Vietnam War Wannabes

Gary O'

Well-known member
Location
Oregon
One of my favorite "Twilight Zone" episodes was about a guy like that; he told so many self-flattering tall tales, then he was kidnapped & taken about a space ship by aliens & nobody believed him. I like it so much, I've watched it over & over: "Hocus Pocus & Frisbee."
It's too bad they didn't take the rest
 

DGM

Active member
Location
Indianapolis
When I visited the Traveling Wall a few years ago I was greeted by a vet attired in full camo gear to include a bush hat. When I asked him where he was when in country he replied "Long Binh" (rough duty). Remember it takes over a dozen service members to support one soldier in combat.
I was lucky. When I was in basic training in Dec. 72 we were told we would not have to worry about being sent to Nam.
 

Llynn

Well-known member
Location
Washington State
I was in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club from 1966 through 1972. Sea duty was on a Destroyer Tender. We steamed into Viet Nam waters to attend to a disabled tin can. Captain made sure we were there long enough to qualify for combat pay and medals. I guess that makes me a Nam vet technically but certainly not any sort of hero. I salute the combat vets.
 

Grampa Don

Yep, that's me
I was in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club from 1966 through 1972. Sea duty was on a Destroyer Tender. We steamed into Viet Nam waters to attend to a disabled tin can. Captain made sure we were there long enough to qualify for combat pay and medals. I guess that makes me a Nam vet technically but certainly not any sort of hero. I salute the combat vets.
My story is similar. Submarines didn't see any combat, but we got close enough to rate ribbons. I never wore it and don't claim to be a Viet Nam Vet.

Don
 

911

Well-known member
Location
USA
I spent 1968-72 in the US Navy, as a Corpsman (Medic). I was never in harms way. I always had hot meals and a warm bed. Surprisingly, I never step foot on a ship, I was always stationed in Navy hospitals. I'm considered a Vietnam Veteran, due to the dates I served. But I don't consider myself as one. When well meaning people thank me for my service, I acknowledge it. Yet, rather than me, I wish they thank those, who gave up much more than I. They truly deserve admiration.
I have to say I ran into a "special ops" type, who never left New Jersey. Bullets fell out of his pockets when he got change. And for the good of the nation, his lips are still sealed. He just couldn't say where in "Nam" he had been. I remember that turkey.
Lucky you. I went 11 days without having a chance to clean up. We ate “C” rations right out of the container. Oh yummy!

I give the men who served in Special Forces a lot of credit. They never knew what they were getting into.
 

fmdog44

Well-known member
Location
Houston, Texas
I was drafted in Feb. 69 but never went to Viet Nam and if ordered to do so I would have told them to eat it. I made sure my relatives knew my position and they were all fine with it. Young South Viet men could get draft determents by attending college while Americans were over there fighting for them!? Never.
 

john19485

Active member
I spent 1968-72 in the US Navy, as a Corpsman (Medic). I was never in harms way. I always had hot meals and a warm bed. Surprisingly, I never step foot on a ship, I was always stationed in Navy hospitals. I'm considered a Vietnam Veteran, due to the dates I served. But I don't consider myself as one. When well meaning people thank me for my service, I acknowledge it. Yet, rather than me, I wish they thank those, who gave up much more than I. They truly deserve admiration.
I have to say I ran into a "special ops" type, who never left New Jersey. Bullets fell out of his pockets when he got change. And for the good of the nation, his lips are still sealed. He just couldn't say where in "Nam" he had been. I remember that turkey.
I was treated at China Beach Navy Hospital, and the USS Sanctuary, the Navy Corpsman, Doctor, and Nurses always treated me good.
 

Pecos

Well-known member
Location
South Carolina
I was in the Navy from 1960 until 1991 and never went anywhere near Vietnam. My career was almost entirely focused on the Russian Navy and there was no need for my skill set in country. I was stationed on Okinawa during part of the Vietnam War and saw injured people in the Army Hospital at Camp Kue. It was tragic.

These days, I periodically use the Eisenhower Medical Center at Ft Gordon, Georgia. The roughest part of that hospital to visit is the Orthopedic Center which is very busy taking care of soldiers coming back from the middle east. This is another tragedy.

