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It was 50 years ago this year when I was discharged from active duty. I was the oldest in my platoon. Of course most were teenagers. I had been to college and I could have gone to officer training. I didn’t think I’d fit in well with officers.


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Glad you made it home ok. A good friend for many years died from Agent Orange. Two high school classmates and my brother-in-law couldn’t live with the memories and they did themselves in.
You might look up if there’s a VVA (Vietnam Veterans of America) organization near by. I find the American Legend here is a lot more active and helpful than the VFW. The VFW here is more of an alcoholic club - (here at least.)
But the VVA is a damn good organization too.

My high school classmates - a lot of them - got a free ride to south east Asia. Most Vietnam but some Laos.

Last edited by Bugger; 05/11/22.

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My dad was in the Navy stationed in the MeKong delta. A man down the street from me was the first Sargent to make enemy contact in the Ia Drang LZ X-Ray battle. He's in General Moore's book. Mom got no letters for 3 weeks after the Tet offensive. She was scared to death. I'm still amazed at the guts these young men had.

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We owe a lot to those brave young men that served over there. I used to work with a Vietnam vet who came home from Vietnam in 1969. He said when they got close to Fort Campbell, they were told there was protestors throwing bags of dog schitt at the soldiers getting off the buses.


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Originally Posted by roverboy
We owe a lot to those brave young men that served over there. I used to work with a Vietnam vet who came home from Vietnam in 1969. He said when they got close to Fort Campbell, they were told there was protestors throwing bags of dog schitt at the soldiers getting off the buses.

I sort of wish the enlisted men had the go ahead to take matters in their own hands. We were blamed for the war by the mass media and the population believed it.
Being spit on, not allowed to go to churches, professors refusing to give good grades, and employers posting on HR doors “NO VETERANS!”. Even the police were harassing veterans.


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Arthur K. Pirkle wrote a book titled 'Valhalla's Child" which was an autobiography written as a novel. It's very interesting. He describes the fictional protagonist as being spat on and kicking the flower child in a sensitive place. He told me that that fellow wasn't going to have any kids. Pirkle is gone now but was a very good man. Tough as a boot.

Originally Posted by Bugger
Originally Posted by roverboy
We owe a lot to those brave young men that served over there. I used to work with a Vietnam vet who came home from Vietnam in 1969. He said when they got close to Fort Campbell, they were told there was protestors throwing bags of dog schitt at the soldiers getting off the buses.

I sort of wish the enlisted men had the go ahead to take matters in their own hands. We were blamed for the war by the mass media and the population believed it.
Being spit on, not allowed to go to churches, professors refusing to give good grades, and employers posting on HR doors “NO VETERANS!”. Even the police were harassing veterans.


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Vietnam - not complaining


Fifty years ago - I had just gotten back from Vietnam in March and was applying for VA/GI Bill benefits for school. Imagine my shock to find out I would only be getting $125 a month and out of that came tuition, books, and living expenses. Oh yeah, I had to requalify every semester and there was about 10-week delay in getting my check. After two years, got married and my check only went up $175 a month. I had hopes of med school but quickly soured on that when despite working two part time jobs, I still ended up having to borrow money just to make it out of undergraduate. A real struggle to make the best grades when you're fall asleep in class. So much for the military paying for my college degree - big difference from the days when my father came back from WWII. However, not complaining.

Then, raising two daughters who I promised would not have to work their way through school, my wife became disabled and I no choice but to take out student loans to keep my promise for them. Over a 15-year span, paid every damn dime back of those loans but I'm not complaining.

Now they're letting people off the hook on their student loans for no real reason or hardship except maybe to sell their vote - and in the long run my tax dollars will go to paying for it . . . NOW I"M COMPLAINING.

Fifty years ago? Seems a lot better than what we have coming.


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In 1965 I volunteered for the Air Force. I signed up for 5 years so I could be a pilot. Jobs were scarce in SW PA where except in coal mines. My father had already did a stint of 30 years and was suffering fro black lung.

I did all the test, passed with flying colors and went for my physical. I passed everything and was walking down the hall to the last doctor. They pulled me out of the line and checked my back. I had limp they said I would never make it out of Basic Training. They put big a slash across my paper work and FAILED. 30 seconds changed my life, Navy, Army or Marines would not even consider me then. I would probably would not have survived Vietnam.

It was tough 2 years until I finally landed a job with Sandia Laboratory in NM . First thing , I was put in a group designing weapons used in Vietnam.

Always felt guilty for not being able to go, but I truly thank all those that served and especially for those that never came back.


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saddlesore, you tried. That's a lot more meaningful than heading for Canada. And, besides that, what you did was likely far more helpful. I was put straight in my thinking about that by a Seal who spent a lot of time in VN. I served but didn't go to VN, felt a little bad about that and he said "You did your part" and meant it.

Besides, Sandia has got to be an interesting place to work...


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Originally Posted by g5m
Besides, Sandia has got to be an interesting place to work...

