1100 – Vietnam Vet Tom Edmunds shows how it is done

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Tom Edmunds stands with Miss Uniroyal in front of Edmunds Metal Works at 6111 15th St. E. The company is marking its 40th year in the Bradenton area. Photo by James A. Jones Jr.

Episode 1100 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will highlight Tom Edmunds of Bradenton, Florida who is another outstanding representative of the Vietnam Veteran Generation. It is the opinion of this podcast that the Great Vietnam Veteran Generation is as great as any that ever heeded the call of its country. Tom Edmunds help verify that opinion.

Tom is a Vietnam War Era veteran who set up a business in Bradenton forty years ago. When he got out of the Air Force he went back to school on the G.I. Bill to learn the metal fabrication trade. He named his new business Edmunds Metal Works and has proceeded to dispel the false rhetoric put out by misguided anti-war protesters who claimed Vietnam Veterans were baby killing, drug abusing, crazed morons who lived under bridges.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The vast majority of Vietnam Veterans like Tom Edmunds not only served their country in the Vietnam Era under challenging circumstances but when they came home they continued serving their country in a wide array of civilian pursuits.

Tom chose metal fabrication as his vehicle to make his mark in the business world in Manatee County. In forty years of operating Edmunds Metal Works he has enjoyed many ups and endured many downs with the business. His ability to weather the down times in his business are a testimony to the fact that when Vietnam Veterans came home they were older, wiser and better able to deal with adversities than their non-veteran contemporaries.

There was a story about Tom and his business in The Bradenton Herald titled: At Edmunds Metal Works, ‘Made in America’ is workplace ethic that was submitted by James A. Jones Jr. (jajones1@bradenton.com)

Listen to episode 1100 of the podcast and discover what Vietnam Veteran Tom Edmunds is doing in Bradenton, Florida to help keep America great.

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Matt Edmunds, left, stands with his father Tom Edmunds at Edmunds Metal Works. The company has been in business 40 years in the Bradenton area. Photo by James A. Jones Jr.

1099 – Khe Sanh – 77 days of hell for the Marines

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Marine Corps sniper team searches for targets in the Khe Sanh Valley. Original photo by David Douglas Duncan. Donated for use by his estate to the USMC – From Jack Shulimson, Leonard A Balisol, Charles R. Smith, and David A. Dawson, US Marines in Vietnam: The Defining Year, 1968. Washington DC: US Marine Corps History and Museums Division, 1997.

Episode 1099 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story from the Watertown Daily Times titled: Massena man recalls 1968 battle of Khe Sanh submitted by Bob Beckstead. The Beckstead story recounts the story of US Marine James Baker who was in the 1968 Battle of Khe Sanh. Baker can never forget the battle he refers to as 77 day of hell.

In that battle 6000 Marines of the 3rd Marine Division were up against a force of 100,000 NVA regulars. The mission of the North Vietnamese was to wipe out the defenders of Khe Sanh a la Bien Dien Phu style. Unfortunately for the attackers, this time they were fighting US Marines backed up by the US Air Force who brought a passel of B-52s to the clash. The fighting lasted 77 days. When the dust had cleared it is reported 704 Marines died and 2600 were wounded. The NVA army paid a heavier price with 15,000 dead fighters. That figure could be much higher due to the North’s practice of dragging their dead off the battlefields to minimize numbers for body counts. Also thousands of losses go uncounted when troops are vaporized in B-52 Arc Light missions.

More than likely the North Vietnamese paid a grievously higher price in men than that shown in the official records. It is a sad thing to see so many lives lost in a operation that was meant to be only a diversion for the upcoming Tet Offensive.

The one main take away from the Battle of Khe Sanh is the United States is fortunate to have the Marines who will always stand up and prevail no matter the challenge.

CLICK HERE for more information about the 1968 battle at Khe Sanh.

Listen to episode 1099 and discover more about James Baker’s account of his experiences at the Battle of Khe Sanh.

1098 – Breaking news about the Wall of Faces

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VVMF Wall of Faces

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Janna Hoehn of Hawaii is one of several volunteers searching state by state for photographs of soldiers killed during the Vietnam War for the virtual “Wall of Faces,” maintained by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund on its website. Credit: Special to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Episode 1098 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature late breaking news in the crusade set forth by the VVMF to find a picture of every individual whose name is on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Super photo finder, Janna Hoehn of Hawaii, will provide the latest in here number count of pictures found. Her report is highly inspirational and  a strong encouragement to others to join with her in finding all the mission images.

