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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Big_Al

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  1. Big_Al

    Vets & PTSD

    i received my help in the 1980's from a then-new program of the VA called the Vet Center. Realizing that most Vietnam vets wanted nothing to do with the VA, Vietnam Veterans of America established in their Chapters what they called "rap groups" (remember way back now, "rapping" was the term for talking). Guys would get together and discuss their post combat problems. These were successful enough that VVA leadership began lobbying Congress to have the VA establish something like this nationwide. Thus, the Vet Centers were born. They are under the umbrella of the VA, but are stand alone offices, usually in a store front. In my time, ALL the employees from the front desk to the counselors were veterans, and many were combat vets. The Vet Center saved my life. I underwent individual counselling and group therapy from 1985 to 1994. That experience, plus association with veterans groups, plus abstaining from any mind altering substances has led me to where I am now. And that's a very good place for me to be. The program was such a success that eligibility was expanded from just Vietnam veterans, to veterans of all wars, from WWII onward. https://www.vetcenter.va.gov
  2. Big_Al

    Vets & PTSD

    What we now call PTSD has probably been around since the beginning of organized warfare. In American terms, during the Civil War it was called Soldier's Heart or Nostalgia. World War one it became Shell Shock, World War Two called it Combat Fatigue. For my generation at first it was called Post Vietnam Syndrome and then PTSD. As it was explained to me during my treatment, PTSD is a normal reaction to abnormal circumstances. Once I quit drinking, and I never took the drugs the VA offered, my head gradually cleared with the passage of time. Today I prefer to only associate with fellow veterans, as a member of AmVets, VFW, American Legion, and Vietnam Veterans of America. I do not have any "civilian" friends. By the way, the new "politically correct" designation is PTS. They no longer want to say we are disordered. As if we are flippin' snowflakes that might suffer damage at a word.
  3. My M16A1 was made by Colt, issued to me in September 1969. Prior to this my issue rifle in both training and in a stateside artillery unit was the M14. Today, I own a 20 year old Springfield M1A, and have absolutely no desire to own an AR from any maker. My sweetheart is a 1945 M1 Garand. I bought a Romanian AK in 2008 simply because Obama didn't want me to have one.
  4. Big_Al

    Battle of Horseshoe Wood, France

    The Battle of Horseshoe Woods is prominent in 5th Infantry Division lore. Our shoulder insignia is the Red Diamond on the sign behind you in the first picture. It occurred near the villages of Dornot and Corny, and was known at the time as the "60 Hours Of Hell." It began on the morning of September 8, with an assault crossing by the 11th Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division. By late that day 4 companies had made it across with heavy casualties. They took up positions in the woods where they were subjected to heavy counter attacks by the Germans. By now, no reinforcements or supplies could get across the river, as they were diverted to a second attempted crossing by other units of the 5th at Arnaville. The surrounded troops were ordered to hold fast and fight on to keep the Germans occupied. After the other crossing gained a bridgehead, the survivors were withdrawn. Casualties were 945 KIA, WIA, and MIA. Col Kelly B. Lemmon, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 11th Regiment, said later: "At Dornot we were like birds in a cage. Headquarters forbade the withdrawal and ordered the bridgehead to be held at all costs. My men would be sacrificed in a diversionary attack while the 10th Infantry Regiment was crossing the river at Arnaville. My men had total confidence in me and telling them they were 'expendable' was the most difficult thing I had to do during the entire war." There is an organization in Corney that formed to keep alive the deeds of the 5th Infantry Div in liberating their town, Thanks GI's, and their founder is an Honorary Life Member of the Society of the Fifth Division. A number of years ago, members of this organization found the remains of one soldier, which they properly turned over to authorities. At our annual reunion in 2009, we held a formal ceremony to memorialize this MIA, Pvt Ralph Deneen. Attending were members of his family and members of Thanks GI's from France. I served with the 5th Division in Vietnam, am a member of the Society, and look forward to our annual reunions. When I first started going the World War Two guys out numbered the rest, and as a WWII buff I enjoyed talking with them. Alas, their ranks are thin, at the 2017 reunion there were only two present. http://www.societyofthefifthdivision.com
  5. No one mentioned The Pig? Carried by grunts, mounted on Hueys, mounted on M113's, mounted on jeeps, it was everywhere. The M60 machine gun. Vietnam, Northern I Corps, 1969-1970
  6. Big_Al

    Hanoi Jane

    Treason is the only crime specifically mentioned in the US Constitution. Article III, Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only of levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. On her "tour" of North Vietnam, she obviously was adhering to our enemies, giving them aid and comfort. As for the testimony of witnesses, we have photographic proof of her sitting on an active anti aircraft weapon that was used to shoot at our pilots. She is guilty of treason, as defined by the Constitution.
  7. Big_Al

    Hanoi Jane

    I got over her years ago. I gave up living in hate over things I can't control. Life is much more pleasant that way. (Vietnam, 1969-1970)
  8. Big_Al

    A Famous Recipe of the US Army

    By the 1960's the US Army recipe used ground beef instead of chipped beef. I was a 94B, cook, and made many gallons of that in my 3 years of service. I still love it today.
  9. Big_Al

    Vietnam Battle Tours

    My old base camp is now a Chevy dealership.
  10. Big_Al

    Guntrucks

    I was in Northern I Corps, Quang Tri Province (the northernmost). There was a unit that operated up there that had both gun trucks and Dusters. The Dusters were used mainly as mobile base camp defense, the gun trucks were used for convoy security. Dusters were twin 40MM anti-aircraft Bofers guns on a tracked chassis, the gun trucks were 5 ton 6X6 trucks with a quad 50 Browning machine gun turret mount. I believe they were an ADA (air defense artillery) unit, and they were not part of my unit - the 1st Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized). I'll check around some of my favorite Vietnam sites and see what info I can find for you.
  11. Big_Al

    Introductions

    Greetings. I've been a military history enthusiast since junior high school, and that was over 50 years ago. I am on several other forums like this, and am glad this one was pointed out to me. I did one enlistment in the US Army (1967-1970), with one year in Vietnam. My special area of interest is World War Two, especially infantry related. I'm now retired, and my wife and I have a small farm in rural North Florida,
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