986 – America begins to thank its Vietnam Veterans

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Major General James Jackson pins a special medal on the chest of a Vietnam veteran during a ceremony at Michigan’s Military and Space Heroes Museum in Frankenmuth. (WSGW News photo by Bill Hewitt)

Episode 986 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will be celebrating the fact that America is finally beginning to recognize and appreciate its Vietnam Veterans as the true heroes they have proven to be over the years. Much of this blossoming of appreciation is the result of an action taken by President Obama. In 2012 he approved the creation of  the United States of America Vietnam War 50th year Anniversary Commemoration program to be carried out under the auspices of the Department of Defense.

Bill Hewitt, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Bill Hewitt

Hundreds of Vietnam Veteran appreciation events have already occurred and hundreds more are in the planning stages across the country. Recently such an event was held in Frankenmuth, Michigan at the state’s Military and Space Heroes Museum. Retired Army Major General James Jackson, who is chairman of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration program was on hand to personally pin the medal on the chest of 100 Vietnam Veteran and shake their hands. A story about the happening was on WSGW News Radio 790 in Saginaw, Michigan titled: America Says A Belated Thank You To Vietnam War Veterans. The story was covered by Bill Hewitt.

Another such event is planned to be held in Sebring, Florida on Friday, November, 2017. The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter # 1097 and the South Central Florida Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, both of Sebring teamed up to head up an effort to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War in Highlands County in conjunction to the city’s Veterans Day Parade.

The Sebring event in addition to honoring uniformed military personnel who served from November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975 will be open to the following individuals:

  • Former American POWs
  • MIA immediate family members
  • Immediate family members of Veterans whose name is on the Memorial Wall
  • A deceased Vietnam Veteran’s Surviving Spouse

If you are interested in attending the Sebring, Florida event and you fall into any of the qualifying categories to be recognized, please contact either of the organizing organizations.

CLICK HERE to contact the VVA chapter 1097.

CLICK HERE to contact the Sebring MOAA chapter.

For more information about the Vietnam Veteran Commemoration program see episode 956.

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985 – Lehigh Valley Vietnam Vets asked for war pictures

PBS39, the vietnam war, ken burns, mack payne

PBS39 announces “The War is Still With Us,” a community engagement project to be implemented in conjunction with Bethlehem Area Public Library.

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“Decades later, the Vietnam War is still a present topic in the hearts and minds of those who lived through it. ‘The War is Still With Us’ will provide our local community with a platform to share a look at this time in our nation’s history through their lens.”
~Tim Fallon, CEO of PBS39

Episode 985 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature one of the many off shoots of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick epic 18 hour epic documentary to be known as The Vietnam War. Tim Fallon and his PBS39 station in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is creating “The War is Still With Us” — a community engagement project that will feature images of the Vietnam War submitted by community members. The project was the subject of a story on the Lehigh Valley Live website titled: Have pictures from the Vietnam War? Share your story. The story was submitted by Alyssa Mursch for lehighvalleylive.com. She can be reached at amursch@lehighvalleylive.com.

The feeling around the Lehigh Valley is that The Vietnam War is a story that doesn’t have a last chapter as it relates to the veterans that served. It hasn’t been discussed as has other wars and PBS39 wants to change that. It wants to bring the stories of Lehigh Valley veterans to life.

PBS39’s “The War is Still With Us” project is scheduled to launch in early October, a month after the premiere of Kens Burns’ latest documentary, “The Vietnam War.” According to PBS39 Vice President of Marketing DaWayne Cleckley “the goal of this project is to inspire civil discourse and help the community experience the thoughts, feelings and desires that go along with these veteran’s stories and to highlight the stories woven through the fabric of the community.”

Vietnam Veterans who reside in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania are encouraged to participate in the project. It will no doubt help both the community and the veterans. This is an excellent opportunity for Vietnam Veterans to close out that last chapter of The Vietnam War.

 If you would like to know more about the project and how it will benefit Vietnam Veterans check out episode 985.

CLICK HERE if you are interested in discovering more about PBS39’s “The War is Still With Us” project.

984 – Australian medical volunteers in Vietnam caught in a squeeze

Margaret Ahern, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Army nurse Margaret Ahern in Hoa Long during the Vietnam War.

Episode 984 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast delves into a curious situation down under in Australia. It has to do with the 450 medical personal who answered the call from their country for medical volunteers to serve in the Vietnam War. They are suffering the same maladies as uniformed Vietnam Veterans have been facing for years. Such things as PTSD, Agent Orange related diseases and more. Radio commentator Justin Smith delivered an opinion piece on Melbourne’s 3AW radio station titled: The Vietnam war volunteers our leaders are ignoring that laid out the situation for all to consider.