I just dug out my DD-214 and I am not considered to be a Vietnam Veteran. I have run into a number of people who embellish their records to make themselves seem heroic. They need to be called out on it and humiliated.
 

jerry r. garner

redneck, but brainy
Never encountered that 'wannabe,' situation. Shivered when LBJ announced buildup of 400,000 troops in 65; 'there going to extend my tender bones.'
Do recall jackets with very loud statements. on back, "I served my time in Hell." but that was sometime after hostilities ceased.
I keep the beer joints in Germany safe for you guys.

Anything above an article 15 got you a choice: court marshal or volunteer for transfer with M O S of 111.

Had a friend, late 40's in. 1980's who stated, "I always wanted to test my mettle...wish I knew what it felt like to have a bunch of men shooting at you?'
I moved 2-3 steps sideways. Geee!

Change topic: Went to another site Thread asked, : 'Texans' " I hear you can get .50 cal machine guns in tx. much easier than other states. I'm not a terrorist, I would like a couple for sporting activity."
Guess he hunting dinosaurs.
 
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jerry r. garner

redneck, but brainy
Pecos:
You have knowledge of 'rotting nuke subs on coast of Russia. Sixty Minutes filmed one-two dozen nuke subs, half-in-half out of
their Baltic, Pacific coast.' I know they have big naval base on peninsular close to Japan...This was 20 years ago.
 
The husband of a couple we were friends with on our Turkish base found out that his brother was being sent to Viet Nam and he immediately started trying to get Nam duty. Why? Well, according to him, his brother was going to get all the glory and bragging rights to having served in Nam and was going to lord it over him when they got home.

Wha???? This guy had a wife and baby and a safe cushy job on the base and he wants to go to hell on earth solely for "bragging rights"? He was highly concerned that it was all going to be over before he got there.

I don't know if he ever made it to Nam but his wife told him she couldn't stop him from going but they wouldn't be married when he got back. IF he and his brother made it back, that is.

My late husband spoke fluent French but the Army in its infinite wisdom sent him to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey for a year to learn Russian intensively. I always wondered why they just didn't use his French, but I was grateful that they didn't because that would have probably meant Viet Nam duty.
 

jerry r. garner

redneck, but brainy
Jujube:
As you know, the French took over Indochina in and around 1860, Their language was adopted by high class Vietnamese, necessary for
high dollar business. When the roguish , non-French speaking GI"s arrived, The Viet's clung to their French rather than speak the language of the barbarians. You think the military was unaware of the prevalent use of French in Vietnam-Oh yes, military reasoning remains a mystery.
 

jerry r. garner

redneck, but brainy
jujube:
The kid your talking about, where was he from, rural or urban. what region?

Sounds like a severe case of cultural norms overriding good sense.
Especially, with a wife and child.

There are pockets through the USA where 'blood relationships' are important factors,
'he's by blood cousin...' you owe these blood relatives loyalty, regardless of what they may have done.

Also, the rivalry- of doing better than your other 'blood relatives'- we call it sibling rivalry; they don't,
"It's a blood thing." and a very, very strong component of their lives,

The above is not an explanation, only an opinion, but he was primed for making a very bad decision.
Strange, very strange

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

One of my 8 roommates was a 17y/o
1.He wasn't supposed to be in our battalion-they wanted 20-23 y/o folks (explanation to long and not on topic)

2, He meet a bar room foozy before he entered boot camp, she was a 30y/o female with no visible means of support
He spent his two week leave after boot camp at her cheap hotel room.

3. She proposed, he accepted, she knew spouses are paid an allotment by Uncle Sam and discussed the urgency of her plight. (lot of questions here, why weren't they married before he shipped out...)

4. Once in Germany, he was frantic to get back to the states and marry this 'lady.'

5. He was a tender sprout of 17, he openly discussed his problem with his older roommates.

6. If you volunteered to go to Nam, Uncle Sam would grant you a 30 day leave in the states;
That was his solution: Get back to the states, marry and get the paperwork submitted for her allotment check.

7. Our NO's! were a chorus, he could not hear, He knew it was a bad decision but his hormones found him
submitting paperwork for Nam.

8. He spent a total of three months in Germany, then he was gone-a tragedy.
 
Original Poster
One of my 8 roommates was a 17y/o
1.He wasn't supposed to be in our battalion-they wanted 20-23 y/o folks (explanation to long and not on topic)

2, He meet a bar room foozy before he entered boot camp, she was a 30y/o female with no visible means of support
He spent his two week leave after boot camp at her cheap hotel room.

