Veterans from Vietnam & earlier

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  #46  
Old 12-30-2019, 11:03 PM
Jeremiah Riordan Jeremiah Riordan is offline
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Quick reply to "thanks for your service" is "thanks for your support." Works every time.
  #47  
Old 12-31-2019, 06:09 AM
Glen Dupuis Glen Dupuis is offline
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I do appreciate the change in public perception since 09/11 but it is sad to realize that it all comes from the media. I served for 21 years, retired and then did 20 years of civil service for the military. No one ever appreciated my service until post 09/11 when the media finally acknowledged that service to our country ment that we were no longer “baby killers” from Vietnam but protectors from terrorists. I accept their thanks for all who served. I never felt like I did anything above and beyond, but I know many who did.
  #48  
Old 12-31-2019, 06:55 AM
Phil_Linda Phil_Linda is offline
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I went in The US Navy at age 17 and served from Jan 18, 1962 until May 17, 1966. I was fortunate to spend all of it on the east coast. With many trips to the Med and south. Also was at the conflict in Santo Domingo, 1965, this got all qualified for being members in the VFW. I am a lifetime Member but I do not go around with a Hat on all the time telling all I was in the service. I am very proud of my service and will forever love our country as they took a young boy, made him a man and taught him a job he used as a career until retirement.
When some do say "Thank You" to me for my service I respond with a warm "You are Welcome". The hardest thing for me is I have to continually state not being "in country" for Vietnam, because of the years I served.
Like many others I lost many friends back then.
  #49  
Old 12-31-2019, 07:51 AM
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After spending a year in Vietnam that ended with my last month being Tet Offensive - Wikipedia of February 1968, I flew into Fort Lewis, was marched with the others into a large gymnasium with racks of civilian shirts and pants. Was ordered to take off my uniform and put on civilian clothes. I asked why, and was told it would not be safe to go though the airport in Uniform due to war protesters. I said are you kidding me, I just had to fight for my life through TET and you tell me this. I asked to be reissued an M-16 and my uniform and I assured him I could get though a civilian airport. That was 51 years ago and still weights heavy on me as the most humiliating experience of my life.
So, yes although late in coming, I am proud to be a veteran and appreciate the comments.
  #50  
Old 12-31-2019, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimJohnson View Post
After spending a year in Vietnam that ended with my last month being Tet Offensive - Wikipedia of February 1968, I flew into Fort Lewis, was marched with the others into a large gymnasium with racks of civilian shirts and pants. Was ordered to take off my uniform and put on civilian clothes. I asked why, and was told it would not be safe to go though the airport in Uniform due to war protesters. I said are you kidding me, I just had to fight for my life through TET and you tell me this. I asked to be reissued an M-16 and my uniform and I assured him I could get though a civilian airport. That was 51 years ago and still weights heavy on me as the most humiliating experience of my life.
So, yes although late in coming, I am proud to be a veteran and appreciate the comments.
I agree. I came home from Vietnam in 1975 and was yelled at, spat at (not hit at Chicago airport) and refused to be served in a restaurant. I was proud to have served and could not believe the country I returned to. I made a vow back then and I keep it to this day. That I would never accept anything from the taxpayers (government) of this country. It's a humiliation and very traumatic experience that I will never forget. And I hope Jane Fonda rots in hell. That time in my life made me very bitter. I was angry at our leaders for not letting us win a war that we could have won.

