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Actually, there should be an asterisk next to the title -- Paris Peace Accord Ending the War in Vietnam* -- to make it historically correct as the fighting continued until the capture of Saigon by the Vietnam People's Army in April 1975 and the reunification of North and South Vietnam the following year.  However, with the signing of the peace accord an immediate cease fire was enacted, all U.S. military personnel were withdrawn within 60 days and all American POWs were released within 60 days.

Solider in Vietnam
 
The average age of the US Serviceman appeared to be age 19 or 20

Sixty-one percent of the men who were killed in the Vietnam War were 21 years of age or younger

7,484 women served in Vietnam.  6,250 (approximately 83.5% were nurses)

88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian

10.6% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Black

1% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were of other races

A helicopter takes off from a clearing near Du Co Special Forces camp, Vietnam in 1965.
A helicopter takes off from a clearing near Du Co Special Forces Camp, Vietnam in 1965.
The Vietnam War was the first conflict that saw wide scale tactical deployment of helicopters. The mountainous terrain and broad canopy of jungle made the use of helicopters a necessity. The Bell UH-1 Iroquois was used extensively in counter-guerilla operations both as a troop carrier and a gunship. In the latter role, the "Huey" as it became affectionately known, was outfitted with a variety of armaments including M60 machineguns, multi-barreled 7.62 mm Gatling guns and unguided air-to-surface rockets. The Hueys were also successfully used in MEDEVAC and search and rescue roles.

The H-21 Shawnee was the first US helicopter to undertake a combat role in Vietnam. Nicknamed the ‘Flying Banana’, this odd-looking helicopter was responsible for dropping 1,000 South Vietnamese paratroopers inside a Viet Cong complex on the outskirts of Saigon on January 12th 1962. At the time, members of the Viet Cong would flee at the sight of helicopters. But they soon realized that lightly-armored, cumbersome machines like the Shawnee could be fought against. They changed their tactics and devised specific training methods to countenance the new threat. Nevertheless, the US Army began making massive troop movements, sometimes using up to 100 helicopters at a time.

In all, some 16 types of helicopter were employed during the Vietnam War. Along with ‘utility’ and ‘attack’ types, a number of ‘observation’, ‘cargo’ and ‘heavy’ versions buzzed the Vietnamese skies between the early 1960s and mid-70s. Sadly, nearly 5,000 of them would never return from what became the world’s first helicopter war.

Vietnam Era Zippo Lighter
Vietnam
The movement against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War began small--among peace activists and leftist intellectuals on college campuses--but gained national prominence in 1965, after the United States began bombing North Vietnam in earnest. Anti-war marches and other protests, such as the ones organized by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), attracted a widening base of support over the next three years, peaking in early 1968 after the successful Tet Offensive by North Vietnamese troops proved that war's end was nowhere in sight.

The peace movement spawned a host of protest songs along with the iconic peace symbol.
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Since 1973, the remains of more than 900 Americans killed in the Vietnam War have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

For more than a decade the United States has conducted joint field activities with the governments of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to recover the remains of missing Americans. Throughout those countries, teams continue to investigate crash and burial sites, as well as interview locals to gain additional knowledge. The United States also continues to obtain access to historical wartime records and archives that provide information relevant to the fates of missing Americans.

Today, more than 1,600 Americans remain unaccounted for from the conflict.

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.

On this date in 1973, Lt. Col. William B. Nolde was the last American solider to die in combat in Vietnam.

58,148 were killed in Vietnam.

75,000 were severely disabled.

23,214 were 100% disabled.

5,283 lost limbs.

1,081 sustained multiple amputations.

Of those killed, 61% were younger than 21.

11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old.

Of those killed, 17,539 were married.

Average age of men killed: 23.1 years.

Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.

The oldest man killed was 62 years old.

