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August 3, 1966: The Vietnam War Operation Prairie Begins

On August 3, 1966, the US launched a six-month offensive known as Operation Prairie in Vietnam. The operation consisted of a series of battles primarily in the Con Thien and Gio Linh regions along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separated North and South Vietnam. The objective of the US was to prevent the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) from crossing the DMZ and invading the Quang Tri Province. The operation came on the heels of Operation Hastings, a previous operation that lasted from mid-July to early August along the DMZ and was deemed a strategic success.

During 1965 and early 1966, the Viet Cong and the NVA infiltrated areas near the DMZ with the tactical goal of drawing US troops away from cities and towns. US forces responded to the threat by constructing a string of bases south of the DMZ. The Marines provided the ground forces and received air support from two helicopter detachments; one from MAG-16 and the other from the Army 220th Aviation Company.

On August 6, 1966, the Marines inserted a five-man reconnaissance team in an area 4 km north of a craggy mountain of solid rock with 700-foot cliffs known as the Rockpile. The Rockpile was south of the DMZ and used by the US as an observation post and military base. The reconnaissance team smelled smoke from an enemy camp and called in artillery bombardments. On the morning of the 8th, the Marines saw NVA troops and radioed in the situation. Hoping to take NVA prisoners, a 40-man reaction force arrived to help. The enemy couldn’t be located, and plans were made for a helicopter extraction of the Marines. During extraction, troops came under heavy fire and half of the Marines weren’t evacuated. Those that remained held a defensive perimeter while under heavy attack. A Huey gunship flew under heavy fire to resupply the group. On August 9th, following a napalm attack against the NVA, the remaining Marines were finally evacuated. Five Marines died, but there were at least 37 casualties from the NVA.

A Helicopter lands on top of the Rockpile

In the following weeks and months, additional fighting took place in several different areas. One of them was a ridge known as Razorback. While trying to silence a machine gun position that was firing on the Rockpile, Marines encountered an area dotted with caves where the NVA were hiding. The North Vietnamese soldiers emerged from multiple caves at once and opened fire on the surprised Marines resulting in multiple casualties.

Marines also engaged at another place known as Mutters Ridge where the Marines encountered an NVA ambush. In September, intelligence suggested that NVA troops had built an infiltration route along Mutters Ridge. While patrolling in the area, the Marines walked into an ambush. The trapped soldiers fought their way out at close quarters. Sometimes the Marines and North Vietnamese were only 30-feet apart and lobbing hand grenades at each other. It took two days for ground help to reach the surrounded Marines. With the help of air and artillery strikes, 170 of the enemy were eliminated. Nine Marines also lost their lives.

By the time Operation Prairie came to an end in January 1967, US troops were able to prevent the NVA from establishing a major base in the region, but it came at a steep cost. The Marines sustained 200 deaths and 1,000 wounded, while more than 1,000 North Vietnamese soldiers lost their lives.

Did you or someone you know participate in Operation Prairie? To see more of our Vietnam War records, search Fold3 today!

175 Comments

  1. While this offensive was going on, I was at Camp Pendleton in California writing wills for young Marines about to be deployed to the DMZ. Unfortunately, perhaps half of the wills were used.

    A complete waste of young human life…

    • I agree. My brown water Navy vet came home after drinking Agent Orange from the “purified” water drawn from the river. He died 11 yrs later with brain tumor. All three of our sons born with five years of his return have either kidney deformations or neuro problems with seizures or ADHD. DYING soldiers, many innocent Vietnamese death and no recognition of health effects of being sprayed with defoliator. Our young wresting with problems for 40 years before VA would recognize a connection. And for what? Munition and war machine industries got fabulously rich. We must say No More. I screamed watching people trying to escape in front of the slaughter the Viet Cong inflicted. Terror written on the face of those unlucky enough to be south of the DMZ. God help us.

    • I agree, and to this day I keep asking what for? Looked at the videos on youtube about Saigon and other major cities and they live the same life as we do. What exactly were we supposed to be saving them from? Being happy and not being shot at? I am over 70 now and looking back……………..it was a waste.

  2. If I remember correctly, David Douglas Duncan, the famous WWII Marine photographer, took a series of photos of part of this action around Con Thien

  3. I was TDY at DaNang for a period of time. I have forgotten the exact time.
    I was working in a Supply area with a big air inflated warehouse. It was there that I became aware of the Marines needing supplies and I had bunches of lockers and many boots that were easily available from a broken shipping container.
    I had a line of trucks wanting stuff and I gladly gave it out as fast as I could.
    I did not ask for permission, I just did it.
    After my TDY was over with I returned to Binh Thuy in IV Corp.

  4. We beat um and our beloved GOVERNMENT gave up 🙁

    • Exactly.
      People forget that even victory has a cost.
      Sometimes a huge cost.
      After we withdrew, we weren’t there to prevent the slaughter of millions of Cambodians.
      The world would be a different place without American soldiers ready to pay the price.

    • Precisely correct.

    • You are Correct. God bless Those SOB’s Johnson and McNamara.

    • We beat no one. We killed local people in a civil war. Think if during our civil war the British and French fought for the confederacy. The roots of the Viet Nam war go all the way back to the 1920s when J. Egar Hoover told the nation there was a communist “scare”. Then it was intensified when China went communist and a drunk Senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy raised the scare to an internal conspiracy. Elected officials were forced to demonstrate their anti-communist credentials by fighting where ever someone told us that communism was going to take over. So much bad information caused that terrible war. We beat no one but ourselves.

    • NO! A wrong-headed President and hii advisors are where the blame lies.

    • Speaking from a soldier’s point of view who served as a ‘Nam Medic (Army) ’66-67. I went because I was Regular Army and that’s where my orders took me. We won but were sold out by spineless politicians who were afraid of the leftist mob among us. That caused us to leave before the job was finished and naturally the VC and NVA stepped into the vacuum. Had we stayed and finished the job, then maybe all those lives that were spent would have stood for something. I’m proud of my service in the RSVN, proud of the people I served with, proud of the US Army and the country we stepped into the jaws of death for. War, any war, is just what they say it is; its hell. If we never had war again it would be the best news to many professional soldiers that I have served with and have been honored to know. But the American soldier serves, with few exceptions, with honor, and dignity the beautiful country we have sworn an oath to defend “from all enemies, both foreign and domestic” and will always answer the call. May God bless the USA!

  5. I had a High School Buddy that went to Nam while I was stationed in France for 3 years. One of our H.S. friends who was getting married told both of us the first home would be Best Man..,I thought I had it in the bag because my discharge date was June 1967.,. With regret my friend in Nam came home before me by a couple of weeks with a leg missing from just below the knee which still gave him flexibility to ride motorcycles and skiing.. (a mine of some sort caused this)..
    Again with deep sorrow he passed away in his early 30;’s with Cancer.. He did Recon in Jungles that were defoliated with Agent Orange.. His name Bobby DeVito from Brooklyn N.Y.C.

