Discussion in 'Vietnam War' started by liverpool annie, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    It came as no surprise yesterday meeting with some Vietnam Vets ( that even though I knew many of them from my work ) that the hurt still lingers ! It seems that the feeling of Vietnam not being a "real " war is still at the back of many minds ..... the thought of the way they were treated is heartbreaking ... to say the least ...... 30 something years later after the end of the war ... people are only just coming to grips with the situation .....

    April 30, 1975 - At 8:35 a.m., the last Americans, ten Marines from the embassy, depart Saigon, concluding the United States presence in Vietnam. North Vietnamese troops pour into Saigon and encounter little resistance. By 11 a.m., the red and blue Viet Cong flag flies from the presidential palace. President Minh broadcasts a message of unconditional surrender. The war is over.

    On Finally Coming Home
  2. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    It was the best/worst year of my life, the year that I served in Vietnam. I don't discuss it with anyone, surprisingly hardly anyone I know now was there, so there is really nobody to discuss it with.

    I have not awoke from a bad dream for 10 years or so. It is behind me, gone, finished. Something I seldom thing about except on the 1st of the month when I get my disability check!
  3. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Anytime you want to talk ... I'm listening David ...... and I'm sure I'm not the only one !
    Thank you for what you did !

    Welcome Home !
  4. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Yes, DL, Annie is right. If it helps in any way to talk to us, we'll certainly listen to the remarkable man in our midst.
  5. war hawk

    war hawk New Member

    Yes I would like to know more about your experiences, if you don"t mind:)
  6. Cobber

    Cobber New Member

    Thanks for your service DL what unit were you in. What army USA, Aussie or ???

    They say on average a Digger spent 40 days a year in Combat like conditions during
    WW2 however in Viet Nam they spent on average over 200 days in combat like conditions.

    Sure we could debate what constituted a combat condition in WW2 and what constituted a combat condition in Viet Nam, but it would get know one know where. and just drag up old arguments.

    Also remember people it is spelt two words Viet Nam not as commonly used Vietnam
  7. Golden Wattle

    Golden Wattle New Member

    Hi David,
    I have a cousin, very quiet gentle man.
    2 tours in Oz army.
    When he came back, no one could forsee the future problems.
    Never talked about his service, now he is not very well.
    Directly related to his service.

    All I can say is, that those of us who care for our service personel, wish you all the best.

    P.S. I was in the army in the late 70's. We were still being spat at during the Queens Silver Jubilee visit to Canberra. There are those who hate where ever you go.
  8. wulfman

    wulfman Member

    I have a friend that had PTSD from the Vietnam War. It has since passed but he said he will never forget certain things. I have never served in the military so I can only imagine what it is like . Especially if you are following orders against your own beliefs.
  9. preacherbob50

    preacherbob50 Active Member

    I came back in '69 to a whole different U.S. than I remembered. When I was leaving the U.S. it was all hand shakes, go get 'em and I'll buy the first round when you get back. When I came back, the same folks that did all the hand shaking hated the ground I walked on. War puts a lot of weight on a returning soldier.....any war, and any soldier.
    The other thing that compounded all of the problems is that the politians wouldn't let us do what we were trained
    So I guess here's the short story: our country asked us to go to war..we did. When we came back from war, we had to fight another one in our own country. We, as soldiers, won. Our country says we lost. Then the final insult. We didn't go to war. We were in a police action.
  10. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    I was fortunate enough to be in the reserves during the war, and am glad that I was able to experience being in the Military during this time while avoiding being in the middle of a terrible, bloody conflict. I had friends on several sides of the issue (troops, warhawks, and peaceniks). The troops suffered the most, as usual. I knew people who got rich from the war, and others who lost so much. Let us pray that our nation learns positive lessons from this war. I have limited hope on this issue.
  11. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    Thomas, the US Army has learned some things since the 1960s but is many ways they still make the same mistakes. During 'Nam there was the saying bantied about: "When you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow." I have not heard this slogan for quite a while, I don't think it is still being used/taught, but it still seems to be practised.

