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  #71  
Old 03-13-2017, 10:15 PM
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I'm not but scanning your stories GT. My father was in Vietnam and has never said more than a few dozen words about it, much less novelized it on a message board complete with jokes, innuendo, pictures, and bravado.

Carry on though, by all means. To each, their own.
Wouldn't you prefer that he talked to you about it?
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  #72  
Old 03-14-2017, 06:39 AM
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Wouldn't you prefer that he talked to you about it?
I don't think my preference matters. I've actually interviewed WWII vets for a history project a long time ago. It was brutal. Most couldn't do it at first, I had to build relationships. Then it was reluctant, difficult. We'd have to stop a lot.

It was never romanticized or idealized. It was never a comical fiction. It was an attempt to record oral histories, but one of the more difficult things I've done. I cannot imagine the other side of things.

If my father (for example) ever chose to speak of things, I would listen and ask for permission to record (in whatever format he was comfortable with). However, I deeply respect the rights of all veterans to treat their personal histories as they feel is best.

I guess I just never met a single (not one) veteran who "spun yarns" about his "adventures". Never happened to me.
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  #73  
Old 03-14-2017, 07:53 AM
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I don't think my preference matters. I've actually interviewed WWII vets for a history project a long time ago. It was brutal. Most couldn't do it at first, I had to build relationships. Then it was reluctant, difficult. We'd have to stop a lot.

It was never romanticized or idealized. It was never a comical fiction. It was an attempt to record oral histories, but one of the more difficult things I've done. I cannot imagine the other side of things.

If my father (for example) ever chose to speak of things, I would listen and ask for permission to record (in whatever format he was comfortable with). However, I deeply respect the rights of all veterans to treat their personal histories as they feel is best.

I guess I just never met a single (not one) veteran who "spun yarns" about his "adventures". Never happened to me.
Excellent post.

But you didn't answer the question.

Edit: I ask because my father was in the Air Force during the Korean War. He was a flight surgeon. Never said anything about it but when he died my mother made sure he had the full flag ceremony and military presence at his funeral which kind of baffled my brother, sisters and me because we didn't know how important that time was to him. I would have liked to know more

Last edited by The Moekid; 03-14-2017 at 08:20 AM..
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  #74  
Old 03-14-2017, 09:30 AM
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Excellent post.

But you didn't answer the question.

Edit: I ask because my father was in the Air Force during the Korean War. He was a flight surgeon. Never said anything about it but when he died my mother made sure he had the full flag ceremony and military presence at his funeral which kind of baffled my brother, sisters and me because we didn't know how important that time was to him. I would have liked to know more
Yes, for sure. My father was lucky. As best as my mother has told me, his experience wasn't too bad, relatively speaking. I would (someday) like to speak to him.

My grandfather was a Marine at Guadalcanal. It's actually how he met my grandmother. A Japanese grenade put a few dozen pieces of shrapnel in his body. When he was cremated they found about 20 pieces still. His recovery was in Australia, where he met my grandmother who was in the ARN as a nurse. They had one child, my mother. Unfortunately for you guys, my mom and dad had seven kids of which I was one

My grandfather passed away when I was a child in 1986. He died with cancer, diabetes, and alcoholism. Not one utterance of his experience. My grandmother has told me he never spoke to her of it. He had nightmares, but never spoke to her. She did say that he could talk at the VFW, where he also got drunk.

I don't know that I could ever hold an ounce of blame for his last forty years. What occurs in conflict of that nature is simply more than most minds can safely handle. I do wish dearly his story could have been recorded. That group of individuals is almost gone.

My grandmother is almost 93.

EDIT: Moe, I think my greatest preference is that he talk, if not to me, than to some sort of recording device. The inflection, expressions, pauses, etc all provide a rich and clear oral history that is invaluable. Perhaps I should attempt this with him.
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:52 AM
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Yes, for sure. My father was lucky. As best as my mother has told me, his experience wasn't too bad, relatively speaking. I would (someday) like to speak to him.

