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Part III - Will the Real Vietnam Vet Stand Up?
Newsmax.com ^ | Originally published at Newsmax June, 1999 | B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley

Posted on 10/26/2002 4:28:07 PM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl

Part III - Will the Real Vietnam Vet Stand Up?
B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley

Exclusive to NewsMax.com: Excerpts from Stolen Valor: How The Vietnam Generation Was Robbed Of its Heroes And its Historyby B.G. Burkett & Glenna Whitley

To order Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of its Heros and its History please Click Here

America won World War II. Vietnam was "the only war America ever lost."

In World War II, everybody pulled together. Vietnam was the class war, the war in which wet-behind-the-ears, poor, uneducated, minority men were chopped to pieces while college boys thumbed their noses at them in campus antiwar protests.

Brave American soldiers in World War II bested the evil armies of Hitler and Hirohito. In Vietnam, confused, drug addicted soldiers killed women and children.

World War II's veterans came home to stirring parades, ready to sire the baby boom and forge a supernation. Vietnam veterans trickled back in dishonor, fighting drug habits and inner demons. Or so say the stereotypes. Let's look behind the myths:

Myth: The war in Vietnam was fought by teenagers barely old enough to shave, while World War II was fought by men. A much-repeated statistic claims that the average age of the Vietnam soldier was 19, while the average age of the World War II soldier was 26.

Reality: The average age of men killed in Vietnam was 22.8 years, or almost 23 years old. While the average age of those killed was 22.8, more 20-year-olds were killed than any other age, followed by 21-year-olds, then 19-year-olds. More 52-year-olds (22) died in Vietnam than youths of 17 (12). The oldest American serviceman killed was 62. Almost 11 percent of those who died were 30 years of age or older.

Myth: The war was fought predominantly by draftees.

Reality: About one-third of Vietnam-era veterans entered the military through the draft, far lower than the 67 percent drafted in World War II. And once drafted, many men volunteered for the Marines, the Airborne, Special Forces, or other duty likely to send them to Vietnam.

Myth: It was a class war, with the poor and lower middle class those who suffered the brunt of it. The best and the brightest didn't go.

Reality: The force that fought in Vietnam was America's best educated and most egalitarian in the country's history -- and with the advent of the all-volunteer Army is likely to remain so.

In World War II, only 45 percent of the troops had a high school diploma.

Many were virtually illiterate. During the Vietnam War, almost 80 percent of those who served had high school diplomas, even though, at the time, only 65 percent of military age youths in the U.S. had a high school degree.

Throughout the Vietnam era, the median education level of the enlisted man was about 13 years. Proportionately three times as many college graduates served in Vietnam than in World War II.

A study done at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992 compared the socio-economics of the 58,000 Americans killed in Vietnam to 58,000 randomly chosen contemporaries by rating their home-of-record according to per-capita income. They discovered that 30 percent of the KIAs came from the lowest third of the income range; but 26 percent of the combat deaths came from families earning in the highest third. This result was startling -- and far from the expectation that wealthier Americans were sheltered from the war.

Myth: The war took the highest toll on minorities.

Reality: About 5 percent of those who died were Hispanic and 12.5 percent were black -- making both minorities slightly under-represented in relation to their proportion of draft-age males in the national population. (This will be discussed further in a later chapter.)

Myth: The soldier in Vietnam smoked pot and shot up with heroin to dull the horrors of combat.

Reality: In 1967, the drug use rate of .25 per 1,000 troops in Vietnam was lower than the Army-wide rate of .30 per 1,000 troops. Except for the last couple of years of the war, drug usage among American troops in Vietnam was lower than for American troops stationed anywhere else in the world, including the United States. Even when the drug use started to rise in 1971 and 1972, almost 90 percent of the men who had ever served in Vietnam had already come and gone. America had virtually thrown in the towel; idleness and the declining troop morale led to escalating drug use that reached crisis proportions.

A study after the war by the VA showed drug usage of veterans and non-veterans of the Vietnam age group was about the same. Another study, the "Vietnam-Era Research Project," concluded that drug use was more common among non-veterans than Vietnam-era veterans.

Myth: American soldiers deserted rather than fight the "immoral" war.

