It's an odd thing, maybe a difference in military services, but
throughout Parris Island and ITR at LeJeune, the emphasis was on us
doing the killing and the enemy doing the dying. You went in expecting
to die and didn't. You wsere lucky. You're lucky you're able to believe
that what was done there changed the world for the better.
It didn't, any more than Bush's contretemps, costing lives and money at
a nasty rate, will change the Middle East for the better. In fact, it
has destablized a already notoriously unstable area and will continue
to make things worse, which is the reason a great many of us feel that
the American presence there should be withdrawn as soon as feasible.
But if all you're worried about is the size of my penis...you DO have a
Last response to Schuster: yes, they voted in Iraq last week, and nolw
they're investigating the results in some areas. My belief, though, is
that the voting means nothing, that the country will break into three
pieces within six months after our troops leaves, ethnic Kurds and two
Islamic sects each forming a piece, and that battles will continue
between them, and between others. The eventual result may well be
another Saddass Insane, only worse.
I've known a few Rangers here and there, and none of them sounded like
you. Maybe I was just fortunate in my earlier experiences, eh?
My experience over the years since being in Viet Nam has been that the
people that were in the field under combat conditions
do not rattle on about their experiences. Matter of fact, they do not say
much about it at all. They generally keep it to themselves or if they say
much about it, usually in private with others that also experienced similar
After returning home, the ones I ran into that rattled on about their "tour
of duty" and "how much of a bad ass they were"
the wanta' be's or the ones that spent their time in the "rear with the
Many who want to talk trash about how great they were, how many KIA's they
had to their credit, and what ever else they claim they
did, are pretty transparent to those who actually fought there. As if they
felt they had to impress others around them.
Personally, I wanted to get on with my life and was thankful that I had
Politically, I finally learned the real reasons we were there. And it wasn't
to save the poor peasants from their northern brothers
or to keep the Viet-Cong from coming over here and fighting in the streets
of the USA
Do you notice how many times the US has gotten in the middle of civil wars
in other countries? It's all about the money
'66-68 Forward Observer team
5th. MAR DIV
3rd. MAR DIV
Yes. I was fortunate enough to reach the exalted rank of Corporal,
USMC, in 1961, and get the hell back into civilian life in '62. I
almost went back into the reserves in '66 when I ran out of money for
college, but...on my way to the armory to get sworn back in, I picked
up a newspaper and found out they had called you guys up. I found a
night job guarding a felt factory instead.
I have several buddies who did the 'Nam tour around the time you were
there, most of them USMC, but several Army as well. None sound like
Schuster, if that's his real name (he's using a hotmail address, so
probably not). Most are grateful to be alive and in one piece,
physically if not always emotionally, but, as another USMC Corporal
said, sometimes he misses the feeling of total awareness, of being
completely alive. He doesn't miss it enough to want to do the same
things over again (especially as he approaches his 59th birthday), but
it makes a formidable nostalgic feeling. We are good enough friends
that I could pry his stories out of him, but he's never really
volunteered a whole lot, so I just let it be. My first wife was one who
liked to pick at scabs. I prefer to leave them be, let them heal as
much as possible.
WWII vets and Korean War combat vets are the same way, IME. I've got
one uncle, who was with an Army construction battalion throughout much
of the South Pacific campaigning who at 84 is now fighting the Japs all
Even after 60+ years, it can chew on participants.
Wars must be selected with somewhat more appreciation for the waste of
lives, including the maimed and psychologically wounded, that results.
They aren't, of course. Bush and Cheney are a pair, both aimed at the
big bucks, and only one of them mentally competent--and it ain't Bush.
Someone in government--Senate?--recently called him our Manchurian
Candidate, and I believe they're very close to correct. Someone is
pulling his strings, as he's not bright enough to walk and chew gum at
the same time...especially in his high heeled boots.
HMR (L) 161
(I'm told my old outfit got chewed up pretty good in 'Nam--I know it no
I'm with Charlie. I'm forever grateful to the US (and allies') military,
as I was born in the fall of 1944 in Nazi-ocupied Holland, and grew up just
north and west of the area where the battle for the Rhine bridges was
fought just prior to my birth. I walked many times in the Airborne hikes
performed yearly in and around Oosterbeek
I now work in a research lab in the VA system. I'm not involved with
direct care for veterans, but my boss was at a "study section" type meeting
where the VA Research administrators were deciding on research proposals to
study "gulf war syndrome". See <http://www.va.gov/pressrel/gwfs.htm .
Apparently one of 6 soldiers is suffering from this, and it is being taken
very seriously. That plus the psychological effects of being there, which
I can't really fathom, is enough for me to say let's get out of Iraq ASAP,
if possible, honorably, preferably before the end of 2006.
I do recognize the rights of others to differ in opinion.
Did I mix attributions up? Sorry 'bout that. Schuster was the culprit,
worrying more about the little things than most people do about the big
things. It's a good thing we haven't got horses and mules in the mix
yet, or this big ol' Brahma a cowboy up the road has.
Bleeding hearts don't understand much of anything from a purely
practical point of view. they are too busy with their feelings to think
logically. What burns my butt is that the pacifists and their families
are protected by the soldiers who's service protects all of their
countrymen; not just those who agree with the mission. Pacifists should
be made to stand in harm's way when the terrorists come back to the USA
for more bloodshed. Or let them try to talk some sense into those blood
thirsty bastards. Let's see how far they get by discussing their
As always, patriotic young men (and women) will continue to serve our
common good, even in the face of ridicule by the vocal whiners. My
respect remains focused on those who serve, rather than those that bitch.
God bless you and your loved ones.
It sucks to watch those who give the last breath.
It's satisfying to see a government change.
I've been with both.
God Bless America.
C Co, 2d Bn, 75th Inf.
The Best There Is
You are correct.
Feelings get you killed in a conflict. I've been in a few firefights.
"lil Tommy ain't."
We protect pacifists...It's what we do.
Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my
chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor and
high esprit de corps of my Ranger Regiment.
Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at
the cutting edge of battle by land, sea or air, I accept the fact that as a
Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than
any other soldier.
Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert,
physically strong and morally straight; I will shoulder more than my share
of the task whatever it may be, one hundred percent and then some.
Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and
well-trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress
and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.
Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on
the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my
might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade
to fall into the hands of the enemy, and under no circumstances will I ever
embarrass my country.
Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the
Ranger objective and complete the mission, though I be the lone survivor.
Rangers Lead The Way.
C Co, 2d Bn, 75th Inf.
The Best There Is
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