon to support their fight for Freedom's Return to Vietnam by helping to register 1,000's of new Vietnamese-Americans to vote for the BUSH/CHENNY Team and the 1st Vietnamese-American to ever be elected to a State Legislature in U.S. History, VAN TRAN = http://VanTran68.com
America must now come to terms with the fact that these good folks have suffered the most in all of this. I have personally met many who were tortured by their ..VIETNAMESE.. Conquerors in Communist "Re-Education" Prison Camps for years after the Fall of Saigon. My fingers have been placed in deep body scars that came from knifings all of one's body and stomachs that have been cut open, regardless of gender, just for the "Fun" of it.
The Little Saigon Cities of Garden Grove, my home town, and Westminster CA were the 1st recently to declare themselves 'No Communist Zones' and to proclaim the Free Flag of Vietnam as the official Flag representing the Vietnamese-Americans in their communities. These official city resolutions effectively prevent leaders from Communist Vietnam from publically visiting Little Saigon and invalidate the Flag of Communist Vietnam as well. Over 75 American cities, counties and states have since followed Little Saigon's lead on the Vietnam Flag Issue.
I was blessed to speak before the Garden Grove City Council on behalf of both Anti-Communist Resolutions.
See Free Flag of Vietnam Photo:
GARDEN GROVE snub irks HANOI
My Dad wanted to serve- he was ROTC and very proud of that. He marched with the world famous Purdue ROTC.
My Grandparents were Veterans. My Dad was refused and could not serve for medical reasons- and he was disappointed ( I think he has some guilt as well)
Nevertheless What I learned about Vietnam I learned from my family and from reading as an adult.
I may not know much- but this I do know: Folks like Hilary and John Kerry are enemies to my country for the way they have lied about what was going on in Vietnam. I will never forget that or forgive them for the damage they have done to our military heroes and to the citizens of the USA.
A Freeper Vet goes to the Vietnam Wall
Thank you for your service and Calpernia, thank you for the thread.
...As 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment (CUSTER's) Headquarters S-1 Personnel Clerk at IA DRANG, I was one of those there who carried the Real American Heroes from Helicopters that were flown into us at Artillery's LZ Falcon fresh from LZ X-Ray in the Valley of Death that was IA DRANG in that November week of 1965...for transfer to Pleiku Airstrip bound Helicopters. Soon the casualties became so heavy that we just started flying them there direct. As a consequence there was time to witness this 2nd Battle of the Little Big Horn by experiencing the stench of over 1,100 dead Invading North Vietnamese Communist Army Regulars baking in over 100 degeee days which burnt our throats, constant firing of our close support Artillery Batteries for days, following the Battle on our Battalion and Brigade Net Radios, and helping the casualties. After a Battle that brought one Congressional Medal of Honor Winner, with many more left not so acknowledged, my duty was the typing of then Lt. Col. HAROLD G. MOORE's many Letters to the hundreds of family members of those Hero Soldiers KIA and WIA of our U.S. 7th Cavalry at IA DRANG. In the end that Operation was also expanded to anyone that could type at Battalion and Brigade Headquarters...for weeks after we returned to our Base Camp at An Khe. It was during this time that then Defense Secretary ROBERT S. McNAMARA took a short 15 minute After-Action briefing from HAL MOORE on our Victory at IA DRANG after which the man simply said "Thanks" to the Colonel and then left on a D.C. bound plane for home where he began writing his -Memo to the President- that said that the Vietnam War was not winnable! ...IA DRANG = THE DEFINING MOMENT OF THE VIETNAM WAR IN MANY, MANY WAYS...it appears...?
19 Posted on 07/04/2000 20:15:24 PDT by ALOHA RONNIE
Oh thank you Diva! It is hard to come forward and say, "I don't know". Thank you for standing at my side :)
I wish more adults would take the time you did and as I'm doing to learn our history. That apparantly has been allowed to be take from us by our school systems.
>>>>>It was during this time that then Defense Secretary ROBERT S. McNAMARA took a short 15 minute After-Action briefing from HAL MOORE on our Victory at IA DRANG after which the man simply said "Thanks" to the Colonel and then left on a D.C. bound plane for home where he began writing his -Memo to the President- that said that the Vietnam War was not winnable! ...IA DRANG = THE DEFINING MOMENT OF THE VIETNAM WAR IN MANY, MANY WAYS...it appears...?
I'm confused by this? I don't follow the lead up to the defining moment that McNamara wrote this After-Action report. Can you explain?
in point of fact, the DEFEAT of the USA was EAGARLY sought by them.
NEVER FORGIVE & NEVER FORGET their TREACHERY!
Again I ask...
In an new Time of War...
In a new Century...
With an Enemy that's now...
Just around the corner and...
Up your street...
With our own Freedom...
Now directly at stake...
Here at home...
.."IS it SAFE?" = HILLARY on Senate Armed Services Committee..
JOHN KERRY came back from the Vietnam War to call us American Soldiers fighting for Freedom there...
...rapists and terrorists.
MEL GIBSON returned from filming our real Vietnam War Story titled "WE WERE SOLDIERS" deeply inspired to finally make his ultimate Story of Love and Sacrifice titled:
.."The PASSION of the Christ"
I wonder WHO got it right..?
Signed:.."ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer -
A Witness to the Heroism of Many
...After hearing Lt. Col. HAL G. MOORE's personal Battle of IA DRANG After Action Report at our 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters...
