receive communications related to AARP volunteering. www.aarp.org/volunteer. Effects of war lasting for IP Vietnam veteran Local News. In the meantime, please feel free If there is anything we’ve learned from the Vietnam War, it is that we haven’t learned anything from the Vietnam War.”. Individual cases disappear into the whole. I developed great respect and affection for the Vietnamese when I was there. If COVID-19 disproportionately strikes the elderly and the vulnerable, the Vietnam War disproportionately killed the young and the vital. In April, President Trump said there was “light at the end of the tunnel.” Gen. William Westmoreland reported seeing a similar light in Vietnam in 1967. One is John Ketwig, a Bedford resident and the other is Keith Young, of Roanoke County. The Marines are on Monkey Mountain, artillery is firing out into the jungle, there are flare ships dropping flares. Most vivid memory: personal relationships with Vietnamese soldiers and families, “We pretty much lived and worked with the Vietnamese. Javascript must be enabled to use this site. In the wake of COVID-19, a mass move toward remote work could change L.A. and other cities — and affect housing prices, commuting and where people choose to live. We did what was asked of us, and we looked after those that we served with. It’s hot and it's sticky. A veteran of the U.S. Army, he served during the Vietnam War.” Or Vietnam veterans will write letters to the editor, sometimes pleading for better medical care. What Americans should know: The men who fought didn’t create the war. And such tallies often don’t acknowledge that as many as 3 million Vietnamese died in that war. And so when the [Vietnam] memorial was built, I looked for his name, didn’t find his name, which was a good clue that he was still alive. We need to do that today. From time to time during the American war in Iraq which began in 2003, aging Vietnam veterans wearing baseball caps and khaki jackets emblazoned with pins, patches, and the … That Congress, supported by many citizens of this nation, cut support for the war in Vietnam — and cut the pride of those who fought it. For years and years, I didn’t know how to get a hold of him. The nation has been stunned by the many who have died in this pandemic. I was on the board of Vietnam Veterans of America at that time. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly The Vietnam War was not random; it was the result of calculated choices. The United States is a big country, and there are states where Vietnam Veterans were treated as true veterans of a foreign war. In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails That was an easy call. The commemoration was authorized by Congress, under DoD auspices, and launched at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 2012. Bob Muller, Vietnam Veterans Against the War Presented at a meeting of the Student Assembly of Columbia University Student Assembly, July 23, 1971. The Vietnam War was not random; it was the result of calculated choices. I didn’t know anything. Approximately 2.7 million American men and women served in Vietnam. As the COVID-19 death count continues to mount, it has had a cumulative and numbing effect, much like the counting of war dead. We must act … But if you send me a letter addressed to Willie, I will forward it to him. “She says, ‘You got a message on your machine that I think you’re gonna want to hear.’ So she held the phone over the machine, and it was Willie, who called and said, ‘I got your letter.’ I called him and left a message on his machine. Editorial: Let L.A.'s feral cats get neutered and die out. The COVID-19 and Vietnam eras do share unfortunate similarities, including officials ignoring reports and warnings, and confidently insisting on their capacity to control events. To the Editor: We, a group of Vietnam combat veterans currently in treatment, would like to comment on Joseph R. Kurtz Jr.'s Op-Ed article (March 10). His most recent book is “Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and its War.”. In both crises, unspoken politics, personal ambition and arrogance too often have framed public statements as well as military and public health strategy. Primarily because I had so much exposure to them and their families.”. Low-income minority families hit hard by COVID-19 wait their turn for the vaccine as the wealthy try to buy their way to the front of the line. Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Op-Ed: The social justice case for canceling college debt. Reasons for the disparity in PTSD prevalence could include social and racial discord during the war, institutional racism within the military, and racism after the war. The official number fails to include the many veterans who died after the war as a result of lingering medical and emotional conditions. I think the bottom-line lesson is that we should not go to war unless it is clearly in our national interest, and there are very few places that would qualify for that in the world.”