735 – The Crafty Vietnamese and Cam Ranh Bay

USS John S. McCain, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

The USS John S. McCain at Tien Sa Port in Da Nang, visiting as part of the seventh annual Naval Engagement Activity between the US Navy and the Vietnam People’s Navy. Photo by AFP/U.S. Embassy in Hanoi

As a Vietnam Veteran you will always have an interest in the country where your innocence of youth was taken away. We went there as the regular young person from down the street and encountered a world full of terror, adventure, sorrow and excitement. We came home and were called baby killers and for good measure pummeled with eggs and other egregious materials thrown at us by anti-war protestors.

Such a bizarre paradigm of eye opening experiences causes one to retain an interest in the place it happened. In this podcast episode we will take a look at current events in Vietnam specifically the potential war clouds forming on the horizon. A story from The Vietnam Express titled: Vietnam walks a thin line as American, Chinese warships make landmark port calls that was submitted by Dien Luong lays out the situation with how Vietnam is dealing with the situation where China is claiming strategically important islands in the South China Sea, namely the Spratley and Paracel Islands.

Several nations in the area are claiming title to the islands for several good reasons. Number one is that they sit right in the path most of the commercial shipping lanes to the Far East. Controlling those sea lanes would give the controlling authority many advantages over its competitors. Also it is reported the area contains large underwater petroleum reserves which belong to the owners of the islands. Another enticing factor is that the waters off those islands are loaded with seafood which is highly important to those nations in the area who have large population that must be fed.

Vietnam is right in the middle of all this international turbulence. Dien Luong points out that the Vietnamese have to be adept in its relations with other countries. This is one of the reasons they have opened up the big port of Cam Ranh Bay and declared it to be an international port, open to all on a commercial basis.

The Vietnamese are cagy enough in the opinion of this writer to hold their own against the big boys in their neighborhood.

734 – Vietnam Vets to be honored at Michigan City, IN event

National Wreaths Across America, vietnam veteran  news, mack payne

Wreaths are placed on veterans’ graves at Greenwood Cemetery on National Wreaths Across America day in 2015. The date this year will be Dec. 17 and both Greenwood and Swan Lake cemeteries will be included.

In this episode we will be looking at a wonderful event that will honor Vietnam Veterans in Michigan City, Indiana. It is being conducted by the Remembering Our Veterans Inc. organization that is headquartered in Michigan City. They will hold the third annual La Porte County Veterans Breakfast & Parade on Nov. 5 and later have a wreath presentation ceremony at veterans’ graves on Dec. 17, which is National Wreaths Across America Day. The event was described in a story from The Michigan City News-Dispatch titled: Honoring those who served that was submitted by RICHARD CHAMBERS – Staff Writer.

They chose a specific war or battle each year to be given special honors. Vietnam Veterans will be honored this year. On November 5, there will be a breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. at Veterans of Foreign Wars Dunes Relief Post 2536, 800 Earl Rd. A parade will follow at noon at Franklin and 10th streets. The parade will march north to Fourth Street. There will be a float in the parade for Vietnam veterans to ride upon.

Family members of the military members who were killed in action will be allowed to walk in the parade with the float for the memory of those who died. It was also decided to invite family members of those Vietnam Veterans who died from Agent Orange related illnesses to walk in the parade.

National Wreaths Across America, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

National Wreaths Across America wreath laying ceremony.

The Remembering Our Veterans Inc. event in Michigan City is being held in conjunction with the National Wreaths Across America Day wreath laying ceremonies on December 17th. The mission of the National Wreaths Across America Day is to Remember, Honor and Teach by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as over 1,100 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad.

Wreaths for the Michigan City event can be ordered until Nov. 20 and they will be laid on veterans’ graves at Greenwood Cemetery and Swan Lake Cemetery on Dec. 17. One wreath can be acquired for a $15 sponsorship. People can also sponsor two wreaths and receive a third one for free. All in the Michigan City area are encouraged to come out and support this event sponsoring Vietnam Veterans.

CLICK HERE for more information about the Michigan City event.

CLICK HERE for more information about Wreaths Across America

733 – Vietnam Vet John Blair Inducted Into Georgia Hall of Fame

John Blair, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

John Blair Inducted Into the Georgia Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame

One of the primary purposes of this podcast is to extol the virtues of the Vietnam Veteran Generation – a generation as great as any that ever heeded the call of duty from its country. A generation that gave much service to its country and received so little gratitude and recognition from the country served when the veterans came home. Coming home they expected a modicum of gratitude and recognition but instead were abused verbally and physically. The Vietnam Veteran Generation not only served its country during the war under very trying circumstances but by and large they continued to serve their country as civilians and in the process making it better.