    • Bless all of you that served!

    • so sorry for your friend, I have to deal with that also my husband was a tunnel rat in Vietnam in 66-67 he also dies from Agent Orange in 2014, I watched hi pay for his time over there, it was very had for all the families his name Dwight Bowman of Orchard Park, New York

  6. It was a terrible war. But the worst part of that war took place when our VETERANS returned home and they were treated like crap. That was what is most disgusting to me all they went through and get treated like that when they come home to a country they pledged to die for! Shame on us for treating them like that! Thank you all for serving and I am so sorry for the way you were treated!!

    • May God bless you, Lupe.

    • The war was never fought to be winnable. We fucked up because we thought all commies thought alike. The Russians hated the Chinese and the Vietnamese hated the Chinese. If we had supported the North Vietnamese, we would’ve had a communist ally! All Ho chi Minh wanted was a united Vietnam. He even said he would dissolve the communist party if Truman would help him out. Truman never read that message. Diplomatic stupidity cause more needless death than anything else. Except religion.

    • I agree, Lupe. But we really were not mad at the veterans but ourselves and our leaders. It took a long time for us to acknowledge that we were at fault and since we could not reach our leaders we took our anger out on veterans who we could see and touch. It was shameful what we did but our anger at the uselessness of the was so great that we could not help ourselves. I feel most sorry for the agent orange victims because they are still suffering. And yet it took years before our government acknowledged the damage agent orange did and does.

    • Thanks Lupe!

  7. Combat in Vietnam only broke our bodies but America broke our hearts when we came home.

    • I was born and raised in Southern England and was too young to know the War that was raging in Vietnam. However, since meeting and marrying my husband in the late eighties, I have met and read and educated myself on what you men went through. While over there I cannot put myself in your shoes to really know what it was truly like. The stories I have heard and read touched me deeply and for you all to be treated so badly on your return to your beloved America, just tears me up and I want to say how proud and honored I am every time I meet one of you.
      Thank you for your service and “God bless you all.”
      Claire x
      P.S. My husband is a USAF VET ( 22.6 yrs) part of this was “ Special Ops”

    • Thank you will never be enough!! I am so sorry you all were treated with such disrespect!! You are all our American heroes!

    • Yes, my son served two tours in the Navy. He had a terrible time after returning. Finally, after nearly five years he got his life back together and has never looked back. He did not suffer like the Army & Marine grunts; his was from the attitude of the American hippies and radicals.
      Today all Americans are suffering the same things – this time from radicals, Leftists and one world nuts. Our family has always volunteered when conflicts break out – WW! (my father Navy – submarines – 21 years), me – (NROTC grad – WWII & Korea), (my son Vietnam), my son’s 2 sons (one an NROTC officer -8 years part as a SEAL, the other – 10 years as a Naval Aviator) – Iraq & Afghanistan war.
      Politicians never spill a drop of blood – I am pleased to see veterans filling seats in Congress. We need a hundred or so more!

    • Roger that.

    • Douglas, your post made me cry. I was fortunate in that my dad came home in one piece from Vietnam. I pray that you have experienced healing from your broken heart. I am ashamed of the U.S. government who so easily turned their backs on all of you.

    • I still am infuriated by the actions Radicals carried out on all Vietnam vets. My son suffered crappy treatment from these Un-American ignoramus. I as a veteran of WWII & Korea was furisou with httme and the lack of punishment they received.

    • Yes, your comment makes me cry! I have my veteran sitting next to me–thank God. I remember 50 years ago picking it him up at JFK and he didn’t even want to be in his uniform as there was no pride for what he had just done. Americans could have cared less!
      My heart goes out to Judith Malone (who left her comments) and what her family has experienced as a result of this war!

    • So, so sorry for the way you were treated. Shame on us!

    • How true most of the country spit on the troops when they came home. When I came home I went to VFW Lodge for a beer. I was told there was no room for baby killers. Excuse me I never killed a baby. I fought not for oil of big corporations I covered my buddies backside. I have never set foot into another VFW Lodge. Americans blamed the boots on the ground for what happened in Nam. But the boots on the ground did what they had to do. No one that was not there has no idea what the boots on the ground had to go through. It was the politicians and our generals that lost the war.

    • I am a veteran of WWII. My mother joined me up while I was overseas. I never went to a VFW meeting, nor did I continue my membership. I remained in the Organized Naval Reserve until 1958. Commanded a Naval Reserve Surface Division (1955- 1957). I figure my contribution to the nation was far more important in the reserve than in a VFW Post.
      I do not blame you! And, by the way my son served 2 tours in Nam in the Navy.

    • I am so sorry. No one deserved to be treated that way.

  8. I was a boot at PI in 66. Landed in Nam in February of 67. Left after TET of 68.

    • I was on Guam from 1967-69, except for two Short trips to Nam to defend Marines who did bad things- one fragged his CO and the other refused to return to combat, at GCMs. Not much I could do for them, except avoid the death penalty.

      Nam was a waste of good young men, and I wrote wills for some of them that were used.

  9. I had my children in 1965 and 1966. I remember all the stuff we heard on tv about the war, for the most part, all fake information. I had no idea, just what was really happening over there as did most of America. It wasn’t until much later after the war that the truth revealed. I know a lot of Viet Nam vets, I am a Vet myself, USN Desert Storm, and I can tell you this, The young men and women that served during that impossible and destructive war deserve everything this country can give them. Their bodies were broken, their minds discarded and their hearts ripped out. The true enemy was not just Viet Nam but was waiting for them at their own back door. But, through it all the one thing that was ever-lasting was their pride and their spirits, they are the American Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen, they are what this country is made of. Never, ever underestimate the US Military. Thank you all, for your service and may God Bless each and every one of you.

  10. In October, 1965, I was Legislative Assistant to a GOP Congressman, the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He asked me to do an analysis of the Vietnam War for him, and I used all his authority to get information for the White Paper. I found 20 reasons why the war was a bad Idea, and 5 why it was a good idea, and two of them were the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, and the Domino Theory, later both proven to be Lyndon Johnson lies to get support for the war. The Congrssman refused to act on my advice.

    I many years later talked to Daniel Ellsberg, who said that if we had met in late 1965 in DC ( when he worked at the Pentagon), we could have prevented the Vietnam War from ever escalating, if we could have disclosed these lies of the Johnson Administration. So 65,000 American young men died…

    • I was at Tec School at Sheppard AFB when Kennedy was assassinated and then I was stationed at Fairchild AFB near Spokane Washington. In late 1965 I volunteered to go to Vietnam rather than Goose Bay, Labrador. I thought I had enough of cold weather.
      I really believe that Kennedy would not have escalated the war like Johnson did.
      I had to hide my military service while going to college in Portland.

