Showing posts with label Vietnam War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vietnam War. Show all posts

Thursday, May 28, 2020

letter from a soldier in Vietnam to his sister finally came after 52 years

Soldier's lost letter from Vietnam War finds its way home 52 years later

WHAS 11 News
Heather Fountaine
May 28, 2020

NORTH VERNON, Ind. — A five page letter from a soldier to his sister landed in the mailbox of North Vernon, Indiana’s Janice Tucker last week. The envelope was postmarked May 10, 2020, but the words written inside were from Vietnam in 1968.
“It begins with 'Hi sis. I just read your letter, wow.' And I'm thinking, I have a sister that lives in Jeffersonville and I didn't send her a letter,” laughed Tucker, confused by what she had received.

As she started reading, she realized it was a note from her brother, William Lone, talking about his time serving in the Vietnam War.

“So, I called my brother. He lives in South Carolina. I read the letter to him and he said, ‘I remember writing that letter to you.’”

“I was in the field where you’re out there sleeping in tents,” Lone described.

He said he had sealed the envelope and put a .05 cent stamp in the corner before handing it to another soldier to deliver the letter to his sister who was 17-years-old at the time.

“Janice was still at home then, so it was going to go to Floyds Knobs, Indiana.” Or at least, it was supposed to.

The delivery was delayed for decades, more than half a century in fact.
read it here

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Glenna Goodacre, Vietnam Women’s Memorial creator passed away

Santa Fe sculptor found national prominence

Santa Fe New Mexican
By Jennifer Levin
Apr 14, 2020

Glenna Goodacre, an internationally acclaimed figurative sculptor who lived in Santa Fe for more than 35 years and whose work adorns a U.S. coin and is featured on the National Mall, died Monday after a series of illnesses.

She was 80.

Goodacre was best known for designing the face of the U.S. Sacagawea dollar that entered circulation in 2000 and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. But her work is prominent from coast to coast, including a portrait of President Ronald Reagan at the Reagan Presidential Library in California and one of famed U.S. Military Academy head football coach Earl “Red” Blaik at West Point, N.Y.

Goodacre’s large-scale bronze sculptures are displayed in numerous public and private collections, and they cast familiar shadows in Santa Fe, where she is represented by Nedra Matteucci Galleries on Paseo de Peralta near Canyon Road.
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Monday, January 27, 2020

Is your state on list where Agent Orange was tested and used?

VA releases updated DOD list identifying Agent Orange sites outside of Vietnam

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released in January an updated Department of Defense (DOD) list of locations outside of Vietnam where tactical herbicides were used, tested or stored by the United States military.

“This update was necessary to improve accuracy and communication of information,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA depends on DOD to provide information regarding in-service environmental exposure for disability claims based on exposure to herbicides outside of Vietnam."

DOD conducted a thorough review of research, reports and government publications in response to a November 2018 Government Accountability Office report.

“DOD will continue to be responsive to the needs of our interagency partners in all matters related to taking care of both current and former service members,” said Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper. “The updated list includes Agents Orange, Pink, Green, Purple, Blue and White and other chemicals and will be updated as verifiable information becomes available.”

Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during service may be eligible for a variety of VA benefits, including an Agent Orange Registry health exam, health care and disability compensation for diseases associated with exposure. Their dependents and survivors also may be eligible for benefits.

States included in this











Friday, January 24, 2020

Veterans who served in Thailand during Vietnam War denied benefits

Thailand veterans contend they are scientific evidence VA claims it needs to grant benefits

WFLA 8 News
by: Steve Andrews
Posted: Jan 23, 2020
Because their job descriptions didn’t place them on base perimeters, the VA denied their claims for disability.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A top VA official in the Tampa Bay area told 8 On Your Side this week the Department of Veterans Affairs has come a long way.

Margarita Devlin, principal deputy undersecretary for veterans benefits contends there is no longer a huge back-log of veterans waiting for their claims to be processed and completed.

