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The Vietnam War experience


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You should be ashamed of yourself for posting a picture like that and then saying you are not taking sides. Why are you not on the side of all the American boys who died in Vietnam?

 

See, this is an attitude I've never understood...

 

You can condemn a war while supporting the troops themselves. If you feel like a war was unjust and wrong, those boys who died actively fighting were also victims of it. I just don't get that knee-jerk "you're an unpatriotic bastard not to care about our young people fighting and dying" reaction when someone disagrees with the politics behind going to war.

 

If anything, I'd think people would say, "Thank you with disagreeing with our government's tendency to pointlessly send our young men to their deaths in conflicts that are none of our business."

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Here's a Vietnam war experience. My wife is Chinese Vietnamese. When the US pulled out she was 14, a freshman in high school. When the Viet Cong took the city, Saigon shut down for two weeks. After

Steve, I really hope you don't actually buy any of that bullshit they were spouting at the museum in Hanoi. If you do, then you dishonor those who served and died there.

That was a hard time and not many speak of it.. Hard to be there hard to come home too.

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The Vietnam War was the ONLY conflict the U.S. has EVER been involved with where those who took an active part were made to feel ashamed both in the area of conflict and when they got "home". In full honesty, if I had it to do all over agan, I'd go to Canada. It's just not worth it.

 

T

 

P.S. My one and only hope now is to one day have the strength to touch the wall.

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richard90027

The worst part was returning home to be Spat upon and called baby killers so you kept your mouth shut.....

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smokey

smokey thinks war sucks... to see it up close and personal , to try to understand what is happening , to experience the noise , the chaos , and then the smell of war is just way to much for young men who's only experience outside of mayberry RFD was thru a TV ... to me war was 100 years of ugly giving to you in one week...

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rainymike

I had no love for the Army, but the men that I met while in the service who lived through the war earned a lot of respect from me. The Army trained me to fight, but the war veterans taught me a lot about being a man - not so much about shooting people, but about handling adversity and the tough things in life.

 

I was lucky and was never sent to Vietnam, but I saw the results of the war in its returning veterans. As posted by others, these veterans were usually silent about Vietnam, but every once in a while their stories would leak out and you'd see a tear in a grizzly old sergeant's eyes. That said a lot to me about the vets I met and the war they fought.

 

Fortunately, there are always those who serve that enable the rest of us to sit around sipping mango juice and debating how many times a day we ought to take a shit. I'm just sad that more often than not, it's the young, the poor, and the least priveleged Americans who are called to serve. Whatever our politics might be, it's these young men that protected and protect our rights to have them.

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Headshot

In full honesty, if I had it to do all over agan, I'd go to Canada. It's just not worth it.

Going to Canada (or anyplace else as a draft-dodger) was never an option for me. My father, who was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force, would have killed me if I had done that. For me, it really hurt when, on his first day in office, President Jimmy Carter pardoned all of the draft-dodgers. That was the biggest betrayal of our men-in-arms that I have ever seen. I didn't, and still don't, think they should have EVER been pardoned. As far as I am concerned, they should have remained men-without-a-country for the rest of their lives. None of them should have been allowed to return to the US. That includes Bill Clinton, who fled to England for the duration of the war.

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Stranded Shipscook

WAR ? What is good for?...absolutely nothing...!

 

At least now it appears that the public "Anti war fraction" blames the real initiators and culprits, the Politicians, and not the Serviceman for it.

 

Thats one lesson learned.

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CardiacKid

The Vietnam War was the ONLY conflict the U.S. has EVER been involved with where those who took an active part were made to feel ashamed both in the area of conflict and when they got "home". In full honesty, if I had it to do all over agan, I'd go to Canada. It's just not worth it.

 

T

 

P.S. My one and only hope now is to one day have the strength to touch the wall.

My family had served in every war since the Civil War. My great-great grandfather that I was named for was a private in the South Carolina cavalry. My grandfather was gassed in WW1 and eventually succumbed after returning to a life of coal mining. My brother was in Leyte Gulf when the Japanese surrendered and went into Tokyo two weeks later. I was young and naive and thought that it was my patriotic duty to enlist. Now, I really don't know. I did my best for 24 yrs and as I watch the wholesale decline of the U.S. military and the respect it once engendered it both saddens and confuses me. Political correctness is now valued above leadership and the troops are merely cannon fodder.

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Wombat No More

There was a movie released in 1979 that depicts the Aussie Viet Nam war experience. It is eerily similar to U.S. vets experiences returning home. The title is "The Odd Angry Shot" and is available for download from BTJunkie. It is almost exactly as Phil described it.

