In this episode number 1066 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast another story about the Hmong People will be featured. They have been highlighted on this podcast before. They first appeared in episode 111 when the plight of the Hmong People was discussed. They were recently mentioned in an article found in The Waupaca County News titled: Hmong in Wisconsin.
The Hmong People of Laos were similar to the Montagnard Tribesmen of Vietnam in that they were a group of aboriginal inhabitants of the mountainous regions of Indo-China who were satisfied to live out their simple lives in the peaceful isolation in the mountains. Unfortunately both groups were discriminated by the later arriving Sinicized Vietnamese who did not treat them with equity.
Another similarity between the two aboriginal groups is that they both threw in their lots with the newly arrived Americans. They were hoping for a little assistance it their own fight with the communists. The Montagnards partnered up with the US Special Forces in South Vietnam to battle the NVA and Viet Cong. The Hmong fighters were recruited by the CIA during the Vietnam War to help the “secret army” in Laos challenge the North Vietnamese Army and disrupt the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
General Van Pao, the leader of the Hmong People met with the CIA “spooks” and agreed to help the Americans in Laos battle the NVA and assist in the recovery of downed US airmen. The commitment of the Hmong fighters was concluded with a handshake by the General. Sadly, one part of the deal was that the Americans would stand by the Hmong and take care of them regardless of how the war turned out. Much to the dismay of the Hmong and Montagnard peoples the Americans did not follow through on that promise.
Listen to episode 1066 and discover what happened to the Hmong People after Vietnam.
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Episode 1065 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature an MIA family who has finally after 50 years received a small degree of closure for their missing loved on. A story about this event appeared in Brevard County’s Florida Today and was titled: Space Coast family gets missing dad’s Vietnam War dog tags — 50 years after copter crash. The story was submitted by Rick Neale, Florida Today.
Losing a loved one in Vietnam was a terrible burden to bear and over 58,000 families went through that harrowing experience. If anything could have been worse than having a loved one make the ultimate sacrifice in the War was that of becoming a family member of an MIA. Those families are held in a suspended state of wonder, doubt and hope. Not knowing the fate of a service member can rip apart the family’s psyche.
As described in Neale’s story, The family of US Air Force Capt. Richard “Dick” Kibbey has been in that suspended state of heart wrenching sadness and doubt for 50 years. On February 6, 2017 Kibbey was flying his first rescue mission over the Kingdom of Laos near the Mu Ghia Pass. He was flying an HH-3E “Jolly Green Giant” helicopter trying to rescue a downed US airman when his aircraft was stitched with North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire which caused it to crash and explode against a sheer limestone escarpment.
At that time Kibbey was married to Mary Ann and they had four children including sons Rick Dave and John, and sister Terry. Mary Ann passed away in 1979 and the children believe she died of a broken heart as she wondered if her husband was alive.
Finally in September 2015 something significant happened for the surviving Kibbey siblings.
Listen to episode 1065 and discover the story about how an MIA family received a glimmer of hope about their missing father.
Episode 1064 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast is appropriately titled: What really happened in Vietnam. Ever since the American military machine left the country in 1973, two years before the North Vietnamese sent twenty two armored divisions on a successful mission to take over the hapless South Vietnamese nation, what happened in Vietnam has been a hot topic of discussion.
Recently a helpful story on the subject appeared in The Daily Beast titled: How They Did It – The Genius of North Vietnam’s War Strategy. The story was provided by James A. Warren. Mr. Warren is a writer and a former visiting scholar in the American Studies Department at Brown University. He is the author of Giap: The General Who Defeated America in Vietnam, and American Spartans: The United States Marines: A Combat History from Iwo Jima to Iraq, among other books.
He offers an interesting opinion as to why the US failed to accomplish its mission of propping up the government of South Vietnam. It is the opinion of this writer that the salient points revealed in his article should be made well known to the leaders of this country so we will not repeat the misjudgments committed by our leaders in that situation.
One has to wonder at how it turned out as it did considering the fact the Americans were never defeated on the military battlefield. Fact is Hanoi’s strategists from the git go never imagined they could defeat America militarily through battlefield victories even though they always publicly maintained they could. They knew there was no hope of matching the Americans’ military power. The North Vietnamese were not too worried though. They confidently believed that they had an ace up their sleeve that would guarantee they would prevail against all that American fire power.
Listen to episode 1064 and discover why the Vietnam War turned out the way it did.