...Defense Secretary ROBERT MacNAMARA ended up on his plane back home writing a Vietnam War Report of his very own to LBJ while in the air.
Secretary MacNAMARA, who ended up personally chosing LBJ's daily North Vietnam Bombing Targets for years afterwards, wrote in this 1965 memo that the Vietnam War was unwinnable..!!!
This ...after my 1st Battalion, U.S. 7th Cavalry (CUSTER's) Regiment had just won its 2nd Battle of the Little Big Horn and our brother 2nd Battalion had been severely ambushed by North Vietnamese Army Regulars the very next day. An Enemy that was beaten back in that 2nd Battle after the taking of heavy casualties on both sides.
A 2/7th Cavalry Lieutenant, RICK RESCORLA, saved the lives of many at both Battles of IA DRANG. He later went on to become the 1st Vice-President for Security of the Morgan-Stanley Brokerage House's 20 middle floors of the World Trade Center's Tower 2 in New York City.
1st Vice-President RICK RESCORLA became known as 'The Last Man Out' of Tower 2 after saving the lives of many during the Bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. He had gotten everybody out of that just attacked Skyscraper, an Attack he had predicted ahead of time.
On September 11, 2001 RICK RESCORLA also saved the lives of many after the Airstrikes on the World Trade Center. After the 1st Jetliner struck Tower 1 RICK got everyone moving out of Tower 2, just like in his longtime monthy evacuation drills he had his employees go thru for almost a decade. He gave them 18 extra minutes evacuation time before the 2nd Jetliner hit just 3 floors above them.
RICK RESCORLA was again going back up the stairwell to find stragglers knowing full well that Tower 2 could come crashing down on him at any time, which it soon did = DUST to DUST immediately.
RICK RESCORLA was never found.
911 Remembered: RICK RESCORLA was a Soldier
To Sign our U.S. 7th Cavalry's Petition for President BUSH to posthumously give RICK RESCORLA the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award:
GARRY OWEN, Sir
(a U.S. 7th Cavalry Salute 2-U)
The Last Battle of Vietnam November 13th, 2004 The Last Battle of Vietnam It never occurred to me, ever before, That our Navy would win the Vietnam War. When they took to their boats in this year of elections, With the mission of making some major corrections I shared their belief, John should not be elected, And their view overdue, truth should be resurrected. Yet I questioned the course theyd set themselves for, Knowing how John was loved by the media whore. Ignored and dismissed by the media queens Being shrewd, savvy sailors they still found the means To reach out to the people, to open their eyes To a phony John Kerry and his war story lies. With their very first ad, they torpedoed his boat, A Cambodian Christmas would no longer float. His heroics unraveled, his stories fell flat, Especially that one bout his magical hat. John called on his lawyers and media whores, And threatened the Swiftees with vile legal wars. But these warriors kept charging back into the fire, And made the folks wonder, Is Kerry a Liar? Till the question of whether hes telling the truth Was still in their minds in the election day booth. So the brave Swiftees gave us what wed not had before, They gave us our victory in the Vietnam War. Those brave, stalwart sailors, falsely labeled as liars, Stood firm and stood tall, kept directing their fires, Steadfast, unrelenting, they served once again, And defeated John Kerry, these honorable men. All Vets can take pride, yes all, not just some, That we won the last battle of Vietnam. It took far too long to bring an end to our war But we did, November Second, Two Thousand Four. To our Brothers, forever, on that long black Wall, Youve been vindicated now, one and all. Russ Vaughn 2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment 101st Airborne Division Vietnam 65-66 Russ Vaughn is the Poet Laureate of The American Thinker
Your not the victim of public school. Just red liberal teachers & administrators!
A good source for your history hear on FR is FReeper Foxhole
One thing to remember about trying to learn about Vietnam. Is there is no one good source on it.
Because of the time span. And the many very different types of terrain. And most being there only one year (or less for some unnamed person) Each persons outlook will be different. Someone that was there in 1969 will have a different What it was like than someone that was there in 1972
>>>>Lt. Col. HAL G. MOORE's personal Battle of IA DRANG After Action Report at our 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters...
...Defense Secretary ROBERT MacNAMARA ended up on his plane back home writing a Vietnam War Report of his very own to LBJ while in the air.
A great battle shot.
No sleep for 48 hours.
Grimy, unshaven, filthy uniform.
Canteens loose, dogtags hanging out, pocket unbuttoned, helmet strap hanging.
No insignia of rank, sleeves up.
His bayonet is fixed; trigger finger alert and ready for action.
A Tower of Courage
On September 11, Rick Rescorla Died as He Lived: Like a Hero
By Michael Grunwald Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, October 28, 2001; Page F01
"You watching TV?"
Rick Rescorla was calling from the 44th floor of the World Trade Center, icy calm in the crisis. When Rescorla was a platoon leader in Vietnam, his men called him Hard Core, because they had never seen anyone so absurdly unflappable in the face of death. Now he was vice president for corporate security at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., and a jumbo jet had just plowed into the north tower. The voices of officialdom were crackling over the loudspeakers in the south tower, urging everyone to stay put: Please do not leave the building. This area is secure. Rescorla was ignoring them.
