865 – ANZAC Day Long Tan tribute up in the air

Reverend Graeme Davis OAM, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Lismore’s Reverend Graeme Davis OAM CSM, fought in the Battle of Long Tan in 1966 and said governments may argue about protocols but veterans have more important issues to consider. Sophie Moeller

Alison Paterson, The Northern Star, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Alison Paterson, The Northern Star, Lismore, Australia

The saga of commemorations by the Australians for the Battle of Long Tan continues. Last year the Vietnamese government jerked back the welcome mat at the last minute for an entourage of ANZAC veterans who made the trip all the way back to Vung Tau to pay their respects to their fallen. According to a story in The Northern Star of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia titled: Anzac Day ceremony at Long Tan now uncertain that was submitted by Alison Paterson, the Vietnamese are equally reticent about welcoming a Long Tan commemoration service this year.

As a reminder the Battle of Long Tan took place on August 18, 1966. An Aussie company of 108 men encountered a force of 2,000 Viet Cong fighters in the Long Tan rubber plantation and the battle began. When the dust cleared it was determined the Aussies had suffered eighteen dead and twenty four wounded. They found 245 VC dead bodies. There were probably more VC casualties because they would normally remove as many of their dead as possible to minimize the body count.

In Paterson’s story Reverend Graham Davis OAM (Order of Australian Medal) is highlighted. He served in the battle and today is a permanent Deacon in the Catholic Church. He would like to attend commemoration ceremonies at the Long Tan Cross Monument in Vietnam if the locals will allow it to happen.

Reverend Davis commented on the situation as follows:

“However, we (Vietnam Veterans) have got over that, we respect them and now they are our friends and if the politicians want to argue, they shouldn’t drag in veterans of both sides.”

His feelings about the matter are that more resources should be allocated to helping veterans of more recent wars.

Reverend Davis’s opinion about forgiveness of former enemies is a very important message for all to follow.

Views of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia

864 – Georgia Vietnam Vets sought for a special event in their honor

USS Rochester (CA-124), vietnam veteran news, mack payne

USS Rochester (CA-124), the ship Willie Troupe and his 1141 crew mates sailed in up the river to Saigon in January of 1954.

A special event will take place at the College of Coastal Georgia on March 23, 2017. The Georgia Department of Veterans Service will conduct a ceremony to honor Vietnam Era veterans for their service to their country with the presentation of a Vietnam War Certificate of Honor and a lapel pin issued by the Defense Department. The upcoming event was covered in a story in The Golden Isles News titled:  Vietnam-era Veterans sought to be honored for March 23 ceremony that was submitted by Larry Hobbs (lhobbs@goldenisles.news).

The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the campus’s Southeast Conference Center. According to Tina Herring, office manager of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service in Brunswick, 35 local veterans have indicated that they will attend the ceremony. There are 70 other local Vietnam War-era veterans the office is inviting to attend. It is hoped they will respond so officials will be prepared to honor them at the ceremony. Anyone interested in attending can call Herring at 912-262-2345.

The Golden Isles News article highlighted Vietnam War Era veteran Willie Troup. He served on the USS Rochester when it sailed up the Saigon River to Saigon in January 1954 as a show up support for the French who were battling the Communist forces led by Ho Chi Minh.

The ship was the largest ship up to that time to sail up the Saigon River. It was an Oregon City-class heavy cruiser that displaced 13,700 tons, was 675 feet in length and carried a complement of 1,142 officers and enlisted personnel. Apparently the mission did not succeed. In 1975 Vietnam became united under a Communist government and there is a memorial wall in Washington DC with 53,315 names of Americans who died in the war that followed Troup’s cruise up the Saigon River.

863 – Historian James Wright pens book about Vietnam Vet treatment

Historian James Wright, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Historian James Wright will be visiting the Buena Vista Branch Library April 6 to talk about his upcoming book, “Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and Its War.”

Well known historian James Wright has written a new book that deals with understanding what Vietnam veterans have gone through. The title of the book is “Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and Its War” and is scheduled to be released on April 4, 2017. The book and its author was featured in a story in The Los Angeles Times titled: Book explores treatment of Vietnam War veterans that was submitted by Anthony Clark Carpio.

