Skip to comments.The Truth about Viet Nam Vets (oldie, but bears repeating)
Posted on 11/13/2006 11:08:25 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
The morning of Friday, April 18, 1997, Daniel Wells of McKinney took the stand in his own defense. Charged with aggravated sexual assault for fondling his girlfriend's 8-year-old daughter, Wells explained it was all a misunderstanding. Wells was a decorated Vietnam war hero, with two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Medals for valor. On cross-examination, testimony revealed that even the mother initially hadn't believed the little girl. It was the war hero's word against the child's. In desperation the prosecutor's office tracked down B.G. Burkett, a silver-haired Dallas financial adviser who has obtained a national reputation as a military researcher and historian of the Vietnam War. Within an hour, Burkett had obtained Wells' military record. That afternoon, Burkett drove to McKinney, was sworn in as an expert witness, and testified that Daniel Wells was a fake. He had a mediocre military career as a Navy cargo handler; he had never served in combat, nor had he ever received any valorous decorations. Wells' story fell apart. He was sentenced to 20 years. Like the nationally infamous Larry Lawrence, the big Democratic donor who invented a story of heroic action in the merchant marine and was briefly interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Daniel Wells had concocted his Vietnam war stories from true-life accounts in books and magazine articles. Wells' lies were no surprise to B.G. Burkett. Whenever a media story portrays a troubled Vietnam vet who relies on the war to explain or excuse himself, Burkett investigates. In most cases, the purported vet is an exaggerator or an outright fake.
(Excerpt) Read more at pownetwork.org ...
Is this Burkett the same dude who gave dan rather the phony story about President Bush?
I don't think they are the same person at all, but I will double-check...
It's not the same guy. I am set to marry a real Vietnam vet in April. He never tells me much, which means he really was there. Just like my uncles in Korea and WWII. If they tell you about it in any detail, they were not really there.
NOT AT ALL THE SAME GUY! See this article in NewsMax:
Good! I hate phony vets with a passion. I have heard so many obviously made-up "war stories" from so many drunken loudmouths I just have to get up and walk out of the room when these liars start their bullshit. I can't believe how many losers claim to have been Navy SEALS.
I was just worried this might be the same RAT nutjob that gave rather the counterfeit "documents". As I recall, 60 Minutes tried to interview that guy, but he had some sort of psychotic episode during the interview. Of course, that didn't stop CBS from running with the phony story.
I highly doubt that he was yanked away faster than 3000 foot per second, the speed of a shock wave and schrapnel from the explosion. If military type explosives were in the mine, it would have been around 5000 fps.
Cute idea and story but absolutely BS.
That was my experience when I was talking to a Korean War veteran (he is a customer who regularly buys produce from me at my produce stand). He was talking to me how he was going to march in a parade for veterans and I asked him how it was over there in Korea during the war (I didn't know any better). He choked up and teared up(he was embarrassed)and told me he had to go. I'll never do that again.
My Dad told me that his brother had the job of stacking the dead bodies of soldiers during WWII. He wouldn't talk about anything either.
No, different person. This one is the author of the book Stolen Valor, an excellent read.
Rathers Burkett was a Bill Burkett, soured former Commander in the Guard.
B.G. Burkett actually served in Viet Nam as a junior officer.
"He gets real quiet if I push for more information."
That I guess is what happens to people who have seen combat, it's not something you talk about, brag about, or discuss.
Good for you. My Dad warned me not to bring up what his brother did in WWII. I didn't.
Well I guess most especially with a woman you love. He wants to spare me the gory details. He's my hero anyway. He went, that's what counts.
You can make a blanket statement like that but it would be wrong. I served two tours in Vietnam as an Army helicopter pilot and I'll tell you anything I know and can remember. Granted, I've surely suppressed many details about some of the more thrilling moments, but it was such a big part of my life that I don't want to 'not talk about it'.
Please don't take this in a personal way but your fiance may just not want to talk to you about it. He may talk to other Vietnam Vets.
May you and your guy have an eternity together.
He doesn't want me to know. He protects me from the horrors and inadvertently the thrills, if you will.
My uncle, was regular Army did three tours. Those who have done it, have no need to brag. I am aware that about three times as many guys that served, claimed to have served. Prove it or shut up is my point to them.
My brother-in-law lost both legs in VN. He is a missionary in Thailand today, with his second wife...my sister-in-law, and their 12 adopted children.
There is another truth about Vietnam, and that is that the great majority of draftees who served - served honorably.
Throwing the draft out as the Vietnam War was winding down was a knee-jerk reaction to the protests from the Left.
I don't want to beat up on W because he's going to be beat up enough over the next two years, but one of the biggest mistakes he made after 9-11 was to not call for a Universal Service Bill which would have included the authority to draft men and women into the Armed Services. Not doing so has helped put the country where it is today.
Give me a fellow for a few minutes and I can usually tell. They give it away with their demeanor. What I've learned to do is never push to hard. You never know what else is going on with someone.
push too hard.
I've pushed to hard but that's another story.
You mean like that guy from Massachusetts, the one who served in Viet Nam?
"I highly doubt that he was yanked away faster than 3000 foot per second, the speed of a shock wave and schrapnel from the explosion. If military type explosives were in the mine, it would have been around 5000 fps."
Might be a good one for the Mythbusters."
That's from a movie I saw about 15 years ago.
If you should ever run across any more people who claim to be Seals and you have doubts, contact Capt. Larry Bailey (Boot Murtha and Vets for Truth) and give him as much info as possible.
Capt Bailey is a decorated Seal and has been doing for phony Seals what Burkett was doing in general about other phony Nam Vets. Worked him him back in 04 to help expose Kerry and he's a stand up guy.
