845 – Vietnam-era veteran, Charles J. Zoerb, was a counterfeiter

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Army veteran Charles J. Zoerb, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Army veteran Charles J. Zoerb at his home, in Alden on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

Charles J. Zoerb served in the Vietnam War without ever setting foot in country but his work as a counterfeiter appeared  up all over North and South Vietnam. His story appeared in an article in The Buffalo News titled: Vietnam-era veteran counterfeited, legally, to make life hard for enemy submitted by Lou Michel.

Before the Alden, New York resident was drafted in February of 1965 he had worked as a printer at Arcata Graphics in Cheektowaga. That job experience saved him from going to Vietnam as an infantryman. After basic training he was sent to infantry advanced individual training. On the second day of AIT he was pulled out and sent to Fort Eustis, Virginia. There he was presented a top secret clearance and a new MOS as a printer technician. On Feb. 18, 1966 he arrived on the Pacific island of Okinawa where he was assigned to the Army’s 15th Psychological Operations printing branch.

He spent the next twelve months printing fake Vietnamese currency and propaganda leaflets. The counterfeit money would be dropped over North Vietnam and then it would hopefully be picked up by persons who would infiltrate into Vietnam. The fake bills were marked so the carriers of the funny money could be more easily identified by the South Vietnamese authorities. One wonders who came up with that bright idea.

The story about Zoerb in the Buffalo News does not give any indications at to the effectiveness of the program. We do know that it prevented him from going to Vietnam as a ground pounder. Zoerb’s story does point up the importance of technical training. In this case it probably saved his life.

He story has a happy ending. He became an E-5, left the Army in March 1967, married his hometown sweet heart and had a successful career with the New York State Thruway Authority. Zoerb retired after 30 years as a supervisor in facilities maintenance. He says he is proud of his memberships in the Alden VFW Post 7967, East Aurora American Legion Post 362 and the Aurora Vietnam Veterans.

844 – Chattanooga VVA to host three day welcome home event

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Vietnam Veterans of America, vietnam veterans news, mack payneIt is often said that time changes everything. That seems to be happening with America’s attitude toward Vietnam Veterans. When that group of great veterans came home, for the first time in our history they were not welcomed home as heroes. To the contrary upon their return they were abused with a level of vituperation that was shocking to many, especially the veterans.

Thank goodness for the change creation process brought on by time. Finally after all these years, about fifty, the nation is beginning to see its Vietnam Veterans and the heroes they truly are. Partly through the auspices of the Department of Defense, events across the country celebrating and welcoming home the Vietnam Veterans.

The Vietnam Veterans of America organization, organized and run by Vietnam Veterans and or not a part of the government is taking the lead in setting up welcome home events across the country.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee VVA Chapter 203 under the leadership of chapter president Bill Norton is planning a super three day welcome home event. It will take place on March 27, 28 and 29. One of the many highlights of the event will be an appearance of Joe Galloway. Among other things he co-wrote We Were Soldiers Once…and Young with LTG Hal Moore who was the ground commander for the 1st Cavalry Division unit that fought in the first major battle of the Vietnam War – The Battle of the Ia Drang Valley.

Features of the Welcome Home Celebration will include this and more:

Day one – welcoming remarks by the mayors, special music and meals for 1000 veterans.

Day two – Three showing of the movie We Were Soldiers Once followed by panel discussions with members of the military who were in the battle.

Day three – A memorial service at the National Cemetery.

All Vietnam Veterans and those who care about them in the Chattanooga area are encouraged to attend this tremendous event.

The organizers of the event need your help to make this welcome celebration a reality. They are asking for your financial help to defray event expenses.

Send contributions by check to:

VVA Chapter 203, Special Events

P.O. Box 23405

Chattanooga, Tennessee 37422

843 – USMC Vietnam Vet Norman VanCor shows the way

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Norman VanCor, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Norman VanCor of Spofford. Michael Moore / Sentinel Staff

Norman VanCo, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Norman VanCor of Spofford shows a coat like the one he and his fellow troops wore in Vietnam.