Today I honor and support our vets every chance I get. I am so glad that the country has changed in that regard. So yes I am glad to hear "thank you for your service". But I am still very angry about the treatment that I and many of my fellow veterans received from fellow citizens when we returned from a war that none of us really wanted to be there and a leadership that did not allow us to do the job we were sent there to do. I will never forget it.
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  #51  
Old 12-31-2019, 09:02 AM
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My response is thank you with a smile. I also thank fellow veterans when ever I encounter them. To include paying it forward paying a meal to the few WW2 veterans we still have in The Villages.
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  #52  
Old 12-31-2019, 10:36 AM
nikonuser1 nikonuser1 is offline
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When someone thanks me for my service , I don't expect it so when it happens, it kind of catches me off guard. It takes me a few seconds to absorb what was said. I smile and either say you're welcome or I say thanks back, which really is not the proper response when some thanks you. I do appreciate it. It has just been so long coming that it feels odd in a way. We all served back then because we believed it was our duty to protect the world from evil. Our parents generation was the greatest generation and we felt we owed them too. Those things have changed now and that's sad.
  #53  
Old 12-31-2019, 01:28 PM
Curtisbwp Curtisbwp is offline
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At 18 yrs old I enlisted, upon finishing i was offered numerous opportunities. I refused the schools and told my CO that my desire was to serve in a combat role and that is what I got. I planned to pursue school after my combat duty. Well, I never got to go to school. I was injured severly and spent one year in a naval hospital. I DO NOT wear anything (hat, shirt etc) indicating that I served and that is the way i like it.
  #54  
Old 12-31-2019, 01:56 PM
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I prefer to say "Welcome Home and Thank you for your sacrifices".
They and their families sacrificed so much so that could serve to protect our freedoms. 🇺🇸🗽
  #55  
Old 12-31-2019, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiah Riordan View Post
Quick reply to "thanks for your service" is "thanks for your support." Works every time.
Thanks for that. I have found my new response.
  #56  
Old 12-31-2019, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graspher View Post
What goes through your mind when a stranger says to you - “thanks for your service” ?

No disrespect intended - just curious.


What goes through my mind is "Do you thank a kid for going to Disney World?"

I usually say, "It was a pleasure."
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  #57  
Old 12-31-2019, 07:00 PM
1952Chevy 1952Chevy is offline
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I watched the Civil War movie “Shenandoah” the other night. Halfway through, Jimmie Stewart says, with subtlety, “what do you do with dead soldiers?” He was partially concerned with what to do with the remains of the dead Confederate soldiers, but mostly he seems to be expressing uncertainty about what will happen to these soldiers, long after they are buried. How will we remember them? How will we honor them? Well, that’s why we have Memorial Day.

As in the past, our fine men and women in the military are, again, giving their very lives to protect the United States. And almost daily, all across the country you see expressions of appreciation for their sacrifices. In a sense, almost every day is a Memorial Day. If you put a flag out every morning, the experience probably has very special meaning – a Memorial Day, of sorts.

Given the aforementioned, this leaves us with a little extra time this Memorial Day to remember someone in the military family that for decades received little sympathy or even attention – the mothers who’s sons and daughters died in Vietnam. They are mostly gone now, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to say we’re sorry your hearts were broken, and we remember you.

Returning from Vietnam in 1969, the Army for a time put me in charge of 5th Army Casualty Section (midwestern US). I would coordinate sending out the NG or Reserve Officers to notify families. But in weeks following, I took the phone calls from wives, sisters, brothers, fathers – usually wanting details as to how their loved one died. But it was the mothers I remember talking to the most. Usually they had family around them, but their community frequently ignored them, often scorned them and sometimes even harrassed them at a funeral or memorial service. For more than 20 years after their loss, while Vietnam Veterans were still unwelcome by the local VFW and American Legion, these mothers mostly endured their heartache alone, in their own private way.

After Desert Storm, the country began to express gratitude to the Vietnam Veterans and particulary show respect to those who lost their lives in Vietnam. But for many of these still grieving mothers, it was too little, too late. Although not true in every case, I believe most of these women were never allowed to feel the respect, honor, and appreciation they deserved for the extreme sacrifice they made for an ungrateful nation.

Lillian May, of White Deer, Texas, now 81 and living in Amarillo, raised five children. Her oldest child, Larry Allen May, was drafted and sent to Vietnam in April 1970. Six weeks later SGT Larry May, of the 101st Airborne Division, was killed in action. Larry’s mother wrote these words as a lasting tribute to his life and an expression of the love that she has for her son.

