GIVE AN AWARD
Use your CatCoins™ to grant this post a special award and grant the author bonus CatCoins™!

Love Love Love!
monetization_on 1000
Quality Content
monetization_on 1000
Big Fish
monetization_on 1000
Hmm
monetization_on 1000
Flammable
monetization_on 1000
Caring
monetization_on 1000
Nom Nom Nom
monetization_on 1000
Ooo, Shiny!
monetization_on 1000
Hear ye, hear ye
monetization_on 1000
Cheers
monetization_on 1000
Bravo
monetization_on 500
Grats
monetization_on 1000
Take My Coins
monetization_on 1000
Great Idea!
monetization_on 1000
Nope
monetization_on 1000

YOUR BALANCE
monetization_on
Vietnam - What's in a mind? (Picture)
storage This topic has been archived - replies are not allowed.
Archives - Tiger Boards Archive
add New Topic
Replies: 27  

Vietnam - What's in a mind? (Picture)

emoji_events [26]
Feb 17, 2021, 11:22 AM
thumbnail.jpg(136.2 K)

This is the little girl I wrote about in an earlier post. She came up to me early in the morning before I rode on the lead tank across a boobytrapped ditch with the bomb detonating only as the 3rd tank was crossing. I had given this child some canned C-ration fruit and she told me her name was Mai (she pronounced it as "my" ) and I told her my 1st name. She was astounded by how soft my air mattress was after squeezing it a few times. ( She lived in a grass shack and we later found out that the villagers had to sleep on boards that were elevated above the dirt floors). It wasn't until recently that I wondered if she knew that the bomb was planted just a few hundred yards away from where we were talking or if she thought I might have been on the tank that was blown up when she saw the explosion. And whether she felt horrified by what had happened or if it was just another day in her war torn life

military_donation.jpg flag link


I always had a soft spot for the children in Iraq but always knowing

emoji_events [13]
Feb 17, 2021, 11:37 AM

in the back of my mind that they may try to bring us harm. I always kept them at a reasonable distance the few times I got to interact with them. Fortunately I had no such incidents with children and always enjoyed the opportunity to throw them water bottles, candy or some other goodies off the truck.

military_donation.jpg flag link

Re: Vietnam - What's in a mind? (Picture)

emoji_events [11]
Feb 17, 2021, 11:46 AM

Hard to say. Hopefully she made it through the war ok. That had to be very tough not really being able to trust the local populace. I have a friend who pulled multiple tours in Vietnam as an officer. He actually was involved in the Battle of Ia Drang in 1965, was shot in the head with a grazing blow that unbelievably just fractured his skull.He recovered from that and ended up with 2 more tours.

As we became better friends, he opened up to me about some of the horrors of war. He was tortured about his involvement in the Phoenix Program. I particularly remember him though talking about sitting on the porch of a hooch somewhere writing a letter back home to his wife. He noticed a Vietnamese boy playing around nearby and smiled to himself as everything looked totally innocent. He looked up and the boy was running towards him with a Chi Com grenade in his hand. In one motion he shot and killed the boy. The grenade landed close by, but not close enough. He sustained some minor injuries from concrete hitting him. He however said it was very tough getting the image out of this very playful young boy who was obviously put up by adults to kill him. He realized he had no choice, but it still ate on him.

Thankfully, you made it back despite your very serious injuries. Hopefully the little girl was innocent of the plans re: the tank, but it had to be tough to encounter the locals never knowing their intentions. The converse had to be true too of the Vietnamese at times.

Thank you again for your service.


Message was edited by: rons1®


2022 orange level member flag link

I was once faced with that decision

emoji_events [9]
Feb 17, 2021, 1:07 PM

After a night operation, I was in the bushes in front of the rest of my company and saw a bamboo hat moving on the trail and stepped out to see a boy about 10 years old coming toward the company. He turned quickly to move back away from us but his shirt opened to show a grenade that someone had lost in the dark hanging from the top of his shorts. When I yelled for him to stop, he grabbed the grenade from his waistband and held it out for me to take. I know I would have had to shoot him if he had started to pull the pin.

military_donation.jpg flag link


Re: I was once faced with that decision

emoji_events [9]
Feb 17, 2021, 2:10 PM

My platoon Sgt was killed in Nam in 1969 by a young boy about 8 years old who dropped a grenade into his jungle fatigue pant pocket. After that incident the entire platoon's attitude toward the locals changed. We trust no local and allow no one within 15 feet that was laying on the ground. If I returned to RVN today that would still be my attitude. Those type of life lessons one does not forget. You learn to live with them.