However, claims languish for veterans who served in Thailand during the Vietnam War and were exposed to a dangerous herbicide known as Agent Orange.

Most U.S. bombing missions over North Vietnam originated in Thailand.

Tampa Veterans like Dan Tolly and Paul Devane supported the war effort from Thai bases.
At Korat, Paul remembers the toxic herbicide Agent Orange landed on him as he worked near the flight line.
Dan Tolly served in the Air Force in Thailand.
read it here

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Military suicide research shows suicides increased during Wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan

Historic data on military suicide shows no clear link with combat operations

Military Times
Leo Shane
December 13, 2019

The results show an increase in suicide rates among soldiers during the Vietnam War and the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but decreases during the U.S. Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II and the Korean War.
Contrary to public assumptions, increased combat operations do not lead to more military suicides and may actually result in fewer troops engaging in self-harm, according to a new analysis of historic Defense Department data released Friday.

Study authors say their findings provide both a reminder that the motivations behind suicide aren’t singular, simple factors, and an alert to other researchers that more data on the problem is available than they may know about.

The study tracks Army suicide data from the 1840s to today. Dr. Christopher Frueh, a professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii and one of the study’s authors, said researchers spent the last four years combing through Army medical records to find the information.

“Before we started, we didn’t know if the data would be there,” he said.

What they found was a trove of reports, including from the Army Surgeon General as far back as 1843 that included accounting of “self-inflicted” deaths in the ranks. By the early 1900s, those suicides were clearly delineated in official service figures, allowing researchers to analyze the death totals across different eras of military operations.
read it here

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Vietnam veteran has not forgotten Spc. Clifford Van Artsdalen

Unaccountable: A Vietnam veteran's 10-year quest to bring his soldier home

Published: December 12, 2019

“I am deeply worried about when the last Vietnam veteran dies — the last man to see a fellow soldier alive, a man like me who gave him an order to go up that trail — who will be left to carry on the mission?”

Spc. Clifford Van Artsdalen, left, plays cards with his fellow platoon members on May 5, 1968, as they await a helicopter shuttle to Hill 352 on Nui Hoac Ridge, South Vietnam. GARY SANNER

Pushing through dense foliage toward the site of the bygone ambush, Michael McDonald-Low felt like he was floating through time.

He had longed for this day, planning thoroughly for the time he would return to this hillside in Vietnam’s Que Son Valley, where many of his infantry company were wounded or killed by a hail of North Vietnamese gunfire on May 11, 1968. The body of one of those soldiers in the platoon he commanded, Spc. Clifford Van Artsdalen, had never been recovered.

That fateful trek was etched like a gravestone inscription in his mind as he retraced his steps during this mission on March 9, 2012, to pinpoint the exact location of Van Artsdalen’s death so that his remains could be found and returned home.

He pressed on to find the split in the trail where he had sent Van Artsdalen and two other soldiers ahead to secure the route.

Soon after finding it, McDonald-Low was joined by the other 11 members of the mission team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the U.S. Defense Department body tasked at that time with finding America’s lost warfighters.

McDonald-Low was confident that this was the exact location where Van Artsdalen was killed, he told Stars and Stripes during a series of interviews about his search. With the location pinpointed — the government for years had been working with an erroneous place and date of his death — the way was finally clear to find and repatriate the soldier’s remains.

Seven years later, nothing has changed. McDonald-Low’s quest to bring him home is no further along than it was then.

And there is little time left.
read it here

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Southwest pilot brought to tears carrying Vietnam MIA remains home...his Dad!

update Vietnam War pilot whose son flew remains to Texas laid to rest: "Dad has come home"

Family members of Col. Roy Knight Jr. stand as the National Anthem is played during Knight's memorial service Saturday in Cool, just outside of Mineral Wells August 10, 2019. Knight was shot down over Laos in 1967 while serving as a U.S. Air Force pilot in the Vietnam War. In February, Knight's remains were recovered and identified, then flown home last week for burial at Holders Chapel United Methodist Church. (Photo: Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter-News) read it here

Airline pilot flies dad's remains home from Vietnam 52 years after seeing him off at same Dallas airport

Doug Stanglin
Aug. 8, 2019
Proskow said the story Knight, who was subsequently promoted to colonel, and his son, Bryan, who also served in the Air Force, was announced over the airport intercom as the moving scene unfolded.

