Category Archives: ‘Nam – Some Came Home

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.

I’ll see you all in the Garden someday..

John McCain and the POW Cover-Up

Are you LISTENING Meghan? Your father was no ‘hero’ nor a ‘great man.

The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam. ~ May 25, 2010

John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the ‘war hero‘ who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books. Continue reading

Vietnam, a U.S. Tragedy

Editor’s NOTE: The past is prologue. The stories we tell about ourselves and our forebears inform the sort of country we think we are and help determine public policy. As our current president promises to “make America great again,” this moment is an appropriate time to reconsider our past, look back at various eras of United States history and re-evaluate America’s origins. When, exactly, were we “great”?

Below is the 29th installment of the “American History for Truthdiggers” series, a pull-no-punches appraisal of our shared, if flawed, past…

U.S. Marines move against the enemy in Vietnam in 1968. (U.S. Marine Corps / Wikimedia Commons)

It is the war that never dies. Vietnam, the very word shrouded with extraordinary meaning in the American lexicon. For some it represents failure; for others guilt; for still more, anger that the war could have and should have been won. Americans are still arguing about this war, once the nation’s longest. For those who lived through it – the last war the U.S. fought partly with draftees—it was almost impossible not to take sides; to be pro-war or anti-war became a social and political identity unto itself. This tribal split even reached into the ranks of military veterans, as some joined antiwar movements and others remained vociferously sure that the war needed to be fought through to victory. Indeed, today, even the active-duty U.S. military officer corps is rent over assessment of the Vietnam legacy. Continue reading

The True Meaning Behind Vietnam Veterans Day, March 29

Vietnam Veterans Day

March 29th, the nation will quietly celebrate National Vietnam Veterans Day, but most of the nation may not even know that fact. After all, it is a new idea and it is not one of the big national holidays like Memorial Day or Veterans Day with a three-day weekend attached to it.

We Vietnam veterans are honored that such a day has been set aside. Though it may go unnoticed by most, that makes little difference to we who served in Vietnam. We know who we are. We remember only too well those we served with and those who did not come home with us.

We are proud of our service and of our brotherhood. Continue reading

The Nam: Some say why, we knew why brothers and sisters!

This young lady wrote this response to all Vietnam Veterans, about this picture.

Is this pic of the Tet Offensive in Central VN, specifically Quang Tri Dong Ha? It look familiar bc i was there . I was 4, 5 at the time. I remembered my mom n auntie made lots of New Tear foods, and brought it out so that the soldiers can eat n fight. Our home was at the entrance into the city. Continue reading

The Final Dig! Was John McCain a Traitor?

Special Message to Meghan McCain… “SHUT UP!”

~ 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.”  McCain died the day after this forward post. ~ 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

Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins

…ADKINS KILLED BETWEEN 135 & 175 OF THE ENEMY WHILE SUSTAINING 18 DIFFERENT WOUNDS…

Saluting United States Army of Waurika, Oklahoma, aged 85, awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in combat with communist enemy beginning 53 years ago – March 9 – 12, 1966, in the Republic of Vietnam.

“When the camp was attacked by a large North Vietnamese and Viet Cong force in the early morning hours, Sergeant First Class Adkins rushed through intense enemy fire and manned a mortar position continually adjusting fire for the camp, despite incurring wounds as the mortar pit received several direct hits from enemy mortars. Continue reading

A forgotten hero stopped the My Lai massacre 50 years ago today

Helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson speaks with reporters at the Pentagon on Dec. 4, 1969, after testifying about the My Lai massacre in South Vietnam. (Associated Press)

Everybody’s heard of the My Lai massacre — March 16, 1968, 50 years ago today — but not many know about the man who stopped it: Hugh Thompson, an Army helicopter pilot. When he arrived, American soldiers had already killed 504 Vietnamese civilians (that’s the Vietnamese count; the U.S. Army said 347). They were going to kill more, but they didn’t — because of what Thompson did. Continue reading

50 years after his death in Vietnam, Broward teen finally gets marked grave

Fifty years ago, a Dillard High School teenager was drafted into the Marines, and on the Fourth of July, his tour of duty in Vietnam began. He was 19, a young father.

Gregory Carter’s new marker at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Fort Lauderdale. Carter, a Dillard High School graduate, finally has a marked grave, 50 years after he was killed in battle with North Vietnamese Army forces in Quang Ngai Province in South Vietnam. (Taimy Alvarez / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

His service lasted three months. Pfc. Gregory Carter was killed in action in October of 1969, and his body was brought home to Fort Lauderdale, where he is buried near his mother. But for all these years, Carter lay in an unmarked grave.

Carter’s anonymous status in the city cemetery was discovered recently by the Vietnam Veterans of America, and his new headstone will be dedicated in a ceremony later this month.
Continue reading

We Were Soldiers: 22 trips in & out of LZ X-Ray

… Choppers Got Shot up so Bad he Had to Use 3 Different Ones

Editor’s NOTE: There are days in this land of ours today that I look back to other days. Yes – I have shared some of my story on this site before, and you can find them if you so desire. Singer Charlie Daniels told one hell of a story with his song, “Still in Saigon,” but his direction was different than the one which I chose in life. Yes – I feel much the same way in America in 2019 – but look back on that experience with different feelings than that which the song portrayed. I spent 21 months with the 498th Dust Off (Med-Evac) Group – and have never regretted one day of that service. Then I read the stories of Bruce Crandall and his Co-Pilot, Ed “Too Tall” Freeman – and I am home once again – yeah, “Still in Saigon.” ~ Ed.

Most fans of war films have probably seen the movie We Were Soldiers, but did you know that hidden in that movie is a Medal of Honor-winning event? Greg Kinnear plays a hard-charging helicopter pilot named Bruce Crandall. For his actions during that battle, Crandall would be awarded the USA’s highest decoration.

The officer commanding the medevacs looked me up to chew me out for having led his people into a hot LZ, and warned me never to do it again. I couldn’t understand how he had the balls to face me when he was so reluctant to face the enemy.”

Born in Olympia. Washington in 1933, Bruce Crandall was drafted sometime around his 20th birthday and then commissioned out of Engineer OCS the following year. Continue reading

Steel Storm: A Pivotal Battle Kept Secret for 53 Years

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

Ed “Too Tall” Freeman ~ Putting that Huey down…

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

Air Force legend, Medal of Honor recipient, Joe Jackson dies at 95

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

The Authenticity of Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino

~ 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.

I’ll see you at Sundown,

Jeffrey Bennett
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How the Tide was Turned in Vietnam

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

Heroes aren’t made-up… They are Born!

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

TWENTY-FOURTH DAY: 30 Days Has September

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

You’re Next: Fonda Cements Legacy as Hanoi Jane

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

Home is where the heart is…

Today is the 50th anniversary of my landing. Within a week and a half, I would be joining the 498th Medical Company (Dust Off), Lane Army Heliport, An Son, Republic of Vietnam.

I’ll see all of you boys again one day – at Sunset.

Dustoff Medic Remembers Vietnam

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.

The following is a personal commentary of one of my Brothers. ~ J. B.
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Preface: In the Garden of Eden

“Write drunk; edit sober.” – Ernest Hemingway

~ Preface ~
The Vietnam War in picture 03February 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