Neil Sheehan Has Died (2 Viewers)

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Coming of age in the 60’s, I was very familiar with what it meant to be a citizen of “the greatest country in the world”.

After all, as a son of the Greatest Generation, I knew:
  • I should “Ask not what your country can do for you. But, what you can do for your country.”.
  • I should volunteer, it was my patriotic duty to be willing to die for my country.
  • If I didn’t volunteer, I would be drafted and would still be allowed to die for my country.
  • Whatever happened, I was comfortable in the knowledge that my country would always have the backs of every American.
Having once seen an airplane, I volunteered, enlisting in the Air Force.

I was fortunate to be sent to Libya, rather than Vietnam; to be allowed to perform support functions for air crews that flew NATO training missions, while protecting the interests of Big Oil in Libya.

I was young, clear headed, patriotic and naive. While I never experienced the blatant waste of taxpayer dollars in SE Asia, I certainly witnessed enough of it in Libya.

But, it was the blatant waste of American lives, in SE Asia, that was difficult to understand.

I wasn’t there, but with a TS SCI security clearance, I had access to information (official and unofficial) that certainly looked like my country was more interested in maintaining high dollar defense contracts than actually winning the war.

When Neil Sheehan first broke the “Pentagon Papers” story, the whole nasty mess, that was our involvement in SE Asia, started to come out in the open.

But, it wasn’t until I read his subsequent book, “A Bright Shining Lie”, that I fully understood how so many young men, of my generation, had been sacrificed, merely to beef up corporate earnings and fill the pockets of those who “owned” the war.

I first enlisted in ‘68; I retired in ‘88.

The first installment of the “Pentagon Papers” came out in ‘71; Neil’s “A Bright Shining Light” was published in ‘88.

I served a full 20 year career, while Neil was trying to tell this story. But, once he finally published it, in a way that made sense, to even me, the screwing of my generation became obvious.

Later generations have been laid waste and trillions of dollars spent, in later wars, in support (primarily) of Big Oil, under the auspices of “spreading democracy” and “quashing tyranny”.

But, it’s really all about money and power, with no regard for average Americans. It’s ok to waste taxpayers and taxpayer dollars, as long as Americans remain addicted to oil products and big corporations and their shareholders get richer.

My generation didn’t have the luxury of the warnings of “A Bright Shining Lie”, we trusted and learned (or didn’t) the hard way.

But, it’s available to everyone now and it should be taught in high schools and should be required reading before anyone goes to “War! What are we fighting for?”.

At any rate, I wanted to make note of the passing of a true American Patriot. Neil never officially served our country, but he certainly tried to serve all of us!!

 
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If you knew that we were screwed for profit, why did you spend so much time serving ? Was it for retirement money ? ( Certainly your morals were there ) It was well known what was happening then. Watch the movie "born on the fourth of July" to see the truth of that period. Jimmy Carter realized this. He gave amnesty to all people who left the country/draft. He knew. Today, no one has to serve. If they do, and, have issues, they volunteered.
To clarify, I served in the Volunteer service after 1975 for six years. I certainly feel for the people who served and thought it was righteous and realized it was a farce, like Ron Kovic, a real person still alive.
While I was in there were "LIFERS" , just looking for end of the rainbow while they realized and complained about how corrupt the government was. If they left the service for morals, there goes the 20 and out money.
 
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Having had “discussions” with you in the past... Im not sure, but I’ll presume you are genuinely interested...

Color me a patriot... albeit a somewhat naive patriot... with rose colored glasses.

By the time the Pentagon Papers were first published, I was working with all branches and Canadian Forces, at NORAD, in Cheyenne Mountain.

“Current Intelligence”, in support of our Early Warning system seemed an honorable use of my talents.

I’m not sure I fully understood, or perhaps believed, the full ramifications of the Pentagon Papers, in those days.

As I said in my original post, “I served a full 20 year career, while Neil was trying to tell this story. But, once he finally published it, in a way that made sense, to even me, the screwing of my generation became obvious.”.

To be fair, I also had a family by then and GREAT work, that I believed in, in the Air Force, and it’s possible [sarcasm] I was swayed by the “money”... after all, the bucks were so big that I only HAD to work a full second job EVERY time I was assigned in CONUS.

Later, working in NATO War Gaming, toward ensuring the safety of my friends and allies, in Europe, and ultimately preventing the fight coming to our homeland also seemed an honorable use of my talents.

I had a GREAT career in the Air Force... I did great work for my country. I was rewarded repeatedly, for my great work.

While it’s true, I was construed to be a “lifer”, by the general population of lower ranks. It was also true that those who so eagerly labeled me so, were not the kids I worked with and mentored.

