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Vietnam: Memories, Nightmares, Regrets & Fate

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posted on May, 19 2009 @ 10:11 AM
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By Dave Rabbit – ATS Press Corp.

For Jim

Phan Rang Air Base, South Vietnam. It is Memorial Day week-end 1970. Americans are getting ready for great food, beer and good times. But for those of us in Vietnam, there were no long week-ends of relaxation like our friends and families back home. Memorial week-end was like every other, 12 hour day minimums, death, destruction, fear, loneliness, anger and despair. Another day in the Nam. For me, it is my last physical day in Phan Rang as I prepare to go home for a 30 day leave before returning for my last assignment in Saigon, arranged by my great friend Pete Sadler in personnel.

I’ll never forget the day I first met Jim Brookshire back in 1969. I was stationed in Headquarters squadron. My previous roommate of three weeks, had just left for the world, the USA. His year long tour finished. I’m sitting in my hooch listening to Jimi Hendrix and in he walks. Thick black glasses, squeaky clean appearance.... he could have passed for Clark Kent at the Daily Planet. I immediately thought to myself that this was God’s way to punish me for all the hell raising I did in high school back in Dallas, Texas. Polar opposites was an understatement.

We introduced ourselves to each other and after a few awkward moments, I began helping Jim get squared away. In the course of our conversation, Jim told me that he was assigned to the base media relations office. I told him, I was working for the Wing Commander’s office as a MSL, Maintenance Supply Liaison. I tell Jim to leave his stuff and we will finish up later. We walk outside and jump into my jeep which I had access to as part of my job communicating between the flight line personnel, supply and the brass. One could say that my office was that jeep. Jim asked me where we were going, I told him Dalat.



After going through the checkpoint on the perimeter of the base, we drive about a mile to the shanty town of Dalat. Bars and whorehouses lined the streets and was the primary source of income for the locals there. Although Jim is hesitant at first, I finally convince him that we are fine during the daylight hours up until 16:30 hours (4:30 p.m.) because the town is secure with MP’s, AP’s and QC, which were the Vietnamese Military Police, also called “mice”. Although I had only been in country for less than a month myself, the bar owners and ladies knew me and welcomed us in. There was always loud American rock and roll blasting from the speakers and the beer was always ice cold. A couple of the dancers, whom I had met before, came to our table and joined us. I could tell immediately that Jim was uncomfortable. The Vietnamese women who worked the bars and whorehouses were, shall we say, aggressive in their approach to GI’s. After about 15 minutes Jim asked if I would take him back to base, that he had to report in to his new boss. Of course, I knew that was BS and that he was like a fish out of water in my world.... but I said sure. We downed the last bit of beer, climbed back into the jeep and headed back to Phan Rang. That was the first and last time Jim ever went to Dalat.



A few months pass. Even though Jim and I were different as day and night, there was just something about the guy that I truly respected. We are at the Airman’s Club one night, watching another would be Asian band trying to emulate American rock and roll when fate lends a hand and I first meet Pete Sadler. Pete too, was from Headquarters Squadron. From that point on, we became the “Three Musketeers”. Jim, the “Choirboy”, Pete. the “Frequent Flyer“ and myself, “The Rebel”.



I’ll never forget the day Jim walked into our hooch with the news. Instead of doing the mundane interviews with the troops to perpetuate the lies of us winning the war in Vietnam and sending it back to the mainstream media back home, Jim’s boss, the Major, had told Jim that AFVN, Armed Forces Vietnam Network Saigon, had sent a communique down to all of the Air Bases that they wanted to encourage local programming throughout Vietnam. So Phan Rang was going to have it’s own local radio show for 3 hours each night which was going to cover Phan Rang news, base activities and, of course, propaganda. Since it was considered an after hours assignment, Jim was given a free hand to do whatever he wanted and got permission from the Major to ask me to be his studio engineer. I remember asking him what credentials he thought I possessed other than 3 years as a rock singer in my high school band, but he assured me that my knowledge of music would be a tremendous asset to him, even though the programming was not going to be rock and roll.