2022 orange level memberbadge-donor-10yr.jpg flag link

Re: I was once faced with that decision

[1]
Feb 17, 2021, 10:53 PM

That had to be a tuff day when happened. You Sit are another Clemson Tiger Hero! Thank you for serving the great country! God Bless You!

??????????????????

2022 orange level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg flag link


Re: I was once faced with that decision

[4]
Feb 17, 2021, 4:08 PM

That gives me chills just thinking of that incident. Both the boy's life obviously and yours would have changed in an instant had the boy made a different move.

2022 orange level member flag link

When Desert Storm was ramping up, I was

[1]
Feb 18, 2021, 8:53 PM

in a Combat EN battalion in the Reserves. I was dating a girl who was a bit of a hippie. One of the questions I would ask myself is about a similar scenario. One day, I said something to her about it. Without hesitation, she said I should shoot the child.

I hope you've never had misgivings about knowing what you would have had to do.

Thanks for your service!

(BTW, I was never deployed. )

badge-donor-05yr.jpg flag link

Re: Vietnam - What's in a mind? (Picture)

[4]
Feb 17, 2021, 2:08 PM

I always felt badly for all people in Vietnam. I think thy had something like 60 straights years of war so many lived lives never knowing peace. No matter the politics that is just very tragic.

badge-donor-05yr.jpgringofhonor-74tiger.jpg flag link

People in this village told us about being taxed by the

emoji_events [9]
Feb 17, 2021, 3:33 PM

VC who came to take part of their crops and they were also taxed by the ARVN government somehow. Made me question how they could have been worse off if the communists took over the country completely. That village also had Popular Forces (like militias) living in it with US supplied M-16's and M-79 grenade launchers that they fired at us from the jungle after smiling at us as they walked past us when leaving the village. So you couldn't fell sorry for ALL of them.

military_donation.jpg flag link


Re: People in this village told us about being taxed by the

[3]
Feb 17, 2021, 5:06 PM

That is the problem with wars where the enemy does not wear a recognized uniform. You don't know who your enemy might be.

2022 orange level member flag link


Re: Vietnam - What's in a mind? (Picture)

[3]
Feb 17, 2021, 5:08 PM

Amazing perspective to think on. Even if only a tiny pinhole to glimpse. Reading this made me think more about that girl. If she’s still alive I’m guessing she’s around 55-60 years old. I wonder how she sees the world now?

2022 white level member flag link

She would certainly be in her 60s if she

[4]
Feb 17, 2021, 7:32 PM

survived the war. I have wondered how things went for her, but didn't really have thoughts about her in the way I wrote this post until I came across her picture recently - that she might have known the tanks were going to go over the bomb and just accepted it as a part of the world that she had always witnessed.

military_donation.jpg flag link


My Dad served in Vietnam...

emoji_events [7]
Feb 17, 2021, 7:37 PM

right out of The Citadel in the Air Force. He did not share many stories except one.
He was on some sort of team assigned to go in and rescue downed pilots.
They got word of the location of a pilot held in an enemy camp, and devised a plan to try and get him back to our side.
Flew over in a chopper to the field near where he was, and they saw him from a distance. He was standing up in the field.

As they got closer however, they noticed his arms and legs each tied to cows/water buffalos with rope.

Their incoming chopper scared the water buffalo, who ran in opposite directions, of course pulling all his limbs off. He could still see it 40 years later.

When they pulled out of there in the chopper, they radioed back to the station, who sent in fighters to absolutely obliterate the area and more.

Some horrible things over there, thank all for their service.

2022 purple level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg flag link

Re: My Dad served in Vietnam...

[2]
Feb 18, 2021, 8:48 AM


right out of The Citadel in the Air Force. He did not share many stories except one.
He was on some sort of team assigned to go in and rescue downed pilots.
They got word of the location of a pilot held in an enemy camp, and devised a plan to try and get him back to our side.
Flew over in a chopper to the field near where he was, and they saw him from a distance. He was standing up in the field.

