Vietnam War Veterans Day is March 29

| March 29, 2019

 

Tet Offensive 1968

Here’s a very nice article regarding Vietnam War Veterans’ Day, by our very own OWB, and how it has colored her life.

I Remember

Like OWB, I am not an in-country vet. I am a Vietnam-era vet. While I never met with any kind of disdain, and was in fact hired for my first post-service job because of my work history in photography after I left the Navy, I know that there were some who did have such an unfortunate experience.

Well, that’s over now. I run into people my age who wear a baseball cap with a ship and “LPH###” or “DDG-###”embroidered on it, but no embellishment of any kind.

I have no exciting tales to tell, other than the one about the Rear Admiral who accompanied Lady Bird Johnson to the Navy Photo Center with some other flag officers, and fell asleep in the middle of screening a film of one of LBJ’s speeches. I had been asked to keep an eye on him. There was a snort, and a prolonged rattle, like something was stuck in a pipe. I quickly reached over and tipped the admiral’s head to the left and he woke up.  Charming fellow, too. But that was a while back.

Let’s be glad so many made it back home, lift a glass to fallen comrades, and move on.

 

Category: Air Force, Army, Historical, Marines, Navy

Comments (45)

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  1. Roh-Dog says:

    A very heartfelt Welcome Home and Thank You to all Veterans of the Vietnam Conflict from a fellow Combat Vet.
    I’m proud to be among the best this great nation has to offer.

  2. AnotherPat says:

    Thank You, OWB, for sharing your story….and to Ex-PH2 for posting it.

    For all those TAHers who served during Vietnam, boots on the ground or not, SALUTE!

    Thank You, President Trump, for signing the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017. The Act officially recognizes March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The Act also includes the day among those days on which the US flag should especially be displayed.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      I ditto AnotherPat (rtr) on Thanks to OWB and Ex-PH2 for this posting. A small group of us will be gathering later today to raise a glass to our Brothers and Sisters. Some, like myself, never had in country service (Thank God and President Nixon), others were in Country, but all of us lost someone there. A war that was started by politicians, enriched politicians, and was lost by politicians. Almost like deja vu all over again.

      On my DEROS flight from FRG back to CONUS in Dec ’73, I had no problems until going thru the Dulles Airport in DC for a connecting flight to Atlanta. No spitting, but a number of nasty comments. On the advice of some MPs I changed from my uniform to civies for the next flight. While transiting the ATL Airport heard more nasty comments directed toward service people still in uniform. We had been advised that it may happen and to ignore/keep walking.

      Upon ETS from Bragg in Jul ’74 I did have several potential employers ask what type of drugs I was addicted to and how many women and babies had I killed. Good Times! /s/

      Like many others I was there to welcome our Desert Storm Troops home. I still do not partake of the “freebie meals” offered by different places.

      Welcome Home….Brothers and Sisters!

      • 3/10/MED/b says:

        5TH/77thFA,
        I flew into DFW on leave from Germany (3rd Armored) after DS/DS, and was surprised and honored by the Vietnam Veterans with their long hair and patches and vests (before it became chic and socially acceptable). It was a bit overwhelming, and hunbling.
        What do you do?
        What should I do?
        ‘You know, you idiot, find your Mom and Dad in the crowd’
        And I did.

        Enough said.
        Thanks to all the Vets
        who welcomed us home, but went sans welcome for themselves.

        Peace to all.

        Except for posers.

        Well, still, may posers find their way

        3/10/MED/b out

  3. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    HooYah Vietnam Vets …

  4. Outcast says:

    2017, interesting as seems like is 50 years of being treated like trash more often that not and the prejudice that went with it and all of a sudden here comes some sort of (sympathy) recognition. Seems a little too late for the majority and sort of meaningless to the rest. Perfect day here for it as is overcast and rainy, just like it was, once and a while, at home for a year, just not as warm and humid and no red mud to walk through.

    • AnotherPat says:

      Outcast:

      Based on your comment, you remind me of Eeyore, one of Winnie-the-Pooh’s friends.

      Hope things evidentually work out to your satisfaction and happiness and that perhaps oneday, you may be able to look at life as a glass half-full.

      Cheers!

      🤗

    • Honor and Courage says:

      I had a little different experience and do not care to share the way I was treated years ago. However I will say FUCK those who welcomed me home.
      To all the bush beaters and Brothers in Arms I am proud to have served with you. It seems a little to late for most of my friends that died in the 70s & 80s.

  5. BZ Viet Vets. I sometimes used to feel guilty about not shipping over when the OKIE 3 changed home ports from Norfolk NOB in 1967 to San Diego and operations in Viet-Nam plus cancelling my request for Swift Boats after talking to GM 1 Smitty (Korean War vet). I commented about this once before on a previous post. So again a BZ to all you in Country Viet-Vets from this Viet “era” Vet. This is serious shit so no puns on this comment.

