022 VVN – It’s Past Time To Welcome Home Vietnam Vets

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HQ, A Battery, 4th 77 Field Artillery

Major Richard L. Mills and the HQ Staff of A/4/77FA(ARA) 101st Airborne Division at Phu Bai, RVN

Kevin J. ClarkHallowell has written a letter in the Kennebec Journal outlining why it is past time to welcome home the Vietnam Veterans.  He presents a brief but concise background of the war and how it has affected our country and many of its citizens.

At the end of his letter he provides a vehicle to finally welcome home the highly deserving Vietnam Veterans. It is in the form of an online petition anyone can add their name to in an effort to convey a belated welcome to all Vietnam Vets. It can be found at kjonline.com

021 VVN – Gary Sinise is a True Patriot

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Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise the actor who played Lieutenant Dan Taylor in the Oscar winning 1994 movie Forrest Gump is playing a large role in helping disabled veterans get back into normal lives.

His latest project described in this episode is the setting up of a tour of Hollywood for 50 disabled veterans. He has enlisted the aid of American Airlines, Disney and the Paramount Pictures studio in California.

The veterans got to meet such movie stars as Tim Allen and Tom Hanks who played Forrest Gump in the movie. Needless to say this is one group of 50 happy veterans.

020 VVN – Al-Qaida draws lessons from North Vietnam

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U.S. Army helicopters

U.S. Army helicopters assist South Vietnamese soldiers, in 1965.

In this episode I take a look at an article In the Providence Journal by Col. Theodore L. Gatchel (USMC, ret.), a monthly contributor, is a military historian and a professor emeritus of joint military operations. Gatchel tells how Al-Qaida has taken a page out of the North Vietnamese Playbook on how to fight an enemy with a superior military capability. He also points out how President Obama seems to be missing this important lesson and how it can spell problems for this country in the future.

019 VVN – Chuck Hagel’s Smoke and Mirrors

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Chuck Hagel

Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense

In this episode an article by Wallace Henley in the Christian Post about the proposed cuts in the military budget recently announced by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will be displayed.

Henley maintains the budget cut announcement by Hagel is a ruse to deceive the American people about what is really going on in the governmental spending process. These proposals if allowed to stand will not provide protection for the American people from the clear and imminent perils that exist in the world today.

018 VVN – Chinese Vietnam War Veterans Protest

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Chinese Vietnam Vets Protest

Veterans of the 1979 China-Vietnam War hold banners in Beijing as they petition the communist regime for the benefits they were promised when they enlisted. The left banner reads: “In times past we brought great glory to our country. Now the harsh pressure of our life brings us suffering and tears.” Right: “We veteran soldiers want to see Chairman Xi. We want to say some heartfelt words to him and the Communist Party.”

Chinese veterans of the short war with Vietnam that occurred 35 years ago are protesting the shoddy treatment from their country.  In an article by Carol Wickenkamp of Epoch Times, The plight of Chinese veterans is highlighted. They fought in a war mostly forgotten by Americans who are more concerned the war they fought on the other side of Vietnam.

They believe the Chinese Government is reneging on the promises made years ago to get soldiers to fight in that short war with the much smaller country of Vietnam. In a show of unusual bravery they are willing to publicly challenge the government to provide better treatment to those that fought in that war so many years ago.

017 VVN – Chuck Hagel Announces Defense Budget Cuts

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Vietnam Veteran NewsSecretary of Defense Chuck Hagel made the announcement the time has come to cut back drastically on defense spending. He stated in the world we find ourselves in today it is inevitable. The cuts will be painful and difficult on both sides of the isle in Congress.

Politicians including Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., Republican Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, and even President Barack Obama all foresee troubled waters ahead in the financial shoals facing the country.

016 VVN – Vinny Pharakhone, The Laotian Entrepreneur

Vinny Pharakhone

Photo by Burt Henry/San Antonio Express-News
Vinny Pharakhone is the owner of Vinny’s Donuts, which opened on Broadway in January 2014.

The war in Vietnam left its mark on many people not only in America. Millions of lives in other countries of Southeast Asia were affected. In this podcast the fortunes of a Laotian refugee that were featured in an article in the San Antonio Express-News by Burt Henry is presented.

Burt tells about the journey Vinny Pharakhone followed to become the owner of Vinny’s Doughnut Shop on Broadway in San Antonio, Texas. It is a heart warming story of the human spirit overcoming adversity.  It also points out what a great country America is in that it provides opportunity for those willing to work at making dreams come true.

015 VVN – Terry Schow Points Out Inaccurate Veteran Census

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Terry Schow

Terry Schow

Vietnam Vet and former head of the Utah VA Terry Schow is showing how veterans in Utah are not being counted properly in the US Census. He estimates in the last US Census veterans in Utah were under counted by 26,000. This can affect veterans because benefits are allocated based on census numbers. In this podcast Schow describes the situation and what can be done to remedy the short counts.

014 VVN – Woman Turns Napalm Scars From Vietnam War Into Forgiveness Crusade

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Kim Phuc

Kim Phuc poses for a photo with U.S. military veterans who heard her message of love and forgiveness last night at the Columbus Country Club. Kim was burned as a child by napalm dropped by the South Vietnamese air force on her village. Photo from the Columbus Dispatch.

Kim Phuc is an amazing woman.  She was the nine year old Vietnamese girl who was burned in an attack on her village in 1972 by the South Vietnamese Air Force. The picture of her running away from the attack became an image seen around the world wide.

The amazing thing about her story is that she has recovered from he wartime injuries and today is a Christian motivational speaker living in Canada. This episode is about an article from the Columbus Dispatch written by JoAnne Vivianno. The article tells about Kim Phuc’s speaking appearance before two groups in Columbus, Ohio.

013 VVN – John Fonner – Vietnam Vet Interview

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John Fonner

John Fonner

John Fonner is a bedrock American hero.  He answered the call when his country needed help to fight an unpopular war in a faraway land. He went forward and served to the best of his ability and then came home to Connecticut without a chip on his shoulder. He proceeded to build a life that should be a gleaming example to all. He built a fine family that now includes grandchildren, he excelled in a 50 year career in the grocery business, he was a good citizen in his home community and today he is enjoying a well earned and deserved retirement.

In this interview John is going to tell us about his experiences during the Vietnam War when he was assigned to the 195th Assault Helicopter Company. His story is unique in that he is one of the few US Army soldiers who went to Vietnam with his entire unit when it deployed.  Most soldiers went over individually and joined units already in country.

Hope you enjoy John’s recounting of his Vietnam adventures.