As they got closer however, they noticed his arms and legs each tied to cows/water buffalos with rope.

Their incoming chopper scared the water buffalo, who ran in opposite directions, of course pulling all his limbs off. He could still see it 40 years later.

When they pulled out of there in the chopper, they radioed back to the station, who sent in fighters to absolutely obliterate the area and more.

Some horrible things over there, thank all for their service.




You owe it to yourself and to your dad's honor to investigate your dad's service.It sounds like your dad was part of the elite USAF Pararescue unit otherwise known as PJ's. I got to know a couple of PJ's when I was in the Medical Corps of the Air Force. Trust me, those guys are every bit as badass as the Navy SEALS and Green Berets. These men are some of the most selfless individuals in our military.

2022 orange level member flag link

Re: Vietnam - What's in a mind? (Picture)

[3]
Feb 17, 2021, 8:21 PM

Keep sharing your stories. They are very interesting and inciteful.

2022 orange level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg flag link


Re: Vietnam - What's in a mind? (Picture)

emoji_events [9]
Feb 17, 2021, 8:43 PM

We had a little Vietnamese boy named Freddie (about 10 or 11) that used to come and go into our compound in Tam Ky before I took over the platoon that manned our compound there. One of the sergeants who was about to rotate home wanted to adopt him and take him back to the states. I don’t think the adoption was ever approved so Freddie had to stay in Viet Nam. After the sergeant left I no longer let Freddie in the compound, as he really had no business there and I had no idea who He was associating with when he left. I felt bad, but I couldn’t put my men in peril because of him. I always wondered what ever became of him.

military_donation.jpg flag link

I was never on a base for very long but never saw

[3]
Feb 17, 2021, 10:08 PM

kids allowed through the gate. The few times I was in Chu Lai, I saw young Vietnamese women working as barmaids in the NCO club. They were allowed to stay until late at night - I guess the club took them back to the gate at the end of the night but I never lasted that long to know when(and if) they closed down. Most of the kids we saw were when we were close to villages - a lot of our AO was in areas where the population had been relocated and no civilians were allowed to even be in those "free fire zones" where anyone who were seen were considered enemy. A large "Tin City" was constructed just outside of out firebase at Hill 4-11 - looked a lot like rows of the chicken houses we have here around the South.

military_donation.jpg flag link


Re: I was never on a base for very long but never saw

[4]
Feb 17, 2021, 10:17 PM

Thank to all of the above whose father, brother, family members or you yourself served in the Military, Thank you so much for your major sacrifices and honorable service to our Country The United States of America! A country I am #### proud to be a Legal Citizen of.

May God Bless you all who served. You have the gratitude of many many people from this country as well as many other countries. ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

2022 orange level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg flag link


Re: I was never on a base for very long but never saw

emoji_events [7]
Feb 17, 2021, 11:00 PM

I was in Chu Lai for a couple of weeks before I took over the platoon at our compound at Tam Ky, about 15 miles north of Chu Lai. We never had any children on our base at Chu Lai, but probably had barmaids, but I didn't spend too much time there. When I cam back to Chu Lai for about a month, we were just there to prep the place to turn it over to the Vietnamese. We were on the other side of Highway1 from the Army. My Battalion (9th Engineers) supported the Army's Americal Division.

At Tam Ky we were almost part of the city and had several Vietnamese friends, including "Doc" who was one of the town leaders. I trusted him to the point that we both had mutual interest in trusting each other. We also had a MacV compound and head quarters there, so the town was pretty secure ...... as much as one could be. We also had some American "Agricultural" specialists there, who I later found out were CIA guys. I guess I was a little naive at the time and had zero idea who they were.

I also found out after my tour with that platoon was up that my men would sneak girls into the Tam Ky compound. I suspected that could be the case as I found a flip flop in one of our four guard posts one morning when I was checking them. I was pretty sure it didn't walk in by itself!

military_donation.jpg flag link

that was such an effed up war... in so many ways... again,

emoji_events [7]
Feb 17, 2021, 10:24 PM

God bless you guys that had to deal with all that. And try to make sense of it later.