It is sometime in January 1970 that we get the studio up and running. With a lot of assistance from the Radio Relay guys at the base, the powerful 50 Watt “Radio Phan Rang” was going to be on the air live every night from 2000 Hours (8 p.m.) until 2300 Hours (11 p.m.). As Studio Engineer, the Major gives me a list of programming that he wants for each show and it is my responsibility to go and retrieve the music from the archives.



Once retrieved, Jim and I lay out the nights schedule and then I copy the music in the proper sequence on reel to reel. Any interviews with the Donut Dollies, American Red Cross women, or the Base Commander, etc., are done, recorded and then put on cassette tape for play at the appropriate time. Since the show is live, it is my responsibility to be sure that everything is played on cue at the proper time and the proper levels. The first night was a total disaster. Anything that could go wrong, did. The Major was absolutely furious with me and wanted to fire me on the spot. But Jim stood his ground, told the Major that he had faith in me and assured the Major that it was simply first night jitters. Of course, once the Major left, Jim told me if I screwed up again I was gone because there was no way he could save me a second time. Fortunately for Jim, and myself too, I was a fast learner.

The show became extremely popular. Although the “Fifth Dimension”, “Dionne Warwick”, “Glen Campbell” and similar artists were not what the troops really wanted to hear, they enjoyed the banter that eventually grew between Jim and myself as well as the occasional comedy bit that the Major allowed me to do under his constant censorship. As each show passed, my comfort level, confidence and love of being “On Air” increased also.

It is May 1970. Because I didn’t really want to go back to the states, I had convinced Pete Sadler to get both he and I an assignment to Tan Son Nhut, Saigon, for another tour of duty. I had already served one tour at Cam Ranh Bay from 1968-69 prior to arriving at Phan Rang. Saigon would be my third tour in Vietnam and Pete’s second. Serving multiple tours in Vietnam was a walk in the park as the military put a priority on experienced war zone personnel staying in Vietnam.

If memory serves, Pete left for home for his leave a week before me and the last few days of my Phan Rang days were just Jim and myself. You get real close to fellow soldiers that you serve with. It’s hard to put into words really. There is a common bond, an invisible connection that goes above and beyond those made in the real world back home. Maybe it is because you share a peril of life and death on a daily basis, I don’t know. I think although there are similarities amongst all soldiers, there are numerous unique situations and friendships too.

Even as I approach my 39th Memorial Day in 2009 from that time in Vietnam, I can still remember that one in Phan Rang in 1970. It is as vivid and clear in my mind and memories as if it was yesterday. This day, like all others preceding it, was normal for Jim and I. We had breakfast at the chow hall, he went to his office, I climbed into my jeep and went to mine. We normally met at the chow hall around 7 p.m. for dinner, where we would go over last minute things for the show. As it was going to be my last one before catching a hop the next morning to Cam Ranh Bay for the freedom bird back to Dallas for my 30 day leave, Jim and I wanted this to be a very special show. Even the Major, who was scheduled to leave himself a day or two after me, had become somewhat nostalgic about what we had accomplished in the 5 months of “Radio Phan Rang”. I always got pumped up for a show. My adrenalin would surge and I was bouncing off the walls, ready to get to it.

It seemed like forever before the show started. Three, two, one...... “Good evening Phan Rang, this is Airman Jim Brookshire, along with my studio engineer Sgt. Dave Rabbit, guiding you through another night of Aquarius...”. It was the same opening, other than my rank which had changed in the five months, as the very first time we went on air. Jim proceeds to inform folks, as he had already been doing the previous week, that I was “short”, less than 1 week left in “The Nam”. The Major, who very rarely was in studio, was even there and allowed me to do one of my favorite bits “Charlie’s Request Line” as a thank you for my dedication and hard work on the show. Even though the music sucked, as always, it was a great show. Afterwards, the Major tells me goodbye, then Jim and I head off to the Airman’s Club for some beers and nostalgia one last time.

