256 VVN – Former Marine Sniper Steve Suttles Interview

Steve Suttles- Former Marine Sniper, mack payne, vietnam veteran news

Steve Suttles, Former Sniper with the 5th Marines in Vietnam

In this episode you will hear the enlightening story of a USMC Sniper who served in Vietnam. Steve Suttles tells the real story of a sniper in Vietnam. It begins with how he became a sniper as a brand new Marine to how he is handling today the mental baggage he brought home from Vietnam.

Steve was a sniper with the 5th Marines. He is quite proud of his service to his country and fellow Marines. He appreciates all the Marines he served with in Vietnam but would like to mention several who were very special to him including his platoon sergeant Mark Limpic and teammates Chuck Mahwinney, Louie Mackie, Bill Read and Jack Philbrook to name a few.

Today Steve is using his talents as a skilled marksman to train others in the art of shooting at the Badlands Tactical Training Facility. The school is owned by Bobby Whittington and it is located at 912 West Field Street, Grandfield, OK 73546. If you would like training from an ace sniper like Steve Suttles call 580-585-1237.

255 VVN – Secret Tapes Reveal JFK’s Duplicity on Vietnam

President John F. Kenndey, vietnam veteran news, mack payne, henry cabot lodge

John F. Kennedy at work in the Oval office.

In this episode we are going to look at the early history of the Vietnam War. It goes all the way back to the President Kennedy days. In an article from the New York Post by Larry Getlen titled: Secret tapes reveal JFK’s duplicity in Cold War, civil rights Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Patrick Sloyan tells about his new book “The Politics of Deception.”

Sloyan talks about several of the challenges faced by President Kennedy and how he dealt with each of them including the Vietnam question. According to the author there was a great deal of subterfuge going on with US machinations designed to get rid of the leader of South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963. Sloyan maintains the disposal of President Diem was similar to a “gangland murder,” a “hit” orchestrated by Henry Cabot Lodge the US ambassador to South Vietnam and it caused the US to become bogged down in a war in Southeast Asia. Listen to the episode and decide for yourself.

254 VVN – John Bury’s Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veteran Agent Orange Update

 John Bury, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

John Bury Agent Orange Equity Activist

In this episode Agent Orange activist John Bury shares with us the latest on Congressional action to get help for Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and other veterans of the Vietnam Era who did not have boots on the ground. The last bill intended to help those particular veterans died in committee.

With the help of Rep. Chris Gibson of New York and a “never say die” attitude by activists like John Bury, John Rossie, John Wells, Wes Carter and Paul Travis a new bill has been introduced in the House that will pick up the fallen battle flag and continue the struggle for the veterans. It is HR-969 and all who have an interest in the welfare of our veterans should write a letter to or call their Congressional Representative in their Washington DC office and urge them to support HR-969.

John Bury is currently on a nationwide promotion campaign to drum up support to get this bill passed. Time is of the essence. 300 hundred Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans die every week from Agent Orange related diseases.

Here is John’s latest press release on the new bill being introduced in the House:

Vietnam Veterans:  Better Quality of Life

A new House Bill has been introduced by Congressman Chris Gibson (D-19 NY).  The Bill HR-969 titled The Blue Water Navy, Vietnam Veterans Agent Orange Act was presented to the 114th Congress on February 13th, 2015 and is referred to the House Committee of Veterans Affairs.  This new Bill replaces an older Bill that died in the VA Congressional committee of 2014.  The new Bill is to clarify presumptions related to the exposure of certain veterans who served in the vicinity of the Republic of Vietnam and for other purposes.

House Bill HR-969 if passed, will afford proper equitable VA benefits to Vietnam veterans exposed to the herbicide  Agent Orange.  Thousands of Vietnam veterans who did not have boots-on-ground will be eligible for VA benefits, medical and compensation.  The Bill is important to those veterans who served our Country and who are sick so they may have better quality of life.

Once again we veterans need the help of the American people.  Please call your members of Congress, also write to them at their Washington, DC office, urge Congress to pass HR-969.  Let not the Vietnam War Veteran be forgotten.

By:  John J. Bury, US Navy retired advocate for Vietnam veterans

Media, Pa.

253 VVN – The many challenges to treating US military veterans

VA Medical System, mack payne, vietnam veteran news, robert mcdonald

Veterans Affairs medical center in Durham, North Carolina

Most Vietnam Veterans are very interested in the medical care they can expect to receive from the VA. In this episode I share an article written by Herbert E. Segal, M.D., a retired Army Medical Corps colonel who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. In the article he presents a comprehensive look at the VA Health System.

