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Armor/AFV: Vietnam
All things Vietnam
Hosted by Darren Baker
Ken Burns, PBS
trickymissfit
Joined: October 03, 2007
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Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 10:34 AM GMT+7

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I just watched the first episode and except for the flash forward scenes - which I don't get- it was spectacular. Learned a lot about the history of Viet Nam and the awful treatment by the French of the Vietnamese citizens. It is also stunning to see how close we may have come to actually supporting Uncle Ho in his drive for independence. Another well done historical series by Ken Burns.



Look for the book Winking Fox.
Glt
jvazquez
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Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 10:42 AM GMT+7

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I just watched the first episode and except for the flash forward scenes - which I don't get- it was spectacular. Learned a lot about the history of Viet Nam and the awful treatment by the French of the Vietnamese citizens. It is also stunning to see how close we may have come to actually supporting Uncle Ho in his drive for independence. Another well done historical series by Ken Burns.



Once France was defeated at Dien Bien Phu, that was probably our mistake and we could have avoided the war all together had we understood what was really going on and had a constructive dialogue with Ho and the North. We only viewed it through the lens of a proxy war with the USSR and China. We were obtuse in our thinking, the war and Vietnam's eventual unification was more about the end of the colonial era in Southeast Asia then it ever was about communism. Instead hawks in our own government sabotaged any chance of that.
jvazquez
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Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 10:43 AM GMT+7

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The access to voices from the North and the Viet Cong, as well as South Vietnamese, makes it invaluable for understanding the conflict. Americans tend to reduce the war to simple "we could have won/it was unwinnable," ignoring the plain fact that IT WAS A CIVIL WAR. The lack of those voices at the time made us commit some egregious and serious blunders; without them now, understanding the war is simply impossible.

One salient example is the attack known as LZ X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley which was immortalized in the outstanding book We Were Soldiers Then... And Young by journalist Joe Galloway (who was present) and General Hal Moore, who commanded two battalions of the 7th Air Cav. Both the book and the subsequent movie with Mel Gibson focus on the American soldiers fighting for their lives against what turned out to be a much-stronger force of VC and NVA regulars than intelligence had indicated.

But the show interviews several surviving soldiers from the other side who reveal how, despite horrific 7-1 casualties against, they learned how to fight against America's superior firepower by "getting so close you can grab the other guy by his belt buckle." Never mentioned in Galloway's book or the movie is how a few days later, the NVA wiped out a force of US troops at LZ Baker nearby when they got in too close for close air support or artillery support.

Without that information, the student of history thinks "it was an unwinable war because we didn't DO the "right" things. Actually, the war was lost because we didn't understand what we had gotten into, the country's tortuous history, its long hatred of foreign invaders, and the conflicting goals of its various factions.

While it's true that Americans were appalled at the carnage of the war as it ground on, we tend always to see things through the lens of our own experience. The war was much larger than simply North vs. South or Communists vs. non-Communists, with many elements that didn't even concern us, such as the Buddhist monks self-immolating over what were issues that had little to do with the conflict.



Spot on!!
Biggles2
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Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 10:46 AM GMT+7
I've read a lot about the origins on the Vietnam war in the last 30 years and there's a lot of details glossed over or just omitted. Still, worthwhile watching.
vettejack
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Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 11:08 AM GMT+7

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Was just wondering if any of you were watching the PBS series on Vietnam? My friend and I are having a tough go of it for different reasons and time frames. He is an early war and I am a late war vets and things are very confused for both. Hope it explains some things for younger people and maybe for older ones too. Wayne



j76lr
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Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 08:47 PM GMT+7

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Was just wondering if any of you were watching the PBS series on Vietnam? My friend and I are having a tough go of it for different reasons and time frames. He is an early war and I am a late war vets and things are very confused for both. Hope it explains some things for younger people and maybe for older ones too. Wayne



Im taping it , I dont know if Ill ever watch it .took me 45 years to put it in the back of my mind , never forgotten. Im a Vietnam late war vet also . Da Nang 71 72 , . How are they portraying us ? as criminals or heroes ? In 72 I landed in Seattle . we were greeted with protesters calling us all sorts of foul names. back then you were allowed to wait right near the gate of the arriving flights. a woman threw one of those industrial ash tray / trash bin at us . I was soaked in cigarettes and brown water. the cops told US to keep moving ! now were heroes ... go figure . Thats why we say welcome home to each other , no one else said it to us . probably wont watch it !