"The dumb sons of bitches told me not to evacuate," he said during a quick call to his best friend, Dan Hill, who had indeed been watching the disaster unfolding on TV. "They said it's just Building One. I told them I'm getting my people the [expletive] out of here."
Keep moving, Rescorla commanded over his megaphone while Hill listened. Keep moving.
"Typical Rescorla," Hill recalls. "Incredible under fire."
Morgan Stanley lost only six of its 2,700 employees in the south tower on Sept. 11, an isolated miracle amid the carnage. And company officials say Rescorla deserves most of the credit. He drew up the evacuation plan. He hustled his colleagues to safety. And then he apparently went back into the inferno to search for stragglers. He was the last man out of the south tower after the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, and no one seems to doubt that he would've been again last month if the skyscraper hadn't collapsed on him first. One of the company's secretaries actually snapped a photo of Rescorla with his megaphone that day, a 62-year-old mountain of a man coolly sacrificing his life for others.
It was an epic death, one of those inspirational hero-tales that have sprouted like wildflowers from the Twin Towers rubble. But it turns out that retired Army Col. Cyril Richard Rescorla led an epic life as well. In this time when heroes are being proclaimed all around, when brave actions are understandably hailed as proofs of character, here was a man whose heroism was a matter of public record long before Sept. 11.
At the same time, Rescorla's own fascination with heroism and hero-tales was a matter of private record. He even co-wrote a screenplay about the World War II infantry legend Audie Murphy. Rescorla was a man of introspection as well as action, and some of his final soul-searching e-mails provide an eerie commentary on his final day.
Rescorla, after all, was once an infantryman himself, declared a "battlefield legend" in the 1992 bestseller "We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young." Another photo of Rescorla -- gaunt back then, unshaven, carrying his M-16 rifle with bayonet fixed -- graced the book's cover and became an enduring image of the Vietnam War.
The survivors of the 7th Cavalry still tell awestruck stories about Rescorla. Like the time he stumbled into a hooch full of enemy soldiers on a reconnaissance patrol in Bon Song. Oh, pardon me, he said, before firing a few rounds and racing away.
"Oh comma pardon me," repeats Dennis Deal, who followed Rescorla that day in April 1966. "Like he had walked into a ladies' tea party."
Or the time a deranged private pulled a .45-caliber pistol on an officer while Rescorla was nearby, sharpening his bowie knife. "Rick just walked right between them and said: Put. Down. The. Gun," recalls Bill Lund, who served with Rescorla in Vietnam. "And the guy did. Then Rick went back to his knife. He was flat out the bravest man any of us ever knew."
Rescorla was also a passionate and complex man, a writer and a lawyer, as well as a blood-streaked warrior and six-figure security expert. At his home in suburban Morristown, N.J., he carved wooden ducks, frequented craft fairs, took playwriting classes. He wrote romantic poetry to his second wife, Susan, and renewed their vows after just one year of marriage. "He was a song-and-dance man," she says. He was a weeper, too. He liked to quote Shakespeare and Tennyson and Byron -- and Elvis and Burt Lancaster. He was a film buff, history buff, pottery buff -- "pretty much any kind of buff you can be," says his daughter, Kim. He liked to point his Lincoln Mark VIII in random directions and see where it would take him.
In his last days, Rescorla had been reading up on Zen Buddhism and the Stoics, contemplating the directions his own life had taken him. A few years ago, he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer that had spread into his bones. His doctors had given him six months to live. But the cancer was in remission, and he couldn't help but wonder what it all meant. In a Sept. 5 e-mail to his old friend Bill Shucart -- once a medic in Vietnam, now the head of neurosurgery at a Boston hospital -- he mused about kairos, a Greek word for a cosmically meaningful moment outside of linear time.
"I have accepted the fact that there will never be a kairos moment for me, just an uneventful Miltonian plow-the-fields discipline . . . a few more cups of mocha grande at Starbucks, each one losing a little bit more of its flavor," he wrote.
But Rescorla's moment was coming soon.
'A Natural Number One Man'
This American story began in England.
Rescorla was born in Hayle, a seaport on the north coast of Cornwall. He was the only child of a single mom, although he didn't know that as a boy. He thought he had a traditional family with married parents, a much older sister and an older brother. He only found out later that his parents were really his grandparents. His "sister" and "brother" were his mother and uncle. No matter. It was still a close family. He called his mother Sis until the day he died. He never did meet his father.
Rescorla's neighbor and friend Mervyn Sullivan, a retired meter reader, remembers him as "a natural number one man," a broad-shouldered, curly-haired man-child who wowed the girls and led the boys. Rescorla, known as Tammy then, was also a talented, hypercompetitive rugby player. Sullivan still sports a scar on his forehead where Rescorla kicked him 50 years ago while chasing a ball -- and Rescorla was on his team that day.
"There was no need for that kick! No one was anywhere near us. We could've had a cup of coffee!" Sullivan recalls. "But that was Tammy, you know. Totally committed."
Hayle was a working-class tin-mining town, and the Rescorlas were a working-class family. But Tammy wanted to see the world -- and some action. He joined the British paratroopers as a teenager, then served as an intelligence officer in violence-torn Cyprus. He later joined Her Majesty's colonial force in Northern Rhodesia as a commando. As Northern Rhodesia -- now Zambia -- began its transition to independence, Rescorla returned to London to serve in Scotland Yard's elite "flying squad" of detectives. But the job and the paperwork bored him.
