220 VVN – 34 Years Later, Family Receives Vietnam Vet’s Medals

Joyce Stephens and Family

Joyce Stephens (left), her son, Scott Stephens (center) and her daughter
Joy Stephens (right) admire the medals of her late husband Army Green Beret Carter Dwyer Stephens.

In this episode you will hear the story of Joyce Stephens, a widow of a Vietnam Veteran. She had to wait 34 years to receive her late husband’s medals. The story comes from dallasnews.com submitted by Julissa Treviño who can be reached at 214-977-8023.

A great deal of the credit for the return of the medals goes to Zachariah Fike, a combat-wounded veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who founded Purple Hearts Reunited in 2012.

You are encouraged to notify the Foundation which is funded by donations, is based in Vermont and has returned medals to more than 100 military families around the country if you run across orphan military medals.



219 VVN – More About C-123 Air Crews and Agent Orange

C-123 Spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam, Mack Payne, Vietnam Veteran News

C-123 Spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam

In this episode an article from the Medical Express titled – Agent Orange-Contaminated Airplanes Could Have Affected Health Of Air Force Reservists is featured. It is a follow up to Episode 081 where Wes Carter described the situation with Air Force personnel who flew C-123’s that were previously used extensively in Vietnam to spray Agent Orange.

Many of those air crewmen are suffering from Agent Orange related illnesses yet the VA will not provide them with medical treatment for their conditions. The featured article indicates the Department of Defense may be cracking the door open to at least admitting those crewmen may have contacted Agent Orange Illnesses as a result of exposure to TCDD in the aircraft that were not decontaminated. Unfortunately, VA medical assistance seems to still be far off in the distance.

You are encouraged to let your Congressional Representative know that something should be done to help those effected aircrew personnel.

218 VVN – Lam Son 719 – The Forgotten Invasion


Invasion of Laos, 1971: Lam Son 719, Vietnam Veteran News, Mack PayneIn this episode I am going to share a story from the Ciscero Magazine by Joseph Hammond. He is reviewing a book written by retired Army aviator Robert Sander titled: Invasion of Laos, 1971: Lam Son 719.

Lam Son 719 has been addressed in previous episodes but I like to revisit the subject primarily because I participated in that history making event that no seems to know about. Lam Son 719 typified the mess that can be created when you add politics, diplomacy and incompetency to fighting a war.

Robert Sander adds his two cents worth in his well written book about the affair. He had access to recently released, previously unavailable state department documents covering that time period. You are encouraged to get a copy of Sander’s new book and learn more about Lam Son 719.

217 VVN – The Truth About Jane Fonda and the Montana Restaurant

217 VVN - The Truth About Jane Fonda and the Montana Restaurant, Mack Payne, Vietnam Veteran News

Jane Fonda and Ted Turner

In this episode I am sending an apology to all the listeners to this podcast. In the previous episode there was a story featured about Jane Fonda and Ted Turner’s involvement in an incident at a restaurant in Manhattan, Montana. The story came from an unverified viral email message. It recounted a tale about the couple demanding to be seated in a restaurant ahead of other patrons who had been waiting to be seated.

The story is all BS. I confirmed the true story with Scott Westphal the owner of the restaurant in the story. In this episode I will present the true story of what actually happened and I think you will be surprised.

Please pass on the link to this podcast episode so we can help clear the air with the true story of what actually happened at the Sir Scott’s Oasis Steak House at 204 W. Main in Manhattan, Montana (406-284-6929) when Jane Fonda and Ted Turner came to dine.

216 VVN – A Vietnam Veteran Stands up to Jane Fonda

Sir Scott's Oasis  Steakhouse

Sir Scott’s Oasis Steakhouse 204 W. Main, Manhattan, Montana

In this episode I will be sharing a story with you about a Vietnam Veteran who was not afraid to stand up to Jane Fonda and Ted Turner.

The well known story was about the pair demanding privileged service at a restaurant in Manhattan, Montana. The owner of the establishment refused the demand of the celebrities to break in line in front of the waiting diners.

This is another example of why I refer to the Vietnam Generation as great as any. If you are ever in the vicinity of the Sir Scott’s Oasis Steakhouse at 204 W. Main in Manhattan, Montana stop in, buy a steak and pat the owner on the back. The phone number is (406) 284-6929. You may see me there sometime.

