Veterans Day 2019

All of our veterans share our common experiences. Regardless of age and time period, we served.

What I found most difficult at times was my fellow vet’s who suffered physical injuries that resulted in loss of limb or brain traumatic injury (BTI). When I moved to Colorado, August, 2012. Did I start to hear about “Homes for our Troops” (HOFT) thru Facebook.

In 2012, I decided to follow HOFT and attended an event near Brighton, Colorado for Capt. Patrick Galvery, USMC. Patrick lost both his legs.

When I arrived wearing my Air Force Vietnam Veterans cap. People asked why I was there (I guess they don’t know our connection??)? I assisted for a couple of hour’s met Patrick, gave him a copy of the documentary film and we took a couple of pictures together.

 

My next event wasn’t till 2014 when I met Jason Halett, and his wife Rachel for the Key Ceremony.  This was east of Greeley, Colorado. I shot some short clips that day.

Jason, little did I know they would have a family years later. The reaction was almost the same from non-veterans. While some veterans went about their way. Almost ignoring my presence. Your guess is as good as mine..

Here’s a couple of photos of Jason, Rachel and me.

 

I also want to include a couple of more photo’s; one of Mike Walker,  Air Force veteran; loadmaster with C-130 Hercules that flew “Beans & Bullets” into Khe Sanh, January 1968.

C-130 Hercules
Mike Walker, Crew Chief, C-130 Hercules.

 

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Both sides… now! (Political parties) Veterans Day, 2019

Tomorrow will be Veterans Day.. What I think and speak about today: Is the political parties of our country, and of course the Vietnam War. This discussion will continue and probably fade away after the last Vietnam Veteran has passed away. Along when the last of the baby boomers are gone..

The Democrats started and ignored the plea of Ho Chi Minh in his letter in 1946 to President Harry S Truman asking for America’s help. Because France was now on a campaign to suppress the Vietnamese nationalist. Who wanted to be free of their colonial rule. This would be the start of the blame game, and in 1970 when President Richard Nixon ordered the incursion into Cambodia. All hell broke loose across our country! College students would die from exercising their freedom of speech. While Republican mom’s in Ohio said they deserved to die.

That was in 1970 and next year May 1,2020 – Will be Fifty years later. So what has changed? Very little, no one accepts responsibility.

So what’s the point you may ask and think. Why do I write about an experience of what is now history. Or about on November 10, 2007. While filming the opening ceremony of Veterans Day in Washington D.C. At the National Mall, when Paul Bucha, U.S. Army, Captain – Medal of Honor recipient would chastise the politicians who did not attend Veterans Day ceremonies in our nation’s capital. You can view his comment’s in the documentary film posted on YouTube. You can view this and here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3dC-lNvBD8&t=2600s if you want to hear his remarks go to the 30:00 minute time and you hear his remarks.

What he said that day rings true. While at the same time, the protestors of the Vietnam war. Walked away just as others did from the veterans who returned home. Without help.. to be accepted again into society. We already know of the PTSD, the suicide of 40, 000 Vietnam veterans who could no longer bear the pain and torture.

Of course I can go on, because its something some people in our country want to ignore. While politicians of both parties will say a lot of nothing. Because they only cared about keeping their children from the draft as they did during Vietnam. The Democrats would spend a lot of time about being anti-war. Yet, most of the time, it was just hot air.

I feel our country along with most of the population (I may get boos) from the conservatives that say they support us. Who only supports the physical wounds of war. Not our Freedom of Speech. WHY? Because our can country chooses… Denial. They(the conservatives) don’t like the criticism we direct to the Republican party. Yet they enjoy privileges, while we struggle because our families didn’t have the money, to attend college.

Our country and the majority of our citizens take Freedom for granted. Ask any Veteran today … How many people stopped and said: “Thank You for Your Service.” This became evident over the last 30 years. It was depressing and makes us feel unworthy and not appreciated. While the younger generation of veterans from the Gulf War, 1991, and Balkan war 1996 time frame. Didn’t have to endure the stigmatism. Then-President George W. Bush chose to go back to Iraq, in 2003. While the Afghanistan war was already in progress, because of terrorist support from the Taliban, in 2001.

Both sides regardless of their political party pass bills to help these younger veterans. Did so rather quickly. While still many of my generation have to file appeals with Veterans Administration from our experiences over 50 years ago.

Yesterday while shopping at Sprouts, University Hills district of south Denver. I approached a USMC veteran. I thanked him for his service, he was genuinely happy and smiled! That, someone, noticed him. His comment to me was about: “How no one cares!” I knew what he meant.. He didn’t want to talk about it because of the hurt.

Tomorrow, I will post pictures of a couple of veterans who lost their limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

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Fifty Year Odyssey began!

November 2nd, 1970 arriving at Cam Ranh Bay airbase. Because of one decision (Volunteer for southeast Asia) in late 1968 at Lowry AFB. , forever change how I would view life and politics over the next 50 years!

Here is the letter from early 2000, I wrote from my initial impression and memory of that night. Also note the context is written with the use of adjectives and slang words, as used in South Vietnam. I will add new excerpts over the next few days.

Where Do I Start?

When I got out of my seat on the Flying Tigers flight to Cam Rahn Bay upon our arrival, all the soldiers, sailors and airmen got excited about our being in Vietnam. It was around 2AM and as I walked forward from the back of the Boeing 707 to the front exit. The humidity engulfed me and as I started walking down the stairway, I heard two F-4’s take off and it wouldn’t occur to me for years afterward who they were trying to save from being overwhelmed.