He was looking for a fight. In 1963, America seemed to be looking for one, too.
So Rescorla reported for basic training at Fort Dix, N.J., a mercenary at 24. "He was looking for bang-bang shoot-'em-up," says his best friend, Hill, who met him at Fort Dix.
Rescorla and Hill, who was starting his second Army tour, were the only grunts at Fort Dix with combat experience. It was the same story when they began Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga. -- the so-called Benning School for Boys was a hotbed of fresh-faced college graduates. Again, Rescorla emerged as a swaggering leader, belting out Cornish songs in his lusty baritone when his classmates were stressed out and exhausted.
After graduating as a second lieutenant in April 1965, Rescorla was assigned to lead a platoon in Bravo Company of the 2nd Battalion of the 7th Cavalry -- once General Custer's outfit at Little Big Horn, now the vanguard of a new helicopter-based "air-mobile" fighting concept designed for Southeast Asia. That fall, President Johnson shipped him to Vietnam.
"Most of us were in awe of Rick," recalls Larry Froelich, an OCS classmate who is now the news editor at the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader. "It came as no surprise when the stories began to trickle back from Vietnam about his exploits in the field."
The Valley of Death
The Vietnam War entered a new realm of seriousness on Nov. 14, 1965, in the elephant grass and termite hills of the Ia Drang Valley. That remote swath of the Central Highlands became known as the Valley of Death. And as retired Army Gen. Harold G. Moore and war correspondent Joseph Galloway wrote in "We Were Soldiers," their narrative of Ia Drang: "Rescorla, as usual, was in the middle of it all." In "Baptism," another Vietnam memoir, Larry Gwin dedicated an entire chapter of hagiography to Rescorla, describing him as a charming raconteur with a "crazed irreverent twinkle" at play, but also a ruthless killer with a "cold steely glint that could sear through you like the icy stare of death" in the bush.
"Rescorla was the best platoon leader I ever saw," says Moore, who will be played by Mel Gibson in an upcoming movie based on "We Were Soldiers." "What a unique man."
American troops were encircled that first night at a landing zone they called X-Ray, and one company was virtually wiped out in a hellish firefight. The next day, Rescorla's company was ordered to replace it on the perimeter at the foot of the Chu Pong mountain ridge. In a later letter to Moore and Galloway, Rescorla recalled that when he arrived -- after a U.S. fighter jet had mistakenly dropped napalm on his men -- he found corpses scattered everywhere from the night before, including an American with his hands still clenched around a North Vietnamese soldier's throat.
"Are your men up for this? Do you feel they can hold?" asked Myron Diduryk, his commander.
"If they break through us, sir, you'll be the first to know," Rescorla replied.
That night, Rescorla risked sniper fire to study the terrain from the enemy viewpoint. He ordered his men to dig new foxholes 50 yards back, lay booby traps, reposition their machine guns and artillery. After midnight, he sang a slow Cornish mining tune: "Going Up Cambourne Hill Coming Down." Lund remembers Rescorla stopping by his foxhole to reset his bayonet and critique his fields of fire, joking as if they were preparing to play paintball.
"What a command presence," recalls Lund, who now runs a cell phone accessory business in Omaha. "We all thought we were going to die that night, and Rescorla gave us our courage back. I figured, if he's walking around singing, the least I can do is stop trembling."
The next morning, Bravo Company beat back four assaults, mowing down about 200 enemy soldiers while sustaining only a few injuries.
"A quietness settled over the field," Rescorla wrote later. "We put more rounds into clumps of bodies nearest our holes, making sure. . . . Forty yards away a young North Vietnamese soldier popped up from behind a tree. He started his limping run back the way he had come. I fired two rounds. He crumpled. I chewed the line out for failure to fire quickly."
It sounds heartless, but Rescorla had a nasty job. Minutes later, he saved several of his men by dropping a grenade on an enemy machine-gunner. Rescorla still had the gunner's brain matter on his fatigues when his company was airlifted back to base.
"The stench of the dead would stay with me for years after the battle," he wrote. "Below us the pockmarked earth was dotted with enemy dead. . . . A grenadier next to me threw up on my lap. He was, like many, a man who had fought bravely even though he had no stomach for the bloodletting."
There was more to come. The next day, while Bravo Company rested, the rest of its battalion marched into a vicious ambush near a landing zone called Albany. Bravo was sent back to the rescue. "You know the battalion is in the [expletive]," Rescorla told his men. "We've been selected to jump into that [expletive] and pull them out." Once again, Rescorla sprinted into a ragged perimeter -- after a bone-rattling 10-foot jump from a Huey under fire -- and immediately lifted the spirits of weary soldiers who thought they were done.
"My God, it was like Little Big Horn," recalls Pat Payne, a reconnaissance platoon leader. "We were all cowering in the bottom of our foxholes, expecting to get overrun. Rescorla gave us courage to face the coming dawn. . . . He looked me in the eye and said, 'When the sun comes up, we're gonna kick some . . . .' "
Sure enough, the battalion fought its way out of Albany. Rescorla left the field with a morale-boosting souvenir: a battered French Army bugle that the North Vietnamese had once claimed as a trophy of war. It became a talisman for his entire division. But 305 Americans died in the Ia Drang, more than in the entire Persian Gulf War. The North Vietnamese death toll was 3,561. Even worse, leaders on each side concluded after the battle that they would be able to outlast the other side in a war of attrition.