My grandfather was a Marine at Guadalcanal. It's actually how he met my grandmother. A Japanese grenade put a few dozen pieces of shrapnel in his body. When he was cremated they found about 20 pieces still. His recovery was in Australia, where he met my grandmother who was in the ARN as a nurse. They had one child, my mother. Unfortunately for you guys, my mom and dad had seven kids of which I was one

My grandfather passed away when I was a child in 1986. He died with cancer, diabetes, and alcoholism. Not one utterance of his experience. My grandmother has told me he never spoke to her of it. He had nightmares, but never spoke to her. She did say that he could talk at the VFW, where he also got drunk.

I don't know that I could ever hold an ounce of blame for his last forty years. What occurs in conflict of that nature is simply more than most minds can safely handle. I do wish dearly his story could have been recorded. That group of individuals is almost gone.

My grandmother is almost 93.

EDIT: Moe, I think my greatest preference is that he talk, if not to me, than to some sort of recording device. The inflection, expressions, pauses, etc all provide a rich and clear oral history that is invaluable. Perhaps I should attempt this with him.
Veteran suicide rates are shocking. I'm sure it's too simplistic to say that talking about those experiences would help veterans deal with some of the issues but holding that stuff in can't be helpful.
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  #76  
Old 03-14-2017, 09:55 AM
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Veteran suicide rates are shocking. I'm sure it's too simplistic to say that talking about those experiences would help veterans deal with some of the issues but holding that stuff in can't be helpful.
Combat management is now scientific and much, much better. However, the very nature of combat, no matter how minimal the exposure, is traumatic. Some can handle it, some can't. I'm pleased we're moving beyond the bravado of military combat and realizing the limits of the mind and how to help those with damaged minds.
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:46 AM
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One of my best friends is an American serving your Armed Forces. He works as a bomb guy, essentially taking apart those improvised devices found in Iraq. He has been there far too many times, and virtually never speaks about it. On the rare occasion he does say something, it is pretty reserved, respectful, subdued.... I pray for him regularly, along with all that serve.
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  #78  
Old 03-14-2017, 12:17 PM
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Gentlemen, I have shared with you how my friend saved my life, and the life of our friends...To me, and to many of us, he was a hero, as were so many guys that met their duty head on; whatever the hell that duty was.

Each person deals with that experience in their own way....I have a good friend that is still suffering from depression from his days there...I take him to the VA regularly...I'm all he has...

Oliver Stone made a fortune telling his experiences there....Anyone have a problem with that too? I don't....He had the facilities to put on the screen his personal experiences...I use a message board.

All wars are fought by kids that don't want to be there...I didn't like it, but damn, I was there...It was either Chuck or me...I'm sure there were a lot of Chuck's that didn't want to be there either...I walked away and they didn't. Just the way it worked out..Nothing heroic about it.

My personality is a fun personality....I will try and find humour wherever I can...Perhaps that is why I have not gone negative, and into a shell like some vets have....

There is nothing scarier than having someone trying to blow your head off, but I chose to make that a very difficult proposition to achieve....I got real good shooting my 16, and I could handle myself in hand to hand combat training....

I could toss a frag into the targeted area 10 out of 10 times in training. But I will admit my adrenaline was working so fast the first frag I threw in combat flew 20 feet past it's target...I blew the hell out of a bunch of bushes...And I know I heard Chuck laugh at me....But I got better...

Pac, I've never interviewed anyone from any other theater of war, but I have shared many a cold canned meal, and jokes with a fellow soldier, as we discussed the Beatles in between greasing the Chucks...

I've told no yarns here...Just because I can talk about the hell I lived through, without falling apart, does not make me a "whatever." It took the death of a good friend and fellow soldier that saved my life, for me to speak about this stuff with you guys...

I hope to hell you, or any of you guys, never have to fire a shot in anger, and see the results of what that projectile can do...The human body was not made to receive such impact...

