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Wed Apr 29, 2020, 09:24 AM

I used to read the front page of the Stars and Stripes...

...when I was in Vietnam. I would check to see how many Americans had been killed and whether there were any from back home or any that I might have gone thru training with?

They were usually able to get all the names on the bottom part of the page. The names were important to me. I was one of the lucky ones.

I was there from September of '67 until April of '69. I was there during Tet of '68. There were a lot of people killed.

It was traumatic for our country. They build a black, shiny wall in Washington to commemorate those that gave their lives. Almost every family was touched in one way or another by the Vietnam War. When it ended, there were more than 58,000 Americans killed.

In the last two months, there have been more people killed by the virus than were killed in Vietnam during the entire war. That is a shocking statistic for such a short time span. But, it is more than just a "statistic". These are people with families and loved ones, just like those that fought in Vietnam.

For me, it does help to keep the threat in perspective. It is not a hoax. It is not the flu. It is not a common cold. It is a pandemic with no vaccine and no cure. Nobody knows how many will die before it is over?

However, we do need to try and save as many lives as possible. It is not wise to shrug at threats to our humanity. It is a challenge to keep our country and our freedoms, at the same time we are fighting this deadly virus.

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Reply I used to read the front page of the Stars and Stripes... (Original post)
kentuck Apr 2020 OP
nature-lover Apr 2020 #1
Girard442 Apr 2020 #2
kentuck Apr 2020 #5
hlthe2b Apr 2020 #3
Mike 03 Apr 2020 #4
kentuck Apr 2020 #7
FM123 Apr 2020 #6
captain queeg Apr 2020 #8
mopinko Apr 2020 #9
democrank Apr 2020 #10
secondwind Apr 2020 #11
Stuart G Apr 2020 #12
spike jones Apr 2020 #13
kentuck Apr 2020 #15
spike jones Apr 2020 #20
kentuck Apr 2020 #21
ProfessorGAC Apr 2020 #14
MFGsunny Apr 2020 #16
malaise Apr 2020 #17
LakeArenal Apr 2020 #18
kentuck Apr 2020 #23
LakeArenal Apr 2020 #25
spike jones Apr 2020 #29
nolabear Apr 2020 #19
dhill926 Apr 2020 #22
AwakeAtLast Apr 2020 #24
Eddie18 Apr 2020 #26
kentuck Apr 2020 #28
Karadeniz Apr 2020 #27
majdrfrtim Apr 2020 #30
kentuck Apr 2020 #31
The Wizard Apr 2020 #32
kentuck Apr 2020 #33

Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 09:29 AM

1. Well said. We must stay at home and donate to our local food banks to save lives.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 09:32 AM

2. Ultimately there are things we must do, not because we can see our way clear to a good outcome but..

...simply because they are the right things to do.

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Response to Girard442 (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 09:36 AM

5. So true.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 09:34 AM

3. I have never been more ashamed of my country than seeing some "normalizing" the magnitude of deaths

and the seeming diminishment of the importance for those dying because they are older, or sick, or born with life-time conditions that put them at increased risk.

It feels like the way in which the Nazis desensitized the German people to accept the "final solution" and I am in no way being hyperbolic in expressing this.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 09:35 AM

4. Kick and Rec. Kentuck, I'm so glad you are here today to share your

experiences and insight with us.

I can't imagine what it would be like to have been in the Vietnam War. For the generations that weren't alive or don't remember that time, we need the voices and the wisdom of people like you.

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Response to Mike 03 (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 09:39 AM

7. It was a unique experience being anti-war and being in the war at the same time.

It was a challenge.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 09:39 AM

6. Thank you so much for sharing that with us, I found it deeply moving.

We all need to remember that it is not wise to shrug at threats to our humanity.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 09:44 AM

8. I remember the "body counts" on TV back home, those got pretty normalized

Or at least impersonal

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 10:26 AM

9. i had thought no one i knew was on that wall.

was there a couple of times, and didnt even have a name to look up.
my only brother served and came home safe. sister's bf, same.
i had totally forgotten that my mom's best friend had lost her son until i bumped into her other son on fb.

so far w this, same. but i have lost something. i was a hospice volunteer before this, and that is something that is just not happening now. and it is breaking my heart.
all those people, dying alone. people who cant hug.
a dear friend lost her son (not covid), and i sorta nudged my way in while she still wasnt seeing visitors. wasnt even telling people outside of family. she is my bff's brother.
i took her some plants i had grown, but told her if she didnt have the energy to get them in, i would shanghai her brother and get it done.

i didnt fuss about when i was coming, so she didnt have to worry.
she was out walking the dog w her brother, so i visited w her hubby for a bit.
i got to see my bff, too.
if i was logging those hours for my job, i would have given it 5 stars, and patted myself on the back. this one made me feel a bit like a vampire, tho.

i am not a cryer. srsly not a cryer.
i wept all the way home, and half that night.

those 60k souls alone, those 60k families alone, or at risk.
it's already scarred my heart, even w/o losing a single friend. up till now i had those returned hugs to shield my heart. like so much else these days, it is naked.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 10:31 AM

10. I'm so glad you made it back, kentuck.

The memories of those body counts on the nightly news is forever seared in my head, as are the memories of all the youngsters from my paper mill town who never came back. It was all bad, but the the “Tet Offensive” time was horrific.