Smith reports that the Australian government has denied them the same medical benefits as our other veterans. Despite the fact they were volunteers, they feel the government owes them something for their service. He stated: “The next time you see a politician lay a wreath and then give an emotional speech about the Anzac spirit and mateship and sacrifice, I’d like you to gently take them by the arm and raise an issue that’s bothering quite a few people.”

They all received the Australian Active Service Medal, but they’ve been refused proper governmental financial and medical support. The approximately 300 remaining Vietnam War medical volunteers are getting older and being tormented by their health conditions which not only effects their quality of life but their financial assets.

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Professor and former Vietnam War nurse Dot Angell did a PhD on her fellow nurses.

One of the volunteers Dot Angell was there in 1967. She later earned a PhD that featured her fellow civilian nurses. She discovered that many of her comrades were experiencing the same ongoing medical and psychological conditions the uniformed military personnel were encountering.

She has autoimmune conditions and has been diagnosed with PTSD. She served at a hospital next to a large US air base in country that was frequently sprayed with Agent Orange and was often attacked with enemy rockets.

Get more on this tough story in episode 984.

983 – Seth Lipsky – Vietnam War now uniting America

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President Trump bestowing the Medal of Honor on a retired coach and teacher from Michigan, James McCloughan, now 71.

Episode 983 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast brings an uplifting message to all Vietnam Veterans along with all other Americans for that matter. It comes from an opinion piece found in The New York

Seth Lipsky, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Seth Lipsky is the founder and editor of the New York Sun

Post titled: The Vietnam War is finally uniting America. The piece was submitted by Seth Lipsky. He was born in 1946 and is the founder and editor of the New York Sun, an independent conservative daily paper in New York City that ceased its print edition in 2008. Lipsky counts Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill, Ariel Sharon, and Milton Friedman among his intellectual and ideological heroes. He has a long history of working in the newspaper business, including a stint for the Wall Street Journal in Asia and Belgium. He has also written several articles and guest opinions for The New York Times. Lipsky served in the U.S. military and wrote for Stars and Stripes while in Vietnam.

In his New York Post opinion piece he lays out the proposition that the Vietnam War fought fifty years ago is now having a uniting effect on the American population. He begins by pointing out that our latest two Presidents, Obama and Trump have presented Medal of Honor awards to Vietnam Veterans. Most recently President Trump presented the award to James McCloughan in a White House ceremony. President Obama during his term made the awards to Vietnam Veterans Charles Kettles, Donald Sloat and Bennie Adkins. All these recipients performed incredible acts of courage and heroism and the nation is finally beginning to see and appreciate their fellow Americans. President Obama made these awards possible by approving legislation that removed the five year restriction on the award after the action it recognizes.

Ken Burns The Vietnam War, vietnam veteran news, mack payneLipsky credits the upcoming Vietnam War documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick as helping in bringing about the sea change in the American attitude toward our Vietnam Veterans.

Discover more about Lipsky’s pronouncements on America’s attitudes about its Vietnam Veterans in episode 983.

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982 – VVA member Thomas Barden sues DoD

Thomas Barden , vietnam veteran news, mack payne

VVA Chapter 77 member Thomas Barden

Thuy Lan Nguyen, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Thuy Lan Nguyen of WKBW

Episode 982 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast exposes another menace for which Vietnam Veterans should be exercising extreme vigilance. It is alleged that dirty rotten con artists are using personal information about the veterans obtained from the public Department of Defense website to scam the veterans. A story on WKBW ABC channel 7 in Buffalo, New York titled: Local Vietnam Veterans and University at Buffalo file lawsuit against Department of Defense. The story was covered by Thuy Lan Nguyen of WKBW.

Thomas Barden, Vietnam Veterans of America chapter 77 member, along with the Civil Liberties & Transparency Clinic from the University at Buffalo School of Law are filing a major data privacy lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense. All this is happening in Tonawanda, New York.

According to Vietnam Veteran Thomas Barden, it all started with him when he was contacted by someone who claimed to be a representative of Microsoft. Barden believed the caller was legit because the person was citing he personal information. Consequently he gave the scammer what was requested and this led  to Barden’s computer being hacked. His passwords were changed and attempts were made to steal his credit card and banking information. Barden believes if the scammer hadn’t used his military service information to gain his trust, he wouldn’t have fallen victim to the scam.

Barden’s experience should be a warning to all Vietnam Veterans. Always be aware of the possibility of falling victim to a scammer. As a result of his experience all should be suspect even if a caller or emailer has all sorts of personal information about you. They can be very convincing when they say you computer and all your data is in danger. Don’t be the next victim of a con artist.