In this episode US Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, Norman VanCor, will be highlighted. He is an impressive representative of the Great Vietnam Veteran Generation. He was recently featured in a story in The sentinelsource.com, The Home of The Keene Sentinel titled: Monadnock Profile: War, Marines life-shaping experiences for Chesterfield man that was contributed by John McGauley. In the article he made a statement that lays out the bare essence of the tremendous value of military service to one’s country.

But first some disgusting news about a California Vietnam Veteran must be told. It comes from none other than The Washington Post titled: A Vietnam vet fled the Oroville Dam. While he was gone, burglars stole his war medals. submitted by Cleve R. Wootson Jr. The veteran was Mike Pomeroy who had his war medals, commendation papers and service mementos stolen by burglars when he and his wife, Gaylene evacuated due to the Oroville Dam Spillway Emergency. If you are in Northern California and know anything about this despicable act that might help in the arrest of the low lives who stole Pomeroy’s war items please contact the authorities.

Norman VanCor, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Norman VanCor, on a day off in February 1969, sits here in front of the mess hall at base camp in Quang Tri, Vietnam. In May of that year, he saved the lives of two of his comrades in an action that earned him the Navy Cross.

The refreshing news in this episode is that of Norman VanCor and what he has done for his country both in time of war and peace. Something most remarkable about his story is what he says about the effect of his military service on his life. In Vietnam VanCor served in the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion of the Third Marine Division, its motto was, “Swift Silent Deadly.” He was nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions but it was downgraded to the Navy Cross. The U.S. Marines have a rule that to be awarded the Medal of Honor two witnesses “on the ground” must testify to the action. All the men in the engagement were either dead or too severely wounded to be aware of the goings on.

After the Marines VanCor spent a career in a Connecticut utility corporation. He summed up the effects of his time in the Marines as follows: “My experience in the Marine Corps set the tone for my life. What I went through helped me understand life, how to act, confidence; my ability to do things … all the things that the Marine Corps stood for I took seriously and applied to my life.”

842 – Finally America opens up to Vietnam Veterans

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Welcome home to Vietnam Veterans, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Doors of welcome are opening across this great land for Vietnam Veterans. It is especially meaningful to that group of veterans primarily because the icy reception they received when they came home after serving their country in a challenging and thankless war that was highly unpopular. For some strange reason the displeasure of the population resulting from opposition to the war was directed toward the returning veterans.

That really makes absolutely makes no sense at all. The veterans were sent over at the behest of the government. They were not particularly keen to the idea of going over to fight in that setting and circumstances but they went due to a love and respect of country. To be assailed by antiwar protestors upon their returned really messed up their minds and the mess has lasted a long time. But the times are a’ changing.

Across this great land from coast to coast and border to border events are taking place in towns large, small and in between to welcome home and show gratitude Vietnam Veterans. One of those events is occurring on March 23 in Brunswick, Georgia. It was featured in a story in The Jacksonville Times-Union’s jacksonville.com website titled: Georgia to honor Vietnam era veterans in Brunswick March 23. The story was submitted by Terry Dickson: (912) 264-0405.

The event will take place at College of Coastal Georgia. Georgia Veterans Service Commissioner Mike Roby reported that he will join federal, county and city officials at the 6:30 p.m. ceremony in which each veteran will receive a certificate recognizing their service during the war and with a Vietnam War veteran lapel pin from the Defense Department,

All Vietnam-era veterans in the Southeast Georgia are encouraged to attend the event. Since special Georgia Department of Veterans Service Vietnam War Certificates will be presented to each veteran it is necessary for each one to register no later than March 10.

Registration can be done with any of the following methods:

  1. By email – bziringue@vs.state.ga.us with their DD Form 214 attached
  2. By Fax – fax name, address, phone number and DD Form 214 to (404) 656-7006.
  3. Phone – call the Brunswick Veterans Service field office at 11 Judicial Lane in Brunswick or by phone at (912) 262-2345.

841 – Noting a war and the Greatest Generations Foundation

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Vietnamese - Chinese War, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

The Chinese attack occurred when Vietnam’s main forces were tied up battling the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia; a force of around 50,000 Vietnamese soldiers were sent north to battle a Chinese invasion force 12 times its size.

