Episode 976 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will delve into a dark story about a brave Vietnam Veteran who in subsequent years succumbed to temptation and violated the trust instilled upon him by stealing money from a veterans organization. This instance of dishonor was covered in a story coming from KSWB Fox5 TV in San Diego, California titled: Decorated combat pilot accused of stealing $124K from veterans group. It came from the City News Service.
Anthony Ventura, 71, of Lincoln in Northern California pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in San Diego, where he admitted that he stole $124,000 from the Distinguished Flying Cross Society. Ventura is a decorated Navy pilot who flew combat missions in Vietnam, earning numerous awards including a Bronze Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He served as treasurer for the Distinguished Flying Cross Society from July 2012 thru January 2016. He apparently did the dastardly deed in 2014 to cover his lavish life style including the maintenance of his personal horse stable, Sovran Star Stables.
This disgraceful act strikes at the heart of all military aviators. The Distinguished Flying Cross medal is awarded to aviators and aircrew for heroism or extraordinary achievement during aerial flight, the Distinguished Flying Cross is the only medal conferred by all five military services, in all wars and campaigns from World War I to the present.
The first Distinguished Flying Cross award citations were presented to the Army Air Corps crews of the 1926-27 Pan American Goodwill Flight on 2 May, 1927 by President Coolidge, for their five ship, 22,000 mile flight.
The Distinguished Flying Cross Society was founded in 1994 and is composed of DFC recipients who either joined the Society or whose loved ones made them members posthumously and their names are listed on our Honor Roll in perpetuity. The Distinguished Flying Cross Society (DFCS) exists to honor those men and women who have demonstrated their heroism or extraordinary achievements in difficult situations in aerial flight that resulted in the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Get the full story of how one Naval Aviator had lapse of good judgment that put a stain on a highly respected organization.
Go to episode 976 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast
Episode 975 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast is a continuation of the conversation with Bill Reynolds, the director of Veterans Affairs for The Signal in Santa Clarita Valley, California. In Part 1 of his interview he described how he got to his position as an advocate primarily for the Vietnam Veteran Generation. He was featured in the book “Boys of ’67,” Charlie Company, 4th/47th Inf, 9th Infantry Division.
Because of his work with veterans he was asked by the chairman of the Greatest Generations Foundation, Timothy Smith to head up Vietnam Veteran tours back to Vietnam. Bill gladly accepted the invitation and to date has led three veteran tours back to the scene of the battles.
In Part 2 of his conversation he related his experiences when he interacted with the Vietnamese people. He interacted with many Vietnam Veterans who served on the other side. You may be surprised at what he discovered. He also talked about what is going on in modern Vietnam. The stories he tells are eye opening.
Possibly the most exciting thing Bill talked about is the amazing things the Greatest Generations Foundation is doing for all veterans including Vietnam Veterans. Since he has led three Foundation tours to Vietnam, he has become the “go to” person for anyone desiring to inquire about the possibility of being able to go on one of the Foundation tours.
Many Vietnam Veterans who have returned to the place where they had picked up so many vividly intense memories say it is highly psychologically therapeutic to return to the scene of the creation of those memories.
If you are interested in seeing if you qualify you can CLICK HERE for more information about the Foundation but it is recommended that you contact Bill first. He can tell you all about the program and how you could be on the next flight to Vietnam.
Episode 974 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature part 1 of an interview with a very special Vietnam Veteran. Bill Reynolds is one of the “Boys of ’67,” Charlie Company, 4th/47th Inf, 9th Infantry Division and is the director of Veterans Affairs for The Signal in Santa Clarita Valley, California.
A while back he was tapped by Chuck Champion, the principle owner of the Signal, to interrupt his comfortable retirement and become the director of Veterans Affairs for The Signal. His primary duty in that position is to interview local veterans for the paper, most of which are conducted in his favorite destination, Valencia’s Corner Bakery. In addition to that he is heading up a drive to create a war memorial at Veterans Historical Plaza in Newhall.