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Source Material for Additional Reading:

Vietnam War Statistics

Interesting Vietnam War Facts, Statistics & Myths

The History Place presents The Vietnam War

Vietnam War Protests

Vietnam - The Helicopter War

Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office

Protest Songs from the Vietnam War

Vietnam War - End of the Conflict

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good Sunday Morning, MOTleys! (18+ / 0-)

    Photobucket

    Have a great day, everybuddy ;~D

    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 Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 03:42:22 PM PST

  •  The Bicentennial (8+ / 0-)

    Anybody remember that?

    There were several years of the thing building up, the big 200th birthday bash on July 4, 1976, and by breakfast on the 5th, the whole thing was spent and passe....

    At the time I did't see why the oh-so-trendily-Liberal hipsters, with their "if it feels good do it", didn't dig the biggest 200th birthday party ever. But I was only 15, and looking back I can see that the thing was way overly hyped and overly commercialized (e.g.: a series of commercials about evil Reginald  Redcoat trying to steal the Patriot kids' toaster pasties). And I have to wonder if they had an inkling of intuition that all the flag waving may be priming the late '70s turn to the right?

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 03:45:32 AM PST

  •  I remember those days well. (7+ / 0-)

    A couple of years ago, one of the traveling replica black walls came to our city.  I went late one the first afternoon it was here.  The first name I looked for was one of my high school friends.  The last time I saw him was the night we graduated together, but the last time I talked to him was outside chemistry class a few days before graduation.  He was deployed on September 30, 1965 and flew his first mission that day.  He disappeared in his F-4 Phantom on September 30, 1965.  Shot down by a SAM missile.  They finally found the crash site in 1985, twenty years almost to the day.  His remains were identified and he was repatriated home where he is now buried in the National Cemetery nearest his home.

    When I went to see that traveling black wall exhibit, the first name I looked for was his.  I had my granddaughter with me, and she had never seen her PawPaw cry.  She hugged me and tried to comfort me.  


    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 03:59:03 AM PST

    •  I have never seen the Wall (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otteray Scribe, JaxDem, DeadHead, BOHICA

      nor had a desire to though I knew several of the names there.  Really can't say why except to note that sometimes, doors closed once should not be opened again; they tend to creak open all too often on their own

      •  You know, entlord (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Otteray Scribe, DeadHead, DaNang65, BOHICA

        no one from my hometown, Hartsville, died over there.  I always thought that we beat the odds, but I have no idea what the odds were in the first place.

        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 04:16:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My Home town was Berkeley CA (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JaxDem, BOHICA

          13 people from my howntown died. (I knew 2 of them) I remember when they had the ceremony to honor them---in 1992. it was protested.
          Whenever people insult Berkeley about all the protests I always ask them how many from their hometown died in Vietnam.

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 04:51:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  He died on his first mission on his first day (6+ / 0-)

      in country.  Any death is horrible and for sure his family was crushed, but those who die their first days there or those who die just days before leaving always seemed to me would be that much harder to take.

      I'm glad they found his remains and he is home again.  The work done by the folks at Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office earn them angel wings imo.

      Loved the piece by Dave Van Ronk ;)

      Did you get some snow the other day?

      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 04:14:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We got a bit of snow, (7+ / 0-)

        but mostly freezing drizzle.  My daughter managed to do a 360 down by the grade school when she braked for a stop sign.  She was in her 4WD truck which has all weather tires, but black ice is black ice.  Fortunately she did not hit anything because no one else was venturing out much.  It warmed up above freezing yesterday, so it all melted.  

        She just came in from work.  It is a full moon, so they had a bad night down at the jail.  Inmates broke off sprinklers, damaged property and one female officer was attacked.  As my daughter put it, the female booking officer, "Went all Donkey Kong on them," when one of the inmates grabbed her thigh.  Now the four guys involved are facing additional felony charges.  She said it took every trustee and all the officers on duty to get the flooded cell block cleaned up. Apparently by the time she got off work, the entire Sheriff's department staff's nerves were fried.  She has gone off to bed to try and get some sleep.

        I got an email from my son, who said he could always tell when it is a full moon.  His ER looked more like a zoo than a hospital.  