Wright’s background provides him with a great deal of preparation to write such a book. He is a former US Marine who worked his way through college doing such jobs as a night watchman, janitor, bartender and powder man in a zinc mine. He earned a bachelor, a master’s and a doctorate degree in history.  He is President Emeritus of Dartmouth College. For many years Wright maintained an interest in American soldiers who have fought in various and the treatment they received from the public as a result of their service to their country.

In 2012, he published a book titled “Those Who Have Borne the Battle: A History of America’s Wars and Those Who Fought Them” that dealt with the subject in detail. That book led Wright to wanting to know more specifically about the effects the Vietnam War had on the Americans who fought in it and how they were treated when they came back to the states. After years of research and interviewing Vietnam Veterans and in many cases their families he was ready to document his findings in his latest book.

Wright said: “Most people did not encounter hostility when they came home, but they encountered more of an embarrassed indifference. People really didn’t want to talk to them about it. I remember one person told me that their dad, who fought at Iwo Jima, never once asked him about the war.”

Wright’s new book will shed new light on the subject that has hung around Vietnam Veterans and the American people for fifty years.

Recommended Reading:

Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and Its War, vietnam veteran news, mack payne


862 – Bolivar, Tennessee honors Vietnam Vets and Hmong People

Hmong, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Approximately 20 Hmong participated in the parade and the celebration honoring Vietnam Veterans in Bolivar, TN(SOURCE: Nelia Dempsey)

Maj. Gen. James Livingston, Medal of Honor recipient, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Maj. Gen. James Livingston, Medal of Honor recipient, speaks at the Vietnam Veterans Celebration (SOURCE: Nelia Dempsey)

The town of Bolivar, Tennessee is doing a wonderful job in honoring all its veterans with special emphasis on Vietnam Veterans that include the Hmong People who fought alongside the Americans in Vietnam. A story that appeared in two publications described what the west Tennessee town is doing in that respect. One source was The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization website story titled: Hmong: Community’s Vietnam War Veterans Receive Recognition for Unparalleled Sacrifices and the other was the WMC Channel 5 of Memphis wmcactionnews5.com website story titled: Annual Vietnam Veterans celebration featured Medal of Honor recipient that was provided by Amelia Carlson.

The DoD Fifty Year Vietnam War Commemoration Program designated March 28 as National Vietnam Veterans Day. Four years ago town leaders in Bolivar decided to start the tradition of annual celebrations to honor Vietnam Veterans. This year the event was conducted two weeks before the official celebration date of March 28. On Saturday March 4, Bolivar held a Vietnam Veterans parade before the kickoff of the celebration.

One of the highlights for this year’s event was the appearance of Major General (ret) James Livingston, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, from the United States Marine Corps. He was in the town for two days visiting and speaking at schools and veterans groups.

Another highlight of the event was the special honoring of the Hmong people for their contributions as our allies in the War. There is a Hmong community in nearby Toone and they were invited to attend the events so they could be recognized and thanked for what they did for the Americans back then. Approximately 20 Hmong people joined the celebration.

Between 30,000-40,000 Hmong were killed fighting with the United States and working to save lives of downed American pilots, disrupting supply lines, and identifying possible targets for American forces. After the war they were hunted down and put in prison camps and killed. The communists  labeled them as spies and traitors. To this day the Laotian government is persecuting the Hmong. They paid the price for helping us and we should always show them our gratitude and respect.

Thank you Bolivar, Tennessee.

861 – Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency teams look for MIAs

the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Ameil Fredeluces, edic, and U.S. Marine Corps. Staff Sgt. Eddie Ludwig, explosive ordinance disposal technician, remove dirt from units during excavation operations as part of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s mission in the Khammouane Province, Laos, January 29, 2017. Recovery Team Three executed excavation operations in search of two missing U.S. Air Force pilots who crashed while on a visual reconnaissance mission during the Vietnam War over 48 years ago. DPAA’s mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation. (Photo by SSgt Leah Ferrante)

In the previous episode of this podcast, Vietnam Veteran News, we took a look at what the State of Missouri and some family members of Vietnam MIA’s are doing to prod the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) to come up answers about the fifteen names on the MIA list from Missouri. It has been very frustrating for the families down through the years as they keep looking for information about their loved ones.

