Guide Letters Home: Vietnam 1968-1969: Real Time Experiences from the pen of a young man far far away

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Letters Home: Vietnam 1968-1969
Contents:
  1. NLF Posters
  2. Kishine Barracks and the 106th General Hospital
  3. Letters Home: Vietnam 1968-1969
  4. Dulce Et Decorum Est

Rest in peace, my friend. Liking it in the Corps, I extended my enlistment 1 year then re-enlisted for six more years.

NLF Posters

Upon return, I was one of twelve enlisted Marines selected to attend yet another school, this a factory school on an experimental computerized air defense system. In , I was promoted to 2nLt. Retirement followed a year later in August My attempt to avoid school failed me but I had a very rewarding Marine Corps career because of my military schooling. My marriage has thus far survived over 50 years and we have raised two wonderful children.

Semper Fi to all my Marine friends! Come with me, my Brother. John G.

Kishine Barracks and the 106th General Hospital

I enlisted in May of in the Marines hoping my best friend Paul Evans would join me. Unfortunately he did and was killed in December of Camp Evans just outside Quang Tri was named after him, this was an unheard of honor in the Marines as he was an enlisted man. I flew as a gunner and crewmember while working in maintenance control. Luckily, I was not wounded but our squadron took many casualties. I would meet Larry Winterton who was later killed in a rocket attack. He was from Sioux Falls also. My commander was Col. Darrell Bjorkland from Volga, SD. In , I joined the SD Army National Guard and served in various positions in an ordnance company, and combat engineer.

I retired from the State in and live in Rapid City where I stay involved in the veterans' community spending winters in Mesa, AZ at our winter residence. Captain Thomas George distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a C pilot for the 21st Tactical Squadron at Kontum, Republic of Vietnam, on 17 May On that date, Captain George flew an emergency night resupply mission of critically-needed ammunition and supplies to the besieged defenders of Kontum.

In spite of heavy antiaircraft fire and intense small arms activity, Captain George was able to offload his cargo and safely evacuate two dozen allied soldiers. The aircraft took ground fire on takeoff and battle damage inspection after successful mission termination showed ten hits. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Captain George reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force. I have lived in South Dakota longer than I have lived anywhere and four of our six children were born in Sioux Falls.

I am now retired and loving Mitchell, South Dakota. The rd Airborne Brigade was the most highly decorated combat unit in the Vietnam War.

Letters Home: Vietnam 1968-1969

I ordered all his medals and our whole family was there. He was very happy.


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As he looked at all the medals he asked how I did this. So I told him it was a lot of hard work but worth every moment. He cried and he and I became closer than ever.

Dulce Et Decorum Est

My brother-in-law, another Vietnam vet, attended and he made the comment that he wished someone would do this for him too. I know that he plans to attend this event, so please welcome him home too. My brother died at age Very proud to have served my state and country. They were already in Vietnam.

Since I had been in the Marines, my duty was to walk night combat patrols searching for Viet Cong. I was also a Construction Mechanic. I retired from the Navy SeaBees in April I went on active duty because of the "war protesters" at that time. I believe in this great country and am a flag-carrying American! I'm 74 years old and would still go to war to serve the country if they would let me.

The most disturbing thing that happened during my enlistment was hearing a Navy Corpsman belittling one of these brave men. Needless to say, this only happened ONCE!

But, seeing the hurt in the eyes of that Marine has stayed with me for all these years. Our service men and women did a hell of job, we just didn't have a country then that recognized it. I'm glad to see that we do now. Our unit was the basis for the movie named "Rumors of War. Karst, Peever, SD After the many years, recollections of the sights, sounds and smells of certain "events" in the Saigon District and IV Corps are as vivid and clear as if it was this morning. I trust that the sacrifice of everyone that the Vietnam Memorial dedication honors, including the veterans' families at home and the countless unnamed civilian casualties, will be remembered long after the event.

Kean, Pierre, SD The mail going home was real slow and my mom was praying for me and all the other men and women over there. She asked the Lord to send her a robin to let her know I would make it home. When my mom was finished praying, she went to the window of our home. There in the yard were 30 robins. So now as I pray for the men and women at war. I ask the Lord to touch each and every mother and father with kids there. We are all proud Marines. When I joined, women were trained separately from men and were not sent to combat areas, except for nurses and a few other exceptions.

Like many young people, I could not wait to leave home and prove myself.


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I worked in an orthopedic ward and almost all of our patients had been wounded in Vietnam. I changed thousands of dressings, hung traction, rolled skin grafts, did pre-op and post-op care. I also folded probably tons of laundry, emptied urinals, took TPR's, made beds and listened It was hard work, it was sometimes heartbreaking work, but most of all, it was rewarding work.

I still think of that time in my life and wonder what happened to my patients. I hope that I eased their pain a little because it was the most responsible and rewarding job I have ever had, and I tried my best to be good at it. All I knew was trust in everyone I was around. We lived together 24 hours a day and lived as one. Oh, what a black-out in my life. I was discharged at Travis AFB and told to put my civilian cloths on for fear of trouble and go home. They asked me a few questions and then asked if I had just returned home from Vietnam. I said yes, and the man quickly told me, "We are not hiring Vietnam vets.

One night about 9pm I was called to company headquarters, I was told that there would be a plane at the dark end of the runway warming its engines at 11pm, the door would be open. I was in Vietnam from November through October My duties involved supervision of the load crews for all tactical airlift originating and terminating at TSN during my 12 hour shift for around flights daily.

Last Letter Home Part I

This was a dangerous and demanding duty, operating in often very difficult weather conditions, heat, and rain, where oppressive humidity was the norm, and often in blackout conditions on what was, at the time, the world's busiest airfield. We were occasionally fired on by mm rockets and large mortars.