I was lucky! I landed at the AFB right outside FT. Lewis in a foot of snow on the last day of February 1969. (Got off the plane and kissed that snow (it was about 28 degrees). No protesters at eleven PM! About a minute later we were throwing snowballs and laughing. The on crap I caught was some REMF Corporal telling me to get a haircut. I looked in eyes and told him "if your big enough then cut my hair". He left.

gary



there was ALOT of those REMF !!
Bravo1102
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Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 09:27 PM GMT+7

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I just watched the first episode and except for the flash forward scenes - which I don't get- it was spectacular. Learned a lot about the history of Viet Nam and the awful treatment by the French of the Vietnamese citizens. It is also stunning to see how close we may have come to actually supporting Uncle Ho in his drive for independence. Another well done historical series by Ken Burns.



Look for the book Winking Fox.
Glt


Some of us did our college thesis paper on this way back in 1987. This is really, really old for me. Memories are so short that no one remembers Stanley Karnow's Vietnam or the Gardner's Approaching Vietnam or even the Pentagon Papers and The Best and the Brightest.

Ken Burns is a great documentary maker but nothing new here. No great revelation, just a shiny new package of the same stuff.
jstarn
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Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 11:16 PM GMT+7

" Never mentioned in Galloway's book or the movie is how a few days later, the NVA wiped out a force of US troops at LZ Baker nearby when they got in too close for close air support or artillery support.


Do you mean the ambush of the 2/7 Cav enroute to LZ Albany on Nov 17th?
jvazquez
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Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 11:28 PM GMT+7

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I just watched the first episode and except for the flash forward scenes - which I don't get- it was spectacular. Learned a lot about the history of Viet Nam and the awful treatment by the French of the Vietnamese citizens. It is also stunning to see how close we may have come to actually supporting Uncle Ho in his drive for independence. Another well done historical series by Ken Burns.



Look for the book Winking Fox.
Glt


Some of us did our college thesis paper on this way back in 1987. This is really, really old for me. Memories are so short that no one remembers Stanley Karnow's Vietnam or the Gardner's Approaching Vietnam or even the Pentagon Papers and The Best and the Brightest.

Ken Burns is a great documentary maker but nothing new here. No great revelation, just a shiny new package of the same stuff.



There is an issue with that? I actually think in a time where we are so absorbed by our technologies and are constantly blasted by information, that we actually lose the message and a focus on our history and our past. It may be nothing new to some, but to others this may be the all new.
TotemWolf
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Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 12:39 AM GMT+7

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Was just wondering if any of you were watching the PBS series on Vietnam? My friend and I are having a tough go of it for different reasons and time frames. He is an early war and I am a late war vets and things are very confused for both. Hope it explains some things for younger people and maybe for older ones too. Wayne



The younger generation...especially since 9/11...won't have a clue, or give a rat's a$$, about Burns' series on the 'Nam. Their self absorbed, I want everything handed to me mentality, tree hugging liberal high school and college brainwashing, will prevent them from any cognitive ability to understand the programming. And so it goes..."for those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected WILL NEVER know!...

As for me, I will be watching...I consider it "therapy"...


My 18 year old daughter and 16 year son are watching it intently. They and some of their friends in collage and high school have been talking about it. Tuesday night I had a 10 year cub scout from my wife's pack ask if I was in Vietnam. He had been watching with his parents.
phantom8747
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Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 12:39 AM GMT+7
I have watched the 1st 2 episodes and really enjoyed it so far.Having been born in the late 40's it is relevant to me.I graduated from high school in 1966 and was subject to the draft.I joined the USAF before the Army had a chance to draft me.I an a VietNam era vet not a Viet Nam vet. although we supplied the army and Air Force from my base at Clark. Excellent series explaining involvement by the French in 1860's too USA involvement after the French lost.A lot of war lord politics in the north and south Viet Nam. We lost over 58,000 in a futile war. We were not wanted in the least.
sdk10159
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Posted: Sunday, September 24, 2017 - 01:35 PM GMT+7

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I just watched the first episode and except for the flash forward scenes - which I don't get- it was spectacular. Learned a lot about the history of Viet Nam and the awful treatment by the French of the Vietnamese citizens. It is also stunning to see how close we may have come to actually supporting Uncle Ho in his drive for independence. Another well done historical series by Ken Burns.



