National Vietnam Veterans Day

Helipilot

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Well, a little too late to suit me. A big thing in this area, cake, coffee, lapel pins and a certificate. I was going to attend the event in Little Rock but the grandson and wife are sick and had doctor appointments which I had to take them to.

I am so happy the guys and gals returning from the desert wars are treated so well. Us VN vets were basically treated like crap. I blame the Communist press and the hippie s#!t heads who opposed the war.

Donald Trump signed the proclamation in 2016 setting up March 28 as the date.
 
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Sorry Roger... I wasn't aware of the proclamation and it wasnt on the iPhone calendar... It is now!!

I joined the AF in '68 and never went to Vietnam.

But, i remained on active duty for ~13 years after the evacuation of Saigon.

Even those of us doing support work in the states were treated as second class citizens for years... cursed at, called all the names, spit at... But, never spit on... and strictly prohibited from reciprocating... automatic Article 15, at best.

I recall being prohibited from wearing a utility uniform (fatigues in those day), off Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, AZ... Other than commuting (by POV), back and forth between home and the base. DM was a SAC base at the time and fatigues were construed to be an affront to civilians... The Base Commander was afraid of war breaking out in Tucson, I guess... To be fair, I don't recall if it was his decision or CINCSAC's.

Had to make special trips for groceries and gas, after going home and changing to civvies...

I left Tucson in late '75, so this was probably around the "fall" of Saigon, in April, '75.

I'm also glad our military are revered nowadays. If only they were as revered after separation... there is no excuse for the shoddy medical services many complain about so loudly.

I never had to use VA for myself, only for my Dad and Father-in-law and only at Audie Murphie... The service they received, back in the 80's, was above average.

The medical service we received on active duty, at my duty stations, after the draft ended, was substandard. I have no idea whether it ever improved.

Dianna had great medical insurance and her employer paid for both of us until we started Medicare... we also have Tricare for Life as a secondary, so we don't even have a co-pay and all prescriptions are free from Express Scripts, under Tricare.

I didn't make a lot of money for 20 years, but the meds and drugs have made up for it since then.

Sorry... I digressed... again.

Be safe, my friend.
 
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Well, a little too late to suit me. A big thing in this area, cake, coffee, lapel pins and a certificate. I was going to attend the event in Little Rock but the grandson and wife are sick and had doctor appointments which I had to take them to.

I am so happy the guys and gals returning from the desert wars are treated so well. Us VN vets were basically treated like crap. I blame the Communist press and the hippie s#!t heads who opposed the war.

Donald Trump signed the proclamation in 2016 setting up March 28 as the date.

Helipilot, let me first say I empathize with you. I served , Navy, after Vietnam, 1978 - 1984. I did grow up with the loss of an uncle out of Ubon , Thailand, flying F-105 , he was 27 years old. The American environment was very strange and to me , only understood later. In my home town, there was a trust that the Government would do the right things. WW2 was still everywhere with veterans. Unfortunately, the generation and corruption of our Government allowed a draft and people were just then slowly realizing Government had other motives. The Hippies and other civilian crap just amplified the issue. So, we reach a point of who to blame. SO, America blamed the soldiers and NOT the civilian Government for the issues. It was a bad time all around.
SO, 1975, all volunteer force. Time passes. Remember --- NO DRAFT. The Government at this time can only use the VOLUNTEER force and not force civilians to serve. ( WW2 veteran's volunteered because it was the right thing to do.)

You are also correct on the NEW treatment of the desert war troops. I hope all goes well with you and I stand by you both in prayer and whatever else you need.

Take a look at the movie "Born on the 4th of July " VA hospital scene of 1968. Very realistic........


 

Helipilot

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Good points 1969FJ. It was the federal government that dropped the ball IMHO. I wonder if it is a federal offense to take a leak on Johnson's grave and the other department leaders. They all went on to run banks, companies, and other endeavors that netted them big bucks.

I have no big issues, just disappointed how we were treated by the press, movie studios, hippies and the general public. Seems like everyone wants to "make nice" now and I don't need it. I flew Cobra gunships and took the lives of a lot of the NVA and Viet Congas we were in contact virtually everyday in I Corps. I used to dream about it a lot but time has slowly healed those dreams but I think about my time in the military almost everyday.

We vets take care of each other and appreciate what we have been through whether it was WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Granada (My youngest son was a Navy Corpsman and was a member of the SEAL teams on that operation), the desert wars, or the other places where each administration wanted to flex their muscles.
 
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Good points 1969FJ. It was the federal government that dropped the ball IMHO. I wonder if it is a federal offense to take a leak on Johnson's grave and the other department leaders. They all went on to run banks, companies, and other endeavors that netted them big bucks.

I have no big issues, just disappointed how we were treated by the press, movie studios, hippies and the general public. Seems like everyone wants to "make nice" now and I don't need it. I flew Cobra gunships and took the lives of a lot of the NVA and Viet Congas we were in contact virtually everyday in I Corps. I used to dream about it a lot but time has slowly healed those dreams but I think about my time in the military almost everyday.