In this podcast episode a member of that great generation will be featured. His story comes from a story in the rtohq.org website title: John Blair Inducted Into the Georgia Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame that was submitted by Valerie Villarreal. The story by Villarreal tells about John Blair being inducted into the Georgia Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame.

Blair served in the US Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. During the Tet Offensive he was serving as a squad leader in Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, India Co. During the war’s dramatic Tet Offensive, Blair’s platoon came under heavy fire from a large North Vietnamese force. Blair, serving as squad leader, and his men were pinned down, but he didn’t hesitate to maneuver his squad forward and launch an assault on the enemy. He was awarded the Silver Star for his leadership and for disregarding his own safety that day.

After his time in the Marine Corps, he put in a career in the rent-to-own industry. Currently hi is the vice president of sales for PTS Direct Benefits & Tax Service. He was one of only 17—out of 106 nominees—to be selected for the honor of being inducted into the Georgia Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame this year.

CLICK HERE to see Blair’s profile in the RTOHQ website.


732 – News About Vietnam Vet Rocky Bleier and Agent Orange Update

Rocky Bleier, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Rocky Bleier in Vietnam with the Americal Division.

It this episode two news items will be highlighted. One will be about an event where Vietnam Vet and NFL star, Rock Bleier will address an event in Wheeling, West Virginia. The event was described in a story in The Weirton Daily Times titled: Pro, veteran Rocky Bleier to address veterans and was submitted by Heather Ziegler. Ziegler told in her story about Bleier speaking to group of Vietnam combat veterans. He will be on hand when the Wheeling Vet Center honors 200 of its Vietnam veterans during a ceremony set for Oct. 27. The event is invitation only and all the available slots are filled. No other requests to attend this particular event will be accepted.

Bleier has the exceptional background of being a football player on both a national college championship team at the University of Notre Dame, the four time NFL champion Pittsburg Steelers and being a decorated Vietnam combat veteran. He is a member of the 50th Commemorative Advisory Committee and will speak during the event. Bleier, who was wounded in Vietnam, will be helping to present the veterans lapel pins commemorating their service during the war during .

For more information about the event contact Heather Ziegler at: hziegler@theintelligencer.net

Do not call (304) 232-0587 about this event.

Dioxin clean up in Vietnam, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Dioxin clean up in Vietnam

The other story featured in this episode is about the Agent Orange cleanup program being conducted in Vietnam. It comes from an article in the VN Express, the most read Vietnamese newspaper, titled: US, Vietnam start new phase of dioxin cleanup project that was submitted by Dam Tuan. Tuan tells about the US helping to finance the second phase of a dioxin cleanup project in the central city of Da Nang, aiming to treat 45,000 cubic yards of soil contaminated with the toxic chemical. The task is expected to complete by mid-2017, following the first phase which treated a similar amount of soil and was finished in May.

Speaking as a Vietnam Veteran, it is only right that this country assist in the dioxin clean up in Vietnam.

731 – Vietnam Vet Photo Search in Texas

The Wall of Faces, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Daily Sun photo/Jennifer Miller. Members of Army Pfc. Benjamin Davis Grant family, Vietnam War Veteran, pictured with Renee Brown and Dana Stubbs. Brown and Stubbs are working in the local area to help find photos of Vietnam Veterans for the Wall of Faces Memorial.

Frequently on this podcast the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Fund Wall of Faces project has been discussed. That organization has the ambitious goal of finding a photograph of every person whose name is on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial better known as simply “The Wall.” That is a formidable task. There are 58,286 names on the Wall. To date, according to Janna Hoehn, 47804 photos have been found. That means they only have 10,482 to go. There is still a lot of work to be done to locate all the photos.

The aforementioned Janna Hoehn has been a leader in collecting missing photos. She got started a few years ago after she visited the Wall recorded a name from it and later found a photo of the individual and she got hooked on the project. She found all the missing photos  of fallen Vietnam Vets from Hawaii and then moved on to the West Coast and moved east. Today she is working in Missouri searching for pictures.

Some of her enthusiasm and drive has rubbed off on others. In this episode the story of two ladies in Corsicana, Texas is featured. It comes from the Corsicana Daily Sun and is titled: Searching for faces, local effort to find photos of Vietnam Veterans. It was submitted by Jennifer Miller of the Corsicana Daily Sun.