As my sweetheart was dying from Agent Orange brain cancer, he was able to get past the “big boys don’t cry” bullshit and tell me how scared he was, how mad he was and what a heartbreaking catastrophe the Vietnam War was.

There is a thread of connection between the draft system in the Vietnam War and the people required to stand shoulder to shoulder in today’s meat packing plants. Or store clerks forced to work without protective gear.

The connection? For many in power, certain people matter less than others. It was that way during the draft, it’s that way now.

More than ever, we have to fight to stay free.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 10:34 AM

11. Well said, kentuck.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 11:00 AM

12. Thank You for sharing your experience and your ideas..K and R

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 11:28 AM

13. I know this is taken out of context but

"there have been more people killed by the virus than were killed in Vietnam during the entire war."

Only if you don't count the 3 million Vietnamese killed.

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Response to spike jones (Reply #13)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 11:37 AM

15. Of course.

I don't know about the 3 million lives lost in Vietnam, and there are many lives lost to this virus around the world.

We don't yet know how many will die around the world before this is over and you are correct, we do tend to look at it from a purely American perspective.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #15)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 12:08 PM

20. I believe that there are lots more people dying of the virus than is counted. n/t

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Response to spike jones (Reply #20)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 12:16 PM

21. I certainly believe there have been a lot more cases than have been reported.

The puzzle is how it hardly effects some people and how it kills others rather quickly?

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 11:31 AM

14. Deaths Times 15

Then we have an idea of how many people are directly, negatively impacted. Almost everyone has 15 people who depend upon, care about, or will greatly miss those CV victims. So, we're pushing a million!
Just awful.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 11:38 AM

16. Eloquent, moving and inspiring - the best of our American values.

Thank you soooo much for posting your OP today.

Balm to my agonized soul these days!

Thank you for your service, especially during such morally-hard times.



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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 11:43 AM

17. Great post

In the last two months, there have been more people killed by the virus than were killed in Vietnam during the entire war. That is a shocking statistic for such a short time span. But, it is more than just a "statistic". These are people with families and loved ones, just like those that fought in Vietnam.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 11:57 AM

18. What do you feel the current personnel feel about dump and the direction of this country.

Will soldiers vote him out?

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Response to LakeArenal (Reply #18)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 12:21 PM

23. We now have an all-volunteer service...

...so they must sometimes feel like a mercenary force, in my opinion, and just do what they are paid to do. I do realize this is a generalized statement.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #23)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 12:35 PM

25. Yes. In general.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #23)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 04:19 PM

29. I think the all-volunteer army with good benefits attract many psychopaths

due to the potential to do violence to people. Same with the police force.
Another general statement.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 12:01 PM

19. You gave me a great idea. We should put COVID victims' names on 45's beloved wall.

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Response to nolabear (Reply #19)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 12:18 PM

22. this should be an OP....

so we can all rec the hell out of it...

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Response to dhill926 (Reply #22)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 12:24 PM

24. +1 n/t

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 01:04 PM

26. Stars & Stripes

My father was editor-in-chief of Pacific S&S from 1967 to 1969. He was forced out because of overbearing content control by the Army. Was a decent paper, of course, but censored in many areas, including KIA results.

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Response to Eddie18 (Reply #26)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 02:18 PM

28. That is interesting.

I never thought of anything like that when I was reading it. Funny how this world is connected!

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 01:16 PM

27. What a moving post! Thanks for sharing it!❤

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 05:18 PM

30. kentuck -- many thanks for your courageous and honorable service

when you were so young. I just received my certificate of Honorable Discharge a week ago, but my service began when I was just shy of 51 years of age (probably because I, unlike you, was a complete wuss in my youth), almost 14 years ago. I am in awe of those who served honorably and well when they were so young. My hat's off to you, kentuck. So's my hair.

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Response to majdrfrtim (Reply #30)

Wed Apr 29, 2020, 05:35 PM

31. Thanks to everyone for all the kind remarks.

To be honest, if I had been from another environment, instead of Appalachia, I may not have gone at all. But, I had 3 uncles that had served in the Korean War and one won the Silver Star. We were always very proud of him. When your country called, you went, no questions asked. I became more enlightened while in Vietnam and became anti-war. I was probably fortunate to escape with an honorable discharge.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 08:48 AM

32. You were not alone in reading the Stars and Stripes

searching for familiar names from home and guys you served with.
Now I go on line to see hometown Covid 19 fatalities. As of two days ago we had 99 local covid related deaths in a town of 50,000.

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Response to The Wizard (Reply #32)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 09:47 AM

33. +100

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