Reality: In World War II, the Army's overall desertion rate during that war was 55 percent higher than during Vietnam. Of those troops who deserted during the Vietnam era, only five percent did so while attached to units in Vietnam. Only 24 deserters attributed their action to the desire to "avoid hazardous duty." Of AWOLs, only 10 percent were related to opposition to the war.

Myth: Vietnam vets have high rates of incarceration.

Reality: A 1981 VA study concluded that 25 percent of those in combat during the war had ended up in prison. In the mid-1980s VietNow, one of the first Vietnam veterans' organizations to receive a VA grant for delayed stress counseling, put out a pamphlet claiming that over 70,000 Vietnam vets were behind bars, while over 200,000 were on probation, parole, or out on bail. The more mainstream Vietnam Veterans of America has claimed that 5 to 12 percent of the prison population at any given time are Vietnam vets, with up to 300,000 in the criminal justice system.

All this information is based on self-reporting by prisoners. But in every major study of Vietnam veterans where the military records were pulled from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis and the veterans then located for interviews, an insignificant number have been found in prisons.

Myth: Substantial numbers of Vietnam veterans are unemployed.

Reality: Vietnam veterans are no more likely to be unemployed than men who did not serve in Vietnam and, in fact, have a lower unemployment rate than those who didn't serve. Figures from 1994 showed that the unemployment rate for U.S. males 18 and over was 6 percent. The unemployment rate for all male veterans was 4.9 percent. Among Vietnam-era veterans who served outside the Vietnam theater, it was 5 percent. For Vietnam veterans, the rate went down to 3.9 percent.

In every category for which I could find statistics, Vietnam veterans were as successful or more successful than men their age who did not go to Vietnam. A Washington Post/ABC News survey released in April 1985, on the tenth anniversary of the fall of Saigon, reinforced the findings of the earlier Harris study. The Post/ABC survey randomly polled 811 veterans who served in Vietnam and Southeast Asia and 438 Vietnam-era veterans who served elsewhere. The poll revealed that only nine percent of Vietnam veterans had never graduated from high school compared to 23 percent of their peers. A Vietnam veteran was more likely to have gone to college than a man of his age not in the service; nearly 30 percent of Vietnam vets had some college education, versus 24 percent of the U.S. population.

That educational edge translated to employment rates similar to non-veterans of the war. In 1985, three of every four said their annual household incomes exceeded $20,000. Almost half made $30,000 or more per year. Seventy-eight percent were homeowners, paying mortgages on traditional, single-family homes -- and more likely to own a home than their peers who did not go to Vietnam. Eight of every 10 surveyed were married and 90 percent had children.

Strikingly, the Washington Post survey indicated that, despite the negative attitudes of the public, Vietnam veterans had positive feelings about their experience:

- Seventy-four percent said they "enjoyed their time in service."
- Eighty percent disagreed with the statement "the United States took unfair advantage of me."
- Fifty-six percent of Vietnam veterans said they benefited in the long run by going to Vietnam. Only 29 percent said they were set back.
- Ninety-one percent of those who served in Vietnam were "glad they served their country."

With this ammunition, I was ready to fight the image battle. But I had forgotten about "Them."

Part I - Rambo and the Bogus War Heroes
Part II - Welcome Home, Babykiller
Part IV - The Ragtag Brigade
Part V - Would I Lie To You?



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: alsharpton; bencohen; billclinton; cynthiamckinney; hillaryclinton; janefonda; jessejackson; juliaroberts; medeabenjamin; oliverstone; peaceniks; ramseyclark; susansarandon

1 posted on 10/26/2002 4:28:07 PM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl; 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub; SAMWolf
Dunno about drugs but my father said drunkeness was rampant even in the medical corps( he mentioned to me that the army had something called the "garrison lifestyle").
2 posted on 10/26/2002 4:37:37 PM PDT by weikel
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Bump.
3 posted on 10/26/2002 4:42:24 PM PDT by SAMWolf
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Quit posting this stuff. These facts are too likely to interfere with perfectly serviceable myths that make those who opposed the war feel better about themselves. :)
4 posted on 10/26/2002 4:51:26 PM PDT by Restorer
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To: weikel
My dad was at UofM right after WW2 and observed wards of vet patients afflicted with head wounds. My sense of it all is that the real devastation of war is unbelievable in the broken bodies after its over. And veterans hospitals are full of broken spirits from the conflict, in my opinion.

