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- How to Talk to a Veteran
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Washington, D.C., Is Home to America’s Largest Collection of Parasites
You don’t say.
How to Talk to a Veteran
Talk to a veteran the same as you would anyone else.
IOW, knock off all the “Thank you for serving our country” nonsense.
It’s embarrassing on so many levels.
FWIW, I didn’t do it for YOU I did it for ME.
Speaking of art, this video by the art auction house, Christies, is noteworthy. http://thecolorist.blogspot.com/2017/11/is-there-room-in-your-heart.html
I’m a guy who always talks to veterans, and in particular I like to visit with WW II veterans. How to…
1. Ask: “Where did you go.” A simple, and fascinating question because the war was global. Not hard to answer. 2. Ask: “What was your job?” Another simple question. At this point, your veteran will realize that you’re not a dork, and will often open up with much more info and stories. If you have to ask a third question, it might be what was your outfit, or unit. This should’ve already come out, but if by now you’re getting nothing, just note that with respect and be an attentive visitor. When you are talking with a veteran of war, note his eyes. This will tell you a lot more than the words.
I’m lucky to have had dozens, if not a hundred, of these conversations, and in some of them the air can be cut with a knife.
With Vietnam veterans, it’s good to let them dictate the course of the conversation at all levels. They basically went to Vietnam, so asking where they went is a bit flat. Job is a great question: they were a door gunner, or a rifleman, or a medical orderly, or a supply guy, or an aviation fueler. You might ask what years he or she were there.
“was.” damn no edit comment box.
I notice Robert Crumb’s Jehovah there above Note Bene. Crumb is one of my all-time favorites.
I just got his Book of Genesis. Amazing piece of work.
Isn’t a Linklister when your browser has too many bookmarks that your tablet begins to lean to one side?
“Washington, D.C., Is Home to America’s Largest Collection of Parasites”
And D.C., together with Virginia and Maryland, constitute The Swamp. It’s high time to drain it.
I will ask a Vietnam vet what province he as in and what years. They can elaborate from there if they desire:
One of my first boss’s was a Marine door gunner in a CH46 and helped fly people out of the US embassy as the NVA were closing in on Saigon. He also had an old brass Zippo with Cambodia carved and misspelled into it. I never heard the story behind that.
A next door neighbor when I was a young man was with “The Herd” 173 Airborne and told me how they would patrol with two point guys. One would be bent over eyeballing every step they took for booby traps and the other guy would be right on his ass, looking further toward their direction of travel.
A business client was a Marine radioman who was on a base that never got mortared. He swore someone was paying the local VC to not shoot at them.
A guy from church years ago flew F4 reconnaissance planes for the USAF. I thought those were fighter/bombers only but apparently not.
I have a cousin and close friend who are combat veterans of Afghanistan. My cousin was seriously wounded there. They rarely talk about their combat experience, but when they do, I shut my pie hole and listen intently.
Kansas, good to hear all of this. It’s a form of remembrance. If I had to catalog all of the Nam vets I’ve met and stories I’ve heard, it’d take a book. I had a roommate at officer’s school who was in the Buck Seventy-Third, and walked point. He would wake up screaming. He also taught me mortar gunnery inside out, upside down and backwards. He was a god-of-mortars, and I went on to lead my platoon, sometimes a company-sized element of mortars, and had a reputation for knowing my sh!t. It didn’t hurt that my Plt Sgt was also a god-of-mortars guy, who also was a LRRP and went into Cambodia solo a number of times.
Vietnam is more than a war story, it rises to the level of Odyssey in American history. Too bad few have written it that well. Instead, we get sh!t like “Platoon,” the movie.
Some good non-fiction reads on Vietnam:
– Killing Zone – Fredrick Downs
– Once a Warrior King
– Run Between the Raindrops – Capt. Dale Dye
“Vietnam is more than a war story, it rises to the level of Odyssey in American history.”
I didn’t know it at the time, but you’re right.