When Air Force Maj. Roy Knight, Jr., left Dallas for Vietnam 52 years ago, his 5-year-old son, Bryan, came to Dallas Love Field to see him off. On Thursday, Bryan, now a captain for Southwest Airlines, brought back his father's remains aboard a flight to the same Dallas airport.

Knight, born in Garner, Texas, was 36 when he was shot down while attacking a target on the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos on May 19,1967, according to White’s Funeral Home in Weatherford, Texas. Jackson Proskow, Washington bureau chief for Canada's Global News, was on a layover from El Paso to Washington on Thursday when he witnessed the moving ceremony at the airport. Proskow watched as the flag-draped casket was delivered into the arms of a military honor guard.

In a series of tweets, Proskow reported that the Dallas Love Field terminal came to a standstill.

"Incredible moment to watch," Proskow wrote. "The entire airport fell silent."
Southwest Airlines Captain Bryan Knight flew his father back home to Dallas Love Field for the final time more than 50 years after he was killed in action during the Vietnam War in 1967. (Photo: Ashlee D. Smith, Southwest Airlines)

read it here

Monday, June 17, 2019

"NAPALM GIRL" alive and well...and author


Milwaukee Independent
Posted by Lee Matz
Jun 14, 2019
“Faith is what helped me learn how to move on, and rediscover joy in my life. I had to let go of my suffering since I was that 9 year old girl and forgive those who caused it.” Phúc added. “So, now my focus is on those children who were like me. I can use my life to give them hope. I am still alive, so I have to use my voice to speak for them, and all those who can’t. Children are suffering right now, and I want them to know, never give up.”

One of the most unforgettable images from the Vietnam War was of a little girl running naked, after surviving an accidental napalm attack on the village of Trảng Bàng. The composition of the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph “The Terror of War,” taken by Vietnamese photographer Nick Ut, captured the shattered innocence and tragedy of the American conflict there.

No longer that 9-year-old little girl, Phan Thị Kim Phúc commemorated the 47th anniversary of that bombing during a visit in Wisconsin on June 8, with a powerful message of hope. Known as the “Napalm Girl,” Kim Phúc still carries the physical and emotional scars from that day in 1972.
> “In history, there have always been stories of resistance and fighting back. But now, my weapon is love and forgiveness,” said Phúc. “It all comes from that little girl in the napalm photo, and her life in Vietnam means a lot to me.”

Phúc traveled from her home in Canada to several cities across Wisconsin, giving keynote presentations and signing copies of her 2017 book Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness and Peace.

Nick Ut, the Associated Press photographer who captured the iconic war image of her pain and desperation, joined Phúc for her visit to Madison. The events were designed to help raise funds to build a Peace Library in the Vietnamese province where she was born and raised. Children’s Library International has more than such 30 libraries in Vietnam and Cambodia, and number 35 will be in Trảng Bàng, 30 minutes north of what was then Saigon.

Chuck Theusch, a Wisconsin native and veteran who served in Vietnam from 1969-70, started the foundation in 1999 after his first return trip to the country. He had originally only intended to sponsor an orphan, like other veterans were doing at the time.
read more here

Friday, May 24, 2019

Vietnam War Memorial vandalized in Massachusetts days before Memorial Day

A Vietnam veterans memorial was vandalized with a swastika. Police want to find out who did it

May 24, 2019

(CNN)Several days before Memorial Day, a Vietnam War memorial in Massachusetts has been vandalized with "hate-related" graffiti.
Police are canvassing the area near the memorial in Dorchester, about six miles from Boston. Early Thursday, flags were ripped down and tossed; dozens of plants were torn from the ground; and stone monuments were marked with hateful graffiti -- including a swastika -- according to a press release from the Massachusetts State Police.