My Son

Each morning as I wake up at dawn.
To know you will never again see a sunrise.
You were always so warm hearted and gay,
It indeed seems very, very sad.
I remember the day you began school,
You were so happy with no worry or care.
The proudness I felt in my heart
Will never be forgotten so soon.
As you enter High School, Oh how proud you were!
You had so much ahead of you.
And on your Graduation Day
It was a special day in May.
Then off to college you decided to go,
And met lots of true and loyal friends.
Your life was so mixed up and the world in a mess,
You felt you had a duty to do.
You couldn’t get studies on your mind,
Cause of the military service waiting for you.
You made a big decision which you thought was right,
By doing your duty for your Country.
You had a year of service out of the way,
And were on your way to Vietnam.
That was the hardest day of my life,
You didn’t see my tears which came after the plane left,
I know you had them cause you didn’t look back.
You got on the plane so tall and proud,
I still wonder what was on your mind.
I was so sad, so very sad.
Cause in my heart I knew you would never return.
I can be very proud of you for being so brave,
You died for your family and what you believe in.
The day I feared finally came,
The news that you had been killed.
You were counting the days till you would return home,
But guess you are in heaven in your real home.
The days go by and my thoughts are always on you,
To know that you are as happy as can be.
So be a good guy and help us who are left here,
Please be there to greet me when God calls me.

Mom

Lillian May, special mom, this Memorial Day is for you and the tens of thousands of special moms just like you.
  #58  
Old 12-31-2019, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimJohnson View Post
...I flew into Fort Lewis, was marched with the others into a large gymnasium with racks of civilian shirts and pants. Was ordered to take off my uniform and put on civilian clothes. I asked why, and was told it would not be safe to go though the airport in Uniform due to war protesters. I said are you kidding me, I just had to fight for my life through TET and you tell me this. I asked to be reissued an M-16 and my uniform and I assured him I could get though a civilian airport....
Thanks to you things changed. I landed at McCord AFB on Dec 22, 1971 about 1pm on a Continental Charter and and after clearing Ft. Lewis me and friend caught a cab to Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle and arrived there around about 3pm on a Friday afternoon. The next flight I could buy a ticket for to Tampa was with Eastern at 9pm Sunday night. I was in the airport all afternoon Friday, all day Saturday and all day Sunday and we have hundreds of soldiers, two planes from Nam and two planes form Korea came in that day and all the college kids in the state of Washington were let out that day for Christmas break. I had a grand old time looking at all the people and eating meals when I wanted, and buying cigarettes and smoking when I wanted, and sleeping in a chair when I wanted. No problems, it was just another day at an airport.

Here's me with my mother home on leave Nov 1970 getting ready to head to Korea for 13 months. Here I was 20 years old, today I'm 69.

The Villages Florida

Last edited by John_W; 12-31-2019 at 11:04 PM.
  #59  
Old 12-31-2019, 10:30 PM
Stuart Benson Stuart Benson is offline
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There is no Virtue in killing other human beings.
Vietnam combat veteran.

. . . When Lowe's sales clerks, for example, say (because they are 'required to' and I am using a VA military discount) "Thank you for your service". I look them in the eyes and slowly say: "There is no Virtue in killing fellow Human beings".

. . . and I wait and watch for their conscious understanding . . . or lack of . . .
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  #60  
Old 12-31-2019, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Stuart Benson View Post
There is no Virtue in killing other human beings.

Vietnam combat veteran.

. . .
Virtue:

1) Courage – bravery and valor

2) Temperance – self-control and restraint

3) Liberality – bigheartness, charity and generosity

4) Magnificence – radiance, joie de vivre

5) Pride – self-satisfaction

6) Honor – respect, reverence, admiration

7) Good Temper – equanimity, level headedness

8) Friendliness – conviviality and sociability

9) Truthfulness – straightforwardness, frankness and candor

10) Wit – sense of humor – meaninglessness and absurdity

11) Friendship – camaraderie and companionship

12) Justice – impartiality, evenhandedness and fairness

Personally I can't imagine a War without Virtue, or I would not have enlisted.
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