Jim and I arrive back at the barracks around midnight. It appears to be a calm night with no rocket or mortars from the VC. The year I was there, we had over 160 different nightly attacks. The VC normally tried to hit the flight line, but sometimes they would get lucky and hit an area of personnel. Jim and I both had lost a few friends that year. We decided to drink a couple more beers, listen to music and remember those who would return in a box. Maybe it was the beer, maybe it was the pent up emotions of what we were going through, but it was an emotional time for both of us. Jim finally said goodnight and climbed up on the top bunk and crashed immediately. Although I was feeling no pain, the adrenalin in me and the excitement and anticipation of going home for 30 days to see my parents and friends made me extremely restless. I had already packed my duffel bag and even though my hop wasn’t until 9 a.m., around 6 a.m. I had another friend of mine pick me up and go down to the flight line with me to wait. Besides, I really didn’t want another goodbye scene with Jim.

About 7 a.m., the base siren goes off indicating that we are under an attack. Even though we had been attacked during the daylight hours before, it is unusual as the majority of attacks are at night. My friend and I joke that they probably hit the garbage dump since they are normally poor shots. Maybe 15 minutes pass and an airman goes racing past us. We ask him what’s going on and he tells us that the barracks area was hit in the attack. I yell at him to be more specific, he says he doesn’t know. I tell my friend that we have plenty of time before my hop so I wanted to go see what had happened. We jump into the jeep and head up the hill towards the barracks area. As we approach closer, there is smoke coming out of the Headquarters’ Squadron area. We both jump out and start running towards the chaos. As we turn the corner I see that one of the two barracks that has been hit is mine. There is a huge gaping hole in the side and as I get closer, see that it is about where Jim’s and my hooch was. The perimeter is blocked off with security police but we manage to get around them and get even closer. The medics are bringing people out on stretchers and I ask one of them if everyone is alright. He tell me that there were three people killed. I said who? He says, he doesn’t know. This is driving me absolutely crazy. Is Jim alright? Was he at breakfast? I didn’t know. We finally make our way around to the opposite entrance to my barracks and go in. As we make our way down the hallway through a light haze of smoke, I can see a couple of medics down where my hooch was. As I approach they put their hands up in a manner to keep me away. I push their hands out of my way and turn the corner. There on the floor of my old hooch is the lifeless body of Jim Brookshire, my roommate and friend. A medic is hovering over him and adjusting him on the stretcher. I remember screaming at seeing him. I remember my friend holding me back until I calmed down. I asked the medic for a moment with Jim. As I knelt down next to him I began to cry. Tears were streaming down my face and I felt like my heart had been pulled out of my chest. I had a sterling silver peace medallion that I wore around my neck. I pulled it over my head and placed it around Jim’s neck. The medics told me they had to go, they picked Jim up and carried him out, with my friend and I following close behind them. As they put Jim and the two others in the ambulance the tears started flowing again. Even as I write this now, it is hard to see the words. It is an image that is permanently burned into my memory and brain and will be that way until I die. As the ambulance pulled away and we stand there still in disbelief, my friend says to me “Damn Dave, it’s a good thing you left early. That could be you.” It was at that precise moment that a cold chill went down my spine as my friend’s words hit me with such a force of reality that it became crystal clear to me..... I should be dead.



In late June 1970, after a 30 day leave back home in Dallas, I arrive at Tan Son Nhut, Saigon. I’m full of anger, emotions and questions about the stupidity of the war and the thousands of senseless deaths. Because I wanted to do something that would give significance and meaning to what Jim Brookshire meant to me personally, Pete Sadler and I hook up, we meet Nguyen and on January 1, 1971, Radio First Termer is born and for 21 nights pound the airwaves of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos with rock and roll, reality and truth. If I had never met Jim Brookshire, if we had never been roommates, if we had never become friends, if he had never died..... who knows. I do know this, I owe everything to Jim Brookshire.



