Ricky and Blain

Discussion in 'The VMBB True Story Tellers' started by Guest, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    106RR196LIB
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 151
    (6/23/01 8:23:43 pm)
    | Del All Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My platoon was desperate for bodies. We had a standing offer to any grunt to transfer him to heavy weapons no matter what the record. In the transfer we got two retarded guys. One of them had already had a nervous breakdown, the other was nearly blind even with coke bottle glasses.
    I will call them Ricky (breakdown) and Blain (blind). We could not teach these guys to use a recoilless rifle. It was too complex. We had them drive the gunjeep when we were not in combat.
    We received a trouble call from C Company and we sent a gunjeep to their company perimeter. Whenever there was trouble they moved the heavy weapons in. Blain had to spend the night at C Company. He was so dumb he didn't know it was dangerous. C Company perimeter was a beautiful mountain overlooking the South China Sea.
    We sent a second gunjeep to reinforce them the second night. Ricky was in the second jeep. C company was where Ricky had his terrifying combat breakdown before.
    We now had two retarded guys in the same company perimeter. The gunners and loaders leave the guns to get a briefing from the the LT.
    During their absence the two retarded guys decide to have a (believe it or not) drag race inside the company perimeter. Both gunjeeps are loaded with hundreds of pounds of high explosive shells, white phosphorous 50s and grenades.
    Neither guy is smart enough to know that it's dangerous.
    The rest of the grunts started running for cover as the huge clouds of dust engulfed the base. The race ended when Blain slammed one gunjeep into a hedgerow he couldn't see. Ricky hit the medic hooch while he was laughing at Blain. The medics were in shock. The guys came running to find me at the CP and told me what happened. I was in shock.
    I went to the guns first and opened the breech -- they were both loaded. The 106 RR was built without a safety. Neither gun discharged. We could not aford to lose the two bodies by putting them in prison. The CO said they had to stay in heavy weapons. Mike H

    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 762
    (6/23/01 8:36:04 pm)
    | Del
    ezSupporter
    Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I guess the question would be.......what the hell did you do with those two after that incident??????? Was it the same with every heavy weapons platoon/section being short handed? Woulda had to suck big time!

    LarryJK
    Senior Chief Moderator III
    Posts: 257
    (6/23/01 10:23:28 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Maybe Rickey couldn't help it...what with a nervous breakdown.

    hope6970
    Moderator
    Posts: 445
    (6/24/01 12:10:13 am)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Larry, Blain couldn't help it either, he couldn't see where he was going.

    I can remember going out on bivouac in basic and a few of the girls who had to wear glasses couldn't see where they were going when they had to remove them, they were being led by the ones who didn't wear them or could get by without them. It was almost like the blind leading the blind. I wonder how those two guys were assigned their assignments over there in the first place? Sounds as if someone else was blind.

    dreamcatcher27371
    Member
    Posts: 64
    (6/24/01 8:20:05 am)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    They too served.

    Misterstan
    Moderator
    Posts: 320
    (6/24/01 11:48:54 am)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well said, Dreamcatcher.

    We all did the best we could with what (and who) we had to work with.

    Stan Lambert
    St. Clair Shores, Michigan

    hope6970
    Moderator
    Posts: 448
    (6/24/01 4:42:30 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    dreamcatcher and Misterstan, I was not denying them their place in Nam. I was questioning their assignments. I am sure there were a lot of places they could have done an excellent job and not put the rest of their comrades in danger. Of course since there were people not in danger due to their actions it is easy to draw ready conclusions.

    dreamcatcher27371
    Member
    Posts: 65
    (6/24/01 5:12:41 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hope,
    I didn't even have your entry in mind when I made the post.
    In fact, I understand what you're saying and I agree. Someone dropped the ball in assignment of these two soldiers. I guess the need for bodies to fill slots overrode
    common sense in assignments. If they had not had a history it would have been different. It was a hosed up war just about any way you cut it.