After I retired, I made enough money to fully fund a great retirement, using the PhD-level software development experience I garnered on active duty.

I was always proud of my country and proud to be serving my country... I felt I made a difference.

But, no more... I am no longer proud of what this country has become. I am embarrassed by the actions of people who feel their wants outweigh the wants of others; people who feel their (politics/religion/profits/beliefs) are more important and should be forced upon others; people who fear the perceived loss of their country to people they consider inferior.

Entitlement seems to be almost as endemic as COVID-19, here in the USA... and just as ignorantly spread.

Now, I’ve answered your question. Please don’t consider my answer debatable.

This post was supposed to be in honor of Neil’s lifework... not mine.

I simply don’t have the inclination, nor the energy, to argue anymore.
 
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Having had “discussions” with you in the past... Im not sure, but I’ll presume you are genuinely interested...

Color me a patriot... albeit a somewhat naive patriot... with rose colored glasses.

By the time the Pentagon Papers were first published, I was working with all branches and Canadian Forces, at NORAD, in Cheyenne Mountain.

“Current Intelligence”, in support of our Early Warning system seemed an honorable use of my talents.

I’m not sure I fully understood, or perhaps believed, the full ramifications of the Pentagon Papers, in those days.

As I said in my original post, “I served a full 20 year career, while Neil was trying to tell this story. But, once he finally published it, in a way that made sense, to even me, the screwing of my generation became obvious.”.

To be fair, I also had a family by then and GREAT work, that I believed in, in the Air Force, and it’s possible [sarcasm] I was swayed by the “money”... after all, the bucks were so big that I only HAD to work a full second job EVERY time I was assigned in CONUS.

Later, working in NATO War Gaming, toward ensuring the safety of my friends and allies, in Europe, and ultimately preventing the fight coming to our homeland also seemed an honorable use of my talents.

I had a GREAT career in the Air Force... I did great work for my country. I was rewarded repeatedly, for my great work.

While it’s true, I was construed to be a “lifer”, by the general population of lower ranks. It was also true that those who so eagerly labeled me so, were not the kids I worked with and mentored.

After I retired, I made enough money to fully fund a great retirement, using the PhD-level software development experience I garnered on active duty.

I was always proud of my country and proud to be serving my country... I felt I made a difference.

But, no more... I am no longer proud of what this country has become. I am embarrassed by the actions of people who feel their wants outweigh the wants of others; people who feel their (politics/religion/profits/beliefs) are more important and should be forced upon others; people who fear the perceived loss of their country to people they consider inferior.

Entitlement seems to be almost as endemic as COVID-19, here in the USA... and just as ignorantly spread.

Now, I’ve answered your question. Please don’t consider my answer debatable.

This post was supposed to be in honor of Neil’s lifework... not mine.

I simply don’t have the inclination, nor the energy, to argue anymore.

Kind of says a lot about you. Comment on a forum and then act like your word was the last word. Typical.
 

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One of the best books ever written about the American engagement in Vietnam.

Sheehan's book and Frances Fitzgerald's "Fire on the Lake" are my two favorite books about the debacle in Vietnam....

A close 3rd place comes David Halberstam's "The Best and the Brightest."

All worth reading and re-reading.
 
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One of the best books ever written about the American engagement in Vietnam.

Sheehan's book and Frances Fitzgerald's "Fire on the Lake" are my two favorite books about the debacle in Vietnam....

A close 3rd place comes David Halberstam's "The Best and the Brightest."

All worth reading and re-reading.
Thanks for the book listing. I never read "the best and the brightest", but I will now. I just finished a book "Four hours in MyLai", about the massacre of woman and children in 1968. It is more of a micro look but shows the attitude of all involved.
 
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Kind of says a lot about you. Comment on a forum and then act like your word was the last word. Typical.

I’m not acting and I answered your question. I’m certainly not typical..

Again, this was a memoriam to Neil.

Judge me as you will... insult me if you must... just don’t waste your time on me.
 
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I’m not acting and I answered your question. I’m certainly not typical..

Again, this was a memoriam to Neil.

Judge me as you will... insult me if you must... just don’t waste your time on me.

If your post was solely about Neil, why so much about your service, your personal stuff ? To some reading your original post, it combines both Neil and a history of yourself. It is confusing to have an ideology about how Government was using this generation, yet, you bring up all the glory of yourself serving them for 20 years ? I see a lot of people who served in and during Vietnam that regret doing it. Some are filled with cancer from agent orange and they look back and wish they would have left the country. They would gave gotten amnesty anyway and would not be plagued with these problems. ( And to boot, the Government that sent them resisted helping them for years )
 

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