In this episode we will take a look at what the DPAA is doing to help find closure for the family members of the 1,614 service members missing in action from the Vietnam War. There were two similar stories about the DPAA work being done in this painstaking process. The stories are: one appearing in the Guns.com website titled: Teams search for remains of missing Vietnam War servicemen that was submitted by Jennifer Cruz and another on the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency website titled: Returning with honor by Staff Sgt Leah Ferrante.

The articles tell about a team of 59 researchers who recently went to Khammouane Province in the Central East region of Laos to search for remains of the MIAs. It was the second largest DPAA mission to for the fiscal year 2017. These missions are replete with many hazards. Key members of the team are explosive ordinance disposal technicians due to the fact that thousands of bombs and bomblets litter the mountainous area with the searches are conducted.

Members of the team expressed a high regard for the work they were doing. Team member U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Walgenbach said this about being included on the mission: “I’m very honored to have been part of this initiative to bring our missing home. This mission has been the most unique part of my 13 year career in the military and I know others feel the same way.”

The hard work and continued dedication of these teams makes it possible for DPAA to fulfill our nations promise and provide fullest possible accounting for our missing service members to their families and the nation.

the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s mission in the Khammouane Province, Laos, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s mission in the Khammouane Province, Laos

the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s mission in the Khammouane Province, Laos, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s mission in the Khammouane Province, Laos

the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s mission in the Khammouane Province, Laos, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s mission in the Khammouane Province, Laos

the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s mission in the Khammouane Province, Laos, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s mission in the Khammouane Province, Laos

860 – Answers sought for missing Missouri Vietnam Veterans

Army Staff Sergeant Paul Hasenbeck, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Jeanie Hasenbeck with a picture of her brother, Army Staff Sergeant Paul Hasenbeck who disappeared in Quang Ngai Province on April 21, 1967.

One of the cruelest legacies engendered by the Vietnam War was the issue of service members being declared missing in action or MIA. When that happened family members were cast into a state of limbo (a place or state of oblivion to which persons or things are regarded as being relegated when cast aside, forgotten, past, or out of date.) Many family members of MIA Vietnam Veterans have spent a life time bearing the heavy weight of worry and heartache wondering if they will ever know the fate of their loved one.

Family members of the fifteen Vietnam MIA’s from Missouri and a state legislator are demanding answers about their loved ones. A story from Missourinet titled: Families, State Lawmaker Want Answers About Missouri’s Missing Vietnam War Heroes that was submitted by Alisa Nelson, a contributor to Missourinet, describes the action being taken in that state to prod the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) into coming up with answers for the families.

Paul Hasenbeck, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Jeanie Hasenbeck’s brother, Staff Sergeant Paul Hasenbeck (18 in the family photo), disappeared in Vietnam on April 21, 1967. Although there is strong evidence that he was captured along with three other GIs, the Vietnamese claim he was killed during an ambush and they cannot find his body. Jeanie (her face reflected in Paul photograph) continues to press for the return of all 1,902 U.S. MIAs in Southeast Asia, and waits to learn of her brother’s fate, 35 years after his disappearance. Chronicle photo by Frederic Larson

On April 21, 1967, Army Staff Sergeant Paul Hasenbeck of mid-Missouri’s Freeburg vanished while on patrol. He was a member of the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. His sister, Jeanie Hasenbeck, has been on a life mission to find out what happened to her brother.

She has been able to obtain documentation from both Vietnamese and US intelligence sources that indicate her brother was forces to teach English to Viet Cong cadres. Her efforts to obtain information from the CIA have proven fruitless. She was informed by the agency they had no information about her brother even though she had acquired CIA documents related to her brother from unnamed sources.

Another puzzling fact is that numerous items identified as belonging to Paul Hasenbeck that included his name, rank, and unit were on display at a museum in Hanoi. Of course, the CIA never acknowledged the evidence or followed up on it as far as Jeanie Hasenbeck can determine.