215 VVN – Vietnam Vets Interviewed by a High School Student

Belleville News-Democrat, Vietnam Veteran News. mack payne

Belleville News-Democrat – Belleville, Illinois

In this episode an article from the Belleville News-Democrat is featured. The article describes the experiences of Erica Marlinghaus, a senior student at OTHS who is participating in a Veterans History Project.

She talks about her experience interviewing two Vietnam Veterans, Gilbert Johnson in 2013 and Wayne Rick in 2014. From her comments the interview process was good for both parties. Both veterans indicated they felt like a heavy load was removed from their shoulders after they talked about their exeriences in the war for the first time.

Erica was very impressed by the stories and stated her patriotism had never been greater and more intense.

This is a good sign that students are taking interest in the Vietnam War history and more are encouraged to participate in such veteran history projects

214 VVN – A Year In Vietnam, A Lifetime Of Memories For a Marine Helicopter Pilot

“Crazy Joe” Scholle, Mack Payne, Vietnam Veteran News

Marine veteran Joe Scholle tells of his days serving as a UH-34D helicopter pilot in Vietnam as he clicks through a photo slide show at his home in Severna Park, Md., on Sept. 30, 2014. Scholle said during the Vietnam war, fellow pilots were as likely to die from accidents as they were from direct enemy action. Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes

In this episode a story from the Stars and Stripes about a brave Marine helicopter pilot is featured. The story is written by Carlos Bongioanni about the exploits of “Crazy Joe” Scholle who flew hundreds of sorties in Vietnam as a UH-34D helicopter pilot.

His story describes the harrowing challenges Marine helicopter pilots faced as they flew missions in the northern part of South Vietnam up against the DMZ.

213 VVN – Old Army Buddies Were Detroit Neighbors, And Didn’t Know It

Old Army Buddies Were Detroit Neighbors, And Didn't Know It, mack payne, vietnam veteran news

Roger Watson, left, of Berkley and neighbor David Brown of Berkley pose for a photo in their backyards on Dec. 10, 2014 in Berkley, Mich. The men have been backyard neighbors for 18 years but neither realized until recently that they were good friends in the Vietnam War, being from the same Detroit neighborhood, drafted on the same day, training in the same places and being in the same company. The two found each other through a birding interest between Watson and Brown’s wife before meeting to reunite over the back fence.

Every once in a while an unusual story about Vietnam Veterans comes along. In this episode we will be looking at one of those strange stories. Two Vietnam veterans who were drafted out of the same neighborhood in Detroit in 1966, trained and served together and then went to Vietnam together. They lost contact with each other and a few weeks ago they discovered they had been neighbors for the past 18 years. They are now catching up on lost time.

212 VVN – Marine Veteran Offers Tons of Inspiration

Michael Cano, Vietnam Veteran News, Mack Payne

Michael Cano, with his wife, is the great-grandson of Geronimo, a Vietnam War veteran, and professor at the University of La Verne. He was recently named the 2014 67th Assembly District Veteran of the Year.

In this episode we are going to look at the story of another Vietnam Veteran that helps verify my contention that the Vietnam War Generation was as great as any.

Michael Cano is featured in this episode. He just happened to by the great-grandson of Geronimo, the famous Apache Indian who fought both the Mexicans and Americans in the nineteenth century. Cano has made a name for himself on his own as a Vietnam Veteran hard fighting Marine and in later life as an educator, business owner and veterans advocate.

You are going to appreciate his story.

211 VVN – Vietnam Era Aircraft Carriers Head for the Scrap Yard

USS Ranger, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

The USS Ranger likely will leave Bremerton in January or February, on its way to International Shipbreaking Ltd. in Brownsville, Texas.
Picture by Larry Steagall

Nothing lasts forever including aircraft carriers from the Vietnam War. In this episode an article from the Kitsap Sun by Ed Friedrich tells about how retired aircraft carriers are being given away for their scrap value. It is sad to see these once proud vessels given away to the junk yards.

Efforts have been made to save the USS Ranger and convert it into a floating museum but the USS Ranger Foundation came up short and was unable to raise the funds to save the ship.