True.....I knew a vet, and after many beers, he would only tell me 2 things, "I was at Khe Sahn, and I was never the same after that" and that was all he ever would say...
They just never seem to get that date right do they?
Good advice. Thanks.
I entered service when I turned 18 in 1974 and volunteered for Vietnam, but they werent sending any new troops over because the troop withdrawal was under way. I still run into guys who are several years younger than me that claim to have served in-country. I told one guy that he would have been 15 when the last US troops left Vietnam. He stammered a little bit and hasnt spoken to me since.
That's a beautiful story. I'm glad he shared it with you.
My dad was too young for WWI and a bit too old for WWII and was a laborer at Ford in Detroit anyway. When I came back from my first tour early in 67 my dad asked me about the big strapping fellow who sat across from he, my sister and I at my flight school graduation dinner at Ft. Rucker. Big Dave from Big Sandy, Montana had been killed early on as the copilot of a gunship. I told my dad that. He never again asked me anything about Vietnam and he died ten days after I came home from my second tour in November of 70.
Like I said before, I like to tell stories about Vietnam. One thing I suggest to any Vietnam Vet is to get the movie, "Apocalypse Now" and watch it with a pen in hand. No one had that kind of Vietnam but it will remind a Vet of the things that happened to them. Many stories, big and small, will be brought up that have been forgotten.
Day after day we were subjected to these tales from mostly Airforce guys who flew above the fray and even had locals who they paid to clean their bunks and wash their clothes, but they loved to talk.
Meanwhile, seated next to me was a guy about my stature, 5'8" about 130lbs who just listened and never said a word. I had noticed that he would be missing from class once in a while. One day I decided to talk to him since he wasn't going to talk. I asked if he'd been in the service, "yes", were you in Nam? "yes". What branch of the service? "Marine Corp" What did you do for the Marines? "Tunnel Rat"
Here was a guy who would go behind enemy lines, sometimes 10 miles in, alone in the jungle to search out and go into the Viet Cong tunnel systems on search and destroy missions. The military eventually trained dogs to do this most dangerous job.
I later learned that Mike would sometimes miss class because of the malaria he had contracted in the jungle.
Mike reminded me of another hero I knew who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and saw horrors that will never be told, was taken prisoner and watched as many of his buddies died of cold and starvation.
He wouldn't talk about it either, he was my dad.
IF you like stories of the 'Nam
Try this site, http://www.vietvet.org/warstory.htm
Sonny Hoffman, a funny guys who cuts to the chase pretty quickly.
It starts with --
It has often been said that the difference between a fairy tale and a war story is that a war story begins with, "Now this ain't no bullshit!" Combat veterans know that these words signal the time to roll up pant legs, and in some cases (if spoken by a Marine), to put on hip waders:-) Semper Fi!
When veterans gather in groups, war stories naturally begin. Each tale told inspires two more. Each tries to outdo the last in a version of war story one-up-manship.
Vets tell war stories for two reasons: first, to establish themselves in the group pecking order; second, to entertain.
When a vet comes into a new group, he tells his stories that (like subtle name dropping) tells everyone where he has been and what he has done. Dogs sniff each others butts; vets tell war stories.
My Mother has told me more about my Dad's VN tours than he has.... Maybe its because Im too afraid to ask him directly..
If you're interested in such things, a good friend and Vietnam Marine has a book he wrote (as therapy) which is OUTSTANDING... Here is some info on it:
Here's a sample of his work:
Also much more here:
Thanks for the piece. A variation of it is that you can always tell it's a war story if it starts off with, "This is no #hit, there I was, . . ."
When I got back to Ft. Knox in the early seventies I was in the Air Cav Squadron. Just about every pilot was a Vietnam Vet, so down-time usually meant war story time. One of the Troop Ops Officers decided to put a "war story poll" in the middle of his ops office. If someone started with a yarn they were required to hang onto the poll and put on a combat helmet before they could finish the story.
Back to your link, the examples at the end of the piece are very interesting and I guess you could call them 'tells', and I've heard some like them in conversations.
Thank you Gunny. Very moving. I'm going to track down "Aftermath."
Speaking of war stories - a joke. Maybe I can tell it:
Teacher asks her 5th graders to bring in a story from their parents that has a moral. The next day she asks if anyone has a story.
Cindy raises her hand and the teacher calls on her. Cindy tells how her mother grew up on a farm and counted the eggs that were about to hatch. A few days later some of them, but not all, hatched. The teacher then asked for the moral. Cindy said, "You can't count your chickens before they hatch."
Bonnie has her hand up. The teacher calls on her. Bonnie said her dad also grew up on a farm and one day he put a basket of eggs on the front seat of the P/U truck and headed to the market. On the way he hit a bump and the basket fell off the seat and many of the eggs broke open. "The moral" said the teacher? Bonnie said, "You don't put all your eggs in one basket."
The teacher is trying to avoid Joey but he's the only one left with his hand up. Okay, Joey, what is your story?
Joey told about his Uncle Bill who had been in Vietnam. Uncle Bill had been a door gunner on a Huey and he always carried a machete and a bottle of Jack Daniels. One day the Huey took a lot of enemy fire and he knew they were going to go down. Uncle Bill first chugged what was left of the Jack Daniels. The Huey crashed in the middle of the enemy. Uncle Bill got the M-60 and his machete and attacked. He fired the M-60 until he ran out of ammo. He then fought them with his machete until the blade broke off, and then he fought with his bare hands.
The teacher didn't want to ask for the moral but she did.
"That's easy" said Joey, you don't f with Uncle Bill when he's been drinking.