Also covered in this episode will be what is being done in the Quad – Cities of Illinois and Iowa to assist in the effort. An editorial in The Dispatch – Argus of Rock Island, Illinois titled: Join fight to find all fallen Vietnam vets by May 28 was a testimony to the dedication shown by the citizens of that area to help complete the search.

At the present time there are only three Illinois Quad-Cities fallen heroes whose pictures have yet to be located. It is requested that if anyone reading this has knowledge of information that might lead to finding photos to the three individuals listed below that they contact any of the resources shown after the names.

Army PFC Wayne Morris Lenderman of Rock Island was born March 28, 1951. He died Oct. 12, 1969 in Binh Dinh province. According to a post on the site, he is buried at Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau, WI.

Army PFC Leroy Alphus Rost of Moline was born Nov. 11, 1948. He died Nov. 13, 1967 in Kontum Pronvince.  According to a post on the site, he is buried at Highland Cemetery, Waynesboro in Wayne County, Tenn.

Marine PFC Lawrence Edward Howard of Morrison was born July 31, 1947. He died Sept. 16, 1967 in Quang Nam province. According to an undated and uncredited newspaper clipping posted to website, he was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward R. Howard, Route 1, Morrison.

CLICK HERE for more information about the Wall of Faces.

CLICK HERE for easy to understand steps to do it yourself.

If you would like to submit images locally, submit them here: letters@qconline.com

If you would like to contact Janna Hoehn direct in reference to anything to do with finding photos for the Wall of Faces project use this address: neverforgotten2014@gmail.com

Listen to episode 1098 and discover the latest details about Janna Hoehn’s epic search and the Quad – Cities efforts to help locate all the pictures of those whose names appear on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C..

1097 – Great message for Vietnam Vets from Grand Forks

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Episode 1097 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a letter to the editor of the Grand Forks Herald that delivers a wonderful message to all Vietnam Veterans. The letter was titled: Letter: Sympathize with efforts of Vietnam veterans and was submitted by Michael Rood.

It seems recently on a gray wintry day in Columbus, Georgia Michael Rood and a friend were touring the National Infantry Museum located in that city. One of the exhibits they visited was the 8-foot-high, 240-foot-long replica of the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. It has a black, faux-granite reflective surface inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 servicemen and women who died or are missing in Vietnam.

The replica at the National Infantry Museum at Columbus was commissioned in 1990 by Dignity Memorial – a funeral, cremation and cemetery service provider. It is a ¾-scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. and has been displayed at 217 locations across the country. Dignity elected to retire the replica from traveling and made a deal with the Museum to provide a permanent home and maintenance for the exhibit in perpetuity.

Rood was taken emotionally when he saw the replica at the Museum with the 58,315 names of the fallen heroes who gave their lives in Vietnam for our country inscribed on its black, faux-granite reflective surface. He was humbled and shaken to the core. He was awed when he realized the enormity of the fact that every name on the Wall represented a mother or loved one whose life was forever changed when they lost their loved one in Vietnam.

He was moved to write a letter to the editor of the Grand Forks Herald that proposed a noble project for that city to honor its Vietnam Veterans.

Listen to episode 1097 of this podcast and discover the wonderful message from a citizen in North Dakota to all Vietnam Veterans.

1096 – Two Princeton men discuss Vietnam experiences – one served one ran

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FROM DIFFERENT SIDES: Ashley Wright, left, and Lewis Maltby will discuss their experiences during the Vietnam War on Wednesday, January 10, at Princeton Public Library. The discussion will follow the screening of the fourth episode of the documentary “The Vietnam War.” (Photo by Hannah Schmidl)

Episode 1096 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will take a look at another result of the showing of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s epic documentary The Vietnam War. An incident took place in Princeton, New Jersey after the showing of the first episode in the Newsroom of the Princeton Public Library. There was a story about the event in The Town Topics of Princeton titled: One Fought; the Other Protested: Two Men Recall Their Vietnam Experiences that was submitted by Anne Levin.

According to Levin, it seems that after the first episode showing as those in attendance were leaving the auditorium two men in the group of similar age met up. One was Ashley Wright, a Vietnam Veteran, who struck up a conversation with Lewis Maltby. Wright asked Maltby if he had served in Vietnam since he appeared to be in that age range.

At first Maltby was a little concerned about the question because not only did he not go to Vietnam but he was an anti-war activist who had vigorously protested against the War. Both men have lived in  Princeton for many years, but had never met. What happened next was unexpected. The outcome continued after the initial meeting between the two.