It's not a mystery why the conflict was lost and it was at the top. Lessons learned from Viet Nam helped in Desert Storm and made our military second to none. My sincere hope is that our guys fighting now get the support now and afterwards that they need to do their job well and protect me and my family.

God bless America. God bless us all.

5 posted on 10/26/2002 5:02:54 PM PDT by Thebaddog
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To: Restorer
Other FR excerpts from Stolen Valor:

Part I - Rambo and the Bogus War Heroes
Part II - Welcome Home, Babykiller
Part VI - The VVA - The Vietnam Victims of America

:)

6 posted on 10/26/2002 5:07:24 PM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Nov 1967 to Jun 1969 - drinking and drugs were not a big problem.
7 posted on 10/26/2002 5:14:16 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Vietnam era vet bump.

5.56mm

8 posted on 10/26/2002 5:18:55 PM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: weikel
We're always amazed to hear these things. My husband was with the Americal Division first tour and the First Infantry Division second tour. He served as a combat company commander 18 of those 24 months 1967 thru 1969 and never had a problem with his men being on drugs or alcohol. We lost 87 friends over there but have stayed in touch with almost everyone left from our group of friends. None of our friends were ever unemployed....or in drug rehab...or in AA. All came in to the Army as high school graduates or GED and left with a college degree. We just don't understand who the Vietnam vets were that created the profile for all Vietnam Vets.
9 posted on 10/26/2002 5:34:15 PM PDT by FryingPan101
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
It's a terrific book that serves to dispel much of the CW.

Michael M. Bates: My Side of the Swamp

10 posted on 10/26/2002 5:36:27 PM PDT by mikeb704
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To: weikel
"drunkeness was rampant even in the medical corps"

True, but drunkeness was always rampant among 20 somethings regardless of wether they were in the military or some frat house. For those Vietnam Vets that endured the spitting, demonizing, and other BS that the liberal hippie bastards put out, they have a much higher sucesss rate than the general population. Thanks to the GI bill many of us are doing just fine thank-you.

There are still some who try to portray the Vietnam Vet as the drug addicted pshcyo killer. It was particularly tough on those that came home to places like Californicate.

Despite rampant descrimination in jobs and other areas of life, Vietnam Vets are more sucessful than their peacenick counterparts.

There are a lot of us out there, and we are still not Fond of Jane, or Bill Clinton as far as that goes.

A thread here recently asked if Vietnam Vets were actually spit on. It was worse than that. I wore my dress blues to the unemployment office and was told nobody was going to hire me. It would be a good idea to grow long hair, take off the uniform, and collect unemployment. I might get attacked. Well, I was attacked, and one of those hippie bastards still has a toothless grin or wears dentures. I know becuase I still have the scar on my knuckle, where I punched his teeth out.

11 posted on 10/26/2002 5:41:47 PM PDT by SSN558
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Fifty-six percent of Vietnam veterans said they benefited in the long run by going to Vietnam. Only 29 percent said they were set back

As bad as it was, I wouldn't trade the lessions I learned there. That little trip made me what I am today. I learned good and evil and what evil men can do to each other, and what good men can do for each other. Men can love and die for other men without being.....well you know.

12 posted on 10/26/2002 5:43:15 PM PDT by chesty_puller
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To: SSN558
I agree( its just my father said he drank more in the army then he did in college lol).
13 posted on 10/26/2002 5:54:11 PM PDT by weikel
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To: mikeb704; All
Don't waste your time clicking on HIS link - it's a pic of the shooters recently arrested.

EGads, why are you posting that crap here on this thread, mikeb704?

14 posted on 10/26/2002 7:22:32 PM PDT by JLO
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To: SSN558
. . . I was attacked, and one of those hippie bastards still has a toothless grin or wears dentures. I know becuase I still have the scar on my knuckle, where I punched his teeth out.