Rescorla served one tour in Vietnam, earning a Silver Star, a Purple Heart and Bronze Stars for Valor and Meritorious Service, in addition to his $241.20-per-month salary.
He hated the way the Washington politicians were running things, with their kill ratios and no-fire zones and half-baked commitment to victory. He believed they were underestimating the enemy's resolve, mistaking fervent nationalism for Soviet-style communism, piling up body bags in a losing cause.
He liked to say the higher-ups "saw things through the rosy red hue."
"When I heard that Rick had quit the war, I felt in my heart that this was the wrong war for us," Froelich recalls. "I never thought he'd walk away from a noble pursuit."
In "Audie," the film script Rescorla wrote a few years ago with his friend Jim Morris, Audie Murphy cannot escape his past or his pain. He is "walking wounded," opening fire at his own alarm clock. He runs up gambling debts. He complains he's got no civilian skills except shining shoes and robbing banks. "How do you like sitting on that pedestal?" he is asked.
"I coulda done without it," he replies.
Rescorla did not want an Audie Murphy life after his war.
So he finished his Army tour back at Fort Benning, where he got his U.S. citizenship, then set off for the University of Oklahoma on the GI Bill in 1968. He hung around bookstores and coffee shops. He read up on American Indians and the Wild West. He studied creative writing. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in literature, then began law school.
"I'm sure everyone's talking about Rick the Celtic warrior, Rick the hero, but he also had a deep intelligence," says Fred McBee, a fellow student who later became a philosophy professor. "He'd lay Shakespeare on you. He'd quote Proust."
He also trained officers for the Oklahoma National Guard and took another job training security guards in hand-to-hand combat. But although he remained in the Army Reserve for years, the pure-macho stage of his life was over. He married a special-needs teacher in 1972 and became a criminal justice professor at the University of South Carolina. Elizabeth Rescorla, his first wife, once found his medals hidden in a round tin in their attic.
"He always said: 'The war was part of my life. It's not my life,' " she says.
Academia, however, was not his calling. "Can you imagine Rescorla sitting around with a damn pipe in his mouth?" Hill asks. The money wasn't great, either. So Rescorla shifted into corporate security, first at the Bank Administration Institute, then at a Chicago bank. In 1985 he moved to New Jersey to be director of security for the Wall Street brokerage Dean Witter, which later merged with the investment bank Morgan Stanley. He brought a military regimen to the job, frequently calling his guards at night to make sure they were at their posts, constantly analyzing new security threats. During the Gulf War, Hill says, Rescorla concluded that the main threat at the World Trade Center was an underground truck bomb.
"We walked the garage together, and that was obviously the soft spot," says Hill, who had been hired by Rescorla as a consultant. "He told Port Authority, but they said it was none of his business."
In 1993, of course, a terrorist truck bomb in that very garage created pandemonium. Legend has it that Rescorla dropped his pants to get the mob's attention, but that Rescorla legend is not quite true. He only jumped on a desk in the middle of the firm and threatened to drop his pants if his people didn't chill out and listen. In the stunned silence that followed, he launched an orderly evacuation, refusing to leave until the entire tower was empty.
Meanwhile, he and Elizabeth were raising a family. Trevor was born in 1976, a brawny kid with his dad's easygoing charm. Kim arrived in 1978, a thoughtful kid with her dad's creative flair. Rescorla coached their soccer teams, shouted at their referees. He watched movies with them, especially westerns, especially John Wayne westerns. He edited Kim's poetry in red pen and taught her how to sneak books under her covers after her mother demanded lights out. He boxed in the basement with Trevor.
"He'd cheat," Trevor recalls with a grin. "He'd throw elbows. He'd shoulder me into the sofa. But I got him a few times, and he'd always be proud: 'Hey, T knocked me down!' "
Today, both children are following their father's paths. Trevor is a security guard, considering a career in law enforcement. Kim is a law student.
They want people to know that their dad was only human. He could be stubborn, impatient, impolitic. He didn't have much of a filter between thought and speech. His first marriage dissolved in the mid-'90s, and there were fights over money. In Cyprus, he once backed a jeep into a restaurant after a night of drinking. He once told his National Guard bosses that they didn't have nearly enough combat experience to evaluate him. He didn't suffer fools at all.
But even his ex-wife wants people to know about his kindness. He used to shovel an old lady's driveway after every snowstorm. He once drove home to fetch a sleeping bag for a homeless man. He bought a co-worker a ticket home to Jamaica after a death in her family.
When Rescorla returned to Hayle to visit his mother, he always called on a lonely blind man named Stanley Sullivan at the town's nursing home. Sullivan loved his pint, and Rescorla always brought him cans of Guinness. Then they would sing Cornish oldies like "The White Rose" into the night, tears streaming down their faces.
"My God, I'm thinking of Tammy sitting on that bed, with his huge arm cuddling that frail man," sobs Rescorla's lifelong friend Mervyn Sullivan, no relation to Stanley.
Vietnam was always in the background, but Rescorla tried to keep it in the background. He told Kim that he was no longer the same man who used to kill 20 people before breakfast. He felt uneasy at reunions, complaining in an e-mail to Shucart about their "strange mixture of sentimentality, camaraderie, hucksterism and revisionist history." He once wrote that men who died in Vietnam were "as valid as any American hero in any war this country has ever fought," and he often visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. But he could not relate to veterans who still greeted him with "Welcome home, brother," who never got over their bitter homecomings.
