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Old April 30th, 2015, 05:07 AM
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FASTBOAT TOUGH FASTBOAT TOUGH is offline
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Fallout 40 years ago today we finally left .

My Dad had already retired by this time after 28 years in the ARMY in the end of 1969. He had fought in Italy from 1943 until the end and would find himself in another forgotten war (Officially Police Action.) in Korea and did an adviser tour in Vietnam before we were officially fighting there. He would make Sergeant Major (SGM) twice in his career and retired with the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSG) on his sleeve and an Honorable Discharge. The times were different and he was a tough ole hard drinking Mick and a real SOB but well respected by my "elders" who had served with him and fought along side him. He got his parades and like many others who served and fought in Vietnam this wasn't the case for Vietnam. He wanted to go back for a combat tour but unfortunately for him my Mom suffered... well lets just say the Army kept him in West Germany to take care of the family. His final tour would bring us stateside as a second attempt at a combat tour ended with the same result as the first. He felt the "kids" needed him and his more experienced buddies over there. Instead he would prepare them at Ft. Dix, NJ to become soldiers in eight weeks (At one point six weeks if I recall properly.) when it took 28 weeks in WWII. The only time he broke down was when once he spoke of all he'd seen and hoped my brother and I would never have to experience any of it. But the worst and the hardest thing was seeing the weekly list of the "kids" that were WIA or KIA he and his Asst. DI had put through boot camp over the 3 three years @ Ft. Dix. After my parents split up many years later he allowed me to stay with him in Va. after three years of pursuing what I thought I wanted to do with the rest of my life after moving to Chicago IL. The day I walked into the recruiters office in Williamsburg, Va. on 03/23/82 (MMSC/SS Alan Metzer) I volunteered for the Sub Service. When I later told my Dad I joined the military his first reaction was to ask if it was the Army and if it was he was going to kick my @#^% xxx! I told him I joined the Navy's Sub Service. What I saw in his eyes was total relief and a sense of pride and he finally told me "I had finally become a man" I was 23. That night and this last has always been with me and at times haunted me as well that a jungle in SE Asia could have such a hold on a man after everything else he went through. I feel as I got older I came to realize it was the guilt of not being to help the "kids" in combat and just reading and hoping not too many of his "kids" would be on the weekly lists they sent to the DIs.
I see this 40th Anniversary today of our final departure as both a release, an opportunity to remember the old man and give homage to his "kids" that made it back and to remember those that didn't. I would like to thank all you Vietnam War Vets even you Aussies and New Zealanders and anyone else including the French that maybe we should've listened to and learned from. I hope you got your parade and if not look inward to your families-my grand-kids always provide me with one.

Some videos of your time in country to some songs that were popular then...
https://video.search.yahoo.com/video...t=mozilla&tt=b


https://video.search.yahoo.com/video...t=mozilla&tt=b

https://video.search.yahoo.com/video...&hsimp=yhs-002


https://video.search.yahoo.com/video...&hsimp=yhs-002


With all my respect and best wishes.

Regards,
Pat
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Last edited by FASTBOAT TOUGH; April 30th, 2015 at 05:27 AM..
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Old May 1st, 2015, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: 40 years ago today we finally left .

My Dad, a three-tour Army infantry veteran of Vietnam and Texas National Guard artillery veteran of Afghanistan, had the exact same reaction when I told him I joined. Except he had that "I'll kick your ***" look when he asked if I had joined the Guard, and I replied no, regular army. His next question was "WHY INFANTRY?!?"

I remember reading in Bernard Fall's book about the FIW about a sign that had been placed by the communists on the road near Dak Ya-Ayun where Groupement Mobile 100 was wiped out. The sign didn't say anything about the capitalist pigs or foreign pestilence. It simply read, "On this location, French and Vietnamese soldiers died for their countries."

Here's to all Vietnam veterans, on both sides, and all countries.

Matt
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Old May 29th, 2015, 07:55 PM
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Unhappy Re: 40 years ago today we finally left .

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkr8683 View Post
My Dad, a three-tour Army infantry veteran of Vietnam and Texas National Guard artillery veteran of Afghanistan, had the exact same reaction when I told him I joined. Except he had that "I'll kick your ***" look when he asked if I had joined the Guard, and I replied no, regular army. His next question was "WHY INFANTRY?!?"

..."On this location, French and Vietnamese soldiers died for their countries." Here's to all Vietnam veterans, on both sides, and all countries.Matt
That was a very tough pill to swallow. I reported as directed by my draft letter. I remember an elderly white-haired man sitting behind the information table. He had a slight tremble with his right hand as he took my letter, read it upon adjusting his glasses, returned it to me and said calmly, almost matter of fact, "Son, this board is not taking any boys until after the lottery. Go home and wait to see what number you get, it'll be by your birth date." I pulled a very high number something like in the 250's.

It was simply a matter of your zip code, your address. I had cats I balled with in HS, but they lived just six blocks or so away, and they got called before the lottery, drafted, inducted, whatever term you want to use, maybe even screwed. Your choice.

All I know for sure, is that guys went when called, and most not to be called cowards. Hell, we could not run to Canada, could not afford college, get married quickly and get a deferment. Truthfully, I only know one one cat whom I met decades later, with the guts to say, "hell no" and stand by his principles and that was Cassius Clay, or Muhammad Ali, call him what you want, your choice.

There was no sign-up bonuses, it was conscription, pure and simple. But, I must say this, we saw the War on CBS: A young Latino Marine, not more than 19 years, fell on a grenade tossed in his foxhole, we saw that captured on TV. So, there was a lot of brave dudes, a lot of stand up cats over there fighting because they were called, pure and simple.

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Old December 7th, 2015, 09:39 PM
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Fallout Re: 40 years ago today we finally left .

On this day of remembrance something that belongs here only. I've had the pleasure over the years to have met many of the surviving WWII Sub Vets they took the fight to the enemy when they were all we had left after Pearl Harbor. And we lost one at this years event. But it's the Vietnam Vets that'll always have a special place in my heart, I was the one who broke the generational ARMY legacy, with my fathers blessing. So a little something for you guys.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMl_9AtOD30

Have a wonderful week.

Regards,
Pat
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