Miller’s article tells about the work being done by Dana Stubbs, director of the Liz Gillispie Genealogy Department at the Corsicana Public Library, and Renee Brown to find photos of approximately 27 local Vietnam Veterans from the Corsicana area whose names are on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The names of the fallen Vietnam Veterans who do not have photos for the Wall of Faces is listed below. If you might by chance know any of these individuals or their family members or associates please contact either of these two wonderful ladies. They desperately need your help in this noble project of finding all the pictures for the Wall of Faces Project.

Dana Stubbs at 903-645-4808

Renee Brown at 903-467-7111

Email contacts at the Corsicana Daily Sun:



CLICK HERE for more information about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

CLICK HERE for more information about the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Fund Wall of Faces.

Please help find photos of these fallen Vietnam Veterans:

Navarro County, Samuel Waymon McDaniel II, Oct. 1 1951- July 8, 1971

Ellis County, Charles David Gabriel, Dec. 1 or Jan. 12, 1946- Jan. 6, 1967

Henderson County, William Johnson, Dec. 11, 1945- March 4, 1966

Freestone County, Charles Allen Price, Sept. 18, 1948- Jan. 19, 1969

Limestone County, William Steve Calhoun, May 21, 1944- Jan. 20, 1968

McLennan County, Thomas Cotton III, July 31, 1944- Nov. 10, 1966

Leroy Garrett, Jr., May 31, 1937- Oct. 14, 1965

Anthony Wayne Gilmore, Jan. 28, 1946- June 23, 1966

Harlon Joe Gilmore, Jan. 12, 1937- Jan. 23, 1969

Charles Wesley Gober Jr., June 22, 1944- June 4, 1966

Monroe Greer, May 4, 1948- Nov. 14, 1968

Nathaniel Haliburton, Jr., April 4, 1945- May 26, 1968

Antonio Jimenez, Jan. 9, 1938- March 5, 1966

Kenneth Ray Jones, June 9, 1950- Aug. 2, 1968

Leslie A. Lewis, Dec. 7, 1949- Nov. 23, 1968

Ray Eugen McCune, May 16, 1932- Nov. 23, 1968

Carl Louis Meier, Oct. 20, 1932- Sept. 8, 1969

Henry Charles Ramsey, March 9, 1949- May 5, 1969

Robert Lewis West, March 16, 1948- June 2, 1968

David Williams, Sept. 7, 1945- Feb. 8, 1966

Smith County, Albert Butler Jr., Jan. 26, 1943- June 22, 1967

Ronald Raymond Conn, Sept. 25, 1943- Dec. 27, 1966

FG Gipson, Jr., Aug. 27, 1945- Oct. 14, 1966

AD Mosley, Aug. 21, 1942- April 19, 1966

Ronald Wayne Sebring, March 13, 1932- July 2, 1968

Joseph Michael Turk, April 18, 1948- Sept. 5, 1968

James Earl Wallace, May 15, 1946- Sept. 8, 1966

730 The Moving Wall comes to Florence, SC

The Moving Wall, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

The Moving Wall

Recently the writer of this piece had the privilege of addressing the Vietnam Veteran Association, Chapter 1078 in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was an uplifting experience to be able to associate with so many outstanding representatives of the great Vietnam Veteran Generation. The chapter was celebrating the fact they had just signed up their 202nd member. They are providing a wonderful example for a members of the VVA.

The work they are doing in VVA Chapter 1078 is helping America come to the realization its owes the Vietnam Veterans a great deal of respect and gratitude. Upcoming events like the one in Florence, South Carolina typifies this changing attitude toward Vietnam Veterans.

On October 27 through the 29th, Francis Marion University will host the Moving Wall Memorial. The visit is described in an article found in The Patriot, Francis Marion University’s award-winning student newspaper titled: The Moving Wall memorial to visit FMU submitted by: Rachel Droze, Editor-in-Chief.

The university will host an opening ceremony for the wall at 5 p.m. on Oct. 27 outside the Rogers Library followed by a reception at Wallace House. Gen. James Livingston, a Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient, will give the address for the ceremony. The color guard from Mullins High School and a local brass quintet will also be a part of the ceremony. Dr. Jon Tuttle, who is currently teaching a course on Vietnam and American culture, led the efforts to bring the wall to FMU.

According to Tuttle, the proposal for the event was well received by university officials including the president Dr. Fred Carter.