Excellent shot - for all of us!! Thanks for your service! Amazing how the truth about how Viet Vets have done is so different from all the supposed "reality stories."

15 posted on 10/26/2002 7:40:38 PM PDT by toddst
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Thank You for posting the truth.
16 posted on 10/26/2002 7:46:29 PM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
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To: JLO
Don't waste your time clicking on HIS link - it's a pic of the shooters recently arrested.

EGads, why are you posting that crap here on this thread, mikeb704?

The intent of the pic was to connect the shooter with the Million Man March. I usually include the web site with postings.

17 posted on 10/26/2002 9:03:54 PM PDT by mikeb704
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Welcome Home, Babykiller...brings to mind my brush with anti-military bigotry in 1966 on my way back from an eighteen month assignment at the medical center on Okinawa, when, apparently unhinged by the sight of my uniform, the ticket agent at United Airlines at SF airport (where else?) handed me my boarding pass and said with a snear "Here's your ticket, babykiller"...naturally I never flew United again, and in fact was delighted to see today that their staff has agreed to a 3.5% pay cut to try to save the company from bankruptcy, which will doubtless occur nevertheless in the near future...I'm so looking forward to it.......
18 posted on 10/26/2002 9:39:51 PM PDT by Intolerant in NJ
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To: Intolerant in NJ
Thank you for your service! The "tolerant" left hasn't changed. There are some fine young men and women serving today who do get it....and appreciate you so much. They have the Vietnam Vets, and a mob of Americans like myself - a younger generation who learned that Hollywood and Walter Cronkite lied to us about the war and our Vets - to stand with them. The "peaceniks" are now in DC defending terrorists and real "babykillers"...exposed at last.
19 posted on 10/27/2002 2:17:13 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: Thebaddog
Lessons learned from Viet Nam helped in Desert Storm and made our military second to none. My sincere hope is that our guys fighting now get the support now and afterwards that they need to do their job well and protect me and my family.

God bless America. God bless us all.

Well said, baddog. What the left did during Vietnam motivates us to slap Jesse Jackson and Susan Sarandon upside the head and shake some truth into Noam Chomsky and Norman Lear today (figuratively speaking (^;).

20 posted on 10/27/2002 2:28:05 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: SSN558
Well, I was attacked, and one of those hippie bastards still has a toothless grin or wears dentures.

Millions of patriotic Americans would say thank you today...for your service, and for punching the SOB. Welcome home!

21 posted on 10/27/2002 2:29:53 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: chesty_puller
That's beautiful, chesty. Bless you and thank you for your sacrifice. We won't forget.
22 posted on 10/27/2002 2:31:52 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
It will never happen because their agenda is deeper than resisting the war. You and I both know that. We all know what those guys have been doing for us all along.
23 posted on 10/27/2002 2:43:45 PM PST by Thebaddog
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub
Tonkin, anything for you. I've been posting these excerpts for years, but this latest terrorist-supporter rally in our DC was the last straw.

Today's aging "peaceniks" owe you and every Vietnam vet an apology. They are now corrupting a whole new generation, dividing our nation, and undermining our efforts in the war on terror. Stolen Valor belongs at FR where we can spread the word.

Good link to multiple news sources..

24 posted on 10/27/2002 2:58:09 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: weikel
Sorry but the expertise of our docs and nurses are the reason so many are alive today to enjoy offspring like you.
I enjoy my three and thank God for them. The medical staff at our place was second to none and the older I get the more I am amazed at what they accomplished. We also spent time at a Catholic hospital and a leper colony in our off hours. The repaired lips, cleft palets and eye surgery were what we did on out days off. I am so sick of the crap spewed about Vietnam Vets. I worked my arse off in heat from hell as did dozens of others. Drunks my ass
25 posted on 10/27/2002 3:11:00 PM PST by oldironsides
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To: Thebaddog
Ben Stein thought that our country was finished after the sixties and then Watergate stripped conservatives of a voice. A few years of Jimmy Carter and the country chose Ronald Reagan...twice.

Who wanted to stand with Hillary Clinton or Noam Chomsky on 9-12-01? Our institutions are sick, but people are coming up with creative and brilliant alternatives to mainstream education, news and entertainment...and the second amendment is well defended.