    • Love and thanks forever to our best and bravest. I grieve
      for every warrior lost.
      Our American soldiers are truly the finest, and we can never
      honor them enough.

  11. I am the aunt of three nephews who served in Viet Nam one a sailor and two soldiers. I am filled with great pride in their dedicated service. It is sad how those patriotic men served the USA but was given little recognition upon their return – one with a broken spirit who wouldn’t speak of his experience and is very ill because of it and another with a serious physical injury. I do thank all those women and men who had the courage to fight against odds to protect the south Vietnamese and bring as many of our own people home safely.
    I pray for all who have fought and are fighting today for our country. Thank you, God, for each and all of them.

  12. I was in the lottery in ‘68. My number was 146 and they called up to 144. I wanted to go into the army when I was younger but by that time I was opposed to the war and demonstrated heavily against it. Many friends died in that war, and for what?
    What I’ve never understood is how badly the veterans of that idiotic war were treated upon their return.
    If wars were based upon honest ideological conflicts few if any would reach world war status. Wars are created out of political and economic manipulations of politicians bent on their own psychopathic interests. That is my own opinion but it is shared by many. The heroics of the men are real, the intent of those in charge of such things are selfish and manipulative.
    All large wars should have ended after WWII. They have become the raison d’etre for narcissistic and manipulative politicians and little more.
    They are a disgusting comment on the state of humanity, and will become obsolete someday, when humanity eventually comes to understand its own reality and mandate from the source of all spiritual understanding. That day may be closer, or farther, than any of us realize.

  13. I’m reading a book entitled The Lost Peace 1945-1953 by Robert Dallek, published in 2010. The author writes that the seeds of Viet Nam were sown by VERY BAD DECISIONS made not long after WW II ended. As history reveals the Cold War was NOT so cold and cost America too much blood and treasure
    Yes, our politicians sold us, the soldiers and sailors and airmen, out … from Korea thru Iraq and Afghanistan. The attitude and actions that I experienced upon my return home in ‘69 were hurtful and disappointing… but what our left wing politicians, with the help and support of the anti-war radicals, allowed to happen to the people of South Vietnam are beyond despicable…we left them to die
    What was our sacrifice about… where was our honor ??
    I’ve always believed in my country, but never trust a politician

  14. Nam … 70 and 71 … Phu Cat … just remember … everybody who see’s combat has PTSD … it’s just how well they handle it. One day I might visit the Vietnam Memorial, but I can’t … I just can’t.

    • Tim, Thank you for your service!

    • My husband was the same way. It took him 40 years to start talking about his Nam experience.

    • Tim, we were there at the same time except I was working mostly out of LZ Baldy and then off Hill 34 as a Marine and later as an Intel Scout. The traveling memorial was about 25 miles from me (again) a couple of weeks ago…but again I didn’t see it.

      If you can Google what my home state of Kentucky did as a memorial. I took my late mother with me to the dedication. I did the tour…but she did the time. Semper Fi brother. Welcome home.

  15. I was with 2/5 at Chu Lai from April 66 to Sept. 66. My best buddy was killed in Operation Prairie in August .In Sept. 66 I was transferred to 3/1 at Marble Mountain. I still suffer with survivor’s complex. I guess it will always stay with me. The bond you build in combat is everlasting.

    • Charles, Thank you for your service!

    • I
      WAS AT QUONG TRE 1966&67 WAS WOUNDED THERE RETURNED HOME TO A DIFFERENTY COUNTRY THAN I LEFT, WASN’T UNTIL 1965 THAT I HAD A PERSON THANK ME FOR MY SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY, I CRIED.

    • Dont be the Vietnam wars victim anymore God loves you and my husband who fought door to door in Tet offensive has heard me say thank you God for giving me two wonderful kids from this Army sgt who was allowed grace to finish his assignment with us.

  16. Operation Prairie was divided into 4 parts;

    Prairie I: 3 August 1966 – 31 January 67 Casualties: U.S. 239 KIA, 1214 WIA, 1 MIA. NVA/VC: 1397 KIA, 27 POWs

    Prairie II: 31 Jan 67 – 18 Mar 67 Casualties: 93 KIA, 483 WIA NVA/VC 101 KIA

    Prairie III: 18 Mar 67 – 19 Apr 67 56 KIA, 530 WIA NVA/VC 252 KIA, 4 POW

    Prairie IV: 20 Apr 67 – 30 May 67 164 KIA, 1240 WIA NVA/VC 489 KIA, 9 POW

    There were several other combat operations that took place during the same time periods in Quang Tri Province by USMC/ARVN.

    I was there. 10 combat operations from DMZ to far south I Corps (Duc Pho, Quang Ngai Province), 11 of those units were awarded the Navy Presidential Unit Citation (If awarded on an individual basis equal to Navy Cross). Navy Unit Citation (If awarded on an individual basis equal to a Silver Star). I have “Seen the Elephant”.

    If a person is interested in how the war on the DMZ was REALLY fought read: “Con Thien, Hill of Angels” (I got to about 30 pages before falling out) “Operation Buffalo” (about two dozen pages).

    Craig Robert’s “The Walking Dead” is the most accurate depiction of the war further south during my tour — against the VC.

    My “Leatherneck Square”, Dong Ha, SE Corner, Gio Linh NE Corner, Con Thien, NW corner, Cam Lo Village SW corner was intense and still dangerous due to “dud ammo”. Quang Tri Province had more American KIA than any other Province in Viet Nam.

    During “my time” we were reluctant to become close to anybody because the next thing you know he would be “wasted”. I was very fortunate to have 4 OB (Other Brothers — closer than siblings). Unfortunately they have passed on: RIP AO & PTSD. Anybody who has not been in those intense situations can never understand the relationships.

    When I got out of school, went to several job interviews and passed all the tests: “Have you fulfilled your military obligation?” No? “Come see us when you have”. I have 4 siblings who also served during those years.

    For a good look at how we feel after coming “home” and years later I strongly recommend: “Combat PTSD, An Operator’s Guide”.

    Glen Green, above, hits the high spots and I agree with everything he writes. During WWII, the Vichey French supported/worked with the Japanese against the Allies. After WWII was over the Allies were very concerned about Russia invading westward to the Atlantic and felt like they needed the French as an ally in Europe, so Indochina was “given back” to the French as a Colony.

    Indochina was an exploited colony for resources, Algeria was more space for Frenchmen to move to and live.

    The Vietnamese I fought had been born and raised in constant warfare and were experts, men, women and children. One mountain, Nui Dang, in Quang Ngai Province, had been mined by Japanese, French, Viet Minh, VC, ARVN.

