041 VVN – The Times They are A-Changing

New US - Vietnam Relations, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

A mother takes a picture of her daughter in front of the Golden Arches during the opening ceremony of Vietnam’s first McDonald’s restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City on Feb. 8, 2014(Photo Courtesy Time.com)

The times are a changing when it comes to US and Vietnam relations. As the sands of time run through the hour glass relations between former enemies evolve as world events change. In the past few years the US has been gradually rebuilding relations with Vietnam to help counter the growing influence of China in East Asia. As an observer of world affairs, I find this interesting and have to admit you could do a lot worse in choosing national allies like Vietnam. They are tough fighters. So let’s wait and see what happens on the world scene.

040 VVN – Vietnam Vet Rodger Howell Beats the Odds

Rodger Howell, mack payne, vietnam veteran news

Rodger Howell with his dog, Banjo, and two horses, Sonny and Dancer in his buggy on U.S. Hwy. 280 near Opelika. (Photos Courtesy of Opelika-Auburn News)

This episode is about a Vietnam Vet who refused to accept the death sentence his doctors prescribed for him. The story  comes from an article in the Opelika-Auburn News by Drew Taylor. In it we learn that over a year ago Vietnam Vet Rodger Howell was told by his doctors he would die in five weeks so what does he do? He took off on a cross country trip in a wagon pulled by two horses and accompanied by he faithful Border Collie dog. So far he has traveled over 2500 miles and is still going strong. His story is an amazing example of how the right attitude can make life worth living.

039 VVN – New Jersey Comes Through For The Vietnam Vets Again


Cape May Herald, mack payne, vietnam veteran news

In earlier episodes it was pointed out that New Jersey is doing great things in recognition of Vietnam Veterans. This episode features another action occurring in the great state of New Jersey that will benefit the veterans. As it was reported in the Cape May Herald the State Legislature passed a bill that adds the Vietnam Veterans of America organization to the list of approved organizations where state employees can attend state and national level conventions of approved groups with up to a five day paid leave of absence. This is another example of the people of New Jersey showing their appreciation to the Vietnam Veterans of their state.

038 VVN – Kelley Ray Interview on KBLU, Yuma, AZ


Kelley Ray, Mack Payne, Vietnam Veteran NewsThis episode features an interview I did with Kelley Ray, Show Host at KBLU in Yuma , Arizona. The Show Host, Kelley did a great job of guiding the conversation so I would talk about both a controversial topic involving Walter Cronkite and one with a lighter tone about how Richard Petty made an appearance in my book Vietnam Veteran Memoirs. This interview will give the listener a different viewpoint on the Vietnam War.

037 VVN – Cleveland Mason – USMC

Cleveland Mason, vietnam veteran news

Cleveland Mason of Atwater holds his Bronze Star for heroism in the Vietnam War. He recently attended a reunion of the 26th Marines scout snipers.

In this episode the story of former Marine sniper, Cleveland Mason, is told in an article by Doane Yawger in the Modesto Bee. The Article describes a reunion of Vietnam Marines Veterans held at Omaha, Nebraska where Cleveland Mason attended. Cleveland talked about some harrowing times he experienced in Vietnam and how he has coped with those tough memories during his working years as a heavy equipment operator in the Bay area. He stresses how important his belief in God helped him through combat in Vietnam and the demons he faced in later years.

Cleveland Mason is another example of the brave Americans who answered the call of their country to fight a difficult war in a foreign land and came home to be a good citizen in the USA.

036 VVN – Leo Black – US Coast Guard in Vietnam

Leo Black USCG, vietnam veteran news

Leo Black of Rancho Mirage served in the United States Coast Guard for 30 years, retiring in 1994 as a captain. He served in the Vietnam War as part of Operation Market Time Squadron One from March 1967 to March 1968.

In this episode the story of the US Coast Guard’s service in the Vietnam War is described through the story of retired Coast Guard Captain Leo Black. The story was written by Sherry Barkus of the Desert Sun Newspaper in Palm Springs, California.

035 VVN – 11th Graders Learn About Patriotism from Vietnam Vet

11th  Graders , vietnam veteran news

Vietnam Memorial War reproduction built by Automotive students

In this episode we hear about Vietnam Vet, Anthony Wallace of Brooklyn, New York speaking to a group of high school students at Bedford Avenue’s Automotive High School in Brooklyn. Wallace not only told the students about life as a soldier in the Vietnam War but also about the importance of patriotism to the country. The reaction from the students and teachers were highly positive and it is another example of the greatness of the Vietnam War generation. Keep up the good work Anthony, We salute you.

034 VVN – Craig C. Thomas Was A Brave Vietnam Vet

Craig C. Thomas, mack payne, vietnam veteran news

Craig C. Thomas – RIP

In this episode we take time to honor the memory of a brave Vietnam Vet, Craig C. Thomas who lived and died in Spokane, Washington. Doug Clark a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in Spokane wrote an excellent article about Craig C. Thomas that described how he served his country in Vietnam and his community back home in Washington State. Craig C. Thomas is a great example of why the USA is a great country. It is made up of great people like Craig. Craig C. Thomas we all salute you.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at dougc@spokesman.com.

033 VVN – Media Perceptions & Repercussions


Media Bias, Mack Payne, vietnam veteran newsReformed liberal writer Jack Coleman of Massachusetts wrote an article about how the media covered the Vietnam War and contrasted it with how it is covering the Gulf Wars. The difference is startling especially when you look at the consequences of how the media presents events to the public. The repercussions can be dire and include loss of life and dangers to the national well being. The article points out why citizens must be well informed and vigilant for biased reporting.

Jack Coleman’s article is featured in this episode to emphasize the importance of the citizens of the USA keeping informed of the real current events and insuring the nation’s moves in the right direction by always voting and urging everyone they know to do likewise. Hope you benefit and take note.

032 VVN – Skeebo Norris, San Saba, TX



Skeebo Norris, Mack Payne, Vietnam Veteran News

Skeebo Norris, KNUZ/KNVR Radio – San Saba, Texas

I have been on dozens of radio interviews where I talk about topics related to my book “Vietnam Veteran Memoirs.”  They were all enjoyable and all the hosts were very nice to me and my opinions.  It would be hard to pick favorites but I really did enjoy my interview with Skeebo Norris of KNVR Radio in San Saba, Texas which is near Fort Hood, Texas where I spent four interesting years with the famous 1st Calvary Division. I got to know the people and the country in Central Texas and grew to admire it greatly. The interview with Skeebo took me back to my days in the hill country of Central Texas. And, by the way, in the episode intro I identified the highway that runs through Fort Hood over to San Saba as US 90.  In fact it is US190. Please excuse my error.  Hope you enjoy the episode.