    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 774
    (6/24/01 5:24:45 pm)
    | Del
    ezSupporter
    Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Understand what you're all saying. I, too, would not discredit their service by any means. But, having a couple bozos like that in a combat situation is a little different than having them working in a motor pool, supply center, or an office environment. As Hope said, it was obviously a major league screw up having these guys out in a situation where they were putting lives at danger in a very,very big way.

    hope6970
    Moderator
    Posts: 449
    (6/24/01 5:33:48 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    dreamcatcher,

    I apologize to you for my conclusion of your post. Thank you for catching me up on it.

    That will also go for you also Misterstan, I think!!! lol lol

    Thanks guys!

    Misterstan
    Moderator
    Posts: 322
    (6/24/01 5:41:05 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hope,

    You're absolutely right. Sorry if I gave you the wrong impression.

    I was just agreeing with Dreamcatcher that even though these guys seemed out of place in their given assignments, they too answered the call of their country and did the best they could like the rest of us.

    I have read many stories about the front lines being in need of replacements and people being pulled from the REMF positions at random to make up for the shortages with little or no regard to their qualifications.

    Stan Lambert
    St. Clair Shores, Michigan

    106RR196LIB
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 152
    (6/24/01 10:39:20 pm)
    | Del Ricky & Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ricky got in the Army when his mother took him down to the recruiter and signed him up. He took a six year hitch I think. Mom cut a deal with the recruiter at a time when he needed his quota to keep his cushy job.
    Remember that any recruiter who failed to meet the monthly quota lost his TDY pay and would be returned to standard duty. They were threatened with actually having to fight.
    His re up was for six years with no bonus. He claims that the company recruiter woke him up in the middle of the night and told him to sign some papers. He didn't know you were supposed to get a re enlistment bonus.
    He was in Germany when he re uped. He has remained an E3 for the entire time.
    Blain was drafted. His glasses were necessary for him to pass the physical and probably to find the doorknob to the induction center. We were surprised that he had a girlfriend in Ohio. His girlfriend was taking care of his Ford Falcon (170 ci six) while he was in the service. The Ford salesman told Blain that the car would do 140 mph with just a little work. The girlfriend wrote him to say that she was breaking off the engagement and would be using the Falcon for her honeymoon. I think the ring was sold to finance the wedding. He asked us if this was normal. We said no and asked him to write to the Chief of Police in his home town. He declined -- writing was very difficult and he did love her. Oh Well!

    nighthawk
    Member
    Posts: 43
    (6/24/01 10:50:32 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky & Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Stan,,you are right,,
    I had an E-4 working with me in Saigon. We were REMF's of course,,data processing,,anyway, he was promised by a couple of Army career counsellors an early-out ETS if he would extend his tour and go to a combat arms unit. He figured it would get him out of the Army about 5 months early. He beat that! After 2 weeks of "training" in Chu Lai, he went out on a patrol. Second night he was killed.
    I wanted to find a couple of "career counselors" and see if I could have convinced them to "extend".
    Know what I mean??
    Stan H

    dreamcatcher27371
    Member
    Posts: 66
    (6/25/01 2:50:17 am)
    | Del Re: Ricky & Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This whole Ricky and Blain saga sounds like a crock of shit to
    to me. Tdy pay for recruiters! E3's reupping for 6!

    hansenjim
    Member
    Posts: 18
    (6/25/01 3:29:46 am)
    | Del Re: Ricky & Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So, who won the race?

    :)

    Misterstan
    Moderator
    Posts: 325
    (6/25/01 1:14:21 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky & Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When I joined the Navy in 1968, I signed up for a career in electronics. To do so I had to sign up for 6 years active duty.

    The normal procedure is 4 years active duty and 2 years in inactive reserves.

    The demand was too high for electronics, so I was given a 4 year hitch instead.

    While I was serving in Vietnam, our ship was ordered to be decommissioned and turned over to the Taiwanese Navy. In the process of studying up on the procedure of decommissioning a ship and typing out orders to transfer each member of the crew, I came across a directive that allowed enlisted personnel to get out as much as 12 months early if they had served in "the theater" of Vietnam for a period of 9 months or more.