Episode 1063 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature the impressions that were made upon a Vietnam Veteran during his first visit to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. David Hastings of Brush Prairie, Washington penned an essay about his first visit to the Wall titled: Everybody has a story: First visit to Vietnam War Memorial was emotional for soldier. It appeared in The Columbian of Vancouver, Washington (not British Columbia).
Back in 1979 when Jan Scruggs formed up the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. More than likely, he had no idea of what a tremendous impact he and his organization would have on the American psyche. Their intended mission was to do something to honor the memory and service of Vietnam Veterans. After a slow start they got into high gear with fund raising. In 1980, Maya Lin, a young American of Chinese descent who was an architecture student at Yale University at the time began work on a class project in a funerary course she was taking. The result of her work was a memorial design that was selected from more than 1,600 anonymous entries, including from celebrated architects.
Her design was not your everyday monument concept. It was black and underground. At first there were many detractors who derided the design as violating the sacrosanctity of the reverence the monument to the Vietnam Veteran’s service to country was supposed to produce.
Time has proven all the detractors wrong. Every year millions of visitors a year come to the Wall seeking a place of healing for veterans and those who love them. Most all Vietnam Veterans who visit the Wall come away with deeply held and varied impressions.
David Hastings was one of those veterans who at first had reservations about visiting the memorial but finally broke down and decided to go and experience what he had heard so much about from other veterans who had made visits.
Listen to episode 1063 and discover the amazingly compelling story of a Vietnam Veteran’s first visit to the Wall.
This episode, #1062, of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature comments from Ron Benningfield that fully illuminate the mindset of Vietnam Veterans both in country during the war and in their lives back in “the world.” In his role as a correspondent to the LaRue County Herald News he wrote three articles for the publication where he shares his experiences in the Vietnam War while serving in the U.S. Air Force with the readers.
In this episode parts of his third article titled: Vietnam: Tour of Duty and return home will be highlighted. First a word about Vietnam Veteran Ron Benningfield. He served in Vietnam from September 1969 to September of 1970 as an Air Force English language teacher at the Tan Son Nhut Annex School where we taught conversational English to Vietnamese officers and cadets preparing to go stateside for pilot training.
After the fashion of many Vietnam Veterans, he served his country in Vietnam under trying circumstances, came home to a reception of verbal abuse and lack of recognition but still went on to continue serving their country. Ron Benningfield came home to Hodgenville, Kentucky and served his community as a school teacher for 32 years.
In his article he tells about the pressure all those who served in Vietnam faced on a daily basis regardless of their job or location. After you hear about that pressure Ron described it makes you wonder if the anti-war protesters who greeted returning GIs at the destination airports really knew what they were dealing with. The returnees were like tightly wound springs ready to break. It could have been very hazardous to their health. One unnamed returning veteran sent three protesters to hospital after they confronted the veteran with verbal abuse at the San Francisco airport.
Listen to episode 1062 and discover what Ron Benningfield has to say about his time in Vietnam and his reception upon that is so illuminating. Also you will find out about the one event that lifted the cloud of despair caused by an ungrateful nation.
Episode 1061 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature what some wonderful ladies out in Benton, Arkansas did to honor Vietnam Veterans. The event Mary Ellen Laursen and Sheila Beatty put on November 4, 2017 at the Olde Crows General Store located at 17199 Hot Springs Hwy, Benton, Arkansas was covered in a story found on The Hot Springs Village Voice website titled: U.S.D. 1812 thanks Vietnam veterans.
The two above mentioned ladies are members of the United States Daughters of 1812 chapter in that area which is a Commemorative Partner with the United States Of America Vietnam War Commemoration. According to the Commemoration website, its aims include:
- To thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war (POW), or listed as missing in action (MIA), for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.
- To highlight the service of the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War and the contributions of Federal agencies and governmental and non-governmental organizations that served with, or in support of, the Armed Forces.
- To pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front by the people of the United States during the Vietnam War.
- To highlight the advances in technology, science, and medicine related to military research conducted during the Vietnam War.
- To recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the allies of the United States during the Vietnam War.
Commemoration partners are required to hold a minimum of six events to honor Vietnam Veterans. The Commemoration event held at the Olde Crows General Store in Benton on November 4, 2017 was the third event conducted by U.S.D. 1812 in Arkansas.
If you or your organization would like to become a Commemoration Partner CLICK HERE for more information. .
Listen to episode 1061 and hear what the wonderful ladies of the U.S.D. 1812 in Arkansas did for its Vietnam Veterans.