In addition to graffiti, police say flags were torn down and plants were ripped from the ground. In addition to graffiti, police say flags were torn down and plants were ripped from the ground. The memorial is on a space owned by The University of Massachusetts Boston and includes the names of 80 Vietnam War veterans, according to the university.

"The University of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts State Police condemn this despicable act and are conducting a thorough and coordinated investigation to determine who is responsible and to hold that person or persons accountable," the release said.
read more here

Friday, May 3, 2019

USS Frank E. Evans crew not on Vietnam Memorial Wall?

'A slap in the face': Naval disaster was too far from Vietnam to honor victims on memorial wall

Green Bay Press-Gazette Published
Paul Srubas
May 3, 2019

You might as well just say they died in the Vietnam War. If you were related to one of them, that’s what you’d say.

The Australian aircraft carrier Melbourne after its collision with the USS Frank E. Evans during training in 1969. Courtesy of USS Frank E. Evans (DD 754) Association, Inc.

But you’ll find none of the names of the 74 American sailors who died, including three from Wisconsin, on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. That’s because it was a training accident, a terrible mistake, a crash between two naval vessels that happened about 100 miles from the combat zone.

The USS Frank E. Evans, nicknamed the “Gray Ghost” for its ability to slip in and out of the mists during the Korean War, had been shelling the Vietnam coastline a couple weeks earlier. On this particular day, June 3, 1969, the destroyer was engaged in practice maneuvers on the South China Sea with 40 other ships from the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization.

That night, the Evans collided with the Australian aircraft carrier, HMAS Melbourne, that it was practicing guarding. The Evans was cut in half, and most of the occupants of the front half of the ship drowned. That's 74 men, including James R. Cmeyla, 24, of Luxemburg; Michael A. Orlikowski, 28, Milwaukee; and Jon W. Thomas, 22, of Delavan.

None of the 74 names have been included on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., supposedly because it was not a combat mission and it was outside the designated combat zone.
read more here

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

MOH Marine Maj. Henry Courtney Jr. belongs in hometown

Nonprofit in dispute over Marine’s Medal of Honor agrees in principle to hometown display

Published: February 20, 2019
The foundation’s board includes Medal of Honor recipient Army Col. Walter Marm Jr., who received the award for actions taken during the Vietnam War, and Doug Sheehan, the nephew of Doug Munro, the Coast Guard’s only medal recipient.
Marine Maj. Henry Courtney Jr. received the Medal of Honor posthumously for leading a daring assault on Okinawa's Sugar Loaf Hill on May 14-15, 1945. COURTESY OF COURT STORY
A Pennsylvania nonprofit dedicated to educating Americans about citizenship and community service has agreed — in principle — to send a Marine hero’s Medal of Honor back to his hometown for display following a protracted fight.

The family of Marine Maj. Henry Courtney Jr. has been seeking the return of his medal from the Valley Forge-based Freedoms Foundation since around 2015, family members previously told Stars and Stripes.

They accused the foundation of breaching the agreement over how the medal would be used and requested it be sent instead to the St. Louis County Historical Society’s Veterans Memorial Hall in Duluth, Minn., which has a substantial Courtney display.

At first, the Freedoms Foundation, which was founded in 1949 by a group that included future President Dwight Eisenhower, refused. Courtney’s family members then took their fight public.
read more here

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Vietnam Veteran Marine Sgt. Maj. John Canley Received Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor: Trump awards nation's highest military honor to Vietnam veteran

Tom Vanden Brook and David Jackson
Oct. 17, 2018
Retired Marine Sgt. Maj. John L. Canley is honored during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House Oct. 17, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)
WASHINGTON – Marine Sgt. Maj. John Canley’s astounding heroism in Vietnam 50 years ago speaks for itself, so loudly that Wednesday he was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Donald Trump at a White House ceremony.