THe first episode was called Deja Vu. The flash forward scenes were done to reflect that what the French saw in 54, the US was now seeing in 65 and later.

Deja Vu

I think the series is great. I'm learning more and more with each episode.
trickymissfit
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Posted: Monday, September 25, 2017 - 08:26 AM GMT+7

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I just watched the first episode and except for the flash forward scenes - which I don't get- it was spectacular. Learned a lot about the history of Viet Nam and the awful treatment by the French of the Vietnamese citizens. It is also stunning to see how close we may have come to actually supporting Uncle Ho in his drive for independence. Another well done historical series by Ken Burns.



THe first episode was called Deja Vu. The flash forward scenes were done to reflect that what the French saw in 54, the US was now seeing in 65 and later.

Deja Vu

I think the series is great. I'm learning more and more with each episode.



let me start out with something kinda light hearted.

A close friend of mine was a Marine that came into the DaNang area via landing craft for the press's amusement. He actually did two tours in an A.O. a little northeast of me. Al went home OK, and let somebody else have the job. Years later in a comment to some of his Marine buddies, he said " I left the place in good shape and all you had to do was to perform a mop up operation! You screwed it up!" I have since said the samething to my buddies jokingly.

I lost all of my squad but three men twice, and I take offense to any negative comments (122 rockets). Perhaps I'm a little thin skinned, but those dozen or so kids deserve respect. Ken Burns fails in that area, and I feel he's failed every Vietnam Veteran. I know for sure Al respects those kids even though they were for the most part drafted into the Army. I also have deep respect for every kid that wore the bell hop uniform. I can readily see no respect from Mr. Burns group.

We got beat up in some small skirmishes, but remember we never lost a battle when it was all said and done. You'd never know that from Burns or the press. Yet the press didn't go out in the Que Son Valley or visit the Hiep Duc Ridge.

I did Tet in 68 and 69 with all it's bad press and out & out lies. I did this offensive and that offensive to the point that most blend together. In the end who cares? I do.
All vets want is an equal playing field. I for one always knew that wasn't gonna happen on PBS, and really wasn't impressed with the History Channel as well.

So in closing; go ahead an watch the documentary (sic), but take it with a grain of salt.
gary
dhines
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Posted: Monday, September 25, 2017 - 10:15 AM GMT+7
I have watched a few of the episodes, and aside from the politics in the story, I have enjoyed watching the combat footage which mostly I have never seen. It gives me a whole new respect for the brave souls who fought and died in this conflict. It is such a shame that these men were so shamefully treated upon returning back home.......Dale
salt6
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Posted: Monday, September 25, 2017 - 12:45 PM GMT+7
You should be able to watch it here.

http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/the-vietnam-war/home/
exgrunt
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Posted: Monday, September 25, 2017 - 02:33 PM GMT+7

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Was just wondering if any of you were watching the PBS series on Vietnam? My friend and I are having a tough go of it for different reasons and time frames. He is an early war and I am a late war vets and things are very confused for both. Hope it explains some things for younger people and maybe for older ones too. Wayne



The younger generation...especially since 9/11...won't have a clue, or give a rat's a$$, about Burns' series on the 'Nam. Their self absorbed, I want everything handed to me mentality, tree hugging liberal high school and college brainwashing, will prevent them from any cognitive ability to understand the programming. And so it goes..."for those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected WILL NEVER know!...

As for me, I will be watching...I consider it "therapy"...



You mean those kids who signed up after 9/11 and did multiple tours in OIF / OEF? Yeah, what a bunch of self-absorbed p*ssies.

I need to find a "Get off of my Lawn" meme...

trickymissfit
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Posted: Monday, September 25, 2017 - 04:21 PM GMT+7

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Was just wondering if any of you were watching the PBS series on Vietnam? My friend and I are having a tough go of it for different reasons and time frames. He is an early war and I am a late war vets and things are very confused for both. Hope it explains some things for younger people and maybe for older ones too. Wayne



The younger generation...especially since 9/11...won't have a clue, or give a rat's a$$, about Burns' series on the 'Nam. Their self absorbed, I want everything handed to me mentality, tree hugging liberal high school and college brainwashing, will prevent them from any cognitive ability to understand the programming. And so it goes..."for those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected WILL NEVER know!...

As for me, I will be watching...I consider it "therapy"...