    The Viet Nam War was NOT a 10 year war. The first Marines (1/9) left in August 1969. 1/9 came ashore at Red Beach in March 1965.

    The men and women who served there, U.S., Australia, Korea, ARVN and others did not lose the war. Our Democrat controlled Congress did when they cut off funding for the Vietnamese army.

    It has been my personal experience and observations that people who were eligible to serve and did not are still using endless excuses for their actions. AND they are STILL treating Viet Nam Veterans poorly. “Thank you for serving” (Desert Storm and after) is not for Viet Vets, “Welcome Home” is.

    I agree with the sticker: “Vietnam, if you weren’t there, shut your mouth”.

    Truman Powell
    Sergeant of Marines 62 – 68
    RVN: 66/67

    • Truman, Thank you for your service!

    • Thank you, Truman Powell, for your report.
      Welcome Home

    • Tim, we were there at the same time except I was working mostly out of LZ Baldy and then off Hill 34 as a Marine grunt and later as an Intel Scout. The traveling memorial was about 25 miles from me (again) a couple of weeks ago…but again I didn’t see it.

      If you can Google what my home state of Kentucky did as a memorial. I took my late mother with me to the dedication. I did the tour…but she did the time. Semper Fi brother. Welcome home.

      Truman,

      I was back in “the world” about 35 years before anyone said “Welcome Home”. He was a 1st Cav vet.

      I put my bush time in with Hotel 2/7 and Head Quarters 5th Marines Security Platoon working off LZ Baldy, and Scout Section 1/1 on Hill 34.

      Cpl. of Marines 69 – 71
      RVN: 70/71

    • Truman, what unit were you with? I was with Delta-1-4, 3rd Marine Div. during this operation.

    • Truman,
      I experienced the same when I graduated from high school, “what’s your draft status?” I was 17 and not even registered! “Come back and see us when you are” , that was in 1956! So, I enlisted and became a ” lifer”. I think that a lot of those eligible that did not serve are now EMBARRASSED!
      I was there as a adviser with VNAF ALC, leaving a week before the cease fire!
      For those Marines in 12th MAG. Semper Fi, Marines! I know/knew some of you!

      Ted White
      SMSgt, USAF
      RVN – 72-73

  17. Hi Brothers and Sisters from Down Under. When our Battle of Long Tan took place on 18 Aug 1966 I was working on a diary farm in Victoria, aged 15 years and eight months. Even then I was aware of the Communist threat to World Peace, the Malayan Campaign 1948-1954, Korea 1950-1953, the Russian Invasion of Hungary in 1957, and over the next few years the Russian Invasion of Czechoslovakia and North Vietnam’s infiltration into South Vietnam, about the Pathet Lao in Laos, Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Our Politicians harped on the Domino theory, and I could see what they meant. Fifty years ago tomorrow, 5 Aug 1969 I joined the Australian Army following in my maternal great grandfather, my paternal great uncle, my paternal grandfather, many distant cousins in WW1, my maternal grandfather and Dad in WW2. Other relatives died in Europe and the Pacific.
    I trained for 17 months, volunteered for Infantry, and served with 3rd Bn, Royal Australian Regiment in Phuoc Tuy Province, Feb to Oct 1971. 38 Australians were killed during that time, but many many more young Americans died in Combat. My paternal fourth cousin from New York was KIA in the Ashua Valley, flying an OH-6A helicopter and being shot down with a RPG, on 5 Jun 1970. He was a 1st Lt with B Tp, 2 Sqn, 17 Cav Regt, 101st Airborne Division. I had great respect for my American Brothers and Sisters, for I knew they were in much tougher fights that us, as their casualty rates testify. My son was 11 days old when I sailed for the War, and I’ve often wished I had been killed for at least I would have been his Hero. PTSD impacted my post war family of another four daughters, and I find myself estranged due to the way I acted. Army, Police, and Security work followed from 1971 til 2015 when I retired.
    I’m proud of my Service, and feel sorry for the way all Nam Vets were treated after having done their duty. I wish them well and say Welcome Home. You were true Patriots, and Heroes for you got your arse in the grass, as the saying goes. God bless you all, and I hope you can find peace in your lives.

  18. War s HELL

  19. I think my dad may have been in this picture.
    I have the picture of him being medevac out that was taken by Larry burrows with his bleeding and being carried. Thanks for the picture.

  20. My uncle was a sergent-major marine during this time. As part of a school assignment I asked him about his service in Vietnam. He described a battle like this but I did not write the name of the place where he said he and his friend were standing when his friend was hit by a bomb. My uncle held his friend and the man died in his arms. My uncle had been hit by the shrapnel and wished that he had been the one who had died.

  21. My husband came back and lived a successfulllife for many years, until Agent Orange caught up with him. He died of Parkinson’s , a disease the VA credits AO with causing. Our young men are still dieing from that damable war.

    • My condolences to you, and agree that too many of these patriots are dying too soon. My late husband, a successful mechanical engineer and father of our three children, also developed Parkinson’s due to exposure to Agent Orange as a result of his Air Force deployment in Vietnam in ’67-’68. If it were not for a friend who recommended we contact VA after his initial diagnosis in 2012, we never would have made the connection to his wartime service. He died in January 2018 after six years of continual neurological decline and increasing dementia. It is not like the government contacted all service vets who were deployed to Vietnam that there might be health issues based on AO exposure 40-50 years prior.

    • My dad also died from agent orange, lung cancer. He was there supposedly as a advisor but they sprayed all around the camp and tents and said it was safe. He died before his 60th birthday. He was career Army, 21 years and was in Quang Tri or Nai, I can never remember which, during 69-70. He never spoke about it to his three daughters, but I learned later he was one of those who would deliver supplies by helicopter, flying real low over the trees. I wish I would of known then what I know now. I missed the opportunity to talk with him and understand his experiences and let him really know how proud him and how much I admired him for his service. We were very protected, as three daughters, and never realized all that went on until we were alot older and he had passed away. We lost possibly another 25 years of time with him. He was the perfect army sergeant daddy for three girls.

    • We just keep things to ourselves and now I realize free 50 plus years that that was not a good idea.I am finally able to talk about it to other Viet Nam Veterans ONLY.

    • My husband was exposed to Agent Orange as an officer in the U.S. Army, Medical Corps; he was stationed at China Beach, Vietnam. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about 2010. Our local county Veterans Administrator helped him apply for a pension, which he received shortly before he took his own life at the age of 71 because he could not bear to live the limited life ahead of him. Such a senseless and shameful war.

    • sorry to hear that happened to a lot of us. God bless and thanks for being there for my Viet nm brother

    • should have been on disability and not a pension? Are u being compensated
      If not why not?