It is highly recommended that all in the area visit the Moving Wall event to show respect for the 58,000 plus individuals whose names are on the wall. The Moving Wall is half the size of the actual Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. and has been on tour across the U.S. for more than 30 years.

CLICK HERE for more information about Francis Marion University.

CLICK HERE for more information about The Moving Wall.


729 – Don Harten – Vietnam B-52 pilot tells his incredible story

Don Harten, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

“Midair” by author Craig Collins, right, recounts a crash during the Vietnam War involving an aviator with Sacramento ties, his uncle Don Harten, left. Harten survived a horrific midair collision of two B-52 bombers. That amazing feat is just part of his war experience. He did five tours of duty and flew 319 combat missions. Lezlie Sterling lsterling@sacbee.com

Ron Kirby, president of Chapter #1078 of the Vietnam Veterans of America located in Knoxville, Tennessee invites all Vietnam Veterans and those who care about the veterans to attend their meeting next Tuesday, October 11 at 6:00 pm. The speaker will be Mack Payne, author of the book Conversations with Vietnam Heroes. He will be speaking about why he believes the Vietnam War should be called the “Upside Down” war. CLICK HERE for more information about Chapter #1078 of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Bill Lindelof, vietnam veteran news, Mack Payne

Bill Lindelof, writer for the Sacramento Bee

In this episode the story of an amazing Vietnam War US Air Force pilot, Don Harten, will be featured. The story about his exploits in Vietnam is described in a story found in The Sacramento Bee titled: Mather Vietnam-era pilot recounts survival of midair B-52 collision submitted by: By Bill Lindelof – blindelof@sacbee.com. In the story Lindel tells about a book titled “Midair” by author Craig Collins, the nephew of Harten wrote about his uncle’s experiences while flying in Vietnam. The book puts special emphasis on that fateful stormy night when the B-52 Harten was piloting had a midair head-on collision with another B-52.

Don Harten, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Don Harten in front of his bomb-laden F-105 in 1968. He flew 319 combat missions over five tours of duty, piloting the B-52, F-105 and F-111 aircraft. Courtesy of Don Harten

Harten was one of four who survived the crash. Eight did not make it. He was not out of the frying pan when he successfully ejected from the bomber just before it exploded. He jumped into a category 5 storm – Super Typhoon Dinah. After landing in the stormy South China Sea he waited what seemed like a lifetime in a small life raft. The aircraft that finally picked him up promptly crashed in the ocean. Eventually the downed pilot was rescued by a Norwegian freighter and taken to who knows where (you will have to read the book to find the answer to that question).

If you want a good and exciting read about another fabulous member of the Great Vietnam Veteran Generation get a copy of Craig Collins book “Midair.” You will not be able to put it down until you find out where the Norwegian freighter took Don Harten so he could return to his unit and continue the fight against the rise of Communism and it goal of a one world government.



728 – Vietnam POW/MIA activist Maureen Dunn honored in Randolph, Massachusetts

Maureen Dunn, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Maureen Dunn, well-known activist for POW/MIA.

One of the more unique features of the Vietnam War is how POWs and MIAs were treated and regarded by the country. Heretofore in wars this country has participated in POWs were tolerated as a necessary evil. When the wars were over the former POWs were thanked, checked out physically, given a pension, sent home and promptly forgotten about. The Vietnam War brought changes to that standard POW routine. Beginning with that war they were considered heroes.

There are several opinions as to how this situation developed. One popular idea is that because the Vietnam was so unpopular the POWs were more readily received as heroes. Another reason the attitudes toward POWs and MIAs is so different now is due to the efforts of people like Maureen Dunn. She helped spearhead the formation of the National League of Families of POWs/MIAs.

POW-MIA chair, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

This empty POW-MIA chair was dedicated in the memory of Maureen Dunn, who did so much for Vietnam War veterans after her husband, Joe, was shot down and never recovered during the war in 1968. The chair will remain at Randolph Town Hall. Wicked Local photo/Kari Strouth

A story in the Randolph Wicked Local titled: Randolph chair remains empty in memory of Dunn’s efforts for Vietnam POWs submitted by Kari Strouth tells about a ceremony in her home town of Randolph, Massachusetts where the memory of Maureen Dunn, who died May 10, 2013, will be honored by the placement of a single back chair with the POW/MIA Logo flanked by the American Flag and the POW Flag. It will remain in the vestibule of Randolph Town Hall as a tribute to Dunn’s work and symbolically held empty, holding the seat open for those who have not returned.