The library is showing “The Vietnam War” one episode at the time through February 28 in the library’s Newsroom. As a result of the chance meeting and its results Wright and Maltby will be on hand to lead a discussion after the showing of the fourth episode on January 10, 2018. All in the Princeton area are encouraged to attend the showing of the episode and to participate in the discussion following.

Make sure to listen to episode 1096 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast and discover the full story about what happened at the Princeton Public Library with the two men from the Vietnam Era.

1095 – Marie Linn – a true friend of Vietnam Vets

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Marie Linn of Cadillac, Michigan

Episode 1095 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a very special lady up in Cadillac, Michigan who is doing wonderful things to honor Vietnam Veterans. That lady is Marie Linn and she was recently highlighted for the work she is doing for Vietnam Veterans in a story found in The Cadillac News titled: Passion for veterans inspires volunteerism that was submitted by Mardi Suhs of the Cadillac News. As the chairperson of commemorative events for her local DAR chapter she has become heavily involved in the 50th-anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam war.

She is well aware of how Vietnam Veterans were treated when they came home. For some inexplicable reason those who opposed the War could not separate their unhappiness with the national leadership for getting the country involved in a war in Southeast Asia from the young Americans who were sent off to fight in the fracas across the ocean.

When those young Americans returned home to what they expected would be a warm welcome showing appreciation and recognition for the service they preformed for their country under very trying circumstances, they were sadly mistaken. They discovered they had been drastically short changed on the welcome they had expected.

When they came home they were treated as if they were a stranger knocking on the door in the middle of the night and there was no answer when their deeds called out to their country inside. Their words were not heard. But thank the good Lord above America is a great nation and its people are finally beginning to see it’s Vietnam Veterans as the heroes they truly are.

Marie Linn is one of those Americans working hard to make all Vietnam Veterans feel welcomed and appreciated.

Don’t miss listening to episode 1095 of the podcast and discovering all the wonderful things Marie Linn is doing to honor Vietnam Veterans.

1094 – Fighting Vietnam War lies by Chris Kennedy

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Chris Kennedy, son of Bobby Kennedy and nephew of John F. Kennedy

In episode 1094 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast selected lies about the Vietnam War will be challenged. In addition to extolling the service of Vietnam Veterans, one of the main missions of this podcast is to set the record straight about the War. Sometimes the usual suspect lies told about the War are referred to as “Myths” but they are in fact bald faced falsehoods.

Too often, politicians and special interest groups find it convenient to utilize misstatements about the Vietnam War in their appeals to certain groups of voters and influence peddlers. One such example of a politician repeating lies about the War to curry favor with certain voters was exposed by Chris Kaergard, a political reporter with the Journal Star of Peoria, Illinois.

Kaergard interviewed Chris Kennedy, the son of Bobby Kennedy and the nephew of John F. Kennedy. Chris Kennedy of one of six candidates seeking the governorship of Illinois repeated an egregious myth about the sociological makeup of those who served in the War.

The record on that issue was set straight by an opinion piece by Lan Cao in The Washington Post titled: Five myths about the Vietnam War. She is a professor at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law, is the author, most recently, of the novel “Lotus and the Storm.”

Another common myth about the Vietnam War had to do with race relations about military personnel. A very revealing look at that situation can be found in an opinion piece by Gerald F. Goodwin in the New York Times titled: Black and White in Vietnam. Goodwin’s take on the subject just might surprise the reader.

Listen to episode 1094 of this podcast and discover more about the despicable lies still being told to this day about the Vietnam War and the brave veterans who served in that war.

1093 – Vietnam Vet Peter T. Thomas led the way

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Peter T. Thomas

In this episode 1093 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast the story of Vietnam Vet Peter T. Thomas will be highlighted. He is another one of those outstanding representatives of the Great Vietnam Veteran Generation, one as great as any that ever heeded the call of duty from our country. Recently there was a story about him in The News-Gazette of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois titled: Vietnam veteran won’t shy away from a challenge which was submitted by Paul Wood of the News-Gazette.

The story about Peter T. Thomas was selected for this podcast episode coming out on the first day of 2018 because it helps backup this pod-caster’s opinion that the Vietnam Veteran Generation was in fact as great as any that answered the call of duty from its country. Peter T. Thomas along with millions of other Americans served well in Vietnam under difficult and challenging conditions only to return home to an ungrateful country that heaped abuse and contempt on the returning service personnel.