I was only 19...
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Last edited by GameTime; 03-14-2017 at 12:29 PM..
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  #79  
Old 03-15-2017, 04:36 PM
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Here is a little data on how a swell guy like me ended up looking for Chucks...

I got a letter when I was 18 from Uncle Sam that said "Greetings and Salutations."...That is the standard opening line that says you are about to be "messed up."....(There was a huge military buildup taking place, and I was invited to the party)

I reported for induction on my 19th birthday....I was not given a cake or presents by the Army, but I was yelled at by the training DI's like I was a no count scoundrel...Before I knew it, I was in Basic, and then off to AIT camp...And then, to put all that training into practical application, Vietnam.

Not all the time spent in Vietnam was in combat....There was a lot of time just sitting around talking, filling sandbags, Latrine duty, or whatever Top could think of for the slow periods...It all depended whether if you were in a forward base camp in the bush, or a secure base camp in the rear, what most of your down time was like.

We grunts would ask each other how in the hell did we get there? Why weren't we back on the block, or in supply, anything but being tied to a 16 day and night and humping everywhere in search of Chuck..... We all took the same placement tests to see what we were suited for....There had to be a common answer.

We determined that we grunts answered our M.O. placement tests questions pretty much the same way....

(Example)
Do you like the outdoors? Yes
Do you like hiking? Yes
Have you ever hunted? Yes
Have you ever shot a gun? Yes
Do you like camping? Yes
Are you handy with your hands Yes
Did you play sports in school? Yes

At the rifle range for qualification, I blew the hell out of the targets at all the different distances...I thought this is what I was supposed to do...When I came off the range and my DI checked my score he said, and I quote "You'll do nicely in Vietnam. A natural born grunt." Man, I knew what my fate was after that...I better prepare properly.

Some of my pals tried to miss the targets on purpose, or to have a very low score thinking that would help them get a job in supply or whatever...One of my friends (bunkmate) was very near when Sgt P told me what I was going to be...My bunkmate acted like he had never seen a rifle before...He ended up having to requalify and had to run around the formation with his rifle held high, as we marched back to camp...

Back in the rack I told him to get with it, or you will be running high rifle drills till the war ends...These DI's know all the tricks....He didn't listen...He was sent to a disciplinary training company for further training...I never saw him again...

Here's some things some of you guys may find interesting....

In training, the Latrines have no doors or private stalls...This is to get everyone use to taking care of business with eyes on you.....In Vietnam in the bush, you didn't go alone...You had a pal that stood guard for you, and then you for him...

In training camps you walk fire watch....Better not go to sleep.....This is to get you ready for guard duty in country...Don't go to sleep, or everyone could die.....

In training you learn to field strip your 16 blindfolded....This is so you could quickly clean or unjam a jamming 16 in combat, in the dark....(please, no flashlights in a dark combat zone..Hell, the whole Republic of Vietnam was a combat zone for us.)

One follow up to my recollection of the scrape Flare Man and I encountered....If he had not badly twisted his ankle and I had to radio for assistance, there is no way him and I would have been able to slow down all those Chucks coming up behind us.....The two of us would have been squashed....But because Jackson and the other two guys had came back to us and the Platoon had stopped to wait on Flare Man, we not only presented a squad size surprise attack, but the entire column was fairly close by for our recovery, which turned out to be our salvation.

The Chucks finally realized we were just a few guys and we were now withdrawing quickly...They had to think we were only an ambush patrol...This must have encouraged them to pursue us in mass...The platoon had spread out in a defensive battle formation....After we passed by the first 30 cal position, I knew Chuck was going to regret chasing us....And they did.

I went on other planned operations that never worked out as good as this accidental contact turned out for our Platoon....

Footnote.....When we got back to basecamp, LT had me pull Latrine duty for letting Flare Man twist his ankle....Ours is not to reason why, (you know the rest)...Hell of a war.
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Last edited by GameTime; 03-17-2017 at 08:49 AM..
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