Meta Republican state Rep. Tom Hurst introduced a resolution that was passed unanimously that urges the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) to make it a priority to resolve the open Missouri cases.

859 – Playboy’s contribution to the Vietnam War

Dan Mouer and Playboy, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Dan Mouer in Vietnam in 1966. The magazine was sent by his wife, along with a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Playboy is one of the more influential magazines of our times. It not only entertained many with its Playmate of the month feature but helped shape opinions about the national mores of our times since its founding in 1953 by that well known raconteur Hugh Hefner. It survives today with a circulation of 1,628,567 and a ranking of 49th on the list of most popular magazines in America. FYI, AARP publications occupy the first two positions on that list. It appears many of the Playboy readers has aged some much they are now more interested in AARP supplemental Medicare insurance than naked women.

Playboy in Vietnam, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

The “Playboy Club” in Chu Lai, Vietnam, in 1969. Credit The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University

Among other things, the Playboy magazine had a significant impact on the Vietnam War. Recently a story about that impact appeared in the form of an opinion piece in The New York Times titled: How Playboy Explains Vietnam that was submitted by Texas Tech University history doctoral candidate Amber Batura. Batura pointed out the compound role the magazine played in the lives of military personnel serving in Vietnam.

Playboy in Vietnam, vietnam veteran news, mack payneIt was more than just a useful morale booster that carried the Playmate of the month images that would often times end up on the walls of every type of structure in the bailiwick of allied military personnel in the country. (Those images more than likely also ended on the walls of the opposition forces.)  In addition to its visual delights, the magazine provided regular features, columns, editorials, and ads that focused on men’s lifestyle and entertainment.

Another feature of Playboy was its “Playboy Advisor.” It provided personnel in Vietnam with a forum where they could air comments about the war, complaints about treatment and their perceived difficulty in transitioning back to civilian society.

Hefner was wise in that he let his magazine contributors criticize the war but not the troops fighting the war. For instance in 1971, the journalist David Halberstam wrote in an article for Playboy that “we admired their bravery and their idealism, their courage and dedication in the face of endless problems. We believed that they represented the best of American society.”

Hope you enjoy Batura’s piece about Playboy’s impact on the troops in the Vietnam War.

Playboy Bunnies of the Month visiting the troops in Vietnam, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Playboy Bunnies of the Month visiting the troops in Vietnam

Playboy images, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Examples of the Playboy logo being used in Vietnam

858 – Another dismal aftereffect of the Vietnam

President Lyndon B. Johnson in the tense diplomacy vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Abba Eban, center left, was Israel’s main contact with President Lyndon B. Johnson in the tense diplomacy that preceded the 1967 Middle East war. Credit Corbis, via Getty Images

The Vietnam War was if anything else monumental in its generation of a heap of hellacious aftereffects. They are really too numerous to mention. The list would begin with the effects of the use of Agent Orange and go on from there. A prominent addition to the list would be how our participation in the War effected our perceived reputation with the third world. The Vietnam War essentially was  where a large highly advanced nation was pouring tons of bombs on defenseless and backward mountain villages. It was as if a big bully in a playground was beating to death a young kindergartener as the other children watched. And then the young child being beaten stood up to the bully and ran him off.

There was a discussion about this aspect of the Vietnam War in The New York Times titled: America’s Case of ‘Tonkin Gulfitis.’ It was submitted by Mark Atwood Lawrence. He teaches history at the University of Texas at Austin. His latest book (see below) is “The Vietnam War: A Concise International History.”

Lawrence maintains that the Vietnam War put such a huge drain on American power and resources the country had less political, diplomatic and military clout needed deal with events in other parts of the world. He said it was especially evident in the third world. Because American power was tied up in Southeast Asia it decided to rely on right-wing, authoritarian regimes that used American aid to maintain their power and coerce their own populations. Lawrence’s conclusion that the Vietnam War forever weakened the influence the US had enjoyed in much of the Third World during the early 1960s.