The members of his unit in the Vietnam War were and still are a close knit bunch because they remained together as a group through their training and service in country. Experiences like that have a tendency to create life long bonds. In 2007 Bill led a group of his fellow warriors on a pilgrimage back to the scene of so many vivid memories in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.
That trip and his high profile in the veterans affairs scene of Southern California caught the attention of Timothy Davis who runs the Greatest Generations Foundation out of Denver, Colorado. The Foundation’s purpose to make it possible for America’s combat veterans to visit memorials and former battle fields.
They started out with World War II veterans then moved on to Korean War vets and now are concentrating on Vietnam Veterans. Bill has been privileged to lead three veterans tours back to Vietnam under the auspices of the Foundation.
It is an incredible opportunity for combat Vietnam Veterans to return to the battle sites with all expenses covered by the Foundation.
CLICK HERE to discover more about the Greatest Generations Foundation.
If you qualify and are interested in being included in one to the Foundation’s tours to Vietnam contact Bill Reynolds at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Episode 973 the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will move into the geopolitical arena with a look at why those in foreign environs tend to hate America and its people despite the $42.3 we hand out around the world in foreign aid. An opinion piece by columnist Heather Mallick in The Star website titled: How Omar Khadr was caught in the American fog of war: Mallick offers a little Canadian insight into the issue.
Back in episode 904 of this podcast the question of why does the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, indicate he wants to destroy America with nuclear tipped missiles? was highlighted. The writer Mehdi Hasan pointed out that during the entire Korean War which lasted three years we carpet bombed North Korea continuously leaving no two building blocks connected and killing thousands of civilians in the process. The dynastic Kim leadership has built and maintained a natural hatred of the US that has resulted in the current situation.
Columnist Mallick has picked up on this development to build a case for her conclusion the United States has no idea what it is doing when it comes to waging war. She brings her argument to the present time by citing the case of Omar Khadr.
He is the Canadian citizen who had the audacity to join up with the Islamic combatants in Afghanistan. His actions there resulted in the death of America soldiers. That led to his capture and incarceration in the “Club Gitmo” at the American base on Guantanamo where he was held and released back to his home country. He filed suit and the Supreme Court of Canada ruled he should be granted millions of dollars to help compensate him for the torture he received at the hands of the evil Americans.
A radical new treatment will be the featured topic of episode 972 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast. It was covered in a story found in The Herald-Tribune of Sarasota, Florida titled: Treating PTSD with headphones and sound waves gains supporters that was submitted by Billy Cox – Staff Writer. Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is one of the darker legacies of the Vietnam War. It is reported by the VA that everyday 20 veterans commit suicide, many of which are Vietnam Veterans.
There are many PTSD treatment methods being used today. Several have been mentioned on this podcast and include Dave Dunklee’s “Magic Box Project” using guitars and another program using arts and crafts. Apparently the methods currently being used to treat PTSD sufferers are not working well enough to cut down on the number of suicides veterans are committing.
There appears to be hope for successfully treating the pestiferous scourge of PTSD coming out of Sarasota, Florida. George Lindenfeld, a Navy Veteran and practitioner of a process known as Reconsolidation Enhancement by Stimulation of Emotional Triggers therapy, or RESET teamed up with psychotherapist George Rozelle, executive director of MindSpa Integrated Wellness Center In 2015. They believe PTSD not only affects the individual emotionally. They think it impacts cognitive thinking abilities as well.
They decided to see if RESET therapy could help PTSD sufferers. Lindenfeld applied the process to six volunteers seeking relief. Rozelle, a licensed technologist in QEEG brain-mapping, which graphically illustrates the effects of RESET therapy monitored the process.
The results have been phenomenally successful. One of the patients was Dan Cerone, a retired Army colonel who reported a 95% improvement in his PTSD symptoms.