    • Glenn –
      My husband served 28 years so is a retiree with a pension (based on 1988 pay grade) however he has a 20% disability from Agent Orange and this is sent by the VA, not dept of Army – however the amount is deducted from his retirement pay, thus he is literally paying for his own disability!
      There have been some congressional bills trying to change this, but it fails all the time.
      However the amount of his retired pensions plus his SS gives him an income above the amount set by the VA for treatment, thus he is on his own. Thank God for SS and Tricare for Life since the military’s promise of free medical care my husband thought would be ours for life was another lie. Supposedly Tricare for Life is their answer to the promise, in spite of what we pay for SS! That should be free too!

    • Diane: I am amazed that he was only drawing 20% for agent orange. What Was his issue? He should be seeing at least 50% and this way his retirement would not have been effected> Why did he settle for 20% I get so upset when I hear of these kinds of stories. I am a service officer for the DAV and would never accept such a low rating for my brother. ???? keep me informed, please. Sorry he Ws not properly represented.

    • Diane: Totally unacceptable

  22. My father served two tours in Vietnam as a proud Marine. Life for him when he returned was hard, but he made the most of it. He did not and would not talk about his service until the very end of his life when he told me one story. I’ve decided that I really need to know more about that part of his life. My grandmother saved every letter he wrote her from that time. So far they all say basically the same thing “miss you, love you, not so bad over here”. Can anyone suggest where to begin to learn more or maybe even find people he would have served with. All I have are those letters and his DD-214. THANK YOU ALL!

    • Start by contacting your local Veterans Service Officer. Check the phone book in the Government pages. Your VSO can help you obtain government records such as your dad’s service record. Also, your VSO can help you obtain a replacement set of all the medals, ribbons and other awards your dad earned (many people do not know about this service which is available free to all veterans or their families). Second, his DD-214 will reveal his unit information; do a web search for that unit. You may find a web page dedicated to the memory of your dad and his buddies, or contact information for individuals. Next, check with togetherweserved.com and other veteran web sites. Do a web search for all Marine web sites, videos, etc. and read the comments under the youtube videos. You may find individuals who served with your dad and posted comments there. I hope this helps.

    • I give you hope, Fran. My husband who was in Chu Lai in 1969/70 just heard from a buddy who he thought was dead. One day, while George and his fellow soldiers were sitting under a tree writing letters–the helicopter came in with the mail. George went off to get the mail. As he walked away, a young Vietnamese boy that they had befriended swiped a grenade and threw it at the soldiers. George was spared but got to witness this and see his buddies being put on Medivac flight. George’s just reconnected with Nat after 50 years. It was so touching. My husband has come to learn that Nat was in Walter Reed for a year and the incident and just last week had more shrapnel removed from his body. Can you imagine!

  23. I was in DaNang and was called by my Captain to deploy to Con Thien a Samoan heard and volunteered to replace me. I’ve forgotten his name and he lost his leg.

  24. We entered a civil war that was a lot more directed toward nationalism than political ideology. The directors of this war were clueless to the history of Vietnam. In the 1960s the Russians and Chinese were having border skirmishes and they were both communist totalitarian states. We were in a war that we shouldn’t been involved in; however, we justify this war as we did later with the Iraq invasion. We are creatures of justification.

  25. we had the war won from the beginning , if only the politicians left the war to the Generals,instead of behind their desks. Thanks to the hippies and other cowardly protesters, the war kept on going, at a cost of more lives!…Been there…1970. Marines…Semper Fi

    • Exactly! Politics ruined the spirit’s of the men in and from that war.
      Lesson learned? No.

  26. Would anyone care to verify this via news media archives: it is alleged that President Kennedy had ordered our troops out of Vietnam because it was a civil war. allegedly, one group of soldiers did return about July; then, President Kennedy was killed. President Johnson took over, and in six years went from a millionaire with 1.3 million in assets to a billionaire. Notwithstanding his family making millions off the war. Is there a better example of corruption?

  27. Just a reminder that the Army was also in vietnam

    • I had a friend in the summer of 1976 who was a Green Beret and served in Vietnam ‘66-‘68.
      In a company of 200 men, he was one of three that came home.

    • Jim, during the first part of Prairie the Marines did not have artillery that would reach all the places the infantry was at. One company, D/1/4 stood off two battalions of NVA for 5 days no air support (monsoon) nor artillery. Bloody mess.

      Then the Army brought in 175mm guns that would cover most of the DMZ from a hill above Cam Lo Village, first named Artillery Plateau then re-named Camp JJ Carroll (Capt USMC, Navy Cross, KIA friendly fire from tanks that were being used as arty at night).

      The Army arty maintenance folks were based at Dong Ha, west end of the airstrip (made by Japs during WWII) beside an old French concrete bunker. Eventually the Army 175s were at Camp Carroll, Con Thien, and Gio Linh and gave arty support all along the Z.

      Yessir, the Army arty was there on the Marine’s Operation Prairie, but during those first years I Corps and the Z was Marine TAOR, later became Army after Tet 68.

      I know that Fold3 shall start some Army operations, if they don’t start one yourself!

      Truman

    • Jim –
      How right you are! While my 1st husband died before he could go – he was a Ranger with C Co 1/14th 25th Division – with a Academy CO he was XO and Platoon leader of 3rd Platoon! During the annual AT&T’s he was the ONLY functional Lt., so he took all three company platoons through the test and came in 1st with his rifle platoon, 1st with the company weapons platoon and 2nd with the other rifle platoon against all the other companies in the Bn! He was 72 hours without sleep or rest, came home (we lived in Sunset Beach), showered, shaved, ate some sandwiches and had to go up to Schofield to take a rifle range since the other Lt (under house arrest for drinking) was ‘gone’ and there was no one else to take it! He got about halfway there and we think he fell asleep, hit a tree and severed his brain stem – he died in the ambulance on the way to Schofield. Did not help that he was in his beloved (I hated it) Austin Healey Sprite with almost no protection! He was 24 years old, a beloved husband, father, son, brother, grandson and nephew – our children were 6 months and 3 1/2 and I was just 22 and a widow. His death was ruled ‘line of duty’ since he was on his way back to work – not going home! That morning everyone had been asking who was that Lt who put all the other companies to shame? By noon it was who was the Lt who died? There was something terribly wrong that he had to go above and beyond his duty and afterwards they called for Lts from Korea! They knew they could not take the companies so under staffed to VN – so, perhaps his life was sacrificed so another might live… I will never know. I just know that I still cry.