I worked on the Daisy Cutter that cleared helicopter pads, Walleye TV guided missile, and dual 30's on helicopters with a heads up display. Those guns followed wherever the pilot turned his head. Also did a lot of work on the Coin program which was McNamara's electronic fence, and some programs that are still classified. Then they sent me to the Nevada Test Site where the underground nuclear test were just getting started after the above ground test were banned by treaty. I did that until 92 when the underground test were stopped because of the treaty signed by Bush. All those test were for finding ways to harden the U.S. Weapons systems from nuclear blast and radiation. Today my lungs are crapped up from breathing all that crap after detonation when recovering experiments. I have had several friends die for radiation caused cancers.


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Originally Posted by Steve Redgwell
Originally Posted by DigitalDan
I landed in Saigon for the second time. Well it's 1, 2, 3, what the hell we fightin' for......

And I bet you're wondering where the time went! laugh But you made it home. smile



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saddlesore,

My ex brother in law's father spent 36 years at Sandia . Did you ever work with a John R Biesterveld ?


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Originally Posted by saddlesore
Originally Posted by g5m
Besides, Sandia has got to be an interesting place to work...

I worked on the Daisy Cutter that cleared helicopter pads, Walleye TV guided missile, and dual 30's on helicopters with a heads up display. Those guns followed wherever the pilot turned his head. Also did a lot of work on the Coin program which was McNamara's electronic fence, and some programs that are still classified. Then they sent me to the Nevada Test Site where the underground nuclear test were just getting started after the above ground test were banned by treaty. I did that until 92 when the underground test were stopped because of the treaty signed by Bush. All those test were for finding ways to harden the U.S. Weapons systems from nuclear blast and radiation. Today my lungs are crapped up from breathing all that crap after detonation when recovering experiments. I have had several friends die for radiation caused cancers.

See what I mean about the importance? Yes, radiation is not to be messed with. But useful, too.


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Dan,

thanks for your service my friend...

God Bless you for your time in harms way....for our nation.

cheers,

seafire


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Originally Posted by saddlesore
In 1965 I volunteered for the Air Force. I signed up for 5 years so I could be a pilot. Jobs were scarce in SW PA where except in coal mines. My father had already did a stint of 30 years and was suffering fro black lung.

I did all the test, passed with flying colors and went for my physical. I passed everything and was walking down the hall to the last doctor. They pulled me out of the line and checked my back. I had limp they said I would never make it out of Basic Training. They put big a slash across my paper work and FAILED. 30 seconds changed my life, Navy, Army or Marines would not even consider me then. I would probably would not have survived Vietnam.

It was tough 2 years until I finally landed a job with Sandia Laboratory in NM . First thing , I was put in a group designing weapons used in Vietnam.

Always felt guilty for not being able to go, but I truly thank all those that served and especially for those that never came back.


Don't EVER feel guilty for not being able to go to Vietnam.... I have no clue of how many vets have told me "I didn't miss a thing..."

I was routed to Ft Lewis for more medical training, when I was scheduled to be with the last group to be sent there...

Had some big mouth California transplant trying to give me crap one day locally, at one of our local stores....

He jumped on my ass about having a veteran hat on, and then asked if I served in combat and what I did... told him but no I was not sent into a war zone. then he starts giving me crap about NOT being a Veteran then.... before I had a chance to put him in his place there were 9 vets that materialized out of no where....

they went right after the guy, and asked him what branch he served in? didn't serve...

These guys were pissed enough that they were getting ready to rough this clown up.....

one of the Marine Vets, told him " THIS man put on the uniform, he trained to serve... and like every one else that served, they put on the uniform, went where they were sent, did what they were trained to do and told to do... we all couldn't be Rambo... but we EACH served"..... and Schitts like you complain about us, and never put on a uniform.....then the guys apologized to me that people like him, try to give a Vet a bad name....

I got 9 hand shakes from guys who thanked me for my service... especially being Medical Corps...several had been wounded in combat.
They knew what I had trained for....

Never feel guilty, for serving your country, on how it was dealt to you...

you tried to put on the uniform... but even tho it was denied, you still served your nation...

Thank you for your service Saddlesore.


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Nicely put Seafire!!!!


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Originally Posted by WyoCoyoteHunter
Nicely put Seafire!!!!

Yes, indeed!


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Originally Posted by EddieSouthgate
saddlesore,

My ex brother in law's father spent 36 years at Sandia . Did you ever work with a John R Biesterveld ?


Name doesn't sound familiar. When I was there 64-74 there were 3000 people. A lot of it was compartmentalized (Is that a word?), They didn't want you dwelling into what others were doing. A lot of " need to know". I was in a room with 25-30 other people. All had Top Secret clearances. DOE called them Q clearances. No one got in that room unless they were working on that program. When I went to the Nevada Test Site, I worked on a lot of Black programs. Kind of like Super Top Secret. I was just over the hill from Area 51. Saw the Stealth Fighter before anyone knew it existed

Last edited by saddlesore; 08/06/22.

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