Actually, it's not as I described it but that of how my little mate Shorty and his Vet mates described it, I'm just passing it along.

 

And the movie, 'The Odd Angry Shot', I have that ready as one of the many movies I have for the cafe when open, still in the packet, haven't seen it for 20 years but I remember it was a real good laugh amongst the serious stuff. A good depiction of the shenanigans the guys got up to over there and often at home too.

 

Shorty told me he drove a large truck, everyday for a few months, from his camp to a town many kilometres away. One day his C.O. grabbed him to do something else and they sent one of his best mates off in the truck. His mate ran over a large mine with the drivers side front wheel. Don't know how he survived but virtually all his arse was blown off. Another time, before the latter, he was stopped on his daily route by an S.A.S. (Special Air Service, Commando's) patrol. Asked him where he was going and when he said, they tell him "You can't go there, it's 20 kilometres of VC territory on the way!" They were incredulous when he told them he went on a regular trip every day for the last couple of months right through that area and was not aware of the VC held territory. Go figure hey, the left hand don't know what the right hand is doing... Sound familiar anyone?

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The communists were responsible for most of the deaths, missing and damage they cite in their museum. The NVA and Viet Cong were absolutely ruthless...not only to Americans and to ARVN troops, but to civilians in every country where they operated (North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia). During Tet in 1968 alone, they executed every teacher, nurse, doctor, religious leader and local official they could find (tens of thousands of innocent civilians were murdered in just a few short days). The part that most people don't realise is that this campaign continued throughout the war. The only thing that made Tet stand out was that they were able to penetrate into areas where they had previously been denied.

Here's a Vietnam war experience. My wife is Chinese Vietnamese. When the US pulled out she was 14, a freshman in high school. When the Viet Cong took the city, Saigon shut down for two weeks. After that the children were ordered back to school. On that morning, the principal, vice principal and other school administrators were shot in the courtyard in front of the children. The Viet Cong entered every house, and confiscated all reading materials and family pictures, then burned them in a large pile outside. A few days later, in the night, they came to her home and her father was arrested. His crime? He was a Chinese male who had worked in a rice business, as a low level administrator. He was treated to a 7 year reeducation of hard labor by day and group learning consisting of Marxist criticism of self and others at night. Many died but he survived.

 

As the weeks wore into months then years, neighbors, friends and families began escaping by boat. Many died. Their stories are horrifying. One neighbor personally escorted each of his five daughters, one by one, on foot in separate arduous journeys filled with sickness and armed assaults from Saigon through Cambodia to the Thai border. One girl, now married and living in Japan, had to be carried barefoot and sick and delirious to the border while being pursued by firing troops. She remembers vividly the bullets whizzing past her head. After delivering the last daughter safely, the father retreated, presumably to return to Saigon to help others, but was never heard from again. My wife doesn't talk much of those times, but when she does she speaks in tears of a Chinese community bound together in mutual support for survival, facing near starvation, queuing for days (and nights) for food rations, raising pigs in the the bathroom (they had to be hidden from the authorities), and the sharing of live yeast house by house among neighbors to make bread. Because my wife's brother had left to study in Taiwan prior to the war's end, he was able to pay for her and her mother's departure by either Swiss or French involvement. They waited five years, and then suddenly arrived the Viet Cong officials at the door one day ordering them to pack and leave immediately, if they wanted to go. She hurriedly said goodbye to friends, kissed goodbye her grandparents for the last time ever, and left in shock and tears, not knowing the eventual fate of her father. Two years later he was deemed reeducated and released. A couple of years after that, they arranged for his departure to Taiwan.

 

Since then all have immigrated to the USA, as have many of her friends. All of them are extremely successful now. I remember clearly the days of Vietnamese boat people being valedictorian at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, etc. Unfortunately not all, as the US is also filled with Vietnamese gangs originated by children of war. In 1994 we visited her parents in Taiwan, and her mother arranged for us all to visit Saigon. The trip was done through the Chinese mafia, no visas, no customs, nothing -- just cash for a corrupt system. Her old neighborhood was filled with nightclubs filled with hookers, all of whom punched a timeclock working with Taiwanese efficiency. The city was crawling with oversears Chinese businessmen toting cellphones and doing deals left and right. The French had just signed a deal to upgrade the infrastructure that they had installed 50 years prior. Recently the US signed a deal to provide nuclear technology. What goes around comes around. My wife has no desire ever to visit Vietnam, or Asia, again, although many of her friends now do regularly. SHE HATES COMMUNISM and the creep of PC socialist dogma in the US scares the hell out of her for our children's future.