This could be a viable solution for PTSD sufferers. It is recommended that anyone seeking help with this condition should contact George Lindenfeld through the Mindspa Wellness Center.
CLICK HERE for the MindSpa Integrative Wellness Center contact info.
Episode 971 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature late breaking news about the National Vietnam War Museum. It has received four navy vessels from an South Carolina donor and its highly recognizable UH-1 “Huey” helicopter has been returned to its display platform fronting US Highway 180 about one mile east of Mineral Wells, Texas. There was a story about the museum happenings in The Weatherford Democrat website titled: National Vietnam War Museum accepts barge, remounts iconic ‘Huey’. The story was covered by David May of the Lone Star News Group.
Jim Messinger serves as treasurer of the Friends of the Museum, the organization that created and maintains the museum. He was the information source for May’s story. Even though he stays busy as a professor at Weatherford College Messinger is one of the primary movers and shakers at the Museum. He is always on the alert for new relevant items for the museum.
Recently they benefited from the generosity of someone in South Carolina who gave them a four vessel package of Vietnam Era navy vessels that included two mine sweepers, a captain’s launch and an admirals barge. Additions like this make the museum a truly Vietnam War museum not just concentrating on Army aviation exhibits,
Another item of interest in May’s story was the remounting of the iconic UH-1 “Huey” helicopter on its perch near the museum entrance. It had been taken down for periodic maintenance including a good cleaning, a paint job and installation of wire keep birds off the craft.
It cost the museum $30,000 to ship the four Navy crafts from South Carolina to Central Texas. They need some help to defray the expense of the move so donations are requested.
CLICK HERE to make a donation to the museum.
You can mail a donation to museum at P.O. Box 1779, Weatherford, TX 76086.
CLICK HERE for more information about museum.
Episode 970 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a USMC Vietnam Veteran who is doing something very special. Bob Fritzler, 82, lives in Keenesburg, Colorado which is about 30 miles northeast of Denver. There was a story about him and his project on WUSA Channel 9 NBC News titled: Veteran restoring Vietnam-era helicopter to hopefully donate to the Smithsonian. The story was submitted by Dan Grossman of WUSA.
According to Grossman’s story, Bob Fritzler has done the impossible. He has acquired the same helicopter he flew in Vietnam and secured it on his farm at Keenesburg. In 1962 He was a Marine aviator flying a H-34 Choctaw helicopter in Vietnam to support the South Vietnamese military as they battled the Viet Cong forces. At first he operated down south below Saigon then his unit relocated up to the DaNang area.
After his retirement from the airlines he took up the avocation of restoring helicopters. Fritzler came across an H-34 he had flown in Vietnam while attending a convention in Fort Worth, Texas. His records indicated he had flown eight combat missions in the H-34 he discovered at the convention. Four years and $64,000 later he is still putting in five hours a day restoring the helicopter that has a special connection to his memories of his timed in Vietnam.
Fritzler set up USMC Shufly Helicopter Flight Association, Inc. to manage the restoration of his U.S. Marine Corps Sikorsky H-34 Helicopter, flown in Operation SHUFLY. He launched this endeavor in 2012 in honor of the 50th anniversary of Operation SHUFLY, the first U.S. Marine Corps engagement in combat operations leading to the Vietnam War.
CLICK HERE for more information about Bob’s project.
CLICK HERE to make donation and help Bob realize his dream of restoring the H-34 Choctaw Helicopter he flew in Vietnam back in 1962.
Episode 969 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature big news for Vietnam Veterans in the Fort Hood, Texas vicinity. It seems Chapter 1000 of the Vietnam Veterans of America has spearheaded a fundraising drive that has led to the creation of a highly impressive black granite Vietnam War Memorial. A story in The Temple Daily Telegram website titled: Vietnam War Memorial set to arrive Friday in Killeen that was provided by Artie Phillips of the FME News Service provides details about the monument and its placement at Killeen, Texas.