3. She proposed, he accepted, she knew spouses are paid an allotment by Uncle Sam and discussed the urgency of her plight. (lot of questions here, why weren't they married before he shipped out...)

4. Once in Germany, he was frantic to get back to the states and marry this 'lady.'

5. He was a tender sprout of 17, he openly discussed his problem with his older roommates.

6. If you volunteered to go to Nam, Uncle Sam would grant you a 30 day leave in the states;
That was his solution: Get back to the states, marry and get the paperwork submitted for her allotment check.

7. Our NO's! were a chorus, he could not hear, He knew it was a bad decision but his hormones found him
submitting paperwork for Nam.

8. He spent a total of three months in Germany, then he was gone-a tragedy.
Reminds me a little of one of my fishing buddies from High School.

After High School I went on to Junior College and he continued to work as a bus boy.

He was working at the Holiday Inn on US 19 in Clearwater and he got involved with this 38 year old waitress named Gladys and shacked up with her for a while. But after a while I think he was getting a bit uncomfortable with the arrangement and he joined the Army I think basically get away from her.

We had kind of a going away party for him. Some of us went out with him and we all got drunk and then got the 2am munchies so we went to this all night diner. I remember I ordered a steak and said I wanted it cooked rare.

When it came it was rare all right. It still had ice in the middle. But I was hungry so I ate it anyway. I remember we played Ballad of the Green Berets over and over on the Juke box. And Gladys was there and she was pretty bummed out about Ken, that was his name, leaving for the Army and she turned to Larry, that was my best friend, and I and said “You boys have got to take care of me while he’s gone”.

I was kind of taken aback by that because even though I was 19 and had never gotten laid before I sure didn’t want to start with a 38 year old waitress who looked every day of that and then some. But crazy Larry chimed in right away and said “I’ll take care of you” Which I’m sure he never did. I’m pretty sure none of us saw Gladys again after that night.

So Ken left for the Army. He came home for a short leave after basic at Ft. Benning and told us all some cool Army stories and then went out somewhere in California for AIT. (Advanced Infantry Training). He had more stories when he came home on leave after that. I remember we went out shooting with our .22’s and Ken, who was a country boy, always was good with a rifle, but after AIT he was damned impressive with it. He could just pop that rifle up to his shoulder and instantly fire without sighting in and hit a beer can 40 feet away no problem.

But he wasn’t going to Nam. He’d signed up for 4 years which at that time you could do and be guaranteed a European tour. So he ended up somewhere near this place called Gelnhausen. He liked it at first. When he came home on leave he gave us all each a switchblade knife, they were apparently legal over there, and a cool fancy German beer mug neither of which I have anymore. But after a while he got bored with it and volunteered for Nam. He served with the 4th Infantry Division in the Pleiku area. Finished his year tour in one piece and came home got out of the Army and enrolled in an engineering program on the GI bill at some college in the Atlanta area.

About 7 months after he came home from Nam he came down with Malaria. Apparently you can get infected with it and it can lay dormant for a while. Anyway, he got treated at the VA hospital, recovered, finished his degree and did quite well for himself. He’s retired now and living somewhere south of Birmingham.

I saw him again at our 25th High School reunion. We talked about old times and when the reunion party was winding down Ken wanted to go out for a beer at this bar that he had gone to back in the day because they had never checked ID’s. Of course that wasn’t an issue now because we were both 43 years old.

When we got there we found that the atmosphere had changed over the last 25 years. We were both wearing suits. Mine was a cheap 20 year old one that I had gotten at Sears for about 50 bucks. The best description I can give of the crowd was that it was a cross between redneck and biker dudes. Anyway, as soon as we walked in the door some guy looked up at us and said “Here come the cops” Earlier that evening Ken had told me that he had been into Karate. O I said to him, “I’m glad you know Karate, in case we have to fight our way out of here”. And then he laughed and said to me “In a street fight what it comes down to is whoever gets in the first good kick to the nuts wins”

But we went ahead in anyway and we had one beer and left and no one bothered us.

