Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida: There is a long story behind this song. First of all – this was never my style of music – not even “growing up” in the late 60’s – but this one single song defined my time in-country. It was released within days of my arrival and I KNEW from the moment I heard it – exactly what it’s meaning was… In the Garden of Eden – but of course no one believed me. I guess that Brutha Smoove was too stoned along with Foxworthy and the rest of the guys. And Leonard – he was just swapping beer for ice… It took nearly 40 years for the truth to come out. Considered the first Heavy Metal song.
This was my war – this was YOUR war. Many of our brothers and sisters never made it home, but in spirit. Others made it home in body – but not right of mind. These are OUR stories.
NOTE: The following was originally re-published by Kettle Moraine Publications in late June of 2018, however during our purge of the site, this column was accidentally lost. We are excited to have found it once more. For those of my Brothers and Sisters who walked (or flew) in my boots… I’ll see you at Sundown. ~ JB
A young US Marine Corps corporal directs modern history’s largest Naval bombardment in support of ground forces, wiping out an entire Viet Cong battalion augmented by Red Chinese regular soldiers.*
28-29 July 1965
Where the hell are you, Charlie? You’re out there. I feel it.
Corporal Karl Lippard (left) and Lance Corporal Arturo Nunez, one of Lippard’s machine gun team members.
A rawboned, lanky U.S. Marine strained to detect movement in the inky darkness, a starless space made blacker by a rain squall that suppressed the sounds of soldiers creeping toward their objective. A few feet away, a South Vietnamese Ranger, Sergeant Thi, also patrolled, straining to spot a large Viet Cong force they knew was approaching. An attack was imminent.
As he scouted the area, Corporal Karl Lippard mentally took inventory of his dicey situation and limited assets. He was armed with an M14 rifle and four 20-round magazines. Sgt. Thi carried a .30-caliber M1 carbine, and a Colt 1911 semiautomatic pistol was tucked in his M9 shoulder holster. The Marine had stowed his map case, helmet, poncho and pack in an old French bunker near the Ca De River bridge’s north approach. A telephone land line linked the abandoned bunker to roughly 20 other Marines dug-in on the south side. All were “Raiders”, a company of U.S. Marines that had received specialized training—“rubber boat” operations and submarine insertion, for example. Raiders were elite forces, the handpicked best of each U. S. Marine Corps battalion. Continue reading →
According to reports from the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation, the Michigan Heroes Museum, and others, Lt. Col. Charles Kettles — the Vietnam war hero and Army pilot who received the Medal of Honor in 2016 for his resupply and rescue efforts in 1967 — died Jan. 21, 2019, at his home in Michigan. Continue reading →
Funny, when we fought together there was no such problem because our mutual problem was about keeping each other alive. We were a team with a common goal. We’re home now, and there is no team. We are individuals. We have each other to fight. We have the system to fight. We have the economy and Wall Street, and healthcare, and schools to fight. Continue reading →
You’re a 19 year old kid. You are critically wounded and dying in the jungle somewhere in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam .
Its November 11, 1965. LZ X-ray, Vietnam.
Your infantry unit is outnumbered 8-1 and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own Infantry Commander has ordered the MediVac helicopters to stop coming in. You’re lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns and you know you’re not getting out. Your family is half-way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you’ll never see them again. Continue reading →
The 95-year-old Jackson passed away over the weekend, according to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein, who made the announcement Monday morning.
His death leaves James P. Fleming as the only other living Air Force Medal of Honor recipient, according to Military Times Hall of Valor Curator Doug Sterner.
Jackson, a native of Newnan, Ga., was famous within the aviation and special operations community for his daring rescue of a team of Air Force combat controllers who were stranded at the besieged airfield of an abandoned Army Special Forces camp during the Tet Offensive. Continue reading →
Dustoff helicopter pilot Patrick Brady made multiple evacuations of wounded soldiers in bad weather and intense fire near Chu Lai, South Vietnam, on January 6, 1968. He received the Medal of Honor on October 9, 1969.
~ Forewords ~
Brotha Smoove called me that night and said that it was vitally important that I see the film. He saw Walt Kowalski in me and felt that, not only was the finest film Eastwood had made in years – maybe one of his best – but that I needed to see myself on film. After I saw the movie the next evening, I texted him back and said that, “Maybe we all needed to see it.” My meaning extended beyond the three of us, who by that time, had known each other for forty years – we have now surpassed a half century together, Raymond, Leonard and myself. My comment was directed of course – to all who had served, and those who supported us – or maybe didn’t.
