914 – Vietnam Vet moves California lawmaker to pull Communist hiring bill


rob bonta, randy voepel, vietnam veteran news, mack payneIn this episode of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast another reason to be proud of Vietnam Veterans will be presented. In comes out of a situation that occurred in the great state of California and is described in a story from WFMJ, Youngstown, Ohio titled: California lawmaker pulls bill on Cold War-era communist ban  that submitted by Sophia Bollag of the Associated Press.

It seems California Assemblyman Rob Bonta, a Democrat from the San Francisco Bay Area, felt it necessary to submit a bill to the state legislature. His bill, AB22, would have let communists legally work in California government. He believes the threats communism poses to our way of life here in America have sufficiently eased to the point “commie pinkos” can be employed by the State of California.

Thanks to Vietnam Veterans like Republican Assemblyman Randy Voepel who were willing to stand up to such a misguided action, Bonta has decided to withdraw his proposed bill. His official reason for the action was that it caused veterans and Americans of Vietnamese descent “distress and hurt.” Bonta’s proposal was so outrageous even one of his fellow Democrats Assemblyman Ash Kalra, lauded his colleague for pulling the bill.

Even Democrats in California recognize the fact Communism is still a serious factor to be reckoned with it today’s world. It must not be forgotten Communism is a bankrupt concept that only leads to equality in poverty and death. We must remember the Communists in the USSR killed 15 million of their own people and 12 million Ukrainians through state enforced starvation. It is reported the Chinese Communists killed 50 million of their citizens. And don’t forget the Cambodian Communist, Pol Pot, who summarily murdered 2 million of its 7 million citizens.

Anyone who appreciates the liberty and prosperity we enjoy in America should always be alert to the menace of Communism. We should all thank God for the bravery of Vietnam Veterans both back in the day and on today’s front lines of defending liberty.

913 – Vietnam Vet Edward Abair found adventure on a bike

Edward Abair, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Edward Abair – A former Army medic in Vietnam and substitute high school teacher, bicycled across the United States on Route 66 in 1972.

Edward Abair is a Vietnam Veteran who looked for adventure. He found it on a bicycle ride across America. His story was covered in a Webwire article titled: Ex-Vietnam Medic’s Bike Trip across America: It’s About Meeting People. Edward was an Army medic in Vietnam. That job brought him lots of excitement. He came home to a life with no adventure.

Upon his return he bounced around jobs of being a hospital orderly and a substitute teacher. As he worked those jobs he began to think it would be too late to experience adventure by the age of 28. In 1972 he decided to go and seek adventure. With $250 in his pocket, a bicycle, and a pack weighing thirty-seven pounds, he set off on an adventure of a lifetime.

He pedaled his bicycle 5,800 miles solo from Long Beach, California, to Miami, Florida, to Boston, Massachusetts. Edward found lots of excitement and adventure on the trip as he endured 110-degree heat in Southwest deserts, crossed the intimidating Rocky Mountains, fought off Mississippi mosquitoes, sweated in the humid swamplands of the South. He spent nights in an assortment of places that included: abandoned buildings, fire stations, jails and under porch roofs.

At age 68 Edward decided to go on another bicycle adventure. This time it would be a reverse course of the Lewis and Clark Expedition from Astoria, Oregon, to St. Louis, Missouri. On this trip he was shadowed by his wife in a car loaded with modern supporting equipment.

Edward wrote a book about his bicycling adventures titled: Discovering the US on a Bicycle: And 40 Years Later. You are highly encouraged to get a copy of this interesting and well written account of his amazing adventures. In it he shares observations of finding the people and adventures from small town America to the St. Louis Gateway Arch.


912 – 3 effective ways a Vietnam Vet handles PTSD

Jeff Snyder, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Jeff Snyder poses for a photo at the Pike County All Wars Museum with a diorama he made of the Vietnam War on Thursday, May. 4, 2017. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane

It is reported that over a quarter of a million Vietnam Vets suffer from PTSD. In this episode of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast the story of Jeff Snyder will be featured. He is a Vietnam Veteran who suffered in silence with PTSD for thirty five years. Snyder discovered three effective methods for dealing with this psychologically crippling condition. His experiences were highlighted in a story found in The Herald-Whig of Quincy, Illinois titled: Vietnam vet carries PTSD in silence for 35 years that was submitted by Matt Dutton of the Herald-Whig.

