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26 March 2017


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Thanks for the recommendation! I have read "Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq" by Kinzer. He's a great writer.


There were a lot of tracers and slap flares up in the air where I was at midnight Jan 1, 1971.Most everybody was wasted. Nothing romantic or to be proud of. That's not to say it wasn't different at some other place and time.

Doug Welch

Thanks for the post. I was able to see the name of my uncle, SB4 Roy Newsom of Somers, CT who died with the 501st Reg, 101st AB. Thanks, guys.



Look up my piece "The Huron Carol" We were not all a lot of drunken draftees counting the days until DEROS. pl



Maybe you should try reading something that is not written by a leftist sorehead. pl


PL, I read a great variety of material from a great variety of points of view. How else to get perspective?

Lloyd D. Herod, Jr.

Col.& Members of SST.
One of the strongest and most poignant memories I have was taking a walk in DC while on business. That November day I walked over a rise right into the Memorial's dedication ceremony. Those memories are still with me, as are the emotions that the Wall brings. When I visit DC, I make it a point to return.
Thank you for providing a place to honor such memories.


I don't think this is an appropriate place to make this sort of comment. It would be better to bring it up in a discussion on foreign policy rather than in a tribute to the many young men who gave their lives in this war. I don't mean to be confrontational, that is not my intent. A few of these guys on the wall I am familiar with, as I've known their brothers and sisters, there are many more whose lives were forever changed who made it home, but never really adapted. When I knew them, the last thing on their mind was politics. Please respect that.


There are actually two Virtual Wall sites.




Col Lang sir,

What percentage of the anti-war movement would you say were really rebelling against their parents vice opposing the war?


Well for me, my opposition - ambivalence, really - to the wall and its designer evaporated upon first contact. I don't see how anyone can get up close and personal with it and retain animosity. You see the visitors, their respect, even reverence; and the children standing weeping before some name ...

Then they came out with the statue depicting the three grunts in jungle fatigues, one with the towel draped over the back of his neck, the one in the middle limping and held up by the other two. That soothed me some more.



The moniker sounds like a SOG recon target designator. They were all things like Q24, L46, etc. I avoided going to the Wall for a number of years and then one summer night my wife said she wanted to go see it. I walked up and down for a while and began to feel better and told her that at least I did not see the names of people I knew. She pointed to one. It was the name of a man who had lived next door to us at Ft. Gulick in the CZ. I have never been back. pl



Rebelling against mom and dad? No idea. The intel enlisted men who worked for me in VN were all college grads who could have avoided the draft easily, but chose not to. They were quite bitter against the marchers with their display of enemy flags, etc. The SF men later were just indifferent to such creatures. pl


Yes, we were "creatures". We were, and remain, "soreheads". Soreheads, because we knew then and evidence continues to confirm that Johnson and Nixon prosecuted a war they knew they were not going to win. It's awful that someone "spit" on returning troops. (The only ones that ever metaphorically spit on me were right-wingers who thought we were pussies front crushing those little jingle buggers) It's much worse that Nixon torpedoed the peace talks so he would be elected. I'm a sorehead that my friends died for nothing. I know this is not to popular view here but I'll never change and don't expect ya'll will either.


Read the piece about your unit. You guys have of course earned the right to have any opinion you want.
I was not a draftee but still part of the rabble. I'd like to think some of us had redeeming qualities. We were there to support dustoff and medevac in one capacity or another. We weren't at all combat trained but went up in the guard towers each night in shifts to watch our 3 coils of concertina for sappers.
From my tower I did like the elegant way the red lines of tracers from Puff (Spooky?) would curve as they circled the target on the mountain out where the ROKs patrolled.


Dick T

Nobody said you were rabble. Nobody. pl



Just another "antiwar activist" troll. Friend of Ken? pl

Balint Somkuti, PhD

Not for nothing. For the hope of a better life for hundreds of millions of people. For someone like me.


What are you talking about, Ken who?

Maybe you should stop being a "sorehead" about some fat woman in a mumu that spit on you almost 50 years ago.



She is among the least of the things I would like to eliminate from memory. pl

Balint Somkuti, PhD

Wow. Freedom of speech, ha? And freedom to be an $ߣ×÷?

Blimey mate! This is a private blog. It is not wise (not to mention unpolite) to insult the owner.


Tidewater responds to Elaine,

That's also a poem. An absolute stunner! Thank you.

Babak Makkinejad

An elegy in style of Rilke.

Jim MacMillan

Here are some imprecise quotes from past acquaintances. I hope they will forgive my botched up wording:

"Thank you to the Viet-Nam Vets who taught me, coached me, and influenced me when I was a young soldier."

"Millions of Veterans write blank checks payable to their country for amounts up to and including their lives. Why are you pi$$ing and moaning about a few dollars in taxes to upgrade their pay, their medical care, or their funerals?"


Colonel Lang,

I can’t claim that honor. It was I to whom recon - in my case, Marine Corps Force Recon teams - called in their targets; I was an artillery Fire Direction Control operator. Kilo 4/11 is the designation of my old arty unit, Kilo Battery, Fourth Battalion, Eleventh Marines. We shot the M 109 155 mm SP howitzer; probably the A1 or A2 version since we had 20 click range. The call signs of our Recon teams were kind of literary: I remember Parker Pen and Night Scholar. They kept pretty quiet on the radio and we never called them lest the noise give them away; we waited for them to call us, or we would just press the squelch button to let them know we had something to tell them. Years later I met a former Recon sergeant at a Vet Center discussion group. It was quite a moment, even though he’d been attached to Third Marine Division and I to the First.

I went to the Wall on the day it opened and President Reagan came out and addressed us. That was the time he referred to the war as a noble cause. He spoke softly and a wind blew some of his words away, but I heard those two. It was good to hear; music to mine and no doubt to many others’ ears, though bittersweet. I couldn’t find any names I knew, which was not as good as it sounds, for I knew there had to be one; the sergeant who led the night ambush patrols around our hill. He’d been killed on a night I hadn’t gone on patrol, for what reason I can’t recall; it was a volunteer detail. So at the Wall, I learned that I had forgotten his name. Somehow this made it worse. I never went back, either.

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