"We didn't get no parade," a Vietnam vet tells Audie Murphy in Rescorla's script.
"My whole life has been a parade," Murphy replies. "Makes no difference."
'Our Time on Earth Is Brief'
One day in July 1998, Rescorla went jogging near his home, not far from the headquarters where George Washington spent two winters with his Continental Army. A divorced mother of three named Susan Greer was out walking her golden retriever.
"What are you doing?" she asked the passing jogger. "Why are you barefoot?"
Rescorla explained that he was working on a screenplay about Northern Rhodesia, where the people ran barefoot, and that he wanted to see what it felt like. It was the start of an abbreviated love story. In February 1999, they were married.
"I knew he was sick," says Susan, weeping at the memory. "But I also knew that if I only had five minutes with him, it would be the best five minutes of my life."
The Rescorlas moved into a Morristown subdivision called Windmill Pond, where they could sit on their patio and talk and watch the ducks float by. They would break into impromptu dances while running errands. She started fleeing girls-nights-out before dessert, because she hated to be without him for a whole evening. He wrote her a poem called "Soulmate just before dawn":
Awakening in the dark
when the geese are silent on the pond
your steady breathing helps me
face the daybreak with a smile
Susan introduced him to herbal medicine, and the Chinese roots and grains and gelatin caps seemed to work wonders. He still took hormones that made him puffy -- he was nearly 300 pounds, and he hated it -- but he felt healthy, and his bone scans were clean.
Last May, on a trip to Cornwall, the Rescorlas decided to renew their vows outside an old Norman church. "We had taken such long journeys to find each other. We wanted to savor every moment," Susan says. Rick had always liked churches for their architecture, but in his reading about religion he had come to believe in an ordered universe, in a higher power.
"The blossoming hawthorn tree nearby reminds us of the natural and orderly course of time," he wrote for their new vows. "We are aware that our time on earth is brief: the footprints that we make in this sandy soil will one day be washed away by an eternal tide."
Rescorla was thinking about those footprints in the months before he died. In April, when he was inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame, he philosophized over a few drinks with Hill, the best man at both of his weddings. "God, look at us," he told Hill, a convert to Islam who had just undergone major heart surgery. "We should have died performing some great deed -- go out in a blaze of glory, not end up with somebody spoon-feeding us and changing our nappies."
Then there was that September kairos e-mail to Shucart, his medic-turned-surgeon pal.
"I'm enjoying life at 62," he wrote. "Mulling over a lot of interesting stuff on Stoicism/Zen/Pantheism while trying to wrap the last few years of my security job with some degree of aplomb." He quoted "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," the T.S. Eliot poem about an aging man afraid to seize the day: "Do I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?"
Rescorla confided to Shucart that he was frightened about retirement, nervous that his "most significant contribution" was long in the past. But for all his gloomy musings about mocha grande and the elusive kairos moment, he was engrossed in an "inspirational" biography of Sitting Bull: "Countering the pessimism is the artistic/literary impulse." And he was "very happily married." Maybe, he suggested, there was still some living to do.
"Carpe diem," he wrote. "Let's Corvette ourselves forward into that dark night, Butch and Sundance. The outlaw streak . . . will serve us well, prepare us for that moment of truth."
It doesn't sound real, now that Rescorla's moment of truth has been captured in a snapshot. But Rescorla never sounded real. Morris says he often rewrote Rescorla's dialogue for the "Audie" script. "I told him: 'Look, it's too epic. People don't talk like that,' " he recalls. "I mean, Rescorla talked like that, but no one else does."
This was Rescorla's last e-mail to his daughter at law school, dated Sept. 10:
"Your mission . . . should you choose to accept it . . . dream, then scheme. . . . This country will be coming out of its slump about two years from now. It's going to be a time for legal eagles of all kinds to leave their rocky promontories, spread their wings, and do what eagles tend to do. . . ."
One September Morning
On Sept. 11, Rick Rescorla's alarm bounced him out of bed at 4:30 a.m.
Susan remembers him emerging from the bathroom, imitating Anthony Hopkins as the weirdo ventriloquist in "Magic," the movie they had rented the night before.
Then he broke into a British ditty, but she can't remember which one. She wishes she could.
He put on a gray shirt and a custom-made pinstripe suit.
She selected his matching red silk tie.
They kissed goodbye, and Rick was gone, off to the commuter train.
He called Susan at 8:15 a.m. from his corner office on the 44th floor.
"He told me he loved me. He said he didn't need the movies -- he had me," she says.
Rescorla wasn't even supposed to be at work that day. Susan's daughter Alexandra was getting married the next week in a 10th-century Tuscan castle, and they had planned to go abroad early. But his deputy, Ihab Dana, wanted to visit Lebanon, so Rescorla delayed his own vacation. "It should've been me in there," Dana says. "Rick was like a father to me."
The first plane struck the north tower at 8:48 a.m. Moments later, Morgan Stanley employees began evacuating the 44th through 74th floors.
"Really, Rick made that decision in 1993," Dana says. "He saved thousands of lives."