You mean those kids who signed up after 9/11 and did multiple tours in OIF / OEF? Yeah, what a bunch of self-absorbed p*ssies.

I need to find a "Get off of my Lawn" meme...




anybody here have an idea what the Battle for Yorktown and Iwo Jima have in common? Or Shiloh and the Ashau Valley, or The Pusan Pocket and some un-named place in Afghanistan?
The blood spilled is all the same color. The cries in pain are the same as with the calls for Mom! Forty eight hours later they all look the same grey and with the same expression on their face.

I've watched my oldest daughter age in pain as she waited for the return of her husband from Iraq and later Afghanistan all too many times. Then it was my oldest grand son, and he came back in one piece. No sooner than I let a sigh of relief they send my next oldest grand son. It seems that since 1990 I've had somebody in the combat zone. I've seen the pain in his Mother's eyes, and find myself worrying too much. Now I know how my Mom felt. I now see there is very little difference between 1863 and 2017.
gary
j76lr
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Posted: Monday, September 25, 2017 - 10:06 PM GMT+7

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Was just wondering if any of you were watching the PBS series on Vietnam? My friend and I are having a tough go of it for different reasons and time frames. He is an early war and I am a late war vets and things are very confused for both. Hope it explains some things for younger people and maybe for older ones too. Wayne



The younger generation...especially since 9/11...won't have a clue, or give a rat's a$$, about Burns' series on the 'Nam. Their self absorbed, I want everything handed to me mentality, tree hugging liberal high school and college brainwashing, will prevent them from any cognitive ability to understand the programming. And so it goes..."for those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected WILL NEVER know!...

As for me, I will be watching...I consider it "therapy"...



These kids have been fighting since 2001 , multiple tours . ALL voulenteers !! Keep watching you NEED the therapy !! God Bless these kids !!
TotemWolf
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Posted: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 02:41 AM GMT+7

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Was just wondering if any of you were watching the PBS series on Vietnam? My friend and I are having a tough go of it for different reasons and time frames. He is an early war and I am a late war vets and things are very confused for both. Hope it explains some things for younger people and maybe for older ones too. Wayne



The younger generation...especially since 9/11...won't have a clue, or give a rat's a$$, about Burns' series on the 'Nam. Their self absorbed, I want everything handed to me mentality, tree hugging liberal high school and college brainwashing, will prevent them from any cognitive ability to understand the programming. And so it goes..."for those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected WILL NEVER know!...

As for me, I will be watching...I consider it "therapy"...



You mean those kids who signed up after 9/11 and did multiple tours in OIF / OEF? Yeah, what a bunch of self-absorbed p*ssies.

I need to find a "Get off of my Lawn" meme...




anybody here have an idea what the Battle for Yorktown and Iwo Jima have in common? Or Shiloh and the Ashau Valley, or The Pusan Pocket and some un-named place in Afghanistan?
The blood spilled is all the same color. The cries in pain are the same as with the calls for Mom! Forty eight hours later they all look the same grey and with the same expression on their face.

I've watched my oldest daughter age in pain as she waited for the return of her husband from Iraq and later Afghanistan all too many times. Then it was my oldest grand son, and he came back in one piece. No sooner than I let a sigh of relief they send my next oldest grand son. It seems that since 1990 I've had somebody in the combat zone. I've seen the pain in his Mother's eyes, and find myself worrying too much. Now I know how my Mom felt. I now see there is very little difference between 1863 and 2017.
gary


I served from 1985 to 2011. Except for the first 3, when I was mainly in training at various schools, and the last 4, when when I was medically placed behind a desk, I saw active combat at least once in everyone of those years.
It never has changed and never will as longer as humans live on this planet.
ReconTL3-1
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Posted: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 03:19 AM GMT+7

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Was just wondering if any of you were watching the PBS series on Vietnam? My friend and I are having a tough go of it for different reasons and time frames. He is an early war and I am a late war vets and things are very confused for both. Hope it explains some things for younger people and maybe for older ones too. Wayne



The younger generation...especially since 9/11...won't have a clue, or give a rat's a$$, about Burns' series on the 'Nam. Their self absorbed, I want everything handed to me mentality, tree hugging liberal high school and college brainwashing, will prevent them from any cognitive ability to understand the programming. And so it goes..."for those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected WILL NEVER know!...

As for me, I will be watching...I consider it "therapy"...