Snyder was 20 years old when he went to Vietnam in March 1971. When he came home a year later he was much more mature than others his age and was a changed person. He discovered he had nothing in common with his friends from before. He said: “I just tried to blend back in, but it was very hard to do. You go through the motions, but still, it’s like you don’t fit in anymore. You’re different. Everything has changed. You don’t feel comfortable in certain situations anymore.”

He found that he had “anger issues” he could not understand or deal with. He had nightmares and flash backs that he could not explain to others so he suffered in silence for 35 years. But thank the good Lord above things began to get better for Jeff after he started three practices.

  • First he began to write about his experiences in Vietnam. He did this partially for therapy and partially to leave a record for the next generation. This helped him deal with his nightmares.
  • He attended a large-scale reunion held annually by the Howard County Vietnam Veterans Organization. Associating with other Vietnam Veterans helped him feel like he wasn’t alone for the first time since he went to Vietnam.
  • He reached out for help by attending a PTSD support group twice a month.

If you are suffering from the terrible effects of PTSD consider the treatment methods that are working well for Jeff Snyder.

911 – Facebook helped reunite Tasmanian Vietnam veterans

Dez Blazely and Barry Butler, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Dez Blazely and Barry Butler serving in the Vietnam War in 1969.

It has been fifty years since young people from many places including the USA, Korea, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania donned a uniform and fought for their country against the rising tide of Communism in Vietnam. Participation in such an event bonds forever those who fought together in the Vietnam War. When veterans of the conflict get back together after a long periods of separation the effects can be tremendously Rewarding.

Sarah Aquilina, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Sarah Aquilina of the Launceston, Tasmania Examiner

One very effective way for Vietnam Veterans to reconnect after so many years is Facebook. In this episode of the podcast Vietnam Veteran News a story from Tasmania that illustrates the value of social networks like Facebook in helping Vietnam Vets connect will be highlighted. It comes from The Examiner of Launceston, Tasmania titled: Tasmanian uses Facebook to reunite Vietnam veterans  and was submitted by Sarah Aquilina.

Aquilina’s story describes how the daughter, Leena Wiz, of a Tasmanian Vietnam Veteran, Rex Targett, helped him reconnect with fellow Vietnam Veterans. It all started when she was helping her father digitize his photos from Vietnam. Rex began to notice that he could not recall the names of many of his compatriots in the pictures.

Leena took it upon herself to post a few of the pictures on Facebook and see what would happen when she asked for help in identification of the Veterans. The ‘incredible’ community response was unexpected. The post was shared more than 3400 times, received 420 reactions and more than 200 comments in three days. She said: “It was emotionally overwhelming as it brought to mind that my father and the men that served were not only my heroes but so many others.”

Leena was able to set up a phone call where her father was able to speak to Des Blazely, a mate he had not spoken with since 1969. Leena said this about the conversation: “There are no words to express how it made me feel seeing them chat about their time in Vietnam.”

All Vietnam Veterans are encouraged to utilize social tools like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Tumblr, Linkedin, Pinterest, etc to reconnect with fellow Vietnam Veterans. It just might do you a world of good.

910 – Tuscaloosa Rotary Honor Flight Report

Tuscaloosa Rotary Honor Flight, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Nearly 100 Vietnam War veterans visited the Vietnam War Memorial on May 10, thanks to the Tuscaloosa Rotary Honor Flight. The 8th annual Honor Flight enabled these Vietnam veterans to see the black granite memorial – many for the first time. The sight brought tears to the eyes of many veterans, along with healing and closure to a difficult period in their lives. (Simo Ahmadi/Alabama NewsCenter)

America is a wonderfully blessed country populated by a great people who are privileged to live in a land of freedom and liberty. In this episode of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast a story about honor flights that backs up that contention will be featured. It comes from The Alabama NewsCenter and is titled: Tuscaloosa Rotary Honor Flight flies Vietnam veterans to Washington. The story was submitted by Donna Cope.