When you celebrate Memorial Day this year and for the many years that will follow.... take a moment from stuffing yourself with food and drink with your family & friends and realize that the freedom and lifestyle you are enjoying came at a high price from those that served and died for you and your country. Remember those who are away from home, family and friends..... who man a post and say that nothing is going to happen to you on their watch.

For Jim & All The Soldiers.


(click to open player in new window)



[edit on 5/20/2009 by Dave Rabbit]




posted on May, 19 2009 @ 10:28 AM
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How do I respond to this? What a purely heartfelt, well written, gut wrenching thread. Damn. All I can say to you is this. Thank you Dave. *SALUTE*



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 10:36 AM
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Amazing.

Thank you for your service and thank you for sharing this with us.

*raises a salute* here's to all that have served and are serving now.



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 10:45 AM
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For those that have served to protect our way of life you have and will always have the eternal graditude and respect of my family




Thanks for sharing this with us Dave



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 10:47 AM
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Wow - These are the stories that are the hardest to write about, sometimes mere words do not do justice to the experience. This is a nice homage

To Jim and To you Mr. DJ



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 10:50 AM
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Dave...

That was heartfelt, and I'm touched by your story. All my family, from Dad, siblings, Uncles, and cousins served for varying lengths of time, I'm the only one who didn't.

All I can say is thank you, and thank you to everyone who has stood the watch over me and mine. So...

Thank you.



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 11:00 AM
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Wow. I had to finish up my crying jag before I could respond. Thanks for sharing such an intimate story. All I can say is, thanks Dave, for all you did and all you still do. And to all the military members reading this, thanks for your service and sacrifice. You're always remembered.



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 11:54 AM
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i too wanna say thank you..i fly the POW/MIA flag to this day in my yard..Allot of men,some young enough to be called boys gave all they had over there in Vietnam.
Conspiracies aside,those men faught with all they had,for what they beleived was right..And for the most part to come home to an unwelcoming hand..that must have torn thier hearts out..

Just like todays boys that served over in the Middle East,labeled a national security threat..Its a disgrace...Like a rapper had said once..

''don't hate the player.hate the game''

To all vets young and old,I owe my freedoms to you..



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 12:07 PM
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Dave....thank you so much for sharing that with us. What a powerful piece of writing. I have to admit here that I haven't been able to read it all...I'm finding it a little too emotional, but rest assured, I will later, when I've got my silly act together. You, sir, are a star. You were in my thoughts yesterday a lot...maybe I knew somewhere that you were putting this all together.
*Everyone* should read this.
Cait xxx



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 12:56 PM
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Thanks Dave...... My Vietnam was so very much different than the one that you lived, and though that as a Marine that was almost constantly in the bush, I know what it must have been like for the guys like you...... I spent a few weeks in a bunker on a hill overlooking a combat base in north west I Corps and monitored a radio and relayed messages...... Just knowing the casualty numbers for two battalions and knowing what it was like to be thirsty, hungry, scared and just plain miserable was a stressful situation in itself...... Guys that were in a position to be privileged to know more about the full scope of these things, carried a heavy burden...... Vietnam veterans that left there alive will never be free of burdens. We came home and brought Vietnam with us..... It has been forty years ago this August since I left as a nineteen year old disabled combat veteran and I am constantly recalling memories like yours......I always end up consoling myself with the knowledge that those like your friend Jim are free of the torment and remain forever young.



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 03:37 PM
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I served in Iraq, and can say that yes, you do get a very close bond with your fellow brothers.

Your story almost left me in tears. I've lost friends myself, but thankfully no one as close as your friend Jim.

Don't know really what to write, except my respect for you and fellow soldiers throughout time go through the roof.



