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Thu Jan 14, 2016, 11:20 PM

 

Fresh out of HS in '66 with a fresh ticket to Vietnam (pic)

My family isn't exactly able to afford college, so it was highschool -> Vietnam for my dad. We found this picture in an old box the other day... my dad before he shipped out. So many young kids were sent, but sometimes a single picture from a crappy 60's camera can hit home better than a zoomed out group picture

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Reply Fresh out of HS in '66 with a fresh ticket to Vietnam (pic) (Original post)
GummyBearz Jan 2016 OP
Stuart G Jan 2016 #1
snpsmom Jan 2016 #2
GummyBearz Jan 2016 #4
elmac Jan 2016 #7
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2016 #14
Blanks Jan 2016 #23
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2016 #24
Hoyt Jan 2016 #3
Laura PourMeADrink Jan 2016 #5
GummyBearz Jan 2016 #29
enough Jan 2016 #6
SoapBox Jan 2016 #8
GGJohn Jan 2016 #9
Spitfire of ATJ Jan 2016 #10
UTUSN Jan 2016 #11
GGJohn Jan 2016 #13
UTUSN Jan 2016 #22
Capt.Rocky300 Jan 2016 #12
GummyBearz Jan 2016 #15
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2016 #18
McKim Jan 2016 #16
montana_hazeleyes Jan 2016 #17
GummyBearz Jan 2016 #19
RandiFan1290 Jan 2016 #25
SheilaT Jan 2016 #20
forest444 Jan 2016 #21
cwydro Jan 2016 #26
Docreed2003 Jan 2016 #27
pinboy3niner Jan 2016 #28

Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Thu Jan 14, 2016, 11:23 PM

1. k and r...that picture sure does say a lot..

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Thu Jan 14, 2016, 11:24 PM

2. Corpsman?

Tough job.

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Response to snpsmom (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 14, 2016, 11:30 PM

4. Yes

 

He was a corpsman attached to a marine unit. He doesn't talk much about it, but the way I pieced it together over the years sounds like he got to spend part of his time on his ship and part of the time he was at some forward base going with the patrols

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Response to GummyBearz (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 12:46 AM

7. My Cousin was a Marine, went over about the same time

 

Never talked about it until I asked him about it 2 years ago. He told me some of what went on but still has a hard time talking about it. Another cousin left as a corpsman but didn't come back. The last time I seen him was at his wedding before he shipped out. A sad time for many in the country.

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Response to GummyBearz (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 01:11 AM

14. And he is not talkng about it to protect you and himself

 

My dad finally opened about some of what he did in WW II in the resistance mind you, after he realized my husband had seen combat and I have been shot at as a medic in Mexico (The war on drugs, what do you want to know? As mild as it was for us, still getting shot by high powered weapons is not exactly all that is cracked to be in the movies) As my husband and I talk about it. because we do tell our war stories, and his are far worst... people mostly do not want the details. Sometimes they are too much.

My dad opened up to both of us a couple years before he died. Me personally six months before he died. And what he told me, he was clear on it (and correct) the rest of the family would not accept it. I spoke of a couple details and they still deny it. Hell that is common.

So ask, he might somebody open to you. No guarantees. If he does, I also guarantee a few nightmares, for your dad, and maybe you.

Corpsmen (and women these days) get my full respect. Mostly where you go and what you see...

And I guess that is why the piece of fiction I am working on is not, I repeat this, is not a happy go lucky American story. My characters have been broken ten ways to Sunday.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 05:49 PM

23. My dad was in the Korean War...

He didn't like to talk about it. To him war was a 24 hour a day loud ordeal. He died when I was a teenager, so I never got to ask him about it after I did my time in the army.

I served during peace time as a carpenter in a maintenance company in Germany, so I don't have any horror stories (waking up in the middle of the night for an alert doesn't exactly qualify).

We used to ask my dad about it, and the noise was all he'd say. I'm guessing that he was in the artillery. He and his two brothers joined up and all 3 came back alive, but none of them lived til they were 45.

I've never met anyone who has been to combat that looked back on it fondly.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #23)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 06:00 PM

24. Nope

 

Hubby is a retired submariner. How he ended up on the wrong side of a fire fight, we'll never again volunteer yourself (navy). He learned that the day he retired.

He still gets nightmares. I do too. And my experiences were mild. Though a certain line from Heartbreak Bridge about AKs making a particular sound is true. So is the star pattern when it fired at you at night

We are rare birds. We do talk.

We watched the movie traffic in Hawaii. There ladies in front kept yammering as to how that movie was unrealistic. I had it three thirds in, interrupted their yammering and pointed out that some of the things in the movie were changed because the truth was actually weirder than the slightly changed events. Oh they shut up after that.

But that is why my dad opened up. He realize we would not doubt it, or be shocked. We knew how bad it could get

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Thu Jan 14, 2016, 11:27 PM

3. Hope your dad made it back safely. That was a tough time for a lot of Americans.

 

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Thu Jan 14, 2016, 11:34 PM

5. powerful ! And, if you want your heart to break into 53k pieces

go to the Vietnam wall in DC

I assume he came back and survived it all ok.

What a great son you are - to recognize - and to care !

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Response to Laura PourMeADrink (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 16, 2016, 10:56 AM

29. Yep, I've been there

 

I copied a few names off it for my dad using a crayon and paper. He's never been, I don't think you could pay him to go to DC. Something about that experience left him a bit pissed off with politicians

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Thu Jan 14, 2016, 11:40 PM

6. You are so right, this picture brings back the

reality of that time, when every single young person had to confront what was going on. Yes lots of people had ways to get deferred, some people eventually got good lottery draft numbers, but everybody even women (who were not drafted) had to take the fact of the war into account in their lives.

Hope that young man, your father, is well.

