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..

Brady: The Decline of Dustoff

“When I have your wounded.”

Those words set the standard and example for generations of Dustoff crews, which provided helicopter aeromedical evacuation from the battlefield. They were also the death rattle of Maj. Charles Kelly. In terms of lives saved, his sacrifice was perhaps the most productive U.S. combat death ever. Kelly’s story may be instructive in demonstrating the shabby state of evacuation and care of wounded warriors today. Continue reading

Veteran war reporter Morton Dean hosts documentary at Branson IMAX Military Film Festival

A still image from Morton Dean’s report aboard a Dust Off chopper in Vietnam; Courtesy Morton Dean, CBS News, January 1971

One of America’s most legendary war correspondents visited Branson during Veteran’s Week, presenting his documentary “American Medevac” at the Branson IMAX Military Film Festival.

Morton Dean has been a journalist since 1957, starting his career at WVIP in Westchester County, New York. He went on to work in Boston and New York City, when he joined WCBS-TV, the flagship station of the CBS Television Network. He moved to the network in 1967, covering NASA, national politics, the Invasion of Grenada, the Falklands War, the Iran Hostage Crisis and the Vietnam War during a 20-year stint. In addition to his reporting work, Dean also anchored the CBS Sunday Night News, and CBS Sunday Evening News.

He also worked for ABC for 14 years, covering the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, reporting from Kuwait during the first Gulf War, was on the ground during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and was the only reporter to report from inside the parking garage at the World Trade Center in 1993 after terrorists detonated a truck bomb in the first WTC bombing.

Dean was reporting from Vietnam in 1971 when he and cameraman Greg Cooke were at an Army emergency aid station called Hawk Hill, where they discovered the story that later was the basis for the documentary film. Continue reading

Medal of Honor Recipient Patrick Henry Brady on Harrowing Combat Dust Off Missions

In January 1964 Brady volunteered for Vietnam and was assigned to the 57th Medical Detachment – Helicopter Ambulance, led by Major Charles Kelly. The unit’s call-sign was “Dust Off,” a cry for help that would become the most famous of all Vietnam call-signs.

On January 6, 1968, Brady was rousted from off duty to help with an extraordinary causality situation. Despite repeated warnings that the missions were impossible – due to weather, the enemy, or land mines – on three different missions Brady extracted patients from areas where other aircraft had failed. For these actions Brady was awarded the Medal of Honor. Continue reading

A Bright Shining Lie

John Paul Vann became an adviser to the Saigon regime in the early 1960s. He was an ardent critic of how the war was fought, both on the part of the Saigon regime, which he viewed as corrupt and incompetent, and, as time went by, increasingly, on the part of the U.S. military. In particular, he was critical of the U.S. military command, especially under William Westmoreland, and its inability to adapt to the fact that it was facing a popular guerrilla movement while backing a corrupt regime. He argued that many of the tactics employed (for example the strategic hamlet relocation) further alienated the population and thus were counterproductive to U.S. objectives. He was often unable to influence the military command but used the Saigon press corps including Sheehan, David Halberstam and Malcolm Browne to disseminate his views. Continue reading

Godspeed, Medal of Honor Recipient Gary Beikirch

A man of God and American Patriot.

A quiet man and humble man, Gary Beikirch, departed this life for the next on 26 December, becoming the third Medal of Honor recipient we said farewell to in 2021, after the deaths of T/Sgt. Charlie Coolidge and Lt. Col. Chuck Hagemeister.

Gary, a Vietnam veteran whose Medal of Honor citation you can read here, was instrumental in shaping and supporting the character education curriculum of our National Medal of Honor Heritage Center. Continue reading

You’re Next: Fonda Cements Legacy as Hanoi Jane

MEMORIAL DAY 2021: In Memory of my Lost Brothers and Sisters.

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

Letter to this Editor…

It is interesting as to how many times these feelings come back to haunt me. January of eight years ago, again in 2018 – and again in 2021. Do things ever change. Will we survive? Will we WIN? ~ JB

January 24, 2013 ~ Early this morning, I received a note from one of my readers and listeners to my daily talk show. BE WARNED: Some of you will not like the coarseness of the language in my response, but then – that’s life. ~ J.B.

Jeff,

…you been sounding a little less than low lately. Today I left you one in the Federal Observer section of the YEmail, but I need to tell you that next time you need to take one of those fishing trips, I suggest you head for Eagle Nest and swing by the Vietnam Memorial at Angle Fire… Continue reading

President Ford and his Viet Nam problem child

In 1975, President Ford was left to manage the difficult ending of the Vietnam War.

President Ford went to Congress for a relief package to allow American personnel and our allies to evacuate. However, there was ONE US SENATOR who opposed any such support. The result was the embarrassing and hurried evacuation from the roof of the American embassy in Saigon.

This senator reveled in the embarrassment and did everything he could to leverage it politically against Ford. Despite the efforts of this U.S. Senator – President Ford managed to rescue 1,500 South Vietnamese allies prior to the country’s fall.

Had President Ford not acted quickly, these people would have been targeted and slaughtered for their support for America. Continue reading

A Veteran’s Reflections

Grateful for a life spared, and thankful for those who paid the ultimate price.

It was as hot as I remembered, nearly 120 degrees under cloudless skies. It was 1989 and 23 years had passed since I last stood on this spot. Twenty-three years earlier we often came into this little fishing village on the Perfume River five kilometers south of the Imperial City of Hue, South Vietnam. My squad of Marines almost always took enemy fire as we approached this village. Continue reading

Hey Beotch. We’re Coming…

Hanoi Jane, the infamous traitor to her country and now Joe Biden surrogate, couldn’t contain her excitement while talking about the coronavirus. “What a great gift! What a tremendous opportunity!” she exclaimed. It has “ripped the Band-Aid off who [President Donald Trump] is and what he stands for and what is being done to average people and working people in this country.” And now, she gleefully asserts, “We have a chance to harness that anger and make a difference. So, I feel so blessed to be alive right now.” She gloated, “We can stop fascism.” (Read full commentary…)

THIS is our answer to YOU

In the Garden of Eden: A Tribute… and thanks

~ Forewords ~
October 1, 2017 ~ 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

The Story of a Marine Grunt in the First Battle of Khe Sanh (April 1967)

WARNING: This video contains much offensive language and much vulgarity. Even so, Al’s story is absolutely compelling, historic, and even emotionally touching if you watch all the way to the end.

I was with Al White at the Khe Sahn 881 Hill Fights that he just described. I was in 1st. platoon. Met him at our reunions, but he was in weapons platoon. Knew Lt. Cannon well. My platoon commander was Lt. Izenhour. The worst hell in three weeks of our lives. People only remember the Siege, which they should in 1968, but we were fighting these North Vietnames for three weeks a year earlier. Some of the worst fighting in the war. . Lost 32 Marines on May, 3rd., 1967, when we were overrun. The Marine hero he mentions that got the Navy Cross was Fred Monahan. He saved a lot of us. If you want to learn more of this battle go to Amazon, and order the 881 Hill Fights. I am in one of the last pictures he shows at our reunion. ~ Dick Backus Semper Fi