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Viet Nam Era


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Remarks by Attorney General William P. Barr at the Funeral of Cleveland Police Detective and Operation Legend Officer James Skernivitz.   

"I remember as I was growing up during the Vietnam War, some people were so blinded by politics that they vilified our soldiers and even spat on them. Fortunately, people have come to their senses today, and now people go out of their way to thank soldiers for their service, as well they should. You know during the first Gulf War when our troops rolled out of their bases to their embarkation points, there were crowds of people along the highway cheering them on. And when they came back there were ticker tape parades."

I thank William P. Barr,  Attorney General personally for that passage.  Thank you sir.  I know that those times are going to entirely fade as time slips by us all,  but I am happy to be reminded by a public figure.


     I just thought I'd mention a local hero nobody knows and no one cared to know.  He was sickened when they issued him a 16 and took away his 14.  " I could shoot the eye out of a squirrel at 50 yds with my 14."  Was he bragging,  I don't really know.  He might have been able to,  but them a nice beer buzz does add a bit of flourish to Veteran conversations.  Well deserved flourish,  well indeed and "Take Heed."    Fox,  Charles, T.   I have his Mass card somewhere as well as a few things he gave me.  He was hit In Chu Lai during a battle in 1969  or 1967 I forget the exact date.  He loved the 308.  He did not care for the Mouse gun.  No way Jose.  Sometime during his enlistment,  he was not drafted,  which means something for that Era,  he became a D.I.  This is going to be a long one so I'll get back to this thread.  Quickly though,  he was in the 82nd and proud of it even though he had to hide his feelings because of what William P. Barr alluded to above.

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Yep, my old man was buried 18 years ago on 9/11, he worked for MACVSOG, had his office in the US Embassy, in fact they moved into the Embassy when TET started. He stayed down town for about two weeks after a rocket attack blew up the hotel across the street from his. He was there when they attempted to overun the US Embassy... I was and still am proud of my Dad... so 18 years ago, we had the full bull military funeral, 21 Gun Salute, Tap's, and an F-16 flyover, which the local funeral directors wife re-routed over the grade school for the 9/11 remembrance, and YES, I'm still PISSED about that, he wouldn't have cared, but he earned it, I didn't even get to see it..... 

Anyway, he was an IP in the C-130, while in country he flew the MC-130E, he hated the damned terrain following radar in that thing, it induced frequent "glute clinchers", but it would fly the airplane about 200 ft off the deck, hands off, but it was out of an F-4. They lost a 130 in the mountains on the way home from China. There were 14 "Heavy Chain" or "Rivet Yard's" built, 12 on active duty, and 2 scrubbed clean of serials and markings.... they lost that bird in the mountains and another on the ramp from mortar fire, so those two clean birds where then serialed to mimick the two lost aircraft...

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Good going boys,  there is still a lot of poison in our systems over that whole era thing.

Tommy's dad was the neighborhood drunk.  He was homeless and always always drunk.  He was a highly decorated WWII soldier.  I was never able to get any info from Foxy,  as we all called him.  Well you could get a spare change remark.  Tommy had radio parts imbedded into his body so deep they could not be removed and he was told they might work themselves out,  the shrapnel that is.  He was adopted more or less by a local house painter and put to work.  He was mostly getting fired and rehired.  Booze had gotten the better of him.  Of course it was PTSD like a mother_____r,  for both of these men.  The WWII guys called it shell shock. Before he ever went into the Army Tommo Salomo,  one of the better nicknames he was called,  was a tough guy,  not a threatening person,  but also no one you'd want to practice your bullying techniques on.  He went AWOL when he returned from his mending overseas.  Feds scoured the neighborhood looking for him and left threats and we were told to give him up.  I suspect they would have taken care of him the right way and then again maybe not.  Well he avoided arrest as far as I know.  Eventually there was a sort of amnesty and the threats went away.  Man,  if I could type fast enough you'd see all the flashes of memories from those days.  Eddie Moore,  3 tours Green Berets,  LRRP,  favorite call in strike Willie Peter,  Mickey Burns helo gunner,  Hamburger Hill,  Richie Ahern 3rd Mar Div Kilo 13 as he often recalled during his say so.  Mitchell Dedes Artillery  also Marines,  Jose Echevarria, ( sorry Joe if I screwed up the spelling. )  Quick story.  We were going to party.  Which means we went to get messed up,  not the language I'd use for the time but...  I'll just tell that this darkened one room apartment turned into our hooch for the day.  On the table,  serving 5 of us were a bottle of old man Schenely,  Jack. and three other bottles of whisky.  1/4 pound of... ,  5 cases of beer. I thought I knew how to party but these men,  these hardened combat vets were far ahead in their abilities.  I was the only guy not a combat guy.  I was not a jungle vet.  They were.  BTW that was one of the nasty tricks Tricky Dick Nixon used to separate us and our collective numbers.  Combat vets/ancillary vets.  Viet Nam era vets.  He created that idea.  

     I'm leaving with all these folks preferred the 7.62,  well Eddie may have wanted something lighter during his forays behind lines during his LRRP responsibilities.   