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TheMatrix

Here's a Vietnam war experience. My wife is Chinese Vietnamese. When the US pulled out she was 14, a freshman in high school. When the Viet Cong took the city, Saigon shut down for two weeks. After that the children were ordered back to school. On that morning, the principal, vice principal and other school administrators were shot in the courtyard in front of the children. The Viet Cong entered every house, and confiscated all reading materials and family pictures, then burned them in a large pile outside. A few days later, in the night, they came to her home and her father was arrested. His crime? He was a Chinese male who had worked in a rice business, as a low level administrator. He was treated to a 7 year reeducation of hard labor by day and group learning consisting of Marxist criticism of self and others at night. Many died but he survived.

 

As the weeks wore into months then years, neighbors, friends and families began escaping by boat. Many died. Their stories are horrifying. One neighbor personally escorted each of his five daughters, one by one, on foot in separate arduous journeys filled with sickness and armed assaults from Saigon through Cambodia to the Thai border. One girl, now married and living in Japan, had to be carried barefoot and sick and delirious to the border while being pursued by firing troops. She remembers vividly the bullets whizzing past her head. After delivering the last daughter safely, the father retreated, presumably to return to Saigon to help others, but was never heard from again. My wife doesn't talk much of those times, but when she does she speaks in tears of a Chinese community bound together in mutual support for survival, facing near starvation, queuing for days (and nights) for food rations, raising pigs in the the bathroom (they had to be hidden from the authorities), and the sharing of live yeast house by house among neighbors to make bread. Because my wife's brother had left to study in Taiwan prior to the war's end, he was able to pay for her and her mother's departure by either Swiss or French involvement. They waited five years, and then suddenly arrived the Viet Cong officials at the door one day ordering them to pack and leave immediately, if they wanted to go. She hurriedly said goodbye to friends, kissed goodbye her grandparents for the last time ever, and left in shock and tears, not knowing the eventual fate of her father. Two years later he was deemed reeducated and released. A couple of years after that, they arranged for his departure to Taiwan.

 

Since then all have immigrated to the USA, as have many of her friends. All of them are extremely successful now. I remember clearly the days of Vietnamese boat people being valedictorian at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, etc. Unfortunately not all, as the US is also filled with Vietnamese gangs populated by children of war. In 1994 we visited her parents in Taiwan, and her mother arranged for us all to visit Saigon. The trip was done through the Chinese mafia, no visas, no customs, nothing. Her old neighborhood was filled with nightclubs filled with hookers, all of whom punched a timeclock working with Taiwanese efficiency. The city was crawling with oversears Chinese businessmen toting cellphones and doing deals left and right. The French had just signed a deal to upgrade the infrastructure that they had installed 50 years prior. Recently the US signed a deal to provide nuclear technology. What goes around comes around. My wife has no desire ever to visit Vietnam, or Asia, again, although many of her friends now do regularly. SHE HATES COMMUNISM and the creep of PC socialist dogma in the US scares the hell out of her for our children's future.

 

Great story. Thanks for sharing. I understand what you're saying about communisim and your wife's negativity towards it. My now ex-wife and her parents being from Russia, have a totally different perspective. After the fall of communism, many people lost thier life savings, jobs, security, etc etc. They often reminisce about the good communist days of mother Russia.

 

Looking at Vietnam today, it surely seems that communism has done the people and country much good. Think about how Vietnam and Philippines were nearly on the same footing 50 years ago. Philippines has had much American influence. Vietnam has had much Communism influence. Vietnam clearly won in my opinion.

 

I spent 15 days recently in Vietnam, toured the country, and Wow! What a great people! They definitely have forgivin and forgotten and moved on past the war, unlike us Americans which seem to keep the fuel going by Hollywood movies.

 

Anyway, that's my impression of Vietnam today. Below are some picture. Notice the clean streets, notice the absense of beggars and squatters, etc etc. For only a few miles away, it's a totally different country.

 

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RetiredNavyGuy

Here's a Vietnam war experience. My wife is Chinese Vietnamese. When the US pulled out she was 14, a freshman in high school. When the Viet Cong took the city, Saigon shut down for two weeks. After that the children were ordered back to school. On that morning, the principal, vice principal and other school administrators were shot in the courtyard in front of the children. The Viet Cong entered every house, and confiscated all reading materials and family pictures, then burned them in a large pile outside. A few days later, in the night, they came to her home and her father was arrested. His crime? He was a Chinese male who had worked in a rice business, as a low level administrator. He was treated to a 7 year reeducation of hard labor by day and group learning consisting of Marxist criticism of self and others at night. Many died but he survived.

