The Vietnam War

About '69-70, I was a Corpsman, stationed at the Naval Hospital Eye Clinic, at Bethesda, MD. That was the place they sent all blinded Marines, and other personnel. Their ward was right above the clinic. When a newly blind soldier was admitted, he was shown where the latrine was, and his bed. If he wanted to eat he had to get to the dining room, two stories down. All the hospital staff were told that they could give directions to those men, but under no circumstance were we to physically help them. My mind still sees 18,19, 20 year old guys feeling the walls on their way to the chow hall. God, that tore me up. It seemed cruel at first, but in about a month the men, with white canes, were hopping on busses, going to DC. getting drunk, etc. I think the Vietnam War was the first TV war. You can debate the causes, the tactics, the politics, the circumstances, but there's no debating the death and destruction on your TV screen, and those blinded in Bethesda.
 

Verisure

Rådhus, Malmö
About '69-70, I was a Corpsman, stationed at the Naval Hospital Eye Clinic, at Bethesda, MD. That was the place they sent all blinded Marines, and other personnel. Their ward was right above the clinic. When a newly blind soldier was admitted, he was shown where the latrine was, and his bed. If he wanted to eat he had to get to the dining room, two stories down. All the hospital staff were told that they could give directions to those men, but under no circumstance were we to physically help them. My mind still sees 18,19, 20 year old guys feeling the walls on their way to the chow hall. God, that tore me up. It seemed cruel at first, but in about a month the men, with white canes, were hopping on busses, going to DC. getting drunk, etc. I think the Vietnam War was the first TV war. You can debate the causes, the tactics, the politics, the circumstances, but there's no debating the death and destruction on your TV screen, and those blinded in Bethesda.
I deeply feel your compassion. (y)
 

Verisure

Rådhus, Malmö
let us consider some things as to the military conflict in southeast asia, the so called war... up until that time most education at the military academies was aimed at war in europe where we had the greatest amount of deployed forces...compare the topography of the two,,,,europe.. open or forested acres,,,southeast asia,, dense jungle. both had mountainous areas, but being taught to fight when you can see the enemy on the far hill is far different than peering through jungle foliage...forested or open grazing land is much easier to fight in then creeping through thick brush jungle...so lets be real and consider that these were two differenty types of warfare...........
I'm not sure of your implication. Fort Polk training camp was located in swampy and humid terrain that was similar to Vietnam and that - intentionally - is where most Army infantrymen were trained and made prepared-ready to ship off to Vietnam. So when you say, "... education at the military academies was aimed at war in europe" ... this is not really true.
 

mellowyellow

Senior Member
We were told all about the domino theory and I have no reason to doubt it.

Domino Theory

A team sent by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to report on conditions in South Vietnam advised a build-up of American military, economic and technical aid in order to help Diem confront the Viet Cong threat.

Working under the “domino theory,” which held that if one Southeast Asian country fell to communism, many other countries would follow, Kennedy increased U.S. aid, though he stopped short of committing to a large-scale military intervention.

By 1962, the U.S. military presence in South Vietnam had reached some 9,000 troops, compared with fewer than 800 during the 1950s.
 

Verisure

Rådhus, Malmö
We were told all about the domino theory and I have no reason to doubt it.

Domino Theory

A team sent by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to report on conditions in South Vietnam advised a build-up of American military, economic and technical aid in order to help Diem confront the Viet Cong threat.

Working under the “domino theory,” which held that if one Southeast Asian country fell to communism, many other countries would follow, Kennedy increased U.S. aid, though he stopped short of committing to a large-scale military intervention.

By 1962, the U.S. military presence in South Vietnam had reached some 9,000 troops, compared with fewer than 800 during the 1950s.
The "domino theory" was a huge scam concocted by the US/CIA but fundamentally by the machinery of the Military-Industrial Complex in order to justify the taxpayer footing the bill and committing boys who were 19-years-olds (as I was) to an illegal war. Yes - ILLEGAL.
 

cdestroyer

Member
Location
montana
no verisure I dont believe an army officer would be crawling thru the "tigerland" with "infantrymen". most likely standing on a knoll watching 'his men'! As I recall gen westmoreland told the president if he had 250,000 troops he could win that war! (pardon me,say what?)
 