    We used this for several members of our crew who elected to shorten their active duty. I was able to reduce my active duty by 9 months, so I served on active duty for a total of 3 years and 3 months.

    Stan Lambert
    St. Clair Shores, Michigan



    106RR196LIB
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 162
    (6/28/01 12:07:56 am)
    | Del Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dreamcatcher;
    You have made a very unfortunate choice of words. Perhaps your vision was clouded by a lack of understanding and you just forgot your manners.

    The situation with less intelligent troops took a turn for the worse after 68. Mc Namara ordered the recruitment of the so called "moron brigade" These were guys who had failed their induction tests. In many cases they could read at 5th grade level if that. That would put them somewhat lower in IQ than Ricky and Blain. The Army just wasn't prepared for that kind of training. You would have a unit where almost no one could read a TM manual. The "moron brigade" was inducted and sent to fight in Vietnam. Most, I am told served with the 11th LIB and the 198thLIB in I Corps. Both of those units were in Americal Division.
    In 69 the recruiters were sent to Americal Division every two weeks. The whole summer. Every time there was trouble they offered to get the guys off the line if they would extend and re up. They were ready to cut any deal that would increase enlistment. They not only inducted a brigade of morons, they extended and re-enlisted them. Mike H

    106RR196LIB
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 163
    (6/28/01 12:18:21 am)
    | Del Career Counselors
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Stan H ;
    You are right in your feelings about the career counselors. Two weeks of training in Chu Lai would qualify a guy for the MOS of

    dreamcatcher27371
    Member
    Posts: 82
    (6/28/01 7:20:26 am)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Perhaps you're correct Mike. Your depiction of events surrounding Ricky and the Army personnel situation in general is so foreign to the way things went in the Navy that I guess I can't understand. I guess the fact that all navy personnel in Vietnam were volunteers and we didn't have to contend with the draft make it hard for me to comprehend your situation. But it sounds like Ricky wasn't drafted since his Mother took him to the recruiter and they signed him up for six years. As for her cutting a deal with the recruiter - I still haven't figured that one out. Navy recruiters were assigned recruiting as a primary duty, hence, there would be no TDY (or TAD as the Navy calls it) pay. But, they also had quotas to which they had to adhere. Since Ricky's re-up was for six years this means he already had his original 6 years under his belt. Seems like he would have been weeded out well prior to coming up for reenlistment and evidently the standards of performance that navy people have to meet in order to be eligible for reenlistment must not be in place in the Army. If he was eligible for a reenl bonus, I can't imagine that being witheld from him even if he was unaware that he was eligible.
    Since Blain was a draftee, I guess you guys were forced to take what came up. We Navy guys were fortunate not to have these personnel problems. Oh, we had some goof-offs and not-too-bright first-termers but they were usually weeded out way before someone had to depend on them in a combat situation. With our up-or-out programs, quarterly evaluations and reenlistment guidelines, people with substandard performance, inability to advance and other negative traits documented by their senior petty officers were usually gone as a convenience to the government. Different strokes, I guess. If I offended you with my lack of manners and unfortunate choice of words, I apologize. We're all in this together and I can see that while we were all in the "uniformed services," there was little that could be termed "uniform."

    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 792
    (6/28/01 7:41:56 am)
    | Del
    ezSupporter
    Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Larry........I appreciate your words to MikeH. I can see where some of the workings of the Army would be incomprehensible to you and the rest of the Navy group. The Army dealt with the personnel situation in a most bizarre way. I could see what was happening to the enlisted ranks and who and what was being used to "fill" those slots. Before you arrived to this board, I wrote a story about being a flight instructor in the Army's Primary Helicopter School. There was a time, following my tour of duty in Vietnam, in 1969 that we couldn't eliminate ANYBODY from training, regardless of how bad they were. Simply because they needed bodies to fill seats. Similarly, and perhaps moreso, enlisted personnel were required to fill slots. Selectivity? Not Much.