Peace,
FK



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 09:09 PM
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Dave..... you really shook me this time. For those who were there and elsewhere, Much respect and love. It's all we got to take home.



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 09:29 PM
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You do a service my friend, to those who served and should be remembered.

I have an uncle who came back, but has had problems. I have a cousin who's name is on the wall. On his third day in country he stepped on a landmine.

Still, we can never forget those who rose to the challenge when their country called upon them.

We will never forget as long as veterans such as yourself pay tribute to your brothers, and keep them alive, if only in memory.

Thank you. For your service, For your stories, For your gift to those who are no longer here to tell the stories themselves.

I'm just glad you made it through, so you could tell the stories for them.

Love and light my friend,



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 04:15 AM
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While I have never served, I have the utmost respect for those who have.

A ballad "Walk in the Light Green (I was only nineteen)" was written in the 1970's as a tribute to soldiers in the Vietnam War. It was later (1983) released as a single by a band called Redgum.

This ballad is taught in schools over here to remind us of what our soldiers endured for our freedom, and is known to Australians and New Zealanders like our national anthems are.



ANZAC is the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.
Puckapunyal is a training base
VB is a popular beer over here (Victorian Bitter)
Vung Tau and Nui Dat were Australian Bases


I Was Only 19 (A Walk in the Light Green)
-----------------------------------------
Performed by Redgum
Written by John Schumann



Mum and Dad and Denny saw the passing out parade at Puckapunyal,
(it was long march from cadets).
The Sixth Battalion was the next to tour and it was me who drew the card
We did Canungra and Shoalwater before we left.


And Townsville lined the footpath as we marched down to the quay;
This clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean;
And there's me in my slouch hat, with my SLR and greens...
God help me,
I was only nineteen.


From Vung Tau riding Chinooks, to the dust at Nui Dat,
I'd been in and out of choppers now for months.
But we made our tents a home, VB and pin-ups on the lockers,
and an Asian orange sunset through the scrub.


And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?
And night time's just a jungle dark and a barking M16?
And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help me,
I was only nineteen.


A four week operation, when each step could mean your last one on two legs:
it was a war within yourself.
But you wouldn't let your mates down 'til they had you dusted off,
so you closed your eyes and thought about something else.


Then someone yelled out "Contact", and the bloke behind me swore.
We hooked in there for hours, then a God almighty roar;
Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon: -
God help me,
he was going home in June.


I can still see Frankie, drinking tinnies in the Grand Hotel
on a thirty-six hour rec. leave in Vung Tau.
And I can still hear Frankie lying screaming in the jungle.
'Till the morphine came and killed the bloody row


And the ANZAC legends didn't mention mud and blood and tears,
and stories that my father told me never seemed quite real
I caught some pieces in my back that I didn't even feel
God help me,
I was only nineteen.


And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?
And why the Channel Seven chopper chills me to my feet?
And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help me,
I was only nineteen.

[edit on 20/5/09 by GBBumblebee]

I posted your Video for you. Thanks for that. Excellent. Dave

[edit on 5/20/2009 by Dave Rabbit]



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 05:35 AM
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reply to post by Dave Rabbit
 


Thanks for sharing your experiences with the membership . I paid my respects to veterans and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on Anzac Day . Along with thinking about particular my fathers service in Vietnam and that of other Anzacs I did manage to spare a thought for those GIs who serve in that conflict and other wars . Hearing the Last Post always almost or does bring a tear to the eyes .

Cheers xpert11 .

[edit on 20-5-2009 by xpert11]



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 12:36 PM
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As a tribute, and only if any of you feel comfortable with it..... PLEASE feel free to continue to share any stories you have that may have been, like mine, personally experienced or those that possibly as family member of yours was involved in that you would like to honor their memory or just their story here.

Unlike World War I, II and Korea, Vietnam was a hugely political powder keg. Not only for the secret agendas of Washington DC, but more importantly the Draft.