. Most vivid memory: being wounded in a blast on patrol, along with a wartime buddy, Willie Henry, and not knowing what happened to his friend until 26 years later, “After two to three weeks of recovery, I was back out in the field and never did find out what happened to Willie. Jim Doyle in Di An, South Vietnam, 1st Infantry Division base camp, 1969 (left); Doyle today. He had been an Eagle Scout; a high school teacher described him as “rock stable.” Judge had arrived in Vietnam the month before he died. That war and this pandemic have each been marked by a pronounced inequitable sharing of the burden and the cost by the poor and by racial minorities. The tracers started coming over the guard shack where I was standing, 20 feet above the ground or so. The ongoing war over the Vietnam Veterans Memorial ... Hart's opinion of Maya Lin's design was not motivated by race and gender. Five key legacies of the Vietnam War stand out as having shaped the nation -- and indeed, continue to do so today, writes Rudy deLeon. Vietnam Veterans. They both submitted opinion pieces to the Roanoke Times newspaper that do a good job of telling how many Vietnam Veterans … Most of California bans vacation stays, but travelers, lodgings aren’t in line. In the mid-1980s, African American veterans of the Vietnam War were twice as likely as White veterans to experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), at a prevalence of 40%. Approximately 2.7 million American men and women served in Vietnam. The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act, signed into law in 2017, designates March 29 of each year as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. There are persistent stereotypes about Vietnam veterans as psychologically devastated, bitter, homeless, drug-addicted people, who had a hard time readjusting to society, primarily because of the uniquely divisive nature of the Vietnam War in the context of US history. Letters to the Editor: Shame on wealthy trying to buy their way to the front of the vaccine line. Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images Improving access to contraception and obstetric care is necessary, but the best way to improve the health of women is to empower them. We went in there in Vietnam and wasted 58,000 American lives and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese. L.A. County on verge of becoming COVID-19 epicenter: ‘We are getting crushed’. | The remembrances sometimes include heartrending stories of the many family members and friends who were unable to be with their loved ones at the end because of coronavirus-related restrictions. Like most Vietnam Veterans, I returned home from the War to a somewhat hostile political environment in the United States. About an hour later, he called me back at the hotel, and that was when we connected, 26 years later.” [Willie, it turns out, was in Chattanooga, Tenn.]. Decoration Day started on May 30. Those who did not come back alive made as great a sacrifice as any solider who died at Iwo Jima or Omaha Beach or any of the other major battles of World War II. The Veterans Affairs Department estimates we are losing more than 500 veterans per day who served during the Vietnam War years. Are we so cynical now that $4.2 billion in charitable giving is taken as an indication of society’s ills? During the war, over 58,000 U.S. military members lost their lives and 153,000 were wounded. Explore more records, information, articles and resources at the National Archives organized by subject area. He was the Veterans of Foreign Wars national commander from 2017 to 2018. “When you serve in the military, you are taught discipline. A notorious child rapist was released from prison. Taken from John T. "Buzz"Noyes by John Lindquist: Buzz was born on International Women's Day, he was proud of that and always let people know, especially his girlfriends. When Vietnam War veteran Michael Kelley finally finished writing his memoir last year, an accomplishment 40 years in the making, he was by no means hoping it … And I was in my hotel room, and the phone rang, and it was my wife. “So in ‘96, a friend of mine was appointed to a job at the Department of Veterans Affairs as a deputy or assistant secretary for something or other. Counterpoint. Their remains would not be repatriated for nearly a year. Wallace served in the Marine Corps as an infantryman. I know I didn't believe what anybody told me about Vietnam before I went; it was something I had to go through myself. The day before Saigon fell on April 30, 1975, the last two U.S. servicemen died in the Vietnam War. Members of Middletown’s Veterans of the Vietnam War gathered at the Connecticut State Cemetery for a wreath laying for their departed comrades Dec. 6. He is now the executive director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Office in Washington, D.C. Kirchner entered the Air Force in 1961 at age 25. And we haven’t done a decent job, since World War II and Korea, in debating and articulating what the mission was and what our goal was and what our strategy was.”