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View Diary: Morning Open Thread: Paris Peace Accords Ending The Vietnam War Signed 40 Years Ago Today (98 comments)

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  •  I'm sorry but this is WAY wrong (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BOHICA, JaxDem, DaNang65, Over the Edge
    1% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were of other races
    I know tht in the cut and paste.
    In that count, Latinos and every ther race besides black. are counted s white: There were plenty of Latinos there, this was when I met the most Puerto Ricans, who were draftable. Plenty of NAs too.  Many of these volunteered. Don't forget: a lot of americans like to fight.
    Back then everybody thought of "race" as black vs white. But its more complicated than that, a LOT more complicated
    Rge first picture below shows my 101st infantry platoon---plenty of races here besides black and white. i  have no reason to think this is not a typical platoon picture
    (I am sitting first row, 2d from left)

    a few more lrrp pictures, my 2 best pals. Neither one of them died in my arms, you'll be glad to know.
    the finger is mine. Like mrs e says: just a bunch of crazy, skinny kids running around with guns

    Photobucket

    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:30:36 AM PST

    •  Many of these volunteered (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaNang65, JaxDem, exlrrp

      To try and beat the draft, myself included. My best friend got drafted and spent two years at Ft. Hood, and I got the SE Asia tour.

      Like Old Lodgeskins said; "Sometimes the magic works."

      Hobbs: "How come we play war and not peace?" Calvin: "Too few role models."

      by BOHICA on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:38:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  so, did you see that as a win? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JaxDem, BOHICA

        Feel sorta sheepish now but I volunteered a lot---enlisted for infantry, volunteered for airborne, volunteered for Vietnam (from Panama) volunteered to be a lrrp.
        Later I volunteered for a parachute testing detail.

        Thats why I have to keep people like Jaxdem a continent away or I'd be doing 5 diaries a week! ;-O

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:10:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My only win (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JaxDem, bobatkinson

          Was ending up a Cobra crew chief and not having to be a door gunner. Life expectancy was not good.

          After I left, records indicate that every ship in my platoon went down.

          Hobbs: "How come we play war and not peace?" Calvin: "Too few role models."

          by BOHICA on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:26:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I survived it-I'm calling that a win (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JaxDem

            I killed more of America's enemies than they did of me.
            Anyone who doesn't see that as a win didn't see much war.
            Think I'm going to go out and celebrate all over again.

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:44:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  My best volunteering (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JaxDem

          Was in basic when I volunteered to be a driver. Got to miss morning formation, hung around the mess hall and supply waiting for someplace to go. Even missed the graduation ceremony because of it.

          Hobbs: "How come we play war and not peace?" Calvin: "Too few role models."

          by BOHICA on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:33:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •   lives were saved by a military drivers license (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JaxDem, BOHICA

            The army was divided into those with and without a militry driver's license. I never got a chance to get one, tho I had a CA drivers licnse my whole time in the army.
            At any point in my military career if you could raise your hand when asked if you had  a military drivers license (or could type) you got the cush job on the spot.
            It was the Magic Outta Here pill.
            here's a real helpful hint for future generations: if, in the military, anyone ever asks "Can anyone here type?" RAISE YOUR FCKING HAND!!!! It could very well save your life!! (and you don't really have to know how to type either, just fake it)

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:56:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Lrrps never needed military drivers licenses (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BOHICA, Over the Edge

              Any time you ever saw a picture of a lrrp in a jeep, you can bet el farmo the jeep was stolen.I can't tell you some of the true Vietnam war stories, they're still highly classified---like the time me and my pal stole an MP jeep while they were busy being menaced by another pal of ours with a grenade---all the time he being personally naked at the time.
              America's not ready for that one yet.

              Photobucket

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:44:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  The statistics sites I found (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaNang65, BOHICA, exlrrp

      couldn't agree on the average age of soldiers, the picture of the brass "In Memory Of" plaque above lists 58,267 casualties of that war yet the cut and paste from a statistic site listed 58,148, this comment above by big mouth belies the first and last killed info that I found in my research and in fact one stat page specifically mentioned that Latinos were grouped in with white statistics. I can understand the confusion and inability to correct the race statistics since back then Latinos were grouped in with whites and there is probably no way to accurately go back and determine who was and who wasn't, but I must say I am very surprised at all the other inaccuracies.

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:42:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The whole history of the war is one (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JaxDem, exlrrp

        Big inaccuracy, at least how it is taught.

        "The reason people don't learn from the past, is because the past was a repetitious lie to begin with."
        Mike Hastie
        U.S. Army Medic
        Vietnam 1970-71
        Mike is my friend who was the aide station medic and took the "Why" helicopter picture there.

        Hobbs: "How come we play war and not peace?" Calvin: "Too few role models."

        by BOHICA on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:52:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bear in mind that those "statistics" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BOHICA, JaxDem, exlrrp

        only reflect the immediate KIAs and 100% disableds, e.g. The real numbers, including all the suicides, overdoses, one car accidents, as well as the plethora of Agent Orange victims who were sprayed and betrayed, only to come down with one of a long list of disabling ailments, well, those numbers dwarf the official tallies.

        There's no way to calculate the tens or hundreds of thousands of lives effectively lost to addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and the imprisonment which so often followed. Not to mention homelessness, mental illness, and despair.

        “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

        by DaNang65 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:52:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have no reason to doubt at all your (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DaNang65, rudyblues

          estimations of drug/alcohol deaths, imprisonment, but I just want to illustrate how confusing or misleading the other info out there can be.  I've culled the following from the Vietnam War Facts, Statistics & Myths that I linked to at the end of the diary:

          91% of Vietnam Veterans say they are glad they served.