We emailed for a while a few years back. Both of us have sons that made a career out of the Army. So it kind of got to be a pissing contest between us as to whose son was the most bad ass. His son made warrant officer and was some kind of aide to a big shot general, so I guess he thinks he won. But my some was a Green Beret and made Master Sergeant so I think I won.🙂
 

Sassycakes

Well-known member
Location
Pennsylvania
My Husband was in the Navy from 1965 until 1969. He never was in Viet Nam and still today he never claims he was a Veteran during that war. He never equaled his service to those who served in Viet Nam. We lost friends during that war and my husband would never claim to have served equal to the way they served.
 

DaveA

Well-known member
never heard of this before, why would you think you could lie about something like that....I have my DD214
I have mine also - - - -somewhere. I last saw it about 5 or 6 years ago, when we were going through some saved papers. I hope no one asks to see it as they might have quite a wait. Since I received it in 1957 I can't remember ever having to show it for anything. Maybe I did, but it's too long ago to remember.
 

jerry r. garner

redneck, but brainy
Trade:
Ken was one of the lucky one-good!
When we roll back the years, looking at our behavior: Boy, were we dumb! (and lucky)

Story Time:
A Nam vet and a casual friend took me to VFW Hall, alleged 'Women, cheap beer, dancing...
'We gott'a go on a Friday nigh, Saturdays belong to, the old farts who bring their wives.'

Were 25-27, somewhere in there, cannot remember his name, he was a getting drunk buddy only.

I was married, I only promised to be faithful, did not promise
her exclusive property of my eyeballs.
.
She like all women, I suppose, hated it when I would slip off with male
friends to get drunk, tell lies, raise hell...
You know your going to get your ass tore up when you return home, but do it anyway

I'm/ was a chugger, chug 10-12 beers as quick as possible, my friend drank like a civilized person.
When I got drunk had to go out side, it must have been Nov or Dec, the cold felt good.
I'm outside pissing and pukeing rubbing my brow on cold metal of car... got in car and went to sleep

A man enters
A man with a 12 gauge!
He says, 'I'm not here to hurt anyone, I'm looking for my wife's boyfriend.'

You can bet all the fella's did a quick review of their history-no one stirred, moved, dead silence.
The man with the shotgun looked the crowd over, searched the male and female bathrooms,
nar a word from anyone.
Neither his wife nor her boyfriend were present.
He left

He and his shotgun but a damper of the festive of that evening.

My friend came out to his the car, cussed me a bit for being poor company; asked '...do you know
Susan Bailey (have no idea of the lady's correct name, I only remember he asked the question with an element
of concern)
He took me home, were I received hour my several hours ass-chewing that night and the next day (Saturday)
and the usual miffed attitude in all wives can maintain for a week, or longer.

Do you have a point, or are you just writing your usual gibberish?
Yep, here it is: This is more of less a sociological post: Ex-GI's don't shoot, knife of kill other Ex-Gi's
when congregated.

Where as in general society where you find:
A congregation of males
Now, Add Alcohol
A Recipe for violence, killings...

I have never read or heard of a bar fight that ended in a killing in a VFW or American Legion site.
I only know of one event at one of these sites which turned into a brawl. ONE! Just one!


An explanation is demanded?
 
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911

Well-known member
Location
USA
I went to the D-I college World Series in Omaha in 2018 when Oregon State won it all. I didn’t have tickets for the final, but did watch OS play their first game against North Carolina and OS lost.

But anyway, I was speaking with some other guys that were there and were from Maryland and when they found out that I was a former state cop, they wanted to ask me a question. They said that they were also college umpires back home and they found out that there assigner was fired as assigner because he was telling everyone that he fought in the Vietnam War. Evidently, from what they told me, someone called him out on it by asking him his age. When they figured it out that he would have been too young to have fought in ‘Nam, they did even more investigating and found out that he was never even in the service.

So, there question was; can he be charged with fraud? I told them that they needed to check with their local or state police. I don’t know Maryland laws. What I didn’t tell them was that because the assigner did profit from his lie, it may be possible, but only if the prosecutor would be willing to take on the case. However, it being a victimless crime, he may not. But, did they give me all the facts?
 

911

Well-known member
Location
USA
Trade:
Ken was one of the lucky one-good!
When we roll back the years, looking at our behavior: Boy, were we dumb! (and lucky)

Story Time:
A Nam vet and a casual friend took me to VFW Hall, alleged 'Women, cheap beer, dancing...
'We gott'a go on a Friday nigh, Saturdays belong to, the old farts who bring their wives.'