2022 orange level memberbadge-donor-10yr.jpg flag link

"They talk most who have the least to say." - Matthew Prior 1664-1721


Re: that was such an effed up war... in so many ways... again,

[3]
Feb 17, 2021, 10:48 PM

Totally agree with (you dark side of the moo!) Dang politicians tried to run the war from Washington D. C.. Especially LBJ, who personally picked out targets from a satellite. He has so much blood on his hands. We lost so many Air Force and Navy Pilots because of LBJ’s meddling with his big nose into all Military affairs, when he should have removed all restraints from our soldiers. Then he should have gone to Vietnam personally to tell our soldiers to kick butt and don’t bother taking names. Nixon had the right idea with the Linebacker operations but he should have kept it up until we had bombed Hanoi into the Stone Age.

2022 orange level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg flag link


We have all heard horror stories about kids in recent

emoji_events [6]
Feb 18, 2021, 9:03 AM

conficts in Arab countries being used as suicide bombers, decoys to draw out American soldiers, and such. Was this also a concern back then in Viet Nam? I seem to remember something about it way back then.

Modern kids cannot fathom just how messed up it was to literally have gruesome war coverage on the nightly news, EVERY night, without fail. And, just like the sensationalist reporting of today, the stories rarely painted our brave soldiers in a flattering light. They kept wanting to find another My' Lai Massacre. The actions of a few, along with traitors like Hanoi Jane Fonda, and the seemingly endless pipeline of young American men going, and bodies coming back, made it the saddest chapter in our military history.

All of that hubris means we owe an even greater debt to those of you who served over there to the best of your ability, only to find yourselves shunned and labeled as "baby killers" upon making it home. I continue to Thank You for your service. Were it not for student deferrments, I would have been among you, and probably my name would be on that forbidding black wall in Washington, DC.

2022 orange level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg flag link

Re: We have all heard horror stories about kids in recent

emoji_events [7]
Feb 18, 2021, 9:31 AM

Thanks for you comments. Clover may have a different perspective, but I didn't see children being used as suicide bombers. They were used to plant IED's and given other jobs to help their war effort. Although as a combat engineer one of my main jobs was to find and get rid of land mines and booby traps, but I never saw a child setting one though I suspect they did. I did have an occasion where three adults riding on as Honda 50 made a mistake while installing a land mine and were blown to pieces .... literally. I saw the explosion but was not standing there watching them set the bomb.

The only real suicide "bombers" that we saw were the sappers that tried to sneak trough the defensive wire around the compounds or field camps with explosives strapped to their back in satchels. I think all of them thought that there was a good chance that they were not going to make it back out, but I think many/most of them were content to get into the compound and throw the satchel into a bunker or watch post. My compound in Tam Ky had all kinds of trip flares and other warning devices as well as Claymore mines to protect us ..... all of which worked ..... sometimes!

military_donation.jpg flag link

I Thank You for your service as well.

[4]
Feb 18, 2021, 9:36 AM

.

2022 orange level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg flag link

Never heard of suicide bombers in the

[3]
Feb 18, 2021, 5:56 PM

sense you hear about in other wars- in Nam they had other ways to use the explosives and live to do it again- but VC trained young kids 12-14 to take part in actual combat. And speaking of sappers, our company found a very accurate mock-up of our base complete with every bunker, ammo dump, mortar position, and command center- scary when you think about it

military_donation.jpg flag link


way scary, how did they get that info except from people who


Feb 26, 2021, 5:56 PM

got inside?

badge-donor-05yr.jpg flag link

The base was on a hill so someone


Feb 26, 2021, 7:11 PM

could move around it with good binoculars and identify practically everything but they went to a lot of trouble to construct a detailed model - I am sure they had some bad intentions but we never took more than a few mortar rounds in the few nights were there. Another company did have a couple of sappers get through the maze of barbed wire with one getting real close to the ammo dump

military_donation.jpg flag link


Replies: 27  

TIGER TICKETS

FB GAME: Season Tickets
FOR SALE: 2022 Season tickets for sale. Lower level, Section P, Row G, seats 1 & 3 (aisle seats). You won't be...

Buy or Sell CU Tickets and More in Tiger Tickets!

Archives - Tiger Boards Archive
add New Topic
5651 people have read this post