These kids have been fighting since 2001 , multiple tours . ALL voulenteers !! Keep watching you NEED the therapy !! God Bless these kids !!



I grew up with Vietnam affecting my life in many ways. I was born after my dad's second tour in Vietnam and grew up as an Army brat where all of my friends' dads had served in Vietnam as well. I remember being 9 years old at Fort Leonard Wood when it was my dad's time to talk about Vietnam. We would go on drives around post and he would talk about Vietnam and I would listen and learn. I would read or watch everything I could about Vietnam so I could gain a better understanding because I knew that at some point in my life it would be my time to serve. My modeling focused on Vietnam and it still does today although I have served in the wars and conflicts of my generation. When I joined the Marines in 1988 and found myself serving as a Recon Marine for 8 years, many of our senior NCOs and officers had served in Vietnam which impacted some of our training. When I later joined the Army, I encountered Vietnam Veterans still serving up until 2008. During each of my several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, we would travel through airports and would be greeted by supporters of the troops, the first people we would see would be Vietnam Veterans. In regards to those of the younger generation being self-absorbed and not caring about Vietnam, that may be true of those who are not serving or who haven't served since 9/11 - There are plenty of those clueless souls with the brightly colored hair, multiple piercings, no jobs who feel it necessary to protest about everything even if they have no clue what they are protesting about. But for those who have served or are currently serving, hopefully they do care and I think most do. And those who have family that are affected by the wars since 9/11 as well as having family members who may be Veterans of WWII, Korea, or Vietnam most likely care or at least have some sort of interest in what their family has experienced. When we would be greeted at the airports, I would get choked up when I would see that the first person welcoming me home or wishing me well sending us off was a Vietnam Veteran. (Whenever I see someone wearing a hat or shirt indicating that they are a Vietnam Veteran, I thank them for their service) Some of my younger Soldiers did not understand why I would get choked up at first because they did come from that self-absorbed generation. Once I explained to them the type of send-offs and the lack of a welcome home and pretty much a nation against them for doing their duty that many Vietnam Veterans experienced, then they started to understand. When we would return, after the things we went through, they understood a bit better and were that much more appreciative of the support we were receiving from the American public. When you look at how military service is looked upon by the younger generation, those who do volunteer to serve should be respected. They do so knowing that there is a good chance that they will be deployed at some point and that many of their peers want to have nothing to do with serving others for the greater good of all. I am starting to ramble on, so basically the point of this is that we should try to learn the lessons of Vietnam to prevent such things from happening again in the same way. In many ways, those lessons have led to some improvements. If history is not learned and understood, and appropriate changes made, it is bound to repeat itself. Unfortunately, too many people out there do not think learning the lessons of history are important enough to draw them away from their self-absorption so we end up where we are.

That's my two cents worth.

Cheers,
James
bill_c
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Posted: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 05:56 AM GMT+7

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I lost all of my squad but three men twice, and I take offense to any negative comments (122 rockets). Perhaps I'm a little thin skinned, but those dozen or so kids deserve respect. Ken Burns fails in that area, and I feel he's failed every Vietnam Veteran. I know for sure Al respects those kids even though they were for the most part drafted into the Army. I also have deep respect for every kid that wore the bell hop uniform. I can readily see no respect from Mr. Burns group.

We got beat up in some small skirmishes, but remember we never lost a battle when it was all said and done. You'd never know that from Burns or the press. Yet the press didn't go out in the Que Son Valley or visit the Hiep Duc Ridge.

I did Tet in 68 and 69 with all it's bad press and out & out lies. I did this offensive and that offensive to the point that most blend together. In the end who cares? I do.
All vets want is an equal playing field. I for one always knew that wasn't gonna happen on PBS, and really wasn't impressed with the History Channel as well.

So in closing; go ahead an watch the documentary (sic), but take it with a grain of salt.
gary


Gary, I often hear people say that we need to "respect" their service. How would Burns have done that better than letting the survivors speak in their own words? Many of them were flag-waving cheerleaders for America, and I have yet to hear anyone denigrate their efforts. In fact, one journalist says he's sick of hearing about The Greatest Generation, saying that those kids in Vietnam were every bit as brave as anyone fighting in WW2.

I think we feel good about the Second World War because it was for a cause that almost everyone agrees was noble to some extent. With Vietnam, we not only have doubts about the motives and plans of the leaders (on both sides, actually), but we have witnessed a lot more of the gore and, yes, brutality of both sides. Burns doesn't gloss over that on either occasion.