Maureen Dunn had been married to Lt. Joseph P. Dunn less than three years when his plane was shot down over the South China Sea Feb. 14, 1968 during the Vietnam War. Alone and with their young son Joe II she began a relentless campaign that forever changed how the United States viewed its POWs and Soldiers Missing in Action. That campaign was a grassroots committee, begun in Randolph, called the Where is Lt. Joe Dunn Committee. Dunn was the co-founder of the National League of Families of POWs/MIAs and travelled across the country to raise awareness on behalf of American military personnel missing in action and their families.


727 – Are The Philippines drifting away?

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte , vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte poses with a fist bump during the anniversary of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing at the Philippine Air Force headquarters in Pasay city, southeast of Manila, Philippines. Impassioned speeches by Duterte about the United States, the European Union and the United Nations have repeatedly led his government to issue clarifications, though he has been on the job less than three months. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)

The Philippines have been a friend and ally of the United States for many years. It all began when the US was instrumental the liberation of the Philippines from the Spanish Empire and the friendly relations between the two countries has continued to the present. During the Vietnam War The Philippines were a loyal ally and served as a valuable staging area for the Vietnam War. A current turn of events could change the friendly relationship enjoyed by the two.

The situation is revealed in a Washington Post editorial reprinted in The Salt Lake Tribune titled: Washington Post Editorial: Danger in Manila. It seems the new president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has some different ideas and a big mouth. Among other things he has compared himself to Hitler in describing his desire to exterminate dealers and addicts. He also called President Obama a “son of a bitch” because he differed with Obama’s criticism of his brutal extrajudicial campaign against supposed drug dealers and users where thousands have been killed without due process.

During a recent summit of East Asian Leaders in Laos on September 26 President Duterte told Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev that he was “about to cross the Rubicon” with the United States. “I would need your help in everything — trade, commerce — and I will open up,” he said he told Medvedev. Asked by a reporter what he meant by “cross the Rubicon,” he said it was “a point of no return.”

Duterte may be a crude big mouth with no substance behind his talk, but it must be remembered The Philippines are a key to the success of a U.S. hegemony in Southeast Asia. The Chinese are throwing their considerable weight around the region. The Chinese behemoth has moved in and occupied islands in the South China Sea claimed by The Philippines and others. Maybe Duterte has observed US weakness and indecision the Middle East and concluded he is better off throwing in with the new bully on the Southeast Asian street.

726 – Massachusetts Lad honors Vietnam Vets

Richard Connor and Jeffery, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Jeffrey, a ten-year-old boy from Agawam, has thanked and shaken hands with hundreds of veterans, with Vietnam War veteran Richard Connor.

When most Vietnam Veterans arrived home from that contentious war in a far away land they were surprised to discover they were drastically short changed on the appreciation, recognition and gratitude they deserved for serving their country in that challenging conflict. Thank the good Lord above that attitude toward Vietnam Veterans is slowly changing. The country is finally beginning to appreciate those veterans as the heroes they truly are. Across the nation events are taking place where the veterans are being given the appreciation and recognition they deserve.

A wonderful example of that changing attitude is taking place in western Massachusetts. It is described in a story found in masslive.com titled: Agawam boy thanks hundreds of veterans in handshake campaign submitted by Dan Glaun | dglaun@masslive.com. Glaun tells the story of a young ten year old lad named Jeffery in Agawam, Massachusetts who is on a mission to thank veterans in his area and to collect their autograph.

Young Jeffery has a collection of 350 veteran autographs. They are the physical mementos of his months-long campaign to thank service members for their work, which has taken him to military bases, memorials and the Big E’s veterans’ day. Jeffrey’s grandfather was a veteran, though Jeffrey was too young to understand what that meant before his grandfather’s death several years ago. Jeffrey said. “I was younger and I didn’t really even know what a veteran was then, I didn’t know how much they are helping us right now every day, so I didn’t really recognize them quite yet.”

Jeffery’s mother Genevieve said: “several months ago, Jeffrey began going up to veterans in stores and asking to shake their hands. The first time he did it left an impression on the man he approached. I just watched that exchange, and was like holy mackerel,”. “It was so cool for Jeff, and this gentleman had tears in his eyes.”

With the help of Richard Connor, a Vietnam Veteran, Jeffery is on a mission to shake the hand and thank every veteran in western Massachusetts. He is doing a wonderful thing in helping to show gratitude to Vietnam Veterans.