    Later on, I attended the Army's Test Pilot program at Fort Eustis, VA. As part of the course, we did a study which involved providing recommendations for improving the overall program. Out of necessity we were forced to recommend going to the modular fix system since the average mechanic/crewchief/avionics/weapons/pneudraulics
    and electronics guy........now coming from the "all volunteer Army" had an average reading/comprehension level so low, it made the reasonably written technical manuals unable to be read. Hence, down the road, trouble shooting was nearly eliminated in favor of simply swapping out modular boxes, particularly for electronics and avionics. The additional cost to the tax payer was tremendous.

    We may have all worn a military uniform, received similar pay, had the same Commander-In-Chief, but that's pretty much where it ended.

    Misterstan
    Moderator
    Posts: 338
    (6/28/01 11:49:06 am)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Several years ago, I had a conversation with a young man in his early twenties.

    I mentioned to him that I had served in Vietnam. He asked me when I was there. I told him I was there in 1970 and 1971.

    He said I was lucky because when I was there a majority of the people who served in Vietnam were there because they wanted to be there.

    He had learned in high school that in the mid to late sixties the majority of people who served in Vietnam were either sent there because they were given the choice of several years in prison or one 13-month tour of duty in Vietnam or they were unable to qualify for college and were drafted by the Army and sent to Vietnam.

    Stan Lambert
    St. Clair Shores, Michigan

    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 793
    (6/28/01 12:06:45 pm)
    | Del
    ezSupporter
    Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Stan:
    While what was said may be true, I would add some provisoes to it. I speak specifically of your last paragraph. Not everyone who was drafted was incapable of qualifying for college. As a matter of fact, a reasonable percentage were people like myself who were putting themselves through college and because of work requirements, were not able to take enough credit hours to avoid being drafted. Believe me, if I could have been going to college full-time, I would have done so.
    The down side of the ending of the draft, as a matter of fact, is that many draftees were either in college, finished college, or were of reasonably decent intelligence. That pool was virtually ended when the draft ended. And I'm not necessarily saying that those who volunteered are dummies. I'm simply saying that since the end of the draft, atleast for the Army, the quality of the "all volunteer Army" has perhaps suffered.

    hope6970
    Moderator
    Posts: 460
    (6/28/01 3:25:47 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Stan,

    I always thought at about that time (from 1970 on), there was no one else to send that hadn't been over there. So they had to send what was left and they were the ones that couldn't meet the qualification list.

    No!!, don't anyone get in an up-roar....I was just teasing.

    However by reading some of the earlier post regarding the Navy, I did see their food was far and above Army chow.



    dap22
    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 794
    (6/28/01 3:32:58 pm)
    | Del
    ezSupporter
    Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hope.......rumor has it that much of the Army food was food that the Navy threw out (in the form of leftovers) or turned down from the rations depot because it was either substandard or rotten. Any truth to that??

    hope6970
    Moderator
    Posts: 462
    (6/28/01 3:57:42 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dave,

    All the time I was in the Army I always heard of the scrumptious food that those Navy guys would have. I did hear one time that they would pay off the warehouse people and take everything that was good. Leave us what they didn't want and then make sure the word got out how good the Navy was. That was their way of enticing recruits. At our expense! lol

    Don't believe it either when they say they had to do their own laundry. That is another story.

    homer4
    Moderator
    Posts: 1021
    (6/28/01 5:59:02 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Volunteering for the draft gave me an RA status. I seem to recall at Ft Holabird that with the US status allignment of the inductees, they were selecting every say 5th, 6th or possibly 7th man...or something like that( I forget the actual count )...anyway...they were to be sent to the Marines.

    Idon't believe Navals and AirForce personnel were ever US...always RA's.

    Lastly...and this isn't a blanket statement, but it seemed at the time that the Navals and AirForce personnel seemed to be somewhat better educated than GI's and Jarhead's...NO screaming now...just an impression I had.

    Of course there were tons and tons of very well educated GI's and Jarhead's...the fact that they were to have a draw of the US pool allowed for some with less education...to be selected. For what ever the reason for not furthering or advancing at at least a High school level. Seem to recall that having a record would hamper any attempts to join the Air Force as well as the Navy.