The Greatest Generations Foundation is looking for a few Vietnam Veterans who would like to go back to Vietnam and revisit where they fought for their country many years ago. There is a story at the Benzinga.com website titled: Captain Dale Dye Returns to Southeast Asia to Honor Forgotten Generation of Vietnam Vets that tells about the Foundation’s Back to Vietnam Program and what it is doing to preserve the history and veteran memories of the war.

But first it is important to mark the 38th anniversary of a war not familiar to many Americans. On February 17, 1979, 600,000 Chinese soldiers attacked across the 360 mile northern border of Vietnam. The spiteful and sly ChiComs chose that time to attack its southern neighbor because their army was way down south in Cambodia eliminating the Khmer Rouge regime. Unfortunately for Vietnam, the murderous Khmer Rouge were clients of the Chinese and they did not like the upstart Vietnamese beating up on their ally.

The war lasted only 17 days. It ended after the feisty Vietnamese pulled a 50,000 man force by home to dispense with the invaders. That force proceeded to beat the hell out of the ChiComs. The invaders suffered 12,000 KIA and the loss of 140 main battle tanks.

A story in The Vietnam Express International titled: Remembering Vietnam’s bloody border war with China submitted by Hoang Phuong tells about Captain Dale Dye. He is a Vietnam Veteran who became a legendary film maker and renowned international author.  He served as a technical advisor to movies like: “Saving Private Ryan,” “Band of Brothers,” and “The Pacific.”

The story also covered The Greatest Generations Foundation, a charitable organization devoted to honoring our nation’s veterans that will over the next ten years sponsor 1,000 combat veterans back to Vietnam under a new educational initiative called “The War Without Heroes.”

To learn more about The Greatest Generations Foundation and its back to Vietnam program CLICK HERE.

840 – Another big Vietnam War mistake

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Vietnam War Mistake, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

What were they thinking?”

In this episode we will take a look at another newspaper column by Mike Scruggs who is going about exposing what he sees as the big mistakes committed in the Vietnam War. In episode 833 of this podcast we featured what he described as big mistake number 12 of the War. The story featured here is from a column by Scruggs in The Tribune Papers of Asheville, North Carolina titled: Moral Consequences of Abandoning the Cause of Freedom.

Scruggs maintains the Marxist American Left and its increasing influence on a war-weary Congress with a heavy Democrat majority tied President Nixon’s hands when it came to dealing with the North Vietnam foe during the crucial years of 1972 and 1973. As a result of Operation Linebacker II the North Vietnamese were in tough shape.

From December 18 to December 29, 1972, USAF and US Navy bombed the hell out of Hanoi and Haiphong. In addition the Navy mined the Haiphong Harbor. The aerial attacks knocked out 80 percent of North Vietnam’s infrastructure including its electrical generating capacity, fuel reserves, railroad facilities and rolling stock. Shipments of war supplies to the NVA and Viet Cong forces in the south were also cut by 80 percent. North Vietnam’s air defense system was effectively destroyed and could not offer any further resistance.

The North Vietnamese knew they could count of leftist support in the US to pressure the government to agree to a meaningless peace agreement that only bought time for them. On January 27, 1973, The United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, and the Communist National Liberation Front signed a peace agreement that should have ended the Vietnam War.

We all know what happened after the Paris Peace Accords were signed. On April 17, 1975 Cambodia fell to the Communists and on April 30 of 1975 South Vietnam suffered the same fate. This happened because the US cut support to those countries to a trickle while the USSR and Communist China continued pouring war aid to North Vietnam.

After the Communists took over, 3.5 million people perished because we abandoned them to brutal Marxist oppression.

Was it worth 58,000 American lives, and the deaths of 195,000 South Vietnamese Military personnel and untold hundreds of thousands of North Vietnamese spent to stop something that was going to happen anyway? And now in today’s world the former adversaries of Vietnam War times are joining up to face a new threat.

Go figure.

839 – LTG Hal Moore – A true Vietnam hero passed away

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The late LTG Hal Moore, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

The late LTG Hal Moore, a hero of the Vietnam War, died Friday evening in Auburn. Monday would have been his 95th birthday.