The men and women who served in Vietnam have earned our respect, and I think Burns is honoring their service by showing that the lives lost on both sides were probably wasted by leaders who ignored the human cost in favor of plans and goals that in our case undermined what the US stands for. How was it we were fighting against people who wanted to have self-determination and in favor of corrupt elites who didn't give a **** about the common people?

The surprising thing to me is how many of the vets are cold-eyed about the war being a mistake, including one pilot who later because Chief of Staff of the USAF. On a personal note, my father, who spent a year at MACV from 1969-70 told me when he got back "if they draft you, go to Canada."

So I mean no disrespect when I ask you: how would you have handled the series differently to show respect to these young men who in many cases died taking hills the US then abandoned sometimes hours later?
TotemWolf
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Posted: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 06:23 AM GMT+7
You know the boys out there today are that far removed from the Vietnam vets. Those men were my instructors, my First Sgt's, and my mentors. I in turn was the same for the many of those out there today. The torch that was lit in the jungles of SE Asia still burns today in the mountains of Afghanistan.
trickymissfit
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Posted: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 07:05 AM GMT+7

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Was just wondering if any of you were watching the PBS series on Vietnam? My friend and I are having a tough go of it for different reasons and time frames. He is an early war and I am a late war vets and things are very confused for both. Hope it explains some things for younger people and maybe for older ones too. Wayne



The younger generation...especially since 9/11...won't have a clue, or give a rat's a$$, about Burns' series on the 'Nam. Their self absorbed, I want everything handed to me mentality, tree hugging liberal high school and college brainwashing, will prevent them from any cognitive ability to understand the programming. And so it goes..."for those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected WILL NEVER know!...

As for me, I will be watching...I consider it "therapy"...



These kids have been fighting since 2001 , multiple tours . ALL voulenteers !! Keep watching you NEED the therapy !! God Bless these kids !!



I grew up with Vietnam affecting my life in many ways. I was born after my dad's second tour in Vietnam and grew up as an Army brat where all of my friends' dads had served in Vietnam as well. I remember being 9 years old at Fort Leonard Wood when it was my dad's time to talk about Vietnam. We would go on drives around post and he would talk about Vietnam and I would listen and learn. I would read or watch everything I could about Vietnam so I could gain a better understanding because I knew that at some point in my life it would be my time to serve. My modeling focused on Vietnam and it still does today although I have served in the wars and conflicts of my generation. When I joined the Marines in 1988 and found myself serving as a Recon Marine for 8 years, many of our senior NCOs and officers had served in Vietnam which impacted some of our training. When I later joined the Army, I encountered Vietnam Veterans still serving up until 2008. During each of my several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, we would travel through airports and would be greeted by supporters of the troops, the first people we would see would be Vietnam Veterans. In regards to those of the younger generation being self-absorbed and not caring about Vietnam, that may be true of those who are not serving or who haven't served since 9/11 - There are plenty of those clueless souls with the brightly colored hair, multiple piercings, no jobs who feel it necessary to protest about everything even if they have no clue what they are protesting about. But for those who have served or are currently serving, hopefully they do care and I think most do. And those who have family that are affected by the wars since 9/11 as well as having family members who may be Veterans of WWII, Korea, or Vietnam most likely care or at least have some sort of interest in what their family has experienced. When we would be greeted at the airports, I would get choked up when I would see that the first person welcoming me home or wishing me well sending us off was a Vietnam Veteran. (Whenever I see someone wearing a hat or shirt indicating that they are a Vietnam Veteran, I thank them for their service) Some of my younger Soldiers did not understand why I would get choked up at first because they did come from that self-absorbed generation. Once I explained to them the type of send-offs and the lack of a welcome home and pretty much a nation against them for doing their duty that many Vietnam Veterans experienced, then they started to understand. When we would return, after the things we went through, they understood a bit better and were that much more appreciative of the support we were receiving from the American public. When you look at how military service is looked upon by the younger generation, those who do volunteer to serve should be respected. They do so knowing that there is a good chance that they will be deployed at some point and that many of their peers want to have nothing to do with serving others for the greater good of all. I am starting to ramble on, so basically the point of this is that we should try to learn the lessons of Vietnam to prevent such things from happening again in the same way. In many ways, those lessons have led to some improvements. If history is not learned and understood, and appropriate changes made, it is bound to repeat itself. Unfortunately, too many people out there do not think learning the lessons of history are important enough to draw them away from their self-absorption so we end up where we are.