The Honor Flight program tours started back in May of 2005. Six small planes flew out of Springfield, Ohio taking twelve World War II veterans on a visit to the memorial in Washington, DC. Since then the program has grown to Honor Flight Programs in 45 states. To date 180,261 World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans along with 125,729 escorts have made honor flight tours to Washington, DC.

The Tuscaloosa Rotary Honor Flight sponsored its 8th annual event that sent 100 Vietnam Veterans on a tour to Washington, DC. In addition to visiting the Vietnam Memorial Wall the vets stopped off at the World War II and Korean War memorials, the Lincoln Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial, the Arlington National Cemetery Changing of the Guard and the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial. Being at the Vietnam War Memorial stirred memories – good and bad – and brought tears to the eyes of many of the veterans making the tour.

Jordan Plaster, chairman of Tuscaloosa Rotary Honor Flight, said the 8th Honor Flight was “something special.” The Tuscaloosa Rotary Club raises funds in sponsorship of Honor Flight, which it has made possible since 2010. He pointed out how groups like Alabama Power’s Western Division Office have pitched in to help make the Honor Flights a reality. That organization has donated more than $18,000 since 2013 to help make the event possible.

Becky York is the  Honor Flight director at the Tuscaloosa Rotary Club. She said this about the program: “the Tuscaloosa Rotary Club wants to recognize and honor Vietnam Veterans for their many sacrifices during an unpopular war in extremely difficult conditions.”

All are encouraged to take part in this wonderful program.

CLICK HERE for more information about Honor Flights.


909 – Two New York Vietnam Vets near end of long search

Norm Murray, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Vietnam Vet Norm Murray of Clarence Center, New York, a performer and seeker of fallen Vietnam Veteran images.

In this episode of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast the outstanding efforts of two Vietnam Veterans will be highlighted. They are Norm Murray and Patrick Kavanagh of Clarence Center, New York. They have taken it upon themselves to locate and procure pictures of the 450 Vietnam Veterans from western New York who died in the Vietnam War. Their efforts were featured in a story from WGRZ NBC Channel 2 titled: Identifying all WNY Vietnam Vets K.I.A. that was submitted by Jeff Preval, WGRZ.

What they are doing to find these photos is part of a nationwide crusade to find a picture of every person whose name is on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. This is a tremendous undertaking due to the fact there are more than 58,000 names on that Wall.

One of the persons who have taken a leading role in this crusade is Janna Hoehn, a wonderful lady from Hawaii who has been a guest on this podcast several times. She started out looking for the picture or one random veteran whose name she had made a rubbing of while visiting the Wall. After finding that veteran’s image she decided to do more for the crusade. She found all the missing pictures for the state of Hawaii and has moved on to more states on the mainland. Her accomplishments are a great encouragement to all to help in the project.

Patrick Kavanagh, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Patrick Kavanagh of Forest Lawn Cemetery, Clarence Center, NY

Norm Murray and Patrick Kavanagh are doing a great job of finding pictures in western New York State. They started out looking for pictures of 450 fallen heroes from their area. They have to date found 449 pictures and are looking to receive the last name in their search within days.

They are so excited about completing the 450 name search Norm Murray who is a performer will be holding a fundraiser event in Buffalo on Monday, May 15, 2017 at the Sportsmen’s Tavern in Buffalo to celebrate their achievement and raise money for the Wall of Faces monument in D.C.

Everyone in the Buffalo, NY area are encouraged to attend the event to have a good time and support the Vietnam Veteran Education Center in Washington, DC.

Click here for more information about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Educational Center.

LOCATION: Sportsmen’s Tavern

326 Amherst St , Buffalo, New York, 14207, North Buffalo

Featuring Vietnam Veteran Entertainer Norm Murray

Ticket Price: $20.00

The Sportsman Tavern, North Buffalo, New York, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

The Sportsman Tavern, North Buffalo, New York.