A true Vietnam War hero, LTG Hal Moore, passed away last Friday three days short of his 95th birthday. In this podcast episode we take the occasion to recognize a great American soldier. Information about the services to mark his passing were found in stories on the oanow.com website titled: Funeral details announced for Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and ‘We Were Soldiers’ hero passes; the celebrated life story of a soldier, a leader, a father. The second story was submitted by Troy Turner – Editor at the Opelika-Auburn News tturner@oanow.com.

The retired general’s family put out the following details about funeral ceremonies:

Viewing will take place from 2-7 PM (Central Time) on Thursday at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home, 1500 Frederick Road in Opelika.

A funeral Mass will be held at 8:30 AM (Central Time) on Friday at St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, 1100 N College Street in Auburn, followed by a memorial service at 1:00 PM (Eastern Time) at the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning. GA, 1775 Legacy Way, Columbus, GA, with interment to follow at the Fort Benning Post Cemetery.

The family will host a reception at the National Infantry Museum after the burial service. All are welcome to attend any or all of these events.

Moore gained fame for his performance as the 1st of the 7th Cavalry battalion commander during the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley in 1965, the first major battle of the Vietnam War. Joe Galloway contributed to a book written about the battle by Moore titled: “We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young.” Later the book was made into a movie titled: “We Were Soldiers” starring Mel Gibson who portrayed then LTC Moore. The two became friends and Gibson along with costar Vince Vaughn paid Moore a visit at his home in Auburn, Alabama a few weeks before the general passed away.

A description of the battle is provided on the podcast. All are invited to hear the reasons why Hal Moore is so highly regarded.

All are invited and encouraged to attend his funeral services and pay your respects to this true American hero.

 Actor Mel Gibson and Lieutenant General Hal Moore, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Actor Mel Gibson and Lieutenant General Hal Moore arrive at the premiere of the movie “We Were Soldiers” February 25, 2002 in Westwood, CA. (Photo by J. Emilio Flores/Getty Images)

Mel Gibson and Hal Moore, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Actor Mel Gibson poses with retired LTG Hal Moore during a recent visit to Moore’s home in Auburn, Alabama. Gibson portrayed Moore in the movie, “We Were Soldiers.”

838 – Truckers in Vietnam – the unsung heroes

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Jim Baird, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Jim Baird recalls Vietnam days – Courtesy photo

There is a certain group of Vietnam Veterans who do not get nearly enough respect and admiration for the job they did in that war. In this episode that group of veterans will be recognized and cited for their valuable service. Without the truckers the war could not have lasted longer than a week. In Vietnam everything last thing that was used in that war was at one time or another moved by truck. Those trucks were driven by a brave and highly resourceful group of people.

In addition to the efforts of your humble podcast host, the Smithsonian Channel TV Channel is helping out with its national TV series “The Weapon Hunter,” which follows Paul Shull, “a man on a mission to put history back in action.” They added an episode to the series titled: “Vietnam Road Warrior” that features a Vietnam Veteran, Pat Baird, who served as a truck convoy commander in one of the most dangerous areas of the country. It was aired on Sunday but will be shown again 5 p.m. Monday, 9 p.m. and midnight Tuesday, noon Wednesday, 10 p.m. Thursday and 1 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday

There was a story in Pat Baird’s hometown about his appearance on the TV show. It was in The Banner Graphic of Greencastle, Indiana titled: Baird owes life to gun trucks, shares story on TV series submitted by Eric Bernsee, Editor. In the show interview Baird reluctantly told about his duty running convoys only a few miles from the DMZ. He told about how his life was saved when his convoy heading out of Khe Sanh was ambushed on Highway 9. Had it not been for the gun trucks that came to his rescue he would have been a goner. Baird lost an arm in the ambush and that was his ticket home.

In 2012, Baird’s unit, the 523rd Transportation Company, was inducted into the U.S. Army Transportation Company Hall of Fame. Baird was honored to be chosen to accept the award for his country.

Baird is another outstanding representative of the Vietnam Veteran Generation. After his service to his country in Vietnam he came home and continued serving his country as a farmer, an ag agent, Putnam County commissioner and state legislator.