          74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome.

          Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups.

          Vietnam veterans' personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent.

           There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group (Source: Veterans Administration Study).

          Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison - only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes.

          85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life.

          Myth: The media have reported that suicides among Vietnam veterans range from 50,000 to 100,000 - 6 to 11 times the non-Vietnam veteran population.
          Fact: Mortality studies show that 9,000 is a better estimate. "The CDC Vietnam Experience Study Mortality Assessment showed that during the first 5 years after discharge, deaths from suicide were 1.7 times more likely among Vietnam veterans than non-Vietnam veterans. After that initial post-service period, Vietnam veterans were no more likely to die from suicide than non-Vietnam veterans. In fact, after the 5-year post-service period, the rate of suicides is less in the Vietnam veterans' group.

          Would you comment on these for me?  I am stunned to learn that the info I'm finding out there is so misleading and inaccurate.

          I've not had the opportunity before now to say it, but I want to thank you, DaNang65 for your service to our country.

          As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

          by JaxDem on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:05:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here's stat that should shame us all (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JaxDem, rudyblues, DaNang65

            The National Alliance to End Homelessness

            The Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently released Volume I of the 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report. Among the key findings included in the report was the estimate that 62,619 veterans were homeless on a single night in 2012. That estimate represents a 7.2 percent decline compared to HUD's 2011 estimate, and a 17.2 percent decline compared to its 2009 estimate.

            The veteran homelessness population is made up of veterans who served in several different conflicts, ranging from World War II to the recent conflicts. Though research indicates that veterans who served in the late Vietnam and post-Vietnam era are at greatest risk of homelessness, veterans returning from the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq often have severe disabilities that are known to be correlated with homelessness. And as the military evolves, so too do the challenges. Homeless women veterans, for instance, are far more common now than in any other time in the past.

            Getting better but not good enough.

            Hobbs: "How come we play war and not peace?" Calvin: "Too few role models."

            by BOHICA on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:23:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  There's something about Sgt. Hack 's (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JaxDem, bobatkinson

            paean to the Viet Nam War, Vietnam War: Facts, Stats & Myths that reminds me of the Warren Commission's report. Remember how the Warren Commission was appointed to prove that Lee Oswald, acting alone, killed president Kennedy? And they did, kinda sorta. If we ignore common sense and little things like the Laws of Physics (think Arlen Specter's "magic bulet")

            Some examples of "Sgt. Hack's" curious relation to reality:

            The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1961. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.
            As big mouth points out, above, that ain't exactly true. We can argue whether or not that dubious distinction should go to Lt. Col. Peter Dewey, September 26, 1945, or Maj. Dale R. Ruis and Master Sgt. Chester M. Ovnand July 8, 1959, or any one of a number of others. Which name and date we choose probably says more about what spin we're trying to put on it than anything else.

            Similarly, Sgt. Hack boldly asserts

            Myth: The United States lost the war in Vietnam.
            Fact: The American military was not defeated in Vietnam. The American military did not lose a battle of any consequence. From a military standpoint, it was almost an unprecedented performance. General Westmoreland quoting Douglas Pike (a professor at the University of California, Berkeley), a major military defeat for the VC and NVA.
            About six weeks after I came home from Viet Nam the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I can still physically feel the impact when I first heard A Day in the Life
            I saw a film today oh boy
            The English Army had just won the war
            A crowd of people turned away
            but I just had to look
            Having read the book
            I'd love to turn you on
            I think we know better than to assert that the United States didn't lose the Viet Nam War. Sgt. Hack's too fine point is in service of propaganda.

            Sgt. Hack puts similar spin on the CDC's Vietnam Experience Study. During the 1980's I was in correspondence Colleen Boyle, then with the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly and principal investigator for what came to be called the Vietnam Experience Study. While my disagreements with Sgt. Hack's characterization of that study are too detailed and nuanced to list in what is already turning into a diary rather than a comment, suffice to say that the Sgt. is as right about this as he is about winning the war.

            Not to mention, of course, the admittedly anecdotal evidence of my forty five years of experience in and among the very Viet Nam veterans Sgt. Hack so easily dismisses.

            “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

            by DaNang65 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:56:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for taking the time to explain this. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DaNang65

              It seems Sgt. Hack is appropriately named, eh?

              I suppose I should not be surprised that all the inaccuracies exist today regarding Vietnam considering the lies and deceptions from beginning to end concerning our involvement there.  I'm not naive enough to think we didn't lie about the other wars, but to me it seems that historically the Vietnam war was the biggest pig they applied lipstick to.

              As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

              by JaxDem on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:18:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Just as a lens through which to view those (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JaxDem, BOHICA

                "statistics," how many deaths from overdose are actually suicide? How many one car accidents? How many exposure deaths? Those are all categories in which Viet Nam veterans died at statistically significantly higher rates than either our age cohort peers who never served or who served but not in Viet Nam.

                Perhaps it's no coincidence that the mortality study of OEF/OIF veterans is being done by the VA and not the CDC. In legal circles they call it "forum shopping."

                “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

                by DaNang65 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:43:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Some of that personal experience (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JaxDem

                here.

                “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

                by DaNang65 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:50:15 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  You really have to LOOK for the accuracy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JaxDem, BOHICA

        No reflection on you at all, hon, I know you just did the cut and paste.

        But that was such an amazingly wrong statisttic that it shows how easy a lot of wrong stuff has been assimilated into society

        just ask me, I won't tell ya wrong.
        "There I Was........."

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:12:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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