  6. Mason says:

    Great posts, ladies.

    Unfortunately, Breitbart reports that some people in Washington have changed out their POW-MIA flags (symbols directly related to the Vietnam War) for LGBTQXYZ flags.

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/03/29/democrats-dump-pow-mia-flags-gay-pride-flags-outside-d-c-offices/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+breitbart+%28Breitbart+News%29

    • AnotherPat says:

      I saw that, Mason…and thought “What are they thinking…to do this on National Vietnam War Vereran’s Day?”

      Ironically, Sanders wants to be the next Commander-In-Chief, but he pulls a stunt such as this?

      Guess they are too arrogant to see that they may be one of the reasons that President Trump will be re-elected.

    • Perry Gaskill says:

      Mason, Breitbart has corrected the story. Apparently the new pink, blue, and white flags are specific to transgenders who are protesting the current trans ban in the military. It seems to me if all the sexual and gender identities are going to each get a unique banner, it might be time for those of us of the hetero-breeder persuasion to adopt one of our own. I’d suggest a black one with a skull and crossbones…

    • 26Limabeans says:

      They could have at least ironed the folds out of the damn thing. Oh, wait…that would be sexist.

  7. rgr769 says:

    Thanks for posting this. I never earned the VC marksmanship badge either; the bullets that came through the floor of the Huey I was riding in missed me. My fifteen months in the RVN was where I experienced some of the worst and best of times. It was where I had the best job of my short career as a Regular Army Officer–commanding a Ranger (LRRP) company based just outside Danang. Then just before my DEROS, I was returned to my infantry battalion with less than six weeks left. Much to my surprise I was ordered to take command of a demoralized rifle company that was shot up on insertion into a hot LZ; in a month I got them up and running again and led them on two missions in the field. I was proud to have several of my men ask me to extend so I would continue as their CO. But I knew the war was over for US troops, as we were betrayed by the leftards and Congress. It was time to come home. I am still proud of what I did, as in command of two rifle companies and a Ranger company, I only lost one man had only two WIA.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      I’m glad you did come home, rgr769.

    • Poetrooper says:

      rgr769, thanks to officers like you and NCO’s like what I hope I was, we prevailed on the battlefield with rare exception. But the Soviets beat us in our own back yard with the the selling out of America by her intellectual left and the gutless abandoning of our South Vietnamese allies by Congress.

      National treachery and institutionalized cowardice aligned against U.S. fighting forces–not America’s finest moment.

      • rgr769 says:

        Yes, we would have won that war but for the people at home. Even General Giap admitted as much.

  8. Sparks says:

    Remembering many I served with there and those I loved and lost.

    Thank you for the thread.

  9. Stacy0311 says:

    Finally getting my dad (66-67 and 70-72) to talk about his time in Vietnam. Would love to record it for the Veteran’s history project.

    And after years of nagging him about it, finally got him to go to the VA.

  10. Comm Center Rat says:

    As a kid I lived on SAC bases from 1960-1974. I recall war protesters sometimes gathered outside the base’s main gates. I remember going to the base flight line several times to welcome my father home when he returned from flying missions out of Thailand. Always enjoyed eating Christmas dinner in the alert dining facility with the aircrews and family members.

    I salute all those who served during the VN war period: in country, in theater, Stateside, and wherever else duty called. Glad to see VN veterans getting the recognition and respect they honorably earned and justly deserve.

    I’ve mentioned this next bit a couple of times previously on TAH but will repeat again. The most meaningful encounter I ever had during my military career occurred at the Atlanta airport a decade ago. I was on a flight with re-deploying Soldiers rotating from Afghanistan and making my way back to Fort Benning. When we entered the terminal there were about a dozen VN veterans who formed a cordon and enthusiastically thanked each of us individually for our service. Several of their wives then gave us each a bag with home baked treats and snacks. I will never forget the kindness and support shown by those VN veterans and spouses. A truly moving gesture of fellowship.

  11. Graybeard says:

    FWIW, back in 1985 when I was taking classes to become an EMT-B one of the things mentioned was how much we owe to the VietNam medics for the development of the techniques now taken for granted by our EMS services.

    I remember the state of EMS in 1970 when a classmate collapsed at our Senior Picnic from an asthma attack. He died from what, today, would be a minor scare. The ‘ambulance’, such as it was, was more a pick-up service for the undertaker. And that was in the Houston metropolitan area.

    A lot of bad surrounds that fiasco, but thousands of people owe their lives to the medical techniques those medics developed.

    • Poetrooper says:

      In fifty years? Far, far more than thousands.

    • timactual says:

      I am old enough to remember ambulances which were converted cadillacs; just change the paint job and they were also used as hearses. Watch some of those old medical shows like “Ben Casey, MD”, or “Dr. Kildare”. Amazing progress. A GP’s office is better equipped now than emergency rooms were back then.