After the truck bombing that year, Rescorla had warned Hill: Next time by air. He expected a cargo plane, possibly loaded with chemical or biological weapons. In any case, he insisted on marching his troops through evacuation drills every few months. The investment bankers and brokers would gripe, but Rescorla would respond with his Seven P's: Proper prior planning and preparation prevents poor performance. He wanted to develop an automatic flight response at Morgan Stanley, to burn it into the company's DNA.
According to Barbara Williams, a security guard who worked for him for 11 years, Rescorla was in his office when the first plane hit. He took a call from the 71st floor reporting the fireball in One World Trade Center, and he immediately ordered an evacuation of all 2,700 employees in Building Two, as well as 1,000 Morgan Stanley workers in Building Five across the plaza. They walked down two stairways, two abreast, just as they had practiced. Williams could see Rescorla on a security camera with his bullhorn, dealing with a bottleneck on the 44th-floor lobby, keeping people off the elevators.
"Calm, as always," she says.
In his cell phone call to Hill, Rescorla said he had just spoken to a Port Authority official, who had told him to keep everyone at their stations. "I said: Everything above where that plane hit is gonna collapse," Rescorla recounted to Hill. "The overweight will take the rest of the building with it. And Building One could take out Building Two."
That, of course, is not exactly what ended up happening. But by the time the second hijacked jet rammed into the south tower at 9:07 a.m., many Morgan Stanley employees were already out of the building, and just about all of them were on their way out.
The rest of Rick Rescorla's morning is shrouded in some mystery. The tower went dark. Fire raged. Windows shattered. Rescorla headed upstairs before moving down; he helped evacuate several people above the 50th floor. Stephan Newhouse, chairman of Morgan Stanley International, said at a memorial service in Hayle that Rescorla was spotted as high as the 72nd floor, then worked his way down, clearing floors as he went. He was telling people to stay calm, pace themselves, get off their cell phones, keep moving. At one point, he was so exhausted he had to sit for a few minutes, although he continued barking orders through his bullhorn. Morgan Stanley officials said he called headquarters shortly before the tower collapsed to say he was going back up to search for stragglers.
John Olson, a Morgan Stanley regional director, saw Rescorla reassuring colleagues in the 10th-floor stairwell. "Rick, you've got to get out, too," Olson told him.
"As soon as I make sure everyone else is out," Rescorla replied.
Morgan Stanley officials say Rescorla also told employees that "today is a day to be proud to be American" and that "tomorrow, the whole world will be talking about you." They say he also sang "God Bless America" and Cornish folk tunes in the stairwells. Those reports could not be confirmed, although they don't sound out of character. He liked to sing in a crisis.
But the documented truth is impressive enough. Morgan Stanley managing director Bob Sloss was the only employee who didn't evacuate the 66th floor after the first plane hit, pausing to call his family and several underlings, even taking a call from a Bloomberg News reporter. Then the second plane hit, and his office walls cracked, and he felt the tower wagging like a dog's tail. He clambered down to the 10th floor, and there was Rescorla, sweating through his suit in the heat, telling people they were almost out, making no move to leave himself.
"He was selfless in that situation, and that's your ultimate character test," Sloss says. "He was not rattled at all. He was putting the lives of his colleagues ahead of his own."
Susan Rescorla watched the United Airlines jet carve through her husband's tower, and she dissolved in tears. After a while, her phone rang. It was Rick.
"I don't want you to cry," he said. "I have to evacuate my people now."
She kept sobbing.
"If something happens to me, I want you to know that you made my life."
The phone went dead.
Dying as He Lived
Susan watched the south tower implode in that unforgettable plume of smoke. She ran wailing into the street. She doesn't know why she did that. One of her neighbors did the same thing -- her husband had been at a meeting on the 100th floor.
The Rescorlas embarked on the grieving rituals that became so familiar to the world. The trips from hospital to hospital. The posters. The vigils. The desperate hope: If anyone could make it out of there, Rick could.
She kept calling his cell phone and hearing his message and disintegrating all over again.
Rick did not make it out. Neither did two of his security officers who were at his side. But only three other Morgan Stanley employees died when their building was obliterated.
The Rescorlas are still waiting for a body, or even a positive identification of some remains. Susan brought Rick's hairbrush to the victim center on the Manhattan piers. Trevor gave a saliva sample. But Rick never wanted a fancy funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. He wanted to be cremated with no fanfare. He told Susan that if she wanted a memorial, he'd be okay with a plaque at a nearby bird sanctuary called the Raptors. It'll go on the American eagle cage.
"My Rick has spread his wings and soared into eternity," Susan keeps saying.
Life goes on. Dana is drawing up a new security plan for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, trying to imagine what his fallen boss would do. Jacqueline Landrau, a Morgan Stanley payroll clerk, gave birth to an eight-pound baby boy two days after she escaped from the 45th floor. The company is expected to announce widespread layoffs soon. Its $220 million lawsuit against the Port Authority for negligence before the 1993 bombing is scheduled to go to trial next year. It turns out that the agency's own consultants had also warned that the underground garage offered "an enormous opportunity . . . for a terrorist to park an explosive-filled vehicle." Alexandra went ahead with her wedding, not in Tuscany, but in Morristown.
Meanwhile, the citizens of Hayle are raising money for a statue of their native son. Gen. Moore is pushing for a posthumous Medal of Freedom. Robin Williams read a short tribute to Rescorla on that all-star telethon broadcast in 156 countries. Morris is shopping the Audie Murphy script around Hollywood. Next month, the veterans of Ia Drang will honor Rescorla at their annual reunion in Washington. And the big-budget "We Were Soldiers" film is coming out next year. Rescorla's company was edited out of the script, but the bugle he recovered at Albany will make an appearance.