    But at least the Army wants all their soldiers now to be "volunteers" and to have a high-school diploma. For what it is worth, I approve, but there are still to many fricken idiots. And they are taught to employ deadly force, and often ONLY deadly force.

    The object of modern war is not just to "kill everyone and let God sort them out." We can not kill people fast enough. And such wanton killing just breeds people who later become terrorists.
  12. preacherbob50

    preacherbob50 Active Member

    I am not sure about the "balls" saying. Sounds like something out of the advice column in Playgirl magazine. The three main sayings we had included your later one plus, "F_ _ _ Ho Chi Minh, and "fighting for peace is like making love for chastity." The later I believe started stateside. We didn't have time to look for peace. We made it peaceful. When the enemy was no more, at least temporarily.
    Pretty clear and to the point. But that really isn't my reason for this reply.
    What we have been trying to do is to Prevent folks from killing folks fast enough. As far back as Joshua it has been proven that it can be done. Mass genocide has been practiced all through history. A psyops guy should know that of all people. As of recent history we have Hitler, Sedam, and now ISIS going for the brass ring of extermination.
    The old idea, and cop-out was to wound the enemy so it would take more troops, time, and money to care for the injured. A cop-out because when that theory was practiced there were two things in common. The first being that soldiers couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with an unrifled bore on their weapons, and wounded soldiers died post operation because of infection. There were no meds for the civil war and prior war soldiers.
    Now with better weaponry and training it is more practical to kill the enemy. Let's face it. Now with the better meds, the guy with the bed sheet on gets wounded and then gets better. He knows he won't get his virgins since he lived so he goes back into battle. We have to shoot him again. I hate to have to fight the same guy twice. The first time was hard enough.
    And so far as a volunteer military, I agree to some extent. I still believe that we need a separate branch of service for the "food stamp lobster buying surfer dude," types, the twinkies of the female persuasion, and any guy walking around with his pants around his knees. Instead of walking around with the idea that somehow this country owes them it is time they started learning how to earn their rights.
    All the above is my opinion and is not necessarily the opinion of this station.
  13. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    Q. What's the difference between a craven terrorist and a gallant freedom-fighter?

    A. It depends on your politics.

    Yes. That's right. American airmen during WWII were called terrorists by the Germans and the Japanese for the 'strategic bombing' they did. When your own people lie hurt and bleeding it matters little if the bomber may have a valid political point motivating him.

    During the 1940s and the 1970s the Vietnamese peoples were fighting for self-determination. The enemy was any foriegn power who tried to take this from them, be it China, France, Japan, or America.

    During the 1940s Ho Chi Mihn was a freedom-fighting nationalist who was a client of the US through the OSS. Later, after the French were defeated, the United Nations arrainged for a national plebicite (election) determining the fate of ALL the Vietnamese people -- both North and South. Such an election was held in the North, but in the South a foriegn power interveened and stopped the election. That power was the United States.

    The US, via the CIA, established a puppet government. The leader of South Vietnam ruled at the pleasure of the CIA. This fact was made evident in the manner of the replacement of their leader if he stepped too far out of line with American policy. And while this was transpiring the American soldiers and the American people were told they were fighting for freedom. Later there was the concept: "We had to burn down the village to save it...."
  14. preacherbob50