The entire project of creating the memorial is a testament to the patriotism of the citizens of Central Texas. They are prime representatives of those throughout the nation who are willing to show their love of country.
Harold Moore and Joe Galloway collaborated to write the book We Were Soldiers Once … and Young. It contained the line “The country that sent us off to war was not there to welcome us home” which accurately described the experience of many Vietnam Veterans. The Vietnam War Memorial which is planned to be placed at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery should help right some of the hard feelings carried by Vietnam Veterans.
It is appropriated that a Vietnam Veteran was instrumental in the creation of the memorial. He is Troy Kelley of Salado, a renowned sculptor who donated his time and talent to design and coordinate the construction of the memorial. He made sure Harold Moore’s quote was inscribed on the monument along with other quotes made by veterans about the Vietnam War.
The memorial was engraved at the Riley-Gardner Memorial Services Company in Hamilton. It is scheduled to be transported to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery on Friday morning, July 21, 2017.
Get further details at episode 969. All in the Central Texas area are encouraged to come to the route of the memorial and show their respects.
Every once in a while a true “no hype” excellent book about the Vietnam War comes along. In episode 968 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast one of those books and its message will be highlighted. The book is Hue 1968 by Mark Bowden. The book and subject The Tet Offensive has been featured before on this podcast. Notwithstanding this it is going to be spotlighted again through an article about the book and battle found on The Daily Beast Website titled: Hue: One Battle Really Did Turn the Vietnam War that was submitted by James A. Warren.
Warren’s account of the book and its message was quite good. He opened up with an introduction of the book’s author and his previous writings that included the much-acclaimed Black Hawk Down. He puts forward the point that the Battle of Hue during the Tet Offensive of 1968 was a of microcosm of the Vietnam War.
Warren maintains “the story of Hue, like the story of Vietnam, is awash in paradox, irony, and senseless destruction. The Communists took the city knowing they could not hold it, and the Americans virtually destroyed the place wresting it back.”
He also put forth a succinct description of just what was the Tet Offensive?: “Early on the morning of Jan. 31, 1968, 84,000 Communist troops launched simultaneous attacks on more than a hundred South Vietnamese cities, towns and South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) installations. The attacks coincided with the beginning of Tet, the Vietnamese holiday that is like Christmas, New Year, and Easter all rolled into one. A truce had been arranged, and well over half of South Vietnam’s troops were on leave at the time Hanoi sprung the attacks; so were a great many Americans.”
Discover more about this seminal event in the history of the Vietnam War in episode 968 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast.
In episode 967 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast you will hear about another missing brave US Air Force pilot from the Vietnam War whose remains have been located, identified and are being returned to his home in America. His name is Robert Edwin Holton. His F-4 Phantom jet was shot down over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos on January 29, 1969, one of 761 F-4s lost in that War. Due to the circumstances surrounding his disappearance he was declared an MIA until January 9, 1974. On that date the Secretary of the Air Force approved a presumptive finding of death and changed Holton’s status to “Died while Missing/Body not Recovered.”
Fast forward to June of 2017 when the Air Force announced the remains of Holton had been secured and they were coming home. That was wonderful news to Holton’s brother Bill who had been looking for conclusive news about his brother for 48 years. There were two stories about this development in the local media. One was from KTVM NBC TV in Butte titled: Vietnam pilot’s remains returning to Butte after more than 48 years and was submitted by Justin Ayer(email@example.com), The other story about the homecoming was from The Montana Standard also of Butte titled: Finally: Remains of Vietnam MIA Capt. Robert Holton coming home to Butte and was submitted by Mike Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The stories tell about a fine young man who graduated from Butte High School and the University of Montana, joined the Air Force, went off to war in Vietnam where he made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Go to episode 967 of the podcast to learn more about Robert Holton and how his family suffered over his loss. Also discover what is being planned to celebrate his return and how you can do your part to honor the memory of Robert Edwin Holton.