Don't cry. "The Communists" (as you call them) haven't killed all of the Capitalists yet either.
I would respond but I don't understand your comment; just what "communists" and what "capitalists" are you referring to? :unsure:

Another point: I did not arbitrarily call the North Vietnamese "communists" - that was the US government who gave them that designation.

Besides, does present day Vietnam self-identify as "communist"? This photo, taken just this year (2021) should answer that question:


HANOI, VIETNAM - 2021
 

Verisure

Rådhus, Malmö
I would respond but I don't understand your comment; just what "communists" and what "capitalists" are you referring to? :unsure:

Another point: I did not arbitrarily call the North Vietnamese "communists" - that was the US government who gave them that designation.

Besides, does present day Vietnam self-identify as "communist"? This photo, taken just this year (2021) should answer that question:


HANOI, VIETNAM - 2021
You said,

"We killed over one million communists during the course of that war, and yet this country is fast becoming that which we fought. We didn't stop the communists then nor can we stop them now."

It is unclear if by saying "this country" you mean Vietnam or the US. It is also unclear if you (personally) think that Communism should be stopped or if you admire Communism for its steadfastness and/or achievements.
 

mellowyellow

Senior Member
vietnam sea.jpg
The lucky ones got out and were called the Vietnamese Boat People. The first boatload of Vietnamese refugees arrived in Australia in 1976 and more than 50 boats carried 2,100 Vietnamese to Australia in the following five years. They risked their lives to escape Communist rule.
 
I believe the Vietnam War was a war no one wanted, and couldn't get out of. The North knew it would be a war of attrition, with the sacrifice of millions. The South had little support from its own citizens. The US would not let another nation turn "Commie", but couldn't prevent it. The Chinese didn't want a proxy war, but couldn't let the North fail. It was war nobody "won". The cost was way too dear for everybody, and it didn't matter in the long run.
 

Verisure

Rådhus, Malmö
It was the Vietnamese response to our use of the M1 Garand, M1 carbine, M14, M16, M60, M79 grenade launcher, the M48A3 'Patton' tank, the M67A1 flamethrower tank, the M102 howitzer, surface-to-air missiles, Huey helicopters, Chinook helicopters, M61 Vulcan cannons, B-52 bombers, F-4 Phantom fighter jet planes, napalm, Agent Orange, and a whole lot of modern weaponry, and … of course … the fact that we had illegally invaded their country. The good news is that we lost the war and the ”good guys” won.
 
Now that we're older it seems unfair that they sent us "kids" to war. We were just teenagers ... not old enough to drink or vote but old enough in Vietnam to drink, kill, die, and get the clap.
True that. Here it is, 50 years later and I'm still dealing with the demons. :(
Was a sad day when I figured out that our government (whom I trusted), lied to us and caused needless death and destruction. :mad:
 

Verisure

Rådhus, Malmö
True that. Here it is, 50 years later and I'm still dealing with the demons. :(
Was a sad day when I figured out that our government (whom I trusted), lied to us and caused needless death and destruction. :mad:
I'm with you on that. It was 54 years ago when I took my seat on the freedom bird back to the world. All I have left is this mental rock in my gut for the reasons you've just mentioned. I went back in 1999 just to say "sorry". I couldn't find anyone to say it to so I went up to the giant Budha on the hill near Nha Trang where I used to discreetly go AWOL for a day or two (back then) and return without anyone noticing. I think I saw Buddha smile at me when I told him I was sorry .... so I'm OK now.
 
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I'm with you on that. It was 54 years ago when I took my seat on the freedom bird back to the world. All I have left is this mental rock in my gut for the reasons you've just mentioned. I went back in 1999 just to say "sorry". I couldn't find anyone to say it to so I went up to the giant Budha on the hill near Nha Trang where I used to discreetly go AWOL for a day or two (back then) and return without anyone noticing. I think I saw Budah smile at me when I told him I was sorry .... so I'm OK now.
Never got over that way. Glad you are ok now. Got this map for you. :)

http://www.rjsmith.com/Nha_Trang_Complete_01.html
 
Wow! Thanks! How did you find that time-period map? I used to go to Nha Trang whenever I had the chance. It was nice and quiet ... except for the bars. ;) The Buddha is just about where marker 1 is on the map.

View attachment 175263


Heard of the guy who got hold of these maps during a therapy session. Lot's of good info there. Iron triangle was basically my AO.

http://www.rjsmith.com/topo_map.html
 


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