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Old 05-26-2004, 10:38 PM
Andy Andy is offline
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I?ve mentioned in previous posts that this was the Vietnam War Remembrance Month in our county. Last night we had our panel discussion hosted by John Katzenback of the New York Times.

The panel was made up of an army nurse who didn?t go to Vietnam and is now the leader of a pacifist group. A navy guy who has been arrested a few times at peace demonstrations. A 9th Division Arty FDC guy who is a professor at one of our many colleges and a member of Veterans for Peace. A school teacher who was a Marine, air traffic control, who is an VVA guy who was sort of right wing. We had great fun.

Couldn?t believe the professor read, yes read, a 3 page statement about war. In it (I took notes as usual) he said 1., The US has never before been in a war that lasted longer than six weeks without having a draft; 2., No war the US has ever been in was popular with the American people which was not declared a war by Congress; 3. No war is moral without a declaration by congress; 4., Vietnam and Iraq are a mirror image because, as usual, we are backing the wrong side.

It was great fun ripping apart those statements. Won?t bore you with all the details but I started by quoting Churchill, ?I do not mind when a person diverges from the truth for the purpose of making a point. However there is a limit.? I always liked Churchill and it did seem like the thing to say.

The Navy guy took a long time talking about how mentally crushing Vietnam was for all of us and why there are so many of us who could never get employed or lived a ?normal? life. I just had to tell everyone about Psycho Mountain and the grunts, medics and even an air force guy. Told them there wasn?t a bum in the crowd. Also mentioned the squid was probably talking about Bobby McNamara?s Boys.

The navy guy also made mention that Vietnam was the first war this country ever fought that resulted is large scale drug abusing. Mentioned that after the Civil War about 400 opium dens opened in New York City alone and that several of them are still in operation. Even mentioned that Hannibal provided his army with hash to help them relax between battles. Navy guy asked if I could prove it was 400 opium dens. Alas, couldn?t do it, he got me.

The nurse talked about guys in the hospital wards who told her they had had necklaces with a dozen or so enemy ears hanging from them. No, she never saw such a necklace, no a guy never lied to her. no not even to get her in bed. Wonder what color the sky is in her world.

The audience was made up mostly of people our age with several teens and 20s kids. Funny, the older people did not really seem to believe there were ?No Fire Zones?, or that we had to get permission to fire back. (Pointed out this occurred in my AO with regard to the Michelin Rubber Plantation, The Black Virgin Mountain and Cambodian border. But the kids were both confused and interested. They wanted to know how we could win a war, if on occasion, we had to check in with the ?Committee for Firing Back?. Would you believe we didn't want to win???
It was a lot of fun, wish you were here.

Stay healthy,
Andy
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Old 05-26-2004, 10:59 PM
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Keith_Hixson Keith_Hixson is offline
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Post 400 opium dens.

I thought it was 500 opium dens?

I have five very close friends. All ministers in my denomination. All Vietnam vets. All much more normal than me. (that doesn't take much) One was a lrrp, MP, clerk, air force, and a 101st airborne Company Commander. I've known these men many years. Very stable members of their communities. This idea about dysfunctional, drug addicts as Vietnam Vets just makes me angry! I'm sure there are a few but for the most part Vietnam vets are a pretty normal bunch.

Keith

P.S. Why do they call it Psycho Mtn.?
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Old 05-27-2004, 02:16 AM
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Dang it! Sure do wish you'd made a tape! Sure would like to hear any other details you happen to remember.
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Old 05-27-2004, 05:01 AM
39mto39g 39mto39g is offline
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Default Normal?

VN Vets are not normal . We are a much better than that.
There are 4 VN era vets where I work, One from Americal div (assistant chief) one Navy river boat gunner in the mecon (Battalion Chief) one SP Forces (Engine company officer) and me (I run a station that has a ladder and an ambulance).
Normal, I think not.

Ron
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Old 05-27-2004, 05:32 AM
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Thank you Andy. I am with Ron. The best of our generation
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Old 05-27-2004, 06:04 AM
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Thanks again Andy
We are the BEST!!!! Because we're proud of what we did, how we did it and who we did it for. If there's anyone out there that doesn't believe that they can go ph#%k themselves and the horse they rode in on.......Damn , I think I scared myself on that last comment
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Old 05-27-2004, 06:09 AM
DMZ-LT DMZ-LT is offline
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Nice looking horse Bob !
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Old 05-27-2004, 09:03 AM
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LOL!

"F*** you and the horse you rode in on!"

I've always wondered where that phrase originated.

That had to be...what?...the first colonist that Paul Revere woke up at 3 A.M.
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Old 05-27-2004, 09:39 AM
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Think those were the final words heard by Custer.
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Old 05-27-2004, 10:12 AM
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Default Historical Footnote

Regarding the famous (or infamous) quote about the horse, I have it on good authority that the story originated thusly:

After years of warfare on the open plains, a tribe of Native Americans were finally moved to a little reservation, with a US Cavalry post on the edge of the village. One older and still pissed off warrior would sit at the edge of the village, and as the Post's First Sergeant would ride by every morning, the warrior would shoot him the finger, first in the vertical, and then in the horizonal mode. The First Sergeant could understand the first gesture, reasoning the warriors' attitude for having been bested by the Yellow Legs, and ultimately, his curiousity got the better of him. Finally one morning, the First Shirt stopped his horse in front of the warrior, and asked, "Listen, I can understand why you're shooting the bird at me, but what's the other gesture?" Naturally, the warrior replied, "Ph**k you, and the horse you rode in on!" And now you know the rest of the story!!

Andy, wish I could have been there to witness this little comedic opera, with a nurse so obvioulsy naive that she couldn't grasp the idea of the odiferous condition of that necklace of ears!

Part of the urban myths about Vietnam veterans is their collective degenerate nature, rampant drug and alcohol abuse, massive homelessness, and all around general unemployability. Mostly, it's the wannabees who are characterized by the above, or just dregs of society trying to filch a free meal or quick buck. But that's just my story, and I'm stickin' to it!!
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