Fort Polk, LA is the Rodney Dangerfield of US Army posts. It gets no respect but it should be recognized as one of the most important and effective training sites in the US Army’s inventory or real estate. More soldiers trained at Fort Polk for duty in Vietnam than any other Army Post. For that reason, Fort Polk will be featured in this episode. You will see that every time the storm clouds of war appeared on the horizon Fort Polk was called on to help train soldiers for war. It is a great training location and deserves a salute from every Vietnam War Veteran.
B-52s were an important part of the US military effort during the Vietnam War. Up until recently it was assumed the B-52s were based out of Guam and Thailand but recent disclosures of Japanese diplomatic documents reveal the bombers flew out of Okinawa also. It is also interesting to note the documents revealed there was an agreement between the US and Japanese governments to keep it secret. It was feared the local residents would revolt if they know bombers from their soil was dropping bombs in Vietnam.
This episode features a look and commentary on an article from Forbes Magazine byJonathan Salem Baskin. Baskin describes the methods used by then Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to manage the Vietnam War from a marketing perspective. The main point of the article is that you have to take into account more than just numbers in decision making. The human factor must be incorporated into the decision making process or you will more than likely be doomed to failure.
In this episode Johnny Payne of Dublin, Georgia will tell about the event he is chairing where the Vietnam Moving Wall will be on display from August 14 -17, 2014 at the Carl Vinson VA Hospital in Dublin. He details the program from start to finish. It will include everything from a 300 member motorcycle escort to inspiring speeches. All in the area are encouraged to attend this memorial service for the more than 50,000 Americans who died in the Vietnam War. More information is available from Johnny at (478) 689-5035 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This episode will be a memorial to another Vietnam Veteran who has ridden off into the sunset. His name is Richard “Dick” Forrey and he recently passed away in Greentown, Indiana, a small community just east of Kokomo in the great heartland of America. Richard was another one of those solid citizens of this wonderful land who answered the call when their country needed help. He went forward and gallantly served his country in war and then came home and continued to serve as a bedrock citizen in his community, state and country.
Recently the Rover Oaks Pet Resort in Katy and Houston, Texas held a month long donation drive to support the U.S. War Dogs Association. Steve Smith, president of Rover Oaks Pet Resort ran the show in conjunction with Ron Aiello, Vietnam War veteran and president of USWDA. More than $10,000 was raised to support the Association.
I am familiar with the tremendous contribution war dogs made to the Vietnam War effort but was unaware they have been used by the U.S. Military in wars since World War I. In all these wars the dogs were highly effective in helping the military.
This episode features three feel good stories about Vietnam Vets. The first story by Jeffrey Donovan, a TODAY contributor is about some Lowe’s employees at a store on Staten Island who helped repair a Vietnam Vet’s wheel chair. The Vet Michael Sulsona had been trying for years to get a new chair from the VA to replace his old one that was falling apart. Once the news got out about the act of kindness performed by the Lowes people the VA immediately and miraculously presented Michael with a new chair.
The next feel good story is about some Vietnam Veterans raising money for an oncology clinic at the local hospital. This act of kindness is happening in the little town of Cowra. It is located in New South Wales, Australia a few miles west of Syndey. If you are in the vicinity, go by and buy a few tickets. The prizes are delicious Australian meat.
The third feel good story is about an event honoring Vietnam Veterans in Marineland, Florida. An organization called GratitudeAmerica is conducting its second annual event to honor veterans. There will be kayaking, equine therapy, massage, tai chi and a trip to Marineland, the attraction, said John November, Gratitude America’s executive director.
This episode features an article by Jordain Carney for the National Journal and it tells about the unfolding situation with the effects of burn pits used in the Gulf Wars on US service members. It sounds eerily like the story of Agent Orange in Vietnam where veterans had to fight for years to get compensation and assistance for the illnesses and death caused by the Monsanto and Dow Chemical herbicides. Carney cites Sen. Tom Udall and Sen. Bob Corker for making initial efforts to determine if there is a valid cause for government assistance to Gulf War Veterans. She also described Rep. Tim Bishop’s efforts to the Department of Defense to start procedures to determine the effects of burn pits. Tom Tarantino, the policy director at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is also mentioned as a strong advocate for Gulf War Veterans.
In a recent episode I interviewed Marvin Desselle who had recently established a new chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America in Highlands County, Florida. That became Chapter #1097. In this episode I share an article by Mitch Hotts written for the Macomb Daily. The article described how VVA Chapter #154 of Macomb County, Michigan was celebrating its 30th anniversary at Freedom Hill County Park. Chapter #154 is the largest in the State of Michigan and fourth largest in the Nation. It is devoted to both assisting veterans of all wars and to having a good time for its members. At the celebration they talked about future projects including a town meeting about Agent Orange.
In this episode we give kudos to Donna Hayes, Publisher of the Voice of The Valley in Maple Valley, Washington. She published an article about the Vietnam Traveling Wall going to Maple Valley. There will be three days of ceremonies honoring both living and dead Vietnam Veterans. Numerous outstanding speakers are lined up for the event including: retired Air Force Lt. Col. Travis Wofford, a rescue helicopter pilot awarded the Air Force Cross Citation, Army Special Forces Major John Plaster, author of six books, New York Times-bestselling mystery author J.A. Jance, Michael A. Reagan who has created more than 3,700 portraits of veterans lost in combat, retired Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Stan Baker and retired Army Col. Ron H. Averill.
When a similar event was held in 2007 more than 10,000 people attended. If you are in the vicinity later this month you are encouraged to go and honor the veterans and enjoy the event.