All of us climbed into buses for the short ride to the Aerial Port (that’s what the Air Force called the passenger terminal). All of the Air Force people were told to pick up their duffel bags and taken to a central processing facility. I can remember how all of us were pretty excited about a new experience. We were then taken to a transit facility to get some sleep.

When I woke up in the morning the air was warm, and heat would increase throughout the day. What became immediately apparent I was a fucking new guy (FNG) and everybody would give any other FNG grief or me until we had some time in-country. After processing into the 12th Security Police Squadron I was assigned to Tiger Flight (duty would be from 1PM to about 10PM) after 3 days of in-country training (weapons training, 1st Aid, and orientation about the local situation). I was assigned to the “screw-ups” hootch without all restrictions that the Air Force like to imposed. Actually these guys were responsible for setting claymore mines, concertina wire (razor wire), rebuilding bunkers and filling sandbags.

Eddie Poier was from Massachuatts.”Silva” was from the Southwest, Blauer was from Virginia, there was guy who’s name I think was Gill who was alsofrom the Southeast, these guys gave me more shit! And enjoyed giving it to me every day! They told me what to look out for and our hootch Mama San Bee who kept our clothes washed and ironed, swept the floor clean every day. Bee always kept the guys in line and was a pretty nice woman. I was taught to take care of her by giving things her family could use on a daily basis without RVN officials confiscating her gifts from us.

One day before I started duty, I saw a cop who I was stationed with (Lowry AFB) in Denver,Colorado. Steven Squires and I drove together in a squad car one day and we had to respond to a robbery in progress at the Officers Club. As I was walking to somewhere and I looked up and saw Steven driving a jeep, he looked at me and didn’t say a word. I didn’t see Steven again but I later found his name years later on a veteran web site.

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4th Of July…Is it taken for granted?

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Memorial Day is approaching

via Memorial Day is approaching

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Memorial Day is approaching

I am blessed to continue to post about Memorial Day since 2012. For those who do follow the blog page. I refrain from being pulled into the politics of day. And I’ll leave it at that. What is more important than whatever “side” your on. Is what we did as service in whatever war. At the time of in theatre service, I don’t think we thought much about “Freedom of Speech.” Our focus was staying alive. Rescuing our buddies, and getting the medical help they needed.

I will say this, over the last 49 years. There is help for all of us. As this is just me saying this: “As brother and sister vets, we need to let those we know! Regardless of how our day is: We’re there for our fellow brothers and sisters. PTSD is devastating to all of us, we know there is no “Magic Wand” that will erase the nightmares and the pain.

We only have one thing! That is our LOVE for each other who suffer this day in and day out! I had my share of bad days, only in the last couple of years have I told my closest friends. About how my heart and soul was crying every day from September 14, 1970, into the early 1990s. I made the decision to do the work, to make myself better. Sometime’s I would wake up and I wasn’t crying on the inside and it took time.

Making the film wasn’t about me, it was about Honoring Vietnam Veterans. To at least say this is our moment along with every day to remember those from that war. Along with every war since then.

Here’s the link to Volume I of Weekend To Remember, 25th Anniversary, Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Share with those who care and maybe those who take our sacrifice for granted. Which we do not take anything for granted!

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Virgina Beach School districts discriminate – Special Education chlldren.

via Virgina Beach School districts discriminate – Special Education chlldren.

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Virgina Beach School districts discriminate – Special Education chlldren.

I happen upon the broadcast by PBS series Making the Grade. Jan. 29, 19; is about Virginia Beach denying Special Education children who are dependents of U.S. Navy personnel.

Here is the link: Making the Grade

When you read the transcript or view the video, I think those of us who have served. Will be shocked and angered by the Virginia Beach school districts who take the position of ” they won’t be here next or gone in a couple of years.” Listen to the reporting and see the footage of how this community who relies on military dollars. Are cold-hearted greedy people. The very people who depend on us to protect their freedom. But at the same time say “You’re not worth it!”

I ask that all veterans and their families get the word out about how our active duty service members cannot speak up for fear of reprisals. It’s time to raise our voices as one!

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Covington Catholic High School Disrespects Vietnam Veteran.

Late Saturday evening, before bedtime. I saw NBC News about Covington students disrespectful to Native American Vietnam Veteran.

I am outraged by the failure of the school staff, the parent’s failure to teach their children to respect all viewpoints and all people regardless of color. Or of the student staring down the Vietnam Veteran, Nathan Phillips.

The tenants of our country are founded on the separation of church and state. So why did Covington Catholic High School allow students to wear MAGA (Make America Great Again) hats to a rally that violates, the 1st Amendment of the Consitution of the United States!

Clearly, the Archedose of Covington feels they can dictate and support intimidation of and by high school students. Or openly send students to march against women rights concerning abortion. While the staff did not intervene to take control, while students openly smirk and belittle a Native American. I was raised Catholic, produced a documentary film about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. My film website has pictures of tribal members of Navajo Nation.

The Catholic Arcedose of Covington needs to fire the staff and administrator for allowing students behavior and wearing of MAGA hats to school. The students are a shameful embarrassment of what Catholicism is supposed to be about. I support a person’s right to their opinion and may not always agree. However, act’s of racist behavior toward Native Americans and disrespect to Vietnam Veteran is a BIG Step backward days before Dr. Martin Luther Kings birthday!

Update: I understand there was a chaperone with the students? Why didn’t they intervene?

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Four Million government contractors are not part of the conversation!

via Four Million government contractors are not part of the conversation!

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