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One of our old friends here in town was a survivor of Hamburger Hill. He didn’t speak a word for years after he got home apparently. People wondered if he ever would. I was a kid when I knew him and it’s been years. Can only imagine the memories that guy has buried within him...only to be spat on by people when he got back. 

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I'm familiar with women who got in my face.  The males of the species not so much,  they knew better.  Unless like today the odds are at least 4-1.

The story shared that day by Mickey was our troops were unable to get a foothold and climb up.  Grenades were rolling back down hill.  It was a slaughter.  I  am making a reference from a friend who was in the air and the inability to assist better was terribly frustrating.  He shared that while tears were streaming down his face,  some 5 years later.  I am particularly satisfied with the treatment of later day vets and the thank you's for them.


44 minutes ago, Radioactive said:

Not our finest hour as a country

In the civilian sense I agree.  The troops,  the fighting troops were and are the finest fighting force known to man.  I gotta slow my roll,  I'm sounding to myself as I'm some expert.  These are my memories.  I don't think this era has been portrayed well enough.  I don't like that word. ( ERA )  It was a freaking war.  It was a war at home as well. Here's a shot at the times.  At home some folks followed the media line,  the Viet cong are peaceful farmers.  Those mthrfkrs were fighting for 30 years,  they knew how to fight.  Peaceful my anatomy.  Even during WWII jungle fighting was considered to be the toughest.  You not only fought a well trained army but also the terrain and weather.  Jose is in a foxhole surrounded with sandbags and it was dark.  A kind of dark like a kid from Coney Island did not know existed.  He hears a noise and is on full alert trying to decipher his next action.  The story told was a bit longer but when he can't take it any longer he starts stabbing on the other side of his wall at the noise.  He said it was the biggest caterpillar imaginable. A big huge fat caterpillar.  So these troops are fighting what every participant in war fights,  FEAR.  These guys had a nickname for some incidentals.  Hershey squirts,  I know you'll figure that one out.  BTW while sitting among this group in our little space the guys were laughing and so I laughed as well.  Mickey Burns pulled me aside and said,  "we're laughing a nervous laugh Bud,  you're just laughing."  He was right.  I didn't know better. And yes I was wrong although innocent.   

Once again 7.62 and not the 556 was the preferred round.  

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On 9/11/2020 at 7:13 PM, Swiftab said:

My father-in-law passed recently he served from 1961-1964 in the Air Force. He would always correct you if you mentioned Vietnam. He would say it was the Cold War Era. So much that my wife fought with the Veterans Administration for his grave plaque. She won, his says Cold War Era.

i didn’t understand why he fought so hard until now. 

I'm another serving from after Korea and before Nam (1960 - 1966)  Don't bother me that I missed out on Nam, I could see what was coming, several of my fellow Marines needed a job so they re-upped, I was lucky that I had a good job. When the recruiting Sgt. asked me what I wanted from the USMC in January 1966 I replied "My ass out". Never regretted getting out, but those six years taught me a lot about life and being a survivor.  I also saw the VA kill several of the old WWII and Korea vets, I said Piss on the VA, I'll just pay my own way. It was bad during the late 60s, 70s and 80s and the VA  could still be better for vets. just my 2 cents.

Edited by mrmackc
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On 9/12/2020 at 8:23 AM, DNP said:

One of our old friends here in town was a survivor of Hamburger Hill. He didn’t speak a word for years after he got home apparently. People wondered if he ever would. I was a kid when I knew him and it’s been years. Can only imagine the memories that guy has buried within him...only to be spat on by people when he got back. 

My Brigade Commander (2nd Brigade, 7th ID) was a Hamburger Hill survivor.  COL Linwood Burney, as my Brigade Commander.  Bad Motherfucker, all the way to his core.  If you read the book, he's in there.  Battlefield promotion to Company Commander during that fight.  That guy is a legend, and we all learned alot of lessons from him.

One Mean Motherfucker.


He made 1-star General (Brigadier General), and was the 7th ID (L) Assistant Division Commander for Maneuver (ADC/M). 

Here's a quick local-paper story on him:


The greatest lesson I ever learned from him - if you torture your motherfuckers fairly and equitably, but torture them HARD - and then you reward them fairly and equitably for the hard work that they put in...   They will follow you straight into hell, no matter what you ask of them.  You must lead the way, though, and every single time. 

Edited by 98Z5V
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  • 2 months later...

Carl Digangi just passed away at 72. He was Army part of a mortar crew part of a quick reaction group. He was also a Sheetmetal worker. He was shop foreman when I started my time. He was hard of hearing when I met him. Going to work on a Saturday terminally hung over I'm shearing my pieces of metal for fittings/pipe when I cut the end of my tape as soon as I hit the petal to engage the blade. I asked Carl if I could barrow his, he said I just got it. Just need one more cut I said. Of course I cut his tape with the first hit. A hammer bounced off the floor next to me. I laugh now I wasn't laughing then. Taught me how to be a shop guy. That was a tremendous help when I got to the field in modifying pipe/fittings. Solid Union man loving family man. Proud to call him my brother. Forever loved. 🍺🍺

Edited by unforgiven
Can't spell
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