. There is one lesson American citizens seem to have finally learned, between the Vietnam era and now: to thank in real time those who serve, whether it’s in war or during a pandemic. I was infantry, in the field, fighting the most misunderstood and unpopular war in American history. Ten Woburn residents between the ages of 18 and 29 also died in the war. On National Vietnam War Veterans Day, memories and opinions remain strong Len Kirchner, M.D., 83, of Litchfield Park, Ariz.. Kirchner entered the Air Force in 1961 at age 25. What Americans should know: Too many lives, both American and Vietnamese, were lost. James Wright, a former Marine, is a historian and president emeritus of Dartmouth College. “Many Vietnam veterans did face the problem of coming back and being misdiagnosed and being misunderstood,” said Schnurr. Reducing the loan burden would help millions of students, but particularly Black and Latino graduates, who tend to receive lower wages, another manifestation of structural racism. by: Darrell Franklin. Trapping and neutering feral cats is our only ethical option to reduce the outdoor population of cats. I got a sidearm and bandolier ammunition. Bob Wallace (far left) helps carry a 400-pound 106mm recoilless rifle through the streets of Huê´, Vietnam, during the Tet Offensive in 1968. Mike Tharp (middle) at the 16th Public Information Detachment. And that gave us, in most cases, a significantly different view of the war than people who were in your typical American units, who simply viewed the Vietnamese as ‘the other guys,’ so to speak. “We should have never gone into that war. Yet time has proven Vietnam veterans to … You can also manage your communication preferences by updating your account at anytime. In the chaos of the U.S. withdrawal, the bodies of the two Marines were left behind. More than 60% of the names on the Vietnam Memorial belong to those who were 22 or younger when they died. Flying more than 80 missions in Vietnam, Bartlett flew two combat missions in the Linebacker 2 campaign, which is credited with bringing an end to the Vietnam War … Had they lived, these 22 men would be among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. And in neither was there official national recognition of this or a pause for national mourning. And I bent down below the sandbags with just my head and my helmet peering over, and I peed my pants.”. With the surge showing no signs of slowing down, L.A. County facilities are preparing for how to allocate care in a crisis situation. again. Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union Veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. According to federal law, the United States' military involvement in the Vietnam War began in February 1961 and lasted until May 1975. Both of us were in the 3rd Marine Division. The first thought that came to mind was, Maybe I should have listened to my maintenance sergeant. The growing popularity of YouTube in South Korea has led to questionable attempts by users to gain viewers, including promises of vigilante justice. The grief and the sorrow of their families was as profound as the grief of any family who lost a family member at Guadalcanal or the Battle of the Bulge or any of the other battlefields of our wars. “Americans should know that those of us who fought in Vietnam answered our nation’s call, and most of us were volunteers. We think of them today, Memorial Day, as we pause to remember and grieve for the nearly 60,000 U.S. service members who died in Vietnam — and the hundreds of thousands of other Americans who gave their lives in other wars. related to AARP volunteering. So every time I traveled through O’Hare, I would grab the phone book, back in the days when they still had phone books and pay phones, and I called every Henry in the Chicago phone book and relay the story: ‘So, do you know this guy, I’m trying to find him.’ ‘No, never heard of him.’. surpassed the tally of those killed in the Vietnam War, nearly 60,000 U.S. service members who died in Vietnam, Westmoreland reported seeing a similar light, L.A. County on verge of becoming COVID-19 epicenter. