1057 – Vietnam Veterans being honored nationwide

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Maryland Veterans Affairs Secretary George Owings (left) presented a Veteran’s Day proclamation from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to Captain Marvin L. Jones at the Naval Support Activity Bethesda’s Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. Photo by Andrew Damstedt

Episode 1057 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a phenomenon sweeping the nation. Finally after fifty years America’s Vietnam Veterans are beginning to receive the gratitude and recognition they were expecting when they came home from serving in Vietnam. Unfortunately they discovered that they were drastically short changed on all that gratitude and recognition when they hit their home shores.

As a result of some form of absurd reasoning anti-war protestors decided to take out their wrath on the innocent (from the standpoint of causing the war to take place) military personnel returning from the War. For years Vietnam Veterans had to endure the burden of a wrongly assigned reputation of being baby killers, drug addicts and generally a bunch of  rogues, rascals, scoundrels, good-for-nothings, degenerates and more.

Nothings could be further from the truth. The Vietnam Veteran Generation has proven itself to be as great as any that ever heeded the call of duty from its country. The vast majority of Vietnam Veterans have continued to serve their country in a wide array of civilian pursuits after their service in Vietnam. They have shown that their misguided detractors were wrong. Ninety seven per cent of all Vietnam Veterans received honorable discharges, down through the years Vietnam Veterans have consistently maintained lower unemployment rates compared to their non-veteran contemporaries. Vietnam Veterans have earned twenty per cent more in personal income than their non-veteran contemporaries.

The DoD is leading the way for this phenomenon of growing Vietnam Veteran appreciation by the nation with its program known as the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War – a 13-year program to honor Vietnam War veterans. One such event in the DoD program recently occurred in Bethesda, Maryland. There was a story in the website The Journal of the Naval Support Activity – Bethesda titled: Event Commemorates Vietnam War’s 50th Anniversary that was submitted by Andrew Damstedt of The Journal. It detailed one event that is honoring our Vietnam Veterans.

Listen to episode 1057 and discover a wonderful story about this unfolding phenomenon of a growing national recognition of our Vietnam Veterans.

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1056 – Vietnam Vet Albert Julian served in three wars

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Al Julian, a veteran of World War II, as well as the Korean and Vietnam wars, pictured on Nov. 2, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Episode 1056 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will tell the story of Albert Julian. He served his country in three wars including World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He typifies the truism that the Vietnam Veteran is as great as any that every heeded the call of duty from its country. Recently there was a story about his lifetime of service to his country in The Flathead Beacon titled: 94 Years, 3 Wars, 1 Country that was submitted by Molly Priddy.

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Al Julian in earlier days. Courtesy Photo

Julian likes to hold court from his easy chair in his humble home located in the Evergreen community which is about three miles northeast of Kalispell, Montana. He will tell stories a mile a minute that mention the Pacific Theater of World War II, followed by notes about serving during the Korean War, and then his run-ins with Agent Orange in Vietnam. Today he lives alone with his faithful black Lab and enjoys visits from his family and friends. He still regularly smokes Timeless Time cigarettes and loves working in his yard. Julian is especially proud of his grass.

Although he can take care of himself as he lives alone, he gladly accepts Meals-on- Wheels repasts delivered by another Vietnam Veteran John Paul Castner who also helps Julian out with sundry jobs around the house.  Castner says: “I can walk a little faster than he can, but he can outwork me.”

Julian began his military service on December 16, 1941only nine days after the “Date Which Will Live in Infamy” December 7, 1941when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Young Julian joined the US Army after the fashion of his father, uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather — a colonel in the Civil War. He retired from the Air Force in 1971.

Listen to episode 1056 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast and discover the story of this amazing three war veteran.

1055 – Thailand – a Vietnam War winner

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Thai soldiers in South Vietnam. Credit National Archives of Thailand

In episode 1055 of the Vietnam Veteran News a positive story about the Vietnam War will be featured. It comes from The New York Times titled: Why Thailand Takes Pride in the Vietnam War and was submitted by Richard A. Ruth. He is an associate professor of history at the United States Naval Academy and the author of “In Buddha’s Company: Thai Soldiers in the Vietnam War.”

Most common opinions this day and time of the Vietnam War are negative. During and after the War most all commentary about the event centered around every negative aspect about it that could be dredged up by the media, the intelligentsia and left wing professional anti-war agitators. This resulted in an impression by many the US lost the war because it was mismanaged by political leaders who were more concerned about their poll numbers than American lives.