    preacherbob50 Active Member

    Ah yes, good research. Except the fact that Ho Chi Minh first went to President Eisenhower asking for military help against the French. The U.S. said no because while we were friendly to N. Vietnam we were allies with France. Ho Chi Minh gained acceptance with Kruschev and the USSR who promised money and supplies to N. Vietnam as early as 1951 when Eisenhower sent our first advisory troops. Until 1951 we had very little to do with N. Vietnam. S. Vietnam is another story and soley based on politics and money. They had rubber trees and sugar cane. That bit of information wasn't ever supposed to be let out, but it was via the S. Vietnamese x-plantation owners and diplomats.
    I just happen to know a lawyer who was part of the inner circle. He was shipped to the U.S. in 1972 and had to work as a bus boy in order to get up the money to go to an American law school so he could pass the bar. He taught me a lot.
    But the problem that remains is that I can pick up 10 reference books that are bent on telling the truth. Somebody's truth. Each and every book will tell one side of the story and the other, his take on things.
    Here's my take on things. If I am in a situation that looks pretty dim I might first try to talk it over, but in the end if I have to I will pick up the biggest stick I can quickly find and beat said "problem" around the head and shoulders until said problem goes away and doesn't pose a threat to me any longer. I have been shot at and hit. I have schrapnel scars all over the place.
    To use your hut analogy. If someone is shooting at me from the hut, the hut goes down and with everyone of the sympathizers. The guys in the Nam that printed the Chu Hoi leaflettes on the N. Vietnamese never got shot at. They had a completely different take on things than I did. The lobster that got away and is watching other lobsters in the boiling pot always does.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  15. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    The history of every war always gets written by the victors. Just look at the distortions of the history about the War Between the States (just calling it a civil war is a distortion since there was no attempt to overthrow the Federal government). Any communist revolution comes with two facts: the revolution was probably justified, and the leaders end up betraying the revolution by establishing a "dictatorship of the proletariat" run by people who may be dictators,but are not part of the proletariat. Perhaps someday the people of Vietnam will be able to have a free Vietnam. They have been trying to re-establish a positive relationship with the U.S., perhaps giving us a mutual victory to that war!
  16. preacherbob50

    preacherbob50 Active Member

    Howdy Tom, been a while. Too much birthday I am assuming! I'll try not to type too loud. I don't do the party thing anymore. I don't think the good Lord liked me too much back when......

    Back to the Nam. The one thing I have to get into my military mind is the fact that Vietnam and I are no longer at war. I even buy some of their catfish from time to time. Yes I know, they're not really catfish, but something that tastes like the critter.
    They are trying to rebuild what used to be called the Paris of the Orient, without the Paris part, to promote tourism. The French went on vacation there one time and decided to stay, and called it the Paris thing, hence one heckova war, as we well know. Vung Tao especially has some beautiful beaches and was an R&R center when I was in country.
    I believe they are going the way of China and inviting foreign folks in to spend their money not only for tourism but in industry as well. I understand they are pretty friendly, or so says a buddy of mine who went back to "memory lane" there. I'm sure we and they are indeed going in a positive direction as long as rubber and sugar cane isn't part of our dealings with them.
  17. thomas pendrake

    thomas pendrake Active Member

    As a Floridian I can understand that sugar cane may not always be the best crop, depending on the location, and different farming practices can determine whether or not rubber plantations are good or bad. If the people of Vietnam decide to farm these products, what's the problem?
  18. preacherbob50

    preacherbob50 Active Member

    The sugar cane and rubber plantation thing is a tongue in cheek comment.
    Vietnam produced (produces)more rubber than just about any other rubber producing country. Goodrich or Goodyear had a major interest in the south which is one of the reasons that the U.S. was coaxed into intervening. Domino sugar was another reason. In other words, in pre war Vietnam, 2 major U.S. ball players had a vested interest in keeping the South away from the totalitarian style of government the north was set to impose.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
    Peninha likes this.
  19. Peninha

    Peninha Member

    Sad to see that in every war there was an economic reason, but hey, that one was lost so in that case the US didn't come out winning.
  20. Gin0710

    Gin0710 Member

    I'm a generation x kid so I don't have a lot of experience with the Vietnam War. My only insight to it is knowing my grandfather went and fought and my mom saying he came back not being the same man he was before. It's hard to see loved ones go through something the rest of us don't understand and will probably never understand, even though we try.

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