        The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

        by Otteray Scribe on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 04:25:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They laid out there (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BOHICA, JaxDem, Joy of Fishes, DaNang65, exlrrp

        in that fetid stinking jungle for twenty years before he and his back-seater were found. I have had dreams about that,  none of them good.  He was a Captain when shot down, but was promoted posthumously to Major while he was still listed as MIA.  His stone in the National Cemetery says Major.  Wish he could have lived to know he would be promoted.

        The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

        by Otteray Scribe on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 04:42:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Went to a traveling wall in 1989 (4+ / 0-)

      As I tried to approach the apex, I couldn't do it. It was like there was a force field keeping me away.

      When the Oregon Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated, they played taps and my legs went out from under me just like the cemetery scene in Saving Private Ryan. Weirdest thing.

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

      by BOHICA on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 04:34:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I made it to the parking lot, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BOHICA, JaxDem, exlrrp, Otteray Scribe

        got out of the car, and quickly turned around, bawling.

        I don't know if I'll ever have what it takes to see it.

        “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 05:16:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This rant came from my next visit (8+ / 0-)

          A few historical inaccuracies but, "Fuck it. It don't mean nothin'"

          This was written several years ago when the “Traveling Wall” stopped at Ft. Vancouver. My opinion hasn’t changed much.

          I got out the old Jungle Fatigue blouse with the combat patches and headed over to Fort Vancouver to the Traveling Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Wall. It's billed as "The Wall that Heals". Not this Veteran, not this time. I went because I knew that I would never make it to Washington D.C. for the real thing. It was early and the crowds hadn't shown up yet. It took me two times to get past the emotional force field The Wall throws up at you. I managed to control most of the feeling welling up from my soul. The one I could not keep down was a profound sense of anger. I was angry with myself for being a brainwashed idiot in my youth. I was angry at all of the lying sons of bitches politicians that got us into that meatgrinder. I was angry at the anti and pro war sides that were duped by the aforementioned sons of bitches. And then there were the French colonial masters.

          Having been raised in the 50s and 60s on a diet of anti-communism, movies glorifying war, Boy Scout oaths, and history written and taught by the winners, I was ripe for the picking. I had no idea that Ho Chi Mihn was our ally or that the promised elections of 1956 were called off because of US intervention. I had no idea that Viet Nam and China hated each others guts and were only allies in this conflict because the US had left the Vietnamese with no where else to turn. Why was I so clueless? Because it was not in the best interest of the lying sons of bitches who talk a good game of national self determination but haven't got the guts to let it happen. Why was the election of 1956 not allowed to happen? Because Uncle Ho would have won that’s why!!! The South Vietnamese government was corrupt and incapable of representing the people. It is that simple. But they were OUR corrupt incompetent dictatorial bastards and would be supported come hell or high water. Well hell came soon enough and the monsoons brought the high water. Were any of the history classes going to teach this? Of course not. Had I known all of this history would I still have enlisted? I could say I might have at least with open eyes instead of having that “Bright Shining Lie” blinding me.

          How can one be angry at both the anti and pro war factions? Easy, they were so wrapped up fighting each other they lost sight of the real tragedy, we were destroying a country and hundreds of thousands of people in the name of America The Self Righteous. The anti-war side abandoned the principles of non-violence and truth by engaging in destruction and immoral tactics. Calling the parents of a recent casualty and calling him a baby killer was abhorrent, although this may have been a conterintelpro game. One never knows. The returning veterans knew the truth; they could have helped stop the madness. Although many of them did, the vast majority retreated into themselves or worse, into self-destructive behavior.

          The pro-war faction was so caught up in patriotic flag waving brought on by fancy speeches by the lying sons of bitches and revulsion at the tactics of the anti-war factions that they too were blinded by the lies. The two sides could not find or even think of finding common ground. And that common ground was the useless waste of human life so the lying sons of bitches could get reelected and their military industrial complex cronies could make tons of money in the name of freedom. What a crock! For ten years the money just kept rolling in, why stop a good thing?