  28. THANK YOU ALL for your service!!
    Signed, A great full nation.

    • My dad was in Nam in 1968 – 71. Our family lived in Bangkok during that time. When he worked at “the office” in Bangkok we got to see him, otherwise he was in Nam. I watched him change in those three years. He never spoke of his experiences, or even of how he was injured. He finished his Army career after leaving Nam, and retired in 1985. But he was never the same man. He became ill with AG issues, hardly recognized by VA as stated by others here. He was a good man. He had many OB’s from there, and those who survived were always welcomed in our home. Welcome home to all who served there. You are more loved and appreciated than you know. It is shameful the way Americans treated those who were serving them.

  29. God Bless all who served. — 82nd Airborne Div. 2/321

  30. Well…life goes on. I served in II corp, 1968…arrived on Jan 1. Returned Nov. 19th.
    Yes, it was a worthless war for all. Ironic, I never wore any civi’ clothing till I was home
    six years that associated me with Vietnam. I occasionally wore some US Vietnam hats
    till June of this year…bottom line I wore the hats to help me adjust, I no longer wear them to help me adjust. Bottom Line two fold: The more things change, the more they become the same…and yes…shit happens!

  31. To all who served: Welcome Home.

  32. My sister a Medical Mission Nun spent a total of 9 years in Vietnam in Quinhon at the hospital they operated. She was there in the mid 60’s came home for a few years and went back came out 2 days before the total country collapsed.

  33. I served in the US Army during the Viet Nam war, but don’t deserve to be in the same company as those who fought in Viet Nam. Everyone of them was a “hero” and deserves our highest respect. I was a Drill Sgt. & trained many who ended up there. I use to read every issue of “The Army Times” which listed those who were killed, hoping to not find the names of any of the troops I trained listed. Unfortunately, I found a few plus a Second Lt. from our company who was killed on the second day there. His name was Lt. Sharp. 2nd Lieutenants were sent to basic training units, fresh out of OCS, ROTC & Army Reserve units to gain command experience. We had to train them too.

  34. I went to GEORGE WASHINGTON HS IN INDIANAPOLIS. I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH HORACE GIBBS MITCHELL

  35. Such bitterness! Walk away from the bitterness and drop it, lick your wounds, and if a life is what you wish for, live one well and it will be yours. Give up the resentment as well, your the only one that can.

  36. My brother did two tours in Vietnam. I know wherever he was no cameras were allowed. He suffered from Agent Orange and survived a helicopter crash while there. I’ll never forget that knock on the door telling us the news. I just lost him December of last year. The agent orange ate away at my beautiful brother until he couldn’t walk or speak. He suffered neurological problems and wouldn’t send me pictures of himself even though I begged. This brave man was Gunnery Sgt. Raymond Stackhouse. I miss him so very much.

    • Semper fi to a great American. God bless him! My son served two tours in Nam… Navy.
      unlike your brother, his tours did not put him into much Harm’s Way.;

  37. Forgot to mention he was a proud member of the US Marine Corp. I am proud to have had such a brother. He’s in my heart every day.

  38. When I think about the Vietnan war, I always end up with the knowledge that it was the US that deliberately started this war against the Vietnamese people with numerous atrocities and war crimes commited by Americans and their Allies in the course of the war. Millions of Vietnamese cilvilians were killed by the US military, trying to bomb the Vietnamese “back into the stoneage”. All these actions and stories are free from the silly hero talk we can read and hear these days. Killing innocent people from 30000 feet above or from a chopper while flying across rice fields has nothing to do with heroism. Starting chemical warfare by using Agent Orange today would be a case for the International Tribunal at the Hague instead of national pride. A nation which claims to be a leader in humanity and freedom on this world should take a critical and realistic view on its own history. Right now only the Germans learned their lessons from their recent history. For many other nations it still seems to be a rather long way to go to reach that point in evolution.

    • You are obviously unaware of the thousands of young Americans that were exposed to AGENT ORANGE. Blame the Democratic President LBJ and his Sec. of Defense for the start of the war. They should have been tried as war criminals … not young Americans who fought there.

      LBJ knew damned good and well there were not PT boat attacks. A friend who flew in the 1st attack group reported water spouts … not PT boats.

  39. My Dad fought in the Vietnam war. He died of a massive coronary do to agent orange at a young age of 66. His widow now gets a pension for life and doesn’t have to pay property taxes for the rest of her life. She accidentally found out about these benefits from a nurse after hearing her story.

  40. I would like to take this opportunity to ask if there is anyone out there familiar with the 3rd Herd (Army) company in an area called ” ZION”.
    It was also the home of the 1st Infantry Division.
    Zion was my 1st tour in Vietnam,
    1966-1967

    • I was with the 1st Inf 1/5 Arty stationed in Phoc Phen but Zion, pronounced Z’on was Division Hdq and went there for radio repairs during this time, spent most time in Ong Bong jungle in 66 and 67. Not happy times but the 1st Div did send me a “.yearbook” of all units and operations of I believe 65 through 67. If you do not have one it is possible the 1st could still put you on to one

  41. Anyone remember UH1B 2828 and 2829 1961 1ne 1963. They were some of the first HUEYS in Viet Nam. Sgt Deal Crew Chief killed Jan 3, 1963, so sad for nothing. I was wounded May 1963 the second time. Sent home and discharged June 1963, Saw a lot of bad things. but survived. Some of my friends did not make it back. A lot of Special forces patrols filed to meet us at pick up point, I was with MAGV,UTTH company. If you were there during that time, please advise. Most people were not aware that some of the first forces were in Nam in 1961, 62, 63. When I came down with cancer VA told me no Agent Orange was used? Found out that was not true. Now the VA is paying and I become a service Officer helping other Vets get what they earned. If u served u deserve. WE CAN NOT CONTINUE TO POLICE THE WORLD. COST TO MANY LIVES.NAME AVILLGE IN NAM AND I HAVE BEEN THERE IN THE HUEY 2828 OR 2829.

    • I served three tours in the Nam, beginning in 62 and ending in 68. 35 total months. Some good, but mostly hell. Wounded very badly three times. Spent many days in Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam, doing my duty, losing friends. Do I regret it? Of course., The whole concept of it was based on political lies. Unfortunately, Lyndon Johnson is a relative, and he told the biggest lies of all, about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which never occurred., and the domino effect., which also never occurred.

      But don’t believe the war started in 62. The first military officer officially listed as killed in Vietnam was killed in 1945. The early and mid 50’s saw thousands of US military in Vietnam, assisting our French allies with weaponry and supplies. After the French defeat in 1955 we had so much invested in the country we could’t afford to leave.

