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Author Topic: Vietnam - Through the Looking Glass  (Read 5934 times)
Mad_Russian
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« on: 27 March 2011, 01:57:41 »
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This thread is about the Vietnam War, through the eyes of those that were there. I was not. But I read alot of books written by those that were.

I'll be giving some of their insights to the war from all angles. Anything that I, or you, may think is interesting or unusual from a personal point of view of those that served. This thread is all about the personal aspect of the war.

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MR
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Mad_Russian
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« Reply #1 on: 27 March 2011, 15:00:09 »
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"Scout dogs were only good the first day or two because they tired quickly in the heat. Special food had to be carried for them as well.
...

Not on a one year tour, the dogs stayed in Vietnam until they could not or would not work anymore, then they were destroyed. The possibility of communicable diseases contracted in Nam being transferred to dogs back home meant that they were in the war for their own duration."


Primary Source:
"The Only War We Had: A Platoon Leader's Journal of Vietnam" by Michael Lee Lanning

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MR
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Mad_Russian
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« Reply #2 on: 27 March 2011, 15:06:27 »
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"Defining an area as a free-fire zone meant that anyone in it was enemy. The paddies were rarely free-fire zones because many civilians lived and worked in our AOs. During the day we had to be careful not to shoot a farmer carrying a hoe who looked much like a VC carrying a rifle. After the curfew however, all of Vietnam was a free-fire zone. If it moved, it was enemy."


Primary Source:
"The Only War We Had: A Platoon Leader's Journal of Vietnam" by Michael Lee Lanning

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MR
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Mad_Russian
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« Reply #3 on: 27 March 2011, 15:16:41 »
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"The four people we saw about a klick away did not appear to be armed. Still, they should not have been so far away from the nearest village. They ran and our chase was long in time but not in distance. With the preponderance of booby traps, no one moved quickly in the paddies.

When we caught the kids, all they were carrying were small canvas sacks containing small crablike creatures they had caught in the paddy waters. Our Kit Carson, Tom, explained after questioning the children that they ran because they were afraid we would shoot them. Their fears seemed logical to me. We let them go."


A Kit Carson scout was a former VC/NVA soldier that had changed sides and was currently working for US units. They were rarely completely trusted because of their proven ability to change sides.

This passage has complete relevance, for me, in today's situation in the Middle East, where once again, it's hard to know who the enemy is.

Primary Source:
"The Only War We Had: A Platoon Leader's Journal of Vietnam" by Michael Lee Lanning

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MR
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Mad_Russian
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« Reply #4 on: 17 April 2011, 16:59:03 »
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After basic training my father stayed at Fort Polk to undergo Advanced Infantry Training, A.I.T.

“The instructors here were a lot different than in basic. They treated you with more respect, almost like you were a human being. We had a sense of pride for ourselves and for our country. I was placed in Tigerland and if you ended up there you knew you were going to Vietnam. Those of us who had our basic at South Fort could run circles around the guys who trained elsewhere.”


(Note: A.I.T. stood for Advanced Individual Training, however I can see where someone going to Infantry School would think it stood for Advanced Infantry Training.)

Primary Sources:
http://www.327gir.com/199thLIB.html

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MR
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Mad_Russian
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« Reply #5 on: 17 April 2011, 17:00:46 »
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After graduation, my father was then sent on an eighteen-hour plane ride to Vietnam with stopovers in Alaska and Japan.


Primary Sources:
http://www.327gir.com/199thLIB.html

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Mad_Russian
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« Reply #6 on: 17 April 2011, 17:01:48 »
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“When I first arrived I remember it was like walking into an oven. It was so hot and the humidity was unbearable. We were put on a bus that had wire over all the windows and armed guards. It was scary because I did not know what to expect. We were taken to Long Bihn, where there was a replacement center. I was there three days before I found out what unit I was assigned to."



Primary Sources:
http://www.327gir.com/199thLIB.html

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Mad_Russian
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« Reply #7 on: 17 April 2011, 17:04:10 »
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“The longest time I spent in the field was two months, but if you count the fire bases then it was longer. We only returned to the Brigade base about three times during my time there.” “The shortest time would be our ambush patrols. We would leave just before dark and the return in the morning.”


Primary Sources:
http://www.327gir.com/199thLIB.html

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MR
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Rattler
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« Reply #8 on: 17 April 2011, 21:20:24 »
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Interesting stuff, keep it coming!

Rattler
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"War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left...": The Rattler Way Of Life (thanks! to Solideo)... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9v3Vyr5o2Q
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