          And now the French colonial masters. How I despised those pompous, chauvinistic, self-righteous failures.
          They lost in 1876 to the Germans and couldn't stop thinking about how to get in another war so they could win next time. Well they got it, WW I, the war to end all wars, a war so horrible their soldiers went on strike (a good move on the soldiers part). Cue the US Calvary to the rescue. This set the stage for round 2 with the treaty of Versailles; make conditions so wretched in Germany that hate would rise to the top, which it did. After failing to stop the Nazis when they took back the Reihnland they folded like a wet paper bag. With the end of WW II they had to have their colonies back. Why? Because they are pompous, chauvinistic, self-righteous failures.  Can't let the Brits have colonies and not themselves. Of course our lying sons of bitches caved in even though FDR had set a policy of self-determination for all former colonies. We won't get into the Philippines as that's a different story and of course they were OUR colony. So the French get back Indochina, rule with an iron hand and set the stage for their second Waterloo also known as Dien Bien Pho. The United Nation partitions the country, sets up elections for 1956 and the rest is now history. Although it will never be taught like this in a US history class.

          That's why I'm angry.

          BOHICA
          US Army 1967-1970
          Republic of Viet Nam 1968-1969

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

          by BOHICA on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:21:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I have been to the wall. (5+ / 0-)

        Looking at the names and knowing every one of them represents a vibrant human being who had hopes and dreams and who left behind family, friends, and community grieving for them ... the weight of the sorrow overwhelms.

        I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble.

        by Joy of Fishes on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:46:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yup (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JaxDem, Otteray Scribe, BOHICA

        Can't go near the Wall or the Traveling Wall either BOHICA. As one commenter on a helicopter diary here some weeks ago said as the discussion centered on when the Viet Nam war ended, "It never ended". It was a woman who made that comment and I felt at that time she was probably referring to her spouse with PTSD. Whatever the things are that trigger the sadness/rage at the waste/ loss they do come at random times and never seem to ever go away. Last weekend I broke out sobbing when they sang "Bring Them Home" in Les Miserable. Sometimes you don't come home either dead or alive.

  •  yep copters put the Cav back in Cavalry (5+ / 0-)

    There was a hiatus between the demise of the horse cavalry and the new cavalry (both Patton and Ronald Reagan trained as horse officers).  Copters came into their technical own then as the Army refound the air after conceding fixed wing aircraft the the Air Force following WWII and the end of the AAC.

    •  I didn't know Reagan trained horse cavalry. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead, Otteray Scribe

      All who served were heroes, but those flying the helicopters, flying into and out of LZs amid heavy fire time and time and time again were beyond brave.

      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 04:19:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Reagan was assigne to the cavalry (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JaxDem, BOHICA, DaNang65, entlord, bobatkinson

      Which was the local Champagne unit for Hollywood.
      He spent his  ntire military career producing aan starring in propaganda movies.

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 04:57:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yep but it is still fascinating bit of history (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BOHICA

        as wingers still vehemently defend Reagan and John Wayne for staying in Hollywood instead of enlisting for active duty as many other Hollywood types did and actually going in harm's way

        •  Reagan WAS active (0+ / 0-)

          he was paid by the gummint! he got up to be a captain!
          Just had one of the most cushiest jobs ever in the MOther of All Champagne Units
          he wasn't the only one like that, not by a long shot

          Wayne was old and had kids. He tried to enlist but they thought America was better with him doing what he was doing and America may not have been wrong.
          Don't think I'm a john Wayne fan, but fair is fair. He did USO tours and would get booed.

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:53:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would point out that others of a comparable (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JaxDem, BOHICA

            age and family situation did find a way to serve.  The interesting Hollywood fact is that the war gave a chance to a good many second and third tier actors and wannabes who might have never gotten a chance had the A list folks not gone off to war.  Some who did not serve were also watching their own professional backs as some of those who did serve never did see their careers rebound

  •  First and last KIA (9+ / 0-)

    The first American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Air Force T-Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. He is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having a casualty date of June 8, 1956. His name was added to the Wall on Memorial Day 1999.