      As were many hundreds of others, I was cursed and spit at upon arrival in California. As I told one idiot, I have been doing things in his name which gave him the right to curse me and spit on me. Of course I wanted to kill him or at least knock him out, but I was too tired and sick that I could do nothing but walk away, go into the head and get into civilian clothes. I will soon be 80 years of age, so I have had a lot of time to reflect on my 10 year military career, until wounds forced me out. I love this country, would do anything for it, including death, but I am sickened by the state of affairs we now face, and find it almost incomprehensible to believe that nearly half of the population, including 50% of the politicians running this country, are outright Nazi’s or Communists, and they unabashedly show it every day. 99 percent never served in the military and most of those that did never saw combat but were REMF’s. (Rear Echelon MF’s) A JAG officer, like Lindsay Graham, is a pussy !!

      Sieg Heil, you cowardly bastards !!!!

    • I give you a 100% vote. Four generations of my family have volunteered – WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq-Afghanistan. And like you – combat, not desk jockeys. My father a CPO in submarines for 21 years. Me – NROTC grad – served on LSTs in ETO & PTO in WWII, then aboard a Destroyer in Korea. Thank God – I’m the only one of all who was wounded.My son – 2 tours in Nam on board a Destroyer – only one who did not get shot at. Then both his sons served in Iraq/Afghanistan. Steve – NROTC – Washington Univ. – SEAL officer (8 years) … never know know where he was. Mike – Naval aviator – 10 years (3 deployments to war zone.
      LBJ & McNamara were war criminals in my estimation. I am fed up with the GD Lefties. I am to the point that no one runs for office until he has served in the Armed Forces. There is no discipline left in our population – half are useless aimless bodies. God help us and God Save Our Country.

    • Glenn – Thank you for you continuing service! My husband did not have any representation when he was dx with uncontrollable diabetes with no family history but if they had not asked these veterans to report to the nearest VA Hospital to be evaluated we still would not know that his condition is a result of the dioxins in his blood. He did not have any representation to the best of my knowledge. I believe his diminished hearing is a result of his service and now his increasing dementia. However he denies the dementia, of course, and he would never think to believe it was caused by the dioxins. No even offered any representation, after all, he is a retired officer and not looked on as someone who needs assistance by the VA! He was a 1st Lt who made captain not long after he arrived in country and branch immaterial. However, just days before he was eligible for the CIB, they changed his branch back to his original MP since he was advisor to a ARVN MP BN – the ONLY American and not part of a team – he was ‘it’. Needless to say he was involved in firefights and was given a Russian rifle, with a bullet hold through the stock where it rested against the head of a VC, by his ‘Da wi?’ or counterpart who credited him with the ‘kill’ – it was years before he took that rifle out of the darkest part of the closet and showed it to someone – another VN vet. However he was proud of his Air Medal and Bronze Star, along with several ARVN medals, until the day another officer, who had not been to VN, said, ‘oh I see you have one of those ‘been there’ medals’!
      Anyway, to the best of my knowledge, he had no representation except through the VA and I can’t help but believe his other symptoms are a result of the poison still inside of him. Nor can I believe that the two children we had, born with asthma and cataracts (now totally blind), are not the result of Agent Orange or whatever color they were using when he was there ’64-’65. The children I had with my first husband, an Army Ranger, were and are perfectly healthy.
      However, at almost 82 (8-22), his age will be ‘to blame’.

    • Diane: Wow sounds like Viet Nam vets all the way. Sorry, he did not seek help early. I am t a loos for words and your sorrow. I can feel your hurt and wish there was something I could do? I must guess that you receive no compensation? Also sounds like you may be married again and a serviceman? Just keep in touch and if you need a sounding board I am here for you. Wish someone could have got to him earlier. Remember the VA doesn’t want to help anyone. Must get outside help like the Disabled American Veterans. You may still want to contact them but chances are it is too late? Don’t hurt to try. GOD BLESS

    • Glenn – my husband is still very much alive! Will be 82 in a few days and we are moving to TN! Where his pensions will not be taxed!
      I was a widow with two small children when we married and I just continued my journey as an Army wife since my late husband was an Army Ranger, 1st Lt. (Bill) Our two children were healthy and the two children Dick and I had have health issues.
      He has a small disability pension but this amount is deducted from his Army retirement pension. His diabetes is worse with each doctor visit and now I see the signs of dementia, but I hope by not having the pressure of maintaining house and land will allow him to become active again in the VFW since he served as commander here until they had to turn in their charter – they were unable to get the young vets to join and he was running it with one other VN vet – both are too old to do it now, so hopefully there will be an active chapter where we will be living. And I hope that will help keep him around for awhile longer! I no longer drive so I don’t think about losing him anytime soon. I buried one soldier, and I would not want to do it again.

    • Diane: I am a service officer for the DAV. Where re u moving in TN? Just to let u know I have been very successful n helping Vets get a disability. Pensions and Disabilities are very different. I think ur husband is drawing a disability? We need to get his disability above 50% so it will not reduce his retirement. I am sure if he saw combat he has other problems and also a hearing problem? If he was in Viet Nam I am sure I can identify other issues. Let’s not let this longer any longer OK? I can be contacted at [email protected] or 770 630 9800. I am willing to help in any way I can. Take care of my brother and lets get him what he deserves.

    • Diane: Disabilities are not taxed anywhere? Pensions are a different story??

  42. I am not a soldier, just the widow of a Ranger and the wife of a retired soldier who served in Vietnam as an advisor to an ARVN MP Bn. He was the only American and was not a member of a ‘team’ and I see him struggle because he has no reunions, no unit assignments – just a very young captain who was alone with this unit. He finally understood why he had been sent to the Presidio to learn Vietnamese before he left. He had a ARVN captain who was his counterpart and, reluctantly at first, they became friends through their task to keep Hwy 1 open, to pacify the villages, thus enough helicopter flights to be awarded an Air Medal, but no other American to talk to about his day.
    When he came home he put out of his mind any future problems and was just grateful he was intact – to meet me and become the father of my two little Army brat children and to have a wife who was more than ‘qualified’ for the role.
    It was not until after he retired had severe type II diabetes with NO family history, was otherwise in great shape for his 2nd career, that he read that all VN vets who were in country during a certain time who had diabetes to go to the VA and have their blood drawn. Of course, he followed orders, but was not ready for the results when he was notified that he had dioxins in his blood, thus was eligible for part of his retirement (a very small part) to be a disability payment. Of course he understood when he realized that this payment would be be taken from his retired pay, thus he paid himself, just not taxes on this small %. But then we wondered – is that why our first child was asthmatic? or that our son was born with cataracts? However we continue to wonder as so few of the children of Agent Orange have had any of their disabilities proven as a result of their father’s service.
    He said he remembered seeing the planes flying over to clear the jungles for the large American units and his counterpart told him about the tunnels where they were clearing, which he reported but was ignored. He remembered standing on the airfield at Da Nang where there was not a blade of grass, a bug, a bird – it was lifeless, but he never gave it another thought. He greeted the Marines when they landed, the Big Red One and others as he guided them down his stretch of Hwy 1 to their ‘new bases’ where the ground was soaked in poison! He never knew… nor did those young men who, surviving Vietnam, sometimes more than once, would die horrible deaths from that same poison. It breaks my heart and when I think about the boys I knew who died there so young and filled with such honor, I cry – i cry for them, their wives and their children, their parents and siblings… and all for what?