Hopeless? Think of the Sons of Liberty, Gideon, the recent outcry against the attempt to strip "Under God" from the pledge, Phil Donahue's ratings......the example of the Amish...(^:

26 posted on 10/27/2002 3:24:19 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: chesty_puller
As bad as it was, I wouldn't trade the lessions I learned there.

Amen.

Sure, there are always a few bad apples in the barrel. But, most of the men I knew and served with there were some of the finest, most dedicated and best people I have ever had the privilege of serving with. We worked out tails off. We fought hard when we needed to and played hard when we could. We weren't saints - we were just everyday Americans trying our best to do our jobs right and stay alive.

In our hearts and in the field we prevailed, even though we well knew at the time we were being sold out by the politicians and anti-war crowds at home. But the enemy never really beat us as hard as they tried. I also have to say, they worked and fought hard too. We didn't like them for it but grudgingly respected them for it.

The ones I distain even today are those who fought against us here and sold us out at home. So, when we get a loser like Wellstone being eulogized to high heaven for his "principled" anti-war stance, my blood boils. I honestly would rather shake the hand of the average NVA trooper than his or any of his slavering sychophants.

Dear Ann: Does that make me one of those psycho Vietnam Vets?

27 posted on 10/27/2002 3:56:56 PM PST by Gritty
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Believe me, I'm with your RC. I just think those dopes literally have to die off before things will change. But then there's the Universities that are reality challenged from the indoctrinations they've been fed.
28 posted on 10/27/2002 4:30:37 PM PST by Thebaddog
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To: All
Vietnam's still one of the most exploited leftist/"peacenik" lies. Please share BG Burkett's facts from Stolen Valor with pundits, pols, directors, script writers, Professors, students, vets - friends and enemies. It debunks decades of leftist propaganda re. Vietnam vets - a fine weapon to stop the continued slandering one of the finest groups of Americans in our history. The lies of the leftist newsmedia inflamed a generation of impressionable students and inspires them to stand with our enemies yet again today.

Today's troops will not be treated the way our Vietnam vets were treated. Today we have a voice - and e-mail.

29 posted on 11/15/2002 4:33:23 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
My family has blood invested in the Vietnam War. I have a cousin who was a medic who flew in and out transporting wounded from Hot L/Z's on a C-130. His plane was mortared on takeoff and crashed killing all onboard. The family was delivered a 12x12 box of remains to represent a once Promising Life to bury! This is what happened to the flower of American youth sent off to a no-win war! While all this proceeded, the worthless bureaucrats families who promoted this monstrous wrong were prevented from serving in what they knew was a life threattening situation. No way would they put their family in harms way but it was more than acceptable for yours and mine!

My Air Force career covered the years 1966 to 1970. In the States I worked from two bases. Amarillo AFB the 461 Bomb Wing and the 380th Bomb Wing out of Plattsburgh New York.
My bases in the Pacific were Pearl Harbor, Wake Island, Guam, and Okinawa. I was also in and out of March AFB, In Riverside California, McDill AFB, Tampa, Florida and Beale AFB In the Okland California Area!

My Job as a Jet Engine Technician On (MRT) Mobile Recovery Flight line Operations was on KC-135 A's and the BUFF's
B-52D Models. Watching a fully loaded B-52 on its takeoff roll on Guam was something to behold! When fully committed on water injection and all Eight Engines straining for all the power it can generate for launch heading past "Paddy's Point with the outrigger wheels still firmly planted on the runway makes your Butt pucker just a little. Under these severe flight conditions the planes are not airborne until they fling themselves off Paddy's Point. Standing on the Runway the planes go out of sight temporarilly, until about two miles out you see them pulling up to continue their missions! There was a major early morning launch planned for our Tanker (KC-135) that morning. On that day we were launching F-4 Phantoms that were to be ferried over to a base in Vietnam somewhere. Our Tanker was involveed with this particular launch. Two F-4's would go and then a Tanker would follow. As things normally happen in all the chaos hapening one of our engines developed a problem that took us out of normal rotation that morning. Directly in front of us there was a MAC Troop Carrier loading passengers getting ready to take off as well. When we stayed behind analyzing our problem a sister tanker in our squadron pulled out and taxied into position. The two F-4's were given clearance to take off, Apparently one of the two F-4's had a complete electrical power failure and flamed out leaving it dead on the runway unable to move or re-establish communication or something. At the same time The Tanker thinking the runway was clear began its takeoff roll thinking both F-4's had left. Right before reaching rotate speed the KC-135 ran up on the F-4 stalled on the runway raming their #4 engine into the back of the F-4 tearing away the engine completely off the wing. The force of the collision caused the Tanker to turn nearly sideways on the active runway because we could clearly see the landing and takeoff lights shining. The pilot of the tanker by the grace of Jehovah God was able to partially recover his aircraft to avoid us on the flightline & avoiding an even worse disaster. Unfortunately the two F-4 pilots burned to death right before my eyes, unable to escape!