    The last American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Kelton Rena Turner, an 18-year old Marine. He was killed in action on May 15, 1975, two weeks after the evacuation of Saigon, in what became known as the Mayaguez incident.
    Others list Gary L. Hall, Joseph N. Hargrove and Danny G. Marshall as the last to die in Vietnam. These three US Marines Corps veterans were mistakenly left behind on Koh Tang Island during the Mayaguez incident. They were last seen together but unfortunately to date, their fate is unknown. They are located on panel 1W, lines 130 - 131.

    Thanks for remembering.

    •  Thank you, big mouth for reading (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otteray Scribe, exlrrp, BOHICA, DaNang65

      and for the additional information.  I will have to research the Mayaquez incident.  I'm sure I heard about it at the time, but I'm not recalling any of it (no big surprise).  

      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 04:34:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I remember the relief my parents felt when my then (6+ / 0-)

    18 yr. old middle brother drew #366 in the 1969 draft lottery. They already had one unfortunate son, my eldest brother, over there.
    `

    Father Time remains undefeated.

    by jwinIL14 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 04:16:23 AM PST

    •  I can appreciate your parent's relief (5+ / 0-)

      having raised a son myself.  The end of the Vietnam war was also the end of the draft.  

      Thanks for the video as the music and the images take me right back...

      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 04:37:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My number was 364 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jwinIL14, JaxDem, BOHICA

      My number in the lottery turned out to be 364 but by the time I knew that enlistment for Warrant Officer Flight School had been made and I was happily singing "I want to be an Airborne Ranger. I want to go to Viet Nam. I want to kill old Charlie Cong". Brainwashed to the max and in flight school at the same time and just north of the Texas Base where Bush Jr. was hiding out from Nam with the Texas National Guard.

  •  The Zippo says it all . . . (7+ / 0-)

    . . . and it's still that way today. You'd think McCain would get it but he's chugged the Kool-Aid long enough now that he's a member of the Uncaring elected by the Ungrateful to send the Unwilling off to war.

    The "peace symbol", as we know it, was designed and adopted by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK) by Gerald Holtom, a designer and artist who graduated from the Royal College of Arts. Holtom developed the symbol from the semaphore letters 'N' and 'D' for Nuclear Disarmament.

    And, after a little research, this:

    Fun with HTML


    - Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.
    - Frank Zappa


    by rudyblues on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 04:21:36 AM PST

    •  semaphore letters (5+ / 0-)

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

      by BOHICA on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 04:36:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I remember those from the Boy Scouts . . . (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BOHICA, JaxDem, exlrrp

        . . . although given the organization's recent behavior I would really like to forget. I think I had a merit badge for that.

        Recommendations to the Boy Scouts of America for new merit badges:

        Tolerance
        Understanding
        Practicing Equality
        Unconditional Love
        Enlightenment

        The list goes on . . .


        - Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.
        - Frank Zappa


        by rudyblues on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:13:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you, rudy for the background on the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA, rudyblues, exlrrp

      peace symbol.  Now hows about sharing the HTML goodness ;-)

      Oh, and you are too too right about Grumpy McCain.

      Have a great day.

      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 04:40:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I learned sharing in kindergarten . . . (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BOHICA, JaxDem, exlrrp

        . . . but it took me a bit longer to learn HTML (had to wait for Berners-Lee to invent it).

        The trick is in Unicode characters. Unicode (there are several "sets" of Unicode characters) provides a numerical representation of a graphical character. It's how you see all that Cyrillic and Mandarin and Katakana symbols on non-English web sites.

        Here is a listing of all Unicode characters as hexadecimal numbers (base 16, digits 0-9 and a-f, instead of base 10 like decimal). If you want to display a Unicode character using HTML you enter the hex code like this:

        &#Xnnnn;

        That's ampersand hash x nnnn semicolon

        where nnnn is the hexadecimal number. The peace hand is 270C hex, so this:

        &#X270C

        displays this:

        If the browser can't make the symbol it shows up as an empty square. Case insensitive in the hex number. Put it inside header tags to make it larger. Don't forget the semicolon.

