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..

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

In the Garden of Eden: A Tribute… and thanks

~ 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
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This is one of our stories

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

Memorial in Perpetuity

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.

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Why Vietnam vets hate Hanoi Jane Fonda…

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