The recently aired epic documentary The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick helped perpetuate the idea the War was a mistake and the American effort there was a complete failure.

Thank God for the New York Times story that belies the prevailing opinions foisted on all that the North Vietnamese were the only winners in that conflict. Richard Ruth in his article shows how North Vietnam was a winner in name only. He stated: “In the two decades after Hanoi’s capture of Saigon, a unified Vietnam endured warfare, poverty and isolation. The most common images of Vietnam in this period were those of desperate seaborne refugees — the Vietnamese boat people — who risked their lives to escape the deprivation and harassment in the postwar period.

Ruth went on to describe the remarkable experience of the nation of Thailand during and after their participation in the Vietnam War. He shows how it came out of the Vietnam War a winner.

Listen to episode 1055 and discover the amazing story about a true winner in that War.

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1054 – Vietnam Soldier statue coming to Warrenton, Oregon

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Portland artist Mark Kenny stands next to the monument he created.

In episode 1054 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast the inspiring story of what the good people out in Warrenton, Oregon are doing to honor all our veterans with a special emphasis on Vietnam Veterans. The happening was covered in two newspaper articles. One was found in the AP titled: Bronze statue of Vietnam War soldier coming to Warrenton The other story is from The Daily Astorian titled: Soldier statue coming to downtown Warrenton and was submitted by Jack Heffernan.

According to Heffernan, the idea to erect a statue to honor its veterans was conceived 27 years ago when local Veteran of Foreign Wars 10580 post started a fundraising campaign to finance the project. Unfortunately it was delayed to an economic downturn but they never gave up hope.

They did not give up and decided to seek help with a grant from the state Parks and Recreation Department in April of 2017. The resolve of the local promoters was shown when Debbie Little, president of VFW 10580 auxiliary, decided to increase their chances of getting help from the state by taking a grant-writing class. Her grant-writing class yielded fruit when in April they were awarded a $72,020 grant from the state Parks and Recreation Department.

Debbie Little’s husband Bert, VFW Quartermaster, also reached out to residents and businesses for monetary and service donations and gained political support from local officials such as state Sen. Betsy Johnson.

Organizers raised more funds for the project by selling 4-inch by 8-inch concrete memorial bricks that will be placed in the area below the statue. Bricks are still available for purchase for up to $60 and are intended to individually honor local veterans by name.

For information on how to donate to the Warrenton veteran statue project, you can contact the VFW Post by calling 503-739-1071 or emailing vfwpost10580@gmail.com.

Listen to episode 1054 and get more information about this noble project being carried out in Warrenton, Oregon.

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1053 – Art Beltrone is saving pieces of Vietnam War history

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The “Johnny from New York’’ canvas is part of an exhibition on the Vietnam War at the New-York Historical Society in Manhattan. Credit Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

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Vietnam Graffiti Project co-founder Art Beltrone and Smithsonian Institution museum specialist Kathleen Golden with canvas.

Episode 1053 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature Art Beltrone and the work he is doing for the Vietnam Graffiti Project. James Barron wrote an article about the project titled: The Hunt for a Vietnam-era Johnny for The New York Times. In his story Barron pointed out that it all started for the Vietnam Graffiti Project back in 1997 when it’s co-founder, the aforementioned, Art Beltrone happened to discover a treasure trove of Vietnam War Era articles and memorabilia. The discovery was made on the General Nelson M. Walker, a transport ship launched in 1945 as the Admiral H.T. Mayo. It transported troops and equipment during World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. Since most of the items found by Beltrone were from the Vietnam Era he decided to save them for posterity to see and enjoy.

Beltrone became involved in the search for memorabilia twenty years ago when his neighbor Jack Fisk, the husband of actress Sissy Spacek and a Hollywood film production designer asked him for help. They were getting ready to make the movie “The Thin Red Line.” It was a fictionalized version of the Battle of Mount Austen that took place during the Guadalcanal Campaign in the Pacific Theater of World War II that starred Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, Jim Caviezel, George Clooney, John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Nick Nolte, John C. Reilly and John Travolta.

Beltrone was tasked with finding a troop transport that could be used as a guide in creating realistic interior scenes of the ship. After making a few phone calls he found the Walker, a ship in what was called then the James River Reserve Fleet. Out of more than 100 ships tied up off Newport News, Virginia, the Walker appeared as if it was stored in a time capsule since it was taken out of service in 1967. Beltrone found not only a perfect example of a transport’s interior but also that treasure trove of Vietnam Era mementos.