    Today...the standards are much higher than the VietNam era.
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    Misterstan
    Moderator
    Posts: 340
    (6/28/01 8:40:17 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I remember in boot camp they kept telling us that if we didn't make the grade they would make us go through boot camp all over again.

    When I realized that we never got anybody from an earlier company sent back to our company the gig was up. Boot camp life actually became much easier once I figured that out.

    We were also told that Navy chow was usually better than the other branches of the service because they had to supply the ships at sea. The normal sea duty was something like six months at a time, so the chow had to be fresh in order to last that long.

    I can definitely vouch for the fact that the chow on our light cargo ship that ran up and down the larger rivers of the Mekong Delta had the best food anywhere.

    Every single night we had what was called "Midrats" where the cook would leave out cold cuts, etc., for the people on watch to enjoy. When we were underway at night out on the ocean, I sometimes got up around Midnight just to get something to eat!

    Stan Lambert
    St. Clair Shores, Michigan

    mt pari
    Moderator
    Posts: 75
    (6/28/01 8:49:51 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jer signed on for not one but 3 tours of duty in Nam. Frist one he was young and thinking he had a low number anyway, he might as well sign up and get it over with..Second one he did so he could get enough R&R to see his sister graduate..By the 3rd one he was nuts...he said they interviewed him to see why he wanted to go over..He said, "If I go it saves someone else from having to come here"..They stamped his papers to be a gunner, at his request. They really were not too fussy then where they?..He was seriously wounded in that stint and spent his 21st birthday handing out ammunition stateside.

    dreamcatcher27371
    Member
    Posts: 87
    (6/28/01 9:05:19 pm)
    | Del Re: Ricky and Blain
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Some of the best (and the worst) eating I ever experienced in the Navy was onboard diesel submarines. We would sometimes make northern runs of 72 days duration. They're probably still classified. But -- our cook would load us down with some good chow. We weren't able to shower for the duration of the patrol (evaps couldn't make enough water for that seeing that our engines were water cooled also) both showers were packed full of potatoes and onions and stuff like that. Subs had an "open galley" which meant you could get off watch, go to the reefer, get a nice thick steak and cook it up yourself. You just had to make sure everything was clean and shipshape when you finished. The normal meals were great. Plenty of "nutty buddy" ice cream. As the patrol progressed, the supplies diminished. On the way home we were usually eating cheese and peanut butter. Imagine how good that stuff is at clogging up your pipes. Big tme constipation....but that was the price we paid for having such good chow at the start. Back to the water: we could run enough fresh water in the basin to wash our face, shave, brush our teeth, etc. But no showers. Officers and crew.
    The corpsman and the cook were the only ones authorized to shower but they never did either. We would have rode them to death, plus, the showers were occupied by spuds. When things really got raunchy you could drop down in the lower flats of the torpedo room and wash your jewels with a little torpedo juice...like 151 alcolhol. Now that would liven up your day. Drop a little fart the first day of patrol and it would be recirculated for quite a while...the sanitary (septic) tanks were vented inboard (into the atmosphere of the boat) and so were the fuel tanks. You developed a very submarine specific odor and lots of times I'd just burn my dungarees when we came in rather than try to clean them. Only 88 enlisted on our boat and every one had to know every one else's job. Before you can earn your "dolphins" you must qualify on every job on the boat. If you got caught in the engine room you had to do the job of the engineman...etc..Absolutely the best duty I ever had...no slugs here! If a sailor didn't show the attitude or the aptitude for submarine duty, the Captain set his seabag on the pier and he usually went to the tender for duty. No questions asked. "Enviormentally unadaptable to submarine duty". Uuhh, I think I got off track here. Point is: the food was great.

    106RR196LIB
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 169
    (6/29/01 4:56:21 pm)
    | Del Career Counselors
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Stan H;
    My ISP had a brain fart and cut this post in half --
    Two weeks of training in Chu Lai would only qualify these guys for an MOS of
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The VMBB True Story Tellers Ricky's New Thumper Times 2 Feb 27, 2003
The VMBB True Story Tellers Ricky "Drop Four Meters" Feb 27, 2003

Share This Page