That's my two cents worth.

Cheers,
James



very well said Jim!! And I mean very well said. I never tell folks much about the last thirty days in the Army unless it's funny. It was like going to the senior prom with the creature of the black lagoon. (think shooting WP inside the wire daily) That aside, I would get a letter every now and then from the place. They were almost always in dirty envelopes and at times look like they'd been wadded up. My mother would hand them to me, and ask me why somebody would send something that filthy? I now regret never telling her. My brother even thought it odd that the mail persons did that to a letter. Never told him what was in the letters, and never will. My Uncle Cliff would drop by a couple times a week, and he saw the nasty looking mail on the dinner table one day. Picked up the letter and looked at me with the ten thousand yard stare. He knew what they were (he did the PTO with the Marines). Myself, I just wanted it all to go away.

I went to work on the first day of April 1969. Refused to go back to the old job even though the JAG fixed that issue. It was a simple production line job with some good people. I had taken some tests for an entry level job in their skilled trades, and pretty much aced the tests (nothing but standard military tests). Almost a year later to the day I moved into it. Most of the guys were WWII vets, and were rather obnoxious. I could take most any form of crap, but they kept hammering away at another guy and myself about our lack luster military service. I finally ask them if our blood was any different from their when spilled. Nothing more was said to us! But the WWII crap never ended, and I noticed they treated the Korean War guys the same way. I kept my adventures and miss adventures in a locked box that had no key. Fast forward to 1990, and we send thousands of young men and women into harm's way. I knew what they were in for when they came home, and vowed it wasn't gonna happen on my watch! I thought it was just me, but found out it was same thought of thousands of Vietnam Vets.

Now Vietnam Vets are starting to open up about their adventures and miss adventures. In away it's too little too late as we are down to about 30% of the total population we once were. No big deal I guess. I would caution all of you to be careful about asking questions to the new guys and even us old guys. You may have to keys to Pandora's box, and the contents might get ugly.
gary
vettejack
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Posted: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 07:08 AM GMT+7

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Was just wondering if any of you were watching the PBS series on Vietnam? My friend and I are having a tough go of it for different reasons and time frames. He is an early war and I am a late war vets and things are very confused for both. Hope it explains some things for younger people and maybe for older ones too. Wayne



The younger generation...especially since 9/11...won't have a clue, or give a rat's a$$, about Burns' series on the 'Nam. Their self absorbed, I want everything handed to me mentality, tree hugging liberal high school and college brainwashing, will prevent them from any cognitive ability to understand the programming. And so it goes..."for those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected WILL NEVER know!...

As for me, I will be watching...I consider it "therapy"...



These kids have been fighting since 2001 , multiple tours . ALL voulenteers !! Keep watching you NEED the therapy !! God Bless these kids !!



My opinion of today's generation still stands...for me, I see the disrespect for this land, and our flag, taken to new negative heights and extreme. The majority are self absorbed...filling the headlines on a daily basis with their vile. College campuses in particular. Of course the one's who stand up after 9/11 demand respect...for they now bear the torch for us of those past conflicts we endured. After a 22 year military, flying into harms way, I am, and will forever, be entitled to an opinion, whether you agree or not.
TopSmith
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Posted: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 02:40 PM GMT+7
John... I did my time in Kuwait. I served with 8th Tanks in Desert Sword/Storm. What a fantastic group of people I served with. Everyone a volunteer. There were no slackers to be seen, tougher than steel nails, never a complaint.. other than the rain and 6 months straight of MRE's. They were more intelligent group than you would have expected with many in college. I would have volunteered to go anywhere in the world with those marines no questions asked. I had complete faith that they had my back even to the end. I think Americas best is still flourishing. The modern military is outstanding. The job is tough and becoming more complex every year. We ask a lot of them with many doing multiple tours. I applaud those that followed me . I see the torch was passed and is burning bright. The lessons I got from Vietnam is not to squander our Marines and Soldiers on hopeless/useless operations. Be intelligent with their use and use them as a last resort not just as a diplomatic tool.

The young people of today are just as feisty as any time before. They know their rights and they stand up for them. You might not like their views but they respect yours. I see division happening in our country but not in our youth. I work with today's youth and I have faith in them and the future.