Listen to episode 1053 and discover what Art Beltrone did with that treasure trove of Vietnam Era mementos.

CLICK HERE for more information about The Vietnam Graffiti Project.

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1052 – Hunting with Heroes – a great thing for Vietnam Vets

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Terrance Racine of Hermosa shows off the antelope he shot as part of the Hunting With Heroes program in Riverton, Wyo., Sept. 16.

Episode 1052 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will revisit the Hunting with Heroes program in Wyoming and take a look at the positive effects it is having on Vietnam Veterans. The program was first introduced to the podcast back in episode 1034. Recently Geoff Preston, a staff writer with the Rapid City Journal wrote a story about Vietnam Veteran Terrance Racine’s experiences as he was treated to a Hunting with Heroes big game hunt near Riverton, Wyoming. The story was titled: Hermosa resident appreciates Hunting with Heroes by Geoff Preston Journal staff.

Terrance recounted how he was treated when he returned home to his northern Minnesota hometown after the war and not being able to find work. He still remembers the way people looked at him when he moved to Wisconsin, knowing he was a veteran of what was an unpopular war.

On top of that he suffered from a heart condition resulting from exposure to Agent Orange. Terrance had a heart attack and had to undergo a quadruple bypass in 2009. He was unable to work as an accountant in Wisconsin after the surgery when he was declared 100 percent disabled.

By chance he was wearing a Vietnam Veteran cap while dining at the Blaze Pizza restaurant in Rapid City. A rancher from Gillette saw him wearing his ‘Vietnam Veteran’ hat and asked him if he served and if he was disabled. That conversation resulted in Terrance being chosen for the Hunting with Heroes big game hunt at Riverton in September of 2017 led by local hunter Darin Coyle.

Terrance said this about his big game hunt: “It’s so much more than a thank-you. They’re letting these guys know that they really care about them.”

Listen to episode 1052 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast and discover the heartwarming story about the Hunting with Heroes program.

Email Darin Coyle at huntingwithheroes2017@yahoo.com

or call him at 307-851-1634.

CLICK HERE for more information about Hunting with Heroes.

 

1051 – New Vietnam Veteran monument coming to Hagerstown

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This illustration shows the planned design for Vietnam War veterans.
Submitted illustration

In episode 1051 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast the story about a new Vietnam Veteran monument in Hagerstown, Maryland will be featured the featured topic. Dave McMillion wrote a story about the monument for the Herald-Mail Media titled: New website, PayPal option offered for Vietnam monument.

McMillion told how several years ago the Joint Veterans Council of Washington County resolved to create a monument to the 17 residents of the county who gave their lives for their country in Vietnam. One of the main points in his story was that October 20, 2017 a website was launched. The website provides much information about the project including: a proposed layout, information on upcoming fundraisers, links to veteran sites, stories about the war and a donate tab which offers a PayPal option of contributing to the project.

Joint Veterans Council member Jim Kline is chairman of the monument committee. He related that the estimated cost for the monument project is $150,000 and to date $63,000 has been raised. According to Kline the monument will include a main structure with an archway, benches and three flagpoles. It will be built by Greencastle Bronze and Granite of Greencastle, Pennsylvania. That firm is renowned for the many outstanding historical monuments it has produced in the past.

The local cable company, Antietam Broadband, is donating to the project $25,000 in-kind promotional support. They produced a 30-second commercial about the project which features four local Vietnam veterans. Building the monument, which will be the city’s first significant monument to honor veterans of the Vietnam War, has been talked about for years, Kline said.

To discover more about the Hagerstown Vietnam Veteran Monument and how you can make a donation to make this worthy project a reality listen to episode 1051 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast.

CLICK HERE for the monument website.

CLICK HERE for the Paypal donate form.

CLICK HERE for more information about the Greencastle Bronze and Granite Company.

1050 – Exchange privileges opening up to all veterans

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Honorably-discharged veterans will be able to shop online at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service beginning Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. Courtesy of Army & Air Force Exchange Service

In episode 1050 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast a big news story that effects all honorably discharged US military veterans will be the featured topic. A story by  David A. Bryan appearing in The Killeen Daily Herald tells about a new buying service for all veterans with honorable discharges. It is titled: Coming soon: Veterans can shop online at Army & Air Force Exchange Service.