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that empowers people to choose how they live as they age. By 1969, more than half a million Americans were stationed in Vietnam. Posted: Nov 11, 2020 / 08:08 PM CST / Updated: Nov 11, 2020 / 10:28 PM CST. Many observers have described the struggle against the pandemic as a “war.” The COVID-19 fight is not a war but a public health crisis, striking randomly. In 1971, he was named the Woburn “Boy of the Year.” He was 21 and died 11 days after arriving in Vietnam. Twelve Marshalltown natives, from age 19 to 39, died in Vietnam. And when I speak of Agent Orange, about 4 million Vietnamese were exposed to Agent Orange, and several hundred thousand of them died, and many of their children and grandchildren are messed up because of it. When we landed at 2 in the morning, we got out of that airplane — and understand, this is my first trip to Vietnam. Letters to the Editor: Empowering women is the best way to reduce childbirth deaths. As our silent season continues, we and many others must forgo holiday performances. Two Marines, Charles McMahon of Woburn, Mass., and Darwin Judge of Marshalltown, Iowa, were killed in a rocket attack. In the waning days of April, the number of people who died from COVID-19 in the United States surpassed the tally of those killed in the Vietnam War. by Aaron Kassraie, AARP, March 28, 2019 Most vivid memory: fighting in the Battle of Huê´ during the 1968 Tet Offensive, “Many casualties on both sides, but exceptional esprit de corps by my fellow Marines.”. You'll start receiving the latest news, benefits, events, and programs related to AARP's mission to empower people to choose how they live as they age. Darwin Judge was 19. What Americans should know: Wandering into war doesn’t always end well. For those of us who served, our experiences as soldiers was very similar in many respects to the soldiers who fought in other wars.”. Some hotels and rental hosts may still be taking bookings that California has banned. Most vivid memory: being caught under fire in his helicopter on his first mission, “I remember my maintenance sergeant trying to talk me out of becoming a crew chief, but I wasn’t listening. We were Marines together in Vietnam and very good friends. And I relayed the story to him, and he says, ‘Well, look, I can’t give you any information. We never thought we’d still be silent in December. “We appeal to North Vietnam, if they really want peace, to stop bombing the United States — or else get the hell out of Vietnam!” stated a group named Veterans for Peace in Vietnam. Here are three ways to help break through vaccine fears. Op-Ed: The pandemic made my singing group hit pause. Then and now we have seen official optimism and an absence of candor regarding projections of what was to come: “It is over; we have won” echoes from Vietnam to 2020. Most vivid memory: being shot at for the first time, “I was on guard in a wooden tower on the front perimeter which faced Highway 1, which ran into Saigon about 30 miles south. The focus is on the number, not our fellow citizens. ... Opinion… Op-Ed: Stop dismissing all vaccine skeptics as anti-science conspiracy theorists. L.A. County outlines wrenching moves to ration healthcare if COVID-19 hospital crisis worsens. On my first assault mission, my aircraft was badly shot up, but we didn’t go down. We served with honor and distinction.”, Doyle served from 1969 to 1970, as an Army infantry soldier, to “seek out, close with and destroy the enemy.”. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try A Vietnam veteran traces one of the nearly 60,000 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. “We fought in a very terrible war. The dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982 began the process, but many identify the Gulf War of 1990-91—with its national flag-waving, … He served in... Keith Harman, 72, of Delphos, Ohio. More Exxon Mobil Rewards+™ points on qualified purchases, WW will help you build a customized weight loss plan, Guaranteed rate of return on an exclusive 8-month term. What’s open and closed in SoCal amid state’s stricter stay-home rules. There were no “thank you’s,” no parades and no “welcome homes.” ... Catch the latest in Opinion. Members of that once-young baby boomer generation are now senior citizens. 1 of 5. to search for ways to make a difference in your community at In honor of National Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29, signed into law in 2017 by President Donald J. Trump, AARP spoke with six veterans of the war about their most vivid memories — and about what they want Americans today to know or remember. Sign up for AARP's twice-monthly Your Health newsletter for the latest on coronavirus and more, Many Vietnam veterans don't know they qualify for Agent Orange benefits, Vets urge President Trump to uphold ‘blue water’ benefits, 8-Month No-Penalty CD from Marcus by Goldman Sachs®. “The men and women who served in Vietnam were as important to our country as veterans who have ever served since the time of the American Revolution. Harman was drafted in 1967 and served in Vietnam in 1969, as a … What Americans should know: Servicemen did what was asked and looked after one another. Came to mind was, Maybe I should have listened to my maintenance sergeant women served Vietnam... Village across Highway 1 society ’ s stricter stay-home rules wealthy trying to buy their way to reduce childbirth.! The executive director of the war, over 58,000 vietnam veterans opinion on the war military members lost their lives hundreds... Pm CST / Updated: Nov 11, 2020 / 10:28 PM /! 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