As I have said numerous times..... John Wayne was a huge hero to me growing up as a kid. That gung ho, over the hill, kill all the bad guys mentality was part of my influenced personality. I volunteered for the Air Force because I didn't want to go to Vietnam. Which is ironic as I volunteered for all three tours.

Vietnam was the first war that was part of the family dinner in America. We were bombarded by constant images of the devastation, death and destruction that was going on, largely due to the Press Corp. that was allowed to be with the troops. Although I have a lot of issues with the Mainstream Media at times, historically, they were a huge part that started the Anti-War movement in the United States and made the GI Anti-War Resistance even more significant



David Zeiger's acclaimed documentary Sir! No Sir which focused on and heralded this is a perfect example. It was, in fact, one of the first things I found on the Internet back in February 2006 when I stumbled upon the "Dave Rabbit" persona that had been going on even after we shut down on January 21, 1971. David Zeiger had used some of my historic radio material from Saigon as part of the documentary. David and I contacted each other, became friends..... and when the DVD version of the movie came out, flew me to Los Angeles and filmed an interview with me which he included on the Special Edition Version.

WARNING! This contains MILITARY HUMOR & LANGUAGE and may be offensive to some. WARNING!


(click to open player in new window)


Again, I would be Honored if you wanted to share the stories of those loved ones during Memorial Day week-end on this thread by telling their stories or yours. It is only through knowledge do we ever hope to make sense of war and the collateral damage it brings to not only the families and friends of that soldier. Since 2006, I have received a tremendous amount of e-mails and letters personally and through Will Snyder, David Zeiger and Corey Deitz who forwarded them on to me from not only soldiers, but the ones who had the most impact on me, their children. One in particular I will share with you was a son. His dad was killed during the Tet Offensive. Although this was way before my show in Saigon in 1971, somewhere along the line he came across one of the millions of copies that had been perpetuated over the years from GI to GI. He told me in his letter that when he listened to the show, not only did he have immediately flashbacks of his Dad, that it spurred him on to find out as much about Vietnam as possible and about his own Dad. He continued by thanking me for the incentive to make the journey because it made him so much closer to his Dad than he had ever been. Because for the first time in his life he understood what it was all about.

A long time ago I was talking to someone about the legacy of the show and my feelings about it all these years later. I told the person that until I started reading some of the letters and e-mails that Will Snyder had accumulated since 1995 when he started the Radio First Termer Home Page. I broke down and started crying as I started going through them and reading them. Some of them are absolutely too personal to share. But at that moment, as I was reading them, it was the first time in my life, ever, that I felt validated and felt like I had actually changed the world, even if minuscule, for the better and had contributed something personal that affected and changed lives. I don’t say this to be egotistical, but because it is, in my 60 years, something that I proudly point to today and will always point to, with the exception of the birth of my two sons, as the most important thing in my life that I am proud to be my legacy when I am long since gone.

Please share your stories with me and the world.

Dave

P.S. Thanks for all the private U2U’s for those of you that don’t want to post publicly.

P.S.S. In public response to a question received via e-mail, yes, the Peace Medallion was buried with Jim by his parents.


[edit on 5/20/2009 by Dave Rabbit]



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 02:28 PM
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Dave.

I shared some of this with you via u2u yesterday. In thinking about it, I feel I should share it here.

This is about my father, who retired as a TSgt from the United States AirForce in 1967. He served from the opening days of WWII 'til the end, he got out in 1946 for two years, rejoined just in time for Korea, and served continuesly 'til 1967.

Three wars, and the opening days of the cold war.