America has changed in my lifetime – and not necessarily for the better. Walt lives within us all who have spent as long on this earth as many of us have. We were Walt. I am Walt.
Sometimes we conservatives get sucked into the strangest dialogues. A few days ago was no different.
Speaking to a customer on the phone who was a Vietnam vet, our five-minute conversation turned into 30 minutes or more. He told me of his time in the country, and he, to this day, can’t understand how we lost.
Well, the memories rushed back to a conversation I had with my son several years ago concerning the same. And although I covered the same material, it was a very different feeling speaking to a boots-on-the-ground veteran than it was setting my son straight. Continue reading →
Jeremiah A. Denton Jr., 89, Dies; With Blinks, Vietnam P.O.W. Told of Torture
Cmdr. Jeremiah Denton Jr. blinked the word T-O-R-T-U-R-E in Morse code during an interview while he was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.CreditCreditNational Archives, via Associated Press
The prisoner of war had been tortured for 10 months and beaten repeatedly by his North Vietnamese captors in recent days, and there were threats of more if he did not respond properly when the propaganda broadcast began. Haggard but gritty, Cmdr. Jeremiah A. Denton Jr. slumped in a chair before the television cameras. Continue reading →
First light was almost upon us. I peered around the left edge of the ammo box. What I saw told me that there would be no more pawing around through the supplies dropped by the choppers in the dead of night. Through the misty rain, and what was left of the gently blowing night, I could see a slightly darker wave moving out of the jungle towards us. I also knew that we were all as good as dead if we stayed in our current position. It was either time to attempt to run back to the company lines under what covering fire the M-60s, grenades, and the Ontos could provide us or get back inside the hole and, with air hopefully on the way, wait the attack out and pray our hole wasn’t found. Three options, with not one of them being without high mortal risk. Continue reading →
Jane Fonda resumes her performance as an historical revisionist on a subject that keeps coming back to haunt her: the Vietnam War.
Fonda’s latest foray into her past as a useful propaganda tool for the communists has reared its ugly narrative all over again on the occasion of the thespian accepting a “Lifetime Achievement” award at the Traverse City Film Festival this summer. Michael Moore, the king of propaganda, added to the publicity swirl by heaping accolades on the actress as he bestowed the award.
Jane basked in the glow of her safe audience at the festival — taking advantage of the occasion to screen the sanitized version of her life in the recently released HBO documentary, Jane Fonda in Five Acts. Continue reading →
August 25, 2018 – BREAKING: John McCain has died at age 81.
~ Foreword ~ UPDATE: August 24, 2018 ~ It was announced today by Senator ‘Songbird’ that he is no longer being treated for his brain-cancer, as he realizes that his time is up. Have a better journey McCain than you provided for others, for It can not be soon enough that your final “dig” will take place – and you will be placed underground, which will bring you closer to your Father – Satan!.
The following was recently discovered on the blog of a colleague. As an Arizona resident for forty-two years – I have had no use for him. As a Viet Nam veteran – I have had even less use for the continued lies and deceit of John McCain. This column deserves the modified title of, “The Final Dig.” ~ J.B.
Americans left behind in Vietnam
Having recently accused president Trump of “treason,” the biggest traitor in Washington D.C. might be none other than Senator John McCain.
Disturbing information continues to emerge about his direct ties to Muslim terrorists and the London bomber, and how he’s owned and funded by Saudi terrorists and George Soros.
Ever since Trump got into office, McCain has done everything in his power to subvert the President of the United States, which is a federal crime.
As McCain continues to garner the sympathy of many Americans who still falsely believe he’s a Vietnam “war hero,” it’s time that we finally set the record straight about the unbelievable things McCain did during his time in the military, before McCain dies and nauseating tributes are made about his “service” in Vietnam. Continue reading →
On this day in 1968, some ten years after I sat in a bank in Mukwonago, Wisconsin – where I purchased my first silver coins out of a bag in a Vault – I landed in Viet Nam where I would experience a twenty-one month long adventure – one that would guide me for the next half century. Although I was not a Medic – I flew along side them on each flight that I participated in – as a ‘Patient Protector’ and assisted them in many of their medical procedures – including one particular flight where we were transporting a wounded enemy combatant to a hospital – he grabbed for the Medic’s sidearm once too often, and thus the ‘patient’ learned to fly – from a 3,000 foot altitude. No apologies here – not even to this day so many decades later.