Episode 1060 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature the celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Vietnam Memorial Wall. The event was held on November 11, 2017 at the Wall in Washington DC and covered with a story by Michael Alison Chandler in The Washington Post titled: Ceremony marks the 35th anniversary of the Vietnam Wall.
It was reported that many people attended the event to celebrate the 35th anniversary including Vice President Mike Pence who joined a group of volunteers and helped to clean the granite wall. The Wall is a tribute to the outstanding efforts of Vietnam Veteran Jan Scruggs who formed up the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund in 1979 for the expressed purpose of creating a monument in Washington DC to remember and honor all our Vietnam Veterans.
Also cited at the event was Maya Lin. She was the Yale University architecture student who came to the Mall in 1980 to work on a funerary architecture class assignment. Little did she realize her class work would eventually win a national contest and become the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, attracting millions of visitors a year and offering a place of healing for veterans and those who love them.
She said this to a group of veterans at the event: She described her vision in more detail: “The walls would not be massive, but instead thin and light, so the names alone would be the object of attention, and they would be polished to a mirror shine so visitors could see their reflection and feel a part of it. The memorial would be deep enough underground to offer “refuge but not enough to become oppressive.” She also told them she was deeply honored to have played a part in their story.
Listen to episode 1060 and discover the whole story about this wonderful event.
Episode 1059 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will mark the 2017 Veterans Day remembrances by honoring the memory of another brave Vietnam Veteran who became an MIA after his plane was lost over the Kingdom of Laos. Air Force 1st Lt. Mike Klingner’s jet crashed into the remote mountains of that country and his remains were never recovered. He and Jane Adams had been married for a year and a half when he disappeared. Jane Adams has never forgotten the memory of her first husband.
This unhappy situation recalls back in episode 728 of this podcast when Maureen Dunn, one of the founders of the National League of Families of POWs and MIAs was highlighted. She too lost her husband, Lt. Joseph Dunn, in 1968 when his aircraft went down in the South China Sea. He was declared MIA. He had been married to Maureen for three years at that time
Both these ladies demonstrate the special pain and suffering endured by MIA families who in most cases do not even have the occasion of a funeral to bring closure to their losses. Recently there was a story published about Jane Adam’s terrible experiences as the wife of an MIA. It appeared on the University of Nebraska’s KUNC station titled: Not Forgotten: Colorado Woman’s Promise To Missing Vietnam War Pilot and was submitted by Michael de Yoanna, Director of News Content at KUNC.
On the night of his departure to Vietnam Klingner asked his new bride to see that he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery if he died in the conflict.
For more than four decades after the Vietnam War ended, Adams is still hoping to bring Klingner even it is just a part of him back home for burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
Listen to episode 1059 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast and discover the full story of what Jane Adams has gone through since her first husband Mike Klingner was lost over Laos.
Episode 1058 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will be a report on the tremendous Veterans Day ceremony that was held on the front Lawn of the Highlands Courthouse in Sebring, Florida on November 10, 2017. The ceremony was part of the Department of Defense United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. A committee made up of local VVA and MOAA chapter members including Mike Borders, Howard Osgood, Charlie Martin, John and Janet Harbaugh, and George Cajigal came together to plan the event.
The keynote speaker for the ceremony was retired Lieutenant General Jay Garner, a native of nearby Arcadia. He delivered a highly inspiration address that was well suited for the occasion. 118 Vietnam Veterans stepped forward to be recognized and presented with a Vietnam Veteran lapel pin.
General Garner who is a two tour veteran of Vietnam and being the strong patriot he is recommended to the podcast an opinion piece by Major General Patrick Brady found on the World Net Daily website titled: ‘Beyond Shameful’: Don’t Fall For This Deceitful Vietnam Flick.
General Patrick makes some very profound observations about the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick epic documentary we should all consider. General Patrick definitely knows what he is talking about when it comes to Vietnam. He flew over 2,000 combat missions and evacuated more than 5000 wounded during his two tours of duty in South Vietnam. His awards include the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, two Distinguished Service Medals, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, six Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Star with “V” Device, Purple Heart, three Meritorious Service Medal, fifty two Air Medals with “V” Device and two Army Commendation Medals.
Listen to the entire podcast episode 1058 and discover how General Patrick lays out an airtight case why the Burns and Novick documentary truly was beyond shameful in how it portrayed the American mission in Vietnam and the veterans who served in that War.