An Inflight Refueling Squadron is a very dangerous job and mission to perform, this happened on Guam. On MRT your home is the KC-135, you have bags packed and ready to go 24/7. Okinawa was another surreal environment. This was the first time I came face to face with protesters saying "Yankee Go Home" with a real desire to do you harm if they could get at you. One day My OMS crewchief asked me if I had the stomach to see something really bad. He had a step van on the ramp parked off to the side. Being the innocent that I was we drove to a remote part of the parking area where certain areas were restricted unless you had a flightline pass to enter, I did and so did he. We pulled up beside a Grating to a point you could see directly down into it. The nauseating stench coming forth liked to knocked me down. In the bottom you could see white fragments of Bone as I was later told. On leaving he swung around and indicated a Dark Stain in the Concrete that ran down to the grate. On the way back he told me that it was Blood that was washed out of C-141's and C-130's that brought in body bags for final processing. When they were removed Firehoses were used to wash out the debris left in the walls and floors. this haunting memory will remain with me for as long as I live. Again this is how the Government rewards the Flower of American Youth.

One last memory of the Pacific Theatre of Operations I was able to see was Walter Lantz the creator of Woody the Woodpecker while on Guam. He drew a picture of Woody riding a Bomb, that was a real hoot. Also while there on Guam There was off loading ramp for the wounded and maimed coming out of that Hell Hole and you could hear a pin drop over in that area. In another part of the base at another location, the in-coming troops sounded like a Fraternity Party going on. Little did they know what was awaiting them! But there was a news media Group that consisted of Morely Safer there that Day as Well, on his way to Vietnam to complete those series of Shameful Documentaries in country. Selectively avoiding the real heroes for those who smoked dope and fragged their officers. You will remember particularly the one episode where a shotgun barrel was used to smoke "hashish" or something!

On my final trip back to America in late 1970 I spent a reflective visit @ Pearl Harbor wanting to visit the Arizona Memorial but it was closed that day. Instead I wandered around the docks and Schoefield Barraks reaching my hand into bullet holes left behind on our Day of Infamy. As it happened it was a day much like it probably was that Day on December 7th 1941. Very quiet and not much traffic. Upon closing my eyes I could let my imagination run away. It was the most stirring moment I have ever experienced. Memory is my mentor and I am blessed for being able to grow up and see the world for what it really is. I began from that point, my 30 Year fight against Socialism and liberalism and I continue to this Day! Jehovah Bless America And The Republic!
30 posted on 12/08/2002 8:57:51 PM PST by wharfrat
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To: wharfrat
Thank you for your service, wharfat. I can't begin to understand the trauma of witnessing another's violent death, or taking a life as a soldier.

Stolen Valor was based on years of research, polls, records - and was not an argument in support of the war (though most soldiers support the fight against Communism and believe we could have won the war), but a validation of the honor of our Vietnam Vets. The author wondered at news stories and Hollywood movies depicting Vietnam Vets as homeless, addicted, dupes (the author being a Vietnam Vet) and set out to find the truth. Hollywood, and the news media lied (surprise), and sold out one of the bravest groups of mostly volunteer men and women our country's ever known.

Charlie Rangel and the left are still playing the race, class war re. Vietnam veterans. It was a lie then, it's a lie now - and an insult to everyone who chooses to serve in the military today.