We vets take care of each other and appreciate what we have been through whether it was WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Granada (My youngest son was a Navy Corpsman and was a member of the SEAL teams on that operation), the desert wars, or the other places where each administration wanted to flex their muscles.
First , I would not stop at taking a leak on their graves, I would think of something more appropriate for these garbage people.

Also, I agree with you on the bad things to Vietnam Vets from all you mentioned. I do understand your feelings on the "making nice" now. The actual War ended in 1975 , and it is a long road from 1975 until ~2018. So many Vets have died, and fallen into incredible problems , and now all of a sudden , make nice. WHERE WERE YOU IN 1976,1977 , ALL OF THE 1980'S , THE 1990S ??

I do believe that when military service became "all volunteer" in 1975, that was the beginning. Since 1975 , we really have not had anything like Vietnam. I have actually read some stuff that says if there ever was a call to serve, ( A draft), most kids are to fat to pass initial tests.

It seems after 911 , there has been a realization of what the military does and dedicates to. Quite late for a lot of Vietnam vets to finally get the respect they deserve.

I was on a Destroyer in the area of Grenada in 1983 when that happened. Of course I was a missile Fire Control Technician so that skirmish was more ground work. Our 5 inch guns were at the ready if needed. So, I was probable 5 to six miles from where your son was at. ( I will say thanks for his service and yours, and he was much closer to the fire than myself. )
 
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Evidently the March 29th thing blew right by me, but then again I try to ignore anything the narcistic piece-of-s*** in Washington D.C. says or proclaims. Weird thing is I stood on the flight deck of my ship (USS Bennington) during the VN war and watched our Destroyers firing into VN, and watched our Destroyers taking hits/deaths, and I watched our planes come in so shot up that some of them crash landed on deck, but I never felt like I was in a war. Must have been because I was not personally being shot at, and because I had a warm bed every night.
 
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Well mates...

We’re coming up on another year older and deeper in death.

Jorge Otero-Barreto, SFC, US Army, Ret. first arrived in VN long before most of us ever even heard of Vietnam.

All told, he served five voluntary tours in VN, was “decorated” at least 38 times (5 Purple Hearts) and is said to be due even more combat decorations, that he will likely never receive.

Jorge was born and raised, in s small town, not far from San Juan, Puerto Rico and is retired there today.

I haven’t read anything new about Jorge in a couple of years, but Ithink he’s gonna be 82 next month.

I think he still remains very active in the American Legion, having been responsible for establishing a Homeless Veterans Transitional Home, in MA (IIRC).

SFC Otero-Barreto was nominated, by LULAC resolution, to have his entire record reviewed, in hope of his actions being recognized as MOH-qualified.

If you read the 2016 American Legion article, I included in my first link, above, you’ll see that Jorge suffered the same demons, the same insults and the same self-doubts as most other VN vets.

Yet, he kept going back... for his brothers, for “his family”. He understood how to survive in the jungle and wanted to be sure “his family”
survived as well.

Quoting a different article... “Otero Barreto remains one of the most decorated Vietnam War veterans, and possibly the most decorated U.S. soldier in the Vietnam War living today.”.

The American Legion article I linked, above, was written in Oct, 2016. About 11 months later, in Sep, 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico.

Today, much of Puerto Rico, a US Territory, with a deep history of US military service, remains devastated... primarily, as a result of the uncaring nature of partisan politics.

I don’t intend to disparage anyone here, I merely want to ask whether anyone believes Jorge regrets his many sacrifices?

I don’t... I believe that, while I’m sure, Jorge is saddened by the slights he and his have endured, first and foremost, he is an American.

I believe that, like most of us, he would readily step up again, to give whatever was required to protect and defend...

I just wish all Americans, but especially those who serve, could be treated equally, regardless of all the socioeconomic bulls***... we are all PROUD AMERICANS.

So, it’s tomorrow on the east coast... National Vietnam Veterans Day (March 29th)... let’s all take a breath and remember... we are all PROUD AMERICANS... first and foremost.
 
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So the 29th was a special day for Vietnam vets?

There were protest against Vietnam from early on but if you look close to when the more violent protest started, it was after Nixon pulled college deferments.
The college kids went ballistic and that is when the protest escalated.

Evidently the March 29th thing blew right by me, but then again I try to ignore anything the narcistic piece-of-s*** in Washington D.C. says or proclaims. Weird thing is I stood on the flight deck of my ship (USS Bennington) during the VN war and watched our Destroyers firing into VN, and watched our Destroyers taking hits/deaths, and I watched our planes come in so shot up that some of them crash landed on deck, but I never felt like I was in a war. Must have been because I was not personally being shot at, and because I had a warm bed every night.
I never felt like I was really in the war until the night the can I was on took a hit while close to the shore aiding in the retrieval of a downed helicopter pilot.

I was on the Bennington for a brief stay after they helicoptered me of my boat to it and then on to the navy hospital in Subic.
 
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