The vast majority of Vietnam Vets came home and continued to serve their country in a wide variety of civilian pursuits. Some like Thomas chose to continue serving his country in the military. He served in the military for thirty years and then put his experience and expertise from the military to work in the Lincoln’s ChalleNGe Academy of Illinois. For twenty years he served at the Academy which included several years as its director.

America should always appreciate its veterans like Thomas T. Thomas.

Listen to episode 1093 of the podcast and get the whole story on Vietnam Vet extraordinaire Peter T. Thomas and how he never shied away from a challenge.

CLICK HERE to see the video by videographer Rick Danzl that shows Peter T. Thomas talk about some of his combat experiences and philosophy on life.

 

1092 – 2 Marine Vietnam Vets honor fifty year pledge

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Retired Marines William H. Cox and James “Hollie” Hollingsworth visiting in Hollingsworth’s back yard shortly before he passed away.

Episode 1092 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story that typifies reasons why Marines are so proud of their branch of service. The touching story appeared in The Greenville, South Carolina News and was titled: Retired Marine keeps promise made in bunker in Vietnam. The story was submitted by Donna Isbell Walker.

Walker described the story as follows. Fifty years ago two Marines were dodging rockets and mortars on Marble Mountain near Da Nang, South Vietnam. First Sgt. James “Hollie” Hollingsworth and his buddy Master Sgt. William H. Cox were hunkered down in a bunker wondering if the next round would be a direct hit on their position. On that fateful New Year’s Eve 1968, just before the dawn of 1969 the two made a solemn pledge to each other. They both agreed that: If they survived that attack and that year in Vietnam, they would contact each other every year on New Year’s day.”

They both survived that year in Vietnam. After the war, Hollingsworth left the Marines and came home to settle in the Augusta, Georgia area in the community of Hephzibah. Cox remained in the Marines and retired after twenty years service and  today lives in Piedmont, South Carolina which is about 125 miles north his friend’s home in Georgia.

For almost fifty years the two kept the promise they made to each other back on Marble Mountain in 1968. In 2017 the string of contacts between the two were broken when James “Hollie” Hollingsworth was discovered to be terminally ill. Cox went to visit his old friend for the last time and while there received what he called a “rough mission.”

Listen to episode 1092 of the podcast and get the full heartwarming story about these two Marines who stood by a promise to each other made fifty years ago and what the rough mission was Hollingsworth asked his friend to carry out.

William H. Cox standing guard for James "Hollie" Hollingsworth , vietnam veteran news, mack payne

On New Year’s Eve in 1968, two Marines made each other a promise. Five decades later, Master Sgt. William H. Cox is making good on one more. USA TODAY

1091 – 4th Division aviator tells his Vietnam story

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Cary Rhodomoyer was a crew chief aboard a Huey gunship with the 4th Aviation Battalion, 4th Infantry Division in South Vietnam. Photo by Chris Brady/The Standard-Journal.

Episode 1091 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature Vietnam Veteran Cary Rhodomoyer. There was a story about him and his time in Vietnam and his challenges with PTSD in The Standard-Journal of Milton, Pennsylvania titled: Combat from a Huey gunship that was submitted by Chris Brady.

In his story Brady described what motivated Rhodomoyer to join the US Army back in 1967. That fateful action led to him becoming a member of Bravo Company, 4th Aviation Battalion of the 4th Infantry which was located in the Central Highlands near Pleiku. His year in Vietnam was filled with action. The 4th Division’s area of operation stretched from the tri-border zone near Dak To down to Ban Me Thout. The AO was filled with enemy personnel primarily due to its closeness to the border with the supposedly neutral countries of Cambodia and Laos.

The Battle of Dak To, one of the most vicious actions of the War took place during Rhodomoyer ‘s tour in Vietnam. He saw things that occurred during and after the battle that were seared into his memory. While there he flew 250 combat hours and was awarded 10 air medals and a Purple Heart.

 After the War he came back home to Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania and got on with his life. It was his good fortune to marry his wife of 34 years, Barbara. Although he hid the dark memories he retained from his time in country and never talked about them his wife could tell something was not right with her husband.  She calmly endured his PTSD symptoms caused by such things as his watching sling loads of dead American soldiers being returned from the Battle at Dak To and patiently helped him get relief from his tormenting memories.

Listen to episode 1091 to get the full story about Vietnam Veteran Cary Rhodomoyer and how he is dealing with the scourge of PTSD.