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837 – College break proved gruesome for this Vietnam Vet

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Larry J. Hunley, vietnam veteran news. mack payne

Marine Corps veteran Larry J. Hunley served aboard the USS Newport News during the Vietnam War, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

In this episode another Vietnam Veteran, Larry J. Hunley of Buffalo, New York, will be highlighted. He is another outstanding representative of the Great Vietnam Veteran Generation in that he served his country well in war, came home and continued serving his community and country in the field of education.

Marine Corps veteran Larry J. Hunley, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Marine Corps veteran Larry J. Hunley served aboard the USS Newport News during the Vietnam War. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

There was a story about him in The Buffalo News titled: Pause from college provided gruesome education in war that was submitted by Lou Michel. Michel’s story tells about Hunley being a bored college student at Buffalo State College. In his words Hunley “wanted to experience life beyond the city’s East Side.” The US Marines provided him with an excellent opportunity to do that after Hunley signed up in 1972.

His high test scores in Basic and Advanced Infantry training got him assigned to a 40-member Marine detachment aboard the USS Newport News, a heavy cruiser naval gunship with a crew of 1700. In September 1972 Hunley began his deployment on the Newport News which consisted of round the clock five hour shifts of crewing one of the ship’s gun turrets with two 5-inch barrels that provided fire support for the Marines on shore.

The shock of seeing wounded Marines being flown back to the on board sick bay was very sobering for the new Marine. It did not take long for something even more sobering to happen on the ship that changed Hunley’s life.

At 1 a.m. Oct. 1, 1972, a catastrophic event occurred aboard the ship during a firing mission. An eight-inch shell in one of the larger guns on the ship malfunctioned and exploded in the turret. Twenty on board personnel were killed by the explosion, fire and smoke inhalation. Hurley will always remember the smell of burning human flesh.

His ship made it safely home to Norfolk, Virginia, on Christmas Eve 1972. After his tour with the US Marines off the coast of Vietnam, Hunley had a much greater appreciation for the value of a college education. He came home, finished his degree and began a career of service in the field of education.

Thank you Larry J. Hunley of Buffalo, New York for your service to your country in war and peace.

836 – Agent Orange claimed another Vietnam Veteran

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Pat Beard, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Pat Beard is pictured with his wife, Sharon, and son, Tim, being honored at a Aug. 18, 2014 Twins game. (South Washington County Bulletin)

One of the darkest curses loosed on Vietnam Veterans was that of Agent Orange – the wonder chemical defoliant that was supposed to help us win the war. It not only failed in helping us win the war but it shortened and ruined the lives of thousands of Vietnam Veterans. It was sinister in that it would sometimes strike immediately after exposure with one of the many illnesses caused by its dioxin component. In other cases its deadly effects would hideously lay dormant in the body of the exposed person for many years and then unexpectedly manifest its presence with the appearance of one on the terrible illnesses.

In this episode, the story of one of those brave Vietnam Veterans whose life was claimed by the grim reaper doing the dastardly work of Agent Orange is featured. The demise of Pat Beard was covered in a story in The Twin Cities Pioneer Press titled: Pat Beard, former state rep and Vietnam vet exposed to Agent Orange, has died.  submitted by Bob Shaw – bshaw@pioneerpress.com.

Pat Beard is another incredible representative of the Vietnam Veteran Generation, one as great as any that ever heeded the call of duty from our country. He passed away on February 7, 2017. His memorial service and funeral will be at 9 a.m. Feb. 15 at St. Rita’s Catholic Church, 8694 80th St. S., Cottage Grove, followed by a funeral Mass at 11 a.m. More about his passing at: http://www.wisefamilyfh.com/obituaries/Patrick-Beard/

Pat joined the US Navy in 1968 and served eighteen months in Vietnam as a Seabee and Navy Seal. He was awarded the Silver Star and three Bronze Stars for heroism. He came home, went back to college and earned a degree from the University of Minnesota then proceeded to spend a career in the steel industry.

Continuing in his service to country in 1982 he was elected to his first of six terms in the Minnesota Legislature. He was admired by all who knew him for his service to his neighbors, his community, his state and his country.

Thank you Pat Beard for your service to your country and for being a great American. RIP