Were 25-27, somewhere in there, cannot remember his name, he was a getting drunk buddy only.

I was married, I only promised to be faithful, did not promise
her exclusive property of my eyeballs.
.
She like all women, I suppose, hated it when I would slip off with male
friends to get drunk, tell lies, raise hell...
You know your going to get your ass tore up when you return home, but do it anyway

I'm/ was a chugger, chug 10-12 beers as quick as possible, my friend drank like a civilized person.
When I got drunk had to go out side, it must have been Nov or Dec, the cold felt good.
I'm outside pissing and pukeing rubbing my brow on cold metal of car... got in car and went to sleep

A man enters
A man with a 12 gauge!
He says, 'I'm not here to hurt anyone, I'm looking for my wife's boyfriend.'

You can bet all the fella's did a quick review of their history-no one stirred, moved, dead silence.
The man with the shotgun looked the crowd over, searched the male and female bathrooms,
nar a word from anyone.
Neither his wife nor her boyfriend were present.
He left

He and his shotgun but a damper of the festive of that evening.

My friend came out to his the car, cussed me a bit for being poor company; asked '...do you know
Susan Bailey (have no idea of the lady's correct name, I only remember he asked the question with an element
of concern)
He took me home, were I received hour my several hours ass-chewing that night and the next day (Saturday)
and the usual miffed attitude in all wives can maintain for a week, or longer.

Do you have a point, or are you just writing your usual gibberish?
Yep, here it is: This is more of less a sociological post: Ex-GI's don't shoot, knife of kill other Ex-Gi's
when congregated.

Where as in general society where you find:
A congregation of males
Now, Add Alcohol
A Recipe for violence, killings...

I have never read or heard of a bar fight that ended in a killing in a VFW or American Legion site.
I only know of one event at one of these sites which turned into a brawl. ONE! Just one!


An explanation is demanded?
Great story and right on about wives dealing with a drunk husband, although, I can’t attest to it firsthand. I am a member of our local American Legion and enjoy hanging with the other Vets.

One Saturday night, the Legion held a dance with a live Country band. It was a lot of fun, until one of he couples started talking loud, louder, still louder, then screaming at one another. The man shoves the woman and she falls backward over her chair. So now, 2 other guys grab him and he tries to resist them by kicking and wrestling with them. My wife tells me to do something. I asked her, “Why? They seem to be doing OK.” They finally got him outside and meanwhile, someone must have called the cops. After that, I don’t know what happened. Most likely, everyone just went home and slept it off.
 

jerry r. garner

redneck, but brainy
I like those stories of when we were young and could effect our surroundings,
Mel Gibson's 'We were soliders and Young:'' I am really attracted to the title, movie is gritty.
911:
"Do something!"
"What?"
Wives, God bless 'um,
Water pipe blows due to extreme freeze at 2 A.M.
"Do Something!"
You stumble outside, turn off water
"Is that all your going to do?"
"Tomorrow morning, Tomorrow after it get daylight."
"Huh!"
Departs in a swirl of her robe
Dozens and dozens of other, 'Do Something.'
 

911

Well-known member
Location
USA
Here’s one for the books. I was sitting in a Bob Evans restaurant just a few years ago having breakfast on Veterans Day when a fellow wanted his free meal because he claimed that he was a Vet. He asked the waitress if she couldn’t read the cap. He was wearing a “Vietnam Veteran” cap with the Marine logo.

The waitress told him that she had to see his DD-214. He told her that he doesn’t carry it with him. She wasn’t budging. Of course, I had to intervene and since I don’t accept free meals, I offered to pay for his. He got all pissed off and as he stormed out he said, “Aww, just forget it.” The waitress was a little red faced and I told her not to worry about. Anyone can buy a $3.00 cap.
 

jerry r. garner

redneck, but brainy
I've post before, do not understand 'wannabes.'
I remain very curious as to motivation.
911's post 48, maybe the guy just wanted a free meal, I never encountered a
person that carried his DD 214 on his person, the Bob Evans Restaurant surly
has a sign or other requirements.
The question remains, why. If your talking to a vet, he'll tell you quickly,
what unit, location... I don't think it would be easy to fake. Still-why?
 


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