Bryan reports the Army & Air Force Exchange Service has announced that as of November 11, 2017 all US military veterans will be able to purchase goods from the exchange service. The new policy only applies to online purchases. Purchases at brick and mortar on posts are not included in the new deal.

This has to be one of the most ingeniously practical ideas ever to come out of any type government organization. It is the ultimate “win-win” situation. In one fell swoop the AAFES will add hundreds of thousands of new credit card carriers to its pool of customers without a heavy investments in additional store facilities. They may have to build more warehouses but that is a good thing because it will be facilitating more sales. The tremendous growth of such online marketers as Amazon and E-Bay is a good indicator that the move should bring in tremendous increases in sales and profits for the AAFES.

On the other side of this win-win situation are the veterans who miss the good old days of being about to enjoy the benefits of bargain shopping at post exchanges. As the veterans enjoy those benefits their purchases are helping the ASFES  support military quality-of-life programs like Army child development centers, youth programs, fitness centers, Air Force Outdoor Recreation programs, school lunches for ‘war fighters’ children overseas, combat uniforms below cost and more.

Such a deal!!

Listen to the whole story about this exciting new development in episode 1050 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast.

CLICK HERE for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s shop my exchange website to verify eligibility for the program.

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1049 – The truth about Laos

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Laotian Fighters

In episode 1049 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast the truth about the Kingdom of Laos and its role in the Second Indo-China War will be featured. That truth was delivered in a story that appeared in The American Thinker website titled: The War in Laos: Why Still Secret? and submitted by Steve Sherman. Sherman is well qualified to talk about this issue. He served with 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam. He is presently the editor of a series of books on the Second Indochina War and a principal contributor to a website devoted to correcting the Burns/PBS documentary of the Vietnam War.

The subject of the secret war in Laos was brought to the forefront by Sherman when he commented on the belated award of the Medal of Honor to Gary Michael Rose. Rose was cited for heroism when he participated in Operation Tailwind in May of 1970. Since Operation Tailwind took place in Laos near the Bolevens Plateau, the citation which Rose received stated that his actions took place “deep within enemy-controlled territory.”

Sherman thinks it is now time to tell the truth about what was going on in the Kingdom of Laos during the Vietnam War. In 1962 an agreement was hammered out between the US, Cambodia, Laos and North Vietnam to demilitarize Cambodia and Laos. Dutifully the United States withdrew its 666 military personnel from Laos in accordance with this agreement. The North Vietnamese ceremonially withdrew 25 personnel and seemingly forgot about the other 10,000 troops they had remaining in Laos.

Listen to episode 1049 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast and discover the full story that tells the truth about the history of the savage war fought in that backwater part of the world and the effects it had on the outcome of the Vietnam War.

CLICK HERE for the Vietnam Veterans for Factual History Wiki and discover more about the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick epic documentary The Vietnam War.

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1048 – Vietnam vet who saved 1,200 to be honored

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J. Craig Honaman

Episode 1048 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will highlight an event to be held in Columbus, Georgia on November 7, 2017 where a Vietnam Veteran who saved 1200 wounded soldiers in the War will be honored. The upcoming event was covered in a story found in The Northside Neighbor titled: Sandy Springs man who saved 1,200 wounded soldiers in Vietnam to be honored. The story was written and submitted by Bill Baldowski.

This story illustrates the often repeated truism that the Vietnam Veteran Generation is as great as any that ever heeded the call of duty from its country. Its members went to Vietnam and served their country under very challenging circumstances and then came home and were subject to abuse and condemnation by misguided anti-war protesters. The vast majority of those veterans came home and continued to serve their country in a wide array of civilian and military pursuits.

J. Craig Honaman is one of those brave Vietnam Veterans. He flew 600 rescue missions in his year-long tour of duty in country as a medevac pilot. The records show he brought back 1200 soldiers wounded in battle to safe medical treatment. For his service as a brave medevac pilot he will be honored at a special ceremony in Columbus, Georgia on the evening of November 7, 2017 at the St. Luke Ministry Center.

At that event along with Honaman 16 other Georgia veterans who will be inducted into the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame. The founder and president of the GMVHF, Retired Army Col. Paul Longgrear invites all interested parties to attend the event that will honor 17 brave veterans.

CLICK HERE for more information about the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame event to be held November 7, 2017 at the St. Luke Ministry Center 301 11th Street Columbus, Georgia 31902.

Listen to episode 1048 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast and discover the wonderful things Craig Honaman has done for his country after his service in Vietnam.

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