        One note: if you put it in a diary or comment and then preview the diary, and then go back to edit again the symbol might be displayed as its graphic and not as the code you entered. If you want to change the character you might have to delete it and start again.

        Also, when you return to edit, the fact that the character is rendered can change the meaning of other characters. For instance, each time I edit this comment and preview it I have to go back and redo the bit where I'm showing the ampersand becasue ampersand is special and when it gets rendered it changes the meaning of #Xnnnn.

        I have a draft diary that I experiment in. It's fun. But I'm weird, so . . .

        OK, class is over for today.


        - Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.
        - Frank Zappa


        by rudyblues on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:55:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK) (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JaxDem, DaNang65, rudyblues, exlrrp

      On the march.

      There is also the Banner of Peace.

      Banner of Peace is a symbol of the Roerich Pact. This Pact is the first international treaty dedicated to protection of artistic and scientific institutions and historical monuments. (It was signed on April 15, 1935).

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

      by BOHICA on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:06:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My MOS - 67N20 (11+ / 0-)


    My "Snake"

    BOHICA
    RA18960500
    Aging bitter Vietnam Veteran
    Repentant ex member of Murder Inc.
    Southeast Asia Division

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

    by BOHICA on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 04:25:06 AM PST

  •  I graduated from high school in 1963 (6+ / 0-)

    and lived on College Campuses from then to 1974 when my husband (who finished his PhD) moved to Khartoum, Sudan.  The antiwar movement was part and parcel of my life.  I remember visiting the Wall in 1986 with my three younger children; I did not have a relative or friend on that wall, all my high school classmates returned from their stint in Vietnam.  And yet, the experience of putting my hand on that wall was profound; were all the antiwar protests for naught?  One of the saddest moments in my life.

    •  I can imagine the experience (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA, maryabein, DaNang65, exlrrp

      of visiting and touching the wall would be profound.  Thank you for sharing your experience with us, mary.  

      I've never visited the wall -- that and the Holocaust Memorial are on my list the next time I visit my brother in MD.

      Thanks for reading.

      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 04:48:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Was gifted a copy of (5+ / 0-)

    Kill anything that moves. One of those books I don't want to read but will anyway.

    Based on classified documents and first-person interviews, a startling history of the American war on Vietnamese civilians.

    ~

    Drawing on more than a decade of research in secret Pentagon files and extensive interviews with American veterans and Vietnamese survivors, Turse reveals for the first time how official policies resulted in millions of innocent civilians killed and wounded. In shocking detail, he lays out the workings of a military machine that made crimes in almost every major American combat unit all but inevitable. Kill Anything That Moves takes us from archives filled with Washington's long-suppressed war crime investigations to the rural Vietnamese hamlets that bore the brunt of the war; from boot camps where young American soldiers learned to hate all Vietnamese to bloodthirsty campaigns like Operation Speedy Express, in which a general obsessed with body counts led soldiers to commit what one participant called "a My Lai a month."

    I'm on chapter 3 and its as bad as I thought it would be. As they say; The truth will set up free but first it will piss you off.

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

    by BOHICA on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 04:59:13 AM PST

    •  I cannot imagine how sickening (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA, DaNang65, exlrrp

      the truths in the book must be.  The thought sickens me, but for you...

                       ...I cannot fathom.

      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 05:08:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Naturally I've seen a lot of the conversation (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA, JaxDem, exlrrp, Zwoof

      surrounding Kill Anything that Moves but I don't think I'll be reading it. In a general sense I already know too much of what it describes. In the specifics it's the recapitulation of something I hope is illustrated by this story:

      We landed "in country" in March of 1965, the first "combat troops" of the war, charged with protecting the Da Nang airfield. By May, just about every time we had a battalion formation the XO, a Major, would tell us "Men, I know what we're doing here doesn't make a lot of sense to you, but that's because you can't see the Big Picture."
      After some weeks of that finally the Old Man, a Lt. Col., addressed the formation. "Men," he said, "I've got to tell you the Truth, there isn't any Big Picture."
      I came home in April of '67. It was a different war by then. Everybody on the ground more or less got it that there wasn't any Big Picture. The only thing that mattered was making it back to "the World" in one breathing piece.