Discover more about Thomas Barden and his lawsuit against the Department of Defense in episode 982.

981 – Hmong farmers in Missouri showing the way

Hmong People, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Lucy Moua prepares for the farmers market by checking her farm’s produce this month in Newton County. As a young woman, Moua stayed in a refugee camp in Thailand after escaping from Laos during the Vietnam War. Moua and her family have adapted to American culture but still keep aspect of their Hmong culture.

Episode 981 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will be about a special group of people who were swooped up in the turmoil and mayhem created by the Vietnam War and then dropped. The group in question is the Hmong people. They lived peacefully in the mountainous regions of southern China, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. That changed when the Communists moved in and proceeded to change their tranquil lifestyle on small family farms.

Hmong girls, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Hmong girls in Thailand today.

The Hmong were opposed to the Communists and chose to ally themselves with the Americans in the effort to keep the socialist forces out. They proved to be excellent guerilla fighters and positive allies for the Americans. Unfortunately for them, the dark forces prevailed and when it was over the Americans abandoned the Hmong to the cruel consequences of those who fought against the Communists.

The Hmong people suffered and still do to this day at the hands of the Communists who continue to apply retribution to their former enemies. Many of the Hmong were able to escape the cruelty of their new Communist rulers by making their way to Thailand. From there many were able to come to the United States where they have continued to show their worth to the world.

Fue Yang, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Fue Yang picks fresh turnips from a high tunnel in late July at the Yang Family Farm Year-Round Growing Education Center outside of Rocky Comfort, Missouri. Yang farms at an educational property geared toward helping the Hmong community adapt to farming in Missouri. Provided by Whitney Matewe

There was a story about a group of Hmong People who have made their way to Southwest Missouri and have become productive small farmers. It came from The Columbia Missourian website titled: Traditional Hmong farmers in Missouri embrace new techniques. The story was provided by Anna Brett. It spotlighted one of the Hmong, Fue Yang, who was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. His family immigrated to the United States in 1980 when Yang was a month old.

Today, Yang farms on 43 acres in southwestern Missouri, just north of the Arkansas state line in McDonald County. He is doing amazing things that are not only helping his family but also the rest of the Hmong community and other small farmers in the area.

Discover the wonderful things this admirable immigrant had done so far and what he is on track to do in the future. Get more about it in episode 981.

980 – Wilmington, NC plans first ever Veterans Day parade

SENC Veterans Day Parade, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

SENC Veterans Day Parade vision

Episode 980 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will be publicizing a special event that will take place on November 11, 2017 in Wilmington, North Carolina. The event was covered in a story that appeared in The Star News that was titled: Group organizing inaugural Veterans Day Parade for Nov. 11. The story was provided by Amanda Lisk, a StarNews Correspondent.

Back in 2008, Congress in its infinite wisdom passed the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. It authorized the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and “in conducting the commemorative program, the Secretary shall coordinate, support, and facilitate other programs and activities of the Federal Government, State and local governments, and other persons and organizations in commemoration of the Vietnam War.”

The Veterans Day event in Wilmington was encouraged by the DoD program. The planners of this parade have concluded it is the first ever Veteran’s Day Parade, or at least the first one in recent memory for the city. In their words the parade is expected to be a humdinger packed full of music, trucks, boats, even a submarine. They are going to do their best to make up for lost time in showing the city’s honor for all its veterans with special emphasis on its Vietnam Veterans.

Marc Biddison is the parade committee co-chair and the driving force behind the parade. He has been overwhelmed with the support that has been shown by the veterans in the community for the celebration. He stated: “Oh my gosh, we’ve had a tremendous response with those who know about it. So many people want to volunteer, we’re now trying to get the word out more.”

CLICK HERE  to learn more or sign up to volunteer.

CLICK HERE  to become a sponsor or to make contribution to help with the parade costs.

Discover more about the event at episode 980.

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979 – ‘Magnificent Bastards’ battalion story to be told in Charleston

Brig. Gen. William Weise, Maj. Gen. James Livingston, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Brig. Gen. William Weise (left) and Maj. Gen. James Livingston will speak abroad the aircraft carrier Yorktown on Aug. 3 about serving in the Magnificent Bastards Marine Battalion during the Vietnam War. Provided

Episode 979 of the Vietnam Veteran News will be telling about a special event occurring in Charleston, South Carolina. Decorated Marine veterans from the “Magnificent Bastards” battalion who fought in the Vietnam War will speak on Aug. 3  at Patriots Point. The speakers will be Brig. Gen. William Weise and Maj. Gen. James Livingston. They will share their stories and war strategies from the Battle of Dai Do in 1968 at a free symposium aboard the aircraft carrier Yorktown at Patriots Point.

