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Thread: Vietnam, today and looking back

  1. #1

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    Vietnam, today and looking back

    Vietnam is on my mind this week, even more than normal and not just because there is a t v special on going all the way back to '64 and the beginnings of direct U S involvement in combat.
    It is particularly surreal in that 50 years ago almost to the month I was in the Air Force , but in the U S and was never sent to Vietnam and surely never volunteered to go.
    The surreal part is that right now my Son and his girlfriend are visiting there for a couple of weeks. Here is a country that we were bitter enemies with, and even if in some ways the war was not a large or world wide as some it certainly was as intense for those who were part of it and it went on for 2 or 3 times as long as our other wars.
    So, I'm just amazed that Americans are welcome there as visitors, and apparently without rancor. My Son pointed out that most people in the country these days would not even have been born 50 years ago and the war would not be fresh in their mind. Charles doesn't speak that language, but I asked him to try to find a few of the vets there and try to hear their feelings and thoughts and memories. Charles says to countryside is beautiful and the cities have knock off or local or Chinese made goods like Nike shoes. Charles loves to try all types of exotic food, but they don't have cheese curds or Dr. Pepper there?
    One plane associated with the war is all the helicopters and tv just said about a million U S casualties were airlifted to hospitals usually with an hour flight.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 11-04-2018 at 06:49 PM.

  2. #2

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    I spent my 1972 there courtesy of the U.S. Army - about 50/50 CamRahn Bay and Can Tho in the Mekong Delta.

    I made certain I had all my belongings shipped home so I would never need to return for anything. The closest I've come to a revisit are the Cabelas' and other stores' clothing items which were made there.

    The countryside was indeed beautiful in many places and many of the civilians were simply trying to keep their family fed and housed in the midst of the warring parties blowing everything up.

  3. #3

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    Randy, to add to the surreal part, I cant even get a good phone connection with friends right here in the state who have cell phones, but I just got a phone call from my Son via wi fi and they are about 40 miles northwest of Hanoi and our phone connection was great. They are having a good time, don't see any signs of the war. Not many people speak English. The country is rice paddies. corn fields and jungle. The roads are small and twisting, he said making 50 miles a day on the rental motorcycles was a full day. Not many cars, lots of scooters.

  4. #4
    L16 Pilot's Avatar
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    You could say the same thing about Japan. Couple of years I visited there regarding a B29 crash where the entire crew was lost. One happened to be a brother of a friend of mine. He was able to parachute out along with two others and eventually executed by the Japanese shortly before the end of the war. I documented it in a book I published. Anyway, the Japanese I had contact with took the entire day off to visit the crash site and various other places related to the incident. They could have not been more accommodating. We ended the day with a 12 course meal (furnished by them) and many speeches regarding friendship between the countries. My daughter did a good job of documenting the day with this site http://bergwil.blogspot.com/2015/08/...-was-here.html
    If God had intended man to fly He would have given us more money!

  5. #5

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    It is just in the paper now that they are still claeaning up toxic chemicals there from the U S spraying agent orange, usually on the vc/nva but also somthimes on our soldiers.

  6. #6
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    My family vacationed in Germany only 23 years after the end of the Nazi horrors. And I was in Germany, living with them, visiting family and making long term friends only 35 years after the war ended. Bombs we dropped on Germany are still being found, despite the economic and urban development. In France and Belgium, every year someone uncovers unexplored ordnance from WW1, frequently containing chemical munitions, so the cleanup there is still ongoing after 100 years.

    What is your point? Wars take a long time to clean up. Generally, people want to restore friendly relations after a war. (Unless the victor is France.) Even our own peace treaty with Germany ending WW1 said the intent was to restore friendly relations between the two governments and their people. The Paris Peace Accords said much the same thing. The Vietnam war is just as much history as either World War, and so too the Cold War. We SHOULD have friendly relations with Vietnam and my only surprise is that progress to that end has been so slow.
    Chris Mayer
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  7. #7
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhemxpc View Post
    Even our own peace treaty with Germany ending WW1 said the intent was to restore friendly relations between the two governments and their people.
    [Cough] We had no peace treaty with Germany. The US Senate refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles. Three years after the Armistice, Congress approved a resolution that basically said, "well, the war is over...."

    Ron "Lest we Forget" Wanttaja

  8. #8
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    We did. We concluded a separate peace treaty with Germany on August 25, 1921. It is named "Treaty between the United States and Germany Restoring Friendly Relations"
    Last edited by Mayhemxpc; 11-09-2018 at 08:04 PM.
    Chris Mayer
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  9. #9
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayhemxpc View Post
    We did. We concluded a separate peace treaty with Germany on August 25, 1921. It is named "Treaty between the United States and Germany Restoring Friendly Relations"
    Ha! That's what I get for believing the US Senate....

    https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory...Versailles.htm

    I see I misread that....

    Ron Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 11-09-2018 at 09:58 PM.

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