908 – Marine pilot finally laid to rest at Arlington

Marine Corps 1st Lt. William C. Ryan Jr, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Marine Corps 1st Lt. William C. Ryan Jr. Died May 11, 1969 in Laos.

In this episode the remarkable story about the burial of a brave Marine’s remains at Arlington National Cemetery will be featured. The story is about the locating of the remains of Marine Corps pilot 1st Lt. William C. Ryan Jr. It comes from NBC in New York titled: Marine Who Was MIA for 48 Years Buried at Arlington and was submitted by Kristin Wright.

Ryan was declared KIA on May 11, 1969 after his F-4B was hit by enemy fire during a combat mission over Laos. Ryan was the radar intercept officer in the aircraft. The Department of Defense’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency reported that the pilot lost control of the aircraft and called several times for Ryan but he received no response.

The pilot was able to get out of the aircraft and safely parachute to the ground and he was rescued shortly thereafter. There was no sign of Ryan getting out of the F-4 before it crashed. Due to several considerations at the time, the location of the crash site precluded a search-and-recovery effort for the missing aviator.

Mike Ryan, the son of the deceased William C. Ryan Jr said Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery that he was just a day from his first birthday when his father was killed. 1st Lt. William C. Ryan Jr. was buried with full honors, just a day before the 48th anniversary of when his plane went down. On top of all that Mike Ryan’s mother and widow of William C. Ryan Jr recently passed away and was buried one day prior to her late husband.

The occasion of this story is also highlighted to commemorate done by Maureen Dunn and others to help keep the memory of POWs and MIAs alive and well. She  was a co-founder of the National League of Families.

William C. Ryan Jr RIP.

907 – Update on Vietnam Vet Jim Crigler paddling down the Mississippi

Vietnam Vet, Jim Crigler, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Vietnam Vet, Jim Crigler, at a stop in Minneapolis during his Mississippi River canoe paddle trip

In episodes 880 and 886 of this podcast, Vietnam Veteran News, Vietnam vet Jim Crigler was featured. He is in the process of pulling off a tremendous achievement to benefit and honor Vietnam Gold Star Families. His plan is to paddle a specially fitted Wenona Canoe down the entire 2300 miles of the mighty Mississippi River. In this episode a story will be shared that provides an update on Jim’s Mississippi mission. The story comes from WCCO CBS Channel 4 in Minneapolis, Minnesota titled: Vietnam vet Canoeing Entire Mississippi River To Honor Gold Star Families that was submitted by Molly Rosenblatt.

According to the story Jim has traveled 500 miles down the river so far and expects to complete his epic trip at New Orleans in the last week of June. He is making the trip to bring awareness to a wrong he wants to right for Vietnam Vets and their families. He said “a lot of Americans don’t know what a gold star family is. It’s a family that has lost a loved one in combat, in service to their country, protecting our freedoms.”

He “wants Americans to look up a gold star family in their community, he wants them to get a stamp, and an envelope and a piece of paper, and write them a thank you note for the sacrifice they’ve made to our country.”

CLICK HERE for Jim’s website.

CLICK HERE for Jim’s Facebook page.

Molly Rosenblatt, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Molly Rosenblatt of CBS Minnesota | WCCO Television Minneapolis

On a related matter, the writer of this story, a meteorologist with WCCO, Molly Rosenblatt has a story that pays a tremendous tribute to Anne Morrissy Merick who was featured in the previous podcast episode. Merick was the ABC news producer who led the way for women reporters in Vietnam. She fought for the opportunity to accompany troops in the field and cover stories on a first hand basis. Initially General Westmoreland banned female reporters in combat but she went over his head and successfully appealed to the Secretary of Defense in Washington.

Merick went on to serve as a reporter on the front lines of Vietnam for seven years. Her work in Vietnam opened doors for women in the field of reporting like Molly Rosenblatt.


