“Write drunk; edit sober.” – Ernest Hemingway
~ 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
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.
Jeffrey Bennett, Publisher/Editor Continue reading
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.
Sorry – my ass!
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.
Terrifying study shows jungle parasite from Southeast Asia may be killing American veterans decades after end of the war
Troops of the Ninth division wade through swamps and rivers south of Saigon in the summer of 1969, in the Delta area
Half a century after serving in Vietnam, test results show some men may have been infected by a slow-killing parasite while fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia.
The Department of Veterans Affairs this spring commissioned a small pilot study to look into the link between liver flukes ingested through raw or undercooked fish and a rare bile duct cancer.
It can take decades for symptoms to appear.
By then, patients are often in tremendous pain, with just a few months to live.
‘It was surprising,’ he said, stressing the preliminary results could include false positives and that the research is ongoing.
Of the 50 blood samples submitted, more than 20 percent came back positive or bordering positive for liver fluke antibodies, said Sung-Tae Hong, the tropical medicine specialist who carried out the tests at Seoul National University in South Korea. Continue reading
Be skeptical of Ken Burns’ documentary: The Vietnam War
Some months ago I and a dozen other local veterans attended a screening at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta – preview of a new documentary on The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick” The screening was a one hour summation of this 10-part documentary, 18 hours long.
The series began showing on PBS Sunday Sep 17, and with Burns’ renowned talent mixing photos, video clips and compelling mood music in documentary form, the series promises to be compelling to watch. That doesn’t mean it tells the truth. Continue reading
It matters not which war we served in. ~ J.B.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has accidentally deemed thousands of veterans dead and canceled their benefits over the last five years, according to recent department data that revealed the problem was much bigger than previously thought.
The VA made the mistake more than 4,000 times within the last half-decade due to employee errors and inaccurate cross-checking of information by the department’s computers, among other issues. The VA modified its procedures to tackle the problem, but it is not yet known if the new system works. Continue reading
R.I.P. America, June 26, 2015. I left the jungles on January 6, 1970, but feel that I have never stopped fighting one damned war after another.
Saddle up Brother’s and Sister’s. Saddle up!
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.
…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