Patriots Point was established in the 1970s. It is a naval & maritime museum on Charleston Harbor with the World War II aircraft carrier, USS YORKTOWN as its centerpiece. It’s also home to the Patriots Point Museum and a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships, the Cold War Memorial and the only Vietnam Experience Exhibit in the U.S., the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and the agency’s official Medal of Honor Museum.

A story about the event appeared in The Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina and was titled: Members of ‘Magnificent Bastards’ battalion to share experiences from Vietnam War at Patriots Point. The story was submitted by Mina Corpuz mcorpuz@postandcourier.com

Background on the importance of the Battle of Dai Do is included in the episode. It comes from Colin D. Heaton in an article he authored titled: Valor at Dai Do that was published on the History Net website.

The brunt of the battle was borne by the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines. The Marine forces numbered 600 men. They faced off against an experienced and hardened NVA division of 10,000 troops intent upon taking Dong Ha and the surrounding environs. That would have caused a collapse of the entire northern front. The long and short of the event was that the Marines prevailed and saved the day and as a result gained the moniker “Magnificent Bastards.”

This is why it would be such a rewarding experience to be able to hear these brave Marines tell their stories about the significant battle at Dai Do.

Discover more about the event at episode 979.

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978 – Bruce D’Agostino was a helping Vietnam Veteran


Bruce Frank D’Agostino, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Bruce Frank D’Agostino, Vietnam Veteran, August 5, 1946 – July 22, 2017

The passing of another Vietnam Veteran, Bruce D’Agostino, will be featured in episode 978 of the Vietnam Veteran News. There was a story about him and his passing in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution titled: Bruce D’Agostino, 70: Vietnam veteran had heart for helping others. It was submitted Nancy Badertscher of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Bruce D’Agostino was another tremendous representatives of the Great Vietnam Veteran Generation, one as great as any that ever heeded the call of duty from its country. In 1965 he graduated from high school in Natick, Massachusetts and immediately joined the Air Force. He became a crypto-teletype technician and was stationed in Japan. While there he taught English and learned to speak and read Japanese. From there he was sent to Vietnam where he repaired teletype machines and also engaged in combat photography. Some of his pictures were sold to the Associated Press and United Press International.

Vietnam vet Bruce D’Agostino always had a huge place in his heart for the American soldier. Longtime friend Clinton Day said D’Agostino was always one of the most popular members of the Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association, one of several organizations he was in. “What set him apart to me was his colorful past and boldness,” Day said.

Besides his Ann, D’Agostino is survived by sons Peter D’Agostino of Brookline, N.H., Greg D’Agostino of Natick, and Joe D’Agostino of Dorchester, Mass.; a brother, Brian; and several grandchildren.

It is requested that donations be made in his honor to the Bravo Victor Fund, Attention: Judge Reuben Green, Cobb County Veterans Treatment Court, Cobb County Superior Court, 70 Haynes St., Marietta, GA 30090.

Go to episode 978 of the podcast to discover some of the amazing and caring things this outstanding Vietnam Veteran accomplished during a life that was cut short due to an Agent Orange engendered cancer.

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977 – Sneak preview coming of Ken Burns’ The Vietnam War in PA


Ken Burns The Vietnam War, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick

Episode 977 of the Vietnam Veteran News will be devoted to informing listeners in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area about a special “sneak preview” of the Ken Burns upcoming colossal documentary The Vietnam War. WITF-FM is a non-commercial, public FM radio station licensed to serve Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The station recently aired an announcement pertaining to the Ken Burns work titled: Special Screenings of THE VIETNAM WAR. The announcement was written by WITF Staff.

The Vietnam War documentary is an 18 hour epic that will be broadcast in ten parts on PBS in September. In advance of the scheduled showing, sneak previews are occurring in various locations. Three will be in the Harrisburg area in Carlisle, Annville, and Willow Valley. The three area showings are free and open to the public. They are supported by Willow Valley Communities and the Harrisburg office of the law firm of Saul Ewing LLP.

Although the showings are free it is necessary to register to attend. CLICK HERE for access to the registration forms to attend any of the three screenings of The Vietnam War.

The Vietnam War, tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history as it has never before been told on film. Visceral and immersive, the series explores the human dimensions of the war through revelatory testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides–Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as combatants and civilians from North and South Vietnam.

Attendance at any of the three special screenings mentioned above will be more than a spectator experience. After the screening, you will have the opportunity to share your story and take part in a panel discussion and match wits with local experts.

All who have even the slightest interest in the Vietnam War in the Harrisburg area  should take advantage of this opportunity to get a peek at this epic documentary under taking by Ken Burns, and Lynn Novick.

Discover more about the event at episode 977 of the Vietnam Veteran News.

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