Mission of Honor, vietnam veteran news, mack payne


906 – Anne Morrissy Merick blazed a trail in Vietnam

Anne Morrissy Merick, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Esteemed Vietnam War journalist Anne Morrissy Merick has died at age 83

In this episode of the podcast Vietnam Veteran News tribute will be paid to the memory of a wonderfully amazing lady by the name of Anne Morrissy Merick. She recently passed away in Naples, Florida and was notable as being ABC’s first female television field producer, and one of the few female network producers covering the Vietnam War. Her story was featured in a piece in The Washington Post titled: Anne Morrissy Merick, a trailblazing Vietnam War journalist, dies at 83 that was submitted by Samantha Schmidt.

Anne Morrissy Merick broke more glass ceilings than Hillary Clinton could ever even think about breaking. While in college at Cornell University in 1954, Merick rose to the position of sports editor of the college newspaper. She was the first female in school history to hold that job. That and other experiences prepared her for the obstacles she would face when she was sent to cover the Vietnam War in 1967 as ABCs first female television field producer.

Her biggest challenge arose when U.S. commander in Vietnam General. William C. Westmoreland was “horrified” to find a young woman in the field with his troops. the general immediately issued an order that became known as the “Westmoreland Edict” which banned female reporters from accompanying troops to front lines. Incensed, Merick decided to take action.

Along with Ann Bryan Mariano of the Overseas Weekly, She journeyed to the  Pentagon with the intention of meeting Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to overturn this ban. They were brushed off from meeting with McNamara himself and were offered the consolation prize of appealing to McNamara’s deputy assistant, Phil Goulding. Goulding listened and gave only vague responses in a condescending manner according to Merick in her book “War Torn: Stories of War From the Women Reporters Who Covered Vietnam.”

But that wasn’t good enough for Merick. Following the advice of Alexander the Great, “There is nothing impossible to him who will try,” she invited Goulding out for a drink after the meeting and listened to him talk about his six children for hours. Merick wrote “When he said good night, he added that Westmoreland’s edict would be lifted and we could go back out in the field.”  This was accomplished with no “hanky-panky” on the part of the women according to Merick.

Anne Morrissy Merick went on to serve as an ABC producer in Vietnam for seven years.


Anne Morrissy Merick, Vietnam veteran news, mack payne


905 – Sam Johnson overcame a Vietnam land mine

Sam Johnson, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Sam Johnson, right, wounded in Vietnam, stands with Korean War tank commander Charles Pollack during a Memorial Day ceremony in Selma.(Photo: Alvin Benn/Special to the Advertiser)

Sam Johnson of Selma, Alabama and a Vietnam Veteran will be featured in this episode of this podcast – Vietnam Veteran News. His story was recently was covered in story in The Montgomery Advertiser titled: For Selma veteran, Vietnam wounds remain. It was submitted by Alvin Benn in a special to the advertiser.

Sam is another one of those magnificent representatives of the Great Vietnam Veteran Generation. He served with the 1st Marine Division in Vietnam in 1967. Sam’s fire team was participating in Operation Union in the Que Son Valley when he stepped on a land mine. The explosion lifted him several feet in the air and left him with serious injuries that would have killed most men but not Sam. His best friend in his unit, Pvt. Jerry Henry, rushed to his aid and administered aid that helped save his life.

It took sixteen months for his wounds to heal enough for him to return home to Marion Junction in Dallas County, Alabama. His family of six brothers and seven sisters were glad to see him home. As Sam’s physical wounds healed he found it hard to forget his memories of war. He’d wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, reliving moments that continued to haunt him long after he had returned to civilian life. He said: “I’d yell out instructions to my team, telling them to take cover and to be careful. I’d find myself in the jungle or rice paddies. We’d be in firefights.” It took years for those nightmares to subside, but, every now and then, one would force its way into his psyche.

Sam got over his war time injuries and went on to complete a career with International Paper as a human resource manager. Today he lives in Selma with his wife Thomasene. He is proud of his family and especially his son Michael who defensive end with the Cincinnati Bengals. Michael sponsors programs aimed at helping youngsters plan for their futures.

Sam Johnson we salute you for your service to your country and your community.