Dr. Segal points out several disturbing things about the existing VA Health System including troubling trends. Listen to the story and then you may want to have a friendly chat with your congressperson about ways to improve the system so it will be able to help you when you and all the veterans need medical services.

252 VVN – Vietnamese community says thank you, Australia

Vietnamese Refugees Arrive, mack payne, vietnam veteran news, australia

Vietnamese refugees arrive in Darwin in 1979.

In this episode we will salute the Vietnamese people we were fighting for in Vietnam. A story from the Herald Sun in Melbourne Australia by John Masanauskas titled: “40 years on, Vietnamese community says thank you, Australia” tells the story.

Forty years ago thousands of Indochinese refugees were welcomed into Australia by Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser and over the years they have proved their worth. Now those desperate victims of war in Southeast Asia who found a welcome home in Australia are proposing to build a memorial park to honor the memory of the 521 Australians who gave their lives fighting for them in Vietnam.

Listen to the podcast episode and get the whole story that helps Vietnam Veterans better understand why we were fighting in that war.

Successful Vietnamese in Australia, Mack Payne, vietnam veteran news

Meca Ho with Le Tran. Picture Norm Oorloff

Nuclear physicist Tien Kieu , mack payne, vietnam veteran news, Victoria st richmond

Nuclear physicist Tien Kieu in Victoria St, Richmond.

251 VVN – Black soldiers who received Purple Heart honored

Purple Heart Honorees, Mack Payne, vietnalm veteran news, purple heart

African-American veterans of the Vietnam and Korean Wars, all of whom earned the Purple Heart medal during their service, stand together during a ceremony honoring their sacrifice organized by American Legion Post 16 and the City of Lynchburg.

In this episode the feature will be an article from the News Advance in Lynchburg, Virginia by Eleanor Roy titled: Black soldiers who received Purple Heart honored by city. The Military Order of the Purple Heart’s Chapter 1607 in Lynchburg presented several black veterans with certificates honoring each one for their service. The event took place at the Purple Heart Memorial outside of American Legion Post 16 on Greenview Drive in Lynchburg. In addition the city of Lynchburg issued a proclamation in honor of the more than one dozen Purple Heart recipients present at the event.

It is good for this country to recognize black veterans for their service to their country – a country that sometimes did not do a good job in showing its appreciation to those veterans who served admirably under difficult circumstances in wars throughout our history.


250 VVN – Marine Corps Vietnam Vet Overcomes and Inspires

Jere Ward, Mack Payne, Vietnam Veteran News

Jere Ward preparing for a workout at PowerHouse Gym in Dickson referring to his trusty journal.(Photo: Chris Gadd/The Herald)

In this milestone 250th episode of Vietnam Veteran News I am sharing the story of a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran. It comes from the Dickson Herald submitted by Chris Gadd titled: ” ‘Point man ‘of Dickson Overcomes Ravages of War.” The vet is Jere Ward who suffered a terrible head wound in Vietnam in 1970 and has had to overcome serious medical challenges.

Jere’s story is very inspiring. As you listen to the string of medical challenges that continued to beset him through the years you will wonder how he is even walking around today. He not only has survived many medical emergencies but he is actively encouraging others to live better and happier lives. If you are ever near the Powerhouse Gym in Dickson, Tennessee drop in and meet Jere. He goes there every day.



249 VVN – Ace Marine Vietnam Sniper Comments on American Sniper Movie

Marine Sniper Steve Suttles, Vietnam Veteran News, Mack Paynem, Chris Kyle

Steve Suttles, left, stands with his rifle “Betsy” on a firing range in Vietnam. Photo provided

Lately the movie “American Sniper” has been garnering a great deal of attention both pro and con. If you have not yet seen the movie, it is highly recommended that you see it at your earliest convenience. It is a wonderful movie that tells the personal story of a soldier and a great patriot.

In this episode we will hear the opinions of Steve Suttles, an ace Vietnam sniper about the process and how he became a Marine sniper. I will be sharing an article from the Oklahoman by Adam Kemp titled: ” Oklahoma man recalls experience as sniper in Vietnam.”

