First let me say to the newer guys who don't know me that well, that you are all my Heroes, I don't care if you served for 4 years or if you are retired after a life of service, war time or peace time. With that said there has always been something about the Vietnam War that has drawn me in since I was a kid, it's almost an insatiable desire to know more, maybe in part because many of the men and women who were there cannot dwell on their experience long enough to describe it before having to push it out of their mind...How horrific that must be...
The Nam (Mark Baker) is a book that I've bought twice thus far and am getting ready to purchase again, the first one was stolen from me in high school as a kid, the second one was loaned to someone who moved away, I've read it a dozen times through the years and it is definitely my favorite because it is a compilation of short (sometimes two lines) "stories" from those (Mostly Grunts) who were there, not just some facts that some author who wasn't there dug up.
To guys like me, those "two line stories" are priceless, I've read so many stories, many right here, but I'd LOVE to hear an occasional line or two in this thread from you Men and Women who I esteem so highly, any thought that you may wish to share.
One guy in the book spoke of how the C-rations gave him fits because the peanut butter clogged him up but the juice sent him him running for cover, but between the two he said he stayed regular. I guess I included that in order to say that ANY thought...ANY thought... is priceless from you folks.
I've almost deleted this request twice in writing it simply because I know that there are many who simply cannot respond and I hate to post something like this and just watch it get buried...I'll say this, I don't post much in here because quite frankly I don't feel worthy, I have so little to add, all I can do is read and admire you people from a distance, you are all Giants to me, that's the only way I can describe how I feel about you.
Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.
One guy on the book spoke of how the C-rations gave him fits because the peanut butter clogged him up but the juice sent him him running for cover, but between the two he said he stayed regular.
Well, Crp, there were those damn lima bean and pork C-rats that would gag a maggot at 100 yards, not to mention that old Tiger Beer with enough formaldehyde in each bottle to embalm a corpse. Of course, after a few of those, one frequently wished he were a corpse!
Crp, the reason, I think, that so many of us cannot dwell long on the war lies with one simple fact: There is simply no way to separate the good from the bad. What I mean is that even when we remember the funny times (and those did happen, like the time I feel out of a damn tree while drunk on my ass ) they always dredge up memories of the bad things that happened, usually because of people associated with the funny things who did not come home. Everything, it seems in retrospect, is associated with everything else like some gigantic quicksand pool.
Vietnam is a very sensitive subject for a lot of people for different reasons. I think McNamara et al should have been charged with something for what the Govt did to our boys - absolute disgrace! Sorry, perhaps not directly applicable to the thread and thanks to all of those who fought to protect my freedoms. I for one am eternally indebted to your service!
Last edited by meandmy45s; 04-22-2006 at 10:02 PM..
Oh, and don't forget that kimchi the peasants made! The very smell of that stuff would cause any self-respecting rat to puke! And speaking of rats . . . how about ones as large as a small dog? I remember one night when we had a brand new, shiny butter bar who had just reported in. He got up in the middle of the night to take a leak and ran into one in his hooch. Bam! Bam, bam, bam! Four rounds from a .45 and one very dead rat. Needless to say, the whole compound was awakened and even the men on perimeter duty started shooting at shadows. Took at least 30 minutes to calm everything down again. The LT got his butt reamed from the Captain, of course, and nothing more was said, but I did notice the next day he didn't have his .45.
Arrived in Danang in early '65 ... before the bad s...tuff. Did a survey of the harbor putting marker buoys on a Jap cruiser sunk in '45 that I, at 5'8", could stand on and have my head/shoulders out of the water. Snakes loved that ship! Used our boats to ferry "flood relief gear" up river .... right! ... all ammo to the airbase! The New Orleans Bar (nee Paris Bar) served beer from under the counter with dipper and a funnel. Safer than the water! The N.O. Bar had a single rest room (a trough behind a door) that us Westerners were sensive to. Went in one day and there were two doors for M and W .... opened into the same trough room!
Met a guy a few years ago that told me about R&R at Chu Lai in early 70s. I looked surprised and told him it was a narrow beach, scrub and brush. He informed me that it became the model for China Beach. Not in Feb '65 it wasn't!
A buddy that was there in '63 has a neat website including Tuffy the Tiger; the only tiger to be airlifted to the US and lived a long life in the Cincinatti Zoo. See www.oc-kahuna.com for the Tuffy story and some great pics of the ealy days.
Most scary moments ... from my counterpart when S.VN command changed! He was nuts!
Demo'ing a program for harbor control to some Vietnamese gents ... the x-Army helo guy with the above mentioned website, an x-airforce fighter type and me, the x-swabbie. Army said something about the delta area and one of the [young, to us] VN's asked 'you have seen our country?' Army, 'uh, yes.' Asked me and I said 'only in the north near Danang and Hue, beautiful [it was]'. Asked AF and he said "Only from the air!" They finally caught on! Did not buy the program! It's more fun now than then.