The writer of this piece disagrees with the Lawrence conclusion. I remember images of Vice President Nixon’s car being egged by anti-American demonstrators in South America in the 1950’s. All the dire consequences he listed in his article would have happened more or less regardless of our activities in Vietnam. I still recommend that you get a copy of his book and read it to expand your perceptions of the War.

Recommended Reading:

The Vietnam War: A Concise International History, vietnam veteran news, mack payne


857 – Wall of Faces activist Janna Hoehn honored by VVA

Janna Hoehn being presented, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Janna Hoehn being presented a Lifetime Honorary Membership in the Vietnam Veterans of America. Allen Hoe on left, Janna Hoehn center and Rona Adams right.

Janna Hoehn, a good friend of this podcast, was recently presented with a Civilian Lifetime Honorary Membership in the Vietnam Veterans of America. This presentation was done to show the appreciation of the VVA and all Vietnam Veterans for the incredibly tremendous job she has done and is doing to help the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund track down photographs of every person whose name appears on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC. The pictures will be a big part of the proposed Education Center that will be located adjacent to the Wall in an underground two story structure.

Hoehn became heavily involved in the search for pictures six years ago after a visit to the Vietnam Memorial Wall. She did not know anyone named on the wall so she rubbed a name at random, Gregory John Crossman, an Air Force pilot, for a memento. She got interested in the name and looked into his background when led to her finding his picture. She kept it in a scrapbook. Later she heard about the Wall of Faces project and decided to submit Crossman’s picture to the project. She was thanked by Jan Scruggs, the head of the project, and he asked her to help find pictures of fallen heroes from her home state of Hawaii.

She gladly agreed to help and as of today she has personally accounted for 5,000 pictures being secured for the collection. When she started six years ago 32,000 pictures for the 58,315 names on the Wall were needed. Today the number of pictures needed is 7,472 and that number is shrinking daily with the capture of new images. Currently Hoehn is working diligently to find missing pictures in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri.

On February 25, 2017 the VVA chapter in Kailua, Hawaii, not far from Honolulu presented Hoehn with a Civilian Lifetime Honorary Membership in the Vietnam Veterans of America. She has done a great job for the project and intends to see it thru to completion.

Listen to her compelling story in this podcast episode.

CLICK HERE for information about the Wall of Faces.

856 – Bob Parsons and GoDaddy donates $50,000 to Semper Fi Fund

US Marine Vietnam Veteran Bob Parsons and wife Renee, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

US Marine Vietnam Veteran Bob Parsons and wife Renee

In the continuing effort of this podcast, Vietnam Veteran News, to highlight outstanding representatives of the Great Vietnam Veteran Generation, Bob Parsons will be featured in this episode. There was a story about him and his foundation that described how he is helping the Semper Fi Foundation in The AZBIGMEDIA website that was titled: Bob Parsons’ Double Down For Vets reaches $20M goal.

Parsons grew up in the inner city of Baltimore in a family that struggled financially. Upon graduation he joined the Marines and served in Vietnam with 1st Battalion, 26th Marines in the 1st Marine Division. He was wounded in 1969 and earned a Purple Heart. After his hitch in the Marines, Parsons went to college at the University of Baltimore where he earned a degree in accounting, graduating magna cum laude.

After college he went to work in the business field. And to work he went. Today he has a net worth of $2.3 billion (one of his companies was the giant internet domain store GoDaddy). As his estate grew he always maintained an interest in veterans’ issues. Through The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, he and his wife Renee have generously granted more than $31 million to the Semper Fi Fund.

The Semper Fi Fund was established in 2004 with a simple vision of providing the country’s heroes with the best care and support available in their hour of need. Since its inception the Semper Fi Fund has awarded more than $142 million in assistance to 18,000 service members.

The story on the AZBIGMEDIA website announced that the annual “Double Down for Veterans” fundraising challenge has raised $20 million as a result of Bob Parsons leading the way with a donation of $50,000 and a pledge to match all other donations dollar to dollar up to $10 million.

CLICK HERE for the Semper Fi Fund website. You are encouraged to follow the lead of Bob Parsons and make a donation to the Fund to help our veterans.

the Semper Fi Fund, vietnam veteran news, mack payne