Kansas, I did read the first 2. I’ll look up the other 2. I think Chickenhawk gets the epic part of the war, and does so in a very private way. In my hometown, I attended the posthumous ceremony awarding our local hero his DSC for flying his Huey into certain death while he tried to save another downed pilot. These men were lions, and as soon as they hit the tarmac in the USA, they received the back of our hand.
pbird – thanks for seeing the truth in that. Interesting how time cures some things, making them perhaps better or mellower. Vietnam has the tragic bones of epic Greek histories. The white gorilla, the fragging, the atrocities, the lizard who says “F!U!”, the disaffection, the helicopter, the jungle, the calling in fire on yourself, the civilian combatant, the communist zeal, napalm, the grunt, the TV reporter…the whole story rises to a mythical level although each story is very much true.
From “Once a year at 11:11am”:
“The five pillars represent the unity of the five branches of the United States military serving steadfast together.” Those include the United States Marine Corps, the United States Navy, the United States Air Force and the United States Coast Guard.
That’s only 4, they forgot the army.
“The first to go in and the last to leave.”
Also, if you look at the Anthem Veterans Park in Google Earth Pro it appears the map picture was taken at 11:11am cause the shadow lines right up. scary
I spent a handful of days in Vietnam in 2003 while living in Asia. After receiving a colorful visa stamp through the US embassy in the PI, I flew into the old Tan Son Nhut airbase in Saigon. Yes, I refuse to use the commie relabeling. I enjoyed some of the local and French fare. Visited the Cu Chi tunnels and paid the guide a few extra dong to go into the real tunnels that were smaller than the enlarged ones used for tourists. Although I had already spent most of two years in the Philippines, I found Vietnam to be ghastly humid and hot, even in the shade.
I would never forget the Army and the Big Red One! Ft. Riley is home of the First Army Division about two hours drive from where I live. If there is a big fight, those guys are guaranteed to be in it, although you already know that. For 15 years, I used to hunt on a farm near there where I traded a few days of various work for hunting rights. Around the farm I learned to use a chain saw to clear pasture and also to kill, skin, gut and quarter a cow. The owners of the farm passed in 2010 as did the rights to my white tail hunting. I often would sit at a favorite high point in those rolling hills looking for a buck, whilst in the background I often heard artillery or the cadence of 50 cal.
“…whilst in the background I often heard artillery or the cadence of 50 cal.”
Nobody does RAW power like the army.
2 days ago 4 C130’s went overhead, 1 right after the other, at treetop level out of Camp Atterbury to the east. Heading over to fat daddys in Bloomington. I swear the trees were quaking in their roots.
I heard em coming and ran outside. I could count the rivets, and my wife was holding her ears.
jeezis…..I used to jump out of them things, now they are terrifying, but I couldn’t tear my eyes away.
Imagine spooky in a tight circle overhead at 500 ft reigning 6000 rds a minute from a minigun into 10 square yards of hell.
ghost: it’s the 105 rapid-fire at night, complete with flowered blooms of tracer shrapnel that impresses me. PTMD, in spades.
I’ve been hot before, Snake, but Vietnam sounds like that and then some for hot. The story goes that the heat would boil the blood in your brain. Myth?
I have a picture of myself after a leisurely tour of the Cu Chi tunnels. The canopy was thick and we were completely in the shade or under ground the entire time. At the end of the tour there was a small bar that served ice cold drinks. I was photographed holding a beer in front of a bunch of inert munitions from the war past. The front of my shirt is completely soaked in sweat. I only weighed about 135 at the time, so I wasn’t sweating because of being a fatty. I can only imagine humping around in that jungle with an M-16, bandoleers, and a ruck sack.
Before we left, we visited a small rifle range where an individual could try out an AK-47, M-60, AR-15, etc. There were a bunch of Euro-weenies on the tour and they all wanted to shoot since it was likely their first opportunity to shoot an actual gun. You could win prizes by hitting targets, but all the sights were off on the guns. Surprise. I shot the AR-15 (chambered in 7.62X39) and put a nice tight group just below and to the left of the bulls eye. The Euro-weenies were impressed and asked me if I was military. I just said “No. All Americans shoot like this.”