 

As the weeks wore into months then years, neighbors, friends and families began escaping by boat. Many died. Their stories are horrifying. One neighbor personally escorted each of his five daughters, one by one, on foot in separate arduous journeys filled with sickness and armed assaults from Saigon through Cambodia to the Thai border. One girl, now married and living in Japan, had to be carried barefoot and sick and delirious to the border while being pursued by firing troops. She remembers vividly the bullets whizzing past her head. After delivering the last daughter safely, the father retreated, presumably to return to Saigon to help others, but was never heard from again. My wife doesn't talk much of those times, but when she does she speaks in tears of a Chinese community bound together in mutual support for survival, facing near starvation, queuing for days (and nights) for food rations, raising pigs in the the bathroom (they had to be hidden from the authorities), and the sharing of live yeast house by house among neighbors to make bread. Because my wife's brother had left to study in Taiwan prior to the war's end, he was able to pay for her and her mother's departure by either Swiss or French involvement. They waited five years, and then suddenly arrived the Viet Cong officials at the door one day ordering them to pack and leave immediately, if they wanted to go. She hurriedly said goodbye to friends, kissed goodbye her grandparents for the last time ever, and left in shock and tears, not knowing the eventual fate of her father. Two years later he was deemed reeducated and released. A couple of years after that, they arranged for his departure to Taiwan.

 

Since then all have immigrated to the USA, as have many of her friends. All of them are extremely successful now. I remember clearly the days of Vietnamese boat people being valedictorian at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, etc. Unfortunately not all, as the US is also filled with Vietnamese gangs populated by children of war. In 1994 we visited her parents in Taiwan, and her mother arranged for us all to visit Saigon. The trip was done through the Chinese mafia, no visas, no customs, nothing. Her old neighborhood was filled with nightclubs filled with hookers, all of whom punched a timeclock working with Taiwanese efficiency. The city was crawling with oversears Chinese businessmen toting cellphones and doing deals left and right. The French had just signed a deal to upgrade the infrastructure that they had installed 50 years prior. Recently the US signed a deal to provide nuclear technology. What goes around comes around. My wife has no desire ever to visit Vietnam, or Asia, again, although many of her friends now do regularly. SHE HATES COMMUNISM and the creep of PC socialist dogma in the US scares the hell out of her for our children's future.

 

Thank you for sharing that. She is right to be scared. The fact that so few Americans see anything wrong with it scares the hell out of me - which is why I left and now live in the Philippines, at least for now.

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Great story. Thanks for sharing. I understand what you're saying about communisim and your wife's negativity towards it. My now ex-wife and her parents being from Russia, have a totally different perspective. After the fall of communism, many people lost thier life savings, jobs, security, etc etc. They often reminisce about the good communist days of mother Russia.

 

Looking at Vietnam today, it surely seems that communism has done the people and country much good. Think about how Vietnam and Philippines were nearly on the same footing 50 years ago. Philippines has had much American influence. Vietnam has had much Communism influence. Vietnam clearly won in my opinion.

 

I spent 15 days recently in Vietnam, toured the country, and Wow! What a great people! They definitely have forgivin and forgotten and moved on past the war, unlike us Americans which seem to keep the fuel going by Hollywood movies.

 

Anyway, that's my impression of Vietnam today. Below are some picture. Notice the clean streets, notice the absense of beggars and squatters, etc etc. For only a few miles away, it's a totally different country.

 

 

Communist revolution is about breaking society down to its base level, then rebuilding it according to the dogma, power, interests, and profits and whims of those very few in power. Historically it's been a brutally cruel, blood thirsty, and corrupt process, and one that took incredible tolls on those who experienced it. Too bad you can't get the opinion of your ancestors' who lived through Lenin and Stalin. Read Ayn Rand's We the Living...

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TheMatrix

 

Communist revolution is about breaking society down to its base level, then rebuilding it according to the dogma, power, interests, and profits and whims of those very few in power. Historically it's been a brutally cruel, blood thirsty, and corrupt process, and one that took incredible tolls of those who experienced it. Too bad you can't get the opinion of your ancestors' who lived through Lenin and Stalin. Read Ayn Rand's We the Living...

I hear you bud and totally agree. Change is painful. However, my in-law parents and grandparents all said that Lenin was a great man. I've argued with them till I'm blue in the face, showing all his cruelties. Doesn't work, so they must be crazy, right?

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I hear you bud and totally agree. Change is painful. However, my in-law parents and grandparents all said that Lenin was a great man. I've argued with them till I'm blue in the face, showing all his cruelties. Doesn't work, so they must be crazy, right?

I don't think they're crazy. Those were their opinions based on their life experiences and they had their reasons. I'm curious, we're they members of the Communist Party? If so, quite an elite group who may have had warm memories.

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