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Fri Apr 2, 2021, 06:36 PM

My brother posted this to Facebook

I think it says a lot about all our veterans:

Exactly 50 years ago today I got home from, Vietnam. A week earlier I was on a Firebase operating a radio 12 hours a day in harms way and now I'm sitting in my mom's kitchen. I Had left less than 2 years earlier as a wise ass teenager and now, wise beyond my years. In the last eleven and a half months I had seen and been part of something most people will never see! The ability to take another's life had been thrust upon me and I had actually not been afraid to do so. I had smelled death and seen human beings being torn apart by several different means, artillery, fast moving jets, gunships, machine guns, rifles, and booby traps. Those killed were both friend and enemy. The aroma and site of torn apart humans will be in my mind till the day I die! The screams and the calls for a medic or for a mom ! You can leave Vietnam, but Vietnam will never leave you. The friendships I earned back then are still with me, and the conversations with my brothers who died within hours of our last talks are still echoing in my brain. Why him and not me? Hopefully when I reach the other side someone will explain this to me. To keep your sanity you must push these thoughts down deep into your sub-conscious, but so many things can trigger thoughts. The clarity of the memories are frightening. I will use this half century of distance to try to never mention again to anyone anything about Vietnam. It has always been a waste of time because if you haven't been there you can't understand. I've had people say, I know how you feel, NO you don't, not even close. Then those of us who made it home, returned to an indifferent country. Throwing your uniform covered with medals away or stuffing it in your closet was the norm, because there would be no parade or thank you ! You made sure not to mention your Vietnam service on any job applications or you would likely not get that job. Hearing "baby killers" on the evening news was common. We did the job we were told to do, we did it well, and we were never given the respect we deserved. And we did NOT lose the war ! Currahee !

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Reply My brother posted this to Facebook (Original post)
flotsam Apr 2 OP
MuseRider Apr 2 #1
Tree Lady Apr 2 #2

Response to flotsam (Original post)

Fri Apr 2, 2021, 06:46 PM

1. No one should ever have to go through that.

I had a hard time learning to respect what they did. It took a while but speaking to kind veterans who understood how I felt and wanted me to understand what they were faced with changed me all the way around. That and a lot of growing up years.

Of course there is not way for us to understand. As a critical care and ER nurse I have seen some things and heard more but they were nothing compared to this, nothing. I wish your bother well. What a past to have to live with. To relive it over and over must be a heavy weight to carry. My heart goes out to him and the others who did what was asked of them. I have a feeling I would have been in prison, I could never be that brave.

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Response to flotsam (Original post)

Fri Apr 2, 2021, 07:01 PM

2. My husband took the test and was told he made sergeant

They delayed and delayed giving him the stripes and full recognition until it was time to leave at rank he was all he got to take home was a small box whereas if he was given his new rank could have taken home his car and other furniture he bought living off base with his wife in Okinawa.

So went home with small box and rank came few weeks later to Fort Sill, OK. He refused to wear the new stripes and captain who heard what happened let him get away with it.

As soon as he got out he put everything in a pile and burnt it.

He ran errands for the hospital there and it was closest to Nam so he saw worst of worst as they carried everyone in.

Has hated the military ever since.

Needless to say we don't talk about military stuff, my son-in-law is a Lt colonel in AF.

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