Canley's daughter Patricia Sargent knows how her father took command of the undermanned Company A, First Battalion, First Marines despite shrapnel wounds during the bloody battle of Hue in 1968. How he set up a base while caught in a “deadly crossfire,” drew fire by darting into the open so his Marines could seize a building and carried wounded Marines to safety while exposing himself to the enemy.

"John raced straight into enemy fire over and over again, saving numerous American lives and defeating a large group of communist fighters," Trump said in conferring the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony. He lauded the former gunnery sergeant for "unmatched bravery" and fearlessness.

"Despite sustaining serious injuries – very, very serious injuries – he continued to face down the enemy with no thought for his own safety," Trump said.

The audience gave Canley a prolonged ovation, complete with Marine shoutouts of "Oorah!"
read more here

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Vietnam Veteran's art tribute to every unit and division

Paying tribute through art: Hempfield veteran honors every unit from Vietnam War
WTAE Pittsburgh Action News
Mike Clark
August 24, 2018

Jack Otto is making people cry, making them smile -- making them feel.
His incredibly detailed artwork salutes all who served our country in the Vietnam War.

Through art, the 74-year-old veteran from Hempfield Township pays tribute to every unit and every division that served in Vietnam.

"It became a labor of love, and second of all, it became somewhat of a therapy for me," Otto said. "I was involved in many of the units in one way or other."

Otto was a military policeman in the U.S. Army who survived the Tet Offensive in 1968. He hopes that his art will help veterans and their families to heal.

Tracy Alaia, owner of Feathers Artist Market and Gifts in Irwin, invited Otto to display his patriotic artwork. It means so much to everyone who sees it.
read more here, watch video

Sunday, August 19, 2018

POTUS thinks Apocalypse Now is not napalm?

Trump and Omarosa Had a ‘F*cking Weird’ Fight With Vietnam Vets
The Daily Beast
Asawin Suebsaeng
As if having Omarosa heading up veterans’ issues wasn’t strange enough, President Trump started arguing with Vietnam vets about napalm and Agent Orange.
Source present at the time tell The Daily Beast that multiple people—including Vietnam War veterans—chimed in to inform the president that the Apocalypse Now set piece he was talking about showcased the U.S. military using napalm, not Agent Orange.

Trump refused to accept that he was mistaken and proceeded to say things like, “no, I think it’s that stuff from that movie.”
Early on in the Donald Trump administration, the president vested many of his nearest and dearest with tasks they were woefully unprepared for—and Apprentice superstar Omarosa Manigault-Newman was no exception.

Long before she was his chief antagonist, Manigault-Newman was tapped by President Trump to handle veterans’ issues for the White House—causing immediate backlash from vets organizations who read this as a slap in the face and a betrayal of his campaign rhetoric about “taking care of our veterans.”
read more here

First America woman to die in Vietnam jumped with 101st!

Inside the Daring Life of a Forgotten Female War Photographer
National Geographic
Nina Strochlic
August 17, 2018
But her tally of conflict zones would end in Vietnam, where she became the first American woman correspondent to die in action. Years later, other journalists reported that Vietnamese Airborne troops were still reminiscing about the small, foul-mouthed woman who’d jumped with them.
Dickey Chapelle was one of history's most fearless conflict journalists—and the first American woman to die on the job.
THE 36 HOURS before Dickey Chapelle leaped off a tower with the Screaming Eagles were terrifying. She was 41 years old and parachute jumping for the first time. But fear never lasted for the pioneering war correspondent, and she quickly proclaimed it among “the greatest experiences one can have.”