    • One of my assignments in 1962 and 1963 was to map all rivers and rods in viet nm. We used special equipment installed in our Huey. Was exposed to a lot of ground fire. The rivers were very dangerous because of the san pans used by the NVA. They would hear us coming and hide long the sides of the river. Our flying was always very low and at high speeds. If we drew fire we would record the grid nd call and report the gunfire as ordered. I a very dramatic situation because we never knew where Charlie was or who he really was. Friends in the day time and enemy by night. This another reason it was so difficult. Thank GOD I made it back with only small Gun shot wounds.

    • Diane.. your first person I read that stated about what Agent Orange really was. Dioxin… one of the most poisonous chemicals there is. To think about what it was used for… destroying vegetation. What did our government think it would do to our men who served in Nam?

  43. My unit — Co. G, 2nd Bn., 7th Marine Regt. — was moved from Chu Lai to the DMZ and assigned to 3rd. Mar. Div. for Operation Prairie. We operated around the Rock Pile, Razorback and Mutter Ridges. I was an automatic rifleman. We engaged at close quarters on 24 Sept. Many fine young Marines were KIA and WIA. I was medivaced home to Texas (Corpus Christi Naval Hospital) on 26 Sept. 1966. I look forward to a glorious reunion with all those fine men one day. Semper Fi. Deus Est Fidelis.

  44. I had two brothers volunteer for combat in Vietnam. Oldest with1/7 Air Cav in 1966. He was on 52 air assaults (vast majority hot) lucky he was not wounded or killed and was a M60 gunner. His weapon never jammed, many in his unit died due to M16s jamming after 10 seconds in firefights – a terrible scandal forgotten today… .He had Malaria twice (central highlands strain) and almost died from it, ironically. Was being dewormed years after army. He was out of his unit while being treated in Okinawa and credits this for living for almost all his platoon was killed while he was gone. The Air Cav dropped into some real shitstorms.
    Other brother in Marines in I corps in 67. Was in battle of Con Thein saw much combat. In country 7 months and was wounded-not badly. Father just retired from Pentagon (navy capt.) and pulled strings and had brother returned stateside after hospital in Okinawa. Both brothers proud of their Vietnam service today and both feel they came back to an ungrateful country. Younger brother is 72 and told me he stopped thinking of Vietnam daily only 5 years ago.

  45. If anyone was in marine recon with my dad Donald Lee Williams Id love to hear from you. He got hit with shrapnel while there and was medivac’d out. He passed when I was 15.

  46. I was in the Air Force. I went to Viet Nam in Jan of 1964. I had it pretty easy. I was in the 1964th Communications squadron and spent most of my time in Saigon. I feel I have a somewhat different slant on the war. I certainly agree with the person who said we could have saved a lot of lives if we’d paid attention to Go Chi Minh. He was a nationalist first and communism was a distant second. While there met a woman who was a North Vietnamese refugee. She was a very very strong anti-communist. She witnessed persecution of her family before escaping to the south in 1954. Her mother and 8 siblings didn’t come. She did it alone. In 1965 after I got out of the AD I went back to Viet Nam and married her. We had two sons together and she brought her son from a previous relationship with her.
    She was very close to an Aunt who had three boys and one girl. The oldest big went to the Vietnamese equivalent of Westpoint. He was one of 125 who became 2nd Lieutenants in 1963. In Aug of 1964 he was killed in action. He was the last surviving member of his class. When he died the entire class was gone. That’s the kind of devastation that happened in the Vietnamese side. The Vietnamese population was so short of men that the woman had to run the families. It was so prevalent that waiters always presented the check to the woman even if there was a man at the table.
    After we married we moved to Guam for five years.
    In 1970-1972 we lived in Austin Texas so I could attend the University of Texas. I went there because I thought it would be more conservative than say one of the California University, like Oakland or Irvine. That turned out to not be the case. The University “management” and I use the term loosely had a policy to only hire Ivy League professors. Today you have to be careful if you tell a Texan you are a UT graduate. They equate it with being a socialist or a communist. Thankfully my business and computer science training allowed me to have a fruitful career, especially after I left Texas.
    I am also happy to report that my wife’s aunt and her three surviving family ended up happy in France after escaping from Viet Nam in 1978. Our sons had successful careers in the US and provided 10 grand children.

    • I graduated NROTC from UT in 1943. It was Liberal then. I returned and took a degree in geology after WWII. Those vets were Conservatives; but those that followed were brained washed by Leftist professors – Liberal Arts mainly. I was successful and established several endowments … but as the years have passed I have become more and more upset and disgusted with UT and its Liberal bias. I vowed no more donations to UT.

  47. I had a cousin killed during Operation Prairie. He was walking point when shot and killed. He was in 3rd Marine Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. Terrible war!

  48. I completed my tour of duty in 1963. By then I was married with two children and left the service. In 1967 I wanted to re-enlist but by then had to many children and one was dying of a birth defect. I have 9 cousins on the wall in DC because of those SOB’s named Lydon Johnson and Robert McNamara. Both of those A-holes should have been prosecuted and imprisoned for life or better yet HANGED. My cousins were 5 Marines and 4 Army grunts. We had the war won on numerous occasions but the damn politicians were able screw it up. Until I die I will never forgive those A-holes for what they did to our country and to us veterans. May all of you still alive, those that passed and their survivors I say God Bless you and your families. If I sound bitter I am, very bitter.

    • I understand. God bless you and your family. I was there in 71/72 and by that time it was every soldier for himself. Unity did not exist. The dead and the living suffered the same hell on earth. Our lives were never the same.

  49. My brother received a myeloma fibrosis diagnosis yesterday. Not curable. This is added to his multiple myeloma diagnosis. Yes, he was exposed to Agent Orange during his 3 years during Vietnam Nam. He’s been treated for PTSD. He was 17 when he volunteered as a courageous young man. He’s overcome much and proud to have served. We are proud of him and his shipmates for their service. He joins our father, US Army Infantry, who survived the Battle of Normandy. They came home wounded. Families pay a price too as they endure and support them in the aftermath.

  50. You put these sorry a…. people into office and you ask why is this happening? Or the Government did it? These jerks are being prepped for local, state, and federal elected and appointed offices. Wake up folks! I am a Vietnam veteran proud to have served my Country. Now lets defeat these sorry a….s at the ballot box.