~ Preface ~
February 15, 1968 – Being the Chef, bartender and janitor at the off-post Officer and NCO club near the North Point, Germany home of the 619th Ordinance unit, I was cleaning up the club after the monthly combined wives club luncheon, when Holroyd informed me that I had a call from Division Headquarters which I needed to take. It was Frank (our former Company clerk) telling me that my tour of duty was nearly at an end, and asked how many days leave I wanted to take in the States. I told him that I had no desire to return home, “What’s up?” The answer was the one, which most of us dreaded at that time. TET had taken its toll that month in Viet Nam, and I was being called up. “Oh shit,” I thought to myself, but, what the hell? – I was ready for a new adventure anyway. After all – it was easy in the movies, wasn’t it, John Wayne and all? I told Frank that I would take 45 days and began to make my preparations. Continue reading →
~ Forewords ~
Several years ago on a reunion trip with several of my cohorts from the rice paddies, the boys went out for lunch, while I stayed behind at the hotel in Newport, California to make some notes and write a bit of remembrance. The three of us had spoken for several years about collaborating on a book about our time together over ‘there’ – but I began to realize that both of the guys were bullshit artists, and really had no desire to follow through, and so I decided to write a preface – to what I hope would become my story about the twenty-one months I spent in the Far East – VietNam. What came out of that several hours of peace, can be read HERE. I would highly recommend that you read it before you continue… but – at your discretion…
As for now – we pick up where we left off… ~ Jeffrey Bennett, Publisher and Veteran Continue reading →
While searching for specific information earlier in the week, I came across the following. To say the least – it left me in shock for several reasons – the first of which because Memorial day is upon us. Secondly because, next week – June 5, 2018 I will look back exactly 50 years ago to my first landing in Vietnam, where within a week I would be assigned to the 498th Medical Co. (Dust Off) – the company for which a part of the following story took place. Although I do not specifically remember David Hertle, our stories overlapped during the same time frame, to the point where we both left the company and Vietnam within two weeks of one another – but there are others….
One final note: The author makes reference within the following about his story having taken place some 30 years before his writings, which now makes this piece 20 years old.
To all of my Brothers who served in the 498th out of Lane Army Heliport – our time and story is nearing its end… I’ll see you at Sundown.
As veterans we see the empty places in our ranks where friends once stood. We see shadows when we remember something funny with them and start to laugh realizing only you will be laughing. And we look across the table or the bar stool next to you and realize that it’s filled with another you don’t recognize because your brother hasn’t been there for a while.
I was young and was watching TV in the mid to late 70’s and Jane Fonda came on the TV and my dad happen to walk by in the living room and I heard the words “Traitorous fucking Bitch ” as my dad continued to the bedroom. I was very young but smart enough not to ask my dad what all that was about. My Dad did 2 tours in Vietnam and lost friends over there and he was really bitter about how things turned out after the “Peace with Honor”. I finally asked my Dad in the early 80’s right after Jane Fonda “workout Craze”, when I heard him muttering something really ugly ..something about burning in hell with the devil’s pitchfork jammed up her…….Well you get the picture. I asked him and he took a deep breath and explained what the deal was. He knew that I knew a lot of history so I knew a lot of background and would grasp the particulars of what he said. Since then, I and many people my age have said the same thing, talk about generational hate. ~ Mr. Garabaldi Continue reading →
Remember the USS Forrestal. There is an old adage that says, “It’s not polite to speak ill of the deceased.” So – I won’t. I will post this NOW – while he is hanging on and still causing trouble. I hope that he is buried with a R(h)INO horn, for it befits him. As a 21 month Veteran of the Viet Nam “war” – I have never had any use for him, nor have I ever voted for him – and had even less respect when he spearheaded the movement to establish relations with his buddies – his captors – who housed him so well and took such good care of the Admiral’s son in Hanoi. He and Senator Ted Kennedy will soon be reunited – in Hell. May his journey be swift. ~ Ed. Continue reading →