It was 1959 and Chapelle had hooked up with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, on the border between Tennessee and Kentucky. She’d been working as a war correspondent since 1942 and had reported on dozens of conflicts. She’d been called “the polite little American with all that tiger blood in her veins” by Fidel Castro; held in solitary confinement during the Hungarian uprising; and affirmed as the first correspondent accredited by the Algerian rebels. After learning with the Screaming Eagles, she became the only woman authorized to jump into combat with paratroopers in Vietnam.
read more here

Friday, August 3, 2018

Unclaimed veterans moved from freezer to honor service

Strangers provide military sendoff to veterans unclaimed in death
Michigan Live
By Gus Burns
August 2, 2018

U.S. Airman Second Class Gerald Suttkus, 81, a Detroit native living in Harrison Township, died at home on May 1. He served in the Vietnam War from 1959 until 1965. He later worked as a shipping clerk for a manufacturing company.

Navy Seaman First Class Cyril Brown, 90, of Clinton Township, died Oct. 21, 2017 at Detroit Receiving Hospital. He served during World War II from June 1944 to June 1946.

Thomas Novak, 59, of Warren, died in an area hospital died on April 25. He served as a private first class in the U.S. Army from 1975 to 1976.
Tanya Moutzalias
The Macomb County Council Ritual Team stands in honor of three unclaimed veterans, PV1 Thomas M. Novak (Peacetime), S1 Cyril L. Brown (WWII), A2C Gerald W. Suttkus (Vietnam War), Thursday morning at a memorial service at Harold W. Vick Funeral Home in Mt. Clemens, Aug. 2, 2018. (Tanya Moutzalias |
One survived World War II. Another made it out of Vietnam. The third served his country during peace time.

Most servicemen are sent off with gallant funerals in death, firing line salutes, a trumpet playing "Taps" and U.S. flag pageantry, but it wasn't looking like that would be the case for three Macomb County veterans who died over the last year.

Their bodies instead lay in morgue freezers.
read more here

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Huey vandalized at American Legion

Vandals damage helicopter used in Vietnam War
Columbus Dispatch
Marc Kovac
July 3, 2018

NEWARK — Local veterans are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of vandals responsible for damaging a Vietnam-era helicopter that’s been displayed at schools and in parades for decades.

The UH-1 “Huey” helicopter was used in the Vietnam War for about five years and subsequently for stints by the U.S. Navy and the Ohio National Guard before it was transferred to Newark about 30 years ago for display.

Sometime over the weekend, vandals broke out two of the windows on the chopper, which was parked at the American Legion Post 85 on Wilson Street in Newark, said Mark Rehl, president of Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 55, District 1.

“It’s very upsetting,” he said.

The aircraft, which rides atop a customized boat trailer, has been used as a mobile historic display at community and school events, with frequent appearances during parades. It’s also been a help to local veterans, some suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from their service years.
Anyone with information about the weekend vandalism of the aircraft is encouraged to contact the local Vietnam Veterans of America chapter at (740) 927-6272.
read more here

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Vietnam Veterans Wall Permanently in Kentucky?

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall officially opens in Elizabethtown
By Fallon Gli
Apr 28, 2018
The permanent wall, which was built by veterans themselves, was years in the making.

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) – A near replica of the original Vietnam Veteran's Memorial is officially complete in Elizabethtown and opened to the public on Saturday. Those who served in the Vietnam War say this local memorial is now a place of healing.
The more than 58,000 names carved into the black stone each have a story.

“I was a medic and unfortunately there were a couple that I couldn't save,” veteran Richard Uhler said. “And they're listed on this wall.”

This Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall is 360-feet long, an 80 percent scale of the one in Washington D.C. Now fully finished at Veteran's Tribute Park in Elizabethtown, the men’s and women’s names represent the cost of soldiers left on the battlefield and the impact on those left behind.

“I've found some guys that I knew that I flew with, some that I kind of lived with in basic training ... sometimes it's just really hard to recognize, like someone said, that you got to come home and they didn't,” veteran Bradley Burkholder said.

For many who proudly donned their veteran hats, they remember the war like it was yesterday. Some took a knee to get an up close look at the names that weigh heavy on their hearts.

“It did bring a tear to the eye, that's right,” Uhler said.
read more here