  12. MSG Eric says:

    Thanks for doing what you did before I was born ladies and gentlemen. Welcome Home.

  13. The Bowzer says:

    I spent 13 months and 9 days in Vietnam 11Bravo, MOS. Light Weapons Infantry.
    When I look back, I would do it again.
    To all Vietnam Veteran’s, and anyone who served our country at that time I say thank you, and welcome home.
    To all Gold 🌟 parents and families, my hart goes out to all. Amen.

  14. HMC Ret says:

    I joined in 68. I was a Corpsman and went to 8404 (Field Med) school with the first or second class of 70. Some in the class(es) before mine went to Vietnam, IIRC. Some didn’t make it back. IIRC, none from my class went. We all ended up mostly in Okinawa, as I did. A friend from HS, Mike Peddle, was KIA on 5JUL70. He was a CPL, USMC. He was truly a wonderful young man and I think of him, and others, often. I have tremendous respect and admiration for all who served. God Bless all of them.

  15. 1stCavRVN11B says:

    Thanks again OWB! BTW, the photo chosen for this article I believe is of the Tet assault on the embassy on 31 Jan 68. A USMC cousin was KIA that day, James C Marshall. May he Rest In Peace. So may others too.

    As for the trannies and their flag …. it may one day mark their downfall. What twisted minds.
    The POW/MIA flag means a heck of a lot to me. I think of Kenneth Yonan most times I see the POW flag. He never actually made it back (supposedly his bones/ before DNA) and was last seen alive during capture.

  16. Poetrooper says:

    I apologize to my fellow Vietnam veterans here at TAH for not making a better contribution on this day of commemoration. We were traveling the past few days and just arrived home this evening. Besides, writing about that period in my life is problematic for me as I still find vestiges of anger and resentment lurking in the deep corners of my soul.

    It occurs to me that the only American soldiers who ever faced a tougher homecoming than Vietnam vets were Confederate veterans of the Civil War who not only had to suck up defeat but had to return to an occupied homeland. I’ve read so many books from that period and have immense respect for those men.

    And those gentler souls among you who frequent here, don’t bother counseling ol’ Poe about anger issues against past transgressors for I will go to my grave hating those who sold out me and mine. What’s more, I feel the same way about their sorry offspring who are still trying to convert this nation into another socialist paradise.

    To my fellow Vietnam veterans who read this, we are blessed that we made it home and lived long lives. I share your sadness, even guilt, about those among us who did not.

  17. Fyrfighter says:

    To all who served during Viet Nam, Thank you! and for all of you that made it back, I’m glad you did. My father did a year there, and has said very little about it. Unfortunately, his letters home from that time have been lost. My own service was minimal, and pales in comparison to those of you who have seen the elephant.
    /Hand Salute

  18. POSTED ON MY “FACEBOOK” PAGE:
    _________________________________

    Friday 29 March 2019 is – – –

    NATIONAL VIET NAM WAR
    VETERANS RECOGNITION DAY ! ! !

    As a soldier in the United States Army, I served in the old Republic of Viet Nam as a Specialist Four, E-4, Field Radio Relay and Carrier Equipment Repairman (MOS 31L20), from Friday 12 December 1969, when I landed at Cam Ranh Bay, until Monday 21 February 1972, when I left from Da Nang, returning to the United States with the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile).

    I served in Saigon with the Phu Lam Signal Battalion of the 1st Signal Brigade, at Dong Ha in the 178th Maintenance Company of the 1st Logistical Command, and at Camp Eagle (between Hue and Phu Bai) in the 501st Signal Battalion (Airmobile) of the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), receiving the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Medal, the Republic of Viet Nam Service Medal, with four bronze service stars indicating five campaigns, the Republic of Viet Nam Campaign Medal, the Expert Rifle Badge, the Meritorious Unit Citation, the Republic of Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Award, and the Republic of Viet Nam Civic Action Honor Medal with Palm Unit Award.

    Currently, I am seventy-three years old, retired, totally disabled, and heavily medicated, due to my constant pain and failing heart.

    However, I consider myself greatly blessed, as I am being very well provided for by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the local members of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints (i.e., the “Mormon” church).
    _________________________________

    A friend who served with me at Dong Ha asked what benefits would we get today?

  19. CDR_D says:

    Late to the party. Sorry. TF 115, Market Time, 1970.

    Welcome home to all my brothers and sisters.

  20. timactual says:

    Thanks, but no thanks. Nov. 11 is sufficient. If it’s good enough for the guys at the Argonne, Okinawa, Chosin reservoir, etc. it’s good enough for me.

    • Inbred Redneck says:

      Well said, sir. There were lots more of them than us. If I hadn’t been raised to be aware of what they’d done, who knows what my time in the Army would’ve been like.

  21. Jeffery D Monroe says:

    WTF is a TG?