If you haven't been to The Wall ... GO! Winter is best as there are fewer people to wonder what is wrong with you and why you can't talk!
WWII memorial is good, too. Two uncles helped pay for that! One on Luzon, one over Germany.
"Outlaw guns and only outlaws will have guns!" But, we are moving that direction.
NRA Benefactor, Vet VN '64-'65
Never sell a gun or a car and you can retire right!!
Coke girls ......can't get one of them out of my mind, everyday I wonder where she is or what happened to her. She was just so special. She would make us laugh everyday. Somehow she would always find us. I was combat eng. and we where fixing a road around a mountain , and one day I was driving a jeep during a morning mine sweep. When got to the edge of her town all of the farmers and locals that used the road where just waiting for us to get to them and when we got there she came running up to me with a note from the v.c. that said everyone stay home today because today many g.i.'s will die today.........I showed our lt. and we tuned the convoy around and rushed back to our base camp stopping every once in awhile for the tanks to shoot up into the mountain.
I realy wish I knew if she was O.K.
She called me Du Yuong ? don't know if that's the right spelling or what it meant. but I had red hair back then and I always thought it might mean somthing to do with that.........?
welcome home brothers and sisters
i was driving a duce and a half down the causway from vung tau to barea. had two crutes in the back with their backs to the cab. at one spot along the way guys used to open up with their m16s. just for the heck of it. well i was at this spot doing about 30 mph. i see these 2 aussey MPs standing along side the road. next thing i know these 2 recruts stick out their m 16s out of the side of my truck and open up. well the MPs duck down just in time to not get cut in half. they stopped me and grabed my gun to see if it was hot. they took the 2 fools back to their camp and our first sargent had to go get them. was he ever pissed.
Last edited by notabiker; 02-05-2008 at 05:52 PM..
Location: Marty Robbins old hometown, Glendale Arizona--a suburb of Phoenix.
Re: The Nam
Dang 'C', I read your post today and realized that your original post is one I never responded to...that's very unusual because I seem to just HOG the facilities....There was a time I spoke to Marlin about just that...my being on line so often with so much trivia and trash...The Judge told me not to sweat it because there are those who read but just don't respond...I swear, there are very few post on here that I either didn't welcome a newcomer or keep the trough filled with the aformentioned, T&T..... Chief
Location: Little hut in the woods near Blue River Wisconsin
Re: The Nam
Water snake in the Gulf of Tonkin as thick as I was, I was 5' 11" and 190 pounds. I knew if the ship sank I was walking to shore because my feet were not going into the water, they were staying on top.
Fire report after we fired 3 rounds. Well sir, (deep country boy Georgia accent), one tree, dead....one school house...abandoned...one water buffalo...we all is gonna have to pay for the water buffalo. (oddball number always stuck in my head, it cost us $152). Next day the Cong took the bridge out themselves.
I liked Tiger Beer, after 64 days and nights on line it was absolutely by gosh the best thing I could get in my mouth. Only reason we were pulled off line was we ran out of 8" ammo for our guns. Marines and some army sure called for a lot of it to be sent their way.
Got drunk with a marine once who I had played football with/against. The topic was the entire roster of every pro team in the NFL. Between the two of us we even had most of the bench players memorized. We got lost on the way back to the barracks so we slept in the grass. When the sun came up and the fog lifted we were 20' from my barracks and 60' from his. Never saw him again, I hope he made it.
"When once a republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil."~~- Thomas Jefferson
Roman Catholic, Life Member of American Legion, VFW, Wisconsin Libertarian party, Wi-FORCE, WGO, NRA, JPFO, GOA, SAFand CCRKBA
I was in the Naval Air Reserves from July 1969 until July 1975. Three times my Squadron was notified that we would be going, but we never did. At the time, I was relieved, and was real happy when I finished my time. But now, I feel like I didn't do my share. I feel apart, and ashamed. I still feel choked up when I see something from that era, be it a movie or news reel, but I also feel dis-associated and can't help but feel like I don't deserve my feelings. I feel like I never really served, and i am missing something. I don't feel like a Vet, or feel proud. I just feel like I am in Limbo and dis-jointed.
I do appreciate the guys and gals who were there, but I don't feel worthy, and I don't claim being a Vet.
__________________ I never argue,I state my opinion, and support my position.
Location: Marty Robbins old hometown, Glendale Arizona--a suburb of Phoenix.
Re: The Nam
Red, you're a humble man to admit the way you feel....You were ready to mount out, but the dice just didn't roll that way...I've heard men tell me that they were haunted about loosing shipmates and comrads instead of them...What goes on in a mans mind...in his heart, and how can he search his soul in such a manner to feel like that....I chance to guess, fools will give you answers, wise men never try. Thank you for your service to our wonderful country...you were ready, your powder was dry, and you would'a rocked if the music had'a played! Chief