      “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 05:36:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Winter Soldier (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JaxDem, BOHICA

      The truths in that book are what Senator John Kerry was trying to bring to the front of the American conscience with his Winter Soldier Hearings in Detroit. It is why the Swift Boaters went after him with such ugly vengeance, it's why the right wingers have never forgiven him or Jane Fonda for trying to tell the truth about the genocidal bombing campaign we were waging on the north. The truth is that we really were the "honky imperialist pigs" that I hated the hippies for saying back in that day. Education is a wonderful thing, some of it by going and seeing for yourself some in the hallowed halls of academia after one gets back from the killing fields and the rest just by living.

  •  Touching story from one of my IGTNT diaries (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, jwinIL14, DaNang65, rudyblues

    about a Vietnam Air Force pilot whose remains were returned home last June.  

    Photobucket
    Air Force Lt. Col. Charles M. Walling of Phoenix, Arizona

    The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of two servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

    Air Force Lt. Col. Charles M. Walling of Phoenix will be buried June 15 at Arlington National Cemetery. There will be a group burial honoring Walling and fellow crew member, Maj. Aado Kommendant of Lakewood, N.J., at Arlington National Cemetery, on Aug. 8 -- the 46th anniversary of the crash that took their lives.

    On Aug. 8, 1966, Walling and Kommendant were flying an F-4C aircraft that crashed while on a close air support mission over Song Be Province, Vietnam. Other Americans in the area reported seeing the aircraft crash and no parachutes were deployed. Search and rescue efforts were not successful in the days following the crash.   ~ DoD News Release

    Lt. Col. Walling volunteered as a replacement pilot and had hopes of returning home to his 2 year old son and his pregnant wife.  Instead, his family spent years not knowing what really happened to him and without proper closure.

    Twenty-two years ago, Air Force cadet, Amy Santmyer, who is now Lt. Col. Amy Young, decided to wear a MIA bracelet engraved with the name Lt. Col. Charles M. Walling who was a F-4C Phantom pilot shot down in Vietnam.

    MIA bracelets were developed in the 60s to ensure fallen service members would not be forgotten.  

    Amy said:

    I thought it was a very fitting tribute for any particular individual that no matter what else goes on, by wearing an MIA bracelet you ensure that at least one person will remember that individual who's missing, and keep the faith and not give up hope that they're going to come home.
    Photobucket
    Lt. Col. Amy Young is now stationed with the 80th Operations Group at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas where she serves as a T-6 instructor pilot and chief of group scheduling.  

    Recently Amy opened a request from the Pentagon for volunteers to support an upcoming funeral, this day the request was for Lt Col. Charles Walling.

    I was absolutely shocked to see his name. As soon as I processed that he had been recovered, I immediately started making phone calls to confirm that they had actually found him and brought him home.
    Lt. Col Young immediately obtained approval for a four-ship missing man flyover of T-6 Texans at Walling's funeral.  A flyover that she would lead.
    Never would I have imagined to have been fortunate enough to be in a position to be able to do something like this for the family, to help lay him to rest the right way and in an honorable way and to show some tangible thanks from a grateful nation.
    Amy sums it up perfectly:
    One of the greatest commitments our country has made that people may not be aware of is that we will not leave a fallen Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine behind, and this story is a testament to that fact. That after 46 years we finally brought this particular Airman home, to his family. And the entire time that the family was waiting, they were not waiting alone.
     ~Source   ~ Source

    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 05:06:33 AM PST

  •  My MOS: 11B2p (6+ / 0-)

    Airborne infantryman, paratrooper
    I was in combat longer than anyone in Band of Brothers and didn't get the breaks to date British girls either.
    You're welcome, America

    PhotobucketPhotobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:07:04 AM PST

  •  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 ]

  •  Names (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaxDem, rudyblues, exlrrp

    I was driving back from the stable one Sunday and this song came on Prairie How Companion. Couldn't see so I had to pull over.

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

    by BOHICA on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:56:48 AM PST

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