248 VVN – Reflections of Vietnam from those who served

Vietnam Remembrances, Vietnam Veteran News, Mack Payne, American Legion

Mark Hostetler of Indianapolis, Ind., is the former crew chief of the UH-1H “Huey” helicopter that is on display at Mineral Wells Airport. This is a photograph of him standing in front of the same helicopter in Vietnam in 1972. Courtesy photo

Ron Chandler, Post 163 Adjutant for the American Legion in Weatherford, Texas is organizing a program to insure the remembrance of the Vietnam War, and to bring awareness to one of the largest veterans groups in Parker County which happens to be Vietnam Veterans. His efforts are described in an article by Lance Winter, a writer for the Weatherford Star Herald. The story is titled: “Reflections Of Vietnam From Those Who Served.”

The Post will hold a Day of Remembrance on May 9 at the Vietnam War Memorial in Parker County. In the weeks leading up to the event the Weatherford Star Herald will be featuring Vietnam Veteran stories. Vietnam Veterans in the county are encouraged to submit their remembrances for the program on May 9. Contact Lance Winter at 817-594-9902, ext. 102 or come by his office at 112 S. Main in Weatherford for more details on the event and how to submit stories.

Also, want to mention that the State of Minnesota is missing only 21 photos of the 1072 Minnesotans killed in the Vietnam War. The photos will be posted on the “Wall of Faces” to honor the more than 58,000 Americans killed during the Vietnam War. The photos are being sought for a visitors’ center that is planned for construction near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The names of the 21 veterans with missing photos is listed below. Your assistance is requested in located these final 21 mission photos of Minnesotans killed in the war. Even if you are not from Minnesota you may know of a way to locate the photos. So, please examine the list and if you can provide any information or photos your assistance would be greatly appreciated by all.

To submit a photo, you can download it on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Web site at vvmf.org or you can mail the snapshot with identifying information to: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, 2600 Virginia Ave. N.W., Suite 104, Washington, DC 20037.

The organization is still looking for photos of the following Minnesota servicemen, listed by city of residence at the time of their induction, followed by their branch of service and date of death:

Coon Rapids – LeRoy E. Peterson, U.S. Army, July 19, 1966; and Eugene M. Rick, U.S. Army, Oct. 10, 1965.

Montevideo – Donald J. Jacobsen, U.S. Army, Jan. 29, 1966.

Moorhead – Allen J. Ritter, U.S. Army, May 22, 1966; and Melvin J. Stockdale, U.S. Army, Jan. 29, 1966.

Minneapolis – John E. Bailey, U.S. Air Force, May 10, 1966; John G. Bellanger, U.S. Marine Corps, Feb. 14, 1968; Richard V. Blackburn, U.S. Army, Jan. 11, 1971; David W. Erickson, U.S. Marine Corps, March 16, 1968; Dennis W. Ferguson, U.S. Marine Corps, Sept. 17, 1969; Patrick R. Hendrickson, U.S. Marine Corps, Nov. 22, 1968; Don G. Knowlton, U.S. Army, Oct. 20, 1965; William G. Moncrief, U.S. Army, July 3, 1968; Donald S. Satter, U.S. Marine Corps, June 6, 1968; and Richard W. Smith, U.S. Marine Corps, March 14, 1969.

Willmar – Lawrence H. Harris, U.S. Army, Oct. 15, 1966.

Round Lake — Gerald J. Johnson, U.S. Army, Feb. 5, 1969.

East Grand Forks – Kenneth J. Honek, U.S. Army, April 3, 1968.

St. Paul – Joseph S. Herron, U.S. Marine Corps, March 4, 1966; and Bruce D. Olson, U.S. Marine Corps, April 19, 1971.

New Brighton – Darrel T. Swanson, U.S. Army, Feb. 7, 1969.



247 VVN – A POW Story From the 5th Special Forces Group


Col Barry Bridger, Mack Payne, Vietnam Veteran News, 5th Special Forces GroupIn this episode I share an article from the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System by SGT Jacob Mahaffey titled: “Shot Down In Vietnam, Six Years A Prisoner.” The article tells the story of retired COL Barry Bridger who was a POW in Hanoi for six years.

The article is about Bridger speaking to a 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He tells the audience about the incredible torture he endured for six years in the Hanoi Hilton. His story makes the recent concerns expressed by some about this country using water boarding to extract information from prisoners captured after 9/11 seem trivial and misguided. We live in a rough world and we better be prepared to take the right steps to protect this country and its citizens.