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 12:47 AM

8. Thank you for posting.

Glad your dad made it back.

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 12:54 AM

9. Very poignant picture.

Tell your dad I said Welcome Home Brother, he'll understand.

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 01:02 AM

10. My cousin went....

 

My grandfather was a WWII European Theater Vet. He talked my uncle into sending his boy off after High School to "make him a man".

My uncle never forgave my grandfather for the loss of his son.

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 01:05 AM

11. It was '67, 2yrs college --->VN for me. Oh but the recruiter treated me as HS. n/t

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Response to UTUSN (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 01:10 AM

13. It was 66 for me,

Boot camp, Helicopter fight school, then 2 tours in Vietnam.

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Response to GGJohn (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 01:58 PM

22. All I got was this stoopid T-shirt!1

You got a *SCHOOL*?!1 Well, it was a school for a dangerous job, but still a school. I went in E1 with two years of college. Anyway. When I say, "You got a *SCHOOL*?!1" it's like an Army guy said to me at the VFW when I mentioned that we griped when we ran out of milk every month and had to settle for KoolAid -- First he said, "You had *MILK*?!1" and then followed up with, "You had *KOOLAID*?!1" Well, my LST was in the river, not Blue Water (alone).

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 01:10 AM

12. We went to a county commissioner's meeting.......

yesterday to oppose a retired cop from officially setting up a militia training camp in our rural area. He's been operating it under the radar but with all the gunshots frequently heard, neighbors got together and turned him into the county. He is trying to get a permit to continue operations. Three gentlemen who live in the area got up to speak against it because of their Viet Nam experience. All were foot soldiers and said they hit the deck while on their own property because it's a conditioned response to gunfire. We all moved here for the peace and tranquility and to live quiet lives. It broke my heart to hear these brave men admit their lives can be so deeply affected by an inconsiderate neighbor. I just hope the county sees it that way too.

Glad your dad made it home.

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Response to Capt.Rocky300 (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 01:21 AM

15. I know exactly what you mean

 

I was probably around 10 years old and a jet broke the sound barrier near by one weekend, the sonic boom made my dad and 2 of his vet friends start sweating profusely. They had to go outside in the alley to get fresh air and calm down. To break the tension one of them said "Look at us. A bunch of dummies searching for charlie in california". I didn't quite get it until years later.

Also along these lines, 4th of July is has always been hell on earth for my dad

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Response to GummyBearz (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 01:30 AM

18. Here is a funny story that we share

 

we came back from Hawaii, after hubby retired. We forgot Sea World has fire works during the summer. First loud boom, we are in the kitchen, I am flat on my belly, looking for cover, hubby is down, his hand searching for a non existent side arm head on a swivel looking for that ever loving present threat.

We looked at each other and started to laugh. Yeah, we still live in the same place. Sea World is tolerable. The 4th of July is not a popular thing here either, for the same reason. Oh and when I went to Disneyland with the nieces and they wanted to stay for the fire works... I could not quite explain to the kids why I was a tad jumpy. They were as young as you were. Oh to this day, they have no idea and don't remember that much... bless their hearts.

We have a few other stories in that vein, and I hope none of the young people I know are ever able to react that way... but when you go cover a shooting, it has it's advantages...

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 01:24 AM

16. My Brother in Law Never Returned

We lost my brother in law in that war. It had been a tragedy for our family. We have been active in the Peace and Justice Movement forever after. I want all our military home from everywhere. I feel so sad that today's youth is fighting and dying so corporations can control resources and pipeline routes. That's what it's all about!

I am happy for you that your dad came back. Treasure his presence and that he is/was with you for so long.

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 01:25 AM

17. This is a very powerful photo.

My brother who is two years younger than me was drafted.

The night he came to my husband and my apartment to tell me he got his papers to go to Vietnam, I sank down to the floor, grabbed his legs and begged him not to go. I was desperate, telling him I would hide him in my closet. Anything.

But he said he had to go, and fortunately he did return uninjured physically.

I will never forget those who didn't come back or who did, horribly damaged physically and in other ways.

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Response to montana_hazeleyes (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 02:18 AM

19. It is strange for me, to think that when the photo was taken, it could easily be the last one

 

my grandparents ever took of my dad. And I obviously never would have existed... I wonder what on earth he is thinking at this moment? Looks like he is reading some kind of manual. Seems about right, he is a good self taught mechanic

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Response to GummyBearz (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 06:05 PM

25. Looks like the manual for that new Canon Demi Camera

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 02:21 AM

20. Your dad and I are the same age.

 

I was largely untouched by Vietnam. My older brother (born in 1943) enlisted in the army in 1961, was stationed in Berlin. He was actually there when the events in the movie "Bridge of Spies" took place. I recall very clearly not long after he was sent there, his writing a letter home saying he was very glad he'd been sent to Berlin, not to Vietnam.

Only one or two of the guys I went to high school with (class of '66) seems to have gone there. All of the guys who went to college were in ROTC and all of them served after college, but either none of them went to Vietnam, or I'm simply unaware.

My younger brother was classified 4F in his physical. Bad eyesight. Younger brother was born in 1954 and got a nice high lottery number.

Thank you for the picture.

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 02:23 AM

21. My thanks to him for his service.

His face says it all: so much good faith and concern.

The thieving demagogues and Air America heroin traffickers that sent him - and 2 million others - in harm's way in Vietnam aren't fit to be in your dad's shadow.

Thank you.

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 06:27 PM

26. Great picture!

Makes you think about the college kids today demanding "safe spaces."

Wasn't an option back then.

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 06:51 PM

27. Beautiful...poignant picture! Thank you for sharing!

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Response to GummyBearz (Original post)

Fri Jan 15, 2016, 07:05 PM

28. That's a great pic

I'm glad he made it.

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