Strikingly, the Washington Post survey indicated that, despite the negative attitudes of the public, Vietnam veterans had positive feelings about their experience:

- Seventy-four percent said they "enjoyed their time in service."
- Eighty percent disagreed with the statement "the United States took unfair advantage of me."
- Fifty-six percent of Vietnam veterans said they benefited in the long run by going to Vietnam. Only 29 percent said they were set back.
- Ninety-one percent of those who served in Vietnam were "glad they served their country."

I often send this Stolen Valor series to pols and pundits with the question: Who knew? Why not!? The facts are so different than the stories we've been fed for decades. This time, when Jane Fonda speaks, our troops will hear the louder response of their grateful fellow Americans back home.

31 posted on 01/07/2003 4:46:18 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl
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Peace Movements Don’t Prevent Wars.
32 posted on 02/20/2003 10:14:42 AM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl ("Ramsey Clark: A voice of (T)reason" - gridlock)
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Michelle Malkin


 

Dear American soldier


Dear American soldier,

You don't know me, but I know who you are and I will not forget.

You are deploying from Fort Carson and Fort Hood and Fort Bliss and Fort Stewart. You hail from Middletown and Middleboro and Greenville and Redding and Thousand Oaks and Maple Tree. You are white, black, brown, and yellow-but always Americans first.

You are with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team and the 10th Combat Support Hospital and the 571st Air Ambulance Medical Evacuation Company. You are with the 1st Cavalry Division and the 3rd Infantry Division and the "Iron Horse" 4th Infantry Division. You are Black Knights with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment. You are engineers, drivers and medics in the 13th Corps Support Command.

Your motto is "We Will," "Steadfast and Loyal," "Swift and Deadly," "Always Prepared," "First to Fight," and "No Task Too Tough."

You will be joined overseas by thousands of sailors and Marines on the USS Boxer and USS Bonhomme Richard and USS Cleveland and USS Dubuque and USS Anchorage and USS Comstock and USS Pearl Harbor. You will get support in the Gulf from an airborne infantry brigade, a squadron of F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighters, and two squadrons of F-16CJ radar-jamming fighters.

You have friends on the USS Constellation in the Persian Gulf, and the USS Harry S Truman in the Mediterranean Sea, and the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln stationed at Perth, Australia, and the USNS Yano en route to the Red Sea, and the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on its way to a training mission in the Pacific.

You have classmates and colleagues and cousins who died at the Pentagon and in the Twin Towers on September 11. You have buddies who took bullets over the past year in Afghanistan and Kuwait and the Philippines during Operation Enduring Freedom. You have uncles and brothers and fathers and grandfathers who sacrificed their lives in past wars.

Their deaths haunt you. Their heroism inspires you. Their footsteps beckon and you cannot resist.

You have wives who are tough as nails and husbands who are enormously proud. You have toddlers who know the colors of the American flag and grade-schoolers who have memorized Army verses like these:

The hardest job, the dirtiest job
Since ever war began
Is picking 'em up and laying 'em down
The job of an infantryman

No mission too difficult
No sacrifice too great
Our duty to the nation
Is the first we're here to state

Our doughboys come from Brooklyn
Our gunners from Vermont
Our signals from Fort Monmouth
Our engineers DuPont

Against the foes of freedom
We fight for liberty
We make no peace with tyrants
On land or on the sea

As you pack your green Army duffel bags, press your desert camouflage fatigues, polish your boots and kiss your families goodbye, please take these words with you:

Thank you. Thank you for answering the call to arms. Thank you for being fit and young and brave and willing. Thank you for loving freedom enough to put your own life on the line to defend it.

Pay no attention to Sean Penn and Sheryl Crow and Baghdad Babs. Tune out the half-naked loonies and Flower Power leftovers. Stand tall. Fight hard. And know that there are legions of Americans who are boundlessly grateful for what you have volunteered to do.

We know who you are. We will not forget. And we will pray every day for your safe return. Hoo-ah!

(The Department of Defense's online thank you note to the men and women of the U.S. military can be signed at http://www.defendamerica.mil/nmam.html.)


33 posted on 03/13/2003 5:24:00 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl (Democrats = "Weapons of Mass Obstruction.")
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