After graduating high school in 1967 it was hard to find work. No one wanted to hire young men of service age because of the Vietnam War. So, I decided to go into military service and enlisted in the Air Force in March of 1969. I took an oath to depend my county against all enemies both foreign and domestic. That oath still holds today.
I was asked what military men go through. War is hell, everybody knows that but what I think that caused soldiers to suffer and caused depression was the weather, days of rain and mud, and the heat. Also, the lack of good food, having nothing to eat but rations. What really hurt was the lack of mail from home. Everyone looked forward to “Mail Call”. Sharing news from home. While I was in Vietnam, my oldest son was born. I was not notified by Red Cross until he was almost six weeks old.
If you have a loved one or a friend in the military, write, e-mail or call often even if they are not deployed. Keep in touch, it means a lot. Also, thank them for being willing to serve.
Vietnam veterans were not thanked or appreciated when they came home. Thank veterans today. We really do appreciate it.
Hand salute to all you Vietnam Vets! Can't believe it's been over 54 years since I first flew aboard USS Ticonderoga, got halfway down to the hanger deck, and they sounded "Battle Stations"...Tonkin Gulf Crisis just began. I sat on my seabag in Full Dess Uniform as we attacked North Vietnamese torpedo boats and support facilities for 3 solid days & nights. By the dawn's early light, USS Constellation battle group had joined us & sure was pretty as she launched her attack aircraft! China had a thousand Migs on nearby Hainan Island (and had promised to join the fight if we attacked North Vietnam) So now we only had 500 Migs apiece to worry about! As we steamed by over-turned & sinking torpedo boats, I spotted my first Vietnamese, a poor old fisherman in a tiny sampan, frantically waving & smiling...undoubtably thinking, "WHO ARE THOSE GUYS" ??? My heart went out to him...Hats off to all you CATS! Us & Them.