He served with distinction during the Pacific Campaign during World War Two in the Army AirCorp in the SW Pacific, then in the Central Pacific during the remaining time of the war. He was on Saipan during the invasion of that island and participated in hand to hand combat during a last ditch attack by the Japanese. Later his squadron was assigned to Guam where he was stationed for the rest of the war. He was assigned to forward air units for the proposed invasion of the Home Islands which the explosions of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs rendered, thankfully, pointless. He participated for a short time in the Occupation of Japan until he was separated in 1946. He attended college for a couple of years, then reupped in 1948, when the Korean war broke out he was sent to Japan during that conflict. After that war, he was sent back to the States where he met my mother...just enough time to basically get married then off to Europe where he spent several years, in 1959 he was amongst the first US servicemen sent to the Republic of Vietnam as an advisor to their military...

He has nothing but affection for the Vietnamese people, I've never heard him say anything negative about his time in country. In the 1960's he was sent to Europe again, where I was born in 1963...it was just shortly thereafter that he was assigned to Minot AFB where he spent the remaining years of his AirForce career.

To this day he suffers assorted post traumatic issues that effect him greatly, though he'd never acknowlege it. I remember clearly the day he decided that he'd had enough...though I was only 4, we were walking down the street in the base housing area, and a car backfired, and my dad was diving for cover... Not too long after that he took his retirement.

At 83, he's not as mobile as he once was, hard of hearing due in large part to exposure to explosions and jet engines without proper protection. Some nerve disorders that cause involuntary muscle movement. He has never once complained about these service related ailments, though his opinion of the VA isn't all that great.

He, along with his brothers, and brother in laws, and all my sibs and most of my cousins have served in various branches of the military with honor and distinction. I did not, as I, according to the military docs, have too many physical issues...a little too blind and a little too deaf...to be of use. But, along with my mother and aunts, I waited anxiously when my sibs and cousins were possibly in harms way in various places in the world. There's a trite, yet true, expression that goes like this "they, too, serve who sit and wait". I can't compare what my grandmother and mother must have gone through, with the short term worry I went through when my brother answered his nations call. He was gone a year and a few, my father and his brothers, and my mother's brothers were gone for years.

I've had issues with my father...I suppose all sons do at some point, and God knows my sisters have all had issues at varying points in time. He wasn't perfect, but he's my Dad, and his service to his country and the price he's paid in body, and mind, and perhaps soul were, and are, indeed steep. I have nothing but respect and love for him, and for all the military past, current, and even future who have served our nation.

Peace to those who's service is done. Safety to those who are and will be serving.

Above all, my respect and thanks.



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 02:38 PM
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Wow man, what an amazing and powerful story. Just wow.

Thanks for sharing all this with us. I am sure it was hard as can be.

I know you said you hate writing, but you are very good at it.


Just wow.


Thanks.... I don't really know what else to say.... Just thanks.



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by seagull
 


Thanks for sharing that. I know it was difficult to take the time to post something so personal to you. I greatly thank you for making what you sent me privately in U2U form, something that all people can share and take something from it.

Of the hundreds of communications I have received since 2006, the children of war always start with My Dad Didn't Like Talking About The War... But. And normally, when they found out something about their Dad it was either as he grew older or after his death and they finding something when going through personal belongings, etc. I remember getting a letter one time from a daughter who had come across a personal journal that her Dad had kept and hid away for years..... never to be seen by another person until she found it after his death..... some of the things she passed on to me were horrific. Stories that would shake you to the earth's core. The closest thing I can associate it with is the movie Platoon.




Dave



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by Dave Rabbit
 





some of the things she passed on to me were horrific. Stories that would shake you to the earth's core.


that's it exactly. I know he did some things that he's not proud of during his WWII days. He's never exactly said anything, save in a very roundabout way... Of us kids, I think I may be the only one he'd ever even contemplate telling, and he never has; I suspect whatever secrets, if any, are going to go to the grave. Why I'm the one he'd maybe tell, I don't know, save perhaps I didn't serve and have no frame of reference...maybe.

I've no idea how to even begin to bring up the topic, and at his age and health I don't really want to...I think I'll respect his wishes in this matter.



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