In the end, there was no great mystery to Rescorla's actions on Sept. 11.
It would have been mysterious if he had reacted any differently. And everyone who knew Rescorla agrees that if he had survived the evacuation, he would have said he was just doing his job. That's what Rescorla said after Vietnam, what Audie Murphy said after World War II.
"The man died as he lived," says Galloway, the co-author of "We Were Soldiers," who is now a consultant for Secretary of State Colin Powell. "What makes some people react like this, God only knows. In Rick's case, you always expected it."
The only real mystery is why Rescorla ultimately got his chance to Corvette forward into that dark night, why he never had to get spoon-fed in his nappies. It is not the kind of mystery that could ever be solved.
But to the friends he left behind, his death made a kind of cosmic sense on a day when the universe was out of order: The right man in the right place at the right time. He left in a blaze of glory. With no parade.
MacNAMARA slammed our Battle of IA DRANG just like he purposely mishandled the execution of the Vietnam War behind the scenes against LBJ...
...because he was really against the War from the very begining, just like JOHN KERRY was even before he went to Vietnam.
A self-fulfilling Prophecy against US
LBJ micro-managed the Vietnam War because he ever so feared a widening of the War by our instigating an incident that would bring Communist China and Russia into it = World War III
This is why North Vietnam's important re-supply Port of Haiphong, near Hanoi, was not attacked till late in the War. Too many Communist Re-Supply Ships in port. This was indeed the Era before America's Smart Bombs that were used to such great pin-point success since in both Gulf Wars.
Is Robert MacNamara still head of the World Bank?
MacNAMARA may have recently retired from the World Bank, but only recently.
So MacNAMARA was in charge of the World Bank!
What is the World Bank?
Is the World Bank used by the UN?
What kind of connections are needed to be referred to heading up the World Bank?
Is that a US entity?
>>> Your not the victim of public school. Just red liberal teachers & administrators!
I thank you for the link. I think Diva is well round in history. She was just standing beside me.
In my state, yes, it is being a victim of the school system. My state is under full commie/socialist/vanity-term-of-the-day control.
The NEA Union here in my state has been slapping down teachers hard that think otherwise.
So I thank you for your link for help; but, here it is the school/state/NEA/term-of-the-day.
Thanks brother, for all that you guys did there in VN. You served honorably and well. Welcome home brother!
As honorable as that post is, why is it the Vets last battle? Kerry was way too young then to be acting on his own.
I have an entire research thread here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1209454/posts Showing Kerry, Clinton, and God knows who else, were having strings pulled by others involved.
This should NOT be the last battle of the Swifties/Vets/Any of Us. Cause the powers that enabled Kerry then, have been alive and are still alive since then.
The Vets are our last source of data. If they retire now, the Bush re-election is moot.
This should NOT be the last battle of the Swifties/Vets/Any of Us. Cause the powers that enabled Kerry then, have been alive and are still alive since then.
The Vets are our last source of data. If they retire now, the Bush re-election is moot.
I disagree. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth accomplished the mission they set out to do. That mission stated months ago was that they wouldn't see Kerry as Commander in Chief.
Goal accomplished, BIG time!
History is being re-written, as we speak.
Gotta love em!
A major battle was won.
The war still goes on.
I vow to the 58,000 + Brothers and Sisters on the Viet Nam Wall
that I will continue for their Honor.
You've been around awhile, Calpernia
Since Feb 4, 2003
Surprised you didn't know it.
And when they do mention it they lie about what happened there, over and over again. Hopefully the victory of those who want America to be victorious in this election will begin the process of getting the truth told in our schools after over thirty years of falsehood.
I know you still fight, Tonk, and more power to ya! I just think you're in this fight alone. Like I always tell you, let me know if I can help out. Freempail, so I don't miss seeing it.
Not to diss your experience, or anything.
My "guy" is rated by the VA as 100%. P&T disabled. They get to the front of the line.
Get your rating upgraded is my thought. Let me know privately by Freepmail, if I can help you out.
PS, forgot to say - read here.
Yes, I know, and thaks.
Thanks for the ping!
This topic is awesome.
Bookmarking for more reading!!
Love the pictures too!
I've never had the opportunity to go to D.C. and to honor the Fallen at the original Wall, but had the chance to see the Travelling Wall last year. A very humbling experience, seeing all the names and the tributes left by so many.
History is being re-written, as we speak.
I hope so!
I'm reluctant to reply to you as you as it is not clear what you are contending and you also have a personal stake. So I found a couple of links:
Senate Select Committee Chronologies Part One: Vietnam War http://www.aiipowmia.com/ssc/vnchron.html
Accountability: : At the end of the Vietnam War, there reportedly were 2,583 unaccounted for American prisoners, missing or killed in action/body not recovered. As of October 19, 2004, 1,849 Americans are still so listed by the Defense Department, over 90% of them in Vietnam or in areas of Laos and Cambodia where Vietnamese forces operated during the war.
If you are hoping for closure on 1,849, the cruel fact is that you will be disappointed.
I haven't seen a movie that hasn't 'opened with a castle' in about a decade :)
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